Chattering Magpie Past Web Log
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May 2002
May 28 2002
Danger eyes.
We jumped on the bandwagon: we saw Star Wars Episode II - Attack of the Clones. Everything you've heard about this movie is true. It's an hour too long. The writing is dreadful and the acting not much better. Only the great Christopher Lee managed to rise above his lines. Hayden Christensen is just as annoying as Anakin Skywalker as the original brat was. Natalie Portman is babelicious. The special effects are fab. I like Ewan McGregor better as a skinny Scottish heroin junkie. I have never seen a rubber puppet look so pissed. Just how desperate for work is Jimmy Smits, anyway? The only thing missing was three little guys at the bottom of the screen. E sez: not enough Jar Jar.

Iris bed I

Iris bed II
See my pretty irises. They're getting close to their shelf-date, but still gorgeous with an intoxicating scent.

Shout out to Ruben. Hey Dutchman, you got anything this pretty around your house in Gouda? Let's see some photos. (That's a challenge.)

This also from Ruben: The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz. My score:
The Completely Pointless Personality Quiz
100252 people have taken this stupid quiz.
And 1874 got the same pointless results as you!

Deepak update. Deepak called back - my résumé made the second cut at Intel. Got a little more info, too. He's with a consulting/recruitment firm in Houston TX.

May 26 2002
Cat away ==> mice play.
How have I been spending my time with E out of the way off camping? Mostly watching movies I think he wouldn't be interested in. I really haven't done all that I had planned - I never do. I mowed the lawn, folded clothes, picked up the house (sort of) and returned bottles. Plus I almost finished the Sunday crossword all by myself.

A crime against nature. Animal science gone wrong.

Amway by any other name. Tell me this isn't creepy. I (and probably everyone else with a current resume on Monster) got an e-mail from these people telling me I fit their business model and have the potential to make boundless income ... but it's really all about helping the kids. I gotta take a shower now.

May 24 2002
Crisis of confidence.
A good friend, the Kite Flying Fool himself, forwarded me a job post he saw on Monster. It's perfect for me and I'm perfect for it. But it got me worrying: how come I didn't see this job? What other jobs could I have missed out on? I'm going to broaden the scope of my job search agents. It'll lower the signal:noise ratio, but that's the price you pay. Another good piece of advice from Bill is to have two resumes on-line and alternately activate them each day. That way the resume will rise to the top of the list of recent additions. Sneaky.

Husqvarna and Stihl (also know as my brother Jim and E) are off for a long weekend camping with the guys. That means long evenings sitting around the campfire drinking, farting and telling lies. Is it any wonder I elect to stay home?

What shall I do with a whole weekend to myself? I can pick everything up and it'll stay picked up. I can watch movies E wouldn't want to watch. I can work on my web site to my heart's content. Maybe I'll get the knitting gallery together. You all want to see pictures of knitting don't you?

May 21 2002
So close, yet so far.
Got a very intriguing and promising phone call today. Deepak (I hope I heard that correctly) from Intel found my résumé on Monster and asked for a paper copy. Unfortunately, I was on the road, having dropped E at work and being on the way to a family breakfast with house guests. I told Deepak (I sure hope I got his name right) I'd be back at my 'puter within two hours and could he please send me an e-mail of the job description so I could tailor my résumé per his request. I'm back and no e-mail! My cell phone didn't record the phone number of the incoming call, so I have no way to contact Deepak (if I got the name right).

So Deepak (if I have your name correctly), please e-mail me.

May 19 2002
Went to a garden party.
I'm beat. Another annual garden party at the in-laws come and done. Glad it's over with. Too bad the weather wasn't nicer, but the food was fab and everyone seemed to have a good time. All family members remain alive and whole.

May 17 2002
Stop! Knitting inside.
note on microwave
note on the microwave
This is my life. E and I came home from an evening at our favorite bar, drinking and voting, to find this pair of notes on the counter from our house guest:

c. 9:30 pm
Hi dear Tracy & E!
Looking forward to seeing you tomorrow, E. Tracy, your knitting is in back of a pillow on the couch because someone, probably feline, had brought it into the kitchen - to the floor, of course ...

That someone is very smart. She found the knitting and bro't it back to the kitchen floor. So this someone has just put in the microwave.

May 16 2002
2001 and what have we got to show for it.
This nifty 'zine, of course. Early this year Nerdygirl roped a bunch of us in to participate in her whacky hare-brained scheme of putting together a little 'zine of reminisces of the year we all wish wasn't. My piece is called The Impossible.

About to pick up house guests. Gotta check the flight info.

May 13 2002
Next to Godliness.
Nothing like impending house guests to inspire us to clean up the house. The biggest challenge is the mess that is our bedroom, where we will be housing our guests. I am polishing up all the silver plate. We even cleaned the refrigerator so that it shines. I just couldn't bear the idea of anyone seeing what slobs we really are.

May 12 2002
Go Aggies.
After reading A Thousand Acres, I couldn't bring myself to read another Jane Smiley book*, until a friend lent me Moo. It's the Midwest, it's agriculture, but it's a whole 'nother kind o' farmin'. Moo reads like Garrison Keilor with bite and intellect. It builds slowly, introducing characters at an almost glacial pace, but with the sense that these people are crucial and it is important we get to know them in depth. I'm not very far in, I don't know what's going to happen. It is clear that something monumental is about to happen and it's going to shake everyone's foundations.

*Not because it was bad - it wasn't - but it was too damn good. Too intense. Some pretty creepy family dynamics.

May 10 2002
The young and the restless.
young racoon Our yearling is out and about in the daytime, much to my surprise. Notice the recyling bin in the background.

I feel all protected. Just installed Norton System Works that E bought me just because I asked him to. E loves me. He buys me software. It took a little while to figure out how to get into CMOS setup so I could change the BIOS to boot from CD-ROM. Thanks, Bill!

May 9 2002
Problem created. Problem solved.
It's kind of hard to feel really good about solving a problem of my own creation. I've been struggling with Netscape 4.X running graphics over text, when in MSIE and Netscape 6.X, the graphics float nicely to the right or left. Then I remembered another site where I did the same thing, without the NS4.X problems the Chattering Magpie had. Hmmm. What did I do different?

Short story long, "text-align: left" as an attribute of the class "log" was screwing with the float property I used for graphics. So now that's out and graphics float nicely left and right. Now I have to go back and remove all those ridiculous Javascript work-arounds I stuck in there.

Oh, and take out the auto-reloader script that crashed NS4.X. This would be a lot easier if I were coding in ASP with inc. files. Then I wouldn't have to change 738 html files.

May 8 2002
Random thoughts before leaving for work.
I wish I knew what we did in 'fu the other night that has me sore all over.

The pleasure I take in reading different weblogs is directly related to the typography. Design matters (hey, that's a great name for a magazine, what with the double meaning and all). White space enhances readablity. Don't be afraid of small text. Leading is your friend. I avoid otherwise good sites because the font selection and/or handling hurts my eyes.

I think this site doesn't have enough white space.

E sez: Leave for work, damn ye.

May 5 2002
Urban Wild Life continued.
young racoon on my front porch Yet another satisfied patron of Chez Nous, under the watchful eye of maitre d' Orange Kitty.

I seem to have hit a plateau with the weight loss. Still feeling good about it, though.

May 3 2002
Shiny shiny.
my Little Mermaid toothbrush
This is my new toothbrush. Isn't it the cutest little toothbrush you've ever seen? I like the "Little Mermaid" motif.

"Nighttime" is so a word. With two t's in the middle. Think you're a hotshot speller? Take the test. It's actually a test of your ability to recognize the correct spelling of difficult words. I got 13 out of 50 wrong. Beat that.

May 2 2002
Urban Wild Life.
pathetic racoon on my front porch If you put out cat food, you get cats. You also get urban wildlife. This is one of our nighttime visitors. He's really a charity case. His left back leg appears to be broken and a chunk of fur is gone from his back. We worry about the cats getting into fights with the racoon (bookie's advice: bet on the racoon), but this guy is so pathetic, Orange Kitty took a swat at him.

May 1 2002
Notice anything different? I added top-level navigation for access to site sections. That clears out the mess developing in the "Quick Directory" on the left. Links that were on the right have moved to "The Magpie Suggests". Photohistory is now part of About. Made the Quick Directory a little more consistent across pages. And I hacked in some javascript to accommodate Netscape 4's refusal to honor float properties.

My teeth are nice and shiny, too.