Kevin's Journal - January

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Sat Jan 31, 2004 3:03 PM

We are finally getting some more snow. Not supposed to be too much, but it's pretty to watch fall. Went out and ran some errands and got some supplies for the anti-superbowl party tomorrow. Hopefully a few folks will brave the snow and show up. 4pm my house. Be there.

My laptop survived the night ok, no issues. I did get a full backup of it last night too, so thats all good. My current suspicion is one of two things: It could be software suspend, which appears to work fine, but might cause some memory problem that only shows up later? or it could be the CPU fan, which I cleaned out last time it locked up. It did have a small dust bunny in it that is now removed. Oh well, if it's still up and stable tomorrow I will do a suspend/resume cycle and see if it's still stable after that. If it locks up then I can start looking more at software suspend.

Thu Jan 29, 2004 11:10 PM

Well, another thursday, another hacking society. Decided that I had been to the Southern Sun too much of late, so I went up to Boulder early and hit the Tandori Grill for dinner. Very nice. The Chicken Tkia Masala (spicy) was pretty spicy and yummy. Garlic Nann was also good. They got mobbed just as I was finishing up, but got pretty good service until then. I left there and went up to the Southern Sun to see if anyone was there and ran into rise. He said no one else was there, and the wait for a table was more than an hour, so we just went over to Caffe Sole instead. This brings me to the laptop woes.

My laptop has been flaky of late. I had it marked down to the swsusp patches I had been playing with, but when I woke up this morning my laptop was locked up. Looks like it locked at about 3am (which is when my backups fire off). It was blinking the num lock light which indicates a panic, but of course the screen was blanked. When I powered it down and back on it wouldn't even come up, just turned off. Finally it came up. Tonight when I got to Caffe Sole it came up ok, but then it decided to spew a disk error and mark the drive read only. :( I shut it down and ran a fsck.jfs on it, and it came up ok after that. Sure looks like the drive is hosing up, which is strange since I just got this new drive in december. They sure don't make them like they used to. I did take it out of the laptop and re-seat it and it sounds a lot quieter, perhaps it was just a connector. The other possible weird thing that could be causing problems is my USB wireless. I have switched that off for now and am using a pcmcia one, so that should tell me if thats the culprit.

Of course since my laptop is my main machine (I am on it probibly 18 hours a day) I looked around to see if I could see a good replacement one. The HP zt3000 looks pretty sweet. You can get a 1980x1200 screen in a 15.3" form factor. Seems to run linux pretty well and it's about 6.5 lbs. The downside is that it's only got at best a 1.7ghz p4 in it, which would in fact be slower than my current 1.8ghz. They even have a credit card buy deal that would let you pay 0% interest if you pay it all off in 12 months. Tempting, but I really like my current laptop if I could get it stable.

Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:15 PM

Well, the Clumsy Lovers show last night was pretty good. Got in there early and got a place to sit and had some dinner with Jeremy, then a pile of others showed up for the show. Much beer, much music. Good times.

Oh, and I should do my part to keep the google search happy: Miserable Failure.

I decided to revive an old tradition and plan on doing an anti-superbowl party this coming sunday. Get folks over and have highbrow conversation, drink wine and eat pate. ;)

Mon Jan 26, 2004 11:50 AM

Called FINE excel energy this morning. They sent me a bill for 1100ish. The person I finally got to talk to after threading the dangerous phone maze was very nice. Seems they had taken a reading on my meter in July 2002, and had been estimating my usage from that. Then they took another reading in December 2003. The new reading was much higher, so they redid my last 6 months of billing and hit me with a bill for the diffrence. It still didn't add up tho. It was much higher than it should have been. They had me read off the current meter reading and in the last month it's been higher than it was, but still not near what they were billing me for. The reason they were estimating it was that they couldn't get into my yard, because I have a padlock on the gate. So, finally they decided they would cancel this bill, tell their billing people to re-figure it and send me a new bill. They would also send me a schedule for when they read meters here so I can possibly open the gate for them. What a pain, but at least they were nice about it.

In other news, The Clumsy Lovers are playing the southern sun tonight. I am gonna head over around 8ish and get a late dinner and have beers and watch the show. Anyone in the area reading this should go. ;)

Sun Jan 25, 2004 3:32 PM

So far a pretty wasted weekend. Just stayed home friday night and watched dvd's. Saturday I went out and got some pretty yummy indian food and then up to boulder to get some Stone smoked porter. Yummy stuff. Watched X2 saturday night. It was an amusing ride, but had very little seeming point. There were a few times the plot had such big holes in it that I wanted to watch the truck drive through it.

I should go out tonight and be social. Wonder if there is anyplace that has any nice live music?

Sat Jan 24, 2004 10:37 AM

Some pictures from some walks with the dogs in the last week. Some cats were out one day, you could see 4 or 5 of them just laying around in this sunny spot. They didn't seem concerned that the dogs were going by. The sign is on a tennis court near my house. It says "NO" and then all the text under it is gibberish.

Thu Jan 22, 2004 11:23 PM

Another thursday, another hackingsociety. Didn't get anyone else showing up at southern sun, so I just enjoyed my beer and ate at the bar. Had a pretty good turnout of people at Sole though. I think we had about 10 folks at one point. Managed to get some changes made to the security HOWTO and got it submitted for update.

Wed Jan 21, 2004 7:23 PM

Well, the snow didn't last, but it was fun while it was falling. Today it got warm enough to melt the snow and turn it into mud. I think I mostly kept the dogs from tracking all the mud in, but it's not an easy task.

Watched Hamlet^H^H^H^H^H^HStrange Brew tonight. Needed to grab a screen capture of 'hosehead' the dog so we could put it on our labels for our beer.

Tue Jan 20, 2004 10:07 AM

SNOW! Hurray!

Mon Jan 19, 2004 10:07 PM

Went up to the beer store and bottled beer tonight. Will need to age a week or two, but then should be ready to drink. We sampled as we bottled and it's got a very nice flavor to it, even though it's green. Nice hoppy red. We are going to call it "hosehead red".

Sun Jan 18, 2004 4:07 PM

Went out and got some new chairs. They are very comfy. Also saw this amusing sign slapped on top of a forsale sign someone had put on a street sign: help us remove ugly signs, sign. It's a sign for CAUSS. I hope I see more of them. :)

Sun Jan 18, 2004 11:24 AM

Ran all my errands yesterday. One of them was looking for some new kitchen/dining room chairs. Mine are starting to fall apart, and my dad sent me some money for Christmas to go and get some new ones. It seems they don't make what I am looking for. The two competing things are: comfortable and no casters. Any dining room chairs with no casters are super uncomfortable, and any comfy chairs with nice backs have casters. I guess I will end up sucking it up and going with comfortable but casters. Casters annoy me some, but not as much as sitting in a uncomfortable chair.

Joined some folks at Ephraim's near boulder for dinner. They have a darn fine Chile Verde there. This time it was a good deal hotter than the last time I was there, but it was still very flavorful. I would provide a link, but Ephraim's is a no net zone. I can only find one thing on google that refers to it. It's not even in the Qwestdex. Oh well, more good Mexican food for me.

Dinner ran pretty late, so I didn't make it up to watch Big Lebowski and drink Caucasians. Just relaxed at home the rest of the evening.

Sat Jan 17, 2004 10:45 AM

Watched two movies last night (I got about 4 netflix in at once). The first was Chicago. I had heard many good things about it, so I stuck it on the rental list a long time back. It was ok. There were a few really good musical numbers, but some very 'eh' ones. Overall I would have to say it was overrated by those who recommended it.

Secondly was Bulletproof Monk. I wasn't expecting much from it, but it was one of those fun to watch once and turn off your brain. Not something I would view again, but it was a good waste of an hour or two.

I really like my Blackened Shrimp and Linguine dish. It turns out good pretty much every time, it's not too hard to make and it's also mostly good for you.

Now to head out and run a ton of errands...

Fri Jan 16, 2004 10:28 AM

Had a very nice time yesterday at Boulder Hacking Society dinner and meeting. Jafo and Ant came down to Boulder from Fort Collins to join us. I think we had about 12 people at the caffe at one point. Took some pictures of all the geeks.

Swapped the new computer into place as my main machine. Seems to be doing fine. A P4 2.8ghz machine is way overkill for email and such, but I can also use it to do builds on and so forth. At least it seems more stable than the old one.

Today is a pretty nifty day. Our client that has the cobalt raq's finally has finished moving all the sites off them and we have them turned off finally. Hurray! Dave the foster dog goes to his new home later today. Hurray! And it's friday. :)

Wed Jan 14, 2004 7:33 PM

Got my new computer in today. Pretty fast. I ordered it monday and only paid for 3 day shipping, and got here today. It seems like a pretty nice machine. P4 2.8ghz with 512m ram, 160gb hd. Has a nice video/sound/network builtin and has compact flash, sd, firewire all built in. Got it setup and am running burnin on it. It's not perhaps as fast as it should be. I need to tweak the BIOS settings perhaps. Should make quite the overkill for replacing my former main server. If it works out well I might get another one to replace the mp3/dvd box.

In other news, looks like Dave is going to get adopted this weekend. Hurray!

Tue Jan 13, 2004 9:40 AM

Didn't get much sleep last night. I was wanting to go to bed early for once so I went up and got in bed around 10pm, then started reading. Of course I got caught up in the book I was reading and keept reading until about midnight. Then I couldn't get to sleep. Finally drifted off around 1:30 I would guess. Then, something happened that hasn't happened to me for a long time. My cat woke me at around 5.

Some cat history: My friend had found bitty(or bitters) while out jogging one morning. She was a tiny little calico kitten that had been run over by a car. We took her in and nursed her back to heath. Her pelvis was broken, and it took quite a while to heal up. She didn't get along at all with the other cats in the house. 2 of them cooperated to corner her and beat her up. So, when I moved to my own place I took her with me as an only cat. She's been pretty happy here with just the dogs around (those she can boss around). However, she still HATES other cats. So, some wandering cat decided to hang out on my poorch this morning at about 5am. Bitty sees the other cat. Poofs her tail up to the size of her body and starts hissing and howling. When she does that it sounds like she's being tortured, but she's just really mad and trying to get the other cat to go away. Luckily other cats don't seem to come by my house too often.

Sun Jan 11, 2004 9:32 PM

Pretty quiet day here at the ranch. Had to get up and take Bret to the airport, but since we are now in terror alert level bert there wasn't a anoying security checkpoint on the road into the airport.

Did a few things around the house, walked the dogs, and then I broke out the copy of The StoryTeller Collection. I had 2 storyteller video tapes for a long time, but this DVD version has about 4 episodes that I have never seen before. I highly reccomend them. It's cool fairy tales done by Jim Henson with very nicely done artwork and muppetlike things. Very enjoyable.

Sat Jan 10, 2004 3:04 PM

Well, my main server is sure not being very stable. Every since the great CPU fan meltdown it's been locking up every few days or just refusing to talk on the network. Looked around on-line and I can put together the parts I need for a new box for $500 or so. Of course, looking further I find complete systems for $500. Still cheaper to get that than to make your own. Will have to ponder on it over the weekend.

Took some pictures of the small gathering last night. Had Bret and Chris in from town and went out to dinner with them and Lenore and Jennifer and Scott. A good time was had by all.

Thu Jan 8, 2004 11:01 PM

Worked along until it was time to go and get my friend Bret from the airport. Took off from my place around 4pm. Every trip to the airport is an adventure these days it seems. Had to wait for a long ass train to go by, lots of traffic, but finally made it out to the airport. Since everyone is feeling orange these days, they had a security checkpoint on the road, stopping every Nth car. Luckily I wasn't stopped, but still anoying and caused nasty slowdowns on the road. How much of a search can they do on a car in a minute or two? What threat is that protecting against? Got to the terminal and couldn't find Bret. Turns out he was at the passenger dropoff instead of the pickup. Dho. Managed to hook up with him finally and flee the airport. Funny in a place with no curb side checkin, my friend could sit on the side of the terminal with a shotgun and wait for me.

Went up to boulder to the walnut for some yummy dinner and barelywine. I really like their barleywine, and they only have it in december and january each year. Well worth the trip. Good food and good company.

Wed Jan 7, 2004 8:33 PM

Very cool set of rings around the moon tonight. I tried to take some pictures , but it's not something that turns out well. There are just some kinds of pictures that don't work. Oh well. Trust me, it's pretty cool. :)

Wed Jan 7, 2004 9:34 AM

Nothing much went on yesterday. Lots of rebooting machines for the new kernel update. Got my season 5 MASH dvd's in and watched a few. I still definitely like the early ones better, but these are still entertaining.

Looks like my friend Bret is going to be in town tomorrow through sunday. Should be really nice to see him.

Mon Jan 5, 2004 10:33 PM

Tonight I went up to boulder and brewed some beer. We go to a place called The beer store. Basically they have all the ingrediants and all the stuff you need to brew in one place, and are happy to help you as much or as little as you like. It's pretty nice. We made a red ale tonight.

Sun Jan 4, 2004 1:03 PM

So, I left Las Cruces at about 9:30am saturday. I saw on the weather pages that there was possible snow in santa fe and colorado, so I wanted to try and get an early start. About 7 hours of the trip was totally uneventfull and normal. When I got to about pueblo there started to be slick roads. Which of course brings out the other thing: stupid drivers. There were at least 2 pileups in colorado springs, and one really nasty looking roll over. Even after driving by these I still had people try and blast past me at 50mph with no clue. Luckily I avoided them all. About where the ren faire is the roads cleared up and it was smooth sailing back home. Got in about 8:30pm.

Of course then the fun begins. Looked over my main box and found out that the problem with it was the cpu fan. It would fire up, make some really really scary noises and then power off. At least it's good that it powered off instead of crisping the CPU. No problem says I, I will just move the drive to another machine and bring it right up. Well, before the CPU died it appears to have done a good job scribbling on the hard drive. Ran a fsck on it for about 2 hours and managed to get a few things off it, but not much. Decided to zorch it and just re-install and restore the user data. Of course then I had to burn some install cd's since I gave my last set away on the trip. Finished that, re-installed, restored all the user files. Since I didn't have any backups of the config area, I basically had to resetup mail, news, etc. Got it mostly working and turned on, and then it was 4am. :(

Fri Jan 2, 2004 6:13 PM

Thursday was a pretty laid back. We just sat around and didn't do too much. About 1pm we needed to find some food, so we started the food quest. Pretty much everything was closed for new years. Finally we found that gardinios was open, so we went there. It wasn't too bad. They weren't very crowded and the food was ok.

Looks like about 9:30am this morning,, my main machine decided to commit suicide. Since I am still in New Mexico it's hard to say whats going on. I did have someone come by and look at it, but it would only power on for a second, beep and then power off again. :( Looks like it might be power supply or motherboard. I guess I will take a look when I get home tomorrow night.

We finally made it out to the dessert for a quick walk. We went out to the west mesa near the airport and watched the sunset and walked around some. Some pictures here.

Tonight we are having a BBQ and some party games here at kurts.

Thu Jan 1, 2004 12:23 PM

Happy new year everyone! Had a very nice party down here in Las Cruces, NM last night/this morning. Things finally broke up around 4am or so. We had a nice mix of people and lots of good visiting and catching up.

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