Thursday, June 25, 2009

A cold day in hell?


I have absolutely hated Microsoft for years.

Specifically, I’ve hated that company ever since I got a copy of DOS 4.0 and thought it broke my computer. Yes, that operating system made my computer lock up regularly and that was unusual back then.

I hate Microsoft for Windows 3.1, Windows 95 and Windows 98. I avoided Windows ME and was stunned when Windows XP turned out to be a solid OS.

I hate the fact that everything in the world is compatible with Microsoft so you feel like an oddball if you’re using something else. I hate the fact my wife blocked my attempts to buy a Mac. I’ve wished that company nothing but ill for about two decades now.

So, when Microsoft does something right – well, that’s worth mentioning. Folks, Windows Live Writer is a heck of a program. It’s free, fast, small and makes blogging a whole lot easier.

I’m using it to deal with this post, in fact, and I love it. What is it? Simply put, it’s a word processor that is dedicated to blogging and it’s far easier to use than the text editors that are built into blogs.

To set up my Windows Live Writer, I simply gave it my blog address and password. The program is now tailored to work with Blogger and I was up and running within seconds after installing Live Writer. And I don’t have to deal with weird things like junk code and such popping up here and there (a problem with more than a few Internet-based text editors). Furthermore, I can simply save a post and get back to it later through Live Writer, pull posts directly from my blog and fool with them through the program and do all sorts of neat things.

One of my favorite features is the photo editing one which allows the user to throw all kinds of effects on a photo (“color pop” and “tilt” are my favorites, and I’ll get around to using that sepia filter one of these days).

While there are some great features that come standard with Live Writer, there’s also a “plug-in” option that allows for some heavy customization of the program. Microsoft maintains a site full of plug-ins and there’s an active community coming up with all kinds of handy stuff.

Every now and again it seems Microsoft can get something right. That’s good to know.

Not surprisingly, that’s my kid…


For my Wordless Wednesday entry yesterday, I posted the dandy photo just off to the left.

That’s a photo of the Benton Maniacs – a softball team to which my daughter, Brenda, proudly belonged.

Yes, those seven and eight-year-old girls had a tough time of it this year. They won two games this season and one of those was by forfeit.

This photo was taken right before their final game of the season. Obviously, the win-loss record didn’t get their spirits down. That’s a good thing.

The photographer told them to “act silly,” perhaps as an attempt to relax the kids. The resulting photo is my favorite one of the lot.

My kid, by the way, is the oddball wearing the wrong jersey. That kind of thing happens when you give kids two different uniforms – invariably, there will be one child who will wear the wrong one. Of course, my girl turned out to be “that kid” on picture day.

Oh, yeah.

Anyway, the odds were stacked against the Maniacs this season. A softball team, see, has 10 players on it. The Maniacs’ roster had but 10 girls on it, meaning there were no substitutes available. The Maniacs wound up fielding eight or nine players more often than not, so their record should really come as no surprise.

At any rate, the children had a good time this year and that’s what counts, right?

This entry is part of the Tell Me Thursday event – a project that I think is a great idea.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Wordless Wednesday -- those wacky Maniacs!

Be sure to view the other Wordless Wednesday entries (or submit something of your own).

Monday, June 22, 2009

Music Monday -- the Beatles

Ah, "Strawberry Fields Forever." One of my favorites of all time. Enjoy!

Come join Music Monday and share your songs with us. One simple rule, leave ONLY the actual post link here. You can grab this code at LJL Please note these links are STRICTLY for Music Monday participants only. All others will be deleted without prejudice.