Entry 700

700 blog entries? Seems like it should be less.

Tonight was the joy of setting up Jill’s computer, since I finally got Windows 98 to install successfully last night. Not the worst thing, but a pain that reminds why I don’t do it that often. Worst was trying to get drivers for the CF reader – the company went out of business. Had to use driverguide.com to get one (and the ones marked as working with Windows 98 didn’t work, finally found one that worked with Windows 95).

We had wraps with leftovers and a salad Jill made for dinner since I didn’t have time to cook, I took a break for that, and I’ve only now finished. Now I can relax. Man, am I glad tomorrow’s Friday.

Galactica 1980

Jill was out with my mom watching Beauty and The Beast at Wolf Trap last night, so Illa and I had the house to ourselves. Naturally my thoughts turned to bad science fiction. Sci Fi had run a marathon of Galactica 1980 over the weekend, and I started watching it as I made dinner (grilled lamb chop with a mustard and thyme rub and sauteed eggplant with romano cheese and marinara sauce).

I watched the original Battlestar Galactica when it aired. I was pretty young for it (Star Wars is the first movie I remember seeing in a movie theater), but the re-airing in syndication has helped it stay in my memory over the years. I liked it enough to watch Galactica 1980, but remember being disappointed at the time over most of the cast not being there (only Adama and Boomer return – one of the stars is Apollo’s son Boxey, a grown up Viper pilot). Even at 9, I realized the show was a poor imitation of the real thing, as most of the show happens on Earth and they try to prepare for a Cylon attack. Still, I saw someone had a bootleg copy of it at a con and nearly bought it, so I was happy to see it for free. I watched the first two eps last night, not sure when I’ll see the other 6, but they’re not exactly heavy lifting (could read the paper while I watch). Something to pass the time as I await season 3 of the real thing in October.

Parties and computers

The week was pretty normal. Monday we had burgers for dinner, Tuesday chicken fajita salad with fresh salsa, Wednesday parmesan herb sausages and sauteed Swiss chard, Thursday pasta with fresh marinara sauce. Friday both of us had big lunches and weren’t that hungry, and we had lots to do. Since Jill was starting school, she had decided to not only clean but organize her stuff in various areas, so she was working on that, as well as downloading stuff for classes. I was catching up on TV while organizing the living room. We had pizza after 10, then kept going. I went to bed sometime after 3.

Saturday Jill asked me to wake her up at 11. Difficult, since I didn’t wake until 11:30. We got moving quickly, going straight to my company picnic. They held it at J.R.’s, and there was pulled pork sandwiches, hot dogs, and sno cones. We hung out for a couple hours talking, then got going. We stopped at Best Buy (CDs for me, Jill looked at voice recorders), World Market (beer and cooking supplies for me, jewelry for Jill), and Bed Bath and Beyond (grill cover and baster for me, organizing baskets for Jill), then home for a couple hours. We left again at 6 for a pool party at a friend’s in Maryland. They had a nice spread of BBQ from Famous Dave’s, and a number of our friends were there. It was good catching up with everyone, and we didn’t leave until after midnight. I’d forgotten about the Redskins game Saturday night, and regretted doing so, until I heard the result. I know it’s only the preseason, but getting shutout by the Pats is not going to help matters.

Sunday I again woke at 11:30 and needed to get going. In this case, my mom was only home between 12:30 and 2:30, and I needed to set up her new computer. Her old machine was running Windows 95 and had finally croaked. I tried to boot it in safe mode and was unsuccesful, so put it in my car to deal with later. Best Buy had run a good deal during Virginia’s sales tax holiday weekend where they paid the sales tax on any purchase, so I’d had her buy one of the eMachines on sale. It was close to the one I’d purchased for myself, so it was a breeze to assemble. I’d brought software to install, a good thing as I was not able to set up her cable modem. Not because of the modem, the cable kit they sent just had some cable and a splitter, and she needed the cable brought down from the attic, which meant much longer cable, plus a way to cut and crimp the line. So I cleaned up and tried to help my sister put together my mom’s new entertainment center, but it was missing some pieces, so we had to stop.

I stopped at Micro Center on the way home. They were offering $16 1GB USB drives, so I picked one up, but I needed an Ethernet port and some CAT5 cable for our old computer. Our old one was running Windows 98 poorly, so it was sitting in a closet after we got the eMachines one. But Jill needed one for school, so I’d promised to get it ready. The first thing I did was slave my mom’s hard drive to the Windows 98 box and grab her data off that, then grabbed the rest of Jill’s data and burned a CD before reformatting both machines. I could not install Windows 98 on the Windows 95 machine, but was able to reinstall it on the other one. Of course, it didn’t complete, calling my product key invalid even though I’d just written it down from the registry. I thought I found a workaround to force it to accept it, but no luck yet.

We headed out around 7:45 to catch the Rock n’ Roll Songwriters Circle at Jammin’ Java, featuring Charlie from The Sketches, Todd from Getaway Car, Anthony from The Echoes, and Shane from Shane Hines And The Trance. It was like the song swaps at Falcon Ridge, and fun to watch. Due to our schedule, we could only stay for the first set though. I’d had a sandwich earlier, so Jill had her usual chili and 1/2 sandwich there, then I had some eggs when I got home. Jill was in bed by midnight, and I followed soon after.

Today Jill had to be at school (brr – that phrase sends chills down my spine, I’m glad it’s her and not me) by 8, so she got up at 5:45 to catch the 6:37 bus from the Herndon park and ride. I decided to get up soon after to make it into work by 7, so when I left for my massage at 2:15, I could leave for the day. It was nice, I got home at 4 feeling very relaxed. I played with Illa, then read the Saturday and Sunday papers. I made pulled pork from chops Jill had bought on Sunday, and Jill got home around 5. She was sleepy and took a nap while I made BBQ sauce and a fruit salad. Now I’m trying to finish so I can get to bed early and maybe keep this schedule this week.

You learn something new every day

A coworker came in yesterday morning and swore he was hearing Howard Stern’s show – from Sirius receiver – without a receiver. I thought I’d heard something about them being rebroadcast on terrestrial radio, but that wasn’t it, he was using profanity (and lots of it). Turns out the Sirius receivers that aren’t indash transmit on 87.9 FM to the car radio, and if you’re nearby, you get it too. So if you’re bored with the radio (as I often am) and don’t have a CD (which I usually do), try 87.9 FM to see if anyone around is listening to something interesting.

Catproof your computer

I don’t have cats anymore, but if I did, I’d buy a copy of PawSense:

Once a cat has been recognized, PawSense blocks the cat’s keyboard input. This keeps the cat from entering lots of commands to your programs or operating system.

If a cat gets on the keyboard, PawSense makes a sound that annoys cats. This teaches your cat that getting on the keyboard is bad even if humans aren’t watching.

I’m safe until Illa figures out how to climb, and if he then gets on the keyboard, he’d probably crush it.

Another Treo fix

About a month ago, my phone started dropping calls, both incoming and outgoing, and it’s only been getting worse. I did some research, found out it was a known issue. The interesting solution: a new battery. So I ordered one off eBay, it came Monday and I installed it last night (while watching Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in HD, a wonderfully cheesy film I remember watching in Chris’s basement). The operation was more than a success, not only does the phone work fine but the new battery charges faster.

Only bad thing – I’ve lost my stylus somewhere, so last night I ordered three more styli (hey, that’s the plural I’ve seen used), plus a new case. The one I had (fondly referred to as the phone condom) is starting to come apart, and I decided I want a change, so I’ve ordered a leather flip case as well (all from Bosity.com).

Late summary, more music.

This update’s late because of a power outage last night, and my week of concerts (with a day off in between) ended.

Friday night I came home and read the paper on the deck until it got too dark. I came in and made a caesar salad, then warmed some taquitos for Jill and some Popeye’s chicken for me (that we’d meant to bring to Wolf Trap for efo). I finished watching Deadwood, then headed upstairs to surf while Jill cleaned the guest room and bathroom, then she went to bed.

Saturday I got up around 12:30 (yes, I was up ’til nearly 4) and took Illa for a walk, made an egg sandwich, then started cleaning. When Illa was molting, I hadn’t cleaned the bottom stairs or the library, so I got started on that. Since we’re not keeping him in the crate anymore (just using the baby gate to keep him downstairs when we’re sleeping or out), I took it apart, then brought it outside to clean. It was 3PM and Jill still wasn’t up, but vacuuming was the last thing I had to do downstairs so I did that, which I think woke her up. I continued upstairs, then I cleaned the bathroom floors and our bathroom sink (Jill volunteered to do the other half). We were done by 5PM, plenty of time as it turned out. Jill’s friend Joanna was coming from Massachusetts, but she’d hit delays and didn’t end up arriving until 9. In that time I finished the paper, cuaght up on nearly all my TV, and finished off my monthly comics and Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather (which I’d started on vacation).

Joanna got there and wanted to sit for a bit but she wasn’t hungry, so I made some chicken club wraps for Jill and I. The social options of the evening were a friend’s party and a concert, and Joanna opted for the latter. Angie Aparo was playing at Jammin’ Java, but a late show that started at 9:30. Good thing, as we didn’t get going until nearly 10. Luckily, it was still the set break when we arrived so we didn’t miss any – especially good for me since I got permission to film. Angie’s a great showman, so the show was fun (and we heard our faves “Hush”, “Cry” and “Spaceship”). Jammin’ Java now has a full liquor license, so Joanna and I tested that out. After we got back, we played rummy until we’d had enough, then I went to bed.

Sunday I go up around 10:30 and made pancakes using leftover batter from last weekend. I read the paper and watched some TV, eventually seeing Joanna for a brief siting around 1, then Jill got up around 3. They’d apparently stayed up until 5 the night before. Jill had an english muffin, then we took the paper recyclables out and went grocery shopping. Joanna got up around 5, then we were hanging out in the living room. The power went out around 6:30 with no warning (there had been light rain several hours earlier). We weren’t too upset since we were planning on going out to dinner anyway, so we enjoyed the air conditioned house until it started to warm up, then went to Sweetwater.

We’d forgotten we’d brought Joanna there on a previous visit, but she wasn’t that upset. She and Jill got “beer on a stick” while I got a Pale Face Summer Wheat beer, and we made sure the waitress brought extra “ozzies” (the sweet round rolls). We all had the field greens salad, then Joanna had the crab cakes, while Jill and I both got the Drunken Ribeye (marinated in beer). Very tasty, but no room for dessert (and even Jill has declared it’s not their strong suit). There was a spill, but miraculously not me or Jill – when the waitress took our plates, a dish of ketchup fell off and splashed me pretty good. Happily I was just wearing a t-shirt, and I know ketchup comes out easily, so I told the worried waitress I wasn’t bothered.

As we returned we could see the power still wasn’t back, and it was our court, plus another one and the streetlights. So we lit all the candles (now PartyLite doesn’t seem like such a bad idea), then got a boom box from upstairs to play CDs and some games from downstairs. We played more rummy, plus a hand of Fluxx and a game of Trivial Pursuit. A little before 12 the power came back on, but we finished our game of Trivial Pursuit, finishing a little after 1. I went to bed a little after 2, intending to get up at 8, but that didn’t happen. Instead I slept ’til 9:30, not making it into work until after 11. Busy day, then I came home and grilled burgers and we watched, now I’m trying to get to bed at a reasonable hour.

eddie from ohio at Wolf Trap

We went to our last show at Wolf Trap this season and I think the highlight of the year. Of course an eddie from ohio show for us isn’t just about the music, it’s the people, too.

I rushed home from work to change and we made it to Janice and Stuart’s a little after 5:30. Some more friends showed and we piled in their van for the trip (Janice knew some back roads I didn’t, we’ll try those next summer). We got to the front gates around 6:10, and chatted while we waited the 20 minutes for them to open. We split into tarp runners and cooler carriers, and quickly secured a large space – there were 12 of us to start. Jill had packed us a nice spread – deli sandwich, grapes, nectarines, cole slaw, tomatoes with mozarella and basil, and a slice of carrot cake. Sharon and Forrest showed up with sushi about an hour later, and hung out with us through the opener’s set. Sharon found an old coworker, and Jill found our friend Colleen in the meantime. We headed down to our seats with minutes to spare before they came on.

Jill called the first two songs precisely, but there were some surprises in the set. The return of “Irish Dream” and “Eddie’s Concubine” was nice, and “Jerusalem” was timely, but the best was the return of the “I Know You Rider” medley. Mike was in fine form, possibly spurred on by the announcement he’s getting married this Sunday (at one point he let the band know they were invited). Joe was sitting in the balcony and was not able to make it downstairs to do “the Joe” during “The Three Fine Daughters Of Farmer Brown”, so after it was over, they found him upstairs with a spotlight and had him do it. Julie forgot the lyrics to part of “The Three Fine Daughters Of Farmer Brown” and “Eddie’s Concubine” (but the latter song mostly due to Mike’s antics). They finished off the main set with “Old Dominion” to the usual enthusiasm (and the only time everyone got out of their seats for a song), and encored with “Walk Humbly, Son”.

I think the highlight for me was the intro to “Great Day” – it really captures the essence of the band:

JULIE: We’ve been singing this song a lot, and the message of this song has
become real important to me, more so in the past year. The message is
pretty clear, it’s not too hard. It’s – uh – it’s really clear, it’s so
clear I forgot it.

ROBBIE: I thought you were getting all choked up.

JULIE: No, no. I got it. The message, the message is…

ROBBIE: Oh, it’s really gonna work now. Quiet everybody, Julie’s got
something sensitive to say. Starting with – go.

JULIE: The message is: keep the faith, believe in yourself and celebrate
life. (APPLAUSE) And uh – y’know, I have the first part down pretty good;
keep the faith and be strong. It’s the celebrate life part that I have
trouble with. And it’s not so much the celebrate life, but more sort of
the living in the moment, trying to appreciate the here and the now. What
I’ve learned – what I’ve realized, even more so in the past year, even very
recently, is that life is precious, and life is short, and life is so much
better when you can appreciate each day for just the day, and you can
appreciate moments like this, and you can appreciate this beautiful night.
(APPLAUSE) And I challenge everybody to keep that in the forefront of
their mind. I would be remiss if I did not send this out to the people who
are here tonight that were brought into my life through bad circumstances
but are part of my life. And I’m very very grateful they are part of my
life, so this song, “Great Day”, can go out to all the folks from the
Virginia Hospital Center who are here tonight. From the bottom of my
heart, thank you so much. (APPLAUSE)