:: Life of Dave ::General updates in the life of....
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:: Tuesday, April 29, 2003 ::
Hmm. Being home in Vicksburg is interesting - this week there is actually news of international interest happening here, although it's only going to affect the region dramatically. Pfizer corporation, the big drug manufacturer, bought Pharmacia corporation about one year ago (I assume it was a buyout, becuase they dumped the Pharmacia name). Several years before that, Pharmacia bought a company called Upjohn, which in and of itself was a sizeable drug maker. Upjohn was based here (in Portage, Michigan) and was responsible for seemingly half the jobs in the county. Now, today, at 4:30pm, Pfizer will be announcing (officially) how much of the Portage operations will be closing, moving, consolidated, or otherwise not employing people in the area. Rumour at this time has most of the upper level jobs moving out, but (thankfully, in some respects) most of the blue collar jobs seem to be staying in the area.:: Monday, April 28, 2003 ::
Well, two out of three ain't bad. I've discovered why you let other people do your taxes - they get you more money back. Mike Johnston opened a tax service this year, and I dropped in to say hello and have him look things over/print things out, and lo! I got more money back!
Big plans for today - do taxes, lunch with old friend, and then take the kids to the park. How many kids, one might ask, can David take to the park before he explodes? We shall see....
The danger of home is the food - my parents eat steak and not much else. I eat veggies and not much else. This is a problem, which often leads to me realizing at about one a.m. that I'm starving. I've become quite spoiled with regard to food, and scavenging through cupboards at my parent's house just isn't the same at all as scavenging my cupboards. I'm always cautious to double-check that the food item I've grabbed isn't something left over from 1975. Yikes!:: Sunday, April 27, 2003 ::
Talking to Ryan last night, he pointed out that Neil Gaiman has a weblog. Fun! So I added a link - there's something dramatically fun to be said for someone who writes as well as he, dumping his brain to screen.
Managed to make it home for the weekend. Lots of tech support for the family. Also managed to track down Ryan Lewis from the hiding place he's been in. We went to a coffee house here in Kalamazoo and shot the stuff for several hours, until the smoke level overcame. Then we headed back to his (not actually all that humble - I miss having a real apartment!) abode and drank port and blathered until ungodly hours. I came home and collapsed on the couch until about 8am, when I was told to go to bed (my parents wake up at unreasonably early hours, like before noon). I got up, as you may have guessed, around noon.:: Friday, April 25, 2003 ::
I think I have discovered that cable exists for the same reason the internet does. Or more appropriately, cable TV makes money the same way most of the internet does. I've spent the evening flipping channels, and with the exclusion of TLC (which is not showing trading spaces, for a change), they are all showing scantily clad women. Or maybe they have, and I just haven't noticed....:: Thursday, April 24, 2003 ::
I'm so bloody excited my website is back online that I check it about four times a day just to verify it's really still up (and frankly, I'm paranoid it'll go down again).:: Wednesday, April 23, 2003 ::
It looks as though blogger.com keeps a backup of everything you ever write, so I can republish everything. We'll see if the new web page can handle it. Thank goodness for backups!
Finished one of my three (and a half) finals last night. Also finished editing my paper on cork in Portugal, which is a real piece of... it isn't that good. But it's finished, I'll turn it in today and call myself done with that horrible facet of my life, more or less. Tonight, second exam, and tomorrow, third (and the half exam, which is a quiz more than anything). This weekend I'll head home to chill, and next week, holiday! Celebrate! Woo hoo!
So recently there's been a lot of talk of 'google hacks' - using tools google provides free of charge to enhance your website. Well, I found another useful trick - google caches pages on a regular basis, so if your (for example) blog is destroyed by evil computers that crash and computer people who don't ever make backups, you can use google to recover at least some of the lost data. Crazy!
Testing - are we back yet?!:: Tuesday, April 22, 2003 ::
Yesterday I saw an old man using one of the self-serve lanes at the supermarket. He was visibly in pain. And I was reminded of one of the things we discuss all the time in economics - if overall everyone is made better off by something, but one group is hit inordinately hard, the population at large should give back some of the gains (the idea is that the gains more than make up for the change - otherwise why would you do it?) to take care of people who are negatively affected. Clearly not happening here. Isn't theory so much nicer than reality?
Is it possible? My website may finally go back up. For reasons so far beyond me I can't even begin to describe, they changed the nameservers - the machines that tell the rest of the internet how to find my web page. But now that's coming closer to resolution. Yay!:: Monday, April 21, 2003 ::
*sigh* Still waiting for the website to go back up. I've started looking at other service providers, despite the fact that I should have another 8 months on this contract. I guess you get what you pay for.:: Wednesday, April 16, 2003 ::
Spoke to the website man today - he said we should have been up yesterday, but he'd take a look. We'll see what tomorrow brings.:: Tuesday, April 15, 2003 ::
Argh! No website again! Waiting and waiting...:: Sunday, April 13, 2003 ::
Still no website. But the blog lives on! (mostly in my mind...).:: Friday, April 11, 2003 ::
Well, several days in and still no davidbarber.org. Irritating. But honestly, I'll live (although now all the search engines will have to re-find me).:: Tuesday, April 08, 2003 ::
Well - that was exciting! Seems the old box davidbarber.org lived on died a horrible death, so if you've been wondering where we went, to computer heaven would be the best answer (don't worry - I'm hosted - it wasn't my machine!:: Monday, April 07, 2003 ::
Woo hoo! Hail to express delivery! Sasha's birthday present made it here on time! Now we can waste all our spare time with SimCity 4!!! Somebody stop me!
I started a wine list today, for keeping track of all the tasty wines Sasha and I drink once and then promptly forget the name of. It's a work in progress, obviously, but since we decided to start trying French wines (since at some point we'll have to drink them, I suspect) it seemed a good time to start taking notes.
So, after writing the blog yesterday regarding health care, I thought I would send it to my senators (because that's what we do in a democracy, right?) Well, much to my dismay neither of the Senators from Michigan could handle my email (despite both having email addresses). One sent me a blank response, the other a random response about calling them for help. Utter crap.:: Sunday, April 06, 2003 ::
I had a most interesting conversation with my mother yesterday. It seems that my aunt, who was injured in an ATV accident six months or so ago, has been dropped by her insurance company. Considering less than a week ago she had a follow-on operation to remove a piece of her skull, this is somewhat troubling news. In addition, in the same conversation she informed me that some family friends, Bobby and Wanda, had dropped their health insurance because it was too expensive (more than $300 per month). Add to this the fact that I have no health insurance despite being highly educated and eminently employable, and you see a system which is not at all working. I suspect I might email my lawmakers, but frankly I doubt it will ever do any good. Another reason to move abroad.
Weekend! I had to 'spring forward' and now my internal clock is all messed up. Yes, Daylight Savings Time has returned to make our life confused as the parts of the country that don't celebrate this auspicious event struggle to figure out what the hell time it is in Michigan.:: Wednesday, April 02, 2003 ::
Interesting web site today - Anita Roddick is the founder of The Body Shop, and a confirmed (perhaps even card-carrying) activist. I ran across her site while researching the anti-globalisation movement (upon which I will be working this Spring).
I wonder if someday I'll actually start using web design tools. I think I may have worked with text editors for too long now - even though I know HTML can be more easily constructed using something like Adobe GoLive, I still like notepad (or vi on the Mac) for my web creations.
Doing a little testing, a little updating, a little bit of this 'n' that. Hoping to meet with the department head today about changes to my paper class - something to make the whole process a little smoother.:: Tuesday, April 01, 2003 ::
I called Jason in Egypt today. He's doing well, although a little culture shocked, I think. It was good to talk to him (and I like to think the feeling was mutual :-)
Whew! Crazy weekend! Sasha's family was, as always, a laugh riot, and the inauguration was a neat chance to see what her dad does when not goofing off, although it was something of a cross between a celebration and a goof-off as well - the article from the Danville Bee & Register shows that.