I just realized ... 
Friday, 19 September, 2008, 21:59
Posted by Administrator
... at one point i posted that my next car would be a Lexus IS. Yeah ... that didn't happen!
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What a week. 
Friday, 19 September, 2008, 20:38
Posted by Administrator
Lots of stuff going on. Good stuff, not-so-good stuff ... been one of those weeks, I guess.

I spent most of the morning on GoToMeetings with customers based in the UK. That's always interesting. Some of the steps I have on my checklist can be completely skipped, as those steps are US-specific, so there's actually less work. The only problem is the time difference: sometimes it is quite difficult to find the time to actually speak to those customers because I've got American customers ringing me all the time.

The river has gone back down now, so my parents have started the cleanup process. Lots of work ... walls, floors, cabinets, everything. Major drag, because it's a lot of work, but there's always a good side -- at least the interior won't be a hodgepodge of '80s and '90s styles anymore :)

Today has been one of the slowest days I've seen in a while here at the office. Gives me a little time to catch up on some work I fell behind on lately. We're still waiting for a 42U Dell rack to arrive, but once that gets here we're putting it into the (currently vacant) corner office. I'm sick of having servers on peoples' desks.

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1986 Revisited 
Monday, 15 September, 2008, 02:21
Posted by Administrator
So ... my parents are staying at my house for a few days. Their basement is completely flooded -- floor to ceiling -- and as of about 3 this afternoon they had 3 inches of water on the ground floor. I was there yesterday to help them move stuff out of the basement and, when the water started coming down the stairs like a waterfall, 22-year-old memories started to resurface. It was probably the smell of the water that triggered the memories ... hard to describe, but it's something like mud, mildew, and a little bit of antifreeze.

My sister and I grabbed the rowboat and moved some stuff out. The river already took the oars so we had to use shovels. Looked silly, but it worked.

Anyway ... not good times.
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Google Chrome 
Saturday, 6 September, 2008, 00:50
Posted by Administrator
Apparently, a new Web browser was released while I was on vacation and I didn't even know it. That's probably because it hasn't been released for Mac yet, and I had my MacBook pro with me. Needless to say I installed it on my work and home PCs. So far I like what I've seen: it's fast as all hell, with near-instant startup and page load speeds. Of course, the two machines I've loaded it on are both 3.0GHz Core2Duos with 4GB of RAM, but who's counting?

I've also loaded Internet Explorer 8 on my work machine and, surprisingly enough, it pulls up some pages faster than Google Chrome. I'll be running them side-by-side there for a while.
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The Return 
Friday, 5 September, 2008, 00:59
Posted by Administrator
... so we're back. The Civic of Fury did quite well on our journey. I averaged about 41MPG on the way there, and just over 43 on the way back. I'm guessing the last leg of the drive there screwed with the mileage a little, as we hit Tropical Storm Fay about 300 miles north of Tampa and fought it pretty much the rest of the way down. Once we got there, though, it was consistently fantastic. I expected it to be more humid than it was based on hype from everyone I spoke to, but it wasn't that bad.

Julie and I switched off on the way there. I took us from Lombard down 355, over to 80, then down 57 to Paducah, Kentucky. Gas was $3.249 a gallon there, which is pretty cool. Julie took over at Paducah and took us to Nashville, where we switched again. I practically dragged the Civic up The Monteagle ... that poor 1.3L 4-cylinder was protesting all the way up the mountain. By the time we reached the top we were running engine-only, as the hybrid batteries were completely depleted. I dropped the transmission into S on the way down to save wear on the brakes and to force a recharge of the hybrid batteries.

Last Thursday we dropped by Julie's sister's place to spend the night. She lives near Jacksonville, so our return trip took us a different way -- we ended up going through Georgia, the Carolinas, Tennessee, and Kentucky on interstates I've never been on before. There's a section of Interstate 40 in western North Carolina that goes through Pigeon River Gorge and, as I looked at it on the in-dash GPS, I decided it looked like a huge strand of spaghetti that someone unceremoniously dropped on the land -- it was twisty with tons of elevation changes. I had both hands on the wheel through this entire stretch of road, and there was constant steering input -- not much straight road there.

We stopped for food in Clinton, Tennessee. There's a Cracker Barrel there, and to be quite honest I didn't expect to see that many locals there. I think we were the only ones in the entire parking lot with non-Tennessee plates, and the place was absolutely packed.

After that, though, the road became boring. Kentucky was hilly, so I was somewhat relieved when we crossed the Indiana border.

Today was my first day back to work. I had 831 total emails, and I'm surprised I managed to get through them all. Tomorrow the real workload takes over.

Good times.
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