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Archive for September 21st, 2006

Lansing Saturday Beads, Anyone?

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

The Working Women Artists (WWA) group is having a Saturday workshop (this weekend, 9/23) at T&T Trading (a huge bead shop in Grand Ledge, just west of Lansing). We are inviting other interested folks to join us for this private class.

We have asked for a class which will give us an overview of tools and supplies, and then leave us to be creative in our own fashion while having an instructor available for consultation on technical issues. If they had tried to get this group to all make the same project, I assure you it would not have worked, anyway!

Working Women Artists October 2005Class time is 4-6pm, but if you do not bring bead/finding supplies with you, come a good bit early to pick and choose your supplies before class starts.

The class fee is $20 (not including supplies). I need to know if you are coming, as there is a minimum number of participants. Please jump in and invite yourself, if you are local and interested!

This group is an amazing group. We have members from teenagers to retirees and all ages in between (most of us fall between 40 and 70). Some folks have day jobs and do art at night/weekends as they can. Some folks, like me, make most or all of their livings as artful people.

And yes, men have attended though not regularly. Especially when we do art-focused travelogues we often get a nice gender mix as well as all ages.

If you would like to participate, you may leave me a comment or send email to Lynn AT ColorJoy DOTcom by noon on Saturday. We would *Love* to have visitors join us!

Photo: October 2005 WWA meeting/workshop. Yes, we can make a colorful mess with the best of them!

In Praise of Backups

Thursday, September 21st, 2006

My email program hiccuped, I’m not sure when. I went to a folder and when I found an older message I wanted to re-read, I opened it up but the contents were for a totally different message.

No sweat, I told the system to rebuild the table of contents. Mind you, this is my Fabulous Heftones music career/Altu’s restaurant booking agent email folder. It’s pretty important stuff and there were almost two thousand messages in that folder.

So the table of contents rebuild worked. When I open a message from a year ago, it is actually the message I expected to read.

Sky Sept 20 in Lansing MIBUT. But. Now all the messages in there that I sent to someone else (basically out-basket messages), are missing the addresses I sent them to. It shows *my* address, the address sent *from.* Sigh.

So I needed to send my weekly press release for Altu’s restaurant. I base each new press release on the last one I sent. And when I opened the last sent message, I didn’t have the really important half dozen newspaper contact email addresses I’ve collected over the years/months/weeks. I could not exactly announce shows if I didn’t know where to send the announcement. Right?

Well, fortunately I did a special backup of just my email program a few days ago. Voila! I change the name of my new working copy of the mailbox (the one which matches the listing and contents properly). Then I restore the old folder (with all the messages over 6 months old that are confused).

There are enough recent messages in that box that are right, that I could use it as a resource… and so I went in to the restored folder, found the most recent press release, and found the blind carbon copy addresses I needed.

I cringe to think of how much time it might have taken for me to collect all those addresses if I had not backed up. True, neither of my folders are perfect but between them I can use the email program as my filing system (which is totally how I work).

I use email as my secretary, my reminder, my to-do list. If it’s in my email program it exists. Actually, I back up the whole computer every night to another computer but I figured the several day old one might have a good Table of Contents. No such luck. I didn’t realize that hiccup soon enough. But hey, I can work fine.

I guess it’s geek week here at ColorJoy heaven. I got a call from a computer client yesterday. I wrote them a database system in 1999 to manage an apartment complex. They called to say that a form they have used ever since, all of a sudden stopped working properly. Who knows why? They surely don’t know enough to have made this particular problem happen.

So I went over there, crossing fingers the whole way that I’d remember enough about this seven-year-old project to help them, and as quickly as possible.

I guess when you know something you remember it longer than you might imagine. I figured out the problem (a query had disappeared, like it had been deleted, very odd), rebuilt the query, fixed the form. In less than 10 minutes. They loved me and I was delighted (relieved even). Whew!

I don’t feel very geeky today but I’m glad I have those skills. I spent 6+ years teaching computer software seminars and I had to learn so much to do that… then I did Y2K consulting and learned a bit more in a different realm. Now I mostly use email and word processing, plus a little HTML web page design. This blog I just type into a window in a program someone else designed (I’m grateful).

But on weeks like this, I need to know how to restore from a backup. And I need to know what a query is and how to make a new one. I’m really grateful for those tools I still seem to have. Whew!

Photo: It is hard to take a photo of a computer screen and make it interesting. So here you see my first fall tree-color photo of the year. The sky did show some blue here and there yesterday but it does not show in this shot. It has been sweater weather, about 58F/14.5C at noon for the last two days. I felt depressed about the change in weather last night but today I’m feeling better. Wool clothes help!