Saturday, December 22, 2007

the cards not written....

I started my Christmas cards this morning. Very late, I know, but got a good start.

I go through my address book, writing out the cards pretty much alphabetically (somehow my mom's card is always first!) But this year, I paused when I got to two names... My Aunt Carol, who died too young at 71 in August.... One of the sweetest ladies to ever inhabit this planet... And Steve's grandmother, who died in April at almost 103... An amazing lady! I felt their absence as I wrote the cards out... I send them Christmas wishes in spirt, if not with cards and stamps...

Sunday, December 02, 2007

database properties on my mind....

I'm looking at the database properties infobox, looking to move it to a property panel in Designer. When I say property panel, I mean putting properties in an Eclipse view at the bottom of the center of the screen, underneath the active editor. Like the infobox, this panel tracks the current selection. Someday the client may share this work, but for now this is for Designer.

The paradigm for changing properties in Eclipse is different from Notes. Both ways have their advantages... The non-modality and the volume of modifiable information available is a real benefit for the infobox.

But as I look at the db infobox, I see two kinds of information. One kind is informational or a launch point for a dialog (think archive settings, etc), and the other is actually editing the design. If I look at the same infobox for a db for which I don't have design rights, it's all mostly greyed out information.

So I'm thinking of a divide and conquer approach. In the Designer navigator, have a pseudo-design element, probably right under the database name, that lets you launch a database property editor. This editor would let you edit the stuff currently on the design tab, the advanced tab, the launch tab and a few strays - all very much part of database design. The properties box becomes more informational (and support the copy command for things like replica id!!) Things like size/archive settings stay in the property panel with buttons to change them today as they are discrete operations, not really design operations and are also allowed for nondesigner users. Header/footer stuff probably needs to stay in the property panel if the client will ever share this work, but would show the current settings (for BOTH header and footer) and then to change, you'd probably press a button that popped up a little dialog.

At first I was quite resistant to this train of thought - I like how the infobox works! But it's been growing on me (badly enough I woke up thinking about it), and I think should the client ever borrow this work it could greatly simplify the interface for the client, and that it gives a more natural editing experience for designers.

So was this a dream or a nightmare?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

proposed UI change for agents, etc....

In Designer today, you can change your mind about what language you are writing an agent, web service, or script library in. (On button events, etc., too, but we're not going there yet!)

Would it be a huge hardship to lose that? Do you really change your mind about what language you're writing something in? If you do, would it be horrible to have to go create a new agent or whatever in that case? (Bonus - you wouldn't have to live through the "Are you sure/all existing code will be lost" message, and actually you would no longer necessarily be losing anything unless you chose to delete the item you were in!

It is a simpler design (that's what's in it for us!)

We made a similar change to script libraries in Release 6, and I didn't hear any issues, but taking it this much farther bears a question...

Saturday, November 17, 2007

and then there were five.....

Our stairway has six picture frames, as does my office shelf. Each year in the fall, there's a ritual - open up the back of each picture and put in the new school picture for the year. It is a nostalgic moment as each picture frame holds all the previous years' photos. As time goes on, it can be quite a struggle to close the back of the frame again.

It started with one frame, when my oldest had his first school pictures taken. It built up to six picture changes for the years when they were all in school. Then there's senior year in high school... Time freezes for four years until the college yearbook picture (or longer if said son doesn't believe in such things).

The frame for my oldest son contains the picture from his college graduation day, walking down the steps with his diploma in hand. The next three have been frozen in time as high school seniors as they are still in college or working.

Today my fifth son's senior picture went up on the wall. We went through each of the pictures in the back - a frame by frame documentary of his metamorphisis from day care to almost eighteen year old man.

I likely won't see Tom's grade school pictures again for at least four years. Next fall, we'll only go through Rory's pictures. And the year after that, this moment repeats with Rory.

The fall after that... I have to believe I'll just open up all those pictures and remember anyway.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

does anyone use the Tools menu?

In Release 6, we added a feature to allow people to add their own menu items to the Domino Designer tools menu. It would allow you to set the contexts in which these tools should run, and you could specify a formula or a simple executable to be available on the menu in these contexts.

This is different from how one would normally extend Eclipse so I'm not convinced it's a good fit with the new Designer. It's "just code" so we could bring it over, but is it worth the effort? Is it helpful to allow users who may not yet be Eclipse savvy enough to extend it with another mechanism, or is it just confusing to have more than one way?

Inquiring minds want to know first if anyone ever used this function, and second, what to do with it now?? thanks :-)

Sunday, October 14, 2007

how much energy does a meeting take?

I've noticed that the more meetings I have in a day, the more exhausted I am at the end of it. I am far less tired by a day filled with coding. I don't believe that I am so old that the activity of walking between meeting rooms in the same building 5-6 times per day is sufficient cause to create the difference in energy levels.

After a day of coding, I feel (assuming things worked!) energized and as if my brain is well-worked. After a day of meetings, I feel anxious, restless, and exhausted. When I see a day that is "all blue" on my calendar, it is much harder to get psyched about getting to work. Ten hours of coding is easier for me to do than five hours of meetings.

One manager suggested that this was because of my INFP personality type... That meetings are hard work for introverted people. I think that's a large part of it. Another component is that I crave coding... I am hooked on the joy of making something work!

As I look to the next week, it has a better balance (so far) than last... I have a list a mile long of things I want to code. And a shorter list I have to code... This INFP will have to find the discipline to do the things on the shorter list first! With just a few things mixed in from my longer list....

Friday, October 12, 2007

barrington revisited

When I was a freshman in college I had a purse named Barrington. When I saw it in the store, I knew it was *my* purse, but had a crisis of conscience in buying it, for Barrington was made of rabbit fur.

I was horrified by the thought of having a fur purse, that something had to die for me to have an "accessory." I went back and forth... The rabbit had already given its life, it was so soft a purse...

In the end, the purse was mine. I carried it all through college and through part of grad school, long past the time when it had seen better days. Rumor has it that he was thrown out the window of a bus taking Canisius students (including me) to Philadelphia to see a basketball game... Some guys I knew clowned around with it while I slept. Or they just told me that they threw it out the window and the bus had to go back and get it - I'll never know for sure.

Barrington was named for the bunny in this story - warning, it's a very sad story....

Tuesday night, I indulged in a little retail therapy after dropping Steven off at his new dorm room. I found a beautiful purse.

But it was made of rabbit fur. It was soft, the right size, and I loved it immediately.

A familiar crisis of conscience ensued. This time, I couldn't buy a rabbit purse. At least not so far.... My conscience has evolved sufficiently for me to leave the store without it. But not so far that I'm not still thinking about it...

Monday, October 08, 2007

there are two kinds of people

those who love the repeat settings on a cd player/ipod/etc, and those who don't.

When a song worms its way into my head, it's the only song I want to hear. I have been known to keep a normal length song on repeat for up to an hour... This is fine if I'm driving alone, but doesn't always work so well when I am with others. Steve is fairly patient (up to about the third repeat...) but the kids are less so...

I've always loved music, I get completely drawn in to music that catches me. Conversely, I react physically to music I dislike - like opera. When subjected to particulary shrill opera, I curl into a defensive ball and/or look for the closest exit. Infinite tolerance for music I like, zero tolerance for music I don't.

I usually will listen to a cd at a time, and don't often get into these "repeat" moods. But once in a while, a song will hit a particular resonance, and I'm lost in it til it lets me go....

Saturday, October 06, 2007

and grace is just a measure

I've been listening to Richard Shindell's version of Jeffrey Foucault's Northbound 35 a lot recently. It's a sad song, reflecting my feelings about this, the lyrics don't really apply in any real sense, it's mostly the mood of the song. I just haven't been able to get the song out of my head.

But I've always been a believer in making lemonade. Everything you ever do becomes part of you, what you learn changes you forever. And my time on LCD taught me a great many things; I return to Domino Designer a much stronger engineer than I left it. Domino Designer was likely to take much of my time anyway, putting it into Eclipse is a realization of a long held dream, and now my attention will not be split.

The details are an evolving story for another day. But thank you, LCD, for a great ride.

Friday, October 05, 2007

all for one, one for all?

It's been years since I've played D&D, and I never will again - it was one of those things I did to try to make a doomed relationship work... Still I remember enough of the lingo to be amused by this result:

What is your d&d alignment?

You are a Benefactor, Neutral Good.

Neutral good characters are devoted to helping others, but do not always do so through the institutions (such as church and government) created for that purpose. They are perhaps the most flexible among the good alignments, able to bend their approach to suit the circumstances in which they find themselves. They are honorable, but may sometimes behave dishonorably for a good cause. They may lie to an evil person, for example. As a general rule, neutral good characters do not attack unarmed opponents, harm the innocent, torture, kill if it can be avoided, refuse an honest appeal for aid, take bribes or betray their friends. The Three Musketeers are examples of neutral good characters.
Take this quiz!

Monday, October 01, 2007

sometimes it's the little things....

I'm in Miami at the Advisor conference, and I just wanted to show one more little thing than we've been working on... I thought back to the things on "my list" that I know have always bothered me and others... This one came to mind... A teeny bit of code, and there it is. If you change your mind about the "don't show me this again," you can set it back with a preference, or you can continue to still be prompted if you've ever been burned with having design changes overwritten and you never want it to happen again....

Last week someone said we were "porting" Domino Designer to Eclipse. It's this kind of change, as well as the more dramatic editor replacements, that to me make it far more than a port. It's a rethinking, a reinvention... And it feels really good to make that dialog box go away!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

oh where or where...

should database (application) properties go in Designer??

We'll be adding some new ones, so we'll need more room to complicate the issue further.

Historically, they've been in the selection hierarchy of any infobox. Changes are immediate, and not batched in a transaction like form or view or any other design element editor.

With the first release of Designer in Eclipse, we'll have a mix of infoboxes and property panes (unless of course users decide they'd rather wait for us to rewrite all the infoboxes before releasing it...)

Two questions:

- is it ok to remove database properties from the infobox selection hierarchy in Designer (where infoboxes remain)?
- is it ok to have to click on the database header in the bookmarks or make another gesture to get to database properties?

thank you :-)

Friday, September 14, 2007

batman returns

a year ago, at the dog show in falmouth, Batman got his very first point. he finished his championship in january at american spaniel club. Since then, he's been chasing birds at the bird feeder and hunting stray tennis balls... until today :)

Today Batman returned to the dog show in Falmouth as a champion entered in the best of breed competition. We both need practice, so I chose a Friday, which tends to be quieter. there were 4 other dogs there who were still working on their championships.

still, batman looked and behaved great, and I didn't fall down, and he won best of breed!!!

A certain black dog just dropped a tennis ball in my lap - time to reward him with some play!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

multigenerational magic

Last night, Steve and I went to the Ben Taylor concert at Outerland here on the island. It was a really great show in a very nice venue. Not huge, general admission, but we had great seats at just about acoustical center. Much of Ben's family also spends at least part of the year here, so several relatives joined in - his very pregnant sister Sally, his Aunt Kate, and his mom - Carly Simon! Ben, Sally, and Carly did a great version of Neil Young's Ohio, Sally (and sometimes Carly, too) sang backup on many of his tunes, and Ben sang backup for a song by Kate (which I really liked, but I can't remember the name!)

We went to pick up the tickets we'd bought online at Outerland in the afternoon - and Ben was there setting up. As we were getting our tickets, he came up to the front to ask the lady in charge a favor, but very politely said Hi in the smoothest voice - Carly and James did well with their boy!

Friday, August 24, 2007

it's happening again....

We're nearing September, the kids are ignoring the reality of the new school year. But I can't. Twice today I've found myself on the Harvard Extension school site, trying to figure out what course to take... Data Structures? Been there, done that. The Science of Google Searching? That's a course? Unix/Linux System Programming? Probably should, but if I have to, I can probably figure it out as I go....

Introduction to Old English Literature? Hmmm... Chaucer: The Canterbury Tales? Introduction to Modern Irish? One of those could be fun... But is there time?

Every fall I go through this. Every fall there seems to be too much else to do to tackle a course... This year promises to be busy, too. But still, September beckons....

visiting an old friend....

This has to be role reversal in a most serious way. My seventeen year old is off helping his older brother move from Brooklyn to New Haven as he goes back to grad school. What is the first thing I do? I take his car for the day....

Tom normally drives Blueberry, my precious 94 Camry wagon, so I haven't been able to drive her in months. Yesterday I drove her to work, as I will today. She has 195,600 miles now, and except for a vibration in the wheels when she goes over 70 (maybe a tire threw a weight?) she's in great shape.

In three years (when Rory goes off to college), I get her back. In the meantime, I'll keep stealing her for short snippets while I can to make sure she's ok. And enjoy driving a car that is as comfy and fits as well as an Aerosole shoe.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

still free

I've been walking around for the past week with a little bandaid on my leg. There was a little bump that wasn't going away, and with my history, I found my mind was spending cycles on it, so I had to go have it checked. The dermatologist said it was almost certainly nothing, but given my history, it was best to remove it and biopsy it.

I haven't been as nervous about waiting for the results as I was for similar events in the first years after dealing with Merkel Cell Carcinoma. But it's been in the back of my mind... What if I have to fight *that* battle again. What if...

But the message on my answering machine when I got home said "benign." There is no more beautiful word.

What doesn't kill you does make you stronger :-) But you never forget.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

I'm not winning the desktop battle

No, not that one. The one on our own computer at home. The computer used predominantly by my teenage sons that I wouldn't dare do any banking on.

A few days ago I walked by it, and it had a desktop picture on it that I ordered removed as inappropriate. After the predictable statements that it wasn't offensive, I turned into Imperious Mom and ordered it off anyway.

I just walked by it again. It does have a new desktop. It's a tiled picture of Stalin with a cartoon bubble saying "I am not offensive."

I should be glad he knows enough history to consider that "blatant sarcasm"? There's a bright side here somewhere, I just don't see it yet....

Friday, July 27, 2007

I was hoping it wasn't quite this bad...

but I guess I shouldn't be surprised. Seems like minoring in English should have helped a bit more, though!

I am nerdier than 91% of all people. Are you a nerd? Click here to find out!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

puppy love

I finally got to see Georgia's new litter yesterday - and it was lots of fun to see them and cuddle them and take their pictures. Here's the result, because the pictures are worth a thousand words!

Tabblo: Georgia's New Litter!

Georgia and James had three boys and a girl on June 7, 2007.  The pups are seven weeks old now, and soon will be off to their homes.

If only I had room for one more....

... See my Tabblo>

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

the old girl lives on

An 800 yard run is child's play for the Islander, but it is a far better next step than the scrapyard.

I may have to make a trip to Manhattan!

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

processes and directories, oh my....

I am determined to separate the Notes client and Designer processes at the same time we put Domino Designer into Eclipse (I can't say when yet, but we are still hard at work on it!). This will require a few decisions... I was pretty sure I knew the right path, but then I talked to some customers at the recent NE Notes User Group meeting I realized I needed to validate some ideas.

As I thought about how to solve this problem, I came upon one thought that is very important to verify. My belief (please say if I'm wrong!!) is that the "typical" Notes developer *uses* a different set of databases than he or she *designs*, and based on several Lotusphere conversations, people who design also often want to design using a different ID than they use in the client.

That would mean that the data directories (and desktops) could be different between the client and designer, making the process separation much, much, MUCH simpler. We could still do a Notes preview in this world by launching a separate instance (in Eclipse-speak, target platform) for the Notes client to view the preview of interest.

Things get less simple if you actually want to preview a database that you use in your local client data directory, with the data that's there. So I need to know how important that case is...

Do you most often design databases that you simultaneously use locally in your client or are they typically different?

Your responses will really help me work this issue through! Thanks!

Friday, July 13, 2007

happy birthday, Nana

Today would be my grandmother's 110th birthday. She only made it to 84, but she packed a lot of personality into her 84 years, and she lives on in at least my mother's and my memories of her... Her lifelong mischief streak started with her birth.

It is a great family mystery as to whether she was actually born on the 12th or the 13th. July 12th is of course Orangemen's Day and my grandmother was of 100% southern Irish descent, and it would be completely inappropriate to be born on that day. Rumor has it that she was born on the 12th (albeit near midnight) but that *her* grandmother deemed that a completely unacceptable birthday, so her date of birth was officially recorded as the 13th, and we certainly always celebrated it on the 13th.

She was quite an artist, and I am lucky enough to have a few of her paintings in my house. They are rare - she painted just enough for her house, and then stopped painting when she started raising her family.

She threw elaborate parties, and hated to be left out... When my grandfather had a company Christmas party that did not include wives, she called the party anonymously to tell them that their headquarters was on fire, sending all the partygoers racing to their building to discover all was well.... When they still didn't invite spouses the next year, they were surprised with the delivery of an unfathomable amount of ice cream.

It is her name, Grace, that is my middle name. May I live up to it :-)

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

maybe I just shouldn't fish....

Steve loves to fish, and starting last summer, I have been trying to learn how to surfcast. I'm mostly getting better, and fortunately haven't actually caught anything, so haven't had to deal with how I feel about actually causing a living thing to stop breathing.

I have caught a crab, which was safely returned to the sea, a bit annoyed, but fine.

I can mostly deal with the reel and the lure, and I know I don't like to cast from the uneven rocks of a jetty, I need the steady sand beneath me whenever possible.

My cast goes out a bit farther each time, though I still struggle with having it land where I want it to.

Today, casting from the rocks by the side of the bridge at the Oak Bluffs/Edgartown border, on the very first cast of the day, I watched to see where my plug landed. I couldn't see it anywhere. Then my line started going out pretty fast and I couldn't figure out what was going on. Til I realized that the line was going towards the road above me. And that it was going about the speed of a car. I had hooked an SUV headed in the opposite direction. Steve told me not to drop the rod (which I thought was a perfectly good idea, but I figured he knew better). The line got tauter and tauter, and after what seemed an eternity, relaxed.

Steve told me to start reeling in the line, but it was caught in the bridge. The lure was gone, but eventually we got everything back together and I moved much farther from the bridge before I dared cast again.

I didn't catch anything else.

Driving back home, about a quarter mile up the road, I saw my lure at the side of the road. That was an immense relief, as I was really worried that it could have hurt someone.

My "one that got away" was a 2 ton SUV. I think I'm going to leave the fishing to Steve.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

living up to my blog's name

today I really am an mvgirl again :-) I'm on island, breathing in the sea and the sky, listening to the birds in the trees, feeling peaceful. The shallow stressed breathing of the last few days before vacation is being replaced with deeper, more cleansing breaths...

Life is good.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

private in desktop views

In a DDE (Domino Designer in Eclipse) meeting yesterday, when I was talking about how important it was to separate the client and designer processes at this time, Andre asked what I had in mind for private in desktop views... Part of the solution for separating the processes means a separate workspace/desktop for the Designer client, so that does indeed present a challenge for private in desktop views.

Driving in this morning (since I had to drive in by myself, and could be relaxed rather than clinging to the armrest because Steve doesn't like to brake as early as I do, but that's another story), I had the thought that we could probably get away with editing such views only within the context of a client. It is my belief that most of the users/editors of such views are those users who have an ACL access where they can create views, but do not have design rights to the database. They do their view design in the client anyway.

So I am seriously considering removing the ability to create private in desktop views when in the Designer, and only providing that function if you are editing a view in the Notes client itself (we'd probably have to have some UI to open the design in the client then even if you had design rights). The alternative for all this is some kind of replication between desktops.

Is my belief correct that that is the predominate use case for that kind of view? If so, I am leaning hard towards having them be client only. Anyone think that's a terrible idea?

Thursday, June 21, 2007


We're trying to prioritize some tasks for LCD, and I could use some help.

Particularly, we're trying to figure out in what release to include the support for the Notes client as a target development platform for LCD. In 6.0, we could deploy to portal, and with our alphaworks edition, to WASCE. My own sense is that supporting Notes client applications is tremendously important, but it would really help if I could reference a cast of thousands who agreed with me :-)

Is it important to you that LCD build Notes client applications? If so, do you plan to predominantly use Domino data in them, or would you want to use LCD's onboard XML document store, or both? If you would need the XML document store, would it be ok or not to wait for offline access to that data from the client?

I'll try not to prejudice the answers with my own views other than my already saying I think supporting Notes is important :-)

thanks for your thoughts!

Monday, June 18, 2007

we didn't forget....

LotusScript & HTML editing - I just didn't post the pictures before. Due to popular demand, here's the LotusScript editor:

And here is the HTML editor:

Cool, isn't it?

Saturday, June 16, 2007

I guess I still sound like home....

Thanks to Bob, I found this quiz... There's no doubt, I still have a Buffalo accent. And if you heard me say the "a" at the beginning of accent, it would be quite clear :-)

What American accent do you have? (Best version so far)


You have a Northern accent. That could either be the Chicago/Detroit/Cleveland/Buffalo accent (easily recognizable) or the Western New England accent that news networks go for.

Personality Test Results

Click Here to Take This Quiz
Brought to you by quizzes and personality tests.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Domino Designer DNUG presentation

Today I had my Domino Designer presentation. Showed all the new stuff in 8, then got to show all the progress on the Domino Designer in Eclipse effort. We have more things working now... A Java editor:

A JavaScript editor:

and just a little bit of fun:

There's more to do for sure, but it's fun and moving forward!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Safely to Dresden, via Prague

First time ever in Prague, what a beautiful city! I know we only scratched the surface of what to see, but I was amazed by the churches and the castle... The city is incredibly beautiful, and there is history at every turn. I didn't even get through half of the castle, so I just have to go back! Lots of pictures, I'll create a Tabblo once I'm home (where the cable to my camera is...)

We took the train from Prague to Dresden, negotiated the Metro several times, including a final ride to get from the wrong train station to the right one... Who knew?

Haven't been in Dresden very long, but so far seems like a very pretty city. Have heard that it is all rebuilt to look as it did, but it looks quite authentically old (or I'm easily fooled!)

Drifting off to sleep, but so far a great start to the DNUG adventure!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

on my way to DNUG

Tomorrow night I fly out of Boston on my way to Dresden for the DNUG conference. I am giving one presentation on Domino Designer (yes, there's some neat new stuff to show!!!), and Martha and I are doing a talk on Lotus Component Designer together. New stuff to show in LCD, too :-) Enough to make me lug two laptops across the ocean!

On our way there, we're stopping in Prague - which I have heard is an intriguing city. Hoping to see Prague Castle and get a new stamp on my passport!


Georgia delivered four puppies this morning! Three liver males at 7:00am, 7:30am, and about 8:10am, followed by a liver female around 9am.

Mom and pups are resting comfortably, Julie (Georgia's breeder and other owner) is exhausted! Pictures as soon as I get one!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

memorial day

I can't say it better than John Gorka did in his song "Road of Good Intentions" on his Writing in the Margins CD.

I always come back to the soldiers
with their courage and ideals
I’ve seen them smoking in the airports
there’s no telling how it feels
on the road of good intentions
all gets justified to hell
the price revealed in stories
too short, too sad, to tell

One of those soldiers was my dad.

He was sent to the Pacific just before the end of WWII, served in the army of occupation in Japan, went back to school, returned to the army, went back to school, went to the Korean war, went back to school....

His story was too short, but I remember it.

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Prom Day!

Tabblo: Nashoba Prom 2007

Tom's Junior Prom was today - a beautiful May evening at Mechanic's Hall in Worcester.  That part of the evening was their own - this part, as they awaited their limo-chariot ride to the prom, was shared with the parents who were uniformly marvelling at the transformation of their children.  I hope their evening is as magical as they are!


... See my Tabblo>

Sunday, April 29, 2007

The measure of a man

I'm just back from taking my fifth son to be measured for his tux for his junior prom. I'll never know what it is like to help a daughter shop for a prom dress, but I expect the experience is very different.

I couldn't really get Tom to look at any of the tuxes while we were waiting - he waited until he was asked by the clerk what he had chosen to actually investigate. "Black" was the primary criteria, and I can't say there was much concern for stripes or pattern or number of buttons or material... He did say the word green about a vest and tie, and did find one that he was happy with.

Then you watch the little boy be measured for his thoughtfully chosen tux. Instructed by the store clerk to put his arms at his sides, to stand straight... When he tried on the pants, he was told to wear them at his waist at least for the pictures at the prom...

When I saw him in a try on for size tux and shoes, I wondered who is this man they just measured? That experience is likely to be the same as the mother who gets to see her daughter try on the first prom dress. He looked so grown up!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

something funny with Google maps

I've noticed an odd behavior on my machine. I have two VPN programs currently installed, one of which is obsolete. Normally, this causes absolutely no problems. However, any time I go to a website that has a Google map on it, and some other google based sites (a Google group), my other VPN program launches itself and asks me to authenticate.

Now I'm happiest in UI code and networks and connections are pretty far from my comfort zone and even farther from my area of expertise. But I can't help feeling suspicious that there is some kind of network querying going on in Google's html....

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

how important is LotusScript?

Is JavaScript good enough, or is it important for LCD to think about what it would take to support LotusScript? Is it better to support LotusScript or other languages such as PHP, etc?

Inquiring minds want to know :-)

Sunday, April 22, 2007

when it rains...

you discover what matters most.

The recent Nor'easter caused a flood in our basement. Nine inches deep of water everywhere... We had never totally unpacked from moving here almost five years ago, so there were many too many boxes, and much too much in harm's way.

Lots of things are headed to the dump, but many are still ok. And it's been a nostalgic trip through our history - that Mark Knopfler song "This is Us" keeps running through my head.

The value of things lost is not at all measured in monetary terms. Some college books are ok, others are not. I found I felt little nostalgia over my graduate school texts, which are probably far more valuable than my undergraduate texts. But I didn't enjoy BU like I did Canisius, it simply reflects the value I place on the memories.

Ironically my graduate diploma is fine; my bachelor's is irreparably damaged. I would not have bothered replacing my graduate diploma; I will be contacting Canisius to find out if it's possible to get a replacement....

In a very wet volume of F. Scott Fitzgerald's Letters to His Daughter is a priceless letter my mother's college roommate on my 14th birthday, the first birthday I had after my dad died. The book may need to be replaced (the jury is still out), but the letter will be ok, and it will be carefully placed back in the book (or its replacement) when it can. The book *can* be replaced, the letter cannot.

Baby pictures, some picture albums, genealogical research, fortunately much of that is ok. Toys, some books, some older electronics, are destroyed, indeed some pictures, are destroyed, too.

It's also fun to tease my husband about his carefully attempting to rescue letters from some of my old friends, but not the ones from an old boyfriend :-)

It's a horrible amount of work to clean all this up. But revisiting our past has been a gift, too. It slows the task down to read the old letter, or to look carefully at the picture of my grandmother... But it offers spring cleaning of the soul in return.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Not much is heard about grandmothers-in-law, but I was blessed with an amazing one. Steve's grandmother would have been 103 in June. She left us yesterday morning.

She was a very bright lady (a Smithie), who knew and spoke her mind. I hope I can be half as spunky as she when I (hopefully!) reach her age. When she could no longer drive, she just took taxis to Legal Sea Foods, not to be denied her favorite lunch. A voracious reader, she also loved the ocean and Cohasset. I didn't know her when she was young, but I know she loved her family, and I can see her influence in Steve and in our boys. I am grateful for the influence she has had on me.

I am very sad she has left us, but happy for her that she is now with her husband again. I will see and feel her spirit when I watch the ocean with her grandson.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

a new rythmn

It used to be that the night before Easter meant assembling six identical Easter baskets, then hunting for six new dog proof locations to hide them before going to bed much later than I wanted to. Last night I was falling asleep early since I had to be up very early that day to take Eve (Batman's sister) to a dog show in Springfield in the morning (she didn't win, but she did well, so I was proud of her!)

Anyway, as I was starting to fight the battle of staying awake another hour or so, it occurred to me... Teenage boys sleep in. There's no need to assemble and hide the baskets tonight - I'll be up before they are in the morning, I can do it then. And that way the Peeps won't be stale!

This morning, I assembled four Easter baskets (the older two no longer live at home). One is yet unsearched for as its owner hasn't arrived home yet (college kid due in later)....

It seems the pattern of our lives is changing a bit. We're still pretty far from most people's definition of empty nesters with three kids living at home full time and an itinerant college student, but it is so much less populous than it used to be, and the kids are far more independent. One Friday this month on the way home from work we realized that no one was home... We impulsively stopped for dinner on our way. That must be what it's like to not have kids at home.

I think it's going to be ok.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

the fear is still there

When I read the comment to my last post asking me to participate in the Merkel Cell Carcinoma discussion group, I think my heart stopped. That was a painful part of my past that I am proud of surviving, but have since tried to distance myself from. To a certain extent, getting over it meant forgetting about it.

But needing to forget means that at some level, the cancer still controlled me. I had been thinking not remembering was being cured. Maybe remembering and taking control is being cured. The scar on my left temple is my badge of courage, it is not invisible, it is part of me.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

desperados waiting for a train....

I have a new old album on... Tom Rush with a reissue of Ladies Love Outlaws and Merrimac County, all on one CD. It helps me remember who I really am, or at least who I thought I was going to be. The delta is a bit unsettling.

I hear this music, and it's July 3, 1975, and I'm on a picnic blanket on the side of a hill out in Lenox, Massachusetts. It's an all day concert at the Lenox Music Inn with Tom Rush, Wendy Waldman, Leon Redbone, Orleans, and others I don't quite remember. I foolishly wore long jeans, and foolishly rolled them up and got a terrible sunburn on my legs. The lemonade was cold and sweet... I was with my first true love - and it could not have been more beautiful a day. A bit tinged with sadness around the edges - when Wendy Waldman sang about "nothing to do but let your wild bird go.." I already knew that love would end someday. But that was still a ways off.

I saw Tom Rush again last summer on the island. He's aged a bit, but is still amazing. Just him this time, indoors in the Old Whaling Church, so no sunburn. This time I was with the true love that lasted.

When I hear this album, I hear both the summers of 1975 and 2006. They're both all good.

No Regrets.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

extension points....

OK, everyone keeps saying they want the new Domino Designer to have oodles of extension points. Based on Eclipse, extension points are of course a natural.

To help us out, though, since at some point a program actually has to have some immutable code, what pieces are a priority for you to extend? Since we are taking an iterative approach to moving Domino Designer over to Eclipse, starting primarily with the script editors, what extensions will you be looking to add, and what Designer behaviors do you want to contribute/attach to?


Saturday, March 10, 2007

I don't know how I feel about this...

I'm writing this post in line at the Steamship Authority in Vineyard Haven... They now have free wi-fi, even once we're on the boat!

I suffer from being online way too much, and it used to be that the boat was a safe haven, in so many ways. Now with the world so much with us, will it remain my sanctuary? How can we escape when there is no escape?

Just drove on the boat, and had to reconnect, but I'm still live, even on the freight deck of this massive four story boat...

Which means of course that the control must come from within... Time to go up on deck and look at the sky...

Saturday, March 03, 2007

polls and rumors

Life has been hectic in February, and I was just catching up on my reading when I found this post and feel I should set some things straight.

I know Stephen created his poll with all the nicest intentions, but I did worry when I saw it that it would have exactly the effect that John describes. But I thought maybe I was worrying too much (worrying is one of my best things...) and put the thoughts aside til I read John's post.

At this point, it does seem important to state a few things. First of all, it isn't just me believing this needs doing, my boss does, my boss's boss... They wouldn't let me talk about it if they didn't believe in it. We have real people working on it (as their day job), as it clearly is so large of an endeavor that while I love to code, I could not possibly accomplish the project by myself in a reasonable amount of time.

So work is ongoing, and we are lining up the right release vehicle for the work. What release it will be will be a calculus of a critical mass of features and alignment with a Notes release. I don't know the answer to that yet, or I'd be screaming it from the rooftops. There are the usual caveats as in any engineering project that we might hit unsolvable problems, past performance is no guarantee of future results, etc. But the reality is that we are working very hard on it!

Monday, February 26, 2007

The last trip on the Islander

We took a day trip to the island yesterday, and I brought my camera with me on a last minute whim. When I saw we were taking the Islander, and realized this is her last week of service, I was glad I did.... I took over 100 pictures, here is a collection of the best of them:

Tabblo: How Do You Say Goodbye to an Old Friend?

Saturday, February 17, 2007

she's home!

We picked Georgia up today and she's been home about an hour. Her rambunctious children, Batman and Eve, immediately became submissive to mom being around so while I was worried that having six dogs would be harder than five, it may net be easier.

She did well at Westminster: she won Best of Opposite Sex to her brother's Best of Breed for field spaniels. I couldn't be more proud of her if I tried - it was a wonderful day in NYC, and I am still floating on air.

She seems happy - she's been with a wonderful professional handler since September. She was well taken care of, and did well on the show circuit all along, but I can just see her in ruby slippers (four, of course), saying there's no place like home, there's no place like home.

She's smiling, and so am I.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Georgia's Big Day

is tomorrow. Georgia (Ch. Freedom's Always On My Mind) is Batman and Eve's mother - and the #19 field spaniel in the country as of 12/06. She's competing at Westminster against 8 other field spaniels, including her brother (#5). Two years ago, she won Best of Opposite Sex, this year, there is more competition, but I am still hopeful she'll do well. Regardless of how it turns out, it's an honor for her to be at Westminster, and I'll be very proud of her.

She's been with a professional handler since September - and after this she's coming home :-) This may well be her grand finale in the show ring, though sometimes I think I may show her once in a while (maybe I'd do better with a dog who actually knows what they're doing, that way one of us would!)

Her day at Westminster will be immortalized at this link - right now it just shows her entry, but tomorrow it should show the results, and a video of the breed judging!

Here's hoping #7 is lucky!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Hand me downs and birthdays

Last Saturday, my fifth son got his driver's license. My fourth son, who is working during his gap year, bought his own car, and the keys to Blueberry have been handed down to yet another young driver. Blueberry has been the first car driven by each of my sons so far. She didn't suffer for it at all until the third son, who was rear-ended by a Saab wagon. That damage was pretty easily repaired. The fourth son had two accidents of his own - both front end collisions that were his fault. As my fifth son takes the keys, I hope that this is not a progression of some sort and that his tenure in Blueberry will instead be as uneventful as that of the first two boys.

At least I got to drive Blueberry a bit in the interim. A car in the care of a teenager can suffer a bit. When I first drove her, she seemed quite rough on the highway, and overall not herself. An oil check revealed a likely reason - she was down two quarts of oil. That got fixed on Friday, and today I took her out on the highway, and she seems much better. I can't say she's as peppy as she was when new, but she's doing quite well considering her nearly 192,000 miles.

At 4:40pm today, my sixth son turned 15. Another year and he'll be behind Blueberry's wheel learning to drive. He was only two and in a car seat when we drove home in Blueberry for the first time - miles and miles in between, bringing him to this 15 year old young man who plays basketball and World of Warcraft today, and who will be driving Blueberry all too soon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

surprise :-)

Or maybe not so much of a surprise at this point, but a good thing nonetheless. Domino Designer in Eclipse did itself proud today - and I was so very happy to be able to show it. I think I got the distinct impression that we should keep going with this.

My Lotus Component Designer sessions were also fun - though there was far too much to show than could be done in 60 minutes! Tonight was full of celebration :-) More tomorrow, at this point, it is long past time for sleep.

Friday, January 19, 2007

ready... set....

Almost ready to leave the office, I'm almost sure I have everything I need for Lotusphere... I am sure I'll keep tweaking the demos, but I'm mostly ready. Tonight, time to pack and be with my family before I have to be away....

You can see to the left a little hint of something close to my heart... The full picture is quite nice :-)

And so it begins again!

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Five things....

Tagged by Pete, here I go...

1) I grew up in Tonawanda, NY, in the full swing of the baby boom (I will not say what year). My kindergarten class had 60 kids and two teachers in it. I missed a lot of days in kindergarten and 59 days of first grade because, as an only child, I finally was introduced to a germ pool. By fourth grade, my parents transferred me to an all girls school, where there were 13 in my fourth grade, which shared the same classroom and teacher as the third grade. This was an improvement, particularly in fifth grade, when I could listen in on the sixth grade material. After nine years in the same school, I was the only girl not crying at graduation.

2) I can only light a match under great duress. As a chemistry major, this caused me much difficulty with my bunsen burner. For a while I was paired with a partner in lab, but after a while got tired of doing all the work EXCEPT lighting the match. I can light wooden matches now, if I really have to, but still can't light the matchbook kind. Birthday cakes are always lit by Steve or one of the kids. My graduate degree is in theoretical chemistry, where computers take the place of bunsen burners.

3) I dropped the only computer class I took in college, as it meant three labs that semester, which happened to be the first semester I had a serious boyfriend. Besides, toggling assembler programs into a Nova II console (with paper tape and a drum for storage!) just wasn't fun. No UI! For anyone trying to figure out my age, my college did not have state of the art computers :-)

4) I can get seriously addicted to games like Tetris, Katamari, or Sudoku but just cannot focus on other kinds of games. I'm sure that says something about how my brain works, but I'm not sure what. It also means that I have a seriously high barrier to even trying something like Second Life.

5) My first car was a blue 1970 Mustang convertible (used, for anyone still trying to determine my age). I loved that car, and even learned the Bic pen trick for starting it when the carburetor was feeling sticky. When I finally could afford a new car, I drove my Mustang home to my mom's house, where it stayed in her garage for three years. Three months before I got my own first house (with a garage), she finally had enough of keeping her car outside in Tonawanda winters and got rid of it. I still miss it.

OK, that's five. I tag Jen and realized everyone else in my bookmark list has been tagged! But I reserve my four remaining for future use!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

be careful what you name things

they may end up being gifts to posterity.

I was doing a side project all on my own, so I named a directory something kind of silly. Soon others joined me on the project, and now this directory's silly name has been immortalized in source control....

It's a diversion to put cutesy names in your environment, but you can never be sure how widely used they may end up being....

Monday, January 08, 2007

two kittens a grandmother make?

My son called me last night with a request that I mail him a few things he left here over Christmas and some unexpected news. He and his girlfriend had adopted two kittens. Ever since, I have been unable to shake the feeling of being a grandmother.

Now two kittens really don't make me a grandmother. But my child has taken responsibility for another living thing (or two) in his own household. It feels like a baby step towards a future that still feels like it ought to be distant.

I am not ready.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Champion Batman!!

Batman (my field spaniel puppy) is at American Spaniel Club in Philadelphia this weekend without me. By mid-December, he had previously accumulated ten points towards the fifteen needed for his championship. My ability to handle him in a show ring has improved, and he's been learning, too.

Today, at American Spaniel Club, *the* place to be if you're a spaniel, he won Winner's Dog in an entry of 12 field spaniel dogs to gain another five points - making him a Champion. His official name is now AKC Ch. Freedom's Caped Crusader.

There's a little part of me that is sad that I wasn't the human at the end of the leash, but he was very well handled by his breeder and my friend Julie, and it is said he's becoming too much of a mommy's little boy, so this is good for him.

Earlier this week, I was feeling so guilty about sending him off without me that I almost didn't send him. I'm very glad that both he and I decided to be brave.

Maybe next year he'll be at Westminster :-)