Friday, August 29, 2003

Life10:08 PM - Shopping!

I took a vacation day today, so we could go looking for house stuff. We found a decent area rug for the livingroom for $80 (5' x 7' I think). It goes well with our furniture, lamps, etc., and still leaves plenty of the hardwood floor visible. We also went looking for a couple chairs for the livingroom, since there's only the one couch in it. We ended up buying two platform rocking chairs with some incredibly comfortable cushions. :) They had them in four colors -- a sort of darkish taupe, "coconut" (a light cream color), a drab mint green, and an even more drab medium blue-green (more blue than green though). I like blue, but it definitely isn't one of the nicer blues I've seen. The green would've clashed horribly with the couch, and the taupe was too dark. So we ended up getting two in coconut. It's going to show dirt a little more easily, but they'll brighten up the room, and they'll go nicely with everything else. They only had two left: the floor model, and one in the warehouse. So we bought those, and they'll be delivered next Saturday. Yea!

We finally got rain. They've been promising rain and cooler temperatures for at least 2 weeks, but the forecasts have kept changing, with continuing heat near 100 and no rain. It finally rained, a little yesterday, and a lot today. It's all been either sprinkles to a steady rain, with no sudden downpours (at least around us). So while they're saying a flash flood warning thru Saturday, we haven't noticed anything that heavy, which means it'll soak in nicely. It's about damn time, is all I can say. It'd been about a month since it last rained. And it's finally cooler, too. It's just too bad it couldn't have done this a week ago. We're going to a wedding tomorrow, and of course Mars has been its closest this week, with a new moon to help keep the sky dark, but you can't see anything in the sky with all the clouds. Ah well, can't complain, right?

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Blog Questionnaires10:00 PM - The Friday Five

  1. Are you going to school this year?
    Nope, already got my BS. :) Other than the training class I took in Oracle this year, and the training I should take in something or other (they want us IT folks to have 40 hrs training per year), I don't plan on going back for quite some time.
  2. If yes, where are you going (high school, college, etc.)? If no, when did you graduate?
    I graduated from the University of Missouri-Rolla in May 2000.
  3. What are/were your favorite school subjects?
    In grade school, my favorites were math and spelling (they were a cakewalk at the time). In high school, I'm not sure I had any one consistent favorite. In college, I liked some of my programming classes, and of course I loved choir, because the singing (especially in Latin) was fun, and I could still enjoy the anonymity an 80-100 member choir afforded.
  4. What are/were your least favorite school subjects?
    I've never been a history buff, always finding the classes boring (with rare exception). I also hated various random classes in college, especially physics and any classes where the teacher sucked.
  5. Have you ever had a favorite teacher? Why was he/she a favorite?
    I've had a few over the years. I liked just about all my grade school teachers, so no single favorite there. In middle school, my favorite teacher far and away was my 8th grade physical science teacher. He made class a lot of fun without dumbing it down, he was personable and professional at the same time. In high school, I had a few favorites. There was my freshman English teacher, my spanish teacher for the 3 years of spanish there (3, 4, and 5/6), my freshman science teacher and softball coach (who passed away from lung cancer my junior year, having never smoked a day in his life :( ), and my chemistry I and honors chemistry II teacher. They were all good at what they did, made the classes they taught very enjoyable, and knew how to communicate the material to their students. All of these teachers really enjoyed teaching, and it showed.
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Thursday, August 28, 2003

This site12:06 AM - All systems are go

In case you haven't noticed (rather obvious, is it not?) I got everything up and ready to go. Just in the nick of time, too (2 minutes early by my clock).

To change themes, go to the link to the right, just under the calendar. If you have a browser that will let you view alternate stylesheets, all the other themes available are listed as alternates for you to sample (which will be active until the next reload only, of course). Find one you like, then come back here with your back button (may need to reload to get a fresh page).

If you notice anything wacky that appears to be a misbehavior, let me know and I'll fix it ASAP. I haven't had a lot of time to hunt around for stuff, so it's a possibility I missed something.

That said, it's past my bedtime.

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Wednesday, August 27, 2003

This site04:50 PM - Only one step left

I finished the styles last night, but I haven't had the time to do the change-over so far today. I've actually been doing work, which of course takes precedence (imagine that, eh? ;) ). I hope to do the changeover tonight after karate, but I'm also hoping we'll be Mars-gazing at my parents' afterward (if it's not too cloudy) so we might be late getting home, so I dunno if I'm gonna have the chance.

If I don't get it done tonight, I have no reason to believe I won't get it done tomorrow. So at least I'll be close to the deadline at that point.

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Tuesday, August 26, 2003

This site05:06 PM - Almost there

I'm on schedule to release when I said I would (end of tomorrow). I hit a serious snag trying to get the archive adjustments done, but I got that figured out yesterday (what a forehead slapper, too!) with the smokestone one, and got the blueberry one done today. So now I just have 3 left to do. I'll get those done tonight or tomorrow, and then tomorrow evening I'll get everything uploaded and relinked properly, including a wipe of the old stuff. That will take some time, but hopefully I can get it done even with having karate class. Methinks I'll have to get those 3 other stylesheets done tonight...

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Monday, August 25, 2003

Life04:22 PM - Tiring, but fun

I definitely didn't catch up on my sleep this weekend, but it was a lot of fun. On Saturday, I got to meet a lot of J's relatives whom I'd never met (and in some cases, he'd never met them either). Most of these were children and grandchildren of his grandma's brother-in-law.

After the reunion, we drove to one of the family's houses in Bolivar to visit a few minutes, and leave J's baby sister there (she's too young to go on a float trip yet, and they agreed to keep her until the next evening). While we were all sitting down and talking, one of Jeremy's aunts found a large spider crawling on her leg. She managed to flick it off her and onto the carpet, where we found it was a quarter-sized brown recluse. Yikes! Someone got a styrofoam cup, and J's stepdad trapped it inside, on the floor.

While he was picking that up (since it crawled into the cup) to show people -- knocking it repeatedly to the bottom -- I saw another spider on the couch less than a foot away from his aunt's leg (she'd sat back down on the couch). She said, rather excitedly, "Don't say that!", then looked at the same time I was saying "No, I'm not kidding" and saw it, then jumped up and away from it. It, too, was knocked to the carpet, where J's stepdad managed to get it into/under the cup as well. Someone brought him a newspaper or something to put them outside, rather than squish them into the carpet. Then, one of them got out from underneath the cup, but he managed to trap it. He let go of the cup for a moment, and it moved with one of the spiders as it tried to escape. Eep!! He then took them outside, disposed of them, and returned. In the meantime, J's aunt didn't want to return to the couch (I wouldn't either) and J's uncle (her husband) took his handkerchief and just brushed my shoulder. When I reached up to fix my bra strap and found that wasn't what ticked, I jumped! Definitely scary. :)

Beautiful house, and wonderful scenery, but I've definitely decided we're not living in southern, rural Missouri. Too many damn nasty things! Anyway, we left about 5 or 10 minutes later for Noel, MO (tucked practically into the SW corner of the state) as it was named for an ancestor of the Noel family (Jeremy's grandma married a Noel, and it was his 4x-great-uncle for whom the town was named). We got separated, and things got crazy as J, his brother, and I drove around trying to find a vehicle we recognized. We finally got together again by mostly a stroke of luck, at one of the campsites in the area, just inside town. Then, most of us met up with one of the uncles we'd met at the reunion, so he could show us where J's mom's grandparents had once lived. After that, we found where her other grandparents lived, not terribly far away.

That was all on Saturday. At the end, we drove to Bentonville, AK (not far) and stayed the night there.

The next day, we got up early and drove back to the campsite where J's sister (his next oldest sibling, not his baby sister) and her husband had stayed. We got 7 canoes (15 of us were floating) and went a short distance to put in. As short as that distance was, the Elk River wound quite a bit, so our float was a 6 mile one. It opened with us seeing a lot of turtles ranging from the size of a computer mouse, to bigger around than a dinner plate. Very cool. :) It was really damn hot, and there were lots of shallow spots, a couple of which we had to get out to drag the canoe. Also, due to the slow current, several of the deeper spots were rather scuzzy. We got to stop a few times though, including the 2nd time we stopped for lunch. It was a lot of fun, including the occasional ramming and nudging the various canoes did to one another, and also the "You're way too dry" as several would gather around one member who'd just waded in to give them a good soaking. :) We also saw lots of decent-sized brown trout.

After we got back from floating, we found the showers were not the usual quarter-operated, time-limited ones -- they were free! That's probably the best after-float shower I've ever had, not worrying about the water running out before I was done. Maybe not the cleanest, but those places never are, and it wasn't bad. In spite of 3 applications of sunblock, I'd burned a bit on my back, but not too badly. I put on aloe after my shower, and it never has hurt (including washing it with my sponge). Jeremy was a little pink on his back and shoulders too, but not badly at all.

It took us about 2 and a half hours to get back from the Dairy Queen in Anderson (another relatively small town up the 59 from Noel, at the junction of 59 and 71) to J's parents' house in Holts Summit. We (J, his brother, his cousin who's living in St. Louis right now, and I) went straight back so we could leave right after eating some dinner, while J's parents went back to Bolivar to pick up their little girl, and both J's aunts & uncles drove straight to his grandma's in Wright City. We got to J's parents' house about 8:30, and left a little before 9:30 for St. Louis (J's cousin left about 15 minutes before we did). Got in about 10-15 after 11pm and pretty much crashed. Greeted the cats, checked email, checked the weather forecast for tomorrow (obviously it isn't cooling off like they'd previously thought :( ), and then went to bed. I read for about 10-15 minutes, waiting for J to come in, then turned out the light so we could get some sleep. It was a great weekend, but my gawd am I tired today. Hafta hit the hay early tonight, I'm tellin' ya.

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Friday, August 22, 2003

Life02:24 PM - Outta town

Gonna be headed to Boliver, MO for a massive family reunion of all his family (who can attend) on his grandma's side. It's going to be one packed house at J's parents' tonight. A ton of people are converging there the night before (so we can all carpool to Boliver). We're gonna have people on beds, foldout sofas, in the camper (that'll probably be us in the queen bed, with J's brother in the little twin), and on those foldy cushion-chair things that convert between chair and pseudo-half-bed. Two of those plus a sleeping bag makes a bed, I gather. I believe the count of people is 13, plus J's baby sister (who still gets her crib, so no ousting there, hehe). That's a LOT of people to have in one house, considering it's not some crazy 3-story mansion with more than one wing.

And it's gonna be hot. Not inside, but the reunion will probably be spent outside, for the most part. Sunday, we'll be on the annual float trip somewhere, also outside. And SW Missouri has been nastier and hotter in general than the St. Louis area has (they reached 100s before we did, and probably when we finally did they were still hotter). So even though it has cooled off a little here, to the low 90s instead of upper 90s, I imagine it'll still be near 100 in that area while we're there. Major suckage!

Also, my sister and her friend are coming to St. Louis (from SW MO, no less :p ) for the Cards game Saturday, and since there's not really anywhere for her friend to stay, we told them they could stay at our house while we're gone. Gotta make sure we clean up a little extra before we leave: scoop the litterbox, make sure the pool has enough chlorine, move some of my toiletries off the big suction-cup shelf so there's room for their stuff, etc. If I'd remembered before I got home last night, instead of just after, I would've bought a few suction-cup corner shelves to put in the bathroom corners, but I didn't feel like going back out again after I got home. I wonder if there's enough litter for me to dump the boxes out entirely and start over...

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Blog Questionnaires02:13 PM - The Friday Five

I didn't get back to this consistently yet, but I'm tryin'.

  1. When was the last time you laughed?
    Probably at lunch today, less than a couple hours ago. I actually laugh pretty damn often. After all, sense of humor is a necessity for living life without going crazy.
  2. Who was the last person you had an argument with?
    Probably my husband, since we live together and all that. Don't remember it specifically though.
  3. Who was the last person you emailed?
    Um... according to my Sent folder in Outhouse at work, the last person I mailed who wasn't myself (my home address) was one of my coworkers. Which reminds me, I really need to send email to several people...
  4. When was the last time you bathed?
    Well, if you mean bathed as in literally took a bath, it's been a long time. However, I had a shower this morning.
  5. What was the last thing you ate?
    Lunch at Bandanna's: BBQ pork plate with their sweet smoky barbecue sauce, fries, and cole slaw, with iced tea (unsweet!) to drink.

Hmm... much simpler, less personal questions than the last few I've answered. Must be a light day. :)

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Wednesday, August 20, 2003

Life11:33 AM - They won!

Cardinals won last night. 13-5. :D They were down 5-3 in the bottom of the 8th, when they scored 10 runs!! And they scored all of them with no outs. Fun ending to the game. :)

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Tuesday, August 19, 2003

This site04:34 PM - Closer still..

I'm closer to rolling out the new design than I was. Heh, it's amazing what you find while testing, that's unrelated to what you were actually testing. I found out a couple things... (a) I had goofed in the ending include file, telling the file that writes out my links that the location was always "archives" (oops!), so it was always highlighting that as the current location; (b) I forgot to do anything in my CSS files for both smokestone themes, for the navigation that appears on monthly and category archives.

While I was at it, I altered my FTP program that lets me do lots more FTP stuff from work (it's a remote PHP-based FTP that you install on a server, then log in, then it connects and does the FTP session -- useful if you can't FTP directly from behind a firewall, etc.). The login session for it was constantly expiring on me, so I changed it to a lot longer session time. I can get more done, more quickly now that I'm not constantly getting "session expired" messages and having to log in all over again.

I think all I have left to do to roll out the new design is test, test, test. I have all the templates done, I have the "theme selection" page done, I've revised my site links, etc. All I have to do now is make sure everything looks good. Wait, I take that back. I do still have to make the extra stylesheets for the large-font themes, that will move the sidebar to down below the calendar layout. And yes, I realize I can't count; in my earlier post about that, I indicated there were 4 of these to do, where there are actually 5. Oh well. Anyway, that's the last of the additions/changes I have to make, then I'm done. (I have to remind myself to make copious use of the !important rule for that positioning stuff.)

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Life10:56 AM - Go cards!

We're going to see the St. Louis Cardinals. Yea! They're playing Pittsburgh. Hopefully we'll get to see them win. J and I are meeting his cousin at his apartment (after well over a year working on this particular project, which has had him in hotels every damn week, he's finally in a corporate apartment instead). Then, his parents are meeting there with some of his stuff, which we'll unpack. Then it's game time. :)

Oh, and I'm seriously considering taking the stairs instead of the elevator from now on. Is my motivation exercise? Nope, it's the thought that I could lose my head. That's a far scarier prospect.

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Monday, August 18, 2003

Life10:37 AM - Monday, Monday

I hate going to work early. I mean, it's bad enough I can never get to sleep earlier for it, but then that means I eat breakfast early, which means I get hungry wayyy before lunch. :(

I could NOT sleep last night. I mean, sure, I stayed up until 2am or so Saturday night, but it was past that, that I had trouble sleeping. It's also made me create a new rule: no more reading Preacher before bed! Really messed with my head. Not as bad as it could have, I suppose (I didn't dream about blowing people's heads off, or any of the more... perverse things I could have -- just mostly dreamt about reading more of it), but I think it definitely contributed to my tossing and turning. I can read it earlier in the evening, but it's back to the complete collection of Amber before bed.

Oh -- didn't get around to posting about it earlier: I just had a burfday!!! :D T'was on Thursday, and it was great. J surprised me with the Princess Bride DVD and a cool Tetris game for my computer. Then, he made dinner: salmon, scalloped potatoes, green beans, and salad, accompanied with wine and bread. For dessert, he whipped out a variety selection of cheesecake. Yum!! Also, right before he was starting dinner, the Fantasy Shop called. I'd decided the day before, when we were next door to them for dinner at Bandanna's, to see if they could get hold of the trade paperback copies of Preacher. They didn't have any, but their other stores had #1-6 except #3, so they said they'd get them in for me. Figured it'd take about a week. Turns out, they came in the next day, so while J started dinner I went up there to pick 'em up, and to order #3 (could take as long as a month to get that one in). And when I got back, dinner was just about ready. Yea!!! So I've been reading those... I finished #1 Saturday (I think) and started #2 yesterday.

We went to a friend's wedding Saturday, and it was so beautiful. They were both so excited and so happy! Everything was perfect. :) These two are definitely right for each other, though I imagine they've known that for a while now. (They dated forever, and they bought a house together a year ago anyway. While the marriage was just sort of a "formality", it certainly seemed more than that at the altar, which was wonderful to see. Radiant doesn't even begin to describe them!)

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Wednesday, August 13, 2003

This site11:19 PM - Almost finished

I just finished the Categories template. The only thing I have left to do, I think, is to create a separate theme-setter page so I don't have to have the themes listed in the list of links (there are enough other links as it is), and finish the 4 large-font stylesheets for the main calendar-view archive. (With larger font, there's no way a menu is going to fit to the right of the calendars at 800x600, so I need to find a different placement for them.) Fortunately, once I figure out placement for one, the other three will just get copy/paste except for color changes. Unfortunately, that means an additional stylesheet with the existing one, because I only want to move those menus on that page, not over all the large-font pages. Ah well, I'll just have to adjust the stylesheet selector code to account for that and add an additional sheet accordingly.

I'm thinking I'll be able to finish all this and roll out the new templates within two weeks, woohoo!!! :D I'd say a week, but things come up, so I'm giving myself extra estimate-padding. Let's see, that's a deadline of August 27. If you don't see new templates by the end of that day (let's say, 11:59pm CDT), you can feel free to lash me with a wet noodle. ;)

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Tuesday, August 12, 2003

This site10:37 PM - One more down...

... one more template to go (I think). I got a template working for my monthly archives that mirrors the ones for my main page and my main archives page. So far the header and footer imports, as well as the theme changes, are going easily, without a hitch. Only problem I had after the initial template text creation, was the existence of two typos, which were easily fixed. Go me! :) Now I just have to create one for my category archives, and I should be all done. And I'll be able to get rid of a bit of other processing (two different calendar-only creation scripts) at the same time. Should save a little time and space.

The next project will probably be to revamp my Funny Forwards and my Pet Peeves, since they currently follow the same layout scheme as my main site. I think I'll use the same idea of tableless layouts, but make them look different. I already have other pages that look different (which I intend to keep the way they are), so I figure there's no longer any point to trying to make 1/3 to 1/2 the site conform any more. And that gives me more chance to play. :)

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Monday, August 11, 2003

Life03:36 PM - Closer

I'm a lot closer to catching up. My resolutions are up-to-date as of last night now (that was about 2 weeks of updates), and I'm up to speed on other online happenings. Didn't get to the Friday Five though, so that's this week, hopefully.

I'm still hoping to post some pics of our house pre- and post-move. We have most everything arranged the way we want it, and we have drapes up, although I may want to change the plaid ones I got for the spare bedroom and computer room. They're a little flimsier than I thought they'd be. We bought material to make bedroom drapes, enough for two sets (two different colors we liked). I was going to hand-sew them, or else learn how to use a sewing machine and then make them that way, but then it was suggested that we ask J's grandma to make them, as she's quite capable at a sewing machine and could probably turn them out to our measurements rather quickly. I felt guilty asking, but J said he'd ask her to make them in return for mowing her lawn (I would guess this week, since it's his free week before fall semester starts). So that lessened it, so I imagine he'll be asking her about that before long.

I'm tired. So, so tired. I couldn't sleep last night, and I know it was after 1am that I finally did. I'm seriously going to have to get to sleep sooner tonight.

Damn, and I really need to work on rolling out my new layout for this site. But I still need to work the archives templates, and I'll probably follow some suggestions and try to mute some of my backgrounds so they're not as visually drawing as the content.

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Friday, August 08, 2003

Life10:36 AM - And we're back on the air!

That's right, I'm back! We finished moving all our stuff except a couple carloads of miscellaneous stuff from our apartment to our house on Saturday, the 26th. We got the rest moved by the 29th or so, and did most of the cleaning on the 28th, with J coming back the next day to clean the oven and the tile in the front hallway, and walk through it with one of the managers, who OK'd everything.

We got our phone service instated Tuesday, along with our new number, which was nice. Amazing how there are already telemarketers calling it, ya think SBC sold the number as soon as it was active? Of course not... ;) I did sign us up for the next round of Missouri No Call list, but that won't be effective until October. Anyway, my sister told me to call her friend John about getting our DSL service moved over to our house a little sooner, because the lady on the phone said it wouldn't be until Aug 12 or 13. He did a check to make absolutely sure we could get DSL (he said the reps sometimes promise people that you can get it fine, when they really can't). He said everything was fine, and he was going to start things going.

He called J on the 30th, I think, with this info, and a number to call to get the order rolling. Here's the hitch: the person he talked to said there already was an order, and we were slated for the 11th. ??? So he called me with basically a "Fix it!" plea. I had him give me John's cell number (it was written down at home) and I gave him a call. He couldn't see the order, which is a bad thing, because he's one of the ASI Techs who does the installs and such, and there's no way they can do installs if they don't know about them. So, he got someone else on the phone via 3-way and went through everything. She didn't see any order either, so she wrote one up. She said that since it wasn't shut off at the apartment yet (well, I think physically it was, but "news" of the shutoff hadn't propagated thru the system yet), she could either have it for us on the 11th, or schedule it for the 8th and have me go to a URL and follow some instructions. I chose option b of course. :)

We got home Wednesday night (the 6th) from dinner and a Walmart run for household things around 10pm or so. After a bit, we went in the computer room to put in the extension cord so I could fire up my old computer, and lo and behold, all the DSL modem's lights were on. Yea!! I immediately tried to follow the instructions. No go. :( So I hooked up directly to it, instead of thru the router, and found & reinstalled the crappy EnterNet 300 software. No go. That's when I called John and left a voicemail message. :)

After getting hold of him, it turns out that for starters, the reason EnterNet couldn't find a server, was because I wasn't plugged in right (the 4th light was no longer on -- I'd assumed that was because I was no longer on the router). After that, he had me log in again with a test login, which worked. After that, I logged in with the usual and followed the instructions he gave me (slightly different URL, same previous instructions). Our internet connection was now completely live!! The only thing I had to change, was I had to put the full email address for the userid in the username field on the router, instead of just the userid. After that, everything was fine. So we got our internet two days ahead of the due date, AND a week before the lady I'd originally talked to said we would.

I've got lots to catch up on, and lots to write here, but I'm in the middle of updating my New Years resolutions, plus I'm technically at work (I finally turned on my old computer this morning, which is how I'm finally updating again) so I've other things to do as well. So more updates will have to wait. Hopefully I'll get restarted again with the Friday Five, as well as be able to post some pictures of our move and our house. (Pictures won't be posted while I'm at work, 'cause I don't have any here of course.)

Oh, and we also have almost everything unpacked, and I'm going to try and make some curtains for our bedroom window to block the light the blinds let in.

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