Posts Tagged ‘recommended’

Plz! No paparazzi at naptime!

Our bestest buddy the Booster is doing really well and has regained much of the weight she lost this past fall, when we feared the worst. None of the tests we ran turned up anything: she was pronounced incredibly healthy for a 13.5 year old kitteh, but she was growing noticeably skinnier and I could feel more bones along her back.

I started reading the labels on the canned food, the treats, and dry food in the pet store. The dry food has 2 to 2.5 times the protein of the canned stuff, and more carbs, and the treats were similar. I wondered if the canned food was simply not providing enough protein and carbs to maintain Boo’s muscle mass and keep her warm during the colder fall/winter weather. I got some high-quality dry food and started offering them free-choice dry food again. They were all over it with great enthusiasm.

When I listen to sidewalk, I can hear ocean! … What you mean, no?

Within the week, Boo stopped losing muscle mass. Her hind legs, which were getting so thin that I could feel the tendons near her paws, plumped up again. She’s regained all her muscle mass, though not much fat, and her neck and back are noticeably more muscular. I’m really shocked that high-end canned food made with good ingredients is not enough to keep her healthy. I am very glad that she is fine again, and kind of shocked and scared that I could have been accidentally starving her! OK, not *starving*, the vet said that she was a far cry from that, but it was a startling change in Boo that I picked up on pretty quickly.

All’s well now, but I wanted to post about it in case other folks’ aging kittehs are starting to get bony. Don’t just chalk it up to the aging process. See if different or better food, or combinations of food, will work. Feed high-energy treats like Greenies, bits of cheese, etc, to help your fuzzball build up strength. And don’t give up! I look forward to many more happy years with the Booster Bunny. They don’t stay with us forever, but we want them with us as long as possible, as long as they are still enjoying being here. She’s back to her sassy self!


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After a long negotiation process between my DNS provider and the registrar of the domain thieves, virtual.net is back where it has belonged since early 1993: with me.  Huzzah!

My advice, in retrospect, is that if your domain is hijacked, immediately file with ICANN, over the protests of your registrar if necessary.  Fortunately I got my domain back, but if the remote registrar had not finally given it back (after making my registrar send some kind of “we won’t sue you” papers), I’d have been SOL, as the ICANN waiting period for opening a case had already expired.

How did I eventually lose the domain?  My provider offers both secure and non-secure login pages, and I believe that I accidentally logged into a non-secure page while at a public wireless location.  At first we thought my email provider had been compromised, but we found nothing but my home network access in the logs, and no suspicious activity.  The fact that the thieves had to change the contact email to “inbox@greatdomains.com” to get the transfer key is further proof that they had no access to my email.

If your provider offers non-secure login pages, make a bookmark to their secure page and only use that bookmark for login, never surf there directly or use a sidebar login on a provider’s main page– unless it says “secure login”.  There’s really no excuse for offering non-secure logins in this age of ubiquitous wireless– I’ve mentioned to my provider that they’re a bad idea, we’ll see if they go away.  I was on my laptop, with a new hard drive, and I hadn’t pulled over my bookmarks yet, so I think that’s how I screwed up.

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Today’s musical explorations rediscovered the Ham Band, with their charming album “Seek You”,, as Mike wanted it on his iPod. You can buy and download the album directly. Soulful ballads of “radio widows”, odes to climbing the antenna towers for maintenance, following the greyline, and more. Folk-country style mostly, with brief forays into rock.

Looking for the Ham Band, though, dimly remembered from some web surfing a year or so ago, we found the Iowa City Amateur Radio Club, which maintains a list of ham radio related music. The real gem there is CQ Serenade (mp3), a 1950’s big-band salute to the beat. As the site explains,

Maurice Durieux, VE2QS, an orchestra conductor for Radio Canada, assisted by F9KT, composed [CQ Serenade] in the early 1950’s. Durieux and Georges Brewer, then VE2BR, later wrote the English language version that appears here, and songstress Joyce Hahn (a stunningly talented vocalist), accompanied by Durieux’s orchestra, recorded it. It was available on 45-RPM records under the rather appropriate “QSO Records” label.

Best 73, enjoy!

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Teh IntarTubeZ are mighty, and never more so than today. If you have not enjoyed the splendor and majesty of the Leningrad Cowboys’ rendition of Stairway to Heaven, complete with the Red Army Chorus, I say you have truly not ENJOYED.

Sweet, sweet, o piercing sweet, o lingering sweet the strain; oh, wait, that’s the Stolen Bride from Howard Pyle’s classic Robin Hood. Still.

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Looking for some good reading over the holiday break? Try starting with John Bracken’s blog posting on The Most Influential Media Writing of 2007, and continue on to the source material he’s so helpfully linked into the post.

I’d not heard of John’s blog before this post was mentioned on Farber’s IP list, and many of the authors and blogs he cites are unfamiliar to me. This is, in my world, a good thing, as I’m always seeking to expand my repertoire of context. Every social circle is going to have its own “Most Influential” list– what’s yours?

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Saturn’s Rings and the moon Tethys (via APOD)

I’ve been getting tired of the Cosmos lately. No, not the actual Universe, but the lovely yet small set of astronomy pictures in the Mac OS X (Tiger) screen saver “Cosmos”.

I knew that there would be gorgeous images like I’d like to branch out, see more nifty stuff… like the image above, of Saturn’s rings and the moon Tethys,
Astronomy Picture of the Day page, and even more at APOD’s archive site.

Enceladus’ Ice Volcanoes (via APOD)

If I were into scripting on the Mac, I could have written a script to fetch new content from APOD, but instead I simply grabbed a few dozen of my favorites via the archive site. Now, how to get them into my screensaver?

The net is mighty– I soon found out how to diddle with /System/Library/Screen Savers/Cosmos.slideSaver to get what I wanted. Copy it into another directory (after authenticating to unlock it), and rename it APOD.slideSaver. Select it, right-click for a menu, and choose “Show Package Contents”. The “Contents” folder contains a “Resources” folder full of slides.

NGC 68888 (via APOD)

Remove the ones in there, substitute your own, and then copy back into /System/Library/Screen Savers/ to deploy it. You’ll get a dialog about not being able to copy it, with an “authenticate” choice to let you do so. Or just use the command line and sudo.

Ta-dah, I get an APOD option in the Screen Savers section of the System utilities. And now I have more shiny galaxies to watch, and to light my livingroom with when I’m sitting quietly and petting the kitties in the evening.

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The Practice of System and Network Administration, 2nd Edition (Limoncelli, Hogan, Chalup)

Handbook of Network and System Administration

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squishable.com tiger!
I just discovered Squishables, big squeezy armfuls of plushy critter goodness. They has tigers! They has monkeys! Even sheepses! Squeeeee!

squishable sheep! I predict sheep raids in the SCA will come back into fashion!

Cough. Ahem. I mean, they have a wide veriety of popular creatures, depicted as fat, fuzzy, balls of squee, err, um, as neotenous symbolic representations that invite tactile contact for primate reassurance. Huggable! Did we mention huggable!

squishable.com code monkey, err monkey!

I almost forgot the best part:

Pix 4 charity! For every picture of you smiling with your Squishable that we receive in the month of November, we’ll donate a dollar to Operation Smile. [a charity that helps children born with facial deformities receive corrective surgery– SRC] The more smiling faces, the more cash, up to $500.

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and get your Squishable, and take a picture of you and your new buddy! Buy one for the helpdesk at your company– they need a mascot, preferably one that’s huggable, after dealing with you lot all day, every week!

Let the squishing begin!

Disclaimer: I have no affiliation with Squishables right now but I am planning to become a customer as soon as I start my holiday shopping! I know a Code Monkey or two who could use more hugs, for instance.

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Frank Warren (Post Secrets) is doing a signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday night (Oct 16th) at 7:30pm. I would totally love to go, but I won't, because I try never to be all fangrrl at anybody. (heartpang) And I scheduled a garden meeting that lasts until 6pm, so getting out there would be hellish. (sigh)

The things in those books. Strong drink and a cold breeze from a reaching singularity. I have designed my own postcards and not-mailed them. Some would make people happy. Others, well… others. I also won't go because when I read the books, sometimes I'm crying (happy or sad crying, sometimes both), and everything about crying in public sucks, for me at least.

Oh, he's at Diesel in Oakland and Booksmith in SF on Weds, and at Elliott Bay in Seattle on Thurs. And lots of other places on tour in October. If you’ve somehow never heard of Post Secret, you’re in for a wild ride!

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There has been a list going around lately of the most-unread books in folks’ del.icio.us libraries. I have very few of these books, but have read a number of them. Most of these books are ones I have Not Read because I have zero desire to read them. I'm going to simply omit the ones that I don't care about. Sure, they may be great works of literature. No rules out there saying I gotta read 'em if they're not my cuppa tea.

So instead, I have 'read', 'want to read someday', 'tried and went bleah'. The numbers in parens are preserved from the original listing, and represent the number of libraries in which these were not-read.

Read these:

  • Ulysses (84)
  • The Odyssey (83)
  • Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance : an inquiry into values (45)
  • Watership Down (44)
  • The Hobbit (44)
  • Guns, Germs, and Steel: the fates of human societies (79)
  • Memoirs of a Geisha (66)
  • Wicked : the life and times of the wicked witch of the West [I loved this! I need to remember to check the sequels out of the library.]
  • Brave new world (61) [How can they NOT have read this?! Oh, man. A *must read* for today.]
  • Frankenstein (59) [I know I read this for Fantasy Fiction class in college, but I don't remember it! I just remember finding a paper I wrote on it while cleaning out some old papers!]
  • 1984 (57)
  • The inferno (56) [Dante's, I presume? Not Stig's? 😉 ]
  • Gulliver's travels (53)
  • Dune
  • The scarlet letter (48) [In high school; blech; hated it.]
  • The catcher in the rye (46) [High school; didn't really 'get it'.]
  • Treasure Island

Haven't read these, but may read them 'someday':

  • One hundred years of solitude
  • Don Quixote (skimmed in high school)
  • Canterbury Tales (want to read a translation)
  • Dracula (59) [Some folks published this as a BLOG a year or three ago, and it was GREAT, I got very hooked on it but then forgot to keep up with it. It turns out to be a very natural style because of the first-person style of the book and the extensive use of letters to other people. Oh, and it's *actually creepy*, which was cool! Just in time for Halloween, Dracula, by Bram Stoker, as blog]
  • Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation (48)
  • Freakonomics : a rogue economist explores the hidden side of everything (45)
  • The Three Musketeers [There was a really well-done DC Comics adaptation of this back in the 1970's, with really good art. I know, I know. Some stories are just BETTER as manga.]

Books I started, but which convinced me on their own that I didn't want to bother reading them:

  • Anna Karenina (132)
  • The Silmarillion (104)
  • The name of the rose (91) [loved the movie!]
  • Moby Dick (86)
  • American gods (68) [I had such high hopes for this based on the little Foglio 2-pager, but no, it's just too full of itself and its own smugness. Cut a lot of the excess floweriness out, or have the Foglios do a graphic novel, and I'd surely read it.]
  • Atlas shrugged (67)
  • Foucault's pendulum (61)
  • One flew over the cuckoo's nest (54)
  • Oliver Twist (54)
  • Cryptonomicon (50)
  • The mists of Avalon (47)
  • Collapse : how societies choose to fail or succeed (47) [This one had me for a chapter or two, but as a serious student of world agronomy, indigenous crops, and alternative methods of agriculture, I soon hit too many fallacies to consider the remainder of the book worth reading. GIGO.]
  • Gravity's rainbow (44)

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