Saturday, October 30, 2004

More on NaNoWriMo

Well I picked up the book, "No Plot? No Problem!" by Chris Baty, the founder of the National Novel Writing Month. Needless to say, it's definitely inspired me to try to write a novel (defined as 50k words) in one month. Unfortunately, this year's NaNoWriMo, in November 2004, I don't think I can do because I will be defending my thesis on December 1st. I think I'm going to try to write my "novel" in the month of January, and then depending on how things go, may try again in the official NaNoWriMo next year (November, 2005). Good luck to all of this year's participants!!! As for me, I'll be updating on how things go for me in January...

Thursday, October 28, 2004



In a 4 game World Series sweep, Boston won its first World Series in 86 years last night.
Yes, I know I'm a little late in posting. That's what school does to you sometimes.
I only wish my grandfather were still alive to see it--he's the one that got me into watching baseball and in particular rooting for the BoSox. Yeah, a depressing thought, I know.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Stupid Gimmick

Taco Hell is at it again: offering fans a free crunchy taco if either team hits a home run that hits their 12' x 12' target during tonight's World Series game 3. They've done this in the past with big home run events and also with the MIR space station (if I remember correctly). I can't imagine that too many people would ever take them up on it if the target was actually hit, but Taco Bell's owner, Yum! Brands Inc (how original), has taken out an insurance policy to ensure they don't take any losses for the giveaway. Personally, I don't care for TH's crunchy tacos, but this gives me an idea...

What about giving people a "reward" for voting? I know it's the civic duty of Americans to go out and vote, but I also know that voter turnout is traditionally low--and sinking. And, no, I'm not talking about Michael Moore's alleged offer to give free underwear to people that register to vote and promise to vote for John Kerry (though I don't put it past him, I haven't had a chance to research this claim at all). If I'm not mistaken, that constitutes buying a vote and is illegal. I just want to see people actually get out and vote.

If popular media is any indication, so do a lot of other people--some big-name companies included. So, why not offer a gimmick to those that vote? Say, a free donut at Dunkin' Donuts or Krispy Kreme for anybody who shows up on Nov. 3rd with proof of having voted on Nov. 2nd. I don't know about other voting regions, but I know that where I vote (Harmony Hall in Columbia, MD), I get a little sticker that says "I Voted" when you leave the polls. Or, perhaps you could get a receipt or a stub for voting that could verify you did it. Seems to me that a "gimmick" like THAT would actually be worthwhile and might even drag a few more people to the polls...

Sunday, October 24, 2004


I've come to the realization especially lately that I'm a PDA dork. I mean, I knew I was a gadget dork...but I think I realized today how many things I do with my Palm Pilot.

My voyage into the weird world of PDA's started back in the day when I bought a Palm IIIxe. It was a black and white/grayscale job. On that one, the only applications I ever used were the Datebook (the built-in one) and the game Bejeweled. I never thought I'd be one of those people who relied on a Palm Pilot for scheduling, but since I've owned one, I find I'm sort of lost without it. Thank goodness it sync's up to Outlook, so that at least if I misplace it I have my appointments backed up.

I upgraded when the Palm m505 came out, my first color PDA. It was a lot of fun. I loved its slim profile and low-res color screen. It was also the first Palm Pilot that I started playing RPG's on. I got addicted to Aldon's Crossing, which is still a great game, though after you've beat it with all the different character types/classes, it loses some replay value.

After the m505 I made my first foray into the world of the PPC. I picked up a first generation high end Dell Axim. I admit, I probably first got it because of PDA envy because my current roommate had one, and I thought it was downright sexy. Ah, PDA envy causes us to make expensive purchases. Honestly I didn't use this one as much as I might have. I'm not really sure why. I had a WiFi card for it, though, and used it often to talk on IM during class. But, I had a friend entering medical school at the time, and he informed me that having a Palm based PDA would be better becasue of the apps for medical school and medical clinical purposes.

Spoiled by my experience with WiFi, I looked into Palm Pilots with integrated WiFi. There was and still is only one, the Palm Tungsten C. So I sold off the Axim and picked up the T|C. Which is where I am now. With the OS 5 and thus enhanced processer, more gaming options were open to, instead of just using the date book feature, I play a lot of games. I've also since found other great programs, both freeware and software, that have seriously extended the use of my PDA. I must fully admit that the Tungsten C is the PDA I've had the most use out of. Certainly I've had it the longest of any PDA and I can't see replacing it any time soon (especially given the newest Palms that have been released).

I was tempted to write this after realizing that I spend probably 50% of my time (at least) on my Palm these days for homework tracking, thesis tracking, playing games, and keeping tabs on all my doctors' phone numbers and appointments. I never thought I'd be one to use a PDA for anything other than games, I'm still surprised to look back on my usage and realize how much of my life is stored on my T|C.

Peroneal Tendons

Will somebody please tell the FOX announcers that the Curt Schilling's injury is a torn peroneal tendon sheath, pronounced "pair-oh-neal"???

I can sympathize with Curt. He's torn the sheath enclosing his peroneus longus and brevis tendons, allowing his peroneus brevis (I imagine) to slip in and out. I've torn that same sheath...and the tendons inside...3 times or so. Of course, since my fusion I don't have those tendons anymore, but I know the pain of that injury.

I'm impressed with what the Sox medical team has done to try to keep the tendon from dislocating. From ESPN, "The technique involves suturing Schilling's tendon in place so it doesn't flop over his ankle when he pitches. He had the stitches put in on Monday and removed after his start on Tuesday night." What a crazy procedure, though it makes sense. The team doctor tried it on a cadeaver ankle prior to trying it on Schilling, but wow. Hopefully it'll keep him healthy enough to pitch here in Game 2.

I feel for you, Curt! Great job so far. :)

Thursday, October 21, 2004


BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
Coming back from 3 games in the hole, facing almost certain elimination.
Man I wish I were in Boston tonight.

Damon, my pick for MVP of tonight's game.
Ortiz, my pick for MVP of the series.

World Series bound, can you believe it?!?! First time since 1986 if I'm not mistaken...
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3

ESPN box score info
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3
BOSTON RED SOX 10 - new york yankees 3

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

ALCS Game 7: Middle of the 4th

2 run HR by Papi in the first.
Grand Slam by Damon in the 2nd.
Another 2 run HR by Damon in the 4th.

So right now Boston's leading New York 8-1 going into the bottom of the 4th.
Only 4 and a half more innings....better not jinx it by being optimistic.

Oh, and for those of you who missed it last night, the final score was 4-2, Boston.

Tuesday, October 19, 2004

ARod is SUCH a putz

This is baseball, Yankees style. Do something that's blatantly against the rules, then pretend you didn't. Whine about it because you have a lot of money and you're a "superstar" and most of the time get the call to go the way you want it.
How frickin' ridiculous. These umps deserve a hand, they've done a great job calling the game tonight. Now if only the Yankees weren't such overpaid crybaby pansies.
Going into the 9th inning, Boston is still up 4-2, keep your fingers crossed for the RIGHT team not to get robbed (either by real runs or stupid fans). Man, and they say UMd fans (and players) are jerks. We're nothing compared to the Yankees and their fans.

Let's Go Boston!

Uh oh!
Going into the bottom of the 4th inning, Boston's up 4-0. Thank goodness the umps called the fan interference on the home run correctly and awarded the HR. I've seen too many teams get robbed by fans at Yankees games (think of the O's in 1996 and the BoSox in 2003). Fingers crossed, this series will go to a game 7 (and a Boston win there, too).

Stay tuned for updates...

Lady of Procrastination

Along with being "gimpygal" or "The Surgery Queen" and the "girlie gadget freak," I think I can add "Lady of Procrastionation" to the list of things I've been called...

I'm sitting here working on my thesis defense presentation (while I wait for comments on my thesis draft from my committee members), and my mouse keeps wandering over to Firefox and surfing the internet. Of all the places I've been surfing lately, I keep going back to the Starbucks blog (ah, yes, a blog that really matters--one about coffee and one of the most prevalent places to get it) and over to Yahoo! Games to play Bounce Out. Bounce Out is like the classic/well-known game "Bejeweled" but with a bit more challenge. There are these black balls that don't move, and the patterns for exchanging balls can be a bit harder to see. I'm completely addicted, though my score is so low I'm not even going to admit my highest score.

I'm tempted to register for the National Novel Writing Month...though at the moment, I don't have any real ideas for a topic except one that might get me beat up, sort of one talking about things that have gone on in my life (and around my life) lately. We shall see. Anybody reading this going to do the NaNo challenge? Let me know, I'd be interested in hearing about your experience...

David Ortiz, Boston's Hero

DH David "Papi" Ortiz did it again last night. For the third time in the baseball playoffs, his late-inning hit has been the game-winner for the Red Sox. This time the hit was in the bottom of the 14th inning, clinching a 5-4 win over the Yankees and taking the ALCS to a cruical game 6 back in New York.

Next game is tonight, 10.19.04, at 8 p.m. on Fox. GO BOSTON!!!

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

What's Wrong, Curt?!?!

Curt Schilling seems to have had a short night in New York tonight...3 innings pitched, 6 earned runs. Yes, that means those bastard Yankees are up 6-0 on my BoSox right now in the top of the 6th with 2 outs.

To add insult to injury, Mike Mussina is on the mound for the Yankees, a player that was stolen from the O's. Let's face it, whatever talent the Yankees have, the Yankees have bought. Baseball is no longer about who has the best's who has the money to buy the best team. And unfortunately when it comes to money, George Steinbrenner has the most of it.

Damn Yankees.

Rehab, A Step Backward

Just when I thought I was making progress in PT, today we took a step back.
Whether it was from the balancing attempts on Friday or from the boat on Saturday, my ankle swelled up pretty nastily on Saturday night, so I didn't do any of my exercises this weekend, and we've decided to stop doing balancing exercises until the swelling goes away.
I guess it's a step backwards, though hopefully we'll get back on track soon.

Friday, October 08, 2004

BoSox WIN!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thanks to a 2 run HR by David Ortiz in the bottom of the 10th, your (and mine!) Boston Red Sox are the 2004 AL West champions and are heading for a second straight year to the AL Championship Series!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

If I could dance right now I'd do a happy dance. You'll have to imagine me doing one. ;)

More Info on Harry Potter Book 6

Just saw this on
Rowling: Another Potter character to die.
You can read the full story here, not that there's much more to the story. Apparently JK Rowling has announced that somebody else will die in book 6, Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince, though she's not giving us any hints on who it might be.

In the most recently released book in the series, Harry Potter and The Order of The Phoenix, she killed off Sirius Black, Harry's godfather. I personally hadn't seen that coming...I assumed it would be Hagrid or one of the teachers. Time to start trolling the HP fan sites to see who might be the next victim (it would seem that the pen is indeed mightier than the sword)...

What is going on, Boston???

For those of you not watching ESPN, you should know that at the top of the 7th, with Boston leading 6-1, the Angels loaded the bases, got a run from a walk and then Vlad G. hit a friggin' grand slam to tie it up at 6 each.

It's going on to extra innings now, so all you BoSox fans out there need to tune in and keep your fingers crossed for a win to move on to the ALCS.

And while you're at it, put a curse on the Yankees. I'm tired of them. Everybody get out your A-Rod voodoo doll and stab it repeatedly. Wouldn't hurt to do that with the your Jeter voodoo doll, too...

Rehab, Two Weeks Down... many more to go??? That's the real question, though I expect it to last about 4-6 months.
Two weeks are officially over now of my rehab. This means that in two more weeks, I'll be able to walk around without the brace on my ankle (YIPPY!). Hopefully it also means that in two more weeks I'll be able to cut down to 2 visits to the PT office per week, instead of the 3 I'm doing now. We'd originally hoped to cut down to 2 after today, but obviously that didn't happen.

On an up note, though, biking is less painful now than it was when I started; I imagine I'll be able to do it on my own at home soon. :) Today we started balancing and worked on a bit more strengthening. This means that so far my exercises include theraband work, picking up marbles with my toes, toe curls, heel & toe raises, biking, and now trying to balance for 15 seconds (my best so far is 2 seconds) and doing some leg-press style exercises. PROGRESS!!! At last.

Thursday, October 07, 2004


Look out real world, today I scheduled my thesis defense.
For those so curious, I'm set to defend from 10-noon on Wednesday, December 1. It's a scary prospect. But now all the paperwork is set and the room is reserved, so it's as official as it can get until I actually defend.

(play scary music)

Tuesday, October 05, 2004

Gadget Girl Strikes Again

I admit it, I'm a gadget-aholic.
I love toys: PDA's, mp3 players, computer hardware, cameras...anything in this new digital era, I seem to love it and almost always want to get it.

Naturally, Palm's release of the Tungsten T5 this week has made me wonder if it's time to upgrade my PDA. Currently I'm using a Palm Tungsten C and I love it dearly. The integrated Wi-Fi is particularly nice, considering our network here in the apartment and the Wi-Fi network on campus. Since the T5 doesn't have this feature, I'm probably going to hold off on getting it. I think I may as well wait, too, until Palm releases their new OS, be it Cobalt or Garnet. Don't get me wrong, I like the idea of the big screen...but I like my keyboard on the T|C (and have become fully spoiled by it) and I'm not sure I'm ready to give it up. The other reason I've decided to wait is to make sure that any software I purchase (such as my beloved games) will be compatible with the new OS. This doesn't mean I've ruled out picking up a PPC or a Tapwave Zodiac 2...I'm always looking for suggestions, feel free to recommend a device for me. :D

Speaking of toys, today I went to Staples and finally got some screen cleaners for my Palm, and a USB sync/cigarette lighter recharger. It's nice, meaning I can finally stop relying on my cradle and I can charge my Palm even if I'm in the car. ;)

I finally also today got my screen protector onto my Palm, so I'm feeling good about playing games again. It took a few tries, a steamy bathroom, and a non-adhesive type of protector. I finally settled on the G2 screen protector, and so far I like it. It's much better than the old Fellows one I had on it before. I'll keep you guys posted on what's going on with my screen these days.

Monday, October 04, 2004

What's playing...

Thought I'd drop a fast note here to put a little word out for some CD's I've been listening to lately and think are damn good.

First is the Damnwells CD, Bastards of the Beat. I'd never heard of these guys until my friend Meghan recommended them to me. Mellow tunes, a sound I haven't really heard before. Like Linkin' Park, it's easy to say that the songs on this CD don't sound like the one before it. That is a huge gripe of mine lately, that you buy a CD and every song sounds the same.

Then there's the new Green Day release, American Idiot. I've been a GD fan for a long time...since "back in the day" in high school when listening to Dookie. I'll be the first to admit, especially at the beginning, their songs sounded all the same. This CD is a new leaf for them, a sort of maturation of Billie Joe and the rest of the band. They still use only three chords...but now they've developed into actual music. This is the best CD I've ever heard from them.

Finally there is Frou Frou's Details CD. Another band I hadn't heard of until recently, I was turned onto them by their song "Let Go" which I heard on the Garden State soundtrack (it's #12 on that CD). The CD is another "unique sound" CD. I'm not sure who I could compare it to, sort of like a cross between Tori Amos and some more "rock-y" band.

Good listening, go out and buy 'em. :)

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Firefox revisited

as an update to my previous post about firefox not working 100% (particularly with regards to getting and installing updates automatically), i did as suggested and uninstalled it and then installed the new version.

unfortunately this didn't really help much. i still can't seem to get it to auto install updates. for example, the fresh install required that flash be re-installed. however, when the agent told me it needed to be installed and i told it to go ahead and install flash, it sat there doing nothing and making no progress for about 20 minutes before i decided to kill it. i've since gone and manually installed flash, but this is a very annoying inconvenience. any thoughts would be greatly appreciated.

as another little observation, this fresh install of firefox doesn't seem to be showing me the confirmation of the publication of posts here...odd.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

A GREAT company

just wanted to pop on here and give my major kudos and thanks to the guys over at Red vs. Blue. i had ordered the 2nd season DVD of RvB awhile back and recently realized that i hadn't received it yet. i sent them an e-mail to see if my copy could be tracked down. they immediately replied that they had sent it, but since i hadn't received it, they're sending me another copy. what great customer service from those guys, THANKS SO MUCH!!!

Firefox help?

ok, i'm hoping that somebody reading this can give me a hand, i actually posted this note as a "comment" on Joel from 1src's Switchblog.

does anybody have similar problems with firefox on a PC and/or know how to resolve the problems:
i've had firefox since version 0.7 or so on my PC and have never been able to use the "automatic update" feature (it never updates, just tells me that it's installing them making no progress). similarly, if i try to open a link that requires a popup (such as this comments page!) and forget to hit ctrl while i click it, it never opens for me unless i shut down firefox and restart it.
i hate IE but man, this is getting inconvenient...any ideas?

UPDATE: It seems that there was an option in the Tools/Options menu to "Allow websites to install..." that needs to be checked for the automatic updates to work. Still can't figure out what's going on with the pop-up blocking, but it's good to know I wasn't going crazy with the update installations.