dxmachina: (Computers 02)
...or how I spent my summer.

I spent a good portion of the summer teaching — the lab portion of my usual MCC assignment on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8 to 10 p.m. The three days a week thing got old fast, but otherwise I had a good class and a good time. One of my students was even a minor local celebrity, a features reporter for a local TV station who is apparently chucking it all to become a (male) nurse. Of course since the local TV station is not local to where I live, I had no idea until some of the other students pointed it out. He was totally not the stereotypical self-absorbed TV personality, but was rather a keen student and very helpful to others.

As for the rest of the time, here are the highlights...

Last weekend of June... )

Fourth of July weekend... )

Readercon weekend... )

First weekend in August... )

The funeral... )

Summer ends for me on Tuesday, with the start of the semester at MCC. Meanwhile I have been busy preparing syllabi and lecture notes. I'm teaching my usual general chemistry course at MCC, Mondays and Wednesdays 4-7, and a lab over at CCSU on Thursdays from 4:30 to 7:30. The department chair at CCSU offered me a second lab section, but it conflicted with MCC, alas.

Hoping I can post this...

Nope, still down... and I lost all my tags. Bother.

And now we appear to be back.
dxmachina: (I Got a Rock)
Gonna be a long day, even apart from the time change. I woke up at 3:30 (EDT) and never did fall back to sleep. Finally got up around 4:15 or so. Flipped on the computer, and then remembered the time change and that I hadn't changed the clocks, and that it was actually 3:15. It's now approaching 6 AM (EST), and I've already had breakfast and have been fiddling on the computer for two and a half hours or so. Sigh. The one day of the year designed for sleeping in, and my body decides to have none of it.

Life has been sporadic around here. Posting has been sporadic because there hasn't been much to talk about, so I haven't. I've been working on one project that wound up being way more complicated than I intended, but it is now in the home stretch... I think...

Yesterday was kind of a weird day. Very warm for October, in the seventies, and wicked windy. I had the windows open all day. Fortunately for the event, the rain held off until after 10 PM or so.

The first batch of trick-or-treaters showed up around 5:45. What was odd was that usually the kids who show up that early are the really little ones. These girls were all 10-11 or so. Then nothing till almost 6:30. Between 6:30 and 7:00 I got six or seven clumps, then nothing after that. I kept the porch lights on till 7:30, then went and made dinner. Got 26 kids overall, which I thought was light, until I read last year's entry. Last year I got 27, and several of those were older kids around 8:00. There was really only one clump of older kids this year, and they asked for canned goods for the food pantry.

My end of the street was kind of barren for the kids last night. Of my immediate neighbors, only the neighbor to the left was giving out treats. My neighbor to the right wasn't home. Neither was anyone at home directly across the street (which is another story, as it may or may not be vacant), and of the two houses on either side of that one, one had the lights on but no one home in a major breach of Halloween etiquette, and the other folks were home, but with the lights out.

I am not quite sure what the deal is with the house across the street. It was sold around six years ago, and a college-age woman moved in. A bit later, a guy about the same age moved in as well, but it became pretty clear that he was more likely her brother than a boyfriend. Then she apparently moved out, and he continued to live there, and eventually a couple of other guys moved in. Then one night a U-Haul truck pulled up, they all moved out, and the house was vacant for a few months. Then the people who actually owned the house showed up (because clearly the kids didn't) and started either finishing or renovating the basement (it's a raised ranch). Then the young woman moved back in for awhile (by this time I'd pretty much come to the conclusion that the kids must be the children of the actual owners) then moved out, then back in again, and occasionally the brother would be there, too, although now he was living downstairs while the sister lived upstairs. This has gone on for six years, with little rhyme or reason to the schedule that I can deduce. Meanwhile, the father (who apparently is a contractor) and brother refurbished the exterior, and did other improvements. The last iteration had both sister and brother living there, along with the brother's girlfriend/SO/spouse?. Then a few months ago the sister was gone, with the brother and now pregnant SO still living in the basement. Then about a month and a half ago they moved out, too. The house was vacant again until last weekend, when I noticed the sister's Jeep in the driveway. It was in and out all week, but it's gone again this weekend.

I'm living across the street from a guest house. Must be nice.

My riding schedule was sporadic all summer. Thanks especially to all the rain we had this year, I never did get a good schedule. It wasn't until the first week of October that I managed to string rides on three consecutive days together. Still, I've managed to get past 1300 miles for the year, and with another 23 miles or so I'll have my second best total ever. It's nowhere near what I did last year, but there's still a couple of months left.
dxmachina: (Bike 04)
So, I rode a lot this weekend. Eighteen miles on the South County path yesterday, and twenty-six today up on the Blackstone Valley path. That brings me to 1363 for the year, surpassing last year's 1362, with plenty of riding days left for the year. Go me!

I stretched it out today knowing how much more I had to get, and paid a price in being totally useless for the rest of the day from the tired. It's weird. Twenty miles doesn't affect me. I could probably mow the lawn after. Twenty-two miles leave me whipped, not so much during the ride, but afterwards. I suppose it's a matter of practice. Most of my rides are in the 14-18 mile range, so this old body just isn't used to the longer rides. Something to work on next year.

I was surprised by how warm it got today, first day of autumn and all. The past few days have been pretty cool, mid-sixties during the day, getting down into the forties overnight. Today was in the high seventies.

I pulled the a/c out of the bedroom window yesterday. Unfortunately, I couldn't put the screen in because some hornets decided to build a nest up at the top of the window. That is, I could've put the screen in, but then the hornet nest would have been inside it. Not my preferred situation, and likely not the hornets', either. Nobody needs angry hornets in their bedroom. So after dusk, with the window sealed up tight, I went outside to see what I could do about it.

First I tried some insecticide, but from the outside, the top of the window is nine or ten feet off the ground, so the spray didn't reach. Plus the breeze made it difficult to get a good charge in one spot anyway. I could've gotten closer using a ladder, but again, my preference is not to stick my face near a hornets' nest. So as my second attempt, I turned the hose on the sleeping nest, hoping to dislodge it. The stream sogged it up pretty good, but the nest didn't fall. So I reached up with the business end of a hoe, and knocked as much as I could off. There was just a small lump left. I figured I could get that piece today after it dried out a little.

Um, no. I went out back after the ride, thinking how nice it would be to put the screen in so I could open the window wide to let some cooling breezes in, and there the hornets were, rebuilding on the little stub I'd left like it was post-Katrina New Orleans. So tonight they got hit with a second storm, along with some more hoe work. We'll see.
dxmachina: (Calvin)
Hot, hazy, and humid—summer has fully arrived. I had a lousy night of sleep. It was just too hot, and the fan was making too much noise. Need to think about hauling out the A/C today. I almost hate to do it this early. I didn't have to until mid-July last year.

I celebrated the start of a much needed vacation by driving down to Norwich last night to watch AA baseball, the Trenton Thunder at the Connecticut Defenders. (I'm not even going to get into what moron thought Connecticut Defenders would be a better name than Norwich Navigators, which is what the franchise used to be called. Oh, wait. I did.) Getting there wasn't half the fun. I figured it would take a little less than an hour, which would make it tight for a 6:35 game time given that I didn't get home from work until 5:30. I did not figure on either the Memorial Day traffic on the back roads of Rhode Island and Connecticut, nor the ridiculous traffic getting into the stadium. I mean, how often have you found yourself stuck behind a long line of cars on a country road because a motorcycle is putzing along at 10 mph below the limit. The game was well underway by the time I got to my seat. Bozhe moi!

Continued... )
dxmachina: (Charlie Brown)

Loser- INTP

13% Extraversion, 73% Intuition, 80% Thinking, 46% Judging

Talked to another human being lately? I'm serious. You value knowledge above ALL else. You love new ideas, and become very excited over abstractions and theories. The fact that nobody else cares still hasn't become apparent to you...

Nerd's a great word to describe you, and I seriously couldn't care less about the different definitions of the word and why you're actually more of a geek than a nerd. Don't pretend you weren't thinking that. You want every single miniscule fact and theory to be presented

Critical? Sarcastic? Cynical? Pessimistic? Just a few words to describe you when you're at your very best...*cough* Sorry, I mean worst. Picking up the dudes or dudettes isn't something you find easy, but don't worry too much about it. You can blame it on your personality type now.

On top of all this, you're shy. Nice one, wench. No wonder you're on OKCupid!

Now, quickly go and delete everything about "theoretical questions" from your profile page. As long as nobody tries to start a conversation with you, just MAYBE you'll now have a chance of picking up a date. But don't get your hopes up.

I am interested though. If a tree fell over in a forest, would it really make a sound?

But wait, there's more... )
Link: The Brutally Honest Personality Test written by UltimateMaster on OkCupid Free Online Dating, home of the The Dating Persona Test
dxmachina: (Hangover)
It was a weird week. I alternated between working on various projects with a vengeance, and moping about my wretched existence. And in the midst of all that were my birthday and Thanksgiving.

Life and then some... )
dxmachina: (Rain)
In the "Ding, Dong, the Witch Is Dead" number in the Wizard of Oz, there a bunch of Munchkin soldiers marching about in time to the music, and I was just wondering why they were there. The Witch of the East had ruled Munchkinland. Were the soldiers the ones who rounded up any Munchkins that stepped out of line? Why else would there be soldiers? And what happened after Dorothy danced down the yellow brick road? Did the rest of the Munchkins exact rough mob justice upon their oppressors? And where exactly does the red brick road go?

Perhaps I'm overthinking...

(And yes, I have read Wicked.)

Not a good night last night. Overdid it yesterday, and the body stiffened up badly as I tried to sleep. I finally gave up around 5, after narrowly escaping from a dream where someone played by Sean Bean was about to stick a knife in me, and got up. At least that meant I was one of the first in line at one of the Dept. of Health's roaming flu shot clinics. That was at 8 in Wickford. I wanted to run down to the Shaw's in Wakefield, which I thought didn't open until 9, so I had some time to kill. It was raining, but I decided to take the long way around, driving down "scenic 1A" for the first time in, like, years. I followed 1A all the way down the coast until I got to Pt. Judith lighthouse, then I cut over to a near deserted Galilee before finally heading back northwards to Wakefield. It's been so long, I'd forgotten how empty the shore is in the off season. Empty beaches and no traffic at all.

In my travels, I managed to drive by all but one of the places I've lived since the ex tossed me out (I've lived on or very near a lot of main roads), which was a depressing thing. Not so much about the tossing out part, but rather that given a chance to start my adult life over, I have so little of value (to me) to show for it since.

The rest of the day was a mixed bag. I made soup. I applied another coat of primer to the door down in the basement. I also managed to collapse the table that I had all sorts of mostly clean laundry on down there, dumping a good bit of it on the very dirty floor. Bother. I decided to spend the rest of the day watching TV while playing Spider Solitaire on the "difficult" setting. On the plus side, the spot on my arm where they gave me the flu shot doesn't seem to be the least bit tender. Now I'm worried it was a placebo.
dxmachina: (Calvinball)
Previously in the Plentiful Vintage...

There was a very loud noise [scene one]. The earth cooled, and primitive life crawled out of the ooze onto dry land [scene two]. Shortly thereafter, folks started hitting round objects with sticks. More recently, life has day after day of sheer boredom [scene three], punctuated by moments of financial terror [scenes four and five]. Books were read [scenes six and seven]. Also, our hero's foot hurts. No, not that foot [scene eight], the other one. (No, I don't know what I did to get this one to hurt.)

And now, this week... )
dxmachina: (Opus 03)
It was a warm and sunny Sunday, and there was no half & half in the house when I woke up. Since the state of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations refuses to allow supermarkets to open before 9 a.m. on Sundays, I drove over to Dunkies for coffee (large French vanilla, extra light, two sugars) and a couple of donuts. So much for eating right. Afterwards, I puttered around in the office, attacking the piles of rubble that seem to have collected all about. One reason is that the biggest pile of rubble was right where the Haier a/c is going to go once I haul it up from the basement. I didn't bring it (or the backroom a/c) up yet, because even though it was borderline hot today, there was a nice breeze, and it seemed criminal to close the windows and doors up. Besides, I try not to start the a/c until June, at least.

Around noon I took a ride up to BJ's to buy gas and sundry supplies. I also picked up a DVD of Twelve O'Clock High for $4.99, for my holiday movie watching (although it's also probably on AMC this weekend, too). I took the back roads home, trying to avoid the beach traffic. Ya know, you don't expect to find a traffic jam on a dirt road, but I did. Memorial Day festivities of some sort that required three fire engines to turn around on a road way too narrow for them. (There was no fire, it was for some sort of display.) Le sigh.

I continued to putter. The Dodgers have been in Washington, which means the games are on east coast time, so I turned on the game. Three innings in, Seo had given up seven runs (to the frelling Nats?!?), so I figured I'd have more fun mowing the lawn. Did that, terrorizing a toad in the process. (All I wanted to do was move it, because it was either that, or chop him up under the lawnmower, and the damn thing just didn't seem to grasp the concept. At least there was a better outcome this time than in the kamakaze baby bunnies incident, about which the less said the better.) Watched Twelve O'Clock High. I don't buy General Savage's breakdown at all, but Dean Jagger totally deserved his Oscar. Then there was steak and home-made focaccia on the grill for dinner. Now I'm watching Steve McQueen bounce a baseball off a concrete wall.
dxmachina: (Default)
Looking back at what I've been writing about, I'm amazed at just how boring it is. What the frell happened? I'm pretty sure I used to have a life around here somewhere.
dxmachina: (Default)
Speedy is up and running. Installed ULead Video Studio SE, applied all the patches, updated Direct X, and attached the camcorder. Sonuvagun, it actually worked. Well, sort of.

I took about twenty-five minutes of video at the F2F party. The first time I tried to capture the video, iteverything was going fine, but it cut out after 20 minutes, which turns out to be maximum file size. No problem. The second time, I stopped capturing at about fifteen minutes, after the end of the theremin show. The resulting avi file was over 3GB in size. Woo. The file was fine, except that it was much darker than what was showing on the camcorder monitor. The video is dark to begin with, but what was showing on the computer monitor was really dark. There were occasional sound glitches, too. Video Studio has no settings for brightness or contrast. I installed Adobe Premiere, which does have such settings, but wasn't able to figure out how to use them. To be honest, neither program is particularly user transparent, but Premiere is about as opaque as I suppose PhotoShop is to a beginner, aka, me.

No matter, I was just fooling around at this point, so I decided to try and make a VCD out of what I had, and see how that looked. Used Video Studio to convert the avi file to MPEG1, which shrank it from 3GB to about 140MB, then burned it to a CD with Nero. Stuck the disk in the Sampo. and it worked. Wow!

The quality of the image sucks, though, compared to the tape, or even the avi. The avi is dark, but there is plenty of resolution there. The mpg and resulting VCD are blotchy, and what little color there was is very washed out. OTOH, the image on the tv screen is about as bright as the original. I'm not sure what to do next. It may just be easier to distribute the video on VHS than as a VCD. I need to talk to somebody who's done this before.

Gorgeous day, but I really didn't feel all that well, so I didn't go outside at all. Did go out last night to the Camp Canada planning party at Marnie's. Had lots of fun supervising the little kids with Shane and Alka at the playground while the rest of the adults were playing volleyball. Later, we talked about the trip. Way fewer people going this year than last, only thirteen adults and four kids. The trip is going to be a long one, about eight hours to drive up, and I have nobody to share the ride with this year. Oh well, it's not like I don't drive everywhere else in the world by myself. Woulda been nice to have some company, though. Got to remember to arrange for some kind of vehicle tomorrow.


Jul. 16th, 2002 09:57 pm
dxmachina: (Default)
Gorgeous day, high seventies, not much humidity. It was mostly cloudy after work, but I went for a ride, and it cleared up.

Got Speedy onto the network. I'll take a shot at the firewire card tomorrow.

There was a bit of talk in Natter today about the feeling of failure that any of us have, as in we were expected to do much better than we have, what happened? I'm tired, so there's no time for really examining the failure that was my twenties, but let's just say it struck a chord.

Other than that, there's not much going on.
dxmachina: (Default)
Hot, muggy night. Didn't go for a ride because of threatened thunderstorms, but it turns out I could have. They've only just now gotten here.

The All-Star game is on. The opening ceremonies sucked; the thirty greatest moments in baseball done up in Olympic opening ceremony style. I'd even argue that the 2001 Seattle Mariners season has no business on the list because regardless of how many games they won, they didn't even get to the World Series. Bleah! You've got the best of all the all-star games; you don't need that crap. Introduce the players and play ball. Frelling game didn't even start until after nine. The baseball PTB are just incredibly stupid.

The other sad thing is that I haven't even heard of half of these players. I really need to pay more attention to the game, but now there's a strike looming, so who cares?

I'm also grumpy because some of the Buffistas are bemoaning the fact that they are unmarried and childless at 29 or 30. Jeez, gimme a break. Wait until you're unmarried and childless at 49. Chances are basically zero that I will ever have a child of my own, and given my track record with women, I will most likely die alone. That sucks.

Bitter now...

It's Hot

Jun. 24th, 2002 09:47 pm
dxmachina: (Default)
It got well up into the eighties, less humid than the weekend, but it didn't cool off as evening came, plus almost no breeze. Decided to install the air conditioner I picked up at Sam's a few weeks ago. General Electric, 5000 BTU, just enough for the back room. Installed easily enough (although not as easily as the old one), and it's much quieter than the old one. So I'll be sleeping in cool comfort tonight.

Earlier today, in Natter, Scrappy mentioned that she and her BF had to put their cat to sleep:

"He was 19, though, and had a great adventurous life. His first 10 years were spent with his brother as the offical theater cats of the New York Shakespeare Festival, where he trained Joe Papp to turn on his desk lamp promptly upon arrival, so he could sleep under it. He made many unscheduled cameo appearances in play readings by America's finest actors, by deciding to walk across the table during them.

To which JZ replied, in part:

"It sounds like he led a fuller and more magical life than 99% of the humans in this world."

To which I was thinking:

"Including mine! How sad is that!?!"



dxmachina: (Default)

February 2016



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