Friday Five and Computer Fun! 9:28 a.m. 2003-12-05 Current Listening: Island of the Blue Dolphins by Scott O'Dell
Current Reviewer:
Recipe of the Day: Crock Pot Sauerbraten, Mexican Chicken Casserole, Berries Au Gratin
Advent Calendar of the Day: Dec. 5 : The Vette Saga- I wasn't sure about that one, but it's a story with pictures, and when you click on the book, it is supposed to give you a Christmas fact. Cute - in Swedish and in English!

I haven't done the Friday Five for a while, and this week, there is not a new one. So, I will do last weeks' questions.

1. Do you like to shop? Why or why not?

I love to shop - but it depends upon what I am shopping for! As far as clothing is concerned, I have to be in the right mood. I am impatient of department stores usually, but will spend hours at a thrift store, patiently picking through sweaters and shirts, looking for a new garment. I generally do not like to shop for shoes - I am not one of those "shoe women."

I love to shop at stores like Pier One, Cost Plus World Market, and other ethnic or funky gift stores. I also love to go to the Market on Mean Street (which is this weekend), because there are unusual arts and crafts gifts to look at. I love book stores, stationary stores, Office Depot... I can find all sorts of things to buy at Office Depot! My weaknesses there are papers and organizational items. I also love Costco - it has all sorts of things, including food!

Speaking of food - I have often tried to pass along the chore of grocery shopping to my husband, but I really love to shop for groceries. Admittedly, going to Publix is not that exciting, and I actually should just give him the job of buying staples like orange juice, milk, cereal, yogurt, soft drinks, and sandwich fixings - he is the one who usually consumes those things. I like to go to the Farmer's Markets, Costco, and to the ethnic markets in the area and plan fabulous things to eat for dinner (or right there!).

I generally start shopping for Christmas around June or July. If I go on vacation, I look out for great gifts to save for Christmas giving. This year, I had to lay out all of the things I had bought, so I could see what I still had to buy. I don't have much more to get!

2. What was the last thing you purchased?

Literally? A Hardee's smoked sausage, egg, and cheese biscuit. But materially, I just wrote a check for a faculty sweatshirt.

3. Do you prefer shopping online or at an actual store? Why?

I usually only shop for books online. The Amazon Z-Shops are great. Often, if I can delay gratification, I can find a used copy of a title that costs even less that Costco - including shipping! I have done some E-Bay shopping, but auctions can be disappointing and frustrating - or scary if you overbid!

When I am in the mood for shopping, I like going to an actual store. There, you can see and touch the items and buy them right there, if you want. As I said, I am all for instant gratification.

4. Did you get an allowance as a child? How much was it?

I suppose I did - I don't remember exactly how much it was. I do remember looking forward to letters from my grandparents - they usually would send money. I tried earning money by selling Christmas cards, babysitting, and even by trying to raise earthworms (darned worms kept escaping, though!).

5. What was the last thing you regret purchasing?

I can't think of anything - except for the $23 oil change at Express Lube that ended up costing $117 more two weeks later when I found out that the technicians had forgotten to put the oil cap back on. The damage could have been worse, but the Toyota people assured me that my car had only lost about a cup of oil. The $117 was for another oil change, a new cap, and steam cleaning and grill to remove the oil that was seeping out. Express Lube refused to pay me for the damage repair, because I did not have the receipt (In a fit of uncharacteristic tidiness, I threw it away with all of the trash in my car...). Needless to say, we won't be taking our car back there!

In the morning, when I log on, I still have my Homepage set to Diary-X, because that is where I first had my journal. I still have a private journal there, but rarely write in it - but I like the startpage, because you can see your favorite journals listed, as well as a list of updated journals to explore. My interest in reading new journals comes and goes. I like to look at layouts and design, as well. Last month, I really got pulled into some sick journals, so I had to stop for a while.

But, today, I tried a few new ones. I just got finished reading a very insightful entry called Digital Diarism by mercredi - I clicked on it because it was French! It is very interesting how much we journal keepers ponder the "audience" - if there is one! I had let go of my "stats-whoring" tendencies for a while, but will probably get into it again soon. It's just so tempting - and, why have a public journal if no one but you reads it? Here is another entry, entitled Why Not? by leger - again about the purpose or futility of posting a public journal.

I also like it that people do worry about content - at the moment, I am trying to write every day, so my entries may seem mundane to others. Also, I have to accept that other people are not interested in the same things that I am. That's okay! I have to resist the urge to refer friends and family to certain entries, but it does serve as a shortcut to communication. After all, with the advent of e-mail, few people write snail mail letters anymore (with the exception of my father). At least I am making an effort to communicate and stay in touch!

Last night, after flaking out for a bit, I roused myself, heated up bowls of frozen gumbo for us to eat for supper (bad luck on the salad - I didn't feel like sifting through the mushy leaves to salvage the fresh!), and went up to watch "must-see TV." I worked on designing business cards for Tiedyefor Designs, the business I am thinking of starting on CafePress.com. My husband got in on it, and we stayed up way too late trying to download my cards to a template from Avery Products. I love my cards, though. I used some of the graphics that I use on this site (borrowed, I know - but this is not for sales, it's just for decoration!).

I spent some time during the day, learning how to print out transfers of my two t-shirt desins. I was very frustrated, because, although it is fairly easy to flip a picture, it is not so easy to do so with text (you do realize that, if you don't flip things, then your writing comes out backwards?). Although we had done a transfer on bags for InTech (teacher computer training), that was years ago, and I hadn't done it since. I placed a call to my husband, who said he would need to see what I was trying to do to help. I then called Avery Products, who manufactures the transfer sheets, and they were not helpful - they referred me to Microsoft Tech Support. I called them, but when they asked for my registration number, I hung up - I didn't have time to try and find that.

So, remembering what my techie husband does when faced with a computer problem he can't solve, I typed my question into Google. Sure enough, I found a posting that gave the solution. I found out that the "flip" or "invert" is a printer option. After one false start, I did it! I am having so much fun with this. I am even thinking of designing t-shirts for Christmas presents for all of my family members! Now, I have to search for sources of t-shirts and other items to iron the transfers on! Fun, fun, fun!

Tonight, I actually purchased tickets to attend the faculty Christmas Party. It is being held off-campus, at a Spaghetti Warehouse, at 7:30. Instead of my driving all the way home, only to come back, my husband is going to feed and walk the dog, and meet me on this side of town. I may go see a movie first - I have got 4 and 1/2 hours to kill!

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Tiedyefor 2003