November 2005

November 2005

30 — Starting to feel a little bit better, still worn out and sniffley. The Librivox Audiobooks podcast was on the New and Notable page of the iTunes music store podcast section for a while today! Of course I forgot to get a screenshot. Oh well. Did some good housework today (my god that dog sheds a lot) so things aren’t disgusting. The piano room needs to be mopped but that will have to wait until I feel significantly better. Henry and I sat downstairs and listened to Doctor Floyd and worked on his lego millenium falcon this afternoon — very nice.

29 — We’re having email issues. If you write to me and the email bounces, please just keep trying. Thanks.

24 — Sore throat in the night, but not too bad. By morning I felt just a little sick and my throat a little tender. Rats. I planned to do a ton of reading for librivox today while the house was completely quiet, but my voice wasn’t up to it. So I played World of Warcraft for hours and hours. Now it’s 7pm and my throat is hurting a lot again. Dan brought me salt water to gargle with and is sitting on my feet to keep them warm. I just found the Kate Beckinsale version of Emma on tv, so that’s comforting and entertaining. Sigh. OMG I just saw a preview for the new P&P movie. I knew the costuming was bad (from seeing stills) but I didn’t know how really truly horrid it looks. bleah.

23 — Henry started feeling better by the afternoon, and by the evening he said he was feeling fine so Matthew came to get him as planned to spend the holiday weekend. I’m feeling horribly tired tonight so I suppose I’ll be coming down with a sore thrat soon, too. Bah.

22 — Poor Henry came down with a raging sore throat this afternoon. Fargo was supposed to stay until tomorrow night but I called his mom and she came to get him tonight instead. Poor boys.

21 — Whoops, missed a few days there. Dan and Henry and I went together to see Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire on Friday night, and had a good time together. They both loved it; I thought it was pretty good, maybe not as good as the last one. The dialogue seemed stiff and hard to believe a lot of the time. But the special effects were top-notch, and I thought they did a good job of condensing that enormously long book into movie-length. Yes, they had to skip 75% of everything, but what do you expect? Anyway, it was worth seeing and I don’t feel like I was ripped off. I went early in the day to buy tickets for the 7pm show and stopped in at a place near the theater where you can sit and paint ceramics. I’d really love to do that sometime, but I don’t think Henry has the patience to sit quietly and paint a plate for as long as I’d want to sit there and paint a plate, so maybe I’ll go by myself sometime, or maybe Dan will go with me.

Last night Henry and I drove up to Mission Viejo to pick up Fargo (Henry’s best friend) so Fargo could spend a couple of days with us! He’s such a nice kid, and they get along very well together. They played nonstop all day and I don’t think I heard a single quarrel.

On Sunday afternoon Dan started to teach me how to use php and mysql to make myself a little database to kkeep track of my librivox.org assignments. Eventually I hope to make a web interface that will allow me to update my assignments page! I spent a lot of time yesterday and today cataloging some new completed works for librivox, and re-doing the catalog page so it makes more sense. Oh I promised aaron that I’d mention the fact that I finally convinced him to sign up to read something for librivox — he’s starting out with chapter 5 of Five Children and It. Yay aaron!

18 — Have you been following Sony BMG’s DRM exploits? The story gets better and better. Not only did they release hundreds of thousands of CDs which have the potential to jeopardize the security of, cripple, or kill innocent users’ PCs (users who were doing the honest thing, by the way, in BUYING the cds in the first place instead of downloading them p2p), and try to downplay the potential problems, but now it seems that they’ve illegally incorporated open-source code into their decidedly closed-source software. From the latest wirednews.com story:
“If open-source software is tightly integrated into a single executable program, the whole application has to become open-source software, even open-source software such as LAME whose MP3 encoder is licensed under the more relaxed Lesser General Public License, or LGPL, a lawyer said.”
So it seems that in their paranoiac copy-protection scheme, they’ve violated the open-source copy protection rules. Wow. I hope they get their butts sued off.

Amazon.com is doing the right thing, by the way, and offering a full refund to people who bought Sony’s infected CDs, opened or not. Yay Amazon!

Entertaining: frogs review websites at http://www.frogreview.com/.

17 — I picked up Henry from his dad’s house and took him to Bayshore for his science class and creative writing class. I sat in the lobby and knitted during science, but I sat with him during writing so he could dictate again. He came up with a wonderful and imaginative story and after class he told me that he thinks he really likes creative writing. Score one for Bayshore! Then we zoomed over to Margaret’s house so he could do some archery, and we ended up staying for about two hours so he could play with Margaret’s very sweet daughters. Tonight Dan was not only home but also not working so we actually got to spend some time together! YAY! So we cuddled up as close as possible on the couch to watch Survivor. Ahhhhh so entertaining. Crazy idiot Jamie got voted off, huzzah.

16 — One Laptop Per Child — amazing! Go, MIT, you rule! Make it happen! It’s an attractive little laptop, too. I love that power crank on the side.

15 — Well, now that Adam’s not doing Loveline anymore, they’ve had a succession of guest hosts. The best, I thought, was Benji Madden. He was inexperienced, but intelligent, entertaining, and not annoying. I really enjoyed his episode. He didn’t try to be Adam, he was just himself and it was very pleasant. Danny Bonaduce was second best — he’s got an annoying voice but he’s obviously intelligent and full of stories. I enjoyed his episodes also. His substance abuse might be a problem if they choose him as a permanent co-host, though… No one else is worth mentioning, except Rob Schnieder, who’s got to be THE most annoying guest host of all time. And he’s on for a whole week. He’s completely unbearable — I’ve tried to listen to his first two episodes and had to turn them off. If he ends up being the permanent co-host I guess I won’t be able to listen to Loveline. He’s loud, obnoxious, and stupid, shouting out horrible answers to the callers, constantly interrupting Dr. Drew, and trying to be Adam. No one can be Adam.

13 — Still using Internet Expolorer? You should really switch to Firefox — here are thirteen good (and very funny) reasons to switch: Kill Bill’s Browser

I made a little webpage to help me keep track of my Librivox assignments. You can look at it and be inspired to do some recordings too. And we have a new Librivox FAQ!

12 — Do you enjoy reading out loud? Do you enjoy listening to audio books? Would you like to get to know a great group of friendly, book-loving people? Librivox needs volunteers!
At LibriVox, our volunteers record chapters of books in the public domain in digital format, and we release the audio files back into the public domain (catalog and podcast). We are a totally volunteer, open source, free content, public domain project. Our objective is to make all books in the public domain available, for free, in audio format on the internet.

LibriVox is always looking for volunteers, to read and record chapters of books in the public domain, but also to help with other aspects of this growing project: technical (cataloging, social networking, web design, communication); graphics; publicity; coordination of volunteers etc etc… We have about 80 volunteers right now, more than 10 books finished, and we expect to have 30 done by the end of 2005. Right now all our titles are in English, but we hope to have other languages soon. Come help us out.

Info:
http://librivox.org
http://librivox.org/volunteer-for-librivox/
http://librivox.org/forum
info AT librivox DOT org

Some of our books in progress which need readers are Pride and Prejudice, Dracula, The Spy, Leaves of Grass, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, and Ulysses. Come sign up for a chapter — it’s lots of fun!

11 — In honour of Veterans’ Day (Remembrance Day in Canada) Hugh asked us each to record our own version of the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. You can find some of the files here.

10 — Henry’s first Bayshore Day (a weekly morning of four optional classes at Bayshore Prep, our new homeschool charter.) It went very well — he seemed to have fun and I sat in on all the classes to make sure everything was stress- and pressure-free. First there was a science class where they discussed sounds waves in relation to woodwind instruments, and the kids got to experiment by making various sounds with plastic rulers, drinking straws, and water glasses. Then there was a Creative Writing class. Henry was uneasy about his own ability to write and spell properly, although the class is about expressing ideas, not about using the right spelling and grammar, so I sat near him and he dictated to me. The class pretended they were on a desert island and had to write a letter to toss into the ocean so they’d be rescued. Henry’s letter was full of interesting ideas about electromagnetic boots and coordinates :) Then they all made a circle and tossed their letters into a pile, then each fished one out, read it, and replied. The letter Henry fished out was VERY creatively spelled, indeed, so I think that may have made him feel more at ease about doing it on his own next time. The next class was Spanish, which Henry opted to skip, and then came Art class where the kids made a little Pilgrim guy. Fun. The staff all seemed very kind and flexible. Henry said I could drop him off next week, so I guess he felt comfortable too! If he continues to enjoy the classes, he’ll have a nice morning of intellectual stimulation and the companionship of other kids and pleasant grownups to look forward to once a week. He’s in a group of about 15 or 20 other 3rd to 5th grade homeschool kids.

09 — Whipped up some more buttons at Hugh’s request: one for archive.org and one for openlibrary.org Feel free to copy them to your own server and use them if you like. Colorzilla came in very handy for matching website and button colors! I’ve been working on improving librivox’s catalog pages, but haven’t had time to do any recording since the weekend, argh.

07 — Busy day. Started at 7:45, got up, put away the clean dishes, made Dan’s breakfast, got Henry up, made his breakfast, went to doctor appointment (he says it’s strange that I still fluctuate between hyper- and hypo-thyroid), went to water store, bought 23 gallons of water (filled two 5-gallon bottles, four 3-gallon bottles, and a 1-gallon bottle), went home, Henry helped me unload the water, went back out, got medications, groceries from Stater Brothers and Trader Joes, stopped by the Sprint store to pay the bill (our balance was unusually high because of Dan’s early termination fee or whatever and I didn’t want to get cut off), got the mail, went back home, Henry unloaded to car for me, put groceries away. By then it was after 1, so I made us a good lunch of avocado sandwiches on this nice Italian bread, yum! Then got caught up on email and did a little bit of work on the Librivox catalog and chatted with Henry and looked at Harry Potter trailers on the internet with him. Then piano students til 5, then housework, then dinner, then cleaning up dinner, then bedtime story for Henry (Paddington, the chapter about Guy Fawkes day), then Dan took some photos of me for the guy from wirednews.com to possibly use in the story about Librivox, for which I was interviewed, along with some other readers! And now it’s 10:30 and time for Henry’s One More Kiss and then bed. Whew. I didn’t have time to make any recordings for librivox today — maybe tomorrow.

05 — Recorded my last two chapters of “The Spy” today, and got them all edited and uploaded, yay me! Also played Monopoly with Henry, did a puzzle with him, watched part of “Gigantic” with him, and read him a chapter of “Paddington” for bedtime. Dan’s playing his guitar right now and I’m going to play a little WoW before bed.

04 — Whoa. Here’s something fun! You know those nifty little 80×15 chicklet buttons that everyone has on his blog nowadays? Alex mentioned this great button maker site. Of course you could whip up buttons in your favorite graphics program, but this is fun-n-easy (mostly). I made a button for project gutenberg: This pleases me because I’ve been planning a slight redesign around here which would include a spot for those little buttons. If you want to use my gutenberg button on your own site, feel free but please copy it to your own server first.

03 — Henry was playing an online Star Wars game, and he asked if he should be Obi-Wan, Luke, Yoda, or Mace. I suggested Luke, and he said Ok. I said “But now you have to whine!” and he said, “But Uncle Owen, I wanted to go to Tashi Station and pick up some power converters!” I laughed, and said in my best Napoleon Dynamite voice, “GOSH” and Henry said “DANG.” Delightful boy :)

Tonight is Adam Carolla’s last episode of Loveline. He’s leaving to take over Howard Stern’s morning show, or something… It’s really hard to imagine Loveline without Adam. He was there when I discovered Loveline 7 or 8 years ago, he was there when Chloe and I used to listen together, he was there when I introduced Dan to Loveline and got him hooked. Adam, if you (or Lynette) are reading this, know that you’ll be missed very much. Best of luck in all your new projects! If you’re a listener who missed Adam’s last show, you can download it from http://ehansen.us/Loveline/ — just hit the “Adam Carolla Era” link, then the November 2005 link. And, hey Drew, we love you too, keep up the good work!

02 — Tired, depressed, and weepy for no reason, stupid hormones. Henry and I went to the Vista park day and had a great time. They do archery there at 4pm, and since my student called to reschedule we were able to stay late enough for Henry to shoot a bow for half an hour! He was so happy! And then we raced back home so Matthew could take him to karate. Traffic was hellish and we were pretty late but I think he made it to class on time. Recorded my chapter of Dracula tonight, will edit tomorrow. Excellent book. It’s funny how some 19th century authors are so easy to read (stoker) and some are so difficult (cooper). I don’t mean the subject matter, I mean the actual words and sentences. Stoker flows off the tongue in an easy and logical way, despite a few half-page sentences, but, for me at least, reading Cooper aloud is difficult. I keep bumping into commas and hurting myself. Dan came home early tonight, yay! He tinkered with his guitar while I recorded Dracula, very pleasant.

01 — Slept badly last night, my back hurt and I was very crampy yuck. The weather changed again and now it’s HOT and dry every day. Henry and I went out first thing so he could buy the new Star Wars DVD (Revenge of the Sith) and then while he watched I cleaned up and did various things and also watched with him for a while and worked on my new socks (which are toe-up). And then I did some grocery shopping, and then we went to the playground for a picnic, and stopped by the library too. I started reading “The Spy” by James Fenimore Cooper, since I have a few chapters of it to read for Librivox and it seems like the kind of thing I shouldn’t try to read cold, heh. It’s really good so far — i’m just going to read up to and through my part and then stop, so I can enjoy the completed audiobook.

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