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Started: 2004-03-20 09:42:00

Submitted: 2004-03-22 17:54:02

Visibility: World-readable

I'm sitting at in the new PA booth at the back of Boulder Seventh-day Adventist church typing this off-line changelog in the notebook allocated for PowerPoint slides. (It wasn't my decision. I just follow orders. I doubt anyone would assert that using PowerPoint is a crime against humanity, although potentially it could be.) I'm ostensibly here so I can coordinate PA, although the Audio guy arrived before me and set things up for the first half, leaving me with nothing to do. (That's not to say that he has much to do; looking over a mixer board and not doing anything isn't actually all that entertaining. With the new booth we have a new mixer board, which is twice as long and four times as complicated, and I still have no real idea how to run it. With a competent Audio guy up here, though, I might not have to just yet.) I'm still not sure how I'm going to get this changelog off this disconnected notebook into the real world (a USB thumb drive would be handy; I could substitute with my compact flash card and USB reader), so there's the chance this changelog won't be visible for some time. As always, I'd prefer to use vi, but I've reverted to everyone's least favorite text editor, notepad.

I learned yesterday that my employer got a Big Contract, which should be pretty exciting to build. It's still not obvious how many more Big Contracts we'll need to get before we have no choice but to hire more people (bleeping jobless economic recovery), but I'm keeping my eyes open for my under-employed friends. So far I'm essentially enjoying myself at work after realizing two weeks ago that I didn't like my job nearly as much as I thought I did. (That was a rather unnerving discovery; now that I got it out into the open (in my mind, and in my psychologist's office during my weekly visits) I'm figuring out how to change my attitude to enjoy the grunt work I do more and to figure out what I want to take the effort to change.)

Last week I played Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles, which was entertaining, but it didn't jump up and grab me before I had to take it back to Blockbuster after a five-day new-release rental. (My evening entertainment is a fairly full field these days; Gem and I are working our way steadily through Angel (I'm wondering how much Angel we'll make it through before new episodes appear again in the middle of April), and I am now in possession of the entire series of Dilbert on DVD. And there are always more mundane broadcast TV shows we feel like watching from time to time.) On Wednesday night this week I drove around Louisville in a wild goose chase attempting to locate the other Blockbuster, which had the game I wanted, unlike my local store. I drove past once (on my way back from acquiring clothing at Flatiron Crossing after an unsuccessful Radio Shack run), thinking I would spot it as I drove on McCaslin. It was not to be; I made it home, checked Blockbuster's website, printed out the map, and set out again. I drove back and forth on Dillon Road until I finally spotted the store, hidden in a corner with a non-functioning sign on one side of the building. I acquired The Simpsons: Hit and Run, which is a greatly-amusing Grand Theft Auto clone set in Springfield with all of the Simpsons cast providing voices. (Gem thinks this is the most amusing video game she's seen so far, but it's still not to the point where she would actually sit down and play it. That may be a lost cause, although I'm still not going to give up.) I might actually buy this game if the opportunity presents itself.

Elssbett's power cable died sometime early this week, so I began to investigate various schemes to repair it. Radio Shack in Flatiron Crossing didn't have the part I needed, so Thursday at noon I took Gem on a field trip to JB Saunders, where I acquired the replacement plug (5.5 mm OD, 2.5 mm ID, right angle) and a ferrite core that serves some purpose or another. I annexed a small segment of lab bench back at work and soldered the connector on twice; the first time I forgot to slide the strain relief on before soldering the wires together. Mission accomplished, I plugged it in and Gem went home victorious.

Thursday evening I played Hit and Run until Humblik showed up on irc and he, Yanthor, and I played two games of Kohan: Ahriman's Gift. I showed up to Hacking Society a little late, drank a chai, and arbitrated in a trivia contest between Bitscape and Zan Lynx to decide who would get my extra-legal Angel downloads first. (The trivia question was "When was Linux 1.0 released?" Bitscape guessed (if I recall correctly) May 1993 and Zan Lynx guessed August 1992. kernel.org revealed the official release date was March 1994. Bitscape was closest, so he got the five disks with thirty-two episodes from fourth and fifth seasons.) I listened in on a fascinating discussion between Rise and Zan Lynx that wandered between NOC-lings, reserved IP blocks, netfilter, and plenty of other brief topics I can't recall at the moment.

Friday night Gem was disturbed that a NCAA basketball game preempted her standard CBS programming (Joan of Arcadia and JAG), which gave us the opportunity to watch the second episode of Wonderfalls, highly anticipated by a loyal reader, which happened to be in the same timeslot as JAG. It was amusing; I continue to be fascinated by the fact that it's essentially Fox's version of Joan of Arcadia. In Joan, God speaks to the female protagonist (who is in some undermined year in high school) through various random people around her and tells her to do random things that end up helping people. In Wonderfalls, the universe speaks to the female protagonist (who is twenty-four, has a philosophy degree from Brown, and works at a gift shop overlooking Niagra Falls) by animating various inanimate objects around her and tells her to do random things that end up helping people.

Last Friday, 12 March 2004, when Gem was off in College Place, I took the opportunity to get some of this mysterious stuff known as "exercise". When I got home from work, I hopped on my bike, biked up the mesa, searched briefly for a geocache that has eluded me from the beginning, and headed on to another cache that eluded me the first time as well. The sun set as I biked across the top of the mesa along a dirt path in search of the next waypoint. I found the last step of the cache when it was good and dark, which made me glad that I had remembered to bring my bike light, which detached and allowed me to carry it around in search of the ammo container hidden under some rocks. On my way back home, I hit 56 km/h (according to my GPS) going down the mesa, which was a little faster than I generally prefer to bike. I made a 15 kilometer round-trip and remembered just how much I really do like bike riding.

After watching the first episode of Wonderfalls, I drove up to Longmont to see Spookster live and in person. I was carded for the second time in my life (the first was buying The Matrix at Wal-Mart in College Place; don't ask) but didn't consume any alcoholic beverages. The music was loud (I generally prefer my music no louder than 70 dB; my best guess is Spookster played around 110 dB), but the musicians knew what they were doing and were definitely enjoying themselves. (I work with two of the band members; Eric (playing bass guitar and backup vocals) is the other member of the "electronics team", and Joe (drummer) is one of the mechanical engineers.)

I got home after midnight but didn't feel like sleeping, probably from the caffeine I ingested in lieu of alcohol while enjoying local live music. I played with Perl's XML::DOM modules and figured out how to read gnucash account information and compute the current balance for each account. The next step was to export to a gnumeric report, which was a little easier than gnucash, mostly because the spreadsheet was much smaller. I still need to implement exporting to our Palms so Gem and I will know all relevant balances everywhere we go. I finally made it to bed around 0200, the latest I've been to bed so far this year.

(For a detailed account of what happened last Saturday, see the previous changelog. This disorganized and rambling changelog covers the surrounding days.)

On Sunday, my plan was to get plenty of stuff done around the apartment (cleaning up the trash heaps I left lying around since Gem wasn't there), but I managed to get distracted by a pair of geocaches near Chataqaua. The first, at a quarry that makes a popular hiking destination for Sabbath afternoon hikes when we're feeling unambitious, wasn't too hard to find, aside from the fact that I'm not nearly as in shape as I used to be. (I would have thought that I would have learned from my deathmarch the previous day, but it wasn't to be.) I had a little more trouble finding the second cache, mostly because I wasn't sure where it was on my map and I wasn't sure what the best way to get there was. I ended up hiking at least twice as far as necessary (the thought crossed my mind it might be useful to acquire a set of topo maps for my GPS, especially if I'm planning an epic trek around Olympic National Park sometime this summer) and reached the cache as darkness had descended upon Boulder. I had a great view of the lights of the city. I tried to figure out what some of the scientific equipment scattered around the mesa was intended for, but it wasn't obvious.

When I made it back to Yoda, I headed to Noodles & Company for supper, and headed home to play Final Fantasy: Crystal Chronicles and wait for Gem to arrive.

Sabbath school has ended and church is going to start soon, so it's a good thing I managed to finish my Epic Changelog. The question still arises how exactly I'm going to get this changelog onto Ziyal, but I'm sure I can come up with something. (WiFi in church would be exceedingly cool; I'd make sure I knew the key. :) )