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Wed, 03 Jul 2002

Once again someone greater than myself appears to be looking out for my family.  As you know, Shanna is expecting and since we already have three children and drive a Neon, this presents a problem:  Not enough room in the car for everyone to fit.  I had not planned to worry about getting a bigger vehicle until the end of the year, mainly because there is no way on Earth that we can afford to keep the car and get another vehicle.  Monday night I ran to the grocery for Shanna and there on the bulletin board (the old fashioned kind) was a note about a van being sold for $550.  As long as I can keep the thing running for three years, I don't care how old (15 years) or decrepit the thing is.  This could mean that instead of worrying about a new car I can worry about paying down debt. I guess we'll know later this afternoon.

Might I just mention that I hate car buying.  I absolutely hate it.  No matter what, I always feel like I'm being taken for a ride.

This entry authored by Tyran at 09:27

Thu, 18 Jul 2002

Again it's been forever, three days and a week since I've written anything.  It's been busy and it's been hot, temperatures have been as high as 107° (that's 42° C) in the shade and I've been spending more time at work than I have been awake at home.  A bad deal the whole way round, especially as Shanna's been feeling so poorly lately.  I don't think her morning sickness is worse than it has been with the other kids, but this time the morning part happens from about 8 PM until who knows when.  Before she's always been sick in the morning and then does quite well through the rest of the day.  Now every day ends crappy and it's obviously taking a great toll on her both emotionally and physically.

I'm hitting the books hard again, hopefully I can finish up my course work before the end of the year.  That would leave me with just my final project (75 page thesis) between me and my degree.  Might I just mention that finishing ones education before marrying and definitely before children come into the picture is really the way to go.  To be brief, if I'm not asleep by 9:30 each night (earlier if possible) I don't have the time each day to get everything done and still see my kids for an hour (most of which is spent eating dinner).  Well, enough of this whine, it's starting to taste like sour grapes.

Has anyone out there used SpyOnIt to keep track of web page changes?  I realized that I've missed a couple of Shanna's posts over at WhatDoIKnow?, so I'm hoping to keep better track this way.

One final note, I've been using Mozilla almost exclusively now and I would have to give it an 8 of 10.  The only thing I don't really like about it is that it will occasionally bog down and not display all the graphics on a page.  A quick refresh does fix the problem but it's annoying nonetheless.

This entry authored by Tyran at 11:45

Thu, 25 Jul 2002

Rain is such a marvelous thing, especially when there's been so little of it lately.  The rain has just been coming down for the past hour or so and we were treated to a beautiful double rainbow as the sun finally hit the western edge of the clouds on its way down to the horizon.  They arched gracefully over Little Mountain and Mount Mahogany (little mountains nestled at the feet of Mount Timpanogos) and gleamed brightly against soft golden clouds that covered the valley.  It was a magnificent sight to behold.

I'm not entirely sure how to cover this next bit, but as I'm known for jumping in with both feet where even fools fear to tread. . . .  My office at work often doubles as a counseling center of sorts not because I give great advice per se but more because I have the knack for lending a listening ear.  Anyway, one co-worker informed me today that a website that has previously blocked access from our work IP range is now allowing access again.  The site originally block our range due to some conflict between my co-worker and the site's webmaster.  My co-worker is absolutely thrilled, as am I, by this turn of events and I'm hoping that this is an intentional change and not just an oversight.  Sketchy, I know but other than names I don't know much more anyway and naming names is like smacking a hornet nest with a 2x4 and the last thing I want to do is stir up trouble where old wounds seem to be healing.

Have you heard about 2002 NT7 yet?  The first possible impact date is 1 Feb 2019.  Granted, the impact risk is still quite low and with future observations is likely to go lower, but it does give one pause to think that in less than 17 years a continent killer could hit Earth.  Sounds like a good excuse for a party on 31 January 2019 either way!

Back on the 3rd I mentioned that someone is looking out for my family.  Well, the van deal fell through because the van was a disaster in the making.  That paved the way for the purchase we made this weekend of a 1995 Ford Taurus Wagon.  The car is in beautiful condition, runs extremely well and has Shanna ecstatic.  Even better, I refinanced the Neon and the combined payments are $40 less than what we were paying on just the Neon and the car insurance payments will go up by only $137 every six months. When everything's all said and done we'll be paying $160 dollars less each year for two cars instead of just one.  What more can I say than thanks?

Well, it's getting late.  I'll type at you tomorrow.

This entry authored by Tyran at 23:12

Fri, 26 Jul 2002

It seems like I wrote something yesterday that I wanted to hit again. . .Nope but I have remembered what it was that I didn't write about:  SpyOnIt, today is its last day (supposedly it's coming back in the fall but I doubt it).  Instead I've found ChangeDetection which allows any user to monitor any web page for changes or it allows web masters to setup a link to allow users to monitor changes to a page (see sidebar link below).  I've been writing so regularly (HA!) that I figured I better do something like this so you folks don't have to stop by every day just to see if I got off my lazy butt and wrote something.

This entry authored by Tyran at 12:32

Before I came to my senses, I was studying to become a psychologist.  That was before I remembered what it's like to have to keep secrets; you know, that confidentiality thing.  The worst part about keeping a secret is not having to keep it secret but not being able to act on what one knows.  The problem with acting on confidential information is that it generally impacts too many innocent bystanders and it tends to just makes matters worse.  That being said, I sure hope that what I said yesterday doesn't cause problems and even more I hope that these individuals are able to resolve their differences.

Elizabeth Smart, Samantha Runnion, Erica Pratt, Cassandra Williamson, Alex Stilson are all girls close to or a bit older than my own daughter.  Four of them kidnapped and one of them crushed to death by a television at Circuit City this week.  As I heard about each of these horrible occurrences I've wanted to just take my daughter and hide her away or hold her hand every second of the day to make sure that the evil in the world can't touch her.  I am, however, no fool.  I know that sheltering her is the best way to make sure that she is vulnerable instead capable of taking care of herself.  I know that the number of bad things happening to children hasn't increased just the reporting of it.  Even knowing these things, I am often frightened for my children because of the troubles that lie before them.

Now for something completely different.  Weather here in Utah has been unusually hot this summer.  Any thing left out in the heat tends to ripen a bit.  Now with fruit and and vegetables, that might be a good thing but with the human body, that might not be such a good thing.  It is especially not a good thing when that body (mine) has to spend a full night next to a pregnant woman with an extremely sensitive sense of smell.  From across the kitchen she asked, Could you put on some deodorant or take a shower or something?  I immediately knew I would take the easy way out and do the deodorant thing but I also knew that this would create a brand new problem.  Sure enough, as I climbed into bed, I was informed that while I no longer stank to high heaven, the deodorant was so strong that I needed to sleep as far away as possible.  Oh well, it was funny then and now it's just enough to elicit a smile but there it is.

This entry authored by Tyran at 23:52

Sat, 27 Jul 2002

Like every other blogger out there, I've gone through my share of dry spells.  Whether the cause is lack of inspiration or lack of motivation or life being too busy or whatever we all seem to go dry once in a while.  Well, it would appear that I've hit my stride again and so in the words of Ray Arnold, Hold on to your butts!

And that, ladies and gentlemen, brings us to our first Whine of the day:  Web browsers.  Now I know that some of you are saying to yourselves, Merciful heaven above, give it a rest!  but I've only really ranted about the topic once (see this entry).  Today I read something on The G-Spot (warning, requires IE) which set off my browser rant mode but since I've been away from this entry for so long now, I'll just let it drop.  Well, maybe not entirely.  Before making a statement like Netscape makes my pages look crappy but IE makes them look right, it is always a good idea to get all the facts or at least as many as one can.

Browser Facts
  • Netscape 4.x and lower and IE 4.x and lower all do a very poor job of following any of the W3C standards.
  • IE 5.5, Netscape 6.0 and Opera 5.0 do a passable job but they're all badly broken if you look in the right places
  • IE6 does a fairly good job but, just because the site looks good in IE6 does not guarantee it looks anything like that in other browsers.
  • Mozilla 1.0 is a fair bit better at compliance than any of the other browsers.  If it looks good in Mozilla, it's useable in IE5+, Opera5+, and Netscape6+ but all bets are still off when it comes to the 4.x broswers.

Personally, I would love to see MS and Mozilla forced to work together on one browser.  The Mozilla crew would supply a high level of standards compliance.  For example, those of you using IE right now can't see a single quotation mark on this page even though it's littered with them and that is because IE either does not recognize the <q> tag or ignores it.  MS would supply the ability to make things look nice (just compare any of the borders on these pages between IE and Mozilla and you'll see what I mean by that).

The reason that my rant fizzled out is that I've spent most of the day putting together Blog Monster.  I needed a way to quickly search through all my blog entries so I could find out where I rant about browsers for the link above.  While ElevateSoft does make utilities to work with their database (Blog uses the DBISAM database which is an ElevateSoft product), it's not always the easiest thing in the world to use and so Blog Monster was born.  Feel free to download it, just make sure that it installs to the same directory as Blog or it won't work.

This entry authored by Tyran at 10:53

Mon, 29 Jul 2002

Happy Birthday Mike!

It's been a busy day today.  For those of you who missed the exchange in yesterday's comments, all of the functionality of Blog Monster plus a bit more is already available in Blog by pressing Ctrl+F.  I did enjoy writing the thing though it only took 13 lines of code and a very small amount of imagination.  I spent more time deciding on an icon and packaging the thing for distribution than I did actually writing it but it was enjoyable. . . .

I ended up taking Shanna to the doctor's today but you can read more about that on her site.

Shanna called me a while ago to let me know that my Uncle Bud died, he was diagnosed with leukemia just a couple of weeks ago.  Obviously, the chemotherapy was not effective.  If I'm not mistaken, that leaves only one Ormond son, Uncle Burns, and two Ormond widows, Aunt Carolyn and my Grandmother, alive.  I'm not sure when the funeral is and I'm not sure how I'm going to deal with all this.  Every time an Ormond dies, I relive the sad circumstances that surrounded my grandpa's death.  On the bright side, Bud went fairly quickly and didn't languish.

This entry authored by Tyran at 16:05

Thoughts and Beliefs

I'm here at the library for my evening study hour (trying to finish up my bachelors degree) and I've managed to finish a bit sooner than my allotted hour as such, I thought I would take a minute to write a bit more here.

Bud's death has set me to thinking, it's sobering how quickly the world becomes a very still place when someone you know dies.  As I drove here from work everything seemed so very muted, almost washed out.  Because nothing has really held my attention, I spent most of the time in introspection.  One of the first thoughts that came to mind was, Now he really knows, knows whether life really is part of something bigger or whether the time between birth and death is all there is.  Short on its heals came this thought, Of course if there isn't anything after death, then he doesn't know, now does he?  I chewed on that one for a minute and then the big one hit, What do I believe, exactly?  I believe a lot actually and talking about any one thing that I do believe only leads to more beliefs and more facets of the first belief.  To sum up all my belief is very simple though:  I believe in family.  Would you mind greatly if I expanded that just a bit, not too much and without fanfare, but just a bit more than that?

God is our Father and he knows and loves each of us.  Because he wants us to be like him, he prepared the Earth for us and sent us here to learn and prove ourselves.  Before we were born here, our most important relationships and places of learning were within that first family and here again the most important relationships and places of learning are within the family.  Can any success at work equal the joy of a daughter or son saying I wove you or seeing one's child succeed?  Is there any greater peace than knowing that the person sitting next to you loves and treasures you above anything else?  This, then, is our proving ground; how much like God will we become?  After death we continue along the same course we start here.  For some of us that will mean only little change in our future as we are content with who we are and for others of us that means we will continue to strive to achieve everything God has planned for us and more.  Either way, we will reunite as family.  Sure there is more, much more, to it than that, but that is a good overview of what I mean when I say I believe in family.

This entry authored by Tyran at 18:06

Tue, 30 Jul 2002

I'd like to recognize the addition of Rhapsody in Blog to the list of Watering Holes and for being classy enough to serve Whine on their menu.  If you know of someone that serves Whine on their menu that isn't in the side bar list, please let me know.

This entry authored by Tyran at 09:48

Just some quick oddities tonight because I just can't concentrate today.  Chalk another one up for Mozilla.  If you are familiar with the cite attribute of the blockquote tag but wonder what good it is for then this is for you.  For those that don't know, the cite attribute allows the page designer to list the source of the quote.  Up to this point, I haven't seen a single browser that actually did anything with that information, until Mozilla.  Take a look at the entry on Everyday Yoga for July 30.  There I have a blockquote for some information I found, if you view the page in Mozilla and right click the blockquote the pop-up menu contains a properties option.  Selecting the properties option displays the information in the cite attribute.  Try the same with IE and you'll get the properties for the entire page.  The only way IE can display this info is to view source, not very convenient.

I've done a bit of reading up on the recent Blogathon and am wondering whether I should do such a thing next time around.  I know that there was more throughout the day that I thought about putting down but with recent events my brain has gone to mush.  Speaking of recent events, it appears that my father, my three brothers and I will be pallbearers for Uncle Bud on Friday.

Well, I absolutely must get some sleep...until tomorrow then.

This entry authored by Tyran at 21:35

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