Monday, September 28, 2015

Monday's random mutterings - September 28th 2015

We had family visiting over the weekend.

Actually, at the time when this post - which I scheduled a few days ago - will go live, they may still be visiting.

As it happens, it's a good thing I sometimes write these posts ahead of time, and lucky I happened to do so with several this past month.


Because, a couple of weeks ago, my computer's keyboard broke. Well, to be exact, it was only the down arrow that broke: it stuck, and when we tried to get it unstuck it came off. But the arrow keys are important to my computer use; I use them to navigate around pages, and to scroll up and down text I'm trying to read. This meant that I couldn't use my PC.

My Kindle can go online, but accessability is limited, since the speaking software it has isn't designed to do much online browsing. Still, I wanted to get in some practise with touch-screen, so I had a go at using it.

I actually didn't do too badly. Although, my typing with the touch-screen keyboard is painfully slow... I haven't been such a slow typer since before I had touch-typing lessons, which was more than 18 years ago! My typing is usually quite quick. I don't know how many words a minute I can type, since I've never bothered to time it, but I know I have a pretty good typing speed. At least, I do with a standard keyboard, LOL!

Anyway, though I spent several hours attempting to get the hang of using the touch-screen technology, I didn't really get much done. So, as I said, it was a good thing I already had posts scheduled for that week.

By the time a new keyboard for my PC arrived a few days later, I had a rather large stack of e-mails waiting for me to sort them, and ended up spending the rest of that weekend attempting to catch up with them.


We had a roleplaying session scheduled for the Thursday of that week, so Kelly let me use his PC.

But Kelly doesn't have JAWS on his PC, nor the talking dice programme I use. Which is called "GMA Dice" if you're interested.

Yes, I know we could have put the stuff on Kelly's computer. But we didn't want to install the stuff just for one afternoon if we could help it; especially since it would mean using one of my JAWS authorizations. I can have up to three of those before I have to call the people who do JAWS and request that they be cleared. Every time JAWS is installed on a computer in anything other than demo mode I have to use one... Even if it's re-installing it on the same computer, and clearing them means they get cleared on all computers, and JAWS has to be re-authorized on any computer you still want it to work properly on. And, the thing is, I think I've used my three, so unless I wanted to have to worry about sorting the authorization again on my PC when the keyboard arrived, it was easier to leave it... I'll worry about whether or not my authorizations need clearing the next time I need to install - or re-install - JAWS on a computer of my own.

Before you ask... No. Running JAWS in demo wode wouldn't have been an option. You have 40 minutes from when the computer first starts to load Windows before JAWS will shut down and not work again until you re-start the computer. This means that - by the time you factor in time for things to load, and allow plenty of time to shut down the computer with it still talking - you only get a little over half an hour before a re-start is required. So, it was deal with a re-start every half an hour or so, or just have Kelly sign me in to TeamSpeak so I could talk to them, and have Dad be in charge of my character sheet and dice. Bearing in mind, even on a normal session we play for between three and four hours. That's a lot of re-starts!

So, Kelly signed me in on his computer, and we arranged for my Dad to be in charge of my character sheet, and rolling my dice, while I just made the decisions on what my character would do. This meant that Dad was keeping track of three character sheets, since he has two characters of his own. But it was that or we didn't play.

And we really wanted to play, since we'd almost finnished that part of the adventure. In fact, we actually managed to finnish that part of the adventure during that session, despite the extra time involved in waiting for Dad to juggle the extra character sheet. Though we had a longer than usual session to do it.

I dare say Kelly was glad to get his computer back at the end of it.

Anyway, we'll start the next part of it next time (this coming Thursday, in theory). Although, one of Gareth's characters won't be a part of it, since she's so close to being insane that she's had to go away for a while to recover. But that's the risk you run in Cthulhu. Besides, none of us died in the end, so we actually got lucky, LOL!


In other news...

The August reading challenge on one of the groups I'm a member of over on Goodreads was to complete at least one of the following:

1. Read 1500 pages.
2. Read three books in one series.
3. Read a book with 500 or more pages.
4. Read a book with a season in the title (for example: Summer love).
5. Read a book that was recommended to you.

I managed to complete three of them, so here are the ones I completed, and the books I read for them:

*Read three books in one series.
Dralin (Dralin #1) by John H. Carroll
Ebudae (Dralin #2) by John H. Carroll
Pelya (Dralin #3) by John H. Carroll

*Read a book with 500 or more pages.
American Gods (American Gods, #1) by Neil Gaiman

*Read a book with a season in the title (for example: Summer love).
Norbert's Summer Holiday (Norbert the Horse, #2) by James Sutherland

I probably also did the 1500 pages, since American Gods alone was over 600, but I didn't bother to count my pages.

Anyway... This is the group where we get awards for completing the challenges, so here's my award for August:


I haven't watched many movies lately, but Kelly and I watched "Avengers: Age Of Ultron" recently. It was a really good movie, but I think the first Avengers movie was better, and Kelly appears to agree with me.

I also re-watched "Practical Magic" and "The Witches Of Eastwick" - movies I really love, and have seen several times. I've watched "Practical Magic" even more than "The Witches Of Eastwick" since it's one of my favourite movies.


Jeanie said...

Wow -- it all sounds so very complicated. Anytime there is a computer issue I get completely freaked out. Looks like you have found good solutions.

AND, very nice to have family visiting! AND, three cheers on all that reading this month -- that's a ton!

Victoria Zigler said...

Thanks! :)

I'm not too bad when it comes to computers; I have a basic level of understanding of how some things work, and that helps me figure out how to do most of what I want to do. Plus, I tend to pick things up quickly if it's something I'm interested in learning. If I could still see, I'd probably be using touch-screen keyboards as quickly as I use a regular keyboard. I'm not boasting or anything... Really! I'm just stating facts. I'm a fast typer from having touch-typing lessons in school, and needing to keep up a decent typing speed during lessons. Then I was homeschooled for a couple of years, and during that time my Dad taught me a lot about how to work computers; we even built our own computers at the time. Afterwards I went to a computer course where I learned my way around Microsoft Office. Between those things - and my own brains - I manage to figure out what I need to. If I can't figure it out, I find someone who can, and try to remember it for next time. As long as you don't want to do anything too fancy, you can figure most things out just by reading what's on the screen properly. In other words... You probably know how to do a lot more on computers than you give yourself credit for.

Rita said...

I can see why you wouldn't want to install JAWS any more than absolutely necessary!
Hope your family visit went well. Quite a heavy duty list for the reading challenges--whew!
I've never done a post ahead of time in all the years I have been blogging. I never plan out what I am going to say, either. I guess I'm an off the cuff kind of girl. But it makes sense and you were lucky you did! :)

Victoria Zigler said...

I never plan out exactly what I'm going to say when I start writing a post either, but sometimes I have things I want to post about that I write posts for, and then schedule for another time. Mostly this is done when I have a lot of things to say and the post is getting way too long, or for book release announcements (the ones that go up on the actual day of release). But I do also do it sometimes if I know I'm going to be busy. The main reason it happened this time though was because I'd set up posts in case I ended up in hospital at the start of the month, and left them alone, which put me a week ahead.

Intense Guy said...

I'm with you!

I would never install software at all unless I absolutely had to!


Who won? Sniles.

Victoria Zigler said...

Exactly! (About the not installing software unless you have to).

Who won what? The gaming? If so, technically all of us, since we work as a party against the monsters, and nobody died in our party yet, but we made the monsters we've battled so far go away.