April 2009 Archives

Got rid of the Bug's last few diapers today. He hasn't worn diapers for months, even at night. Seemed symbolic when I dropped those Huggies into the trash. End of an era. (He's 4 now.) Good that he's developing, but kinda sad, cuz they're only small once .. for such a short time.

Speaking of little ones .. the Dog called today and said his wife is pregnant. Due in October. I'm so happy for him. Couldn't stop smiling.

He's in New York. He will make a great dad. (His first.) He married a girl from the Czech Republic. (You know what they say about Czech girls.)

My laptop had a sticky i-key. So I popped it off with a thin flathead screwdriver and broke the dang mounting clip that attaches the key itself to laptop. Or at least it popped off too.

Tiny parts. Hard to work with. Broke out a magnifying glass. Hard to do anything with a magnifying glass in one hand.

Haven't worked out in a while. So yesterday I went to the club with the intention of working my legs, cuz that's where I usually begin after an extended layoff .. squats, etc.

Arnold's legsNormally, my legs get pretty sore aft er one of these workouts (following an extended layoff). Takes a few weeks of regular exercise to get back in shape.

So I was kinda dreading that sore-leg feeling .. walking around like a zombie for a few days .. all stiff and what-not. In other words, I fully expected my legs to be sore today.

I had every intention of working out, but soon after arriving, I received a call that prevented me from do so.

Today however, my legs are sore. Seriously sore. They feel *exactly* the way they do after a workout following an extended layoff .. and the way I would expect them to feel had I actually worked out .. all stiff and what-not. I'm even doing the zombie shuffle.

Yet I didn't do anything. Not even one single exercise. Didn't even get a chance to change into my work-out duds. Weird, no?

Dating the Single Parent

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Got roped into a discussion this weekend .. about the ups-n-downs of dating single-parents .. something with which I have first-hand experience (.. on both sides of that fence).

DatingDivorce is popular here in Southern California. So your chances of meeting an available single-parent are higher here than in other parts of the country.

"Here's a single dad!" called out an acquaintance as I walked by. (.. his table at the coffee shop)

I actually felt somebody grab my arm before I heard his voice. He pulled me over. Hadn't seen him in months. Very athletic fellow. (Always in stellar shape.)

I didn't however, know any of his 3 friends. Two girls & one other guy were seated with him. All seemed very nice, 30-something. None had any kids, nor ever been married. (I remember those days .. sorta.)

Muscles got a chair for me from another table. As I sipped my coffee, they brought me up to speed, sharing some of their experiences dating single parents. I could certainly relate, having had many good experiences of my own. (Kids usually like me, and I certainly enjoy them.)

The biggest turn-off (in my opinion) is when a single mom puts her kid(s) second .. after the relationship with the new guy. Never been able to respect a mom who did that .. no matter how flattering it might seem.

Yet the person who dates a single-parent (as the people seated at this table clearly expressed) don't want to be relegated to an after-thought. They don't want to feel unimportant. So it's not an easy line to tread.

As a single parent, I know that you can't help but feel fondly about people who go out of their way to be nice to your kids. Those who do (go out of their way) get head-of-the-line privileges (so to speak). This is not a conscious decision, mind you. Rather a parent can't help but appreciate (in the fullest sense of the word) those who are nice to our kids (I explained).

I'm reluctant to merely republish the content of others .. but » HERE's something you shouldn't miss (Susan Boyle's rendition of I Dreamed a Dream .. from Les Miserables). I actually paused the video and broke out my headphones.

Les Mis

I think what makes her version so special - other than the sonic excellence, of course - is that her life seems to resemble that of the character .. providing that 'something extra.' And then there are the lyrics themselves, with lines like:

And still I dream...
That we would live the years together
But there are dreams that cannot be
And there are storms we cannot weather

I know that place .. all too well, I'm sad to say. But who doesn't? If you liked that, you'll probably also enjoy » THIS.

Neither one of these folks are pretty. They're not one of the beautiful people. Their dress unglamorous.

But their performances obviously had nothing to do with pretty appearances. Which made them all-the-more believable and genuine, especially when she belted out the final lines:

Been researching MODx, a Content Management System (CMS) .. similar to Drupal and Joomla .. tho considerably more 'flexible.'


Being a publisher-of-content myself means I'm always on-the-lookout for cool, new publishing tools. Movable Type has been my tool-of-choice since 2003, but I'm always open to trying new things.

The thing I don't like about Movable Type is that it's difficult to customize. You're limited to one of their pre-designed templates. Even minor tweaking is a nightmare. And it suks when your site looks like so many others.

Before we discuss CMS'es, you should know that Drupal won the Packt Publishing award for best Open Source CMS two years running (both 2007 & 2008). These awards were chosen by guys who know their CMS'es. Tho the judges admit:

There isn't necessarily one CMS that is "the best," but rather the best is the one that best fits a user's needs.

It's unlikely the judges actually used all the CMS'es themselves, since there are so many. Joomla came in second. It's probably the single most popular CMS out there.

Created a tabbed menu today .. something I've been meaning to do for ages.

Kandinsky's Black Spot

The menu displayed at the top of the homepage is pure-CSS driven (no images used). Using images would allow for more creativity, but would also add to the page's download-weight. (And I use enough images already .. in the daily entries.)

My goal was to design a tabbed menu that was both simple & functional. I'm pleased with how it turned out .. tho it took a surprising amount of tweakage to get it to look the way I wanted.

Now that I've developed a basic format, I can tweak & adapt as necessary.

Might look simple, but centering that menu had me jumping thru hoops. I reviewed several methods and finally decided to modify Ethan's approach .. so it would resemble the cleanness of Eric Meyer's tabbed navbar (which is not centered).

As promised, here's some photos from my South Afrikaan friend (who lives in Johannesburg). He works in the Film industry down there and loves cool technology.

Mozambique Woman

Seems like he's always traveling to one exotic place or another .. places with exotic names .. like Drakensberg (Afrikaan: Devil's Mountain) and Patagonia. (Yes, I'm jealous.)

Today's photos come from » Moçambique. (I actually had to look on a map to see where that is .. as is the case with most of the photos he sends.)

Moçambique sits on the east coast of Afrika, just above South Africa. It also shares borders with Zimbabwe, Zambia, Malawi and Tanzania. Off its coast sits the island of Madagascar.

Steve sent 5 pics, with the following note:

Just returned from a weekend escape across the border to Moçambique. Here's some pics from the capital city, Maputo, and surrounding areas.

Jo'burg sits on a high-altitude grassy plain. In comparison to most of Africa, its climate is rather harsh and frigid. Maputo, on the other hand, is further north. It sits right on the coast, and as a result is hot, humid & verdant.

Regulars might recall when I installed a copy of Ubuntu Linux last summer .. an operation I prepared for by creating a separate 20-gig partition (on my new hard drive), which I formatted as EXT3.

VMware Workstation

Somebody in the forums (Nigel, I think) suggested using VMware (.. either the freebie 'Player' or full-boat 'Workstation' ..) to run a 'virtualized' installation.

I initially balked at the idea .. cuz I didn't grok how virtualization works. But you don't need to understand how an automobile works in order to benefit from driving one. Same goes for virtualization. And the benefits are substantial.

The coolest thing about 'virtualizing' a Linux installation .. is that you can run it from (within) Windows .. just like you can run Photoshop (from Windows) .. or any other Windows-program for that matter .. multitasking all of them at the same time.

I found that .. if you can only use/access Linux by booting into it (and thus leaving Windows behind), you're less likely to use it (.. or so it has been my experience).

So last week I deleted my EXT3 partition, and reformatted it as NTFS .. where I installed a virtual machine containing Ubuntu 8.10 'Intrepid Ibex'.

Intrepid even found my wireless adapter upon initial boot-up. (Woo-hoo!) No more having to troubleshoot wireless connections and installing proprietary drivers just to get internet access.

The only drawback I've found is that you can't copy-n-paste info/text (such as passwords, etc.) between programs running in Windows and those running in (virtualized) Linux. (Tho I wonder if this might help.)

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2009 listed from newest to oldest.

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