Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Great Lakes Boy Scouts Centennial Jamboree

I spent the this last weekend camping in the serene outdoors;

at the Great Lakes Centennial Jamboree, a 100th anniversary Boy Scout Jamboree at the EAA (Experimental Aircraft Association) in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.

Enjoying nature with my family - and with over 9,000 other boy scouts. (Technically, I heard there were 10,144 registered attendees.)

(Not in the same tent, of course).

My outdoor Wednesday post this time around is probably less photogenic then usual, but still colorful. It amazes me how many different tents are available to purchase in the USA!

I camped in the family camping area with my husband, daughter and oldest son Tom. Our tent came equipped with a wheelchair - Tom broke his foot the first week of school, and maneuvering distances without the chair is difficult, so the wheelchair had to come along as well. As if packing for camping isn't hard enough without the extra bulk of a wheelchair... My other 2 boys camped with their troop in the troop camping area.

Besides camping, there where many activites, exhibits, and events for the scouts to enjoy.

Outdoor hobby exhibits, archery, kayaking, climbing, kites, Military vehicles and helicopters, obstacle courses, frisbee golf, geocaching, paintball, rockets, radio controlled planes and boats, and much more.



I have been so Inspired by some of the beautiful "foodie" blogs. So here is my attempt...

The black pot demo area featured outdoor cooking:

Boiling and poaching eggs in a paper cup;

Cooking eggs in a hollowed out onion or tomato, baking rolls in a orange peel;

and of course using your bungee cords and huge steel nails to bake the stray bird you might catch (in archery?) and want to eat. I believe these are the gourmet cooking tools for the outdoor camper.

I had a good weekend with my family (which includes 3 boy scouts). I hope you got to enjoy the wonderful outdoors and the serenity of nature. I am hoping to enjoy the serenity of nature soon too.

Learn more about Outdoor Wednesday by clicking

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Holy Hill and Mount Mary Art Fairs

The last two weekends were art filled! My friend Minnie and I went to several art fairs and got inspired.

On Saturday, Sept 19, 2009 we went to the 33rd annual Holy Hill Art and Crafts Fair. The Holy Hill Art Fair is one of my favorite art and craft shows - the location is just beautiful. Holy Hill is a National Shrine - a beautiful church perched on one of the highest points in the county. The view from the towers in fall is incredible - MILES of trees turning colors. When I was growing up my family went there in fall to climb the towers and see the view. Then, of course, the children wanted to buy things in the gift shop. Now, as an adult, I want to buy from the 230+ artists displaying in one of Holy Hill's three categories for artists: Fine Art, Fine Craft, and Country Craft.

Sunday, Sept 13th, 2009 we went to the 41st annual Mount Mary Starving Artist Fair. Mount Mary is a women's college with beautifully restive grounds. The unique aspect of this "end of the summer season" art fair is that all 225+ artists are selling original art for $100 or less.

On Sunday, Sept 20, 2009 Minnie and I went to the 4th annual Hidden River Art Festival. This juried art show for Wisconsin artists is located on the grounds of the Sharon Lynne Wilson Center for the Arts in Brookfield, Wisconsin. This was a new show for me to attend, and is now a new favorite. The caliber of the 80 artists displaying there was very high - this was definitely a fine art show.

This is my Outdoor Wednesday No. 11. Learn more about Outdoor Wednesday by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Field of Flowers: Outdoor Wed No. 10

Wisconsin has some beautiful spots. This is a front yard within about 3 miles of my house.

I have been playing with water color effects digitally applied to my photos. The photo above has a water color effect digitally applied, below is the original.

Click on the images to see them larger. 

If you enjoyed this post, you might also enjoy...

Elves Chasm
Elves Chasm
Chicago Botanic Garden
Chicago Garden
Bonsai Wisteria

Friday, September 11, 2009

Providence and Random

WARNING: This is a really random post. Skip it and don't read it if you think reading it will make you want to stop checking out my blog postings.

I started attending a new bible study today, a Beth Moore bible study on Ester. It was very inspirational. Bible studies are similar to a philosophy exercise for me - they make your brain think beyond the basics of food, clothing, shelter. Whether or not you agree with my Christian religion, or religion at all, here are some thought provoking ideas I left the study with.

This particular bible study is going to try to answer questions:
What am I doing here?
Where in the World is God?

Providence is a word. It means "God is the power sustaining and guiding human destiny"

A. Is there a power sustaining and guiding human destiny?
I think there must be some power sustaining and guiding life.
If not, how or why would life exist.
What "power" is sustaining and guiding life?

Evolution is powered by something,

I don't feel evolution is incompatible with God.
I feel evolution is one of God's tools.
Or you may consider it this way.
Evolution is a tool of the power sustaining and guiding life.
God is a word one can use to describe the power that is sustaining and guiding life.

I don't think humanity is a result of random goo mucking around in a petri dish.
Viruses, primitive proteins maybe, bacteria even.

But not...
pollinating flowers and butterflies emerging from cocoons,
plants, fish, insects, mammals;
complex symbiotic relationships.
Not even a single cell.
A single cell with permeable membranes, mitochondria, DNA, structures.
And definitely not human beings
with their sustained and guided thoughts.

I hope humanities social evolution is powered by something.
If not, why aren't we all stealing from and killing each other,
like a bunch of primitive cavemen?

And what "force" sustains and guides our feelings of outrage
at those individuals who do steal and kill,
who act "like animals".
What force makes humanities outrage (at those who act like animals) acceptable,
and sustains and guides it?

I love the word "Random".
But the thoughts in this note I feel were sustained and guided.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Peace theme in a blog

One of my products for sale on Etsy was included in a blog with a Peace Theme...

Click here to view this card set on Etsy.

I got the following message - from an artist I've never met. Very flattering...


Hi! I've included your listing in my blog today...trying to spread a little "peace"!
Hope you have a great day!
Listing: http://www.etsy.com/view_listing.php?listing_id=23160356

Laurie - you did make my day. Thank You. :) and Peace....

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Washington D.C. Weekend

My son Anthony and I just got back from a weekend in Washington D.C. In Washington I had the privilege to photograph a Benai Mitzvah! (A Benai Mitzvah is a combined Bar Mitzvah and Bat Mitzvah. A Mitzvah is the Jewish coming of age and confirmation of faith ceremony, Bar Mitzvah for a boy, Bat Mitzvah for a girl). My son and I had a wonderful time. After the beautiful ceremony at the synagogue, there was a dinner and party on a large boat on the Potomac River. The weather was awesome and warm, and the company was great.

Washington D.C. is becoming one of my favorite American cities. There is just so much to see and do. I love the monuments, the museums and the
architecture. Every building was built with beauty in mind, something sometimes forgotten in other cities and buildings. I think I would like to live there for several months once I retire...
My son and I were able to go site seeing on Friday afternoon. I had been able to visit Washington D.C. with my husband and four children in 2006 for a week, so this time I went to sites not visited last time. My son and I got to wander through the botanical garden, the Capital and the Library of Congress. I was amazed at some of the views of the Capital I was able to get from the botanical garden. I have never seen some of these angles before. Washington DC is indeed a beautiful city that requires lots of time (weeks, months?) to explore.
My first photo is the US Capital as seen from the Botantical Garden. The second photo shows the capital viewed from across a sculpted mosaic fountain. The third photo looks the other way across the fountain to see the National Museum of the American Indian.
Outdoor Wednesday link:

School Starts, 2009

I admitted to a friend of mine over the phone that Carl does most of the cooking, and she asked what do I do with all my time? I had no quick answer. I have put my business on the back burner, and have done little creative effort over the summer. I got off the phone, feeling a little useless and unproductive.

I reviewed summer in my mind - then remembered - Oh yeah. This is the 5th day of school. I had four children home all summer. I managed them and ran them around all summer, and now I am easing(?) them into the school year. In a different post I hope to review the summer, but this blog post will just outline school starting...

The 1st day of school (Tuesday) was stressful/relaxing/stressful again
, as I try to launch the children into a brand new schedule - totally different from the summer schedule and very changed from last year's school schedule. (2 Children are in new schools, and I have 3 school schedules to contend with (Elementary, Middle and High School) - but only for this 2009-2010 school year. For the children: Up early; shower and eat; what to wear; where are your supplies; and the emotional encouragement... I got pictures of 3 of the children waiting for the bus - Tom's ride came at 6:50AM and I missed his photo.

The 2nd Day of school (Wednesday) I had to pull Tom out of school early for a Doctor's pre-operation physical appointment. I also had to start dealing with the children's homework issues. (They want to delay it, they need materials, they need photos, they need PC time, etc.)

The 3rd day of school (Thursday) Tom had dental surgury at Children's Hospital starting at 7:00 AM. I had to get up before 6:00 AM (this was not the summer schedule for me at all - I am a night owl, not a morning person). Carl had to get the children off to school, then miss a day of work as he joined me at the hospital for the 4.5 hour procedure to remove wisdom teeth, do a root canal, put on sealants and take x-rays and mouth impressions, all under general anesthetic.
More homework issues, including the homework is frustrating, needing a working word processor (it's REQUIRED that this assignment be done on a PC, mom...) and needing a working printer.

I have 3 PC's that my children can use. The best one, with the internet connection and printer and Microsoft word got so messed up with viruses (due to the children), that we wiped the hard drive in the last week of August. We lost data, the Word install, and the printer drivers, but the internet now works again. One is a gaming PC that never had it Word installed, and one is a laptop that my husband can use fine but kept locking up for the child doing the homework... We aren't printing out much at home for a while.

The 4th day of school (Friday) Anthony and I left early in the morning for a flight to Washington DC, so Anthony missed a day of school, Carl dealt with the post-op for Tom, who missed a day of school, and Carl missed work to stay at home with Tom. Thank God it's Friday. TGIF.

The 5th day of school (Tuesday after labor day) I got 2 phone calls from 2 schools before noon. One child at the middle school needed two items, one "necessary"; and Tom at the High School needed pain killers for his teeth. I visited the 3rd school to pay lunch money for Miranda, because during registration I ran out of time, checks, and money, and her's was the lunch account I hadn't funded. Oh well. Their college education accounts aren't funded either.

This blog is supposed to be about art and photography, not children, so I hope to get back on topic soon, but I guess today you could say I am blogging about creativity block.

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Recovering from a PC Virus

My family/children contaminated my PC with a nasty virus.

Here is a recipe to fix the PC.

Safe mode
Restore to a previous date.


This wasn't the greatest fix - It hobbled along for a while, (months) then eventually I had to clear the harddrive and start from scratch. But reformatting the hard drive and reinstalling windows is not without problems.

When I reformatted my harddrive...

I lost all my bookmarks.
I had to go to HP to download printer drives.
I had to reinstall Word and Excel.
Adobe PDF reader reinstalled...
Now I am using foxfire, because...

I still need to get the printer working,
My sound no longer works from the internet,
FTP stuff to Network. - now reinstalled from js2 email.

Photoshop had hand built custom actions from kalidescope - these were lost.

I lost fonts [INCLUDING Minnie and Mickey... :( ]
Minnie and Mickey was one of my favorite fonts.

My computer defaults were messed up: Show extensions, info on qty of harddrive, classic windows,....

When you bring up the taskbar via control-alt-Del
Clicking on Processes shows processes running.

alg.exe shut it off!
wmiprvse.exe shut it off!
teatimer.exe shut it off!
Jqs.exe shut it off!

frameworkservice.exe shut it off!

Start Box -- Select Run -- (type) msconfig:  Select tab Services and just turn off "Ad_Aware 2007 services"

System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Product Support Services technicians use when diagnosing Windows configuration issues. You can use this tool to modify the system configuration through a process of elimination with check boxes, reducing the risk of typing errors.
You can use System Restore to undo harmful changes to your computer. To open System Restore from System Configuration Utility, on the General tab, click Launch System Restore.


These are notes from the WWW, not mine.

The frameworkservice.exe file is a process by Network Associates belonging to their E-policy orchestrator anti-virus suite. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.    (JS NOTE:  WHY DO I WANT NETW ASSOC. JUNK on MY PC?)

provides control and information about management in an enterprise environment.

Developers use the wmiprvse.exe file in order to develop applications used for monitoring purposes. These programs can notify users about important events related to network and file or application management right after each event occurs. With wmiprvse.exe, file managers in the enterprise environment are capable of configuring and searching for desktop system information or network and application information across the network.

wmiprvse.exe is a stupid utility from windows that is useful to developers and non-mainstreet software. What I mean by that - If you are just using the internet and simple web applications and local word-processing... functions, in a non-networked environment, this application should NEVER have to run on your PC.

Microsoft has a fix for this software that wastes Your CPU time so that others can gather information on your hardware.

Ideally I would get rid of it, but I can't make it not load, feel free to shut down.




This program is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system and is critical for the Windows firewall. This should be left running, as it is part of your system and will be found on all the latest computers. Alg.exe stands for application layer gateway.

Alg.exe is a service that runs on your machine and allows you to connect to the Internet. ALG stands for Application Layer Gateway and is required if you use a third party firewall or ICS (Internet Connection Sharing) to connect to the Internet. Alg.exe


Step 1
Press and hold "Ctrl" and "Alt" buttons and press "Delete" to open the Windows Task Manager. Click the "Processes" tab.

Step 2
Scroll through and click "alg.exe." Click "End Process" to prevent this program from running.

Step 3
Click the "Start" button; click "Run." Type "SERVICES.MSC /S" (without quotes) and press "Enter" to open the services window.

Step 4
Scroll through the right panel and double-click "Windows
Firewall." Select "Disabled" on the "Startup type," then click "OK." Close the services window. This program will be removed from startup and will not run on your computer.


This program is part of the Microsoft Windows operating system and is critical for the Windows firewall. This should be left running, as it is part of your system and will be found on all the latest computers. Alg.exe stands for application layer gateway.

has info


svchost.exe - needed but problematic, this scanner can tell you 1%



The frameworkservice.exe file is a process by Network Associates belonging to their E-policy orchestrator anti-virus suite. This program is important for the stable and secure running of your computer and should not be terminated.


What is Jqs.exe?
When you open the Task Manager you may note that a process named Jqs.exe is running in the background. It consumes a small part of the memory but surely a useful one. It consumes around 1.5 Megabytes of computer memory and 2 Megabytes of virtual memory.
Jqs is short for Java Quick Starter and belongs to Java. The process is required to improve the startup time of Java applets and applications by pre-fetching Java Runtime Environment files frequently into memory.
Steps to disable it
Surely the process is useless for someone who does not deal that frequently with Java applets and thus should disable it.
•    To disable just visit the Control Panel and open the Java entry.
•    Now go to Advanced tab and look for the Miscellaneous entry below.

•    Make sure to uncheck the activated Java Quick Starter entry.
That’s it the process has been disabled and removed.

I first pulled up the Windows Task Manager (hitting Ctrl Alt Del keys at once). I noticed a strange process called JQS.exe and also found that JQS.exe was running on low priority. But interestingly this strange process called JQS.exe was using 1.3 MB of computer memory and almost 2 MB of virtual memory. Also, there was a lot of activity by this process at random since it was initiating too many I/O read processes.

Well, I figured out that JQS.exe was not any virus process but was indeed Java Quick Start which was actually designed to reduce the startup time of Java applets
and Java apps by prefetching Java Runtime Environment files frequently into memory and caching it. But I'm not a person who uses Java Applets or Java Apps that often - I hardly use Java related stuff maybe once in 2-3 weeks, so there is absolutely no use for it to run all the time on my box to make a rare use app work faster!!

So here is how you can easily disable JQS.exe :
Goto the Control Panel (Start > Control Panel).
Double click the Java icon to open the Java Control Panel.
Now click on the Advanced option
Goto Miscellaneous and you will find that Java Quick Start has been enabled.
Uncheck the box to disable the JQS.exe process.

You can now see that JQS.exe has disappeared from the Task Manager.

McTray.exe file information
The process McAfee Security Agent Taskbar Extension belongs to the software McAfee Common Framework or Sony Ericsson Device Data by McAfee, Inc (www.mcafee.com).
Description: File McTray.exe is located in a subfolder of "C:\Program Files". The file size on Windows XP is 86,016 bytes.
The file is not a Windows system file. The program is not visible. Therefore the technical security rating is 38% dangerous, however also read the users reviews.
Important: Some malware camouflage themselves as McTray.exe, particularly if they are located in c:\windows or c:\windows\system32 folder. Thus check the McTray.exe process on your pc whether it is pest. We recommend Security Task Manager for verifying your computer's security. It is one of the Top Download Picks of 2005 of The Washington Post and PC World.

FROM http://www.bleepingcomputer.com/startups/Mctray.exe-22761.html :  
Mctray.exe Information
   This is an undesirable program.

This file has been identified as a program that is undesirable to have running on your computer. This consists of programs that are misleading, harmful, or undesirable.

See if the following solution will help you.

from http://www.techsupportforum.com/microsoft-support/windows-xp-support/368781-solved-xp-search-function-not-working-only-dog-shows-up.html

i've tried everything the. When i click search in any explorer window the blue pane opens with the assistant but i have no search options or input boxes
Go to Start>Run, type cmd.
When the command dialog window opens, type the following and press enter after each command which will prompt a confirmation box as being successful after each command

regsvr32 urlmon.dll
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 wshom.ocx

Search doesn't work or fails

Go to Start => Run and type in - or copy/paste - each of the commands
listed below, one at a time. Hit Enter after each. Note that there is
a single space after regsvr32.

regsvr32 wshom.ocx
regsvr32 jscript.dll
regsvr32 urlmon.dll
regsvr32 vbscript.dll


If that doesn't fix the problem, do this:

Go to Start => Run and type in:

%systemroot%\inf {No spaces}

Click OK.

Locate the file Srchasst.inf
Right-click the file, and click on Install. You will be asked to
insert your Windows XP installation CD in the drive.

This will reinstall the Search Assistant.


One thing you could try is to turn off the file Indexing Service,
especially if you see cisv.exe grabbing a high percentage of cpu. The
data may have become corrupted. Anyway,

check if it's enabled either of these ways:

In the Search window click on 'Search Options'. Click on the 'Indexing
Service' link. If it's enabled, click the radio button 'No, do not
enable...'. Click the 'Advanced' button and in

the window that opens, right-click => All Tasks => Empty Catalog.

or ...

If you can't get access via the Search window, go to Start => Run and
type in "ciadv.msc" {without the quotes}.
In the window that opens, do as above.
Next, Go to Start => Run and type in "services.msc" {without the
Locate the Indexing Service. If it's running, Stop it and set it to
Manual or Disabled.

If this doesn't work, you can restart it if you want.

Or, to use Classic Search instead of XP Search:

Copy the text below between the dotted lines, but not the dotted lines
themselves. Open Notepad and paste it in. Save the result in a
suitable location as search.reg - making

sure that the default .txt extension doesn't appear in the file name
(Save as type = All Files).
Double-click on the saved .reg file to merge the contents.

- cut below here

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

"Use Search Asst1"=-
"Use Search Asst"="no"

- cut above here

My problem is with the search function in my windows Xp computer.for some odd reason it is not working properly. It doesn't even start up, from either of the two spots I use it. The first is by clicking the Start Menu, and clicking Search. the second is by right clicking My Computer and clicking Search. Both do nothing when clicked. i have done all i know to solve the problem. now am washed off my hands.so am requesting to provide some inputs to make it normal
Do this thing for resolve this issue Start, right-click a blank spot on the left side of the Start menu, click Properties when it appears, select Start Menu, Customize, Advanced, check the Search check box and save the changes.now on Windows Explorer right-click a blank spot at the right end of the menu where the icons present Customize, highlight Search on the left, click Add.

FROM http://www.secretgeek.net/ms_search.asp 

Award for the Silliest User Interface: Windows Search

Why is a dog asking me questions?

Who's been putting the mescaline in the Microsoft kool aid?

What if google used this approach?

Would google still be number one?


So you'd like to search for something!

JSNOTE Totally diff prob.  In cmd type:Sfc /REVERT

Hmm, i really dont know why it starts running by himself aawservice.exe but i can help you turn it off, and he starts when u start Lavasoft program. So:
Start --> Run --> (type) msconfig-:  Select tab Services and just turn off "Ad_Aware 2007 services"

System Configuration Utility overview

System Configuration Utility (Msconfig.exe) automates the routine troubleshooting steps that Microsoft Product Support Services technicians use when diagnosing Windows configuration issues. You can use this tool to modify the system configuration through a process of elimination with check boxes, reducing the risk of typing errors.
You can use System Restore to undo harmful changes to your computer. To open System Restore from System Configuration Utility, on the General tab, click Launch System Restore. For more information, click Related Topics.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Sun Flower Field

This amazing field of sunflowers (from a previous year) reminds me of a wonderful summer day I got to spend enjoying sunflowers.

This image is for sale in my etsy shop:

Outdoor Wednesday link: