Tuesday, September 30, 2003

Life09:23 AM - Hehe, suck it dude!

After I posted our victory to the forums, our friend Ria created an awesome "owned" pic just for us:

we 0wnz0r

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Monday, September 29, 2003

Life10:23 PM - And the winner is...

*drum roll*

We got a letter from the Florissant courthouse today. It was addressed to J, and while I wanted to open it in spite of that, I was a little afraid to. After we got home from dinner, I gave it to him, then peered over his shoulder when he opened it. Talk about antici... ... ... ...pation.

Verdict in assault charge: guilty of 3rd degree assault. Fine: $1024.50 (we're assuming $1K fine + $24.50 court costs).

Yea!

So now we just have to wonder if he's going to appeal to County. Assuming he doesn't it's over and done with, and we never have to think about it again. Yea! :D

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Friday, September 26, 2003

This site04:18 PM - Gots teh funnay

More funnies up. :)

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Life02:03 PM - All the other stuff

The other sucky thing that happened yesterday, is that between going to work at 7:30, and coming back at 12:30, the doorhandle on the inside of my door quit working somehow. I tried to open it, and the handle was apparently now misplaced and (a) wouldn't open the door, and (b) was catching its plastic on the frame it's in and thus cracking. (The handle itself is sort of L-shaped, with the horizontal part half again as long as the vertical part. Pulling on the horizontal part rotates it and is supposed to open the door. The vertical part was somehow overlapping the frame of the hollow the handle sits in, and that's why it was catching.)

But... lots of other stuff going on. I have a dentist appointment tomorrow at 12:15, which should be interesting. Should be less unpleasant than the last one 6 months ago, since that one was the first I'd had in 2+ years. So I should have far less plaque to scrape off, and thus much less pain on my gums from the scraping. (Last time, they had to scrape way under the gums, and some of the plaque even showed up on the x-ray!! 8-o .) And I can have a reason to try flossing again... I flossed (almost) every night for a month or two after I had my last appointment, but then fell out of the habit the first time I got sick. I was away from it for so long that when I thought about maybe doing it again, I figured there was no point until I got 'em cleaned again.

Also, the PVP meet is tomorrow! Yea! :D Gonna meet at the Galleria, then decide what to do from there. Probably head to Ted Drewes for some frozen custard, then maybe to Blockbuster for some Kevin Smith movies (someone already has Dogma, but I don't think anyone has the rest). Then just hang out & watch movies & play videogames, eat, etc. Should be a good, fun, geeky time had by all. :)

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Blog Questionnaires01:27 PM - The Friday Five

No questions:

No questions this week, folks! I'm taking a break for the week but will return next Friday, October 3rd. Have a good weekend!
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Thursday, September 25, 2003

Life07:44 PM - Lies, Damn Lies, and Statistics

Well okay, no statistics involved. But it's amazing the whopper people can concoct when lying to keep out of trouble. I'm not talking taking the truth and bending it a little to fit your liking, I'm talking adding, embellishing, the whole nine yards.

Our case came up after several others (the very second one ended up being a drama queen and getting arrested for contempt after the judge had delivered his verdict and sent her to arrange payment for her fines. She even managed to get herself assessed with an additional $1000 fine for her antics. Whoops! But anyway, our case came up after a little under an hour and a half. Both Mr. Smith (real last name, but try tracking it -- I'm not gonna make it possible for anyone to claim libel, slander, etc.) and my husband were called to the front of the room. The court prosecutor (I felt a little sorry for her: she was standing the whole afternoon, and was quite pregnant) asked Jeremy to tell everything that happened from the beginning. He did, fairly calmly, and she asked him questions along the way ("Did you grab him?" "Was he angry?" "Where were you at this point?") When he was finished, she did the same with Mr. Smith. (Both were sworn in right away.)

The whopper this man told was just... wow. I just sat there listening, getting more and more indignant. Without coming out and saying it, he even managed to pull the race card. (He happens to be black, and we're white. For those of you who don't already know me personally, don't you even dare let it cross your mind that this has anything to do with my husband pressing charges, 'cause it just isn't true.) He claims he looked before changing lanes, and that we were behind him far enough that he had plenty of room (sorry, us being next to your back wheel with our front passenger area isn't enough room), and that after he got out to pass we zoomed up and passed him on the shoulder, claiming we forced him into the car he was passing (I'd say that's his shitty reaction to surprise, or something).

Then, he said we jammed on the brakes to a complete stop (our car never stopped moving when we slowed down, rather quickly, for the ramp from 170 to 270) on purpose to make him hit us (and since when does that matter? whether we did it maliciously or not he was still far too close). Oh -- he also claimed we cut him off when we came off the shoulder. While I can't say I saw it myself, because I was looking straight ahead when we merged back, I can say it's not likely because we picked up speed on the shoulder so we could get back off the shoulder. He ties that together to say that we cut him off and slammed on our brakes. Thing is, that's impossible. Construction is a mess there, and the lefthand lane is very much blocked where we were rearended, so we couldn't have come over from the shoulder and stomped on the brakes at the same time as we were in the right of the two lanes. Not to mention, he claims he did not know he hit us at all (then why was he following us? and where did the bigass dent that he couldn't miss come from? and where did the jolt that we felt come from?).

Then, at the point where we're at my parents' house, he says that he didn't do anything until Jeremy grabbed him (which he didn't do) and wouldn't let go, and that's when he hit him. He also claimed that J was saying things like "Who do you think you're talking to?" and something along the lines of "Boy, I'm not done with you yet!" Not sure about the exact words, but he definitely claimed J called him "Boy" a few times. Which, I try and imagine J saying it, all I can come up with is when he and his little brother are horsing around, and he jokingly says, "Boy! [with not so much "oy" as "oh-aa"] I'm gon gitchyou!" and that just doesn't fit. He's so not racist at all (growing up in parts of CA where you're very much in the minority everywhere, including school, tends to knock the racist right outta ya).

He also claims he called 911 when we cut him off (which should be easy to prove or disprove -- that part I'm not privy to, as far as whether he was lying or not), and that since the police didn't already show up (and how were they supposed to know where to go?) they figured they may as well just leave (yeah, that's a good idea). Even though we told him we were gonig to call them too, so they'd know where to come. And of course, he didn't bother to do anything about it at all until a police officer finally got hold of him.

Another interesting thing that didn't occur to me until after I sat down to write this all out, is that his story and her story of the assault part conflict, and that it would seem his story conflicts with what he told the officer who called him. Based on what the prosecutor asked J, and what the police officer told us when asking whether we want to press charges, he told them at the time that J grabbed his shirt. In court today, he claimed J grabbed his arm and wouldn't let go. His wife claimed that J had hold of him with both hands (either had hold of her husband's arm and shirt, or both arms; you couldn't really tell from what she said which she meant). The arm she claimed J had hold of was his left arm with J's right hand, and her husband claimed it was his right arm that was held with J's left hand (this through visual gestures they made).

So I'd like to think that it's more than obvious he was playing up his story, and not telling the truth. I'd like to think everything, from when it started to when they left, points to his guilt. But I'm worried, of course, that the judge will find him innocent. I woudln't see why, but then I can't truly see it from a third-party perspective, no matter how much I'd like to think I can or how much I try to. I think we were the first people to walk out of the courtroom with the case not yet decided; with all the rest of the people that went before us, the decision at least appeared to have been rendered right then. With ours, he needs to review everything and then notify us of his decision. At least they have our current address now (without Mr. Smith being within earshot of course) so we don't have to hope it's forwarded (since J never even got his subpoena, ever).

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Life09:08 AM - Today's the day

Well, today's the day we go to court. J never got his subpoena in the mail (though mine was forwarded, and both were sent the same day, with the same address). But since the lady assured us he should be there too (which makes sense) we'll both be there.

I got up at 5:30 this morning (!), realized it hadn't occurred to me to get out pantyhose the night before, to go with the outfit and bra I'd already gotten out the night before. I had plenty of time to wet my hair (showered last night to save time), play a little with the blow dryer (useless, run-filled pantyhose make a great makeshift diffuser), get dressed, check the weather & stuff, put on make-up, and write a mortgage check. Oh, and have breakfast. :)

I didn't realize till I walked out the door (5 minutes early, since traffic isn't as bad a half hour earlier than usual) that I needed either a slip or some static guard. :( See, I don't dress up much -- jeans & a tucked-in t-shirt are fine for work -- and even when I do, I usually don't bother with pantyhose. I mean, if you're just going to your grandparents' for dinner, especially in the summer, a skirt with bare legs is fine. However, with the seriousness of court, pantyhose were deemed necessary, but with them and the material my skirt is made from, I was wearing some skirty-pants. I went back in and tried rubbing my legs, and the inside and outside of my skirt, with a dryer sheet, but it didn't help much. So now I have to see if either I, or my husband while I'm still at work, can pick up some static guard so I don't look like a moron.

Gack, I'm tired! But at least I look good and professional, if a little clingy. Wish us luck in court!!

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Tuesday, September 23, 2003

Life03:51 PM - The projector

I forgot to mention the great deal we got on the projector. Ultimate Electronics had it for $2300 ($2299.99 of course), which was better than all but one price on the 'net, and that price was from someone we'd never heard of, and wasn't lower by enough to even cover shipping.

When we actually ordered it, they only had one. It was open, because a guy bought it, spent 3 days with it only looking over the manual (and apparently spilling water or something on it a few times), discovered he wouldn't be able to use it with his laptop (its intended use), and brought it back. He apparently never even took it out of the styrofoam guards it was nestled in.

They couldn't sell it new, of course, and the guy talked about a 10% discount & stuff. Well, they sold it to us for $1850 & change. That's roughly 20% off. Plus, the warranty (which covers absolutely everything on it) that could be bought with it (which we did) is directly based on the price of the item. So that, too, lowered in price (a little over $200 instead of $300, I think). Total, we got the whole thing, including the warranty, for less than a brand new one would have cost us. And the only thing that has seen use was the manual, which was by no means ruined. I think we made off like bandits. :)

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Monday, September 22, 2003

Life01:52 PM - Yep, he has to go too

I called the courthouse and a subpoena went out for J to be in court as well. It went out the same day, but apparently they were at least a day slower in forwarding it than they were forwarding mine. He has to be there when I do. I guess we'll probably see his in the mail today.

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Fun stuff11:35 AM - Electronic toys!

We bought some fun stuff in the past couple weeks. First off, we broke down and got a real DVD player to give J's PS2 a break. Then on Monday (a week ago) we bought a projector for downstairs and signed up for a DirecTV install. (The first being J's toy, the second being what I wanted and what I got to get for conceding on the projector.)

Currently, the picture is a little crooked on the wall, because we haven't yet build the shelf on the wall to put the projector on, so it's sitting off to the right on the entertainment center that's now in the back of the area next to the couch (holding our other electronic stuff, just no TV). We have brackets for it and for two shelves to hold our surround sound speakers, but no wood yet. Hopefully we'll get to take care of that this week before the PVP Meet. :)

I act like having the projector is overkill, and it probably is, but even I have to admit it's pretty neat. It's like having your own private movie theatre.

There was only one thing that didn't go so smoothly with all this. The DirecTV install took 5 and a half hours. The biggest problem was that the good idea of running the line from the dish into the house, right where the cable had come in, and where the power comes into our house, wasn't such a hot idea. Normally, this isn't the case, so it took a while to find this out. Apparently the A/C current coming into our house was somehow causing interference in the cables, thus rendering a signal impossible to get. This, of course, has me worried about the quality of the line coming into our house (is there a potential electrical hazard here?). Also, J wonders if maybe that's why we have a hard time getting a signal on our phones inside (upstairs included). Anyway, after that was figured out, it had to be run a different way, tested, etc. Then, it was discovered that one of the two cables was also bad (no signal for either TV when they were run past the A/C line; one TV had a signal and the other didn't when it was rerun). Not to mention, a joiner wouldn't work even though a new line to be spliced in tested fine (tongue test, apparently -- crazy, huh?), the remaining line coming from the dish tested fine, and the joiner tested fine when on one end or the other, just not both. So he ended up running all new cabling from the dish at that point.

What started out looking like a 1-2 hour job, took 5 and a half. We fed the poor guy (J was nice enough to grill up a burger for him, and give him some chips & a soda too), and thanked him profusely for sticking it out. We feel sorry for him, as well as whoever his next appointment was who had to be rescheduled. :( But hey, we have our TV now, right?

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Life08:45 AM - Off to court

It looks like I, and presumably my husband as well, will be headed to court this Thursday. I got a summons in the mail on Saturday, asking me to be a witness in J's assault charge case against the idiot who tried to kill us twice, then hit my husband. Oddly enough, we haven't gotten anything in the mail asking him to appear. I'm going to call them later today (goign to wait till after 9 to make sure someone's actually available to answer my questions) to see if I have to be there at 1pm (that's a half day I have to flex for work!) and if J's supposed to have received a summons as well.

I hate thinking about this again. I knew it was going to court, and I'm hoping J wins the case; it's just that thinking about it is driving me nuts! I'm remembering all the adrenaline and shakes and stress and thoughts from that day and the days following. The anger, the fear (being run off the road isn't exactly my idea of fun), the astonishment; it's all flooding back in a rush, every single time I think about the events in any detail past "it happened". :( I just hope I can stay calm and collected in court, and that none of that stress shows through.

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Sunday, September 21, 2003

Blog Questionnaires10:20 PM - Saturday Scruples

I'm horribly late this weekend, but I'm not going to use that as an excuse to skip. :)

  1. A good friend confesses he's HIV positive. He's terrified to tell his spouse. Do you?
    No, I don't. I encourage him to do so himself, before anything else. She would need to know ASAP, regardless of how he got it, so she can be tested as well. This goes double -- no, triple -- if they have children or are considering starting a family.
  2. You need one number to win the jackpot at BINGO. The stranger beside you also needs one number and its been called. Do you tell her?
    Um, well if she didn't notice, that's her problem, isn't it? From what I understand, you have to pay attention to every number that's called. If my calling BINGO doesn't make her notice and call it as well (assuming you can tie, and it's not the first person calling BINGO who wins the whole shebang) then too bad.
  3. The taxi driver you get at 2 a.m. is drunk and driving recklessly. After he gets you home shaken but in one piece, do you report him?
    Hell yes!! In fact, I wouldn't have let him get me all the way home. If I noticed before I got in, I would've waved him away (and reported him). If I noticed after we got moving, I would've had him let me out at the next possible place. No matter what, the police and his cab company both would have been notified.
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Friday, September 19, 2003

Blog Questionnaires10:08 PM - The Friday Five

I tried to post all this hours ago, but at the time the proxy I was behind wouldn't load any MovableType pages from my server. This is the first time I got the chance to post it (copy/pasted it into an email to my home email addy since it was done already).

~~~~

Friday Five has been around 2 years today.

  1. Who is your favorite singer/musician? Why?
    Darn it, I hate it when people ask "What's your favorite _____?" I rarely have one. I just answered a big long survey on the forums with a lot of those questions, and I probably ended up skipping half of them. Even funnier, is that this was one of 'em (without the Why? part). I really don't have one. I love Billy Joel, because his lyrics are amazing, and he puts together music to go with them that is in perfect harmony with them. I also like Tori Amos a lot; she too has awesome lyrics (though many songs are rather on the depressing side), and she does neat and often unusual things with melodies and beats. And damn, not only is she awesome at the piano, but she can play two (or a piano and the harpsichord) at the same time!! I could also come up with more given more time and thought, but I just don't have it in me.
  2. What one singer/musician can you not stand? Why?
    Let's see, Snoop Dogg, he's an ass. Eminem, because either he's asshole supreme if he really means his lyrics, or he's a retarded monkey for writing his lyrics for the sheer purpose of stirring the pot and gaining "ooh, it's controversial!" sales. I'm not big into country music, and would rather not listen to it, but I don't think there are any artists in that genre I've heard that I totally hate. Oh, and Aguilera and Spears -- just little teenybopper wannabe-whores selling themselves, rather than using the talent they were given to make decent music.
  3. If your favorite singer wasn't in the music business, do you think you would still like him/her as a person?
    Well, I've really no idea. I know Billy Joel's had some rough bouts with alcoholism, but he seems like a sincere, nice guy with one helluva sense of humor (I've seen the VH1(?) Q&A-type session with him). With Tori Amos, I imagine I'd like her too. She's far too weird and eccentric for us to likely have a whole lot in common, but I love that she started RAINN and all that stands for.
  4. Have you been to any concerts? If yes, who put on the best show?
    Another question similar to that survey I answered. Sheesh, who inspired whom here? :) Um... well, I've been to less than a dozen concerts. Moody Blues performed in St. Louis with a full symphony orchestra; I've seen Tori in KC, Missouri as well as St. Louis. A couple concerts in college in the campus' multipurpose building. Finally got to see Billy Joel & Elton John in concert this year. Hard to pick a favorite. I picked 3 -- the Moody Blues, Tori's concert in St. Louis (it started with her cover of Just the Two of Us, very creepily done with just her voice and a weird stage setting), and the BJ&EJ concert. All very, very awesome concerts. Oh, and probably a close second would be the Matchbox 20 concert earlier this year, with Sugar Ray opening. They know how to put on a concert!
  5. What are your thoughts on downloading free music online vs. purchasing albums? Do you feel the RIAA is right in its pursuit to stop people from dowloading free music?
    Ooh, sticky one. Of course I've no problem with downloading music if it was provided that way by the artists (many do this, though probably only a few, if any, who have contracts with RIAA members). I think that's great. Technically, those who download copyrighted music w/o permission (and those who provide it for download) are breaking the law, and record companies have the right to go after them. However, I think that (a) the DMCA is a complete piece of bullshit, because technically it means that just putting my own purchased music on my PC as mp3s is illegal (which is bullshit -- that's fair use, damnit!) even if I don't let any other person at all have a copy, and (b) the RIAA is really going about things the wrong way.
    For one thing, I highly doubt downloading is the major reason they've had losses lately. Have they looked around themselves recently? The economy's been in a slump; almost everyone except providers of food and essentials haven't been doing as well as they were in the years before. Lots of people have lost their jobs, and can't afford to buy things like music. Combine that with the rather high price of CDs (that the artists see only the sparest amounts of, I might add), they should've expected to see less profits just like everyone else, if not moreso, because they're a luxury, not a need, and other luxuries cost less for what you get. Really, they ought to check into a business model similar to the iTunes software by Apple -- sell the songs for download online. Maybe even sell bonus stuff that isn't on the CDs, mp3-only, to be an additional draw. I tell you, that would put a lot bigger dent in illegal downloading than their lawsuits ever could. And I'm not even going to get started on how they need to stop putting out crap... "Just because you can, doesn't mean you should." I think that applies both to their lawsuits, and some of the music RIAA members are spewing.
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Wednesday, September 17, 2003

This site03:57 PM - More new stuff

As you might've figured I'd do based on my last couple posts, after putting the finishing touches on my forwards page I've also added a few new ones. I could add more, but I think that's enough for now. No need to have a couple "new entries" listed at the top. ;) Hopefully I'll get the chance to add new ones more often.

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Tuesday, September 16, 2003

This site11:36 PM - Much better

Much better. My funny forwards is all healed up again. Changed the opening prose a bit to shorten it in addition to the very definite changes. Netscape 4.x users get a plain black and white version, but it really can't be helped. If I allowed that stylesheet to be used in it, well let's just say it'd go from boring and readable, to colorful and illegible. Just horrible CSS support in that old browser, nothing to do for it. (I can't wait till it's been taken out back and shot like an elderly horse with two broken legs. No problem with Netscape, though it's officially abandoned now, but that 4.x series is just... awful.)

Ooh, and I managed to update my resolutions for yesterday and today as well. I'd just gotten it all updated for the whole weekend, and then didn't get to yesterday's at all. When next year's resolutions come around (probably the same as these, with maybe one or two added), I'm seriously considering adding "updated resolutions page on time" to the list. (On time being before I went to bed that day, which will be much easier when I get on a host that will actually allow MT to friggin run all the way... *sigh* But 'tis another rant for another time.)

That said, I'm tired, and it's way past my bedtime, so I'm going to bed! :D

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This site05:12 PM - Kinda outta whack

Just a quick entry to let you know that my Funny Forwards are in the middle of a face lift, and a little messed up right now. I should be able to fix 'em in the next few hours.

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Sunday, September 14, 2003

Blog Questionnaires10:49 PM - Saturday Scruples

Late again, but I just didn't have time until tonight.

  1. The pregnancy has been confirmed, but you're both single and in school. You're not ready to become parents. Do you arrange an abortion?
    Would've been tough (I'm well out of college, married, and have a good job, so this doesn't apply to me directly), but I think I would've had an abortion. Obviously it would depend; if we're truly both single and had a fling and had no interest in each other, there's no "probably" about it. However, if we were engaged already anyway, maybe I wouldn't have. We might have sucked it up and kept the baby in that situation. No matter what, there would have been lots of discussion involved; it would not have been a decision I would have made completely on my own without input from the potential father (assuming consentual sex, of course).
  2. You're playing badminton with a very competitive person. You discover s/he has a disability, a blind spot. Do you take advantage?
    Probably not. If nothing else, I'm not all that great at sports in general, badminton included, so I wouldn't be able to even if I tried. I would try if the other person was skunking me though. If it was an even playing field otherwise, I might on rare occasion, but not much.
  3. In the middle of your evaluation, your boss is called away. Your personnel file is left open. Do you glance at it?
    Maybe. It's my right to know what's in it, after all (we've been told that everyone has a file, and that we have every right to know what's in it and we just have to ask). Probably wouldn't bother though, as it probably wouldn't be close enough for me to read easily, and I'm not all that worried. And my managers so far have been pretty open.
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Friday, September 12, 2003

Life04:18 PM - Party!

Our housewarming party is tomorrow. We're gonna get prepared tonight... burgers, brats, hotdogs, cold cuts, chips, dip, a bigass salad, beer, and hard liquor. Should be fun. Not 100% sure how much food we should get, but we'll figure it out. As long as we don't run out way early or get stuck with an assload of it, we should be good. Too bad it's gonna rain though. I was hoping guests could swim if they wanted. However, they're talking rain & thunderstorms, and a high in the 70s, so too cool and rainy for most.

Gonna rock though... run the stereo downstairs, and run J's winamp upstairs. Good times! :)

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Blog Questionnaires09:37 AM - The Friday Five

  1. Is the name you have now the same name that's on your birth certificate? If not, what's changed?
    Nope, not quite. Got married a year ago June, so my last name's been changed.
  2. If you could change your name (first, middle and/or last), what would it be?
    Well, I had to spell my maiden name for everyone, but that's even changed to an easier name. I like my first and middle names, so I wouldn't change a thing.
  3. Why were you named what you were? (Is there a story behind it? Who specifically was responsible for naming you?)
    Well, my first name came from a great aunt of my mom's. Her name was Maude Augusta Kate [Last Name]. She hated all 3, and since her father called her his "brown-eyed daisy", she went with Daisy, which is even on her headstone. I was named after the only good name there (you can guess that, right?). My middle name has no story that I'm aware of; I'll update this if I find out otherwise, but I think it just went well with the first name.
  4. Are there any names you really hate or love? What are they and why?
    No names in particular that I absolutely adore above all others. There are several names I would cringe at naming children, but not any one in particular -- there are too many to list! (Though I never understood taking a regular name, and spelling it super ultra different just to be different. That's a trend in general that I hate about names.)
  5. Is the analysis of your name at kabalarians.com accurate? How or how isn't it [translation: "How is or isn't it?"]?
    The analysis:
    Your name of Kate has created a practical, responsible, stable nature, and you desire to direct the efforts of others rather than to take order or ask permission. You have a determined, self-reliant, capable nature and resent any interference, although in your desire to help you are inclined to become involved in the lives and decisions of other people. You like to make your own decisions and to be the master of your domain. You feel a limitation in your own expression when it is necessary to reach another through tact and understanding. Although you are honest and fair, a directness in speech is a source of much consternation to you, and you often regret what you say. You also have a tendency to worry. It causes you to be too serious, and interferes with happiness and relaxation that comes with naturalness of expression.
    I have to say I disagree somewhat. I like to think of myself as responsible, but I'm more of a follower and leader-by-example than I am a leader in my own right. I'm very undecisive at times, and I like to think tact and understanding aren't difficult for me. I do think of myself as "honest and fair" as well, but I'm not a big one for confrontation, so I'm not always very direct with most people; I try to be at least a little diplomatic. They are right about worrying, though, but it usually doesn't disrupt my being happy. So that's, what, half right? Less, maybe?
    Edit: I just looked at the analysis for my middle name, and it's a LOT closer to my reality. I'm not going to suddenly start going by it instead of my first name, though. ;)
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Wednesday, September 10, 2003

This site04:34 PM - New guestbook

I moved my guestbook entries out of their text file and into the database, and rewrote it in PHP instead of Perl as a CGI. It looks the same, pretty much, except for a little change in text here and there, but it's now in its own directory. I already linked it in the menu, so that's already there.

I'm seriously thinking about converting it to the main site styles, but for now it's the same as it was, with only a "home" link. If you have an opinion on which you think I should do (keep it as-is, or convert it), drop me a line and tell me about it. On the one hand, I like the web set I'm using from CatStuff; on the other hand, it would make more sense to convert it over to have some continuity since it's not a side-entity all on its own as with some of my other pages.

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Saturday, September 06, 2003

Life09:24 PM - I hate being sick

So the weather's been beautiful the last few days, particularly towards the end of the week, and I'm looking forward to the weekend and enjoying it. Except Friday afternoon I noticed I was sneezing and blowing my nose more often, and that my nose was starting to stop up. Dammit! Not too bad at the time, but it got worse as the day went, so that by the time we came back from dinner w/ a friend of J's, I felt like total ass. :( It was to the point where I couldn't swallow without causing a suction amongst my sinuses and eustacian (sp?) tubes, which gives me a very claustrophic feeling. I couldn't sleep, I was dead tired, and my upper lip under my nose got raw very quickly from all the nose-blowing.

Why can't they make an over-the-counter decongestant that isn't based on ephedrines? Ephedrines do not work for me unless I take too much, and I'm not really interested in possibly causing a heart attack just so I can breathe. I considered going to my parents' this evening after dinner, so I could ask my mom for one of her prescription decongestants. I dunno what it is, but it's not ephedrine-based, because those don't work for her either, but this does great. So why aren't there any other OTC ones, eh? Damn ephedrine lobby must be too big, or something. :(

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Blog Questionnaires09:16 PM - Saturday Scruples

A little late, but less late than last week's.

  1. Your bicycle has been stolen. At the police station you're shown an identical bike that isn't yours. Do you claim it?
    Nope, it's not mine. But I'll make sure they know that's exactly what mine looks like, hopefully making it easier to notice if they do find it.
  2. You're standing on a corner. Someone in a car smiles and waves at you. You don't have a clue who this person is. Do you smile and wave back?
    No, because I probably won't notice it in the first place, because I'm usually not looking too closely into passing cars.
  3. You're buying a car from someone who has lost his job and needs to sell. Do you offer much less than it's worth?
    No, I offer a fair price for the vehicle.
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Cats04:45 PM - Know anyone who wants to adopt a couple pets?

Two of my sister's friends need to find new homes for their cats. They would go in pairs (each had two cats before they moved in together). The details are here. If you're seriously interested, please drop me a line. (I'd say post in the thread, but if you aren't already registered, there's a 12 hour wait before you can do anything besides lurk once you've registered. So unless you want to register to join the community anyway, it's a lot of trouble just to register for this, and would be easier to just email me.)

Please, ask your friends and family if you can. They're loving kitties, and the only reason they need new homes is because of health problems, so they absolutely do NOT want to go to a shelter (I don't think they have any no-kill shelters available).

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Friday, September 05, 2003

Blog Questionnaires01:34 PM - The Friday Five

  1. What housekeeping chore(s) do you hate doing the most?
    Laundry, and things like floor washing, etc. And vacuuming.
  2. Are there any that you like or don't mind doing?
    Who likes doing chores? :) I suppose I don't really mind scooping the cats' litterboxes, but my problem is I'm lazy and often don't get to it.
  3. Do you have a routine throughout the week or just clean as it's needed?
    No routine, just clean stuff as it's absolutely needed.
  4. Do you have any odd cleaning/housekeeping quirks or rules?
    Um, I dunno. Never thought about it. I try to remember that dusting should come before sweeping and vacuuming, since it makes sense to knock dust on the floor before you sweep or vacuum. I make really sure that a fresh plastic bag for litter has absolutely NO holes in it. I don't think those are really odd, though, just common sense.
  5. What was the last thing you cleaned?
    Besides me? :) Um... well, lemme see. I picked up a bunch of clothes recently. I often hose down the shower of fuzz & hair w/ the nozzle before I finish my shower (some gets collected at the opposite end). I rinsed some dishes this week (don't have to wash most of 'em anymore 'cause we have a dishwasher). Now, if you asked me this a week from now, it'd be a tie for a lot of things because we're having a housewarming next Saturday, so we'll be cleaning all sorts of things.
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Thursday, September 04, 2003

Rants04:28 PM - Stupid Verizon website!

Verizon Wireless has just revamped their website, and it appears to suck just as big and nasty donkey balls as the old one did. For one thing, it seems that a lot of things only work in IE, simply because they're too damn lazy to do it the right way, which would automatically work in other browsers (or at least other browsers created in the last couple years). We're not talking cutting edge, folks, we're talking them needlessly complicating things and therefore fucking it up.

Second, to log in, they use a goddamned popup to first ask you for your zip code (or directly show a cute little animated arrow gif if it already knows it from a cookie or 'cause you already answered it w/ your browser still open). Then, after the window closes, it then redirects the parent window to the login screen. I mean, how much harder would it have been, to just go to a new window to ask for the zip code, then go on to the login screen? And it doesn't make the site any cooler or snazzier to people just because it opens a goddamn popup. If you kill popups from anyone you don't already have set as trusted, or if you just bloody don't like popups in a business setting unless they're absolutely necessary, this is anywhere from a minor annoyance to a major pain in the ass. Not to mention the design standpoint... I've written HTML, Javascript, and forms. It's simpler to just go A->B->C instead of using Javascript to do popups and redirects. They forced complexity on themselves, for something that doesn't impress anyone.

I admit, their navigation is better than it was before. However, they're having server issues, which they tell no one about. For instance, my bill didn't show up for me to view in their system (and thus checkfree.com didn't know about it either) until after it was already fucking due. Also, it thinks I have auto bill pay (which I don't -- not only did the customer service at the regular phone # say I didn't, but their website's customer service didn't have the entry either). It's a damn good thing I'm not set up to not receive paper bills, otherwise I never would've even known about it until too late. To add insult to injury, I had to call their online customer service to find out there were issues. They couldn't bother to put in a notice on their website (post-login, of course) to mention there were problems. They couldn't bother to send email to their online customers stating there were problems. Not to mention, the number their website says to call, in regards to removing auto bill pay, was the wrong number. They couldn't find that I had it, but told me that the online stuff had a different customer service number (which is the one it should've given me). Those are the people who told me about the problems. So I had to make two phone calls just to find out that there's a problem that's already being worked.

Really, what in the hell is the problem? They already give you a notification when you log in, that tells you that they've revamped that part of their system. So why can't the notification include additional text stating that there are system problems? They already use JSPs, so it would be a simple matter to include an additional text file. Then when the problems are resolved, remove the included text. Really, it's not rocket science. Apparently they have dotcom flunkies doing their web design, or something. (Not that I'm downing people who got screwed over when the dotcom bubble burst, but that during that bubble there were plenty of people who only have halfassed knowledge of web design front and back end, who were getting hired to fulfill that temporary need.)

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Interesting places04:05 PM - For you cutting edge CSS junkies

I know I'm one, at least when I have time. :) I found a site a couple weeks ago (which I didn't think to post about at the time) that is really awesome. It's the CSS Zen Garden, and it challenges the designer to use the given HTML only, plus the default stylesheet as an example, to come up with a completely new design by changing only the CSS and making no changes to the HTML. You can see the results of many, many different designs that have already been submitted, and I can tell you they're really awesome. Basically, if you want to participate, you upload your own CSS and any necessary images to your site, and they take a look at it using those. If they like it, they grab the stylesheet and any needed images and put it up.

Even if you're not interested in creating your own, I think you'd really enjoy looking at the ones others have put up. (The caveat, of course, is that you need to use a current, reasonably standards-compliant browser. IE 4 and Netscape 4 just won't cut the mustard for this.)

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Monday, September 01, 2003

Blog Questionnaires01:22 AM - Saturday Scruples

I wasn't able to start these up as soon as the Friday Five, and I'm a tad late with these, but here we go.

  1. Your fiancé(e) gives you a new video camera as a gift. When you agree to break off the engagement you're asked to return the camera. Do you?
    That really depends. If it was as an engagement/wedding gift, I definitely would. If it was several months before, I definitely would not. If it was close before we broke it off... I really don't know -- it would depend on why we were breaking it off (i.e. if either I were feeling spiteful, or I knew he was only asking to be spiteful, etc.), and other things. I probably would though.
  2. Your mate wants to earn money posing nude for art classes. Do you try to prevent it?
    Nope. If he's comfortable with that, and as long as he's posing for real classes (not impromptu, unofficial ones but actual classes at some college or university, etc.), then I'd have no problem with it.
  3. The door-to-door salesman has nothing you want. He looks haggard and forlorn. Do you buy something out of sympathy?
    Nope. I'll offer him a glass of iced tea and wish him luck, but I'm not spending money (usually a lot of money, as I understand it with door-to-door products) just to make the salesman feel better, for something I cannot use.
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Games & Gaming12:58 AM - Another addictive puzzle game

I love puzzle games. As such, I'm a semi-regular to PopCap Games, because that's what most of their games are. Currently, they have an interesting twist on the old Pipe Dream style game: Rocket Mania. Instead of having a time limit to construct one specific path from point A to point B before the water (or other stuff) starts, you instead have a specific time limit to set off X-many rockets, using fuses that make up the middle of the puzzle, and matches to the left. As soon as there's a path from one side to the other, they go off. Also, you can set off more than one rocket at a time, etc., and you can upgrade them so you get more points when they go off. Anyway, if you like simple, addicting puzzle games, go try it! (They also have a downloadable version -- free trial -- that has additional types to play.)

Heh, to give you something to shoot for (not that I'm full of myself or anything ;) ) here's a score I got Thursday afternoon on the Easy setting.

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weight loss ticker