Monthly Archives: January 2013

Some days, you just can’t find a hot dog bun.

But you can usually find a tortilla.

perrocalienteAs American as French Apple Pie and Bays-eh-bol! (“Bays-eh-bol…been….berryberry GOOD…to Me?” Chico Escuela, circa 1978, SNL)

I have to admit – I LIKE this Mexican turn on an American favorite. It had a certain, oh, I don’t know – a certain “No lo se'”, if you get my drift.  And corn tortillas just seem to last a lot longer than hot dog buns.

Come to think of it, Ethel wanted to make hamburgers the other night, but we didn’t have any buns, and we’re 30 miles from the grocery – so why not “hamBURROs”? They would have a great (as my friend Alan used to say) “meat-to-bread ratio”.
Currently I’m sitting here waiting on something at work. It’s a Thursday, so we should be driving in to town tonight for 2 meetings and errands, but it may be Ethel driving by herself – my chest feels tighter than it did the other day. I’m not coughing as much, but my voice sounds “muffled” even to me, and Ethel says that she can smell my infection when I breathe (which doesn’t sound very romantic – and actually sounds like I might be contagious).
Come to think of it, that sounds worrisome.
Anyway – If I can get off work early enough to soak in a hot steamy tub, I’ll probably head to town. And I might anyway. And, even if I soak in a hot steamy tub, I might NOT head to town. I’m really waffling right now, aren’t I?….and I’m not one to waffle on the subject of meetings, or, at least, I never have been.
But right now I can feel a lump in the middle of my chest, like an obstruction to my breathing.0
I hope it’s not my pneumonia getting worse.
And I SURE hope that it’s not my Perro Caliente stuck in an airway somewhere.

I’ve been working on one of our internal apps, and just deployed the latest version to Test this morning.

One of the pages – where I did the most work – looks pretty good. The functionality is there. Everything’s hunky dory. (I did my development work in Chrome, FF and IE 9).

However, in QA, in IE 8, here’s what most of that page looks like:

NothingYep, all of my widgets, controls, divs, spans, tabs and trays are gone, gone, dead and gone.

This is the sort of thing that completely mystifies me, and leaves me feeling completely hopeless. I’m completely at a loss as to how I should proceed, and completely overwhelmed by the complete completeness of it all. Completely.

I should completely just give up completely, except that I still have bills.

This is what Pirsig, in “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”, refers to as a “gumption trap”.

So what I’m going to do is what Pirsig suggests – I’m going to walk away from this and do something else to break away from the gumption trap. Since I’m at 9000 feet in the Colorado Mountains, taht “something else” is going to be skiing two runs : )

Then I’ll take the code back to where it worked okay in IE 8, and incrementally change things forward until I see what breaks it.

First things first – better get skiing…

UPDATE: it was an unclosed </span> tag. Dang. I mean, I can see how not closing a span would be a big deal, if said span was a suspension bridge over a thousand-foot drop over a raging river full of rabid crocodiles – but an HTML tag? C’mon – gimme a break here!

…well, actually, 37″ in the last 72 hours, officially.

tuesdayThe trees are loaded down – and it is heavy snow. That’s not what we powder skiers like – but we powder skiers like to have snow underneath our powder, so three feet of heavy wet base snow on top of what we already had is a Good Thing ™.

Three days in a row with 1+ feet each, and I’ve been laying in bed with pneumonia. That’ll teach me. I’m not sure what it’ll teach me, but I’ll be taught.


(BTW – I wrote this yesterday, but didn’t push the “Publish” button until this morning)

Okay, Jesus didn’t say “make up your bed” – he said “take up your bed” – but the darn thing is a king-size with umpteen layers of bedding, and I ain’t totin’ it nowhere.


I made up this bed this afternoon, without coughing.

A cold, to a bad cold, to sinusitis and bronchitis – when I finished that course of antibiotics (a Z-pack) I thought I was done, but that night the pneumonia hit. That was almost a week ago. I’ve only left the house since then to go to the doctor’s office.

Now I’m halfway through a 10-pill course of Levaquin, and making up this bed by myself is the most vigorous activity I’ve attempted.

So far, today, I have not gone into a coughing jag that has left me spitting up into the trashcan; I haven’t curled up around my abdomen to fight off chills; I haven’t felt my body go hot or cold. I am hopeful

Tomorrow I intend to wake up and go back to work; since “go back to work” in my world means walking from the bedroom to the desk and sitting down, I’m a-gonna try it. If I make it to lunchtime and still feel okay, I will – slowly –  head over to the ski hill and slide down a single groomed run.

Then, I’ll regroup.













Have you seen it yet?                      




Ethel and Jim-Bob give it Two Thumbs Up!

If you liked the Bourne movies (independent of the books) then you’ll like this one. I mean, really.

It FELT like a Bourne movie. It tied in neatly with the others. And when Moby kicks in at the end, you know it’s the genuine article : )

Now I’m going to bed….


There’s a Javascript library out there called “Knockout“.

It’s got a lot of magic – stuff under the covers that ties things together that are not immediately obvious to those of us who are not mutant alien double-dome geniuses.

Walter Bishop would have had no problem with it. In fact, I suspect that he actually invented a prototype Knockout library back in ’89.


(We started watching Fringe a month or two back, on Floyd’s recommendation. It ain’t Buffy, but then, neither is anything else)

This is amazing to me; when I watch Steve Sanderson explain Knockout, it makes plenty of sense. But then when I go into existing Knockout code, it’s like I’m reading Sanskrit.

All if this is just more evidence for my long-standing position, which I’ll state bluntly:


Psychologists like to think that they are scientists. Thus, they have to come up with numbers, because, if you can’t measure it, it ain’t science. So psychologists come up with “standardized tests”.

These standardized tests have shown many members of my family – myself included – to be highly rated in “intelligence”. But so far none of the aforementioned members have distinguished themselves in any way (outside the classroom, which is another sort of “standardized test”).. In fact, I’m not too sure that any of us have actually done anything intelligent at all.

(One of them, a particularly doltish sort, was fool enough to move from Park City, Utah to Phoenix, Arizona. In June. And bought real estate there. In 2005. You don’t want to know his standardized test scores).

I blame psychologists for my failure, because they told me I was smart, and I aren’t. Therefore, they caused me to overreach my abilities, thus resulting in my current frustration.

(this is a fancy way of saying “It ain’t my fault!”. I’m in favor of as many ways of saying “It ain’t my fault!” as I can come up with.)

Now that I have expressed my frustration, I will return to the thankless and pointless task of trying to understand Knockout, which I will refer to as “knocking myself out”.

Where’s my Sanskrit dictionary?

When I woke up this morning, I was having trouble breathing. This cold is really setting in hard – could it be flu? I had my flu shot…I realized that again, today, I will not be running or skiing.

Then the phone rang – our housesitter, Jane, in Arizona, was calling up to tell us that she didn’t have any water. The pipes had frozen (yes, in Arizona).

Then Ethel walked into the kitchen, and suddenly the Walk In The Wood print (of a moose walking through an aspen grove in the snow)  that we’ve owned for fifteen years (we bought it when we moved to Park City) swung wide on the wall, knocked down the framed and matted trail map of Sugarbush, then both of them fell and glass shattered out across the floor.

BirthdayMorningAbout the time that Ethel finished getting almost all of the glass cleaned up (I suspect that they’ll still be finding glass after we die and somebody has to move all of our stuff) Jane called again – turns out that the recirculating pump for the water heater was making a grinding sound.

Somewhere in the middle of all this, Ethel said “Happy birthday, sweetie!”

Yes, it is my birthday – I am now 54 years old, and I’m gonna die any minute.

54 years old – I’d say that that’s “mid fifties”. Ethel will turn 55 in July, at which point we can move into one of the old folks’ homes active-adult communities in Sun City and play cheap golf.

But it seemed like a bad start to a birthday.

That is, until Miss Positive Thinking pointed out what a good thing it was that we have tile in that room – if we had had carpet, we’d never get all of the glass up, and it would take a lot longer. That’s true! That’s a good thing!

…not only that, but if the Walk in the Woods had swung the OTHER way, then it would have hit the Stowe trail map instead – and they would have fallen onto yet another picture frame and a 26″ flat screen TV that’s there on the floor. A good thing it fell the way that it did!

…not only that, but our 4 year old grandson Jackson was staying with us until yesterday afternoon – it’s a good thing that he wasn’t here, because if he had been here, he would have jumped into the middle of the glass and chopped himself up proper. A good thing it waited until after he left to fall down!

…not only that, but we can still use the prints and the frames (a little Gorilla Glue was necessary for the trail map frame, but, hey…) and all we need now is some new picture glass. Cool!

…not only that, but since this happened in he winter, we can throw all of the broken glass into the dumpster without having to worry about any bears chopping their noses off or anybody jumping into the dumpster and getting hurt. Yay!

Just SO MUCH to be grateful for!

…..except, of course, for turning 54 years old… : )


…and will be eating them until the box is gone. Coach Saban thinks that you should always finish the job.

Here’s a pic from Orson’s brilliant writeup about Notre Dame’s season:

NDpityThe game went about as well as could be expected, for us Crimson types; yes, we fell asleep (the team, not the Pucketts) during the third quarter, but, again, that’s to be expected.

I suppose the only thing that bothered me about the game was the unashamed bigotry and prejudice expressed by all of those Yankee types – the stereotypes of “Catholics vs Cousins” and “Golden Domers vs Mobile Homers”  aren’t just mean, they are plain WRONG.

Nothing to prove here, no arguments to make – I’ve driven through Huntsville, Birmingham and Montgomery, and I’ve driven through the Rust Belt. Ain’t even gonna discuss it.

My “sense of justice” isn’t upset by stereotypes; I LIKE stereotypes. It’s more a smug self-righteousness that the folks making up these stereotypes would never, ever admit to making up stereotype. These folks are way too liberal and fair-minded to believe that they could be anything BUT liberal and fair-minded; and I can imagine no benefit whatever in pointing this out to them, because I’ve learned that they can’t reply to such helpful criticism; all they can do is go find somebody who agrees with them to talk to, because obviously I don’t understand that these are the RIGHT stereotypes.

So the only profitable course of action for me is to turn the laser inward and see where I do the same thing.

And to eat my Lucky Charms : )

Here’s this morning’s breakfast:


Those are Lucky Charms. The next game is Notre Dame, and we’ve started the ritual cannibalism early since it’s the National Championship.

The bowl season has not gone well for the SEC – currently at .500. There are folks who do not understand the bowl tie-ins that believe that this means that the SEC isn’t very strong; fact is, though, that the SEC doesn’t often compete one-to-one. In many bowls, the language is like “SEC #3 vs Big10 #2”. Also, since the SEC champ always (i reckon we can say that at this point) goes to the champtionship game, all of the other bowl tie-ins slide down one (i.e. it’s not the SEC champ in the Sugar Bowl, but SEC #2).

But none of that matters anymore, since Notre Dame is the Team of Destiny, and is going to end the SEC’s reign at the top. No, no, it’s a sure-thing lock; I’m reading it all over the Internet, which means that it must be true (“Bonjour!”)

Tonight is the Cotton Bowl, which is TAMU vs the Sooners. Tomorrow is Ole Miss vs Pitt A(another SEC game – N.B. Pitt, the team that took Notre Dame to three overtimes, is playing the NINTH-ranked team in the SEC) followed by the Go Daddy bowl on Sunday (which should be fun – Danica will be there : ) then we have the big one on Monday night.
I think we’re eating corned beef and cabbage as the game-day mojo, as my suggestion to have “potatoes with potato blight” met with a stony-faced Ethel.(I was even willing to fake it – just bruise the potatoes pretty heavily a day or so before cooking – but Ethel just said no).

Query – why are they called the “Fighting Irish”? Have the Irish ever WON? They’ve been beaten down for a thousand years. Shouldn’t they be called the “Losing Irish?”