Halloween 2004

So I spent nearly $200 on Halloween decorations. I have a killer multimedia setup in the ‘kids room’ that displays spooky heads that look like they’re floating in mid-air. I have scary music piping out through the windows in the front of the house. I have strobe lights. I’m wearing a Michael Meyers costume.

I was excited about our first Halloween in our first house. I’ve had 10-15 groups of kids ring the door bell chanting “Trick or Treat”. I’m yet to see a clever costume. I kid you not, the last trick-or-treater I greeted was a box. Seriously. It was an 11 year old girl who had a Ryder box covering the top half of her body. Where’s the creativity, the enthusiasm, the tradition?!?

In other Halloween-related news, Elise and I went to a Halloween party last night. I lacked the enthusiasm as I didn’t dress up (full-faced Michael Meyers mask doesn’t make well for active socializing). Elise, John and Christine, however all had awesome costumes. John and Christine are going to hell though.

Daylight savings and Fall in central Texas

I love living in central Texas. Tomorrow brings November. I’ve been tooling around the yard wearing shorts and flip flops. No shirt. It’s warm – it’s awesome. Luckily we endure only a couple months of actual cold weather.

I do not love daylight savings time. We rolled the clocks back an hour this morning. It was dark at 5:30 tonight. Now it’s 7:30 and I feel like I should be going to bed.

Bad host

Mom and Dad left on Sunday evening after I we ate heaping plates of country ribs, sauteed pototoes and pinto beans. Mom made (and left half of) another awesome dewberry cobbler.

So far this week has been an extension of the crappy last one. The thorn in my side is the company’s website hosting company. Sparing the details, said company avoids phone calls after having crippled our client websites last Thursday. This makes me look bad to our customers. I spent the morning in Austin meeting with another host that I’m impressed with. So, we’re moving our company site as well as all of our client websites. That’s going to make for a ton of work for me. Peace of mind is worth it though.

Elise has been handling the procurement of the Expedition. She’s at Goodwill right now, getting our Halloween costumes. She’s going as Carrie. I’m going as Michael Meyers.

While Elise is doing everything, I’m going to catch up on my TV viewing. I’m going to try to squeeze in last week’s The Apprentice and ER, then Fahrenheit 9/11.

Second star

I tested for the second star for my black belt this morning. My stomach still hurts from all the nervous activity in my gutty wut. I messed up one of my patterns but was able to cover it up pretty well. I’m half way to getting my second degree.

Mom and Dad were cozy in the house when I got home from work last night. We went to Green Mesquite in Oak Hill for dinner. The ‘rents both had the sliced brisket plate. I opted for a burger. I tried Mom’s brisket – very lean, moist and cut thick. Green Mesquite’s BBQ sauce isn’t very good. When and if I go there for brisket, I’ll bring a bottle of Rudy’s BBQ sause. We drove the Expedition. Before I backed it out of the driveway I had decided I wanted to buy it.

After my test this morning, we drove home and Dad and I tried to fix the damage that was done to the truck by the deer incident. We weren’t able to get the bumper off in order to straighten it, but we did manage to fix the locking mechanism for the hood. It’s a rigged job sans the duct tape, but it works. Luckily the deer left only cosmetic damage. After I get the X (and most likely a grill guard) I’ll be able to bring the deer home instead of it leaving a dent and running off. Of course, I’ll need to field dress the deer on the side of the road first.

Halloween prep

We went to Garden Ridge and Spencer Gifts this evening. We spent a little more than we should have, but I have a feeling we’ll have the coolest Halloween house on the block. I’m all about gore and horror. We bought a severed head, strobe lights, black lights, fake blood, motion activated ghosts and a multimedia setup that will display evil ghoul and zombie heads (in 3D) from the guest bedroom window. I’m excited about Halloween this year!

Apple strudel

I’ve heard and dispensed this advice: there is no good time to purchase a computer. A computer in antiquated by the time you get it home and out of the box. Elise bought my iBook a little over three weeks ago. Today Apple released the new 1.33 GHz iBook with a SuperDrive (CD/DVD burner). Sucks.

I wanted to see if I could exchange my iBook for a new one. I called CompUSA. They have a 14 day return policy. I was told to call Apple. I called the Barton Creek Apple store. There was nothing they could do either. The sympathetic and empathetic sales associate suggested that I eBay my current iBook. I thought about it for a while and finally decided against selling it. Elise bought this one for me and I like it. Plus the processor speed isn’t signficant enough to take a financial risk on eBay. And I’d rather have an external DVD burner. And I knew this would happen anyway. Just not this soon!

Apple retail expedition and Ford Expedition

I’ve been iPodless for almost a week now. I called Apple last week. I finally got the box via DHL this morning. In the meantime, I had decided to take the iPod to the Apple store. After standing near the Genius Bar for almost an hour, my iPod was fixed by an employee who, after congratulating me on my iBook anniversary present, shook my hand, told me to have a nice day and to call him if I needed further help. I was upset that it took a while for someone to help me, but I can’t remember the last time I went to a retail electronics store where someone helped me from the time I entered the store until the time I left.

In other news – Elise spent most of the weekend at my parents’ house. My parents have a friend’s Ford Expedition for sale on their property (plain view from the highway). Elise called me on her way home Sunday and told me all about the truck. I immediately said no. After talking about it for a day now, we’re thinking about buying it assuming I get someone to buy my little truck. I’m easy to sell to.

October BBQ

I conked out on the couch last night. Elise stayed the night at my parents’ house after Christine’s baby shower. I tried to stay up and watch SNL. I woke up at 3 a.m., let the cat out and went to bed.

I woke up and started cooking dinner at 7:30 this morning. I thawed 2.5 lbs of baby back ribs, Elgin sausage and bone-in lamb loin chops. I cooked down a Coke/Dr. Pepper syrup marinade for the ribs. I added a little garlic, cayenne pepper, Tobasco and onion. I’ve marinating the loin chops in olive oil, worshesheshesheshister sauce, onion, garlic, creole mustard and Shiner Bock. All have been hanging out in the fridge all day. Should make for a good dinner.

AirPort Express and HartzVictims.org

I’m holding down the fort solo for the majority of the weekend. Elise went to work at 6 a.m. this morning then headed to Houston for Christine’s baby shower.

I got up around 8 and roamed about the house for a while. I then drove to the Apple store to scope things out. I picked up an AirPort Express because I’ve wanted to stream music from iTunes to the stereo in the living room. I had planned on buying an AirPort Express even before Elise bought the iBook for me. The last apartment we lived in before moving to Temple (and then back to Austin again) had quite a stereo rig. I ran approximately 75′ of RCA wire from the computer in the office to the stereo in the living room. Back then I used Winamp. The AirPort Express is awesome compared to the setup I used to have. Though it took a while to setup…

Seeing how “It just works” is one of Apple’s mantras, I assumed I could just plug the AE in and start streaming music. Uh uh. I have a WPA encrypted network. After a little research I learned that the AE can’t be used under WPA. I also have wireless access control enabled so the router picks up only the iBook’s MAC address. I had to disable WPA and add the AE’s MAC address in order for it to work (I can’t seem to figure out WEP on my router). So I can now stream music to the stereo from my Windows PC in the office and the iBook, wherever it may roam within the house).

The bad: I have to login to the router and disable WPA in order to stream music from iTunes to the living room. I’d leave it disabled all of the time but there are three other wireless networks in the immediate vicinity that the iBook picks up on.

After that 30 minute ordeal, I decided to pay a little mind to HartzVictims.org. I added a new module to aid victims and submitted a photo of Riley to the Hartz Victims Memorial Quilt.

Now I’m going to go flop down on the couch and watch season 5 of the Sopranos.

False promises and lost viewership

Elise and I were sitting on the couch tonight watching The Apprentice. The show ended and Elise asked asked “What was it that was supposed to piss George off?” I said “I don’t know”. She went on to remind me that at the end of last Thursday’s episode, the trailer told us to watch next week’s episode because something is going to make George really upset.

We watched tonight’s episode and nothing pissed George off.

That reminded me of why I don’t watch Fox’s The Next Great Champ. After the first episode of De La Hoya’s show, I was told to make sure to watch next week’s episode because “someone was going to the hospital”.

I watched the next week’s episode. Nobody went to the hospital. I haven’t watched the show since (not that it was very good for that matter).

Links of the day: CherryOS: Would you like to run Mac OS on your Windows PC?

I’m going to install the Google Desktop on my work computer tomorrow. Looks like a great tool to help me stay (or not worry about staying) organized.

Cold day, bad day, maimed fawn

Today has been an absolute shitty one so far. It all started at approximately 10:30 last night when I hit a deer on the way home from John & Christine’s. I’m getting to where I really don’t like deer. Much like what happened to John and me almost a year ago, a deer darted out from the bushes as I was driving down Slaughter Ln (aptly named street, huh?) towards the house at 50 mph. I saw the deer start running accross the street and I slammed on my breaks. It had been raining earlier that evening so my car slid right into the deer – dead on. It was an adolescent deer. I don’t know how fast I was going on impact, but the deer flipped end over end over end over end for about 30-40 feet. It then started to flop around very freakishly.

Elise is in the Jeep behind me, wondering what the hell I’m doing as she didn’t see the deer come out.

I was temporarily mesmerized by the whole ordeal. Then I thought “Shit – now I’m going to have to run over this effing deer a couple times to put it out of its misery. The damn thing finished its conniption and ran off.

So now the grill on my cool Toyota pickup is broken in two places and I have a huge deer-shaped dent in my bumper. Luckily the deer only caused cosmetic damage.

So I went to bed mad last night.

I woke up in a bad mood. It’s cold (to me – a mild cold front blew in this morning). I hate cold weather. My iPod is still screwed up. Everything at work has gone all shitty.

Today sucks.

4th Generation iPod broken

My iPod ain’t workin’. When I try to start it, it hangs on the Apple logo. I reset it, it does the same thing. When it does start up and I play a song, it stops working at the end of a song. I make a few attempts at restarting it – see above… lather, rinse, repeat.

I’ll call Apple tomorrow and even though I’ll have to go through a troubleshooting walkthrough, I’ll have a new iPod shipped. That’ll be nice seeing how I had this iPod for a month or so before the 4th Generation iSkins were released (my iPod got nice and scratched up in that month).

Booger in the eye

More often than not, I’m associated with worldy scholars and philosophers. I have developed software to help locate unmapped stars in the universe. I compiled complex formulas to help in finding a cure for adolescent hypertension. I’ve sat on boards and contributed to numerous discussions regarding architectural developments to renovate a series of museums in Indonesia and Lubbock.

I’ve accomplished many things in my life so far. I’m also lucky because I still consider myself young. Part of being young entails not only being studious and well known in the world of academia, but also maintaining my cool. That can be pretty hard for your humble narrator.

Part of being cool is driving a 1993 Toyota pickup truck that weighs approximately 164 lbs. dry. In this truck I have a tape deck and a couple 6′ x 9’s tucked in the back that can hammer out some mad Phil Collins tunes.

I was driving home from Tae Kwon Do tonight (keep in mind, I’m a brilliant genious mastermind renowned scholar). I had, what we call in the halls of the university and the realm of advanced thought, a breath inhibiting booger. I’m a scholar so I know that everyone has had at least one of those boogers that keeps you from breathing correctly from one nostril.

After hypothesizing for a moment, I did what not only the layperson would do, but also us geniuses – I dug into my nasal orifice to remove said booger. Keep in mind that I was still quite sweaty from TKD class. Now that Fall has set in, it was also dark outside. I knew said booger had been removed because I could breathe equally through both nostrils. You know that feeling – pure relief.

A minute or so later, my eye started itching. Keep in mind, I am very, very, very smart. I am respected. I am consulted, on a regular basis by doctors, physicians, Ph.D.’s M.D.’s, doctors and those who practice medicine.

I went to scratch my itch and stuck that booger right in my eye. That hurt.

Link of the day