Passing thoughts of a Pageminder — MindBlog

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November 4 - 28, 2002

Previous passing thoughts of a Pageminder

11.28.02 - 4:17 pm (CT)
My mind needs blogging... The family has been out of town since Monday, so I have been power-coding till all hours of the day and night as there is no one here to complain about my long hours at the computer. It's just the dogs and me, which makes it a girls' week in!

If it weren't for my son's cat needing to be fed every day, I could have spent almost the entire week in my pajamas. Tough call, feeding the cat or total jammie time... Actually that's not so tough a call, as I love cats but have not had one since we moved out here to Manhattan almost 8 years ago. Some day, maybe soon, maybe not, I'll have a cat again. Until then, it's just Tikki for me.

  Sandy Wade, June 8, 1988 - September 18, 2002
Sandy Wade
June 8, 1988 - September 18, 2002

As for the dogs, I am down to just two dogs, as our much loved and greatly missed 14-year-old dog, Sandy, died in September. After years of playing with, and riding herd on, my three sons, two more dogs, and a couple of cats, her body just wore out.

She was one of those once-in-a-lifetime dogs that didn't need dog school. One day I told her to sit and she did, another day I told her to go lay down and she did, and on and on. She was a great dog!

We got her from the Humane Society in the summer of '88. They told us to expect her to be around 100 pounds, as her mother was a St. Bernard and her father a German Shepherd/Golden Retriever mix. As you can see, she had the body and fur of a St. Bernard and the coloring of a German Shepherd. Ah, but what probably made her a great dog was that she had the control of a German Shepherd, but the temperament of a Golden Retriever. Sandy was a big (80+ pounds), lovable mix of a dog.

So, now Marie, our Golden Retriever, has taken over the mantle of "top dog" — leader of the pack as it were. She has a lot to live up to as she is wearing the collar three other really good dogs have worn — two Siberian Huskies, Bert and Sebastian, and... Sandy.
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11.24.02 - 11:25 am (CT)
Darn, I've been busy! I've been working on this new project and I've got the design all worked out, am working on the final page layout of the actual content of a huge chunk of the site, and Deb over at HelpQuest is working on the database that will supply that content. Yes, this is another joint venture of Pageminders and HelpQuest... Gee, after sharing a room for over 20 years while we were growing up, who would've thought we'd be working together later in life? Certainly not us.

"who would've thought we'd be working together"  

Back to the project... Actually the design was a snap, as I was playing with this particular one a couple of months ago as a side amusement. At the time I was "toying with the idea of "graduating" to an 800x600 pixel resolution" and was playing around with MindBlog while at the same time working on JolietBiz.com, another joint venture with HelpQuest, that all started way back in July. Anyway, at the time, I put it up for temporary use in a private section of JolietBiz.com, but knew I'd use it later in some other project. And that project is almost ready for launch, and when it does, of course, I will announce it right here at MindBlog. So, stay tuned...

As an aside, I've added a new category and three new sub-categories at MindBlog Links. After mentioning my computer adventures I figured that I ought to at least provide a link to them for whomever, so I did. The ultimate reason for doing so was quite simply because I could, plus the next time I run into the same problems I won't have to run a Google search of MindBlog to locate the solutions.
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11.16.02 - 10:48 am (CT)
It has been brought to my attention that there are those who think that some might take my last passing thought the wrong way — and you know who you are... I don't, but you do, way down deep inside you do know who you are.

So, to make myself perfectly clear, I think ZERO TOLERANCE IS STUPID! However, if you're going to make a rule — stupid or not — then it should cover everyone, including those in authority... If the rest of us have to follow it, then so should the muckety-mucks who made it. So, if you are one of the muckety-mucks making the rules, don't make rules that are not meant or needed for someone as smart, sophisticated, evolved, or whatever as you obviously think you are. Are we clear now?

Really, the problem here is the same as in society in general — there are so many pissant rules, regulations, and laws that those in authority are looking for every little thing and are missing the big stuff... the important stuff... the stuff that counts. You know there is a reason there are only Ten Commandments — God is smart enough to know to keep it short and simple. That way He gets a higher compliance rate as getting into heaven seems and is doable. He doesn't sweat the little stuff and neither should we.

As an aside of sorts, the shear volume of rules, regulations, and laws makes it impossible for anyone to know them all, so occasionally we all, whether we know it or not, are guilty of something. Of course, maybe that's the method to their madness — Ayn Rand said it best:

"There's no way to rule innocent men. The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren't enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible to live without breaking laws." — Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged, 1957

BTW, when Atlas shrugs you get police states.
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11.14.02 - 9:48 am (CT)
Locally, there's stupidity in the air, so if you're in the area you might want to wear a facemask — wouldn't want to catch it. An eighteen-year-old young man — a senior in high school — was at practice for the school play when he needed to use the facilities. When he gets there he realized he still had an obviously school approved prop in his pocket — it was a plastic gun — realizing his error, he decided not to conceal it, and immediately returned it to the prop table in the auditorium. On the way back, he was spotted "brandishing" said prop, and the authorities were called. The young man ended up being suspended for what appears to be a case of not thinking things through to their logical conclusion — stupidity (of youth in this case), if you will.

So, what I want to know is how come the teacher who allowed said prop to be used in the school play was not also suspended? And what about the administrator(s) who allowed said prop to even be in the building, why weren't they also suspended? While zero tolerance is stupid, as it leaves no room for judgment and common sense, if you're going to preach it, then you should also practice it... across the board. Zero tolerance by definition would indicate that absolutely nothing — zero, nada — of whatever would be tolerated, once again, across the board. So, if they are to be consistent then all involved should receive the same punishment, if nothing else as accomplices or accessories to said violation. Otherwise, give the kid a break, as at least he has the stupidity of youth as his excuse whereas they don't.

  "Locally, there's stupidity in the air... wouldn't want to catch it."

This reminds me of a saying I kept pinned to my kitchen bulletin board while my kids were growing up — "Consistency is an eleven letter word". It was there to remind me that people, especially kids, benefit when things in life are consistent, as then they know what "equal opposite reaction" will occur for whatever "action" they are considering. My kids never had to guess what I would do for any particular action on their part, well, as long as that action had previously occurred. But even then, they could logically surmise from previous similar occurrences what would be the (my) equal opposite reaction to whatever action they were contemplating. It didn't necessarily stop them from doing whatever, but at least they knew what all involved were in for when they got caught.

BTW, that consistency always started with being sent to their rooms while I cooled off, took the time to make a judgment of the offense, and then, if necessary, I could meat out a common sense punishment. I must say, a little common sense goes a long way with kids and, for that matter, in this world… too bad it's in such short supply.
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11.08.02 - 7:35 am (CT)
Busy, busy, busy... all this week with meetings, but all is not lost, as most involve food. A very fine local restaurant, Chef Klaus Steak and Seafood in Frankfort, Illinois, catered Tuesday’s meeting. While talking to the caterer, I found out they have three more "little" eateries located in other nearby towns, all of which have egg salad sandwiches — a personal favorite that is hard to come by — on the lunch menu. So, I imagine I'll just happen to be "in the vicinity" of each of these some time soon, around lunch time, of course.

As a result of one of my meetings this week, I'm going to have to set aside my educational pursuits concerning JavaScript for at least a few weeks. I'll be spending my time on a new project — setting up a new website and a database to go with it — so, for the time being, everything else, but MindBlog, of course, moves to the back burner. I'll let you know more about this one when it is ready to launch.

I was just thinking, isn't it weird how a chance meeting of any particular person or a casual remark can have a major effect on your life and/or business? One must not only always be prepared for opportunity when it comes knocking, but must treat everything as a possible opportunity in the making. It's kind of like how I "look at" every girl one of my sons dates — you never know when the girl they bring home will end up being the one who takes care of you when you're old, so...
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11.04.02 - 1:00 pm (CT)
I've been working on some Pageminders' advertising copy for a monthly "Sizzling Savers" flyer put out locally by the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce. Doing print work is similar to, but definitely not as fun as, Web design. The worst part is that after I've designed this nice colorful ad, I have to convert it to grayscale for the flyer. So, poof it's down to black and white with various shades of gray thrown in for "splash" — splashes of gray, how exciting. The best part is who cares about file size since you're just printing it out, which actually means the bigger the better. For your viewing pleasure — reduced to thumbnails, once again, by Easy Thumbnails (the originals were 754K and 245K, respectively):

Pageminders' ad copy - color   Pageminders' ad copy - grayscale

Before that little exercise, I was coming up with tri-fold flyers/brochures for Pageminders (PM) and WebPageminders (WP). I made those for the different chamber of commerce offices to have on hand for the masses looking for local Web design businesses, and for me to hand out to interested parties at various chamber meetings. I had to do both PM and WP as I joined the Joliet Chamber of Commerce before I had acquired the PM domain, but when I joined the New Lenox Chamber of Commerce and the Manhattan Chamber of Commerce I, of course, signed up as PM. Doing the brochures was kind of a "reverse engineering" project since at PM and WP I advertise e-brochures, as in putting their brochures on the Internet, so I reversed it and put my sites into brochures.

And while I was at it, I redesigned my PM, WP, and MindBlog (MB) business cards to include the logos for each site. Oh, just in case you're interested, for both the brochures and the business cards, I used business templates available at the Microsoft Office Template Gallery (works with MS Word). As for printing them out, for the brochures I used Kodak Presentation Plus Paper (#171 2736) and for the business cards I used Avery Ink Jet Clean Edge No Perforations Business Cards paper (#28873, #28877). It all looks rather spiffy, if you ask me, which you didn't, but the next time you see me, just ask and I'll be glad to show you how spiffy they are.
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