Wednesday, August 31, 2005

I Don't Think Anyone Reads This Who Doesn't Already Know About the Katrina Links...

But if you don't there are all sorts of them out there. Macallister has collected many of them on her blog and has shared a poignant memory of New Orleans as well. Please go visit her site if she's not already on your list of favorites.

I can't really get my mind around the extent of this. I heard that 80% of the city is underwater. I heard that the levees are defying attempts to sandbag them, even with 3000 lb. sandbags! It's impossible for me to comprehend the grief and loss the survivors are facing.

I don't have much to share tonight. I've worn my self out being very silly and my brain is fried. At least it's only a couple days till the 3 day weekend.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Adding Stuff to the Template

I have added some banners and some sidebar text. I want to make my sidebar text a different color. Anyone know how I can do that, please let me know! Thanks!

Edit: if you look you'll see that by sheer trial and error I found green, my favorite color.

Oh, I also posted on today -- saw a meme I liked and decided that it goes on that site rather than here. If you want to know what music Dawno liked the year she graduated from High School, click the linkie above.

Also, I bit the bullet and posted the opening paragraphs from something that is trying to get written at the AW "SYW" thread. I'm not linking because I'm not writing this to get you to go there. I wanted to share that I'm actually writing something and even jotting down plot notes and character notes. This story is leaning towards romance. We'll see.

It may be unpublishable in the end but I'm going to give it a try. I'm also seriously contemplating NaNoWriMo. I have a LJ friend (Edit, a few darling, wonderful LJ friends!) who might give me some moral support and nudges. Feel free to join in as members of the 'nag Dawno to write in November' club. Although since November 20th is my daughter's 18th birthday and she's moving to San Diego, probably the second the clock strikes Midnight, I may not be in any shape to stay the course after that. We'll see.

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Sunday's Stream of Consciousness Post

This post is going to wander all over the place in a stream of consciousness sort of way. I beg your forgiveness.

Spent several hours today bringing my index of "Learn Writing With Uncle Jim" up to date and doing laundry. I seriously enjoy that thread; I seriously hate laundry. I also hate that I have so many 'dry clean only' items. Today I said f*** it and washed my silk knit sweater sets in Woolite. They seem no worse for the experience. I wonder if those labels are part of a Dry Cleaning conspiracy.

As a sidenote, having nothing to do with laundry but having somewhat to do with the Uncle Jim index, I believe my first encounter with Macallister on Absolute Write had to do with how to get the links right on that thread. She's compiled all the posts Uncle Jim has written into an "Undiluted" thread.

One of the more active 'students' on the Learn Writing thread has sent me their MS and I'm beta reading it, a duty I undertake with much seriousness and hope that I am helpful to this writer. I think I'm a groupie. I mean I lurk on the fringes and don't write seriously myself, so what else would you call me? I'm ok with it.

Also from AW, I was thrilled to hear about the Encyclopedia Britannica lawsuit against Publish America the other morning and to see so many posts about it throughout yesterday and today. I wonder how they'll try to spin the bad news to the faithful.

I'm getting bolder with leaving comments on blogs I enjoy. I put one on Making Light today. I've been leaving little thoughts other places, too. I particularly enjoyed my first visit to Tish G.'s blog Snarkaholic. Her post on August 25th was about conversations - a topic near and dear to my heart although it still hasn't finished baking in my head what I want to say about the subject. I left her a note in her comments.

I realized tonight that I'm coming up on a 2 year anniversary of sorts. I started posting on the Wil Wheaton dot Net Soapbox forum about 2 years ago. I don't know the exact date because Wil closed the forum last year and I didn't think to make a note of my "boxday" as we called it.

A core group including most of the moderators opened a successor forum with Wil's blessings and called it tehSoapbox. Although recently I've not been as regular a visitor as I once was (I've got 1,241 posts on that board) it still holds a special place for me. And I must say, I do miss being honored as the Empress of the Shiatzu Massage Chair Empire. That sillyness continued for months -- coming on the heels of my mother's death it was a much needed respite from reality. I discovered LiveJournal as a result of discovering that a number of the folks from tehBox had LiveJournals and kept a running conversation with one another there. I joined up and joined in there as well. Then earlier this year I found Absolute Write Water Cooler. There are a few folks who post on Soapbox that post on AW and also at least one who I've seen on Making Light comments as well. ::waves Hi to Xopher:: A diagram of all these connections would be fascinating.

The point of all that is to say that before that day two years ago I had no idea there were places on the web where you could have interesting, intelligent conversations and get acquainted with so many people. There is some kernel of commonality linking us one to another that in Real Life might very possibly have eluded us. We live in different cities, states, countries or we work in very different jobs or we were born into different cultures or we chose different lifestyles -- working mom, stay at home mom, creative job, technical job, person who volunteers, person who writes checks for charities as well as the whole gamut of the usual differences one would imagine. Yet there's something in what we say and how we say it which draws us together. All the rest is irrelevant.

Just curious, how many of you have conversations with ex Baptist centrist-conservative unmarried but with a long term partner of the opposite sex mother of teens StarTrek nerds (and that just barely begins to describe me)?

Thought so. :-) As I've said previously, this whole idea keeps gestating in my thoughts. I occasionally get pieces and parts of it thought out and if I don't write it down, I'll probably forget it.

Friday, August 26, 2005

Go Google Yourself

Skipping along thru the blogiverse I read somewhere (and darn it if I can remember) about someone who Googled their name or blog or something similar for a reason I don't remember either (hey, this was hours ago). Anyway I went and Googled "ohdawno" just to see what would come up. About the 5th hit down was a link associated with Fredricks of Hollywood. Of course I had to go there and find out how that happened! Somehow some spider saw those words in a blog post I did about my daughter's Prom dress from last year.

I had to go re-read that post, of course. It made me wonder if maybe I should port over some of my older stuff. Not sure if I will do that but I invite you to read the one about the prom dress.

I also went over to BoingBoing and read more about the Flying Spaghetti Monster . I think my SO has joined the religion. I bought fettucini at the store tonite just in case.

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Isn't it Ironic?

OK, weigh in on this, oh vast readership. Have you ever noticed that in movies or TV anything that's supposed to be 'ironic' means that someone has to die to make that point? For years I opined that if nobody died it's just not irony. It was sort of funny to the SO maybe the first 3 or 4 times I brought it up. After that he just glared. Eventually I stopped bringing it up. I can be taught, it just takes patience.

I bring this up because I was just downstairs and the SO was sitting at his computer. His is downstairs, mine is upstairs - we often IM each other instead of 1) shouting or 2) getting off our lazy butts and walking over to where the other is. There *are* stairs involved after all.

The TV was on but muted. I looked over and see Jodie Foster in sweats and Scott Glenn. "Ah, that's Silence of the Lambs" and I say to my SO, "isn't it ironic that you have Silence of the Lambs on mute?" he gives me that look (tm) and says, "no, is it ironic that my name is Lamb and the movie is on in my living room?" me: "Of course not, that's coincidence." him: "So is the TV being on mute." me: "ppppppppfffffft"

Later we had a conversation about Flying Monster Spaghettism and I was able to forgive him for the whole irony thing.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Ph!shing, Sp@m and Gmail

I have a number of gmail accounts. I wanted to grab some username addresses for myself (not that I think 'beefalo.n.bunnyranch' was in danger, but it's mine darnit). With gmail you have to be invited to open an account so I invited my self over and over. I think I have a dozen accounts now. Oh, if you want gmail I have lots of invites - say about 50 per account...

There are 3 main accounts I use that have my name in them in one way or another and I forward all my mail to yet another account that I set up for my LiveJournal buddy's emails -- that reminds me, if you ever send me an email and shortly thereafter see something in your inbox from "ebil.librarian" that's me, I forgot to log out and reply from the account you actually mailed, so don't delete me as spam please.

Anyway -- have you noticed an influx of email purporting to be from eBay or PayPal about your account? Lordie. I have dozens of them. Now I do have a PayPal account and an eBay account. But the email address for them is not a gmail account, it's Yahoo, so I know all these are phony without even having to know something all technical about urls and headers and all that. I just forward them to the abuse team at gmail. Oh, btw, the spam filters and ph!shing warnings at gmail catch 98% of these so I'm very happy. I have to purposely go look at my spam folder to see this stuff. I go there every so often to make sure real email isn't accidently being sent there.

I truly enjoy how some of these emails start off "Dear Ebays" or "Dear PayPals". Sometimes the grammar and spelling is bad, other times it's pretty good. I can see how some of them could fool people.

Is spam a big problem for you? Comment spam was a problem in my other blog at and I must have about 20 IPs blocked. For a while it was all about poker and online gambling, I think because I posted about my trip to Vegas.

OK, time to go, the SO has climbed into bed and covered his head with a pillow. I think it's his way of saying it's time for bed.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Getting to Know Me

I was at the office tonight till 8:00 with the spreadsheets from hell. Those are when you have more than 500 rows and 10 columns. And none of the data makes sense. I've tried 3 different pivot tables. Oh well. I work at a large High Tech company that shall remain nameless. I do Vendor Management in the IT department. It's a good company that has a good product and also has social responsibility; it's a good corporate neighbor. I really like working for the company, it's just that sometimes I hate my job. *shrug* who doesn't feel that way from time to time?

I now have a blog on my own personal domain, a Live Journal and this. I also belong to several forums. One of them is "The Well" which I paid a good chunk of money to join back in April and after a couple weeks trying to figure it out I've not been back. I post most often in Absolute Write but I have two other forums that I go to more or less regularly. Each fulfills a different need.

You may wonder if I have a life since you're here getting to know me. The answer is not really. Aside from my kids who barely need me now at 17 and 19 years old and my work, there's my Significant Other, but that's it. The SO and I haven't got any common friends and my colleagues at work are just that, colleagues. I do a lot of reading, surfing the net, posting and commenting, and occasionally the SO and I will sit down to watch some shows we've TiVo'd*.

Am I unhappy with this? Actually no, at this time in my life and in this location (SF Bay Area) I'm ok with it for a bit. I'm hoping to move to Southern California (my daughter will be heading to San Diego in the fall) and once there I will start getting active in some of my favorite pursuits, namely music and theatre. I was once an amateur soloist and performer, I wouldn't mind getting back into that.

Hmm. I have 3 cats who are all elderly now (two are 16 and one is 14). I have been to the last 3 Star Trek conventions in Las Vegas.

I'm currently reading a bunch of books on writing, trying to catch up on back issues of Amazing, Analog and The Magazine of Science Fiction and Fantasy (really good book reviews in that one). I also read StarTrek novelizations (except for Voyager and Enterprise). Outside of Science Fiction I am struggling to finish The Historian and am anxiously awaiting JD Robb's next book in the "In Death..." series.

Once I figure out the template stuff I think I'll be putting some things like what I'm reading now and what's up next. Of course I'll post a bunch of favorite links. Let me know if you want me to put yours up, too.

*Shows we are currently TiVo'ing:
Stargate SG1 and Atlantis
Battlestar Galactica
The 4400
The Dead Zone
Rescue Me

Shows we will TiVo when the Fall Season comes back on:

Show I wish hadn't been cancelled:
Dead Like Me

Sunday, August 21, 2005

What do you call a conservative that listens to NPR?

The other day in some back and forth in the comments section of Macallister's blog she said "are you seriously asking me to believe you're both a conservative AND you listen to NPR?" While my response to that was brief and light hearted ("I want to keep people wondering"). It actually got me started thinking about what my real politics are.

The next morning I was listening to NPR and a gentleman was talking about Progressive politics. A Google search led me to a number of spots that were more left of center than I'm comfortable with. So I tried "progressive republican" and got a lot of historical stuff. Teddy Roosevelt, Taft, Wendell Wilkie...not what I was after. But one archived Dallas article from 2004 mentioned the Republican Main Street Partnership. I don't know much about them yet but at first glance things look promising. Limited government interference but socially conscious. They're currently promoting the Stem Cell research agenda. I think I can support their mission.

It's a relief to know there are others like me out there. I just wish they had a louder voice.

The things I'll do...

Yep. Got myself a blogger account just so I could post comments in other blogger's accounts. *sigh* I may just duplicate post between here and, not sure yet. This does seem to be the 'in spot', blogger is where I find a number of the blogs I like to read, so perhaps it's best I settle down here where all the cool kids hang out. One thing is certain, I can actually play with templates and more easily insert links with this software. I have to add all the html tags manually on my current blog.