Archive for August, 2008

Just for fun

Posted in Personal with tags , on August 29, 2008 by Mike

I stole this list from Char at I liked it. You’re supposed to bold that which you’ve eaten and line out that which you would not try.

As a side note: I worked with a woman once who was insanely cautious with food. Basically, if she’d not eaten it before, she was too worried to try it. I have the opposite approach to food: I love new foods. It’s one of the many things I like about Current Husband – he also loves trying new foods.

Find out more at

My favorites? Bold and in color.

Nettle tea
Huevos rancheros
Steak tartare
Black pudding
Cheese fondue
Baba ghanoush
PB&J sandwich
Aloo gobi
Hot dog from a street cart
Black truffle
Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
Steamed pork buns
Pistachio ice cream
Heirloom tomatoes
Fresh wild berries
Foie gras
Rice and beans

Brawn, or head cheese
Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
Dulce de leche
Bagna cauda
Wasabi peas
Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
Salted lassi
Root beer float
Cognac with a fat cigar
Clotted cream tea
Vodka jelly/Jell-O
Curried goat (looking forward to this one)
Whole insects
Goat’s milk
Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
Chicken tikka masala
Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
Sea urchin
Prickly pear
McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
  (if 20 years ago counts)
Dirty gin martini
Beer above 8% ABV
Carob chips
Frogs’ legs
Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
Fried plantain
Chitterlings, or andouillette
and blini (but not together)
Louche absinthe
Gjetost, or brunost
Hostess Fruit Pie
Lapsang souchong
Tom yum
Eggs Benedict
Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant
Kobe beef
Flowers (Do Nastursium count?)
Criollo chocolate
Soft shell crab
Rose harissa
Mole poblano
Bagel and lox
Lobster Thermidor
Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee


Sunday morning, for a change

Posted in MadCap, Personal, Tech Comm, technical writing with tags , , , on August 17, 2008 by Mike

Personal notes

Hand washing some dishes last night, I gashed the back of my hand when a thin glass imploded. After I put my hand in it, of course. I looked at the cut and told Husband “Get your keys. We going to the Emergency room. That’s gotta get stitched up.”

2 hours later, I was cleaned up with a stitch to close the inch-long and fairly deep gash. The emergency room people were very nice and fast.

This morning, it’s limiting my never very great typing abilities and it hurts. Ow. And I have no ability to tolerate pain, so I’m not delighted.

But it gives me an out on a bunch of household tasks, which is good! It’s going to cut into my crochet time, tho, which is bad. I’m working on a jacket in a wool/silk yarn that’s working up like butter. It’s going to be beautiful when it’s done.

Totally different topic: My grandson is walking! Such a cute baby. It kills me they live 1200 miles away. He’s 1 on 20 Aug. Happy Birthday, Devlin! May you have 100 more.

More stuff

I’ve been talking to a fellow about SEQ fields in Word and I thought this might be a useful post on my blog.

SEQ fields

SEQ fields overcame a bug in older versions of Word. The bug showed up about Word 6. The bug was in autonumbering; essentially, autonumbering didn’t work. Word would ignore or randomly change your number settings with other settings. This was bad for tech authors, as we use a lot of autonumbering.
The SEQ field method tells Word that a paragraph has a specific number in a sequence. It hard coded the number – as far as Word is concerned (it was like a window into the guts of RTF, which was the mark up language of those versions of Word). So when you have:
{SEQ} words here 
{SEQ} words here 
{SEQ} words here 
{SEQ} words here 
The SEQ field tells Word that what’s really there is (in the RTF code):
1 words here 
2 words here 
3 words here 
4 words here 
It also told Word to not touch the numbering, to just accept what’s there and move on. Which was great and what you wanted from Word 6 to Word 2000 because the autonumbering was broken in all those versions.

It kept many tech authors from saying too many bad words. It didn’t keep us from using Word and drinking too much, but it did reduce how much we said the bad words.

SEQ fields and newer versions of Word

SEQ fields still work in newer versions of Word but are mostly unneeded because autonumbering generally works now.

However, if you are using SEQ fields and you save the Word file as XML, Word hard codes the numbers in the XML. This may not be what you wanted.

My recommendation is to stop using SEQ fields in Word 2003 and later, especially if you are going to convert the file to XML at some point, unless the hard coded numbers are OK with you, which they may be. It’s not really needed anymore, anyway.

But I’ve got forty billion legacy files!

I suspect you could write a macro to replace the SEQ fields with Word autonumbering. But I’m not a macro writer, so I leave this to smarter brains than mine. If someone wants to come up with it, I’ll post it, tho.

Ow, cut it out – it hurts!

Ok, husband is up and my hand hurts. Enough typing for a while.

We’re taking over the market

Posted in Flare, MadCap, MadCap software, Tech Comm, technical writing with tags , , on August 8, 2008 by Mike

3 years ago, MadCap Software was just a really good idea several people had after they got laid off from Macromedia. Now, we’re starting to own the market with our flagship product, Flare.

It’s not a surprise to me that we’re taking over – our products are that good. If you think this is just me being marketing girl, go to and see the Tools survey on the right. Vote, if you like.

We’ve been averaging between 50% and 70%. Overnight, AuthorIT added about 10% to its numbers, from, I suspect, the Down Under population voting.

So take a look and get your vote in!