Currently browsing: Movies
I was perusing Tumblr and ran across this image:
I think that pretty much sums everything up. Things are better, but not fantabulous. We’re finally getting caught up financially and things are looking up as far as that goes. Personally, I would like to work towards putting our house back on the market and start paperwork on the house we wanted (YES! It’s still available!), but Jim’s not ready for that. And I don’t know if or when he will be. Us selling our house indicates promise for a future for “us” … and that’s still uncertain to him.
So, I’m still an emotional sponge. I soak up everything around me, and with the littlest bit of pressure, everything comes rushing out. But at least I’ve been able to hold it together a little better than before. Baby steps, I guess?
I know I haven’t posted much personal stuff … or really, anything at all, other than my weekly funnies. The truth is, I’m busy. We’re busy. And I try like mad to stay distracted or I’ll go out of my mind. (my ‘silly game‘ helps a lot with this, believe it or not, it’s been great therapy for me … in my opinion) And I try every day to find things that make me smile or laugh. Tumblr has been great for that. There’s SO MANY fan sites on there of things that I adore — from kittens and puppies to geeky sci-fi movies and tv shows.
So, like Jim and I have good days and bad days for us, I also have good days and bad days for me. And I’m working hard on keeping positive. The dark place I used to be in now has a little more light, and sometimes I think I can see better days ahead.
I still have hope.
Love and hugs to you all. I promise I’ll try to post more often. ♥
This week’s funnies start off with this one from my mother:
Cowboy Named Buddy
A cowboy named Buddy was overseeing his herd in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced toward him out of a cloud of dust.
The driver, a young man in a Brioni suit, Gucci shoes, RayBan sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the cowboy, “If I tell you exactly how many cows and calves you have in your herd, Will you give me a calf?”
Buddy looks at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looks at his peacefully grazing herd and calmly answers, “Sure, Why not?”
The yuppie parks his car, whips out his Dell notebook computer, connects it to his Cingular RAZR V3 cell phone, and surfs to a NASA page on the Internet, where he calls up a GPS satellite to get an exact fix on his location which he then feeds to another NASA satellite that scans the area in an ultra-high-resolution photo.
The young man then opens the digital photo in Adobe Photoshop and exports it to an image processing facility in Hamburg, Germany.
Within seconds, he receives an email on his Palm Pilot that the image has been processed and the data stored. He then accesses an MS-SQL database through an ODBC connected Excel spreadsheet with email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes, receives a response.
Finally, he prints out a full-color, 150-page report on his hi-tech, miniaturized HP LaserJet printer, turns to the cowboy and says, “You have exactly 1,586 cows and calves.”
“That’s right. Well, I guess you can take one of my calves,” says Buddy.
He watches the young man select one of the animals and looks on with amusement as the young man stuffs it into the trunk of his car.
Then Buddy says to the young man, “Hey, if I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my calf?”
The young man thinks about it for a second and then says, “Okay, why not?”
“You’re an aide in the Obama Administration”, says Buddy.
“Wow! That’s correct,” says the yuppie, “but how did you guess that?”
“No guessing required.” answered the cowboy.
“You showed up here even though nobody called you; you want to get paid for an answer I already knew, to a question I never asked. You used millions of dollars worth of equipment trying to show me how much smarter than me you are; and you don’t know a thing about how working people make a living — or about cows, for that matter.
This is a herd of sheep. Now give me back my dog.”
And this one is courtesy of F*ck Yeah Bill Murray with a clip from Groundhog Day:
Yep … that has SO been my week this week!
Jessie came to work with me yesterday and we had several good discussions throughout the day on various topics. Inevitably, the topic of her mother always comes up one way or another and yesterday was no exception. Jessie shared a profound thought, likening the story of Coraline with her relationship with her own mother — but in reverse. Jessie’s mother is a bit clingy and Jessie, understandably, feels smothered. She told me, “She’s just like the Other Mother, she wants me to always stay with her and says I can never leave.”
My mother-in-law tells me all the time what a positive influence I’ve been to Jessie. In essence, somewhere over the years, the roles of “mother” and “the other mother” became switched. Jessie remarked about her mother’s behavior and wondered if that’s why she and Jim divorced. She said would leave her too if she could, that she wanted to leave her “like Coraline wanted to leave the Other Mother after realizing what she was really like.”
While I laugh at Jessie’s analogy, I can’t help but feel sorry for her mother. I’ve said for years that one day Jessie will grow up and see her mother for what she really is. I think that day has come sooner than anyone thought.
Teresa sent me this and I thought I’d post here for any of y’all that want to follow along …
Feel free to post your results in the comments!
With the rising cost of gas and other necessary expenses, I’ve been looking for ways we can cut back and/or save money on every day things. One of which is our movie collecting — we love movies! Jim and I buy movies all the time (at least one/two per week), but we have so many that we buy and watch once or maybe twice. I’ve wondered if it would be cheaper just to rent movies that we want to “try” and buy it later if we really like it.
I’ve been looking at several movie-by-mail services, like NetFlix and what have you. A couple of my coworkers belong to these types of services and I’ve been asking how they like them, how the service works, etc. We are always getting SunCoast and Blockbuster coupons in the mail, and if memory serves me, they have similar services.
Just wondering if they are worth it?
March 26, 2008 by Nicki
You’ve heard of wine clubs, right? Well, what about wine pawns?
According to Slashfood, the Crédit Municipal de Paris is accepting wine as collateral for loans to its customers.
A spokesman for the pawnbroker says that this move attracts customers who wouldn’t want to pawn jewelry or the like, but a valuable bottle of wine is discreet enough to remove from the home.
Funny thing … in our house, alcohol would be one of the first things we’d notice missing!
There’s a Monty Python skit in there somewhere, I just know it!
“Bring out your wine! Bring out your wine! … ” :wink:
There are a lot of things I wanted to cover today, unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish this post prior to class this afternoon, so bear with me … there’s a lot here.
Those of you who are local I’m sure have been following the story of the busload of Marines that overturned Sunday. They were from E Co., Anti-Terrorism Battalion, 4th Marine Division, returning from a weekend training exercise. I read this morning about Lance Cpl. David Miles, the Marine that passed away Monday afternoon from his injuries. However, even in death he still served others.
“According to his mom, he was very adamant about (donating) his organs … so the mom is very adamant about carrying out his wishes of harvesting as many of his organs as possible.”
Courtesy of The Birmingham News.
No doubt about it in my mind, he’s a hero. Courtesy of Villainous Company, here’s another tale of heroism: America’s Female Warriors Show Bravery, Loyalty. Greta highlighted a brave soldier’s father that she has met through Soldiers’ Angels: Robert Stokely, a fellow SA member and father of Mike Stokely who proudly gave his all for his country in Iraq.
Honestly the grace and bravery that our finest men and women exhibit every day never cease to amaze me. Too bad the liberal media doesn’t show them more often! :sad:
On Cookie’s site earlier today, I read a story about a couple of vets experiencing problems with Verizon:
Verizon Cancels Returning Marines’ Cellphones, Gives Their Number Away, Charges Them $500
Two Marines, a husband and wife, found Verizon had an unpleasant welcome-home gift waiting for them when they got back from serving in Iraq: canceled cellphones, a $500bill, and their phone numbers were given to other people. Under the Service Members Civil Relief Act, when a soldier goes off to war, they’re able to send their deployment letters to their service companies and get their service put on hold. Apparently in the case of Haley Katz and her husband, that letter wasn’t good enough. When they complained and reached a manager, the manager told them ” it was their fault they owed the money”, and then hung up on them. Read their letter as published in Stars and Stripes, inside…
At 3:30 a.m (Iraq time), [recently], my husband and I called Verizon Wireless to reactivate our phones, as we are returning home [from Iraq] soon and wanted to catch the company during its business hours. Upon speaking with a customer service representative, it became apparent that Verizon not only suspended our contracts, it disconnected our phones and gave our numbers away to other customers.
What is truly amazing is that the company took the letters our commanding officers signed regarding our deployment dates, and deemed the letters not worthy of suspending our contracts. It continued to charge us for those months without notifying us and when we did not pay, it disconnected the lines.
Long story short, when we called to reactivate our phones they told us our numbers no longer existed and that we owed them nearly $500!
When we asked to speak to a manager, we were told nothing could be done. When we did actually speak to a manager we were told it was our fault that we owed the money. The manager then proceeded to say “We’re sorry but nothing can be done for you. Goodbye.”
We were hung up on … in Iraq … at 3:30 in the morning. Real professional.
We spoke to another manager who was courteous enough to recredit our accounts and cut all remaining ties with their service. We are no longer with Verizon Wireless.
For all of the soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen out there, make sure you are checking up on the status of your accounts. Apparently, a letter from your command stating you are deploying is not enough these days. And aside from seeing service members off at Marine Corps Air Station Cherry Point (N.C.), I am not sure what else they are looking for.
Marine 2nd Lt. Haley Katz
Camp Fallujah, Iraq
:shock: I’ve heard horror stories about Verizon and their crappy customer service for years, but this takes the cake!
And speaking of human depravity, there’s the Berkley protesters. We’ve all heard of this one, right? Today, Rachel Lucas gave plenty examples of and commented on the ‘fine minds’ (and I say that lightly!) objecting to our nation’s finest.
Somebody please put these morons out of our misery!
Moving on to cooler (and more intriguing) things … a Starbucks employee donates a kidney to her customer. In today’s Mental Floss blog postings, a UAB study is mentioned where researchers are studying the use of scorpion venom in cancer medication. (YAY us!) Also, one of my fave sci-fi blogs, IO9, tells me that there is a remake coming for one of my favorite ‘B’ movies, Attack of the Killer Tomatoes! :grin: And last but not least, a funny bit courtesy of A Bama Blog: How to tell that you’ve ticked off an engineer.
I think that just about covers it.
Oh … before I forget … anyone going to OmegaCon this weekend?
I wanted to help out a friend earlier tonight by importing a blogroll from a hobby site (running the latest version of WordPress) to hers (also running the latest version of WordPress). For the life of me, I could have sworn that WordPress had the ability to export to OPML.
Boy was I wrong! Not only did WordPress NOT have the ability to export blogrolls to OPML, it had absolutely no blogroll exporting capabilities at ALL.
I got the bright idea that maybe I could just export directly from phpMyAdmin. After looking at the structure of my WP tables, I decided that I didn’t want to sit and have to go through the exported data and re-structure by hand.
This was quickly becoming a lot more complicated than I needed. “OK,” I thought to myself, “No problem, I’ll just find a WordPress plugin to do this for me, no biggie.”
Google to the rescue! Or not …
After about an hour of searching and finding absolutely nothing — or rather, nothing helpful — on the topic in the WordPress support forums, in the WordPress Codex, or on the web in general, I decided to broaden my search from exporting blogrolls in WordPress into OPML format to just “export blogroll in WordPress.”
The first and pretty much ONLY helpful hit was for a plugin to export a WordPress blogroll for del.icio.us. It wasn’t exactly what I needed, but after looking at the plugin’s code, I decided that the quickest way to get to where I wanted to be was to hack up that plugin.
It’s pretty simple and I’m surprised that there aren’t more out there like it. It has one configuration option: whether to export all links ‘as is’ or export by a specific category or public/private links. Of course, the last version of WordPress that it supported (listed on the website) is WP 2.2, and the links/categories structure has been redone recently so exporting by category was not an option (and didn’t work at all).
I would have to re-categorize by hand once they were imported — not the solution I wanted, but by this point I would be happy not to have to add each link by hand!
Put on your coding hat
I had to re-design the plugin’s output format, as del.icio.us’ format was nowhere near OPML-friendly (and by this point I had wasted over 2 hours on this crap). So, this is what I did:
I made sure that the export option was set to export all links:
/* ********************************* */
/* [ THIS IS THE VARIABLE TO EDIT: ] */
/* ********************************* */
$option = “”;
Then, in the “DO NOT EDIT BEYOND THIS POINT” section, I modified the export_blogroll_admin() function to this. (could not post code in here, click the link to view .txt file!)
I snagged the OPML formatting from one of my blogrolls on Blogrolling.com. (If you login, go to “Get Code”.) The ‘lastmod’ time is of course VERY off, but it doesn’t matter once it’s imported into WordPress.
Of course, any URLs with ampersands in them WILL NOT import, so remember to convert those &’s to
; — also, look out for any link titles with odd characters in them, those will not import either.
It’s more complicated than it needs to be, and honestly I’m surprised that this capability is not already available in WordPress. While I had to go a round-abouts way to do this, it’s a bit overkill IMO. Think: Fat guy in a little coat meets midget in plus size clothing. (RIP Chris Farley)
I had meant to post about this a short while back, but had forgotten (and dummy me didn’t save the link!) until I was reminded via Beth’s post: GTD in Space – Seven Habits of Highly Effective Spaceship Captains.
Now seriously, I love me some IO9 — it’s a geeky guilty indulgence. While someone more “cultured” may be more obsessed with the latest edition of some wine of the month club mag, I’m jonesing for some sci-fi geekery and IO9 is my fix. They do have really good articles from time to time that make you stop for a second and say to yourself, “You know, I never thought of it that way!” This is one of those.
And so, here you have it: Getting things done, the ‘geek way’…
1. The Prime Directive is just a suggestion. Captain Jean-Luc Picard of the Enterprise wasn’t as swashbuckling as he predecessor Captain James T. Kirk, simply because he actually wrestled with breaking the Prime Directive instead of ignoring it entirely. The Prime Directive states that humans shouldn’t involve themselves in the affairs of less developed planets, for fear of messing up their cultures with ultra-advanced tech. While Picard often considers the importance of the Prime Directive in his decision-making, he refuses to be bound by it. Lesson learned? Rules are made to be broken.
2. Always shoot first. Every good leader should be willing to do what he or she asks of her team. One of the reasons for the loyalty of the ragtag crew of Serenity, the ship Malcolm Reynolds captains in Firefly, is that Mal will throw himself into battle to protect his team. Whenever he has a crazy scheme or rescue mission in mind, he takes the first plunge. Lesson learned? Show your crew that you’re willing to take a bullet for them, and they’ll do the same for you.
3. Don’t be afraid to hook up with a cute spaceman. We love Leela on Futurama not just because she’s the only person on her ship with any kind of sense, but because she also lets her long, purple hair down once in a while. She’s always tangling with spacemen and getting mixed up with strange alien pets. And that’s one good reason why her goofy crew would follow her to the ends of the galaxy — well, if she had enough beer. Lesson learned? A good leader has to get laid once in a while, and she shouldn’t be ashamed of it.
4. When you’re about to go genocidal, get a second opinion. Admiral William Adama from the new Battlestar Galactica is one of the best leaders we’ve ever seen. He’s gotten a group of a few thousand humans halfway across the galaxy, despite the fact that they’re being pursuit by a group of homicidal, erotically obsessed cyborgs. He’s had to deal with incredible loss and sheer terror, and he always keeps his head. He is also truly humane. How does he keep it together without going all Admiral Cain on everybody’s ass? By sharing his power with President Roslyn as well as his circle of trusted officers and advisers. Without their guidance, the Galactica and its fleet might have turned into a bloodthirsty military fleet, instead of what it is: a mostly-civilian group with a (sort of) free press and even elections. Lesson learned? True leaders do not ever make decisions alone.
5. Just because you have a crappy ship doesn’t mean you’re a loser. Everyone knows that Han Solo, captain of the Millennium Falcon from Star Wars, is piloting a souped-up bucket. And yet his seemingly-crappy ship is probably the very best thing for helping out a group of covert resistance fighters like Obi Wan and Luke. Plus, he knows his ship so well that he can totally slam those Stormtroopers in their McFighters. Lesson learned? Every crappy PC is a lean, mean Linux box waiting to be born. Oh, and in case that didn’t make sense: It’s not the tools; it’s what you do with them.
6. Freedom fighters make good teammates. Say what you will about Captain Janeway on Voyager, but she made a smart decision early on to integrate her Federation team with a group of subversive Maquis who got stuck with them out in the Delta Quadrant. Another captain might have kept the Maquis separate from the Federation types, but Janeway integrated them and gave them Federation ranks — much to her good fortune. She got a great Chief Engineer and First Officer out of the deal. Lesson learned? A little subversion goes a long way.
7. There is always somebody out there who can bend spacetime better than you can. In Iain M. Banks’ novel Excession, the Ship Sleeper Service (which is an AI that captains itself, thank you very much) discovers that its amazing, human-dwarfing brain is nothing compared to the “excession,” a phenomenon that none of the Ships can understand. The excession exists in subspace, and looks like a giant something that could be a gateway to another dimension, perhaps, or a ship from the edges of the universe. Meeting the excession, for the Ships, is a very humbling experience. They realize that they are not as omnipotent as they realized, that that there are intelligences out there far more profound than their own. Lesson learned? No matter how in control you are, always be ready for something for which you’re completely unprepared.