Tags: lj

*gen - tiffany

Knitting and computer issues.

1. I finished my mother's long-overdue Christmas sweater! This was to replace the first one that turned out to be too small. Here's a photo, modeled by one of my friends. The pattern is Metro, which is simple and classic and has that neat cabling along one side. I splurged on Lorna's Laces Shepherd Worsted since I didn't want to worry that it would look ratty (as happens when I use KnitPicks for sweaters), and I love the way it turned out. Those colors are right up Mom's alley! And after neglecting it for a year, I finally finished my semi-tacky granny square throw, mostly because I wanted to see if I could crochet something. ;)

2. From the NYT: Blogs Wane as the Young Drift to Sites Like Twitter. Not sure how I feel about the article. I do really like Twitter for instant blather. I have a Facebook account that I never touch, though I can see the appeal. I've been on LJ since 2002 and don't plan to leave, though coming up with things to post is difficult, especially since I'm not that active in fandom. I tend to see Facebook as a RL thing, whereas sites like LJ are much better for fandom and when you want to maintain some semi-anonymity. As for the article... the primary reasoning seems to be that teens prefer the instant gratification of those sites, rather than sitting down and composing a blog post. Which, again, I totally get, but there's something to be said for writing. Hopefully the young people in the article do reflective writing via other methods, but I hate to think that it would go away. (But I'll admit I'm becoming more "Kids these days!" as I get older. ;)

3. I only have a trial version of MS Office on the new computer, and even the student/teacher license is a bit too pricey for me. I might eventually get it, but right now I'm exploring other options. I tried Google Docs last night but the web interface was too clunky and without some of the features I like. Plus, I prefer a standalone program rather than via my browser. A couple of years ago I downloaded Open Office and used it for a few months, but I remember it being a bit of a pain in the ass. The only parts I really need are Word and Power Point (for school), or their equivalents. Any suggestions?

4. One more computer question! When I got the new laptop, I immediately downloaded Firefox. All week it's been a bit sluggish, but the main problem is in loading pages. Most of the time they stall on the first try -- I get the spinning circle and a blank tab while they load -- and I have to refresh several times to get them to work. The only add-on I've installed is AdBlock. I downloaded Chrome to see if it was just a Firefox issue, but I had some of the same problems there. (Plus, after trying it for a couple of days, I'm not really fond of the Chrome interface. It's just a personal preferences thing!) Do y'all have any ideas of how I can fix this?
*gen - tiffany

Wisteria

I've been crazy-hormonal all day, and I began to type a long post about fandom and dissonance and figuring out where I fit. Of course, it turned into far too much navel-gazing. ;) Instead, I'll throw out an easy one on day 25:

How did you come up with your screenname?

Way back in the old days, I posted under a variation on my middle name, which I've gone by since I was a kid. Seemed like a good idea at the time! When I first got broadband back in 2001, Charter made me come up with an account name on the spot. I wanted to go with "Chrome" -- from a line in a favorite song, "Popscene" by Blur -- but that was taken. I drove past Wisteria Lane on my daily commute (this was pre-Housewives), and "wistful" has always been one of my favorite words. So, I became "Wisteria". I joined LJ a few months later, but that was taken so I added an underscore.

Over the past few years, I've been trying to distance myself from that old screenname with my middle name, just for privacy reasons. I don't actually care too much about privacy -- heck, my sister and several RL friends read my LJ -- but things can be complicated for teachers (because we're not supposed to have a personal life, of course!) For a while, nearly everyone I knew online took great pains to maintain a distinct separation, with very good reason. However, the other day I read an article about how the rise of Facebook and LinkedIn and other online sites that are closely tied to our real-life identities has blurred the lines between public and personal. I think the separation is still important on a site like LJ where people engage in activities (like fandom) that they might not want employers or family to know about, but the shift is quite interesting!
  • Current Mood
    contemplative contemplative
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*gen - tiffany

NaBloPoMo

A while back, I had a streak going in which I posted to LJ every day, eventually hitting 1,000 straight days. (I think it ended in April 2008.) Sometimes I'd stick some pointless junk in a post just to keep it going, and that's where the linkspam habit started. ;) Now that I'm doing good to post every third day, I've realized that, in many ways, it was easier for me when I had to make myself post something before midnight rolled around. Now I even have a little "LJ topics" list in my phone's notepad app, so I can remind myself of things I want to say here, but I still often come up blanks. The other day I heard about NaBloPoMo, which is pretty much exactly what it sounds like. Maybe getting back into the daily posting habit will help me out!

Nothing much on my mind tonight, though. I'm currently watching Mad Men, and Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

Law & Jamie 1.07

Tonight I put on my imaginary beehive 'do and played Bingo! Met some friends from my knitting group at a local restaurant that has Bingo on Mondays. Free to play, and with prizes -- great way for the restaurant to bring patrons in the door, huh? I won twice! The big prize was simply a $5 gift cert for my next visit, but hey. I can use it next time we decide to play. Fun was had by all, and I should really do that sort of thing more often. (If you're reading this, Lisa, that was a great idea! Thanks for the invite!)

Do any of you know of a Firefox extension or a Greasemonkey script that will remove preformatting from text on webpages? This afternoon I tried to read a bunch of posts in a new community I'd joined, but all the font substitutions -- Times Roman or Trebuchet instead of the browser default, for example -- gave me a headache. I'm so glad that LJ now uses cookies (or whatever) to show every page in the default style instead of my having to add "?style=mine", but that doesn't seem to work when someone formats their post in a certain font. I've had the same issue with a few non-LJ websites. Another symptom of my getting old: I want everything as simple and easy to read as possible. :)

Alas, it is the last week of L&O:UK until September. Sigh. I shall miss my weekly dose of Jamie Being Pretty. So, here's one more picspam, plus some spoilery comments about it. Collapse )
*gen - tiffany

Six years.

This afternoon I happened to glance at my userinfo and discovered that yesterday was the 6th anniversary of my joining LJ. Huh. Imagine that. I haven't been posting as much lately, but I don't plan on going anywhere. This place is still too darn addictive. I went through LJArchive, which is always fun. My top 5 commenters are wickedgillie, asta77, sarmoti, indigo419, and elly427 (hi, ladies!). I posted most often in the first two years, but things have leveled off since then. When I joined, I was in my second year of BTVS fandom. I was involved with Veronica Mars for the first season. Then BSG came along, and that's where I've been ever since. I know something else will come along to replace it soon, though hopefully not before the end of the series next spring. ;) I've posted a ton of fic. I've tried to get better about replying to comments, but I'm always going to suck at that. Still, I love hanging out here. LJ is great for fandom, but it's also wonderful just for talking about life and making some amazing friends over the years! [/sappiness]
  • Current Mood
    nostalgic nostalgic
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*gen - tiffany

Bitch session.

Today has been rather frustrating. No energy whatsoever, plus what appears to be some type of stomach illness. Ugh! I ended up crawling back into bed for a large part of the early evening. Fortunately, the worst seems to have passed. I'm also quite cheered up by these photos of Jamie at a BAFTA party today (via dryope). Wow. When I saw them, he left me speechless.

Now I'm reading the Ravelry boards, and someone started a thread about internet pet peeves. Most seem specific to message boards, but several struck a chord. Anyone in the mood for a venting session? Collapse )
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
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    ,
*gen - tiffany

Yarn Harlot

1. I have at least three current knitting projects that need to be finished, not to mention a few others that have been neglected for months. So what did I do today? Buy more yarn. I swear, walking into the yarn store is the best endorphin rush. My excuse was that I needed some green Cascade 220 to make yet another toy for the nephew. Then I went into the sale room, and ooooh. They had the Magallanes wool on sale, which is similar to the Malabrigo that I *love*. So, I got two skeins of this, which should be enough for a messenger bag or whatever. I'm going to felt a swatch tonight to see how it works. It's a bit brighter in reality, with variegated orange, yellow/beige, and black. I'm a sucker for anything orange, so I'm really excited. Knitting can get way too expensive, but it's nice to have a hobby that has nothing to do with laptops or TV. ;)

2. I heard rumors of an airfare price-war. Out of curiosity, I checked the price of a flight from ATL-DFW. My advance-purchase ticket for next weekend cost me $217 last month. Now the same advance-purchase fares are up to $296. Wow. So much for all those rate cuts.

3. "The Six Faces of John Krasinski". I thought that was the total, not a director-imposed limit. To be honest, I got a bit weary of him last season; too many of the "cute" scenes felt like mugging. Just my opinion, though!

4. Yesterday's NYT had a great interview with Danny Boyle (I adore Shallow Grave, and Trainspotting is my all-time fave.) They also interviewed Michael Cera. He had a really interesting quote about how comedy works best if the actor has no shame and doesn't care what s/he looks like onscreen.

5. The Live Earth broadcasts made a big deal about using energy-efficient lightbulbs. One thing to keep in mind is that many of these use mercury, so you can't just toss them in the trash can. LampRecycle.org has tips on how you can recycle the bulbs. You can also return them to IKEA, though I don't know if they accept bulbs from other manufacturers.

6. I was browsing fanfic in another fandom (think I'll stay with this one, thanks. ;) I noticed that quite a few of the authors specified a font for their fics, even if it was posted on the white LJ default page. I also see the user-specified font (usually a serif, like Georgia or Times New Roman) on some community pages/comments. Why do people do that? Seems silly and a bit annoying. Or maybe I'm just an old fogey. ;)

7. Last night's Conchords was delightful, as always. The best part, though, was the preview for next week. It's Business Time! YAY! Anyone who's been in a long-term relationship should listen to that song. It's hysterical. I always lose it when they get to, "You're wearing that ugly old baggy t-shirt from that team-building exercise at your old work... and it's never looked better on you, baby." ;)
*gen - tiffany

Blinkies are destroying my brain!

Dear Internets,

Has anyone created a Firefox extension in which you can quickly -- especially one-click -- turn off all images on a webpage? AdBlock's great for many things (I haven't seen a banner ad in months!), but blocking individual images is such a hassle and tends to also block things I might want to see. I would pay money for such an extension. Okay, maybe not much money, but still.

I've spent most of my week skimming various high-volume LJ and JournalFen communities I don't normally read. Perhaps I'm just getting old, but all the animated icons are driving me crazy! Even the little moodthemes with a tiny bouncy smiley-face! I know many folks love 'em, and I'm not about to tell people what they should or shouldn't put in their userpics. I'd just really, really love a magical little widget that would let me click them away, instead of having to use AdBlock's asterisk ban or right-click on Nuke Anything every single time.

Much love and thanks-in-advance,
Alanna

P.S. While I'm at it, what are some of your favorite Firefox add-ons? Collapse )
  • Current Music
    the last Sleeper Cell DVD
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    ,
*gen - tiffany

Chili with beans? My Texas relatives will disown me.

(I love this icon. As I told its maker, canadiangirl_86, I always want to add, "... or else you'll get knocked up with Eick's lovechild!" Best videoblog ever.)

Cooking help, please! First, some backstory. I like cooking, and I know how to do the basics. The problem is that I don't really like anything I cook, which means I eat a lot of prepared meals and takeout. Very expensive! Last week at Costco I bought a new Better Homes & Gardens Cookbook (the one in the binder -- that thing is awesome!) to replace my raggedy old one, and I decided that I'd start cooking for myself more often. The first recipe turned out quite well. So, last night I dusted off my crock pot and made chili from a simple recipe. I let it cook overnight for about 10 hours, per the instructions. The problem: the consistency is *very* thick. Not soupy at all. I think the beans basically turned to mush. Do y'all know of any way I can thin it out a bit? I'm thinking the best bet might be to just
use it for burritos instead of eating it solo, but I thought I'd ask here. :)

I'm still having LJ problems, though I've found a few work-arounds. I can upload icons if I put in the image's URL instead of trying to upload the file. I can post really short replies to comments. That's about it. I submitted a support ticket for documentation's sake, though of course the connection timed out when I tried to post an e-mail -- so I had to e-mail it. Figures.

Some links for a Monday afternoon:

-- Jason Katims talks about writing and producing the pilot of Friday Night Lights. Variety also interviews Tim Kring.

-- Mo Ryan has an interview with RDM and Eick about BSG and S4. Vague spoilers for the two-hour special.

-- sarmoti linked to iGod in which you can chat with The Almighty. dionusia's chat transcript is hysterical. I particularly loved the bit about Anders.

-- Jeremy Sisto is joining the Law & Order cast. I had no idea he was Elton in Clueless!

-- ESPN.com offers the ultimate commencement address, full of quotes culled from sports movies.

-- Nerve has 29 thoughts about summer blockbusters.

-- bop_radar wrote some gorgeous LeeMo Adama vignettes.

-- And via ahedonia: an enlightening demonstration of how your mouse works. Just click on the grey circle to start. Hee!
*gen - tiffany

HULK SMASH!

I was fairly low-key throughout the suspensions fiasco last week, though I'd rather not get into all that. But this? NOW I'M PISSED OFF.

For the past couple of weeks, LJ has apparently been coping with some severe DDOS attacks. It's common among such popular websites. I'm a roll-with-the-flow person, so I was willing to put up with the inconvenience. It wasn't LJ's fault, after all. I believed their claims that they were doing everything possible to fix the problems and stem the proverbial tides, as they said in lj_maintenance. I've been a paid member for almost five years, and I've seen plenty of server hiccups that were eventually resolved. But now I'm at the end of my tether.

Since Wednesday (and intermittently the weekend before), I've been unable to post to communities or my own LJ via Semagic or the update webpage. The only method that works is the e-mail gateway. I can specify the userpic, but I can't specify tags, mood, or music. An inconvenience, but such is life.

I can't delete or edit previous entries. When I click on the button in the editing window, the connection stalls.

I can't upload new icons, delete, or change the keywords of my existing ones. The connection stalls.

When I reply to comments, most of the time the connection stalls before posting the reply.

The majority of users aren't having these problems. They're not restricted to me using wisteria_ either. Last night I wrote a huge meta about Pilots and "Unfinished Business", but the formatting was dreadful when I posted via e-mail. A lovely friend deleted and reposted it for me. Now I'm receiving some marvelous and thoughtful comments, but I can't reply to any of them.

Perhaps it has something to do with Comcast; if it were restricted to the server where wisteria_ is located, I wouldn't be having problems on communities or others' LJs. But Comcast is the second-largest ISP in the US, and I don't see other Comcast subscribers having these LJ issues, nor are they limited to only those with that provider. And I have no problems elsewhere online. (If you have Comcast and are experiencing the same LJ problems, please let me know. Same thing if you're using a different ISP.)

I could put up with these massive inconveniences for a day or two, but this has been going on for so long -- and it's especially frustrating when I seem to be the only one on my flist dealing with it. While this is mostly me venting, I'm also documenting it here so I can direct the LJ team to a list of my problems. (And yup, it stalled when I tried to use Semagic, so I'm doing yet another e-mail post.) During suspension-gate, I never even considered setting up an alternate journal on another service; I'm too entrenched in LiveJournal. Now I'm reconsidering that. GRR.
  • Current Mood
    pissed off pissed off
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