Saturday, December 06, 2008

The Good Old Days

Originally uploaded by which_brew.
Believe it or not, this is me. That was my costume for the 2003 Halloween party at Which Brew, my personal best effort and not a bad job if I do say so myself, even if Doug did the makeup for me...

I saw some of the old Which Brew crew last night, Kirk had a party and quite a few people I know showed up -- we travel in at least two of the same circles (roughly, pubs/nightlife and yoga/bike/organic), so there were several groups of people that I knew there.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Linux Voyager: Leaving A Landmark

I have the day off, so I'm sitting in the Caffeine Cafe typing away... Actually, I'm now at Anne's house, got my car inspected in Bethlehem and just picked it up.

One of the reasons I got the laptop was so I could have a computer of my own when I was over here, instead of always using hers. Then I got this, with Ubuntu installed like a good little ideologue, and I found I couldn't connect to her wireless network, and in fact couldn't connect to any encrypted network. D'oh!

Luckily, there were plenty of open wireless access points, and I spent time researching the problem -- it turns out that "WEP Passphrase" is not supported by the Network Manager applet, because passphrases are not supported by the underlying program (iwconfig).

For various coffeehouses the password is their phone number, so instead of putting that into the default "WEP Passphrase" dialogue box -- and why does Network Manager even have such a dialog box, if the option is unsupported? -- I put that into the hex key option dialog box and it worked fine. Tried it at Anne's and it worked there too. Voila!

I ran into a lot of information about wireless driver issues etc, which seemed to be problems from a few months/years ago, and which didn't really help me. I thought I'd write this in case someone has a similar problem (really, just a misunderstanding on my part how this stuff works), this might come up in a google search and save them some time.

Anyway: I hit the gym last night, then then went to Porter's to meet Anne and Judy; I also saw Lou and some other people from the McSorley's trip, and also Mike (the Lafayette network guy from Which Brew), who earned his first mug last night. Tonight is a towpath ride, followed by a "reggae party" at Kirk's house. Tomorrow is the yoga/coffee/gym-and-maybe-bike thing.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Do You See What I See?

Just kicking back, eating some turkey soup...
Really interesting skies the last few days: this morning was an incredible sunset while driving in (and also a rainbow), while yesterday's drive home was just after sunset -- with a perfectly clear, beautiful evening sky, with crescent Moon, Venus, and Jupiter all prominently on display -- this has been the early-evening show all week, but last night was especially good. It's raining now, but the weekend, which starts tonight, should be fine.
(Almost) All Caught Up: I still have to give them titles, but I uploaded my photos from the Thanksgiving Day ride, which means I am now caught up on all my recent photos. Go check them out!
Tonight is the gym, and I am back to full workouts after going easy for a few weeks. Last night was a monster yoga class, followed by a hamburger at the Brew Works.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Family Folklore

Morning weigh-in (Monday): 174#, 11% BF
A Thanksgiving Interlude: We were at Anne's mom's house for Thanksgiving, and over dessert conversation one of her teenage nephews was admonished by his mother, who thought he was about to say a bad word -- she wouldn't say what bad word was about to be uttered, so we tried to guess, using hints:
Guesser #1: Hmmmm... Starts with "B?"
Guesser #2: Hmmmm... And rhymes with "witch?"
Then five-year-old Brian, who was learning about rhymes in kindergarten, put two and two together and announced into a lull in the conversation: "Bitch!"
He had no idea what it meant or even if it was a word, it was just a lucky guess...
The room exploded variously into either laughter or consternation, upsetting Brian, and he ran from the room -- he was fine again in a minute, and will no doubt be repeating his discovery today on the playground, but I'm also sure he'll be hearing about this Thanksgiving well into middle age.
"The Itch:" We visited my parents Sunday, and somehow the conversation came around to the unusual nicknames endemic to my dad's childhood. (He, as the younger brother of "Shorty," was cursed with the moniker "Little Shorty.") My dad ran off a few names ("Ole Salty" Murphy, etc), and then brought up Teddy Bentbelly, the long-suffering usher at the ancient, and decidedly downscale, local movie theater in his old neighborhood -- it had a real name, but the local kids called it "The Itch" because it was so dirty that if you leaned your head back onto the chair you'd get lice or scabies or something. I remember hearing stories about "The Itch" when I was a kid... my dad told one Sunday about the ticket lady, who also doubled as a sort of babysitter for the youngest kids: instead of taking them to the bathroom, she would pass a sort of chamber pot along the aisle for all the kids to use.
A Quote From My Hero: "Invention is the mother of necessity." -- Thorstein Veblen, courtesy of Google's Quote of the Day.
Yesterday was yoga, then dinner at Anne's followed by more playing with the laptop, my new toy, er, I mean, necessity. Still fiddling with the "WEP Passphrase" issue, but I also uploaded the rest of our New England vacation photos. Check them out, yo.
Tonight is the gym, followed by a trip to Porter's.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Little Willy Won't Go Home!

Morning weigh-in (Saturday, unofficial): 172.5#, 10.5% BF

Lotsa stuff to talk about, but I don't really have the time... Thanksgiving in Jim Thorpe with Anne's family, then Friday we went back to see more of her family visiting (she has a big family), preceded by a ride on Pisgah Mountain to get the appetite running again. Yesterday was yoga/errands/coffee shop/gym, then Porter's for dinner, a big chunk of the old "supper club" crew. Today we're just hanging out waiting for some baking to be done; we're leaving to visit the folks in a little while.

Listening: While we're waiting, we're listening to a mix some grade school friend of Anne's gave her at a reunion -- we just heard "Little Willy!" I remember playing that in the backyard with my brothers -- us as a band, not the radio or anything, and long before we actually learned to play instruments -- when we were kids. (Thinking about the backyard and being kids kinds of reminds me of this.) We were talking about those kinds of songs back then, and I mentioned Bruce Lee, and "The Night Chicago Died," and the way the 5th-grade girls would all do "The Locomotion" at lunchtime, like a total spontaneous dance craze.

Hansel & Gretel, Bloody Mary, "Hark the herald angels sing/ Mrs. Simpson's pinched our King," children's folklore tapping into some more primal, tribal self... I think I'll start a rumor that the kid in H.R. Pufnstuff is Jack White's dad.

Meantime, many photos got uploaded recently. Enjoy!