pumpkin, 10/31

pumpkin, 10/31

Jen just called to say that the wedding expedition has been postponed another week, on account of cold. Which is probably for the best.

Boo. Yesterday we had the employees’ kids come through the office for candy and sugary goodness; I put my graduation robe on and took pictures of Elvis as he handed out candy. Jen’s in bed sick this morning—she woke up and coughed for about fifteen minutes straight at the top of the stairs before curling up in the bed in front of cable TV this morning. Luckily there’s a Buffy marathon on today, so she has plenty of company (and with five cats, I think she’ll have plenty of company.)

Wish her luck, because (theoretically) she’s still going to be looking at wedding dresses with her Mom tomorrow. As if being sick wasn’t enough. I need to hit the store for some hard liquor tomorrow, because she’s going to need it, sick or not.

Finally. I ordered a 30GB iPod from Small Dog Electronics yesterday, and it should be here by Monday. I’ve been waiting for one of these since they were released, and I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally be getting one. The price couldn’t be beat, and refurbished with a one-year warranty for $20 less than a new 20GB is a deal. So take note, Fambly: there will be iPod accessories on my Christmas list this year! (UPDATE: the links above actually work now, as WebObjects caches the links from the Apple Store for only a short time.)

The other bonus is that we’re most likely not going to be able to afford a DJ or musicians at the wedding (besides the piper) unless we wheel and deal, so my plan was to set up a party playlist on the iPod and wire it into the stereo system on shuffle, so that we can spin our own tunes and not worry about having some dork with the portable microphone play “the chicken dance“.

Date posted: October 31, 2003 | Filed under apple, family | Leave a Comment »

The first year I lived in Bolton Hill, my two roommates and I decided it would be great fun to drink National Bohemians, sit on our front stoop and hand out candy to the kids in the neighborhood. After a half hour, we realized what a drag that was, because all the kids that came to our door neglected to dress in costume, preferring to just grab a handful of candy and then… grab another handful of candy. Even more charming were the thirty-year-old people who were getting candy for their “brother who’s home sick in bed.” After hearing that same story five or six times, we stopped filling the bowl, unscrewed the light bulb in the foyer, and walked down to the Tavern for drinks.

This year is a totally different experience, and I’m looking forward to a new start. The house is kind of spooky on its own (without outdoor lights in the driveway, it’s very dark) but with the lights on it’s more cheerful. I went to the Target this afternoon and dropped $20 on ten pounds of candy, and hopefully I can throw together some kind of spooky costume tomorrow. Kids? Bring ’em on. I got yer candy right here.

In other news, I have found that it’s impossible to purchase a standard Humanitarian Daily Ration (what they’ve been dropping by the thousands in vacation spots like Iraq and Afghanistan) unless you have recently had the crap bombed out of you. I’ve been on the phone—thanks again for that VoIP phone, John— all day, and the most success I got back was a polite but firm no way. I’m going to have to figure out another way to describe this to my class.

Date posted: October 29, 2003 | Filed under history, house | Leave a Comment »

I’m listening to How The West Was Won, the CD companion to the new Zep DVD set. Besides some slightly annoying Plant-isms throughout the tracks, there’s some mighty good stuff on this disc these discs. That’s the Way is fascinating live, and Over The Hills And Far Away is a mighty rumble from a powerful band in its prime. Dancing Days makes me wish I had a set of drums out in the garage so I could play along. (This is about when you walk past my cube and I’m air-drumming—resembling a dog whose magic itch spot you’ve found, staring off into space and frantically kicking one leg.) Very enjoyable stuff.

Heather wrote this morning about the cicadas:

“I think they are coming because when I was digging in the yard a few weeks ago, I dug up about 20 of the ‘Nymphs’— FOUL”

This is going to be a wedding to remember, people. I’m thinking we should release the cats into the backyard a few days before the reception to de-cicada the area; I can’t think of anything more romantic than scaly prehistoric bugs the size of eggrolls burrowing to the surface, peeling off their skins and bursting into their mating drone during the first dance. Anybody got a VFW hall they can rent us?

Christened. Todd and I have worked in the Ubercle for about a year together now , and at lunch today we found it being renamed to something a little more fitting. Two other coworkers have moved into our side of the building and opened up a two-cube area into one; they’ve put a lot of nice touches into it to make it look pretty. We have a cube full of furniture, old computers, art stuff, and general debris. We have a slumicle.


Date posted: October 28, 2003 | Filed under friends, music | Leave a Comment »

Looks like Nissan is using one of my favorite Morphine songs to sell SUV’s. I can’t begin to tell you how bummed out I am about that. Although, I suppose, if I was a reasonably successful underground band, and the founder and lead singer died suddenly of an untimely heart attack, I might be tempted to sell a song or two to put the kids through college. It isn’t getting any easier to afford, that’s for sure.

Crap. According to this chart, the 17-year cicadas are due to rise in 2004. For folks planning an outdoor wedding (or reception), consider this page. I can’t seem to find any pages on the brood cycles of Maryland, but we have a yard full of deciduous trees as well as a mature oak in the backyard. This is going to be fun…

Word of the Day. Autodidact: n. 1748 a self-taught person.

Etymology: Greek autodidaktos self-taught, from aut- + didaktos taught, from didaskein to teach (courtesy of the Miriam-Webster dictionary)

Feelin’ Groovy. Day three of the annoying cold. Grr.

We Couldn’t Be Prouder. This morning I sat on the dining room floor, adding CD’s to our iTunes library and sipping my coffee, and I glanced over at a gray blob on the floor by the table. Normally, there are about five of those kitty mice (a plastic rectangle covered in colored rabbit fur, with two plastic eyes and a rawhide tail) laying around the house at any one time, so it wasn’t anything new. This one was different, though, because it looked, well, roughed up. I looked closer and realized it was a real mouse, and somebody had obviously worked it over for a while before killing it. I picked it up and put it in the trash with a big smile, not only because our cats are fearsome warriors, but because it didn’t wind up in one of the beds with us this morning. “Look what I brought you, Mom!”

Date posted: October 27, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, history, music | Leave a Comment »

So this morning Jen and I are cleaning up both the Pink room (now minus all hint of pink) and the Anxious room (now with a coat of Martha Stewart’s Kitchen Ceiling Blue, which is really more green than blue in our world, thank you), and from outside we heard a strange noise. We looked out at the Presbyterian church across the street and saw a fellow in a kilt playing the bagpipes for the people arriving for 10AM mass. We sat outside on the front steps with our coffee and listened to him run through some slower tunes, through a few Highland jigs, and then walk inside for the service. After the service was over we ran across the street to see if we could talk to him about a wedding. Turns out he’s done it before and he’s for hire; he’s a little quiet but he has a great repertoire. We’ve got his number, and we have a dream for our service: walking back to the house from the church behind a Scot (well, he’s actually Polish) playing the pipes.

Grumble Grumble. I’m sick. I have this cold where it feels like there’s a circus weightlifter standing on my chest, someone is pouring molasses down the back of my throat, the quick-dry cement in my skull is expanding as it sets, and my nose is running like a leaky hose spigot. I hate being sick.

Date posted: October 26, 2003 | Filed under house | Leave a Comment »

Would you look at the work this guy is putting into his house? I am totally in awe.

Happiness Is A Warm Guitar. Here’s a new list for you: Favorite guitar breaks from rock songs. I brained on this one while listening to a copy of Dark Side Of The Moon (the 5.1 re-release that I don’t have the hardware to appreciate. Philistine); David Gilmour’s break in the middle of Time is brilliant and always sends a shiver up my spine. So here’s a preliminary list (in no particular order):

  • David Gilmour, Time (Dark Side Of The Moon)
  • Robert Quine, Girlfriend (Girlfriend)
  • J Mascis, Start Choppin (Where You been)
  • Dave Navarro, Three Days (Ritual De Lo Habitual)
  • Hillel Slovak, Behind The Sun (Uplift Mofo Party Plan)
  • Paul Westerberg, Alex Chilton (Pleased To Meet Me)
  • Alex Lifeson, Red Barchetta (Moving Pictures)
  • Billy Corgan, I Am One (Gish)

Renie adds:

  • David Gilmour, Let’s Get Metaphysical (About Face)

Todd adds:

  • J. Page, Communication Breakdown (Led Zeppelin I)
  • Cesar Rosas (second break), Don’t Worry Baby (Will the Wolf Survive)
  • Ken Bethea, Dressing Room Wall (Wreck Your Life)
  • East Bay Ray, Let’s Lynch the Landlord (Fresh Fruit for Rotting Vegetables)
  • Joey Santiago, Isla de Encanta, (Surfer Rosa)
  • James Honeyman Scott, Tattooed Love Boys (Pretenders)
  • Johnny Marr, How Soon is Now? (Meat Is Murder)
  • Jon Ganelli, The Lipstick Game (The Lipstick Game)
  • Dan “Thunder” Bolton, She’s My Bitch (La Mano Cornuda)
  • Frank Zappa, Watermelon in Easter Hay (Joe’s Garage, Acts II & III)

Got one of your own? One that stops you in the middle of a phone call, or gets you windmilling your air guitar? Let me know.

That’s Sick. My throat is currently feeling rough and gravelly, and my stupid nose won’t stop running. Every time the faucet turns off, I work up a sneeze and the whole thing starts over again. Luckily the company stocks OJ in the fridge, so I’m hosing down the germs with vitamin C from concentrate. Take that, bugs!

Happiness Is A Deposited Check. Ahh, another long-awaited freelance check in the bank. That should help Jen tide over until she gets her first paycheck, and begin to plug up the slow leak in my oh-shit fund. Yee-hah.

Date posted: October 23, 2003 | Filed under friends, house, music | Leave a Comment »

Depending on how we feel this weekend (or at least, how I feel) I may be tackling this project upstairs this weekend. Mmmm. Shiny clean floors. I’m looking forward to making a real difference in the house, as I feel like I’ve gotten stalled in the last week or so.

About Damn Time. Here’s the good news. Congratulations!

Huh. This morning I got a bullshit email from somebody trying to get my Citibank PIN and access number. After getting past the idea that somebody knows my email address and the fact that I have a Citibank account, I went to the Citibank site and within two clicks found a page for reporting suspicious email. After getting past the idea that there’s so much abuse that they need to have a page for this, I was impressed that I was able to find it so quickly.

Return Of The King. OK, I know that Jen loves Aragorn, but after reading this article, I fear she will leave me for a man named Viggo. Hell, I’d marry him. I really enjoyed his candor and common sense. Viggo for President! (Salon will ask you to sit through a 30-second ad to see the whole article, but it’s worth it.)

Date posted: October 23, 2003 | Filed under entertainment, friends, house | Leave a Comment »

following a link on the MacNN site, I found iCal-mail, a handy little helper for all us folks who don’t or can’t use Mail.app as our default client. I use Eudora because it supports APOP, and I’ve always wanted to take advantage of the email alarm feature in iCal—now I can. After a quick install, I tested out the alarm feature and it worked flawlessly. Thanks, Mike.

Colors. Check this link out: it’s a color scheme selector. Very slick.

Huh. Elliott Smith is dead. That sucks.

You Can Leave The City, But You Can’t Leave The Jerks. Somebody broke into (well, opened the door I left unlocked—sorry) Jen’s car last night; they went through her change cup and left the door open. That didn’t make me feel good.

Tasty. Last night Jen and I drove into the city for one of our first catering tastings, at Sascha’s. New to this whole thing, we sat down and went over the menu with our helpful planner Tara, sipped cocktails and sampled a plate of hors d’oveurs. We also met Sascha, who popped in the room with one foot in a cast and the other in a leopard-print boot; apparently she had a slight dancing accident with a cute extra on the latest John Waters movie. We left with a menu selection, a contract, and a pleasant buzz. Next up is the Brass Elephant, scheduled for next week.

Sweet.On other fronts, Apple just announced new G4 iBooks. The fastest model (1Ghz) with Airport and a 60GB drive is a little under $1,500. What a steal. Especially considering this 3-year-old G3 Powerbook (400Mhz), in the configuration it’s at right now, is fetching around $7-800 used on eBay.

Date posted: October 22, 2003 | Filed under apple, life, music | Leave a Comment »

I’m laying in bed with a pair of cats around my feet. I’m typing this on the Powerbook and posting it to the Web wirelessly (admittedly, not using Blogger) while streaming music from the iMac in the other room to my headphones, and IM’ing with John, who is configuring my IP phone remotely from his desk in Portland. Pretty sweet.

I figured out a few things tonight mucking around on the computers.

  • iTunes was not showing up on the PC because I had the firewall blocking all incoming requests to port 3689 (iTunes’ prefered port.) Strangely, iTunes on the iMac told me this but the Powerbook didn’t. Hmmph. Once this was fixed, life was good.
  • I started screwing with LDAP and the Directory Info Manager to see if I could set up services to share Address Book info between machines, but gave that up in favor of simply exporting -> importing the data manually. Someday I’ll figure that out, right after I figure out
  • …iCal, whose calendars can be export -> imported across machines as well. I really want to set the thing up to simply publish/subscribe, but still have had no luck. Because it’s a pain in the ass to do all this manually.
  • I have an HTML file that’s 873KB in size; it’s a table which lists the number/title/artist/size of every song in my master iTunes library. I used a script called iTunes2HTML 1.0, and it worked better than Apple’s Library Summary.
  • Blur’s new album is really good. I’m digging it a lot.

This is the Internet Calling. Just when I was about to give up hope (and was avoiding making the call to ask about it), I got home yesterday evening to find a package on the table from my friend John. A few months ago he promised me a VoIP phone for payment of services rendered—a freelance job we worked on ran out of steam. I opened the box to find a pretty Cisco 7940 IP Phone. I plugged it into my router, waited for it to figure out its network settings, and then my name and the 10-20 logo appeared. I picked up the handset and dialed the house. A moment of silence, and then the house phone rang. Pretty sweet! I surprised my Mom by calling her at work; the call is not unlike talking to somebody in California, where there’s just enough of a delay to screw up your conversational timing.

Jen is feeling punky with the first bug of the season, unfortunately, so she was in bed when I got home. I chose a quiet task upstairs and continued painting trimwork in the Anxious room. I hope she’s feeling better tonight, because we have our first catering tasting downtown. Maybe the promise of good food will help her recover.

continuing to add stuff

continuing to add stuff

Do You Like Good Music. More music added to the server last night; I found a bunch of stuff that didn’t make it over and ripped a few more CD’s. I also installed iTunes on the PC server and loaded the library over there. It’s funny—the PC shows up on the iMac like butter but I get time outs when I try to look at the iMac from the PC. Same behavior that happens here at work (I thought it might be an internal network thing.)

Date posted: October 21, 2003 | Filed under geek, music | Leave a Comment »

Next time somebody offers you a few fudge-covered Oreos, stay away. I had two at lunch and at about 2:30 I crashed harder than a Sunday stock car. Yeesh! What’s in those things, cocaine?

breaktime bag of bulbs, 10/20

breaktime bag of bulbs, 10/20

Busy. This weekend was a pretty busy one, beginning with a shopping whirlwind at the Arundel Mills Mall on Saturday. We’re trying to outfit her for work because she hasn’t been able to buy new work clothes for years (graduate school loans, y’know.) Sunday we combined all our bulbs and planted them, with the help of Sara, who contributed a whole pile of her own. The front and west sides of the house have a total of about 300 tulip, crocus, and mystery bulbs left over from the Doctor’s garden just begging to be dug up and gnawed on by our friendly neighborhood chipmunks.

The Pink room has a second coat of white paint throughout, except for the closet, which has painted wallpaper that will probably have to be steamed off. I also painted the trim in the Anxious room with Kilz, which destroyed another whole lobeful of brain cells.

the migration has begun...

the migration has begun...

Geek Update. The iMac is up and running with a dual OSX-OS9 install on the new 160GB drive—just as a sidebar, they lie; the actual formatted capacity is somewhere around 140GB. Why do they do that? Anyhow, there’s a bunch of checking and moving to be done to get all the separate collections of music in one place, and a pile of CD’s still to be ripped.

Date posted: October 20, 2003 | Filed under house, music | Leave a Comment »