Tuesday, February 27, 2007

2nd Entry for February 27, 2007 - "Where Did You Sleep Last Night?" +

This song was going through my head today.

Does it get any better?

This one's been going in and out of my head lately too, probably because some car commercial is using the opening instrumental.

Not bad at all, I say.

And, of course, you can't have 90s rock videos without including this one.

And there you have it.

Entry for February 27, 2007

Well, it's been nine days since I've blogged last. What's happened in that time? Lots of working at Secret Headquarters. Lots of design brainstorming & production on cafepress (over 200 designs now, including size and light/dark variations.) And a bit of pleasure in between.

I took my wife to a quilt show this past weekend. You can see the photos in one of my albums on the top page, if Yahoo sees fit to allow you. A friend of my wife sent her a link to these photos of the show posted by someone I don't think any of us know. They're smaller, but include more of the information sheets and cover some quilts I didn't even see.

We had a bit of snow the night after that. Two inches of wet slushy stuff. At least it was easier to shovel than the half inch of ice we had before. (I had to chop at that with a spade to break it off the front walk.)

That's about it, other than watching a three-episode marathon of Heroes recordings to catch up before the most recent one. I suspect I may have missed an episode of Rome due to the vagaries of our DVR's scheduling system. I'll have to check HBO's online episode list against my recording list to be sure. I think I'll move it up on the prioritizer list.

Anyhoo... How have you all spent the last nine days?

Sunday, February 18, 2007

More Found Images - Bald Britney Photoshopped

My wife frequents this forum where she found this thread.

The participants post photoshopped versions of the recent photos of Britney Spears with her shorn head.

Here are the two best images, in my estimation...

Britney as the unmasked Darth Vader:

What really happened to her hair:

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Lesson In Handling An Ice Storm

Well, I learned a little lesson this week: when there's an ice storm, shovel your walk ASAP.

I'm sure many of you heard about the snow and ice storm that passed through the eastern US. (It was the same system that sent a tornado through New Orleans.) Where we are we pretty much got ice, sleet, and freezing rain. A little over an inch of it. Pretty stuff, but a pain in the ass to deal with.

Tuesday night the storm hit us. We had worked late and got home to find the front walked lightly glazed with ice. I sprinkled a little salt for traction and we went inside for the night. I stayed up late that night, listening to the ice ticking against the skylights, and against the front window once the wind kicked up. Fascinating stuff for a guy from New Orleans. I watched as it piled up on the deck rails - our standard means of measuring snow and ice accumulation from inside our warm home. It was quite impressive, with all the ice granules and the icicles hanging down.

The next morning I started shoveling the walk. It was heavily crusted with grainy ice and the bottom layer was pretty solid because of the salting I had done the night before. I got the step mostly done when the shovel broke. It's a plastic scooped snow shovel with a metal edge riveted on. It cracked where the wood handle attaches, which means it's now good only for pushing loose snow and ice chunks, but is not rigid enough to hack at the solid stuff. We resorted to salting again fro traction and going on in to work. Wearing LL Bean "duck" boots our heels crunched into the ice pretty good and gave us enough traction to get by.

By the time we got back, late again, the ice was frozen solid enough, if still granular, to support us without breaking. That meant we we free to slide across it if we didn't step right, so out came the salt again. We had brought the shop shovel home, but I was tired so I didn't do any shoveling. It was too cold anyway.

This morning I went out to the shed and got the spade, figuring that would make short work of breaking up the ice so it could be easily scooped away. No such luck. The ice had solidified somewhat, but was still grainy and in the shady places where it hadn't melted so much tended to not come up in chunks. Eventually I worked out a technique of chopping straight down into it about an inch or so from the edge. If I chopped clean through to the concrete the ice would usually break off in chunks. Finally I finished, put a little salt down on the more stubborn parts, and back to work we went. Man, my toes were cold.

It would have been much easier had I shoveled it all that first morning.

Wednesday, February 7, 2007

My Latest Creation

I've just started a series of designs for products on cafepress: Spam Haiku. Each haiku will be composed of specially hand-selected spam, scam, phishing, & virus email subjects. This first design, Watches, is rather simple, but I do plan to dress it up a bit if I can find some appropriate art.

I gleaned several five and seven syllable subjects from the list of spam subjects I had collect before (as posted in an earlier blog entry) and have collected a few since. There seems to conveniently be an approximate 2:1 ratio of five vs seven syllable subjects.

Monday, February 5, 2007

What I've been doing...

So... what's up with me since Thursday? Been busy busy busy.

Naturally, I've whipped up a few more designs for cafepress. I'm up to 154, if you include size and layout variations for different items. Most recently I've refined the designs for the mugs, converting many to two-sided wrap-around designs; made a few from some renaissance & other fine art in the public domain (admittedly with a tendency towards nudes - I am what I am); and made a couple to let Katrina and other disaster survivors show a little attitude. The link's still in my links, presumably to your left unless you're reading this after Yahoo does some future redesign.

Last week we ordered new computers for home since the systems we had - still running Windows98SE - were getting a bit long in the tooth and doing an upgrade on them would take too much work. We got them local and when I placed the order I told them we'd stop by with a check so they could get started on building them. It wasn't until Saturday that we had time to do so, but as it turns out they went ahead and built the systems so we took them home sooner than anticipated.

Sunday was mostly spent celebrating my wife's birthday - I'm married to an "older woman" for the next month and a week. We went visit her folks and all went out to Macaroni Grill, then back to her folks' house for cake & ice cream and family time. It was nice. The book I got her turned out to not be a substantial as anticipated - it looks a bit like a trade paperback version of a Time-Life book. Oh well. I guess when you shop Amazon you really have to keep in mind that you really can't judge a book by its cover.

Saturday and Sunday night were spent setting mine up and learning my way around configuring Windows XP Professional. For us, that means switching it to classic mode and tweaking away as much as I can of the random quirky behaviors MS decided to add. (If we could have gotten Windows 2000 we would have.)

The first step was to switch to the classic theme to get rid of the candy/toy user interface. After that it was a matter of exploring all the configuration options offered up by Windows, and research the hidden ones (like the hidden Power User user type) on the ol' interweb. And, of course, transferring over my data from the old PC (whole drive copied over to C:\OldC on the new system for convenience) and installing my software. Let me tell ya... hunting down Y2K patches for legacy software is fun!

It's not over yet, of course. I've got most of the essentials - Agent, SeaMonkey, Miranda-IM, ftp clients, ssh terminal, spreadsheet, VB, PSP7, PageDefrag, etc. Beyond that, and one or two other work-related items, it's pretty much going to be install-on-demand. Then I've got to get my wife's new one set up. Wish me luck.

I'm planning/hoping to compile a list of the tweaks and configuration changes I've made, and my reasons for them. For now, here's a useful little program I used along the way. It makes a lot more Windows components optional than are normally, allowing you to strip out the programs and services you know you don't need, giving you a leaner, meaner, computing machine. There's a free limited-capability/unlimited-term trial version available for download.

Thursday, February 1, 2007

Blog Visitor Tracking Map

A recent commenter had one of these visitor maps in his blog. Looked pretty cool, so I thought I'd give it a try myself.

Visitor Map

Create your own visitor map!