Tuesday, January 31, 2006

Time to call the Geek Squad

I'm planning on setting up a website and I have very few computer skills. So little I think I only use half the buttons on my keyboard (well, sometimes I use the Z but otherwise only half) and I don't have a clue what the F buttons do. I said F, not f'in. F1, F2 etc. So I probably have no business doing a website but I thought I'd give it a try. Can I do one without having to actually learn anything about computers or programming or that kind of stuff?

I did a search on Amazon for a Websites for Dummies book but there were so many hits I was frightened. And the more I read the titles the more I thought they were talking about WEBSITES for dummies, not website designing for dummies who don't know how to do websites. I don't want to build a website for dummies. I AM the dummy and I want to build a website.

Anyway, now that I got that straightened out, has anybody found a simple way to do this? I have an old graphics program that has website design v.1 on it but it's very, very limited. For instance, it has two views, actual size and 50%. Yeah, that's helpful. When I really want to look at something I reduce it. NOT!

I just want the basics. I want to have images, text, links. None of that flashy stuff or shockwave or anything. Just info, photos, and links. I know nothing about security - this one has to be secure. Haven't decided whether it will have message boards (it is not a glass site, message boards would be more for comments and direct questions). It's going to be for informational purposes only and will need to be constantly updated. It just needs to be something that's easy for me to maintain without spending two years at ITT Tech.

Any suggestions on easy-to-read books (don't forget the dummy part) or easy to use programs, especially if they're cheap? And easy.

I set up a family blog and it took me three days to figure out how to add a link. Well, they didn't specifically say to just copy and paste the info already provided and just 'insert name here'. That's the part I mean about dummies. Give me something tangible to build and I'll get it done and look good doin' it. Throw something like this at me, especially if there's any math involved, and don't expect to see a completed project in the forseeable future.

Here's how my computer experience got started, back in the 80's when computer typesetters were first introduced: The manual said to insert the Floppy Disc into the slot (A:) and Format the disk. So I would. Then I'd happily type in all the info I needed for a program I was writing for a gallery show. I'd get halfway through and it'd be time for lunch. So I'd Eject the Floppy and Turn off the machine. I'd come back from lunch, Reboot the machine, Insert the Floppy into slot A: and Format the disc. Then I couldn't find all the stuff I saved. It was literally DAYS before I finally figured out YOU DON'T FORMAT THE DISK EVERY TIME YOU USE IT! So that's the kind of computer literacy I'm dealing with here. I need a program that is very specific with easy to follow steps. I don't think I'm capable of weeding through all the info that's out there on my own so I'd appreciate any guidance... especially if someone would offer to just do it for me! No, not really, but I do need to find a simplistic approach so I'm hoping some of you folks who actually know a USB port from a BUS stop can give me some advice. (I still refer to the second Law and Order show as Law and Order SUV.)

Any takers?

Thanks in advance.

Monday, January 30, 2006

"Who would name their kid Jack with the last word(s) 'off' at the end of your last name?" George Clooney

I wrote this last week so it's not so timely now but I'm posting it anyway...

Are you kidding me? Frank Abramoff (lobbyist Jack's father) is chastising George Clooney for making his granddaughter cry. Is this guy for real? Let me get this straight…George Clooney makes fun of Abramoff’s son’s name during his acceptance speech at the Golden Globes, and it rocks the foundation of the Abramoff family. Please. This is just a taste of what the Abramoff family is in for. It may not be pleasant for the Abramoff children to experience the attention their father’s actions have brought them, but it sure as hell isn’t George Clooney’s fault. Was it the wrong time and place to make such a joke? Maybe. But ya gotta admit, it was funny as hell.

What I wanna know is where does Frank Abramoff get the audacity to characterize Clooney’s little joke as an “effort(s) to destroy him (Jack Abramoff) and our family.”? Well, I dunno Frank. I think your little Jackie’s doing a pretty good job on his own to destroy the family and besmirch his sacred name. Seriously, the guy is not only under investigation, HE’S CONFESSED!!! Maybe Jack should have a sit-down with his little girl and explain that Daddy’s done some very bad things and people are going to say stuff about him and do things that might make her cry. Like calling him a thief. And sending him to jail. And taking away that Barbie dream house she got for her birthday so they can auction it off to pay Daddy’s legal expenses.

Frank Abramoff tells us that "One day the truth about my son will come out …” Well, now’s as good a time as any to speak the truth, Frank. Maybe you should have taught Jack about that a long time ago. And you might want to lock up all the grandkids when the truth does come out, because sometimes the truth makes you cry.

Ya know, I was thinking, why would anybody name their son Jack…

Next time use the drive-thru

So I'm starting a new blog, moving some stuff from the old one here and leaving the old one for family stuff.

Hey, keep an eye out for Chris and Casey's excellent blogging adventures as they learn their ways through Stellenbosch and London. Chris trades one Cape for another and Casey travels from New England to old. I'll put links to their blogs when they're up and running.

So here's my latest adventure in pharmacopia...

The other night I went to my local Walgreen’s to pick up a few prescriptions, as I am wont to do…every freakin’ week. Anyway, I had a couple of other items to pick up (doesn’t everybody buy their milk at the drugstore?) so I went inside instead of using the drive-thru. I take my place in line at the pharmacy check-out. In front of me is a big ol’ Bubba splayed out across the counter discussing cold remedies with the cashier. Nice butt crack! Thanks for sharing.

Anyway, Bubba is proudly regaling the cashier with memories of colds past, like the time he used an expectorant to relieve his cough, only to develop a stuffy nose, necessitating yet another trip to the drugstore for yet another expectorant. This was fascinating stuff. And to think I might have been home watchin’ Jordan solve yet another murder the Boston police had been unable to solve for twenty years – I woulda missed the adventures of Bubba’s mucosa!

But I gotta hand it to Bubba. He can really spin a yarn. And he was so convincin’ the old geezer in line behind me started in with the coughin’ and the hackin’. I’m not sure if that was sympathy wheezin’ or if Bubba’s cough holds the same subliminal power of suggestion as a yawn but whatever it was, it was workin’ on Granpa.

So Bubba’s goin’ on and on and on about how when he lies on his left side, the left side of his head gets all stuffy. He figured out how he could relieve the stuffiness by rollin’ to his right. But sure ‘nuff the right side’d get all stuffy and he’d have to roll to the left. Bubba ain’t never heard of no Isaac Newton, and maybe if the durn fool haidn’t been asleepin’ under the apple tree he mightn’a got conked on the head. Anyway, should I buy this expectorant or that there one? I’m getting’ kinda tired o’ payin’ ten dollars a box for these here cold remedies.

Well, here’s a thought for ya, Bubba…Stop getting medical advice from the cashier. The cashier is NOT a health care professional.

So finally the cashier and Bubba finish their consultation and decide which expectorant would be right for Bubba’s little affliction, and she asks for his name so she can retrieve his prescription and check him out. I kid you not, Bubba says “I ain’t from around here, I’m from Ashtabula. I’m just visitin’. My prescription’s at the drugstore in Ashtabula. Where I’m from.”

Have a nice day!