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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in celyn100's LiveJournal:

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Thursday, May 26th, 2011
11:37 am
Scripting classes?
Seattle area folks: I need to learn scripting and need a structured classroom setting. Teaching myself via books is not an option. I'm checking local community colleges for possible classes. Recommendations on what to look for? Where else to look?

FWIW, one of the programs that I use a lot at work allows me to run scripts that are based on Visual Basic. I've written some very basic scripts for that program to automate certain text-editing tasks, but I know it's possible to do more. Most of what I need to do involves taking text from one program, manipulating it, and putting it into another program. If I can't find a class in Visual Basic, would a Java or SQL class be a good place to start?
Monday, April 27th, 2009
6:21 pm
Quick post because I've got a publisher's deadline looming...

Ivy has asked me to let people know how she's doing. Right now she doesn't have access to a computer and has been too tired to get out anywhere. The best way to reach her is via text.

If you have time within the next week or two (this week would be ideal!), stopping in to sit with her and chat for a while is probably the best thing you can do for her.

Don't bring food! There's very little she can eat and what she's able to eat can change from day to day. She doesn't need presents either; there's absolutely no room in her apartment. Sitting, listening and providing some human companionship for short periods of time will do her the most good right now.

This post is unlocked. If you know someone on Ivy's friends list who's not on mine, please feel free to send them this way.

Edit: Quick clarification-- Ivy mainly wanted people to know she's not in hospice or "CVS on tubes." But from what I understand, she's too weak to spend much time out of bed right now. And if she's not up for company at a given time after all, don't take it personally. :)
Thursday, October 9th, 2008
6:05 pm
God plays Vancouver
Several years ago, Benjamin Bagby was on tour with his performance of Beowulf. One of his fans on rec.music.early used to post his tour schedule with the subject "God plays [wherever]" Anyways, Bagby will be performing Beowulf in Vancouver BC on Saturday, Nov. 1, 2008. If you have the chance to make it up, it's worth the trip. He's also playing Bellingham the Thursday before.

Thursday October 30, 2008, 7:30 – Bellingham, WA
Heiner Theater, Whatcom Community College

Saturday, November 1, 2008, 8:00 – Vancouver, BC
UBC Recital Hall

For my East Coast friends, he'll be performing in NYC in March.

Sunday, March 8, 2009, 1:00 – New York, NY
The Cloisters

J and I saw Bagby's performance of Beowulf at UBC several years back. We drove up and back the same day. It was totally worth the 3 hour drive each way.
Saturday, August 30th, 2008
12:52 am
My neighbor knew him when...
My neighbor, Dean, from one block over went to school with Barack Obama. Last week the Tacoma News Tribune ran an article on him along with their fifth grade class picture with "Dean-o"standing next to "Barry" in the back row.

What I find particularly impressive is that, even though they fell out of touch after high school, Dean thinks so highly of his friend based on what he was like in school, before Obama was interested in politics at all, that he's volunteering probably 30-40 hours per week for the Obama campaign. This is on top of his full-time, regular job. That part isn't in the article. That's what I've seen with my own eyes as I've been getting involved with the local Democratic Party. Personally, I think that says a lot about Obama's character that his old friend will work that hard for him.
Thursday, August 21st, 2008
8:44 am
Portland advice
I'll be in Portland for work in mid-October (Oct. 15-17). Rather than driving down, I'm thinking of taking Amtrak down and using Trimet to get around. All of the B&B/ guesthouses I'm looking at would be about a 40-50 minute commute to the University of Portland campus where my meeting is. That's no problem. I'm mainly concerned with being someplace near interesting things to do in the evenings after about 6 pm.

The places I'm considering right now are:

Portland Guesthouse/Elliston House
425 NW 18th Ave

Everett Street Guesthouse
2306 NE Everett St.

Bluebird Guesthouse
3517 SE Division St

Anyone familiar with Portland have any comments?
Wednesday, March 26th, 2008
10:34 pm
Passover Peeps
My favorite is the plague of locusts
Thursday, March 6th, 2008
5:45 pm
iTunes playlist question
Husband (Mac user) got a new iPod that he tried to sync with existing iTunes library on our PC. In the process, his playlists have disappeared. "No problem," sez I, "I'll just replace the copy of iTunes Music Library.xml sitting in your My Music\iTunes folder with a backed-up copy."

So I do that and we still can't see the playlists. In iTunes that is. When I open the XML file in Notepad, I *can* see the Playlists. All 20-something of them. They just don't show up in iTunes 7.6. Any of my geek friends have any ideas?
Tuesday, January 15th, 2008
9:11 am
Thrift store smell
I don't know if thrift stores are doing something different, or if my nose has gotten more sensitive with age, but I'm having a horrible time getting the "thrift store smell" out of clothes that I buy there (multiple chains, multiple stores).

Typically, I run a wash with a second rinse and fill the bleach dispenser all the way with white vinegar. Then I hang the clothes outside for 1-2 weeks. Even so, I'm finding that I have to wear the clothes and wash them again for upwards of 5-10 more times to get the smell out. Ideas? Suggestions?
Tuesday, November 13th, 2007
6:59 am
Estaba la Madre
NPR this morning ran a story on the debut of a new opera, Estaba la Madre (The Mother Was There), in Buenos Aires and Rome. The title references a medieval Latin poem, Stabat Mater, on the sorrows experienced by the Virgin Mary at the Crucifixion. The opera portrays the sorrows of some of the 30,000 Argentinian mothers who lost their sons and daughters (most in their teens and early twenties) to a military dictatorship.

The NPR story comes on the heels of a week of back-and-forth letters to the editor of my local newspaper debating the issue of torture. One point that has been constantly overlooked in all the letters pro and con is the fact that once a government decides to torture the guilty, it ends up torturing the innocent because of human error, avarice and stupidity.

30,000 children. 30,000 lives cut short. 30,000 people who were beaten, electrocuted, raped, burned, shot, or dumped into the ocean while still alive. This is the road where torture leads us. I sat in my car and cried.
Saturday, November 3rd, 2007
10:17 am
E has two weeks off in December for Winter break. This mean I'm also taking the time off. I'm thinking that it might be fun for the two of us to go skiing or tubing or something during that time. I haven't skied since my family left Colorado in 1979, and I haven't paid much attention to skiing in the area. Do folks have any suggestions for someplace that meets the following criteria:

isn't wildly crowded (we won't be going on a weekend, which should help)
has rental equipment
has classes for kids
isn't insanely expensive (lift tickets under $50)
is within a 3-4 hour drive from Seattle/Tacoma
has cross country/Nordic skiing

I realize most of my friends never leave the city, but I figured it couldn't hurt to ask.
Saturday, October 27th, 2007
9:01 am
Librarian stuff
I was down at NWIUG last week and got to sit in on a presentation that Kyle Banerjee, who works for the Orbis-Cascade Alliance, gave. He's been working with Terry Reese from OSU on a project to make the Summit OPAC interface more customizeable. In short, Kyle talked about how library systems are slowly moving in the direction of having different interfaces being able to access the same sets of meta/data, or having one interface access multiple sets of meta/data. Right now, systems are fairly proprietary and stand-alone. For example, if I can't find a book in the library where I work and want to check the local public library, I have to exit my system, find the other library and retype the search. Likewise, if I want to find both books and articles on a topic, I have to perform the same search multiple times in several different databases (or I have to perform different searches in each database because there are no universal standards for search syntax and each search engine and database is structured slightly differently). Now imagine my library's search interface could query the other library's database. The Orbis-Cascade Alliance libraries can already link from their home catalogs directly to the consortial database, but that's because we use the same ILS. There's no further link to Worldcat, and even if you could get into Worldcat, you can only see ownership information; you can't tell if the book you want is checked out or missing. So the goal is to have data in a universally-recognized standard that can be read across different platforms. Alternately, the goal is to finally have platforms that can make real use of the standard we created decades ago.

From a cataloger's viewpoint, I think this will, of necessity, move our focus from cataloging at a local level, to cataloging at a system level. That is, we need to focus more on the quality of data in WorldCat or other consortial OPACs, than on the qualty of data in the local system. Ideally, this will end some of the duplication of effort that currently takes place in cataloging (50 libraries having to add the same missing author tracing to a record) and help us cope with the profession-wide reduction in cataloging staff and shifting of metadata record creation to vendors.

Much to mull over...
8:32 am
Last night we took Eleanor to see the Tacoma Ballet in a show called Hallowed Dances. The company is trying to move away from the "story dances" that require a lot in the way of expensive sets and costumes, and they're experimenting with shorter themed dances. It was fabulous!

The highlight was their Danse Macabre piece, where the dancers wore full body flourescent skeleton costumes. The stage was black and lit in such a way that all you could see were the painted skeletons as the dancers danced around.

The company is only performing this weekend, Saturday is the final performance, so I highly recommend that dance afficianados make the effort to catch the show tonight.
Thursday, October 18th, 2007
5:16 pm
Sometimes not being mainstream is a pain
I'm going to Portland tomorrow and am trying to find an audiobook to listen to on the drive down and back. This is severely hampered by the fact that I don't like most of the pop fiction/bestsellers that are available in audiobook format. Also complicating things is the fact that my car has a tape deck instead of a CD-player. In comparison with everything else, the Isaac Asimov Foundation novel read by William Shatner is looking better and better.
Thursday, August 23rd, 2007
12:29 am
Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007
4:55 pm
Mac help!
Jherek has a used PowerBook that he got from a friend. He recently renamed the user account on it and has subsequently been unable to access darn near everything on the machine. He says:

It seems that there's this "little bug" in the OS.
When you rename your user account (as I did because I got tired of seeing
Alex's name), the computer regards it as a new account and loses the ability to
map to said account. So all the preferences, configurations, and files are
there... somewhere... but they can't be found.

Any ideas from folk who speak Mac?
Friday, August 17th, 2007
6:31 pm
Sunday, July 22nd, 2007
9:37 am
Some of you may know part of this story. About a year after we moved into our house, a jazz and blues club opened up the street (nothing was there before). Not really my kind of music, but as a musician it was nice to see a venue opening up for local artists. What was not nice was hearing every single note of the harmonica inside my house, at the far end of the street, with the doors and windows closed. You can imagine what the bass line was like.

After a few months, the neighbors convened. We started documenting the noise ordinance violations, worked with the police, and finally called our city council members to report that the lawyer we had contacted recommended a lawsuit against the city for failing to enforce the noise ordinance. Things improved.

Within the last year, things have gotten worse again. The police no longer respond to noise complaints. The music is getting louder, and not just on weekends. They now have several weeknights involving things like "rock & roll karaoke." Imagine trying to get to sleep with bad 70's and 80s butt rock pounding through your house. It's gotten so bad that one of our neighbors who lives a few houses down from the club has put her house on the market. She toughed it out through the crack dealers and crack houses of the 80's, but 6 years of this has been too much for her (If I were her, I'd sue the club for all of my moving costs and real estate agent fees).

Last night, at 1 am, I went down to the club to inform them that I could hear every note of the Journey cover band inside my house. I discovered that the front door of the club was propped wide open. The bouncer refused to close it. The manager's initial response was "It's Saturday night." Oh, yes, he really said that. It wasn't until I threatened to call the police that they finally closed the door. I got home and I could still hear the music, inside the house, with the doors and windows closed; it was just a bit more muffled.

So I think on Monday it's time to call the city council member who I let put up a campaign sign in my yard. I'm also semi-seriously considering finding the home address of the owner and showing up at his house at 5 am to play bagpipe music. And I'll be checking into the OSHA regulations on employee noise exposure. I wonder what else an OSHA inspector could turn up? Talking to a lawyer again is definitely on the list.
Friday, July 13th, 2007
2:10 pm
Why yes, I am a big freakin' geek
One of my projects at work is identifying the works of important modern playwrights that we don't own. For most American playwrights, this isn't too difficult-- either they're dead and a publisher has issued a collection of his/her complete works, or they've written few enough works that it's easy to find individual copies of each play. Sam Shepard is another matter entirely.

The man has a body of work that stretches back over 40 years. No one seems to have put together a collection of his complete works. Every so often, various publishers have printed a few plays together (anywhere from 4-12) but the collections frequently reprint plays that have appeared in previous anthologies and some plays have been left out altogether.

So, with close to 50 plays and just under 20 published collections, how do I figure out what we need to buy so we end up with most/all of Shepard's plays? The answer is to create a relational database (in MS Access)!

In very little time at all, I was able to set up tables for the plays themselves, the anthologies, and which plays appeared in which anthologies. I included a field to track what collections we owned and from that was able to create queries which listed what plays we owned by way of owning the anthology, what plays weren't in any anthologies, and what published anthologies contained plays we didn't own in any form. Sweet.

I'm feeling very pleased with myself.

Current Mood: accomplished
Saturday, June 30th, 2007
5:33 pm
Book recommendation
If you enjoy mythology, I recommend picking up the book The Orphan's Tales: In the Night Garden by Catherynne Valente. Reminiscent of 1001 Arabian Nights, Orson Scott Card's Hart's Hope, and a bit of the Ramadan issue of Sandman, the book burrows down with stories inside stories inside stories until the boundaries of the interlocking tales slowly unravel and give way. Don't start it unless you can afford to sleep in the next morning.
Monday, June 18th, 2007
4:40 pm
Nice weekend
Having left J to act as a single parent to a preschooler while I was in Japan for two weeks, I returned home and immediately started in on my SIFF viewing. What with this past weekend being Father's Day and all, I kind of figured J needed a break. So Eleanor and I spent the weekend being party girls.

We started off on Saturday with a girls' stamping party at the house of one of the students from her daycare class. The kids had fun doing crafts and playing together; the moms drank mimosas; a fun time was had by all. Eleanor had a bit of a meltdown when she discovered that while she'd been playing in another room, some of the guests had made construction paper purses. I found out this was a problem as she attempted to pull open the front door, tears streaming down her face, sobbing that she wanted to go home right NOW! Once the source of the anguish was uncovered, I was able to convince her that staying to make the construction paper purse would be much more fun than going home. So she sat in my lap at the table while I made the purse for her. She did, at the end, write her name on the purse.

In the evening, we went to Cafe Paloma in Pioneer Square to see a show by the Kosher Red Hots. One of the lovely surprises of the evening was that the band, who frequently performs in a local Jewish retirement community, had several guest performers from the retirement community to sing old songs in Yiddish and Ladino. At one point, the singer led a little dance around the restaurant. Eleanor wanted to join the dance but refused to do so without me. When we finally got up and asked if she could dance too, she took the hand of the last person in line and told me "I can do it by myself, Mama. I don't need you." (This has been a recurring theme recently.) We had to leave sooner than I would have liked, but both the show and the restaurant were great!

On Sunday, we went to the birthday party of a friend's daughter who's a year younger than Eleanor. The girls had fun playing together, and Eleanor even managed to share the bubble sword birthday present with the birthday girl. My friend was kind enough to babysit Eleanor while I went off to see my final SIFF movie, Cthulhu.

The movie was a local production, filmed in Seattle and Astoria, and based somewhat on Lovecraft's story The Shadow Over Innsmouth. In this modern version, the protagonist is a gay man who, when his mother dies, has to make a journey back to the small town where he grew up and the family who refused to accept him. The twist is that his minister father is the head of the Order of Dagon (I'm assuming anyone who's on my friends list is familiar with the Lovecraft oevre). Absolutely beautiful camera work in the film, especially a particularly creepy basement scene where the protaganist uses a disposable flash camera to find his way out-- black screen interspersed with split second flashes of blinding light and images that were so brief you could hardly tell what they were, making them even more disturbing. If you like horror or suspense, I'd recommend putting this in your Netflix queue (along with the modern silent film production Call of Cthulhu)
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