Slide show


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.

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I hope to occasionally use this feature in my blog in the future!

Photoshop


Photoshop at work!

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.

WordPress.com


WordPress: The iPhone App!

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!  

Test


Iphone

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.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

On the road


CD Book from the Chicago Public Library.

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.

Pass me another CD.