Archive for the ‘Blogging’ Category.

Further Prof of Insanity: Blog365

I got through NaBloPoMo, as ridicu­lous as it was to com­mit to post­ing at least once a day for a month. So of course that small suc­cess has led me, in a moment of more-​​than-​​usual-​​lunacy, to sign up for Blog365 (oth­er­wise known as “Out of the Fry­ing Pan, Into the Fire”).
The pur­pose is fairly clear: to post at least once every day of 2008. Feb­ru­ary 29 is a “rest day.” Posts may be writ­ten on any site, rather than stick­ing to just one blog, so I’ll try to spread them around on mine/​ours. If I can’t get some­thing on the actual site on a par­tic­u­lar day due to net con­nec­tion issues or what­ever, I have to write (yes, write! like, cuneiform or some­thing!) a jour­nal entry and trans­fer it to a blog as that day’s entry.

It would be far sim­pler to have a sys­tem of some sort. Maybe I’ll cre­ate a rotation:

  • Fibrant Liv­ing — health, liv­ing with a dis­abil­ity, podcasts
  • Acad­emy Car­i­tas — home­school­ing, edu­ca­tion, college
  • House Fire­heart — polyamory, par­tic­u­larly my and Sam’s approach to it
  • Heart­song Hand­i­crafts — home of my orig­i­nal needle­work pat­terns, and soon to be home for the rest of my stitch­ing information
  • Cyber­stalked! — inter­net safety and pri­vacy issues
  • Cyn­thia Armis­tead — my pro­fes­sional port­fo­lio, where I put the geeky stuff
  • Enemy of Entropy — here, of course, where I put gen­eral stuff, book reviews, and the like.

Hope­fully there will be new pod­casts up soon. There will def­i­nitely be more music, as we have that lovely con­cert piano we received via freecy­cle all repaired and put together. It’s beau­ti­ful and sounds great! Not at all bad for one drive to pick it up and less than $200 in repair fees! (Sam wanted to just take it to the near­est autho­rized repair cen­ter rather than doing it ourselves.)

2007 wasn’t a stel­lar year, but nei­ther was it ter­ri­ble. Sam has a steady, secure job that he enjoys, in an orga­ni­za­tion that’s allow­ing him to advance. , Katie had a lot of health prob­lems, but I’m hop­ing that we’re on the right path to resolv­ing them. Shel­ley passed away a lit­tle shy of her 18th birth­day, but since we’d been told in 1999 that she only had a year (at most) left, we felt that we’d got­ten an “extra” 8 years with her any­way. Kioshi has grown into a nice com­pan­ion, too.

We really kept to our­selves a lot through the past two years. When you’ve been betrayed and hurt as deeply as we were by our for­mer housemate’s sud­den crazi­ness in 2006, there’s a lot of heal­ing to be done. I don’t know if I’ll ever approach Thanks­giv­ing with­out trep­i­da­tion again, but we had a good one any­way. The stress did con­tribute to the dete­ri­o­ra­tion of my health, and that does make it harder to get out. We’re work­ing on it, though. We cer­tainly learned who our true friends were, and we’ll never for­get that.

So on to 2008, which we hope to be full of more time with friends, bet­ter health, much more music, Katie spent last night and almost all day today with friends from the school she was attend­ing as well as her new beau. Sam and I spent the day gam­ing, upgrad­ing some web sites, eat­ing good food and watch­ing movies. If it’s true that what­ever you do on Jan­u­ary 1 indi­cates how your year will go, we should be just fine.

Results Are In! The Funniest Twitterer Is…

Foul­Bas­tard wins with an aston­ish­ing 34% of the votes! It may not sound like a huge lead, but when you con­sider that we had 33 nom­i­nees and 106 votes, it is! The first runner-​​up, Bad­Banana, had 14% of the vote.
Con­tinue read­ing ‘Results Are In! The Fun­ni­est Twit­terer Is…’ »

I Did It!

If you look way, way down the side­bar to see the cal­en­dar thingie, there’s at least one post on every sin­gle day of November!

NaBloPoMo 2007 Seal

Is There A NaNoReMo?

I think I want a National Novel Read­ing Month. I could do a novel a day (as long as I chose the right nov­els, of course). I’m behind on writ­ing reviews, but I’m wal­low­ing unabashedly in the num­ber of good reads avail­able to me right now. I’ve tweaked the Now Read­ing wid­get to show up to ten cur­rent books instead of just five.

I totally flubbed NaNoW­riMo. No, I don’t wanna talk word count. Ugh. I have, how­ever, man­aged to keep up with NaBloPoMo. so far, and there’s only one day to go! Data­base prob­lems have given me some trou­ble with get­ting the posts to the pub­lic at some points, but I’ve writ­ten an entry every sin­gle day, and I think all of them are even show­ing up now. (The auto­posted Tweets for the day don’t count, of course.)

TodayOn Thurs­day, Katie and I drove all over the place, as she had an orth­don­tic appoint­ment and I fool­ishly chose to com­bine that with other errands. Dri­ving = can’t take usual pain meds. I came home and col­lapsed with a fever. Now it’s the nor­mal time to sleep, and I’m in too much pain to go lay down. (Actu­ally, I was so foggy that I for­got to hit the “Pub­lish” but­ton last night!)

But, thanks to a freecy­cler, we now own a Korg 88-​​key elec­tric piano. The catch: It’s taken apart. Com­pletely. I’ve never seen the innards of such a thing before!

Why did the pre­vi­ous own­ers take it apart, then give it away? Their tod­dler spilled paint on the keys. The donor couldn’t remem­ber if it was fab­ric paint or acrylic paint, but it isn’t water-​​soluble, in any case. For­tu­nately, the paint did not get into the elec­tron­ics! Unfor­tu­nately, it did stick a few keys together. So the man of the house took it apart, intend­ing to clean it up — then stuck it in the garage, where it has lan­guished for two years. In a clean­ing fit this week, he decided to toss it out and just get a new one. Hap­pily for me, his wife per­suaded him to give her a week to offer it on freecy­cle instead, and now it’s ours!

I’m encour­aged by the fact that every­thing worked before it was taken apart (other than the stuck keys). I’m excited about hav­ing a piano. Now I have to fig­ure out what to use to gen­tly clean said keys, then fig­ure out how to reassem­ble the whole thing. I con­sid­ered just tak­ing it to the near­est autho­rized repair cen­ter, but I want to see if we can do it first, as their quoted labor rate of $70/​hour would add up very quickly. This is a $1,000 instru­ment, so it’s worth putting some money into mak­ing it work. Hav­ing the money, as usual, is the problem.

It came with its nice stand, which is inte­gral to the piano, as it has the ped­als on it. I’ll still need a bench, but I’ll deal with that after I have it working.

A repair man­ual would be very use­ful. The instru­ment man­ual can be down­loaded from the Korg web site, but since these things aren’t con­sid­ered user ser­vice­able, it doesn’t show how to take the piano apart and put it back together. If I can get it cleaned up, though, I can prob­a­bly ask Daddy for assem­bly help. My Daddy can fix any­thing.1 He’s much bet­ter with things than with people.

I’m totally open to sug­ges­tions for gen­tle sol­vents.2 I’m fig­ur­ing non-​​acetone nail pol­ish remover might do it, but will it dam­age the keys?

Of course, if any of you fine folks hap­pen to have expe­ri­ence with tak­ing elec­tric pianos apart and reassem­bling them, by all means, please speak up! (Hey, a girl can hope, can’t she?)

1 Yes, I am 41 years old, and he’ll always be Daddy, and I’ll always believe in his mirac­u­lous fix-​​it-​​ability

2 Yes, that’s some­thing of an oxymoron.

Calling a WordPress Guru

I’m still hav­ing trou­ble with the MySQL data­base for this blog. It’s set up just like every other site we have, but I keep hav­ing odd time­outs and MySQL errors with this instal­la­tion. I wasn’t even able to add books to Now Read­ing for most of the day!

I read about some­one else who seemed to be hav­ing a sim­i­lar prob­lem, and tried his fix — a cus­tom copy of wp-db.php. That didn’t help, so I reverted to the stan­dard file.

Right now, I’ve got almost every plug-​​in and wid­get dis­abled, and the posts I wrote on Tues­day and Wednes­day are finally vis­i­ble. I guess I’ll have to go through the plug-​​ins, enabling them one by one again, to see if one of them is the prob­lem. (I haven’t had any error mes­sages indi­cat­ing a plug-​​in prob­lem, but…)