Chattering Magpie Past Web Log
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June 2003
June 24 2003
Fade to black.
I'm in a mood today. I'm wearing all black and hiding out in my cave house. At least I am getting some work done. Mostly "housekeeping" duties on the computer. And a promise to clear off my desk.

The good news is I installed my new memory and hard drive last weekend, and figured out how to cobble together Norton Ghost 2001 (not compatible with Win XP) and the ghost.exe that came on a bonus disk with my motherboard. Admittedly I was penny-wise pound-foolish to not get the Professional edition of Norton SystemWorks. But I was able to successfully clone my master hard drive to my new slave hard drive. Ooh, master-and-slave. Sounds kinky.

Now I'm working out my manual back up method. I'm sure some whiz-bang computer geek would be able to write a batch file that automatically copies any modified files into a folder on another drive, but I have to do it by click-drag / copy-paste.

For the record: bacteria on toilet.

June 21 2003
I dreamt I was wearing my Iron Maidenform bra.
I should have been wearing my Iron Maidenform bra. We had a kung fu test today (everyone passed). I hadn't intended to help, not much anyway. Of course I was there, fetching drinks for the board, ordering helpers around to set up the school for the test. But I ended up on the floor anyway, attacking testers with abandon. I got smacked pretty hard in the breast a couple times.

I didn't think about bacteria on toilet all day.

June 20 2003
Spending spree.
I just got back from a fun-filled shopping trip at Fry's. I got another 512MB RAM, a birthday present from E; 40GB hard drive for backups, using birthday money from Mom; a Canon flatbed scanner; Norton System Works 2003 (with rebates it works out to FREE - a very good price); 27" TV for E who is "going blind" he says so he needs a bigger TV. The old TV is going out, anyway.

I decided it was worth my while to get a new scanner if I could find a good one under $100. No problem. Nothing is wrong with the old one, except the manufacturer doesn't make drivers for WinXP. So I can't run it. I figure I can sell it on E-Bay. Want to buy a used scanner?

Lookit me, Ma, I'm on the radio. Last night (also for my birthday) we went to a live taping of the NPR radio quiz show Wait Wait Don't Tell Me. A crowd of 2400 NPR fans packed Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall - the largest audience the cast & crew has faced. So listen this Saturday at 11am to OPB to hear us cheering and clapping. If you can hear ululating way in the back, that's me.

June 18 2003
Why can't we all just get along?
My computer has been very fussy as of late. Programs quitting unexpectedly, random blue screen errors, vague crash analysis messages from Microsoft: problem with device driver but we can't tell you any more about it right now. What the freak am I supposed to do about that?

It got really scary yesterday. I'm in the middle of laying out a 160pp book. My client keeps calling me to ask how it's coming along. InDesign keeps quitting on me. I get a brilliant idea: I'll uninstall and reinstall. Big mistake. I can't reinstall. The installer program keeps crapping out. Now I'm screwed.

I finally figure out to turn off automatic virus detection (several blue screens and restarts and near tears later). Install goes lickety-split and I'm back in business. I decide to leave automatic antivirus turned off. Huh. Now I can do full system virus scan and disk defrag and all those other things I was desperately trying to do.

It was as frustrating as bacteria on toilet.

June 16 2003
Friday the 13th part 41.
My birthday was last Friday. I got 9 cards, 4 phone calls, two cat vases, two shirts, a set of wind chimes, a jigsaw puzzle and pair of earrings. Pretty good altogether. Plus my good friend and her boyfriend took us to dinner.

Saturday we married off my cousin's daughter in Astoria. They grow up so fast these days. It was a Baptist wedding: no drinking, no dancing. We made up for the former on our own, with my brother.

It was almost pleasant enough to make me forget about the enduring problem of bacteria on toilet.

June 09 2003
Bandwagon Reloaded.
Like the rest of the Free World, we saw Matrix Reloaded. Here's my thoughts:
  • The temple-rave-intercut-with-soft-core-porn scene was way too long. Bo-o-o-o-ring.
  • Why is it, whenever a movie couple has just survived a harrowing life-threatening experience, the first thing they do when it's over is start making out?
  • The Judas character was undeveloped; it looked like he was thrown in as an after-thought.
  • I liked the further explication of how the Matrix works and Neo's place in it.
  • Especially liked the reminder that computer programs (mostly) do what they're programmed to do.
XP-ditious. My own mini-Matrix seems to have settled down. When I was first installing and re-installing programs and drivers, I kept getting blue screen errors. Now everything seems okay. Go figure. E speculates the hot weather we just had may have been a factor. It was uncomfortable for human beings, but I still don't think it was hot enough to affect computer performace. The Pentium chip runs cooler than the AMD, it's got a monster fan on it and the case itself has six fans. It's as mysterious as bacteria on toilet.

June 07 2003
Corn dogs and curly fries.
We have made our pilgrimage to the Rose Festival Fun Center at Tom McCall Waterfront Park. I have to go every year in order to stock up on mink oil products. I have been using mink oil soap and moisturizers for years, to keep my skin soft, supple and youthful.

We were disappointed to find no oysters, however. Usually there's the pearl booth with the live oysters in a tank. You hand over $8, pick an oyster, and they open it for you and you get a pearl. I have two so far. But none this year.

XP-licious. I am being dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. Ever since installing new motherboard / processor / RAM, I have been getting blue screen errors up the yin-yang. We decided the answer was to upgrade to Windows XP.

I have been spending all day with this damned computer. I still get blue screen errors, but with XP they're slightly more informative. XP will also send an error report to the Evil Empire. Sometimes the Evil Empire sends a message back, with helpful hints like "the problem is a device driver but we don't know which one." It's as irritating as bacteria on toilet.

June 06 2003
Too many mothers.
My birthday is coming up. Yay! The other day I got a package in the mail. Of course I immediately tore into it, barely glancing at the packing slip that said "Happy Birthday from your mom." I called my mom to thank her and she had no idea what I was talking about. Oops. I took a closer look at the packing slip. It said: "Happy Birthday from your b-mom."

Good thing Mom's got a sense of humour about it. She didn't know what to get me for my birthday, so I talked her into a gift certificate to Fry's. I want a second hard drive for backups. I think 20GB would be adequate, but if I can afford it, I'd like it to match the one I've already got. I know, it's indulgent and overkill.

Orange kitty is determined to move in. Now that the weather is warm and we keep the window open, Orange kitty has been jumping into the house to have a look around. The other two are not good home defenders. They just watch. I'm sure they're thinking bad thoughts. Bad thoughts like bacteria on toilet.

June 02 2003
He's ba-a-a-a-ack.
racoonThe truth is, he just won't go away. We're just guessing he's "he". If he ever shows up with babies, we'll know he's "she". This little rascal is bold. He comes out day and night to eat our delicious kitty crunchies on the front porch.

Clever little darlings. Some things you just don't want to deal with first thing in the morning. Then again, it could be worse. The other morning I got up to find a substantial quantity of cat shit in the kitchen sink. Pretty distasteful, no doubt. Almost as bad as bacteria on toilet. But if you think about it, there are much worse places a cat could relieve itself (barring the litterbox where it's supposed to, dammit). After all, a stainless steel sink is pretty easy to wash out with bleach.

I should mention I have been very busy with work, day and evening. Even on the weekends I've been writing up results and reports. Still a little congestion in the morning, but I think / hope my month-long cold may finally be lifting. E kissed me on the lips this morning. That hasn't happened for a month (we're careful how we share germs).