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Lady Aleena
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About Lady Aleena

About Lady Aleena

This is everything you may want to know about Lady Aleena and the site.

My site

My site has a repository on GitHub.

In the late 90s, I got 10 megabytes of complimentary web space from my internet service provider along with several e-mail addresses. Wanting to put my mark on the net, I created my first web page in Microsoft Word. Everything was going fine. My site got bigger and bigger, and Word even gave me frames. It was when I wanted to put some code on my site from somewhere else when the need to know how to write HTML caught up with me. No matter what I did in Word, the block would not go where I wanted it. I got the message, learn how to write a web page. Before then I did not care about the markup, I just wanted my pages to look pretty.

At first I found a site here and there which told me what all those things meant in between the < and >. With just the basics, I started to rewrite my site. I kept the frames and still did a lot wrong. I had deprecated tags everywhere. The amount of <font> tags was enough to make some throw their hands up in the air in exasperation. Not only did I have a lot of deprecated tags, I had tags unclosed. I just plain did not get it.

It took some very patient people talking me through my hysterics when something on my site did not work to finally get my site looking better and most areas working right. Then I ran out of space. I had filled my 10 megabytes rather quickly. Hysterics ensued. Then someone casually mentioned CSS. When I saw what one line of CSS could do to cut my page size down, I nearly cried (or did I actually feel a tear?). Within weeks the size of my site was down by more than 75%. After that my whole coding philosophy became small is beautiful.

Let's pause for a moment. At the time the only browser on my computer was Internet Explorer. I was still a very lazy writer so some of my HTML was browser specific. I was not writing for the masses just those who were using IE. Then along came Firefox becoming the cause for a fresh bought of hysterics. I am still have some cross browser issues (with IE now), but they are not critical.

The main issue causing my headaches was my frames looked bad in Firefox. So, I had to find another way of making my pages look and act the same without frames. I was introduced to <divs>s and in CSS scrolling. The problem with getting rid of the frames was I would have to put the same stuff on all of the pages, making them bigger, and I did not want that. Then I was introduced to Server Side Includes. It was a miracle to me. I could put all kinds of stuff into one file and have it read by another. So slowly I had been altering all of my pages to have SSI.

After telling someone I use SSI on my site, I was told Perl would do an even better job. So I am learning Perl, and it is the foundation of this site.

So, I set off to learn Perl. Well, that did not go so well in the beginning. I went to PerlMonks to begin learning Perl, but in my haste to learn, I became very demanding and just wanted answers on how to do what I wanted. The Monks first impression of me was very poor. I also just did not understand that Perl was not like HTML, CSS, and SSI, where I could copy and paste solutions. I had to learn unfamiliar concepts. Being broke, I could not afford to buy books on Perl, so I was (and still am) totally dependent on the resources I can find online. At that point I gave up.

About a month later I had a small revelation, but it did not go anywhere. It took two more years for things to click inside my head. I did not give up entirely on Perl, but I did put it on the back burner.

When I came back to Perl, I had an even greater revelation and got down to the business of learning the language as best I could from just online resources. I wrote and wrote all the while getting help from the PerlMonks every step of the way. Since re-evaluating of Perl and learning how to use it, I have completely made my site Perl dependent.

Now, this is not to say in that since 2009 I have learned everything that I need to know about Perl. Learning Perl through online resources without any structure to it means I have gaping holes in my knowledge, unless learning what need when I need it is a good structure in which to learn. So I know most of the standard built-in functions, how to use a handful of modules from CPAN, and how to write scripts in a general sort of way. The biggest gaps are some of the basic building blocks of Perl. For example, I still do not know how or when to write objects. I can write modules, but do not know how to package or write tests for them. I do not understanding of the various web frameworks. And there is so much more.

So, while Perl is the rock this site is built on, it could crumble and fall apart at any time.


I was born on 10 July 1971 at Fort George G. Meade, Maryland. My father was posted to Fort Huachuca, Arizona, and we lived in Sierra Vista, Arizona. My father's next post took us to Fort Jackson, South Carolina where we lived on base. My family moved to Marktsteft and then to Kitzingen in, then, West Germany. After living there for a few years, my father was posted to Fort Ord, California. This was the last military post on which we would live. When my father retired, my family moved to Frederick, Maryland. We briefly lived in Brunswick, Maryland. I now live in Woodsboro, Maryland with my fiancé. I have gone back to Germany on a student exchange program. I have briefly visited Mexico and France.

I have Debian Buster with XFCE and KDE. I use Mozilla Firefox to browse the internet with Google as my preferred search engine. I connect with HexChat to chat on IRC. I used to send instant messages with Trillian, but I now hang out on Twitter. I do most of my editing off-line using Geany. I use LibreOffice office sparingly. My favorite off-line computer games are those produced by PopCap Games.

I like putting together jigsaw puzzles and enjoy playing chess, mahjong, and spades.

When I was younger, I was simultaneously interested in astronomy and mythology. From my interest in those fields, I became interested in the various fields of divination. My interest in gemstones and minor interest in mineralogy sprang from playing Dungeons & Dragons which interested me in titles of nobility and geography. I no longer play Dungeons & Dragons.

I am only mildly interested in politics and then only in theoretical applications.

My profiles on various services

I have profiles on various services around the internet. They could give you more insight about me depending on the site.

Our pets

We love cats. We have two cats. Nybble was given to us on 30 March 2016. Bitsy was brought home on 14 October 2018.

Our cat Cache, previously owned by my mother and named Cash, died on 8 March 2016. Our cat Peepers died on 8 January 2010. We have had two other cats, Percher and Snowball, both deceased. Percher died from feline leukemia.

While I lived with my mother and siblings, our family owned several cats: Critter, Casey, and Pepper; and dogs: Blackie and Tabitha; and a bird: Tweeter.

My favorite colors

I do not have one favorite color but prefer shades of blue and yellow, though I do like other color combinations. This site used to use colors from the Maryland flag which I like.

My birthstones and the Zodiac

Preferred user names

I have used many user names over the years. There are so many once offs, but those which are important are mentioned here. Lady Aleena is my favorite.


Fantasy is my favorite genre so when it came time to pick a CB handle, I chose it. (You used to be able to find me on channel 1.) Nothing more complicated than that. I use a derivative of it elsewhere on the web, Lady Fantasy.

Lady Aleena - a story

A woman sat at the keyboard of her computer and was posting on a Telnet BBS called Brinta (now defunct). She already had a user name but didn't want her comments in one "room" to come back to her, so she needed to post with another level of anonymity. The first name she came up with was Alexana. After a while she got tired of it, so she used the name Eileen. Even Eileen bored her, so she changed it to Olara.

Years later she started to play Dungeons and Dragons. She was creating new characters and needed names for them. She searched her memory for some names. She remembered her masks on Brinta and put them on her character sheets, Alexana Olara and Eileen Olara. They were twin sisters who eventually were relegated to dormancy.

Not long after that, she found She needed a user name there and scanned her brain again for a name. She liked her characters Alexana and Eileen, so she merged them into a new one, Aleena. Well Aleena was a bit plain, so she prefixed it with Lady. She liked the user name so much that she has adopted it where ever she goes, when she can. She is sometimes annoyed when it is already taken. She has a few other user names out there, but Lady Aleena is her favorite.

Lady Aerianna

I only use this handle on Yahoo! since Lady Aleena was already taken. Aerianna is an amalgamation of two of my characters' names, Drianna and Aegyn.

Lady Olara

I only used this handle on Hotmail since Lady Aleena was already taken.

Other names

I have also been known as Faerie Queen, Sorceress, and Lady Harper when I was active on a few telnet BBSs. While on IRC I use many abbreviations of Lady_Aleena. I've also used, briefly, Lady_Cookie, Scary_Aleena, and Santa_Aleena.

Favorite quotes

A man's knowledge is like an expanding sphere, the surface corresponding the boundary between the known and the unknown. As the sphere grows, so does its surface; the more a man learns, the more he realizes how much he does not know. Hence, the most ignorant man thinks he knows it all.

by L. Sprague de Camp

Do to others as you would have them do to you.

from Luke 6:31

An it harm none, do what ye will.

from the Wiccan Rede

My quotes

The stupid question is the question unasked.

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but whips and chains excite me.

Nothing is ever complete until all matter and energy are destroyed. Only when everything is gone is anything complete.

I simplified L. Sprague de Camp's quote above.

The more I know, the more I know I don't know. When I learn something, I know less about more.

Just because you like the cool fad of the moment doesn't make you cool.

Even if the shoe fits, if you think it is ugly or just doesn't match your outfit, you don't have to wear it. Pick another pair.

It takes the same passion to hate something as it does to love something. Their true opposite is indifference.1

1 That's how characters in film and TV who initially hate each other can fall in love so easily. Building up love or hate from indifference is a lot harder.


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