So how's your summer going? Not to worry, it's not over yet...we still have those August dog daze to enjoy before the end of summer Labor Day picnics bring down the curtain.
As most of you know, we were on summer hiatus for a couple months. So did I get through my summer ToDo list while we were gone? No! Of course not...but I did put a big dent in it. Unfortunately, as is the rule, it also got longer. But I did accomplish a fair amount...I almost have the back porch painted. The summer heat has stalled that a bit, since I have to do most of my painting these days at night when it's cool. Yeah, it's a little difficult painting in the dark! Also got a new roof put on the garage and painted the garage, too. And I managed to get a bunch of fountains flowing and flowers planted in the front garden so it looks pretty and my sisters will stop ragging on me that I've let mom's garden go to hell!<sigh> (If you check out the way cool article about Personal Postage Stamps, you'll get a little look at the garden behind the pics of Shelby.)
And speaking of Shelby, our little pupster is becoming quite the athlete. During our walks to the park...Cassy just wants to get all the sniffies she can...Lexi wants to chase every squirrel and bird...but Shelby has become obsessed with chasing balls and Frisbees. I have a little dog-lover video online demonstrating his Kung-Fu power bark ball runs here, if you're interested. Shelby and I also helped out homeless dogs and cats by participating in AntiCruelty's Bark In The Park this spring . You can see pictures of our adventure here: Bark in the Park. We managed to raise over $600.
Besides doggie stuff, painting around the house and jamming flowers in the ground, I also celebrated my forty-mumble-mumble birthday in April and discovered the joy of SpaceBags and sucked the air out of every stored blanket, comforter and piece of clothing that I'll probably never wear again but haven't given up on yet. (Hey, I threw away my platforms and bell-bottoms just a couple years before my teens were spending a fortune buying them new! I learned my lesson.) And, of course, I was also busy with tons of support email, new client projects, and working on new courses...which I will finish one of these days! Oh, and speaking of my courses, by popular demand, I'm extending our July sale of my courses through August. So get them before I finish my new courses and the prices go up!
But I was also busy thinking about TechTrax improvements. Although you may not consider advertising an improvement...those little Google ads you'll now notice at the bottom of our articles will help to continue to bring TechTrax to you free by helping to pay for its infrastructure. So help support this ezine and click those ads! Each click helps kick up the meter to help support this ezine so we can continue to bring it to you free and without those other annoying in your face ads.
I was hit with tons of feedback email over the last few months. So in an effort to spend our limited time helping those who help us (by subscribing)...I've changed our feedback policy so that your feedback will only be accepted if you are a current subscriber. We need to make sure we can get it all answered. Subscribing helps? Yup. The more subscribers we have, the more seriously the industry recognizes this ezine. We have nearly 8,000 regular subscribers now, but one article can get over 20,000 hits a month. So we hope to be able to count some of those readers in our subscriber-base by enticing them to subscribe. Have you subscribed? Do it. Tell your friends! It's free! And you'll NEVER get spam because of it!
Also, to help you keep your subscription to TechTrax updated, I've enhanced the update process. You can now easily change your email address without having to reset any subscription notices. You can check your subscriptions here: Change Your Subscription. I'm also hoping to set up a few other training features for subscribers only...which I hope to unveil soon. And more subscriber-only drawings are on the way. So if you haven't yet added your name to our faithful readership, please do. You can trust that I'll never give your email address to anyone else!
I also did a little talent search for more TechTrax writers and we did find many who expressed interest in joining our team. Not everyone was ready to give up on summer yet and jump into the writing pool...but you will get to meet several new writers this month. Newly awarded MVP, Dawn Croiser, has joined us this month and provides you with a macro to help you control Word's browse object. Another new author, Kristin Tracy, who is featured on our fun cover (by Susan Daffron) this month, shows you how to handle Windows Paint. Karen Clark, who was one of our previous guest authors, gets her own bio page this month as she shares some very cool tricks to solve some perplexing Word to PDF issues. And after some radical changes in Alan Wheeler's life, he's back again to help blind web designers learn how to handle Front Page. Several other talented users have said they plan to join us in the near future...let's hope they follow through.
When we left for our break back in April, we had a contest running for one lucky winner to get a watercolor painting done by an extremely talented artist, Debbie Stonebraker. The winner was Sandy Sparks. Sandy wanted to have a painting done of her beloved Micki, her dog of 14 years who passed away. Unfortunately, Sandy was having trouble finding a suitable photo of her dog for the painting, so Debbie hasn't yet been able to show us the results. But Sandy did recently get a picture to Debbie. I told her not to rush on our account. Whenever it's done, however, we'll be sure to show it to you.
Before I forget, if you're a PowerPoint power user, be sure to check out PPT Live next month. You can get more info here: PPT Live. In fact, if you hurry, you can try to win a freebie to PPT Live. But you need to enter by Aug 5. PPT MVP, Geetesh Bajaj knows all about PPT Live. So give him a shout if you have any questions.
Well, I think that's just about everything on my bullet list to tell you about. I hope you missed us. It was a nice break, but as always, it's good to be back. We have a great issue for you this month, even though we're just getting back in the swing of it. So stay tuned...lots of great stuff in the future!