I am glad it is Friday. Summer gaming (well, the character creation stage of) starts out tonight, and it promises to be a good summer session.
Yesterday all I did after I got home was lounge on the couch and read. And damn it felt good. I think that I will plan on a lot more of the same for this weekend.
Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans.
I met John downtown last night for ice cream as a pay-off for our affirmative action bet - I would buy him ice cream if the Supreme Court upheld affirmative action, he would buy my ice cream if the Supreme Court struck down affirmative action, and we would buy each other ice cream if they made a compromise decision. Since there was indeed a compromise, we each got ice cream.
After the ice cream we wandered over to Borders for a little bit of literary indulgence. (I bought a book called "Stiff: The Curious Lives of Human Cadavers" which is quite entertaining and a great read.) John got a pack of Every Falvor Beans because he had never had them before. I joked a little bit about the various "non-standard" flavors - especially the vomit-flavored ones. He swore I would never be able to get him to eat one of those.
Walking along the sidewalk, we poured out a handful and guessed flavors as he tried them. I picked out a mottled one and said "Try this - I think it is tutti-frutti".
Honestly... it looked like the picture of the tutti-frutti jelly bean on the back of the package. The picture/flavor guide wasn't very good. It was not tutti-frutti. I swear I didn't do it on purpose, but it couldn't have worked out better if I had tried.
John ate the vomit flavored jelly bean.
I hate auto makers that think you are so stupid and neglectful your car that you need to be smacked in the face every time an arbitrary maintenance deadline comes up. My car just passes its 10,000 mile birthday. And on the drive to work this morning, that "Maintenance Required" light came on on my dashboard. At the time, I had no idea that this simply meant that Honda in its infinite wisdom had decided that you should get your tires rotated at 10,000 miles (I found that out later in the afternoon when I called my Honda dealership to ask about the maintenance I assumed was urgently needed) and had decided to use the scary "Maintenance Required" light to alert you to that fact. So I spent most of my drive to work imagining all sorts of horrible ways in which my nice, less-than-a-year-old, car could be breaking down already.
Of course, they also apparently alerted you to that fact in the owner's manual... but who ever sits down and reads one of those cover to cover?
And it turns out that the tire rotation and air filter change can just wait till my next oil change, about 2,000 miles from now. When I called the dealership, the nice man I talked to told me how to disable the "Maintenance Required" light so that it wouldn't bother me anymore.
Well, didn't quite get to the reading of my brand new Harry Potter book (which I can hear calling out to me from within its packaging)... I was too distracted by the double hammerblow of my freelance QA project and the fact that the two computers on my home network are giving each other the cold shoulder and refusing to communicate.
Anyone out there an expert on networking with Windows XP have any idea why two computers that are on the same network (behind a linksys firewall) that are in the same workgroup, have the same main account (owner), can both access the internet, and can ping each other but CANNOT 'see' each other or allow drive mapping? It is driving me batty. Tonight I wil try some tricks with FTP and IP addresses and see if I can force some kind of resolution. If not... shit, I dunno. I sure don't plan on just giving up.
And then when I have done with the last tiny bits of the QA project, and finished my token yelping at my home network, I will take my new Harry Potter book out to my balcony, put my feet up, and lose track of time.
Today the Supreme Court announced its decision on the admissions lawsuits at UM. Unsurprisingly, they went with a middle-of-the-road approach in the undergrad admissions case... throwing out the point system as unconstitutional, but still leaving openings for awarding undefined "pluses" for race. I honestly expected as much. For some reason, higher educational institutions are expected to throw out this token to diversity and equality. I am against affirmative action. I am against it because by the time you hit college age, it is just way too late for any token diversity programs to make any difference. Honestly, I think that a lot of the affirmative action programs do higher education as a whole a disservice by dragging down the quality of the education to match the fact that less qualified students are being admitted. And given the current rapid downward spiral of the educational system in America, that is NOT a good thing. Affirmative action programs at the college level are too little too late. If the members of BAMN who are currently wandering around the UM campus patting themselves on the back really want to make a difference in the fate of "underrepersented minorities" they need to look at the state of public education and schools in the kindergarden to 8th grade level... that is wrere the root of all of the problems lie. That is where the changes and concessions need to be made. Not at the college level, where it is too late for any significant differences to be made. There. I have said my piece. And now I will shut up about it. None of this effects me, and honestly, I don't care all that much about it one way or another. It is just the faulty logic I see on both sides of the current debate that pisses me off.
9:20am. I know what I am doing this weekend. Amazon has just sent me an email cordially informing me that my (long awaited) copy of "Harry Potter: Order of the Phoenix" is enroute. I checked the shipping info, and since it is coming from a distribution center in Kentucky (that isn't that far from Ann Arbor, Michigan) it might even be waiting for me at my apartment when I get home from work this afternoon.
Of course, all this means is that I will be working through the night tonight to get my freelance QA thing done so I can devote the rest of the weekend to glorious book.
Everyone likes to gawk at an accident. We may deny it, but we will rubberneck along with the rest of them when we pass by an accident - especially if it is an accident along the road. Partially we are just curious, partially we want to reassure ourselves that we have been delayed in our journey for a good reason (this is probably why it is always vaguely dissatisfying to finally make your way to the point where the traffic backup originated only to find that it has all been cleared away except for some unidentifyable chunks of rubber and metal, some stuttering flares, and a handful of emergency personnel still standing around), but mostly we are just glad to see something that didn't happen to us. It could have, especially given the auto accident stats these days, but it didn't. And that is what is important
There was a pretty good accident on the way back from Top of the Park last night.
Top of the Park is a wildly popular summer festival in Ann Arbor that happens almost nightly from mid-June to early July. There are booth set up with food and drinks and live music and movies projected on a large screen. It actually isn't in a park at all, though, even if it is called "Top of the Park". It is actually on the top of a parking garage on Huron Street near the medical complex at the top of the UM central campus. But "Top of the Parking Garage" just isn't a great name for a summer festival...
Anyway. "Grease" was the featured movie at Top of the Park last night. Chuck tried to get a whole bunch of us to go, but in the end it was only him, me, Karen and John who turned up. And John and I left before the movie even started. It was getting cold and looking like a rainstorm was on the way. And since we had biked there from my place, we thought it would be a good idea to try and make it back before the clouds opened up and soaked us. Okay - the accident. We were biking along Broadway toward my apartment when an emergency vehicle (I think it was an ambulance) went screaming by us. John wondered where it was going, and I commented that as long as my apartment wasn't on fire I didn't much care. About then we started to smell burning rubber, and John said that was probably a car accident.
Fast forward a few minutes to where we round the bend on Plymouth Road and see about five emergency vehicles - ambulances, fire truck, and cop cars - parked near my apartment complex, lights all flashing. We get to be rubbernecking gawkers after all. As we get closer, we see that they are not just near my apartment complex, they are parked right in front of the entrance driveway. And right in the middle of the driveway are the smouldering remains of a burned-out old Isuzu. The hood is open, smoke is pouring out, and firemen are still grouped around it and adding water to the engine and interior of the car. the ex-car. It looked like the engine had just burst into flames and the hapless driver had probably just pulled into the nearest driveway and hoped for the best.
Of course, I had left my balcony door open and a fan running to pull in the cooler outside air, and my whole apartment smelled like burning rubber for the rest of the night.
I like dogs. More specificaly, I like big dogs - breeds like Burmese Mountain Dogs, and Huskies, and German Shepherds. But as much as I hate to admit it, I occasionally find small dogs appealing as well. And one of those oddly appealing small dogs showed up at fencing practice yesterday.
"You put a hamster on a leash!" was Mike's response to the fluff, and that summed it up pretty well. This dog - which is a breed called a teacup poodle - weighed in at about 2.5 pounds and was not expected to get any larger. That makes it a dog that is about 1/3 the size of Merlin, who I consider to be on the small to normal side for a cat. When it lay down on the ground it looked like nothing so much as a scrap of fur leftover from someone's sewing project. It had a lot of energy - way more then you would expect from something of that size. It spent so much time chasing people around and attacking their feet (the only body part it was tall enough to reach) that I expected it to just keel over in exhaustion.
It was cute. Very cute. The perfect apartment dog. I will resist getting one. I intend to hold out till I have enough room (ie a house with a yard) for a nice big dog. Plus I don't want to get a house dog that it smaller then my cat. That would just be too weird.
Well, I have been really busy lately...between my regular work and a freelance/consulting/QA job I have been doing. But that is not terribly interesting to talk about (unless you are VERY interested in the quality assurance of software designed for personal trainers, and I am guessing that you aren't) so I am just mentioning it as an excuse for why I have been letting my site lag a bit. Perhaps when I am done and have more (ha! ha!) free time, I will do a bunch of updating around here.
This year is the 100 anniversay of Ford Motors, and since this is the Motor City (aka Detroit) that I live near, it is a pretty big deal. I guess there is some kind of a 5-day party being kicked off at Ford Headquarters either today or tomorrow, but I am not going. And since I drive a Honda, I probably would not be too welcome, even if I did go. Heh heh. My lovely reliable foreign car. Foreign owned, anyway. I think that most of the parts were made in Ohio somewhere...
Anyway, one of the things happening for the Ford centennial is a caravan of Model T cars were going to drive accross country from California all the way to Detroit. Last night on the way home from work, I passed a long line of Model Ts on 23 going south. I think that they ymight have been the Model T caravan. Which would be pretty cool if they were. Model T cars look so spiffy... It would be neat to get to ride in one some time. Though I think that I would get frustrated with the (lack of) speed pretty quickly. I am used to going around 70ish on the freeway, and I think that Model Ts have a top speed of maybe 40 miles per hour. Which would have seemed like light speed back in the early 1900s, but which is a snail's crawl today.
So much for updating my weblog every couple of days or so - here it has been more than a month. Well, I will just have to use that fact that my site moved to a different server and there was some mixe up about that to excuse me and my laziness. Heh.
Way too much has happened over the last month to sumarize, so I will just stick to the big lesson that I have recently learned. And that lesson is this: Drinking nothing bu coffee day in and day out is a bad idea. Hydration is important and you don't get/stay hydrated if you only drink a dieretic life coffee. I got pretty badly dehydrated. Then I developed a kidney infection. Which is no fun. Constant throbbing pain in my right side where the infected kidney is. Thank god for vicodan, lovely perscription-strength painkiller that it is. The doctor I saw in the emergency room (after I finally gave in to the pain and went in to get treated - though to my credit, at the time I thought I only had a very badly strained muscle) intimated that my coffee-heavy diet might be partially to blame.
SO I am taking my meds and waiting for the infection to go away. And meanwhile, I have gone on the waggon. As of today, I have no coffee at all for a week. Of course, I am still getting my caffiene in the occasional cup of hot chocolate and hot tea, but I am going to excuse those and just make sure that I get at least eight glasses of water or juice a day.
So don't try this at home kiddies! Remember to hydrate!