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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Happy Wednesday!


I Just Woke Up!
And now I'm happy, happy, happy!
So it's Wednesday, and the Christmas cards went out in the mail (at least for those which are to be sent via the mail) today. Hooray! I picked up the pictures I'd sent off (electronically) to the drug store for processing on Tuesday, and I have to say that I'm pretty pleased with the results. They're not perfect, but they are about what I expected. So that's cool. And I will likely put some images from the little photo shoot up on Friday...since many (that I know who occasionally print images I put out there) will have received their cards by that time. :)

Short of that, it's been pretty quiet, though busy. It seems like there are several things to get done here this week, but it's been oddly calm. So I guess that's a Good Thing, since there's not a lot to mention that's gone badly. Tis the spirit of the season, I suppose.

I had something I wanted to ramble about earlier today, but I can't find my note about it, so I guess it'll have to wait. So I think I'm going to go read the paper and head for bed.

Until next time...
"Blessed is the man, who having nothing to say, abstains from giving wordy evidence of the fact."
- George Eliot (1819-1880)

--MZ

Monday, December 17, 2007

Oooh! Monday!


Happily Playing
She was just happy and content to be playing on the kitchen floor.
So this [title] was my attempt at bringing some life to my Monday night writing. Pretty sure I failed at it. :)

Today was pretty normal in many respects, at least until I came home. It was 'photo shoot' (for real) night, and we temporarily turned the living room into a photo studio for about an hour. All in the magic quest to get the 'perfect picture' of Kirstin at Christmas. It's what will be used for the picture to get sent out with the cards, etc.

I think we came pretty close to perfect. At least perfect given the equipment we had on hand. I have to admit, in looking at the picture now that the order has been electronically submitted (God Bless The Internet!), we really didn't do half bad. I was admittedly a bit nervous after some of the 'test shot' results from some stuff I'd tried a few days ago. The color balance was off, and I wasn't sure I'd be able to correct it...but after some tinkering (and a temporary light bulb change), it seems to have been resolved. I'm very happy with the end result.

So that took up an hour or better; by the time the order was submitted for prints (which I understand will likely be ready for pickup sometime tomorrow -- although it may be Wednesday before I have a chance to pick them up), about two hours had passed. Not bad.

I spent the rest of the evening with Beth preparing another gift for printing and also in getting the Christmas letter ready to go. So these are all ready to be printed; then we can get them out the door (presumably in Wednesday's mail). So another good project to have completed!

And that's about all that's new today. It's been a pretty busy day, really. At least it feels like that when one's evening has been filled with many interesting activities.

I just wish I could post the neat Christmas pictures up on Flickr...but alas, that will have to wait until a day or two after the letter go out...just to be fair (so some of the people that normally may download/print pictures from the site don't do that before they get a good print).

So, with all that said, I'm heading for bed. Until next time...
"Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth."
- Sherlock Holmes (by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, 1859-1930)

--MZ

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Another Busy Weekend


New Guitar String?
She was playing with a soon-to-be-defunct (as soon as I get enough time to finish installing the structured media enclosure in the basement) telephone line that runs to our bedroom upstairs.
So it's been a good and busy weekend, just like I expected. Several things have happened in the last days, so I'll just touch upon them here tonight.

For starters, I've been playing around with the new Flickr Uploadr. They officially released the 3.0 version of Uploadr last week, and I've been playing with it pretty much since its official release. There are several reports of strange behavior, but I've yet to discover anything major (short of a strange bug-like problem with the login and granting of permissions which has to happen the first time it's used) wrong with it.

To be quite honest, there are things I prefer about the old version; however, there are some significant things in the new version that truly trump the old one. For instance, I can do all my uploading in one batch now. This is mostly since I don't have to add all the pictures in a batch to a single group anymore. The UI allows me to do some very nice things (namely specify which pictures go to which set(s), rather than the entire batch to a single set). Overall, I'm quite pleased with it, although it's taking a little getting used to in regards to actually doing the titles and descriptions in this version. I have gotten so accustomed to the web form where that operation was performed that it's a little strange to be doing it right within the Uploadr now.

I might have to peruse and download an update to the Uploadr sometime this week, but I'm pretty happy with the additions. Go Flickr!

I spent most of Saturday doing two different things. For starters, I finally took some of the captured video from the last few months and burned it to DVD. Not as a backup, but as a 'finished' DVD. So I managed to clean out somewhere on the order of 8GB of video, so I should have enough room for doing some small capture projects this week without issue.

While the DVD material was being encoded and burned, I spent some significant time down in the basement doing 'phase two' of the voice, video, data wiring. I started out by finishing the voice distribution termination for the wire pulled to the basement. This now means that all the jacks I installed both upstairs and downstairs over the last year or so are functioning (for voice service). That's a nice project to have completed. I then bundled, routed, and cut to length all of the data and video cables running to the box. They're not yet terminated at the box, but the cable is all nicely routed to it.

As a random note, tonight's picture is an example of why I needed to get that voice termination done -- so this length of POTS wire could be removed (which it now has).

I need to do some more clean-up type stuff (I have to get a few more cable 'hangers' (they're just PVC conduit straps), but the basement looks much neater now that there's not bunches of unterminated cable hanging from the ceiling. It's like the project is actually getting somewhere now! :)

Once I do some more work down there, I intend to take some pictures of the finished work. That likely won't be for some time, though.

Saturday evening I sat down and watched the Celtic Woman Christmas special that I'd captured from PBS. It was quite good, as I expected. Lots of very unique harmonies and basically all the stuff I've become accustomed to hearing from the Celtic Woman group. They're quite talented, and after hearing stuff like that I return to strange dreams of becoming a professional vocalist. :) It's pretty awesome to hear stuff done like that and dream to be anywhere close to that good. :)

Today (Sunday) was quite busy as well. After church and our return home, I took a nap. Beth brought Kirstin up to nap with me, so [Kirstin] and I were both napping for a time. We went back in to town again this afternoon to do the annual Christmas caroling expedition, which was once again a good time. It was especially nice since there was a larger group of guys. And afterwards there was to be a potluck. Can't go wrong with a potluck!

By the time we got home (just after 8PM), Kirstin was well alseep. So tired that she didn't wake up when removed from the carseat, didn't wake up when taken out of her snowsuit, and didn't wake up when she was put in her sleep sack and put to bed. It's tough being a baby, you know. :)

And so that's basically how the weekend has gone. I'm trying to get a few things done tonight so that we can hopefully get the Christmas letter and all that good stuff out the door by, say, Wednesday. That'd be nice. Since most of our postal activity will be within the region, everything we send out should be delivered within two days...

Anyway, all that said, I'm about to head for bed...so until next time...
"Black holes are where God divided by zero."
- Steven Wright

--MZ

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  • One Gorgeous Daughter (Kirstin)
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