Sunday, October 11, 2009

Cop out 

I made a post to the other blog, so I'm excused from posting here today.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Kill a tree today 

Originally uploaded by Yuek Hahn
An amazing thing is happening today--I have absolutely no outside obligations to attend to. I really don't know how this happened, but I'll gladly take it. Anyway, with the day stretching before me and all sorts of things on my to-do list, I chose to mess with our tree. One of the blessings of our little home is Seattle is the flowering cherry tree that has occupied a corner of our yard. It's provided beautiful blossoms in the spring, whispering leaves in the summer. For my wife, it's been a convenient stand for a birdfeeder; and for the kids, a canopy under which to play. But this past year, it's been obvious that its days are numbered. One of the three major branches has been dead, and a second has been drying up to create an early fall. So Noodles has decided to take down the old thing and replace it with a new tree.

Of course, this is one of those chores where Noodles has the idea but I end up providing the labor. That's not a bad thing, of course, because destruction is one of those things at which we men excel. (That line sounds sexist, doesn't it? Probably because it is.) So this morn I put on a pair of work gloves, took some yard tools and decided to poke at the tree. I didn't need the tools so much--most of the branches of the dead limb came off by hand. The only real difficulty was reaching the branches that hung over the fence. When I turned my attention to the second limb, I was only able to pull off a good third of the branches on my own. As I tried to disentangle them from the healthier branches, I couldn't help but wonder if we could have extended the life of the tree had we but did some pruning over the years. When it comes to yard care, I'm sure my farming forebears would hide their faces in shame if they saw what a lousy job I do of it. Anyhoo, for the rest of the second limb branches, I used the clippers. The third limb, the one that's still green and hangs over the slope, I left alone. It was time for lunch and I wasn't prepared to take the whole tree down today. Sure, that would be the most efficient use of my time and a rare free day, but why should I start being so practical? There will be other days in which to prune, plus I can then look forward to renting a chain saw and really having some testosteronal fun.

Of course, once the flush of mass destruction passes, I feel a bit melancholy over the tree. It was a nice little addition to the yard, and it'll be years before whatever sort of tree we might get will grow into a proper replacement. Assuming I don't kill that one first.

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Tuesday, October 06, 2009


I'm facing a dilemma this evening: Do I spend my own money to benefit my employer or not? The situation is that my boss, John Emdall, recently asked me to redesign the company's website. The current Yoyodyne site is a fancy-schmancy APX thing that's getting out of date. John Emdall wants a new site, not too complicated, but still nice looking. And cheap. He wants cheap. Hence his asking me, despite the fact that I have openly professed my limited skills. Anyhoo, he had used a demo of the program Artisteer on his PC to make a nice looking page. I brought the html and attendant documents over to my Mac and started messing with it. I was able to figure out enough of Adobe Dreamweaver to add some graphics, alter the menus, and plug our online ordering site into a window. Pleased with myself, I submitted the template page for his review.

A few hours later, John Emdall informed me that Internet Explorer had taken it upon itself not to display the graphics. Actually, what he said was more along the lines of, "It's not working." It was left to me to discover what exactly was screwed up. Putting the blame on Explorer was pretty easy. Figuring out how to fix it has been a challenge. I spent a good chunk of yesterday figuring out how Artisteer created its page with CSS. I never did quite reach the point where I figured what items Explorer was ignoring and how to work around it. One thing I blame is my reference book, HTML 4 for the World Wide Web by Elizabeth Castro. It's a great book, but it's 2000 vintage, and I wonder if it's not a trifle too old for what I need.

So, to come to my main point, I'm debating whether to go out and buy the most recent edition of Ms. Castro's book. I did a search and found that I could pick up a copy at Barnes & Noble for around thirty bucks. Much more than I like to spend on a book, but it might prove useful not only to my personal playing on the web, but also in my unofficial role as "web designer". On the other hand, since this would be primarily to benefit Yoyodyne, why should I be spending my own money? Might it not be wiser to present the boss with the decision to invest in the book, or better yet, hire someone whose competent?
Update: Of course, the deciding factor was, which choice would allow me to browse in the bookstore? I managed to snag a copy of the book at Half Price Books for ten bucks.

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Sunday, October 04, 2009

Excuse #2 

It's Sunday night and as I try to write, I find my mind lacking in profundity. Too tired, I guess. But then again, blogging at the end of the day used to be the norm, and I could come up with something to say. What's the difference? I'm I just older and too many of the old synapses have worn out? Has the stress of the weekend sapped my creativity? Am I just hoping to slap together a blog post and then go watch a movie on the tube? Ah, maybe that's a hint. No blasted time. There's just so much that I want to do that I end up with no time for reflection, hence when it comes time to put words on, er, some server God-knows-where, I'm at a loss. Of course, if that's the case, the solution is easy--wait until I'm 65 (or 67) (or 70) (or 75) (or...) and start a retirement blog. Of course, by then blogs will all be videos featuring one's 3-D animated avatar with the option of using artificial intelligence to generate snarky comebacks for any obnoxious comments. And I'll still be on dial-up (provided by the Museum of History and Industry's 20th Century Living History exhibit), unable to post.

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Friday, October 02, 2009

One a day 

Did I say daily blog posts? Hahahahahahahaha! What was I thinking? I really don't have time to blog tonight. I have to get to bed so I can get up early tomorrow and catch a bus (or three) to Bellevue.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Happy October! 

Just 31 days until National Write a Whole Honkin' Novel (Or At Least Try to Blog Every Day) Month. Me, I don't think I'll wait that long. I've felt the blog muse stirring in the depths of my... well, not soul, really. Maybe more like a pancreas. Anyway, I thought I might make an attempt to blog every day in October--just to see if I still can. I'll probably cheat and count posts to the book review blog as sufficient fulfillments to the daily requirement, but I do promise that I won't start counting Twitter tweets, even if they are funny.

So anyway, what to write? Over the past few weeks, I've noticed items that I might have been able to stretch into blog posts. Tonight, however, the only thoughts that fill my mind are things I should be doing besides frittering away free time blogging. I should be doing my October tithing. I could also get some work done towards preparing the next Bible study. (I'm going with Jonah this time around, since I already have a commentary on the shelf.) I should finish clearing the junk off the typewriter table, so I can get rid of it. I could enter some genealogy info into Gene. And then there's all the book reviews that are outstanding--at least eight. But there's plenty of time for that... I mean, October's a long month.

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