Friday, July 29, 2005

pre-vacation bats and getting battier

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Stanley sent me this link: WILDLIFE IN CONNECTICUT: BATS because he knows I want a bat house in the yard. I asked him if he would help me build it—and can we go to Home Despot and get the stuff for it.

He’s laughing at me. Like he thinks he’ll end up doing it all. I pointed out that I’ve never asked him to do any project with me (even though I offered to help him paint the kitchen—like that’s ever gonna happen ... ), but he’s still skeptical. I’ve never used a circular saw or anything like that, but it doesn’t look like rocket science to me (I know, famous last words. Maybe Stanley can do the sawing part). A bat house, yes, I even know where I want it placed. I could buy a kit, but I really want to make one.

Tomorrow I’m going to seed the part of the lawn that was buried under debris—Stanley got it all shredded last week. And he got me a great sprinkler last weekend. So our Lawn Reclaimation Project continues. It’s not doing too badly—I think I need to aerate some more. Too bad they don’t make Teva Mush flip flops with spikes—woulda been done aerating by now,  with walking all over the back yard with the mutt.

I have a bunch of irises to get in. And some more weeding to do in our rose/ peony/ tomato/ sunflower garden. I want to get a lot done in the three weeks before we head to Michigan. We’re counting the days!

We already booked our mid-trip hotel room—trying the Comfort Inn this year since Holiday Inn suddenly got really pricey (plus the only one that takes dogs, the Metrocenter Youngstown HI) is a shithole that I wouldn’t stay at again unless it was free and the only place within 60 miles to lay my head for a night.

Don’t know yet if nephew Ben will be going with us—depends on how much he likes football. While we’ll miss him if he doesn’t come with us, I hope he does take to football. He starts the mandatory month-of-August practice regimen on Monday, I think.

posted by lee on 07/29/05 at 07:53 PM

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

i’m so behind

Been very busy with a lot of interesting projects (most recent launch: www.takingthekids.com, by syndicated travel columnist Eileen Ogintz—good start but a LOT more to do). A couple of others I will write about when I can.

Been very busy with other things, too. We’re in Natick this weekend, bringing step jacks for my brother-in-law to use as he paints the house (Stanley is helping him get it together to get started). I’m just along for the ride and the visit.

I still need to plant all my irises. The garden is insane—nothing was doing much until recently. Several days of rain and 95-degree days will do that, I guess. So I have a lot to do there.

We saw three movies lately, and went to one wonderful art show opening. Candace Held is showing many of her glass works at the artists’ coop gallery in Westerly, Rhode Island and we got to go there for opening day and enjoyed it immensely. We have some pictures that came out pretty well, and I will post them when I write more about the opening.

The movies were War of the Worlds, Batman Begins, and Dark Water. WotW was ok, matinee material only, five on a scale of one to ten with ten being the best. Batman Begins was really good, maybe an eight. Dark Water was a good movie for a hot afternoon because it was so dreary and cold looking, kind of a bitter movie. Stanley and I have differing opinions on what it was all about—but I won’t say anything about it because I don’t want to spoil it for anyone. It has so many holes and loose ends it’s like the first scarf I ever crocheted. The peripheral characters were much more interesting than the leads. I’d rate it a six.

The other big thing I’ve been dealing with is the ExpressionEngine upgrade. There are many things that are very good about it, but the two most-important modules (Publish and Edit) have been sorted as they should be, but as a result are no longer user friendly enough for our clients to use without messing up (well, they could, but why should they have to relearn something in order to do the same stuff?) So I have to build a standalone entry tab for each of them, and I haven’t had the chance to do one yet (once I figure one out, it’ll be easy enough to be able to upgrade all the installations).

Have also been trying to build on online store with Zen-Cart—everything is great except the client hasn’t yet given us all of the parameters we need for each of the items (basic stuff as, say, what color customers can order ...) which is very frustrating because it’s a lot easier to do each catalog entry in one shot than having to go in later and update the database with the additional options. It’s turning out to be a beautiful site, so I’m anxious for it to get done.

And have also been working on an online questionnaire, found the perfect bit of script for it and the author added in a couple of things I asked him about—will post more about this in a day or two. He deserves the mention because it’s a good script.

Today, weatherwise (Saturday, so I guess I mean yesterday), was one of those perfect summer days—low humidity, lower 80s, clear sky, good breeze. Right now I’m enjoying the breeze blowing in through the window; it’s in the low 60s here outside of Boston. I think we get one more day of it before hell descends yet again. Last week I finally let Stanley put the a/c in the bedroom—I hate a/c but I hate trying to sleep in an oven even more.

Also, we ordered a cooling bed for the dog—got it on sale even—and it finally came. It was kind of a pain to “charge” it (by putting water in it and smushing the water throughout the foam rubber stuff)—I made such a watery mess that Stanley just took over—but it really does give Ginger much cooler place to lie down. She seems a lot less miserable and doesn’t hog the fan as much. The cat doesn’t like it, though.

Enough blather. I have so much to write about, but it’ll have to wait zzzzzzzzzz

posted by lee on 07/23/05 at 09:17 PM

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Monday, July 04, 2005

gordon’s campaign; thoughts on sherwood island

Gordon Joseloff, founder of WestportNow.com and a client, is running for first selectman of the Town of Westport, CT. First selectman is the equivalent of mayor. We recently put up a website for Gordon and his running made, Shelly Kassen, at www.joseloffkassen.com.

Gordon also launched a candidate blog, Gordon’s Journal. Even though it just launched, it’s already interesting. A recent entry provides the details behind the “Sherwood Island has no lifeguards” controversy, and why Governor Rell’s response is inadequate.

Sherwood Island is a CT state park located in Westport. I think it might be safe to say it gets more visitors than any other CT state park because every summer the families from New York City and Westchester County descend upon it. Though the crowds haven’t been as rowdy since the state banned alcohol, it can get very wild there on the weekends—not in a bad way, just a lot of people having fun. During the rest of the year it’s very quiet there—most of the visitors are dogwalkers, joggers, and hookers giving their johns a quickie in the parking lot or the pavillion.

It’s a beautiful park, despite the way the so-called landscaping where they ripped out the gorgeous beach roses and the pointless and ugly Sept. 11 memorial that ruined the point. There are paths where you can walk to see the birds in the salt marshes that surround the park, and even a little nature center that’s open once in a blue moon, and nice bathhouses. Plus you can often watch the model airplanes flying off on the other side of the big parking lot. And it’s a great place to fly a kit since the breeze from the Sound is just right on most days. We try to spend a lot of time there between September 30 and May 1.

So I hope they get the lifeguard problem figured out. In this state, a “solution” to problems is often to just close the place, and we’d really miss our off-season meanders with Ginger. Maybe Westport can offer or subsidize EMT training for the lifeguards recently hired on, or donate some of the missing equipment. Seems like a saner solution that waiting for the State to come through with what’s needed.

posted by lee on 07/04/05 at 10:25 AM

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

a fan letter

Update 10/15/05: I have edited this to remove the “fan’s” identifying information, at his request. I’m not going to remove it entirely because I don’t want to.

Received this a little while ago:

Dear Mr. Lee:

I was doing a Internet search for stuff concerning my old friend X, I came upon your comments.

You inadvertantly reveal yourself as really low class, Mr. Lee, but I suppose one must expect such cheap shots, from anyone who would post a resume such as yours on the Internet.

The document reveals that you’ve had ongoing, serious difficulties finding your way & you should consider that putting it on the Internet is merely a dertriment to whatever aims you have in mind.

As far for the Norwalk Hour, apparently you don’t realize that all small newspapers are essentially the same. They serve a limited function and yes, they’re not necessarily very high-toned nor objectively interesting…. X (the shitty reporter I panned) is a good guy and he’s done the best he’s been able… and I suppose that’s good enough.

—Name Removed

Took me a while to figure out what the heck he was talking about, but I found it: my hometown newspaper in which I said I think X is a lousy writer. Or something like that. Very weird.

I wrote back and asked him if slandering me made X a better writer, and asked what his resume is. But I don’t expect to get a response.

Isn’t (fan)‘s comment odd, though, that X has done the best he’s been able? Is he saying his good friend X is stupid or in some other way unable to be a good writer? Sure reads like it to me.

UPDATE (Monday afternoon): I did get a reply! I’m so pleased that I was wrong.

More "a fan letter"

posted by lee on 07/03/05 at 08:31 PM

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