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ARCHIVES: January 24-31, 2004


January 31, 2004 - Saturday


Right now, my husband is laughing. I know he is reading the Straight Dope message boards. He just read one comment about how Europeans think it is vulgar that Americans use a fork in their right hand. Then the replies to that triggered more laughter.


We participated in Meteor Buffet's seafood night. It was heaven! But then I like shrimp and crab, especially their coconut shrimp. One young worker there is 2 weeks from having her first child. I told her to sit down and get off her legs. She just laughed.


I was watching a FOX News interview this morning with a South Carolina leader. I don't know who they were talking with, but it was somebody official over there -- maybe the governor or senator. He said that Kerry came to talk to him once. Asked how he felt about gun control, he opened his drawer, pulled out a gun and said, "As long as I retain control of this, I am for it." He said the presidential hopeful never did meet with him again and would not do so just before their big primaries.


We have three cats. Our youngest cat, Muddy who has not been neutered yet, is a bit confused. He thinks one of our neutered older cats is a female and he's following him around, sniffing and checking to see if the older cat is going to suddenly turn into a female in heat. He's very sweet and affectionate with this cat and seems to enjoy keeping him company until such moment occurs. (Meanwhile, the cat ignores him.)


On the other hand, Muddy thinks our other neutered cat is a dangerous male that he must fight off and keep away from the first cat. I have to keep Muddy and the "dangerous male" out of the same room or under supervision. If Muddy doesn't calm down, he will need to be neutered, too. Life is just not boring these days.



January 30, 2004 - Friday

MyPlace.Info - Redesigned

Just for the heck of it, recolored this site --> MyPlace.info.



Dossiers Idea On Hold

Due to extreme unpopularity, the dossier idea (from yesterday's entry) is on hold until public hearings can be held. I am glad this is being opened to discussion.


I know it is a complex issue and ties into the question, "How much of our privacy are we willing to give up for safety and convenience?" Personally, I am not sure where to draw the line, but I think the public has a right to know and decide upon things like this. More ...



Getting Enough Sleep?

Researchers claim that everyone needs 8 hours of sleep a night. A few months ago, another study said people might live longer with a little less sleep, but maybe all the sleep clinics across America squelched that one because I haven't heard much since it was first mentioned on Good Morning America. (Sleep clinics charge a mint and make big bucks. I am sure they do much good, but, man, do they make a lot of money.)


Martha Stewart claimed she only needed 5 hours of sleep a night. Whenever I didn't get enough sleep, that became my mantra (although I tended to fall asleep in front of the TV early the next evening).


In last night's newspaper, the average amount of sleep for each age group was printed. This is not what people are supposed to get, only what they actually end up getting.


Over 50 years old:   5 & 1/2 hours a day

From 46 - 50 years old:   6 hours

31-45:   7 & 1/2 hours

19-30:   8 hours (Oh, to be young again!)

14-18:   9 hours

10-13:   10 hours

3-9:   11 hours

6-23 months old:   13 hours

1 to 15 days old:   16-22 hours (That's how much my cat gets.)


(From "The Handy Science Answer Book" - Visible Ink Press, reprinted in The Huntsville Times)


Sleep experts say the elderly, in fact, all adults, still need 8 hours of sleep, but old folks have greater trouble sleeping so they have to make do with less -- that explains why my dad slept in church last Sunday.


Besides, the older I get, the more I want to do. There's no time to waste sleeping!



Domain Names=Big Business?

Many clever ".us" names were grabbed early by various businesses or other folks who only plan to resell them. Guess they thought they were being smart, but I figure that the ".us" extension will not be nearly as popular as COM or even ORG or NET, not to mention the other kazillion dot names available. Otherwise, instead of these holding companies, the name would be in use by now.


Maybe folks will try to tack a .com at the end of my new domain like http://relatedto.us.com which goes nowhere or http://relatedtous.com which, at the time of this writing, is owned by nobody. H-m-m-m, maybe I'd better secure that one.


Wasn't COM designated for a commercial site? But nowadays, folks think of it as a standard web address. They must be right - com is still the most popular extension because people are used to it -- sort of like "kleenex" becoming a generic reference.


The news often mentions the "rise and fall" of dot com companies, but when do they mention the rise and fall of a dot org company? Did we have a dot org revolution? H-m-m-m, a "dot org" -- sounds almost dirty.



January 29, 2004 - Thursday

Telemarketers Must Now Use Caller ID

This announcement was in my news today -- but I had already figured out that it was a telemarketer when it said "unknown caller." Inspite of the do-not-call law, we're still getting too many marketing calls. One marketer has called here 5 times in the past 2 days. On their first try, we saw the Caller I.D. number and braced ourselves. When I picked up the phone, I got a computer voice, so I hung up.


For some reason, the telemarketer registered that as a "not home" and has been calling us ever since. I see their number on the I.D., pick up and hang up right away.


Sigh -- it would have been easier to listen to the whole sordid pitch, but that's admitting defeat, right?



Dossiers on Every Living Person

Here's  a scary thought -- one state is participating in the MATRIX program, gathering information on all of its inhabitants. Their governor actually issued the order.


"It sounds like a sci-fi thriller: a super computer program that gathers dossiers on every single man, woman and child everything from birth and marriage and divorce history to hunting licenses and car license plates. Even every address you have lived at down to the color of your hair." More ...




I visited GoDaddy.com and found that they were offering selected domain names for $4.95 a year with free forwarding (and other things). I loved the US extension and tried clever ways to make use of it -- See.Us (owned by a site that wants to sell it for big bucks), Visit.Us (a law firm), Photosof.Us (a porno mail forwarding service) and so on until I discovered RelatedTo.Us was free. Seems like all the clever .US titles weren't taken yet. I know I don't need this -- but hey, it was only $4.95 for the entire year.



January 28, 2004 - Wednesday

New Google Search Tool

Search Google for only the most recent material - up to 30 days ago with this tool from FreshGoo.com. Its one way to narrow down a massive search.



Superbowl Eating

Statistics show Super Bowl Sunday is the second largest food-consumption event in the United States, next to Thanksgiving, according a newspaper report. I bet the event is also responsible for huge sales of high definition TVs, too. I want one! Better yet, I want to be able to afford one. Oh well, like we say for the computer, "Next year they will be cheaper and better." In the meantime, please pass the nachos!



January 27, 2004 - Tuesday

News Is Free - Site

Saw this on TechTV.com - a very large site with many features and sources for news - also has RSS feeds --> NewsIsFree. It looks good with many categories and options. Although "news is free," some of their subscription features require a fee. Ha!



Renaming the U.S. 666 Highway

I thought this was funny -- several states are renaming U.S. 666 to U.S. 491 because of religious concerns with the number 666. Sightings of old women, presumably Salem Witches, were seen along the highway.  This editorial claimed the residents along 666 were missing a good tourist opportunity -- like what Roswell, New Mexico, does.


The whole hullabaloo about 666 was credited to Hollywood for glamorizing the number. The editorial claimed that, prior to 1990, there was little general concern over the number 666.



Alabama Lottery Coming Up Again

Yesterday's paper said that local legislators are getting ready to bring up a lottery vote again. I do not like seeing a government resort to gambling to get money, taking advantage of the stupid who actually believe they will win back more than they lose. A friend said it would be better if Alabama would show the country that we can have good schools without resorting to a lottery.


On the other hand, all the states bordering us have gambling in one form or another and our schools need the money. Alabama voted down a tax increase. What are we to do? If only there were some way to get rid of pork and corruption. I think we could improve schools without gambling or tax increases, but I don't think it will happen that way, alas.


With all the positive press the Tennessee Lottery is getting, I bet Alabama will pass the next state lottery bill. I feel sorry for people who think they really have a chance of winning big bucks. The odds are greater that they will be hit by lightning - or go bankrupt.


Better yet, check out Southern Blog and read about a good chance at winning a new car (entry dated 1-25-04). Odds for winning big are much better and it does not even cost money to enter.



Uploading Problems

I am using Angelfire to host this site. I joined them a long time ago. I know there is better but I am well-established with Angelfire with over 6,000 genealogy pages with links to individual pages on different families scattered all over the Internet. I don't want to move.


Starting a week or so ago, it has become impossible to upload to my web shell on Angelfire during the day. They give me a message to the effect of  "upload failed - try again." I can upload at 3 or 4 a.m. I am not sure what is going on. I contacted their customer support and got back a standard answer with a link to basic help page about using FTP -- frustrating because learning FTP is not the problem.


About that time, Comcast said they have speeded up our downloads and it is true. Did they mess up the uploading, though? Is Angelfire just slow (they are located in Massachusetts) due to cold causing problems?


I've tried uploading with Mozilla (which handles this problem better since, unlike IE, it does not send me to some kind of "Website Not Responding" page which forces me to re-enter the site). I've tried using another computer and also uploading from a Linux system -- all with the very same results.


The upload appears to go through, but at the last minute, when the page should update with the new file being listed, it stops. If you find this site not updated one day, I will make up for it by 3 or 4 a.m. the next day. It's hard to get out of a warm bed, though. Maybe I'd better just sleep by the computer - hah.


Well - just after I write all of the above, Angelfire support comes through with a different way I can upload files. If I leave the interface behind and do a strict FTP, it works. Hallelujah!



January 26, 2004 - Monday

Guadalajara Jalisco

This is the best Mexican restaurant in Huntsville (located on the southern end of the Parkway). The atmosphere is nothing special, but the food is fantastic. My favorite item is the Shrimp Fajita Quesadilla Deluxe, filled with big fat shrimp, fajita vegetables, cheese and topped with lettuce, tomatoes, sour cream, guacamole and hot peppers. Heaven! (It comes in a chicken and beef version, too.)


Also good is their Shrimp Fajita Salad. It's not really a salad even though it has a touch of lettuce. This is served in a large shell with generous amounts of cheese and vegetables. This restaurant does shrimp better than any other Mexican place I've tried.



Murphy's Law

I paid $20 for the new keyboard on Saturday. Today, it is on sale at another place for HALF PRICE! Argh! I kept the receipt and packaging, but it is a hassle to make another trip. Still ten dollars is ten dollars.



January 25, 2004 - Sunday

New Keyboard

After spending 2 weeks visiting many computer stores in town and looking around on the Internet, I finally chose a new keyboard, a Microsoft Internet board. It was not an easy decision because I generally disliked all of them. We found some older used boards at Computer Renaissance, but they weren't the same trusty old IBM quality I had before.


I tried out several boards before I found one that I thought responded well enough to key presses. I was tired of having to pound hard on the one I had borrowed.


The one I chose is not perfect, but it did have a passable response to light key presses. Some of the keys are programmable. I could turn off the annoying CAPS LOCK that I always seem to hit inadvertently. Yay!


I didn't really care about the extra keys at the top of the board. My mouse has 8 keys with different functions still, I might start liking the additional shortcuts.


My husband was the best help in going with me. He actually found the Microsoft version. I don't know what I'd do without him. He's a treasure.



Fazoli's is Dead

It was a fast-food Italian place in Huntsville. It was also a good deal. Often we would go inside - I'd order a side salad for a couple of dollars or so, then eat the fresh hot Olive Garden-type breadsticks they would bring around free every 5 or 10 minutes. You could get full on 2 or 3 dollars. Besides having the best breadsticks in town, they'd serve lemonade ices. I will miss them.


From asking around, folks say the place had several management problems and was shut down by the franchise. It was in a great location. Maybe the building will not stay vacant too long.



January 24, 2004 - Saturday

Host Problems

The site which hosts my blog, Angelfire, is having problems accepting uploads so I might not be able to update this blog regularly for a few days. They are located in colder parts of the country which might be affecting power, etc.


It takes several tries to get a file uploaded and I find uploading at 4 a.m. works with less tries. I think they've been adding "new features" which might be messing up a few things, too.



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