Nerdrium Home

Past entries

2015

March

2012

December
October
June
April
February

2011

December
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2010

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2009

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2008

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2007

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2006

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2005

December
November
October
September
August
July
June
May
April
March
February
January

2004

 

Facebook

Twitter

Archived Entries from May 2009


Green Thumb Sunday

Fun weekend. More on that later...

A lot of the pictures I take for Green Thumb Sunday don't really involve much of a green thumb, or at least it seems that way to me. Anyone can plant a tree and dump a can of water on it and there's a good chance it will go.

However, I read up on propagating hydrangeas. And if this works, I'll consider it a truly "green thumb" operation on my part.

I expected that after a day in the plastic containers that the leaves would droop and that would be that, but that wasn't the case. I did these about two weeks ago, and while one looks a little droopy, the other two are definitely perky. Supposedly they should root fully in the next week or so. How cool is that?

This is more of a redheaded green thumb. Betsy planted this clematis a year or two ago and while it's had problems from the beginning (apparently being tasty to a bunny being the first and foremost of them) it seems to have finally established itself. Being the reduce, reuse, recycle types, we found a use for one of the frame parts from the old futon. I tied a couple of the pieces of the plant to it using twist-ties, and hopefully we can get it to fully crawl up the rungs and fill that entire thing.

And yes, I know we need to weed back there. One of these days.

The pool is open!

Posted: Monday, May 18, 2009, 12:33 am
Mood: Great! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Breakthrough!

I didn't run yesterday morning because it was pouring rain outside. Spring has definitely sprung. We had two thunderstorms yesterday--the first dumped about an inch and a quarter of rain and then second almost two inches. And our roof is officially leaking over the kitchen. How fantastic for us!

Anyway. I'll take care of that leak on Saturday (I hope).

So this morning I went running, and was surprised that by the end of my lap I wasn't huffing and puffing. So I kept going and ran the 1/8th lap first curve again, then turned and ran toward the sidewalk that I take to/from the park. Still I felt okay so I turned left and headed up Henson. I was going to stop at Cherry Lane, but I still felt good so I kept going. I figured I'd stop probably halfway up Henson Road, but then told myself I'd run all the way to Karen's house at the end. I made it there and instead turned left and headed down Willow Lane. When I reached the intersection with our street I finally stopped. And you know what? I probably could have kept going.

Something is finally happening. Things are changing. After I finished running I put my hands on my hips and took a few good breaths and poof, I wasn't huffing and puffing. I couldn't believe it. I probably had a smile on my face as I walked the rest of the way home.

I had to go fill up the car anyway, so I drove the "extra" part that I ran today. It was longer than a lap. I more than doubled my distance today. I'm excited! This is actually working!

Oh, and I lost five pounds too.

Yesterday I was lamenting to myself that there's no way I'll be able to run a 5k in August.

My hope is now renewed. I'm about a quarter- to a third-of-the-way there.

And I could have kept going. Maybe tomorrow.

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:26 pm
Mood: Ecstatic! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Blood

So a family friend called today, and asked if I've ever donated blood before and if I'd agree to doing so either way next week. (Heh, sorry, but read that sentence, and while you know what it means, understand why people who aren't native speakers of English get so confused by our screwed-up language sometimes...). And yes, I could have written it better, or more betterly. But I'm talking about blood, not diagramming sentences.

I have tried to donate blood before. Once. Notice that I said "tried."

We had a blood drive at the fraternity house back in the day, where they pulled up the bloodmobile out front and people who were recruited (usually guys in the fraternity, their girlfriends, their friends, and their girlfriends' friends..) went out in groups to go through the process. This was going to be the first time I had ever given blood.

Not a big deal to me, of course. I took acutane in high school when acutane was still not, well, "trusted," to say the least. It's a nuclear weapon for acne, essentially. During that time I had to have blood tests taken twice a month (I think it was that often--if not it was at least once a month) to make sure, well, I'm not sure what they were checking. But this was before they figured out to put the needle end in and have a flexible tube to the cartridge so that it didn't hurt like hell every time they plucked off a cartridge and pressed another one into place. Yeah, that wasn't very comfortable.

So I don't mind needles. Big ones, small ones, dull ones. Whatever.

Well, the day before this happened was the day we had the bloodmobile at the house. And during the pre-blood-taking questioning, I was asked if I ever had hepatitis. "What's hepatitis?" They said it was an infection of your spleen (or so I thought, but I've been told it's actually more related to your liver). Well, when I had mononucleosis a year or so earlier I also had a "spleen infection." So I answered "yes." (Dumbass). Of course, they ejected me.

Really? Hmm.

So I went back inside the fraternity house, and made a call up to my doctor's office back up in Elmhurst. Had I ever had hepatitis? DO I have hepatitis? My doctor got on the phone with me (those were the days, eh?).

No, I never had hepatitis. "Go get the woman from the bloodmobile."

So I went and got her. She talked to my doctor. He transferred her to Elmhurst Memorial Hospital and they even verified that I in no way had ever had hepatitis. Neat! Good to go.

They still wouldn't take my blood.

A normal fully-grown male typically has 8 to 10 "units" (pints?) of blood. What I was told (way back then) was that you can survive with half of your blood in you, but any less and that's all she wrote. (Freeze, gopher!) Well, needless to say, there's at least a chance that if I would have given away that "unit" of blood, I might have not had enough to, well, stay alive when I had that awful thing happen in the next day or so. I was told in the hospital that I was right at the brink.

Yikes.

Okay, enough melodrama. I only bring this silly situation up again because now I'm finally, finally going to be able to donate blood. I've been the recipient of blood more than once in my life, and it's about time I can give some back.

And I'm totally serious about that.

Posted: Thursday, May 14, 2009, 2:19 am
Mood: Fortunate | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Green Thumb Sunday


Recently I found a burning bush (Euonymus alata) growing right up by one of the azaleas in the front yard.


I dug up the burning bush and got a bonus surprise--a start of another azalea!


I planted the little azalea off the side of our deck in the back yard. We'll see how it does.


As for the burning bush, I planted it in the back corner of our yard, where in a few years, it and a couple of its cousins will completely block the view of the icky old dog pen and dilapidated sheds and such in my neighbors' yards. I know my part of all of this isn't exactly pretty right now, but at least I'm working on it...


A little nod to my mother-in-law on GTS--she transplanted these columbine several years before we moved here from a house that Papa bought in town.


The redhead doesn't like the orange-ish fake terra cotta plastic pots so I was instructed that I needed to paint them if I was going to use any of them. So I did. The big green pot (which is actually green, of course) has a green pepper plant in it, the medium pot has a Thai Dragon pepper in it (yum!) and the smallest pot has a jalapeno. We'll see how it goes...


I almost forgot to take a picture of this--I built a new house for our wren as the old one was falling apart and had too big of a hole and had been taken over by sparrows.


Alex and I scrubbed all the algae off the deck today and got it all cleaned up. Linus approves.

Posted: Sunday, May 10, 2009, 8:56 pm
Mood: Ecstatic! | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Progress, I Guess

Well I ran a lap and a half again yesterday morning, and awoke this morning with the idea that I'd make the pivotal two-lap mark today.

Alas, it was not to be. I turned the corner at the lap and a half mark with my lungs screaming for air and my heart pounding in my chest, and I ran about another hundred feet and had to stop.

I'm trying to be patient.

I suppose I could have forced myself that last two-tenths of a mile, but (broken record time) I'm not 18 and don't want to force myself into having a premature heart attack. I always figured I'd be in my mid-forties before my first heart attack.

And so it goes.

The redhead was home sick yesterday with a sinus infection (luckily she was able to get into the doctor yesterday afternoon and get some meds). I came home early in the afternoon so that she could take the car to the doctor.

I planted the two burning bushes that I excavated from the front yard. I put them back in the corner by the compost heap to eventually help block the view of the sheds in my neighbors' yards. I also learned yesterday how to propagate hydrangea so I made three new starts from our bush behind the laundry room. I hope they take.

I really need to get started on my semester project today...

Posted: Wednesday, May 06, 2009, 11:11 am
Mood: Antsy | 1 comment| Article URL | Post a comment
 


NotificationExec

For whatever reason yesterday I opened a terminal window and ran "top," a program that tells you, interestingly enough, the top processes that the system is using. I don't remember what it was I was looking for, but something else there surprised me. A process called "ReportCrash" would appear, jack the processor up to 99-100% for a few seconds, and then disappear. Five or six seconds later it would appear again and do the same thing (with a new PID each time).

I recently (finally) upgraded my G5 from OS 10.4.11 to 10.5.6, and have had a few slight glitches along the way. I assumed this was just another bump in the road.

I did some searching on Google, and went on a few wild goose chases. As it turns out, ReportCrash wasn't the problem, it was just doing its job--something else was crashing, and causing the action by ReportCrash.

After looking a bit more closely at "top," I found that another process was appearing right before ReportCrash was popping up and ramping up the CPU. "Notificati" was all that I could see in the process listing.

Next I did a "tail" on /var/log/system.log and found an entry every few seconds for NotificationExec. Now we're getting somewhere. A peek into /Library/Logs/CrashReporter showed gobs of entries for NotificationExec as well.

I went to my /Library/StartupItems folder to see if there were any clues there. MxBtDaemon? What's that? I cat-ted the .plist file and found that it had something to do with the "one touch" button on those external Maxtor drives. I no longer have one of those, so there's no need for that to be running on startup. A quick rm -rf and that was the end of MxBtDaemon.

But I did some more Googling. As it turns out, Maxtor and MxBtDaemon are related to this NotificationExec. A ha! Getting closer...

I just wanted to make sure that NotificationExec is definitely something that is only related to the Maxtor drive, and not some system process that just gets used by the One Touch software. After some time I determined that it's a Maxtor thing.

Just to be safe, I tarred up NotificationExec.app (in /Library/Driver Support/) before zapping it into oblivion with rm -rf NotificationExec.app.

Ahh. And now top is quietly purring again with nothing popping up and disappearing every few seconds.

Boy, Time Machine sure takes forever. I mean, I knew to wait until I was about to go home for the day to start it for the first time, but seriously? 16 hours later and it isn't even halfway finished backing up my main drive. I should just use rSync on my Fedora server, but that machine is getting wiped soon so that I can install RHEL 5 and play with Xen.

Anyway. Glad that's fixed.

(Oh, and I slept in later than expected and didn't run yesterday morning, but I got up on time today and ran another lap and a half. Two laps soon? We'll see...)

Posted: Tuesday, May 05, 2009, 1:37 pm
Mood: Relieved | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Green Thumb Sunday (and Adamantium)

Not many pictures for Green Thumb Sunday this week. We were pretty busy these past couple of days. Anyway.


The redhead's phlox is spreading like mad and I need to relocate parts of it before it completely overwhelms my azalea bush.


I took the peppers and tomatoes outside to get some fresh air and spend a good part of the day under actual real solar radiation.


I finally gave up a bit of control today and let Alex mow part of the back yard. We'll see how that goes on a week-to-week basis....

Well, yesterday we did go see Wolverine, and I thought it was okay. Not great, not terrible. Some of the Marvel comic book canon was a bit choppy. I don't know. All the reports about all the gore? Not so much.

Of course we went to BW3 afterwards, and that was fun, as always. I actually ate regular wings, which typically fall into the category of "too much effort" for me to enjoy. They were good, as were the Newcastles.

After we got home, Tony and I went out to the course. A couple of days ago he bought a golf cart from our friends Tim and Chris, so we took that out to the course (which is still under a lot of water from the recent storms) and played five or six holes.

My game still isn't great, but I'm improving in so many ways. I'm starting to hit the right clubs for the right distances, and my driving is getting better every time I play, and my putting is going well as well. A few more rounds and hopefully I can put it all together and start breaking 100 on a regular basis.

Well I didn't run yesterday, and today I got up early and ate something and figured that I'd skip today too, which sort of bummed me out. Taking two days off in a row seems like it could quickly be a slippery slope to not running anymore.

So I went back to bed for another hour or so and got up, and went running.

And as I was walking to the park it occurred to me that I was wrapping up week two of running and was, according to the schedule I'd made in my head, going to need to start running two laps. And I didn't think I was ready.

Which was frustrating. I can't just run one lap forever. But today the plan was, alas, one lap.

As I was finishing my lap I thought that maybe I'd go another quarter of a lap and see how it went. Slight additions in length, rather than drastic ones.

I ended up running a lap and a half. I know, sounds pathetic. Only another two-tenths of a mile. But that's a 50% increase in distance from what I was running.

I don't know that I'll try two laps tomorrow, but I'll do at least a lap and a half.

And we'll continue to see how this goes...

Posted: Sunday, May 03, 2009, 11:42 pm
Mood: Awesome | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


CC

Still trying to get down to CLXXX. I was hoping to have lost a few pounds for today's weigh-in, to no avail. Oh well. The weight loss is still a secondary thing to this whole exercise bug. Nevertheless, I am anxious to drop some pounds sooner than later.

And I slept in and didn't run today. For shame, for shame. I was really sore this morning for some reason. I'll run tomorrow and not skip Monday either.

Today I am going to go see "Wolverine" with Alex and Tony and Lucas. We opted to go see an earlier show and then go to BW3, rather than our normal modus operandi of doing wings (and beers) beforehand. This way I won't have to get up and go to the bathroom throughout the movie and then we can also take our time at the wings place. Mmm. Newcastle.

The grass is growing like gangbusters so I'm going to have to mow again tomorrow. At least everything is turning green.

My pepper plants look great, and I'm going to have way more of them than I need, but for some reason I'm having a difficult time with the tomato plants. I'm not sure what the problem is, but I may have to end up getting tomatoes from Gilles'.

I'm just going to be excited to have lots of potted pepper plants in the back yard. And no, it's not lost on this comic book geek that I'll have a lot of "pepper pot(t)s" in the back yard. Tee hee.

Work has been busy lately. Lots of new projects. It's nice to be needed. No more worrying about funding sources--I have more projects from more directions than I'll be able to complete for years to come. And some of the other departmental maneuvering is working out well too.

So is it just because Spring has only recently sprung that HGTV seems to have nothing but "sell this crappy house" types of shows on anymore. What about the "G" part of HGTV? I've seen enough houses that have needed complete make-overs. I get it. I'm ready to see some gardens.

I went and purchased Call of Duty 4 for XBox 360 for Alex yesterday. I may or may not have griped about this at length last year, but that was a Christmas present for him a couple of years ago, but for PC. And somehow he got "busted" by this stupid piece of on-line software called "punkbuster" which then made it so that he could never, ever play on-line again because he was accused of being a cheater, basically (and, to be honest, I don't think it was anything he did--I think it was something that his good old dad messed with that triggered all of this). Either way, pretty ridiculous to buy a game and because of one mistake it is now essentially unusable. Seriously? I mean, block someone for a month or two, but forever?

I e-mailed, I complained, all to no avail. There's $50 down the drain.

And yesterday, we spent another chunk of change to get the XBox version so he can play with his knucklehead friends.

After Bamba, Tod and I stopped into GameSpot on campus, which is on the way to and from Bamba. To prevent theft, it's sort of like how video rental places used to be--all the boxes out on the shelves are empty, and the actual merchandise is all safely behind the counter.

I quickly found Call of Duty 4, brought the empty case up to the counter, she scanned the empty case, which had a $59.99 price tag, turned around and retrieved the new, unopened one, and handed it and the receipt to me. Yay. No more nagging from Alex about CoD4.

So I get back to the office, and look at the game as I set it on my desk, and the price on it is $49.99! WTF? And if I recall, the prices I was seeing on Amazon were in the $50 range as well.

Assuming this to be a simple mistake, I stop by GameStop on my way to pick up the redhead at the end of the day to get my ten bucks back.

I show the kid the receipt and the game and explain the situation. Guess what his reply is? The sticker on the game I have in my hand is old. The proper price is the one on the box "on the floor."

"Seriously? You're telling me that this two-year old game has gone up in price by ten bucks over time?"

Yep. That's pretty much what he was telling me. I told him I thought that was ridiculous and that I didn't believe him. I almost asked to return it, but that would have meant a weekend of Alex nagging about the damn game that we promised to pick up for him, and is that really worth ten bucks?

So I called Alex while waiting on the redhead to get out of the office and asked him what it cost at WalMart, because I'd go buy that one and then return the one to the ding-a-lings on Green Street. He said it was $60 at WalMart.

I still think that's baloney. There's nothing game- or technology-related that goes up in price over time. Old sticker my butt.

Needless to say not only will I write a nice polite letter, but I'll also fill out their on-line survey, the URL of which the young lady I bought the game from was so nice to mark with a highlighter on my receipt. And maybe win a PS3 for my effort. Heh.

Posted: Saturday, May 02, 2009, 4:01 pm
Mood: Happy | No comments | Article URL | Post a comment
 


Next 10 entries

Return to the Nerdriumblog :: Return to the Nerdrium