Thursday, June 17, 2004

Exercise This site07:15 PM - Site addition

I added another section to my site. It's a sort of weightloss journal, wherein I keep track of the sleep I get, food I eat, and exercise I get, plus measurements and weight, each day. I just mention it 'cause while I added it to the site nav, I figure that probably went unnoticed.

I started it as part of a commitment to a Weightloss Challenge started on the forums by CarterBoe. It was suggested by more than a couple people, I think, that it's a good idea to keep a journal to keep track of progress, see trends and room for improvement, etc. I figure it couldn't hurt, and it wasn't too hard to set it up with MT. The original thread, plus another thread listing participants and their goals (a few are looking for a weight increase via added muscle mass, rather than to lose weight) as well as a separate "progress pictures" type thread started by another participant, are all linked so you can get a better idea of it if you want. I'm not really participating full swing till I get back; I can be a better challenge buddy when I actually have internet access, and my potential buddy is already aware of it (and will be gone for a similar timeframe anyway). Until then I'm just sort of drifting.

Life07:00 PM - General update

First of all, thanks to everyone who offered me well-wishes in any form, whether it be over the internet in some avenue or in person, or both. They really did help, believe me, and were very much appreciated. Yesterday was a difficult day, but we got through it.

Second, just to those know who don't already, J and I are going on a vacation back to Vermont for our 2nd anniversary that's coming up a week from this past Tuesday. We're leaving early tomorrow morning (I don't like having to get to the airport at 5:30 or 6am for a 7am flight, but it's what was available), and won't be back until a week from this Sunday (also an early flight). I'm not expecting any internet access, since we'll be in a very small town staying at the Inn we stayed at for our honeymoon. (I'm only slightly apprehensive; it's under new management, fairly recently by my impressions, and I'm sure it'll be great. I just liked the two innkeepers from two years ago so much that I'm slightly sad it won't be them again.)

Kitties, plants, pool, etc., will all be taken care of by my parents, and if we're lucky my mom'll take us to the airport (against her will, her body decided shortly after she quit smoking that she was going to now be a morning person). If not we'll spring for the longterm parking. It's not a direct flight this time -- apparently those aren't happening at all, since the ones we had two years ago we got no more in advance than these, though they were more $$$ -- but there's only one layover each way, and they're both fairly short -- a 35 minute one headed there and a 50 minute one headed back. As long as the first half isn't running late we should be good -- I don't imagine the Detroit airport is as big as the one in Dallas or LAX, or I'm hoping anyway.

I'll have to ask my dad about the planes though; the ones used between here & Detroit will be DC9s, which is a decent sized plane, but the ones between Detroit and Burlington are CRJs, and I don't know what kind of plane that is at all. At least Burlington isn't a puddle-jumper airport (it seems the other two in VT -- yes, there are two others! -- are that type), so we shouldn't be stuck with the livestock. :p

Now, for a shower so I can get unstinkified so we can have dinner. I'm starvin'!

Edit: Oh yeah, and I now have two more plants to care for, both from the funeral. One is a pink snap dragon, that was given to my mom, dad, sister, husband, and me (that's whose names were on it). Since it needed to be planted, that ruled out my sister. My dad looked at me and said, "You know, this has a lot better chance of survival with you than it does us." Of course, that's still a tenuous survival chance at best, but I guess he's right since I do have other flowers I'm paying attention to anyway. So I asked at the hardware store garden center today how to take care of it (full sun, keep the soil moist but not drowning, etc. -- much the same as the dusty miller I hadn't planted yet, so half that went into one of the plant pots with the snap dragon in the middle).

The other is a big, big, huge indoor plant -- not sure what it is (I didn't recognize the name so I promptly forgot it 10 seconds after I was told :p ). Not a peace lily, I don't think. It's got these 2' long (I shit you not) leaves that start opening from stalks into leaves within 6" of coming out of the dirt, then sort of gracefully arc up and down again. The whole thing's a pretty deep green. There were 3 total living plants (as opposed to flower arrangements), and I was asked if I wanted one (I guess they had to find homes for 'em all) and told it was the lowest maintenance of them. Basically, just keep it watered (watch for droopy leaves) and put it in a room that gets some sun but it doesn't have to get a ton of it. And if we water the heck out of it before we leave it should last just fine for at least 8 days with no attention while we're gone. It's now sitting on the end of our spare diningroom table in the sun room or whatever (the added room behind the garage) since we aren't using the table to eat at, and that room gets the most sun by far of any of the rooms in the house. The cats have apparently been OK around it, only sniffing the heck out of it last night when it was still on the floor, so we probably don't have to move it to a room that has a closeable door.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, June 15, 2004

Rants08:45 AM - Well that was fucking pointless

We've all got to take... again... this stupid fucking 4 hour long ethics training, all because some VP fucked up recently in hiring a government worker who had a conflict of fucking interest. So all us lowly peons somehow need a reminder to be fucking ethical. A four hour reminder. We already did this once, and it was just as useless then. Either employees are ethical and don't do shit they're not supposed to do (insider trading, using the competition's private data, etc.), or they're not and already do it. And yeah, there is some grey area to be covered, but we already cover it in other specific, required training. Four hours of waiting for your ass to go numb isn't going to make a goddamn difference.

So anyhow, we're doing this again. And it looks like they might force us all to do this annually for the forseeable future. Goodie. And the training sessions for our buildings are tomorrow. The memorial service for my grandmother is tomorrow. You can guess which is more important to me. However, the goddamn four hour ethics training is required, and cannot be missed. Which means making another session, in another goddamn building somewhere.

So I decided to go to the 8am to noon one in the former HQ building auditorium. I left my desk between 7:45 and 7:50, and got to the parking lot at 8. Later than I wanted to be, but not too bad, I figured people'd still be strolling in (any time we have a department-wide meeting in our cafeteria, people are usually straggling in up to 10 minutes late). I get parked, and ask where to go for the training at the front desk. She says where, and I head that way and find closed doors. I peek through to see if anyone's in there, since of course there's no label at all whatsoever saying where those doors lead, when a guy approaches me and tells me it's already full. Fuck! Because I didn't get there 15 or 20 fucking minutes early, or some shit, I don't get to go to this session. So I got to head back to my buildings, where I knew I wouldn't have a spot anywhere near them anymore since I'm sure mine disappeared within 2 minutes of my leaving it (our lot is full before 8am, but oh no, there's no parking problem....). I found a spot, and thankfully not behind the water tower. (There's parking all the way around the buildings, but unless you're IBM you can't get in the single entrance back there; you have to walk all the fuck way around, with no fucking sidewalk for half of it. But oh no, there's no fucking parking problem...)

So I wasted a fucking half an hour to basically lose my parking spot, and walk around in parking lots in fucking 80 degree, 90% humidity weather (yes, 80 already at 8am today). That fucking sucks! The guy who told me it was full, thought it was a consolation that there's another afternoon session there. Yeah, from 1pm to 5pm. Fuck that, I'm not staying here 90 fucking minutes extra for this shit. So now I have to find a different session, probably on Thursday, in a different goddamn building I've never been to (at least I'd been to the old HQ building twice or so), and hope that one isn't full. I guess I get to get up early so I can find the building, find parking, and get there before the goddamn thing fills up, since it'll probably be a 7am one I end up at. FUUUUCK!!!

I want to fucking hit something. Nah, fuck that. I want to fucking break something. With my bare fucking hands! x(

whining no longer being accepted

Web Quizzes07:13 AM - Japanese name meme

My japanese name is 坂本 Sakamoto (book of the hill) 三千代 Michiyo (three thousand generations).
Take your real japanese name generator! today!
Created with Rum and Monkey's Name Generator Generator.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Life04:38 PM - She's gone.

My grandmother's gone. :( I was in the bathroom putting my contacts in, when my cellphone vibrated on my hip. It was my dad, calling to tell me. I could tell he was still crying (she may have been his mother-in-law, but he loved her very much -- not the classic "I hate my M-I-L" situation). I couldn't, and still can't to some degree, believe it. We hung up, and I just went in the bedroom crying, and J woke up to it and held me, letting me cry.

The only way I can go through the day is to just not think about it, at all. Which, makes me perfectly able to function as though nothing's wrong, though I didn't go to work, but also makes me feel guilty as well. But it's the only way I'm not going to cry all day long.

I visited my grandfather, mother, and father at my grandparents' house after lunch, until they had to leave to make funeral arrangements. My grandfather seems like he's holding up well under the circumstances, but I imagine it's still hitting him very hard in spite of that. Even though he knew it was coming, they'd still been married for 60 years, and I can't begin to imagine how awful this is for him. And my mom's putting up a brave front too, but I know she's probably hurting a lot. Just... these next few days are going to be so hard.

If those of you who're used to seeing me online don't see much of me, posting here or on IM or in the forums or whatever... it's probably because I don't feel much interest in much social interaction. My husband and others of my family will be enough, and I don't think I can put the effort out there right now to be sociable. Not that I've been posting much anyway, heh, but... yeah, it'll be a few days.

whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, June 10, 2004

Web Quizzes08:14 AM - How big of an asshole are you?

Just catching up on my LJ quizes (well, because I'm catching up on my Friends list).


I may think I am an asshole or a bitch, but the truth is I am a good person at heart. Yeah sure, I can have a mean streak in me, but most of the people I meet like me.

Take the ASSHOLE/BITCH test at

Thursday, June 03, 2004

This site03:43 PM - Another update

I changed the commenting a bit. Not the actual form, but where I used to list what HTML was available. There's now a link instead, which goes to an info page listing all the HTML available, any attributes available for each, etc. Considering how many files I had to edit (I created a mini-header and footer, and added a few things to all the CSS files, plus created the info page itself and created a JS file to do the new window thingy -- which will still fail back if JS is disabled or you don't allow popups) it took only about... I dunno, an hour? 90 minutes? Something like that. Not all at once, since I did other stuff here & there. But that's about it. I must be getting good, or more efficient, or something.

whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, June 02, 2004

This site02:59 PM - Theme changes + new theme complete

The new theme code (using a DB to store 'em, rather than arrays) has now been implemented. You shouldn't notice anything different, but if you find any bugs you know weren't there before, feel free to let me know.

Also, the Grapes theme is now available for use.

Besides that, I've done a few maintenance-type things I've been meaning to do. When you click on the comment link for a post, it jumps you down to either the "post a comment" section if there aren't any comments, or the top of the comments if there are any. Much better, IMO. I took out the commas separating categories when a post is in multiple ones, since they look kinda funny in between the category pics. Next, I plan on changing stuff a bit so that when there's "read more" 'cause I snipped for length or whatever, when you click on the link you go directly to the additional text that hasn't been read yet, rather than just to the top of the post.

Gardening01:09 PM - Fruits, er, flowers, of my labor

I took pictures last night, after I was done planting everything (well, almost... I still have 12 of the 72 impatients -- 36 per flat x 2 flats (for 2 colors) -- that I think I'm going to plant on the other side of the house, but I need more soil). It was starting to get dark, so I had to use good ol' PSP to help me sharpen 'em up, but I think they turned out OK. Click the pics to see bigger (cropped but not resized) versions.

First I planted the hosta and some impatiens between the two yew bushes in front of the main window. The hosta will get bigger, and thus closer to the window and slightly above it, but the cats should still be able to see out it. :)
flowers under the main window

Second, I planted a few more in front of a couple more bushes, behind a few loosely stacked landscaping-type rocks.
flowers by front porch

Then, I still had a huge number of flowers left, so I planted some in the remaining area in the front, between two far-spaced bushes and under/around the Chinese Elm between them.
flowers around elm tree

After that, I'd planted 42 flowers, 21 of each color (neat, huh? neither the 42 nor the exact split were preplanned). That left 30 flowers to plant, and nowhere else I'd already thought of to plant them (I'd not realized they needed to be 9" apart; I'd figured on putting them closer together, forgetting how much bigger they got when I had them in the hanging pots). I had 3 each of the two colors left in a 6-pack, plus 2 more 6-packs of each color. So, I dumped out two of the old hanging pots, split the remaining soil between the two, and put 3 of each color in each pot. J was nice enough to help me find spots for the shepherd's crooks (one had the little sort of L-shaped prong that attached to the main post break off; apparently they're not all that strong, especially after having been exposed to weather a bunch instead of buried in the ground), and I hung 'em up.
hanging pots by backyard oak tree

Of course, that still left me with 2 dozen plants. Where else to put them? J walked around the house with me to figure that out, an noticed there was plenty of space on the terraced area at the opposite corner of the house from the driveway. After clearing that quite a bit (there was a lot thicker woodchip layer to move before finding real dirt), I fit a dozen more plants there.
on terracing at other corner of the house

After all that, I still have a dozen impatiens left, 6 of each. We have more little bushes on the other side of the house (the driveway side) with a very obvious blank spot where there must have been another bush. I'm going to put them there. Howevever, there's a ton of woodchip stuff there, so I'm expecting a few inches of ungrowable matter, and I'm out of soil. So I'm going to buy another bag of soil to replace the woodchip stuff in that section, and probably use some of what's left to raise the level of the impatiens in the hanging pots, since it comes up a good 2 inches short (which will spread them out a bit more from each other, as well).

After that, I get to work on the little mini-terraced area in the backyard by the back porch. It needs better dirt (it too is covered with woodchips, plus quite a few little rocks), and there are supposed to be two levels, but the piece of wood dividing the two sucks and is only a half (lengthwise!) a piece that's of course rotted where it was split. So my mom suggested using the two patio bricks (one on each of those levels -- they look like they're to be used as stepping stones, but I've no idea why they'd be useful there) instead. They won't stretch evenly across, but they don't really need to either; it'll be good enough to separate the levels (though I'll have to bury them pretty deeply if I don't want them to stick up really high), and since I'll be putting some ajuga transplants there in both levels, it doesn't really matter if there's a little take-over-ooze of plants between the two levels. So I'll probably pick up a hose caddy/spindle thing, another bag of dirt, and go over and get some ajuga this afternoon or evening, do the remaining impatiens tonight, and do the ajuga tonight or tomorrow.

Tuesday, June 01, 2004

Life02:49 PM - One more thing...

Oh yeah, and I forgot to mention that I'd love for the tornado sirens not to have to go off anymore for a while. We had nasty weather Tuesday, which resulted in quite a few car dealerships having hail sales (J said it only hailed pinky-tip sized hail at our house), and totally fucked afternoon rushhour with all the traffic lights out and roads & highways flooded over for a while. Then Wednesday sirens went off, and I think at least one or two tornadoes touched down a little south of us (Chesterfield/Creve Coeur reported one, and there was one in Arnold I think). Then there was more bad weather that started the sirens going Thursday, and Sunday. Between all the rain that's flash flooded a lot of places and caused quite high river crests all over, and the tornadic and hail-producing activity of some of these storms, I think we've all had enough for now. Hell, it even rained last night, quite heavily. Thankfully it wasn't anything severe, at least around us; just a little lightning, faint thunder, and lots of water. But they're talking about a chance of more thunderstorms to night, and maybe tomorrow night as well. 'Tis the season, that's for sure.

whining no longer being accepted

Gardening Life This site02:39 PM - General update

Lots of stuff... I've posted 2 quizzes already, but no real updates in a while. So... yeah, this is probably gonna be long. You might want to go to the bathroom first if you need to, maybe grab that sandwich, whatever. Heheh. ;)

Let's see. Well, I've finished my Grapes theme, just haven't launched it yet. I also am just about ready to change the themes code to use the theme entries in the DB. I set it up so that there should be no need for anyone to reset their theme cookie. The only issue was that auto-increment can't be set to start at zero, as far as I know, so while the theme IDs currently are zero-based (the base theme, if specifically chosen, is 0, its large-font counterpart is 1, etc.), the IDs in the database start at 1. So forever and always I'll have code adding or subtracting 1, depending on whether I'm looking at the database ID or the cookie. However, the links for each theme, which will change the theme, already set the cookie to the theme ID minus 1, etc., so you should see no change necessary in the future. Kinda sucks to have to keep that code in there, but no biggie. Oh, and now that the ID and order are separate in the database I can re-order them in the list that displays (and in the alternate stylesheet list) without messing up the cookies. Anyway, I'll probably switch over to it and mention the Grapes theme release at the same time, since I put the Grapes theme in the DB already. That'll be in the next day or two, after I've double-checked the wording on the theme descriptions (the theme-change page will now be able to show descriptions of each, and I may even add little screenshots to go along with 'em -- not sure if I want to add a column to the table or just have to type 'em in manually as part of the description).

That's about all the fiddling here. Oh yeah, and I've added a counter to my Funny Forwards, which is another account just like the counter I switched to for my main site, which I added the same way so I didn't have to worry about which images to pick, whether the damn thing would work the "usual" way, etc. And late last night some shit-for-brains decided he'd be "funny" by adding yucky, infantile comments to 3 different forwards. One was something like "u r stupid bitch" or something (yes, he did use "u r" at the beginning, and "bitch", I just don't remember the rest). Then the other two he made sure to get "dicK" and "penis" into. Sooo amazingly mature, that one...

I saw that this morning, via my email notification, and immediately deleted the stupid things. Then, since they all came from the same IP address I banned it. According to my counter, where he showed up, he was coming through some proxy ( I went there and they seem to provide corporate proxy solutions. (Their selling point to corporations is that somehow they'll make their employees' connections, and thus their personal browsing, happen faster, so that the employers don't lose as much productivity to their employees' personal online activities -- um... if that's an issue, isn't it usually better to tighten down 'net restrictions rather than just giving them a faster connection?) However this person clearly does not have the maturity of an adult. It was probably during afternoon hours, since it's an Australian business and probably provides their services to Australian companies, and his comments showed up late-night my time. However, the user would certainly appear not to be anyone past the age of 14 for all the maturity showed... very interesting to think about the possibilities. (Has someone hired a completely immature adult-in-age-only person working at their company? Does someone who is VO (virtual office) have to use the company proxy, provided by these guys, and let their kid have access to the 'net while using said proxy? Etc...)

Okay, enough of my trivial site exploits and to real-life updates. My grandmother may be on the upswing slightly, but it's early to tell yet. I saw her both Saturday and Monday, and she seemed better Sunday than Thursday, and my grandfather said she was a lot more with-it Friday than she had been in days. Visitors seem to be helping a ton (J saw her Thursday and Sunday and definitely agrees she was better the 2nd time). She's still on the oxygen machine, and may be for quite some time if not permanently. But my aunt and uncle came in to visit (got in from their drive on Saturday morning and left early Sunday afternoon), and she liked that. And my other uncle in Edwardsville has visited often. Plus my great aunt Barbara visited her Monday, which she really liked because she hardly ever sees her in comparison to the others. So that's cheered her a lot.

She's still very weak, and the prednisone she's still on (they're getting her off it since it didn't work, but it's not something you just stop taking all at once) isn't helping the steroid-bloat thing that's not good for circulation. It seems she cares and is with-it, just that she doesn't have the energy to comment on or react to things a lot of the time. While she was on the full amount of prednisone her appetite was huge, but tapering off it (she's at half of it right now) it's gone down the drain, so it's hard to get herself to eat much. My grandfather's doing an amazing job, and I admire his strength. He helps her into the tub, to the bathroom, to the bed, just everything. He's doing all the cooking, which he's been doing for a while now granted, but he's even used to it now. He can push her around in the wheelchair, and get her in and out of it with relative ease (and she's not gaunt and terribly underweight either -- not fat mind you, but she hasn't been wasting away).

I still have hope for her to improve, but I don't know if she'll ever get to the point where she doesn't need a wheelchair to get around or doesn't need oxygen. Maybe she'll get back to where she just needs the little portable oxygen unit that only puffs when she breathes in, instead of the steady flow. I don't know.

As I said, I got to see both my aunt & uncle in NC and my aunt & uncle in Edwardsville. That was good, especially the ones in NC since they're so far away and we don't see them much. We didn't get to see my great aunt for long, but it was still nice to see her.

I'm feeling a small wave of domestication coming on... I bought flowers (impatiens, if you're curious, plus a hosta) for the front yard near the house, between the yew bushes and such. I'm also considering going back to the hardware store for a couple of nice, big, decorative pots for the back porch to put stuff in. J said we could talk to his grandma about bulbs (which are great to put in those). However, I don't want to put just one thing in a pot and have it bloom for a couple weeks and then die off. So if I do that, I'd like to put in stuff that'll either bloom all summer, or different things that'll keep coming back every year but staggered so there's always something blooming in them. Plus, I want to fix up a little terraced area in the backyard and transplant some of my parents' ajuga they're using to cover a steep hillside by their driveway where grass doesn't want to stay put. Mom said I could take some with me to transplant -- it's easy with these I guess -- and then if it ever takes over too much to other parts of the yard I can either pull extras and bring them back for her, or put them elsewhere, or whatever. Sounds so easy. :) But first I want to get a hose spool to put our hose on, rather than using the rusty metal curved hook thingy that's attached to the brick. For one, it'll be more convenient anyway (both to keep spooled neatly and to carry around if necessary), and for two the thing it's on now is over the terraced spot so the hose would hang all over it and smush the ajuga. Then we can put that immediately to the left of the back door on the bit of concrete porch there off the left of the landing. It won't be in the way of the door, and be close to the spigot, so it's a good spot.

I also bought another cook book - Rachael Ray's 30-minute meals. I like her, because a lot of the recipes are really easy, and obviously fairly short, and in checking random recipes, I saw that they're all written in sentences rather than just steps, which illustrate the order of things and the timing (while this is happening, do this, then do that, then go back to the first thing to see if it's done, etc.). Usually recipes show the steps in such a linear fashion you have to figure out the timing yourself, in order for everything to come out at roughly the same time. So this way I'll know not just how to make stuff, but kind of how to organize the preparation and cooking so I'm not wasting time or getting parts done way late.

Not to mention, I want to get some patio furniture (a table and chairs, big enough to have 6 or 8 people eat outside or just lounge) and stick it on the patio in the back. I'm considering using one of the shepherd's crooks I had been using to hang planters on the apartment porch, to hang a birdfeeder from. We already get some birds, but to get more by the full-windowed doors on the sort of sunroom the previous owners built behind the garage would thrill the cats. I'd put it far enough away that there wouldn't be too much bird poop falling on the patio, but close enough the cats will see plenty of birds. I can ask my mom what seed she recommends for just general bird-attraction, and I'd just have to remember to keep it filled.

Web Quizzes11:16 AM - Which corset are you?

A quiz for the ladies... or not. ;) Take it if you want, whomever you are. :D

Civil War Era Corset
You're a Civil War era corset. You southern belle, you.

What corset are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Life10:56 AM - Marriage is not discrimination banner

It's slightly loud, and it could be said to many others besides Bush, but it's pretty much what I'd love to say to him. Saw it in my Friend's list, posted by lupabitch.

marriage is not discrimination banner

whining no longer being accepted