Welcome Back, Internet Access
No, I haven't become a pair of creepy Indian princesses with streaming video. The site was down over the weekend. Sorry for the downtime, folks. After a difficult move and a very annoying lack of internet access, bahua dot com is back. We have moved into the new apartment and love everything about it, especially the neighborhood. I am taking the bus to and from work each night, thus largely eliminating any need I have for a car. I haven't driven my car since Sunday, when we finished the move, and I don't plan on driving at all until the next time it's my turn to drive to the store. Premium gas = bus pass.
There are tons of unsecured wireless networks here, with users invariably being Roadrunner customers using wireless broadband routers. So, it's a bit of a bonanza for wireless downtown, as I suspected it would be. Dad, Amy, and Brian's girlfriend, Kathleen, will be coming to town this weekend, and we all plan on going to Hermann for some fun and Oktoberfest.
Linux Green Light
I have been given approval at work to install Linux on one of the slower computers that we brought with us from our old office. I'm sure that doing so violates my employer
's in-bed-with-Microsoft/HP/Sun security policy. Nevertheless, it is emerging rsync as I type this entry. Perhaps this can change some minds at work, but I will venture a guess that there are a good number of people that genuinely do believe that using open source software is a danger to security.
I don't expect a great deal out of this, just to see how long I can maintain a linux machine in the face of ignorant criticism.
Brian's old lady gets to town today. I am going to try to get her to go with me to First Friday, tonight.
We had some fun over the weekend. On Friday, Kathleen arrived at 11AM, and I entertained her by sleeping until 6PM. When I woke up, she had had about all the reading she could tolerate. I perfectly timed my stirring to this, deliberately, I submit. We hopped on the 56 down to the Crossroads District, and got off about two blocks from Smokin' Joe's, the deck of which afforded us an excellent chance to enjoy the wonderful weather, and watch all the freakies who were out and about for First Friday.
After some burnt ends, we wandered around the neighborhood, popping from gallery to gallery, making fun of what was most often more a random pile or mess than actual art. Nevertheless, it was a lot of fun, and it was great to be out in it, and to see what is normally a pretty sleepy neighborhood alive and full of activity on a Friday night.
The next day, Brian, Kathleen and I walked down to the Cup and Saucer in the River Market area to get some tasty coffee and enjoy another beautiful day. While we were there, we decided to walk around the bustling City Market open air market, that was still in session. The smells and sights were a lot to take in, as well as Kathleen's continuously exasperated mantra of "I can't believe this stuff is so cheap!" Welcome to Kansas City.
Dad arrived at about noon, after successfully locating the exit into a different neighborhood. We adjourned to the Westport Flea Market, where we ate 10-oz burgers and drank non-translucent beer. Dad has always been interested in Kansas City's history, but I have only ever been able to rouse up his curiosity on the matter, and have never been able to satiate him. So, to prove to him that Westport, despite its relatively rich history, has very little to see or do, in the way of historical markers or museums. Out of sheer luck, there was a crap sale(or "Antique Fair" if crap sale doesn't pin it down for you) in Westport that day, at which the Westport Historical Society had set up a booth. The luxuriating local behind the folding table was happy to answer Dad's questions as I busied myself looking at women and passersby.
With a few minutes to spare, we took Dad and Kathleen on a small car tour of some of the nicest neighborhoods in Midtown, after which we helped ourselves to what have essentially become "our seats" at Boulevard
. We encountered another guide who loved the sound of his own voice, and further, was not ashamed in the least to hold up the tour to plug Boulevard merchandise. Nevertheless, Dad and Kathleen both seemed very impressed with the quality of Boulevard's beer.
Because we were spending the next day in Hermann, we decided to go to Mass on Saturday evening. But, due to problems, on Brian's part, in scheduling when and where we would go on Saturday, we wound up going to Holy Family, in KCK, hard to find, and presided by an ancient but expedient priest. We were out of the 6:30 mass by 7PM. We drove down to West 39th, and sat down for dinner at Genghis Khan Mongolian Barbecue. It was ridiculous how tasty the food was, and the atmosphere was very modern and clean. I will go back as soon as I can.
We got up the next day at 7:30, broke fast, and left for Hermann. We arrived in Hermann without incident, except having to drive through the tumultuous traffic for the people going to watch the Broncos lose. When we rolled into the Missouri River valley town, the Amtrak train from KC was just pulling away, and Brian and Kathleen, who rode in Brian's car, were waiting for Dad and me at the Hermannhof winery. Shortly after this, Amy arrived from Peoria, and we all sat down to some of the sweetest, most koolaid-like wine we have ever had, followed fortunately by some delicious dry red wine. We took the winery tour at Stone Hill, which involves about 7 free glasses of wine within a period of about 30 minutes. I walked out of the Stone Hill Winery with numb lips, and a rubbery sense of eqilibrium. It was time for beer
The Hermann Brewery was closed. It was 5PM on a Sunday, during an Oktoberfest weekend, and the brewery was closed. This was particularly eye-popping for us, given the fact that at least two of our number had come to Hermann almost exclusively for this. Dejected, we parked the van in front of the Concert Hall Barrel Bar(the oldest continuously operating tavern west of the Mississippi), and drank some Schlafly before wishing Dad and Amy a good trip to Peoria, and going back to KC.
It was a fun weekend.
Sorry I never posted this
before, because it has a lot to do with why we moved.
I added Google's free search feature to the bottom of the front page. Now you can search for all the posts I have written in which I repeat the same key words from post of post, making me look witty and intelligent at first glance, and redundant and unoriginal upon further inspection. Enjoy.
12:46 AM, Oct 14, 2003
I don't know about you, but I had a fun weekend. I went up to Loras
for Homecoming. I got off work, made some phone calls about something that I will elaborate later, and slept for about two hours, before getting in the car for Des Moines. I picked up Alex there, and drove up to Dubuque. After drinking cheap crappy beer(the college way), I went down to the Diamond Jo Casino with some friends, and proceeded to contribute $70 to Iowa's growing gaming industry.
The next day was a mishmash of tailgating, football, drinking, mass, and catching up with old friends. I don't regret a moment of it. I'm very glad I went to Dubuque this weekend, and can't wait to make it back up.
I got back into KC at about 7pm on Sunday, and insisted to Brian that a trip to 75th Street was necessary, and the weekend ended nicely.
3:46 AM, Oct 16, 2003
As if I would ever stop innovating! I used my incredible computer skills to place the date in the greeting message that you don't notice anymore. I find it's an excellent motivator for me, to look at that number, and look at the date of my last update. After that, I will either update the page with filler and fodder, or I will procrastinate. Procrastination usually wins out, but at least now you can put a number next to your anger at me for not updating the page.
4:54 AM, Oct 16, 2003
are available for general viewing, in the pictures section. Follow the yellow line on the floor, and don't touch anything on the way.
Apple released iTunes
for Windows this past week, and it is an interesting player, but not as full-featured and light as WinAmp or xmms
. What does intrigue me about it is Apple's wildly popular iTunes Store
, from which I have already purchased a couple of tracks. It took some digging through the maze of directories itunes uses for saving purchased files, to find the actual extensions of these files. One nice thing about the other audio player applications I have used is that they are very easy to determine whether a file you're playing is mp3, ogg, aac, wav, au, aiff, wma, or flac.
Using their own m4p file extension, iTunes, as far as I know, is the only application that can play their files. Coupled with a functioning install of Audacity
, the files can be changed to oggs
, the way I like them, but it's off-putting that iTunes seeks to make their player "the one," and not just an application that is used for getting the files. Like so many new applications, iTunes seems to aim at not being considered a computer program that deals with files. I suppose that this makes little difference to most computer users, but I still don't like the idea of it. It forces users to use a slow, space-wasting application, which vends files that are crippled from "fair use," which is apparently a phrase that raises record company executives' eyebrows with suspicion.
I like WinAmp, and I'll keep using it, because it's very simple, and(for now), it doesn't attempt to spam you with ads and hidden programs. Apple's iTunes music store is very nice, but after using it for a little while, I see that it isn't the kind of music player that I want. I'll stick to eMule
, CD Universe
, and the websites of my favorite bands, to get my music.
Speaking of good new music, get Dido's new album, along with Ben Folds' 2 new EPs. Excellent, all.
---edit--- iTunes doesn't inform you about the taxes you have to pay, to buy from them. Bad Apple! ---edit---
This morning, I accepted a new job within my group, on the Code Migration team. With an understanding of what we do around here, and a pretty good command of UNIX, I can't wait to get my hands dirty in my new job, which apparently is going to officially start in one week. For the first time in over three years, I will be working days, and enjoying all the benefits that go with that. I am excited.
Today, I am happy that I have the use of my right hand. it's amazing how many things you consciously depend on it for. Typing would be an exercise in patience without it. If you are unable to use your right hand because of an injury to which you have subjected it, there are all the hazards from which you must steer your right hand clear as you walk past them. Driving, for me, would be particularly difficult, if I had to signal, steer, and shift, all with my left hand, as my right hand lay useless in my lap.
But, there are some things that a lot of people don't think of when they injure their right hand. The first I discovered when my hand was injured by a closing car door 2 years ago, is how difficult it becomes to make bathroom trips of the sitting variety, especially when the moment of truth arrives, and you left-handedly unspool a handful of toilet paper. You look plaintively at your left hand, as if you're reading assembly instructions in Thai, and are stricken with a feeling of confusion and frustration. It's like learning to ride a bike again, except this time you don't have youth to shield you from embarrassment.
Yes, I am happy that I have the use of my right hand, because without, I don't know what I'd do.
Well, last night was a little more active than most of my Fridays. From 75th St Brewery to the Newsroom, I never drank a single beer that I could see through, or even see light through. Those kinds of beers, while technically lighter than most other beers, don't go through my body along the same route as lighter looking and tasting beers. Upon a bit of research, Boulevard
Stout only has 5 carbs, and fewer calories than most beers. Fortunately, I don't care. When I was in Dubuque, the other weekend, I heard women arguing with each other about the fat/calorie/carbohydrate/whatever content of their beers, trying to pick a champion between Bud Light
and Miller Lite
. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. These were grown women deciding to drink a beer because it's less fatty(or whatever adjective, besides "tasty") than another one, yet has, as they will even attest, no flavor. America needs to rediscover beer, as a drink to enjoy, and not as a drink to tolerate.
9:55 PM, Oct 27, 2003
My feet still hurt from dancing for two hours straight last night at the Karl Denson
show. Hairy Apes BMX
opened for them, and tore the place up, too. It was the best concert I have been to in a long while, as the jazz/funk shows usually are. I just wish some of my college friends could have come, to see the amazing show. I was also happy to find out that the show was recorded, and will be available for download from a very generous group of folks within a couple of days. I can't wait to hear it, because the concert just rocked, especially for $15.
I worked my first couple of incidents on the new job tonight, and told them what for. I am going home early, of my own accord, to install the remote access client on my home computer, so I can throw down on some from-home changes. Or, it might be that I am asked to stay here, and stare at the wall, all week.
6:31 PM, Oct 30, 2003
Covad Sucks at Being Good
Fun fun fun, with DSL reassignment! I called my ISP
yesterday, to ask why I was still getting billed for the account I had when I was living at the old address, in Midtown, and they said the account was still active. "If you started a new account somewhere else, why didn't you cancel your old account?" Smack. After what seemed to be a little too long of a phone conversation, They graciously cancelled my old account, and absolved me of the billing for the time that I have since spent at another address. All was well, or so I thought.
I went to sleep today in the late morning, and when I woke up, somehow with a newly sore elbow, I turned on the bathroom light. I do this when I wake up after dark, to painfully force myself into a small-pupiled state, for easy viewing of the computer monitor. Once that was done, I went to check my email, and experienced the all-too-familiar "host does not exist" error message. I called Brian at work, and he told me that the connection had been down since the morning. This didn't bode well. Whenever we lost our connection, it would blunder itself back on in a few minutes. So, I called customer support, and very quickly got a human to talk to, albeit one with a Canadian accent
He talked me through the whole thing, and I was back up, with my new account settings. The modem had been using the settings from our old address, and when the folks at the home office got my call to cancel the old account, the connection was also lost. Therefore, bahua dot com has a new IP address, so nobody can probably see this update until Friday morning or afternoon. Sorry about that.