Friday, March 30, 2001

Another Survivor addict enters the fold
I'm very, very happy that Jerri got hers! The show is highly addictive and fun to watch. I'm predicting that the final two will be Colby and Elizabeth, although her immunity headdress is probably the stupidest thing I've ever seen! Caroline, read the Survivor updates in Salon if you haven't already, they're really funny and will give you the game up until you started watching it.
Okay, my new roommate sucked me into watching Survivor (um, I was ill with a nasty cold and therefore vulnerable) and omigod, am I hooked. I've only seen last week's recap episode and last night's Jerri take-down. Too bad she's gone; heard that she's evil, but she kind of entertaining anyway the short time I've watched. She was so begging for mercy though! THAT was funny. My vote at this point is for Tina or Elizabeth. Or Keith. I kind of like everyone actually, except Amber, the dweebette, and I know Colby's got the ratings, etc., but his cute little kitten comment about Amber was a bit much. Typical. Although, he was pretty entertaining too.
Those creativity software sound neat...off to check 'em out. At lunch, of course...Oh well, back to work.
Buh-bye. :-)
It's time to make fun of Americans again.......http://www2.mybc.com/entertainment/fs.cfm?id=727773
Hi Maggie! Did you find anything to your liking?

Found another great creativity software called IdeaFisher (ideafisher.com). We're ordering the Writer's Edge module here but there are several other great ones, including one for Marketing, one for PR, and the next on my lust list, Name Development. Can't wait to play with it!
Friday!!!!
Well thank goodness! It's Friday and the blog is back up! This weekend can't come soon enough for me. Steve left this morning for Windsor, so I have the weekend to myself, I'll probably clean up the apartment and fiddle with the computer. The last I looked out a window, it was drab and pretty dreary out there. I keep hoping that spring will miraculously just appear. I got the official copy of my work review and I noticed a few comments that we did not discuss during the 2 hour meeting. Do you ever feel like you're just beating a dead horse? Now there's a hint that I may be going to the STC conference, ever feel like that dead horse has just handed you tickets for the next stagecoach to the STC conference?
That marriage thing
Steve and I met with the Unitarian chaplain who has agreed to hitch us at the Biosphere. She's very nice and seems genuinely excited about doing the gig. She had some lovely suggestions about the service. This is one less thing that we have to worry about.

Thursday, March 29, 2001

Good morning all - my apologies for being so remarkably absent. I'm currently putting together a new company brochure, and I'm trying to find subtle backgrounds - any ideas? We're chiefly marketing to aerospace and similar industries, so I'm thinking metals and other techy/sciency stuff. I'll be using Word (cuz I'm still (!!!!) waiting for my Adobe software) so whatever I use has to be compatible.

Tuesday, March 27, 2001

Goodbye India
Am half-way through Rushdie's latest, The Ground Beneath Her, and am really enjoying it. It's not his best, but so-so Rushdie is still way better than so many other authors. I'm at the part where Rai says goodbye to his homeland. While reading it last night, it struck me that this also Rushdie's farewell to India and his coming to terms with the end of that chapter in his life. It was so wonderful to be in the headspace of somebody else who had left home and loved it and hated it but just couldn't go back. I like the way he explores how we create the places where we live in our minds and memories. I suppose to some extent, we also create the people around us by perceiving them or recalling them in a certain way which may not coincide with reality. Don't want to get too heavy here but I really think he's exploring some interesting ideas in this novel. Has anybody else read this book?
Back from the land of napping
Ok, so I haven't been blogging, I apologize. That 35cm of snow that we got last week knocked the will to live right out of me. Speaking of life and death, found a couple of interesting sites. The first one is truly bizarre, the second practical, yet quirky. For some reason, I really want their t-shirt!

Thursday, March 22, 2001

STC Meeting
The West Island meeting last night was a presentation about white papers given by Gordon and Gordon. It was pretty good. This was their run through for the STC conference in Chicago. They talked about the lack of standards and criteria that make it difficult to write a white paper. Basically they came up with a definition that combines the technology with marketing and stressed that it is a pre-sales tool. They said that successful white papers come from collaborative efforts and a strict schedule. The type of white paper will also depend on the product and the audience. If you're selling a fairly techy product to engineers, the white paper will look much different from one with a product that's not as high tech or directed to upper management people who need to know why this is a good idea. There was the usual "things that go wrong" portion of the evening, but I think that's true of any project, perhaps white papers are more heated bones of contention because they represent potential sales and more upper management people are involved in their creation. They should be putting up some information about their presentation in a couple of days.
A Zillion Kajillion Ideas!
Found some neat brainstorming software with word rhyming, expressions and cliches, A Zillion Kajillion Rhymes and Phrases. The neat thing is they let you consult their database from their Web site. Great for idea trolling, songwriting, and composing bad poetry!

So how was the Gordon & Gordon night on white papers?

Wednesday, March 21, 2001

hey dina. went home sick yesterday and am leaving now too...but I missed Steve's interview thingy...was the interview archived or something?
Advertising for the cost of a big white tarp printed at Kinko's and the cost of dropping it in the ocean....brilliant!Mir News
For sale by owner
I've been looking at this other blog site that finds "treasures" on Ebay and the like. Very entertaining!
Steve was on the radio yesterday and he did a darn good job! Although, maybe he should have advertised our wedding site a bit more so that we could ask for a discount.........

Tuesday, March 20, 2001

Kid A-mazing
Listened to Kid A while I was proofreading earlier. I'd read so much about it (total garbage! pure genius! way out there...) that I didn't know what to expect. Well, I think Thom Yorke and the boys are positively brilliant. It's light years ahead of anything else you hear these days. So I cast my vote in favor of pure genius.

So spring's here. With the 3 feet of snow out there, you could have fooled me, she harumphed.

Loved your cocktail site, Caroline. But I simply cannot contemplate ingesting bourbon and eggs. And this, from the girl who eats unidentified brown paste! Strictly for brave souls...

Silly book!
The same developer guy brought in another book, Smileys. It's a book of those faces that we make with keystrokes now in our emails. There's some really funny ones:
: - ) B Dolly Parton
=| :- ) Abe Lincoln
B- ) Batman
3:-o Cow
% - ( confused
There's tons of other ones too. I've seen a few Web sites dedicated to smileys as well.

Happy Spring!
We're finally out of winter! Yay!!!

Monday, March 19, 2001

Cocktail hour
'K, ladies, it's after 5 p.m.! Check out this site and enjoy. You can make your own drinks! It's creative! It's stimulating! No drunk driving!
However: I'm still intrigued by the notion that a mix of vodka and yogurt is actually a drink: Osterbygrog. Not sure how excited to get about that. And (bleeech!) a mix of bourbon and scrambled eggs ["mix and freeze till slushy"] is actually a "drink" called Dorkal Punch. If you ask me, there's a hint there somewhere.... :-)
Useful Book!
A developer I work with brought in a new book that he thought I might like. It's Robin Williams Design Workshop and it's pretty good! While it does advertise her earlier books and refers to them as resource material constantly, there are some good ideas about design and lots of visuals to get your creativity hopping. There are sections on working with clip art, creating visual impact, and then a whole bunch of stuff on creating projects from logos and invoices to billboards and Web sites. It's a bit pricey ($60!), but if you can't afford to buy it, pick it up at a bookstore and just browse through it for fun and get a few design tips.
Blue Monday
After much lusting after the beautiful blue bottle, got myself a bottle of Ty Nant spring water to colour up my desk. Found a matching cobalt blue glass, too! Now I can peer into it and think of Santorini on frigid days. This bottle has to be the best thing to come out of Wales for a long time!

Friday, March 16, 2001

When a good stiff drink is better than a Hallmark!elisetomek.com
Friday!
Well, another week is almost over, Steve is returning from Maryland tonight, and all is right with the world. Saw this site, suddenly Minis are cool.

Thursday, March 15, 2001

Books!
Just started reading this book that Steve got at the cheapy table at Indigo. It's called Direction of Cities by John Guinther, and it's about urban planning. I never took an urban planning course, but I've always loved the architecture of cities. This book discusses the development of some cities in the U.S. and talks about how some ideas were successful and others disasters. The author seems very optimistic about cities and gives the impression that all cities eventually try to redeem themselves in the end. He talks about original plans for ideals such as green spaces being ignored, only to be resurrected somewhere down the road, staying true to the designer's master plan. This is for the most part due to the overwhelming need for the city to provide for it's dwellers, not just financially, but also spiritually. Makes me want to do a bit more reading!

Wednesday, March 14, 2001

Don't Swallow These Veggies
One caveat about the Veggie Tales site. Veggie Tales has a strong Christian message under the cute dancing-sqash-and-corn stories. My sister got it for Camille and I found it very insidious, although it seemed to completely go over my daughter's head. It was pretty saccarine, too. I guess you don't mind if you're just pea-painting, but for anyone who goes there with a child, I'd warn them to watch for a distinct Ned Flanders-like God Squad outlook.

Tuesday, March 13, 2001

I found a fun site. If you want to paint with peas, check out this one!
Good idea! I'll join you after I've finished cleaning my driveway with the shopvac. Enough of that *#@!% white stuff!

Found a couple of interesting sites, One magazine, the U.S. answer to Wallpaper, and Oxygen, a site for women that seems a bit more real than the ultra-vanillacized ivillage.com. Check 'em out!
More snow!
I can't take it, I'm so sick of winter!! I'm ready to grab my hair dryer and an extension cord and run madly up and down the street.

Monday, March 12, 2001

Mothers Who Think Sinks!
Caroline, MWT on Salon was "upgraded" and merged into this formless, themeless new LifeStyle section given the strikingly original title, Life. I still mourn the passing of MWT which managed in spite of its title to have far more general appeal, great personal essays and brilliant writing than its current incarnation. I'm really disappointed at the turn Salon has taken in the past 3 months. I used to go every day and find several interesting things; now I scan quickly each day to find nothing really of interest and mostly boring politics. I know magazines tend to go through cycles where they get great writers and hook me for a while, then lose their budgets maybe (?) and my readership as a result for a couple of years before they pick up again. Harper's is an excellent example. Is it budget, editorship or just plain luck? I haven't figured it out, but it's sad to see Salon waning...

As for fav women writers and screenwriters, I'll have to think about that. Other than Tiger & Dragon and Princess Mononoke, I haven't seen any interesting women characters or screenwriting in a movie recently. Has anyone else?
Apartment search is over!
We went and looked at the place on Friday night and it's just huge! It needs some work (paint and a few touches here and there), but for the money we couldn't have gotten a better place. Also, it's owned by the mother of one of Steve's friends and she loves Steve and is happy that she's renting to someone responsible who won't trash the place. The neighbours are apparently very nice too. We're right across the street from the park and have a big balcony in front and a deck in back. The kitchen has a built-in dishwasher which we may arrange to buy from the current tenants. They're moving to Vancouver, so they may not want to lug their appliances cross-country. There's also storage space in the basement. It's like a house!! We may be able to arrange to have a wall knocked down as well between the livingroom and the bedroom next to it to make a large livingroom/diningroom. If you want to have a look at the layout, click here. Expect me to be insufferable now talking about the place constantly and putting paint chips up and design ideas....

Friday, March 09, 2001

The invites look fab, Dina. Love the colour scheme and fonts. Tres elegant! Good luck on the home front.
Barely a peep about International Women's Day here too. I think we all work too hard. Is it just me, or does it happen all the time...doesn't it seem that being in your 20s now is way different than 10 years ago? It feels as if a total change in society has occured. Then there's the media's portrayal of young girls as women...look at most of the pop mags...now THAT's offensive...young adolescent girls made to look like sex objects. That that still occurs REALLY pisses me off. I think it's plain wrong; for women and harms society somehow as a whole. Didn't Camille Paglia write something about women recently? Check out today's top story on salon.com...talks about gender, etc.
Am I on another planet? What happened to the Mother's Who Think section?
Coffee sites: here's another one and another one .
OK, now that I think about International Women's Day a bit more, I wonder if there's more to feel angry about than to feel positive, in terms of being a woman? I feel a rant coming on...hmmm...I think in terms of the media's portrayal of women (stupid unrealistic images {am I the only one that can't stand Julia Roberts? Who's your favourite female actress? [I really liked the female lead in Truly, Madly, Deeply: Julie something] Favourite female writer? Favourite women role model?} and not enough of the injustices against women, which is really against society too), there's much to get annoyed about. But on the other hand, I also think there are many women out there who do good things and have done well...it's just not as well known. You know, I could rant about this kind of stuff all day, I think I'll stop now and spare you all. Cheers and good weekend, all!
Friday! Yippee!
Well, another week is over. We're supposed to definitely see the apartment tonight, I'll probably have a drawing up next week so you can see what it's like. I worked a bit on the invitations last night and put the draft up on the happycouple Web site. Have a look and give me some feedback if you have time.

More Survivor
So, the tribes merged last night into one and it wasn't that interesting. They formed a new camp and the whispers between the players was fast and furious. In the end, whiny Jeff from Kucha was the one to go. This isn't good for the former Kucha tribe, because now they have 4 players that can be picked off by the 5 former Ogakors. Perhaps the players will start mixing and matching now and get rid of Jerri, she's so bossy and full of herself.

Thursday, March 08, 2001

Better yet, if it's International Women's Day, why don't we hear about it? I went to 3 major women's sites and found no mention whatsoever about it. Nothing on Salon, either. What's wrong with this picture? Why is it that so much of what is aimed at women is just fluff pieces, beauty tips and dating advice? Am I the only one bothered by this?

Oh and thanks for the coffee site, Dina! Now I can indulge in my fave addiction virtually as well as orally! But I'm not so sure about combining beer and espresso...
If it's International Woman's Day, why am I working?
Well, another day at the scowly ranch, I'm thinking about placing bets on just how long the guy I work with can go without talking to me.
We didn't go and see the apartment last night, the people who live there weren't in, drat! I was really looking forward to it. Hopefully tonight. Still no phone calls....
Found an interesting coffee Web site.
Happy International Women's Day!
Here's something posted on the DigitalEve mailing list that I found encouraging. With all the women working with or using technology today, it's hard to believe so many sexist ads continue to be run. But here's a watchdog group that doesn't take sexist ads lying down (grrrrrr!). With their DisGraceful Awards, they embarass high-tech companies who should know better. So here it is and have a great day!

==========================================

High-tech Women Fight Sex-Driven Ads (3/7/2001)

Sex sells, but don't tell that to Sylvia Paull.

Paull is director of a prominent women's high-tech networking group,
GraceNet, that has made a mission of embarrassing software and Internet
industry companies that use cheap come-ons in their advertising
campaigns. For the past six months, Paull and GraceNet's nearly 1,200
members have trolled billboards, television and other advertising media for
sexually explicit messages that give women in high-tech a bad rap.

"So many ads often portray women as sex objects, and they have nothing
to do with the products they're selling," said Paull, who founded GraceNet
in 1997.

Using sexually explicit messages to sell products is hardly new, and these
companies aren't the first to get egg on their faces over marketing
campaigns. The "Simply Palm" campaign from Palm Computing two years
ago, which featured a naked woman in its attempt to sell its latest handheld
device, drew protests from the tech community and spurred the making of
several parody sites.

Taking up the renegade role, GraceNet plans to do its part to mitigate the
occurrence of sex-tinged advertising in the high-tech industry, which
increasingly is run and populated by women.

The nonprofit, named after tech pioneer Grace Hopper, has already pushed
three technology companies into yanking suggestive ads after it bestowed
on them its DisGraceful Award in Advertising, a monthly dishonor that was
first issued last September.

The group's latest target is IBM, which is running an ad promoting its
collaborative software, IBM Lotus Mindspan Solutions, in Knowledge
Management magazine. The two-page spread shows a man and a woman
separately waiting in an airport. The male executive is busy using his laptop,
with a caption that reads: "Just learned discounted cash flow techniques
with 40 other analysts." The young woman, dressed provocatively, is
working on a crossword puzzle. The text under her image says: "Just
learned a five-letter word for 'belly button.'"

Paull said the ad received the award because it suggests that women are
more suited to looking up synonyms for body parts, while men are more apt
to take advantage of IBM's e-learning solutions.

Those already lambasted for poor taste in advertising include digital color
company E-color, database company InfoUSA.com and e-mail marketer
TargitMail.com. The group's October award went to Lik Sang International,
a software company. Its ad depicted a young woman licking her lips, with
the caption: "We don't have young Japanese girls on sale right now, but we
do ship more than 300 products directly from Hongkong (sic)." The company
pulled the ad shortly after the award was announced publicly.

None of the targets of GraceNet's ire contacted for this story returned
phone calls.

The most satisfying coup for San Francisco-based GraceNet came in
January, Paull said, when InfoUSA.com yanked its ad in print publications
and fired the marketing team responsible for it following news of receiving
the award. InfoUSA.com published an ad showing a dominatrix cracking a
whip in an attempt to sell the company's database.

"There are a lot of women in high-tech now, and many ads assume that
there aren't," Paull said. "So many woman...are offended by these ads."

By Stefanie Olsen CNET News.com
====================================================

Wednesday, March 07, 2001

Mr. Scowly-pants blues...
I was in a fairly good mood this morning until I came in, said "good morning" to the guy I work with a received a grunt and a scowl. It's difficult to keep a smile on your face on days like today. The good news is that Steve and I are going to see the apartment tonight. The bad news is that I still have received no phone calls (arrrggghhhhh!). Oh well, s'pose I'll live. I just wish that working with crappy people earned you points towards major appliances or vacations. I'd be mere days away from an entire kitchen of those nice, stainless steel jobbies or a nice trip to New Zealand.

Tuesday, March 06, 2001

It's Art on the Web. But Not Web Art.
Found this beautiful work on the Web, thanks to a tip from our terrific Webmaster. I hesitate to call it a site, as it's much more than that. I used to think that calling a multimedia production on the Web art was really stretching it. But this project really changed my mind. The guy's out there. Where exactly, nobody knows. But it's definitely on the fringe. Does anybody else know of similar works on the Web? And do you believe art can exist on the Web or are you a skeptic like I was?
Apartment news
Well, thanks to our friends, we may have found the perfect apartment. Steve's friend Dave emailed Steve this morning to tell him that the upper duplex of his mom's property in NDG is going to be available July 1. It's a 71/2 with a deck in back and a working fireplace!! We're going to have a look as soon as possible. It's sounds incredible and exactly what we're looking for. The price is right as well.

That voodoo that you do so well
Wanna put a voodoo curse on someone? Here's how.

Monday, March 05, 2001

Playing Hookie
I have decided to stay home today and be dina-like. Hopefully I will get something done on the invitations and maybe I'll receive a phone call.
The apartment that we went and saw Saturday was pretty bland. For the price, I'd rather stay where I am than move to that place. We'll keep looking.

Friday, March 02, 2001

Longings and Lust List
Dina, I completely understand your long-standing affair with a Montauk chair. I've had a similar pining for Dansk flatware. Also on my lust list are:
- silky-soft Egyptian cotton sheets in saffron
- a revolving bookcase in birch
- a room full of orchids, cyclamen and other flowers.
'Fess up, all gentle ringmembers. What do you long for?
Survivor, apartment hunting and waiting by the phone...
Well, Survivor was certainly a bit weird. One of the members of the Kucha tribe, the stronger tribe of the two, fell into the campfire and ended up with third degree burns on his hands and wrists. They airlifted him to a hospital, apparently he's regained the use of his hands. Because of this, there was no immunity challenge, so now the two tribes will merge into one with five players each and start picking each other off. This is the point where I started watching the show last time, so it's a bit more interesting now that I understand how the teams must feel coming together as a group after competing so fiercely with each other for food and basic supplies.
Tomorrow, Steve and I are going to see our first apartment. It's in Mtl West, I'll let you know how it went.
Still waiting for a phone call......trying to stay as positive as possible! Everyone keep good vibes coming my way!
Crap. That's what we figured....sigh...more fixing...I had hoped that sort of thing was a RoboHelp only "feature". Oh well.
Thanks, Dina! Cheers. It's Friday with sunny blue skies! Even warmish! Yay!
Broken cross-references in WebWorks online help
Sorry I didn't reply to this last night, I got distracted, ("oh look, a bug"). You have to fix your file names so that there are no spaces or apostrophes. I use _ to provide a space so that it's readable. I spent two days figuring out that apostrophes don't work. I lost my links and tried just about everything before I figured out it was because the main file had "User's" in it. Arghhhh!

Thursday, March 01, 2001

Broken cross-references in WebWorks online help. Has anyone figured out how to deal with the fact that WebWorks' cross-references (sourced from the Frame cross-references) won't work because the software does not recognize spaces if they exist in your directory naming structure? That, at least, was the reason for the problem as posted on another listserv. My co-worker is pulling her hair out on this one and she was wondering at the extent of work required to fix it. E.g., redo the directory, check the cross-refs in the Frame doc, etc. Thanks.
Coffee machine's busted again
We've got one of those fancy coffee machines that makes regular coffee, french vanilla, mocha and hot chocolate. It's partially broken today, coffee-coloured water and coffee grinds are shooting out of the bottom, so I'm drinking instant mocha because I'm too cheap to go downstairs and buy a real coffee. Thought I'd start the day with a little dreaming. There's a store on St Laurent that makes the most comfortable chairs I've ever sat in. Because they're so expensive, I have resorted to going to the store a couple of times a year and just sitting in my chair in the showroom. They don't seem to mind.
What do you gals pine for?