February 17, 2006: Blustery Day

Winnie the Pooh would call today a blustery day. And it is. Wind gusts approaching 70 mph. Poor Andy. Miranda didn’t want him to drive up to North Bay yesterday because of the weather up there so he waiting until today. This is some seriously horrible weather to be driving in. And the winds are coming from Canada so it is likely that he will be hitting this wind most of or possible the entire drive up.

Oreo had a good sleep last night. It was the first night that he actually slept as if it was our old Oreo. He snuggled with us and did his usual moving back and forth between being under the covers to being on top of the covers. For the past week he has just been sleeping at our feet.

It is supposed to be like a midwestern blizzard today. It was almost sixty degrees early this morning. This insane wind is bringing in the cold northern air and we are expected to drop something like thirty degrees in a just a few hours and closer to sixty degrees by the end of the day! I am currently (9:20 am) watching my neighbours walk out with their garbage bags, realize that they can’t set them down and subsequently carrying them back into the house. I am not looking forward to having to assess the house damage tomorrow. Who knows what all is getting ripped off of it. It started snowing around 9:00 this morning. That means that the temperature must have dropped pretty significantly by then. It was so warm last night. Even with light rain and driving winds it was quite warm enough to be outside without a jacket whenever I took Oreo out.

I drove Min into work and made it back home without incident. Oreo was very thankful for the chance to go for a ride in the car. That is his favourite. It was super windy and pretty dangerous but it wasn’t too much of a problem. I am glad that I do not have to do any extra driving today. It is a good day to just stay at home.

The Millens had a power surge this morning that took out their power and also caused some surge damage to their house. They don’t know the extent of it yet because they are still without power but they do know that one of their brand new thermostats was destroyed. Once the power returns they could easily find a number of electronic items no longer functioning. They have been without power, so far, for six hours and with the temperature dropping so rapidly Eric is concerned that the house might freeze.

Eric was working in Elmira this morning. We called and decided to do lunch when he was on his way back through Geneseo. But then Julia got hurt and they had to take her to the hospital or doctor’s or something. They think that she might have a broken finger. So Eric has a very busy day.

It was a very miscellaneous work day for me. Just hitting lots of little things. I have been doing a lot of research into building a soft PBX system for the company. We have been running on hosted telephone lines up until now and it seems like we would be much better serviced by having a real telephone system with internal voice mail, digital receptionist, extensions, call transferring, etc. Plus it will just be a really cool project. I like cool projects.

Dominica did some research on hyperlipidemia and she has discovered that it is possible that all of Oreo’s problems could be attributed to that one thing. It causes hair loss and itching which, in his case, has been really extreme. He has a completely hairless butt and he never itches it. So something has to be making it bare. And he has weird dark skin patches underneath parts of his totally white hair. And, I figured this one out, he has always had occassional twitches that we have never really thought anything of before but now we see that they were just minor glimpses of the problems that he is having now. So, possibly, by treating his blood fat levels we might have a dog that is overall very healthy! Finally. And to think that his previous owners have had him on steroids for his entire life when he had a gland not working properly. Only seven to eight more days and we should know for sure.

By this afternoon the sun came out and was making wonderful napping spots for Oreo in the office. Funny that such a terribly cold and windy day would bring such great, warm napping opportunities.

Dominica found the IMDB has the Bottom 100 Listing of the 100 Worst Movies of All Time. Check out the list and leave a comment so that we know how many everyone has seen. I have seen eight total. They are: #4 Going Overboard (oh yeah, Nate owns that travesty!), #15 Leonard Part 6 (Just in case anyone doesn’t believe me that Bill Cosby is not, in any way, funny), #38 Jaws: The Revenge, #46 Santa Claus Conquers the Martians (yup, John owns that one – we watched it last year), #47 Teen Wolf Too, #61 Spice World (half of you saw this one with me so don’t think that you are getting out of owning up to it), #77 Street Fighter and #94 Cop and A Half.

At 5:15 this evening FedEx dropped off our latest shipment of stuff (boy is it ever cool working for a technology company – everyday is like Christmas!) Mostly it was just utilitarian small items that were delivered but the big items were dad’s new HDTV tuner card and his new GeForce FX5200 graphics card that he needed for MPEG-2 decoding and DVI output. Now he is going to be super impatient waiting until Wednesday to get his 37″ LCD 1080p display to hook it all to. But I am sure that he will have a lot of fun tonight watching HDTV on his 19″ Samsung monitor. I am really interested to see how many channels he is able to receive where he is. Once he has his system working we are going to try it over here. If there is enough halfway decent over the air programming available out here in Geneseo Dominica and I will probably make the investment in an HDTV card as well. We have everything else that we need. Not having any television at all is a little troublesome sometimes. It would especially be nice to be able to get PBS. Every so often you want to just watch something that is on television and it would be really nice to be able to get the news live instead of having to get all news from RSS feeds. Although, in reality, you don’t lose anything at all. So much of television news is just them laying out the stories in such a fashion that it seems like you are watching something worthwhile. When, in fact, you could see the same news on an RSS feed in two minutes and have done it hours earlier. Even during times of major “breaking news” situations it is rarely faster on the television. Once in a while television is better. Like during the September 11, 2000 attack on New York City. That would not have been the same with RSS. It was the live cameras that made it have such an impact. But things like that are really rare.

So dad came over a little after 5:30 so that we could get our regular Friday Night Fish Fry at the Omega and so that he could drop off my stuff that had arrived. The only really interesting item to come today is my new IEEE1394 adapter for Dominica’s desktop. Hardly the stuff to keep you up the night before with anticipation. But we have been needing one so it is handy. We managed to get a box of optical mice for the school in Castile. Up until now they have been stuck using old, nasty mechanical mice. Most of the mice are only two buttons. The new ones are full three button / scroll wheel opticals from Logitech. Fortunately I had discovered that Logitech has OEM bulk packs that we were able to get. What a difference that is going to make in the computer lab at the school. We got just enough to replace all of the mice in the lab. The mice in the rest of the school will have to wait for the fall semester before we look at them. We also got two wireless PCI adapters so that we can install two additional computers at the school in remote locations that don’t currently have Ethernet run to them yet. It is tough getting Ethernet run around the school since we don’t have a full time electrician in the school to tackle projects like this. The wireless is great because we have wireless in almost every inch of the school and it means that computers deployed that way can be moved around to wherever they are needed. They are a much bigger pain to set up but once they are working they seem to be the way to go. I have no idea how much of a load we are puting on the wireless network. The upside is that the wireless units all have much lower overall traffic compared to the Ethernet units and they don’t all get fired up and logged into at the same time. That would likely be too much and everything would be really slow.

Dad and I got dinner at 6:00 or so. They had mac and cheese on special tonight and I was in the mood so I got that. Dad tried to get that too but they were out of it. He decided that he wasn’t very hungry and just settled on soup and salad. He dropped off my mail and the stuff that had shipped in today. He also had my latest Amazon shipment which included the second season of Gilmore Girls for Dominica, Firefly and the first season of Growing Pains that I have been waiting for forever to come out on DVD. I hope that they get the rest of the series coming a lot more quickly than Who’s the Boss which got a single season out and then has been silent for years. No second season. No news of a second season. It is very sad. Who’s the Boss and Growing Pains were staples of my late elementary and junior high years. I never missed an episode. I have seen every episode of both shows but it has been so long that I really want to see them again. I have never seen either of them (except, obviously, for the first season of Who’s the Boss on DVD) since they went off of the air. Never having had cable made a lot of shows that many other people are familiar with from reruns seem to simply vanish for me.

Andy called from North Bay, Ontario on his Vonage VoIP phone to let me know that he had arrived and to test out his phone connection. It worked great. You couldn’t tell that he wasn’t at home in Rochester. How cool is it to have a telephone system that you can just take with you anywhere? He doesn’t have to tell people that he is away for the week and he doesn’t have to carry a cell phone. He just shows up in North Bay, plugs in his phone adapter and voila, he is all set and good to go. That is one of the most convenient features ever.

I started working with AstLinux today which is a tiny distribution of Linux designed to be used solely as a soft PBX system. It is really well done and I am having a good time learning how to use it.

On today’s “Things That Suck” list goes: Having your home assessment increased by $40,000!! Yup, sucks to be me. It seems to me that living in Geneseo and having a townhouse’s assessment increase by that much indicates something fishy going on.

I had to drive up to Rochester to pick up Dominica from work. Oreo rode along. So far today has been a pretty good day for him although he has pretty much slept all day long. He seems to be kind of depressed today but he might just be exhausted. Yesterday was a really tough day for him and he had to get up really early (for him, that is) this morning to take Dominica to work. And he hasn’t been sleeping well all week. So we are hoping that he is just doing some much needed catching up on his sleep.

Tonight we are watching Growing Pains. We are both really anxious to watch Firefly but we didn’t feel that it was a good idea to take Oreo down to the basement with the way that he has been feeling. So we are saving the “theatre” shows for when he is doing better.

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