Magic After Harvest

Another computer helping story…

A pickleball friend is getting ready to market earrings that she found. The cool thing about these earrings is that they look like blitzy pickleballs.

In order to sell these earrings online, she needs pictures of them.

Without the correct tools, it’s rather challenging to take high quality pictures that look good on the Internet.

Here are a few of what she sent me and asked me to take a look at…

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They are good and show detail, but they don’t make the product POP.

I went online to ‘harvest’ copies of the separate components of the earrings: beads, posts, wires.

Then I cleaned them up a bit and did a little computer ‘magic’.

Here are the images that she’ll be sending to the retailers…

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And the best part for me?

I get some new earrings and some valuable time renting their pickleball machine in trade! Woohoo!

Computer Help

I love helping people with computer problems.

That would be my dream job…

This week I had the opportunity to help a friend.

One problem involved Excel–my favorite application to work with.

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Melissa’s friend Kassi’s boss bought everyone in his office a FitBit and they are having a stepping contest. Kassi enters in everyone’s step counts each day into an Excel spreadsheet.

She wanted an easy way to make the spreadsheet display the cumulative totals each day and automatically arrange them in descending order so that the ‘high stepper’ is in first place.

(Not this kind of high stepper. 🙂 )

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Kassi figured out a way to do it, but her solution was a bit cumbersome and she didn’t want to spend that much time on it every day.

I created a solution using a pivot table (shown in color below) which is a built-in solution within Excel that summarizes data and can perform additional functions within that summary.

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What’s fun about working with people like Kassi two-fold:

  • Users have to be creative enough to think that there might be a better way to do something and I love working with creative people.
  • Users have to be willing to take a risk in asking for help. A lot of users either don’t feel comfortable asking or aren’t annoyed enough to bitch about having to do repetitive tasks.

So I love working with creative and efficient and bitchy people!

And what’s really wonderful to see is the curiosity to learn more that comes from this. I’ll be showing Kassi how to build her own pivot tables later today.  🙂

Thanks, Kassi!

 

 

 

How Do You Tie Your Shoes?

ALLTHATFOLLOWEDI recently finished reading a book about the intersecting lives of people in a small Basque town before, during, and after a  crime committed by young pro-Basque separatist group members.

The book, All That Followed, is the debut novel of Gabriel Urza, a public defender in Reno, Nevada. I came across the book in my library when looking for an e-book to read and both the description and the book cover caught me eye.

A psychologically twisting novel about a politically-charged act of violence that echoes through a small Spanish town; a dazzling debut in the tradition of Daniel Alarcón and Mohsin Hamid. It’s 2004 in Muriga, a quiet town in Spain’s northern Basque Country, a place with more secrets than inhabitants.

All That Followed has three narrators who tell the circular story from different perspectives. One of the narrators really intrigued me…

Mariana is a young mother who was raised in the town where the story takes place. Prior to the crime, she became very ill and subsequently received a kidney transplant.

As she heals from both the illness and the transplant, she feels her body changing in ways that are sometimes fantastical, sometimes disturbing, and always out of her control.

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Mariana becomes obsessed with her new kidney, and, after lots of painstaking research, determines it is from a deceased member of a violent pro-Basque separatist group.

This is just a minor sub-theme in the book, but it was really quite interesting.

What starts her journey into finding her new kidney’s previous owner is that after over thirty years of tying her shoes one particular way, she suddenly starts tying them a new way.

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Mariana talks with her friend Joni, who is from California, about it.

“I calculated that I have been tying my shoelaces an average of three times a day for thirty-two years. Thirty five thousand and forty times, always in the same manner: the squirrel runs around the tree, then through the hole and out the other side.”

“I think we learned a different technique in California,” I said. “I remember my mother teaching me the ‘bunny ears’ technique. A knot for the head, and then we add on the rabbit’s ears.”

“Yes!” she said. “The rabbit’s ears! Suddenly, after the squirrel has run around the tree thirty-five thousand and forty times, I begin to use the rabbit ears!”

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How weird would that be? To start tying your shoes a new way after decades of just automatically tying them and not even thinking about it?

So that got me wondering how often people change after organ transplants. Do they change habits? Do they change personalities?

Off to Google I went.

And I found some amazing stories from Before It’s News

One of the few cases we know the patient’s name was a woman called Claire Sylvia who received a heart and lung transplant in the 1970’s from an eighteen year old male donor who had been in a motorcycle accident. None of this information was known to Sylvia, who upon waking up claimed she had a new and intense craving for beer, chicken nuggets, and green peppers, all food she didn’t enjoy prior to the surgery.

A 47 year old man receiving a heart from a 17 year old black boy suddenly picked up an intense fondness for classical music. The boy whose heart had been donated was killed in a drive-by shooting, still clutching his violin case in his hands. A 47 year old transplant patient claimed that his new heart was responsible for a sudden onset of eating disorders, heralded from the heart’s previous owner, a 14 year old girl. Once a change in sexual orientation was even documented in a twenty seven year old lesbian who soon after getting a new heart settled down and married a man.

The most stunning example of cellular memory was found in an eight year old girl who received the heart of a ten year old girl. The recipient was plagued after surgery with vivid nightmares about an attacker and a girl being murdered. After being brought to a psychiatrist her nightmares proved to be so vivid and real that the psychiatrist believed them to be genuine memories. As it turns out the ten year old whose heart she had just received was murdered and due to the recipients violent reoccurring dreams she was able to describe the events of that horrible encounter and the murderer so well that police soon apprehended, arrested, and convicted the killer.

Is it true? Haven’t got a clue, but it’s fascinating to think about.

My favorite story was about a 30-something man who was concerned about becoming more feminine after receiving a female heart. Later he said he didn’t change at all, but his girlfriend said that his lovemaking techniques changed a lot. “It’s almost like he knew exactly what I wanted him to do…” <3

Oops, Good Thing I’m Not Eye Candy

I went to the gym yesterday for a little over an hour. I was hoping to try a yoga class, but that class was cancelled.

So, I did some machine work and then walked a bit on the treadmill.

Then I came home and then took Sophie for a long hike in the foothills.

yoga-pantsAfter I came home from all my exercise excursions, Rich informed me that I had a hole in my black yoga pants.

Right smack dab in the middle of my bum, my white underwear was peeking out…

While I’m not sure, I’m guessing that it was there when I left the house in the morning.

I have no clue if anyone noticed at the gym.

The good news is that the hole wasn’t THAT big.

And the even better news is that there were lots of very attractive people at the gym.

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So, there was a lot of eye candy to attract all sorts of attention and keep others’ eyes off of pant holes.

Especially if those holes are in the pants of a nearly 60 year old woman! 🙂

Attached for the Day

Sophie’s laying on my stomach right now taking a nap.

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She’s been my best buddy most of the day and rarely more than six inches from me.

She LOVES me more today than yesterday.

Why?

I took her for a long hike up in the foothills today.

That’s her favorite– hiking.

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But today was even better…

She got to go off leash AND there was snow everywhere.

I lost track of how many times she rolled in the snow.

She just loves snow even when it’s a frigid eight degrees outside.

And the best part of all that is that she’ll sleep most of the rest of the day.

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A tired dog is a good dog.

And Sophie’s a very good dog this afternoon. 🙂

A Quieter Year

Ever notice how each ‘year’ is different?

yinyangSome are easier than others.

Some are full of challenges.

Some are full of drama. Some are full of serenity.

Some have more joys. Some have more sorrows.

And within those years, there are two common themes:

  • Years full of resolutions to questions that have lined our paths.
  • Years full to searches from questions that allow us to grow.

I came to understand those themes from one of my favorite quotes from Zora Neale Hurston:

“There are years that ask questions and years that answer.”

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I don’t think we can control the type of year we will have as far as the questions and answers develop.

But I do think that we can strive to make ourselves better able to live through the year with the most peace, growth, and love.

Here’s what I want for 2016:

A QUIETER YEAR!

I’ll watch less news. I’ll read in an easy chair more.  I’ll get out into nature more while Sophie and I go for a walk. And I’ll listen to soft music.

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And because I will honor my needs as I do those things, I know I’ll have a great year.

Wishing you a fantastic 2016! Each and every day in it!

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