30 May 2002

Goodbye, Bogie
We had our dog put to sleep today. Bogie was about eleven years old, and really doing poorly. That doesn't help much. We loved that dog. He was older than all but one of our kids....

I'm very sad.
Okay. I'm a dork.

I ran out of gas this morning on my way to work. The embarrassing part is that it took me 15 minutes to figure out I was out of gas. I was sure something major was wrong with the bike.

The first indication of trouble was when I stopped at a light and it died. Of course, then it started right back up and - at first - seemed to run okay as long as I kept the throttle pretty open. I guess this is why the fuel situation didn't occur to me.

Anyway, I stalled three or four times at various lights and finally decided to try to limp home and get the car. I got it started again and got moving. Then it promptly died again right in the middle of an intersection. I pushed it through and kept pushing the starter, turning on the choke. I actually got it going one more time and started up a hill. Halfway up it quit again. This time the battery finally started giving out as I was cranking and cranking and cranking away.

Finally it occurred to me that it might just be out of gas. I couldn't decide if I really wanted that to be what was wrong ... how embarrassing. I turned the fuel switch over to reserve and tried again, but it still didn't start.

I decided to push it up the hill to a gas station - about three-quarters of a mile away and (did I mention?) uphill. I took off my jacket and laid it across the seat. I stuck the helmet on one of the mirrors and started pushing. Then the helmet fell off. I reached for it quick and dropped the bike. I picked the bike up and noticed the jacket laying on the ground on the other side of the bike.

It sounds too ridiculous to be true. I wish.

I put the kickstand down, picked up the jacket, and decided I might as well try to start the bike again. It started right up pretty as you please.

I rode straight to a gas station and filled her up.
When I bought my new computer, I said I expected prices to drop now that I've actually made a purchase. Lo and behold. Right on schedule.

29 May 2002

It's the bureaucracy, stupid!
Why do we need the PATRIOT privacy invasion act? Supposedly we had to have it because we were blindsided by the 9/11 attack. But, come to find out, the FBI had intelligence that al Qaeda terrorists were planning to hijack airliners. They even had one of those terrorists in custody!

What got in the way wasn't lack of intelligence (hmmm - you know what I mean); it was the bureacracy.

24 May 2002

Redmond's Peruvian Problems
There's a bill before the legislature of Peru that would require all state entities to use open source software. Microsoft thinks this is a terrible idea. The general manager of Microsoft Peru wrote a letter enumerating his arguments in favor of everyone using his company's software.

Then the author (I think) of the bill, one DR. EDGAR DAVID VILLANUEVA NUÑEZ. Congressman of the Republica of Perú, responded.

If, like me, you're one of those people who likes to see a weak argument eviscerated, you'll enjoy his letter. It's a thing of beauty.

Here's a related story from Wired.

23 May 2002

It's all good
I'm getting more comfortable on the bike - haven't fallen off or dropped it, yet. The weather has been pretty decent lately which is nice. Everyone is bugging me to get a couple of helmets for passengers. There's no helmet law in Minnesota, but Hailey would have a fit - rightly so IMOP - if we let anyone ride without one. She always points out people riding bikes without helmets.

I've been playing softball on the company team. We've pretty much sucked, so far. Mostly we just can't hit for shit. Defensively we manage, we just can't get enought runs on the board. I haven't been doing too great, myself. After I embarrassed myself in the first game, I realized I hadn't been on a softball team in about 15 years. It definitely showed. I'm slowly knocking the rust off, though. I desperately need some batting practice.

17 May 2002

The bike arrived promptly at 7:00 a.m. Of course I had to ride it around the neighborhood once - and around our cul-de-sac about a hundred times. Fun, fun, fun. Matt has a soccer game tonght and we pretty much have to leave as soon as I get home. That means I won't be able to ride it when I get home.

Only one complaint so far on the bike. One of our friends called Gerri to tell her to get the bike out of the driveway so her hubby wouldn't see it. bwah-ha-ha

Also got the computer set up and running. Gerri's not happy with the state of the office - the new box is on the floor and there are various cables laying about. She keeps saying - you're not keeping all THREE computers in here, are you??? .... Noooooo.... Well, kinda. What I'll probably do is move the Mac, and put the CrappyOld98Box-cum-ZippyNewLinuxBox in it's spot. First I have to finish transferring stuff from old to new box.

XP was pre-installed and it was all ready to roll, so set up was pretty darn simple. The only problem I had was me being an idiot for a couple of hours. I installed a second NIC in the new box to use it share the internet connection. After much futzing with settings and re-running the network config wizard about 20 times, I was able to see the old box from the new one and copy some stuff over. BUT I lost the internet.

Long story short - at 11:30 I realized I hadn't added the DNS servers to the connections. One more reboot later I was back online.

16 May 2002

Met Al at the license bureau yesterday to transfer the title and money. No worries. He's bringing the bike by the house tomorrow morning around 7:00. I'll probably be able to sleep ... except that I went at lunch today and picked up the new computer, so I may have to play with that 'til the wee hours. First, of course, I have to find time to open the box and hook everything up. Hailey and Ben have soccer tonight, so it won't happen 'til sometime after that.

Hope the neighbors don't have a problem with me riding around the cul-de-sac at 7:15 a.m.

15 May 2002

New Toys
I'm getting a motorcycle and a new computer. Whoo-hoo!
The motorcycle is a '96 Yamaha Seca II. It's red and looks really clean. It's not a huge bike, but that's okay. I haven't been on a bike in 15 years, so I don't want to go too nuts. I looked at quite a few 'entry-level' bikes and this one is the best fit for what I'm looking for - at least in my price range - around US$3000. If I had more money to spend, I'd probably get a BMW F650. The Seca II is a good bike, though, and I'm thrilled with it. It's even recommended by BeginnerBikes.com. I'm going to pay for it today and transfer the title, but I don't get the bike until Friday. A little frustrating, but that's okay. I could take it today, but I don't want to ride it home on the freeway. I need a little practice before I'm ready for that mess.

I ordered the new computer a couple of days ago from General Nanosystems - they're a Twin-cities outfit that has a good local reputation among the geekerati - decent prices for good components. I'm getting a pretty basic Athlon XP1600 machine -
Athlon Value System
Athlon XP 1600+ (1.4G) CPU
ATX Mid Tower Case w/300W Power Supply AMD Approved
Lite On 16X DVD-ROM
Cooler Master Socket A Heatsink and Fan
Teac 1.44 Floppy Drive
Western Digital 40G 7200RPM ATA/100 Hard Drive
Keytronic PS/2 Keyboard
Biostar M7VIB Mainboard w/Integrated 16bit Audio
256MB PC2100 DDR
Microsoft Optical Wheel Mouse
TRENDnet 10/100 Network Card
Microsoft Windows XP Home Edition
Chaintech GeForce2 MX 400 64MB AGP Video Card w/TV Out
1 Year Parts and Labor Warranty

Subtotal $664.00 Tax $46.48 Total $710.48
If you're thinking about getting a computer, wait a week or so. Now that I've actually ordered one prices should drop dramatically.

I'm just glad to be finally getting away from the broken down box we have at home right now - see previous rant - 4/25/2002.

13 May 2002

I'm baa-aaack.
My %$@% free web host was down for the past two weeks. I finally just created a new account. Hopefully, it'll continue to work for a while.