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      Wednesday, October 15, 2014

otherstuff
07:17 PM - 10/15/2014

The topic: Went to CostCo late this afternoon

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Getting low on stuff. Got a bag of yellow onions, some bread, cheese, Brian picked up another pack of shop towels, the total was under ninety-five dollars. Great, right?  Well....

I also had to pick up my prescription stuff that I have to take before my "procedure" next Tuesday. When the clinic first called about it, I requested generic because this stuff was sixty-five bucks when Brian got it a while back. The woman I spoke to said she thought it was around eighty dollars now. Holy crap, right?

So, I wait in the pharmacy line while Brian finishes shopping. Next in line, I give the clerk my name. She brings out the box. It's not generic. I can tell. I said something about having requested the generic version. I asked how much it was. Around eighty dollars? She looks at the paper and back at me. Shakes her head. $103.00. Seriously? She checked on getting generic, but it seems they can only sell what the doctor requests. They can't substitute this stuff. She asked if I had insurance. I said "yeah" and called Brian over and got his card (mine is just a slip of paper and his is much more professional looking). I handed it to her and she walks into the back with the bag.

She comes back.  "Who is Patricia?" 

Thanks, mom and dad. See, dad didn't want me being called "Pat" since that's a boy's name. So, we'll just call you by your middle name and cause you major confusion throughout your entire life. It will make banking and legal paperwork a spitload of fun. You're welcome. (And this is why most of the stuff that IS legal is by my full name, no initials.)

"I am. Patricia Dianne. Would you like to see my license?"  She shook her head. She walks away. She's gone a few minutes, and comes back in.  "Eighty dollars and seventy-eight cents."  Well, that's a little better. It would buy us a meal. She tells me "you'll need to speak with the pharmacist". Really? Do I ever get to go home?

I follow her down to the pharmacy window. She calls out to the pharmacist. He walks over. He looks at the box. He said "when you take this, stay within one room away."  Okay, stay close to a toilet, I get it. "And make it the night before so it will be really cold. Cold icky stuff is better than icky stuff." 

And that was the extent of the pharmacist discussion. Since my "procedure" is in the afternoon, I'll drink one liter of this stuff Monday night, the other half Tuesday morning. As well as taking a Dulcolax tablet with each liter.

I'm glad this isn't something that needs to be done every year.

Meh.


      Tuesday, October 14, 2014

geekstuff
07:54 AM - 10/14/2014

The topic: I don’t know if this would be

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 Categorized as geekstuff. I think a better category would be stuff I have too much fun with that wastes a ton of time. But it is kind of geeky, so we'll just put it here.

Over on the forums at meh.com, people use a lot of GIFs. A GIF (Graphic Interchange Format) is a little animated graphic. Like a cartoon. When I first came online and eventually  started playing with graphics, GIFs were mostly rotating banners. A series of images showing one after the other. Back then, you didn't see a lot of real life movies in the GIF format. They took up quite a bit of bandwidth (back then we spoke of kilobytes, not terrabytes, my first computer wasn't even a full GB). And the more bandwidth, the slower they loaded.

But now that things are way faster and there's a lot more bandwidth allowed, GIFs are no longer a big deal. Lots of little snippets of film and stuff, in the repeating, looping mode. The same thing over and over.

At the meh forums, I realized that I could make my own GIFs! I've always had the capability, but I used it for making banners (like the one for Fit Rite that shows up on the tractor forums, the ones where we pay for advertising). But I have a lot of little cat movies that might lend themselves to cute GIFS. And yesterday, I tried my hand at making them.

First I tried re-installing an old software program I'd bought. It ran, but I couldn't activate it to remove the company's watermark. They are no longer in business. Damn.

Then I found that one of my other programs, my go-to programs for video, AVS4you (you can buy a bundle that has ALL of their programs for under a hundred dollars and you have lifetime upgrades...one of the best deals I've ever come across in my time online) has the capability to convert to GIF. I tried it out and I liked the result.  Now that I knew I could do it, I opened up my Corel Video Studio VI Ultimate (I have version 7, but my older NewBlueFX plugins don't work properly with it, so I don't use it) and found the movie I wanted, saved it in AVI format and converted it with AVS4You video converter.

For my first GIF, I chose the California Screamin' video, the one where the coaster goes around the loop. The one that I edited so that it looks like it's going around and around. (You can see it over on my YouTube channel.) Which is pretty much the concept of the GIFs. Unfortunately, the actual video was inside of a bigger black box and I wanted to crop the video out of the box. I couldn't figure out how to crop it with AVS4You or VS6. Then I did a little checking and I found that my Alchemy Mindworks GIF Construction Set would give me that ability. (This was my go-to banner making software way back when and I've kept up with updates throughout the years.) lt also makes resizing the GIFs a lot easier. Okay, I'm liking what I'm seeing here. 

Now, to watermark my work. I could have tried doing it at the start, with the original looping AVI video that I started with, the one in VS. But I thought it might be better to do it as the last step. I'm sure there's someway to do it in all of my software, but I don't feel like figuring it out. I do a search for watermarking GIFs. I found some online watermarkers, where you upload your GIF and they watermark it. But the ones that I tried really messed up with the quality of the images. Then I found one that I could buy (ack!). It watermarks most kinds of photos (BMP, GIF, JPG, PNG). The ones I've got on my computer will watermark a GIF, but only the first image. I want them all to have the watermark.  The software I found is called WonderFox. It was normally $39.95, but had a $10 discount. Damn. More than I want to spend. I do more searching, but this time I'm searching for promotional codes. I find one. Fifty percent off! I got it for less than fifteen dollars. Yay!

I run into a problem. It's not running on my system. Crap, crap, crap. I didn't want to bother with it anymore last night (it was late, we saw St. Vincent, then back on the computers when we got home). This morning I tried it again, still had problems, then tried running it as administrator and it ran like a dream. Yay! We're in business.

So, here are the two that I've done so far. I like them. I'll do more. (I can see many hours scouring my little MOV files....)

The roller coaster:

 

 

and Charlie:


otherstuff
07:51 AM - 10/14/2014

The topic: Yesterday afternoon

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After I got out of the shower (movie night), I asked Brian about a great idea I had, if he'd be willing to work with me. He asked what I wanted.

"Well, it's about next Tuesday" and he said, without any hesitation, "I won't take your test for you".  

"No, no, that's not what I wanted to ask. What I wanted is to get a red Sharpie and have you draw a target on my butt!"

He declined. He said "do you really want a doctor laughing while he's doing what he's doing?"  

Well, sure, why not?

I thought it sounded like a fun idea. 

Shot down again.


      Monday, October 13, 2014

otherstuff
01:28 PM - 10/13/2014

The topic: Ah, isn’t life grand?

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Closing in on sixty-one years.  Next week, is my "procedure". A procedure that is recommended for those over fifty. You might remember the one my doctor was so enthusiastic about me getting. 

I get my information packet in the mail a couple of weeks ago, I skim through it. The operational word being "skim".

I've been obsessing over not being able to have decent food for a week before the "procedure".  I re-read the paperwork this morning. Whew. I can only eat white stuff two days before (no fiber rich products) and clear stuff the day before. Well, clear stuff that isn't red. Like strawberry jello.

The only seven day warnings, things that are off-limits are certain medications. Like Aleve, Motrin, Excedrin, aspirin. No anti-inflammatories for one thing. But Tylenol is okay.

Yanno, I've taken Tylenol before and I think if I have a headache or a backache, I'll try a Tic-Tac.  I'd still be in pain either way, but with the Tic-Tac, at least my breath would be fresh.


      Sunday, October 12, 2014

otherstuff
11:00 AM - 10/12/2014

The topic: Every once in a while you see something

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That makes understanding easier. For me, it was this.

I guess I'm an introvert, which makes a ton of sense. I like being around people, but not constantly. I've had situations in the past where people were here and I started thinking "okay, you can go home now", all the while smiling and being a good hostess. (Fortunately, we ended up not hosting meals because Brian started worrying about how company affects the kitties.) 

The Disney meets would be so intensive for me, with all the preparation and being at the parks as long as others in our group were there, well, when we got home there were times I didn't want to leave the house or talk to anyone for at least a month afterwards. I was beat. Seriously drained. 

I know why I'm so tired the day after a movie. If we went to the movie and walked right in and sat right down, it probably wouldn't be so bad, but we stand in line for over an hour, making small talk with the people around us.

My mom was an extrovert. And she could suck the life out of anything. She was like a little hummingbird, not being able to sit still, always having the conversation moving, no such thing as a comfortable silence (it was like that growing up with her). She needed a lot of energy. 

And having Brian working out of the house now...not much "me" time. No wonder I'm always tired......


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lisaviolet is sixty something, married with no kids, takes care of lots of cats, likes taking photographs, loves Southern California weather and spends altogether too much time avoiding her responsibilities.

In her spare time, she makes pretty things to sell in her store.

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