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Alien Brain Worms

Posted 2009.03.31 13.50 in DID, Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I’ve mentioned the brain worms, the alien remote control, and the demons before. I was talking about CAT scans and how none of the above were likely to show up. What I’m thinking about now is, how do these things come into play. And let me quickly point out that I’m using these things metaphorically – I’m reasonably certain that there are not actually worms, tiny aliens, or demons in my noggin.

Anyhow, what I’m wondering about is this: Frequently I’ll make my mind up to do (or not do) something because I know (intellectually, logically) that whatever it is I’ve chosen is the “right” thing to do. Whatever “it” is, could be I decided not to have wine with dinner, or decided not to have desert, or decided not to buy that expensive-but-super-cool technological jiggery-pokery toy. 

So I’ve made the decision, I know it’s right. And yet… there is this constant nagging, this wheeling and dealing, trying to make me change my mind, trying to talk me into doing the ‘wrong’ thing. It doesn’t let up. It is very persistent and persuasive. It even employs trickery and con-artistry at times.

What the hell is it, and where does it come from? If I make up my mind, what’s in there trying to reverse the decision? This disturbs me on many levels.

If I decide to do “A” and then “B” keeps popping up in my head, trying to entice me directly, or even trying to trick me into it… what?  What is it?! Why? I mean — why can’t I make my mind up and that’s the end of it? If “I” am trying to trick “me” then who am “I”?

I’m not talking about hearing voices – this is all just mental train-of-thought processes:

I’m not going to buy a new NNNN, I don’t need it, it’s too expensive, and I already have plenty. I need coffee whitener, I’ll just pop round the corner to the 7-11. You know, they also sell NNNNs at the 7-11. Yeah but their NNNN’s are overpriced and sucky. The NNNN’s at YYYYY are way better.  Wait, shut up! I don’t want a NNNN.  I’m going to the A&P, they sell coffee-whitener and they don’t sell NNNN. I could go to the A&P up at the other plaza, there’s a YYYYY up there and they sell NNNN. Wait no, I don’t want an NNNN. Just coffee whitener is all I need. (fastforward 10 minutes) How the hell did I end up at YYYYY? Hmm you know, these really are nice NNNN…

That’s the sort of thing I’m talking about. Just a line of thoughts running along, trying to steer me to do something that’s not ultimately in my best interest. Nothing instantly bad of course, and frequently there’s short-term fun to be had, but in the long-term, it’s not good.

Is that just me? Does this happen to other people? It makes me feel like I’m not entirely in control of myself.

Alien Brain Worm with Remote Control

But if I’m not in control, then who or what is? I’ll try and explore this more later… right now I’ve got to sneak out of work and buy some more NNNN.

Muffin? Cupcake?

Posted 2009.03.31 9.21 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So I was on my way to work this morning, when I grabbed a coffee and a blueberry muffin.  The muffin was really sweet and yummy, and then it hit me – what’s the difference between a muffin and a cupcake?

They are both similar in shape and size. They both tend to wear little pleated paper skirts. Unless I miss my guess, both can be made in a ‘muffin tray’. And both come from the oven. So what is the determining factor that one is a muffin and the other is a cupcake?

My first thought was that the latter has frosting and the former does not.  But then, I realize that this is probably not a definitive basis for classification.  I am certain that I have seen things advertised as muffins, yet which bear frosting. 

What is it?

What Is It?

So then I think, if it’s not something obvious then maybe it’s something internal, genetic.

Although my understanding of biology is somewhat shaky, I have read somewhere that one determining factor of whether two things are the same species or not, is if they can mate and have viable offspring. So if a muffin and a cupcake can couple and produce an offspring that itself is fertile, that means that muffins and cupcakes are the same thing. Now I’ve never seen a mufcake or a cupfin (that I know of) but absence of evidence is not evidence of absence. Cupcakes and muffins do not generally associate with each other, due to social pressures. One is a breakfast food and the other is desert. It’s like the Hatfields and McCoys, they aren’t allowed to fraternize with each other.

Now, before I go kidnapping cupcakes and muffins to start some twisted pseudo-scientific cross-breeding programme, I think I will try and explore a few more less-crazy options. I’m thinking, the experts at Get Frosted! may be able to help shed some light on the classification.

In the meantime, I will continue my own daily research. I know they make chocolate muffins… if I can locate a bran cupcake, that may confirm my suspicions.

PHP, Plugins

Posted 2009.03.30 18.47 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So I’ve been working more on the dropdown menus and I’m about 98% satisfied with them. I ran into some areas where either “I wuz doin it wrong” or the plugin didn’t work as I thought it would/should. Basically there were three things that I had to fix/change. First, the menu sorting was not ideal; I wanted it to have two levels of sorting and it only did one. Second, it was supposed to highlight the page title you were on, and this didn’t work for pages in the 3rd level. And finally, if you were on a 1st or 2nd level page, it sometimes highlighted all the child-page titles as well, seemingly at random.

Now, my level of PHP experience is about here: I bought a book and have learned how to make minor changes to wordpress themes. Still, I’m not shy about diving in headfirst, and always keep a backup incase I royally screw things up. I’ve got a pretty successful track record of debugging / fixing / modifying software written in languages that I know nothing about. Anyway, it was not too terribly difficult to edit the php file and make it behave the way I wanted it to. Except for one crazy thing.

After messing around with it for an hour, testing, tinkering, testing, things appeared to be working. Then I tried to go into the admin area, and started getting all these error messages. Problems with headers and stuff. I assumed that at some point in my tinkering I had broken things, and although the site seemed to work, I’d busted the admin side. So more tinkering, some googling, and suchforth.

Eventually what I learned was that PHP is incredibly picky when it comes to whitespace at the top or bottom of the files. I normally leave some blank lines at the end for no particular reason when I’m editing in vi and it’s not a problem in html, css, or anything else. So I never would have guessed that a blank line at the end of a PHP file would cause so much devestation. Still, at least it was easy enough to fix, and considering that was the worst mistake I made, all in all it was a pretty successful expedition into PHP and plugins.

And – I got the functionality I wanted out of the dropdown thingy. So, yay me! 🙂

Upgrade, Upgrade, Upgrade

Posted 2009.03.30 15.13 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

Why is it that every time I update a wordpress plugin, there’s a new version available? I have this one that as soon as I installed it, like the day after there was an upgrade available. So I put it off and put it off, then finally yesterday I did the upgrade.  Make the stupid upgrade notice go away. So you know what? Yeah. Today there’s another upgrade.

I mean, I know that it’s most likely a bugfix, what is irking me is that this upgrade happened less than 24  hours after I caved in and installed the last upgrade.

Now I’m thinking of just deleting the plugin. It’s not anything critical anyways, not like it’s driving my dropdown menus or anything like that. It would be nice though if they’d at least say what had changed – I couldn’t find that last time, like what’s different between 3.0.1 and 3.0.3 that would make me want to go through the process?

I understand that WordPress itself is going to release a big upgrade next month. They’ve rejiggered how widgets work and done some stuff to how themes work. I hope it doesn’t mean having to redo all the work I’ve just finished on my theme. Grrr. Not that I want things to be static and unchanging, but… it’s just annoying to have to do things over and over.

I guess one doesn’t have to upgrade. But then you get stuck on some older thing, ignoring progress and clinging to outdated software isn’t good either.

I dunno.

Nucking Futters.

Posted 2009.03.30 9.07 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

I forgot to take my cryptospam again yesterday.  This is a problem I have with any medication you’re supposed to take every day.  Eventually, I can’t remember not taking it, because my head fills up with memories of taking it.  I’ve taken it a hundred times.  How can I be sure one of those times wasn’t today?

I was thinking of getting a t-shirt made with the word NUTS printed on it, front and back, in big block letters.  Let people make what they will of that.  Or when it gets warm enough not to need a sweater or jacket, I might start wearing my lab coat everywhere.  I don’t work in a lab, but I own a lab coat.  You know, long white coat, some pockets, clearly intended for a doctor or lab type person.  I could even make up an official looking passcard to clip to it.  The passcard would also say NUTS. Although people might then think I worked in a nut factory.  Then again, maybe I do.

Drop Down Menus

Posted 2009.03.28 10.27 in Computers/Internet/Technology by Stephanie

So I’ve been working on fixing up the menus into being dropdown ones.  It’s about 90% there but the CSS is really driving me up the wall at the moment.

Anyway I’ll work on it more later.

RIP Bob of Sugar Shack Fame

Posted 2009.03.27 19.10 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Update: Bob’s not dead, he’s just retired.  Yay!

So I went through my old links archive to try and find the Bob’s Sugar Shack link.  Found it, clicked it, found an empty directory.  Huh?

Then I googled for Bob’s Sugar Shack,figured maybe he just moved to a different ISP or whatever.  The first two links were just generic business directories, nothing new, nothing informative.

The third link though… Appearantly Bob has passed on, and his Sugar Shack is no more.

This makes me sad.  I think it’s been 2 years since me and the folks were there.  But it was a good place and Bob was a good guy.  The breakfast buffet was awesome.  And Bob’s singing was….  something best experienced in person. 🙂

Tonight, I say a prayer for Bob and hope that wherever he is, the maple trees are tapped and the sap is running.  RIP Bob.