Wednesday, April 16, 2014

No longer a spring chicken

Well, Eastern Ontario was pelted with snow and ice pellets once again.

Half-way through April and Old Man Winter is still sticking around. I had to pull out my little boots and holey gloves.  

Many of us are ready for refreshing greens, spring flowers and a gentle breeze.  Give me colour, sunshine and hope. Of all seasons, I would like spring to linger - and not be rushed out by stifling summer heat and humidity.  I generate enough heat on my own, thank you very much!

I am no longer a spring chicken but I find it one of my favourite seasons.  It is a time to celebrate renewal and rebirth.  

As a former Catholic, I occasionally will read the bible, follow the Pope on Twitter and enjoy learning mythology from different cultures.  In particular, I really appreciate the one about Eostre, the Goddess of Spring. 

My drab workstation is already decorated with an Easter Egg Tree and eggs painted by a creative, former co-worker. 


These eggs were decorated almost 20 years ago and are still in good condition.  The act of putting those eggs on display has rekindled a spark, a desire for creativity.

Recently, I had one of the young folk dig a box out of the storage area because I knew that within that box was a protective case containing concept art I had done many years ago.



I created that Yin Yegg during a feverish winter cold in 1999.  It was during a time that I was learning about the art of Feng Shui, looking for ways to harmonize our then unhappy and cluttered home.  

It has been a while since I have painted or drawn.  Over the past few years, I have mainly illustrated with words in various blog posts, opinion articles and my bittersweet novel.  At least the latter is going through changes in preparation for the next print edition, with the help of a resident artiste

As we approach the Easter weekend, I will encourage my family to pause for reflection.  My offspring are too old for childlike craft activities so I doubt we will decorate any eggs.  I still like to look at ideas that others have come up with - especially those that use non-toxic materials and don't create waste. 

Pinterest is a great place for exploring decorating ideas, wardrobe collections and options for self adornment.  Being a low-maintenance gal, I think I'll create a board for cool summer blouses and comfortable shoes. 

Thanks for dropping by.

Happy Easter!

T


Sunday, March 23, 2014

My memory is fine thank you

Technology is making things easier in some ways and more complex in others.  

Call me grumpy with a twist of humour.  If you use a variety of social networking platforms, you may appreciate my lyrical impression of some, based on the tune from Sesame Street's "One of these things":

Two of these things are not like the others.
Two of these things are not the same.
Two of these social networking platforms make annoying assumptions -
And for that their owners should be ashamed. 


 Put on your grownup glasses and have a look:








Do you know the answers?  Do you know why I find them  annoying?  

No matter what I have selected during previous sessions, some platforms keep making the same assumptions that I want them to remember my password and/or to remain logged in.

Goodreads and Meetup are two of the platforms I find annoying in that they keep forcing this option.  Call me a grumpy IT person but I think it is not good practice to check  default options for end users.  Let the user explicitly make those decisions. 

Don't get me started about the practice used by third party software updates like Adobe Flash Player, Adobe Reader and Google Chrome! Oh... there I went.

It is recommended that you log out from social networking platforms when done else some of them will track your subsequent online activities.  

It comes down to personal responsibility and education if you want to ensure your online security.  

You may choose to download and/or purchase browser add-ons to help guard your privacy.  

Good gravy, Batman!  No wonder they call it the World Wild Web! 

In the 25 years that it has been around, we have seen  startups stall, bubbles burst and creepy criminals take advantage of others online.  



 
There are still not enough funny cat pictures...

Despite my ripening age, I have a memory like a steel trap and can recall most of my passwords.  I don't want them saved on my computer or entrusted with some third party password remembering app, thank you very much!  I may even resort to good ole pen and paper to write them down and store in a secure location.

Don't let me rant about apps for iPads and other tablets.  If you let the apps remember your login info, you better make sure you have a screen lock passcode in case you misplace the darn thing!  Oh... there I went again.

I also don't trust my browsers to remember web site passwords. No more cookies please.  I'm trying to cut back. 

Besides, most of the platforms have an option to send you a helpful email if you forget your password.  Now... do you remember which email address you signed up with?


If that didn't spook you, here's a picture of a black cat.


Thanks for dropping by.  You are most welcome to explicitly select one or more check boxes below to indicate that you found this blog post funny, interesting or inspiring.  

If you are on "Everything Google", you can submit a comment with your Google + or Blogger account.



That's if you remember how to log in...

T


Friday, March 14, 2014

Changing Times

Last weekend we changed the clocks to spring forward one hour.

Spring.  Ha!  We'll see come March 20th. 



All the smart devices in le petit apartment adjusted with the time change automatically.  

One young person camping out in the living room requested that we relocate the analogue clock since its tick-tock-tick sounds keep him awake. 

I gladly moved it into my bedroom, swapping out one of the small paintings.  I like the tick-tock sounds as they remind me of the clocks back at the old Muskoka homestead and provide me with a sense of nostalgia while reminiscing about my dear late parentsOf course, those clocks resided in hallways or dining rooms and not within a book's throw from one's bed.


Clocks provide a reminder of the measured seconds in our segmented mortal lives - or remind us when it is time to pause for short meditations throughout the busy day.  

Except for the digital clock radio, I keep the electronics in my bedroom to a minimum.   It's also a recommendation in order to maintain good Feng Shui.

A few evenings ago, I had to recharge three of the smart devices in my care.  I captured the following photograph with my iPad before plugging it in somewhere to charge its battery.  I later played with the image in Microsoft Word.


This represents my sentiment for a while with observing the new, smart technology that seems to distract people from real life conversations and social opportunities.  The new technology also seems to require a lot of updates, recharges and added protection.

I have been a hold-out for years with not wanting to own or not being able to afford a smart phone.  Well, I committed to one almost three months ago and am proud to say that I have not yet taken one selfie!  

I am getting hip with exchanging text messages with the kids and friends.

Within one week, I received my first telemarketer call. Ugh!  

This new gadget helps me check my email, news and bus schedules.  It lets me enlarge the font for the email app so I don't need to pull out my reading glasses.  I can also pinch and stretch web pages or images (similar to the iPad features).  

Heck, I could even view spreadsheets and edit basic documents with the SkyDrive apps. Microsoft has already changed that to OneDrive because of a lawsuit caused by their choice of names.

Does the immediacy offered by modern technology  cause us to make rushed decisions based on the need to keep up, to compete and one-up the other guys?
 

The smart phone camera has enabled me to take plenty of pics of bus stop observations, snowmageddon and resident cats as well using it to type short, poetic phrases on Twitter. 


 
On a slightly related note, the World Wide Web turns 25 years old this month.  

Does it have enough funny cat pictures -


 - or funny cat videos?






I wonder as well if we have matured, if we will continue for the next few years to use the technology responsibly and in a collaborative manner for the common good. Ha!

What do you think? 



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Something for everyone during Read An E-Book Week

Hello there, cowboy. What brings you to these parts of the wild web?





Ah, yes. It looks like you sauntered by for a bit of adventure - reading adventure with Smashwords, that is.  

You might be interested in a little mystery or romance too.  You may want to check if adult filters are turned on. There seem to be a lot of kinky, steamy submissions lately.  However you paint yer wagon...

Why don't you dust off your spurs and mosey on over to this blog post for my novel?  It's pretty tame. I think some parts might make you cry. It's okay for men to cry.  Some women admire and respect that trait.
 

Would you like to know more about The Year of the Rabbit?   


Did you like reading the novel?  Please submit a review to Goodreads or Smashwords.  Like the Facebook page and share a few comments there too.  I don't ask a lot, do I? 

Thanks for dropping by.  Don't be a stranger, you hear?


T