Towse: views from the hill

December 31, 2004

For Liz

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 1:38 am

How to get your photos off your Verizon camera phone.

== From /MENU/ Select /CONTACTS/

== Either create an e-mail contact for Liz e-mail or add an e-mail contact to your existing contact record.

== Press [Camera button]

== Select [2] Gallery

== Maneuver with toggle button to desired picture

== Press [OK] button

== Press [Rt button], labeled “Options”

== Press [1] Send

== Press [Lt button], labeled “Contacts”

== Press [1] Contact

== Select desired e-mail contact

== Press [OK] button

== Press [OK] button again

== Add text if desired or just

== Press [Lt button], labeled “Send”

== Wait for “Pix message sent successfully” message.

What do the following sites have in common?

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 12:10 am



December 29, 2004

Some hand holding required.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 2:46 am

There’s been buzz recently about Google’s efforts to add book content to their searching capabilities, working with the libraries of Stanford, Harvard, the University of Michigan, NYPL and the University of Oxford to digitally scan books from their collections. Initially, only Stanford and UM will have their entire collections on Google while the other libraries will supply specific parts of their collections, including the Bodleian’s 19th century collections.

The scanned book texts will be folded into the massive Google databases and will be searchable with Google search tools, bringing back either full text for those titles in the public domain or excerpts/bibliographic material for those items still in copyright. Google will provide links wherever possible to “buy this book!” of course.

Those hip to the buzz but idiots under their skin are busily discussing the imminent demise of The Public Library. Who needs public libraries when needed books can just be downloaded or read online?


Public libraries are far more than just books on the shelves.

Public libraries come staffed with librarians who offer reference services and help with tracking down that book you need. Librarians these days are busy helping people discombobulated by what the Web’s search engines offer up.

A librarian would have been of great help to the poor schmoe who stumbled across my blog when he popped /hot dancing club pics in miami/ into Yahoo’s search field.

December 28, 2004

Q&A from my favorite step-daughter

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 9:58 pm

A. sent me one of the Q&As she sends me on occasion. I like the peek into her life and head and I always return the Q&A with my answers added so she’ll keep on sending me Q&As.

Further up and further in …

First Name: Sal/Sally

Named After: No one in particular. I was almost named for Mary Jane Lirette. Wouldn’t that’ve been grand?

Do I wish on stars? Always

When did I last cry? This morning, reading this.

What am I listening to? The sound of the wall heater cycling on and off. Except for Barenaked Ladies Christmas down at the main house and Santana in the car, I’ve been music-less since we got back. Don’t know why.

Last thing I ate? Sweetbreads with mushrooms in a marsala/sour cream sauce over buttered rice. Last night. Breakfast this morning was a mug of espresso with milk and Torani caramel slosh. Naughty. I think I’ll have sweetbreads on toast for lunch.

If I were a crayon, I’d be: chewed. broken.

What is the weather? Grey. Post-rain.

Last person I talked to on the phone? Talk? On the phone?

I must return Louisa’s call.

Do you like the person who sent you this email? Very much.

Favorite Drink: Alize — brandy and passion fruit juice.

Favorite Sport: tennis

Eye Color: hazel green brown

Do you wear contacts? No.

Favorite Food: Sizzled foie gras.

Last Movie you watched: Ella Enchanted, on the flight home.

Favorite Day of the year: Each day has its good points.

Scary Movies or Happy Endings? Happy Endings, for sure.

Summer or Winter: Fall, when the hills turn green again. Or are we talking about color key? In that case, Winter.

What is your favorite dessert? Flan

Who is most likely to respond? n/a

Living arrangements? Splitting time between San Francisco and the South Bay. Looking forward to the day when the South Bay domicile will be sold and we’ll really be living some place again. Right now I feel ‘twixt and ‘tween, not really one place or the other. Separating from the South Bay is taking longer and is a lot more heart shaking than I’d expected.

What books are you reading? an assortment and nothing at all. I really need to get this place in shape for sale. I feel guilty curling up with a good book.

What’s on your mouse pad? “SURFERS TAKE NOTICE” — an Alcatel mouse pad that came from who knows where. I hadn’t noticed. Now that I’ve noticed, I think I’ll swap in the mousepad that sent me.

What did you watch on TV last night? I haven’t watched TV as such for a long, long while except for some news bursts from hotel room TVs while we were gone and out of touch with newspapers and the Web.

Favorite Smells: Daphne odora, citrus blossoms, ylang ylang, 4th of July punks

Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles

Do you like your handwriting? Yes.

What is your favorite lunchmeat? Chipped beef, when turned into chipped beef on toast. Soul food.

When is your birthday? 12 August. Leo Dragon.

If you were another person, would you be friends with you? Yes.

Are you a daredevil? No.

Have you ever told a secret you swore to keep? Not that I can remember. I’m pretty closed mouth when people tell me things. If someone was in danger of doing something utterly stupid or dangerous, however …

How do you release anger? I clean up messes, throw things away, regret it later some times.

Where is your second home? Which is my second home? … at this point San Francisco, I suppose, but San Francisco feels like home and this place from which I’m typing this seems … like an old lover who is fading from memory. I’m detaching.

Do you trust others easily? No.

What was your favorite toy as a child? A small doll maybe eight inches high that I got in Brazil when I was five or so. The doll still sets on my bureau.

What class in high school do you think was totally useless? None of them, really. Maybe PE/swim.

Do you have a journal? Yes. Off and on and then my blog these days. I wish I was more consistent about writing in a journal but I usually start off and then peter out.

Do you use sarcasm? No.

Would you bungee jump? No, but I am thrilled that my dad jumped out of an airplane for his eightieth bday (a tandem jump) and splurged the extra to get someone to jump with him and videotape the jump.

Do you untie your shoes to take them off? No. Naughty.

What is your favorite ice cream flavor? Coffee.

Shoe Size: 6-6 1/2.

Red/Pink: Pink for clothes. Red for stuff, household decoration, flowers, …

What is the least favorite thing you like about yourself? My unhelpful, unhealthy tendency to fuss and fret about stuff I can do nothing about.

Who do you miss the most? Skip, Diana, Casey.

Do you want everyone you send this to to send it back? n/a

What color pants are you wearing? black Levi’s

What is the furthest you have been away from home? Halfway around the world. If we’re talking about distance from where and how I live? Bhutan. Bhutan rocked my soul.

Dreams of waves crashing …

Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 6:38 pm

I spent a formative year, the year before we left for Brazil, living in Manhattan Beach, CA, while my dad taught geology at UCLA. I was four. We lived on The Strand, with just a road and a sea wall separating us from the beach and the Pacific Ocean beyond. There were five sibs then — the last of we six not yet born. Skip, the oldest, would’ve been eleven. My younger sister, two.

I still dream of the beach house. In my dreams I wander through the rooms, searching for something. Skip had his own bedroom upstairs, with a closet whose back opened into the attic. I walk through the back of his closet a la THE LION, THE WITCH AND … searching. The larger upstairs room was a bedroom and playroom for the four remaining sibs with a multitude of beds, including a large bed that slid in and out of the wall. I search there as well. Downstairs, the built-in kitchen table had benches that opened up for additional storage. In my dreams I wander through the house. My dad had a corner of the living room set up as his office where he would grade papers and prepare lectures. I was fascinated by the model of THE SPIRIT OF ST LOUIS he had hanging from the ceiling.

In my dreams, it is never clear just what it is I’m searching for.

I remember falling asleep sucking sea salt from my toes after afternoons playing on the beach.

I remember getting caught by the waves and tumbled under, gasping for air, unable to breathe, struggling to shore. I was four and it was the first of many times I got sucked into a wave. I’ve never been an enthusiastic body surfer although I was probably never in any real danger of drowning. Still …

I remember the grownups talking about a possible tidal wave headed our way, a scare that petered out to nothing but which frightened my four-year-old self and left me now, forty-eight years later, with recurring dreams of large waves sucking me under, as I struggle for air, unable to breathe.

Sometimes I see the fog curling over the Santa Cruz Mountains and spilling down the eastern slopes. In my mind’s eye I see not fog, but a wave, larger than any wave possible, swelling up from the Pacific Ocean until it reaches a monstrous height, then crashing over the mountains and relentlessly, inexorably swallowing us all.

Snorkeling in the Galapagos earlier this month, I was caught up unexpectedly by a wave and tumbled. I dove under that wave and into the next that was crashing over and came up beyond the surf, unshaken, proud of myself for facing into the waves and conquering the fears that had held me.

Perhaps, I thought, my dreams of gasping for air as waves crashed over me might end.

But now, I think not.

December 23, 2004


Filed under: Uncategorized — Towse @ 5:40 pm

Arrived back yesterday after lunch, after an unexpected night-over in Miami.

Spent the morning sorting through three boxes of mail, picked up from the P.O. yesterday afternoon. Off to the bank to deposit checks and to SK/JK’s home. Of all the misdirected mail in our three boxes of held mail, they won the blue-footed booby prize and will get their stack of mail hand-delivered instead of re-cycled through the P.O.

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