Stumbling around the internet looking for some information about greenhouses, I found the International Greenhouse Company, whose website looks strangely like another website I’ve been at recently…

Anyway, we’re looking at our first frost tomorrow night, and we have a bunch of plants that need to come inside before then. Given all that’s been happening with the inside of the house, I haven’t done much with the greenhouse yet, and that includes figuring out what’s broken on the heater, how the irrigation system works, or if there’ s a working thermostat. I’d love to be able to use it during the winter, but we’re going to have to wait to see how much the house electricity bills are before we start heating the outbuildings.

The secret to installing OSX and OS9 on the same drive seems to be either partitioning the drive and putting one OS on each system (what I did on the Powerbook, here) or installing OS9 and updating it to 9.2.2, then installing OSX and updating that. Big fun, people!

In other geek news, Macintouch put me on to this new service provided by XLR8, who has some affiliation with the old Daystar Digital corporation (now defunct, I guess…?) and who are making a G4 upgrade for Pismo Powerbooks. Back in the day I bought a Daystar upgrade for my ancient Mac IIcx, and took the nervous step of boxing my motherboard up and shipping it to Georgia to have them pull the creaky 68030 chip and drop in a 40mhz 68040. All went off without a hitch, and Norman ran sturdily for another year and a half until I bought my 7100/80. I’m obviously going to wait to hear what experiences people have with this service, but $330 is a small amount to pay to keep this machine up to date and continue to boost the return on investment. Time will tell.

Some fun killtime reading:

Jen would also like me to clarify that she tried to buy the table from Phyllis several times. Sorry for the confusion!

Make The Bad Man Stop. Each morning, as my brain begins its startup sequence, I wind up with a strange song stuck in my head. I’ve been telling Jen what some of these are, and today I remember this morning’s featured track: Turn Me Loose, by Loverboy. The songs usually are embarassing, schmaltzy, and repeat themselves until I can make it into work and get the headphones on.

Date posted: September 30, 2003 | Filed under apple, geek, greenhouse, house, links, music | Leave a Comment »

This weekend was a busy one. Friday Jen accepted a job offer from the place she interviewed at on Thursday; in the space of about two hours she got three calls with three job offers. So now I refer to her as ‘Senior Designer.’ Saturday we did a bunch of house-related stuff and visited the downtown restaurant Sascha’s to sample their menu (purely in the interest of wedding research, we swear) and to celebrate. Sunday was more running, with house stuff in the morning and a fun afternoon with friends.

We saw the Sofia Coppola movie Lost In Translation at the Charles, and we all enjoyed it tremedously. Bill Murray is spectacular. He takes the bored, disconnected dad from Rushmore and expands on it—there’s a brave, funny, young man in his body. Scarlett Johansson is young, but much older than she looks, and the two, who would on the surface not go together, pair off perfectly. Highly recommended.

Attempts to get the iMac running with Rob’s donated 27GB drive failed; the boot ROM doesn’t seem to see the drive even when it’s partitioned below 8GB. I may try again, and I may just buy a huge new IDE drive when I get paid and drop it in there.

Generosity. Phyllis, an old and dear friend of Jen’s, is moving out of the mansion where she and Jen once rented apartments. She was good enough to help us move into the new house, and we tried to lend as much help as possible back to her. She’s getting rid of a lot of her furniture, and out of the blue offered us her beautiful drop-leaf dining room table—and then her desk, which happens to be a 20’s era oak library table. We were overwhelmed, but she insisted, and, well, we couldn’t say no. So besides the dining room table we bought from Todd and Heather (which is about as near to perfect in this room as I could hope for), we have the smaller table from Phyllis, and a new desk for Jen’s office.

Date posted: September 29, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, friends, house | Leave a Comment »

RIP Robert Palmer.

Greasy Kid Stuff. When I was a kid, I spent about half my life from age 10 to about age 15 in the woods. Not because I wanted to; If we had lived in an area that was near someone else my own age, I might have done other things like played ball, rode my bike, or lit fires. But we were up on the side of a mountain, in a strange house, and the neighborhood kids were all maladjusted pricks. So I hung in the woods. I built forts, played army (defined as wearing a green T-shirt that said M*A*S*H and shooting an imaginary gun at imaginary Bad Guys) and, well, explored. During these five years or so, I crawled through brush, cut down trees, moved earth, and generally got dirty. I remember having poison ivy a few times, to the point where I had to get the pills (and let’s all thank God for the pills) to rid my blistered skin of the infection. I would usually get it while helping my Dad cut some kind of weed back from around the house—can you taste the irony there? it’s a bitter, bitter flavor—and it would be a small patch, somewhere on my arm or hand. By the next morning I would be a quivering mass of ooze not unlike a skinny Jabba the Hut (or even Pizza the Hut, if you prefer) and pleading for the pill. Ahh, the magical pill. Within a few days the itch was cut back to a dull roar, and the blisters would dissapear inside of a week. But I lived in fear of the Ivy. It was out there, waiting for me. Biding its time.

The doctor yesterday prescribed me the Corti-whatever cream instead of the pill. I have this crap slathered on me like tanning butter and it’s not doing diddly; the poison ivy is spreading like Kudzu and mocking me in a quiet, but persistent manner: “…itchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchyitchy…”

I want to claw off my own skin.

Last night I answered an ad in the local Pennysaver (bless her, Jen knows I’m addicted to the Pennysaver, and always leaves it out where I can find it) for a grape iMac for the low low price of $100. We drove to beautiful Glen Burnie, I paid the man cash, and we have a new fileserver waiting to be built. Not too shabby— a first gen 333mhz, 160MB RAM, 6Gig hard drive.

Date posted: September 26, 2003 | Filed under geek, history | Leave a Comment »

Jen sent me a link for this kit; we have a serious insect problem, so bats might be the answer.

Doctors. Today I was lucky enough to see my doctor about the poison ivy issue on my hand; instead of the pills (which apparently are for “serious” cases of p-i, and have side effects like sleep disorders, bone issues, water retention, etc) she prescribed some cortisone cream. I pointed at my hands, and told her that it was spreading—I woke up this morning and the blisters had marched across one knuckle, down into the valley of my finger, and up the other side and there is nothing more irritating than poison ivy in between your fingers—my request was in vain. So I have to travel to the Ride Aid to fill the script this evening.

Lis, I know you’re contesting the Crispin Glover nomination, so I found some evidence in the case to convict.

At the risk of fucking everything all up, I have to say this, because I’m so exited for her: Jen had a kick-ass job interview this morning, and it went really well. Everybody wish her luck!

The West Wing was pretty lackluster. I read online that John Wells himself wrote the episode, and it showed. Is anybody else out there confused/puzzled by the fact that Wells writes episodes for three different TV shows? I mean, isn’t there someone else in Hollywood who can write an engaging script? It’s just kind of funny that the media outlets talk about ‘convergence‘ and there’s one dude writing/exec. producing for two of the most popular shows on TV.

Date posted: September 25, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, house, humor | Leave a Comment »

The West Wing season premiere is on tonight, so Jen and I are treating ourselves to some sushi and Martin Sheen. Although it would be completely out of character for the show, I’d love to see Charlie find Zoe and kick the crap out of somebody. We’ve gotten some great response from the invite so far, so it looks like most folks can attend, with some yet to respond. (Can you believe the early version of that pig was wearing a hat? What’s that all about?) And I want the Sundays to come back, because fall always makes me think of this album—or vice versa.

Heather sent me this clarification of Moist, which may clear out some of the current candidates (and suggest others:)

A requirement of moistness is the self-certainty of the validity of the
moist individual’s behavior, beliefs, career, etc…a certain delusional
earnestness. There is no ironic detachment to be found in the moist


Neil Diamond is the king of moist while Gary Shandling is merely annoying as
shit and irrelevant(not to mention Warren Beatty’s hanger-on).

Art Speigelman has been an artistic hero of mine from way back, when I read about and then picked up a copy of Maus, his searing illustrated book about his father’s experiences during the Holocaust, his relationship with his father, and his own feelings. He went on to produce the second book in the series, have a one-man show at the MOMA (which I saw back in college and which I thought was a brilliant work of curation) and do selected work for the New Yorker (his cover image for the week after September 11, the twin towers in black on a blacker background, was a powerful statement about how he—and the city—felt the week after.) The Publication Design department at UB is hosting him in a lecture series in October, and Jen just got the invite last night. You better believe we are going to see that. I’m going to dig out my copy of Maus and see if I can have him sign it.

The invitation for the post-moving pig roast went out this morning: Again, to all our peeps who helped us out, thank you, and we’ll see you there.

Date posted: September 24, 2003 | Filed under art/design, entertainment, friends, humor | Leave a Comment »

A. Looks like our basement flooded last night; Jen just called me to let me know. There’s a set of stairs down to the basement door, ending in a little concrete pit with a drain at the center. Water runs down the side of the house and into this pit. The drain is clogged with crap (and I have no idea where it drains to anyway), so the incoming water came under the door and across the basement floor. Looks like it’s not too bad, but that’s a pain in the butt. B. Along with that fun, we lost power again last night at about 10:30. As old pros at this stuff now, we lit the Dietz lamps again and laid down to read. It came back on at 9:30 this morning as we were climbing into the shower. C. I found myself scratching a particular spot on my hand last night, and thought that was odd. On further inspection, it seems I’ve got some poison ivy happening on both hands. Now, for most people, this isn’t a big deal, but for me, it’s like trying to rid yourself of the hair on your scalp—it just keeps growing back. I’ve doused it with calamine and I’m ignoring the millions of other itchy spots that have popped up now that I’m paranoid about the stuff spreading; if I don’t shake your hand you’ll know why.

Right the hell on. Brought to you by Senator Max Cleland.

Nominees for the Moist category:

  1. Antonio Banderas – Lis (sorry, can’t find the Helmut Newton pic you speak of)
  2. Jake Busey – Lis
  3. David Copperfield – John P.
  4. The late Doug Henning – Mine. (you can’t have Copperfield without Henning.)

My personal take on Jake Busey is that he’s sort of a jerk/jock hybrid (loved you in Starship Troopers, babe); Todd says he’s more of a residually famous person, like the Baldwin brothers. David Copperfield is immediately in the running based on Jazz Hands alone, and Doug Henning—what else can you say about a Canadian in legwarmers, a leotard, long hair, and that dopey smile?

Date posted: September 23, 2003 | Filed under friends, life, list | Leave a Comment »

Thoughts on watching the movie Cold Creek Manor last night:
“He was just trying to scare everybody away!”

“And I would have gotten away with it, too, if it hadn’t been for you meddling kids!”

Moist: adj.: 1. someone who makes other people feel like they need to wash: That dude is so moist. 2. a smarmy, slimy individual; 3. repulsive or gross.

  1. Crispin Glover.
  2. Deney Terrio.
  3. The 70’s band Exile, responsible for I Want To Kiss You All Over.
  4. Rex Smith.
  5. The eponymous Canadian band Moist.

Got another? We’ll put your suggestion to the judges (Heather, Todd, and Jen) and post it if it’s truly moist.

Date posted: September 21, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, humor | Leave a Comment »

debris in the backyard
debris in the backyard

We made it through the hurricane pretty well the other day; we’re enjoying power again after it cut out on Thursday night at about 8:30. Strangely, the houses on either side of us had power, but our lines go to a different pole than theirs and our transformer blew. We lit Dietz lamps and went to sleep early, and when we woke the next morning the storm was gone. Our neighbors invited us over for coffee and breakfast after our attempts to find some failed; a house behind us was not so lucky and suffered massive structural damage as an older oak tree uprooted and crashed through the bedroom wall. Luckily nobody was hurt. Later in the day Todd and Heather invited us over for dinner and pie, and we gratefully accepted their offer. When we got back, the lights were back on. Thanks to everybody who helped us out!

Meanwhile, Jean-Paul and Sharon are getting married today in Houston, and we are here in Baltimore. I’m sorry we couldn’t be with you, JP. All the best to you and your new bride!

Date posted: September 20, 2003 | Filed under friends, greenhouse, house | Leave a Comment »

*** STOP: 0x00000077 (0x00000000, 0x8175A800, 0xBFCFDCA0)

Beginning dump of physical memory
Physical memory dump complete. Contact your system administrator or
technical support group.

Looks like we’re probably (but not definitely) grounded by the storm, so we most likely won’t be going to Houston tomorrow. Dammit. I was really looking forward to meeting the Masso clan and watching our friend JP get hitched (and getting out of town, for that matter.) Sorry, friend. Luckily Southwest has a pretty cool cancellation/refund policy, so we may be able to get our dinero back, or at least get a credit for a future flight.

In other news, that company I ordered plaster washers from, and who sent me a confirmation email, has no record of the order I placed. When the dude on the phone told me this, I hung up in disgust, but will most likely have to call back and place an order over the phone to make sure it goes through. What a hassle.

(Update: Some dude called the house and mumbled something about not having me in their system because the order already went out, or something stupid like that. So I guess the stuff is on its way.)

I was one of the last retards out on the roads this afternoon, picking up some final things before heading home; I got food, beer, and clean-burning propane. I’m going to go dig out my camping gear and dust off the portable grill, just in case. We already have large tree limbs down in the back yard (as well as next to the Scout) and the power has blinked off about four times already—thank god for laptops.

Remember everyone, tomorrow is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Yarrrr!

Date posted: September 18, 2003 | Filed under geek, house, humor, life | Leave a Comment »

clock, Baltimore County Incident Command Center, 9.17.03

clock, Baltimore County Incident Command Center, 9.17.03

Quick! Everybody! Run for your lives! Run for your lives!

I took a tour of the Baltimore Incident Command Center this afternoon for a new project I’m working on. It’s curious installation—given my jaded view of Maryland civil government, I was expecting a broom closet with a rotary phone, mop and bucket, and stack of 1950’s era civil defense manuals. Instead we were hosted by quiet, serious staff in a facility that hums with activity and purpose—they are planning for the hurricane and making preparations to deal with the results.

Date posted: September 17, 2003 | Filed under history, house | Leave a Comment »