The quest for Hot Dogs.

Besides playing with my computer and going to the gym, I do mostly nothing. I am on vacation after all, and I don’t have to do much else. Today, however, I did end up going on a quest, of sorts, with Dave the Trainer. I told him about a hot dog stand in the neighborhood, and he was all set for a chili dog or a Coney Island. But the stand was gone, probably on vacation for the holidays. We ended up going all the way from NW 24th and Vaughn to SE 45th and Hawthorne (across town anyway) to a weird little hole-in-the wall that I can’t even remember the name of. My sister had been there, and she’s kind of a food snob. The dogs were quite good.

Really, the only other thing I did was play with my computer. I think I need to get out more.

Someone stop me.

So, I spent about $800 on computer parts today. I felt bad until I found out my friend Megan spent $500 on a Treo today and then hit herself in the head with it because it was so much heavier than her old cell phone. My expensive computer is awaiting a fancy gamer’s video card and only has a 10YO Matrox card in it right now. In simpler terms:

  • 10YO Matrox card = old and busted
  • $250 video card = new hotness

It still means I’m able to have fun with my new computer (like I needed ANOTHER computer.) Now I have to figure out how to get rid of the old stuff.

Time to buy another computer.

I got a good deal on some computer parts. Actually they were through work, and I thought I’d better buy the parts while I still could, i.e. while I was still employed. I thought they’d take a while to arrive but they arrived today. This means I have to buy the rest of the parts of the computer, or the purchased parts will lie fallow. Actually, doesn’t lie fallow mean that the parts will be turned into fertilizer or something? Or at least regain fertility? Yeah, if the parts sit around then they’ll just be useless to me. In any case, it’s time to upgrade some of the stuff I have, and to see if I can give away the other bits.

I was supposed to be at the gym early today, but Dave the Trainer had to go shopping with his girlfriend. I went to the gym in time to see all of the regulars leaving early. I’m guessing that most people left work early since nothing happens in this last business week of the year. At least my favorite librarian was there. (I doubt that she’s a librarian, but she doesn’t look flashy, so Dave the trainer and I have decided that she’s a librarian. Don’t tell my librarian friends. They want to kick my ass already anyway.)

Another resolution down.

Looks like I forgot my Xmas present at my sister’s house, a button that said, “Dutch me.” Or something like that. But really, she got me a sweater and MADE TURDUCKEN! It wasn’t as odd as I’d hoped, but was quite tasty. So thanks to Mariko I’m up to 50% of my resolutions. I’m not going to Vegas and I’m not going hiking in the gorge, so I think that’s as good as it’s going to get. (The other resolution that I’ve completed is, “Attend more parties.” I attend most of the ones I’m invited to.)

Yesterday I got my computer back! The mall with the Apple store wasn’t very crowded but the parking lot was a mess. I guess I usually go about 8PM on a weekday so it should have been more crowded than I usually see. And the plumbing store was open but EMPTY. I was the third customer all day and I spent all of $0.30 on some clips.

Last night I was at a Xmas Eve gathering at my friend Kim and Raff’s house. They’re in a new subdivision that isn’t listed in a lot of online map databases, so if you checked the map on their Evite, you’d be five or six miles away from their house. Google maps was working when I first checked, but last night it couldn’t find their house either. In any case, it was fun and I was there until 1:30AM or so. I came back and played with my computer a bit and then tried to sleep in. I finally got up because I had a dream about Megacorp, and being bumped off a flight because a Megacorp VP wanted my seat. Then two guys who used to be my manager and project lead were arguing about what they should tell us about our, “situation.” My old manager was saying, “They work for a large corporation. They should expect things like this.”

Why can’t I just have more dreams about Kate Beckinsale or maybe some of the nicer women at the gym?

Attempting to flood the basement.

I had a leak in a pipe in the basement so I decided to try making a quick repair using Aquapex. It’s a temporary fix, so I figure I could experiment. Fortunately, I didn’t hurt myself too much and the pipes only leak a little (stupid old pipe).

The Aquapex was incredibly easy to work with. The only problems I had were getting the old pipe out and cutting the Aquapex too short because I am not a real plumber. In fact, I cut it too short twice. I’ve done a lot of plumbing around the house and I know why plumbers get paid so much (because they’re worth it) but I’m too stupid to not try to fix things myself. It’s kind of fun and probably costs me more in the long run (don’t ask me how I ended up with seven pipe wrenches.) I suppose the whole buying tools thing also is a way to show off my manliness. SEVEN PIPE WRENCHES LADIES! That’s what I should have had on

What is up with shipping nowadays?

So I thought I ordered some L.L. Bean shirts last night. I wasn’t expecting them for a while and I wasn’t worried because I don’t wear button-down shirts very often except to go to work. But guess what? They arrived tonight! Weird, huh? One of them is a very lame Xmas present for my dad. (Don’t worry, lameness of the gifts mean that everyone already knows what they’re getting except maybe my brother-in-law and I don’t think he reads my blog anyway.) I also got my expensive ebay plumbing tool that I ordered on Monday! Whee!

Well, the plumbing tool just means more work for me. It’s semi-likely that I’ll just flood the basement and have to call a real plumber. I know you’re supposed to let the professionals do their job, but there’s a macho quality of screwing up, I mean, “Doing it yourself.” I just hope none of it involves a hammer, because I always end up hitting my thumb. In any case, I’m going to experiment on a small section of plumbing before I do anything else.

It’s Friday night and I spent all night on the internets using the google, trying to figure out if there’s any credence to the story that PEX releases MTBE into water. So far, I’ve found a couple references that say that some do more than others. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. There are a lot of plumbers who hate PEX, but I’m going to give it a try.

Coney Island.

It was a nice day and I actually got out of the house for a reason that wasn’t the gym or work. I went to the bank, the drugstore, the kitchen supply to see if I could justify buying my sister a $999 espresso machine, and a hot dog stand. I also bought Dave the Trainer an Xmas present — a dinner at the Ringside steak restaurant. Well, other than that all I did today was go to the gym and play Solitaire. I even got a call from work asking if I was bored enough to come back yet. HAH. I enjoy the boredom more than work!

I started pricing out the bits and pieces I need to put together my new computer and all I can think is, “Why am I doing this?” I suppose I can speed up my sister’s web site (unnoticeable to everyone but me, I’d guess) and thing I’m doing something special. That just means more old computer junk in the basement, though. We’ll see.

Now my other Mac is making noise.

I wish you could get parts for your laptop and fix them yourself. Maybe I can. I’ll see if the fan keeps making that horrible rattling noise.

I accomplished almost nothing today. I left the house to have lunch with my mom, but otherwise I played with my PSP until my thumb joints hurt and played a lot of solitaire. I suppose I bought some stuff online, but that’s about it. I suppose I spent hundreds of dollars online shopping, but only a fraction of that was for Xmas presents. So, no, I guess I was still quite unsuccessful in doing anything besides BEING ON VACATION. I like vacation.

Weak, weak performance.

I was unable to do much at the gym today. I’m not sure why. Perhaps it’s too much sleep.

I was looking around to see if one of my favorite Xmas movies was going to be on TV, and I couldn’t find the 1951 version of Scrooge with Alastair Sim anywhere. I’ve heard you can get it for a pittance, but I bought it on Amazon so I can see it any time I feel like it. (Mainly in late December, mind you.) I was also tempted to buy It’s a Wonderful Life, A Christmas Story, and Comfort and Joy but I restrained myself. I may have to buy Comfort and Joy (the 1984 Bill Forsyth movie) but it’s only on Region 2 DVDs. Blast that Region encoding nonsense.

I re-joined Greencine so I can start watching more movies. I know I should probably just join the masses and use Netflix instead, but I’m just a little too contrary. We’ll see if I watch any of the movies I get or if I just let them sit around like I used to.

Someone keep me off of ebay.

You’d think I could remember the rules of correct ebay-ing, but I can’t. I always think that I’m screwing up and often I am. I usually want SOMEONE ELSE TO WIN so I don’t have to buy the thing I just overbid, but then when they do I wonder why I’m such a loser. Right now I think I have a bid on a $250 plumbing tool that I already bought with, “buy it now.” I hope I don’t end up with two.

On another note, I had to take my computer into the Apple Store because they dented the lid when they fixed it. I always make late 8PM appointments at the Apple Store because it’s easier to get to, but fewer hotties are shopping at the mall at that late hour. I suppose there are fewer hotties at the mall this week since it’s being overrun by kids who are out of school for winter break.

I also had to buy a new wallet as a Xmas present for me from my parents. I’m not sure how long a Coach wallet is supposed to last, but my guess is about 3 years. Being a dude, I don’t want to buy a new wallet more often than once every fifteen years. My old one seemed to wear out a lot quicker than that.

Stupid swappy computer.

I’m not really sure what I did to annoy my Macintosh, but I used up all the memory in my MacBook Pro and it started swapping. In simple terms it means that whatever is in the computer’s memory that it doesn’t really need is written to the hard drive. When the computer decides it needs the things on the disk, it copies it back. Boy, is MacOS bad at swapping. I just spent 20 minutes waiting for it to stop. Some of the programs I’m using are probably to blame as well, but sheesh, 20 minutes waiting for the computer to start doing something I want it to do rather than just reading and writing the hard drive.

Last night I got home late after a fun but calm holiday party at my friend Zach’s house. So today in the middle of the day I thought I was going to fall over. Come to think of it, I probably should have just fallen over. I hardly remember any of the football games I watched today. I did, however, glue the drawer back together, finishing one of the three tasks I assigned myself for my “vacation” days.

Leaving a party in the middle.

So I just left a party at 2AM. I quit drinking at about midnight (didn’t drink that much anyway) and I think it’s scheduled to go until 8AM. In any case, sound equipment started showing up at 1AM or so to supplement what was already set up in the basement. I saw some signs of illicit drug use and I can’t say it’s anything I haven’t seen in the past.

Weird thing is that I’m more awake now than I was at work today. I had some mulled cider, so I should be sleepier, no? After being at that party I don’t feel like I’m missing anything there. Kind of a weird feeling to have.

Fortunately I have two weeks off to do whatever I want. I think I want to fix a drawer, a lamp, and some plumbing. I should be able to get to that and watch a lot of TV.