Notes from the past…


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An update on the Texas Governor's Mansion fire

From today’s Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

DPS unprepared when arsonist attacked governor’s mansion, report says

By JOHN MORITZ

AUSTIN — The night the Texas Governor’s Mansion was attacked by an arsonist, the lone state trooper guarding the 152-year-old facility was inadequately trained to be prepared for the emergency, and seven of the 20 security cameras on the grounds were not functioning, the agency that oversees the Texas Department of Public Safety was told Thursday.”This is likely not the finest hour for the department,” Department of Public Safety Commission Chairman Allan Polunsky said after hearing a blistering preliminary report on the predawn June 9 blaze.

The report delivered by DPS Sgt. Mike Escalante said that troopers assigned to guard the mansion while it was vacant and undergoing a $10 million renovation had requested additional round-the-clock staffing, but the request had not been acted upon by the time the fire inflicted heavy damage to the stately building.

In addition, key security equipment had been taken off the mansion property for repairs. The lone trooper on duty was not watching the bank of video screens when the fire broke out after someone had thrown a Molotov cocktail at the mansion’s porch, Escalante said.

The trooper was later told by an off-duty Austin police officer that a suspicious person was seen leaving the vicinity shortly after firefighters were called. The person then drove away.

Officials later discovered a cigarette lighter near where security cameras showed the arsonist to be.

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Taking things for granted, it seems…


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A little revision (already!)

This publishing stuff is like a whole new language to me! I have learned so much in the past 2 days about using OpenOffice (Impress vs Writer) to create an e-book, exporting it as a .pdf document and then uploading it to Lulu.com and getting it ready to be viewed.

To begin with, I originally started with OpenOffice’s Writer program to put this book together, but soon switched to Impress because I couldn’t figure out how to make it look the way that I wanted with Writer. So I did all that work and exported it as a .pdf, ready to upload to WordPress. That wasn’t to be, as WordPress wouldn’t allow such an upload (I have no idea why). So the next step was to find a place where I could upload my .pdf file, then link it to my WordPress site. Oh, yeah, and that other site had to be free…

My cousin Susan has a very busy site, and I was visiting it a few days ago and noticed the e-books she has written and how she has handled them, and that led me to Lulu.com. It is free to set up a “storefront”, so that’s just what I did. The way I understand it, you can upload as much as you want to Lulu and it’s free, unless you plan to have your e-books published. Lulu doesn’t charge you if you sell your ebooks through a download format. If an ebook is published, then Lulu gets 20%. A fair deal, I think. And since I don’t plan to sell my e-books, it’s a perfect fit for me!

So last night I uploaded my e-book to my Lulu storefront and set up the link from this blog. All working fine…

But the more I thought about it, the more I realized I needed to “revise” my e-book to make it look a bit more professional. The same size font throughout, images better centered, that sort of thing. A general tidying up was needed.

When I got up this morning, I copy-and-pasted each page back into Writer, then did all of the formatting work to clean it up. A bit of a steep learning curve, but I eventually got everything done the way I wanted. Exported to .pdf and it was back to Lulu!

Finally, I uploaded the revised version just a few minutes ago and and I’m back to the same point as last night! :)