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January 31, 2007

holy terabyte, batman

speaking of platforms, i found a couple deals at one of my favourite online vendors which made me quickly want to drop some cash (as if I had any).

first, a barebones pc with an AMD 2.6GHz dual core x64 chip on a hell of a motherboard with 800/1000 MHz front side bus, dual gigabit LAN, support for up to 4GB of 32-bit memory, 2 PCI Express X16 Slots, 5 SATA II connections, 2 PATA/IDE connections, 4 PCI slots, all sorts of RAID capabilities, a 500 watt power supply, and a killer cooling fan, for $550.

They're also running a sale on 500GB 7200RPM 16MB cache SATA drives for $150 and 1GB PC3200 RAM for $89/stick. And they've got several video cards on special, too, but I have no idea what's good anymore.

Actually, I have no idea if anything here is good. It just sounds so much faster than what I have at work, it made me drool for a little while.

standardizing on a "platform"

i just got email from flickr telling me that they'll be forcing "old skool" members to become yahooligans by mid march. yes, i know, i pay $25 per year for a "beta" service, and since they're owned by yahoo now, i should expect this. but you know what? i dont like yahoo. i dont like their search engine, i dont like their hub, i dont like their email, i dont like their chat, and i dont like their version of blogging.

so, that's got me thinking along the same lines as yesterday's post, but about using web tools and standardization. i found out a friend has a "vox" account (which seems to be the next big thing, looks a lot like yahoo 360, and makes me secretly want to hurl, like livejournal.). Yes, I realize it's sixapart, and they made movabletype. they also made typekey. and they merged/bought/whatever livejournal. which makes me hurl. google has its own googlepages, and who owns blogger now? google. this makes me grumble, too, but hey, blogger was pretty good back in the day. i could've sworn yahoo bought sixapart, (which would explain why vox looks like 360), but I can't find any evidence (and I'm not going to spend all morning.)

as these large companies (yahoo and google) battle for control of the interwebs, their toolsets get bigger and bigger, almost becoming software suites (i use google docs and spreadsheets already, love their email, and am tempted by picasaweb, since my family uses that already.) i love the control i have from movabletype and am hesitant to move to anything i don't control myself. i was hesitant with flickr, too, but ease of use and feature sets won me over, just like i moved from home-grown to blogger to greymatter to movabletype.

i guess i should find a comparison of flickr vs picasa(web) and go from there. i noticed jessie (over at contrasts.net) still publishes his galleries locally and a version to flickr, as well. not sure the benefit of that, though.

oh, and i'm ditching at least one domain name this month. i never used it because i never had time. the other gets used constantly, but i was thinking of doing an upgrade. i should see what my "users" (people whose blogs i host) think about a slight domain change and whether they'd like to migrate to wordpress.

January 30, 2007

a good kisser

so, i caught up with taokodr a little bit, earlier today before his job interview. apparently, talking to my coworkers afterward, it went well. we were reminiscing about a lot of people we both knew here in the dept (for instance, our sales manager walked by, and she and he shared a moment of recognition... back when he worked here before, she was a secretary) but a lot of them had moved on, or been shuffled to a different department.

i didnt tell him anything that would help him in the interview, and it doesn't sound like he needed it. when the boss asked me (later) what i knew about him, i said he was reliable, trustworthy, and knows SQL like the back of his hand. and he has a thirst for knowledge.

the one thing I didnt tell them was that my sister thinks he's a good kisser. i didn't think that would help his chances much.

email addresses

i realized sometime recently that i've had the same personal, family friendly email address for almost 10 years. 10 years in june, in fact. it's the one i've used for years for "official" email, correspondence with companies, school, and family.

with the advent of gmail, and the insanity of free email with huge storage capacities, and antispam filtering, i've thought a lot about migrating away from my old official address to something new. in the past, the idea of email address permanence hindered my decisions when considering new cable television offers, since my address is tied to my cable provider. having to get a new one is just such a hassle.

so, i've migrated some of my less official email to the same address i use when subscribing to things which may send me junk. i'm trying to decide whether to build an "official" gmail address to use. the problem is guessing every "official" site which doesnt regularly send me email. i migrate as the email comes in, but then i still hesitate when it comes to government sites or taxes or things like that. why am i hesitating? is gmail less safe? no. not really.

and then what of the address? what should it be? that's another thing. currently there are so many people with my name (not quite the level of "johnsmith," mind you) that i frequently get misaddressed mail which i do not enjoy having to reply to ("It's girl scout cookie time!" -- "Oh really? Are they made from real girl scouts?"). Yes, I'm an asshole. I didn't reply to the one I got from the church where the other "John Smith" (JohnSmith1) goes. I'm not THAT much of an asshole.

and that brings me to another point... i'm not certain i want to stay at gigamatic, either. it's not exactly family friendly, and it's not coworker friendly, and i guess, it's not that friendly at all. and, that's starting to be important to me again. it's evident in my coursework (as i approach graduation) that the nature of my classes now includes a LOT of web work, and a lot of personal and professional writing, but mostly professional in tone. i would never give a professor the address to this site, nor would i give a future employer access to this site. i certainly wouldn't give my parents or extended family access to this site either. i'm sure that says a lot about my own insecurities, but that's the truth.

my life from 10 years ago is falling away. the friends from that era can be counted on one hand, and they all will know me wherever i go. i was in a very different place, and while i miss it sometimes, i'm very glad where i am now, and only wish i was closer to graduation and "permanent" employment.

watching my own family change email addresses from one domain to another to another, and to get hired by one large mega corporation only to start his personal email on another's site made me think about my personal and professional faces, and start down this road.

maybe i will find that happy medium, but until i do, i'm stuck with 2 addresses.

January 29, 2007

fine. just fine.

my cold seems to be gone, finally, but the congestion remains. i went to the doc about this a year ago, and they basically gave me stuff to dry it all up, which, of course, gave me nosebleeds. so, i'd rather suffer, having tried various home remedies and overthecounter meds, and a couple of prescribed sprays.

i have no patience with doctors who don't attempt to solve the problem but just throw whatever the cool new drugs are at the symptoms. i'm sure that's what they all do these days, but i just dont have the patience to go back AGAIN AND AGAIN because the doc didnt listen to what my symptoms were, and prescribed a drug for something completely different.

i'm stressing out again. my back is in a great deal of pain. this HAS to be what it is. it came on when the server died, and again today, when it died this week. i am losing my mind. and i'm losing my patience with management who didnt listen to our recommendations and insisted we do what they wanted, no matter if we told them it wouldnt work. it didnt work, and here we sit, still without email.

angry. seriously.

oh, and i called phone company S to pay off my cancelled account. they said they owed ME $71 and would be paying it in 30 days or less. does that mean I cant buy a phone for another 30 days? OMG I AM SO FRUSTRATED.

and i'll be in class tonight, bored agai. i have to do something class related, so if he catches me not paying attention, at least i'll be doing something he can't ding me for. and I have to be there for attendance points. getting home at 8 kills me, though. it'll be hot dogs for dinner, i think.

cramps between my shoulder blades. fuckers.

another monday in hell

our email and calendaring server went kaputt again on Friday, and despite someone having worked on it all weekend it's not back today, yet. because management wanted it done a certain way. if i were the guy working on it, i'd have a migraine right now. as it is, i'm sitting on the edge because i'm his second in command, as it were, and i'm fending off all the angry phone calls.

this weekend was a very cracky weekend, and i spent way more than i intended, to the tune of about $100 between food and gas and toys. that's $100 that should be going to pay for the furnace repairs. ah, well. money will just be tight for another month.

i've budgeted very tightly to maximize savings for the (hopefully) spring move.

i went laptop shopping this weekend (again) and toyed around with the idea of a $700 wintel laptop. but, it's still there, on the shelf. i remember being this way last time i bought one, 5 1/2 years ago. sizing them up, over and over. i keep thinking about this particular one, or one like it, around $700-800. the shelves seemed to be quite empty around the city, and we stopped at Best Buy so I could at least play with a couple to get a feel for their speed and responsiveness... but Best Buy's displays are empty. They clearanced all the XP machines and can't put Vista machines out till Tuesday, so no buying for anybody. Thanks, I'll take my business elsewhere, Stupidus Dickus.

And I realized, at least in my mind, I'm a total dick, btw. Every time I see a big fat jabba in one of those handicapped shopping cart scooters, I want to say "If you'd get up and walk, you might lose a pound or two" -- having watched them waddle in from the parking lot. Our society accepts fat as a handicap, and makes it easier for these lazy fucks to just stay that way (and get bigger, and then whine and complain and have surgery to make them eat less) rather than do something about it themselves.

Even better are the fat people in scooters talking on cellphones knocking shit off shelves. Fuck you.

And you, the man who knocked everything off the bottom shelf into the aisle and didnt even turn around to pick it up? Fuck you too. When did that become someone else's job? You blocked the whole damn aisle, asshole.

And teens wearing belly shirts in 10 degree weather? Put some damn clothes on, whores. It doesn't make you look hot, it makes you look DUMB. And hitting on guys old enough to be your dad? Not cool, either. Granted, it was W-Mart, so the average shopper's IQ is like, 75...

And you, with the 4 kids, all of whom are screaming "I WANT A TOY! I WANT A TOY! I WANT A TOY! I WANT A TOY! I WANT A TOY!" fucking smack them and tell them to be quiet before I do. Because once I'm done with them, I'm coming after you, you sorry excuse for a parent. Discipline is a good thing. Keep your hands and arms within the cart at all times, and do NOT scream at any time unless you want to be made a spectacle of -- which will include a spanking, in public.

And you, society who says spanking goes too far? Fuck you, too. Sometimes only that will work. And it only has to be done once or twice. Ever.

I'm sick of being a nice guy. I just want to be a dick for a while.

January 22, 2007

fed up

i'm getting kind of fed up with my cell phones.

let me explain.

first, for those of you who don't know, my house is a dead spot, or nearly dead spot, for all carriers. totally annoying. can't reliably make a call, and thus it drives up our long distance bill on the land line.

both carriers (S & T, for my phone and my sidekick) have increased charges for insurance. between the two, I'm paying $15/month for coverage where my deductible is more than the current value of the phone. or most phones that I would want.

i dont need frills. i dont need a cameraphone. i dont need texting. i dont care about music or ringtones, really. or games. i just need a phone with a directory and that's it. and i need it to work in lots of places, including remote locations, and preferably all over town.

so, i'm looking. i could stay with S and get a new phone, for free, and bump my plan down a notch to save $10/month, but be stuck for 2 years. Of course, that's the standard, now. And I could cancel my T service with the sidekick. I might even be able to sell it on eBay.

That saves me almost $40/month right there. I even found a modern phone that would work. But, there's also a stupid activation fee. Another option, via Amazon, would be to stay with S, cancel T, move my T number to S, update my plan, get a kickass phone, and make $150 because of excessive rebates. tempting.

It's all so complicated, and I haven't even put all the details down here. And I've spent all day debating.

So... I took the first step. I cancelled my S service, and transferred that number to T. That saves me $55ish every month, for now. Once I find a new phone and plan with S, I'll take that number with me again, and have a new phone, and, if I go thru Amazon, $150 extra, to boot.

I have to wait till Wednesday, though, once the number is transferred, and with my luck, the $150 offer will be dead by then.

note to self re: biscuits

garlic cayenne pepper-jack biscuits
do not eat a whole dozen of these in one sitting.
they may taste awesome, but you'll pay.

January 17, 2007


it's wednesday, and i'm still sick. if i dont feel better by tomorrow, our trip to see spectro in cleveland will have to wait. unfortunately, i'm back to work today, though not sure how productive i will be. the medicine the doc gave me aint doin squat. docs dont listen anyway -- they just throw meds at you and hope you dont die.

oh, and the meds i'm on (get this) can make you moody. HA de fuckin HA. I've been in full bitch mode for days, which is normal, but even I noticed I'm a full-on ... well, lets just say I'm less than pleasant. And I'm dying to call the doc back and say "f*ck you."

tons of homework. fucktons even. I wont even get home till 7:45ish tonight and I've got two writing assignments due tomorrow. and a shitload of reading, too.

welcome to January.

Gotta call the dentist and the auto shop today, too. Oh, and vacuum out the furnace tonight. It quit twice yesterday.

January 12, 2007

a new family member...

baby F was born last night @ 2:30am Eastern time. 19 1/2", 7lb 2oz, and a week late.
named after my grandmother, this was very cool news.
now I've got to get the quilt sent out.

good thing mom's starting on another quilt, because we also just found out this morning that a certain ex-ho friend of ours is now expecting.

January 8, 2007

other new year's crap

well, it's time for my annual trip to the optometrist, too, and a perfect opportunity for me to get some new, stylish glasses. our vision care at work isnt the best, but it's ok. i still have to pay for a contact lens fitting, AND the retinal scan for my "freckle". frames and lenses arent fully covered, but they are reasonable.

i also have to go back to my dentist and get a cavity filled from before christmas. i put it off because it's between teeth and they have to drill thru the top to get there. and it'll cost me $160, because our dental plan seems to not cover the whole thing.

and then there's my truck. it's due in for 20,000 mile service, and it's got yet another recall repair, AND it goes off warranty next month. fun.

welcome to the new year!

real life vs. crack life.

That's it. I'm done being a completist.

DC Direct is a line which will (theoretically) never end, as long as there are comics and fools who will buy heroes' likenesses in poorly painted plastic.

I realized all the other lines I collect are finite, and will end (or have ended). That one will not.

I will now focus any DC Direct purchases, and sell off the rest. It will be hard for me to part with them, and I will most definitely have lost money (I opened practically everything), but I need to rid myself of those things that are taking up space that I either am tired of walking around, or find myself caring more about money and living comfortably and having the nice things (dining room furniture, a new bed, a new laptop, closing costs on a new home) that selling those things (and not buying them to begin with) can bring to me.

Yes, I will still buy the occasional favorite character, or something that catches my eye, but all of the crazy extras? No more.

And yes, I realize there are still JLU and Titans and The Batman, and BTAS and STAS figures I don't have. This rule does not apply in those cases, or to the upcoming Legion of Superheroes animated line, unless those figures are butt ugly. Mass market figures are still cheap.

January 3, 2007

poop. literally.

i was cutting it short on time again today... and of course, again, hoont had an accident. i'm still not sure what he's eating that's different/bad, but something certainly is.

no more hoont poop this week!

today starts my long days @ work. i could be getting home tonight when nala is already in bed, depending on when my class lets out.

January 2, 2007

back in the new year

yes, i'm back.

glass city was kind of fun, but getting there and back averaged out the fun-factor to a zero level. nalamom continues to overspend, but has managed to (over the last couple years) slowly decrease the amounts. gigaparents spend the same amounts as always, which is good, because it's not too much. the best parts of christmas were (of course, as usual) the kids and the food. something about watching kids open (and play with) their toys while grinning from ear to ear makes it fun. and family poking fun at each other, of course.

i've been performing long distance tech support with the gigaparents. their old windows 95 computer is going away, and i've been helping them back up their files and such.

gigasis had a birthday this past week, and I called her to wish her well. as usual, her family is crazy. her dad and father-in-law both have had prostate cancer (her dad had it surgically removed, her father-in-law had 40 days of radiation, and they don't know the results), but both are ok, in general.

also heard from my mom that my cousin's second baby is due tomorrow, and is, of course, another girl. she will be named after our grandmother who recently passed away. this makes me very happy, and proud. i think gram would feel honored. no word as to whether her middle name will be the same as well. mom is reminding me to check out my spare baby quilts (i keep a couple stocked, just in case) to see if i have a girlish one that doesn't match this baby's older sister's quilt. i think this implies that my mom is gearing up for making one quickly.

classes start tomorrow. dread.

and still another hour before i can head home.