bits and pieces

When I treated myself to my new Macbook Air recently, I expected some transition issues as I moved programs and data from my older laptop to this new one.

Not surprising was the fact that Microsoft Word did not come across when I had the Apple Store make the transfer for me. It was only when I got home that I discovered this. (They could have told me!) So I dragged myself back to the Apple Store and tried to set things right. Also not surprising, this involved me handing over more money. No longer could I have a static copy of Word on my computer. In this new world order I must subscribe to the software. Microsoft will kindly keep my version of Word up to date for a “nominal” annual fee. Okay, so I have paid more than this fee a few times on dinner with friends, and there are some books in my collection that cost me greater sums. Still, I feel powerless, like I’m exactly where their craven capitalist hearts want me to be.

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The photo above is one I grabbed randomly from the 10,000+ I have on my computer. (Those did transfer properly from the old to the new machine.) At least I thought it was random in the moment I selected it. But it turns out to have a deeper meaning than I realized.

As you can tell, it’s one of the many masks we having hanging around the cabin at Roundrock. I took this photo nearly a decade ago, the the poor mask has faded a good bit since then. (It even housed a nest of hornets one year. Nice!) And all of that is fascinating on its own, but read on.

The work on my newest novel, which still only has a tentative title and no category on this humble blog, is racing along. It’s fantastic to feel as invigorated as I am about it. But it’s beginning to take on a life of its own. As the story progresses, I realize that I need to add this or that, chief of which have been new characters to carry part of the load. I had come up with one character who was going to be the main antagonist, but she had other plans. I don’t want to spill the beans (really, where did that expression come from?*) but she may be transitioning into the ultimate protagonist. And this story is becoming something like peeling an onion (an expression with a more obvious origin), with layers and layers I hadn’t realized. It’s a lot of fun, but I hope my creation doesn’t get out of my control. (The Frankenstein’s monster metaphor is not lost of me.)

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The holidays are now behind me. My out-of-town family visitors have all returned to their respective homes and my household is returning to what I consider “normal.” I managed to acquire a head cold from those sweet little virus vectors my grands are, but it is passing just in time for the new year at work to begin. We’re collecting things left behind by the Seattle gang, and when we’re convinced we’ve found it all, we’ll mail a package that direction.

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You may have done this yourself. Using the juice of a lemon as your ink and a toothpick as your pen, you write a super-secret message on a piece of paper that is invisible to the eye. Then your recipient holds the paper over an incandescent bulb, and the heat of it “chars” the dried lemon juice and the message appears. This being the 21st Century, though, who has incandescent bulbs in their lamps, right?

An alternative method is to hold the piece of paper over the flame of a candle, achieving the same result (though with a higher risk of burning the house down).

And so I am reconsidering the wisdom of sending such a secret message to my five-year-old grandson. (I have precautioned his mother.)

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Another outfit that may have me right where they want me is WordPress. I use the free version of the software, and for the most part, it is all that I need. But you may have noticed that the separators betwixt the subjects in posts like this one are no longer centered. Nor can I use asterisks as I did before (they change into bullets). Further, I don’t seem to be able to add color to the text, which was something I could do in the days before I upgraded the software.

I’m sure all of this would be resolved if I should buy the commercial version of the program.

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*Believed to have originated in ancient Greece where votes were cast with white or black beans dropped in a bag. If the bag was spilled, the outcome was revealed too soon. Thanks, Wikipedia!

Explore posts in the same categories: Ouroboros, Ramblings Off Topic, Rants and ruminations

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