Chad's birthday

It’s Friday! This is a good thing…the end of a slow work week. Not that I’ve really got anything amazing planned for the weekend, but at least I’ll be killing time at home where there’s a slight possiblity of being able to find something to entertain myself with instead of being here at work. That whole issue of needing to give the appearance of being able to justify your time no matter how slow it is kind of kills much ability to find some interesting ways to kill time.

Of course, so does the corporate firewall. But that’s another story. ;)

Candice and I never did make it out to the movie…we’d checked the time for the closest bus through the tunnel, but the bus tunnel is closed on holidays. Go figure. Ended up being just an evening at home, I dinked around on the ‘net, she read magazines…exciting stuff, I tell ya.

Not much going on other than that so far. I’m a bit short on money, thanks to two short work weeks in a row, which is making paying bills something of an exercise in creative financing, but parents are doing what they can to help me out, which rocks. As much fun as the past two weeks of vacation (more or less) have been, they certainly do take a frighteningly large chunk out of my paychecks.

Earlier this week Chad had his birthday dinner at [13 Coins][1], which was fun…Candice, myself, Rick, Peter, Casey, Jen, Chad, Don, and Dez all out having fun and being silly. Got one wonderful quote out of the evening, too…for some reason we were joking about Rick being incapacitated in some form, to the point where he we just kept him in the bathtub.

[1]: “CitySearch: 13 Coins”

“Oh, don’t worry,” said Dez. “We’d entertain you…read to you or something.”

Rick wasn’t too sure about that, apparently. “Oh, sure — ‘Which would you like? _Dr. Seuss_ or _Schindler’s List_?'”

“Hmm…_Horton Hears a Jew_?” said Dez.

We all proceeded to crack up.

And that’s about all I can come up with to babble about off the top of my head right now.

Fire your friends

More stupid people: Burned at party. Okay, so your friend’s passed out from all the booze he drank at your New Years party. Okay, so the old ‘hand-in-a-bowl-of-warm-water’ or ‘shaving-cream-on-the-face’ tricks are pretty old. But is dousing his leg in lighter fluid and setting him on fire _really_ the best and brightest idea for a prank?

Beyond the rumor sites

> [MacWorld Expo SF][1] is coming up next week, which normally has the various [Mac][2] [rumor][3] [sites][4] all a-tizzy trying to predict what may or may not appear. This time, around, however, Apple — rather than staying their characteristically silent self — is doing the online equivalent of tossing a goldfish into a pirahna tank, through the posting of oh-so-subtle headlines like ‘Beyond the rumor sites. Way beyond.’ to their website. Now, now, shouldn’t tease the animals….

[1]: “MacWorld Expo”
[2]: “MacOS Rumors”
[3]: “Apple Insider”
[4]: “Think Secret”

— AtAT’s take on [Apple][5]’s apparent plans to [make their most rabidly loyal followers’ heads implode][6].

[5]: “Apple”
[6]: “AtAT: Restraint, My Aunt Fanny”

[From Usenet: 1.2.02 0143]

[Note: This was originally a post to the `alt.sys.mac.newuser-help` Usenet newsgroup. I’m including it here for completeness. Originally archived [here][1].]

[1]: “Google Groups: alt.sys.mac.newuser-help: OS X — What the hell is this?”

Albert –

First off, I hope your experiences with OS X continue to improve, as you indicated they had started to in a followup post. Figured I could go ahead and jump in the fray, though… ;)

In article ``, Albert Steg `` wrote:

> The installation process disbabled my Enternet software, crippling my internet access, and even when I got back to system 9 I found my internet aliases (eudora and netscape) hidden from my desktop and replaced with Explorer. Felt like a Microsoft ploy.

That’s something of a surprise. Each time I’ve done an OS X install (starting with the Public Beta), it’s gone smooth as silk. Really unsure as to what may have gone on to actually disable anything.

> …and the interface is totally new, isn’t it?” Why is there no warning or explanation in the manual that this system represents a radical departure from the Apple of the past 15 years?

Well, it’s definitely a new system, but the manual I got – while _really_ underwhelming – did at least have a cursory “this is what you’re gonna get” feel to it. Much as ‘puter people sterotypically go with a “install first, read later if something explodes” attitude, sometimes it can be helpful to at least flip through the documentation at least once first… ;)

I am, along with others, somewhat surprised that you were caught so completely off guard – wherever you’ve been, you must have been really out of touch. If you start poking around the web, though, there’s a lot of good information on all the various changes, both why they were done and what the various repercussions are. The OS X manual that Carl linked to ( is a good start, I’d also recommend spending some time digging through Mac OS X Hints (, lots of good info on there.

> Am I alone in being dismayeed and bewildered here? These huge Playskool-style icons,

These can be scaled up and down to your preferences…they are a wee bit on the big side by default.

> the inability to open two windows at one time

You can have more than two open at once. Check your System Preferences and View Options (under the Finder’s View menu) for the various options there.

> …the oily, gimmicky sluuuuurping of windows

Some people like the ‘genie’ effect, some don’t – I’ve switched it to the ‘scale’ effect, as it’s a bit less processor-intensive (and therefore a bit quicker on my machine).

> down to the Windows-like “dock”

It takes some getting used to, but I’ve found the dock to be a very nice addition (though, I’ve gotta admit, I’ve liked certain aspects of the Windows taskbar too). I keep my dock devoid of any aliases, so that I don’t have to try to distinguish between icons of running aps and icons of apps that I can run if I want, and only use it for whatever’s running at the moment. For me it works much better as a application switcher than as a launcher, but different things work for different people…experiment with it a bit, after the initial shock, you may find it more to your liking.

> instead of the crisp windowshade feature of previous systems….

As has been noted by a couple people, there is a shareware program that will bring windowshading back to OS X (though I don’t use it myself).

> these are improvements?

Overall, yeah…just improvements with a bit more learning curve than has been necessary for past OS updates. But then, past OS updates didn’t completely rewrite the OS from the ground up, either…. :)

> How about an explanation of the itools program, rather than just thrusting it at you in the config process?

Apple would do well to explain this a bit more. However, breifly, iTools isn’t so much a program as it is a set of services that Apple provides that you can use or ignore as you like. It includes free e-mail with a suffix, an online storage space (your iDisk), and some other features that can be explored in more depth on Apple’s iTools site ( You don’t have to use any of them, though, if you don’t want or need to.

> Can I use Eudora *instead* of Itools. . .

Yup – I think there’s even an OS X version of Eudora out by now. Check VersionTracker (http://www.versiontracker/macosx/) to be sure.

> or do I have to use Itools to access eudora now?

Nope, though you probably can use Eudora to access your iTools e-mail account if you’ve set one up (though I’m not 100% sure on that).

> . . . granted I have to give it a chance, but I am *not* looking forward to this.

Well, go ahead and poke around, play for a while, and give it that chance. There’s some culture shock – especially since you apparently didn’t know what you were in for – but it’s not that bad once you get used to it.

Happy New Year!

[Space Needle goes BOOM!][1]Welcome to 2002! We actually made it through, despite everything that went on this year…kinda cool, huh? I’ve been having a nice relaxing weekend, which has been great — much as I enjoyed last weekend’s trip to Alaska for Christmas, it’s nice to have four days in a row that I could just kick back and relax, with no real plans or schedule. The visit was great, but as is typical for such things, it was pretty mile-a-minute for most of the time I was there.

[1]: “Space Needle goes BOOM!”

[Downtown Seattle from the Bainbridge ferry][2]Candice and I have been spending a lot of the weekend just wandering around and seeing some of the city around us. Since her truck is out at the college campus right now, we’re limited to what we can find on foot…which is actually a fair amount, since I live so close to downtown Seattle. Saturday we hopped on the Bainbridge ferry, since I hadn’t been on any of the ferries yet and they offer some really nice views of the city. The Bainbridge run is one of the shorter runs, just a half hour or so each way, and we just took the ferry out and back without exploring any of Bainbridge Island at all. We may do some exploring of the islands later this summer, though.

[2]: “Downtown Seattle from the Bainbridge ferry”

[Rick, Chad, Don, and Peter][3]Yesterday Candice and I met up with Rick to go out to dinner with three of Candice’s friends from school — Tim, Laura, and Heather — at Red Robin down on the waterfront. It took Candice and I a bit of a hike to get there, as we weren’t exactly sure where on the waterfront the restaurant was, but we found it eventually, and were only about 15 minutes behind everyone else, so we weren’t too late. After dinner there, Tim, Laura and Heather headed off to take a ferry trip of their own, and Candice, Rick and I went back up to 1st Ave. to grab the #18 bus out to Ballard. Casey and Dez were having a New Years Eve party out at their place, so the three of us stopped by there for about an hour. Was a very interesting little party…the crowd pretty much split into Dez and her friends on one side, and Casey and Jen (Casey’s fiancee) and her friends on the other. Jen and Dez haven’t been getting along for a while, and it lent a little bit of tension to the proceedings…a shame, but what can ya do, right? Drama….

[3]: “Rick, Chad, Don, and Peter”

[Don, Rick and I watch the fireworks][4]After about an hour, Candice, Rick, Chad, Don and I headed out and caught the #18 bus back downtown to Rick’s apartment. He lives right at the intersection of 1st and Denney, just a copule blocks away from the Seattle Center, so we had a pretty good view of the Space Needle and the fireworks display there. We all headed up to the roof of his apartment building just a bit before midnight, and then proceeded to watch the Space Needle explode! It was actually a really neat display — I’d just been told that they launch fireworks off of the roof of the Needle. They certainly do that, but they also have fireworks going off all up and down the height of the Needle, and where New York uses the dropping ball in Times Square for the countdown, the Needle uses a brightly lit elevator rising to the top of the Needle with fireworks flying off behind it as it rises.

[4]: “Don, Rick and I watch the fireworks”

And that’s about it for now. Today’s the last day of the weekend break, and Candice and I are about to bus out to Bellevue to catch a movie…possibly either [Oceans Eleven][5] or [Vanilla Sky][6]. Until later….

[5]: “Amazon: Ocean’s Eleven”
[6]: “Amazon: Vanilla Sky”

It’s just a movie, folks

[One for the Darwin Awards][1] — the first item on this page is a story of a Japanese tourist who died in the middle of a snowy field outside of Fargo, North Dakota…while trying to dig up the stolen money left there in the movie [Fargo][2]. The _fictional_ movie.

[1]: “The Stranger: Last Days 12/13/01”
[2]: “Amazon: Fargo”

Ion Drive in operation

Apparently [NASA][1]’s [Deep Space 1][2] probe has just been [officially decommissioned][3], slightly over two years after its planned End of Mission date. What caught my eye on this was that DS1 was the first experimental spacecraft to test an [Ion Engine][4] — a technology developed in the 1960’s, and for many people, first mentioned on TV’s [Star Trek][5]. Apparently the little craft did pretty well for itself. About time NASA had a success!

[1]: “National Aeronautics and Space Administration”
[2]: “NASA: Deep Space 1”
[3]: “CNN: NASA pulls plug on trailblazing probe”
[4]: “Nasa: DS1: Ion Engine”
[5]: “Star Trek”

Kevin Smith directs Lord of the Rings

[The Council of Elrond][1] from Lord of the Rings (as directed by Kevin Smith), and [The Mines of Moria][2] from Lord of the Rings (as directed by Michael Bay). Too funny not to share.

[1]: “UGO: Kevin Smith’s Council of Elrond”
[2]: “UGO: Michael Bay’s Mines of Moria”

Christmas in Alaska

Time for a little catch up on things that I’ve missed for one reason or another.

[Lorelei and me!][1]First off, this picture was taken when Miranda was visiting a couple weeks ago. This is her little girl Lorelei, who just turned 1 year old on the 24th of December! She’s a really sweet little girl, and it was great to be able to see her again when they came through.

[1]: “Lorelei and me!”

[Too much snow!][2]While I was up in Anchorage, I was able to do some running around and visiting my old haunts, and I took a few pictures while I was there. I took this shot of the mailbox just because so many people don’t seem to understand why I’m so thrilled to be in Seattle now. Well — see all that snow? Piled up almost all the way to the bottom of the box itself? _That’s_ why I like being in Seattle! :D Not to mention the temperatures that suddenly dropped down into the below-zero range one night. Admittedly, there are other reasons…but that’s a very prominent one. I got to slog through more snowdrifts in the weekend I was up there than I’d thought I’d even see this winter…ah, well, I’m back in 40-degree weather now. Enough whining.

[2]: “Too much snow!”

[Candice][3]Anyway, I got a pretty decent shot of Candice while we were in the car. I dunno if she’ll try to kill me or not when she finds out I put this picture up, but I thought it was worth doing. She’s actually still up in Anchorage right now, but is flying back down here tonight. Being able to spend Christmas with her was very cool, but we were both looking forward to being back in Seattle. Both of us are much happier in a bigger and warmer city — more to do, and better temperatures to do it in.

[3]: “Candice”

[Where TimeFrame used to be][4]I wanted to stop by the mall where TimeFrame used to be while I was there, so that was one of the first places we hit. First surprise — the whole thing’s blue! Baby blue, even! Ugh. Then I get to the doors, and they’re remodeling the entire inside of the mall, too, so everything’s all ripped to shreds. The doors were unlocked so I went ahead and wandered in to take a look. As I was walking down the hall, there was a banging at another door — turns out it was Rob Thomas, my old boss. His dad Brett (the owner of TimeFrame) was there too, so I got to spend a couple minutes talking to them. They both seem to be doing fairly well under the circumstances — they’ve scaled back to a 5 employee business just focusing on oversize color and lamination, and I think they’ll do a lot better that way. The impression I got was that they’re much better small business owners than big business — so even though the failure of TimeFrame was a blow, I think it’ll most likely be a lot better for them in the long run, and they seem to be realizing that also.

[4]: “Where TimeFrame used to be”

[Dad and Mom on Christmas Day][5]Saturday I spent first with Candice and her family for dinner, then we went out to [‘Koots][6] and I was able to see a few of my friends — some of whom I hadn’t even told I was going to be there! Richard, Rachael, Stacey and James all showed up, and I also ended up running into Jason (an ex-roommate), Gillian and Jason Buck (old friends from the clubs), and even Courtney Ramsay (who I went to high school with)! Candice also found her friend Nick, and he apparently approves of me — always a good thing.

[5]: “Dad and Mom on Christmas Day”
[6]: “Chilkoot Charlies”

[Candice and her sock monkey][7]Since I’d had dinner with Candice and her family on Saturday, she came over for dinner on Sunday. I’m pretty sure my family liked her — if nothing else, she and Dad got caught up in conversation thanks to their common interest in religion. While I’m nowhere near as schooled as either of them when it comes to that, it was fascinating to listen to. After that we went back over to her house and hung out for a while, then after hitting VI for some late night munchies, I ran her back home and crashed out again.

[7]: “Candice and her sock monkey”

[Kevin and me at Son of River City Billiards][8]Last-minute shopping was the order of the day for Monday. I picked Candice up and we headed out to brave the insanity of the [5th Avenue Mall][9] on Christmas Eve day. Luckily, it wasn’t quite as bad as it could have been, and we managed to emerge relatively unscathed. After shopping we headed over to Candice’s friend Nick’s family’s house so that she could see him and his kiddo (Josh? I’m so bad at names…). That evening we went to Christmas Mass twice — once at Candice’s church, Gloria Dei Lutheran, and once at mine, [Christ Church Episcopal][10] (which is currently meeting out of member’s houses during the search for a new building…the page I linked to is somewhat out of date). In between the two, I got to go with Candice’s family to a party at their neighbor’s house — between dinner with her family, the party at Nick’s family’s place earlier, and this party, she got to parade me before a whole ton of people this weekend! I’m pretty sure I didn’t make too big of an ass out of myself at any point, though.

[8]: “Kevin and me at Son of River City Billiards”
[9]: “5th Ave. Mall”
[10]: “Christ Church Episcopal”

[Me and Kevin][11]Finally, we made it to Christmas Day. Kevin had brought his friend Aart down from Fairbanks, and Candice came over after her family was done with their morning Christmas rituals, so we had a nice round of presents getting opened. Before Candice had to go back to her family’s house for Christmas dinner, she, Aart, Kev and I were able to duck out to Son of River City Billiards for the annual rounds of pool that Kevin and I have been doing whenever we had a chance for the past few years. Believe it or not, I even won a few games — even a couple without a scratch on the eight ball giving me the win! I was stunned! After Candice took us back home, she left, and dad finished up our Christmas dinner. I had to do a bit of an eat-and-run, unfortunately, but once I had some food in my system Kev ran me out to the airport.

[11]: “Me and Kevin”

With all the various troubles as of late and the resultant extra security at the airports, they’re recommending that travellers show up 2 hours early. This ended up working out really well for me — there were so few people travelling on Christmas day that as I checked in, they were able to bump me up to the next earlier flight, so I ended up flying out at about 5:45pm instead of 6:42pm! The flight down was bearable (but after the [flight up][12], I don’t think I’ll ever be quite as blase about flying as I used to be), and because of the switch I was back in Seattle an hour earlier than I had expected. I caught a cab back up to my place…and that about catches up the Christmas weekend.

[12]: “Eclecticism: Back in Anchorage”

It was a lot of fun, and seeing friends and family again was great…but I’ve gotta say, I’m _so_ glad I’m living down here now. Seattle is definitely much more ‘me’ than Anchorage ever was. And that’s it for now….