Thursday, April 16, 2009

Will The Chickens Dance In The Snow?


Another weather flag is up for this weekend! I know we need the moisture but can I get a break here? I have been patiently working my way through the last month of weekends of snow and missed forecasts of snow but it’s now starting to grate on me. Especially this weekend, when The Bride and I, and Guitar and Pic-E are scheduled to travel to the SE Colorado plains to view the Lesser Prairie Chickens do their annual mating dance. A weird thing to do you say? Well, it may be but this bird puts on a terrific show, so I’m told. It may also be that in just a few years these birds will be extinct so this trip does have some urgency to it. LesserPrairie-ChickenMetz3

The forecast is not much help…even though we’re only 2 days away from whatever happens. The good news is that the forecast is pretty definite for Sunday and Monday. Both of those days bounce back into the 60s and 70s. Right now there is a 50/50 chance for heavy snow along the front range that will make travel pretty risky. I was going to bring the RV here to the house to start preparations for the trip and to work on the graphics but I think I’ll wait and see what tomorrow brings.

On the blogging front, I’m creating this post using MS Live Writer. For all you non-techies what this means is that I can do a post without being hooked up to the internet. I can do both the text and pictures and even preview what the post will look like and then save it on my computer. When I get access to the internet I just upload the post.

I haven’t been able to try out this software before this because I had two big computer roadblocks…Windows Vista operating system and I used Firefox as a web browser. The Windows Vista conflict was solved some time ago but in Microsoft’s inimitable manner they engineered the software so that it would only work with a Microsoft browser…Internet Explorer. For a number of reasons I have refused to use that browser for years.

At any rate the roadblocks have been removed and I am now trying this software out. I do like the fact that I can compose a post, complete with pictures and links and be able to see the post in a WYSIWYG format on my computer without an internet connection. This will allow a bit more authenticity to posts I compose while on some of my trips. In the past I have either had to wait until I was somewhere that had an internet connection to do posts or I had to write the text in a word processing format, without pictures and links, save it, and then when I had internet connection, import the text and then insert the pictures. So far I’m pleasantly pleased with this Microsoft product.

While I’m doing a computer post I’ll also mention that I have been disenchanted with the Microsoft Office suite of products for some years as well. I didn’t like the way Microsoft made it difficult for any other software to interact with their products and I didn’t like the cost of their products. About a year and a half ago I decided to give Open Office a try. This is a free open source suite of products that includes word processing, spread sheet, data base, presentation, graphics and calculator modules and it is every bit as good as MS Office. It even allows you to make pdf files. I can recommend this as a professional grade, low cost solution for those of you that don’t want to spend the money on a Microsoft product.

I was bummed over the past few months when it looked like Microsoft would purchase Sun Microsystems who is the creator of Open Office. I was concerned that if the purchase went through that they, Microsoft, would make this great, free product disappear. I was happy to see that the deal fell through.

Thanks for visiting.


Wandrin said...

Hope you get to see the "mating dance". Get some photos!

The alternate to OpenOffice is NeoOffice. My experience has found that NeoOffice has less bugs -- for my particular usage.

janeywan said...

Sure hope this moisture continues to come in the form of rain, but listening to the news it sounds like we're going to wake to snow in the morning. It won't stick around long so I bet those chickens will dance!

I use Live Writer and OpenOffice, happy with both, that means one thing it won't be free for long. :)

Have a safe trip and if you see any wild turkeys doing their mating dance, get a photo for me.


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