Archive for May, 2007

Galloping towards one Million.

May 23, 2007

Yesterday, there were 922468  blogs on WordPress.com, today, as I visit, there are 997688.

At the rate they are flying off the site, the one millionth will be activated in, say, a couple of hours or so. Certainly today, New Zealand today, or my name’s not…um…forget that bit.

So….do we get a prize for scoring number 1,000,000? Huh?

Oh, the goodness!

May 23, 2007

Generally speaking, the Manpet and I are not big spenders. For a start, we don’t have the dosh and secondly, we both seem to have a somewhat limiting Calvanistic work ethic that says save…save…save and don’t spend a cent that you don’t have to. Well, slight exaggeration, but compared with, say, Paris Hilton, we are definitely at the thin edge of the spending wedge.

So to get not one, not two, but three items of life-bling all within a twenty-four hour period is nothing short of spectacular.

Yesterday, we visited Schmoo and her Man, who is in IT and he provided us with a beautiful wide screen LCD monitor to replace our old, donated 15″ CRT monitor. The new one, 19″, isn’t huge by todays standards by any means, but it will be ideal in the bus, as anything larger would be too big to put on the narrow, wee desk that we use there for our computery stuff. We did consider a 22″, but it would have been a little overwhelming from close distance.

This new monitor, one of the very few new things we have had in this line apart from some RAM, is an LG Electronics Flatron Wide. Not a common make in this neck of the woods, but apparently used by some of the local graphics guys, who swear by it. Certainly it is clear and bright – my digi-pix display perfectly, including all of those out-of-focus ones that I couldn’t really see before, even when zooming in Firefox or Photoshop. Clearly, my technique needs some tweaking! Using Photoshop is so much easier on this, as it allows me to see the photos without having all the clutter of palettes sitting over the top of them. There is room for them all to sit nicely off to one side. DVD’s display very nicely, thanks, compared with the 15″ that we used to use to watch them with. And, to top it off, it was insanely reasonable to buy. We did get a bit of extra help on this, as it was part of a bulk buy for the Man’s business, but they seem to be a lot cheaper than comparable models in other brands.

The other two bits of bling are lenses for my somewhat elderly Nikon Coolpix 4500. We have had it for around four years now, and paid an astounding $1200(NZ) – that’s around $870(US) for it – a huge lump of money for us at the time. Of course, nowadays, you can get a lot more bang for your bucks camera-wise for much less money, but I’m really happy with the excellence of the macro on this little camera, as well as it’s unique swivelly body that allows me to take pix in stealth mode. You can just have the thang sitting in yer lap with the swivel…er…swivelled and whack off pix of people totally unobserved. To the onlooker, you just look as though you are reviewing your pictures. Little do they know…

One of the disadvantages of the camera is that it only has a four times optical zoom. The experts say “Just get closer to your subject.” but that ain’t always possible, is it? A distant mountain is always going to be a distant mountain unless you walk a very long way and a wee bird in a tree is going to take flight right now, if you take one more step.

It also has a somewhat narrow feild of view in certain circumstances and this has been a disadvantage a few times. Panoamas and clever software stitchery are generally the answer to that, but sometimes, distortion puts paid to that.

I had looked at the price of wide-angle and converter lenses, but the new ones bought locally were collectively going to be just about as much as a whole new camera, so I was very happy to be recommended a website in Usa that sells secondhand, new and near new camera goodies. The guy who recommended them had bought from them a number of times and said that he had always been very happy with the quality and condition of their second hand stuff, so I went ahead and ordered a 2X teleconverter and a wide angle lense.

They just came today after much anxious waiting and chewing of fingernails. I like to be able to see what I’m buying, to hold it in my hand and take it away when I hand over the $$$, so inline shopping is a bit of a biggie for me. I’ve done a couple of books before, but never a big item that would sting if it failed to turn up. But yeah, here it is, beatifully packed and protected with extra cushioning as requested. I still have to try them out, but they look to be in great condition with clear, unmarked lenses.

Wow!!

Dear Diary, Yo Blog.

May 22, 2007

Dear Diary,

I’ve been thinking about you and me quite a bit lately – about how much we have both changed over the years. I can clearly remember your first incarnation. I was nine years old and you were a little square book. You had a lovely soft leather cover in green and a little gold lock with a key that worked. I wrote in you every day. You were not so much of a “what I did” sort of a diary, more a “what I felt” one. I poured my heart out into you. You lived under the mattress and your key lived in the drawer under my knickers and I thought my secrets were safe.

One day, you had moved while I was at school – just a little, and your key was in a slightly different place. I was no longer sure that my secrets were safe. You were nearly full of writing by then and I was finding that your pages were no longer big enough to contain my thoughts, so we said good bye and you were re-born a couple of weeks later. Your new hiding place was harder to find. You now lived behind the big hard-backed books on the bottom shelf of the bookshelves in my room. You had no key, as you were a discarded excersise book from school. I never did have much time for spelling.
I was more cunning by then and in your old, green self, I wrote occasional short, dummy entries – boring “what I did” notes that meant nothing. Your green self moved fractionally on occasions, but your new self never did, so I thought my secrets were safe.

Then one day, I came home from school and the world was in an uproar. Unbeknown to me, we were moving house and my parents had spent the day packing up. My room was nearly empty, a row of sealed boxes the only evidence that it had ever been lived in. When we unpacked at the new house, you in your excersise book form were nowhere to be found. I dared not ask about you and I never saw you again.

For a long time after that, you were physically absent from my life. I still wrote to you, but only in my head – long, detailed entries that explored and explained my life as I saw it.

Now, you have arisen in yet another way. You are both much bigger and much smaller than you were. Bigger in that I need all this wizz-bang machinery to produce you on, smaller in that you are, in your raw form, invisible to human eyes. You live in binary form, translated byte by byte from my mind to your memory, pixelating your way across the screen, there for all the world to see – if they know where to look. You do have a key and it is much harder to find, but I know my secrets are never safe.

About about.

May 14, 2007

I finally decided to fill in the “About” page on this blog. The words flowed OK, but where the hell has the thing gone? I see no “About”, although it appears as an editable page on the dashboard. The process of loading a page and making it visible to a blaudience seems to be different from that of writing a mere entry. So as a temporary measure, I made a text box, which natively has a weeny-tiny font text in it, to act as a substitute.
I did switch from Live Journal because I wanted more of a challenge, didn’t I?

*stands looking up at steep curve*

[Edit] OK, I found the answer. A short(ish) search in the help section revealed that to display “About” as a page, you have to drag the Pages widget to the sidebar.

*blushes like a noob*

Quite a ‘duh’ really.  But I’ll leave it here, just in case some other poor sod needs it.