Categories
Information Life Web Applications

I Tried to Move from Evernote to Onenote

I tried to move from Evernote to Onenote. I really did.
I rearranged notes, exported them into Onenote, and spent an entire month working only in Onenote. It was a struggle.

Not a Onenote Newbie

I first used Onenote when Microsoft released it in 2003. It was different than any software available and made organizing easy and fun. Organizing was effortless, and finding pertinent information was easy.

It was part of the Office suite in 2003 and allowed complete control and creativity. It was super.

As a salesman, it was a great way to keep notes together about a particular customer: Notes, documents, emails … all of it. I loved Onenote.

Evernote released their application in 2008 in a public beta. It made an immediate impact on the note-taking community. The buzz in the tech community was loud and clear, “you have to try this software.” So I did.

I joined the Crowd in 2009

I opened my account with Evernote in October 2009. I admit I didn’t get it. I searched for articles and information on how to set up and use Evernote. I found a lot of information on the ways people were using Evernote. Soon, it became my “go to” application for information storage.

Along with many others, I became upset with Evernote when they changed up the plans. I had been a “free” user for years, and they removed the one feature I used all the time … email to Evernote.

So what did I do? I upgraded to the lowest paid plan. Then later to the highest personal plan. Why? I finally got it.

Still an Amateur

I’m still an amateur user compared to most with only 3300 notes, but it grows every day.

Have you switched from one to the other? I’d like to hear about your experience.

Categories
Information Life

Writing for Business and Pleasure

Many have said that to be a writer, one must write. Write every day. Write, write, write.

In 2006, one of the goals I set was to write every day. Not necessarily to publish, but to write. And for that year and even beyond, I did. Then life interrupted, and I fell off. Funny how that seems to happen.

Goals are good

With the beginning of June 2019, I think it is time to set a new writing goal. I’m not sure how it will evolve or what the specific goal will be, but I’m working on it. I’m not sure whether it will be a daily goal or a per week/month goal or a word count goal, but I am considering all possibilities.

I wrote an article on June 1 and set it to publish on Monday the 3rd. I am writing this on June 2. I’m not even sure I will post this or if it will be an act of thinking through the keyboard about the proper goal to set.

To Write Daily

Daily writing isn’t hard, but it does take time to think through an idea and begin to flesh it out. For me, it takes a bit of quiet. I don’t seem to think well with the television or radio on. There is one exception, though. I can work in a crowded coffee shop by tuning out the noise and focusing on the people and their interactions. I get ideas for articles by observing.

A Book Idea

I am working on an idea for a book. I started thinking and making notes years ago and even build a considerable mindmap around the idea. At this point, it might just be a series of articles to work out.

I have written a draft of some of the ideas which I reviewed yesterday. It is rough, but it’s supposed to be. Reading it through again though re-affirmed the ide in my head as being valid. I can’t find anything on the subject at all. No books, no articles, nothing. That is encouraging and frightening at the same time.

Thank you for letting me ramble a bit as I think about the book and a new goal. I will let you know in the future how it went.

Categories
Cars

1965 Mercury Comet- The One that Got Away

1965 Comet Caliente & wife

Only Photo I have of the Comet

My wife was pissed at me. Coming home from the grocery store, she shifted into 2nd gear, and the shift lever came out of the steering column dangling in her hand. The shifter was what is now called a three-on-the-tree in a 1965 Comet Caliente. Under the hood was a 289 cubic inch V-8 which was rebuilt the year before.

One weekend in 1970, I was cutting across NE 24th Street in Amarillo and saw a Mercury Comet on this small car lot. Later on my way back, I stopped to look and discovered it was a V-8 and 3-speed standard transmission. I was in my 1952 Plymouth, and the lot owner said he’d give me $100 trade-in for my ride. We made a deal, and I began a relationship with North State Bank in Amarillo. Forty-three dollars and change each month.
Since Mom had a 1964 Mercury Comet, I was familiar with the car but was unfamiliar with the Caliente model. Mom’s was a small 6-cylinder with an automatic transmission, and this Comet with its V-8 was a beauty.
If you want to buy one now, the current purchase price is steep. A quick search turned up one for $25,995 and another for $74,900. Both are immaculate. A project car can run in the $9000-$13,000 range. I did find one listed for $7400, but no pictures and no description.

The trouble with the Caliente

My wife and I drove the car for a while, and it developed some issues. It was losing power and running pretty ragged. After some work on the car, I decided it was time to rebuild the engine.
My good friend, Steve, and I pulled the engine in our driveway and did the work in the one-car garage. After we got into the engine, we found the problem. The cam lobes were flat. With that discovery, I decided a little upgrade would be nice. My research showed a Boss 302 hydraulic cam would fit my mighty 289. And at only $19, it was only a couple bucks more than the replacement cam.

After the Rebuild

After Steve and I completed the rebuild on the 289 and went through a proper break-in period, it was time to test her out. How? We headed to Amarillo Dragway on a “bring what you drive” weekend. The tech inspector put the Comet in N Pure Stock class. I was thrilled with the declaration of white shoe polish on the windshield. A real badge of honor. Cool stuff.
Three cars showed up in my class, including me. The first race went well against the little Ford Falcon, but the second race was different. When I pulled to the line, the car next to me was a 352 cubic inch Ford Galaxie. I got her off the line and pulled away through second gear. When I hit third (a strict highway gear), the Comet fell flat as she lost the power band. Just before crossing the finish line, the Ford, still in second gear, clipped me.
I was so upset. How could the NHRA rule book class a 289 ci small block and a 352 ci big block the same? My little short-stroke V-8 against her long-stroke V-8? When I asked the techs, they said it was a weight issue. My lighter car had 200 horsepower, and her heavier car showed 250 in the books. The stroke did not come into play. Lesson learned.
It was still a fun day at the track but winning would have made it better.

Back to the shifter

Shortly after the drag strip issue, the shift lever issue became more prevalent.
The shift lever coming off in your hand was due to a worn out and bent shift housing on the column. The roll pin would fall out on the floorboard and when it did, presto chango, the shift lever exiting the column and required some fancy stabbing to get back in before the need to shift to third gear. It was exciting. And probably a bit dangerous.
My first “quick fix” was to put a hose clamp around the shift lever and tighten it as much as possible. That was temporary and didn’t work quite as planned.

The Shifter Plan

I had a plan to fix the shifter problem. Really. I was going to buy a Hurst Mystery shifter and convert the car to a floor shift. The Hurst shifter was $29.95 at the time. All I had to do was save up $30 bucks and tax to make it better. That project never happened.

“New Car Fever”

My buddy Steve had a 1969 Chevelle SS he bought new, and it was a nice car. I started looking at new vehicles, and before it was all done, I had a great idea. I’d buy a new car, and that would make the shifter a non-issue.
See, I needed cash for the new shift unit, or I could buy a brand new 1972 Chevrolet Chevelle with nothing down except the Mercury Comet as a trade-in. With my trade-in, the new Chevrolet was $2645.00. Of course, there was a little something called monthly payments on the Chevelle. $90.64 each month. The problem there was I only made $87.50 per week before taxes.
Yes, I could have bought several Hurst shifters for the first month’s payment. They don’t call it “New Car Fever” for nothing.
Years later when I told this story to another friend he called it the “they wanted cash for the battery” syndrome. Yep!

But It Gets Worse

Oh, and the worst part. I bought two new tires for the front of the Comet that never got installed before I traded her in at the dealer. A few month’s later I went to sell the two tires to a friend and discovered I never pulled the second one out of the trunk of the Comet. And it was long gone. I called Hudiburg-Jones Chevrolet to see.
That is the story of the one that got away. Of all my cars, this is the one I miss the most. There are a couple of others, but the Caliente tops the list.
Categories
Cars

Cars, Cars, Cars, & Drag Racing

This weekend is all about cars, cars, cars, & drag racing. April 13-14, 2019 will test the most robust car fan.

Reschedule car show in Belville, Texas
Austin County Cruisers
Car show in Chappell Hill, Texas 
Bluebonnet Festival
Car show in Katy, Texas
Cane Island Car Show
Drag racing in Bay Town, Texas (Houston Raceway)
Houston Raceway

What more could a car fan ask? Enjoy your weekend no matter where you are enjoying the cars.

 

Categories
Life Life Lessons

Life’s Curveballs

Life always throws you a curveball. Just when you think you have it figured out — pop. You hear that sound.

I like Clint Eastwood. And of late, Trouble with the Curve is a favorite movie of mine. I’ve watched it several times and smile through most of it. It’s a real “feel good” movie for me.

And the life lessons scattered throughout the movie from the perspective of Clint’s character, Gus are not lost on me. Having passed my mid-sixties and entered into my late sixties, I can sympathize and empathize with Gus. Life’s experiences are not to be taken lightly, but life itself must be taken seriously.

Time is fading

Time is fading and so are the physical attributes. Our eyes are weaker, ears are fading, and let’s not forget the brain. Okay, let’s not talk about the brain. Bottom line, the body wears out, and even though we might slow the process, it still happens.

I’m fortunate to still have excellent eyesight with correction — 20/15 and 20/20 with my glasses on. And since I’m near-sighted, I see as well without my glasses at distances of up to eight or ten feet. Beyond that, it gets blurry, quickly.

I admit I can’t hear the high-pitched tone that made the rounds a few years ago. That part of my hearing is gone and not coming back. I do notice background noise more, too.

My Mother-in-Law’s Story

Some years back, my Mother-in-Law always complained about the high level of background music on the television. I didn’t understand because it was not that way for me. Then life and age happened, and now I know what she meant. While younger, my ears filtered out most of the background noise and I heard the dialog perfectly. That has now changed. I have to pay close attention to the dialog because the music is so loud.

They say, “Growing old ain’t for sissies” and I can now attest to that. I do worry about the last few generations, though. If you haven’t noticed, we now have several generations of “whiny babies” complaining about every small struggle of an “unfair life.” How will they react to the real hardships of aging?

Generations

I don’t think my generation was anything special, but it was different. I was not unusual in getting my first paying job at twelve. Granted it wasn’t hard work, but it required discipline. After school every day and all day on Saturdays. Then at fourteen my first summer job working at a gas station.

Pumping gas, checking oil and tire pressure for customers at the pump islands was normal. We even fixed flats and sold a few accessories. I worked at stations the next two summers, too. Different places, but same work. Then after graduating, my first full-time job was, you guessed it, working at a busy service station on an Interstate highway.

I don’t remember ever having time to stop and contemplate the “unfairness” of life. Those around me and I just worked. That was expected, and we did it, no questions asked.

We seem to have lost some of that: not all young people, but many.

Let’s Compare the Sixties to Now

Compare today’s generations to the Sixties and Seventies.

  • No draft for military service.
  • They don’t know the reality of war on television every night. Having friends and family killed overseas.
  • They never knew a time without cheap computers (In 1995, a new Dell desktop cost $2500 and is now $499).
  • Cell phones arrived and only cost $29.95/month for 80 minutes. Overages were murder.
  • No texting.
  • No Internet.
  • No cable or satellite television. If you were lucky, you lived where you could get all three channels. Most people received two.
  • No NFL Super Bowl. Oh wait, that’s still around, but we watched for the game. Now they watch for the commercials.
  • No cameras everywhere. Yes, we had Brownie Instamatics and Polaroid cameras, but not the same as today’s phones.
  • No streaming music.
  • No streaming videos. That’s right, no YouTube.
  • No eating out multiple meals each week. My family ate out four times a year. On each person’s birthday and that person picked where we ate.
  • No Avacado Toast

Well, you get the idea. Times are so much different and I believe, better for the most part.

What are your thoughts? I’m interested.

Categories
Life Life Lessons

Is Life Slapping You Around?

Life has a funny way of slapping us around—first a jab, then a sharp right hook. And down we go hitting the canvas like a full sack of potatoes then struggling to get up before the count.

It’s been a wild ride the last month. In the middle of starting a new business, the need arose for my wife and me to move 150 miles to get closer to my Mom. This move was not unplanned, but the timing was quicker than expected.

With my recent “retirement” from full-time employment along with a regular paycheck, money was a bit tight. That meant we would have to do the entire move ourselves. Packing, loading, unloading, unpacking was just the beginning. Fortunately, our son took time off and helped—a lot.

Youth is wasted on the young

The saying, “You’re not as young as you think” and “You’re not as young as you once were” are ringing in my ears as I write this. Both of us are past our mid-sixties and believe we can still do all this “stuff” like we once did.

Since 1995, we have moved eleven times.

  • Seven of those my wife and I did all the work packing and moving with help from a few friends
  • One was a work promotion, and the company sent packers and movers, but on the other end most went into storage.
  • Three we did the packing and hired movers to load and unload their truck

And you guessed it, this last move we did it all with the help of our son. It was painful, literally. A month on and there are still boxes waiting expectantly for unpacking. We are still looking for the light bulb box and the battery box.

What is not pictured is the stack of temporary boxes used in the move. I cut them all down and hauled them to the recycling center. They included a lot of Amazon boxes collected over the last few years and others of assorted sizes.

Aches and Pains

The body aches and huts are still present and will persist for some time, I’m sure.

Question:

Are you still as young as you think?

Categories
Cars

It was a 1952 Plymouth painted Crystal Turquoise

The car was big enough for a barn dance but was not cool at all for a seventeen-year-old boy. Nor was the car a chick magnet. And since I didn’t play football, that was strike two.

Trading Up?

When the transmission went out of the 1960 Ford Station Wagon, my Dad traded it and $100 for a 1952 Plymouth Cranbrook. It was the definition of ugly. It was a large four-door car with some of the original green paint showing through the rust. It was not attractive in any way.

Under the hood was a mealy flat-head six cylinder engine backed by a three-speed column shifter. Oh, and it ran on 6-volts so my four-track tape deck wouldn’t work. No, this was not my ideal car, but still, it beat walking to school or taking the school bus.

All Ready a Geek

My High School was like most in the late sixties. There were the haves and the have nots. There were the cool kids and those from the South Side of Amarillo. There were football players and the rest of us geeks.

I was in the band and liked it. I started in the fifth or sixth grade and enjoyed the camaraderie of like-minded kids. I even tried out for Drum Major my Junior year and beat out the competition. That was an enjoyable year for me.

Back to Cars

The school parking lot was full of neat cars. Mustangs, Z-28s, Barracudas, Road Runners, Corvettes, Camero SSs, Chevelle SSs. Then there was my 1952 Plymouth. Wow!

But it gets even better. Mom and Dad decided they would give me a paint job for my birthday that year. Not just a paint job but a $29.95 Earl Scheib Special. The Special, as you can imagine, was not a super duper paint job. It didn’t include any sanding, priming, or bodywork. They rolled the car into the booth and shot it one of two color choices. Crystal Turquoise and a color that escapes me today. Let’s just say it was worse than the Crystal Turquoise.

When I got the car back the only good part was it was all one color. But that color looked much better on the paint chip than on the car. It almost glowed in the dark. It was so bright.

Then there was the 6-volt system

As a teenager, music was everything in the ’60s. I liked bands like CCR, Steppenwolf, and Iron Butterfly. The type of music the radio did not play. We all listened to 1440 AM KPUR. It was a Top 40 station, so my listening preference was missing. I had to get my tunes back.

I still had my 4-track tape deck, but how to get it working in a 6-volt system. I talked to Dad and he gave me several options.

  • Install and wire a separate battery just to run the tape deck. Charging would be the issue with this option.
  • Convert the Plymouth’s electrical system to 12-volt from the existing 6-volt.

The second alternative was my choice. The hardest part was tracking down everything needed for the conversion. I replaced every bulb in the car: headlights, taillights, and even the dash lights. Hardest was finding a newer generator to keep the 12-volt system charged. With Dad’s help, I accomplished that, too.

I don’t remember how I handled the windshield wipers and heater motor, but the starter motor stayed 6-volt. Dad thought it could handle the extra juice and it was still cranking when I traded the car off.

Once done, I installed the tape deck and I had tunes once again.

Mechanicals

Late in my Senior year, the Plymouth developed a cracked block and leaked water faster than you could pour it in. No problem. Since Dad was a welder by trade, he took it to his shop on a Saturday and welded to block up. The weld was visible but looked like it belonged. I never had any further issues with water.

The car was reliable for the time I drove it. It only left me stranded on the side of the road a few times. Back then that was good.

Categories
Tech Web Applications WordPress

Can an Android Tablet Replace a Laptop?

Can a tablet replace a laptop? This is a question asked every day by many people. And if so, which tablet? And how do you get it to work like your laptop? I am always looking for a lighter bag when traveling. One caveat: I have never used an Apple device, so I can’t speak to them. I am an Android and Windows guy.

My Path

In March of 2017, I purchased a small, Bluetooth Logitech keyboard to accompany my 7″ Nexus tablet. In June, I upgraded the tablet to an ASUS Zenpad 3S 9.7″ tablet and paired it with the keyboard. That was when it became clear the future had arrived. The 7″ tablet worked but was a little small on for my eyes. Moving up to the larger tablet made a huge difference.

Full disclosure, I am typing this on my laptop since I’m at my desk. When traveling, the tablet keyboard combo works great.

Using the tablet keyboard combination does post challenges. Some automated tasks don’t work. Some software applications were not available in the app store. And the keyboard and screen are smaller.

I found workarounds for some automated tasks, I used available apps, and the size was an easy one for me. My laptop for seven years was a 12.1″ Dell computer named Baby Dell. I found the smaller keyboard easier and faster to type on than the big, clunky desktop keyboards. But that may just be me.

My Experience with Limitations

The limitations depend on what you regularly do on your computer. My primary functions are writing and research.

Here is a list from my experience.

  • WordPress App
  • Microsoft Word App
  • Microsoft Excel App
  • Google Docs and Sheets
  • Scrivener
  • Open Live Writer
  • WAMP for testing before updating a website
  • Grammarly
  • Hindenburg
  • Phrase Express
  • Evernote App
  • Onenote App
  • Misc. Notes apps

Blue = Good; Red = Bad; Green = Sometimes Sorta Maybe

The apps in Blue work as good and sometimes better on Andriod than Windows. The apps in Red have proven to be a challenge in Android. Grammarly does have the web application, but nothing native to Android for inline work. The apps in Green are a different story. Phrase Express and a few notes apps can sync through Dropbox if you want to work on that, but I’m not that motivated.

While my experience may not equal yours, I am interested in your stories. Have you tried this setup? Have you found a way to make it work? Has it been a disaster? Let me know below.