August 14, 2002

Wednesday. John is driving to South Carolina today to give a presentation so I have the house and the cats to myself until Friday afternoon. Now I can work online all day and get a ton of work done. I have upgraded to HTML-Kit Beta 4. HKit just keeps getting better and better. I definitely suggest that any aspiring web designers out there try it out. It is free now with a commercial version coming in the future.

The lack of furniture in the house is getting to be a bit of a drag, though. Without a chair or desk to sit in, I am forced to work while lying on the floor which isn’t the most ergonomic situation imaginable. I am working on adding a favicon to the site and I have the code in place already. What I am looking for now is an artist out there who is interested in coming up with a small icon to add to the site. Email me if you are interested. I am looking for a small llama head to have in the icon. Nothing fancy. And it is really tiny so there isn’t much that you can do anyway. The details are 16x16x16, that is the image is a 16×16 pixel square in 16 colours. It may be so small that we aren’t able to do a Llama head and will have to resort to something else creative. Until we come up with something unique to our site, I managed to find a free patriotic ribbon to use. I figured it was pretty appropriate since we have our flags for our foreign constituents. So if the icon doesn’t work in your browser, let me know. Today is the first day with it.

Dominica finally has her homepage up now. Take a wuick trip over to DominicaTocco.com and see what she is doing over there. Min is doing a “Thought of the Day” thing similar to the format that I have here.

It is 1:30 and John is still sleeping. I just discovered that the cat pissed in my bed as well (I am writing this on the 13th after yesterday’s posting) so now I have even more laundry to do. Ok Dominica, I do not want a cat anymore. Actually, I still want Nila, she would never do that. Min says that I should have told Mickey, “NO! Not for you to poop on!!”

Since I lack decent Internet access today, I am doing extensive work on IthacaPortal.com. I am updating it to take Style Sheets which will make working on it so much easier. I hope to be able to really push IP in the fall when the student start returning to college. I am going to try to get some brochures and business cards with the address on them to help get the word out about our awesome site. I managed to update almost everything with IP today from the look to download time and compatability to new links. I did discover a new link that I was really excited about, www.Ithacan.org which offers free classifieds for Ithaca locals. What a great idea. There wasn’t much on there (they have spots for classifieds and job listings as well as personals) but as they said on their site, if I tell five people and the five people that I tell tell five people and so forth, it will be pretty popular pretty quickly. Kind of like IP itself. So, the Ithacan is now linked from here and from IP. I figure that I told more than five people that way.

Even later in the day, John discovered that Mickey took a crap on the brand new (as in 5 days or so) upstairs carpet. It had to have happened last night because I have had Mickey locked outside all day. Technically he could come in but he won’t even come close to the cat door. He is spending his nine lives very quickly and frivolously.

I am writing this final part of the daily as I wait for my last load of laundry to dry so that I can make my bed and get some sleep. I don’t have anything pressing in the morning so I am pretty flexible. I have taken a dryer sheet and attached it to the back side of my room fan (that I am very thankful that Min and I went shopping for) to suck air through it to remove the cat poop smell that has perpeated the room.

To even more to an already incredibly good day, John’s car got hit and now has a dent in the driver’s side door.

Loopy’s new projector did, in fact, arrive today and he and Bob have been spending the afternoon getting it up and running. They have determined that it is most likely only going to work really well in the basement so they are going to try to get it set up down there and then relocate the new surround sound theatre system down to the basement as well. Bob and Loopy said that the new projector is really amazing and that the new system is going to be really cool.

Nila and I are just hanging out and chillin’ waiting for the laundry to finish. I think that Mickey is wearing thin his welcome with Nila as well. She has to put up with him a lot of the time when we aren’t home and I am sure he isn’t much fun for her either. The fountain that Min and I made a few days ago is still bubbling away on the counter. I like the sound that it adds to the room. It is very relaxing.

Dominica’s Birthday is one week from today. I was actually smart enough to onto Ithaca Portal and make reservations for Banfi’s at the Statler Hotel today so that I don’t have to worry about it in a week when I will be busy. It is so nice that Banfi’s uses OpenTable for online reservations. It makes it so much more convenient. Let me tell you, I am so glad that I made Ithaca Portal, it really does make my life easier.

We bug bombed the house here in Annapolis about two weeks ago and already there are ants and everything else all over the house again. It is really annoying because I am really getting bitten just all of the time. There are lots of crickets and katydids and grasshoppers too. And spiders. The spiders are everywhere. Somehow they manage to make the longest webs you have ever seen. They make them between the cars, the fence and the cars, the house and the pool, the house and the deck. Sometimes there just seems to be spider webs hanging in midair with no explanation whatsoever. The humidity doesn’t help any either, even with the windows and doors all shut and the AC running non-stop, the bed still feels damp when you go to climb into it.

I noticed a bit of a hickup in the system this evening when I went to do the update. I think that we were down for a couple of minutes. At least I lost access from here for a minute of two. Hard to determine whose network is having a problem that quickly.

August 13, 2002

I did some basic maintanence stuff with today’s update like adding some hidden links to our other webpages for the robots to find and adding some cataloging information for this page as well. I never really do searches for us so I don’t know how easy it is to come across us on a web search. Wouldn’t that be funny if tons of people came here all of the time wondering what it could possibly be? I have actually been doing a ton of work on all of our web sites getting them to all link to each other to increase our search status across the board.

BTW, I do have an online calendar for people wondering where I am and what is going on so be sure to check that if you want to know when I am planning on being somewhere. You can go to it by clicking here Scott’s Calendar. I will be adding a button for it on the side eventually. Now that Eric and I have so many meetings all of the time it is getting more and more important to have everything that is going on on the calendar. If you are expecting me to be somewhere and you don’t see it on the calendar, remind me about it.

So today is going to be a long day. John and I went out until late last night so we ended up sleeping in accidentally. Then, my Alarm Cat went off at 9:30 this morning when Mickey took a huge dump on my pillow just inches from my face. He also crapped and puked all over the house in addition to just my pillow. That cat is retarded. Nila goes in and out the cat door all day long and has since the first day that we got it but not Mickey, oh no. He is too dainty to be able to push on anything to open it. I have a fan running in my room trying to air it out now.

HTML-Kit Beta 4 is out and even better than Beta 3. I used it all day yesterday and am downloading it today for the laptop so all of the updates after today will be written with the newer version. Dominica claimed that she was going to send me her new page to post today but I didn’t get it. So, we are still waiting for that. I am still waiting for Nate and Bob to get their page posted as well.

Well, the original plan was to head into Washington today and work at the hospital but it is so late now that I think that I am going to forgo that idea and maybe work there tonight if I come up with enough stuff to do. I have enough here to keep me busy forever anyway.

Since I am getting more and more responsibility all of the time, I now have a Nextel radio phone. I hate the two way radio stuff but I need it to stay in contact with the drivers at night.

We have actually been getting some responses about names for our mascot Llama. I am going to make the target cutoff September 5 for new ideas because I am working in Rochester that day and will be around to choose. Ok, enough for today. Maybe I will get around to installing the wireless ethernet system here today. It is going to be a pain because Verizon uses PPPoE dial-up and it is really annoying to setup on a router. Have a good one everyone.

August 12, 2002

Monday morning. Back to the grind in DC! I had some problems getting online yesterday so I had to wait until today to post all of the updates from the last few days. I needed a DSL filter for the phone line and I didn’t have one handy. So look back over the last few days to find all of the updates that have been waiting for me to get online again.

Dominica and I have really gotten addicted to the Game Boy Advance adventure game Broken Sword: Shadow of the Templars. We both have been playing a ton for the last two weeks. We are most of the way through the game now – only a couple more days of play before we should be done. The game is really great and will definitely be the top pick for an adventure game on a hand held platform for you hard core King’s Quest and Monkey Islanders out there. Dominica is not able to play starting today because the GBA is mine and is down here in Annapolis with me so she has to wait until a week from today when I come back to New York to be able to play it again. Her birthday is next Wednesday and she is going to ask for a GBA for her birthday from her parents so that she can play it too. I have four games total for the GBA right now but will probably get a couple more right away if Min gets a GBA as well. Loopy has a backlit one on order from Hong Kong and is waiting patiently for that to arrive since he broke his regular one a few months ago. I am hoping to get the Nancy Drew game as soon as I finish playing Broken Sword since it should be relatively similar and that is my favorite type of one player game. I wish that they would make a port of Age or Empires for the GBA, that would be really cool. But I am sure that the platform can’t handle something that massive of anything close to it.

Phil, our director of operations down here in DC, has been on vacation as well for the last week and he returns to work this morning too. So today will be a big day for getting things done in DC. We still haven’t moved the office here since the hospital failed to be ready before Phil and I went on vacation. It had better get done this week or it is going to be really hard to schedule it. We are all getting tired of sitting around waiting for the new office anyway. The hospital had been holding us up for six weeks at least now.

I spent some time writing the new Audiophile section of SGL that will hopefully be put up soon. It is getting pretty long already but there is a lot of information that I wanted to get in there so I am being lengthy. Eventually I would like to refine it into a really good beginner’s resource for getting into High End Audio. I know that there are lots of people who have questions about how things work and need someplace to get basic answers to things.

Dominica arrived home just before 10pm last night. She will be awfully tired today as she heads back to work as well. She has been listening to the Hitchiker’s Guide to the Galaxy in the car and is probably just about done with it. She had already made it through two of the five CDs before she left Annapolis yesterday.

I can’t believe that we managed to make it for an entire week without there being a major catastrophe at one of the offices. I didn’t get a single call all week about work except for one from Eric panicing about a scale not working but then he called back and said that it was ok before I even had gotten the first message. So, at least I didn’t have that to worry about.

Nila has figured the cat door out, I am pretty sure. She made it back into the house all by herself. Mickey isn’t getting the hang of it and refuses to go near the thing. I guess he will just be crossing his legs and dancing around until he gets over how stubborn he is and just pushes on the door. It is so nice to finally be in the house here instead of the condo. After being in the condo for over a year, this is a real change. The AC is able to keep the place cold now. In fact it is very cold. Extremely cold. There is a lot of space here. But no TV. I think that this is the first place that I have ever lived in that didn’t have a television except for when Loopy and I lived in Pittsburgh in the Winter and Spring of 2000. We had much less then. Here at least there is radio if you need to hear the news and you can get online. The condo never had high speed Internet access so that is a huge jump. Many times more important than a television. And two bathrooms, that makes a difference too! But the space is the big thing. There is just so much space. Especially right now since there isn’t any furniture anywhere. I have a nice big bed spread out on the floor plus plenty of room for all of the books and DVDs and stuff to sit around. I even have a hamper now. That makes life a lot easier. Of course, the lack of furniture means that I am using the kitchen island to put the laptop on to type today’s update:) Dominica did buy one of those new folding chairs from Target the other day and I have moved that into my bedroom so that I have some sort of furniture in it. It is all the decor that I have. I actually put it there so that it wouldn’t walk off of the back porch. We had a fern storlen off of the front porch already two weeks ago.

August 11, 2002

Dominica headed back to Ithaca this afternoon. We didn’t do much today either. We did some more shopping getting things that we need for the house down here. John has been working on putting a new roof on the garage and I am working on putting up some new blinds in my bedroom and catching up on homework. We installed a new cat door in the back of the house but the cats are having a hard time figureing out how to use it. Mickey is back in now but I had to bring him in. Nila is still MIA.

More news tomorrow. We have AOL Dial Up AND Verizon ADSL now at the house in Annapolis. Tomorrow I hope to be able to get and install the wireless ethernet system for the house so that this will be really useful. I will try to have a big update tomorrow. It is so nice to finally have high speed access available here. I will now be able to get so much work done and there should be more and bigger updates coming soon. SGL will be my only means of keeping everyone up to date on my goings on now that I am going to be away so much of the time.

August 10, 2002

Today was our day to recover from vacation. Dominica and I drove to Annapolis from Topsail Island last night to keep from having to drive during the heat of the day with all of the vacationer’s traffic. The trip took less than six hours on mostly deserted roads.

Our project today was to sleep late and make a table top water fountain because I have always wanted one. So we spent a large amount of the day driving around to stores everywhere trying to find the parts that we needed to make a small fountain. It ended up taking an astronomic amount of time and effort but we finally had everything that we needed to build a basic starter fountain. Now we know where we are able to get the parts that we need so the next one will be a lot easier to do, I am sure. It was fun, though, and it works. It is right next to my computer now.

Dominica brought my little Aiwa stereo down here so that we would have something to listen to in this house. Until now there has been nothing at all. We don’t have many CD’s here. Mostly what is here is my Ken Burns Jazz Collection that I have just started building so there are only about three discs. Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday and Louis Armstrong. I think the neighbors think that we are pretty weird.

August 9, 2002

Day Six, our last day on Topsail Island. Dominica and I had to run up to Wilmington this morning to Western Union some rent money to Loopy. When we got back, we managed to head out to the beach for the first time since we made it down here. Between the two of us being sick and needing to run errands and going to see the USS North Carolina, we haven’t been able to get out there at all. It was cooler the last two days so the beach was nicer today as well. Everyone went out for dinner tonight for our last night on the island. Everyone else is getting up at 3am or so and heading out in the morning. It sure will be nice to be home at the same time that everyone else is pulling themselves out of bed!

By the time it was all said and done, everyone got the disentary except for Dominica who was on antibiotics that probably saved her. Rob is the only one who is still sick. Even the dog, Dexter, got it a little bit at the end.

Min and I did discover a nice, quaint North Carolina wine while we were down. Duplin Vineyards just north of Topsail Island. The wine is very sweet and is good for beginners but it wasn’t bad and we had two bottles during the vacation. We were hoping that we would have the opportunity to tour the winery before we left but we would have had to stay on Saturday for an extra half a day after everyone else had left to be able to do it so we decided to head back early rather than late since we wouldn’t have had any place to park the car or stay until we were ready to leave.

August 8, 2002

Day Five on Topsail Island. Neither Dominica or I are really sick today. Dominica still has a bit of her hives left but she isn’t so bad. This morning we headed out to Wilmington to tour the USS North Carolina. It is the 1941 battleship that saw itself engaged in every battle of the Pacific Theatre in World War II. The tour was really interesting. I have toured destroyers, missile cruisers and subs before but I think that this was my first time on a full scale battleship.

After touring the ship today, we went out to Gilligan’s just off the island and did some karaoke. No one sang but me but at least I had fun:) We didn’t stay real late but I managed to sing about five songs. I did one that I did for the first time a week ago at the Elk’s Club of Broadneck and I did a few new ones that I have never tried before.