We have had some very unpleasant weather this winter. It’s not that it’s been bitterly cold or there’ve been great dumps of snow. It is the warm weather that brings us freezing rain and ice pellets then freezing to a huge coat of ice on everything-your vehicle, your front step, your sidewalk. Today school buses are cancelled, walking outside is treacherous and if you are able, you might want to stay in your pyjamas until it’s time to go to bed tonight.
Cleaning the Driveway:
Out I went this morning, ice chipper and shovel in hand. I gave it a good go for over an hour and made some headway. I shoved the crud onto our street.
On days like this, it’s wonderful to find happiness in unusual places.
Like the snow plow that shows up AFTER you have pushed the snow onto the street! This is almost as good as winning a lottery. In my case, this is good for smiles at least till dinner time.
Not long ago I read the book “The How Of Happiness” by Sonja Lyubomirski. It was a good read. From the official website for the book: “The How of Happiness offers a new and potentially life-changing way to understand our innate potential for joy and happiness as well as our ability to sustain it in our lives.”
The author and her colleagues suggest a number of way to improve your level of happiness. Examples included counting your blessings…but not too often for it then becomes more of a routine must-do effort rather than a practice to increase your level of happiness.
An Act That Can Improve Happiness
With all due respect to Dr. Lyubomirsky and her colleagues, they missed one everyday occurrence that can impact your happiness-at least it does for me.
And that occurrence is shopping for dairy products. The shopping by itself isn’t that exciting but what can bring me joy is looking at the expiry dates. Here’s an example from the store today.
And When You See the Expiry Date
Picture this-it’s January 10th-the wind is blowing, the snow is falling and you are tired of putting on jackets, toques, gloves and boots every time you step outside. Then you are in the dairy section of your local grocer and being the wise shopper you check best-before dates as you shop. How great is it to see that the cream cheese is telling you spring is around the corner!! May 12th can’t be that far off if the cheese is guaranteed to be of good quality till then. By then we will have small plants ready to go in the garden, we will be itching to start planting seeds, a few games of golf will be under our belts and the bicycle will be serviced and ready to go!
No need to point out to me though that expiry dates can conspire against happiness and good moods depending on the season. If you buy dairy products on a beautiful late fall day and expiry date is January-well, you get my (snow) drift.
The above is a line from one of the many Christmas songs we hear on the radio at this time year. For many of us this time of year is filled with shopping, cooking, visiting and sending greetings to family and friends. The tradition of sending Christmas cards has waned from years gone by but it is still ever so nice to get mail that isn’t junk or bills. That said, at this house we’ve left it too long to do much in paper-at least anything that would be on time, so I thought I’d do something in the electronic media.
You’ve Heard of Drug Interactions.
It is my experience there are adverse technology interactions. Just as you shouldn’t take drugs together unless you have gained knowledge of the expected outcome, the same goes for using too many new-to-you programs, websites, mouse clicks and such in any one project. Anything that says “easy to use” is likely not. If you have questions about taking drugs-ask your lovely, knowledge and trusted pharmacist. If you have questions or problems about mixing the instructions of one program with the information from another website-you’re pretty much on your own. Frustrated and on your own.
Off I went, then to do something simple but hopefully a little creative for our Christmas greeting. I used the Movie Maker/Xtranormal site to make a little movie. That wasn’t too bad. I’ve used it before. Then I thought I’d try to find some stationery. I found Pages on my iMac and played around with the templates and found something that could work.
When Is A Download Not A Download.
Linking the movie into the Christmas message shouldn’t be a problem. I add links to this blog all the time. Not so. There should be standardized ways of linking-world wide standards. If we can all agree on the shape of a stop sign, surely the way we add links could be standardized. Add to that my inability (until I read Q&A’s and chat forums) to effectively download the movie in a reasonable format and well, let’s just say, I was feeling challenged. I was to not simply download but it had to be a HQ Download..oh yeah…well what’ s that? And there was something about an MP4 file-remember I’m the one who still owned the now-recalled 1st gen iPod and now there’s MP4?
When I stepped aside from full-time work earlier this year, one of my special gifts was from an IT colleague who was more than aware of my IT (in)abilities. This gift sat next to my computer desk. Good think I had taken a picture of it before embarking on the Christmas message-it’s gone missing. My husband mentioned something about removing from the computer area, any objects that might be used to pummel technology.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and May All Your Technological Efforts Be Effortless in 2012! Please tell me I’m not alone.
Not all that long ago we took a road trip. We journeyed quite a distance into and across the states of New York and Massachusetts. We were well inland during the trip. It was late fall and there was some colour left in the trees-all in all a pretty drive. Parts of the drive that were not so scenic were the many deserted warehouses and factories-sitting derelict and sometimes vandalized. They tell of a time, decades ago, when those building housed vibrant industries and employed many people. One building that has been rejuvenated and beautifully so is the former factory that now houses the Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art or Mass MoCA in North Adams, MA. It is the largest museum of contemporary art in the United States. The museum is on the site of a former textile printing factory. As you walk up to the museum you come upon trees in an unusual spot.
There are several buildings and floors of exhibits. The exposed brick and hardwood floors provide a wonderful background for art.
The exhibit One Floor Up More Highly by Katharina Gross was housed in a space that is as large as a football field.
Three floors in the main building displayed wall art conceived by Sol LeWitt. The exhibit will be at MASS MoCA for 25 years-you have plenty of time to see it. LeWitt‘s wall drawings were usually executed by people other than the artist himself.I compare it to designing Vogue sewing patterns and then others make the outfit. He would use teams of assistants to create his works. Between 1968 and his death in 2007, LeWitt created more than 1,270 wall drawings. The art and the manner in which it was created is remarkable. We thoroughly enjoyed the museum and plan to return to MASS MoCA. A good to do that might be after May 2012, there will be an exhibit of Canadian contemporary art – Oh, Canada . If you plan to go to North Adams, let me know, we have some thoughts on accommodation.
Have you ever seen Sol LeWitt’s art? I think we may have seen it in other galleries.
Yesterday I read an interesting viewpoint put forth by Margaret Wente of the Globe and Mail. She wrote the article after 92-year-old Andy Rooney died one month after leaving work. I must say I was a bit disappointed in her take on things since she appears to be saying that people are only fulfilled when working flat-out. And basically they should do so till they die. So many people don’t bring home a paycheque-by design or by destiny. What of them?
Being beyond full-time work means not having to rush off to work with a response to an interesting media bit in your head. It sits there and likely dissolves quickly as meetings and commitments and work things trump the outside world. A couple of responses to Wente’s column were published today (mine included). It’s important to plan for life beyond full-time work-no argument there. There are many ways to lead a fulfilling life and contribute to society. It is an individual choice (if you are fortunate).
And While I’m At It
Today is our wedding anniversary-number 37. Yesterday I got a letter from an institution that had requested proof of marriage stating they don’t recognize the only document we have had for all those years. It is a certificate from the church. That certificate has been used and accepted whenever it was requested for almost four decades. So off we go to swear an affidavit. I did call customer service at the institution-they answer quickly and they are courteous. He did give me some rationale while I relayed my perspective. He thanked me for “complaining in a classy way”. Funny how you know nothing will likely change but you are glad to be heard.
My husband said, with this opening, perhaps he can get out of being married. I gave him one of my mother’s lines: “You never had it so good.”
I have a long-standing love/hate relationship with technology. Truth be known, that relationship extends to anything mechanical. It’s interesting to observe the jargon that each trade/profession uses too-is that necessary? Is it to keep the rest of us in the dark?
Issue: The issue was simple, straightforward-to print a Word document double-sided using my iMac and HP printer. (In these days of trying to minimize the use of scarce resources, it seemed like a reasonable goal.). I can print double-sided from web pages..why not Word?
Scroll through all relevant items on the menu bar, look under system preferences-oh look-a box to check off that says double-sided. Use the administrator name and password and make the change. Nada-no double-sided option appears when I go to print.
Spend 2 more hours looking for things-search on the internet-there’s a forum-others have had the same issue-try those suggestions. Nada-no double-sided option appears when I go to print.
Call AppleCare-we verify versions and lots of other stuff-check for upgrades-and in the end he says-it’s not Apple-“we’ve done what we can do”. It’s not me, eh, madam. You should call Microsoft.
Call Microsoft-we verify versions and case history and look at drop down boxes. (After he asks if my printer has the capability of printing double-sided!) The double-sided option is greyed out and in the end she says “we’ve done what we can do”. It’s not me, eh, madam. You should call HP.
Hard as it is to predict the future-this is my go at it….should I decide to pursue the challenge of printing double-sided from Word rather than just going single sided and using a bunch of paper: I call HP-we verify versions and look for upgrades. There’s no solution-and in the end, they say-we’ve done what we can do. It’s not me, eh, madam. It’s the paper-I should call the paper company. I call the paper company… and end up finally barking up a tree…likely the wrong one. Ah now I’m just getting silly.