Monday, March 28, 2005

Easter Family Fun

Easter was nice overall, although my mother was very frustrating. We went to church where my mother was "commissioned" by the church for her trip to Africa. She leaves tomorrow night to fly to Durban, South Africa by way of London. She'll be volunteering in a HIV hospice in Durban for the month of April. She has written about it on her blog.

After April, she's going to visit my sister in Botswana for about 10 days, and then she flies back here. Anyway, her church pledged their support, and they bought her a digital camera. They had a quick ceremony during the worship service to present the camera to her and officially commission her. Of course, my mother initiated the volunteer opportunity all this by herself, but the church is very supportive.

After the service, my mother asked me to set up the camera, which I did. I took a couple of pictures, just messing around. She asked me to take some more, and I suggested that she do it herself to get acquainted with it. She refused claiming to be "tired". Now, how can you be too tired to push one freaking button? It really annoyed me. It just seemed like a very flat excuse, especially when you consider that she was planning to leave church and go to Walgreen's to do some last-minute shopping and she wanted to go to a restaurant for lunch.

Interacting with my mother surrounding technology is typically like this. She refuses to put forth any effort to figure things out on her own, and of course, I insist that a person with a Bachelor of Science degree from an Ivy League institution can figure out a few things on her own. (My mother has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Pennsylvania.)

She's a very intelligent woman who has handled some difficult life situations like raising four children after her husband died. (Our ages at the time of his death: 12, 6, 4, and 3). She has a great memory and easily assimilates scientific information.

She reads this blog, so I hope she can take into consideration that my frustration is borne from my respect for her (occasionally) untapped abilities. I Love you, Mom.

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Friday, March 18, 2005

Not Quite MIA

Almost every day last week I was home in bed, sick. At one point, my temp was 102 and I was constantly shivering. My brother finally posted again on his blog, and I just realized that it's been a couple of weeks since I posted here. I've been letting things pile up. I've been sitting on a couple of posts for over a month because they were loosely related and I wanted to better organize the thoughts. I started another blog for more personal reflections, and I haven't posted on that since January. I've got to get back in the game here. Eventually, I plan to share the other blog, but I'm not to a point with it to do that; at least, not yet.

The last modification that I made to this site was to include a more organized blog roll on the right side. I've been using as a tool to monitor the blogs and sites that I read regularly. The service highlights the blogs and sites that have been modified since I last read them, including a number to indicate how many posts have been made. It's a pretty useful way of quickly checking any number of sites at once. I had found myself checking a bunch of blogs that were not being updated (like my brother's and my wife's, for example). I looked into another service:, but it wasn't much different from The cool thing, technologically speaking, is that adding a little code to the template of this site allows me to manage the links on this site from the interface. Also, you can check out the my public links on the site.

On an unrelated note, I have a new job. What's really interesting is that I had been working at this place since the beginning of May 2004, although I was working as a contractor. This past Monday, March 14th was my first day as an employee here. I've been looking for a job since December with barely any response to my submitted resumes. Actually being hired is quite a relief.

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Thursday, March 03, 2005

Technical Difficulties

This post just proves my point. I wrote a post about some problems I was having with the Blogger interface, and apparently, it doesn't like criticism. When I clicked on the "Publish Post" button, the post disappeared, like it pissed off the mob or something.

A friend who just started a blog asked me how to add a blog roll to his site, and I sent him some information. Since I've messed around with some of the blog template code on another site, I was familiar with the Blogger Help, which is a pretty good resource with some interesting ideas to enhance blogs. One of the ideas that I've implemented on this site is the expandable comment section, which allows the reader to "unhide" and "hide" the comments section for each post. So, if you're reading a post with comments -- the two or three posts that have been commented on -- you can view and read the comments, hide them again, and move on. Of course, I don't post so much that people are reading multiple posts on a single visit, but I'm a tech geek and viewing the comments inline is pretty neat.

Anyway, to get back to the technical difficulties, the problems dealt with publishing. Publishing itself is pretty straight-forward, but I've been noticing a delay between when I post and when I see the change. I've also noticed that by specifying the "index.html" page within the URL shows the changes immediately. I'm assuming that there is a lag in propagating the newly published information to the site. It's just annoying, and I'm wondering why there's a lag and how long it could be.

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Holly-Jolly reference

On his Chicago Tribune weblog, Eric Zorn was posting about words that are typed using just one hand on the QWERTY keyboard (when using all fingers to type, which I have to mention since my mother types with just two fingers). He elicited examples from his readers, and posted some of the responses including two words I offered: westward and holly-jolly.

Some other offerings from readers were a few paragraphs using a bunch of the one-handed words he listed in his original post. I didn't attempt that task, but what was submitted is pretty funny. You try to use killjoy, sweetbread, streetcars, pumpkin, lollipop, aftertaste, exacerbated, and exaggerated in one paragraph.

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Blogger Michael M. Davis said...

Yeah, and if you can toss in killjoy, sweetbread, and streetcar, you may have something.

3:28 PM