LoriB.me

Rambling On…

Work, WordCamp, Dolly, Autiblogger, and .me — 08/14/2008

Work, WordCamp, Dolly, Autiblogger, and .me

WordCamp 2008This week started out kind of insane. Nearly all of my clients wanted things at once. It hurt my brain pretty bad, but somehow I managed to get almost everything done. To make matters worse, my work environment has become somewhat of an ergonomic nightmare. I fixed my wrist problem by switching to a trackball, wearing a brace, and putting the arms back on my chair. Unfortunately, the chair arms led to bad pain in my shoulder. Oy.

I worked all day Tuesday without a break and by evening, I was in some pretty bad pain. I fantasized about taking ibuprofen all day, but it makes me tired and I had too much work to do. Fortunately, I am married to a genius! Karen started rubbing my shoulders and I could feel huge relief spread though my whole body. She suggested that I get a real massage. Suddenly, I was filled with hope. I could get relief! We called a place that has relatively cheap massages and booked the 2 appointments they had for 9pm.

Turns out that you get what you pay for, but even still it was great and fixed my pain. Only problem was that neither of our massagers listened to what we asked for. K’s kept doing things too hard even after repeated requests to stop. My person asked if I had any specific requests. I told her the parts that hurt and asked her to concentrate on those parts and ignore the rest. My main request other than my painful shoulder was my hands. My hands almost always hurt. She did not even touch my hands. Suddenly it was over and my whole body was relaxed except for my hands. They were still in pain and in a total state of tease, still tingling from the anticipation that they would get some relief. Oh well. The rest of my body still feels good.

Wordcamp is this Saturday! I am very excited. Wordcamp is tied with Macworld as my favorite geek event of the year. Perhaps not so coincidentally, those are the only two geek events that I can afford to go to. Always nice to be around other geeks and share in the WordPress love.

Me and K saw Dolly Parton at the Greek last week. She was totally awesome and played about 12 different instruments over the course of the show. She also told lots of stories and laughed a lot and generally made it impossible not to have a great time.

I finally updated Autiblogger yesterday from WordPress MU 1.3 to WPMU 2.6. Had a few problems with the .htaccess file which were pretty easy to fix and blank admin pages all around due to a plugin incompatibility, but the upgrade was pretty smooth otherwise. Hopefully it will help with the splogs.

The last exciting bit of news is that I got a few more .me domains. I think I am done for now, especially considering I am not completely sure what to do with the five I now have:

  • lorib.me
  • beeis.me
  • killerbee.me
  • primarykey.me
  • whatiswrongwith.me

I am considering changing the name of this site to either lorib.me, beeis.me, or primarykey.me. The name LBnuke is kind of outdated considering it was named after software that is no longer used on this site (PostNuke). primarykey.me cracks me up, but will be lost on non-database geeks, and possibly even on them too. K hates it. lorib.me is appropriate but kind of boring. beeis.me is nice because saying it makes me happy.

killerbee.me and whatiswrongwith.me were just too good to pass up. Hopefully I will find a good use for them someday.

If anyone has any thoughts on a new name for this site and/or what to do with the other names, please leave a comment.

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog — 07/17/2008

Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog

Joss Whedan. Neil Patrick Harris. So good. Watch it.

All acts will stay up until midnight Sunday July 20th. Then they will vanish into the night, like a phantom.

Thanks to ma.tt for the tip!

Bay Area WordPress Meetup — 06/25/2008

Bay Area WordPress Meetup

There was a meeting of the newly reincarnated Bay Area WordPress Meetup on Sunday at Chaat Cafe in San Francisco. This meetup formerly went by the name of San Francisco WordPress Meetup. Being a resident of Oakland, I prefer the new name, even though the meeting was still in SF.

Darth Vader loves WordPress
Creative Commons License photo credit: Ianiv & Arieanna

I really enjoyed the meetup and met some nice folks. First, I would like to thank Jennifer Burke who runs the wonderful Healdsburg Magazine website (powered by WordPress of course!). Jennifer is the person who started both incarnations of the meetup. She has much experience with WordPress, as well as expertise in web content writing, information architecture, and SEO analysis.

The other attendees were newer to WordPress. Every person at the meeting was running and/or working on one or more interesting WordPress sites.

Bill is building a site for his son containing his own stories with illustrations and paintings done by his son. I haven’t had time to read any stories yet, but the art work alone is worth a visit to the site. At the meeting, I worked with him to change some of the graphics in his template.

Chris works at the Metta Center and has just started a blog for wanderers. Being an aimless wanderer myself, I am curious to see how the more focused wanderers of the world go about their wandering.

My favorite WordPress site of the meetup is being created by Gavin. It is called Kitty Single and its purpose is to find good homes for cats and kittens that do not have them.

The goal is to present reasonably high quality videos of cats and kittens for adoption and foster.

The next meetup will be during WordCamp 2008 in San Francisco. Details for wordcamp are not available yet, but we started a twitter account for the meetup so that we will be able to keep each other informed and make a plan.

Future plans for Bay Area WordPress Meetup
Sometime in the fall, there will be a meetup on plug-ins:

  • What plug-ins work for your WordPress site?
  • Which ones do you install — right off the bat?
  • Which ones have you found to help you add functionality to your website?

If you are interested in wordpress and live in the bay area, come join us!

Ding! — 02/25/2008

Ding!

Shikibee dinged level 70 yesterday 🙂

The ding:
Shikibee dings 70

Shikibee and Riverstar celebrate:
Shikibee and Riverstar - Dancing Bears

Translation: Shikibee is my main character in an online game called World of Warcraft. 70 is currently the highest level. It is a rite of passage for a game geek and unlocks a new level of gameplay. It is customary to say ‘ding!’ in the chat window when reaching a new level.

Aspie Handbook? — 02/08/2008

Aspie Handbook?

From Rands In Repose: The Nerd Handbook

Your nerd might come off as not liking people. Small talk. Those first awkward five minutes when two people are forced to interact. Small talk is the bane of the nerd’s existence because small talk is a combination of aspects of the world that your nerd hates. When your nerd is staring at a stranger, all he’s thinking is, “I have no system for understanding this messy person in front of me”.

I know that not all aspies are computer nerds, but if this article were to be more generalized so that computers could be replaced with any special interest/obsession, I think parts of it could function as a an aspie handbook too.

All standard disclaimers about gross generalizations apply.

Macworld 2008 — 01/18/2008

Macworld 2008

Today was the last day of Macworld. It makes me sad, but there really wasn’t anything left to do there. I saw everything on the expo floor about 5 times, the user conference was over, and I sat in on as many classes and demos at the expo as I could stand. I am fried as always, but can’t wait for next year either.

Macworld makes me happy. I got here at 6:30am on tuesday morning to pick up my badge and wait on line for the keynote. It was already wrapped around the block. 9am came and the keynote started but we were still outside. Hundreds of frozen lemmings. I got into an overflow room at 9:30.

The Keynote: An Outline Continue reading

DragThing — 01/04/2008

DragThing

DragThing

I was browsing Macworld online this morning and watched Jason Snell’s video about DragThing, a utility that replaces the mac OS X dock. It can also be used in addition to the standard dock.

DragThing

Half way through watching the video, I could barely wait to try it. I downloaded it before the video was over and installed it right away. It took me a little while to get it all configured, but so far it totally rocks.

DragThing process dockI like the mac dock but I have so many things on it that they are hard to find. I run my cursor back and forth all the time trying to remember what I was looking for. Drag thing organizes dock items in several ways. There are options to create multiple docks, each with the option of tabbed sections. Many themes are included and the docks can be moved around.

I chose the blueprint theme and created one dock with 6 tabs (main, docs, folders, URLs, dev, and misc). I am also using the ‘process dock’, a dock showing all open applications. I chose to show these as drawers that need to be clicked to open (hover over is another option). One cool thing I noticed is that even with the drawers set to open on click instead of hover, I can still drag a file to a tab and the dock will open so I can drop the file onto the program I want to open it with.

Docks with drawers closed:
DragThing

DragThing is shareware. It is free to download and try and $29 for a single user license. I will try it for a while before I pay for it, but even after just one day I can see how this could easily become a ‘must have’ app.

if $brain >= $fried ? ramble : $code; — 12/01/2007

if $brain >= $fried ? ramble : $code;

I am too busy. I suck at being busy. It is my worst thing and it always ends badly. I am not sure how to not be busy. It is a vicious cycle. As soon as I start feeling better, I want to do things. All the things that I can’t do when I am sick. I want to work. I want to play. Sometimes, I even want to see people.

I was sick for so long. First a year of bad meds and then cat scratch fever. I was lucky that the meds thing got straightened out before the CSF, but it is only very recently that I can enjoy it. Suddenly, I find myself feeling great! I still get tired and confused, but that is ok. It is part of how I am. After such a long time of not being able to do things that I wanted to, I feel like it is a race for time to do them now that I am feeling good. I would love to think it will always be like this, but the truth is that it is not and never has been.

The thing is, I think it could be like this most of the time if I didn’t have stress. I know that is impossible, but it would be possible to have much less stress. Only problem with that is I would be stuck not doing anything I want to do again. I am stressed by working. I am stressed by traveling. I am stressed by being around people. My brain gets overloaded and bad things happen. I get sick. The screaming in my head that is kept in the background by the meds gets louder. My brain shuts down. I twitch like crazy. I become miserable and useless.

I have no idea what to do about this. I want to work so badly. I love what I do. It is like being paid for doing puzzles and arts and crafts. When I code, my brain is in a happy place. Everything makes sense. It has to. As an added bonus, I get to take that code and turn it into a (hopefully) beautiful thing to look at. I am not a graphic artist by any means, so even the art part is like a puzzle. I combine graphic art made by actual artists, with photoshop skills and an eye for detail, and create an entirely new thing that never existed before. What’s not to love?

I was wanting to go to Florida to see my niece Hannah and the rest of my family for a whole year, but couldn’t because of being too sick. Then all of a sudden, I was okay to travel. It is a rare and beautiful thing. There was no way I wasn’t going to Florida. The trip (airplane, etc.) went pretty well thanks to Dramamine and, as always, being with Karen made everything better and more fun. Being in Florida was even okay. I love my family, but I hate Florida. I can’t deal with the hot and humid weather. We completely lucked out with that. Not insanely hot or humid. Last time I was there, I couldn’t even stand to be outside for more than a minute. Got instantly exhausted and dizzy.

It was really great to see my family. Hannah is beyond the legal limits of cute. It was so nice to get to know her better and see her sweet smile. I really loved getting to see her with my brother, sister-in-law, and parents too. They are a family. I am so glad they live so close to each other. Sometimes it is hard living so far away. Sometimes I wish Florida was in Nevada. My cousin Eric was there too. It is always nice to see him and my aunt Wilma and uncle Pat too. Sarah’s (sister-in-law) family was there too. It was nice to see them too. So nice, that we brought her sister Sam back with us. She will be going to acupuncture school in Berkeley starting in January and has been staying with us this past week. She magically found a great place to live in Berkeley on her fist try and will be moving in today.

Bad Apples

Haven’t had enough rambling yet? Then on to the saga of the bad imacs. Me, my dad, and my brother all got new aluminum imacs last month. 2 out of 3 of them were duds. There was a problem with the ATI graphics cards. The whole computer was unstable because of it. Black screens, blue screens, strange graphics, freezing, etc. Windows X 10.5? There has been a firmware update for the graphics cards released that appears to fix the problem for most, if not all, people. Thankfully, my brother’s was fine from the start. Both me and my dad returned our computers and got brand new replacements. All is good now.

The new imac came with Leopard and now that it works, I have been loving it! The screen is huge! Not only is it 24″, but I have been using Spaces, a new feature of Leopard where you can have several “desktops” and easily switch between them. For example I can have photoshop open in one desktop, giving it the entire screen to itself, mail and safari open in another, Firefox and BBedit in another, etc.

Time Machine is totally cool too. I can’t even believe how easy it is to back up. You plug in the external drive and the mac asks if you want to use it for Time Machine. You click ‘yes’. That is it. Your hard drive is being backed up every hour and saving daily, weekly, and monthly backups for as far back in time as the drive will allow. When it gets full, it asks if you would like it to delete the oldest backups to make room. Unbelievable! I will still make daily clones as soon as super duper is Leopard ready, but Time Machine offers a different kind of backup that is easier to use, automatic, and frequent.

Just a few more things to ramble about before I go…

K – I am so very proud of K! She has been saving the world as always. In recognition of her hard work, she has gotten a promotion at work and is now a supervisor, which is the direction she has been wanting to go. Congratulations K! It makes me happy to know that people will have an opportunity to learn from her and benefit from her years of experience.

WarcrackShikibee has joined a new guild and is about to ding level 50.

Rehab – I am meeting with someone once a week who will help me research if there are jobs available where I can do contract work from home or with a very flexible schedule. I would really like that. Freelancing is great because I set my own hours and don’t have to answer to anyone except my clients, but I work all the time and barely make any money.

If I did contracted work instead, someone else would be dealing with the clients, setting the prices, and all of the other business related things that I can not do. Even splitting the money with an agency or other company, it is very likely that I would make more money than I do now. I hope something like that could work out. I was hoping that I could keep my current clients and stop taking new freelance jobs if there were contract jobs available instead.

WordPress 2.3 Update – This one went much more smoothly than the last two. I wish there was a way to manage tags, but from what I understand, the dev team is waiting to find out what people want rather than starting with a ton of features that people may or may not use and then having to change them later. I am looking forward to 2.4 and the new admin changes.

Joomla 1.5 – I am working on a new client site with Joomla 1.5 RC3. It has been very stable and the code is MUCH cleaner than before. I love the new templating system and look forward to its final release and the updated extensions that will follow. If you are planning to integrate any kind of forums into your site, stay with 1.0.x for now.

phpBB3 – Love it! Tons of improvements over phpBB2. Current release is RC8. This update has been a long time in the making. I am hoping that converting from older version will not be total hell.

I have finally run out of things to ramble about for now 🙂

WordCamp 2007 — 07/27/2007

WordCamp 2007

I have been so busy this week that I haven’t had time to write about WordCamp. Lots of work these days and then on Wednesday, I got my 2 top wisdom teeth pulled. K came with me (thank you K!) and we had to wait for an hour in the waiting room, and then what seemed like forever in the dentist room. I cried. I have a hard time going to the dentist. After almost two hours of waiting, the dentist pulled my teeth in about 5 minutes. I didn’t feel a thing, but the noise was pretty sick. It doesn’t hurt too bad as long as I take tylenol and don’t eat food that requires chewing.

This weekend, I went to WordCamp 2007 in San Francisco. It was even better than last year. Surrounded by WordPress geeks. In some ways, I like it better than macworld. There are not too many things that I like better than macworld. WordCamp is smaller and more focused. Lucky for me, it is focused on some of my favorite things.
Continue reading

very random thoughts from the lake — 07/16/2007

very random thoughts from the lake

I am at Lake Merrit, about half way around. Online. This is cool. I am trying to type with 2 thumbs. Better than last time I tried. Still appreciating David Pogue’s punctuation shortcut every time I use it.

It is so nice to be able to leave the house again. The water helps my brain. Easier to think now. Stopped to look at birds that are right here in front of this bench. This rocks! There is no wifi here but I am on the internet. Magic.

Too hard to sit still anymore. Gotta go.

geese

At the bus stop now on MacArthur Blvd. It is still loud in my head but better than before. It is time to go home now. It is very hard to think. Someone who lives near this bus stop has unprotected wifi. Thank you stranger.

Back home now. The bus was crowded. No seats. Standing in front of the yellow line and the driver kept letting more people on at every stop. I don’t think that is legal. Usually the driver tells people to get behind the yellow line. Didn’t have to get off before my stop. That is a rare and beautiful thing.

I wish I could think. Or work. Or play. Or read. At least I got lots of work done this morning. Another reason why it is so much better to work for myself than for someone else. If I worked somewhere else, the morning hours would be lost and commuting would have zapped all the energy that I would have had for working.

I find myself wishing there was a copy of BBedit on the iphone that would sync w/my computer. I notice that I compare it to a computer more than to another phone. What would it be like to code on the iphone? Hard to imagine. I would have to get way faster at typing and it is hard to even imagine what having the numbers and symbols and letters on different keyboards would be like. I didn’t even notice if there were curly braces on any of them. You never really appreciate curly braces until they are gone. It is a cool phone, but definitely not a laptop replacement.

I was thinking about strange things on my way home from the bus stop. At one point, I rolled up my sweatshirt sleeve and somehow ended up holding a bee in the opposite hand. I flicked it off of me. I am allergic to bees. Not very bad, but it seems to get worse every time. When I was younger, just a little sting and maybe swelling. The last couple of times huge swelling and the very last time I got a fever too. I haven’t been stung by a bee in a long time.

I like to watch bees and to think about bees, but not to hold them. I like the way they fly around flowers. Up and down, back and forth, fly away and then come back again. It looks random, but I don’t think it is. It is their way of doing things and it works. They get the job done. Very different than ants. Ants like straight lines. When they are doing their job, they don’t look random. They look very organized. I don’t like watching ants. It stresses me out. Part of it is that I hate killing them and sometimes have to when they are crawling up my kitchen wall in a line. It is not an ant friendly world. There is no way I can feel right about wiping out an entire community in less than a minute but I do it anyway. What a strange world.

Humans as a species sometimes remind me of green belts in karate. It is a transitional period of having knowledge and power, but not necessarily knowing how to use it. Sparring with a green belt is much scarier than sparring a black belt. I know I am safe sparring with a black belt. I have been hurt more than once sparring a green belt. With the exception of the occasional teenaged boy who has something to prove, they usually don’t mean to hurt anyone but they can strike hard and are still learning to control their techniques in an amped up situation.

Humans have enough knowledge to make theories based on things that they don’t have complete information about. How do I know I am better than an ant? What gives me the right to decide that they have to die because I don’t like having them in my house? Why do we think we are the most intelligent species? If you check the facts, we are obviously not. Without humans, there is balance and an ecosystem that works very well. We kill each other and we kill our planet and it has gone on for so long that it is hard to see another way to live. We don’t know how to live in a different kind of world. I am sure there are human societies in the world that know how, but if we find them we will steal their land and try to make them be like us. Welcome to PMS week.

The other reason that I don’t like watching ants is because I can’t do it without thinking. It is like trying to read in the same room where there is an interesting tv show on. When I watch a bee, it is just part of everything. Something to anchor my attention in the background. Keeps me connected to the world while still being able to leave it. I like that.