Huh. Interesting.

I’m in a funky mood today, and don’t feel much like writing. Have a good weekend.

Date posted: July 16, 2004 | Filed under links | Leave a Comment »

Not that I’m that kind of person, but I took about four hours last night scanning and sharpening forty more wedding photos to post for our scattered family members. Because there are so many of them, ( 82 at last count, 5.8MB worth, and I ain’t done yet) I can’t post them here for fear of the server getting hammered, so if you’re dying to see some, leave me a comment below and I’ll email you the link offline.

New Music. I’ve recently become aware of, and addicted to, a number of audioblogs—sites dedicated to semi-obscure music not given lots of mainstream attention; there are a few favorites so far. I also found the audio secion of the Internet Archive, which has a pile of good live recordings by favorite bands such as Soul Coughing and Lake Trout. Check it out.

Random Car Junk. This morning there was a beautiful wine and gold colored Citro‘n 2CV parked in our neighborhood; I didn’t have my camera with me, unfortunately. There was also a blue MGB parked further down the road with a “For Sale” sign in the window—not that we could afford one, but it’s sure nice to dream. Also, our neighbor gave me his folder of records for the Jeep, and something even more valuable: the Haynes repair guide for the Cherokee. Where the Chilton’s books are Cliff’s Notes, the Haynes books are the Expanded Annotated Illustrated King James Bible of repair books (unless you shell out the big bucks for the Chilton’s shop manual.) I read through the first chapter of the Jeep book last night and learned more in five minutes than a week of puzzling over the alternative.

On the list for purchasing this payday: Web Standards Solutions. I’ve been looking for a good book to dive into for getting further into CSS page design (this site will be redesigned soon), and it looks like this might be the one. (via dominey)

Date posted: July 13, 2004 | Filed under books, cars, links, music, photography | Leave a Comment »

Thanks again to Todd and Heather for a wonderful evening of tasty food, good folks, and a slideshow presentation on Rome—they offered to host a honeymoon show-and-tell at their place with drinks and dinner. It was great to get a cross-section of our friends together in one house and get them talking to each other; it’s funny how there’s so much overlap between each couple. I kept the DVD presentation under fifty slides and tried not to bore everybody too much, and it seemed to go over very well.

Progress. Ever since college, I’ve lived out of containers as varied as milk crates, cardboard boxes, laundry baskets, and tupperware. My laundry has been organized in free-standing piles for as long as I can remember. Currently, ¾ of it sits out in the doctor’s office, a sizeable percentage of which is laying on the exam table. It’s a drag to have all of your clothes on another floor from the bathroom, especially when it’s wintertime and the porch is about 40°. This weekend, Jen and I decided to follow one of the millions of tag sale signs around Catonsville, and it led us to a $50 mahogany dresser, with five big drawers and two small ones on top. I feel like an adult again.

Other developments: Jen reorganized the whole kitchen, which was a herculean undertaking: not only did she dispose of two garbage bags full of old/bad food from our shelves, but she was able to fit most of the crap spread throughout the room into the new pantry. There are shiny new recycling bins lined up under the shelves, the cat food is out from underfoot, and it’s now possible to see all the cans at one time (the rack on the back of the basement door is gone.) She also sorted and culled our varied collection of pots and pans without mercy—the Goodwill is gonna have a big delivery coming.

Meanwhile, I got a coat of primer on about 90% of the back of the house before the game got called on account of weather. I’ve got the formula for successful paint spraying down, and the job should go much quicker now.

Sunday night we were invited to a barbecue down the street at our neighbors’ house, where we met another! couple! under! the! age! of! thirty! After the introductions, we all stood around silently for fifteen minutes, marveling at the novelty of it all, and then got along famously. Good food, good company, and a late evening—we left at midnight and walked home, full and happy.

Monday Links. iPod resources. | Junkheap rocketship. | Morriseydance.

Date posted: July 12, 2004 | Filed under friends, house, kitchen, links | Leave a Comment »

Apparently, the Great Email God is mad at me, or my Dad sent another one of his 400-MB picture-laden files, because my server has shut itself down like a bank on a holiday. So if I’m not getting back in touch with you today, it’s not because I don’t love you.

Finally, after one abortive attempt, I got a copy of Retrospect for the Mac (a backup/archival utility) and loaded it on the server at home. Tonight I’m going to back up the entire work volume and then set up a script to do the same every week. I can’t tell you how many copies of file upon file I have, in a frantic attempt to never throw anything away (this includes freelance work from eight years ago, written on software I probably can’t run anymore), or how many times I’ve backed up the same file only to have lost all copies of it in some brainless mixup. Onward, men, to the twenty-first century!

Currently on heavy rotation: The Postal Service. 45 minutes of pure electro-pop bliss. I love this album more each time I listen. (Nothing Better is about as close to bittersweet breakup perfection in a song as I have ever heard.)

Random Links. Atlanta Time Machine. (via kottke) | Wonder what her husband thinks?

Date posted: June 30, 2004 | Filed under housekeeping, links, music | Leave a Comment »

For cold A/C that doesn’t overheat the engine. For working electrical components that don’t flake out randomly. For a tape deck that works. For two cupholders that don’t block the radio. For four working speakers. For comfortable bucket seats that don’t lean. For a hatchback. For a trailer hitch, and the wiring to support it. For a full-sized spare. For a center console. For a factory roof rack. For peace of mind.

At the risk of totally maxing out my bandwidth this month, I’m going to post a bunch of wedding pictures for everyone to look at. This is the first batch—I’m on the eighth envelope out of twenty-six, so there will be more to come.

Accessories. Now that I have a new vehicle with a working tape deck, I need to pick up a few things for the iPod: An auto adapter ($19.95), so that I don’t run the batteries down (and there’s two power jacks in the Jeep!) as well as a new protector ($20) and dock ($30) so that the iPod stays off the floor. Will I be buying any of this anytime soon? Not likely, but that’s why it’s called a wish list. (While I’m at it, let’s just add this to the list.)

Date posted: June 25, 2004 | Filed under cars, links, photography | Leave a Comment »

You, my loyal readers, have suffered through four years of complaints about my cars—between the soggy love affair with the Scout and the love/hate relationship with the Taurus, you’ve glazed over during my tirades, love letters, repair bills and sob stories. Age and rust have caught up with the Scout, rendering her muffler-less last August during our move to the country. She sits in the driveway, waiting for the Big Bag Of Money to drop from the sky. Meanwhile I’ve sweated through two years of increasing unreliability from the Ford as the transmission slowly ground itself into a spinning nubbin, praying to the Sky Bully (new favorite phrase) to get me home without breaking down on the shoulder of I-83 or somewhere along North Avenue. Yesterday afternoon, I was treated to three unscheduled stops on the side of 695 after being forced to slow in traffic quickly; each time the transmission decided it had had enough and forgot where second gear was. Meanwhile, the heater must be run at full blast to keep the engine from starting a car-b-que.

So it is with great pleasure that I announce a new vessel in the Lockardugan Home Fleet: a 1998 Jeep Cherokee. It has about eight of the ten things I was looking for in a replacement vehicle:

Wants Gots
Cargo space (preferably a pickup) Not a pickup, but more room than the Taurus
4-wheel drive check
4 doors 2 doors
V6 engine check
good gas mileage (shudder) 16 mpg
Toyota (shudder) Jeep
dual airbags check
stick automatic (drat!)
working A/C check!
Inexpensive check

It is also with great pleasure that I announce we have met our first neighbors aged under 70, who sold us the truck. M and S have two young boys, live in one of the houses I’ve lusted after from afar, and strike us as genuinely nice people. We’re looking forward to getting to know them over for dinner this summer.

At the risk of spitting in the eyeball of Providence, it kind of came together perfectly. S put signs in the windows and parked the Jeep on the street last Friday morning; I saw it while limping the Tortoise home that evening, and Monday night we were test-driving. Superstitious fool that I am, I hope the Jeep serves us as well as the Ford (say what I will, that car paid for itself, every penny) and that our new neighbors don’t run screaming into the hills when they get to know us.

Encapsulated Reviews. To the 5 Boroughs: Same as it ever was, like a new version of Hello Nasty. Velvet Revolver: Slash Temple Pilots. Modernized 80’s metal. Shuggie Otis: trippy 70’s funk. A soundtrack to your own personal selfsploitation movie. Big Star: The original. A blueprint for most garage bands that followed. The Killers: Retro-disco rock, not unlike your Franz Ferdinand.

Date posted: June 23, 2004 | Filed under cars, friends, links, music | Leave a Comment »

You may be wondering if this is one of those boring posts where I complain about being tired. The answer would be no, my snarky friend; this is where I complain about being really fucking tired. Three weeks of getting up at 7:15 to freelance for two hours, getting in to work and crunching through the world’s most over-complicated game, and returning to the house to pit my scrawny back against a long list of physical labor (why, oh why did I think I could get both the dining room and living room painted in one day? Stupid Dugan) until the beginning of Late Night has got your humble host fighting to keep his eyes open. There are many reasons I’m pushing this hard, one of which is the promise of a Big Fat Check waiting on our return from Italy to help pay for the trip (Memo to self: upon return, transfer balance on credit card with ridiculously high interest rate to competing card with 6-month intro rate.)

We got the seating list made up last night, which was one of those tasks we were avoiding like VD; I think we were able to wrestle all 58 people onto 6 tables without leaving anybody stranded. For a while it looked like there was one table that was going to be a large dead space (I took the opportunity to draw a skull and crossbones above it on Jen’s diagram) but we broke it up to where each table should be evened out and everyone should have a good time.

The next iteration of the music list is live, although iTunes on my Pismo was hiccuping to the point where I had to trash the prefs file and rebuild the whole thing. All is better now. Thanks for all your suggestions! Also, thanks to Rob for the first music struck off the list on the right. The Shins are excellent, and it’s great to have some Smithereens again.

Random Fun Links. This is brilliant: Daily Reason to Dispatch Bush. | A size-based aggregator for Google news.

Date posted: May 18, 2004 | Filed under house, links | Leave a Comment »

rhodedendron, front yard (pray that they will still be in bloom on the 22nd), 5.13.04

rhodedendron, front yard (pray that they will still be in bloom on the 22nd), 5.13.04

I got out of the Tortoise yesterday and was not more than a step from the driver’s door when I heard the Judge calling to me from across his yard. He came over to fill me in on the excitement; apparently between his call to 911 and our neighbor’s, the suspect was caught, taken to the lockup, and later confessed to B&E. Hopefully his buddies in the getaway car (who were not apprehended) will get the word out that Frederick Road is not an easy mark.

He also mentioned that a local antiwar group is planning a commemoration of the Catonsville 9 protest of 1969 next Monday. Being a purple-hearted ex-Marine, and firmly in favor of the ongoing conflict, he’s going to meet up with a bunch of his friends and go observe the proceedings. Tactfully, I did not mention my disapproval of the war.

Following Up. It seems that manufacturer’s claims about the some info for pruning extra fonts if you’re running OSX; Jen and I have a collection of about 1 gig of fonts, and keeping them organized is more than a little work. For anybody following along, here’s the final shot in the series of house update photos for the blue room. And finally, I added a randomizer script for the home page of this site about a month ago; if you refresh your browser you’ll get a series of four different shots (with more to be added later.)

Date posted: May 13, 2004 | Filed under friends, house, links, photo | Leave a Comment »

You may have read over on my dear fiancee’s blog about her mother reminding Jen that it’s not too late to back out of this little wedding thing we’re planning. While I’m thankful that she’s so concerned for her daughter’s well-being, I’m still trying to recall the reasons we decided against eloping. Jesus Fucking Christ. Maybe we can get on the plane to Italy tonight…?

Last night I copied some code from somebody else’s site and added the Google search down there on the left, so if you’re so inclined, you can plug in funny words and see if they show up on bill dugan dot com. (Much handier than leafing through months of log entries to look for that one link…)

Random Fun Links. For all those folks who are too scared to actually live in the city. (via the morning news) Fix your Pismo. (via slashdot)

Date posted: May 9, 2004 | Filed under family, housekeeping, links | Leave a Comment »

Opening this website may send you back thirty years or so, to the age when public television was the place you could plop your kid in front of for an hour and expect him or her to learn Spanish with no fear of commercial shills. The opening sound totally brought me back in time, and I expect it’ll do the same for most of you—make sure you have speakers/headphones on. (via boing boing)

Another awesome link, and one that I will abuse when I have discretionary income again: American Science and Surplus. I need a surplus radiation detector. I need a collection of Pyrex beakers. I need a 90 VDC 15-amp motor.

Date posted: April 20, 2004 | Filed under history, humor, links | Leave a Comment »