A minor procedure

The human body is a wondrous thing. Mine certainly never ceases to do new things to amaze and frighten me.

It used to be I'd go the doctor for every little thing. Then I married. And my wife would say things like, "So you can't open your right eye today. You'll probably be able to open it tomorrow..." and "There's nothing a doctor can do for that broken toe, just walk it off, Kippy..."

When I'd try to argue with her, she'd say, "And where did you go to medical school?" Since I didn't go to medical school I felt I had no argument. It took me years to remember that she didn't go to medical school, either—not that it mattered.

So last week when a bump the size of a walnut appeared overnight, I didn't say anything about it. Well, not for about eight hours, at which point I felt compelled to show her the bump the way I sometimes feel compelled to ask her to taste bad cottage cheese, just to confirm it's as bad as I think it is.

When she immediately said, "You should see a doctor about that," I figured the worst. I thought of the movie "Mask," and imagined that within 24 hours I'd be unrecognizable to anyone other than Cher.

By the next morning the bump of mystery was even bigger, and harder, as if the tooth fairy had turned mean and embedded a stack of quarters under my skin.

My wife got a doctor's appointment for the same day. Now—you have to understand that my wife can get doctors she's never met to give her prescriptions over the phone. No one, not even the doctors, know how she does this. So getting an appointment on a Friday when the doctor is only there half day was like child's play for her.

I thought the doctor would only look at it, poke it really hard so it hurt for days, then say, "Go home you cry baby." So imagine my surprise when the doctor prodded it, measured it, and called in three nurses to look at it, as if I had a goiter in the shape of Mother Theresa.

The doctor told me to lie down immediately (as if the bump might somehow be throwing the earth off its axis). Then she and the nurses hovered over me, aiming bright lights in my eyes, as if to disorient me. I heard the doctor say, "You'll feel some slight discomfort," right before she stuck with me a needle.

"Can you stop for a second and tell me what you're doing?" I managed to bleat as the doctor said, "Hemostat, stat," and the nurses busied themselves waving what to my confused mind appeared to be ritualistic herbs. I felt like they were either getting ready to throw me in a volcano—or roast me under the hot light like the chicken I was.

The doctor finally spoke, "It's nothing. We're just going to remove it." I'm thinking to myself, "well, if it's nothing, why do you have to remove it?" I envisioned the doctor pulling out her trusty hacksaw while I bit a bullet like some Civil War soldier. She repeated, "It's nothing, really. Whatever you do, just don't move now."

While I didn't technically pass out at this point, I basically chose to ignore consciousness. Looking back, all I remember is the bright light and what seemed like an "alien probe," but I have conveniently forgotten the details.

"OK, all done," the doc said. "If that thing that looks like elbow macaroni falls out, which it probably will, don't worry about it. I'll see you in three days."

And then they were gone, as quickly as they arrived, except for the nurse who was nice and smart enough to realize that when I tried to get off the table in the middle of the procedure I wasn't trying to get fresh.

She shaved my chest (which seemed a little forward since we'd just met) and covered me with what felt like a marshmallow and duct tape. Then she left with a little piece of me in a small vial, either as a memento or a biopsy, I wasn't clear on which.

I sat up, dizzy. The bill seemed quite reasonable which made me wonder if they had secretly taken a kidney as a trade-in. My wife wanted to go to lunch, which I did because I was still in too much shock to say, "Can we go home now?" And after lunch we went shopping and she took advantage of my altered state and bought 11 pairs of socks.

So I'm still here—and everything turned out fine. My friend Ellen suggested that all this might have been caused by my worrying about moving my web site. And she may be right, in which case, all that worrying caused nothing but trouble.

The site moved to its new host without too much ado. The site worked right away, and even if mail was bouncing for almost a week, I survived that—and without the need for anesthesia. You can, too.

dwh sig

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Update NetObjects Fusion Mx For Free

When's the last time you updated NetObjects Fusion MX? While MX should do this automatically, you may have turned it off, or canceled it because you were busy.

If you haven't let MX update itself, then you're missing out on new features, tutorials, services. To check for updates, make sure you're online, then go to Services View and click on "Check for Update" or "Check for Auto-Update." NetObjects Fusion will check itself to see if you have the very latest update.

The highlights of the latest update includes much improved import from Microsoft Word, useful animated tutorials, and new features in the services view, including components and services, a new Parts portal where you can find free images from WebSpice, as well as access to SiteStyles, templates, and a wide range of components that can add visual effects and functionality.

If you want to manually see what version you have, run MX and choose Help/About NetObjects Fusion. The latest version is 6.20. You can also update manually by downloading a file at NetObjects Support.

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You do know Jack


My friend, Jack, had some questions about people and their web sites. My advice to him: ask _you._ So he set up a survey that asks a few questions about you, the Web site or sites you build, and how you secure them. It's a 10-question survey, and takes less than 2 minutes to complete. Jack won't share your e-mail address with anyone, and I'll post the results here.

What's it in for you? Well, answer the survey and you could win a survey of your own! Jack will build a professional survey for your business. He'll process your customer responses and help give you the answers in a useful format. Jack charges up to $5,000 for his custom services, but this is yours for free _if_ you are the lucky winner (and trust me, your odds are really good on this one).

Take it now! http://www.dalaa.com/efusesurvey

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New—question of the week:

(To submit a question, or suggest an answer to a submitted question, click here: http://www.quicktopic.com/8/H/E6r2fQDj49T )


A reader wrote asking how people were building their businesses online, and suggested it couldn't all be about web site traffic. He's right. A _lot_ of traffic isn't as important as targeted traffic—traffic from people who are likely to use your products or services.

If you want to build your business, you want to get people involved. One way to help is to have a discussion board, where people can get together and discuss a topic.

I just found a new free site that makes it exceptionally easy to do this. www.quicktopic.com is the simplest discussion board site I've ever seen. Signing up requires filling our your name and e-mail address. Creating a topic requires giving it a name. That's it.

While QuickTopic lacks features such as "threaded messages" or customized look and feel found in paid services (such as the NetObjects/Mycomputer BoardServer), one of the real joys of this system is its utter simplicity. You post a message, people see it, they can respond without even signing up (though it's best to sign up if before you create a topic, so you can administer it—including the ability to delete messages).

Finally, you can tell QuickTopic to send you e-mail whenever anyone posts (or, better yet, one e-mail a day with all the posts). Very handy.

So it's simple, it's free, it's fast—and easy to link to from your site. Try it.





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Moving My Site: What I Learned

Well, my site move went OK. The biggest problem, as expected, was e-mail. I thought everyone's DNS (Domain Name Server, servers at your ISP tell browsers and e-mail where to go) would be updated within about 48 hours. While most e-mail got through just fine within two days, even after 72 hours _some_ e-mail was still bouncing. It's resolved itself completely after about a week.

What I've learned is that if you send e-mail and it bounces, you should always try again. Don't assume people have disappeared off the face of the earth. Try it again, or send it to their alternate e-mail address.

Here are some other tips I learned to make the process go easier

1) MOVE YOUR DOMAIN NAME CONTACT E-MAIL TO A WEB-MAIL ADDRESS: If your ISP is shutting down, and your DNS contact lists that e-mail address, you should change it to ensure you can still move your site. Domain Registrars always e-mail to confirm a DNS change, so if they can't reach you, you're in trouble. If you move it to a web-based e-mail address (I use www.onebox.com) you can always confirm.

2) EMAIL FRIENDS AND COWORKERS IN ADVANCE. Give them your alternate web-mail address so they can get in touch with you if their e-mail gets bounced back (which, as I've said, it can do for four days or more).

3) KEEP YOUR OLD WEB HOST UNTIL THE CHANGE IS COMPLETE: Nina Vecchi suggested this so you can continue to check both your old and new e-mail until the change has been made completely. This also assures your site stays up.

4) MOVE YOUR DNS ON FRIDAY NIGHT. Stephen Richard Levine suggested this (after first saying I was a big baby to worry). He reminded me that sites tend to get the least traffic and e-mail over the weekend, so it's the safest time to make the move. I started the process in motion Friday night, and the switch was complete by Sunday morning.

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Taking Up The Slack NetObjects Fusion Pages

In NetObjects Fusion, your page automatically gets longer as you add text and graphics. But it does _not_ automatically get shorter. This means that when you're done editing a page, you can end up with a big gap between the end of your content and your bottom MasterBorder (footer) or the bottom of your page.

To fix this, get in the habit of pressing Control-Shift-L (or choosing Objects/Size layout to objects). This takes up the slack at the bottom of the page. This eliminates any extra space and ensure your bottom navigation directly follows the bottom of your page content.

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cool from coolmaps

Newest component released—FormUlator.


FormUlator is a NetObjects Fusion 4/5/MX component for creating calculating form fields. It is extremely flexible and can be configured to handle a wide range of form field calculations. FormUlator can be used in conjunction with InForm, and FormValidator to make your forms even more potent.

Also new—coolmaps' InForm service is now available without ever leaving the MX. This means that IT'S NEVER BEEN EASIER TO MAKE OR PROCESS A WEB FORM.

All-around great guy Steve Smith, Fusion MX Product Manager says "coolmaps.com components have been a big hit with NetObjects customers for years. The new InForm service combines incredible ease of use with a great price. With its drag and drop simplicity, and powerful add-on functionality, we will be able to help customers get their forms up and running much faster than before."


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Do Good For Free With Just A Click

NOW is the time to visit these sites, and click to donate for free. Visit their advertisers, too, so they'll keep supporting these good causes.

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One More Thing:

Sometimes when things go wrong I find myself focusing on that one wrong thing, instead of everything else that's right. Most of the time there's more right than wrong in our lives. I learned that years ago, but apparently I keep forgetting it. So when stuff like this happens I try to look at it as a painful reminder. And try not to forget again.

dwh sig



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