ted & pamela

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Saturday, November 21st, 2009

I ordered a wedding dress 3 weeks ago!

My mom was coming down from Sacramento 4 weeks ago to see the new house, and suggested we look at wedding dresses while she was down. (Secretly, I think she was far more excited about dress shopping than about seeing the house. :P) This is lucky, as I hadn’t even thought about dresses and it’s high time I got one ordered since they take several months to get properly fitted.

We made appointments at David’s Bridal in San Jose for Saturday and Trudy’s Brides in Campbell for Sunday. I was late to the appointment at David’s Bridal, but they let me in. I had no idea what I wanted yet, so I began by wandering through some of the aisles of dresses and flipping through the catalog, pointing out things I liked and didn’t like and selecting a few to try on. I eventually ended up trying on about 5 dresses, spending quite a bit of time looking at each one once it was on, and ended up with 3 styles in the end. The first dress I liked; the second one I liked the style of but didn’t like the silver embroidery–it clashed with the whiteness of the rest of it. The third one was simpler and I liked it less. I also tried on an off-white one that I really liked, but it was much more expensive. Most of the dressses available to be tried on are in large sizes, like 8, so my attendant always had to clip the back of them tighter for me, and they have raised pedestals to stand on in front of the mirror to let the hem hang down farther without getting stepped on.

The next day when I went to Trudy’s Bridal, I started out with a clearer picture of the kind of things I liked. I liked angled rouching, some lacework or beadwork, modified A-line cuts, and decorated trains. Unlike at David’s, my attendant at Trudy’s stayed with me the whole time rather than coming and going, and managed to crank out half a dozen dresses on me in half the time I spent at David’s. They were also mostly dresses I liked in general, due to me having been able to give specifications beforehand. At the end, there were two that were similar that I really liked.

We made an appointment to return to David’s the following Saturday; they were having a sale that ended shortly thereafter and my mom really didn’t want to miss it. I tried to make an appointment for Trudy’s on the same day, but they were full. During my second time at David’s, I tried back on one that I’d liked from before, and also pointed out a few I’d found in the catalog over the past week that I wanted to see. I’d found what I was calling a princess dress, which was beautifully decorated and had a gorgeous train. I’d also found a dress with “cap sleeves”, and I thought the cap sleeves were a pretty alternative to a halter or strapless style. And I’d found a dress with all of the specifications I’d given at Trudy’s except for the decorated train.

The princess dress was gorgeous but very heavy, making it more difficult to move around in. It also flared out from my waist, which I’ve never found as flattering on myself. With the “cap sleeves” dress, I decided the cap sleeves were the part I liked most about it, and it turns out those can be added on to others. The third new dress was super comfortable, looked really good on me, and could have cap sleeves attached to it. The only downside it had was that the train was really plain. I ended up ordering the third dress with cap sleeves to have attached to it, and we decided we’d look into ways to spruce up the train with a seamstress. I’d tried it on in champagne, but ordered it in white.

They told me before I left that the dress should arrive by January (it had to be ordered in a much smaller size…), but got an email about 2 weeks ago now saying that it had arrived! Now I just need time to go pick it up and get it fitted.

Back to full speed

Thursday, October 8th, 2009

About a week ago, we noticed that tedandpamela.com had slowed to a crawl, but we didn’t have time to investigate until recently.

Well, tonight, Eric made two changes that seem to have dramatically improved performance.  First of all, he increased the memory for our virtual server (hosted by RimuHosting) from 96MB to 160MB.  Still not much, but because of this change, our server isn’t using swap anymore.  Secondly, apparently  RimuHosting’s DNS servers changed, and our server couldn’t resolve hostnames.  Oops.  It’s possible our web server was trying to do something like resolve the ip address for incoming requests to hostnames, and wouldn’t respond until after DNS resolution timed out.

I also made a few changes to speed things up a bit.  I installed the wp-cache plugin for WordPress and enabled mod_deflate for text content.  For good measure, I also installed WPDB-Profiling, a plugin to break down where WordPress is spending its time, and enabled MySQL slow query logging.

Please let us know if the site still seems to be slow.

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
Five hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear
Five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, measure a year?

In daylights, in sunsets
In midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In five hundred twenty-five thousand six hundred minutes
How do you measure, a year in the life?

Thank you everyone for your birthday wishes!

I’m now another year older, and maybe another year wiser.  Every year, time seems to fly by faster.  When I was in elementary school, every summer seemed to last forever, and I even had time to get bored.  Now I never seem to have enough time to accomplish all of the things I want to do in a day.

What will I remember from the past year?  Let’s see…
  • I got engaged.  That has to be the big one.  I proposed to Pamela on a beach on Isla Mujeres, an island off the coast of Mexico.  She responded, “really?! … I’d LOVE to!” The rest of our vacation was wonderful too, but that was the climax of the story.
  • I learned to be a good teacher’s assistant.  I can now say that I have experience grading homework, reviewing quizzes, finding teaching resources, creating motivational posters, moving whiteboards and bulletin boards, making lunches, and of course, patiently listening to stories about all of Pamela’s students.
  • We went on a roadtrip through several national parks: Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Grand Teton, and Yellowstone. We hiked through unbelievably beautiful landscapes, taught ourselves to camp in the semi-wilderness, endured hordes of vicious mosquitoes, and drove for miles down roads that we thought would never end.
  • We went to look at homes, and eventually ended up buying a home in Saratoga. Well, technically we’re still in the process of buying the home, but hopefully everything works out. Along the way, we learned about all sorts of things that we thought only *grown-ups* ever had to deal with.

Who knows what the next year holds in store? More adventures? A wedding, perhaps?

Updated WordPress

Sunday, August 9th, 2009

I just updated to WordPress version 2.8.4. The process wasn’t as simple as I had hoped.  I had to backup a bunch of files and directories that I wanted to keep, unzip the new version, overwrite my WordPress installation directory with files from the new version, then copy the backed-up files back into the installation directory.  After that, WordPress ran a database update script.  Took me… 30 min. or so.  At least everything seems to be working still.

Please let me know if anything on this site looks or behaves strangely.

Not dead

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

We’ve been meaning to blog about our plethora of activities, including our roadtrip, wedding planning, and home-buying adventures every day for about the last month, but we just… never… seem to find the time.

Well, it’s now 3am and I should be sleeping, but instead I’m going to try to write some short updates.

Roadtrip: we took a two-week roadtrip from Las Vegas through the Grand Canyon, Zion, Arches, Salt Lake City, Grand Teton, Yellowstone, and back to Salt Lake City.  Along the way, we managed to take upwards of 4k pictures.  We’ve gone through maybe…. 1500 of them so far.

Wedding planning: we’ve been talking to a priest at St. Thomas Aquinus Parish in Palo Alto, and we’re working through the process to get a dispensation to marry outside of a church building.  The priest, Father Thierry, has been really helpful, and we’re happy to be making progress toward our wedding plans.

Home-buying adventures:  over the last four weeks, we’ve looked at ~26 homes in Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino, Saratoga, and Los Gatos.  It’s exhausting.  Every weekend we go to see homes, and during the week we scout out places we want to see next.  Oh wait, you didn’t know that we were looking at homes, did you?  That’ll have to be a story for another time.  🙂