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TVs, Elections, Laptops, and Site Fixes

November 21, 2005 at 4:59 PM

Wow, I haven't posted here in over a month (and I'm back to my not-so-interesting titles =P)...And quite a bit has happened:

October 12 (Wednesday):
We finally got the upstairs living room TV fixed! It turns out that there were just a few bad parts that needed replacing...The good thing is, all three of us won't have to be crowded on the couch downstairs to watch TV at the same time anymore. Of course, there's three other working TVs, but we prefer watching the one in the living room as it's a fairly big TV, and there's plenty of room to sit/lay down and watch it - the other three are in the kitchen (which has a real small TV, and it's hard to make out details on it sometimes), downstairs living room (not as much room available as the upstairs one), and my parent's bedroom (good if people are hogging the other TVs, but the bed's the only place you can sit/lay down on to watch it).

I've also went ahead and ran a link check on site. Most of the links on the (untouched except for a few repairs) Links page are now fixed (some of which were reported by the program as broken or forbidden - I'm not sure why, because I tried them out after this and they work just fine), with Wayback Machine copies of pages if the actual page doesn't exist.

I've also added a new RewriteRule (more of a hack than a proper fix) that has fixed the broken "page" links (the "Previous Entries" and "Next Entries" links at the top and/or bottom of the blog pages), and I'll keep it there until a proper fix can be put in place.

November 2 (Wednesday):
I recently found out that some kittens (and their mother) were hiding in the small storage barn between my family's house and my maternal grandmother's house a few days back. Yesterday, one was found in the garage (the mother may have brought it over there when the door was up), and we eventually managed to get it to come inside the house for awhile. It was very scared, and tended to run when approached, eventually going out into the garage (with the door down, so it couldn't get away), and later falling asleep in a pet carrier that was sitting on the landing. Today, my parents caught the other two kittens, but the mother (and the other kittens, if there's any more) haven't been found, and we're not sure where they went. What will we be doing with the kittens? My parents said that they will be taking them to someone who can take care of them, not to mention using them to help kill the rats that are eating his animals' feed.

Also, later this night, for the first time in a long time, I've seen reruns of "Beavis and Butt-Head" on TV (on Comedy Central this time around, instead of MTV). Not counting the movie, I haven't seen them in years, and I can't recall seeing one or two of the episodes they were showing this time...And I still find it to be funny.

November 8 (Tuesday):
I did my usual shift at the Courthouse for the day (finishing up the last of the certificates of election, and doing a few other duties after that), and, just like what I did for the primaries earlier this year, I came in at 8 PM to update the site, stayed as long as it took to get all of the results in, and finished up the remainder of the results the following day, which was also my last day of work for this election.

It did go a little differently this time around...Instead of doing everything as it came in, only a few at a time were done (for the candidates that would appear on many, if not all, of the precinct lists), and as such, it went much smoother this time around. The Commissioners had a toast for one worker who was retiring, everyone there had wine (I only took a sip for the toast, as I don't like wine), and listened to them talk to pass the time until I left. The remaining results (for each municipality) were taken care of on the following day.

Wow, I forgot to list it last time I did this ^_^; Here is the link to the website for Armstrong County, PA, if you wanted to see their page. I didn't design any of it, however - I was just maintaining it as part of my job. All I can take credit for are the modifications to already-existing pages and the creation of any new pages (including election results and error pages) while I was working there, and the addition of a site icon, made from a copy of the Armstrong County logo.

November 15 (Tuesday):
After looking around for the kind of laptop I wanted for Christmas (and seeing what others had or were planning to get), I finally went ahead and ordered one. It's made by LinuxCertified (some things aren't clearly specified on their site, such as the price for some upgrades, but they'll clear those things up for you if you ask about them), and is their LC2464 model. Mine will come with Ubuntu Linux (now one of the two recommended distributions of Linux for this), and I also got a few upgrades and other things with it, too: a 100 GB hard drive, a built-in mini-PCI 802.11g wireless card (which will leave the original wireless card slot empty for future use), dual-booting with Windows XP Professional (with the discs and serial number - just to let you know, the version they specify, and the price they list, is for the Home edition, but you can still get the Professional edition if you want it), and custom partitioning to give XP and Linux approximately equal space plus a 5 GB FAT32 partition that will be used to share information between the two. Since I got it while it was on discount, it'll come with a free laptop bag for it as well! I had originally planned to get the LC2430 model, but after doing a few comparisons (including a few over the phone with the salesperson I was speaking to) I decided the 2464 would be the better buy overall, and am now waiting for it to come in to try it out...But just enough to make sure everything is working properly - this is a Christmas present, after all, and I'll have to have it put away until then once I'm done making sure it works OK =P

Those are all of the interesting things I can think of to post for specific days...Over the past month, I've also taken care of some background changes for the site:

  • Error pages (as well as my prototype template) now list the URL you were trying to reach, as well as the referring URL (or none, with a note as to why it's not there). This will hopefully prove to be useful in the event any broken links are found leading to, or within, my site.
  • I've added a new RewriteRule that will display an alpha-transparent version of the site icon for those running IE on Windows XP. This has been done so that IE users on Windows XP can make use of alpha-transparent icons, while those using IE but not on Windows XP get the current, non-alpha-transparency version (as the alpha-transparent icons look messed up in IE in that case).
  • For those who are not using a browser that can automatically find site feeds, I have added a new "Feeds" category that includes the URLs for my blog's RSS and Atom Feeds. Now you won't have to hunt around to find a feed for my site - it's listed right over in the sidebar =)
  • I changed the "Meta" category to "Validation", removed two links to areas of the blog that only I can access (I'm the only one who can post entries here, after all =P), removed "Valid" from the validation links (as it's now redundant with the new category title), and added validation links for the feeds. Right now, Atom doesn't completely validate (in the sense of being valid and having no warnings) due to being an "obsolete version", but from what I see, this will be remedied in the next WordPress update, so I'm not going to worry about this.

That's all I can think of to post here for now. Since I'm not working at this moment and now have some free time, one thing I'm going to do is start studying my driver's manual again and (hopefully) get my license this time around.

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