memorial firetruck fund

//funds.gofundme.com/Widgetflex.swf

I would like to take a minute to talk about my Father, Arthur Earl Halcomb Sr. My father spent his entire life giving everything of himself to other people. He was a public servant first and foremost throughout most of his adult life. He considered it his duty both spiritual and earthly to help his fellows every day. In his later years, poor health kept him from serving on public safety services.

My Mother recounts a conversation they had not long before he died in June 2013. Many of his health problems were lung related, and these were made worse by exposure through the years to many fire scenes and other toxins on his jobs. My Mother told him that she wished he had not done the things he had done in life, that he would be healthy and happy today if not for them. His only response was this:

“Janice my bible tells me that I’m supposed to help my fellow man. My service to people was my way of doing that. If I had not done that, I would not be the same person I am today. If I had it to do all over again, I would make the exact same choices even if I ended up in exactly the same shape.”

That was exactly the type of man he was. I have thought long and hard about a fitting tribute to my Father. I know that the Loyall Fire Department in Loyall, KY has been attempting to raise funds for a new fire truck to replace the one they have had for years. It was requested at his funeral that funds be donated to help with this to help serve the needs of the community he loved so much. I feel that this request is not enough. I want to appeal to everyone out there who reads this. I want to make my Father proud and show that his life of generosity was not a unique trait but is shared by all the people who truly take a moment to care for their fellows.

Any money that is donated to this cause will be sent, as a check, to the Loyall Fire Department, with the subject line “Fire Truck Fund” in the name of Arthur Halcomb Sr. Any money you can donate at all will help. Even a dollar is one step closer to protecting the lives of the fire fighters he cared about and the citizens of Harlan County, Kentucky.

Obituary, June 20 2013

http://www.harlanobits.net/index.php/previous-obits2/3178-arthur-halcomb

Video Retrospective

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how i organize with onenote

About this time last year I made the switch from Evernote, which I’d used since it came out, to Microsoft OneNote, which is an integrated part of my Office software. After making a ‘trial run’ of OneNote to see how I could organize everything, I knew this was the better program for me. I hated to let Evernote go – they’ve been very good to me! But I just needed more than what their program offers.

imho, the worst thing about OneNote is that there aren’t a lot of templates available (although I’ve found they’re easy made), and there doesn’t seem to be much support / tips’n tricks available.

The biggest plus is that it integrates with the other Office programs – you can “print” to or from OneNote and share in the Office cloud (though I don’t use Skydrive – does anyone?). I keep my OneNote files inside my Dropbox folder – so it backs up its own backups, essentially. The program is largely intuitive. It’s easy to figure out what does what and what you can and can’t do with it. As for the lack of support et al, googling OneNote turns up what I’m looking for. I like that I can customize the interface, too. In the quickview bar, I have only the tools I use most often; everything else is tucked into the ribbon.

I have ADHD (leaning toward the Inattentive/Distractive side), so the way I organize things drives people straight up a wall. For them, it’s not intuitive or organized. For me it makes perfect sense. (I have friends who don’t like using my laptop because they never can find anything – but to me, its organization makes perfect sense)

From this article:

OneNote is designed to mimic a collection of spiral notebooks, with metaphors of tabs and pages. It has six total levels of organization–notebooks, sections, subsections, pages, and two levels of subpages. OneNote also has a system of links that allow notes to contain links to other notes, or to a Web page, a Word document, or a PowerPoint presentation.

I have three notebooks. One is for all my personal stuff, one is for all my blogging stuff, and the third is for all my writing stuff. I could break the writing notebook down into three notebooks, really: writing advice, adult stuff, young adult stuff. And I might if it keeps getting more crowded in there.

Another thing about OneNote is that you can size and position the sidepanels. You can put them on the right or the left and collapse them or widen them as large as you need them to be. When you open a notebook, tabs open across the top of the display, so really you can collapse the notebook pane entirely to give yourself more workspace. As well, you can minimize the pages panel. You can also color the notebooks and individual tabs any color you like, just like a physical notebook, to help sort this into that. “Oh, that’s in the green tab.” Click! Very handy if you’re as visual as I am. One thing I don’t like is that each page and subpage (and sub subpage and sub sub subpage, ad nauseum) under a given tab is the same color as that tab. I’d like to be able to color the individual pages – that’d be awesome!

Like I said, I prefer OneNote over Evernote; it’s what works for me. OneNote gives me so many more organizing / sorting / filing options. Also, the workspace is more user-friendly – I can make everything else smaller in order to view what I need to see / work on. OneNote pastes text into blocks (similar to a text block in Word) that you can click and drag around to reposition where you’d like. If you have a lot of small elements (small text bits / pictures) on a page, this comes in handy; it allows you to put things where they’re more available to you.

Since I started using OneNote last year, I’ve dumped almost all of my writing notes into the program. Some stuff still remains on my hard drive, but bit by bit, I’m moving it all into notebooks. This is so much better to (and for) me than having endless folders with endless streams of documents. Click FAQ tab, and voila, there’s everything in a neat little row for me to pick and choose from. Even with descriptive file names, I’d find myself sitting here thinking, “Is this the file I need? Or is it this one?” I don’t have to do that any more. Less muss, less fuss – I’m all for that!

happy 12th anniversary, baby

So we did it again. Preston and I bought each other the same card. We’re good at that. You should see our keepsake box. It’s full of either the exact same card or cards are so similar that they could pass for the same. A friend asked us yesterday how we do that. My only answer was, “We’re the same person in two bodies?” It could be true. And Preston just stood there nodding his head saying, “It is true!”

The same friend also asked us how we can remember what we had for lunch the day we met (he had taken us to the store so we could pick up ingredients for said lunch). Because I was starving that day? Because I was loaded with emotional trauma? Because it was delicious? Because it was Preston? Because Preston bought me lunch? Gods, who knows? It’s like people who remember exactly what they were wearing when they met. I don’t know what Preston and I were wearing, but I do remember where we were sitting (sadly, it’s no longer there!).

Have you ever heard the phrase “they’re retarded for each other“? Well, really, that’s me and Preston. It’s true. And it’s been true for going-on twenty years. Twenty years next month. Where did the time go? It just doesn’t seem possible!

But today. Today we celebrate our Gwyddon wedding. Twelve years ago today. Our apartment was full of friends and family, and we were all so happy – and so full of ritual and food! I’m sitting here now looking out the window and remembering the weather that day. To us, the day was absolutely beautiful. Our gods smiled. We lived the day under severe storm warnings. The day was full of torrential rain, high winds, and much lightning and thunder. We had originally planned to have the ritual outside on the patio but had to move it inside to the living room, but it worked okay.

You know you want to know what’s on the menu. What did we have for lunch the day we met and walked together starry-eyed into The Grille? Go ahead and laugh – we do. Deli sandwiches. We had deli sandwiches on Kaiser rolls (meat, lettuce, tomato, red onion, and dressings), french fries, and root beers. My mind also keeps wanting to tell me we split a basket of breadsticks – The Grille had the best breadsticks, and they were just a dollar a basket. But I didn’t get any breadsticks. But I did get a Pepperidge Farm frozen chocolate fudge cake for later. The cake we had with our ritual was a German chocolate cake; those are hard to do for just two people!

I told him later we need to play at least one round of Corbin-rules Rummy or SongBurst or some board game. Trivia for Dummies (but that’s not as fun with two people)? Monopoly? I’d even take my socks off for that, wouldn’t I, Preston?

Love you so, so very much. Yesterday, Today, Tomorrow, until the day after the end of Forever …

memories: granny’s porch

Granny’s Porch

There is a sound of abundance of rain – I Kings

I love porches. I particularly love porches in the rain, particularly if they’re screened in. My great-grandmother had a terrific porch, but it wasn’t screened, and even if it had been, it still faced the prevailing winds. What Granny did have, though, was a tin roof. Her attic was located mostly over the kitchen and the “cold room” (began life as a side-porch but was later closed in), so when it rained, you could hear it deliciously dancing over that tin roof.

Now Granny’s roof wasn’t one of those new, colorized punched-tin roofs. It was made of those drab-grey corrugated sheets of tin that tended to rust with age or if they weren’t cared for properly. If wind blew across the hills “just right”, the eaves sang, and the tin whistled. I always thought that if those tin sheets ever came loose in the breeze, they would play Litz.

[[i’m making an effort to write down memories instead of letting them get lost inside to time. i collected a bunch from my old blog. i also make notes when memories pop into the forefront of my mind. this post is the second in a series that’s going to crop up now and again.]]

memories: if all else fails …

… read the instructions??

I guess, that is, if you can find them.

See, I made a big pot of homemade beef vegetable soup for dinner. Preston called at 10:30 and said that he’d rather have fish portions and a baked potato. Fine by me. I washed the potato and put it in to bake. When he got home at 11:45, I put the fish portions in, but I couldn’t find the cooking instructions, although I was sure I’d saved them in the Ziploc with the food. Oh well. Into the oven go the fish portions.

You can see where this is going, right??

Fifteen minutes later, I took the fish portions out to turn them over. And yup. Stuck on the back of one were the cooking instructions! I was laughing so hard I couldn’t get the fished turned over. I’m still giggling. Preston swore, though, that they did not taste like instructions when he ate them — er, the fish portions that is.

[[this is a post from 2003. i promised preston’s mother around this time last year that i’d make an effort to start writing memories down instead of letting them get lost inside my head. i collected a bunch from blue moon journal that i didn’t want to lose and saved them. i’m also in the process of making strong notes when memories pop into the forefront of my mind. this post is the first in a series that’s going to crop up now and again.]]