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After the funeral, we washed dishes. As I dried the red plastic bowl, etched with lines from use and age, I was 8 years old again. Summer vacation, picking vegetables from gramma's garden. Glorious days filled with happiness and kindness and wisdom only a gramma can share.

05:22 on December 9, 2003 image

I'm taking a break from Dewberry, due to the passing of my sweet Gramma Doe. Everything hurts, inspiration has fled, need some time alone...

23:41 on November 22, 2003 image
Long, Sad Week

We buried Sumo at Pops' house today.

All week I kept going to play with him or bring him a treat, only to remember he wasn't there.

The house is so quiet and empty now.

23:15 on September 7, 2003 image
Sad News

Sumo died last night at 6:37 PM. He lived a long and happy hamster life of 2 years and 7 months. The apartment feels terribly empty without all his little Sumo sounds. We miss him very much.

14:33 on September 2, 2003 image

Listening to NPR, searching for jobs, the drumming sound of construction blown through the window by a refreshing breeze, lost in thought and deed, peaceful, happy. All is abruptly destroyed by the giga-watt power amp torn speaker ghetto rap coming from the unmufflered car screeching around the corner and speeding down the street.

12:03 on July 22, 2003 image
The King in Yellow

The stories in this book are mesmeric. I am on my second read and am discovering much I missed the first time through. I'm taking my time, reading only a few pages a day, to better understand the complexity of each story.

Although the portentous entity and play many of the characters seek, referred to as The King in Yellow, are often considered the heart of Chamber's stories, I tend to disagree. While the mysterious play, purported to drive the reader mad, is certainly intriguing and integral, I find the characters far more engaging. The characters' struggle to attain boundless happiness mirrors so beautifully real life. The search for perfection is never complete and often falls short, driving one to desperate exploit.

When I first read The King in Yellow, I formed the simple conclusion that the lost play, The King in Yellow, was evil and occult in nature. I no longer believe this. The play itself is not evil or magical, it merely presents stark, unadulterated truth. Beauty and misery alike play upon the most base of human emotions. The play fractures the foundation of existence, striking to the core of being, causing the reader to lose his purpose of self, driving him insane. The desire to attain the unattainable is a powerful force.

I imagine by the time I finish the book a second time, I will have a new theory as to the origin and method by which the arcane King in Yellow drives it's readers to madness. And I have yet to surmise the nature of the entity known as The King in Yellow. Oh, the folly.

13:47 on July 3, 2003 image
No splash

Nearly every day for the last two weeks, our apartment has either had no water or nasty smelling, gritty brown water. This usually lasts from around 8am until somewhere between 1 and 5pm.

The water issue has been worse than normal because in addition to antediluvian plumping system in our apartment building, which is constantly being shut off for repairs, the City of Chicago is involved.

Every spring, the Dept. of City Works has torn up the water mains on the corner of our street to replace them. Same spot, same pipes, same irritating lack of water. This is the third year now. They haven't replaced any other pipes in the neighborhood, which makes the situation even more puzzling.

Monday, I am going over there to find out why.

02:06 on June 6, 2003 image
Why IE, why?

For the last 5 hours, I've been struggling with IE to get it to render the CSS box model correctly. I know the DOCTYPE has to be set with a valid W3C URL to switch browsers like Mozilla, IE5 (mac), IE6 (win) and Opera 7 into Standards Compliant Mode. My DTD is correct.

<?xml version="1.0" encoding="iso-8859-1" ?>
<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

Mozilla Firebird renders the page as expected. IE does not. I seem to say that far too frequently when it comes to that browser, especially now that I code for W3C compliancy.

After much frustration, I decided I needed find out if IE or my code was the problem. I Googled "IE6 box model xml transitional". I should've done that 5 hours ago. The first hit told me everything I needed to know.

IE6 claims compliancy, but chokes on the XML declaration, which causes the engine to not see the DOCTYPE. That's why my layout is whacked. Without recognizing the DOCTYPE, IE reverts to backwards compatibility Quirks (aka non-compliant crap) Mode. Thus, the box model is rendered incorrectly, as it is in NS4, and all previous version of IE and Opera.

GAH! All that time wasted. I certainly learned a lesson, one that will not soon be forgotten. When in doubt, suspect the browser, not my code.

To disable this annoying little feature one must not use the XML declaration. The first statement must be DOCTYPE for IE to switch to standards compliant mode. Fortunately, this is allowed and the document still validates.

<!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" "">

Further research revealed that IE6 Service Pack 1 does not fix the incorrect handling of XHTML documents.

01:06 on June 6, 2003 image
Easily Amused


02:05 on May 30, 2003 image
Morning Coffee

It's gritty brown water again today. What's your problem Chicago? I need to brush my teeth and have a shower. I wanted to meet The Daniel at the Shedd for lunch. Mmmm...veggie dog from a street vendor cart.

Curse you! Curse you all!

09:05 on May 29, 2003 image
No Tubby

All I wanted was a bath, just a simple bath. I started the water, and decided to empty the garbage bin while the tub filled. This is what I came back to. Yes, the coffe colored water is accurate.


And to think, I washed my face and brushed my teeth with that water this morning. Eewww!

12:05 on May 23, 2003 image
Fine Hay

Some people spend their entire life seeking that illusive needle in the haystack. Me? I'm just fine with the hay.

10:05 on May 22, 2003 image
Exo-electric Armour

Check out this jacket by No-Contact. Style and safety in one lovely package. The assault video says it all.

01:05 on May 22, 2003 image
Dreaming of Red Elephants


09:05 on May 18, 2003 image
Sumo Berry


10:05 on May 7, 2003 image
Sleepy Thoughts

I dreamt of us laying in the fresh mown grass, watching the clouds dance and the stars laugh, knowing as long as we lived no moment would be as perfect.

11:04 on April 25, 2003 image
Lovely Music

I hate to admit it, but if I had the money, I would buy these. They also offer an audiophile high end pair for $499. Yow!

11:03 on March 25, 2003 image
It's not just me

This guy just made my day. It's nice to know that I'm not the only one to be turned down for a job at CompUSA (and numerous other establishments) just because I have a brain!

05:03 on March 11, 2003 image

I dreamt of the house on Concord Ave. in Watertown again last night. It's been over a year since I was last troubled by it. That house was serious, bad juju!

It's were I first realized that not all mothers love their children. Some punished you for mistakes they had made in their own lives. Your very existence eliciting pronounced resentment for which you paid, body and soul. Eventually you believed it was your fault and you cowered and hid to avoid the gaze and blows of your persecutor.

It was also there that I learned of primeval creatures so insidious, so viperous, only a child's mind could fathom their existence. An odor of decay and feculence announced their imminent manifestation. They were sinister and devious, suddenly emerging from walls, ceilings or floors to converge upon me. There was a rapacious presence about them. Numerous forms they could manifest, from sickly grey-green demons to abysmal black, spiderous abominations. All had a single intent, to feed, an act which inflicted considerable pain upon me.

The past three nights I have woken, paralyzed and impotent, from night terrors concerning that house. There is a presence about the room, as if something is standing at the side of the bed. If I close my eyes, I can see it clearly, a black form resembling a ragged, malformed man. It's movements are rapid, blured steps, each ending with a pronounced pause as if it must gather energy for the next step. With each, I feel myself being drained. It takes over an hour for it to depart, leaving me enervated.

Even in the brightness of day, I feel it is near, waiting for darkness and sleep.

11:01 on January 14, 2003 image

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Encyclopedia of Arda


LotR Complete Recordings
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Ticklish Owl loves GoodReads


Battlestar Galactica
Spirited Away
ChungKing Express


4 yr. aged Gouda
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I could find a job.
I could see the stars.