Julie Barrett is a freelance writer and photographer based in Plano, TX.

Hearing Loss and Technology

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, May 20, 2024

I haven't talked about this a lot on the journal, but I wear hearing aids, which is both a blessing and a frustration. Here's a video I watched this afternoon:

This video hit several buttons for me, particularly since I was in a tough, noisy situation yesterday evening. There are two components discussed in this video. One is assistive technologies. Honestly, we need more of these. We need more hearing loops. Those of us with hearing loss need to learn how to make the assistive devices we have (like external mi
Filed under: Life            

5/20/2024 1:11:39 PM



Lightning Achievement Unlocked!

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, May 8, 2024

I've been hoping for years to get a lightning photo. Any photo would do - I just wanted to capture a lightning bolt.

Tonight was the night. And I'm glad I wasn't out for perfection or I'd never have gotten the shot. I was in the car at a traffic light with my cell phone. So yes, it's not the best quality, but I'm really happy to have done it!

Lightning Bolt Over Suburbia

Of course, I live in Texas where the weather is very changeable. I've managed green sky and funnel clouds, but never lightning. So yeah, achievement unlocked!

Now pardon me while I go delete a truckload of pictures from my phone.

Filed under: Weather      Lightning      

5/8/2024 9:11:26 PM


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Behold! Eclipse Pictures!

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, April 8, 2024

I'm in North Texas, so we had a lot of cloud cover. Also had camera trouble. However, the clouds parted for at least a portion of totality, and it was awesome. Truly a once in a lifetime experience. Unless I want to spend a ton of money to go to another location. I don't think that's going to happen.

Anyway, have some pictures!

2024 Solar Eclipse

We had a lot of clouds. this was shortly before totality.

2024 Solar Eclipse

Just a sliver left!

2024 Solar Eclipse

Just after totality. You can see a planet (Ven
Filed under: Eclipse            

4/8/2024 4:37:56 PM



Prepping for the Eclipse

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Sunday, April 7, 2024

I am not ready. I've had hardware problems, software problems, a virus scare, and all other manner of interruptions. To make things worse, the current forecast is for about 70% cloud cover at totality. 

But hey, I ain't getting any younger, so I'm planning to see as much as I can if not photograph some of it. I did get some of the eclipse in 2017, but the pictures were horrible. I haven't had much luck this year, either. I get one last shot tomorrow in the hours leading up to the eclipse, which starts here at 12:23 PM. We enter totality here at 1:41 PM. I plan to get up and bracket the living daylights out of some exposures so I can try to get something decent. 

Last time around I was unable to procure a proper filter for my lens. Oh, I tried, and my order got canceled. This time I ordered one back in October. Bwah. 

The big software issue was getting the computer control software going. That's a
Filed under: Life            

4/7/2024 9:05:06 PM


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Event updates!

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Thursday, April 4, 2024

Not much, but I do have a couple of things kinda firmed up on my calendar. 

I'll be at SoonerCon in Norman, OK, June 21-23, and ArmadilloCon in Austin, TX, September 6-8.

I don't know exactly what I'll be doing at either event (hey, it is a bit early) other than I should have things in the Art Show. So bid early and bid often!

Filed under: Conventions            

4/4/2024 4:42:15 PM



Monday Mumblings Eyes A Safe Place

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, April 1, 2024

Yes, Monday Mumblings is back. I can tell you're excited.

Rest assured the reference to "safe place" has nothing to do with crime or politics. It's springtime in Texas, and we have some bumpy weather on the way. We'll take cover in the utility room if we have to, but at this point the storms seem to be losing some strength. Still, it's good to have a plan.

This is moving through fast, so we should be all clear for the monthly siren test tomorrow.

Hmm. Is that thunder I hear, or is it rumblings from my dinner? Could be either. Or both!

I worked on multiple projects today. I would sprint then settle in for a few YouTube videos, then sprint again. Except for the round of Beat Saber. We had the back door open (with the screen locked, because cats) and the humidity was doing my lungs no favors. I still got in a good half hour of exercise, so I'm happy on that front. Just took me a tad longer than u
Filed under: Life            

4/1/2024 8:13:06 PM



Ending the weekend

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Sunday, March 31, 2024

Hey, it's been an alternately busy and relaxing weekend. I spent some time Saturday trying a new UV resin technique. I'm not very happy with the result, but i also kinda think I just need to keep working with it.

Spent way too much time today on retirement calculations.

Retirement you say? Oh, I don't believe a creative ever truly retires. However, I don't want to be stuck on things that I should be saying no to while Paul has all the fun! 

I have this plan to have my business help finance retirement. To be honest, though, every time I update my plan, something happens. And it did on Friday. It's not my story to tell, not at least until I have more details. I only wish it were good news. I'm afraid it's yet another time suck of a task that will have to be done and I may not have much help doing it. It's also something I can't say no to because it's part of a commitment I made that I absolutely cannot back out of.
Filed under: Life            

3/31/2024 9:33:36 PM



A day of computer housekeeping

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Wednesday, March 27, 2024

Wedensday is bowling night. Also, I've had allergy issues. This means no cleaning in the craft room today because I wanted to be in shape to bowl.

I spent much of the day at my computer, doing updates and installing a program called Inkscape. Inkscape is an open source program that's sort of aiming to be a replacement for Adobe Illustrator. The big thing that attracted me to Inkscape is a plug-in for digitizing graphics for embroidery. I gave up on my last software as it was just getting to expensive to justify occasional use. We'll see how this works out.

Of course, this meant dragging out the one laptop that will still connect to my Singer embroidery machine. (Why update the software when they can sell you new hardware?) This meant a truckload of updates and maintenance before I could even install Inkscape. There went a good chunk of my day. But it's Wednesday, so it was a good day to for such things.

Filed under: Life            

3/27/2024 10:12:53 PM



Allergy Season

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Monday, March 25, 2024

I've been reading that allergy season hit North Texas early this year. My sinuses agree! 

I woke up feeling kind of icky this morning, but I had some things to do before lunch and plowed through. This afternoon I feel as though I've been hit by a truck.

Sigh. I suppose I should have worn a dust mask in the craft room today. My big job was installing a replacement set of shelves over part of the sewing table. I kicked up dust - both of the regular and plaster varieties. But it sure looks good!

Soon I can leave the house and do some grocery shopping. I hate driving during school zone hours, if I can absolutely help it because I have to go through one to get to/from the store. The kids are generally pretty good at watching for traffic. It's the entitled parents that drive me up the wall. I did six years of carpooling at that school and several years on the PTO, trying to help direct traffic before and after school o
Filed under: Life            

3/25/2024 3:05:49 PM



That's a wrap for this week!

Fresh when it gets here from Julie Barrett
Friday, March 22, 2024

Paul is on his way home from his business road trip.

Today was kind of a catch up day. Did a few more things in the bedroom, paid a straggling bill, paid the accountant for the trust tax prep, and did several small jobs in our convention database application. Oh, and did the weekend grocery shopping. I still don't feel as though I've accopmlished much today, but I look at my clean desk and do feel good. I also feel that I have my most pressing tasks out of the way for the weekend. 

I dunno, it's hard to actually think about getting things done when I know Paul is on the way home. I'm definitely ready for Friday Tex-Mex this week.

And Paul just walked in. Have a good weekend!

Filed under: Life            

3/22/2024 7:24:26 PM




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