July 4, 2002

Happy Independance Day!! Dominica went into the office with me today to help me work on our truck mounted system. We were very productive and the system might actually be ready to go. It is still so hot down here, it is late at night and the outside temperature is still in the nineties.

Instead of taking part of normal July Fourth festivities, Dominica decided that she wanted to order a pizza and watch The Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2. She has seen Army of Darkness (Evil Dead 3) and wanted to see the movies that came before it. She is also a big fan of the new Spiderman film so it is a good time to have a little Sam Raimi festival. Until now, I had always thought of Evil Dead 2 being a rough remake of The Evil Dead but now that I watch them back to back for the first time, I can see that 2 simply restates the original film in the first five and a half minutes and then uses a single camera shot from the original film to take you right into the second film. The thing that makes it so confusing is that the telling of the original tale is just enough different from the way it was first told to make it hard to associate the two. Even the box description misses the story a bit. I am now convinced that I could edit the three ED movies together to make a single film about 4.5 hours in length that would, for the most part, contain the entire story and make sense. Ash would just age way too quickly and that would be a little weird. I think that it would be a lot of fun to watch The Complete Evil Dead as a single film. Maybe I should write a letter to Raimi about it:)

I am still working on that paper that I need to write for my Systems Analysis and Design class. That paper is going to take me forever. I have discovered how easy it can be to make outlines using OpenOffice.org. I never realized how intuitive it was. I always assumed that it was hard to do and never thought of doing it the easy way.

I finally managed to get to bed around 6:00 am this morning but by 8:00 am the phone was ringing with one thing after another so I quickly just gave up on being able to go back to sleep. I am pretty tired by now. After I eat dinner, I will probably be done for the night.

Around 2:00 am this morning, the bat that had decided to take up recidence in John’s room started flying the condo and disappeared shortly thereafter. So we have no idea whether or not the bat is still lurking aroun the condo or not. We have not seen any signs of him all day so we can only assume that he has left.

July 3, 2002

Boy was it a hot one down here in DC. We hit over 100 degrees today and the heat index was supposed to be climbing near 110. Ouch. Just to make everything more enjoyable, the electric company decided to do some work on the condo’s electrical system during the heat of the day and shut the power down for about an hour. The A/C can’t even keep the place cool normally. I was not happy. Something similar happened to Megan and I two years ago. Only that was only 95 degrees but the power was off for four days! I hate power companies in the south. So I have been melting all week down here. Then, this evening, just to top off my day, a bat decides to fly into the condo and take up residence in John’s room. Wonderful. Last I knew, the bat was sleeping peacefully over the top of John’s bed. It isn’t even making an attempt to find its way back out into the great outdoors. It probably decided that it was way too hot outside and it is worth being cooped up and being a little hungry rather than go out and face the heat again. I know I would.

Right now I am at Washington Hospital Center and it is just about 4:00 am. I have been here since just after midnight waiting for the 2:00 am guy to show up so that we can try out the truck system again. Eric had to FedEx his laptop from Rochester down to us so that we would be able to get back to work. So you can imagine that he isn’t all that happy about that. Who knows when I am going to be able to get out of here, the night guy is known for showing up at all different kinds of times. I am really thinking that I would like to be going to bed right about now. I have to sleep at night because it just gets too hot during the day. Even with the little bit of air conditioning that we have. John did just acquire a new residence, though, and he says that the A/C is super powerful over there so hopefully we will be in there soon. I hear that we are having a painting party this coming Saturday.

My Dominica decided that she missed me so she is driving down to DC to spend the weekend with me. I have to call her in about an hour to wake her up so that she can drive herself down here. It is a long trek. I am so glad that she is coming down. We will get to see the fireworks together now (not that I haven’t had enough of fireworks.)

Canadian FlagIn Canadian news, Natalie has left her position and is now back home in Burlington, ON. So for all of those of you who have been waiting to get a hold of her because she has been out of town, you can call and email her now. She might even be able to check out the site again:)

Flag of BelgiumIf I am not mistaken (which I often am,) I believe that Anne will be returning from Belgium this month and preparing to head off to college in Wisconsin in the fall. We haven’t had an Anne update in a while so hopefully she will be catching us up on her adventures soon.

In movie news, I picked up a copy of the Director’s Cut of Legend. It looks pretty exciting since the Director’s Cut has a completely different score than the theatrical cut. Plus additional footage and different editing. It is supposed to be a significantly different movie. So different in fact that they included both versions of the film in the box. I might even get a chance to watch that sometime soon.

I have been working frantically to catch up on all of the school work that I have fallen behind on. Luckily, one of my professors is also way behind so I don’t have very much to do in that class because we are waiting on her. That is important because I have so much that I have to do! And I am going to be spending next week in DC again and then my cousin Gwen will be visiting for a week.

Eric tried out the free Internet service, Access-4-Free and said that he was very impressed with it. The best things about it are that it is operating system independant so you can use your favorite high performance operating systems like Linux or FreeBSD instead of M$ WinBlows and it is free for the first ten hours of use each month and then only $1 per hour after that up to a max of $10 per month at which point you simply have unlimited access. So it is especially nice for people that have to travel all of the time. But also for those of you who have been stuck using Windows because you are using a dial-up connection – you can now feel the freedom! What a great way to celebrate the Fourth of July.

I did manage to solve some big time stumpers that we have been having with the Waste Watcher Mobility system. That helped save the day from being a total loss. I would be really depressed if I hadn’t managed to do that. I would be happier if the system was on the truck and being used as we speak but since no one is showing up to work, that is a little bit hard to accomplish. I can sense the sun considering how soon before it comes up. I hate driving home in breaking daylight. It reminds of the time just after I dropped out of college and I used to always be driving home to go to bed just as the sun was coming up. Now I like sleeping in the dark. Although it would be nicer sleeping if I knew that a bat wasn’t going to poop on me at any moment. It is a huge bat too. Much larger that Henri, the bat that my roomates and I had living in our house in Flint, Michigan. Henri was very small and lived with us for about a month devouring all of the bugs that were living in our basement. Henri probably got fat living with us. Neela and Mickey (the cats living at the condo with John and I) are very excited about the bat. This is the best thing that we have had living in the condo since the squirrel used to jump onto the balcony and come sit on the couch to beg for peanuts.

If it wasn’t so hot, I would get out and play a round of golf but I don’t think that I could stand up to the strain. It was rough enough playing last week and it was fifteen degrees cooler then. I took some time today and really cleaned up a lot of my email. I have so much email that has been sitting around in my accounts forever. I had more than 1.5 MB of old messages just piled up in my Yahoo! account. Plus tons that I have been trying to clear out from my SheepGuardingLlama mail.

While I have been down here in DC, I have discovered some really cool software available for the Sharp Zaurus. From the great Linux software guys over at The Kompany they have some cool new software like an Ogg Vorbis player so that you can take all of your favorite CD’s and Books on CD with you wherever you go. They also have a Jabber client that allows you to IM with your Zaurus from wherever using the AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN, IRC, ICQ or Jabber. How handy is that. They even have a person finance manager. I have even found a PalmOS emulator that allows you to use all of that Palm software that you want right on the Zaurus. And since the Zaurus is cheaper than the nice Palms, it is a really good deal.

Ok, it is getting REALLY late here and I think that it is pretty much time for me to pack up my stuff and get the heck out of here. It is almost a quarter to five in the morning and I have been awake since 7:00 am so I am pretty much looking forward to bed pretty seriously. I just have to call Dominica and make sure that she is awake and moving before I take off:) Maybe the night guy has the night off because of the holiday?

Ok everyone. I hope that you all enjoy your holiday. Remember me while none of you have to go in to work this morning.

July 2, 2002

What a week this is going to be. I am in DC now, I drove down here yesterday evening and arrived at Washington Hospital Center at 1:15 am. That alone should have been enough to qualify as a rough start to the week. On the ride down, I stopped at the bookstore to pick up a copy of “Just for Fun” the Linus Torvalds autobiography on CD. It is a 5 CD set. I listened to it on the drive down. Two and a half hours into the book, I realized that they had included two copies of the fourth CD and none of the the third so I never got a chance to hear the entire book. So that happened. Then I arrive in DC early in the morning to work on our Waste Watcher Mobility system that is a computer mounted in the cabs of one of our route trucks. I find the door to the truck unlocked and the laptop stolen. So, there wasn’t very much work for me to actually do at that point. Good thing that I drove all of the way down here. Then, to top it all off, I needed to set up a meeting with someone this week and manage to get a hold of him just in time to find out that he is leaving for vacation ten minutes from the time that I am writing this update. So, it is looking like it is going to be a really long week.

The latest version of the Opera web browser is now out. Version 6.04 for Windows. I am in the process of downloading it right now. For those of you who are involved in web design, Opera 6.04 is now going to be the browser used to preview web pages in new versions of Macromedia’s Dreamweaver which is a big improvement over Netscape Navigator 4.x that they have been using up until now. Opera has also been selected as being the browser of choice for Red Flag Linux in China.

July 1, 2002

Canadian FlagMiranda is coming tomorrow to visit us from far away Canada. She will be down for the week and will have the opportunity to celebrate her first ever Fourth of July.

Emily and Craig will be down tomorrow as well visiting us from far away Colorado. Of course, I have to go to DC tonight and work so I will not get the chance to visit with anybody. Isn’t that just how it always works.

The guys’ band “Nate” played at the Nines last night. Many of you showed up to see it. Good to see everyone there. The turn out from the “Nate” crowd was pretty impressive. The cheese sandwiches at the Nines where as good as ever.

Matt moved in over the weekend and has settled into the downstairs den which has been the temporary living space of so many people:) Three new futons have been moved into the house and sleeping arrangements can now be made on one located in the den, one in the upstairs reading nook or in the garage. The couches (5) are all still available as well. The closets are filling up rapidly.

Canadian FlagZach will be leaving us shortly to work in Canada for a few weeks. So until he returns, he will also be getting graced with a Canadian flag. In other Canadian news, Natalie is expected to be returning home tomorrow so we might have a chance to see her over the summer now.

Dominica has gotten a latteral move at work that roughly amounts to a promotion over to method development. Details are not firm yet but she is really excited about it. Work will be a lot more fun over in that department.

June 30, 2002

So yesterday, while doing some quick shopping, I managed to partake in a large sale at KMart in Ithaca and I purchased an outdoor bar set complete with a “bar”, a bartender’s stool and four bar stools / chairs. The set is very attractive and should be a lot of fun for throwing outdoor parties. It is handy just for eating outside. The “bar” has two layers of shelves for holding all kinds of things. Dominica was really excited about it.

For anyone who is interested, Loopy and I have a scanner for Windows 98 that we are selling for $20. We don’t use it anymore since we are no longer running Windows 98. Scanner works fine.

Yesterday I also managed to get another big haul of awesome movies! I have added Dune: Director’s Cut, Twelve Monkeys, Gosford Park and A Beautiful Mind. So I am very excited about all of the new movies that I have.

Matt moved in today. Now there are seven people living here for the next six weeks. What a full house we have.

Today has to be cut short as I have two papers to write for tomorrow.

June 29, 2002

Finally some updates to the site have been showing up. Rumor has it that a high speed internet connection is going to be going in to the house in Maryland which will make working from there SO much easier. Until now, we have been using AOL dial up which is unbelievably annoying. It is one thing to use it from a hotel room but really awful as a primary connection.

Can you believe that Sheep Guarding Llama is almost two years old!?! Only a few more months and we will be celebrating our second birthday. That is pretty exciting. We must be one of the most popular BLOGs around. Thank you all for keeping us popular.

Before I forget to mention it… Niagara Telecom (who pays our bills) is going to be providing free web hosting for churches so if any of you know of a church that would like to be able to have a web site but can’t spend the money that it takes to get one up and running, let us know. We would be happy to contact them. Niagara Telecom is already hosting sites for two churches.

Today I am taking my first real stab at doing some editing with Dreamweaver 4. I am hoping to be able to use it instead of Frontpage 2000 as my WYSIWYG HTML editor. I am still editing SGL on HTML-Kit, however. I have also been going back and touching up things that have been left out over the last week so don’t be surprised if it looks like you had missed something.

Dominica seems to be off of her massive reading kick (like ten books!) and is now hooked on watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer on DVD. She has watched close to 36 hours of Buffy already. I am looking for “As Time Goes By” on DVD. Currently, I think only season four is out but soon I hope that the rest of them will be. That is a great TV show.

For those of you who are big fans of Franka Potente (Run Lola, Run (Lola Rennt), Blow, The Bourne Identity, The Princess and the Warrior, etc.) here is her webpage… Franka Potente’s Official Web Site.

It is going to be a hot summer. Already the air conditioning is not able to keep up with the house. Those of us living on the top floors have resorted to putting fans on the air vents to help pull the air upstairs. It keeps it reasonable but it is a bit warm by late in the day once the sun has been beeting down on the house. Now I know why I never want to own a tall house:)

Emily and Craig will be here on Tuesday – of course, I will be in DC. So I will miss them. But, they will be moving to Ithaca later this year. Craig’s job is relocating him to Ithaca so we are all very excited. They are looking for a house while they are down this week. Eventually, everyone moves to Ithaca.

It looks as though IthacaEats.com has finally shut down. They have been limping along for a long time and I can no longer get to their server. So, I guess that they have finally given up the ghost and gone away. At least that makes IthacaPortal.com the strongest restaurant ratings around.

Sunday night, tomorrow, Nate, Bob, Zach and another teach from Boynton, Eric, will be playing Open Mic Night at The Nines. It would be really nice if everyone could make it out there to support them. This will be their second concert appearing after having played at the Boynton Middle School Talent Night. And speaking of performances, the neighbors in the attached house to us are working with the Hangar Theatre this summer doing sets and costumes, electrical and carpentry. So, if you get the chance, head on out to the Hangar and see what they have been up to.

I managed to get some updates into IthacaPortal.com like a new restaurant review, a summer header and updates to the restaurants page since so many restaurant web pages have disappeared recently. It is really depressing to see Ithaca loosing its online presence instead of building it. If anyone knows of any web sites that need to be added, drop me a line.

Loopy wrote his first program for the Zaurus yesterday. Just a small Java applet that didn’t really do anything. But enough to show that he was able to get it working. Speaking of Loopy programming, he contacted someone who he is going to use for the music in his new game.

Ok, I have a great hydroponic story, you haven’t heard one in forever so you can all bare with me. BTW, Basil is still doing well growing in my bathroom. He has been a little dry lately, probably due to the air conditioning, so I had to deflect the A/C away from him. But for the most part, he is doing well. Some time ago when I bought my first hydroponic kit and a copy of the Growing Edge, I was excited to see that a greenhouse only a mile from my then home was featured in that month’s issue of the magazine. I was so excited that I then ran out and got a subscription to the magazine. The next month I had to buy the magazine in the store since my subscription hadn’t started yet. That issue I didn’t get a chance to read and it got laid to the side for a while. Today, I finally picked it up and starting reading it. One of the articles in the magazine was about a basil production facility in Pennsylvania. I looked at one of the pictures and thought to myself, “Boy, that bag looks just like the one that my basil plant came in.” So I began reading the article. It turns out that the facility featured in the article was the very one that provides all of the fresh basil to Wegman’s. It mentions Wegman’s specifically in the article. I was very excited. Two consecutive issues talking about things that are so close to home. I looked at Basil and said, “This article is about you!” He was very happy.

Loopy has not been updating MyMiranda.net properly and everyone needs to bug him about this. Email him (email address removed in 2005) and let him know that we all want to see some new content there. If you think that I am bad about updating the site…

June 28, 2002

TGIF! It has been a really long week. I am looking forward to the weekend. On Monday, I have to head back down to Washington to work there for the week. So, Saturday and Sunday are my only days off. We are working on a truck mounted computer system in DC and it is giving us all kinds of problems.

Last night, Tim officially moved out of the house and today Zach is moving in. So, Zach has a U-Haul today and we will be moving his stuff and then the plan is to go to Dominica’s and get a load of her furniture as well. I hate moving.

Other than that, today is mostly a slow day involving web site updates and writing manuals and documentation. Some of my favorite things. I really want to just sit down and watch a movie but I just don’t have the time.

My cousin Gwen and her boyfriend Mike from Canton, Ohio are coming to visit in two weeks. This will be her first time coming down to my house. Speaking of visitors, Emily and Craig (Nate’s cousin) are supposed to be visiting us next week. Dominica’s sister Francesca headed home yesterday.