Saturday, August 29, 2009

Do Not Bear False Witness

I just watched the movie "Doubt." (Very good movie.) In it the priest gives a sermon about gossip and cites the commandment "Thou shalt not bear false witness." I know that gossip is wrong, and I certainly know the cited commandment. The odd thing is that I never put them together. So gossip is bearing false witness.

It's amazing how something so simple can elude me. I used to be pretty sharp. I guess I need to double up on the Ginko.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Not As Good As the Ads

This is my Chia Obama in full bloom. Do they ever look as good as the ones on the box or in the ads? Even when the sprouts were shorter it didn't look very good. Still, it was fun planting and watching it grow. Once this crop dies, I won't be replanting, even though there are more seeds.
I think if I had a Chia Larry (from the Three Stooges) the sprout hair would look just right.

I'm On Display

Not me, exactly, but my website. This will be up for two days this month and two days next month. Hopefully it will drive people to the site which will, in turn, get me some website design business as well as some income from the online shopping page and other ads.

A Pussy and a Pillow and Pet Pus

Well, two pillows, actually. I ordered them about a week ago - two solid foam pillows from Overstock.com. I'd had solid foam pillows for many years and loved them, but never replaced them a few years ago when they wore out. (They're hard to find.) I missed them. I had been thinking recently that my regular, store-bought pillows actually felt kind of hard. So I went online and found two very reasonably priced solid foam pillows and I ordered them. (I only really wanted one, but the price at Overstock.com for two, together, was better than the price of one at other places.)

Ooooh I love my solid foam pillows. They are so soft and comfortable and not at all "hard" like the other pillows were. Hard to believe I waited this long to replace the old pillows. Thank goodness for the Internet.

I would have had a great night's sleep with my new solid foam pillows, except that Gracie (one of my cats) decided she wanted to spend the night on me. She slept on me for most of the night. She was on my stomach when I was sleeping on my back. She was on my hip when I was sleeping on my side. I'd get up and use the bathroom and as soon as I came back to bed she'd climb up on me again and go to sleep. I'd switch positions to get more comfortable and she'd patiently wait until I was settled and climb back on. Eventually she decided to sleep somewhere else (thank God) and I and my solid foam pillows thoroughly enjoyed the rest of the night!

I took Celie to the vet yesterday because she has an inflamed sore on one of her legs. I didn't think much of it. Figured she'd get some antibiotics. Roscoe had a similar sore awhile back and that's all he got - antibiotics and an anti-inflammatory. But the vet decided to scare me a little - just a little - by suggesting a test for cancer because Celie's lymph node was swollen. Great. Long story short - it wasn't cancer. But Celie HATES THE VET and it didn't help when the vet stuck the inflamed area TWICE with needles so she could test for cancer. Celie will never get in the car again.

Tits, Teeth and Ted

First of all, my thoughts and prayers go out to Ted Kennedy's family. What a loss.

Second, I finally made an appointment with the dentist (9/10), and I WILL keep this appointment. Really. I will.

Third, I have a mammogram appointment on 9/09. Always enjoy having my boobs flattened. Who doesn't?

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Laugh Out Loud!

I was piddling around the Internet, as I occasionally do, and came upon a song that had me laughing hysterically. In fact, I laughed so hard that I decided to buy a copy of the song. The song in question? William Shatner "singing" Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds! I'm laughing now just thinking about it! Play it.

Don't get me wrong. This is so funny because it's so BAD!!!

The Best Smoothies Ever

I'm always confused when I see someone on TV putting ice into a "smoothy." It just doesn't make sense to me. Here's how I make my smooties:

Ingredients:

•one ripe banana
•one cup of orange juice with pulp
•one cup of plain, non-fat yogurt
•several frozen strawberries (or a mixture of frozen berries)
•one scoop of Fruitein protein powder (which you should be able to find at a health store, if you're lucky enough to have one close by)
•sweetener, optional (to taste)

Mix everything in a blender until the frozen fruit is completely blended.

Since the berries are frozen, you don't need to water down the smoothie with ice. See?!

I blend everything but the Fruitein and sweetener first, then add it while the blender is on.

You may not need any sweetener since it's already sweet, but I like to add one packet of artificial sweetener.

I like to eat dry Shredded Wheat & Bran while I'm drinking my smoothie.

Real Fast and Easy Chicken Parmesan

What you need:

•Tyson's Frozen Chicken Patties, breaded, fully cooked (these come in a plastic bag of ten patties, iirc) (I don't care if they're not Tyson's, but that's what I use and they're good quality.)
•Marinara Sauce - doesn't matter what kind, but I prefer to spend more for a brand that tastes better (and has little or no added sugar - you'd be surprised!)
•Mozarella Cheese, grated

Put one or two frozen chicken patties on a plate (at least one inch apart) and microwave for 60-90 seconds. Flip the patties over. On each patty put two or three tablespoons of marinara sauce and top with some grated mozarella cheese. Microwave some more - at least another 60 seconds - until the cheese is melted.

You'll figure out the best cooking/microwaving times once you've made the recipe once or twice! My microwave is one of those cheap, low-wattage ovens. If you have a big, powerful microwave, you'll probably be able to decrease the cooking time.

These taste real good considering they only take a few minutes to "cook." Add some veggies or a salad and you have a complete meal!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

This and That


I just carried a large wolf spider outside. It was in my bathroom. I scooped it up in a paper cup and carried it outside. The first time I tried, it jumped out of the cup and scared the poo out of me. So I had to scoop it back into the cup and take it outside. I like spiders. Just don't like the big ones in my house! The wolf spider (like the one above) was about three inches from the tip of the front leg to the tip of the back leg. I've seen them outside several times. I even saw a female once that was carrying bunches of babies on her back. (I saw another female when I worked at Walgreens. It was inside the store. It, also, was covered with babies. I scooped her up in a plastic bag and took her outside.)


Mountain Dew has come out with a new flavor: Ultra Violet. It's okay. It's sweeter than regular Mountain Dew, and has a mixed berry taste. What's unusual, and the reason I mention it at all, is that it has come out in a diet version. This is unusual. In all the times I've seen new, temporary Mt. Dew flavors, I've never seen a diet version. I started drinking Mt. Dew when I was working nights and needed the extra caffeine. Now I drink it because I like it (and for the caffeine, since I'm tired all the time). I buy it in cans so I can recycle them.

Now that I'm unemployed I'm getting into that backward sleep routine that I fall into whenever I don't have to work. I sleep late and stay up late, sleep later then stay up later. I don't mind the schedule, actually, but there are things I still need to do in the daytime, like make some phone calls. Everything else I do I do on the computer, which is a 24/7 machine. (Machine?)

Nurse Jackie is a new show on Showtime. The season finale will be shown next week. If you missed the season, you missed an excellent show. I know that nurses were up in arms about the premise of the show - an ER nurse that regularly abused Rx drugs. I guess nurses think we, the viewers, are idiots. If I see a nurse doing drugs on TV, that means they all do drugs, right? Everything on TV is real, isn't it? Nurse Jackie is a very good show about ONE nurse, and the drug abuse isn't the only problem she has. Why didn't the nurses complain about the other stuff? Nurse Jackie stars Edie Falco of "Sopranos" fame. (I've never seen a single episode of Sopranos.)

I love my TiVo. I can completely ignore my TV and let TiVo record whatever I want it to record. Then, when I feel like watching, I can. Of course, there are a couple of shows I have to watch right away, as they are broadcast. One is Lost, which will be back for its final season in January. The other is Dexter, which starts its new season in September.

I think that's all for now.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Working - Doing What I Enjoy

Gatesville's "The Sign" is on our main street and is seen by thousands of people each day.

I'm up late tonight working on my website(s) getting everything just right for when my ad goes up in a couple of weeks. We have one of those big signs in town where they can change the message to advertise something different every day, and I've purchased four days. The first two will be on the 26th and 27th of August. Until then I will be spending much of my time making my website as useful and attractive as possible. (Input is always welcome.) The website that will be advertised will be this one. It will, hopefully, lead people to this one, which will be the real money-maker. The second two days will be later, in September.

It's amazing how many rip-offs there are out there for people who are trying to make some money on the Internet. Be very cautious if you plan to research this sort of thing. It would be great if there was one resource where people could find out what's real and what's a money-making scheme. Maybe there is and I just haven't found it yet.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Green, um, thumb

My brother Doug, a staunch Republican, sent me a Chia Obama. He meant it as a show of disrespect. I love it. I immediately "planted" and already am seeing sprouts. I'll post a photo once it's in full bloom!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Becoming Self-Employed

I'm trying lots of things. First, I'm official with the State of Texas (or is it Republic of Texas) as a Website Designer. Second, I'm selling specialty advertising. Third, I have a shop at CafePress. Anyone out there with some extra cash, there must be something I can sell you!!! I also plan to try some affiliate marketing. As soon as I have a link for that, I'll post it here, of course. Oh, and don't forget my Kindle link on the right side of this page. Use it every time you plan to buy something from Amazon.com and I'll get a small cut. Thanks!

Tweeting from my Kindle

I found out today that I can tweet from my Kindle. This is very cool. I can not blog from my Kindle, in case you were wondering.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Free at last! Or am I?

I finally got fired today. I didn't especially like the job, and they made it very easy to get fired, so I did. I could have quit, sure, but then I wouldn't be able to apply for unemployment insurance.

I don't plan to become a slug. At least, not now. I'll do that after Publisher's Clearing House delivers the $10 million check.

Right now I hope to become self-employed. I will create websites. I will also sell specialty advertising. If you need a simple website or you need your name on a pen, I'm your gal.

I have a website for my website design business. You can find it here. I want to have a website for the specialty advertising, too, but that will be sometime down the road.

And I have some other advertising ideas, too. Small stuff to start with, until I see if it will work out.

I don't need to make a lot of money. Just enough to feed the furchildren!

Friday, August 7, 2009

I wonder if there's one for beer.

video

Kindle 2: The Review

Okay, I'm not a reviewer of anything, by any means. Ask me about a movie and I'll say, "I liked it," or "I hated it," or something as succinct. So I'll tell you what I think about my Kindle, but don't expect a lot of details. If you want details, have a look at the reviews on the Amazon.com website.

I bought the Kindle 2, which is the second generation of Amazon.com's electronic book reader. It was designed taking into account a lot of feedback by users of the original Kindle. I didn't own the original, but from reading a couple of the reviews at Amazon.com, the Kindle 2 is a big improvement.

I have to say, being a Star Trek fan, that my Kindle strongly reminds me of Star Trek - The Next Generation. I'm sure they had something like a Kindle in one or two episodes. I like that a lot about my new gadget.

My first thought was that it seems a little heavy, but I guess it's not much heavier than your average Stephen King novel (hardbound, not paperback). It's only 10.2 ounces. I think if I just sat in a comfy chair reading my Kindle, it might start to feel a little heavy. But I've only read it in bed, so far, and what I did was prop a throw-pillow in my lap and rest the Kindle on the pillow. A throw-pillow is generally fatter than a regular pillow, which is why I used it. I rested the Kindle on the pillow, which brought it up to eye level, and didn't have any discomfort issues: weight, neck position, etc. I suspect that reading at a table would be okay, too. Maybe I'll try reading in a chair without anything holding the Kindle up and report back after I've used it for about a month.

Ordering and downloading is a cinch. You can order online from Amazon.com or you can order from your Kindle. I prefer going online, unless there's something specific I'm looking for. If I'm just browsing, the online experience seems more pleasing, probably because it's in color and the layout is different. The Kindle display is black and off-white, which is all you need for reading. There are other places to buy e-books, but I'll let you find them on your own, if you're interested. There has been some news coverage on the subject, and all reports seem to agree that Amazon.com is still the best as well as the cheapest.

If you have "wireless on," your downloads appear in seconds, whether ordered online or on your Kindle. There's just no downside to that! I've noticed the little "3G" symbol on my Kindle whenever I turn wireless on. It will use the 3G network wherever it's available.

I've ordered a couple of books and already finished one. The experience was not much difference than reading a book. The black and off-white display of the Kindle is very much like a book. I wonder if its developers experimented with different contrasts, because I think I'd like the off-white background to be a little whiter. Still, I experienced no discomfort or eye strain while reading. One of the books I ordered was "Audition" by Barbara Walters. I haven't opened it yet, and I've just now begun to wonder whether the photos printed in the paper copy will be in the Kindle copy. I'll check that out and get back to you.

I've also read a couple copies of Newsweek magazine on my Kindle. (Should I give it a name? How about Jimmy Kindle? Sorry, I digress.) I don't think I liked the Kindle magazines very much. I guess I like the photos, illustrations and colors on the printed page. Newspapers are better. I have read a couple copies of the Austin American Statesman (closest paper to home). The paper copies have photos, but the Kindle doesn't appear to provide them. They're not as "important" as the photos in a magazine, though. Just to be somewhat fair, I'm downloading a copy of USA Today, which has more photos, iirc. Just a moment....and voila, pictures! So it's not the Kindle, it's the newspaper. Prices for different newspapers vary. It appears the difference depends on circulation and nationwide readership. Magazine prices vary, too. It's important, I think, to note that there are more than just US newspapers and magazines available. Like to read British tabloids? Or German newspapers? You won't be disappointed.

I expected a long wait before I could use my new Kindle, because I figured it would have to be "fully charged" before I could get started. I was pleasantly surprised when I found out I was wrong. First of all, charging it to "fully charged" only took an hour or two. (Sorry, I wasn't paying close attention.) Second, the Kindle can be used while charging. Plug it into your wall outlet or your computer USB slot - the cord works for both! Amazing! Read, download, whatever while your Kindle is charging in the background.

Battery life is good. You have a choice of "wireless off" or "wireless on." In the wireless on mode your Kindle will search for and download items continually. This uses a lot of power. But you can turn wireless off and the battery will last much longer. Sorry I can't tell you exactly how long. I can only say that it's plenty long for me! So turn wireless off, and only turn it on when you know there's something to download, like your morning paper. It takes less than a minute to download a newspaper. If you travel a lot, I can say that a Kindle, in wireless off mode, would last longer than a flight from New York to L.A. Amazon.com says you can "read for days without recharging." That would be with wireless off, for sure. Wireless off is also necessary if you want to use your Kindle when you're someplace (like in an airplane) where certain electronic signals are forbidden.

Kindle has a sleep mode. I'm not sure it has a lot of value except for the neat pictures displayed while it's sleeping. I don't see much difference in sleep vs. off. If I discover one, I'll let you know.

You can change the text size with the Kindle. That's great for us old farts. And it's very easy to do. The downside is that, the bigger the text, the more page turns you'll be doing. In fact, I wonder about people who read real fast - whether the Kindle will be too slow for them. The page turns quickly, but compared to a paper book, there is less of the "page" visible at once. For example, with a book you generally have two full pages exposed each time you turn the page. With the Kindle you have a portion of one page. The portion size depends on the text size.

((Just remembered there is another version of the Kindle available, the Kindle DX, which has a larger display area. It costs more, but if you're a speed reader it's probably a good idea to get that one.))

Navigation is simple, too. There are "next page" buttons on both sides, a "previous page" button on the left side. The "home" button is on the right above the next page button. There's also a "menu" and "back" button on the lower right, and a tiny little joy stick for navigation. I think they call it a "5-way controller." It's cute. I'm not going to go into what all the buttons do. They're somewhat self-explanatory, of course.

I like the dictionary feature a lot. Usually, if I come across I word I don't know while I'm reading I just ignore it, unless it seems important for the story. With the Kindle all I have to do is move a cursor (using the joy stick) to the first letter of the word and a definition appears. Usually. I did find something that wasn't in the dictionary, but I don't remember what it was. The dictionary used is the Oxford American Dictionary.

Book availability is good. Not great. Yesterday I wanted to download a copy of "The Time Traveler's Wife," which is not available in the Kindle version. Because of the price difference, I will buy Kindle books that I wouldn't normally buy in a paper version. This means that there will be books that I won't be able to read/download when I want to, like "The Time Traveler's Wife."

You can also try an experimental function of the Kindle 2: sending PDF files to your Kindle. I've already tried it and it seems to function adequately. Especially for an "experimental" function. Some of the pages don't space right, but they're still readable. Illustrations didn't transfer, which is fine for what I sent. Oh, your Kindle is assigned an e-mail address. You e-mail yourself a PDF file, Amazon.com "translates" it, and puts it in your download queue. You can also e-mail text files and a few others formats. Amazon.com charged me 15 cents to translate and transmit the PDF file.

Other Experimental Functions:
•Basic Web browsing. Best for .mobi-type sites with text and simple layouts. I haven't played with it much, yet.
•MP3 Player. Really. Kindle says "if you like to listen to music while you read" you can load music into your Kindle and listen, or you can download podcasts. (More about the speakers in a minute.)
•Text-to-Speech. Kindle will read aloud to you if you like.

There are two tiny speakers in the back of the Kindle. And they don't get very loud. But you can also plug in a headphone, which works much better. There is a volume control on the right side of the Kindle. You can change the text voice to male or female. I just had it read the beginning of The Bible, and the punctuation was terrible. I had it read a bit of the "Darkly Dreaming Dexter" novel and it seemed fine. I'm trying to get it to do that again right now and having trouble. Not good.

Accessories: I bought the cheap leather cover for $29.99. I'd have bought a nicer one except that the ones I saw while shopping were much higher priced than the one I bought. I saw some today, though, that are cheaper and more colorful. Buy a cover! Protect your Kindle! I also bought the Mighty Bright XtraFlex2 clip on book light for $19.99. You can find cheaper book lights, but this one holds on well and doesn't jiggle, like some book lights do. So if you're looking for a book light, I recommend this one. I read in bed so I don't have a light right over my head. I've tried a few different book lights, and I've even tried one of those things that's an LED light on an elastic headband (which worked okay but fell apart too soon).

That's about all the detail I have uncovered, so far. Overall I really like the Kindle. First of all, it will get me to start reading again. Second, as someone else mentioned to me, it should pay for itself over time. The more you read, the faster the payoff. I highly recommend it. If you're into stars, then I'd have to give it 4-3/4 stars out of five.

If you still have doubts, there are a lot of details and reviews on the Kindle homepage. To get to the homepage, you can click here: Kindle

And if you plan to buy a Kindle, please use that link, too. It will earn me some money! There's also a link on the right side of this page.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I hope this was done intentionally...

...maybe someone trying to be funny?

Seen on a bulletin posted at work: "From the Desk of the Office of the President"

But the bulletin was serious, so I think someone just wasn't thinking.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

It's Here!!!

My new Kindle arrived on Thursday. I played with it a little. Not a lot. I read most of the most recent issue of Newsweek Magazine on it. I can read my blog on it!!! I can do other things with it, too. I'm going to give it some more time so I can write a slightly detailed review. So far it's mostly thumbs up. Since I'm working 10-hour days four days a week, I probably won't get to my review until Wednesday, at the earliest. Be patient.

HOT

Me. I'm hot. After a short power outage yesterday, my air conditioning decided to take a vacation. I'll be hot and cranky until I can get it fixed. (Also Wednesday, at the earliest.)