Sunday, May 31, 2009

Number Crunching #156

Actually figured 12/13/2009

Quicken Cash Flow = -182.78
STEF Total = 214.77

May Budget Meeting

Reconciling Quicken with bank statements: Done.
Reconciling last month’s budget: I didn’t do a budget the month before. And boy does it show in $642.00 in bank charges.

If April was the month I stopped watching, May was the month where the falling apart happened that I’m still recovering from today.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Decent writing advice

13 Tips For Actually Getting Some Writing Done and I found it pretty inspiring. I also found her post Quiz: Are You a Moderator or an Abstainer?, equally useful for the health portion of my life.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

The map project just won't die

A three day weekend. One image manipulation project that I just can't seem to finish. So I dedicate one whole day to it. Paint Shop is the only program running, that's the only file open, and when it gets hung up (for whatever reason) I will turn to BMFM: Turbo paper edits. I started at 10:30 a.m.-ish, went to bed at 11:30 p.m.-ish, worked on it more the next day though not exclusively.

And yes, as of today, the stupid thing is STILL not finished. *headdesk*

I'm closer, so much closer to being finished. But I'm also glad that I didn't stop writing the first draft until this map was finished because the text never would have gotten finished. :p

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, May 22, 2009

Once It Looks Pretty, It'll All Be Worth It

I understand how HTML coding works. I understand How CSS stylesheets work. I understand how content management works under Drupal to the point where I can set it up in less than an hour not counting downloading and searching for the modules I want.

What I don't understand is how to make the theme look like I want it to. Or more specifically, I don't know where the conflict is to make it go away.

I don't understand how PHP works. I bought books, read websites, asked questions, but there is something about it that does not connect in my head. Drupal's theme engine (from what I understand out of the Zen's theme building project) works by using the *.info page plus PHP pages to take what has been listed in the CSS stylesheet, and bam! make the Drupal site look customized pretty.

Remembering the pain in the ass time I had hacking into whatever theme I had hacked into while setting up Alt. BM Site, I was sold on this idea. Those hacks have been one of the brakes on updating Alt. BM Site, and anything that could help me build a theme I could just turn off and on or easily correct if I got something ugly on it sounds like a perfect no brainer. Circulation Desk would match the rest of the Library once set up correctly. I could fix things like poll sizes on a CSS stylesheet and watch them take effect site wide for Alt. BM Site without deleting something that allows stories to show up (for example, can you tell I don't trust myself in PHP?) And this is a great example of why theory is always more fun than fact.

So I follow their directions and set up the library desk theme. Then I cracked open the CSS stylesheet and transferred code from the BookWorm's Library. Upload and turned it on, and was greeted by brown as far as the eye can see. Okay, brown is the background color I have lurking under the background image, so that part worked. Where's the image? Dug out the CSS coding tags from HTML Goodies. Oops, I deleted a pair of parenthesis thinking I didn't need them on a style sheet. Added back, saved, uploaded, and refreshed. And still brown as far as the eye can see.

Now I didn't clean out the cache; something I didn't remember until typing this up. SCORE! I just checked it on the work computer and I got the background working. So that's probably the problem at the home computer. Maybe I can get this thing working after all without needing to find someone to do it for me.

Besides that hair pulling, I've been hit with the 'tween-projects-slump also. It's not exactly true, but it still feels weird not to breathing the story in and out all day long. More than once I've had a what should I be doing now moment during the day. It really hit me last night eating supper at a restaurant that was starting to know me as the writing customer. Sure, I could pull out the notebook and start on a new idea, but I have two stories in editing stage plus the website updating. The writing muse can put her feet up for a rest. And that just makes her feel weird.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sherlock Holmes

December 25, 2009

This film is either going to be the best or worse Christmas present EVER.

On the surface, I think Robert Downey Jr. is brilliant casting much like he was brilliant casting as Tony Stark. Something that gets uneven treatment in the adaptations (and was censored in the published works too) is Holmes was an addict. If his brain wasn't high from solving a puzzle he resorted to chemical means. The only thing I would worry about would be the accent, but from the trailer, those didn't sound too bad.

Action sequences: Okay, it's hard to tell some times with Doyle's writing style, but there were plenty of times that Holmes took physical action to trap the villain. I don't have my sources right in front of me, but I'm fairly certain that Watson lists boxing and fencing among Holmes strengths. And then there's a great moment in "The Speckled Band" where the villain tries to intimidate Holmes by bending a fireplace poker in front of him. Holmes straightens it out in front of Watson after the villain storms out.

And I have always had a soft spot for Irene Adler and Holmes and the non-canonical continuation of their relationship, which should be anything but platonic or domestic. The trailer raised my eyebrows hopefully for this.

I haven't bumbled around the mystery blogsphere to see what other people or grumbling about yet.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

In the people can be decent department

Back in April, CNN reported that the last Titanic survivor was auctioning off all her memorabilia and selling autographs in order to pay for her nursing home care.

Today the news is that Kate Winslet, Leonardo DiCaprio, and James Cameron have all donated to the fund to help Millvina Dean meet this need.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 11, 2009

Making Plans

I have no idea how I managed to do it, but my back feels like it has been tied up in one giant knot. Or as my massage therapist friend put it, “You’ve got a lot of tension there.” My monthly chiropractic appointment is Thursday, but I may see if I can move it up if it doesn’t improve. The only thing I can think of is that I haven’t been moving enough, with the sit-and-study, sit-and-write, sit-and-manipulate-the-images routine I’ve had lately.

And it took almost all weekend to review projects and plans and try to figure out what will be going on in the next eight months. There’s something really satisfying about being able to make a hole in my Weekly To Do List template. Not that the other things already scheduled on the list won’t fill up that time without me adding anything, but I allowed myself a Zen moment of accomplishment.

I would like to avoid the insane layering of projects if at all possible. Which is why I took so long studying everything. Let’s start by looking at the really backlogged:
  • Housework – shouldn’t count as a project but it got out of hand and needs to be wrestled into submission before I make myself sick.
  • The BookWorm’s Library – updating is a year past due
  • Alt. BM Site – ditto
  • FFGarret – time to unveil this and see if I can make it work
  • BMFM: Turbo – finish
  • BMFM: For Worse – finish
  • Tin Man: Dragons and Ninjas – finish
  • Tin Man: Pirates of the Nonestic – finish
  • Strix – start and eventually finish
  • Zy’s Novel – start and eventually finish
  • Faulkner paper – finish on the deadline
  • Office remodel – have plans so I’m ready when I have money
  • Kitchen remodel – have plans so I’m ready when I have money
  • Bathroom remodel – have plans so I’m ready when I have money
  • Sewing circle – toying with this idea as a way to be social and get things off the project list
And this is just how easily the plans overwhelm me, damn it. It’s all well and good to say “update the website” but that doesn’t cover all the mini-projects that must be done fore I can sign off that it is finished. *Deep breath.* Prioritize. Admittedly, not my strongest affinity.

The BookWorm’s Library – what needs to be finished for me to feel like it’s a real update?
  1. Newsletter set up with a new story ready to go including Author’s Notes and soundtrack
  2. Edited Author’s Notes with soundtracks uploaded
  3. Story mistakes fixed
    • missing flash players added
    • fix McGilla to Magilla in crossover
    • Make sure all the edited Evil Jack stories are uploaded
  4. Take down old Writing Tutorials and put up link to FFGarret
  5. Forum for feedback
  6. Project Wonderful ads

Okay, I think these six things (and believe the idea list is much longer) are doable by the end of the month. Some of them may be already done and I forgot I did them. But let’s not get ahead of myself here; break everything down into Action Steps.
  1. New story ready to post: BMFM For Worse is done
  2. New story’s Author’s Notes is ready to post: done
  3. Soundtrack for new story: already uploaded
  4. Newsletter delivery system: need one
  5. Newsletter announcement: rough draft written
  6. Author’s Notes had soundtracks added to them: done
  7. Author’s Notes have been uploaded: no
  8. Missing flash players have been added: no
  9. Crossover fix has been uploaded: no
  10. Edited Evil Jack stories have been uploaded: no
  11. Removed old Writing Tutorial section: no
  12. Add links to FFGarret: no
  13. FFGarret ready to go live: no
  14. Forum delivery system: need one
  15. Project Wonderful ads created: no
  16. Project Wonderful ads have been positioned on pages: no
Lot more listed as “no” than “finished.”

FFGarret: Needs before going live
  1. Create ads for Project Wonderful
  2. Write first article
  3. Write second article
  4. Write third article
  5. Write fourth article
  6. Write fifth article
  7. Write and publish an article a week—see if setting up future posts is possible with Drupal
Like dominoes falling into place, sadly almost. There’s a lot to do here, but I think it’s totally doable to make two of these items two Big Rocks for the week. So I’m going to have these projects finished by June 1st before moving to the next one.

That’s the plan as it stands right now. Let’s see how the week turns out.

Thursday, May 07, 2009

MA Exam Part 2

I PASSED PART TWO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Unless I get told differently, I should be walking in December, after I finish the Faulkner paper for the Fall semester. So I am one more step closer to the pictured event.

So what does this mean for my writing schedule? I haven't gotten that far yet. Planning out my project schedule will have to wait until I get home and can take an uninterrupted look at the calendar.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, May 04, 2009

M.A. Exam Part 2

Taken. I actually feel better about how this went than I did the first time I took it, but I won't know anything until they release the results. Which they hope will happen by Thursday. o.O Yeah, I think that's pretty quick.

And on a side note, I think I should pass simply because I got two parking tickets while taking the stupid thing. I'm not arguing that I shouldn't have (cause I was running out of time and said "shit with it" as I parked. Put a parking garage where Lee Hall used to be; if you go taller you could still have grass. :p) But as a karmic balancing thing; it sounds fair.

Or just tell me I failed and let me cheerfully reclaim more of my time from Faulkner's grasp. It's unreal how easy I am to please over this outcome. Now I'm going to take a break and play with maps. I have to go break a continent.

Oh in other details, cause it has been a while since I updated. I did get the home computer up and running. I'm still cleaning out the saved files, because there is only so long I can work on that before getting sick of deleting. Now I need to turn everything off and install a new battery, but I want to be able to turn the computer back on, so I'm leery.

Read Free!
The BookWorm