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Advantages to Working From Home 2002

or, Necessity is the Mother of Invention

My hair is at an awkward length and there's this one bit that tickles my nose in an exceedingly aggravating fashion. Having had short hair for years now, I have no hair ties around my home and was debating whether it was bad enough to be worth walking over to the drugstore to buy some sort of headband when I remembered: I own a tiara.

Please refer to me as Principessa if you wish to address my royal person today.

Posted on May 30, 2002 at 03:33 PM in am I a freak? | Permalink | Comments (1)

We like 'em short & geeky 2002

Chattin' with my pal Mena:

D: Is there some correlation between Perl and fabulous boys? I'm thinking so.
M: I think perl is more the artist geek's language -- you don't get the real dysfuncs programmers with perl.

Mmm, I'm tellin' ya, them Perl boys is some kinda sweet!

Posted on May 30, 2002 at 12:26 PM in relationships | Permalink | Comments (6)

Energy Vampire Technology 2002

Gah. I hate computers sometimes. My work computer went wonky now and I lost most of yesterday and today to trying to get my environment working again. So frustrating & draining! Argh!

I was kind of sleepy this morning because I got a wrong number at 1:30am, but during my commute I still managed to cheerlead myself into a somewhat enthusiastic frame of mind to work on leading the launch of my company's new monitoring & management service (the service is cool, it's the sales & marketing work that I find less than inspiring). Unfortunately, my energy & ideas were lost in a scummy froth of Windows error messages, fruitless searches for device drivers and soul-sapping install processes.

My boss is going to bail me out with a newly configured laptop (handy for my telecommuting) but it didn't want to talk to the network, so he had to pull it back for further tinkering. And now he's in a presentation with potential customers. Successful, I hope.

I wish I had the money for a sabbatical; I'm just wiped out.

Posted on May 29, 2002 at 01:56 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Understand 2002

Chris pointed me to a fascinating interview with and essay by biologist Richard Dawkins. Here's a bit I particularly liked:

Interviewer Sheena McDonald: How do you prepare for death in a world where there isn't a god?

Dawkins: You prepare for it by facing up to the truth, which is that life is what we have and so we had better live our life to the full while we have it, because there is nothing after it. We are very lucky accidents or at least each one of us is---if we hadn't been here, someone else would have been. I take all this to reinforce my view that I am fantastically lucky to be here and so are you, and we ought to use our brief time in the sunlight to maximum effect by trying to understand things and get as full a vision of the world and life as our brains allow us to, which is pretty full.

McDonald: And that is the first duty, right, responsibility, pleasure of man and woman. Christians would say "love God, love your neighbor". You would say "try to understand".

Dawkins: Well, I wouldn't wish to downplay love your neighbor. It would be rather sad if we didn't do that. But, having agreed that we should love our neighbor and all the other things that are embraced by that wee phrase, I think that, yes, understand, understand is a pretty good commandment.


In that light, I went to "church" Saturday and studied the good works of the universe. Chris & I had a happy time puttering around the Exploratorium playing with physics, chemistry, biology and our own goofy little monkey brains. We followed that up with a walk through the woods. Nice planet we're on here; you should check it out.

Posted on May 27, 2002 at 04:36 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

Idiocy & Assholes 2002

I got hacked today. Some dork wandered in a door I left open and made my life difficult. The pathetic little twerp wrote "he he" in place of my home page and deleted all the authors for that blog, apparently. What an asshole.

Leaving the door open, that was the idiocy part - remember, kids, even if you've had to reinstall Movable Type a couple times before you get it configured right, even if the first couple times you remember to remove that one setup file that leaves you vulnernable, it won't do you any good unless you remember the last time instead of rushing forward to blog in a burst of joyful successful configuration. *sigh* It's a damn good thing Ben & Mena are my patient friends and can bail me out of being a dork.

I notice there's some layout problems. I'll fix 'em, but now I need to go on with the day I just lost 2 hours out of. Fargin' little weasels. If they figure out who did it, I'm taking the buttwipes to small claims court for my time dealing with the problem today and cleaning up the resultant irritations with layout etc. I'll only charge $100 an hour; I hate to think the bill they'll be seeing from Movable Type for all the support costs...

Posted on May 26, 2002 at 04:54 PM in tools | Permalink | Comments (4)

The Happiest Coincidence 2002

So it turns out that all the time this week when I was gazing off into space and thinking about that sweet person I just met who was so wonderful to talk with and has such pretty eyes, when I was thinking about how much I'd like to kiss that lovely mouth, when I was finding each new discovery revealed more of the kind of person I want to be with, he was doing the same thing.

Yes, we're now almost intolerably blissful.

Posted on May 26, 2002 at 02:01 PM in relationships | Permalink | Comments (2)

Hey you hoopy froods... 2002

... don't forget! Tomorrow is Towel Day!

Posted on May 24, 2002 at 09:51 PM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

A little more understanding 2002

I learned something interesting from my friend Chris the code monkey this week. He said

Tonal music establishes a base, so that it means something to leave it and return, which you can hear in Bach. When you leave the base, you can feel tonal "gravity" pulling you back, and when you do come back, it's a release of tension. There are many ways to create and release tension in music, and tonality is one way to do that, according to specific principles, with harmony.
And now you also know what "atonal" music is: music that doesn't follow those principles for creating harmonic tension. Such music might have other rules, or create tension in some completely different way.
wow. That's so cool!

Posted on May 24, 2002 at 09:47 PM in music | Permalink | Comments (3)

One more fun link... 2002

Carol Lay has a great Story Minute over in Salon this week

...and now back to work.

Posted on May 22, 2002 at 02:39 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Those Wacky Swedes 2002

My charming co-workers, Niklas & Emin, have decided it would be a good idea to replace all occurances of "Cut & Paste" in our software with "Yank & Put". The discussion of this comment and of the streetcorner porn rag Yank has reduced me to tears of laughter.

Now I remember why I visit the office.

Posted on May 22, 2002 at 02:27 PM in work | Permalink | Comments (0)

Baby Carrots 2002

While munching on my snacks, I remembered talking with a friend about baby carrots and whether they were grown that way, made from big carrots or were strange shoots growing off the sides of mutant mama carrots like potato eyes.

They are made from big carrots and here's how.

Yeah, I was kind of disappointed it wasn't the evil mutant answer too.

Posted on May 22, 2002 at 01:03 PM in Eclectic Encyclopedia | Permalink | Comments (1)

Lust 2002

I am drooling over these beautiful truffles from Vosges Haut-Chocolat.

When I have money again, I want to try the Mint Julep, Black Pearl, Absinthe, Naga, Budapest, Viola and Chef Pascal.

I don't like milk chocolate that much, but I love violet flavored candy and the idea of a curry-chocolate combination is too fascinating to resist.

Hey, I have an idea. Who wants to have a truffle tasting party? Split four ways we could afford the 16 piece box with express shipping to keep it from getting overheated... and with seven or eight people we could get the 32 piece box. Oh my!

Posted on May 22, 2002 at 12:23 PM in Food and Drink | Permalink | Comments (6)

Breakfast in a Sock 2002

Some mornings you need something stronger than the usual drive time chatter. Today I tuned in to The Sandman. Alas, my good friend Pete Spomer no longer broadcasts, but I have a mix tape he made some years back called "Songs To Annoy My Friends". There's something special about a day that starts with Fred Lane's The French Toast Man.

***

I notice that our tax dollars will be going to support a "kid-friendly" section of the internet. Given that it will be protecting the little darlings by these means

Web sites in the domain would be prohibited from linking to sites outside it, and they could not set up chat rooms, instant messaging or other interactive services unless they could certify that they did not expose children to pedophiles or pose other risks.
I'd say it's really more of an intranet than the internet per se.

Also, given this clause

If privately held NeuStar were to lose money on the venture, it could give control back to the Commerce Department, which would seek another operator
I fear that the kids will be protected from the terrible danger of exposure to pictures of naked people (that's sarcasm, folks), but be laid wide open to corporate messages on every page. Well, I guess I should be glad there could be a place for kids which is free from "sexually explicit material, hate speech, violence or other material not suitable for minors", but I sure do think commercial advertising falls under that last clause.

Posted on May 22, 2002 at 08:00 AM in music, politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (1)

A fine cap to the weekend 2002

Well, I finally ate at Cha Cha Cha's on Haight and it was very tasty. My friend Keoni got a bunch of us together for dinner and I had a delightful time with him, Guilan (did I spell that right?), BJ, Beverly, Chris Chambers, Alycia and Chris (with a last name that isn't Chambers, but which I never caught so let's just call him Mr. Code Monkey in honor of his tasteful t-shirt). Lovely to be in the company of bright, witty folks eating good food.

Now it's 10pm, I'm listening to House of Blues radio hour and alternating my gaze between the hiker resupply goods spread all over my room and the clock reminding me that I need to be up at 6am tomorrow.

*sigh* I guess it's a good thing to have a couple weeks of work to do and get paid for, but oh, that nasty alarm clock...

Posted on May 19, 2002 at 10:06 PM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (1)

Clue by Four 2002

Yet another PG&E bill came for the previous tenant and something in me finally snapped. I'm returning it to sender with the following notations on the envelope:

"Still, four bills later, still, NOT at this address.

PG&E, girlfriend, you gotta wake up and smell the coffee. The boy is gone. Ya got a new tenant here and everything. Sendin' bill after bill ain't gonna work. He's outta here and you gotta recognize the fact."

Posted on May 19, 2002 at 09:58 PM in creativity | Permalink | Comments (0)

Sweet Energy 2002

What a wonderful feeling it is to be back to my normal energetic self! I even had a glass of wine last night and I feel fine this morning. Already today I've got the Mac set up, installed Palm Desktop & Life Balance, put away some computer stuff that's been sitting on my coffee table for weeks, did the dishes and prepared everything for my resupply packing marathon. I have a fresh cup of tea and I'm ready to go!

Back to normal Dinah and what a relief it is! Thanks so much to my dear friends and all their support (especially Kevin Smokler, Edmond, Mike and my Mum)!

Posted on May 19, 2002 at 12:24 PM in health | Permalink | Comments (1)

Dreamy! 2002

Rather than launch immediately into resupply tasks, I started my other chore for today: put the iMac (tentatively dubbed Rita in honor of Rita Hayworth - it's all about the curves, baby) back on the nice little desk I got from Edmond.

I took the opportunity of moving cables around to install the Palm desktop and sync my Handspring Prism. Though the some part of the Palm system that came with the desktop doesn't seem to want to install on it, it did successfully sync my data. That's a really really good thing for which I thank the fine engineers at Palm because I was a maniac and did not perform any kind of backup of my large address book before attempting this. (Well, okay, there's one a month or two old on my old PC so it wasn't that risky, but it would have been a serious pain in the butt if it hadn't worked). Next step get the new version of Life Balance working so I can enjoy the new OS X compatible desktop version. Mmmm....

While doing a little celebratory blog surfing, I found out from Lilly that a Broadway version of John Water's Hairspray is in the works! Faaaabulous! Check out these cute rehersal pics. I think it might be time for me to start planning that first trip to New York City...

Posted on May 19, 2002 at 11:51 AM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

Dry, but morally inferior 2002

After the movie, excellent again, I stayed up until 1am finishing up another resupply box for Edmond. I went to sleep with no alarm set and was glad I'd bailed out on running the Bay To Breakers.

Now I see the wet sidewalks and hear the steady rain and am extra glad. I know I could have fun if I was out there - moving keeps you warm - but I think I'd rather do a resupply marathon. After my second shopping trip to Rainbow Grocery, I now have about 35 pounds of granola in my apartment. Time to pack some boxes!

Posted on May 19, 2002 at 10:09 AM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

SF Weekend 2002

San Francisco folk: The Billy Nayer Show's brilliant film The American Astronaut is playing tonight at The Red Vic on Haight Street. I plan to be at the show around 9ish.

***

Tomorrow is the Bay to Breakers. Yes, it covers some blocks which I have not already walked. No, I'm not going to do it. Yes, it is fun, but, no, I don't feel like being in a great huge crowd. So, tomorrow will probably be about hiding out at home most of the day, though I may stroll over 1 block & cheer folks on. (Yes, I'm one block off the route. Oy. Must remember to find a parking space tonight).

I guess I better go to the grocery store for more resupply supplies now before it gets completely crazy out there. Ah, the downside of having a car in SF is the parking, oh yes, it is.

Posted on May 18, 2002 at 04:57 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (0)

A Much Better Day 2002

I'm really not quite sure why it is (though I suppose there are some self-preservation in the wild type reasons biologically), but right before my period I am often reclusive & emotionally down. Once it actually starts, barring the time while I'm cranky because of cramps (until I remember to take more Advil, that is), my mind clears and I tend to be more productive & creative. Thus, despite the maintenance hassle, I don't really mind my period, though I'd be happy to forego the PMS.

I got lots of stuff done today. Dealt with work email. Dealt with email from Edmond & got posts up on his blog. Picked up a shoji screen on which I'll be replacing the paper with copper sheeting. That will go in my kitchen to hide the ugly waterheater. Picked up a certified check from our old landlady for the full security deposit (yay!). Went to the grocery store and filled a cart. Carried it all upstairs. Made a batch of granola (and it came out goooood) and finished off Edmond's resupply for Tehachapi. Talked to him by phone from Cajun Pass (between Big Bear City & Wrightwood). Went to the bank & the post office. Made lots more granola for Edmond. Did dishes.

This homemade granola is very good, but when I do the math, actually costs the same as the bulk granola at Rainbow. I might do it from time to time since it makes the house smell nice while it's in the oven toasting, but it's too much work to do more often.

Now it's almost 10:30pm and I still feel pretty energetic. I'm tempted to work on another resupply box for Edmond, but realistically I know that would take an hour or so and I'll probably start getting sleepy, or at least lazy, in an hour. Thus my choice, which I know you, dear reader, will endorse: have some soda, eat some chips & salsa, and play more computer games!

People (who I'm guessing are macho guys) are revving their cars up & down the streets outside. I really wish I had a squirt gun full of estrogen.

Posted on May 17, 2002 at 10:28 PM in health | Permalink | Comments (4)

Lost Thursday 2002

Took the day off to recover from the driving.
Moved my computer to the floor so I could play The Sims from bed.
Total slacker day, which was good.

Ah and I'm still kind of down and too inwardly directed. Uninspired by the work I do have with no alternative available yet. Worried about money. I really really wish I could just take a few months off. I might do it anyhow and only apply for the jobs that sound fulfilling. It really hinges on whether or not I get that 0% balance transfer. I don't like the idea of letting my debt pile up, but I need some way of easing the tension.

Welcome to my midlife crisis, eh? At least I only got an iMac and not a sports car.

Posted on May 17, 2002 at 01:12 AM in am I a freak? | Permalink | Comments (2)

Home. Safe. Tired. 2002

Too much driving. No messages or email regarding jobs.

Cures:
- sweet supportive email from my pal Edmond
- Annie's Macaroni & Cheese
- glass of sherry (muscle relaxant)
- computer games

Posted on May 15, 2002 at 08:04 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (1)

I'm Driving In My Car... 2002

Well, technically speaking, I'm driving in my company's car, or rather, I'm probably driving as you read this. I'm picking up Grandma Susie in Shafter (near Bakersfield) and taking her to visit GranMary in Merced. Then we're meeting up with my Mum in the East Bay for a handoff. Grandma Susie and Mum will head up to Edgewood (their home in Mendecino County) and I'll come back home to San Francisco and lay on my face enjoying not driving.

I've got a pretty good stack of music lined up - variety for my solo part of the trip and classical for Grandma - so I'm actually looking forward to it in a way, but it's a lot of driving. The good part is that the second half is when I'll have company - by then I'm usually bored with the whole "sitting in a comfy seat enjoying my stereo system" thing.

On the whole though, and I can safely say this even before the trip, long-distance truck driver is not one of the career choices I'm considering. I'm thinking something more like flannel sheet tester.

"Hmmrm? Oh, I'm almost done with my evaluation; few more hours...*snuggle* *snooze*"

Posted on May 14, 2002 at 07:03 AM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

Up & Down 2002

Man, I'm tellin' you, this emotional stuff is a workout. It takes up time & energy and leaves me wiped out. If anyone's succeeded in taming their black dog, drop me a note sometime and let me know what worked for you. I'm ready to be rid of the beast.

Posted on May 13, 2002 at 05:51 PM in worry vs. clarity | Permalink | Comments (1)

When you talk that talk... 2002

Oh yeah! Get yourself down to Dictionaraoke and listen to the version of John Lee Hooker's Boom Boom. That's music! [thanks to Mike for sending me over to hear those bookish sounds!]

Posted on May 13, 2002 at 04:12 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

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