Past Web Log for March 2001

Frozen in Time

Currently reading
Object Solutions
Grady Booch
Envisioning Information
Edward Tufte

Actually reading
Cheap mysteries

Currently knitting
• Lavender-gray cotton cable cardigan
• Miscellaneous baby stuff

Notable sites belonging to former co-workers:
Nerdygirl
Beefpile
Astropalmistry

site directory
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Tracy's Irregular Web Log
it's all about me
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Further Meanderings

Latest Obsessions
John Edward - "When the dead speak, they speak to him." The dead aren't very articulate, though.
Lexx - a Canadian production, which explains North American accents combined with British production values. A science fiction show unlike anything I've ever seen. Unexplainable.

Snacks & Libations
• Frozen peas—yum! Good snackies and healthy.
Northland makes 100% juice mixes. Cranberry-orange is kind of weird, but mix it with vodka and you've got an instant Madras.

Guilty Pleasures of Unemployment
• Staying up late watching John Edward talk to dead people
Jerry Springer
Judge Joe Brown
• Sleeping in 'til most people are at work
• NY Times crossword—every day

Mar 30 2001
What lurks in the attic
A couple of times this week I had occasion to go up into the attic. The cats love the attic. I have no idea why, but they just love the attic. They run right up there and it's the devil to get them down. Once we pulled the attic stairs down only part way and Ally tried to climb up the wall to get to it.

I've been taking cherry-flavored nighttime cold medicine at night because of this cold. I figured out the secret of that stuff. You've got to take it an hour or so before going to bed. Then you get the benefit of the buzz and not sleep through it. Good stuff.

Mar 27 2001
Achoo!
I made it through the whole winter without a cold or flu, even as everyone around me was afflicted with various nasty two- and three-week multiple viral/bacterial infections. Here it is, spring, and wham! A cold. Not a bad one though, just enough to make me a little goofy.

Our first tulips are up and almost ready to bloom. We think they're parrot tulips. I like bulbs. You plant them in the fall, don't do anything all winter but hope, and in spring - the miracle.

Mar 24 2001
Five days of work makes one weak
Wow, a whole week of working. I feel like a contributing member of society again. Wow. I've been documenting our development plan for the first phase of our web site redesign. I get a certain satisfaction from documenting.

Anyone who has read my Christmas letters for the past few years may be aware of the saga of Genoa. When I started Kung Fu nearly five years ago, E promised he'd take me to Genoa, a very fancy restaurant, when I got my orange belt. He just didn't say when. Four years and 3-1/2 ranks after the event, we finally went out Thursday night. It was a lovely meal, langourous and elegant, seven courses over nearly three hours, washed down neatly with a respectable Italian champagne.

Mar 22 2001
Nine 2 Five
Actually, it's more like 8:30 to 5:30. Yep, been working for a few days now. Nice to get back into a rhythm. Nice to have "weekend" actually mean something. Of course, it would be nicer if I had a computer to work on.

Mar 18 2001
Wearing of the Green - (long)
Yesterday day I wore a green sash - not because it was St. Patrick's Day, but because we had an all day kung fu test. Holders of the ranks of green sash and above are required to be helpers. (My martial arts system, Mo Duk Pai, uses sashes rather than belts. Works the same way.) It's a good all-day work out and very satisfying to help other people advance in rank. But yesterday I got more than I bargained for.

Yesterday I did the brown sash test. I had not planned on doing the brown sash test. I was not prepared to do the brown sash test. Sifu played a mean trick on us. Surprise test. For the first couple hours we were helpers, then Sifu simply told three of us, two green sashes and one brown sash, to do something else - that just happened to be what you do for brown sash and black sash tests - and stopped using us as helpers. It took awhile to realize we were now testing. At first I thought it was a joke and kept expecting the board to let us return to being helpers. Then I rationalized it. This wasn't so bad. I had been worried whether I could do the physically demanding brown sash test. Then I got mad. Really mad. And that anger carried me through the test. I did not want to do the test, I wasn't testing, but I kept going. I bargained - they better at least promote me to green-brown for this.

Finally I accepted that we were testing. It was kind of like going through the seven stages of grief. The stages of dealing with being duped into testing by your sifu.

Today I am sore all over and my arms are covered with little bruises. Today I am a green-brown sash. Sifu told me we had to work on some technical things but my energy and spirit were right there. I did a brown sash test without any preparation. In a way it was a good thing - no chance to get stressed about it. Never mind the rank. I am proud that I can do a brown sash test.

I'm even more proud of my fellow dupes, Katie and Todd. Katie was promoted to full rank of brown sash. She really shined out there. And Todd, who is one of my favorite people to train with, was promoted to the rank of brown-black sash (no one goes directly from brown to black - there is always a half-rank promotion at this point). His practice of martial arts is infused with love and compassion - he represents well the ethical aspect of our art.

Mar 16 2001
Back on the Chain Gang
I'm finally giving up the leisurely life of the unemployed and once again becoming a contributing member of society. Starting Monday I will be an employee of Purple Mountain Media, publisher of a children's educational newspaper. Finally got the offer letter yesterday. I will be doing planning and implementation of the purplemountain.com website. You can see for yourself - it just screams for a facelift. So 1997.

So what am I doing to prepare myself for this upcoming job? Knitting like a madwoman! I've got a couple projects going (see left sidebar) that I want to get to a certain stage of progress before my knitting time is severely cut back.

Mar 15 2001
Kung Fu is Good Fu
We finally saw Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon last night. It's sort of required viewing for anyone practicing martial arts, especially kung fu. A decent plot links several classic kung fu fight scenes, complete with flying and running across water. Gorgeous cinematography to boot. Worth seeing on the big screen, though I recommend going on the matinee.

Mar 13 2001
Eat more fish
We celebrated E's birthday Sunday night by going out to eat at Jake's Famous Crawfish, one of Portland's oldest restaurants. E had Escolar, an oily fish of the mackerel family and I had Ono, aka Wahoo. Mine was overcooked, but E's was perfect. Then off to El Gaucho for a nightcap, where one of our favorite bartenders now holds court, following the closing of Atwater's.

Mar 11 2001
Last night outside Fred Meyer I saw a blind Borzoi. At least I think it was blind and I think it was a Borzoi. In any event, it was a big white dog with eyes like marbles. It did not mind being petted.

E was hurting yesterday. He began his vacation with too much enthusiasm the day previous. Ouch.

Happy birthday, E!

Mar 8 2001
True signs of spring in Oregon
Never mind the daffodils, the crocuses, the forsythia. Never mind the buds on the rose bushes and the scent of fresh mown grass. The first real sign of spring is the picking of the Rose Festival Princesses.

I finally bought a new Palm. I got the IIIxe. 8MB RAM, upgradable Flash ROM, about the same size & weight as my "ancient" little Palm Pilot Professional. The guy at the Good Guys was astounded when I brought it out. He called it a dinosaur.

Mar 7 2001
Spring is in the air
Snow storms back east, drought and fires in Florida, and we are having the most fabulous spring weather. The forsythia are just this side of full bloom and the Ice Follies daffodils are spectacular. King Alfreds should follow soon.

Is anyone else bothered by the fact that the man who is a heartbeat away from the presidency has had four heart attacks?

Mar 6 2001
Birds do it, bees do it, let's start a blog.
Things are looking up. I'm brushing up my coding skills and the daffodils are just about to bloom. We have purple and white crocuses and the tiniest of dwarf irises in the iris bed. And I have a possible job lined up. This unemployment thing is wearing pretty thin.