Saturday, January 29, 2005

Guarding the Hen House

I just upgraded to Quicken 2005, and it as usual has helpful (?) hints for me.

My favorite is after it noticed I am entering credit card transations manually, it offered to download the transactions for me from my card issuer. If the issuer generates my register input, and the same issuer then provides the input to print the monthly statement with, how am I supposed to spot errors in charges?

I told it not to suggest that brilliant idea again.

Sunday, January 23, 2005

A beautiful day in the neighborhood ...

If you see a driveway, two cars deep, two cars wide but narrowing at the end, asphalt, with a bump in the middle from a tree root and ~ 6 inch retaining walls, give it directions for the kitten farm and send it home. Ours has disappeared. Don't call the police, however, it may just be under the drift which is now dominating the front of our garage.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Tower of Blogging

In order to keep better communicate with some old friends whom I just tracked down, I just opened an account at Live Journal. This means I now exist on three blogger databases (Live Journal,, and Typekey), all in the name of diplomatic relations (and avoiding comment SPAM).

None of these environments talk to each other, even though the owners of Typekey just bought Live Journal. A real tower of Blogging Babel.

Of course, our blogs actually are self hosted here at the Wonderworks, so that makes four accounts.

Sunday, January 9, 2005

Counting blessings

I was thinking a moment ago that my shoulders hurt. Only they don't.

There is an ache at the top of both of my arms from having run the snow blower both yesterday and the day before to clear back to back storms. However nothing can be said to hurt, not when an acquaintance is in the hospital in 500 miles away and she's on really cool pain killers, only not so cool they are actually handling her pain.

I took a whopping three days of sick time last year, and after the last two (taken together with some comp time because of a cold which dogged me for 10 days), a co-worker mentioned that I must really been sick. (I didn't realize I acted that hard core.) For me, I was. But in the grand scheme of things, it wasn't dirt.

And I had paid sick time to take. Enough said.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

The Golden Age of blogging

The Register, while quite legit, may not be the best journalism on the web, but they often take the prize for most quotable, like for this survey of broadband users:
A recent survey in the UK discovered that one in four Britons acquired broadband so they could get to the filth. (It may also have discovered, as several readers suggested, that one in three British broadband users lie to surveys about why they get broadband).

On a more serious note, the same article has some interesting insights into how blogging encourages narrow mindsets:
"Eleven people of like mind talk to each other. They had the same views before, they end up with the same views after. But every single one of those eleven people says 'I convinced 10 other people'. Then the blog-boosterism runs 'Aha, we have 11 people who each convinced 10 other people, so that's *110* more votes from BLOGGING! Feel the power OF THE BLOG!' In reality, nothing changed. The choir preached to itself. But everyone got to think that they were an influencer, a kingmaker, even if just for a tiny kingdom," observed Seth Finkelstein

It's not always like that -- I've stumbled across self-contained communities of friends that support each other warmly and graciously. But one does need to remember there is a great big world out there, and our information needs to come from multiple sources.


Sunday, January 2, 2005

Say it With Flowers

Back in the early 1980's, I lived and worked in Binghamton NY.

Early in my time there (~ 1981), I went out few times with the local rock station's new evening DJ, a young Irish blonde named Lisa. She left both radio and town after less than a year. End of story (not that there was one in the first place), although I did decide I didn't need to date any more DJ's.

However, I did occasionally call the station to make requests, usually of a weekend warrior named Sue, who did a Sunday morning oldies program. That ended when she went full time on the graveyard shift, after which I heard and maybe talked to her perhaps once a month or less. I knew what she looked like from a station sponsored Halloween party, but I don't recall even talking to her in person.

One time I did call the station was a few days before Christmas 1983, when I was filling out Christmas Cards at 5 AM; on a whim, I asked Sue for her home address, so I could send her a card. The conversation went something like this:
Me: "Sue, what's your address? I'll send you Christmas card".
Sue: "Send it to the station; I never get anything at the station."
Me: "That's a not a big deal, is it?"
Sue: "When I was first here as an intern, Lisa got roses. I thought that was really cool."

At this point, the light goes on. (Did I mention I tried too hard when I first knew Lisa?)

Me: "Ah, Sue, I sent those flowers to Lisa."
Sue: "Oh. Well, send it to the station anyway."
Sue had Christmas roses waiting for her at the station that afternoon.

(And no, I never laid eyes on her again - a true paladin knows when the job is done and done well.)