gnomi: (riker_head)
Having a love-hate relationship with FrameMaker 10 right now. I love the program. I'm just hating building these templates. Please, chapters, *please* number correctly.

(If anyone out there can help me wrangle these templates, I'd really appreciate it. I *thought* I understood what was going on, but no such luck.)
gnomi: (cookies!)
-- We seem to have two weather modes right now: grey and rainy and in the 60s-70s (F) or sunny but crazy-hot (as defined by Massachusetts standards of anything above 85). Today is the transition day, sunny and not too crazy hot, heading into the mid-80s this afternoon. Tomorrow is supposed to be the beginning of more crazy-hot.

-- I now have my beloved FrameMaker back. Unfortunately, I do not have the beloved arsenal of templates I had at my previous position. Anyone good at designing FrameMaker templates want to give me a quick-and-dirty tutorial (or point me to one) on building templates?

-- Summer has arrived and with it comes barbecue season. We went to one on Father's Day, and now we're off to one tonight and one next Wednesday. Mmmm, charred meat. Yummers. (Since we're mostly vegetarian at home, it's a particular treat to eat your feet in the Mississippi mud charred meat in other folks' homes.)

-- Speaking of next week, it is the annual Summer Week of No Childcare, so [personal profile] mabfan and I will be tag-teaming each other on Muffin and Squeaker wrangling. If anyone wants to come hang out with two not-quite-three-year-olds as we play in the park (or perhaps explore adventures in the area when I'm not in work meetings), please let me know.

-- Speaking of Squeaker and Muffin, they continue to be adorable. Challenging and frustrating at times, but adorable.
gnomi: (here_comes_treble (shoegal-icons))
I knew I was in trouble when the PM running the 10:45 meeting I was in got to the QA report and said, "Jenny, I got your e-mail."

Because my brain then went, "I need to make you mine."
gnomi: (Default)
This afternoon, as I was heading to a meeting, I happened to strike up a conversation with a coworker. Through a series of bizarre conversational connections, I discovered that he knows [livejournal.com profile] lensman along with [livejournal.com profile] beckyfeld's friends E. and JP. [profile] beckyfeld's name sounded familiar to him, but he couldn't remember if they knew each other.

I am always surprised when this happens, though it happens often enough that I often think I should stop being surprised.
gnomi: (Default)
-- We're having what I've termed "snizzle": could be snow, could be drizzle.

-- Due to the weather, many of my coworkers chose to work from home. Because of them and the coworkers traveling for various reasons, the office is really quiet today, to the point that I was the first one in the office today.

-- I have discovered some games for my phone that are addictive (Ticket to Ride, Where's My Water?). I am now looking for people to play Ticket to Ride with.

-- A fanfic project I've been pondering for a while just became both easier and harder due to a casting spoiler. ::ponders some more::

-- We have achieved Purim costumes for Muffin and Squeaker. Tried them on last night, and they were adorable.

-- Speaking of Purim, this year I thought ahead and got mishloach manot items at BJ's when I last went. I just need a couple of items and we can assemble them.

-- Speaking of assembling, check out the new Avengers trailer from Marvel UK. It's really cool.

-- Today's date makes me think I should be humming Sousa music all day. So does Sunday's date.

-- It's 1 March and already my grocery store has put out Passover food. This is ridiculous.

-- With the warmer-than-usual weather we've been having, the trees are confused and some of them are budding. So, of course, I'm having my annual Spring allergy attack. Spring allergy attacks should *not* start in February.

-- It's Thursday, and I have no clue what I'm making for Shabbat.
gnomi: (nerdy_chemistry (shoegal-icons))
Can anyone suggest real-time video capture software for the Mac that is either (a)free or (b) inexpensive? I have been asked to look into making some videos of how to use a specific software package, and something that can capture video of what I'm doing while I do it is what I'm looking for.

Any suggestions are very much appreciated.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
Today is the US federal holiday observing New Year's Day, so I am off work. Last week, I had the day off in observance of the federal holiday for Christmas. And the week before, we had Friday 23 December off. This means we had three weeks in a row that were four-day weeks. This led someone in a meeting to propose that we always have four-day weeks, and I said there was halachic (Jewish law) basis for this. We say in halacha that three incidents can be considered a chazakah (precident). So three incidents of four-day weeks in a row could, in fact, set precident.

However, I don't believe my company follows halacha when creating the corporate calendar.
gnomi: (can't_touch_this)
So how many people at work would I confuse if I were to send out the renaming matrix of old-version-docs/new-version-docs under the subject line "New Doc Titles (the 'Once-a-Chicken-Now-a-Fish' Remix)"?
gnomi: (mousie_with_bear (lanning))
-- Not that I'm complaining, but what's up with the weather? It's been in the 60s all week.

-- Food that identifies itself in quotation marks concerns me. (I took the picture below in my office a couple of weeks ago.)





-- [livejournal.com profile] mabfan typed something into a text message that was supposed to be an interjection. Autocorrect changed it to "Krasnodar!" I have now adopted this as a new interjection

-- Today I am murdering trees in the name of scienceaccuracy. I need to check old screen shots against new screen shots and replace the ones that need replacing. Since I already took a bunch of new ones for book A, and I need to replace the ones in book B, it's easiest if I print both books (each under 50 pages) and then go page by page and find the newer versions in book A. I feel bad about the tree deaths, but it's either that or make my eyesight even worse by peering closely at the screen all day.
gnomi: (mousie_with_bear (lanning))
-- I like being able to use technical skills I haven't used in a while. In the course of one project, I used my knowledge of UNIX, Emacs, and HTML.

-- It's Wednesday, and I'm not sure at all what to make for Shabbat. I shall ponder, because it would be ideal if I could shop tonight and cook tomorrow night.

-- Still pondering the next knitting project. I'm thinking socks, mostly since I haven't done any in a while and they're a good portable project. Also, sock season is approaching (for some values of "approaching," inasmuch as it's mid-September and still in the 80s F).

-- Still no velociraptor attacks in the office since the last (purported) one.

-- Construction season continues apace, as they've torn up the area in front of the main entrance to my work building. For the next few weeks, I'll have to walk around the corner to enter the far entrance.

-- How is it possible that Rosh Hashannah starts two weeks from tonight? Wasn't it just Tisha b'Av?

-- I've started wearing tichels to work (I'd been wearing berets/a baseball cap previous). I'm not 100% sure why I waited until I'd been here almost two months; I'm much more comfortable in the tichels than I was in the hats.

-- Muffin and Squeaker have started attending a playgroup four days a week. From all reports, they're enjoying themselves. We're hoping they'll make some friends who are less than 20 years older than them.
gnomi: (frum_chick)
So, as an explanation for why I had to run out and pick up lunch yesterday before the company-sponsored lunch (during a Day of Many Meetings), I said, "I keep kosher." And everyone seemed to perfectly understand what I meant. This is not an uncommon occurrence. It wasn't until today, however, that it occurred to me that it is a phrase that elides a lot of information, uses a word to mean something other than what it traditionally means, and includes a non-English word. Yet my coworkers were not at all confused.

The sentence seems simple. Three words. But only one of them -- "I" -- is straightforward. "Keep" does not usually mean "observe" in American English. "I keep kosher" is not like "I keep birds as pets" or even "I keep time for races" (though I guess it comes somewhat closer to the latter use of "keep").

And "kosher" is a concept that is first of all mostly unfamiliar, I would think, outside the Jewish world. I presume that if I had the same conversation with someone outside of an area that has a decent-sized Jewish community they might not recognize the word. The root means "appropriate"; Judaism 101 suggests "fit, proper, or correct" as definitions. Though "kosher" has made it colloquially outside the Jewish world, the actual details of what kashrut is are not widely familiar.

I'm not sure what specifically caused me to think about this, but there you have it.
gnomi: (defy_authority (lanning))
After I found the sign I posted yesterday, I posted a clean copy of the notification in my cube. It got a couple of giggles from coworkers (which is part of why I posted it; the other part is that it makes *me* smile). But it was mostly unremarked during the day. It looked like this this morning:


Before Meeting
Before Meeting



I had an 11:00 meeting this morning, for which I was away from my desk for less than 30 minutes. This is what I found when I came back:



After Meeting
After Meeting



One would think I would've at least heard the oncoming velociraptor, no?

(I take this to mean that my coworkers are the type not to look at me as nuts for hanging such a thing.)
gnomi: (Default)
-- This morning, when [personal profile] mabfan and I headed out to work (the first time I'd been out in daylight since Saturday afternoon), we saw a large tree in front of one of our across-the-street neighbors had been felled quite impressively by the storm. It didn't look like there was any damage to the house itself, which is good.

-- We have the best friends. During our power outage yesterday, friends who had power offered us the use of their home if we needed to decamp due to an extended power outage. Later (before the power was back), they brought us a pizza for dinner, since they live closer to the kosher pizza source and were able to get to us (we have no car and the T was offline all day, so we were stranded even after the storm had abated).

-- To their credit, the T was up and running this morning and the commute was straightforward. Those on the Green Line D were more out of luck, but that's not atypical due to the abundance of trees lining the D line tracks.

-- This morning, coworkers were greeting each other with queries of how they had weathered the storm. Some are still without power, but mostly folks seem to have come through the storm pretty well.

-- After a brief walk to the post office, I'm pondering a "historical plaques" photo essay based just on what I find walking within a couple blocks of my office.

-- Years ago, [personal profile] osewalrus shared his chemistry-based explanation of the kosher laws, using "milchigons," "fleishigons," and "treifons." Today I learned about something that fits perfectly into the schema: lardons. (Yeah, most people probably already knew about this; I'm kosher-from-birth, so what do I know from pig fat?)
gnomi: (Default)
As I mentioned in today's column, I have a job! I start on 18 July, and I am quite looking forward to it.
gnomi: (mousie_with_bear (lanning))
-- I know I've been kind of quiet except for announcements of columns. Between Pesach (Passover) prep, Pesach itself, *recovering* from Pesach, and job searching, life's been busy. I'll strive to be more talky here, but no promises.

-- A posting on the Jewish Boston mailing list about someone trying to find a pre-season minyan on Cape Cod made me wonder about early Onset minyanim.

-- I've been and will be again chaperoning a couple's dates for religious reasons. If I have the brain to do so, I'll elaborate more in a later post.

-- I've come to the realization that I really like Shabbat morning Pesukei d'Zimrah (verses of praise, one of the early parts of the morning service).

-- Squeaker was convinced yesterday when [personal profile] mabfan was talking to [personal profile] osewalrus that it was Sabba (Hebrew for "grandfather"; what Muffin and Squeaker call my father) on the phone. I said, "No, that's Uncle [personal profile] osewalrus," and Squeaker just looked at me like I was nuts and said, emphatically, "Sabba!"

-- Muffin decided -- and convinced Squeaker -- that one of their tables, flipped over, is actually a slide like the ones they play on at the park. They now yell "Slide" and slide off the edge of the flipped-over table.

-- Help me. I think I'm becoming a Gleek.

-- Last week, [personal profile] mabfan and I watched the 1952 science fiction movie "This Island Earth." To then get the taste of that (honestly kind of wretched) film out of our brains, we watched the Mystery Science Theater 3000 movie, in which *they* watch an abridged version of "This Island Earth." We were both amused when the robots said almost exactly something I'd said while watching the movie the first time.

-- I'm in that "I have a bunch of things on needles and don't want to work on any of them" stage, but I haven't 100% figured out *what* I want to knit. I may cast on a pair of socks, just because. Or I may knit an elephant. Time will tell.
gnomi: (yeshiva_stewart)
-- As I alluded to last week, I again have the "Early Erev Shabbat, Too Much Stuff to Do Before Licht Bentchen Blues."

-- While doing some of my Shabbat cooking on Wednesday night while [personal profile] mabfan was out at Town Meeting, I started composing a new musical: "Vegetable Cooking Spray!" (the more health-conscious sequel to "Grease!"). Two songs from it: "You're the Bowl That I Want" and "Greased Bundt Pan" ("Oh, greased bundt pan/I'll bake a lemon bundt cake in you.")

-- The reason I was cooking on Wednesday was that last night (since there was no Town Meeting, the issues having been covered in two nights) [personal profile] mabfan and I went to see a real movie, in a theater (or theatre) no less. We saw "The Social Network," which we'd both been interested in. Good film, and a fun night out thanks to very good friends who gave us the gift of babysitting. We left them with a sleeping Muffin and Squeaker, so they had a relaxing evening of videos while we had a night out.

-- We went to see the movie at the Chestnut Hill AMC, and on the way out of the movie we saw a bunch of folks lined up to see the midnight premiere of "Harry Potter." As we walked back to the Chestnut Hill T stop, we saw all sorts of people in Gryffindor scarves. It took me a minute, but I realized why Gryffindor was the most represented house: Gryffindor shares its colors with Boston College, which is within walking distance of the cinema.

-- Today I attended a mandatory seminar at The Work Place (mandated by the MA Department of Unemployment Assistance. I'd been concerned, because a Friday class in Standard Time, even a morning class, makes things tight for Shabbat prep (which is another reason I cooked on Wednesday). But much to my amazement, and very much appreciated, while we started ten minutes late to accommodate late arrivals, we ended at 10:57, giving me time to do the errands I was worried I'd have to skip if the class went long.
gnomi: (Default)
-- While making French toast on Sunday, I ran out of custard half way through the last piece of challah. I therefore created what I am now calling Quebecois Toast: half French toast, half Anglo bread.

-- Entertainment Weekly did a poll recently to see who people think would be the best actor to play the next Superman. The six choices were Matt Bomer, Henry Cavill, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Jon Hamm, Brandon Routh, and Tom Welling.

-- Thanks to everyone who voted in my poll yesterday.

-- Anyone looking for a technical writer? Inquiring minds want to know.

-- I think we have successfully gotten Squeaker to sleep through the night (she was doing what the medical professionals consider sleeping through the night -- 6 hours of sleep -- but I don't consider a baby who wakes up at 3 AM to be sleeping through the night). Now her biggest impediment to sleep is Muffin, ready to play, waking her up at 6:45. If Squeaker had only said, "Mommy, Daddy, I want a crib tent" ten months ago, we wouldn't be so underslept.

-- On Monday I discovered that no matter how good the map you're carrying, it is still very possible to get yourself on totally the wrong street in the Beacon Hill/West End section of Boston. While walking from Government Center to the Mass General area, I managed to almost end up on the Suffolk University campus, at the Garden (it will always be the Boston Garden to me), and in an apartment complex behind Charles St.

-- I am watching with interest the increased scrutiny of late hits/helmet-to-helmet hits in football.

-- The combination of more sleep at night and a bit more free time in the evenings is inspiring me to get into writing regularly again. Beside the Patch column, I am hoping to get back into regular fiction writing again.
gnomi: (Default)
The last week or so has been more than a little crazy:See what I mean? )
gnomi: (exhausted_monkey)
-- My Pesach prep continues apace. All rooms except the kitchen are mostly done (I have to sweep the living room and dining room floors and change the dining room tablecloth, but that's about it). The kitchen is progressing, which is good.

-- For the first time, [personal profile] mabfan and I are hosting sedarim. We were going to go to [profile] lcmlc and Abba's, but [personal profile] mabfan rightly pointed out a bunch of logistical issues that would make going there more difficult (the largest logistical issues being our issue, Muffin and Squeaker). Thus, [profile] lcmlc and Abba are coming to us for sedarim. Or, more precisely, [profile] lcmlc and Abba's seder is coming to our place, since they're importing with them a lot of the implements for the seder.

-- I now work from home M, W, F. This year, with the way Pesach falls, the only Chol HaMoed day that I would be going into work is Thursday 1 April. My boss, therefore, agreed to let me work from home on Thursday. This means that, while I am selling all the chametz that is in my cube, I am not doing an extensive cube clean this year.

-- Finding kosher-for-Pesach tea means going to Butcherie. I'm trying to decide just how much I need tea for Pesach.

-- Not Pesach-related, but spring related: The Boston Red Sox have again released schedules that are compatible with iCal, Google Calendar, and Outlook. This can be quite useful for those folks who take the MBTA Green Line and whose commute might be affected by a game being played at Fenway. Download the schedule from here: http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/schedule/downloadable.jsp?c_id=bos

-- Also not Pesach-related: Marshall Smith is retiring. I hope he chooses to keep the Brookline store open (the letter says that there are no current plans for the Brookline store, which some are interpreting as no plan to sell the store but I read more ambiguously as "we're not sure what's going on with the Brookline store yet").

-- And also not Pesach-related: [personal profile] mabfan is running in a contested race for Library Trustee. Vote Burstein!

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