The Red Pant-a-loo-nes

I own a pair of red pants that I'm particularly fond of. They're warm and comfy and well-fitting and stylish. Everything pants should be.

I wore them recently, and this morning wanted to wear them again. So, post-shower, I looked around for them in the bedroom.

Huh? Where'd they go?

    "Kris, do you know where my red pants are?"

    "No. Are they in the bedroom?"

    "I can't find them."

In case Kris had dumped them in the laundry sorter, I started pulling clothes out and putting them into piles (dark colors, light colors, whites and dark but need to go into hot water anyway). I sorted all the clothes, and still no red pants.

Hmph.

After a few moments, Kris showed up in the bedroom and, looking at the piles, started looking for the red pants, too. He looked on the dresser, in the clean clothes basket (clothes just waiting to be folded), the folded clothes piles (clothes folded, just waiting to be put away), and the other clothes basket.

No pants.

    "Did you put them away?"

    "I can't believe you just asked me that."

    "Why?"

    "When's the last time you've seen me put away clothes?"

    "Good point."

We continued to search for another few minutes. Damn it, the bedroom just isn't this big! Not in the closet, not in the bathroom. Red pants! Why have you forsaken me?!

    "I'm going to check the guest bedroom."

    "Okay."

My dresser is in the guest bedroom. It's the only place in our tiny bedrooms to add another dresser.

Kris opened the guest room door, and, what do you know, red pants!

He turned to me, and said, "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever's left, no matter how improbable, must be true."

Hmph.

 Why can't I get OUT of Yahoo! search?

I don't understand this. I really don't.

There are so many sites clamouring to be on search engine site results pages, why waste your time on sites that don't want to be there?

I have many domains. Some, like this one, have lots of content. Some I'm building the content up. And some have absolutely nothing up yet.

Of all of those, some I just don't want on search engines. This one in particular. If you know who I am, you can find me. But I'm not interested in random people finding me. I post all the pages I want random people to read over on my dot-com site. Sure, I could password protect this site, but then my Mom, my ex-coworkers, or the casual friend (or even the boyfriend from high school whom I do want to contact me) can't just pop in and see what's going on.

To request search engines spidering a site (i.e. loading every page and following every link on the page) not search a particular page or part of a site, a site own needs to set up a robots.txt file. This file says which search engines can view what part of the site.

Only it just requests the search engine spiders to limit themselves to particular parts of the site. It doesn't actually stop them from viewing the site.

My robots.txt file basically says, "Don't search this site. Go away." I'm not interested in having search engines hit this site. This site is for me and having the search engines crawl this site amounts to stealing money from me in terms of bandwidth and processor time. I don't like it.

Most search engines honor the robots.txt file religiously. Google is great about it (see?). Some are less good (MSN). And some (Yahoo!) completely ignore the robots.txt file while claiming they honor it.

I sent an email in April asking them to remove my site. They replied with a form letter telling me to fix my robots.txt file. When I responded my robots.txt was exactly to the specification they sent to me, the search results dropped from 900+ down to about 500. A month later, they're back up to over 1050.

I sent another email to them today. This time, much to my chagrin, I threatened legal action. I hate doing so. I hate even suggesting contribution to the litigious mentality that seems to permeate modern culture (They look at you wrong? Sue them! Not doing what you want? Sue them! They type your name wrong? Sue them!). But I'm not sure what else I can do to get them to honor my requests.

Boo.

 Trebu-kitt

Want the good part of the story? Skip to the beam placement.

Last weekend we took Brynne and Doyle up on their wedding gift to us: a day working with us on the house. We were very excited about their help, as we both enjoy their company, and, admittedly, had a lot of house work to do.

Tom Sawyer, here we come!

Doyle showed up at noon, expecting Brynne to not show up at all: turns out, she had previous plans for lunch, hair cut and visit with a friend. Kris was off walking the dogs, so Doyle and I dashed off to pick up a truck load of free dirt I had dibs on from Freecycle (yay, Freecycle!).

Between two truckloads (the final two of five or six that we managed to pick up), Mark called, asking Doyle if he could help him with placing a beam.

"A what? A bean? Like Jack and the Beanstalk?"

"No, a beam. Like a beam of light."

"Oh. Okay."

Mark needed help placing a support beam for the first floor in his house. He had removed the basement wall that faced downhill from his house, and was replacing the first floor support beams, one by one. He had replaced the small cross beams, and now needed help replacing the big ones on the ends.

He offered to help us with the yard in exchange for our help placing the beam. We agreed, but asked him to help us first. Our work was finite, his sounded ongoing.

So, with Mark, Kris, Doyle, me and eventually Brynne, we managed to finally clean the weeds out from the front yard, and till the yard. Brynne was a little hestitant with the tiller, though Mark took to it.

Neighbors, you can shut up now. And stop with the cursing.

Off to Mark's the four of us went (Brynne skipped out).

Our goal at Mark's was to place a structural beam. The beam needed to slide into a space 8 feet up, along top some beams along a wall. To place the beam, however, meant lifting the 250 pound 24 foot piece of wood up and guiding it into place. I was to guide the beam, the guys were going to lift it.

"Are you afraid of heights?"

"Not particularly."

I'm not quite sure why I didn't clue in when Mark asked me that question.

To get the best angle for guiding, Mark suggested I climb up, on top of the current beam, and guide the new beam into place. Eh, okay, I climbed up. I stood where Mark is here, eight feet up (10 if I missed the floor and jumped down through the hole in the floor next to me).

1... 2... 3... Heave! Up goes the beam, and forward, the three guys lift the beam up and start moving it into place. I push, pull, adjust, shove and angle the beam as best I can, until I look down, and realize I'm straddling this beam, it's not going into the space and, crap, if they drop that beam, I'm dead.

"Uh, guys, I'm a little uncomfortable here."

Still holding this beam up at chest height, balancing on a railing, straining not to drop it, they wait a few moments for me to hop over the beam, drop back down to the ground, and let my heart rate lower a bit.

One more shove and the beam is in far enough that the guys no longer needed to support it.

Phew!

We joked about the moment for a bit. Doyle mentioned he wasn't sure why Mark wanted me above the beam, seemed a little dangerous. Kris laughed and said, yeah, if they had dropped the beam, it would have been trebuchet-kitt, or trebu-kitt, with the new beam pivoting around a perpendicular old beam, launching me down the hill, possibly to my death. He also said we'd see how much of a rush adrenaline could be as he'd do everything in his power to keep that beam up. I vocally wondered if I would have recognized the beam was moving up, and jumped over and out of the way of the beam. I'm not convinced I would have been aware enough of the situation to trade living for two broken ankles. Doyle then wondered how well I could get out of the way if both he and Mark had suddenly pulled down on the beam, Kris' adrenaline be damned.

He then laughed at my, "Uh, guys, I'm a bit uncomfortable here."

We then spent the next 3 hours trying to wedge the beam into place. Mark figured it would take 2 hours, assuming 2 snags. We hit 4 snags, which included a beam in the way (it was chain-saw'd off), too narrow of a space (we moved the wall to increase the space), plumbing in the way (we sawed a larger space), and yet another beam in the way, this one in the front of the house (we jacked the house up even more).

Because of the close space for the beam to go into, Chris and Kris used a sledge hammer to pound the beam into place. Each hit moved the 24 foot beam all of 1/2". Needless to say, it took each of them trading turns a long time.

The reward at the end? A delicious protein full dinner of yummy sushi, and an entertaining trebu-kitt story.

 Stymied.

I wanted to write about last weekend, well, last weekend, but I wanted to post with the pictures from last week. In order to post the pictures, however, I needed to set up my new system because I'm running out of disk space on the old system. But setting up the new system required copying my site to the new server, which required hooking the old system to the new system via ethernet, instead of copying through the switch (really, really slowly, since I have the system bandwidth rate limited). And setting up the system for copying over ethernet requires a trip to the colo.

Which I haven't done.

Sigh.

 My mouth meets Pavlov's dogs

The journey continued north today, as I ventured to the dentist's for a filling replacement. The filling being replaced was over 20 years old, so Mom got her money's worth on that one.

My last filling was ages ago. Heck, my last oral surgery dealing with my wisdom teeth and jaw bone reconstruction was ages ago, too. Jaw bone reconstruction? Don't ask.

All of it has been so long ago that, in fact, I needed a refresher on what to expect.

A "dot here, shot there, redot here, shot there, numbness, tooth lock, dental dam, drill, putty, laser, putty, laser, and a sand" explanation later, and we ready to go.

My dentist tucked a numbing agent in the side of my mouth, and a few moments later, with a truly huge evil looking syringe, says, "Okay, I'll just inject this now. You'll feel a little prick."

I'm thinking, "A little prick? With that thing?!" and immediately close my eyes and conjure up every relaxation technique I have ever learned. Settling on the start with the toes and relax up, I relaxed into the shot. Okay, this isn't too bad.

When the dentist pulled away, he turned and said, "Okay, that wasn't too bad. You'll start feeling numb right ... about ... now."

And that's when the trouble began.

There are nominally three general classifications of migraines: common, complex and complicated. Most people who get migraines get the "common migraine," the intense, throbbing, one-sided pain that defines the migraine.

Some of the lucky migraine sufferers experience the complex migraine, which means they also have other symptoms accompanying the migraine. You know, joyful symptoms like dizziness, numbness, nausea and the headache.

The complicated migraine, on the other hand, is the headache with visual disturbances, or auras. Something weird happens with the eyes, and interesting effects happen in the sufferer's vision. (That "something weird" happens to be a blood vessel spasm that reduces blood flow to the brain, affecting brain functioning. For complicated migraine sufferers, blood flow to the vision portion of the brain or even the eyes themselves is affected.)

Yours truly is one of the truly blessed. I get complicated, complex migraines. Auras, numbness, nausea, light and sound sensitivity, all unwelcome friends.

And that's where today's appointment comes in.

When my mouth started to go numb, I looked around nearly frantically. Could I see? Was my vision fading, too? Oh, my stomach hurts.

Since the only time my mouth (and an entire side of my body) goes numb is during a migraine, my body (and admittedly my mind) responded to the chemical-induced numbness with my remaining migraine symptoms.

Eventually I was able to continue the relaxation techniques and quell the nausea. My dentist complimented me on handling the whole filling replacement well.

I guess nearly falling asleep in the chair helped.

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