adventures in dysthymia

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Planting and Weeding

Stormy weather is moving in and my internet connection is going out. Typical. With some rain arriving, I've been out transplanting a few things. Mostly privet.

I know privet is a 'noxious weed' in this area, growing everywhere and crowding out the native plants. But if it's coming up in my yard anyway, I might as well move it where it will do me some good.

I'm moving only my more-or-less evergreen plants right now, the privet, the nandinas. I have loads of nandina berries coming for the first time here. They need some cold weather to sprout so I'll be gathering them in about a month and leaving them in the carport. I should have a whole lot of new little nandinas growing by next summer.

They, and the privet, do thrive with little care so I'll keep planting them. Along toward February, I'll get busy on all those seedling peaches and the mulberries The wild cherries, too, which also come up volunteer everywhere.

I think I will also transplant my figs which suffered a lot in this past summer's heat and drought. Actually, the grafted parts may have died off and what I have now might be only the root stock. So I'm going to put them in a bit shadier spot and maybe get some more!

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I've been going through my modestly-sizable collection of fonts and weeding out or uninstalling a few that are unneeded, unsatisfactory, or redundant.

Some are copies, inferior or not, of other typefaces. They may or may not be legal -- there is no law against copying someones else's font, even if it is an exact clone. BUT if one utilizes the code from a digital typeface design, that is theft. We who use these may be in the dark as to which are which.

In an earlier day, foundries copied each others ideas on a regular basis. They might not have been exactly the same but they were obviously intended as competition. This still involved designing the font on the drawing board and casting the type. Now, the casting part is unnecessary and the drawing board has given way to the computer, at least in part.

I am a bit hesitant about using 'free' fonts, in general. Not the ones that came bundled with Windows or whatever. Those are generally okay -- there's never a problem with Arial or Times New Roman!

I'm talking the ones that some hobbyist created and is giving away. They may be fine or they may not display properly in some applications. There's no problem, of course, in using them as display fonts and converting them to graphics. Embedding them in a press-ready PDF may be an whole other question.

Anything from a 'big name' foundry is fine, of course -- Bit Stream, URW, Monotype, etc. Whether the copy you might have is legal to use is sometimes anyone's guess! That, however, is not a problem unless you are using them commercially, in books, on an often-visited website, in print ads and so on.

Or are giving them away!

There are some safe collections out there that can be recommended. The URW set of fonts that comes bundled in Ghost Script is excellent and free and can be downloaded separately. Google and you'll find them. I could live with just that collection of typefaces, aside from the need for an occasional odd display font.

The Bitstream Vera set is also good and free and trust-worthy. There is an open development of this group of fonts as the Deja Vu typefaces, but some (including me) have had the odd problem with them.

By the way, if you have Adobe Reader installed there may well be some nice Adobe fonts hidden away in the program folder on your hard drive, in particular Minion and Myriad. If you feel like taking the time, search them out and install them as part of your regular font selection.

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I eat a lot of complex carbohydrates and a lot of fiber. I've had friends who swore by the low-carb diet but it never worked well for me. The fact that I do (or did) mostly anaerobic exercise probably plays a role in this. Walking or running burns fat. Weightlifting burns carbs. In general.

Fat always made me fat. Well, that and beer! I've concluded that alcohol does depress my metabolism more than I would like so I've had very little in the past year or so. The fact that Graceville is a 'dry' town probably has more to do with that, really.

It truly does depend on ones body and ones lifestyle. Still, I have my misgivings about low carbs as a steady thing. I would be fearful of clogging both my arteries and my bowels.

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