Archive for March, 2005


Spring finally made at least a brief appearance in Pittsburgh today, sunny with a high of 72F (thats 22 degrees in new money.)

Unfortunately the HVAC system at work, which managed to freeze us all winter long, has finally caught up. Combined with a lot of south facing glass that means my office could serve double duty as a sauna… or maybe a sweat lodge, I think I was having a vision today.

I think the vision must have involved me not being at work. I bugged out early (on the Daytona) and went home to pick up Deb. Off again, this time in the Spider we headed out to investigate a local trout stream. We took the long way to get there, which is the right way when driving the spider. We arrived to find the spring peepers (frogs)in full song, and a very promising stream. I can't wait till the season opens.

We returned home and broke out the grill. We had marinated flank steak with skillet fried potatoes, some ciabatta, and for me a Guinness draft.

More please.

Congratulations and new related complications

Deb finally got her driver's license on Friday. I feel bad that it took this long for her to get her license, as she is really enjoying this expansion of her personal freedoms. While I didn't actively hinder the process, I didn't really help things along either. Owning a fleet of exclusively standard transmission, sometimes balky, always demanding, Italian sports cars certainly didn't help.

One problem was that I'm (unapologetically) not the easiest driving instructor. My mother helped me get the most miles under my belt, but it was my father who taught me to drive. He too was not the easiest driving instructor… he wasn't necessarily mean, but he was rather uncompromising. The weird mix of fear, excitement, concentration, and defensiveness that comes along with learning to drive results in an emotional tinderbox. A gruff “feather the fucking clutch” under these circumstances can be taken the wrong way and can lead to some sore feelings. Same thing happened with us. Deb has heard my driving lectures a million times, but she's not too keen on hearing them when she's concentrating on driving. Luckily, a friend of her's stepped in and helped her get the seat time needed to get comfortable in a car, and to pass her test.

The other problem is, well now was, that my car collection was exclusively my domain. I have to admit I liked it. I never had to worry about someone else having dibs. I also need to remember to leave the car keys somewhere handy. And I need to re-adjust mirrors and seats, etc, etc.

I need to worry more too. It's not that I think Deb will be a bad driver… I just know how long it takes to develop good defensive (in my case offensive) driving skills. And I can imagine how financially unpleasant it could be if my truck plows into a new Mercedes SL500… I'm not predicting Deb will have any such problems, but my overall risk exposure did go up. Maybe I should bump up the limits on my insurance policies. Oh, and I'll probably seem like a knuckle-dragger for admitting this: I like always knowing where my wife is. I rarely worry about myself, but I can get pretty protective of the Mrs.

Oh well… I guess the big upside to all this (besides Deb's continued happiness) is that I won't have to go to the god damn grocery store any more. And maybe I can spin her driving into an excuse for yet another car… hrrmm.

Fisherman have longer rods

…or something.

Kudos to the PA Fish Commission for their nifty online licensing page. I was able to buy a license online and print it out. Instant gratification for me, and a smart setup for the Fish Commission… should be a fair amount of cost savings since there was nothing to print, no checks to process, and no paperwork to transcribe. The only thing that bugged me was: Why in the hell does the Fish Commission need my Social Security number AND my Driver's license number?

A sign you are getting older

…when your tennis shoes are over 5 years old and still in good condition.

Prior to turning about 25 years old, I either grew out of my sneakers or wore them out long before they had a chance of getting old. Since I find sneakers to be too damn ugly for every day usage, I only wear them when I'm engaging in some sort of sporting/excercise activity. I suppose the age and relative condition of my shoes also are a sign that I'm hardly the Mountain Dew poster child I once was either.

Siskel and Ebert

We watched Super Size Me last night. It was pretty well done for a documentary. Sure he was overly melodramatic… otherwise how fun would it be to just watch someone eat McDonald's for a month?

What I found more interesting, was the very different reactions we had to the movie. By the end of the movie, Deb was contemplating the potential upsides of developing bulimia. But I kept thinking… Man, I could go for a good (i.e. not McDonald's) bacon cheese-burger, or maybe a stack of pancakes with real maple syrup (I prefer syrup, ha ha) with some sausage on the side.

Back online

Sometime ago, I accidentally/mistakenly changed a Gentoo system config file, which enabled unstable packages to be installed on my server. It hasn't been a problem for the last year or two, so maybe that's why I forgot I changed that setting.

But earlier this week when a power outage forced a reboot, I found my apache install was completely fucked. As I dug into it, I found that the conf file locations and names had changed…

Aw, fuck it. I was going to go into a detailed rant, but I just don't care. Executive summary: computers suck.

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