llcoolvad: (cold)
Back to work today. Well, not TO work, just back working. I work from home on Wednesdays, and since I took yesterday off I get to ease out of my spiffy long vacation and into the work week by rolling out of bed at 9:50 for my 10:00am start. Delightful! It's my favorite thing. I went to bed really late again last night, however, so my sleep was not that rejuvenating.

My workday was filled with work, alas, but I still managed to get all my laundry done. Also the landlord came over and fixed the stove and the dishwasher, so we're back to 100% on major appliances. A relief! What this means, however, is that I am out of procrastinatey things to keep me busy. Soon I will have to dive into projects I've been avoiding, and that's just misery!

I guess I feel a list coming on. In the next few weeks I would like to:
  • Empty bags in bedroom, put all stuff away
  • Clean out closet again. Probably should open up winter clothes box, since it's winter. See if there's anything to wear in there that would make me happy
  • Order glasses from Zenni Optical. Several pairs?
  • Hang up the two pictures I got framed a couple weeks ago. Be nice to see them properly!
  • Sort thru towels, find defectives/worn ones, donate to pet shelter
  • Same with clothes, again, but either trash or donate if ok
  • SOLVE THE PILLOW PROBLEM! (it doesn't seem like pillows would really cause problems, you know? But I have way too many. We are dying here. And they're not those girly decorative pointless pillows, no. I have eight bed pillows on my bed. Eight. Plus at least four spares. And a body pillow. And a "husband"-style pillow. Aieeee. I use? Probably three. And Brian uses two.) (sort of solved. moved two to basement, switched some around, put large ones in closet)
  • Start weeding the non-fiction. I'd really like my end table back as an end table. Must remove about 200 books from collection STAT.
  • Solve the monitor problem. Not the same as the pillow problem, but still problematic. When I work from home I'd like to be able to use my work laptop and an external monitor, but that would involve climbing behind my desktop every week and unplugging something, etc. I guess I need a KVM switch, but I don't know which one. Must research. (KVM purchased and installed, and is awesome!)
  • Along those lines, I need a couple more wireless mice. Broke one this week. Now have need for at least 2 more, since I have the new laptop. (purchased)
  • In general I need to clean off my desk again. It really is the dumping ground for random papers, and I need to solve that. I'll still need a dumping ground, but it shouldn't be the desk. (cleaned off, not totally solved, long-term)
  • AND I really need to get the CPAP action going again. I haven't even taken it out of the bag since my last office visit. Ooops. And hey! The next one is scheduled for Monday. Guess I need to reschedule that. "So, Laurie, how's the machine working for you?" "..."

That's the short-term. Long-term list hasn't changed much in a while. Mostly involves organizing files, either electronic or paper. Doing some research. Improving skills. Maybe I'll write about those tomorrow.

ljArchive

Mar. 4th, 2008 01:26 am
llcoolvad: (Default)
Just found ljArchive, which is a pretty snazzy backup utility for LiveJournal. I wanted something that was easily searchable (beyond tags), and this is pretty darned nifty!

Basically you download it, then run it, put in your LJ username and password (and you can do more than one archive if you have more than one LJ account), and in seconds it will download your entire journal into a customizable screen. Because I have two LJ accounts, I made a folder for each archive. Apparently each time you launch it will synch with your journal and keep everything up to date.

There's a community for questions, too. And here's the guy who originally wrote it, with some more information about it. I like it so far!

ETA: I should mention that it's for PCs only. Sorry!

Xmas loot

Dec. 25th, 2007 06:48 pm
llcoolvad: (cold)
Christmas has been very nice. Had yummy food. Heard from some people: Got a text from Jenn wishing me a Merry Christmas, got email from Stephen also wishing me so. P called and we chatted a while.

Mom liked her gifts: A calendar of my photos (I make this every year), a heating pad, another heating pad (she's old!), a pot to replace the one I totally burned this year, a digital picture frame (idea borrowed from Suzanne) loaded up with photos, and her favorite: scratch tickets. She was fake-mad that I bought her gifts, but she got over it very quickly. Her gift to me this year is money, to be spent on a shiny new monitor and on some clothes. Rock! (Plus lottery tickets. I won $9.)

While I was buying gifts for her I also bought myself a gift: A Brother label maker. Yes, sure, I can make labels with my computer and printer and blah blah, but these are awesome. All kinds of sizes, much more adhesive, and it's a cool tech toy! Plus it was way on sale AND there was a rebate of $10, so it only cost me $15. I <3 it already!


Look! Organized! Those were labeled with post-its previously.

I am wearing my jingle bell earrings and bracelet and I have my mini-tree all lit, and soon I will scarf down some pie. Maybe MUCH pie. A good day! Hope yours was excellent, too!

Epiphany!

Oct. 21st, 2007 03:25 pm
llcoolvad: (Default)

OK, it's probably not important enough to really call it an epiphany. Nothing life-changing. But it never occurred to me until the other day, and now it seems so damned obvious a solution that I can't believe I didn't think of it before. 

One of my many organizing nightmares is that I have seven computers floating around in my life:
1. My parents' very first computer, bought in 1995
2. My first Windows computer, bought in 1995
3. My parents'  second computer, bought in probably 1999
4. My parents'  third computer, bought in 2002ish
5. My second Windows computer, bought in 2002ish and upgraded in 2005ish
6. Mom's new computer, bought this year
7. My work laptop, which, while it's not mine, has a lot of my stuff on it

That doesn't even count the three external hard drives I have. Arg!

My first computer is in storage and is a goner anyway; but all the others are kicking around this very apartment. It's not a big apartment. And there are files that have been backed up in a million places (mostly on floppies and CDs) but that are still on all the old hard drives. I kept getting wiped out just thinking of dealing with it all — getting all the files off all the old drives, wiping them clean, then dealing with getting rid of all the old computers.  The earliest computers are Win95, so I can't use USB anything (it didn't exist then, and isn't compatible). I don't want to rely on some kind of software that will compare files and keep the most recent version, etc., because I am a little too control-freaky for that. Plus just having the desk/table room (and an extra monitor) to deal with it all is not happening.

And then I had the idea! Simple, cheap, quick, effective...

Get a hard drive enclosure! If you don't know what I mean, it's a box with a ribbon cable and power plug inside, and a USB and/or Firewire connection outside. You take a hard drive out of a computer (very simple job, just unplug the computer before you start messing around in there) and then put it into this box, plugging everything in. Plug the USB into any other computer and now you can use your old hard drive like an external hard drive, moving files, backing up files, etc. And you don't need extra space, or an extra monitor, or have compatibility issues. 

Across the six computers I probably have eight hard drives (several had master/slave configurations as we ran out of space) so I could get one enclosure for each, but honestly I could get by with just one -- use it to transfer the files off, wipe the drive, then move another hard drive into it.

Beyond all the hard drive sizes (you can get ones for laptop hard drives, too) and types (EIDE vs. SATA, etc.), there are two basic styles of enclosures: ones with a fan, and ones without. The fan is for heat dissipation, but if you aren't planning on running the hard drive constantly as a backup drive or as an external storage solution that you leave on all the time, there's no real reason to have the fan type -- the design of the enclosure should take dissipation into account already. Which means you can find them for $15 or less. I bought one yesterday at Microcenter for $20, and it's pretty awesome. 

I'm thinking I'll get at least one more, so I can keep the two 120GB drives as backup (one for Mom's stuff, one for mine). But hey, this is a reasonable solution that means I can work on stuff sitting on my couch, rather than spending hours at a table with wires trailing everywhere, so it's all good. I look forward to a time in the very near future that I will have no extra computers littering my landscape, and all my files tucked away tidily.

llcoolvad: (Default)
And with the desk completion, I got to 82% of my modified TO DO list. Ah well! I can seriously live with that. Now I give myself permission to do nothing for a few days.

Desk Job

Aug. 17th, 2007 02:01 am
llcoolvad: (Default)
I set myself the task of cleaning my desk because it really really needed it. I mean, embarrassingly bad. I took these pictures before I started (July 17): pictures within )
llcoolvad: (busy?)
I only have three days left to hit my TO DO goal of 85% complete before vacation. This weekend I realized that a few things would pretty much drag me down. So I decided to spend a little quality procrastinating time reorganizing my priorities. I figure a short-term and long-term list will do the trick, with the short term stuff due before vacation, and the long term stuff due before October (which I just pulled randomly out of my ass). As long as I'm making progress toward the long-term tasks every week then I'm meeting my goal. I decided that if something would take longer than four or five hours to complete it would fall under long-term project (except all my paper sorting, because I want that done and over with already regardless of how long it takes, and except for the longer projects that I somehow already did). Italics indicate in process. 

Arg!! No matter how I slice it, I need to get busy!! Time is tick-tick-ticking. I want to have a shiny task-free vacation!

EDITED 8/17: Oh well, got to 82%. I can live with that, though. VACATION!

llcoolvad: (Default)
So I've made some progress on my To Do list. and now I'm going to set myself a goal for completion: I want to have 85% of what's on the list done before I go on vacation August 17th. I don't want to spend my whole vacation doing dumb things. I've got about 44% of the list done now. That's been two weeks or so since I started, and there's two weeks til vacation. I've been adding to it quite a bit, so I'll probably add more before I'm done, but right now there are about 60 things on the list. I've completed approximately 25 things, more or less.

I think this weekend will contain kitchen & bathroom & floors day! That will knock off almost everything Mom-related.

Here's what I probably won't do: most of the book reading (just aren't enough hours between now and then! plus, need something to do vacation week), going to the doctor,  getting a second job, renewing my passport, looking at a car, and finally completing the images database at work (because seriously? it's been two years). To hit my 85% goal, though, I have to finish almost everything else. Yeesh.

EDITED TO ADD: New list posted here (a reorg!)
llcoolvad: (Default)

Boston-area PSA: There is a nifty roundup of government links to things like public records, real estate information, and background checks for attorneys and plumbers at Boston.com.  Note that only the first section is all links to Boston.com articles; the rest is government listings, etc.  And yes, you can find all this stuff on your own with reasonable google-fu, but nice to have it all in one place.

My favorite link is the one to find out how your town stacks up in the Dunkin Donuts arena. Boston? 67 Dunkin Donuts locations. SIXTY SEVEN!  That's like a Dunkin Donuts on every block!  Wouldn't want to have to walk more than five feet to get coffee and a glazed donut, nope.

... and, okay, there are no guitars.

To Do

Jul. 17th, 2007 01:26 am
llcoolvad: (Default)
I haven't done an obsessive list recently, so naturally I'm due.

Instead of crowing about how damned productive I have been, this time I need to whine about all the things I really need to do and haven't:
 
There. My brain is now empty and I can sleep.

llcoolvad: (busy?)
So it's halfway through my vacation week and I am sad. Weeks are so long when you're working; it shouldn't be the reverse when you're not working, it really shouldn't.

I managed to get a couple things done this week: Obsessive listing within! )

Whew!

Feb. 12th, 2007 06:04 pm
llcoolvad: (Default)
Pretty productive weekend. Ok, I didn't do much yesterday but sleep late and read and start organizing my photos. But today I:
  • Fixed Mom's printer. Again.
  • Made a recycling schedule for the fridge -- didn't get one in the mail, and the one on the town's website was unsightly; used recently fixed printer to create.
  • Made an eye exam appointment
  • Refilled Harry's Rx
  • Stopped at the local appliance parts store. The handle on the front of our dryer is broken and we need a new one. Brought user manual with additional model number info and serial number written on it just in case -- also brought broken part itself. Guy placed order for part, should get in by tomorrow if lucky, end of week if not. Don't really care, just needs to come in sometime.
  • Brought recycling that we missed (because LAST week was our week and we didn't have schedule, see above) to the town yard. Might now do that every week, because recycling only happens once every two weeks, and Mom gets two daily newspapers and the cats eat a lot of canned food. There's always a TON of recycling by the time the day rolls around. And the town yard is tidy, clean, and well organized -- and a block from my house.
  • Picked up tax forms for Mom at library -- returned a couple books
  • Had lunch
  • Went to Lowe's to get batteries and a tiny screwdriver for my car alarm remote; trying to stay prepared, because isn't that the worst thing to not have on hand? Talk about loud. Failed to get batteries, they were sold out. Got tiny screwdriver set.
  • Went to Target, dropped oodles of cash (isn't that always the case? Where's the BARGAIN, Target?) but bought needed stuff like toiletries, snacks, Diet Coke, cat food, Orbit in the three-pack (I <3 Orbit gum!), new socks*, batteries for my car remote (yay!), a body pillow because they now have pillow cases for them and I won't buy something like that that I can't wash, etc.
  • Put all purchases away -- several trips from car. Cold out!
  • Put together some boxes for Mom
  • Washed pots and pans sitting in sink
  • Did laundry

I am wiped out just looking at it. Things I failed to do (because I forgot, or just couldn't deal with today): Didn't get cat litter, Target was sold out, only have one bag in the house left. Ok for now, must get more soon! Couldn't stand One More Stop. Also didn't get Mom a damned Valentine's Day card -- she's a goof, she loves to get cards for every single possible occasion. I need to get her at least two, one from the cats (I know, I know -- if it were up to me NO ONE would get cards, ever, and certainly never from the damned cats!) and one from me. Sigh. One of the benefits of being single SHOULD be that you don't have to deal with Valentine's Day at all. I can do both of those things on my break tomorrow. Won't be able to mail the cards, alas, but she can deal.

I should also do my taxes. Don't know if I'm up for it tonight. I just got my work bonus on Friday and paid off a credit card completely, but I want to make a dent on the last credit card as soon as possible, and I want to add a little to my savings account too.

* Ok, the socks thing: Recently I have been mercilessly mocked by my fashionable coworkers about my 80s-mentality of occasionally matching my socks to my shirt, rather than my socks to my pants. And while I don't really care (I *LIKE* bright socks, damn it!) I do actually need some more black socks anyway. So I got a bunch of black, brown, tan, and white socks. I can do dull like anyone! And why do I never get the memo about these arbitrary rules? It's not like the socks I have in my drawer DATE from the 80s. Why are they for sale in the store if you're not supposed to wear them? Sigh. Fashion is hard.
llcoolvad: (Default)
Toward my list of Stuff To Do for the week: I posted a few book reviews (still have four pending, but I'll just get those done over the rest of the week), finished my ethics/copyright lecture, made some progress on the Web 2.0 lecture, did all my laundry, and measured the three remaining windows for plastic. I only have the right size for plastic for one of the windows, so that project will have to wait until the weekend.

Right now I'm surfing my favorite clothing catalog, so I might get that done tonight, too. Although I am losing a little steam, so not sure.

I also spent a little time today drawing up a spreadsheet in which I calculated all the possibilities for raises and bonuses this year, so when I have my meeting in January I'll have facts at my fingertips. I know I had another good year, so assuming we have raises and bonuses at all I am pretty confident mine will be ok.

Hopefully we get raises.
llcoolvad: (Default)
I am making progress on my behind-ness. I finished the two things that needed to get done yesterday at work, plus I also got a bunch of stuff organized for school, and even part of a lecture written. One of the benefits of getting organized is that I found another lecture mostly-written that I'd forgotten about, so I am 75% prepared for the last two classes of the semester. Go me! Sometime on Monday I will finish the mostly-written lecture (on ethics, DRM, and copyright), and hopefully finish the last lecture (flashy what's next Web 2.0 stuff).

So after spending a day getting files organized I feel compelled to extol the virtues of my very favorite piece of freeware out there. It's NoteTab Light, and it's just plain awesome. I've been using it for years, since grad school (1999), and it never occurred to me just how awesome it is and how much I love it until yesterday.

I use it in a number of ways, for a number of things. It totally replaces Notepad and Wordpad for me, and on the whole it replaces Word, too. I prefer to do most things that are non-graphical in just plain text files, both for space reasons and because I loathe MS Word with the heat of a thousand suns (and trust me, I know Word and all it's little persnickety oddities better than I want to). NoteTab is also a great little HTML editor, as it has the handy "view in browser" feature and has all the tags you could want built right into a little menu down the side.

But the aspect of NoteTab that I heart the most is the ability to have multiple documents open at the same time, in tabs. I've always used it to take quick notes in meetings, which I would then name based on project. You can set it to always remember which tabs you have open when you close the app, so that the next time you launch they all open right back up. Very good if you're scattered, or if you're impatient. (hello)

I wasn't really putting any effort into learning its capabilities, however, until it just occurred to me yesterday that it probably has a feature that will allow you to open a bunch of tabs on demand, i.e., if I want to open all the files that have to do with my job, I can click on one thing and 10 files will open. And of course it has that feature! Happy day! So I just finished setting up three topics, work, school and personal, and now I can focus more closely on the task I'm supposed to be working on, rather than having tabs running off the page.

I <3 NoteTab Light. I <3 it very much! I love it so much I might actually buy the Standard ($19.95) or the Pro version ($29.95). They deserve it.
llcoolvad: (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] cicadabug recently posted a PSA to remind us all to backup our important computer files. She's a sysadmin, so she has a lot of exposure to people who never backup and are then violently surprised when they lose a chunk of stuff. At my workplace they have a passive backup system, where when you connect to the network, the backup automatically starts. When you disconnect, it stops. You have no choice in the matter. So that's good. And I am currently using my work computer for everything in my life, so I feel pretty confident that I'm covered. Warning, sorta dull with no big payoff like I lost all my files boo-hoo because I didn't )

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