Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.


Saturday, March 31, 2007

Lucky me. The new modem came with software for my ISP. It's not problem-free; it puts up an error message every time, but at least it gets me connected to the internet. I've moved over three of the four e-mail "accounts." The old Outlook used "identities," not so with Vista. I'd have to have a separate user account for each identity. Hence I haven't ported over the 4th and lesser used identity. Not sure if I will create a user account for it or just combine it with my main "identity."

The problem is that every time I switch user accounts, I lose my ISP connection and would have to reconnect. Being that I am currently the main user and self-appointed administrator, I usually check all the accounts one after the other. I suppose it's not that big a hassle. It takes no longer with the multiple reconnects now with the new machine than it did with my one connect on the old machine.

I hope to one day fork over the administration of the other two e-mail accounts to its owner. I don't relish having to keep up with someone else's e-mails. I have enough with my own.

I've only ported over the messages; I still need to port the contacts.


Monday eve we went to a free concert by a local chamber orchestra. It was at a downtown venue. We had never been there and this was a good opportunity to go. It was a cozy place.

Tonight we went to a free piano concert. Piano is my favorite instrument. Maybe I'll make it to heaven, and in heaven, I'd be given the ability to play the piano. :) The pianist is very good. Too bad he had to play on a Young Chang. The favorite piece from the night is Beethoven's Sonata in D minor, Opus 32, No. 2. I had no idea it goes that fast. Only a grand piano action can support such speeds. Third movement is the best, second movement is a sleeper for me, and first movement has some great sections. The rest of the music didn't really make an impression on me. As for his playing, I don't know enough to even comment on it.

new PC

Tuesday we had some business to take care of on the north side of town. I didn't go in to work so that this could be accomplished. It wasn't until late afternoon that we finished and headed for home. When we got home, we were surprised to see a big box on our porch.

It was our new computer. I wasn't expecting it for a few more days. Surprising too that they left it there without our signature. Anyhow, although I was exhausted, I dove into the new PC. It's a mid-priced system, with the basic hardware and Windows Vista. Yeah, Vista. So far it looks good. My immediate problem was that my old modem wasn't stable in it. And to top it off, my ISP software won't load onto Vista.

After trying a variety of things, I went out and purchased a new modem this evening. It seems to be working. As far as my ISP, I called tech support and explained that I have Vista and that the software won't load. (The software, in fact, has a huge notice that it wasn't Vista compatible and that I should call tech support.) So what did tech support do? She started to walk me through a modem diagnostics. *sigh* That didn't go far because I wasn't at home to do the steps. Regardless... yo there, cookie cutter, this ain't that kind of problem.

Anyhow, I've loaded Open Office, Adobe Reader 8, Mozilla 2, and Filezilla. I haven't connected the printers, but one has a Vista driver that I downloaded and the other claims that it has native Vista support. I transferred the photos from one of the cell phones to the new PC. I can't get the pictures out of the other cell phone -- I need a data cable for it. I've moved a bunch of files over from the old PC already, but I haven't moved the e-mail stuff.

The monitor was purchased separately and it came today. I've been consumed with the new PC. I still have some things to figure out regarding it.

Convent blues

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Some women who have left the convent recount their bad experiences (Nunsuch blog). Interesting read and perhaps a word to the wise.

folding bike

mobiky folding bike
mobiky folding bikeInteresting folding bike from Mobiky, a French company with distributors in the US. The Mobiky Genius folds in seconds flat, will roll even when folded, weighs approximately 30 pounds, and has built-in carry handle. Not a speed bike, for sure, but suffices as a commuter. No need to leave your bike outside and have to lock it - just take it inside with you: on the bus, on the train, in the store.

free office software suite

Monday, March 19, 2007

Have you heard of Open Office? Sounds good, and it's FREE!

Pope photo

Sunday, March 18, 2007

T.O. at LAMLand has a wonderful picture of the Pope. Go ahead, take a peek.

my weekend

Earlier this past week, we had stormy weather. It cleared out by Thursday. This Saturday was second of the three Saturdays that our parish participate in Habitat for Humanity. The first one got rained out. This time I got down there and it was still too wet from the rain earlier in the week. They sent the volunteers home. I helped clean up for about half an hour then took off as well. We had beautiful weekend weather (I feel for you guys up north). I drove past a bicycle ride on the way home ... crowds of cyclers in colorful jerseys ... police directing traffic to protect them. I've been in such events before. I haven't been on my bike in ages. I'll need to start back up one of these days. I came home and rinsed off our two cars. Then worked on installing a new shower head.

In installing the shower head, I was not convinced that it worked properly. So I took it down and took apart the three-way coupler. Boing! Springs went flying. I found the pieces but didn't know where the two springs went. We have the exact same shower head in the other shower. So of course I took it apart too to compare, this time I was prepared for the springs. I discovered that I was missing a part. It was small and the same color as the rug in the bathroom. I couldn't find it. But it was time for mass so I took off.

Coming back from mass, I treated the yard for weeds lest it get too late I start re-neg'ing. The yard should've only taken less than half the bottle to treat. It was the kind where you just hook up your hose and start spraying. Well, the stuff was coming out so fast that by the time I finished, I had less than half a bottle left whereas there should've been more than half left. I hope it works.

Coming back in, I had dinner before tackling the shower heads again. After dinner, I had to use the bathroom and lo and behold, I stepped on the tiny part that I was missing. "Thank you, St. Anthony," I thought, followed by "God is sooooo good!" So praise be to God; the shower heads have all their innards and are working just fine.

Today I had a rare block of several hours where I was alone. I don't know if it's a woman thing, but the tears started flowing. Partly from pent-up frustrations, partly from already missing my pastor since he'll be elsewhere starting next year, and partly from the "who knows why?" bucket. It dried up shortly and I put on some CD's while I did some house cleaning: Christina Aguilera, Michael Jackson, and Whitney Houston. Later on, since it is Sunday, I decided to put on Sandi Patti. "More Than Wonderful" is a favorite. Then my thoughts wandered to why I will never go see another live Stations of the Cross: it hurts too much. Then Sandi started singing "Via Dolorosa" and the thought of our Lord suffering had my tears flowing again. Dang. And this is supposed to be a joyful Sunday. sigh. I'll get it together.

It occurred to me that one of the reasons I'm so tired is that I spend such effort to restrain the tears. Well, and also that I'm not getting 8 hrs of sleep per night (does anybody?) and also that I'm quite uninspired on my job at the moment.

birthday meme

Friday, March 16, 2007

Seen at LAMLand.

Your Birthdate: there's one every year!

You have the mind of an artist, even if you haven't developed the talent yet. --darn right about the "yet" part

Expressive and aware, you enjoy finding new ways to share your feelings. --Gee, if only I knew what my feelings are ... I might be feeling fresh mint green today.

You often feel like you don't fit in - especially in traditional environments. --Yeah, traditional environments like sockhops, loud, smoky bars, and funerals do make me uncomfortable.

You have big dreams. The problem is putting those dreams into action. --I have big debts too ... they're real difficult to move.

Your strength: Your vivid imagination --Wow, now THAT's a vivid imagination.

Your weakness: Fear of failure
--True enough. My plan for success is vague though. Usually the plan is to be somewhere in the vacinity and then just work out the details real-time.

Your power color: Coral ... ahhh, so THAT's why I haven't been so powerful!
Your power symbol: Oval ... ok, fine: the Miraculous Medal
Your power month: November --and what about the other 11 months? Should I be hibernating?

CDP discernment invite (top posted)

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Sisters of Divine Providence in San Antonio, Texas
invite you to:
March 16 - 18, 2007
Walk with Providence Weekend

Come and join with other women and the Sisters of Divine Providence for a weekend of sharing, listening and journeying together. You are invited to a vocation information weekend for single women, 18 years and older, who are considering religious life. For more information contact Sister Elsa Garcia or Sister Gloria Ann Fiedler at (210) 434 1866.

VocationMinistry at CDPTexas dot org

brothers and sisters, can you spare a few $100

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Merced Housing in Texas has great programs in regards to sheltering the poor. If I weren't sooooo over my head in debt, I'd certainly send some dollars their way. They also have a program to fund repairs to the homes of elderly folks (Serve Our Seniors) in San Antonio, TX. The SOS program has run out of moolah. If you can help, they need it. Thanks.

music teachers in Toronto

The Music Teachers National Association will be having a conference in TORONTO, ONTARIO on March 23-27, 2007 at the Sheraton Centre. This will be in collaboration with the Royal Conservatory of Music and the Canadian Federation of Music Teachers' Association. Prices are prohibitive. I had no idea music teachers can afford these prices. (This is really intended to alert T.O. at LAMLAND, who lives in those woods.)


At our parish, it is customary to announce the name of the presider before the mass begins. Many times we have guest priests. The name would be written on a piece of paper and be made available to the announcer. The pronunciation of the names are prone to errors. Today our presider is one of our bishops. And the announcer mis-pronounced the bishop's name. Oops. Uh, for your homework, name the current head bishop, name the one that just retired, and name the other auxiliary bishop, and name the current pope; and yes, that's first name and last name for the bishops.

all together now

Some time ago, a fellow parishioner and I were discussing speed limits. He said the speed limit on street A is 35 mph and on street B it's 40 mph. I said I thought it was the other way around. He said no. It turns out that we were both correct. It depends on which section of the street you're on. For street A, it's 40 mph until you get into the neighborhood where it drops to 35. For street B, it's 35 mph until you get out of the busy shopping area, where you can then go a little faster at 40.

It reminds me of the story about the three blind folks describing an elephant. It went something like as follows. One grabs the tail and says the elephant is small and round and flexible. Another feels the leg and says the elephant is large and round and wrinkled. The third one grabs the tusk and says it's curved and hard and smooth. None of them had a full picture of the elephant.

And so it is with our perception of God. God is Father. God is Mother. God is friend. God is leader. God is shepherd. God is shelter. And so on. None of us can adequately describe God, but only our own personal experience of God. But the more we --all those before us and all those present -- share our experiences, the better we'll be able to understand the picture. Of course, we'll have to weed out some misperceptions too.

On the topic of perception, isn't it a little mind bending that we have no way of knowing how another person perceives something? For example, we may all agree that the color RED is RED, but I don't know how you perceive red. I can assume that you see what I see, but there is no way to know that. Which kinda leads into the topic of Jesus in art. We've seen Jesus depicted in a variety of ways, but we agree that it's Jesus who is being depicted.

essential skills

Folks, typewriting skills are still essential in the workplace. I guess these days they call it keyboarding skills. Henpecking is ok, but typing is better, especially when you're sitting in a meeting with a bunch of folks and they're watching your handiwork real time. Or when you're doing customer support work and you need to type your notes as you converse over the phone.

The other essential skill is writing. Grammar does matter. You can get away with poor spelling, but poor grammar sends a very poor message. My personal pet peeves: "utilize" and "irregardless." OK, so maybe that isn't a grammar problem; it's a style problem. Please, may I suggest "use" and "regardless" instead?

majorly slacking

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Major slacking today. It was not due to malicious intent. Rather, it was due to a total inability to move past my lack of motivation. I think I have exhausted the many possible ways to shift around in an office chair. I even stood up for a while and knelt for a while. At one point, I was overcome with sleep. All told, for the day's effort, I was able to read 17 pages of an almost 400-page document.

But I can tell you that the Popular Science webpage has photos of some robots. One robot can produce human-quality speech thanks to human-like speech mechanisms, one can balance itself although its base is a basketball, one can modify its grip based on feedback sensors of its malleable parts, one can map its surroundings, and one is "learning" to differentiate itself from its surroundings.

I can also tell you that on Gizomodo, you can find out about a bullet-proof, knife-proof rain coat that you can buy, a Tivo2 deal at Best Buy, and Sony's plans to release two high-end cameras.

I can also tell you that there is some model "DB2" antenna that was intended for outdoor use but which you can mount in your attic and it supposedly does a fantastic job. Also: I am within 20 miles of most of my TV signals, that the majority of the signals come from the north and the west side of the house (according to, and that all roofing materials attenuate the signal, and that a house with aluminum siding may lose the signal altogether. Also, if I were to desire a DVR, I would like one with dual HD tuners.

I can also tell you a little bit about portable fire extinguishers, about the A, B, C, D and K types. I can tell you that the dry chemical extinguishers have a corrosive effect on metal, that the D type is for metal on fire, that the K type is for kitchen fires, and that there are also extinguishers with "clean agent."

But none of this, you see, has anything to do with my job.

So after slouching all day, I dumped the almost-400-page document onto a thumbdrive and took it home. Maybe I'll read a few more pages tonight.

I am into the 5th month of my employment now, and I'm still not connecting with any of my co-workers. (sigh)

feeling better

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I felt miserable enough on Friday to stay home. I entertained the idea of going in to work for the afternoon. But as I sat playing FreeCell, I got really, really tired. I think I might have over done the medication. In the end, I didn't go into work at all. Gumby left me alone, not asking me to do anything.

It just occurred to me this morning that I was supposed to abstain from meat yesterday. Uh, that didn't happen. I had forgotten and ate whatever.

I was jolted out of bed this morning, shortly after 10am, by a runny nose that followed a cough. The runny nose happened to be a nosebleed. Fortunately the only item that needed blood cleaned off was my pillowcase and that was taken care of in short order. The nosebleed stopped as I was rinsing the pillowcase. So it was a light nosebleed not requiring that I get horizontal and apply pressure.

I think I feel okay except for the occasional cough and the still slightly sore throat.

The weather looks nice outside; very sunny today.

getting sick

Thursday, March 01, 2007

May God Bless those affected by the tornadoes in Alabama.
I just came back from a short and impromptu business trip to a more northerly state. My travel partner rented a big honkin' SUV. I said I ain't driving that thing. It was a nice and short trip and we left the afternoon of the day it started snowing. We were treated to the scenery of fresh blanket of snow everywhere (except on the road, thank God). So we've seen mountains, foothills, snow, and snowfall ... we were both ready to return to good ol' warm Texas. We didn't particularly enjoy standing in 22-degree F with light snow and wind waiting for the rental car shuttle to take us to the terminals.

I woke up this morning with a sore throat. It hasn't gotten better. I think I'm trying to get sick. I was sitting in the office after hours making use of the speedy internet connection to browse Gizmodo, when it got colder and colder. I think I left the office when my body was no longer able to generate heat. My right shoulder is sore too. I must have hoisted my luggage over my right shoulder at some point. My body keeps reminding me that I'm no longer in my 20's.

G'night. I need some sleep.