Happy Leap Day!

Somehow my body didn’t get the memo that it wasn’t supposed to sleep through February 29th. I’m convinced that February 29th happens every year and we just sleep through it most of the time. I was pretty sleepy.

I did convince my buddy Il to get off his duff and ride one of my bikes to REI to pick up whatever they were giving away today. I was hoping for another 20% off coupon, but today I got a Topeak Toolbar. So REI and the chance to have another $10 donation given to the Bicycle Transportation Alliance got me on my bike for the second time in two days, and the second time in three years.

Il had to borrow one of my bikes because even though he’s a bikie, he only has one bike. It’s a $1000+ Trek, but the frame is cracked. I haven’t ridden in years, but I have at least three ridable bikes, and another in pieces.

Unfortunately, the bike I rode today was the victim of my dad’s exploding pesticides. I couldn’t scrub the crap off the bike, but I rode it anyway. Ick is about all I can say about it.

One of these days I want to finish reading some books.

I wasn’t doing all that much today, but that was the plan. Finish my parents’ taxes, and then maybe read a book. I even thought I should go to the new REI opening near my house. If you ride a bike there, you get a 20% off coupon and $10 from REI goes towards the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. Well, the taxes are close to finished and I made it to REI, but I didn’t do much more.

Last night I saw my friend Craig sing at a place called Momo. I’ve known the guy since high school (over 20 years ago) and this is the first time I saw him sing. The band he sat in with is called “Grass Verge” and played lots of things I didn’t recognize. Some songs from “Cracker,” I guess. But Craig was better than their normal singer (don’t tell him I said that.) Stayed out too late. Had 50% more beer than my doctor said I should have. (Three in four hours.) All in the name of fun. Always fun to see Craig sing and see Craig’s mom heckling supporting him.

And I got my first paycheck. I better figure out what I’m doing at work pretty soon so I can keep getting them.

Sometimes bad movies seem intriguing.

Well, the rain was so miserable that I punted the ham radio meeting this month. Getting home was bad enough. I didn’t want to turn around and get in a nice rain-created traffic jam. I’m feeling a bit tired anyway, and I don’t want to miss the last few episodes of Friends nor any episode of CSI. Any shows that make science seem cool are high on my list.

So, I’ve been seeing previews for Secret Window, a movie that looks like a bad horror cheese-fest, but how it has Johnny Depp and John Turturro. John Turturro and Johnny Depp. No matter how you cut it, it still comes out cheese. Wait, that doesn’t sound right. No matter how you slice it, it comes up baloney. Neither does that.

Anyone who has seen the creepy Quizno’s commercials and hasn’t had enough should see this.

Finally, a semi-cheap lunch.

My boss likes our group to eat together and he only really eats once a day, so he doesn’t like to eat at the greasy spoons I tend to prefer. The good thing is that the food is better. The bad thing is that it can take a couple of hours and lunch costs somewhere between $9 and $15. When my boss is gone or busy, I like heading to the “trailer park” where a line of roach-coaches serve Mexican, Indian, Thai, Pho, Polish, Greek, Italian, etc. for around $5. The pizza place downstairs has a huge slice of pepperoni and a drink for $2.90. Ah. That’s the stuff.

Yesterday, lunch was a fish sandwich and it cost $15. That’s only because I had four oysters as well. The sandwich was good and the oysters were great.

The other weird part of my job is the commute. 35-40 minutes usually, but that’s if I walk the whole way. I love not driving. And I can listen to my iPod full of silly music on the way.

And the job isn’t so bad, either!

You really miss it when it’s gone.

I run NetBSD, and I’m one of the loons that updates his copy of the sources every day and rebuilds the complete operating system. I tell myself that I’m performing an important QA task, but it’s just due to being neurotic. It’s also not guaranteed to build on any given day. A couple days back, I rebuilt the everything and my SpamAssassin broke. Since then, my spam wasn’t filtered out and came directly to my inbox. Wow, what a huge volume of crap! I forgot how much I depend on SpamAssassin. Fortunately, one of the developers fixed the problem a couple of hours ago.

For those who don’t have access to SpamAssassin, or Apple’s Panther/Jaguar mail, I’d suggest Postini. I use all three in different places and they all work well.

An auspicious day.

OK, so not hugely prosperous but still, a good day. First, Junior Slab gave me an iTune code! That doubled the number of songs to neurotically choose. It doesn’t feel like buying a CD for some reason. I buy all sorts of silly CDs (just ordered a Duran Duran singles box set, for example) but I can buy iTunes a song at a time and that makes me nervous. What if I waste the code on something uncool? What a weird thing to worry about.

When I got home I had a bunch of real mail and a padded envelope. One piece of real mail was from my car insurance. But it wasn’t a bill, it was a credit for $2.82. Then something plain that looked like an ad destined for my paper shredder was a check for $13.86 from the CD antitrust settlement.

The padded envelope was the most surprising thing: nine Pepsi bottle caps! Here I thought it was an odd ham radio thing, but it was a gift from a knitting blogger. All those hours of work on my sister’s blog and this could be the reward. Thanks Audrey!

More ham radio fun

I woke up early on Saturday to go to a ham radio swap meet (overpriced junk sale is more like it) in Rickreall, Oregon. I didn’t buy anything, but I did end up with a couple of “kits” from my friend Larry. One came with no manual, making construction nearly impossible, but I’ll see if I can find some instructions somewhere.

Today I got up a little later for a ham radio/Boy Scout planning meeting. I went out to “Scouter’s Mountain” for the first time since 1982. Back then it was way out in the middle of nowhere, but there’s now houses all around it.

I probably need to find less geeky hobbies.

My waffling on the greatness of Journey.

I was waffling on whether I should have asked my ex-girlfriend to return “Journey’s Greatest Hits.” I wanted it back when she told me she had it. When I finally listened to it, I wondered why I ever asked for it back. But I think I figured out that at least three of the songs are worth having. Really, the best of the bunch isn’t even a Journey song, it’s “Oh, Sherry” from after Steve Perry was kicked out and went solo. But I also have to chuckle when I hear, “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Separate Ways,” and “Lovin’, Touchin’, and Squeezin’.”

I listen to my iPod on my walk to and from work and it’s nice to hear silly songs. So here’s the start of my silly commute list:

Song Group
Chains of Love Erasure
A Little Respect Erasure
Stop! Erasure
Drama! Erasure
Star Erasure
Chorus Erasure
Love to Hate You Erasure
Breath of Life Erasure
What Do I Know Josh Clayton-Felt
Don’t Stop Believin’ Journey
Separate Ways Journey
Lovin’, Touchin’, and Squeezin’ Journey
Love Will Tear Us Apart Joy Division
These Days Joy Division
Too Shy Kajagoogoo
Break Out Swing Out Sister

I haven’t made it very far through the alphabet, and I started with “E”. Also, Joy Division isn’t all that silly, but it’s good walking music anyway.

So the kids didn’t have any problems.

My dinner last night didn’t sit well, and I ended up having odd nightmares. The first one was a short, balding man in a turtleneck (George Costanza perhaps?) telling me that I was fired. The second had something to do with shooting guns at people. Or maybe zombies. I don’t know. It was about 10°F warmer as well. Ah, well, dinner at Ringside is worth it.

Gourmands unite.

I’m probably not the only one who overate tonight. My sister just celebrated her 8th wedding anniversary tonight at the Paris Restaurant.

What was my excuse? I was at work late (only 2-3 hours later than usual, thank goodness) reaching a minor milestone. Afterward, three of us headed out for dinner and I suggested the Ringside where they have a great deal on a three-course dinner before 5:30PM and after 9PM. Unfortunately, the menu changed a bit and I was unable to get my usual — Caesar salad, filet mignon, and creme brulee — for $25. The filet mignon is off of the specials menu but has been replaced by prime rib. Not a bad switch. My young co-workers had no trouble finishing the dinner, and we also had onion rings. The youngest used his 20-year-old’s appetite to finish off onion rings, a 24oz Porterhouse, and sorbet. That 24oz steak was impressive, and he had no trouble finishing it.

Well, that’s enough excitement for one night.

Time to update your gallery software!

Once again, I started upgrading some software after 10PM. And I ran into troubles. However, the problem is one that has been in the software for a while and I kind of knew what to look for. So Gallery has been upgraded and even has security updates but the developer didn’t think it was important to send out a notification. Or maybe the email was stuck due to a spam filter. Who knows?

A break in the rain so everyone is outside.

When the weather is nice in Oregon, everyone is outside. I saw several neighbors, some guys from high school (my sister’s high school anyway), and my friend Craig says Susan Anton was in his pub just across the street from the library. I mention the library because I was there today and was that close to celebrity! Instead of going back outside, I read a Jesse Stone (by Robert Parker) mystery today. I finished it in a couple of hours. Fluff mysteries are fun to read sometimes.