Passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog

MindBlog Archives
September 3 - 29, 2002

Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

09.29.02 - 11:23 pm (CT)
Just a passing thought — and they all are — have you ever been to an event where you thought you were getting great seats only to find out that they hadn't bothered to mention that your seats were "limited view" seats? Well, we went to a college football game yesterday — the biggest game of the year — only to find out that our "front row" seats were not just limited view seats, but they were NO VIEW seats! The obstruction, you ask? The obstruction was "Field Pass" ticket holders who got to stand right in front of us, which pretty much blocked our view of the entire game!

"one woman whose gluteus was rather maximus"  

We did, however, get a nice view of the field pass ticket holders' rear ends, which was, in some cases, not a very pretty picture. And in the case of one woman whose gluteus was rather maximus, we got to watch her grab her partner's gluteus that was also rather maximus during a good portion of the game. Now, common decency would indicate that those field pass ticket holders should be using their ample derrieres for sitting on, but I was told, after having rather nicely, and then not so nicely, complained to the proper authorities, no can do. No one there either had the authority and/or the guts to tell those rude people to sit "down in front". I offered to inform them myself, in my usual delightful manner of course, but I was told that I was not allowed to climb over the wall.

So, we took photos of our ample view of their ample rear ends to use in our endeavor to get a refund from the college of no view in front. We probably won't even get a response, but there is a certain amount of satisfaction in venting anyway. If nothing else, I might just post a photo of our view of the game right here... no, no, no, there's probably some pervert with some kind of fetish that I don't want to encourage. I know, maybe I'll just email them to a few friends and by the end of the week... well, we all know what happens when you do that. As for the sixty bucks that we paid for the tickets, it's probably another case of live and learn. Top of the page

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09.27.02 - 3:39 pm (CT)
Next week I will be vacationing in the lovely Midwestern paradise of St. Louis. Even though I will be on vacation, my mind will not, so MindBlog will post remote passing thoughts via laptop. I'm sure that I will have numerous thoughts, as I will be in the company of the "wordy" sister who frequently amuses me with her thoughts. Actually she could probably write the non-technical part of this blog and you wouldn't know the difference as quite often our thoughts cross each other's paths. Hey, there's an idea, a guest MindBlog…

Speaking of guest bloggists, the original idea for MindBlog came about in part due to the urging of two friends who thought I should apply for a spot at a local newspaper to be one of their "guest columnists" for a new editorial feature called "Common Sense". I have been known to write a Letter to the Editor here and there when I felt called to comment on the news of the day, however, I did not feel called to become a newspaper columnist, guest or otherwise. Besides, I thought that since I have common sense (no brag, just fact — a line from an old western that I took a fancy to) and since those who lack common sense tend to take offense at those who have it, I saw no need to offend anyone without due cause. It's beyond me why they would take offense, as common sense is something that either you have or you don't, but nonetheless they do.

Anyway, as I near, and I don't hesitate to admit, the half century mark I can tell you from experience that common sense and common decency will pretty much get you through life. Top of the page

09.23.02 - 3:30 pm (CT)
According to Jim Louderback (Tech Smart, USA Weekend Magazine, 09.20-22.02) the word "blog" is moving into the mainstream and he's betting that it will become synonymous with or downright replace the word "..."bloviate" in describing windbags and blowhards". I don't know about you, but I have not only never used the word "bloviate" before, I've never even heard it used by anyone else; which is why I consulted an online dictionary for the official definition and synonyms (yes, Peg, I do on occasion actually look up a word myself):

bloviate: "to speak or write verbosely or windily";
synonyms - "orate, declaim, harangue, mouth, perorate, rant, rave, soapbox" (Merriam-Webster Online)
  "So, am I bloviating here or what?"

So, am I bloviating here or what? Instead of MindBlog, should this blog be called MindBloviate, or for a short entry, MindBlove? And, if that's the case, am I then a bloviator (or would it be bloviater?) instead of a blogger? I may just have to get an official ruling from none other than this site's favorite wordmeister, the "Dictionary Diva" herself, Peg, over at Peg's Picks. I'll get back to you on that... okay, I'm back with her ruling and although she had not heard of the word either, she favors the use of bloviator.

As an aside, when I spell checked this blog in Microsoft Word, it suggested that bloviate was not a word at all, which might therefore suggest that Mr. Louderback is already behind the times and bloviate has already been replaced. And one more thing, just looking at the word "bloviate" for some reason a cow and… oh, never mind.

Anyway, back to Louderback's article. If you would like to read his entire bloviation, just go to the Google Search box on this page, use the following entire phrase with the quotation marks and plus sign, but not the dashes — "say what" + "read up you mouse potato" — for your search query, click on the "WWW" radio button, click on the "Google Search" button, and up will pop a link to Louderback's column. ** Top of the page

09.20.02 - 8:08 am (CT)
Dejà vu all over again — back in May I had a Microsoft Word 2000 error message problem and this morning, after downloading a template file (redrule_bc.dot) from Hewlett-Packard for an online course that I'm playing with, there is the same darn error message:

Program Error

Winword.exe has generated errors and will be closed by Windows. You will need to restart the program. An error log has been created.

So, I went back to that MindBlog to re-acquaint myself with the previous problem and grabbed the link to the Microsoft Knowledge Base, traipsed over there to once again grab the solution to my problem. At least this time I had just seconds before downloaded the template, so I pretty much knew what the problem was; I just needed the solution to it. After a few clicks I was right where I needed to be, MKB Article - Q316033. Only this time there was a shorter list to peruse:

  • The WinFax template is installed on your computer.
  • Norton AntiVirus version 2000 or version 2001 is installed on your computer.
  • A template in your Office or Word start up folder causes the error.
  • The Vbe6.dll is corrupted or damaged.
  "Bingo on number three down!"

Bingo on number three down! I jumped down the page, followed their instructions on testing to make sure that was my problem, which it was, and proceeded to remove the template that I had just downloaded. A quick check of Word to make sure the problem was solved — I opened it with no error message — and I was back to being a happy camper without having to bother Deb over at HelpQuest.net. Top of the page

09.18.02 - 11:15 pm (CT)
I ran across an amusing site a few weeks ago, Valley of the Geeks, which bills itself as "high tech humor served fresh occasionally". Some of that high tech humor is displayed below in the "banner ads", which are FAKE ADS. They have several pages full of these FAKE ADS, which I found amusing enough to take them up on their offer of letting you use them on your own site as long as you credited them and linked back to their main page. Also, they have other pages with amusing commentary and a blog of their own. So, if you're a high tech geek of sorts, and even if you're not, check them out.

Sorry, your browser doesn't support Java(tm).
These FAKE ADS are courtesy of http://www.valleyofthegeeks.com

As for the display, I decided to use a Java™ applet as it doesn't take any site or file name changes to do so and because I could create the rotating banner effect with a software program that I have been using for years. That wonderful, easy-to-use, freebie program is Anfy from AnfyTeam. There are numerous effects — 52 different applets — you can create in a few simple steps that create everything you need, except for the graphics that you supply. Then it is just a matter of a little cut-and-paste, file copying, and you're done. There is also a pay version and, as far as I can tell, the only difference between that and the freebie is you can make the graphics clickable links.

For those of you who have Java™ turned off in your browser, you can always temporarily turn it back on for a chuckle or two. Top of the page

09.15.02 - 12:22 pm (CT)
This morning I received an email from someone who is ready to make a go of it on the Web, wanting to know where it was that I had previously told them was the best place to register their URL of choice. Well, it didn't take much to remember that — it was, and is, www.GoDaddy.com. GoDaddy is without a doubt the best deal on the Web — $8.95 for one year or as low as $6.95 a year if you go for the whole ball of wax of 10 years — and their service is outstanding.

After my initial registration experience with a well-known and expensive registrar, who shall remain nameless, GoDaddy came on the scene with their innovative and reasonably priced registrar service that changed not only the way, but also the cost of doing business on the Web. I have used GoDaddy ever since to register all of my domains. However, if you like to spend money and get the runaround, go ahead and deal with the "big boys" over at... oh, that's right, I said I wouldn't name them.

Later today, I'm going to play some more with this site, so keep an eye out for new stuff to be popping up here and there at MindBlog. Top of the page

09.11.02 - 7:46 am (CT)

Second plane hits the World Trade Center, 09.11.01; Firemen raising the flag at the World Trade Center, 09.11.01
Photographer Unknown, 2001 Thomas E. Franklin, © 2001 The Record

And our flag was still there... and so are we.
We are the United States of America.
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09.09.02 - 2:18 pm (CT)
As I mentioned, I like to do all of my HTML coding by hand in a text editor. At some point, I tried FrontPage™, but didn't like what it did to my code (bloated with screwball tags). I'd go in, change it, and then it would promptly change it back, which to this clean-coder was very irritating. If a client just has to have FrontPage or one of the other WYSIWYG Web page software programs used — usually so they can add content themselves as they see fit — then I will do it all by hand, pull it into whatever program they want, and make it work. But it just isn't the same... it almost hurts to see what it does to my code. Either way, when I'm all done, I run it through the HTML Validator* that I mentioned last week to make sure I've got the code correct right down to the last quotation mark.

BTW, I haven't added anything to this blog for more than several days, as I was playing with the basic site structure. It is all stuff you'll probably never see and, if I didn't mention it, you wouldn't have even known that I'd done it. For instance, instead of having an archives file in the main directory, I put a redirect on the old one to the new one in the — big duh here, folks — archives (sub)directory and renamed it as the index file for that subdirectory. I know, I know, I know... I should have done that in the first place, but I didn't. Live and learn.

Speaking of living and learning, I've always designed pages for the old 640x480 pixel screen resolution — a lot of people either don't know how or don't even think to change the default screen resolution for Windows — but I am toying with the idea of "graduating" to an 800x600 pixel resolution. In anticipation of doing that, I'll explain to the uninitiated how to switch the darn thing, so they too can enjoy seeing more of what the net has to offer at one glance — the initiated may feel free to skip to here. Personally, I have a 19" monitor with the resolution set at 1600x1200 (special video card required for that resolution) so I can view four 800x600 windows at one time, but for now we'll go with what most people's computers are capable of — one 800x600 window:

Changing your Screen Resolution (Windows*) — A Very Short Tutorial

  1. From your desktop screen, double left-click on the "My Computer" icon.
  2. In resulting new window, double left-click on the "Control Panel" icon.
  3. In resulting new window, double left-click on the "Display" icon.
  4. In resulting new window, left-click on the "Settings" index tab.
  5. Use your mouse to slide the "Screen Area" slider bar to 800x600.
  6. Click on the "Apply" button.
  7. A new window will open with the message:
    Windows will now apply your new desktop settings. This will take a few seconds, during which time your screen may flicker.

    If your new settings are not applied correctly, your original desktop settings will be automatically restored in 15 seconds.
    Click the "OK" button (Note: The screen goes temporarily dark while it reconfigures your settings).
  8. A new window will open with the message:
    Your desktop has been reconfigured. Do you want to keep these settings?

    Reverting in 15 seconds.
    Click the "Yes" button to finalize your settings.
  9. In the resulting "Display Properties" window, click on the "OK" button.
  10. In the "Control Panel" window, click on "File", and then click on "Close".
  11. In the "My Computer" window, click on "File", and then click on "Close".

And there you have it, a very nice 800x600 screen resolution. If you don't like it, just change it back — it's no big deal, right? Right. Top of the page

09.03.02 - 10:00 pm (CT)
Did absolutely nothing having to do with the Web today...until now.

I spent the day carting stuff to my son, Bill, who left for another year of college less than two weeks ago. It was pretty much stuff that before he left, he was sure he did not want or need... his "want/need list" started trickling in a little over a week ago — general school supplies, more clothes, more food, and, as long as I was coming, golf clubs, boom box, and his brother's bean bag chair. And so it goes at the start of every new school year: they go away, a week or two later I am there to deliver more stuff, check out their new digs, and, while I'm there, I make sure they get a taste of "real" food, so I take them out to their favorite eatery for a decent meal.

All in all, it was an enjoyable day for this mom who always wants to check in on her guys — you know, make sure their accommodations are acceptable, that they have everything they need (not want... I've raised my guys to know the difference between the two), make sure they are eating decently, etc., etc., etc. He is, and will do, fine, but then I already knew that. Top of the page

Want to read more previous passing thoughts?   MindBlog Archives - Previous Archive Previous Archive   Next ArchiveMindBlog Archives - Next Archive

* The procedure to complete this task is similar in all versions of Windows. Back to where you were

** The reason for this roundabout route to Louderback's article is that USA Weekend requests a link to their home page only, not to their inner pages. So, to save you some valuable time, I decided to give you the most direct roundabout route to the article, which BTW is how I finally located it. Back to where you were

Text that appears in italics denotes that Internet Explorer users can place their mouse over the italicized text for an explanation. As for Netscape users, well...
* denotes an affiliate program link
* denotes a reciprocal link
* denotes a "Vote for my site" link

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