Radio chet-a-box is now “live” and on the air

Filed in Gadgets

Well, in my car to and fro work.

Yup, picked up my Car kit adapter from Teo during lunch yesterday.

Plugged it in after work. Enjoyed Janis Ian on the way to visit mother at GT Heritage.

Looking forward to more personal favourites from now on.

Writing Prompt

Filed in Writing

Writing Prompt for 17 September 2004:

Write a short story that takes place on another planet in another time. What scenario will unfold for your alien characters?

/me looks at topic … shakes head

Self: never written anything set on another planet

Alter-whatever: never too late to start

Self: Hmm …

Alter-whatever: Well?

Self: It’s going to take more than a day to do this writing prompt *tries to peek at the next day’s prompt*

Alter-whatever: *turns the sheet of paper face down*

Self: *gets up and heads in direction of bed*

For fun

Filed in Fun Stuff

Was blog-surfing this evening when I came across the following quiz and decided to take it. It’s the first quiz I have come across without any questions.

What does your birth month reveal about you?

Here are the results for mine (birth month withheld). While looking through the list, I found myself nodding and shaking my head, so I thought I’d add my own comments against each trait:

Has lots of extraordinary ideas. Sometimes
Difficult to fathom. Definitely
Think forward. Nah-ah
Unique. Definitely
Brilliant. Getting less so
Sharp thinking. – ditto –
Fine, strong clairvoyance. *blur*
Make good doctors. Ha-ha, a bit late for this
Dynamic. If I am, this is deeply hidden
Secretive. *nods head*
Inquisitive. In other words, busybody par excellence *nods head*
Know how to dig secrets. – ditto –
Always thinking. Too much!
Less talkative. Yup *nods head vigorously*
Amiable. Sometimes
Brave. Sometimes
Generous. Depends
Patient. Sometimes
Stubborn. Yes! *nods head vigorously*
Hardhearted. Oh yes
Determined. Yup
Never quit. Getting less so
Hardly become angry unless provoked. The opposite
Love to be alone. Yes, yes, yes
Think differently. Yup
Sharp-minded. Getting less with age
Motivate self. Sometimes
Don’t appreciate praises. Yup, yup
High-spirited. *blur*
Well-built, tough. Not these days
Deep love, emotions. *nods head*
Romantic. *foolish grin*
Uncertain in relationships. Oh yes …
Homely. Yes
Hardworking. Depends
High abilities. *blur*
Trustworthy. Yes *nods head*
Honest. Much too …
Keep secrets. More yes than no
Can’t control emotions. *foolish grin*
Unpredictable. Definitely

One Definition of Success

Filed in Opinion

YP posted some thoughts about the meaning of success at her site recently. Yesterday, I found one good example of it online.

Oprah: A brand new car — for everybody!

From Oprah’s example, I came up with the following definition of success:

Having the ability to help others fulfill their dreams and needs

No, she didn’t pay for the cars herself. Her celebrity status gave her the clout to get Pontiac to sponsor the cars in full. All 276 of them. At a cost of US$28,000 each.

Of course, for Pontiac, it was the PR coup of the year.

Okay, it probably boosted the ratings for Oprah’s talk show, too. In fact, it’d been done to celebrate the premiere of the 19th season of her show.

But she couldn’t have done it if she hadn’t been successful. With more than a dash of fame thrown in.

And it wasn’t to any members of the audience. It was a carefully selected audience, based on their need for a new car.

The story, with a huge colour picture of Oprah on top of one of the cars and surrounded by some of the car recipients, was splashed on the front page of one of our local English dailies, The Star, today.

I showed it to two of my male colleagues. One of them commented that the recipients were women.

Later, I drew my department head’s attention to the same picture. What caught her attention was how slim Oprah looks in the picture.

Near lunchtime, I shared the story with J, a freelance translator currently working with us on our annual report. Her face lit up and she almost screamed when she heard about the gift of cars. It was the best reaction I’ve seen to the story.

While the cars were perhaps the flashiest part of the show, Oprah had more touching gifts later in the same show.


“In other segments on the show, taped Thursday, Winfrey surprised a 20-year-old girl who had spent years in foster care and homeless shelters with a four-year college scholarship, a makeover and $10,000 in clothes. And a family with eight foster children who were going to be kicked out of their house were given $130,000 to buy and repair the home.”

So maybe there was a motive for the gifts – to boost the ratings of the premiere of her 19th season. But it benefitted 276 members of the audience, a 20-year-old college-going girl, and a family with eight foster kids. And she didn’t have to pay for any of the gifts. Her celebrity status got other people in on the giving, too. That, to me, is one definition of success. And a very good definition it is, too.

Gadget’s Fault … NOT

Filed in Gadgets

I’d like to think it was the fault of my AlphaSmart Dana, but to be honest, it was just my own carelessness.

I’d done some writing into the Dana yesterday morning. After saving the piece of writing, I found myself wondering if I should back up the file. It’s what I usually do, go to BackupBuddy, select the file and click the backup button.

For some (stupid) reason, I decided not to.

Yesterday afternoon, the Dana crashed. I pressed the reset button, and the Palm Powered logo came on, flashing. A flashing logo means the machine has gone into a loop and will not go beyond that.

A warm reset came to mind, but I forgot the sequence. So I went to the AlphaSmart Community Centre, did a search and found the discussion thread. I followed the instructions to press the reset button while holding the up scroll button, and didn’t let go of the up button until the Palm Powered logo appeared on the screen.

I waited, and waited, and waited. No Palm Powered logo appeared on the screen. It was time for a painful decision.

Hard reset?

The answer was obvious.

So, yes, I did a hard reset, followed by a restore of previously backed up files which, unfortunately, did not include the new file written in the morning.

You could tell me to take heart from the fact that it was only one file.

I could also console myself that I can rewrite if I wish, as I can remember what it was about, although not word-for-word. But I don’t think I will. It’s not a life-and-death piece of writing.

But for someone who’s always advised other people to back up their work on a regular basis, I sure didn’t practise what I preached this time.