August 12th, 2004

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I like Macromedia and all but...

I really hate when Dreamweavers corrupts on me and I have to re-install it. Especially when I'm right in the middle of a design project. I bet anything I'll have to set up my 25 profiles again, too. I wonder if there's a way I can back those things up, as this happens too often.
  • Current Mood
    annoyed annoyed
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Guinea Pig Ingelligence

Back when I first got my guinea pigs, I read a lot about them. One of the things I read about was their intelligence, or lack thereof. Now that I've had Abbie and YinYang for about eight months, here are some comments on one of the articles I read:

Senses and Intelligence
It has often times been said by persons not familiar with guinea pigs that they are not very bright, or are boring animals. While it is true that they are not rocket scientists, guinea pigs are in fact quite alert, very trainable and respond well to sounds and smells. The fact that they don't seem to behave intelligently as animals such as rats stems mostly from human expectations.

My pigs are dumb. No, seriously, they are. Not that they haven't learned a few things since I've had them, but in general they are about up there with pigeons, except a lot cuter.

I do agree they are alert (overly!) and respond to sounds and smells. As soon as I open the fridge (or sometimes the door to my unit), YinYang starts squeaking and both of them run to the corner where there food bowl is. Whenever I put anything, however small, into the vegie & fruit dish, YinYang comes out to investigate right away, most of the time followed by Abbie, who is slower about such things.

As far as other sounds, the piggies main response seems to be fear (running and hiding) or alarm (making aggressive "I do not like that" rumbling noises). Their least favorite noises are coughing, sneezing and clearing the throat; they don't like clapping or sudden loud sounds either. The vacuum cleaning, hand mixer and other machinery sounds don't bother them.

Guinea pigs are herbivores. The intelligence needed by hunting animals and scavengers is not a part of their programming: after all, it doesn't take tremendous hunting skills to be able to sneak up on a blade of grass.

LOL. What's funny is that sometimes they *do* try and sneak up on their food. Well, they really don't but it's SO cute to watch them come feed. Abbie always has this look of wonder and excitement on her face, like "Oh, wow, what's for dinner? More good stuff? Can I have some?" (YinYang's expression is more like, "Good, I was expecting you'd feed me more. Can't you tell I'm hungry? You're starving me!")

What naturally engages a guinea pig's intelligence in the wild isn't normally called upon in their life as a pet. In nature, the guinea pig survives through the use of effective herd communication, establishment of well known trails and rapid reproduction. They have a varied vocabulary, a cautious curiosity and the ability to learn the many paths between their lairs and their feeding grounds.

At first my pigs weren't very good communicators, mainly because Abbie was raised in isolation and pretty "non-verbal," but now I see them engaging in some pretty complex behavior. For example, lately YinYang has been doing this whole "dominance" thing of walking around all funny (kind of stomping/strutting) while making the aggressive rumbling sound. She also keeps coming up to Abbie and sniffing Abbie's butt, which Abbie does NOT like. Abbie has been getting snippy, kind of like "Don't you dare!" LOL. I think maybe YinYang is in heat or something.

Abbie and YinYang have mastered the ability to "learn the many paths between their lairs and their feeding grounds." Of course, this only really applies if I put them on the living room rug. If I put them there, they know how to get back to the area by their cage. If I put them anywhere else, they just sit there lost until they find the rug... if they ever do.

Of all these defense mechanisms, the practice of establishing well-traveled and well-known routes to and from their lair is arguably the most important. The guinea pig learns these trails so well that they can dart almost effortlessly through them, typically faster than their predators can follow. By ducking through thick brushes and around sharp turns quickly, they can evade even the most determined pursuers.

I am pretty surprised at how fast the pigs can move, once they know where they are. Still, they are not by any means really fast. Abbie practically falls over herself as she's running because of her long hair and short legs. She's a cartoon character really.

When danger is suspected, the guinea pig will also warn the other members of the herd so that they can protect themselves. Typically, this leads to the "scatter response", whose intention is to split the herd up so that one predator can not make a meal of the entire family. When guinea pigs feed, one animal will always assume the duty of a "lookout".

Yep. They definitely skedaddle quickly. Like they'll be eating and I'll drop something and BOOM! each of them is insantly hiding inside their shelter boxes.


I wuv my piggies.
  • Current Mood
    amused amused
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Well, I just wrote an email to someone who wanted me to carry out search engine positioning work for them. I told them I'd priced it out and could do the work BUT I also told them that marketing for a one-page 100% Flash site with market competition was going to be next to impossible. This is the web site. It's got a nice design (I certainly couldn't do that!) but it's basically invisible to search engines. I explained the technical aspect of this and cited this article. I've always been praised for my honesty so hopefully this works in my favor: Either they hire me to do the work anyway, despite the futility factor or they decide to hire me in a year to re-do their fancy Flash site. He he.
  • Current Mood
    accomplished accomplished
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Somebody good at color schemes

Can anybody suggest a link color for my LJ that will show up against the dark purple but also be readable on the light gray I use for the background on actual posts? My eyes are good but I can't read lavendar on gray. I wish I could have separate styles for the different types of links but my LJ customization skills are limited.
  • Current Mood
    chipper chipper
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One of my clients gave me a nice compliment today. He's having me re-do the business site I designed for him a few years ago. Not only does he like the prototype I sent him overnight, but he told me he went and Googled "executive search" and after looking at the top 30, concluded that most of those companies should hire me because their sites were so awful-looking. He offered to do a testimonial for me either on my web site or as somebody to refer potential clients to. Aw, sweet!

Actually I got another compliment yesterday. One of clients happened to send out a mass email about selling an iMac and as a result I ended up exchanging some emails with her. She said she was sorry she hadn't updated he site in some months but she'd been swamped. I wrote back saying how much I've been swamped and she replied with "That's because you're so good!" I have to say, I really like the site I did for her and I'm kind of sad she wants to re-do it but hey, redesigns are income!
  • Current Mood
    pleased pleased
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I hate when this happens

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution published the most ASININE editorial about Dubya today and then didn't make it available online. Grrr! Don't know why exactly it's not there, it's not a syndicated pieces, I don't think.

Anyway, the basic thrust of the piece was "Why do Progressives HATE Bush?" The writer talked about the visceral hatred he's encountered among people and how to him it makes no sense because say, unlike Nixon, the Bush administration has had no scandals.

Um, EXCUSE ME? No scandals? I'd say Bush's administration had been a scandal since the day he was appointed president, one thing after another. Just because it's not tabloid-worthy "scandalous" like say Monica Lewinsky, but is more like trashing one set of rights or policies after another, making secret deals, being the Shady Shadester... guess that's not scandalous in this guy's mind.

The writer was also saying how it he it's unfair to "hate" or be "made ill" by Dubya because surely it's his policies and not him as a person that people objecting to him react to -- not the man. People can't hate Dubya. Wrong. I can't watch him on TV practically, he is so creepy. Even hearing his voice is like scratching a blackboard.

Anyway, I've half a mind to write the paper but I know a 100 people must have already, the editorial was so dumb.
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So the client with the Flash web site DID appreciate my honesty and DOES want to still hire me to do the work. Go figure!

Meanwhile today's other big news was that Charis Circle hired me to entirely re-do their web site. Another site for a group I actually believe in, yay!