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Most Recent (Last update: 2334 9/27/2003)

I really didn't think I'd see the day when part of my routine checkout of a new machine was the lighting. ...and no, I don't mean whether I got the power and HDD LED cables seated correctly, but the case lighting <g>!

Yep, I got Brad's system bottled up last night and I'd forgotten that it had integral lighting in the case. ...and a side panel fan. ...with a decorative grill. WT???. At least I can check the CPU fan status easily enough!

Time to throw an OS on the thing...


101F today. ...and air quality rated at 185. 150 is considered "Unhealthy for All". Usually I just more or less work my way through these days, but this one drove me back indoors and to the meds. Bad deal all around...

On a lighter note, homework was really difficult tonight! Yep, we're back to the uphill part for some of it. OTOH, the laptop deal is working out very well for Daniel. I'm seeing a bit of an increase in effort now that he doesn't have to laboriously write things out in long hand...

More later on that...


Hey, some good news: the weather pattern may clear by the weekend. Cool. Well, yeah, that too <g>; it seems we're breaking some sort of record for 100F days in September. I'm betting the raisin farmers are just all sorts of happy with things. ...but let's get the cash crops up off the ground and get a little rain in here to clear out these skies!

...or at least a breeze!


Well, it may not have been the brightest move, but I sucked it up (my inhaler at least <g>) and went blading this evening. Too much time off and the endorphins begin to drop too low...

The air quality is still pretty bad; the mediating factor is the temperature: it's fallen about fifteen degrees. That generally means less smog. ...but we're still having enough particulate matter in the air to make it difficult to see the sun's disc at sundown:

Yep, and the mountains I showed occasionally on the blog are just a memory. Heck, one hill that's less than a mile off the freeway on the way home disappeared for a while the other afternoon...

Time for change in the pattern...


There was a post. ...but somewhere along the line I ended up on the couch with two of the cats. ...and with Daniel waking me up at 0030 and telling me to go to bed.

Seemed like a good idea <g>...


Okay, sure, since you asked: that shot on the blog was a composite of these two:

From a grave marker earlier in the week... From the neighbor's yard Friday...

...and a little work in Photoshop Elements.


Tuesday I mentioned how Daniel was working with his computer and how it was helping him write a bit more. He's following my lead on that: we both have terrible handwriting skills and it is difficult to slow down and write well enough for others to read without losing our train of thought. ...and I've noticed that instead of minimalizing the written word as he does when he is writing things out longhand, when he's on his laptop, he tends to use the longer sentences we work up as we talk about the lessons.

I may have mentioned this before, but I'd dropped my English classes several times while in college (round one, late sixties).since I really could not craft a readable paper by hand and I didn't have access to a typewriter (and tests were just torture). It wasn't until round two (early eighties) that I had a chance to succeed. I found a progressive instructor who would accept computer generated papers for outside assignments, and who would take the time to deal with my handwriting on his tests. Cool. ...and by computer generated papers, I mean on a dot matrix printer without true descenders! Even better, someone soon came out with a "Word Processing" program for my VIC-20 and I could format with out resorting to programming. Yeah.

I'd say the rest is history, and it was to a certain extent; but I'm struck by the parallel with the other communications tools we've seen come along: Both CoffeeCup and EditPlus have broken new ground for web designers of the hand-code variety (I'd better mention Arachnophilia too, since my design partner uses it) and allowed me to work much more easily over the years. Ditto Adobe, with PhotoShop Elements, the tool that allows for the work you see on the blog. There's no way I can afford Photoshop, but Elements has enough power to let me take another step or two upward before I reach its limits.

More or less the moral of the story: if we can put the tools in the hands of those who have the will to use them, we can generate some productivity and maybe even open up some outlets for people who can benefit from those outlets.

Yes, that is called "foreshadowing"...

The Conjuror
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"Any sufficiently advanced technology is
indistinguishable from magic."
Arthur C. Clarke, "Technology and the Future"

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