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November 2007 Archives

November 4, 2007

My First Halloween with the Bug (Dressed as Dorothy) + First Physical Therapy Session

Took the Bug trick-or-treating for Halloween. (A first for me.) He was dressed in a Dorothy costume (à la Wizard of Oz), complete with ruby slippers. Not an outfit I would've selected, but that's what he was wearing when I picked him up.

Yellow brick road | The Wizard of OzDid it make me uncomfortable to see my boy wearing a dress? Uh, a little. But he's only two. If he were five, maybe I'd be more concerned. Everybody agrees on one thing » he would've made a cute girl. =)

I almost didn't go trick-or-treating, cuz my neck was pretty sore that day. But Tom made it easy. He came by, transferred the Bug's car-seat (from the Rad-mobile) into his SUV, so all I had to do was hop in & go along for the ride.

As a side note, I find it interesting that Tom is probably the safest driver I've ever ridden with, especially considering how he prefers to indulge in sports which some might deem hazardous ..

.. such as mountain biking & rock climbing. He has even climbed El Capitan (which he calls "big wall" climbing). Yet he spent 10 minutes making sure the Bug's car-seat was fastened securely, and always lets the other car go first.

Tom has a 7-year-old daughter. She held the Bug's hand as they walked up to each front porch and rang the doorbell. Very cute. Many of these homes sported elaborate Halloween decorations (such as fog-making machines and mock graves that open & shut automatically).

Continue reading "My First Halloween with the Bug (Dressed as Dorothy) + First Physical Therapy Session" »

November 5, 2007

Physical Therapy More Painful Than Original Injury

Extraordinary Rendition | A Frontline Special (PBS) broadcast Tuesday eveSecond physical therapy session today .. for my neck. Last week, the doc assigned me to one of her therapists (or vice versa). "Today," she said, "you get *my* hands working on you."

This made me a bit nervous, cuz last week, the girl working on me suggested the doc applied more pain .. cuz "she's never been on the other side of this table."

The doc is tiny, but in good shape. She had me working on range-of-motion exercises. (Last week was more of a deep-tissue massage.)

I honestly cannot say which hurts more. Both involve serious pain. I'm feeling beat up (baseball bat style). But I can turn my head to the left now (~45-degrees). Couldn't do that yesterday (maybe 10 degrees max).

She had me at a place (turning head to left) where the slightest movement represented the difference between "comfortable" and 90% pain-threshold. We spent a long time (seemed like an eternity) fluctuating between 20 and 80% pain-threshold.

Continue reading "Physical Therapy More Painful Than Original Injury" »

November 11, 2007

Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose

The DC Iinput power jack on my laptop is loose. I've tripped over the cord once too often. I'm actually surprised it has lasted this long, considering how many times I've (accidentally) yanked it out.

DC Power Jack for a Laptop ComputerIt hasn't become a major problem yet, as power is easily restored with a quick jiggle or slight adjustment. But a few more well-placed yanks could render it useless. (If I can't get power to the laptop, it becomes a hi-tech doorstop .. soon as the battery dies.)

Google queries reveal this problem is surprisingly common (especially with Dells). If you're handy with a soldering iron (I've learned), you can try repairing it yourself. (My particular jack costs only US$10.)

Unfortunately, soldering is more difficult than it looks, especially when dealing with tiny connectors .. not to mention disassembling the laptop (and its subsequent reassembly). Best to let an experienced pro work their magic.

Continue reading "Laptop DC Input Power Jack Loose" »

November 12, 2007

Dreaming of the Queen of Hearts

Queen of HeartsWoke from a dream this morning .. where I was enmeshed in a game of high-stakes poker .. (interesting, seeing I haven't played cards in years).

If I lost, that was the end. Adios, me. Everything would be lost. To win the final hand, I needed either a queen, or a heart. Odds were slim, requiring something of a miracle .. and I drew » the queen-of-hearts .. (immediately before waking).

Not sure what (if anything) that might mean. Felt like somebody was trying to tell me something. Interesting how I needed either one or the other (a queen, or a heart), but got both-in-one.

Used to date a girl who had a knack for interpreting dreams. Don't think I have her number any more, tho. Reminds me of that song by the Eagles » Desperado .. where it says:

Don't you draw the queen of diamonds, boy.
She'll beat you if she's able.
The queen of hearts is always your best bet.

Continue reading "Dreaming of the Queen of Hearts" »

November 14, 2007

Continuing to Enhance Web Master Skill Set (XHTML, CSS, Dreamweaver)

Learning lots about (X)HTML, CSS. & Dreamweaver. For example, I finished reading the Head First book (cover-to-cover, all 650 pages). Currently half-way thru the Lynda.com Essential training video for Dreamweaver CS3 (Creative Suite 3). Also reading the Missing Manual on Dreamweaver (~1,000 pages), which goes into more detail than the video. All great stuff.

Was surprised to read over at Coding Horror that the average programmer reads less than 1 (technical) book per year.

Given that tech books often contain ~1,000 pages, that doesn't mean Programmers aren't adding to their knowledge base. Yet I thought the number would be higher.

Note that it *is* possible to learn Dreamweaver (to create web pages) withOUT ever becoming familiar with the underlying technologies it uses (e.g. XHTML, CSS, etc.), but I feel better having spent the time to get a handle on those technologies before learning how to wield the tool (Dreamweaver).

My web skills are vasty improved over what they were a few months ago. I would feel comfortable designing and developing most any type of site .. except one that is primarily database-driven. (But that, too, is coming.)

I also now feel comfortable delving into more advanced treatments of CSS and Dreamweaver, such as (the book titled ») CSS Mastery, and (the training video titled ») Beyond the Basics for Dreamweaver. Plus I'd like to learn some scripting, such as PHP, JavaScript and AJAX .. along with XML. Cool stuff, especialy for the age in which we live.

Continue reading "Continuing to Enhance Web Master Skill Set (XHTML, CSS, Dreamweaver)" »

November 19, 2007

The Neck, Web Master Skills & Holy Frijoles

Epazote: secret ingredientMy neck is finally (after 6 weeks!) starting to loosen. I can turn my head side-to-side without pain, tho full range-of-motion remains elusive.

The Neck (6 weeks later)

Tilting » right-ear toward right-shoulder .. is the movement I now find most difficult. Feels like a steel cable (tendon?) connects my left shoulder to the base of my skull (on left side), restricting this (right-ward ») motion.

Forcing this movement causes swelling (the next day) where my neck (left-side) connects to my torso. The swelling (raised ~2 inches) looks scarier than it feels. Nevertheless, I'm hesitant to stretch very far in that direction (.. like they want me to).

The Doc says swelling is a sign muscles are still healing. So does that mean I am re-injuring them?

I'd say my neck has improved from severely jacked-up to (plain ol') "jacked-up." Severely jacked-up is defined as » difficult to deal with. Slightly jacked-up would be » easy-to-deal-with .. (tho, I'm not there yet).

The Doc suggested I wear a scarf around my neck (to keep the muscles warm). Altho this sounds stupid (and looks gay), I've found it helps better than anything else I've tried.

Web Master Skills

In more-technical news, I couldn't resist playing with my new XHTML/CSS skills .. and re-created the site's splash page (a 7-second timer will automatically kick you back here). This is my first-ever web page using XHTML 1.0 Strict standards. I created it from scratch with Dreamweaver CS3.

Continue reading "The Neck, Web Master Skills & Holy Frijoles" »

November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving 2007

President Bush pardons the Thanksgiving turkeyI trust you and yours had yourselves a pleasant Thanksgiving, with lots of bird to eat, and other yummy treats. I spent the day with the Bug (just the two of us), so it was most enjoyable.

Thanksgiving 2007

After tearing up the local playground, the day's highlight came when we took his "froggie boots" to the Newport Back Bay. There we found a feeder-stream he could tromp thru (something new).

The froggie boots kept his feet warm-n-dry. He seemed to enjoy dropping sticks in the water and watching them float downstream, and chasing after ducks.

After his mom picked him up (later in the day), I headed over to Tom's place, where his wife made turkey-stuffed acorn squash .. stuffed with nuts, peppers, cheese, and other nutritious treats. (Yummy.)

Tom & his wife are healthy eaters, so I knew it was gonna be good. They recently joined an organic co-op. Every other week, they get a bushel-basket full of organic veggies (such as the acorn squash we ate).

I think he said it costs $35 for ~35 pounds (of assorted veggies). The only bad part is you have to pay for 6 months up front. (And no, they don't deliver.)

Tom had spent the day tearing out his old carpet and sanding the underlying (concrete) floor. So his place had a distinct post-nuclear feel to it, with a slight echo. (Okay, it was more than slight.)

Continue reading "Thanksgiving 2007" »

November 27, 2007

Matto's Mantra & Downloading Free Books from Wowio

Back when I was living in Pennsylvania, a friend there (Michael Matto) was fond of saying » "You'll be the same person 5 years from now except for:
  1. Engines of Creation 2.0 at Wowiothe books you read, and
  2. the people you meet."

I joked by adding, "And the lotteries you win."

Joking aside, I never forgot that saying, tho I doubt Matto was the originator. He claimed the reason books were included was because » you can meet people thru books. [Matto was an extrovert (Sales), so I could understand his attraction to the phrase.]

Taking his concept a step further, I feel the *real* reason behind this principle is cuz » both people and books carry ideas. Ideas are really the things that change people.

Another saying I once heard goes something like » a mind stretched by a new idea can/will never fully return to its original size. This is why I've always enjoyed meeting people from other cultures » they often carry new (stimulating, interesting) ideas.

Free Books

Along these lines, I stumbled upon a new site yesterday called » Wowio, which offers free books (for download, PDF format). I was skeptical at first, but it actually seems legit.

You have to register (via valid email addy), and you can only download 3 books/day (enough for even the most voracious reader). In the spirit of Matto's maxim, I downloaded the following 3 titles:

  1. Einstein in His Own Words
  2. Engines of Creation 2.0. (See the Wikipedia entry for more.)
  3. The Art of War (Sun Tzu)

Continue reading "Matto's Mantra & Downloading Free Books from Wowio" »

November 29, 2007

Warning: Excessive Server Usage

Rad Pirate FlagReceived a notice yesterday .. from my web host (Lunarpages), which begins »

Your account is using excessive resources, causing a significant degradation of services on the server.

This is a shared environment and we can not allow one user to utilize the majority of resources, as it affects all users adversely. Because of this, your site has been temporarily moved ...

Warning: Excessive Server Usage

So it appears we've been banished .. to an exile server .. reserved for bad-web-boys, and other rouge scoundrels who have trouble playing by the rules.

I'm actually flattered .. that the site is generating enough traffic to warrant such a warning. Could be worse. I mean, if the site were using NO server resources .. that certainly wouldn't be good.

Their notice continues by suggesting I upgrade to a VPS account (Virtual Private Server) or dedicated server. See here:

Your account is more suited for a VPS or dedicated server, not a shared situation.

I would *love* to host a VPS account (.. for the experience of administering our own server). Magoo says he has the savvy to administer a Linux account. See here:

"Funny how little they consider your fair share of that server. If it turns out your site is operating correctly and just outgrown a shared environment, I can definitely help with the VPS account. I am very comfortable with CentOS, Apache, and Perl. That's easy stuff."

Continue reading "Warning: Excessive Server Usage" »

About November 2007

This page contains all entries posted to Ye Olde Rad Blog II in November 2007. They are listed from oldest to newest.

October 2007 is the previous archive.

December 2007 is the next archive.

Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

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