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Well, that was certainly the pause that refreshes... I'll have to hang on a little while for the next one as the next two weeks are of the six-day variety. But, if history repeats, one or even both of those Saturdays could end a little early. ...and the Scheduling Supervisor clued me in that we have events lined out for over half of the evenings between now and the tenth of December. Wow, I'll just be in my element... Not.

Let's see... Did I get any computer related stuff going over the extended weekend? Nary a trace. Well, maybe. The laptop and Tux can ping each other over the wireless NICs. ...and the laptop under RedHat 7 holds battery for nearly two hours with the NICs going (low HDD access, screen sleeping at fifteen minutes; pinging much of the time for the sheer heck of it<g>). I never did start the IP chaining process; the distractions proved too much...

I did download the full version of NoteTab; I've been using the freeware version for over a year now and I figured it was time to pay my respects, and cash, to the author. He has some nice touches in the latest; but what I really paid for was the spel chequer and the BookWithOtherWords. Spell checking was the one piece of my puzzle that was missing for my posts; I'd serve up locally with Apache, cut and paste into Outlook for the spell check, then FTP the final product upstream to pair. Now, one more step is gone. I still preview locally, but NoteTab takes care of ninety percent of my web work from this site. Yeah, that makes me a hand-coder; but hey, I still use WordPerfect for most things around here. There's even a DOS program still in use to program the X-10 controller...

Reminder to DocJim (and a few others. ...actually, anyone who likes their music nice and loud): it's time to bring out Rebecca St. James' Christmas album and see if the speakers will still hold together. ...and the windows. ...and the neighbors. Warning: not for those with an aversion to strong bass lines. ...especially on O Holy Night. <G>

Have a good day!

Hey everybody! Matt's back! Times two!


Would someone please replace the bulb in the halogen lamp for the big blue room outside? All we've had since Thursday is the indirect lighting from the sconces along the walls. ...and the world is all dull and gray and boring.

Arrrrgg... Yesterday was the fourth day in a row with no sunshine! Gripe, grumble, moan, whine... I might as well be in Seattle. At least there the sun might come out the next day. ...or it will rain. Here, I think we're in for one of those fog-bitten winters. ...the kind that go on and on and on and on. I mean, like, get real: this is Cali-flippin'-fornia. As in sunny California! ...and lousy air quality California. ...and shake, rattle and roll off into the sea California. But, by gosh, while we're coughing our lungs up and learning to swim at Clovis by the Sea, we should have sunshine!

...and we're only four days into this siege of terror. Thank goodness I have 'Daylight Blue' fluorescent lamps in the kitchen. ...and in most of the downstairs offices at work. ...'course they moved us upstairs last year to keep a closer eye on us. ...and to an office with a skylight no less. ...a skylight that is totally useless right now because of the blasted foggy overcast!

...and this isn't your nice coastal fog, low to the ground, but sometimes lit up with a white light. ...and we have our "tule" fog, convection fog from the ground that makes driving a true nightmare when you can only see eight feet or less in front of you. No, this is that inversion layer crud that starts from between ten and fifty feet and stretches up to the two-thousand foot level. The stuff that can hang around for fifty days or so (the last record) and make rich people of those purveying to SAD people. ...as in Seasonal Affective Disorder. Ya' know what they tell them? "Drive up to the three-thousand foot level; you'll feel fine." Great. Then what? Sooner or later they have to come back down to the valley floor. ...bringing their mood back down with them.

Good grief; let's get a real storm in here and blow this stuff out. Shelley's even said she's going to buy me a Cal-Trans Orange sweatshirt for my blading.

...says I just look like another lump of fog in my regular sweats.

The couple that rants together, stays together<g>...


One of the bonuses of winter around Shelley: She likes to bake cookies. Enough for everyone she knows. ...or might meet between now and Christmas. ...and that means she needs freezer space to store them. ...and that makes for interesting dinners!

Last night she'd been making fudge and cookies. Dinner became about five pounds of shrimp that had been hanging around taking up freezer space (that is now needed for that fudge and those cookies) and a coupla' boxes of Syroid Special. Bradley and I both went into bulldozer mode, compound low with both treads engaged, and went for it. Daniel took a by on the shrimp. ...and the newest NetWidow? At some point the aesthetics of shrimp with cocktail sauce as a main course to macaroni and cheese must have struck home: she ended up reheating some leftovers. Bradley and I just divvied up the new bounty<g>.

I spent the rest of my discretionary time working on Shelley's pages; I'm finding the theme I used as a base for her site isn't quite as flexible as the one I used as my ETP base. <Sigh> It looks like it's time to update some CSS code. Maybe we can get her font size adjustable instead of fixed. ...or at least large enough to read for those with Netscape.

Then there was the problem with the cat picture in IE 3.2 and Netscape...

Man, sometimes hand-coding here is just too easy...


I don't think this one is new... But my inbox yesterday garnered an email mentioning PC Pitstop, and particularly their Internet Connection Center. For those of us on dialup (yes, there are still some bastard bastions of budget burdened broadband bashers), it can give a clue or two if our connection speeds are up to snuff. ...and where the problem may be. They also have test suites and goodies for the LSD and Cable crowds. ...a wonderful Time Sink.

Yeah, I know it's DSL; I was thinking of the acid test...

Fine. I'll go away now...


Over on Weblogs and related sites, many of us are observing World Aids Day. Sites are blacked out or have posts with information or stories. I contributed a Daynotes story...

Go ahead, spend your discretionary time over there...

Oh, and Daynotes isn't hosed. Well, kinda'. Webmaster Syroid is scattering the ducks around prior to bringing them back in the order he'd like them. So, http://daynotes.com, Syroid Manor, and Tom's Insights are hither and yon for the next few days. For now, there are mirrors up here, here, and here. There are others up, but those should get you by. Things weren't supposed to be happening until Friday evening, but something seems to have happened last night...

Well... Tom was down. ...then Tom was up. ...too soon to be believed. The I lost him again last night. Then an Apache index page came up. ...then down. Man, I don't even want to think of what's happening up there. Good luck, bro. You might come out of this needing to resharpen that sword; but I'll lay odds there'll be yet another dragon at your feet<g>.

That's it for the moment. I need to give the class their written final today. That will be real interesting for a few of them; you can only miss so much class before it catches up to you. The good news: they did well on their pretest the other week.

Have a good day!


Well, let's just see where this one goes... As I write this late Saturday evening, the ground fog has rolled back in. ...no, not the stuff I was ranting about on Tuesday; this is that tule fog I mentioned in passing.

As I woke up Saturday morning, I raised up just enough to look out the sliding glass door into the yard. ...only to find I couldn't focus on the fence. Oh, my; that clear day we had Friday opened the lid on that inversion layer and now the ground fog is here.

Sheesh. I drove to class by a different route. ...one with four-way stops and traffic lights every place I had to cross a major street. I had maybe twenty feet of visibility. Do you remember those charts from your driver training class? The ones about your speed and your reaction time and stopping distance and all that? Well, on that drive, if you went anything near the legal limit of thirty-five mph, you wouldn't be able to stop in time once you saw the light was red. ...and some people just don't realize this. Whoa. He must be revving up into rant mode, Marge. Close the drapes...

So, last night, as I walked out onto my front porch and couldn't even tell there was a house across the street (twenty feet to the curb, twenty feet of roadway, ten feet to his fence line), I felt a little better about those three students I booted a few weeks back for not keeping their grades up. ...and the ones I'm going to boot next week when they blow the retake on their final. ...and all the ones I've booted in the past for not "knowing everything" and "it's just not fair to have a comprehensive final."

Here's the deal: if your server goes down and you don't have the comprehensive manual embedded in your brain, you can just take a moment or two and find that manual for the fix. ...or call tech support for your vendor and enjoy being tethered to the telephone for an hour or two. ...or heck, kick in the backup and we'll fix it later.

But if you are the one that goes down, either from that extra helping of saturated fat, or from that idiot driving too fast for conditions, the people dropping into your life for the next few minutes or the next few days had better know it all and know it up front. 'Cause your life expectancy may now be measured in minutes and hours if we don't do our job correctly out there and in-house.

So, when I see that fog lifting off the ground here, I don't just see the hazard it poses for those who drive in it, I'm also reminded of why I teach the way I do...</rant></sigh>

On a much lighter note, Shelley was “reading me sweatshirts” from the Wireless catalog earlier last evening. One sample:

Protons have mass? I didn't even know they were Catholic...

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