Chattering Magpie Past Web Log
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August 2002
August 30 2002
How did it get to be Friday again?
There's nothing like the sound of big guns and fireworks to stir the heart. I feel much more patriotic already. Plus, I make good fried chicken.

This is funny.

I'm currently struggling with making my portfolio look good to everyone, regardless of computer / browser / version combination. It sux. IE5 on Mac ignores my latest favorite CSS tag. I was really trying to avoid nesting tables for page layout, but it seems I must submit. Resistance is futile. You can do me a favor and check out my portfolio and let me know just how bad it looks in your browser. Be sure to tell me what computer / OS / browser / version you're using. Screenshots are worth a thousand words.

Friday Five. Here's the latest craze that all the weblogging kids are into. Five questions, posted every Friday, answered on yer own weblog:
  1. What's your favorite piece of clothing that you currently own?
    A vintage, pre-WWII hand made Japanese coat. The fabric is black with narrow gold-blue-white stripes. Two different black fabrics were used for the collar.
  2. What piece of clothing do you most want to acquire?
    I really don't feel this way about clothing.
  3. What piece of clothing can you not bring yourself to get rid of? Why?
    My chong-sams (Suzy Wong dresses). Even though I can no longer fit in them, I keep a blue silk chong-sam and a pale green silk chong-sam, because they looked fabulous on me and you never know, someday I may be able to wear them again. The blue one was tailored for me in Taiwan and the green is a vintage piece I picked up at an antique store.
  4. What piece of clothing do you look your best in?
    Any turtleneck. I just look really good in turtleneck shirts.
  5. What has been your biggest fashion accident?
    I wouldn't admit to this, certainly not in a public forum.
August 29 2002
Portland culture goes kaboom!
At the behest of Nerdygirl, a group of us are meeting for the annual Oregon Symphony end-of-summer concert at Tom McCall waterfront park. The highlight will be fireworks and Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture, in which big guns go boom. Weather is just fabulous for the event. I'm frying up some chicken to bring. It'll be like a picnic! Apparently I'm the only schlub with time on her hands to cook like this. I gotta get a job.

August 28 2002
Tanned ready rested.
No, I'm just as pale white as I was before, but I do feel like I had a mini-vacation, right in the middle of the day. I got my hair done, cut and color. It only took an hour, but was so relaxing, it felt like I was away for hours.

August 27 2002
Inspirational eatin'.
E and I are fans of the Food Network, especially Iron Chef. Sometimes we catch Jamie Oliver, whose show comes on right before Iron Chef. The other night he whipped up a mushroom-over-pasta dish that looked really good and easy.

So, armed with nothing other than memory, I gave it a try for lunch today. I cooked up some rice noodles, just because they sounded really good. I sauteed a variety of mushrooms in olive oil in a really hot pan, with a little chef's salt for seasoning. Mushrooms cook fast! Then a dab of butter and a splash of half-and-half to finish. It turned out pretty good.

Here's the actual recipe from Food Network, which would taste even better that what I slapped together: Spaghetti with Wild Mushrooms

August 25 2002
SPAM spam spam spam SPAM spam spam spam.
If you're like me (and I know you are) you get a ton of spam. My policy has always been to not respond, thinking that would only confirm to spammers that they had a legitimate e-mail. But what the heck, I thought, why not see what happens if I actually clicked the little "unsubscribe" link hidden way at the bottom. It's sort of an experiment. If I had given it some thought, I would have made it a real scientific experiment, carefully counting the number of spams received for several days beforehand. But I didn't. Never mind. I just started unsubscribing from every spam that hit my hotmail inbox. (You don't think I'm going to use my domain e-mail for public use do you?) Maybe it's my imagination or wishful thinking, but it sure seems like I receive fewer pieces of spam these days.

August 22 2002
9-to-5.
Now I remember why I got out of print production. It's bo-o-o-o-oring. Still, I'm making money and it's only for this week. Tomorrow is my Mom's birthday. Wish Mom a happy birthday, everyone!

August 19 2002
Keeping on my toes.
I've been considering my toes lately. The poor things seem much abused. They've gotten red and cracked and they itch. E yells at me to quit picking at them. I got some Australian Tea Tree oil that supposedly is good for this sort of thing. It smells rather like eucalyptus and feels like turpentine.

I'm staying on my toes work-wise, as well. I've done a major site modification for a client. I need to review a proposal for a web site. I have a flyer due this week. Don't know how I'm going to fit it all in: I'm scheduled to work all this week at an ad agency while their production person is on vacation. I'm sure it will all come back to me, however much I've tried to forget about production art. Am I still the best in town?

August 14 2002
It all evens out.
One of the benefits of working from home is the easy access to beer.
One of the drawbacks of working from home is the easy access to beer.

August 13 2002
Hot hot hot.
10:30 am and it's already 79°. We're expecting a high of 100° and we're under a smog alert. I'm inside with the fans going and already I'm schvitzing.

August 11 2002
I am Magpie, destroyer of ivy, fear me.
Every neighborhood has that house - the one where the people don't take care of their yard, scrap accumulates outside the garage, miscellaneous vehicles cluster in front of the house. In our neighborhood we are that house. Except for the vehicle in front of the house: it's out on loan.

My big task for today was tearing out ivy. I've let it get out of hand over the past few years. It crawled up trees, choked the day lilies and threatened the wood pile. No longer. I have brought the ivy to heel.

August 9 2002
Oops I did it again.
Sometimes I am my own worst enemy when it comes to the computer. Preparatory to backing up, I was moving files around and inadvertantly moved files into the wrong folder. I deleted what I thought were duplicate files, but OOPS turned out to be my entire Active directory - stuff I'm currently working on. Thank heavens for Norton UnErase. I recovered everything. I think.

August 8 2002
The price of neglect.
I have been careless this month about taking my progesterone and this morning I pay the price of a nasty ol' headache. That'll l'arn me.

The home office is nearly all set up. I have two chairs I switch off using. Mose doesn't much like it when I use the kneeling computer chair, because there's no lap for her to sit on.

Speaking of cats, Orange Kitty jumped into the house last night through the screen door (screen removed because the cats tore it climbing). She really wants to be our kitty.

August 6 2002
A simple solution to a weird problem.
My computer does the weirdest thing. I have never seen it on any other system. It's definitely a display issue; it doesn't affect how the applications behave.

After working for a while, the graphics for the window buttons (minimize, restore, close, arrows, slider bar) become "corrupted". That is, they turn into a bunch of colored lines, all scrumbled. It's worse when it happens to radio buttons and checkboxes, because then I have no idea whether I'm clicking something on or off.

At first I thought the only way to "cure" it was to restart the computer. A major disruption considering how frequently this display corruption occurs. Then I discovered that the button corruption cleared after the screen saver came on. So now, when the weird button corruption thing happens, I just invoke the screen saver, a minor disruption.

August 5 2002
Jackpot.
I just made $100 selling books at Powell's. I had no idea I had such valuable books. E gets very nervous when I sell books. He's a hoarder.

August 4 2002
Baby baby.
Congratulations to Nikolai and Ellen for successfully producing a healthy baby boy, named Alden Alexander. Cool name, huh? And he starts out life with an AA rating. He's so cute, even his initials are AAW. Say it. Say it out loud. AAW. Photos to come.

We're hanging around the house this weekend. I put an ad in the Thrifties to sell my old futon and desk, the ones that I had to move to put in the computer desk. I sold the futon yesterday. No calls yet today for the desk. It may end up at the Goodwill. Where lots of my old stuff is going these days. I'm doing pretty good at clearing out clutter.

August 1 2002
Mo Duk Pai is on the web.
We finally have a web site for my kung fu system: http://www.modukpai.com/. From "go ahead" to live web site was only a week and a half. This is only phase 1, basic contact information and a short description of Mo Duk Pai kung fu. But it's a start and everyone's excited. Of course, the process was streamlined by not getting approval for the graphic design or the content.

Take your meds. We had quite a bit of excitement last night. I met E downtown for a quick one at our usual haunt, the Brasserie Montmartre. Across from the Brasserie are apartments. One of the residents, who previously had complained "people are watching him" began throwing the contents of his apartment at the front windows of the Brasserie: drinking glasses, a toaster, a box of instant rice, a bottle of molasses, a jar of onion powder. The cops were called. He went quietly.