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#194 January 1, 2015 from

Happy New Year!

Well, another one has zipped past when I, apparently, wasn't
looking and I thought I was paying attention.  Oh well, at
least we're having lots of fun.  Right now it looks like
Lisa's (ok, our) ukulele club is going to be playing
nursing homes and/or assisted living facilities two or
three times a month. Some of them want to pay us a modest
stipend for performing and we've been fretting over what
to do with the money.  I think we'll just buy tuners and
ukulele straps for all our members and, after that, maybe
a couple of extra ukulele's to keep on hand for unexpected
guests at our meetings.  If that leaves anything I suppose
we'll throw ourselves an annual Christmas party.

This retirement thing is becoming a real hoot!

Ok, let's get started...


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Talk about realistic sculpture, Marc Sijan has it going on.

National Public Radio's picks for best books of 2014.

Tami Neilson is one fine singer.  If you're into Country
and Western music, that'd be pronounced as 'sanger'.

How much was a first class (US) postage stamp when you were
born?   When I was born (1948) it was three cents.

I've heard a lot of folks say they felt it was somehow wrong
to use 'Xmas' in place of 'Christmas'. Seems they were

A lot of folks on the web tend to become agitated about
spelling, grammar and the misuse of apostrophes.  My
personal pet peeve has become malapropisms.  Here's a
humorous page that lists numerous examples of malapropisms. [yourdictionary dot com]
Help with grammar is no further away than a web browser.
The same goes for spelling.
Lastly, here's a pretty cool 'tutorial' on using
[there are links at the bottom of the apostrophe page to
several other interesting pages]

Online tools, like this analog of 'MS Paint' don't do me a
bit of good because I have absolutely no aptitude for art.
Besides, it only works in Google's Chrome browser (and I
prefer Firefox).

Some free apps from Trellian.
WebPage is a popular WYSIWYG editor.
These days, most commercials music CDs have additional
copies of the music, right on the CD, in mp3 format (as
well as one or two other formats).  In cases where they
don't, a software like this one can be very useful.
Trellian also offers a nice code editor for programmers.
A software that can help you track down where your signal is
going on the internet (very geeky stuff this).
I really dislike browser toolbars but I know people who
love the silly things.  If you're one of them, here's a
tool for managing toolbars (love the concept - still hate
toolbars) :)

I think this is a real blessing for cancer victims.

Few things are more fun than baby animal videos.

Ernest 'Mooney' Warther was a phenomenal woodcarver. At age
51 he established a wood carving museum in Dover, Ohio.  In
this brief video his son David demonstrates how to carve
a pair of wooden pliers by making ten precise cuts in a
block of wood. I was very impressed.
If you've got a half hour to spare, here's more about the
life, vocations, hobbies and family of Mooney Warther.

There has always been people who have unusual hobbies and
are more than willing to share their knowledge, skills
and enthusiasm with others.  Since the advent of the World
Wide Web, such hobbyists have a great deal more reach. For
example, if you ever decide to build yourself and electric
ukulele, Here are a couple of good places to start.

I've always felt that the humble, four-stringed, ukulele
was the easiest of all stringed instruments to learn to
play.  At least, that's what I thought until I discovered
the Loog (which has only 3 strings).  Given the price, I'm
not likely to buy one of these kits but I may eventually
feel inspired to build something similar, on my own.  :)

If you were to build a website that mixed Mad magazine with
People magazine and Popular Science I think it would look
a lot like Open Culture.


This publication is only mailed to verified
double opt-in subscribers, and is brought
to you by me, Don Crowder, and
with occasional help from my wife, Lisa Miller.
At the time this issue was posted, the current
subscriber count for this publication was 347.

Contributions from our readers and/or friends
are always welcome.

Our web-sibling Patrick Barden says this is a great site
for teachers, parents and/or students.


It's been a wonderful year even if it did go by in a blur.

I'll try to pay closer attention but I expect this one will
zip by me in a blur as well.  That seems to be a standard
part of the aging process.   Perhaps it's the end result
of being 'over the hill' (as it were).

I hope the holiday season has been kind and joyous for you
and yours. Wishing you the best of love, luck and happiness.

See you next time,



The Internet:  A Weapon of Mass Instruction.

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