Tag Archives: personal

Honeymoon Update

Susan and I are in Butte, MT for the night, on our way to Yellowstone from Glacier. Butte gives us a chance to get some laundry done in the hotel, as all of our hiking clothes are quite solidly rank at this point.

Glacier was amazing. We got to see grizzlies on the mountain side across from our hotel (at a nice safe binocular distance), as well as all sorts of other wildlife on the trails. No time to document it all now, so I’ll just leave you with the panoramic of Grinell Glacier, which was our first day’s hike in the park. Click for a bigger (though not even fullsize) panoramic.

Pre Wedding Blog

We’re at T minus 5 days and counting till our wedding, and just about all the prep work before actually getting to Vermont that can be done, has been. So now it’s just hold on tight, and deal with any unforeseens that show up at the last minute.

Today was my last real day of work before leaving for the wedding/honeymoon. I’ll be out of the office for 3 weeks, which will be a nice break from things, especially as this will be the first real vacation of the year. The interns are all clearing out now, so it will be quite a shock to get back to the office and have it be quiet. It’s pretty assured that I won’t really be touching the computer for things like blog updates until I get back, though the laptop will wander with me as a digital photo depo, as well as movie machine.

I’ve been watching a lot of Dr Who of late, mostly the 4th Doctor (Tom Baker). At the same time I’ve been reading a bunch about the history of Doctor Who. While I knew that Douglas Adams had been a script editor for Season 17 of Dr Who (and had written a couple of episodes), I finally put all the pieces together last night that the 2nd Romana was actually married to Tom Baker for a short while, but later ended up meeting Richard Dawkins at Douglas Adams 40th birthday party. After listening to The Salmon of Doubt earlier in the year, which Dawkins can be heard on, I had purchased Dawkins’ The Blind Watchmaker as Adams spoke so highly of it. While I had heard Dawkins mention meeting his wife at Adams party, all the pieces hadn’t fallen into place about how close that circle was until last night.

It has nothing to do with the wedding, other than giving me a pleasant distraction from any stress, but it was nice none the less.

Now I just need to figure out how to get my hands on some jelly babies…

The coolest Civic that I’ll never be able to buy

Doesn’t that look cool! Honda did a concept car for a 2005 motor show which is a cool evolution of the die hard civic. Unlike most concept cars, they actually decided to start making this one, and selling it in Europe. The Top Gear guys just reviewed it, and they really liked it. You can check out more information at the Honda UK site

The problem is, they are making it in Europe. And given how our currency is in the tank right now, odds of it coming state side are pretty low. 😦 In a year, I’ll be starting to think about a new car to replace my 1998 Civic (bought it new, 8 years old now, 105k miles), and got my hopes up for just a second that this might actually be the 2007 Civic in the US. But, alas, the gods of crappy economy have busted our hopes again.

Great news, Nick and Heather are engaged!

The news is on Heather’s Blog, so I think it’s fair game to be on mine now. 🙂

Nick and Heather are engaged! I got a call on Friday from Nick giving me the short version, and I need to get the long and juicy version out of him this week. I always had a feeling that Nick would probably move reasonably quickly once he found the right girl. After meeting Heather last summer, and spending the weekend with the two of them, she definitely seemed to be the one. It’s always great when a close friend finds someone that really perfectly complements them as a human being.

Now here is to crossing my fingers that Nick gets a job out east, thus bringing them a bit closer to Susan and I. 😉

Weekend Projects

It was a good weekend. A lot of time spent outside, a lot of things accomplished.

Apparently this was the weekend to get rid of the carpet on the porch, which I didn’t realize until Susan said “come help me rip up the carpet on the porch” at 11 am on Saturday. While originally skeptical, I could deny that the overwhelming smell of various animal urine on it meant it was a good idea. The surprise of “new big project right now” just took me a couple hours to shake.

With all the carpet ripped up in about 30 minutes, we were staring at a twice painted (at least) concrete floor, that was flaking up everywhere, plus a rather large flow of black mould coming from the biggest source of smells. Given that the mould would probably have killed me on the spot (asthma and all), I went off to other activities while Susan scrubbed heartily with Bleach.

So, my missions were:

Re-erect the garden fence, so our lettuce in the cold frame could be thinned, and 1/2 go into the garden proper. We’ve got a few too many Bambis (aka Wood Rats) in these parts to trust anything tasty in the vegetable garden without some sort of deterrent up. We learned the lesson the first year badly.

Paint the Garden Bench that has been in desperate need since we got it for free 2 years ago. A quick inventory in the workroom found a can a black spray paint. Black is good, and isn’t going to stick out to much… so a winner!

Repaint the Gargoyle. We got this gargoyle as a house warming present from our friends Mike & Shaun. It’s an outside size gargoyle, made of plaster, which means it will dissolve far too quickly if not treated. After 2 years it needed another couple of coasts of stone textured paint, and more clear coat (this time something stronger).

Back to the porch:

Fully scrubbed down, it no longer smelled out there (a winner!), but looked awful. In the new carpet vs. new paint debate, new carpet lost heavily to the idea of future cat pee cleanup. At the hardware store later, “Mountain Rose” seemed to be our floor color of choice. I was still somewhat partial to the textured floor paint, but those experiments will have to wait for the garage floor for later this summer. We also acquired some “hammered texture” black spray paint for the iron bench, which comes out a bit grayer, but quite nice.

Come Sunday afternoon, coat 1 of Mountain Rose is down, everything that was on our 25’x11′ porch is either in the yard, or family room, or garage. Coat 2 is scheduled for tonight, so it will have the requisite 72 hours hardening time before the family all gets here on Thursday night.

On the grad school front:

I spent a lot of time staring at what our Wednesday homework was supposed to be (create fake asm files for our assembler project), I decided this would all make much more sense if I actually wrote the assembler first, then had something to run asm files through. Although we were told we could write it in any language, the moment it became clear that this was getting handed in as hard copy, I figured python might be a bad choice, as it would make for a hard time grading. They teach Java a lot at Marist, so at least I can guarantee the prof can read it. And in Java 1.4 they finally gave us regex support, so it isn’t *too* bad. By the end of Sunday night I had pass_one correct (I’m pretty sure), with about 50% of the asm error checking it should have. pass_two is complete except for symbolic data declarations, though no asm error checking yet.

I definitely have a few questions/clarifications that I need made on this front. Email off to my prof today to get that sorted out.

I also realized that I might have a plan of attack to deal with the fact that I’m going to be missing at least the 2nd and 3rd week of class in the fall (maybe even the 1st) because of the wedding. I need to both find a subject I can catch up that much on, as well as one that has an understanding professor to let 1/2 have of the semester slide a little. Once I figure this one out for sure, that is one less thing I need to worry about.

Wild Web Weekend

While Sunday I was off curling all day, Saturday managed to be a pretty reasonable day for getting things done for the wedding, shower, and other obligations.

I put together the automatic gallery script for Mike Fogg’s Website, so he can upload more pictures though an easy form that I gave him. Mike still needs to give me some proper text for his site, so I’m still awaiting that. Susan threatened to do that without him if he doesn’t respond soon, as the lack of that on Mike’s website is probably hurting him more than the lack of pictures was.

The wedding website moved to here. Yes, it’s a wiki (which I know Dan will get on my case about). But it looks a lot better than the old site, and makes it easier for Susan to add content to it. I also suspect that my mom, and a couple others will want to add bits, so that provides an easy way to do that as well. I need to add that to my backups soon.

Wedding planning got a lot more specific, and organized. We’ve got the master list of everything that needs to be done now, and Susan and I are taking various items and just doing them. We’re 5 months out, so time is getting a little short, though the end of the semester is going to help some.

Evites went out for the Memorial Day party last friday, hopefully we’ll end up with the same 40 or so folks from last year, plus maybe a few more. Need to invite more of the neighbors this time around.

And we’re actually getting our butts in gear on the bathroom remodeling. While I’m not thrilled on the price, I am thrilled about the idea of having a shower panel, and marble floors (purchased). I think we found the furniture we want this weekend at home depot, so the remaining elements needed are:

  • Toilet (can do that at the last minute)
  • Shower Light
  • Shower Wall Tile
  • Shower floor mosaic

The Wall tile is the biggest issue right now. Amusingly enough, the walls in the bathroom at Panera actually are really close to what we want, now we just need to find out where they source their tile from. 🙂

Morning Ramblings

Last night’s MHVLUG meeting was quite good. It was nice to get an outside vendor like WindRiver to come in and talk about Linux in an embedded environment. After a quick overview of the challenges of an embedded system, they gave demos of their toolkit, based on eclipse, that provides real time debugging of embedded systems. It’s pretty interesting to see how the open sourcing of the eclipse framework has lead to a lot of tool vendors just writing eclipse plugins for all their work.

Susan has taken up using the exercise bike in the house, which is a good thing for all. Well, almost, as it means that inevitably the bike seat is in the wrong position when I get down to the family room in the morning. 🙂 Changing it every morning isn’t a big deal, just taking some getting used to. Susan also apparently just figured out that I was blogging for the past 3 months. I’m pretty sure I said something previously, but I guess not. She was reading my curling post while I was writing it the other night, with much amusing running commentary during it.

The weekend was a grand success of yard work. Given that spring had just sprung, and yet most of the plants hadn’t really started expanding roots yet, we had quite good luck ripping out these nasty rose bushes and some other woody brush that define our “woods”. The end game was to expand the lower yard another 15 feet into the gladed area, and let some of the young maple trees there get enough sun and room to actually grow. 20 lbs of grass seed have gone down, and the warm spring rain should make it just about perfect. In 4 weeks we’ll know.

Taxes are done (finally!), and big refund checks should be sailing my way soon. Now we’re definitely in good shape for paying for the bathroom remodel, we’ve just got to find the right tile at this point to get the contract rolling. There is also cleary enough left over to think about doing the deck this year (which I can actually manage on my own). That should be the early summer adventure.

On the tech front, I’ve decided to try out Ion as a windowmanger on Linux. AfterStep has been great all these years, but it’s definitely got memory leaks (given that after 14 days it grew to 170 MB), and there are a list of other quirks that have gotten under my skin of late, and as all the other bits of my laptop are actually surviving that long, I wanted to see what else is out there. Ion is an interesting idea that is the “screen” of windowmanagers, where everything is full screen (mostly), and tiled, and notifications are centralized (which is actually the nicest feature). The lack of a pretty Heads Up Display might end up being the deal breaker for me (though you can run dockapps, which is useful, though not quite as integrated), as would be the linear chaining of desktops (though I can forgive that a bit, as desktop count is dynamic). I suppose I should get on the mailing list and ask a few of the questions that I’ve got. If I had a key sequence to show/hide the dockapps, I’d be golden I think.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Ben posted about this over the weekend, and it made me think a bit. When I was just graduating college, and was asked the question, I had a few answers I thought I could give to that.

In 5 years I

  • Would not be working for IBM (false)
  • Would hopefully have gotten to the Olympics (true)
  • Would be married to my then girl friend (false)
  • Would have moved out of the Hudson Valley (false)
  • Would never consider going back to grad school (false)

The most surprising things that happened in that same 5 years were

  • Getting the job in the Linux Technology Center at IBM (the reason I stayed)
  • Starting the LUG, and meeting lots of friends through it
  • Meeting Susan, and all that has happened since
  • Learning to Sail
  • That the Olympics thing actually panned out 🙂