Previous month:
July 2007
Next month:
September 2007

August 2007

Big Happenings

This fall marks big happenings in our household. Trouble is starting first grade tomorrow and LT starts pre-school in a week and a half. It will be Trouble's first year in school all day and LT's first year in pre-school. I've been attempting to get them on an earlier schedule, which is half working. They'll get up earlier, they just won't go to bed earlier. It took two hours to get them both to sleep last night. We started at eight-thirty and didn't get LT to sleep until ten-thirty. Trouble starts school at 8:10 AM, the bus picks him up at 7:23 AM at the corner of our street. Geez, that's early for elementary school. Two of our elementary schools start at 8:10 and two at 8:50, figures ours starts early. I believe this has something to do with saving money on buses. So I'm considering driving Trouble to school, but LT won't start until nine, so I'd have to go back home in between which sucks. We're going to start with the bus and see how it goes.

I think LT's ready for pre-school and I don't anticipate any separation anxiety. Trouble certainly didn't have any when he started pre-school, he didn't want to go home. When you pick the kids up you have to show your ID and then they bring the kids out to you. During the first week, one of the teachers went to get Trouble and he didn't want to leave, so he hit her. We had a talk about how you can't hit your teachers and if you do, they won't want you to come back to school. For weeks after that Trouble would come out of school proudly announcing to everyone in the hall that, "I was a good boy today, mommy. I didn't hit my teacher!" Way to go Trouble, set those expectations high.

Signature


Polly, now there's music stuck in my head

Polly and Bookgirl have this thing about theme songs. I've heard other people talk about it too. Times get rough and you're supposed to sing your theme song to yourself (silently or not from what I gather) and it's supposed to help you get your mojo back. I wish that worked for me. The mojo's seriously low these days. Maybe I haven't found the right theme song yet. Or maybe I just need to spend a day at the spa or even just in bed would be nice. For some reason, the whole idea of a theme song brings to mind the opening of The Mary Tyler Moore show for me, and I'm a little young for that.

Even though I don't do theme songs, Polly's post has music stuck in my head. There are those songs that always remind me of particular people or events in my life, and now all those songs are playing concurrently. There's a Cure song, I can't remember the name of it, that always reminds me of Polly - the one that starts, "I've waited hours for this." I've never been good at song titles or artist's names. Boy's Don't Cry always makes me think of Bookgirl, and even more vividly, of her singing it. There's a Third Eye Blind song that makes me think of Polly's brother, even when I haven't seen or spoken to him in years. Hotel California makes me think of Blackstone, there are myriad of other songs I associate with him after all this time, but that was the first and for that reason will probably always be the strongest association. The Cowboy Junkies remind me of teaching aerobics at RIC, I used it as cool down music.  I'll be by Edwin McCain brings back my wedding, it was the last song we played.

So, now I've shared and there's probably music stuck in your head, too. You can thank me later. Or go thank Polly. She started it.

Signature


Double Trouble

You may have been wondering what my crazy little boys have been up to. You might be thinking that since I haven't written about them in a few weeks that they haven't gotten into much. Well, they're still in one piece but it's not like they decided to start acting like little angels or anything. They got in trouble this past week while Blackstone was watching them. They were in the living room while the kid from down the street was mowing the lawn. Only the glass door was closed. It's one big glass panel. Whoever put that in absolutely did not have kids.

All of the sudden the kid who was mowing the lawn stomps in the house and the boys go running. Blackstone has no idea what the boys have done or why the kid is so upset. Turns out Trouble and Little Trouble had been mooning him through the glass door. Pulled-their-pants-down, naked-butt-cheeks-pressed-against-the-glass mooning. Delightful aren't they?

And Trouble informed us yesterday that he does not like the way he's treated at home and plans to run away to his friend Isaiah's house. Too bad I don't know Isaiah's mom better. Because I think a few days in a second floor apartment with five kids would do Trouble some good. I can't see her going for it, though. Oh, and he's taking LT with him when he leaves.

Signature


Technology, Great when it Works

Well, to start off with some good news, we finally have our network set up in the house. I have not been able to work on my home PC for over a month. Trouble and I had quite lost our patience about it. Trouble just could not understand why if his computer was set up and on, he could not get to nickjr.com. While I have been able to make due with my computer at work and using Blackstone's at home, it is quite a relief to have mine online again. My digital camera is full of pictures that need to be downloaded, the bills are everywhere because my desk wasn't set up. I haven't been able to charge my ipod because I only have a cable that jacks to a USB port and I didn't want to jack it into Blackstone's because he's got his own whole music set up. Now, I can finally get organized.

I could have attempted to set up the network myself, but it's just so much easier to have someone else do it. I have had so much trouble with wireless signals not reaching, not being able access shared folders, and I have no idea how to do it correctly with security setup so anyone in the neighborhood with a wireless card can't get in. Not to mention I'm generally trying to figure things out with two kids running, screaming and possibly trying to climb out the windows. (I managed to fix the safety doohickeys on their windows last night. They were quite jammed, even once I sprayed them down with WD-40 and I caught my thumb nail while trying to adjust it and bent the nail over backwards. Did you know you could bend your nail over completely backwards without it breaking off? It actually stuck like that and I had to flip it back. It still hurts like hell and is purple.)

Now that my computer's set up I figure I'll charge my ipod which I haven't been able to do for over a month. But of course this is my life, so nothing happens without a bunch of snags. Turns out that when I went to charge my ipod, it is now broken. It's giving some weird battery/thunderbolt graphic. Won't turn on, won't charge. It worked before we moved?!! Anyone with any insight on this, please chime in. Now I need to find the box with all the ipod instructions. Great, something else I have to look for.

And like most people these days I have several email addresses, specifically four that I'm actually using for different purposes. My email with cox was not working when I turned on my computer today. I don't use this address for much and haven't checked it while my computer's been off line. And today the Enter Your Password box comes up and I can't get to my email account. So I call cox who informs me that my email address now has a number 3 at the end of it and the original one I used to have is locked up for some reason. There's no trace of it ever being on my account. Now, though I don't use this email often, I do have it registered in places and there are people who use it. And no, I'm not crazy, I know what my email address is and I've had it for years, eight years if I remember correctly. But now that it no longer belongs to me and is locked up, a supervisor has to unlock it and that can take up to 24 hours. So, with any luck the email address that has belonged to me for eight years and for some bizarre reason was taken away should be mine again tomorrow.

I figure I'll be wild today and while I'm getting my technology back on track I'll set up my answering machine. Any of you who have been leaving messages for me in my cox voice mail that I never requested and don't want are out of luck. I had that removed today. Why is it that this company took away a service I wanted and gave me one I didn't? Great service they provide, truly. Anyway, so I set up my answering machine and now the fax machine won't pick up. We've got two separate numbers with a ring mate for the fax machine. Now I pull out the instruction manual for the fax machine, which thankfully I was able to locate, and start trying to figure out why all the calls go to one machine or the other and aren't being designated to the appropriate machine. This had been working fine at the old place. Half an hour later I've gotten nowhere. I get back on the phone with cox and discover that my ring tones are not setup correctly, whatever that means. And you guessed it . . . it will take 24 hours to fix it.

Signature


The Job, The Magic, The Headache

Saying your a web developer these days can mean just about anything. Any one with a computer and Front Page or Dreamweaver can slap together a website. I'm not one of those people. It's an interesting job because it encompasses so many different knowledge bases and specialties and requires you to have exactly none of those skills.

In order to put together a website you need to have some graphic skills. You need to be creative, have an eye for color and balance and flair for design. You must know how to use Photoshop, Fireworks, ImageReady and/or Illustrator. Many clients like the bells and whistles. You need to know Flash and how to create animations. You must have some knowledge of video and how to get that on a website. Almost every company these days is looking for more than just a pretty site, they want functionality. If they're not looking for a shopping cart to sell their goods and process their orders, then they want an online intranet system. Something their employees or contractors can login to from anywhere and input data. They want that data to interface with their internal databases and import and export the data from the web server to their internal network. They want to automate these imports and exports so they don't have to be run by hand. They want a company that answers the phone when they reach a crisis and they want their website updated yesterday. They want to update their website with no knowledge of html and you need to be able to explain to them in plain English how you're going to make all this happen. This task is particularly difficult when you have to explain what a domain name is and how to re-fresh a web page in their browser.

As you might well imagine the graphic, programming, networking and communications skills are not often found in one package. While I have at times had to do a little of all these things, I am by nature a programmer. I handle data. I specialize in programming in ColdFusion and build custom systems. I enjoy what I do. Most people eyes glaze over when I start to talk about it, but to have a huge application launch and start to run nationally is quite amazing. I love problem solving and de-bugging errors. I like to listen to the clients needs and feel my brain start to churn out ways that I can acheive what they want. I take what starts off as a mere wish, need or desire and make it a reality. On more than one occasion I've been referred to as a magician.

But today, my head hurts and I'm feeling overwhelmed. There is simply so much to know and I wish I knew more. My Photoshop skills could be more adept. I wish I had mastery of Javascript and SQL instead of needing to look stuff up all the time. I would love the opportunity to learn Oracle. I'm still getting accostommed to our new Plesk server and phpMyAdmin database interface. I'm hoping we purchase a copy of ColdFusion 8 soon, it seems to have some really cool new features. We have many clients requesting image options that are going to be built into this new version. But yet this will be a whole new realm of learning, questions, incompatibility and new features to learn. In the mean time I am so busy with the myriad of projects I am working on that range from sports and yoga, to automotive supplies and realty companies, marketing firms and hospitals that I am just trying to keep my head above water.

Signature