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I write for 8th Graders

According to the Gunning-Fog index of readability I'm very good at writing simple sentences (we'll just ignore that five syllable word back there). I have a paltry (yet desired?) 8.91% of words that are three syllables or more. I guess repeating syllable over and over again will push that up. My Gunning-Fog index is at 8.32 which is supposed to line up with the average grade for a reader who can hack through my syllables. Don't even look at the Flesch-Kincaid Grade - I don't even get out of elementary school there.

Our Newest Family Member

We have a new kitten. Meet Zoe. She has actually been here for three weeks now and has more then settled in as the new matriarch.

I didn’t wite about us losing Otto in March. It all happened quite suddenly. We finally had more of an answer for his increasingly odd behavior as it seems he had a brain tumor of some sort and his mind simply checked out one evening. We ended up putting him to sleep a few hours later.

PNG transparency in IE

I finally managed to get all of my PNG graphics working properly in IE. For those that don't know, IE (Win) does not support transparency in PNG images. The welcome box on my home page and the "frosty" bar in the header are examples of a PNG with transparency - you can see the background through the image. Microsoft has a workaround that involves a little code and a lot of finding just the right mojo to make it all happen the way you intend. There are many variations out there. A quick search of "IE PNG" on Google will bring you lots of love.

A Tin of Tea for Me

I am an avid tea drinker. Both my tongue and tummy do not like coffee very much but I go through a pot of tea every day. Between Colleen and I, we can easily down four or five pots on a rainy Saturday. Our standard tea for some time now has been Upton Tea's Blue Flower Earl Grey. It has just the right level of bergomot for us and is pretty to boot.

Keep track of websites to read

So, I found a nice little tool to help me wade through the web called toread (via Lifehacker - one of my favorite "that's a useful tool" sites.) Basically all you do is sign up at toread with your email and then add your own special bookmark to your browser. Whenever I come across a site I don't have time to read I just click my toread bookmark and it gets emailed to me so I can check it out later.

The Social Web meets Hermit

Let me start off by noting that while I spend most of my waking hours on a computer and many of them on the web, I am not necessarily "hip" in a web 2.0 way. The whole "social" trend on the web has been passing me by. I am vaguely aware of things like Flickr and de.li.cio.us with tagging and folksonomy all the rage and MySpace with its trendy social network, but frankly none of it appeals to me. Perhaps this because I am a bit of a fuddy-duddy and like my dark little anti-social hole in the web from which I occasionally peer out.

rocktreesky is a business!

Well, I'm officially a business now. I have my trade name registered with Maryland and have a new business bank account and credit card.

At the beginning of the year I decided to do web design as a freelance side job. I'm keeping the day job working for the man, but I really enjoy working on the web, so I decided to branch out a little. Basically I am looking at this as an opportunity to learn, get more experience and play with things on the web that I can't do in my day job and make a little money in the process.

Cool toys for Geeks Like Us (TM)

So we went to a Holiday party 2 weeks ago that had one of those "bring a gift and we'll play a game" things going on. This is that game where everyone picks a number and you sequentially pick a gift from the pile or steal someone else's gift. Neither of us is a big fan of the aforementioned game but we complied to keep it jolly. To make a long story short, Colleen stole away the bestest gift of them all - a Clapper. We took it home and dumped it in a corner. But when we set up our Christmas tree, we thought "Hey, let's hook up the Clapper." Well, we have been endlessly amused since.

My Sweet Baby Girl

Today we had to put my baby girl Capo to sleep due to kidney failure. She would have been 13 on Monday. I raised her from a tiny ball of fur that fit in my one hand. Taken from her mother too young, I weened her on corn flakes and milk. She was the queen of this house and kept “the stinky boys” in line from her LazyBoy throne. We had many, many names for her as happens with pets over time. The most common of late was Moop or Moodgehead.

My new $248 computer

On Sunday night I put together a new computer. I bought a barbones box, processor, memory and a hard drive for $248, including shipping. It took me under an hour to get it all set up. This is no top-of-the-line machine mind you, but it is better than all of the other old machines we currently have (except Colleen's new laptop). I have been using Ubuntu linux as my primary desktop and it is on an old Pentium3 933MHz with a 10 GB hard drive.

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