Sunday, August 19, 2007

I Tought I Saw A Coyote

I did! I did! Earlier this evening I spotted a coyote!

I was sitting here at the computer and I spotted some movement out near the car. I stood up and saw what looked like a small dog and quickly realized it was a coyote. It's very unusual to see them. I called for The Man but he thought I was just talking on the phone and did get up until it was too late.

It freaked me out a little, thinking that a wild predator was this close to the house, but he wasn't that big, and he probably is more afraid of me than I am of him. Plus, he was just a little thing - I think I could take him. Not like those western wolves. So, my brush with wildlife. It happened too quickly for me to get a picture, and besides, the camera would definitely have spooked him anyway.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Everything Is Miscellaneous

So, remember a few weeks back when I went to pick up my car and it wasn't ready? And I had to walk a mile and a half into town to kill time at the public library? Well, while I was there, I checked out this book called "Everything Is Miscellaneous" and it really got me thinking.

I read the book (okay, skimmed the first few chapters) and it was pretty interesting. You know how we all have boxes of photos that we never seem to put in photo albums? And how, now that we have digital cameras we think we're going to finally organize our photos? Have you done it? No, because instead of making things easier, we've made things more difficult.

Now we have options. Instead of putting things in one physical album and labeling it August 2007 vacation, suddenly we can apply multiple labels. Yes, it's a 2007 photo, but it's also a photo of DisneyWorld, and you were there in 1996 and 2002, so why not also label the photo DisneyWorld and have it there by the other DisneyWorld photos so you can see that it is indeed a small world after all?

The author also made the point (much more eloquently than I'm about to do) that iPods had something to do with this. See, with your iPod you can create a playlist that has special meaning - all the music you grew up with, music from angry female rockers, music from 1984, music that reminds you of your ex-lover - you name it, there is a custom playlist out there.

Not that I would know. I still haven't figured out how to create playlists on my iPod. In fact, I had to dig it out of my backpack this morning and hook it up to the charger. I'm just lucky I figured out how to download my contacts two years ago for my west coast trip. Anyway, the point is, the more we have to organize and the more we try to do so, the more complicated things get.

Even worse is the fact that it's so hard to throw things away. With digital photos, you take 101 photos of your garden. And because they aren't cluttering up your physical space, you keep all 101 photos, even if some of them are out of focus or the lighting is off or you have one really good photo of the roses and five not so good ones, you keep all six instead of just the one really good one. And you think you are fine because the photos aren't cluttering up your physical space, but you aren't because unless you go through and label all 101 photos then you have no way of sifting and sorting through them. And all you have are 101 photos that weigh you down.

It's the same way with email. The whole gmail concept is Evil. "With this much space, you never need to through anything out." So I have, what, 787 842 messages in my gmail box and only 15 of them have any real value to me. And the labels. I resisted using the labels because I was used to folders. I wanted goddam folders in my gmail. So I didn't use the labels and now my email is out of control. Yes, I can search my email and find the message I want. But it would be so much easier if I had just applied labels in the first place.

It didn't occur to me until I read (okay, skimmed) this book that the labels really were better than folders. Because I can apply more than one label, but I can only physically place a message in one folder. But if you think I'm going to go back and label all 842 messages in my gmailbox, you've got another thing coming.

I think it would be quite liberating if I were to simple go in and delete them all.

Well, at least delete everything prior to 2007.

Maybe I could search for certain messages (i.e. message from The Man, for example) and label them before deleting everything else.

Yeah. Right. I still have 842 messages in my gmailbox.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

My, How Time Flies

I have a friend who I hadn't heard much from over the past few months. Turns out he's been going through some personal relationship challenges. I don't have the full story yet, but I can't say I'm surprised. I never felt comfortable about this relationship, and I can't say I told you so because I didn't - but I thought it.

In any event, this is a friend who was a much bigger part of my life three years ago. I can't believe three years have gone by. I've been blogging for three and a half years, and I have at least 3 1/2 blogs out there, and none of them is a true reflection of me. I'm okay with that. The world wide web is a scary place and I'm glad that I haven't put everything out there.

I've been saying for at least two years that I need to brush up on my web/computer skills, so today, for the first time in a long time, I visited one of my links, ProBlogger Blog Tips. When I first started blogging, it seemed that I was able to attract readers fairly easily. I very quickly assembled my little virtual community, and it was good. Lately, though, I've noticed that I don't seem to attract any new readers.

One reason is that my blog isn't devoted to any one particular topic. Another reason is that, well, I'm just not that into blogging anymore. Anyway, one of the reader tips from ProBlogger was to link to newer blogs and blog posts. I guess that would be one way to attract more traffic. Or I could just be satisfied with the referrals I get when people do a search on the Duggar family which just spawned child #17. Or the Google images referrals of that muscle-bound guy. Or the people looking for information about Matt Kaplan.

Why did you stop by?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Strange Bird

So, those long walks I've been taking down the driveway to get the mail ... one day I came upon three turkeys but I didn't have the camera with me. Now I try to take the camera with me in case I come upon some wildlife.

I can't for the life of me figure out what this bird is doing up here in the mountains of upstate New York.

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Best Laid Plans

I thought I had it all worked out.

I went away for the weekend with my girlfriends and left my car for service. Oil change, inspection and exterior detail. Not too hard, right? I specifically asked them to check the brakes because I remembered they said my rear brakes were at 30% the last time I had it in - would the brakes make it another 5,000 miles and if not, please replace them.

So I leave it at 10:00 a.m. on Friday and tell them that I'll pick it up Monday afternoon. Plenty of time to get the work done. I don't hear anything from them, so I assume it didn't need any extra work (they would need my authorization for anything more than $25 beyond the oil change, inspection and detail). We get up this morning, I turn my cell on ... no messages. We begin our trip back, stopping to shop and for lunch along the way. It doesn't occur to check my phone for messages.

My girl friends drop me off at the dealership at 2:00. I think I'm going to pick up my car, stop at the grocery store and be home in time to make dinner for The Man. Wrong.

"Your car didn't pass inspection."

What do you mean my car didn't pass inspection?

"You need new brakes."

Yes, I specifically asked you to look at the brakes and to replace them if they needed it.

"We called and left you a message."

I check my phone. They called at 11:25 this morning. They have had the car since 10:00 a.m. on Friday. If you were me, wouldn't you have assumed that if you hadn't heard anything by now that all was well? So now they are working on it but my ride had already left and I had to walk a mile and a half back into town. It could be done by 5:00. It might not be done until 7:00.

They'll call me.