Friday, July 28, 2006

Things I'm wondering....

Why can't the good people at the Food Network teach the otherwise delightful Rob Rainford how to convert Celcius to Fahrenheit? If I have to hear once more..."220 degress Fahrenheit, which is 110 degrees Celcius..." I may lose it

Thursday, July 27, 2006

It's not Julistmas any more

You know that saying, "What if they had a war, and nobody came?"

That's how I felt Tuesday night. I worked myself almost to death Monday, getting ready for Christmas in July, and practically nobody came. Compared to the usual Tuesday numbers, it was pitiful. Sort of a the last two weeks or so. Before that we had our third biggest week, hit-wise, and I think the biggest with actual visitors. I thought the slump was finally over.

Then last week, back to average, and only hitting that with a stronger-than-usual weekend.

This week? So far it simply sucks. Tuesday was the worst, since I was so excited about Christmas in July. I started second-guessing myself. Should I have promoted it more? Probably not. I promoted the first "Ask Tracy and Hyperion" column, and that didn't do much good. I asked 8 times for Summer songs, and only two people sent them in.

I'm not trying to bitch, but this is my one blog, which means weblog, which basically means journal, and that's what I'd write in my journal. It gets depressing. And it hurts my soul.

So, I think I need to go away for awhile.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Cable Guy Part 2

So I told you about how my dad called the Cable people on the 19th and said we'd be turning off our cable on the 27th (the last day of the pay period for the cable). He gave them the notice because of how notoriously inefficient the Cable Company is, and that way they could hopefully have their act together enough to have the cable off by the 27th. (Most people wouldn't have told them until the 27th, hoping to get a few days of free cable until they turned it off, but dad just has to be honest....jerk.)

Anyway, on the 20th, they turn it off! Since when are they that efficient...ever? After several back and forth phone calls they said they'd turn it back on early Friday morning.

This was too late for me, as I was going to miss British Open coverage for the day (and Tiger shot a 65!), but I guess things could be worse.

Come Friday morning, the cable wasn't on. My dad kept calling them all day, and they gave him the mighty runaround. Several times they claimed the cable had been turned on. (It hadn't.) Several times they claimed it would be done at noon. Sometimes they had confirmation. (They didn't.) Sometimes it was because we hadn't rescanned our TVs. (We had.)

Dad kept calling home to see if it was on, as the day crept more and more into midafternoon. Finally, this stunning series of events.

I get a call from someone (who probably figured out my dad wasn't at home and wanted to hide from him), apologizing for the mess. I told the dude he had the wrong man. "My dad is a pretty patient person." I said. "What evil must thou have committed to make him so ired?"

Anyway, this guy claimed the cable would be turned on that afternoon or early evening. Okay.

Not three minutes later I get a call from another man in the company, who assured me the cable had been turned on, but it might not have been done correctly because it was by an outside guy. (Why would you use outside guys if it wasn't done correctly?)

I told this dude, the cable definitely wasn't on. It was, he assured me ,but I had to rescan. I told him I'd tried that twice. He seemed scared, so I told him one of his colleagues had just called and promised they'd be out that afternoon or early evening.

"Really?" he said, mystified. "Oh, okay. Well, if he doesn't show up, the next date I can have someone out...." I didn't like the word "date." I preferred "time."

The guy looked over his log: "The next date is the 20th." Giant pause.

"Uh, dude, that's yesterday!"

"Really? Well, the next date I can have someone come out would be the 25th."

I shuddered, wondering if my dad could make it that long. Wondering if the cable guys could live that long. I considered giving him a warning to get out of town, but decided the world had to be better with one less cable guy who couldn't tell the difference in his log book between the future and the past. So I let it go.

Oh, and the cable finally did come back on. And Tiger won, in no small part because I watched him. So all's well...for now.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Cable Guuuuy!

Trying to be a better family, we decided to cut cable for at least August, maybe longer.

(I know what you're thinking: fall shows are around the corner! But it will all work out. At least, that's what I keep telling myself.)

Anyway, I'm on board with it, even though it means I'll miss the PGA championship (about the onlything I care about in August), but at least I get to watch the British Open. In fact, I've changed my entire schedule to make sure I was available to watch during the early morning hours.

So my dad tells them on the 19th that our last day of cable will be July 27th (the end of our billing cycle).

Now, when you sign up for cable, what happens? You have to take the entire day off of work, as the cable guys refuse to be pinned down, instead giving you this "Sometime between dawn and Midnight" time frame.

But when we let them know to turn the cable off 9 days in the future?

You know it.

Yesterday afternoon I turn on Pardon the Interruption. Actually, I TRY to turn it on, because they already have the Cable off!

Isn't that a kick in the pants?

So now I sit here, no British open, no late night Simpsons or Law & Order, not even one of Spikes 34 daily CSI airings!

Life sucks.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Presenting the, sigh, Alligator Pit

When I started my first actual "blog" (which is this site), I had the address as

This was meant to be a joke, and translated to me > you

But that wore off fast. Since I had "alligator" in the title I ended up calling the site "The Alligator Pit," which is lame, I know, but it's the best I could do.

I don't like it. If this is going to be my "blog," it should be personal, and alligators mean nothing to me. But seing as how I already have a template for alligator, and I don't have time to change that, and I haven't thought of anything better, I'm going to call the blog the Alligator pit ( for now.

(I asked for help from the readers, but you all failed me as miserably as I failed myself. The only suggestion I got was from Bogart, who said:

The Hypertrophic Mind [of Hyperion]


Hyperion's Hypertrophy [Revealed]

Once I looked that up I was horrified!]

Anyway, until I come up with something better, that's what I am.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

World's Best Mime

One of the hardest parts about keeping silent was trying to communicate without speaking. I had the notecards at first, but they seemed unfair so I abandoned them early on. I next went to sort of a pantomime.

I got pretty good at it, although my audience wasn't always. One time I was trying to tell my sister we were watching the "Pilot" of Family Guy. I got her to "Airplane-Driving" but she couldn't connect the dots. That was hard.

Or trying to tell her the movie on CMT was "Benny and June." I found "July" written on a newspaper, so that was okay, but then for Benny I had to pretend to flip a coin and go backwards to penny, and then "sounds like."

"I'm not even going to try to tell you how I got the idea of "LOOPHOLE" across.

Another difficult thing was when I wanted to laugh. I wasn't sure if that was permitted, but as I was trying to keep all sound from coming out of my mouth I had to laugh silently, which just about killed me.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

You Da ____________

An examination of the words we use the bias they may engender, with a rather unconventional solution

(First time through turn your sound down, and once you laugh yourself silly, turn it way up to let everyone in the office hear.)

this is an audio post - click to play

Things I hate

Ranting about:

Holding the Door Open
Thinking too Much

this is an audio post - click to play


114 hours.

6840 minutes

410,400 seconds.

(It looks a lot more impressive when you do it that way, doesn't it?)

I started off with a goal of 100 hours of silence. Halfway in I realized that 100 hours wasn't enough, and I needed to go 200 to have an impact, or even 1,000,000 seconds (this would bring me almost to 278 hours).

But my family was good enough to humor me for this long, especially as I sprung it on them with no warning, so keeping it up much longer wouldn't have worked.

I timed it to the second and was happy with my 114 hours.

(Until next time.)

I have many more thoughts on the subject, but as I'm still getting over being sick (something I think was at least indirectly if not directly relatable to not speaking), I'll leave it at this for now.

I went 114 hours without speaking.

Monday, July 17, 2006


Still Sick

I'm still sick. Thought I was getting better, but it was just a mirage.

I feel like I'm missing out on the experience of not talking for 100 hours, and I should go for another 100 hours, but I'm not sure my family would put up with it.

Maybe I'll float a trial balloon and see what they say.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

As a Dog

Sorry no updates for awhile (although at this point I'm pretty sure no one is actually reading), but I got sick as a dog yesterday.

I planned for this, more or less,when I started. I wrote that my purpose was to cleanse my spirit. I've read about when people go off food for a week and basically detox, and all these poisons come out of their skin. I thought maybe my talk-fast might do the same.

Except, since I'm only not speaking, and I'm still communicating, I didn't really expect to get that sick.

So I don't know.

A couple of people asked me why I'm still writing and on email and IM if I'm not talking. Isn't that cheating?

One step at a time. I want to see how this goes, first. But yes, if I had to do it all over again, I'd have not communicated for the time period, although that would have been infinitely harder.

Even so, being sick and not being able to tell anyone, or moan, was much fun. I'll have to write a column about it or something.

I'm not dying anymore, but I'm not well either, so I'm going to take it easy the rest of the day. Probably won't update here until tomorrow.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Sounds of Silence update

I passed the 36 hour mark a while ago. There have been big events in the family, so making it all 100 hours seems iffy. By then I may not have a relationship with anyone I care about, and whether I continue or not will be a test to how stubborn I am.

The classic "Cut off my nose to spite my face" routine.

I mostly am staying in my room, which is bar far the best way to avoid talking to anyone.

The best part? So far, by a mile, is not answering the phone. I HATE answering the phone. If it wasn't for Caller ID I probably would never answer it. But I have to in a communal living experience. But not now.

Worst part? Not talking to my girlfriend. If only there was some way I could make an exception just for her....

More updates later. I'm going to sneak upstairs and see if I can get past everyone without the awkward silence and notecards, which probably wouldn't work anyway since it's late and the lights are likely to be mostly off.

[As I put the title on this post just now it occurred to me that I should totally be listening to the Graduate Soundtract--or at least that song--to inspire me. Somtimes I listen to the same song 500 times in a row, and that would be a good one. I wonder if I have it?]

Friday, July 14, 2006


I made up a few notecards yesterday to deal with people, although I think after awhile that just gets obnoxious. (I'm not trying to not communicate, but I am trying to cut that way down and not talk at all.)

Anyway, when my sister talked to me this morning I found I had to add a few notecards. Here is what I have so far (and I'll update if I get more)

Front Back





Thank you

No Thank you






I don’t know



This has been fun. Let’s do it again

I’m sorry I’m such a disappointment to you.

Can I use the Car?


I’m choosing not to speak for a time, not out of any disrespect to you but in an attempt to cleanse my spirit. Thanks for your understanding


100 Hours of Solitude

It’s the height of idiocy to risk a jinx and write about this before it’s all completed, but when have I ever not made weight to fight at full Idiot?

For reasons I’m not yet able to articulate (no pun intended), I have wanted to stop talking for some time. I had tentative plans to go one day a week without it, but that didn’t materialize.

Lately the urge has been stronger, but several relatives have been visiting us, and that makes life pretty tough. Finally I got to the point where I told myself I’d hang on until they left, and then quit talking.

So yesterday at 8:57 am I quit talking.

At the time I wasn’t sure for how long, but immediately the number 100 came into my head, as in 100 hours. It seemed fitting, and I could emulate my favorite Latin Writer (Marquez) when I was done.

Sadly, about two hours later I realized I had library books due today (Friday), and I couldn’t ask to use the car without a big hassle (my mom is not happy with the plan), and even if I did, not speaking at the library would cause me even more problems. So, sucking it up I called in to renew my books (only to find out I couldn’t renew the book I care the most about! Hatred), and started over at 11:37 am.

If I make it 100 hours that puts me at Monday afternoon.

I have no idea if I can make this work. I live with three people, and so far I’ve largely avoided them, but I see my dad being very unhappy about this. Question: will I stick to my guns?

I also have a girlfriend I talk to every day, although at the moment she’s being supportive (but you never know with chicks).

So far I am exactly 20 hours in, and doing great. My sister came home this morning and talked to me. At first she was sad I didn’t talk back, but like most girls she really just wants to talk anyway, and with some prodding of my note cards she opened up. I felt like Homer in that episode where his jaw is wired shut.

I’ve been IMing and emailing, and Lady Jane questioned whether that was cheating. Perhaps, but one thing at a time. At least THIS time, I am not trying to cease communication, but ceasing speech, to see what it does for me.

I’ll give updates on Alligator Pit throughout the weekend as to how I’m doing.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pay Attention!

Here's a big one: When you're talking to someone, telling them something or other, and right in the middle they say something else, change the subject, or just leave. I never know what to do.

I usually get quiet, in hopes my cessation of speech will alert them to their rudeness, but of course this is not an effective approach. They weren't listening to you talking, how do you expect them to hear you not talking?

Don't get me wrong: there are times when I'm not listening to someone so much as "waiting to talk" and I interrupt them before they finish a sentence. I absolutely hate doing that, and am trying to get much better. (I think I am much better, but if you talk to me and I do this, verbally smack me as hard as you can.) We all do that sometimes, and it's not the biggest sin in history.

What I'm talking about goes far beyond that. When someone starts talking about something totally and completely different right in the middle of your sentence, they clearly aren't listening to you. If you interrupt someone going on about Christina Aguilera you're just impatient to enter the conversation. But when you start talking about TV shows that night, you were not listening.

What do you do to these people? Most of the ones I encounter aren't trying to be rude. They'd probably be embarrassed if it was pointed out to them. (At least, I hope they would be.)

Furthermore, to bring it up makes you into an asshole, pointing out the faults of others.

Is there a way to handle people who utterly aren't listening without resorting to rudeness yourself?

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Scratch That Itch

Sometimes I get this itch on either side of my beard; it just about kills me. It seems like no matter what I do I can't stop the itching. The more I scratch the more insatiable the itch gets, to the point where I seriously worry that I will do permanent damage to my face. My skin starts to rub raw and probably the only thing from turning me into a (more) hideous beast is the actual beard hiding the damage.

Then, as quickly as it comes, it leaves.

I've never really had jock itch (sometimes called Crotch Rot or what my football coach used to call Nut-sack Noogies), but experience just with the beard makes me think that it would be the absolute worst experience ever. To have an itch like that you can't get rid of, and threatens to do permanent damage to your skinÂ…down there?


I'm curious; do girls have any problems like this? You can post Anonymously if you're scrrrrd.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Son of A Dish

I'd like to preface this post by saying that the people who took me in are kind and decent, providing food and shelter, and generally leaving me alone even though I am awake at weird hours and I occasionally try to take over small towns and build forts. Without them there is absolutely no way I'd be writing this website today. That being said.....

My family is slowly driving me insane when it comes to the dishes.

First off, I was only given the job because certain other family members who shall remain nameless did what can at best be described as a sub-standard job. I admit I was quite jealous that my proficiency when it came to loading and unloading of the dishes only earned me the task in perpetuity. I strove to be bad and have the chore removed, but Alas: Drat my integrity!

So, I do the dishes, and all I ask is that if the dishwasher is empty (as it is virtually every morning), you load your own dishes all day when you use them.

You'd think this was pulling teeth.

[To me, this is right up there with refilling the ice trays. For the life of me I cannot figure out how people who are all able to hold down jobs and get places and generally transverse gravity cannot refill an ice tray after use. It takes at most ten extra seconds; everyone in the universe has that kind of time. But I digress.]

At the beginning, when I first took over the dishes, folks had a reasonable excuse: they were so used to the dishwasher being full of clean dishes that they could never load them. I understand. But I STROVE to have that dishwasher loaded, washed and unloaded before morning, so it was empty all day. (This is a bigger task than you can believe. Sometimes it takes me three cycles a day to get them all washed.)

Still, no matter how hard I worked, I'd come upstairs to find the dishes continued to be piled messily in the kitchen--often without even soap and water in them so the pots didn't get hardened gunk in the bottoms.

I've come to the point where I am no longer as gung-ho diligent about making sure every load is washed and put away by morning. What's the point when the dishes will pile up regardless?

Sometimes members of my family try to "help" by running the dishwasher for me. However, they use "Air Dry" instead of Heat. It doesn't use that much energy, and as the guy doing them, I don't have that kind of time to dry every dish.

But now the straw breaks. Relatives are staying with us, and it's a joy to see them.


They too are "helping" by doing some of the dishes. Am I grateful? With all the extra people in the house there are many more dishes, so you'd think I'd be happy with the assistance.


Half the time the friendly relatives wash the dishes by hand. This great except for the tiny insignificant detail that every single dish is still unclean, which means I have to go through them all and wash them again in the dishwasher (which affects my load plan, as I usually gauge how many times I will have to do it each night). This presumes the dishes aren't actually put away, which means dirty dishes for the next day.

Speaking of putting the dishes away, another "helpful" thing they do is unload the dishes for me. This has led to me being unable to find any dishes! We have a smallish kitchen, so you'd think there would only be a few spots the dishes could be.


I kid you not: The other day the spoons just disappeared. Every single one of them. Where could the spoons even go? We have a silverware drawer. Empty. The other drawers don't have them. What is going on?


I suppose it could be worse. I could be back like I was three years ago, when there wasn't any food to mess up the plates. There was a time I'd jump for joy at the opportunity to clean a plate.

But still....I may be insane, and sooner than you'd think.

Monday, July 10, 2006


For reasons I'm not sure I can explain, I like going back and reading books from my childhood. I read everything as a kid, but the way I figure it, a good book is a good book, even if it's aimed young at times.

One of my favorite authors back then was Betsy Byars. ( She has this straightforward style that manages to get at the heart of what it feels like to be a kid. Better than just about anyone I ever read, who usually treats kids like little adults.

Anyway, the other day the library was having a used book sale, and I found a Betsy Byars book I hadn't read, The Pinballs. It's about three kids who are in foster care for different reasons. Written in the '70s, the book can't come out and lay it on the line for what really gets kids taken out of a home, but through hints and feelings manages to get it right anyway.

One scene just struck me, so I took the time to type it up and share it with you. Not sure why, but I couldn't stop thiking about it. It would take me 3 paragraphs of backstory to fill in, but that part's not essential for understanding. I'll leave it at this: Carlie is pushing Harvey in his wheelchair to the library, and they are talking about various lists they are going to make:

“That’s what I’m going to do a list about—people who have done me in. If you did a list like that, how many people would be on your list? Don’t give me every name, just guess at it.”

Harvey thought of his mother and father. “Two.” He said.

“I’d have, let’s see—“ Carlie pushed the chair slower as she thought. “First, there would be my father. I mean, I don’t know who he is, but he’d be the first on the list.”

“You don’t have a father?” Harvey asked, looking back at her.

“Of course I have a father,” she snapped. “Everybody has a father. The lowest dog in the street has a father. Didn’t you learn anything in Health and Hygiene?” She stopped to ease his chair down the curbing. “I just never knew my father. He left before I was born. But my second father—“

“He would have to be your stepfather,” Harvey corrected.

“He was a step down, anyway,” Carlie said. “He was a real bum. Number two on my list of people who have done me in would be that stepfather. Before he left he even stole my baby-sitting money.”

Harvey was silent.

“Then my third father—stepfather, if you must—he was the first person who ever wanted to do me real harm. I mean, you’re always hearing how dangerous the streets are and how you’re going to get mugged or hit in the head? Well, in the streets I was perfectly safe. It was when I got home that I got mugged and attacked.”

Harvey said in a quiet voice, “My father ran over my legs. That’s how they got broken.”

He spoke so quietly Carlie thought she hadn’t heard right. “Ran over them?” She stopped pushing the wheelchair altogether.”


Ran over them?”

“Yes. In the car.”

Her shoulders sagged. “Oh, wow.”

He said he couldn’t help it.”

“Which is supposed to make everything all right.”

“He said he got mixed up on forward and reverse. He was drinking.”

“Oh, wow.”


There was a silence. Then Carlie said, “you know, just think about this, Harvey. Just think about you and me as unborn babies. He we are, see, waiting to be born. And somebody comes up to us with a pad and pencil and says ‘What do you want in a father?’

“Well, we’d list all kinds of things. I’d say I want a father who’s good-looking—after all, Harvey, half of your looks do come from your father—and I’d say I’d want a father who is rich and one who loves me. I’d go on and on.” She rested herself against the back of Harvey’s chair. “Never once would I think to say ‘I want a father who will stick around.’ I mean, Harvey, he didn’t even wait to see if I was a boy or girl! He doesn’t even know I’m me!”

She sighed. “And you, never once would you think to say ‘I want a father who will know the difference between forward and reverse in a stupid car.’” She started pushing again, faster.

“I think that’s the library up ahead,” Harvey said.

“And then, Harvey, to make matters worse, he we are, totally unwanted—I think we have to admit that—and then there are people in the world who really want children and haven’t got one. Life is really unfair.”

Harvey smiled a little. “That’s something I have suspected for a long time.”

Friday, July 07, 2006

Dickie Roberts

So, I'm deeply ashamed to admit this, but it's been a weird morning (I can't tell you about it or she'll get mad), and I need a distraction. I found myself watching DICKIE ROBERTS: CHILD STAR on TBS.

I have a firm policy against these types of movies, but I watched for two minutes and already I've laughed 6 times! What's wrong with me?

I don't really know the plot, but I'm guessing it involves David Spade trying to be a kid again. (I could swear I saw this same thing in BILLY MADISON, but through therapy I've mostly forgotten that film, so maybe not.)

Anyhoo, David is hanging with these two young kids and they talk about drinking beer. Spade slams the girl and she gives him one of those responses like we used to do (You know; the whole "Milk Milk, Lemonade.....")

The girl is the same one who was on the CSI/CSI Miami backdoor pilot. You remember her? We first meet Horatio Caine when he sits down next to the girl and says, "Let's be found together." (That should have been a warning sign what an insufferable bore he would be.)

The girl is very cute in DICKIE ROBERTS, and if you think I didn't just IMDB her to see when I can start thinking about thinking about lusting after her, you really don't know me

(In case you're wondering. When a girl hits fourteen you can put her on the "two years until I can put her on the two years" list. Which means you cannot think about her in any inappropriate manner, but you can talk about when you can. Once she hits 16 you put her on the "two year countdown list," and start daydreaming about rescuing her from pirates or possibly Mini Ogres, also known as Mogres. Before 14 all you can do is vaguely say "she might be a great actress one day" and gnash your teeth. Sadly, every woman reading this right now thinks I'm a total perv, while every guy is like, "Dude, why did you explain the lists???" But I digress.)

It turns out Jenna Boyd just turned 13, so we got a long dark year ahead of us.

Anyway, here is what she said. You have to imagine it with hand motions (especially at the beginning):

Brick wall, waterfall.
Dickie thinks he got it all
but he don't, and I do,
so Boom with that attitude.
Peace, punch Captain Crunch.
I've got something you can't touch.
Bang- Bang choo-choo train.
Wind me up I do my thing.
Reeses Pieces, 7-Up.
You mess with me, I'll mess you up.

And if you don't think I'm going to learn this so I can slam my sisters, you REALLY don't know me very well.

The Unkindest Cut of all

My sister accused me of wanting to take over the Internet with websites. She may be right. I have almost more than I can handle, and I have at least one more coming (the webcomic, if I can ever find artists).

I realize what this means.

I'm going to have to cut some of the sites I have right now. I hate it, but I realize the need.

But which one?

Obviously the home page and the Chronicles is my past. Same for Literary Hype and the Movie Page. Rank Everything could go away, but I like that. I'd axe Monkey Barn but the Morons would howl. (Even though it's like pulling teeth to get them to post lately.)

International Day is going well, and HyperionX is it's own force, although I suppose I could move that to the Chronicles; at this point who am I going to offend?

Empire of the Mind and Five Kingdoms are Community Projects; they are the future of the Institute, and Hyperion After Dark could hopefully be a financial boon one day.

That leaves Hyperion Rants or this one, the Alligator Pit.

I love the picture for Hyperion Rants, but I suppose I could always put it somehwere else. I could fold the rants into here I suppose, or just the home page.

What about The Alligator Pit? Is this site really necessary? Can't I say all of this on the home page or Monkey Barn?

Sigh. It's going to be a long weekend.

FreeCell Follies: 2008 - 733. (73.26%) I am totally slipping. I am THIS close to swearing it off for the rest of the month. At this rate I'll never make 75%.

More later today, after rest.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Independence Crisis Postscript

It got pretty bad Monday morning. The pain was overwhelming, the shock at what I'd possibly done (ruin hundreds of hours of work), and then there's the normal Hyperion-related shit, which was worse than normal. I'm not saying I was suicidal of anything, but I was at a low enough point that I was joking about it. (Gallows Humor has always been a big strength to me in times of trouble.)

Throughout the day I told several people, "I'd kill myself, but it would only solve half my problems."

The reaction to this varied quite a bit. I found that people I've told who, at the very least have been supremely low in their life (not saying suicidal, but just despondant and ready to give up), they laughed like hyenas. On the other hand, my girlfriend was decidedly annoyed with the jest, which I attribute partly to worry for me, and partly because she has such a positive outlook on life. (And before you ask, yes it is a strain on the relationship. Well, that and the fact that she seems unwilling to stab people. But I'm taking the perspective that she's a fixer-upper, at least as far as spontaneous violence and doom-and-gloom defeatism goes, and if you're reading Kaida, I'm not talking about you, but, uh, about my other girlfriend.

Actually, now that I think about it, that's not likely to help matters, so just ignore the last few sentences….actually, just ignore the entire post.


I feel very uncomfortable sharing something like this, but I guess that's what a got a blog for.

Monday was as low as I've been all year. My right ankle had gotten progressively worse to the point where standing or walking was almost impossible, and sitting not much better. My lower and mid back got into the fray, making it excurciating to sit, and my head started pounding worse and worse.

(I figured out the migraine came from all the dust the week before. Well, Monday afternoon my relatives came to visit, and of course there was a flurry of work to get the house presentable. [More on that another time.] All of this activity meant dust everywhere, which is what was making my head hurt so badly.)

It was a perfect storm, but I was almost done. I had the day's material all up, and I was just getting ready to use Notify List and tell people to come and read it. I made a couple minor changes to my "Previously, on the Institute" box, and republished.

The website was gone. I had the Empire and Five Kingdoms pictures, and half of my Paypal link, and nothing after.

I republished several times, thinking it was just a quick glitch, only to see nothing change.

Calm but quite concerned, I called Dragon, waking her up on her holiday, and asked her to help. (She's the Hyperion Institute unofficial Webmaster, which means she does lots of work but never gets paid.)

Dragon looked at the template and told me it was completely erased somewhere in the middle of the Paypal code.

"Do you have the template backed up?" Dragon asked.

I pulled up my backups. The last time I saved a backup was March 22, the day after we switched over to the current "black" design we have now. I save the template every time there is a major change, and I hadn't changed it since then.

Except, I had. Probably a hundred hours' worth I've worked on it since then, tinkering here and there. However, nothing was ever big enough to flag my brain as a major change, so I never thought to change the site. The result was a site to totally different from what I had now that it might as well be gone.

Just ten minutes prior the Institute worked. I had the page up, in correct form, and Dragon told me that if I right clicked and hit 'page source' that she could recreate it without a lot of difficulty.

This is where the pain and the tiredness came into play in a major way. I was so blitzed that I didn't think through what she was saying. Idly I clicked on one of the links on the working page, and of course, the moment I hit "back" it was gone, with the now defunct template. Salvation was within my grasp, and I ruined it.

I want you to know, friends; I was very calm. (Well, catatonic might be a more apt description, but you get the point.) I didn't panic and scream. I just got off the phone and told Dragon not to worry about it.

She wasn't very happy about it, but I realized I simply could not fail at another thing in life. I had to fix this myself, without help, and if I couldn't, it was just going to stay that way.

Actually, that was my plan, to keep the site fragged until at least Wednesday. However, after an hour or so I started rebuilding the site. Piece by piece I put it back together, to the point where I have it about 75% reconstructed. I still don't have the Evil Kitties of the Realm, and I've already gotten emails from Readers telling me that they are Evil Kitties, even though I'm fairly sure I only had a few. (And let me take this moment to make an official appeal: if you were an Evil Kitty of the Realm, a S.K.I.T.T.L.E., please let me know, and your Kitty Code name, as that was wiped out as well.)

Monday, July 03, 2006

Piggybacking Int. Day part 2

Today is Tiff's idea: International Razor Burn Day.

Again, I liked what I wrote so much, I just had to copy it here:

I celebrated this a day early. I shaved my head yesterday, and something must have been wrong with my clippers. (I've never oiled them, as I'm scared. Maybe that was it?)

The clippers gave a great angry "buzz" when I turned them on, a buzz that never went away. It didn't feel all that much different shaving my head, but the next day all over I was rubbed raw with little red bumps. Is this what women have to go through?

Argh! Poor bitches (and I say that with love)

Is that crossing the line? I think not (after all, I said it with love, like Ugarte said, "Poor Devils" in CASABLANCA, but watch some feminists have a cow)

Piggybacking Int. Day

Kapgar had this great idea for yesterday: International Eat Something New Day.

I liked my response so much I thought I'd copy it here:

I didn't eat anything new that I know of (not feeling well enough to venture out into the world), but I did come up with a new way to eat skittles. Does that count?

I put several between my gum and upper lip, like I would for sunflower seeds. I help them there a minute or two, just enjoying slow I.V. drip of Skittle on my taste buds.

Then, when I finally pulled a Skittle down to my tonuge, it was a totally new sensation. The Skittle's once-forbidding exoskeleton was malleable, and in some cases I was able to crush the Skittle and scoop out the goo inside with no more than my tongue! (Although, as more than one can attest, I DO have a powerful tongue, but that's neither here nor there.)

Also worth mentioning: My current favorite person in the world sent me (among other things) packages of four different types of Skittles: Regular, Fruit & Creamy, Tropical Fruits and Wild Berry. I mixed them all together for my experiment.

Isn't that sweet?