Wednesday, February 25, 2004

Life02:40 PM - Marriage stuff...

Saw this article in Kage's LJ. It goes into how marriage has never been defined or performed in exactly one way throughout time as some would have you believe, and that there have definitely been updates and changes to the definition of marriage even as early as the 60s in the US alone. Definitely worth a read.

whining no longer being accepted

Web Quizzes09:40 AM - What tree frog are you?

I'm a Red Eyed Tree Frog!

Red-eyed tree frogs come from the warm and humid rain forests of Costa Rica in Central America. Some believe that their red eyes are a form of protection called "startle coloration". These frogs are very mellow during the day, and tend to be active only at night, so if the frog is awakened in the daytime, as might happen if a predator chanced upon it despite its excellent day time camouflage, the eyes pop abruptly open, hopefully startling the predator. This species tends to do better in a community of other red eyed tree frogs.

What kind of Frog are you?

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, February 24, 2004

Life01:10 PM - Neat little book thingy

I was taking a stroll through the MT Plugin Directory and found a little MovableType">MT plugin that'll let you do a "currently reading" thing (or list, if you use another plugin with it). You feed it an ASIN, which you can find searching Amazon for the book, then it'll give you the title, author, book cover image (if any), and a link to it on Amazon. Cool stuff. So I added it (once I figured out I needed the XML::Simple perl module in my extlib directory) and gave it the book I'm reading right now. :)

whining no longer being accepted

Monday, February 23, 2004

Games & Gaming News Links08:08 AM - Phantom a figment?

Many people have heard of a fabled "Phantom" gaming console that's supposedly being developed by a company called Infinium Labs. There's been, so far, way more hype than actual product; the company has touted the thing as this new revolution in gaming, and claim even to already have a prototype, but the only pictures have been computer renderings.

Now, Penny Arcade has linked to an article that takes public knowledge of the CEO, Tim Roberts, and the various companies he's headed up. Most of them are doing poorly or went bankrupt.

Why am I mentioning this? Well, I was quite surprised to find out that this guy is supposedly heading up two companies in St. Louis! Yet both don't seen to be able to contact him, both claim either his mother or brother as the director, and at the first the story changes a bit in regards to just who heads it up. I've never even heard of these companies, and supposedly they've set up shop here. Also, there's mention in the section for the second company, that his brother also headed up a third company here that had to lay off 50% of its work force and ended up being sold. Plus, the third company listed went bankrupt after frittering away millions of investor money, and there's an indication from the bankruptcy announcement article linked there that they may also have been based here.

Do I need to start watching the evening news here or what? I haven't heard any of this, and I live here. Apparently I'm great at keeping myself in the dark with no effort at all. In any case, I wouldn't bet the farm on there actually being a Phantom gaming console, or one by any other name from Infinium Labs, by the end of the year, if at all. Go read the article and see for yourself.

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, February 20, 2004

Blog Questionnaires11:50 PM - The Friday Five

When was the last time you...

  1. ...went to the doctor?
    Monday, the 16th. I had a followup with the endocrinologist about my thyroid. Heh, I forgot to mention I got a call Thursday, after he'd already sent me with a new scrip for the same stuff, same dosage that I hadn't filled yet, saying my bloodwork came back with the thyroid stuff (hormone? whatever?) reading high and they wanted to adjust the dosage. So they called in a new scrip lowering it by 25mcg. Good thing I'd still had a couple weeks of the old scrip which kept me from yet filling the new one.
  2. ...went to the dentist?
    Well, my next appointment is coming up April 3, and I'm back to going twice a year, so that puts it in October. That doesn't sound quite right, but we are talking 6+ months ago. Maybe mid to late September. I dunno. Heh, about 6-7 months ago. :)
  3. ...filled your gas tank?
    Yesterday after work. Just in time for a 15 cent hike in prices the day before. Damnit.
  4. enough sleep?
    Last weekend, and about to this weekend. I didn't realize how tired I was until I took a 4+ hour nap this evening, and I don't think I'll have trouble going to sleep tonight either.
  5. ...backed up your computer?
    Um... probably too long ago. :) Actually, I think I have a backup of a bunch of stuff on my 2nd hard drive, from some months ago when my computer was behaving like a piece of crap and I was going to wipe and reinstall. I even made a list of everything I wanted to reinstall after the OS and latest drivers were back. Never did it though.
whining no longer being accepted

Web Quizzes11:17 PM - Yankee or Dixie quiz

I scored "68% (Dixie). A definitive Southern score!" A little bit of a surprise, considering (a) I've never lived there, and (b) the supposed fact that "Be aware that television entertainment has a lot of northern dialect in it. This will have more of an influence on you than you expect." Perhaps St. Louis has a noticable southern influence, I dunno. Quiz is here if you want to take it.

But question #13, for what the road along the interstate is, they didn't have my first-thought choice: It's an outer road, dangit. Hell, some of them even say "outer road" on the sign, in addition to or in replacement of a real road name.

Whatever. I need to go read my comics and think about answering this week's Friday Five I never got to.

Thursday, February 19, 2004

Rants04:40 PM - Am I ever fucking pissed!

Who in the holy fuck do people think they are?!

I was first at a light at a 4-way intersection. Just waiting for traffic to go as is normal. First the people to my right got their light, then the people on my left got it. (The street I'm on has two lanes each north and south, plus a left turn only lane and a right turn only, which on northbound splits directly off the right straight lane and southbound is a separate lane. The lanes on the cross street each have one straight lane, a left turn lane, and a right turn lane. If that matters.) I'm in the right of the two northbound straight ahead lanes. Our side gets the green, including the green left arrow. Just as that happens, some dipshit in a regular old smallish brown car enters the intersection from the left, in spite of having had a fully red light. Fine, I honk at him and start going as he's crossing. No chance of hitting him, but it gets me moving and gets the point across. What I didn't see, was this complete and utter fuckwad in one of the larger SUVs enter the intersection after the other guy about 3 car lengths back from him. Poor baby had to wait for me to go (on my fucking green light) and then get the hell out of the intersection.

Mother fucking honked at me. That's right, the asshole had the audacity to be angry with me for daring to use my right of way and getting in the way of him running the red light. [sarcasm]How dare I get in the way of his clearly superior fucking vehicle?[/sarcasm] I just wish I'd had the quick thinking to fucking flip him off before I got passed him, just to make 100% sure I'd done all I reasonably could to let him know he can kiss my fat fucking ass and that it was my fucking turn. Just because he drives a behemoth of a vehicle does not give him the fucking right of way regardless of the color of his light. Asshole needs to remember he's not a fucking emergency vehicle, just a fucking normal person like everyone else, who isn't better than everybody fucking else.

Fuckity fuck fuck FUCK. I'm in a really pissed mood. The only thing soothing me right now is that I was able to open the windows after a long ass time 'cause it's almost 70F out for a change. Absolutely beautiful, even partly sunny. A little windy, but on a day like today that just doesn't matter. And the motherfucker ruined an otherwise cheerful mood. Asshole. Maybe some time on the treadmill will let me work out some of the stress and pissiness. :grr:

Web Quizzes11:00 AM - Which irrational number are you?

What Irrational Number Are You?
You are √2

You are in good company, many other square roots are also irrational numbers. Just by being a square root you have been branded a radical. You are considered very attractive, especially by Europeans (at least on paper.)

You fear that a relationship with another √2 may somehow end up complex and ultimately imaginary. In reality, only another √2 will make you whole.

Your lucky number is approximately 1.41421356

Shiny Lemur
Straif's Blog

Interesting places07:33 AM - Anime me

I went to this site, linked by several LiveJournal friends, and created this:

[Anime version of me]

About as close as I could get, and not too bad at that. Might work as a new LJ avatar. :)

Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Life10:27 PM - Time to update my voter registration

Some apparently narrowminded people in Missouri are pushing for a state constitutional amendment specifically defining marriage as a union between a man and a woman. It's not enough that it's not legal here, but they want to make sure no future judges interpret the state constitution differently so that they may be legal. Ugh. You wouldn't believe the lame excuses a female supporter made as to why this should be in place. Among other things, she feels her children need "protecting against the definition of marriage being changed." Yeah. 'Cause, ya know, her children are going to be personally damaged by this. Riiight... Her other argument was that "marriage has always been between a man and a woman since the beginning of time." What?? Now, if we all study our history, we know that isn't 100% true. (Not to mention the Christians, though not her in the interview, thinking they somehow have claim to the origins of marriage. Don't get me started...!)

This really doesn't surprise me, but damned if I'm not going to vote against any measure to amend our constitution in such a way. Yeah, I know we're technically at least partly part of the "Bible Belt", and that outside of Kansas City and St. Louis most of the state is quite right-wing in their views about damn near everything. (If you've ever spent more than an hour or two in a small town in Missouri, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.) It still pisses me off.

One heartening thing, was to hear a much older man, a former principal at a high school in the St. Louis area, be interviewed. He says he was raised by his family flat out to be anti-gay, and spent a long time feeling that way. He's definitely changed his tune. Did I mention he's a retired principal, and thus presumably over the age of 60 or 65? It's not often you hear about a man from that generation, and raised to be anti-gay, to be for equal rights for gays. But he was, oh how he was. Not only was he against this measure, but he staunchly believes that two people of the same sex should have no problem getting married, raising a family, and getting all the same benefits as a heterosexual couple. Works for me. :)

I just hope there are enough voting people in the state of Missouri who feel the same way, and vote against any measure that would ban all non-heterosexual marriages. Ideally, these... people... would like to get this on the ballot for the people in November, so I'll be looking for more news about it and making absolutely sure I vote NO for it. Even if it fails, I'm sure there won't be any events in Missouri similar to the current ones in Massachusetts or San Francisco, at least any time soon, but its failure would be a step in the right direction.

(Oh, and if you disagree, and want to leave a comment to that effect that's fine, but keep the flames to a minimum. Any personal attacks of me or any "gays are disgusting!!!111" comments will be deleted by me as soon as I see them, with no response from me.)

Web Quizzes01:14 PM - Another quiz

I seem to be doing more of these again lately... probably because I've been peering at my LJ Friends list, and thus reading more LJs, than usual.

Are you Addicted to the Internet?

54% (41% - 60%)
You seem to have a healthy balance in your life when it comes to the internet and life away from the computer. You know enough to do what you want online without looking like an idiot (most of the time). You even have your own Yahoo club or online journal! But you enjoy seeing your friends and going out to enjoy life away from your computer.

The Are you Addicted to the Internet? Quiz at Quiz Me!

(Of course, it drives me nuts to use old HTML tags such as font tags and the like, so I first have to fiddle with the code to bring it up closer to XHTML than stale HTML 3.2...)

Life12:49 PM - More blood tests

Almost a year ago now (end of March, early April) I went to the doctor because I had this area on my neck that was all swollen out. It didn't hurt, and it wasn't red, it just... stuck out. Doctor ordered blood tests and sent me to a specialist & all that... basically my thyroid had swollen itself up with fluid in a few places. The specialist prescribed Synthroid, saying that it would give my thyroid a chance to rest and the swelling to go away. Then he scheduled a 4 month follow up. At the follow up some of it had shrunk, not all, so he kept me on the stuff for 6 more months.

I had my second follow up yesterday, and he checked me out and all that. Spot's a lot smaller (which I'd noticed, though it still is noticable by feel and has seemed to me to have quit shrinking for a little while), and I still feel normal. Not once in this entire time have I felt under the weather, tired, constantly warm or cold, had my weight go crazy, etc. So he got me a prescription for 6 more months of Synthroid (I have about 2 weeks left of the last one's last refill), and said they'll call me to schedule another appointment. He also ordered more blood tests for me (I have to take the paperwork into a Quest Lab, which is walk in and wait). Plus, he mentioned it as "we'll get some blood work done, keep you on the Synthroid, and start tapering off the visits."

Here's where I thought, "wait a minute, back up a second!" Visits? As in, I have more than one more in my future even if the blood work comes back normal? I mean, I kinda had the impression that I was just supposed to take the Synthroid for however long it takes to shrink it, with him checking to see if it was done yet, then that was it. None of this repeated blood work, none of this long term stuff. I had the distinct impression this was a very routine thing that wasn't serious enough for there to be long term stuff going on with it unless it flares up again some random time later (usually they don't know what causes it, or whether it'll come back or not, and the treatment's pretty much the same). I didn't know this was going to get stretched out. :( Should I be worried? I didn't get that impression from him; he seemed quite nonchalant about it.

So I get to find a Quest lab to visit after work today and give the doctors more blood. I'm going to see if they'll let me lie down this time, because last time they had me sit in this rigid upright chair thing where they close it around you and your arm has a place to stretch out, and if they'd taken any longer than they did to finish up and let me out of it, I would've passed out. As it was, I had to immediately lie on the floor a few minutes. Have I mentioned I don't. Like. Needles?

Monday, February 16, 2004

Rants12:31 PM - Stupid Flash ads!

Who the fuck marketing shithead thought Flash ads with bloody sound in them was a good idea?! I mean, yeah they got my attention, but they did it by by startling the crap out of me and pissing me off! I can already see the goddamn ad, I don't need to hear it too, after I've gone to read another tab or window. Shit. There are these stupid ads (well, one really, just they're in a couple different colors), in the rotation in Pimpernel's games that are just plain distracting, and NOT in a good way. Besides the fact that they're apparently a Norwegian site, and thus most of the ads' text is unreadable to me, which I certainly don't mind and totally understand, they show these two people come together for a kiss, and play this stupid kissing sound when they do it. Every time. And it loops. And yeah, I can right-click the ad and turn off both Play and Loop (though just the first one really takes care of it), but then of course the ad's in a separate frame that auto-refreshes every so many seconds, and oftentimes the next ad to pop up is the same one (or the same one in just a different color). So there's the need to turn off Play all over again, every time one of those ads loads. :grr: And of course this is in the actual game window, which for me is always Mahjongg, which is a timed game. It's quite distracting for this stupid thing to make kissy noises at me, and takes time away from my score if I want to turn it off and I haven't just finished a game.

What about all the people who don't like kissy face noises, honking horns, or any other such nonsense blasting out of their computer speakers uninvited? Especially in the middle of whatever song they're playing? What about people who don't really need sudden noises? The only current recourse for most people (perhaps there's a browser, or at least a browser plugin, that will let you block flash from xyz domain, I dunno), is to just not have Flash installed. However, there are plenty of legit uses for Flash that many people enjoy (games, silly videos people have made, etc.). However, while I enjoy some uses for Flash, I hate being kissed at, honked at, yelled at, or anything else just because I have Flash installed to enjoy those other things. I know I'm not alone in that either.

I'd love a browser plugin (hopefully one that works in Moz 1.0 or 1.1 so it can be used in Netscape 7, but at least one I can use in Firebird) where I can (a) right-click any Flash element and disable either it or any Flash from its domain, and (b) have a menu in the Options/Preferences to ad domains to a list of those not allowed to serve me any Flash content (or the reverse -- disallow Flash with certain exceptions, that'd work too). Or even just one of those. I'm sick of hearing kisses blown at me from my browser!

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, February 13, 2004

Life09:58 AM - The Friday Five

  1. Are you superstitious?
    Not particularly. Oh, I tend to put a little stock in good ol' Murphy's Law and its corrolaries, and I joke about knocking on wood for things (often by knocking on my head...). :) But I don't believe black cats crossing my path or my walking under a ladder will bring me bad luck. Well, walking under ladders... yeah, not a good idea. First, it depends on the ladder if you can even walk under it without stooping and stuff. Second, if you bump the ladder, anything on it will possibly fall off and hit you. So for practical reasons, I wouldn't recommend it. However, a broken mirror isn't gonna give anyone 7 years' bad luck.
  2. What extremes have you heard of someone going to in the name of superstition?
    Well... I'm not really sure. No one I know personally is superstitious that I'm aware of, so no stories there. I'm sure there have been whackos throughout history that always tossed some salt over their shoulder upon spilling some, and freaked and walked a different way when they saw a black cat. I dunno, haven't really actually heard much about it.
  3. Believer or not, what's your favorite superstition?
    So it's the favorites thing again, eh? ;) None really. It's interesting that the whole knocking on wood thing is to chase away evil spirits who might overhear something said, like "I just know my game's going to be rained out," and find a way to make it rain. I dunno how most of them originated though; would be fascinating. I wonder if the Discovery or History Channels have ever done a program about it...
  4. Do you believe in luck? If yes, do you have a lucky number/article of clothing/ritual?
    Meh, not really, beyond wishing people good luck & stuff. Good luck or bad, shit happens.
  5. Do you believe in astrology? Why or why not?
    Most definitely not. From what little I know about physics, the forces of planets aren't gonna worth a hill o' beans as far as whether I should "enter that new business deal" or whatever. Stuff's a novelty, nothing more.
whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, February 12, 2004

Life12:29 PM - Interesting trend

I just noticed... I rarely ever bother writing anything on the weekends, or at least I haven't been for a while. I guess I'm just more likely to take time to stop and post something while I'm at work, which I recognize is rather shameful of me. Then again, I often don't do much of any internet stuff over the weekend at all: no forums, no IM, etc.

Plus, I've been ranting less. Which is probably good, since that means I either (a) don't have as much to rant about, or (b) am being bothered less, or both. Most likely it means I'm too apathetic to bother typing anything up. Of course, someone started a forum thread (and no, I have nothing against it being posted) reporting on the new law in South Dakota that bans abortions except when the life of the mother is in danger. No exceptions for just her future health being screwed up, no exceptions for rape or incest. I'd go off half cocked about it, but I have a feeling I'd be nearly apoplectic if I actually got started, and be stark raving angry. Not a good thing.

I'm just happy I don't live there and have absolutely no reason at all to ever move there. And, as soon as a case comes up that gets appealed up the line, the Supreme Court will likely shoot it down anyway, as they have with other similar laws in the past. So... no use shooting my blood pressure through the roof over it. Not going to convince anyone in the thread, or anyone reading here, to change their minds; it'd just me angrily "preaching to the choir" for those who already agree, and I'd be too pissed to concentrate on anything for a while. Just gonna let that one go...

Bleh, got a meeting in a half an hour. I'm so looking forward to leaving early Friday. :) That problem I was talking about, with the shifting and the dates and that? Yeah, well that got fixed, but then something else was wrong, and we wanted to change some part on how it was done anyway, and it had to be done that night, including waiting for the full data feed to reload to see if it worked (which takes about 20-25 minutes). So I was there until almost 5, instead of leaving at the normal 3:30. So I think I'm gonna leave around 2 tomorrow, and it's gonna be cool.

Oh yeah, and I'm finally going through the archives of Real Life, or at least the last year or so. I figured since I'd read some already and didn't know where I'd stopped, I'd just start with January 2003 and work up. It's a daily strip, so this is gonna take a while. But I think I'll be adding it to my list o' comics. :)

whining no longer being accepted

This site08:01 AM - Apparently I'm going crazy...

... or else I have gremlins in my computer. Whatever the case, two other CW Cadre members checked my site and everything was fine. One checked an hour and a half later, the other about... 6 hours later. Both saw it just fine. (One couldn't switch themes in Netscape 7.1, which was odd, but I've no idea why, since I'd done so before, relatively recently -- 7.02 here has it set to Ice, I think.) Whatever it was, both Firebird and IE conspired against me to make me think those pages weren't working. This morning, things were just fine for me. Bleh. Stupid gremlins.

Wednesday, February 11, 2004

This site10:52 PM - Weirdest error, damnit

So I go to add a couple more PvPers to my Links list on my website, under the PvP Members section. That done, I want to go look at 'em (I always verify, I'm compulsive that way). I hit the middle button in Firebird, and... nothing. Blank page. Has my favicon, that's it. Absolutely nothing.

So, I try closing the tab a few times, and trying it again. Nothing, nothing, nothing. I try loading another site -- Google -- and it loads fine. I type in the URL into that same tab, and it stays at Google. Page Info even shows Google info, source shows Google source, and the Location bar once again has their address in it. WTF?!

So, I start trying to load other pages. My New Years Resolutions come up fine. My main site's header file comes up fine. The footer file has a problem, as does any PHP page that loads it. I look in the web stats section of CPanel, and pick the "last 300 visitors" section... those requests never even happened according to the server. Also, nothing in the error logs section. ??? So I try a few other things... whatever the problem is, is also affecting the footer (and hence all pages) to my Funny Forwards. However, my Resolutions use header & footer files and there's no problem there. And it can't be a PHP error, 'cause those just show up in the browser (and usually the error logs in CPanel).

Oh, and I also tried loading a couple of these pages in IE 6, with the exact same results (well, IE said "page cannot be displayed" in its stupid generic way... big surprise). So it isn't the browser. Nor is it my connection, because some of my site pages will load (i.e. my resolutions, a generic phpinfo page that just calls, you guessed it, phpinfo(), etc.). So... what in the fucking blue blazes is going on??

I gave up on it. I posted it in a private section of the Crosswinds forums to vent and hope for the tiniest suggestion of solutions, and said the hell with it. It was working this afternoon (as late as 5:45 CST since my sister posted a comment there at that time, as showed up in my email), and now it's not. And I didn't change a damn thing. So fuck it for now. I'm just pissed.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, February 10, 2004

Life03:32 PM - It wasn't me!

There was a very curious problem at work. Basically, we have two different sets of data for a project. That's fine. However, we also have a project that merges that data together. And the data doesn't have the same dates associated with each data point. So, we have a bunch of code to merge it all together, in addition to the regular processing that jams it in Oracle. This creates more data files for that total section.

Today, someone reported that while the data in the individual projects was coming out fine, the data in the merged project was hosed (particularly the "actuals", not so much the "estimates"). After a quick peek, it wasn't the chart's problem, but it was in Oracle that way. That meant it was either a problem with the data or a problem with the processing; obviously the former didn't make much sense since the individual projects were just fine. (Basically, the "actuals" numbers in the merged project were significantly lower than the numbers of either of the individual projects.)

I wrote the piece that takes the data of one, and shifts it date-wise to the data of the other, so that each data bucket in one lines up date-wise to each data bucket in the other (i.e. if the first data point in one is November 2003, but that's the third data point in the other, then that data needs to be moved into the third bucket). A coworker took a look at the files producted immediately after the shifting step (these then get merged into one big honkin' file via other processing). Some of it was coming out wrong. Specifically, we have weekly data to shift and monthly, but it was only the monthly data coming out wrong. ??? So I start adding debugging statements to the version on our test server, thinking that I'd somehow managed to miss some obscure data case that had just now occured. I mean, I couldn't figure out why it was wrong (a bunch of stuff was getting zeroed out that shouldn't have been), but you just never know.

My coworker comes up with a much smaller data file so I don't have pages and pages of debugging output to read (we're talking 60MB of data here, folks -- thousands upon thousands of records, one on each line). He narrowed it down to a single subaccount... I think all told from the 3 files had maybe a dozen lines together. :) Talk about lightning fast... Anyway, I looked at my debugging statements... and apparently, the number of months between December 2005 and January 2006 is, you won't believe, 23 months. Some kinda new math... ;) Thing is, I was using a general utility class we have to get that number, which I had nothing to do with writing. So it wasn't my fault! Anyway, I figured out what was going wrong there, fixed it, and now it works. Happy day! I actually feel useful, and right before I get to leave no less! Nice way to end a work day. :)

Web Quizzes07:28 AM - My first meme, I guess... PotC Quote

Which "Pirates of the Carribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl" quote best suits you? by Aurian_Fry
You are:Aunt's nephew's cousin twice removed on my mother's side. Lovely singing voice. Eunuch. - Captain Jack Sparrow
Created with quill18's MemeGen 2.0!

Odd... it would be interesting to see how it decides what quote you get (name length, "addition" of the numeric values of the letters, etc.).

Monday, February 09, 2004

Life02:15 PM - New project

I can't believe I forgot to mention this! I decided to participate in a craft exchange with other crafty types on the forums. Elle got it all together, got people to sign up, and then did all the matching. The idea is, you contact whomever you're to give something, and get their mailing info from them, and ask about ideas if for your craft skill of choice (I crossstitch, others knit, others draw or paint, etc.). You can make whatever, as long as it's not something that takes you no time at all to do, but isn't something that will take you forever and a day. And no 500lb statues, of course. ;)

I got Leo as my recipient, and Shadow the Rat is my crafter. We've both already given and gotten necessary contact info, and I've already gotten started on Leo's gift (I'm not saying what it is until after he gets it, in case he's reading this. ;) ). I already created the pattern(s) and have all materials, and have some stitches on it already. (I actually had to start over... I'm using 32ct linen, and apparently 2 strands is too thick for it, so I had to switch to 1. Thankfully I could start further down on the material so I didn't have huge leftover holes to sew back into.) I have until the 28th of this month to send it. I'm going to have to sew like the wind! I do plan on getting pictures once I'm done though, and posting them after he gets it. It'll be the first pattern I designed, and probably the largest project I've taken on yet (not that I've got hundreds of 'em under my belt already).

I'm pretty excited. This will actually give me something to focus on, and a deadline will make me sew for once. I want to sew, and I like sewing, but I always put it off for other things and never sit down and do it. So this will get me going on it. Hopefully it'll give me enough inertia to move right into my next project -- a graduation present for my sister. Not gonna say what that is either... but it'll be massive, and awesome. I've yet to get materials or all the thread colors for it yet, but I'm pretty sure I'll have a little over a year even after I'm done w/ this one, which should be plenty of time.

Life10:08 AM - Bleh

I've got to stop sleeping in so much on the weekends. I mean, I'm catching up on missed sleep, so that's good, but it also means I have that much harder a time getting to sleep on Sunday nights, and that much harder a time getting up Monday morning. Though Zephyr helped with that part this morning... apparently at 4:50am he thought I should be up already, and was climbing all over me, pawing at things on my nightstand, yowling... basically anything to get my attention. He gave up about 10 minutes before my alarm. Grr.

I also need to stop listening when J comes up with alternate lyrics for songs... I'm quite sure Tom Petty never intended Freeballin', and I doubt the Cranberries ever considered "Do you have to pull my finger?" as part of their love song "Linger".

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, February 06, 2004

Blog Questionnaires07:49 AM - The Friday Five

  1. What's the most daring thing you've ever done?
    Daring, eh? Well... the high ropes course the summer before my 7th grade year (I wasn't yet 12) was pretty daring at the time. Frightening as hell, actually. Basically you're attached with rock climbing equipment to a line above you, and you're 30 or so feet up in the trees. The idea is to get from point A to point B, traversing a series of obstacles. It didn't help I was shorter than everyone else, so (a) they had to custom-wrap a harness around me 'cause none of the sized ones fit, and (b) the course was made for people a little taller, so I couldn't reach some things everyone else could. Most of the time the leaders at each station (platform in a tree) had to move my attachment from one line to the next for me. I was crying by the time I reached the zip line, but I still had fun.
  2. What one thing would you like to try that your mother/friend/significant other would never approve of?
    I must be a pretty boring person, or have really cool parents, friends, and husband, because I can't think of anything I actively want to do that would be greeted with disapproval. I mean, I occasionally entertain the idea of going on a skydiving jump, but while my parents would probably just shake their heads they wouldn't disapprove. My husband would probably go with me.
  3. On a scale of 1-10, what's your risk factor? (1=never take risks, 10=it's a lifestyle)
    Probably a 3. Maybe a 4, but not likely.
  4. What's the best thing that's ever happened to you as a result of being bold/risky?
    Um... damn, I need to answer these later in the day rather than almost first thing in the morning. I mean, in the example of the high ropes course, I gained a little knowledge that I could do stuff I thought I couldn't. But I've never taken any big risks or been outstandingly bold, so not much good or bad has happened to me based on such things.
  5. ... and what's the worst?
    See above. :)

Wednesday, February 04, 2004

Life02:28 PM - I'm so weak

Even though I have a whole website that's free to me, provided I provide support for Crosswinds Pro packages, I grabbed an LJ. Initially this was just so I could write comments in others' LJs who had anonymous comments off (which I do as well, and completely understand), and so I could read entries of friends whose whole blogs are friends-only. And I only signed up because they got rid of invite codes; I wouldn't have wanted someone to waste one on me just for those reasons. My whole LJ consists of posts made on my website (minus about a half dozen that had only completely to do with changes I was making on my website that had no relevence at all to anything else).

But the customization bug bit me, and bit me hard. More and more LJs (especially those I read semiregularly) were showing up with customizations that a free account can't make (such as comments staying in the LJ's layout instead of the default non-styled layout, certain styles only being available to paid accounts, etc.). Not to mention, several people on the forums mentioned they'd been gifted (anonymously or otherwise) recently and were loving it. I looked at the paid account prices, and they're actually amazingly cheap, especially for a year's worth at once (~ $2.08 per month). I don't really care all that much about the extra LJ user icons, though I'll probably take advantage of that as well. But I wanted a better layout, damnit. And if I can figure out how to do one totally from scratch, and have time to actually do one, I'll probably do that down the road too. Being able to change the words for certain things (titles, commenting, etc.) is very nice too.

So I've been doing that a lot of the day. I think I just about have it the way I want it for now, finally. I still can't believe I'm a paying LJ member, but it sure was cheap to do so.

Web Quizzes07:34 AM - OkCupid Quiz

I was bored and saw a few people taking this quiz. So I figured, what the hell, why not?

The Maid of Honor

Deliberate Gentle Love Master (DGLMf)

Appreciated for your kindness and envied for all your experience, you are The Maid of Honor.

Charismatic, affectionate, and terrific in relationships, you are what many guys would call a "perfect catch"--and you probably have many admirers, each wishing to capture your long-term love. You're careful, extra careful, because the last thing you want is to hurt anyone. Especially some poor boy whose only crime was liking you.

Your exact opposite: Half-cocked (Random Brutal Sex Dreamer)

We've deduced you're fully capable of a dirty fling, but you do feel that post-coital attachment after hooking up. So, conscientious person that you are, you do your best to reserve physical affection for those you you can respect yourself.

Your biggest negative is the byproduct of your careful nature: indecision. You're just as slow rejecting someone as you are accepting them.

ALWAYS AVOID: The False Messiah, The 5-Night Stand, The Vapor Trail, The Bachelor

CONSIDER: The Gentleman, someone just like you.

I guess it fits. I am indecisive, though I don't think I've ever considered having a fling before, and of course I definitely wouldn't now that I'm married. Speaking of which, I think I have married a gentleman. :)

Tuesday, February 03, 2004

Technical12:06 PM - Comment spam prevention

I waltzed over to the MovableType website, to see if there'd been any updates and to perhaps get around to getting that fix that came out with 2.65 (that's all I really wanted out of that anyway). Lo and behold, there's not only a 2.66, but a 2.661 (to fix a tiny error in something new in 2.66). The biggest thing I noticed, was that it's supposed to implement some redirection thingamabob for URLs, so that spammers won't use the comments as a place to up their search engine rankings (the more pages their link shows up, the higher a ranking they have). It also has a throttling mechanism, where you can set it up to disallow comments from the same IP within N seconds. So I'll be upgrading to that version within a few hours today, since while I've not gotten many spams to my comments systems, and most of those have been in my Funny Forwards section, I still don't want any if I can help it.

Then, I followed a link in the MT news post to see what they were talking about, since they linked it. Apparently this guy was one of the first to do redirects (he has some kind of custom blogging system). That page, in turn, linked to several other places suggesting various ways to combat the slowly rising tide of commenting spam.

I've now implemented a few suggestions. I didn't see a point to adding a META rule to the comments template for no indexing, being that I don't use mt-comments.cgi to display anything but errors (can't stop that anyway, and why would I?). However, I have renamed the CGI and told the config about the new file (they already have that ability built in). Next, I plan on adding that Bayesian filter available in one of the aforementioned links. I don't have any spam comments to tell it are spam, but I'll of course start by telling it all the comments I have so far aren't spam. (I'm assuming this is per-blog, and that it doesn't automatically toss spam-judged messages.)

More later. :)

Monday, February 02, 2004

Technical08:22 AM - Firebird & Thunderbird stuff

I asked some questions about Firebird & Thunderbird on the forums, but I must have bad timing 'cause I haven't heard anything yet. Either that, or most people are thinking "I dunno" about all of 'em and don't feel like posting just to say that. That would make sense, of course. :)

Anyway, I'm starting to use Firebird more often, and I've already added a bunch of extensions to make it even more comfy. I'm starting to like it quite a bit. Some of the extensions do things I found nice in Opera (rearranging tabs, saving the state of the tabs open upon closing, etc.). I also like being able to have some of my bookmarks organized to make use of opening all bookmarks in one folder at once in separate tabs. (I set up a web comics folder, with ones that update every day in a separate folder, ones that open M-F in another, MWF ones in another, then a Misc directory that I just open individual bookmarks from.) I can click the middle mouse button (i.e. the wheel) and if it's on a link, the link opens in a new tab in the background. If not, I get a little scrolly mouse icon so I can just scroll things up and down with moving the mouse only. And of course it has builtin popup blocking (I haven't tested to see if it blocks specifically-clicked-on-and-requested popups like Netscape 7.1 mistakenly does yet).

If you didn't feel like going to the above link to my questions, these are the questions I had:

  1. I have my bank user/password combo saved in Netscape 7.1. Since then, they've added autocomplete="off" to the form element, thus making Firebird not ask me. Is there a way to port this password over from one to the other? (It would seem Firebird 0.7 is based on Mozilla 1.5, and Netscape 7.1 is based on Mozilla 1.4, if that helps.) It's not a big deal, but anything I can do to be lazy.
  2. I'm considering moving from Netscape 7.1's mail, to Thunderbird. However, I have 2 questions about this:
    1. I've already started using the Junk filtering in Netscape. Will I be able to give Thunderbird the training I've already given Netscape, or will I have to start over with that?
    2. Can I set it up so Firebird and Thunderbird both open from a single shortcut?

Basically, I'm liking Firebird and would like to try Thunderbird. But I wanna make sure of some things first. (I won't have a problem moving mail and address books; that's easy stuff for me by now. Mostly just some copy/paste action.) While Netscape 7.1 is nice, Firebird so far is nicer, and I have hopes for Thunderbird. Plus, let's face it: AOL completely ended Netscape development (it was only a matter of time, after all). Netscape 7.1 is it, no more security or bug fixes, no 7.11, 7.12, etc. That's it. And I want to be able to move on past that, so when Netscape 7.x, IE6.x, Opera 7.x, etc., are all obsolete whispers, I won't be stuck there. Plus I like new toys. :)

So if you know anything one way or the other about my questions, even if it's "No, of course you can't do that, silly!" feel free to speak up. None of my questions are showstoppers if I can't do any of what I want to do, but if I can do any of them, I'd like to know that, and know how, so I can do so when the time comes.