Tuesday September 28, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Sept 20 - Sun Sept 26)

The mornings are darker. The days are shorter. The prettiest time of day is 3 in the afternoon. I often go for a short walk at that time, just to get out of the building and out in the air.


It's been a quiet week in Lake Woebegone... ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Sept 20 - Sun Sept 26)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Mon Sept 20 - Sun Sept 26) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Tue, 28 Sep, 20:47 Pacific

Sunday September 26, 2004

New Cell phones

My very first cell phone was an early Motorola, purchased in 1993. It had an LED display, if I recall correctly. For the day, it was one of the smallest available. I replaced that a few years later with a (smaller) Ericson phone with LCD display. Then a few years after that, a Motorola StarTac, purchased shortly after the StarTac was released. I loved the little form factor and the great dial-from-memory interface.

It didn't take long to convince Spouse to get a StarTac too. This was the first phone he was willing to consider carrying on occasion. So, for quite a few years, we've had a pair of StarTacs. We've seen all the snazzy new phones, but the StarTacs still worked and they were small. Why upgrade again?

Recently, however, one of the StarTacs stopped working reliably out of town. I thought perhaps it was having difficulty reaching an Analog cell. Actually, that seems to be a good guess. It's an Analog only phone (not a dual mode) and apparently the Cellular providers are madly replacing the Analog cells with Digital. Time to upgrade.

So, today we went down to the Verizon store to see about replacing the phone. While we were there, we asked what it would cost to replace the other StarTac at the same time. ...
       Continue reading "New Cell phones"

New Cell phones ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Sun, 26 Sep, 22:01 Pacific

Friday September 24, 2004

Treasures 2004_39

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words,

I hope you'll consider starting your own list of Treasures. These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_39"

Treasures 2004_39 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 24 Sep, 12:14 Pacific

Tuesday September 21, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Sept 13 - Sunday Sept 19)

It's been distinctly autumnal. it's a bit cool in the mornings but what I notice most is the angle of the light. It just feels... like... fall. Not my favorite season, fall. It leads into winter which is my decidedly least favorite season. Ugh.


I worked from home on Tuesday. I had approval from my senior director (the person I report to) for me to start working from home two days a week. It was wonderful. It took a little while to get everything connected but then I did nine and a half hours without once feeling like I had to "get away". I planned to work at home again on Thursday.

On Wednesday morning, I made a seriously stupidly naive mistake and notified the company of my new schedule so that people could find me if they needed to. It never occurred to me to keep things secret. I don't much care for secrets anyway.

Dumb. Dumb. DUMB.

At 4:35 on Wednesday afternoon (5 minutes after I should have left for home but hadn't done so yet) my same senior director came in and informed me that my work at home plan was summarily cancelled. I was fubar'd.

So, Thursday I did not work at home. Thursday I worked with gritted teeth. Thursday passed very slowly.

Friday a co-worker commented that he'd like to telecommute. I told him my story. He expressed shock, disbelief and sympathy and suggested I not give up on the idea. I'm not giving up. I can't give up.

Friday I left work an hour early to visit the chiropractor. Stress knots up my neck something awful. If anything interesting happened on either Thursday or Friday I missed it... :-( ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Sept 13 - Sunday Sept 19)"

Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Sept 13 - Sunday Sept 19) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Tue, 21 Sep, 18:57 Pacific

Saturday September 18, 2004

Treasures 2004_38

"Life ... is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"
-- Margot Fonteyn

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words,

I hope you'll consider starting your own list of Treasures. These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_38"

Treasures 2004_38 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 18 Sep, 11:38 Pacific

Thursday September 16, 2004

Working Here, Working There

I worked from home on Tuesday. I got a lot done. I put in nine and a half hours without noticing. I didn't feel the need to "get up, get out, and get away". It was quiet. There were no distractions.

I got work done. I was productive. I felt relaxed. It was wonderful.

I had planned to work from home again today. I had hoped to make working from home a regular part of my schedule.

Unfortunately, there was a sinkhole in my road to productive off site work and I walked right into it. I made a fatal political error. I announced my intentions.

Bad move. ...
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Working Here, Working There ( in category Random Thoughts , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Thu, 16 Sep, 18:01 Pacific

Wednesday September 15, 2004

We Didn't Buy It For Its Looks

scionred Although, to be honest, it draws the eye. :-)

Yesterday as I walked out of the grocery store to my car, I was behind another shopper. As he passed behind our Scion XB (about 10 feet in front of me) he turned slightly, looked at it, and pronounced "That sure is an ugly car".

I exclaimed "No it's not! It's cute!". He had the grace to look embarrassed and say "I didn't realize it was yours and you were right behind me."

But he stopped and I said "Seriously, it has a lot going for it. It has about 4 inches more head room than most cars and visibility to spare. And it's got a lot of legroom for the rear passengers. It's nice to drive too."

He agreed on the headroom (he said he bumps his head in his car). He also agreed that visibility is a good thing; he said he'd tried a Dodge Magnum and it was extremely comfortable but had essentially no visibility.

I agreed that the Scion is funny looking, mentioning that Rich has said that if we were buying a car for its looks we wouldn't have bought this one. I also mentioned that Rich says the Scion looks like "the box the car came in".

I guess I did a good sales job because the last thing the man said as we parted was "I'll have to get my wife down to try one out..."

We Didn't Buy It For Its Looks ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Wed, 15 Sep, 07:14 Pacific

Tuesday September 14, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up (Sept 6 - Sept 12)

Monday was Labor Day. To celebrate Labor, we don't work :-) I discovered (from reading "For Better or For Worse", one of my favorite comic strips) that it was also Labor Day in Canada.

Earlier in the day, my Mom had suggested that we drive north to Petaluma to a barbeque restaurant we all like, but that seemed like a lot of driving and potential traffic (and besides, I was sleepy). So I took a nap. When I woke up again at 3:30 , driving north for barbeque sounded a lot better so we did that. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up (Sept 6 - Sept 12)"

Weekly Wrap-up (Sept 6 - Sept 12) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Tue, 14 Sep, 00:10 Pacific

Monday September 13, 2004

(Inter)national Chocolate Day

September 13 is International Chocolate Day. September 18th is National Chocolate Day. Celebrate with the chocolate of your choice... I prefer a nice smooth semi-sweet.

If you like a hint of coffee with your chocolate, try a bit of a Seattle Chocolates Pike Place Espresso Truffle bar - yummmmmmmmmmm.

(Inter)national Chocolate Day ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Mon, 13 Sep, 21:46 Pacific

Sunday September 12, 2004

Cooking for Engineers

I recently discovered a new site (thanks to slashdot, via Rich) called Cooking for Engineers. The site owner, Michael Chu, describes the site thusly:

The recipes that are listed as "Recipe File" are the recipes that I use when I want to make a particular dish. "Recipe Test" are recipes that have been recommended to me or I have come across that I test and don't necessary stand behind. Some of the "Recipe File" recipes are my own recipes or have been passed down to me and "perfected". Others are not, but the source is credited (see Basic Pancakes or Lemon Bars for some examples).

This website was started because I needed a repository for cooking info that I wanted to refer to as well as some of my favorite recipes. I used to keep all this information on my Palm through the Memo Pad application. Unfortunately, I was synchronizing Memo Pad with my laptop (on Outlook) and discovered that after three months our Exchange server deletes old Outlook Notes. So, exactly three months after synchronizing all my recipes, they all got deleted and on the next synch, were consequently removed from my Palm. I've been reinventing some recipes and looking of other since and decided to put them online.

The recipe Rich pointed me to is one for tiramisu. Tiramisu has been called the "Barry Manilow of deserts" but it's one of my favorites. It's a bit different in every incarnation and at every restaurant where I've eaten it, but it's almost always delicious no matter how it's prepared. If you also love tiramisu, be sure to read all of the comments on the recipe posting. ...
       Continue reading "Cooking for Engineers"

Cooking for Engineers ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sun, 12 Sep, 14:12 Pacific

Saturday September 11, 2004

The Return of Stuart Katt!

I'm a big fan of Stuart Katt, stuartkattshirt a large, stripey, lino-block art feline I discovered many years ago. I have several t-shirts, a tote bag, and a set of greeting cards featuring the irrepressible and irresistible tabby. Some of my favorites in the series are "Cat Wants In / Cat Wants Out" (a double-print t-shirt), "Cat and Friends on Stairs" (the "friends" being cat toys) and "Cat Wants People Food" (in this case, that would be the roasted turkey).

Periodically, I'd do a web search, looking for signs of Stuart... Until recently, there was nothing to find. In fact, judging from the comments posted to one of my previous weblog entries which mentioned one of my t-shirts (right), I've been generating the most hits. The comments also show that and Stuart is well-loved and sought-after by his loyal fans.

Well, guess who did a web search and found me?! A couple of days ago, I received an unexpected note from Stuart's artist, Philip Dingman. (Isn't the Web a wonderful place!).

I have excellent news for all Stuart Katt fans — Mr. Dingman will be letting the Katt out of the bag once again! He even promises.. books! Oooooooooh.

I hope you'll join the Stuart "fan club" when the Katt comes back. Keep watch at www.philipdingman.com/stuartkatt.htm. I can hardly wait.

>^..^<

katt small

The Return of Stuart Katt! ( in category Noteworthy , Special Interests ) - posted at Sat, 11 Sep, 11:27 Pacific

Friday September 10, 2004

Treasures 2004_37

"Life ... is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"
-- Margot Fonteyn

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words,

I hope you'll consider starting your own list of Treasures. These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_37"

Treasures 2004_37 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 10 Sep, 22:18 Pacific

Wednesday September 8, 2004

f u cn rd ths

International Literacy Day, observed September 8 and at events throughout the week, focuses attention on worldwide literacy issues and needs. It is estimated that 860 million of the world’s adults do not know how to read or write (nearly two-thirds of whom are women) and that more than 100 million children lack access to education.

To find out more about International Literacy Day, see the pages at reading.org or un.org.

Celebrate International Literacy Day. Read a book today... and every day!

f u cn rd ths ( in category Noteworthy ) - posted at Wed, 08 Sep, 17:00 Pacific

Monday September 6, 2004

Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Aug 30 - Sunday Sept 5 )


The week started out cool but heated up again by Friday. Saturday was a real scorcher.


Mom & Dad spent Monday and Tuesday of this week in Arizona and Nevada, returning to San Bruno on Tueday evening. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Aug 30 - Sunday Sept 5 )"

Weekly Wrap-up ( Monday Aug 30 - Sunday Sept 5 ) ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 06 Sep, 22:50 Pacific

Sunday September 5, 2004

Bet Me

Jennifer Crusie has done it again. Bet Me is as fun to read as Faking It (although I think I'm slightly more fond of Davey Dempsey). Once again, the dialogue sparkles, the descriptions are snappy and well-put, and the people are real. You'd recognize everyone if you met them.

Minerva Dobbs (her mother wanted a goddess) is an actuary. She knows all the odds. Calvin Morrissey also knows the odds. He's a betting man but not a gambler (gamblers loses 50% of the time). Cal never loses a bet.

When Min's ex-boyfriend bets Cal he can't "get her out of that gray checked suit in a month" and Min overhears just enough to be dangerous (but not quite enough to know the full story), the plot gets rolling. Over the ensuing weeks, we meet Cal's 8-year old nephew, Harrison (Harry), Min's soon-to-be-married sister Diana, Min's and Cal's scheming exes, and an assortment of family and friends on both sides. On the way to the happy ending, Fate takes a hand, tossing in a stray cat, Krispy Kreme donuts, kid's baseball, Chicken Marsala, and lot of carbs.

This was a book I hated to see end. Spouse and self both enjoyed it immensely. If you like snappy writing, great characters, and a fun plot in the setting of a contemporary "romantic comedy" — read this book.

Bet Me ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Sun, 05 Sep, 23:50 Pacific

Saturday September 4, 2004

Pramoxine

Today I came up with a theory that fit the facts, then looked up some references that supported the theory. Cool!

At dinner today I noticed a red area on my arm around a small scratch I got a couple of nights ago. Neither the red area nor the scratch hurt particularly. It's not infected. It looked almost like a bit of light sunburn.

We were out in the sun today for about an hour and the red patch was... hmmm, about the size, shape, and diameter from the scratch of the or=inrmtnet I had applied that morning. I wondered...

So I did a web search for the antibiotic ointment - Neosporin, containing neomycin, bacitracin, and polymixin. I found a useful page that told me there were "no problems expected" from sun exposure. Hmmm. ...
       Continue reading "Pramoxine"

Pramoxine ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry , SciTech ) - posted at Sat, 04 Sep, 22:30 Pacific

Friday September 3, 2004

Treasures 2004_36

"Life ... is haphazard and full of beauties which I try to catch as they fly by, for who knows whether any of them will ever return?"
-- Margot Fonteyn

Treasures are positive things that strike my fancy, that make me feel happy or thankful or interested. Treasures are memories encapsulated in just a few words,

I hope you'll consider starting your own list of Treasures. These are my Treasures for the past week. ...
       Continue reading "Treasures 2004_36"

Treasures 2004_36 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 03 Sep, 23:35 Pacific