Aauuuuggggh! The little things..

.. get me down sometimes.  Like my badge not working in the garage this morning.  Talking to the security guard – perfectly nice, but not paid, nor willing, to actually think at all – is zero help: “Go get a new badge”.  I spent 10 minutes walking around the building proving my badge indeed works great at every reader except the garage.  Given the evidence, I tend to think that reader is faulty, not my badge, eh?  And it’s not security’s job anyway: someone else is responsible for the readers, probably a different set of people than are responsible for the badge database (i.e. who should be in / out of each reader) as well.  And finding contact names for things like this inside &BigCo; is sometimes and impossible task.

So hopefully the catharsis of writing that out here will help me move past it and do something useful.  Even though I feel a little silly using Charlie Brown’s typical trying-to-kick-a-football yell in this situation.  Than again, I seem to remember Charlie Brown having several themes of little things at various points in his perpetual 6 year old existence…

Useful LotusScript tips databases?

I’m looking for a place to donate – and search for – snippets of LotusScript code.  Y’know, the way you program inside of SmartSuite applications.  Much cooler, more object oriented, and more closely integrated with the actual user products than VBasic.  8-P

I know about the basic forums, mostly active for Notes/Domino these days, and of course &BigCo; internal knowledge bases and such.  But I want just a place for code snippets, with better categorization, and some level of quality checking.  Lotus Geek and Ed Brill and NSFTools and Alan Lepofsky others are great, but they seem to be more overall article / technique / full application focused.

Resume searching…

Put on your yamukla, it’s Radio Hanukkah!

With apologies to all 4 of my readers so far with being too late for you to sign up – free, no less, nu – to streaming XM 108, Radio Hanukkah, in time for the best hour of the day:

12/18    4-5PM ET
Continuous Klezmer
Host Annette Ezekiel of the Klezmer punkp band, Golem, traces the rise of this quintessential Jewish music form from Eastern Europe to the lower east side.

HT to Riba Rambles for the tip:  I’m going to sign up just to bump their demographics.


Tip: the password for the free XM Radio subscription (only this week, natch) is “TheChosen”.

The hot chocolate marshmallow trick

Since ’tis the season, I figured I’d share this recipie.  Technique, really, since I rely on Nestle, Swiss Miss, Godiva, or the like for the ingredients.  Does anyone else do this?  Or is this an original Shaneism?

  1. Start the hot water in a kettle.  Might as well do that first, so it’s ready when you are.
  2. Take your of hot chocolate with mini marshmallows packet. Open the top carefully and pour into your empty mug.  Fold the top of the packet down so you don’t spread the last dusty bits all over, and make a gentle crease down the middle.
  3. Take your spoon (dry) and carefully fish the mini marshmallows out.  I generally swish the spoon gently until a few marshmallows come to the surface.  Then carefully scoop them against the side of the mug to get the most powder off you can, and scoop just the marshmallows out and place them on the packet.  See why you saved the packet?  Continue until you have most of the marshmallows out.
  4. Fill with hot water and mix up with your spoon the now mostly plain powder mix.  A tiny touch of cinnamon now is fine too.
  5. Immediately before serving, pour the saved marshmallows atop your hot chocolate, and enjoy their crunchy goodness for a while longer!

This way, you get distinct marshmallows atop your hot chocolaty beverage for much longer than if you mixed it all up together.  A small thing, I admit, but a very satisfying one sometimes.

(With apologies to Mark, for getting his little daughter hooked on this technique!)

Have you tried Tiddling?


The coolest wiki ever since sliced bread.  In fact that may inspire me to create a new category “Sliced Bread” – just for cool and useful stuff I find.

Tiddlywiki is an entire wiki coded in a single 200k HTML file.  This means you can simply download their empty.html to your local disk (and change the name – mywiki.html).  Open that fine in your modern browser.  Play with it.  It’s an entire wiki system – in one file, on your hard disk.  You can edit it, add sections, html links, wikilinks, change a bunch of settings, and such.  Very useful as a mini-notepad that you can use anywhere you have a browser.  Almost as good as a magical yellow sticky application that would actually keep all your notes handy when you need them, but out of the way otherwise.

What does Fung Wah mean, anyway?

Blogger recounting an interesting trip to NYC on the Fung Wah.  Interesting, as in the old curse: “May you live in interesting times.”


I don’t do much linking to other blogs (well, yet), but had to include this one: the obvious real-life adventure is amusing, and I hadn’t heard this interesting quote before, where Fung Wah had a bus…

“yes, that’s right, roll over on an off-ramp this year … and then the joke went that Fung Wah was Chinese for ‘centripetal force.’)”

Physics geeks can laugh now.

O, Christmas tree…

Another year, another Christmas tree. Very different this year though; we actually got our tree early (a week ago) and started decorating it today – unheard of compared to our past few Christmases, I think during one of which we were decorating on Christmas day itself!

Roxanne is great this year: she had fun wandering around Mahoney’s looking for our tree last weekend in the freakishly warm weather – one day broke the high temperature record since 1890-something! Then she was very patient all week while the tree sat unadorned inside, and we took several nighttime walks in the neighborhood, learning that she really loves pretty lights. The somewhat silly lighted reindeer made a big hit; she kept complaining that our street didn’t have enough of them.

So while I was putting the inner lights (colored ones; see my last year’s post) on, she was somewhat interested, but distractable. But once she spotted the big box of ornament boxes, and I explained what they were, she got into her quiet intense mood.

See, sometimes when something a little exciting happens that she really likes, instead of getting all loud and crazy, she gets very intense. She almost frowns she’s concentrating so hard on whatever it is. So I helped her find a couple of appropriate (non-fragile) ornament boxes and open them. We explained we’re going to decorate the tree, and as soon as the lights are on, we’re putting some of these ornaments on the tree too. She got very good and quiet as she waited.

It was wonderful. We only did part of the tree – namely the part she can reach on the front side only. But she was so intense going to the box, picking out an ornament, then walking quickly back to the tree to find a branch to put it on. Repeat until dinner. Actually, repeat until “Aunt” Susan calls, who she loves who she doesn’t want to talk to right now because she’s busy. She did deign, once the call was on speakerphone, to say she was putting ornmanents on the tree, so that was something.

So I’m left with the warm fuzzies of my daugher appreciating some of the things I really loved doing when I was a kid, and a tree with a dozen small Snoopy ornaments across the lower front side of the tree. At least she has some sense of spreading them out.

I’m OK! But best wishes to Kevin’s Family

One of those odd moments in life after 9/11, I guess.  I was reading Soapbox and saw a posting linking to an online news story about a building explosion just a few blocks from where I work.  My first thought (after checking where it was) was to call my wife and tell her I’m OK.  Which I did.

Now I look to see the updated story (below), which unfortunately reports that one of the NStar workers who was doing repair work was killed in the explosion.  Our thoughts go out to his family.  8-(

“A victim was brought out of 1 Broadway in Cambridge this morning after an apparent electrical explosion in the basement.