Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Alter Image

Okay, the first time I posted the photo, it was a piece of cake. But I decided to insert different text into the photo and re-post, but for the life of me, I can't do it. And the second "sign" was much funnier than the first!

This is, I think, what frustrates me most about computer technology: You think you have something down pat, and then it doesn't work the same way twice. My students, who are of course wizzes next to me, often have the same trouble when doing assignments via computer or the internet.

Does anyone else out there have the same complaint?


I have always had a secret desire to post a photo exactly like this one, with my own text in it. What I really wanted to put on the sign was something like, "The toilet paper trailing from my right shoe is a fashion statement," and come to think of it, will do that next. This is a hoot!

It could happen.

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Sunday, August 3, 2008


Basically, I find this notion of RSS a tremendous streamlined concept that can cut time and certainly delete junk you don't want in your way, say, when you're reading any news site from Houston Chronicle to the New York Times.

That being said, I found my computer unable/unwilling to create folders for my web favorites in different categories. It kept saying, "error on page" instead of letting me manage or create folders.

The other thing is that, though you may have immediate access to several newspapers/news sources on one page, if you don't know what specifically you're interested in, but are simply seeing what's new in the news daily, it's a little more difficult than bringing up, say, The Houston Chronicle's homepage with all the headlines on one page.

However, if you want to investigate, for instance, the biochemist who, after being tormented about his possible tainting of letters with anthrax, committed suicide, you can bring up all the sources' articles on this one subject very easily. And you should certainly access blogs for this subject in particular, because there will be much contradictory information and widely diverse opinions and feelings on this particular topic.

On this topic, my aunt called me last night from Frederick, MD, and told me that her brother worked in the same bio lab with this man, and is convinced that the man could not in any way be capable of threatening, much less harming, anyone. According to her brother, this fellow weighed 130 lb. soaking wet, and was very sweet, shy, and unassuming. He was dedicated to finding a cure and a vaccine for anthrax, and was frustrated that, though he'd been able to test on animals, the government wouldn't let him test on any humans. She said that the man had been hounded so severely by strapping government operatives for so long, and threatened by them, that he committed suicide.

I had to point out to her that any man who was really as sweet, honest and innocent as he was would not likely commit suicide no matter how he was hounded. The press, who may or may NOT be trusted, claim that, after years of psychiatric care, the man was known to have tried to kill people who threatened him, or women who rejected him. It is more common among us human beings to have more than one mood, attitude, persona, between public and private. As such, the likelihood of such a sweet, caring, seemingly passive man to have an equal and opposite dark, brooding underbelly is quite likely.

Time will out, to quote the Bard of Avon, but I'm sure this is not ever going to be a simple tale of black and white. If the government's operatives hounded this man, they are not to be forgiven for it, even if he was the perpetrator of the anthrax letters. If the man was innocent, then this is a tragedy. If he was guilty, it still is. Such is the complex nature of life.

Techno but lovely!

Fear and trepidation greeted me on this one, but better late than never. This summer has kept me scrambling every second. No time to smell the roses, as it were. Therefore, I naturally wanted to create a mosaic that, inspired by color, had to include flowers. I found this activity so simple that I was actually disappointed, I wanted to build a mosaic with probably 40 or 50 floral images in several colors.

What I like about the juxtaposition of pink and vivid green is that the resulting images make one long for the scent of the flowers. I also like the contrast between the cool and warm images, the soft and vivid ones. I changed out the color combinations several times until I got this one. All but the last one, which I can't quite see, are flowers that thrive here in Houston, despite the heat. They're doing better in the heat than I am, I assure you!

"A thing of beauty is a joy forever." John Keats said it. Or rather, to be more precise, John Keats wrote it down, and that's the only reason why we associate this very common sentiment with him exclusively. We've all thought it, but Keats wrote it down, so he gets the credit for the thought! Certainly using technology to appreciate the natural world is a wonderful juxtaposition!

Monday, July 21, 2008

Try at photo - AGAIN

As suggested by a few of you, I'm going to just drop a link in here for the "women in a sandstorm" photo I found on Flickr. Let's see if you can click on it and see the photo...


Sorry I've been errant, a very truant, I daresay, with this assignment for the last month. I've been trying my hand at buying a cheap foreclosure with the idea of selling my townhome near here for a profit, thereby eliminating my small but bothersome mortgage. BOY, they make those foreclosures hard to buy! The banks have them, but it appears they actually covet the darn things! Navigating through the websites for HUD, Fannie Mae and VA were actually more frustrating than going through Houston Area Realtors website (www.har.com), and that's fussy enough! Out of the dozens and dozens of foreclosed townhomes I viewed, only two had been well kept by their former owners. When people lose their homes, they will very often trash them on their exit: a shame, but so is the whole mortgage debacle.

Having managed to get my certification in Speech, I am now brushing up on my elocution skills, and students will have to encounter another technological glitch in learning Speech. Working in front of a mirror is very good practice, but recording your own voice onto a cassette was a lot easier than the recording options students - and teachers - have in our classrooms for the same purpose today. You haven't LIVED until you've heard yourself speak at length on a recording: You won't recognize yourself. Almost everyone is APPALLED the first time they hear their own speaking voice. But it certainly teaches you to practice, and experiment widely, to change what you don't like about your sound. I'm not sure what medium I'll use for voice recording for Speech only this fall. And once again, any suggestions are greatly appreciated!

Monday, June 23, 2008

Picture: worth a thousand words.

Thing 5: In reading lately that women's rights are in peril, I came upon a picture of several Indian women sheltered together against a fierce, stinging sandstorm. In cultures where women's opinions are discarded as "mere women's emotions," or their wisdom and rights discarded altogether, women resort to the company of their children or other women, and that kinship is strong. This picture certainly suggests it. The women have beautifully colored and ornamented clothing, their veils across their faces to aid their breathing. But the grey, cruel storm around them is a stark contrast.

It's a fact that art often is beautiful in its depiction of things that are dangerous or heartbreaking in life. Such is the photograph...and after 15 minutes of wrangling with Flickr, I cannot download it into this blog! I think the photo file is too big. Any suggestions?