May 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 2011
theodosia: (dief)
  • I finished the antibiotics for my root canal. You should get a small medal or something when you do that.
  • I must be really... talented or something. Just broke a nail while making a sandwich....

Dental discussion cut for the easily-squeamed )


  • Eeek -- it's hit 53 degrees here. I'd better take a walk or open a window or something.
  • I'm putting down the PHP and going for a healthy walk to the library. Even if I'm on a hot streak with the code.
  • Glorious out - can believe spring might actually come. Saw a few early-sprouting tulips on their way to making flowers!

And it's supposed to hit 58F today, too!  We're not out of winter yet -- oh, I can well remember a 4/1 snowfall of 12 inches not all that long ago -- but it looks like we're finally headed in the right direction.  Enough even to get me away from the PHP crack and out into that real world I hear so much about!

  • Spare Cat is wrestling with my empty sneakers.
  • Spare Cat trapped herself inside a glass-fronted cabinet this morning. I laughed for a bit at her antic attempts to push her way out.

This morning Spare Cat managed to strand herself inside a glass-fronted cabinet. (It has a magnetic latch, and evidently it was ajar when she got in and swung shut.) She can't have been in there for long, anyway.

However, before I let her out I had a wonderful laugh watching her trying to figure out how to get out, and tried to take a couple pictures, which didn't come out all that well, oh well.

You know, for ten or fifteen minutes a day, I actually don't resent her when she does stuff like this.  More often, she's doing what she's doing right now, which is being draped over one of my arms, which makes typing more difficult.  Spare Cat: annoyingly needy.

  • Next up today: more PHP work....

Project is going well, I'm getting better with every page, and beginning to "see" how to set up code reuse and workflow... which I really can't learn any other way.  We'll see if it turns out you have to write a hundred thousand lines of bad code....

Except that it's going to be 58F today if the weather forecast is right.... Hmmmm.

theodosia: (fishy)
  • Nice to have some good news to share at Job Search Club, for a change!
  • Job Search club uplifting today, some interesting leads on stuff or at least good suggestions made and received. Excelsior!
  • This has been the best week I've had for a while, I think. Now for the momentum part. May inertia be my Santa Claus!
  • Okay, I'm putting down the IDE and moving away from the computer. Time to eat some food and watch TV and NOT program PHP.
  • Making a list of all the things I still have to do to the PHP code: error handling, security and all that. The elaborations!

Yes, if you didn't see what I said yesterday... I will be getting training for a US Census enumerator and working in Somerville...for about six weeks, give or take.  Not exactly a permanent solution to my employment situation, but it puts me back in the realm of wage earners and also resets the clock on my Unemployment, if things work the way they're supposed to.

I start training on the 24th, which seems to be very far away and very near, too.  In the meantime I'm working hard on my projects, as you can see from the above Twitter entries.  Got a catalog program written in PHP that is teaching me what I need to know about how to get comfortable with that language, also taking me through all the elementary steps you need to really get a command of the language and the essential things you do with a web page/web application, like sessions, transferring data between pages, passwords and security and so forth.

This all goes towards Project Fluff Up My Resume wherein all this gets cited as professional work, so that I have current credits.  It will be interesting to see if I can land some work on the basis of this... once I have it done, that is.

theodosia: old default icon from livejournal (hugh)
  • RT @BostonDave Cat Food...Now with LSD? Friskies "Adventureland" Commercial post.ly/P1Wk // More proof cats are insane, frankly.

Really has to be seen to be appreciated -- great fantastic CGI with a real kitty.

RT @tzikeh Does anyone have news about Mad Men's Season 4 premiere date? Have they schedule it yet? Are they filming?

Retweeting because yeah, I'd REALLY like to know!

  • Is working in raw PHP today, which is much slower but correspondingly much less frustrating than CakePHP.
  • I keep forgetting that all PHP variables start with $. $$$$$$$$$$. Maybe if I type $$$$$$ often enough it will stick.$$$$$$$$$$$$$$
  • Gaaaaah... must have been in a PHP-induced coma, suddenly it's 4PM!

CakePHP wouldn't be so bad if it weren't impossible to set up.  Well, impossible for me.  I knew I was in trouble when my friend Ron asked if I was using bash or tsh (or something like that).  "I want to learn to drive a car, not how to assemble the engine first."

Straight PHP, on the other hand -- I'm working my way through to a complete catalog website, with its own control panel for the user.  I'm very sure this is exactly what Joomla or Drupal should be used for, but if I do it all by hand, I'll have all the conceptual issues nailed down, and then can revel in the ease of use, secure that I know what's really going on underneath everything.

  • Spare Cat logged me off my computer. She is talented, I'll give her that much. Grudgingly.

I sure hope I'm getting a lot of good karma for taking in Cece, because I sure deserve it.

  • RT @tweetmeme Caprica: Exclusive: 'Caprica' producer Jane Espenson explains Sam Adama's tattoos - S.. ow.ly/1oOwZQ

I'm not seeing a whole lot of Caprica love yet!  It's taking its time, but in the meantime the world-building is fascinating and the characters are growing.  For me the breakout character is actually Sam Adama, who seemed to be a tertiary character in the pilot and now looks to be a major player.  But maybe I should have expected this from the hyuuuuuuge cast they developed on BSG.

Anyway -- the tattoos turn out to be fascinating, absolutely.

  • Watched the last two #Leverage last night -- couldn't love the show any more, especially Elliott and Hardison, but geeze they're all good.

I had a real nice paragraph extolling the virtues of this show, and then Spare Cat landed on both the mouse and keyboard and erased it past retrieval.  Suffice it to say, you were all right about this show....

theodosia: (dief)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • No one would have believed in the opening years of the 21st century we were being observed by slit-eyed aliens in our own homes....
  • Off to a job-seeking workshop at Career Source. This unemployment gig is sure a lot of work....

It's a Job Seekers Network Group that meets once a week, but perhaps it will spur me on to get more organized and on track with what I'm pursuing.  It gives me pause to realize that everyone there was older than 35 (a participant polled the room) which may just be a reflection of what job seekers make it to a Cambridge strip mall setting or whatever.

  • I'm attending Microsoft and NaviSite Present: Elite Web Optimization Event -- bit.ly/3gFBHk

This I heard about at the Boston Web Designers meetup the night before.  There's some considerable free software on offer there, including Microsoft Expression and Silverlight (their answer to Dreamweaver and Flash, respectively) which wouldn't hurt me to know, especially if it ties in well with Visual Studio....)

  • RT @TeresaKopec RT @Atrios: i think Obama should really rethink his plan to bring Magneto to new york city.

Had to retweet this, because it's obvious both of them have read my favorite-ever X-Men comics story sequence, not to mention the rather cowardly reaction by some conservatives to -- eek! -- bringing Guantanamo detainees onto mainland US and actually treating them like the war prisoners they are.

  • How Somerville is it? 'Smart Car' parked on Highland Ave, with a Denver boot clamped over a wheel....
  • Perhaps I will feel less achy if I take a random shower (defined as any shower taken outside of regular shower hours...)

I subsequently crashed and burned by 8:30 PM -- too tired to do more than go upstairs and see if I could sleep.  And it turned out that I could... which, you know, if I can do that, I really really need it.

Still, it's been a busy week, and most surprisingly one that isn't devoid of achievement....

theodosia: (SF)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • There's still just a thin coating of snow on cars in the shadows where the sun hasn't shone yet. Earliest Boston snow I can remember?

There are still plenty of green trees around, which makes this snowfall all that more AWFUL.  I want my summer back... at least I'd be happier if we were having a proper New England Fall, which means 70s and high 60s so you can romp on the lawn in the colorful leaves.  I walked through a patch of crackly fallen leaves the other day, which made me smile fondly.

  • Oooh, cable card installer man is coming tomorrow! Soon I will be i/n/v/i/n/c/i/b/l/e i/n/s/u/f/f/e/r/a/b/l/e/ have 2 digital cable streams.

Some would think that I'm already insufferable about this, but damn, it's neat tech and it's been a while since I upgraded a Useful Toy -- already that double-recording capability has come in handy, so that Rosemary can get to watch Desperate Housewives even if The Amazing Race runs way WAY overtime.  Even better if the installation works and we can then get the higher digital channels like BBC-America and TCM and National Geographic and so on.  And I can copy shows over to my desktop PC up here and watch when Rosemary wants to watch something different!

  • Nepal's latest adventure sport: parahawking ow.ly/vfUJ -- Thanks to my friend Larry, because not only do I <3 vultures this is NEAT!

This is genius -- first off, the guy rehabilitates raptors, and then uses them to spot updrafts when paragliding, and you can pay to take a tandem ride with him.  Not that I could afford the trip to Nepal to do so (which is described as a paragliders' paradise, because of temperature, prevailing winds and spectacular mountain scenery), but using a natural behavior like this (who doesn't want to see birds when they're flying, up close like that?) is just such a WIN.

  • JSP rocks, especially after learning Java servlets, which are like learning to dance in ski boots.

For those who don't program, here's the quickie explanation -- for this module of J2EE, we've spent most of the time writing servlets, which is Java code that gets compiled into HTML that be viewed in a browser.  Which means that every bit of HTML has to be input into strings that the compiler then outputs.  JSP, however, starts as an HTML page that you can include bits of Java into. Thus the sudden freedom, like dancing without your ski boots on....

theodosia: (threesomes)

::peeks cautiously out, like a prairie dog in black-footed weasel land::

I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • I really feel for the administrator on Primeval - his team members are more suicidal than lemmings, and even less likely to listen to orders

I can't of course remember what his name is -- never a good sign for the overall worth of a show with me -- but I do enjoy his Blackadder-like disgust and haughtiness.  Given that his leading team members are all brilliantly stupid, and in fact at one point their team leader was a marketing/PR person originally, I have to say by now I totally respect his disgust.

And yet, I'm still watching, partly because Connor is cute and Abby is adorable, and partly because their adventures on the whole are so much fun to heckle in my head.  Plus, they make Torchwood look remarkably competent, on the whole.

  • Made much progress with the WP theme this weekend, though it appears that the ability to put Flash in the sidebar is severely limited.
  • Oooh -- sent off very advanced WP Theme to client, to the point where they need to make Decisions. Decided to go off to a movie this aft!

Yeah, the website that sucked my life away -- but it was fun (when I wasn't tearing at my hair in frustration) and I've learned so very much doing it -- geeze Louise, I built a WordPress Theme from scratch with the help of a tutorial!  Not to mention all the Flash and JavaScript/XML besides.  I guess I HAVE been paying attention in class.

  • Going to a movie -- what a strange, wonderful idea!
  • So... movie didn't happen on account time being mislisted-- 4 pm is too late to watch and get to class on time.

R is off work this week, so she is available for movie-going.  I may try again today....

Has anybody reading this seen Sunshine Cleaners?  And if so, is it very gruesome?

  • YouTube - Roland Emmerich's "2012": Trailer 3 (June 18) 720p HD ow.ly/fzXO Not one cliche is left uncliched!

Seriously, an aircraft carrier is swept by a tidal wave... onto the White House!

Amazing, there is no shot of a dog running to safety just before it hits.

Or maybe I'm just jaded -- this week, with so little on TV, I turned to Comcast On Demand and watched a whole bunch of episodes of Life After People from the History Channel, where we go on an extended tour of a future where humankind disappears and everything decays to the point where you can't hardly tell we were here.  And the CGI artists just love knocking tall iconic structures over!  Yet it does not hit my cliche buttons in the same way that Herr Direktor Emmerich does....

  • Traffic was terrible -- crawl onto 93, most of the way north. Roadwork plus the all-day Noreaster!
  • Is 'frabulous' a current slang word? If not, it should be!
  • The difference between an interface and an abstract class is like the difference between a guideline and a rule. #OOP

We're back into the heart of object-oriented programming, and now I have to pay attention again, because we're dealing with Concepts again.  'Frabulous' came up because the instructor put together a list of madeup slang words to run against a spellchecker and I suspect he's making them up.

But 'frabulous' just sounds fun.  In the meantime, we've got a lab where we're going to use both interfaces and abstract classes and have polymorphic virtual methods and whatnot.  Of course, by the time 9 rolled around last night, I was tired enough to need help figuring out to format an ENUM (which, if you don't program, is very very simple).

 

Oh good, while I was writing this, notes from the client came back, so I guess I know what I'm doing this afternoon!

PS -- [personal profile] cupcake_goth's book Gothic Charm School is out!

theodosia: (art!)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • Took the old microwave, some black popcorn still inside, out to the garbage men. Made sure the other appliances watched.

And a friend of mine said, "Appliance death corn" -- though I like to think that I'm merely encouraging the other appliances to work correctly.  The dishwasher has been looking shifty....

  • WPDesigner.com >> So you want to create WordPress themes huh? ow.ly/ezzf -- the tutorial I'm following, which is sense-making.
  • WHY why WHY was I so freaked about WordPress/PHP? Or is this tutorial making it look way too easy?
  • Lunch and post-lunch coma/nap derailed my productivity, but then I didn't get too much sleep last night. Back to being productive!

No, I don't think it's entirely the splendiferousness of the tutorial -- I wouldn't be going so very fast if I didn't have a really great grasp of what the HTML and CSS elements are doing and being able to follow how they work with the PHP/WordPress functions.

All that practice I've been doing with making my resume over in different CSS incarnations, taking my programming class over again?  It's all paying off.

  • Ooops. Almost forgot I have to go to class tonight. Making great leaps and bounds on the WordPress stuff, though. But Java calls!
  • No sooner had I posted about leaving for class, then I get a phone call and an email message -- class is CANCELED. Lucky I'm running late!
  • Which means I can continue to struggle with my WordPress theme work. Next to figure out -- how to make pictures show up.

I was just regretting that I hadn't taken any time to go sit out in the backyard, and looking at the clock and realizing that I'd have to take a substantial snack along in order to have something resembling dinner because I'd probably be late even without stopping for dinner, when almost simultaneously the phone rang and I got an email from the instructor.

I'd be all Score! and Whoohoo! but the cancellation is because the instructor's wife had to go to the ER.  I'll take just a little bit of joy that I was late, so I didn't actually drive all the way up to Woburn in evening rush hour traffic.

  • Patio time in the gloaming! I actually shut off the work computer to make myself take a break.

I think on the whole, one of the things about a Real Job with a Real Office is that you end up taking more breaks more often, if only because you have to talk to bosses and coworkers about work stuff, walk a distance to the bathrooms, cafeteria for snacks, et cetera.  Even if working at home comes with hot and cold running cats.

theodosia: (bride of)
Yeah -- back to the salt mines here in the land of the JobFree. I wonder if I could claim this was an internship -- because, damn but I'm learning just a huge amount of Stuff by doing this.

I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • I changed my Twitter location to Tehran -- the idea is that if the Iranian govt is trying to track twitterers, there will be lots of fakes.

So little one can do from so far away!  The power of new ways of communicating, below the 'radar' and beyond the reach of censorship gives one hope that repressive governments will be find it harder to crush dissent.

  • YouTube - Jeremy's Extreme Ford Fiesta road test - Top Gear - BBC Autos ow.ly/emNs Best.Car.Review.Ever (esp. at 4:30 mark)

In the best droll fashion, the car review starts out straight-faced and then gets weirder than I can imagine (and I have a big imagination.  Monty Python or The Daily Show would be proud.

  • Aaaargh -- I need to learn Wordpress themes STAT. aaargh.
  • Giving myself a huge quick crash course in PHP/Wordpress styling. Good news: I actually seem to be understanding it. Bad news: it's 11:09PM
  • OK.. going to eat a snack, take a mucle relaxant (1/4 pill) and try to relax enough to sleep. I CAN do PHP, at least enough for my purposes
  • Um, who just remembered that she has a copy of PHP & MySQL For Dummies on the shelf sitting 3 feet from her desk?
  • I'm apparently awake again, without any voluntary desire on my part. OTOH, I have confidence that I can lick this Wordpress thingie.

Ooops.  I guess I'll have to chalk up the miscommunication partially to my fault, since I never did get around to how the actual blogs were set up -- I thought I was doing a front page with blog pages set up by someone else.  Except... there's no one else.  So I threw myself into researching and learning to put together a custom WordPress Theme yesterday afternoon/evening.  And, um, late into the night.

And it sure would have gone better if I'd remembered that I had a copy of the Dummies book sitting on my shelf that I got about two years ago and never used because just as I was starting in on PHP, I got admitted to school.

The funny thing is, I know so much more about HTML and CSS now, that indeed the WordPress PHP functions are only a little bit challenging, and because I've been working so hard on learning Real Cool CSS that I've got most of a working theme ready to go, though it could still be improved, and will be.

June 15th

Jun. 16th, 2009 08:39 am
theodosia: (pushing daisies)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • Seen on Screen: Brooks Bros. cuts custom camo suit for Colbert's Iraq visit | Los Angeles Times ow.ly/e8pa

I thought that was a sharp-looking suit, and it seems I was right!

  • How did it get to be lunchtime? Oh yeah, I just went to "do one little thing more" with the web pages. Oy.
  • Will I be turning over the web pages to the web producer soon? I sure hope so!

The things clients don't know, like when I managed to break some major functionality and had to go back to the earlier copy of the work and very carefully make my changes again.  Without, somehow, being able to spot exactly what it was that I did that broke things, even though I swear I only made the same changes in the same sequence.  Stoopid Javascript!

  • The Power of Twitter's "Suggested User" List - NYTimes.com ow.ly/ebTv AKA The Tweet Smell of Success

Huh, I didn't know about any "Suggested User" list.  But yeah, I WAS an early adopter.  We had to go out and find our own followers then, chipping them out of stone our own selves.  ::waves cane, stamps foot::

  • Web producer seems happy with my work, needs only tiny changes. We'll see what happens when she actually starts using it -- the acid test!

It's easy enough to look good, but I think my inexperience with setting up a production web page may show with usability/maintainability issues.  Ideally, this is what CMSs -- code management systems -- are for.  Though, we're only talking about five small XML files to keep track of, and the producer seems able and detail-aware.

  • TV Guide Magazine | The Daily Review | Finale Watch: Pushing Daisies ow.ly/efUr -- He says it much better than I can or do.

I said somewhere else that my emotions approaching the end of PD was confidence and acceptance -- somehow my subconscious has given enough life and independent existence to the characters that I believe in my heart that they continue past the end of the series, having quirks and adventures, and finding happiness. In fact, it's much like the end of Due South in that there's so definitely room in their mythos and characters and arcs that I feel as though it does go on....

(Also note, like DS, it shares the Magical Realism thing in big ways, and the serio-comic vibe, as well as, yes, mysteries.  Only, I guess, it's the Country of Death, not Canada, that Chuck comes from.  And that Emerson and Olive and Digby all map onto DS characters all too well....)

(And yeah -- dead/missing fathers, anyone?)

  • Personal Health - An Emotional Hair Trigger, Often Misread - NYTimes.com ow.ly/ehha -- good article about borderline personality

I'm seriously contemplating printing this out and leaving it anonymously in the mailbox of some neighbors of mine, whose 9yo is daily going into crying fits and meltdowns.  In the warm weather I can't avoid overhearing a lot, being that they're out in their yard.  So much of the behavior described in the article fits.  Something is definitely wrong with the kid, and I know she's getting at least some school counseling....

theodosia: (spork)

I know I'm busy when I get involved with My Big Fat Website Project in the morning and don't get around to updating here at all.  Because it seems like all the energy I have To Do A Good Job is being spent on that.  On the up side, the Project is moving satisfactorially along, including writing some Javascript that takes XML files and puts them up as neat, formatted, organized and attractive HTML/CSS code.

I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • Did they really schedule the Twitpocalypse and the Facebook name domain event for the same day? Talk about tempting fate!

Actually the big news about that is it didn't cause more disruption -- the world of programming is getting trickier and more adaptive.  http://www.twitpocalypse.com/ explains better that I can what the problem was -- in short, the unique identifier code (which was a 32-bit unique number) got exceeded when the 2,147,483,647th tweet was twatted.  (Yes, that's 2 billion served.)  The Twitter site itself was programmed right - the numbers just rolled over and restarted at the bottom of the signed integer list, but the lack of planning on some application developers is showing.

  • Ugly Overload: I Don't Want to Grow Up ow.ly/dTtL Cute baby frogmouth chick grows up... ugly.

Awww... it's like a tribble.  With a beak!

  • Honestly, I'm going to put down the Dreamweaver now and go do something that does not involve a computer, or code.

See what I said about getting a little, um, concentrated?  And I went back later in the evening and hammered out a kludge to get around the way IE handles XML, too!  Baby, I'm on FIRE.

  • Walked to the library and back -- now I have a backyard reading book. Time to go out on the patio and, um, read!
  • It's Sarah Vowell's The Wordy Shipmates, btw.

And... it's a Large Print version, which gives me the feeling that I'm just speeding along through it.  Rarely have the Puritans ever been this... entertaining?

  • Waiting for the last ever episode of Pushing Daisies to come on. Angry at the universe and TV program execs both.

Still angry at the way the network handled this series.  Hoping all the creators go on to wonderful work, of course, but damn why couldn't we have had at least one full season?

theodosia: (thousand elephants (by heuradys))
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • FBI terrorist interrogator on the uselessness of torture and the efficacy of cookies - Boing Boing ow.ly/absU

Amazing how much more reliable the information you can glean from humane treatment is.  Somebody in the discussion pointed out that it's sort of like inducing Stockholm Syndrome, and I suspect they're right.  And strangely, the Geneva Conventions are completely silent on the use of kindness.

  • Spare Cat is not an Affection Sponge. She is an Affection Mugger who wants Teh Love Nownownow and will crawl up on your face to get it.

Chumley is definitely an Affection Sponge -- if you start petting him, he can never get enough of it.  And he will often remind you that he likes being petted.

Spare Cat, however... isn't content to wait around for it.  Oh no.  She demands it.  If she had a little gun and opposable thumbs she'd force you to pet her about 80 times a day.  As it is, she jumps up on your lap or the desk or whatever, and pushes into your hands or even your face.

  • ZooBorns: Nubian Goat Kids at the Indianapolis Zoo ow.ly/achC While I'd take a turkey for the backyard, I'd really like a goat!

Even if it turns out that the only plants left in my backyard are Weeds That Goats Don't Like To Eat -- it would be worth it.  Also... how cute are these kids?

  • Amazing how much better the patio looks now that I swept about a billionty-seven maple seeds and old blossoms & whatever off it!
  • Said hi to house-shoppers checking out the empty house behind my yard. Seemed like nice people, hope somebody like that buys the place!
  • My state rep put an offer up on Freecycle for some violets, mint plants so I emailed her & got some. That's real public service from a pol!

What can I say -- it  was a backyardy day for me.  I felt ambitious early and used an old broom to sweep up, so that the concrete isn't speckled with litter and I'm like... oh gosh, this looks so much better.  Glad I did it before the Prospective Buyers showed up.  Talked to them over the fence, volunteered that the train tracks so close by are very very rarely a problem (which is true, but keeps the cost of these houses a bit lower, which is good if you're a buyer in search of a bargain).

And yep -- my State House rep is Patricia Jehlen, who lives about a mile from here, and has a lovely garden.  When I told her that my childhood backyard had white violets all over it, she got a shovel and dug up a couple more for me!  And now they've been planted in my backyard, where I've already got some purple violets, but have missed the other style a whole lot.  Aww!

  • Spare cat has not only managed to get out of her e-collar, she's hidden it... somewhere. I'm tempted to put her back in the stiff one.

And it would SO serve her right.  But I think I'll just go by PetCo and get another soft one.  She's managed to reopen the wound a bit, and anyway, I've got to be able to return something to the nice person who lent it to me.

Of course, the collar will turn up probably when we least expect it.  But it's really, thoroughly G O N E for now.

  • Testing the XML Flash app online! Don't mind the silly icons, K? ow.ly/ahmP

It seemed like a good idea to actually try the app in an online environment -- which makes sure that I'm not depending on some local setup. It behaves as advertised, so I'm quite the happy camper.  I'm sure there's about ten better ways to do this, in Javascript and through Content Management Systems and all, but for cool DIY design, not too shabby.

  • Movie Trivia: Mary Poppins - Neatorama ow.ly/ahBu Still a Biiiiig favorite movie for me, bad Cockney accent and all!

I do love this: "Dick Van Dyke freely admits that his cockney accent was awful and in fact kind of gets a kick out of it. " Good for him, I say.  This makes me want to write a bit of fanfic where it turns out that his character is in fact an American posing as a Cockney for some bizarre reason.   Thank goodness that the impulse will pass me by.

theodosia: (art!)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

  • Spare Cat managed to remove her surgical staple by catching it on the cloth edging of her soft e-collar. She is amazing talented, sort of.
  • By the time Spare Cat goes home, I will have extra muscles in my left arm from propping her up in my lap as I type.
  • PS -- Spare Cat's wound is looking much better despite staple removage -- wound is drawing closed, skin looks good around it.
  • Trying to explain to Spare Cat the concept of the Firm Protestant Handshake but it's All Cat PDAs All The Time with her.

I couldn't get to her in time to save the staple, or at least stop her from hurting herself on it -- because she was thrashing around a bit, pulling on it as she tried to get the edge free, and yowling as she hurt herself.  (Dollars to donuts, I bet she used to catch her tail as a kitten and CHOMP on it, surprised that it hurt....).  But the staple tore out of the remaining little strip of skin and honestly, the wound isn't all that much worse -- in fact, it's visibly healed up since that point, so I'm going to leave well enough alone.

She still has the soft collar on, but she can navigate much better in it than the stiff plastic one.  The borrowed collar is sort of like a little cape, which kind of fits her persona.

I keep telling myself I knew what I was getting into when I volunteered to catsit, but really, I didn't.

  • OK, I just spent about two hours trying to figure out why my XML wouldn't load -- I typo'd file names listed therein. Me = Queen of Idiots.

Oh there were more problems than just the typo'd file names, but really, if I'd had that right, it would have boiled down my mistakes to just a couple that I could have identified and corrected in a timely and efficient manner.  I really did teach myself very well exactly how URLLoader works, but really, it would be better for my stress if I refrained from mistakes that send me down the wrong rabbit hole.

Note to self: always check out the simplest fixes to problems first.  (This is why the Help Desk people always ask if you've rebooted FIRST.  Because it's the lowest overhead method to try, and it really often does help.)

  • If you heard a little girly scream from my backyard, it was me NOT stepping on a dead bird. It was probably somebody else! -looks innocent-

I really did yelp, even if I'm not all that squeamish.  It's just when you're walking out to the patio table and suddenly notice a bird corpse with a couple pieces missing, there's the whole "surprise" thing going on, especially when you notice as your foot is heading downward -- at least a quick hop in time saved a whole crunchy squishy thing happening.

After I regained my dignity, I used the rake to push the sad little corpse off into the vines where I'll remind myself not to weed for a week or two.  I really don't want it to be a two-yelp bird.

Between this, mosquitos and other flying annoyances, and the occasional caterpillar landing on me under the maples, I am reminded that when I go out in the backyard I'm for sure Part of Nature, for good (sun, shade, clouds, butterflies, chirping birds) and well, less good.

  • I have the Flash XML menu widget working right! I'm so relieved that I can indeed wrangle the ActionScript correctly as I thought I could!!

XML is a kind of file that is sort of a human-readable database "list".  The XML file I'm working from looks like this:

 <link image = "thumbs/thumb1.jpg" name="Home!" url="http://somelink" />
  <link image = "thumbs/thumb2.jpg" name="Works Forum Link" url="http://someotherlink" />
  <link image = "thumbs/thumb3.jpg" name="About Link to Somewhere" url= "http://somewhere" />

See, the thing is, you can then have this little Flash box embedded in a regular HTML page.  It looks to the .XML file and pulls the thumbnail from the image designation, the name/headline/explanatory text from the name, and the link text gets passed into the code so that it dynamically loads that page when you click on the picture or text.

That means that a non-Flash programmer can change the links in the box on the fly -- just go in and edit in a new thumbnail file path, new name, new link and as long as the pathname and URL are correct, you're good to go.

theodosia: (Singing Carrot)
PSA: Pushing Daisies shows the last of three episodes tonight at 10 PM.  Can't miss TV for me, even as I mourn the series being cancelled all over again.

I thought, therefore I twittered:

Slept late courtesy of muscle relaxant, woken in the night by Chumley getting his neck stuck in a plastic bag handle!

Oh, the catmanity!  However, the path of his distress was only from one side of the bedroom to the other, where he went to earth under the bed with most of the large -- it was a big stiff plastic DSW bag -- bag sticking out, so freeing him didn't even involve me getting out of bed, really, just leaning off the edge.

I suspect he's jealous of all the attention that Spare Cat has been getting this week.

I would Rail Against Fate, Woe. Woe conspiring me for not having corn flakes to eat, but in fact it was ME forgetting to buy them yesterday.

I'm finding that being deprived of my rightful Corn Flakes after not being able to eat them for so long has made me more desirous of making up for lost breakfasts.

Am well on my way to remembering how ActionScript works. What a relief!

It's surprising how a couple of months of Doing Other Things can make one rusty.  On the bright side, my mastery of OOP makes some things with the Flash programming much easier to predict and control.

I still have my work cut out for me to get what I want to do all spiffy and professional, but I can see how it's going to work, and that's a big relief indeed.

YouTube - Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video Version ow.ly/9Wpm I just hurt something laughing.

Oh good loooord!  The original video was ridiculously operatic and crack-addled Over The Top and full of bizarro images like wrestlers and ninjas and football players in what looks like a boys prep school with the singer raising her arms Evita-like, and big hair and raccoon-eye makeup and unexplained wisps of red silk scarves blowing in through windows.  Add in a new soundtrack where a sound-alike singer  comments on the goings-on, and I pretty  much can't watch this with food or drink anywhere in the vicinity, because it would leap into my mouth and make me spit-take.  The comic timing/dialogue between image and commentary is very very good.

Thanks to [profile] isiscolo for this link.
theodosia: old default icon from livejournal (hugh)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

I am discovering that Spare Cat likes to sit on your hands best of all. It prevents you from paying attention to anything else.

We had a Milestone Event the other night when R and I were watching TV in the living room (The Amazing Race, I think) and CeCe came all the way from the hallway into the living room... briefly that is, until, get this, Muppet chased her back to the stairs. Muppet, who barely pays attention to her? And then CeCe was hung up at the foot for a while, because Chumley was blocking the top of the stairs.

Usually, they don't work together like that....

N.Y. Times to File Notice It Will Close Boston Globe - washingtonpost.com ow.ly/53mx OK, I think I'm ready to panic.

OK, I also didn't know that the Boston Herald is down to TEN (10!) fulltime reporters.

Still, a definite EEK from here, even though the news at this time is that they're holding off the filing until the unions have a chance to vote on the new proposals that could make enough concessions to offset the $85 million LOSS that is expected for 2009.

FTR, don't look at ME too hard, I still buy a Globe just about every day I'm actually out of the house, except for the being unemployed thing which means sometimes I stay in. Still, I DO read the print edition. OK, except for the sports....

Registry of Births Deaths and Marriages ow.ly/53rd -- How lucky indeed to be born Australian these days!

A friend is getting a commemorative Australian Wildlife birth certificate for his new son, though he could also pick one that's Aboriginal or fancy embossed Traditional and a bunch of other cool options

@isiscolo -- I finally figured out the mystery of why I get Turkish and Greek spam, because of my username, Theodosia.

Had a slight brain meltdown over IComparable Inheritance which is written as a trampoline to another method. Note to Self: OOP weird.

Learned how to write my own Generic Class. This is a power that I will have to use wisely.

Seriously, I just could not wrap my head around how we were supposed to set up a sort for the ArrayList based on the last names -- it turns out you have to set up a customized CompareTo() method that overwrites the system CompareTo()... by setting up that it sends the lastName field off into a CompareTo()!? It's called trampolining, though I kept calling it slingshotting because evidently my brain works that way. At any rate, the instructor had to almost come over and tap my fingers on the keys in order for me to write it before my brain caught up with the concept.

So much angst for like, 5 lines of code total! Thank goodness that you don't have to write that sort of functionality often - Fran said it is in fact most common to have to overwrite a function like this for a Sort situation, so as long as I keep this code handy, I should just be able to copy it over, you know?
theodosia: (eagle)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

Things done this morning so far: foddered cats, balanced Quicken, signed up for a dating website via Facebook... wait, WHAT?

Don't get your hopes up too much, this is definitely toe-in-the-water time. I'm finding, though, that I've got a definite preference for how much education, political preference and town of residence makes for my favorable impression. Sorry, Everett guys -- I lived there a while, and while I know objectively there can be very nice people in residence, that's not the way to bet.

Smoking Gun site -- mugshots of a guy arrested over 1333 times. ow.ly/4V8N

The full account of his arrests and jail time, hospital time goes on for pages and pages. Probably that's all that's kept him alive this long, getting dried out and medical needs taken care of. The saddest thing is, you can see that there's a nice guy in those mugshots -- a nice guy who needs a ton of help.

Got the Zen of CSS Design from library -- from the guys at CSSZengarden.com, which is answering questions I didn't know to ask!

Seriously in love with the book at the moment, that takes various of the designs and goes into techniques and concepts of a particular design element or CSS hack (like, at least five different ways to substitute a picture for a header tag, each with its pluses and minuses).

Wrestling with C# -- DateTime, you are my BITCH.

Dept of I Crack Myself Up -- class Employee variables are drone1, drone2, drone3 etc.

Like, for instance 'foreach (Employee drone in employeeList)' I gotta call them something!

But seriously, I worked out how to transfer a terminated employee from the employeeList ArrayList to the terminatedList and delete said employee from the employeeList on my own... well, with just a little Googling, which doesn't count as cheating, right? Also, aced the DateTime handling since we're supposed to record the termination date.

It would be all much simpler if we were doing this with an actual database, of course, but having to work with collections is damn good practice, and somethings there's a good reason for dealing with stuff in arrays before you commit it to a db.

I am SO ready to be employed, already.
theodosia: old default icon from livejournal (hugh)
I thought, therefore I twittered:

Things done this morning so far: foddered cats, balanced Quicken, signed up for a dating website via Facebook... wait, WHAT?

Don't get your hopes up too much, this is definitely toe-in-the-water time. I'm finding, though, that I've got a definite preference for how much education, political preference and town of residence makes for my favorable impression. Sorry, Everett guys -- I lived there a while, and while I know objectively there can be very nice people in residence, that's not the way to bet.

Smoking Gun site -- mugshots of a guy arrested over 1333 times. ow.ly/4V8N

The full account of his arrests and jail time, hospital time goes on for pages and pages. Probably that's all that's kept him alive this long, getting dried out and medical needs taken care of. The saddest thing is, you can see that there's a nice guy in those mugshots -- a nice guy who needs a ton of help.

Got the Zen of CSS Design from library -- from the guys at CSSZengarden.com, which is answering questions I didn't know to ask!

Seriously in love with the book at the moment, that takes various of the designs and goes into techniques and concepts of a particular design element or CSS hack (like, at least five different ways to substitute a picture for a header tag, each with its pluses and minuses).

Wrestling with C# -- DateTime, you are my BITCH.

Dept of I Crack Myself Up -- class Employee variables are drone1, drone2, drone3 etc.

Like, for instance 'foreach (Employee drone in employeeList)' I gotta call them something!

But seriously, I worked out how to transfer a terminated employee from the employeeList ArrayList to the terminatedList and delete said employee from the employeeList on my own... well, with just a little Googling, which doesn't count as cheating, right? Also, aced the DateTime handling since we're supposed to record the termination date.

It would be all much simpler if we were doing this with an actual database, of course, but having to work with collections is damn good practice, and somethings there's a good reason for dealing with stuff in arrays before you commit it to a db.

I am SO ready to be employed, already.
theodosia: (beetle)
So... in a fit of enthusiasm, I asked if I could audit a morning class in 3D animation, because if I'm going to be having the free time between now and whenever I finally get employed, I might as well squeeze all the goodness out of school that I can.

I think I did pretty well in the 3d class this spring, but it's such a complicated program that I need all the practice I can get -- and with a different teacher, you get a different emphasis on many aspects. Plus, you can audit a class two times after you take it at this college (if you have the free time!).

So far, I'm glad I'm doing it -- even if it's 4 hours starting at 8:30 in the morning, and followed by a 3 hour class in the afternoon! You would be surprised at how fast four hours can go, truly. Today we worked a lot with what's called a Dummy helper, which is constrained into a circular orbit, and then a planet is linked to the Dummy, so it revolves while it rotates -- cool beans! Al (old teacher) didn't spend much time on proxy links like this, so already the time seems well spent.

I'd really like to finish the remake of my final project animation, so if this gets me back up to speed it will be Worth It.

This afternoon the class we were supposed to have was cancelled because of the teacher's illness, but since we're working on Portfolio anyway it would have been an open lab. So instead, the three of us who were there started out helping one fix a tweening project, and then Beth asked me to take a look as to why her multi-Scene transitions weren't transitioning, so I ended up leading her through constructing a two scene Flash doc with buttons to move between scenes -- which I'd only seen done once, though I knew I knew enough of the principle of it.

You know, if you show somebody else how to do something, you'll end up really being able to do it, so we were both seriously chuffed that we got both of our applications working. Along the way I ended up sketching out the "structure" of the scenes, because there's a complicated bit where you have the buttons inside a movie clip inside another movie clip (so you can animate a menu), and explained clearly enough for her to follow why in the ActionScript code you have to name each of them by their instance names.

(There was a lot of "Well, if you tell a puppy, 'Fetch, Rover' and the puppy is named Red, there's going to be some confusion....")

Anyway, while there doesn't seem to be much traction on the Getting Employed Again project, at least things are happening in other portions of my life, such as it is.

I'd be off for the long weekend, but there's that damn morning class that I'm supposed to be auditing tomorrow....