Friday, October 31, 2003

Life04:10 PM - Ooh dress-up time

I'm going to try and put together a quick, last-minute costume for giving out candy & stuff, just for fun. We're not going to any parties or anything, so it's not too big a deal if I can't find the stuff, but it seems like a fun thing to do.

I'll post pics if I do manage to get everything together.

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Blog Questionnaires10:57 AM - The Friday Five

  1. What was your first Halloween costume?
    Well, I'm not really sure. First one I really remember is being a witch though.
  2. What was your best costume and why?
    Well, it was fun being a witch, because I had a little broom, a big pointed hat, black robes or something, and lots of shades of green makeup my mom put on. I know I was other things, but oddly enough I just can't remember what (except a couple attempts in high school and college which weren't that great).
  3. Did you ever play a trick on someone who didn't give you a treat?
    Nope. Then again, everyone who had their porch light on answered the door and gave something out. One house always gave crayons, another always gave pencils, most gave candy of some sort. All treats though. (I don't think my mom would've let me play a trick on anyone anyway.)
  4. Do you have any Halloween traditions? (ie: Family pumpkin carving, special dinner before trick or treating, etc.)
    We often carved a pumpkin or two after scooping 'em out & stuff. And a lot of times as kids, my mom would drive us over to our grandparents' house after we were done so they could see our costumes and give us more candy (usually Reese's Peanut Butter Cups).
  5. Share your favorite scary story...real or legend!
    I don't really have one... It was an amazingly scary book and movie; I love really good frightening movies and reading or watching about ghosts & such. I don't really have a favorite though.
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Thursday, October 30, 2003

This site04:21 PM - Been thinking

That sounds dangerous, I know, but... I've been wondering. I know my site has never been very popular, and doesn't get a lot of hits (I accumulated less than 2000 each at my original Crosswinds site -- no idea anymore how many hits I have there because I never updated the bravenet counter, and the old code doesn't work anymore, and my site at Wired Wolf). And I understand that -- my site is basically a weblog, and by and large has been for a long time, even if it wasn't official and wasn't done using any automating software like it is now. I don't provide anything tangible; just ramblings about my life that only a few friends and family may even be interested in, and stuff like my Funny Forwards which is slowly cataloging all the amusing forwarded stuff I've gotten in my various inboxes. (More accurately, it's slowly cataloging all the non-pictoral ones.)

Of course, the narcissist in me wants to draw more readers. However, I don't write good tutorials worth a crap: I'm too wordy and have a hard time explaining myself simply, and I have a hard time nailing down scope for anything. I don't want to offer my services as a web designer or coder, because not only are there a ton of them, but I just don't have the time to get anything like that done in a timely fashion. Not to mention, actual web designers also design logos and backgrounds, and that's definitely something I'm not terribly good at. I don't often talk about current events, and am not terribly politically minded (though plenty opinionated), so there's no draw for that.

I've come to the conclusion that my site's really not much more than a weblog where I can satisfy my own sporadic creative urges (I am a programmer after all, and I enjoy programming, particularly playing with PHP, HTML, and CSS layouts), vent if I need to, and talk about random crap. Sure, it's available and there for anyone who wants to read it, and if I wanted I could make sure more of my friends whom I don't see or talk to very often, have the URL so they know what's going on in my life when I can't update them personally. But it's not a site that offers any kind of service, it doesn't talk about any one specific hobby anyone can relate to. And while I accept that, there's always that selfish side of me that wishes more people gave a shit about the useless drivel I spew out.

Of course, I have plenty of other things in real life that interest me, that I could create sections for. I could review a book every time I finish it (or if it's a long one, review a section at a time, then tie it all together). That'd be a fair number of reviews, especially if I went back and reviewed some stuff I've already read. (I'd have to reread quite a few though, for while I like most of what I've read, I have a horrible memory and forget a lot of details.) If I got more into my crossstitching (lordy, 3 Ss in a row in one word!), I could take pictures that chronicled each project from start to finish. I'd start off with posting a picture of what it's supposed to look like, maybe a picture or two of my fabric, thread, and other materials, then periodically take pictures of it at various stages of the project, finishing with a picture of the finished project. But I don't sew nearly often enough to make that be very productive. (Perhaps for next year's New Year's resolutions, I should add one that says "sewed on a cross-stitch project" with the goal of sewing at least once a week or something.)

However, would anyone be any more interested in that type of thing, than they already are (or aren't) in anything I already have up? Would there be a point to it, other than more self-satisfaction? If there isn't a point to it beyond that, does that even matter?

Lordy, I don't know why I'm feeling so reflective, philosophical, brooding, and narcissistic at the same time. Or even any of those. I do know I'm rambling though, and I need to get some stuff uploaded and compiled & stuff before I leave, with only 10 minutes to do it in (if I want to leave on time). So I guess I'll shut up now, even though for some reason it feels good to just sit here and type away, letting my thoughts run. Hmm... maybe I need a new category called "Miscellaneous Rambling About Nothing" or something. Or just "Insane Rambling". I dunno. Damnit, I need to stop typing!! In the words of Jim Carrey in The Mask, "Somebody stop me!" It was The Mask, right?

Life03:30 PM - Ooh, scary!

Assuming J's feeling better (I think he forced himself to go to the HS in spite of his coughing not getting any better) we're going to be headed to the Lemp Brewery tonight. One of our friends is going to swing by our place around 8pm so we can get there around 8:45 to meet up with others. I just hope I manage not to scream or yell too loudly, 'cause I don't need to mess up my throat and voice any more than it already is.

Also, we're hoping to go with some other friends of ours to see Alien (director's cut) in the theatre on Saturday night. Things aren't really settled yet, but the rough plan is to meet at the California Pizza Kitchen for dinner, then head to West Olive to see it. That should be verrah nice. :)

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Life11:05 AM - It isn't Friday yet?

I so want it to be Friday. I'm sick of coughing, sick of getting up earlier than I'm ready to and still being sleepy, and I'm ready for some down time again. Plus Friday is an awesome day for Modern Tales updates. Plus I want to try and remember to do the Friday Five on time.

Ah well, it's lunch time and I'm starved!!

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Wednesday, October 29, 2003

Life04:08 PM - Something I thought just about everyone knew

Am I wrong to figure everyone does, or should, know that anyone who's west of you is x hours behind you time-wise, and anyone east of you is ahead of you x hours? (Excepting when the international date line is crossed, of course.) I ask, because this morning I heard a coworker, who was presumably trying to schedule a meeting or something, say she thought that California was 2 hours ahead of us (in St. Louis), rather than 2 hours behind. She thought it's 2pm there when it's noon here. She was, of course, corrected and told that it's 10am there when it's 2pm here. Also, the east coast is ahead of us, but only one hour, not two.

Of course, I kept my mouth shut, as our team lead did a good enough job of joking a bit ("See, the sun moves east to west, so if you think of it that way..."). But I couldn't help but giggle a bit. Thinking about it, I thought everyone (or, at least everyone who's been living since time zones were established, and who's no longer a small child, etc.) knew that. I mean, obviously, the British are farther ahead in their day than anyone in the US. And the continental US is farther ahead than Hawaii. And Japan is almost a whole day ahead of the US time-wise. I thought that was common knowledge, really. And I certainly wouldn't have expected anyone who is otherwise quite intelligent, to get it completely backwards.

Was I wrong to have snickered to myself? Are there really a lot of people for whom different time zones might have some significance, who don't know which direction people are ahead or behind some amount of hours from where they live? I dunno, I can't help but be amused, and yet feel a little guilty about that when I wonder if maybe that's knowledge I take seriously for granted.

Tuesday, October 28, 2003

Life06:28 PM - Things to do

I have lots of stuff I ought to do today. One thing I just finished: I went through all my entries and fixed smilies that weren't changed to images (missing a space after them), changed old links to new ones where applicable (I didn't change some old ones that don't have new equivalents), and fixed various miscellaneous errors.

Other stuff:

  • Scoop litterboxes (it's been a week)
  • Either play DDR (with Jeremy or by myself) or watch/do the 8-minute workout tape a couple times
  • Write up a list of warmups for tomorrow night's karate class, including a few simple combinations
  • Finish entering links into my links section so I can link it in my list of site links
  • At least look at the email script I want to adapt so I can actually get my email page back up again, and maybe email myself the link to it at work so I can play with it there if necessary

Now much of that do I think I'll get done? Well, I'm pretty confident about the litterboxse, and I'll probably do one of the exercise thingies. And I need to do the warmups. The other stuff... I don't really think I'll get done. However, there's always tomorrow. :)

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Life10:54 AM - *blows nose for the 1000th time*

It usually means 2 or 3 days of blowing my nose at work, and trying to do it as quietly as possible while knowing that it's only going to be productive if I really honk. Not to mention, all that time with a red nose & cheeks around my nose. However, I don't really feel bad enough to stay home, and I don't think I'm contagious anymore, so there's no point in me staying home. I consider myself lucky, though, because J is also sick, but his is all drainage down his throat, causing him to cough and hack like crazy if he lies down for more than half an hour. :( So he's sleeping really badly, and I imagine his throat's going to start hurting pretty soon from all the coughing, if it hasn't already.

All that said, there are a couple things we get to look forward to this week, assuming our health improves. Thursday night, we're planning on going to the Lemp Brewery for their haunted tour. I've heard really good things about it, and it's one of those places I'd actually wanted to go to some time. (Dinner at the mansion would be a fun thing too.) Then, on Saturday evening there's talk of a few of us PVPers getting together to see Alien in the theatres. It's also a good possibility we'll be meeting at the California Pizza Kitchen beforehand, for dinner. That way it'd be easy to just pop over to the West Olive theatre for an after-dinner show. Of course, is it a good idea to eat (especially something like pizza) right before watching a movie that has monsters exploding from abdomens? :D

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Monday, October 27, 2003

Life09:33 AM - Pout

I changed my email address at the forums and now I can't post. :( I'm not sure if that reset the 12-hour no-posting timer (when you first register, you can't post for the first 12 hours) or if I'm supposed to have gotten a confirmation email or what. (I haven't gotten any email.) I can't post, I can't send a PM, I can't do anything but read threads and mess with my Options. I feel... shut out, almost. I did email one of the mods (remembered a thread with a real email posted by one of 'em, a few months ago), but I dunno how long it'll take before I hear anything.

And really, I'm pretty sure the 12-hour thing isn't it, 'cause usually you can still send PMs during that time, and I can't. And I think it's been 12 hours or more by now, so I should be able to post again, and I can't. Argh! It's gonna drive me nuts!!!

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This site08:44 AM - Cleanup

I now have redirects in place for my guestbook and forum so if anyone goes to the old ones, they'll automatically get redirected to the new ones. Now that I know they work, I need to alter it to "Redirect Permanent" instead of just "Redirect". And now that I know how to do them, it'll be easy to add rules for the rest of the site in a couple weeks. There's only one thing I'd like to find out whether it can be done: use some sort of regular expression, so that the redirect is for a whole directory, but knows how to redirect a specific file request to the corresponding file request in the new directory. I have a feeling it's possible, but I've not seen anything definitive; just references to things I didn't quite understand.

Also, I need to remember to turn off those cron jobs on my old 'puter, so they're not FTPing to the wired-wolf server every half hour. Granted, there's nothing to FTP, so it's a quick session, but it still no longer needs doing. I was going to do it last night, but I just decided to go to bed with a double-cup of Cafe International coffee and a book.

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Sunday, October 26, 2003

This site08:25 PM - MOVING!!!!111

That's right, it's time to unveil my shiny new website. :) Please change all your links from here to From here on out, this site ( will no longer be updating; ALL updates will be happening at the new site.

I'll leave this page up for two weeks. After that, it will start redirecting automatically to the new site, and nothing else will be available. Update your bookmarks, save the women and children, throw the tea off the starboard bow.

And in case you were wondering, all commenting on the main site, my New Year's resolutions, and my Funny Forwards, is now back open for business.

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Friday, October 24, 2003

Blog Questionnaires02:27 PM - The Friday Five

No questions this week:

No Friday Five this week! Busy time of year, blah blah blah. Have a good weekend!
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Life02:26 PM - Small correction

I'd been told that it was J's left hand that was burned; when I got home, I found it was actually his right. Good for driving, as his car's an automatic and his main steering wheel hand is his left. Bad for writing, as he's not left-handed. At least he can use a fork just fine in his left hand, eh?

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Thursday, October 23, 2003

Life02:24 PM - Hospital update

Well, he's already left the hospital. My mom called & gave me a little more info: that he'd gone to DePaul, that it was his left hand burned, etc. She said if she were I she'd call his cell phone first, then DePaul if he didn't answer it.

I got him on his cell, and they were already on their way to Walgreens from DePaul. Apparently, some ethyl alcohol caught fire & went up in a flash. They had a first aid kit in the room, and he put some burn cream on it and wrapped it. Then, he headed to my parents' house & called my dad ahead of time (he's home all week doing yardwork, to burn off some vacation time and to get the yardwork done before they go see their friends in Joplin this weekend). My dad took him to DePaul, and they saw him pretty quickly. They unwrapped it, cleaned it out (God, that had to hurt!), schmutzed it with antibacterial cream (hopefully w/ topical anesthetic in it as well), and rebandaged it. After that, they told him to keep it cleaned & schmutzed, gave him some scrips (don't know what for yet; probably cream and/or antibiotics and/or pain meds), and gave him the name & number of a plastic surgeon in case more needs doing with it.

So he's going to be OK, and I just have to see if I need to pick up the scrips on my way home (he was going to just drop 'em off if the wait looked too long). I told him I could leave early to be with him, but he said he's just going to be sitting around anyway and it was no big deal. (I'm still gonna leave early though! Maybe pick up some cheesecake or something on the way!)

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Life01:41 PM - Damnit

My husband called me about a half hour, 45 minutes ago (1pm) to tell me my dad was taking him to the hospital. :( Nothing life-threatening 911-ish (they still were deciding on whether to go to Christian NE or DePaul -- I'd vote DePaul, personally) thankfully, but I'm still worried as hell. He apparently burned himself really badly while at the HS doing his internship. He didn't tell me how or where or anything like that, 'cause they wanted to get going. I called my mom to see if she was home, and got a busy signal; tried again ~10 minutes later and got the machine. I next called the grade school she's always at (helps the teachers a lot, gets walking in, etc.) and she'd called them to let them know my dad was taking someone to the hospital and were trying to decide which one, so she does know about it, and I guess that's where she is now.

Damnit, I should be there! But J told me not to worry about it, and that I didn't need to come, etc. and I have almost 3 hours of work left. But I should leave anyway, damnit. I told him they need to keep be apprised & all that, but of course I still don't know which hospital they went to, so I wouldn't be able to find 'em until they call. I'm so tempted to call around to both hospitals and see if they have him. I mean, I know he's OK (obviously, or it wouldn't have been him calling me), and hell, they probably don't even have his name down yet, but I still should be there. AAARGH!!!

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Tuesday, October 21, 2003

This site01:26 PM - Closer

I'm hoping to unveil the new site starting next Monday (October 27). At that point, there will be one last entry here that says "HERE'S THE NEW SITE" or something, and there will be no more changes here. After a month or so, this site will disappear. (I'll actually have a couple files here & there, but the main stuff, like what you see now, will be gone.)

What I have done so far:

  • MovableType is installed and running, and upgraded from 2.51 to 2.64
  • My main weblog MT templates and configurations are all installed, with entries up through October 16 imported to make sure everything works right; all theme files (backgrounds & stylesheets) are uploaded.
  • See above, but with my New Year's Resolutions for 2003, up through October 18.
  • See above, but with a set of Links pages that I haven't really "gone public" with here yet.
  • Guestbook table has been moved over, with guestbook code (including my generic database connecting file) updated to use correct database connection parameters.
  • My phpBB forum has had everything copied over. (Rather than attempt to move existing entries into a fresh installation, I copied over all the phpBB files, edited the config file to have the correct database parameters, and did a MySQL export via phpMyAdmin of all the tables, including create statements, and then ran the file of SQL statements in the new site's MySQL database, again via phpMyAdmin.)
  • General restructure of a few things I'd been meaning to get around to.
    • Stylesheets for the main site themes are now in a separate directory all by themselves.
    • Background files are going, and will continue to go, into a separate backgrounds folder instead of in with the pictures folder, for consistency.
    • Since MovableType is running on the actual webspace server once again, rather than my PC, I'm again storing the templates as TXT files so I can edit them in my own editor and reupload them, and have MT pick up the changes.
    • I've decided that I'll keep doing New Year's resolutions every year; I want all of them separate -- I'll make a new weblog in MT for each one -- so while they'll all go into the resolutions folder, under that they'll be going into a folder of their own year. So, the current ones have moved down one level into a 2003 folder.
  • There's a subdomain called "brunogekritzel" so that when I can get the current Bruno forum converted to phpBB, I can run a separate phpBB installation there specifically for that purpose. (I already have a process that will convert all the posts into the correct phpBB tables, but I need to write all new theme templates for it to keep it looking a lot more like it does now. That takes a lot of work; there are 48 different TPL template files, plus various images, CSS files, and 39 TPL files for the admin section. Granted, some of the images I won't bother with -- I don't see a need to have every damn image button, and any I do have aren't going to have a JS rollover "on" button to go with 'em. But it's still a lot of work I've only really just begun to look at.)
  • Used up my 3rd and final free counter with Bravenet as a nwe counter for the new site (code is commented out so it doesn't increment yet, of course).

Things I still have left to do:

  • Create weblogs in MovableType for my Funny Forwards and Pet Peeves (though I'm thinking of discontinuing the latter; I haven't updated it in ages and ages, they need new templates, and I can just use this main site to rant about things like that as they come up). Export entries here, and import them into MT for those new blogs.
  • Set up comments and search templates for the main site. Since I can have commenting again, I need to up all the commenting stuff again. Also, since MT provides a search function and the ability to use it on your site (not just internal to MT), I'd also like to add that functionality, which means coming up with templates for it too.
  • Look at a PHP email form script from a friend and fellow Crosswinds Cadre member and modify anything necessary (should be minimal; mostly just display stuff) so I can have a better "email me" form, and have it follow the same templating scheme as the main site (same themes, same layout, etc.). This will mean, besides the other obvious stuff, adding code to the stylesheets to style the form elements.
  • Upload "Squeeker's Tribute" and all those files (perhaps changing to a no-tables layout while preserving the same color scheme, backgrounds, etc.). This includes the Gallery.
  • Upload the site map (changing it to reflect the restructuring changes). Make necessary changes to the site map to reflect the restructuring changes (forgot I'd already uploaded it).
  • Final, after everything else: Make website announcement; export any entries from MT (these entries, resolutions, etc.) that haven't already been added to the new site, and import them into MT at the new site, and rebuild. Also, change any links on the current site to dynamic things (guestbook, forum, etc.) and relink them to the correct places on the new site, so nothing gets out of sync.

So... I guess I'm about 3/5 to 1/2 done with everything. Considering the space was only just set up a week ago today, that's not bad. Some of the stuff I've yet to do will only take 5-10 minutes each; a few things will take longer, but I have all the hardest stuff out of the way. The hardest stuff, I think, was making sure the message board came through intact without the fresh install (and since it's had almost no traffic except for me anyway, I probably don't have to worry about losing any new posts between now and Monday :p ), installing (and upgrading) MovableType, and getting the main site's templates and stuff set up right (including a rebuild after the MT upgrade).

I'm so excited about the move though, in spite of all the work it's generated in getting everything together. MovableType runs lightning fast on the CW server, especially compared with the slow rebuilds on my old 600MHz machine at home (even though that's pretty much all besides the OS itself that's running on it). It'll be great not to have files update only every half hour (or when I run the FTP update demand-style); now that MT's on the server page updates will be seen instantly. It's nice to be able to admin all my own stuff (subdomains, FTP accounts -- anon turned off, of course, databases, email addresses, etc.).

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Games & Gaming12:28 PM - Maybe I won't completely suck at it

I went through all 3 lessons (each with 8 lessons inside) in DDR on the PS2 last night. I didn't completely suck at it, so maybe I have at least a snowball's chance in hell at getting past the easiest 3 songs. At that point, maybe I actually could start using it as a form of exercise. I still tend to scoot forward on the pad without knowing it (I'll look down after failing or D-ing a song and see my feet halfway between the left & right arrows, and the corners of the pad. And I still tend not to step back far enough for the down arrow, even when I'm still centered.

Of course, if we're going to play together at the same time, we're still going to have to find a way to (a) anchor both pads properly (the one is velcroed and duct taped to a piece of plywood so it'll hold still), and (b) find a way to stand next to each other without running into each other and without blocking the projector. That'll be difficult.

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Monday, October 20, 2003

Blog Questionnaires09:43 AM - Saturday Scruples

None published on the site this past Saturday.

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Blog Questionnaires09:37 AM - The Friday Five

I decided to do 'em for this past weekend after all.

  1. Name five things in your refrigerator.
    Milk, orange juice, bread, salad dressing, baking soda.
  2. Name five things in your freezer.
    Ice, ground beef, ice cream, taquitos, ice packs, really old bagels.
  3. Name five things under your kitchen sink.
    Honestly, I don't think we have 5 different things under our sink. Everywhere else, yes, but since the sink can leak, you don't want to put lots of stuff under there. We have dishwasher detergent under there, I think. That's all I can come up with.
  4. Name five things around your computer.
    Notepads, two drinking glasses (that's only temporary), pens, old receipts, lots of game CDs.
  5. Name five things in your medicine cabinet.
    Which one? Main bathroom: bandaids (I use the term generically), little bottles of aloe gel, conditioner, etc., lotion, face lotion, mouth wash.
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Life08:44 AM - Busy busy busy

Friday evening, I went out and picked up two kitties to stay the night with us. Two of my sister's friends each had two cats, all in one house. They're both allergic, and with four cats it was too much for them to deal with. So all four ended up in St. Louis with one of the friend's parents. They're keeping two, at least for a while, and I found a home for the other two in Minnesota with a forumite. So I picked them up Friday for their trip Saturday.

Saturday, I got up about 7:15 or so and got ready for the four hour drive to Chicago. J was nice enough to wake up a little before I needed to leave (wanted to leave between 8:30 and 9am) to help me get the two kitties into their kennel. Vertigo was easy; the only trouble with him was that he'd walk back out as soon as you put him in, but he didn't fight or even get mildly upset. Tigger was real trouble. He's very shy and doesn't like being forced into doing anything. I had to get a towel, while J took the mattress & box springs off the bed to eliminate his secure hiding place so he could grab him. (He'd gotten hold of him earlier, but Tigger hissed and fought and kicked and got away, scratching my husband in two places rather nastily.

Anyway, we finally got them both in their carrier, and off I went (almost forgetting their food; J grabbed it for me before I could leave). The trip was largely uneventful, with Vertigo meowing occasionally. With about an hour left in the trip, Verty started meowing, but it sounded a bit different, and within seconds the smell of ammonia drifted up to me. Ick. I stopped at a rest area a few miles up the highway and managed to pull their towel out from under them, and out of the carrier. The rest area had no paper towels to give them, but thankfully an older couple there happened to have some. The man insisted I take the whole roll (at least a half a roll), and I thanked him profusely. I tore some off and put it in with them as best I could, so they'd have something more comfortable to sit on, and resumed the trip.

I found her dad's house pretty easily, and she carried them in from my car after a few minutes' introductions to her, her dad, her uncle, two of her foster kittens, and her dad's dog. Man, those kittens were so adorable! Playful, sweet, silly, soft... just sooo cute. The dog was very, very sweet. He's an older one, very calm and gentle. He loves both kittens; one of the kittens likes him, and the other is a little scared of him and puffs up at him when he's too close. We talked for a while, and then she had her mom pick her up (they were going back to MN that night with both cats and the kittens). I was there till about 3-3:15, and then left when they did, thanking all three of them for their help, and Kandria (forum handle; privacy & all that) for adopting these two sweeties.

I got back home around 7:30 and was just so tired. I had to open my window on the highway around 5pm just to stay awake and alert. Oddly enough, I wasn't quite as tired when I got home as then. Will was over, and they were both downstairs playing DDR. They actually talked me into playing a little. I sucked, of course, having only ever played one other time. Then, we went to Cannoli's for dinner, and after I got home, I checked all the webcomics I read, checked the CW Cadre forums, took my meds, and crashed. I was asleep by 10 or so, and slept until almost 11am on Sunday. I also had a 1-2 hour nap in the afternoon!

We had dinner with my grandparents at my parents' house, which was cool. After we went home, I messed around on my computer a bit more, getting more and more itchy even though Verty & Tigger weren't there anymore (it turns out I'm very allergic to them, or at least to Vertigo). I finally had to get up and put eyedrops in, then lie with a cold washcloth on my eyes. I went ahead and took my medicine as well, even though it was a little early (about 10). I was so tired after that, I just crashed.

Heh, I may get around to doing the Friday Five and Saturday Scruples questions from this weekend, but I sure didn't have time beforehand.

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Friday, October 17, 2003

Fun stuff08:07 AM - iTunes on Windows

Talk about awesome. I know I've heard a lot of people say they couldn't wait for iTunes to come out for Windows, and now it has.

I might seriously have to check this out when I have the time. I know there are songs I'd like to have that either you can't find the CD anymore, or are on albums otherwise full of crap. This would be a great way to get hold of those, and possibly whole albums (if it's, say, $1 per song, and an album only has 14 songs but sells for $17.99, buy online instead and save your $4 and a trip to the store).

Guess I'll be making a trip to in the next few weeks. :)

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Thursday, October 16, 2003

This site02:35 PM - Moving soon

I have just obtained a new Crosswinds Pro account with a shiny new domain name. Therefore, it appears that this site will be moving in the near future. It only just was set up Tuesday, with the domain propagating for sure yesterday. I'm probably only 10-20% into getting everything set up, so I'm not announcing yet.

As far as the current location is concerned, once I make the switch there will be a notice here for at least one month (probably longer, because I'll forget about it) telling about the move and the new URL, plus after a short time it will automatically redirect to it. Also, I'll announce the date for the move between 3-7 days before I take everything down here.

(If this were a matter of pointing a domain here, the only issue would be "change your links". However, I'm moving to different servers completely, so that isn't sufficient; I'll be clearing out just about everything here, and moving everything necessary over to the new location. It also happens to be a good way to clean house! :) )

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Tuesday, October 14, 2003

Life02:46 PM - Fixing the world

I often listen to a bunch of mp3s made from our CDs (a small subset of them, anyway) at work, using headphones of course. Billy Joel's Two Thousand Years came on Winamp, and I was reminded of how moving I find his words in this song. The particularly relevant part to just the world in general, on how people should behave if there is ever to be peace:

Sometimes I wonder
Why are we so blind to fate?
Without compassion, there can be no end to hate
No end to sorrow
Caused by the same endless fears
Why can't we learn from all we've been through
After two thousand years?

If people would just quit finding reasons to be ignorant bastards to each other, and would stop being completely intolerant fucks, we'd all be a helluva lot better off.

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This site10:34 AM - Wow, that was fast

It took me less than an hour fiddling with the Ice theme to come up with a new Chocolate theme. (It's mostly the Ice theme in negative colors -- I took a screenshot of a page in Ice and did a negative of it, just to see what it looked like.) I guess it's really easy when you just take everything and do it in opposite colors. I just used my image editor to create a negative of the background pic, and to use the screenshot to come up w/ the hex color values. So all I had to do was paste all the code into a new document and change all the color & image values. That, and since the rollover color is a light color instead of dark, I needed to tell all those hover links for outside links to change the little outside-link indicator from the light one to the dark one. But that was obvious enough when viewing the initial attempt.

But then I don't imagine you care much how I did it, hehe. :) Just try it out from the theme change page and see what you think. I like it, though I still like Ice the best. It's blue and it's bright, and well... it just works for me. :p

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Life08:55 AM - Whiiiiiine!

I got maybe two hours of sleep last night. :( It was amazingly hard to get up this morning, but as much as I wanted to call in sick so I could sleep, I hauled myself out of bed.

I already know I'm not going to get everything done today I need to, and I should've seen it enough ahead of time to do some of it yesterday. But then getting to the bank after my dr's appointment yesterday, and finding it unexpectedly closed (since when is Columbus Day a friggin bank holiday??) I was a little out of sorts. So I got home, checked email, then took a nap.

I have to work till 5 today to make up the other half hour from yesterday (made up the other half hour ahead of time, last Thursday). Then I'm meeting a friend and his family whom I haven't seen in a while, and also another friend I haven't seen in a while, for dinner at 6. I'm hoping to have time to talk them into coming over to our place afterwards to show 'em the house and so they can meet our kitties. :) After that, it'll be likely 9 or 10 or something, and I still need to sit down and at least watch the "8 minute workout" Tae-bo tape thingy. I'll be too tired to actually do it, but I can at least get it into memory, or hope to.

Did I mention that another friend is supposed to come to our house this evening to give me back the money I gave him to score LotR-trilogy tickets? (They went on sale last Thursday for a Dec 16th showing of all 3 movies -- the first two being the extended versions, but it turns out they'd sold out that morning. :( So he's trying to get da money back to me somehow, and is planning on doing it this evening.) And of course I said that's fine, forgetting about working late & dinner & stuff. Way to go, eh? So hopefully he was gonna come out after 7:15 or so 'cause J's usually home by then. Gonna IM him and see if that's cool.

Plus, I didn't get to go to the bank yesterday, but I can't do it after work today 'cause there'd be no time. I was gonna get a new bottle of multivitamins too (I've got 4 left after this morning's), but even though there's a Walgreens right next door to the bank I was at yesterday (near the dr's office) I was so bummed about the bank being closed, I just went straight home. So... I have to wait on the bank and multivitamins till Thursday. :(

Yes, I just need to bitch about everything. Feels a little better, but damnit I'm still fucking tired as hell.

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Monday, October 13, 2003

Life03:00 PM - Computer, meet this wrench

I decided after many, many crashes and freezes and general instability, my computer probably needed reformatting. I spent a good chunk of Saturday backing up things off my main HD to the second, previously unused portion of my other (bigger) HD. Practically everything on the main drive's 2nd partition got backed up, plus several things on the 1st partition, along with a few registry entries. (Why do some games insist on saving high scores and such in the registry, instead of in an encoded file on the HD??)

Sunday, I did fresh backups of email and stuff, then in the afternoon, finally got around to sitting down to reformat. However, I've not done a reformat in a long, long time, and wasn't sure actually what I needed to do. So, I called my dad, who said that I'd need to make sure that the BIOS was able to boot from CD-ROM (it can), and that if I wanted to blow away the partition I'd have to use fdisk to do so, then set up a single partition (or multiple, if I wanted) to get it formatted properly.

He also said that often running Windows 98 setup can help with stability issues a lot. So I ran through that first. Things seemed fine initially, but after a couple reboots I simply couldn't reboot anymore. I tried 5 or 6 times, and it would get stuck at McAfee virus shield loading and just jam. (I haven't had this crappy program on startup in ages, so apparently setup restored it. :\ ) Anyway, I finally went downstairs to ask the myriad of J's friends who were over for a gaming session (never got to any D&D, just played M:TG, DDR, Halo, etc.) if any of them knew how to get to the MSConfig data from DOS.

Well, never did get there, but a few came up to help and found McAfee in the autoexec.bat and rem'd it. Apparently having more than one virus scanner running on startup is a very bad thing; they never get along, start a fight, and lock up the machine. After that, it booted a lot farther, but froze again. After one or two more battles with the power button, it finally started up long enough to do things with. McAfee got uninstalled completely, and the various Corel thingies that ended up in the Start-up folder got removed, etc. I've also removed MS's task scheduler, along with a few other things that had revived themselves.

After that, I know at the very least things are back to the way they were as far as stability -- the computer boots up all the way, lexpps.exe still crashes on startup 99% of the time (I really need to get around to wiping and reinstalling the Lexmark drivers), and I can browse the web without incident. I also did a scan disk (Norton Disk Doctor) on all four drives (2 HDs, 2 partitions each). They didn't all come up clean, but I fixed the ones that didn't with no further incident. Of course, I'll have to see if it starts exhibiting similar crash & freeze problems to see if this was successful. If not, I'll just make sure I have fresh backups of my email, and anything that I may have added (one or two website files, perhaps; not likely to be much else), and have at it with fdisk.

I also need to get a new heatsink & fan for my CPU (plus some nice Arctic Silver birdshit to spread on -- maybe I'll have no more need for CPUIdle), and a little fan for my video card if there's room for one. I think the video card getting too warm is one of my freeze problems, so I need to eliminate that source before I can truly see what is freezing that isn't a heat issue. I just have to find out where to buy these things. I'd rather buy 'em myself without ordering 'em, but I know CompUSA is utter crap for those products, and we don't have a Fry's. So I have to find out if Best Buy or somewhere else carries that stuff. And I wanna do it this week if possible. Have to be after work tomorrow or Thursday I guess.

whining no longer being accepted

Blog Questionnaires10:32 AM - Saturday Scruples

Again, quite late.

  1. At the local grocer, you see an elderly woman shoplift bacon. Do you tell the grocer?
    Ooh, sticky one. I might approach her about it first, and ask her why. If she denies it or otherwise appears she has no compunctions about it, I'd tell the grocer. If she seems embarrassed and such, and it's obvious she just can't afford it, I'd offer to buy it for her or take it back to where it came from. Bacon isn't an essential food item, but I'd take pity on her just that once. If she insisted on stealing it, I'd tell the grocer. Basically, I'd feel sorry for her, but it's still the grocer losing money. (And it could be the grocer knows about it but lets her take small items on occasion out of pity, or whatever. Unless she needed it and would let me pay for it, or lets me take it back for her, it's the grocer's decision on whether to let her take the item, not mine. Sad as that sounds.)
  2. Your century old church is an architectural treasure but the congregation is declining. Developers offer $20 million and a sanctuary in the office tower they want to build. Do you accept?
    Well, I don't belong to a church, but I suppose if I did... I would not take the offer. I would think by that point it'd also be a declared historical building not allowed to be torn down, so the offer wouldn't stand anyway. If it wasn't, I'd try to get it declared as such. Also, it'd be up to every member to find out why there was less attendance, etc., and find a viable solution if possible.
  3. A co-worker needs to leave early and asks you to punch her time card when you leave. Do you do it?
    Nope. I actually can't do that, because we fill out our time electronically. In which case, that person is perfectly able to fill it out incorrectly on her own without any of my help. If the need is there, our bosses would have no problem with the person leaving early as long as she made up the time in the next day or two -- our company and our bosses are pretty good about flex time.
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Blog Questionnaires10:16 AM - The Friday Five

Horribly, terribly late. I just didn't have time on Friday, and spent the rest of the weekend backing up files to prepare for a reformat. (I actually didn't reformat, just ran Windows 98 setup + had to have help clearing McAfee from running on startup -- it crashed right away when that happened, every time. I still may reformat, but I'm going to give it a week to see whether it still freezes & such.)

Anyway, here they are...

  1. Do you watch sports? If so, which ones?
    Occasionally, but not often. Every once in a while I'll sit and watch some of a baseball game, if it's the Cardinals. I always like to hear about our city's baseball, football, and hockey teams doing well, but I don't usually bother to watch or go to any games.
  2. What/who are your favorite sports teams and/or favorite athletes?
    Well, of course I root for the baseball Cardinals, football Rams, and hockey Blues, but otherwise I don't really care. Not many favorite players, except in general I like the players who play hard all the time, and don't have an arrogant or crappy attitude or otherwise act like prima donnas.
  3. Are there any sports you hate?
    Hate? Too strong a word for a subject I have such apathy for. :) The only sports I don't like, I don't consider sports: chicken fighting, dog fighting, bull fighting... basically, ones that are cruel to animals. (The first two are illegal most places in the US but happen anyway, because someone always alerts the event-holders and they move the location or the day so they're not found. :( )
  4. Have you ever been to a sports event?
    Sure. Besides playing softball between the summers of '90 and '96, I've been to several Cardinals games in my lifetime, one or two football and basketball games (the former for both high school and college, the latter was one game for my university), and I got to go to a Blues game last season.
  5. Do/did you play any sports (in school or other)? How long did you play?
    As I said, I played softball (fast pitch, none of that wimpy slow pitch stuff!) for 7 seasons in the summer, plus two years in high school (jr year I was on the JV squad, sr year I made varsity but missed all but 2 games of the season because of mono). That's it though.
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Tuesday, October 07, 2003

This site10:06 AM - Yea, times are correct again!

Ever since they did the server upgrades at Worldzone, the server this site is on has had its timezone offset at an 11 hour discrepancy from the time it was set to. It was set to Central Daylight Time, but the timezone was in India (I looked it up, that's the only way I know that GMT +600 is in India). End result = time 11 hours behind what it should be.

I checked my little script this morning, and it now shows a timezone offset of GMT -500, i.e. CDT. Yea! The only thing I wonder, is if RedHat (the server's OS, or at least I think that's what it is; it's some flavor of Linux, anyway) is savvy enough to switch it to GMT -600 early the morning of October 26 when Daylight Savings Time ends. But even if it doesn't get switched, one hour difference is a lot better than 11. :p (And hopefully, if it doesn't automatically change, it'll eventually get noticed and switched manually.)

(The reason the times listed here are correct, is 'cause MT resides on a computer of mine at home, and has the correct time and timezone setting. The files get uploaded from there, but the times shown for each entry are local to my computer, not to the server.)

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Rants09:03 AM - I'm sick of attitudes like this

Phelps to Erect Matthew Shephard Monument

I'm sick of "Christians" spewing forth their hate. Notice the quotes: I'm not sick of Christians. I'm sick of so-called Christians who warp the faith beyond anything it ever should be in order to justify their hatred of others. For those who want the summary, Fred Phelps wants to erect a granite or marble statue of Shepherd in his hometown, inscribed with "MATTHEW SHEPARD, Entered Hell October 12, 1998, in Defiance of God's Warning: 'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind; it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22." How much more of a bastard can this guy be, anyway? He wants to shove it in everyone's faces, reminding them all that a member of their town was brutally murdered, and that there are certain people in this country who think he deserved it.

Seriously, what the holy fuck?! According to the Christian faith, God judges. No one else judges. I can quote the Bible too: "Judge not, lest ye be judged." Matthew 7:1. If you think he's in Hell, fine. But ya know what? Not only do people NOT need to be shitheads about rubbing that in people's faces, but the assholes who beat him to death did NOT do the right, Christian thing. They didn't do the right thing, period. How anyone can not only take satisfaction and enjoyment in another human being's suffering and death, but also glorify the killers, is beyond me. It's even more ridiculous for that person to claim he's a Christian. Sorry, any person behaving in the manner of Fred Phelps, or in the manner of those who beat Matthew Shephard do NOT walk the walk, and are not Christians in any sense of the word.

Anyone radical enough to think I deserve the same treatment? For merely believing that it shouldn't matter what people want to do in the privacy of their own home? Bring it. We'll see what happens to you. And I'd love to be a fly on the wall to see the look on your face when you face God and He turns you away for your deplorable, unapologetic attitude towards your fellow man.

whining no longer being accepted

Monday, October 06, 2003

Blog Questionnaires01:58 PM - Saturday Scruples

Didn't have time to check for 'em this Saturday, and even though there were none last week, there were this week. So, here they are...

  1. You feel you're underpaid. Do you still give your job 100%?
    Well, hypothetically if I put forth more effort, it will be noted and appreciated in the form of a better raise. However, if that hasn't helped, then I'd probably still get everything done in a timely fashion, but it'd be difficult to do things to top efficiency if it's not appreciated anyway.
  2. You wrote a brilliant essay but only got a C. A friend repeated the professor's lecture and got an A. Next time, do you echo the professor's view?
    I don't wait for next time to complain. I would first ask the professor why I got a C. If it turns out that, for all my brilliance, I didn't talk about some points he specifically wanted talked about, then I'd take my lumps. However, if he just "didn't like it", I'd go to the department head with my paper, and my friend's paper if possible (or really, copies, so the department can't "lose" them). The outcome of those efforts would have an effect on what I would write for the next paper.
  3. A friend (or family member) is in dire financial straits. Do you offer him/her a loan?
    It would depend. If the person in question has constantly been irresponsible with money and dug themselves the hole, I'd be inclined to let them dig themselves out of it. However, I wouldn't give it a second thought to help a friend or family member who was having money problems in spite of responsible spending, etc. (The economy hasn't been faring the best, and there are many people who got screwed through no fault of their own.)
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Life01:27 PM - Yikes

A friend and coworker of mine was in an accident this morning. :\ He's OK, though his shoulders (particularly his right one) really hurt. He was waiting at a red light to go right, and apparently the woman behind him thought he'd gone already, wasn't looking in his direction, and hit the gas to move forward, ramming his rear bumper.

She already was saying to him and the police officer that she was sorry, it was her fault, etc. (though she said her foot slipped off the brake and onto the gas; it's that she also said she thought he'd already gone that means she probably just forgot/didn't see he was still there). He saw a doctor who checked him out, and his back seemed OK (doesn't hurt, no misalignments, etc.). Her insurance is going to cover whatever's necessary as far as he can tell (since she was apologizing and all that), and it's a pretty open-and-shut case even if she changes her tune.

I'm just glad he's OK. Heh, I wouldn't have come in to work though, I would've just gone back home if I hurt that much. :)

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Sunday, October 05, 2003

Life10:34 PM - New washing machine

J was doing laundry yesterday, and he'd just put the first load in and it was about halfway through, towards the end of the "agitate" cycle, when it started reeking of burning rubber. Uh-oh. So, he turned it off, and called my dad (who's wonderful with anything mechanical or electrical). J took a hose for the pool vacuum and siphoned out a bunch of the soapy water down the drain in the floor while waiting for him to get here. He got behind it and fiddled, having J turn it on a couple times. Conclusion: transmission was shot, and of course it costs almost as much to fix/replace that as it does to get a new washer.

We didn't have time to look for washers that day, so we went this afternoon. We went to Northwest Plaza, straight to Sears. We found the washers, and almost immediately a lady came by to help us, who knows a whole lot about the different washers they have and showed us around. I can't believe they sell washers >$1K!! Wayyy too much to spend on a washer that doesn't go around and collect your laundry, sort it, and then do it. :)

Anyway, we ended up buying one that was on sale for ~$450 that has about the same load size as our old one did. (I would've liked bigger, but that would mean replacing the perfectly-OK dryer too, since it doesn't have that big a capacity either.) It has lots more features though. In addition to the different cycle settings, it has separate settings for the amount of agitation, the water temperature, etc. The water temp thing is cool, too. It has 3 additional settings that will take into account the fact that your cold water coming in is way colder than usual in the winter, and heat the water a little extra to get the same setting as you would any other time of year. I didn't know washers could have that...

Plus, it has a second rinse option as a separate dial. You can manually do a second rinse after it's done by going down and turning the dial just a bit past where it stopped for whatever setting, or you can set it to second rinse and it'll automatically do that part too. And, it has two handwashing agitation settings so it won't damage ultra delicates like lingeree and sweaters.

We also bought the 5-year warranty, with everything covered (parts and labor) no matter what happens, for $170. Power surge that kills it? They fix it, free. Belt breaks? Replace it, free. Also, they'll come out once a year for preventative maintenance. We're having it delivered Wednesday for free ($35 bucks, then a mail-in rebate since we spent >$399); they also will have someone haul the old one away for $10. (The people who deliver the new one take the old one out and set it on the front lawn, then a couple days later a company comes and takes it away.)

Not to mention, since J had a Sears card, we could put it on there and we don't get billed until next October, no interest added on during that time. Sweet, eh? We'll have no problem paying that when it comes due (well, we wouldn't now, but it's nice not to stick yet another thing on the CC with the projector).

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Friday, October 03, 2003

This site04:38 PM - New theme

I just finished a new theme called Ice, and I'm quite pleased with it. Granted, it's in blues, but it's the whole thing I like, not just the colors. :) It's been added to the list of stylesheets on the theme selection page if you're interested.

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Blog Questionnaires11:09 AM - The Friday Five

  1. What vehicle do you drive?
    1994 Toyota Corolla with ~111K miles.
  2. How long have you had it?
    Since July 2000 when my 1980 Plymouth Horizon crapped out on me a month after I got my first "real" job. (So... 3 years, 3 months.)
  3. What is the coolest feature on your vehicle?
    I don't think my car has any really cool features. I'd provide sarcastic ones, but things that would appear in that list are covered nicely by the next question...
  4. What is the most annoying thing about your vehicle?
    Well let's see. The handles on the two front doors had something break (I think part of a spring) that caused the back part of the plastic on the handles to snap or else not open the car door. There's no trunk light (no idea if it's burned out or if there just isn't one). Something broke inside the back right door so to get out, either someone has to let you out or you have to roll down the window to let yourself out. The antenna is stuck in (it slides in and out; I've seen another Corolla similar to mine in a parking lot where it's stuck out), which causes shitty radio reception every once in a while. Basically, all the working parts that make the car go work great (though I do need a tune up), but all the little, relatively meaningless things are starting to go. Oh, and I don't have intermittent wipers.
  5. If money were no object, what vehicle would you be driving right now?
    Well, I can't answer that completely as though money truly were no object, since I don't know much about any of the snazzy 6-figure cost cars to begin with. So I'll tell you right now what I'd want if we had a reasonable amount of money to replace my current car: A Subaru Impreza WRX Sedan in blue. :)
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Technical08:38 AM - Awesome "bookmarklets" in Mozilla-based browsers

While I was at Jay Allen's website looking through his archives for something else completely, I found this interesting tidbit. Basically, in any browser that is based on Mozilla (he lists Mozilla itself, plus Netscape 7 and Chimera; I'd also presume Firebird), you can create a bookmark to any site that does a search. Then, you take wherever it normally puts the search criteria you put in, and change it to %s. Then, you open the properties for the bookmark and, where it says "keyword" you put in a short name for what you wanna use the bookmark for. Finally, to use it, you type in your keyword in the Location box, followed by a space, followed by whatever you want to search for.

So, for example (for those who don't want to read his much better worded explanation and examples), I wanted a quick way to just type into my location bar to validate my HTML. A query to the W3C validator looks like "" or whatever. You replace all that junk after the "uri=" with %s. That means the link becomes "". I created this bookmark, then edited the bookmark (Netscape 7, at least, doesn't let you do the keyword when creating a new bookmark) to put "validhtml" as my keyword. To use it on my main site, I can just type "validhtml" and it'll do all the rest. (All this is typed without quotes, by the way, in case you didn't figure that already.)

I also wanted to validate my CSS2 as well... same principle. It's a slight bit more complicated, but for any of you who know how queries work, it's pretty simple. Basically, to get the URL used, I just went to the W3C's CSS Validator page and typed in a URL to validate (I chose the website for my university). The resulting URL ended like this: "...validator?". Try it yourself for a better look. (You'll notice the URL itself looks weird... the form URL-encodes all the non-alphanumeric characters, so a colon (:) becomes %3A, and a forward slash (/) becomes %2F. You don't have to worry about that for this.) There's a bunch of extra stuff (profile, warning, and usermedium) that come from values for the dropdown list that appears when you ask it to validate a URL. I left it at the default, which was normal warnings, CSS2, and all media (not just aural, or just visual, etc.). When I edited the link, I had to only remove where the URL was typed and replace it with %s, leaving all the other query parameters. So it became "...validator?uri=%s&warning=1...". Then I set my keyword to validcss and I was good to go. I even tried it, by typing "validcss" and it worked great! (The CSS validator will take a URL directly to the CSS file you want to validate, or it will take a link to a page using the CSS file and validate the CSS file used.)

This is great stuff! You can do this for (both its dictionary and thesaurus choices), you can do this for the W3C validators as I mentioned, you can even do this for Google or any other search engine if you want. It saves you going to the site and waiting for it to load, then typing in what you want to search for (or validate, or whatever), and waiting for that too. You just type in your keyword with whatever you want to send along with it, and it loads the results. Now I just have to remember I have these setup...

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Wednesday, October 01, 2003

This site02:12 PM - Yea for stereotypes...

... otherwise there wouldn't be many jokes out there. Just added two more funny forwards to the list. Four out of the last five have been in the "Gender-based" category. Must've gotten a spate of 'em, and it's the category in 3rd place behind "Miscellaneous" (always a big one) and "Rules & Observations", to which it's very, very close.

And... in my stockpile of forwards I have specifically ear-marked for eventual posting, I have 88 left. Who knows how many I have sitting in my various saved places at home I have yet to go through... surely some are duplicates, and some are visual only (I'd like to keep to just text-only for these), and some just aren't worth it. But ya know... even if I only posted 1/10 of the stuff I likely have at home, that'd still probably be over 100.

I'm so gonna have to expand the section. Main page is going to have to have only categories listed, with a link for each to a page that lists the different jokes under each page, instead of just showing all the links on the main page under their headings. Otherwise the main page is going to get unmanageable.

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