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September 30, 2005

grownup things

Tonight, I called my parents for news about my maternal grandmother, who we all thought was on her last legs. Seems she's not quite there yet, which is good news, I guess.

Additionally, I was asked to take my place in a chain of power of attorney for my other grandmother. Since my dad's siblings are gone, he wants to pass it to me next, if he dies or is unable. "Let's face it, the odds are against me," he said.

Being a grownup sucks.

its an evening...

A long afternoon of shopping for good food... And toys. And then Titans. And Dodgeball. And eurotrip. If I didn't have a migraine, and nala was here, itd be one of the best evenings ever.

September 29, 2005

national geek day

"geek day" in these parts holds meaning for Paul S, Scott R, Ted S, and Nala:

Whedon, Gaiman, and National Geek Day.

the crap that makes it on the air

on my way home from work yesterday (or the day before, i dont remember), i accidentally hit a button on my car stereo that has come to be a gigantic craphole on my radio dial. the song was ending (no idea what it was) but then one of those taped-morning-show-bits came on, and it was the most UNfunny thing/borderline offensive thing I had ever heard. They pulled the Stern show and replaced it with pure dung.

Now, in the media, there's few things I find offensive, and if you know me, you know what they are. But after a bad day at work, the last thing I need to hear on the air is some backwoods jackass hick CALLER talking about how "gerbil village" is a gay ghetto, and that's the only reason any man would want to live there. And the morning show staff agreeing and laughing with her.

I cant even formulate my point here without just a blind tirade, so I'm just going to leave it be. And change that button on my radio to something different. Like maybe newsradio.

September 28, 2005

happy birthday to my 2 favorite filipinas

Courtney P. and Elaine A. actually share a birthday. And it was yesterday, I think.

I miss you Elaine... and your Cartman voice. ("No, Starvin Marvin, that's mah pot pah!") And your Bart Simpson voice. And making fun of customers with you. And watching you get headlocked by a large black female customer... that was priceless. See, out of bad jobs come good stories.

And Courtney, someday I'll actually meet you, but for now, I'll just have to enjoy your photography on Flickr.

read something frakked up

check it. fema criticized for cruise ship deal.

September 27, 2005

swamped, and soggy

no, i'm not describing the latest hurricane damage... i'm talking about work and my sinuses.

i seem to be being attacked by the great goldenrod/ragweed tag-team. and man do i feel icky. on the good side, though, we had a fabulous lunch yesterday at GV Kaffe Haus, and dinner last night with Juice and his long-lost sister Erica at the Japanese Oriental. The food was good and company was better, and, our server was a shy Polish girl.

I remarked to Nala that Erica and Juice share the dry delivery of humor and also both seem to be well-traveled. I have to say, it was good to meet her, and affirm my thinking that the Juice-clan all turned out ok. The other Juice-sibling, Nicky, is in town, too, relatively speaking, visiting in-laws in Athens, under not-so-good circumstances (mom-in-law just had heart-cath/stint surgery) but should soon arrive in Cowtown to actually have a nice visit here.

i'm still oh-so-tired, but now am blaming the congestion.

the work is still stressful, and difficult. this week i'm learning all about network load balancing. FUN. But now, right this minute, I got an email from a manager here telling me I was going to have to work on a project that was previously dropped because it would take too much time.

and, all week, in my "free time", I'm supposed to be migrating the alumni site to Dreamhost.

September 26, 2005

an eventful weekend

drinking with the old boss and two coworkers on Friday, then BSG, and 2 hours of CNN... and started to worry about friend's family in Lake Charles. (He emailed me yesterday, they evacuated last-minute, and he hasnt heard since. He also said he's got family all over the region that got hit. So, as I would be, he's a little worried.) My thoughts are still with them.

All the late-night CNN watching led to a late morning Saturday, then 2 more hours of CNN, and some house-cleaning, and re-watching BSG 2 times, and watching Smallville's season finale. Then Teen Titans (one of the best), and drinks and cookies at A&K's house to watch Justice League and talk both comics and action figures (and Transformers, too) till 12:30 or so...

which led to a late morning Sunday, where I watched Titans and Justice League AGAIN, and BSG again, and the end of Smallville again, and CNN, and then started working on housework again. delivered the Pickles' tent, and a plant (and Kelmeister's brother's $20), then another plant to A&K's, and the chairs and a plant to Mr. & Mrs. T, where I not only got to admire their new couch, new HDTV, and new art, but also walked away with 2 deco prints (for free! THANKS JEN!) While out on the West side, ran to Target for a few things, and then also to the Target on the way back from the T's. Then, I came home, unloaded the truck, and went back out in the rain for groceries to restock Nala's supplies of fruit, veggies, and other assorted low-cal edibles.

I have to say, the most fun I had all weekend was probably planning the week's meals and shopping for decent produce. Well, that is, until Nala got home. And talked. And talked. And talked. He really did have a good time. I hope Evebird did too. He showed me his booty (no, the plastic kind) and talked up the great deals he got. It was like a kid on the first school-day after Christmas -- you know... the one where you tell everybody about your kick-ass presents.

Man, I missed him... and more than ever, I realized how much I do love that man.

September 23, 2005

friday. finally

According to Expedia, Nala's flight landed in Dallas.
I have to go home and let the hoont out to go poopies.
And then, off for beers with the old boss and the most deserving coworker.

Hope to blog more soon, depending on how much I get done this weekend.

September 21, 2005

training over. welcome to the real world.

so, I think I had mentioned I was in training all this week. ASP.NET. The MS 2310 class.

I finished in less than 2 days. BO-RING. Worked ahead. Left early yesterday, couldnt find our account rep, so I went in this morning.

I told her the situation... their reps (2 of them, in fact) told me I needed to take this class. I was bored, worked ahead, didnt learn much, if anything, except the difference between ASP and ASP.NET. Felt like it was totally the wrong class, or needed to be condensed into 2 days.

She's working out scenarios for refund or reallocating days with her boss, and then contacting my boss with solutions. This class was a total waste to someone with 7 years of ASP experience, and SQL experience, and even minimal VB experience.

So. I'm back at work. And it kinda sucks. And I've already got an emergency where I have to work tonight after 8pm (cash register replacement after most of the crazy freshmen have gone away).

September 19, 2005

oh lord I'm bored

Taking the ms 2310 class this week which means I'll be checking email/blogging a lot less this week, but I have some observations:

1) this training facility is da bomb, yo. Not only do we get the usual schwag, but ALSO a catered snack area, and stauf's premium coffees, including my favorite Highlander grog. And a fully stocked fridge full of contraban sodas.

2) the class is going pretty slow. I'm already 3 chapters ahead. Three.

3) if this keeps up I'll be done by wednesday. So bored.

September 16, 2005

sensor? really?

You're Jeka Wynzorr, Sensor!

Which Legionnaire are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

a dream of a host

so, i havent really said much about my transition to dreamhost, but i have to say, even with the widespread power outage in LA, I've had nothing but good experiences so far.

(As always, your mileage may vary. I'm looking at you Sparky).

But, figuring they've got a lot of crap about their service in the past week, I thought I'd send this message to Dallas, just to let him know he had at least one happy customer...

already, Dreamhost is proving to be a much better company than either of my two previous hosts. because of the off-site status page, and the thoughtful processes to make sure everything has a backup plan.
even with the downtime, you've come out ahead, simply by keeping customers informed. at my other two hosting companies, the notices come days late, if ever, and only on their servers (which are down when you need to know what's going on!)
i realize you probably have little to do with the day to day operations, but I thought I would say thanks, and I'm very proud to be a Dreamhost customer at this point.
only one more site to transition, and I'll be free of all the bad hosting providers!

September 15, 2005

fit, i'm not

fyi, (and i cant remember if I blogged this), i've lost between 25 and 35 lbs in the last year. no, i havent gone to the gym. i've simply stopped gorging myself on fast- (and yummy) restaurant food. and i'm sure stress had something to do with it, but definitely being conscious of portions and how much CRAP is in food has had a good effect.

dating a dieter doesnt hurt either.

but, with that, i've decided to re-launch the fitblog. same design, some different inspirations, and the same old lame food entries and maybe a little more of the self-flogging.

you might even see some progress photos. if i get over my camera-shy nature. i wish nala could see how much different his body shape looks. (aside from the jabba and cookout photos).

arachnia is on her way

yeah, i know. call me lame, but one of my favorite animated shows is Beast Wars. so, my latest naming convention for servers is based on characters from the show.

Tarantulas was the first. And, at the time, my coworkers questioned my sanity, because he was alone.
Rhinox is my testing environment (at least for now). He's grey.
Arachnia arrives today. And, she's a Dell, so she's black.

It sure beats names like XYZ1, XYZ2, XYZ3. Which one does what, now? I can't remember.
Gee, it sure would be nice to know what each did...
Tarantulas and Arachnia, you can guess.

In an environment where we have about 30 servers, mine stand out, and folks know what their functions are. The same cant be said for XYZ1 thru XYZ10 or TNC1 thru TNC10.

September 14, 2005

almost there....

only one more blog to import, and it's a small one.

and then, i think i'll be finished for a while.

but for now, i must go home and cook.

not quite there yet

as you can see, things arent quite back to normal.

i'm going to lunch.

more updates when i return from filling my belly with greasy chicken goodness.

September 13, 2005

you've GOT to be kidding me

Ok, Brownie stepped down, and we're left with the guy who told us duct tape and plastic wrap was going to save us from a terrorist attack?

Even CNN found this nearly laughable.

And more praise be to CNN for now addressing the coming economic downturn.

slowing down

i was supposed to be slowing down my posting, but i find myself with a need to post a few things I need to get off my chest. feel free to ignore, as you probably will anyway, since you know none of the folks involved.

one of my teammates on one of the many projects here has had to take 4 days off from work this week. his grandmother died, and he's the only family member who is local. he and his wife, in addition to their baby, will be hosting 14(!) family members, and he simply will be swamped, not only with the funeral arrangements themselves, but with family.

this of course, got me thinking about my own family, and how i missed my grandmother's 88th birthday last thursday. and my great aunt is now on low-dose chemo for the next 4 weeks or so (a total of 6 wks) which is supposed to send her non-hodgkins lymphoma into remission (she's 87 or 88, too). and then there's my other grandmother, who turns 96 next month. long since off ALL of her meds, (almost a year, i think), she now doesn't know names of her kids. she can't see well, anyway, and so facial recognition is probably no help. my aunt went to see her and mentioned my mom by name... "is that one of my children?" she asked... as if my aunt was not related, either.

i want to see her one last time, but am reminded that I DID that already... I said goodbye. seeing her now will do nobody any good, as my mom keeps telling me. she's right, i know.

she's the glue that held that side of our family together. i doubt, with her passing, and that of the rest of her generation, that any family get-togethers will happen again. any visits with cousins or aunts and uncles will be in-passing and an afterthought, and tied with visits to specific cities, not reasons to go.

this is in stark contrast to the other side of the family, where my uncles have both passed away, along with (seemingly) any potential hinderance to relationship building between our families. we can now rally freely around our grandmother without any perceived hostility.

family is such an odd thing.

September 12, 2005

annoyed by apple


1) no power button on keyboard
2) initial startup leads to loud musical number, as well as "Setup assistant"
3) eject for optical drive is now a just a key on the keyboard. i could not find any other place to eject an empty cd tray.


1) easy entry to guts of computer
2) beauty
3) beauty
4) beauty

that's my short list.

September 8, 2005

a numbing afternoon

the more i read (in between tasks at work) about the whole Katrina mess, the more numb I become. not one of us can fathom the stress, the stench, the loss, the panic, the anger... and while i sit here, watching the news, i cannot fathom the gross mismanagement of the organizations whose purpose it is to help these folks.

and the failures of our own government on every level.

it's easy for us, as outsiders, to say "get the hell out of there before you die of some dreadful disease!" or "move somewhere else!" but to so many of these folks, this place was home for generations, and they're clinging to what they know.

these folks no longer have homes, jobs, family, banking or medical records, or even food or clothing. they're tired, dirty, hungry, sleepless, grieving.

but i sit here, numbed by the sheer enormity of it all.

i was talking to a friend of mine in florida who works for one of the major aid organizations, who said she's getting bombarded with calls (and on the street) from folks asking why the agents haven't left Florida to help in New Orleans.

Her answer? Because they're still helping the families who are homeless, shirtless, without power, tired, dirty, and hungry down there. Yes, I said in Florida. Yes, from a year ago. Yes, without power. A YEAR, people.

No, it doesnt quite compare. But, my point is, how soon we forget, and how infrequently we see any followup to disasters in the news, once the immediacy is over.

Mind numbing. Seriously.

three more things...

1) apparently, i had not fully paid to be in the football pool, although i do remember paying. oops. so, my winnings are a -$20 so far.

2) apparently, although nobody told me, i was nominated for a major award. my coworker saw us both mentioned as nominees, and then we skedaddled before the ceremony, because a) we had work to do and b) nobody told us we were nominated and we were dressed inappropriately, should we have had to accept. still awaiting a final verdict.

3) preparing to move gigamatic to a new server. be prepared for some downtime, folks.

another quickie

1) i think Smallville has leapt tall sharks in a single bound, having read spoilers for this season, but also realize I thought this in the past two seasons, too.

2) Scipio's "Aqua Teen Hunk Force" entry at absorbascon has made more than one person do a spit-take.

3) as things settle down around the New Orleans disaster, I hope everyone can get the help they need. and, i hope that we who were not touched by it can help make sure that the same mistakes in leadership do not happen again. (i know, i'm kidding myself, but it's nice to have hope.)

4) I'm buying a megamillions ticket.

5) Server rebuilds suck ass.

6) Arguably, so do company picnics with speeches by retired football stars.

7) We have a shitload of beer in the fridge now. And we dont drink beer, usually. I think it's time for Kristy and Alex to come over and raid it.

8) Back to work I go.

September 7, 2005

glued and unglued

i'm still glued to the coverage of the devastation in and around New Orleans, when I'm home. if I turn it on, I lose large chunks of time. if I don't, I wonder how it's going. i wonder if they'll get everyone out. if people will die from diseases contracted in what newspeople are now calling the "toxic gumbo" of waste that surrounds them. but, oddly, i'm thinking of it in terms of the anthropology and biology classes I took last year... diseases and large, dense populations in filth.

i'm also thinking about how this will affect us as a society. the calls for the heads of Homeland Security officials(?). the requests for the formation of some sort of national natural disaster recovery fund (i waver on my thoughts on this). i wonder about insurance rates going up, right along with the prices of gasoline. i wonder about the economy and the coming depression, and the streets running with blood.

i see spirals in my imaginings, and none of them good. my dad seemed hopeful when i talked to him this weekend... like he thinks this too shall pass. skip, however, seemed to think that it wouldn't be so simple.

it's uncertain, to be certain.

i also think about the kids. and the what-ifs of bringing someone into this messy world. by the time chico, izzy, and the others grow up, what will be left for them?

these are the things that plague my mind, when i should be worrying about plastering and painting. or server rebuilds.

September 6, 2005

just keep the gnomes away

The Underpants Drive

Originally uploaded by TheBrad


Originally uploaded by The Brad.

It seemed appropriate.


thanks to everyone who attended this year's second annual cookout at our place, and brought the 4 tons of food and drink. everything (and I do think I have now eaten a little of EVERYthing) was delicious, and the weather was gorgeous, and the company was fabulous, as usual.

my regrets are as follows:
1) not enough time in the day for socializing with everyone.
2) that my parents left before seeing many folks they knew.
3) that my parents seemed antisocial, when they were really just comfortable being out of the way of two loud and "in control" Polish women.
4) that i didnt get to spend much time with the parents (as they will soon be migrating south for the winter again)
5) that you folks who didnt show missed out on a TON of good food, which I am now being forced to eat by the bushel for the next week, so that Nala can get back on his diet...
6) that some of my closest friends couldnt make it
7) that some who did make it, didnt get to stay longer.
8) that we didnt get more work done beforehand.

It was a perfect day, and thanks to everyone for that.

behind the times

ok, first, i'm sorry. i'm a little behind in my posts.

outrage? check.
sympathy? check.
praise for journalists who finally seem to have grown balls? check.

1) while i am sympathetic to the fine folks of New Orleans, and am well behind the efforts to get them food, clean water, and a roof over their heads, i am here to say i would never want to live in a flood plain, let alone a coastal city below sea level protected by questionable dikes which generally falls in the path of hurricanes.

2) the government/FEMA/local politicians have failed the people of that region in many ways. while i do not believe the lack of interest was racial, it may have been classist, but the proof will probably never surface.

3) i'm hearing talk of not rebuilding the city where it once was. hm. sounds sensible to me, actually, although a sticky (and stinky) situation.

4) a friend told me about an apartment owner in smalltown PA who has offered a free 1 year lease to any displaced New Orleansans(?) who can get there, and who is willing to work either as a handyman or secretary. i hope that more folks can do this, too.

5) anderson cooper (and other cnn folks): congrats on the balls. now keep up the good work.

6) gas hikes: $6/gallon in places? I really am seriously thinking about buying a scooter to get to work and back, because as it stands, it will now cost me $54-55 to fill up, and $110 per month is too much. The $2000 vespa the neighbor is selling looks mighty tempting. Or, my dad said he'd sell me his for $800, which is a vespa clone, and only has 75 miles on the odometer.