Deirdre Saoirse Moen

Sounds Like Weird

Theft: One Palm Tree

13 December 2006

My mother wanted one thing for her birthday: a palm tree. A very specific palm tree.

She didn’t actually get it on her birthday, which fell on a Thursday, but we did get it to her shortly thereafter. A good thing, because mom was told she had cancer on her birthday.

She’d put it out in one area of the front yard, one that people come and steal plums from (because no one’s really known who the land belonged to).

Naturally, with cancer surgery and recovery and then the rainy season setting in, it was still in its pot, though put in its appointed place.

She last remembers seeing it this weekend, but noticed today that it had gone. Lacking locomotion of its own, that means someone nipped our palm tree.

Read More

Cancer: Symptom to Cure in 19 days

20 November 2006

My mother recently discovered she had cancer.

It went like this:

October 19, she called the Kaiser advice nurse.

October 20, she had an appointment to see her Ob-Gyn.

October 26 (her birthday, unfortunately), she gets the news she’s got endometrial cancer.

Nov 1, she has an appointment with the gynecologic oncologist.

Nov 7, she has surgery.

Later that week, it’s confirmed by the pathologist that they got all the cancer.

Nov 20, she returns to work.

There’s so many bad stories about cancer out there, I figured someone could use a good one.

Read More

Washing Wool

17 November 2006

A friend asked the other day what to use on wool, knowing my dislike of Woolite.

Simple answer: wool is hair. Use shampoo. Might as well use the same shampoo you use on your own hair: one fewer bottle to have hanging around the house.

I use a sulfate-free shampoo that’s designed for dyed hair, as I figure that’s about as ideal as one can get, but any shampoo that makes your hair look nice will work fine.

More complicated answer: sometimes wool garments say to dry clean because of sizing or dye. Most dyes these days are colorfast, but it’s worth trying a small handwash somewhere inconspicuous before dunking the whole thing in water. Garments lined in acetate are likely dry clean only due to the lining (or interfacings) rather than the wool per se.

Wash wool in warm water (about the same temp you’d shower in) and do not agitate it (because if you do, you’ll create felt and it’ll shrink).

Lay flat to dry.

Not so hard, really.

Read More

Richard Savino, 1945 – 1996

15 November 2006

Today is the tenth anniversary of my first husband’s death. Though I’ve been remarried more than half that time, there are certain days each year that don’t seem to get any easier.

This is one of them.

I woke up early, drank coffee, took vitamins, drank more coffee and soda with lunch, took more vitamins, and I’ve been yawning all day. The effects aren’t emotional so much as physical: the body remembers.

Read More

MacBookPro Postgres tip

14 November 2006

If you’ve tried to install the postgres ruby gem like so:

sudo gem install postgres — –with-pgsql-include-dir=/usr/local/pgsql/include –with-pgsql-lib-dir=/usr/local/pgsql/lib

…and you get the error:

checking for PQsetdbLogin() in -lpq… no
Could not find PostgreSQL libraries: Makefile not created
* extconf.rb failed *

…then it’s possible you didn’t compile postgres with the –with-openssl option. Doing so made everything work perfectly.

Read More

New Shoes

13 November 2006

I’ve got a new Mac, a Mac Book Pro. As this came at the end of a very long, exhausting week, I’m glad it’s done.

Unfortunately, I bought it because I needed it. Saturday afternoon, after my mother was sprung from the hospital, I discovered that my Mac wasn’t charging. Fortunately, it ran off batteries fine (though it had no charge at the time). Several long visits to the Mac store and some plastic later, and I had a new Mac with everything migrated.

Now it’s time to send the old baby off to be repaired and enjoy the speed of the new baby.

Read More

Things to Do After Watching Project Runway Season Finale

19 October 2006

  1. Delete all NBC channels, including Bravo, from the TiVos’ channel lineups.
  2. Join NOW.
  3. Subscribe to Ms. Magazine.
  4. Dump all Tresemmé hair care products in the trash and write them a letter explaining why you’ve done it and why you’re not buying more.
  5. Dump all L’Oreal Paris products in the trash and write them a letter explaining why you’ve done it and why you’re not buying more.
  6. Write a letter to Macy’s.
  7. Write a letter to Saturn, pointing out that 2/3 of the household cars are Saturns, but it’s oh so unfortunate that they decided to sponsor this show.
  8. Write Corelle, saying you loved their incredibly funny runway ad, however….
  9. Continue ad nauseum with each and every other sponsor.
  10. Send copies of all letters to Bravo and NBC, with another set to the Magical Elves (PR’s production company). Point out that giving someone $100,000 after using the word “feminazi” to describe another contestant just doesn’t meet with some people’s reality.
  11. Send apologetic letter to Tim Gunn about how the judges simply failed to “Make it Work” when it came to the final runway judging.

This wasn’t a fashion show, it was Jerry Springer. The show jumped the shark so hard it left orbit.

Or, as Marion Zimmer Bradley put it, “I want my disbelief to be suspended, not hung by the neck until dead.” Or words to that effect.

The only redemption edit Jeffrey could have gotten would have involved a hot poker, his tongue cut out with a knife, and a permanent vow of silence. Even that wouldn’t have been enough.

Read More


28 September 2006

So I’m taking a class in CSS to fill in holes and improve my understanding. A survey last night revealed:

  • 75% of the class used Firefox as their primary browser.
  • 50% worked primarily on a Macintosh.
  • Of those surveyed, almost everyone said they liked either BBEdit or TextMate for editing HTML and CSS.
  • Of those surveyed, none offered a good suggestion for editing same on Windows.

Thought that was interesting.

Read More

Migrations, Migrations

24 September 2006

Or, “Migrating a blog is always more painful than you think.”

I hope you can see this. If all goes well, this blog has been migrated from WordPress to Typo, running Ruby on Rails over Lighttpd. I’ve seen a few feed hits coming through, but I’ll check when I wake up (yes, it’s almost 7 a.m. and I haven’t been to sleep yet…)

I’ve broken a lot of links, and I’m starting to go through them, so if there’s something you don’t see, realize that I am putting everything back together and it’ll take just a tidge of time, especially to get the redirects for the old permalinks up.

I’m changing the categories to be broader and instead going with more of a tag approach, as I think that offers finer granularity with less long-term hassle.

Read More