"Where did all the ramblings go," either of you might ask. Well, I figured that if I'm going to be updating this page on a semi-daily basis, then it seems prudent to archive entries by month, so as to save on the nasty load times a lengthy page might incur. See the bottom of this page for archive links, as they add up. For now, July 2002 is all there is, there ain't no more. I am going to Peoria, IL this weekend, to travel, and save money doing so, for it is my birthplace, and the people that bore me still live there. I am taking an extra day off, this week, to spend more time there. I have been informed that I will be toasted for my birthday on Sunday with Lemon Meringue pie, my favorite.
Well, I just returned from Peoria about an hour and a half ago, and now I am running the gauntlet of staying up all night, so I can sleep tomorrow, and go to work tomorrow night. The trip was wonderful. I saw a lot of relatives I haven't seen in a long time, and enjoyed beer with them. Apparently I rendered myself intoxicated on Friday night, and after getting sick outside a downtown bar, I was pulling branches off trees and leaves off of potted plants to wipe my face. I'm retarded. I was gifted with a table and chairs for sitting and eating, over the weekend, for my birthday. I guess I'll have to finally get rid of that broken easy chair that's been sitting useless in my "reading corner" for about 14 months. sigh. I like that chair, too. In other news, I have set a new record for low(but adequate) payments to the credit card companies. The upside of that, though, is that I now have money for groceries and rent!
With some much-appreciated help from Joel, I brought the dinette set up to the apartment, and I put the table and chairs together today. There were no premade impressions in any of the woodwork, so I had to drive the woodscrews by hand, with an unpowered screwdriver. That was painful. I also restocked my fridge and cupboards. It's good to have food. On my way into work tonight, I almost hit a deer. I was moving along on Blue Parkway, just after I got off the highway, going about 25 or 30 MPH, when very suddenly, a deer appeared at the side of the road, wanting very much to cross before my car passed. With a quick slam on the brakes, and a slight detour across the right lane, harsh impact with the deer was avoided by only a few inches. I kind of wish I had gotten into a nasty, car-totaling accident, so I could have gotten a new car. I sure like that WRX.
Well, it's official. I'm 24. My colleagues at Production Management were quite surprised that it's my birthday, and I sensed that Elaine, my supervisor, would have liked to know that today is my birthday a little more in advance, because she looked almost guilty when I said, at 12:02, "Well, I'm 24." Geoff, another colleague, approached me, and asked me to retrieve his notebook from his car, while giving me a goofy wink. I went downstairs, and took my time. When I returned to the control room, a cake, ice cream, and a card had all been placed at my console. Very nice, if you ask me. Apparently, Elaine made an emergency trip to the local seller of things to pick up the aforementioned items. Despite some definite shortcomings(having to do with the corporate mentality)I really do like my job, pretty much for the people with whom I work, and the work that I get to do. I went to Dixon's chili last night, and had a plate of dry chili for the first time ever, and the jury says "delicious!"
I know you've been stewing over it for days: "How is he going to rearrange his living room?" Well, to quell your white-hot curiosity, I have hired a team of drafters and engineers from a prestigious university, and told them my needs, and my available resources. The following schematic drawings are what they came up with. First off:
If you'll bear with me, I'll interpret this technical document into lay-terms. This is my living room, in its current configuration. The TeleVision is denoted by the "TV" marker, and the direction it faces is indicated by the "brightness lines." As you can see, the table is out of the view of the front of the TeleVision. This, as you know, is unacceptable, and is what produces my dillema. The team of experts took this information to their cavernous laboratories, and commited the task to their slide rules, mainframe computers, and fancy tables.
To my delight, they returned with this prototype:
As you can see now(if you can get through the technical aspects of the rendering)they accomplished 100% TeleVision visibility, from all living room fixtures, and even optimized the position of the couch, for more effective "passing out." Ah, science! I can now angrily watch the latest sports teams of today square off in their respective manners, from the loveseat, relax on my back, with my arms behind my head on the couch, or eat a nutritious meal, while watching the VJ's count off the hottest hit music singles of today, from the table.
Thank God for technology, without which I would have been trying to plot my furniture-rearranging scheme with crudely carven implements, along with various grunting noises.
I noticed on a short browser compatibility check that the entry from last night looks pretty bad in Internet Explorer. My initial response was to try to fix it, and see if I can get it prettier in IE. Then, another thought came to me. If this blog is mostly for my own purposes(and everyone else is free to look) then I see no reason to try to get my page pretty in IE. In fact, I am going to start implementing features that look fine in standards-compliant browsers, and that don't even work in IE, because I don't think it's a good idea to try to keep a website looking pretty for an old, substandard, krufty web client, like Microsoft Internet Explorer. There are plenty of cool things that mozilla can do, that are utterly impossible in IE, and I will bring those features to light, and put IE where it belongs: the back burner.
I found out at work tonight that I will be unable to go home to Peoria for Christmas, so I guess I'll only be able to visit on the weekend before, for the caroling party. Furthermore, we have been asked to take as much of our vacation time as we can, prior to November 1st, 2002. I can carry forward 40 hours of vacation time to 2003, for use in the first two months of that year. I currently have 62 remaining hours of vacation for 2002, and I can't think of anything for which I'll be needing it, if I can't take any time off for Christmas. I am going to Boston over the weekend after Labor Day, and I'll have an extra day for that, making a comfortable four-day weekend in Beantown. Besides that trip, I really don't have any major trips planned before "The Big One," the trip to Ireland that My friend Alex and I are planning for late January to early February. Brian wants to come, too(obviously) and he's absolutely welcome, but he needs a job, so he can make it happen. Speaking of that, his resume is floating around my department, and it's possible that he might get interviewed for a job in the same group in which I currently work. That would make things very convenient for me, and for him too, I imagine. Cutting rent and bills in half is always a welcome change. My company made an announcement, over the weekend.
LA had its 'Hillside Strangler.' Kansas City now has a nefarious character to fear. Yet another hapless victim has fallen prey to the brazen advances of the 'Brookside Groper.' This time, it's my colleaugue, D. He has been cavorting about Kansas City's posh Brookside neighborhood, molesting runners, hikers, and cyclists. I sure hope the authorities catch this hellian.
Another interesting weekend. I slept through Hot Carl bowling again. I am a louse, and I need a new, louder alarm clock. After getting off work, on Friday morning, I went out with a couple of colleagues, and we stayed out a little(a lot) later than we probably should have. It was fun, nonetheless. We wrapped things up at about 4 PM, when I went home and fell asleep like a rock. Today, I went to Boulevard Brewery yet again, this time with Elvis. I always enjoy that tour, and I think I have certainly behaved as a customer of theirs elsewhere, enough to merit five or six half-pints of free beer. Thus, I drink the nectar of Boulevard without remorse, and with great relish. We went to a Mexican place down on Southwest Boulevard after that, and listened to a horrible car accident take place on the highway next to us, as we sat outside in the very pleasant weather. In the last few weeks the weather has been absolutely wonderful here, and today's temperature was no exception. A few seconds following the sound of the collision, and the horrible screaming tires of dozens of cars, a piece of someone's bumper came hurdling over the side of the elevated highway, and with a clunk, came to a rest only a few yards from where we sat. Emergency vehicles made it to the scene after about 45 minutes, with the ambulance bringing up the rear. I hope nobody was hurt too badly. Later in the evening, I met some KCGeek people, for big big beers at BW3's, which I previously had no idea even existed west of the Mississippi. We drank more Boulevard, and called it a night. I love Saturdays in KC.
I just installed cygwin for Windows. It had been a while since I had used it, but with absolutely no configuration, I had X-windows up and running, with full capability of running forwarded applications. So, I now have even further proof that my employer wastes millions of dollars on expensive, substandard software, like Exceed(currently running at $245 per machine license, according to their website). I am running a fully-functional X-desktop, in Microsoft Windows. I have full use of ssh, sshd, and whatever graphical applications I have on either of my other two X-window capable machines. I see it more and more, that free software is putting commercial software sellers in the dust, and corporations don't even know what they're missing.
I have discovered Pie Menus for mozilla. It is one of the coolest web browser enhancements I've ever seen. There is some mention of pie menus for IE, but I didn't really look into it very deeply, as I don't use primitive browsers. I know, there are lots of things you might have to say in IE's defense, but they're wrong. Anyway, the pie menus just rock, under mozilla, and I have found a new favorite way to browse. Wow. My brother is coming to town on Tuesday, to interview for a job. I look forward to seeing him, and I have high hopes for his prospects. At the moment he's off in Maryland, living the good life.
Today, my brother is coming to Kansas City, to interview for a job. He'll be here at around 3 or 4 in the afternoon, which means that, if you do the math(it is now 11:30, and I have yet to sleep) I am in for a hellish night of coffee drinking, at work. Nonetheless, I am very excited to see him, and I'll welcome him warmly. I just recently got the pictures from my camera, and they have been posted under the pics section. Have a look. One of these days, I'll get pretty index pages made for all the pictures. Until then, I leave it to your imagination to conjure my voice, relating to you wittily the circumstances of each photograph. I spent an entire weekend doing absolutely nothing useful. As such, I mostly just sat around my apartment, switching between sitting at the computer, and reclining drowsily on my couch, trying to decide which movie to watch. By Sunday evening, I looked hideous, and I was happy to commit the layer of scum I had accrued to the deep- of my shower drain. On Monday morning, I drove out to Lee's Summit, to a business within a tolerable drive of where I work, but an intolerable drive from where I live. Nevertheless, the promise of money drew me to said business. There, I was presented with the problem of gaining root access to a linux server that had been implemented by an outside vendor, who was not keen on relinquishing root access to his clients. Needless, to say, the financial benefits of relieving the office of this problem aside, it was a moral imperative to me, that I undo this injustice; right this wrong. I did so, expeditiously, and for the first time in three weeks, according to the clients, the network was "up." Just doing my job, ma'am. I saluted, and fled, $100 richer.
Another Thursday night marks the end of Sprint PCS IT - Service Delivery "Shorts Friday." It was a good run, and I'll miss it heartily. This weekend, the Brookside Irish festival will congest the streets around 63rd and Brookside. I'm going to go, with a colleague, his girlfriend, and anyone else who wants to go. Tonight is a party for said colleague's birthday, and a party for a departing kcgeek. I am torn, on which one I will attend, or both, or either. Also, this'll be probably the most beautifully-weathered weekend that we will experience for a long time. I love this time of year. I suppose I have a pretty full weekend ahead of me. Also, it's payday. Time to get the creditors off my back. Sprint will render a decision on whether to employ my brother today, and he will allegedly hear from them today.Time to get the creditors off my back. Sprint will render a decision on whether to employ my brother today, and he will allegedly hear from them today. Fingers are getting crossed.
Oh dammit. Dammit! Midwest Express(the airline upon which I was so very excited to be using to fly to Boston next weekend), it turns out, has been in the throes of a labor dispute since May, when the flight attendants decided almost unanimously to strike, and practice such wonderful things as impromptu walk-offs or no-shows. It appears that my little stint away from unionized airlines(Southwest, ahhh) could prove to have been too short. Dammit.
I just got off the phone with the folks at a popular electronics company, and decided on this little diddy. It should be at my house within a few days. I can't wait. Moreover, I can't wait to install gentoo on it. It'll come with Windows XP Home(the cheapest option) preinstalled, and I will log into that only for long enough to get some hardware information out of it. After that, it'll be linux and movies. Hooray.