Just a Blog by Just Rhianna

Archive for May, 2011

The HTML, Reel Big Fish, and death by Sun


HTML has been part of my life for the last 16 years or so, since I was a student collaborator working in AGS/RHIC department at BNL. At that time I bought a book and started mucking about the Accelerator department webpages. For really fancy stuff I used PERL scripts and later Javascript. (Which I also owned books for. Any older Geeks will think back with fondness when I say I owned and still have a copy of Programming Perl aka “The Camel Book”)

My copy is not as pristine from all the cgi scripting I used to do.

I will have to go home and see what addition it is if anyone is really interested. In many ways I have grown up with HTML and it has become a close friend and sometimes more. I cried over boyfriends while coding in it, I rejoiced over the promotions I got because of it , and now today I laughed when reading the Dilbert strip that was devoted to my old friend.

Here’s to you HTML. One of the best things that’s happened to me in my life. Thanks for the good times and more to come. May we continue to grow and evolve together.

Now I didn’t think it was fair that I got to laugh with HTML and you didn’t so here’s the comic:











I really like this band. They are fun and crazy and do a lot of 80’s cover songs, you might call them SKA-PUNK. Friday I got stuck driving home alone as my carpool buddy extended her three day weekend to a four day. What did this mean for me? No carpool lane and hours of traffic while all the lovely NYC folks made their way out east to the Hamptons and since I leave 20 minutes west of the Hamptons and east of my job well I had nothing to do but sit and wait. So instead of getting angry I plugged the Ipod into the Aux port, selected a REEL BIG FISH song and told the device to make a genius mix out of it. Even though my commute was 35 minutes longer than normal I had so much fun. The people in the cars next to me must have though me crazy. I had the sun roof open, the windows down, the music blasting and I was bouncing around to the music like a teenager. When I was at a standstill I tweeted about it on TWITTER and posted pictures about the good time I was having on FACEBOOK. Today I got the coolest email ever in the form of a twitter notification.

I thought this was the coolest thing for a band to do!

Coincidentally they are playing in my area in August. Now I just need to see if the other half can get a day off so we can go together. With three boys gone are the days of just picking up and running out to a show. A night on the town requires much preparation. So maybe I’ll be there in August!

Oh and if you are interested in hearing their music or learning more about them go here.

death by Sun

I really need one of those t-shirts you buy from cafe press that says the Sun is trying to kill me. I don’t go out in the sun much and when I do I have ample sunscreen and am armed with a hat or umbrella. My goth white skin doesn’t not get along with the SUN. I had to march with the boys for cub scouts this weekend in a Memorial Day Parade. I had not planned on marching but Sebasten, my 8 year old broke out in hives that morning from some unidentified new allergy and did not want to march alone. So I ended up doing the 1.5 mile march without being prepared. No big floppy hat, no sunscreen and well he told me he would die of embarrassment if I used the umbrella. Today I am burnt to a crisp. Even the shiny white scar I have on my forehead where I got skin cancer removed last year (ask me how a chick who doesn’t go in the sun got skin cancer?) is red and angry. The moral of the story? Now I will add sunscreen and a hat to my ever growing bag of MOM essentials.

Acronyms used in this entry:

HTML – Hypertext Markup Language – it’s like the DNA of the web. Just GOOGLE HTML if you don’t know what it is.

AGS – Alternating Gradient Synchrontron – it would take several blog posts to explain what this is so visit the AGS website instead.

RHIC – Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider – same as above for complete description visit the RHIC website.

BNL – Brookhaven National Laboratory.

NYC – if you don’t know what this stands for you should be ashamed of yourself – New York City.

Post post


After he got his way with my phone for a little while…Victorious!

Word problems

During the week my oldest son left his math homework in school. He is very good with math like I was as a child and is ahead of everyone in his grade.

In order for him to get credit for doing homework I took a look at the lessons from the week and wrote up 6 problems that were more challenging then what was on any of the lessons but utilized the same concepts. As he was doing the problems he actually said to me mommy these are still to easy you are making them too obvious. I laughed at my brilliant 8 year old and told him that the next two would allow him to pick the numbers of hi choosing. He liked those much better and compared 100,000,000 to 90,000,000.

Lastly I created a word problem but I stumped him a little because the question may have been too ambiguous for his young mind. It went something like below. Suggestions on how I could have worded it better are welcomed. I still consider it a success because it made him think and gave him the challenge he wanted.

Rhianna wrote 537 lines of PHP computer code today for a new project. Tomorrow she needs to write 200 more lines than her total today in order to finish the project on time.

1.) How many lines of code does Rhianna need to write tomorrow?

2.) How many lines will she have written all together?

In other news I am watching an episode on demand of House. It is a particularly disturbing one because te man is in a bathtub doing surgery on himself. I’d love to share more but my 19 month old has decided that it is his turn to play with mommy’s IPhone 4 and is biting my forearm as I type.

Mutant Strawberry

Yesterday I was eating some strawberries that I purchased from Best Yet and one of them was the size of my hand. All of them are very large and sweet but this one was exceptional. Those who know me understand my passion for the red fruit. I am a June baby and grew up every year going to pick strawberries and getting some form of strawberry deliciousness with my birthday cake. However this one was so out of the ordinary that I am sure that it was filled with things I should not injest like pesticides and growth hormones but I just couldn’t resist. Hopefully my 19 month old who is already an intellect in his own write doesn’t start developing mutant abilities from whatever chemicals may have passed to him while nursing.  I can see the comic book now Lucian (yes I am a fan of both Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comics and the Underworld movie series) the big headed baby – fights for justice, developed powers when his mom ate radioactive fruit.

*rolls eyes*

Speaking of comics I am woefully behind I dropped about 100 bucks in the comic book store on back issues 3 months ago. I need to add that to my to do list for night time activities when all the boys are sleeping. Anita Blake here I come!

Ok lunch time is over I need to get back to those tedious tasks I mentioned in my post last week. See you all soon!

In a funk

I have been in a funk lately. I have lots of work to do and very little desire to do it. I am in a lull right now with no big projects to spark my mind. Instead I am relegated to cleaning up the database, and doing all those other mundane day to day maintenance tasks that get neglected when I am up to my eyeballs in projects. I love being busy and I hate the daily grind type stuff. Yesterday for instance I created a bunch of user accounts, added products that customers requested to register because for whatever reason they need to have their lens that they purchased in 1970 registered in their account with the rest of their equipment. Photographers are a funny animal. Love them and they turn out some amazing imagery but man I just think they are the strangest breed of customers that I have ever had the pleasure to deal with in my career.

Luckily for me I don’t talk to most of them on a daily basis but I get to hear all the fun that my Technical Support colleagues are having because we are all in close proximity. They get to hear me curse all day about CSS and PHP widgets and I get to hear all the bizarro cases that come their way since they handle the escalations from the call center.

I have a few projects coming up in the hopper but the next week will take all my strength to keep the dull drums away.

In other news I have been getting applicants for the position I have open but nothing that would knock a girls socks off but there is still hope. I need a knight in shining code to come through the door. Or maybe a princess, no matter we are equal opportunity. Are you out there? Have you worked with Right Now or some other CRM? Done some web dev? Know a flavor or two of SQL? If you do please let me know.

The comic I share with you today is from http://thisisindexed.com I absolutely love the index card drawings on this site.

Me once upon a time.

Somebody please suggest some music to power me through.

Santo Domingo, Wendy’s and the emergency exit

This week I was at our call center in Santo Domingo providing them with lots of analytics tools so they can pull magic call center type numbers from the CRM. I was creating reports and recreating reports and then throwing them away entirely because the user requirements kept changing. At the end I felt like this:


The beach was beautiful as far as I could tell from the safety of my hotel room window. I was taken to a Dominican style restaurant which was OK but unfortunately for many restaurants to come Uchiko in Austin has ruined me for all others.

The standard lunch while working was Wendy’s because as my co-worker put it – it’s close, clean, reasonably priced, did I mention clean, and won’t cause intestinal distress. At Wendy’s they have a person whose sole job is to open and close the chain that blocks cars from coming into the parking lot using the exit. In case you didn’t know traffic laws are pretty much ignored in the DR.

On the way home from the DR we had an issue on the plane with people who did not want to move from the emergency exit but did not fit the requirements for a person sitting in the emergency exit. As a result our flight was delayed 45 minutes, customs had to come and threaten them and I got home at 1am.

The company I work for is hiring and I am on the hunt since the person will be reporting to me. My biggest fear is hiring someone who doesn’t have the experience they say they do. So I will be writing up some questions that I think will weed out fact from fiction without going so far as some technical interviews where they ask you to fill out a paper and give you a test.


On the hunt. All php, mySQL, CRM and geeks of other varieties inquire within. If you want to know what I am talking about ask me.

Major site launch is over and had a momentary lull well what I consider a lull. I was operating at 95% capacity instead of 150%. Got to play the hokey pokey this week with a little thing called IE7. Why is it that I put a little code in, I take a little code out and I shake it all about and all the other browsers play nice except IE7. Why do I care you ask? IE7 is antiquated you proclaim! I could not agree with you more however corporate policy in this case is the governing body and what they say must reign supreme right? Sort of. I do my best to maintain functionality of the CRM front end (support web site) across browsers but it isn’t always perfect so HEY don’t shoot the coder. YELL at Bill Gates and his minions.

I saw a funny system comic the other day and I thought I would share. This blog is still in it’s infancy and I have yet to have the time to truly devote to it but see paragraph one and I might have more time soon. (Yeah right and Microsoft might develop an operating system that is not hackable!)

In my RL outside of WORK (yes I do have one) I have been furiously planning a trip to Disney World with the family. The land of sugar plums, cavities, long lines and over priced snacks of every kind. We decided to go all out and stay on the property since we have three boys and one or both of us might need to bring one or all back to the room for a rest or a swim. We also have purchased the deluxe dining package and were advised to book all the desired eating venues ahead of time. Why is something that is supposed to be fun and spontaneous require so much planning? If I had my way we would have gone some place less commercial and more relaxing. So in the spirit of having fun I am trying to plan everything I can ahead of time so we don’t have to wait three hours with grouchy children for something decent to eat. I am sure in the next two months as the trip approaches you will see me mention this again.

My IPod picked some terrible songs for me so I feel like I am typing in a broken staccato. Pause while I find something more conducive to typing. And the winner is The Underdog by Spoon. But that took so long that now I must leave you to do other things.

Till next time.