Friday, April 29, 2005

Permanent employment with benefits

I have been offered, and accepted, a permanent position at CompuMentor as an Associate Customer Service Representative. I'll be working for the TechSoup Stock division, where I have been a temp off and on since the middle of last May.

Yay, health insurance!!!!! -- Rachel

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Artwork for Sale

Margaret Organ-Kean, Illustrator

My friend Margaret Organ-Kean is an extremely talented artist, and she's put some Tshirts, tote bags, and posters on her website.

Margaret and I met during the World Fantasy Convention in Seattle in -- what? 1989? -- and then were part of the same APA. Later, when I unexpectedly became an art director, I contacted her, and she became a regular contributor to Marion Zimmer Bradley's FANTASY agazine, providing fabulous black and white work a bit reminiscent of the work of Aubrey Beardsley, and a couple of color covers. She's doing more color work now, which you'll see on her site.

-- Rachel

Friday, April 01, 2005

April Fool

I heard recently about a computer trick you could try on a friend. Of course, afterwards they might not be your friend any more.....

Go to their computer when they're out of the room, minimize any open windows, and press the PrintScreen button. This will save the entire desktop to the clipboard.

Open MS Paint, press Ctrl-V to paste, and save the resulting picture as a BMP file -- let's say you save it as "C:/deskfoto.bmp". Close the paint program.

Rightclick anywhere in the open desktop, and you'll get a menu that starts with "Arrange Icons by...". One of its choices is "Show Desktop Icons". Uncheck this to hide all their desktop icons. Then using the Display section of the Control Panel (see "settings' in the start menu), make note of their existing desktop picture (so you can restore things to their rightful place before your friend kills you), and replace their desktop picture with C:/deskfoto.bmp.

They will try to click on their usual icons, but since it's only a picture, nothing will happen. -- Rachel

P.S. Or you could leave their icons displayed, change their background as described, and .... MOVE a few of the real icons. The potential for mischief is high.

Botanical Illustration

Perennial Flower Illustrations at the Glasgow University Library

Well, I missed this exhibit in 1995, but there's a nice webpage about it that's still up, and in fact was revised in 1999. There aren't as many sample illustrations as I'd like -- only a handful, in fact -- but there's still fascinating information here. For instance, I learned that a 1554 book of illustrations, overseen by a physician, used "cross-hatching ... to display contours and varying thickness of line to indicate depth. Some coloured copies exist but these were published as black and white and then coloured by their owners." And that the first colored book of botanical illustrations was published in 1752. -- Rachel

Finally starting to feel human again

Today my Palm alarm woke me at 8 (when I am normally at my office and about to start my shift answering phones, so I have the Palm nag me so I'll stop whatever I'm doing and take up my phone task); the office where I work as a long-term temp is closed today in observance of a California state holiday, the birthday of labor organizer Cesar Chavez.

(It does seem odd that the day of the observance is -- April Fools Day.)

I realized that I was actually breathing through my nose -- which meant it's not so stopped up any more, and that I didn't ache all over or feel feverish. I didn't rush out of bed or anything, but by noon I had eaten some Grapenuts, toasted some cashews for a snack later, and tackled the sinkful of dirty dishes that had accumulated while I was ill. -- Rachel