December 31, 2003

Lets call yesterday Day 0 and today Day 1. Of what, you may ask? Of me starting on the Atkins Diet. Yesterday I purged myself of all starches and sugars that I normally make the staple of my diet. No longer will I eat Chicken McNuggets, Sausage McMuffins or pretzels and potato chips. Also, no longer will I drink the gallons of soda pop that I have been known to drink in a week's time. I plan to lose at LEAST 20 pounds (I'm weighing in at very close to 230 these days. While I have a big frame, it's not THAT big). I'd like to get back down to 185/190. I was in very good shape at that weight, but if I can just get to 20x, I'll be happy. I figured I'd use the blog to keep a food log and also to let you know what I'm feeling. So, first the food:

Day 0
  • One Ham and Cheese Omelet
  • 1-2 oz. of salted peanuts (didn't know they were illegal during induction)
  • 2 slim jims (didn't know they were illegal)
  • Most of a box of chicken hot wings [0 carbs, I checked]
  • A salad with 1/4 cup of tomatos, cheese and bacon bits (had the dressing because I didn't know better)
  • Lots and LOTS of water all day long

Day 1 - so far
  • One Ham and Cheese Omelet for breakfast
  • 3/4 lb. of Jumbo Shrimp for lunch (mmmm)
  • I plan on having the same dinner (with a low carb dressing I found - Helmann's Rockin' Ranch Dipping Sauce) as yesterday, including the wings.
Even though I had technically 'cheated' on Day 0, I still found myself waking up with sore muscles (notably biceps and thigh muscles), like you feel after a light workout when you haven't done anything in a long time. I haven't gotten a caffeine-absence headache yet (and Im grateful!). My tongue feels oily and greasy too. I had expected problems with my acidic stomach, but I think the absense of caffeine has really helped with it. No volcanic eruptions yet, and no heartburn. We'll see how it goes, eh?

December 26, 2003

Merry Christmas! Hope that Santa brought you everything that you asked for. For Christmas, I got a few things, including Hordes of the Underdark. Now I can disappear from the real world for hours at a time, forsaking all others, my homework, etc, etc. Also got a carry bag for my new Digital 8 Sony Video Camera. It stores audio/video in the same format as miniDV, except on 8mm tapes rather than 4mm tapes. I purchased a Firewire adapter, as readers know, and I've FINALLY FIGURED OUT HOW TO MAKE IT NOT FREEZE during video captures!!! On Usenet, I've seen a few posts about computers locking up and freezing during video capture over IEEE 1394. I've had NO problems since I've started capturing to a temp directory off of my system drive. Every time I've tried to capture video using a secondary hard disk, it would freeze up. So, I've moved enough files off of my system partition to have 3GB free, and I capture to this partition instead. Perhaps the second drive's spin up time is too slow for the program to capture to it properly, and that causes the lock ups. I'm going to try a few experiments to see if that's the problem. If you've been having this problem, I'd suggest freeing room on your system drive and trying it again.

December 23, 2003

From the Random BLING FAQ:
Is this legal?
Absolutely. There is nothing illegal about any of our system. It is not a pyramid scheme or illegal "frontloading" system.

BULLSHIT! A pyramid scheme is defined as: a fraud based on recruiting an increasing number of investors. That means that to make money, more investors have to get involved. Once the suckersinvestors dry up, the money dries up - leaving the majority of the people who've put their faith in the plan holding the (empty) bag. The web site will likely dissapear (or maybe not, if they're not in any danger of being caught) and you'll never see a dime of your investment. Early investors will reap their rewards, because crime, unfortunately, does pay. But it's still illegal, and immoral. Don't participate in these schemes, please.

December 22, 2003

:Sigh: Randombling - a word that I came up with in July 2000 when I wanted to create a Blog - now it appears someone has registered the name on the web and begun using it as the name of their newest program to make money for free. Folks, there is no such thing as a free lunch. Pyramid programs aren't new, and they aren't news. What they are is illegal. Besides the fact that the few links I've found to do NOT work when you click on them (404 errors!), a pyramid program is only good for the people who start the program. Then the program becomes useless because there's no suckers left.

I haven't found a working link yet, but being as they're using Paypal, those links should expire as fast as they get their money from you. Does the program work - no. Don't contribute - continue on with your travels on the web. [Soap Box off]
YAY! Finished my Christmas shopping three days early! (Dec. 22nd) How about you - did you finish yours? I bought my last gift for the season today (although I may stop and buy some cards at Rite-Aid tomorrow (but I won't tell if you don't). The house is all decorated and we're happily feeding all the employees of Dominion Power. Although I have icicles under the new deck this year, I think I'll be adding more lights at the end of the season (when they go on sale this weekend, that is!). It would be nice if gaudy light displays had a purpose when it was nice and warm outside. I hate putting up lights in the cold.

December 21, 2003

I'm playing with a three column CSS based layout that I found on the net. If you'd like to see the layout while I work on it, click here. Once Tripod is done fixing their MIME tags, I'll finish up the page and put it out.

December 18, 2003

Looks like Tripod hasn't fixed the .htc file MIME type on their servers yet. When they do, you'll notice that I'm playing with a feature in Stylesheets and DHTML called DHTML behaviors. It allows you to use CSS to apply scripted actions to a tag, just like you can assign formatting and colors to tags. The reason it doesn't work yet is that the htc MIME type is text/x-component, and Tripod sends the files out as text/html. This breaks the functionality and makes it not work. I'm sure my code works because I've tested it from IIS and it works fine, and I've tested it from my local file system and it works fine there, too.

December 15, 2003

If the web site looks funny, it's because I'm playing with Stylesheets. Part of the re-learning process for me. I'm thinking of playing with Javascript next term during my class, and I thought it'd be fun to implement some Javascript functions into a stylesheet. Maybe make all the links on my page rainbow-flash when you mouse-over them. The stylesheet would change how the tags' default actions operate. To learn about Stylesheets, I've consulted the WebMonkey, specifically, Mulder's Stylesheet Tutorial.
Good morning. It's an icy morning here in Virginia, but the schools are open (slightly late) and the air is not too cold. We should see some melting here, I think. All but two gifts from my Christmas shopping are done. I still have to mail some, but I actually brought the package with me today so it should get done today. I hate the winter season, but I like Christmas well enough. We've done the tree and some of the lights (although I need to put up a few more lights on the front of the house yet...I've had bad luck the last 2 weekends, what with schoolwork and the snow. With school out, and no snow this coming weekend, I should be fine, eh?
For the site redesign, I'm looking at a three column approach with a DHTML column in the middle. The only concern right now is how Google and the other search engines will pick up the different topics that I've planned. Were I to do a frames site, I think the engines would be able to pick up the content I switch into the middle frame. With DHTML, I'm not so sure. Any thoughts?

December 14, 2003

The ads are gone. Long gone are the days of the free ride, and I'm just catching up. Tripod has been good to me for years, and I've decided to bite the bullet and pay for the web hosting I enjoy. With the ads gone, I'll be able to design my page the way I want without worrying about popups and inline ads. Since I'm taking a Javascript class next semester, I may want to apply some of the knowledge to my own site. I'm also thinking about doing an RSS feed and posting more often (and more useful info).
Technology sucks. No, seriously, folks. More specifically, digital technologies suck. Here's a pipe dream for you - digital video capture. I have a firewire ( 1394) card in my computer and a Digital 8 camcorder. I tried transferring data via the digital interface into a variety of products (doesn't matter much since they all use the same Microsoft OS-embedded driver for the video capture.) The first time I tried it, it was going good. I got 10 full minutes before I ran out of disk space (had specified the wrong drive for the temp file - dumb me). So, I changed the disk drive setting and tried again. It froze, within a second of capturing the video. Restarted the OS. Restarted the hardware. Rebooted, reinstalled drivers, restarted computer, camcorder, etc....over and over. Spent hours on it. Note the 1AM post time. This sucks big time.

Here's the problem with digital technology, folks. It only has two states - on or off - working or not working. You don't get a fuzzy capture, but when it's not working 100%, you don't get a fuzzy capture, if you get my drift. At least with analog technology, when something wasn't working, you'd get at least partially to what you wanted. Here's a prime example. Take a VHS tape. Take a penknife. Now scrape off a 1/4" of the material from the tape. Play it in your VCR. Note the manifestation of the error. Now, take a DVD - one you'll never want to watch again. Take the same penknife, and just nick the sucker. Put it in your player, and watch the error manifest itself, and possibly halt your player for a full minute or stop the movie altogether when it can't figure out what to do.

This digital transfer stuff just is NOT cutting it for me, or for a few hundred other people who've posted on Usenet. I'm betting there's a few thousand more out there who don't even know what Usenet is and are calling and causing problems to the video capture software companies. Luckily, I also have a TV capture card in my PC, so I can hook it up to the analog RCA video jack on the card, and capture my movies that way. The high quality may not be there, but at least I can get the videos into the computer. And low quality is better than nothing.

December 12, 2003

People are always wanting stuff for free. I went to look at my web statistics, and I see the search term: use showshifter without paying for it. (roll eyes). If you want to use Showshifter, buy it. Go to their website and buy a license to it. Don't be a jerk. Software piracy hurts the software industry. No matter how you cut it, it cuts jobs. If you don't have the money to buy the product, go out and get a job delivering pizza for a month, and you'll have the money to buy it. Ask for it for Christmas, whatever! If you can afford a computer and a TV tuner card, you can afford to pay for Showshifter. The computer industry is in bad enough shape without freeloaders.
Hello, readers (and all you wonderful visitors from Google and other search engines). School's out for 6th Term. Midterm for one class was a bear, but I did get a C on it, landing a B for the course. I decided not to take the final. I just couldn't bear to sit through another exam like that. So, my midterm was almost half of my grade for the course. I'm trying to set up my account with Visitorville - having probelms with it though...we'll see how it goes. Next term starts in January...Calculus and Javascript - should be a fun semester, no? Christmas is coming, and I've done my shopping for most everyone. It feels good to get it out of the way. Some stuff has happened, but I've not had time to write. Don't really have time now, but, check out SwishMax - the newest version of Swish that came out within the last 2 months or so. It's a good product which I've recommended since it first came out. The upgrades to it include a scripting language. It should stand on its own for doing animated web content, but it's like Flash-lite. It will get the job done for most simple needs.
I'll probably work on the web site over the next month...let's see what motivates me.