Holy Clogged Arteries, Batman!

I love Krispy Kreme doughnuts. I mean love. Love, as in, if they were alive, I’d marry them. Love, as in, if I were on a desert island and a plane flew overhead and accidentally dropped something, I’d wish it to be a dozen or so Krispy Kremes. Thomas and I both refer to our local Krispy Kreme store as “Casa del Sugar Coma.”

I also love hamburgers. With cheese, preferably Swiss. Chili’s has a really good burger.

But never, ever, in my wildest, weirdest dreams, would I want to combine them. Krispy Kreme doughnuts and a cheeseburger. Ugh. But apparently the people at Google thought that was a good thing. I hope the plate they put those on has the phone number of a local cardiologist enscribed on it. Eaters of those things are going to need one.

Google Reader May Trump Bloglines For Me

I’ve been using Bloglines.com for feed reading for a few years now. I had tried Google Reader before, but I was quite happy with Bloglines, so I never switched. I’ve actually been using beta.bloglines.com, their beta site, ever since they made it public. But lately Bloglines has seemed really slow. Clicking on a feed resulted in a multiple second wait before the headlines showed up in the list. That may not sound like a long time, but it really is. And sometimes, clicking on a feed resulted in… nothing. The “working” indicator never went off and I never got headlines. Re-clicking the feed might work, but then the headlines had already been marked as read, so they didn’t show up without an extra click. Sometimes reloading the page was what was called for.

Another annoyance was that they kept rearranging the order of my feed folders. I am meticulous about organizing bookmarks and feeds; I have them categorized into folders, and those folders are in alphabetical order in the feed list. And Bloglines keeps moving them around, maybe once every two weeks, for no good reason. Very annoying, indeed.

So the other day I decided to give Google Reader another try. I exported all my subscriptions from Bloglines and imported them into Google Reader. Thus far, I’m quite happy. The response time is snappy and I like the fact that I can share things from my feeds into a public list which is available here and that can feed into my FriendFeed feed. I’m going to keep using Google Reader, and while I will check back in on Bloglines occasionally, it looks like I may have found a new feed reader.

Strange Firefox+Mac WordPress Admin Page

Below is a screencap of what part of my WordPress 2.6.1 admin page looks like when I view it using Firefox 3.0.1 on Leopard.

If you click on it to view it better, you’ll see the problem. The stats graph is shifted about 200 pixels to the right and about 150 pixels down. On Safari it looks perfect, but not on Firefox. This doesn’t happen with Firefox on Windows, so it’s some sort of quirk with the Mac version.

Has anyone else seen this, and do you have any suggestions?

My iPhone Battery Drain – Solved

Ever since upgrading my iPhone to 2.0.2 last week, I had noticed a marked drain on my battery. I don’t use my phone that much, so it surprised me that the battery was going down as fast as it was. I never let it get fully drained, but it would easily have lost its full charge over three days, which is unusual for me.

What I forgot was that after installing 2.0.2 I also setup a mail account on the phone to my company’s Exchange server. The problem was that even though I had “Push” turned off in the “Fetch New Data” section of Settings, when I added the Exchange server, it defaulted to “Push.” Once I discovered this, turned “Push” off and told it to fetch every hour, my battery life is right back where it has always been.

So, if you’re losing battery life faster than you expected, check your “Push” settings, not just in the Settings tool, but for each email account you have setup.

Reminders of Chloe

Chloe’s been gone for three days now and I keep getting hit by reminders of her. I keep walking into various rooms of the house, expecting her to be there and then realizing that she can’t be. I look out in the back yard and know that she’ll never run and bark there again. About five minutes ago I opened a cabinet in the kitchen and saw the bag of dog treats, and now I’m sitting here fighting back tears. 

Damn, this is hard.

R.I.P. Chloe Gibson – You Were A Good Dog


Chloe Gibson, 1993 - 2008

Chloe Gibson, 1993 - 2008

Back in 1993 Tammy and I went to PetSmart one day to get some cat food. As we walked in, we noticed that they were doing dog adoptions, so we decided to go over and have a look. We were just looking. They had several cute dogs who all needed a home, but we already had two cats and that was enough. Until I came to the last crate. In it was a small, black Terrier-ish dog with big, brown eyes and an enormous pink bow around her neck. I opened the crate, just to pet her, and when I did, she literally lept into my arms and started licking my face. After a few seconds of this, I turned to look at Tammy through the glass; she was already filling out the adoption paperwork. 

As we talked to the people there (from Friends of Animals, BTW) it turned out that this dog was not supposed to be there that day. Some monster had slowed down on Hwy. 78 (7 lanes) and tossed this beautiful 6 month-old puppy out into traffic. Luckily, some other motorist saw what happened and was able to pick her up before she got hit. This person took her to PetSmart and the FoA people took her. That’s how we ended up with her. 

She was one of the sweetest creatures I’ve ever met. 

About six weeks ago, our vet diagnosed her with cancer. Her lymph nodes around her throat were expanding, and he told us that she had a month, maybe two, at the most. He gave us prednezone to help with the pain, but as old as she was, chemotherapy would most likely kill her. He said to just keep her comfortable.

She did OK for a while, but the last week or so, we could tell the end was near. Her tail didn’t wag as much, she didn’t always eat, and her breathing was getting more labored. Her nodes were so swollen that it felt like she had a bag of marbles under her throat. Getting her to take a pill was always hard, but it was doubly so now. When we could get the pills into her, she would generally have a good day, but not always. Tuesday, she had a great day. She actually played in the yard, nom-nomed her food like nobody’s business,  and generally seemed happy. But yesterday, we knew.

Or rather, we thought. It’s really hard to know when it’s time for that final trip to the vet.

Her breathing had been getting worse all day. She wasn’t resting. She would either walk around, or just stand, with her head pointing up, to make it easier to breathe. Last night around 10:30, Tammy and I talked about what to do, with Chloe just lying there, not really paying attention. She alternated between looking scared and looking totally out of it. We decided it was time.

I called Thomas into the room and told him that I had to take Chloe to the vet, and that she probably wasn’t going to be coming home. Understandably, he didn’t take it well. He’s had three cats, two fish and a snail die on him, and he wasn’t ready to have Chloe leave him, too. After he and Tammy were done saying goodbye, as done as they could be, I bundled Chloe up and took her to the emergency vet. 

After examining her for a couple of minutes, the vet told me that Chloe’s chest was full of fluid and that I probably knew what the answer was. I agreed, sadly, and ten minutes later our Chloe left us.

I believe that she is running, barking and chasing other dogs, cats and bunnies right now, in perfect health and happiness. I believe that after leaving my arms, she was soon met by our cats Nikki, Lukie and Abby, and that they are swapping slobber and stories and once again having a grand old time together. Thomas believes that, too, though it’s little consolation to him right now.

Goodbye, Chloe. We love you.

Cuil Thinks I’m More Relevant Than Dr. Horrible

I was looking through my web stats this morning and I noticed that I had a link from cuil.com, the latest in a long string of supposed “Google Killers.” I clicked on the link, http://www.cuil.com/search?q=”dr horrible” and was quite surprised to get the results shown here

You probably can’t tell from the small version, so click on it for a larger version. Notice that on a search for “dr horrible,” instead of getting drhorrible.com, as you should, you get me. Twice, in fact; two different blog postings I wrote about Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog. That’s right. According to cuil.com, I am the best match for “dr horrible.” WTF? There have been lots of sightings of bogus results from cuil, but I was really surprised to find one featuring me.

Since I was already at cuil.com, I decided to egosurf and see if they had fixed their results for my name. Nope. Searching for me at Google returns a mostly-correct set of results. There are two link in there about the former Playboy playmate who shares my name, but all the rest of the front page results are about me.

Animals Out of Place

About 15 minutes ago I parked my car in the parking lot of my office, which is in North Atlanta, near Perimeter Mall. As I was walking across the lot toward the building, I saw something move, out of the corner of my eye. I turned, expecting to see a goose or maybe a cat. But it was a fox! A beautiful, grey fox, about two feet tall at the shoulder. It quickly ran into the bushes, and then something else caught my eye. I turned to look where the fox had come from, and there was another one. This one was smaller, maybe a foot and a half high, just as beautiful. It was probably a juvenile, probably the first fox’s child. I tried to get out my iPhone to take a picture, but the sound of the velcro on the holster spooked the child, and he darted back into the bushes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a fox that wasn’t in a zoo, and I certainly didn’t expect to see one in such a busy area. I really wish I could have gotten some photos.

Apple Still Working on MobileMe

I just received an email from Apple regarding MobileMe. Here’s what it said

We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make. To recognize our users’ patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.

It’s good to see the bit in there about this launch not being their “finest hour.” That shows that they recognize how bad this rollout has been. But they better solve it soon or they’ll be giving everyone a free year. We’re already up to 90 days of free service.

I really like MobileMe, though the only part of it that I really use is syncing bookmarks and stuff between my Mac Pro and iBook. I tried to setup the Outlook integration on my Windows laptop the other day, but it didn’t seem to actually do anything. I guess that’s part of what’s broken with the service, maybe.

When General Motors Was Dreaming

The New York Times has a slideshow today of gorgeous old cars called When General Motors Was Dreaming. Some of the cars were just prototypes, but some were production. And all of them had beautiful angles and style. Most cars on the road today are almost identical to every other car. My friend Fred says they all look like “melted Hershey bars” which is just about true.

I still have this dream that one day I’ll buy a car from the 50’s. That was the true golden age of American automobiles.