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Cross-post techdate and update

Posted by on 24 Mar 2013 | Tagged as: crosspost, tech date, Tom, Uncategorized, update

We had a truly unpleasant experience last night at our local Best Buy.

Bear in mind that we have purchased computer equipment, a freezer, a television, many types of video games and other items there, and Tom gets fairly nice little rebates on the purchases because most of them are more than 50 dollars.

We went in last night to buy a Macbook for Tom, to replace the computer he had before the fire.

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The fun (and limitations) of technology

Posted by on 20 Sep 2009 | Tagged as: children, crosspost, education, fun, Gardens and Life, science, Uncategorized

I will go ahead and post this to the stidmama at LiveJournal blog as well.

So you can manipulate the pictures yourselves, I am going to load them as a gallery of thumbnails you can click on to see a bigger image. Use your back button to return here afterwards.

This is Jupiter, with the four moons clearly set in a line, two on each side!

The nittygritty of the last night’s astronomical adventure: We used our new Nikon Coolpix S230 10 Megapixel 3x zoom ISO 2000 with vibration reduction. I held it up to the eyepiece of the telescope with the flash off and no zoom; I did not speed up or slow down the shutter speed. This method works best when the eyepiece is more stationary… the telescope is a bit shaky because it’s portable so the camera shakes. Even with vibration reduction, when the magnification increases, it’s noticeable. The final picture in the set of three was taken with higher resolution lens on the telescope, and most of those images were too shaky — even with the relatively fast shutter speed of the camera, in some images Jupiter looked like a neon squiggle.

About the refraction telescope: It is a Telestar by Meade that we bought last year for the family. first lens: 25 mm; second lens: 2.5 mm. The increase in size made it much nicer to view with the eyes, but a lot harder to get a decent picture. It also makes it more challenging to aim the telescope (a task I left to the more adept teens). It’s a nice telescope for our purposes. And as you can see, we were quite excited to get four moons showing up so beautifully!

Finally, if you want to try this yourself. Jupiter seems to be “up” around 9 or 9:30 pm where we live, almost directly south (slightly south-east now). We took these pictures between 11 and 11:30 or so. I can’t tell you how far above the horizon because that’s not visible, but I can say it’s a couple degrees higher than the 100+ foot trees about 100 feet away on the neighbor’s property.

PINK computer!

Posted by on 01 Aug 2009 | Tagged as: crosspost, grad school, Uncategorized

I have been lobbying for a smaller, tablet-style computer for school for some time now. While researching similar ideas for my mother who travels a lot, I read up on the new HP 110 series. Finding them in the stores, I was always impressed with the feel of the keys, the way the screen looks and the fact that it weighs less than my purse.

Today, we got a PINK HP 110-1037tablet. I will blog more extensively later (the Phage Biology meeting will be over in two weeks), but so far I like it.

For grad school notetaking, I needed something portable, and for power I can use the desktops on campus or at home. And yes, I still have (and love) my LiveScribe pen, but sometimes the ability to type is just as necessary.

And yes, to save time and just to get something “up” I am cross-posting between and LiveJournal this time.

Goal Organiser

Posted by on 12 Sep 2008 | Tagged as: crosspost, education, Gardens and Life, Green Living, housework, Interesting Websites, review, Uncategorized

I am putting the pictures in as thumbnails and in gallery form — click on the small pics to get the full-size views! Use your browser’s back button to come back.

An acquaintance of mine (Kate Hudson – not the actress) developed this really cool program to help organize goals — with the ability to put specific goals into multiple categories (as when the classes I am taking are moving me toward both personal enrichment and fulfilling requirements for a Master’s in Teaching and eventual employment…).  Each goal can be assigned as many steps as necessary.  So my goal of getting a job as a teacher has the steps:  get a master’s in teaching (which also is listed as a goal with its own set of steps), get additional endorsements, and volunteer in the areas I am interested in.

I actually signed up for this last spring, but didn’t have much that I was doing (or able to do) to work toward it.  But the program faithfully sends a little reminder… “you haven’t updated” to my email periodically.  And today I decided to do something about the reminder!  You can see in the screen shots that in addition to the ubiquitous “sort through boxes” steps I have now added some specific education-related goals.  I will be playing with this more intensely over the next few days, weeks and months as I work actively toward my top goal.

Basically, it lets me choose when I have finished something (and if it will recur when that should happen, or if it’s truly done).  I can add, rename, delete and change things as I need.  I can specify WHERE something takes place!  And, if I don’t use it within a week, it will send me a reminder until I at least look at it.  As a champion procrastinator (what, you hadn’t noticed?) I need this small nagging sometimes, especially when I have gotten myself into a few more things than I really need.

Now, I have always been a list maker, this just makes it handy from any computer, even if I am away from home.  I don’t have to carry around yet another “thing” along with schoolbooks and the laptop.  So it will work in conjunction with the Google calendars and the “Joe’s Goals” that I link to from the Cool Things page and use to track daily activities.

Goal Organiser is using Google Ads to generate some income.  But the placement is inconspicuous and they are not jarring (or moving, or flashing, or…) so it doesn’t bother me.  I like the colors chosen for this app — calm, professional but not depressing.    And I am looking forward to future updates.  Will we be able to purchase this tool and use it without ads?  Or select our own color palette?  Choose fonts?  Add links to websites that will help us meet our goals? The ability to prioritize the goals?

Kate has a lot of talent.  I think we can expect great things from her in the future!

firefox bug?

Posted by on 18 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: crosspost, Uncategorized

I saw on Yahoo’s news that there was a vulnerability found in firefox pretty quick… but it applied to the old version as well as the new. I know they will get a patch soon, but it’s a little sad to have all the hoopla and then get this the first day.

Go to Yahoo’s story, and rest assured, as soon as firefox has a patch, they will let us know.

Firefox 3 Loaded!

Posted by on 17 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: crosspost, Uncategorized

I sat down at the computer at 8:00, remembered at 8:03 that today is DOWNLOAD DAY, and by 8:06 (with a quick pause to read news headlines before shutting down the old firefox) had downloaded and installed the newest version of Firefox…

Yes, it was that easy.

Get yours here!

More extensive tech notes later, if anything seems really impressive to my dabbling geek attempts.<

Firefox 3 Release Date

Posted by on 16 Jun 2008 | Tagged as: crosspost, review, Uncategorized

Tomorrow, June 17, is the official release date for Firefox 3.

You can check out information about this browser (our family has been using firefox for years) at their website, Spread Firefox.

Download Day 2008

Ashland Oregon

Posted by on 13 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: crosspost, garden, good things, Uncategorized

I just returned from a trip to see my grandfather in Ashland. Had a lovely time. Only there two nights (that’s about a day and a half for visiting), but it was a good test run for a longer trip another time. This was the first trip that I made by myself with both kids and it went well. Tired today though…

Will post more pics tomorrow, but for now, here are the kids with my grandfather and his partner, and a pic of the community garden my grandfather helps keep going.

This is only a small part of the garden actually, there are 15 + available plots; but toward the back some of my grandfather’s plants are visible. More pics soon (I hope).

Guests at my “Table”

Posted by on 06 Jul 2007 | Tagged as: blogposts, critters, crosspost, garden, Uncategorized

Starting July 1, there have been three unexpected, but not unwelcome “visitors” to my home and yard, and scores of “invited guests.”

Sunday, there was this lovely fellow on my dining room floor…

lizard on glove

I put him briefly in our “critter box” a clear plastic holding pen designed for just such occasions, so the kids could see him. Let him go the next morning in the cedar grove, and hope that was the right place for him.

He was nearly followed the next day by a lovely little garter snake that was ascending the steps to the back stoop.

The usual assortment of lovely birds have been in the yard, fewer the last couple weeks since I stopped feeding them — there were reports that birds were getting sick from the close quarters near backyard feeders. Still, the doves and the flickers, the hawks and the sparrows have been happy enough. I will resume feeding in the autumn when bacteria don’t survive as long.

Then yesterday, as I was bringing the garbage cans up from the road, I spied:

orange moth

Isn’t this moth lovely! The pun of a moth on a butterfly bush didn’t escape me… wish the pic were better, but in the time I had, I could only get a few shots with a digital camera. (Mental note to put good camera closer the door.)

And THEN, yesterday evening when I came in from outside (all the doors and windows were open because of the heat), I heard birdsong. Yes, from inside the house. In my zeal to help the poor creature get out, though it wasn’t as frantic as others, I didn’t get a picture of the sparrow. Still, what a strange crush of lovely visitors!

I hope all the guests in your home are as welcome as these have been!

Garden Pics, and a Reminder

Posted by on 22 Jun 2007 | Tagged as: children, crosspost, garden, stidmama, Uncategorized

This was posted on one of my other blogs first…

While I have been away, things have been happening! Managed to make some new cards for the teachers as summer presents this year. Need to make a couple more and then I’ll post a couple pics on my business site.

Got one kid promoted from one school yesterday, here is a pic of stidmatt with stidgmere afterwards. Isn’t he handsome!

Here for your enjoyment are some pretty sights from the front door… and a reminder that I am not maintaining this blog very frequently now that is up and running.

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