Adventures in Retirement

Lifestyle

What’s happening…

Hi! I put aside blogging for a while and have spent the last couple of years playing around with some really neat 3D software — Poser. Still learning to use all the many features included in the software, such as animation. I love this stuff because it’s like having a photo studio in a box. The models are tireless and don’t ever complain. I can swing around and get different views of the same subject, zoom in for closeups, pull back and get more of the set/background. It’s so cool. Check out My Poser Place for examples.

If you’re interested, check out http://poser.smithmicro.com/, but search for an older version like Poser 7 if you want to try it out for a much reduced price. [See Amazon on the Blogroll to the right.]  The current version is Poser 10, just out recently, but Poser 7 will do you proud until you decide if this is something you really want to pursue.  There is also DAZ Studio 4.6, which is free.  It’s similar to Poser.  It’s currently available for free; however everything else is not — characters, clothing, props, and sets.

I’ve had a book rattling around in my head for the last ten years. I was sort of thinking about using Poser to illustrate it — if I ever get it written. LOL

Until then I’ll keep working on learning lighting and storytelling and posting the more interesting results of my groping in the dark.

Comments and constructive criticism are welcome.


IE8 SUCKS! Argggggghhh!

This is an angry blog entry. Read no further if that offends you.

"Don't hold my computer hostage, you bitches!"

Internet Explorer 8, or as I call it, “Aiyeeeeeee-Hate,” has completely screwed up my Internet experience, resulting in my messing up Firefox in an attempt to find out what was screwing up IE8.  Now I’m having problems with both browsers.  I am so frustrated!!!  Four days of effort and still no joy!  And everybody keeps giving me the same worthless advice.

“Hey, your wagon isn’t working right?  Let’s try to reinvent the wheel all over again.  Go back to the very beginning — take all the wheels off and start anew.  Then we can put a whole new set of wheels on your wagon and it will go again.”

F**k you, Microsoft, and the horse you rode in on.  The problem lies in IE8 — something you changed!

1) IE8 cannot seem to display web pages I have been going to for the last 4 or 5 years (or more).  WTF!  Why are we having a problem suddenly after updating to IE8?

2) IE8 seems to have been sent out without all the security certificates it should have included, because suddenly since updating to IE8, I cannot log in at my bank (a secure site).  I get a message that roughly indicates that this may not be the site I think it is, and the safest thing to do is just close the web page.  (But it’s my bank, the address is correct, and their VeriSign security certificate seems to be in good order.)  There is another secure site that behaves in the same way, but not all secure sites are warning me off.  [Have you ever locked yourself out of your house or apartment? Doesn’t it make you furious?  Doesn’t it make you want to scream and dance up and down and wave your arms about!  I’m doing that now!  My husband is busying himself in another room until I cool down.]

3) Trying to publish a blog article has become so excruciating that I just want to throw something, and I’m really not that kind of person.  I love my things way too much to want to break something.  In both IE and Firefox, trying to upload a file to WordPress.com is next to impossible.  You follow the directions and it looks like it might accept the upload after a very long time, but then it throws a blank, white page in your face and you don’t know if the upload was successful or not.  If you try Refreshing the page, it takes you back a page to the beginning of the upload process.  Then you have to start the upload process over again.  [Insert scream here.]

One night this last week, I sat in front of my beloved computer with a stopwatch in one hand, the mouse in the other hand.  I finally got a picture uploaded and in place in the article and pressed the Publish button.  By the stopwatch it was 13 minutes and some odd seconds before WordPress announced success, that it was actually published in the wee hours of the morning.  I had been working on it since about 10:30 in the morning.

What this experience has taught me so far is that I REALLY don’t like Microsoft’s attitude toward the typical user. They seem to say, “You’re too stupid to manage your computer by yourself, so we’re going to do it for you. Just ignore the men behind the curtain. While we help ourselves by gathering information from your machine, we won’t hurt you — MUCH!”

I am not a rank beginner. I am not a child. I am a free woman, old enough to be someone’s grandmother. I will not be folded, spindled, torn, stepped on or shoved into a corner!

I bought the computer.  It belongs to me.  I reserve to myself the right to control what happens to my computer and to veto any suggestions made by a well-meaning advisor if I think that is appropriate.  I will listen to advice.  (May not take it, but I will listen.)  I am open to being taught by a teacher or mentor.  But I will NOT be treated like an errant child.

Time to shop for a new browser! The reviews say Opera is blazing fast….


A New Direction

Now that the election is over, perhaps we can spend some time trying to heal our people’s frazzled spirits, our country, and our world.  So let’s think about living in homes that cost little to maintain, that are heated and cooled by natural resources — the sun, the earth, the rain.

Several years ago I ran across my first Earthship via the Internet.  The idea is logical and solid.  The benefits are many.  If we could put to work some of the younger out-of-work folks to build homes like these for folks who have no homes, it would help the homeless, give work to a lot of people, gives folks a self-sufficient home with little or no utility bills and, depending on financial arrangements, perhaps no mortgage. Kind of like a 21st Century WPA program.

The videos at Earthship.net will show you the basics and give you a feel for the aesthetics of Earthships. The underlying principle is recycling our trash and found items and using our natural resources in the most efficient way to create homes that are functional, comfortable, and cost less to maintain.

To get more detailed information on cost, floorplans, and instructions, please visit www.earthship.net


Right to the Point

I discovered a talented poet over at Pemmican Press and have included a sample below. I’m not very good at writing poetry, but she touched me with a subject that is both mundane and ordinary and, at the same time, universal. Especially right now, during such tense political and economic goings-on.

I can see this one from both sides because I’ve been each woman at different times in my life. Thought you might find it as interesting as I did.

Grocery Shoppers

Grocery Shoppers

Juleigh Howard-Hobson

Standing in Line Next to The Lady in Pearl Earrings

Yeah, I know, we’re what you’d probably call
Worse for the wear right now, with our scuffed shoes,
The boys’ hair a shade too long on them all
(Jeans a little bit short, though, so please choose
Which one offends you more: too long, too short
We’ve got em both for the price of one today).
Shopping cart full of rice, beans, day-old bread
No organic tomatoes, no line caught
Trout, those things don’t go on sale much, we’ll pay
For some ketchup and tuna fish instead.

When stores like this one have coupons for them
(And even this store, with its wide aisles of
Pastas and wines, this store will up and run
A pretty decent sale on all the stuff
Most of us working poor use: milk, oats, cheese
Orange juice…). Then, we’ll stand right beside you
In line, right beside you, while you wrinkle
Your nose. We’ll take out our big wads of these
Coupons: dollar days! and buy one, get two
And we’ll smile, while you send us looks to kill.


About

A sunny spot in my garden I am a keyboard jockey, writer, and amateur photographer currently working on a SciFi book and compiling photographs for an inside-the-photographer’s-head coffee table book. I live with a husband, three dogs, and two cats.

I had intended to use this site to display some of my photos and reflect my vision of Houston, Texas and the state of the wider world. Then I got laid off in July of 2007. So my priorities have changed.

After spending an inordinate amount of time looking for a job, I felt it was necessary to take early retirement so my husband and I could both pay the bills and eat.  I had been looking for work as a general, legal, or medical transcriptionist and was getting my home office up to snuff in preparation for transcribing from home.  Wading through the job offers and ads on the Internet was a real eye opener.  Most of the ads for work-at-home jobs are complete and utter bullshit.  I want a job, not an “investment opportunity.”  And I refuse to pay money in order to get a job.  So I retired just 2 or 3 weeks after the first Baby Boomer to officially retire.  Now my hubby and I are spending time blogging and working towards a better tomorrow.

It’s not my intention to flame people, deserving or not. But if I get cranky about being unemployed, I reserve the right to blow off some steam. If I see an injustice, I’ll bring it to your attention.  If I run across something hilarious, I’ll point you in that direction.

Everybody vote and Turn Texas Blue!