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Archive of October, 2005

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[Permalink 2005-10-31] Halloween

October 31, 2005:

I love Halloween. I live in an apartment, so there won't be any kids trick-or-treating. But I'm going to buy a shitload of candy anyway :)

[Permalink 2005-10-23] Birfday

October 23, 2005:

I'm 29 today.


Edit, 9:13 AM: And happy fuckin' birthday to me. Just got back from work, where I had to play the part of the Reboot Fairy after we had a power failure that lasted longer than the UPSes. Nothing to start your Sunday like getting a call at 7:45 letting you know the servers are down.

[Permalink 2005-10-21] Guess I Missed a Memo

October 21, 2005:

I just saw an ad for Eminem's new CD. A greatest hits album. Has Eminem even released enough songs to fill a single CD, never mind songs good enough to be "greatest hits"?

[Permalink 2005-10-17] Slightly Disconcerting

October 17, 2005:

For the last couple months, my left pinky-toenail has been blue. Well, more of a purple, actually.

I have no idea how I did it. I don't remember stubbing it, or dropping anything heavy on it. It's just like it decided one day that it had had enough of being roughly transparent and would like to branch out.

It still grows, albeit more slowly than the other nails, so the root isn't dead. And the discoloration at the base is more reddish than bluish, so whatever caused it seems to be about over with. And whatever it is is part of (or stuck to) the underside of the nail, not the toe itself.

Well, I'm not in pain, and the toe looks normal except for the freakish toenail, so I guess I'll just wait a few more weeks for whatever this is/was to finish growing out.

[Permalink 2005-10-13] Connections Come From the Strangest Places

October 13, 2005:

In order to do some neat mapping tricks at work, I've had to start assembling my own map files from the data we have in SQL Server. DC made a good testbed, being small, but it didn't have all the different types of data possible. So we needed another test.

Enter Rhode Island. It's barely larger than DC, and has everything we need to test. I ran the file generator and got my four maps. The first few looked all right, though sparse (which they're supposed to be.) The fourth caused some concern.

Everything fell into place nicely, except for a patch of stuff quite a ways south of the rest of the state. Since neither my boss or I know about Rhode Island, we weren't sure if that was right. I called up a mapping program and zipped over to the state.

And there it was, Block Island, which is part of Rhode Island. I was happy; my generator was doing what it was supposed to. Then I realized that Block Island probably sits at one end of Block Island Sound.

Which answers a question I've had for a while now about a mediocre Billy Joel song. In "Downeaster Alexa" one of the first things he mentions is "crusing through Block Island Sound." And my question, of course, was "WTF is Block Island Sound?"

Now I know. And according to TV, knowing is half the battle.

[Permalink 2005-10-10] Never Too Old To Learn

October 10, 2005:

Apparently there's an approved procedure to brushing one's teeth, and I've been doing it wrong for the better part of three decades. Now I'll grant the root canal a couple years ago and the deep-scaling I had done Thursday would attest to that, but it seems like such a simple process.

Anyway, the hygenist dug around under my gums, scraping off a layer of accumulated plaque and shooting an anti-bacterial powder into the holes. This makes the gum feel swollen and irritated. It also makes the jaw somewhat sore, since the hygenist tries to open your mouth wide enough to crawl in and do her work.

(Yeah, it's a she. And she's kinda cute. But since she's seen me tense up at the sight of a dentist's needle like I'd just been dipped in liquid hydrogen I'm pretty much writing her off. I got allergy shots on a weekly basis for years, and I've given blood several times. But dental needles are entirely different. All I know is that I wasn't looking too impressive at the time.)

So yeah, I got a mildly annoying dental procedure done, and I learned how to brush my teeth. I also learned that the upper jaw isn't wired like the lower one, and they have to jab you on both the outside and inside of your teeth to fully numb you. I learned that when, after getting the lower jaw and the outside of the upper jaw, the dentist giving the novocaine injection hauled out a third needle. Did I mention I don't like surprises?

Take care of your teeth, people, and don't offend them. You won't like it when they start offending you back.

[Permalink 2005-10-07] Geek Alert Episode IV

October 07, 2005:

BOFHs need cars too.

[Permalink 2005-10-06] Done Biking For the Year

October 06, 2005:

The Browns had a bye week, so I gave the bike one last ride this year. I'm done, even though the weather is going to be nice for another few weeks. Not because I was weak-sauce yet again (I made it to the old Vienna train station at least) but because of all the damn gnats. I inhaled/swallowed at least half a dozen of the little bastards, and the coughing fits that resulted from them bouncing off that punching bag at the back of my throat were less than pleasant.

Any guesses on much of a lard-ass I'll be by the time I dust the bike off in March?

[Permalink 2005-10-04] More Bad UIs

October 04, 2005:

After Rob had a hard drive (Maxtor, the same type I have in my computer) go belly-up with significant dataloss, I decided it was time to give backups a closer look.

My DVD burner came with the Nero suite of programs. I started BackItUp, selected my directories and files, and turned it loose. After it formatted the disc the program stopped updating the UI. Thinking the program was wedged I stopped the burn and ejected the DVD.

That's when I saw the burn was partially completed after all. For whatever reason (I'm guessing good, old-fashioned idiocy) they don't bother to tell you that the burn is actually succeeding. Given that it takes about 75 minutes for the burn to finish, that makes a pretty long amount of time that you have to wait to see if you're creating a backup instead of a coaster.

Of course, after I realized that I was going to get no love from the computer on this one I left the burn to run overnight. Any time I'd get up for a drink of water I'd change the disc. Then I got to disc 7 (out of a possible 9, if there wasn't enough compression). In the middle of compressing the files it told me that the compression had failed, and burned what it had to disc.

I then set up the incremental backup job that I want to run every week and hoped that it would catch any files that it missed before. Given how quickly it tore through the process, I'm guessing it didn't. And now I'm not sure whether it'll do multi-session or not -- the discs are DVD+RW but since Nero didn't tell me how it was creating the disc and didn't give me an option to select the burn style I won't know whether I created an empty, useless disc until the job runs next week.

As I said before, if I can't use or understand your convoluted UI, you have truly failed. And Nero has failed.

[Permalink 2005-10-03] I Was Starting to Miss Pittsburgh A Little...

October 03, 2005:

... so someone took it upon themselves to remind me of the city I'd called home for the last decade.

I was sitting at a stoplight, minding my own business when the car suddenly lurched forward. That's right, someone managed to rear-end me while I wasn't even moving.

Now, I'll admit to hitting inanimate objects with a car before. There were a couple mulligans I took the first few times I drove, a close encounter with a garage door, and then there was the unfortunate incident with the U-Haul truck. But that's it. I mean, if something isn't moving it's kind of easy to dodge it.

Anyway, we pulled through the intersection when the light changed and I got out to examine the back end of the car. There was no damage aside from a few small scratches, and since the bumper's made of plastic I'm not worried about those. I gave a symbol that means, depending on your sport of choice, "wave-off", "penalty declined" or "safe". At which point we continued on our way.

The car seemed only slightly traumatized, and I drove the rest of the way to work not believing what had happened.

Edit, 4:02 PM: Forgot one instance of playing bumper cars with things that weren't moving.

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