August 30, 2008

Joy REALLY likes pink. And can apparently feed herself in her sleep. She's wearing her new pink hoodie and also pinked out ... er picked out a matching t-shirt and sweatpants, all of which had to be LIGHT pink, not hot pink, not fuschia, not any other shade than that pale pastel pink.

Can we say "Diva"?

writing bug

August 29, 2008
I definitely have the writing bug again. I am actively seeking out writing assignments. Well, somewhat passively, but getting lots of active responses. I can thank twitter for this :) Who knew. It's as addictive to me as IRC ever was and yet more interactive and informative.

And now it's time to get ready for Joy's first gymnastics lesson.

News from around the Techno-sphere

August 28, 2008
I've been catching up on my technology RSS feed. Below are a few of the more interesting items that I have come across. A few of them are down right KEWL!

13 Free and Cheap Website Monitoring Services (from Mashable)

Everyone seems to have their own website or blog nowadays. But do you want someone else to tell you your site is down? So what do you do? Corporate IT shops can install some fancy monitoring software suite that can track hundreds of types of software, servers, ports and hardware devices. That monitoring software also normally costs hundreds of thousands for dollars. Most likely, you want to monitor your website for free, or at least cheaply.

Not surprisingly there are a wealth of free and cheap website monitoring services available. Just do a Google search for “free website monitor” and you will get plenty of services to look at. For most of the services, you only need an email address and the URL that you want to monitor. Of course, when it comes to free and cheap you have a wide range of services offered. To make your job easier, we’ve put together this list of 13 services that will help you monitor your website.

Pingdom - Has a good set of cheap packages, but alas, nothing is free. They come highly recommended by just about everyone.

LiveWatch - A German service that allows you to monitor one server free. The free notifications package contains email alerts, 10 SMS notifications, and Yahoo Messenger. The only problem with the service is that it requires a script on the server in order to monitor it.

Observu - A really, really basic service. You register, add a website monitor with the text that should appear on the page and save the monitor. There are no reports and nothing flashy. You will be emailed if there is a problem.

ServerGuard24 - The prices are not that expensive and there is a free plan. However, the free plan only polls every 40 minutes and you need a banner ad for them as well. Otherwise, it looks like a very professional service.

SiteUptime - One free and two cheap premium levels are offered. The free plan allows only one monitor, but it does have a very clean and professional user interface. The service only monitors from location but it does fall over to another location if needed.

Host Tracker - The free plan enables monitoring for two URLs in two different domains. The main issue with the service is that the navigation is hard to work with. It does use the most distributed network of monitoring servers of the services listed, as it currently monitors from over 50 nodes. - Yes, it has a cute name, but cute does not mean limited. The service is completely free with email alerting. There are basic reports for uptime and response time. The user interface may look simplistic, but the service delivers with a more complete offering than most.

InternetSeer - “My site has been down for how long!?!” The free offering monitors one URL and polling every hour. The professional plans look to have some really nice features, but the free plan is fairly limited.

WatchMouse - You have to like a service that uses a mouse as its mascot. The free plan monitors one URL every hour. Disappointingly, the premium plans are more expensive than most listed here.

ServiceUptime - They have a nice free service that monitors one URL. There are seven different sites polling every 30 minutes to determine whether your website is alive. ServiceUptime also has a decent reporting package and very reasonable premium packages.

Montastic - Montastic allows free monitoring for up to 100 URLs! Your websites are monitored by two different servers about every 10 minutes. They also have a cute colored logo you can put on your site. Sadly, there are no cute colored reports.

FreeSiteStatus - The free service has nine separate locations monitoring you servers every minute. Various additional features can be purchased for little cost, as well as a service configuration wizard to help you create your monitoring service. One cool feature FreeSiteStatus offers is the ability to create one-time or recurring maintenance windows where monitoring of the servers can be suspended.

Site24×7 - It is free to monitor two URLs that are polled every 60 minutes. This is another service that allows you to create maintenance windows for your server. The premium plans also offer reasonable prices for various levels of monitoring.


and because I love my Dash, here's one about an HTC phone that competes with the iPhone.

Filed under: Cellphones

Attempts to keep the most hotly anticipated consumer electronics devices under wraps these days are getting more and more futile. It's hard enough for companies to control disgruntled employees and leaks in the international supply chain, stir in a giant government organization and things quickly unravel. Case in point: T-Mobile's HTC Dream, widely believed to be the world's first Android handset. After Engadget loosed the Dream from its FCC constraints on the 18th of August, HTC contacted the agency on the 19th with a request to use a less detailed diagram for the FCC label placement. Fortunately for us they complied, giving us what can only be construed as official measurements in the process. The newly unveiled 115 x 55-mm dimensions tell us that it beats the iPhone 3G in terms of length and width but is almost certainly thicker than the iPhone due to the Dream's sliding QWERTY. The tiny dimensions come as a surprise if you've seen the videos of the purported Dream and Dream reference design. So small, yeah, but it's still longer and wider than both the Xperia X1 and HTC's own Touch Pro QWERTY handsets.

Here's how the smartphones compare:

  • HTC Dream: 115 x 55-mm
  • iPhone 3G: 115.2-mm x 62.1-mm
  • Xperia X1: 110.5 x 52.6-mm
  • HTC Touch Pro: 102 x 51-mm
Image of HTC's label exchange request after the break.
[Thanks, OC]

Continue reading FCC outs HTC Dream's dimensions: it's smaller than the iPhone 3G

and the Googlephile in me had to post this:

There’s No Free Lunch - Even at Google

Valleywag brings us a well researched insight into the dramatic situation in Google’s cafeterias. A culinary tragedy is brewing over there, friends, and I can almost hear the collective cry of Googlers as their selection of dishes shrinks. The rest of the world, of course, silently rejoices the fact that these flamboyant showoffs might soon be forced to eat the same plebeian meal as most people: burger and coke.

You can read the gory details over at Valleywag, but the short version is this: no more free afternoon snacks, dinner or tea for Googlers. They’ll still get free breakfast and lunch, though, which is better than what most people are getting, so they shouldn’t complain. Plus, I’m sure that Google will restore all the culinary privileges very soon when bad publicity tarnishes their image of the coolest company in the world.

and more later. I have parenting and domestic goddess duties to attend to.

sk8tr girl with cell phone

Mozilla Labs » Blog Archive » Introducing Ubiquity

Mozilla Labs » Blog Archive » Introducing Ubiquity: "It Doesn’t Have to be This Way

You’re writing an email to invite a friend to meet at a local San Francisco restaurant that neither of you has been to. You’d like to include a map. Today, this involves the disjointed tasks of message composition on a web-mail service, mapping the address on a map site, searching for reviews on the restaurant on a search engine, and finally copying all links into the message being composed. This familiar sequence is an awful lot of clicking, typing, searching, copying, and pasting in order to do a very simple task. And you haven’t even really sent a map or useful reviews—only links to them.

This kind of clunky, time-consuming interaction is common on the Web. Mashups help in some cases but they are static, require Web development skills, and are largely site-centric rather than user-centric.

It’s even worse on mobile devices, where limited capability and fidelity makes this onerous or nearly impossible.

Most people do not have an easy way to manage the vast resources of the Web to simplify their task at hand. For the most part they are left trundling between web sites, performing common tasks resulting in frustration and wasted time.
Enter Ubiquity"

This is for Josh

How to Film Skateboarding

from wikiHow - The How to Manual That You Can Edit

Filming Skateboarders to show others who have never seen this activity, can be difficult because of the speed and the turns and twists. With care, and a good camera you just might be able to film this sport to teach others how to skateboard.


  1. Buy a video camera or camcorder a small Panasonic or Sony camcorder between $300 - $500, or a more expensive Sony VX1000. Make sure you buy a Mini DV camera and have a FireWire (IEEE 1394) port on your computer.
  2. Buy a fisheye lens for the camera. This will make the skateboarding look more professional and make the skater look better.
  3. Start filming. If you are using a mini DV make sure your tape is on SP mode for maximum quality. You might want to start by filming the stairs. A common successful angle is at 3ft from the bottom of the stairs, out of the passing way with you crouched down so camera almost touches the ground. Start recording when the skater is about 5 - 10ft away from the top of the staircase.
  4. Focus the camera on the stair set until they are seconds away from executing the trick. Point the camera up so you have both the body of the skater and the entire stairs in focus. It is important that you point your camera up as they pop their board.
  5. Keep the skater and stairs set in view as they are in the air, Upon their landing make sure you mainly catch the skater. It is very important that you leave as little ground as possible between the skater's board technique, to make the trick look much better than when the kids do it. Keep the camera steady, and focus on their tricks. Do not be too close or too far away.
  6. Capture a grind by falling back, but remaining parallel at the same speed. Set the camera to focus on the trick and the skater, as landing of the grid is similar as landing on the stairs.
  7. Understand that these are the common ways to film but the choice of the angle is up to you. Practice until you get it right.keeping track of the distances you are using, and the distance that gives the best picture.


  • Remain still and keep the camera steady.
  • Wide angle or fisheye of .63x - .3x is suggested
  • Never say anything to the skater when you notice that they are getting frustrated with their trick.
  • Be very, very creative with your angles. You can always introduce a new shot into filming when you play around with your surroundings.
  • Start recording early and stop late- you always want to do this to avoid missing those rare moments because you're too concerned about your tapes.
  • Adjust your colors, white balance, exposure etc. If you are going to film a line, run through the spot first and test your settings and set them to the desired adjustment.


  • Try to stay a distance away from the skater as broken cameras are expensive to fix
  • Make sure that you have a full battery, tape, and and easy carrying camera case.
  • Do not talk or cheer during filming. It may be hard to resist congratulating your skater, but it's definitely better than having ruined footage because of your cheers.

Related wikiHows

Sources and Citations


Article provided by wikiHow, a collaborative writing project to build the world's largest, highest quality how-to manual. Please edit this article and find author credits at the original wikiHow article on How to Film Skateboarding. All content on wikiHow can be shared under a Creative Commons license.

my sleeping babies

August 25, 2008

because i haven't done one in a while

August 24, 2008

You Are an Eyebrow Piercing

You are unique, quirky, and more than a little eccentric.

You cultivate the weirder sides of your personality, and you don't mind sharing them.

Ever since you were a kid, you've had strong opinions. You've never been like everyone else, and you're okay with that.

And you've always been able to tell people exactly what you think - even when they don't want to hear it.

You love to create, dream, imagine, and communicate. You live in your own universe.

And unlike most people who live in their own little world, you're happy to invite anyone in!


do dogs have gender confusion?

We have a new dog, Buddy. He's an 8 yr old male. Zoe and he have been trying to decide which one is dominant. It's hilarious to watch, but now Zoe thinks she needs to hump Buddy.

How much for the doggy in the window?


Ok, so he wasn't in a window. He was at the pound. Or as they are called today, the spcaLA. We looked at some Chihuahua mixes at the Seal Beach Animal Shelter, but they didn't like Josh. Well, the one that I liked and that got along with Zoe didn't like Josh. We visited Buddy a few times at the spcaLA shelter, first me and Josh, then Joy, Zoe, me and Josh. We kind of did it backwards, but not our fault! They were incredibly busy, short-staffed, and hence a little disorganized. But anyway! I wish I had taken pictures of Zoe and Buddy's first introduction. They played really well together, and for an old man, he certainly can keep up with the young pup. The staff seemed fairly impressed at how well everyone, kids included, got along. And so, we brought him home. 

Jensen - a terrier mixJosh was a little disappointed that we didn't get the terrier mix that he wanted , but I think he's adjusted to life with Buddy, a much quieter and cuddlier dog than Zoe.  So if you think Jensen there is a cutie, he's still available, waiting for a forever home.





Advantages to adopting an older dog:

  • Really likes to cuddle without being in your face
  • Already house and crate trained
  • Calmer
  • Can teach younger dogs a thing or 2.


  • gets a little grumpy when he doesn't want to play anymore
  • likes to pee on EVERYTHING while on a walk, though that might be because he's male
  • Humps Zoe constantly, though we finally realized that she can hold her own and it's a dominance thing


August 18, 2008
One of my new fave apps:
Fonebook is used to transfer contacts from Facebook™ to Outlook®. If your phone then supports Outlook® synchronization you should be able to have your contacts photos on your phone when they call you!
The only thing I don't like is if I have a better picture for the person already in my Outlook (2007) contacts. Fonebook replaces it or creates a duplicate. Annoying, but I am able to live with it.

So far it's worked great and prompted me to make sure that I have the most updated info for my contacts.

Now... is there something similar for LinkedIn?

happy birthday nanner ... via dashboard

August 16, 2008

Aw sh!t you're kidding me!

headline : woman kills man over cake

daphne got me a cake that was supposed to say "Nanner 32" the bakery messed up. then she's bringing it to the bookclub and the guy in front of her slams on his brakes, she did the mom thing but didn't catch it in time. tabbie fixed the frosting as best she could :-) but OMFG it's chocolate and soooo good!


August 7, 2008

Created by OnePlusYou - Online Dating

Young Dr. Horrible

August 4, 2008

This is FREAKING HI-LARIOUS! Either that or I am more down than I thought. Off to look for more work and trying not to get distracted by random tweets of silliness.
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