Tuesday, August 29, 2006


  • If you pay attention to any of the Yawp's auxiliary pages, you may have noticed that I've paused in my efforts to bring all my other pages into conformance with the new layout and style of this one. This is due only in part to my own procrastinatory nature. Upon further review, I've found that I'm not totally happy with the new layout. I do like the simple look of it, and I love the three-column functionality, but I've found quite a bit of inconsistency in the way the pages display with different browsers and on different computers. I've seen the right-hand column pushed all the way to the bottom of the page, the left-hand column squished to illegibility, the title graphic cut off halfway across, etc. I can't handle the inconsistency, so the redesign is on hold until I can figure out a design that better serves my needs.

    Fear not, though, for a solution may be in the offing. Blogger has some changes to their service currently in the beta stage of development, and I'm eager to try them out. I don't know that they'll have any three-column layouts among their stock templates, but here's hoping. I do know that they'll be adding some features I'm looking forward to. Apparently they're rolling out the migration in stages, and they haven't gotten around to making it available for my blog just yet. When they do, though, be aware that yet another overhaul is probably in the works.

  • Once again, my iPod is causing me grief. It was right around this same time last year that I was having trouble with it--I remember because I wasn't able to use it for all the hours I spent in the car during football season. Now it's doing the same thing again. No matter how many times I try, it won't update. Unfortunately, one of the steps in attempting to rectify the problem requires the iPod to be cleared, which means all my songs are gone and it won't put them back on. Awesome. Also, the factory warranty is expired, meaning that I can't send it back to Apple to have it fixed without incurring some expense. Brandi did get the extended warranty from Best Buy when she bought it, but I'm hesitant to take it back there. For one thing, we lost the paperwork at some point, and while I'm sure they have it on file and can look it up, I'm also sure that it'll be quite a hassle to get them to do so. Also, I had it in there twice last year when I was having this problem. They sent it out for repair each time: each time it took about a month to get it back, and neither time was the problem solved. I'm at my wit's end with this thing. I love the iPod when it works, but I've had enough trouble with it (and with Brandi's as well) that I'd be leery of recommending one or getting another if it came down to it.

  • Staying in the realm of handheld, portable electronics, I'm also having some trouble with my cell phone lately. The battery sometimes will and sometimes won't hold a charge, and at the very least the charge-indicator icon is unreliable. Sometimes it doesn't tell me right away if I've missed a call or if I have voice mail. It has a hard time finding service in some places where I know I should have service. Also, some of the buttons don't respond unless you smash them down pretty hard. This isn't really all that distressing because the phone is over two years old and I should be able to replace it for free, but it's still a little bit of a pain. Other than the technical problems I'm having, I have no urge for a new phone, and I'm sure I'll have to agree to a new service contract in order to get one.

  • Just as unsurprising but of far more concern is the current state of my car. While no problems are readily apparent, my engine light has picked up the annoying habit lately of coming on occasionally, staying on for a while, then going off again. I'm almost certain that it's due solely to the summer heat, because it's been very hot each time it has come on, but I'm no car expert. I know I've mentioned several times my intention to purchase a new car, but other things keep coming up to prevent that from happening. On the other hand, I know that it's close enough that I don't want to put much money into fixing my current car. I don't even want to put it in the shop to have it diagnosed unless the engine light comes on and stays on, because I'm sure the light would be off on the day I actually took it in, and so I'd waste the trip and the diagnostic fee. This is the worst time of the year for me to be less than confident in my car, but I'll get through somehow.

  • Last Thursday, I found myself pretty damned excited as the Reds beat the San Francisco Giants and moved into a tie for first place in the National League Central Division. It looked like they were finally about to make a little run and solidify their position in the playoff race. Since then, they've lost four games in a row and are now 3.5 games behind St. Louis in the division, and they're clinging to a slim lead in the wild card race. They have good players, but they're just too damned inconsistent in all phases of the game. If just a few of the guys can get on track and stay there for a while, I like their chances due (if nothing else) to the weakness of the teams chasing them. I just hope it happens soon if it's going to happen, before their place in the standings is irrevocably damaged.
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