Mt. Rainier and Lenticular Clouds - Dec. 2008 copyright: JMM

September 29, 2010


So I go to start uploading my necklace photos to my Etsy store and apparently they are too big.  I am unsure how to rectify this, so I start looking through all the menus in the Pictures folder and I can't find anything that allows me to resize them.  I opened up all my programs and chose one of the Microsoft Photo programs that are allegedly loaded on my laptop.  It starts asking me to enter a 'product key'.  I don't have one, because it came with the computer, so I exit out of that screen, only to find out that those programs are only usable on a trial basis, and I have to purchase the actual program from Microsoft.  I was only able to resize 3 pictures under this 'trial basis' before it locked me out of the option.  So I got 3 whole necklaces uploaded before running into a massive brick wall.

I started to get this sinking feeling that there was no quick fix, without my either having to spend a great deal of time uploading all the necklace photos to some free online website, resizing them and resaving them to my hard drive, or I was gonna have to shell out some bucks for Photoshop or something.  I did a shout out for help on Facebook and my friends all said I was going to have to basically do it the way I was dreading, or get a cheaper camera that takes smaller size photos.  

I've already spent hours sorting all the necklace photos into folders, which folders are organized by necklace length.  So instead of being able to just 'select all' from one folder, in order to upload them to Photobucket, I'm gonna have to spend hours uploading them folder by folder, hours resizing each and every one, hours resaving them to my hard drive and hours uploading them to Etsy.  Now, I must say, listing stuff on Etsy isn't a speedy process at all as it is.  There are at least 6 screens into which you have to enter copious quantities of information about the item, materials used, shipping, etc. etc.  Instead of putting the photo upload on the first page, it's one of the last steps, so after entering ALL that information on ALL those screens, THAT'S when it tells me the fucking photo is too big.  

To say I am frustrated beyond belief is an understatement.  There HAS GOT to be an easier way!  Till then I guess I'll just have to suck it up and plod along at it bit by bit, and get them on Etsy bit by bit.  My friend Joe has offered to do the resizing for me if I want & sent me an invite to Photodrop, so I will probably try it this weekend.  When I have more items up, I'll post the link.  Thanks to those of you who responded to my inquiry on Facebook.  You all gave me some good photo site links I'm going to check out.  I appreciate it!

September 27, 2010

New Hampshire in the Fall

I love the west coast and it is my home. Always will be. We have a beautiful fall season, but nothing can hold a candle to New Hampshire in autumn. All of New England is splashed with reds, golds, orange and light brown, but North Central New Hampshire is, in my opinion, the prettiest state at this time of year. The mountains look like they've been covered in Froot Loops. OK, I've never been to Vermont, but I did live in Maine for 2 years, and Massachusetts the rest of the time.

The following pictures are in no particular order, and were taken in the falls of 1983, 1985 and 1987. The most scenic byway is the Kancamagus Highway, that starts in North Conway on Rte. 302 and makes a loop through the White Mountains, back to North Conway on Rte. 112. It's an easy day trip. My pics take in a lot of the places on this map. When we went in the early 70's, my parents also detoured to take me to Story Land in Glen, and Santa's Village in Jefferson.

September 23, 2010


A few months ago, I did a blog post about a fantastic blog by a gifted artist in England, called Silkie Sue. Sam does illustrations for greeting cards and children's books, and she makes stuffed animals!  Anyone who knows me well knows how much I adore stuffed animals.  They have always been real to me.

She's had a couple of contests for her blog readers this year. If we linked her to our blogs, we were entered in a drawing to win one of her amazing creations, and I JUST FOUND OUT THAT I WON!!!

This is sweet Mouse, who is packing his bag and obtaining his Visa to move to my home in Washington State!  Isn't he ADORABLE???
Thank you so much Sam!!!  I am honoured to be chosen as the adoptive parent for Mouse and I assure you, he will be loved and cared for in his new forever home.

September 20, 2010

Which Wolf Are You?

I have a lot of the bad wolf in me, Anger being at the top of that list, because it's always roiling beneath my surface like lava under an active volcano. I admit I am an angry person. I mostly take it out on the road which isn't too swift, but if there's one thing that is top of my Pet Peeves list it's slow drivers in the fast lane. There's a certain amount of self-pity and inferiority there as well....some guilt, but not much. I try hard to strive for the good wolf, but am not always successful, especially in the 'Hope' department. I think if I didn't have to work and commute, I'd be a different person. I do have compassion for people who deserve it, but not for people who make stupid decisions then whine about it when it bites them in the ass.

Note to Geeks: Bad Wolf = First season of Doctor Who.

Which wolf are you?

September 19, 2010

OK. I am SO Going

After reading comment on my last post and comments on Facebook, I decided to throw caution to the wind and just GO. By the time I got done applying the special Facebook discount and my AAA Membership on top of their massive fall sale, round trip transportation and one night at the magnificent Hotel Grand Pacific (check it out!) came to a whopping $140. At first I was hesitant because in the late fall and the Clipper doesn't leave Victoria till 6 pm, and it arrives in Seattle at 8:45. It's a bit later than I wanted, because it'll be dark and I have to walk a few blocks to get to the parking garage. On the other hand, it's never once been in the news that the ferry terminals have a crime problem. The garage where I always park is the one advertised on the Clipper website as the best place to leave your car, and it's open till 11:30 pm. But on the up side, leaving at 6 pm gives me a whole, full day in the City. I don't even have to check in at the ferry terminal till 4.

By the way, do check out The Victoria Clipper website. Watch the slideshow on the home page and the slide after the "Big Colourful Fall Sale" one is a photo of the Gates of Harmonious Interest, by fellow blogger Ben Madison, who is a magnificent photographer and runs the Victoria Daily Photo Blog. It's a unique angle of the Chinatown gates and the text says, "VICTORIA. How long has it been since you've been?" I took that as another sign that I had to go since that particular question was posed on a photograph by someone I know.

Anywho, I have a fairly jam packed and extremely ambitious, itinerary and we'll see what I can actually accomplish. In a perfect world, I'll be taking a Harbour Air float plane tour which is on my bucket list, shooting pics of everything I've already taken pictures of till I drop, doing the Ghostly Walks Tour of Old Town & Bastion Square, hopefully with my friend Moriah who is going to try to meet up w/ me for dinner and the tour. The day I leave, I'll get up wicked early and see what I can do and see. If I rent a car, which I'm seriously considering, I will be free to go to Craigdarroch Castle, the Fisgard Lighthouse and other places. Not sure if I can squeeze in Butchart Gardens or the Butterfly Gardens.

To say I'm wicked stoked would be an understatement. I don't even care if it rains. Thanks for shoving me in this direction!

September 18, 2010

Had a Dream

That I took the last Clipper of the day out of Seattle.
Because I was dying to get to Victoria.
It was an impulsive trip, so it was late afternoon when I left. The light looked like this when I got there.
It was a surrealistic landscape in the Victoria of my dream, so the BC Legislative Bldgs wasn't located anywhere near the Clipper dock (in reality the Clipper docks right in front of it). I was rushing as fast as possible, and customs/immigration waved me through with only a cursory glance of my passport. I was so happy!!

I remember running with my stuff, trying to get to Parliament, which was many, many blocks away from me, but I could just see the top of the dome. They were waiting till I got there to turn on the lights (no idea why that was the case, but it was a pretty weird dream) and I started snapping pics of it.
After I was done shooting pics, I realized it was well after midnight, but there were still people out on the street walking around. Not much traffic though. The city itself didn't quite look like it does in real was sort of a mixture of Victoria, SF and Boston, with a lot of tall brick bldgs and narrow streets. I also realized that I didn't have any reservations for a hotel room, so I wandered around all night and ended up pretty far from downtown in a very green, quiet, stately neighbourhood w/ lots of flowers. I think I saw Rick Mercer and Peter Keleghan during my travels. That's where the dream ended. It was pleasant, I was happy and excited in the dream. The first decent dream I've had in ages as most of my dreams are very 'dark' for lack of a better word. I woke up today with the hugest longing in my heart. I can't shake it.

It's killing me that I haven't been to Vancouver Island since 2007. The only other city I have ever felt this way about is San Francisco. I can't stop thinking about my dream. And, as I write this, I stumbled on "Dateline NBC" and the story takes place in Victoria. I mean seriously. What are the odds? It's like every sign in the universe is pointing me in that direction.

Brian's so sick of hearing me whine, almost on a daily basis, "I miss Canada! I need a Victoria fix!!! I'm jonesing for Vancouver Island!" that he finally said, "JUST GO ALREADY! SHEESH!!" I have thought about booking a quick overnighter because I really want to see the holiday lights at Butchart Gardens. It's almost too late to make the reservations for winter. The thing that's holding me back is the weather. Traveling anywhere in the Northwest is a crap shoot between September and May. But December can be a vicious month. With my luck, we'll either have snow or a horrible wind storm on the day I'm supposed to leave. Then I won't be able to get to Seattle to take the Clipper. The weather isn't an issue once I get to Victoria. Everything can be done on foot and I will have a prepaid tour to see the lights. Plus my friend Moriah lives in Victoria and I'd love to see her, Bruce and the kids; it'd be fun to go to Butchart to see the holiday display with them. But at this point, I wouldn't mind just going next month for a couple of days. My boss even told me I should go somewhere.

We'll see what happens. Watch this space.....

September 15, 2010

A Traitor to My Gender?

Not sure if any of my overseas readers have heard about the latest flap (read: sexual harassment claim) over a Hispanic reporter, Inez Sainz, who was doing a sports report for Azteca TV in Mexico, and alleged acts of harassment by the New York Jets.

First of all, the woman is a former Miss Universe contestant, so you know she's hot. Second, I believe that Mexicans and/or Hispanics, don't view skimpy or tight clothing the way prudish Americans do. Clearly nothing comes between Ms. Sainz and her Calvins. She says that this is considered appropriate attire for a Mexican TV reporter. Sure, in Mexico. Not so much for America. Nevertheless, she was covered, it's just that everything was extremely skin tight.
Fortunately, she has the figure to get away with this look.
But the NY Jets players, being the stupid idiot neanderthal MEN that they are, not only ogled her on the sidelines, they threw footballs in her direction so that they could run by her. How old are these guys? 14?? Then she went into the locker room to do an interview. Can you see where this is going? Crude and suggestive comments were made to her. Now she is claiming she felt sexually harassed by that incident, and the NFL is looking into it.

This brings up the age old question of whether female sports reporters belong in men's locker rooms. There is no easy answer to that. There are plenty of women who enjoy sports, like myself, and many who have pursued that interest by way of a sports broadcasting career. It's no longer a job exclusively for men, although women have had a hell of a time breaking into it.

Years ago in college, when I was a Sports Department intern at Channel 7 in Boston, I found myself the lone female in that department. My duties included fetching coffee and carrying heavy equipment from place to place. I got to do some cool stuff, like go to Celtics practices. One time, we went to the old Boston Garden to do an interview with the Bruins. I helped my internship supervisor bring all the stuff into the Garden. I asked Bob if I was going to be allowed to watch the interview. He told me it would be in the locker room. I told him I didn't care. I was a professional. I lived in a co-ed dorm, I was engaged. It's not like I hadn't seen a dick before. He told me he was afraid that the players would give me a hard time. I retorted that if anyone wagged their wienie at me, I'd simply say, "I've seen better heads on a glass of beer" or "Last time I saw something that small it had an eraser on it." While Bob thought my clever retorts were quite amusing, and he was tempted to bring me in just to hear me cut down a professional athlete, at the door of the locker room he suddenly decided that it would be a very bad idea, and asked me to wait outside. He probably realized that having a girl intern in the Bruins' locker room was a lawsuit waiting to happen. Can open, worms everywhere.

Well it's the 21st Century, and there are lots of women reporters who go into the locker rooms for interviews after major sporting events. The men don't like it, and I don't blame them. Can you imagine the uproar that would ensue if male reporters demanded to be inside the WNBA locker rooms when the girls are walking around naked or in towels?

Let's face it, men are visual creatures. They get all stupid and bug eyed whenever some young hot chick shows some skin or cleavage. They can't help it. It's in their DNA. Probably a throwback to their knuckle-dragging cavemen days. They even start grunting, "A-huh, a-huh, heh heh, BOOBIES!"

This also brings up the issue of whether a woman deserves to be harassed if she's going to dress like a tart. Perhaps "deserved" is too strong a word. Should a woman expect to be harassed if she dresses like that?

Now this is where I become a traitor to my gender. You'd never find sports reporter Pam Oliver (or any of the other women reporters) dressed in skin tight clothing, while doing interviews with football players on the sidelines or locker room. So yeah, if you wear sexy clothing and look like a slut, or a bimbo, you need to expect men to act like the moronic, drooling cavemen that they are, no matter if you are a professional reporter or just a woman out and about.

What did Ms. Sainz expect was going to happen when she went into their locker room? For the Jets to keep their eyes above her neck and take her seriously? She admits their behavior on the field wasn't that bad and was more silly than anything else. But seriously folks, what did she think was going to happen once inside the locker room with all those sweaty, naked men and her in those painted-on jeans? Them to NOT make jokes or stare? It's like the intelligent side in men's brains switch off (assuming there is one) and the sophomoric teenage boys emerge. A-huh a-huh, BOOOOBIIIEEES!!!!

The only way I can see an end to this problem is to stop allowing reporters of both sexes to do any locker room interviews. There has to be a more appropriate place within the clubhouse to conduct interviews with the athletes.

What say you?

September 14, 2010

Star Collector

"Think I'd let her keep on going
Wherever it is,
She's going to.
Give her an autograph and tell her,
'It's been nice knowing you'
Cause she's a star collector,
Collector of stars,
She only aims to please
Young celebrities....." The Monkees

It's no great surprise that I've always been a bit star struck. Just a bit. Thought I'd share some of the autographs I've obtained over the years. Some I got in person, some other people got for me, others I sent away for. There were some celebs who we've seen while out and about, but never approached because it would have been extremely inappropriate. Although I couldn't help blurting out to Brian at the Safeway down near Ocean Beach in San Franisco, "OHMYGODISN'TTHATPAULKANTNER?" Brian's like, "Smooth. Real smooth". Well it took me by surprise! I mean, who thinks about Paul Kantner needing milk and toilet paper like the rest of us? And he shops at my Safeway? I mean, who knew, right? *Note to you youngsters: Paul Kantner was in the 60's band Jefferson Airplane, who also hail from SF.

I was unable to locate the one from Robert Urich, from when Ellen & I skipped a morning's worth of classes at Emerson to watch "Spencer for Hire" being filmed near campus. When the crew broke for lunch, Mr. Urich kindly signed autographs. Another is from Elvis Costello, when Holly & I got backstage at the Cape Cod Coliseum in 1983. I know where these 2 are, it just would take some serious digging to get to them. I also have a few handwritten letters sent to me by Kajagoogoo bass player, Nick Beggs, in the mid-80's, but again, it'll take an Act of Congress for me to find them!

Nick Lea, aka 'Krycek' from "The X-Files". My cuz Diane got this for me at an X-Files Expo, back in the 90's

Brian got this autograph from Seattle Seahawk Cornerback Marcus Trufant. 'Tru' is a local boy, born & raised in Puyallup, and he and his foundation do a lot of charity work. Brian met him at a Tacoma Rainiers baseball game a few years ago.
Snagged a baseball's worth of Seattle Mariners autographs in 2006 when they played an exhibition game against their AAA Farm Team, the Rainiers, in Tacoma. Of the 6 names, Matt & Jose are the only ones still left on the team.
I sent away for this one from former San Francisco 49ers tight end, Brent Jones, who was my fave player on the team (after Steve Young of course).
In the late 80's, I found out Danny Bonaduce was a DJ in Philly. I had heard a rumour that the first 'Chris Partridge', Jeremy Gelbwaks had died in the 70's, which was why he left the show. So I wrote to Danny and asked him. He wrote back to let me know Jeremy was alive and well, but included this amusing inscription on the photo he sent me.
Diane used to work in the film industry in the late 80's and early 90's. She got me this autograph for my b-day from Emilio Estevez while working on "Men at Work".
Diane also worked on "Ghost" and got Patrick Swayze to sign photos for me, my mother in law and sister in law.
The whole reason Di got into film was because of seeing Harrison Ford in "The Empire Strikes Back". Her whole goal was to meet him. She was lucky to score a job on "Patriot Games", where she achieved her dream. She quit film after that.
Here's one from actor Lorenzo Lamas that my ex got for me, when Lorenzo happened into Pizzaria Regina at Quincy Market in Boston, in about 1984. Jimmy also met singer Paul Young at Regina's and got me an autograph from him as well.

I was thrilled to get to meet Steve Smith, aka "Red Green" at the only Western Washington showing of "Duct Tape Forever: The Red Green Movie". Red Green is more known in Canada, but since we get the CBC, I really got into him. It's a really funny show. One night on PBS, they were doing a Red Green themed pledge drive, and the top 10 cities with the most pledges would receive a meet & greet with Red himself, and the limited release "Red Green Movie" would be screened in those cities. Tacoma crushed almost every other city, and ended up in the top 10. The movie was shown in Renton, which is centrally located for fans from many areas in the state. I have never seen so much red & green plaid, and duct tape, in my life. It was a blast. Steve was very, very funny. I had the best time. The place was packed, and the fans enthusiastic and appreciative.

I realize that a lot of people wouldn't think the humour was that funny; my parents never got it either. It was also popular in Iowa & Minnesota.

OK this one has a pretty weird story, and considering who it involves, I'm not at all surprised. I was at work one day and sorting the mail for the Suite, in the fall of 1991. Because I also had some catalogs and packages shipped to me at work, I'd also have stuff to review and open. As the office manager, I got a lot of solicitations too. Most of it went in the garbage. One day I'm sorting and an envelope to me catches my eye. The return label said, 'S. King, street addy, Bangor, Maine'. I paused. If you know anything about Stephen King, you'll know it's no secret that he lives in Bangor. Nah, I thought. Can't be. Impossible. I opened it to find a letter from Stephen King's assistant, telling me she was responding to my inquiry about obtaining a signed book. She told me if I mailed a book w/ a self addressed stamped envelope, Stephen would sign it. Thing is, I had no memory of writing any such letter. I still don't. That's something I would have remembered, Believe Me. Back in the 80's, I worked with someone at Channel 56 who was King's assistant & chauffer in the Boston area. I wondered if Dan was behind it, but I couldn't see how, although he came to the Cape to see Brian & I when we visited that spring of 1991. I didn't remember giving Dan my address in SF and we didn't even discuss Stephen King when we saw him. It was very strange indeed.

Anyway, if the offer was there, who am I to turn it down? The only thing is that Mr. King got the date wrong, it was actually 11/27/91 when he signed it, not 1992. It's also pretty freakin weird that the day he signed the book was also my birthday. oo-ee-oo
Saw Native American author and American Indian Movement activist, Mary Brave Bird (aka Mary Crow Dog) speak in Berkeley in 1994, with her co-author, Richard Erdoes.

Also saw Native American author Ed McGaa Eagle Man speak at a bookstore in Sebastopol in 1992.

I wanted to go meet Bob Weir and his sister, Wendy, at their autograph signing for their book, Panther Dream, but I was sick, so my friend Rita took my book and got them to sign it for us, in November, 1991.

But we did get to meet Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia, at a benefit in San Francisco in June, 1990. This scan is actually a photocopy of the original signatures because it is carefully stored and hidden. After Jerry died, we actually moved it to our safe deposit box in the bank because a lot of people knew we had one, and because Jerry so rarely interacted with people, especially fans (he was reclusive when not on the road), we decided to err on the side of caution.
In 1988, I met up w/ my cousin Karen, Aunt Gloria and Uncle Steve at NBC in NYC to be in the audience of "The Phil Donahue Show". It was a lot of fun!! I'd planned the trip to go New York for a couple of days to bum around the city and see some family in Yonkers. It was a coincidence that they were going to be in NYC for the Phil show that day, and that they also had an extra ticket. I spent most of the day wandering around shooting pics and shopping in The Village, then walked up to NBC to meet them. Former White House Spokesman, Larry Speakes, was the guest, to promote his book.
And in 1987, I rounded a corner in Chinatown, San Francisco, to see James Coburn shooting a print ad for cigarets! He stood on a milkcrate above the crowd and smoked the product while extras walked back and forth in front of him, as they shot the ad. I was watching and taking a few pictures and a PA came up to me and told me to be one of the extras and just walk back and forth with everyone else, so I did. Then Mr. Coburn signed a few autographs.

And lastly, from 1982, when we got backstage at The Clash show at the Cape Cod Coliseum, on Joe Strummer's birthday. That was a night to remember. The Clash rocked big time. They were so good live. It was a high energy night. It was my last big hurrah and send off before I started college at St. Joe's. Topper Headon was so fucked up with drugs by this point that they asked their first drummer Terry Chimes (aka Tory Crimes) to step in for their Combat Rock Tour.
Now if I could just meet Vincent and Pyper before I die, I'll be a happy camper!!!!

September 12, 2010

Archeology: Digging Up Old Stuff

I went spelunking in my garage attic, braving the cobwebs and fiberglass insulation to dig up a couple of old compilation frames that contained all the good photos that I wanted to scan. With the exception of a couple pics I knew were in them, most came as a surprise and I had quite a chuckle when I saw what I had in there.

Here are some of the pics, in no particular order.

This one demonstrates how vertically challenged I am. This was taken at the Channel 58 Christmas party in December, 1986. Dan Seminatore is on the left, Rob Hampton on the right. And in one from the 'small world' department, Rob went to Boston University with my bff Ellen, before Ellen transferred to Emerson, which is where I met her. We only found out we all knew each other a couple of years ago!
Here's one of the punk bands I used to hang out with back in high school. This was taken at The Mill Hill Club in West Yarmouth on Cape Cod, some time in 1982. I think the band is Two Minute Hate but I am not sure. Nick Lawler in the Anarchy shirt, unknown drummer, Paul Fitzpatrick on vocals & the amazing Bill "Lunchmeat" Close on the right. Nick & Bill were seniors in high school in this pic. Bill is one of the most talented musicians I have ever met.
The FreeZe, at the Seaside Festival in Yarmouth, October 1981. Lead singer, Clif Hanger used to work at Baskervilles records in Hyannis and Liz & I used to hang out w/ him. I had a HUGE crush on the drummer, Lou Cataldo, aka Ben Dover. Rick Andrews on bass, and Rob Rosenthal on guitar, aka Rob DeCradle. Alas, Lou was taken, so I just lusted after him from afar.
Rick & Clif - Oct. 1981
Lou Cataldo.
Our 'gang' at Holly's going away party at my house, in the chicken coop, June 1981. Holly moved to Oregon that summer, although she & her family returned to Sandwich 2 years later. Marybeth & I threw her a party. Somehow, all these kids (plus others who were at the party earlier in the night) managed to keep it quiet from Holly. She was totally stunned when she came through the door and everyone yelled SURPRISE!

Here's another group shot of the gang, at a party at Sandy Howes' house, December 1980. Brian laughs and thinks it's absolutely precious that I went to high school parties that had soda, pizza & candy instead of alcohol and drugs!! These pictures illustrate the point I made in a previous post from a couple of months ago, that nearly all of my high school friends were not in my grade. With the exception of Liz & Joey in the photo above, and Joey & Kevin in the photo below, all the other kids were in the Class of '83.

Ellen & I on the steps of our dorm in Boston, at 132/34 Beacon Street, fall 1985. Note the matching jackets. No wonder people thought she and I were a couple! We are actually not doing peace signs here, but "V" for Boston's music video station, V-66. We knew a lot of people that interned & worked there and V-66 was really popular at Emerson.
Charlene & I, spring 1985 at Emerson, aka "The Terror Twins". Note the antenna that looks like it's coming out of her head!! And behind us are the compilation frames I tore apart to get some of these pics.
Punk rock night at The Chalet at St. Joseph's College in Maine, fall 1982. I had to help the other girls get dressed since no one was into punk but me!! Brian saw this, nodded and said, "I woulda done ya!" How romantic. lol
Me & Martha Kneizys, our freshman year at St. Joe's, fall 1982. It's hard to believe my niece Callie is now experiencing her freshman year!!
I love this pic of my buddy Dave Gawlik on the St. Joe's sign. Spring, 1983.
Hands down my fave picture of Michelle EVER. We were having a good time that night. Spring 1983, St. Joe's.
I have no idea what year this is, guessing about 1983, but obviously Diane & I were going skating, or just came back from skating. There isn't much snow on the ground, but it must've been cold enough for the bog across the street to freeze and for us to be so bundled up.
God I wish I was still that thin!