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Welcome, new readers


Ended up telling three co-workers today that it was okay for them to read my journal. (I try not to post anything here that I would be unhappy about anyone reading, 'cause anyone who searches for my name is going to find this journal.) Hi, folks! Don't worry, there's no obligation to keep reading if you find it uninteresting.

Also noticed the number of people subscribing to the LJ feed continues to climb. It still appears to be roughly half science-fiction-related people, a quarter Swarthmore-related people, and a quarter others. Anyway, welcome to the new folks among that group as well. And any non-LJ new readers, too, if any such there be.

Am still vaguely thinking about moving to Movable Type, but a new barrier occurred to me: the standard MT look shows the full text of all recent entries on the main page, whereas I prefer showing just the titles of recent entries on the main page. On the other hand, I suspect it wouldn't be too hard to do a titles-only page in MT. And I admit that one drawback to a titles-only approach is that it's impossible to tell how long a given entry is going to be.

Feel a bit like I've been flailing around not getting things done the past couple days. Saturday night was going to watch a movie (The Apartment) that I received from Netflix a couple weeks ago, but ended up doing administrative stuff for the magazine instead. I have a nonfiction article to finish polishing, and a bunch of stories to read, and taxes to file, and dishes to do, but on Sunday I ended up spending much of the afternoon mowing my lawn. That was kinda nice—it was the first time I've used the lawnmower I bought some months back (a Brill Luxus lightweight push mower; thanks, N&S, for the recommendation!), but the grass was so high that I also needed to use the weed-whacker Kam got me a while back, and to use a rake to gather up the resulting grass every now and then. It was the first outdoor exercise I've had in months, which was nice, but I kept being reminded of various things that are dissatisfying about my backyard, like the fact that the ground isn't even close to level. I'd like to bring in a gardener to maintain the place, but that requires (a) finding a gardener, and (b) figuring out exactly what I want.

Anyway. Had a nice evening with Lola on Sunday. Today, was pleased to discover that it was still daylight at 7:15 p.m. when I left work to come home. Even had a reasonably productive evening at home tonight, though marred by still not getting done various things I need to get done. Apologies to those who are waiting for me on various things.

Kam called a couple hours ago. (She's back from Texas, visiting her grandmother in the LA area; heading back up this way tomorrow.) While I was talking with her, I measured living room spaces to see if the couch I liked (from my couch-shopping trip with Mary Anne a couple weeks ago) would fit in my living room; it looks like the couch would just barely fit, but the loveseat would require some substantial rearrangement of bookcases and TV stand and so on. More dissatisfaction: I'd really like my living room to be at least a couple feet wider. Ah, well.

Anyway, so then I came upstairs and entered my room and saw a flash of motion on the ground. Yes, the mouse seems to have returned, and this time it's in my bedroom. (See previous installments: 1, 2, 3, 4.) I haven't seen whiskers nor tail of the beastie in a couple months, but I know my next-door neighbor's been having mouse problems. I'm guessing the one I saw tonight was foraging for styrofoam and other building materials. I fetched the Smart Mouse Trap and put a new peanut-butter-covered cracker in it and set it on my floor; we'll see if it works. That would be nice; my neighbor wants to bring in an exterminator and poison the mice, but I'd rather live-trap them.

. . . In entirely unrelated news, my grandmother's still in the hospital. She doesn't have much appetite, but she's apparently switching to eating six small meals a day instead of three bigger ones.

. . . I realize I haven't written anything here about my father lately. Just not up to it. Still thinking about him, of course, and there are still various things unresolved, and various things I need to get moving on but haven't yet done. We've got a couple potential leads on finding Tom Weir, the photographer I mentioned a while back, but haven't found him yet. Anyway, I don't have anything in particular to say about all that at the moment; more eventually, no doubt.

Okay, I think that's all for tonight. It's late, and I'm mostly asleep.

Oh, hey: does anyone have a copy of last year's TurboTax Federal for Mac (or for Windows, if the data file formats are compatible) that I could borrow for about two minutes? I'd like to import my 2002 TurboTax file and save it for 2003, so that I can import it into 2004; TurboTax doesn't import files from more than one year ago. I could just re-type everything, but that would be something of a pain. And I don't really want to pay the $40 or whatever the price is to buy TurboTax 2003 for the sole purpose of importing and saving.


You can easily do titles-only, or practically anything else you like, with MT. It has a template language.

If you do go to MT, I'm happy to offer MT support. :-> (Although I didn't bother moving to MT 3.0; I like my MT 2.x-with-my-hacks)

I got behind reading your journal, and then never caught up, but I happened to read today's entry, and: I have TurboTax Federal for Mac 2003, and can probably get it to you somehow or other if you can't find someone more local. The one thing I'm not sure about is if you can still download updates, but if all you want to do is import data, that might not matter anyway.

Hey, does the humane mouse trap you linked to really work? I tried a few cheaper humane mouse traps and the mice ignored them...

See, we have mice. I would like to be nice to the mice. Despite the price. I would pay it in a trice, if it really would suffice. What's your advice?

Thanks for the MT info, Ben! Tempting. Will ponder further.

irilyth: Thanks much for the offer! Someone else has now loaned me the software, and it worked fine, so I no longer need this, but much appreciated.

Ben: Not sure about the mousetrap. Some friends of mine recommended the Victor M007 as having worked for them, but I found that my mice would spring the trap without going inside it—it's balanced in such a way that it closes as soon as there's weight on the entrance, so a mouse has to run right into it rather than pausing at the entrance to sniff around.

The one mouse I caught did indeed run into the M007, but only because it was trapped in my bathtub.

The Smart Mouse Trap that I linked to in this latest entry has a design that looks more plausible to me: the trap doesn't spring until the mouse is completely inside. However, my mice had almost entirely disappeared from my house before I acquired this trap, so I don't know whether its lack of efficacy so far is due to (a) no mice; (b) my mice not liking sesame seeds (on the cracker) or natural peanut butter; (c) my mice being too light to spring the trap; or (d) some other cause, possibly an un-, sub-, or supernatural one. Or (e) no cause at all.

Must dash. (Like a mouse!)

Ick. I have been reading up. Check this out.

Do you know if you have deer mice or house mice? Deer mice can carry hantavirus and if you catch them live and release them, you'd better take them more than 2km away -- they will cross rivers, etc, to navigate home.

Whoever came up with the name "dear mice" has a lot to answer for.

Also: "Check burrows periodically as part of your monthly maintenance program." I'm supposed to have a monthly maintenance program?? Nobody told me! And if I did have one, I'm sure I wouldn't stick to it. Yet more evidence that Canadians are superior beings...

Oh -- I thought I mentioned this, but apparently I forgot to hit the "Insert Comment" button -- it's very easy with MT templates to create a titles-only index; I whipped this one up in about five minutes for an iframe on my soi-disant home page.

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