Archive for January, 2016

Wednesday mornings find me volunteering at the Gay Alliance of the Genesee Valley. It mostly involves answering the phone and acting as a secretary/receptionist. At 1, my good friend Raymond comes in to relieve me.

This morning was the Volunteer Appreciation Brunch, something I’d been looking forward to for the past couple of weeks. After all, FREE FOOD! But this morning I woke up with a migraine, and not even the promise of free food could get me out of bed and moving around. The only thing that did get me out of bed was having to get up and take my migraine med, after which I went right back to sleep.

An hour and a half later, I still have the migraine. I also have another 30 minutes before I can safely take a second dose, which is something I’ve not had to do in almost 30 years. Usually, taking one pill and going to bed takes care of things, but this time it’s different.

And it’s a classic migraine, complete with strange smells, and all of the usual hallucinations. Normally, I only get a few minor visions, along with the unbearable pain, but this time it hit pretty hard.

Believe me, a migraine, combined with my depression and missing out on free food, truly sucks.

Surprise! This has nothing at all to do with mental health—unless, like me, you blog as part of coping.

Apparently I haven’t been subscribed to the appropriate services where such announcements are made, but this morning I decided to Google “open source live writer,” which led me to http://openlivewriter.org/, where you can download a copy. It’s released under the MIT License model, which, if you’re unfamiliar with it, you should probably read up on.

It was a quick download, and a quick install. If you’re already blogging with Microsoft Live Writer, you can install this version right alongside it, as it won’t make any changes to that installation. In fact, I’m using Open Live Writer to write this entry. So far, I haven’t noticed any major differences between the two—but then, I’ve only written two paragraphs.

The few comments I’ve read on a couple of boards say that some people have had problems using it with Blogger, but other users say they’ve had no problem on that platform. So if you blog on Blogger, I’d say download it and give it a try.

Why Use It At All?

I’m using version 16 of Windows Live Writer, which was released in 2012, and there hasn’t been any further developments since then. Open Live Writer was released in December of 2015 and while there don’t appear to have any changes, the idea is that the open source community will keep it alive and well, with improvements and quite possibly newer features. In fact, the release version available now is 0.5.1.4, which in plain English means “Not Ready For Prime Time Software;” that is, it’s still essentially a beta (test) release.

If you do decide to use it, I’d suggest you do as they advise on their web site:

If you’re interested in getting occasional notices of updates to Open Live Writer and hearing about opportunities to try new features, you can subscribe to our Announcements email list. You can also follow @OpenLiveWriter on Twitter and like the page for Open Live Writer on Facebook.

That’s what I’ve done. And so far, it looks as if I’ll continue using Open Live Writer for my blog posts.

Robyn Jane

And if I weren’t an atheist, I’d say “Thank God!” But I am, and so I can’t. Besides, even if I did believe in a god, which one should I thank? Janus, after whom January is named? Hell, what calendar should I even use? It’s January only on the Gregorian calendar, but a quick googling (is that even a word?) of “January” reveals that there are over 10 other solar calendars currently in use around the world, plus a handful of lunar calendars as well.

It’s easier to explain why I’m glad the period between Thanksgiving and the new year is over. First, I spend Thanksgivings alone, thanks to being ostracized by both my own family and my in-laws. December marks my mother’s birthday and less than two weeks later, the anniversary of her death. This year it was especially difficult because it marks the first time she has been out of my life longer than she was in it. Finally, Christmas carries with it the same curse as Thanksgiving.

Except for this year’s anniversary, my mother’s death has become easier to bear with each passing year. Maybe easier isn’t the right word—maybe I should just say not as difficult. I don’t really think that any loved one’s death truly becomes easier to bear; maybe the scar fades a bit more, or the scab isn’t quite so thick. I still cry every December 12, just not as hard as I used to.

But here’s the important thing: Thanksgiving and Christmas no longer find me wishing I were dead, planning my suicide, or even checking myself into the psychiatric emergency department.

So that’s an improvement.