Sunday, December 30, 2007

fun with pictures and music

okay students, this is a fun one.  This is like free play day or field day at school. 

It's probably always been on your pc, but you just ignore those cutsie little messages that the pc makers try to send you to get you to interested.  Don't lie to me.  You ignore that stuff just like I do.  You turn off those automated messages first thing.  So do I.

Let me tell you about this fun thing.  It's SOOOOOO easy!  You can make a movie!  It's basically a slide show put to music.  There is a windows program called Windows Movie Maker.  I didn't discover it until this mess began with my pictures.  So it may, or it may  not have always been on my pc.  Maybe it's new with Vista?  Maybe it's always been there buried under layers of other windows programs.  Who knows?  Who cares?  I found it now!   Dig around on your pc.  I found it when I was messing on windows photo gallery - which I never knew was there before.

It's so cool.  You put your selected pictures in whatever order you wish, you can add special effects, text, titles, music, video, narration and who knows what else.  And then you can burn them to cd and pass out to your relatives or send in email. 

Did I mention it was easy?  Trust me, it's easy!  And I think it's fairly intuitive, because I didn't real a single instruction and put together a cute little test movie of my marathon pictures.

This is so ideal for grandparents - so they can enjoy the year they missed and show off the grandkids to their friends - in a somewhat entertaining way.  I think it would be a wonderful replacement for those of us who are falling woefully behind in scrapbooks and can't even find the time to get pictures printed or digital pages made.

Now, you can probably do something similar in PowerPoint, but it's not something that I've tried.  I'm sure PP requires more time to figure it out.  I haven't used PP in years.  So maybe it's a more powerful tool?  You may could create something fancy in PP and add it to your movie?  If you're like me, you just want something fast and easy and looks good.

Have fun.  I know, that's not a lesson - but I never claimed to be a teacher!!  LOL!  I'm a facilitator.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

another technology lesson, this time for music

*sigh*  If it's not one thing, it's another.  Normally, you pay Walmart your 88 cents and download your song and away you go happily ever after.  Until your pc crashes.

Lesson #1: back up your music files if you really want to keep them and not pay your 88 cents again.

Lesson #2: mp3 files and wma files are similar, except wma files are protected so you don't go passing them around to all your friends.  Get mp3 if you can!!  There is a little license that comes with wma files that lets you put them on 1 pc and back up to 2 additional pc's and burn to 10 cd's.  I didn't know that, but I do now.  And I also didn't know that burning them to cd's does NOT copy the license with it.  You have to go through separate steps to do that.  Unless you have media player version 11, then just throw your hands up and give up.  The instructions were pretty vague on that issue.

Lesson #3: if you want to burn them to cd, it better be able to record audio files.  Did you know there were audio cd's??  Neither did I.  The instructions I read said to refer to the packaging to find out if you have an audio cd.  Yeah, mine says nothing.  I'm still pretty vague on this issue, so don't quote me on it.  LOL!

Lesson #4: if your pc crashes - it's too late!!  You should have done all this backing up before it crashed!  (let's review: put your photos on a "thumb drive" or memory stick and put your music (with licenses) on an audio cd or your backup pc. (lol on the backup pc concept!)

So, I've got all these songs on my mp3 player that I can never delete off of it, unless I want to pay my 88 cents again.

The up side?  All this messing around with music and photos has led me to discover some really cool stuff.  That'll be in my next post.    :-)

Friday, December 28, 2007

my digital pictures!! Ack!

I'm so upset.  I've been documenting my bc journey through photographs.  I've been very diligent in categorizing and storing my photos on my pc.  Well, my desktop broke a few months back and I paid big bucks to have all my photos on that pc copied to dvd before they fixed it.  I've been trying to access these photos.  The dvd just spins and spins and spins.  I can access my mp3 files fine.

I also have years of photos that I burned onto cd's.  When I try to access those, the cd's just spin and spin.  I think it's just too much on the graphics card or something.  I don't know what the problem is, but I do know that it renders these cd's useless.  My pictures are there, but I can't get to them. 

I don't know what to do.  I think in the future I will buy a memory stick and try storing my pictures on that and see if that makes retrieval easier.

I just thought I'd warn others out there who think they have safely stored their digital pictures on cd - they may not be safe after all!

Thursday, December 27, 2007


My heart just aches over the passing of Kim at "I shaved my legs for this?".

I don't even know what to say.  She was such a special person.  She loved her family with a passion, she lived life with much joy, she really celebrated the good times.  She knew that this was the time to live, and live she did.  With a full and present passion. 

At least this is what I gather from her posts. 

I've only been reading her journal since the fall of '06, shortly after I was diagnosed.  I think I found her journal by searching  on the words "breast cancer" in the AOL journals, and hers was the first to come up.  She was diagnosed just a few months before me.   She was so brave in that she shared her photos after her reconstructive surgery.  She'll probably never know how much reading her journey helped me.  Well, maybe she knows now.  I will miss her.  I know that sounds odd, seeing how we didn't know each other IRL.  But I always looked forward to her entries.

This year I walked the Komen in her honor, next year I'll walk it in her memory.  :*(

She's joining too many other BC warriors.  We've got to find a cure for this beast...


I just found out about another loss in J-land.  mzgoochi from Lahoma's Lament has recently passed away.  I know that she has gone through quite a few medical battles.  She also hasn't posted in a while.  I would read her journal on occasion and she would post a comment every now and then on mine.  She also left behind family.

Oh, what a sad, sad day.  Just heart wrenching.  :*(

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas wishes

Merry Christmas!!

I wish I had some super cool graphic, but alas, I don't.

My wish for you is a joyous season and a blessed and peaceful new year.  Good health and family harmony.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

more sad news...

Today in sunday school we got an update on Dotties condition.  She's the lady who has tons of kids and has metastatic breast cancer and I take them meals every so often.  She went to the doctor this week and the chemo is not helping at all.  Her liver numbers are quite bad.  So bad that they will not do another chemo.  They have one last chemo to try, but they said it would put her liver in failure if they try it.  I don't know what they are doing now.  She came into our class and she still has that same smile on her face.  I also saw her in the grocery store today.  The boys just love her.  I had signed up for another meal to take and told the boys they were going to help me with this one.  They want to make snickerdoodles for her.  :-)  I really admire her strength, but I know that she must have her moments in private.  She wants to live.  She said that today.  See, her mom is ill and has alzheimers and it's Dotty's wish that her mom passes before she does.  They are both Dorothy's, so she joked that we pray for her mom Dorothy to go home soon and for herself Dorothy to stay.  (it's okay to pray for someone to go home to the Lord)

Anyway, I've probably said too much already.  I feel like I'm gossiping, so I'll stop now.  But if you pray, would you please pray for Dottie.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

pictures from our camera

My boys spent the night with friends of ours the night before the marathon.  You will see Patrick, the bleach blonde curly haired boy, who the boys just love.  And his mom, Susan, a great friend of mine.  One of the infamous "vortex" moms and fellow Pokie Mom.  This group was my cheering posse.  I bought disposable cameras for all the boys.  This set of pictures is from our digital camera.  I'll post Jake and Ryan's next...

This is actually a picture from our digital camera taken by Gary.  I was so glad to see him because he had dry socks for me!  Yippee!  Do you see the two people in orange behind me.  The girl with the yellow bib is leading the man who is blind.  I saw at least two pairs like this on the course.  Amazing.  We're at mile 21 1/2.

Ah!  Dry socks.  My shoes still stink...

I'm off again.  Gary said it's too hard to spot me wearing white shirt and black shorts - that's what everyone is wearing!!  I'm on the middle right there.

Shortly after getting my new socks Gary spotted the vaseline crew, so I stopped to grease up my tootsies.  This is my cheering posse.  Susan is showing me the poster they made.  That's Ryan in red.

Off again, shaka brah.  At mile 22, you can see the mile marker in the back.  And in front of that mile marker are bags and bags of ice that people are sitting on!  So funny!

Coming down the home stretch.  Notice that I'm not paying a whole lot of attention to making a fast finish.

I'm in the finish there somewhere behind the orange shirts.  You can't see me.

I've been lei'd.  Twice.  Notice my Ford wings tattoo.  One of those breast cancer awareness thingies.

All done and back together with my posse.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

the Honolulu Marathon results

 (photo courtesy of Star Bulletin)

I did it!!  At my goal time too!!  Look at the crowd.  Yes, it was that crowded.  Over 27,000 people.  I placed 13,679 - so I made it within the top half!  And notice, not all the people are running.  LOTS of people walk. (lots of people shuffle and drag themselves too)  If I can do it - YOU can do it too.  You just need to train for it.  The training is so much better than the actual race.  Wearing the finishers shirt is the BEST.

My clock time was 6:59:40, but my chip time was 6:32:29 - which is what counts.  Because it took us 27 minutes to just get to the starting line.  Us slow folks who are honest are grouped in the very back and you shuffle and stand and shuffle and stand until you finally make it to the start.

I won't talk about the port-o-potties, they were disgusting.  Almost lost my cookies the two times I took a break.  Let's just say, yes, ladies CAN use urinals when push comes to shove.  <wretch>

We all got soaked from the downpours that happened before and during the beginning of the race.  So, we had trench foot.  I was terrified of blisters.  Thank goodness for technology.  I called up Gary and he met me at mile 22 with dry socks.  I had my spare shoes at the hotel, so he couldn't get them.  I ended up with blisters on 7 of my toes, but very manageable.  During the race I was ready to call the doc for toe amputation.  LOL! After the race, we practically had to stop suddenly, because the field was soupy mud.  Delicately picking your way is very dangerous.  I almost passed out twice.  I needed to MOVE.  My legs seized up and had extremely bad pain on the top of my right foot.  I think it was a tendon problem.  It took me about an hour to walk the mile to my hotel!  I'm all fine now.  Just a little sore and stiff.

There were quite a few people dressed up in crazy costumes.  One guy did the whole race backwards!  (I passed him)  I saw a couple of blind people being led.  We have a picture of one and I noticed that the girl leading him didn't have a bib.  Was she not registered??  She deserved credit for that!  I saw one girl pushing a very, very old lady in a regular wheelchair.  One lady worecapris, a straw hat, makeup, and carried a purse.  LOL!

I'll post pictures when I get a good one.  The ones Gary took I look like a maniac.  Crazy smile on my face.  I was determined to have fun.  I grumbled a lot at the beginning (due to the slowness), and gave myself a little kick in the rear that this was my long awaited event and dang it I was going to enjoy it.  So I changed my 'tude.  Hooted at the well-wishers, cheered at the big mile markers, sang with my mp3 player, and mugged for every camera I saw.  Shaka brah!

Friday, December 7, 2007

what a week - moving and marathon news


I've got my bib.  I need to pack.  I need to put gas in the car.  I need to freak out.  I need to get a decent night's sleep.

I'll need to throw up if I get any more excited.

I picked up the packet yesterday.  As I was on the road, in front of Ala Moana park, I saw the no parking signs propped up ready for the weekend.  Then I looked to my left and saw the orange street signs stacked up waiting for the race.  I started crying.  What a sap.  But finally we are approaching the moment I've been training for for a year.  It's my "take that!" to cancer.  Komen race didn't phase me, but this, I'm gonna be a basket case when I cross that finish line.


Where are we moving next??  Good question.  Last week the placement officer gave Gary a list of jobs.  Gary suggested to him staying, but he seemed reluctant since he had someone picked for it already.  So Monday Gary told him we choose the JAG school in Charlottesville.  Seemed okay.  Told the boys and got them on board and excited about it.  We even had a lead on a house.  But, as per typical of our military experience, they informed us yesterday where we were actually going to be.  We're staying!

This is good.  It actually took me getting my brain focused on moving to realize how much I actually would miss it here.  I've been teary all weekend.  And now, we are staying!  THat's great!

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

windy again!

I was looking through my archives to find out when it happened last year - it was January.  We are having a major wind storm again.  Just like last year.  Except, according to the (overreacting) news people, it's the worst ever!!  LOL!  It really was bad last night.  I didn't sleep a wink.  All the windows were closed in our house, but you know how airtight these houses are (not).  The verticle blinds in our room banged all night long.  I finally figured out how to rig them to not bang and after 2:30 I finally fell asleep.  This morning when Gary was going to leave, he called to me.  The garage door had been bent inwards.  Just by the wind.  Nothing had slammed against it!  It's cracked down the center and it takes a couple of people to get it to go up or down.  So I made Gary move the car out before he left, just in case the thing decides to fall.  We have an octopus tree that I've been wanting to call the landlord to come prune - well, nature pruned that sucker!  And, only 3 oranges fell off our orange tree.  Now THAT made me laugh.  I was certain that the tree would be bare, and the neighbors would be angry.  The tree has at least a hundred oranges on it. 

All in all, we fared well.  But school has been cancelled for today.  Lots of roads are closed.  Right now it is very calm, but they say more wind is to come.

Last night I was at my cooking class - I took desserts this time.  And the power went out on us.  We were expecting it and raced to make our desserts.  We made a ton!  It was so dark in the classrooms.  Some ladies actually had little flashlights in their purses!  i flipped open my cell phone to get a little bit of light.  They eventually sent some people from the office with flashlights to escort us to our cars.  This morning I read online that a palm frond had slammed into a power line, cutting out power for 1600 homes.   The neighborhood we live in has all underground cables - very chi-chi.

We have no television service, but the cable is working for the internet.  Weird.  I don't expect all this power to last all day, so I'm going to shower now.