:: Troutmaster blog :: May 2003 archive

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:: Thursday, May 29, 2003 ::

DSL got installed at home today, so hopefully I'll be able to work on my webpage in style tonight. So as far as the backpacking trip goes, I've decided to create a webpage devoted to explaining the trip in detail, so I'll wait to post all the juicy information about it there. My company has its own version of instant messenger, and the version that I had wasn't working before I left for the backpacking trip. I got back and it still wasn't working, so I found an alternative, but it is a pain to get my buddy list imported into the new one, and I had to use the new one because the old one isn't supported anymore. What's going on around here? It seems that we have something that works great and it extremely useful and easy to use and then we junk it! What kind of crap is that!?! Anyway, that's technology for you. I should just write my own...
:: Tom 4:54 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 28, 2003 ::
I'm back! Everything went pretty close to the itenerary. I even went to bed at 11pm yesterday. I'll post more later...
:: Tom 5:38 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 23, 2003 ::
OK, here's the full itenerary. The trip participants will be Forrest and me. We are leaving the Bay Area after Mary's Graduation.

Saturday, May 23rd::
12pm - 1pm -> Leave the Bay Area for the Mattola Trailhead. The Mattola Trailhead is near the town of Patrolia, CA. Estimate trip time 4 - 6 hours.
5pm - 7pm -> Leave Mattola Trailhead heading south toward our ultimate destination Black Sands Beach.
8pm - 9pm -> Find a spot along the beach to camp for the night.

Sunday, May 24th::
8am - 10am -> Leave camping spot and head south. Passing the abandoned light house along the way. Total trip from Mattola trailhead to Black Sands Beach is 24.4 miles.
8pm - 9pm -> Find a spot to camp between Spanish Flat and Big Flat.

Monday, May 25th::
8am - 10am -> Leave camping spot and head south.
8pm - 9pm -> Find a spot to camp near Buck Creek Trail.

Tuesday, May 26th::
7am - 8am -> Leave camping spot and head south.
12:30pm -> Get picked up by the lost coast shuttle service (run by Roxanne@saber.net). We have a confirmation to be picked up by this shuttle service at 12:30 pm. It will then take about 2 hours to get us back to Forrest's car (VW Jetta) which is parked at the Mattola trailhead.
3pm -> Leave Mattola trailhead in Forrest's car and head south toward the Bay Area.
7pm - 9pm -> Arrive back in the Bay Area. I will pick up my truck from Forrest's house in South San Francisco and drive back to my house in South San Jose.
10pm - 11pm -> Arrive home and go to sleep.
:: Tom 11:44 PM [+] ::

More planning for the Lost Coast trip has taken place. Christina isn't going to go on this trip so it is just going to be Forrest and me. We are going to leave on Saturday around noon (after Mary's graduation) and drive up to the Mattola Trailhead. That is about 294 miles away from San Jose. We are going to get on the trail on Saturday night and backpack down to Black Sands Beach in time to catch a shuttle back to the car on Tuesday at 12:30pm. Here's a link that describes the trip. I'll post the full itenerary and gear list once it has been completed.
:: Tom 2:21 PM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 22, 2003 ::
The plan now is to hike a place called the Lost Coast. It is a little bit south of Redwood National Park. The description that I found on it makes it sound pretty cool. We have to bring a tide book along because there are certain parts of the trail that are impassable at high tide. I'll post a full itenerary once it has been formulated.
:: Tom 8:47 PM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 21, 2003 ::
Today I went for a run in the early evening. I ran from my worksite up to Coyote Peak and back. Round trip was a little over 3 miles. I tried to run the whole way, but my calves got a little tired on some of the uphill parts. I was going to start running on my way back downhill when I almost stepped on a rattle snake. I jumped back when I saw it on the trail and I first looked to see if it was coiled for a strike (it was coiled a little so it couldn't strike out far) and then I looked for the rattle. The weird thing was that it didn't rattle at all. I went around it and down the trail a little way and then turned around to make sure that it slithered off the trail. Then I made my way further down the trail making sure to watch for snakes and I saw another snake. This one was striped and I have no idea what kind of snake it was. After seeing that I was eager to get back to work.

I guess for Memorial Day we are going to do some backpacking near Redwood National Park. I'll post more when we formulate the plan.
:: Tom 11:37 PM [+] ::

I just found a few of my pictures online here. These are from when we went hiking at Pinnacles National Monument.
:: Tom 2:37 PM [+] ::
:: Tuesday, May 20, 2003 ::
OK, I have a few minutes to explain my presentations. They went well by the way. Here we go...

Auto Power Consumption Tracking System - Basically this is about electric cars. Current electric cars need to be recharged after going only 90 miles. So it is a given that they will need to recharge wherever they go. But the problem is that if you go to 7/11 to get a big gulp, 7/11 probably won't let you plug into their outlet because they don't want to pay for your electricity. That would be like them paying for your gas now. So the solution to this problem is to have a chip either in your plug or in your engine that communicates with the outlet telling it who you are. This information could then be used to track the amount of electricity you use. And on top of that, all the electricity that you consume by plugging in all over town would show up on your monthly electric bill. Problem solved. :-)

Agile Responsive Intelligent Fishing Net - I thought this up when I was watching a news story about overfishing in the ocean. I guess the way netting system work now is to catch everything that gets caught in the net. So you pull it all into the boat and then sort it out. So most of the things that you don't want to keep are dead by the time they get thrown back into the water. That is very inefficient in two ways. One way is that it wastes valuable net real estate by catching fish that you don't intend to keep. The other is that it kills the fish that you aren't going to keep. So as a result of this inefficient fishing technique, the average size of fish caught commercially has gone down over the years. My solution to this problem is to have a net that has exit doors to it. This would work like a filter, it would let the small fish go while letting you keep the bigger fish. That would give the small fish a chance to grow up and reproduce before it is their turn to be caught. Miller Genuine Draft has a slogan that would work well here, it is something like "keep what you need, filter out the rest".
:: Tom 2:27 PM [+] ::

I'm presenting two of my ideas today at our Innovation Days 'Wild Ideas' forum. I've got the presentations ready to go and I'm psyched up. It's not every day that I get to present ideas to an auditorium full of PHDs. One is an idea for an intelligent fishing net, and the other is an idea about how to track the power consumption of electric vehicles. I'll include more on these subjects later.
:: Tom 10:49 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 19, 2003 ::
I heard on the radio this morning that the Bachelor had chosen his bride. That reminded me of a few weeks ago... I had just gotten home from work in time to watch the Bachelor. Christina was nowhere to be found and I rushed upstairs to my room and tuned into ABC so I could watch The Bachelor. Soonafter the show started there was a clip of the guy kissing some girl. Then I came to my senses. I immediately thought to myself "There have to be sports on SOMEWHERE", and sure enough there were, and I watched NHL Playoffs. The lesson I learned is that I had been programmed to watch the Bachelor by Christina because she always made me watch it with her. I also learned that those reality TV shows are a waste of time and that I should be working on my database and web page design.
:: Tom 9:48 AM [+] ::
:: Sunday, May 18, 2003 ::
I'm at work right now. Nothing like spending a nice relaxing Sunday evening... at work. Apparently someone messed up when they set up our system and it went down like the Hindenburg. The problem is that we have to have our system up and running so that our client has something to work with when they come in to work tomorrow. That's where I come in. I got called in so that I could help get the system back on its feet and giving results that actually make sense. Luckily this sort of thing doesn't happen very often. But I would sure like to slap the person that is responsible for this mishap. I guess I can dream. :-)
:: Tom 10:37 PM [+] ::
I'm writing this from a dialup connection at home. Dialup sucks! I can't wait to get the DSL connection setup at home so that I don't have to waste so much time waiting for pages to load. Moving on... I watched the Matrix Reloaded on Thursday afternoon. I knew that it would not be as good a movie as the first Matrix because there was no way for the film makers could be as innovative and catch us off guard as they did in the first movie. That being said, the Matrix Reloaded was about what I expected. Some good fight scenes, lots of special effects, and a progression of the story. The end left me wondering what was going to happen in the next movie, but at the same time I didn't really care. So unless my project pays for me to go watch the next one I'll probably wait for it to come out on DVD. So in summary, this movie was scrubtacular. On another note, I went to Forrest's BBQ yesterday. There was so much food there! We even left a bunch behind. I hope Forrest and Paul are able to put a dent in that food before it goes bad. But I was impressed. I was impressed with how well it was put together and with the house in general. I think Paul's house has a lot of potential. The rest of this weekend will just be unpacking and trying to get some exercise.
:: Tom 11:10 AM [+] ::
:: Thursday, May 15, 2003 ::
Today is a pretty good day. On top of it being good because I get to go watch the Matrix Reloaded I also talked to my manager today and found out that I've gotten a promotion and a bigger raise than I was expecting. Life is good. :-) I guess I won't be eating as much ramen as I thought in the new place. But I won't be getting gout from my diet either. ;-)
:: Tom 12:51 PM [+] ::
We made a lot of progress in our unpacking yesterday. We got the dining room table and two chairs into the dining room, we got the TV into the living room, we got the futon into the office and put together, we got the dresser into the bedroom, we unpacked some dishes, and we put contact paper in some of the drawers and cabinets in the kitchen. All in all it was a job well done. There are still more things to do. Tonight we are going to try to get the entertainment center into the living room, get the couch into the living room, and finish contact papering the drawers and cabinets of the kitchen. On a side note I get to go watch the Matrix this afternoon with coworkers. I'm looking forward to it because I haven't seen a movie in the theaters in a few months and I don't know how many trips to the movies I can afford now that we have a condo.
:: Tom 9:11 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 14, 2003 ::
'Winning the Cultural War' - Charlton Heston's
Speech to the Harvar d Law
School Forum, Feb 16, 1999
I rem ember my son when he was five, explaining to his kindergarten class what his fat her did for a living. "My Daddy," he said, "pretends to be people." There have been quite a few of them. Prophets from the Old and New Testaments, a couple o f Christian saints, generals of various nationalities and different centuries, s everal kings, three American Presidents, a French cardinal and two geniuses, inc luding Michelangelo.

If you want the ceiling repainted I'll do my best. T here always seem to be a lot of different fellows up here. I'm never sure which one of them gets to talk. Right now, I guess I'm the guy.

As I pondered our visit tonight it struck me: If my Creator gave me the gift to connect you wi th the hearts and minds of those great men, then I want to use that same gift no w to reconnect you with your own sense of liberty of your own freedom of thought ... your own compass for what is right.

Dedicating the memorial at Getty sburg, Abraham Lincoln said of America, "We are now engaged in a great Civil War , testing whether this nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated can lo ng endure." Those words are true again. I believe that we are again engaged in a great civil war, a cultural war that's about to hijack your birthright to thin k and say what resides in your heart. I fear you no longer trust the pulsing li feblood of liberty inside you ... the stuff that made this country rise from wi lderness into the miracle that it is.

Let me back up. About a year ago I became president of the National Rifle Association, which protects the right to keep and bear arms. I ran for office, I was elected, and now I serve ... I ser ve as a moving target for the media who have called me everything from "ridiculo us" and "duped" to a "brain-injured, senile, crazy old man." I know ... I'm pret ty old ... but I sure, Lord, ain't senile.

As I have stood in the crossha irs of those who target Second Amendment freedoms, I've realized that firearms a re not the only issue. No, it's much, much bigger than that.

I've come to understand that a cultural war is raging across our land, in which, with Orwell ian fervor, certain acceptable thoughts and speech are mandated. For example, I marched for civil rights with Dr. King in 1963 - long before Hollywood found i t fashionable. But when I told an audience last year that white pride is just a s valid as black pride or red pride or anyone else's pride, they called me racis t.

I've worked with brilliantly talented homosexuals all my life. But whe n I told an audience that gay rights should extend no further than your rights o r my rights, I was called a homophobe. I served in World War II against the Axi s powers. But during a speech, when I drew an analogy between singling out inno cent Jews and singling out innocent gun owners, I was called an anti-Semite. Ev eryone I know knows would never raise a closed fist against my country. But whe n I asked an audience to oppose this cultural persecution, I was compared to Tim othy McVeigh.

From Time magazine to friends and colleagues, they're essent ially saying, "Chuck, how dare you speak your mind. You are using language not authorized for public consumption!" But I am not afraid. If Americans believed in political correctness, we'd still be King George's boys- subjects bound to th e British crown.

In his book, "The End of Sanity," Martin Gross writes tha t "blatantly irrational behavior is rapidly being established as the norm in alm ost every area of human endeavor. There seem to be new customs, new rules, new anti-intellectual theories regularly foisted on us from every direction. Undern eath, the nation is roiling. Americans know something without a name is undermi ning the nation, turning the mind mushy when it comes to separating truth from f alsehood and right from wrong. And they don't like it."

Let me read a few examples. At Antioch college in Ohio, young men seeking intimacy with a coed m ust get verbal permission at each step of the process from kissing to petting to final copulation ... all clearly spelled out in a printed college directive.

In New Jersey, despite the death of several patients nationwide who had bee n infected by dentists who had concealed their AIDs --- the state commissioner a nnounced that health providers who are HIV-positive need not ..... need not ... . tell their patients that they are infected.

At William and Mary, studen ts tried to change the name of the school team "The Tribe" because it was suppos edly insulting to local Indians, only to learn that authentic Virginia chiefs tr uly like the name.

In San Francisco, city fathers passed an ordinance prot ecting the rights of transvestites to cross-dress on the job, and for transsexua ls to have separate toilet facilities while undergoing sex change surgery.

In New York City, kids who don't speak a word of Spanish have been placed in bi lingual classes to learn their three R's in Spanish solely because their last na mes sound Hispanic.

At the University of Pennsylvania, in a state where th ousands died at Gettysburg opposing slavery, the president of that college offic ially set up segregated dormitory space for black students. Yeah, I know ... t hat's out of bounds now. Dr. King said "Negroes." Jimmy Baldwin and most of us on the March said "black." But it's a no-no now. For me, hyphenated identities are awkward ... particularly "Native-American." I'm Native American, for God's sake. I also happen to be a blood-initiated brother of the Miniconjou Sioux. O n my wife's side, my grandson is a thirteenth generation native American with a capital letter on "American."

Finally, just last month .. David Howard, head of the Washington D.C. Office of Public Advocate, used the word "niggardly " while talking to colleagues about budgetary matters. Of course, "niggardly" m eans stingy or scanty. But within days Howard was forced to publicly apologize and resign. As columnist Tony Snow wrote: "David Howard got fired because some people in public employ were morons who (a) didn't know the meaning of niggardly , (b) didn't know how to use a dictionary to discover the meaning, and actually demanded that he apologize for their ignorance."

What does all of this mea n? It means that telling us what to think has evolved into telling us what to s ay, so telling us what to do can't be far behind. Before you claim to be a cham pion of free thought, tell me: Why did political correctness originate on Americ a's campuses? And why do you continue to tolerate it? Why do you, who're suppo sed to debate ideas, surrender to their suppression?

Let's be honest. Who here thinks your professors can say what they really believe? It scares me to death, and should scare you too, that the superstition of political correctness rules the halls of reason. You are the best and the brightest. You, here in th e fertile cradle of American academia, in the castle of learning on the Charles River, you are the cream. But I submit that you, and your counterparts across th e land, are the most socially conformed and politically silenced generation sinc e Concord bridge. And as long as you validate that ... and abide it ... you a re-by your grandfathers' standards-cowards.

Here's another example. Right now at more than one major university, Second Amendment scholars and researcher s are being told to shut up about their findings or they'll lose their jobs. Wh y? Because their research findings would undermine big-city mayor's pending law suits that seek to extort hundreds of millions of dollars from firearm manufactu rers.

I don't care what you think about guns. But if you are not shocked at that, I am shocked at you. Who will guard the raw material of unfettered ide as, if not you? Who will defend the core value of academia, if you supposed sol diers of free thought and expression lay down your arms and plead, "Don't shoot me."

If you talk about race, it does not make you racist. If you see disti nctions between the genders, it does not make you a sexist. If you think critica lly about a denomination, it does not make you anti-religion. If you accept but don't celebrate homosexuality, it does not make you a homophobe. Don't let Amer ica's universities continue to serve as incubators for this rampant epidemic of new McCarthyism.

But what can you do? How can anyone prevail against such pervasive social subjugation? The answer's been here all along. I learned it 36 years ago, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC, standing w ith Dr. Martin Luther King and two hundred thousand people. You simply ... diso bey.

Peaceably, yes.
Respectfully, of course.
Nonviolently, absolute ly.

But when told how to think or what to say or how to behave, we don't. We disobey social protocol that stifles and stigmatizes personal freedom. I
learned the awesome power of disobedience from Dr. King ... who learned it fr om Gandhi, and Thoreau, and Jesus, and every other great man who led those in th e right against those with the might.

Disobedience is in our DNA. We feel innate kinship with that disobedient spirit that tossed tea into Boston Harbor, that sent Thoreau to jail, that refused to sit in the back of the bus, that pro tested a war in Viet Nam.

In that same spirit, I am asking you to disavow cultural correctness with massive disobedience of rogue authority, social direct ives and onerous laws that weaken personal freedom.

But be careful .. it hurts. Disobedience demands that you put yourself at risk. Dr. King stood on lots of balconies. You must be willing to be humiliated ... to endure the mode rn-day equivalent of the police dogs at Montgomery and the water cannons at Selm a. You must be willing to experience discomfort. I'm not complaining, but my o wn decades of social activism have taken their toll on me. Let me tell you a st ory.

A few years back I heard about a rapper named Ice-T who was selling a CD called "Cop Killer" celebrating ambushing and murdering police officers. It was being marketed by none other than Time/Warner, the biggest entertainment co nglomerate in the world.

Police across the country were outraged. Rightfu lly so-at least one had been murdered. But Time/Warner was stonewalling because the CD was a cash cow for them, and the media were tiptoeing around it because the rapper was black. I heard Time/Warner had a stockholders meeting scheduled in Beverly Hills. I owned some shares at the time, so I decided to attend.
< p>What I did there was against the advice of my family and colleagues. I asked for the floor. To a hushed room of a thousand average American stockholders, I simply read the full lyrics of "Cop Killer"- every vicious, vulgar, instructiona l word.

It got worse, a lot worse. I won't read the rest of it to you. But trust me, the room was a sea of shocked, frozen, blanched faces. The Time/Warner executives squirmed in their chairs and stared at their shoes. They hated me for that. Then I delivered another volley of sick lyric brimming with racist filth, where Ice-T fantasizes about sodomizing two 12-year old nieces of Al and Tipper Gore.


Well, I won't do to you here what I did to them. Let's just say I left the room in echoing silence. When I read the lyrics to the waiting press corps, one of them said "We can't print that."

"I know," I replied, "but Time/Warner's selling it." Two months later, Time/Warner terminated Ice-T's contract. I'll never be offered another film by Warner's, or get a good review from Time magazine. But disobedience means you must be willing to act, not just talk.

When a mugger sues his elderly victim for defending herself ... jam the switchboard of the district attorney's office. When your university is pressured to lower standards until 80% of the students graduate with honors ... choke the halls of the board of regents.

When an 8-year-old boy pecks a girl's cheek on the playground and gets hauled into court for sexual harassment ... march on that school and block its doorways.

When someone you elected is seduced by political power and betrays you...petition them, oust them, banish them.

When Time magazine's cover portrays millennium nuts as deranged, crazy Christians holding a cross as it did last month ... boycott their magazine and the products it advertises.

So that this nation may long endure, I urge you to follow in the hallowed footsteps of the great disobedience's of history that freed exiles, founded religions, defeated tyrants, and yes, in the hands of an aroused rabble in arms and a few great men, by God's grace, built this country. If Dr. King were here, I think he would agree.

Thank you.
:: Tom 6:07 PM [+] ::

:: Tuesday, May 13, 2003 ::
Holy shit! I had to run to the bank this afternoon and I just stopped shaking a little while ago. I was driving on 87 when the bed liner for my truck flew off. When I saw that happening in my rear view mirror all I could say was "Oh Shit!". My bed liner flew right out of the back of my truck and onto the highway. Luckily there were no cars behind me for a while, so I don't think there were any accidents as a result. But now I have to buy a new bedliner. I didn't even see it move until it just flew right out of the bed. I guess I was lucky this time, but next time I'm getting a spray on bedliner.
:: Tom 6:29 PM [+] ::
The moving saga continues. Now we have to get the furnature into the house from the garage and start to unpack things we need for the workweek like dishes and clothes. I'm going on vacation after this is all over.
:: Tom 8:32 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 12, 2003 ::
I am so tired right now. All I want is for my 4pm meeting to be cancelled so I can go home and go to sleep.
:: Tom 4:04 PM [+] ::
Well we got moved into the new place this weekend. Damn, I didn't know that I had so much stuff. Everytime I would walk downstairs in my old place and see all the crap I have, I would think "Yeah Vien, I don't have that much stuff..." And Christina has a lot of stuff too! We ended up renting a 14 foot uhaul truck and we had to make two trips with it. Forrest came and helped us with the move. He was helping us move for 12 hours, so I gotta send a shot out to him. Thanks for helping with the move Forrest, you da man! Christine helped too, and we'll be at her place next weekend helping her move. Now we have to unpack and get situated in our new place. We finally plugged in the infamous $25 refrigerator. It actually worked! I was so happy because if it didn't work then I was going to look like a bonehead for cleaning it up. I got to work at 5am so I must have gotten about 3.5 hours of sleep last night. I wish I could get a good night's sleep one of these days...
:: Tom 7:37 AM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 09, 2003 ::
Just in case anyone is interested, here is a review of Eigenvalues. I ran across Eigenvalues for something that had to do with my work. Reading up on Eigenvalues reminded me of when I originally covered Eigenvalues in my Linear Algebra class in college. Out of all the mathematics classes I took (Calc I, Calc II, Calc III, Differential Equations, Advanced Engineering Mathematics, and Linear Algebra), I would say that Linear Algebra was one of the most boring classes. It was all proofs. Anyway, I just felt like reminiscing...
:: Tom 2:51 PM [+] ::
I forget how I learned about this website, but it is pretty cool. It is basically about a group of experienced climbers that try to climb a mountain that has never been climbed before. The trip is sponsored by Marmot, so of course you can click on a link to buy Marmot gear, but I thought they did a pretty good job documenting their entire trip. I'd love to go do something like their trip, but I don't know if I'd ever get enough time off of work to do it. Anyway, here's the link.
:: Tom 11:14 AM [+] ::
I found out yesterday that I'll be performing sys admin duties for our production environment on Monday and Tuesday. That means that I'll have to be in here by 5am at the latest on those days. That is going to suck. Performing the actual duties shouldn't be a problem, but it won't allow me to do any of the other million things that I have to do. On top of that I have to move this weekend. I'm looking forward to getting a lot of sleep as soon as this is all overwith.
:: Tom 11:05 AM [+] ::
:: Wednesday, May 07, 2003 ::
I just remembered that I heard something that pissed me off the other day. It was Al Sharpton talking about how Health Care is a right in this country. WTF? Excuse me Mr. Sharpton, it is not a right because I have to pay for my damn health care every month. It is highly subsidized by my employer as a "benefit", so at most it is a benefit that companies use to attract good employees. But to say that it is a right it ridiculous. What else is a right, a BMW and a pizza? Give me a break, that has to be just about the stupidist thing I've ever heard. I'm actually dumber now because I listened to Al go off about how Health Care should be a right. I wonder what my friends think? Here's what Al said -> "I've been waiting for a Democrat to say let's get rid of the private health insurance, let's get rid of the whole private system and have a government-run health system. Are you ready to commit to that? Sharpton: "Well, I think we need a government health system, but I think we need to do it in a way that we can afford it and guarantee it. . . . [W]e need to make health care a right in a country like this. I think that's what we need to argue about. . . . I think have the government manage it and have the government guarantee it." (CNN's "Crossfire," 1/24/03) Well you have lots of arguments from me. It would be nice if everyone could afford Health Care, but in a capitalist society you are always going to have rich and poor, those that can afford Health Care and those that can't. Should it be a right for everyone? No, but I think we could put some safeguards in place so that the people that can't take care of themselves are taken care of. But if you have someone that is able but not willing to earn their own Health Care then society should respect their decision to not provide themselves with Health Care. Anyway, I got really mad when I heard that Health Care should be a "right".
:: Tom 5:47 PM [+] ::
I read a good article yesterday about stress testing web services. I have to do a bit of that in my job, so I thought I would share the article with anyone out there who might be interested. You can find that article here. I guess I won't have to stress test my website until I actually get things up and running. :-) And that won't be for a while.
:: Tom 10:25 AM [+] ::
:: Monday, May 05, 2003 ::
I'm sitting in a big comfortable leather chair at work taking a small break. I don't think I should say what company I work for, but I work at a research site for my company and in the hallways in between wings of the building they have some nice, big, comfortable, inviting chairs to sit in. I've never sat in them before, so on my way back to my office from a meeting I decided to give them a try. Christina and I were looking at chairs this weekend, and the chair I'm sitting in right now is just like one that we liked a lot at Scandinavian Designs. But that chair was $1200. It is a chair and a half, light brown leather chair with comfortiable arm rests. We liked another chair that was similar, but made of cloth at another furniture store, and cost about $500. And on a side note, wireless networks at work kick ass!
:: Tom 5:17 PM [+] ::
The salesperson at Sears gave us the wrong closing time. By the time we got back to Sears to get the vaccum cleaner they were closed. We were unhappy because the sale ended on Sunday, so we were wondering what we were going to do now. But when we got home we decided to check online, and sure enough it was still on sale on their website. So we bought it at the website and then scheduled pickup at the Oak Ridge Mall. Picking up things from Sears beats the hell out of having to deal with their salespeople. We parked near their pickup area, walked in, put our name into the computer and a few minutes later someone came out with our vaccum cleaner and loaded it into the truck for us. I guess we know what they spent their money developing. We spent the rest of the day packing and moving stuff around and cleaning the fridge. It had a lot of dirt on the ouside and some mold in the freezer, but we got it looking respectable. I forgot to mention yesterday that we got our dining room table and 4 chairs for $20. So at this point, I'm not sure what other major purchases we have to make before we move in. We'll take it a little bit at a time and hopefully we'll be able to save some money along the way. We still need to get the phone and electric and all that stuff schedule. Buying a place and moving into is a total pain in the ass.
:: Tom 9:32 AM [+] ::
:: Saturday, May 03, 2003 ::
We picked up the refrigerator today. I felt like I was a looter. We drove up to Lam Research, walked in, grabbed the stuff that was reserved for Christina's dad, took them out and loaded up the truck, and left. There were a lot of people there and they were taking out tons of stuff. I can't believe how much stuff they were getting rid of and how cheap it all was. Some people rented moving vans and filled them up with desks, chairs, SGI machines, and tables. We made it back to Christina's house and put the refrigerator in their garage. It looks like it is about 10 years old and we need to clean it, but I think it will work for us just fine. Later on in the day we went to look at vaccum cleaners. We went to Sears and found one that we want, but the salespeople there are so pushy. It really annoys me. How about they worry more about what I want than about their commission? Is it that hard? I think Sears would do better if they didn't have such a suck-ass environment. I won't go in there unless I absolutely have to because they prey on us like rabid wolves. My rant about Sears could go on forever, but I'll stop here. Other than that today was a cool day.
:: Tom 10:01 PM [+] ::
:: Friday, May 02, 2003 ::
Boy am I glad that today is Friday. I have so much to do this weekend. I have to get some work done later tonight or tomorrow, I have to pack stuff for the move next weekend, and I have to go pick up a $25 refrigerator tomorrow. Woohoo! This has to be the best deal ever on a fridge! I'll be happy as long as it runs and I'll spend all day cleaning the damn thing if I have to. Today was Christina's dad's birthday, so we went to dinner to celebrate. I have to wake up early tomorrow to go get the fridge so I'd better cut this thing off for now. It is going to be a busy weekend.
:: Tom 11:52 PM [+] ::
Just in case anyone out there wants a perl script that will replace a certain string in a file with another string and copy that file to a file that they specify, this perl script is for you. :-) Even though I used it for something that I needed to do at work, I figued I can still post it because I wrote it. It is pretty simple overall.

print "Input file name: ";
chomp($infilename = );
print "Output file name: ";
chomp ($outfilename = );
print "Search string: ";
chomp ($search = );
print "Replacement string: ";
chomp ($replace = );
open(IN,$infilename) ||
die "cannot open $infilename for reading: $!";
## optional test for overwrite...
die "will not overwrite $outfilename" if -e $outfilename;
open(OUT,">$outfilename") ||
die "cannot create $outfilename $!";
while () { # read a line from file IN into $_
s/$search/$replace/g; # change the lines
print OUT $_; # print that line to file OUT
:: Tom 10:46 AM [+] ::

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