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Archived Entries from June 2005


Swamped

If ever I needed a three-day weekend, this is it. I'm absolutely worn out. I've been so busy at work that my brain is half-fried and I can barely think straight.

And the mess on my desk is growing (this picture doesn't even do it justice...)

I've been fighting with ColdFusion for the last day or two. I think one way in which PHP is better is that neither the PHP processor nor Dreamweaver relate what is happening in the PHP part to the HTML part. But in ColdFusion, if you forget a # sign at the end of the variable, it will look all the way back out of "ColdFusion land" and get as far as the starting pound sign in something like "bgcolor=#FFFFFF" and then black out the tags and it just becomes a mess. Whereas PHP will process up to the ?> and ignore the rest and let the browser deal with it.

Or something. I haven't been sleeping well so I'm sure I'm not making any sense. I may just nap all day on Saturday...

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2005, 1:38 pm
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Swamped


If ever I needed a three-day weekend, this is it. I'm absolutely worn out. I've been so busy at work that my brain is half-fried and I can barely think straight.

And the mess on my desk is growing (this picture doesn't even do it justice...)

I've been fighting with ColdFusion for the last day or two. I think one way in which PHP is better is that neither the PHP processor nor Dreamweaver relate what is happening in the PHP part to the HTML part. But in ColdFusion, if you forget a # sign at the end of the variable, it will look all the way back out of "ColdFusion land" and get as far as the starting pound sign in something like "bgcolor=#FFFFFF" and then black out the tags and it just becomes a mess. Whereas PHP will process up to the ?> and ignore the rest and let the browser deal with it.

Or something. I haven't been sleeping well so I'm sure I'm not making any sense. I may just nap all day on Saturday...

Posted: Thursday, June 30, 2005, 1:38 pm
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Gone Fishin'!


As planned, we went fishing on Saturday. The kids had a ball, oh, for about an hour. It was so excruciatingly hot... Fortunately, as promised, the fish were biting! There was a ton of algae covering most of the pond, but if you could get your cast into part that was clear it was literally only a matter of seconds before the bobber would vanish. What fun!

Saturday afternoon we had an impromptu pool party for a few hours. The kids each had a friend over and a couple of our friends stopped by for a little bit as well. Days like that make me realize that having a pool isn't necessarily a bad thing like I make it out to be from time to time.

That blur is my big fat butt attempting to do a "watermelon." At least that's what we called it when I was a kid. (It's like a cannonball but you try to go in head first or something like that...). Sunday I did nothing all day, which stinks because I have a consulting job and I got NONE of it done this weekend. And now it's Monday and I have to work on it tonight. Woe is me....

Posted: Monday, June 27, 2005, 8:39 pm
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T.G.I.F.


What a long week. At least it is almost over with--I'm very much looking forward to the weekend.

Tomorrow we're taking the kids fishing. And by "we" I don't me me and the redhead. My pal Jeff runs a number of research ponds for the Natural History Survey. And they drain the ponds periodically and see how the fish are reproducing, or how big they are--actually, I don't really have any idea what it is exactly that they are researching. At any rate, they have a bunch of small research ponds, and then a larger "overflow" pond where they toss fish that are "extra" (or something). Well, the extra fish in the bigger pond aren't, well, used for anything (and they aren't very big either). Well, Jeff has his son this weekend, so he and I and the three kids are going to go fish at the overflow pond.

Actually, I might have a picture of the ponds...

I took that about 15 seconds after take-off from Willard airport on the way to O'Hare. You can see in the left side of the picture a set of rectangles in a grid--those are the research ponds. And then the bigger pond to the left is where we'll be fishing. Again, the fish aren't very big, but there are a lot of them and they are hungry so it will be easy for the kids to catch them (theoretically).

Tomorrow night our daughter is staying at a friend's house which means that one of my son's friends will be coming over to stay at our house (everything has to be "fair," of course). I think depending on how warm it is out tomorrow night we may have a fire as well and roast weenies for dinner.

Posted: Friday, June 24, 2005, 3:08 pm
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Hump Day


As promised, here's a picture that I took while cleaning the deck last weekend.

No, it didn't need to be cleaned at all. Sheesh. Gross!

Well, I guess I don't have too much else to talk about at the moment, but I had that photo on my desktop and wanted to get it uploaded and displayed so I can get it out of the way.

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 2:44 pm
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I Overwhelm Myself....


So I'm taking an internet class this summer, en route to my second Bachelor's degree.

Hmm. How do I explain what I'm feeling?

I regret so much, yet when possibilities are placed in front of me I almost panic.

It's only an eight-week class because it is summer.

My instructor, who I presume is single (and forgive me if I have erred in this regard) had an 11-year old daughter. And her daughter, Samantha, died of pneumonia last week at age 11.

And this kind of stuff eats at me. What do I say? What do I do? And she's back and teaching the class again. I'd want to go away. I hate pain. I don't understand how to deal with it. It scares the crap out of me.

Most of our class involves posting about things on the discussion board. And my posts invariably lead to me (well, sometimes) talking about my kids. Guilt.

Oh, I need to go to bed. I thought the roller coaster was on its way back upwards.

Why am I not at ease? Something is wrong here...

Posted: Wednesday, June 22, 2005, 4:59 am
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Father's Day Weekend


I can't believe it is Monday already...

I had a great weekend. I had talked with a friend last week about borrowing his power washer to clean all the dead algae and scuz off of my deck. After doing some research on the Internet, however, I learned that the last thing to use to clean a deck is a power washer. Apparently it beats the heck out of the lighter parts of the wood and leaves the darker grains alone so when you're finished you end up with a rough, grooved surface. Don't want that... So Saturday morning I got up and went to the dollar store and got two gallons of "Summer Fresh" bleach and some dish soap. I mixed it with water in a huge bucket and grabbed a brush.

And five hours later I was finished. Sheesh. And I'm still sore. But the deck looks awesome. Almost like new. I never imagined it would look as good as it did. And of course I took some pictures, and of course I left the camera at home. Sheesh.

Saturday evening we had some friends over and the kids swam and played and we sat around the fire pit and visited. The weather was perfect for a fire--the air was calm and cool, but not too cold. It was a good excuse for me to dispose of a bunch of brush that has been collecting in the back corner of my yard. Technically we're not allowed to burn any yard waste other than leaves, but "recreational" fires are okay. And of course, I kinda have to use sticks to get that recreational fire going. LOTS of sticks.

On Sunday the kids were all sorts of excited that it was Father's Day. Personally I don't care for "Hallmark Holidays" but the kids have fun with it, and I'm happy to play along. They got me three T-shirts from the Polo outlet store, along with a pair of shorts (and I can always use more shorts). The redhead picked out a pink shirt for me, and the kids picked out orange and navy blue, because that's the colors for the Illini. They're hilarious.

Sunday afternoon we went out to the in-laws where Papa had fried up a whole bunch of fish--it was muy delicioso. I drove around in the Gator with the kids, and we also watered the garden (which is doing great!). Papa says no more rain for a couple of weeks, so it is looking like I'll be watering every day again. At least it has been cool out the past week so that the plants having been baking to death in the sun.

And just like that, now it's Monday and I'm back at work.

Posted: Monday, June 20, 2005, 12:35 pm
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Rollercoaster


Well the rollercoaster is on its way back up, I think. Thank goodness...

I think I mentioned that we finally "got some weather" here in East Central Illinois. And we really needed it. And the best part was that it wasn't just a wimpy little rain--we finally got the first all-hell-breaking-loose storm of the season. I stood on the front porch and just watched it roll in and tear through the area. What fun!

The funny thing is that I've been watering the garden out at the farm almost every day during this semi-drought period, and while all the plants were living from day to day, they weren't growing and thriving. But take a couple days of rain and whoosh! Most of the pepper plants are literally twice the size that they were a few days ago. Here's the little guy whose peppers I'm most looking forward to:


Caribbean Red Haba?ero

My eyes are watering already. I can't wait to start making salsa that is absolutely on fire. Red Tomatoes, hot red chilis, a red onion, and a red haba?ero--that's going to be some bright red salsa!

As it turns out, I didn't get to play with my new camera for long yesterday--it didn't come with the i.Link to Firewire cable I need to hook it up to my G5. Sheesh. I ordered one yesterday and hopefully it won't take too long to arrive.

In the meantime I got Darwin Streaming Server up and running on my desktop machine. The real test will be to get it running on my test web server, which is Red Hat Enterprise (the desktop machine is running OS X, of course, and they had an already-compiled binary for OS X--I'll have to configure and compile myself for the Linux machine...). Either that or get an IP address outside of the firewall for my desktop machine. Nah, but then I'd have to get ColdFusion to run on OS X, which is on my list of things to do for development purposes, but I don't know that I'd want to make my desktop machine a production web server, even if only for a day or two during the conference in January.

Well, I have some things to get done this morning and actually have the gumption to get them done, so I best get busy.

Posted: Thursday, June 16, 2005, 1:50 pm
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Gray


I'm in a funk again, and I don't know why. Life, family, job, money--everything seems to be okay. But something is out of place, and I can't put my finger on it. Oh well.

I think today I'm going to spend the day playing with my newest toy at work--my Sony hi definition digital video camera. I think I'll see if I can get it hooked up to the G5 first, just to make sure it works, and then proceed to install Darwin Streaming Server on my test Linux server.

Oh, I have so much to do. At least I won't be bored I guess. But my goodness. Every time I think of something I need to do it reminds me of several other related things and each of those has several related things, and so on. Oh well. I best get busy...

Posted: Wednesday, June 15, 2005, 11:36 am
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OS X Tiger


I'm not usually one to waste time complaining about an operating system, but it has been almost 24 hours since I "upgraded" to version 4 of Mac OS X, code-named "Tiger."

And I'm so frustrated I could scream.

First, I couldn't even get the computer to start up with my external hard drive attached. I found a workaround that involved deleting a couple of extensions that were related to the "OneTouch" feature (that I don't use). So fine, I got up and running.

Today I tried to find a file, and the new search "feature" starts looking for stuff before you even hit enter. As soon as you type a single letter it starts looking for files with that letter. It seems to me that if I had a hard drive full of a billion files, that's a pretty dumb way to go about things. So if you don't type anything, but know you are looking for an image, you can use a pull-down menu ahead of time and select "images." But then it goes and returns you every single image on the machine before you have time to type a search term. Oh, and of course, it kept locking up. I had to force quit the finder several times.

When I finally got locked up badly enough that I had to restart, my back-up external volume no longer appeared on the desktop. So I opened Disk Utility to try to mount it. And couldn't. "You need to run Disk First Aid." Wonderful.

So I did. And it said it couldn't repair it. Groan.

I restarted and am trying again. And it is having all sorts of problems. The drive worked yesterday. Now we've been stuck on "Looking for missing items in lost+found directory" for several minutes. I should just erase and re-install the silly thing. If only Maxtor had new drivers for this thiing so I could start from scratch and not have to deal with deleting extensions....

And it isn't like I'm trying to run Tiger on a ten-year old beige G3 with an upgraded third-party processor card and 384 megs of RAM and a 4 gig hard drive. I'm on a dual 2 GHz G5 with a 250 gig hard drive and 6 gigs of RAM.

Oop. Now we've started over. We're back to a flurry of "Missing thread records" scrolling by at a million miles an hour and the status bar has started over from the left side. Groan.

I just erased it. What a pain in the neck.

Oh, and I love that whenever Eudora checks mail now it brings all of its windows to the front. Thanks. Because I want that to happen. Sheesh.

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 3:29 pm
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Weather!


Well, I spent most of the Spring complaining that we hadn't had any cool weather yet. You know, all-hell-breaks-loose kind of storms. Every time it seems promising, it fizzles out, or goes around us.

I think we might be in store for some in the next hour or so. Woo hoo!

In other news, I had a fantastic ColdFusion programming day today. What fun! I built a form with multiple checkboxes (for different sections of the web site) so that I can add links to, well, all over the place without having to add them manually into the database. I'm sure that sentence makes no sense--maybe I'll rewrite it tomorrow....

ColdFusion is getting cooler by the day. I'm very thankful that Tiger is working (grrr...). And if we get a bruiser of a storm tonight, that will just be the icing on the cake.

Am I that much of a dork that I can't wait to get back into the office tomorrow and get back to coding?

Posted: Tuesday, June 14, 2005, 12:24 am
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Kernel Panic!


So get this...

The driver for the "OneTouch" feature of my Maxtor 250 gig external Firewire/USB drive is what all the panic is about. Groan.

After deleting a couple of extensions (IOFireWireMxBt.kext and MaxtorPowSecDriver.kext) I was able to reboot fine and my second volume is mounted on the desktop like normal. We'll just have to see if Retrospect can still do its thing.

Anyway. Back to work...

Posted: Monday, June 13, 2005, 7:52 pm
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Tiger. Grrr.....


So I've been having an odd Finder-related problem (I think) at work. If I open an application, say for example BBEdit. I start a new file. I type a line of text. Then I do File-->Save. If I just save it to the path that it shows up with by default, or even click "Desktop" it works fine. But if I navigate around and save it somewhere else, BBEdit just quits cold. And no, it doesn't save the file. Word does this. Photoshop does this. Dreamweaver does this. Poof. Gone. Now if I start a new file, save it to the Desktop, move it to where I wanted it to reside, I'm fine with opening and saving after that. It's just a problem with brand new files and the first time they are saved.

I finally got frustrated enough with it today that I said "screw it" and took the Tiger plunge.

And now I'm even more frustrated. After spending 40 minutes installing (probably not that long, to be honest) my fancy-schmancy dual 2 GHz G5 started up, then the grey screen got a shadowed cast to it and I got a message "You must restart your computer" (in several languages...).

Fine. I presumed it was doing a Windows-esque thing and restarting would finish up the installation. So I restarted. Same message. Restarted again. Same message. Shut down, forced the DVD drive to give me the DVD back, restarted. Same message.

So now I'm hoping that the "remove all non-necessary external devices and try installing again" advice works. I unplugged the USB scanner, my FireWire backup drive, and a USB zip disk--none of which seem like they would be screwing up this installation.

If it doesn't work this time, I'm going to be hot. I mean, livid.

Posted: Monday, June 13, 2005, 3:55 pm
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Sunday Evening


I have such lame post titles. Oh well.

Yesterday we had friends over to swim and have dinner and brewskis. And of course, it rained most of the day. Tony had called earlier and asked if the invitation from us was still valid if it rains. Sheesh. Yeah, and if it rains then we'll sit inside and drink beer and be thankful that it is finally raining outside.

And what a difference the rain makes. I've watered the plants at the garden almost every day during our pseudo-drought. And they lived, but they didn't grow. And after ONE good rain (that wasn't even that good--less than a half-inch) the pepper plants have doubled in height and everything looks, well, like I haven't seen it in a month even though it has only been a couple of days. How funny.

I just completed my second assignment for my summer class. Groan. This is going to be a long eight weeks.

I need to quit thinking that way. Yes, I was in no mood to screw with the assignment that is due this evening, but week one really hasn't been that difficult. One week down, seven to go. Already 12.5% of the class has been completed. I can do this...

The wife and kids and I went to Red Lobster for dinner tonight. My wife's boss got her a $50 gift certificate for doing such a great job while the office manager was on vacation and the redhead was stuck by herself to do two jobs for an entire week (and hadn't really been trained to do all of the various stuff the office manager did...). I had a couple of raspberry margaritas, which were pretty good. My son decided that he didn't want to order off the kids menu tonight. They're growing up, and it scares the hell out of me. He ate all of his catfish and shrimp scampy and fries, not to mention half of my crab legs, part of my lobster tail, part of his sister's chicken strips, and still had room for chocolate cake. Sheesh. Thank goodness for that gift certificate--with tip our total bill was over a hundred dollars.

And the redhead said we need to do that more often. Sheesh. Dang kids....

Anyway. I'm so thankful that it has finally rained. The garden(s) are doing well. I don't have to waste more money watering one more time. And most of all, the crops finally got a drink, which means that Papa will be happy, and when Papa is happy everyone's life is much easier.... Phew.

I really don't want to go to North Carolina next month....

Posted: Monday, June 13, 2005, 2:52 am
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Perspective...


I just went to kiss the kids goodnight.

I apologized to my daughter for being grumpy the last day or two. She said it was okay and asked why I had been grumpy. I told her that I was frustrated with some of the computer-related stuff at work that had happened the past few days.

"Did you get a virus or something?" she asked. I chuckled and told her "no."

I said that I was frustrated because I was trying to work something out and I was having a difficult time with it.

She proceeded to tell me that once she put her hand on a tack that was sticking up and that she had a difficult time with that.

Fair enough. From the mouths of babes come wisdom, I guess. And I've relaxed, and calmed down (and watched a half-hour of an Indiana Jones movie to make sure the following quote was correct...):

"I find that if I just sit down and stay put a solution presents itself."

I need to relax.

Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2005, 2:41 am
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Work


You know, sometimes I get worked up about the fact that on some days I don't spend 8 hours in my office, for whatever reason. I try to burn vacation days even when I don't actually take a day off, just because I'm so paranoid about being honest. And sometimes I forget why it is that I shouldn't bother worrying about leaving at 3:00 instead of 4:00 when I'm not focusing on what I'm doing.

It's because I suffer from a blight that involves my job and my main hobby being way-too-closely interconnected.

And I guess that's not a bad thing....

I had a ColdFusion problem today. It could be summed up many ways--first and foremost that I can always seem to come up with a PHP solution but never a CF solution. And Macromedia's on-line documentation uses some form of goofy (it can't be Flash) something-or-other that behaves improperly with Safari so getting to one page is okay, but trying to poke around becomes frustrating.

Today I was building another administration page that "submits" to itself, and then does a self-check on whether or not information was submitted.

There are two checks, if this makes sense....

1. If the form has NOT been submitted, it needs to be displayed on-screen with all empty fields.

2. If the form HAS been submitted, the "page" needs to make sure that all of the form fields were filled in, and if not, re-draw the form with the fields that HAD been filled in, filled in (if that makes sense).

Checking to see if the form has been submitted? Easy. Check to see if the submit object exists:

<cfif IsDefined("Form.submit")>

But how to check for empty fields? This is what I was doing:

<cfif IsDefined("Form.link").....

with "link" being the name of a text input of the form.

The problem is, if you get to the form, click "submit" without filling anything out, #Form.link# is defined, well, as "". And it has been a long week and I was brain-farting bad this afternoon. I was so frustrated. A Friday where I'm the last one out the door is an odd Friday indeed.

The form fields are defined when "submit" is clicked. ColdFusion got a variable back, it was just empty.

Now if we follow this logic, as long as #Form.submit# is defined, the form has been submitted, and therefore, #Form.(whatever)# exists as well.

Therefore, we can check the value of #Form.(whatever)# without throwing an exception (a fancy word for "error").

Duh.

<cfif #Form.link# IS NOT "".....

So calming down, having a glass of wine, watering the plants on the deck, eating dinner with the family, and ending the clenching of the teeth for the day actually paid off with an epiphany. Well, okay, it's not really an epiphany. I was just charging the wrong direction. Sometimes taking a step back can elucidate different options.

"You have submitted a form that is not completely filled out."

As the only one who will ever use and view that page, I can't express how happy I am that I was able to get that one single sentence to appear.

Sheesh.

And I fancy myself as a hack of a programmer.

Jack of a few things, master of nothing....

The next step is to see if I can iterate through an array of checkbox items (I can do that, right?) so that I can submit links to multiple areas of the website without having to fill out the form multiple times.

Phew. Any time we could get some rain would be nice...

Posted: Saturday, June 11, 2005, 2:16 am
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The Pool


Well, I was patient this year with the silly pool, and I think my patience paid off. I expended less effort, was much less stressed, and the pool cleared up much more quickly than in past seasons. While the 90 degree weather with little rain probably isn't thrilling the farmers very much, it has been great for the pool. It has totally cleared up, the chlorine level is perfect, and the water temperature is up to 80 degrees, which is awesome.

The kids have been in it every day for hours at a time, which makes it feel a little more worthwhile for me.

I took a close-up shot of the planters on either side of the diving board. The redhead and I planted those before that nasty late frost and lost the sweet potato vines and the coleus but those other flower things lived. She re-planted the coleus and sweet potato vines, but these things never seemed to do well even though we watered them every day. Then it occurred to us that we hadn't drilled out the plug holes in the bottom of the planters, so they weren't draining at all. Whoops. The nasty brown water that came out when the first drill bit punctured the bottom was just plain gross. As you can see, they are all much, much happier.

I've probably lamented before that the neighbor behind us threw a fit last year about the waste water from the pool getting into her yard... Well, I fixed that this year. Rather than argue with here about where the property line actually is, and cause more aggravating discussion, I figured I'd just keep my mouth shut and divert the water. So, rather than it dump right behind the filter and pump onto the ground behind the pool house, I extended the PVC pipes to go down and then turn behind the pool house. From there it goes the length of the pool house until there is a fitting, attached to which I have an old pool vacuum hose that is about 20 feet long. Now when I go to backwash the filter, I simply unroll the hose out into my back yard before flipping the switch. My grass back there now? Wow. At any rate, last year I had created a mess trying to block the water from going into her yard, and now I have to clean it up. Yuck.

The broken cinder blocks are a result of having used them for a makeshift weenie roast pit (before making the much nicer one that we have now). I had tried to stack the blocks so that the water would hit them instead of just shooting toward the fence. It didn't really do what I had hoped. Either way, now that I've cleared all the old crappy plastic patio furniture out of there (yeah, it gets easy to just throw stuff behind the pool house and get it out of the way...) it's time to get the rest of this cleaned up, the weeds removed, and then plant a bush there or something.

My work is never finished.

Posted: Thursday, June 09, 2005, 1:11 pm
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Fishing


So today was the third time in three tries to cross a particular railroad crossing out in the country and each time it was blocked by a train. Yesterday on the way both to and from work, and then this morning on my way to work. Not that that matters or anything.

I had to put four new tires on the redhead's car yesterday--and of course the alignment was way off (which is why the front passenger tire was all torn up, of course). I figured I'd get the two cheapest tires they had, replace just the front two, and get out of there under $200. Nope. The back ones were screwed up too (presumably because the last time I rotated them they had already started to wear funny from said alignment problem). And of course they didn't have four of the cheap ones in stock. Oh, and I had to get an alignment as well. $560. Ho hum. "It's always somethin'..."

Anyway. I need to take a day off and go fishing or something.

Posted: Tuesday, June 07, 2005, 1:17 pm
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Fun Weekend


I spent the whole weekend outdoors, for the most part, and I'm thrilled. The only thing that could make me happier would be two days of steady rain. Groan.

And I have nerdy stuff to talk about, but I'll save that for tomorrow and just focus on the gardeny stuff today.

I took a picture of the variegated weigela that I moved from the front of the house to back by the gate to the back yard. It is so much happier here--or at least it is growing better (I suppose I ought not to affix emotions to plants...)

I only moved it a month or so ago and it has totally done well since the move. I'm sure it helped that I had a pile of decaying logs there beforehand and after I moved the actual logs there was all sorts of nutritious rotting stuff that I tilled (by hand) into the ground before replanting that bush and adding mulch around it.

I also took a picture of my little volunteer pin oak. I yanked this little dude out of the ground when it was a few inches tall and put it into a pot of dirt. When it was maybe a foot or two tall I planted it right where it is now and a damn bunny (I assume) left me with a one-inch stub sticking out of the ground. Grrr. I have a friend who is a silviculturist (which is a fancy word that means he knows about forestry...) and he told me that as long as the roots were established I just needed to lop it off flush with the ground and it would shoot right back. And belive it or not, he was right! That was a year or two ago. Here's our progress thus far:

It has tried to grow a bit slant-ed-ly (I have a poetic license and am allowed to make up words...) hence the weenie stick that is tethered to the tree to try to keep it somewhat straight.

I need to take more pictures of the trees in the yard, if for nothing else than for my own historical perspective...

A lot of 2005 firsts happened today at our house. The air is on for the first time... The redhead and I worked around the house on various things the past two days, and we sweat all day yesterday, and we sweat all day today. And I can deal with it up to a point, but I caved, and the a/c is now up and running (thank goodness it worked on the first flip of the switch...). And yes, I'm still sweating. Apparently typing still uses enough energy to make me sweat.... Of course I'm in a room with three computers that have been bitching for a few days now that it is warmer than they would like it to be. Tee hee. And I do have to admit this--surprisingly the Athlon 64 machine is whining the least. I had always heard that Athlons run hot, and that they have problems when the weather warms up, etc., etc. I had been told that that had been fixed now and that the 64 series runs no hotter than any other processor, but I still kept thinking of Athlons running hot. Nope. The G4 (that I'm typing on right now) is wheezing and making all sorts of fan noise, and the Pentium 4 Fedora machine behind me is audible as well. Hopefully the a/c will actually start cooling the house off soon....

Hmmm (I just went to get more wine)--it seems the rest of the house is cooling well. I guess we'll have to still sit here and wait for the a/c to overtake the heat output of my poor computers.

I'm such a dork....

Anyway. The redhead and the K-Farts are upstairs watching their weekly installment of "Monarch of the Glen" on PBS. They missed last week's episode--and while I can find any other dumb show on bittorrent, I can't seem to find PBS shows from Britain. Sheesh.

At any rate, hopefully I'll have some geeky stuff to talk about tomorrow.

Posted: Sunday, June 05, 2005, 11:24 pm
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Drinking Water Backwards


And that's almost a misnomer, because it is more like drinking water upside-down than backwards. Either way, I don't understand how the heck it works, but it does. I just started a bout with the hiccups and I have finally learned not to mess with them at all. Right back upstairs I went (thanks, Yoda) and half-filled a glass of water I did. And after a few seconds of trying to bend over and drink from the dang cup backwards my hiccups were gone. *>Poof<*

Today was busy, but cool, at work. I was swamped with stuff, of course, but what I did during the gaps of slammed-ed-ness was fun.

I tinkered with ColdFusion more, and I am becoming much more fond of ColdFusion over PHP. I played with "cookies" for a while today. When I wrote the, well, web application (I hesitate to use the word "application" but that's probably what it boils down to...) for the grant proposal thing using PHP I had an area where applicants could log in and perform various tasks. This is such a total hack, but to keep them "logged in" from page to page I simply had form buttons to go forward or back, and the form itself passed the logged-in-or-not information as a "hidden" variable. It works, but it's tacky. And probably sloppy...

So when creating an administrative set of tools for the new web site at work today I thought I'd delve into "cookies." After playing around for a while (and talking to a friend) I think it has become clear that I want to use session variables instead of cookies for my administration status. (The problem for me is that cookies expire when an application has been quit--when you close an Explorer window, or a Firefox window--the session and cookie are erased. However, in OS X, if I close a Safari browser window the application is technically still running so the default cookie setting in ColdFusion doesn't actually automatically let the cookie expire...).

Oh my shoulder hurts. And I needed the redhead to work the knot out of it and I forgot about it (until now that she's asleep and I'm typing away...). Forget carpal tunnel--this muscle knot is going to render me useless at work tomorrow...

It looks like I'm going to Raleigh, North Carolina the second week of July for an I.T. meeting. I don't see the usefulness of the trip, but I guess I have to go. And every time I'm forced to do this I think it wears down my innate unnatural fear of flying. And I'm going by myself so I can leave when I want and come back when I want. Which as some of us know means that I can get sauced for the ride. I don't have any valium, but a few heavy, heavy screwdrivers (for the morning flight) before hand, and I'll deal with that flight much, much better. And I actually liked the little airport bar at Raleigh-Durham the last time I was there--it was kinda fun. I also think this time that we're staying closer to NC State and not in downtown Raleigh (which sucked...). Again, I think that there's no need for me to be at this meeting, and I don't like to fly, but I guess I have to go. I think I'll fly Delta this time, which connects in Cincinnati, instead of American, which connects at O'Hare. I can deal with flight much better if we take off and fly and then land--the whole circling O'Hare thing for however long it takes scares the hell out of me.

I don't like being mortal. Everyone in the world can tell me that, overall, flying is safer than driving. You cannot prove that flying is safer than me driving my car. I like control. My therapist is trying to get me to give up that control. "The NTSB is trying to determine the cause of the crash..." Gravity causes the crashes.

Anyway. I'm remaining calm. I'll be on commuter jets. They are safe. I'm avoiding O'Hare (not that I think that O'Hare is unsafe air-wise, but it is a hassle, and I'm a native Chicagoan and actually know my way around the place...). Vodka, beer, NyQuil liquicaps, and I promise that I'll enjoy myself.

(It's still stupid that we can't just open an IRC "room" or videoconference, but it isn't up to me...)

Anyway.

Posted: Friday, June 03, 2005, 2:14 am
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