Monday, February 28, 2005

Web Quizzes09:26 AM - ... should I be concerned?

Your Brain is 46.67% Female, 53.33% Male
Your brain is a healthy mix of male and female.
You are both sensitive and savvy.
Rational and reasonable, you tend to keep level headed.
But you also tend to wear your heart on your sleeve.
What Gender Is Your Brain?

Apparently I'm a little more "male" than "female". Then again, I kinda had a feeling anyway, given that I get along better as a rule with men than women (with exceptions, obviously), that I find scatalogical humor amusing, and that I don't like being girly most of the time. Not that the questions had much to do about that kinda thing...

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Life07:27 AM - Bleh, no internet until after lunch

We get to spend 3 hours amongst 12000-some other people at the Family Arena for "Ethics Recommitment Day" for work. Since they're only allowing carpools of 4 or more people, or riding buses from work that only run from 7am to 7:45 for a 9am event that no one can be late to, I'm driving out to St. Charles to meet at a friend & coworker's house, so we can hop over from there (Family Arena's right near him).

I'm totally bringing my book, and something to doodle on. Can't read during, but can beforehand, and I'll need to doodle during it to stay awake.

whining no longer being accepted

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Technical This site08:11 AM - Workaround for comments

With the way TypeKey and the new commenting works, I couldn't get the redirects after signing in and after commenting to go to the "#comments" anchor in a comments page anymore. So, I have my header check to see if it's on a comments page, and if so, write a little Javascript function that looks to see if there's already a # in the URL. If not, then it sets the location to "#comments" automatically. This method is called from the body's onload event (again, only if it's a comments page).

That should fix things up a bit better. Really, I should change it to all be done in PHP and just do an automatic forward, but JS was the first thing I thought of, and is probably a bit quicker and cleaner from the user's perspective.

whining no longer being accepted

Life07:59 AM - I think I'm cracking up...

Friday, I laid down at a nap at 5pm or so. At 6:30, still asleep, the doorbell rang. I woke up with a bit of a start, looked at J's clock, and said rather loudly, "Who the hell rings the doorbell at 6:30 in the fucking morning?" (I don't think I was actually heard.) Yeeah. My next thought was "Why is J still up so late playing WoW??" Finally, my more intelligent, rational brain woke up and informed me that it was 6:30pm, not 6:30am, that I was just napping, and that it was a perfectly reasonable time for the doorbell to be rung and for J to be playing WoW or otherwise not be in bed.

I would've thought that an isolated incident, but as of this morning I'm no longer sure. My alarm went off at 5:25am as usual for a weekday morning. Apparently I was deep somewhere in a dream, and it was quite difficult for my brain to tell me to find the off button, which in itself is not unusual. However, apparently at least in part because of whatever I was dreaming about, I thought "oops, it's Saturday, I forgot to disarm my alarm". ??? (I'll mention now, that my alarm is the kind that once it's set with the alarm button, it's armed for the next day even after you shut it off, so that you don't have to keep remembering to turn it on every night, and that you have to turn it off specifically if you don't want it to go off. J's alarm is armed with a slider, so he has to specifically take action to arm it at night.) So I go right on back to sleep thinking I had hours of sleep ahead of me. Then J's alarm went off at 6, and he rolled over to hug me since I was still in bed. I liked that, but then asked him something like, "Why did your alarm go off on a Saturday?" a bit amused. Of course, his reaction was "Huh?" I said, "I just forgot to turn my alarm off, but you had to specifically arm yours. What made you do that on a Saturday?" ... "It's not Saturday, sweetie, it's Tuesday."

So that kickstarted the intelligent, rational part of my brain (finally!), and I realized he was right and I was at that point running a good half hour late, which would become a little bit more than that since I then had to wait for him to shower.

I did manage to get to work only 5 minutes late, which isn't a big deal, but... damn, I wonder about my sanity. Granted, Sunday night / Monday morning I got a measley 4 hours of sleep, but I'd put my book up for the night last night at 10:30, and was asleep before 11 and only woke up briefly when J came to bed about midnight and turned off my light for me. So... yeah. I think I'm slowly sliding off the deep end.

whining no longer being accepted

Monday, February 21, 2005

Games & Gaming Life10:33 AM - Has it really been over a week since I made a real update?

Alright, I guess I need to actually do this. Lots to say, just no motivation to sit and write it up. Let's see...

J's parents stopped by last night on their way home from Peoria, and they brought family pics with them. They gave us the 8x10 and 5x7s of us, an 8x10 (I think) of the whole family, and a wallet to both of us of his baby sis. (Can I still call her his "baby sis" -- she's only 3, so that's still OK, right?)

My night elf hunter in WoW is now a level 31, over halfway to level 32. She still has the same pet Nightstalker because I've been too lazy and cheap to buy a stable slot and train up another pet to teach new skills to my Nightstalker. I have her herbalism up to 211 (bruiseweed finally went grey at 200, so of what I can find regularly I have to train on grave moss, kingsblood, wild steelbloom, and liferoot), and alchemy is up to 185 (I think -- close to that anyway). I'm saving up so I can spend the 5 gold to get artisan herbalism since my current level maxes at 225, and I'm almost there. I just trained her in "feign death" and had to use it twice shortly thereafter -- it's very nifty. J talked me into doing first aid, so now I'm working on that. I need to find more linen so I can get high enough to learn wool bandages to burn through all the wool he gave me. I've gotten some decent daggers and armor and stuff, with a couple nice things from J that he got as drops that are too low for him. I've done Deadmines and am mostly done with Stockades (would've been done but I didn't have all the boss quests -- some dwarf dude we killed was a quest -- so I guess I should go back). With J's help I was able to knock off some quests from my very full log yesterday, including the Stockades ones. Then I got to knock off two more with a random group of people (shadow orbs and Tharil'zun). So I finally went back to Kalimdor to knock off some Stonetalon Peak quests, namely the stuff in the Charred Vale.

I made chocolate chip cookies, and they turned out better than the last ones I made. (Everyone else but me liked the last ones; I thought they tasted too floury.) This time I'd bought Ghirardelli semi sweet morsels (they cost the same as Nestle's) and their recipe called for 1/2 tsp salt instead of Nestle's 1 tsp, and 2 tsp vanilla instead of Nestle's 1 tsp. Dunno how much difference that made in the overall cookie dough, but I figured less salt == good. As always, it was a learning process. For starters, it'd be nice to have an electrical outlet that can be easily reached from the larger countertop space that isn't squeezed in between the stove and the sink, since there's a lot more room. Second, while I like having a bowl mixer and it's cool that I can detach it from the base and use it that way... it's too damn heavy for that. I managed, 'cause I didn't wanna use one of the bowls that was made for the mixer base (I wasn't sure it'd be big enough, and had I made a double batch it wouldn't have been). But I wouldn't mind a slimmer, lighter hand mixer. Preferably with an on/off that isn't at the back of the thing so I have to reach by my other elbow to turn it on and adjust the speed. Finally... definitely hand mix all the flour. I tried first with the mixer and the first dump of the flour was difficult enough that I did the rest by hand. That takes strength since cookie dough is rather stiff, but it's easier than trying to beat it in with the mixer, again because of dough stiffness. All in all, though, those were some damn good cookies. Just a little crunchy on the bottom, nice and browned, and chewy on the inside. Yum! Not too floury, either.

I'm all outta steam for now. If I come up with stuff I forgot maybe I'll get around to posting it.

Wednesday, February 16, 2005

This site01:22 PM - Still working on it

I know it's been a while since I said I was working on a "resolutions" section tied to the main site & stuff, and I am still working on it in bits and pieces, and I do have the templates mostly done. I've even been keeping track of stuff in it for a few weeks now. I'm just not quite ready with it; I've been having a harder time than usual finishing projects I've started lately. Though I did finish that Amazon XML parser, but it only took a day to work on. I still haven't put finishing touches on that new Forest theme, nor created a larger-text version. Really, the one I have now is ready to go out the door, but I don't want to do that until I work the larger-text version, and of course I'm dragging my feet on it for no apparent reason. It seems I only feel like eating, sleeping, writing really short coding projects, and gaming. Anything where I don't have to think or work too hard. No idea why. Anyway, I will get the current site projects done, and hopefully soon, just... not gonna pin down when.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Technical08:45 AM - Amazon Book XML Parser

I got sick of the fact that the MTWair plugin isn't working anymore, and isn't likely to work any time soon given that it appears to be a conflict between Amazon's XML and the XML::Parser Perl module installed here (it works for some others, so they apparently have a different version of it). So I adapted an existing XML parsing script and grabbed the URL MTWair was using to read my txt file of ASINs, get URLs for them at Amazon, and parse the info. Go me! Now I just have to implement it. This is also my first time using classes in PHP; specifically I have a parser class, a book info class, and my driver class that reads the file it's told to read, creates the links, creates cached files to be polite to Amazon's network traffic, and runs all the data through the parser. This generates a list of book info objects which I can them use however I like.

I guess I should update my list though... I've read 3 of the books on it already, including the "currently reading" one, and am started on a 4th.

whining no longer being accepted

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Interesting places03:01 PM - Ever want to know how popular a name is or was?

Then visit the "Baby Name Wizard's Voyager" It's actually pretty interesting. Just start typing a name and it'll start filtering until you get down as far as it will filter. If you still have more than one name, you can click on the one you want to view just it. It has data from the 1900s up through 2003, though if you get incredibly creative with the spelling it might not turn up. If you do searches on names that have changed "gender" over the decades, such as Leslie, it shows very interesting results. You also get interesting results for names that have often concurrently been used for both genders. Or, if you do searches for what we often consider "old" names, such as Maude, you'll see them being used decades ago and then being dropped completely for at least 20 years. It's really entertaining.

whining no longer being accepted

Games & Gaming Life09:14 AM - Ugh, too much WoW and not enough sleep

Got onto WoW around 5 or so last night to do VC with a friend. I've a level 29 hunter and he's a level 30 priest. We got all the way up to VC by about, I think, 8:30. Didn't die, didn't get too terribly close to it. Until VC. Sent my pet to tank VC while we handled the two front guards. Just when we killed them and started on VC himself, out came two more guards. It was at that point my friend could no longer keep up with healing himself, me, or my pet, and of course even if I could handle several unchallenged blows from the guards, Mend Pet level 2 blows and doesn't add much health to the pet. So first the pet died, followed in short succession by my friend and then me.

Of course, by this point everything non-boss had respawned, so after rezzing at the start of the instance we were facing a rather long trek back and another possible defeat. Thankfully, just as we were going to res, one of our higher level guildmates (level 25 paladin) logged on, saw that we were doing VC and asked to join us, saying he'd soloed it twice the night before and wanted to go back (he goes for the loot, hehe). So he joined us after not too long, fighting through the non-instance area with little issue at all, even when he had a dozen or so guys all on him at once. After that it was a lot easier to go through till the pirates, and while that was almost like work it wasn't bad at all. He got two parrots out of it, I got a siamese kitty, and my friend got a parrot as well.

It still took an entire 5-10 minutes to kill VC and his guys, but this time we were successful in retrieving his head. By that point it was 10pm, and J was now in the middle of some stuff, so while our guildmate cleared out the VC area my friend and I left to turn quests in, etc. Of course, immediately after turning in my 2nd one in SW, most people on that continent got booted and had to log back in, and lost about 1-2 minutes of whatever they'd done right up to the boot. So I went back to the place to turn my quest in again, then did other stuff (repairing, going to SH to turn in VC's head, etc.). J was still busy, so I went to Duskwood to run around doing quests there for a while. I finally got to a good stopping point, and he was still busy, so I just left my char AFK while I sat there and read my book. About 10:30 he finally logged out (he was trying to give another guildmate some materials for him to make something or other, but said guildmate was completely frozen in LagIronforge, so he finally gave up).

We still hadn't eaten, so we went to Applebees for some food. Our waiter was quite the airhead... nice, but not suited to waiting tables, really. Forgot I wanted more iced tea, etc., then took forever bringing back the bill to be signed. So we got home about 11:30. I hurried about getting my contacts out, teeth flossed & brushed, and nighttime pills taken so I could hit the sack.

All that was to say that I'm really, really tired today. I think today my evening after work will follow thusly:

  • Nap
  • Dinner
  • Put away some clothes
  • Bath
  • Bed

No WoW, might read before bed a bit, but mostly just relaxing stuff and more sleep and then early to bed. I figure with the above schedule I ought to at least be in bed with book in hand by 9:30 or so. And that's after figuring on a 2 hour nap.

listening to: Cranberries - It Was Enough
whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, February 09, 2005

Interesting places10:37 AM - Lego Thriller

If you've ever seen the video for Michael Jackson's Thriller, you'll probably get a kick out of a pretty good Lego version of it.

listening to: ori Amos - Pretty Good Year
whining no longer being accepted

Monday, February 07, 2005

Life05:51 PM - Well that sucked

I was in the middle of playing WoW, walking through Ashenvale to get to Astranaar to turn in a quest, and fighting a bear, when BAM! no power to computer. The UPS had decided to cut me off, and only powered up enough to say "hey asshole, my battery needs replacing!"

I can only get this battery direct from APC, as it's a special deep cycle battery and they don't let places like Best Buy sell 'em. They're quick to send stuff, according to my dad (he uses 'em a lot) but that still means being plugged only into a power strip until a new one gets here. (At least once a week we get a finger-snap length power blip of no power, which is more than enough to restart a PC, and which isn't good for it if it happens often enough. A battery backup makes it so you only notice the lights, and with a blip that short the UPS doesn't even have a chance to make its loud no power beep.)

whining no longer being accepted

Interesting places01:38 PM - If you don't mind...

... having your 8-bit gaming childhood raped, have a gander at this Mario-inspired video.

whining no longer being accepted

Friday, February 04, 2005

Life03:31 PM - Friday afternoon to-do list

We're going to be heading out to J's parents this evening to stay the night, since we're attending the family photo shoot with them tomorrow at 1. But, I have somethings that really ought to be done before I go, some more important than others.

  • Water all the plants
  • Scoop the cats' litterboxes
  • Put together my outfit for pictures tomorrow
  • Gather a smaller bag of make-up for pictures tomorrow (don't need it all, the eyeshadow colors and blush choice are already chosen)
  • Shave (I need to, and I don't want to do it in my shower there or wait until Sunday)
  • Go through all the stacks of mail that's left from the few bills having already been pulled
  • Do some general straightening up
  • Charge cellphone
  • Send car payment

And I'll probably only have about 3 hours to do it all in.

whining no longer being accepted

Wednesday, February 02, 2005

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

Life06:23 PM - Interesting new development

I went in for my 3 month depo appointment as usual, which was fine. Cost went up almost $13 because there's now a generic available. Of course, it's moot anyway as my insurance won't cover it at all either way. (They cover it if the place provides it "in house". Since they call in a scrip for it at the pharmacy, and I pick it up and bring it to them to stick me with, it's considered a prescription, and the prescription plan does not cover Depo.)

So anyway, the typical procedure after weigh-in and pee test is for the doctor to come in, talk to me about any of it, whether I've had any periods or spotting (haven't in a long time), etc., then leaves and one of the nurses sticks me. Well this time, she said they (presumably the FDA) have now released a "black box warning" for Depo. Basically, they already had mention that it can cause the body to absorb calcium less and that women on it should take ~1000mg of calcium a day in some form or other (usually meaning take those calcium supplements unless you drink/eat tons of milk, cheese, etc.). So now there's this "black box warning" telling of the risk of bone density loss, apparently strong enough to warrant a warning rather than putting it in the list of side effects.

Anyhow... she also said they usually only recommend Depo for 2 years, though obviously allowing the woman to choose to continue it. I've been on it almost 10 years. Lots longer than usual. Between this and the recently released warning, she had me schedule a bone density test, which they normally don't do (and often insurance companies don't cover without extenuating circumstances) with a woman of my age. This is one of those things women over 40 usually start doing. However, she said my having been on Depo so long should probably be enough to convince the insurance company to cover it.

My Depo is scheduled for the end of April, so my bone density scan is scheduled for the end of March (has to be before the next Depo, and this is the first BD-test appointment time open). They know the results immediately with this test, which is apparently a very minor radiological test, and will discuss them with me then. She suspects that all will probably be well, but it's best to check. If I come up normal, I get to stay on Depo; otherwise I get to pick an alternate BC method. (I'd probably go with the patch or the pill. Not interested in IUDs or caps or Norplant stuff.)

Another thing I found out, because I'm only finally getting to where I want to know, more about how to go off Depo to have children. She said they like for a woman to have 3 "normal" periods before getting pregnant, presumably to make sure all hormone levels are back to normal. (I use normal loosely, as she pointed out, that's different for everyone.) If a woman does not get a single period 3 months after she goes off it (i.e. 3 months after the last shot she would have gotten but didn't), they have her come in and essentially induce one -- some form of BC pill I guess -- and then go from there. In the meantime, while waiting for those 3 periods, condoms + spermicide (assuming no allergies to the latter) to prevent pregnancy until those 3 periods have passed.

So now I have more information than I had before. And of course since I'm a worrywort, I'll be at least back-of-my-mind apprehensive about the bone density scan showing my bones as not having enough calcium. Nothing to worry about there, more than likely, given how much I got as a kid and that I've been taking a 600mg supplement every day for a few years now, and trying to take 2 a day for the last several months. But still... now I'm a bit paranoid anyway.

Now, time to pry J away from WoW if he's at a good stopping point so we can have dinner and do grocery shopping. :)

whining no longer being accepted
weight loss ticker