Saturday, June 23, 2012

My Refrigerator

My kitchen is small. My counter space is minuscule. The generous thing to say about my refrigerator is that it is apartment-sized. Don't people who live in apartments need to eat as much as and as frequently as those who live in houses?

As a result, I think about what is in my refrigerator a lot. I plan what I eat around what container needs to be emptied and removed from precious refrigerator real estate.

Today I have vowed not to think about my refrigerator. I have other tasks to perform, other interests to pursue.. Today I will enjoy my patio, work on writing, this blog and documenting the lynx browser.

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Monday, May 14, 2012

All Creation Sings

All Creation Sings

by J. Ellsworth Kalas

Category: spiritual growth Program Year: 2012
If this author's name is familiar to you, Dr. Kalas served First Church in Madison as a young man. With his years of pastoring and teaching at Asbury Theological Seminary, xxx, Kentucky, he brings a depth of study and a breadth of life experience to his writing.

The book consists of welve essays which begin with a biblical text associated with nature, for example, Isaiah 1:1-11 and Matthew 5:43-48. Kalas then expands the natural reference to our Christian life and faith.

I started reading this book on a cold spring morning. I confess I was dubious about getting all excited about the wonders of creation. There wasn't anythin wonderful happening outside my front door. Kalas drew me in when he moved beyond extolng the virtues of gardens and forested hillsides to Jesus, the cross and daily living in the real world where “thorny” describes personal relationships rather than abramble in the Conservancy. Kalas tells us we must go beyond the green movement to learn nature's lessons about life and God

I chose to read this book as a daily devotional. The chapters are 8-10 pages long. You could also read this book as part of a book discussion group which meets either eekly or monthly. There are discussion questions in the back of the book for each chapter. Don't miss these even if you are reading this book on your own. They give a summary of the chapter, questions which step you through each essay and conclude with a prayer. These questions may help you if you like to journal or if you are uncertain of any given section of the article.

I call All Creation Sings a must read.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Starting A Project

On Friday I started my reading for the reviews I will write for the United Methodist Women Reading Program 2012.

I narrowed my choices down to the books that were available as ebooks to start. I picked two from the Spiritual Growth group and discovered two more, in different categories, were available as digital downloads from the National Library Service as Talking Books.

Next, I sampled the two ebooks from the Kindle store just to be certain they are text-to-speech enabled and I would like them. The web site said they were, but I wanted to be certain.

I am new at writing reviews. Further, I haven't read many books on the Kindle which require my complete attention so this is a new reading experience for me.

I will digress here to talk about the experience of using the Kindle Keyboard as a blind person.

  1. The Kindle Keyboard is the only accessible Kindle. Not all Kindles can utilize text-to-speech, most notably the Kindle Fire. I would love it if I could access my books on my Android smart phone using the Kindle app. Unfortunately, the app does not include this feature. Shame on you, Amazon!

  2. Not all the functions are voice-enabled on the Kindle Keyboard. I cannot page through a book while having text-to-speech enabled. This means I can only listen to a continuous reading of the book. I must stop the continuous reading and turn off text-to-speech when I want to navigate a book.

  3. Not all the controls speak. For example, I wanted to check out the discussion questions at the back of the book after I read the first chapter. I decided not to page back to the table of contents. I paged forward, turning on text-to-speech occasionally to hear where I was in the book. I learned the discussion questions begin ninety per cent of the way through the book. There is no way to bookmark my place. I will have to make note of where I stop reading by page in the text and where to go by location to pick up my reading to read the questions. I can type in a location or page number to navigate there although I cannot hear if I have typed the number correctly. It is sometimes a hit or miss project with a lot of retyping, remembering and note taking

  4. The advanced, and very cool, features of highlighting, note taking and sharing are not available to the blind user of a Kindle. Curiously, I cannot shop in the Kindle store either. I can buy a sample book from my Kindle.

Nevertheless, reading my first UMW selection is a pleasurable experience so far.>

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Sunday, April 22, 2012

Marathon, 1908

In 1908, the Olympic marathon in London was extended by 1.2 miles to accommodate the royal family. It began on the lawn of Windsor Castle so that Princess Mary and her children could see the start of the race from the nursery window. The course was extended further to Queen Alexandra's royal box so that she could watch the conclusion of the race.
London Marathon Runners go extra mile for royalty

Marathon, 1908

I run.
Princess Mary and her five children watch from the castle nursery window.
"Good-bye, runner, good-bye."
"Run fast."
"Run far."
I run.
Feet fly.
Steady breaths .
Stay alert.
Run fast.
Run far.
The course is long.
Feet fly.
Steady breaths.
Stay alert.
Run fast.
Run far.
The course is long.
Twenty-five miles.
"God save the queen!"
I shout when the race should be done.
Another 1.2 miles to go.
Haughty queen.
So fatigued..
Feet no longer fly.
Uneven breaths.
The royal box: where is it?
A pretty picture for your daughter-in-law and grandchildren.
A pretty picture for you at the finish line.
I stagger.
I fall.
;I die.
"Good-bye, runner, good-bye."
Tell this to the children in the nursery.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial Share-Alike license.

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Saturday, April 21, 2012

OT Writing in c++

As well as being a writer and a reader, I prepare documentation for Vinux, a Linux distro for the visually impaired based on Ubuntu. In this community there are many talented people. Storm Dragon is teaching a c++ class via Mangler.

I worked as an applications programmer for eighteen years. I taught myself a little C. Now I am learning to program in c++, compiling and running my own programs on my own computer. It's fun.

I enjoyed programming because it was writing. Instead of writing paragraphs, I wrote blocks of code. I wrote in a structured form and as clearly as possible so that someone else could update my code quickly and easily when necessary.

Now that I am assigned programs to write for class, I am again faced with the necessity of choosing meaningful variable and function names, writing concisely and clearly and learning the correct syntax. Consistency counts just as it counts in pros. A well-chosen variable name is like choosing the right word in a poem.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Writing Opportunity

I have been invited to write some 200-word reviews of books in the UMW Reading Program for 2012. Happily, some of their books are available for Kindle and a few are available from NLS. I have two books as samples on my Kindle and I have downloaded two Talking Books. I'm looking forward to doing this.


Wednesday, April 18, 2012

A Label Poem

I wrote this poem in response to Rochelle Melander's writing prompt on her blog.

Rill's Warning Label

Beware: talented writer on duty inside this apartment.
Words may saturate your feet when you step inside.
Images of fictional characters may cloud your objective vision.
You may experience an elevated heart rate when heroines encounter villains.
Risk of cutting flesh from writer revising.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial Share-Alike 3.0 license.