April 28, 2003

Signs of the End Times

Hmm. The world might end soon -- I've got a Christina Aguilera song stuck in my head, and I don't really mind. We were listening to "Fighter" in the car on our way to Little T's, and Kari and Erin got into a discussion of how the video for that song is worse than the "Making-Of" show for the video. This is kind of interesting. I've been noticing that meta-entertainment (entertainment about entertainment: trailers, promo shows, etc) is often better than the entertainment it's linked to. For example, if you had the people who made the trailer for Adam Sandler's movie Anger Management do the movie itself, it probably would have been much better.

I just hope this doesn't apply to The Matrix sequels.

Posted by mike at 11:19 AM Central | Erin , Kari , Movies , Music , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

April 29, 2003

Friends' Blogs

Found the LiveJournal sites for a couple of friends: Kari, Erin, and Spike. Erin was complaining about her user ID, since she uses it everywhere, and it apparently makes people think she's a guy. I'm glad she used it for LiveJournal, though -- that's the only way I could find anyone..

I'm usually not up this late. Not having a job and mucking with my new website too much is screwing up my sleep cycle. Well, and the fact that I use MythTV too much to record and watch TV shows up the yin-yang. I'm learning to just delete things. I don't need to see every episode of A Makeover Story ;-)

I think I still have the new Simpsons episode from this weekend on my machine if anyone wants to watch it, though I'm not sure how to move the file around or play it on any machines other than my own..

The wonders of technology.

Update: Hahaha... It's 3:26!!!

Posted by mike at 03:26 AM Central | Erin , Kari , MythTV , Spike , TV | Comments (1) | TrackBack (0)

April 30, 2003

Not Explicit Enough

Okay, so there's this feature of TCP/IP called Explicit Congestion Notification (ECN). It's been part of the standard for a few years now. The problem is, there are still a lot of routers and servers out there (mostly just routers, though, if people know what's good for them) that don't understand it. If you turn on ECN, suddenly some sites on the Internet become inaccessible. This isn't supposed to happen.

TCP ECN uses a field in the TCP header that had previously been defined as "reserved". This means that you should ignore the field. However, many programmers thought this meant the field should always be set to zero. So, many routers just discard ECN-enabled packets.

I was having trouble seeing any pictures hosted from photoisland.com on Kari's LiveJournal page because of this, so I had to execute the command (on Linux):

echo 0 > /proc/sys/net/ipv4/tcp_ecn
Posted by mike at 10:23 AM Central | Internet , Kari | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 02, 2003

I'll Have a Coke

Woke up with a strange feeling today, like something bad is going to happen. Maybe something good is going to happen. More likely, nothing is going to happen.

Dan, Kari, Adam, and I went to buy Friday tickets for X2 last night, then stopped in Borders for a while, and finally spent 45 minutes or so at Applebee's doing Trivial Pursuit 20th Anniversary Edition trivia. I think I got the most questions right ;-)

I was kind of surprised to know so many answers. I guess I'm much better at the 20th Anniversary version than the other versions, though I'm not quite the right age to be really good. I think some of Erin's older friends can totally beat my ass at it ;-)

Posted by mike at 11:05 AM Central | Adam , Dan , Erin , Kari , Movies | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 25, 2003

Sleep? What's That?

Ugh, ended up sleeping a lot later than I expected. I was tossing and turning all night, though. My brain was too active, I guess. On the upside, that must mean I actually had some fun last night. Also, I finally feel awake for once—I think I've been pretty sleep-deprived lately.

I joined Adam, Kari, Becky, and Spike in their activities by going to Ground Zero and watching some Sex and the City. We also had some pizza, which was good, but it felt like it took forever to get delivered.

I wasn't quite feeling like myself at Ground Zero for some reason. I think I had a headache—I just couldn't move in the ways I wanted to. Maybe I used up my monthly dancing quota last weekend ;-)

I probably just need more exercise.

Anyway, it's fun to go there and get at least one or two girls to smile at me—that really makes my day. But, I have to admit, it's probably all due to the shirt.

Posted by mike at 01:37 PM Central | Adam , Kari , Music , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2003

Party At Spike's! Bring Your Porn Stories!

Went to Spike's to get some grillage. At first, I was a little concerned that things would be a bit boring, but I guess that's because nobody had started cooking anything yet ;-)

Talked a bit with Dan, and mentioned the Apple ][ screensaver. Told him to befriend me on LiveJournal, and also mentioned that there are a bunch of other things you can get through the RSS feed syndication system on LJ, including comics.

Other than that, I chatted a bit with Kjersten (not quite sure if that's how she spells it), and convinced Dan to regale us with tales of his travels. I thought he'd been on more than 4 trips across the pond, but I guess I feel better now knowing that he only has me beat by one (though that first trip to Norway was when I was only a baby and couldn't even sit up for more than a few seconds at a time—or so the story goes..)

I got reminded that Dan ran into trouble with people going on strike. Lots of people seem to have trouble with that when traveling in Europe. My second trip to Norway, which took place when I was in 7th or 8th grade, involved us taking a harrowing train journey from Copenhagen to Oslo because some airport workers had gone on strike. We ended up getting to our destination, just 18 hours late or something like that...

Kjersten had lived in Scotland while taking some classes for a while, so she was excited when Dan mentioned his trip there. I guess they both actually knew someone from the Milwaukee area that had been involved with both of their trips too.

The rest of the group there talked about a lot of different things, running from racial stereotypes to racial stereotypes in porn. I didn't really have much to add to that conversation, but I thought it was interesting that Kari mentioned at some point that she knew another Korean in school, but both of them were adopted, which I guess confused a lot of people. Anyway, I just thought that was interesting since I grew up with an adopted Korean in my grade, and her brother was in the same grade as my brother..

After that, Kari took us all on in a few rounds of Halo, and beat all our asses. I may have to try again sometime. It takes me a few times to get my brain to understand game controls like that.

I think I do better with inverted controls in Halo (pointing up makes you look down, and vice-versa), but I generally prefer to have one less axis of control to worry about. I've kind of forgotten how I play in Quake, but I think I generally just use the up and down arrows on the keyboard to propel me, then use the mouse to look up and down (non-inverted) and turn left and right. I generally don't like being able to look in a direction different than the direction I'm moving..

Anyway, stuff happened.

Blah, blah, blah..

Goodnight.

Posted by mike at 12:07 AM Central | Dan , Kari , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 27, 2003

Stufft

Went to Cafe Latté with Dan, Kari, Spike, Sarah, and Josh. The last time Sarah had tried to bring us (well, the last time I'd been invited along, at least), we sort of got snowed out. The place ended up being closed that time, so we went to Ciatti's next door instead.

Anyway, finally got to eat at the intended target this time. I don't think any of us really knew how the system worked there, so we probably ended up buying more food than what we needed. I got a large salad, a sandwich, and a drink, which all added up to around $13—a bit much. I think the next time I go, I'll just get a small salad along with a drink (or water), and spend money on some of the nice desserts they have there.

We had some pretty good conversation, too. Somehow, Spike and Kari seem to induce topics related to Asian culture, which is cool but odd at the same time. As far as I understand, neither of them grew up learning much about Chinese and Korean culture, respectively. The American education system didn't help out much in this regard, since it's generally so Europe-centric.

Still, I made mention of the fact that Erik's now in China, so we have a guinea pig of sorts to test out our cultural theories ;-) I gave Sarah his e-mail address since she apparently didn't know it..

This might not have come up if it weren't for the fact that Sarah and I sat across the table from each other for once. I don't think that's happened for years.. She usually ends up in the corner or something because Josh's left-handedness causes conflicts.. I was again surprised at how easily we talk, given the chance. Usually, I worry that she doesn't like to talk to me, but times like that remind me that we're still friends.

Anyway, good friends, good food, and good entertainment afterwards when we all watched The Big Lebowski at JED's place. What more could you ask for on a holiday (well, other than a non-sick Erin—get better! ;-)

Posted by mike at 01:11 AM Central | Dan , Erik , Erin , Food , Josh , Kari , Sarah , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 09, 2003

Garr...

I got some Cat 6 cable from CompUSA. Then I found I could get more cable for the same price at Radio Shack (though I couldn't have gotten the 3' cable length at Radio Shack—just 7' for the price I paid for 3').

Anyway, I got back home and started fiddling with it. Ripped it apart and replaced some of the wires going between the drives in my disk enclosure. Unfortunately, it's not helping the 4-drive setup I want to have.

After mucking with this a while, I stopped out on the front porch of my apartment building to hang out with Kari and Becky a bit. No sense getting too stressed out with my computer stuff, as the next step will be to replace the more complicated cable that comes into the case. Fun.

On a positive note, all three lanes of University Ave. were open all the way through Dinkytown for once! We'll see how long that lasts.

Posted by mike at 08:32 PM Central | Hardware , Kari | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 05, 2003

Burninator

I think I'm going to look at DVD burners today. Looks like pretty much any drive should work with Linux, but the support for DVD burning in general appears to be a bit weak. I think my CD-RW drive was going on the fritz, and I pulled out my SCSI card a few weeks ago, so it hasn't been connected to anything.

I guess I haven't been using this Zip drive at all, so I can plug the new drive in that spot..

Oh, I suppose since I actually saw some people last night that I should comment. Went over to Erin's to BBBQ (I did not BYOBB, or even drink the BB—just stole some pop). I can call it &ldquoErin's” since Dan and Josh were gone.

Anyway, I guess most of the people there were upstairs people or friends of them, so I didn't really know what the hell was going on, but that's okay. Spike was there most of the time, and Kari and Becky showed up for a little while.

Though, I must say, it was nice to be surrounded by girls for once ;-)

I can't say the burger was the best I'd ever had, but the roasted veggies and other stuff they had were muy bien.

Some people had been trying to leave to go see fireworks for about half an hour, but others didn't want to go. Anyway, I headed back toward my place when we started hearing big booms, and finished watching fireworks over in the park across the street from my apartment. Seemed to be a reasonably good show, though I seem to recall being extremely impressed with Rochester's show a year or two ago.

I'm pretty happy with the location of my apartment, seems to be just about the right distance from everything ;-)

Posted by mike at 10:08 AM Central | Erin , Hardware , Kari , Software , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 01, 2004

My Head in a Jar

So, I went to a great New Year's party—and I didn't even have to go through metal detectors or pass armed guards. Yes, indeed, my New Year's Eve was Dick Clark-free. In fact, having the only appropriate synchronized timekeeping device in the house, I had the duty of marking the countdown (it was cheap—you should get one).

I was surprised to see four DJs, as I had been told there would be only two or three. Then again, perhaps the miscalculation is due to considering Simmons a “friend” rather than a “DJ.” Anyway, they all did good work. Of course, it was also good to see Thosquanta in action, finally. I think most of the songs in the set last night could be apprecated by a not insignificant portion of the general public. So, I knew them before they were stars, sorta.

There was some food there (wouldn't have been a party without it). Some of your average snackages like cheese, crackers, and mixed nuts, but there was other stuff like Dan's peanut brittle and (Ooh! Ahh!) Ultimate brittle. Which nobody ate, of course. I would be remiss if I didn't mention Beth's artichoke dip, which was…artichokey.

I was trying to be at least moderately sociable, but it didn't quite happen. I especially thought it would be good to chat with Beth a bit, since I only run into her once every few months. Unfortunately, our attempts at conversation went downhill quickly. It has seemed in the past like we've got some weird yin-yang thing going on, but it's more likely that we don't have anything in common whatsoever ;-)

It felt in some ways like I was Mr. Faux Pas for the evening, saying and occasionally doing the wrong things. I accidentally sipped my champagne before midnight—I suppose that means a year of bad luck or something. Oh well, I balanced it all out by enjoying the music and dancing about as much as I could.

Unfortunately, my overactive sweat glands required me to cool off outside a few times. It was really disturbing to see steam rising from my shirt. That shouldn't happen! I'm not a cup of coffee!

Anyway, I guess I was surprised that we never really got many people dancing at once until the end of the evening. I thought that if I did it, more people would get going. Accounting for the fact that I wasn't drinking, I thought a bit about Cuervo Man, though lacking an imposing presence or voice myself, I have to leave the more boisterous activity to the professionals.

The drive home wasn't too bad, as I only had to dodge two police cars who had pulled people over. I dropped off one passenger, though I realize I accidentally didn't see “no turn on red” signs at least twice. I hate those things, though they do seem prudent every once in a while.

Waking up was a very elongated process today, and I did have a slight headache due to lack of sleep and blood vessels that were still constricted by caffiene. The sound of the hard drive on one of my computers clicking for several hours didn't help matters either.

Okay, that sounded a bit down, but I really did have a good time. Now I have to figure out something to do with Erik today or tomorrow before he has work and classes start up again.

Posted by mike at 03:02 PM Central | Adam , Dan , Erik , Erin , Kari , Music , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 16, 2004

The Streets Shall Flow with the Blood of the Nonbelievers!

Woo! I just coined a phrase: World Dominazn! This is entirely appropriate due to my Total World Domination t-shirt, and entirely inappropriate due to my Norwegian heritage.

Though, I suppose I can't really take credit. Google says that people and quake teams have been using the screen name of DominAzn for a while… But, “world dominazn” is new.

<spotlight state="occupied">
Thank you. Thank you. You're so kind.
</spotlight>

Hmm, I really need to rediscover Dan's umbrelloquy, though…

Posted by mike at 07:52 PM Central | Dan , Internet , Kari | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 07, 2004

A Bright Future in Dark Music

Went to Adam's birthday and heard the band play again. And then heard the band play again. One of Spike's friends didn't get there until really late, hence the repeat. I managed to do okay in some of the crash games in Burnout 2 in the meantime, though.

In other news, it appears that Marcy Playground is actually named for the park across the street from my apartment (the playground at Marcy Open School/Holmes Park, rather than the playground at Marcy Park). Theoretically, the school was the “formative location” for one of the main guys in the band.

Blah blah blah. I stayed up too late.

Posted by mike at 03:24 AM Central | Adam , Dan , Kari , Music , Spike | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 18, 2004

Black

Ugh. We had a power outage in my apartment building. It appears that only a few blocks were affected (maybe only ours), but maybe we were on the edge of something. Anyway, two of my three computers (er, three out of my four, if you count the laptop, but it's unaffected by piddly hour-long periods without current) are functioning now. One of them has experienced some hard disk corruption, it appears. Now, the challenge of finding a Linux recovery disk or CD that can handle the 200GB hard drive and the ATA133 controller.

Yay.

The moment of community togetherness involved in the outage was my joining Adam and Kari on a trip to a bookstore. Well, it was a place I'd never been before, which was something I needed anyway.

I almost picked up a book named Tube about the history of television, but it was a $30 hardcover and I figured my money could be better spent on other things at the moment.

I want money.

Posted by mike at 06:42 PM Central | Abode , Adam , Books , Hardware , Kari , Laptop , Software , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 31, 2004

No Socks, Though

Well, it had to happen. A year after I move in here, I finally opened the drawer to an end table thingy that I sort of inherited when my roommates and I were kicked out of our old place. I found a copy of Memento (probably Adam & Kari's) and a few sleeves for holding beer bottles or cans (those would be Erin's). I'll return the items to their respective owners soon, but right now I've got to make sure I'm ready for my interviews today.

Posted by mike at 08:21 AM Central | Abode , Adam , Erin , Kari | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2004

Congressional Medal of Idiot

On Wednesday, I went to the fair with my brother in the afternoon. I suppose neither of us are really party animals, so I guess it wasn't the most exciting thing ever. Had some decent food, though I was surprised that the chicken pita I ordered was cold, with a filling kind of along the lines of potato salad. Whatever.

We discovered that if you take the regular city bus to/from the fair, you get the shaft. It's much better to just drive to the U of M lot and take the shuttle from there. We had to wait ~15 minutes each way, and end up paying $3 in total for tickets ($1.25 there, $1.75 back because of rush hour—though we got $2 off on fair admission), but the shuttle was leaving at a rate of about once every 90 seconds. Other than that, the bus worked out pretty well, since he lives just off Como Ave.

So, I guess I'd propose that Metro Transit make the regular buses that go past the fair free too. Like that'll ever happen.

I don't remember Thursday at all, but, oh yeah, that's because I brought some work home. I shouldn't do that.

On Friday, I figured the most exciting thing I'd do would be to add some oil to my car. It's been low for a while, and the engine seems to have been running rough. It seemed a little happier with fresh oil added, but I should really get an oil change soon anyway. I should have just found a Jiffy Lube. I guess I want to wait until I get paid for the last two weeks.

My boss put in my time on Thursday. Fortunately, he changed the amount of time I had in the system up to 80 hours, but some of the other guys who don't have such consistent time sheets kind of got shafted for a day's work. I was thinking that I might get paid early, but with Labor Day on Monday, the money will probably still get transferred on Tuesday. I like that I get weekends off, but why can't other people work then? ;-)

Anyway, so after planning to do nothing other than possibly eat on Friday night, Adam called me and said he was moving out. So, I helped him move stuff over to Adam Nu's place, and then almost accidentally stole his laptop (or at least a black laptop-sized briefcase—I presume that was his laptop). It was in its black case, in the back of my car, in the dark, so it was kind of hard to see.

Kari is theoretically moving in with Erin once they find a place, so it's almost a wife-swapping type of deal. Er, or maybe nothing like that at all ;-)

Aha! I just found the little thing to tweak on my browser to get my fonts displaying correctly in Galeon again. For some reason, the mimimum font size was set to 4, but then there were two other settings that had been stuck at 14. That explains why I could never see any difference when people used <small></small> tags. Anyway, I just went to about:config (which works in any Mozilla/Gecko-based browser, I guess) and tweaked the setting. Conveniently, those two things were in bold, though I don't know why that would be…

Hmm. This might also let me finally fix the fact that pretty much all font sets except for Korean show up correctly (er, I think) in my browser. I just end up with these little rectangles with the Unicode character number in them instead of actual characters.

Posted by mike at 11:04 AM Central | Adam , Car , Erin , Family , Internet , Kari , Software , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 14, 2005

Big Bear

I took Keen Eddie over to Dan's place yesterday so we could hang out and watch that, then we went with Josh, Kari, and Laura to see Ong-Bak. It's a pretty awesome martial arts film and had a lot of surprises for those guys since it demonstrates some Thai forms rather than the Chinese and Japanese stuff they're more accustomed to. There was an unpleasant scene with a girl that almost ruined things for me just because it distantly echoed something I worried about over the years, but the fight scenes were amazing and it's worth seeing just for that.

Oh! I don't know if anyone else caught it, but there was a shout out to Steven Spielberg. On a garage door in one scene it said "Hi Spielberg" and below that "Let do it together." That's apparently verbatim, I didn't quite catch it at first, but that's what IMDB says. It's possible that the message was added digitally and was not really there while filming.

After about an hour of sitting around with our stomachs grumbling, Dan, Laura, Kari, and I went to the Macaroni Grill at Rosedale. We almost hit a bar stool that was sitting in the parking lot! I guess some guy took two from the restaurant, but forgot one or something.

It was good to be out with friends, especially relatively unattached ones (no couples were together). I had wanted Sarah to come along, but I realized later that it could have easily been burdensome for me. I must make an effort to hang out in the coming weeks, though I can't afford to go to movies and eat out every time these days.

At least the Minneapolis smoking ban will go into effect soon, so then I'll be more comfortable trying out some of the music venues in the area. Now that we have a radio station that actually plays songs by bands who are coming through town, I might manage to get out. I've just always been under the impression that it's expensive to see music. Okay, it would often be as bad as going out to a movie and getting food, but at least it's more social than sitting in a theater.

Posted by mike at 06:57 AM Central | Dan , Josh , Kari , Movies , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)