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I'm a green crayon

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Seen at Natty's blog.

You Are a Green Crayon

Your world is colored in harmonious, peaceful, natural colors.

While some may associate green with money, you are one of the least materialistic people around.

Comfort is important to you. You like to feel as relaxed as possible - and you try to make others feel at ease.

You're very happy with who you are, and it certainly shows!

Your color wheel opposite is red. Every time you feel grounded, a red person does their best to shake you.

And gee, looky there, Natty and I are complementary. Basically, I snooze while she kicks a**.

another personality thingy

Monday, August 27, 2007

Seen at LAMLand.

quiz here

Click to view my Personality Profile page

Click to view my Personality Profile page

"ISTJs are very loyal, faithful, and dependable. They place great importance on honesty and integrity. They are "good citizens" who can be depended on to do the right thing for their families and communities. While they generally take things very seriously, they also usually have an offbeat sense of humor and can be a lot of fun - especially at family or
work-related gatherings."
Portrait of an ISTJ (The Personality Page)

I don't know how accurate this is. It all depends on how accurate I was when answering. I don't remember whether I've gotten an ISTJ result before.


Sunday, August 26, 2007

These are the flowers that were centerpieces for the tables at the party, except at the head table, which had a huge arrangement of these rainbow roses. The other six tables had small vases with 3 or 4 of these roses. We wanted them short so that people can talk across the table. These here were just kinda consolidated so we could take them home.

We had a "fishbowl" vase and I then put as many of these as possible into the vase to get:

This was an extra bouquet; we bought more than we needed for the little centerpieces.


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Wow. Check out these shoes if you suffer from foot, leg, or back pain.

amateur calligraphy

Monday, August 20, 2007

There ya go. A simple place card.

cool, free software

Sunday, August 19, 2007

some free software:
A drawing program that looks to be pretty darn good: InkScape
I will be using it instead of what is probably the very first release MS Publisher. Since moving to the Vista OS, I can no longer make this archaic software work. I will probably eventually ditch all of my .pub files.

An image viewer: FastStone
I don't have any fully-featured photo editing software. This viewer will replace the IrfanView I was using. FastStone seems to have a more polished interface. The key feature I needed was to be able to rotate the image and resize without losing image data and this one has them, so I didn't lose those features when I replaced IrfanView.

Photo noise grain remover: NeatImage
I didn't even know this sort of sofware existed. I'm also considering NoiseWare, but have not taken it for a test drive.

Finally a hack for some cameras: CHDK
It seems safe since it makes no permanent changes. I haven't yet figured out how to use it, but have managed to "install" it and set to autoload. I wanted some RAW pictures and my first tinkerings produced no such thing. I'll revisit after I recover from the party activities next weekend.

So I've much learning to do.


Kinda difficult to see God in the ordinary. I can "see" God's handiwork easily enough in extarordinary [good] things. But it's difficult to see God in ordinary things. And yet I know God is in everything because [logically] He is everywhere.

having everything

It seems to me that if I have faith, then I have everything. I can't remember the thought process that led me to that conclusion and doubt you'd want to hear it. Much better if you come to the same conclusion yourself.

Faith is a gift. Just like we can't give ourselves life, we can't give ourselves faith. However it is up to us what we do with it, whether to nurture it or not.

not rich enough

At this moment, I am not rich enough to enter religious life. I have been poor for too long. There have been too many years of making my one income work for two people. There were too many years of paying for private health insurance so that the other person can get much needed medical care. There were too many years of trying to give our dogs a fighting chance against cancer, almost losing the house in the process. It was the draining of retirement funds that saved the house. We were too poor to go live in an apartment -- the monthly mortgage payments are less than any but the smallest of efficiency apartments. At this moment, I am not rich enough to pay off my loan that sat collecting interest while we struggled to stay afloat. But I am working on it.

gulley washer

Thursday, August 16, 2007

We had a gulley washer. At mid-morning, the sky was covered with dark clouds; it was so dark it could've been night. Around noon it was lighter, and we could see the rain. The rain was coming down heavy, but in small fine drops; it was so dense that it was like seeing through a fog. And as usual, parts of the city flooded. For my part, I was fortunate that I sit in front of a window (and was indoors!) and could watch all this.

tired (again)

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Tired. It's been busy. We've this party that we're still working towards. At least we won't have to go out of town to transport this one particular person, though we would've preferred the person's attendance. I was tasked to print up the menu; that was easy enough. I was also tasked to make the place cards. That will take more effort since it's been requested that it be done by hand in calligraphy. I have them cut and folded (I probably should have waited on the folding part). At some other time I will pencil in the guides then attempt the calligraphy; in the meantime I need to drop the effort because I still have to do some house cleaning and need time for that.

Yesterday I've been acting as photographer, taking portrait shots of the guest of honor for the party. I'm no pro but this will have to do. I then spent hours working with the photo of choice and have at least a dozen prints that are "toss outs" before I got what I wanted. Part of it was learning to use the software. In one sitting, I've used MS Paint (came with WinVista), Canon ZoomBrowser (came with the camera), IrfanView (free software download), and ArcSoft PhotoImpression (came with the color printer) in an attempt to get what I wanted. No PhotoShop here. In the end, it took the combination of MSPaint (for adding length to the picture without stretching or cropping it), PhotoImpression (to blur certain areas), and ZoomBrowser (to print). Somehow PhotoImpression just wouldn't let me print right. I forgot which one I used to add back some red to the photo (some qualities were lost when I used MSPaint).

I've not completed the presentation slides and I also still have the party favors to work on.

We're also setting up a will for this other person. Thank God we've found a good lawyer through a referral from someone at church. We also had to go the courthouse for a copy of the person's property deed. We did the lawyer and courthouse in one day; I had to take off from work to accomplish that. I will have to take off again for the return trip to the lawyer to finalize (and pay). Wills are cheaper than trusts up front, but will require going to probate court later and will incur additional costs then. If you don't have alot of assets, then wills are ok. Else, a living trust is a much better way to go.

Tomorrow evening I will visit the Dominicans to participate as a volunteer for their anniversary celebration planning. Tuesday evening I will meet with my spiritual director. Wednesday evening we will attend mass for the feast day of Assumption. At least these will be cool, fun things.

At work, I've these loads of documents to read. And they're all very boring reading. It's exceedingly difficult for me and I'm making absolutely lousy progress. On some of these documents, I have to read with a critical eye and submit [intelligent] comments. On others, I'm supposed to digest and bring back to the team what's relevant. Oh, and I'm also writing my own document, meaning that I have to review my own document too. And yes, all these things have deadlines. My brain is tired; and so is my butt.

I have missed blogland and fellow bloggers. Anyhow, I have to go clean the house now ... there is a weekly deadline for that too.

somebody hire this guy, please

Friday, August 10, 2007

Somebody please hire this guy. Chinese farmer grows robots.

He has no formal education, yet he cranks out numerous robots made from parts recovered from scrap electronics.

Catholic Nuns Today website

Thursday, August 09, 2007

New website !!!!

Catholic Nuns Today

Worth a look! :)

favorite magazines

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

When I was growing up, we had the following magazines in the house:

National Geographic, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, (& Highlights when we were little).

There were others, but the above are the ones I whole-heartedly endorse for all young minds. They're still good magazines, it's just that I'm not doing much reading these days.

We weren't a Christian household. My first encounter with the "bible" was a children's bible, left behind by previous residents. They also left behind a small, older dog; we got along pretty well. I was in middle school at the time. Since it was a children's bible with "cartoons," I was a little confused about whether the story was real or just another fiction book. And prior to getting a real bible from RCIA, I had always been confused about the chronology of the events. Jesus, Moses, Jacob, Samson, Adam and Eve ... they all existed at the same time for me.

Thank God that's all been cleared for me now. :)

Sunday, August 05, 2007

So here is the little tyke. Indeed I couldn't wait to take it for a spin. Considering that both of my feet can be planted flat on the ground even when I'm "sitting" on the bike, I figured that I can use my feet for braking if necessary. It is a bit cramped in the cockpit and my legs complained a little at having to pedal at such odd angles. Also, since it's a relatively short wheel base, it was a bit twitchy. I also have the option to stand and pedal.

It is a small frame, but it's all steel ... meaning it's heavy. I fancied repainting it white with black Dominican logos: on the downtube, shield near the head tube and "St. Dominic" along the length, then on the horizontal bar, the Dominican dog with a red flame. This bike has plenty of surface to allow that. Else it'd be solid white, with black front forks and seat post. But on second thought, if it really is chrome on the bike, then I don't want to mess with that.

projects galore

I've a variety of "projects" I'm juggling at this moment. We've a party to plan for and it's taking much time. Invitations went out a few weeks back, some decorations have been purchased, and I'm working on the presentation slides (it will just run in loops). The presentation is two-fold for me: text and photos. I finished some picture-taking today but will need to spend time tweaking the pictures. Next weekend I also need to do some picture-taking. Else I've over a hundred slides already and am only about halfway through. I also have the task of "personalizing" the party favors. The bulk of the work for the party is being handled by Gumby.

More interesting and fun for me is a recent acquisition. Well, ok, an impulse buy. I've purchased a used 20" boy's bike for $20. It will be my "throw around and have handy" bike. My other bike, although entry-level, cost me several hundred dollars and I guard it zealously. My new acquisition needs some tweaking when I get the chance. Friday night I did fix its rear flat and made adjustments to the angle placements of the levers and bar ends and re-aligned the handle bar. I need to read up on how to adjust the brakes and shifting stuff. But already with the levers and bar ends readjusted, it's looking so handsome and ready for action. I'm just itching to ride it. (But not until I get all the adjustments done.)

I'v other projects but they're not on my mind at the moment. Managing the computer also takes much time. I do look forward to my first planning meeting for the Dominican volunteer stuff in another week. At work, I remain uninspired and am probably a bore at minimum and a pain in the rear for my co-workers. One of my tasks for Monday is to go apologize for my behavior on Friday. Then I need to figure out a way to motivate myself to do some work.