naturedance: Caltech GeoChem BS, former ITS staffer, and member of Blacker Hovse (techer geek)
Churning through things at work, and icon-making on my lunch hour. I figured with all of my recent Caltech-related posts, I really should have a Tech-related icon, and I've been spending more time surfing around on the USGS websites and wanted a geo fan icon to put with earth science posts rather than using the NASA fan icon I've been using, so...

See all my little icons!

I'm still trying to figure out exactly what I want for a summer icon. I've made autumn, winter and spring ones I love, but I haven't really made any I like for summer.

My favorite rose on campus is blooming again. Maybe I can remember to bring my camera with me tomorrow...
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (Default)
And it's also why I love life in my apartment with Roommate, because our conversations are like an ongoing exploratory essay.

This article is awesome. It's full of gems like this:

If all you want to do is figure things out, why do you need to write anything, though? Why not just sit and think? Well, there precisely is Montaigne's great discovery. Expressing ideas helps to form them. Indeed, helps is far too weak a word. Most of what ends up in my essays I only thought of when I sat down to write them. That's why I write them.

and like this:

Anyone can publish an essay on the Web, and it gets judged, as any writing should, by what it says, not who wrote it. Who are you to write about x? You are whatever you wrote.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] yesthattom for pointing it out.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (path less traveled)
I really intended to be updating the left sidebar of shakal.org more frequently to recommend and/or review music, books, movies or whatever has captured my attention. That hasn't worked out... partially because making the little images to go with the reviews takes time at my home computer. I've decided to change that sidebar tonight, and to use LJ's memories function and posting utility so I can blather more frequently about what I'm watching, reading, listening to...

Since it's easy to make LJ entries from anywhere, I'll be combining my good things efforts in this journal with the recommendations sidebar on the website from now on.

I went back through my posts in this journal to the very beginning, in October 2002 (I do have a fireplace now, by the way, although it's gas logs rather than for wood!), and memoried the posts having to do with recommended books, music, places, poetry, restaurants, and videos.

And I just have to mention another good thing... AAA membership is a real godsend. I know how to fix most minor problems with my wonderful car, but being able to un-strand one's self with two simple plastic cards (AAA and Visa) and a (cell)phone call when one's car battery has gone kaBOOM in a parking lot in the middle of an utterly unfamiliar town is just wonderful. No stress, no hassle, and I was back on the road in forty minutes.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (cascade)
Yet another reason to back up your files, including your blog, to your local computer and/or removable media which you have physical control over:

From Wired, thanks to a link in Fusion Reaction... Thousands of Blogs Fall Silent.

Note that I use LJ's syndicate feature with Fusion Reaction so that it appears on my LJ friendslist... see?

If you use LiveJournal for your blog, here is the FAQ about exporting a copy of your journal entries and saving it to your local computer. I do mine every few months, and save each month as a separate file on my computer. Note that this method does not save comments, simply the entries. As I understand it, LJ developers are working on a way to save all of the comments as well, but it's not available yet.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring valley)
It dawned on me as I walked across campus this morning that I really enjoy working here. I mean, it's work, and all work and all workplaces have problems and drawbacks, but it's just a beautiful place. Green, growing, blossoming. The weather is for the most part lovely. And when I park on my usual end of campus, I walk right past the Broad Cafe and the really nice lady there knows all of my usual orders (hot chai, hot or iced single extra-tall latte, or just a coffee refill in my Broad mug) and never gets anything mixed up. And when I really want to splurge, they have little raspberry tartlet things.

Some people work in little cardboard cubicles, in office towers of concrete and steel and surrounded by crappy weather for half the year. I work in a basement office now, but I've got a plant and calendar pictures of wild growing places all over the walls, and whenever I need a break I can wander outside for a little walk on one of the prettiest campuses I know of. There are turtles in at least two of the ponds!

I'm really lucky, and sometimes, I remember that that's true, and I'm really thankful.

Also, I have to share this:

The Sumerian Word of the Day is "gal" which means "great" or "large". It's pronounced "gall". Now, I'm used to thinking of the acronym GAL to mean Global Address List, an amalgamated behemoth database of names and email addresses that talks to various protocols and systems, like Exchange and LDAP and ph and finger. Desktop and server-side email clients connect to the GAL so that folks can access a campus-wide addressbook.

I'm so, so tempted to go stick a sign of the logogram on the primary GAL server... but I'm sure everyone on staff would know it was me who did it, which would ruin half of the fun...

*laughter*

Let's see, what else... oh! I've set up some friends filters on this LJ. I'm making them public, because I'm using them as reading filters. Keeping up with my friendslist will be easier now that I can read the following specifically:

- nonterrestrial blogspace
- science
- politics
- computing
- people
- lj news

I'll add these as links to my LJ sidebar, and I may end up shuffling around which journals are part of which filter, or adding additional filters, but this is a first pass effort. I'm pleased with it.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (bright dreams nasa)
The robotic Mars rovers have friends. Lots of friends. They still seem to be trying to decide what to call their nonterrestrial blogspace, but they're very entertaining. Some of the long-range probes are very lonely, some of the satellites are flirting with each other, the earlier rovers are fangirling the newer models, the Hubble is posting art rather than poetry, and it all started with [livejournal.com profile] spiritrover and [livejournal.com profile] opportunitygrrl. If you're curious, check out my friendslist; I've friended all of them that I've found.

Also, as I just mentioned to a friend this past weekend, I used to be able to remember which planets were in the night sky at various times. I kept up with it, you know? And it's been ages since I've done that. Living in Los Angeles means that I see fewer stars than I'm used to, but the planets are usually visible even with all the extra light around. And yes, even though I've been here pretty much constantly since 1992, I still expect the sky to look like the sky I grew up with.

[livejournal.com profile] sclerotic_rings links to an article here that caught my attention just in time... next Sunday, all five of the visible planets will be visible in the evening sky at the same time. That's cool.

And I am quite amused that the Sumerian Word of the Day over at [livejournal.com profile] sumerianwotd (which is now dutifully written on the back of my hand) is "mul" -- constellation.
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (spring dawning)
I've finally figured out how to make and edit the style of my LJ's main page.

Yay for technology!
naturedance: my foot, in my boot, on Mount Rainier (winter wonderland)
The recent hullabaloo about LJ posting limits has reminded me that this is a pretty darned nifty service, and the internet is a pretty darned nifty gadget.

I mean, without it, would any of you be listening to what I have to say? :-)

This is a big THANK YOU! to the LJ admins. Running a service that's transitioned to a business with this many users is no small achievement, especially with no popup ads anywhere!

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