April 2007 Archives
"We trust you have received the usual lecture from the local System Administrator. It usually boils down to these three things:
#1) Respect the privacy of others.
#2) Think before you type.
#3) With great power comes great responsibility."
My response: I am the local System Administrator. I promise to be responsible. In fact, I have a problem with being too respectful and responsible. Thanks for thinking of me.
Silver Princess, R.I.P.
Feb. 2006 to April 2007
Short Lived, Well Loved
Long story. Will blog about it tomorrow, but the upswing is that my powerbook is cooked and so I had to buy a new computer today. Left it at the Genius Bar for them to attempt to transfer my recent data if the hard drive on the powerbook is still operational. Pick both up tomorrow.
Happy 4th birthday to this lovely little blog.
Hmph. 13 * 3. Today. Hmph.
Or if you so choose, more prosaically, 21 + 18.
Regardless, I am taking a note from Lucky, who had a big party for her 30th birthday and has not had one since.
Today is my 21 + 18 or 13 * 3 birthday.
Don't feed me all the lines about how age is just a number or whatever .... I don't like it.
Thus, Erika and I are going to A.O.C. tonight for my actual birthday, where I can be cranky about 21 + 18 at the cheese bar.
Come on down tomorrow night (Wed. 4/25) and help me celebrate my last birthday ever. Next year I will be ((13*3)+some months).
On a better note, very late tonight this blog will be 4 years old!
As you can see North Carolina was fabulously windy and brisk today. A lovely and perfect day to be out and about rather than in an office doing a programming course. But the day one of the course is good and I am happy.
Here are few notes, bits, and links from today's browsing:
1) More troubles between my phone and Flickr: I had to send the above tulip photo three times before it appeared in Flickr. It showed up first time around on Vox.
4) Having trouble with MAMP and my Mac. MAMP works with all types of files as a localhost for me, but not PHP. And it is supposed to be Mac-Apache-Mysql-PHP. hmph. Wonder if the additions to the config file to allow for SSI caused a disconnect with the functionality to interpret PHP on my machine.
Update: Solved my MAMP and PHP problem thanks to Splash of Style.
The above photo, "Telephone Poles", was sent to Flickr on Sat. 4/14/07 in the evening, but never received.
I have been having a problem this week between Cingular's mobile network and Flickr. I send photos (via MMS or email) from my phone, I receive confirmation that they are sent, I am charged, but the photos never show up on Flickr.
As a test, I have also sent photos this last week to my Vox account via MMS or email from my phone and they are received about half the time and show up on my Vox account.
Is the problem Cingular's network? But why would it not like Flickr the last week and like Vox half the time?
And to top it off, Cingular's network is working like a charm in North Carolina where I am right now for business. I have sent several test emails to Flickr and Vox and both are showing up on my account directly after sending them from my phone.
Cingular - WHY, oh WHY, do you have such shitty service in one of the biggest markets in the country (LA/OC)????
Oh, Flickr - WHY, oh WHY, do you seem to have massages when I am sending photos? They don't show up in my photostream but Cingular still charges me.
Vox - What are you doing right in moblogging interface land that Cingular and Flickr aren't?
Is this an issue of Cingular and Flickr not playing well together? As I said, it just started in last week. Has it been solved now or will I be able to moblog happily in North Carolina but when I return to SoCal I will be up a creek again?
I love sending photos from my phone to websites. I love moblogging. I am at Flickr because up to this point they have made sending photos from my phone to Flickr a very easy set of steps.
Been a bit missing or lagging around here at Black Phoebe, be it text or photos. Life has been busy and quite full. I need a blogging app that I can talk to my mobile phone and it will post the text to this site.
On the News Front:
1) Decided to scrap Plan A for Plan B a few weeks ago, when Plan A decided that it was going to roar back to life on its own this week. Life is funny and that Murphy sure was prescient.
2) Yuck. The Ides of April are upon us! Have you done your taxes? I have to go get a check cut tomorrow.
4) On the official Ides of April (the 15th), I will be flying off to North Carolina at oh-dark-thirty. I will be attending a 5 day "Programming PHP" training course in Raleigh. This will give me a good excuse to go and visit with Heather and Steve. And give my mom a lovely opportunity to visit a bunch of historical sites.
When my mom heard that I signed up for PHP / database training in North Carolina, she told me to extend my plane ticket and that she would join me the weekend afterwards. Apparently, she did many school reports on North Carolina and has never visited until now.
5) And then to continue my month of programming training, I will be going to the Ruby on Rails training course in Denver at the end of April.
So, I like learning. Take the girl out of the classroom and she feels the need to keep going back. I am also a big reader...
6) Last but not least, my very last birthday party ever will be at Alex's Bar on Wed. April 25th (one day after the real birthday) with the Flametrick Subs and the Irish Brothers. It will be an early show - 9-midnight. Come on down and join the festivities!
Yesterday, my great aunt Babe, hosted the annual family "Easter Saturday" dinner at her house in Palm Desert. She cooked a fabulous lunch of ham, green salad, potato salad, and broccoli salad. Great aunt Babe is
94 93 and still goes golfing every week. She is a quiet dynamo.
I had never eaten broccoli salad before and Babe's version was amazing with broccoli, red onion, thin crispy bacon, golden raisins and sunflower seeds in a thin tangy mayo based dressing. Possibly one of the top 5 best salads I have ever eaten in my life. I wanted the recipe. So, I asked for it after lunch.
Great Aunt Babe said, "No."
Great Aunt Babe, "No."
Me, "Oh... Are you sure?"
Great Aunt Babe, "Yes, it is for Lynn."
I sat back down on the couch bewildered. My 2nd cousin-in-law, Pat, asked, "Did she give it to you?" "No. She said it is for Lynn," I said. "That way it stays in the family," Pat said. Me, "Hmmph. Well, I will google it. Surely the internets will have the recipe."
I clicked on my Nokia's web browser, opened the bookmark for Google, and typed in "broccoli salad". As I was typing, Pat said, "I always forget about Google. Look, your phone already has all the links."
One by one I read the linked recipes and lo and behold, the first 7 recipes listed were versions the salad we ate that day. I read the recipes to Pat and she said, "That's it, it needs to sit overnight." "Hey, look Elise has a recipe for it with peas." I then sent Pat the link to Elise's recipe from my phone and we were both happy. No one else noticed our conversation, nor my looking up the recipe on my Nokia's browser.
Thirty minutes passed I took the remainder of my dishes into the kitchen when great aunt Babe rounded the corner, picked up a piece of note paper and a pencil to write "1 c. mayo, 2 teaspoons cider vinegar, 1/2 c. sugar" on the paper. She hands it to me and says, "Here is the dressing, use cider vinegar - that is the secret, and then whatever vegetables you want." And walks off.
I went back to the couch and told Pat what had happened. We laughed.
I am of the internet generation. Why not share your favorite recipe? A version of it is most likely already up on the 'net, so no reason not to. But when you are 94, maybe the open source world that I am so used to is not what Babe lived or what she grew up with.
Have you had anyone deny you a recipe when you asked?
Tidbits and other bits from the brain and typing fingers of Ms. Jen:
1) Glad that April Fools is over. I never know what to make of the day, as the jokes are rarely truly funny. Google's Paper mail thing for Gmail, not very funny, more baffling. Toilet broadband? Where is their funny bone? Lost with the IPO? Who are they hiring there? Hmph...
2) This Sat. April 7, 2007 will be my 6th month anniversary of my return home from Mirkwood.
3) If you have a Nokia Series 60 phone and it is having a few problems, update it! Yes, Nokia is the only handset manufacturer that provides a utility to upgrade your mobile phone's OS/firmware. This is a blessing as the Nokia N80 of Love & Happiness has been running ragged around the edges lately. Yesterday, I used the update/upgrade utility and all troubles have been taken away. Thank you to Nokia for being so user friendly.
4) Web design confession of the week: I actually like using Flash. Yep, Ms. Jen the XHTML/CSS web standards des/dev lady enjoys using Flash. Today, I had the opportunity to use Flash for a contracting project and it was fun. Yes, fun. Thanks to Mr. Dominey for providing a good user experience.
And on that note, have a lovely and delightful evening.
Update from Tuesday Morning:
5) I forgot to mention the whole thing that started the impulse for this post: iTunes. No, not EMI and Apple cutting a deal, but iTunes 7.1.1 is a memory hog. When it is on it causes Firefox to turn into Turtlesnail. I guess it is time to add more RAM.
One of the things that I miss from art school is the critique*.
Yes, the hoary, old institution of the critique. Bring your art or design work into a gathering of your peers and professors or visiting artists, either talk about it a bit or not, then everyone else talks about it and you listen. And listen, and filter, and then possibly ask a question or further explain and listen some more.
Sometimes the critique is right on the money and if you listen you will learn a great deal about your process, your art, that particular piece, and maybe, if you really are willing, you can grow from the experience. Sometimes the critique is a piece of shit, the assembled group is not mentally there or they are feeling off or don't care or at times unwilling to be anything but a bit vicious, and then there can be wounding or anger or ripping your piece to bits in front of them and throwing it at them (particularly effective when the piece is sculptural and has large sticks attached to it, crying while throwing can also add to the effect).
Most of the times, the critique was more than a bit boring or mundane with bits of transformative learning and bits of petty meanness. Lots of sitting, lots of listening to others, and lots of attempting to be present, and if you were letting the listening filter into your brain, then reverberations later that become gentle waves of "oh that is what they meant" awareness. A good lesson for life. Be attentive, listen, some of it may absorb and resound later.
As an adult in a design and art career, I miss the critique. Some clients, if they are artists or designers, can provide good feedback, but the average client either likes it or they don't and many times they don't have the language for why, at worst the client is vague, very vague** or is non-constructive in their criticism.
I have been blessed with friends in a variety of art and design fields who are willing to sit down and not just talk about the big ideas running around but about our work. I dearly miss Megan McMillan and Jessica Spengler, as both women are talented writers / artists and thinkers with excellent observations and insights, and wish that both of them were geographically closer or I had more air miles. In my immediate vicinity, I enjoy in person conversations with painters Dan Callis and Ryan Callis, as well as industrial/product designer Thomas Bertling.
One of my favorite parts of SXSW is sitting down one on one with a friend or a small group of friends and asking if they will give feedback. Last year at SXSW, Veerle and I sat at breakfast one morning and discussed the (then) new design of this site. Veerle was kind, thoughtful, and truthful. I thought over her major critique for a number of months, turning the idea over in my head, weighing it against my own design process and ideals, and ended up not using it. This year, I had the opportunity to sit and show Rob Weychert the in progress re-design of Barflies.net. Rob was thoughtful, asked questions, gave good feedback about design choices, as well as constructive ideas about color contrast. Yesterday, I tried Rob's color contrast suggestion and am now very happy with the new barflies.net color scheme.
* Broader definition of critique at wikipedia.
** Perhaps all business and computer science students should have to take one studio art or design class to learn how to talk in an informed, critical way about the increasing visual world we live in.
For at least 2 years now there have been murmurs of honey bee deaths. Before I went to Ireland in fall of 2005, there were bits and bobs in the press about honey bees being afflicted with mites. Now the press is speaking of wholesale honey bee deaths and hive collapse. This is a big problem since 1/3 or more of our food is directly pollinated by honey bees.
I take a walk every day. I take my camera. I watch, observe and take photos. Here are the observations of one woman who walks. Bees are dying.