Well this was a rough week (that really began last Friday) and I didn't work out. Friday I was so stressed I just wanted to go home. Then Sunday night and to lesser extent Monday night I didn't sleep. This totally messed me up. Then Wednesday I wasn't feeling well generally. Thursday I worked on images for next year until about 6 PM and was just tired. Today I did work physically for 4-5 hours disassembling, moving and reassembling a whole computer lab worth of tables. Not quite the same thing as a solid 30 min on a bike but better than nothing. One of my co-workers comes back from summer break and my boss is no longer taking vacation so I will hopefully mellow out next week. Now all I need is a final version of XP SP2 and I will be set.
July 2004 Archives
Today Eliab from AVICAL came out and touched up the calibration on my TV. He did the initial calibration a little over a year ago. I wanted to have him check since it was moved and it changes over time anyway. As he was cleaning the lens he found a fly in between the green CRT gun and the lens. Which I am amazed I hadn't really noticed. Then he checked the gray scale and color. He brought the overall brightness up a bit. The convergence wasn't off too much since I had touched it up myself as well. It just looks perfect. If you have a relatively high end TV I can't recommend this enough. It is like getting a new TV. I will gladly put my 4 year old TV up against any other TV out there.
Well another week, another weekly update. I made it another week of working out. I didn't work out Friday because I was too burned out and I forgot to bring my new magazine to read. Riding a bike for 24 minutes just thinking is a truly frieghtning thought. I have enough alone time with my thoughts as it is.
My boss came back from vacation this week. Which for me meant we could order all of my new toys for the summer. My summer began with 65 new Toshiba M200 tablets. Another 100-150 or so will be coming in for students as well. Then this week we ordered a new web caching box from Blue Coat. A order was also placed for 26 new desktops, nice ones too. Lastly, need to order a new server to be my secondary domain controller. Have I mentioned that I love my job.
So I turn on my computer this morning about 9:30 AM and I can't get my email. Hmm, try to ping hoyty.com, uh oh. Go downstairs and there is this screeching alarm. Usually not good when you hear something like that. I am fairly sure it is UPS so I look around and power is on, hmm. I touch it and "OUCH" a little hot. I try to turn it off, nope. I move the server from UPS to six strip and get it going again. Then I try to open up the ups to disconnect battery. OUCH, OUCH, OUCH. Ok so not working so well. I got it out of cabinet and just set to the side. Finally, got it shut down. I am waiting for it to cool and see what happened. Its warranty is up so I am looking at new one. Best Buy has one that is a 1500VA for $200, not too bad. Hopefully, less issues with a new one. I can't complain since the old UPS was one that Jerry found in a basically abandoned office and I just put a new battery in it. Lasted for 3 years or so.
As I was killing time before the airport I started looking at Koolance's website and specifically at the PC2-650BU. They take a case that I really like (I bought one already actually, oops) and pre-integrate all the needed components. You just need to add the water blocks for individual components. It serves two purposes, one to keep things cooler than any heatsink/fan combination and two to lower noise by reducing fans. Also you the few fans there are can be implemented with very quiet fans. Something to ponder for my first true system overhaul in 2 years or so.
The link above is for a story that I submitted to /., one of the more famous (for tech people) web sites on the web. This only the first or second time I have submitted a story and it actually got on front page. Pretty cool I think. Probably close to a million people will see it. Made my day. Oh and I have no idea why I put in Brian Hoyt instead of hoyty, brain scramble I guess.
Last night I picked up Jerry and Karri from airport after their trip to England. Their flight was to land at about 10:40 PM. They live about 10 minutes from airport so I left to go to airport at about 10:30 PM. Jerry called me (luckily his cell phone had juice left) at 10:55 PM and said they just got off plane. Then Karri called me at 11:45 and they were still in customs line. They finally made it to curb at about 12:25 AM. Moral of the story, make sure both parties have cell phones and stay home until they are through customs.
I tried again at about 11 AM to walk the pair of pups again. This time there was no one outside next door so it wasn't too bad. The interesting thing, with Bosco at least, is that near the house he will bark at anything and everything. Out in the woods or on sidewalks away from the house though he doesn't do more than wimper really. At one point there was a dog 6 inches from him (on other side of fence) braking like mad and he just looked at him. The best part after the walk was that they came home and took a nice relaxing nap.
Well after walking to safeway and getting some breakfast I thought I would take the dogs for a walk again before a shower. When I came back from Safeway I noticed the neighbors garage was open and no one was there. As I attempted to take the dogs out the neighbors were moving in. Bosco promptly introduced himself by barking madly no matter what I did and then pulling free of his leash. He doesn't get to walk now.
Maybe after they move in I will try again, we will see what his attitude is like.
I am watching Jerry and Karri's dog Bosco as well as Jerry's parents dog Tucker tonight and tomorrow. They both Black Lab mixes, although different mixes. I am not a dog person so I couldn't tell ya which. They had been in the house alone since Megan (Karri's younger sister) left in the morning. When I got there at about 5 PM I figured they would need to go out. J & K are trying to repair their backyard so they didn't want the dogs out there. I took them across the street near some trees to take care of things. Each one did and I figured that would keep them for a while.
For exercise today I figured I would walk them both. Tucker is the smaller of the two and is probably about 100 pounds; Bosco is bigger and most likely closer to 125. They are pure muscle however. I figured walking them both would work my upper arms trying to control them and then just the exercise from walking. The funny thing is apparently they had been holding it for a while since they each squatted another 4-5 times on the walk. I guess when Megan took them out it wasn't enough. I am used to dogs lifting their legs and all while walking, but this was ridiculous. The other funny thing was that they would always be opposite. One would stop to sniff and the other would keep going. Then the one going would notice the other was sniffing and go back to sniff. It was an interesting experience, I don�t think I have walked two dogs like that since I lived in Sicily. They didn't tangle me up more than a half dozen times. We walked for about an hour, which at our pace was probably about three miles. I figure I will walk them at least once tomorrow too.
When we got back (after fully emptying themselves it seems) they proceeded to eat and drink everything in both of their bowls. I guess exercise did them good. Hopefully it wore them out a bit and they will be calmer tonight and let me sleep. We will see.
If you haven't already seen it, you must go out and see this movie. If you liked the first one, you will love this one. Even if you didn't like the first one you will like this one. It is a comic book come to life. Spider-Man 2 has a great story, great characters and great action. Any doubts on if I liked the movie?
Friday afternoon I had 4 Windows 2000 Server machines left, today I have 2. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will only have 1 left. The last one is a Terminal Server and due to licensing changes I will probalby hang on to it for a while yet. After a cooling of period to make sure nothing breaks with these servers gone I will be able to put the domain into native 2003 mode, I can't remember at the moment what that gets me but I am sure it is good.
Well I made it through a week. I tore up my arms on Tuesday and they were still sore Friday. So mostly I did cardio and ab stuff this week. I am still building back up to full steam though. I will have to see how long it last this time, wish me luck.
Shortly after starting at my current job I took advantage of my school's workout facilities on an almost daily basis Monday thru Friday. This actually lasted for over 6 months until the end of last summer. Then somehow my schedule got nuts and it ended. Well today I have started again and will try to keep it up. We will see.
I do 30 minutes of cardio on the bike, then ab stuff and some arm or chest stuff. Not too sore after first day, that may change though. I think it will be great for my mood and over all well being. Wish me luck.
Well the day began auspiciously with a huge rainstorm, I am talking inches of rain. This was about 11:30-12:00. It continued to rain on off until about 5 PM, some really hard others drizzle. Luckily earlier in the day I had purchased a umbrella to use for protection of the electronics later. We actually attempted to use the umbrella during the hard rain, which is when we realized we would need some kind of stand for it. We tried digging a hole, then using our funky picnic table and then Kevin came up with a great idea. Use the tires that have been sitting in various backyards for almost two years. The center hole where the Lexus logo goes was perfect. As you can see from the picture the umbrella is huge so the height and weight of tires was needed. We sat outside and talked through the rain and waited for the ribs to get done. The attendees today were the three of us, Jim, Kevin, Greg, Josh and his friend Maria, the Jaketic's and Josh's sister Annie. We found out late that Annie was a vegetarian (maybe vegan, still not sure) so Travis and I went to Safeway. We got some Boca burgers and tomatoes. We put the grate on the smoker and quickly (extreme heat) grilled the tomatoes, burgers and some corn on the cob for Annie. Then it was time for the ribs. All the ribs had been treated with the rub prior to cooking. Then some were treated with sauce as they were cooking. Lastly, they were treated with our homemade sort of barbecue sauce. The ribs were very good, although a little too spicy for my normal tastes. The next time the cayenne and hot sauce maybe limited a bit more in the recipes. Everyone seemed to enjoy them greatly, I didn't get any pictures but we were all quite a messy site.
After eating some people adjourned to the Karaoke bar for some singing. I then set upon the task of preparing the Hoyt's Drive-In. While this was going on a semi arms race began amongst our immediate neighbors and some a few houses down. They had some pretty good fireworks, there was some issues with hot embers raining down on us, but not too bad. As you can see in the other pictures above I hung a flat sheet from out gutter for the screen. There is a white sheet with a black one as backing to help with contrast. Lastly, a copper pole is used to weight it down and smooth the screen. The last picture is of the setup for it. I had a projector from school, Roger's portable DVD player and then the speakers from my computer. All sitting on a step stool and powered from the gazebo. This setup worked great and the movie was cool. We screened Top Gun. The rain even held off until the last 30 min or so of movie, even then it was just a drizzle. Near the middle of movie some people started leaving. First Annie and then Josh and Maria. After the movie there was more Karaoke, then last to leave (before morning) was the Jaketic's.
Fun times were had by all, it would have been better sans rain but still was good. We will have to attempt it again with ribs and a movie.
As I was reading the Sunday Post yesterday I read a story about the fact that VA has now changed the law to allow ABC (liquor) stores to be open on Sundays. When I read this to Roger and Travis they were inspired to leap up and run for the door. I then read the hours were only 1 PM - 6 PM, it was only 11 AM or so. I am sure it will be taken advantage of in the future.
The prep for the 4th of July BBQ began the day before. We acquired the supplies to create the dry rub and wet mot sauce. We went to BJ's (warehouse club) to get the industrial size for the spices. That is the first picture. The second picture is of the 20 lbs of Ribs that Travis acquired earlier in the week. Two boxes full of beautiful ribs. This morning Travis rubbed down the ribs to prep them for the grill. Roger mixed the wet sauce and boiled it. Thier own brand of barbeque sauce. The last picture is of Travis placing the 20 lbs of ribs on the smoker. Here is a link to a short video too, I didn't get there in time to catch it all but I got the last few minutes.
I went to MP's on Saturday for a BBQ. He is staying with his Dad while his new house is getting built. His dad is pretty cool. He works for ABC News on WorldNews Tonight. He had some interesting stories about working at UIUC as camerman long ago and on MNF. He also won emmys for work on the '88 Olympics. His emmys were just sitting on mantle, very cool.