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Freedom from debt traded for freedom from discomfort 2003

Yesterday I was credit card debt free for the first time in a long time. Go me!

Today I charged four and a half months rent to a credit card. D'oh!

But, really, it's a good thing. I bought a bed. A real bed. One of the best beds in the world, or so I fervently hope. I will soon be upgrading from a futon on the floor to a McRoskey.

I feel very good about buying from them since they are a local company who build the mattress and box springs themselves. They have a very strong reputation and it appears that I can expect this bed to last me 20 years or more. Given that I spend a third of my life in bed, the investment seems worthwhile.

My new bed will be made for me and delivered in a few weeks. I can hardly wait!

(Oh, upon re-reading this and noting all the singular pronouns, I suppose I should note that, yes, Chris will be permitted to sleep in my new bed too).

Posted on August 30, 2003 at 09:24 PM in tools | Permalink | Comments (6)

A home of its own 2003

It's been my intent pretty much all along, but in true Discardian spirit, I let go of any feelings of obligation regarding making a proper website explaining and celebrating Discardia, the holiday I invented.

Tonight I felt inspired.

Posted on August 29, 2003 at 11:23 PM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (0)

Uh, Mail? Maybe. 2003

I just checked my personal mail by logging into the server from work and using the quaint old Pine mail program. Instead of the 300 pieces of spam I would usually see, I had only 68 messages. Odd.

Dating from May 30th to June 1st. Curiouser & curiouser.

We'll see if they've got it fixed by the time I get home, but if you write to me and I don't respond, don't assume I've gotten it.

Posted on August 28, 2003 at 04:39 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

World of Hurt 2003

If anyone knows any good resources on developing internationalized applications for wireless devices, I'd be grateful if you passed them along.

I'm particularly looking for easier ways to demonstrate CJKV (Chinese Japanese Korean Vietnamese, oh and Thai, Arabic and Hebrew too while we're at it) on web-enabled mobile phones. I need an introduction to things like "How do you input alternate character sets on this device?", "How will the device transmit the input to the server? What special parsing, if any, is required server-side to process the input?" Specific examples for the Kyocera Smartphone running the Palm OS would be particularly helpful.

Ah, the fun of being the person who's supposed to be able to explain all this stuff to customers!

Posted on August 28, 2003 at 12:03 PM in Web/Tech | Permalink | Comments (2)

Is it just me? 2003

FCC Chairman Michael Powell Cave troll from Fellowship of the Ring

Posted on August 27, 2003 at 09:47 PM in Current Affairs | Permalink | Comments (1)

More Memorials Like This, Please 2003

This is the field where the battle did not happen, where the unknown soldier did not die. This is the field where grass joined hands, where no monument stands, and the only heroic thing is the sky.

- William Stafford

Posted on August 27, 2003 at 09:06 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

Absent and Relaxed 2003

I hope everyone had a nice weekend. Mine was lovely.

Mendocino is beautiful, my friends are great, and we saw whales spouting!

Posted on August 25, 2003 at 08:06 AM in the big room with the blue ceiling | Permalink | Comments (1)

A Dentist A Day Keeps The Weblog Away 2003

I tell ya, spending two days out of your week with half your face numb (Tuesday: right side; Thursday: left side), just doesn't leave you composing brilliant works of prose and doing wild creative things in the evening.

Another appointment in a month. Gah.

So, kids, don't forget to brush and floss and use your WaterPik (or whatever equivalent technology works best for your particular mouth condition)! Remember: put up with a little hassle every morning and evening or suffer a lot every six months!

Posted on August 21, 2003 at 08:32 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Post Dentist 2003

Why should having half my face numb make it hard to do anything even if it doesn't involve my face?

Posted on August 19, 2003 at 01:16 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (1)

Wig In A Box 2003

Some times it takes singing drag queens to get me through the work day.

Posted on August 18, 2003 at 01:55 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (0)

Link Goddess 2003

I'm going through adding my pre-Blogger (late 1998 & most of 1999) posts into TypePad format (since I never got them into Movable Type which would have meant I could have imported them in less than 10 minutes with the other 1600+ posts).

I came across a post in which I praise Ceej's site and self. I checked the link to be sure it was still good and decided to take a quick look at her blog, which I haven't visited for some time. Immediately, I get sucked into following her great links.

Go take a look. That thing about Bluetooth motorcycle helmets is cool - wireless conversation with your passenger and nearby motorcycles! - and the spoken Latin is very interesting - I agree with Ceej that the Cicero orated by Richard Tarrant is quite enjoyable.

The movie about men fighting in bacon skirts just confused and alarmed me, though, and I couldn't watch the whole thing.

I love the web.

[Closed to comments on March 17, 2004 due to comment spam. Email legitimate comments to me and I'll add them]

Posted on August 17, 2003 at 01:56 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (4)

Respecting My Elders 2003

Though I had a nice visit with my grandmother today, this post is actually about someone younger than me, but whom I consider to be my elder on the Web.

Justin Hall started his site in January 1994. He's been continuously contributing ever since.

My site would not be what it is without the inspiration he provided way back when. I wish I had more memory of when I first started surfing the web; perhaps this process of transferring old journal entries will reveal some insight about that.

Posted on August 16, 2003 at 10:48 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

I Hate Sports 2003

I tried to leave work at 6:15pm today. 25 minutes later I managed to get back from a few blocks away and get back to work. The traffic was so bad I could not face the prospect of the commute across the bridge.

Apparently there's some kind of football game or something and everyone had to go. In their cars. Separately.

I truly hate sporting events.

I am really looking forward to returning this car to my folks and getting back on public transit. If I had the parking permit for my neighborhood, I'd just leave it at home during the day, but I don't so I drive. Under the best circumstances driving a car takes 15 or 20 minutes less, which seems like a big deal in a 55 minute commute, but if those 55 minutes are generally calm and involving reading or playing games on my PDA and the ones in the car are incredibly stressful and irritating, which would you prefer?

Posted on August 14, 2003 at 07:09 PM in warnings & kvetches | Permalink | Comments (206)

Continuing Support of Shellen.com 2003

Be nice to Jason, he had a really shitty day yesterday.

Posted on August 13, 2003 at 01:06 PM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (3)

My Pals List is far from complete 2003

When I was editing my site tonight, I created a new style called thesmallprint and it made me go listen to the Tom Waits song Step Right Up which contains the line about "the large print giveth and the small print taketh away". Then iTunes played another song by him about New Orleans and it made me think of my friend Jay who's now over in Europe and that reminded me of my friend Mike who's way over in Japan which made me wonder if my friends Kate & Becca ever did take that trip or move to Africa.

And now that's got me wishing I was walking in London

Posted on August 12, 2003 at 10:30 PM in friends & family | Permalink | Comments (2)

See, I'm not the only lunatic out there! 2003

Congratulations to Mike at Satan's Laundromat on completing his project of riding the entire New York subway system.

My project of walking the entire city of San Francisco, every street, every block, continues to progress, but much more slowly.

[This entry represents my first Trackback post! Go me!]

Posted on August 10, 2003 at 11:53 AM in am I a freak? | Permalink | Comments (1)

Your Sad Little Life Just Got So Much Better 2003

Rejoice! Internet rock star Ben Brown has made his videos available. Now you can see all the episodes of the Ben Brown Show. Watch that guy in the big red union suit jump into a pool and think back to that nice party DeepLeap threw for us before they lived up to their name. Take a visit to the mysterious Grotto Dildo.

Yes, it all can be yours. Just go to TVland Ben Brown Style and for gawd's sake donate something will ya?

My favorite remains episode 4. I'd tell you my favorite line, but you better hear it yourself. Then you can say it next time you cook that very dish.

Posted on August 9, 2003 at 11:35 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (0)

20 Steps Forward, No Steps Back 2003

I like TypePad.

After I got back from a visit to Rangapalooza, an annual gathering of librarians celebrating the great Indian librarian Shiyali Ramamrita Ranganathan, I worked on the site some more.

Within a few hours today, I've brought my new site up to the level of my old one in many areas and past it in many others. I'm finding TypePad so pleasant to use that I'm encouraged to undertake some clean-up chores which have been moldering on my to-do list for years.

Here's the current list of planned changes & remaining site transfer chores:

- Once my upgrade to a Pro account goes through, edit the templates to change the following:
--- make the logo link to the home page
--- add the tagline under the logo
--- add a footer explaining what a blog is and showing my copyright statement
--- add the sidebar links to my Launch radio station and to the Dean volunteers banner
--- fine-tune sidebar archive display to just show link to index and not to most recent 12 months
--- add a link to the Dinah category archives on the About Me page
--- move the category links above the date links on the archive index page

- Figure out how to add TypeLists to my archive so you can see more than just the latest book/music/movie links that show in the sidebar
--- and then figure out how to get the annotation for each entry to show (These lists are where all the Inkspot content went)

- Once I can edit dates without paging back month by month (feature request submitted & since Movable Type did it, I bet it won't be an unlikely enhancement):
--- add the last few of the "Dinah" blog posts to the new main blog (in the Dinah categories)
--- add to the new main blog all pre-Blogger posts (Oct 20, 1998 - Aug 15 1999)
--- add to the new main blog all post-Blogger, pre-MT posts which weren't already imported (Aug 26 1999 - March 7, 2000 first post)

- Tidy up a few little style sheet touches (declare multiple fonts, support a few silly little custom styles I made e.g. big & orange for Taylor)

- Review every single post (it'll be well over 2000 of them by the time those missing ones above get added in) to confirm that they have titles, categories & any supporting image files and that the links are still good.

- Confirm all content on old server is migrated, backed up or deletable.

- Once all content in TypePad blog:
--- redirect from Hurricane Electric server to TypePad account
--- create a custom 404 error page to point users to new Archive Index

- Once TypePad supports domain naming (listing the blog under metagrrrl.com)
--- Create a custom 404 error page with the Archive Index content
(Hmm, or maybe I should just put that behavior in as a new feature request?)
--- Set up proper mail handling since I don't think that will be part of the forthcoming domain naming feature.


As you might guess, this is an ongoing project (five years and counting!), but TypePad is a great leap forward. I'm really happy with the features and the editing & management interfaces and I suspect the Pro features will give me everything I need to meet the above goals. Even if I have to wait a while for some of it, it won't be an inconvenience - I've got plenty to keep me busy!

Posted on August 9, 2003 at 10:42 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (3)

Beta testing Typepad 2003

I was lucky enough to be part of the beta test of Typepad. Before I delete my test blog, BetaGrrrl (tagline: "What do you mean I'm a little testy today?"), I thought I'd save a few of my comments for posterity.

All seems very familiar to a MovableTyper. I like the soft green color; it matches our linens.
My first bug to report is that I can't report bugs.
[Turned out I was using the wrong password. I'm pleased to report that the Help/Feature Request system in Typepad is one of the easiest to use support systems I've ever worked with from the customer side. I feel well taken care of.]
Wowzer. I just went up to see what "TypeLists" are and tried making one. Naturally I chose books and it said enter an ISBN and I'll look it up for you and gave me that look that says "Yes, you know you love me" and it did look it up and even brought in the book cover. Sweet holy fuck. I love Six Apart.

I just betcha I'll be able to plug my Amazon Associates link in there too at some point. Automatically. Oh, yes, this is such a good thing.

I'm already thinking of who I want to buy gift accounts for: my Mum, Chris's Mom, my uncle, my sorta nephew Tony, my actual nephew Erich, my old college roommate who I lost touch with and whose mighty brain I miss, my aunt Mo up in Alaska, my stepdad, my friend Beverly, my old housemate Keoni...

I realize I'm at an advantage. I'm a geek and I've used MovableType, but even without that kind of knowledge it's so dang easy.

Oh, and if everyone and their mother has a TypePad account and is bringing their voice to the web, how cool is that? Mmm, and it's all gonna be standards compliant. Hallalujah!

I predict that Typepad is going to have a profound effect. It's a Tivo-scale leap forward.

Posted on August 9, 2003 at 02:06 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Moving Notice 2003

[posted on Movable Type blog while switching over to Typepad]

I'm moving my virtual home to a new address:
Within the next month or so, this domain name will automatically direct you there.

Let me walk you through the process of making the switch.

At around 11am this morning, I started by signing up for the Typepad service. I compared the three plans and chose the middle one figuring I could upgrade later if I need to. I updated all the general info about me (I had been part of the beta test and hadn't spent time on it before) and then took an hour or so going to every single setting page and configuring my new weblog based on the available settings. Now, I wasn't editing templates themselves, just choosing options from the defaults.

Then I went into the management system for this blog, Movable Type, and created an export file of all my posts. Then I imported it into my Typepad blog.

It's 1pm.

Go take a look.

Two hours.

It's not perfect yet, but think about it: two hours. That's all. Trackback empowered. XHTML compliant. RSS feed. Mobile posting capability. Notification of new posts to various blog update trackers. View my pals list in order by who posted recently. Link books & music to my Amazon Associates account. And a whole lot more.

Sure, it helps I've got years worth of content, but look at all the structure that's in place to hold it. Two hours (and for a lot of features, no time at all because the default is just right).

Posted on August 9, 2003 at 01:01 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

I've never seen anything like that before. 2003

Last night I went to see The Billy Nayer Show at Cafe du Nord. Nice club, band I enjoy enough to keep me up late on a work night.

When I got there (early so as to get a table for me and my friends B.J. & Beverly), I noticed that there was an opening act called "That 1 Guy". Hmm, okay. Never heard of him.

While we were sitting drinking our drinks and waiting for the show to start, we kept staring at this weird device made out of plumbing pipe. It was about 7 feet tall or so and had wires coming off it and strange lumpy bits. There was, in fact, nothing in the front line which resembled a normal instrument.

That 1 Guy came on and proceeded to blow the room away.

His is the first truly innovative act I've seen in a long time and I clearly wasn't the only one impressed. When was the last time you saw a standing ovation for a random opening act?

He's playing again tonight. Cafe du Nord on Market Street in San Francisco. 9pm.

You really, really don't want to miss out on this guy.

(By the way, if you were or are a fan of that odd band The Fabulous Hedgehogs, it's that guy, only unconstrained by having to convince other musicians to go along with his mad scientist ideas).

Posted on August 7, 2003 at 08:26 AM in music | Permalink | Comments (1)

Are you using that? 2003

He who joyfully marches in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would suffice.

- Albert Einstein

Posted on August 4, 2003 at 07:30 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (0)

How exactly is love & commitment a threat to public morals? 2003

If you agree with this statement

I do support the right of every American to marry, including gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender couples. I believe that marriage and other civil rights protections are essential to making all families safer and more secure.
please sign the Million for Marriage petition.

Especially if you know a couple who are being told by the President and the Pope that they aren't allowed this basic social rite*.

*and this basic social right too.

Posted on August 4, 2003 at 07:04 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (0)

True Porn Clerk Stories 2003

Wow. Just wow. At Derek's behest I just visited Ali's journals of her work as a video store clerk.

She's an intelligent, pleasingly snarky, gently insightful writer. I highly recommend you read all 4 pages of posts.

I wish her the best of luck in future adventures (and very much hope to enjoy more of her writing down the road).

Posted on August 3, 2003 at 09:21 PM in linky goodness | Permalink | Comments (1)

Exercising comes to mind... 2003

There are so many things that we wish we had done yesterday, so few that we feel like doing today. --Mignon McLaughlin

[thanks to Uncle Larry for quotey goodness]

Posted on August 2, 2003 at 02:14 PM in quotes | Permalink | Comments (1)

Blog (noun) A weblog or similar brief journal usually containing links and commentary thereon. Term coined by Peter Merholz.

Visit Typepad or Blogger to start your own. (I began with hand coding, then switched to Blogger when it first became available, then to Movable Type when I wanted more control over my weblog and to have it hosted at a place of my choosing (Hurricane Electric). Since 06/2003 I've used Typepad, a hosted service built by the same folks who made Movable Type, which I love because I don't have to maintain the underlying system).

You may write to Dinah @ this domain.

Except where otherwise noted all content is copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Please do not repost my writing or other creations elsewhere. Instead, copy a tiny bit and link to the rest. Thanks! Images are copyright of their original creators. MetaGrrrl logo and photos by Dinah are copyright 1965-2018 Dinah Sanders. Inkspot Books and the Inkspot logo have been Service Marks of Dinah Sanders since 1993.