Sunday, April 25, 2004

Several good articles today in the Washington Post on the Wi-Fi phenom. Links to many Wi-Fi hotspot finding services. The public Wi-Fi infrastructure remains too fragmented and costly so far. Perhaps this will change over time. Of course, Wi-Fi is wonderful for in home use.

BTW, along the lines of serendipity, I met my new neighbors who are moving into their house one house away. As luck would have it they both work for Microsoft! They don't work for Microsoft Federal where I worked but still it's such a coincidence. I can't get away from Microsoft no matter how much I try!

Mom’s 84th

My mother's 84th birthday was yesterday.

Mom - Kona, Hawaii 2004

I attended a small dinner in her honor at my brother's house. Things went okay for a while until my sister-in-law started her usual arguments to anything I said. If I said the sky is blue she would say the sky is pink. Sheesh!

I can only guess why she has become so vindictive towards me? I can't say I particularly like her but I do not wish her ill will. She does seem to have it in for me. Unfortunately, I think the time has come where I can no longer accept invitations to their house. It's too uncomfortable and it is also not fair to subject other attendees to this. I had agreed to attend these "family" events in hopes of not creating a family ruckus and hurt my parents. It now is out of control so I will no longer attend these events. My sister-in-law as created a poisonous atmosphere. Something she has done within her own family I should also note.

Apparently, from her point of view, my lifestyle is worthy of contempt. I don't see anything in my life that is worthy of such a view but from her point of view I do not meet her standards. Meanwhile, she is content to be ignorant of world affairs and disdains anyone that actually reads and attempts to learn things through study and gathering of facts from a wide variety of sources. If she can't see it and smell it, it's not worthy of her attention.

Again, I don't wish her ill will (which is in contrast to her maliciousness towards me) but I will no longer purposely put myself in this position. If my family disowns me over this, so be it. I know what I have done to try be helpful to everyone in my family over the years even though I have endured hurtful aspersions, abuse of my generosity in time and experience, and little acknowledgement for my efforts. I put more stock in actual accomplishments as opposed to talking about it. I have no regrets in this regard.

What will be will be.

Monday, April 19, 2004

Warm but beautiful weekend. Very hot sleeping last night though.

Not much on the agenda this week. I continue to struggle against clutter and am making some progress.

Due to warmish weather, I may spend more time on my basement studio computer. Just as well as it's a good 20 degrees cooler down there and I can work on cleaning things up down there.

My Mother's 84th birthday is this Saturday. Not sure how we will celebrate?

According to reports it could turn cooler come mid week.

[Listening to: If Summer Had its Ghosts - Bill Bruford's Earthworks - Footloose and Fancy Free [Disc 1] (08:29)]

Saturday, April 17, 2004

System upgrading continues.

I finally got around to upgrading my Dell 600m Centrino laptops Wi-Fi mini-pci card. I really like how the industry has adopted the mini-pci standard to allow for easy upgrades. In this case, I went from the Intel 2100 802.11b to the Dell 1300 802.11b/g. Upgrade went very smoothly. Now all that is left is to install the new Dell 2300 router and another Dell 2300 as a bridge for my upstairs network.

Speaking of upgrades, the latest Microsoft April 2004 security updates caused a big mess on my recently installed Dell 400sc (server setup as a workstation). I believe I read in some posts on the windowsupdate newsgroup that some of these updates affected the kernel. Anyway, I installed the updates and after rebooting new XP Home system was taking forever to boot and then displayed the message that I had no pagefile.sys. Well I thrashed about for hours uninstalling and trying to fix things with no luck. Finally, I was looking around and discovered that I had not disabled System Restore. Normally, I have disabled this service in the interest of performance, etc. But, by a lucky chance I had left it running. Well, I rolled back the system to a checkpoint a few days before and now everything is back to normal. I am normally not interested in hand holding features like system restore but I have to admit this time it saved my bacon. For the time being, I will leave it on. I have, though, turned off automatic updates due the recent April security update fiasco. Maybe I'll come back to the updates in a few months when the dust has settled. Microsoft continues to do a poor job of managing this process and it really hurts their customers. XP SP2 is being touted as the end all solution. We shall see.

Finally had to get the lawnmower running yesterday to cut the lawn. I knew I had a challenge because I had lent my mower to my neighbor late last fall and he returned it in atrocious condition with the primer bulb missing. Luckily, I still had an extra primer bulb. I resolved to install it correctly this time so it wouldn't come off. That went well, but of course because I didn't run the gas tank to empty before storing the whole thing was gummed up so it wouldn't start. After many primes and taking off the carburetor filter, etc., I finally got it started. I want to change the cutting blade with one I had sharpened a few seasons ago. I'll do this soon.

With the warmer weather, I will have to start thinking about resuming my house maintenance. I need to immediately address my upper window trim rot with replacement non-wood trim. I've done this on the ground level with good results but working at the second story level will be challenging. I'll first get the supplies at Home Depot. Maybe next week.

[Listening to: Stone Ridge - Tomasz Stanko - From the Green Hill (08:00)]

Tuesday, April 06, 2004

New computers continue to hum along. Delving into XP minutia. Cool but clear day today. Hopefully, it will warm up soon.

[Listening to: In All We See - Pat Metheny - One Quiet Night Japan Version (06:40)]

Sunday, April 04, 2004

Off to help my Dad with his taxes. Should be fun!
[Listening to: Question And Answer - Pat Metheny - Trio Live (disc 1) (19:53)]

Thursday, April 01, 2004

Well, it's been a long time since I've blogged. Too much to write up in one sitting. So, I'll just say that today I finally completed a bunch of long projects. I've now upgraded all of my desktop PCs to the latest and the greatest and completed the upgrades to my home theater system. It's cost a few pennies but I feel a lot better about things.

Of course, I was out of town in Kona, Hawaii for all of February into early March. So, these projects had been put on hold for a number of months until now. I guess I wanted to get things squared away before I start commuting to the beach in a couple of months.

My upstairs system I'm currently writing on was a bit of last minute splurge, but I got wind of some good deals at Dell and so plunged in.

BTW, I am now immersed in Windows XP after resisting for several years. So far so good.

I was googling around for some nice wallpaper and found this nice site. I really like the art this woman does with fractals. A very nice change of pace.

So, I'll quit for now but hopefully be back for more details in the days to come.

[Listening to: East Virginia, West Memphis - Charles Lloyd - Lift every voice - 1 (09:41)]