Sunday, November 20, 2005


My field spaniel Georgia had her first litter yesterday morning - 2 boys and 1 girl. The two boys are black, the girl is liver and tan. I was going to try really hard not to keep one, but I think I'm going to keep one of the boys (and Georgia's co-owner and breeder will be keeping the other two).

This picture was taken when they were about 12 hours old. I haven't seen them in person yet - if Georgia sees me, she may think her work is done and it's time to go home, and she does still need to take care of them for a little bit longer!

It was a worry this week, wondering if everything would go ok, but everything went well and Georgia was a champ! Which of course she is:

Sunday, November 13, 2005

two and a walnut

A week later, Raz is still huddled in the corner of the cage, now sitting on two eggs and a walnut. The walnut is right in there with the eggs. They are very close in size, and she must have just decided it was an egg, too....

I am getting worried - when is this going to stop?

On another front, (real) puppies are imminent. Our field spaniel, Georgia, who went to Westminster last February is due to deliver any time this week. I am trying very hard NOT to want to keep one - we have five dogs, that's really more than enough. I just know that I am going to melt when I see them....

Trying to be strong...

Tuesday, November 08, 2005

The W word

So I don't like wizards. Those who work with me know this well. It's one of those things I feel deeply about.... One of my hot buttons.

Wizards have become fairly ubiquitous - to the point where sometimes you have to take a stand to *not* do a wizard. Especially when dealing with Eclipse UIs, where wizards rule the day.

But to me, a visual development tool is, well, visual. Wizards are a fill in the blank experience, not visual at all. They just don't fit - it's a bad feeling to have a wizard mixed in with drag and drop stuff - oil and water, a sense of not belonging. There is definitely a *feel* to a program, a piece of software. In a fluid drag and drop experience, a wizard (to me, anway) is jarring.

When you are filling out a wizard, the program is telling you what to do, taking you down a prescribed path. The wizard is in charge, not the user. The point of course is to make the process easier - but I think the first question to ask is what is wrong with the design in the first place that the user can't navigate it him/herself? And once the user is finished, the user has to deal with what has been created, presumably then in a dynamic way, as relaunching the wizard wouldn't feel as natural on an existing object. So the dynamic editing experience also needs to be built, and it needs to be excellent - and a good measure of how excellent it is is often if the artifact could be easily built from scratch using it.

I guess I just don't like programs telling me what to do...

ok, it's gone too far now

I just got an email from my son - autogenerated from his birthday wishlist from amazon.

With such salient phrases as "as kids"(as in when we were...) and signed "best wishes"....

So he's made an automated gift registry for his birthday and emailed it to me (from his gmail account, of course).

I think I want to unplug all the devices and go live off the land....

Sunday, November 06, 2005

The mystery ends

We have a 24 year old scarlet macaw - my husband got it a long time ago, long before he knew me. You can't tell a boy scarlet from a girl scarlet without a dna test, and it didn't really matter to us, so we just always referred to the bird as a "him" - his name is Erasmus, and Erasmus was a guy, so it was as good a guess as any.

In the middle of the night (it felt that way, but was probably in that nether space between when/if teenagers go to sleep and when we do), one of our sons burst into our room saying, "Raz laid an egg!"

And he, um, she, did. The now known to be feminine Raz has been sitting on an egg all morning, turning it, and being rather protective of it (scarlet macaws can be dangerous!) She's going to be disappointed as she is our only macaw, so nothing will hatch from that egg. And we don't really need to add to our menagerie, so fixing that problem is not on the agenda.

So now we need to find a girl's name that has a nickname of Raz...

And wonder why after 24 years, this bird would decide to start laying eggs.