This entry needs a witty subject line

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The extended weekend was rather full…
Thursday (as seen previously in this journal): Computer exploded, worked with paper, had veggie dinner
Friday (as seen previously in this journal): The computer and network problems were solved by buying new equipment that I had not budgeted for. Isn't that the way it always is? Dinner with Kim at the Mississippi Pizza Pub to see Vagabond Opera (I cannot rave enough about how great they are.)
Saturday: Reading in the morning. Lots of experiments and designs with paper, followed by an involuntary nap in the afternoon. The evening was a party at Diana and Sarah's, some friends of Kim's. Upon returning home, I crashed hard–only to be woken up a few hours later by a cat loudly playing with toys in the echo chamber known as the bathtub.
Today: I woke up early, went back to sleep, then woke up late. In the early afternoon, I went to tour my “Plan B” apartment, which I think may become the “Plan A.” Lunch with BC at some cafe on Hawthorne. Shopping. Now, I think I will relax and see if I can finish “Eats, Shoots & Leaves.”

Now, some of the details…
I have been doing a lot of the paper stuff recently because it has two really nice phases. First, is the planning and engineering. You plan out the designs and measurements and build a quick, rough prototype–perhaps several, as often is the case. Once the brainwork is out of the way, the rest is rather tedious, but in a certain sort of artistic and craftsmanship sort of way. It effectively, for me at least, ends up being meditation time. I put on some music, then concentrate really hard on making the cuts and folds precisely, but this is entirely a mechanical, repetitive, and hand-eye-coordination sort of skill, and not one that requires thought. My mind can wander, can be empty, can focus on what may be bothering me (whether or not I consciously realized it beforehand), or can just pay attention to the music or audiobook. I sort of have to wonder if this is the same type of thing that people doing the latest trend, knitting, go through when they do their thing. It really does end up being a sort of meditation.

The party last night was fun! There were a lot of interesting characters there, and the whole scene sort of reminded me of the crew back home, except I did not know anyone well, so had a little bit of a difficult time participating in the conversations. Still, it was fun to wander around and listen to the variety of conversations going on, and join in on a few. Plus, there was a kids' game with monkeys and …erm… “male genitalia” … that everyone was trying to play. (In fact, we were probably trying to play it incorrectly since I do not think anyone cared enough to read the rules.) I sort of have to wonder if having had more to drink would have helped on the talking front. There was a bourbon/iced-tea mixture there that was dangerously tasty, but I only had a few sips of that and stuck with my vodka tonics. I intentionally made them weak (my four or five glasses had about a shot and a half of vodka, in total)–partly because I was not sure how long we would be there, partly because I did not want to become Narcolepsy Boy, and partly because I was not sure how embarrassing it would be for myself (or Kim) if I became Silly Boy. After all, there were already monkeys involved in the form of a childish game; the step from that point is dangerously short. 🙂

As for the rental place: it was great. It is a tad bit more than the other place opening in mid-August, but not much. It is about the same size, but laid out in a much more interesting way and has a lot more “character,” for lack of a better term. It is basically a large house that has been converted, brownstone-style, into a couple of apartments. There is a communal front door with foyer that leads to each individual apartment's front door. There is also a porch at the side with stairs going up to it and another entrance there. Anyway, I like this place a lot better than the other. I was the first one there when he arrived to open the doors and show off the place, but by the time I filled out a credit application and was getting ready to leave, there were already at least three other individuals or groups arriving to see the place. He said he would go through the apps and pick someone, so we will see if I get a call.

Saturday, as I was getting ready, I heard a show on the radio called Live Wire (yes, their site is pretty sparse). It is a locally produced sort of topical sketch comedy thing and is a darn good radio program. I think it was a pilot or an experiment, so if you are from around here, write/email OPB and tell them to keep it!

The whole computer/network/firewall thing: two Linux boxes basically went explodey. One was a hard drive failure. The other was a RAID failure and/or an SSH security hole–one of those Sun/Cobalt Qube network appliances that were recently EOL'ed and felt like it might have been running old versions of a few services, although I never sat down to compare version numbers at any point in time. I was using the AirPort as a gateway for a little while, but had a few issues with that related to DHCP and bridging. I finally got a dedicated little hardware router that let me map ports (web services to the possibly-broken Qube, SSH to the iMac), has a “real” DHCP server that lets me assign addresses, and a number of other goodes. One of these goodies is a system that detects portscans and emails me upon sensing one…but it was never able to detect a simple, noisy, non-stealth-mode nmap scan, so I do not know how reliable that is.

Anyway, that is all I can think of now. As I said, the weekend was rather full. I may have left something out, as my brain is a little fuzzy and I am either going to read on the patio or nap on the patio.

P.S. I forgot to mention that the concoctions from Cold Stone ice cream have entirely too much sugar, as we discovered Friday.

Posted in: Dear Diary

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