tikatu: (Default)

Been working on coding things for my personal fiction site. I’ve finished and posted Mosaic – though that will be updated when the muse strikes – and I’m working on The White Winds. There’s still lots to do, but I’m almost halfway through the chapter formatting. I’ve managed to get it down to a routine. Open the .txt files, put in the chapter coding snippet for each chapter. Scroll down and add the back and forward buttons snippet. Tweak them to the proper chapter numbers. Remove the “next time, next chapter” stuff and paste it in a .txt file. Scroll up; add new title and cut the teasers and disclaimer. Then save as a .shtml file. Leave them all open, find a scene divider and change it with the short horizontal line snippet. Copy that, and do a global replace on all open files. Do a preview skim to make sure things look right, then save and close all. Really, I just did about 15 chapters and it only took an hour or so.

Seriously, the biggest time eater is finding images for the splash pages and writing the foreword. On Mosaic, it took me beyond forever to figure out which screencaps to use (and I found I’d duplicated some from earlier stories), and then the free photos that spoke to the drabbles. For The White Winds, I’ve asked my daughter to update a piece of cast art that she’d done for me earlier. Her artwork has progressed soooo very far that she was embarrassed by the old stuff. Since I’m working so quickly on coding this, I should poke her about that piece.

I’m also trying to decide if I should add my two non-Thunderbirds one-shots to the One Shots book. I’ve done one for The Incredibles, and one for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. My fanfiction is so heavily Thunderbirds-oriented, but these deserve a home, too. (They are posted on ff.net and on FanNation.) Tell me what you think about that.

In other writing news, I’ve pulled most of my work from Lunaescence Archives. I have several reasons for this. Things that were broken aren’t being fixed is one of them (thinking of forum registration here), but an increasing dissatisfaction with the way the archive is being run, and the ever-stronger skew toward anime and manga (and reader-insert) stories are probably stronger reasons. I’m sad about this, really; so many archives tend to go downhill once their owners are no longer involved in running and upgrading them. And now this has happened (IMHO) to Luna. (Yes, this puts me in mind of Thunderbirds Central, and parts of IR:TNP that need updating, too.)

As far as my personal “cyberstalker” (Lillehafrue’s term) is concerned, I haven’t heard from her again. Hopefully, I never will.

Back to the HTML editor, Batman!

tikatu: (Default)
It froze up earlier today. The Girl was able to get it running again, but it froze up again, and I couldn't get it to boot. Said there was no hard disk, so I'm not sure what's up. I'm going to take it to the local "fix it with tech looking over your shoulder" tomorrow morning and see what they have to say. I have the laptop, but it's in great demand by everyone else in the family. I just hope I can recover what's on my hard drive.

sigh.
tikatu: (Default)
I found a link to a site where new desktops and themes are designed for XP. Since Microsoft doesn't create new ones for XP, just for Vista (I'd guess), and I wanted something new, I downloaded and managed to figure out how to install a spiffy new theme. Now my windows have cool new borders and my start menu has a shiny new look.

With that done, I decided to change my lj theme, too. It's not much of a change, just basically new colors. I still have to go in and customize my links, but it's the same style as the old theme, with the tag cloud I like so much. I should go looking for new themes and skins for other sites, like my Thunderbirds site. The forum and the gallery could both use a face lift, if there are some available.

I've been trying, without a whole lot of success, to finish my latest chapter. I also have a post to write for my RP. The whole running around with my head cut off on Tuesday (Hubby had a doctor's appointment, so I had to ferry the girl back and forth to college and him to and from the apppointment.) really tired me out, as did the whoopie pie baking spree that night. Tomorrow, Hubby will likely not be called in, which is okay as he has an MRI scheduled. His hearing, which hasn't been the best for years, has gone sharply downhill lately. He is having extreme trouble hearing anyone. He says he feels like there's fluid behind his ears, and like it fills up in the afternoons. My MIL suggests  he use a decongestant to see if that will help it drain. She thinks it could be a result of allergies, which is entirely possible.

His PCP gave him a steroid, which didn't seem to help much, and it's his ENT specialist that has ordered the MRI and a couple of blood tests, one of them genetic. It seems that the testing they did in the office just makes the specialist puzzled over my husband's condition. His hearing is flat across the range, instead of a curve, which is very unusual. The specialist did remark that he had the hearing of a 70 year old!

So, please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as we try to get to the bottom of this. Hearing aids are likely in his future, unless they can figure out what's going on and actually treat it.
tikatu: (hypnotic)
My dad, who I love with all my heart, has a habit of sending along forwards from his friends. It used to be that my cousin, Eddie, would send him just about any piece of junk that crossed his inbox, but recently I told Eddie off for it, and he may have either cut back or stopped. It would be nice if he had.

He also gets this stuff from his very old friend, Russ. Russ usually gets it from Eddie, so that my dad gets it twice! And a lot of times, it's stuff that so outrageous that I wonder how people believe it. Really. I do. It's the reason I have "Always check Snopes" as my signature on my main email account. One or two moments just checking out Snopes will debunk a lot of this junk.

Today Dad sent me a forward that has been floating around the 'net for probably nine years or so. It just irked me so much that my dad had sent it to me. I'm on the verge of asking my dad to not send me any forwards at all, but part of me doesn't want to do that. I don't mind the "you're my friend and I want to tell you so" forwards; I might not return them, or send them on, but I do appreciate the sentiments. And if something is actually true, I'd like to hear about that, too. Dad sent me one once that was true, and I passed it on, telling people I'd checked it out on Snopes and it was the real deal. But most times I just reply to all and tell people what Snopes said.

Maybe I'm just getting cranky about this whole forwarding business. I love my Dad, and I love to get emails from him. Just not these forwards.
tikatu: (Default)
and won't let me log in. Have no idea why: the server is supposedly available, the "troubleshooting" keeps going and going with no answers. So, if y'all want to talk to me, try me on AIM (Tiquatoo) or Yahoo Messenger (also Tiquatoo).

ETA: Took a reboot, but I'm finally back on WL Messenger. I have no idea what does this, but I think I may end up using YIM and AIM more often. blech.
tikatu: (Alan Tracy)
I spent most of last week trying to figure out why I was having such trouble staying online. I had two calls in to Belkin, in case I had a router problem, and several calls in to AT&T, some of which actually helped for a time. Still, during the weekend, that little DSL light would flicker off, then come back on, winking and blinking and throwing me offline in the middle of important conversations (like IR:TNP brainstorming). Sunday, of course, saw the visit from the AT&T tech - who said all was well with my phone jack.

But yesterday, no DSL light at all. None. Nada. Zip. This occasioned another call to AT&T.

This time, the tech on the other end tested my line and said he couldn't get a signal from the "D-slam" - whatever that was - and he'd send out a technician from the DSL end of things today. Turns out that the guy who stopped by on Sunday was from the telephone end of things, and the phone's been working just fine.

So, I spent the rest of Monday (with the kids home) doing laundry, raking leaves, and trying to clean out the carport so we could actually, y'know, use it.

The tech came today, and the upshot of the whole thing was that the modem had gone bad. Probably had been going bad for the past couple of weeks.

And now I have a shiny new modem/wireless router sitting on top of my CPU. A shiny white one, which clashes with my black and silver comp. He took the bad modem... but I have a perfectly good wireless router left behind.

What bothers me the most about it all is: I had all this time without the distraction of IM and surfing to get some writing done... and I played computer Scrabble.

Technology... don't you just love it?
tikatu: (Default)
We've been having increasing "connectivity" problems since we got our router. It started off slow, but over the past few weeks, it has seemed like we've been online for a few minutes before being cut off. I talked with the router people yesterday (call center in India!) and they've tested the router and found it fine. I talked with ATT, and the nice lady there helped us out (resulting in a glorious evening where we weren't cut off once!). But this morning, we were back to the same old, same old, worse than before. I even went to the point of shutting everything down and rebooting, checking all the connections to see that they were okay.

So, it was back to the router people, who told me to try something different. When that didn't help, it was back to ATT. And this time I got a really sharp gal named Connie (Hi, Connie!). Connie helped me "bridge" the modem with the router. Now, why didn't anyone else think of this before? There was one thing happening that puzzled her, and it was that the DSL synch kept going down. She couldn't figure that out, but having the router and the modem bridged was good.

Still, after I got off the phone with her, I kept having those odd drop off where the DSL synch quit for a few seconds. By the time I managed to navigate through ATT's phone maze, it would be back up, and in good old Murphy's law fashion, stayed up while I talked on the phone. Finally, I got a guy named Corey. He tested the line, and at least once during his testing, the DSL Synch went down. So, this enabled him to send the problem to a higher level of tech. And they put our line on a different "profile" (whatever that means) so the synch wouldn't go down again.

It's been about an hour or so, and things have been functioning the way they should... knock on wood. I hope they stay this way, but I'm not holding my breath.
tikatu: (Virgil Tracy)
And I suppose there's proof of that from time to time. Example:

~Friday, one of my IR:TNP managers was dumped by her boyfriend of 2.5 years, just as they were about to move into an apartment together.

Then:

~Saturday, another of my IR:TNP managers crashed her van. No one hurt, but van needs repairs in the same spot it needed them before.

And, to cap it all off:

~Power went out here at 1 a.m., Sunday, and wasn't restored until 3:30 p.m. The day has been sweltering, and so have we. Waiting for the fridges and freezers to cool down to assess the damage. So, if you've been wondering where I am, now you know.

Only one more manager... I hope she dodged the bullet this time out.

tikatu: (Default)
Well, it's been a weird day... and a good one in a lot of ways.

We've been thinking about a laptop for some time now, and with the vacation coming up, the Hubby had expressed the idea that he doesn't want to see me go through computer withdrawal. So, we've been checking out some options to see what we can get for the least amount of money. We checked on Tiger Direct and Dell, first, but what I wanted cost more than I really wanted to pay. My brother got his through a "rent-to-own" place, so we were thinking about that option - though we knew it would be a monthly bill we really couldn't afford (and we'd end up paying a whole lot more in the long run). This week, a liquidation "show" was advertising laptops from $199. So we thought we'd check out the options a little more. 

One of the rent-to-own places advertised some "cash and carry" computers with laptops starting at $299, so we went there. No laptops, just a desktop available. The liquidation "show" charged $5 to enter; with my kids it would have been $15. This was conspicuously left off their ads, on TV, radio, and online. It smacked of a scam to me, so we didn't go in.

We headed for Best Buy, stopping at the local computer repair and building spot to check their prices. Nothing appealed to me. In the car, we started talking about shoes, and how much the kids (and I) needed them. The road Best Buy is on was busy, so we took a sudden detour into a shoe store, where I found sneakers for all the kids (the Girl found her favorites, in her size, and on clearance! She bought two pair!!). Then we went to the New Balance store to order sneakers for me (I had a coupon!). 

Then... we stopped in at Circuit City. Why not? It was right next to the New Balance store. Just to look, mind you. I wasn't seriously considering buying there; really I wasn't. But I found a computer without a price on it... and when I asked one of the sales people, he said, "Oh, that's the $399 one."

Ears perked up. He went to get the sign that should have been there. The specs were good: 2 GB RAM, 160 GB HD... the things I wanted where there. A Compaq Presario. The deal was I pay the sale price and get over $200 in mail-in rebates. I talked to the kids... don't ever talk to the kids on a decision like this! They all said, go for it! In three-part harmony. With their own reasons (like two of them playing Runescape at the same time). So, I took a deep breath, and plunged in. 

It's sitting on a chair, charging the battery. Vista will take time to learn, but I'm insisting on a mouse. Those little track pads and I don't get along.

Then Hubby came home. He wasn't upset at all about the choice, as long as we could still go out to dinner for our anniversary. Which we did. The Melting Pot - very classy fondue place. I'd made reservations, and when we got there, they'd left a cute anniversary card at the table for us. The food - particularly the cheese fondue and the chocolate fondue - was wonderful! Well, except for the jerk-flavored steak - I didn't care for that much. I loved the Greek Goddess and the Ginger Pear dipping sauces! Very expensive meal; far more expensive than we're used to. But it was worth it for the togetherness, and time alone.

So, an unusual and expensive day!

The rebates go out in the morning...
tikatu: (Default)

I just spent Lord knows how long updating the journal with all the information about my Thanksgiving Day and when I go to spell check it, everything I have just typed goes up in smoke! What's the matter with this thing?

In any case, I'll just put a couple of things up now. One: our Thanksgiving Day was strange because my bro and SIL had a power outage and we had to move the celebration to my house. Everything worked out okay even though we had to wait until 7 p.m. to eat. I need to watch an episode of Tbirds today so I can finish up with chapter 16 of Turnabout. Serendipity is online at fanfics.org but I'm not sure I'm going to put it on fanfiction.net. I've got four chapters up and hopefully will get some more done soon.

So much for spell checking!

November 2016

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