General Ramblings comments edit

I’m not much for cold weather, but that’s usually not a problem living in Oregon. It rains a lot, it’s dreary sometimes, but it never really just gets balls-out cold. I can probably count the number of times we’ve had snow that stuck in the past five years on one hand. That all changed, though, with this winter storm that blew in off the ocean. Yow! We’ve had snow, ice, freezing rain, gusty winds… you name it!

Since I am in Oregon, and Oregonians don’t know how to drive in the rain, let alone the snow, I decided not to go in to work today. Besides the fact that I don’t have chains or traction tires (should I happen to need them), I just don’t trust the other drivers in the area. Watching the morning commute, I saw accident after accident happening because your typical SUV driver thinks that just because they have 4WD it means they can drive a full 70mph across black ice without issue. So I’m at home, surfing porn telecommuting via dial-up Internet access and VPN.

The inside of the apartment is warmer than it is outside, so condensation forms on the insides of the windows… but then it gets toward the metal window frame and freezes up, so we have ice crystals on the windows. My kitties are cold, too, so I pulled a chair up next to the fire for them and they’re nice and warm, cooking by the fire.

Kitties by the
fire

I’ve actually accomplished quite a bit today, all things considered. I’ve released a new version of the content on the company web site, wrote up a little programmatic redirector thing that will help folks out if they’ve got pages bookmarked that I moved elsewhere, and ran some troubleshooting on some intranet search engine stuff that was going wrong. Not bad at 56kbps. (Actually, 45kbps, plus the added degradation implicit in an encrypted VPN connection.)

The company closed up at 1:00p, but I’m still working. I figure I’m working at quarter speed due to the lame bandwidth situation I’ve got here so I’ll tie up a few more loose ends before shutting down for the day. Then I’ll get on working up the eBay auction descriptions for the items I’m going to sell (time to part with the Buffy t-shirts).

General Ramblings comments edit

It snowed like nothing else on New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day, to the point that in some cases you actually needed chains or traction tires to get around. I, fearing the other drivers on the road and their inability to cope with such circumstances, did not leave the house, opting instead to watch movies and play games with Jenn. This was probably a much better use of my time in the long run anyway.

New Year’s Eve Jenn and I went to the Winter Hawks game against Seattle and watched our boys lose a game they should have won had they not totally dropped the ball for the last half. After that we went home and ate junk food. We barely made it to midnight before we were just too tired and went to sleep. I wonder if that’s evidence of my increasing age, that it demonstrates how much I care, or if I just lead the wrong kind of lifestyle to be able to stay up all night. We weren’t out and about, though, and I think had there been more general activity (like a party or something) I probably would have found the energy to stay awake longer.

I’ve been working on this shelf that I bought at the craft store - trying to stain it a nice red mahogany color - and I’m finding that this project really isn’t suited to performing in an apartment with no garage. I can’t leave the shelf outside to dry, so I stick it in the computer room and shut the door (so the cats won’t get on it) and now when you come in the computer room you get a nice high off the fumes. I can’t wait to have a house with an actual garage and a place to do stuff like this.

I have also been working on ripping my CDs into 256kbps AAC format and I’m currently working on “The Very Best Of Rod Stewart.” That gives me 6680 songs, or 19.4 days worth of music, totaling 50.48GB.

Finally, in my productive streak, I’m working on getting some of my stuff that I don’t want anymore onto eBay. I’ve never sold anything on eBay before, but I’m sure it can’t be that hard. I’ve taken the pictures of my items and now I just have to get the HTML together to display them properly and write up some descriptions. Then we’ll see what happens.

I was over reading Penny Arcade and they were talking about a pretty biased New York Post article advising people to dump stock in Take Two Interactive because they produce the Grand Theft Auto series of games. I don’t even think I want to comment on the ridiculous nature of the NYP article; the Penny Arcade guys say it best on their site. I will say, though, that seeing an article like this discredits the New York Post as a viable news source for me. If the article had shown up in the “opinions” or “editorial” section, I might let it slide, but this is supposed to be a business article reporting news. Instead, you get to read a tabloid-worthy tale from an obvious ultra-conservative. Just exactly what the world needs.

personal comments edit

I got an RMA for my Time Crisis 3 game, so I’ll be sending that back to Namco to get a replacement disc. In the meantime, I’m keeping myself busy with SSX3.

Last night I busied myself with figuring out the whole bartending thing. I’ve found that my favorite drinks to make are the layered ones, mostly because the whole thing fascinates me. here are a couple that turned out reasonably well - on the left, a B52; on the right, a Peach Haze.

B52 and Peach
Haze

I’ve also been working on staining a wooden shelf that I bought at the craft store the other day. I thought that buying a raw shelf and then staining it myself would be a money-saver, but if time is money, then I’ve wasted about $2000 on this thing already. Woodworking projects, including staining and painting, are generally bad ideas if you live in an apartment without a garage. I need to remember that.

Finally, we’ve had a leak over our stove now for a while. The first time we found it, it had rained the night before and had leaked down through the fan vent over the stove and onto the stove top. It was sort of discolored and gross, but what can you expect? Plus there was a lot, and we soaked it up with a towel. After a couple of times, we figured it was actually a leak and not some one-time thing, so we filled out a repair request form at the apartment office. The guy came to fix it and we didn’t see it for about a week.

I went out this morning and found there was more there, but this time I looked a little closer…

We have squirrels living in the crawl space, and they’re peeing down my Goddamn vent. I can’t say I’m surprised; it’s happened before. I was hoping I’d seen the last of these little assholes, but apparently not. I’ve since filled out another maintenance request, so here’s hoping I can put an end to the small animal urination in the area that I prepare my food. If it’s not one thing, it’s something else.

personal, playstation, music comments edit

I woke up this morning distinctly glad that I still don’t have to go back to work quite yet. I’ve finally reached a decent state of decompression, and while I admit I have actually reached a state of boredom a couple of times so far, it’s been a welcome relief from the hustle and bustle that I usually endure. Having nothing to do (that is, nothing that has to be done) is a nice thing.

Jenn and I continued our recovery from the Christmas holiday by venturing out to what is commonly referred to as the “After Christmas Sales.” I’m not a big shopaholic, but I did find some bargains I couldn’t pass up. At Target, I picked up a couple of Harry Potter Lego sets on the cheap, and at Radio Shack I got my remote controlled Acura RSX. I’ve never had an R/C car before, so it’s pretty fun. Now if it would only stop snowing and/or raining so I could take it outside. I’m sure the cats are pretty tired of it by now.

I got my PS2 back. Actually, it’s a refurbished unit, so it’s not actually “my PS2” as in “the original PS2 I had,” it’s a semi-new unit, factory inspected, with a warranty and all. And you know what? Time Crisis 3 still doesn’t fucking work. So now I’m convinced that it is, in fact, the disc at fault, and not the console. However, I’m still glad I went through the process because DVD movies finally play correctly and all of the games I have (other than TC3) work perfectly. So I’m still ahead of the game. I have since contacted Namco support to see about getting a replacement disc.

I continue to rip my CDs into 265kbps AAC format so I can listen to them on my iPod. I’m just starting on the letter ‘S’ (my CDs are alphabetical by artist) and I’ve got 5,988 tracks totalling 45.3GB, or about 17.4 days’ worth of music. Not too bad; I thought it’d be much more space taken up than that. (Technically, some of my CDs are comedy, like Denis Leary stuff, so it’s not all “music,” but it’s still 17.4 days’ worth of audio.)

New Year’s plans include going to the Winter Hawks game and then going home. I bought a book - Cocktails For Wimps - and I think I’m going to try out some of the fancier ones with layers and stuff. I got a nice bar spoon and shaker from Kitchen Kaboodle yesterday, so I’m all ready.