Monday, September 26, 2005

Flycasting

My buddy, Dave, just started his own blog. He's not really into computers, but nobody's perfect.

Not much to see yet, but something to keep an eye on.

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Been a while

I've been pretty busy lately. Work. Skool. Work. Repeat. I haven't really had much chance to post or even surf lately. What time I have had has gone to Advance Wars. That & getting ready for our Haloween party.

I have done some work with the CSS. Nothing ready to implement yet, but in the works.


I got the $$ all straight. I think. Seems that they'll wait for my GI bill to kick in before I gotta pay. Too bad class is... Well, its class.

The worst is the drive. Rather, the idiots that drive on the roads here in MA. I can't belive these people. But anyone whose ever driven here in MA knows what I'm talking about. I don't need to rehash it.


Work is good. Still employeed. Got my shoes! But they're still looking to cut a bunch of people. Not out of the pink-slip woods yet!

Just trying to enjoy it while I can...

Monday, September 12, 2005

Cell Phone. Woes.

I lost my cell phone.

Sometime between 4 & 730 this morning, it dissappeared. I say disappeared because Dave & I looked all over the place at work this morning. We spent about an hour total going through each room I'd been in last night at work. Even ones that I hadn't been in since the time of my last call.

I'd been clipping it to the front of the machine. At first I was panicked at the thought that I'd left it in the machine. I had several diffferent images running through my head of what my phone would look like after being subjected to 80KeV environment for sevreal hours.

I actually had to go back & ask the 1st shift tech to shut down the machine so I could open it up & look for my cell phone. That alone is going to be hard enough to live down. Luckilly it wasn't in there.

Anyway by 9am I'd all but given up hope. I called Verizon & had them suspend the phone. They blacklisted my ESN, so the phone can't be activated by someone else, and no one can make or recive calls. I've got the phone insurance, but it costs $50.00. I guess I'll have to wait till payday (Thursday) to submit the claim.

Looks like I'll be phoneless for about a week. I'm already going through withdrawl. All I can say is, at least I still have my iPod.

I will say that I've been thinking about the pleasant things I'm gunna do if I find out someone stole my phone. I mean, its totally belivable that I just forgot where I put it. But if someone took it, and I find out, I hope I can remember where I put the plans for revenge!

Blog down?

How long has my blog been down

No one noticed?!?

Kinda puts you in your place...

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

First Day of School

Well, against my better judgement, I went to class today anyway.

Still haven't found out how I'm going to pay for it, but I talked to Pops & Shay's dad, and they both said that we could figure out something.

I think the plan is for me to talk to the financial aid lady tomorrow & see about getting on some sort of payment plan, if possible. I need to call the bank, but I know what they are going to say. I wish my dad would just call.


Anyway, enough of that. The first day went well. The class I'm taking is Problem Solving for Technical Professionals. Sounded... I dunno... What it DIDN'T sound like was introductory math. But that's pretty much what it is. Math for dummies. And I'm not trying to make it sound like the people who need it are idiots or anything, just that its way below me. And not what I was expecting at all. I rushed to the registrar's office immediately after class only to find out that once you've started a class, you can't test out of it.

Bummer!

So I guess I'm stuck!
I have another class tomorrow, Strategies for the Technical Professional judging by the book I got yesterday, this is pretty much the same class as Intro to Personal Computers that I already tested out of. I'm debating calling Stacy--the registrar--and seeing if I can take this test today. I probably should. One gimme class is more than enough for me! Besides, the worst that could happen is I'd have to take it anyway. Not to mention that the tests are free.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Gloucester Harbor @ Night

Gloucester Harbor @ Night
Gloucester Harbor @ Night,
originally uploaded by bm5k.
A pic from the concert the other night.

FCC, Censorship, and Religion

<RANT> Mind your own <CENSORED> fucking </CENSORED> business. Quit trying to force everyone else to conform to your standard of acceptable. If you hear something you don't like on the radio, or see something you find inappropriate on the TV, change the <CENSORED> fucking </CENSORED> station. </RANT>

This is America. You remember that whole free speech bit? Its dead. The FCC meets with Religious Leaders to determine what is and what isn't acceptable for use over the air.

This is ludicrous. First off, the FCC is a government body. Seperation of church & state, anyone? Secondly, everone's right to be offended ends at the tip of their nose. Get off your high horse. Just because you find it offensive/repulsive/disgusting doesn't mean I will.

Censorship, in any form, is evil.

No one makes you watch. No one makes you listen. Quit runining entertainment for those of us with open minds.

It starts with things like "bad words" then its "bad books"... By teaming up with organized religion to pervert our communication we're forcing everyone to adhere to that religion's views. Something we're supposed to be free from in this country.

Monday, September 05, 2005

School Days

This has been in the works since Friday, perhaps even sooner, but I didn't want to post it because I was--still am--afraid to admit it to myself.

I'm droppping out of school.

Class hasn't even started yet, and I'm already finished. I haven't been able to secure financing for the first semester. Even though Varian already agreed to reimburse me for the entire amount. The key word is reimburse, I have to pay for it first.

But I can't

So I gotta make the call in the morning.

Sunday, September 04, 2005

HAPPY LABOR DAY!

Laborday Weekend Weather

  • Today
  • Sunshine and a few afternoon clouds. High near 75F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tonight
  • Mainly clear skies. Low 57F. Winds N at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tomorrow
  • Mainly sunny. High 73F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tomorrow night
  • Clear. Low 56F. Winds NNE at 5 to 10 mph.
  • Tuesday
  • Abundant sunshine. Highs in the mid 70s and lows in the upper 50s.
  • Wednesday
  • Abundant sunshine. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.
  • Thursday
  • Plenty of sun. Highs in the low 80s and lows in the low 60s.

Saturday, September 03, 2005

Blogger issues?

Blogger seems to be having some issues.... Almost every link I click takes me to the "Error: Sign In" page...

Interesting.

I'm not even sure if this will post.

Anyone else having these problems?

Friday, September 02, 2005

Mexican Food & Free Music

Sharon & I stopped on Main St. last night & had dinner at Jalapenos, the local Mexican restaurant. I love Mexican food. This place wasn't at all bad, although for the price the side dish portions were pretty small. Smaller than I'm used to, that is. Sharon wasn't hungry so she shared some of my cheese enchilada plate. I was pretty impressed. Definitely gunna eat there again.

After dinner we stopped by Jacob's Landing for a free concert. Not on purpose, but because we heard the band playing while we were driving by & decided to take a look. Not sure but I think they called themselves Funbucket. We listened to a couple of songs, and walked around. We took a few pictures, and I'll post them here when I remember to get the camera out of the car.

I was pretty beat by the time we got home, and I only made it through about half of The Butterfly Effect. Sharon didn't take it so well, because I made her turn it off when I went to bed because I wanted to see the rest of it too. Hopefully we'll have time to finish it tomorrow.

Comments missing!

The comments for all posts have been hidden while I try to work out some formatting issues. Please continue to comment, and you can expect to see the return of the comments *hopefully* in the next couple of days.

Donate to Katrina's Victims

FEMA has a site for volunteers & donations.

You can donate to the RedCross [here].

[Here] you can donate to The United Way via PayPal.

More Katrina Pictures from Flickr

Gas > $3/gallon

Gas @ the Hess down the street is now a record $3.09 a gallon for regular. The price hike came yesterday in the aftermath of Katrina.

An article from Bloomberg states that some national oil companies are recieving "loans" from the Strategic Petroleum Reserve.

The reserve holds about 700 million barrels of crude oil in salt caverns along the Texas and Louisiana coasts. The government also has a 2-million-barrel heating-oil stockpile in the Northeast.

Some good news?

It would seem that there's at least one thing I like about MA.

Oh, and I can't help but wonder what OS they use down there @ the US Court of Appeals...

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Verizon DSL. Rant.

I've got Verizon DSL.

They're even worse than SBC.

When I first got DSL back in the fall of 2000, the kit I got from SBC contained a lot of info, a bunch of the filters, and a modem. By contrast, the kit that I got from Verizon had a modem in it, some filters, and absolutely NO information.

I had to call technical support to find out what speeds the built-in wifi supported.

The software that comes from Verizon is lame... It sets up your modem/router to DMZ one computer on your network. All you really need to do is sign onto the router config website & setup the PPPoE.

Getting the default username & password took another call to VZ tech support.

I can't access any computers from the net. I've got a couple services running on my desktop that I'd like to be able to access from work. I haven't been able to get a straight answer from Verizon about which ports they block & which are allowed.

And, now, today, my connection is constantly dropping out. I'm having difficulty connecting for more than 30 seconds at a time. Its really pissing me off.

The only thing that sucks more than their service is their website. After 15 minutes, I couldn't find any useful information at all.

I hate Verizon. I hate phone companies in general. They assume that all of their customers are idiots, and provide low quality customer service & technical information. They refuse to support anything but the latest OS from Microsoft.

A woman with Verizon actually told me that my connection issue due to Verizon not supporting Macs or OSX. The install CD that I received from VZ has OSX software ON IT!

All I want is fast, reliable, unadulterated internet access. I want to be able to access my desktop from outside my local network. I'm not talking about trying to run a commecial website on their residential access, I'm talking about having easy access to my machine & files anywhere I want.

But VZ has me. I have 4 days to disconnect or pay a huge early termination fee. They're pretty much the only game in town. Even after paying $15 a month for a phone line I never use, its still cheaper than Adelphia.

Eye of the Storm

For all those concerned with people and property south of the CSX railroad tracks, everything that we have heard and seen so far is that destruction is near total.

For those of you as out of the loop as I am, read this.

Remember Louisiana?

Pictures from [flickr]

Today's to-do list

I think I'm gunna be checking out the local area for free wifi access today. Armed with my thinkpad & a lot of free time, it shouldn't be that hard to find at least a few APs in the area.

This is really step 1 of a much, much bigger scheme to get the entire area of downtown covered with free wireless internet. Gloucester is a pretty big tourist attraction, at least within MA. During the summer I've seen a HUGE increase in the number of people in & around town, not to mention swarming the local beaches. Surely there must be a large portion of tech savvy people who just can't go on vacation without their daily fix.

Personally, I'm out to make sure I can surf/blog from as many different places as possible. With all this free time, sitting in public sure beats being holed-up at home. Not to mention, most places have free refils.

I'd like to add a combination of Javascript & CSS to the blog to show/hide the comments on each post, that way you don't have to link to read the comments, but they are still out of sight unless you're interested.

It shouldn't be too hard. I've done a lot of work in the past with layers & visibility, so hopefully I can get this change done today. I'll also be implementing it on Watch, Read, & possibly even Play.

Update 12:11pm

Well, that sucks. Walked downtown to check a couple places along main street, only to find that both coffee shops' "free" WiFi was indeed locked down, and required login.

Got back to my apt, hopped in my car, drove to a third coffee shop. Once again, you were required to login to access the web.

So I drove to the dreaded McDonalds.

Same story.

Every place that was listed on google local as having free wifi was actually a pay service.

Those that know me won't be supprised to hear that I got frustrated & came home. Might not have AC or unlimited caffine, but at least I can surf. Not to mention walk around naked.

Adam Curry on Nintendo Podcasts

Still listening to DSC 232, and Adam just brought up another point that I think is worth mentioning. He talks about Nintendo getting into podcasting with their recent link on k9cast. He goes on to theorize possibly coinciding with the U.S. release of the Playan MP3 Multimedia Player for DS & GBA.

I did some checking out, and found [this story] on /., and a [permalink] to the story on k9cast.

BTW Adam, the DS is Nintendo's latest entry into the hand-held gaming market. Released in November 2004, its not exactly breaking news. You can look at the offical site for the DS [here]. Even older news is the GBA, or Game Boy Advance, the previous generation hand-held from Nintendo.

Not a Drop Day?

Listening to the Daily Source Code for yesterday, and Adam pointed out that today, September 1, 2005, is Not a Drop Day where you too can stick it to the man by not buying gas.

[Adam Curry]

This brings something that I heard a few days ago back into my mind. It can be summarized by the following two headlines:

"Record gas prices across the country"

"Oil companies post record high year-end profits for fiscal year 2005"

Now I didn't check the figures, but I do know that paying $2.79 a gallon pisses me off.

Podcasting for the Ancients

I'm always trying to introduce my friends & family to new tech stuff. I've been kicking things at my Uncle for a while, but since I left home, its been more difficult to share things. Mostly because I can't show him how to do stuff, or set it up for him. He's by no means stupid, or even computer illiterate, but he is in his 40s, and learns better by being shown.

Here's a transcript of a conversation this morning where I try to introduce him to the world of podcasting.

(07:18:30) BM5k: Have you heard of podcasting?
(07:18:43) colt357911: yea.. but i dont have one..
(07:19:30) BM5k: lol... Podcasts are free radio shows. You don't need an iPod to listen to them.
(07:20:16) colt357911: cool
(07:21:52) BM5k: Yeah... I've been addicted for a while.
(07:22:40) colt357911: do you download the show... or listen to them live?
(07:23:00) BM5k: I download them.
(07:23:43) BM5k: I use iTunes. They have a large community & a system for searching, subscribing, and downloading.
(07:24:48) BM5k: They're delivered like shows... My computer downloads every episode as its released, and keeps the ones I haven't listened too yet, and the last 5 episodes.
(07:25:18) BM5k: BTW I'm jammin to Born on the Bayou right now.
(07:25:45) colt357911: cool..
(07:26:36) BM5k: But you don't need iTunes to listen to podcasts, either. A lot of sites publish their episodes as MP3s on their site. All you gotta do is download them manually.
(07:26:59) colt357911: cool............
(07:27:10) colt357911: are they big files?
(07:27:14) BM5k: There are a bunch of other apps out that let you download episodes automatically, but iTunes has the largest directory & community.
(07:28:10) BM5k: It depends, a few of the shows I listen too are about an hour long. But typicaly they're really compressed. Because its mostly voice, you don't need great quality, so you get pretty decent file size.
(07:28:37) colt357911: cool
(07:28:50) BM5k: I just checked one of my shows, Off the Hook, its 59 minutes long, comes in at just under 7 megs.
(07:28:54) colt357911: well imm gonna get ready for work... and get more coffee...
(07:29:05) BM5k: kk... Talk to you later man. Have a good one.
(07:29:16) colt357911: alright..
(07:29:18) BM5k: & thanks for sending me those songs!

100th Post. On Blogging.

A milestone?

Yeah.

Not very important, but a milestone just the same.

I've put a lot of work into this blog. A lot more than I've put into other equally or even more important things in the past. I think its paid off. Anyone who reads this on a semi regular basis could probably tell you that I'm constantly messing with the code, tweaking styles or re-arranging something.

Having four days off a week also gives me loads of time to kill ranting on about nothing in particular.

I'd like to thank all of you for reading, esp those of you who've commented. Every once in a while, I get a comment from someone unexpected, and its nice.

I don't need anyone to tell me that this isn't exactly on the top 100 blog list, but I still think the experiance is a sucess. I think part of that has to do with a couple of the things I try to remember when I post. The first is Blog like you've got an audience. Act like what you've got to say is important to a lot of people; it draws attention. Second, and probably more important, is "Don't blog for an audience". this might sound contradictory, but what I mean is don't filter or edit your thoughts just because someone who reads them might object. Quite simply: be honest. I blog more to vent, rant & rave than anything else. Plus it gives my creativity an outlet that's cheap & entertaining.

I think following these 2 guidelines will push any blog along the path to success.

Happy 100th Post!!!

Kinda disturbing

I couldn't sleep, so I was bored-surfing & discovered this... Very interesting/disturbing. At least at 530am.

Google vs Microsoft in the battle to dominate the world. Media.