Dysmey Blog Archives  >  work, and a failed attempt at a vacation

work, and a failed attempt at a vacation

It has been an interesting couple of weeks.

I have been working on a new University Libraries toolbar extension for Firefox 3. It is like the current version, but its book-search feature is contained in a panel instead of inside the toolbar itself. That way, I can expand the choices of search the catalog, making it more useful for the patron.

However, working with XUL in Firefox 3 is different from that in Firefox 2. It is the same XUL, but the Firefox 3 engine seems to interpret it differently. That means more work on this toolbar than I had expended on the toolbar for Internet Explorer. Visual Studio 2008 and the Add-in Express addon for Internet Explorer and .NET has made life easier both for myself (no need to create a toolbar from scratch) and for everyone else (no license messages from the toolbar — it is ours).

The next few weeks are garranteed to be very busy.

At home I have been working on the small patio in the back. I bought this sand/concrete mix, filled the cracks with it, and poured water on the mix. It seems to work in filling in the cracks and staying where it is. But it is brittle. I may have to pour that stuff into the cracks every so often.

The real problem is that the patio was built on ground that has been sinking to a linear depression running parallel to the street. Pipes were installed in a ditch along the street a long time ago; but that ditch was not filled in enough, so the ground — like water but in very slow motion — has been flowing into the depression. That , in turn, has caused the patio to crack as the ground flows out from under it. From what I have been told of the owners before the one I bought the house from, they were too ignorant to have known the patio would crack when they built it.

The maker of my two push-reel lawn mowers has a Web site, from which I can buy parts. That is a good thing, because the handle to my newer lawn mower has broken off. I had to order a replacement, and will be using the older original mower until the new one is fixed.

One of my neighbors is impressed with my lawn mowers enough to want me to look for one for one of his relatives. This relative is very well along in years, so that she cannot pull the cord on the more common gas-powered lawn mowers anymore. I will see what I can find locally and on the Internet. You can look for push-reel mowers yourselves at:

I got the Janovac up and running.  I have decided to make the switch to a separate personal Linux server permanent.

My sisters went on vacation to the Great White North a couple of weeks ago this Tuesday.  They have make their way to the Indiana Dunes, then to the north of Michigan, then into Canada.  From what I have been told, they have been accosted at every camp ground by mosquitoes:  big ones, little ones, all of which drain you of your blood if you are not careful.

Well, one of the sisters was not quite careful enough.  Yesterday, while hiking with the other sister in the Canadian woods, she slipped on a slimy rock and busted a leg in two places.  She had to be flowed to Thunder Bay to get the leg bone bolted together with pins.  She is not going to be a happy camper, if you catch my drift, being bound in a cast for who knows how long, with her school year starting in mid-August.  As it is, I will have to care for her cats for another week to add to the two weeks I have been tending to them.  That's okay, I suppose.

One of my books I have found at my sister's while feeding her cats was the Courtney Crumrin series, about a miserable little girl, shunned by her classmates and neglected by her self-absorbed parents, who becomes a little less miserable after discovering her grand-uncle's library of witchcraft and the joys of binding a Scots-talking goblin and sending it to do unto the local rich bully what she had been doing to Courtney.

Posted on the Dysmey Blog on 27 July 2008.