October 21st, 2002


On web logs

Whee. Went to Fort Point Open Studios for a bit yesterday. It was pretty neat. There was one piece in particular that I really, really liked, and, if I'd had an extra $850, I might have seriously considered getting it. It was a canvas that was maybe a foot square, and it had a hummingbird on it, maybe actual size. The background of the canvas just gave off this feel of being kind of old paper, turning yellowy-borwn, kind of dirty. It's hard to describe, and the artist apparently doesn't have a web site. Looking at the listing of artists, I'm surprised at the number who don't have a web site.

Yesterday was also a surprise birthday party for a friend, and that was fine, too. Much food was et. Got to talk to the birthday boy a bit about a photography class he's starting to take. Photography is one of those things I've occasionally thought it would be neat to get to know stuff about. Of course, I don't have enough time to do the things that I think i'm somewhat good at, so I don't know how I'd find the time (read "motivation") to start up a new hobby. Of course, the party was pretty motivational, since I showed off some pictures I had taken (no one seemed to appreciate the picture of the squished mouse I took yesterday morning except me), and I took a few people shots there and showed them off. Some of them were pretty nice, and people really seemed to like them. I'm going to have to see how nice of a picture I can print out with my printer. The printer is actually higher resolution than the camera, so the low-res camera is going to be the limiting factor. Another reason to start taking more pictures is that I can then justify spending the money on a shiny new digital camera, one that has really good resolution. And one that doesn't have a disk drive, since that makes the camera heavy and bulky. Sure, it's nice to be able to carry around disks and just keep taking lots of pictures, but I rarely take that many pictures, and the snazzier cameras have enough memory for many more pictures than I've ever taken at one time.

Checked my work email this morning and was reminded that I have a class on effective "eCommunication" today from 1:30-3:00. Yes, we're going to learn how to use email and voice mail effectively. I'm sure it will be highly educational. I don't think I could get away with bringing a book, since we'll be in a conference room instead of a classroom. Hmm, I think I still have some printouts of some Jotto puzzles with me, so I guess I could bring those. Yes, this is the class that was mandatory but had a limited attendance, so I could have just waited to sign up until it was already full, but I didn't think about that then.

And the crazy thing is, I actually want to work today. I still don't have work that is the work I was hired for, but I do have two small projects to work on. they're both relatively mindless, but one of them, the one I get to do after I finish up the current one, looks to be fun, actually. I'm basically looking at a competitor's book and coming up with a list of topcs that they teach that we don't in one particular area. Sure, it's relatively mindless, but the whole idea sounds pretty neat to me. No, I'm not making any decisions about what's going to show up in the next revision of our books, but I will be providing the preliminary analysis, and it's the kind of job that I think will benefit from my thoroughness.

That turned into an incredibly longer journal entry than I had originally intended.

I'll have to remember to put my pictures up on the web. Hmm, methinks I need to make myself an online photo gallery. I'm thinking a directory structure of pictures, and each picture has a description file associated with it. Dynamically generated web page that lets people see thumbnails and click for full image and click for description. That sounds like a fun project. Of course, I'll probably need to spend most of my energy on getting my article together. Still haven't heard back from TPR, but I expect I'll hear some time this week. And then I'll want to probably do an outline, get comments on that, do a draft, get comments on that, do a second draft, get comments on that, etc. The deadline for the January issue is November 15th, so that doesn't leave much time. Of course, I'm not sure if that means articles need to be done by then or if proposals need to be submitted by then. For now, I'm going to treat it like I need to get the article done by then. And, of course, I need to do some homework, and I need to do some Krayzen work. I've been told I'm getting some stuff back this week from the first Krayzen file that I copy edited, so that should provide some motivation for doing some more of that.

I suppose I can put photography in the Compendium, so that'll be some more stuff for this month. October is still looking to be a very lean month. Two-thirds of the way done with the month, and I have like 3 things to put in there. Err, I guess I can put the meal I made Saturday night in there. Well, I dunno. It was the first time I'd made that, but I didn't make up the recipe myself: hrafn did. Well, I'll probably put it in anyway. And the potato-onion-egg thing I did last night could probably go in there. I think I'm going to need to write some poetry to go in this month. Going to a poetry open mike Wednesday night, so that might provide some good inspiration for poetry.

Okay, time to get stuff done, since I'm going to be losing an hour and a half this afternoon to that class. Hmm, I may have to not check LJ too much today, since I really want to get that first project done today.

NPR WESUN Puzzle (http://www.npr.org/programs/wesun/puzzle)

The current puzzle:

This week's challenge comes from Sudipta Das, a young computer student in Calcutta, India. Think of a familiar 9-letter word, in which the first letter immediately follows the 9th in the alphabet. The 2nd letter immediately follows the 8th in the alphabet. The 3rd immediately follows the 7th, and the 4th immediately follows the 6th. For example: SPECTATOR (S follows R, and P follows O). Unfortunately, the pattern breaks down with the remaining letters. Hint: The word is used most often in the TV and film industry. What word is it?

After struggling for a little bit to figure out what exactly this puzzle meant, I wrote a program to solve it. I had one little problem with the program, but it was easily fixed once I searched out some online documentation on how some things work. The program whipped through the 32,000 nine-letter words in about 10 seconds and came up with the unique solution.

Not sure if I should send it in or not, since it was so easy to find with a computer and a word list.

Effective eCommunications

Well, at least that wasn't a waste of an hour and a half.

It was only a waste of an hour and five minutes.

Really, just a bunch of advice like:

"Get to the point quickly."
"Avoid writing in all capital letters."

And a review of voicemail features that we already have documentation about.

Beats working, I guess.