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"Oh" they say. 2003

Important things learned on a Tuesday evening:

- That whole "set aside enough clothes to get you through the two and a half weeks of your move" idea works really well.

- Afterwards you'll have a lot of laundry to do.

- You might think that going to the laundromat to do all the laundry would be cheaper than paying the ladies at Gay Cleaners (yes, that's the real name) to wash it for you, but given certain surrounding factors, you might be wrong.

- If the dryers are really wussy seeming and the High Heat is lukewarm and you're plunking quarters in like this was Vegas to get things dry, maybe you should clean the lint traps instead of waiting until your stuff is finally almost done and the maintenance lady comes in and cleans them and suddenly the dryers are two or three times as effective.

- If you're going to forget a load in the washer until the rest of the stuff is halfway dry, maybe it shouldn't be the load with your sheets and towels.

- If you're going to have to rush rush rush to get stuff back to your place in order to return the car share car in time because the drying took twice as long, you'll probably do something like tear one of your pillowcases on some sharp bit at the bottom of the back of the driver's seat.

- When you get back to the lot to return the car, there will probably be some creepy old guys parked in the handicapped and car share spaces apparently just standing around drinking (soda? beer?) by the bus stop behind Walgreens. They will move, but they'll be dorks about it and make you wait for them move both cars, not just the one in the car share space. Also there will probably be someone else sitting in their car in the other car share space who will be completely oblivious to their need to move.

- As much as you hate honking, when you're all stressed out, you will honk. This is why driving is bad. When you walk, you don't honk.

- To move the car forward into the parking space rather than backwards frightening the pedestrians in the driveway behind you, it is best not to have the car in reverse.

- A slice of pizza from Marcello's, a brisk walk up a hill and slipping into clean sheets cures most ills.

Posted on January 29, 2003 at 11:24 AM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (2)

Good Company Alert 2003

I highly recommend the fine folks and products of Anthro. After using one of their 24" AnthroCarts as my desk while Edmond (its owner) was hiking the Pacific Crest Trail, I gave it back to him when I moved to my lovely new home. Of course, somehow between San Francisco and the south bay where we made the handoff, the bag with all the screws for assembling it vanished.


So I went to their website to see about ordering a replacement assembly kit. They have live chat help, so I tried that. Betsy was very helpful indeed. To my pleasure they're sending replacement screws directly to Edmond free of charge!

Somehow I doubt that IKEA - makers of the piece of furniture which I brought back from the storage unit in the south bay and which is also missing its screws - would be so very responsive...

Posted on January 27, 2003 at 04:06 PM in tools | Permalink | Comments (3)

relief 2003

"Move in completely!" [noted on old calendar]

Posted on January 25, 2003 at 12:00 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

Help! I'm caught in the vortex of Internet Explorer, Javascript 1.1 and Arabic text! 2003

So I'm helping with the implementation of library software for a consortium of major Arabic universities and I've run into a problem. I've got a complex Javascript form which assembles a search string from information the user has typed into various input boxes. This form works in English. It works in Arabic in Mozilla and Netscape 7. In Internet Explorer, for some unknown reason, perfectly good Arabic text - which we can search fine from the simplified search page which doesn't store inputs in an array and then assemble a search string - is transformed from UTF-8 encoding to Unicode. We're going to support Unicode, but didn't think we'd have to do it today.

Does anyone have any idea what's going on? Is Internet Explorer's implementation of Javascript 1.1 somehow weirdly forcing a particular encoding scheme as a side effect of passing data through an array? Arrgggh...

Posted on January 24, 2003 at 11:45 AM in web design & documentation | Permalink | Comments (1)

recovery time? 2003

"1/2 Day" [noted on old calendar]

Posted on January 21, 2003 at 12:00 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moving 2003

I am stiff and sore and aware of muscles I forgot I had. Moving sucks. On the other hand, the new apartment is absolutely sublime.

[Noted on calendar for today "phone switches to new place"]

Posted on January 20, 2003 at 01:35 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (2)

moving day 2003

"UHaul 11-5" [noted on old calendar]

Posted on January 19, 2003 at 11:00 AM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

moving day 2003

"UHaul 10-4, meet Edmond 11am" [noted on old calendar]

Posted on January 18, 2003 at 10:00 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

new apartment 2003

"meet [landlady] Lea & get keys" [noted on old calendar]

Posted on January 16, 2003 at 06:30 PM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (0)

The art and pleasure of acting 2003

One thing I really like about DVDs is the amount of extra material which is included in them. The extended version of Fellowship of the Ring is the best I've found so far. The longer cut of the movie is far better than the theatrical release to my mind plus there are 4 different commentary tracks and two full discs worth of additional content about the work that went into making the film.

I really appreciate the actors and crew putting so much time over the past couple years into just sitting and talking about why and how they do what they do. The more I learn about what goes into a project the more I appreciate it. In the case of Lord of the Rings, the love and respect that everyone involved brought to the project is simply phenomenal; the process is perhaps as awe-inspiring as the result.

More is shared by some of the actors on their personal sites. I've mentioned Sir Ian McKellen's site before and call your attention now to his many and varied essays. A new discovery this week is Billy Boyd's site which includes many audio interviews conducted by a friend of his who runs the site. Perhaps because Billy's talking to a friend, his tone in these interviews is easy and personal.

This evening I listened to interview 7 now where he talks about parts he'd like to play and what makes a part interesting. It reminds me of something an actor friend of mine told me once. I'd just watched him in a production of "Into The Woods" in which he'd played the baker and was commenting on how much of a wrenching ride the story was for that character and he kind of smiled and said "Yeah...well...I think I like it best playing a character who basically gets emotionally raped by the story." I had to laugh, he'd said it in such a dreamily cheerful way, but it really taught me a lot about how an actor stays engaged and excited by what he's doing.

The interviewer asked Billy about parts he'd like to play and that got me thinking "Who would I like to see Billy Boyd play?" The first story to come to mind is my favorite book, Little, Big, by John Crowley. It won the World Fantasy Award in 1981 and has drifted in and out of print since. A lovely book, but written in a somewhat convoluted way that makes it harder to get into the first time, but increasingly rewarding on re-reading it. It's sort of fantasy realism with a sense of the world in decline and, at the same time, great magic in the works. There are a couple characters that I could see him playing: either of the two main male characters Smoky or his son Auberon, each lost in their own way. I think he'd find either pleasing. Possibly also Uncle George Mouse, but some of his best scenes are when he's older, so maybe not.

If it hadn't already been done, and done so well, I would say Steerpike from Gormenghast.

The father (and the other father, of course) in Neil Gaiman's Coraline. Hmm, and as far as I know that isn't cast yet... better call Henry Selick. :) The audiobook with Neil reading it is absolutely lovely. I was fortunate enough to see him read it - the whole thing! - live in Berkeley, California last summer.

Hee hee, the "who would you cast as..." game is fun even when turned on its head!

I should note that Billy Boyd's site also includes a forum area which I advise you to venture into with caution. The fans are very enthusiastic which is in some cases nice and in other cases really scary. I truly hope that the ones who most radiate "I HAVE AN OBSESSIVE CRUSH" are very young because if they're not it makes me nervous. Perhaps that nervousness is fear of slipping into that kind of unreality. I've certainly spent some time in that realm at hard times in my life, but I'd like to think I've outgrown such stuff. Then again perhaps the nervousness is just a natural fear of sig file images incorporating hobbits, hearts and care bears.

Billy has my sympathy for this alarming side effect of fame. I get a little tiny taste of it every now and then when one of those letters shows up which could be summarized as asking something akin to "If Chris dies, can I be your new boyfriend?" but it's nothing compared to people who want to marry Pippin.

Posted on January 9, 2003 at 10:02 PM in movies & tv | Permalink | Comments (3)

Hello Cthulhu 2003

Thanks to B.J. I have content! Check out The Misadventures of Hello Cthulhu. As Sue says, "What is it about Kitty + Cthulu? It's like peanut butter and chocolate, coffee and cream, twins and Crisco..."

Hmm... I think Sue's been having more fun than I have.

Posted on January 9, 2003 at 06:25 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (2)

Very Small Achievements 2003

Well, I'm still sick. I got through my day of work all right yesterday and was even able to enjoy seeing the movie 'Rivers and Tides' about Andy Goldsworthy (Great stuff!), but when I woke up aching and coughing this morning I realized I wasn't going to be able to shake this sinusitis without some more bed rest. Thus I'm back to Monday's routine: pot after pot of herbal tea and naps. Fortunately, I do feel better than I did Monday so I have some optimism that this is actually working.

So, what can I accomplish while I'm sitting here in my feety pyjamas drinking two pots of tea in a row - hydration, baby, it's all about hydration - and eating a little breakfast before settling down for a nap? Update copyright dates on all my web site page templates, that's what. Happy new year!

*whew* Changing a dozen twos to threes, that's a good day's work for this sick little monkey. I'm outta here.

Posted on January 8, 2003 at 09:41 AM in mundania | Permalink | Comments (3)

Sick again 2003

I've got some sort of sinusitis or head cold thing. I think it's probably a sinus infection. The weekend and today have been mostly taking it easy drinking copious amounts of tea and sleeping all day today.

Now I'm thrilled to be able to breathe through both nostrils. It's a gift you should really appreciate more. I'm weak and feeble feeling, but I think maybe I'm on the mend. I'll be going to work tomorrow in any case. Too much to get done, so it's time for a day of bouncing things off my plate onto others'.

Tomorrow night I hope to see the film Rivers & Tides about Andy Goldsworthy. I missed it the first two times it came around and now it's back at the Roxie. Tomorrow's the last night, so I really hope I'm up for it.

I just ate some dinner and drank another pot of tea, so I guess it's time to rest. Man, I hate being sick, but I'm sure glad I haven't got that Norwalk flu or whatever it is that's been sending people to the hospital. By comparison, a runny nose, scratchy throat and the feebles just don't seem that bad.

Posted on January 6, 2003 at 05:36 PM in health | Permalink | Comments (4)

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