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Archived Entries from February 2005

Spring is on the Way

Papa Wren is back. He landed in the green ash tree and only had to open his mouth once for the redhead to say to me (from the couch in the living room) "Hear that?" After he spoke a second time I heard it too.

And he's going to be pissed because there are sparrows in his house. I'll take care of that situation this week....

I did get to spend a good part of the day outside. It was wonderful. I dug up sod and placed three or four more big stepping stone things (the agregate 2-foot by 2-foot things) which then allowed me to fill in some of the, well, holes from where they were removed in another part of the yard.

Then I turned my compost heap, which is always fun. I replaced one of the fence boards before fearing that D.A.D. was going to come out of her house and start bitching at me, even though I was techinically on my property. She has so much crap piled up against the fence. Phew. Beluga whales. While this is a fight that I can probably win, I think it is probably prudent if I don't even start it. But her junk is on my property--the property line is three feet outside of that fence. I'm not lighting this powder keg, but so help me, if she starts in on me this Spring and Summer for any reason, I'm probably going to explode. Stupid old bitter woman... I wish they would move.

Anyway. I'm happy about digging so I need to shut up about D.A.D.

I removed several buckets of landscape rock from the area south of my deck where I intend to install my water garden pond-thing (hopefully) this Spring.

The kids and the redhead went and saw the Winn Dixie movie this afternoon while I dug around the yard. Apparently they really enjoyed it, so that's nice.

Well, I did some of my consulting work this morning but have a little bit left and ought to get to it while the redhead and the daughter are watching "their show" on PBS and our young Jedi is in the shower.

Posted: Monday, February 28, 2005, 12:42 am
Mood: Fabulous | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Just Like the Incredible Hulk...

My thumbs are starting to turn green....

I can't stand it any more. The high temperature today is only going to be 45 or so, but once it passes 40, I'm heading outdoors.

I need to replace a few fence boards on the fence in the back of the yard--the bottom of one is broken off and anything that makes it any easier for stupid stray cats to get into the yard needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.

And, of course, our Christmas tree is still laying in the back yard (what white trash...). I need to get it to the city brush pile today.

And I need to turn my compost heap that has sat all winter long without any attention.

And then I need to get back to picking of rocks on the south side of the deck in anticipation of an in-ground water garden thingy this spring.

And I should probably get the remnants of the tomato plants from last year yanked out of the ground and composted... I need to think about adding a fungicide to that soil this spring as well.

And since the ground is so mushy I might place a few more stepping stones for the path from the patio to the gate.

And, and, okay. That's enough ands...

Posted: Sunday, February 27, 2005, 3:42 pm
Mood: Anxious | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


So I just caused a huge problem with the in-laws. How stupid.

I make one stupid joke about trying to snag my father-in-law's projection television by assisting him with picking out a projector or plasma t.v., and then the phone starts ringing off the hook and all hell breaks loose. And then my mother-in-law ends up in the middle of it and gets irritated at everyone involved.

We have no need for the projection t.v. We have no room for the projection t.v.

And besides, we should all know for a fact that he'll probably give the damn thing to either Dick, his farmhand, or to his parents. Duh.


Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2005, 4:55 pm
Mood: Irritated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

The Empire Strikes Back

How cool. I'm totally pleasantly surprised at just how cool the picture was tonight on the wall.

Image of AT-AT walker in TESB

It looks fuzzy in the picture but that's because to get the digital camera to not use the flash means that the aperture (I'm no camera geek) I think stays open a moment longer so any movement at all shows up on the picture. Anyway, in reality it looked great. Here's a shot from before we turned off the lights and started the movie:

Image of Empire Strikes Back menu

I had to take down my prized "serigraph" of the Paradise Theater in Chicago by Robert Addison.

Anyway. The movie was awesome on the big, er, wall. The only odd part is that the surround sound was, well, backwards because the center channel was behind us so all dialogue-only parts seemed weird.

My dorky son enjoyed himself, even though he wouldn't let me take his picture.

Hiding from view...

He and his mom are both asleep right now in their respective bedrooms. I'm really not tired. I could stand to fire up that projector again and watch another movie. Perhaps one of my favorites. I'd have to keep the sound down. Hmmm. "There's little room in Tupelov's heart for anyone but Tupelov."

Aaargh. And it's drivin' me nuts...

Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2005, 5:18 am
Mood: Awesome | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

My Mother-in-Law

One of the local radio stations is having a, well, it's not really a contest called "20 Outstanding Women You Should Know."

So I nominated my mother-in-law. I had to write up a piece about her and list some "other references" and list information about myself. And yes, I got verklempt while writing it. She has done a lot for me, and if there were more people like her in the world I promise that this rock we call Earth would be a much, much better place. We'll see what happens... (For all I know 24 people will submit nominations, or 2,400 people will--but I'm glad I tried....).


My daughter is staying over at a friend's house tonight. My son was going to have someone stay over (everything around here has to be "fair," of course..) but his first three or four suggestions were either going to be out of town this weekend, or had other things going on. So the friend he did have come over after school isn't comfortable with staying overnight (long story--and I'm in a good mood right now and telling the story will probably really piss me off--his dad left his mom when he was little and situations like that make me absolutely foam at the mouth with fury...). Well, I think the redhead is taking him back home in a few minutes. And so that nerdling number one doesn't feel slighted I told him we'd watch a Star Wars movie of his choice after his pal was taken home.

So I borrowed an LCD projector from one of the professors I work for, so that I could demonstrate for my father-in-law how they work and what the picture is like, etc. You see, he has a monstrous projection television, but thinks it is too big, and was looking at plasma televisions because you can hang them on the wall rather than have them on the floor (not because their house isn't huge, but still...). I told him that I'd borrow this projector and see if that might be an avenue down which he might look. My boss doesn't care.

Oh, so anyway--my point is that I've hooked up the projector, turned some of the living room furniture around, and we're going to watch TESB on the wall above the piano. I can't wait.

Okay, wifey-poo, let's get the friend home so we can get this movie started.....

Posted: Saturday, February 26, 2005, 1:59 am
Mood: Excited | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Irritable ... again....

And once again I had to wait behind some moron in the parking garage who insisted upon backing his truck into a parking spot.

And just why do people drive trucks? My father-in-law is a farmer--I can understand why he needs a truck. The redhead's uncle is a carpenter--I can understand why he needs a truck. But why do University janitors need full-size king-crew-cab huge trucks? To make up for something down below that might be a bit smaller? I mean, really. They waste gas. They take up space. They block my way when all I want to do is park and go to work. Sheesh. Anyway.

And I'm late today--I didn't get to the office until 8:00 a.m. or so. But I parked on the second level, which is odd. So is everyone taking the day off?

Why have I been bitching about parking so much lately? Who knows.

I need to start getting to work at 6:00 again.... Especially now that we're hurtling toward summer. The vernal equinox is next month!

Speaking of signs of Spring... Forget the groundhog. Or my urges to start digging in the dirt. I know that Spring is on the way now. I saw a tractor today. I don't know that I've ever been happier to see a great big green behemoth lumbering down a country road. (Of course, he was on a road that intersected mine, not driving in front of me and possibly subsequently blocking the way....). Yay! Spring is on its way!

So the redhead has hatched a plan, now that she's the newest real estate mogul. Apparently there was a house yesterday that was going to be listed at $145,000 but then it failed a termite inspection and the price then dropped to $65,000 because nobody would deal with it. It was snatched up almost instantly.

$80,000? Needless to say, somebody is going to have a "working lunch" with her father one of these days. We can't front $65,000, nor can we front the money for building materials. But we can work hard. And Uncle Bill knows how to repair houses (the aforementioned carpenter who I think has a right to drive a big truck...). As far as termites go, I interact with this guy on a regular basis, and I guarantee you that there isn't a person in the state of Illinois that knows more about termites and how to get rid of them than him. (And it's a lot easier now--you really do just go get those things that you drive into the ground away from the house and it lures them all away...).

Anyway. My father-in-law is at the point where he's getting so bored with his investments that last year he bought a race horse. What? You bought a what??

I think if this were explained to him, he'd jump all over it. His money, Uncle Bill's expertise and help, our hard work, and cost of materials. $65,000 in, $145,000 out. He makes a quick $20,000, we spend that much on materials (well, and taxes), give Uncle Bill his cut, and after several weekends of busting our asses, clear $20,000 ourselves.

Now, I get skeptical about stuff like this too. Everyone thinks they are going to buy cheap houses and slap a coat of paint on them and turn around and sell them. Buying $40,000 houses and selling them for $50,000 isn't the way to go. By the time taxes are figured in, etc., it just simply isn't worth it. But I think the money and neighborhoods and situations that the redhead is talking about are a bit different.

Anyway. I shouldn't get quite so excited about pipe dreams discussed over wine. As my pal Nute Gunray says, "No need to report that until we have something to report."

Okay, the weekend starts today. And it is super burrito day. In three hours. Woo hoo! I need to cheer the hell up....

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2005, 2:23 pm
Mood: Irritated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

The Override Device

So I'm not normally someone who gets "hooked" on television shows. Part of it is that I don't have time, but I would bet most of it is the pessimistic part of my existence. That probably doesn't make sense, but let me try to explain. If I try to start watching a show, and then something happens and I miss a week of it and then the rest of the season won't (essentially) make any sense, and I'll be irritated, so why even start. And playing the odds, I'm sure that there's no way I'll manage to catch every show. So why even try?

I killed myself for several years with "The X-Files" which I still think is the best show that has ever graced television. Even better than Star Trek (especially since Trek reruns are on about three channels at any given time of the day, any day of the week..). Don't get me wrong--I was half-relieved when X-Files ended its run. I was released from my X-prison.

So now I'm hooked on "24" and, of course, Battlestar Galactica.

I missed Battlestar last Friday, and missed "24" on Monday. Grrr....

I wasn't quite as worried about Battlestar because while it has a theme running from episode to episode, it is Trek-like in that missing one doesn't kill you. More than that, my pal Tod TiVos it, so I'm sure I can get him to burn me a VCD of it. I don't care about quality--I just want to see it.

But what to do about missing the first 45 minutes of "24" on Monday?

There's this cool thing called a "torrent" or something? I read about it in Wired, and my pal Kurt from Oregon somehow sent me a Star Wars trailer in that format (he sent me the "torrent" file or something like that and I had to go download a program to get the actual trailer--or something like that). At any rate, I told Tod my "24" dilemma and showed him a URL that I found that had the "torrent" for the episode I missed.

Using some piece of M$ software called, uh, "remote desktop" he was able (from work) to start downloading this "torrent" file thing on his home computer (over a gig, I think??).

I just watched the DVD he burned me on my Powerbook. (Of course, the Samsung DVD player in my XP box wouldn't recognize it...). Tod was concerned about my being able to play it on our television DVD player, but the redhead was upstairs and in front of the television and on the phone, and I didn't want to try to explain/eject/overthrow, so I just watched it in the Nerdrium.

Quite cool. No commercials. The quality wasn't as cool as Tod made it sound like it would be (the "artifact-ing" wasn't great, if that make sense) but it was still way cool.

And yes, I am quite fully aware that the "science" presented in "24" is so unbelievably off the mark that it is almost comical. Both computer stuff as well as nuclear reactor stuff, etc.

Anyway. What a good evening.

The X-Files was still way cooler, but nonetheless, I like the two silly shows that I watch, and I'm happy that the internet (and Tod) affords me a safety net of sorts.

Posted: Friday, February 25, 2005, 4:02 am
Mood: Happy | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Wrong Side of the Bed...

Okay, these guys painting out in the hallway are about to really annoy me... How rude will it be if I just shut my door?

Situations like this completely torment me. I want to shut my door. I don't want to then hear them bitch "apparently we were being too loud" or something. It's not my fault that you're painting the hallway.... I know what I'll do. How ridiculous...

I'll be right back...

Well that was easy. I unlocked my doorknob and then left to go get a cup of water and shut my door behind me. And when I came back, I entered my office and rather than prop the door open I just let it shut. (Normally I would have left and returned without closing my door....).

What a pathetic little insight into why my own stupid personality is halfway detrimental to my very existence. I'm like an acid eating away at myself. My misery begets more misery, and the chain continues.

I got to work late today. Well, later than super early anyway. And not being hours ahead of everyone else means I had to deal with traffic and people in general. I like "ghost town" mode better.

So anyway, in the parking garage (and I wasn't that late because I parked on the second level--when I'm really late it's level three if you're lucky, but more often than not, level four...). So in the parking garage.... A woman ahead of me stopped, blocked the lane, and then proceeded to back into a spot. And of course she had to stop two or three times and pull forward a bit and then back up again, and then pull forward, and then back up. Just pull into the stupid parking spot already.

It's a Honda. Your car isn't that cool. Pipe down with your bad self and park like a normal human being.

And no, there's nothing wrong with Hondas. I wish I had a Honda. But Hondas to me are more expensive than they are worth, probably because they are more reliable than the Pontiac I drive (in my opinion, of course).

And why do I drive a Pontiac? It's a car. It's paid for. It has to get me from home to work and then back home at the end of the day. I don't care how it looks. I'm not cool. I'm a dork. I just need to get back and forth to work. People that park and take up two spots because they don't want another car next to theirs drive me nuts too.

Grrr. As in Grrrr-ouchy.

Posted: Thursday, February 24, 2005, 2:55 pm
Mood: Grouchy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Happy Tuesday!

So now I've done "Happy Day-of-the-Week" four times. I'm running out of days.

Maybe I should just remove the "title" part altogether. I'm not witty enough to have good titles...

The redhead and I had a talk yesterday about our local school system, which happens to be the school system that she grew up in.

I think so many priorities are messed up at the moment. Of course, I'm a geek so my priorities are a bit skewed as well.

Let me explain. The school's ISAT standardized tests showed that last year they were ranked last (or close to last) of all the schools in our area. There are some anomolies that figure into this, including that our school is the only one in the area with a "special needs" program, so everyone in that category in the area comes to our school and, presumably, doesn't do as well on the standardized tests. We had this discussion last night, and I still don't believe that the "special needs" program is the reason the scores stink so badly.

Most of it, in my opinion, is the known fact that last year the junior class (get this...) in an attempt to retaliate against an administration that they felt was unfair, purposely did poorly on the tests. Can you believe that? On purpose. Whose brilliant idea was that?

And just who in the hell is raising these kids so that it would even occur to them that retaliation in this manner would even possibly make any sort of sense? Once again, I'm placing full blame on the moronic parents in our stupid little town. I mean, what the hell is going on here?

Yeah, when I was in high school we all felt that we were mistreated and oppressed and that it wasn't fair and the administration was out to get us. Isn't that how teenagers minds work? Duh. However, I'm an adult now and can look back and laugh at my, well, paranoia.

One of the sticking points with these stupid kids last year and this year is that the school prevents them from driving to school early and sitting in the back parking lot in their cars "hanging out." The argument of the dumb kids is that they aren't hurting anything and they should have the right to get to school early.

Go sit on your driveway and hang out. Go sit in the grocery store parking lot and hang out.

Nothing good comes of kids sitting around in their cars "hanging out." And no, they sure as hell shouldn't be allowed to do so in the school parking lot before school.

If it were me, nobody would be allowed to drive to school. Period. No, I don't want to hear arguments that some kids go to work afterwards or whatever. No cars for students. Period.

Don't these kids spend enough time "hanging out" on the weekends?

Once again, who are the moron parents of these loser kids?

Okay, I'm starting to get myself worked up so I need to cool it.

Needless to say, part of me wishes to run for school board--to do something about the shortcomings that I perceive.

But part of me also feels the need to just keep my mouth shut and stay the hell out of the way. I'm not "from here" and it isn't my place to think I have any idea what is going on. As much as I feel that I know what's best, this is probably what will happen--I won't do anything.

It sucks being omniscient. Oh well...

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 3:06 pm
Mood: Relaxed | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

Hold on to Your Trash Can Lids, Kids...

I had a meeting with my superiors today. After meeting for several hours about the new web page (very good meeting for that part, btw), there was a sigh and a "well, don't lose any sleep about this yet..."

Apparently the IPM Centers are on the FY2006 federal budget chopping block. Still over a year away. Still plenty of wrangling between Congress and the President, etc., etc., etc. There's plenty of money to keep me around at least another 24 months. And I do work on some side projects for these folks that draw revenue to their funds, so I'm not too worried. For all I know, in 2 years I won't want to be there anymore...

Still feels a bit like I was punched in the stomach.

Passive sonar has started effective immediately. If the situation doesn't change in the next twelve months, I'll start actively feeling things out. Or something. A ping please. One ping only, please.

The redhead is already getting promoted. For all I know, in two years she'll be making more money than I do. I'm not proud--the sooner that happens the better.

Damn politicians. Oh well.

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. If only Mike and Sue would have given me a bag of lemons when they broke the news today. I can't make lemonade with a chewed-up pen.

(And actually, that was just for effect--I don't chew on pens...)

Hey, Kansas lost again.

Oh, and the redhead and I have tickets for the final home Illinois game vs. Purdue. And we probably will turn down the tickets. And they are pretty durn good seats, in my opinion. They are a few sections up, but they are right at mid-court (I've sat in one of them before, with my pal Tod--they are his in-laws' tickets...). The game is on a weeknight, at 8:00 p.m. That means not getting home until 10:30+.

And honestly? I'm not in the mood. They should beat the snot out of Purdue (I shouldn't have said that, probably....). It is sort of a hassle.

Listen to me. Alumnus. Employee. Fan. Possibly the last home game in an undefeated regular basketball season. And I don't feel like going.


Oh well. I need to go help scream at the kids....

Posted: Wednesday, February 23, 2005, 12:50 am
Mood: Content | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment

How Could I Forget Basketball??

We survived another scare this weekend and managed to beat Iowa by ten, although the score at the end of a game sometimes makes it sound like it was more of a rout than it was (because it certainly was anything but a rout...).

And yes, I'm totally evil, and I so rooted for Duke to lose last night (and they didn't).

But that's okay because those wonderful Cyclones beat Kansas at Kansas!!!

Of course, the Turd dropped, and Kansas dropped, and stupid North Carolina with three losses is somehow number 2.

Somehow I have a feeling that if the ol' Illini lost a single game this week, and NC lost both of their games, that the pollsters would drop us to 12 and move NC to #1, Duke #2, etc. Oh well.

It doesn't matter. Duke has proven that they aren't as good as Vitale says they are. And Kansas lost at home.

And the redhead and I have tickets to the Illini's final home game against Purdue next weekend. Woo hoo!

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 12:29 am
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Great Weekend!

Wow. Apparently I've forgotten about my blog for a few days...

No matter.

This past weekend was a lot of fun.

Friday evening we took the kids out to dinner at Cheddar's and then headed over to the Parkland College Staerkel Planentarium for a neat one-hour show highlighting the Cassini-Huygens project to check out Saturn and Titan. Totally cool! And it was $14 for all four of us to get in and I was very impressed. They have these recliner seats with a dome thing overhead and the "movie" is displayed all around--it's almost hard to explain, but it was totally, totally cool.

Saturday my son slept over at a friend's house for a birthday party, and we had our pals Tod and Margaret over. Great steaks, too much wine, etc., etc. But always nothing but fun.

Sunday my son spent the day in bed (most of it) because he was up late and got up early at the sleep over. My daughter and I went out to the in-laws' for dinner and just to hang out. I have so much fun with all of them. Budge and Molly and Coley-Goofus were all there, and we just sat and gabbed and had fun. Am I gettting old? Budge and Molly used to irritate the hell out of me when I was in my twenties and they were, well, the age of my kids, but now I just love hanging out with both of them. I don't know. I sound like a dork but I had a lot of fun just hanging out.

Monday I went off to work (that's today, right?). I spent the whole day writing two programs for my class using an instruction set architecture layer simulator. I was a bit worried about them for the past week or so, when I didn't have time (or make time) to do them, but they sure were a bunch of fun to do. One was creating a subroutine to do Fibonacci numbers (1,1,2,3,5,8,13,21,34,55, etc.) which is like a one-liner in any modern programming language but takes some trickery to do it when you can't make a recursive function call.... The second was using the simulators graphical capabilities to draw a diamond on the screen. Way cool.

Okay, way dorky, but I was tickled. When school stops being fun, I stop with school. I almost didn't go to lunch today because I couldn't get the fourth line to start on the exact pixel that I wanted it to without overflowing the memory address for the last memory address that had to be written to. Duh. I was using 1E0F and I should have been using 1E07. DUH!

It works perfectly now.

And I just got ten out of ten on my third quiz. Woo hoo!

Duh-ork. Yes, I know. But I'm so happy when I'm dorky. It's that mean old cold #$%&ing world that I have to deal with on a daily basis that makes me cranky.

Okay, time to go blow away some cleaning engineers in Max Payne 2.....

Posted: Tuesday, February 22, 2005, 12:21 am
Mood: Happy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

My Friday Plate

I can't believe it is Friday already. Sheesh.

Let's see, what do I need to do today?

First and foremost, I have to finish up my annual "Achievement Report" (that was due Tuesday). Basically, every academic employee in the department has to brag about everything they did last year. Bragging makes me uncomfortable, but if I want a raise, I must do it nonetheless. And, well, I probably shouldn't say anything else about it because I sure don't want to get Dooced... Needless to say, I need to wrap that up this morning.

Burritos for lunch--woo hoo!

I'd really like to get Fedora working in Virtual PC. I almost wish I would have not bothered to even try to get it to work, rather than getting this far and having the X problem that I'm having. Oh well.

Tonight we're taking the kids to the Parkland College planetarium (after going out to dinner, of course). It's totally cheap and the nerdlings will love it. I'm looking forward to it.

Well, I'm having a hard time thinking about what to write because I'm going over achievement report stuff in my head. I need to get that done and maybe I'll take a break later this morning and blog some more...

Posted: Friday, February 18, 2005, 1:16 pm
Mood: Anxious | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Happy Thursday!

Golly, what a difference a day makes. Yesterday was no fun, but I'm in a great mood today!

I was asked yesterday to present a PHP/MySQL seminar by the campus Webmasters group. How cool is that? I wonder how long before my feelings of "cool" turn into feelings of nervousness and utter terror? Hmm. I do actually like talking in front of people, so I'm looking forward to it in that respect. I just fear that there will be audience members that are more knowledgeable than I am that will call me to task if I make a mistake. I suppose I had better get my "ducks in line" before this all happens.

Ducks in line. Sheesh.

Several years ago, when the redhead and I were still thinking of the possibility of moving to Chicago, I actually applied for a job and had an interview at a lithographer downtown. It was a rinky-dink operation in an old building that looked like an abandoned Max Payne scene. Old ornate ceilings, old tile floor, plaster walls and dark woodwork. And I interviewed with the son of the owner of this outfit, a big fat dork with a cheap polyester dress shirt that had pit stains. And he let out these long sighs between sentences.

After the interview they called or wrote me a letter or something and asked for three reference letters. Not a list of three references. Three letters. That I had to get people to write on my behalf. I replied and said I would be happy to get the letters and asked what the salary range was. Fair enough, right? I had a feeling it wasn't going to be enough to warrant uprooting ourselves from VG and moving to a much more expensive situation in the 'burbs.

And this fat dork replied with a very snitty letter explaining to me that I knew nothing about interviewing and protocol and told me that I needed to get my "ducks in line" and get the three letters and then get back to him. Like it was completely inappropriate for me to ask about the salary.

Needless to say, that was the end of that.

It's "ducks in a row" you moron.

Oh well.

Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005, 4:20 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


"I have a right to have a cigarette in a restaurant before my meal and then one afterwards."

No you don't.

Nowhere in the Consitution does it say that. Nowhere. I took government class in high school. It says nothing about cigarettes.

"I have a right to get on that plane."

No you don't.

Nowhere in the Constitution does it say that. Nope. Try again.

I'm so darn sick of people and their illusion that living in the U.S. grants them a right to do anything.

Yes, a restaurant is a "public" place. Remember that it is owned (well, usually) by a private citizen. You no more have a "right' to smoke in a restaurant than you have a right to smoke in my house. My house--my rules.

And this isn't a diatribe about smoking, of course. Smoke in your house. Smoke in your car. I don't care. I drink too much beer. And while I guess it isn't a "right", it is legal for me to do so. I don't consider, of course, that I have a right to get wasted and then go drive around and run people over.

I can't drink beer in the movie theater uptown. Why not? They have a rule forbidding me to do so. Their right by virtue of owning that building and paying the mortgage payment for it.

If the FAA sets restrictions on who can and can't fly, based on well, whatever, that's the rules. You don't have a right to fly any more than you have a right to drive a car.

And again, I'm not trying to bitch about smokers or old people with oxygen tanks who aren't allowed on planes. I'm just confused by people and their interpretation of what "rights" are.

Want to complain in a publication about not being able to get on a plane? Guess what? You have a right to do so.

Want to start your own religion? Guess what? You have a right to do that too.

Go read the Constitution. Or better yet, go to law school.


Okay, I feel better now. There was a letter in the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette this weekend from a man complaining that a local restaurant had become "smoke free." And as can probably be gleaned from my diatribe, he claimed that he had a "right" to smoke wherever he wanted to. The reason the restaurant went smoke free was because the owner was having some medical problems, went to the doctor, and was asked "how long have you smoked?" He never had. But being in a smoke-filled atmosphere every day had caused him harm. And he made the decision right then to ban smoking.

He owns the building. He owns the business. Don't like it? Go elsewhere.

Then the redhead and I were watching "Airline" on A&E (or whatever channel it is on) and some old woman wasn't being allowed on a plane because she was deemed "unfit to fly" because she was ill and was hooked up to an oxygen tank, etc., etc. And she kept repeating that "all hell is going to break loose" because she "has a right to get on that plane."

Um, nope. And you don't even get points for being old, either.

I think more people should exercise their right to remain silent.

Perhaps I should as well.


Posted: Thursday, February 17, 2005, 3:20 am
Mood: Pretty Good | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment

Valentine's Day

So I need to hurry up and get these corrections done for my "client" so that I can head up to Champaign and get roses for the redhead. And chocolates. Ooh, and maybe diamonds as well.


How wonderful to be married to someone who feels the same way I do about florist/Hallmark "holidays." Roses? If she wants roses, I'll plant her rose bushes that she can enjoy all spring and summer long. If she wants chocolates, well, I guess she can get them herself. I'm not a sweets kind of person and come to think of it, I don't know that she is a chocolate craver either. Either way, chocolates are another waste of money.

And diamonds. Yes, diamonds. Mmmm. Just something else to get sucked up in the vacuum cleaner (right, honey?). That's what Christmas is for. We'll get the yearly sacrifice to the vacuum cleaner gods then.


Maybe she'll settle for a burrito... If I can get this consulting stuff done in the next couple of hours (should be able to) and then see if Gwammo wants to watch the stinkpots for a few hours, I'll make the trek northward in time to drop off my work and pick up the redhead when she gets off work at 2:00 and maybe, just maybe talk her into getting a burrito for a late lunch....

I'll go text message her now. Oh, wait. I can do that from Verizon's web site--no need to go get the phone, especially since I am sitting here in white long-johns, with an EIU sweatshirt on and my black slippers. Total dork mode.

Okay, lungs, I'm sorry about the green cloud yesterday, but can we please get rid of all of the phlegm already? Sheesh.

Posted: Monday, February 14, 2005, 4:04 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Why I'm Not A Doctor

When I came to college, I made a stupid, stupid decision.

I wanted to be a doctor.

Well, no I didn't. I wanted to make a lot of money. And I thought the best way to do that was to become a doctor.

Sure sounds moronic 18 years later... Anyway, the past is over with and I'll get my degree in Computer Science at some point, albeit a little late...

So back to being a doctor.

The U of I has a neat way of weeding out people in the pre-med program. It's a neat little course called Chemistry 102B, the "B" meaning it has a slant towards Biology.

When I enrolled in the course it was taught by a now-emeritus professor, Dr. Stephen Zumdahl. Fair enough. Until I went to purchase the textbook for the class. The name on the binding? Zumdahl. Yep. You know that you are screwed when the guy teaching the class is the same guy that wrote the textbook. Yikes.

Chemistry 102B weeded me out. I didn't stand a chance. Oh well.

Fast forward to yesterday. Our stupid sink was clogged again, because, well, I shouldn't even get into it.


We live in what is known in town as a "school house." That is, the dumpy little high school in town has a "building trades" program and they manage to turn out about one house per year. Ours was the result of an effort in 1972. It's a nice house--don't get me wrong. But "Serge," the part-time teacher and building trades supervisor, did a bit of creative plumbing for the kitchen sink. And it has a wonderful affinity for getting backed up.

Normally, I go to see Mr. Gilles at the True Value hardware store in town, and get this stuff that is essentially muriatic acid (I think). It is in the plumbing section, right next to the Drano and Liquid Plumr (that's how it is spelled, right?). Anyway, this stuff is in a plain white bottle with a skull-and-crossbones on it, and the bottle is inside a sealed plastic bag. And it ain't cheap, but it works.

Well, Mr. Gilles is a good church-going fellow, so the store doesn't open on Sunday until after he gets out of church. At 9:00 a.m. that does me no good.

So I go to the grocery store and buy a gallon jug of Drano, knowing that it won't work. The recipe on the back calls for using 1/5th of the contents for a clogged drain. I just emptied the whole damn bottle. And sure enough, an hour later my sinks were still full.

Now this makes no sense to me, but if I stop the left sink with a plunger, and turn the garbage disposal on, it will actually empty the right sink. Upon removal of the plunger, the left side water level will go down as the contents start filling up the right side until they are at equilibrium. In this manner I can actually get the water level to go almost all the way down, but as soon as I add more water, it starts filling up again.

So I did that, and got the water level all the way down. I still didn't want to wait for Mr. Gilles. So I went to Dollar General to see if they had anything. They had some foaming pipe snake thing (there's a joke in there somewhere...) and I got some of their generic stuff as well.

And I dumped all of it in the sink.

Remember that "D" I got in Chem 102B?

Well, apparently the stuff I got at the grocery store was a de-clogger and sink "cleaner" that had bleach in it. And whatever I got from the dollar store reacted with the bleach part. And a green cloud enveloped our house. I tried my best to rinse with water, but with clogged sinks, there's nowhere for it to go! All the while I'm breathing this stuff in and having to run outside and gag my guts out every few minutes. I made the kids get dressed and took them to the in-laws--fortunately it just stunk downstairs where they were, and the redhead was furiously opening windows so while the smell was unbearable, I was the only one who actually was "harmed."

What a moron. I mean, really.

We had all the windows open in the house for probably six hours, with fans blowing, and it wasn't until late yesterday afternoon that the redhead decided the smell was finally gone. Of course, I can't tell because I fried all the receptors in my nose and throat and have just been coughing and hacking for the past twelve hours. Blech.

She took the kids to the mall and went shopping. I went to Jeff's and got my plumbing snake back (another joke?) and methodically filled the sinks with water and did the plunger/disposal routine until I got the water level all the way down, then grabbed a bucket and removed the trap. Then spent an hour grinding away at whatever was stuck in there.

Needless to say, I am calling Uncle Bill tomorrow and taking him up on his offer to help me re-plumb the drain pipes from the sink and tie them into the vent for the downstairs bathroom toilet, which will unhook them from the crazy, discombobulated plumbing fiasco that Serge created 30+ years ago.

And I am never, ever dumping anything other than muriatic acid into the sink ever, ever again.

Posted: Monday, February 14, 2005, 12:03 pm
Mood: Aggravated | 2 comments | Article URL | Post a comment


Well, the kids don't have school today or Monday, so I arranged to take both days off to stay home with them so the hard working redhead can got to work and work hard like the hard worker that she is.

Except she arranged to have her mom watch the kids today. Whoops.

I stayed home anyway, of course. I'll get the laundry caught up, and get the dishwasher emptied, and maybe vacuum as well.

And the stupid cable modem lost the connection yesterday afternoon again, so I called the cable company and they said they would come look at it again today.

And of course as of about an hour ago it is working again. Sheesh.

At least it wasn't working when I called last night and the tech on the other end could run a whatever-it-is they do on my line and she could see that the signal was screwy. My guess, of course, is that the cable modem is flaking out. We'll see what they find out today....

I'm so glad the weekend is here. This was really kind of a long week. Hopefully I can get the house taken care of today so that the redhead and I can both relax and enjoy ourselves tomorrow and Sunday.

Posted: Friday, February 11, 2005, 3:36 pm
Mood: Very Good | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


The Turd beat North Carolina.

But it wasn't a blowout.

How perfect.

The Tar Heels lose, but it isn't like The Turd is smelling like roses right now either.

And yes, I'm biased, but from what I saw neither of those teams could beat Illinois. Most of the talk of "steals" was simply sloppy ball-handling by the other team. I doubt Illinois would commit a single turnover against either The Turd or North Carolina.


Go Illini!

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2005, 5:12 am
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

ACC, Baby!

What a fabulous game tonight--Duke v. North Carolina. Now, Dick Vitale is all excited because it is his two favorite teams, in his favorite conference, and he'll just be so damn annoying that I probably won't be able to stand it.

But I will watch. And be quite happy.

Because, no matter what, one of these damn teams will be a loser tonight.

I think I'm sort of leaning to wanting The Turd to win. North Carolina winning on the road would be so much more dramatic, and then we'd start hearing about how they should be number one, and that would be irritating. Less irritating would be for Duke to win, because they are at home and that is what they should do. And maybe North Carolina will drop down a spot or two since they will have three in the loss column.

One must lose. I can't wait.

In other news, I got caught up with my consulting today (yay!).

I went to the store and our freezer in the garage is now almost all the way full again, thank goodness. Something about having meat in the freezer calms me down. We could get snowed in for a month and feast like royalty the entire time.

I wonder how quickly the redhead is going to get annoyed with me cheering "Go Turd!" during the game tonight...

Posted: Thursday, February 10, 2005, 12:24 am
Mood: Great! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

I Don't Understand

When I drive to work in the morning, I do my best to avoid everyone. Route 130 is full of idiots that think they are all Dale Jr. and need to drive 75 mph and pass every single car--probably some need to "be first" all the time. People here continually amaze me with how poorly they handle 4-way stop sign situations as well. So I drive through the country, and take my time, and will go out of my way to route myself through stop lights instead of stop signs. But I still have to deal with these people. These angry, bitter people.

And I don't understand it. Most of the traffic of which I speak is going to the same place I am--I can tell by the blue-and-silver hang tags on their rearview mirrors--University parking pass things, just like the one hanging from my rearview mirror.

Some woman in a Lexus SUV tailgated me all the way through the parking garage today. Like, had to slam on her brakes several times (I could see her headlights dip when she did). Calm down! What's the rush?

What is with these people? Am I a complete anomaly? I have a wonderful job. I love coming to work. I'm happy when I'm on my way to work, and I'm happy on my way home from work. I don't punch a clock, and nobody has problems with when I get here and when I leave for the day. I just now talked with my boss about taking Friday and Monday off because the kids don't have school. No problem. I'm leaving early today too because the kids get out of school early. Whatever. Oh, and I had to move therapy to tomorrow because I have to get the kids from school today so I'll be leaving early tomorrow too. Fine. We get 24 vacation days a year! Everyone. Every single professor, secretary, janitor, and geek. Plus two floating holidays, and from what I can glean, an almost infinite amount of sick time if that is necessary (we get like 14 days, but you can fill out an online form to get another 14 after that, and then fill out another form to get more after that 14, or something like that--I don't get sick so I don't worry about it much...).

So what is everyone pissed off about?

Sure, I guess my situation is a bit different. I'm very valued at work, and the people I work for are very, very cool. I probably do come and go as I wish a lot more than other people on campus are allowed to. But still. Even if you have a civil servant position (secretary, etc.) and have specified hours that you have to be here, you can't tell me that working at the University is worse than working in the "real world." You get paid well, have great benefits, and you essentially can't get fired. All you have to do is drag your butt out of bed, take a shower, get dressed, and drive to work. That's it!

So why be pissy in the morning? Why tailgate me? Why not wait your turn at four-way stops? Why not take your time in the parking garage?

The parking garage is relatively new, and they landscaped it maybe 2 years ago. And rather than walking ten feet out of their way and staying on the sidewalk, the employees of the laboratory (north of my building) have worn an ugly path into the sod. Then that got muddy, so now they are in the process of wearing a path on either side of the original path. Because they can't be bothered to use the sidewalk and need to find the absolute shortest distance from the parking garage to the door to the lab. It amazes me.

Today's Friday, right? Sheesh...

Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 3:01 pm
Mood: Fair | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Did Anyone Ask for a Tirade?

Okay, so I'm half-ticked because the basketball team didn't annihilate that "blue team" tonight.

And Notre Dame won.

I'm half-grouchy already, and the wheels--they start a-turnin'.

Liberals who want to get rid of the Chief claim that it isn't the same situation, but I want an absolute 100% explanation.

Why is Chief Illiniwek from the University of Illinois Fighting Illini "racist" but the leprechaun from the Notre Dame University Fighting Irish perfectly acceptable?

DO NOT tell me that it "isn't the same thing."

Well, actually, it isn't the same thing. We treat the image of the Chief with respect, while the pedophiliac catholics at Notre Dame admonish all people of Irish descent as leprechauns dressed in a greet coat and big pointy shoes.

But let's get back to the racism thing.

Fighting Illini is no more racist than Fighting Irish.

Both are races of human beings.

I consider Fighting Illini to be a tribute to the native people of this state.

I do not consider Fighting Irish to be a tribute to anything.

And unlike the woman that started the whole "Chief situation," I am part Irish--she's not any part Native American...

Do we change the name of the state of Illinois then to something less "racist?" What about Indiana? Ohio. Wisconsin. Minnesota. Missouri. All named after Indian tribes, right?

How racist.

Explain to me, again, why "Fighting Irish" isn't derogatory.

Or "Spartans." (Greece still exists, right?)

The Chief isn't in existance to poke fun at Indians. The costume is authentic. The dance is taught by, well, a tribe of Indians.

Yet Notre Dame has a leprechaun.

But we're racist.

I still don't understand.

Perhaps someone smarter than me will someday be able to offer an explanation.

If the Chief does get removed at the University of Illinois, I'd hate to have to actually waste the time and money to mount a campaign to get rid of that stupid pedophilic leprechaun. Grrrr....

Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 4:54 am
Mood: Argumentative | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


Okay, Dee, Deron, and Luther--no more close calls.

My heart just can't take it. I'm getting too old.

Start the game, build a 20+ point lead, and dominate for the rest of the night. None of this losing by 4 at halftime business. I don't like 5-point leads. I like 15-point leads. Much more enjoyable.

So can we work on that? Okay, great. Thanks.


Posted: Wednesday, February 09, 2005, 2:11 am
Mood: Stressed | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

What a Difference a Day Makes

I just got another consulting project. Woo hoo! That means I can start buying parts for new peecees at home. Thank goodness.

Hopefully I can get both of my boss' computers ordered for him today and get that off of my plate.

I'm in such a better mood than I was yesterday.

But I'm starving. Groovy Tuesday at Zorba's today--$1 off gyros. Yum. Only two more hours to go...

I'm supposed to take a quiz for my class by tonight, but I've checked every day and the instructor hasn't posted it. Odd.

I am totally sore from lifting weights the other day. But it is a good pain, if that makes sense.

Well, I don't know much else today.

It's good to be a geek.

Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 3:04 pm
Mood: Cool | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Much Better

The mail brought us good news today, so my mood has improved drastically.

And my main consulting client offered me a new project today, which totally rocks. Now that the redhead is working I hope to be able to save virtually all of the consulting money. How wonderful.

Well, I don't have much else to talk about. Thank goodness this rollercoaster dip was a short one. Let's hope everything goes well tonight and tomorrow.

I think I'm going to sneak upstairs and listen to some of my daughter's piano lesson...

Posted: Tuesday, February 08, 2005, 12:09 am
Mood: Good | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Monday Afternoon

Today actually improved somewhat. This morning I went out to the campus "surplus room" to see if I could find a new power supply for one of the grad student computers in the lab (or even just a fan that will fit in the one that I had). As it turns out they had two power supplies there that were just what I needed, and I took them both. As much as I like programming, and doing everything else geeky that I do, I really, really enjoy working with hardware. It's a whole different kind of problem to be solved, and taking apart computers and putting them back together again is relaxing to me somehow. At any rate, I got this computer all put back together and it works like a charm. It was so quiet that I almost thought the fans weren't working at all.

This afternoon I closed a huge security gap (that I had introduced initially) on my webserver. I played around with some PHP stuff to stop people from attempting SQL injection with forms that pass data with GET, as I found a couple of instances in our error log files. The best way I've found of securing myself from this is to use intval() on all incoming GET variables to get rid of any SQL "tails" that people try to add on. (I'm fortunate that the only site I have that uses GETs only passes numerical data...).

I played around some more with our new web site software. I just hope it doesn't take me too long to get more familiar with ColdFusion.

I also attempted to install Fedora Core 3 in a Virtual PC instance. It didn't work. Okay, it installed, but it won't run. As soon as it gets to "booting the kernel" it crashes. D'oh! I can find all sorts of solutions for fixing the problem with VPC 2004 for Windows, but none for VPC for OS X. Not that big of a deal, I guess. I was only making the attempt to begin with because I'm a geek.

Oh well. Almost time to go home for the day...

Posted: Monday, February 07, 2005, 9:46 pm
Mood: Improving | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Grumble, grumble, grumble...

Somebody is having a case of the Mondays...

I wonder if I can get away with having my office door closed all day today, because I really, really, really don't feel like dealing with anyone right now.

And my grouchiness isn't all because the stupid Eagles lost the Super Bowl either. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind the Patriots. And I don't mind Patriots fans. That is, as long as they have always been Patriots fans. Like I have always been a Bears fan--for years before Super Bowl XX and for the 19 years since. Go Bears! But an odd thing happens when teams win Super Bowls--fair-weather fans come out of the woodwork, and it drives me nuts (aargh!). It happened with Kurt Warner and the Rams. They won a Super Bowl, and all of a sudden everyone were Rams fans. What? The Rams are from Los Angeles--how are people from east central Illinois all of a sudden Rams fans? (No, I don't care that they moved to St. Louis--these dorks still weren't Rams fans until they won a Super Bowl). And now everyone is a Patriots fan. What? The Pats are from Boston. You cheered just like I did when the Bears beat them in 1986. And now all of a sudden, everyone is a Patriots fan. It just drives me up a wall. Thanks, Donovan, for giving up in the second half. Good show.

Wow. I wasn't expecting that tirade.

I did enjoy some of the commercials. The Ford Mustang one would have more enjoyable if they hadn't showed it twelve times. Sheesh. I think my favorite was the one for the NFL satellite subscription service, with Montana and Roethlisberger (hah--and I spelled that right on the first try) at the bar on the beach. When Gruden sang his little part and then turned around and yelled "knock it off!" to two of his two kids I about fell off the couch! After today we're all undefeated again. Go Bears!

Anyway. Please make sure your lap bar is securely in place and keep your hands and all loose objects inside the vehicle at all times. This roller coaster is on its way down....

Posted: Monday, February 07, 2005, 2:34 pm
Mood: Grumpy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment


It's been twenty years since February 6th, 1985, the day my mother died. Twenty years. It's almost hard to fathom that it has been that long.

And every year since then February 6th has come and gone, and I still don't think it is getting any easier. Sure, I have a lot more on my mind to worry about now, but it still stings.

I was a sophomore in high school. What a terrible, terrible time for that to happen. And I still remember the shock of getting a D that quarter in honors English, mostly because I had a lot of work that didn't (understandably, to me) get finished. Mrs. Lamon, I hope that wherever you are right now that you are in some sort of pain. Grrr...

I took my mother-in-law's car to the car wash at 6:30 a.m. today. She had called me last night and wanted to meet me there and she'd pay for her car and mine if I'd wash both. My father-in-law can be picky and usually doesn't like the way the car looks after she washes it, so she sometimes asks me to do it for her. However, it was a nice day yesterday, and I'm sure people were lined up 6 deep at each one of the bays--a fact that I pointed out to her on the phone when she called. So I agreed to do it this morning.

It might seem sort of odd, I guess, but to me it isn't. Joyce has been a mother to me for the last however-many years. If she wants me to wash her car it's the least I can do because she's done so much for me (well, and the redhead too, of course). When I got back to her house, there she was in the garage in her robe, with a bottle of wine in hand for "payment." I told her what day it was, and she hugged me, and then I thanked her stepping up and extending her motherly role past her four children to include me as well.

Well, the wife and kids are now out at the in-laws' house. The nerdlings were bouncing off the walls and I still had another 20 minutes to go on the treadmill. I need to hop in the shower and then head over there so I can get some food before the game starts....

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2005, 9:53 pm
Mood: Fair | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Groundhog My Butt....

It was a balmy 55 degrees out today in east central Illinois.

I actually lifted weights today in the garage! I only did five sets of bench press and five sets of curls, but if felt good to throw some metal around. I also swept the garage out between sets.

And then, I came inside for lunch but decided to walk on the treadmill first. I planned on 20 minutes but when my time was up there was still 2 minutes left in the Minnesota-Wisconsin game, so I figured I'd go another 5 minutes. Little did I know that last 2 minutes of game would take 10 minutes of walking. I feel much better about not hitting the treadmill yesterday.

I broke out the hedge trimmers and cut back the spirea in the back yard. Unfortunately, things were still too wet so I could get them to burn. Maybe tomorrow before it is going to rain...

We had grilled mushroom and swiss burgers for dinner tonight, and they rocked. I can't wait for Spring to arrive!

Tomorrow is one of my two "bad days" of the year. I try to be nonchalant about it, but I'm apparently not doing that good of a job if I have 5 more hours of today to go and I'm already focusing on it. I'll be happy to get back to work on Monday...

Posted: Sunday, February 06, 2005, 12:54 am
Mood: Great! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Firefox Rocks!

I never really felt the need to join the hype surrounding the Firefox web browser, because I mostly use OS X and Safari works just fine for me. I thought maybe I could install it on the XP box in the Nerdrium, but the redhead doesn't seem to care what browser she uses, so why bother?

Well, my Linux server in the Nerdrium has been off for a week or so while I used its monitor, keyboard, mouse, and ethernet connection during the "restoration" of an old Dell P200 for my mother-in-law's classroom. Because of the css situation with Jeff, I figured I'd better get this box up and running again so that I could test his css/ssi problem on a local machine (yeah, I know I can run Apache in OS X...). Anyway, Mozilla just plain stinks. It's slow to start, slow to load pages, and well, it's just slow. (And that dinosaur head graphic kind of creeps me out).

What a perfect excuse to install Firefox!

And I'm glad I did. It loads faster (or maybe just seems like it) and is much nicer looking that Mozilla was. The Google (et al.) search bar is a nice touch as well. I even created an icon for it to put in my task bar dock thing at the bottom of the screen. I may very well install it on OS X and see what I think...

Well, I need to throw in another load of laundry. I just rode the bike for 15 minutes and then did the treadmill for 20. I hope I can keep up this exercise thing. At work last week they were talking about a friend of one of our recent Ph.D. grads (who is now at Purdue) who died the previous week of a stroke due to high blood pressure. Age: 36. I don't want to be that guy. I can't be that guy. I know firsthand what the death of a parent can do to a child. I don't my kids having to go through that any time soon.

(And yes, the little pill I take every morning has normalized my blood pressure, but it still can't hurt to get rid of this spare tire and lose ~20 pounds...).

Okay, I need to throw another load of laundry into the washer, empty the dishwasher, and vacuum upstairs before getting in the shower...

Posted: Thursday, February 03, 2005, 5:35 pm
Mood: Excited | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Snow Day!

Okay, not really. How about bosses-are-out-of-town day. Actually, I asked last week to have today off. I haven't been home by myself in quite a long time.

First off I need to fix my pal Jeff's css problem. I think he got a little over-excited about css and something in the monstrous file he created isn't getting along with something else. Fortunately I have a webserver at home to test with. Yay!

I think I'll probably empty, reload, and run the dishwasher this morning, and maybe do a few loads of laundry as well.

I walked for 30 minutes last night, and I can easily see myself walking for an hour or more today. And if it hits the 40s like it is supposed to, I may even venture into the garage and lift some weights. Yay for me...

Well, I'm itching to get this css mystery figured out, so that's all for now.

Posted: Thursday, February 03, 2005, 2:52 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

The Google Game

So my pal Tod and I were talking over lunch today about the game that people play with Google where you pick two dictionary words and google them (without quotes) and try to get a pair of words that produces only one hit.

relinquish marquisette

Woo hoo! Of course, theoretically that won't work in the future since Google does actually know about the Nerdrium. So I apologize in advance to someone who uses "relinquish marquisette" in the Google game for creating a second hit for those two words. Tee hee.

Apparently my roller coaster is on its way back upwards, although I'm feeling guilty right now because I have a feeling that I haven't been a real good dad the past few days. I'm not sure why I think that--it's just a feeling. And I don't like having that feeling...

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2005, 6:46 pm
Mood: Wonderful | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Thank Goodness for Papa

The redhead's tooth situation isn't improving, and payday is still 13 days away. I hesitantly went to see the man in charge this morning, and things are now taken care of, and we're solvent for the next two weeks as well. Thank goodness for Papa.... Phew.

As always, when I don't need money, I'll get a check from my main client a day after I submit a bill. Now that I need money, it's been almost two weeks. C'est la vie...

Woo hoo! Illinois won! I do wish Dick Vitale would shut up about Duke, though. Oh well. I need to get a stereo receiver hooked up to our surround sound so that I can listen to WILL instead of the television when games are on... It makes the commercial breaks more interesting as well.

Day three on the job and the redhead is still really, really enjoying it. She got called into the head cheese's office yesterday and he sat her down and explained to her that some little birdies told him at the end of the day Monday that she had done a fabulous job and that he was quite pleased. She's happy, which makes me happy. Phew.

Hmmm. An hour and a half until lunchtime. I'm starving.

Oh, speaking of starving... So I think I've solved my insomnia problem. In a very multiple-personality-disorder-ish fashion, I explained to myself that it was fine if I wanted to continue waking up at 4:00 a.m., but I wasn't going to make myself anything to eat. If you want to wake up, fine. But no food.

I've stopped waking up at 4:00 a.m., and this past month I have lost five pounds as well. Fifteen more to go...

I walked on the treadmill again yesterday afternoon for about 45 minutes. I read my textbook for my class, and regaled my children (who I've taken to calling "Nerdlings") with all sorts of facts about the first computers, and how ENIAC took up more square footage than our last house did, and how many kajillion more calculations my Quicksilver G4 can do, etc. We even had a brief discussion of Moore's law. And I burned calories all the while...

Well, all of the bosses are out of the office today, which means I can probably get something useful done, so I should get to it...

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2005, 3:33 pm
Mood: Great! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

Dick and Duke

Dick Vitale has now brought up Duke twice during the Illinois v. MSU game. For crying out loud...

And I've been banished to the Nerdrium. Unfortunately, with anything, I get overly passionate. And with Illinois playing an away game, I get more nervous than normal. Michigan State (while way over-rated at #10 with 3 losses...) is still a force to be reckoned with. And no, I'm not comfortable with a 5-point lead. Perhaps I spent too many years watching the Illini under the guidance of Lou Henson, who would build up 20-point leads in the first half and then lose the damn game, or sometimes win by 1 or 2.

I need a nail in the coffin sooner rather than later. I want Illinois up by 20, not 7.

There's a reason why I don't golf...


Work was good today--quite relaxing. I got a lot of school work taken care of as well.

Well, halftime is almost here. Perhaps I'll be allowed back upstairs if I can "behave."

Oh well....

Posted: Wednesday, February 02, 2005, 12:46 am
Mood: Irritated | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

T-Minus 14 Days Until Payday...

It could be a bumpy upcoming two weeks, but I think we'll get through it relatively unscathed.

The redhead is thrilled with her new job. She was so excited when she got home last night that she even said she was really, really looking forward to going to work today. And that, of course, makes me really happy.

What doesn't make me happy is that the guy from the cable company came out, put a new connector on the line inside the house, said everything was working okay, and left. And an hour later the connection went dead again and has stayed that way for the last twelve+ hours. (Hang on, I'll ping just to make sure...). Yep, still dead. Drat.

The bosses are in DC for the next three days, so I'm actually going to have a chance to catch my breath at work and get all the extraneous garbage in my e-mail in box cleaned up. The other day I was thinking about how I'm not really anonymous (unlike the redhead and her blogspot account) and that I do talk about work here, and wonder if that is a bad thing. I don't think I've ever complained about work, necessarily, but with as goofy as this institution can be about stuff (a fact, not a criticism) I wonder if talking about work is a smart thing to do. I'd really rather not get dooced (although I do know that the people I work for would put up a pretty good fight if a situation like that arose). I have, however, often thought of adding another new feature to this blog--a checkbox that I could check for "work" or "not work." I know the subdomain that the University uses, and could easily make the PHP code only show "work friendly" entries if the viewer is outside the UI domain.

Of course, that's so easy to get around it is laughable, if you even only barely know what you are doing, but still.

Anyway. I sure am looking forward to it thawing a bit later this week so I can go back to driving to work on country roads instead of the highway. I forgot what jerks people are in the morning. Sheesh.

I can't wait to get home and walk on the treadmill tonight!

Posted: Tuesday, February 01, 2005, 2:23 pm
Mood: Not Too Bad | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment

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