Friday September 30, 2005

Treasures 2005_39

Expect the unexpected or you won't find it, because it doesn't leave a trail.
-- Heraclitus

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. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Squirrel waking me up in the morning, licking my fingers

  • A small woolly dog at the hardware store - his entire body was as woolly as Squirrel's rear end.

  • Officially sat on by a cat - Bebop gave the OK to our new photocopier

  • Rob & Barbara Dicely of Leopards, Etc,, along with Nakuru (serval), Ashakiran (snow leopard), Shoshone (young cougar), Oksana (Siberian lynx), and Kamau (cheetah). I wish we could bring Wild Cat Adventure to your area.

  • The "flying chili peppers" in the trompe l'oeil mural at Andale' Taqueria

  • The mesquite chicken salad (also at Andale')

  • Discovering new features I didn't know were available in one of my favorite (Mac) applications (Circus Ponies NoteBook).

  • A snuggly nap with Raven. These are getting to be a regular occurrence!

Treasures 2005_39 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 30 Sep, 21:44 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday September 29, 2005

Teaching Tomorrow's Employees Today

In today's commentary, I discuss IBM's plan to "financially back employees who want to leave the company to become math and science teachers."

Read my commentary

Teaching Tomorrow's Employees Today ( in category Special Interests , commentary ) - posted at Thu, 29 Sep, 20:12 Pacific

Tuesday September 27, 2005

A Rose By Any Other Name

Have you noticed that most roses don't have much fragrance? They're huge and colorful with many bright blooms bigger than a baseball (actually a softball but the alliteration was irresistible). But they smell like... plants.

Scientists are now trying to put the fragrance back into the flowers. ...
       Continue reading "A Rose By Any Other Name"

A Rose By Any Other Name ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Tue, 27 Sep, 08:07 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday September 26, 2005

Tech Support Motivations

In today's commentary, I discuss how Rich and I frequently get into "discussions" with people who provide technical support for the various applications we run... The cause of the "discussions" is a fundamental difference in motivation.

Read my commentary

Tech Support Motivations ( in category commentary ) - posted at Mon, 26 Sep, 00:32 Pacific

Sunday September 25, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_38

We've had patchy morning low clouds and fog in the early mornings, turning sunny and clear by noon most days. Unfortunately, I need light to wake up well. I wake up poorly (groggy and sleepy) when it's grey and dreary outside.

Tuesday was fun — we had the first rainstorm of the season, complete with thunder (and two short power outages). Squirrel was not at all happy about the loud growling outside. .

The power outages knocked out our network connection for the rest of the day. Rich ended up replacing a battery and a network card and got us back on the air around 10 pm. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2005_38"

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_38 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 25 Sep, 23:40 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday September 23, 2005

Treasures 2005_38

It is therefore necessary that memorable things should be committed to writing, (the witness of times, the light and the life of truth,) and not wholly be taken [i.e., committed] to slippery memory which seldom yields a certain reckoning.
-- Edward Coke

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. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Waking to Bebop walking on my chest, then settling in for a good long cuddle

  • A giant blood-orange moon rising over the Bay.

  • More peaches, so juicy, so sweet

  • Carrot cake

  • Raven wrapping himself around my ankle as I was getting dressed

  • Raccoon footprints on the sunroom roof

  • Fresh cinnamon bread. Cinnamon toast. The company break room redolent with cinnamon.

  • The smell of fresh basil as I walked through the produce dept. in the grocery store.

  • Naked Lady lilies still blooming profusely in front of a house down the street

  • A long snugglenap with Raven

  • Crispy onion rings

Treasures 2005_38 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 23 Sep, 23:43 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday September 22, 2005

Once Upon A Time...

I had a dream in which I was somewhere where we were asked to tell stories... they were supposed to be about 3 minutes long. So I told one. In the dream, I was making it up as I went along. I didn't know how it would end until a good idea came to me as I was telling it.

       Continue reading "Once Upon A Time..."

Once Upon A Time... ( in category Random Thoughts ) - posted at Thu, 22 Sep, 08:46 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday September 20, 2005

That was Easy


Yesterday, our exec. assistants at The Company asked to meet with me this morning to discuss adding a "corporate events" calendar to our Intranet.

This morning, at 8 am, I googled for PHP Calendar programs (that did not require MySQL). I found two or three, tried them, and immediately narrowed the field to EasyPHPCalendar. ...
       Continue reading "That was Easy"

That was Easy ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Tue, 20 Sep, 22:08 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday September 19, 2005

Watching Elephants in Africa

I'm sitting at my desk watching elephants play and drink at Pete's Pond in Botswana, half a world away. Earlier there were a lot of fat birds and several deer of one sort or another.

I'm watching the National Geographic Wild Cam.

Rich read about this today in a piece by Jon Carroll, one of our local columnists (for the SF Chronicle).

Jon says

"I think we're experiencing wonder overload. There is so much that is marvelous that we hardly notice anymore. We expect the marvelous. We should be constantly filled with wonder, but we are hardly ever filled with wonder. When everything is wonderful, nothing is."


       Continue reading "Watching Elephants in Africa"

Watching Elephants in Africa ( in category Nature/Cats ) - posted at Mon, 19 Sep, 23:59 Pacific | Comments (0)

Sunday September 18, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_37

The weather was quite nice this past week, at least in the afternoons and evenings (if grey in the mornings).

We spent parts of Monday doing hardware swapping. We're going to send my old G3 to my parents. So we wiped the disk, re-installed Panther, swapped memory sticks and hard drives between this box and others, and generally made it ready to "move in.".

I played with PHP this week. I wanted to find a survey form that would let me ask questions, format the results, and mail those results to a specified address. I googled, investigated, and found a nice little program called Super Simple Survey. The, being me, I added some features that I wanted that were missing. I'm pretty happy with the results. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2005_37"

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_37 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Sun, 18 Sep, 22:22 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday September 16, 2005

Treasures 2005_37

What you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing; it also depends on what sort of person you are.
-- C. S. Lewis

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. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Feeding ducks with the bread left from our dinner (one of the restaurants we like is on a canal).

  • An amusing newspaper article typo, discussing
    "... the feral government..."

  • Naked eucalyptus trees, so funny: pink and smooth.

  • A ten-foot tall hollyhock stalk rising over a neighbor's fence, 5 pink blossoms at the very top. Rich and I looked at it and decided it wanted Sun!

  • A perfect magenta bougainvillea blossom, found on the sidewalk.

  • Making PHP do what I want it to do.

  • A thundering herd of woodrat on the sunroom roof. That's singular, one woodrat; how can one little mousie make so much noise?

Treasures 2005_37 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 16 Sep, 23:29 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday September 15, 2005

Text Mate

Rich has discovered TextMate, a new code editor for Mac OS X.

Written in Cocoa, with built-in support for over 20 programming languages, TextMate has the features you expect — syntax coloring, clipboard history, and tabs — the features you want — code folding and macros — and some features you might not have thought about.


Both of us are particularly interested in the dynamic file outline view.

Before you can get any work done, you need to be on top of your artifacts, such as stylesheets, includes, libraries, and application code. By arranging your files in an outline that follows the existing directory structure, it's no longer necessary to switch back and forth between Finder and editor to locate the next thing you need to work on.

The file outline is automatically kept up to date with changes occurring on the file system, so if you have a build script or generator that sprinkles files across multiple directories, they're instantly available in the outline.

You can also move files from one directory to another in the outline and the change is reflected on the file system. Just as you can easily add new files to any directory you select and they'll be placed as you'd expect.


TextMate is a recommended editor for use with Ruby on Rails, a powerful web application framework written in the Ruby programming language. Rich has started working with Rails and is very impressed. (I'm trying to get him to write up his experiences. :-)

Text Mate ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Thu, 15 Sep, 20:09 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday September 14, 2005

Note Studio

Note Studio is a note management application for Palm OS. Now with a desktop client and conduit for Mac OS X!. (There's a Windows desktop version too, if you're into that sort of thing :-)

I first discovered Note Studio at Palm Gear. It looked intriguing but... the desktop app was Windows-only at the time :-(

I've been keeping an eye on it, however and I have to commend the developers. Yes! Note Studio 3.0 now has a desktop app for Mac OS X (10.3)! With a Palm OS companion app and a conduit!

It's a nice little program on the Palm side. It's not bad on the Mac either. It's not _quite_ Maclike but it's a lot better than, say, X 11 or many Java apps.

Now I can stop using all the myriad little applications I've been keeping notes in on my Palm-based handheld and use just one - Note Studio. It even supports Font Bucket under Palm OS (I'm a font nut)

Try it. Don't let the word "wiki" in the description turn you off!!! (It just refers to the way they create new pages). Note Studio is powerful and easy and fun!

Note Studio ( in category Computerware ) - posted at Wed, 14 Sep, 08:03 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday September 12, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_36

Sunday was September 11. Take a moment to reflect. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2005_36"

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_36 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 12 Sep, 21:44 Pacific | Comments (0)

Saturday September 10, 2005

We Are The Web

Ten years ago, Netscape went public, bringing the WWW to the attention of Wall Street and the masses. The masses took the Web as their own.

Kevin Kelly published an excellent article on the Web phenomenon of the decade in the August issue of Wired magazine.

My own comments, on both the Wired article and my own experience, are posted today in commentary.

We Are The Web ( in category WebTech , commentary ) - posted at Sat, 10 Sep, 00:11 Pacific

Friday September 9, 2005

Treasures 2005_36

Nothing is more beautiful than the loveliness of the woods before sunrise.
-- George Washington Carver

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. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Woodrats scampering on the sunroom roof, running up and down the window screens. One woodrat in the screen again. He didn't mind the flashlight and he was oh so cute with big ears.

  • Roast pork sandwiches with tomato and red onion

  • Garlic

  • Another four-day work week.

  • Tree squirrels noshing at the feeder.

       Continue reading "Treasures 2005_36"

Treasures 2005_36 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Fri, 09 Sep, 22:18 Pacific | Comments (0)

Thursday September 8, 2005

Two By Kasey Michaels

There are many books on the shelves. Many writers create plots and fictional characters to enact those plots.

There are fewer true Stories. In the hands of the best Authors, you have a sense of being in a another, very real, world. The characters come alive; you feel that you know them. The dialog sparkles. These events happened. You hate to see the end.

Kasey Michaels is such an author.

We have recently finished two of Kasey's latest Regency-period romances. If you enjoy historical fiction, romantic comedy, warm and wonderful characters, snappy dialog, and lots of laughter, try these. (Warning: Each book contains two or three pages of "obligatory soft-core" descriptive passages, not suitable for minors. Feel free to skip these if they're not your cup of tea.) ...
       Continue reading "Two By Kasey Michaels"

Two By Kasey Michaels ( in category Books, Movies, Music ) - posted at Thu, 08 Sep, 22:13 Pacific | Comments (0)

Wednesday September 7, 2005

Up and Running with Tiger

My new PowerMac G5 arrived yesterday afternoon. Hoorah! And yes, I managed to wait until I was done with my work day to start on the Grand Migration (although Rich opened the box and unpack the G5 onto a convenient table.)

First, I had to back up all of the files on my G3 for copying to the G5. The new hardware includes a different I/O interface; I can't just plug in the old disk drives. The good news is I get a nice new 400 GB drive. The bad news is that the backup and restore literally took hours.

Then Rich helped me swap hardware, putting the G5 on my desk (where it fits with a little room to spare and opens on the right side, thank goodness!). We dealt with cabling (power, displays, USB, Firewire, and network). We dealt with troubleshooting and ultimately replacing the one screen that didn't light up. Then I booted 'er up, started copying in all of my files, and headed off to bed. ...
       Continue reading "Up and Running with Tiger"

Up and Running with Tiger ( in category Random Thoughts , SciTech ) - posted at Wed, 07 Sep, 22:38 Pacific | Comments (0)

Tuesday September 6, 2005


We have become converts to the Power of Saran™ Wrap.

Back in January, we went to a talk by Harold McGee, entitled "Three Centuries of Science in the Kitchen". McGee tests "well-known" kitchen lore, separating fact from wiverglava (old wives' tales). One of the myths he debunked was the one that states that putting the pit into the guacamole will keep it green. (It's true, actually, but only under the pit. The reason is that avocado turns brown on contact with oxygen in the air.)

McGee's tests not only showed the real reason that the pit keeps the avocado green (so did a light bulb. ;-) His experiments also showed that Saran™ Wrap has the lowest oxygen permeation of all the various plastic wraps.

We've been using Saran™ Wrap when we store cut fruit in the fridge. It really does work to keep the fruit from browning quickly. Be sure to stretch it tight and taut; Saran™ Wrap isn't very "sticky".

For ordinary wrapping and covering, however, we still use the giant economy sized box of generic Plastic Food Wrap from Smart & Final. 1000 feet of plastic wrap is at least a 5-year supply!

Airtight ( in category Show & Tell , Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Tue, 06 Sep, 20:00 Pacific | Comments (0)

Monday September 5, 2005

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_35

The weather was, for the most part, quite nice last week. It was even warm for one or two days.

I hadn't planned to go anywhere near the Company's new building until things calmed down a bit from the move but I had a meeting scheduled for Monday afternoon. Things were still crazy; no one knew where to find anything. Some of the walls had "wet paint" signs on them. Some of the conference room doorways hadn't been framed in yet. Things were improving by the end of the week. ...
       Continue reading "Weekly Wrap-up 2005_35"

Weekly Wrap-up 2005_35 ( in category Gemisch/Gallimaufry ) - posted at Mon, 05 Sep, 08:25 Pacific | Comments (1)

Sunday September 4, 2005

Happy Birthday to my Sister

My sister is celebrating her 35th birthday today. That's not her age; it's a birthday she enjoys celebrating. Neither of us is quite certain how many 35th birthdays she's celebrated (although if we did the math we could come up with an answer :-)

Please join me in wishing my sister a Happy Day.

Happy Birthday to my Sister ( in category Special Interests ) - posted at Sun, 04 Sep, 10:00 Pacific | Comments (1)

Saturday September 3, 2005

Treasures 2005_35

Can you see the holiness in those things you take for granted -- a paved road or a washing machine? If you concentrate on finding what is good in every situation, you will discover that your life will suddenly be filled with gratitude, a feeling that nurtures the soul.
-- Rabbi Harold Kushner

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. These are my Treasures for the past week.

  • Late afternoon sunlight illuminating buildings by the Bay as the fog comes in over the water.

  • A warm day with a stunning clear view over the Bay. I could actually make out some of the larger buildings on the Oakland side. It was simply a gorgeous, crystalline scene.

  • Appreciating my computer all the more, now that it's working reliably again!

  • Good authors and good books, Think what the world would have been like without the printing press, the increase in literacy, and more recently, the paperback book. Read a Book Today!

  • Sleeping kitties - upside down tummy up; swirled in kitty cups; sogged on the cabinet; curled on the bed...

  • Mezzaluna sleeping by my arm. As I type, I reach over and rub her head.

       Continue reading "Treasures 2005_35"

Treasures 2005_35 ( in category Treasures ) - posted at Sat, 03 Sep, 11:13 Pacific | Comments (0)

Friday September 2, 2005

I Feel So Protected

My new G5 is in Limbo. :-(

I placed the order last Friday morning (August 26). Supposedly, "orders are processed within 2 to 4 business days". Okaaaay. Seems a little long. But.

Except. Except that apparently they don't put the credit card through until they've "processed" the order. And when they did that, a flag went up at The Bank. This is a "large" purchase. It must be verified! Okaaaay. It's not unusual for our buying habits but,,,

Except. Except that when they feel the need to verify they don't hold a transaction, they cancel it. So The Bank got in touch with us, we got in touch with the Bank, we verified and authorized the purchase. Now we get to call Apple.

So, we called Apple. Entered the order number on the phone (oops, that timed out). Spoke to a customer service rep. Gave that person the order number. Got transferred. Gave that person the order number. Got transferred. Entered the order number on the phone (oops, that timed out). Spoke to another customer service rep. Told that person we were really tired of being transferred (and gave her the order number).

The machine is somewhere in California, "in process". It will now ship out sometime between today and next Tuesday. We hope. The good news is that Apple has offered to expedite shipping. The bad news is that "expedited shipping" could still, possibly, not get here until a week from today.

As Rich says, "Aren't you glad you reverted?"

I Feel So Protected ( in category Trivial Pursuits ) - posted at Fri, 02 Sep, 09:20 Pacific | Comments (0)