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Wednesday, August 31, 2005  

30 August 2005

First off, it's hard not to enjoy a day that starts with this:

who needs a sporty red convertible? I'm thinking that the right nickname might be all you need to get through life. Especially if you've never had one before.

And then there's this, the first half of the new quilt I'm working on. Yes, it's actually hanging horizontally, but this is the orientation that it will have in the quilt.

Written at: 8/31/2005 02:15:00 AM

Tuesday, August 30, 2005  
Citius, Altius, Fortius - Swifter, Higher, Stronger -- Happy Birthday to me!

Written at: 8/30/2005 12:00:00 AM

Sunday, August 28, 2005  
I spent part of yesterday and today making stuff with yeast. I spent another part of the days taking care of cats, in particular Gus. I spent another part of the days making my head hurt over PHP/mySQL stuff. I spent the last part of my days working on the new quilt top. It's almost 1/4 pieced. Not quite. I realized that I have an extra column of pieces laid out for it and I'm not sure if I should stick with it or ask for forgiveness from the show organizer who set the size requirements. C'mon. Less than an inch and a half. Who'll know?

yeah yeah yeah. Somedays are just like that. Tomorrow it's supposed to rain and then Katrina will be smoooshed upstream to rain down on us some more. We need the rain , but no one needs a hurricane. I suppose it's all in the turn of days, the turn of the seasons. That slice of lemon half moon I saw hanging low in the sky the other night. The comfort of a blanket in late August.

I am drawn to sewing all these small squares together and can't wait to see each additional row as it joins. This is really the exciting part of the process to me - to see the ragged irregular collection of squares on my foam board move to the sewing machine and become regular again. Coherent and strong and bigger. And I like it!

Written at: 8/28/2005 11:20:00 PM

Sunday, August 21, 2005  

My first-ever ciabatti are out of the oven. Too hot to eat. Look and smell good.

Meanwhile, I find, the fruit of yesterday's baking has been described as "food porn" by the notable Fortune. Oh my! Well, it was pretty tasty! Thanks Fortune - I'm going of to blush now until the bread is cool enough to slice into. the heck with that!

For those wondering what poolish is (see below) it's a preferment of flour, water and a little yeast that goes into the making of things like ciabatta and other breads. Mix up flour, water and a very small amount of yeast and let it start bubbling. Stick it in the frig for 1-3 days and then make yummy bread with it. It has the consistency of a sort of frothy, silky, yogurt but of course, not exactly.

Written at: 8/21/2005 09:00:00 PM

Saturday, August 20, 2005  

A little of this, a little of that. A little cleaning. A little cooking. A little quilting. Some photos. Some research about web design stuff.

I had been chatting with Fortune about folding pizza dough and what it gets you. And what about regular flour v. bread flour? So today I made pizza dough with one fold (my way) and regular flour (her way). Turned out pretty darn tasty (especially with that fresh pesto on the one) but quite a bit different from my regular fare. All good, and worth the experimentation. Documentation anyone?

There's the whole quilting thing. Many little squares. What can I say?

And finally, in my frig there's something known as poolish. Lovely word and surprising thing. Stay tuned.

Written at: 8/20/2005 11:44:00 PM

Friday, August 19, 2005  
Marking your calendar: Sept 11 2005

It's not to early to think about what you'll be doing on Sept. 11, 2005.

I think the day is best doing something apart from the normal routine - not working, not shopping etc. Spend the day with your family and friends, enjoy your home and neighborhood. Volunteer your time, do something in your community. Exercise your right to protest the war or to wave a flag.

Here's a NYTimes article about current thoughts on the subject: 9/11: Light a Candle or Party On? (requires free registration).

In other news, the new code geek wannabe stuff progresses.

Written at: 8/19/2005 12:57:00 AM

Tuesday, August 16, 2005  
There is nothing sadder to the code geek wannabe than it being midnight, and said wannabe is pumping fist in air with great excitement because "it WORKED! it WORKED!" and there is no one online to tell this too.

So, dear readers, I'm telling you.

Did I mention:


OK, that whole thing is a little sad, isn't it. But did I mention that it worked?

Written at: 8/16/2005 11:52:00 PM

Sunday, August 14, 2005  
DRESS BOUTIQUE: a la Suzette -- aka pretty in pale

The ever-snappy Suzette is rebounding from a little blog-meltdown this week and would like to spread the awesome responsibility for ballgown chatter around. So here you go. Maybe not the snappiest entrance to a web entry, but suffice Suzette to provide all the snappiness needed. Now on to the ballgowns.

photo by Suzette
Of the dresses provided, I think this is probably the weakest trio seen to date. Perhaps late summer events inspire the need for pale cooling colors, something that could be wraithlike seen by a moonlit lakeside. But seriously folks - who looks good in lilac? And who would look good in these dresses? The one at left would be suitable for a nicely developed debutant perhaps, but no known body would look enhanced by the middle offering. If you're that skinny you need to eat more.

photo by Suzette
Holy mackeral - what were they thinking? First off, that mannequin needs a whole lot more going on under that dress to hold it up than what is provided. There's a reason that bare-shoulder dresses stay up folks and it's a combination of hardware, structure and shape to be structured around.
And yes, it's true that large floofy skirts and side details can distract the eye and make a waist appear smaller and a bust larger, but the dress still needs to fit properly and be worn over the proper undergarments. This dress has a front-side bustle to enhance the skirt fullness but it only adds to the "beauty and the beast" feel- shoulder cowl, visible stays, satin, sequins, ribbon roses.... ack.
Finally if I could ask the universal question: Is there a significance to what hip the obligatory waist-hip doodad is placed on? Right hip - "I'm available" Left hip - I'm so available but my doddering husband thinks I'm not"? I'm just saying folks... and you know you were wondering the same thing.

Written at: 8/14/2005 01:04:00 PM

Monday, August 08, 2005  
Mary McNally Mulligan

My grandparents in 1917, the year they were married

All this week I've been thinking about my grandmother, Mary McNally Mulligan - or "Gram" as we many grandkids knew her. August 5th was her birthday and I finally looked it up tonight - she was born in 1895. Anyway, she's been on my mind this week. Maybe it's all those blackberries. She was a big fan. I remember going out in her yard to pick "thimbleberries" and having them with milk in a little bowl. Here are some photos I had at hand of my Gram:

Mary in 1915

One of my favorite photos of me and Gram. Click the small photo for the full view complete with an un-named cousin in the foreground.

Gram and Tinker, Sept 1969. Her lap always had room for a grandkid or a small dog.

Written at: 8/08/2005 10:38:00 PM

Sunday, August 07, 2005  

Another view

Yesterday I happened to see a huge sundog - a rainbow between the viewer and the sun caused by light refracting through ice crystals.

Although I couldn't get a photo of it - it will stick in my brain! There were some great clouds to photograph though - interesting types and combinations.

I thought a lot about the color of sky last night as I started pushing fabric around in the direction of starting a new quilt. To me, the sky is rarely just blue and clouds are rarely just white. But fabric being fabric it will take some maneuvering to approach what my eyes and mind see when I look up.

In other news - some fabulous 40% rye bread just came out of the oven and man - it smells GREAT.

Written at: 8/07/2005 02:35:00 PM

Debra commented:
Let me tell you... beginning my online experience with a text-only orientation has still informed my use of the net.

Anyway... you keep mentioning PHP, but never say what it is.

I do think that many of us who started out earlier in the web world may be more into content than others. I know that readability and content certainly are important factors in what I think about, coming to the web design table. Or it could just be Jacob talking...

My bad for not providing info about PHP. I have read that PHP started out meaning "personal home page" (which I find doubtful) but now it stands for "hypertext preprocessor" or "PHP hypertext preprocessor". It's a scripting language used to create dynamic web pages. Now before you flee, it's not like PHP causes your screen to dance and spin. Rather, it's a way to pull parts of pages from various places, making it easier to put consistent info and material across a site; perform actions like calculations and information providing and gathering; allow registrations; stuff like that. And it works with regular HTML. I'm only on page 125. For more info there are some great sites and books out there. One of the central sites about PHP says this:

PHP is a widely-used general-purpose scripting language that is especially suited for Web development and can be embedded into HTML.
For more definitions:

That's all for now!

Written at: 8/07/2005 11:14:00 AM

Friday, August 05, 2005  
Are you going to hear more about the learning curve for PHP and all its friends? You betcha!

I started asking this question the other day at work and the responses were interesting so I'll throw it out here for general response and use:

What is the first web page you remember EVER seeing?

Your first ever. This seems to inspire an automatic part B

What is the impression it made on you?

All to distract you from the learning curve issue. And yet it is related: I am severely reminded of my early days of trying to figure out, without having previously learned any sort of programming language whatsoever, how to write web pages. This was right after the mosaic to netscape switch. Oh my - exciting times they were.

I remember finally calling up the guys at to ask - but HOW do I get it so other people can see it? Oh - FTP? OK. Get software to FTP? OK. And then it will work? really? And the files are going to go where? And I'll put what address in my netscape? OK.

But the miracle, and it continues to be no small miracle in my mind**, is that it worked and continues to work.

Fast forward to today and voila - I'm right back to that earlier time when I had to work and work to find out - duh - no closing angle bracket.... or duh - didn't upload that image now did I? No. etc etc etc.

Today the problem might be curly braces (thanks Dave for that straightforward illumination on convention!) or it might be just the total duh moment of - if you insist on cutting and pasting at least remember to change what needs changing!. Or as in tonight - that "includes/" isn't part of the scripting stupid, it's part of the file directory name and you ain't got that set up! Duh. You can spend a lot of time trying to figure out things like that. Is it productive? I suppose in that it teaches me a lot about troubleshooting code. Could the time be better spent? Oh yes I can think of a few ways, starting with a cool beverage and ending with code that works for a change. But that problem solved and it's on to the next.

** I'd like to mention here that back then when I so excitedly said - Hey! I've got a website! Go here! I was met with roundly vacant stares. That continued for a good two or three years. Ten years later, now people say - what's the website? like it's a given and whine if there isn't one. That's a miracle too.

Written at: 8/05/2005 01:11:00 AM

Tuesday, August 02, 2005  
OK, just for John, because he laughs about the fact that I blog (and that everyone else blogs too.... but I think he's just jealous because HE doesn't have a blog.... yet)

Here's my work for tonight. My first "real" PHP page. Wildly exciting in some ways and pretty darn boring in oh so many other ways.

added value: for those who just want more, go here for different examples of what I did. I made it up to about page 55 before I crumped out and made a stupid mistake and it was too late to find it. Of course this morning it popped right out at me. the form_handler file has been used and edited quite a few times, so it's much more complex than when I started. Today I started with arrays. ooooh oooh oooh!

Written at: 8/02/2005 08:51:00 PM

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