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Showing posts from August, 2007

Let the Intern Do It

First off here's the little cutie on the front porch after his haircut. I always let him get too long and I forget how adorable he is with a shearing. Alissa always puts that little scarf thing around his neck which I leave on for a day or two because it is so silly.

Speech should be good. My first impression of the professor and classmates is very good. She teaches at the University as well. Have I mentioned that the community college I attend is considered one of the top ten in the nation? Recently the New York Times
ran a piece that included Valencia. My experiences have been mostly very positive. If I had this blog a while ago though you would have had to read my rants about my Comp II professor. He was a man around my age, has his doctorate, and is worthless. I won't go into all the details, but he gave me a B which I felt was undeserved. So much so that I went all the way to the Provost. If you could have seen me trying to fight City Hall you would have laughed. I knew I …

Official Bill Peck Web Site

Official Bill Peck Web Site
My iTunes Party Shuffle was playing while I was doing some chores and this song of Bill's came on. I thought I was linking right to the song but nonetheless the one I'm referring to is Everytime I. I hope you have time to give it a listen. I'd forgotten how good it is because I've not heard it for awhile. Sam Stone is the singer--a really nice guy; Bill plays the electric guitar. I think this song would be great on radio, however, we all know how hard it is these days to break into radio.

What Can I Say?

The photo of the day is of a marker about a block from the house. I've passed it so many times that it has become part of the scenery, however, on a walk with Baxter, I stopped to read it. It is remarkable to think that where our house is standing used to have quite a history. Speaking of history, did I ever tell you how a few years after we moved to our current home a knock on the door produced a look into the past. A gentleman declared that he lived in our home as a child. He produced a photograph of a new home with no trees surrounding it. Wonderful how gigantic oaks and pines can change the way a neighborhood looks. Our home is not as old as we are, but not far off. Built in 1960, the houses must have replaced an orange grove.

So, I've returned from my visit with Dr. Everett. He said "you look great!" He reminded me again of his concern that there was a yet to be discovered cancer lurking in my abdomen, but because I still weigh 108, he is fear-free. I suggested i…

No Longer a Foster Parent

It's practically official. LeAnne bought a new dog yesterday; surprisingly, it is not a Yorkie. Bill did not participate in the purchase as he's not anxious to raise another puppy nor is he anxious to spend the money. She bought a Maltese which apparently does not bark like Baxter; a good thing when one lives in a condo. At any rate some of you know that Baxter came to live with us temporarily a year ago April. He's been a fixture in our little house but we always told Bill and LeAnne that he could go back to his rightful parents when they wanted him. Bill, in an act of tenderness towards his dad,realized it would break Bruce's heart because he is very attached to Baxter. Around 6 each day Baxter lays on the rug by the side door waiting for Bruce to arrive. He jumps like a Mexican jumping bean, barely waiting for Bruce to set his briefcase down before goading him to play. Sorta like the kids used to all pile on our bed and there would be this family wrestle. Can you im…

Macro Practice

A few astute observers noticed I got a new camera about two months ago. I used to take loads of macros with my "baby camera", however, I've been unable to duplicate that success with my new one. I know that sounds silly because my new camera is a bit of an upgrade, but there you have it. Thus, I've been practicing. I went to my favorite haunt for such photography--Leu Gardens yesterday for about an hour.I have to get out and about if only for a little while. Of all things, one of the pictures I took and posted made Explore. Maybe I'm getting my mojo back a bit. While I was home I practiced on some shells I collected while at Canaveral Seashore. My professor for my class this summer said it was like golf--the more you swing the club, the better you get. I'm keeping that in mind.

The reason for this post is two-fold. One, my adviser is the same age as the twins and cute as a button. Very nice and easy going. That should make this internship thing all the better …

Off to School

Remember I told you last week I went to the Maitland Art Center--this is one of the pictures which I've put the sepia treatment on. My friend Amaya was on a sepia kick for a bit--I hope she likes this one.

I read this in the paper regarding huge portions at restaurants: "It's better to waste it than waist it" You know that quote comes from a woman don't you?

I'm heading over to school shortly but my first stop is the museum which is a few blocks away. I will be starting my internship there soon. Unfortunately the curator knows I've not been well and I'm thinking she is going to go easy on me. It's kind of her, but wasting one of her internship spots on me is not productive so I'm going to do my best to fulfill my obligations. Here's a link about Albin Polasek.Albin Polasek

It was two years ago almost to the day that I went to sign up at Valencia. Not knowing what I was getting myself into turned out to be both a blessing and a curse. I had to…

Fledgling Photographer

My nephew Richard (Maureen's son) and his girlfriend Jen came by the market yesterday with their dog Belvedere. He's a puggle and so nicely behaved. They are a charming couple, Rich has an incredible wit and Jen is full of unbridled enthusiasm. It is always nice to see a familiar face. Jen asked me what did people buy the most. I puzzled over that; it seems as if there is no majority. Here's what I sold yesterday:
A brown sunflower peeking through a fence.
An outdoor table and chairs set against a terra cotta wall that is soon to be demolished.
A peacock.
A pink rose.
Beach chairs for rent.
An architecture piece.
Flowers on a beach.
Hammock lakeside.
And last but not least a sculpture picture.
There seems to be no specific category and that is good because as you know full well (my mom used to say that all the time)I like to take pictures of everything!

Just when I thought it was safe to go back into the water--I got an explanation of benefits (for those healthy souls among you--you …

Stormy Weather

Friday evening it finally rained. After chatting with Lisa I returned Maureen's call. I asked her if she minded talking on the phone while the lightening was so intense. She had just enough time to say no problem when the power went out briefly due to a tremendous lightening strike nearby.
It threatened tonight, but so far no dice. Let's hope if it rains tomorrow it will be after 4.
Bruce has been encouraging me to make a spreadsheet to keep track of my business dealings. Hmmm...I've never done one before and it is proving challenging. I'm not giving up just yet but let's just say I'm putting it off. I did write down (I know--I'm old fashioned) all the pictures that I've sold. It turns out I've sold 72 framed pieces since the end of March. Not a whole lot, but actually I was surprised at the number. Not too bad for once a week. We'll see if we can add to that total tomorrow.

NPR : Pesky and Not Picky, Bedbugs Make a Comeback

NPR : Pesky and Not Picky, Bedbugs Make a Comeback
Did any of you hear this story on Morning Edition yesterday. Maureen called to tell me that I was not alone. I've been sleeping with anti-itch cream by my bedside for weeks now. Thank God Bruce was smart enough to know we should wash all our clothes when we arrived home. What a nuisance but fortunately we didn't bring them home with us.


I read yesterday that one out of four adults read no books last year. Personally I can't imagine life without books and I suspect you can't either if you are reading this. Nevertheless, I've pondered the statistic. I know that many casual readers choose their reading material from bestseller lists and if I had to choose from that I'd probably shy away from novels as well. It almost seems like some sort of conspiracy to promote only a few authors and the rest be damned. I know that there is loads of competition from the internet, video games, and all the rest. For me, there is nothing like losing myself in another life and location.

The pre-trial starts today for "Astronauts Gone Wild", apparently there was a lottery for news media parking places in front of the courthouse. Such a sad story--now that would make quite a novel.

Did I ever tell you that it was rain in California that drove me over the edge about moving back to Florida? A three year drought broke, …

If I Had A Real Job

I would be getting overtime today. I've worked pretty much all day on my photos. How can that be you ask? Well, first I sorted through the gazillion photos I have to decide on possible saleable ones. That may not be a word, I'm not sure. As well, one is never sure of what people will buy. What I've been told is that once you think you have it figured out, you don't. Needless to say this is slow going. I finally got about 200 images picked out and wanted to burn them to a disc to give to Mr. Roger. This way he will have them in the future when I get swamped with orders! Haha! I am still learning on the Mac. When Matt called the other evening he described it thusly: although you've used a computer for years Mom, your usage has not been very deep. He is correct per usual. I have learned more about how to do stuff with a computer in these few weeks then I ever knew before. The disc is made.

Next up, a place for visitors to go on the web that is not flickr. I love flickr…

I Could Have Filled the Tub with Saltwater...

Instead, I went to the beach. In an effort to heal my bites I decided that a trip to the ocean would be just the ticket; saltwater seems to have a healing effect. If you can imagine, the 15 bites on the back of my left thigh have not healed yet after more than two weeks. I wake up scratching them like a maniac. Wait, you've heard that before; I apologize. Believe me, I only wish it weren't still a topic of discussion.

So, I'm like a kid the week before school starts. I've had several field trips that you haven't been privy to. Yesterday I went to the Maitland Art Center. It's a really cool place that was founded in the 30's by Mary Bok. Now if you've been following my flickr at all, you know that for the 24 hours of flickr I posted a sign from Bok Tower that was the motto of Mr. Bok. At this point I'm not certain if it was his daughter in law, or what, but I'm planning of researching it. They must have been a cool family. The center is covered wi…

Suprises All Day

My day used to include walking Baxter around 5pm while chatting with Jonathan on his way home from work. Lately neither one has happened. Jonathan has a new life, and Baxter is being uncommonly stubborn. In any case, I've been trying to get him to walk in the early morning before the intense heat of the day. You know me well enough by now to know that I take my camera everywhere. About a block from the house I spotted this briefcase in a hedge. I took the picture and sent it to Bruce asking what he thought I should do. After lunch he called and suggested I should phone the police and let them decide. I dialed 911 and the question was: "What is the nature of your emergency?" I replied that I didn't think it was an emergency but didn't know where else to call. I gave her the details and left my number.

About two hours later the phone rang. Without my reading glasses on, all I could make out was: City of Orlando. Naturally I thought it was the police. I thought wrong…

I Know it's Just a Market....

Honestly though, didn't her mother teach her not to go out in her underwear?

If we were just beginning our courtship, Saturday would not have added much to it. As I mentioned, it was our anniversary. Bruce only worked until 1 so that we could go to the movies. His comment was: "you know this is the best movie you've seen in ages!" Of course it is the only movie I've been to in ages. The Bourne Ultimatum is not my idea of great movie making. I did it for him although not without snide remarks throughout the movie. Let's just say that there are two things that I deplore in movies--gratuitous violence, and car chases. I got my quota of both for about five years in the future. The dialog is amazingly bad--"get his cell phone!" "find out where he's been!" "let's go mobile!" and on and on it went. I think Matt Damon had about thirty lines total in the whole movie. Enough said.

Dinner later at a neighborhood restaurant did not go …


It's not quite what my friend Dean calls a speed limit anniversary but close--34 years ago today Bruce and I married.

He was 20, I was 19. He was in the carpenter apprenticeship program and I had just completed 24 grueling months as an x-ray student. When I look back on that training I realize that college is a piece of cake compared to what we went through. No summers off, 40 hours a week, and certainly no spring break. I digress.

I was now officially employed at $3.25 an hour. Bruce and I had gone steady since we were 13 and we could finally get married.

Our wedding was in a church nearby with the reception at the church hall--cake and punch. It all sounds so quaint now but that's how the majority of people who got married then celebrated. Destination weddings would have sounded as unbelievable as the notion that I could write something on a computer keyboard and people I haven't met face to face would read it!

My wedding dress was a pale pink embroidered organza over silk.…


I'm So Excited and I Just Can't Hide It

That about sums it up folks.

First off, I wanted to give you a closer look at the prints. I took this before I sold the front one. They look so professional and as I said--I could hardly believe it was my stuff.

Here's why I'm so excited: I was finishing making dinner when the phone rang. Unknownnumber. If you're like me you don't answer those calls. went to voice mail. A male voice said: This message is for Gail, I'm a friend of Ed and I saw your great pictures at his house this weekend. I snatched that baby off the hook--Hello, Hello, this is Gail. Yeah!--a referral. Ed is the man who bought five of my pieces as he'd had a house fire and had to start over. This new man was interested in my groupings of fruits and vegetables for his kitchen. Don't take this wrong please because I have a gay son. We've got that straight right? Anyway, they seem to visit each other's homes more than some folks and some of them (Matt would say I'm stereot…


When the alarm went off this morning at 4AM I was already awake scratching those bites that won't go away. I had to get up and put some cream on them to keep me from doing more damage. Normally when Bruce has such an early flight I easily go back to sleep, but today I decided to stay up. After making tea I caught up on some of my computer stuff. Around 6:30 I threw on some clothes to photograph a sunrise over the city. I didn't get very far. As I was driving about 1/2 mile from the house I realized that lake front would be better. I parked the car and waited. It was fascinating to see the lake come to life. There were dragonflies floating above the reeds and ducks just beginning to swim about. Shortly thereafter a flock of birds started out of the reeds and just kept coming. It was a lovely sight.As you can see the sun came up out of the trees a brilliant red ball casting it's fiery glow on the water. I knew then that it would be another scorching day as the sky became haz…

Two Weeks Until School Starts

Today I was on my way to pick up some frames and was driving down Mills Ave. Because it is right there off Mills, I decided to take a little detour into the cemetery where my parents are buried. I've visited their graves only a few times as it just doesn't appeal to me. Nonetheless, I thought I would today. Because I've been there so seldom I thought I'd have trouble finding them, but actually, I drove right to the site. As you can see, my father died when I was 28. I'll never forget that phone call. The twins were two, and Matt was five. In those days getting dinner on the table was always a challenge but unnaturally so on that one. My sister called and I remember that I starting screaming. I don't recall, but I imagine it scared the boys. My parents were moving back to Orlando in one month to be near the grandchildren. My dad died of what I think was a heart attack. He was found by a neighbor with the cat curled up on his legs. If it happened today he might…

London Calling

A call from Matt has set me straight again--hurray for genius sons! Photo booth from your friend Gail AKA Out & About Photography.

Digital Immigrant

For the first time ever I managed to set up my new printer all by myself. When you live in a household of "native users", you naturally let them do all the technology work for you. At least, that's what I've done in the past. Now that they are scattered, I've had to fend for myself. Bruce would have done it for me, however, he said give it a try; by golly, it worked. My sister Maureen taught me those terms, "digital immigrant" and "native user"; I think it is pretty cute. All of my readers are smart enough to get it.

With my new printer operating, I opened iWorks (Apple's answer to MSOffice), and typed a sign to put up with my brand new prints for sale. I mentioned Roger from the market last week, remember him? We now have something to show for that encounter. He has the ability to print Giclee prints at his home for an incredibly reasonable price. I use that term Giclee loosely-- I believe it is like calling all tissues Kleenex. Nonet…

Flickr Will Have to Do

I still can't figure out what the problem is--when I try and upload a photo it says it's taking my whole library which I feel pretty confident you are not interested in.

Because the computer transfer went so smoothly I was able to read "A Thousand Splendid Suns" by Khaled Hosseini most of yesterday afternoon out in the pool. I know you feel sorry for me don't you? Have you read "The Kite Runner" by the same author? It is a real eye-opener into life in Afghanistan which I read about three years ago, and true to my nature, I talked about ten people into reading it. He is a fantastic storyteller. So, the point of all this is--

When we feel like complaining about our government--what they do, and do not do--consider the rules the Taliban enacted:

All citizens must pray five times a day. If it is prayer time and you are caught doing something other, you will be beaten.

All men will grow their beards. The correct length is at least one clenched fist beneath the …

Amazing is All I Can Say!

Maybe I've been through the learning curve, I don't know, but this time the transfer of data was amazingly quick. What's more, the photos transferred over as the folders I'd had in Picasa. I was able to easily delete all the photos that were edited originals . In fact, the whole process is completed and it's only 11:30 in the morning. All my music (3,500 songs) and photos( 4,500). I'm listening to Basement Jaxx as I type this. Only one hurdle left -- to figure out how to upload a picture to this blog. For some reason I couldn't open the iPhoto folder. Pictures will be forthcoming when I unravel this mystery. I lied, I still don't have Firefox although I've done pretty well on my own. Matthew was not available for a global computer consulatation as he was out with friends after work. Our man in London.

As I've mentioned previously flickr is a puzzling "place." Last evening around 7, I posted the photo of the new computer; as I type this…

Assume the Sale

Doesn't every girl struggle with this?

Last night I met with Mr. Roger about printing my photos. He's the man I told you about who stopped by my booth at the market. It turns out he started four years ago doing just what I'm doing. He now has five printers, ability to print on canvas, a trailer, and a big truck. He had invaluable advice including how to go about taking credit cards. We have been taking baby steps, however, he's given us ideas about larger ones. Give him the credit for the title of this post--a new motto for me.

I'm writing the last blog entry on this computer. Apple came out with a better iMac yesterday, which I will be getting. I've just returned from the store only to learn that if I return this 12 day old computer I will receive a new one with a larger monitor, more hard drive, and $100 back. It's an offer to good to be true. Unfortunately, that means I'll be starting over loading my photos and music. In the long run, I'm sure it w…

Mind Over Matter

That seems to work pretty well for me in the daytime--the nighttime is another story. I was feeling so good for a few days until I felt the familiar twinge in my side yesterday afternoon and it went downhill from there. I went in the pool to soak my bites and called my sister Lisa; we chatted for a good long while. She asked if I had any doctor's visits lined up . I am between a rock and a hard place on that one. I've had no help from the gazillion visits I've made, so what would make me think another one would be any different? All these are distractionary (is that a word?) tactics. I was happy to go to bed early with Bruce who had to get up at 4 am for a flight this morning. Unfortunately, even though I was sleeping on my heating pad, the pain kept waking me up. I couldn't get comfortable no matter how I tried. I was awake when his alarm went off and thought I wouldn't be able to go back to sleep; thankfully, I did.

I got up with high hopes for the day. I scooted …

Market Day Redux

Despite having worked until 9pm last night, Bruce was up bright and early. We set up the booth with him heading home to finish the roof. Another scorcher today I might add. He finished just in time to get a shower and pick me up at the market.

The good news is that there was a lot more traffic today which meant I sold five pieces, including one of the larger ones. Strangely enough, because Bruce had not eaten, he got some food from one of our fellow vendors and sat down to eat. It was already about 3 pm. Two nice men came by who were visiting from Fort Lauderdale. They ended up buying two things! Typically, we are already taking down about then, but it's probably like all shopkeepers, just before closing time a buyer shows up. Anyway, happy day all around.

Another good thing is that the owner of a trendy vegetarian restaurant stopped by and asked if I might want to put some pieces up there! Apparently, they showcase a few artists each month. He gave me the contact person's e-mai…


You knew I would have more to say, didn't you?

Here is my darling husband Bruce. He is not only handsome as can be,but he's one in a million in every way. I might have mentioned that we hooked up when we were thirteen. I'll never know how I got so lucky.

I neglected to mention that the drive home was in torrential rain for about 250 miles. I'm not too thrilled to drive in that kind of weather but Bruce did it with grace--no fussing, all business.

He talked me through the bridge fear, and kept me informed about when we were almost over it. I forgot to mention that the bridge crossing (back and forth) occurred the day of the bridge collapse in Minneapolis.

Now, here is the most astonishing thing about Bruce. We came home, not only because of the rain on Friday in Charleston, but so that Bruce would have some time to fix our roof. He is still out there, nearly 12 hours later, working in the blistering heat to fix what Hurricane Charley wrought. During the storm a massive, let…

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

We went North.
I'll try and be succinct, however, you and I both know that is always a challenge for me.
Left 6ish on Monday evening and stopped in Daytona Beach for the night. We ate dinner at the restaurant in Ponce Inlet near the lighthouse. Food was mediocre; the setting is riverside, thus the draw. Next morning we roamed the beach a bit, investigating the aging, soon to be torn down, Boardwalk. As you may or may not know, Daytona bills itself as the world's most famous beach. It may well have been in it's heyday.

Next stop--Savannah. We left with no reservations, or concrete plans, for that matter, yet we were able to get a room at the Marshall Inn in the historic district. It felt like we had stepped into a photo shoot for the magazine Southern Living. Wine and cheese service at 5 in the beautiful lobby--very nice. Bruce took a little nap, and you already know that I went out to take some photos. I moseyed over to Paula Deen's restaurant which was a few blocks aw…