Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Head music

While walking my laps at work this morning, a guy from another department passed me & said I needed an MP3 player to entertain me while I walk. At that very moment, I was in fact "listening" to "Jerusalem" ("And did those feet in ancient time walk upon England's mountains green...")--but not on a gadget, just in my head. Who needs a gadget when you've had a lifetime to listen to great music & it's all stored up on your head to call upon whenever you like? Beethoven, Brahms, Shostakovich, Dvorak, Grieg, Ravel, Mahler, Phillip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Jean Pierre Rampal, Luciano Pavarotti, Montserrat Caballe, Metallica, the Beatles, the Alan Parsons Project, Pink Floyd, Pearl Jam, Siouxsie and the Banshees; movie themes like "The Hunt for Red October," "Conan the Barbarian," "A Beautiful Mind," "Alexander Nevsky"; music from operas like "Turandot," "Carmen," "Madame Butterfly"; crazy stuff from Spike Jones, Tom Lehrer, Victor Borge (the Great Dane), and whoever wrote those nutty "Them" poems; musical numbers from "West Side Story," "Amahl and the Night Visitors," "Royal Wedding," "Singing in the Rain"; and more, more, more.

If I ever go deaf, I won't miss my music, that's for sure. And I don't need an MP3 player to enjoy it whenever I like.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Flea dope time

Managed to put some flea dope on Leo--I sneaked up on him when he was distracted by rubbing all over me...which is why I put the flea dope on him even though he lives outside now.  :)

He's doing well outside. His mind is probably more active now than when he was curled up asleep in my house all day. And I think he has a friend or two among the other ferals--cats he doesn't run away from or try to pick fights with, anyway. He still meows at the door, wanting in, but he's OK out there.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

New visitor

Here's a recent addition to my feral family; I've named him/her Butterscotch (haven't determined yet whether it's male or female). Such a beautiful coat!

I had to switch from Photoshop Big-Boy Version to Photoshop Elements (what used to be called LE) recently because my Pshop 7 CD died & I couldn't afford to replace it. I'm sure liking Pshop Elements, though--unlike its LE predecessor, it's very easy to get around in, has most of full-Pshop's same commands, & has nothing more than I need to mess with my little bit of home photography. Just what the doctor ordered.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Fun foto & still walking

For some reason, photographing cats from below while they sit on glass tables is irresistible. Must be the cute little paw-pads.

Humorous Pictures


Yeah, I bop into icanhascheezburger.com rather often.  :)  No, I didn't create that one.

I'm still walking during my breaks at work. It'd be so easy to blow it off because I'm tired or busy or whatever, but I'm not doin' it. People passing in the halls titter at me--who exercises at work??--but just let 'em. I know I'm doing myself some good.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Pedometer report

OK, four circuits of the long hallway at work is about 1250 steps, which is a little over half a mile (assuming I set my stride length correctly in the pedometer). So I'm doing a little over a mile a day in two shots. Not recordbreaking, but a good start. After a while, I'll add two more circuits per walk, which would take me up to almost 0.8 mile per walk, or 1.6 per day. There's not enough time in my breaks to do more than that.

This being Valentine's Day, various people brought piles of chocolate goodies. I won't say I didn't have some, but it was less than I usually snarf on such occasions.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Walk it off

You know those Subway ads featuring Jared, the guy who lost a ton of weight eating healthy Subway sandwiches? What they don't mention anymore is that Jared walked to Subway & back twice a day, so it wasn't just the healthy sandwiches that did it--it was the physical activity, as well.

So I've got this long hallway at work & I've decided that I should (a) take my two allotted breaks every day instead of skipping them like I usually do and (b) walk the hallway during those breaks. Four circuits takes me 10 minutes, which sounds pretty good to me. It gets me a little winded & lets the flabby ol' heart do a little work for once. Plus it wakes me up & I feel better. If I can remember by the time I get home, I'll bring my little pedometer & see how many steps there are in four circuits of the hallway.

My diet (such as it is) also needs to change a bit (well, a bit more, since I'd already changed it to cut caffeine & lower salt because of Meniere's disease). I discovered recently that one of the foods I used to love--pepperoni pizza--I don't really like much anymore. It still tastes good, but I'm aware all the time I'm eating it how incredibly much salt & fat & other badness are in it. Hardly a recipe for a good time. So I don't need to be ordering pizzas anymore.

Strangely enough, I really do like steamed veggies, even though they're good for me.  :D  I don't have a lot of recipes I like yet, but I'll look into them more. And add more fish. And, somewhere, somehow, find a low-sodium recipe for pinto beans or lentils that'll give me a flavorful, high-fiber, easy side dish without taken for-frickin'-ever to cook. Tall order, that, but I'll work on it.

Wanna hear something scary? I'd like to lose 40 pounds. There--I said it. Don't know if I'll do it, but I'll work on that, too. Walking should help.

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Shootin' blind

One problem I ran into yesterday while shooting pix was the LCD screen--once I got out in the bright sunlight, I couldn't see a thing on the screen, which happens to be the only "viewfinder" on my camera. I'll Google around a bit & see if I can turn up a solution. Maybe I just have to start wearing a long-billed baseball cap so I can shade the screen.

Here's another shot of the gate, this time looking out through the arches of a covered passageway between our building & the one next door. Click it to see it bigger. I'll include pix that way from now on so as not to eat up screen real estate unnecessarily.

Saturday, February 9, 2008

Baby photog

OK, I'm not quite a baby, but I haven't taken a good photo in ages & I decided I wanted to try again, despite the shaking hands. That's what they make image stabilization & tripods for, right? So I took my camera for a ride today. Forgot the tripod, but I think I did OK, anyway--tuck in the elbows, hold your breath right before shooting, maybe lean against a wall. Here's a spiffy iron gate looking into the courtyard at the building where I work, with only minimal tweaking in Photoshop Elements (using the Straighten tool).


They commissioned a bunch of this sculpture for our new building. It represents native grasses in this area. Now, if I were a real photojournalist, I would've written down the artist's name, but I'm just a noob.

I also went to a park & tooks pictures of geese & ducks, including this fellow who seems to be saying, "Whatta YOU lookin' at?"

Monday, February 4, 2008

Rainbow time

It's time for me to start looking at rainbows & watching funny movies & steering away from depressing books again. So here's a start, a photo I found on the web titled "Rainbow over Potala Palace." That's in Tibet. Gorgeous, isn't it?

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Thirty years later...

My shredder has been busy today.

About 30 years ago, when I was 16, I began a story series which, in time, grew into a giant, sprawling, unwieldy "Epic". It was a sword-&-psi thing in its longest, most finished version. None of it was ever published, although I did send one story around to relatives (which I'd dearly like to have back now, so I can shred 'em). I last worked on it around 1999 or 2000, during my mid-life crisis. That was its (and my) nadir. Since then, it has sat dormant, bound up in several three-ring binders, a couple of photo albums with those sticky pages you can use for pix of any size, and an art portfolio.

Today, it hit the shredder.

I started it long before I got my first computer, handwriting stories, ideas, & outlines in spiral notebooks. Later, I got an electronic typewriter with a two-line LCD display & the stories began to grow past their original boundaries. After I got my first computer, a Mac Plus with a dot matrix printer, the Epic expanded in all directions (it had shown signs of doing that even before the computer came along--the Mac just made it easier & faster). I stuck with it through a number of later computers. The Epic kept growing; I'd solve one problem of logic in a part of the story & launch a whole nest of other problems, which in turn begat more problems. At its lowest point several years ago, I incorporated all sorts of malarky from the things going on in my life at that time, which made no sense and ruined it once & for all. After that period was over, I couldn't even stand to look at the bleedin' Epic, so there it sat on a shelf, silently asking me every so often if I ever planned on fixing & finishing it.

Stories neatly tabbed in three-ring binders, notes on scraps of paper collected in envelopes, outlines, timelines, drawings, sketches, an unfinished graphic novel, costume studies, character lists, histories, photocopies of reference material from various library books, maps, floorplans.... Hours and days and months and years of work.

Poof.

Anybody need a bunch of old three-ring binders?