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Filed in:Rachel

2nd Term Over

April 26th, 2005  · stk

Thank God!

Rachel sat down to her fourth, and last, final examination at 9AM this morning. She's one hour into the three-hour Pharmacology exam. In just under two hours, she'll have completed the 2nd term (of 6 terms total), for the UofA after-degree nursing program. She will, no doubt, be relieved it's over, second-guess her exam responses and bite her nails till the final grades are posted. Regardless of the marks, this term has been very busy and every one of the 70 or so post-grad students will agree that it was a tough go (families or not).

Rachel has only 5 days off, before she turns around and starts the very next term. And to toss a bit of salt into the wound, the very next term begins with an intensive, 3-week, 6-credit condensed course. I cannot recite all of the details now, but in that three weeks, they'll be plenty to do, a couple of mid-terms, a term paper, final exam and nearly a chapter per day of reading - 666 pages total. Yuck.

I'm proud of Rachel. Not only for getting very good grades, sitting well in the top third of her class, but also for taking care of two babies at home (the Oop, whom you've met, and her dad - the much bigger baby). Time managing full-time University work is difficult by itself, but to do it with a family makes it nearly insane. Great job, baby! Enjoy your break! (We're going out to dinner TONIGHT!)

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Updated: 26-Apr-2005
Web View Count: 2031 viewsLast Web Update: 26-Apr-2005
Filed in:Alexandra

"Hi, Paul"

April 25th, 2005  · stk

Alex loves visitors and our neighbors seem happy to oblige. Taylor, the pre-teen who lives about 4 houses down and across the alley, visits on a semi-regular basis. Tucker and a group of kids (all 10-years or younger) have been coming by on weekends, playing with Alex (until she falls and starts to cry, which scares them all away). Diane, Wayne and Grant, our neighbors, love Alex to death, buying her dresses, baking her muffins and cooing at her through the fence. Even their Rotweiler dog, "Roxy", seems to enjoy Alex, sniffing at her through the fence, or trying to jump on her when she's taken out for a walk (as if saying, "come on, PLAY with me"). Of course, she's a tad big compared to Alex, but Alex giggles when she gets her nose close.

Yep, the Oop loves company and according to her, there's no better company than Paul, her buddy from across the lane. He's 75, a retired firefighter and lives alone (his wife having passed some time ago). Now that the weather has gotten nicer, he visits on a regular basis (he's pretty sweet on the wee one). He doesn't come empty-handed either, bringing a bit of chocolate, strawberries, blueberries or some other treat for Alex, who has begun to anticipate these gastronomic goodies (ahem ... and Paul too, of course). Now that she's starting to string words together, she'll often walk to the end of the yard, peek through the fence, all the while saying, "Hi Paul!"

It doesn't matter if Paul is actually THERE or not, she's just anticipating his next visit! It's all rather cute, though it breaks our heart to see her forlornly pacing the back fence, repeating time and again, "Hi Paul, Hi Paul," when Paul isn't there ... like a puppy, crying for its owner ... eager for his next visit.

Alex talks to Paul on her play phone, in the living room, putting it to her ear and saying, "Hi, Paul". And you know how toddlers love to repeat things ... well, we've heard a lot of "Hi Paul", whether we're in the back yard, in the house, in the bath or eating dinner.

Seems that Alex is pretty taken with Paul too.

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Updated: 15-May-2005
Web View Count: 7840 viewsLast Web Update: 15-May-2005
Filed in:b2evo

Photo Zoom: b2evo How-to

April 23rd, 2005  · stk

Getting the Photo/Caption Zoom Working in your Blogs

When I posted the CSS Photo-Caption Zoom entry, it was meant for a larger web audience than just b2evolution users. However, since I posted an entry about it on the b2evolution forums, I've been getting some questions about how (exactly) to get it going in a b2evoution blog.

The nail was hit squarely on the head, when Bomani left a comment saying:

I've searched your site and I'm trying to find explicit instructions on "how" and "where" to enter the code to use the Photo-Zoom feature in b2volution.

I see the code (html, css), but I have no idea on where they should be inserted.

Please help!

If beaten about the head soundly enough emails, comments and the like, even I can take a hint! ;)

To get the photo/caption zoom working on your b2evo blog, read on!

Read full story...

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Updated: 14-Oct-2005
Web View Count: 54111 viewsLast Web Update: 14-Oct-2005
Filed in:Noteworthy

Get Quicken 2005 Free

April 21st, 2005  · stk

Maybe Even Make Money!

Here's the deal.

We don't normally buy every new release of Quicken. We've been using the 2002 version, happily, since that year. But on April 19th our version of Quicken was "sunsetted" (don't you just love the sound of that?). What's that mean? It's a fancy word that means Intuit is no longer is "supporting" this version. No updates or fixes, for sure, but we never suspected that it ALSO means that one can't automatically update portfolio prices via the Intuit website, but it does. On April 19th, we just happened to be trying to update our portfolio prices (which we don't do very often because it seems that each time we do, we just end up crying ... but that's another story). Anyway ... we kept getting a "server error". We went to the Intuit support website, which is how we determined that our version was no loger supported. If we wanted to update our portfolio prices, we'd have to buy a newer version.

Quicken costs $59 if you buy it directly from Intuit ($39 for an upgrage). So we plunked down our $39 and downloaded the upgrade (which also comes with a will-maker program). I installed the program and noticed a bunch of new icons on my desktop. (I detest such icons. So much so that you won't find a single one on my desktop). So I wasn't too excited about these icons, one of which, looked like the one here.

The $50 hooked me and I clicked it. Wow ... 3% interest on a no-minimum savings account linked electronically to your checking account AND a $50.00 bonus for new customers that have purchased Quicken. This is nearly twice the rate I'm getting on my current savings account, which has a minimum balance requirement. Sign me up!

So, if you live in the United States, are not currently an ING customer, you can buy/upgrade to Quicken 2005, then open an ING savings account and collect on their $50 sign-on bonus. You can't go wrong with either one - a new and improved Quicken program and a great savings account with a $50 sign-on bonus. Note: While all Quicken buyers are eligible for the ING bonus, the price you pay for Quicken will determine how much you "make" on the deal. Buying Quicken from a local store like Staples or Office Depot is recommended, as the price for the program is generally less than if you buy directly from Intuit. It must be the "Quicken 2005" product and the offer is good through 12/31/05. (For more details, click the orange ball.)

You only have to look past the orange television advertisements with the guy talking about "save your money". If you can do that, then things definitely are brighter in shades of orange! ;)

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Updated: 14-Mar-2008
Web View Count: 12989 viewsLast Web Update: 14-Mar-2008
Filed in:Noteworthy

Shake'n Bako

April 17th, 2005  · stk

Edmonton is about 1,300 kilometers from Bakersfield, California, my childhood stomping grounds, but it doesn't keep the news from migrating north of the border (thanks to friends with internet connections). Recently, two interesting tidbits crossed my desk. Both shook the city.

Bakersfield (AKA "Bako" or "the armpit of San Joaquin valley") is mostly known for Buck Owens, Merle Haggard, the "Onion Field" murders, a certain Rolling Stones song, really hot summers & taking the brunt of many a Hollywood joke.

SHAKE YOUR BOOTY: Yesterday, a magnitude-5.1 earthquake rattled residents. It was felt as far away as downtown Los Angeles (about 80 miles from the epicenter). The quake was near the town of Maricopa, 25 miles southwest of Bakersfield. Besides mild tremors, no serious damage was reported. You get a sense for what Maricopa is like, from the API newswire article.

The quake hit at 12:18 PM, but "didn't knock anything off the walls of [Nelda's] mobile home". (Nelda lives on the "right side of the railroad tracks"!). It's that kind of place. Interesting too, that Nelda was preparing dinner at the time the quake hit, while the only other person interviewed, Larry, was having breakfast. What are these people thinking? Hello, it's 12:18 PM. Anybody eating LUNCH?

KICK YOUR BOOTY: The other tidbit isn't quite as recent, but it shook up Bakersfield as much, if not more. There's been a photo floating around on the internet for nearly a year and a half (I received it only a week ago - which only shows how far out of the loop I am), accompanied with the following:

The Kern County, California, Sheriff's Department orders plain white patrol units and has the graphics applied locally. In this case, what they ordered was not quite what they got.

This car was driven for 1 week before an officer noticed what the graphics company employee did on the passenger side of the car. The employee did this on his last day working for the graphics company before he retired.

In this age of digital image manipulation, it's difficult to believe your eyes. As usual, I turned to the 'net to answer the question and, as it turns out, truth is stranger than fiction!

Firstly, it appears that the image HAS been manipulated, but only to a degree. (The part about the doughnuts was photoshopped). The "Kick Ass" part, wasn't, although there are conflicting stories regarding WHO is responsible. As it turned out, it wasn't a paint-shop employee, but rather, the Sheriff's department itself! Mack Wimbash, long time CHP spokesperson turned Sheriff, is partly responsible for his own faux pas, by casually suggesting such a logo was amusing. Locker-room talk gone arwy.

A local news station (KGET 17) ran a story on the incident detailing a timeline of exposure and attempted cover-up. It appears that Mack's efforts to be 'one of the boys' cost him popularity points around town.

Identifying an Urban Legend

Everyone gets those forwarded emails. You know, the ones that have passed through too many email inboxes and would be getting unreadable had they been FAXed. Are thieves targeting women at gas stations by claiming to have picked up your "lost" money? Is Congress passing a bill that would levy a tax on emails?

Is it a fraud or should you applaud?

Usually, one can uncover whether a story is true, by conducting a quick search on the internet. In my searching, I often come across They do a great job of identifying those 'urban legends'. It's worth a bookmark. Here's what they had to say on the whole ass-kicking fiasco.

I also found this story, as well. Apparently there was even a "We'll BITE Your Ass" logo pasted on a K-9 car. Smart move, Mack.

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Updated: 1-Jun-2005
Web View Count: 15403 viewsLast Web Update: 1-Jun-2005