In my never-ending quest to improve my blog, I’ve discovered a new feature in WordPress.com! Yes, if you look below, you will see … Ta da! A slide show!
I’m not sure why, but I have a lot of pics that I have saved from the Internet. For some strange reason, I saved a lot of pics with computers in them. What exactly does that say about me? Hmm. I wonder. So if you look below you will see some of my favorite PC pics. I took the liberty of adding my own captions.
I hope to occasionally use this feature in my blog in the future!
I enjoy reading, but lately I’ve really enjoyed reading computer books. Well, with the computer books I read, it’s not actually reading. Most of those books for dummies and idiots are hands on guide to using various programs. I’ve learned a lot about computing reading those books, despite being neither a dummy nor an idiot. Maybe I’m just a nerd, but I love reading those computer books. I can now do many things with many programs. The downside is that someone is always asking me how to do certain things on the computers.
I learned to type on an old typewriter I found in our attic on Wood Street. I also found an old typing manual from which I learned how to type. When I was in the Marines, I took that typing manual with me and in my free time I did every single exercise in that book. And now I can touch type. So, it was a natural progression for me to start reading computer books to learn how to use programs.
I used to buy the books despite being very expensive. Then, they almost immediately became obsolete. I would use them once and remember all the commands that I planned on using. I had a huge pile of expensive, obsolete computer books that I eventually gave to the used bookstore. I always had the latest software and I always read the latest books. I still don’t understand how the latest knowledge on computer programs is directed at dummies and idiots. Apparently there’s a huge market. I don’t buy these books anymore, but they’re available through the Chicago Public Library for free. Some branch in Chicago always has the book I need.
Photoshop has been the most difficult program for me to use. The main reason I bought the program was because my iPhone used it to download the pictures to my computer. But then I found other uses for Photoshop.
I’ve been writing my blog for years. No frills, nothing fancy. Just plain vanilla text and formatting. Then, some of my readers started asking me when I would upload pictures with my posts. I was truly surprised! I had readers! That’s right! Readers! As in more than one. And they were actually reading my blog! They thought pictures would enhance my blog. So I started taking pictures for the blog. I must admit that Photoshop has improved my pictures due to my lack of photography skills.
I read every Photoshop book available through my library and I learned quite a lot. Last May, I went to an educational seminar in Champaign-Urbana, Illinois, where I attended two Adobe classes where I learned more about how to use Photoshop. I never realized how many commands are available. I know I’ll never even use half of them, but it’s nice to know they’re available.
So I’m using a new version of WordPress.com. I didn’t want to, but I had no choice. I used to post my blog on my website at http://davidrodriguez.us using WordPress blogging software that I kept on my website. It worked fine for the first two years or so. Then one day, my comments section was filled with spam. Beaucoup spam! One spam message left in a comment was so long that my blog never finished loading. And I couldn’t log into my own account and update my blog. Or remove all the spam. This happened to me again. Two more times, in fact. Whenever I contacted my ISP, I was told to contact WordPress. The last incident caused me to stop blogging for months! At first, I thought, “I broke the Internets!”
Another problem I had was upgrading the WordPress software to my website. My ISP didn’t automatically upgrade the software even though they provided me with the original version. I only attempted one upgrade and my blog was down for about a month. Somehow, mysteriously, I accidently deleted my entire website! After hours of reading WordPress documentation and multiple attempts to install the new software, I finally had my blog up and running again. That was my one and only WordPress upgrade. I swore to never upgrade again. Now that I’m using this new version of WordPress software, I realize I was lacking many features and widgets that I now take for granted. I love the way new features, themes, and widgets mysteriously appear without me having to upgrade.
If you look at my archives list, there is a huge gap between June 2009 and January 2010. That was the period when I didn’t know what to do about my blog that had been hijacked. And I was really in the mood to blog! I tried other blogs, but I liked the WordPress features the best. I did open an account at WordPress in 2008 when I was previously locked out of my own blog, but I never actually used it. Finally, I told myself, I want to start blogging again. I really missed blogging! And now I’m blogging, as you can well see.
So, here I am back blogging with WordPress. I like all the features available. My new blog already strongly resembles my old blog. Okay, so I’m a little resistant to change. I mean, I’m not very pliable. Except for all those new widgets that I’ve added to the right column of the blog. I also like the way my blog appears in my iPhone. When I open my blog on the iPhone, it’s so much easier to read than in the regular browser. It’s so much more manageable. I also like WordPress App that’s available for my iPhone. I plan on using it very soon.
But I promise that my new blog will be the same exact high quality as ever. And, of course, you remember how low high I set the bar before, right? Well, I can’t vouch for the quality, but I can guarantee you quantity. Perhaps much more than you ever asked for. My goal is to write a blog entry every day for a month. Okay, I picked February because it’s the shortest month of the year, much to the consternation of African-Americans who were awarded February for Black History Month. And since this isn’t a leap year, I should easily be able to write twenty-eight blog posts. Right? I sure hope so!
This was just a test to see if I could publish a blog entry from my iPhone. I guess I can. I think I’m getting ready to start publishing blog entries on a regular basis. I just went a whole week without the Internet in my house. I tried to upgrade to a faster broadband speed and I lost all connectivity to cyber space.
Okay, I’m back. I think. I’ve been having so many technical difficulties lately. I like computers, but they don’t seem to like me. My blog at http://davidrodriguez.us is still up and running. However, I cannot post any new entries.
For someone who spends so much time on the Internet, I also spend a lot of time on the road. Since I’m on the road a lot, I feel like I’m wasting time I’m not on the Internet. True, I occasionally check my e-mail on my iPhone while I’m driving and I do study road maps while on the Internet. The best of both worlds! Years ago, I tried listening to books while driving. That was back when most of them were on cassettes. I quickly gave up because it involved too much work. So lately, I once again felt the need to occupy myself productively while driving. While studying Russian, I listened to the oral activities on an mp3 player via my car radio. But it just wasn’t the same as reading. I remembered the audio books. Most books are on CDs now and are much easier to manage while driving. The first one I heard was On the Road by Jack Kerouac. Because I imagined writing a blog entry, titled “On the road”! I also listened to Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad, but decided against writing a blog entry titled, “On the River Niger”! How would that be possible while driving my 2005 Pontiac Vibe?
I went to the library to check out their collection of audio books. I immediately gravitated toward Jack Kerouac because On the Road has been on my “To Read” list since the 1980s. I have always heard about that book and any book that constantly attracts my attention deserves to be read–at least in my book. I had no idea what it was about, but I knew I just had to read it. I was intrigued by the fact that it was written on one continuous sheet of paper. I tried to imagined how Kerouac could have written his book lugging his manual typewriter and roll of paper while driving all over the country. To think that I complain whenever I have to lug my laptop computer around with me! Anyway, the book was an interesting read because I was disappointed by its plot, but enticed enough by the writing style to continue listening to the end. The reader of the audio book made it very interesting in the way he acted out some of the scenes. He added so much to text. If I were reading the actual book, I would have finished reading it because it did captivate me in a way I had not expected.
Kerouac has this enormous vocabulary that occasionally upstaged the action of the novel. For instance–however, I don’t recall all the details nor the exact wording–in one scene Kerouac and his friends find themselves released from jail after a night of heavy drinking, carousing and fist-fighting. They have no money and they don’t know where their car is. Jack says, “whereupon we pondered our dilemma.” Somehow, the high diction added to the incongruity of their situation. Of course, I would never associate with such friends for very long, which is why I never wrote my own On the Road.
When I was in high school, I inherited a manual Underwood typewriter that was in the attic where my new bedroom was located. Since I was little, I wanted to be a writer, so this was my perfect opportunity. I spent a lot of time in my unfinished-attic bedroom typing away on that typewriter. I also found a roll of paper and inserted it into my typewriter. This was before I even heard of Jack Kerouac! Now I wouldn’t have to stop writing to insert a new sheet of paper! I can’t say what I wrote was very interesting since I spent most of my waking hours cooped up in that attic. I don’t know what ever happened to my manuscript(s) (Depending on how you count everything I wrote on the scroll), or if anything I wrote was very good. But I enjoyed my time as a writer, living in squalor in an unfinished attic, living the Bohemian lifestyle. Minus the Kerouac road trip and alcohol.
Okay, I made the switch to this website because hackers have taken over my blog on my website at http://davidrodriguez.us. I will take a while to make the full transition, so please be patient. Thanks.
When I was a student at UIC, I wrote all of my papers on computers. I tried to do most of my writing on my own computer at home, but whenever I had free time between my classes I would use a computer in one of the few computer labs they had at the time.
I did a lot of writing on typewriters and then eagerly progressed to personal computers because of their word-processing capabilities. I was definitely an IBM aficionado since I couldn’t afford an Apple or a Macintosh. Our high school didn’t even have computers when I was a student.
Anyway, UIC had two types of computer labs: IBM or Macintosh. At first, no one used the IBM lab, so I had the lab pretty much too myself. Everybody was really into Macs at the time, although I’m not sure why. Supposedly, they were better than IBMs. Then there was a sudden shift in computing at UIC and I could hardly ever find an open IBM computer. Perhaps it was when IBM compatibles started using Windows, which was definitely inferior to the Mac operating system. I never did like those early versions of Microsoft Windows and stuck to MS-DOS 5.0 for much longer than most normal humans could endure.
Well, IBM’s were no longer readily available when I was. So being the adaptable person who I am, transformed myself into a Mac user. I have convinced myself that I can survive anywhere in the world, under any conditions. So, I sat down at a Mac computer for the first time in my life and started typing. When I looked at the screen, I couldn’t make heads nor tails of what I had written. You see, I can touch type and, when I put my fingers on the keyboard, I felt for the little bump in order to find the home keys. All electric typewriters and IBM keyboards always had those little bumps on the F and J keys. Mac, however, had the little bumps on the D and K keys. So my fingers were off by one key.
Macintosh always tried so hard to be different. Also maddening was waiting for the Mac to execute a command. Instead of the little hourglass to represent the waiting, a dialog box would appear that said, “Please wait. The computer is doing something real complicated right now.” So how was this better than an IBM computer? Well, I continued using IBMs and Macs, depending on which was available. To this day, I can go on any strange computer do some strange writing.
My sons often ask me what video games I played when I was growing up. They cannot conceive of a world or a childhood without video games. So the next question is something along the lines of, “Were you bored?” or “What did you do all day?” For fun, I told them, we played board games, but they heard “bored” games. They never play games like Monopoly because they think they’re boring. That’s because they’ve gotten so used to video games.
On the other hand, they can’t understand why I don’t play video games with them. I just can’t get into video games. I never played them when I was little. The only video game I ever played was Pong! And that was in high school. Pong was so boring. I preferred to play chess, another board game (not bored game!). But my sons also like to play an occasional game of chess with me.
Some people think that video games are bad because they make the players lazy and they don’t get enough exercise, but they do develop a different kind of intelligence as recent research has proven. Grand Theft Auto is supposedly bad for children because of all the violence. People criticize me because I allow my sons to play every video game that they like regardless of the content. Well, two of my three sons played GTA and the one who didn’t play the game had the lowest grades in school. The two sons who played it eventually lost interest in the game. Perhaps because I allowed them to play and didn’t criticize them for it.
I like the auto thief (in real life) who attempted to use GTA as a defense for his having stolen multiple automobiles. GTA made him steal the cars. Verdict? He was found guilty of auto theft! What a poor excuse for lack of self-control.
When my sons played GTA, they never asked to drive a car, much less attempted to steal one. My sons also like to play World of Warcraft, which they first discovered from watching South Park. I like WoW because it occasionally involves reading and writing. I haven’t played it all, but I like to look on.
The players can IM each other about the game or anything else they like. I like when they dance like John Travolta in Saturday Night Fever even though they’re supposed to me in the Middle Ages. What I like best about WoW is that the game hardly has any bugs or glitches. In fact, I have a very, old obsolete Pentium III computer that I have upgraded several times with a bigger hard drive, more memory, and a better graphics card, but it’s too slow to even check my e-mail. However, WoW runs quickly and smoothly on this computer. They must do all the graphics and computer processing on their servers. These people really know how to deliver a product!
My first recollection of Spam is eating it at home. Fried. With tortillas. I was fascinated with the whole process of opening up the can with the little key that was attached at the bottom. When my mother finally opened the can, I was expecting to see sardines. Not ham because the can was too small. So my mother fried the Spam and served it to us on tortillas. We ate it occasionally just to vary our diet a little. But not too much since we always ate beans, rice, and tortillas at almost every meal.
Since I am speaking of Spam, I am reminded of a certain British Comedy troupe who coined the term spam for all that unwanted e-mail that we receive. But not intentionally. They had a skit in which the waiter recites the menu, most of which is comprised of Spam.
When I was in high school, one of my friends introduced me to Monty Python’s Flying Circus on PBS, Sunday nights at 10 p.m. I was so young and naive that I just didn’t get the show. Who exactly was Monty Python? Where were the trapeze artists? Where was their tent? What strange language were they speaking?
Of course, I knew better than to actually ask anyone these questions. You know how teachers and college professors say there is no such thing as a stupid question? Well, I’m convinced that all my questions were stupid judging by the looks of the people who heard them when I occasionally voiced them. So I never asked questions.
I discovered that Monty Python spoke English–English English, as opposed to American English. Luckily, one of my friends was an English to English translator and he explained the jokes that I didn’t get, which was basically all of them. I would have quit watching Monty Python immediately if it weren’t for my friends and the home where we watched the show.
It started quite by accident when we were at Myrna’s house one Sunday night. Her father, we called him by his first name Tom, told us we had to leave about 10 p.m. because he had to get up early on Monday morning to go to work. He had been watching PBS and then Monty Python started on the tele. One of our friends had actually seen the show before and explained to the rest of us that it was a British comedy. Well, this piqued Tom’s interest and we all sat around to watch it. He forgot all about sending us away until the show was over.
The next Sunday, we all watched Monty Python again at Myrna’s house. We really loved the show and I eventually laughed because I got all the jokes without the aid of an interpreter. One Sunday, Tom told us that we couldn’t come over to watch Monty Python anymore. We watched it at Cecilia’s house for a few weeks, but it just wasn’t the same. Luckily, Myrna told us that we were invited back to her house on Sunday nights to watch Monty Python with her father. He told us that he missed us while watching Monty Python. So every Sunday night we watched Monty Python with Myrna and her father Tom.
But getting back to Spam, that was the skit we re-enacted the most. So the Internet term spam is derived from the Monty Python skit in the restaurant where just about everything on the menu includes Spam: “Spam, Spam, Spam, Spam, eggs, and Spam,” etc.
Well, I thought of all this because of all the spam that I’ve been receiving lately. The maddening thing about spam is not so much that I receive a lot of spam, but rather that I have started to receive it from myself, too! And, I’m fairly sure that I didn’t send it out. I’m not sure why, but I thought I would share some of the Subject lines with you (in no particular order):
You want yours bigger, all men do
Iva debt consolidation
I hadn’t had sex for a while
Whip out your huge manhood
Best offer in gambling history
Huge discount watches
Start seeing dollars pouring in
How about a $2400 welcome bonus
Best Rolex Replica
Elite products for your style and reputation
Enlargement of organs possible
After that it’s only fun and winning
Affordable luxury online in the world’s no. 1 rated replica watch store
Legal software sales
10 inches is possible
Online University Diploma degrees
You have just received an e-card
Penis Products Reviewed
Looking for a watch? Visit Replica Classics
Great sex secrets revealed
Your diamond replicas
Perfectly crafted luxury timepieces
Suffer from short babymaker? Don’t loose (sic), the only solution is here.