Tuesday, November 29, 2005

The Light at the End of the Tunnel

I just hope it's not an oncoming train...

Last night I finished the remaining reading for the class I'm taking this semester (Art History - Ancient to Medieval), so all that remains this semester is a one-page write-up and an exam (which mercifully isn't comprehensive). The write-up is on some medieval manuscripts we viewed at the Harry Ransom Center here on the UT campus. Some are facsimilies of well-known manuscripts in other countries, such as The Book of Kells and The Book of Durrow. But, we have some originals too, although only one was on display for the class (The Belleville Hours, 15th century). While I was poking around the HRC's website I saw all sorts of things I had no idea were sitting just on the other side of campus from my office.

Once the semester is over, it will be time to finish the shopping and get the cards in the main and get ready for some holiday travel.

For all of you who are nearing the end of the semester or term before a holiday or winter break, Good Luck!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

Reasons why I get headaches


Well, there are lots of reasons, but this is the current one...

I hate it when software companies make it so darn difficult to download an update to a product. There is a certain program (which shall remain nameless) that I use at work that I wanted to update and I discovered that I have to jump through more hoops than a circus tiger to be able to do it. First off, you have to have an "account". Then you have to have the software you want to update in your "products" in your "account". Then you can update the software. Okay, well, that was all great until I couldn't find any record in my files that I had created an account, so I went and made one. When I went to add the product to my account, it said that it had already been registered. So, apparently I *did* create an account before. Thankfully they do have a "forgot password?" thing and I typed in my other work email address, which is what I must have originally used. So then I had to wait for the email, which actually came quickly... and promptly ended up being sorted into my Junk folder.

I know that they do all of this to cut down on piracy (or maybe privacy... but that's another rant for another day), but it's still very frustrating to have to go through all of this just to update a piece of software.

Thank goodness for the 4-day break for Thanksgiving here in the States, since I think I really need a break from sitting in my office and fighting with software (and broken telescopes, demo equipment, dense undergraduates, university bureaucarcy...)

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ack! Technical difficulties


I'm off to do battle with Blogger... I'm having a strange problem with the comments not showing up and not being emailed to me until I actually publish something. I'll look through the help and discussion stuff and see if I can figure out what's going on.

Update: Blogger is winning this round so far...

Update 2: I've turned on "comment moderation" and it seems to be responding correctly now. We'll see how that works out. Call it a "truce" at this point. :)

Saturday, November 19, 2005

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

As some of you have gathered from hints I've left here and there, I'm a big Harry Potter fan. So, as you would expect, I've went to see the new movie today and thought that I would add my vote to the column of "The Best One Yet!" I've enjoyed all the movies, and I still really enjoy the more "innocent" first one, but this one really captures both the fun side and dark side of the book. Of course a lot had to be left out to avoid it being a 5-hour long movie, and it might be a little confusing for anyone who hasn't read the books.

One thing I'd like to mention is the wonderful score by Patrick Doyle. I loved John WIlliams' music and I will say that his is the reason I love movie scores, dating back to Star Wars, which came out when I was 5 years old. But, Patrick Doyle is the composer of one of my all-time favorite scores - Henry V (1989), so when I heard it wasn't Williams doing this film, I was so happy to see (and hear!) that it was Doyle. And he didn't disappoint, it's a wonderful score.

Sunday, November 13, 2005

Where to begin?

I wasn’t sure how to start out the first “real” post to my personal blog, but the subject presented itself nicely when I started going through the old updates pages to add to the main site blog. What a trip down memory lane. The first “What’s New” pages I had were from the July 1997, when I moved the site to the old tudor.simplenet.com address from the machine that was on my desk at work.

It’s been interesting to see the progress (and lack thereof) that I’ve made on the site over the years. It has existed in some form or another for ten years now, so I feel that I should be much farther along the path of where I want to go by now. But then I stop and think about the various changes that have taken place in my life, particularly over the past five years, and I get more realistic. I started taking a class each semester in the spring of 2001 when they added that to our staff benefits, and that often takes up a lot of time. And in March 2003 I started dating a wonderful guy, which means that I’ve had to start focusing more on making personal time for us.

It’s been interesting to see the record of how many coughs and colds I’ve had through the years (and those are just the ones I complained about in the updates), but that is one of the hazards of working at a university with 50,000 people from all over the world crammed into a relatively small area. Not to mention interacting with the public and school kids as part of the outreach stuff I do at work. I’m constantly coming into contact with new germ sources! And, for the record (although I didn’t mention it on the main site blog) I’ve already had my first cold of this semester.

I thought I had spewed more about my big burnout stretch in 2001, but I guess I did it through email instead of the site updates. I wasn’t treating the update page as a journal (or blog, before a lot of people even knew what one was) that much then, so I didn’t elaborate too much. It was a pretty rough time for lots of reasons, and I have to admit that quite a bit of it came from running this site and Tudor Talk. I had a bad confluence of getting a nasty-gram from the National Portrait Gallery (which will be another good subject for this blog in the future), someone trying to take over the email list and getting some really hurtful emails about the site. I really shouldn’t let the latter get to me, but sometimes it is hard not to. Especially when it comes with the other stuff and while I was taking a very tough class, which was leaving me pretty tired. And little did I know that would only be the beginning of how tired I would be for the rest of the year…

Obviously at some point I managed to shake off the burnout and started to devote more time to the site again. Last year I finally uploaded the new design with the new front page and a consistent design through the content pages. I have already decided to redo some of it again, but in a way that I think will make the information more accessible. I also need to go through and add the search link to all the pages, but that’s going to take a while!

Well, I think I’ll close out this first post here. Expect more nonsensical ramblings soon!

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Welcome to my personal blog!

Well, this is getting started a little later than I had anticipated, but a lot of other real-life things got in the way, as usual. I'll have a full post up shortly, but I wanted to get something up here for the few souls who were brave enough to click the link!