January 2005 Archives

what exactly is a CMS? part two (sponsored post)

My last Marqui-sponsored post was a basic introduction to what a content management system (CMS) is. This post continues with some discussion of different kinds of CMS systems, and the costs and tradeoffs associated with them.

As I mentioned in the previous post, if you use weblog software (Movable Type, Blogger, WordPress, Expression Engine, etc), or use a courseware systeem to create materials for a class, you've used a CMS. A special-purpose CMS, which may not bill itself as such, but a CMS nonetheless.

windows-based last.fm desktop player

One of my grad students has written a (free, as in beer) Windows desktop player for last.fm music streams, called myLastFM.

mylastfm.jpg

Why use it?

We use last.fm to stream music all day long. Sometimes the web interface from last.fm does not refresh correcty. Usually this is not a problem... unless a song that you do not care for comes on and you can't skip it! myLastFM prevents that from happening by giving control of the music stream to a desktop player. Using myLastFM also helps take some of the load off of the last.fm webserver. The whole community benefits from a lesser load on the site. This makes it faster for new users to signup and for existing users to login and utilize the music community features.

From the screen shots, it looks lovely (not a surprise; this is someone who consistently does high-quality work).

(So, Eric, when are you writing the Cocoa-based version for your real computer? ;) )

rpo benefit concert for tsunami relief

My stepfather, who plays for the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), helped to organize a benefit concert by the orchestra for tsunami victims. If you're in the Rochester area, please consider attending and donating. (Our family will certainly be there!)

Here's the press release, with details:

The Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra is partnering with United Way of Greater Rochester for a concert to benefit United Way's South Asia Response Fund. On Sunday, January 30th at 4:00 pm, Jeff Tyzik, Principal Pops Conductor, will lead the orchestra in an amazing performance dedicated to helping those across the globe affected by the Tsunami. The concert will be held at the Bethel Christian Fellowship, located at 321 East Avenue.

The performance for all ages will highlight reflective pieces from Copland, Beethoven, Barber, and others. The RPO will also be joined by a children's choir from The Harley School, led by Jay Stetzer. Although the concert will not be ticketed, there is a suggested minimum donation of $10.00 per person, or $20.00 per family. All checks must be made to: United Way South Asia Response Fund, which was created to support long-term recovery efforts in affected areas.

"We are thankful the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra musicians and staff recognize the long-term impact of this disaster, and are willing to volunteer their time to help out," said Joe Calabrese, United Way of Greater Rochester President and CEO. "During a time like this, it is vital for our community to continue to pull together for relief efforts."

"We were moved to participate in the relief effort in the best way that we know, which is by joining together in our music-making," said Joanna Bassett, flutist and chair of the RPO Orchestra Committee. "The music we've chosen will allow all of us to pause and reflect over the magnitude of the losses, and to be uplifted by the collective strength of the human spirit. We are pleased to be partnering with the United Way, which has both an important local and international presence. We applaud their focus on long-term community rebuilding efforts in South Asia, and are pleased to donate our time to such a worthy effort. We are also grateful for the use of Bethel's sanctuary, and for the assistance of our RPO staff and volunteers."

The concert program includes Copland's Fanfare for the Common Man and "Simple Gifts" from Appalachian Spring, Barber's Adagio, the finale from Beethoven's Symphony No. 5 and selections from Stravinsky's Firebird Suite. The choir from The Harley School will perform "A Gift of Love" and "The Magic Penny."

For more information about the RPO Tsunami Relief concert, please visit http://www.rpo.org/ or call the Box Office at 454-2100. To learn more about United Way's South Asia Relief Fund, and long-term recovery, please log on to www.unitedway.org/tsunamiresponse.

to sleep, perchance to dream

For quite a few years now, I've been an early-to-bed, early-to-rise person. That was very much a result of being a parent--sleeping in is a luxury that parents of small children seldom get to indulge in.

Over the past few weeks, however, I've found myself fighting off sleepiness and trying to stay up late. I'm not completely sure why that is. Part of it, I think, is that after the kids go to sleep it's blissfully quiet in the house, and I enjoy savoring that time. It's easier to read, to write, to think, to relax, when you're not being barraged with requests for parental attention.

But there's something else going on, too, that I can't quite put my finger on. A restlessness. A resistance. To what? I don't know. But it's there.

So here I am, watching my fire slowly burn down, feeling it warm my feet while I type. Soon I'll be too tired to string words together, or even to focus on the screen. Then I'll turn off the lights and head up to bed, where I'll be asleep within minutes.

Tomorrow we actually will get to sleep in. No cello competitions or swimming lessons, no school buses or committee meetings, no place we have to go and no one we have to see. We'll wake to drifts of snow piled across the driveway and the yard, to sausage and eggs cooking in the kitchen (if Gerald gets up first), to a weather-enforced day of rest.

Here's what we have to look forward to...

Winter Weather

So now it's (finally) off to bed with me. Time to close the glass doors on the fireplace, turn off the lights in the kitchen, and climb the stairs to the flannel sheets and warm spouse that await me in bed.

settling down for a long winter's night

We've had about six inches of snow on the ground all week; the temperature hasn't risen enough to melt it, so it just sits there, or blows around.

Today the snow started up again, along with subzero temperatures, and winds gusting up to 30mph. We're supposed to get 3-6" this afternoon, and another 6-10" overnight. Brrrrrr.

We got all of our morning errands done (we think Lane did well in his cello solo competition this morning, but won't know 'til tonight at the earliest), and we're all home now, safe and sound and warm and cozy, watching the snow fly sideways past the windows. I doubt we'll be going anywhere for at least 24 hours, maybe longer.

Time to start a fire in the fireplace, crack open a novel from the library, and pipe some music from iTunes to the Airport Express...

ninja wizards! bears with lasers! w00t!

I haven't laughed this hard in a long time.

Best. Animated GIF. Evah.

(Via Angie McKaig, in my del.icio.us inbox.)

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Update: Apparently the first link died. Probably too many visitors. I've replaced it with a link to another site with the same animation.

what exactly is a CMS? part one (sponsored post)

If I'm going to be a shill, I figure I can at least try to mix my shilling with something useful to my readers.

For some time now I've been meaning to write a beginner's guide to what a CMS (Content Management System) is, and what they're used for. So I'm using my 'paid blogging' gig for Marqui to subsidize some of that content here. Since Marqui is a CMS (though they call it a "communication management system" rather than "content management system"), it makes sense to combine my required (and slightly late) weekly post with that tutorial and some link-loggery.

So, if you'd like to know more about what a CMS is, and why people use them, read on. If you're so put off by the scent of paid blogging that you can't bear to read any more, that's okay, too. :)

multiple urls in os x address book?

Recently, it's occurred to me that I'd really love to be able to integrate my address book more with the social tools I use online. For example, Quicksilver makes it easy for me to go to a person's card in my address book and send them email, chat with them via IM, or copy their snail mail address or phone number. But what if I could, from the same screen, view their del.icio.us bookmarks, or their Flickr photos?

At first I was thinking that these would need to be customized fields, but then I realized that it's just an issue of adding additional URLs. Which would be simple, except that in Address Book you can't add more than one URL. That's stupid. Most of us have more than one URL that we'd like associated with us (or with others).

So, is there a plugin or hack for Address Book that allows adding additional URLs? So that QS will recognize them as launchable URLs? And if not, could someone please write one?

aural history

I'm up late...too late...grading student projects tonight. I have iTunes on party shuffle, after having spent the past week or two loading up my library with a ton of CDs I haven't listened to in ages.

A few moments ago, a song started playing that I haven't heard in years. And suddenly I was flooded with memories of the first time I heard the song--in 1989, to be exact. I can remember the location (a bed-and-breakfast in West Virginia), the weather (crisply cold and sunny), the golden color of the wood in the sunlit high-beamed room I was in, the smoky smell from the fireplace, and the way the singer (Diane Schuur) blew me away with her voice. I bought the CD as soon as I got back to DC.

Very strange, how a song can do that. Send you tumbling backwards in time, back to a place that you didn't know you even remembered.

rochester weblogger meetup

The Rochester-area weblog meetup group has been sort of...well...dead. It's never reached the critical mass for a meeting, alas. But I've volunteered to be the organizer for the group, and hope I can coax some local webloggers to show up. It would be nice meet more blog-savvy folks in the area.

If you're interested, go to the Rochester Webloggers Meetup site, and RSVP for this Wednesday's kick-off meeting, which will be at Panera Bread on Hylan Drive (across from Marketplace Mall) at 7pm.

rochester hotspots

The list of people providing free wifi in Rochester is growing, and it's getting harder and harder to decide where to go when I have to grade!

My latest discovery is Paradigm Cafe, which is only a few miles from my house (it's at the corner of Lehigh Station and East Henrietta Roads, for those locals who want to find it quickly; there used to be a used bookstore and coffeehouse at the same spot called Blue Sunday, but it closed last year).

They serve excellent coffee--Finger Lakes Coffee Roasters brand, which is excellent. The music is good, the atmosphere is nice (only one couch, though...they need more soft-and-comfy seating, I think), and the prices are low. All in all, I'm impressed...and will probably be back on a regular basis.

how i used quicksilver today

A few colleagues have asked me what makes Quicksilver better than other launcher programs that they already use (besides the fact that it's free). I thought I'd keep some notes today about how I used the software so that the day-to-day value was more obvious.

  1. After turning on the computer, I wanted to go to the comments moderation page for my blog. I've got a bookmark in Firefox called "comments," so I invoked Quicksilver and typed "comm". Quicksilver immediately suggested the comments bookmark, so I pressed enter. Firefox launched and went right to the page I wanted.
  2. I wanted to listen to Sarah McLachlan's Afterglow album while I worked, so I invoked Quicksilver and typed Browse. I arrowed down to "Browse Albums," then used right arrow to see my list of albums. I typed "Afterglow" and pressed enter. iTunes launched and started playing the album.
  3. Today's grading day. I use an excel spreadsheet to store student names and URLs, and to record marks for individual components of the assignment. I invoked QS and typed "409-042 grades" to find the spreadsheet (409 is the course number, 042 is the current quarter; I use this naming convention for all course-related materials), and enter to launch it in Excel.
  4. My dock icon for Adium started jumping to tell me I had an incoming IM. I invoked QS and typed "ad" to bring up Adium, and pressed enter to make it the active application.
  5. While grading, I had to send out an advising alert for a student who hadn't turned in an assignment. I have a bookmark for the Advising system, so I invoked QS and typed "advising" to find the bookmark and then enter to open it in Firefox.
  6. I noticed that there was still a PDF article that I'd downloaded yesterday sitting on my desktop. I invoked QS, typed the name of the document (well, the first few characters, actually). Then I pressed tab and typed "move", and tab again and typed the name of the research folder that the document belonged in. Pressing enter resulted in the document disappearing from the desktop and magically being relocated to the appropriate folder.
  7. I remembered that I'd promised a family member that I'd get some information from a mutual friend, so I invoked QS and typed the friend's name. When her entry from my address book appeared, I pressed tab and typed "mail" to find the "Email" command. I selected it with the down arrow, then pressed enter. Mail became the active application (it was already open in the background; otherwise it would have been launched), opened a new message addressed to the friend.

And that's just an hour or two of computer use. There are lots of other nifty tricks that you can use once you master the tool. I highly recommend reading 43 Folders for ongoing ideas and tricks.

help needed digitizing videotape

When Gerald and I got married in Jamaica, back in 1993, a lovely Irish couple videotaped the ceremony for us, and gave us the tape.

The problem is, the tape is a European format that we never had the ability to view. It's a PAL8 8mm videocassette. Specifically, a Sony Metal MP90, which says in various places on its case that it's "P5-90MP," "Video8," and "PAL8".

I would really, really like to be able to preserve this tape (and even watch it someday...). Is there anybody within the reach of this blog who has equipment to decode the tape and transfer it to a digital video file? I would be so grateful...

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Update: A point of clarification. There are plenty of places around here (including several departments here at RIT) that could help me transfer this if it were a standard US tape format (like NTSC). But this is a European (PAL8) videotape format, which not many US video shops support.

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Update 2: Never mind. I found a place online (APM Studio in Boca Raton, FL) that will convert the PAL 8mm tape to an NTSC-format DVD for $14.95.

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Update 3: Wow! Seems our ed tech center here at RIT may be able to do it for me. Very cool. Thanks, Brock, for letting me know...I probably should have checked with them first!

del.icio.us inboxes are back!

...and there was much rejoicing.

What's a del.icio.us inbox, you might ask? It's a list of all the new bookmarks added by the people you subscribe to in del.icio.us, and all the new posts to tags that you subscribe to. Here's mine. Links on the left, subscriptions on the right.

As Joshua has pointed out to me, it's really just an aggregator. Whatever. It's my information lifeline--my sense of what the people whose "information instincts" I trust are looking at. My personalized web recommendation system. And I'm soooooo glad it's back.

Thanks, Josh!

geeking out with os x tools

As part of this whole "get things organized" kick I've been on, I'm also taking a hard look at the tools I use on my computer, and trying to find a way to streamline my workflow there. The first step was Quicksilver, but there's more than I'm working on.

First of all, I just installed Adium as an alternative for iChat. Don't get me wrong--I love iChat. I love the way it works, the way it looks, the AV support, etc. But it only allows me to log into an AIM account--and only one AIM account at that. I maintain two AIM accounts, one for day-to-day personal and professional work, and one specifically for students and office hours. It was a pain to have to log out of one to be in the other, or to have to run two different programs. Adium lets me log into more than one AIM account at once, so that's a big bonus. It also supports multiple protocols, so I can also be logged into Yahoo, MSN Messenger, Jabber, etc. Since not everyone I want to chat with is on AIM, this is also very helpful. And finally, it integrates nicely with Quicksilver (I can start QS, type in a contact's name, hit tab, type "IM", and Quicksilver uses Adium to open a chat window with them. Sweet.)

Adium's not as pretty as iChat, and I don't think there's an equivalent to my beloved "iChat Status" plug-in, which is how I put whatever song I was listening to in iTunes in my status message. And, of course, there's no AV support. :( That means I'll still have to use iChat when I want to do a video chat--but since that's not all that frequent a need, it's not a major issue.

Other tools I've just acquired (or will be receiving this week) include OminOutliner Pro, DevonThink, and VooDooPad. All have been mentioned positively by other OS X geeks, and since they weren't outrageously priced I figured I'd give them a shot. As I try them I'll report back here. In addition, I'm getting a copy of Aladdin's Spring Cleaning, and the 8.0 upgrade to my BBEdit 7.0.

On the non-computer side, I've ordered a Moleskine notebook and Fisher Bullet Space Pen, just because I know that I do better work when I have nice things to do the work with, and I'm a lot less likely to lose an expensive notebook and pen than a cheap one (the notebook was far less expensive that I thought it would be, though).

Finally, I got rid of about 25 books from my office today, and then set up my 43-folder tickler file. I've still got a ways to go before I hit the "mind like water" state of productivity. But as they say in recovery, "progress, not perfection."

busy but happy

Leaving the office now after teaching, advising, and mentoring. Going home to help the boys construct a brownie pizza (watch Flickr for photos of the process later today) and eat dinner. Then back to RIT for the social computing club meeting (6pm @ Java Wally's), then off to an Al-Anon meeting (my first in two weeks, and boy have I been missing it), then home again.

All good things.

I'm busy but happy. And my sink is still shining.

falling in love again

It's been a while since I fell in love with a software application (apologies to those who thought they were going to get some juicy personal tidbits here). But it's happened, so I feel the need to share my happiness with the world. :)

The application in question this time is Quicksilver, an amazing tool that allows you to locate and launch documents, applications, and URLs quickly and easily. And to add icing to the cake, it's free! Yes, that's right. Free.

For years I've been using the very nice DragThing, which often draws queries from students and others who watch me using my system. But DragThing can be a pain to maintain--adding and removing folders and documents, making sure that the applications I'm using at the moment are in the launcher, etc. Plus it requires taking my fingers off the keyboard to click with the mouse/trackpad, which can slow things down.

Quicksilver is different. Once it's been installed, it runs in the background, and can be called up at any time by pressing a key combination. By default, the combination is ctrl-space, but I've changed it to command-space because that's easier to reach with my thumbs. (The reason it's no longer command-space by default is that OS X uses that key combination to switch between input menus in the character palette--that means those of us with Japanese language support enabled with find ourselves accidentally triggering Japanese character input when we press command-space unless you go into system preferences and delete that mapping.)

Here's a quick illustrated overview of how it works--or, at least, how I'm using it:

broken windows and technical debt

Just stumbled across an article called "Don't Live with Broken Windows: A Conversation with Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas," by Bill Venners. The summary says "Pragmatic Programmers Andy Hunt and Dave Thomas talk with Bill Venners about software craftsmanship and the importance of fixing the small problems in your code, the 'broken windows,' so they don't grow into large problems." But there's a lot more to it than that. Here's a great passage from near the beginning of the article.

Bill Venners: What is the broken window theory?

Andy Hunt: Researchers studying urban decay wanted to find out why some neighborhoods escape the ravages of the inner city, and others right next door—with the same demographics and economic makeup—would become a hell hole where the cops were scared to go in. They wanted to figure out what made the difference.

The researchers did a test. They took a nice car, like a Jaguar, and parked it in the South Bronx in New York. They retreated back to a duck blind, and watched to see what would happen. They left the car parked there for something like four days, and nothing happened. It wasn't touched. So they went up and broke a little window on the side, and went back to the blind. In something like four hours, the car was turned upside down, torched, and stripped—the whole works.

They did more studies and developed a "Broken Window Theory." A window gets broken at an apartment building, but no one fixes it. It's left broken. Then something else gets broken. Maybe it's an accident, maybe not, but it isn't fixed either. Graffiti starts to appear. More and more damage accumulates. Very quickly you get an exponential ramp. The whole building decays. Tenants move out. Crime moves in. And you've lost the game. It's all over.

We use the broken window theory as a metaphor for managing technical debt on a project.

Bill Venners: What is technical debt?

Andy Hunt: That's a term from Ward's Wiki. (See Resources.) Every time you postpone a fix, you incur a debt. You may know something is broken, but you don't have time to fix it right now. Boom. That goes in the ledger. You're in debt. There's something you've got to fix. Like real debt, that may be fine if you manage it. If you've got a couple of those--even a lot of those--if you're on top of it, that's fine. You do a release get it out on time. Then you go back and patch a few things up. But just like real debt, it doesn't take much to get to the point where you can never pay it back, where you have so many problems you can never go back and address them.

I've been in organizational debt for a long time now. It will take me a while to climb out of the hole, but I'm determined to do it--at home and at work. This week I've had a taste of what debt-free living could feel like, and it's awfully nice.

and that was the week that was

Well, I've proven to myself that I can do the single parenting thing if I have to--and do it competently. I've also never been happier about going to the airport than I am today--Gerald's flight gets in a little after 10. We'll all be very glad to have him home.

All in all, it's been a very good week, though busy. I've managed to keep the house clean (including laundry and bathrooms, no small accomplishment around here), feed myself and the kids healthy foods, polish off a lot of languishing "to-do" items, and pull off a very successful seminar for the lab this afternoon. (I'll be posting the presentation and related links on the LSC site this weekend.)

What I haven't done is sleep. Not enough, at least. I've been getting to bed after midnight each night, and waking up at 6:30am so that I can get the kids up by 7 and off to school by 7:30. And I haven't had much of a chance to exercise, either. Or get to Al-Anon meetings. Or do much blogging. So while we all survived--and even thrived--this week, clearly this is not a sustainable model.

quit laughing!

One of Gerald's favorite sayings used to be "Man makes plans, and God laughs."

Tonight, after I finished my self-congratulatory post about my successful and productive day, I went down in the basement to get the last load of laundry before going to bed. As I was standing in front of the dryer, however, I noticed that the rug in the laundry area felt damp--damp enough to make my socks wet. Not good.

I peeked around the side of the laundry area, and found that there was nearly an inch of standing water stretching out for a good six feet into the storage side of the basement. The side where we put all the clutter that we don't want to think about, most of which is in cardboard boxes. I'd been putting off the Herculean task of cleaning that side of the basement until other things were more under control, but I guess my plans are the kind that make God laugh...

I found the Shop-Vac, but couldn't find a plug, so I called Gerald, who told me where only accessible plug was--on the ceiling above the washer. I climbed up there, but the Shop-Vac cord didn't reach, so I had to go out into the freezing-cold garage (in wet, bare feet) to find an extension cord. Then it took me 30 minutes to vacuum up the water from the floor and the rug, and clear the soggy boxes out of the way.

It looks like the problem was a clogged drain in the sink that the washer drains into (and, possibly, a skewed hose that was spraying the excess over the edge). I stood down in the basement watching a test run of the washer so I could be sure I'd corrected the problem.

So much for my plan to go to bed early tonight.

Ah well. At least I didn't melt down. And I managed to deal with the problem without making anything worse. Now it really is time for bed.

fun with flying and folders

I'm making some changes in the way I deal with the chaos and stress in my life, and it's already resulting in my feeling better.

The FlyLady approach to cleaning is working out pretty well so far. My sink is shining, and I know where my laundry is. The boys are learning to put dishes into the dishwasher instead of on the counter, and I'm putting out fires in my "hotspots" (the places where clutter gathers first, like coffee tables) every night so that they don't have time to get out of control. Can I keep this up? I don't know. But I'm sure going to try, because it makes me feel so much better to walk into the house at the end of the day, or wake up and go into the kitchen in the morning, and not be confronted with acres of clutter and cleaning to do.

I've posted chore charts in the boys' rooms, too, so that we can cut down on the "but I fed the lizards yesterday" arguments. And part of their chores from now on will be to alternate days wiping down their bathroom so that it doesn't reach the "I can't take this anymore!" stage. They were not thrilled about that assignment, but I'm okay with that.

That still leaves the minor detail of my day job, which is a non-trivial source of stress and chaos in my life. For that, I'm doing two things. First, I've started reading the highly-recommended book Getting Things Done, by David Allen. It's brilliant. My first key take-away from it is that I've been trying to keep way too much information in my head, and I need to start offloading it into external storage.

Towards that end, I've also started reading Merlin Mann's excellent blog 43 Folders, which is essentially about how to adapt Allen's GTD approach to a digital lifestyle. ("43 folders" refers to the tickler file that Allen recommends, with 31 daily folders and 12 monthly folders.) Based on what I've read there, I've started a projects text file in BBEdit, and I've also installed Quicksilver (a killer launch/productivity application that's even free!) that lets me get to the file (and add to it) more easily.

I'm also trying to implement some of Allen's other suggestions--for example, if an incoming task (email, phone call, hallway request) can be done in 2 minutes or less, I need to just do it, not put it off. This is helping me get through my email more effectively. And what I can't do right away is going into my projects list, so that I don't lose track of it as it scrolls up in my inbox.

I have no idea how long this burst of productivity and organization will last. Taking a leaf from my recovery, however, I'm only focusing on getting through today. And for the past 24 hours, I've been doing pretty well. Tomorrow's a new day--with luck, it will be as satisfying as today has been.

mamamusings sells out?

women_blogging.gifWell, not exactly. But I'm sure some of you will think so.

Along with a number of other bloggers whom I like and respect, I've decided to enter into an agreement with a company called Marqui, which makes content management software. I blog about their product once a week, and they pay me a not-insignificant amount per month for doing so.

They do not control what I say--I could, for example, complain bitterly about the product's shortcomings, so long as I linked back to them. And I'm free to note clearly in the posts that it's a sponsored post (which is why this post has a category of "sponsored," and a funky box around it).

However, I wouldn't have agreed to the gig if it wasn't a product that I found interesting, and a business model that intrigued me. For those of us who put a lot of time and effort into creating content for our sites, it's nice to find a way (beyond Google AdWords) to be compensated for that effort. The model that Marqui is trying out (with the guidance of Marc Canter) is one that I think has real potential. It's an above-board way of building buzz, without (to my mind) compromising content. They're not dictating what I write (although they are providing suggestions for content), and they're not demanding that my site be overrun with advertising.

So, we'll see how it goes.

happy new year!

The boys and I put Gerald on a plane to Alabama early Friday morning, so that he could spend a week with his daughters in Birmingham. Despite my solo status, however, I managed to clean the house and host a potluck brunch for friends and family yesterday. (It wasn't going to be potluck until Gerald made his travel plans--I depend on him for much of our hospitality infrastructure, so switching to potluck was the only realistic way to pull it off.)

We had a lovely time, marred only by the fact that I'm developing a delayed allergic reaction to a sulfa drug that I was talking earlier in the week--so about an hour before my guests left, my ankles and chest developed maddeningly itchy hives. I tried taking Benadryl, which makes me incredibly sleepy, so the rest of the day was pretty much lost. The Benadryl was nearly useless, however, and by lunchtime today I was covered with the itchy red blotches (lovely image, no?). I ended up calling the doctor for a prednisone Rx, which I started today. (Will have to hit the gym tomorrow morning and take advantage of my short-term steroid boost!)

My mom took the boys this afternoon, so I did the back-to-school lunch shopping, and more household cleaning--trying to get organized enough to make it through a week of single-parenthood. I even signed up (again) for FlyLady, in hopes that I can defeat the C.H.A.O.S. around here ("can't have anyone over syndrome"). It's not a new year's resolution, exactly--it's more a realization that I'm happier in a house that's not a mess. We'll see if it's possible to change my years of bad habits--and to get the boys to adopt some new ones, as well.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from January 2005 listed from newest to oldest.

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