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
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
I am gloating a bit.
Now, watch all sorts of horrible shit
happen to me just to balance the last few weeks out.