Somewhere between hypercompetence & homeownership
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Whatever the hell that means.

Wednesday, July 31

Yay! Thanks, Sarah!

Yes, Jenny knew how to fix it, too.

I may be too slow and stupid, but they had it down cold.

Now if someone could fix those damn Error 503: Unable to load template file. We're working on this. Please try back later. messages.

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Tuesday, July 30

Uuuuurrp. Worldburp. There's some other, more scientific, term for it. Y'know, when you hear about something in several different places or contexts within moments of each other, like
this
and

that.

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Thursday, July 25

ugghh. that sums it up. I am shaking off some sort of virus/bug/whatever and it's just sapping me of any energy. I'd love to just go and lie down for a few days. Unfortunately, that's just not an option. Day before yesterday, (Tuesday), I had a fever of 102. That was after complaining about being freezing cold at work most of the day, walking the stairs to try and get warm, unsuccessfully and probably made me sicker. Then I had to literally lie down in the car for about 10 minutes in the parking lot at daycare before picking up the kids. I knew I didn't have the energy to get through the task. Then I got them home and attempted to feed the babies, which was only managed by propping my elbows on the tray table on the highchair. Lara got home midway through, popped the thermometer in my mouth and then sent me to lie down for a bit when we saw the 102 results. I felt somewhat better Wed. AM, still went to the doctor though and I am still drag-ass tired now.

Of course, I have no excuse since I stayed up last night till sometime past 2, working on a failed egg drop design. Lara was really pissed this morning when she discovered I had nothing to show the effort. It was like art school all over again, to me. Lots of work, late at night, nothing to show for it in the morning.

This morning, I was determined to not show up with nothing so I cooked up my alternative crappy plan, which took about 20 minutes to make. Nothing elegant but maybe successful.



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Sunday, July 21

Problem solved . . . sort of Of course, it was like a trip in the wayback machine.

I reasoned that there was no way the a major printer manufacturer would not care if their driver worked properly for Macs. So, I had to make it work and then figure out what waas preventing it from working in the first place. All good Mac people know where this is headed . . . extension conflict. I don't think I've chased down a conflict since system 7. But there was no getting around it. So, I sat there, and worked my way through the dozens of extensions, adding some and rebooting and testing. Of course, in hindsight, I should have reasoned with it and figured out who made the crappiest extensions and that'd likely be the culprit. I woud have been right. And who was it?

Kodak, of course.

I already knew that their Mac software sucked but I didn't think about it. And of course, its not any of the camera drivers, which I've removed from the system because I don't need camera drivers because of the spiffy new card reader. You can see this coming from a mile away, can't you. Yup. The card reader. Damn. I was really happy with it, works with CompactFlash, SmartMedia and MMC. Now, what to do.

Well, I sent off emails to Kodak tech support which I actually have a micron of faith in. That's better than none. In the meantime, I created two different extension sets and will have to tolerate rebooting to use the card reader or the printer depending on the circumstance.

I wonder if OSX would solve the problem? Hmmmmmmmm.

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Friday, July 19

Arrrgh!

On a somewhat lighter note . . . my new printer is f***-ed.

My Kodak PM200 gave up the ghost recently. I checked into invoking the warranty but it was beyond the time and I didn't feel right about 'pushing' on it, mostly because it was a freebie, a perk from work. Also, I'd come to discover that it wasn't a great printer, slow as hell and while it had a cool added feature, functioning as a card reader, it was actually not a good card reader, quirky and slow and sometime hung up my Mac, etc. So, when it died, I kind of said, 'too bad, so sad' and happily went about replacing it.

I bought a new card reader, (from Kodak) much faster and versatile. Then I started to look for a printer. This took a while because of the extensive research phase. I finally settled on an Epson C80 and got a great deal on eBay ($122 including shipping!). It arrived last night and after getting the kids to bed, I started to unpack and set it up. After doing everything down to the letter, according to the instructions, I get it installed and loaded and test the inks and all. Everything is golden. I attempt to test print a picture for Lara and blammo, booom, bomb. Lose my photoshop file and all. Reboot, etc. I can open Page Setup, but not the Customize field. Don't even think about hitting the Print command. Crap. I emailed Epson last night, about midnight. They replied quickly, 10AM this morning. They are suggested complete uninstall and reinstall. Recall that I did everything exactly according to their instructions.

But, I will comply, under protest and great skepticism. Of course, it's Friday so it's likely I won't be able to get any more support till Monday. Losers.

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Wednesday, July 17
Yes, it's true. It's been noted that I apologize for writing on serious topics. It's true. Sorry. ;-) Hah. I am not sure exactly why. I guess its that generally I think blogs ought to be lighter in spirit, and the occasional heavy topic may seem a bit intense. Sort of like going to a movie expecting a romantic comedy and instead getting a documentary on the Holocaust or something.

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Embedded deeply, inextricably embedded.

I noticed the other day that a male co-worker had changed his hairstyle. Somewhat drastically for what I thought was a conservative guy, a programmer, not a designer-type. Almost jokingly, I asked him about it and if there was a woman involved in the change. Of course there was, he even pointed to her in a picture on his desk. In the course of the discussion, I learned that this woman was the new girlfriend. I said, I didn't think he was married, he happily replied that he is, but he's getting un-married. Another coworker confirmed this, apparently, it's been a popular topic of discussion amongst them. Clearly, divorce was a good thing in this case.

Now, I am not passing judgement on any of the parties involved here. I know absolutely nothing about the circumstances. More personally, Lara's and my parents are the poster children for divorce, between them all, there's about 8 failed marriages. So, I can't condemn anyone for choosing that path.

What's so surprising to me, is how incredibly far off course my own situation would have to be to get to that point. That's what I mean by 'embedded', that's how I feel, like my whole existence is all fit together in a neat (well, not so neat but...) little package and everything fits just so, unpacking and rearranging it is almost inconceivable. In the co-workers case, I think its a pretty simple cut. In my parents case, it was a pretty complicated, messy situation. Obviously, with children involved, it's alot more complicated but that just goes to show just how bad the parties involved must feel to reach the end of that rope. Before the kids, Lara and I would have arguments that would reach the divorce threat stage. After the kids, that level of 'brinksmanship' became more remote, beyond reality, like the US-Soviet cold war nuclear threat, its there but no ones nuts enough to get to that point. I suppose this is a good thing, the idea of scrapping everything being that far afield. It almost makes me ill to imagine that course of events culminating in legal proceedings and the continued stilted interactions with the kids and family, etc. for the rest of your life.

Again, I am not condemning anyone who end up down that road. In fact, I think it's more of a deep sorrow for what had to have been an absolutely hellish experience.

Sorry for getting weird and heavy on everyone.



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Monday, July 15

Going in Circles? Not me, Lara. At least, she hopes she will be.

Y'know how sometimes your spouse will ask you do them a favor, like go downstairs to get a drink, or go to the store to get them a special snack or whatever? Well, yesterday, I did that sort of favor for Lara. I got up at 4:30 am and caught a 6am flight to Baltimore in order to drive a treadmill back up to Rochester. About a 7 hour schlep up Rt. 15 and we all know how fun that can be. It really wasn't too bad, it went pretty quick and compared to schlepping to CapeCod with the babies, it was almost a pleasure. The pre-trip planning and logistics was getting a bit tiresome, there must have been 20 hours of discussion about how to get the trip worked out. I can't really complain, though, because all I had to do was the flying and driving, no thinking whatsoever was required on my part, that's my kind of trip.

I got back to Rachacha about 3 in the afternoon, did some unloading and preparing for the moving of the big stuff (treadmill, couch pieces, futon rack) and then we zipped to the Wegs and back, and made and scarfed down dinner. Immediately after, I got back to the tasks and then the troops arrived for the worst of the job.

We owe a huge debt of gratitude and thanks to Jenny, Aaron, Matt and Tony, for coming over and doing all the heavy lifting. The couch pieces weren't bad, but the treadmill was bulky and weighed a ton. Fortunately, its gots wheels so the only hard parts were lifting it into the house and lowering it down the basement steps. Minimal disassembly required and thankfully, it went back together sans problems



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Fixed it! I am not so sure I am in love with my hosting service. (Of course, if you're looking for a host, mention my name when you sign up and I get a free year of service) Mostly through luck, I discovered that the problem with the homepage of Hannahandhersisters.com had to do with the .shtml extension. Of course, I've been using the page for 2 months and it's worked perfectly and then sometime this weekend it decides to stop working. I changed nothing but somehow, it seems that Netscape won't recognize the shtml file extension, IE doesn't seem to mind. Usually its the other way 'round, with IE being finicky and NS being more tolerant. Or is that Macs are more forgiving and PCs are more demanding? Whatever. Either way, I realized the problem and simply reset the mime types on the server and viola!

Good thing, too, because I'd have gone nuts trying to figure it out.

But who f***ed up the settings? "Not I", said the fly.



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Dagnabit! Something went wacky with Hannahandhersisters. Not sure what but it works on PC, but not on Netscape for Macs...hmmmm?

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Monday, July 8
Back. Yeah, I'm back. But not what I'd call rested and relaxed and rejuvenated. Not that I expected to be. Vacation with infants is an oxymoron. They don't know that there nothing to get to so they get up just as early. Leah is definitely showing the signs of being an early riser. Yikes. Actually, the babies did pretty well considering the circumstances and Hannah was an angel 99% of the time. I can't give a recounting of the trip, it's basically a blur but I can make some general comments: bless the person who invented the portable VCR. H was perfect on both trips and surprisingly didn't spend the entire time staring at the screen but it provided just enough distraction to keep her going. The babies slept most of the way, there were only a few short stretches where we prayed for a rest stop. If you're thinking about building a house in CapeCod, spring the extra bucks for the AC. Lara's aunts house was very nice, comfortable, well located, reasonably close to the beach, but it was unseasonably hot and we were forced to flee the house in the afternoons. Grownups were okay but the babies became insufferable and I can hardly blame them. Once into the car and the AC on, they were content to gurgle and sleep. Lara and I did a great driving tour of part of the Cape this way and talked about return trips and possibility of buying a house here sometime in the future. VERY distant future, property values are positively insane there. Most of what we saw was not what I think of as beach town, it's hilly and treed. Provincetown is more what of what I think of, I grew up with Eastern Shore beach towns. We loved Provincetown, the locals loved the twins. I saw lots of tshirts that I'd love to own but couldn't wear to work. Food was very expensive almost everywhere and we never got to enjoy a meal, every time was a struggle with fussy babies, long waits, overheated rooms, etc. And such a joy to pay such money to shovel it in. A couple meals I actually didn't even eat, Hannah had some of it and I took the rest home and never ate it. We did get some R&R time, the babies actually slept reasonably well some nights and naps. Lara took H to the beach and I lounged around the house and porch, reading and waiting for the babes to wake. All in all, I can't really complain. I set VERY low expectations for this trip. I think it was somewhat unnerving to Lara, I had virtually no agenda items at all and was agreeable to doing absolutely anything. Stay in? Go out? Whatever. Run to the grocery? OK. Whatever. Very unlike me.

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