Friday, January 30, 2004

Blog Questionnaires09:05 AM - The Friday Five

You have just won one million dollars:

  1. Who do you call first?
    My husband, unless he's there with me already. He'd be followed my parents (or they'd be first if he were already with me).
  2. What is the first thing you buy for yourself?
    I'd buy both my husband and myself new cars. Probably not BMWs or the like, because a million, even if that's after taxes (it'd be about $550-650K after taxes, if that's the initial before-tax amount) doesn't go very far over the long term and I'd want to invest a good chunk. Then I'd send in a massive house payment, all extra to be applied to the principle to get the interest way, way down. Or if it's a million after taxes, probably just pay the whole thing off.
  3. What is the first thing you buy for someone else?
    Oh... well, I guess the car for J would be the first thing for someone else. If you consider us as "one entity" and thus that doesn't count, then... I dunno. Maybe offer to get my dad a new car as he's overdue for one anyway (he has an '83 Fiero he got when it was new).
  4. Do you give any away? If yes, to whom?
    Maybe. Probably a nice chunk to any no-kill animal shelters in the St. Louis area, if they exist, and some to the ASPCA and/or the World Wildlife Fund.
  5. Do you invest any? If so, how?
    Definitely. Probably half the winnings would get invested. I don't know how, but definitely not in regular bank savings accounts. I wouldn't play the high-risk stock market areas with it, so I'd go with something safer, but basically a good balance between low-medium risk and returns.

Life06:07 AM - Alright, that's just too much!

When you wake up, and your weather homepage (Wunderground's page for St. Louis) says it's 3F (-16C) when you wake up -- plus a windchill of -10F (-24C), all you want to do is just turn around and get back in bed. The high today is going to be in the teens, with a windchill between -8F and -18F. I know I complained it was cold before; apparently it wasn't cold enough! Gah!! I sooo don't want to go outside today!

Thursday, January 29, 2004

Rants02:39 PM - Work-related rant

People! If you're going to open a table cell, use a closing table cell tag when you're done, not a closing div tag. If you're going to open a font tag (yes, we're using those still, because we've got to send HTML both to Netscape 4.7x and Excel), close them.

*sigh* That feels a little better, but I'll feel a lot better when I'm done with this code. Yeeargh.

whining no longer being accepted

Fun stuff07:55 AM - Mind-numbingly simple, but...

There's this little Javascript game that's so simple, yet potentially so addicting. Basically, there's a little red square, and four blue different-shaped rectangles. As soon as you click on the red square, all the little blue squares start moving. The trick is to see how long you can move the red square around without bumping it into the moving blue squares or the surrounding wall. I haven't even lasted 30 seconds yet (they do change speeds and get dodgier after a short time).

In other news... damn I'm tired. This getting up at 5:30 crap is already starting to get to me.

Monday, January 26, 2004

Interesting places05:15 PM - Nifty map thingy

Saw this link in Helm's LJ when perusing my friends list there. Basically you put checkmarks in the boxes for each state you've been to (I counted those we'd driven through, even if we didn't stop), and it generates a map with red for where you've been and green where you haven't.

Where I've been:

map of where I've been in the US
create your own visited states map or write about it on the open travel guide

[Edit: I saved a copy of the dynamically generated image and uploaded it to my server, for posterity's sake. That's the image you're now seeing.]

Life05:02 PM - Strange day

We got enough ice Sunday morning thru Sunday afternoon (well, snow on top of ice), that the roads were still a mess this morning. I knew they would be, so last night before bed I sent my team lead a note that I'd have to play it by ear because of the road conditions. (My car, a Toyota Corolla, doesn't drive well on ice and slush; it's too light and doesn't have the thick-treaded tires.) I decided to try and leave around... 8:15 this morning, thinking it won't be too bad, since by then the main road our street connects to looked in better shape than it had the night before.

However, even though it was passable (yucky, but passable), the road I have to make a left on 50 feet ahead, and drive all the way to work sucked. It was horrible. I took the left turn at maybe 10mph, probably more like 7. And even then I could feel my car trying to slide a bit. And I could feel my car wanting to slide once I was straight on at 20mph. And, of course, this road isn't particularly straight. I said the hell with it, and decided it wasn't worth a potential wreck just to get to work -- I don't have anything I'm working on that has a deadline of OMG WE NEED IT NOW!!!!1111 So I turned into the nearest side street -- carefully -- and waited a good 5 minutes or more to make my left to turn around. Then I came home and nosed into the driveway so any plows that may decide later to do our street could go through better (and they did, once). My appearance at the door was a bit to J's surprise, hehe.

After I sent another email to my boss saying I'd given up on it (no idea if he came in either, for that matter -- I'm sure those on our team who could work from home, probably did), I joined J downstairs to watch the bonus disc for the Indiana Jones box set. (We'd watched all three movies yesterday.) I ended up napping during a good amount of it, not because it was boring, I was just tired. Then J moved to another couch so I wasn't crowding him, and started up his Suikoden 3 game. Around 2 I woke up and J asked me if I was hungry. So we went in his (much heavier) car to Penn Station, after I moved my car out of the way, then backed into the garage. The roads were much improved then, but certainly not in good condition either; I was glad not to be driving.

Since then I've read all my comics for the day, and then decided to install Firebird finally. It's... interesting so far. I haven't yet decided whether I like it. What's interesting, though, is that if a bookmarked site has a favicon, it shows them in the bookmarks. Probably something that's been in Mozilla for a while, as I know I'm behind the times in regards to that, but it's new to me. Then I imported my Netscape 7 bookmarks and proceeded to clean 'em out. What I really ought to do now is save my Netscape 7 bookmark file elsewhere (or rename to .old or something) and then copy these over, because I've done a ton of housecleaning with them, and organizing. It's much improved. And I haven't yet decided whether I want to switch to Firebird yet or not, so it'd be nice to have them updated in both. (A potential switch from Netscape's mail to Thunderbird will probably prove more difficult, because of moving mail -- the easiest part -- and not having some mail in one and some in the other.)

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, January 23, 2004

Blog Questionnaires12:48 PM - The Friday Five

At this moment, what is your favorite...
  1. ...song?
    I couldn't give you one, even at the moment. There are just so many! :p Probably something by Tori Amos, the Cranberries, or Billy Joel.
  2. ...food?
    Ooh. Um... well, there's mint chocolate chip ice cream and things made with it (malts, shakes, sundaes, etc.), good medium-rare to medium steaks, pasta...
  3. ...tv show?
    Well, the only one I make a point to watch and keep up with is 24. So I guess that would qualify.
  4. ...scent?
    Scent? Scent? I'm not sure I have one. For my bath products, my two faves right now that I have are Black Tea and Honey body wash and lotion by a company called Shadow and Light, and Coconut Lime Verbenna body wash and lotion from Bath & Body Works. As far as other scents (just about everything in the world has some sort of smell, after all), I don't know what would truly win out, even on any given day.
  5. ...quote?
    Don't have one. But I could give you the ones I have in my forum signature (all from fellow forumites):
    I mean, it's cruel to eat a head of lettuce that was just sitting on the ground. At least the cow had a chance to run.
    -- Phantom
    Until then, unclench those buttcheeks and pull out that piece of coal. My wife's already got a diamond ring.
    -- Fry
    I'm the grand marshal of my own private pee parade.
    -- Airsick Moth

Wednesday, January 21, 2004

Life08:48 AM - Too early

So, this week starting Tuesday, J has his student teaching and has to leave by 6:40am. Now that's about 10 minutes after I'd usually set my alarm to get to work at 8. Knowing I'm not an incredibly sound sleeper, I figured I'd probably wake up when his alarm went off, then doze off and on until mine went off anyway. Instead, I decided I'd try and get up before he does so I could be done in the shower and such, and then be ready to leave about when he leaves. The good to that is that instead of leaving work at 4:30, I can leave at 3:30, and that I get to park in the garage for a change. The bad is having to get up earlier, and go to sleep sooner. Not to mention, it's January so the sun is only just starting to come up visibly when I pull into the parking lot. (It's also nice that since we're both up, I no longer have to get dressed and such in the dark.)

Yesterday, I got up with my alarm at 5:30, and finished in the shower just as J was finishing shaving in the other bathroom. We'd turned out the light around 10:30, so I wasn't too terribly tired. Last night, after rather intense disappointment at 24 being preempted by the State of the Union Address :p (I'd known it was coming up, but I didn't know what night -- and yes, I'm well aware of the irony of being pissed at something important interrupting a fictional show, especially a show pretending to be about important things)... Huh, incomplete sentence, that last one was. However, it's too long to fix. Aanyway... last night, I read in front of the TV while watching some forensics show on Court TV, then falling asleep on the couch to wake up to the super loud Law & Order opening theme song at 10, I went to bed. J was already dozing off, but had left my lamp on. I got ready for bed and after he woke up for a few minutes to cuddle and stuff, I turned out the light.

This morning, in spite of having gone to sleep earlier than the night before, I was quite groggy when my alarm went off. It could've had something to do with the fact I was smack in the middle of a dream. So I decided that since we have karate class tonight anyway, I'd just hold off the shower until tonight, and stay in bed a little longer. I figured I'd get up at 5:45 or so... I looked at the clock at 5:40 and planned on lying there 5 minutes more, when the next thing I knew, J's alarm was going off at almost 6 (his clock's a couple minutes fast). Oops. But no big deal, I had plenty of time to wet my hair with the shower head as I'd planned, before he'd be in there for his shower. So that was good.

It is nice to get to actually eat breakfast at home in the morning, instead of having to grab a fruit bar or Poptarts go bring with me to eat at my desk. But I don't know how long I can last getting up so early. It would've been easier had this started during daylight savings time, because the days are longer and the sun's already starting to come up that early. But in January, where it's cold as hell outside, and it's dark, it's not so easy.

*yawn*

Monday, January 19, 2004

Life02:55 PM - Really cold

I know it's not as cold here, by a long shot, as it is in upper New England and eastern Canada (they're a lot colder, and apparently colder than usual too). However, it's still bad when you have to first force your door handle up (after it unlocked just fine), then pry your door open slowly. Then you find out it pried open because the ice holding the rubber seal of the bottom of the door, was stronger than what was holding the seal attached to the door. :( I pressed it back in place as best I could (there was still about 1/4 of it attached properly), but it's probably still loose and not attached right. Whoops... then again, how else was I supposed to get in? I don't have a hatchback anymore, otherwise I'd just unlock the trunk and climb in that way, as those locks never freeze and I've never had the seal freeze either (I used to have a hatchback -- one of the few really good things about that POS car).

It was... about 10-12 degrees F this morning, with a windchill around -5F. Too damn cold! Though I suppose I shouldn't bitch too much, since it's been a pretty mild winter for the most part. And it is still January. But damn, it's cold.

Friday, January 16, 2004

This site05:57 PM - Revised another theme

I finished with the new cherries themes (both regular and large font versions) and those have now been switched over. I personally think they're noticably better than the old ones. If you really, really liked the old one let me know and I'll put it back up as additional theme choices.

Blog Questionnaires09:21 AM - The Friday Five

  1. What does it say in the signature line of your emails?
    Hmm... it depends on which email account you're talking about. :) At work, it has my name, system I work on, email address, and work phone number. My ISP email account, which I rarely use, may or may not have a signature. My other accounts have my name and email listed at the bottom, plus the link to my website. The only difference, is for my Cadre help email address (I'm a Crosswinds Cadre member, and we have a form to pick one of the members based on what you need help on, and send a question to 'em). Instead of my real name, I use my Cadre pseudonym (playfulkitten) as it's listed on the form.
  2. Did you have a senior quote in your high school yearbook? What was it? If you haven't graduated yet, what would you like your quote to be?
    HAhahahaha!! HS was long enough ago (I graduated in '95) that I don't even remember if we had one or not. I really have no idea. I'd have to go dig out my old senior yearbook and see if it says, which I'm not going to bother doing.
  3. If you had vanity plates on your car, what would they read? If you already have them, what do they say?
    Well, the fun ones would probably get screened out ;) . But, um... I dunno yet. Since I do a lot of programming I'd probably make it be something to do with that. Maybe my AIM name, JAVAGAL or something. Hadn't really thought a lot about it. 2SCRIPT maybe... or SUX2BU heehee.
  4. Have you received any gifts with messages engraved upon them? What did the inscription say?
    I got a little ceramic piano music box from my highschool sweetheart with an inscription... "We make beautiful music together." or something very close to it. I still have it, as it's quite lovely, but I don't put it out on display since we're not together anymore, and it was a rather personal gift.
  5. What would you like your epitaph to be?
    What a morbid question. I've no clue. I'd imagine my headstone will have my name and DOB & DOD on it, but I haven't given a lick of thought to any text. Should I?

Thursday, January 15, 2004

Life10:11 AM - Sleepy!

I hate it when I oversleep. My alarm went off at 6:30am, and I was going to lie back for a few minutes... next thing I know it's a few after 7. And even then, it didn't occur to me that this was bad; I dozed another 5 minutes or so. Then, there was the rare instance of Pele being on the bed at that time of morning, and petting her made her lovey, so I pet her for a good five minutes.

In spite of all that, I managed to get a much-needed shower in (had a very sweaty karate class last night), and still only be 5 minutes late to work. Heh, good thing I live close. (And no, I didn't speed recklessly -- too much traffic to even attempt that.) But I'm still all tired and muddle-headed. I definitely could've used another couple hours' sleep. Ah well, I'll try and get to bed earlier tonight. We have an instructors' meeting for class, but we should still be home before 10. Unless I'm totally and inexplicably wired, I'm fairly sure I'll be going to bed not too long after that. (Or if we're home by 8:30, I'll probably stay up another hour & a half or so, then read a little, then hopefully be asleep before 11.)

It also looks like the plans of viewing Saturn straight above us tomorrow evening (with a telescope even), and my dad getting pictures of it, aren't gonna happen. They're talking rain tomorrow, especially tomorrow evening, and all clouds. Tonight would probably work better, if the clouds haven't built yet. I might ask my dad at the end of the meeting whether he wants to drag the telescope out tonight for a quick peek.

*fights urge to fall asleep on keyboard*

Monday, January 12, 2004

Life11:45 AM - Exercising again

Our treadmill was delivered, set up, and tested on Friday. That was cool. I was too tired that night to be interested in more than just looking at it and messing with it a little bit. Then, I slept in really long Saturday and was all outta kilter. So, I ended up using it for the first time Sunday.

Let me tell ya, those workout programs it has are for people who're at least a little bit already in shape, and except for the first one seem to be geared for people who like to jog or run. I walk. I don't run unless I'm being chased and think I can get away. When I have kids, I'd run if it would save them from harm. That's about it. So I tried the first program. It said it went up to an 8.0 incline, and 4mph. Yeah, right, me with my 26" or so inseam, walk 4mph? Sure... But I turned it on and went with it until then. Sure enough, that was nearing that awkward walk vs. run changeover, so I brought it down to 3.6 (the previous setting before it got to 4 was 3.5). It maintained that for a good while, periodically upping the incline. It then dropped the incline a bit, then dropped the speed. Shortly after that, I had to stop it to tie my shoe, and found you have to hit start twice to get it to resume the program.

I spent something like 20 minutes cooling down from that, then went and just set it to manual at 3mph for a half hour (didn't set the speed, just walked that long). A few minutes before that pointed I lowered the speed a couple times at intervals so I wouldn't go from 3mph to 0 in seconds. :)

Now I just have to keep this up 5 or 6 days out of the week. No problem, right? ;)

whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, January 08, 2004

Exercise02:30 PM - New treadmill

Our treadmill should be delivered tomorrow. I'm very excited. :) I can't wait to try it out. I'm hoping to get into a routine with it and the hand weights we got a couple months ago. I plan to work on that upper body strength as well as my heart, lungs, and losing all that excess fat.

Technical10:52 AM - Glitch in the system

For some strange reason, all LJ entries starting with #65 don't work quite right. I noticed it after I'd added over 70. Instead of ?skip=70 (I have it set to show 10 entries per page), it starts with entry 65... Setting it to any number after that still starts it with post #65.

I'm going to try adding a bunch more entries (this one at the front, plus several more to the back) to see if it keeps happening. If it does, that would mean that anything past 75 posts would never be accessible except by the Archives view. Not a good thing. If it doesn't fix itself (and I mean for real, not after 75 posts having the same problem but only with #75 instead of 65), I'm going to figure out who at LiveJournal to email and ask what gives.

Edit: After I get past the 75 entry mark, the Previous Page link goes to the specific days' posts (right now, October 3) for the day the first non-shown post shows. I'm gonna have to find an active LJ with lots of posts and see if it behaves this way as well.

Edit the 2nd: Yep, mine isn't the only one. It's just a behavior of LJ, I guess. I don't know why it works that way, especially since it seems like it'd more difficult to make it behave that way, but whatever. No more complaining from me I guess.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, January 06, 2004

Life10:16 AM - Brand spanking new (read: I caved)

So... I manage my own website that's primarily my weblog, but has more than a smidgen of other stuff. However, I've found rather a few friends on the PVPForums who have LiveJournals, and I've occasionally had the urge to comment but couldn't. So, when I heard that invite codes were going away, I thought it might be a nice idea to get an account and kind of mirror my blog entries there. Added to that, I actually had a pressing need to rant one night and couldn't, on the slim to rare off chance that the particular person I wanted to rant about would read it. Nope, not talking about my husband. It would be too much of a pain in the ass to set up a login system on my site just so I could, on rare occasion, rant on things and only allow xyz logged in people to read it.

The plan is, any entry I make on my site will be made on the LJ as well. There are even tools for the CMS system I use, MovableType, that will send a post to your LiveJournal account as well, so in the future I'll probably be looking into that, rather than using copy and paste. :) Commenting here vs. there will be separate, of course, since there's definitely no real way of porting one set over to the other.

I'm kind of hoping I'll draw more people to my site this way, a spider hopes to draw flies into its web. ;) And if people stop reading there in favor of here, I guess I may find that ideal, though not enough to really care. But I get the benefit of reaching more people with my whining, plus being able to read and comment on my friends' journals as well. It'll probably stay a free acount, because it's just a mirror pretty much and not my main thing (though I'd love to be able to use the Component layout; it's by far the nicest one I've seen in the previews). I'll be attempting to put at least a year's worth or so of my past blog archives in there, but that will definitely take some doing because I don't think any of the MT plugins for LJ actually will send in past items. But I'll start with the most recent, and work my way back. So for a while you'll see lots more entries being added there, but all or most before this one. I'll add them as long as I can possibly stand and not get totally burned out of it, and that'll be it. Wanna read even older crap? Visit my website. :)

Edit: Changed the wording above so it made more sense... I had just done a copy/paste from the LJ entry, and of course that made absolutely no sense reading it here on the website. So that's fixed. If you actually read through every single archive entry comparing between the two, there will be a few wording changes, plus a couple posts missing from LJ 'cause they only talk about this site in its context, and it would've been a total rewrite and/or not made sense even after a rewrite. So they got skipped.

Monday, January 05, 2004

Exercise Life Technical04:41 PM - Post holiday update

Once the holidays rolled around, I didn't really have much time to spend online, or when I did, I spent it playing computer games and other such things. So I've saved up a lot to talk about over the last couple weeks. It's going to be rather disjointed and not much in order, and basically whatever I come up with next in my head. I could have made multiple posts for multiple topics, but I'd rather just do the one all at once, otherwise I'll forget stuff.

Let's see... we went to J's parents' house the night of Christmas Eve, and hung out there with his family until mid afternoon Christmas Day. That was fun -- sometimes it's good when you can't come up with anything to tell people doing Christmas shopping for you, because then you're truly surprised. And of course, his family's very good at picking gifts for people. J's baby sister was absolutely adorable. We all got into our stockings first, and as is Santa's wont he gave us all toothbrushes. Elizabeth found hers, and would not open a single present until she'd brushed her teeth. The first gift she opened was a cute little toy vacuum cleaner that made noises and talked a bit. She absolutely insisted on vacuuming the whole kitchen (it doesn't really suck, but I don't think she knows that, hehe) until it was clean, before returning to open anything else. So cute! Two year olds may be active and hard to keep up with, but she sure is a doll.

Let's see... we came spent Christmas evening at my grandparents' house with them and my parents. We all go to talk to my sister on speaker phone when she called later, so that was cool. Then around 10:30 my aunt and uncle who live relatively in town came by for dessert and to hang out, which was also good. All things considered, my uncle looked fairly well.

~~~~~

We ordered two heatsink/fan combos from NewEgg. We got the Aerocool Glacier set, which was Socket A in order to fit both our AMD processors and came well reviewed and recommended. (It also happens to have blue lights in the fan, but that was definitely not a limitation or consideration one way or the other.) In putting his on, J's computer failed to do anything at all afterwards. As far as he could tell, he'd done everything right -- carefully removed the old one, wiped off the processor with a tissue to get any old thermal paste off; very, very thinly applied new thermal paste (this time, Arctic Silver), spreading it paper thin with one of my sewing needle; and after much difficulty clipped the new combo on. Apparently, either his mobo was already having issues on top of which this was the last straw, or he managed to touch something while not grounded to the metal case that silently zapped something. Either way, the general corner of the mobo that includes the CPU was getting no power at all.

I was a little worried when it came to mine, but I really needed some temperature reduction, and my dad was already over from inspecting J's computer (and pronouncing it DOA), so he helped me change mine over. Also, he broke off a smallish fin of plastic from the bottom of the case's face to improve front air flow (it couldn't suck anything from the bottom before that, and the teensy air vent holes in the front were far too small). The last I'd used Motherboard Monitor without the help of CPUIdle cooling things off, my computer idled at 125-128 degrees F (CPUIdle got it down to 98 when it was only idling; it wasn't much help, of course, with anything remotely intensive). So now, with no CPUIdle running to cool the PC, I was now idling at 107. Big drop! He had me fire up the old install of Norton Utilities (think 4 years old or more) and run the Speed Disk. It does a lot of computational stuff before actually moving stuff around (it's basically a whizbang disk defrag), so it's something that really would've driven the temperature up before (though I dunno how much). It went up to a whole 114, I think. I also fired up a game that could get it to hover around 138 (a couple degrees below where my comp would freeze), and it hardly made a dent -- 112, if I remember right.


J and I went to a place called JB Tech to get him a new motherboard, and he decided (rightly so, if you ask me) to go with a near top of the line board and CPU. He got an A7N8X-E Deluxe motherboard with builtin video, sound, Gigabit ethernet, and modem, and an AMD 2600 2.13GHz chip, along with new 333MHz DDR RAM (2 256MB sticks). He just recently bought an awesome video card -- a GeForce 5700 -- so he's using that instead of the onboard video, but the builtin soundcard was the same quality as his old one, so he's using that, plus the builtin ethernet card is better than the one he had before. He also got a new case with better airflow. So except for HDDs, peripheral drives, monitor, etc., he has a brand spanking new computer that is quite schway. It runs quite cool now, and he's no heat issues at all. (It helps that the chip is cooler than the near-thermonuclear Thunderbird 800MHz he had before, but the case and the fans and the heatsink/fan all contribute greatly as well.)

While we were there, I decided to further maximize my airflow and cooling and buy a new case. Initially I was shown the case J ended up getting. It was cool, but I wanted something roomier inside because of all the damn cables bunched up everywhere blocking the airflow, and it had little if any more room than the one I had (probably better airflow though, at least somewhat). Also, it only had 1 USB port in front and had no reset button (only on/off). I ended up getting one by Antec that has way more room than necessary, but that I'm quite pleased with. Two front USB ports, firewire for when I get a mobo that supports it, two fans in back besides the power supply (I bought it without one, since I'd just gotten one some months back that should last me a few years), plus room to put a couple fans in front (one just for the HDD unit). There was a separate HDD area the same size as the 3.5" floppy drive section, so that I could (a) have a fan just for them, and (b) spread them out. (In my original case I'd been fine with just one HDD and a floppy, but then the 2nd HDD had to be crammed in between the two with no airspace in between.) What's neat, is the fans get to snap in rather than having to screw them into anything, without doing anything to modify the standard 80mm fan. So I took the additional back fan I'd bought for the old case, and the front fan that'd come with it, and stuck them in the front of the new one. There's also a place to screw in a fan in the side of the case, but I left that empty. :)

The case has a half-door in front that conceals the drive bays, and a little flip up door for the two USB ports and the firewire port. The side of the case is clear, and comes off and gets put on very easily. Two thumb screws hold it in (Yea!! no screwdriver!!!), and then it has a side handle that works a latch that holds it snapped in place. The side door is mostly clear so you can see without opening the case whether a fan has stopped, etc. It's about a half inch narrower than my case (I think), but quite a bit taller. It's no deeper though, so it slides back on the desk just as far.


We ordered a treadmill on New Year's Day. We got it and the 5 year service agreement for the regular price of the thing, and it's going to be delivered on the 9th. It's got a fan that blows on you, actual thick metal springs for longer lasting and better step cushioning, places to put your hands so it'll measure your heart rate, several different programs, quick adjustment of pace and elevation, etc. It has a 2.5 HP engine, and a 19" (I think) wide belt. Delivery was only $40 (and how the hell were we gonna get one home anyway??) and they'll not just bring it to your doorstep but also take it in, put it where you want it, set it up, and make sure it all works. This way we don't have to try and go somewhere (including signing up) to run or walk, or do it outside in all weather. And while walking is pretty good for you and not too bad on your knees and whatnot, regardless of being on something soft or on pavement, it's pretty bad for you to run on pavement, so J can run on this without screwing up his knees or anything else. No waiting for nice weather, or a treadmill to open up at a paid workout place, and no having to go anywhere at all except downstairs.


J officially gave me the Indiana Jones DVD box set. (I knew I was getting it, but he waited till Christmas and wrapped it and stuff.) We're gonna watch all those at once some time soon. I gave J his Suikoden 3, which he knew about, and The Complete Issues of Farside two volume set of books, which he didn't know about. He loves it so far. :) Whole thing together weighs 20 friggin pounds! I also got it for my dad, because he's a pretty big fan, and he likes it. Imagine getting a long flat box with both of them in there! Heavy box, for sure. (They were laid side by side, rather than stacked.) We got a few DVDs from my sister -- I'll have to look to remember exact titles and such -- that I can't wait for us to watch. They're all really cool, I'm just bad with titles. ;) My sister's happy, 'cause she got a TV/DVD player combo for Christmas. The TV she has is probably, I dunno, 30 or more years old, and likes to turn itself off and on at whim. Plus, no remote -- dial only. So now she has a "real" TV :) and can also play DVDs now, so if she wants to borrow one she doesn't have to watch it at a friend's house if she doesn't want to.


I really enjoyed having time off from work. I didn't get a whole helluva lot done, but I got lots of family visiting time, both J's and mine, and got a lot of nice happy down time and sleeping in.


In cleaning up the computer room, I decided that since I was no longer using my computer as a temp server (to upload fresh MovableType blog updates when the server I was on was pissy and wouldn't run MT) it was going to go downstairs so I could free up some table space. (I got a huge heavy-duty steel & hard plastic table to replace the desks... 6 feet long, 28-30 or so inches high, about 28" deep.) I unplugged it all, and took each bit downstairs. The tower and monitor are sitting up on this shelf/desk unit thingy left by the previous owners (that room had been her computer room and study), and the keyboard, mouse, speakers, and a couple wires & such are in the fold open shelf space below it. Though I doubt our basement will ever flood (it's a finished basement, and there's no evidence of basement flooding, which I imagine is more noticable in a basement with carpeting, paint on the walls, drywall, etc., than it is in a bare concrete basement), it's up on things that way so it'll still work if I want to fire it up again. But for now, it's retired. All I have left to do is unplug the battery backup from the wall and store it (that, I may keep upstairs in case we have a use for it; it may also go downstairs for when J wants to have his comp down there to play emu games, etc.).

After I freed up that space, I went shopping. Went up to Jamestown Mall and started with Sears and worked around to Famous Barr, JCPenney Outlet, and Dillards. I was looking for some small, preferably stackable, shelves to put on the table for the printer to sit up on and for my other stuff to be organized on. Initially I didn't find anything, though I did buy a package of 14 clamp-on rings for the drapes we bought for the front room for less than $1.50. :) Better to put on than the sharp kind you actually push through the fabric.

Anyway, I was looking for those, as well as thinking of buying some lowrise jeans, as I've only now discovered the comfort of them. (I hadn't even tried 'em before, because I don't want my belly hanging out and all that. I played Janis Joplin in a murder mystery dinner thingy, and had some hiphugger -- lowrise in the new terminology -- bell bottoms as part of the costume, bought at a 2nd hand store in The Loop, and while I don't care for bells, the pants were pretty comfy. More to come on the costume thing later.) I ordered a bunch of lowcut panties from Victoria's Secret which should arrive in around a week, so I could actually have some to wear under lower cut jeans (lowrise jeans with cotton or satin briefs just doesn't work at all, and I'm not into the thong peeking over the waistband look). So I also went around looking for jeans. All the department stores had was either the wrong size or that ugly muddied look, which sucks copious amounts of ass IMO. (If I want dirty ass jeans, I'll roll around in the muck and go caving myself!!) I finally bought a pair at Express, which had its jeans on sale for reasonable prices for a change (no way I'm paying $50-70+ bucks on a fucking pair of jeans!!). I bought a single pair there that actually fit, wasn't totally browned, wasn't flared or belled, and weren't too extra long. If I'd been thinking, I would've looked for a Gap, but I also have gift cards for them that I'd like to bring with me anyway, so I may still do that.

I also got two skirts from JCPenney for less than $50, one dressier and one casual. Plus, I bought two shirts on sale at Express.

I finally found shelving in Sears. It was in a section for closet organization. They're not wood or anything, but rather metal, but they're working out well. I bought two stackable 2-shelf units that are roughly 4 feet tall all stacked together. Each shelf can hold 200 lbs! It's on top of the table though, so I won't be putting that much weight on them. (The table bows towards the middle, so there's a slant even at the left edge, so it's nice these things have adjustable leveler feet, so I could lengthen the two legs towards the inside of the desk to have the actual shelfs not be tipping at all.) I also bought a 30 inch wide two shelf rack that's shown used as a shoe rack (nonslanted shelves though). It puts together really easily, by just sliding the grooves on the edges of the shelves over flattened bars on the sides. Can't pick it up by the shelves that way though, hehe. :) It stretches from about 18 inches in from the right edge of my table, over to the top of J's file cabinet -- they're the same height, and I couldn't free up 30 more inches of space, even with the previous set of shelves turned sideways on the table. It now holds the printer on the desk side (as far to the edge as possible so as not to stress the shelf too much -- it didn't say how much weight it could hold). The printer paper is underneath, and the phone is on top next to the printer.

~~~~~

I said I'd talk about the costume thing. J's aunts and uncles and cousins from both Wisconsin and New Jersey were in for a few days to either side of New Year's, so his parents decided to throw a murder mystery party. It was a celebrity thing, set in 1961, and everyone was given a celeb to play with costume suggestions. It was held on the evening of the 30th, and we found out afternoon of the 27th. I consulted my parents, and my sister suggested heading to the Loop to look for some shops that would carry clothing and such from that time period. So on the 29th my mom pulled up a site with pictures of her for us to peruse, then she drove us down and we walked around a bit. We ended up in a great shop called Rag-O-Rama that sells used clothes. They had all kinds of stuff there! We first found jeans, and I tried on two pairs. The first was neat, and was a better length for me, but the second was a little roomier in the thighs so I bought those. Then, I tried on shirt after shirt. Either they didn't fit, weren't really right, or fit badly. I finally found one to take home. My mom found some neat stuff for herself and my sister, as well. And you can't beat the prices -- I got the jeans for $14.50 and the shirt for $6! Added to that, I borrowed an old pair of my mom's sandals, her authentic fringed tie-on leather belt, and a roundish pair of blue-tinted sunglasses. Then I just blowdried my hair straighter and on the messy side.

Let me see if I can remember all the other characters... Bruce Lee, Elvis, Rita Hayworth, Fred Astaire, Patsy Cline, Lucille Ball, Marilyn Monroe, John Wayne aka The Duke, Bob Marley, ... shoot, I can't remember two celeb names. Plus, there was the ghost of the dead guy, a bat, and the sheriff, forensics inspector, and lawyer for the dead guy. THe sheriff and forensics inspector were played by J's stepdad, and his mom played the lawyer. If I come up with the other two celeb characters I'll add 'em. :) So it was very interesting with everyone's costumes and such. The only odd thing was that the killer didn't know he did it -- absolutely no one knew who the killer was, and at the end everyone had to guess. Those who guessed right got prizes, plus there were prizes for best costume. It was a lot of fun, and surprising to find out who the killer was. :)

I have found that lowrise jeans are quite comfortable, except one thing -- I'm not used to all the extra draft when I sit down or bend over. I checked in a mirror, and I actually am not technically showing any cheek when I bend over, but it sure feels like it. I kept wanting to pull those jeans up all night! But, other than that it's quite nice not to have pants all the way up on my waist. And J certainly approves. :p But I have a good 10 pairs of panties coming that can be worn under them, so that'll work.

That's all for now. I'm sure I'll come up with a bunch more, but I'm sick of typing! :D

whining no longer being accepted

Saturday, January 03, 2004

Blog Questionnaires04:04 AM - The Friday Five

What one thing are you most looking forward to...

  1. ...today?
    Well, I'd been looking forward to a new case for myself, as well as J being able to run his computer again (his motherboard died, so we headed down to a place called JB Tech to get him a new case, motherboard, and CPU). Both our expectations were happily met, though my new front USB ports wouldn't hook up right, because apparently the online manual for my motherboard has incorrect instructions on hooking them up.
  2. ...over the next week?
    Well, a few things. Getting my front USB ports working, for starters. Also, installing and playing the game Uru that I got for Christmas. If I'm lucky, my Secret Santa gift will arrive some time this week. And we're getting our treadmill delivered from Sears on the 9th.
  3. ...this year?
    J's and my second anniversary (I'm hoping to go back to VT where we honeymooned); J finishing school and finding a teaching job; my uncle's cancer going in to remission (it's not expected to happen, but one can hope); renewed motivation for me at work (I suspect having this almost two weeks off will help); losing 20-30 pounds.
  4. ...over the next five years?
    Having a child or two; new cars for the both of us (though J will hopefully get one within the year); probably significant computer upgrades for me; a few raises at work.
  5. ...for the rest of your life?
    Finish having children (hopefully only two, hehe); having grandchildren to spoil; retirement; world travel.
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