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Apple Computers Books/Library Life Weather/Nature Writing

At Least This: One More Dawn

I am but a pilgrim, a rather pitiful one at that, certainly not a sage. So when an isolated few pitch honor my way by consulting me and by speaking of my wisdom, I cringe, for of my extreme incompetence am I aware. I shudder, really I do, to consider what a mess this world is in if I am among the wise, except perhaps if it is understood that I am standing on the bottom rung of such a group. For I easily recall the thinness of the pool of wisdom from which I draw.

At least in one thing, however, do I admit to wisdom, that one thing being the acknowledgement of the wonder and the glory of dawn–the awakening to one more day on this earth.

From my unpublished novel, THE SOUL OF ABRAM CLARK

Fingers of dawn began their scribble over the dark sky, and the sun pulled up the edge of night so that paint of pink and blue filled the sky. Now between the trees could be seen the changeling sky, as its fresh self took to the day, its glow serving to note one more night’s survival.

. . .and from another chapter.

He moved along the trail and now a hint of rising sun played on the canyon walls, the inky blue of midnight having grayed to dawn. A watercolor pallet of sunrise threw its tones about the walls and the hues of the rock named the light and became burnt tangerine and creamy raspberry. Abram snapped the shutter of his camera with such rapidity the buffer filled and he must stop to let the processor catch up. By the second, the light changed and the monuments and temples of stone moved forward and backward as the sun rose ever higher, and shadows came, and then reformed.

Few persons had risen so early. The quiet trail led to a widening of the canyon where in a spot that claimed a panoramic view a bench had been placed. Abram sat. A haunting mood took him and he knew the throaty notes of a flute should whisper, or should be heard the plucked strings of a harp.

Then the sun tipped all the way over the eastern edge of the vista and the sky striped itself crimson. Ice glittered on the trees and a veritable world of magic had been struck.

——————

More than a year ago, I finished the first draft of this novel and made feeble attempts to get the attention of an agent and/or a publisher with no positive results. (My attempts were so feeble that, sorry to say, I didn’t even follow up on all leads I was given. ūüė¶ See I told you I’m not very wise.) Since then the book has been simmering in my mind, on the hard drive of my MacBook, and printed out on white pages, punched, and inserted into a leather binder. Today, I finished one more draft and believe I have polished the book to the highest sheen of which I am capable. The book is an excellent one, and I plan to try to get it published.

Would love to hear feedback from you!

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Apple Computers Blogging computers Culture Internet Macs Photography Social Uncategorized Writing

The Computer and I

They called me a bookworm–always have your head in a book–when I was a child, and I suppose I was, for I adored the library over on Central Street, and I recall many days as I walked home from school that I read as I walked down the sidewalk. I walked carefully, slowly, lifting an eye occasionally to avoid stepping off a curb unexpectedly or stumbling over a crack in the sidewalk. At other times, I read in the car, on the school bus, on the city bus, and at night after my dad made us go to bed, by beams from a flashlight, under the cover.

My parents taught me to read the Bible, and at youth group sessions, when we had “sword drills,” I was the fastest to find the called-out reference, because I was a reader. My sister and I were fascinated by tales we read in fairy books, and as we washed and dried the dishes from our evening meal, untitled (8 of 8)we acted them out, and then we made up our own stories. I don’t think I wrote any of them down, but if I could read them now I would probably see they strongly resemble something I had previously read. Every year from the school library, I checked out The Boxcar Children, and all the Laura Ingalls Wilder books, and that biographical series of Great Americans–orange and green colored, they were. One of our neighbors had every one of the Hardy Boys and the Nancy Drew books and she let me read all of them.

As I grew older I read newspapers and magazines and learned of such a fabulous thing as a thesaurus. And now, I read the computer. Oh, I still read books and magazines and newspapers, but there is nothing quite like a computer. I read the news, gossip, weather prognosticators, untitled (6 of 8)events taking place here in my mountains, church news, live streaming of church services, YouTube, concerts, hear from some of my kids and some of my friends, learn things, study how to write books, load my digital pictures from my camera, process them with Lightroom, study photography and understand how hard it is, write articles, write books, edit my novel The Soul of Abram Clark, learn about publishing and agents and fuss about in forums, and find recipes. I keep track of our personal banking. I “talk” to people around the world, post pictures for friends and am encouraged by sweet remarks from friends on Facebook, and hope to encourage them a bit. I make travel reservations, pull up our tax bill when I don’t receive a paper one, utilize Mapquest, and just yesterday I found the location of the nearest Subway to the Lighthouse Theatre in Redlands, then emailed the address to Holly and to Rebecca, for we will snack there on Saturday before we attend a performance of Miracle on 34th Street. And get this–right down at the bottom of my sweet Apple is a thesaurus. Amazing thing. I tweet. I blog. I learn of life . . . and I learn of death.

I suspect I am still a bookworm, and sometimes people say, “Shirley, I don’t know how you can stare at that screen so much.” Sometimes I hide, although it’s a bit harder with a computer than with a book and a flashlight.

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How about you? Are you a bookworm? Your face always stuck in a screen or a book or in a Kindle? I’d like to hear from you.

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America Apple Computers Arizona California Holidays Lake Havasu Life My Family Photography Uncategorized

Another One Comes and Goes

Today is my birthday, in some ways, a quiet, calm one when compared to the party my children threw me last year at Balboa Park–the finest party I have ever attended, surprise cellists a major part. Though quite different, today was equally wonderful, for I did a lot of thinking…thinking about how blessed I am, and how wonderful is my life. (You’ll see lots of pictures of last year’s party when you click on that link.)

Today’s activities started fairly early with children calling–a couple of them even singing a birthday song, then after Jerry and I lingered over coffee, I continued with my deep cleaning of the motor home by tackling the living area. I straightened the drawers and the cupboards, cleaned and polished all the wood and the windows, then on my hands and knees scrubbed the carpet.

After a shower and a change of clothes, Jerry and I drove to Needles, the closest California town to us here in Lake Havasu. Why? My drivers license expired today; tried to renew it on line and through the mail, but could not. Off to Needles, only about a 40 miles trip, I believe. Would you believe when I walked to the door of the office, there was a big sign saying they are closed now three Fridays out of the month. (Economy in the tank.) This was one of the closed Fridays. Rats!

We had eaten no breakfast, now we found there were few places to choose from in Needles, so we wound up in Denny’s for lunch, which really turned out to be quite good. Back in Lake Havasu, Jerry stayed in the motor home while I drove to the church where I had to do a little work, and to the computer shop down the street, where my little white Apple had spent the night. Last week as I attempted to copy pictures for Chloe, my Apple decided to swallow the disc into her deep inward parts. Could not get that disc ejected. Called a friend, read on line, followed instruction manual exactly, took out the battery, put it back in, turned the computer off, turned it on, ignored the Apple, glared at the Apple, patted the Apple, pled with the Apple, threatened the Apple–nothing. I had spoken by phone to the computer tech while we were in Needles, and he thought he would have to order a part. But voila, when I reached the shop, he smiled and said the disc had finally dislodged. Turned out that the disc, even though new, was physically damaged and had jammed, I suppose. Anyway, I was happy again.

Jerry took me to Shugrue’s, my favorite place in town for dinner, and it was wonderful. My pictures are not, for they are hand-held with no flash–a bit less than sharp, but you get the idea. I ordered a small steak, a salad with blue cheese dressing, and creamed spinach which was exceptionally yummy. Jerry choseDSC_0105 blackened salmon with a lemon/butter sauce. It also was outstanding. When we had finished eating and were just sitting looking at that striking bridge, our waitress came with a brownie, topped with a scoop of ice cream and a flaming candle. We both dug in.

Yep! Another one has come…and is nearly gone. I’m thankful for another birthday. I’ve had a wonderful life–much better than I deserve.

DSC_0112

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America Apple Computers computers Culture Humor Life Macs The World Workplace

Technical Guffaws and (Heaven Forbid) Cussin’

With my little white Macbook in hand, I sat on the couch this morning and roared with laughter as I read from this site. It dramatically reminded me of the hilarious piece I previously wrote about our computer problems and what I came to refer to as “Jerry and his sweet India girls.” It’s a hoot, I promise.

“On two occasions, I have been asked [by members of Parliament], ‘Pray, Mr. Babbage, if you put into the machine wrong figures, will the right answers come out?’ I am not able to rightly apprehend the kind of confusion of ideas that could provoke such a question.”
— Charles Babbage (1791-1871)

From Computer Stupidities

The following is a large collection of stories and anecdotes about clueless computer users. It’s a baffling phenomenon that in today’s society an individual, who might in other circumstances be considered smart and wise, can sit down in front of a computer screen and instantly lose every last shred of common sense he ever possessed. Complicate this phenomenon with a case of “computerphobia,” and you end up with tech support personnel having phone conversations that are funny in retrospect but seem like perfectly valid motives for wild machine gun shooting sprees at the time. You will read stories in this file that will convince you that among the human race are human-shaped artichokes futilely attempting to break the highly regarded social convention that vegetables should not operate electronic equipment. And yet, amidst the vast, surging quantities of stupidity are perfectly excusable technological mishaps — but that are amusing nonetheless. After all, even the best of us engages in a little brainless folly every once in a while.

Most of these stories are true. Some happened to me personally. Some happened to friends of mine. Some are considered urban legends, but even most of these are more likely to have happened in some form or another than not. Skeptics look at such stories and doubt their truth. But reason, common sense, and experience tell me that if you sit someone who isn’t computer literate (even a smart someone) down in front of a computer, you’re bound to accrue anecdotes no less outrageous than these. You’d be surprised.

* Tech Support: “Type ‘fix’ with an ‘f’.”
* Customer: “Is that ‘f’ as in ‘fix’?”

* Customer: “How do you spell ‘Internet America’? Is there a space between ‘inter’ and ‘net’?”
* Tech Support: “No space between ‘inter’ and ‘net’. It’s spelled normally.”
* Customer: “Ok. A-M-E-R-I-C-K?”
* Tech Support: “That’s A-M-E-R-I-C-A.”
* Customer: “I-C-K???”
* Tech Support: “‘A’ as in apple”
* Customer: “There’s no ‘K’ in apple!”

* Customer: “I was printing something.”
* Tech Support: “From before you called?”
* Customer: “No, from Word.”

* Tech Support: “Where in the building is your printer located?”
* Customer: “Middle of my desk.”
* Tech Support: “If I have to give someone directions, where do I tell them to go?”
* Customer: “In the middle of my desk where I work.”

I wish you a happy day; free of computer viruses, worms, horses, and from less than savvy people. ūüôā

Categories
America Apple Computers Arizona Blogging Books/Library California computers Culture Lake Havasu Life Macs Photography Recreation Travel Weather/Nature

Native Americans of the Grand Canyon

We had eaten a small breakfast at the spacious, high-ceilinged cafeteria near our lodge, then had taken the Rim Trail and walked to the middle of the village. We paused now for a gentle swing on one of the porches of El Tovar Hotel and I set up my tripod so I could take a couple of pictures of Jerry and me. In the distance you see the Hopi House. After a fine lunch as we were leaving El Tovar we heard the tom tom tom of an Indian dance; we walked over and joined the gathered crowd.

The man whose ornaments you see here was the emcee and was announcing the dance a young man was about to perform. He talked leisurely, in a casual across-the-fence sort of way, going on and on about the dedication of the young people during the summer, their study of traditions and lore and Indian dances.

It was very hot, and finally the stone-faced young indian turned to the emcee and, expressionlessly, did a spinning motion with his arms.

Amusement was perceptible in the voice of the¬†emcee as he said, “The floor is hot. He wants me to get on with the music.” He went on talking, though, about the rings and how the heat makes them so flexible it is hard to perform the maneuvers. It was an interesting interchange, although a little unnerving to me. I¬†think that may have been so because Indians usually present such stoic faces and their performances seem exact and regimented and the man, who was also the drummer and the singer, seemed a bit uncaring of the young dancer.

 

The young man was quite talented and performed flawlessly, it seemed to me. Using the rings, he intertwined himself, then stepped smoothly out of them; he arranged designs and signals, all in perfect rhythm to the music that was being played.

Immediately on finishing his dance, the young man went to the side of the stage and grabbed a bottle of water. It was so hot, I assumed he would lift it to his mouth and guzzle it down. No, he sat down, poured the water in his hands and began rubbing it across the soles of his moccasins. His feet must have been blistered. 

The American Indian communities surrounding Grand Canyon actively maintain their ancient cultures and traditions. They have long been associated with exquisite but functional crafts which reflect their close ties with nature. Fine collectibles created by native artisans began to be marketed to outsiders in the 1880s through trading posts they erected. Within driving distance of the Grand Canyon are reservations of Havasupai, Hopi, Hualapai, Kaibab-Paiute and Navajo. It is a fascinating area of the country.

We just had time to breeze through the Hopi House before boarding our train, and when Jerry asked one of the clerks if the building was original, she explained much of their history and handed him a small card with this information on it.

“Hopi House constructed in 1905. Designed as living quarters for Hopi artisans and as a place to sell Hopi crafts and souvenirs, this building represents the efforts of the Fred Harvey Company to revive Southwest Indian arts and crafts. Designed by Mary Jane Colter, the building was modeled after part of the Hopi village at Third Mesa, in Oraibi. It retains much of its original appearance.”

We were ready to walk to the long flight of stairs that led to the train station when I spied a van that was tastefully lettered “Grand Canyon Railway.” Jerry asked, the driver said, “Sure,” we climbed in and within minutes had been discharged and were now mingled with the crowd awaiting the boarding call.

###

IMPORTANT NOTICE: I am experiencing significance computer challenges and consequently am not able to respond to your comments as I would like. Last Thursday, my sweet little Apple crashed. There is no certified tech here in Lake Havasu, so it’s either a trip to Las Vegas or Phoenix or California. We’re going there in ten days, so I’ll take the little hurting white machine to be repaired while we are “home.”

In the meantime I’m using Jerry’s Fujitsu which has an aversion to the internet connection at our motor home park and also, at times,¬†refuses to type a y. I’m at the Lake Havasu library at the moment–Fujitsu likes it here and has allowed me to use its y all afternoon. ūüôā

I do appreciate your comments and anticipate reading them. I promise to respond when I can.

Patience, please.

 

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My devotional blog is here.

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America Apple Computers computers Culture Humor Life Photography Science & Technology

Click Here for Computer Screen Cleaning

Do you have a dirty computer screen? Over 11,000 people have clicked on this site for a personal computer screen cleaning. ūüôā You’ll love it! Money-back guarantee!

From Linein

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My devotional blog is here.

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America Apple Computers computers Culture Macs Science & Technology Social The World

A Skinny Apple Is a Good Apple

Yesterday, Apple presented its newest product, the MacBook Air, an ultra-sleek notebook computer.

It is extremely thin – at the narrowest point it tapers to just 4mm (0.16 inches), about the width of a pencil – and when waved about its aluminium finish gives it an almost blade-like quality.

Steve Jobs shows off the MacBook Air, the slimmest laptop in the world

But then there is this:

From Timesonline comes the report that Microsoft has applied for a patent for a software product that to many–including me–seems overly intrusive into one’s personal life. While I can’t imagine life without computers, and remain in awe of their capabilities, I don’t want a machine analyzing my frustrations and trying to “fix” me, even if it is on the job. Too much, I say.

Microsoft is developing Big Brother-style software capable of remotely monitoring a worker’s productivity, physical wellbeing and competence.

The Times has seen a patent application filed by the company for a computer system that links workers to their computers via wireless sensors that measure their metabolism. The system would allow managers to monitor employees’ performance by measuring their heart rate, body temperature, movement, facial expression and blood pressure. Unions said they fear that employees could be dismissed on the basis of a computer’s assessment of their physiological state.

The system could also ‚Äúautomatically detect frustration or stress in the user‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúoffer and provide assistance accordingly‚ÄĚ. Physical changes to an employee would be matched to an individual psychological profile based on a worker‚Äôs weight, age and health. If the system picked up an increase in heart rate or facial expressions suggestive of stress or frustration, it would tell management that he needed help.

The Information Commissioner, civil liberties groups and privacy lawyers strongly criticised the potential of the system for ‚Äútaking the idea of monitoring people at work to a new level‚ÄĚ. Hugh Tomlinson, QC, an expert on data protection law at Matrix Chambers, told The Times: ‚ÄúThis system involves intrusion into every single aspect of the lives of the employees. It raises very serious privacy issues.‚ÄĚ

Think about this and let us know your reaction, please. Do you think the good outweighs the bad in this product…or is this step taking it all too far?

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My devotional blog is here.

Categories
Apple Computers computers Internet Life Macs Social

Definr Extremely Fast

If I didn’t have an Apple computer–mine is a MacBook–which had a built in dictionary on the desktop, I would definitely consider using the Definr as my dictionary, for it is extremely fast. Check it out.

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America Apple Computers Friends Internet My Family Patriotism Photography Recreation RV Travel Social Travel Vacation Journal Weather/Nature

Durango Vacation Journal Wrap-up

The first we noticed was a man taking pictures of the truck parked next to us. “Wonder what that’s about?” said Jerry. We had pulled out from the Kit Carson RV park in Flagstaff around 7:00 Saturday morning, and at this truck plaza a few miles east of Kingman, we stopped to eat breakfast. Numerous people were running around snapping pictures, and it appeared that one man took a picture of our motor home, so whatever the nature of the event, it must have included vehicles other than 18-wheelers. After we had eaten, Jerry eased out of the lot, and we probably would have asked someone about the photography, but no one was close as we drove away. Anyone know anything about it? I-40 east of Kingman on Saturday the 15th.

Anyway around 11:00 we were home–well sort of–our RV home in Lake Havasu. DJs. The temperature on our outdoor thermometer showed 104 degrees. A breeze was blowing, so it wasn’t bad.

I have a couple of left-over thoughts from our wonderful vacation in Colorado.

I Need Hiking Boots

I wore white tennis shoes to do my “trail-work” and although the shoes perform well at home for walking and such, I found them inadequate in Colorado. They did not have enough grip on the soles. Once when I wanted to get down to some heavy equipment at one of the mines, I was a little nervous about the steep, rocky descent, but Berl said, “Here, take my hand. You can make it.” And I did, despite my slipping and skittering around a bit. When I climbed back up, I think I was so funny looking Lavelta took a short video of my struggle, and I saw Jerry standing at the very top with a sort of frown on his face. He’s gets irritated with me sometimes if I’m too adventurous. Anyway if I had hiking shoes like this, I would no doubt master mountain climbing.

We Saw Early Changing of the Leaves

It was amazing, but almost overnight the leaves started turning. Before we left, the Aspens had taken on that brilliant neon-yellow hue.

Wranglers are better than Cherokees for 4-Wheeling

Wireless internet service is spotty and often undependable when traveling. Sometimes it’s great.

 

 

 

Colorado is a beautiful, educational place to take a vacation.

I’ve done a fair amount of traveling, and I can think of no better place for a couple or a family to vacation than in the state of Colorado. Our trip was both stunningly beautiful and highly educational.

Having a camera to take pictures helps you to see.


Nikon D50

America is the greatest country in the world. How blessed I am to live here and to travel among its people and its other treasures. Meeting people along the way as we vacation is one of my greatest joys. God Bless America!

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My devotional blog is here.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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America Apple Computers computers Flowers/Gardening Internet Macs My Family Photography RV Travel Social Travel Vacation Journal Weather/Nature

Durango Vacation Journal Part 11

Pink and Black, originally uploaded by Shirley Buxton.

We fell into bed last night, exhausted from our strenuous day at Mesa Verde, but this morning we arose rested and fully recovered. It has been a “down” day for us, though, for we had business to tend. One negative aspect of vacationing in a motor home in which you already live is that it is hard to escape mundane day-to-day routines. I know the drawer in which I keep the bills and where the checkbook is, and I knew I had better spend a little time among such stuff if happy relationships with insurance and utility companies were to continue for the Gerald Buxton family.

It interests me greatly that as I dealt with the bills, while sitting in my motor home in Durango, Colorado, there originated from a Los Angeles radio station Dennis Prager whose voice spoke from my computer. At the same time, on same lovely Apple computer, I traveled to our bank in San Bernardino, opened up electronic pages of our checking account and computed figures. Amazes me.

So, after a leisurely start this morning, and a treat of bacon and eggs for breakfast, I tackled the bills. Jerry accomplished various tasks about the place, paramount among which was walking to the next door rig, sitting in one of Berl’s chairs and holding forth on who knows what subject. Another of Jerry’s crowning accomplishments for the day was the stretching out and careful arrangement of his body on a recliner situated pleasantly under our awning. Magazines and newspapers were at hand, as were cups of coffee and assorted other drinks. Once I went out and he looked up at me, grinned and spoke: “This is quite the life, you know.”

We did make one little jaunt in the car–to the post office, where I dropped into an official US post office mail slot the checks I had written earlier in the day. We drove a bit around the downtown area, then came home, cooked and consumed tacos. As Jerry and I stood around the outdoor grill, we looked across the meadow and saw the magnificent pink cloud you see above.

This butterfly was perched on these flowers as we visited a mine site on our return trip from Ouray a couple of days ago. The butterfly appeared tame, and hardly moved at all, so I was able to get very close to the beautiful creature. He looks to be woven of the finest silk.

 

View Shirley Buxton’s map

Taken in (See more photos here)

This lovely sunflower lives at the small farm near the glider airstrip down the highway. His elegant head is heavy.

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My devotional blog is here.