I swore I never would

Samsung –Google Unveils the Highest Resolution...
Samsung –Google Unveils the Highest Resolution Tablet Nexus 10 

I forgot the promise I had made to myself many months ago but nothing I decide is always set in stone. It all depends on circumstance. When I had my mobile phone exchanged and my contract renewed last October I was given a smart phone but insisted I didn’t want one or need one. As it happened that has been proved right, I almost never use it except to accept calls and only read some of my emails because I was too lazy to go into the lounge to read them on my laptop! I never read emails away from home under normal circumstances. I will check text messages but I’ve always done that in any case as they are usually associated with my work. I never encourage folk to text me preferring to speak directly with them. When E and I were in the US and Canada a couple of years ago E took her laptop along so she could do her competitions in the evening for something to do when were weren’t out for the night. I used her machine to check my own emails and found it handy. I didn’t like the idea of taking a laptop on holiday and I still don’t if only because of their weight! Then along came the tablets, computers designed to be totally portable! Even so I was not tempted to purchase one though I knew how useful they would be. Now E does a lot of competitions and these are the sorts of things she has won in the past, a holiday for four in Bermuda, a chance to drive a Chieftain Tank, a hot-air balloon ride for two, a king-sized bed, a 40″ HD 3D flat screen television, two Wii units, an X-Box and a PS3, a couple of cameras, and the latest one, an iPad. There are many more things she has won too but the list is way too long, it is quite unbelievable. Now this was the first time I had really seen an iPad or any tablet close-up and I was intrigued with its capabilities. Essentially as I have already mentioned, it is a fully portable computer but very compact and lightweight. It is for this fact alone that I find them useful. Whilst at home I wouldn’t entertain using such a device because I love my wide-screen laptop which in any case is a far better machine than a tablet, even the best ones available but it isn’t the kind of thing you want to be carrying about with you for any length of time, it is far too heavy! That brings me to the point of this post. Now although it is conceivable that E could win another tablet that might not happen for years so I have invested in one for myself instead. I couldn’t wait that long…LOL. However I haven’t purchased an iPad because I don’t like Apple machines, they are too expensive, so I have gone for the Nexus 10 32 Gb tablet instead which, though  subsidised by Google thereby costing far less than they would otherwise, still put me back £463 with postage. The reason Google have subsidised their manufacture (by Samsung) is so that users will be tied to using their applications. Well that’s fair enough and will suit me. Most of the available apps. and probably the ones I would use if I needed any are free anyway. So there you have it, I can take my computer with me if I need to. As I am currently running Chrome on my PC synchronizing everything will be a doddle as I do have a Google account. I may be in receipt of my new tablet by the time this has been posted but there’s no rush.

Shirley Anne


Time of year

Traditions (Photo credit: Luxerta)

At the end of next month or perhaps the beginning of December I will curtail my visits to the pub, not returning again until after the first week in January, God permitting of course. I call this time the ‘silly season‘ when the world gets all wrapped up in the Christmas festivities and shallow well-wishing toward one another. It is the season for struggling in the shopping areas of town worrying about what presents to buy for those in our lives, a pointless ritual that people feel obliged to be a part of. That belief is rooted in a lack of self-confidence to make a stand against tradition, mostly because they enjoy the experience of it all. It matters not to the majority that what they do doesn’t honour God, if they had any belief in Him at all. What is more important to them is that they are enjoying it all. It is a time to get merry, to give and receive gifts, to eat too much food and to generally make pigs of themselves. The run-up to it all is probably more enjoyable than the holiday itself and when it is all over it is back to the normal routine again. What benefit is there in all of that I ask? Well once upon a time I indulged in the same way and then I became a Christian and the festivities had meaning but since those days I have realised that all I had been doing was based upon tradition and what I was getting out of it all. God doesn’t want us to fall into the trap of traditionalism, man-made festivities and seasonal hedonism. He would rather we lived our lives honouring Him and not just for a season but throughout our lives. Loving and pleasing God is a lifestyle, far better than any Christmas party or any of the trappings surrounding it. I no longer wish to be a part of it and for the last few years I have isolated myself from this tradition. I enjoy the company of people, that is why I go to the pub in the first place and I can do that all year round but something happens to people at Christmas and there is a sense of ignorance in their hearts regarding Christmas itself and why it was originally ordained. That subject I will not go into again for I have expounded upon it many times before. As they say these days ‘Google it’, or you could look into my archives at posts I have made around this time of year more recently. Key in the word ‘Christmas’ in the search box on the right. No, I shall not be going to the pub when they start their silly season in a few weeks time.

Shirley Anne

Don’t you just love computers?

Image representing Google Chrome as depicted i...
Image via CrunchBase

Well after a few problems with my computer on Wednesday something else cropped up whilst I was browsing my own blog. Those who use WordPress will know about the notification bar at the top of the screen and it was there that I discovered another potential problem. This time it was to do with the browser I have been using which is Internet Explorer 9, the 64-bit version. WordPress was telling me that I had to upgrade my browser else the site may not work in the near future. I didn’t respond immediately but came back to the problem again on Saturday. I downloaded IE 9 again even though there seemed nothing wrong with my version. The message disappeared but re-appeared again later. WordPress say that the preferred browsers for their platform are Firefox and Google Chrome. As I had Google Chrome on my computer anyhow I started arranging things on the computer to try it out. There were some niggling problems such for instance not all of my ‘favourites’ had been imported to the new browser and I had to transfer them manually. Also Zemanta, which I use to furnish my blog with pictures had to be downloaded to the Google browser. Admittedly that last process took a mere three seconds or so but still it was something that needed doing! I am not used to Google Chrome and I had difficulty finding out how to include or exclude toolbars and other operations but after a while I got the hang of it. One problem still exists with using Google Chrome is that when I am on my blog’s dashboard I can no longer see the notification bar that was instrumental in my switching browsers! Now that to me seems a little silly, especially as WordPress insist it is one of the two best browsers to use with their platform. If I switch back to Internet Explorer I can see the notification bar. Maybe the problem lies within my computer settings but I haven’t a clue where that may be. It’s as though the visual screen needs dropping down a touch but I don’t know if that is the problem nor how to fix it, yet anyway. I can get round the problem by switching to a another tab and using that to display the site whilst I am signed in (the notification bar is only there whilst you are logged in) but that is rather tiresome.Oh the joys of working with computers!
I have three browsers on my computer, the third one being Safari, which I downloaded some time ago as it might have been of benefit when using Apple applications and programs as suggested by Apple themselves. It seems different companies have preferences when it comes to browsers. I have used Safari, not extensively, and I found it reasonably good but I have no idea of its true capabilities. I will stick with Google Chrome because it is excellent and fast too! I will keep Internet Explorer in the taskbar at the bottom of the screen for emergency use or for speedy switching of items from one to the other.

Update………….the problem I had with not being able to see the notification bar has resolved itself! I give up! So hopefully that will be an end to my problems……………………………….maybe…LOL

Shirley Anne

Minkyweasel International (well partly)

Nanjing Foreign Language School
Nanjing Foreign Language School (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Yeah I wish but in fact I get so many people from around the world looking in. Welcome to you all and I hope you have found something of interest for you whilst browsing around my humble site. My visitors come from Europe, AsiaOceania or AustralasiaAfrica and North and South America. Individual countries are too numerous to mention. I am grateful to everyone who visits. I would of course like them to make comments if they have the time even if it is only to say hello. Our cultures around the world differ immensely and it would be nice if some of those cultures rubbed off in the comments too. We all see things differently I’m sure so reading someone else’s views can prove to be very interesting. Most of my visitors hail from the UK for some reason or another. I don’t know why that is so because my url isn’t country-specific just as most blog aren’t, so why aren’t more of my visitors from other nations? Possibly it is the language barrier in many cases and although these days it is very easy to translate languages using one of the translating services like Google have, probably not many use them. It stands to reason that anything written in a specific language is going to receive more response from those who speak the same tongue. For instance I don’t speak Japanese or Chinese so I am unlikely to come across blogs written in those languages. Blog sites are linked by the tags that are placed in posts and not by the main content of the post but even so searching sites through tags is just as difficult if they are in a foreign language I suppose. Of course searches can be made through subject matter, that is categories too, but I don’t think it can be done across languages. I can only assume that some of my visitors are all able to speak English even when it isn’t their native tongue. Minkyweasel may be international but not totally so I would assume.

Shirley Anne


A labeled anatomical diagram of the vocal fold...
Image via Wikipedia

Well I finally caught up with recording on YouTube. Since I bought the new microphone I have been experimenting with recording some songs of my own, only the music, no vocals as yet. To be honest it has been a long time since I sang in public and since my transition I haven’t really tried singing in my new voice as it were so I am loathed to broadcast vocals unless I have practiced first. My first attempt at recording for YouTube wasn’t a music clip but a message to a friend of mine who lives over in New Jersey. As it has no personal information in the message I have allowed it to be viewed by anyone as I have done with the three (so far) music clips I have placed there. There are two links from this site to my YouTube channel. One is above under Zone 2 and the other is to the right under Minkyweasels Musings (the quicker route). If you have a mind to go see, the go see! LOL. Encouraging comments are always welcome! I would normally place videos on here but WordPress charge for the privilege, Google doesn’t. Many years ago I recorded some thirteen of my songs with a young lady but they were recorded to tape! I still have that tape and a player to play it. I also have a usb turntable I use to convert my vinyl records to didital storage on my computer which has an input socket for microphones or other input devices including tape machine outputs but I have not gotten round to re-record the tape yet. Perhaps one day I might just do that. For the time being I am continuing to experiment with recording straight from my guitar.

Shirley Anne