Last night I met up with Jason for some drinks in the city. We’ve been following a sort of haphazard schedule with each other for the past six months or so—between work, play, and life, we don’t see each other as much as we used to. I’ve known him for about five years, and he’s grown to be a good friend of mine. When my previous relationship ended, he listened to my boring tales of woe. He’s been my answer guy for software questions (any meeting we have involves at least a half hour of Mac geekery), house tools that I might not have (thanks for the drain snake, my brother), and he posesses a wicked sense of humor that I can’t keep up with. The guy kind of pisses me off, because he’s good at everything he tries.

He’s also in the middle of shedding his worldly posessions, packing what’s left, and leaving Baltimore for the left coast. I’m happy for him, and I only want the best for him and his future, but his leaving fills me with a sense of emptiness.

Now I’m going to go sit in the corner with my woobie.

High Technology, Part 2 or, Stuff You Really Can’t Afford. One of the things Jason is getting rid of is a G4 tower, which is now sitting next to my desk here at work. I think you’ve probably gotten a good deal on a used computer when it comes to you with all of the original packaging—the twist-ties are still in the box with the manuals. It’s older technology at this point (a 400mhz G4 machine in the age of 2Ghz G5 towers) but it’s so much faster than this laptop, I can’t even describe the difference to you. Seeing the OSX screen at a resolution above 1024×768 is a novelty I won’t tire of for a while.

My to-do list is as follows: Back up HD from the iMac to the G4 -> swap HD to G4 -> reformat 160GB drive and partition -> load 10.3 -> load applicatons and data files -> move stuff back from iMac -> wipe iMac drive and load 10.3 -> load applications and music back on iMac. Got all that?

Date posted: March 31, 2004 | Filed under apple, friends, geek | Leave a Comment »

By trade, I’m supposed to be a freelance illustrator, which means people are supposed to call me up and ask me to draw them pictures for stuff. Normally, I’d love to do this all day—sitting around and drawing pictures is something I enjoy immensely. Because that’s not really turning out to be the cash magnet I’d hoped, I got into web design, which turned out to be a much better way to pay the mortgage on time. Unfortunately though, the last time I redesigned my personal site was sometime in 2002, according to my archived files. With a little downtime at work, I’ve been taking the time to rethink my site and start overhauling the content, which has been no small feat.

Today I’ve been listening to Radiohead on repeat for the last couple of hours and have kind of gotten my groove on—the new design idea I had from a week ago is fleshing itself out pretty well into a full-featured site. More to follow in the next few days.

Date posted: March 30, 2004 | Filed under art/design | Leave a Comment »

That’s the first time in a long time that I’ve gone the whole weekend without posting at least something, which should tell you just how busy we were. Friday afternoon we got our taxes done, and while the news was good (I’m getting some serious Federal back while Jen is only paying out a little) it’s still not gonna get us all the way to Venice. From there we met up with some of her now ex-work peeps and got some food at what could loosely be described as a Mexican restaurant—the menu said it was Mexican, and they served margaritas with it, but I’ve had better enchiladas during the stoner shift at the local Taco Bell. (Really, thank you, Casey, we had a great time.)

Saturday we hit the ground running, getting two of the four bedrooms closer to finished. The office is now painted with one coat of Restoration Hardware’s Silver Birch and the trimwork is all replaced, caulked and primed; Jen put a second coat of blue on the wall in the front bedroom and we got two coats of gloss white on the trim. It’s beginning to shape up in there.

Saturday night we met up with the Patron Saint of Bridal Sanity and the Vodka Fairy, who were kind enough to give us a bottle of Hangar 1 to quiet the voices in our heads. From their house we went to the Chameleon Café for a delicious bacon-themed meal and creme bruleé, which was divine.

Sunday morning we hit 9 o’clock mass to sample the guitarist who may be playing at our wedding…let’s just say the drumkit and bass guitar will not be getting a solo at our ceremony. We picked up our rings, which turned out beautifully, and scouted Jen’s interview for Wednesday before returning home for more housework.

Heh. Looks like Jen’s site has been blocked by our governmental friends at Lockheed Martin today; here’s their rationale:

Due to SSA policy limiting personal use of government office equipment including information technology, access to the web site you requested is restricted. Examples of sites considered inappropriate are:

– Hate sites which contain material that ridicule on basis of race, color, sex, national orientation, or sexual orientation.

– Sex sites of an adult oriented or pornographic nature

– Nudity

– Criminal behavior

– Gambling

Let’s see. Check. Check…check…check! Yep, she covered them all! </sarcasm filter> What the hell?

Date posted: March 29, 2004 | Filed under friends, house | Leave a Comment »

Jen has, as of 12:00 this afternoon, left her craptastic job for the last time. Now, to find newer, better employment in a creative atmosphere. Meanwhile, we are both heading to our tax attorney’s office this afternoon to find out just how far in hock to The Man we are. Please keep your fingers crossed for us.

I’m sure that all 589 of these folks would love to hear the tasteless jokes foisted on the attendees of the Radio and Television Correspondent’s Dinner the other night (take a look halfway down the page) by our ignorant, arrogant President (better link).

“Those weapons of mass destruction have got to be somewhere. (Laughter and applause.) “

Really frigging funny, assface. I don’t know what’s worse, however—him making the joke, or all those lazy, worthless pricks laughing at it. Curious how I can’t find a whole lot about it on U.S. based sites right now, but had to find a link to it from the Guardian.

Date posted: March 26, 2004 | Filed under politics | Leave a Comment »

Not much to write about today. I must be on the downleg of a sugar crash (thanks to Heather for strawberry-rhubarb goodness) because I’m running on two cylinders right now.

Among the many things going on right now, besides wedding stuff, house stuff, and work stuff, is another attempt at redesigning this site. I’ve been working with this design for about three years now, and I’m getting tired of the format. I’ve tried several times to work up a new look but never have been happy with the results.

Date posted: March 25, 2004 | Filed under art/design, general | Leave a Comment »

Ever since I started dating Jen, I learned a lot of things that I hadn’t figured out in three previous relationships and several catastrophic dating experiences; when I met her, I was a 22-year-old with 17-year-old tendencies trapped in a 29-year-old body. Among the many vices and character flaws I sported like a superhero utility belt was the infuriating ability to coast through life with little regard for other people’s feelings. My loving family could sit you down and relate a lifetime’s worth of stories to this effect, and I won’t even mention the volumes of examples Jen could tell you about. Instead, I’ll point to a current issue, and attempt to apologize for my ignorance. You see, when it comes to uncomfortable issues, I have a reflexive habit of sidestepping the whole thing and burying my head in the sand. As you can guess, this is one of the more infuriating character flaws I have, and it’s probably the first one that my fiancée would cite as she stood over my unconscious body with the frying pan.

So I should clarify my post from yesterday: I suggested we put the moratorium on further invitees to our wedding, and she suggested I shut the f**k up and pay attention to what she’s been telling me for three months: we’re over our limit, and only a miracle (or the Almighty) will help us sneak in under or at the budget. My loving fiancée has been wrestling the budget since the beginning, and while I look at it, nod, and blink, she can (and has) recalled the exact figure for the postage on the save-the-date cards like Dustin Hoffman in Rain Man.

In an effort to make right what has been screwed up, I offer my apology in this public forum: Forgive me for making myself ignorant of this issue, and making light of it here in public.

In other news, here’s a great link on the 10 Things They Never Taught In Design School. (via kottke) In heavy rotation on the iPod: Lapdance by N.E.R.D. This track makes me want to buy a drum kit and rock out in the garage.

Date posted: March 24, 2004 | Filed under life, links | Leave a Comment »

I got a call out of the blue last night from my old buddy Pat, who has finally joined the rest of us here in the 21st century online. When he saw the word “wedding” on my website he tracked me down to find out if it was true. Of course, I had to ask him to come, even though our guest list is bigger than Oprah at a buffet table. After I got off the phone Jen and I agreed that the cutoff has arrived, meaning that even if the Almighty shows up at the front door with a gift-wrapped blender, we’re going to have to turn him away.

Poor Jen has lost about a month’s worth of sleep worrying over the budget for this party; despite using all her best ju-jitsu on the assorted line items, the total figure gets larger and larger—even after cutting half the ‘normal’ wedding stuff, foregoing a rented location, and sneaking our invitations on press for free. We looked at last week’s numbers after talking with Pat and took a cold bucket of reality to the face.

It also looks like Italy is out as a honeymoon destination. Instead, I made some calls last night to price out a ten-day stay in Tahiti, which is surprisingly affordable. Postscript: A ten-day stay in Venice is cheaper than an eight-day stay in Tahiti. We have more deciding to do.

Speaking of affordable, getting paid would really be good right now.

Date posted: March 23, 2004 | Filed under friends, travel | Leave a Comment »

Today marks the beginning of the fourth year of this humble weblog. Three years ago I sat down at my desk in Washington, and, without a project to work on, wrote a brief entry about coats. Who would have known just how different life would be since then?

I posted a new picture of the office this morning. It doesn’t look all that different, but you’ll see a dramatic change in another week or so when the trim gets painted and the walls get a finish coat.

We may have a photographer for our little party in May—a friend recommended a friend whose portfolio looks very good. The decision has not been made final, but I think it would be money well spent, even if we have to put some stuff in hock to afford it.

Date posted: March 22, 2004 | Filed under history, house, life | Leave a Comment »

Saturday we made about a zillion wedding-related calls, and got no callbacks (except for one email from the photographer, who we probably won’t be able to afford anyway), so we ran out to pick up paper for the invitations (which look damn good, thanks to my fiancée ) and then back to clean the house for the Big Watosh, who came up to get fitted for his tuxedo. We had a great time with him— you know you’ve got Captain Lockard, USN (Retired) in a good mood when he’s joking about trying on a pair of pink pumps at the shoe store. After a meal at the local Irish pub, we began the process of building the invitations, which involved doing battle with X-Actos —not a simple task when you consider our track record—and double-sided sticky tape.

Today Jen finished up the invites and contemplated what to do with the other 9,960 still in the box, and then wrestled with the budget. I got the office sanded and put a coat of Kilz on the walls to seal it all, then moved into the blue room to finish installing the kickplates. Finally, I started stripping the wallpaper from inside the closet in the pink room, which is about 1/2 done. I’ll update pictures tomorrow.

I guess I should also mention that I submitted a link to BoingBoing, one of my favorite aggregator sites, last Wednesday. For my birthday, they posted it: a page I put together a couple of years ago featuring some pictures Pat and I took in Oklahoma back in 1992 during a road trip westward. The link was inspired by a previous post featuring some other wacky homemade signs on a different site.

That had to be the most X-Files moment of my life; Pat was driving and I had him pull over on the shoulder so that I could shoot some film. I got about half a roll before he told me the fuzz was heading towards us, and in a rare moment of sanity we beat it on out of there. I had always wondered what that story was all about, until I found the Roadside America link which explained a little more in detail. Spooky stuff, my friends.

Date posted: March 21, 2004 | Filed under history, links | Leave a Comment »

I went to the Baltimore County courthouse this afternoon to pick up our marriage license. The whole experience reminded me of a trip my father and I took when I was about 14 to go see the battleship Massachussetts in Fall River. The government had towed this huge monster into the harbor and opened it up for tours to the public, which meant legions of Cub Scouts got to overnight on the ship and scratch their initials into the walls. It had this smell that I’ve found unique to Navy ships: a curious mixture of fire-retardant paint and disinfectant, with a flowery bouquet of asbestos.

The county courthouse is a big cement building filled with tired gray marble and Carter-era brown furniture. It wasn’t until I stepped into the elevator that I made the olifactory connection: It had the same dull gray government paint smell as the battleship. Upstairs in the hallway outside the Clerk’s office, big signs in Times Roman announced the hours civil ceremonies would be performed, and several expectant couples milled around the waiting area. I stood on line behind a young Jewish man with a shock of red hair under his yarmulke as he and his bride got their license. A short woman shuffled slowly out of the ladies’ room past me in a silky dress with a garment bag over her arm. She padded over to the benches in stocking feet and waited with a plump man in a trucker’s vest and bluejeans, talking quietly together.

The Jewish couple turned to leave, and I wished them good luck; they both blushed and smiled nervously, holding hands. The clerk was professional and courteous, and within five minues I had a copy of our license in my hand. Leaving the building, I passed several knots of people in the waiting area: the short couple, a gaggle of Asian folks, dressed impeccably and holding flowers, and a man in a Member’s Only jacket talking excitedly in a Slavic language to a group of serious-looking family.

Date posted: March 19, 2004 | Filed under life | Leave a Comment »