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April 10, 2008

Grammar queen, back in action

I read the following sentence and immediately my eyes bulged and my head exploded. From CNN:

NARITA, Japan (AP) -- The Dalai Lama said he supports China's hosting of the Summer Olympics on Thursday, but insisted that nobody had the right to tell protesters demanding freedom for Tibet "to shut up."

Unless I'm missing a vital piece of information, I don't think the Summer Olympics are being held on Thursday. Why do trivial mistakes in syntax and sentence formation drive me nuts?

May 09, 2007

Tooting my own horn

I've been busy at work lately developing my presentation for Educause Southeast. I'm presenting!

I've also decided to pursue my undergraduate degree. At last! I was joking with coworkers yesterday that I do things backwards in my life. First, have a kid and then get married. Second, develop a career and then pursue a college degree. I think after this I'll just start doing it the right way.

Heading down to the Florida Keys this summer on a vacation - ever been? If so, tell me what's good or not good to do!

Toot toot!

April 26, 2007

Testttttttttt

Things aren't working! My brain! My brain isn't working!

September 07, 2006

Why I Love Him

Because he made my 39th birthday such a wonderful day! And because he put up with my incessant giggling in the Apple Store when I couldn't stop playing with Photo Booth.


August 30, 2006

Deal or No Deal

While on my recent trip to California, my mother and sister and I had the fortune of getting free tickets to be audience members in a taping of the game show Deal or No Deal. It was neat seeing the models - especially when they did that walk up the stairs on the back side of the stage. Of course, we got to see Howie Mandel in all his bald headed glory as well. Quite nifty! During takes, he would hang out at the edge of our audience section, talking to some people a couple of rows up from us who he apparently knew. There were thirteen cameras around the studio that were recording, and in between we had an audience manager who kept us busy with stupid games and contests and guided us in our clapping, enthusiasm and laughter. It was quite an organized event.

In true geek fashion and to better describe where I was sitting relative to the stage and the models and the aisle where Howie entered the stage (and hung out during takes), I drew a diagram (in MS Paint, no less):

I am the little red dot with 'di' written in it.

We were there for almost 5 hours (quite longer than expected), and by the time we left we were more than ready not to be there anymore. Our faces hurt from smiling, our hands hurt from clapping, and we were long overdue for a bathroom break. We watched them tape the ending of one contestant's attempt to win $1million, and the beginning of another contestant's turn at the money. They couldn't give us a specific date when the shows would air, but they did say it would most likely be sometime during October. If you happen to watch and you see a cute Latino woman in black pants and a royal blue shirt or a black man in black pants and a light blue shirt as contestants, then look for me. I'm about five rows behind where the podium is on stage, and I was wearing a red top and black pants. I'm the one who looks like a dork!

March 17, 2006

Small Discovery

My friend Tom turned me onto a neat little program at Pandora.com. You can create a station of music based on artists whose music is similar to an artist or a song you specify. Very handy, very nifty, and what a great way to expand my musical horizons!

February 02, 2006

Blissful (and Healthy!) Whoredom

A number of months ago, Jon and I purchased a treadmill. We found a great deal on a really nice Ironman treadmill - the model was being discontinued - and just had to have it. So we paid for it, hauled it home in the truck, and then struggled for hours to get it up two flights of stairs and into the room that would soon become our exercise room. Then Jon assembled it and viola! We had an exercise room.

For a few weeks, we used the treadmill regularly. During that time, I arrived home one day to find Jon on the treadmill with his laptop in front of him, walking at a steady pace and surfing the net.

"What the hell?!" I asked him, amazed and confused at the sight before my eyes. "How were you able to do that?"

I was a bit concerned that he had just destroyed the treadmill by adding on this laptop stand. Turns out, he figured out a way to build a laptop holder with some spare wood he had in the garage. The two pieces that comprise the stand simply latch onto the treadmill and don't actually alter or damage the treadmill in any way. (Somehow Jon's great ideas to "improve" something always result in something being permanently altered (and not so much improved). However, all my begging and pleading not to destroy our stuff with his ingenuity seems to have paid off, as he now circumvents the permanent alteration route in lieu of "plug-ins.") I could accept what he had done, but I pointed out that it certainly made him look a bit geeky and ridiculous. Whatever the case, he was walking so that was a good thing.

Anyway, we used the treadmill for a few weeks. And then it sat quietly folded up in the corner of the 'exercise' room gathering dust for a number of months. Even the laptop stand wasn't enough to draw either Jon or me to the treadmill for a workout.

That is, until January 1, when I started a daily walking regimen that requires use of said treadmill. For about two or three days, listening to my iPod was quite sufficient to help me make it through my time on the machine. Then I grew incredibly bored, and the constant walking while staring at the time, distance, calories burned and heart rate displays only seemed to make it worse. Then I remembered the laptop holder! Suddenly my walking took on an entire new life. While walking, I could surf, send email, blog, talk to my friends on AIM or play a stupid game. His geeky laptop stand was suddenly the best thing in the whole world!

And then a couple of weeks ago, I realized that my entire walking experience could be taken to the next level by downloading and watching episodes of Lost on my iBook. Why hadn't I thought of this before? Not only do a get a great workout, but I get to watch Lost!

I'm in heaven. Suddenly, I'm looking forward to exercising! And I'm so very happy that my husband is the geeky nerd who couldn't (and wouldn't) exercise unless his laptop was in front of him, because now he has a geeky wife who completely understands that logic.

November 22, 2005

Data Units Completed: 11750

Seems like the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence at Home project (SETI@Home) will be changing. According to the email I received, the SETI client I use is being phased out and a new system is being in put in place that can also chunk data for other worthwhile projects, like studying climate change or protein folding, design and docking.

seti_117500.jpg

Switching your computer to the new "SETI@home/BOINC" is easy. Visit http://setiathome.berkeley.edu for instructions. We'll be shutting down the "SETI@home Classic" project on December 15. The workunit totals of users and teams will be frozen at that point, and the final totals will be available on the web.

November 08, 2005

Upgraded

This is a simple test to make sure that my MT 3.2 upgrade went smoothly and that all systems are still go. There's nothing more fun than working on personal stuff at work.

UPDATE: Yikes, I didn't intend for the entire look and feel of the site to change. What's up with that? Looks like I have to play some more to get this thing fixed and customized di-style! Woohoo.

UPDATE TO THE UPDATE: I am in stylesheet hell currently, but it's time to go home. So if you happen to be reading this and wonder what in the hell is up with this site being all screwed up, just know that I'm working on it. Thank you, and good luck.

July 26, 2005

It's So Google Good!

For the last short while, I've been playing around with the new Personalized Home at Google! Take a minute to check it out by personalizing your page and designing the layout. It's delicious!

March 14, 2005

Why I Love Him

Because he bought the Die Hard movie set last week and spent time with me over the weekend watching all three movies to help me get caught up (no, I never saw these movies before). When I met Jon I was so behind on seeing movies that he came up with the reasoning of, "It's understandable . . . you were too busy birthing babies and didn't have time to have a life outside of that." That's probably true. Now I've seriously caught up on my movie watching (and most importantly my science fiction series watching) and feel like I can relate to other geeks better when they reference movies or quotes or whatever from popular films. I've got a terrific baseline geek thing going, thanks to Jon. How could I not love him for that?

March 02, 2005

Google Searches

I was bored tonight, holed up in the bedroom watching recorded Oprah shows when I had a brainstorm for my next blog entry and decided to share my keyword searches in the Google search bar in Firefox:

blowing rock, bracelet hidden watch, cooling lyrics amos, cost of gold's gym, css layout tutorial, damien rice, define chaste, define offal, define parry, diverticulitis, filezilla, freshet, garlic bread recipe, go fuq yourself, how to stuff turkey sex, intra ocular lenses, iud, Keratosis Pilaris, kadampa center, mirena iud, nikon d70 discussion, nikson d70 tips, pashmina, portion control, randy jackson, red rock canyon, sarah elise, scientific atlanta, skirl, spinning poi, vw vortex, wendy ashley, what is corned beef hash?

Welcome to the very bottom of my barrel of content.

February 08, 2005

JDI, Not Your Average Geeks

Jon and I officially tripped the whore meter AGAIN this past weekend when we purchased a Nikon D70 digital SLR camera. It's been forever since I've taken pictures with a camera that had a good lens on it, so this camera does not disappoint. I'm rusty, though, very very rusty, and somewhat intimidated by the sheer power of this awesome piece of technological wonder. This is probably one of the few times I've actually picked up the manual before playing with a new toy, and I expect I have many nights of reading about what I need to do to take photos that come out halfway decent.

Internally, I'm yearning for that vague familiarity of being in tune with the camera and what is happening around me, and I am hoping to reconnect with a hobby I enjoyed so long ago, photography. I expect I will have to take hundreds of photos before that engages, however, so I better get to it.

Jon and I are planning an overnight trip to Boone this weekend to take pictures in the mountains and areas along the Blue Ridge Parkway. I expect we'll come back with some decent shots, even though having a kickass camera doesn't necessarily mean that will be the case.

Yet Another Reason Why I Love Google

Is this cool or what? You can click on the map and move around with your cursor. Extremely great interface. Loads quickly. I could go on and on about how terrific I think Google is. But I won't. I'm supposed to be working.

February 02, 2005

Would you like that templatized?

Something was said not too long ago about how everything on the web is becoming the same. Blogs are great, but dear god, look at the templates and how it's hard to differentiate one from the next. The formats for outputting your personal thoughts is generic, and it has lent itself to a boring web. (However, being someone who has designed and developed for the web for many moons now, I certainly understand why templates are a good thing and how they make it easy to follow web standards. And yes, web standards are indeed a good thing.)

I had a thought process on the way to work this morning about templates, and how templates make things easier. For everything. Bear with me here.

Take a chaotic life, for example. If you take that, place a "Normal Life" template on top of it and then squeeze in the bits and pieces of that life here and there to follow specified formats, you've got a good idea of how things are going to look and feel. And if you take your relationship, and take a "Normal Relationship" template on that, defining how this or that will look or operate, then you end up with a pretty good idea of how things should work out. Same goes for raising children, having friends, etc. If we all just had things templatized, it would be so much easier, right?

Well, that's where my thought process hung for a second, because I realized that while templates are great for the masses, they certainly do lend themselves to output that is expected and ultimately, boring.

That's right, BORING. It's like coloring inside the lines because that's what you're supposed to do.

For awhile I lost my zeal to blog because, to be quite honest, it became boring. What differentiated me from anyone else? Nothing that I could think of, at least not after I worked through a lot of the internal struggles I had going on when I first started journaling for the world to see. That was back in 1997, back when it was a new thing to do and not everyone was doing it. It served as a great form of expression then (as it does now), but what made it better then was that it was different. We didn't have templates and there was really no concept of what this should be like or how it should be done. You designed your own pages for the most part, sometimes to the point where it looked great to you and like total ass to everyone else, but dear god - YOU DESIGNED IT.

I agree that templates are fabulous and necessary. I, too, have fallen prey to taking the easy way out and templatizing my site. I'm just now learning enough about CSS that I can see where I can have the templates but can start straying away from the "boring" into more personal designs that serve as another form of self-expression that, to me, are more interesting.

And that, my friends, is exactly what the web needs. More of that infusion of intrinsic design and creativity. I'm not saying it's not out there, but blogging has certainly silenced that aspect of the web a bit, wouldn't you say?

January 22, 2005

The New Baby

One of our new Apple Mac minis has arrived. Last night we opened the box, plugged everything up and booted the system to make sure everything was working properly before we shut it down, opened the case and upgraded the memory to 1 gb. We figured with the super drive installed that it would be important to have plenty of RAM so this baby could serve as a media station. It's a gorgeous little machine, and I even worked with Jon on giving it a name that we could both live with.

It fits nicely beside the monitor on our computer desk:

Hopefully soon I'll gain some experience editing video and making DVDs. Of course, there's also Garage Band 2 to try out, so I guess I'll be pulling out the keyboard and making some music.

Apple just makes life a little brighter sometimes.

January 19, 2005

Heady for the Headless

I feel like a kid at Christmas . . . the Mac Mini I ordered has shipped! From China! It's always fun to track the package with Fed Ex's tracking system - it feeds my OCD tendencies and shows me how much longer I have until I get my goods. Let's hear it for Apple product consumerism! Let's also hear it for a brief lift of the negative energy blanket that I've had wrapped around me lately. Woohoo!

January 14, 2005

Digital Fun

Diane in the office, composite:


December 15, 2004

What else is there to do at 4:30 in the morning?

But take a picture!

In the foreground is my iBook G4 (the diBook). In the background is a portion of my Christmas tree.

What do you think of my holiday photo?

December 10, 2004

Gut Feeling

There are times when my body speaks to me and alerts me that something is amiss and things aren't right. It's a feeling a get, sometimes a rather intense feeling, and I start to immediately pay attention and listen to what it's saying.

As of late, my body has been telling me to STOP SPENDING. Everytime I think of what I have left to do, my stomach turns and I realize why. I only have a few more gifts to buy, so I need to get those done and put the wallet away for a few months. It'll take me a couple of months to pay off holiday debt, and I don't want it to take even longer.

A couple of weeks ago, Jon and I bought ourselves Sharp Zaurus "Personal Mobile Tools". Essentially, it's a big Linux-embedded PDA, but the fucker is big enough that it has to be called a TOOL. Gotta love that geek factor. It measures a little over 6x3 inches and has wireless connectivity to the net and slots for Compact Flash or Secure Digital card expandability. That was a selling feature, as was the price at the time. Sharp has discontinued selling the model in the U.S., so this is the end of the line. It's ok, though. We love the open source features of this thing and plan to be using them for years to come.

While that is the bulk of our Christmas to each other, that is one big chunk of the holiday spending right there.

But as things go, I found out yesterday that I need four new tires for my car. Not a big surprise, mind you, but the timing is horrible. Whatever, I have to get the tires. So there's another chunk of money.

And then there was the bill for the anesthesiologist from my surgery back in July.

The other chunks (LOTS OF CHUNKS!) belongs to my kids and both of our families.

SAVE MODE: ENABLED (ok, soon)

I hate it when I start to feel uncomfortable, but at least I'm smart enough now to know that it simply means it's time to STOP.

December 03, 2004

Absolut JDI

This is what I do at work when I should be doing something else.

November 24, 2004

Gaming With Jon

Every week, a handful of Jon's friends (ok, ALL of Jon's friends) come over with their role playing gaming books and laptop (or tablet) computers and spend the evening eating, drinking, grunting and gaming. It's a regular testosterone festival, complete with lots of jokes about stereotypical women and talk about lots of technical stuff. You know, geek stuff. (It rules.)

Here they are, doing what they do best:

It's a relatively normal group (as far as normal goes in gaming circles), but there's always someone who tries to stand out from the rest. In this case, that would be Carl (complete with "Mom" tattoo):

It works out well for us. Jon gets the time with his friends (and his laptop), and I get to banter with his friends, sometimes play "beer bitch" (translation: hand out drinks and snacks) or spend quality time alone with my laptop and DVR in the bedroom.

It just doesn't get much better than this.

November 23, 2004

Team jdi

I totally rule. I reached 10K.

November 08, 2004

diBook

I am the proud owner of an Apple iBook G4 that I respectfully call the "diBook". Never before have a loved a machine as much as I love that little laptop. It goes with me everywhere, including the bathroom if the mood strikes me just right. Gotta love that wireless internet!

Imagine my surprise when I got a message the other night that my hard drive was nearly full. Mind you, in my many years of owning computers, I've never filled up a hard drive. How could this be happening? But I managed to max out the (I know, small) 20 gig drive without even noticing.

So today Jon is ordering me a new 80 gig drive. And we're developing a plan of action in regard to getting that new drive installed.

Before I go any further, I must explain that a few months ago I went through a period of playing Centipede (I love old arcade games!), and I noticed that the mouse touchpad was acting up a bit when I would play. I'd try to be shooting here and it would shoot over there, the mouse would spazz out and go all over the screen but not where I wanted it. The centipede kept killing me!

HOW FRUSTRATING!

I did some quick research on Apple's support site and noticed that some other users had reported similar issues with their mouse. So I've had it in the back of my head to get the mouse repaired (for free since I have an AppleCare plan). Since the mouse doesn't act up 99% of the time, getting it repaired hasn't been top on my priority list.

Until now, that is. Because Jon is planning on doing the new hard drive install for me. So the plan currently is to get the new drive in, backup my existing data onto the new drive (just in case), take the laptop in for mouse repair, get the laptop back and install the new drive ourselves (technically, Jon will be doing this as he has done on his iBook many, many times). Then I'll have a new and improved laptop with more space, a better mouse and the ability to kill that damned centipede for once and for all.

So exciting!

October 19, 2004

Somebody Help Me!

Can't. Stop. Reading. Blogs.

August 28, 2003

The Red Planet

On the night of August 26, Jon and I went to the observation deck of the new science and math building on Meredith's campus to a viewing of Mars. A science professor had set up three telescopes for the viewing, and we were lucky enough to set up a camera to take some pictures through one of the 'scopes.

They are blurry, but the last three are the best. Check them out!

We had such a good time that it prompted me to ask the science professor if there would be any moon viewings from the observation deck in the near future. He said he wanted to do something like that and would let me know.

***

17 days 'til I'm married again!

June 26, 2003

Movable Type Installed!

This is my first entry using movable type, so I'm hoping that it goes well and that I can somehow go back and link to my old blogger entries. I like archiving! I love databases!

I also have my old life's journey entries, my old now entries, other stuff from the late 90s and miscellaneous posts to get archived, so eventually this site will house it all. My plan is to write a book using my old journal entries. I'm actually working on that now.

And comments! You can add comments! It's so cool. I'm not sure how it works yet, but I'm sure I'll be figuring that out I get used to this new system.

Out With The Old

i like blogger. but i also have enjoyed learning about movable type. so i'm converting. so if you happen to visit these pages and things seem all screwed up and weird, i hope it's just temporary. i'm not exactly sure yet how i'm going to convert from one system to the other without losing stuff.

stay tuned!

October 18, 2002

Knobmeister

did i ever post a link to the customized shifter knob i got for jon?

here it is!

September 05, 2001

IIS... ick!

i just completed a registration form for a sans institute class on securing microsoft's internet information server in washington, d.c. on september 21. looks like i'll be staying thursday night and friday night and coming home that saturday.

in a strange way, this reminds me of the book aol for dummies.

i really miss working with apache.

September 04, 2001

Technically Speaking

i just did the technical part of an interview for meredith's web designer position. i met with the one and only person they've interviewed, and honestly, he's a great fit for what we're trying to do here. i'm very excited about a web team forming and getting this place in gear.

woo. i'm so happy. it's not monday, and tomorrow is the middle of the week. :)

July 13, 2001

Low Orbit, Please

i've made a decision... i want to go into space before i die.. how very cool that would be. jon and i giggled tonight thinking about it...

i also watched 2001: A Space Odyssey tonight for the first time ever. i've been so underexposed to movies and such.. and he's exposing me to all things geek. i love it.. because there are so many references in the world to things i've never seen... like Star Wars (yes, i know.. amazing, isn't it? i've never seen Star Wars or any of the sequels).

hrm. appears to be bedtime as jon lay seemingly unconscious beside me.

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