Monday, August 4, 2008

Gizmo's, Gadget's and a Great Song

Digital Converters and Umbrella Stands

View from Mount Hamilton 8/01/08 9:10PM
I have 4 camera views from on top of mountains, and along the Point Reyes shoreline to look at when I am in one of my iGoogle pages. They are "live" pictures that are updated every 15 minutes. Every so often, they show something special. This picture from the Lick observatory, looking west toward San Jose and the Pacific ocean, is one of those special ones.

Here is something special that was one of a series of panda pictures with captions that I got in my e-mail.

Rescued pandas in China
It seems the pandas panicked during the recent earthquake and the people at the panda preserve had to find and rescue them. The e-mail that I got from Garie a few days ago, had many pictures of pandas and rescuers with cute captions, but the one I got today from my neighbor had been edited. Someone had made lesser quality copies of some of the pictures and pasted them in an e-mail without captions. What they left out were the pictures of the Chinese rescuers and the pictures with Chinese writing on them!
Yesterday I got two gizmos at Best Buy;
A digital TV converter box and an external hard drive.
The digital converter was simple to hook up and it works great. I got it with the $40 coupon that the government sends you, if you ask for it. It's for the TV in the bedroom. It's a small TV with little rabbit ears. With the converter box it picks up more stations than the digital TV in the living room with the fancy rabbit ears. Go figure?

The external hard drive was a little more challenging to hook up and configure, but it didn't have to be. The instructions left out a step. They were 1, 2, 3 to install the hard drive, but there was no #4, (How to work it). I'm pretty smart about this sort of thing, I know how to click on, "Help". Help took me to the registered member page. "If you are already registered, sign in." If not, sign up.

I signed up. This process included a registration form that included questions like, "Are you happy with performance?", and, "What software are you using for backup?", or, "Would you recommend this product to your friends?", and so forth. They provided a comment box in which I asked, "How can I answer these questions before I have used the product?"

Once I completed my registration I could access, "Help", and it was helpful. It took a few hours to backup about 26 Gigabytes of files, but now I feel better about having copies of all the music, artwork, documents and photos that are in this computer. The backup program will run automatically to copy and save anything new from this point forward. Now I can clear out a lot of stuff from my computer that was slowing it down. Like the thousands of pictures in iphoto that have to load each time I use it for a few new pictures. I only have about 7 gigabytes left on my computers hard drive, but now I can get it into shape this weekend and have it ready for the extra RAM I will be putting in. ( It's good to do a complete backup before working on hardware upgrades.)

Relaxing under the umbrella 08/01/08 90°

It was almost 5 in the afternoon on the 1st and I had put the umbrella into the stand I bought at Longs Drugs earlier in the day. It felt good to relax and enjoy the breeze in the shade after a day of paying bills and buying stuff. Tying the pole to the railing with rope and bungee cords was inefficient and aesthetically detracting to my patio decor.

Umbrella stand....Very heavy.

Much better...

All hail the shademaker.

Mon. 3:52AM
I don't have a regular sleep schedule these days, so one 24 hour period could be divided up into 2 or 3, "days". Sometimes my back figures a couple of hours is enough sleep, and I get to wake up and start a new, "day". I see it as a gift of extra days. I am looking forward to this new day because I have thought of a couple of things I want to add to the song, "It's so nice".

I got the song back yesterday with some great verses and another instrument that Paul Thomas added on, over in Scotland, and I tried putting a verse or two on it right after I got it, but I didn't keep what I recorded because I knew there was something better. Now that I have thought of what I want to record, I have to wait until my neighbors wake up before I start singing and playing.

Here is an example of the magic that is going on with this project;
I sent the song to Paul with just a couple of guitar tracks and the chorus to see what sort of verse came into his heart. While I was waiting, I doodled a couple of ideas of my own...

Prison break doodle
I doodled because I didn't have a set of words to describe getting out of jail and singing,"It's so nice to be outside". Two days later I got the MP3 from Paul with a verse that describes how nice it is to be outside of the prison mines! His verses are a story of struggle, hope, and freedom, that are perfectly in balance with the cheerful chorus. It gives me goose bumps.

I also doodled a dog pooping on the lawn after being locked in the house all day...

It's so nice to be outside.
I guess I will use a shot like that in the video.

Paul has the tune, with his vocal, on his My Space page. If you want to, you can navigate to his site from mine. He is there as one of my friends. Just click on the picture for Papa Paul Thomas. You can listen to some of his tunes and visit his space. Start HERE.

I am blessed to be inspired.

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