31 May 2007

There's a new fox in town

A new version of Firefox to be precise. I was slightly nervous about installing it over my earlier version- losing bookmarks, toolbar settings, so forth- but it couldn't have been easier. It even checked out my add-ons to find updated versions compatible with Firefox 2, but I didn't even need some of them anymore since they've become built-in features.

Fave things so far:
  • The ability to add, remove, or reorder my drop-down search engines any way I desire.
  • Clicked links open in new tabs by default- no extra key stroke required.
Check out the slew of other new features here.

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Double As, baby

Over the past several months when I've played DDR, it's predominantly been in workout mode which keeps track of calories burned and other stats. In arcade mode, my scores weren't really improving, so it was more fun to see jump rope, jogging and swimming equivalents in workout mode.

I'd been playing one or two times a week up until a few weeks ago when my allergies and sinuses knocked me on my ass. Last week, I played once and felt I was doing rather well, so last night, I went back to arcade mode.

The game has numerical scores, but what's most memorable are the letter grades. My grades range pretty broadly across the songs including several that are so difficult I can't pass them, but I also have many As. Last night, I scored my first AAs and I was damn stoked about it.

From seeing other people play, I think AAA is where it maxes out, but I'll just have to get better so I can see for myself.

One year ago at TTaT: 21
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30 May 2007

Cupola!

cupola50
cupola54
cupola74
cupola85
cupola111
cupola117
cupola124
cupola144
cupola158

One year ago at TTaT: Post-Dentist audioblog
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26 May 2007

Wuss!

I piss myself off sometimes. Mostly when I think I should've handled something differently.

The folks and I went to an arts & crafts fair this afternoon. After touring a couple buildings, it was snack time. As I have on several previous occasions at this fair, I cruised the food tent tempted by savory dishes while not wanting to throw everyone else's dinner schedule out of whack. Mom assured me it was no big deal, so I finally gave the Indian place a try even though the prices seemed steep just for an afternoon snack.

I reread their board menu and stepped over to order just as the woman behind the table sat down.

"Sorry."

"That's ok," she said, rising with a smile.

"I'd like the vegetarian sampler."

I followed along as she moved down the tables serving portions from a variety of dishes. At the end, she handed me the tray with a smile and walked back to her post. A handwritten sign in marker said: Pay here. I set the tray down and handed a twenty to the guy seated behind the table.

He looked at the tray and back towards the food and then at me, so I said, "Vegetarian sampler."

Then he said something to me (in Indian?) that conveyed that the guy standing a little further down would help me. He held my twenty and we both waited for the guy with his back to us to help.

After a couple minutes, the seated guy gave up and put my twenty into the their money tray and handed me a five for change. It was three dollars short of what he owed me, but I didn't say anything. I took my tray, picked up some utensils and napkins and left.

By the time I sat down, I was obsessed with why I hadn't corrected him. I should have, but my food was getting cold. It also didn't happen to be my money that I was spending. And I didn't want to get into some weird scene of trying to explain it to a third party who might not believe me. And finally, I didn't want to make the foreign guy feel bad by correcting him.

Fucking passive girl reasons.

I would've been nervous for a minute had I corrected him, but it would've been fine. Instead, I chose to spare his feelings, avoid confrontation, and get on with eating; and that choice still bothers me.

Let it go, Claire. It's just three bucks.

I'm hoping the writing will help exorcise it from my system. A few rounds of DDR would probably do me some good too.

One year ago at TTaT: Bar-B-Q
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25 May 2007

Don't think, just write

Last straw snapped earlier regarding the new fridge. Hit my head while retrieving yet another item I regularly use from the bottom-most shelf. Help had been offered days ago to move the shelves around, but I just couldn't take it anymore.

Glass shelves are heavier than I'd expected and irritating to finagle by oneself. Hope my back doesn't seize up later from the strain. Food still needs to be rearranged, but it's 84 here and I opted to work fast instead of fight the fight of a million coolers.

Noticed the dryer was set to delicates before starting my load of heavy stuff. Usually notice this after the dryer has run forever and my clothes are still totally wet. Progress.

Two years ago at TTaT: Life across the street

20 May 2007

Dots

In the very essence of the thought itself it seems, I put off writing this for a couple weeks. It was actually a moment of clarity: I don't know how to connect the dots of my life.

When you're a kid, the dots are numbered so you know which ones to connect first and you're assured of a pleasing outcome, a dog or a cat- something- revealed by your orderly efforts. In life, of course, no outcomes are guaranteed and suggested sequences to follow become progressively more rare the further out you are from college (if you're me anyway). Still, innumerable dots await, surrounding you in all directions, for choices to be made.

One year ago at TTaT: A little Saturday pick-me-up

17 May 2007

Eight, at last

Decoding Egyptian Hieroglyphs: How to read the secret language of the pharaohs by Bridget McDermott (3/5)

I found this tome to be both instructive and irritating. Most of the irritating is technical. The Roman alphabet looks fine in book sized fonts, but hieroglyphs reduced to fit within English sentences leave much to be desired. I also wish the hieroglyphs in the sign index were larger. And I wish (probable) pronunciations were included along with the transliterations of hieroglyphs throughout the book instead of only when a sign is first introduced- at least also in the sign index. (Learning hieroglyphs is hard enough without adding learning the pronunciation of transliteration signs to the process.)

A few of the hieroglyphs in the sign index also didn't match up properly with their transliterations. There are probably exceptions in the language, but it would've been nice if it said so somewhere. Otherwise, there are a few errors in the transliterations. The biliteral and triliteral signs also should've been introduced along with the basic alphabet to facilitate recognition of signs throughout the book before the final section on grammar. Mostly it's the subtitle How to read the secret language of the pharaohs that I take issue with. The grammar section is left to the end and is kind of hard to follow. (Some of that is no doubt my failing as grammar isn't my forte.)

On the flip side, the sample translations are well done: reasonably sized hieroglyphs with transliterations, pronunciations, and their English translations. The book addresses the Decoding of Egyptian Hieroglyphs part of its title quite well. Large color photographs of artifacts and sections of monuments show hieroglyphs in situ. When signs are introduced, what they represent is explained and contextualized with history.

It's not the book on how to read hieroglyphs I'm looking for, but I don't mind having it on my shelf. A decent survey of the subject with lots of excellent photos for a beginner.

Two years ago at TTaT: Housekeeping
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11 May 2007

I always thought she'd live to be 100

Tomorrow would've been Katharine Hepburn's 100th birthday.

TCM (Turner Classic Movies) is featuring her this week. Last night, I watched her on The Dick Cavett Show which was all kinds of awesome and hilarious.

(paraphrased)
DC: Do you regret that you never got to work with Olivier*?
KH: Well, neither of us is dead yet.

I hope they re-air her other appearance sometime. Looks like TCM is finishing up their Hepburn festival tonight with The African Queen, Summertime, and Guess Who's Coming to Dinner.

Happy birthday, Kate.

*She did work with Olivier two years later in Love Among the Ruins, for which they both received Emmys.


One year ago at TTaT: Mom's day's a-comin'
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09 May 2007

My favorite place in LA is on fire

I'm not sure I have much else to say.

When I lived in LA, I lived in Los Feliz, the neighborhood just south of Griffith Park. I hung out there often. Sitting with my legs hanging over the wall on the roof of the observatory is my favorite view of the city.

During the entirety of my last stint in CA, the observatory was closed for renovation, so I didn't get to sit up there before I headed back east. I know they'll do everything they can to protect the building... it's just looking at it with a wave of fire behind it... lots of memories throughout that park. The annual Christmas light display, going there when I was falling apart to calm down, driving golf balls from the upper tier of the driving range at one of the golf courses, trying to meet a friend for tennis and getting courts mixed up, shooting head shots for a friend...

Hang in there, Griffith Park.

One year ago at TTaT: Contenders, Civic duty
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07 May 2007

I thought I was doing better...

Friday, I threw up after having eaten crackers, a combination of weather changes, sinuses, and drainage. Unable to keep down crackers is no way to start one's day. Still, it's not like being full-on sick, just sort of semi-nauseated in sporadic waves for a couple days.

With today's weather shift, I was feeling better, more optimistic. Until I flipped a bagel cream cheese-side onto my pants making one prolific streak as I fumbled catching it. Low. Blood. Sugar.

Of course, I'd already started the one load of laundry I planned to do today. And even after eating (yes, I also ate the side I smashed into my pants), my blood sugar still feels kind of low. Gives me second thoughts about driving to run some errands.

Bah.

One year ago at TTaT: It's not me, it's him

06 May 2007

A little encouragement

The ayes have it. Though I'm a little disgusted that only ~17% of registered voters is considered a great turnout for the annual town meeting, I'm encouraged that there is some actual democracy to be had, at least at the local level.

That the moderator didn't call on a high school classmate's jerky older sibling, a couple of times before questions were called, driving her to constrained apoplexy was just a bonus. I guess I am capable of a little schadenfreude.

As much as I wanted the evening to go quickly, it was cool to be part of a standing ovation for my favorite English teacher who's retiring this year. Also retiring, my French and Earth Science/First Aid/Sex Ed teachers. That's enough to make me feel old.

The fire department also received a standing ovation; the chief presented four firefighters with awards for rescues in the past few months. These interludes helped break up the evening and gave some personal context to appropriations in the budget.

The main drag of the evening was people with rambling and often irrelevant questions or out-of-order proposals. A few I wanted to throttle, because had they been listening, they would've realized their question had already been answered. Even more irritating were the ones who just went on and on about their negative stances or with what ifs that can't be definitively answered until they come up, if they ever come up.

Despite much vocal opposition regarding a certain issue for several months, I was greatly pleased that those naysayers were firmly trounced when it came to the vote.

One year ago at TTaT: TODAY is Free Comic Book Day
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03 May 2007

Pygmies!

Considering how self-conscious I was reaching over the fence (it's good to be tall) to take these shots, I'm certain a paparazzo life would be rather challenging for me. Nonetheless, I'm pleased to present to you the pygmy goats I've mentioned. And a pony.

pony and pygmy goats
My favorite little goat, pregnant with even littler goats...

pygmy goat
Two years ago at TTaT: Simple, right?
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01 May 2007

How cheap am I willing to be?

Pretty cheap, apparently. I just got my hair cut at SuperCuts, and I used a coupon.

After a couple of progressively shaggy months, it feels great to have it four inches shorter. Gets it way out of my collar. I feel fit for public view again which is good since the annual town meeting is soon.

On an unrelated note, old eps of Star Trek: Voyager airing on Spike recently have really made me laugh.

7 of 9: He is persistent.
The Doctor: Don't worry. I'll be sure to tell him 'Persistence is futile.'

--------------------------

7 of 9: What about the massage you received from Lt. Jeren?
The Doctor: That was therapeutic.
7 of 9: You became sexually aroused in my body.


So funny. If the dvds weren't so outrageously priced (~$100 per season!), I'd consider buying a few seasons.

Two years ago at TTaT: Gobble, gobble
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