About the Site:

  • random & varied writings

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  • Take a look at the Tellitagan author's page.

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Keeping cool

February 29th, 2012 by jomo

Around the northeastern side of the University of Texas campus, as well as out beyond Mt. Bonnell, up the Dry Creek Valley, much of the property 30,40 or 50 years ago was owned by a man named Fred Eby. He built many houses and apartments, and was a major landlord for student rentals. One summer in the early ’70s I thought that I had rented one of his houses on Mt. Bonnell Rd., just beyond Sara’s Dry Creek Cafe, but Eby’s property manager told me, when I went to get the key, that it had been rented to someone else.

I stormed over to Eby’s office, which was in an apartment complex just off of Duval on Elmwood. I knocked on the office door and went in. Someone called out to come on back to the bathroom. That brought me up short, but I went on back and peeked around the open bathroom door. Eby’s factotum was seated on the lowered lid of the toilet taking notes, while Fred Eby, in a bathing suit, was immersed in the bathtub. Ice cubes floated around him in the water.

It was a very hot day.

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Liveoak Spring

February 28th, 2012 by jomo

Liveoaks (Plateau Oaks?) keep their leaves through the Winter. In early Spring, last year’s leaves turn yellow and drop. There’s none of this poetic feathery drifting down – they fall like little pieces of leather, clunking on roofs and sidewalks to form drifts and swales, turning brown and rattley. The new green growth shoots form soon after, and then comes the catkins, which mature and open, then dry out and fall, adding to the mess on the ground and in roof gutters.

And this year’s go around has started already, here in Austin.

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Seychelles?

February 22nd, 2012 by jomo

For some time now I have noticed that my websites regularly receive traffic from the Republic of Seychelles, a group of 150 or so islands northeast of Madagascar off the eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean. It is the most developed country in Africa with about 86,000 citizens, speaking English, French, and Creole, and its primary industry now is tourism. It sounds like it is pretty close to “Paradise With High Humidity,” having an annual average high temperature of 70-85 degrees F. It doesn’t get cyclones.

Who is it so far away that regularly visits me? Curiouser and curiouser, as they say.

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Lifedrawing

February 21st, 2012 by jomo

Last year there was a weekly lifedrawing session over at the art warehouse on W. Monroe. I went to it about 10 times, but stopped for a variety of reasons, the main one being that I didn’t feel like I was coming away with anything.

A few days ago I was looking at the drawings I made at those sessions and found one that is really pretty nice. So the sessions were worth it.
lifedrawing

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Brought up short by Blade Runner

February 20th, 2012 by jomo

Looking at the cable menu tonight for something to watch, I saw “Blade Runner” on AMC so I chose it. It was on a scene I didn’t remember, where Rachel is bothered by some photos in Deckard’s apartment, and she leaves. He VOs about how all replicants needed personal history support including “snapshots”…I thought “Wow! I don’t remember this at all. So he knew all along that she was a replicant. Why was I in any doubt?”

The next scene is of Pris looking for a place to huddle through the night, and she covers herself with newspapers in an entryway, where Sebastian stumbles over her. Wow again! I know I’ve never seen this before.

A batch of commercials came on so I stopped watching then.

I knew from different sources that there were different versions of the film, but I have only ever seen the 1982 theatrical release (which I unequivocally loved). I just learned from Wikipedia that there are seven(!) versions in circulation. From the little bit of the particular version that I saw I believe that I can say that there is a big difference between not the story, but the telling of it from one version to the other. Kind of like the Gospels, eh?

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Another clunker report

February 15th, 2012 by jomo

The system’s idling temp seems to be 48°C, while a 100% processing load raises the CPU temp to 52°C-55°C. Ambient room temp is about 77°F. So the alteration I made did some good. I wish that it hadn’t taken so long to diagnose the problem.

Diagnosing problems can be difficult. Yesterday morning I found water on the floor in the entryway. It was coming from the bathroom upstairs. I started tearing things up to expose the feed pipes, but (thankfully) before I got too far, I found that a shower faucet was partly open, and water was running into the drain, where the caulking was starting to fail. The faucet had been cracked for at least 24 hours, allowing water to build up and leak through the lower floor ceiling. That ceiling is painted bead board, so there is no apparent water damage, as there would be with sheetrock.

If I had been more thoughtful in the process I wouldn’t have torn anything up. At least I’m retired, and have the time to fix it.

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More on clunker heat

February 14th, 2012 by jomo

Premiere Elements 3 exported a good-looking .WMV this AM without shutting off the system. The heat monitor showed temps as high as 57°C. Room temp is about 78°F. And it really is a much better looking image. So maybe I should reconsider Premiere Elements 10 now that we’ve got cool runnings.

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Computer – woe or win?

February 13th, 2012 by jomo

The ol’ clunker desktop (WinXP) started repeatedly shutting down week before last when I was exporting one of my children’s stories to a .WMV file for posting on YouTube. It politely told me what it was doing and executed a very orderly exit, which should have clued me to the problem, but I’m sorry to say that I didn’t get it. I tried numerous things to no effect: I shut down unnecessary processes, reinstalled the video program (Premiere Elements 3)(did I hear someone snigger in the back of the hall? I stated up front that the desktop is a clunker, OK?) and uninstalled some recent software, thinking that some conflicts might have arisen. All to no avail. The program would terminate at some point during the rendering of the .WMV file.

I downloaded and installed Premiere Elements 10 but it didn’t help, same problem. So I looked around for other video programs, downloaded and installed VideoPad , which I found to be easy to use and produced the desired file without crashing the machine. Whereupon I paid for and registered the program (bit cheaper than Premiere Elements 10, also).

All should have been well but a few days ago the machine started shutting down without being engaged in any heavy lifting – it was just “Sayonara, we’re out of here.” ?? Then it dawned on me that this was the machine that had had the continuous overheating problem in the past. I fired up a program that tracks CPU vital signs and found that it was running above 60°C, with 70°C being the shutdown preset. I wondered if all of the after-market cooling fans were operating.

I opened the box and found them all running. I enlarged the opening for one of the fans and reversed its flow so that now it is an exhaust fan. Voilá! CPU temp is now below 50°C. I haven’t loaded ‘er up yet, but I do think that overheating was the problem. I will produce a .WMV (with Premiere Elements 10) and report back how the ol’ clunker does.

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Niggle, niggle

February 12th, 2012 by jomo

I decided to move things around on my websites. The only reason (besides being retired and having time on my hands) is to make Tellitagan just children’s stories. Since I converted all of the .SWF (Flash) stories to .WMV files for YouTube it seemed natural to go ahead with an early Spring Cleaning.

The biggest challenge I thought would be to move this blog over to the jackotis.com subdomain. But my worries were exaggerated: WordPress provides good handholding with plenty of documentation, and LunarPages (my webhost) makes the management of site organization straightforward. This stuff is easier than it used to be…thank goodness!

So, welcome to my blog at its new home. Posts appear here irregularly…but I hope you’ll check in occasionally.

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