One Man's Alaska

Mood weather ramblings

July 2, 2007

Today is "mood weather" day, as Leo might call it: a drizzle most of the day, temperature right around 55 degrees.

Sciatic nerve problem

Unfortunately the sciatica (sciatic nerve) issue is still with me. I thought it was getting better last night, but I ended up having my third night in a row where I couldn't sleep. The way it works is that you lay down, then spin around constantly, trying to find a comfortable way to lay (there is no comfortable way). Then at some point you just pass out, then wake up 60-90 minutes later and start all over again. Ironically walking and stretching actually helps a little bit, so I'm doing a little of both, while also taking naproxen and a muscle relaxer (both leftovers from some previous injury).

I just finished making reservations for my mom and aunt, who are coming up to visit at the end of July. As a point of reference it's hard to find rooms this time of year, 30 days in advance. We'll be staying at the Hotel Edgewater in Seward, which I think is the best hotel in the downtown area. (A gun shot just went off in the background.) While visiting Denali we'll be staying at the Denali Lakeview Inn, located in Healy, AK, about twelve miles north of the Denali National Park entrance.

Dalton Highway drive>

In other rambling news, I plan to drive the Dalton Highway this week. Supposedly there's nothing up there except for two gas stations and one or two places to stay on a 500-mile stretch of unpaved road. With just more than 200 vehicles traveling the road every day the scenery is supposed to be gorgeous (except for the pipeline on the side of the road), and the wildlife abundant. With the road being unpaved the car is going to take another pounding.

Local news

I'm disappointed that I'm not going to the Jessica Stevens memorial today. A woman in town a few days ago told me that Ms. Stevens was primarily responsible for getting the large healthcare clinic set up. Without her I'm told they would just have a two-room shack. This reminded me of my sister-in-law, who has done a lot of good volunteer and low-paying healthcare work in eastern Kentucky. Some time in the near future I hope to be a better person myself, but right now I need this time alone.

(The squirrel just came by to tell me that it's Cheerios time. I'll be right back ... he's funny, he waits patiently on the deck handrail while I put the Cheerios out.)

devdaily web site

I've started revamping the look and feel of the website that I initially created back in 1998. The first significant UI change since that time is now reflected on this updated Java page. It still needs some more work, especially because it doesn't look right in IE v6, but it's a start, and tons better than the old Java page, which was first implemented in 1998, and deteriorated from there. I have a lot more changes I want to make, but at some point you just have to get Version One out the door, and then work on incremental improvements.

Beyond that I'm cramming as much style sheet information into my head as fast as I can to help improve the website. I've mostly been working on Swing projects for the last, wow, five years, so my CSS knowledge is incomplete and rusty at best.

Strange things

I just finished reading Stranger in a Strange Land (which amazingly I had never read before) and Call of the Wild (a great story to read while you're in Alaska, as you feel the same primitive callings). To help with my CSS knowledge I'm now reading Eric Meyer on CSS, and for no good reason I'm finishing The Best Software Writing, Volume 1, which I started a year or two ago.

In strange news I've learned that I don't really like coffee any more. I used to really enjoy the first cup or two in the morning, but now, after trying several different brands, including the one I used to like, it doesn't appeal to me any more. Something like this happened about 10 years ago when I started liking oatmeal, tea, and dark chocolate. I think maybe when you have time you start paying attention to things, and that's what both of these changes have in common -- I'm not nearly as rushed as the average American.

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