picture of Amelia
the Great never look back

[something clever and obscure here]

The chronicles of Amelia's post road trip adventures

Thursday, December 30

One line from a recent memo that Clear Channel Communications sent out to their radio stations: "To ensure referential integrity, at least 40% of our stations must have an employee named Jo-Jo"

Tuesday, December 28


There is an AmeliaTheGreat.com operative at 21C3, the European Hacker Conference in Berlin. I'm not able to jet off to Germany at the moment, but I'm I really like what their website has to say about Internet Explorer:

This web site doesn't really look nice when viewed with Internet Explorer,
as the Internet Explorer stopped keeping up pace with the developments
in the World Wide Web a long time ago. We recommend using Mozilla FireFox instead.

Spanish Santa says Ho, Ho, Hola. It's probably too late for bad Christmas jokes.

I'm back at work: back to the world's slowest network. I have to blog to keep my sanity, because if I just stare at webpages waiting to be loaded, my brain will slowly catch fire and smolder until I have smoke coming out of the tear ducts in my eyes. That would be a cool parlor trick, but I think I'll try to prevent that for now.

The only bad thing about having just taken a week off of work is that I've been at work for 40 minutes now, and I'm ready to go home. This is where willpower comes in handy -- and caffeine.

I'm having issues with punctuation and grammar this morning. Take a look at the start of the second paragraph. Am I using the correct punctuation there? My brain sort of freezes and can't figure out how to decorate a sentence. I suspect that this sudden disability comes from reading "Play Poker Like the Pros" by Phil Hellmuth. I was reading this outloud to Harlan as we drove in the holiday traffic yesterday. Phil Hellmuth is a fine teacher, and he explains the game very well. The only problem is that there are parenthetical clauses in nearly every sentence. While this makes for a nice private conversational tone (you feel like he's speaking directly to you and only you), my English teachers wouldn't like it very much. Of course, they probably wouldn't like every thing that I write either, but I'm blogging, not publishing a book, so it's different.

Hopefully, all of my problems will be solved after I read "Eats, Shoots & Leaves" which I received in the mail yesterday. I don't actually know from whom it was sent, but I'm following up on a hunch this morning.

Ok, back to work.

Saturday, December 25

rap santa 

Rapper Santa says, "Yo, Yo, Yo, Merry Christmas!"

Friday, December 17

blast off 

This morning, at 4:40AM, I braved the cold, and walked out of my hotel room which sat along the Indian River. It was pitch black, but I knew that somewhere across the water there was to be a rocket launch in minutes.

I had forgotten my coat, and we're in the midst of cold snap here in Florida, so I was shivering and pacing. Some other lone soul had pulled their car up facing the water and was waiting for the rocket as well. After 20 minutes of waiting in the dark, I gave up and went back to my room to see if I could find out any information on the internet. There was a guy from New Jersey who was standing around in his pajamas, smoking a cigarette. He told me about a hotline number to call for more information. We agreed to knock on each others' doors if we found out any information.

I walked back to my room. I came across this great live journal of the launch, which explained in real-time everything that was happening, including all of the delays and the reasons for them. It told me that the launch was rescheduled for 6:11AM. I told New Jersey Guy about the website and wondered what I was going to do for the next hour. I wasn't feeling sleepy, because all of the shivering outside had woken me up. I planned to get some work done until the launched, but then I noticed that my laptop had barely any battery power. I'd forgotten my power supply, so I went back to sleep. I knew I'd need to be checking back for updates, so I didn't want to run out of batteries doing something as silly as work.

My alarm went off a few minutes before the scheduled liftoff. There was a knock at my door as New Jersey Guy walked by on his way to the balcony that faced the water. There were some rooms in this hotel that had windows facing the Space Center, but those rooms were damaged in the hurricane. My window faced the pool, not the river, but it was just 20 yards away from a nice elevated viewpoint along the water. I still hadn't figured out where the launch would actually be coming from, but I knew it be somewhere out along the horizon. There were a couple of blinking red lights, but other than that, nothing. I scurried back inside to check the news and found that the launch had been delayed another half hour. I went back to sleep.

After one more delay, until 7:07, it appeared that all systems were go, that this was the real deal. The sun had started to rise, and I could actually see what was across the water. I still didn't know where I was supposed to be looking. Then I saw.

It was like a small, oblong sun, right there in front of me. I was trying to turn on my camera, but the dial was off a bit, and my camera didn't power up fast enough for me to capture the tiny sun before it went into the clouds. It kept rising, but I would only catch it briefly between the clouds. On a clearer day, I think I could have seen it rise for 30 seconds, but today was very overcast. It was still pretty cool, though, and now I know more about the whole process, so I'll be able to prepare better for the next time. Maybe a shuttle...

Wednesday, December 15

I've tried to write a post every morning this week, but I just seem to run out of things to say about two sentences into it. Since it's been a few days, I've brought together a list of some of the stuff I'd meant to post earlier. It seems substantial enough.

--Brent texted me to say that I was no longer traveling, so why did I still call it a travelog? My response: I'm still traveling, just not as often as I'd like. Even though I'm in the same place for more than a week and gainfully employed, I'm still living out of a hotel, and the job is a temporary contract. It still feels like I'm traveling. I plan to travel (bigger and better) when this job is finished.
--Mark emailed me to poke fun that I didn't write a perl script to batch rename my files. Well, Mark, unfortunately, I'm using a government-issue computer that isn't running linux, and I'm not about to take the time to install Perl on it, seeing as how it's the slowest computer ever.
--I had been searching for a replacement cellphone, but I've decided that I can fix mine, rather than buy a new one. If you remember, I took it apart months ago and put it back together with all new clear plastic housing that I bought from Hong Kong. Surprisingly enough, that stuff wasn't built to withstand my rough treatment and is now cracked and broken. I'm going to put it back together this weekend with the old case, and hope that it works again.
--There is a rocket launch from Cape Canaveral this Friday, I'm going to try to see.
--I'm going home for the holidays this weekend. I haven't done a lick of Christmas shopping, yet, and I'm looking forward to braving the crowds.

Saturday, December 11

I was having breakfast this morning in the cafe at the Wyndham hotel at Walt Disney World. It's one of the perks of working in Orlando. I've got to stay somewhere, why not Disney? As I was leaving, I saw Al Sharpton. Hmmm. That's interesting. It turns out that the Dems are there picking a new party chair. I wanted to go up to him and say, "Tracy Morgan, can I have your autograph?" but I had to leave for work, instead.

Hardly relevant news:
The new leader of the Republicans is a Phi Kappa Tau. JMU won the division I AA football semifinal game last night by winning three road games in a row.

Thursday, December 9

I had a dream this morning that my hotel room had been converted from an old school library, and that someone hadn't cleaned out the bathtub. I spit into it.

Tuesday, December 7

I'm home sick from work today, though I'm still working, some. I certainly needed some time off to pay bills and respond to emails, but, ideally, I wouldn't also have a fever. I don't feel too sick, but I didn't want to infect anyone at work. It would be bad news if we started passing a cold around. so they say...

I've found a couple of really good software products lately. These aren't open source, so if you know of good open source alternatives to these products, please let me know. Both of these deal with batch processing and both offer a free trial period. The first one I used is called AutoImager. It allows you to apply changes to many image files at once. If you wanted to resize, rotate, change the hue or brightness of a folder-full of photos, then you could use this product to do it. I haven't even begun to explore all of the possibilities myself, but you should try it out. It's very easy to use.

I had 30 gif files that were red, and I needed to have those same pictures, except I wanted them to be yellow. I used Autoimager to alter the hue and saturation of these files in minutes. I had created a new folder called "yellow" which I selected as my output folder, so my original red files didn't change, instead the altered copies were saved in this new folder. The problem was that the names of all of my files were still whatever_red.gif. I needed a way to rename all of those to be whatever_yellow.gif. I found BatchRename.exe which would allow me to make a number of changes to these files' names. I was able to replace the "red" with "yellow" very, very easily. Again, I feel sure that there is a good open source (and free) alternative to this product, but I haven't found it yet.

I'm still feverish, so I'm going to go take my vitamins and lie down. Sorry, I couldn't be more exciting for you. :)

Thursday, December 2

traffic sucks 

but at least i have my phone.

a sign I've been working too hard 

I was awake yesterday morning at 4:06 AM, thinking about the best way I could code part of this database reporting program I'm working on. I didn't really sleep much after that, because I was excited to start working on it and kept figuring out the details in my dream-state brain. I wasn't quite excited enough to get out of a warm bed, but definitely too worked up to sleep.

This morning I'm working in a hotel outside of Orlando. I should be heading into the office, but my boyfriend came up to seem me last night and accidentally took my keys this morning when he left. I'm waiting to get them back and trying to get a little work done so I don't feel like I'm wasting my time.

I have been able to catch a little bit of news on the radio. It seems that the 7th member of Bush's cabinet has resigned. Is this unusual? I know that there is usually some sort of change up at the start of a new term, but this seems like a lot of resignations.

I've got to head out now. Have a nice day.

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