Catching Up

February 18, 2008

Well, hmmm… I guess it’s been a while. The holidays always get hectic and I had the distinc pleasure of following them up with a month long gig doing the Army Reservist thing. FWIW I teach Psychological Operations (I’ll let you do your own web search on that one!) at lovely Fort Hunter Liggett, Jolon, California.

Well, I’m back now and thought I’d post a little update.

Consider yourselves updated!

300 (The Movie) is absolutely outstanding! Why am I telling you this now, a year later? Because I’m a little slow on the uptake I guess.

Knight Rider, The Movie was absolutely horrible. I know they’ll make a series out of it only because they already paid the writers for it I’m sure. Even with the writers strike over it’s going to take some time to get things going again for the studios. If you want a recap without actually harming your psyche in the process, check out the Autoblog blog on the subject.

I want to aplogize for my rather unprofessional rant on my iPod Mini from last November. It was uncalled for (though it DID feel really good). I find it really funny that at this point most of the music publishers have moved away from DRM and I’ll be willing to bet that Steve Jobs is getting a little nervous about future revenue streams. If only they would make a Linux compatable version of iTunes. Really Steve-O, Your new-ish OS is based on BSD which is an open source variant of Unix on which Linux is closely based. It can’t be that hard to port it over… And all the necessary tools for Linux are already there for you to use, without cost to a single one of your Dev’s.

Lessee, what else?

I’ve been playing a lot with the recently refreshed Screenlets for Linux. Don’t follow that link though. It’s kind-a good, and sorta not good. I’ll make a new post all about Screenlets and hopefully drive some traffic their way.

I also bucked the trend by using Cairo-Dock rather than the ever popular Avant Window Navigator. I don’t know why but AWN was just difficult for me to use and configure, but Cairo-Dock went right together for me. I’ll post up a different entry on this as well.

Interestingly I am rolling up on 9 months my primary computer usage being with Linux. Come April it’ll be a year and I’ll actually screw up the courage to upgrade to Hardy Heron from Feisty Fawn. Maybe this is worthy of a new post also – Psyoppers Fears of Upgrading Ubuntu.

I’m trying to talk the wife into letting me use our tax return to buy a new machine to replace the aging Compaq that she bought when she burned up my machine in 2004 while I was in Iraq. So far it’s looking like I can make a decent quad core machine (Q6600) with 2 gigs of RAM, an 8800 GT and a 24″ Samsung monitor for under $1200 if I make a few concessions like reusing my current case and only upgrading the power supply.


The future’s past

July 4, 2007

Here’s an interesting blog entry talking about the future of reading historical documents. More specifically the impact of non-open digital file formats and a thought puzzle around what happens to those documents when the format disappears.

When your wife wrecks her car…

July 2, 2007

What do you do when your wife wrecks her car? And she does it 300 miles from home? And you’re at home? And the garage says it won’t be fixed until Thursday because of the holiday (damned American Revolutionists!) and she needs a special part shipped into the middle of nowhere?


Quote of the day

June 22, 2007

“If I were to complain of a car that only turned left; that no matter how hard I tried to turn it right, turning right was extremely difficult. And if I asked you how to fix it, wouldn’t you want to know that it was a NASCAR car and barely ever turns right to begin with?

And if I didn’t know that about NASCAR, wouldn’t it be reasonable to expect to hear from someone who does know about NASCAR to explain to me that I am wasting my time trying to make my car turn right and that I should be happy that it turns left wonderfully at 200 mph?”


What a week…

June 10, 2007

I currently work as a Audio-Visual Techician at a conference center in the Columbia River Gorge, just 45 scenic minutes away from Portland. This weeks big guest was Keen shoes.

Wow, these folks have got it going on. I didn’t sign an NDA so am free to say what I wish about the conference, but I feel a little uncomfortable about it because of some of the content. I will say that the things they are doing to remain at the front of the environmentally responsible movement are incredible and to be admired.

And they have some just plain cool innovation. Things like injecting their soles directly onto their shoe uppers reducing the stitching and completely eliminating the use of adhesives in the making of their shoes. Did I mention their anatomically shaped left and right socks with the seam under the toe? How about a vanilla scented rubber? Sustainability has become a real watchword to these guys and gals, and I really believe in their cause.

I mention this because I had really planned on updating this blog more than once a week, but these folks had me running like crazy.

By title I am the Audio-Visual Technician I; as in the Roman Numeral I. You could call me The One but that would be inaccurate, there are a few Audio-Visual Technician II’s that don’t work for me. That’s right, I’m the senior but my subordinates don’t work for me.


It’s not really tough work but it gets tough over time. Especially when you have to do the work of several people, often times by yourself, often times while having to balance the needs of the guests. Ever try to hoist a 9′ by 12′ screen by yourself? While listening to a radio call asking to get someones wifi working on their laptop?

How about setting up 50 feet of pipe and drape behind a stage that’s already up and against the wall and in the meantime the guest enters the room and declares “When can we have the projectors running? We were supposed to be rehearsing at 6 this morning and it’s already 6:15 and I don’t see any projectors.” Did I mention that they want their laptops to be about 100 feet from the screen and none of the cabling is run yet?

The show went off without a hitch, other than the occasional surreptitious exchange of wireless microphones and the errant pressing of the mute button during the exchange. They are a fun group and I really look forward to seeing them again next year. They had fun and in the process we all did too.

I slept all day today. OK, so I was up at 6, mowed the lawn for an hour, then 1966 version of Planet of the Apes then slept for the rest of the day. Boy did I need it!

My inauguration

June 4, 2007

My inaugural post. Hmmm… where to start?

Well, I’m currently trying to figure out life with Linux. I think I’m doing pretty good at it actually, considering that I have been a Windows guy since Win95. Fact is I used to be a Microsoft contractor in one of their support call centers back in 1996-1998. When they released Win98, M$ sunsetted their Win95 support and the reps found themselves either supporting a printer

[Please insert your driver disc, Sir. Thank you, now click the button marked “Install Now”. Thank you sir, when this finishes and crashes again you can feel free to call back, I will be sure to update your call log with this information.]

I moved on. And for a while, up – but still with Microsoft products.