Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Wrap Up

It’s now the last day of 2007. What a year it’s been! It’s been filled to overflowing with stress and constantly running myself ragged.

Jolene’s mom has had an inordinate number of “little emergencies” this year – everything from leaky faucets to mice - all of which have sent her into a panic. And all of which result in Rod's phone ringing. I cringe every time the bloody thing goes off. Although there are plenty of other family members, it’s generally us that end up dropping everything and running to south KC to take care of the problem(s). I suppose it’s because we’re closest. We’re about 14 miles away; everyone else is at least twice that distance. I wonder, sometimes, if that is by coincidence, or design.

My dad has had his share of computer issues this year as well. It seems like I’ve had to reformat both of his computers at least twice in the last year, if not more. I may be off on that, though – everything has pretty much merged into one continuous gray blur over the last few months.

Between all this going on, plus the occasional medical emergency, I’ve been kept hopping most of the year playing taxi driver, plumber, mouse hunter, computer technician, boy Friday, and etc. Then, of course, I had my own medical problems with my eye in November. Happily, the eye situation seems to be improving, albeit very slowly. I just hope things will calm down a little bit in 2008.

We did have a nice vacation in October, although it rained through about half of it, and we had to come home a little early when my eye started having problems.

For the New Year, I’ve got quite a few things planned - assuming I'm not running my butt off constantly. I’m looking at putting together another computer, which will be the most powerful one I’ve built yet. It will be used mainly for graphics, and things that need a lot of processing power. This AMD 3ghz machine will be used as a secondary graphics machine, and a recording studio. I’m looking into a preamp from DAK that will allow me to start digitizing my collection of 33-1/3 vinyl LPs (anyone else remember those?). I’ll also want to use it to digitize video, and convert some of my old camcorder stuff to DVD – and maybe even shoot some new stuff! Once the new machine comes on line, I may well retire the old Gateway 700 piece of crap. Or maybe I’ll find another use for it.

I’m also taking a good long look at my website. It’s all paid up for another two and a half years, so I’ll definitely keep updating it. But, I want it to be/do more than what it is now. My original concept was to have a site that would provide an additional income stream or two. I’m not planning to retire on it, but having another source of income is always a good thing. Thus far, it’s been mostly a hobby site with a few examples of my art and photography. Assuming I have a little time to work on it, I’ll be implementing a few new areas soon, changing a few others, and probably retiring a few other sections.

I will remove the Playboy Back Issues section soon. It’s been well over a year since anyone has ordered any of them, so I’ll be finding a better use for the server space. I’ll leave it up until the end of January, so if you want to order any back issues, do it soon. I’ll be removing the darkroom equipment section as well. It seems with the rapid progress of digital photography, no one is interested in traditional darkroom work anymore. I know I’m not. I’ll probably have a big garage sale in the spring; hopefully I can get rid of some of it then – with a small return on my investment. I paid $1000.00 for the big Beseler color enlarger back in 1990 or so. Now, I can’t give the damn thing away – not that I want to. But if I can’t sell it, I may see if a school or charitable organization may be interested in it.

For now, I’ll spend most of the last evening of 2007 archiving some stuff to CD/DVDs, doing a little artwork, listening to some music, and just relaxing. Boring, huh? I probably won’t even blow anything up at midnight. Probably. There’s always that tiny chance, though!

Here’s hoping you have a Happy and Prosperous New Year!!
….And me, too…..

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ice Storm 2007!

We had quite an ice storm last night. Unfortunately, it wasn't severe enough to get a day off work, though! At least we haven't lost power yet. The roads today were mostly just wet, and not slick, so getting around wasn't a big problem.

I managed to get some photos, which I've posted in my monthly update at We did have a small branch fall from the tree in the front yard last night. It hit the porch, but didn't do much damage other than taking out a small windchime - which I can fix! The rain has tapered off for now, but we'll see what the rest of the week brings.


Monday, December 10, 2007

It's Winter, All Right....

It's that time of year - cold, snow/sleet ("sneet?"), freezing rain, and all that crap-uh, I mean stuff. It's starting to rain as I type this, and of course it will soon turn into freezing rain. I'm hoping it will be bad enough to call off work tomorrow - but not bad enough to break tree branches, and consequently, power lines.

I had another check-up with Dr. Dyer today, and everything looks good. My eye still has a way to go, though. Dr. Dyer said it could take a year to completely heal from a severe retinal detachment; and mine was about as severe as they come.

I've added the December 2007 link to my monthly update menu to the left. If you're not on my website, you can click to see my news page and this blog at the same time. You can also click the title above.

I've been playing with RSS a little over the past few days. I have a feed file on my server, now, so you can click on the little RSS icons, and see what's been updated. You can also subscribe with your RSS news aggregator, and get the updates when they happen - or at least shortly after they happen!

I'm finding I can draw with very little difficulty, and it gets easier all the time. So I'm hoping to get some new art up soon. I'm also starting to get back to work on some of the projects in my shop that have been sitting idle while recovering from this issue with my eye.

For now, I'm going to fire up a little hot chocolate, and watch it rain for a while!


Thursday, December 06, 2007

First Snow and Other Stuff

We had our first real snowstorm of the winter today. Bleh! I shot this photo after parking in Perkin's lot at lunchtime. I was hoping to maybe get off a little early today if it continued to snow. And we did - a little early. They closed our branch office a whole half-hour early! Oh, well, a half-hour is a half-hour. At least the traffic wasn't too snarled on the way home.

I did manage to get an RSS feed set up on my website, so those of you with RSS readers or IE 7 will be able to see the updates more quickly. This blog is already set up with RSS, but now the rest of the site is as well.

My eye is continuing to improve (I think), but it's a very slow process. It will probably remain somewhat blurry and distorted for a few months, but it seems to be getting a little less so as time passes. I'm finding I can start doing some of the things I did before, such as drawing, and working with small parts. My depth perception is improving - it isn't nearly as difficult to work with small screws as it was a few weeks ago. I can actually get them into the holes on the first or second attempt instead of poking at them a half-dozen times!

We lost another family member this week. Mary Geiss was my brother-in-law's wife's mom. She was a sweet lady - may she be at peace. I hope it's a good long time before I have to write about another one.

I'll be doing a little work on my website in the next few days. I've added a couple new works to my Sexy Faeries Gallery, and hope to have more soon. I'm also going to get back into my shop. I have several unfinished projects waiting, and a number of new ideas I want to explore. But for now.....


Saturday, December 01, 2007

Working on RSS Feed

Hey! It's December already! This year has flown by - tempus fugit, indeed.

My eye is getting better - at least I think it is. Things are fairly blurry at a moderate distance, and there is still some distortion. I think I'll end up being pretty near-sighted in that eye, but that can be corrected with glasses. I can see fairly clearly at about a foot to 18 inches, although with a little distortion - straight lines are a little wavy.

I've been playing around a little bit with getting an RSS feed set up on my website. I've uploaded an XML file with the information and links, but I'm not entirely sure it's working yet. I tried validating it on a couple validation sites. One site didn't like my code, the next site said it was fine, so who knows? At any rate the little RSS icon doesn't light up in my Internet Explorer 7. I don't have a separate RSS reader, so I don't have another source to try. I may have to download a reader just for the heck of it. I'll keep playing with it, just to keep myself out of mischief (like that's really a problem...).

Well, it's getting late, and I'm getting sleepy, so I'll mess with it later!