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Oct. 10th, 2006 | 06:01 pm

This post sponsored by Ubuntu. All the computers (only one at a time) at my mom's house when I was growing up were rehashes of past computers with a few new parts stuffed in. Usually a new motherboard; other parts were replaced as I had money. When I graduated from college, I gave my mom my old computer, and the rehashed computer we'd been using for 8 years sat in the basement for a year.

Well, I've been thinking about putting together a new computer for myself for photography editing, and desktop publishing (newsletters). Most of the programs I've been using for such have been open-source (The GIMP, Scribus), and don't run top notch on windows machines. This thing is going to be a monster, with a dual core processor, two monitors, and 4GB of RAM. And, it's going to be running Linux.

So, where does this old computer I told you about to start with fit in? Well, it's the test bed for the Ubuntu install I am going to be used. I figured that I didn't have anything to lose, so this old and slow computer is now running the latest version of Ubuntu; and, it's not doing to bad. Aside from noticeable slowness when trying to do more than one thing, I really can't tell it's only 300 MHz. Windows could never pull this off. I've even moved my ongoing digitization of my CD collection from the laptop I own, to this machine. I haven't processed any photos on it, but that'll be the next step. I'm putting together the Uber computer now, but probably won't order the parts until January or later.

I also bought a new lens for my camera (a Canon 50mm f/1.4 USM), to replace the poor lens that came with the camera. This is the same length lens that used to come with manual cameras, including mine, and I really like getting back to my photo "roots". The photos are quite improved, and it's my favorite season for taking photos. I've started a fund for my next lens, now that I've got the basic lenses covered I'd like to start picking up Canon's high end "L" series lenses. I'll probably start with the 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. I figure that if I put away a few bucks a months, I can pick it up in a year or so. I've taken a bunch of really neat photos, but they've been somewhat ruined by the cheap lens that came with the camera, so it's nice to finally replace it.

I made 2 loaves of banana bread a week ago, and it was quite tasty. I ate it all in a week.

I should really start working out more... so I can eat more banana bread.

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(no subject)

Sep. 22nd, 2006 | 08:57 pm

Yeah! the week is over. Work is done, which is nice. Even though I think people have realized how dumb they've been lately, it doesn't look like I'll be getting an apology from them. It's funny how easily someone will humiliate someone in front of others, but how slow they are to apologize to them in front of others. It's cool though, they're all deadwood anyways.

I made a sales pitch to a CSA organization. I think my pitch got forwarded out to a mailing list. The pitch, was looking for a few acres to live on from someone. I think I didn't make it clear enough though, that I was willing to rent the land from them. I got one response already, with a plan about a co-operative farm. Not sure if that's what I'm looking for though. I hope that someone steps forward with something, because then I could get out of the apartment and into something much more healthy. Living in an apartment isn't healthy I've decided. I'm going to attempt to find some more venues to make my plea to.

I've worked three weeks now of 50 hours a week. That needs to stop. No matter how hard I attempt to mitigate the time though, I always seem to be working more. I didn't get a raise at my one year though, probably because I got one at six months. The last week though (dealing with idiots) made me keep thinking about how I wasn't getting paid enough to be doing all the crap I was doing. Maybe I'll get a phatty raise in February. It's not the money I'm really interested in though, mostly the recognition that I'm doing a good job. The money will be useful in furthering a few of my dreams, as right now I can afford what I'm doing but just don't have a whole lot extra to put away for savings at the end of each month.

Hmm. It's kinda late. I watched the Godfather 3 today. Quite good. I'm both tired, but not. All the stuff I'd like to do require brain power, which I really don't have this late at night. Maybe if I get up and move around I'd get some energy back, then I could perhaps read for a bit. Tomorrow I'm going to do some quick cleaning of the apartment (always on a weekend). Then, I was thinking of biking to my Mom's house so I can take care of the cats and perhaps mow the lawn. My mom's out of town for the weekend, and has a few things she wants me to do. I must say though, that I sometime wish that I was living not so close to home. MY mom expects me to do things now, such as mow the lawn. Sometime I really don't have time for it, and it's not really something I enjoy doing. If she asked every few weeks for me to do it, then I might be alright. But it's typically every week. Yes she's busy, but so am I. What's to make her think that I have more time than she does. Whatever.

I have lots of books.... and plants. I rock.

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(no subject)

Sep. 20th, 2006 | 07:14 pm

Okay, bear with me on this one...

Person 1: We don't have enough resources (people or machines) to handle all this AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAH!!!!! We're understaffed and there's too much going on AAAHAHAHAAHAHAHAHAH!!!!!

Me: Hey look, a spare computer I could use as a server for a few minor webpages for our team that only about 10 people will access. I'll spend some time setting it up and getting it running and making sure I back everything up properly because this doesn't seem important enough for systems to allow us to use a server for.

Person 2 (on same team as person 1): You can't manage your own server. We have to manage them all. [And I'm going to make you look like you don't know what you're doing while I'm at it. Because I have time to tell you that you can't do that, but I don't have time to get everything done because I'm too busy telling you that you can't have your own server because I've been working here for way longer than you have and that means I know more than you do and you can't have your own server because we manage all the servers and like to doll them out like candy since they're such an expensive and precious resource to the company that every little team request gets their own server that we manage because we have so much time to manage all the servers and everything else that you aren't allowed to have your own server because I can't keep up with everything and we're falling behind but you can't manage a server because we manage all the servers..... ]

Yahh... It's been one of those days. And then, I drove all the way to the other side of town for a meeting that the organizer didn't even show up for. I have about negative 1,000,000,000,000,000 trillion tolerance for people who waste my time.

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(no subject)

Aug. 30th, 2006 | 05:37 pm
mood: annoyedannoyed

Soooo... It turns out there are lots of counterfeit SanDisk Compact Flash cards going around E-Bay... And why didn't anyone mention this to me before I bought one?

Turns out almost 95% are fake. I'm going to get a refund for it though (well, hopefully...). It wasn't even that great of a deal. I paid about 25 bucks for it. I suppose that's 50 cheaper than in the store.

I'm just going to wait for them to go on sale and pick another up then. I'm shooting photos at a major event and am going to need the extra storage.

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(no subject)

Jun. 19th, 2006 | 05:55 pm

Just got back from a week long backpacking trip. Quite a time. Last Monday, my friend Autumn and I left for Duluth to attend her brother's wedding. We stayed at a resort on the shores of Superior just outside of Two Harbors. Then, on Tuesday her parents helped us shuffle my car up and dropped us off at a Trailhead for the Superior Hiking Trail.

Our first day was quite hard, but we only went a few miles. Our packs were quite heavy. The first night was in a swampy area that had a few bugs. We were both really tired just because the weekend had been long and we hadn't gotten a lot of sleep.

Our second day we were supposed to hike 10 miles, but we made it through the first 4 and stopped to eat lunch at a place called Section 13. When we started to get going again, we were both super tired and I really doubt we could have done the rest of the day. So, we stopped at the camp site and decided to revise our trip. Autumn had planned for about 10-11 miles a day, and I had planned enough food for about 3-4 people. Not a good combination. We learned later, that most people seem to do about 4-6 miles a day. Our third day we wanted to push for the state park, deciding that we should stay there since they had running water and showers; we also decided to drop some of our food in a bag and hang it from a tree at the parking lot a mile down the trail from the site we had just stayed out. We ended up dropping about half our food, which made our packs much lighter.

This section of trail for the day had few sites, and we did stop for lunch in the middle of the day at a site that didn't look too appealing. Quite swampy and buggy. The park was 10 miles away, and our day turned into about 12 miles. We were completely wiped by the end of the day, and Autumn was going to kill me, but we made it. We ended up staying for two days, since my legs were pretty much toast and so were Autumn's. We took the time to plan out the rest of our trip too. The morning of the second day at the park, we wanted to move sites to be closer to the trail and to be away from the highway. When I went to register us for the new site, I bought us a bag of firewood. Let's just say that the hike up the hill for 1 mile to the new site was quite a work out for our rest day!

There's a shuttle that runs along the trail on Fridays and weekends, and we had grabbed a schedule before we left. We decided to take that back to our car since there really wasn't any way we were going to make it there on our own. The last few days were much easier, since we only hiked about 7 or so miles for the second to last day and stayed at a lake. Quite a nice stop, but we decided not to swim since the weather sort of looked like it was going to turn bad. The mosquitoes were pretty bad at that site, and Autumn may have picked up Poison Ivy as well. There was a 150 foot elevation drop from the trail to the site, so we had to hike down and back up a pretty rough trail to get to the site.

Our last day was planned to be 8 miles, but after looking at the map and talking to someone else at the site with us, we decided that it wasn't going to be possible to make it to where we wanted to on time for the shuttle. Instead, we hiked only 4 miles to the next trailhead where we could be picked up. Got there around noon or 1 or so. We had to wait until 3 for the shuttle, but we were fortunate enough to ask a set of hikers there if they were heading down the road in the direction of our car. We asked for a ride, and one of the guys was kind enough to let us come with. It saved us about 35 bucks and a few hours since we didn't have to wait around at all.

It was a good learning experience, and we did have a good time once we decided to start slowing down. Next time we know to pack less food and to hike fewer miles. I really wasn't eating anything the first few days, but got super hungry the last few days. The day we hiked 12 miles to the state park, we made tons of noodles and pasta sauce. We both plowed through the entire pot, which was quite a bit of pasta. We were both super hungry.

As well as cutting out mileage, we cut out a day. We were planning to be hiking until Saturday, but decided to end on Friday since the weather that night was supposed to be bad, and we had stuff to get done on Saturday. On Saturday, we spent just about the entire day moving a tractor onto a trailer so I could bring it back home with me. Turns out that the tractor was too large for the trailer, and we were going to be spending a few more hours just to get it onto the trailer if it did fit. We got it out of the weeds though, now just need to figure out what to do with it now. It was quite a workout, and it was all in the rain.

I have work tomorrow, but am still pretty beat up. I have tons of stuff to take care of at the house as well. I need to clean stuff up, and hang it all out to dry. I may take tomorrow afternoon off if I'm too tired to continue working. I think my body is still recovering. I got tons of sleep last night, but was still pretty tired all day today. Probably turn in for bed in a few hours.

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(no subject)

May. 29th, 2006 | 10:41 pm
mood: tiredtired

good times. I just biked to work and back (didn't actually go in). Just wanted to see how bad it was of a ride in case I wanted to start biking to work. Which, I hope to start doing some time. I just have to be in good enough shape so that I don't show up all exhausted. I'm hoping to start biking more once the weather is nice, and it stays sunny until 830 an night.

I was relatively lazy this weekend. I hung out with a friend from high school whom I haven't seen in about 3 years. I asked him about storing a tractor I'm inheriting at his parents place, and it looks like that might be a possibility. I don't have many options, and I'd like to keep it here so I can possibly work on it if I have a few minutes. Also, so I can start to procure parts for it, like new tires.

I did spend a good chunk of this weekend programming one thing or another. I've been working on a program (Called a routine at work) that does something that I normally keep track of manually. It's coming along quite nicely, but I keep coming up with improvements so it keeps getting longer. I'm pretty much done with it now though, so that shouldn't take up much of my time anymore. I've been learning PHP too, and finished my first PHP page.

I was quite proud of myself, although I've since made quite a few improvements to the template I created for that page. I doubt that I'll update that page with the template though, since it works quite nicely right now. No need to tinker if it works unless there's something wrong. I've also decided that I might delve into an online business. It's super uber duper top secret right now, but I hope to put some of my free time into creating it. It has to do with photographs online though, but doesn't entail selling any of mine. I've been working on creating the first few pages right now, but I'm guessing that it'll take me a few months to actually turn anything reasonable out, and then it'll need to be tested. That's probably where all of you come in =), you can be my Beta testers and make sure that it all works like it should.

I've been learning a ton about PHP, which is really quite useful for the type of webpages I tend to do. It's a scripting language, so it can manipulate data very easily and generate HTML files on the fly. So, what this means for me, is that instead of creating 18 html files to display 90 photos, I create one php file that dynamically generates the html and displays what I want it to. I happen to be using MySQL in conjunction to store a number of things related to the photos, but I don't necessarily need to.

I bought Tung oil... Otherwise that's all I can really think of right now

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May. 24th, 2006 | 08:42 pm

I am a pinching koala and tree!
Find your own pose!

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lingering memories

May. 23rd, 2006 | 10:42 pm
mood: contemplativecontemplative

I was eating my breakfast as memories of my childhood flooded back to me, a vivid memory of childhood mornings came back as I tasted the acid of my orange juice. When I was living in California when I was young, every Saturday morning we would get fresh oranges from the store and make orange juice. We had a little electric squeezer that you would push down on and it would turn around the inside of half an orange. I remember standing on a chair and feeling the little ridges move across the inside of the orange; then moving the orange around to make sure we got all of the goodness out. The juice would come out of a little spout on the side and into a glass that we would drink from, and I remember how sweet and wonderful it tasted. I can still remember the way my dad smelled and the way the house was always bright and sunny. That is the only way I will ever remember that house on Hibiscus Avenue in Irvine, California.

Sometimes I would go outside and play in the backyard where we had an apricot tree that my dad was always trying to keep the birds from eating at. Next to that we had a kumquat tree that I used to pull the fruit from and eat the skins. I could never eat the insides, because they were too sour. I remember the blackberry vines we had growing and I remember painting the iron fence as it rusted away into nothingness. I can still smell the mint we had growing in little pots along the trelace, and still taste it as I stole little leaves of it to eat. I can see the moss and little delicate plants we had growing along the side of the house. I remember touching them and thinking they were like fur, and I can see the rainbows the sprinkler made when we turned it on to water the delicate plants.

I can see the backyard now from where I am standing in my room. The second story of a house covered in stucco and dark colored wood beams crossing the outside. The dark red carpeting and the pale cream colored walls and the white ceiling above me. I see the turkey vulture outside the window perched on the dark black fence. It's a huge animal that has come to pay us a visit, and I remember staring at it forever while it sat there and examined us.

The smell of summer and warm plants is in the air. I can feel the warmth on my skin as I stand outside and bask in the sun of Southern California, and I remember the ground shaking and running up the hill chasing the school bus and the nighttime bike rides with my dad and the grass between my toes and the hiding in the hills behind the house and the skateboarding scared to death down the hill I lived on and hiding in the pantry tasting all the spices and building forts out of the couches and playing Nintendo with friends and my dad putting snails on the school bus window and smurfs on tv before anyone else got up and waiting for my dad after work and being excited when he finally got home and the blue VW vanagin with curtains and playing in the little plastic pool that filled up with bugs in the backyard and the green plastic turtle sandbox and the huge brick fence between houses and the brick grill outside we never used and the utter feelings of innocence we lost as we grew older.

I'm not sure why I am remember all of this now, except for the fact that it sometimes comes back to me when my life becomes too complex. I missed out on too much of my childhood unfortunately, but I still hold the memories I want to keep.

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(no subject)

May. 17th, 2006 | 12:36 am

I really should come home for lunch more often...

but then I would have to work an extra 5 hours during the week..

maybe every couple of days?

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(no subject)

May. 16th, 2006 | 09:25 pm

Defrosted cookies from the freezer. Ate all 6 in 1 day. Went down to Steve's Liquor and bought Linchello, chocolate Port, and a bottle of Yellow Tale. Opened the Yellow tail, and discovered that it's pretty crappy these days. O'well. I've been going through work e-mails, which I don't have time to do during the day. I'm going to class all day to learn our programming language. It's half over tomorrow, which is kinda nice. I'll be glad once it's done.

It hailed again today, except my car was outside this time, as opposed to the underground parking lot. I don't think anything happened to it.

There's lots of good music tonight on the radio. I should really go to bed, but I just want to hang out and listen to it. Soon, I'll go to bed.

I've been working on digitizing my entire CD collection, and putting it onto the ftp server I have (see post a few days ago). I don't think I'll have it complete for a few more weeks. Once done, I plan to put all the CD's I've finished into storage. I won't need them since they will all be on the computer.

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