April 28, 2001

Advogato Entry 95

Well, I haven't been doing much lately. I should have done some homework today. Heck, I should have done some of it a week ago. I'm really not enjoying my schoolwork this semester, and it looks like that will be evident in my grades. Oh well, in two weeks, I will be able to spend time at work fixing real problems and putting together real solutions. I enjoy that so much better than running fifty tests to see which algorithm is better at finding the integral of a particular function..

I would like to have a less stressful school year next time around -- I want to actually get a life this fall. Who knows if that will happen. Still, it seems that college is a last best chance to get a girlfriend before I wander out into the real world. Speaking of which, my roommates, another friend, and I have all been getting to know this one girl lately. It's pretty weird for me, as we're all competing for her attention. My friend has been hanging around with her the most, though he's going to move into the apartment in the fall. Just a weird situation that I've never been in before -- I just hope it won't bring out the worst in us..

Posted by mike at 08:55 PM Central | Erik , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 05, 2001

Advogato Entry 99

I'm discovering that a girl I know is basically turning out to be a muse for me. Unfortunately, I have no control over when she shows up (she's a girlfriend of a friend), and thus my motivation is as chaotic as ever. Ugh.. So confusing. If only life came with a manual page.

LIFE(8)          Universe Programmer's Manual            LIFE(8)

NAME
      life

SYNOPSIS
      live; die

DESCRIPTION
      Life is spawned.  It does stuff, then dies.

BUGS
      It's difficult to get working right.  This manual could be
      spruced up a bit, too.

Anyway, I had a good day, though. Went to the local LUG's meeting on OpenNMS. It looks like a really nice tool, but you really need some horsepower to run it. It uses Java, which is part of the problem. The good thing is that it seems to be pretty portable -- you just need a few hundred megs of RAM, a fairly large hard drive, and a few hundred MHz. I think I'm going to stay with Netsaint for now.

I hung around with a friend from High School for most of the afternoon. We discussed a lot of stuff, though it largely centered around computers. I don't think I've `geeked out' for a while, so that was nice. He's having trouble finding a job, though I guess he's not very sure if he wants to get a job doing computer stuff.

He totally agreed with me that it appears that one problem with electricity generation in this country is that it's too centralized -- something like 2/3rds of the electricity evaporates before it reaches customers. Decentralizing power is probably better -- no need to worry about the losses of sending power huge distances. Of course, I don't know if there are enough people to manage a lot of small power plants or fuel-cell shacks effectively.

Well, if I can find some motivation, I should do some studying for my finals this coming week..

Later

Why the hell isn't anyone running IPv6 or Multicast yet? Is having support for these things in all modern host and router operating systems not enough? sheesh..

Posted by mike at 06:05 PM Central | Brian D , Internet , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 13, 2001

Advogato Entry 105

Well, everybody's moving out. At least it means that the traffic has died down around here. I have a friend who will be moving into my apartment with me and two others this fall. He dropped off some stuf that he doesn't need this summer (he'll be a climbing instructor at at a camp, I guess). I've tried to pile it into a small corner, but I had to be careful since that's where the air-return vent is..

He left last night with his parents, and his girlfriend left earlier in the afternoon to go to her hometown. She's going to be working at a paper company where she'll probably have a near-death experience or two. Shoving around rolls weighing hundreds/thousands of pounds is not my idea of fun.

I'll be going in to work tomorrow, and all week! Hopefully I won't bore myself to death. I'm also supposed to pick up a good system for running Windows (needed for testing client connectivity to the Unix systems). Perhaps a laptop, which might be fun. I've been surviving with a P166 running Linux (though it has 128 Megs in it). There are just a bunch of projects that require box capable of running Win2k.

Well, called my Mom, though I didn't say much. I'll have to find a present for her, for when I go home in a few weeks. I also have to get gifts for my brother and my Dad, since they both have birthdays this week.

Posted by mike at 06:51 PM Central | Erik , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 31, 2001

Advogato Entry 160

Hmm. Rack for servers is still sitting down in the loading dock. Not sure when that will get put together. I'm perfectly happy with it still being in pieces -- I don't really want to move everything again.

Still haven't gotten this WinNT box to crash. I've had it for nearly two months now, and it still works fine. I figure the reason why is because, being a Linux guy and realizing that running as root is not a good idea, I've been logging in as a user, then logging out and logging in as Administrator when I need to install something. Probably keeps things a little saner. It is annoying that I can't just `su' to run installers and whatnot, though. The Amanda backup setup here at work decided to estimate very strangely today. The actual backups were about 2x what the estimate was. The backup started at 1 AM and is still running now at almost 3 PM. Worrisome.

Whoa! Just reminded myself that the amcheck cronjob was just about to run. That probably would have rewound the tape (not that it necessarily matters at this point -- the dumps didn't fit anyway). I think Amanda might be having trouble calculating things when >2 GB dumps are involved.

Got an AIM note from a female friend up north. She's really cute, so it's always a joy to hear from her. I don't have enough girls in my life at the moment.. Wasn't awake this morning when she sent it, though, but I did respond through e-mail. Hope I get to see her again soon.

Later

*sigh* Two weeks ago, the news media was terribly scared about reporting on the Code Red worm. Now they can't get enough of it. Jeez, does it have to require a press conference from the FBI for people to consider it newsworthy?

Bought some music: Paul Oakenfold, Live in Oslo and Orbital, In Sides.

Posted by mike at 01:02 PM Central | Internet , Music , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 04, 2001

Advogato Entry 186

Garr..

Still having trouble with SCSI on the Ultra 30. Also having trouble with software RAID. It destroys the partition tables on the second and third disks in the 3-disk array. The drive just has one big partition, so I may just do it `raw' without any partitions to deal with (/dev/sdX instead of /dev/sdXN).

Wondering if I should report a bug to someone on that.. The disks were using Sun disklabels. Maybe there's a bug that applies to non-DOS partitioning schemes..

Tried putting in an Adaptec 2940UW, but that didn't appear to work. The kernel module just loops forever on initialization, trying to reset the SCSI bus so it can see all of the devices (just a DLT drive). Oh well. Just find a card more appropriate for a Sun, I guess.

Back in the real world, the whole apartment is having an interesting time getting to know a cute girl I've mentioned before. We all gladly drop whatever we're doing when we know she's going to be around. We're all crazy, I guess. I just hope we don't end up doing anything stupid..

Classes just started today. I'm in an `Internet Programming' course, which turns out to be a class on how to do stuff in web pages with JavaScript and Java, and how to do server-side stuff in Perl and Java. We'll also do some actual Internet programming by doing socket programming at the end of the semester, but I'm kind of annoyed that we do all of this web stuff first (and in those languages rather than something nice like PHP ;-)

I can't understand my Automata professor

Again

No wonder this is my third time taking that class..

Posted by mike at 04:41 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 08, 2001

Advogato Entry 189

I was in #billennium on irc.openprojects.net. Wow ;-)

Our apartment's female friend appears to have picked the guy she's going to get to know the most. We'll see how that plays out.

Just saw AI at the cheap theater. I thought it was good, but then I suppose I had lowered expectations, since everyone I had talked to had just thought, ``meh...''

Put `set blink-matching-paren on' in /etc/inputrc or ~/.inputrc for paren matching in bash and other programs that use the readline library.

Append `user_pref("capability.policy.default.Window.open", "noAccess");' to your Mozilla prefs.js file to get rid of those stupid popup windows.

Posted by mike at 10:23 PM Central | Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Software | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 21, 2001

Advogato Entry 201

Galeon rocks! I still don't like lots of stuff that went into Mozilal/Gecko (stupid to build cross-platform widgets, IMHO), but this interface is really nice. I even noticed that if you middle-click on a folder in a bookmark toolbar, you open the entire folder in new tabs (or windows, if you like that sort of thing). Very cool.

I don't think I'll be writing too much in this diary for a while. My emotions have been stirred up, probably due to many things, and I'm not sure if emotion stuff is good to write here.

Suffice it to say that I've been really looking for interpersonal contact much more lately. It's not something I'm good at, and writing much about it would probably only make me more frustrated, forcing me to re-live failures. Anyway, I'm in a tough place right now.

My roommate has a very beautiful girlfriend, and I can't help but think I have a chance with her (yeah, right). I have to work to find someone else, otherwise I'll just drive myself nuts pursuing someone I can't have.

On a completely different topic, I've noticed how Sci-Fi literature, movies, and TV has really been around to help us explore possibilities -- ones that have turned into reality in the last month and a half.. Perhaps that's why I see the technical community seeing these events in a different light..

Posted by mike at 07:42 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Software | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 18, 2001

Advogato Entry 216

The director of the U of MN's Marcding Band is a really inspiring guy, almost always full of energy. However, he's said that he couldn't have all of that energy if he didn't surround himself with great people.

While I doubt I could ever be as energetic as he is, I completely understand that. I do my best work and have the most motivation when I'm surrounded by good people. Sometimes it's so hard to keep these groups together, though.

Feelings

I suspect my roommate's girlfriend might be coming over tonight -- another roommate borrowed her cell phone today. I've had a slow day, and I really want to give her a hug. Well, I'd love to do more than that, but it would be inappropriate.

One time when she came over, I reached my arms out in a motion to hug her without even realizing it. I still wonder sometimes why I did that. I'm not sure if I was imagining her as my girlfriend, or if it was simpler than that (or vice-versa..)

I really need to find some new/different music.. Hopefully it will get me out of this slump.

Posted by mike at 06:50 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 19, 2001

Advogato Entry 217

Need to write a chat client/server combo in Perl. They must allow asynchronous communication, which probably involves fork()ing and other stuff.

Must be done by tomorrow midnight.

Bah..

If it weren't for Thanksgiving, the University wouldn't let us go home all semester. Only two more days of classes, then I get a four-day weekend.

Gah! I just keep having trouble. I'm getting stuck in a rut again, where I just can't stop feeling sorry for myself for not having a girlfriend. Unfortunately, that's one thing that won't get much better when I go home. The change of scenery will do me good, but there's about zero chance of me meeting someone.

Posted by mike at 04:10 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 20, 2001

Advogato Entry 218

[root@body][~]# ps ax|grep life
   12 ?        D     22:55 life

Waiting for something good to happen.

Later

I got my hug! Woo! A few days late, though..

Must focus on homework.

Posted by mike at 08:33 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 21, 2001

Advogato Entry 219

Gah.. I really should find a good diary program for myself. No sense in filling up Advogato with much more of this mushy stuff.. Then again, reading other people's comments reminds me that we're all human.. Blah, blah, blah..

Got the important bit of my homework done last night. Thank goodness the assignment was pretty easy (and done in Perl). I don't know if I would have gotten anywhere, though, if Sarah hadn't shown up.

I actually talked with her a little bit, a pretty rare thing for me. Of course, the most interesting bit was when she was helping us clean up the apartment (okay, she was being nice and doing most of the work :-p ). A weird little subject popped up, and we were just ``on the same wavelength'' as one of my roommates mentioned a moment later. That was really cool.

The most interesting thing was my roommate's comment. I think he saw something between Sarah and me. He just looked at us and said, ``Wow, you guys,'' with a look on his face that told me he saw something he never expected. I think he was happy to see it.. I just hope that what he saw involves me and Sarah moving closer together.

Sarah is not my girlfriend -- she's involved with another roommate. I'd hate to have to hurt him, as he gets pretty well shit on in many cases. But I can't turn off my feelings. I really just need to see where it all will go.

Posted by mike at 07:17 AM Central | Erik , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 23, 2001

Advogato Entry 221

Spent a while talking to my Dad about the wireless firewall project I've been playing with for months. I was reminded of some of the reasons why we wanted to use `real' IP addresses instead of RFC1918 `internal' addresses. We wandered onto the subject of the new version of IP, IPv6. I believe he wasn't aware that it used 128-bit addressing.

Anyway, I'll probably be replacing our home's Linux IP Masq gateway with a Linksys router. My Dad isn't a Linux guru, so I'm sure he'll appreciate the web-based administration. Also, it's probably slightly less politically charged than having a Linux box sitting there. Annoying that Linux users even have to think about that..

My family is planning to go see Monsters, Inc. tonight.. Not sure if I'll do any shopping this weekend. If I do, I'll have to see if anything jumps out at me as a gift for Sarah -- her birthday is Sunday.

Posted by mike at 06:34 AM Central | Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Wireless | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 25, 2001

Advogato Entry 222

It's Sarah's birthday today. I have to remember to at least send her an e-mail. I kind of wanted to get her a gift, but I had no idea what would be good.

Anyway, heading back to school later today. Not even sure yet if my brother and I will be taking a car. My birthday is at the end of the week, so I suppose he'll want it around so he can go shopping.

Saw The Dish last night. Pretty good movie about the radio telescope in Australia that picked up the TV images of the moon landing. Pretty funny, too, though it made me realize that the Australian accent is a little harder for me to understand than I thought it was.

Carrier Pigeons! hehe..

Well, I did quite a bit of stuff over break. Thank goodness none of it involved school.

Posted by mike at 08:00 AM Central | Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 26, 2001

Advogato Entry 223

Well, of course, it turns out that Sarah turned 21 last night. Her pre-college friends and current roommates worked pretty hard to get her drunk, though she seemed to be taking it pretty well by the time I and my alcohol-free roommates left her with those folks at around 11 PM.

Actually, we first went to Cattle Company (a.k.a. Stuart Anderson's). Had some steak. Got full. Then we went to a bar a short distance away.

My roommates and I mostly stood around looking dumb. I must have been looking really dumb, since one of the first people I was introduced to was `Gay Paul.' That did wonders for my self-esteem, let me tell you (*cough*).

Ended up watching some of the people there play pool. Tried to fix one of the little web terminals that was there (kinda wish I'd had a BBC on me), but it was running WinME -- probably not worth resuscitating anyway...

Got a picture taken with Sarah. I probably looked stiff as a board or something (I don't really photograph well), but hopefully it'll turn out. Got a nice hug as we were leaving, so that made me feel pretty good. It was probably alcohol-induced though. She left a pretty funny voice message with us at some late/early hour. It's saved, so we can play it back to her anytime ;-)

Anyway, still slowly hacking away at the wireless network firewall at work. I haven't been working on it hard enough, though I've been waiting for folks to finish other things..

Don't forget, Star TrekWeakest Link is starting momentarily. I only ever watch Weakest Link when they have celebrities on. It's usually pretty funny, though they're often evil people, and usually kick off the best players...

Later

Wow. The Star Trek folks were pretty cool, and usually picked appropriate people to kick off. Wil Wheaton managed to stay in the game for quite a while -- he was the last one to walk off the stage before Levar Burton and Robert Picardo duked it out.

Wil was playing to support the EFF, so too bad he didn't win.

Posted by mike at 04:58 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , TV , Wil Wheaton , Wireless , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

November 28, 2001

Advogato Entry 224

Despite the fact that a lot of the folks in the Rochester, MN Linux Users Group work for IBM (presumably, they're smart people), a lot of them seem very prone to spreading rumor and fallacy.

Mushy stuff, move along

Thinking about Sarah way too much. I'm worried it's becoming unhealthy. If I can't at least start to straighten things out in my head over the next few days, I think I'll have to start talking to someone. It might be partially induced by the fact that my birthday is coming up, and I've let another year pass by without experiencing some things that I really want to do.

However, over the last few days I think I realized that a feeling I had associated with love/infatuation/etc. actually turns out to be something completely different. When my heart `skips a beat,' it seems to be a warning. It seems to be that I know there's something I should be doing, and another part of me is holding me back. I often get it when I'm sitting at home procrastinating.

I thought I was getting the feeling because I was feeling lonely or something. I had associated it with love because of a big string of mistakes I made in high school when I was infatuated with a girl there. Now, I need to figure out what the right things to do are when I get this feeling. Sometimes it's easy to know what to do (ie, when I'm procrastinating). Other times, when many things are going on, like in a social environment, it's much harder.

I've been thinking about this because of Sarah. I've had strong feeling for her. However when I actually got close to her and talked to her, I felt something completely different from what I'd come to expect. That mismatch has led me to re-examine many things. Unfortunately, it seems to be pretty dangerous, and I've been on a rollercoaster these past few days.

Still, if I fall back to the old me, I probably wouldn't last. There are a lot of pent-up feelings that I have to purge. If it turns out that I'm holding onto a lot of emotional baggage that was mislabeled, it'll probably be a huge load taken away. I just hope I'm headed in the right direction.

Posted by mike at 08:59 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 02, 2001

Advogato Entry 226

Stupid window is leaking again. Thought they fixed that..

A lot of melting snow today..

Before I forget ('cuz I know I will), I have to put down some infatuation-related thoughts.

I wrote a note to one of my friends, mentioning that I really like Sarah. I was hoping he'd have some great words of wisdom, but it didn't really happen. At least he wasn't mean about it or anything. The thing that I wanted to remember was that right now, all she sees is Josh. I'm nowhere near smooth enough to know how to change that, so I don't think that would be a good thing to waste time on.

I figure all I can do is be myself. I should keep trying to figure out how to get to know girls, rather than just waiting for them to walk into my life. I want to ask my friend to try to help me out. If he hears of things looking up for me with Sarah, I hope he'll let me know. I just hope I can accept that it might never happen.

I hope I can start talking about computer stuff in this diary again.. Less stressful..

Later

Reminded yet again that I have very different perception of events when they are happening versus before/after. When Sarah visits, I'm in a different state than when she's away, and I think of her differently.

Sorry for writing this here.. I really need to find a better place to write down this stuff.

I've been meaning to have a diary program of some sort on my computer for ages, but I never got around to writing one (back in my DOS days), and I'm sure that there are umpteen packages for Linux these days. Web interface would be easiest, I suppose. Probably wouldn't be too hard to make one, just have to do it.

Posted by mike at 12:54 PM Central | Abode , Erik , Josh , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Weather | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 04, 2001

Advogato Entry 227

Dammit.. Automata and I just don't get along. This is the third time taking that course, and I just might make it through this time. Sucks rocks.

Looks like I'll get an A in Internet Programming by hardly trying. Taking a `work factors analysis' course that I'll probably tank. Then there's this strange business school course I'm taking. I should pass it, but we get nearly zero feedback in the course. One assignment, two exams. The average time I'll spend on each exam will probably be around 20 minutes. Very weird.

Sarah surprised us by showing up after work. She needed cheering up as her boss was picking on her for some stupid reason. I guess she spent a lot of time ripping out and replacing an audio console at the theater where she works (`theater' as in plays, not movies).

Dunno what she can do about her boss, but I figured that she should get an ego boost if she can show off the work she's done. I guess she doesn't know who to show it to, though.

Well, I think about her too much, so I should stop. When I think about what to say to her, I tend to get stuck. I walked into the room last night with no idea of what to say. That works so much better for me, which seems strange.

Crap.. Now I really need to stop.

Posted by mike at 07:09 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 05, 2001

Advogato Entry 228

Need to study today. Probably skipping a class to do it.

Wow. It's over 60°F outside! That's not right for December in Minnesota.. It's still cold up north, though.. A big front must be sitting right on top of us, so it's probably going rain a fair bit today.

Didn't see Sarah yesterday, so nothing to speak of. I thrive on news and facts, so my lack of ability to know things in this situation drives me a bit batty.. I have to get thinking about other things, or I over-analyze the little tidbits I have.

Put together a simple webmail CGI script for a class in a few hours last night. I could have made a better script if I'd just spent more time on it, but I've done too well on my other assignments in that class. I think I still managed to do everything that was required of me, except for trying to encode the username and password of the user somehow rather than just having it in plaintext in the HTML that got spit back out.

The Unix Users of Minnesota are hosting a talk at the University tonight with an assistant to the Attorney General of MN. The discussion will be centering around the Microsoft case. It'll be pretty interesting after hearing the Wine talk on Saturday from the Codeweavers CEO. I guess the AG's office got in contact with Codeweavers, asking for some input on the case. One suggestion from them was that a third party should review Microsoft's code, and document the API, which would then be available freely. Probably better than telling MS to do it themselves..

Posted by mike at 08:13 AM Central | Law , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 08, 2001

Advogato Entry 230

Tired. I got up early this morning. It's something that I do on Saturdays for some reason. It turned out to be somewhat of a good thing, as I gave Dan a ride to his GRE test this morning. He was planning on leaving at 8:00 to get to the exam, which was supposed to start at 8:30. It takes half an hour to walk there, though I don't think he knew that. He usually only walks half that far to get to class and work -- the exam was held on the opposite end of the campus.

The Minnesota campus is pretty big, it's on both sides of the Mississippi up here (granted, the river isn't too wide here, it's about as far north as barges ever get).

I was expecting to chat with Sarah, as she usually gets bored while working as a lab attendant on Saturdays. Turned out my AIM client needed to get kicked -- it was showing out-of-date info on who was online. My roommates were talking with her, so I was getting a bit confused.

Anyway, we're all going to the dance performance she's been doing the audio setup for. Hopefully it'll be good. She's been having a crappy time lately -- lost her keys to her apartment, car, and the audio studio she's been working at. Also lost a CD folder thingy with ~30 discs in it. Thinking of buying her some music for Christmas, though I don't know what.

Roommate just heading to bed, so I better quit.

Posted by mike at 09:15 PM Central | Dan , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 09, 2001

Advogato Entry 231

Tired again, though I got up later today. That usually happens, too. I didn't get up early enough to keep Josh from waking up Dan two hours earlier than he had to be up. Josh thought we were all leaving to see a dance performance at noon. Sarah had told me that it was 2:00. I'd asked her, since I thought I heard Josh say noon, which seemed really weird for a Sunday (or, well, any day). Anyway, I didn't correct him until this morning, as I thought I'd just mis-heard him -- I didn't know he actually thought it was the wrong time.

Anyway, it was a good show. Five different dance routines. They were all pretty cool, though the last one was the best, IMHO. It had some good music. I guess I first thought it seemed pretty superficial and simple, depending on the music too much. Maybe it was, but it got the biggest applause, and it felt inspiring. I'm not sure what it was supposed to inspire, though ;-)

I have yet another programming assignment due on Tuesday at midnight. I have a test this week, then finals start next week. I should try to attend all my classes, get some review in for the finals. I also need to try to fit in some time with an advisor, though I don't know if that will happen.

I think I forgot to mention earlier that the wireless project is finally getting off the ground at work. Students, faculty, and staff can log in with their x.500 IDs, and they can even set up a `permanent' (semester-long) account that doesn't require them to keep logging in.

It's still a very poor security model. I wish it could be made better, but I just don't have the time or resources to research the options as a student.

Of course, I'm lazy. I don't know why that is. I've blamed it on my lack of female companionship, but it's impossible to say if that's it or not. Sarah continues to fill up a big chunk of my thought process... I hope I can come to some resolution to this stuff rolling around in my head. Unfortunately, Christmas break will probably be a stressful time for me in this regard, no matter if she becomes closer to me or not. Well, I don't know if I could keep my thoughts straight if we became closer -- I've never been in that sort of situation. I do know that I'll start having strange thoughts if things stay the way they are now...

Hmm... I wonder if I'll be bringing my computer home this Christmas. I haven't had two monitors at home before. Dunno if I'd bring both or not. I should just buy a laptop like Dan's. Crap.. I'm almost ready to shell out what Dan did to get his. It was like $2500! I'd want something lighter, though. His feels like a brick (though he usually has two batteries installed at a time to increase the time he can spend away from a wall jack). Needs more research.

He's been having some trouble with his wireless card. He thought it could do 128-bit WEP, but I guess not. I've been asking some questions on the TCWUG list, though his computer is running XP, so I'm not going to get into too many details.

Sometimes I'm amazed at how good XP is. Linux is awesome as well. The difference to me seems to be that XP seems to be a lot of flashy stuff without a huge amount of substance. Linux is the other way around. Well, that's my impression at least.

Well, the thoughts have stopped flowing for today...

Posted by mike at 06:27 PM Central | Dan , Josh , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Wireless | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 11, 2001

Advogato Entry 232

While I wait for Amanda's configure to finish running on my SS20, I may as well put some words down.

Like I said, I'm compiling an Amanda client on an SparcStation 20 box. It's really only running one piece of software, something that handles room registration for classes and whatever. I guess it has data going forward a few years!

Anyway, it's going to be retired sooner or later. I'm hoping sooner, but who knows if that'll happen.

Chatted with Sarah on AIM quite a bit last night. She was working on an audio project, putting together some music. I guess she ran low on time, and isn't feeling so good about the quality of her work. I made some feeble attempts to cheer her up, but I don't know if they worked at all. About all I could do was wish her luck -- she's presenting it today.

Woo! Amanda finished compiling. Looks like I managed to install it properly, too.

Posted by mike at 09:37 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

Advogato Entry 233

Heavily considering shelling out cash for a Dell Inspiron 4100 with a UXGA display. My roommate got an 8100, but it's too heavy (and expensive!) I'm looking for something lighter than that, and not too likely to kill my pocketbook. I can get a configuration I like for about $1700. Well, I'll probably later spend another $60-$100 on a few hundred megs of RAM, plus some more for a wireless ethernet adapter.

I'd really like to get a laptop with Linux pre-installed, or no operating system at all, but that's not going to happen with the prices they're going at these days. I just can't justify the sacrifice when it comes to that much money.

Anyway, I guess I'm not sure if I really need the high-res screen. I'd probably be happy with SXGA (1280x1024) or SXGA+ (1400x1050). If I do get the UXGA screen, it'll have a pretty awesome DPI, though -- about 140! That also means that plenty of stuff will be downright tiny. Oh well..

I haven't been doing any open-source coding lately, but I've submitted a few bug reports! :-p I'm sure plenty of folks groan at that... It would seem to me that anyone who would like to contribute to open source should do some digging in bug databases. There are plenty of things to fix ;-)

Sounds like Sarah's presentation of her audio project went well, which is good. I, on the other hand, just managed to not finish my last programming assignment in Internet Programming. Oh well.

That class is kind of weird, though. The average score for the homeworks is something like 47/50 and the median score is 50/50 on most of them! Isn't that insane? It's not like they're the easiest projects in the world, though we weren't getting killed by them. I have to think, either the graders are too nice, or the students enjoy programming too much ;-)

Posted by mike at 10:02 PM Central | Dan , Internet , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 13, 2001

Advogato Entry 234

I think I'll hold off getting a laptop until after Christmas. Still not sure if I want the system I mentioned previously -- in total, I'd probably shell out over $2000 to get the system, more RAM, and a wireless card. I'm just not sure if I want to spend that much money. Also, the system would have to arrive by the end of next week. I don't feel like pushing the shipping industry any harder than it's already going :-p

Which reminds me -- I have some savings bonds I should cash in..

School-related activities are winding down for the semester. I don't have any more homework, and I worked my way down to two finals: one on Tuesday and the other on Thursday.

Sarah, Sarah, Sarah.. Dammit. I just know I'm going to make a mess of things. On the upside, I know I'm handling things much better than I could be. I have some e-mail laying around from High School when I couldn't keep my eyes off another girl -- I basically didn't know up from down back then.

Anyway, just trying to be her friend, I guess. Might get to go see Lord of the Rings with her next week. I guess everyone else wants to wait until next Saturday, but I'm expecting to be at home by then. Sarah wants to go on Wednesday (opening night), so that's probably when I'd go.

Later

Whoops! My finals are on Tuesday and Wednesday. Glad I went to class today (er, well, one of my classes).

Posted by mike at 07:29 AM Central | Laptop , Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 15, 2001

Advogato Entry 236

crap crap crap

Love is definitely a cool feature of being human. I just wish I knew where I misplaced the manual.. I'm really trying to push Sarah out of my mind. If I don't manage to do that over Christmas break, it will be a -- geez, I hate to say it -- painful holiday season. It kinda works now, but I'm only at the point where some thought about her pops in my head, and I swear under my breath. It seems like I've got a mild case of Tourettes ;-)

Anyway, it gets worse when I'm under stress, so I need to find ways to relax. May as well go out and get some stress squeeze toys. Heh, I need to work on my grip strength anyway ;-)

I had a somewhat crummy day on Friday. I was all worried about my Internet connection being down. I was certain that it wouldn't be fixed when I got home, or I'd have to rant at the network tech or something. I guess the expectation of having that way of venting just made things worse, as my connection was actually working when i got home.

``Come back and break it again! I need to yell at you!''

Anyway, I wanted to come home early from work, but managed to find some work to keep me there. Turns out that I've been using a bad version of GNU tar (1.13) for our Amanda backups. The index files were all broken, as some strange number was being inserted at the beginning of each line in the index. I upgraded tar on all of our Solaris servers to 1.13.25 (since they were the affected systems -- all of the Linux boxes had sane versions of tar).

Actually had to write a little code to go through and fix the broken indices. It wasn't much, though -- just a bash script for walking through the directory tree with a perl one-liner to strip off the leading garbage. The files also had to be gunziped and the gziped again.

Kind of funny, though. I think that script is probably the biggest time-saver I've ever made. It also actually runs for a non-trivial amount of time (though it's not like it goes and does stuff for hours). Finally, something that wasn't just a silly math problem that takes actual processing time.

Posted by mike at 09:20 AM Central | Internet , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Software , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 18, 2001

Advogato Entry 238

One final down, one to go. Need to do some work after my final tomorrow, and I should probably go shopping for some gifts.

Not much hacking going on, though I might do some work on an XMMS plugin (or something) for using the IR port on my Live!Drive IR to control music playback. Shouldn't be too hard to do, though someone will probably beat me to it.

Too bad I had to have the thing for a year and a half before I actually get to use it. I still think it's funny that the IR port is a MIDI device ;-)

With the Sarah situation, things are going alright. Nothing to speak of, just `normal'.. I figure that's the best thing for me right now anyway. Don't want to swing too much one way or another, or I'll drive myself nuts over the break. I just hope it stays that way..

Posted by mike at 09:57 PM Central | Music , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

December 29, 2001

Advogato Entry 240

My parents are way too nice. They just gave me $1000 to go toward a new laptop I'm planning on getting. This is in addition to Christmas and birthday stuff, and my monthly rent and bit extra.

Still looking at a Dell Inspiron 4100 with an extra battery, a UXGA screen, and some other stuff. Should come in around $1700. Looks like the price went up a bit since Christmas. Looks like Dell's `free' memory upgrade to 256MB wasn't quite free..

Had a pretty good Christmas. So far, it hasn't been quite as terrible as I was expecting. I didn't have to worry much about my (step-)grandfather (he slept a lot) -- just kept my young cousin busy by trying to avoid playing with her and her Barbie stuff (didn't quite succeed at that, which is fine :-)

I got a nice portable CD player with a decent radio in it (better choice for me rather than an MP3-playing model, since I use Ogg/Vorbis for most things).

Helped my brother install a new 60 GB hard drive. Sheesh, disk drive technology doesn't seem to be moving so fast anymore -- I got one of those 18 months ago! :-p I'd installed to the exact same motherboard before, and I knew he needed a BIOS update..

Not doing any coding -- hell, I can't even read my mail very well right now. My computer at the apartment is sitting cold right now because the power went out a few days ago.. It's in an ATX case, and I didn't have it connected to a UPS (an older P100 sitting in the corner came back up, since it's in an AT case). A week of mail is sitting on it, and I can't read it until I turn it back on..

Bah. Well, the only thing bugging me is if Sarah sent me a Christmas greeting. I could care less about other stuff :-)

Posted by mike at 06:12 PM Central | Hardware , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 03, 2002

Advogato Entry 242

Finally plunked down cash for a new Dell laptop. I've described it before, so no sense doing it again.

Been running some errands today. Bought one of those fire-resistant safes for my documents. I thought I could put my backup tapes in there too, but the box isn't rated for that. I suppose I could still put them in there, but they'll probably melt if I ever burn something down by accident. Oh well. I'll probably get another safe for tapes and other electronic media in a year or so.

Anyway, the safe isn't really for protecting anything, it's just a big gray box that I can dump important things in, and not forget where they are..

Touched up a drawing I made of Sarah.. It finally looks like her ;-) I've never done much drawing -- always got frustrated with it. Even with this, it was basically just copying a photo I had.. Sure took a long time. Just like hacking/cracking is highly accelerated on TV and in movies, I guess the same must be true for artistry.. Of course, there are exceptionally fast folks out there, but I bet most painters take a long time to get things right.. Also, when it comes to a face, that's really hard anyway.

It might have been a bad idea for me to make the drawing, though.. Oh well.. I should be able to find other things to keep me occupied soon..

Posted by mike at 01:57 PM Central | Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 08, 2002

Advogato Entry 246

Finally got our Cyclades 8-port serial terminal server (TS800) working at work. I think, unfortunately, it was all a simple matter of having the ports numbered in the opposite direction on the front as on the back. I'd noticed this on my ethernet switch a month ago..

              8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1
             +---------------+
             |               |
             |               |
             +---------------+
              1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

That seems so dumb.. I never think of rotating the thing 180° -- I figured that the lights on the front would directly correspond to the ports on the back.

Sheesh, this box should have been working months ago..

Anyway, I figured it out because we finally got some RJ45<->DB9 and RJ45<->DB25 adapters, though I have to wire them up myself. Discovered that the cables that work are not normal null-modem/crossover cables. They're similar, but they don't use the `standard' cabling. I'm not sure why it works. At any rate, I built an adapter that is wired like the cable that works, and another wired like how Cyclades says things should work. I hope at least one of them works, but if they both work, I'm not sure what to do..

I wish serial crossover was like ethernet crossover, where you don't have to splice any wires together..

Looks like Dell shipped my order yesterday (probably around midnight or something), four days earlier than they estimated. I guess they have some leeway in their estimates. Of course, the annoying thing is that it'll probably get to Minneapolis on Friday or Saturday, meaning that it can't get delivered until Monday.

Sarah and Josh went up north to visit her family. They'll be back Thursday, but that probably won't make me feel any better.

Need to find out when the CSci advisor is available... Crappy grades..

Posted by mike at 07:32 AM Central | Hardware , Josh , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 12, 2002

Advogato Entry 250

Wrote up some of my experiences so far in getting Linux going on my laptop, and submitted it to the linux-laptop folks.

Discovered the other day that APIC was the problem on my computer, causing it to hang when an APM event of some kind happened.

I want to get out of the apartment. I need to buy some more pop and get some RJ45 connectors so I can build a good Ethernet cable. There are probably tons of other things I should do, too. I'd like to pick up a wireless PC card, but I don't think there are any good deals on those around here (too bad my main source of stuff is either Tran Micro or Best Buy.. I'd go out and get the stuff, but my nerves are shot.

Last night, Josh's friend Teresa came over, and we all watched Pay It Forward. A decent movie, but that's not why I'm talking about it. Teresa had complained about her roommate bringing her boyfriend overnight recently. I didn't say anything, but Josh and Sarah have been staying overnight a lot over break.

This morning, Josh asked me if it bugged me when Sarah was around so much. I couldn't really give a good answer. I thought about it a bit, and sent him an e-mail telling him that it is kind of hard having her around. I'm jealous that they could be having such a great time together. Meanwhile, I feel like I'm alone in the apartment, so it's really weird when she's around, but I can't get to know her since she's in the other room or something (and then promptly exits the room when I come in).

Anyway, Josh asked me about this when he got back from work. Should she spend less time here? No.. Do you want want to get to know her better? Um, er. Uh. Yeah. But, you know.. Uh. Only if.. Hmm..

So, I don't know what's going on. I'm going nuts. Sarah's not around now, and I don't know how much I'll be around over the next few days.

Posted by mike at 01:17 PM Central | Josh , Laptop , Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 13, 2002

Advogato Entry 251

Just saw "The Royal Tenenbaums" with my family. It was a very weird movie, and it involved some pretty dark feelings. Still, it was pretty funny, and I'm glad I saw it. We went to the new theater in town that has nice stadium seating. Heck, the picture was even in focus!

Decided to put my more private stuff in a plaintext file on my laptop. No need to clutter up these pages with the junk in my head.

Compiled a new kernel for my laptop with VESA framebuffer support, but it doesn't seem to work right.. A mode that had worked in a previous incantation of the 2.4.17 kernel no longer works. Strange. At any rate, nobody knows the value to put in for 1600x1200 anyway.

Posted by mike at 08:51 PM Central | Laptop , Movies , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 17, 2002

Advogato Entry 253

Ahh.. Feeling much better today. Turns out that the F I got was due to a missing grade on a paper I did. The professor still had the paper, so he recalculated my grade. B+

Yay!

We also finally got the wireless network converted over to the system I invented.. It's pretty cheesy, but it works. It restricts traffic to people who have a University x.500 ID, though nothing gets encrypted or anything yet.

I chatted with Sarah online the other day, and things kind of tumbled out (well, she sort of asked). Logically, I know things can't work out the way I want them to, but hopefully we'll be able to talk about it and find some happy medium.

So, it's not the best day of my life, but I'm definitely feeling a thousand times better than I was just a few days ago.

Posted by mike at 11:38 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Wireless | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 18, 2002

Advogato Entry 254

Oh right.. Things could just work that well for me. Sheesh. Maybe I just need to be patient, but I've been patient for years and years.. It's gone on long enough.

Bah..

Trying to compile a FreeS/WAN kernel on my laptop. Not sure if the modules and stuff are actually being built -- the kernel configurator didn't seem to have any FreeS/WAN-related options when I ran make-kpkg. I'm not sure if the kernel got patched or not..

Anyway, to be of any use, I'll probably have to compile that into the firewall as well. Hmm..

Posted by mike at 09:01 AM Central | Encryption , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 19, 2002

Advogato Entry 255

Downloaded and compiled XFree86 4.1.blah from CVS yesterday, though I haven't bothered trying to install it. I knew I had to pull it out of CVS -- I fully expected the release ;-) Now I just have to wait for someone to put together a Debian package.

I've packaged things before, at least with RPMs (haven't done much with DEBs yet, though). X is a very big beast, though, and not something that's all that easy to do..

Anyway, hopefully unstable will get some packages built soon. It'll be cool to have accelerated drivers working on my laptop.

Called Sarah around noon. I guess she had a slow day. She was expecting to babysit and have her sister visit, but the babysitting gig fell through and her niece got sick, so her sister didn't come today.

She's been taking care of her dog, who is on his last legs, so I suppose it was good I called.. Still, I'm at an uncomfortable point in my friendship with her. I just hope it passes and everything straightens out.

Well, it should, as long as we can keep talking to each other.

School starts on Tuesday. I think I'm going to be very lazy this weekend.

Posted by mike at 04:39 PM Central | Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , XFree | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 21, 2002

Advogato Entry 257

Well, I still haven't installed X 4.2.0 on my laptop. It's compiled, but I don't want to install it and toast my current packaging setup. I'd really like to see some .debs soon, but I don't know where to look for those..

Classes start tomorrow. I have to be somewhere at 8:15, and I need to look up where to go for some of the classes that I'm on waiting lists for.. It's going to be a looong day tomorrow..

Anyway, I've learned quite a lot in the last week about Sarah and me. I've written a bunch of stuff in a private diary about the junk going through my head. There's a lot of it that is just junk, but I hope it helped me figure things out.

I talked about stuff with my roommate and I hope I've found why I find her so interesting. I identify with her a lot -- we're both fairly similar emotionally, and I know what it's like for her when she just isn't feeling `worthy.' I don't know what needs to be done for either of us to get us out of those emotional holes sometimes, but I might be in a better position to help than the other people she knows.

We also have some strangely similar tastes in food and other things, but I suppose that might just be random.. We're also the only two people that hang around the apartment that like to say `pop' instead of `soda,' so it's kind of funny to have us stand against everyone else ;-)

At any rate, my roommate thinks that Sarah and I have an interesting ability to communicate. Well, she is someone who actually gets me to step away from the computer for a minute. I guess I'm not really sure what to think about that.

I actually mentioned some stuff to Sarah.. I told her that I wished I had a girlfriend like her. I'm not really sure what she thought of that -- of all things, I had to tell her over AIM.. Anyway, she told me that she was sure I'd find someone, someone smarter than her :-)

That was kind of funny, since that's the only real thing I don't like about her.. I was just surprised that she mentioned it..

Anyway, I slowly beginning to understand us, figuring out what I want, and what I can and can't have in the end.. We can be friends, and I'm sure we can get pretty close -- but there are things that just shouldn't happen between us. I just hope I haven't overstepped already, and that things will just get better as time goes by.

I hope I can remember this stuff, too, as I'm pretty sure it's about as close as I can come to finding the truth. It's going to take time to understand it fully, and I know I can be forgetful sometimes.

Posted by mike at 06:30 PM Central | Erik , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Software , XFree | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 23, 2002

Advogato Entry 258

Just had about the weirdest day of my life. Second day of classes, and I actually talked.. I'm taking some courses at the business school, and about half of the class is Computer Science students! What the hell? I think I was the only CS major in the previous class I took there.

Bumped into Sarah as she was coming out of a class, and helped her find an office to get a permission number to get into that course.. Showed off where I work, but only for a moment (I didn't really have anything interesting to show off...)

Discovered that Internet Explorer apparently doesn't like self-generated SSL certificates at all... Need to actually pay for a certificate at some point, or find a workaround.

Anyway, it's just been a weird day. I've been overstimulated by the talking in class and stuff.. My courses look to be pretty intensive. I know that my previous classes have been hard, but it wasn't obvious on the first day of class.. I guess I'm not sure how these classes really stack up..

Still waiting on permission numbers for two classes.. Not sure what will happen there.

Gotta cut down on using my laptop for web browsing. Using the scratchpad doesn't seem to be good for my wrist..

Posted by mike at 07:22 PM Central | Encryption , Internet , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 07, 2002

Advogato Entry 262

Having a bit of a crummy evening. I was tired this morning, and decided not to go to class. That was probably a bad move, and I stayed inside pretty much the whole day. Sarah and Josh brought me along to try out the Leaning Tower of Pizza that just opened downstairs. The pizza's pretty good, probably worth the price. As good as Papa John's is, I need some variety in my pizza diet ;-)

Anyway, I got reminded of things I didn't want to be reminded of while sitting across from Josh and Sarah. Blech.

Need to get some homework done soon. I'll have a busy weekend writing code or doing other work in pretty much all of my classes. I need to get some motivation to do that stuff. Not sure what the best place to do my work is. I've been doing a lot of stuff on my laptop these days, though I think it's probably easier to do programming on my desktop, where I have two monitors. The downside is that I can't relax on the couch with it ;-) Then again, even the laptop is annoying to deal with on the couch.

...And I do worry about the radio waves emananting from it into my legs.. I suppose it doesn't make me feel any better when the thing warms up to 50 degrees C or better..

Posted by mike at 08:16 PM Central | Josh , Laptop , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , School , Wireless | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 09, 2002

Advogato Entry 263

Got to hang out with Sarah for a while last night. Probably the first and last time that'll happen.

Anyway, it was pretty cool. She works over at the theatre building and has worked on a lot of audio equipment. For a class, she was looking at the characteristics of some microphones. I occupied myself by trying to help someone figure out how to do video feedback (we were in a TV studio). I was less than helpful, I'm sure ;-)

Learned all sorts of little things. I now know what phantom power is (or at least what it's used for), and I got some tips on how to properly wrap up cables. I guess the trick is to give the cable a twist every turn or so.. Lemme see if I can describe how to wrap them up. (BTW, I'm right-handed. There's probably a lefty way to do it).

Hold one end of the cable in your left hand, with the end pointing away from your body. First, just try to make a normal loop: grab the cable with your right hand using a power grip with your thumb pointing up (toward your left hand). Just bring your right hand up to your left and you should have a normal loop. The tricky part is next.

Grab the cable with your right hand again, but this time with your thumb pointing down and your palm facing up. As you bring the cable up to your left hand, twist your hand around so your thumb faces your body and your palm faces down. This'll look a little weird, as it will make a loop, but the cable will be dangling between this loop and the loop you made before, rather than on the side like you'd ordinarily expect.

Anyway, alternate between normal and twisted loops. The benefit of this is that it's supposed to be a little easier to unwrap, without getting those annoying loops that can lead to kinks in the cable. I'm not sure if there's really much benefit, but I did notice that I could feel some tension in the cable when I tried to make a loop of the wrong type. It probably can't hurt.. I think that using this method, you can wrap tighter loops of cable without having them unwind on you.. Unfortunately, it doesn't work very well when you'd ordinarily wrap a cable around something (like wrapping a mouse cord around the mouse).

Well, enough for now..

Posted by mike at 06:45 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

February 16, 2002

Advogato Entry 265

On AIM today:

Me: up to anything today?
Sarah: yeah...dinner and a play with Josh
Sarah: I'm trying to figure out where to go for dinner.
Me: ah.. what's the play?
Sarah: hehe...Vagina Monologues'
Me: heh.. can't really tie in any food with that :-p
Sarah: haha
Sarah: WELL
Me: lol

Heh. I was just conveniently `forgetting,' but she did her own thing.. Pretty funny

Posted by mike at 02:01 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 04, 2002

Advogato Entry 270

Bah. I've got a crush on Sarah. `Crush' seems like such a juvenile word, but it's the best word I have for whatever this is floating around in my head. Somehow, that simplifies things. I've seen and heard stories about crushes, so maybe that gives me a tool for finding a way out of the mess I'm in right now.

I don't know.. It seems to make things almost too simple.. I like believing that I'm a unique person, and knowing that other people have dealt with the same shit I have sometimes just makes me feel like I'm a tiny, insolent whiner.

Sorry for polluting the airwaves with this, but I'm under a lot of stress from homework and other stuff lately. I got a jury selection form in the mail last week. I don't know where I'm going to be living or working in the time period they mentioned. There was no obvious way for me to note that I'm a student, and I may still be in school then, but maybe I'm just afraid of doing it..

Anyway, things are just piled up right now. I wish I went to a University where we actually got a few days off every year (we get off Thanksgiving, Christmas (et al), and Spring Break -- nothing else). I guess Spring Break is only two weeks away, but all of this stuff I need to do is due before then..

I'm just hoping that Sarah and I can find some really good kind of friendship where it doesn't matter if I have a crush on her. I'd happily be an advocate for her almost anytime, and when she's around, I can actually clear my mind and get some work done (seems so backwards..)

Speaking of work.. I really need to get back to it..

Posted by mike at 10:05 AM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 01, 2002

Advogato Entry 283

Man.. Sarah and I are just way too compatible. We keep agreeing on all these little things.. Naturally, she's still Josh's girlfriend.

I'm moving soon (end of the month), probably into a fraternity for the summer. They've got DSL, digital cable, etc., so it should be pretty nice. The place is basically laid out like a small dorm, though we each get our own fridge (or half a fridge, or something like that).

Saw an odd thing today -- an apparently Muslim woman walking down the street wearing a Calvin Klein headdress.. The assimilation has begun, I guess

Been doing lots of stuff at work lately. Got a new version of Netsaint running, and it's now keeping track of many more things (with many yet to be added). In case people don't know, Netsaint has been renamed to Nagios, and Ethan Galstad, the main developer, is going to be giving a talk on it on Saturday at the U of MN.

Also, I've been tapped to build another firewall or two. Apparently Nimda reared it's head in one of our computer labs. Sheesh. Linux is a swiss army knife, but should I really be using it like a Band-Aid to fix problems that could have been avoided in the first place?

Posted by mike at 07:30 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 12, 2002

Advogato Entry 286

Thinking that maybe I should start saying ``free and open software'' instead of ``open source software.'' Might be good, as ``free'' gets in there somewhere and strengthens ``open.'' However, the die-hard ``free software'' folks might feel it dilutes the word ``free.'' Hard to say.

Still wishing this week didn't exist. I want to get back to trying to have a life, rather than avoiding studying for finals and doing some projects.

This morning I realized that Sarah really brings out a part of me that I think has always been around, hiding beneath the surface. It's nothing fancy, just some of my silliness -- my imaginitive side that's been hiding for a long time. I think she helps me loosen up and bring that more to the front. Maybe that's why I like her so much. Hard to say.

One of my roommates graduated the other day, though he still has to take finals.

The joys of going to a huge school (what? 40,000? something like that..)

I shouldn't have come here, though I'm glad for friends I've made. I especially appreciate meeting Sarah, but it's still unlikely that will amount to anything.

Well, it's not like I can go and do it again. I just want to move forward, finish up classes this summer and clean up some somewhat loose ends at work. I just hope I can keep in touch with Sarah and other friends.

It'll be a huge load off when I get out of college. It's been too long.

Posted by mike at 06:56 PM Central | Dan , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Software | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 26, 2002

Advogato Entry 290

Got my cell phone on Thursday. I got service through VoiceStream since their rates seemed pretty low, and I only had to sign my life away for a minimum of one year. AT&T and others wanted me to contract for two years. Their coverage is probably lowest of the big carriers, though I think they have the biggest GSM service in the US (Deutsche Telekom bought them a year or so ago).

Coverage isn't really a problem for me. I'm planning to use this phone instead of a land line, at least for the summer, so if it works outside of the local area, I'll just consider it a bonus. I found out it doesn't work at my office, but that's a windowless room in the middle of the building, behind at least two layers of concrete... Signal is good at my current apartment, though the meter blips off occasionally -- I'm curious why that happens..

Anyway, I just got the free phone they had, the Motorola T193. It's tiny, slightly smaller than Sarah's Nokia, at least (I think she has a 3360, but I'm not sure -- it has the same form factor, whatever it is).

I think VoiceStream had sent me a text message when I first got the phone, informing me of the phone number, but I think I accidentally deleted it. I'd gotten another text message, telling me I had a voicemail, but that was someone leaving a message for a girl named Brooke, IIRC. Anyway, I deleted the text message informing me of that, and then I think I deleted another one, which was probably the phone number. In the end, I used the phone's text messaging facility to send myself an e-mail, and the number was on the From: line ;-)

I was pretty surprised when I started looking into various phone services. For some reason, I expected companies to be upfront about the various services they offer -- what's included in which plan, etc. I suppose I might have gotten a clearer picture if I'd gone into one of the cell phone shops to get it, but I didn't want to get railroaded into a plan I didn't like. The information on the web was just awful, though.

I still don't know exactly what services I get, though. I realized after a while that the Internet service that had been promised wasn't working. After searching high and low to try and find some information, I called customer service. I was informed that I'd been put on a plan different than what they advertised on the web.. The code for the plan was apparently just one character off, so the guy switched to what I thought I ordered.

I've seen people complain about the customer service department, but I haven't had trouble yet. I suppose I'm just lucky. However, I have a suspicion that my Linux user habit of trying to find the solution myself by searching and trying various things probably makes me more prepared when I call them.. We'll see what happens in the future.

I've found VoiceStream's websites to be very inconsistent. They contract out various services to different organizations, which probably contributes to the mess. It's not hugely inconsistent -- that'd probably be better! I've found myself browsing around, having buttons suddenly disappear on the next page, etc. They also have some very short session timeouts. I've had to re-login many times.

I've noticed that the various websites seem to use different technologies to power them.. VoiceStream's main websites appear to be powered by ColdFusion, the iStream pages (iStream is the name for their data service) appear to be running Microsoft's Active Server Pages, and my billing info is brought to me by servlets. Very weird, IMHO..

The phone I got has similar inconsistencies. I think it has at least four different font sizes, but I can only pick two in the phone settings. Composing text messages uses the smallest font, browsing the web uses the next smallest. The default interface font is the second-largest, and there's a huge font that is the other option. Going between big and huge is not my idea of configurability.

Even the instructions for activating my phone weren't very good. I knew about SIM cards and whatever beforehand, but someone who didn't know about that would probably be really confused. There were at least two sets of instructions, but I think they started with "turn on your phone," neglecting the "insert your SIM card" part.. One set of instructions said I had to call someone with my IMEI number (apparently the handset serial number) and a number printed on my service agreement. Well, I didn't have a service agreement in the box I got, so I was glad that the phone seemed to work right out of the box, once I figured out exactly how the SIM card was supposed to be put in it's place..

It'll be a while before I can say whether I like the service or not. With all of the weird things I've seen already, I could never give it a strong thumbs up, but it's relatively cheap and I can text Sarah whenever I want ;-) I'm paying $30/month for 200 daytime minutes, unlimited weekend minutes, toll-free long distance, 300 text messages, and 1MB of data. I paid an extra dollar this month so I could have a "Smooth Criminal" ring tone, too, but nobody's called me yet.. *sigh*

Posted by mike at 08:38 AM Central | Hardware , Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Wireless | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 29, 2002

Advogato Entry 291

Moving sucks.

I managed to find myself some good roommates for the past two years, but they all decided to wander on to other places (where they don't need to share bedrooms anymore -- very understandable). Anyway, I'm moving into a very dorm-ish frat for the summer. I think I'm going to start looking for places for the fall very soon..

Unfortunately, the building manager at my new place has not shown himself to be very reliable. In the past few days, the place seems to look more and more like a dump, too.. I suppose that could be my mood, too.

This move is really bothering me, even though I'm only moving a few blocks. Mostly, I think I won't be able to see Sarah much anymore. On the other hand, she works three days a week at the building next to mine, so maybe we'll go out to lunch every once in a while. Oh well, I'm probably just overreacting..

I need to get back home for a little while, take a break from Minneapolis..

Posted by mike at 05:28 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 16, 2003

Advogato Entry 298

Some unusual stuff happening in my life lately, so I figured I should write it down.

I don't want to go into much detail. I chatted with Sarah, she felt I sounded depressed. I wanted to take the opportunity to talk to her later, but she ended up being too busy the rest of the day. I wrote a late-night e-mail laying out some of my thoughts. She hasn't mentioned it yet, though I think she read it (though there's a distinct possibility that Hotmail's junk mail filters trashed it).

Anyway, we all went out to a restaurant for dinner. My fortune cookie said, ``Now is the time to go ahead and pursue that love interest!''

Yeah, even the Mongolians are against me (although I guess all the cooks were Mexican ;-)

I'm sort of looking for a new job. My boss is trying to keep me at Carlson, but needs to find funding somewhere. I think I'm going to wait until he finds someone to fill the student position that opens up as I graduate, perhaps facilitate in any knowledge transfer that needs to take place (where did I learn to talk like that? I guess the business school has rubbed off on me). After that, I'll be happy to go look for work elsewhere.

We'll see what happens..

Posted by mike at 09:58 PM Central | Old Advogato Diary , Sarah , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 08, 2003

The Wandering Man

Went to Fairview-Riverside today for an appointment, then decided to stop in and see some people on my way back. I tried stopping by my old boss's office, but he wasn't around. It was when he usually went to lunch, so I decided to see if Sarah was at Rarig. She was, so we chatted a bit.

She mentioned that a place she had planned on moving into last year was owned by one of the Eischenses, who are well known in the area for being bad landlords. Students sue or attempt to sue them on a regular basis, but I guess they tend to countersue. That's not a pleasant thing for a student to think about.

Some people have discussed the article I linked to, some of them saying that if a place is not in good repair when you move in, you get what you deserve. However, I know Sarah got a bit sucked in by the whole thing, since there were a lot of promises made about fixing up the place she wanted to move into. In a way, I suppose she was fortunate. They didn't get the place cleaned up in time for her, so she ended up moving into a different place.

Anyway, it was good to chat with her again. Hopefully we'll get to hang out a little this summer, but we'll have to see how that goes. She said to expect something in the mail from her, but she didn't say what.. I have no idea what that could be..

After chatting with Sarah, I wandered back over to Carlson and talked to Carlos. Sounds like they've had some rough times there since I left, but probably no worse than anything I'd seen. I guess he's become a master at re-installing the Oracle database server and can do it in less than a day now. The Storage Area Network (SAN) is up and running, though apparently the storage controller (running some bastardized version of Windows NT 4) crashes on a fairly regular basis. Fortunately, that only causes things to freeze up for a short while until it reboots, and no data gets lost.

I pointed out the Soekris hardware I've mentioned here before to him. He thought they seemed to be reasonably priced (I think the prices aren't great, but definitely better than most other "embedded" products I've seen). Anyway, they'd be good for many things they need to do there with wireless firewalls and stuff..

We discussed SQLite a little bit, since it was mentioned in the recent Linux Journal. That's one of the backend options for Movable Type, so I'll have to take a look at it and see if it can make the editing interface for my website more responsive. Right now, it can take 30 seconds or more to update certain pages, which is no fun at all.

Anyway, after I got home, I was glad to sit down. I had some muscles on my sides that were hurting from walking so far (well, it's not so far, but I haven't been walking enough for the past few weeks). I'll have to see if they hurt tomorrow. If not, I'll have to go for a walk. If they do hurt, I'll have to go for a walk on Saturday and let the muscles heal a bit..

Posted by mike at 04:32 PM Central | Sarah , Software , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 09, 2003

Lucid Visions

I had some fairly vivid dreams last night. Not as vivid as they get sometimes, but definitely clearer and more memorable than they've been for a while. They tend to be more engaging when I've actually had an interesting day, so visiting Sarah and my boss probably had something to do with it. However, the dreams seemed completely unrelated to anything I've really ever done.

I was in some sort of symmetrically-shaped hotel, so several times I found myself wandering down the wrong hall and entering what I thought was my room but really wasn't. Strangely integral to the whole thing was one of the Hilton Sisters, who led me around the place a bit. The odd thing is that I know absolutely nothing about them beyond what I learned in the ads for their E! True Hollywood Story (which is, nothing).

There was other stuff that I can almost remember, but my dreams almost always have the quality that the more I try to remember, the quicker the memory goes away.

Posted by mike at 11:06 AM Central | Sarah , Self | 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 02, 2003

Drive Time

Urgh.. I finally got some hard drive mounting brackets today (I said I was going to do it yesterday, but the computer stores that have them cheap are closed on Sundays), along with a fan and some Molex Y-adapters so I could actually power all of the drives (stupid enclosure only came with two power connectors. WTF?)

Anyway, I seem to have wired it properly on the first try. However, only two of the drives worked, which was really disappointing. I tried replacing one, but that just seemed to make things worse. Unfortunately, during the assembly phase, one drive accidentally slid out of the enclosure and hit the (carpeted) floor—it might be toast.

I decided to stop fiddling for now, as I don't feel like getting stressed out about it. The array can wait for tomorrow, or until I have working drives, if need be..

Erik has a LiveJournal account now.. It kind of sounded like the Great Firewall of China was blocking my website for him, though I don't know why that would be—I'd figure LiveJournal would get blocked much earlier than www.tc.umn.edu. Whatever.

I sent Sarah a note about his journal, since she's been wanting to get included in the group of people he's been e-mailing from China..

Posted by mike at 05:58 PM Central | Erik , Hardware , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 22, 2003

ica rumba

After failing miserably to chat with Sarah online, and then succeeding somewhat in greeting the recently-returned Beth, I went out to get some lunch. I was stressing because I just didn't feel like going to any of the normal fast-food places out there, but I finally settled on the Taco Bell near The Quarry.

I was joyfully reminded that the place there is a combination Taco Bell and Pizza Hut. I think a Personal Pepperoni Pan Pizza was really what my stomach was craving. Mmmm...

Headed over to Target to get some and then headed over to Barnes & Noble at Har-Mar. Upon leaving Har-Mar, I randomly decided to head south on Snelling, and noticed that there were a lot of nice cars going by.

Yep, we missed yet another classic car show at the fairgrounds. One of these years...

Posted by mike at 03:19 PM Central | Food , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

June 24, 2003

Rollin' Rollin' Rollin'

I saw Sarah was online earlier, so I decided to say hi. She said she was about to go out rollerblading, which reminded me that I was thinking of getting some. So I thought, “no time like the present,” and went out shopping.

I was hoping to get some cheap used ones, but I could only find a few that were in a usable condition, and one I tried on felt like it was already starting to build callouses. So, I jumped for some new ones.

[Insert need-a-job remark here]

Anyway, I got home about 5:00 and put them on, hoping that I could try it out on the carpet in my apartment and in the hall before heading outdoors. Of course, the carpet just provided too much resistance for me to do much other than stand and clumsily walk around. I have some patches of linoleum in my apartment, but they're just too small to be of any use..

So, I headed outside, clinging to whatever I could get my hands on as I went down the steps and onto the grass. I picked a little stretch of sidewalk that I could practice rolling across without having to go too far.

Eventually, I was able to roll over a few slabs of concrete before ditching in the grass. After practicing a bit by rolling past a bush about 4 slabs wide a few times, I managed to keep going and went about 1/3 of the way down the block. Not much, I guess, but I only spent about half an hour outside before the sky started turning dark, my shirt was drenched with sweat, and my brain decided it was time to call it quits for today.

I just hope I keep practicing, if only to get my money's worth out of the 'blades..

Posted by mike at 06:20 PM Central | Exercise , Sarah | Comments (2) | TrackBack (0)

July 09, 2003

They Must Have Attended Screw U

Attempted to go see Pirates of the Caribbean, but the folks at Block E don't want to sell tickets after the showing starts.. That annoyed me greatly—I think I will tend to go to other theaters if I can. The actual seating is nice, but the service there tends to suck, and who thought out that stupid bathroom positioning anyway? Oh well, I was not sure about how I felt about being near a certain couple for an extended period of time..

So, I ended up wasting time at Borders, and then went to Target with Spike and Erin. Picked up Weird Al's new CD, and was informed that he'll be at the State Fair. I may have to go to that..

Moved onto some different test platforms today at work. One involves the same model of laptop that my brother has, which is kind of neat. However, I ran into a problem as soon as I started. In theory, the thing is supposed to work, but I was greeted with the Mac's equivalent of a Blue Screen of Death. Of course, Apple decided that the crash message should be multi-lingual, which I don't quite get..

Anyway, I want to bring in my laptop, just to see if Linux behaves the same way as MacOS. Just curious.

I accidentally trashed the database containing my preferences and desired shows for MythTV. Oops. I guess I shouldn't give myself root access after about 11 PM.

Ugh. Hewlett-Packard has some really annoying Shockwave Flash banner ads on Yahoo now that use a ton of CPU power. Whenever I open a few pages from Yahoo news, my browser slows down to a snail's pace. Bastards..

Posted by mike at 11:13 PM Central | Erin , Hardware , Internet , Josh , Laptop , Movies , Music , Sarah , Software , Spike , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 24, 2003

Cheech and Chong Reunite!

Well, it looks like the number of girls I know who don't smoke has dropped to roughly…zero. I had noticed that Sarah had gone out and smoked cigars a few times, but I didn't see until today that she had started smoking cigarettes.

It's just kind of weird because one of the unique things about her when I met her was that here was this cute girl for whom drinking and smoking wasn't on her top ten list of things to do.

It bothers me a bit, though I'm not really sure how. Maybe disappointing or disheartening, definitely dis-something.

Posted by mike at 12:38 AM Central | Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

August 05, 2003

To the Power of Foo

Well, after my last entry, the neighbor upstairs became eerily quiet. I ended up in my bed, and slept pretty well until 1 or so, but kept tossing and turning the rest of the night. Probably has something to do with the massive amounts of sugar I ate that evening…

I was really hungry after work, but went home to make a pizza. However, in the 25 minutes it took to preheat and then cook, I'd devoured some fruit snacks and half a bag of gummi Life Savers. Probably won't do anything for my waistline. Then again, neither will the pizza ;-)

I ended up just eating two slices of 'za and putting the rest away in the fridge. I suppose I can eat that instead of going out tonight and feel slightly less bad when I look at my bank balance after buying DS9.

I got some music at Best Buy the other day. I got a CD by Nickel Creek, because I'd heard their awesome “Smoothie Song” in a few places. Unfortunately, when I listen to the rest of the CD, I get the same creepy feeling I get when I hear Christian rock, so I'm not sure if that was the greatest purchase in the world. I got another disc by Maroon 5 (who are apparently billed as The Strokes of Hollywood). That one seems to be better overall, but it feels like they're playing tricks on me, using musical techniques that they know will get people's attention. A few songs sound amazingly like Red Hot Chili Peppers, while some others remind me a lot of Jamiroquai, other songs I can't place, but they sound very familiar…

I see Sarah has become one of the collective and started a LiveJournal account now. I think interlinked online journals are a really interesting result of giving everyone Internet access, although I'm sure more than a few people get freaked out by it at first.

Technology pundits (especially media consolidation apologists) have talked a lot about the Internet being a place where anyone can publish, but except for a relatively small number of sites that generated some traffic, few people really believed that it had any effect. Weblogs change the equation. Most sites still don't generate much traffic, but the important thing is that the people who do read the sites do so on a regular basis.

Or maybe I'm just sleepy and talking out my ass.

Posted by mike at 06:48 AM Central | Abode , Internet , Music , Sarah , TV , The Media | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

September 02, 2003

John Doesn't Know We've Secretly Replaced His Operating System With Folgers Crystals

Time to go buy food. My fridge is damn near empty, so I'd better go get some stuff. Considering that the nearest grocery store is only about 3 blocks away, I sure don't get stuff very often. I should really get into the habit of going there every few days, but I'm still getting out of that once-every-two-months mode.

Had some food over at the bunker last night. Hmm. I don't like “the bunker” as a moniker, but I guess “the pit” has been done to death. Maybe I'll call the house “the yellow monster” ;-)

Anyway, had food there, met Elvis, etc. Then I checked out Sarah's new housing. Kind of a tall place for vertically-challenged people, but at least that gives room for the hot air to go in the warmer months.

The couch there has quite a stench and probably requires an IV drip of Febreze for the next month to be manageable, though maybe there are some cushion covers that could be washed…

At work, I'm actually researching things for a Linux project, though it's still 5e|<r1t. If anything ever actually comes of it, I'll be sure to talk about it with people endlessly.

Well, off to find supper.

Posted by mike at 06:14 PM Central | Erin , Food , Sarah , Software , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

October 16, 2003

Shaq Would Not Approve

Yesterday was my last day of work. Nothing really special happened, though I just got my farewell handshakes from the crew there. Today, I started my job search anew, after stopping by Carlson to visit my old boss. We went out for lunch with some other guys there, and he explained some of the things they'd been working on. They had quite a time dealing with the Windows worms that broke out over the summer, but they had set up a separate virtual LAN to quarantine systems that got infected. He also mentioned the ways they're trying to avoid paying an arm and a leg for Oracle software. A quarter million dollars for a cluster of just a few systems? Uh, no thanks.

After that, I wandered over to the East Bank and did a quick search through the job postings at the I.T. Career Center. Not a whole lot of interesting stuff. Most of their postings were months old, which was pretty disappointing to see.

I wandered farther east to Tran Micro and picked up some fans for the new computer I've been fiddling with, though I had to backtrack a ways because I forgot to stop by the cash machine on the way there. I paid with a new $20, which got a comment or two.

For my trip back west, I took a detour back to the West Bank and stopped by Sarah's workplace just to see what's up. I hadn't seen the new system there yet, so that was pretty neat to see. I also told her that I'd seen Josh on the way into campus earlier in the day, and explained some of what he'd told me about our court case against Joe. Too bad it might get extended yet again, but it was nifty to hear that pretty much the Eischenses and Joe are the only landlords that the University wants out of their system.

I went home and tried to rest a bit, but remembered that I was hoping to go out and look for an S-Video to RCA adapter. I've been trying to get my Matrox G550 to output to my small TV, but I only have an RCA input on that thing. I have a VGA to S-Video and RCA that came with my G400, but it doesn't seem to work right. I don't get anything out of the RCA jack on it. I have a 7-pin S-Video to RCA adapter that came with another card, but it must be wired differently than the 7-pin output on my G400 adapter.

Anyway, I went to RadioShack and brought one to the counter. I forget the exact price the cashier told me, but it was approaching $30. Uh, what? A cheap (though out-of-spec) connector can be made with a few wires and a strategically placed capacitor. There's no reason for it to cost that much (the cashier said, “well, there's a computer in there,” and I just rolled my eyes), and I don't even know if the adapter would fix the problems I'm having. I'll have to lug my computer somewhere where there's a TV with an S-Video input, or maybe I'll just swap the video cards in my desktop and this new system temporarily (since I know that this card can do TV-out to RCA just fine).

Posted by mike at 06:17 PM Central | Hardware , Internet , Josh , Sarah , School , Software , TV , Work | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 02, 2004

Epic Novel Daily

Well, shortly after I made yesterday's post, I got a call from my mom telling me that my step-grandfather in Fargo had died. My grandmother had married him about a dozen years ago. She had originally been widowed when my grandfather died about two years before I was born. She was alone in her house for a few years after my youngest uncle left. I knew this day was coming, since my step-grandfather had been sick from prostate cancer and treatments for it. The thing I feel worst about is the fact that my grandmother is alone again, though I suppose the shock has been somewhat lessened for her since he had been in a nursing home for a couple of years.

Anyway, funeral arrangements had not yet been made, but were potentially scheduled for Saturday, meaning that I would have been headed up to Fargo today to spend the night. Since Erik was only free on Thursday and Friday this week, I was encouraged to see if he was available. I went over to his place to hang out, but also intending to have us join up with Dan at some point.

I got there as Erik and his roommate were about a third of the way through The Adventures of Baron von Munchausen. A pretty wacky movie, but what do you expect from Terry Gilliam? Oh, and a young Uma Thurman. Mmm.

When that ended, we selected Finding Nemo for the second flick of the evening. That was a good pick, since Dan hadn't seen it yet. Of course, getting Dan over to Erik's place was a small task, since the address Erik lives at in St. Paul can also be found in Minneapolis. At any rate, he brought along Laura (who Erik hadn't met) and Russell (who Erik knew from Tai Chi).

We chatted a bit, and I learned of things like Sarah's string of Ford Foci. Also, I found out that we have to wait yet another month to get a court date, but that's okay since I will now be attending a funeral on the 7th.

After that, we headed over to Annie's Parlour to meet up with Sarah and Josh. The mystery staircase was discovered hiding in plain sight due to our placement in the “smoking” section. We also had to listen to the disgusting KFC urban legend moments before Sarah and I were served our chicken sandwiches. Other than that, we had a pretty good time. Dan even had a fit of spontanaeity by putting on Laura's coat and scarf. I figured he ended up looking like a very distinguished gay bohemian, but I didn't really vocalize on that.

After that, time was spent at Dan's place, mostly watching TV (Family Guy was a really good episode last night, then we saw Jack Black and Cristopher Walken on a repeat of Conan). We also watched the video of some freaky Japanese guy beating Super Mario Bros. 3 in less than 11 minutes. I can barely pass the first level in that game ;-)

Anyway, it turns out that Erik does some of his teaching at the school right across the street from my building, so we might start seeing him more often.

Posted by mike at 01:04 PM Central | Dan , Erik , Family , Food , Josh , Sarah , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

January 14, 2004

Yo Quiero

Ugh. I just got a spam through my ICQ client. Interesting technique: it was sent to me as an “Authorization Denied” message. So, if you want to cut down your debts drastically, legally, and quickly, give them a call at 281-587-6082.

I did a search on that number just for kicks and ended up with some web pages in the Netherlands. They were in Dutch, so I couldn't really understand them, but one seemed to be discussing a diploma from a university. Both of the numbers started with 1- or 001-, which would seem to indicate a North American number (since 1 is our international calling code). But heck, I dunno. The area code is supposedly Houston, Texas.

The experience of coming across a dutch page reminded me that there are a lot of languages I wish I knew. I sort of know Norwegian (heritage reasons) and German (the only other option in high school was Spanish, which I didn't think was important at the time—oops), but I don't know them very well anymore. I should really get some reference books on that. Beyond that, the old languages used in Britain and Ireland are intriguing. Celtic and Welsh are pretty wacky, not to mention old/middle English.

If I'd had my choice in high school, I probably would have either done Norwegian or Russian (I'm so jealous that Sarah did that in high school), but my experiences in college have gotten me interested in Japanese and Chinese. Today, I'd be pretty interested to learn Arabic, but I don't know if I could ever learn to read backwards… Heh, I even admire the reasons for making Esperanto, though it's messed up in a lot of ways. Latin always sounds so pompous whenever I hear someone speak it, so there are reasons it could be fun—too bad the complex conjugations and declensions would make my head explode.

But if I ever learn another language, it will be Spanish—for purely utilitarian reasons. Like, I don't know, could I get my cheeseburger today?

Posted by mike at 12:42 PM Central | Food , Internet , Sarah , School , Self | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 08, 2004

An Ode to Maybe

Wow. LiveJournal timing out/closing connections/not working reminds me of the good ol' BBS days when I had to set up my computer to redial continuously. Sometimes I feel like I need a wardialer for web pages (like this most trusted non-friends thing that I've been trying to access for about a week). Other times I feel like I should just get off my ass and fix some code somewhere.

But I never do. *sigh*

I went around and changed the layout of my LiveJournal page and even made a new icon (though it was from an image I already had). I figured using the Tom Hanks icon all the time was somewhat disingenuous, though I suppose this one isn't significantly more genuine… I might change my homepage as well. I guess I did make a few tweaks, but there is a whole lot more I could do if I had the motivation.

I finally got around to IMing with Sarah a bit. I got out of the habit of talking to her for various reasons, though I suppose I never really talk to anybody. It was just noteworthy because I basically woke up one day this weekend thinking, “I should IM Sarah,” but wimped out because she was actually online at the time I crawled over to my computer. I wanted to talk, but had nothing to talk about, like normal.

Anyway, like I said, I finally got around to it. I mentioned a comment Adam made over the weekend at his party about her helpfulness to him on a song mix. She seemed down, and I knew it would make her feel better. Well, once I actually structured my comment in a way she could understand. It seems my IMing skillz leave something to be desired.

So, she might stay at the U. She might go to Brown or some other place. She might completely change directions and go to Aveda or something. I can't really give any advice on that last point :-D

Ugh. I need to try to get to sleep relatively early tonight, since the weekend messed up my schedule a bit. Staying up to 3AM cleaning up the muck left by Jedis fighting probe droids can only be done so often. (Er, I mean, you can only play Burnout 2 for so long…)

Posted by mike at 10:16 PM Central | Adam , Internet , Sarah , Software | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

March 24, 2004

Me Crush! Rawr!

Ugh. Why does it seem like web designers are getting worse and worse at writing JavaScript? Oh well, people have always had trouble getting that to work right.

So, I got up this morning, checked my friends page, and it looked like a lot of people were thinking heavily about their dreams last night. Well, relatively speaking. I had some weird stuff floating around last night too, though I guess it wasn't very memorable. Mostly, I can only recall thinking through some of the faces of girls I've liked in the past, though I know there was a lot of other totally unrelated dreaming going on at other points.

Anyway, it seems that I actually do have a “type” of woman that I really like, though apparently it's weird enough to confuse the heck out of me and out of things like this test. On one hand, the test tells me that I really like the idealized faces of movie stars, but then it also says that I don't buy into the “mainstream” image. So people who appeal to the mainstream are not the idealized figures in movies and on TV?

Another portion of the test said that I'm, well, read for yourself:

Very Open: You have a more open and accepting view of what makes a woman attractive than other men your age. In fact, you fall in the most open and non-traditional subgroup of men who have taken this test. Good for you! This doesn't necessarily mean that looks are less important to you than to other men. You simply have a unique set of criteria and keep your eyes out for special qualities that make a woman, who may seem ordinary to most, extraordinary to you.
Sure, I'd generally agree with that. Sort of. I don't know. I mean, there seems to be a type of girl that I really go for, but that particular type seems to be really popular with other guys too. I think that if you take a step back, though, and look at the few notches below my absolute ideal, I see things differently than most other guys. Plus, strangely, I'm not exactly attracted to every girl I see—I find it to be a relatiely rare moment when I turn my head to get another look. It's all very weird.

Also, one portion of the results said that I'd be one to skip over cheerleaders, which is funny since my two biggest crushes were cheerleaders in high school. :-p

I keep breaking the test, dammit.

In other news, my efforts to be nice to Erin are failing dramatically.

Posted by mike at 01:59 PM Central | Erin , Internet , Sarah , School , Self , Software | Comments (3) | TrackBack (0)

Iconography

Okay, so I finally found the avatar generator today. That's pretty awesome, though I guess if I were to pick on people, I'd say there weren't quite enough hairstyles or eyeglass types. But heck, it's free. BFD.

So I kinda went nuts making icons. My aforementioned difficulty with hair made it a challenge to find something that seemed appropriate for Dan, especially with his beard, but I finally came up with this:

Which seemed okay, I guess. No offense intended, Dan. But then, I thought that I'd have to do at least two more for him. He's mentioned his desire to obtain an appropriate aged scientist look when he's older. I suppose I mucked around a bit when I came up with a kooky image for him. Dan is also famed the world 'round for his sad face, and I did my best to emulate it given what was available. I suppose you could tweak these to be a bit better.

I tried doing Sarah, but I couldn't find hair that I liked. For one image, I ended up just giving her a hat (which doesn't really make sense, but it seemed good at the time), and then using a cop-out hairdo for another image. A while later, I came back and did another try with glasses.

I tried to do appropriate icons for the Mars rovers, attempting to do a slightly angst-ridden spiritrover and a somewhat too happy opportunitygrrl. I'm debating whether to point them out or not.

And, what entry would be complete without some self-flagellation?

Posted by mike at 07:32 PM Central | Dan , Internet , Sarah , Self , Software | Comments (6) | TrackBack (0)

June 16, 2004

What Would Dan Quayle Say About That?

Not a whole lot has been happening, mostly just watching TV and movies, and applying for jobs. Today I had to go pick up Erik at the airport, after he came back from an interview in Washington state. Sarah IMed me around 10:30 or 11:00, but the only info she had was the time he expected to be ready to be picked up (she couldn't do it because she was doing CPR training). He didn't respond to any phone calls, so he must have been in the air already by that time.

Well, I got down there alright, but it turned out that I was at the wrong terminal. He must have flown Sun Country or something, since he had to be picked up at the Humphrey Terminal rather than the Lindbergh Terminal. Oops. So, I swung through Lindbergh one more time, since I wasn't sure if there was a quick exit from there down to Humphrey (there may have been, but I don't know where it would have been). So, I got back on the highway and got off at the right exit, but I've never driven to Humphrey before, and I've only ever been there about three times in my whole life—sometimes late at night, so I had few spatial references. Anyway, I ended up messing up my maneuvers a few times just because I was anticipating having to do things before I really had to. Then, I accidentally took a turn toward Lindbergh again. No! I hate it when I'm forced to drive like I don't know where I'm going.

Anyway, I finally made it there, and it probably would have been a lot easier if I just hadn't tried so hard to be ready for the unexpected. Then, there was the escapade of getting back to Erik's place. Well, Sarah called asking for an update just a few minutes after we left the airport, and then I missed the turn I wanted to take just as I picked up the call (See!? Driving and cell phones don't mix—except when you're trying to get pic up someone who is at the wrong terminal ;-)

Well, I'm not even sure if you can get from northbound I-35E to westbound I-94 anyway. We ended up taking U.S. 52, since I know that road, but we had to wait as traffic was backed up at the point where that road essentially ends to become surface streets. Things went okay on 94, but I got off on 280 and then improperly took the Energy Park Drive exit. D'oh. So, back to Minneapolis and up to Como (which we wouldn't have had to do, if the traffic hadn't been so heavy on that road too). Oh well, I guess I gave Erik the grand tour, which will be good for posterity, just in case he gets that job in Washington.

I went out for an evening walk today around the St. Anthony Falls trail loop and Nicollet Island. It was really nice until the mosquitos started biting a bit, but they didn't show up much until I was about ready to be done anyway.

The walk was made a lot more enjoyable by the fact that I've indulged in watching some DVDs starring my favorite female celebrity. I've written before about how just seeing or hearing someone I find attractive can really calm me down and make me happier. I think I really needed that, at least now that I think about how low I was feeling last weekend. Still, it is and will remain as one of those intangible things, since this is a person I'll never meet.

She was in the war movie We Were Soldiers a little bit. Probably not enough time to justify if it was a crappy movie, but I thought it was good, even though there was no single concise message it tried to portray. It's mostly just a movie about a battle plus a little bit about the families the soldiers left behind. It's a good movie if you just want to see how things happened, but not so good if you want a movie that answers the “why”s of war.

Today, Netflix delivered the first disc of the TV show my favorite celebrity was on. I'd actually added this to my queue and pushed it near the top of the list over the weekend when I was feeling down, since I knew it would help in a weird way. It's emotionally wrenching and draining sometimes, but it's also good since it shows that at least someone else in TV land understands that good, honest, yet quiet people like myself actually exist. Well, not that I'd ever be picked out of a lineup for my good looks or anything…

Unfortunately, there are some semi-technical issues with the DVDs, so I guess I'm glad I didn't follow the impulse I had over the weekend to just go out and buy the first season or two. Some of the music was changed (though I might not notice—it may have been changed already in reruns, which is where I first watched the show) and the video was not telecined properly for DVD distribution to make most video frame progressive-scan. That's kind of dumb, since a telecined TV show can take up significantly less space on the disc, either allowing a higher per-frame bitrate, or more video on each disc. Oh well, fortunately my DVD playing software has a video filter that will clean it up for me and give me nice non-interlaced output.

Hmm. I guess I may as well mention that, while I was walking around this evening, the voice of Ira Glass of This American Life popped into my head. A second later I thought, “You know, I bet my favorite celebrity would like that radio show.” So, I got home and was randomly reading articles about said person, and found out that she indeed listens to the show. I've decided that I won't make anything of it other than say, “Heh. That's funny,” since, well, millions of people like that show.

Oh, also, my brother is living in a place owned by someone Erik knows (and I suspect that other people I know may also know her). On our screwed up drive around town, I pointed out the road my brother lives on, and Erik said that his friend Vanessa owned a place there. I think I may have met her way in the past too, but I can't really remember. She seemed familiar when we met.

Posted by mike at 11:24 PM Central | Car , Erik , Family , Movies , Sarah , TV , War | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

July 06, 2004

All I Know Is, Bob Is A Dick

I can't believe Anchorman hasn't come out in theaters yet. It's been quite a while since I first started seeing ads for it. Well, maybe it just feels like a long time. I think I've been seeing previews since at least Hellboy which I probably saw in April.

Today, my website got a whole lot of spam comments from nipr.mil, which is apparently the DoD's big gateway to the Internet. Always good to know that the military's computers are secure.

Oh. The Fourth… I went with my brother down to the St. Anthony Main area, where we just happened to run into Dan, Laura, Josh, and Sarah. We ended up going up to the north end of the 3rd/Central bridge and sat at the curb. The bridge was blocked off, but it's kind of good that we didn't get any closer—the curb was much more comfortable than standing for that amount of time. Still, the show was only about 15 minutes.

Posted by mike at 11:35 PM Central | Dan , Internet , Josh , Movies , Sarah | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

March 17, 2005

Punk'd

Erin wrote me a very honest note about how I pissed her off. Eesh. Sorry. I figured everyone saw me as a nice guy, albeit quiet or aloof. Well, I've got some friendship-rebuilding to do, I guess. Apologies to everyone—I've been off in my own little world, which is why I never talk about anyone else—there simply hasn't been anyone else to talk about. With repeated job trouble, I also haven't had a whole lot of spare cash, which has not exactly made me happy.

Oh well, I just have to figure out more of the free/supercheap stuff to do. I brought Keen Eddie over to Dan's place again yesterday evening, and spent some time with him, Laura, and Sarah. I'm glad they all like the show, as I haven't felt that I've had much to offer people. If I've turned them on to a cool show, that's great. They've all enjoyed seeing the actors on the show too, since many have been in other things. And, obviously the episodes just rock. I know Sarah needed the laughs.

One of Dan's roommates had us watch the Super Mario Reloaded and Final Fantasy A+ Flash animations, which were both really funny. Unfortunately, their DSL line is dog slow and they took forever to load. I just checked them right now on my cable modem, and the Super Mario one only took about 20 seconds to load. It took a few minutes last night.

Hmm. He just told me that his friends don't have or particularly want cable TV. He suggested that basic plus cable modem might be the way to go, and I'd agree.

Anyway, back to the Flash things: It's good that Dan knew how to make them nearly-full-screen. That made 'em a lot easier to enjoy, especially on the big TV ;-)

Well, that's it, I think.

Posted by mike at 01:30 PM Central | Dan , Erin , Internet , Sarah , Self , TV | Comments (0) | TrackBack (0)

May 12, 2005

Diesel Sweeties

LiveJournal's down and Wikipedia's up? That's unpossible.

Something else that's unpossible: my fortune cookies ever coming true. Latest example: "An old love will come back to you." I'd have to bend the rules of "love" anyway, and the big ones are spoken for. Reminds me of when I went to eat out with a bunch of people including Sarah. We had to go through "the talk" earlier that day or the day before, but it basically said that we'd get together in short order. Stupid fauxsian cuisine.

Posted by mike at 05:13 PM Central | Food , Internet , Sarah , Self | Comments (0)