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Sunday, July 3, 2005
(10:44 am)

You expected consistency? Nu?


Quote of the Day: "It is the dull man who is always sure, and the sure man who is always dull." -- H. L. Menken


Yes, I'm sure. . .


Here's the deal. I'll be moving this site to new digs, somewhere around the 10th. I have to wait until Tuesday to deposit funds to cover the yearly cost. It's a few dollars more than in previous years, but I expect greater benefits. For one thing, if I am to believe the advertising, I'll have four times the space, e-mail boxes with 2 GB storage, lots of extras that I've not used to this point, plus, if I understand it right (a little slow-witted, ya know), two additional domain names to build upon. Neat.

Stay tuned.

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Wednesday, July 6, 2005
(10:37 am)

Today's my 25th wedding anniversary. As of one o'clock this afternoon we'll have been married twenty-five whole years. Wow. How old was Ann when I married her? Six? She tells me she's 31 now. . .


Quote of the Day: "Where the spirit does not work with the hand there is no art." -- Leonardo da Vinci


I've been researching domain names, since when I move my site (most likely on Monday) I'll have two more domain registrations coming to me for whatever use I want to put them. I'm trying to figure out if I have a couple of good ideas for sites. Maybe. Maybe not. I suppose I could just get jmichaelmollohan.com or .net or both and just redirect them to my current page, but what fun would that be? I'd like to do something a little more creative. I found that snidecomment.com is available. Hmmm. I have several other ideas I'd rather not divulge until I already have them in hand, too.

One thing that pissed me off consistently while I was looking for domain names is these companies that register domain names and then resell them at a premium. That's not right. Domain names should be for use, not for profiteering. One example is 'artcetera.' I've used that for years for various purposes, mainly as a fake name for dummy layouts, and even once I registered it as a business name. Now the domain artcetera.com is 'owned' by RareNames, Web Reg, buydomains.com in Washington, D.C. To transfer the registration to someone else's name, they want $2,788.00! They have other domain registrations locked up and for sale from $1,000 to over $10,000! This is piracy. It's the Oklahoma land rush mentality, so prevalent in this country. Be there first, grab what you want, whether you have need of it or not, and sell it at a huge markup. This is wrong.

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Thursday, July 7, 2005
(10:09 am)

Whether it's the Visigoths, the Ostrogoths, the Geats, the Mongols, the Huns, Al Qaida, the NeoCons, or whomever, one thing has to this point in history always been true: The barbarians always win. They win because of the second law of thermodynamics: All closed systems (and the universe is a closed system) tend toward entrophy. In other words, it's easier to tear it down than to keep it up. This explains slum lords, terrorism, the Bush Administration, and AOL (among other things). The bombings in London today merely show us how thin and fragile our veneer of civilization really is. Instead of expending all our efforts at keeping those in power in power, and in maintaining the status quo, it might behoove us to devise newer and better ways to do a lot of things, methods of respecting all people, means to ends that are not politic necessarily, but rational, or even creative. Allowing the juggernaut of unfettered capitalism masquerading as democracy to roll over individuals and cultures in its downhill plunge to wealth imbalance will never stave off the barbarians. We have to assimilate them, as the Britians did the Saxon and Norman invaders. If we stand hard and tall like the oak we will get uprooted. Our whole approach to most things is terribly wrong. Violence is not the optimal method of changing it, but right now it seems to be the only one anyone is willing to use.


Quote of the Day: "If a man will begin with certainties, he shall end in doubts; but if he will be content to begin with doubts, he shall end in certainties." -- Francis Bacon


That's the trouble with a lot of things. People with small minds, closed minds, having the certainty that they are right, and the stubbornness to not admit of even the smallest doubt, being steadfast in their error and dragging the world down with them.

We have become too bogged down in rules, procedures, and convention. We need to see things with new eyes, and not the eyes of Jihad or anarchy, merely a nice messy stew of thoughts and notions that will yield a more reasonable way to live and work.

NOTE: I get so discouraged sometimes, trying to stir my brain to new ways of doing things. I think that's why I pursue art. I started out loving the illusion of it, the trickery that made marks on a surface fool the eye into believing. Later I was seduced by science, then philosophy, and now I find myself going back to art, but as a means of discovery, not of reproduction or decoration. Had I been born in an earlier time, I might have been Leonardo or an alchemist, seaching for the philospher's stone or trying to square the circle. I don't think I would have chased after the holy grail, as that requires belief, and I think that uncertainty is a much stronger motivator than belief.


Bonus Quote of the Day: "There are no rules around here. We're trying to accomplish something." -- Thomas Edison, remarking about his laboratory

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Monday, July 11, 2005
(10:07 am)

Okay, the process is underway. This site may be down for several days -- perhaps a week or more. My e-mail for ide-a.net will be shut off as well, I'm sure. I can still be reached through my charter address, if you have that. Also try jmichael-at-naplesyellow-dot-com, or jmichael-at-primarywizard-dot-net as I will, in all likelihood, have those up and running before this site gets transferred . I listed the e-mail addresses like that, with the dashes, spelling out the symbols so as to avoid bots harvesting e-mail addresses and flooding my inboxes with SPAM. At least this way, it will fend it off for a short while.

Wish me luck.


(4:42 pm)

Things are moving right along. I've got both of the new domains up and running. I'm in the middle of transferring the files for this site to the new location, so that when the DNS pointers get relocated, it'll pop right up like nothing happened. Well, almost. I will have to set the destination directory, because I can't do that until the pointers are in place. That might mean this page will be totally screwed for a short period of time. If my current web host shuts me off after tomorrow, the whole site will be unavailable until the pointers get propagated -- maybe a week or more. I'll do pointers or something for primarywizard-dot-net so that I can at least put this page there temporarily so there won't be a lapse in the narrative. How's that?


Quote of the Day: "The individual, man as a man, man as a brain, if you like, interests me more than what he makes, because I've noticed that most artists only repeat themselves. " -- Marcel Duchamp


Of course, now that I've made this entry, it occurs to me that I may not be able to transfer it to the site until the other batch of files finishes. That could take an hour or more, considering the large number of pages and graphics to be moved. I can give it a shot, though.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005
(11:07 am)

As they say in France, Je suis arrivé! The site is now at its new digs. Now I can begin work on cleaning up the structure and building two or more new websites. I had set up a subdomain for this journal project, but I can see now that it needs to changed so that it will work properly. More later. . .


(5:26 pm)

I'll be making all sorts of technical entries over the next few days. I'm not making sweeping changes here, but the changes will be substantive. The first of these changes is an addition. In addition to getting to this journal page via the usual route, you may now also get here by aiming your browser at http://blog.ide-a.net. Neat. I've long wanted subdomains to play around with, and now I have them.


Quote of the Day: "When people are ready to, they change.They never do it before then, and sometimes die before they get around to it. You can't make them change if they don't want to, and just like when they do want to, you can't stop them." -- Andy Warhol (in Popism, The Warhol Sixties)


I finished the biography of Warhol I was reading and I am now on the second half of the decade in the aforementioned book. I'm not sure what I think of the art of that era. I don't know whether Warhol was the genius or the demon. I suspect the truth lies somewhere in between. Art never seems to be quite 'normal.'

I'll probably quote Warhol a few more times during the course of reading this book. After that, I have The Celestine Prophecy to delve into.

I'm reading a lot this summer. I've had a lot more pain than last year or the previous year. Things have been more difficult, and I've had to lie down in the middle of the day a lot, especially in the past two weeks, so I have a lot of reading time to rack up.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2005
(10:34 am)

One thing about this new web hosting arrangement that I don't care for is the web statistics. It doesn't list them on a continuous page in tables like the old server did. It has a control panel to do everything, including the statistics, and the analysis program seems to understand less about the raw log file than Webalyzer does, so I'll not have an accurate hit count, nor will I be able to accurately gauge where the visitors to my site come from, or any of the things I've come to enjoy keeping track of. It seems that life conspires against my having any fun at all.


Quote of the Day: "Those who voluntarily put power into the hands of a tyrant or an enemy, must not wonder if it be at last turned against themselves." -- Aesop (620-560 BCE)


Another thing I'm kind of wondering about. The SPAM filter on the new hosting service only has four settings: off | low | medium | high -- no allowance for a blacklist, whitelist, or tweaking. I'm not so sure I like that. There's no indication of what it does with the perceived SPAM either. I noticed I got about half the number of e-mails I normally do this morning. This may be due to my letting several e-mail addresses lapse, but even at that, the catch-all should have picked them up. I guess I'll work it all out eventually.


I slipped in the shower this morning. I hurt my ankle pretty bad. It's throbbing. I don't guess there's much I can do about it. If it hadn't been for the wire shampoo rack over the shower head I'd be stretched out in the floor of the bathroom with a broken back, or dead or worse. Just what I need -- more pain to deal with.

I need to take a pain pill or three, go lie down and read for a while. I hope the rain gets here soon. I love to watch and listen to the rain.


(7:01 pm)

I never did get that pill. It never did rain either. The soil is cracking it's so dry. We picked our first ripe tomato today. It's pretty small, and that's probably due to lack of moisture in the soil.

Ann's sister bought us a casement airconditioner as an anniversary gift. Now maybe we can sleep a little better. This house is sans central air, and the way it's laid out makes distributing the air throughout from window units problematic. I guess a few well-placed fans will help. Also, if we put it in the bedroom, we can turn it way down at night and close the door. That'll be nice. Thanks, Kris.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005
(11:58 am)

Here's a good one for you: Political Compass. Try it out. Take the survey. I came out a little to the left and a little less authoritarian than Ghandi and the Dali Lhama. . . If you feel so inclined, I'd like to know how you stack up. If I get enough responses, I'll post the results, kind of an ide-a.net reader political barometer.


Quote of the Day: "Not all those who wander are lost." -- J.R.R. Tolkien (1892-1973)


An interesting bit of trivia: On average, 100 people choke to death on ball-point pens every year. That just goes to show your mother was right -- chew thoroughly before swallowing.


As badly as my joints hurt right now, it should be pouring the rain, but near as I can tell there's only been a sprinkle so far. Come on rain! My tomato plants need the moisture. The air under these particular clouds has cooled so the possibility of a good storm is greatly diminished. Maybe tomorrow or Saturday.


(4:07 pm)

With all the technical stuff going on, moving to new hosting and all, in the two weeks of this month so far I've not put a single picture up here. To rectify that situation, here's one I shot at Cookskin Park last week.

Digital Camera Image [2005_0704Image0006]
"Bird Feeder"
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Friday, July 15, 2005
(11:35 am)

I'm tired, in more pain than usual, depressed (but not as much as last week), so I think I'm going to take at least the weekend off to recuperate. I may change my mind if something interesting floats by, but for right now, don't expect to see me before Monday at the earliest.


Quote of the Day: "No bird soars too high if he soars with his own wings." -- William Blake (1757 - 1827)


I have such a backlog of photographs. Granted, a lot of them aren't worth sharing with the world (the same may be said of things I've put up here already), but there are still an appreciable number of them that I deign to be worthy. This one I took yesterday after the rain shower around five o'clock. It's one of the leaves of my elephant ear plant. Since the leaf is dying and 'corroding,' I decided to include it as one of the ongoing series:

Digital Camera Image (cropped)  [2005_0714Image0003]
"Bleached by the Sun (Corrosion Series # 12)"
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Monday, July 18, 2005
(10:31 am)

It even feels like Monday. Since we got the air conditioner in the bedroom, I've been sleeping much better, and I think my energy level is up, but with the pain in my ankle and now my back being so constant, I either have to let it dull my consciousness or take a pill (for which I have no further prescriptions) and let that dull my consciousness. I balance between the two states.


Quote of the Day: "All art is autobiographical. The pearl is the oyster's autobiography." -- Fellini


His name is Federico Fellini, but all anyone needs to do is say "Fellini" and immediately everyone knows who they're talking about. He's like Cher or Madonna or Liberace. . . well, maybe not the best of comparisons, but you get what I mean. He's an original; so much so that anyone hereafter who has the last name Fellini will be in the shadow of Federico. I don't suppose the name "Mollohan" will ever be in that class. . .


I've not heard from anyone with suggestions of what to do with naplesyellow.com as yet. I suppose I'll have to come up with ideas on my own. What a bummer -- having to think.


I wonder if there was ever a time in this country (or any other for that matter) that the majority of the population was not out for everything they could get, not entirely focused on personal gain, even at the expense of others and in disregard of the law to the extent that they supposed they could be without a major chance of repercussions? I see in the newspaper, online, and on broadcast news where someone is trying some new scam to increase their wealth. Sometimes it's stictly illegal, others marginally legal but still reprehensible, and still others totally legal but immoral and unethical. There's always some new scam to victimize the elderly and anyone else who is in a vulnerable position. Even the banks with their predatory loan policies and their fees that target the economically marginal are guilty of profiting at the expense of those least likely to sustain a finanical "hit." The construction and raw material extraction industries are always trying to find ways to maximize profits, regardless of the consequences of their actions. Things in this country, indeed the world, are so wrong-headed. I wish I knew what to do about it. I wish anyone did.

Digital Camera Image [2005_0704Image0002_2.]
"Temple Bells on Temple Street (Corrosion Series # 13)"
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Tuesday, July 19, 2005
(4:32 pm)

Just a reminder: any date on any of the pages may be addressed individually. If you wanted to go directly to yesterday's entry, you'd use the URL:
 
http://www.ide-a.net/current/index.html#Jul182005
 
and that will get you there. If you wanted to look at the entry for May 23, 2004, you would use:
 
http://www.ide-a.net/may04/index.html#May232004
 
Get the picture? This will work for MOST dates. There are a couple of months that don't follow the correct pattern, and some of the older dates would be difficult, so the best bet is to go to the archives page, load the month you want, then either page down to the date or add the date tag (#August162001 for example) on the end of the address in the address field of your browser. Clear? Good. . . Why did I go into this? Must be the weather.


Quote of the Day: "Sanity is the lot of those who are most obtuse, for lucidity destroys one's equilibrium: it is unhealthy to honestly endure the labors of the mind which incessantly contradict what they have just established." -- Georges Bataille


I've had a fairly productive day. I'm working on a semi-shadowbox 3D collàge. You'd have to see it. I've also cleaned up in the studio some and rearranged things so that I don't have to step over several things to get across the room. Even so, I didn't get the one thing I wanted to do today done. Maybe this evening. Right now I could use a nap.

Digital Camera Image (cropped) [2005_0714Image0008]
"Coleus"

Tired.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005
(12:31 pm)

I got a lot done yesterday. I felt better than I have in ages, more like my old self. My mental state was better as well. I worked on art, did housework, washed dishes, ran errands, worked on more art, had scads of ideas, paced (! my leg felt good enough to walk a good deal, at a faster clip than usual !) Today, I'm kind of sluggish. My mental state is close to what it was yesterday, though. I wish I knew what caused the upsurge in my being yesterday. I'd be doing it all the time, that is if it was anything that I caused by my actions. Some say that everything that happens to us is because of our actions. Others say that we are at the mercy of fate, or luck, or kismet. I think the truth is probably somewhere in the middle.


Quote of the Day: "Think of all those third-rate works in the basements of museums that you never see, and of all the works that were destroyed, sometimes by the artists themselves. What survives is what the taste of the ruling class of the period decrees should survive, and this usually turns out to be the most effective work done within the canons and terms of that class. Go back as far as the time before Giotto, the time of Cimabue, there were hundreds and hundreds of Italian painters around, but today most of us only recognize the names of a handful. People who care about painting may be able to name five, and scholars may know as many as fifteen, but the rest are all painters whose paintings are as dead as they are." -- Emile de Antonio, Filmmaker, artists agent, friend of Andy Warhol (in Popism, The Andy Warhol Sixties, by Andy Warhol and Pat Hackett, p.21)
 
Andy Warhol's comment on this: "So you need a good gallery so the 'ruling class' will notice you and spread enough confidence in your future so collectors will buy you, whether for five hundred dollars or fifty thousand. No matter how good you are, you won't be one of those remembered names." ibid., p. 21


I found this bug on the street next to my mailbox. It's dead. I put it on the post that supports the mailbox and took its picture. It was there for about a week, and now it's gone.

Digital Camera Image (cropped) [2005_0704Image0011]
"Big Black Dead Bug"

I'm about halfway through The Celestine Prophecy. I'm in a contemplative mood of late. I'm not sure if the book is the cause of that, or is a symptom. Anyway, the book has some useful things in it, while it is not very well-written. There are people who love the book (Love it). There are those who hate the book (Why I hate the Celestine Prophecy. There is even an official site. At present I'm once again, somewhere in the middle. While the book offers some nice insights, at times it comes across as a little "preachy" or naive. I think it's the new Johnathan Livingston Seagull.


(4:18 pm)

I've been working, fixing up my bio page. I'd had a notice on the page for over a year threatening to do something about it. I reformatted the page, fixed some things that were broken, updated the information, and tried to move the whole thing a little closer to XHTML. I'm getting there. Originally I'd planned to make it more of an actual cirriculum vitae page, but it's never gotten that far. Perhaps in the future. Perhaps even something autobiographical.


I was thinking earlier -- there's a word or phrase for just about everything. We might not know it, but it's there somewhere. Take for instance, the way some people take pleasure in other people's misfortune. There's not a word in English that I know of for it, but there's one in German: schadenfreude. I think there's a word in Japanese or Chinese, and a phrase in French for just about every contingency. I've been searching in my mind for a word, but it doesn't seem to be there anymore. It's a word for finishing all parts of something, even the parts that will never be seen, like the outside of the back panel of a drawer or the inside of the framework where drawers fit, that no one other than the maker will ever see. Or an art construction where the backs of items will never be seen. I do that a lot. I finish the unseen parts as well as those that will be visible. I think it's a matter of pride, of feeling like the piece isn't complete with undone parts, even if they are hidden from the admiring eye. I know if it's finished or not, and that's enough.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005
(3:32 pm)

I hit the thrift stores today, still trying to find the third book in the James Patterson Series. I have 1st to Die, 2nd Chance, and 4th of July. Now I need 3rd Degree to fill out the series. I didn't find it. I did however, find Irving Stone's book about Pissaro and the Impressionists, a book analyzing modern art, and Helen Gardner's Art History survey, Art Through the Ages. I read that back when I got started on my art history jag, in the early 90's. It'll be nice to read it again.


Quote of the Day: "The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, but wiser people so full of doubts." -- Bertrand Russell


At the Mountain Mission, I picked up some little ceramic dishes, a little bigger than a business card (speaking of which, I've lost my business card holder. Bummer!) What their purpose mignt be, I have no idea, unless they're to rest spoons on. I got some slightly larger ones, too, a heavy glass coaster, and a small Japanese dish. Total expenditure: $6.33

After Mountain Mission I went to Goodwill. I found a small notebook and one of those aluminum gizmos you can use to thaw frozen food quickly. I was in Goodwill for only about 15 minutes. During that time there was a rainstorm of enough intensity to thoroughly soak everything. When I went in, the air outside was pretty warm but not so bad. When I came out, after the breif deluge, the air smelled of dirt. It was so damp and thick I felt I could take my hand and push it aside, yea, even that I should in order to make my way back to my car. It clung to me like I was hooks and it was loops. It hugged me like a maiden aunt at a family reunion. As I drove down the boulevard with my driver's side window down, I could smell that the rain had brought up all the smells of the city and suspended them in a sort of clear amber. I could smell all that is good and bad about city life. At the YWCA I found little, other than the Irving Stone book. At Union Mission I picked up a couple of books and two Trivial Pursuit games. I had looked at the same games at Mountain Mission earlier. Sometimes it just takes me a while to make up my mind.

Ostensibly I had made the rounds of the thrifts to try to find a slightly larger box for my acrylic paint. The box I've been using for years was almost big enough, but not quite. The thrift stores yielded nothing of that nature. I stopped at Big Lots! and found a small toolbox that will fit the bill for under five dollars. Mission accomplished. . . and then some.

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Friday, July 22, 2005
(2:57 pm)

It's a white-out day. 10% cool gray skies; 10% cool gray feeling. I've been puttering all day. Seems like the proper thing to do on a white-out day.


Quote of the Day: "Consistency is like a stagnant pool. It breeds vipers in the mind." -- Rev. Emmanuel Cellar


This is one of those times where I find it easy to begin things, but nearly impossible to bring anything to its conclusion. Of course, I've always said that a work of art is never "finished." You merely pick a point and stop. But now, I don't reach a reasonable stopping point with anything. Things are piling up. It will all eventually get completed, but for now I have to be satisfied with beginnings.

Digital Camera Image [2005_0704Image0010_2]
"The Former Green Tomatoes"

The two largest of these tomatoes have already ripened and have been eaten (one for lunch today -- yum!). There are about a dozen more on this one plant, and at least two other plants have little tomatoes on them as well. It might not be much of a garden, but August will be flush with red, ripe, juicy tomatoes.

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Monday, July 25, 2005
(5:31 pm)

It's hot. I don't know what we'd have done if we hadn't gotten an airconditioner. Right now it's 93 with the heat index at 103. That's hot. I'm staying inside when at all possible. I wanted to do a little painting outside, but it's too hot.

Did I mention, it's hot.


Quote of the Day: "All that we are is the result of what we have thought." -- Gautama Siddharta (Buddha)


I gotta start thinking better. . .

Digital Camera Image (adjusted and Cropped) [2005_0724Image0003]
"Sunset Gold"

I watched The Door in the Floor again today. That's a pretty good film. Little Elle Fanning is amazing, perhaps even more amazing than her older sister, Dakota, and talk about cute! Kim Bassinger was awesome as usual. Jeff Bridges has actually become a pretty decent actor. Mimi Rogers is still gorgeous, and she gets fully naked in this film. Her skin still has the tone of a woman in her 20's. And who knew her breasts were that big?!? Gravity has taken its toll, but she's still fun to look at in the altogether. The story was more sad than anything. Kim Bassinger's character was complex and pitiable. Jeff Bridges played the dissolute creative personality to a stereotypical tee. I enjoyed it. I might watch it once more before it goes away.

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Tuesday, July 26, 2005
(1:44 pm)

Not quite two o'clock and it's already 90 degrees today (heat index of 97). Another scorcher.


Quote of the Day: "Society takes what it wants. The artist himself does not count, because there is no actual existence for the work of art. The work of art is always based on the two poles of the onlooker and the maker, and the spark that comes from the bipolar action gives birth to something - like electricity. But the onlooker has the last word, and it is always posterity that makes the masterpiece. The artist should not concern himself with this, because it has nothing to do with him."
-- Marcel Duchamp


I had a flat tire Sunday. It was one of the rear tires. The tread separated from the sidewall. I imagine it was at least partially due to the heat. Now we need to get new tires -- something else we can't afford right now. Does it never end?

I noticed uneven wear on the front tires, too. They need to be replaced. I suppose we also need a front-end alignment to go with new tires. I'm not sure how much is too much to put into this vehicle. It has over 165,000 miles on it now. The top is starting to rust (so is a place on the side door) and the cloth on the ceiling is separating from the backing and drooping. All in all, I like the buggy, but I think we're hitting the point of diminishing returns. Of course, at present a new car is out of the question, so I guess whether it's worth the expense is a moot point. It's like everything else. I'd like to be environmentally conscious and recycle everything possible, but we don't have the room. I'd like to have a hybrid automobile, but we don't have the credit rating, and I'm not about to pay the outrageous interest and insurance in the "high risk" category, not to mention we can't afford a payment at present either. I'd like to stay stocked up on things by shopping at Sam's Club, but we seldom have the money to stock up, and we certainly don't have the space to store things. I keep holding out hope that my insurance settlement will afford us the opportunity to get a new vehicle, but that looks less and less likely as time goes on with nothing resolved. I get so discouraged. I imagine the nearly constant pain contributes to that along with circumstances.

</whining>

One good thing about having the flat was that I got to visit with an old friend -- not implying that's Kate's old, although she did refer to herself as an old lady. I think Kate will forever be young at heart. While waiting for Ann and Kris to show up to retrieve me, Kate and I had a nice conversation. That's one of the things I really miss living on Arlington Court -- having easy access to neighbors who are interesting to talk to. Now I have to travel across town. I sometimes talk to a couple of my neighbors here, but our interests are far apart in most cases. Charlie across the street and I have a coincidental interest in growing plants, but that's about it. I fix his computer problems for him. He helps me out with mechanical things. He likes NASCAR. I like the NHL. Vince, Charlie's next door neighbor is a nice enough fellow, but he plays golf, and that pretty much rules out any coincidence of interests between the two of us. The rest of the people on the street I don't know very well, but judging from appearances, which is possible to an extent, I doubt we'd have much in common either. Now, don't get me wrong, I can get along with just about anyone, and can talk to nearly anyone about anything, but it's nice to have people to talk to that share interests and don't have to be instructed in a subject for me to talk about it. Conversely it's nice to be able to talk with someone without having them conduct a seminar so that I'll understand the subject enough to carry my side of the conversation. For such talks, I have to actively seek out someone, make an appointment and watch my time. Whereas when we lived on Arlington Court, I could simply saunter up the sidewalk and spying someone on the porch, go up, sit next to them on the swing or across on whatever chair was available, and we'd go where the conversation took us. I miss those days.

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Wednesday, July 27, 2005
(10:07 am)

I still haven't come up with any good ideas for the naplesyellow.com or primarywizard.net sites. I've received exactly zero suggestions. I get tons of visitors to this site, and more than I expected to naplesyellow.com -- even a few to primarywizard.net, which merely redirects people to this page. Hot weather makes me dull-witted. How about some of you people from Alaska, Canada, and the Southern Hemisphere giving it a shot. All suggestions given serious consideration.


Quote of the Day: "There is nothing that deceives us more than our own judgement when used to give an opinion on our own works. It is sound in judging the work of our enemies but not that of our friends, for hate and love are two of the most powerfully motivating factors found among living things." -- Leonardo Di Vinci


I spent hours spray painting a giant egg shape I'd made of papier maché yesterday, only to screw it up in two minutes at the end of the day. Now I have to sand, repaint, retexture. Nuts!

Digital Camera Image [2005_0704Image0019]
"You Were Saying Something About Getting Ducks In a Row?"

Rest In Peace, James Doohan. James may be dead, but Scottie will live forever. I'll never forget the time I met him, in his Star Trek uniform, walking up Melrose Avenue. I was, what's the word? not star-struck or even in awe, just impressed that someone I'd seen on televsion the night before in a starship at the farthest reaches of the galaxy was walking on the same sidewalk as me in front of the place I worked, across the street from Desilu Studios. I regularly saw cowboys, Indians, and other actors in costume out and about looking for lunch or running errands during a break on the set, but for some reason, seeing Scottie on the sidewalks of Hollywood was a particular thrill. Rest in Peace, James. Live forever, Mr. Scott.

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Friday, July 29, 2005
(12:05 pm)

Fot those of you who don't know already, there's an alternative to the high-priced office suites like Microsoft Office. It started life as Star Office and is now called Open Office and is available for multiple platforms, including Windows, Linux. Solaris, Macintosh, and FreeBSD. This is not a junk office suite, with disabled features which can be activated by purchasing the deluxe version. This is a robust, full-featured office suite, the word processor of which looks to me to be superior to or the equal of Word, Word Perfect, or any of the others available on the market. It an open source project so the source code is available and ports to other OS's, such as BeOS, may be available if you dig deeply. I heartily recommend it, if for nothing else, just to have a backup to your high-dollar packages. You did pay for those, didn't you?


Quote of the Day: "The philosophers have only interpreted the world in different ways; the point, however, is to change it." -- Karl Marx


I've been working on an assemblage piece. I'm not sure it's finished, but here's a long view and a close-up of the main part of it. The photographs aren't the best, as this piece is not particularly photogenic. I may have to break out the lights and futz around with it in order to get a good shot.

Digital Camera Image [2005_0727Image0001(crop)]
"Thinking Outside the Box"
Digital Camera Image [2005_0727Image0001(crop-main_ar)]
"Inside the Box"

I'm not sure if this piece is "done" but I do think this may be a stopping point. Whether I take it up again or not will depend on whether the muse moves me.

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Saturday, July 30, 2005
(4:54 pm)

Last night Ann and I went to the Barboursville mall and bought a new computer. It's a Compaq with an Athlon 64 processor. It's a little shy on memory and the hard disk is only 160 GB (only! ha!). There was one that was faster and had more memory and a bigger hard drive for only $30 more, but the outlay up front was $250 more. The machine we got has a $50 rebate. The other one had $300 in rebates. We didn't have the cash to spend for the one and wait for the $300 to come back. What's the deal with rebates on everything? If they'd lowered the price of the thing by $300 they'd have made the extra $30 on the sale, which they did not because of the rebate scam. They're cutting off their nose to spite their face (as my Granny used to say).

This entry is being typed on the new machine. The program is on the old machine. Today I got a $50 router and a cable and set up a network. After disabling Norton Internet Security, it all works great. I've not used anything Norton has made in the past five years that was worth a damn.


Quote of the Day: "Even as rain breaks through an ill-thatched house, so lust breaks through an ill-trained mind. Even as rain breaks not through a well-thatched house, so lust breaks not through a well-trained mind. " -- Dhammapada 13-14


I'm working on transferring my data files from the old machine to the new. Microsoft hasn't improved the "copy" function since MS-DOS v. 1.0 -- even now, if you highlight multiple files and/or directories, if it runs into one file it can't copy, it chokes. It doesn't skip the offending file and continue. It just dies. And if it runs up against, say, a read-only file, it asks if you want to copy it anyway. You can choose YES, NO, or YES to ALL. Why is there no NO to ALL? Wouldn't that make equal sense? At one time I heard about a replacement for the copy function in Windows, but I can't seem to find it anywhere. Wouldn't that be nice?

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Sunday, July 31, 2005
(4:58 pm)

Only two days and I'm getting the hang of this XP machine. There are a lot of things I like about it. I don't like the way it tries to save me from myself however. It keeps telling me things won't work, and I tell it to shut up and go ahead with what I'm doing. Guess what? It works. I've got a lot of my data files transferred and the programs I need to operate reinstalled. Right now I'm working on this document. I think the operating system and applications programmers need to take into account what people would do if they had the ability. One thing I'd like to be able to do is assign the pause button on Windows Media Player to one of the programmable buttons on the keyboard. The "Help" button would be a good one to use, since I rarely will use that one. I'd like to be able to do it to the "Sleep" button, since I keep hitting it when reaching for the "Esc" key. That's irritating.


Quote of the Day: "There can be no happiness if the things we believe in are different from the things we do." -- Freya Stark


I have figured out ways and methods of transferring settings and information from the old machine to this one. I was concerned about several programs that I use all the time, and I was afraid I'd have to set up everything from scratch, but I don't. Whew!

Thanks to Emily and Pat for their comments about my assemblage piece posted on Friday. Both photos are of a single piece. The first is the entire piece. The other is a detail of the box section.

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