The Phone company came by to fix my line- it smells like a problem on their end. The guy came in, tested the line, re-connected the outside wiring and we got a dialtone. He came downstairs, looked over my wiring job, told me I did a good job, and then tested the lines again with the phones plugged in- the line is perfect, no shorts or bad equipment. He told me he wasn’t going to write it up as an inside job. So, I’ll go home and continue the wiring job, and tackle all the coax next. Once all that is out of the way, we’ll focus on the network cabling.

Jeez, I forgot all about this. ho-ho.

Date posted: November 29, 2001 | Filed under appliances | Leave a Comment »

I’m kind of scatterbrained today; I’ve not been getting enough sleep, so it’s getting harder and harder to concentrate. The Breakaway web page is coming along well; it’s probably the best corporate site I’ve done in years, and it was pretty simple to lay out.

Looking on Ebay, I realize that the comics collection I spent about $100 on when I was 17 is now worth about $50. I have a box of X-men comics from somewhere around issue 150 or so up until 220, and looking at comparable collections on Ebay I find stuff going for $50-75 or so. It would be great to at least realize a face value return on these, as I don’t look at them anymore, but that’s doubtful.

Date posted: November 28, 2001 | Filed under art/design | Leave a Comment »

Leftover count: 5 meals and counting. >burp<

The phone company has to come in to fix my line this Thursday. I hooked in the new lines and now it’s down. There’s a dial tone out in the interface box but none at the two terminals next to the RJ-11 jack next to it; I think the little unit outside is busted. So I have to cough up $80 for the guy to come out and replace a $5 part.

Sun redesigned their site into an ugly piece of junk. For a company I always looked up to as far as having a strong, well developed design identity, they sure messed it up. What an ugly site they made.

Date posted: November 27, 2001 | Filed under geek | Leave a Comment »

Home phone line is not working, but my DSL is. I also found out I should have used Cat5 cabling instead of 4-wire copper phone line in my house. Oh well. I think the wiring in my phone line got switched somehow but I’m not sure. I sure am learning a lot about phone wiring though…

more on the Thanksgiving stuff later…I’m tired and I feel like playing a game right now.

Date posted: November 26, 2001 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

Came in this morning and found it hard to get moving; I was up until 1 last night cleaning the house (and I only got the first floor done!) I have to shop for food tonight and probably finish up the upstairs on Wednesday night. I was able to get everything back on the Palm as well; I lost the last two months of stuff or so, but I’ll get back in the habit of sync’ing up the unit now.

I was able also to put in hooks and hang the bikes downstairs, move the speakers around and generally clean up the mess in the basement in order to pull the table away from the wall, open it up and clean out the wall behind it, as well as hang pictures back up in the dining room. Thank Christ, it’s been too long.

Unfortunately, this also illuminates just how badly the whole frickin’ house is crying out to be painted.

On the design front, I found this link today for a fantastic poster printing shop, and another one linked off of that. (via dooce)
This news makes it pretty clear that the salad days of having self-taught design/programming chops are pretty much over. With this “certification”, shops are going to require poor shlebs to have taken some stupid test so that they can get a job.

And, looking at the show list on this site, it occurs to me just how much better music was in 1992.

Speaking of good music, here are a set of albums by a band called Hooverphonic, whose song This Strange Effect was remixed by Thievery Corporation a while back, and which I love.

Date posted: November 20, 2001 | Filed under art/design, house, music | Leave a Comment »

Back from NY state this weekend; Jen and I drove up to put the top on the Scout and see the folks. New York State, and especially Aurora, is beautiful this time of year. The town is filled with colorful leaves that actually haven’t fallen yet (up on the hill, they’re all gone, but down in town they were still up.) We got to see a lot of the family too; after getting everything done on Saturday we ordered pizza, drank PBR in cans (Consumer Reports listed it as the best domestic canned beer, and damn if it wasn’t too bad!)

The Scout top went on without a hitch; it was actually easier this year than last year, funny enough. Jen, Renie and I put it on ourselves with judicious use of the sawhorses and some ingenuity, and all the screws went it smoothly. We even got the dome light hooked up again.

At 3am on Sunday morning, my mother woke us quietly, and we wrapped ourselves in warm clothes. We met in the kitchen, where she was brewing hot tea, and waited for my sister. We piled in her car and drove up Sherwood Road to a laneway above Brick Church Lane and parked; then we looked up and took in the incredible sight of the Leonid Meteor Shower. For about 15 minutes we watched outside until it got too cold, then jumped in the car and watched for another 45 minutes or so. Returning at 4:30, we crawled back into bed and slept until 10:30.

My Palm Pilot went down this weekend. I hard-reset it and it seems to have come back up (at least it’s working.) But I have to re-sync it with the NT box tonight; I lost everything on it.

Great story about how a well-used symbol was developed. | Ha-ha, dummy. Your picture’s all over the internet now. (via metafilter)

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: November 19, 2001 | Filed under family, Scout | Leave a Comment »

Didn’t write yesterday- life was moving too quickly. But the carpet is now in the basement, and it looks fantastic. I spent a few nights organizing stuff down there, and hopefully with another few nights I can get everything from the dining room down there and put away in some fashion. The only stuff that’s left upstairs are the two bikes, the cooler and some miscellaneous items.

Next up is to cut and install the shelf by the window; I got paid yesterday so when I get back I can get food and after Turkey Week is over, finish off the front of the house. I also have to have Jeff Curley over for beers when I get the wiring sorted out and roughed in (and the phone lines run) so that he can help me sort out the network questions I have. I also have to run the phone and network cabling up to the back bedroom, which entails cutting into the box in the back of the kitchen to start the line.

I think, after this project has wound down, I’m going to put up the plant hooks I was thinking about in the front room, replace the ugly track lighting in the living room with a longer, better positioned white track, and then *gulp* look at moving the light in the kitchen to the center of the room and replacing it with a ceiling fan.

Seen on a highway overpass on I-83 leaving Baltimore this morning: “We Arm The World” written on an American flag.

Interesting info from Super Scout Specialists as to the highest sale figures for Light Line trucks in America, from highest to lowest:

  1. Pennsylvania
  2. California
  3. Colorado
  4. Illinois
  5. Texas
  6. Ohio
  7. New York
  8. Indiana
  9. Wisconsin
  10. Virginia

Maryland is number 38.

→ This is a syndicated post from my Scout weblog. More info here.

Date posted: November 16, 2001 | Filed under house, Scout | Leave a Comment »

Sitting here at home waiting for the carpet guys to show up. pleasepleasepleaseplease!

I read up on the Epson printer this morning and found that it won’t print if the black or color cartridges are empty, which is the case. So i have to see how much a black ink cartridge is and drop one in, then see if she’ll print. Hopefully it will be under $20 or so, otherwise I’ll look to see if there’s a good aftermarket ink supply place around. I don’t want to drop $40 on a printer that might not work. promising though, is that the printer powers up and I get a reaction when the test is triggered.

Here’s an interesting link about blocking ads in your browser. The only thing i can’t get to is blocking the proxy settings (step 2). Here also is what is billed as the true story of L.Ron Hubbard.

Date posted: November 13, 2001 | Filed under house, links | Leave a Comment »

I had a very busy weekend; Saturday I got up and cleaned the basement for an hour before I left for Jen’s house; we left for the Maryland/Clemson game in College Park at 2pm. The game was fantastic; we had the entire Lockard clan there save Rob and Annie, and Maryland beat Clemson’s ass pretty soundly. We were treated to the vision of the whole crowd rushing the field and taunting the assembled event staff surrounding the goalposts; I’d say about 5-7,000 kids then rushed the cops and overpowered them. The goalpost dipped under the weight of hundreds of kids, and then sank into the crowd like a torpedoed liner. We then returned to the parking lot and shivered over fried chicken and pasta salad.

Sunday I got up and headed back over to Jen’s place; after a fantastic breakfast we picked up supplies and I built a set of shelves in her pantry closet and another set in her outer closet, so she can actually store canned food near her kitchen, get stuff out of the blue bedroom, and store heavy stuff in the outer closet. When I pulled the shelves down in there, the wood they used to tack up supports were pulling out of the wall and about to fall down- basically 1/8 plywood-essentially veneer-over top of a few stringers held in with decking nails. The look on her face after she saw the shelves covered with cans was worth the whole day, but she made me a fantastic chicken dinner with scalloped potatoes and cold beer, and that made it even better. All in all a great weekend.

We found out about an hour ago that another plane fell on NYC. CNN is completely bogged down, but Dan came by and told me that is a search area backdoor for cnn, and lo and behold the page pulled up almost immediately. I’m also impressed with cbs’s online news site as well- it’s very comprehensive and came up quickly.

Jen’s neighbor is cleaning out her storage room, and was getting rid of an Epson Stylus Color 800, which I promptly snagged to bring home. It’s sitting here on the floor waiting for a mac printer cable, which I was not able to find this morning.

Great tools for searching websites: | Also, these tools will have some relevance in the future on this site: Userland software wrote and builds a lot of XML/RSS tools for the web. At some point I’d love to have my portal page set up with a newsfeed from AP nad CNN.

I found this information on Friday when I had a half hour to kill. This story has always fascinated me, ever since I read Ploesti by Carrol and Dugan (no relation.) I can’t think of any better way to salute the men and women of the military than to educate and read about the sacrifice these men made back in August of 43. B-24bestweb | 98th bomb group | Yahoo Tidal Wave message board | | Maternity Ward | Bomber Pilot | Into the guns of Ploesti

Date posted: November 12, 2001 | Filed under friends, house, links | Leave a Comment »

This morning, buried down by the bottom of the ‘entertainment’ section of, I found an obit for Ken Kesey, author of One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Merry Prankster extraordinaire. I spent a long semester reading The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test by Tom Wolfe and became a Kesey fan pretty quickly; taking a Beat class by the late Joe Cardarelli at MICA drew me into the world of Kerouac, and I loved the idea of Neal Cassady driving the bus all over the country while Kesey and the other Pranksters howled and tripped in back. Kesey withdrew from public view in the late 60’s and quietly farmed in Oregon with his family; only in the early 90’s he came back out and began teaching and publishing again. He was 66, and passed away after battling cancer. God bless, man.

I went out and bought the wire rack from Sam’s Club last night; installed in the basement, it just clears the tops of the joists and holds nine of the green Tupperware storage tubs, which is perfect. There’s room on the top shelf for another set of items; currently I have all the old CPU’s up there but I’ll replace them with other stuff when they get put in the closet. I was able to remove everything except the cooler and radio boxes from the dining room last night- what a relief. Tonight I’ll organize some more and hopefully be able to get the rest of them downstairs so I can begin cleaning the dining room and perhaps *gasp* paint…!

The Epson printer is dead, at least through the AppleTalk port. I’m taking it home tonight and hooking it up to the NT box through the serial cable, and we’ll see if there’s any luck there.

Date posted: November 12, 2001 | Filed under books, house | Leave a Comment »