naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (autumn bountiful harvest)
...because my cat has taken one look at the larger one I sat out on the bed to pack things into for my Thanksgiving trip and immediately curled up inside it. She's resisted all efforts to dislodge her, and is in fact purring if I leave her alone.


She looks so comfortable curled up in there...

Yeah, I'm packing the smaller bag.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (reflective)
First, a bit of personal stuff...

My hands/wrists/arms/shoulders are throwing a fit because I've been on the computers too much lately and one of them has a keyboard that messes with me, so this entry's formatting is not up to my usual standard, sorry.

(edited to add: work ordered another minikeyboard for me for that computer earlier in the week, and it just arrived. Bliss! For the record, I now depend on BenQ Desksaver keyboards on all of my PCs; regular keyboards with tall keys spaced wider _hurt_. I've also switched to using more comfy trackball thingies rather than mice with Evil Scroll Wheels, for the same reason.)

Grad school class is going OK, though I'm really tired and buzzwords bend my brain. I've got lots to type up about the books and articles we've been reading, though, and I hope to do so as part of my studying this weekend for the midterm next week.

I bought myself a new 12" Mac laptop. It rocks. I'm still getting the hang of it, but I do love it so far.

Work is crazy and busy but I'm hanging in there, as usual.

And here's what I spent my lunch hour reading...

Wil Wheaton mentioned on his blog at a potentially interesting site called Digg. He also has a really great story about running around his front yard like a loon because it's his birthday. As always, Wil rocks.

Wil's post led me both to and to photos of a release of ten thousand superballs boinging their way down a San Francisco street.

That led me to an interesting photo storage site.

The science links page at Digg led me to the BBC's really cool section about exploring Mars.
Lake of frozen water:
Possibly found the crashed polar lander:
Rover missions extended:

Other interesting stuff on LJ:

"Don't be smart."

Language creation stuff -

Nation-state simulator program/game -

That reminds me... I stumbled across a neat tutorial for making planet images using Photoshop a while back...

Explaining outdated technology to children... "In the old days. Were you black and white?"

Using cell phone data to track behavior...

Baen's online fiction library...

Microsoft unveils new version of its operating system, "Vista" ...the running joke resulting from this seems to be "We are assured that the new name is not an acronym for Viruses, Infections, Spyware, Trojans and Adware. No, no, no, no, no, it's really not."

Think one person can't change the world? Read a little bit about one woman who was instrumental in starting what have now become LGBT Pride celebrations every year around the world, at

Back to work now...

Spammy day

Oct. 15th, 2004 11:53 am
naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
My inboxes, like everyone else's, are flooded with unsolicited bulk email, most of which is uninteresting. However, today was just a really odd mix.

Apparently, I need to buy a log home in Russian, though I doubt I could follow the installation instructions. I also am one of five finalists in a promotional Treasure Chest Sweepstakes Lottery in the Netherlands, despite never having entered. And then there's the one telling me to become an ordained minister, so that I can "Perform Weddings, Funerals, Perform Baptisms, Forgiveness of Sins, Visit Correctional Facilities! Want to open a church? Check out Ministry in a Box!"

Um... no.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (reflective)
[ profile] sclerotic_rings linked here to this collection of client quotes and horror stories, a commiseration among web designers working in the year 2000. Some of them are really, really sad, and some of them are really, really funny. It's always good to actually know what you're asking for, before you ask for it... otherwise you end up having conversations like this.

Client: "Can you make the background constantly change colors? I want people to know that we are fun and exciting."
Me: "People will think you are trying to give them a siezure."
Client: "Look, just try it, and if we don't like it, we can change it later."

I wonder how much the client ended up paying to "change it later"?

My humble contribution, had I known about the discussion board those years ago, would have been:

A client contracted with me for part-time work a few years ago for the initial website design and rollout for startup company. I was cash-poor at the time, and took on the work as an evenings-and-weekends project, which was supposed to be fairly small. He told me that they had an artist already lined up to do all of the images, including a company logo, navigation buttons, a big splash imagemap, etc. All I had to do is participate in a meeting with folks from the company to agree on a list of what images would be needed. They'd then pass the list to their artist, and all would be well. Their engineering staff were on board to do the product writeups and whitepapers and I'd worked with some of them before, so we had a good working relationship about grammar and spelling changes.

We emailed a bit, then had that meeting and decided the major sections of the website and the list of images. I was happily churning away on the design work, plugging content into the basic page templates, and was ready to solify the template design as soon as I got the images. I went to pick them up, and the client guy told me that the artist wasn't finished with all of them, but that some of them were ready... and I was handed a stack of pastel drawings.

Yes. Done on textured paper. With colored chalk. They were lovely, but...

I ended up getting paid enough for the hours of scanning and by-hand cleanup in Photoshop to pay for both my flatbed scanner and the software. The group that had signoff on the entire site didn't end up liking how the templates I made using those images turned out at all, so I created the navigational buttons and menus myself digitally, and left out the icons completely, if I'm remembering correctly. I cringe to think of what the artists, both conventional and digital, went through with this one guy, though.

Soon thereafter, the company hired a digital artist to create a digital logo, background image, and a couple of other nice images for the site. Between that and the product schematics and diagrams and a couple of nice photos provided by the engineering types, the site went live, looked pretty, and all was well.

Although I decided, at that point, not to ever work again as a contract web designer.

The running joke around my full-time working peers nowadays, whenever we're rolling out any project in our department, is to ask each other, "Oh, I dunno, can you make it more... purple?"

Note the new color scheme at *grin* The tabletop surfaces in our machine room are purple, too.

Yep, sometimes my job is very stressful, or I feel like I'm hauling the same rock up the same hill over and over again, but... I do love my work.

February 2017

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