Monthly Archives: August 2012

Testing tags in Word 2007

Anyone using Word 2007 to blog with? I’ve been using it for a few posts, but have yet to find where I add tags or keywords in to my post. Or does this software pick them out automatically? If automatically, where and how does it find them? If you know how, please comment on this post and let the rest of us in on the secret. Also, anyone ever get Microsoft and Google Blogger to co-exist. Neither from the Word 2007 on this XP machine, nor on my Windows 7 machine do I get to blog to blogger/blogspot. Seems that BlogJet or BlogDesk will have to suffice there.

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Posted by on August 17, 2012 in General


To tomorrow

Today’s been really hectic. My inbox felt like Grand Central station. Lots of requests that should be automatically obvious to the requestor, streamed in. Not a single line worthy of literary note. I can’t wait for my copy of ‘You send me’ to arrive. So today, I’ve had to put the reading on the side. Their lies the ‘Ordinary Genius’ – I still need to look up Kim’s list of poems. I’ve gotten into the book and gotten side tracked by Ginsberg and his ‘American Sentences’ – ever tried writing with only seventeen syllables. Today I wish ‘I can pull a towel over my head and tell you all the dark secrets’. But, I have to keep the machines secrets. Dark electric blue secrets – that kill the soul with no window to take flight. No beauty to be had. Logic isn’t beauty when polluted with business need. I want my window on the world to reflect the music of the word. Written words, smart words and big words dancing with little words, line on line – in musical lilting refrain. Open your soul to me I want to take a peek.

It’s been one very frustrating day. Little true progress, but lots of interruptions; much the same when you want to get into that new novel on your shelf – you open the cover, get past the first chapter. You’re hooked… then the phone rings. It’s a friend making small talk. The book is in your hand hanging limply against your thigh. You want back at it. You’re distracted and small talk is not on your mind. That kind of interruption was my day. So tomorrow, please leave the interruptions for another tomorrow. Not you tomorrow. Let your buddies know. I want my tomorrow to have a break to read some good writing. I need to get some chicken soup for the soul from the pages of a good book. A book about people – people in different places – people caught in situations – people offering distractions of a literary kind, in the pages of a book. Tomorrow I want to travel to places I’ve never been. Experience friends, lovers, family and old curmudgeons I haven’t met. I want to smile at their antics. Cry at their pain. Sit back and gasp at what happened and plough back in to see what will happen next. So, tomorrow, pretty please, with a cherry on top – NO INTERRUPTIONS!

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Posted by on August 16, 2012 in General


One small spat and you transform front room into Bedroom-in-exile

A borrowed line from Mr Ginsberg’s haiku, but it conjures with the mind. It takes you places where you remember. Remember the spat that started your exile to the front-room, pillow and blanket under arm, steaming with anger. Now you stare at the dark ceiling somewhere above you. The couch that you used to love, suddenly lumpy and uncomfortable, pressing into you as a physical reminder of what you should have said, could have said, said? A steam liner blast sounds in your mind. Were you ships in the night? Talking past one another? Talking for one another? What does: “you should know!” mean? Probably should not have asked if it was that time of month. How to know that insanity runs in her side of the family. Should probably have that self censorship circuit in the brain checked, ensuring the mouth is not engaged when the mind is turbo charged with the fight or flight response. Can’t fight her – Can’t live without her. Alone on the couch – the three year old is pouting. Don’t like being on the couch. The ego rears its head and you stay. The soft words that could get you back next to her just don’t want to come. They lurk in the dark, afraid of your steam. Waiting for father time and you think: “He’s a great healer, but a lousy beautician”.    

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Posted by on August 15, 2012 in General


Thrillers, Nightmares and other blood curdling goolies…

Today’s the birthday of Sir Alfred Joseph Hitchcock. This unassuming Englishman has single handed made shower curtains a reason to fear the shower. You lock the door when you take a shower, just in case someone wants to fillet you in the shower. You take an umbrella on a walk by the beach, keeping an eye out for any crows, or other skulking black winged beasts. What is it about this visual medium that has us running scared? That takes a book that gave us sleepless nights and turns it into a series of moving pictures that gives as day-mares as well. Between Hitchcock, King and Dexter we are leaping into bed, for the green thing in the closet, no under the bed, no behind the curtain… ok, I’ll write the rest by flash light under the covers where nothing can reach… oh no… I just remembered, Paranormal Activity, The TV film Paranormal Activity from 2007…. They can move sheets! Mommy! Suddenly the sound of the birds on the roof don’t sound so,… normal. Was that a bird? They have three toes,… so,… my mouth is dry. My eyes are burning from the computer screens glare. It and I are making this safe tent very uncomfortable. Maybe it wasn’t such a great idea to watch the midnight marathon of the Devil Inside. Come to think of it. The King novel on the bed stand… others… at least theirs no girlfriend in the house. Are your doors locked? Have you replaced the shower curtain with a glass door? Who did you offend today? Maybe that pile of feathers and hair in the corner of your porch wasn’t the work of birds nesting… tick-tock, tick-tock, it’s Hitchcock.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in General


First Blog Note from Word 2007

It took days. Days of trying new approaches to registering your blog provides in Word 2007, reading the web, searching the Google.

Finally the answer was revealed. Save your domain login and password in Word 2007 if you want to update your WordPress blog from within Word 2007.

So here is a simple note, to test if this was the answer. Never trust the Microsoft. Not all the way anyway.

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Posted by on August 13, 2012 in General


Grace Murray Hopper – the “grandmother of COBOL”

I got a series of articles forwarded to me on Grace Hopper. The article was written by Lisette Engelbrecht at ITWeb and titled “The Will of Grace” and is the life store of Grace Hopper. This, I found to be a very inspirational story for all people to read. Not only did she do what she set out to do. She did it in a time when the accepted consensus was that a woman’s place was in the house, raising children and taking care of the home. Having three nieces of my own and a sister that has achieved in her own right, I can only hope that more girls and young woman read this article and research the life of Grace Hopper. She sets the tone for a life of achievement without compromise. Everyone can take from this that they can each do whatever they put their minds to.

How many times have you heard that term? Have you given it more than a fleeting thought? How would you apply your mind? What would it look like? If you’d allow me this indulgence, I’d like to present to you my idea of what ‘applying your mind’ would look like. Read any treatise on achieving goals and you will find that you are told to break the large goal into smaller achievable steps, with clearly defined end points. End points that you can celebrate and in celebrating it, keep your focus and spirits up. Now, when you apply your mind to a goal, in this fashion, you will build a plan on how to achieve that goal. But, you still won’t know what the goal looks like. Some goals are simple. Mow the lawn. Rake the leaves. Take out the garbage. These goals, granted might not look like you need to specify steps to achieve them, but each has steps. For example, (1) get up of couch, (2) walk to garage, (3) take out mower, (4) check fuel and oil levels (not needed on an electric, but there you can check the cord for breakage), (5) take out wheelbarrow (or whatever else you put your cuttings in), (6) decide if your cutting the front lawn or back, (7) move mower to relative lawn, (8) start mower, (9) push mower in per-determined path/plan – you did plan on how to cover all of the lawn, did you not? (10) when grass box full, reduce engine revolution (on petrol mower), (11) remove grass box, (12) empty grass box, (13) check level of grass in wheel barrow… and on, and on… never thought there were that many steps in mowing the lawn. Granted this example is contrived, but you have to definite set points. Long grass to start with. Well mown lawn to end with.

Now if you were to plan a promotion at work. What would be the steps in achieving that? Can it be achieved? Are you working in an organization where you can contribute, meaningfully and be recognized for it? Who are your competition? What type of boss do you have? What would the promotion look like? Will you get an office and move away from cubicle hell? Or will you only change in title and still sit where you have for the last several days? All of these things are goal posts on your path to applying your mind to the goal. Only once you’ve thought through all these mini-goals can you reach your final goal. If you don’t know when you’ve achieve your goal, how will you know when you can stop. It is necessary for your own sanity and everyone that has to deal with you, to know when to stop. Only once you know when to stop, will you know what achievement feels like.

Since we cannot escape the human condition, we will adapt to the road we travel in reaching these goals. Along the way you will have to take out the plan and make adjustments. Companies change. Your job role changes. Your work load changes. Your home life changes. There are two constants in the universe, the burocratic mindset and change. Do not fear change. Grace had said in an interview with the Navy’s Chips Ahoy in 1986 “Humans are allergic to change. They love to say, ‘We’ve always done it this way.’ I try to fight it.” So when you catch yourself saying that, say: STOP! Change your mindset and find that other way of doing it. You will feel discomfort. It’s your minds way of keeping you save, but you have to train your mind in accepting new ways, by showing it that you are undamaged when doing it a different way. Here’s a simple technique for growing your confidence in change. On your commute to and from the office, see how many different ways there are to get at each destination. This will set you up in possibility thinking. Finding many possible ways of getting something done. The more regularly you practice this thinking the more adept you’ll become. The more adept the easier problem solving becomes. For after all, problems are only problems until you find the solution.

So go out today… set your goals. Don’t be scared if they are big or small. They are what you want to achieve. Then, set your stepping stone goals. Those smaller goals that keep your spirits up but take you to the end goal. Be the change you want to see. I look forward to reading how each of you have set your goals, how you set your stepping stones and how you achieved those goals.

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Posted by on August 3, 2012 in General


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I think I would have liked Mr Vidal

He’s acerbic wit appeals to me “A narcissist is someone better looking than you are.”, “The more money an American accumulates, the less interesting he becomes.” – wonder if he new any? Want to read some more of these quips, visit The Guardian – they’ve collected about 26 of them.

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Posted by on August 2, 2012 in General


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