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Writer's Block: The winning ticket

  • 2011.02.08 at 1529 (934th entry)
home sweet goto
What would be your first purchase if you won the lottery?

A new roof for the house, one that isn't leaking.

You have to settle for monthly updates now

  • 2010.11.29 at 1615 (933rd entry)
reality
So, what's been going on the past month? Lots of the same uninteresting stuff, like trying to organize stuff around the house and get things unpacked. The PHP/MySQL project for work for which I've been up to my eyeballs finally seems to be clearing, so I may actually have time to start doing things like updating and Support again. It's been really interesting, and I've learned a lot about server-side programming, but probably not enough to help out significantly with DW/LJ because I still find Perl pretty impenetrable, and I didn't have to consider a lot of scalability problems for the work site.

For Thanksgiving Jamie and I flew back to see her family in Wisconsin. I found it amusing that the question nearly everyone asked was, "How was the security?" or "Did you get [frisked]?". What people who have been following the stories only loosely may not have understood is that not everyone is required to get scanned. At BWI and Milwaukee, for instance, I only went through the same metal detectors I always go through. The millimeter-wave scanners were there, and some people were going through them, but I couldn't see a pattern to it, nor was I asked to step through. So, you do still have a choice, and it's not exhibitionism vs. groping vs. arrest.

Anyway. Off to a full week of rehearsals for 3 separate concerts!

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Oh Hi

  • 2010.10.18 at 1631 (932nd entry)
home sweet goto
Once again I fail at keeping journals and such updated. I'm surprised I haven't been taken off everyone's Friends/Reading list by now, but in case anyone was concerned, I'm still alive. Some updates:

Two weeks ago a giant moving truck showed up and dropped off a zillion boxes with all of Jamie's stuff. We're still sorting through all of that.

Last Tuesday we flew out to Madison, picked up some beer and coffee, then spent the next two days driving back here. It was a pretty uneventful trip, although we did get to see a massive wind farm near Lafayette, IN. Speaking of which, it felt like a tour of Midwest college towns in a way: Madison, WI (UW), Lafayette, IN (Purdue), Columbus, OH (THE OH State), and Morgantown, WV (WVU). The last one featured lunch at Sandwich U, a business that definitely knows its clientele and eating habits. Just check out that menu; I dare you not to gag.

I'm also feeling like quite the accomplished home-owner. So far I've changed a deadbolt lock, a shower head, the furnace filter and thermostat; mowed my 6'-square patch of grass, fretted over a wasp's nest, and cursed out the previous owners more times than I can count.

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Post via email

  • 2010.10.12 at 0044 (931st entry)
energymotron
This takes too freaking long to type w/o T9 mode.

Ch-ch-ch-ch-changes

  • 2010.09.21 at 1030 (930th entry)
change
There's been so much going on in the last few days, I've hardly had time to log in and check my Friends page, let alone write an actual update. So, if I've missed anyone getting married or buried or any other life changes, feel free to comment. Where to begin?
  • We had the house walk-through and closed on Wednesday, kicking off four days of constant freak-out.

  • Thursday was lots of packing, because Friday the movers were showing up. The move itself went smoothly and quickly, which happens when you hire pros. Of course, the move butting up against Yom Kippur didn't help for getting stuff done on Friday night and Saturday.

  • My office is also in the middle of moving to a new location, which also occurred Friday. Thankfully, a professional crew was handling that as well, meaning I was only responsible for packing my office. Of course, it hasn't been all smooth sailing, as my keycard didn't work, my desk chair was missing, and I still have to arrange the furniture properly.

  • Speaking of the office, I don't like the new building itself because it's like a giant Faraday cage. I can barely pick up any radio stations.

  • I'm grateful that Jamie's been here to help with things and to keep me calm because it's been very stressful for both of us. My mom came in yesterday afternoon to help with organizing and unpacking. Yesterday, they completely unpacked the kitchen stuff, which is a big help. We haven't gone to a grocery store in days, so there's very little to cook anyway.

  • The other reason my mom is in town is because I'm playing with the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra tonight. OK, so it's not a "real" gig, it's just a reprise of what they are calling the "Rusty Musicians" concert, where regular Joe amateurs can have the opportunity to play a few pieces with the professionals. Right now I'm too worn out to be overly excited, but I'll be prepared for it.

  • Oh yeah, Support. I should probably check in there, too.

I'm sure I've forgotten lots of stuff, but that's a lot of update there.

[Needs a real topic]

  • 2010.09.14 at 1309 (929th entry)
home sweet goto
(Yes, it's been a while. 'Scuse me, I've been a little busy.)

It occurred to me while driving to work on Friday that I would only have to make that drive two more times. I've done it every day for the last six years, so the commute is so ingrained I barely think about it any more. It's because two things are happening simultaneously: tomorrow we close on the house and move in on Friday, and on Friday my office is moving from its home of the last 25 years to a shiny new facility built specifically for us. Well, the building was there before, but the interior is all new. We took a tour of the building yesterday and I got to see my window-less office. I can't decide if it will be an improvement over what I have now.

I also just came from the bank to get my cashier's check for the down payment and closing costs. There's something about holding a check for that much money that makes things seem more all the more real.

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On Facebook and Twitter

  • 2010.09.07 at 1636 (928th entry)
frylock-forreal
(Not cross-posting from DW, because who cares)
You know what? Here's a news flash for all those people who are still in an outcry over this perceived "loss of privacy":

"Internet privacy" is a contradiction in terms. Plain and simple. If you don't want to risk something you said somewhere, even in a locked entry, to have even a remote possibility of getting out there, DON'T POST IT ON THE FUCKING INTERNET.

And stop whining about whatever threatens your perception of "privacy" on the Internet, because you don't have any. This really is not a hard concept, but it will come as quite a shock to some.

[Needs a real topic]

  • 2010.08.30 at 1626 (927th entry)
home sweet goto
It's amazing what turns up when you're cleaning up for a move. We just found (in the office) a book from 1978 that explains how to program in FORTRAN, on PUNCH CARDS.

30 Days (or fewer) of Music: #6

  • 2010.08.25 at 2301 (926th entry)
metal
Oh, this was supposed to be a daily meme, not a weekly one? I'm definitely going to skip a few days, because some of these options are pretty stupid. I can't really think of a song/piece of music that makes me cry

Day 6: Your favorite band.

I still don't really listen to "bands" anymore (and I'm not going to count orchestras), but back in the day, my favorite band was the progressive metal band Dream Theater. From the first time I heard them back in about 1993, I realized how awesomely talented they were. They aren't just any old hair-metal band, several of the members met at Berklee College, the jazz-rock conservatory in Boston. They have an official YouTube channel, on which is posted the video of their first big hit:



All 30 DaysCollapse )

30 Days (or fewer) of Music Meme

  • 2010.08.17 at 1521 (925th entry)
violin
Stolen from coffeechica and dawna. There's no way I'll be able to keep this up for 30 whole days, especially because I don't listen to enough popular music or "songs" to fill out the list. Instead, I'll just pick & choose or skip where necessary.

Day 1: Your Favorite Song

There is no way I could pick out one song or piece of music as my absolute favoritest ever, but if I had to, it would almost certainly be something by Richard Strauss. I think he's viewed as something of an egotist in the classical music world, especially for writing at least two musical tributes to himself (Symfonia Domestica and Ein Heldenleben, "A Hero's Life"). Still, the man could write some beautifully lush music. This clip is taken from his orchestral suite to Der Rosenkavalier and is the instrumental version of the final trio from the end of the opera. The first time I ever heard this suite, I was transfixed through this entire section.

Also, what is mayerman doing in the oboe section? O_o


And if you're going to insist that to be part of this meme, there has to be vocals, here you go:


All 30 DaysCollapse )

Fame by association

  • 2010.08.10 at 1232 (924th entry)
resistance
Shakespeare may have written, "Be not afraid of greatness: some are born great, some achieve greatness and some have greatness thrust upon them", but he didn't say anything about having greatness occurring only to people they know. I refer to two incidents in the past week where things happened to other people in my life:

Two co-workers of mine were on a team that caught a 97.5-pound white marlin at this year's White Marlin Open. As such, they get to split over $800,000. We'd better get a lot of doughnuts at the office after this one.

Then yesterday, my brother was on a JetBlue flight back from Pittsburgh to JFK and overheard an irate flight attendant swearing over the PA system and exiting the plane via the emergency slide. Then he encountered the same flight attendant on the train relating the story to another passenger. Naturally he tweets about it, and within hours, the NY Daily News is interviewing him to get the story. By now, most of the major NY and national media have picked up the story and run with it. Too bad I missed his TV appearances on CBS' The Early Show, FOX News, and the Today Show. But, like I told our mother, once these things are out on the Internet, they never really go away.

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Weekly House Update

  • 2010.08.04 at 1635 (923rd entry)
money
If you ever feel the need to practice your signature, I recommend buying a house, especially the mortgage application. 60+ pages, only about 10 of which are actual things to fill out; the rest is acknowledging that things have been disclosed to you.

On the positive side, though, the inspection yesterday went very well. The roof is asphalt/tar and needs touching up soon, but that's probably the most urgent thing. I may even be able to talk the sellers into covering it. Now I just have to worry about cleaning and packing up my apartment.

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Another house update...

  • 2010.07.29 at 1041 (922nd entry)
change
I have not been doing a good job keeping the journals, FB, and everyone updated. For those not also following Jamie's feeds, we've put in an offer on another house, which has been accepted. We're just waiting for the ratified contract to schedule an inspection. Amusingly, this place is just a block away from the previous house, and apart from having less square footage, it is so much nicer that we fell in love with it right away.

And yes, we're in complete "freak out" mode now. =O

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Only took a week and a half...

  • 2010.07.20 at 1548 (921st entry)
home sweet goto
After putting in an offer on a house, going back and forth with the seller over crap about closing assistance and his profit margin, the seller has finally decided that he's going to rent the house instead. To a couple who supposedly are going to buy after a year of renting and despite "going through bankruptcy" still managed to put a $5,000 deposit on the place. The realtor and both of my finance guys think something doesn't add up here. I wonder if the couple isn't just friends of the owner to whom he made some kind of promise and the actual marketing of the house was just for show. Also, it supposedly needs a new roof. 9_9

It's a little disappointing, but it also wasn't a place we were really in love with, so not that much is lost in the deal.

Also, had a pretty good birthday yesterday. We went with my dad & stepmother to a barbecue place in Bowie that we'd never been before. For a few different reasons, I doubt we'll be going back there.

Offer: rejection

  • 2010.07.10 at 2052 (920th entry)
money
The seller is some kind of investor trying to flip the house, so basically wants more money. I'm not going to spend the rest of the weekend agonizing over it, though.

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[Needs a real topic]

  • 2010.07.09 at 1956 (919th entry)
money
So, a little while ago I put an offer on a house. We should find out tomorrow if the seller accepts or has a counter-offer.

It's scary, this growing up thing.

Post-Vegas Wrap-Up

  • 2010.06.08 at 1307 (918th entry)
blinkie ponie
I'm cross-posting this entry from Dreamwidth for some reason, even though it is all about things LiveJournal. Also, I'm still deciding how much involvement I want to continue to have here (DW).

So, Vegas. I can't do a day-by-day round-up of everything that went on because it's already a little hazy in my memory, but suffice it to say that everything was awesome and we had so much fun. (OK, sitting in traffic for an hour trying to get to Hoover Dam wasn't as fun, but that's life.) Some highlights:
  • The house kicked ass, but everyone who was there already knows that.

  • Jamie and I trying to make rice pudding in the auxiliary kitchen for 20+ people, then screwing up and subsequently salvaging the recipe.

  • Seeing the NV State Museum with jai_dit and teshiron.

  • Finding a Lucille's BBQ while hunting for an Original Pancake House.

  • Of course, the big Cheesecake Factory group dinner, and meeting up with a friend I hadn't seen since high school (who lives in LV). The long-ass table wasn't the optimal seating arrangement for conversations, unfortunately. If only the people at the opposite end of the table had seen the text messages I was sending them. ;)

  • Instead of Melting Pot, Moroccan food at Marrakech (no offense to those who went to MP, but I think we had much better food).

  • Collecting "cards" while on the Strip and seeing the Bellagio fountain show.

  • The aforementioned driving out to Hoover Dam with more people than I can mention.

  • Running into burr86 and hachi while trying to meet up with them at the Atomic Testing Museum.

  • Mille Bournes and Monty Python Fluxx (finally!) with ferrell, elyssa, stevieg, and snarkbite.

  • MST3k with coffeechica, Glee with danceinacircle, and talking shop with aveleh and the_kitty_kat.

Everyone else I didn't mention, thanks just for being your wonderful selves.
energymotron
Finally on the plane, next stop: Vegas!
energymotron
Flights into/out of CLT delayed but we're at the gate and hope to board soon.

Yeah, LOST

  • 2010.05.24 at 2319 (915th entry)
pushing ur button
Well, that's six years worth of TV watching I'll never get back. Now what the hell am I going to do on my Tuesday nights?

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av8rmike
Mister Baltimore

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