Stuff from May, 2004

This is the archive of tumbledry happenings that occurred on May, 2004.

Books and Dental

Last weekend, the library was giving away books. In fact, they had an entire room of free literary goodness. Browsing through yielded a very interesting book on color (ironically, printed mostly in black and white), a book about the cathedrals of England, and two novels. I grabbed a couple of books about the Roman Empire for Dan. Thankfully, none of them were particularly massive tomes, as I only have one strap remaining on my backpack.


Food at the Binz (Part 3 in a Series)

It was a landmark day today. The Binz Refectory offered two distinct and separate dishes that were both worth eating. Upon seeing the two gloriously appetizing choices, I dropped to my knees and mouthed words of thanks to some god smiling upon me. I cursed my stomach for failing to be hungrier, but still enjoyed a fantastic dinner. I feel it is my obligation, in my continuing quest to accurately portray the Binz, to show you a less sinister side of college food. Indeed, you do not always have to eat food that just takes up space in your stomach and gives it something to do. Nay, good friends, sometimes you can find yourself enjoying eating. Furthermore, last night brought with it warm cookies. Yes, no hardened frosting on old cake but warm, oven-fresh, gooey, delectable cookies; delivered with a smile by Erin and Mara.


Pediatric Dentistry

At Dr. Pamela Erickson’s office, they said the open environment, where the four main chairs in the pediatric dental office were installed, contributed to a greater cooperation by the kids. They said things like this mattered. I listened in one ear while thinking “Yeah, pop psychology is all that is.” Then today, I saw a wide-eyed four year old hesitantly walk beyond her mother’s reach and gaze around the room, inquisitively searching for anything familiar. Then, two chairs over, she saw a boy her age, calmly waiting for his fluoride treatment to be completed. Immediately she stopped fidgeting and looked completely at ease. I smiled and watched her calmly climb into the chair. She took a bit to pick out her prize.


In A Name

Naming this site consisted of serious agony. I asked myself what was catchy, what I could live with for an indefinite amount of time, what people could easily remember, what was taken, and what feeling I wanted to convey. I asked myself if spelling and pronunciation were major issues and again, if I could stand the name for any length of time. I said them all aloud, narrowed the list, poured over books of phrases, and sat up nights putting together combinations of words. In the end, I was surrounded by notebook papers full of words, post-it notes with phrases, and planner pages torn out to capture moments of inspiration. Looking back on it, I realize the process is exactly what parents go through when naming their children. You have something you created, whose exact personality and characteristics you don’t yet know, and you would like to give it a fitting moniker.


A Moonlit Night

First, I would like to begin with a simple statement: I love Parmesan and Garlic Cheez-Its. The reason for this love absolutely baffles me. Parmesan tastes average on pasta, I never really enjoy garlic, and Cheez-It’s, while good, really are not a passion of mine. In this unique snack food, however, the whole is much more than the sum of the parts. Let’s be honest, these things are nothing short of tremendous. John (who recently promised to give me a box) would say they are nothing short of tremendously awful, but this isn’t about him. Try them, you will find the combination nothing short of awe-inspiring. It’s like an all-expenses paid vacation for your taste buds. It’s like you just kissed some really awesome girl (unless you are a woman, then it’s like you just kissed a guy who’s not a moron, not that women have lower expectations, but let’s face it - guys who aren’t morons are hard enough to find), and you are so happy that you found someone right for you. Of course, we also assume that, pre-kiss, you both ate the Cheez-Its, because garlic (and its evil partner in halitosis crime, parmesan) are violently disgusting when experienced second-hand. There’s a parade around your teeth of happy chunks of food and frolicking parts of your tongue, and fountains of saliva burst like geysers, showering everything with a river of joy. There’s confetti, a ticker-tape parade, and a drumline: all inside your mouth. And that is just the first bite.


Opposite Sex

It had been a good series of pool, though I do not recall who won more games. We climbed the stairs slowly, the realization that the night was over slowly sinking in. But then, “Oh I remember you - you’re the tooth guy!” she said, bounding onto the second floor landing and giving me one of those awkward one-arm hugs that are so popular with women nowadays. I smiled and replied with an affirmative, struggling to raise my voice to the same level of excitement that her Friday night inebriation brought. They had been at the dance, and enjoyed themselves thoroughly. “One party,” I thought, “just one before the year is over.” The college experience is so very different for everyone; I do wonder what the next four years will bring.


Typographic Opinion: Arial

How much do I have to plead with the college paper writers out there? How much do I have to explain about readability, fonts designed for the screen, and resolution to get my point across? Arial does not print well. Please, please, gets down and knees and continues please, please use a different font. Maybe it will be Times New Roman. That is fine - that font was inspired by a font used for printing. Arial is designed to look good at 72 pixels per inch (your friendly local computer monitor). On the other hand, the effective resolution for a printer is far higher - and thus printing opens up a whole other world of font possiblities.


Y’z’ing Up

Recently, I stumbled into an intriguing area of computing: skinning the Windows GUI. Now, I went nuts for a while, downloading every theme by KoL off of deviantART, grabbing StyleXP, evaluating if it really did use the same amount of system resources as the normal GUI, and generally having a field day. Actually, once I had selected a theme I liked, I chose to disable StyleXPService.exe in control panel > administrative tools > services in order to remove all remnants of the program running in the background. (Edit: Disabling StyleXPService.exe does save about 2 megs of background memory, but when you restart your computer, things are no longer skinned. I will live with it running in the background, then.) Now, I truly feel comfortable with the GUI skinning. After trying many themes, I eventually decided to skin the computer to look like a bit like OS X. This decision was not based on any conscious preference between the Apple and Windows operating system appearances, I simply liked the way that the “Smooth Stripes 4” scheme had been implemented. In fact, I liked it so much so that I moved the taskbar to the top of the screen, to match the style I saw in the screen shots of the skins.


Fake Birthday

Wednesday was my fake birthday. Historically, my actual birthday occurs on the twenty-second of this month (each year), but we celebrated early because finals concluded and we all moved out by today. I received some absolutely great presents from literally all corners of the globe. I was blown away. Details will be forthcoming as I find more time to write about what happened.



Permission to recount yesterday in its entirety? Permission denied? Hmm. Sorry, I guess I will have to risk court marshal on this one.

My sister’s commencement exercises, my birthday, and the Dashboard Confessional concert all happened to fall on the same day. In the morning, I dragged my sorry carcass out of bed and ran off to the gym to squeeze in a quick workout. Running down the stairs back to the car, I noticed I had shaved five (5!) minutes off of my usual hour and forty-five regimen. I sarcastically congratulated myself with an “Oh yay me” as I put some rubber down on the road.



Some of you have come here looking for information on technology, on CSS, on design. That’s here, I promise, (in fact, skip down a few posts and you’ll find it), but sometimes I am willing to sacrifice visitors who are uninterested in my life. Now is one of those times, one of the times I feel that I should share what I am thinking, even if it is in a slightly vague manner. After all, I can not post everything I am thinking here; stream of consciousness is very hard to read, even in small doses. I ask only that you allow me the luxury of self-expression in the most organized way I can muster at this point in time.


Earning My Keep

Why hello. Welcome to tumbledry! Glad you could make it today. Ladies and gentleman, I am employed. Yup. I know. This job is perfect. Web-design for St. Thomas at $9.50 an hour, and I can work at home. Flexible hours, competitive pay, and more experience. It’s rather odd that I want to be a dentist but still persist at web-design. As for the internships, well those will come next summer.



I just spent four days connecting my sister’s Dell computer running Windows 98 to the internet. I had the privilege of meeting the wonderful people at AT&T tech chat, and of learning far more than I wanted to ever know about modems.

Do Tell
Turns out her computer had been set up to log on to a network, which in turn somehow produced many extraneous TCP/IP entries in her “Network” settings. Weeding these out finally allowed the modem to talk to the outside world successfully. My shout of joy was an intense one when I finally dialed up and Google showed its friendly logo.