Pat posted on June 10, 2010 09:04
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Seems nearly two years since I learned about and I'm glad to say it's still functioning and still free. You identify your cellphone (their files apparently will work with any model and service), upload your own music clips, edit the clip to a 60-second file (used to be longer) and send it to your phone as a ringtone. The cost is whatever you pay your service for receiving a media file (could be part of your package, or likely 10¢ or 25¢). I used it to customize my first cellphone (yes, came to them rather late) so completely that I had a different ring for every family member and good friend. Since that phone died, I've never gotten around to remaking and reloading so many tones, but it's very nice to hear Albinoni when my phone rings, instead of those horrible synthesizer tones. OK, so I'm fussy about sounds (too). Elgar's Salut d'amour played when my parents phoned, isn't that sweet? Now they have separate phones and when Mom calls I hear, "Oui, c'est elle, c'est la diesse" in the caressing tones of Bizet's The Pearl Fishers (Les pêcheurs de perles). I used to have a clip of Handel's Arrival of the Queen of Sheba identifying B&B arrivals: hey, it's joyous music, nothing more intended.

You can download the files to your computer as well as send them to your phone, and of course I wish I had, so that I wouldn't have to remake them all after the first phone failed. The trick is, once you get the file ready, go ahead and send it to your phone, but then hit your browser's back button so you still have the ready file and can send it to your computer (which costs nothing). I like to play a music clip with Windows Media Player or any other that lets me watch the timeline, so that before sending the clip to Myxer, I can write down a couple of good starting points for the ringtone, keeping in mind that 60 seconds is all that can follow. Then, at Myxer, I can put in a starting time, listen to see that it's OK, and run through it a few times to set a good stopping point. The interface is the usual pair of sliders and a count window, typical for sound or video editing. Couldn't be easier.

So, help eliminate cellphone noise pollution. Put some good music on your phone!

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Pat posted on June 2, 2010 19:20

Butterfly on linden blossomsIt's been very hot again today and with Dad feeling very badly, I skipped mowing and stayed in. But now that the day is winding down, went out for a stroll to check on things. Filled some birdbaths and ran the hose out to fill the fountain. Gathered the last of the red currants and went on to collect some ripe black-raspberry type brambles; could only get to small, near berries as I'm running around barefoot. Can wait till the weekend to really collect, but will make a very small bit of jam later tonight. Found the dog trying to decide whether or not to snack on the squirrel he'd killed. Checked the fruit trees and was pleased to see there's hope for the apples and peaches: so what to treat them with to protect them? Perhaps Surround, again (kaolin spray, non-toxic, a physical barrier to pests); and soon, but the next two mornings, it's off to doctors with the folks, and just now there's a bit too much breeze to get started. Figs look like they'll have a good crop. Found mourning doves on the east side of the barn as usual, robins pecking around the north side, plovers in the grasses up the road. Came into the yard to check the linden blossoms: yes, they're opening, and full of all sorts of pollinators, from butterflies to bees, so many bees and so many types of them, it's hard to get close. The scent fills the air, but I wanted a small bunch to bring in to Mom, and finally found a handful of 'unoccupied' blossoms. Heard the frogs 'honking' near the fountain and the boxwoods. Saw the dog had brought his kill up to the yard, so called him in, to leave it. Found FedEx had come and gone leaving 2 boxes on the front benches. Turned the fountain hose off and came in to check on the folks: napping peacefully.

Magnolia in bloom in front of the house Southern edge of herb garden and nice lawn for badminton
Looking at the fountain from the north Filling the fountain

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Pat posted on June 2, 2010 15:14
Butterfly on lavender off front walk at Chick Cove Manor

A sight that stays with me is the tall thick lavender by the parking area at Mougins, my favorite stop for dinner in the south of France, whether for Roger Verget's Le Moulin de Mougins or one of the many others neighboring it. On my first visit, when we experienced the thrill of dining at Le Moulin, and when I came away with herb jellies and other goodies from the shop, I was struck by that fantastic lavender, all in bloom, so beautiful and so fragrant, and for goodness' sake, it was just a public parking area. Now Le Moulin has been sold, I can't get away to the south of France in any case, but I thrill to being able to just step out my front door and harvest lavender right off the walk.

When in bloom, it's always full of bees and butterflies, but I can still manage to cut quite a bit without disturbing them. And I've just harvested some, and come inside to make little wreaths - for centerpieces or to ring candles - and bunches to put in vases or lay in drawers. Nice work if you can get it!

Bundles of lavender to dry

I learned from an Italian friend who visited that the scent is greatest before the flower buds open. Check it out when you get a chance, it's true. I'd always waited to collect the flowers. Now, I will gather unopened buds to dry and use for sachets. But when time gets away from me, I gather the flowers as I've just done, and still enjoy their look and scent, even though I now know it's not the most intense it can be.

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