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Thursday, March 31, 2005

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okay, it's official: i'm infatuated w/ google maps. i've been trying to figure out where mhcc is in relationship to everything else (it sure seems far away). using google maps it was easy to figure out that it lies about as far as camas on the other side of the river, and just a few blocks away is non-man's land (or at least, the first in a string of state parks that eventually leads to multnomah falls and mt. hood). it's enough to verify that stark is the el camino real of portland.

try scrolling naturally around the google map, as easy as a young lady's illustrated primer, and tell me you don't loooooovvveee it. tell me you don't feel the thrill of learning and discovery. go ahead. i'm waiting.

(thanks, mph! i know you don't know why, but that's okay. :)

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i've been working. and you?

Sunday, March 27, 2005

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what you see here is the nest of the colorful svetchin sprite guarded by viscious, ancient peeps. these unusal and exotic eggs were hidden in the furthest reaches of the earth and collected over thousands of years. many tales have been told about this hoard, and if you peer very closely, you can see the infamous "happy alien egg," the hand-carved "night sky" egg, and the "scarlet star" egg that took three layers of dye & resist, among others. these treasured eggs will be carefully and ceremoniously pulverized as part of a noontime ritual sometime in the next week, their remains added to a secret mix including organic mayonaise, cumin, diced apples & onion and then layered between pieces of toasted garlic romano bread. how lucky we are to experience these eggs in their unnaturally vibrant state! now if you'll step this way, to the left is the gift shop....

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just in time for the blogiversary and easter: the pueblo chieftain blog story i interviewed for a couple of weeks ago, which also features chas and mentions amelia by name. :) we just finished coloring eggs with varying amounts of success; tomorrow (or, er, later today) there will be hiding them and finding them and homemade shepherd's pie! whee!

the bad news: it's still -raining-! so there will be no eggs outside, and the supernifty supersecret artist's way project will likely be delayed -another- week! argh!

Friday, March 25, 2005

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how did i miss my blogiversary on tuesday? here's to 3 more years of observation and obfuscation.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

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i signed up for a 1-credit calligraphy class at mt. hood community college just to get myself back into calligraphy. it's remarkable how resistant i am to the whole thing. i mean, i've got a freaking studio next door, for crying out loud, and i'm in the middle of artist's way. how can it get any better? nevertheless, i haven't done any significant calligraphy since rob & kyrie got married about a year ago, and i've wanted to work on basic letterforms since i moved to portland.

however, it's been difficult to actually register at mhcc (they charged me to apply, but never sent me an acceptance or information on how to register, and the woman i called was unhelpful and gave me conflicting information), and so i went in today with my best "get down to business" face and it was easier than i thought it would be. cheaper, even: $67 for 10 weeks. and though the rest of the campus is usc-concrete-fortress courtyards, i was really impressed with their visual arts building design, which isn't actually a building at all: it's a cluster of cottage-like studios in a peaceful glade surrounded by forest. i knew i was in the right place when i saw old weathergrams left in the trees by former calligraphy students. no supply list or books at the bookstore to pick up, so i wonder what kind of pens & ducti we'll use.

mhcc is in _troutdale_, so i took stark all the way from ne 260th to se 20th just to see if i could (and to go grocery shopping).

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

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yesterday michaelmas & i went to the "waking dreams" pre-raphaelite exhibit at the portland art museum. then we hurried home to met "the doctor," michael's new green ipod! whee! and then, to celebrate, i took him to dinner at thai orchid and then we went back to his place to watch another round of buffy. such is our crazyfun life. :) (i now also know that after 9, it's faster to catch the max than the 17 bus. but if i hadn't have taken the bus, i wouldn't have been able to figure out how to blog from it!)

today i went to work, grabbed a bite to eat w/ sven at ole ole (where there was a poster promoting a10-week "what the bleep do we know?" study group for $150! ugh!), wrote at palio's, attended doug's [no] future lit reading, drove home, found my kitchen floor covered with scrumptious large bubblewrap to dance upon, and now here i am, trying to get it all down so my brain doesn't expload from overload.

doug's reading:
there were 11 of us in tribe's very, very cold space. there was poetry and there were readings of recipes from '50s cookbooks that featured cans of creamed corn. there was an audience-interactive pirate radio play that was interesting & had potential but such a small audience coudn't do it justice and it was unclear when & how we were supposed to actually interact. doug read a few pages from his "a coffee cup/alien invasion story" (i was delighted when alex began to float) and a woman read an oft-rejected story i liked quite much, a faux future report about using female "furious lymph" as a power source 50 years after the "enforced domesticity act" took effect in 2005.

leopoldo & brian are on their way to norwescon for the weekend. well, it's a long weekend. it starts tomorrow. and i'm off to see how difficult mount hood community college will make registering for a brush-up calligraphy course: so far, it hasn't been easy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

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i'm amusing myself by checking out the wireless signals on the bus (right -now!-). unfortunately, most of them require passwords. i pass in & out of several within seconds, and some sound like great band names: land lovers, noles, g unit, home base, centerbridge, hingent. now that i'm across the bridge i'm getting far fewer of them and will console myself by editing my iphoto library until i get too carsick to work with the computer anymore.

the good news is that i had to ask the helpdesk for a new copy of the cisco vpn client: when i saw it had a new icon, i was hopeful it would solve eliot's insomnia, and so far, so good! *crosses fingers*

anyone get the title reference?

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i'm writing this on. the. bus!

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again, i'm listening to radiohead to cheer myself up.

when i got to work my desk had been rearranged and a scanner had been added. the problem with this, besides the fact that i get no say in the matter, is that when i'm working remotely i "own" the computer. so they can't scan when i'm accessing it from home (or they kick me off, which wouldn't surprise me). and when they -do- scan, they do it in my account and leave their stuff all over my desktop. meh. i had to unplug & replug everything and move the desk because they arranged things in such a way that made it difficult for me to plug in eliot while i'm there.

i haven't heard from my dad in over 4 months. everyone's wrapped up in their own worlds again. i'm trying to figure out the people for whom, if you are not right there in front of them, you don't exist.

nice bus driver today, though. and tinuviel is much easier to access when it's spring break. :)

Sunday, March 20, 2005

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michaelmas has commented on the proliferation of cigarette stores this side of 205, but i've got an even better indicator of our wacky slumming suburb. i just saw this sign this morning:
oil change burrito & soda
for a limited time

a far cry from the hawthorn district, which i spent all day yesterday walking, poking my head into _every_ shop to find a particular something for my artist's way group. my exploration is your gain:
* house is not a store i would ordinarily go into, as it is filled with 50s-style thrift kitsch, but it strangely and delightfully also contains two full bookshelves of items from gorey details!

* pine paradise has very little pine and a TON of periodicals! shelves and shelves and stacks of old magazines and paperback books. i wasn't... expecting... that.

* the dollar scholar took a beautiful old art gallery and turned it into a place that sells tiny keychain calculators and cheap birthday streamers. "everything's a dollar!" the unnaturally cheerful counterman told me, as if i could forget.

* moonshadow's banister actually ripped open my right index finger, and i do not exaggerate when i say this. it's still ragged & raw. we had to wash it out and pour peroxide on it and bandage it. (but it's been bad hand week: earlier at the drawing studio i erased with such fervor my hand slipped and gouged the cuticle on my thumb -- which bled and blended with the charcoal -- and i've had a hangnail on hand for days, constantly catching on something i can't mention because of the supernifty supersecret project.) in his office area, women in cloaks and flowing hair and naked breasts cycled in an endless screensaver.

* at lualo's, every time i turned around a woman was immediately there to tell me about what i was looking at. every. time.

* michael, uncommon treasures _is_ where we went to pick up the little russian lacquer box, though the only ones they have now are "in the back" for some reason.
and how could i forget to mention that michael is doing a 3-way swap which will ultimately mean that he'll be the owner of a new 6gb mini ipod for $50? he's deviating from the standard use of ecto singers as ipod names: he's calling this one.... wait for it.... "the doctor." :D this will be his third (!) ipod.

Friday, March 18, 2005

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rob wrote an incredibly flattering review of his artist's way experience (along with sweet comments on impending fatherhood), the kind that validates the impact you hope to have on someone. fortunately, i read that before my former california mentor wrote me and told me i probably shouldn't be doing what i'm doing without an art therapy degree: "you have a responsibility to your group to not take them places that you are not qualified to deal with." ouch. fortunately, sven & i have been too consumed with a supernifty and supersecret project for artist's way to feel too bad about it. :D (& i _really_ want to talk about it but it's not TIME yet! all i can say is pray for good weather!)

michaelmas & i went to a pre-raphaelite lecture at psu tonight. i wore my black cape, glitter star shirt and stiped socks because they are the _essence_ of pre-raphaelite attire. ;) the guy wasn't the best speaker, but he was knowledgeable and you could tell he _loved_ these paintings. he lives in san francisco and came up to portland because the art museum has an exhibition opening tomorrow which showcases one of the largest collections of pre-raphaelite art in america. we might go see it tuesday.

mph is moving tomorrow! wish him well!

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

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oh, great. it's been psu's cisco vpn client that's been keeping eliot from sleeping all this time. i finally had to uninstall it completely because when i came home tonight, it wouldn't access airport at all, and that was my last possible resort.

the problem here is that i need the cisco vpn client in order to do work for psu; it's what allows access to my remote desktop machine and the network drives. the other problem is that in order to get this client in the first place i had to talk to everyone in the department at least twice because the unix system sees me as a guest, not as a staff member, and the only way to get the client is via your psu webmail. i'd like to think a cisco vpn ugrade would solve this problem, but i doubt psu will be very sympathetic to a mac user with a very specific vpn issue. at any rate, i can see that next week will be very much like my first weeks at psu, in that i have to keep returning to the helpdesk to solve things that shouldn't be breaking in the first place. i wish i could charge psu for all the frustrated troubleshooting i did. :(

*sigh* so i'm irritated and i'm so tired my stomach's upset. eliot hasn't slept in 3 months. maybe a nap will do us both good.

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wow. didn't expect that. the scope of my job, and the number of steps required to develop something for hive, just shifted. uploading multiple items using the hive explorer now requires one to create a SCORM package first*! ha! nobody here has done that! let's -please- add another obstacle to the development process! i thought Hive Explorer was supposed to make things -easier-!

* because the "Publish HTML" feature is buggy and weird

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it's a grey, cold day today & i'm suffering from cumulative sleep dep. the cherry blossoms have pretty much snowed themselves out; i saw a cluster of petals fleeing down the road. on the bus today, the two young children in the seat in front of me were sweet and quiet, touching each other's faces until the boy casually and unexpectedly slapped the girl in the face.

yeah, it's been one of those sorts of mornings. radiohead is cheerier than i am. but last night's artist's way meetup went pretty well.

Sunday, March 13, 2005

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since thursday: jalex's birthday at madame butterfly (hi, mari!), creata 3, creata 4, bar pastiche (the pix/navarre collaboration at pastaworks and yes, i threw the napkins), art haus, laurelhurst, creata 5, laurie anderson (unsatisfying. but who knew she was the artist in residence at NASA?), laundry.

here it is, almost 11 p.m., and i'm just catching up on yesterday! and i still want to go on a walk. a brief one. the air smelled sweet tonight.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

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oh, my gosh! fly guy is my sort of urban fantasy! whimsical and yet strangely subdued. (thanks, leopoldo!)

Friday, March 11, 2005

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thanks to my-boss-not-dan's-wife maggie, i now know another TLA: TCS, or Time Compression Syndrome. boy, do i know how THAT feels!

i'll bet you're all missing the art posts at scarlet star studios, like the creata series, or the "red76: blow back" ephemera exhibit at reed (where i also ducked into the library and looked up sven's thesis & original calligraphy from lloyd reynolds' students!).

actually, i went to the exhibit in part thanks to david allen. after the creata session i looked at all my errands, figured out which ones i wanted to do, then roughly mapped them out (which is actually sven's trick), axed one of them because it couldn't be easily included on the route, and did several extra errands w/o any fuss or stress. it just seemed productive & sweet to be able to do that.

the garden, the garden! i gotta start the garden! which is funny, because i didn't do the garden last year till maybe mid-may. but i feel i cut my lettuce season short, and my favorite kind of gardening is salad-bowl gardening. one of my errands today was to stop by the portland nursery on division and pick some stuff up, but i walked out of there with nothing except a slightly chagrined sense of needing to plan a bit better what i want, where i want it, and how much i'm willing to spend. last year it was easier: there was only one small space. now i'm thinking of "branching out," as it were. heh, heh. especially thinking of scarlet flowers on the studio porch, something growing on the south side of the house which gets the best sun, and something to help hide the atrocious fence our neighbors painted deli-mustard yellow.

brian's poem is almost published! (as opposed to his shortshort story, which won't get in a printed form until next year.) he says, "i guess this is how writers stay sane: each time a piece gets sold, a piece from twelve months earlier gets published. doesn't feel so slow that way."

michael went to a bob dylan concert tonight. tomorrow will be crazy: the last 2 creata workshops (and i am missing one of the drawing studio classes to do it! meh!), then immediately off to the laurie anderson concert in eugene. on sunday i can breathe again. i hope.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

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* they moved stuff around in my office. thanks for telling me! so that's why i couldn't access my remote computer. :P on the other hand, during the team meeting i discovered psu definitely wants to extend my contract, though there are no details till when. i'm guessing possibly till the end of their fiscal year (july). but gerrie's coming the first week or so of april and so i'll take some time off. maggie has also revised my hive objectives; they are much less granular in scope.

* thanks to my mountain dew addiction, i won a free itunes song! let's see if it takes me as long to redeem as it did my last credit (thanks, leeann!)

* john recommended me as an interview candidate for a blogger article at the pueblo chieftain. thanks, john! i, in turn, nominated chas. :)

* brian is going to get published! (australia knows the value of a good writer...!) paid, no less.

* jalex called us around 6 to tell us mount st. helens was erupting. we tried to book to the top of powell butte, but the traffic was terrible & the gates were closed. by the time we parked and got high enough to see anything, it was twilight and nothing looked out of the ordinary. however, that's what the mount st. helen volcanocam is for! :D

* i played with iphoto's web export feature a little last night. one of the artist's way participants asked for some photos and so i generated a basic, basic page to distribute them to the group. i'm getting tired of being a perfectionist w/ my photos, adjusting each one for the perfect ratio of byte reduction & image clarity. i just want to share them, you know? and iphoto proved to be wildly adequate. granted, iphoto's web export feature is incredibly limited: you get the choose the background color, the text title (not even a description), the color of the text title, whether to include the photo's title/comments, how many rows & columns you want, and what size you want the thumnails & final photos to be. that's it. it saves everything into three folders w/ an index file which is unfortunately not named index.html, much to my dismay, and titling it index.html breaks the "up" link in the pages with the larger photos. oh, well. something is better than nothing.
(update: mph recommends galerie. i saw this a while ago but it has a brushed metal interface and a lot of the templates look dumb, so i quickly tossed it aside. what i did -not- know, however, is you can tweak the templates and even create your own. very handy! and it's free.)

Monday, March 07, 2005

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yesterday was all about the art. and good news: philip & teena are engaged! :D

last week was probably the worst week i've had since moving to portland. things are evening out, but michael & i are both so busy we won't see each other for a couple of weeks. i wrote maggie a letter last week outlining my goals for the month (before my contract runs out) and noting where i am unable to progress because i'm waiting for someone else. i haven't heard back from her yet, so my psu hours are suffering.

and amelia's regressing a little: we've been finding a small dribble on the floor between her bed and the litterbox when we wake up for the past few days. we're going to try moving the bed closer to the laundry room at night to see if that has an effect; then we'll try feeding her on a more regular schedule; then we may try a new wet cat food (she's also been puking more, and that happens anywhere in the house; maybe a diet change will help that, too); but we may end up putting her in the laundry room at night for about a week. we're guaranteed to wake up with a lot more crap to clean with that last option, but at least it will all be on wipeable surfaces, and past experiences have demonstrated that she tends to do better after a brief period of confinement.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

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whoo hoo! i paid off my last credit card today! all that's left is the student loan, which i think the next psu check will take care of, and trixie, who i'll be paying for until the summer of 2007.

we went on the se portland art walk today, which was fun. saw alex & miles at haven. i actually walked away with some art on this tour, which is unusual, but some of the prices were insanely low for such good work! sven & i also got to see the photovoltaic blue "light therapy pyramid" hidden at the full spectrum health center. :)

then i went to see guerilla girls at reed, which didn't feel like anything new to me (and one of them was unfortunately badly miked & difficult to understand), but afterwards reed was in the middle of a celebration in the commons that involved torches, drums, fire dancing, costumes with large bird skulls and skeleton wings, dancing, low-altitude fireworks, costumes with shiny boots, 4-foot-tall bicycles, shopping carts full of plastic buckets, costumes with ribbons, and explosions. several things went through my mind simultaneously:
1. hey, nothing like this ever happened at MY college!
2. yep, this was definitely the right place for sven to go to college.
3. i could see how reed people would definitely be non-plussed about burning man.

the explosions were scary, though; something was planted in the grass like land mines and they were so loud they'd leave your ears ringing. that was my cue to go.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

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no, no, no, no, no, no, no! sven says the dragonfly lamp i keep on the studio porch and light for artist's way was stolen, too! no, no, no, no, no, no, no!

and sven was wrong about the guerilla girls: they perform tonight, so i'll be going to that while sven goes to see antony & the johnsons w/ rob. today is the drawing studio (drawing w/ my first live model, though i've been one), some shopping for paint & canvas, a look for soaker hoses, and the se portland art walk.

Friday, March 04, 2005

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much thanks to the support i've gotten from all corners, including shay telfer, my antipodean friend w/ the former prebinding issues!

rob has had an ephiphany about an exciting writing project. this afternoon was so gorgeous, sven & i went for a walk on the springwater corridor trail, with a slight diversion near powell butte. the artist's way group is gettting more vocal. and there are new stripey socks in the house. mph came over last night to watch buck rogers w/ sven, and also helped me fix sven's imap issue: it turns out then even in 10.3, you have to have two accounts in mail or some imap commands (like copy or create) will fail. grrrrrrrrr.

and of course, there are still woes. rob writes: "There's been a cluster of break-ins among the staff here at the library. Must be a bad moon a-risin'." shay's "struggling with an XServe whose clam/amavisd installation is corrupting attachments, and my own G4 has a backup Firewire drive it refuses to read." and adra's husband joe had a blood clot and is in the hosptial till sunday.

tonight sven & i go see the guerilla girls tonight at reed, which is sort of a shame because i was enjoying the lazy pace of the day, but sven thinks it's a moral imperative & i believe him.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

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adding to the "mean people suck" quotient, somebody called me stupid on my way to fred meyer this afternoon. worse, he kept calling me stupid, even after it was obvious he already thought so. and then he said my car was stupid. fucker. because trixie's been through enough, thanks. *sighs* i used to think trixie's poetry magnets would generate goodwill and protection; it seems that instead they've made her a target. i almost miss anonymity.

carl won the last title reference (neil gaiman's stardust). same deal for this one.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

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trixie was broken into again last night. this is the second time. this is not a fluke.

* the first aid kit in the glove compartment, which contained the small first aid kit philip got for me for burning man
* the flashlight sven replaced for me for xmas
* $5 in quarters in the ashtray (but not the firewire charging widget right below it)
* the drawstring bag for my sunglasses (but not the sunglasses... the policeman thinks they used the bag to carry the quarters)
* the portable jumpstarter sven got me for xmas

about $85 of things to replace. but they left me a rusty screwdriver. that was nice of them.

i called the police to file a report:
apparently an officer has to come talk to you directly. it took 3.5 hours for phil to show up, and he didn't even want the rusty screwdriver. so i have a card and will have a police report in a couple of days, but not much else.

so i'm having a really bad week. last night michael & i went to dinner & then powell's, and we were supposed to see a movie but i got so sick at powell's i had to go home instead. i almost slept in the studio, i was so sick. add in all the tech difficulties and i cried so hard this morning i saw stars. and then amelia chose that moment to step in a pile of her own crap and trail it across the house.

$1 and a dozen cookies to the first person who gets the reference in the title.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

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update the next: it's sometimes handy to have a backup that's a week old. it looks like one of the creative arts therapy entries corrupted the calendar file and -nothing- could be written to it afterwards (why didn't it just -say- so? it saved and published without errors!). so when i went back to the corrupted file and edited the offending entry out and added END:VCALENDAR, it was relatively fine. i was afraid it might be a size issue or a node issue, because the file is hefty, but i tested by adding several large entries and it continued to be fine. so i have some data to recreate, but it's ultimately, minus the loss of a day, not too bad. what did i -do- to offend the technology gods so?

update: whenever i try to replace my general.ics file with a backup copy, ical -overwrites- it! ical takes a 784k file and makes it an empty 4k! what do i do NOW? need! calendar!

arrrrggghhhh! ical has decided to eat my "general" calendar! i'm grateful for the weekly backups (thanks to mph & rsync), but i'll lose a week of data (and given this week, that's sort of a big deal). but what i want to know is why. first sven noticed that new items weren't being published to the puddingbowl webcal, and i was irritated at that, but when i got to work and opened ical, i had no calendar at all! (the other three main calendars are all okay... for now...) so it's obviously a bigger issue, and the ~/Library/Logs show "iCalErrorDump-url-[timestamp]" files since feb. 27. grrrr! what's happening? google doesn't even have one match for "iCalErrorDump."

fun console messages while tinkering:
2005-03-01 12:06:24.388 iCal[543] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
2005-03-01 12:06:24.531 iCal[543] Cal not a CALCalendar (null)
2005-03-01 12:06:24.548 iCal[543] convertFromICalURL got unparsable data on /Users/gretchin/Library/Calendars/general.ics, retrying
2005-03-01 12:06:37.956 iCal[543] Unexpected EOF, returning last token as fallback
2005-03-01 12:06:37.967 iCal[543] Cal not a CALCalendar (null)
2005-03-01 12:06:37.993 iCal[543] convertFromICalURL got unparsable data on /Users/gretchin/Library/Calendars/general.ics - dumping to ~/Library/Logs/iCalErrorDump-url-030105T120624
2005-03-01 12:06:41.262 iCal[543] CALRFCFileRepository got nil calendar after storage. Resetting:CALRFCFileRepository 4e69e0 (0 entities) file://localhost/Users/gretchin/Library/Calendars/general.ics

why do computers hate me?

in better news, maggie was very impressed with my casual analysis of angel learning as a webct replacement.