January 12th, 2013 | No Comments »

NOTE TO SELF

Should you ever decide to delete posts in future:

  1. Reconsider, and change visibility to Private
  2. If you decide against (1.), BACKUP your database
  3. If you follow (2.) and need to recover and merge the deleted files, here are some helpful instructions that work a treat.
  4. Or, if you’re not feeling particularly lazy, you might consider finding and installing an undelete widget of sorts.  I’m pretty sure there are options out there now.

SIGH

I barely blogged in 2012.  I was kind of busy.  Prior to the blogging hiatus, I deleted a bunch of posts.  Now that the hiatus is over, I sort of miss those posts.  Regardless of the chapter I’m in NOW, those posts comprise my history.  My last backup was from 31 Dec 2010.  Sad, because the major scrub took place at the end of 2011.  So I’m missing whatever posts I deleted from 2011.  Thankfully, I was able to restore whatever I deleted prior to 2011.

Lessons learned.

Onward.

Posted in blogging, technology
December 22nd, 2010 | 3 Comments »

I’ve moved servers again.  Blah.  So.  Some things don’t behave quite the same.  My pretty permalinks don’t work on the new server.  Apache vs IIS yada yada.  Or something.  My character encoding is finicky, but seems to be stable at the present setting.  Funny, it uses UTF-8, but sometimes wants to be told explicitly and sometimes wants NOT to be told.  This time it wants to be explicit.  Last server it didn’t.  Nice.  Nothing like consistency.

Comments are supposed to reach me : sueeeus at sueeeus dot com.

RSS feeds probably have to be updated.  I had a slightly different folder structure two servers ago, and I think my feed has been broken since then.  I’d reuse the old folder structure, but it doesn’t work properly, and I can’t be bothered to dig through my settings code or fiddle inside my database.  Well, I did actually do all of that, but only enough to get it up and running, and not enough to put it back to the previous structure.

Yep.  A whole lotta words about nothing much at all.  Mostly I’m just testing.

I do have things to write about…

…one of these days.

Posted in blogging, technology
August 7th, 2010 | 2 Comments »

The other day while my cleaning girl was cleaning (yes, I indulge in hiring out, and am tickled beyond all reason to say that I haven’t cleaned a toilet in over two years…   ..TWO YEARS!!!!   …and no, she doesn’t do as great a job as I would, were I to be doing the cleaning, but I’m okay with that since it’s SO nice that it’s not me wielding the scrubber) I noticed the vacuum cleaner was making a terrible loud noise.  I checked the usual suspects – belt, hose, bag – and came up with nothing.  It was still sucking, so I let it go.

Then, after returning from a fantastic week of vacation during which many small and large bodies filled cracks and crevices in my car with beach sand, twigs, pebbles and all manner of flotsam and jetsam, I decided to [*gasp*] clean the car.  I fired up the vacuum cleaner and the noise was unbearably loud, and after a very short time, a hot smell emerged.  Crap.  Definitely something was wrong with it.  Which completely sidetracked my car-cleaning mojo.

Thanks to the wonder of modern technology (and high speed internet, coupled with a myriad of helpful folks out there who like to post how-to information for various and sundry reasons) I quickly learned that the observed symptoms were likely due to a broken fan.  It’s very easy to confirm — just remove the front piece and take a look.

yep, that's the fan, and yep, it's broken

Voila!  Confirmed (note large black region where fan blades used to be).

The next step was to find a replacement part.  We have the wonder of eBay for that.

one can find anything on eBay

Sometimes eBay is fantastic.  In this case, I got the part I needed plus a bonus spare belt, all shipped directly to my home for under $20.  No schlepping around the city looking for a repair shop that stocks Kirby parts (and sells them at full retail prices, because they can).

Next, with the aforementioned helpful information at my fingertips, I set about the replacement.

gaining access

off with the old

on with the new

good as new

tools of the trade and spoils of war

In the meantime, I still went to Costco and bought another vacuum cleaner.  Just in case.  It’s still in the box.  Oreck pro something or other.  I might do a vacuum comparison and see how well it performs.  Maybe I’ll retire my Kirby.  I was suckered by the door-to-door salesman, oh, fifteen or twenty years ago.  It has held up, until now.  Not that I’d say that makes it worth the king’s ransom that it cost.

Anyway.  Bottom line?  I am woman, hear me roar!  Isn’t there a song that goes something like, “anything he can do I can do better”?  Well, that’s me!  Take that, non-existent male counterpart.  Who needs you anyway?

May 18th, 2009 | 8 Comments »

I have the weaning blues.

20090510_56

LB isn’t calling the shots here. It’s all on me, since I pump exclusively. Something about dropping supply just gets to me. Maybe it’s because of how hard I work to maintain supply, it seems so contrary to intentionally reduce it. Part of me wants to be done, and to have that part of my life back, but part of me doesn’t want to let go. It’s all wrapped up in ‘this is my last baby, this is the last time I will ever get to do this’. I suppose that’s the source of the blues — I won’t be down this path again and it’s so hard and sad to close this door. I’m currently at 3x/day now, and working on dropping to 2x.  I have only managed to stretch to 9.5 hours, but yesterday hit a new low of 21 ounces, down from over 40, and with that, the blues hit me hard.

20090518_46happy

In a way, I’m sort of addicted to pumping now and keep calculating in my head how I can keep things going if I just stick to 2x, once I get there, or even 1x. But then, if the supply is so low by then, part of me says why even bother trying to keep at it and why not just get my freedom back.

20090518_51drooly

I EP’ed for a full year with BB, and never had these blues.   Maybe because I was hoping to have more kids, and/or maybe because I never did make enough to give him 100%. I pumped 75% and supplemented with formula 25%, and when I decided to wean at the one year mark, it was easy as cake to dry up and be done. No emotional issues whatsoever (other than the obsession of milk production consuming my life for an entire year; I suppose if I went through my archives, they may tell a different story). This time is so different for me. I’m 44 now, have two beautiful boys, and the baby window is closed. If I’d been able to have kids earlier in life, I might have tried for 3 or 4, but as it turns out, it was a miracle for me to get what I got. I am eternally grateful and blessed for the opportunity to be a mother.

photo-96

Anyhow, it’s probably normal to get the weaning blues. Hormones are undoubtedly shifting, and there’s the whole letting go thing.

photo-100

I have a smokin’ hot new hairdo, though, and that makes me feel happy.  It’s the short choppy number again.  I really like short, these last several years.

photo-101

The Mac photo booth is a lot of fun, too.

photo-102

I prefer PC to Mac, for the most part.  If I were only going to play with Photo Booth, surf the web, and sync my iTouch, then I’d use the Mac — it handles those things nicely.  But I like my PC better for photo editing and general file keeping.  So I hop back and forth between both worlds, which for me is kind of annoying.  I’m the girl who likes to stay put, after all.

photo-118

blahblahblah

photo-114

And if I quit pumping, I won’t be playing with Photo Booth at midnight any more.  Or Facebook, for that matter.  Or Scrabble.  Or WordTwist.  Or Scramble.  Or Pathwords.  (I’m easily addicted to word games.)  The plus side is that I may actually be getting some more SLEEP!  I might even get my libido back.

Did I say that out loud?

I sure hope LB likes the milk I have stored in the freezer.

April 6th, 2009 | 4 Comments »

Hayfever bites the big one.  When the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and daffodils are bursting with color, one might think such glory would be cause for jubilation.  And it would, if it weren’t for this wretched lack of tolerance for so many varieties of pollen.  Bah.

It’s going to be a very busy work week.  It was going to be busy anyway, with Athos out on vacation, but now Porthos is out for the week as well, with a family matter.  Which leaves me (Aramis*) to hold down the fort.  All of it. And I tend to have a full workload of my own anyway, and even more so this week due to an impending major deadline.  That’s the flip side to specialization.  With very few backups, occasionally one is left holding the bag.  I am glad to have a bag to hold, though.

Part of me is wrestling over the weaning decision.  How I look forward to life beyond the pump, yet, at the same time, I almost don’t want to stop.  Maybe because it marks the end of a path I’ll never walk down again.  I won’t be having another child.  I won’t be making milk again.  I will be wistful, when it’s time to close that door.  I’m wistful now, just thinking of it.

There is also a part of me that is trying not to be afraid.  I thought LB’s lower back looked a bit more hunched than I remember BB’s looking at that age, and inquired about it at his 6 month well-child checkup.  His doctor didn’t think it seemed too unusual, but ordered an x-ray as a precautionary measure.  The report came back with some frightening words and we were referred to a specialist.   When we got there, the diagnostic imaging service had put the wrong x-rays on the CD (it’s all digital these days), so the specialist couldn’t look at them.  He said that we could take more, or reschedule for a later date, since he wanted to order an ultrasound anyway, to look at the kidneys and thereabouts.  I chose to reschedule.  I don’t want to bombard my baby with any more radiation than absolutely necessary.  He also mentioned that an MRI might be needed, but I don’t want to make that decision until we have more information from the ultrasound results, and the evaluation of the x-rays.  With an infant, an MRI requires general anesthesia, and I don’t want to put him through that unless it’s necessary.  Anyhow, there are many hanging questions, and there may be nothing at all wrong, which is my deepest hope.  I’m doing my best not to allow myself to worry over the what ifs until or unless there is cause.  But it’s very hard for me.   I’m not so good at letting things roll.

I guess it shouldn’t be a surprise that I’ve been feeling a bit melancholy of late.  Consequently, I’ve been overly indulgent with the food scene.

I’ve also been feeling more aware of my age, for some reason.  I don’t feel old, per se, but I clearly remember thinking how old my own mother was when she was 42, and here I am, 44.  When she was 42, I was in college, and had made the decision to give up the big V, being that I thought I was an adult and all.  She wasn’t very happy about that news, when I shared it with her.  That was the end of our mother-daughter-friend-friend relationship, which in retrospect was mostly a sham anyway, initiated by me under some self-imposed sense of what a mother-daughter relationship should be like.

Poof.

Anyway.  She was 42 and I was ‘grown up.’  I’m 44, and I have a baby.  Different worlds.  Different generations.  In my world, now, I’m going to try to be a real friend to my boys.  To listen.   To hear.

This means, of course, that I need to get over myself, so I can be there for them.  Not so easy.  At least, not for me.  Else I’d have managed it by now.  Getting over myself, being 44, and all.

~~*~~*~~*~~

*Okay, so I watched Slumdog Millionaire this weekend, and it’s fresh in my mind.  Excellent movie.

December 18th, 2008 | 3 Comments »

Look what my recent upgrade did to my posts.  What’s with all those funky characters with each period?  Now I have to run a cleanup on the entire database (SCARY!!) or just ignore it for now.

I’ll ignore it for now.  But I know it’s going to BUG me.  Grrrrrrr.

Posted in blogging, technology
November 17th, 2008 | 2 Comments »

One of the reasons I get very little blog traffic may be that my blog sometimes suffers fatal errors.  Lucky these fatal errors aren’t permanent fatal errors.  Although today was a close call.  After the fact, and many hours after discovering that all was dead in the water, I learned that the server on which all my domains reside had suffered the blue screen of death.  Very frustrating.  But my support person, and it’s almost always the same person, is top notch.  However, it’s still frustrating to be dead in the water for an entire day.

I’ve said it before.  I hate technology.  Now, if I had any wits about me, I’d run some backups, just in case.  Too tired right now though.  Maybe tomorrow.

Posted in bellyaching, technology
June 10th, 2008 | 1 Comment »

I’m not going to write about the recent meltdowns and the skyrocketing blood sugar today. It’s all tech talk today.

This weekend I slipstreamed Windows XP Pro with service pack 3. Ta da! Now how is that for technical? It sounds very Zooropa.

I followed a tutorial I found online at icrontic. Then I bravely took the plunge, encouraged by chem’s comment on macrumors and partitioned most of my Macbook’s hard drive for my new Windows XP Pro installation. And voila! Here I am (holed up in my bedroom, door closed to the raucous step-family, nursing my wounds from my most recent meltdown that I wasn’t going to mention), boldly blogging away, with my Macbook fired up in Windows XP Pro. Now I can actually edit my photos and manage my files and know where they are and understand their attributes. I was not doing well with the Mac at all. It’s all fine and good for those who are not control freaks, who don’t want or need to know where things actually are, and who don’t want or need to manipulate files. But I yam a control freak, and these things I need to know!

I was a bit reticent to venture forth. Mostly because I hate to fiddle with extremely expensive electronic gadgets. It’s so easy to do something stupid and cause permanent and irreversible damage. But I did bravely go forth, and all appears to be well. My dinosaur of a desktop can now die a leisurely death, on its own terms, and I will not mourn. My files are backed up on my NAS, and joy of joys, my Macbook (in Windows) can now recognize and speak to it! And! My wireless network connection persists! It was SO frustrating to constantly lose it when fired up in Leopard.

Sure, the desktop isn’t as pretty as Apple’s, with its clever dock, but that’s okay.  I have 165GB partitioned for XP, compared with the 40GB capacity of the dinosaur, and 2GB RAM, compared to 256MB.  I have SO much more capability, speaking of memory and disk space, than I did before, so I’m way ahead of the game and pleased as punch.  And beauty of beauties, I don’t have to buy a separate computer to replace the dying beast.  I’m good to go.

I don’t think I’ll ever buy a Mac again, though.  I can now say, ‘been there, done that.’

I think I gave it a fair shot.

Posted in technology
March 31st, 2008 | 2 Comments »

So, I had an eventful and productive weekend, if one counts a feeding frenzy as eventful. As if Friday’s blood-sugar-elevating Chinese food was not enough, we had a surprise party dinner meet on Saturday at the local Outback Steakhouse (surprise party for another friend who shares the same birthday). Bona fide Australians would probably laugh. I didn’t even notice one steakhouse while I was in AU. But then again, I might not have been paying very close attention. It was a great get-together, because the attendees were people I used to work with, when I first came to this company. I sort of feel as though I grew up with these people. I’ve since changed jobs, within the company, and many of the people with whom I currently work are refugees from that previous organization. In many ways I count myself very blessed to have a close family of people with whom I’ve shared the better part of my life.

Then, to continue the feeding frenzy, we attended a celebration of life memorial for the wife of a coworker, again, someone I’ve known for over twenty years. It was a lovely get-together as well, with loads of food and drink. My little wild man, although not the worst behaved child at the party, did manage to run away, and climb on stage while my friend was in the middle of his memorial speech. Once I was able to retrieve the little busy-body, I tripped on the way back to our seat, and fell over him (but not on him, thank goodness). Nothing like a grand exit for an already embarrassing situation. I eventually took him out to another room, and soon all the other young ones joined, and the energetic youths ran circles around each other and had a great time together. I, of course, missed the memorial speeches and anecdotes. Mr. Gadget could have taken over the wild-child watch, but said wild-child would have simply followed me back into the auditorium. It was nice to see so many people again, in a social environment. Wild-child was so outgoing, and ran up to greet people he recognized (having met them the night before at dinner). He really surprises me. Both Gadget and I are a bit shy or reserved when it comes to crowds of people. Gadget opens up with drink and family, of course. And I open up with Zoloft!

It was a very busy weekend for a three-year old. In between the feeding frenzies, we also went to the accountant to have our taxes done. I used to do them myself, but find it’s very liberating to have someone else do them. Yes, it costs more, but for the amount of stress it relieves on my part, it’s well worth it. When I do my own, I get all paranoid about whether I’ve done things right, missed anything, or made mistakes. Then I spin into the ‘what if I get audited’ scenario, which sends me further down the slippery slope of stress and impending madness. So. We now see an accountant. Many miles away. But he came on recommendation from a friend, and I’m happy with him, and we only need to journey there once a year. Many miles away is okay.

And, finally, I also managed to make a case for my laptop. Yep, I treated myself to a new Macbook for my birthday. It’s gorgeous, but I have to say, having been a Windows person for over twenty years, I don’t find the Mac with Leopard all that fantabulous, over, say, a Dell. I have a Dell laptop for work, and it’s been incredibly stable and reliable. Now, I’m not going to trash Apple. I actually shared the original Mac with my boyfriend, all those years ago, in college. Okay. The early 80s. I’ve not tried to hide my age!!

I’ve been in a tech world for many years in which Windows and all the MS Office business applications are widely used, so a Mac would be a completely frivolous addition. Hence, I’ve not had one. Until now. The new laptop is my play book. I use it for email, photos, and blogging. All my other stuff remains in Windows. Sadly, I have other stuff. Some day, perhaps I will only have play stuff on the technology front. Not for a while, though.

So. Back to the crafty tale, after having digressed to the point of exhaustion. I scanned Etsy for inspiration, and decided to design my own case. Not that I go anywhere with my laptop, but if ever the need should arise, I’m ready. I don’t have access to Michael Miller’s ‘Zephyr’ line of fabrics, which I love. On short notice, anyway. I just went to JoAnn’s and found something acceptable. I used some thick polar fleece for padding, as well as 3mm craft foam. The zipper extends a couple of inches down on either side, for easy access. A straight zipper at the top, or a zipper all around would have been easier. Lesson learned.

I even made a matching mouse pad. Because I like to coordinate my accessories, you know. Don’t look too close, because it’s not quite finished. I see a rogue thread hanging out.

I put a pocket on each side to hold the accessories. Voila!

In general, I like the way it turned out. It’s a bit snug, but it fits. And my zipper technique leaves much to be desired. It would help if I had a proper zipper foot. Someday I might be able to produce clean lines when stitching, but I sew so infrequently, and lack some of the tools (and abilities) necessary to produce impeccable work.

For now, I’m pleased with my weekend’s efforts.

April 9th, 2007 | No Comments »

They say a picture tells a thousand words…

actionbark.jpg

Oh, the clarity of the play chips in stark contrast to the lack therof in the intended subject. My beloved, joyful boy, swinging merrily away. By the time I can get a focus locked, the moment is gone and by the time the picture actually takes, there’s no telling what I’ll get. I have a Canon Powershot G1, which I love, but the other day I made the mistake of picking up a Canon xTi and playing with it, just for kicks. It felt so good to hold, and made such a satisfying click during the shot. Since then, I have been pining for a digital SLR, and even more so after reviewing my latest batch of action shots.

Fueled by my desire and newly magnified sense of dissatisfaction with my present equipment, I’ve googled extensively and pored through gazillions of reviews, comparisons, recommendations, and forums. The contenders are the Canon xTi and the Nikon D40. I’m leaning toward the Nikon D40. It costs quite a bit less, to be certain. I have been very happy with my Canon, though. Perhaps the sound of Paul Simon singing Kodachrome non-stop in my mind has something to do with the Nikon decision. Not that it’s a decision. I still have to get my hands on one and see if I like how it feels. Then I’ll have to decide if I’m willing to make a mad money splurge and dive in. Suffice it to say, it’s consuming far too much of my mind. Coveting, it is not such a good thing. One of the big commandments, is it not And for good reason, I’m sure.

Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world’s a sunny day, Oh yeah
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don’t take my Kodachrome away

Posted in shopping, technology