Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Weird Wired Living 2

Well, we've been busy again! Our son needed the third computer upgraded a bit so he could reliably use some educational software we have for him this school year.

We took it over to a friend's house who had some extra parts and got a big surprise! Once they understood what we were trying to do they dug out a very cool space-agey case and a much more recent mobo/processor. Our cranky old 500mhz Gateway is now a 3100 Sempron AMD! As you can imagine, our kiddo is thrilled! But we had to do some tweaking to reuse some parts & choosing/ installing some upgrades which led to our discovering that...

Win98se gets cranky when it goes past 512 ram. If you put a Gig in, it gets REALLY cranky, downright attitudinal!

Regular WinXP has limits too, not that we're in any danger of reaching them at the mo. (4GB ram, which is effectively 3.5 in some systems)

If anybody needs to dual boot, VMWare Server is a free program that they say would make the process more reasonable. I haven't used it, but I figured I'd pass that along in case anyone reading this needs the help.

If you haven't upgraded your quicktime, thunderbird mail, or firefox/mozilla recently, you should do it now!

And if you don't have winXP's 2nd pack, get the latest critical upgrade as well. (Also consider switching to Firefox or Opera? They both work well & offer some inherent protection from many of these virus attacks. Firefox is now popular enough to see more of them, but it is still less of a target than Internet Explorer.)

Also found another learned computer site that let me know some of the pros & cons of Vista, among other things. Scott's newletters are quite interesting too imho.

So um, yeah. Updates are a good idea.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Good Thoughts

These are all quotes from Pastor Tim's recent mailings, except for the C.S. Lewis one, which appealed to me in recent reading. Gave you a link to where I found it online ;-)

"Imagination was given to man to compensate him for what he isn't, and a sense of humor to console him for what he is."

"The reason people blame things on the previous generations is that there's only one other choice."
- Doug Larson

"Discovery consists of seeing what everybody has seen and thinking what nobody else has thought."
-Albert von Szent-Gyorgyi

Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.
C. S. Lewis

"When written in Chinese, the word 'crisis' is composed of two characters - one represents danger, and the other represents opportunity."
- Saul David Alinsky

"It is only possible to live happily ever after on a day-to-day basis."
- Margaret Bonnano

"Mountains of gold would not seduce some men, yet flattery would break them down."
- Henry Ward Beecher

"Courage does not always roar. Sometimes, it is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow." - Anonymous

"God's eye is on the sparrow--and on the turkey, too!"

"A life with love will have some thorns, but a life without love will have no roses."

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

My Toy

I am still enjoying my fiber optic lamp ALOT. Got it with Bday money. hehe

It changes colors and stuff. ooooOOooo shiny! Shiny!

Always wanted a good one :D

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Just One Book meme

One book that changed your life:
The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

One book that you have read more than once:
All Creatures Great & Small by James Herriot

One book you want on a desert island: my Bible. I'd love a good survival guide or appropriate plant encyclopedia as well, of course.

One book that made you laugh:
Ogden Nash collection

You can see a number of them -here. I've put three examples of Mr Nash's wit from this site

“Unfortunately, It’s The Only Game In Town”
Often I think that this shoddy world would be more nifty
If all the ostensibly fifty-fifty proposition in it were truly fifty-fifty.
It’s unfortunate that the odds
Are rigged by the gods.
I do not wish to be impious.
But I have observed that all human hazards that mathematics would declare to be fifty-fifty are actually at least fifty-one-forty-nine in favor of Mount Olympus.
In solitaire, you face the choice of which of two black queens to put on a red king; the chance of choosing right is an even one, not a long one,
Yet three times out of four you choose the wrong one.
You emerge from a side street onto an avenue, with the choice of turning either right or left to reach a given address.
Do you walk the wrong way? Yes.
My outraged sense of fair play it would salve
If just once I could pull the right curtain cord for the first time, or guess which end of the radiator lid conceals the valve.
Why when choosing between two lanes leading to a highway tollhouse do I take the one containing a lady who first hands the collector a twenty-dollar bill and next drops her change on the ground?
Why when quitting a taxi do I invariably down the door handle when it should be upped and up it when it should be downed?
By the cosmic shell shame I am spellbound.
There is no escape; I am like an oyster, shellbound?
Yes, surely the gods operate according to the fiercest exhortation W. C. Fields ever spake:
Never give a sucker an even break.

“The Eel”

I don’t mind eels
Except as meals,
And the way they feels.”

"Peekabo, I Almost See You"
Middle aged life is merry, and I love to lead it,
But there comes a day when your eyes are all right but your arm isn’t long enough to hold the telephone book where you can read it.
And your friends get jocular, so you can go to the oculist,
And of all your friends he is the joculist,
So over his facetiousness let us skim,
Only noting that he has been waiting for you ever since you said Good Evening to his grandfather clock under the impression that it was him,
And you look at his chart and it says SHRDLU QWERTYOP, and you say Well, why SHRDNTLU QWERTYOP? And he says one set of glasses won’t do.
You need two.
One for reading Erle Stanley Gardener’s Perry Mason and Keats’s “Endymion” with,
And the other for wasling around without saying Hello to a strange wymion with.
So you spend your time taking off your seeing glasses to put on your reading glasses, and then remembering that your reading glasses are upstairs or in the car,
And then you can’t find your seeing glasses again because without them on you can’t see where they are.
Enough of such mishaps, they would try the patience of an ox,
I prefer to forget both pairs of glasses and pass my declining years saluting strange women and grandfather clocks.

One book that made you cry:
Bleak House

One book you wish would have been written:
'Why We Now Agree There are Other Valid Scientific Theories for the Origins of Life: An Apology' by the NSF

One book you wish had never been written:
Mein Kampf by Adolf Hitler. It would have been great if he had been unable to write anything unpleasant, or do anything unpleasant!

One book you are currently reading:
Godless by Ann Coulter

One book you have been meaning to read:
The Christian Philosophyy of Thomas Aquinas Sounds promising!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Heretic quiz

I dunno what group made this quiz, but evidently they must believe much as I do.

You scored as Chalcedon compliant. You are Chalcedon compliant. Congratulations, you're not a heretic. You believe that Jesus is truly God and truly man and like us in every respect, apart from sin. Officially approved in 451.

Chalcedon compliant




























Are you a heretic?
created with QuizFarm.com

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Weird Wired Living 1

I figure I'll end up with lists like this again so may as well make this a series from the start.

I followed a blog trail back to these excellent Blog Commenting Guidelines

Then I stopped by BillP's excellent site and found a warning as to how much information (and misinformation) can be gleaned from logged search engine entries tied to any particular identifier. (In AOL's case it was a number.) Illustrated by this poor lady's story.

from there I followed his links to read about Windows XP Optimzing Myths

& the handyness of McAfee's SiteAdvisor

& some warnings about the proliferating Zango ads/games/ & more recently, a winamp skin

& stopbadware.org which endeavors to keep track of some of the malware out there.

& a reminder to get the most recent windows patches. These folks also note that myspace info is particularly non-secure in wifi settings. You can check on your security updates here

lest all these warnings make you want to hide...

Stumbled on some more classic free ebooks in the MS reader format

I also found a somewhat amusing photo-shopped pc vs mac ad

(which had a link to a funny ad called 'sinking' )


Thats it for now!

Saturday, August 12, 2006

Loving Meme

This 'Counting Blessings' meme came to me courtesy of Carmel Sundae's blog

Five things I love about my spouse:

1. He is very protective of us
2. He is able to admit mistakes and learn from them
3. He has been very brave about the things he has had to face
4. He is looking to God to lead Him now, more than he ever has
5. He is willing to listen

Five things I love about other family members:

1. My family is very supportive in all those little practical ways.
2. My mother's faith has everything to do with the strength of my own.
3. Older relations don't mind offering advice or helping more directly when we need it
4. Everyone is willing to pray for each other
5. We have gotten better about telling each other (often!) how much we appreciate one another.

Five things I'm proud of in people I love:

1. My Mom does the neatest crochet projects. She even designs her own!
2. My daughter just gets better and better with her arts & crafts
3. My son is very quick to understand most concepts we seek to teach him. (Applying them is something he's still working on. lol)
4. My husband's resourcefulness in repairs never ceases to amaze
5. All of us have neat stories to share.

Five happy memories I have about people I love:

1. My husband and I were serious about each other right from the start (we went for betrothal rather than dating). Recognizing we were starting out with tight finances we agreed to skip alot of the usual 'date-y' expenses like planning to eat out a lot or luxury gifts. Come Valentine's Day though, I told him I was a bit sad we couldn't afford a lot of roses or anything. Tom surprised me by working in the whole dozen roses, by getting me one at a time over weeks. He fit it into his meager budget by making himself cut back on his cigarette habit. Believe me, I appreciated every one!

2. Becka had the most endearing habits as a baby. She was so polite! Whenever she wanted something she would start by making small 'het het" noises. If we didn't hear that, she'd clear her throat and try "het het" again just a little more loudly. Then she'd add just one cry to the mix, before giving it up and just howling. Usually we'd manage to tend to her before she needed to turn up the volume too much. ..

The only times she'd be unexpectedly loud was when one of us was holding her as an infant and we didn't give up whatever she was angling for promptly (more milk, down, etc). She would strain herself to look into an ear...and she'd bellow! LOL

3. William and Becka both got chicken pox when he was still a toddler. We decided we'd get their favorite take-out meal of the time - fried chicken - after our usually quiet William announced (repeatedly) that he'd rather have "chicken in a box than chicken pox." This was the day and moment William decided he would talk to everybody after all. (His asthma had made talking much uncomfortable for him.)

Its now a family saying.

4. Last month, my children went out to a park with their grandmother where there were a number of ducks & geese about. My son, who usually gets along with all things avian, loves to make animal noises. Soon he was merrily quacking back at them. Then he mixed it up with the 'afflack' quack from the tv ad. Soon the whole flock was quacking "afflack" right back. People laughed so hard they fell out!

5. I was so thrilled when my children were finally able to spend some real time at Busch Gardens. They were a relief for a rough year of medical trials and an encouragement to my mother who had been wanting to do something wonderful for us and could hardly believe her ears when she heard she'd won those tickets. It really was a dream come true, especially for William.

William had been a preemie birth. He had to have surgeries as a baby and then he suffered from a fairly severe virus-induced asthma. He didnt get out as much as I would have liked to take him. From the time he was little though, he had played with an old set of postcards from Busch Gardens that had been around since I was a kid. He really loved the images of the LeMans & bumper cars, the huge swings and boats. During late nights with a nebulizer, my toddler would huggle in my lap and ask me to tell him about them over and over. He would ask his sister what they were like from when she got to go. But he was never able to go himself...not until last year.

It may not be a funny anecdote or anything, but I was fighting tears of joy the first few times he got to ride them in real life. We let him ride each one as long as he liked the first day we got to that part of the park. It was a wonderful dream come true for all of us, and a reminder that God had got us through some rough times already. William is healed now, you see. He can take the smoke of the bbq pits, the heat of a summer day, and the noise of a crowd just like any other child his age. It has taken time, faith, effort, and persistence but his rough days did finally end. That has been a big help in encouraging our hearts through Tom's slow ordeal in the past few years.

God sure knows how to send a hopeful message, doesn't he?

Five things I want to thank God for:

1. The amazing way God has kept Tom going and is healing him
2. The incredible peace, joy, and hope Jesus has so often covered us with in this season of trial.
3. Forgiveness.
4. That God knows better than I do what's good for me.
5. That my tomorrows keep improving on my yesterdays, thanks to God's intervention.

Tagged: all the wives among ye.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Heat effects

Its been a very interesting summer, even without the usual tropical weather. Weirdest spell was when the weather man said the humidity was staying so high because it was too hot to rain. I'd never heard that one before! Summer storms have been severe in some places, though decidedly tame near us, but it seems the extreme heat may have been responsible for the extended rabies scare we've had around here. Our little neighborhood has had 7 rabid foxes, 1 aggressive possum (health unknown), & 1 sick raccoon sighting this season, which may be a new record. Tom took down four of these himself. (The animal control guy & Tom have developed a decided respect for one another.)

All the rural counties in the region seemed to have a very large problem with rabies this year. There have been dozens of sick fox/raccoon sightings, and eleven humans who had to be treated for it in our county health dept alone. Biggest case was an entire girl scout troup who had bats in their summer cabins in the next county. Some of the bats were caught and tested & the whole troup had to get shots because of the results. The whole flock wasn't infected but you never knew which ones had gotten in their hair and all. Everyone has had the sense to get shots when they knew they were at risk, thankfully. Even the four-year old boy recovered beautifully. They know he was infected, but it looks like the shots will be the worst part of the memory for him. Thank God!

The animal control guy says the rabies scare may have lasted longer than usual because the heatwave allowed the rabies virus itself to survive longer in carcasses etc. You have to be careful of all kinds of infectious agents when the heat index doesn't drop below usual body temperatures for extended periods. This is a side to global warming we had never thought about before. We may all of us need to stockpile more bleach in coming years! Heat may also have directly affected the behavior of the possum, as possums aren't known for contracting rabies. Humans aren't the only ones who get testy when the weather stays unpleasant.

Anyway, You can imagine how happy we have been to see the weather cool back into the mid-80's! There have been no new cases since, that we know about.

Figured I ought to officially mention that all of our cats, including the two strays who wandered up this spring, are still fine long after the ten day 'watch' period that restarted each time a rabid fox was taken down in our area. In fact, with their predator concerns reduced and the nice weather lately, all the kitties are back to full relaxation mode.

Pahket loves her warm sunny spots :)

That is, if you don't count the frozen-in-place glares Pahket & Sandy (one of the stray moggies) have been giving one another. Sandy grew a great deal while Pahket remained mostly indoors the last month or two. He now looks like a creamy-pale, flat-headed version of our lovely marmalade beauty. The first day they faced off like that 'mirror' scene in the old comedies, matching each twitch of their tails and flick of their ears. It was hilarious!

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

3 things (meme)

Combining Mommy Brain's & PoptartMom's 3 thing's memes

3 People That Make Me Laugh
* My husband
* My Mom
* My son

3 Things I Love
* homeschooling with my family

* my new fiber-optic lamp

* Jesus

3 Things I Hate
* blind prejudice/hatred
* runaway arrogance (hubris)
* slander, especially lying slander

3 Things I Don’t Understand

* WHY there are none so blind as those who will not see. I have now faced the reality of this. I just can't understand how people can blind themselves so thoroughly.

* Why they print 'open here' on packages that open 'there'

* technical blueprints of 'bout anything..which strikes me as ironic. Aren't they supposed to explain stuff?

3 Things I’m Doing Right Now
* listening to an archeology documentary (Meet the Ancestors)

* blogging

* reflecting happily on the Chinese food we just had. (Went out tonight)

3 Things I Want to Do Someday

* travel for months on end all over North America...then elsewhere

* learn several other languages fluently (I can stumble through 2-3 now)

* write a classic ;-)

3 Things I Can Do
* sew basic clothing

* make innumerable crafts

* listen to you

3 Ways to Describe My Personality
* honest
* caring
* faithful

3 Things I Cannot Do

* travel in time

* rollerskate in a buffalo herd

* give up

3 Things I Think You Should Listen To
* God's Word

* your heart

* your conscience

3 Things I Think You Should Never Listen To
* temptations

* our cat barfing up a hairball

* a nearby nuclear explosion

3 Absolute Favorite Foods
* fresh, slow-cooked bbq

* a well-done roast (lamb, beef, venison) with home-made gravy and basmati rice

* goulash, stroganoff, or Jagerschnitzel with spaetzle

3 Things I’d Like to Learn

* How to make a working linking book

* How to make stained glass windows

* How to get my game engine to work properly :P

3 Beverages I Drink Regularly

* iced Earl Grey or Constant Comment tea. Seriously, I just love them that way.

* cold water

* Dr Pepper (trying to phase this out to lemonade & apple juice...)

3 Shows I Watch
* Mythbusters

* Planet's Funniest Animals

* Mother Angelica Live

What are your favorite seasons in order:


What are your favorite smells for each season:

Fall -- 1) fresh apples in wooden bushel baskets surrounded by damp, colorful leaves
2) A crisp cold day with a slow roast cooked outdoors mixed with the smell of beeswax being melted for candles in a colonial reproduction village.
3) late fall flowers mixed with the cool damp colorful leaves, pinecones, and fresh-cut grass

Spring- wildflowers and daffodils on a cool breezy day

Winter- 1) Christmas ciders or wassail brewing slowly
2) sweetbreads, cookies, or pumpkin pie baking
3) pinecone/berry wreaths, potpourri baskets,

Summer- 1) bbq slow-cooked over mesquite chips
2) (clean) sweaty suntan, sweet perfumes, and fireworks smoke in the humid night
3) overclean air conditioning and my children's powdered sugar funnelcake
4) field of flowers flowing over the swimming pool's chlorine
5) fresh cut grass before the storm

What are your favorite foods for each season:

Fall - fresh-pressed apple cider
Spring - lamb roast
Winter - pumpkin bread
Summer - fresh, grilled salmon/burgers/bbq

What are your favorite colors for each season:

Fall - deep pumpkin orange, forest green, leaf reds and yellow
Spring - cyan blue, lacy white, valentine red
Winter - ice blue, dark velvet green, deep burgundy
Summer - egg yellow and navy blue

What are your favorite activities for each season:

Fall- new homeschooling books & programs, field trips & group classes

Spring - field trips again! Getting outside & walking, planting seeds, starting back to the parks

Winter- Going around to looking at the Christmas decorations/lights, sending & receiving happiness, picking Christmas treats/projects (Gingerbread houses etc), reading cozily inside on wild day, playing games together

Summer - off to the parks, swimming, reading cozily in the air conditioning on a very hot day

If you’d like to do this one, consider yourself tagged!