Wedding Launch

When you make a software product (or any product, I imagine), you spend months or years getting it ready for market, with a very stressful 24/7 work load in the weeks before the release date. Well, we are in the stressful, chaotic final 8 weeks before Wedding Launch version 1.0 (there will be no updates)! I’ve got the dress, the photographer, and (finally) an officiant. We’ve sent the invitations, and we’ve done the one thing that probably means the most only to us: we have a website.

What’s there to stress about? The only problem is that we decided to have the wedding at our home, which has meant a garden “clean-up” that has gotten somewhat out of hand. Two weeks into the job and 11 trees have come down, 8 cords of wood split and “gifted” to neighbors, half an acre of sod removed, 50 yards of soil delivered, approximately 40 rhododendrons and perhaps as many azaleas moved, and there is still a back hoe sitting in our yard, aka our wedding site. Actually the end is in sight, and I am finally beginning to relax and sleep through the night.

The funny thing is that it is doubtful many folks will even realize the changes we have made, just that the place looks really nice. We’ll know — we do know already — and we’ll get to enjoy the investment for years and years to come. Despite the additional worry, we are very lucky to have this celebration at such a special place to us, and our life together.

Apple Wireless keyboard and mouse SUCK!

I bought the Apple wireless mouse & keyboard as soon as they came out months ago. I’ve tried and tried to like them, but they’re both worthless. They go through batteries like crazy, they seem to require the most expensive “camera” batteries, and they lose their connections constantly. And the mouse loses its connection when I bump it into the keyboard every time! The mouse is also insanely sensitive to dirt on your desk. I can’t even begin to count the number of times I’ve clicked the wrong thing because the mouse jumps 2cm a split second before I press the button.

Yeah, I’ve talked to Apple (they have “zero reported problems” although their message boards are full of people with the same problems) and they blame the D-Link bluetooth adapter (the only one they recommend you use). Other people tell me that the USB port is the problem, although I’ve tried 6 USB ports on my computer.

They’re just junk, plain and simple.


One of the hazards of running a small business: people who fail to pay you. We are very upset with this company and do not recommend them (full story here), but it makes me sad that one bad apple, makes you change your policy for everyone.

Updated 1/26/2005: Our collection agency is unable to collect…

Dear Ms. Gilmore:

Counsel advises that despite all his efforts, he has been unable to obtain any cooperation on the part of the debtor in collecting this account, as written correspondence is ignored and debtor’s phone listing has been disconnected. The fax number for the debtor is now a regular phone line and always has an answering machine attached, messages are left, but none were returned. Counsel has confirmed with the Secretary of State’s office that the debtor’s corporation is no longer active and current and was dissolved on October 1, 2004.

In light of these circumstances, it appears the debtor is no longer in business and in light of the fact that we have been unable to discuss this matter with the principal, we recommend closing file as uncollectible.

Thank you for the opportunity to have been of assistance, and we hope you will call on UMA again in the future for further collection problems.

We're Long on Wine

As a child, I was so frugal I would eat my dinner in order of most hated to most loved food, so that I could save the best for last and savor it. A stupid principle — what if you fill up before you hit the good stuff — I am slowly breaking myself of this habit. Yesterday was our 6th anniversary of dating. We wanted to make it special, as it will likely be the last time we will celebrate it (we are trading it in for a wedding anniversary this year). We decided to drink a bottle of wine we bought in Napa on our first vacation together. We have often had Silver Oak wines on special occassions, because we think of this particular bottle as special. As I recall they had just released this vintage of Cabernet, and we really splurged to purchase the thirty or fourty dollar bottle at the time — we were staying at a local campground. We were both surprised when we pulled the bottle down last night and it was actually a 1993. It is still a great wine, but should be drunk now (Wine Spectator — free registration required) and has not really appreciated since we purchased it — I think we had it in our heads it was a 95. Not long before we had another “special” bottle for my birthday which had been a birthday gift a few years before, only to find that the wine had become “corked.”
While we don’t plan to drink thirty dollar bottles of wine with just a burger on a Tuesday night, there is little sense in saving non-appreciable things for esoteric reasons. For us, a wine cellar only makes sense as a place to store the cases of wine that we buy in order to get a discount, not for an extensive collection of “special” wines that we will never figure out when to drink or worse forget about. Our method of *investing in wine*, is to recognize we drink a lot of it and try to get it at the cheapest price possible — as we like to say, “we’re long on wine” — rather than trying to *time the market* for a great bottle and the perfect opportunity to drink it.

My Chartreuse Thumb

I really don’t know a darn thing about gardening, but my confidence raised by managing to keep an impulse Ikea purchase of a papyrus plant alive for months I have started a whole new life. We have not only added a bunch of containers around the house, but with the help of a friend who knows what she is doing, and a man who owns a back-hoe, we are on the verge of ripping out most of the plants in our front yard beds, and removing a ton or two of sod to make them even larger. Currently the front of our house resembles a bank or a strip mall in the boring linear plantings. We are going to try to introduce a more natural line and more organic groupings. Shopping for plants is very fun — e.g. I just planted some black mondo grass in this tall yellow pot, which I think looks very sexy, well, for a plant — and there are incredible resources online, which is nice because the local nursery doesn’t always have everything in stock.
Given that we supposedly have some type of culinary affinity, we hope to have an emphasis on perennial herbs: rosemary, thyme, sage, scented geraniums, lavender, bay, etc.. We are also going to made a couple of small paths into our grass, and will plant a few trees to line the paths. It is hard to be patient for trees though. Check back in six months to see what the kill rate is, but the papyrus is still going strong, pruned and repotted.