Thursday, November 30

Business Trends Magazine

Well, I have finally done it.

After almost two years of writing a Technical column in Business Trends Magazine, I have decided to take a sabbatical from this posting. Last month I did not submit an article as I was in transit as my thoughts were going back and forth: "should I or should I not?"

I am currently doing an extensive study into fiction writing, my forever love, with my eyes on short-story writings.

So, if you happen to see a slant from my normal "non"-fictional verse of prose to stangely and factionally fiction, don't worry, it does not mean that I have completely lost it; it does mean that I am practicing here haha.

To keep the record straight, I did really enjoy my writing time at the Trends magazine, however it is time to move on to something else. I am not closing the door, however, to non-fiction writing, or writing for magazines, I am simply exploring new universes within my own.

Monday, November 6

Lambton Library - Our Little Gem

God Bless Public Libraries

Obtaining a degree, part-time, is not an easy or cheap task, especially for one who is retired on a fixed income and so busy that there is barely enough time in a day to sleep.

I for one am an English student at Athabasca University, however I have taken a sabatical for this semester to conquer other areas of life. But I am still wanting to keep abreast of the studies and keep up on the readings within my future courses.

Today, I went to the English department's website at Athabasca and looked up the books required for: ENGLISH 381 - Creative Writing in Prose. This is a (six month) short story fiction writing course wherein you study 80 short stories. The books required are:

Scholes, Robert and Rosemary Sullivan, eds. 1994. Elements of Fiction: An Anthology. Toronto: Oxford University Press.

Hodgins, Jack. 1993. A Passion for Narrative: A Guide for Writing Fiction. Toronto: McClelland and Stewart.

Can you imagine, the Anthology was in at the Sarnia Library and the writing guide is available in Watford Library. So, I scored one book to take home, while the other is on order.

I said to the librarian, "I was sure you would not have these books as they are university books." She said that even they surprise themselves sometimes with the availability of some books.

Hats off and three cheers for the librarians at the Sarnia Library.

Lockdown in Sector 4


Google, google, google...I use googlealmosteverything.

Google has: email, blogging, apps, and too many more toys to mention, and in the near future it is rumoured that Google will have its' own operating system online. That's right, they are going to give ole Bill Gates' company, Microsoft, a run for their money against the new MS system: Vista.

But is this "all-in-one-barrel" a good thing?

Today I found out a major flaw in Google's email program: gmail. For no reason I am now in a "Lockdown Sector 4" position. In plain English: My damn email program has been taken prisoner by google aliens for "up to 24 hours" they say.

Of course, there is no reason stated why my email program is frozen in googleland, and I am left to search within google's search engine for answers to why I cannot access my email for "up to 24 hours".

I feel like the kid who has been sent down to the principal's office and not told the reason for this punishment. If you have been-there-done-that with gmail, you are all-too-familiar with Google's notice:

"Our system has detected abnormal usuage of your Gmail account. As a result, we have temporarily disabled access to this account.

It will take between one minute and 24 hours for you to regain access, depending on the behaviour our system detected."

So, is there a moral to this tale, or is this just one of those "Big Brother" moments wherein They do not want us to be on the "in"?

Fortunately, I have my email (gmail) backed up in MS Outlook. All my gmail is redirected to the Outlook program where I can access all my mail off-line and file as I see fit.

So, gmail you had better get this sector 4 problem repaired soon...Or else...At least we still have other email options if we so choose. But to be honest, I dread the thought of heading back to using Sympatico for my email server..."Don't Look Back Jack."
EXTRA - EXTRA - EXTRA ... Read All About It:

Hey, my congrats to gmail techs.

Not only did they reply in a very fast manner, my email is back in action.

Here is how Google explains the "Lockdown in Sector 4" issue:

"The Google Team to me More options 09:22 (3 hours ago) Thank you for your report. We apologize for any confusion or inconvenience. For your security, we may temporarily disable access to your account if our system detects abnormal usage. Abnormal usage includes, but is not limited to:

- Receiving, deleting, or popping out large amounts of mail (via POP) in a short period of time - Sending a large number of undeliverable messages (messages that bounce back) - Using third party file-sharing or storing software, or software that automatically logs in to your account and that is not supported by Gmail - Multiple instances of your Gmail account opened - Browser-related issues. Please note that if you find your browser continually reloading while attempting to access your inbox, it is likely a browser issue, and it may be necessary to clear your browser's cache and cookies.

If you feel that access to this account should not have been disabled, please respond to the following questions:

1. What task were you performing when you were locked out? (ex: downloading messages via POP, logging in, sending an email, downloading an attachment, etc.)
2. What specific error messages are you receiving? Please include the exact code or text of the message.
3. With which Gmail username are you encountering this issue?
4. Which of the following Gmail features do you use, if any? If POP, which client do you use in conjunction with Gmail? POP, auto-forwarding, or Gmail's Notifier
5. Which security software or applications are installed on your computer?

6. Which browser extensions are you using?
7. Has access to your account been disabled before this occurrence? If so, when, for how long, and with which error message?
8. Did you recently send a message to a large number of invalid addresses or send more than 500 addresses? If you'd like to learn more about best practices for sending a large amount of mail through Gmail, please visit:

Upon receiving all the above information, we'll investigate the issue further."