July 2002 Archives

Headed off to Banff this morning. A three-day workshop in writing for interactive media - but it takes a full day to get there and another to get back, so I'll be gone five days.

The sky is pale pink and the ocean calm, the sound of the waves just audible over early-morning birdsong.

I'll go from sea level to the mountains by mid-afternoon.

May not post for a while, as I don't know what access I'll have or how busy I'll be with the workshop.

Yesterday morning left the house at 5:15 to go to the big Sunday flea market in Rowley - about a 45 minute drive from my parents' house in Gloucester. Rachel and I discovered it five or six years ago - and it's been a summer ritual ever since. The Rowley market is smaller than the ones I've been to in Pennsylvania: in Hazen and the Meadowlands and Adamstown, but it is the place the pickers bring their stuff to sell to the antique dealers, and the prices are good - especially early in the morning.

I love it as much for the stuff I bring home: wirework, footstools, primitive wooden objects; as for the feast for my eyes and mind. The juxtapositions. What's left over. What someone saved. Design, pattern, history. All there. (Also accents, attitude, and mosquitoes.) The people watching and the overheard storytelling can be as much fun as the stuff itself.

This year I took pictures as well as buying.

I know I should record the sound of the ocean crashing on the rocks below my window. I will want to hear it again in September, when I am far from any coast.

Can I put a sound file into my weblog? Probably. I put an animated gif into Nuthouse for Dad's birthday. Set the flames on some clip art candles dancing.

But for now I'm too sleepy to record anything. Even here.

So I'll listen to the almost regular roar and splash, and read a bit, and think about it in the morning.

Yesterday I got rachel's site up on the web - after nearly a year, several incarnations, and one profound computer crash.

Am I pleased with it? Yesterday I said "not entirely," since at that point all I could see were the things I'd do differently another time. For now, though, I think it's o.k. - it has a nice clean look, and it's easy to move around in.

I'm so pleased. People who are not here in Annisquam (and therefore not witnesses to my obsession) are actually posting to the Nuthouse weblog. It works! Lyman has posted from Hawaii, and Maria has posted several times from SF. Maria even posted a photo, which means my "how to post a photo" instructions were clear...

I hope the site goes on to have a life of its own. It would be wonderful to have set something up that people can use without hassle to share stories... stay connected across the distances...

I've never been to Perry's Nuthouse in Maine, but for many years my family had a bumper sticker from the place. Every time you needed to go to the basement you'd see the sticker (and you'd see a life-sized drawing of a goat by my brother, but that's another story).

When our generation began to be far flung, and my parents were traveling, they'd write an omnibus letter and entitle it Nuthouse News. At one point my mother even numbered volumes and editions. Eleven years ago, when some of us put together a cookbook of family recipes, we named it the Nuthouse Cookbook.

Yesterday I set up a web log for the family to use as a newsletter & forum. So of course I named it Nuthouse, after the bumper sticker, newsletter, and cookbook.

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Got the router configured while I watched the sun set into Ipswich Bay. Was busy with cables, so I didn't take a picture. Will take one tomorrow.

Meanwhile, I can hear the bell buoy ring and the waves hit the rocks as I type. A clock downstairs just chimed the half hour. The house is almost quiet.

Tomorrow we leave town for three weeks, then home for less than a week, and then I'm off again, for another eight days.

So today is my day of lists. Proofreading. Phone calls. Organizing and reorganizing. Puttering around the house. Packing. If I get things straightened out for myself, tomorrow I can be serene and helpful (I hope).

Benjamin is singing "eensy weensy spider" for Piper. Thomas is up on the third floor. Mark has gone out to get some writing done. Today will be hot, but we'll be in Gloucester in less than 48 hours - so I'll let the thought of salt air pull me through the next two days.

Mmmm... Coffee, newspapers, muffins.

And the heat wave has broken. The world seems so much more full of possibilities when the air isn't sticking to your skin like felt.

Last night was the duckpin league's annual exhibition (co-ed) night. My legs are stiff this morning. I suspect it is my unorthodox (unorthoducks?) but increasingly effective style. My scores for the three games were: 28, 47, and 60. That last was a personal record - so I don't mind feeling my muscles a bit this morning.

Took some snapshots for Mark's story on the hidden bowling lanes of Pittsburgh. Tried to capture the 60s essence of the space. Lots of out of focus pix, some keepers.

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Finally. The revised draft version of the Uluburun shipwreck project is now up. And I think it works, provided you have the Flash 5 player. I've put a button in the links section.

I'm easily distracted this morning. Up late. Away for the last day and a half. Now home until the 9th, trying to get everything picked up and sorted out so that we can go away for three weeks.

So having the wreck site up and running is something I can cross off the big list.

Now about the laundry... and my office...

Well, look at that photo thumbnail. Whoopee. Now I have the machinery in place to have the most recent entry in my photolog appear on this main page.

Next step will be to make the photolog pages more stylish, and put in more pictures.

(Enough procrastination... time to grab a sandwich and get back to work.)

I am in the process of learning how to make a photolog section of this site. For the moment, a couple of experimental posts can be seen on the magic lantern show link.

Just generic-looking for the moment--I'll make the template work later.

Eventually I'd like to have a thumbnail of the most recent picture at the top of my links column. (But I need to learn a little about server side includes, first.)

I notice that I don't have the automatic thumbnail generator module in my Movable Type upload file window. (Maybe my server doesn't support it? Maybe it's not part of the $20 install?) So I just export the photos with thumbnails from iPhoto to a folder on my desktop, and rename the thumbnails with the word "thumb" in the middle of the file name, and upload both files. Then I put the bigger version of the photo in the main entry text window, and any description in the additional text window, and the thumbnail in the excerpt window. I got the script and templates and instructions from the girlie matters, though the link to the tutorial seems to be down this morning.

Some days Airport runs smoothly, other days it doesn't. No particular reason that I can figure - and it can vary from one moment to the next. Mark's remanufactured iBook is great, but the delete key won't stay on the keyboard. And then there's the matter of his broken power adapter pin, leaving us with one AC adapter/battery charger for two busy computers.

It's nice to know we're not alone.

But imagine having to deal with the equivalent of tech "support" at Verizon DSL - in French.

And while the Mac dealer in Cranberry is far away across miles of godforsaken suburban sprawl, at least we don't have to go to Holland for the missing power cord pin.

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