Dance of Life (poem)







Winging down
in around
the zoosphere
we find
a single
in fleeting forms
with itself
in separate mind
to know
what lies behind
its seeing.

This is probably around 30 years old. I ran accross it for the umpteenth time while looking for some particular song lyrics that I needed to digitize. It’s in weak pencil on poor quality colored paper, and wouldn’t be a good bet for long survival. But I can still remember the pleasure of writing it, and therefore thought that it deserved something better than a recycling bin.

I also found the sought-after lyrics, and got them on my hard drive with somewhat improved punctuation.


The image accompanying this piece is a product of Apophysys and The GIMP.



Published. On Smashwords.Yes, I did.

A Drum Is Empty is finally available to readers who have already waited too long. I also uploaded two short stories as freebies. You might say I celebrated Mother’s Day by giving birth to a litter of literature.

It was a day’s work. First, I had to make sure the manuscripts were formatted correctly. I was a good girl, I read the Smashwords style book. Then I slapped Word around for a while. Did Drum more than once from scratch to ensure clean formatting. Then there was the cover art.

I had taken some time previously developing the Drum cover. It only needed a couple of minor tweaks to be ready to go. The other two were hastily cobbled on the spur of the moment. I had to get up and take a photo of my hand for Grandmothers. By the time I got around to Tiwa’s tale, I was running out of steam. Obviously. Thank goodness for The GIMP in all cases.

Anyhoo, the “Meatgrinder” had no trouble digesting my perfect docs. I uploaded the short stories first, to get the hang of it. Then the Big One. It was fun to watch the process, the page refreshing over and over. Nothing like chocolate or sex, but a bit of a thrill for that first time. Yeehah, I had ebooks.



Kewarratiwa's Story

I had never intended to publish Kewarratiwa’s Story when I wrote it, but on looking it over one more time after a long hibernation period, I decided that it hung together well enough. I needed to read it again anyway. Tiwa is still a problem character, but I am coming to understand her better.

So…why Smashwords? Because I like how they do things. Because I loathe DRM. Because I could. I did it, and it feels good.

One thing that surprised me was how many times the short stories were downloaded in the first 24 hours. Not too many nibbles on the novel yet (and no sales), but I think I dropped my line into good fishing waters.

At least I finally got my bait good and wet 😉

The hack that wasn’t

I thought I got hacked yesterday. This line of text appeared — with no apparent cause — in a text file that was open but out of sight:

Cracked and cul De SAC and all will have some fun and this one th at a picnic

After finding no clues in any obvious way, I slept on it; modem and router unplugged, of course. Lying under my quilt this morning for some post-pee horizontal thinking, I went over my memories of events in the time between opening the text and being asked if I wanted to save it when I started to close it. The video player behaving oddly while the speech recognition software was still running…. I got up and performed some experiments. Uh-huh. The only hacker was in the movie.

I couldn’t reproduce the exact results, too many environmental variables, but oh teh lulz. That such a near classic neener line could result from a random series of coincidences. Must soak head more often.

i can haz program

File Memo header
I went into a programming frenzy yesterday. Couldn’t do what I wanted with what I had, so I downloaded  AutoHotkey. Found the commands I needed, and after a few near misses I had a wee proggy that worked, either by sendto/drag-n-drop, or through the context menu after a bit of registry diddling.

Then came the hard part. I wanted an idjit-proof installer so I could share this handy widget. Some easy-peasy install builders are pretty dumb about adding stuff to the registry — not deep enough for my baby. I didn’t feel like learning another scripting language before midnight either.

The one I finally decided to stick it out with was SSE Setup. Again, I found the registry part a mite sticky. Trial and error took care of that after never mind how many (un-)installs. But the worst thing was that SSE hates Vista! I had to do the compiling in a virtual machine. The completed installer is pretty slick. So far it’s been tested in Vista, XP, and 7. It is not for older winderz, though maybe I could adapt a version.

What the fluff is it, you ask. It’s called FileMemo. It plops down an empty text file with the name of whatever file you right-clicked to make it so. And what good is that, you ask. Well, have you ever downloaded something and forgot why and/or what it does, or wanted to find the site you got it from again? Or lay down a shipload of details about a photo without having to dig inside it or use some damnable “album” crudware? How about a file memo? A simple, system-independent plain-text file with a bit of info. Not bad, for what ended up being nearly two days work and enough frustration to stick my head through a wall.

It’s here if you want to try it out:

Download FileMemo


Note: Requires admin privileges, installs in C:\FileMemo with no options ’cause I wanted to keep it simple.

Buried Treasures

Amazing what one runs across when cleaning out surplus stuff. Also amazing what one never notices until…when one notices it. I rescued this old label some time ago from a box that had been used for storage since whenever. Then it knocked around here and there and was buried, until I dug it up yesterday and scanned it.

Today, I took a close look at the scan image while touching up the color. There it was. The street address of my grandfather’s gas station. Yes, the old postcard that I spoke of here does show it.

I don’t know why the package was sent there instead of to my grandparents’ residence, but it makes a remarkable contribution to my growing collection of digitized memorabilia. In all the stuff I have gone through over the years in this house, it is the only thing I can recall that has that address on it.

Old shipping label
Old shipping label

I’m sure that I will discover more occurrences of the address as the “house arcaeology” progresses — and plenty of other interesting things long shoved aside. I also dread finding them after they have been destroyed by mice, silverfish, and leaky roof. 🙁

A Bed of Roses

Minding one’s own business doesn’t pay very well.

I’m pretty quiet. I don’t have loud parties, don’t play a radio outside, don’t have a constantly barking dog.

Many of my neighbors do.

I don’t throw trash in my neighbors’ yards — although I may sometimes “return” something that I know is not mine.

My neighbors habitually toss cans, broken things, and sometimes tree limbs into my yard.

I do not vandalize my neighbors’ property.

My neighbors trample my fence, and one has cut my roses to the ground.

What a nice place to live is Sturgeon Bay.

It can’t be envy; I live so far below poverty level that I will never see over the edge. So what is it? Do they hate me because I’m not young and live alone? Is it because I’m not healthy and wealthy?

Is it just because I don’t make a lot of trouble?

Whodunit, IrfanView or the Windwoes Gremlin?

This is not a problem with IrfanView, but it is involved with it.

Something strange happened while I was browsing a folder of old images with some new work being added. There is one TGA file among the JPGs, PNGs, and BMPs. I noticed the image in the thumb viewer and made a mental note to go back to it. When I looked for it again, it didn’t seem to be there. Then I saw that its thumbspace was blank.

In a file manager window it showed the wrong icon, and when opened in IrfanView it was blank. It had been normal only minutes before.

A little investigation showed that the file type designation in the Windows Registry had switched from “IrfanView TGA” to “IrfanView SGI”. (I don’t even have SGI files associated with IV; I don’t have any.)

This must have happened while I was fooling around with the other files, because IrfanView was not blind to the file when I started.

The other odd thing is that after I fixed a few things in the Registry, IV sill did not display the file.

I rebooted to make sure the registry changes would be effective, and something else went weird. The window of a program that runs at startup was not showing. It had to be brought back on screen with a window hacking proggie.

I suspect Windwoes is having me on a bit. That is not a good sign. Is SilentBob getting delusional? Am I going to have to *gasp* kick some file and drive ass? Lordy, I’ve got a lot of gigabytes invested in this Vista monster. 🙁

11-05-21 update — still farked.

Well I’ll be dipped

I have Windows Live Writer sitting around doing nothing. So finally I decide to see if it’s good for anything. Turns out maybe it is. Smile


Anyhoo, that’s insomnia for ya.

Oh – drat – of course the bloody thing wants to check my spelling.

Worse than that – the only browser it knows is Idiot Exploder.


I need a new list in Twitter: People who don’t tweet. They make me nervous when they follow me. I suspect them of having suspicious motives. Well, some people on Twitter do have very suspicious motives. A few of them are stupid, evil slimeballs. It’s harder to figure out the 0-tweeters, and they make me think of 0-post forum members, who might be lurkers…or…hackers. Makes me nervous.

The 0-tweeple can’t be evaluated by their tweets. One has to poke around and stalk their followers and friends. That is irksome and time-consuming, but I am compelled to do it. I want to know something about the people who associate themselves with me. So, I will make a list, and put all the 0-tweeple on it. Then I can keep an eye on them ;).

When is a blog not a blog?

I don’t blog often, but at least when I do it’s my own content. Unfortunately, there are a shitload of “bloggers” whose only aim is to get as much traffic as possible, by any means possible. I assume that they are doing this for the sake of some sleazy advertising on their sorry moshblogs that I can’t see because I have pretty effective ad-blocking on most of the time.

Anhwhey, their shitty little lazy trick is to dumpster-dive for content in the sump-pits of content mills, resulting in a motley mix of copycat content. Try this: go to almost any blog that is posted on with great frequency and constantly tweeted. Copy part of a sentence from any post. Take it to Google, in quotes so that the entire string is searched for, not just parts of it.

How many results do you get for that string and all of the material surrounding it? Only the original(sic) blog? Odds are good that you’ll get one or more, sometimes many more; sometimes even the true original source.

This is even more fun when you can nail a distinctive typo or usage error. Pseudo-bloggers can’t be bothered to check the verity, much less the quality, of the content-farm garbage that they post.

IMHO this kind of blogging is just another variety of SPAM, spewed out over the Internet to clog search engines rather than dumped in our inboxes, forums, or blog comments.