Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Fun stuff10:37 PM - And one more chuzzle icon

sad chuzzle

This time he's sad. This is from the big dude at the end of the home version when you click quit, which is why his "fur" texture is a lot more detailed and finer than the other two. It looks more like hair than plush fur. He's all, are you sure you wanna quit? and makes sad eyes and stuff. I went traipsing through the Chuzzle program directory, and found the motherlode in their textures directory. I also learned a little how to use masks; for most of their stuff they not only had a color version but also a matching "alpha" file. If you have both open in PSP8, then you go to the color one and create a new mask layer, and pick "from file" and pick the alpha one, it'll automagically mask it all special. For this guy there was the face with the open eyes and its mask, then the closed eyes with tears squirting out and its mask.

How I made him in PSP8...

After making copies of them all as new images all in 16 million colors...

  1. After I figured out WTF I was doing (trying to do a copy all similar with the background being about as blue as the rest was rather unsuccessful...) I picked the teary eyes and created a new mask layer with its mask. Then tI took the full guy and created a new mask layer with his mask. This does all this nifty transparency stuff that makes all the fur tips look all nice, and so the eyes copy over without stomping on the fur behind, etc.
  2. I did a "copy merged" on the eyes, so it'd copy as though I'd flattened all the layers together, and pasted it as a selection on the masked dude, moving it till it perfectly covered the eyes (there was definitely only 1 unique location that worked for this; one pixel in any direction made them peak out from behind).
  3. I defloated the layer down to one, and voila! I had a copy of the dude with his eyes closed and squirting tears.
  4. I resized that image down to 97x100 (it's not a perfect square), and resized the canvas to 100x100. He got saved as a .psp just in case, so the layers are all there, then went back and made another masked copy of just the dude w/ his eyes open, resized it the same way, saved, etc.
  5. Tried to use those in the animation shop wizard, and it said they weren't valid psp files. Riiiiight. So I saved copies as png files, then tried again.
  6. Ended up making 7 frames. First, eyes open, then eyes shut for 8/100s with a quick eyes-open and another 8/100 shut. Then a longish eyes open, an 8/100 eyes shut, and wrapped up with a pretty long eyes open. I saved it as a .mng file (the animation shop's version).
  7. Finally I used the optimizer a few times to create an animated gif that both had a good amount of fuzziness to the edges, rather than jagged, and was under 20K 'cause I also wanted it for my new f'opolis avatar.

Et voila! Not bad for someone who never knew before how to use masks, and has spent very little time total using PSP8 or the animation shop, eh? He probably doesn't look so hot on a dark background, but I can't say I really care.

whining no longer being accepted

Fun stuff01:35 PM - Two new user icons

In honor of the game I've been enjoying immensely, creepy or cute or otherwise, I made two new icons:

blue chuzzle icon angry blue chuzzle icon

The second one, you get a chuzzle to be angry when you leave the wand (mouse pointer) over his head too long. I didn't want the want in the shot too, so I cheated and stuck the wand where it didn't cover up the eyes, then pasted the eyes over the top of him when he wasn't angry. :)

listening to: No Doubt - Hey You
whining no longer being accepted

Life09:48 AM - Bleh, Katrina sucks balls.

I already know two people who probably won't have a home to go to because of Katrina. A guy who's a fellow volunteer email & forum support for Crosswinds lived right near the path of the eye, somewhere in MS between New Orleans and Biloxi. He's said that after hearing reports and seeing pictures, his and his parents' house is probably gone from the water swell that washed over, at the least. A forumopolis member from New Orleans, who I think may've been away at college but his parents evacuated, also has grim news to look forward to. First, the area didn't flood right away and there were private home looters (bastards!) reported in the area; second, that area now is flooded because of the levee on the lake busting out all over everything. If they're lucky, the structure might still be there, and possibly be sound. However, anything looters didn't get will probably be ruined by flood waters.

I've been sorely depressed all morning reading all these reports. Still need to email my mom about my aunt & uncle, or at least know what their current address is; Baton Rouge apparently is one of many shelter locations, so I would presume that means they weren't hit particularly hard by any of Katrina's effects. If that's the case then they should be alright.

Plus, gas stations all across the country, and probably in several other countries, jumped way more than was justified by the disaster. Even if oil production is affected in any great way by the oil rigs getting yoinked from their moorings, the oil that gas companies have now is from before the storm; therefore, I hope they all rot from hyperinflating their prices just to profit extra off this, at the expense of people who may or may not be able to afford it.

It's gonna be one of those days.

feeling: depressed
listening to: Alanis Morissette - Wake Up

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Life04:03 PM - Since I'm waiting for Eclipse to rebuild my project...

I want to test one blasted thing and go home, but of course there are things getting in the way. *sigh* Anyway, I have to wait for my IDE to be done with its shit until I can fix whatever it is, so I can test my stuff.

Our toilets work again. The downstairs one and our master one were both leaking and needed the standpipe, float, etc. (basically, the guts of the inside of the tank) replaced. They got replaced last night by J. He did a great job; the downstairs one went flawlessly and the upstairs one had such a slow leak from the water pipe (the feeder that goes into the bottom of the tank from the wall) that it's like watching paint dry waiting for it to form a drop to drop. It's possible this has stopped entirely since last night. If not, it'll probably get a little silicone tape treatment and be fine.

Yea for toilets flushing right and not making noise and wasting water!

I'm a little worried about my aunt & uncle. Last I knew they were living in Baton Rouge. Apparently they didn't get all that much; power out and a little flash flooding but nothing major like what New Orleans, Slidell, and parts of Mississippi got hammered with by Katrina. If they still live there, they're probably fine. If they moved, that's what I'm worried about: where were they living, did they evacuate in time if they were close to Katrina, etc.? I don't know if anyone in the family has heard from them or not; I heard Sunday that my dad's brother called us to ask if we'd heard from them, but that's it. I'll have to find out. I hope to God they were not living in or near New Orleans, or if they were they at least were able to evacuate well in advance of the hurricane.

I might finally get a laptop at work, woo! Found out at our 10:30 meeting that I'm on the PC refresh schedule for this year, and that my boss is going to find out what it'd take to get me migrated from desktop to laptop. Granted that means I get to go through a reinstall of all my stuff all over again whether I get a desktop or laptop, but at least for one working day (they're nazis about it, so it won't be 2-3 working days more than likely) I'll have the current box and the new one side by side so I can make sure I transfer everything. Plus there's the DataProtector backups and ZBackup/ZRestore. Glee! After the last couple code reviews I've been lamenting that we wouldn't have to kill trees if we're all on laptops: if the code to be reviewed is all checked into CVS, then we all take our laptops to the conference room, pull up the appropriate files in CVS on our laptops, then we can go through all the code in an easy fashion, with context highlighting, direct links to methods from where they're called, etc., all without printing a single page. As it stands, I have to make copies for everyone participating of every class involved, then we have to go through it that way in black & white with no way of jumping easily from one method into another one to take a look.

Yea for one more step towards a "paperless work environment". :)

Now back to work. If I get this fixed fast I'll test, if not I'm heading the hell home.

feeling: hopeful
listening to: ori Amos - Icicle
whining no longer being accepted

Friday, August 26, 2005

Music09:26 AM - Grr

I hope it's just a display issue. My iRiver needed charging last (down to 1 bar out of 4) so I plugged it in to charge overnight. It's now showing 1 bar still even though it was off at the time. So we'll see how much play time I get today.

I also would love for the thing to not randomly have the screen power itself back on without my touching it. It just does it randomly. I have it turn itself off after 30 seconds so it'll save the juice for music playing. So I'd rather it not waste juice turning itself on when I'm not waking it up to turn it up or down. (Nice earbuds it came with, good sound quality, but I need to pick up a pair that has volume adjust so I can set the player to 1 setting for everything and adjust on the earbuds, car volume, etc., as needed. Work headphones do that, but the sound is actually not quite as good plus after a few hours of wearing them they get uncomfortable pressing on my ears. Earbuds just make me feel like I'm still wearing them hours after I've taken them out.)

I still also need to figure out why, when I select a different playlist than where I last paused the player, no matter how long I hold down the select button it goes back to playing the last song I already was in and thus back to the last playlist I was using. 'S why I'm still on my Tori list when I wanted to switch to my all-female-artist playlist. It sometimes works, but more often than not it fails to pick the new list. I guess I'll be hitting up mistic river again to troll (in the fishing sense, not the typical intarweb sense) their forums for suggestions.

listening to: Tori Amos - Professional Widow
whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, August 25, 2005

Games & Gaming Life02:32 PM - All manner of fun

J got a haircut Tuesday, and it was bad. Really bad, short of having random bald patches. The only way a haircut can be worse is if there is a large amount of alcohol involved. And it took the lady 45 minutes to do it, with him asking her twice to fix it. He even had to specifically tell her to shave the back of his neck so the hairline was even there, and she even fucked that up.

So when I got home I called the place I go to see if my stylist could get him in, and she had room yesterday afternoon. We went, and she worked a miracle. It's definitely shorter than he usually wears it, but then there wasn't much to work with and she fixed it without just buzzing it. It's all nice and even, the sideburns are fully gone instead of half chopped and sloppy (he usually wants them gone), his head isn't a tapered bowl shape anymore... it's just so, so much nicer. We thanked her a ton, definitely; she did a wonderful job. So I'm going to see if he'd like to start going there as well; it's not far after all, even after she left Beauty Brands. Yes, it's more expensive than going to a chain for $10-12 but it's a guaranteed great cut with someone who knows what she's doing, rather than whoever the hell happens to be working at the time who may or may not be just fresh out of of a 2.0 graduation from beauty school. (The one who messed up just had to have been new, and sucked at men's hair; she kept looking back & forth side to side to judge whether it was even - and failed. Whereas there were a couple ladies at this place on the Rock Rd. near our apartment that could get him in and out and looking good in 10 minutes.)


Because I have to share the love, you must check out this game especially if you have the chance to try the trial of the offline version of the game.

What's nice is that they have their own plugin now. I was pretty pissed off when they started having their online games use ActiveX and thus requiring IE. Their prior games had been Flash or Java based, and worked in any browser with those plugins. I wrote them and told them they'd lost a customer. If I can't try the game online (and many of their trial downloads are like 10 minutes time limited so you can't get a feel for them before they expire), and I refuse to use a browser I don't like just for a damn game, then I won't be buying it. Anyway, so now they have a plugin that works in several browsers that downloads and installs in like 2 seconds each. You click to download and it saves it off, then you run the download, and I didn't even have to close and reopen Firefox, it worked immediately. Dunno about IE, but I suspect it's true there too. Then you play and it's awesome in a can.

It's a grid of these brightly colored furry things with eyeballs. You slide a row or a column, and if you match up 3 of the same color, including at an angle, the slide stays and those furballs go away. They make all sorts of goofy cute noises when they do it, too. You fill up this sort of Erlenmeyer flask-style bottle on the left, and when it's full you get to the next level. If you get the home version it's bigger and more detailed, they make more cool noises, fur flies about when they go "poof", and you get additional colors and when you combo you get one that's the size of four, and it moves both columns and rows it's in and won't wrap around like they normally do.

I must warn you... don't think too hard about this game. It gets vaguely creepy if you do. First off, if you look at the bottle, it looks like just vague liquid filling it up, but when you watch stuff go in after you eliminate some furballs, it's the furballs' eyes going in. And they're happy about it! The home version has 4 play modes, one of which is "zen mode" where you can't die and it just keeps track of points and combos. Well, when you fill the bottle up, instead of going to the next level, since it isn't levelled, this trippy, vacuous yet slightly menacing female voice says, "zeeennnn" and then some randomly colored furball comes squeezing out the top and plops on the "floor" at the bottom of the flask. After this happens 5 times they disappear. I played that for something like an hour last night before hitting the sack, and I was worried my dreams would be haunted by vibrantly colored dust bunnies floating towards me chanting "zeeennnn" and trying to rip out my eyeballs to collect them.

Again in the home version, you get to definitely see the fur go flying when you get rid of some. I mean, it's like they're disintegrating and only leaving bits of fur behind to float downwards and fade away.

So... yeah, don't think about it too hard. Just think about how cute it is and how fun it is trying to get combos and you're set.

listening to: Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Interesting places07:37 AM - Jewelry for the geek

If you're looking for a very different style of jewelry for someone who's all about the geekery, try hitting up Zelle. They have some pretty nifty stuff. :)

Thanks to kageneko for the link over at the forums.

listening to: Tori Amos - Sister Janet

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Exercise Games & Gaming Life09:42 PM - I couldn't resist making this icon

get fuzzy - no... no! user icon

Also. To illustrate why I'll be going to bed momentarily, I took my purse with me to our 10:30 morning meeting, apparently on "lunch" autopilot as far as picking things up. And I didn't know I'd done it until I happened to see it sitting on the table next to me. I really don't remember picking it up. I put it down on the floor hoping no one noticed, then tried to carry it back to my cube as inconspiciously as possible.

My pinky, the edge of my hand it connects to down to the wrist, and the base knuckles of my middle, ring, and pinky fingers are sore from Point Blank last night. Then we played again tonight, heehee. It all hurts a little more now; I think I'll be taking a break from it tomorrow. I'd try left handed, but I doubt I could even pass the practice level ones that way. That hand and arm are weak and the exact opposite of steady.

I think I had something else to say, but can't remember it for the life of me. Must not have been that important. Then again, neither was any of the above.

Oh wait, now I do. I signed up for an exercise class at the civic center. Body toning, it's called; I wanted one or two of the others, but one was in the morning and the other was Tuesday/Thursday around 5 if I remember. Can't do T/Th because I'd miss one class for a Depo shot and yearly exam, and at least two others for hair appointments. Hopefully this will help get me at least in a workout rhythm, and perhaps it'll start bugging me to have the days in between off and I'll go then for general gym usage on those days when I can. J's gonna come with me and use the gym, and the room the class is in is right off that.

feeling: sleepy
whining no longer being accepted

Games & Gaming Life09:08 AM - Day to day stuff from this weekend thru last night

First off, Friday night J made an awesome steak & spinach salad. It had chopped carrot bits, Vidalia onion, a little green onion, and baby portobello mushrooms all done up in a pan with stewing meat. The raw components were a whole bag of baby spinach, green onions, and shredded cheese. There wasn't room to toss them all together in the bowl (my fault, I figured the largest bowl would be too big, before I realized he wanted to toss all the baby spinach, etc.) so we tossed the raw stuff, then just served ourselves with the sautéed stuff on top. Mmmm! I added a little raspberry vinaigrette, but not much. Too yummy! And I told J for what probably isn't the first time that we need to buy baby portobellos more often. Since he didn't need my help, I made more batches of flavored coffee creamer. I have one for mocha and one for... I dunno, holiday spicy or whatever. The first just takes cocoa powder, creamer, and sugar. The second takes creamer, sugar, allspice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. The last time (aka my first time) I made them, I screwed up on the spices in that 2nd one, using wayyyy too much of the spices. So if I put enough in my 15¢ work coffee (that's how much we're supposed to put in if we use the communal Folger's coffee), there was far too much of the spices in it. If I didn't put in too much of the spices, there wasn't enough creamer or sugar to cut the bitterness. (I've had really good coffee, courtesy of my dad who buys frozen whole beans from a local shop, and Folgers is powdered ass in a can.) I just tried the batch I just made, and yummm... it tasted quite good.

I was asleep Friday night by 11pm, perhaps earlier, and slept until around 1pm the next day... that felt quite good. It was necessary, and helped fuel my being up till around dawn Sunday morning. Sunday J and I just hung around the house. Power was out for about 75 minutes due to an accident over on Dunn Rd. somewhere (my parents, who live far closer to it, are yet not on the same power grid, so while we were out power along with the lights at Florissant & Lindbergh and Florissant & Parker Rd., everything from there south on Florissant and southwest on Lindbergh had power... WTF?). Nothing like losing power on a bright sunny day and then waiting on hold for 20+ minutes to find out why.

Last night after J and I had a quick dinner not too long after I got home (I was starving I felt quite shaky and weak), J suggested bring Point Blank (oldish PS shooting game) upstairs and seeing how bad we were at it after we got so good at it a year or two ago. Mannn... we sucked ass at first, but warmed up OK. That was a ton of fun. We went through all but one section of the training area on beginner (we thought we did 'em all), then hit the arcade mode with beginner, where it randomly picks 4 groups of 4 different galleries, where after the first set of 4 the rest each have one of them as "insane" difficulty (actually only advanced if you play beginner mode), and there's a bonus round in the middle and targets to hit at the end for fireworks & bonus points. We each played through that twice, plus a quick "practice" version where it's just 1 set of 4 with no bonuses at all. After we saw a few we hadn't seen already, we went back and found the section in "training" mode we hadn't done and hit those. Then we picked random puzzles we liked to do them on advanced or insane. Good, good fun. I'm definitely not as steady a hand or good an eye as I was when we played a lot. But we did beat a couple of the easier ones on insane. If you have a PSone (this one I don't think we got to work on the PS2), and you can get hold of a gun controller and this game, you totally should. There are apparently at least 5 Point Blank games, but we've only played the first one. J says he heard #5 is good too, but that the ones in between aren't as good as this one.

I spent something like an hour cleaning out my work inbox. I hadn't for the longest time, because when I updated MS Office when I was still on Win2K, Outlook got shitty. Every freaking action I took, whether it was marking a message as read, moving a message, deleting a message, or a new message just came in and I was trying to use it, it'd stop and think for like 30 seconds. So I wasn't even reading everything that wasn't essential (like our daily news emails), and I wasn't deleting anything 'cause if I deleted a bunch at once it'd hang forever. I thought I was going crazy 'cause no one else on our team who'd done that upgrade, some of them ages prior to when I did, had that problem. But when I was told it was my turn to do the XP migration, and I was looking at all the notes about changes and such, there was a mention of it in the Outlook specific notes, that they had done something to fix it. Yay! Sure enough, as much as here were changes I really had to get used to, and settings to change to get it the way I liked, everything I did was nice and snappy again. So I finally got some time, sorted by sender, and started deleting and moving like crazy. I deleted over a MB of stuff, and probably moved that much or more into other folders. My inbox that at one time had 600+ messages in it at probably 3MB is now down to a slim 64 messages and 275KB, and my trash has been emptied. Woot!

feeling: freezing
listening to: Tori Amos - Cooling (live)
whining no longer being accepted

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Life03:15 PM - Mannnn, fun Saturday night

I think that's the latest I've been awake for fun times in a long time. (I was awake off and on last Saturday night into Sunday, but that was from power out and no A/C.)

I joined mladyjade, ceraunnos, retropixiechic, and several of their friends to celebrate their birthdays at a place called Downtown Cantina. Party! We had the entire place to ourselves (all 20+ of us, I think there were). Got to meet everyone, and everyone was quite awesome. Lots of both geeky conversations and debauchery were had. :p Most people left from the restaurant, but a few of us were still left when it was time to head out. The car I rode downtown from Jayme's house already left, but they were nice enough to find me another ride, and kinkis' car had room for me, so I got to stay. :) Afterwards the two cars that were left went back to Jayme's and we hung out there, mainly downstairs. There were all kinds of crazy discussions.

Two things of note from the wee hours of the morning: gnashing crotch teeth and anal leakage. *giggle*

Okay, I guess that's funnier if it's 3am or later, and maybe you had to've been there. But I was, and still am, quite amused.

I got home about 5am, feeling a little guilty I'd stayed out so late, but I still called J first before I left as I said I would, and we cuddled and... such... for a while. Got to sleep about 6. Woke up rather groggily at 2pm or so. Still sitting in a robe 'cause I've been doing my internet thang (webcomics, LJ friends list, etc.). Ooohh, speaking of webcomics one of the guys there recognized my Scratch Fury "Obey the Cat" t-shirt from PVPOnline. Woot!

Alright, I need a shower. And lunch after that. Cereal at 2pm isn't really enough to start the day with.

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, August 19, 2005

Internet09:49 AM - Nice warning...

If they were going to require people to sign up again at F'opolis after this second restart, it would've been nice if we'd, y'know, been told with a few days' advance notice. Chrissakes.

feeling: annoyed
listening to: Tori Amos - Bells For Her (live)
whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Cats Internet Life06:27 PM - *hugs internet*

Due probably to the damn latest worm that's been floating all over, and patches going out and everything, I haven't had any internet at all since shortly after lunch. It started going bust while I was helping a coworker check bridal registries for our manager, to see if she was registered anywhere. I got a few things to load really slowly in Opera (it all timed out in Firefox) a bit after I started having issues, but then even that didn't work. No internet at all, even for 2 minute breaks, makes me very sad. Still haven't fixed AIM either, though I guess the worm could've messed things up with that as well, I suppose. ICQ and Y! and IRC all work though.

I worked over a half hour late, missed my hair appointment, but went anyway to reschedule. Turns out she didn't have anyone till 5 and since mine was just a toner application (pseudo-temporary dye so the highlights are red instead of blonde) and no cut it was a quick one and she was willing to still see me. I have my "full" appointment (roots, redoing highlights, trim, etc.) in 3 weeks and I pushed that back to 4:15 so I'd be less likely to miss it. I tipped her extra for being so nice as to still see me.

Oh, and I brushed Zephyr a bunch last night. Got 3 brushfuls initially, then another smallish brushful just from one side 'cause he was lounging on the other side in my computer chair, and he still is a shedmonkey. Fur all over! Maybe I'll get a few more brushfuls out tonight.

whining no longer being accepted

Internet07:46 AM - Is it just me?

Or is anyone else having AIM connectivity problems? Trillian hasn't been able to connect at all since yesterday, even after I totally exited it and restarted it. Damn Invalid FLAP error (Error Code is 0, not 10054 or whatever else).

Anyone know anything besides login.oscar.aol.com as a possible AIM connect server?

feeling: cranky
whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Music11:10 PM - Much happier iRiver owner

Now that I've spent much time at Mistic River going through forum posts. iRiver was dumb about something: its H10 20GB model doesn't hook up through regular UMS mode; rather, it uses MTP mode. That means Windows doesn't assign it a drive letter, and you can't do much regular, non-WMP10 interfacing with it. Copy to it is OK; creating folders, deleting stuff, moving stuff, etc. is a no-go. (And you can't do that within the player.)

A good alternative to using either the iRiver Plus software that comes with international versions, or WMP10 which is all US versions get to use, is EasyH10, which was basically written by reverse engineering stuff. What it does, is it assumes you stuck music and playlists on the drive organized the way you want, then it creates the H10's custom database and converts playlists into the H10 proprietary PLA/PLP format. However, this requires the player be hooked up in UMS mode. Which by default the US players don't do.

However, there's a way around this. There's this teensy little reset button you can't get to without a paperclip or earring post, that doesn't do what you'd think (i.e. it doesn't erase all the contents, drive formatting, etc.). If you hit that, then plug the player into a USB port, then hold down select and then the on button together, it'll boot into "emergency connection" mode, which is - wait for it - yep, UMS mode.

Once I got this all sorted out, I made a few playlists in Winamp (randomized, 'cause the H10's shuffle sucks), deleted a few songs off the drive that somehow got double copies, etc., and ran the converter. Wham, bam, thankya ma'am, I now have a few playlists and a slightly better organized folder structure. Voila!

The drawback is that any time you wanna connect to the comp, you have to do the reset-select-on combo. It isn't a set-it-forget-it thing. But... small price to pay for this kinda freedom with the player, that IMO it should've had in the first place. One can only hope that once firmware revisions start coming out for it, that one of 'em will shift it to using UMS mode all the time.

feeling: tired
whining no longer being accepted

Life03:52 PM - More Tori icons

I guess I'm going to need a "picture" category if I'm going to keep making visual things...

Created two more Tori icons. Again, not up to par with some of the amazing stuff in toricons where I posted it, but I'm new at it yet, so maybe I'll learn how to do more stuff.

watercolour stains rip us into pieces

feeling: artistic
whining no longer being accepted

Interesting places12:36 PM - nicked from LJ user gornul

I saw this link, and after going there and seeing the prices, American Apparel has me impressed. The idea behind them is that their clothing is all made in the US, by people who aren't working for pennies a day in crap conditions. The thing I'm most amazed by? That would be the ultra reasonable prices. Most decent quality women's cotton t-shirts that are comfortable, cut well, and withstand lots of washings and such, are priced between $25-40 or so per shirt in a department store around here. Walmart and KMart sell cheaper than that, with prices comparable to American Apparel, but to be honest the quality isn't that great. Not horrible, but nothing to write home about. When you hear someone saying they bought shirts that are the most comfortable they've ever worn, and for only $15, you tend to sit up and take notice.

I'm not really enamored with some of their styles, but their melange jersey and baby rib U-neck short sleeve t-shirts look quite comfortable, and come in colors I like. The first is $18 and the second is $20. I'd probably go with the forest or burgundy colors for the former, and cranberry, forest, or royal blue for the latter. Or all of 'em, or some, or whatever. Also, if you hit their sizing, it's decent, plus at least with the baby rib (if you look at the materials) it's incredibly stretchy which makes for an easier fit. I'd probably get large anyway, to keep the cling away, but that still means a decent fit even with the U-neck being a fitted style.

Social conscience + good prices = pretty awesome.

listening to: Billy Joel - Allentown
whining no longer being accepted

This site09:06 AM - Stupid me

Adding a new category and not creating an icon for it first... I need to come up with a 16x16 one for "Internet" as fast as I can.

Internet Life09:02 AM - How did I miss it?

I managed to miss any notice that forumopolis is gonna be down again. Till the 19th, it would appear. Also, now that I finally got ICQ connected through Trillian after several months of not being able to, I'm having AIM connectivity issues. Those may be transient, however. Invalid FLAP codes tend to go away after waiting a while.

I'm still tired after getting 9 hours or so of sleep. 4 in a nap and 5 last night. Guess it'll be early bedtime for me tonight.

feeling: sleepy
listening to: nothing, iRiver is charging...
whining no longer being accepted

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Life Music Technical This site05:04 PM - More details of this weekend

Gotta run soon, but I figured I'd update y'all with all the fun and not-so-fun activities so far.

First, we hit Earth City to pick up my iRiver, then we had dinner at Dave & Buster's since it's right there. Friday was pretty uneventful, as I started my player syncing at about 8pm or so and at 10:30 it was only at 20%, and that's with only about 11GB going on it. I was tired, so I left it running (and charging), went to bed & read for a bit, then went to sleep.

Saturday... yeah. Started out nice. Slept in, played with my new toy, etc. Got into my email, and downloaded a metric crapton of email in my default account for my site, which I never use and have never given out. ??? Figured out that somehow there was a backdoor into my site that was used to send a phishing scam out to thousands of addresses, many of which were nonexistant. ??? From one of the headers I found a folder on my site that I so definitely didn't put there, which contained a PHP bulk emailer. Shit. I wanted my host to see it so I left it, but I commented out the part that sends email so it wouldn't be able to anymore. I finally got most of the emails (mail failure messages, mainly) deleted when the power went out, around 5pm. So I finished up and shut down, shut down the music server, got J to shut everything down downstairs. I found out today that the reason that (and another folder of crap I didn't know about) was on my server 'cause I was one of 3 CW customers targeted by a proftpd hack. They've switched their FTP software to pureftp instead of proftp, as it's more secure, and I've deleted the offending stuff. Now I'm just waiting on word on how to change my cPanel and FTP passwords (I think those are the same) since I can't find how to change those.

Power was out until about 10:00 this morning. I shit you not. Last night we lit about a dozen candles so we could see upstairs, played cards, etc. Listened to music 'cause J was able to find some headphones and a Y cable so we could both listen. J made burgers on the outside grill (wasn't raining much by then) with meat that was in the fridge, then hit Fritz's for some custard - they never lost power, less than a mile from us. Read in bed for a while, me listening to music. Zephyr apparently had to learn the hard way that flame = bad. I had a candle on my nightstand near the corner closest to the bed. He wanted to use the nightstand to get into the now open windows (it was getting quite hot in the house). Instead of jumping to the clear spot on the nightstand, he wanted to get there from the bed. *sigh* So he tried going around it on the right, at the front of the nightstand. Didn't think he could make the jump. He finally decided he could get between the candle and the headboard post on the left side of the candle. Except, he didn't quite make it. He didn't light on fire, and from my POV he looked like he'd just barely missed the flame by an eighth of an inch. Nope. He ran the length of the window and jumped out the other end and ran out of the room. I found him and grabbed him, and he had a section of singed hair tips. :( Poor kitty. He was jumpy and nervous, but J checked him out and his skin wasn't burned. He ran off again, but an hour or so later after I'd blown that candle out to think about trying to sleep, he very wearily jumped up again. Same way, but he noted after looking carefully that it wasn't lit anymore.

Our bedroom didn't cool off from the window being open, well enough to even want to use a sheet, until about 4am. Much tossing and turning happened. Then it was morning and our neighbor turned his generator on again, and it was super noisy.

We finally got this phone call. J answered it, and it was an automated call asking us to press 1 if we had power. Turns out we did. Didn't hear the fridge or A/C vents kick on 'cause of the window being open. It'd been on about 20 minutes or so. So I shut the window and stuff and snuggled back under the covers for some real sleep.

J gave me my birthday presents. Very cool. :) He found a book of the Brother's Grimm fairy tales, all leather and with a bookmark and everything. The real thing, too... what tales like Cinderella are oh-so-loosely based upon. Can't wait to get into that. Plus, he found another Mythology book that tells all the interesting tales from all over the world. So the encyclopedia he got is sort of a companion to it. We're going to my grandfather's house for dinner (was gonna be my parents', but they have a power pole down and no idea when they'll have power again), and I'm gonna bring them to show off.

Speaking of which, we ought to get going.

whining no longer being accepted

Music04:46 PM - Guess what I picked up from FedEx Friday...

iriver in my pants
iriver closeup

20GB of sweet, sweet music. Oh yeah. (So far I only have it about half full. Will be poking around J's computer to find more.)

feeling: happy
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Friday, August 12, 2005

Technical This site02:23 PM - More site coding

So evidently the Perl module Weather::Underground is somehow not working here anymore. I don't know enough to really debug it; all I know is that I'm no longer getting any information out of it. I have a cron job running that runs the MovableType rebuild on a weather template that uses it, and runs every 15 minutes. Some time today it started building a bad PHP file, from all the fields coming back empty. So I added some error checking in the template that will keep that from happening, so it fails gracefully, but it's not stopped failing.

So now I've written most of my own parser, very similar to my Amazon XML parser I wrote months ago. (Had to be different 'cause they use different XML tags, different formats, etc.) I am reusing my heat index calculator to show that, since of course I had to write that anyway 'cause while WUnderground puts wind chill into its feed if there is one, it doesn't put the heat index in it.

The drawback, is that I think the Perl module actually scrapes the HTML page, whereas this has to be given an RSS link. Have to know the link to the XML for the city you want rather than just being able to pass in a city or zip code. Also, the RSS only shows the official weather that updates once an hour, whereas the page itself updates fairly often 'cause it started using personal weather stations months ago. So with the Perl module I'd actually get that info; with the XML feed I don't. That's why I figure it must be doing a page scrape. (I don't think WUnderground's always had XML feeds, which may explain that.)

It was faster to write up some PHP code that would give me the info I want, than try to halfassed figure out why the Perl module isn't working for me anymore. So unless someone who's a super whizbang at Perl and its idiosyncracies volunteers to take a peek, I'll probably just go with my version. It could be I'm wrong about it being a server issue, and about the module doing a page scrape. It could be that WUnderground changed its links and way of linking its XML, thus the module not getting the right (or any) XML link and not getting any info back. I just don't know and don't have the time or the mental clarity today to take that serious a look.

whining no longer being accepted

Technical09:45 AM - Happy computer!

My computer is totally hooked up now. The RAM worked fine, as I expected. I was half right about my PCI slots: I do indeed have one rendered unusable by my video card covering it up. However, I have 6 PCI slots. So I had two other ones available. So, I bought an IDE controller card. The free slots were at the bottom, which would make it harder to hook stuff up, so I moved everything else all the way down, leaving the two free ones at the top with the unavailable one. Good thing I did, too. I ended up putting the controller in the one closer to the video card, 'cause the IDE ports on the card face down, which would've put them too close to the sound card to be easy to plug a cable into.

So anyway, I had lots of fun with all that installation... after I got the hard drive plugged in (I love my case, the small HD/floppy drive case modules are removable so you can slip drives in easily) and the case stood up, it was time to install software. First came the controller card software. Then, I went into the BIOS to see if it saw any of it. Nope, so old it doesn't have a clue. However, this doesn't matter. After the "push DEL to get to the BIOS configuration" screen, I get a screen to push F3 to configure the controller. One problem: this is the only point in the entire boot process that my wireless keyboard is not recognized. So I had to gank a wired keyboard so I could do this. Then, I was able to tell it that I had 1 drive on the 1st IDE slot.

After that, I installed the Seagate software from CD, and had it do the drive formatting. It properly detected the drive, and I partitioned into two pieces, one 75GB and one 74GB, with a loss of ~11GB to the formatting itself. After that, XP saw the drives and gave them letters and I was happy.

While J and I were out, we also bought headsets with mics, and since it's a royal pain to switch between speakers & headphones for me, also picked up a headset/speaker switch. That has a nice, looong cord, so there was a ton of flexibility in placement of it, woot.

I am now set. My rig now has enough RAM not to chug in as many places in WoW (super mega PvP action, Lagforge, etc.), more space than I'll ever know what to do with, and Teamspeak so I can talk to people while partied on WoW instead of always typing. Heck, if neither J or I are doing an instance we can hop on our own channel and be able to talk to each other between floors, even if we're playing on different servers (or even not playing at all). Now that I think about it, us using Teamspeak so we can talk when I'm net surfing or code writing, and he's going through his music files or whatever, sounds both geeky and sad since we're in the same house...

Finally: I'm excited. My iRiver got to the FedEx facility in Earth City at around 5am. Signs are good that they'll deliver it today. Eeeeee.

feeling: excited
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Thursday, August 11, 2005

Technical09:20 AM - Computer is partly put together

I got the RAM in, though it caused a little trouble. In the end, I had to stack my flat panel monitor on top of the CRT I now have set up on my desk (it's hooked to the server box now, but it will be hooked to a dual monitor setup when I get around to that). That way I had room to lay my tower on its side to get into the cuts from the top down. I also had to remove my video card, as it was in the way of opening the bottom clips on the RAM slots all the way. That finally made the first stick, the one that's on the "left" as you look at the board when the tower' sstanding up, snap all the way into place and force the clips shut. The other one I still had trouble with, and had to press grooves into my fingers pushing on it before it'd go in. It's a darn good thing the plastic on motherboards is pretty flexible and resilient.

Then the motherboard went back in, and I had the idea of putting the new hard drive in. Except, both my IDE cables are full up, and I only have the two IDE slots. Found out this morning from my dad that they don't make 3-drive IDE cables, only two drives are allowed per cable. Which means I either have to find room for an IDE controller and an extra IDE cable, which may prove difficult, or find a way to replace my 60GB drive that's in there now, with the 160GB drive. I hate doing that 'cause there's nothing wrong with the 60GB, y'know? It finally occurred to me that to do this, I don't need to find space on my C: drive or anywhere on J's machine. The server box we have is still empty, because J's still going through everything on his machine (he's going to fully organize the stuff that isn't yet, so it's all nice and neat on the server) and hasn't moved anything yet. That's 50GB, easily enough room for what I have on the 60GB drive as it's at most 2/3 full. So I can move that stuff over there temporarily until I get the new drive in.

My only question is, should I separate the behemoth into chunks, or should I leave it in one big piece when I format? I could do 4 chunks, 3 chunks, or 2 chunks. No need for more partitioning than that. I'll have to double check, but I think I never got around to setting up my new Firefox & Thunderbird profiles over on it, and it's just in the default C: location, so I don't have to worry about that. (That's where I kept my Netscape 7 profile, and with drive letters potentially changing and both Firefox and Thunderbird looking for a specific location for a specific profile, things can get screwed up if you up & move it.) I could have a separate partition for all my web work, one for "media" (i.e. miscellaneous video files I download, movies, the odd weird downloaded mp3, etc.), one for all the installation stuff I download, and one for our digital pictures. And I guess the partitions don't have to be of equal size. The web partition, for instance, wouldn't have to be that big (4 equal parts would be ~35GB each after the space taken by the format process itself, I'd guess, and I'll never have 35GB of web files even with images).

In the meantime I'll go ahead and stand my tower back up and put my monitors back along with everything else I slid around, and make sure the RAM is all good. Then I'll move my stuff off to the server. I really don't think I'd have room for the IDE controller. I have a place to stick the HD, in the big empty space below the 3.5" floppy, but while I may have a free and unblocked PCI slot I can't say for sure. And good Gawd are the cables a mess in there as it is. I wonder if the motherboard could've been better organized for such a thing. I sure as hell think so. I would've, if possible, put the IDE controllers above the AGP and PCI slots, instead of the bottom righthand corner, so that cards, particularly large video cards, didn't get in the way of the fat IDE cables going from the board to all the drives. I wonder if they make newer motherboards with more than two IDE controllers as well... but alas, I really don't need to be going through the huge hassle of replacing my motherboard & CPU.

feeling: thirsty
listening to: Tori Amos - Cloud On My Tongue
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Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Life05:40 PM - Got my RAM!

They were estimating that my RAM would be delivered tomorrow, as it left IN at around 7pm at night last night, but it came today. Woo!! I may just have to stick that in there after dinner this evening. Or before, depending on if J went on the potential Sunken Temple run in WoW that came up about an hour ago in NC guild chat. If so, then dinner may be a couple hours so I'll do it beforehand. Otherwise, I'm hoping we can grab or make some food shortly, 'cause I'm hongry!

I have even slightly higher hopes of my iRiver arriving Saturday. According to NewEgg it's been packaged up & ready to go, it just hasn't been handed off to FedEx yet. If they do that this evening, it may arrive Friday or Saturday (if they do Saturdays). But I'll be very surprised if it doesn't get here Monday. Can't wait!

Also, J is quite cool. He already gave me something he got me as a little bit of my birthday present. He found a book called "Mythology: A Visual Encyclopedia" at the bookstore for $7. The awesome thing is, it's not totally organized like your typical encyclopedia. Besides the lots of nifty pictures, a glance tells me it's written so I could actually sit down and read the whole thing. So I probably will. :) I've always toyed with the idea of taking a mythology class or two, just because I'm curious and don't know much beyond a dusting of Greek & Roman mythology. So this will make a good place to start.

Oh, and I went and bought a Skull keychain last week, and it arrived yesterday. Went right on my keys. :)

feeling: chipper
listening to: im Croce - It Doesn't Have To Be That Way
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Life01:45 PM - 'Cause I'm bored and feel spammy.

(Posted this to toricons already.)

I got bored and I thought I'd try to make a Tori icon. Dunno if it turned out worth using or not. The effects I ended up with were kinda neat, though I probably could've done better w/ the text. Haven't decided if I even have a use for it, given I like to have ones that go a little with my moods for the most part.

listening to: Tori Amos - Tear In Your Hand

Life Music11:49 AM - BTW, NewEgg is cool

They do need to alter their website info though.

I got an email Monday night from their CS saying that yeah, no adding to the order 'cause it already shipped. I wrote back saying stuff to the effect of, yeah, I got the email early Monday, was just trying to save on shipping, thanks anyway. Got an email last night telling me if I ordered the iRiver I was gonna order, and replied w/ the invoice # they'd credit me the $5 in shipping. !! So I ordered it on the spot and wrote back. Way cool.

Slept from around 6pm to 10pm, woke up & took my allergy meds, checked email, finished reading yesterday's round o' webcomics, ordered said iRiver, told J about the iRiver, then read & had the light out by 11:30. Still didn't want to get up, still short on sleep. Plus J fell asleep downstairs 'cause Pele was on his lap, and came up after my radio came on already. Then my alarm went off. Got to snuggle and then he was in bed and I didn't want to get up 'cause I felt all cuddly and warm and stuff. :( But, I should get my RAM tomorrow, and my iRiver processed already so if FedEx delivers on Saturdays I expect I'll get it Saturday. That would rock. Probably be Monday though.

feeling: hungry
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Life11:20 AM - Broke my webcomic vow

I'm checking webcomics here. But... F'opolis is down for a server move, not expected back until Friday or thereabouts, depending on how long DNS takes to propagate. So, that's OK, right? Just until my precioussss comes back? ;)

More and more comics keep jumping back out of ModernTales and their sister sites. Dicebox on Girlamatic just wrapped up a chapter today, and is going to only be available on dicebox.net after that. Gun Street Girl just jumped from Girlamatic GraphicSmash (was corrected on LJ) a few weeks ago, and is slowly moving all its stories to Panel2Panel, started by the artist of No Stereotypes, who was also a GAMer (I think; that or MT itself) on ModernTales (again, correction provided). Circle Weave also did a stint there, which is where I heard about it, but has always had its own home, and after ModernTales has had its previous chapters available via BitPass. Granted that move happened ages ago.

I can't help but wonder who's next. I like the idea of the sites, and subscribe to three, but I guess if it ends up over the next few years that all the ones I read leave, I'll probably end my subscriptions when they're over with.

*sigh* I feel so bored today. Not even solely because F'opolis is down, though that's part of it. I'm finishing up some little nitpicky things on my last coding project (Javadoc, making more things be constants, etc.) and I'm kinda... dragging my feet 'cause I don't want to get back to my current project.

feeling: bored
listening to: Tori Amos - Cruel

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Life10:43 AM - Oh joy, what fun

We're scheduled for a telecon from 10:30am to 3pm. It's being given in Anaheim, CA, so this is 8:30am to 1pm their time. They have 11:45 to 1pm given on the agenda as a catered barbecue lunch. Great, for them. For us, that means we don't even get lunch until 1:45pm. Lovely.

We haven't started yet. Several of us in St. Louis have dialed into the telecon, but the hosts aren't there yet. Plus, WebEx (like NetMeeting) wasn't up when I started this post, and only just now came up. So on top of us getting screwed out of lunch, basically, we're starting late, which means things will probably run late. At least I was able to commandeer a headset (I don't have one, but my boss is actually in CA so she isn't using hers, so now I am). Plus, it's only one ear, so I have my headphones on over it with the other ear covered with those, so I'm still hearing music.

Nevermind about the lateness. All of us actually dialed into the telecon portion had a discussion about the agenda in the notice... they're actually doing refreshments there for a half hour, so we figure maybe they didn't set up the telecon portion to start until 11am our time. But since it accepted phone calls I think I'll probably stay in it so I don't have to do it all over again. A coworker also pointed out he's gonna stay on because no one can call him that way. We still get screwed out of lunch though, given we usually leave for lunch right when the meeting's getting going.

Edit: And then they came on and said for anyone on to hold tight, which was immediately followed by the very loud sound of someone using a power mower, followed immediately by this horrific pulsing feedback garbage. We can hear the "bing bong", but they've started the presentation (we can see slides in the WebEx) without us being able to hear what's going on. A coworker typed into the chat area of WebEx asking that the telecon be fixed, but we don't think they're looking at that window (PowerPoint probably maximized, and such).

So I'm thinking if they never fix the telecon I'm just gonna hang up. If I get nothing out of the slideshow part of it, I'll probably just leave. I mean, what's the point?

Edit x2: Finally! Someone talked to an operator to get it fixed, and after some very interesting lawn mower/jackhammer noises it finally started giving us regular sound.

listening to: Sublime - Pawn Shop
whining no longer being accepted

Monday, August 08, 2005

Exercise Life10:37 PM - Another month begun in earnest

We fulfilled that new "full bathroom clean once a month" rule tonight. Didn't get around to it this weekend, so we did it after dinner. Of course, with J responsible for our master half bath and me the main bathroom, my job took a lot longer. His took about... 10 minutes, maybe 15. I spent a couple hours at it. Of course, with bathtub walls, shower curtain, and tub itself all to clean, that adds quite a bit. Plus, the main bathroom has a tile floor whereas "ours" has carpet for some stupid reason, so no sponging that either. So anyway, while everything was easier to clean than last time, I did a couple things I didn't get around to last time. First, I finally washed the little trash can. Used TP to get all the fuzz & hair out, then hosed it down in the tub, soaked it in Dow bathroom cleaner, then wiped it and hosed it down again. It's about damn time that thing actually got clean. I also used bits of TP to wipe off the dust off my lotion bottle tops, the little plastic clock, and the Q-tip container, plus I fully cleaned the toothbrush holder cup and lid.

Finally, I washed the bathroom door. Odd, you say? Well, let's just say I'm not sure it'd ever been washed in its entire history. Doors inside the house, being mainly vertical and not exposed to the elements, shouldn't get that dirty. Yeah. Well. I couldn't take it anymore. It's got these sort of beveled rectangles on both sides, so of course the bottoms collected dust. Plus the door is actually wood, and has a grain to it even though it's been painted, so inside all the little lines, especially around the door handles, had collected grime. Yes, grime. Yeargh. The inside wasn't bad, and I was too lazy to remove the over-the-door towel rack, so I just washed what I could get to (some of the way behind the rack included). The grossed there was just the door around the handle and where the fuzz had collected. Then the otherside I washed everything I could reach without a stepstool. It got dirtier as I got lower to the ground... we're talking dirty enough that when I'd wring out the sponge after doing a section it wrung out brown-tinged instead of primarily soapy. Ewww. The bottom 18" or so, plus around the door handle and the door handle itself were probably the grossest.

So now I don't have to look at a disgusting nasty door every day. That meant wiping the floor a bit again, as I'd already washed it while the Dow soaked into the grime on the door, but not much. And I guess the few spots where the paint's coming off (I think it only got one thick coat) stand out more. But, it's clean.


We went to the Civic Center before dinner so I could pick up their fall brochure with their fitness classes, but they haven't gotten them yet. However, Florissant has a website and she said to go there and hit the Parks & Recreation section and choose Program Brochure. Now I just have to bother downloading Acrobat Reader, which I've been far too lazy in not doing since I went to XP all those months ago. I just haven't needed it, really. So I'm going to look through there, and register for something on August 22. I figure if I have a class to go to, that has a set schedule, then I have to go, barring mega illness or a dr's appointment, etc. So maybe I'll actually be able to force myself off my ass. J says whenever I go up for my class he'll go up and exercise too, on the equipment. So maybe we'll both get off our asses. :)

Oooh, and whee! Birthday comin' up. Gonna have dinner w/ my parents on Sunday for it, and I get to pick what it is. I'm thinking since it's summer, something on the grill would be a good choice. I'm thinking barbecued (with or without sauce, don't need it) chicken, fried noodles, sauteed mushrooms, and, um... I dunno, some kinda veggies. Ooh, and I suggested that strawberries, if she can find some decent ones, would be a good thing to make into some form of dessert. :D

Now, bed. I slept like ass last night, constantly in and out of half-waking dreams regarding the book I've been reading (Scion of Cyador, by L. E. Modesitt), and so I'm already up later than I wanted. But I took forever cleaning the bathroom, so that I'm just gonna hold off on the shower till tomorrow. Just gonna read for a bit and crash.

listening to: Gin Blossoms - Mrs. Rita
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Life12:55 PM - Busy weekend

I think my credit card may have melted...

Used the tax-free weekend to buy computer hardware on Saturday and clothes on Sunday:
  • 160GB hard drive
  • DVD writer for J's comp
  • new UPS for J's comp
  • Boxers & boxer briefs for J
  • 3 button down dress shirts, 2 lace tank tops, and a pair of jeans from Express
  • a bunch of stuff at Bath & Body Works (10% off in honor of the "spirit" of the tax-free weekend)
  • a pair of khakis from American Eagle

I also bought 2 Crucial PC2100 133MHz 512MB RAM modules from NewEgg.com, also tax free because we're not one of the four states they're required to charge tax in.

NewEgg lies when they say they don't process orders on weekends. Good, 'cause that meant things went really fast, and my RAM is already being shipped. Bad, because late Sat. night after I finished the order, I realized they have a 20GB iRiver for $20 less than Best Buy, and since they "don't process orders on the weekend" they don't answer the phone or email then either. I should've cancelled the order and started over, but I figured if I emailed right away and called when their office hours started I'd be OK. By when I woke up this morning I already had a FedEx tracking number, so I guess not. Ah well, it does qualify for $5 FedEx super saver shipping, so I guess that's OK anyway. Still cheaper than BB by a LOT.

Ran into my sister's best friend at Applebees, and we talked for a while. We sat at the bar so we didn't have to wait for a table (after 9pm on a Sunday and it was pretty packed). She and a couple friends went there for drinks after work. She's in the end stages of her teaching cert, which is cool. J and she talked shop a bit about the whole teaching thing. Turns out J's met a mutual friend/acquaintance of her and my sister. She's already teaching, is engaged, and apparently is thought of as hawt by her male students and coworkers alike.

Time for a peer review of some code, and I need to hit the ladies' room first.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Fun stuff02:27 PM - Another comic on the list

I just spent about 2 hours or so barreling through the archives of wapsi square, thanks to ladyriv and her awesome icons she uses (see here where I pilfer her "dorky" icon that she was so wonderful to point out). I finally got curious enough to go take a look, and after the first few I was hooked and had to finish the rest.

And after all that I said about taking less time at work for my web comic reading... I swear, I can quit any time. I'm going to behave after today though. I'll read it at home just as I start doing the rest that way. Really.

Games & Gaming Life Rants09:40 AM - OMGWTF real update?!

Friday I stayed home. Only had 4 hours' sleep, and after Zephyr briefly waking me up a half hour before my alarm and finding J hadn't come to bed, after saying at 11:30pm that he'd be in bed shortly, I was in an ultrabitchy mood. He came up while I was still awake and said it was a guild Maraudon run, both sides plus princess, whole nine yards. While I understand, and got over my anger, I was rather pissed he chose that over coming to bed. So not only was I running low on sleep and not in a mood where I'd be able to handle anything unexpected at all appropriately, I was all in the mood to snap anyone and anything's head clean off. Plus, it didn't help that freakin' everything itched. From my sinuses to this stupid rash, I was intermittently being driven nuts, alternating between scratching my back, my head, whatever decided to join in, and blowing my nose. So I emailed in sick.

Slept until 11 or something, woke up in a much better mood, and itching a bit less.

After what was probably about a month long hiatus just from other stuff going on, I got back to WoW. Started the 1.6 patch downloading around 3 or 4pm Friday, then logged into my Whisperwind level 57 character. After this weekend she's now almost level 59, has done a few Plaguelands quests and a Felwood quest, and still has an all-too-full quest log. She has some better gear, auctioned off extra stuff (like two full spare stacks of purple lotus) to pay for that and her level 58 skills, and is approaching... tada! End Game!

J's friends who often come over on Saturday have adopted a new strategy, given how many weekends this summer have been spent with us out of town. If they haven't heard already, they have Joe call him Friday night. Joe's is the only other place that really has enough room for that many people to hang out at, of the group, and many of them play poker late Friday nights. Joe's task is to find out if J's having people over. If so, business as usual; if not, they hang at Joe's Saturday night. J found this out last Friday night, and said he'd like to spend some alone time with his wife. So sweet! :heart:

So we had a lazy Saturday, playing WoW and hanging out. J's friend Justin came over to help us out with ze server of music. The weekend before he'd brought by a box that has a regular HD for the OS, plus a RAID5 setup with 4 drives to give us 50GB of storage. Its CD-ROM was dead so we put in the one from my old comp. Installed XP, but for some reason it wasn't showing the 50GB anywhere. Plus the few days it was off (but plugged in) it lost what time it was and got reset to Jan 1, 1995, etc.

Justin booted with J's XP disk to reformat, which he did. After it installed, his Windows disk was readable from Windows, so he went ahead and installed that version of XP over the top of J's. After that it got to go through a whole schmear of updates (why it has to do a few at a time I'm not sure I understand, but whatever). This time Windows actually saw the 50GB of storage goodness.

Sunday was spent nice and lazy like Saturday, just kinda hangin' out. Much WoW was played, lots of sleep was had, and lots of eating out instead of cooking in occurred.

And for a bit of ranty whining. I've almost 2 weeks left to go with this damn rash, and I'm quite sick of it. It makes sense that if it takes a month to go away, two weeks would be halfway in and thus the worst part of it. But damn. It's gone up on my boobs (the tops, not the bottoms, thankfully), it absolutely covers my torso from bellybutton height to there. There's a coffee cup bottom sized section on my thigh, a small bit on the inside of my right forearm, and it's on the bottom of my left foot with the ball of my foot as the apparent nexus (it's not on my toes, but in a ring about an inch out from there for the rest). It's now starting to show up in tiny spots on the inside of my left forearm near my elbow, and I have a few splotches showing up now on my right foot. Thankfully I've yet to get any on my face, fingers, or toes. Also there's none on my legs between knee and ankle, though I frankly couldn't care less about that.

Worse, though, is the itch. What they give you to control it is oral antihistamines. That's all they can do. Since I already take Zyrtec nightly for my cat allergies, I was already covered. At the time, it didn't itch at all, and the doc said that's probably why. However, as it's spread, I think my antihistamines are getting a bit overloaded or something, because my allergies have been affecting me a bit more, mostly with itchy sinuses and occasionally itchy eyes. Plus my back went from really liking to be scratched but not itchy without that, to itching enough to make me scratch, and then when I scratch it's the kind of itch that makes you want to keep scratching. I'm surprised I haven't bled yet. And now my stomach is passively itchy as well -- it doesn't itch on its own much, but if I scratch it or sometimes even touch it with something other than my shirt, it feels reeeeally good to scratch. The bits on my arm and thigh are fine so far, and my left foot hasn't itched much thankfully. Having ticklish foot bottoms and having an itch there don't mix well. But... I cannot wait for this to start subsiding again. I'm not going to have any skin left on my back if it doesn't cut it out soon. I also started using my Flonase again today, so until this goes away I'm hoping to cut down the amount of nose blowing, itching, and sneezing I've been doing.

I'm gonna try to cut down my morning internet routine at work. I'll still keep my LJ friends pages up, but I'm going to try to do a lot of my reading in the afternoon when I get home, and sometimes later in the evening, so my friends page doesn't have a ton to read all at once in the morning. I'm especially going to keep up with it over the weekend so I don't spend sooo much time Monday mornings. And, the small hill of webcomics I had early on has grown to a large mountain, so those in and of themselves often take a half hour or more to read. So, since I need to update my comic links at home anyway, I'm going to snag that portion of my bookmarks and save it off, send it home, and import 'em there so I can organize them where they belong. Hell, some of them don't update till afternoon anyway so this way more will be updated by the time I get to them, rather than the early morning I check them currently.

I'm still gonna keep refreshing the forums, but I find the biggest time sync is LJ catch-up and comics reading, so those have got to happen more at home than at work. Speaking of work, I guess I should get back to it now that I've had my break. Gotta figure out what's going on with the browser session that isn't getting all the variables it should.

feeling: itchy
listening to: Seal - Fast Changes
whining no longer being accepted

Monday, August 01, 2005

Web Quizzes10:49 PM - Tagged by LJ user dariachu

So, you think I'm a big dork, eh? :p

**List 5 reasons you are a dork. And make them good reasons. Justify them. Explain them. Be loud and proud of how big a dork you are! Then pick the 5 biggest dorks you know and have them do the same. **

  1. If I don't put my purse, with keys, sunglasses, and cellphone in or immediately next to it, in a specific, exact place in the house every time, I will invariably not be able to locate said items without a minimum of a five minute search of the house.
  2. My prime motivation for finally cleaning up most of the mess on the floor in the computer room was not because walking was a bit "hunt & peck". It was because we got an old salvaged computer from a friend with 50GB of RAID5 goodness in it to be a music server, that I had to find a home for in said computer room.
  3. My imagination routinely grabs onto the oddest turn of phrase or hypothetical situation that pops up in a conversation (or in my head during said conversation) and carries it far beyond the bounds of human normalcy. I often verbalize at least the start of those trains of thought during conversation.
  4. I'm far, far too wordy in describing things like the above.
  5. I'm such a big indecisive dork that I'm not gonna tag anyone. :D
  6. I added an extra reason 'cause I wanted to mention I felt compelled to format my list with proper HTML tags, though no one else has and probably no one in their right mind would bother with. I also fix errors in meme code HTML to be better xHTML. I am a web coding & standards geek.

Rants01:36 PM - My body is so not coordinating with me at all

Since my thought process was already interrupted...

Major kvetching about the timing of my body's waste disposal procedures follows:

So several weeks ago, maybe a few months ago, my body decided that, during the week, solid waste disposal is no longer to occur after lunch. Instead, it is to occur midmorning. That's still irksome to me, as much as I know I have no say over it, but I'm dealing. Today was no exception.

But then I get back from lunch, not needing to make a bathroom visit, chugging along, and I get interrupted helping some team members, which is kosher with me. Not kosher, however, is that within 5 minutes of that being wrapped up, just long enough for me to get an idea of what I need to fix and to get to the code to fix it... BAM!! I get an urgent alert over the ol' internal PA system: "REQUEST: WASTE DISPOSAL! TYPE: LIQUID! IMPORTANCE: URGENT!" No arguing. Damnit! So I go rushing off, sit down and get surprised with another solid waste disposal need. Take care of it, clean up, wash up, get seated. Start getting back into the groove and BAM! Body decides that it wasn't done with that yet! Grrr!! I just dropped a load, why couldn't my body get rid of all of it then, instead of waiting until I get back to work to make me go get rid of the rest??

Grrr!

I am so tired of my body's waste disposal system insisting on sudden, urgent needs only whenever I'm in the middle of a thought. #1 or #2, doesn't matter. Just went 5 minutes ago? No problem, it's urgent. If I've been reading for an hour already my body will just be all, "Hey, could you maybe make a trip to the bathroom in a few minutes? No biggie, but we figured you oughta know about it." Just sat down to read, or get into something, or whatever? That's when my body sounds the bloody emergency alarms and insists that it will be voiding all waste in 30 seconds whether I'm in a capacity to do so in a proper fashion or not. But then it's not always really "all waste" either... sometimes it likes to get me jumping twice in quick succession so it saves some in order to sound the alarm again, and almost always for a trivial amount.

*ahem* Real update will follow later.

feeling: knickers knotted, panties wadded
listening to: Tori Amos - Cornflake Girl (Live)
whining no longer being accepted
weight loss ticker