PermaLink Has it really been four weeks?04/02/2007 02:28 PM

I've had a bunch of stuff to do, so it's been a while since I've written.  Lots to talk about, not that much to say, I guess...
OK, while some of you guys are over in Ireland at ILUG, some of the rest of us have to actually work.

Allstate paid me more for the dead red Volkswagen than I likely could have gotten selling it used, even without the accident damage.  They got me a check rather rapidly, and that went to pay for a new engine in the TDI that I took to Florida in January.  By the way, the thing finished out that tank of leftover fuel averaging over 50.5mpg, and has put up a reliable 44-45 since.  True, diesel fuel has gotten more expensive since January, but it's still very good considering the difference in mileage.  Leftovers of the check went to pay off bills (including stuff from Lotusphere that my too-small reimbursement didn't cover, like the replacement tire and the $300 towing bill back from Stony Creek, Virginia), and a few other things.  So, things are paid off, the diesel is solid again, and all is reasonably well.

Whale continues to poop in unauthorized locations, so she has pretty much bought herself a ticket into the cat cage until she wises up.  She had two or three perfectly fresh catboxes available to her downstairs, but still chose to poop in the upstairs hall.  I threatened her that I'd go out and get one of those cookie presses, and if I find her crapping anywhere she shouldn't, I'd put it back where it came from!

She looked worried.  She's seen me make weird-ass threats before.

Bruce, you'll appreciate this:  Suzanne has joined the Apple Nation.  A weekend ago, we went out, and she picked up a new white MacBook.  I am impressed with everything about it except its battery life, which is much more than the MacBook Pro's but not as long as my iBook G4's.  That's probably because it's running a 2.0Ghz Core2Duo processor, a gig of RAM and an 80-gig hard drive, to the iBook's 1.42Ghz G4, 768M of RAM and 60Gb drive.  Thing is, the battery is substantially beefier at 5200mAh, compared to the 4200 the iBook sports, but it chews through it faster.  Still, a very impressive machine, and I've worked with her to trick it out properly, installing useful open-source stuff on it to replace the Apple and Microsoft stuff, and by introducing its Bluetooth to all the other Bluetooth stuff in the house.  Right this very minute, I know she's home sitting out on the porch swing with it, emailing people and writing.  At least until the next charging is required.

Speaking of which, there is one less Bluetooth device in my world.  My venerable and fabulous Sony Clie UX50 was killed last week... it was in the center console of the TDI when I dropped it off back at the shop that did the engine replacement, and above it in the console was a partial cup of Diet Pepsi from Arby's.  During the three days it was at the shop, the cup separated and leaked, and the Sony sat with one end of itself -- the expensive end, where the camera, processor and WiFi chip are -- immersed in a pool of flat soda.  I dug it out, took it apart and realized it was pretty much completely dead.  I saluted it and moved it.  It is, by far, the best PalmOS PDA that will have ever been built.

And if anyone needs parts, I have some.

I wish there was more conflict I could tell you about, but really, there isn't.  Things are generally going well, the plants and trees are starting to bud out this year already.  In fact, two blueberry bushes I gave up for dead last year have come back, and the white rose bush I planted for Nancy many years ago and which died the year she left is back again, taller than ever (though I really should prune it).  The berry vines are OK, the peaches are blossoming, and the kiwi vine I didn't plant last year are all doing well.  Suzanne planted some pansies in the large concrete urns on the front porch, but I had to actually show her the right way to water them... they were looking rather parched even though it was raining five inches away.

I am amused at work, as well.  There's a project which our main contractor took on a few years ago to change the way we edit and disseminate policy information to our field staff.  After spending an insane amount of time at it, all the while griping about the insistence we had that it be done in Domino, they delivered an application.  Only barely written in Domino, the thing uses an Oracle back end and all sorts of kludgy theoretical-sounding crap to try to present a wizard-style process-based walkthrough of the policies and procedures.

The users mostly hate it.  No, I take that back... they almost universally hate it.  They can't really search it, they can't easily mark content to come back to it later, it doesn't really show things in the context they're used to, and it can be quite slow.

My project?  Salvage it.  We've come up with an easy, all-Domino-based way to both make the content searchable and present it in a cluster with other pertinent, in-context information the user might need, even if that content isn't located on my servers.  We've shown it off a couple of times and people were quite enthused.

Anytime anyone insists something can't be done in Domino, I know they're full of shit.  Sure, there are things that aren't all that well-suited to Domino, but there really isn't anything in the last thirteen years I've seen than couldn't be done in Notes and Domino.  It just keeps on keepin' on, as we used to say in the early Seventies.

I am gloating a bit.

Now, watch all sorts of horrible shit happen to me just to balance the last few weeks out.
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