New and Improved
104.5 in the Shade

August 6, 1999

Well, I've spent the last 36 hours working in Photoshop. Ugh. As you can see from the next index page and titles, I've mastered the drop shadow. That, and figuring out how to make the background color of my images match the background color of my pages.

Transparent gif's you say.


Can't. Be. Done.

I tried, six ways from Sunday. I was bound and determined to do this myself. (Which, I'm certain is patently obvious but much better than this.) I even went so far as to consult the Help menu.

Photoshop is the least intuitive Windows-based program I've ever had the displeasure to work with. I'm sure there are others but so far I've been lucky.

Chuck knows a little about Photoshop. I know nothing. Except, again, how to make a drop shadow.

After toiling away all day and pleased with my efforts (relative to my skill level, OK) I wanted Chuck to see. "Oh, drop shadows are what every beginner learns first."

Yeah. Well.

So this is what my journal is going to look like. For now. Those of you who don't have the luxury of a DSL connection or cable modem are breathing a sigh of relief I'm sure. I know the old banner image loaded really slowly. This should speed things up quite a bit.

My jury duty ended today. We found the defendant guilty on both charges: receiving and selling stolen merchandise, and a convicted felon in possession of a gun (seven guns to be more specific).

This judge said the trial was going to last five days. It lasted two full days and then about 25 minutes this morning--just long enough for us to read our verdict. (We came to a decision yesterday but defense counsel was nowhere to be found, so it was put off until this morning.)

I will say, I found the process very interesting. While I think there may have been extenuating circumstances, the law is quite clear and specific on what can and cannot be considered and based on our instructions there was only one possible way to find: guilty. We spent maybe 45 minutes deliberating. It was pretty cut and dried.

So, I had the day to myself.

I was going to go to see The Thomas Crown Affair but the stars were against me and it turned out to be just as well.

The movie started at 1:35. I left the house at about 1:20. Just a quick stop at the cash machine and I was on my way. I get to the cash machine and discover that my ATM card is at home. OK, back home. Find ATM card. I know there will be at least 10-15 minutes of trailers so I'm still safe. The movie theater is less than 10 minutes away.

Back to cash machine. Cash machine is out of order. Have to find another. Get pan-handled in front of cash machine. Finally, money.

I get to the theater at about 1:47. I can still make it. I have to park in China but run to the ticket booth. There were about 7 senior citizens waiting to get tickets to the 2:00 showing of Runaway Bride. I went in and asked the usher if the movie started. It had. Just.

And I was still going to have to wait in the ticket line behind the octogenerians. Why weren't these people at Ralphs where they belonged? I gave up, decided to get some lunch, instead of the popcorn and soda I was going to originally have, and see if the movie was playing elsewhere. It was, at the really yucky theater about five minutes from home. At 2:45.

Back home to my PC. I'll kill some time before I have to leave to get to the theater. I'm starting to make some real progress on my pages and graphics and decide to blow off the movie. I'll rent it.

About 30 minutes later the phone rings. It's the headmistress of Zoe's school. Zoe's got a fever and will I come pick her up please.

I get there about three minutes later. She was burning up.

We get home, strip her down and I take her temperature. 104.5. Oy. Ever the vision of calm in a disaster I dose her with Motrin, start the cool bath, and call the pediatrician--pretty much all at once.

If the fever isn't down in 45 minutes call back.

Zoe, who normally loves a bath couldn't stand the feel of the water on her skin. She was cold. Her body ached. Her skin hurt. She wanted to go to sleep. I tried to entertain her and kept making her touch her chin to her chest (a very rudimentary test to check for signs of spinal meningitis).

Her fever was down to 102 next time I checked. I called the doctor just to make sure we shouldn't come in. No, every three hour rotations of Motrin and Tylenol, with 15 minute tepid baths as needed.

My daughter is irritable. My husband, who hasn't smoked in 5 days is irritable. And, he's leaving in the morning to go see his dad, so it's just me and the sick princess for the rest of the weekend.

Feel sorry for me yet?

Until next time. . .