Thursday, May 31, 2007
Jay: Grammar Checker
So a few hours ago, long enough for me to forget the exact phrase, Sadie uses “me” in something like “me go first.” Promptly after saying it, she corrected herself, using “I” as in “I go first.”
That’s pretty cool.
She does use both the wrong and right phrasing, but more often it’s right. This is the first time we’ve noticed the self-correction.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
To make up for her mistreatment yesterday, Valerie got to go swimming today. I stayed home to try to get work done, but Deb took the girls and they had a blast.
I asked Valerie if she had fun swimming and she just beamed at me with a grin. She tanned noticably, and I swear her hair bleached significantly too.
I can’t wait to join them one of these swim opportunities, just to see Valerie in her element. This is the kid who literally swims in the tub if it’s full enough, as if she’s in a pool and was born knowing how to swim. Though she’s getting kind of big, and Sadie is usually there too, so I haven’t seen her do it lately.
Jay: Ubiquitous Computing
Jay: Tall Girl
Yesterday we had back to back appointments in the morning. At 8:30 it was the monthly ultrasound for little brother, who is healthy, abusively active and opinionated about his space, and nicely big. We took the girls with us and they were, to the extent possible for 15 and 32 months of age, perfect angels. Val was mad when she couldn’t play with the console (controls on the ultrasound machine, which is essentially a computer, which makes it a flame to Valerie’s moth). Sadie was bored and unhappy about being in the dark after the ultrasound proper and before the doctor came in to chat for a few minutes. She also was sad about riding the elevator. She used to love them, but along the line became scared of them. I haven’t scanned the pictures from the ultrasound yet.
Immediately afterward, we had a 9:45 fifteen month checkup for Valerie on the other side of Brockton. Traffic was wonderful. As it also was on the way up from Middleboro, but it took nearly as long to go the short distance across Brockton. Mainly that was because of an accident shortly before the lights where you cross onto VFW Parkway.
We barely had a chance to sit down before they called us in, which was awesome. We’d also gone right in for the ultrasound, being first of the day. Sadie was fine, friendly to the nurse and all, until she actually saw the doctor, who is apparently imprinted on her brain as the height of terror seven months after she last saw him. I assured her the appointment was for Valerie and we were just hanging out. Valerie was fine. A little squirmy for the stethescope and head measurement, but fine for weight and height.
Anyway, Valerie is tall. Very tall. I forget the number of inches exactly (ah, Deb says 31 2/3” and 19 lbs 7 oz), but she’s about 80th to 90th percentile for height, and between 4th and 10th for weight. It all goes into height. A few days ago the new neighbors brought their little boy outside to play with Valerie and Sadie. He’s something like 5 months older than her. They are the same exact height, and to all appearances would be taken for the same age or possibly him being a little younger. If we’d taken the camera out with us, there’d be pictures of them in the sandbox or running around together.
Valerie was insulted by the shots she had to get yesterday, and was affected to an unusual degree by them later in the day. It didn’t help that none of us got enough sleep.
On another note, they are partway into their project to go paperless at the medical center. They’ve used wireless PDA devices for a long time for billing, and that will continue. Now they have notebook computers - I thought they might use tablets - which so far don’t go into the exam rooms with them. The doctor took me to his office to show me his, and show me the part of it that is already live: prescriptions. From now on, no paper prescriptions. He put in a vitamin prescription for Valerie and it went electronically to our local CVS, which is now in their system as the pharmacy we use. If one of my prescriptions expires, I no longer call them. I call CVS. CVS pings the doctor’s system for the renewal. It’s a cool system, though I am not entirely comfortable with the idea of having a prescription go right to the pharmacy when I might hold the paper one a few days until I can actually afford to fill it. Oh well.
Tuesday, May 29, 2007
Jay: Michigan Calling
We get an absurd amount of calls from area codes in Michigan.
This made no sense until I noticed that there is an area code in Michigan, I believe an overlay, that matches our local code. Even then it makes limited sense, beyond being the only logical explanation.
Let’s say our number is 508-555-9876, for the sake of example. In Michigan there is an area code that is the same as the 555, so you might be dialing 555-XXX-XXXX to call someone there, as opposed to XXX-555-XXXX.
Apparently someone’s dialing goes seriously astray, or the phone provider somehow extrapolates from seven (or eight if there’s a 1) digits and routes them here.
Jay: Introducing The Married Guy Cook
I’ve put up an introductory post at the newest member of my humble (very humble) blogging empire, The Married Guy Cook. As noted there, it’s still under development, but I’ll try to post regularly even if the blog’s appearance isn’t quite what I want yet. I’m hoping to drum up some real traffic after a while, drawn to a more focused topic.
I’m technically rather busy to have dived into this now, but it shouldn’t take much to keep it updated, and I had reason to purchase the long-planned domain over the weekend. I needed to nail down some others for business, and there was a volume discount involved.
I may yet post some food stuff here that seems not to fit there, but the recipes/descriptions/experiments, requests for ideas, and that sort of thing will end up over there. I may also start reposting some recipes or cooking posts accumulated over the years here and at AV.
Monday, May 28, 2007
Jay: Sadie Drives ‘Em Wild
This afternoon I took Sadie to CVS and Hannaford with me. In CVS I figured I was in trouble, letting her walk up the candy aisle. What did she home in on, with the vast selection? A 99¢ bag of spice drops. Then later Valerie surprised us by recognizing the name “spice drops” as something “mmm… nummy.” Not that much should surprise me from kids I have trained to wave and say “hi doppelganger!” to themselves in the mirror. Sadie almost has the word down pat. Valerie still sounds more like bobba gangah. Speaking of surprises, Valerie said graham cracker today, well enough to be understood.
But I digress.
In Hannaford, Sadie rode in a cart. It’s funny; she went through an “I’m a big girl and won’t ride” phase, briefly. Now she prefers it. Especially if there’s something different about the carts, like the green ones at Ocean State Job Lot.
In one aisle, a little boy who couldn’t have been too much older was pushing his mother’s cart. He was so taken with Sadie, watching her instead of where he was going, he ran the cart into the shelves. I told Sadie she was too young to be distracting the boys like that.
Jay: Work in Progress
Please pardon the lack of posts today. As if I needed another, I started working on a new project today…
Gotta run errands now. Sadie is waiting impatiently to go with me, despite our having given her no indication I had any such plans. Stay tuned…
Sunday, May 27, 2007
Jay: On Another Note…
I don’t get e-mail anymore.
It’s weird! Half or more of it remains spam, but i don’t even get much of that. I was still getting a lot, despite efforts to funnel some of the worst of it through Gmail on its way to my inbox, but it has dried up.
I can go several hours some days with no e-mail at all.
Apart from spam, and apart from the big client, I still used to get a bunch every day. I feel like I should sign up for some mailing lists! Yet when I do that I often feel overwhelmed and grow rapidly uninterested in the e-mails in question. The lists I am on are minimalist, more than ever.
It is almost as if e-mail has become passé, or lost its “this is so cool” factor, or something.
Jay: Double Plus Unposts
I’ve so not posted things as intended. I’ve not posted about watching V for Vendetta and The Matrix the past two nights. I’ve not posted about the real reason the immigration bill must die, even though my more conservative friends might be shocked by most of my stance on the issue otherwise. I’ve not posted about the design in the prior post being more or less complete and the difficulty of now coming up with the right content. I’ve not posted pictures. I’ve not posted about Indians. I’ve not posted about the cool new neighbors. I’ve not posted about Valerie saying things like “purple block” months ahead of her time. I’ve not posted about teaching the kids to say “hi doppelganger!” to their mirror images, and how cute it sounds. I’ve not posted about 90-something degree days.
It’s very sad.
I also haven’t posted over at the biz blog about competitors and their web sites, their pricing if known, market saturation, and so forth. Kind of late now, to do that and get it into CotC, which I would likely want to do.
Perhaps later I’ll actually get to some of that.
Or perhaps I’ll just figure out how to make chicken pad thai, or I’ll make chili, and work on the new business site and/or billing.
Friday, May 25, 2007
Jay: Update and Hot Weather Food Conundrum
The biggest obstacle was forgetting, as I always do between times I work on CSS, that it’s color for the font color. It’s not font-color or foreground or anything like that.
Deb thought the overall page background was too purple, so I tried the maroon-like color instead.
I figured out how to make the main page be static, not a blog page, and how to display the blog page - if at all - on a secondary page.
There are details to work out yet, like link colors, tab colors and such, but it’s come a long way. Woohoo! Oh, and I need content, decisions as to what pages to have and what goes on them, and so forth, but at least it’s not the same theme thousands of blogs use now.
Now to make supper. Which is a challenge, considering it’s in the nineties and the though of cooking is less than inspiring. I need some ideas for “real” meals that are good for days like this.
If there’s enough burger, we’re probably settling on pasta with red sauce, which isn’t exactly a standard hot day selection but is more appealing than about anything else that comes to mind.
Jay: Wish Me Luck
Inspired in part by having been looking at web sites (and surprisingly often lack thereof) of prospective competitors, I’m taking a break from my main other and dire task of billing to work on the web site for the new business. For the time being at least, it’s in Wordpress, even though I don’t anticipate the front page being bloggy.
The template I tossed up there originally is called Pool. I had come up with a possible background color several months ago, and used it to doodle possible headers before I even decided I should use the version of the name ending in an S, rather than being singlular (I got both domains in case). The sandy color is based on an actual shade in which medical scrubs are available. I used black in the old graphic, but I’d been thinking of adopting a maroon shade as a text and or uniform shirt color along the line. The blue text you see in the graphic is an artifact of Pool, and while it might not be the worst thing, I expect it to change. Perhaps the maroon…
The background color is from the effects I had applied to the text of the doodled header, sampling the color that created. I may or may (probably) not apply similar effects this time. The tagline is also an artifact. I had come up with multiple and was thinking of rotating them. So it could be none, could be a single one I decide on, or could become a fancy rotating tagline trick.
Mostly I want to keep it simple without seeming amateur or lame. Even some of the otherwise better sites have menu links that do nothing, pages that contain nothing, use frames, or that kind of thing.
Anyway, here’s the crude preview…
As soon as I get a drink, put in the window fan and/or point the other fan more directly at me, and settle back in, I’ll start trying to redo the theme. Which mostly happens offline, but if you look you might see progress, like color changes and such. The image above is the link to the construction site.
In other news, one of my computer parts vendors got bought and the new location for pickup will be in Norwood instead of Woburn. Yay! I’m going to have to keep stocking and being able to get parts, even though I don’t plan a storefront per se. I was thinking of going back to the place in Woburn, as the place in Wilmington seems uninterested in my volume of business, or something. We’re talking 33 miles and 37 minutes, versus 51 miles and 65 minutes. I’m considering leaving the old business unliquidated and intact for the purpose of being a reseller. We’ll see.
Okay, off to it!
Jay: Happy Birthday
To blogger Martin Lindeskog.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Jay: As Jeff Lynne Might Say, It’s Over
Ah-Yup, Jordin Sparks won.
The finale results show was somewhat entertaining, but as befits the season overall, not as good as last year. It felt like they did a better job of highlighting the individuals who’d been in the top twelve, where this year is was more about guests and especially winners from previous seasons.
The Golden Idols are way too predictable, and becoming old and annoying.
It’s annoying they went way over the two hours, but that’s to be expected sufficiently that I’m more amused than sympathetic with all the complaints.
Taylor was good doing his own song, one I rather like. He sucked doing a cover. He also gave off an air of “too good to be here,” which is funny since he’d still be a relative unknown without Idol.
I can see why Ruben won AI season 2. Wow! He makes a great Marvin Gaye. He and Jordin should record that song, a favorite of mine they did astonishingly well, or even the entire collection of Marvin and Tammy, or Marvin and whoever else duets.
I kept thinking that it was sad Jordin got such a nice showcase duet, but Blake didn’t. It was just now I realized that the beatboxing duet was Blake’s equivalent. Duh! Even though I enjoyed it more than I’d ever have suspected I’d enjoy something rap-like, that’s evidence of an “it’s not real music” sentiment buried in there.
LaKisha’s singing seemed astonishingly good to me.
Chris Sligh’s singing almost as much; better than I remembered.
Melinda didn’t really stand out the same way. Even on the obnoxious religious song they let her do as part of a trio, in recognition of her significance this season and making third place, she seemed like a background singer being allowed the treat of singing up front with the stars. Very strange.
I know this is heresy, but I thought Sanjaya was pretty good at the whole rock thing. Like Blake, but with a different emphasis, Sanjaya is an entertainer. Heck, like Blake he seems to be a genuinely nice guy.
Speaking of which, it seemed like Blake not only expected, but wanted Jordin to win. And really, she needs it more than he does.
The insipid song didn’t sound quite as awful at the end of the finale as it did the night before.
Afterward, the Providence Fox station spent most of the length of their newscast covering Idol, including having Nick Pedro in the studio to talk about the results and his experience then and since. He approved of the outcome and thought Jordin was nice, though they had little in common due to her age. He also reminded everyone of the three hours a day extra work she had to do, keeping up on school, and that it’s not unusual for them to put in twelve hour days in the first place. Apparently even leaving in the top 24 opened opportunities for him, which is cool. Another thing he admired about Jordin was her handling being on stage in front of millions. It got inside his head, made him very nervous, and he was just getting control of it when he was voted off.
I hope they drop the Africa fundraising thing next year. The children’s choir was good, but man, did they have to remind us of this season’s publicity stunt?
Smokey Robinson called and wants his old face back, even though his voice still works.
Bjork called and wants he wardrobe back from Gwen.
Music history called and wants to know why Gladys Knight isn’t a more famous name.
Vegas called and wants to know where Bette Midler’s voice went.
John Lennon called and said he can’t condone a course of action that will lead us to war, which is what Darfur seems to demand, so stop using his music to agitate.
The fans called and want American Idol to have a decent season next year, thankyouverymuch.