personal comments edit

This is my third day in a row that I’ve been stuck working from home over a 56kbps dial-up connection and a software VPN. This sucks ASS. I’ve figured out that if I work entirely over Remote Desktop, then it cuts down on my bandwidth problem - just RD into my workstation at work and then let the bandwidth there do the walking - but working in 256 colors (to conserver bandwidth on my end) and waiting for connections to establish is seriously killing me. I used to justify not getting a cable modem because we never got online at home due to our computer being too slow. Now that I’ve got a faster computer we seem to be on it (and online) a lot more often.

In fact, I just finished with an IM chat with my boss (and good friend, Greg) who provided a few helpful recommendations, and I just bought me a Linksys WRT54G Wireless-G Router so I can network the cable modem service when I get it. He knows how to do that (and secure it) and will help me out. Plus, at Amazon it was like $17 cheaper than everywhere else, and had an additional $10 rebate. Ordering it through my own site, I will get a 5% kickback on my own purchase, and using my Yahoo! Visa card, I’ll get 1% back there. So, like, a great deal. Now all I have to do is call Comcast.

Jenn is stuck at home today, too, which really sucks since she’s not getting paid and can’t work from home. No good a-tall.

I’m starting to get stir-crazy. I haven’t been outside the apartment in three days and I need to go somewhere. I don’t know how my grandparents do it - just sitting around their apartment day after day, never really going anywhere or doing anything.

In other sort-of-work-related-news, I’ve almost finished writing a web part for SharePoint Portal Server 2003 and/or Windows SharePoint Services that will allow users to display RSS feeds in a templated fashion. I was looking at using Tim Heuer’s RSS Feed Reader web part, but our requirements (i.e., my company’s requirements) necessitated a few additional configuration abilities, so I ended up writing my own. I think when I’ve got it up and running, I may open a GotDotNet workspace for it and release the source code. Maybe let the open source thing do a little work for me - have people contribute to it or at least provide ideas for enhancements. Might be fun.

Now that I’m thinking about it, I should probably split it off into its own assembly. (I have other web parts in the same assembly right now.) If that doesn’t make any sense to you, don’t worry about it.

Reading over what I’ve written so far, I realize that this is the sort of thing that goes through my head a lot of the time - how to program or configure things, how to solve problems in code, etc. - and that further makes me realize that some (perhaps many) of the people coming in here aren’t going to understand what any of that means or why it’s “cool.” Or, at least, cool to me. I think I’ve written about that before - that some of my geek-out moments are less accessible than my general ramblings. Huh. Maybe I should start a second blog for my geekiness, or at least add a new category like “Geek Moments” or something where I can blast out crap that folks other than me don’t care about. Something to chew on.

In the meantime, I should probably get to work. I’ve gotta write some documentation for my RSS Reader web part and ping Microsoft Developer Support for some code they’re supposed to have provided me but didn’t. Or, more accurately, code they did provide me with that didn’t fulfill the requirements I gave them. Plus I need some additional caffeine in my bloodstream. I’m draggin’ this morning.

media, music comments edit

I finished copying all of my CDs into AAC (MP4) format. The grand total:

7357 tracks 21.3 days 55.62 GB

That’s a lot of stuff!

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).