October 30, 2002

It's 2:41 PM and I'm wondering why the hell I don't have any Diet Vanilla Coke.

There's a conspiracy to keep it away from me.

Must... resist... food coma...

Posted by michael at 02:43 PM
October 29, 2002
My brother rocks

My brother is a child's dream come true.

Posted by michael at 02:44 PM
October 28, 2002
Real Blogging

Every now and then I realize that my little weblog of Mike's wierd stuff could be so much more.

I mean, I post some personal stuff here, but I never forget there are people out there reading every word. The mental firewall of what to post remains in place to filter out things.

Thanks to Escribitionist, I read a post that Sour Bob wrote. Holy fuck, that's some real stuff. If it's not real and he's faking it, then he's a great damn writer.

Posted by michael at 02:06 PM
Woot! Charlie's Angels!


The new Charlie's Angels Trailer is out and Bernie Mac is playing Bosley!

All hail Drew Barrymore, she again is producing the movie.

Posted by michael at 07:48 AM
October 27, 2002
Busy Saturday

Our group of friends got together yesterday for the annual pumpkin carving party. This year we also made 'Spooky Houses'. The spooky houses are basically mini-gingerbread houses. It gives the kids an excuse to stick candy to edible houses with frosting. They loved it. Many thanks to the Diggs for hosting the shebang, to Colleen for all the prep work on the houses, and to Len & Monique for bringing the booze.

Earlier in the morning, I tried using the new skillet. It sure gets hot. Once it gets hot, it stays hot. IT will take some getting used to before I stop making so much smoke in the house. I made goetta and it turned out OK, but the smoke was much more than normal.

After the pumpkin party, I went to a bar meeting of people who visit the WWDN site. It's not the first time I've meet people in RL that I had known first online, so I wasn't too nervous. It was a little strange to walk into the part of the bar where everyone was and have people recognize me that I had never meet before.

I was a bit of a hit since I brought a laptop with internet access to the bar. I was able to upload a couple of pics from the bar and let everyone post to & read from the message board while sitting there drinking beer. After a bit of getting to know who's who, I was soon involved in my normal conversations about linux, video games, geocaching, and other nerdly pursuits. I stayed out of the hardcore Star Trek & Ren Faire discussions. Since most of us knew a little about each other, it made the conversation a lot easier than if it was 20 strangers with nothing in common in the room. A little later, Martin showed up to have a few beers and he got sucked into the geocaching discussions as well.

Today, my mother-in-law arrives in town for a week. It should be a good time. She and I get along well, and Michele will be on yet another quilting trip this week. We kind of have a mutual agreement that she can spoil the children while she's here, as long as they get to school and bed on time.

Lastly, I was reading MeFi and saw a Slate story about the stain-free pants from Lee. You know the commercail where the daughter-in-law spills red wine on her pants to shock her mother-in-law. It appears that the pants really do reply and prevent stains. The writer made a good attempt to stain the pants and simply could not do it. I think a pair are in my future. The strange thing about the MeFi thread was the large amount of cyncism over the positive report. Accusations of the story being paid for by Lee and being a puff piece struck me as a bit over the top. Are people really so cynical that good news must always be seen as a trick?

Lastly, the Angels won Game 6. On my way to the bar I stopped a supermarket to get some cash from the ATM. Inside the store was a TV set. Around the TV were 30+ people watching the game together. Complete strangers were chatting about the game and enjoying the group feeling. It was the biggest outpouring of spontaneous community I have seen in a while. Kinda neat. I guess you had to be there...

OK, I gotta hit the shower to get clean or Michele is going to get pissed.

Posted by michael at 08:52 AM
October 25, 2002

As I type, my new Lodge 10" cast iron skillet is seasoning in the oven.

I am baking in some oil into the cast iron as directed my my cooking guru, Alton Brown.

Tomorrow, I hope to use the skillet in some glorious cooking adventure.

Posted by michael at 07:29 PM
October 23, 2002

In a moment of brilliance, I posted some comments on the Styrofoamkitty weblog.

The post was about men liking women being aloof. My thoughts in regards to male/female relationships were so good, I felt the need to share here.

Guys hate that aloof stuff. It's way too complicated.

Guys like straight forward stuff without a lot of middle ground.

For example, all things in life can be categorized into one of two realms. Either something sucks, or it rules. There is no in between.

To put it in relationship terms, the guy wants to know if you want to date him or don't. This aloof stuff is way too confusing for our tiny brains.

Posted by michael at 06:50 PM
Bud Selig Must Go

For the good of baseball, Bud Selig must go.

This is beyond the pale.

Posted by michael at 03:30 PM
October 20, 2002
HTML Fiddling

I finally took a few minutes to make the site more readable via non-IE browers. I put the main part in a clearly defined table instead of purse CSS and the site looks identical under both IE & Mozilla under WinXP. The right column shows up all the time now.

If you still have viewing problems, let me know.

Posted by michael at 10:15 AM
October 18, 2002
Catching up

Last Sunday I went Geocaching with Martin. I finally got the story written up.

Enjoy the story of Geocache 17.

Also in catch-up mode is this photo:

I had run out of book in my 'To read' stack. After a visit to Amazon I bought Duke of Uranium by John Barnes, Vanishing Act by Thomas Perry, and Declare by Tim Powers. Duke of Uranium is standard Sci-Fi , Vanishing Act is a crime novel, and Declare is a spy/magic novel, all from some of my favorite writers. I'm currently reading Duke of Uranium.

That's enough for now. Michele will beat me with a stick if I stay at the computer much longer.

Posted by michael at 04:52 PM
Amazing Week

I'm back home now. I went with Michele to drop Mira off at nursery school. I was getting a little stir crazy and wanted to get out. I'm not sure if it was Michele's driving or my breakfast of rye toast and tea, but I'm feeling a little queasy.

I stopped taking the Vicodin this morning. I'm just going to take Tylenol now. The Vicodin just makes me too loopy.

I hear some of my peeps are having trouble with Trillian and Yahoo IM. I was trying to chat with Casey last night and everytime he sent me a message, it was crash my instance of Trilllian. There is a patch here that appears to fix the problem. I pray for an end to the Great IM Wars.

Sitting here on the couch I caught and episode with Cory Doctrow talking about several interesting bills in congress about consumers rights that basically repeal parts of the DCMA. You can check it out here.

That's it for now. I think I'm going to roll over and take a nap. It's almost 9:30 and I'm tired. :)

Posted by michael at 09:13 AM
October 17, 2002
Feeling Better

It's Thursday night and I'm still awake. I've slept more in the last two days than in the last month. My internal clock is fuxxored.

Michele cooked up some homemade matzo ball soap today. Delicious! I've only eaten soup for the last few days due to my sore throat and the Matzo Ball soup was a treat. Sitting at the table with the girls for dinner was a nice break from sitting on the couch all day.

Oh yes, FUCK Delta Airlines. Due to my throat, I can't fly to New York for my Alumni Weekend. It is quite a disappointment. I called Delta to tell them I couldn't make the flight. They said I could postone the exact flight up to a year from when I made the reservation. This doesn't work since I made the reservation in Sept. and Alumni Weekend '03 will be in Oct. She siad I could turn my ticket back into frequent fliers miles. Sounds great, right? Then she said I had to pay $100 for the priviledge of not flying on Delta. So it was either pay $100 or lose a frequent flyer flight. Bastards. Go bankrupt on your stupid as fees and nonsensical fare system. I hope Southwest ends up running your stupid asses into a Chapter 11.

On a lighter note, I watched two movies today. I watched The Hidden Fortress and The Last Castle. The Hidden Fortress is one of the Kurosawa films that I haven't seen. I had heard that Lucas based some of Star Wars on the film. I could see a few ideas, but overall it's quite a different story. I do think the idea of the lightsaber duel does come from this film. I enjoyed the film, but like many subtitled films, you need to be paying a lot of attention to avoid missing anything. I have to rewind a couple times to catch what was going on. The second film, The Last Castle was good, but not great. Imagine Braveheart taking place inside a prison. The film is well acted but some of the scenes telegraph the plot way in advance.

The rest of the day was filled with weak daytime TV and naps.

Here's the Friday Five for your amusement:

1. How many TVs do you have in your home?

Two. The 27" in the front room and the 13" in the bedroom.

2. On average, how much TV do you watch in a week?

Maybe an hour per weekday and perhaps 2-3 hours per weekend day, depending on what sports are on.

3. Do you feel that television is bad for young children?

Nope. There are television programs that are wrong, but television in itsself isn't bad.

4. What TV shows do you absolutely HAVE to watch, and if you miss them, you're heartbroken?

I'm not really heartbroken over TV shows. I don't like to miss the Sopranos or Good Eats, but if they spend a couple days on the Tivo, it's no big deal.

5. If you had the power to create your own television network, what would your line-up look like?

Hrrm. Junkyard Wars, Insomniac, Jeremiah, Sopranos, The Wire, Good Eats, Call for Help, Antique Roadshow, The Daily Show.

Posted by michael at 11:33 PM
October 16, 2002
Strep Throat

Here's the update. I have strep throat.

I left the meeting this morning early and drove up to see my doctor. He looked in my mouth with his light and said, 'WOW!'. You really don't want your doctor saying 'wow' when he looks at what is hurting you. He said I have a fairly bad infection and that it will take several days to feel better.

I've got a RX for anti-biotics and Vicodin. The Vicodin definitely takes the edge off the pain in my throat, but I'm still stuck eating only soups. I hadn't eaten much in the last 24 hours and the chicken & rice soup tastes good.

I'm currently laying down on the couch with the laptop. Michele is flittering about like a nervous bird. She really doesn't like it when I'm sick. I need to be careful to not give this to Michele or the girls.

I'm going to take a nap now. Later.

Posted by michael at 01:07 PM

It's six in the morning and I haven't slept much. My throat is swollen, I have chills, and sweats. I think I'm sick.

I spoke to the hotel nurse and she said I should see a doctor in case it's strep throat. Fuck.

There are two more days of this business meeting here in Anaheim. It would be good to be around, but I can't even think straight right now.

I don't want to end up in the hospital again, so I need to go see a doctor today. The joy.

Posted by michael at 06:09 AM
October 11, 2002

I just got back from Martin's house. I was trying to ge his computer up and running again. I think I suceeded.

We drank some Michelob Ultra, the low carb beer. Not bad, but not good either.

It's late, I'm going to sleep. I'll post more soon. It's been a busy week.

Posted by michael at 12:47 AM
October 07, 2002
So close, yet so far...

Michele returns home in a little over 20 hours. After a full week of being a full time dad, I am ready for the arrival of my partner from her trip to Virginia.

The girls are currently in the tub. A 5 mintue break from the action.

I completly replaced the internal workings of the toliet today in my attempt to fix a leak. It was to no avail. After finished the replacement, I still saw a leak. It appears that the one thign I did not replace, the cutoff valve sticking out of the wall, is the leaky bit. To fix theat means anohter trip to the hardware store and then shutting off water to the entire house while I remove and replace the value. That is assuming I can get the valve off. It's probably been on there for 30 years. If I can't get it off easily, I'm going to call in the plumber. I do not want to fuck up the pipe in the wall or crack the tile. Where's my WD-40?

OK, time to get the girls out of the tub.

Posted by michael at 07:49 PM
Geocache 16

After a week I finally wrote up our last geocache.

Enjoy the story of our 16th geocaching trip.

I'm going to bed now.

Posted by michael at 12:13 AM
October 06, 2002
One more thing...

While going through the digital photos that have built up over the last few weeks, I found this gem.

When I was doing work on the girls computer I had to take the outer casing off. Mira decided to become the Kitty. She walked around a bit wearing the case, meowing the whole time. Unspeakably cute, I know.

Posted by michael at 11:46 PM

It's been a busy weekend. Friday was Brownies and then soccer practice. Saturday was a soccer game then a trip to my parents house. Sunday was a birthday party, a trip to the local fair, and dinner with the Diggs.

We had fun, but I am bushwhacked. After the kids went to bed I got a chance to watch the Sopranos. After that, I started watching Regarding Henry. I almost got sucked fully in, but pulled myself away.

Over the weekend, I d/led Mandrake 9.0 and got it installed on my old drive. It came up OK, but when I tried to upgrade the video drivers to the real Nvidia ones I screwed the entire X11 install to the point that the X server wouldn't come up. I think I'll stick to 8.2 until 9.0 gets a little more well supported.

More later...

Posted by michael at 11:05 PM
October 04, 2002
Friday Five

From the Friday Five:

1. What size shoe do you wear?

9 1/2 or 10

2. How many pairs of shoes do you own?

8 or so pairs of shoes, 3 pairs of boots.

3. What type of shoe do you prefer (boots, sneakers, pumps, etc.)?

I think that a well made tennis shoe is most comfortable for day to day wear.

4. Describe your favorite pair of shoes. Why are they your favorite?

I like the tennis shoes from Simple Shoes. The do not have big logos or flashy colors. They are simple shoes that are well made and comfortable to wear. They remind me of the Vans shoes I used to wear as a kid. Too bad that Vans shoes these days are crappily made and styled for teenagers.

5. What's the most you've spent on one pair of shoes?

$250, and yes, Michele made me do it.

Posted by michael at 06:59 AM
October 03, 2002
Round Table Pizza

I am sitting in Round Table Pizza. Thanks to a laptop & Sprint's wireless net access, I am live on the net.

I headed out to pick up a new cell phone for Michele. Radio Shack had the model she want's on sale for $99, that's fifty bucks off the best price I could find on the net. The flyer said the deal was only valid until Friday, so I had to act to save the cash.

Since the last time we visited the Round Table pizza, the girls have wanted to return. The place has a video game section and since the girls are my progeny, they crave video games. They demanded that we eat out dinner at 'the game place' and I gave in.

I have a mug of beer, a nice salad, and i'm waiting for the pizza. The girls are playing games. Not a bad way to wait for dinner.

The Angels are playing the Yankees on the TV. I'm not really a big Angels fan, but I'd sure love them to smack the taste out of New York's mouth and boot them out of the playoffs in the first round.

Check that, it's San Francisco vs. Atlanta on TV. I hope SF loses.

Posted by michael at 06:44 PM

After snoozing the alarm endless I awoke at 6:47AM.

Late. So very very late. School starts at 8:10AM.

Kids are eating breakfast now, I can't rush that...

I need a loud alarm clock without a snooze button.

Posted by michael at 07:43 AM
October 02, 2002
Entry 400

So I realized that I was coming up on weblog entry 400 a few days ago. Rather than be all dramatic about the number and going on navel gazing, I will simply do an update. Of course I may lose a few of you as I wander through my mind, but that's tough for you. It all makes sense to me.

Michele left for her latest quilt event in Virginia on Tuesday. She's there. I'm home with the girls. Coordinating the pickups and dropoffs is a little hectic, but I'm managing. The toughest part is when they get a little tired and cranky. Not much I can do when they say 'I want Mommy!' besides 'I do too!'.

I finished reading my book, Fallen Dragon, by Peter Hamilton. I had checked it out of the library and renewed it once, so I felt the need to finish it soon. I enjoyed it quite a bit. Hamilton's touch for hard sci-fi is light, but enough to keep my inner geek intrigued by the tech in the story. The end seemed a bit rushed like the Reality Dysfunction, but it wasn't unsatisfactory.

On the home tech front, I finally fixed the audio problem with the girls' computer. After doing quite a bit of messing about, I finally realized it was the BIOS. I d/led the latest version, flashed it, and viola, clean sound in all the girls games. The first rule of computer fixing has got to be 'check for BIOS upgrade before freaking'. On my own computer, I broke down and got the l33t Western Digital 120G hard drive with 8MB cache. They are getting quite popular and have gone up in cost $20 in the last few days. I'm glad I bought Ghost & Partition Magc for cheap off of eBay. It was pretty straight forward to install, partition, and ghost the old drive onto the new drive. Of course I had to upgrade the BIOS. The old Epox 8HKA+ BIOS wouldn't recognize the WD drive. I have to say, the speed of the drive is noticeable. SCSI elitists have nothing on me. Once I decide to buy the Romtec drive selector, I can get linux running at home. I must curb my techno lust.

On the political linkage front, thanks to Radio Free Blogistan, I found this interesting image on plasticbag.com. Hi-larious. It also seems that Bush's Energy Cabal planned the takeover of Iraq even before he was president. Wake up America! Big Oil is running the country with moronic puppet sitting in the Oval Office. Lastly, the new term of the season is chicken-hawk. Vote these fuckers into a lame duck administration in November.

I found a new spoken word artist to listen too. Somehow I ended up in the site of Earnest Kline. He talks a little faster than I'd like, but the content is worth it. Take a listen to The Geek Wants Out. The insane thing is that I get every single reference in the clip. If you like his stuff, buy it. It's only $10. We need more of this and less of that stupid shit on TV that sucks minds dry. The Dance, Monkey, Dance clip is fantastic too, but he doesn't have that MP3 available online. I only regret he only has one CD.

Oldschool - I had found bash.org a while ago and enjoyed much of the humor that a long time IRC user would enjoy. I especially like this one. Of course my knowledge of the internet reminds me of my age. Today on Genmay I saw this:

Where can I go find the Usenet or the Usernet?
I heard it is a P2p program or a similar program where people download games or what not.

Do we need classes in net history?

OK, it's 12:27AM and I need to be up with the girls in less thant six hours. More as I think of it.

Posted by michael at 06:42 PM