Monday, November 27, 2006

Recycle Plastic Bags

Between reusing plastic bags for used diapers or stinky whatnot, and crocheting them into other objects, I thought I had recycling plastic bags figured out. Then I ran across The Plastic Bag Pages and saw how wrong I was! Check it out if you'd like a few hundred suggestions to reuse plastic bags.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Oh Wow

It's a pretty day this afternoon, and we won't have many more pretty days before we have to push through several months of unmitigated winter. So we ate lunch outside on the deck! Lunch was a bit late, which makes me gassy. Today it made me really gassy. But you know, I was outside, so I decided to be comfortable. After three impressively loud farts in a row, my 16-month-old toddler with very few words in his repertoire looked at me and said Oh wow. Needless to say, we cracked up! Yeah, he's probably right.


Friday, November 24, 2006

Treo Recovery

Karston played with my Treo after dinner today, and then I couldn't find it. I went through the whole house carefully, at toddler height. I checked the box where he had unpacked the box, dropped in my office keys, and then put everything back. Finally I went back to the stand-by, Where did you definitely see it last? Daddy had seen it (for sure) later than I was sure I had seen it, so I started there. He saw Karston grab it from the coffee table. So I walked all around the living room on my knees, and looked under the couch. No phone. We called my phone, but Karston's learned to turn off the phone function, and yes, my phone was off the air. So finally I lifted couch cushions, and found it under the second one I checked. Whew! I didn't even know Karston hid things there!

The new trick I learned by accident on my Treo is that you can dim the screen for a session by pressing OPTION (the black blob) and MENU. Press that combination again, and the screen goes back to normal brightness. I use this when I want to enter some tasks at night (so I can clear my brain and then fall asleep), when the screen seems so bright at the lowest setting. This extra-dim setting is also good for playing solitaire (Klondike in Patience) during a midnight nursing. (I then use it as my very expensive flashlight so I can get back in bed without tripping on something otherwise unseen.)


A study on sleep/wake patterns of breast-fed infants in the first 2 years of life indicates Karston should sleep less than his non-breast-fed counterparts and not sleep through the night. Oh well! I think he already knows that, and I'm the one coming to grips with it. I would daydream about the time I get to sleep on my own schedule again, but I'm too close to zombie to daydream. Still, some day I am sure I will be allowed to have a regular sleep schedule of my own. And I think all those times when I thought we were "almost there" were cases of wishful thinking. Come on, I've been thinking Karston was close to sleeping through the night without us since he was six months old, and here he is about to pass sixteen months of age without a full week of full sleep. I just need to accept that I have a happy, healthy child who doesn't need as much sleep as I'd like. The important phrase is "happy, healthy child," and I'll just deal with the rest. Now if he would give up what he did way too early Wednesday morning (cry from 1:30 AM to 5:30 AM), that would be great!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

dead keyboard

Well, one thing about mobile toddlers is more accidents. This time the accident was tipping my almost-empty water onto my laptop's keyboard. I shut down as fast as I could, let it dry a couple days ... but the keyboard didn't survive. I can't use seven keys on the right-hand side, including the letter 'i' and the '-' hyphen symbol (and shifted versions) as well as well as the ever-useful space bar and return key. I couldn't figure out how to log in at first, but then I remembered that I could (duh) use an external USB keyboard. No space and no return really slows down typing.

So this evening, I ordered a new keyboard from iFixIt since they have the right keyboard in stock, a reputation for good service, and detailed take-apart directions. Here's hoping!

Friday, November 17, 2006

Easy Thunderbird Growl

I'm trying to like Apple's on my work laptop, but I still use good ol' Thunderbird at home. I do like the Growl integration with, so I had to find a way to add Thunderbird to Growl. Turns out, it's very easy with Growl New Message Notification. I followed the directions (download it, open extensions manager, and tell the extensions manager to use the download) and, well, it works. It's hardly exciting, although it does spare me a trip to my email client for less-urgent messages. I guess I'm mentioning it because it's so much easier than other Growl and Thunderbird tips I've seen. Plus transparent notification means that my email is much less disruptive to my time while still being central to my work. That's cool!

Unresponsive Script

I finally got tired of seeing "Warning: unresponsive script" while running d3 TiddlyWiki for GTD in Camino. So I looked up a fix, and it's easy. You point your Gecko browser to about:config, you search for dom.max_script_run_time, and you bump that up to 20 or so. I won't miss that dialog box!

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

authPriv fails, authNoPriv works

I've been fighting an intermittent problem with one of our network management applications (it started in June), where authPriv stops working. But at least authNoPriv works then, so I can always get out of the woods. Sometimes it went away after a reboot, but not since last month's application upgrade. So. Annoying. But then I saw a post about another SNMP application with the same problem, and that made me look for other ideas. If there's a common base, it's net-snmp, so what if it has a bug with authPriv?

I found a net-snmp bug that sounds like it might be relevant. And even better, the patch may already exist (read whole thread)! We'll find out, but I felt like I was on top of the world, or at least on top of the problem. Ahh. Here's hoping!

Wednesday, November 8, 2006

Recycle Baby Food Jars

I think the end is in sight for baby food from jars. Karston is much more interested in what we're eating, and so far he hasn't refused any food when he's in the mood to eat. So some day soon, no more baby food jars. That's nice (much better than when he would barf back anything not from a jar!), but I've still got a ton of small jars that might be headed for the recycling bin. Still, reduce and reuse are key components to recycling, so I've been looking for other ideas. Here goes!

You can use them to hold beads or buttons. I store the jars upside down for this, so I can see what's in the jar through the clear bottom instead of the opaque lid. I arrange them by color. You can also store screws or other small parts with similar groups that fit in one jar, and arrange by size. has a page on this type of Baby Food Jar Organizer.

My friend Cheryl is good at decoupage (tissue paper and glue on a clear stratum for a nifty stained glass effect), and I think she could make cool votive holders with tea light candles. Turns out that's not a new idea either, because also has a page on How to Use Baby Food Jars for Decorative Votive Candles.

While there, I noticed that has a page on How to Use Baby Food Jars to Make Gifts, and another on How to Make Gel Air Freshener that you could put in clean, empty baby food jars.

Next I turned to Google to dredge up ideas. I turned up a list of uses for Excess Baby Food Jars, and some entries under Crafts from Recycled Stuff. And finally there's Eileen's Favorite Camp Crafts and Other Fun Things from Baby Food Jars. That covers a whole bunch of uses for these baby food jars. I think my favorite (after convincing my crafty friends to take them! that even worked for the first several months) is to donate the jars to a local school or a Girl Scout troop for their arts and crafts!

Update 11/24/2006: And (duh) there's always using them as jars in the kitchen! I stored leftover chocolate chips in one recently.

Tuesday, November 7, 2006


Despite the chilly, overcast, drizzly weather, we went out to vote after work this evening. Google Maps got to the right location out in the sticks, just leaving us the questions of who to pick. That's where you should look at Project Vote Smart if you haven't seen it before. Local newspapers can be helpful if biased, but for those of us who get our news from Jon Stewart (who said, You know this isn't a news show, right?), it's the Internet and PVS instead.

Karston especially liked the "I voted!" stickers.