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Monday, March 3, 2008

A Little of This, A Little of That (2/8/08)

For those of you who are new to The Chronicles of Nani, I have a habit of collecting ideas for short blogs on my desktop and every now and then will do a "multi blog" with a few of them. As a rule I don't b log at work, which includes that while I am not working right now, I am a 9-5 job seeker. That has its own frustrations that I usually unload on my personal journal. Something about putting pencil to paper that is great for vaporizing negative energy!
I will sometimes blog at lunch when I'm home though. Part of controlling that frustration is making sure I take normal breaks, eat a balanced diet at normal intervals and put the whole thing, frustration and all away at the end of the day. That does a lot to keep the peace at home too!

So here is the current smattering of little things that have been on my mind and my desktop!


Thanks to Skunk Studios for the wonderful method of honing my multi-platform skills! Many evenings you can find this Mac girl typing away on a Windows-driven PC! It's not what you may think, though!

I am not a "Mac-Nazi." I am a realist in the platform wars. One has to know their way around a windows system in the larger percentage of jobs in the professional world. IBM beat Apple to the finish line. I remember the line at the end of The Pirates of Silicon Valley, Steve Jobs says to Bill Gates, commenting about his taking shortcuts to get his platform to production, "ours is better though, it's a better OS". Gates replies, "It doesn't matter Steve, it just doesn't matter!"

That's still true today, Gates won the argument and the meat of the market, American business. If you are going to be in business, you have to know Windows, unless you are in graphics. That's the main user difference between the two. Macs make better graphics and artsy stuff. Windows is better for gamin, especially online gaming. Kinda like Macs make 'em, Windows play 'em. I advise friends who are in the market, that if they are into gaming, go windows, but make sure the virus software is kept up to date!
Mac is a more solid platform. I don't spend money constantly updating virus software and the only Mac I've ever known to get a virus has been one that my Mom had. She opened on email in Softy Windows and it infected the whole Windows side of her partitioned hard drive. When she rebuilt, it was without the Windows program. My Grandma uses her computer for email, instant messaging and looking at photo intense web sites for quilting. She uses a Mac. That only makes sense! Besides, Macs are much more user friendly. Mac was a lot easier to learn how to use when she got her computer in her late 70s!

But this blurb wasn't supposed to be about Mac vs. Windows! This is supposed to be about QBz! So, QBz means I get some Windows time at home. I'm usually using Word or Firefox because QBz is on the Mac!! Although Windows are better for games, QBz plays fine on the Mac and Da
vid's older computer is too slow to keep up with the game. Of course, I can't do scrapbooking or make a movie on his computer and R2D2, my space heater, is next to the Mac, so I get cold, BUT David is a QBZ addict! I'm serious, he plays the "Game of the Day," competing with other peoples scores that are automatically posted online. It brings out the competitive animal in him!! He'll sit in front of my computer, finish 4 rounds of a ten round game and start over because he didn't get a bonus for a round. It's a sad disease. But, I have to support him on it. I HAVE to. It's my computer, my game. What's worse, we only discover the "Game of the Day" when I rebuilt my hard drive last week. It made him MORE competitive with the global high scores. I am his enabler, his pusher. I'm so ashamed. ;)

But, I get to learn new things about windows that I can chat up recruiters about!

Dark Peanut M&Ms

My new favorite pick-it-up-at-the-gas-station candy! This started at Christmas. When I was shopping for candy for the Fabulous Dessert Bar, of course, anyone that knows me or has read any of my blogs knows I HAD to have M&Ms! My favorite is…was…almond. I have loved the almond M&Ms since they first came out. This past Christmas, I bought dark chocolate peanut to add some variety to the M&M bowl which had milk chocolate and almond as well. (I put the mint ones separate in glass cups)

My goodness, what a GREAT choice to mix things up! I'd tried the plain dark chocolate ones, but I'm more of a milk chocolate fan. But the dark chocolate peanut M&Ms are AMAZING! You can find them in the Valentines Day colors, in big bags or in regular M&Ms bags. This may very well mean they are NOT a limited time deal, like the purple M&Ms were. So I'm not going to say, "Get them while they last." I'm encouraging everyone to get them SO they last!

Scrapbook Pages

I'm going to start showing off an occasional scrapbook page. I do the Mug Shot every Monday, Photoblog Wednesday and Friday By Request if I get a request, so I really don't want to schedule a "Scrapbook Day." I will make a point to post layouts that I'm proud of.

My friend Barb, from the Yahoo 360 Chronicles got me started on this. She has been doing her scrapbooking in the digital format for quite a while. In 2006, she did a page with a picture David took of me in New York. She really liked the photo and she did such a nice layout for me. I was honored that she chose that photo and put it on her blog!

Last summer, I got into it. My large bookshelf has photo albums and scrapbooks on it. The first couple shelves are straight photo albums. I started adding headings and caption handwritten on scraps of paper and they slowly morphed into scrapbooks. Now my paper scrapbooks have morphed into digital ones.

One of my 2008 goals is to get my scrapbooks
caught up. At the end of last year I had JUST met this guy named David! Yeah, that David, the guy who shares his address with me. I'm a little behind. Well, I started this year going digital with my 39th birthday, July 2005. Kaline wasn't even born yet! I'm now done until just before Thanksgiving. I am 39 years old. I've admitted to David that I had fallen in love with him, we found Kaline, we've taken Rina to see her first up-close train and David's met my Aunt from Italy!

Shutterfly will print 12X12 scrapbooks up to 100 pages. The cool thing is, I can use kits I already have and do challenges in the cyber-crop clubs to earn more for free. So, with my digital camera, I can keep working on the books and store them in my hard dive until I'm back to work and can afford to get the books printed. I can NOT afford scrapbook
supplies and printing costs for the paper books right now! I also think that the pages I do on the computer look better than the ones I do by hand. Well, I have a background doing graphics for TV and I flunked scissors in kindergarten. The digi-cropping is more in my nature!

So here are a couple of my latest layouts:

This layout is called “Why I Scrap,” I know, ingenious title! The kit I used is called “Flyin’ High” by RCMama Designs. RCMama is Sherrie and she is my boss of sorts. I am on hr creative team! Being on a creative team is basically making a number of layouts using your designer's kits and you receive them for free. It saves you a couple bucks and makes the designer a few more sales, hopefully. If your designs are good ones they promote the kit! Right now, Sherrie’s designs are freebies as she is just getting started as a designer. It’s also my very first creative team spot, so we are helping each other build a reputation! There are 4 total artists on her team. Ideally, in the future this relationship will mean she can begin to sell her kits a and I could join additional creative teams and get a few of those 5-10 dollar kits a month. You have to apply for the CT spots just like you do for a job, so I’m building up my portfolio! :)

I do know I enjoy the creative challenge and the challenge of meeting deadlines (Oh, God, I miss working a real job!) But, I also know that RCMama Designs are some really great products for digital scrapbooking and I love that I can be part of the promoting team at the ground level. If you do digital scrapbooking or if you know someone who does, check out Sherri’s blog for some incredible freebies...while you can still get them for free!

My second layout today is called “Who’s On The Button?” No kit on this one, it’s all my design and David’s inspiration.

I’m not a fan of buttons as scrapbooking elements, paper or digital. That’s just my personal preference. I don’t use them. Well, there
was an element challenge with a nice freebie for a prize for posting at Digital Freebies, the site where all of my layouts are posted first. I’ve been there the longest and have participated n the most challenges there. For the element challenge last month, it was “use big buttons in your layout.” ARGHHH!!!

David takes a moderate interest in my hobby, well a supportive interest. He is not a scrapbooking fan like I am a railfan, but the very fact that my man is casually interested in my scrapbooking is as widely admired by the scrapping gals as his railfan girlfriend is by the train guys! When I voiced my stress at having to use buttons in a layout, he asked if they had to be a particular kind of button or could I use an interpretation of button? I have such a great man! He suggested The Button, as in poker, and even let me scan his chips and card for the layout. The result was a great layout that gathered lots of positive feedback at the site!

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