Happy New Year! Just like when I rang in 2002, I am at work. But, for the first time since 1995, I was in the state were I lived when it turned midnight. Last year, I was at work in Kansas. The year before, I was by myself in California. The year before that, I was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, watching my family ski, from a red, padded cast I earned making fun of someone. The year before that, I was in Orlando, Florida, on a nice vacation with my family. The year before that, I was in Steamboat Springs, Colorado, able to ski, and drinking copious amounts of beer in an outdoor hottub. The year before that, I was in Keystone, Colorado, enjoying a good ski with my family, on the last family vacation we ever took, all together, before my Mom died. Brian is in Illinois, but will be back this afternoon. I can't wait to get paid.
My weekend is shaping up nicely. This will be the first weekend when Brian and I will both be at home, and have money, in almost a month. We have tentative plans to visit eating and drinking establishments around town. However, this week, we shall place a bit of a focus on downtown establishments. In addition, I am trying to throw together a bit of a pubcrawl, too. I look to the weekend with tingly anticipation.
We went on the pubcrawl I mentioned, and drank lots and lots of homebrewed Honey-flavored beer at The Quaff, my new favorite bar. Okay, no bar can take over the coveted number one spot of the Newsroom, but the Quaff was pretty great. The only thing the Newsroom has on it is its proximity, and maybe its beer selection. That place was crawling with beautiful, non-nightclubbing women. I will return. I have been working first shift this week, going to a training session for unix. The regular expressions are a bit tough to get memorized, but besides that, it's all review for me. The thing that occurs to me, though, is that shell scripting can be completely replaced by perl, in functionality, and in ease of use. This is why I need to get versed in perl. Strong Bad was hilarious tonight.
It is unbelievably warm outside. Have a look at that date again, and try to believe that it's 72 degrees outside. I recently found out that I have a unique chance to go to Colorado to do some skiing next month. Tax refunds begin soon...
Tonight at work, I have formulated a new, easier way to generate pages full of descriptions of pictures I post, and links to them. I will give it a production run when I get my first cadre of photos produced with the new camera. By the way, the new camera arrived yesterday, and the folks iin the office didn't manage to bring it up for me. So, I'll pick it up when I get home today. I also discovered something for which I had before tonight only wished. The State, in my opinion, the best sketch comedy show that's ever been on television, has been immortalized completely by a wonderful, well-connected site, called Statemedia. I will spend a lot of time on this site when I get home, where I have access to a computer with sound and quicktime.
1/14/2003 4:22 AM##I finished my training, and I find myself quite a bit more comfortable with shell scripting, but in doing so, I doubly see the merit of learning perl. I also find myself with less and less free time at work. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I did used to be quite accustomed to having many hours of idle time, per night. I used this time to develop skills, catch up on world events, and read the Lord of the Rings. Now, I am beginning to actually be busy at work. This is both discouraging and exciting. Discouraging, because the things I mentioned above will no longer be possible, in the kind of volume with which I pursued them. Exciting, however, to know that I actually am justifying the investment Sprint has placed in me, and I am building real experience.
Anyway, I went to Peoria over the weekend, and had a very short(~24 hours) but very fun visit. The greater purpose for the visit was to help celebrate my grandmother's 80th birthday. The birthday party took place on the grounds of what used to be the Bartonville State Hospital, a place that, despite its current reputation as haunted, was a pioneering endeavor, in the field of mental therapy. I took a walk around the grounds, with my brother and sister. We managed through the cold blustery afternoon to get to one of the four cemetery sites.
I got the camera today. So far, I love it. Tons of features I didn't have on my old camera, and pretty easy to use, out of the box. I used it for a few hours this morning, before the battery ran out. So, I put the battery into the charger, and called it a day. When I woke up, I discovered how to turn off the flash, and film movies with sound. Check out some of the pics I have taken so far, in the Pictures section.
Paydirt! It snowed overnight, and Kansas City is blanketed with a fresh layer of white snow, except next to its heavily traveled streets and highways, where the snow has turned black. I think I'll try to get out and get some more pics today, or I might not. I think I might rather just sit in the apartment, stay warm, and just watch the snow. Check the pics section for a few snow pictures, from the dead of night.
We will have company this weekend, as Brian's very close female friend Kathleen will be coming to town. I look forward to finally meeting her. it such a shame she lives so far away. I can't imagine how hard it must be for the two of them. I am absolutely loving the new camera, and I am finding out new things to do with it all the time. I received a new pair of pants today, and they have some very interesting capabilities. See for yourself in this video I took with my new camera.
Kathleen is still here, and Brian seems quite aglow at her presence. She hasn't cleaned any of our filthy crap, which is slightly disappointing, but understandable. We went to Fiorella's last night, for the obligatory barbecue overload, for Kathleen. She enjoyed it, I think. I have usually seen much more excited reactions from people after taking them there. I tried a new bar this weekend, with Joel and Susie. It's called the Twin City Tavern, and I must say that despite the fact that they have Boulevard Stout on tap, I was not impressed with the place. It seemed like a very, oh say, fraternal place. Geoff has since told me that he has heard that it's a KU bar. On sunday, we went to The Cup and Saucer in the City Market area. I liked that place a lot, and I will go back. 17 days until Ireland!
A couple of technological discoveries need to be revealed to you, the viewing public. First of all, Opera is currently beta-testing version 7, the upcoming release of their excellent web browser. With it, I must say that there is a new champion of CSS. It renders all of CSS1 brilliantly, and even runs circles around Mozilla, in how efficiently it draws CSS-enhanced pages. The menu on the left stays put, of course, but the CSS menus that Eric Meyer so wonderfully demostrates, and that I try to emulate is rendered perfectly in Opera. I recommend going out and picking a copy up for yourself. I'm thinking of even paying for it.
In other news, I have discovered a tool that allows me to do exactly what I want, with my website. HTSH allows me to place shell code in my html files, which eases things like the menus I use of my site. I have a lot of work to do, however.
I have completely changed the pics layout, to work in htsh, instead of script-aliased html. In its previous form, every single file in the script-aliased directory had to be an executable file, which means that every time anybody wanted to look at even a single picture, about 15 'echo' commands, used for outputting readable html, were executed. It wasn't really a drain on system resources, but it was slower, and the way I have it set up now is much much cleaner, and easier to understand. My webserver breathes easy now. After work this morning, Geoff and Louis and I went out, and tried a very unpleasant, overly expensive bar, down by Kemper, called Connie's Genessee Inn. I will not be returning. We have a trip to Boulevard planned tomorrow. It promises to be a fun weekend.
This weekend was light, but quite acceptable. Geoff, Louis and I went out after work on Friday, as is evident in the pictures section, and in the post previous to this one. We started that morning with the Cup and Saucer, where we had some Boulevard Stout, and read newspapers on couches. That was a very comfortable way to spend an hour waiting for other bars to open. We then got slightly lost, wandering around the southwest side of downtown, in an effort to get to the West Bottoms. We eventually came upon Connie's Genessee Inn, and were greatly underwhelmed. I had two drinks, took some funny photos, and went to the Quaff, where we ate lunch. After eating, Louis left, and Geoff and I sat, talked, and drank for about an hour. I announced earlier that I wanted to go home, and after our nice talk, Geoff complied, and took me home. I went to Boulevard for their brewery tour on Saturday, and had as good a time as ever.
For the Super Bowl, we had Joel and Susie over for beer, chips, pizza, and a ridiculously pathetic loss for Oakland. I knocked a chair over, in leiu of actual excitement.
I have found the most wonderful insurance agent ever, and I will never tell any of you about him(on this website...), because if the secret gets out, then every sucker will want in, and we can't have that. Seriously though, i have been extended a quote with an insurer in town that will save me lots of money in 2003, and beyond. I will not disclose too many details to you, my four readers(I'm up to four!), until the rate I've been quoted is a little more final. Brian and I will go to drop off a check and sign the papers tomorrow.