Thursday, March 29, 2007

Then, Then and Now

It's March--or it will be for another few days. For some reason, this prompted me to think in a "where we are now" fashion.

Age: 2005: 25
2006: 26
2007: 27

Corresponding Cards: (to find the cards that correspond to your years, simply add the digets in your birthday together for the year in question--for example, if your birthday is the 21st of March and you wanted to find your card for this year, you would add 3+2+1+2+0+0+7 to 15, then add 1+5 to 6, working your way down to a single diget number with the exception of 10 in even years--and check the Major Arcana of the Tarot deck).

2005: The Hermit IX meaning prudence in some cases, but also corruption, roguery, dissemination, concealment and fear.
Accurate? Yes.

2006: The Wheel of Fortune X meaning good fortune, success, and increase.
Accurate? Yes, if the year is viewed as a whole.

2007: The High Priestess II--which is actually my "card", so that has added significance.
Basically, it is one of the few in the cycle that can really be read to be my year in that things should come together somehow to achieve a personal goal. The card itself has an element of mystery and combines both wisdom and passion.
Accurate? Let's hope.

Relationship Status:
2005: Living with long term boyfriend. That relationship would end in the middle of April.

2006: Nothing in March--living in York at University with mostly younger students and no tangible dating prospects.

2007: We're working on that ;-).

Where Living?:
2005: Bridgewater, Massachusetts.
2006: York, United Kingdom
2007: Saunderstown, RI/Plymouth, Massachusetts/anywhere else I travel

2005: About to restart as a Colonial Interpeter at Plimoth Plantation on the Mayflower II full time.

2006: Full time student finishing my second term at the University of York

2007: Putting together a fundraising film at Plimoth Plantation and job searching.

Farseeing Goals:
2005: Get into graduate school.
2006: Get out of graduate school.
2007: Get a job with a living wage.

And now for something completely different:

Ahhh...sun, lovely water, beautiful, vivid colors--who could ask for anything more? Well, at the time, I certainly could have. These were taken on the south side of Newport, RI in February when it was about 10 degrees out with a wind chill of about -17. I think I managed to stand there and snap five or six shots before I ran for the car.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Ok, Harriet, You Win...

The cat in the foreground is Harriet, the proverbial queen bee of the cat population here in this house.
Unfortunately, Harriet needs a little extra care every now and then. In the first place, she is a diabetic and requires insulin injections twice a day.
However, her injections never subject her caretakers to potentially severe bodily harm. As long as you "ask" her if seizing her by the neck and thrusting a needle in her neck is Ok, she will at least refrain from punching a hole in your hand with one of her very capable, razor-sharp teeth.
Her "pet peeve", so to speak, is grooming. She has flakey, oily skin that will gradually produce mats in her fur as it sheds. In my experience, if this isn't caught pretty early on in the process, they will knot closer and closer to the skin. It isn't our unwillingness to help her that gets her to this point--instead it is the fact that we realize, from personal experience, that we put ourselves in the way of near-eminent bodily harm if we try. On Mother's Day, two years ago, I called home from work on my break only to discover that my mother had been quickly transported to the local hospital only minutes before because she had made the poor decision to attempt to comb Harriet only to be bitten, hard, to the bone on her hand with the subsequent threat of infection.
Tonight, I took a good look at Harriet, and with mats peeking out here and there in her black fur, it was more than evident to me that yet again, this hazardous task required a new attempt. I knew what I was up against, so I held Harriet with one hand while I utilized the offending implement--the hated "cat brush"--in the other. I managed to get a lot of the chunks of clumped fur out. Every now and again, she would contort her body in such a way as to try and physically make me regret my seemingly adventurous and altruistic decision. This was proving ineffective to her cause, and twenty minutes into the session, I had about half of the matting off of her, and she was in a "no-win" situation on behalf of her cause.
Ah, but how I underestimated Harriet.
She had twisted her body so I was holding her by the scruff of her neck, her head against one of my folded knees and her back end by the other. I was determined to pull off the last clump of fur that made up a huge mat on her left side. Then, I felt something warm on one of my legs. Yes, in a seemingly fully dominated position, even Harriet had her own ways around it. Harriet, the only cat smart enough to know her name, who recognized a seemingly large vocabularly of words, who never did anything "bad", had peed on my right leg.
So much for the "last resort". I suppose it is different for all of us. She was immediately released to her much desired freedom. I, on the other hand, had to strip, wash myself off, and find something else to wear.
I should have brought out the scissors.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Now You See It...

When I went to Norwich last May, I wanted very much to visit this church--St. Andrews. It was the parish in which John Robinson, the "pilgrim's" preacher in the Netherlands, got his start before being ejected from his post for being too "reformist" and making the journey to the continent with his followers.
I was disappointed when I arrived because the church was closed due to some emergency, announced by the florescent paper on the black door in the top photograph. No, I didn't run up, stealthily remove the offensive sheet, and then retake the better, unobstructive shot.
I've been working on film clips that will be going on a new website, and in a step by step process, my manager, Ben, and I learned how to manipulate film and photos with a very in depth program. We've been able to change around words so that statements are clearer, edit smooth transitions between cut film clips, and even use some creative brain power to cover up some more stubborn bits and pieces. Likewise, I started to learn how to use my own photo editing software on my photographs. That stupid paper on the door always drove me crazy whenever I saw the above photo after I took it. Today, I figured out how to take it out.
After Ben and I finished the editing, he said he would never believe what he saw or heard on an edited piece of film again. I don't think he is too far off the mark.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Adventures in Software

Remember the days when you purchased a computer and it came with all of these discs representative of all of the programs that were pre-installed on your computer? Remember when you could just buy new software for updated programs or for new one you wanted to put on your computer?

Ah, gone they are, along with the "safety" of SPF 15 sunblock and the assurance that a gallon of gas would indeed cost less than a value meal (chips and drink included) at Subway.

Upon receipt of my new computer, the first thing I noticed was that there was a minimal quantity of "useful" stuff that came along with it. Everything I identified as a CD-rom was an "upgrade" of a program already on the computer or something I didn't want to use anyway. In order for me to acquire the stacks of back-up discs I used to get, I have to perform a "back up" on the system myself. Oh, and with no indication of how many discs that may take, either.

Windows Vista? Yeah, technobabble blogs that will make the Blogs of Note list long before mine will have LOTS to say about it, and may even debate the pros and cons of it for you. However, the only difference I can see here is a bubble with a Microsoft flag in it where the Start button used to be. If you want to see all your programs, instead of a list that appears off to the side for you with all of them on the screen on the same time, you have to scroll through a list of them. The one disc included in the package with this laptop was to update Vista, and it came with a nifty little remote control that would fit right into a port in the computer. However, in order to use it, I had to upgrade from Windows Vista Home Basic--which does nothing more incredible than Windows XP--to Windows Vista Ultimate, which cost.....drumroll.....two hundred dollars.

Your computer needs two basic sets of programs (unless you fell for the chic commercials with the dorko versus the cool guy representative of a PC and a Mac computer respectively). One is your word processing/office program set--and we all need at least to be able to type and print a document. The other is virus protection/computer security. The makers of this software smartened up some time ago and had their programs installed on your computer with an ever-present (and ever-reminded) expiration date. Therefore, I can use the newest version of Microsoft Office--which only really includes the four basic programs--for sixty days.....oh, wait, not quite. Apparently, the Microsoft tekkies have done it again and after watching endless car ads that offered a warrantee that covered either a certain number of miles or a certain number of years--whichever expired first, they decided to offer their own "compromise." Instead of being able to access the Microsoft Office programs for the sixty days on the icon, I can only open each one of the programs a certain number of times. So, the "subscription" expires either in sixty days or after I open the programs the alotted number of times. upgrade to the "full, unlimited version"? Another 150.

I can say that Norton, the security software, was originally installed for sixty days as well, but they included a program key that without any additional cost, once entered, opened the program for a full year.

Oh, and I did receive a printer, and a pretty good model at that. Too bad the software included to install the printer on this computer wasn't compatible with Windows Vista. Way to go, HP.

*Disclaimer*: Unfortunately, I have just transferred to the new version of Blogger--well, I was more or less compelled to given as soon as I signed into old Blogger, I was immediately transferred to a page that would not allow me access to my Dashboard unless I did the upgrade. I am not sure if anyone else has had trouble recently, but this is the first time Blogger has allowed me to sign in in about a week, and I am not even at my home "port." Therefore, I apologize if I fall short of stopping by any and all sites of visiting Bloggers.

Has anyone else had trouble?