back home, finally
Mood: tired
Music: some sort of tired music or something
Posted on 2005-08-17 22:26:00
Tags: travel charlottesweb
Words: 1039

I'm back in Austin!

So I left on Friday afternoon to go up north and see my family. Unfortunately my flight out of Austin (to Cincinnati) was delayed an hour or so, but since I was going to have a three hour layover in Cincinnati, no biggie. Ate dinner in what is possibly the most depressing airport concourse in America (Cincinnati terminal 3 concourse be fair, it was under construction, but it was all concrete and harsh lighting. Yuk!), then went on to Burlington (after a 15-minute delay or so). Got in around midnight and made it to Plattsburgh around 1 and promptly fell asleep.

Saturday and Sunday were spent cleaning and packing stuff up. Maybe I should back up. My grandparents (on my mom's side) have lived in Plattsburgh (upstate NY) for 50 years or so, but they're going to move to live in Hanover, NH (in the summer) and Houston (in the winter). There are a number of reasons for this, the most important being that it's getting harder for my grandma to get up stairs (the bedrooms are upstairs), and this way they'll get to be closer to their kids (my Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Barrett live in Hanover). So, this was all planned and stuff - then my grandma fell and had to get pins in her hip. So now she's in a rehab center in Hanover (more on this later). So, us plus Grandpa went to clean and move stuff to Hanover, except that we didn't know what stuff to keep and what to get rid of, etc, since a lot of it is Grandma's.

Anyway, so we drove to Hanover on Sunday via Burlington (dropping my dad off at the airport so he could go home) and Waterbury (where the Ben and Jerry factory is! Mmm...). We visited Grandma before getting to the condo - she's doing quite well, her physical therapy is going well and her spirits seemed relatively high. Then we unloaded and unpacked. Monday and Tuesday we spent visiting Grandma and Aunt Rebecca and Uncle Barrett and their children (our cousins, for those of you keeping score at home) Ethan and Chloe. That was fun.

Then, Tuesday, time to leave. Everyone else's flight left at 2:15ish and mine left at 5:15ish, so I hunkered down for a long stay at the airport - finished a few books and learned some more lines. Then, the flight was delayed two hours (this means six hours at the Burlington airport, which, while not as depressing as the Cleveland concourse, is extremely boring. The only "shop" inside security was a snack cart, from which I bought trail mix and a cinnamon roll), and we finally left. I was told that my Cincinnati-Austin flight was delayed 20 minutes, so I might just make it if things went well. We were a little later getting into Cincinnati than we had predicted, things did not go well, and I spent the night in Cincinnati.

Which, I used to always sort of want to happen, being an adventure and such. But I was really tired by this point, and disoriented (Cincinnati is in the Eastern time zone, fyi), so I didn't enjoy it as much as I could have. Plus, the flight they put me on the next morning was scheduled to leave at 8:53, and they asked me when I checked in what time I wanted to take the shuttle in, and I didn't know if they had breakfast or not so I said 7:00 to be sure I had enough time. Which meant I had to get up at 6:30, and they did in fact have a nice continental breakfast there, waffles included. Oh well. The room was quite nice - it was actually a suite with refrigerator, couch, and 2 TVs (I have pictures!) but I just watched a few episodes of Law & Order, took a sorely needed shower, and went to bed.

Next day! (i.e. today, or at least today when I started this entry...) Got up, was exhausted but made the shuttle no problem. This flight was a "true" Delta flight and not a Delta Connections thing, so I got to go to terminal 3, concourse B which was a very nice concourse. So I walked around it some, then sat down and read and waited for my flight. Unfortunately, it was...wait for it...delayed due to fog. (for the record, all 4 flights I went on, plus the one I was scheduled for and didn't go on, were delayed) Anyway, it left about an hour and 15 minutes late, and destroyerj was nice enough to pick me up (and got a speeding ticket on the way back, for which I felt bad).

So I get home by way of Wendy's (mmm!), and got home. At this point I knew that I had to work the booth at NIWeek from 4-7 and that I had Charlotte's Web rehearsal from 6:30-9:30 (so I would be late to rehearsal, and probably not get dinner in there), so I hurried and tried to find an electric razor so I could shave (there's another story in there, but it's uninteresting), and failed. Then I checked my email: hallelujah, Charlotte's Web rehearsal cancelled! Woohoo!

But I showered and went down to NIWeek, worked the booth which went fine, then came back here by way of NI (drove a coworker there) and Chick-Fil-A. My main task for tonight was to try to install Win98 and WoW (and Skype) so I could be ready with that (since I'm not having much luck making WoW work under Linux). Fiddling around with the hard drives took much longer than I thought, but I eventually got things set up and Win98 partially installed, only to have it reboot when it tries to finish the install. Whee. So now I'm working on XP. This stuff is gonna work, dang it!

This entry is getting long, so I'm gonna wind it down. Which is convenient, because I'm about out of things to say. djedi gets home tmw, which'll be nice. And I'm doing pretty well learning my Charlotte's Web lines, which is good since we're supposed to be off-book by Monday, which means some work is required this weekend.


Phone Post:
Posted on 2005-08-16 22:32:00
Words: 0


happy birthday!
Mood: happy
Posted on 2005-08-11 11:14:00
Words: 3

Happy birthday djedi!! :-)


play, WoW frustration, and so on
Mood: frustrated
Music: Barenaked Ladies - "Light Up My Room"
Posted on 2005-08-10 09:58:00
Tags: charlottesweb worldofwarcraft tipping
Words: 377

So rehearsal went pretty well last night. It was sort of weird being there - I felt very much like I didn't exactly know what I was doing, which seems pretty accurate. The cast seems very nice, as does the stage manager. I'm less nervous about learning my lines (but I still need to work on it!) because, well, I'm going to be saying them a lot in rehearsal. Which seems obvious in retrospect...

It was fun, though. Hopefully I'll pick up this whole acting thing as we go. Rehearsal again tonight!

World of Warcraft is frustrating because I can't really get it to work. I'm running it on Linux through Cedega, and it kinda works but crashes every 5 minutes or so. There are like 6 things to try, and so I might just make a list and try all combinations of all of them, or something. Maybe I'll write a script to do each one of them to speed testing. Hmm. Anyway, I'm determined to keep trying until I get tired of trying. That's commitment for you!

A topic that's been making the blog rounds is the practice of tipping. This round of discussion started with the fact that some restaurant in New York is ending tipping and adding a 20% service charge to the bill. Here are some interesting statistics on tipping and why Mr. Pink doesn't tip. Myself, I think it sucks that it's legal to pay waiters less than minimum wage (as low as $1.59/hour in Kansas!). Given that they do, however, I feel guilty not tipping 15% unless the service was quite bad. If I could change the world, though, I'd make restaurants pay waiters minimum wage and make tipping optional. But I've never been in a job subject to tips - anyone who has care to jump in?

A neat trick I saw on the Google Blog is using the * operator to make Google fill in the blank. So, you can do things like Austin is the * capital of the world (live music, obviously!), Pittsburgh is the * capital of the world (steel, peroghi, or robotics), Rochester is the * capital of New York (murder(!) and technology), and Houston is the * capital of the world (energy or oil, depending who you ask). Pretty nifty!


Mood: content
Music: 50 Cent vs. Michael Jackson - "In Da Starlight"
Posted on 2005-08-08 11:36:00
Tags: asmc charlottesweb work
Words: 455, crazy weekend.

Friday night was gala night, which was very well attended. The show went pretty well, then I went out and hung out with my family - it was nice to see them again, although I'm going to see them next week on vacation as well :-) Then I was cashier for silent auction people, and then my family and djedi and I headed over to Kerbey Lane Cafe which was good (although the service was quite slow). After that, bed, then we met my family for brunch the next morning at Whole Foods and went back to the theater for two more shows. By this point I was really getting tired - my part is pretty high-energy (stumbling all over stage and whatnot), so it takes a lot out of me. Anyway, after that we went to church and came home and had wildrice13 over for dinner.

Unfortunately, I had some work stuff I was pretty worried about so I went in to work to try to fix stuff while djedi and wildrice13 played some FFX-2. I ended up spending longer than I meant to at work (3.5 hours) but I eventually got in a groove (involving listening to my current music over and over again) and fixed both of my major issues, which I was quite pumped about! Came home, and FFX-2 was passed (including the special 100% cutscene) not too long afterwards. Congrats!

Sunday I slept in a little bit, which was really nice, then back to theater for two more shows, striking the set, and the cast party. We didn't stay too long because we were tired, then we headed up to destroyerj's for a monitor-viewing and games, including a rousing game of Simpsons Clue (Smithers did it!), Snipe Hunt, and a few rounds of Bop It!

So, today is my day between shows, and Charlotte's Web rehearsal starts tomorrow. I need to work more on memorizing my lines. Busy week between gamenight, two rehearsals, and djedi's birthday (happy birthday!). I think I'm done with djedi's code for now - it seems to work and the major source of confusion we had was cleared up...

So I wear a nightguard now when I sleep so I won't grind my teeth (which I apparently do like nobody's business...). The last time I had a nightguard it was for orthodontics work I had, and it hurt every morning when I woke up (presumably because my teeth were trying to shift back or whatever), so I was pleasantly surprised to find that this one doesn't hurt much at all, and it only makes it a little harder to get to sleep (which hasn't been much of an issue so far given how exhausted I've been!). Yay!


lots of balls in the air...
Mood: busy
Music: nothin'
Posted on 2005-08-04 13:57:00
Tags: asmc
Words: 264

I'm juggling a lot of things right now. So, to make myself feel better, I'm going to list them, and then they won't seem so bad. Here goes!

- Work is rapidly becoming busy. I have a big deadline on Monday that I need to hit, so I'll probably have to come in this weekend. Which will be difficult because...

- This weekend is the last ASMC weekend. Gala is Friday night, and my family's coming into town, which will be a lot of fun. But it means I have to leave work a little early on Friday, and stay up late Friday night (gala doesn't end until around midnight), plus two shows Saturday and Sunday, and the cast party on Sunday.

- NIWeek is rapidly approaching, which doesn't necessarily make me more busy (I'm not doing a presentation or anything), but lots of people around me are busy, which means I might need to help them, and it's harder to get help for myself. (cue "I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends" music...)

- I have a list of tasks that I've been putting off because of the musical that I really need to do, like get my car oil changed (next week! for real!)

- djedi's birthday is coming up! That's fun.

- Wrote some more code for djedi, and will be working on blamantin's stuff again soon, I think.

- Charlotte's Web rehearsals start on Tuesday. So, I'll have rehearsals, and I need to learn my lines.

- I'm playing Space Trader, an addictive game on my Palm.

Well, that doesn't seem so bad. See, there!

1 comment

some linking goodness
Mood: calm
Music: FFX-2 startup music...pretty...
Posted on 2005-08-01 20:48:00
Words: 91

(this post is refreshingly void of content)

Google Maps added a hybrid mode (that shows satellite imagery with street names, etc. overlaid) which I've added to my map as well. It looks reallly nice...something about the way the text is outlined in a different color to make sure you can see it or something...

This and this are very cool photos of many, many bouncy balls bouncing down a San Francisco street (supposedly for a commercial of some sort). Super!

Someone used my map to help them. That makes me happy!


tired, and ugh
Mood: worried
Posted on 2005-08-01 15:36:00
Tags: asmc charlottesweb
Words: 280

So this weekend was ASMC weekend #1. The show Friday night didn't go very well, but the rest of them (3 on Saturday, 2 on Sunday) went from fine to good. All the shows (except for the friends and family Friday show) sold out, which is quite a difference from last year (perhaps because "Peter Pan" is a better draw than "Fractured Fairies and Tails", which is a little less clear exactly what it is). I had fun, but it really drained my energy so I was both physically and mentally tired by Sunday evening. The kids seemed to enjoy it, though, so that's good.

So I've been stressed this weekend and today about totally different things. Today I'm stressed about work, which I think is a sign that I need to be less invested in my work. Which I'm not good at doing. So, um, we'll see how that goes.

The other thing I've been stressed about (I think this is the big thing) is Charlotte's Web - I started trying to learn my lines during performances and downtime this weekend, because lately I've been almost entirely unable to not do something I consider "productive" during free time. But that's another story. Anyway, I'm really worried about learning all my lines (there are gobs and gobs of them). And I'm having second thoughts about the whole thing (not in the sense of backing out - I've already signed a contract and all that, but whether I would say yes again if I had the chance). It's not like I've ever done any sort of "real" theater before...the acting and stuff was all incidental to the singing.

So, I'm a little down.


some thoughts
Mood: determined
Music: Francis Dunnery - "Good Life" (from the Scrubs soundtrack)
Posted on 2005-07-26 13:52:00
Tags: asmc referrer
Words: 392

So djedi and I visited his brother and sister and Houston this past weekend. We watched a few movies - "The Importance of Being Earnest" (rented) and "Bewitched" (in the non-Alamo Drafthouse theater). "Earnest" was pretty good - I have the vague recollection of either seeing a movoie version, or reading the play, or something before, but not enough that I knew what was going to happen. It was entertaining! "Bewitched" was...OK. I guess I didn't realize it was a romantic comedy, which it very much is. And it was a bit sappy at times. Will Ferrell was good (as expected), and Nicole Kidman wasn't bad. Plus Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell had small parts, so that was kinda neat, too :-)

It was interesting - they had placards in front saying that taping movies was illegal and they would kick you out (or arrest you? can't remember...), which I think are relatively new, or maybe I haven't been to an Edwards theater in a while. Then, during the movie, an usher walked in (with a lightsaberish thing so he could see a little) and walked across the theater and then back to the entrance. This happened twice, so I'm wondering if he was doing it to (somewhat) surreptitiously check for people filming it. *shrug*

Aside from that, we grilled hamburgers (which turned out well, although a little less done than we would have liked), played some video games and board games, and went out to supper. Rehearsal started at 1 on Sunday, so we had to leave early to make it back in time (which we did!), which was a shame.

ASMC Tech week is going pretty well, although I'm tired after every rehearsal (our choreographer says that if we're not sweating by the end, we're not working hard enough. I'm working hard enough!) It's fun to see the show come together, though, and it definitely is coming together.

Random referrer: Searching for built-in bookcase on Ask Jeeves brings up a picture of my apartment (with, in fact, a built-in bookcase). Nifty.

Work is going well...have another project that hopefully I can wrap up by the end of next week. That would be sweet! There are some interesting NI blogs written by employees, which would be kinda neat to do at some point. Maybe. I never know how much I can talk about "publicly"...


Mood: impressed
Music: none
Posted on 2005-07-22 14:57:00
Words: 6


I love the Alamo Drafthouse!


more referrer fun
Mood: confused
Music: FFX-2 background stuff
Posted on 2005-07-21 22:05:00
Tags: referrer
Words: 133

Are these real? Is someone messing with me?

Got searches from Yahoo! for both naked bike race pictures and naked beer slide (from different IP addresses). Either way, it's pretty funny :-)

I'll most likely be incommunicado (sp?) for a while - out of town this weekend and tech week for ASMC (come to the Gala! It's lots of fun!) starts Sunday, which means my next free day is a week from Monday. Which seems like a long time away. But I'm sure it will be fun, albeit tiring.

Work is going quite well - made a major breakthrough yesterday and today. Others didn't seem as excited, but oh well. I'm excited :-)

Having one's ego stroked once in a while is nice, although one has to be careful not to let it go to one's head.

1 comment

quick referrer fun
Mood: tired
Music: Rio de Janeiro music
Posted on 2005-07-19 23:35:00
Tags: referrer
Words: 93

Before I head to bed, a few fun referrers:

- If you search for Scary Clown Gallery on, you get a picture of me in ASMC. At least this query makes sense!

Dang! The other two have changed - I guess Yahoo! reindexed recently (the search terms were PHOTOS WEIRD LOOKING WOMAN and CARTOON PHOTOS OF SAILORS). I really have no idea how my gallery got on there...

Oh well. Another common one I get a fair bit is pictures of sinkholes on Yahoo, which leads to a a picture of Old Wiess. Heh.


interesting weekend!
Mood: sore
Music: nothin'
Posted on 2005-07-17 21:24:00
Tags: computer
Words: 327

Kind of a weird weekend. So Friday night we were at home and my hard drive just stopped working all of a sudden. It was bad - I was in the middle of downloading Debian packages and it suddenly quit, and then I couldn't do stuff like df or anything simple like that. Scrolled over to the console and there were hundreds of errors trying to read the hard drive. So I took out my trusty Knoppix rescue CD (it rocks!) and it didn't find my hard drive at all (in a moment of confusion, I thought it couldn't find either hard drive).

So that was bad. Luckily the next time I rebooted after opening the case, checking connections and such, it found the hard drive and seemed to be fine. But I figured the drive was on its way out, so I planned to get a new one. Stupid freakin hard drives. Grr!

Anyway, the next day djedi and destroyerj and I were going to help Sarah move (on the way up there, djedi and I stopped to get a new hard drive at Fry's). The moving went well, although I was foolish and had a rather large lunch (we ate at Fuddruckers, the third time I had been this week, oddly enough...), and didn't feel my best for the unmoving part. But we got it all done and after sitting on the couch for half an hour, we went over to watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, which I enjoyed. The visuals are quite nice, and I'm a sucker for good graphics. And Johnny Depp, especially when he's creepy!

Anyway, I recovered my computer and then somewhat broke it again and then fixed it, so all is well. Hooray!

Oh, and we put up foil on a window and some mats on the sliding door, so now the a/c can keep my apartment cool. Although the place does get depressingly dark. But it's sooo worth it.


long time no see...
Mood: weird
Music: Eminem vs. Dukes Of Dixieland - "Down by the Riverside"
Posted on 2005-07-15 10:02:00
Words: 458

So this has officially been my longest absence from LJ since I started posting. Dunno why, just haven't been in the mood. Instead of recapping what happened over the last nine days, I'll post whatever pops in my head :-)

Yesterday was my 2-year anniversary at NI. Hooray! Unfortunately, things are going to get busy soon, as we're starting to get to the end of the development cycle, which means lots of testing and stuff like that. Plus, tech week for ASMC starts next weekend, so that will eat up all our free time.

I took some time and updated my homepage to be current, and in doing so, updated my resume as well. That was an odd experience - lots of deleting stuff, and I had to sorta describe what I do now. I also put my random projects on my homepage, and I will hopefully add them there from now on. Maybe I should have an RSS feed or something...that sounds like fun...

Just got a meeting invitation for 7:30 that is "MANDATORY for all employees". Ugh! Although breakfast tacos are provided (and the meeting itself doesn't start until 8). I had never had breakfast tacos until I came up to Austin. Dunno if they're an Austin thing, or more of an NI thing, or what.

I had a filling done on Tuesday. It went as well as can be expected. Although the tooth itself is still a little sensitive to cold and heat (as evidenced by my hot tea).

I think my next project will be automatically backing up my bookmarks and making a web page out of them (you can see a first pass here). I guess I'm very much in a web project sort of mood. Although I should get back to work on the Python Challenge, but I'm still stuck on level 12.

I'm finally over my cold/allergies/whatever and so I can sleep at night without coughing or taking Sudafed. That's very nice!

I thought I had finished my current project on like Tuesday, but then another problem cropped up. I think I know how to fix it, though, and hopefully it will be done by the end of today. I'm a little tired of the project I've been working on - I wish it would just work. Although it does seem cooler than it did when I started it...

I downloaded a bunch of cool mashups from which are on my music page. The funniest one I've listened to is Eminem vs. Dukes Of Dixieland - it's Eminem's "Lose Yourself" versus a jazz band playing "Down by the Riverside" (the track is just called "Down by the Riverside"). It's awesome!

I'm worried about my weight again. I'm hoping to make it go down. :-)


non-weekend post
Mood: frustrated (at work)
Music: Lager Rhythms - "Happy Phantom"
Posted on 2005-07-06 13:13:00
Tags: worldofwarcraft
Words: 254

So I added driving directions and a few other things (it should work in IE now) to my map. Now there are instructions on how to make your own, if you so desire.

Another neat google maps hack I found today is the Gmaps Pedometer, with which you can figure out how long your walks are, or whatever. Cool!

It seems like people are going to be playing World of Warcraft soon - a useful site I was pointed to is WoW Vault. And I'm going to be a priest. :-)

This weekend djedi and I are going home to take my dad to an Astros game (for Father's Day). So I bought tickets online yesterday through Ticketmaster. Ugh. Ticketmaster is a huge pain - you have like two minutes to decide if you want the tickets they assign you, and then three minutes to fill out all your information, otherwise you'll lose the tickets. Then there are the ridiculous fees - the tickets were a total of $60, and I paid ticketmaster $78, for a 30% markup. Grr.

destroyerj mentioned this already, but you should check out Google Earth. They're not letting people download it now, but I have a copy of the installer if you're interested...

As I was driving to work today, I saw a Volvo that had a Howard Dean sticker on it, and had a chuckle at the stereotypicalness (is that really a word?). Then I realized that that was me before I got my Prius! So, I don't know what that means.


weekend post
Mood: chipper
Music: Linkin Park - "Faint"
Posted on 2005-07-06 10:17:00
Words: 287

Back from the weekend! I had a good time. Friday and Saturday were spent with destroyerj playing (and passing) two gamecube games - Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Battle Nexus and Fantastic 4. The Ninja Turtles game was pretty good, especially b/c the three of us could all play at once. Although some of the battles were pretty tricky. And the game got a tad repetitive after a while. But, good stuff.

Fantastic 4 was pretty fun - you got to control the various people and use their nifty abilities. Unfortunately it was only two player, but we switched out and whatnot, and eventually beat it Saturday night. Also, waffles Saturday morning (well, early afternoon...) were good!

Sunday was a well-deserved day of recovery. Monday we played some FFX-2 with wildrice13, then headed over to destroyerj's for burgers and general July 4 celebrations, at which I met a few of his friends that I hadn't met before. Meeting new people is good.

Yesterday I ran some errands (djedi's birthday is coming!) in the morning, then met him on campus for lunch. Came back home and finished Metroid Prime 2 (finally...stupid boss battle), and made a Fry's run. While there, we saw Tales of Symphonia for $20, which is a good price, so we got it. It's an RPG for gamecube that's supposed to be quite good (according to reviews and some of Peggy & Igor's housemates). Went to gamenight at Doug & Teresa's which was fun and tasty (there was fudge!), then back home to start Tales of Symphonia and sleep.

Now I'm back at work, which is...well, not going terribly well in general. Hopefully I'll have some sort of breakthrough this week and I'll stop dreading coming here. That would rock!


Mood: annoyed
Music: Metallica - "Outlaw Tom"
Posted on 2005-06-30 13:17:00
Tags: google maps work
Words: 145

Grr! Work is annoying me. I just spent like half an hour setting something up, and I finally got to try it, and it didn't work. So I'm letting off some steam by posting!

Google released an API for Google Maps, which is neat. I'm playing around with it some - made my own map for experimentation. Fun! (I'm open to suggestions for other markers...)

AMD is suing Intel for abusing their monopoly position. The CEO of AMD took out a full-page ad in the Statesman explaining and urging people to read their full complaint, which I did yesterday. Fascinating reading! If it's true, then they have very legitimate grievances.

Yesterday Canada approved gay marriage, and Spain did the same today. Woohoo!

I can't believe July 4 is coming up so soon. I get Monday and Tuesday off, which totally rocks. Planning on a fun weekend!


Mood: tired and amused
Music: nothing!
Posted on 2005-06-27 22:20:00
Tags: referrer funny
Words: 24

Another fun referrer link:

An altavista search for "a bunch of men in their underwear photos"...and the 13th result is destroyerj's photos. Hah!


Posted on 2005-06-27 12:57:00
Tags: asmc python challenge allergies
Words: 393

Ever since we got back from the Disney World trip, my allergies have been kinda bad. It started out as the usual stuff (for me) - nose stuffed up, which causes my throat to be dry and scratchy, with the occasional headache. The weird thing is that they haven't gone away, and are getting worse. The last few nights I've had to get up in the middle of the night so I could stop coughing (sitting up helps), which means that today I'm tired on top of everything else. If I didn't know better, I'd say it was a cold (but I doubt that it is).

The optimist in me thinks that the problem is that there's mold or mildew in the apartment (the air conditioning has been leaking like nobody's business, and the maintenance people have come out a couple of times to "fix" it...), because then at least we could fix the problem and I'd feel better. I hope it's not just "normal" allergies, because these suck.

Anyhow, despite feeling kinda cruddy, I managed to have a pretty nice weekend. Saturday was ASMC rehearsal, where we learned our last song and choreography (not bad...) and got out way early, so I spent the afternoon on the couch with djedi playing FFX-2. I'm starting to get into it a little bit - seems like a neat game. Saturday night we went out to dinner with destroyerj and then saw "Batman Begins", which I enjoyed a lot. Afterwards we stopped by destroyerj's place to watch some Half-Life 2 stuff (which he had just beaten).

Sunday I came into work for a few hours, but beforehand djedi and I walked around the nature trails here at work. It was fun, and neat to explore the grounds a little more, although it was quite hot! Didn't end up getting the work done that I had wanted (not my fault), but oh well. Then wildrice13 came over after supper for more FFX-2.

In other news, I'm totally hooked on the Python Challenge - I was a little discouraged when I needed hints on levels 5 and 6, but I made it up to level 12 (and now I'm pretty stuck!) Having a lot of fun with it, though.

Just took some Sudafed which should help my various ailments and make the afternoon more pleasant. Then ASMC rehearsal tonight again.

0 comments entry
Mood: curious
Music: not now, thanks
Posted on 2005-06-23 13:31:00
Words: 223

At destroyerj's request, more del.icio.usness.

Last time I talked about the benefits of tagging your own bookmarks. But that's not all offers!

First, the front page is just a list of the 30 or so most recent bookmarks that anyone has added. This is a great place to find lots of random stuff. There's also a page of what's popular (as well as, which has a list of the most popular links that were not bookmarked before yesterday). I've found lots of good articles and useful websites that way.

You can also look at the tags for all bookmarks. So, if you're looking for cool google-related stuff, try, or even just This to me is less useful than tags for your own bookmarks, but it's fun to just pick a random word and see what sites come up. Like trogdor!

Also, all of the bookmarks show how many other people have that site as a bookmark. So, I can see that someone else has bookmarked my iTunes info. I'm famous!

You can also get RSS feeds for all of those sorts of pages, if that sort of thing is your bag.

Well, that's about the cool things I can think of, so here ends the series. Play around with it for a while - I think you'll like it!


flag burning, mostly
Mood: mellow
Music: nothin' at the moment
Posted on 2005-06-23 10:15:00
Tags: activism flag burning python challenge
Words: 263

So the House passed the flag-burning amendment yesterday, and people think it has a chance in the Senate.

Quick poll on the subject:

I wrote my senators (Kay Bailey Hutchison and John Cornyn) just now.

I would urge you to vote against the constitutional amendment that would give
Congress the power to ban desecration of the American flag. I agree that the
flag is a powerful symbol of our country, that many have fought and died for.
However, they have fought and died for the freedoms that the flag represents,
including the freedom to disagree with the government. Free speech is one of
our country's most important rights, and any curtailment of such should be

In addition, flag burning is such a rare event that it seems foolish to amend
the Constitution to prevent it. Our Constitution has been amended very few
times in the history of our nation, and never has it been amended for trivial
or symbolic reasons.

All these concerns notwithstanding, the text of the proposed amendment is very
broad and open to interpretations. Does this mean that wearing or washing a
T-shirt with a picture of the American flag on it is "desecrating" it?

I hope you share my concerns about this amendment, and I would be interested in
hearing your thoughts on the matter. Thank you for your time!

In non-flag related news, I did another Python Challenge level, but I'm stuck on level 5.

ASMC rehearsal is tonight - hopefully it won't be as tiring as the last one. Especially since I'm more tired going into it...


And now I am smart...I mean tired
Mood: tired
Music: nothin' right now
Posted on 2005-06-22 15:10:00
Tags: python challenge allergies sleep
Words: 190

So I found myself unable to get to sleep last night after I was in bed. I think it was a combination of being wrapped up in a small computer project right before bed and having a lot of caffeine (although I had finished my last coke by 8 or so, which I thought was OK since I didn't end up going to bed until midnight). And my throat was bothering me, as it has been for the last two weeks because of allergies. Ugh.

I got up, drank some water (which helped the throat) and worked another level of the Python Challenge (I'm up to level 4...), which is a lot of fun if you like programming (and Python :-) ). That was enough to get me back to sleep a bit later. So I'm tired today, but it isn't as bad as I thought it was gonna be.

Work's going pretty well - I'm on track to finish my project by the end of the week. Unfortunately testing has brought to light some unrelated issues that I may or may not be responsible for. We'll see!

(more evangelization next time...)


quick poll
Mood: pensive
Music: Upscale - "Rockin' Robin"
Posted on 2005-06-21 13:11:00
Tags: death penalty poll
Words: 19

( evangelization will resume after this post)

I was just interested in what people thought, so here's the poll:


weekend, credit card, stuff
Mood: irritated
Posted on 2005-06-20 22:39:00
Tags: asmc family credit card
Words: 385

So I had a fun weekend. I was going to write about it, but wonderjess did such a good job that I'm not going to bother. Thanks!

Work's going generally well, although I'm a little stressed because I'm trying to finish the feature I'm working on by the end of this week. I think I can do it, but it's gonna be close.

ASMC rehearsal went OK tonight - I missed rehearsal on Saturday so I'm way behind on the choreography (but I picked up some of it...) I'm a little disappointed that all the songs I'm in are pretty easy, and not horribly interesting. Oh well.

So I applied for a new credit card, and the stuff came in the mail on Wednesday. However, the credit card wasn't with it! I looked everywhere for it, and David said that sometimes they send them separately from the info, which makes sense, but I figured that that couldn't possibly be the case since it didn't mention that anywhere, and it said specifically to activate your card and stuff like that. Figuring it somehow didn't get sent or whatever, I called and reported it as "lost or stolen". And then, today comes the other letter with the credit card in the mail. Grrr!

Reasons that is cool:
- You can store your bookmarks there and access them from anywhere. This is pretty handy (although, be careful, they're all public so anyone can see!)
- Each bookmark has tags associated with it - as many as you want. On my bookmark file at home, I have different categories, but they're kinda hard to tell apart (is that bookmark "Linux" or "reference"?) Tags solve this problem in the simplest way possible - it's both! Then when you look for the tag "linux" it's there, and it's also there when you look for "reference".
- You can search for multiple tags at once in your bookmarks to narrow things down. For example, shows all my bookmarks with the tag "pictures", and shows all my bookmarks that have both the tag "pictures" and the tag "family".
- The name is cool!
- You can have useful tags like toread and topost that keep track of what's on your reading list.

Check out my bookmarks at Next time - ways to look at other people's bookmarks!


meaning to post for a while - here it comes!
Mood: ecstatic
Music: New Kids On The Block - "Keep On Smilin'"
Posted on 2005-06-17 12:54:00
Tags: linux asmc tivo family computer
Words: 1065

Hmm. I meant to post yesterday, but I guess I've been kinda busy. I'm leaving after work to meet my family at a condo in Conroe (hmm, that kinda rhymes!) for Father's Day, as wonderjess has been mentioning. It'll be nice to see everyone in a relaxed environment. And apparently there will be pie! Mmm.

So David left yesterday to go home for Father's Day as well, so I was on my own yesterday. Work went pretty well (finally fixed my stupid problem), but I didn't leave until 5:40, which is really cutting it close to eat dinner and get to ASMC rehearsal by 7. I ended up cutting dinner a little short and not finishing the spaghetti I had reheated so I could get there on time. Baaad move, as we didn't start until 7:15, and we didn't "really start" (i.e. start running a scene) until almost 7:50. This is frustrating. But I'm still gonna make an effort to get there on time. And I brought the new Penrose book The Road to Reality, which is >1100 pages and supposedly a heavy read (I'm still reading introductory math stuff, but even some of it is stuff I haven't looked at in a long time). It's a birthday present (thanks, Mom & Dad!) that I'm slowly working my way through...

Rehearsal went well - we did "my" scene, and I have a pretty good idea of how it's going to work. Although it takes a lot of energy - we're supposed to be generally disorganized, running around and poking each other and stuff. Fun, though :-)

After I got home, I did some packing, printed out directions (there are apparently no good ways to get to Conroe from here, everywhere has me going on like 6 or 7 different highways...), and worked on a computer problem that I eventually solved.

So one of David's and mine (um, how does the grammar work there?) longish-term projects is to get TV shows off of the TiVo (using TiVoToGo) and burn them onto a DVD. So my first approach was to get them off onto David's computer, turn them into MPEGs, then edit them on my computer and burn them to DVD. I tried this a while ago, and I couldn't find good programs to do it on Linux (and burning a video DVD on Linux is crazy complicated, with .xml configuration files to configure the menus and stuff like that. Stuff that I probably could eventually figure out, but I finally gave up). So our next approach was to download the trial software that TiVo recommends to do it, and see if we could get that working.

The software is Sonic MyDVD, and it worked well once I figured out that I had to downgrade TiVo Desktop to 2.0 (you can download it from here) - it crashes all the time with version 2.1. Anyway, so I did that and eventually created an .iso image, and things were looking good.

A few days ago, I tried transfering the .iso file to my computer using WinSCP. It was going well, until the program wasn't able to make the file bigger than 2GB - it would error, and then quit and crash if you tried to reconnect and resume. This is where I was until last night.

So David and I had a number of ideas why this was happening - maybe the WinSCP program didn't work with greater than 2GB files, maybe the protocol didn't support it, or maybe my filesystem didn't support it. I had done some research that suggested that the protocol did support it, the WinSCP program did work with it, and my filesystem (ext3) did support it. So I was a bit at a loss.

The night before I wrote a quick program in C to try to create a 3GB file and see what happened. Lo and behold, it would quit once the file was 2GB, saying "File size limit exceeded". So I figured it was one of two things - either my C program needed to use 64-bit aware function calls, or my filesystem didn't support it.

So, we come to last night. First I looked at the filesystem, and everything I could find seemed to say that ext3 with 4KB block sizes should support up to 2TB files. I even tried creating a new ext3 filesystem on a spare partition and creating a big file there - no dice. So then I thought maybe my particular C program was the problem, and found a bunch of random documentation on the web about how to make the calls correctly. But all the documentation was old, and everything suggested that these calls should have been being made correctly by default, and indeed I couldn't solve it that way.

So I was kinda frustrated at this point, and thinking maybe my particular ssh daemon (the server side of SCP) was broken in some odd way or something. Finally, inspiration struck - there's a shell command "ulimit" that sets various limits on stuff you can do - how many files you can have open, how many processes you can be running, and, at long last, the size of files you can create! I had apparently played around with this before and set the maximum size up to 2GB (back in early college, I think). And I think the word "limit" in the error message I got should have tipped me off a little bit. But anyway, I fixed that, and it transferred over just fine. Then I burned it onto DVD (after first creating a data DVD that had the .iso file on it - doh!), and lo and behold, it played in the DVD player. Hooray!

That was oddly cathartic.

Anyway, the upshot of the story is that I was up until 2:20 or so, which was kinda fun (especially since I got stuff working!), but now I'm a little on the tired side. Should be OK for the drive, though.

Public Service Announcement: It has come to my attention that some readers of this journal are not impressed by So, to increase understanding and adoptance, I will be posting neat features of on my future posts. (starting with the next one) Look for them in a journal near you!

In a related story, LJ added support for tags, which is pretty cool, so I'm gonna start tagging my entries. And you should too! :-)


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