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Charlie's Strange and Happy World
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Memorial Day -- Float Maneuverability 
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I was at home today, working on the formatting of the Grand Floral Parade script. It's more difficult than it sounds...

Does anyone remember WordPerfect? Hey, SURPRISE, they still make it! I used to be a whiz with that software, way back when. The next thing you know the whole world is using Microsoft Word -- and I had to dump WP. (sigh) WHY did I love it. I can explain in TWO words: Reveal Codes. You could open these and actually SEE every bit of formatting you had applied to your text -- I kid you not. Word? Hell no. Good luck with that!

So getting a CLEAN version of your formatting is nearly IMPOSSIBLE (no, Microsoft does NOT CARE if you can). I spend a lot of time cursing in my head -- and sometimes out loud -- while trying to take a document that has many 'cooks' involved and cleaning it up for a fresh start in a new year.

No, Word's Show/Hide option does NOT replace the really wonderful Reveal Codes of WordPerfect. But it's the best thing we've got. So I always try to get people who are working on the script to use it. It's UGLY, no doubt.

If you've never seen the Reveal Code option, it's pretty damn nifty, as it open at the bottom of the screen and displays your text with the code written around it. All you have to do is go into that window and eliminate the code there to make it GO AWAY. It's marvelous -- and you can still see your text displayed above clearly.

In Word, when you turn on the Show/Hide button, you'll see elements displayed that will help you to work better. Such as small dots between words that indicates spaces (two dots would be two spaces, for example). It doesn't mean you can easily change formatting, but you kind 'sort of' see things enough to TRY and fix them, anyway. Hahaha.

Word should have found a way to COPY the Reveal Codes feature, I'm telling you. But maybe they weren't SMART ENOUGH to understand how valuable it was. OR, maybe they were too damn arrogant to know a weakness in their own software application (probably true). There's a third possibility, when it comes to Microsoft, though. They just don't give a damn. I have that feeling so much of the time when I use their products, especially when I'm dealing with one of their 'known issues' -- which are two words I get really, really tired of saying all the time, as IT Manager... (big sigh)

Well, I finally finished formatting the script. Then I turned it back over to Katie (Marilyn's assistant). And I Remoted in to her machine so we could go over how to keep the formatting clean while working with the document.

I'm actually glad to help her with the work, if she'll let me, because there's a lot to do. First you 'roll over' as much as you can -- cut and paste entries that have appeared before. You can tweak this stuff later, if necessary. Otherwise, if the information hasn't changed, I always say 'don't reinvent the wheel.' The goal isn't to put your own stamp on the work (nobody really gives you a script credit, anyway, believe me) -- you just need to get it done.

After that I was feeling bad about being home and missing Float Maneuverability, which always happens on Memorial Day. (I already missed the Moment of Silence and symphony concert today!) But Marilyn offered to come get me before she went! So I dashed to get ready and she and Adeena came by to pick me up to go along.

The new space for our float building is at Funtastic headquarters, which is awesome, by the way! In order to build floats, you have to have warehouse space with BIG DOORS and water (for the plants) and lots of electricity (for the machinery) and so on. The framework contains a lot of metalwork and soldering, but they work with a ton of materials. Liquid foam and so on. They create the base which has to drive (obviously), then the artistic elements that will be covered in living plants -- beautiful flowers, seeds, bark, leaves, fruits, vegetables, and other natural materials (as ours is a floral parade). They come up with very clever ways to cover the floats!

Today we go out there and watch them running each float to make sure it can drive, plus training drivers to work with float marshals who walk beside them and guide them -- especially for the turns! I'll be especially glad about that on parade day, when they come up by me to make that first VERY DIFFICULT TURN into the coliseum!!!

I had Souvenir Programs for Kendra and Gene and some pins for others there. And Nona, who has known sister Sue forever, cooks hot dogs for all of us -- our version of a Memorial Day picnic, I guess. Hahaha. Nona always asks about Sue and was sorry to hear about how poorly she's been doing...

We ate hot dogs there and took another 'to go' (as we do each year). And hung around looking and watching and chatting with people. Then we drove Adeena back to her car at the office and finally came home.

We had our second hot dog for dinner (no cooking!!!) and enjoyed a slab of chocolate cake we got at the store yesterday (it seems like days ago).

We watched the movie "Remember" over again -- and I loved it more the second time! You see a lot once you know what's going to happen, so it's a movie that's best viewed twice! I couldn't wait to watch it again, I have to say. I even had a dream about it last night. (It has a 71% rating at Rotten Tomatoes -- and the audience rates it 79%, higher than the critics do.)

I've decided I want to create a 'wall of heroes' for myself -- and include a lot of amazing older people. I recently read about John Johnson Craighead, who is currently 99 years young. He and his twin brother Frank Cooper Craighead, Jr. (who dies in 2001) were amazing conservationists, naturalists, and researchers. They made important contributions to the study of grizzly bears (among other things).

I normally NEVER tear apart my National Geographics (which I treasure), but I did it for John! I love this photo of him at 99 sitting inside a teepee. I'm going to scan it for sure!!!

I'll talk more about my HEROES as we go along (and, YES, my sister Marilyn is certainly one of these!!!). There's something about seeing this man who is more than 30 years older than me that inspires me a great deal. Yes, I'm older now. But I've got a lot of good years in front of me -- so I need to keep on going and do the very best I can. Old age is NO EXCUSE for anything, in other words.

My cat is howling and just scratched my ankle for attention! It's clearly time for bed. (It's now 3:30 a.m.)

Good night, friends!!!
Comments 
May 31, 2016 (Tuesday) 11:58 am (UTC)
For some poorly-formatted documents, I have to just copy everything into Notepad so it is just text, and then paste it back into a fresh Word document.
June 1, 2016 (Wednesday) 06:49 am (UTC)
Been there, done that! Except I always use NoteTab Pro for ASCII text... (grin)

May 31, 2016 (Tuesday) 11:45 pm (UTC)
I used to use WordPerfect.
I think it is still loaded on my old laptop. (The one from 1994...)
June 1, 2016 (Wednesday) 06:50 am (UTC)
I used to LOVE the little plastic 'template' that would go by the function keys for using WordPerfect. (smile)

That's my WordPerfect icon from back in the day. Hahaha.

Damn, I loved that software!
June 1, 2016 (Wednesday) 10:19 am (UTC)
I remember those templates!
I haven't seen one in quite a while...