Archived Posts from this Category

Your eyes do not deceive

Posted by on 22 Dec 2013 | Tagged as: review, Uncategorized

With Matthew’s help, I have been playing around again with some of the website code.

I have made the background for the page a light pink-beige, and chose a similar color for the background of captions that go with pictures.

I have also moved back to a serif typface after a couple years of a san-serif face. This one is “Georgia” which is a nice all-around simple font. The serifs lend a bit of elegance and assist with reading when eyes are tired.

I will probably play around with things a little bit more as the vacation goes on.

I just want to say that I really enjoy WordPress as a platform for the website. It is (mostly) intuitive and generally works as advertised. I love the ease of trying out new themes and adapting and amending them. It’s a good interface for beginners with enough flexibility for people with more experience.

Vacation on Vancouver Island

Posted by on 17 Aug 2012 | Tagged as: British Columbia, friends, fun, good things, review, travel, Uncategorized

Yesterday, took the Black Ball ferry (MV Coho) to Victoria with Mother. Most rolling crossing ever. The swells were huge, very litlle chop. Not bad, just a little hard to walk with the deck heaving like that.

Then a marvelous visit with our dear friend, Hetty. She recommended a book by Henry James, which I found at Project Gutenberg and Downloaded to my ipad’s Books reader.

Supper at Siam Thai restaurant, a little shopping, and back to the James Bay Inn, where we usually stay. Just a little way down Government street from the harbor, in an old neighborhood. Third floor, looking toward the harbor. This was the view that greeted me this morning.


And, of course, the calls of seagulls and an occasional crow.

New favorite restaurant in Seattle

Posted by on 09 Apr 2009 | Tagged as: food, friends, fun, review, travel, Uncategorized, Vacations

Bamboo Garden just two streets north of the Seattle Center.

It’s vegan (except the fortune cookies) but you would probably not notice it. The food is filling, tasty and very nicely presented. Prices are reasonable. Parking was adequate, but it’s not really accessible. I think there is a ramp (not sure, came at it from the side and used the stairs), but the bathrooms are tiny. Which in all fairness, is a relic of the building’s age — they are clean and well kept (at least the ladies’ was, didn’t check the men’s…), just small. Narrow, too. Otherwise, the decor was lovely, and everything was neat and clean and inviting.

The service was excellent, and we will go there every time we are at the Seattle Center from now on. It just makes sense.

Did I mention the food was really yummy?


REALLY yummy. And they can accomodate special dietary needs, too. Please check them out!

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 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

Indiana Jones

Posted by on 24 May 2008 | Tagged as: review, Uncategorized

Well, I was worried about whether this movie would work. After all, Harrison Ford is the same generation as my parents!

Some of the reviews I read seemed to pan the movie. Others enjoyed it.

We took our children and one of their friends yesterday. It was a lovely evening!

They DID have a lot of action scenes, but they didn’t try to pretend he was a buff young man. Some of the stunts were designed to show how old he was.

Let’s talk dialog: I can’t pretend that dialog is EVER one of the strong suits of the screenwriters in this franchise. Still, it followed comfortable patterns and some of the one-liners were right on the mark! Will it be considered great literature in generations to come?

No, but let’s talk about the purposes of this movie: To showcase characters that people have come to love. To bring the storyline (such as it was) along into the future, keeping the characters in the same age-progression as the actors. There were two they brought back in particular: Ford and (one other I shan’t mention due to its spoiler status)… A couple of surprise twists to the plot, kept the primary purpose of this movie in the forefront: ACTION.

It wasn’t non-stop, but it was so engaging that for two hours we weren’t really in the theater, we were so engaged we didn’t notice time passing.

Which makes this film perfect for summer. And later with hot cider and popcorn, perfect for long winter afternoons when it’s too nasty to go outside.

I am Legend

Posted by on 29 Mar 2008 | Tagged as: musings, review, Uncategorized

We got the movie, I Am Legend, from Netflix yesterday and watched it in the evening (we missed seeing it in the theaters). It was really good, but I might give it more than a PG-13 rating, just because it is somewhat disturbing. It was NOT a movie for young kids, for the faint-of-heart, for those who tend toward apocalyptic thinking, or anyone who is disturbed by macabre, sad things.

People die in this movie. Animals die. There is violence, there is some “choice” language, there is a host of disturbing images. There is no sex or nudity which catches the attention of the censors.  Personally I find the violence less easily dismissed than an occasional glimpse of skin.

I don’t think it’s more violent than (for example) The Matrix (which was rated R and had brief nudity and sexual content), but I think it has a more immediate, urgent sense of danger, a more personal unease it engenders. This one is in great part about relationships, sanity and the ability of humanity to destroy itself. A film with a similar sense of the fine balance between sanity and insanity that comes from the isolation of being the only one left is The Good Earth, which is also available from Netflix. The Good Earth is not for kids or teens of any age… by the way. Much too intense in my opinion.

By the way, some (or most?) of these movies may be available from other services, but the only one I know of is Netflix. We use it, we like it.

Moving right along, before watching this movie, we had the children watch the precursors, on which this movie is based: The Last Man on Earth (Vincent Price) and Omega Man (Charlton Heston). The new movie incorporated the best parts of the previous movies, and added some more modern touches to give it a reality that was missing (I thought) in the others. Perhaps at the time, the earlier movies had similar effect. By having them watch the earlier ones, which were less realistic, they were hopefully more prepared for some of the sadder portions.

Finally, I have enjoyed watching Will Smith develop as an actor over the years.  His comedic timing comes into play in this movie in unexpected ways, breaking up the intensity to make it just (barely, for me) tolerable.  At the same time, he carries himself with dignity and a fair amount of weight as the potential savior of the world, aware of his importance and mission.  Without his impeccable performance, I believe the movie would have been overly dark, and less believable.

I think if you are a fan of Will Smith, this movie will please you.  If you like dark, action-packed, apocalyptic movies, it might seem a bit tame, but it has enough content to entertain.

For older teens (or mature younger teens with parental presence and discussion) and up.

I revised this on 30 March 2008 to clarify and add details.

National Treasure Two…

Posted by on 06 Jan 2008 | Tagged as: children, friends, fun, review, Uncategorized

Go see it.  It’s funny, fast-paced, engaging and just plain fun.  I don’t think it all hangs together as well as the first, but it was a fine way to spend an evening with five people aged 12 to 41…   appealing to the kids and the adults, the whole theater was giggling and hollering at the same time.

I like Nicholas Cage — and they brought back the same actors for the other parts as well.   As a team, they work well.  Also Helen Mirren’s part was a lot of fun.

Just go see it.

Oh — and a final note.  For us, the movie started with a Goofy short, a new disney animation about how to set up a home theater system…  it will be a CLASSIC Goofy in years to come.  The right amount of dead-accurate (I think Tom’s side is bruised from my elbowing him) “how a man shops” sequences and totally ridiculous antics.  Again, the audience ALL enjoyed it, from tots to grey-beards.

Another New Page

Posted by on 09 Oct 2007 | Tagged as: art, books, books and authors, education, fun, good things, hope, poetry, review, school, Uncategorized, wordplay, words

A Writing Notebook Quotes and miscellany about and for writers and writing. It is in the “Literary Pursuits” category in the navigation table. Things in the Notebook will be, like a real notebook, in random order and never sorted… Enjoy!

Just for Fun

Posted by on 11 Sep 2007 | Tagged as: children, fun, review, Uncategorized

The kids have really enjoyed the Harry Potter series (so have I). Like all good stories and movies, this series has inspired a number of “fan fiction” knock-offs, not least entertaining of which are the somewhat strange videos now appearing on YouTube, including this one by Neil Cicierega. He has also done some of the other Potter Puppet Pals videos. Parents, please watch this before sharing with your kids to be sure it fits with your family’s idea of funny…

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