Kevin's Journal - March

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Wed Mar 31, 2004 11:21 AM

Went up to boulder last night and made some beer at the beer store. We had a good turn out of folks: about 6 of us making 2 batches. A nice brown ale that should be ready to bottle in two weeks. Since I hadn't taken him out with me much, I took merlin along (The beer store is dog friendly), and we sat outside at the southern sun for some fish and chips after brewing. A pleasent evening.

Tonight I take twyla down to her last therapy dog visit. She should graduate tonight if she doesn't have any issues.

Sun Mar 28, 2004 5:57 PM

Went down to denver to see Rail Road Earth down in denver last night. The show was supposed to start at 10pm, so of course the band didn't start until around 11:15 or so. I guess clubs are kinda trapped into doing that now, since everyone expects it. If they started shows on time no one would be there for the early part of the show. It's not a big deal to me on a saturday, but annoys me on weekday nights.

The show was at Cervantes Masterpeice Ballroom which is a place I had never been to before. Not a bad venue. Good space and seating, nice stage layout and decor, but the sound system seemed kind of weak to me. They could do with putting up some more speakers high up to project better. They did have some acoustic baffle thingies, but not sure how much they helped. The place has the largest disco ball I have ever seen, it was very very cool.

The band was very good. They played two sets and finished up around 1:30am. They played hard the entire time. The fiddler was particularly excellent. The audience was really into things. Lots of dancing and such. In fact after they started playing I don't think there were many people that were still sitting down. Everyone headed out to the floor. All in all I would recoomend them. See them if they come near you. :)

Fri Mar 26, 2004 9:53 AM

Recap of the week here:

Wed I took twyla to her second therapy dog class. She did quite well again. It's amazing how hot it is in that place. I know now not to take a jacket, but even so I am usually sweating when we get back out. There were a few people that really enjoyed petting twyla. It was a good visit.

Thursday had a nice time as usuall at hacking society. Didn't get any of the things I was hoping to get done done, but still had fun not doing them. :)

Lots of possible music coming up this weekend... Some folks are going to a show by Railroad Earth down in denver on saturday, then on sunday I might go to the clumsy lovers show.

Mon Mar 22, 2004 10:24 PM

Went and gave my Linux On Laptops talk to the CLUE North folks tonight. It turns out the new meeting place they are using is about 2miles from my house. Super easy to get to, tons of parking. Got in and setup my laptop in the room. It did 1600x1200 quite clearly! I didn't have to bother changing resolution. They also had 802.11b wireless all setup and working there. Very handy. The talk went pretty well I thought. Had some good interaction with folks in the audience. After the talk some of us went and had a beer at the nearby CB and Potts

I left merlin out loose in the house muzzled. I got back after about 3 hours gone and everything was fine. No accidents in the house, everyone seemed fine (although happy to see me). I think merlin is adjusting well.

Sun Mar 21, 2004 3:11 PM

The BBQ went nicely last night. I was thinking no one was going to show up, but then late in the afternoon about 6 people showed up at the same time, then another 2 showed up later on. Had some nice visiting and then we played unexploded cow. A fine way to while away the time.

Sat Mar 20, 2004 3:18 PM

Almost preped for the BBQ this afternoon. House is all cleaned up, new propane tank on the grill, outside all cleaned up, cookies baked. Just need to start getting snacks all preped before people arrive. No telling what kind of turn out there will be. I know a number of folks are on spring break this weekend and others are off traveling. I guess time will tell.

In other news I have gotten dvd ripping pretty much set on my dvd/mp3 machine. I have been ripping some favorite movies and tv series. Pretty nifty to have them just waiting on the hard drive and not have to worry about finding the disk or changing disks or anything. I might need to swap space around and put a larger drive into that machine soon, but drives have gotten so super cheap. (hurray!).

Thu Mar 18, 2004 9:54 AM

Took twyla down to the therapy dog inc meeting last night. Since kurt has graduated I figure it would be good to get twyla certified too so I could take whichever one of them. She did very well on being personable and being petted. She did have one no no moment when I pulled her near a patient in a bed and she thought it was an invite to jump up on their bed. Luckily I had a short leash on her and she didn't manage to jump on the patient much. He had no problem with it and was seeming kinda happy she was wanting to jump up with him.

Mon Mar 15, 2004 10:03 AM

Had a nice (if short) visit with some friends from chicago this weekend. They came in from snowboarding and skiiing and relaxing in the mountains on saturday. We met up at tucanos (one of those brazillian all you can eat meat places). The food was pretty tasty, but the service kinda blew. Our waitress was impossible to find, we ended up flagging down the hostess to get someone to take our dessert order. They didn't come by all that quickly with new meat either.

On sunday we all slept in and then went down for lunch at Tosh's Hacienda. They were quite good... lots of nice mexican food. Then we hit the REI denver flagship store so we could look over the bike selection. It's a pretty gigantic store. That done, I dropped my friends at the airport and relaxed the night away.

Sat Mar 13, 2004 2:22 PM

oops. I forgot to rotate my journal so this page was just for the month of March. Fixed now, hopefully I will remember to do the right thing when April rolls around.

Got a new dog bed off ebay from victoria peak trading company One of my old ones was getting pretty worthless. The dogs would all try and get one of the other dog beds and the poor slow dog would end up with the lousy old sams club one. This new dog bed is frikking gigantic. It's 56" around and really poofy. From the ebay description: "...heavy duty denim dog bed suitable for dogs of unlimited weight, ponies, and/or your brother-in-law the next time he makes himself unwelcome at home". It took the dogs a bit to realize they could get on it and press it down some with their weight, but they are loving it now.

Tue Mar 9, 2004 12:13 PM

Currently using both mythtv and slimserver at the same time. That gets me the best of both worlds. I have mythtv for the spiffy looking interface for weather, dvd's and video. I have the web based and nifty slimserver for playing music. As long as I stop the slimserver playing before playing a movie or video file with mythtv everything works great.

Got dvd ripping working with mythtv. It turns out the default on the rip dvd page is 'perfect copy'. That means it just copies the mpeg2 from the dvd. Nice, but quite large. I tweaked with the quality settings and can now get a test file (a MASH episode) down from about 1GB to about 190MB with xvid encoding. Looks not half bad. Will have to rip some movies and see how they look.

Mon Mar 8, 2004 12:32 AM

Did some playing around with some music systems today.

First up was MythTv. It seemed like it should be pretty easy to install as I noticed that all the components were available from the atrpms repository. So, I added the atrpms yum config to my yum.conf and did a 'yum install mythtv-suite'. Immediately I ran into some issues. The atrpms has a lot of overlap with the freshrpms folks, so there were conflicting rpms I installed a while back. I ended up having to go and just remove all the freshrpms ones I could find and then try installing from atrpms. For some reason atrpms didn't get it's kernel and kernel module rpms to detect right, so yum kept wanting to download the i686-smp kernel and modules for my single processor athlon box. I finally just downloaded and installed the correct kernel modules myself. Once I got the rpms all figured out mythtv was pretty easy to install. Loaded a mysql database and started the setup program. It downloads about 9 days of tv guide listings by default, which I wish it would have an option to just skip. The interface on it is very slick. Pretty easy to navigate, you can get weather, view videos, view dvd's, play music or the like. It scanned in my 10,000 mp3's in about 25minutes. The music player looks quite nice and has all the functionality you might expect. One anoying thing is that putting all my mp3's in the playlist results in it taking litterally 3-4minutes if you exit the music option and go back, or change something in the playlist. Looking on the mailing list they have a fix in CVS for this now. Another thing thats kinda anoying is that when you leave the music menu area (for example to see what else is there or look at the weather) it stops playing music. It would be nice to keep going until something else that needed the audio was launched. Also, there isn't any easy way to control it from a remote machine. For example, to skip a song from a laptop. There is a web interface, but it's only for recording tv shows and the like.

As a suggestion from tkil I took a look also at the Slimserver software. This is the stuff that comes with the Squeezebox device. It basically streams audio to the squeezebox and it plays it out your audio device. Someone has written a package called slimp3slave that basically act's as a squeezebox in software and uses madplay/splay/mpg123 to play it on your computer. So after a bit of fiddling with the software I got that all working. The slimserver comes as an rpm so it's very easy to install. It does need the 'perl-Time-HiRes' package, and anoyingly (as tkil points out) starts on install instead of waiting to be run, but its pretty slick. It has a nice web interface, all the functions you can think of. Will have to play with it some more in the next few days and see.

Fri Mar 5, 2004 1:03 PM

Went up thursday to the beer store and helped jeremy make some wine. It was super duper easy to do. We go back in 2 months to bottle it. Then it has to age a long time.

Hacking Society was fun. Played with the 2.6.3 kernel and software suspend. I didn't manage to get it working there, but I did get it working today. The trick was no himem support. Something with himem is hosing it up. Since it was snowing in boulder there was 1$ ice cream at boulder ice cream too, which was nice.

Pretty unplanned weekend coming up. Need to go help archer move some computer stuff sometime, and petsmart saturday to man the greyhound table. Looking forward to relaxing.

Wed Mar 3, 2004 10:03 PM

I have been fighting off a cold the last few days. It had sort of been hovering around sunday, and monday after the spankers left it really tried hard to hit me. So, I took a nice big dose of Q and went to bed at about 8pm and didn't get up until 8am tuesday morning. I think that really helped to nip it in the bud. I think it's already pretty much gone now.

Eariler tonight went down to the therapy dog class and had kurt graduate and get his paperwork (which I need to send in). Here is some pics of the graduate: Kurts graduation and therapy dogs

Mon Mar 1, 2004 3:29 PM

Spankers left around 1:30 or so. They were a nice bunch...glad to have them visit. I think the dogs enjoyed all the additional people to pet them and such.

Mon Mar 1, 2004 9:39 AM

Well, yesterday was pretty fun as well. Had the spankers descend on my place around 3pm. We watched a movie (they live) and they played gauntlet and sampled my last homebrew batch. About 7pm they jetted off for the show and Jeremy and I went down and picked up greg and got a bite to eat and then went to the show. It was a nice crowd, if small. They played a good set. Similar to the one in boulder, but they added some new things on to the end. The show ended about 1am, I got home around 2am, and some of the band got back here around 2:30 or so.

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