Thursday, February 25, 2010

Found the Culprit

Had around twenty ounces of lemonade on top of my usual drinks and no strange brain fog. Though apparently my snappy mouth is back according to my coworkers "You should watch how you talk to people" *Eyeroll* EVERYBODY gets a little snap to their voice when they are interrupted right in the middle of counting and I don't have a sugar voice. And if I was supposed to say "please" for something I consider can wait until I'm done *eyeroll again*

That'll be my self-righteous tendency baring its head. I will be on this job for 10 years come May with the same coworkers. But I have no idea how long it will take for them to decide that is a personality quirk that isn't going away and they can stop lecturing me about it.

Back to the topic I wanted to deal with: no strange brain fog last night. So keep water on the desk to sip throughout the day is back on the must do list. I slept better last night after washing dishes. So I don't know if the old tale "Never go to bed with a dirty sink" is true or if the combination of steam and dish soap makes me sleepy. *shrug* Now to figure out where I stand on the Big Rocks.

Work Big Rocks
  • Financial paperwork is planning the budget for this paycheck and March.
  • FFGarret posts: counts as website hour: need to write one and edit the other and post.
  • Challenge Fanmix: counts as website hour: need to write entry and post for after contest
  • BMFM: Turbo: counts as writing hour: email former beta readers since I fell off the radar
  • Tin Man: Kink: counts as writing hour: editing
  • Zy's Novel: counts as writing hour: add background material to wiki
  • Strix: counts as writing hour: add background material to wiki

Home Big Rocks
  • The inbox: I have divided it into financial paperwork and everything else. And the financial paperwork is the smaller pile! It's not often I get to say that. I need to buckle down and concentrate on just the inbox until I find the bottom.
  • Back bedroom: seal the leak
  • Phone: Set up the new voicemail
  • Taxes: DO THEM!
  • Tin Man: Dragons & Memories: counts as writing hour: need to link to Ref. Wiki and depends on Ref. Wiki moving online
  • Tin Man/Alice: Making Whole: counts as writing hour - make title banner and other illustrations
  • Tin Man: Pirates: counts as writing hour: editing is waiting on beta reader
  • Circulation Desk Dev.: counts as website hour: upload changes to Prod. Site (i.e. getting Ref. Wiki online) and a massive headache because of issues. Find the duplicate entry and see if I can connect MySQL Workbench to the server
  • Library Dev.: counts as website hour: upload pages once links to Ref. Wiki are fixed
  • FFGarret Dev.: counts as website hour: fix CSS--find out why the Zen-created theme doesn't show up on the local server and start it on the prod. site if need be
  • Challenge Fanmix: counts as website hour: make cover art
  • Challenge Icons: counts as website hour: make them.

That makes things much clearer. Depending on "what do i want to work on" has had me dwelling on the stuff I can only do at home, which is aggravating when I have things to do while I'm at work.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

How Did I mess Up Sleep?

Yeah, after two good wake-ups, today was a lousy late start. And considering one of the good was hampered by no electricity (that problem has been solved though), and I went to bed on time, I don't get it.Admittedly, I haven't stuck to 'cross off all items before bedtime' goal this week, but last night I had no concentration. No blame on TV because I had it on music. Even with my list in front of me, I had no mental clarity to follow it.

Besides bedtimes, the only other health cause I came up with is I didn't drink enough. With the holiday crazy schedule, I got out of the habit of keeping some ice water on the desk while at work. I'm going to pay attention to that today and see what happens.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 22, 2010

This week will be a doozy

Positive from last week: I may not be meticulous about my inbox yet, but I haven't left dishes in the sink before going to bed.

So far, I'm not holding my breath that this week will be stellar--despite my birthday on Friday. I spent three and a half hours Sunday cleaning, putting the shelves up, getting the contents back into the back bedroom so I can use it again. Midnight a thunderstorm rolls in and I heard the unmistakable sound of water hitting the plastic bucket. After all that work Saturday and Sunday, we still managed to miss the damn leak!

It's coming from the seam where two tin sheets overlap. I think we can seal the interior along with the exterior since I uncovered it now. So that feels fixable. But the aggravation levels aren't done.

I broke apart Sunday into writing and website work with the cleanup. It's the easiest method to make sure I don't sit at the computer too long or never take a break from cleaning. So an hour before bedtime, I found myself ready to upload the changes I tested for the Circulation Desk to the production site. Hold the applause; there's a reason why the production site is still in maintenance mode.

All the modules transferred over fine, I'm happily thinking I'll have the Reference Wiki up last night and spend Monday getting links pointed to the nodes, and phpMyAdmin won't import the local copy of the database. Keeps saying it can't find it and then it times out.

Before I pulled myself bald, I went searching if this was a common issue with an established workaround and found instructions for setting up MySQL GUI--a program that acts like a FTP client for MySQL databases (and does other things too). So I clicked away to get it, only to find out it has been replaced with MySQL Workbench and then got mired into them wanting me to wait seven days for a business license to clear. I finally got the open-source version downloaded and went to bed.

Despite not being asleep until after midnight, I got up early enough to have computer time. Program installed just fine, but I could not make it connect to the production site database. All the tutorials I could find are about the other nifty features MySQL Workbench can do, because if you need this program you already know how to make connections. *head desk*

I sent in a feedback form telling my web hosting company that their tutorial is out of date. I may have to go through the trouble ticket route but figured that can wait until I'm home and can actually follow their suggestions. At worse, I can cut and paste to create the Reference Wiki by hand but the whole point of a database is not to have to!

I have to double check that I'm not using two different version of MySQL, but I did have the same issue just importing a just made copy when upgrading to Drupal 6 from 5 (so I don't think that's the culprit). Maybe import in sections, but when the error message says it can't find the file to upload, I don't think that's the solutions.

So Monday is off to a great start. :p

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Deconstruction Fun

You can see the black icky--potentially mold--on the ceiling sheet rock as a result of the leak. Since we couldn't find the leak from the outside, the goal for today was to take down the sheet rock, see how bad the damage is, find the leak from the inside, and plug it.

With the leak plugged and the AC window unit replaced, the moisture in the room that made the paneling warp and knock my shelving system loose shouldn't be an issue any longer. Then I could flatten the paneling and put the shelves back up.

It's all a patchwork job until I have money for a real renovation, which at this point I think will mean rebuilding the back third of my house from the ground up. Maybe Bob Villa will want to take it on for comedy value.

Silly me thought I could scour the sheet rock with a utility knife and I would only need to take half of it down. After that failed, I remembered seeing the TV experts would knock holes with their hammers. So I tried that. And discovered that not only are the walls a layer of wood with sheet rock on top, so is the ceiling! I couldn't make a hole to get my hands into to yank the sheet rock down.

Luckily, I remembered I do own a pry bar and that tool managed to do what the hammer hadn't. I finally got enough down to see the water damage was very localized. Good news, I figured. That must mean the leak is right above it. Take a shot if, you're playing the drinking game along with this blog post.

I got the water damaged board out, finally finding the rafters and more troublesome, finding a whole metal roof. Where the hell is the water coming from?

I went for help. Uncle Scott figured that it was probably coming from the ridge and then running down. So we finally peeked into my attic.

Confession: I moved in September 2000 and bought the house in December of 2005. When I had moved in, someone had taped black plastic over the attic trapdoor. Then we found the actual door somewhere else. I have been too chickenshit to pull down that plastic and see what was up there. I know the squirrels live up there and I'd rather have the ceilings caving in than to see if there was something worse than squirrels. I figured I'd have to replace the roof eventually and we could deal with the attic from that direction.

Take another shot, the attic is fine. Other than the holes that the squirrels get in and out through, there's no water damage, plenty of room, and fiberglass insulation. According the Uncle Scott, I could screen the squirrel doors, put down plywood, put in an attic trapdoor (maybe with the ladder built-in), and triple my storage space.

The water wasn't coming in through the any portion of the roof above the cypress two-thirds of the house, so that means the issue is in pine lean-to that was built on the former back porch. Mom wandered over while I was bemoaning the change in structural engineering.

"Look, I understand using what they had (my ancestors had their own pine mill at the time, hence the very strange use of pine in the lean-to). What I don't understand is the cypress part is built so well (actual studded wall covered in beadboard, squared off ceiling, the doors almost at the proper heights, etc.), and the lean-to is crap compared to it! Was there a generational die-off of knowledge? The one person who understood studs and framing died before they built the lean-to?"

"Probably," Mom said. "The cypress part was your great-great-grandparents retirement house that they built, and they were long dead by the time the lean-to was added."

Since gutting and starting over isn't in the budget yet (and I really want plans before I do that project), the concession reached was that another layer of Kool Seal should be put on the roof covering the seam where the lean-to attaches to the house to the end of the roof. Longer drywall screws should keep the paneling down and longer screws would reattach my shelves.

Uncle Scott pulled down the whole sheet of sheet rock while Mom and I went shopping at Lowe's.

I screwed the paneling back down while Uncle Scott applied the roof sealant. Take another shot, I managed to go through the wall into the kitchen with some of them. Rather than try to back them out, I decided to cut off the protrusions with the Dremel.

And that's how far five gallons of the roof sealant went. We think we have sealed the potential areas that the water was coming through with this application, but Uncle Scott wants to get another 5 gallons next weekend and finish.

What's left? Cleaning up all the sheet rock particles, putting up the shelves, moving the contents out of the living room into the back bedroom again, and watching to see if there is a leak during the next thunderstorm.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Baskets Are Winning

I got distracted last night by the NCIS marathon USA channel runs, and never made it to cleaning out the inboxes, office, or the hour I spend on website work. Woke up late this morning and didn't get a chance to touch them either.

Turning the TV to a show for background noise doesn't work, I'll have to put on music instead. Luckily, Direct TV had radio stations that play through the TV so the hour between Holmes on New Orleans and Bones will be a great time to experiment how that works instead.

Holmes on New Orleans is a special presentation of Holmes on Homes as they volunteered to build the first house for Brad Pitt's Make It Right Foundation. Canadians working nine weeks in the middle of Louisiana summer; yes, I am easily amused and alarmed. I don't think some of the kids were drinking enough water, Powerade, or Gatorade. Getting snarly with everyone is a sign of dehydration and heat issues. But it was filmed in 2008 (I think) so I guess everyone made it back to Canada safely.

In other things I have been doing, I deleted everything I had done experiment-wise for the Reference Wiki and reinstalled without CKeditor and table of content modules, and it appears to be working now (after I finally found the hiccup making all the links go to Wikipedia). One thing I can't figure out is how to change the default Input Format for just the wiki pages (which are renamed book pages). So I need to make sure the MediaWiki format is available to all users, and then write directions to please choose it. Or make it the default format after making sure it doesn't frak with the forums or newsletters.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

What Am I Expecting to Get Out of This?

Not exactly sure what I'm expecting to get out of my kick to cross the list off before going to bed. Monday night was my first try. I missed my bedtime by an hour. Luckily, Tuesday was Mardi Gras, so it didn't mess up going to work.

Tuesday, I got to bed on time, and crossed everything off but my exercise hour and emptying my inbox. I have no idea why the inbox is such a hassle for me to stay on top of. Besides the fact that I dump everything into the basket and then don't deal with it. That's the same for all my procrastination piles.

I finally got to the back bedroom. unfortunately, everything I pulled out ended up in the living room and I covered my couch. The reason I hat pulling things out of the back bedroom is I always cover the couch and don't remember to uncover it before I'm exhausted. Then it becomes shuffling of the piles and it's just better to leave it until i can shuffle the piles back into the back bedroom.

My goal: I want the weekends free for big chores (like deconstructing the back bedroom to find a leak) and fun stuff, instead of spending hours catching up on what I should have done all week. I woke up this morning to a clean kitchen, and while the inboxes stare me in the face, Wednesdays are my days to clean the office so I have no excuse not to file the paperwork away. The goal doesn't look impossible.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 15, 2010

Too Much on the Plate?

As I worked on my weekly review this morning, trying madly to get out the door on time, the reoccurring question of my life popped up again. Am I scheduling too much to do and then wallowing in guilt because I haven't accomplished it all? Usually, the answer is a simple "yes," but this time, I'm not as sure.

I ended up with a three-day weekend thanks to the weather, so I broke my backlog of missed writing time into fifteen minutes chunks and separated the chunks with chores and then things I have been procrastinating on. I never did make it to the back bedroom or finances.

But had I done better with taking my hours Monday through Thursday, that would have been five hours to spend doing something else. I'm not micromanaging my time and I'm proud of the editing progress I made, but I'm not using my time as well as I should. It's a struggle to wake up, it's a struggle to do my chores, and it's a struggle to ignore distractions.

So, besides needing to sit my ass at the computer instead of the TV, what other conclusions can I draw? I shouldn't go to bed before all my daily items are crossed off (barring sickness and if I have made a strong attempt to dent the procrastinated stacks). I really like this one. Too often I let myself get away with saving a chore for the weekend because I didn't do it in the morning and don't feel like doing it at night. And that really makes me sound like a lazy sod, doesn't it?

Let's not go down that path. I'm trying not to give into the cycle of beating myself up because I'm not superhuman. Nothing has a deadline to please someone else, so I don't need to panic over not getting things finished. This is all about establishing a rhythm to enjoy life. because I should be able to take off for a weekend and not feel like I let the house fall apart.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Friday, February 12, 2010

DSL faster than I expected

Yeah, I was giving them the seven to ten business days to turn it on, but I was surprised to find it on. I'm guessing someone didn't want to have to deal with it in the nasty weather.

Speaking of nasty weather, I'm home. No snow, but it's still raining and threatening to turn into winter mix. But of course, we employees get mixed messages. The new sources say stay home. But the COOP system, which we are constantly scolded to ALWAYS turn to first as the official what-to-do, hasn't been updated and still says come into work. I got screwed that way with snowstorm Jack. Glad to see nothing's been learned in two years. :p

9:25am edit: SNOW! It took it's sweet time getting here, but we finally have snow.

This is the best shot I have of it falling. Have no idea if it's actually going to accumulate as much as North Louisiana is getting, but I still think it's neat. As long as I don't have to drive in it and have power to use the computer at home.

And here's Mustard watching the raining grits.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Thursday, February 11, 2010

I have phone again!

And should be getting DSL back next week, and got the monthly bill reduced. Now people can stop freaking out that I have died or fled the country.

I have no idea how many more bills I can pay with this check until I get home but the important one is on.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Should have known it

I don't know how I managed to do it but I have managed to do it. Again. *headesk*

The local development environment works fine at home. I thought I had set everything up to be portable, but here I am at work and I can't access any of my Drupal sites. And since I am at work, I don't want to tweak the Windows host file.

There should be a way to avoid this, but it has remained elusive to my Googling.

So that laptop I can't afford is looking more and more necessary to my life. And my nice simple question of what do I do to update the database but nothing gets erased as I synchronize live and test looks simple in comparison. (But no I haven't researched that.) *headdesk*

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 08, 2010

WE DID DAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

"It's time to party with the Lombardi!" -- Jim Henderson, voice of the New Orleans Saints.

There is scoffing about power of voodoo and prayer. Well, how many people saw that field goal kick the Colts tried miss totally? *Cackles* Garrett made all of his, for new Superbowl record. And the Tracy Porter interception to run for 70 yards!

So I just hope all the national sportscasters and journalists who scoffed that it was even possible and wanted to hand the Colts the Lombardi trophy without the game even getting played are enjoying the crow they have to eat TODAY!

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Cooking note

The next time I try the Thai Grilled Steak with String Bean recipe make the following changes:
  • Use fresh herbs only: the ratio of the dried and frozen was a little overpowering
  • Thicker slab of meat with more fat to cook off and add to the green bean mixture

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Finances suck right now

2 out of 3 inboxes cleaned out, financial paperwork more properly stored for me to make heads and tails out of it, and so far only the phone and cell phones have been disconnected. *headdesk* Otherwise, I'm fine; I'm just broke.

I can answer emails at work. Use that to communicate with me.

Read Free!
The BookWorm

Monday, February 01, 2010

Dorothy's a WhoDat?

A little explanation: Buddy D was a legendary sportscaster for WWL and the Saints and he promised that he would parade down Bourbon Street in a dress if the Saints ever made it to the Superbowl.

He died in 2005, never getting to.

His successor and former Saints quarterback, Bobby Hebert, promised to fulfill Buddy D's promise.

Well, it has finally happened this year. And it became an event. It is estimated that 85,000 people turned out for Buddy and Bobby's Brawds Dress March Jan. 31st as they paraded from the Superdome into the French Quarters and then proceeded to have a pep rally.

I didn't get to go (needing to conserve gasoline right now for getting to work), so I was checking out the video and picture galleries WWL has already put up when this one surprised me: Dorothy in Buddy and Bobby's Brawds Dress March.

I had no idea Dorothy was a WhoDat!

Read Free!
The BookWorm