Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Earth Day 2009

I remember the very first Earth Day in 1970. My Mom, sister and I were in New York City. It was a thrill to walk down Fifth Avenue - the middle of Fifth Avenue. Mayor Lindsay had Fifth Avenue closed to traffic between 14th Street and 59th Street for 2 hours. Manhattan ground to a halt. I still have my pin from that day. This is an important day. It's about the planet we all share. It's been entrusted to us. We really should take good care of it. So I hope that each of you will do something in the spirit of Earth Day. I'm going to turn off my computers for most of the day and garden.

Grape Hyacinth


Bob & Phil

More Grape Hyacinth


Centaurea Montana (Bachelor's Buttons)


Magnolia Blossom



So from all the plants in my gardens, Beatrice, Charlotte, Bob & Phil, Rocky, Rusty, me and the small humans, Happy Earth Day.

Friday, April 17, 2009

Spring Means...

"In the dark silence of her chambers low, March works out sweeter things than mortals know." This is a line from a poem by Mary Riley Smith. I don't recall the rest of the poem or to what the poet may have been alluding, but this has always been one of my favorite lines of poetry. I'd like to think that the poem refers to spring commencing in March. Spring is one of my favorite times of year for a lot of reasons.

1) I'm a spring baby so perhaps the season simply resonates with me on a molecular level.

2) My car is once again a functional convertible. The top comes down. I love to drive my car all the time, but especially after the winter.

3) I do not have to shovel any more of this (usually):

We had a lot of snow this past winter so spring is especially welcome this year.

4) I can play golf. I checked today and my favorite practice course is open.

5) The small humans would rather be outside than in the house. That means less mess in the house.

and, last and possibly most important,

6) I can garden again. There is nothing quite like heading into my gardens for the first time each spring and moving the dead leaves away from a plant and spotting that small first growth. It never fails to give me a thrill. I've cleaned up four of my seven gardens so far. I've purchased some new plants and have a few on order that will not arrive until next month. Spring also brings daffodils. See:

And the promise of more beautiful flowers to come:

Qwill's Qwestion: What season makes you the happiest?

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Tax Day 2009

Midnight is the deadline for filing taxes. Mine were finished a while ago and filed so I'm not really focused much on them today. But taxes for some reason make me think of the lottery. My state has its own lottery and is part of Powerball as well. Every now and then I indulge myself by thinking about what I would do if I won the lottery. So in no particular order:

1. Set up trust funds for my small humans. But they would not be able to get the money until they were in their late 20s and had finished college and had established some sort of careers.

2. Add a third floor to my house. I need a library room.

3. Hire someone to clean out all the unnecessary junk in the house with my supervision. I would point!

3. Renovate the kitchen in the house. The stove and ovens are original to when we built the house. They are avocado green. Enough said.

4. Take golf lessons from a really good instructor. Also get golf lessons for the small humans.

5. Visit all the places that I've always wanted to see. First up would be Sarawak.

6. Take golf vacations with the small humans.

7. Make donations to organizations that I support. Bigger then usual donations.

Not very interesting stuff. Maybe I just lack imagination or maybe I kind of like things the way the are at least for now. I did win $7.00 from Saturday's lottery. It paid for a new ticket and a cup of iced coffee. Exciting stuff.

Qwill Qwestion: What would you do if you won the lottery?

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Technology - What can't you live without?

Earlier this week the computer that I use for working on the website ( had a hard drive failure. Fortunately I am somewhat maniacal about backing up so I won't lose much if anything if the data can not be recovered. I back up to a stand alone hard drive and most if not all of the data is on two other computers in bits and pieces. I'm working from my notebook computer, which now has all the specialized programs that I use to prepare assets (screens and trailers) for upload to the site. So all goes on as usual. But I'm not happy.

As silly as it seems, I miss The Monster. He's a blazing Core 2 Duo machine, with 500GB of internal storage and a big big monitor. When I get him back in a couple of more days, he'll have 570GB of hard drive. I'm also having one of the DVD player/burners replaced with something a bit faster as well. I can't wait to start reloading the software.

This started me thinking about technology in general. When I was a young teen I worked with my first computer. It was an IBM 3 main frame. It took up an entire cooled room. Data was given to the computer via punch cards. My Palm Life Drive has more on board power than that IBM and it fits in my handbag along with its foldout keyboard. I remember my first home computer green screen and all. I also remember DOS and still like to work with it on occasion.

My small humans don't know what a record album is. I showed them an album the other day along with some 78s that belonged to my grandma. They were perplexed. They have iPod Chromatics. They'll never have to worry about records getting scratched or change the needle on their record player.

I still have my first cell phone. It's as big as a brick and weighs just about as much. It's analog. I remember how cool it was to be able to make calls from anywhere (that there was a signal). Now cell phones are ubiquitous and for some even replace the standard landline phone. I need to upgrade to a 3G phone but I'm waiting for something spectacular. For some reason the iPhone just doesn't do it for me. I need a phone that I can use as a modem for other devices. While I've been officially told that you can't do that with the iPhone, it apparently is possible. I need to check into that.

I do wonder though if we've become too reliant on technology. Do all these devices make things easier for us? Is being connected all the time really a good idea? Could I give up my computers and cell phone? NO! If I had to choose though I'd keep the computers and give up the phone.

Qwill's Qwestion: What technological marvel could you not live without?