Happy July. The forums have gotten off to a sodden start, with next to nobody using them. Perhaps I need to make more friends. I'm headed off to Chicago this weekend, for fireworks, beer, and nicer weather than here. The weatherman is close to threatening triple-digit temperatures in KC this weekend, while it's supposed to be almost 20 degrees cooler in Chicago. The air will be just right for beer.
I am in the home stretch at work right now. I have just under two hours before I leave here to go home and pack for a four-day trip to Chicago, and possible free concerts, featuring Guster, Pete Yorn, The Wallflowers, and Elvis Costello. Fun for me.
Happy birthday, bahua dot com! Chicago was a lot of fun, this weekend, but I am still a bit screwed up, as far as the sleep goes. I am going to go straight to bed when I get home, and sleep until about 1 or so, when I have to get up for a court appearance in Independence. Immediately following that, I will come home, and go back to sleep for as long as possible. in the meantime, I need to sort out some paperwork, yell at Time-Warner Cable for not getting my payments, make it to a concert tomorrow night, and somewhere in there, get grocery shopping and laundry in.
Forgot to mention, there's a new pictures page, from my trip this weekend. Enjoy.
I'm sitting at work, remorsefully reconfirming wth my fingers the big obvious patch of facial hair that I missed tonight. Brian and I went and saw Guster at a small place here in town, last night, and it was truly a great show, possibly the best I've seen them play. Something of a permanent fixture in the band, at least during this tour, is Joe Pisapia of JMB. I hope he gets back together with his band, because I really enjoyed the music they made.
On a happy set of notes, I made it to the court date thingy, and was out much more quickly than I had feared. Apparently, having an Illinois license and plates is pretty common around here.
So, I am trying to think of a way to allow readers to be a bit more engaging on this site than they have been previously able. More information on that when I can articulate a solution. Until then, just sit back and ponder nice things, like meat and beer.
I had a pretty unexciting weekend. Brian and I both stayed in town, and went to Boulevard for a brewery tour and taste. While there, we ran into Leslie, a friend from KCGeek, and an avid beer lover. We met up after that with Ben, a friend of Brian's from college, who was on his way from Denver to Chicago, for barbecue and beer. It was lovely. Unfortunately, however, I still hadn't learned my lesson about going out for gratuitous amounts of barbecue before going out to drink beer. We went to Buzzard Beach, utterly sapped of energy, and barely got one beer down, much less the ten that we had planned.
Brian and I are planning a trip for this weekend, ever since my Minneapolis trip fell through. There is a semi-sentient thread about it on the forums right now, and I am leaning toward Denver at the moment.
I just found out about this, and I think I might want to make plans to go next year. The trip is leaning more toward St. Louis now. Denver was decided to be a bit too far, as was Memphis, and Brian has never really spent any time in STL, either. I managed to find the websites of several STL-based breweries here, here, here, and here. So, we will have plenty to do once we get there, I think.
I just logged into my bank's website to have a look at my online stuff, to make sure that it agrees with my offline stuff, and found yet another feature they they have on their online banking page. I suppose other banks do this kind of stuff too, but in the two and a half years that I have been using my bank's online services, I have been repeatedly amazed at how many more cool ideas they have. Now, if they could only figure out a way to conjure money for me...
Just when you thought I had settled into a funk of inactivity, I spring this on you. You can now comment on my entries, and point out my bad punctuation and spelling. Also, when months elapse, there will be no need to remove everything from the page from the previous month. Bahua.com is one step closer to Zen.
Tonight is the last night of work, this week, and has been the smoothest night that I can recall, in recent memory. The application I am monitoring was migrated to faster servers a relatively short time ago, and the time between then and now has been punctuated with service outages, and other miscellaneous big problems. This week, however, it finally seems to have calmed down to the point of behaving itself. So that's nice.
What's not so nice is that our supervisor is on vacation all this week, so our shift has been split between the second shift supervisor, Wayne, and the first shift supervisor, Elaine. Elaine used to be the supervisor on third shift, and was switched over to first a few months ago. Our shift, while she was on it, was something of a battle with her around. She is thoroughly unpleasant to work with because of one major managerial flaw she has. She is a champion micromanager. She makes it a part of her managerial duty to come around at regular intervals to ask you directly if you are doing your job.
Don't get me wrong, she's friendly, carries a conversation well, and enjoys having a good time, and under different circumstances, I might even like her, but for her passive-aggressive managerial style. I haven't met anyone yet, at work, that isn't basely annoyed with her. When I'm at work, and she's here, I actually get nervous when I feel the vibration of footsteps approaching behind me.
My point, however, is that tonight is the last night this week, in which we will be working with Elaine. I have a long weekend, with a trip to St. Louis planned, and when I return, Mike will be back. Happiness will return.
St. Louis was awesome. We spent next to no money the whole time, because of our exceedingly generous relatives, and I, personally, can't wait to make it back. I took a ton of pictures, and once I get rid of some red-eye in a few of them, I'll get them all up for you, descriptions and all. In other news, the new owners of our apartment building(henceforth referred to as "the bastards") still haven't fixed the air conditioning in my room, and the heat in here is overwhelming. I sweat through my clothes just sitting still. If the bastards would just come up, like they keep saying they will, I might be able to get some sleep on occasion.
Today would have been my mother's 55th birthday. Food for thought.
On a lighter, more defensive note, I came to a sort of realization today. I would guess that this is obvious to techies, but it just occurred to me, and I have never actually seen or heard it said anywhere. Also, I assume that there are some non-technical people who occasionally read this site, so this is as much for your benefit as it is mine.
Like many people, I have multiple email addresses. I have a work address that I don't give to anyone except people with whom I work, and that I can only check when I am physically at work. I have another address, which I refer to as my 'real' address. I give it to friends, and ask that they don't place it on websites that love to spam people, like evite, growingfamily, ofoto, and others. I carry out my actual emailing with that address, and rest assured, it is not the address that you see linked at the bottom of the front page of this website.
Then, like many other people, I have what I call my "garbage" address. That is what you see at the bottom of this page. I do check it, but the signal to noise ratio is very dramatic, because it is the address that I give to websites, when I buy things, or sign up for things. As such, it gets a lot of spam. Right now, it gets roughly 40 unsolicited messages a day, so I am able to sift through the junk and find the real emails, especially with the filtering tools that are standard on the Mozilla Foundation's excellent Thunderbird email client.
I find spam to be an interesting thing, and here's where I get to the point I want to make. The filtered spam messages I get with thunderbird are very often just emails in html form, with an image that it loads when you view the email. It has occurred to me that this image being loaded is all the spammer needs to see, to find that their unsolicited email has reached a real live person, and that, in itself, is a cause for alarm. I have always read in the past that when you get an unsolicited email that has instructions on it for having your email address removed, you should never reply, because that verifies to spammers that your email address is valid.
So, it seems to me that this image-loading technique is a much more effective method for spammers to validate addresses, and I find it very alarming. All I can say to you folks, if you want to slow down your spam intake, is don't use an email client that views html messages. Thunderbird, for one, has the capability to turn off the rendering of html messages. Some other ones are Eudora, Pegasus, The Bat!, kmail, Evolution, Balsa, and of course, ELM, Pine, and Mutt. Ones that definitely do not offer html emails to be converted to text are anything web-based(hotmail, yahoo, netscape, aol, etc), Outlook, and Outlook express.
Unfortunately, most people use one of the email clients that does not offer non-html email. All I can say is that if you are, it would be fair to say that by doing so, you are only making the spam problem worse. Be part of the solution!
Oh, and by the way, to further accentuate how my building has slipped in quality,(it used to be very nice!) I submit that since the water problem a month and a half ago, we are still without carpeting in the hallway of my floor, and the place looks like a damned slum.
Screwiness. My domain registrar, who also hosts my DNS, experienced some kind of outage over the weekend, crippling the availability of this website. I apologize, and I will seek third-party DNS services. Everything appears to have been fixed, but like I said, I will still seek alternate accomodations. If the site doesn't come up, try hitting this site, which will redirect you to the IP address for bahua dot com.
I had a crazy Saturday in Kansas City. I got up very early to drop my brother off at the airport, and had planned on coming back to get some sleep before that happened. Instead, I was unable to sleep, and busied myself with the business of getting one of my machines all reconfigured, for use with MythTV. Part of that reconfiguration was a couple of hardware changes/upgrades, including the application of a new processor fan and heatsink. I bought these items back when it was cold outside, in hopes of easing or eliminating two problems. One was that my case got very hot, very quickly, with the old cooling setup, such that I couldn't run it with the case closed. The second problem was that the previous fan was prohibitively loud, such that I could easily sleep without putting my head between my pillow and a blanket.
I installed the new fan and heatsink, along with some other parts, and the machine is now whisper-quiet. To boot, it is now running beautifully fast with a safely closed case. I actually made phone calls to people, I was so excited.
I met Susie, Cole, Nathan, and Stacey for the tour at Boulevard, and we immediately helped ourselves to even more things to drink, throughout the midtown area, until roughly 6 AM. Even now, I am suddenly recalling places we went. I don't think I have been "on the town," like that since I was in college.
So yeah, I'm a big idiot. I was doing laundry, yesterday afternoon, and I dumped a bunch of quarters in my pocket, and the jingling and their bulky consistency passed my unconscious key check as I left the apartment, and I was promptly locked out. The office had been closed for about 40 minutes when this happened, and I was able, through the generosity of a neighbor, to call the maintenance pager, so I could get back in. Unfortunately, a rain dance would have done about as much good. Nobody ever answered, and I wound up missing work, and staying with my even more generous friends, Joel and Susie. I had to wait until the office opened to get back into my apartment.
When I walked into the office, unshaven, dirty, and in dirty clothes, and had the audacity to be indignant about nobody answering my pages, the office-denizen tried to make it sound like it was a matter-of-fact thing that nobody would answer the page. Instead of asking her why they would even have a pager if nobody will answer it, or even how she could be such a moron when she asked, "Oh, you were locked out? Why didn't you call us?" I took a deep breath, took the key and walked out of the office.
God I want out of this place, and I don't know if I can wait until October.
I just spotted this on the Onion, and I think it kind of summarizes my feeling when I am standing behind someone at work who insists on lifting their hand over to the mouse to do very simple things. Sigh. I guess I'm just anal.
I went and looked at an apartment today, over in Union Hill which is only about 6 blocks away. It was very nice. I liked it a lot, and unless I am persuaded by another place, it looks like the place to be, for me. I found a two-bedroom place for a pretty good deal, with a balcony that has a great view of downtown, a washer and dryer in the unit, air conditioning, a dishwasher, free water/garbage service, and two free spots in their heated garage. I have an appointment with another place tomorrow, so we'll see what happens.