December 2008

The curious case of the socks in the sink

Me, to the cat this morning:  "I think I left my socks in the sink."

After I said it, it occurred to me that there were several problems with this statement, and as a result it totally preoccupied me on the way to work today:

Spices free to good home

I gave the locals first crack at these, but they've had their turn and now it's yours.

I have large quantities of the following that are free to a good home:

  • whole savory
  • whole fennel
  • whole coriander
  • pickling spice
  • whole black pepper
  • ground cayenne pepper
  • whole cumin

If you are interested, speak up.

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Tooting our own horn in the key of C

There are several simple signs that the crud has successfully knocked me on my ass, but the biggest sign of all is that I have been home since Friday night (and as of this writing it is now Tuesday afternoon) and though I have been on the couch most of that time, have I posted here?  No.  I'm just now feeling capable of stringing sentences together with some hope of achieving subject-verb agreement, and if I get wordy, even that's gonna get a bit dicey.

If programming languages were religions

This morning's topic of discussion in the sysadmin chatroom led me to If programming languages were religions

C would be Judaism - it's old and restrictive, but most of the world is familiar with its laws and respects them. The catch is, you can't convert into it - you're either into it from the start, or you will think that it's insanity. Also, when things go wrong, many people are willing to blame the problems of the world on it.

Solstice stories: colors

[This entry, for obvious reasons, is restricted.]

I never expected to have anyone like you in my life. Our story is as improbable as it is salacious, and while I may not be able to talk about it honestly with everyone I know, it still matters to me more than I think you have ever realized.

Solstice stories: ready when you are

[This entry is restricted, though I could have removed one sentence and made it public.]

If you knew I were writing this list, and I doubt that you do just yet, you would not expect to be on it.  I don't think you've ever seen yourself as important.  I've never known how to change that, but I hold to the belief that you will see it, given time and consistency on my part.

Solstice stories: or, don't I just look effing smart

Well, if you're seeing this, I guess you got my email.

I have no idea what I borked in the upgrade, and I've filed a support ticket, but I doubt I'll see a lot of help with it.  Filing support tix right before Christmas ... fail.

Anyhow.  Most of you know I was sick all last week, but the part I didn't mention in the tweets and the emails was the feeling of detachment, of feeling that I wasn't connecting with the holidays or the people I love, so I decided to be proactive.

Beats postage

As close as you'll get to a Christmas card from us this year:

Solstice stories: you aren't done with me yet

I've written about you before, in entries both public and private.  In the years before private entries I often avoided acknowledging you by name, allowing the unaware  to draw the conclusion that I must actually be speaking of the person I married.

It was not always the case.

For this installment, instead of starting with new words, I will acknowledge some old ones that were about you all along:

Work stories: I share because I love

Restricted to logged-in users only for obvious reasons:

Can the [name redacted] form on [the company intranet] be modified so "Enter" does not submit the form?  It would be  nice if it required a click on the Submit button, then I would not submit so many incomplete forms.

Somewhere in heaven, a web designer just lost her wings.

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Drupal modules for a single-user blog

I've been asked a few times what modules I'm running on the drupal installs I'm tending.

Site #1 is, a single-user blog running under 6.x, currently 6.8, with comments enabled.  Site #2 is a firewalled company intranet focused heavily around the concept of using organic groups, has since been written up here.

Drupal modules for a multi-user group site

I've been asked a few times what modules I'm running on the drupal installs I'm tending.

Site #2 is a firewalled company intranet focused heavily around the concept of using organic groups to allow users to post content only to relevant groups. It's running under 6.x, currently 6.8, with comments enabled. (Site #1, my single-user blog, was written up here.)

Solstice stories: know the rules!

It's easy to become constricted by my own, self-imposed, rules.  So far, every person I have written about here is someone who, at some point in the past or present, I could have called a lover.  It's easy to get hung up in that and write a laundry list of lovers, a titillating story of people and clothing undone, but that does a disservice to everyone on the list.

Solstice stories: this American life

My smile blossomed at ten after four, when he walked in the door, unexpected, early.  I had commented to Adam online a bit earlier that there was something calm and perfect about the afternoon: the raging storm; the slanted lamplight across my laptop; the soft sound of snoring, geriatric cats.  Suddenly, it was better.

Jeff smiled as he put his bag down and said, "Stacy sent us all home."  He put down his string bag of water bottle, lunch remnants, and snacks; he took his place on the other couch and I paused from debugging.

Solstice stories: the agnostic's Christmas letter

Every year on Christmas Eve I look for a way to express love.  For years I felt, as the non-religious sort, the true import of this holiday was a bit lost on me, but continued celebrating in my own way. now chronicles fully a quarter of my existence on this earth, and combining that with a search function often serves to bring the arc of my life into clearer, simpler focus.

Notes for myself: makeup

So I can finally throw away my notes from the consult:

Foundation: NC20
Pressed powder: NW5

Liquid shadow: Canton Candy
Shadow: Shale
Brow gel: Sophisticated
(There are two extra colors for glam use, but I've barely scratched the surface of them in four years. Guess it's not so dire I lost the names of them.)
Mascara: burnt umber for everyday, black for glam

Cheeks: Fantastic Plastic CCB (since discontinued, so I bought extras)

Lip pencil: Spice
Lip color: Viva Glam 5

Why I love my siteadmins

An exchange of three emails this morning between me and one of our network admins:

To: Jay and Rich
Subject: Passing on a sitebanned IP (low-priority)

I don't know if [the network admin group for Alabama libraries] contacts ISPs when they see users nosing around for files they shouldn't, but if you do, I've got one for you. Check logs for the past six days for [redacted]

date night

Date night is a bit overblown for what we do. If what you're doing is more accurately described by "grabbing chow" instead of "going out for dinner," consider throwing the moniker 'date night' out the window.

On our way to Jason's Deli for sandwiches and salad bars, Jeff mentioned Stephenie's tweet. We weren't the only people we knew heading to see Benjamin Button that night.

Fountain & Monaco PicturesFountain & Monaco Pictures

[Fountain & Monaco Pictures by my coworker Tamara]

The Monaco has tapped into something that was missing here in Huntsville: stylish, art deco, with the kind of plushy amenities you never really realized you were missing in your theater. Go up the staircase to the 21-and-up section, get the boozahol of your choice, and settle into the leather rocker recliners with armrests big enough for both you and your neighbor's arms.

Last chance photo saloon

For those of you who weren't aware, my friend Noah is closing up his online photography print shop on January 1. If you want a print of his work, hop over to to nab one.

Some of you might even remember that I was in his 2003 gallery. Look closely and you'll see two photos of me available on that page.

2008: music in review

I'm taking a cue from Geof and Brad, and posting a list of my 2008 music in review. ObNote, of course, is that my account on made it incredibly easy to compile this list. This December marks four years of tracking my listening habits through their software, and it's been a fascinating exercise.

My profile:

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