I had the great fortune of being rear-ended tonight while coming home from work. What a wonderful Christmas present, delivered early for my enjoyment! I wanted more than anything to spend the next several days dealing with insurance, collision shops, and going without a car. Whee!
Posts Tagged “personal”
Surprisingly, the occasional downtime from computers and the internet is a good thing. Over the Thanksgiving holiday, I spent time down in Georgia at my grandmother’s house, apart from the world wide web. I came back refreshed. More importantly, I had a new perspective on some of my ongoing projects. Not that I spent any time thinking about said projects; not thinking about them is what helped me the most.
I’ve nearly flip-flopped again on my decision to use WordPress for my planned overhaul of Born Geek. Two particular articles have nearly persuaded me to give Movable Type another chance. Site performance is still a large concern for me (though I’m not entirely certain it should be), and this is where Movable Type really delivers.
The next release of Googlebar Lite will also have a little more tender loving care than I previously had imagined. Much better localized search results are in the works, thanks to my decision to drop all the awkward top-level domain options currently used. In place of all of that will come a simple drop-down menu, allowing the user to select the Google site they wish to use across all search types (just like the official Google Toolbar). I think this will be a real improvement over the current scheme. Hopefully, users will agree.
Today is my birthday! 😀
I received a Nintendo DS Lite, along with the new Mario Brothers game, and they both rock! The DS is quite impressive, and I’ve only played with it for a little bit. Perhaps I’ll post some photos in the next day or so. I also scored another Al Di Meola album (this guy can really play guitar – I highly recommend any of his stuff).
For whatever reason, I’ve been in an incredibly lazy mood over the past several weeks. Every day brings a new stretch of boredom, and I don’t know what to attribute it to. Perhaps I need a vacation. Thankfully, I’ll be taking one in two weeks. A new PC game couldn’t hurt either. I recently realized that I’ve been growing more and more tired of the games I’ve got. This past weekend, I reinstalled Quake 4, to try out its dual-core support. Although it was an enjoyable experience, it felt hollow. A new experience would be most welcome, but sadly there aren’t any games on the market that pique my interest. Prey looks interesting, but I’m not willing to pay $40 for it. Oh how dry the well seems to be!
In other random news, I’m working on a new theme for this blog. It’s still in the concept stage, but maybe I can get it up sometime this fall.
I’ve been battling several minor medical problems recently, which has slowed my blog posting efforts. With any luck I will get back to normality sometime soon. The Firefox profile tutorial I’ve been working on is nearly done, and a new release of Googlebar Lite is on the horizon. I’ve also had an idea for a new Windows application that I might write, should I find the energy and motivation to do so. Writing C++ all day for The Man sure makes it tough to do so in one’s spare time.
In other miscellaneous news, I recently purchased some new rims for my car. They replaced the original factory wheels (the standard steel ones with hub-caps). Over time I had lost or broken several of the caps, so I eventually took them all off. As a result, it looked pretty bad. The new rims have improved things quite a bit. I’m looking at buying a Canon A620 digital camera in the very near future, so I’ll try to get a shot or two of them. Lots of picture goodness is heading this way; I can’t wait!
I’m taking next week off from work, so hopefully I can use that time to catch up on stuff I’ve been wanting to do for some time (CoLT 2.0, a Firefox profile tutorial, etc.). I may even go nuts and convert this blog to WordPress 2.0.3. I ditched an earlier 2.0 build back in February, but I’m toying with the idea of trying it out again. We’ll see what happens with that.
There are several other miscellaneous topics to discuss: I’ve decided on putting off my computer upgrade for another month or so. With the predicted AMD price cuts coming down the pipeline, I could potentially save hundreds of dollars by waiting just a little longer. So that’s what I’ll do.
I only need one more Prince Valiant book (volume 35, Doppelgänger) to complete my library collection! Volumes 38 and 39 recently arrived in the mail (I purchased them via eBay), but I have yet to read them. Unfortunately, the last volume I need is also the hardest to find. I’ve only ever seen it on eBay twice: once with a larger collection and once by itself. With any luck, one will pop up when I’m looking.
Last week I gave the Prey demo a shot, and was very impressed. I want to run through it again, and I hope to comment further on it once I do so. It’s definitely a game I just might purchase…
My only grandfather passed away on Saturday, June 24. He had been very sick over the past month or two, mostly due to liver cancer. I’m going to miss him greatly; he was a great man.
The month of June is turning out to be pretty crappy overall. My grandfather has become very sick, and my sister and I are driving down to Georgia this Friday to join my parents who are already there. That means that I’m taking a day off from work, at one of the worst possible times. I’ve got a number of deadlines looming, each of which has a number of associated problems holding me back. But all of those problems pale in comparison to spending time with my grandfather. So off to Georgia it is.
I finally found a picture of my kitty cat:
I miss her greatly, but seeing a picture of her brings back good memories.
The only pet I’ve ever owned had to be put down this morning. Her liver was failing, her cardiovascular system was shutting down, and she could barely breathe yesterday. My dad took her to the vet this morning and made the decision to have her put down.
For the past 14 years, our cat Sugar has been such a joy. I’ll miss her greatly. If I can find a picture, I’ll try to post it for those who didn’t know her.
The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised. – Job 1:21b
I’ve been incredibly busy at work over the past week, due to the fact that I had a due date today for one of my projects. Thankfully, everything has wrapped up (for the time being, that is) and I can rest a little this weekend.
Only a few more days until Half-Life 2: Episode One is released. I still haven’t preordered, but I’m hoping to do so soon. It’s neat that you can preload the game before you preorder, and it didn’t take too long to do (although I already have Half-Life 2 installed). Whether or not episodic content will be a winner is still up in the air. All I know is that I really enjoyed HL2 and I’m really looking forward to this next chapter in the Half-Life universe.
I’m currently enjoying some vacation from work (essentially today and tomorrow), so I have some free time to get stuff done. Perhaps Googlebar Lite 4.0 will show up soon. I’m still waiting on one of my translators to respond; once he does, a release is quite possible. Much of my free time has so far been spent in Oblivion. I just can’t get enough of that game!
For the first time in my life (that I can recall at least), I have completed my taxes early. I usually wait until the last few weeks before the April 15 deadline, and subsequently have to wait to get my refund (due to the volume of returns the IRS has to handle). But tonight, in a little under two hours, I completed both the federal and state forms. Interestingly enough, I owe the feds some money this year, also a first for me. Thankfully, I’m getting a sizable refund from the state, so that should cover it.
It’s really incredible to me that the North Carolina state tax form is more complicated than the federal form (the 1040-EZ that is). I spent the majority of my time on the state form tonight, trying to figure out all of the nuances for charitable contributions and the like. What’s more, the PDF form that allows you to enter the data from your computer doesn’t allow you to save your work! You have to complete the form entirely in one sitting (unlike the federal form, which allows you to save). What could their justification for such a terrible “feature” be? I’m just glad that I didn’t lose all of the data once I was done; having to redo the thing would have driven me crazy.
Tomorrow I head back to work after an incredibly pleasant Christmas break. The only programming I did over the entire break was work related, and only a small amount at that. Not writing code allowed me to do all kinds of things I’ve been meaning to do, and it really let my brain take a breather. Now that I’ll be getting back into a more normal routine, perhaps I can make some headway at Born Geek.
One of the benefits of living in the country is the ability one has to burn yard waste (doing so in the land of cul-de-sacs not only provokes complaints from the neighbors; it’s against the law in many places). I have always enjoyed having a fire outside, and now that my family lives out in the country, we can do just that. My father and I recently built a pit out in our back yard, using some decorative bricks we brought over from our previous house. And today we got a chance to have our very first fire! We had a significant pile of sticks (and even some giant logs) that had collected in our front yard, and today we got rid of the entire pile. Not to mention the thousands of leaves we cleaned up. Excitingly enough, there’s still a ton of stuff lying around for us to have another fire (or three). But we thoroughly enjoyed our time today, taking part in a simple country pleasure.
In a completely unrelated topic, I completed Chaos Theory this evening. The game is excellent and I plan to play through it again, this time using a little more care in each mission. Upon completing the game, I was instantly shown the credits (no end movie). Thinking this strange, I took a look at some stuff on the web that indicated that and ending movie was indeed supposed to play. It turns out that I accidentally pressed the mouse button the instant the movie started playing, skipping through the movie to the end. Games should be smarter than that. Cut-scenes should have a short delay before the player can skip by them, preventing accidental clicks or key presses from skipping over the content. One or two seconds should suffice. Regardless, I really enjoyed the game and I highly recommend it to any Splinter Cell (or stealth based game) fans.
I’ve made progress on two fronts today:
- Googlebar Lite now sports an auto-complete search box, just like the URL bar in Firefox. Although it’s still a prototype, I have a good feeling that this is what I’ll be going to in the future. The new interface should also allow for some interesting new options.
- Only 10 books remain unpurchased in my Prince Valiant collection. I hope to update the corresponding page sometime soon, providing more information on each volume. I’d also like to track how much I’ve been spending on these, just for kicks. It will most likely be a shocking amount in the end.
I’m off to my grandparent’s house in Georgia tomorrow, but I’m taking my work laptop. Perhaps I can make some progress on non-work related stuff. I definitely plan to do so later this week, when I return.
This Christmas season is the first one in my life that hasn’t felt like Christmas at all. I’ve just had the most difficult time this year actually believing that it is December, and that the holiday season draws nearer and nearer. Most of this is due to the lack of a winter break. Every year for as long as I can remember, December has meant time off from the daily grind (which, for the most part, was school). But this year, I didn’t get to take any time off, mostly because I didn’t have any time to take. Today was my first day ‘off’ from work, which says absolutely nothing, seeing as it’s a Saturday. Thankfully, I’ll be taking all of next week off, but this break is coming a little late for me.
Moving into our new home is also partially responsible for my lack of any Christmas spirit. We have done a ton of stuff to the house since we moved in (it seems everything needs fixing), and I still have a number of unpacked boxes in my room. Maybe this week I can recharge myself enough to actually get some stuff done. Unfortunately, I brought some of my work home with me (deadlines are looming) and that might take some of the restfulness out of this break. We’ll see how things progress over the coming few weeks … hopefully I can get back to a more normal routine soon.
Time seems to be in short supply this time of year, and I’m finding that especially so this season. I’ve been working later hours recently, and my drive to do anything computer related (after work) has been very small. After spending hours each day both digging through and writing code, I have little desire to work on any of my extra-curricular activities. In all honesty, I have yet to even begin working on the updated Firefox tutorial, and updates to Googlebar Lite have yet to be made (several bug fixes certainly need to be made). Fortunately, I’ll be taking some time off soon, and I hope to make some progress on these fronts. As long as I can sleep in a little bit, I’ll be happy. To quote a Beatles tune, I’m so tired.
Nearly 40 days ago, my family and I moved to a new house. And sadly, there are still boxes nearly everywhere you look. But we’re definitely a long way from where we started. Most everything major has been repaired, and several exciting new features are coming this week: our backup generator and wood-pellet stove.
Just tonight, I actually got around to unpacking a couple of boxes in my room (something I’ve been horribly negligent about). I just counted, and was shocked to learn that I still have 13 boxes left to open! Fortunately, the majority of them are in my sister’s room (which isn’t being used). With any luck, I can make more progress on the unpacking front this week. Most of the remaining stuff will go through the following decision making process:
- Is the item in question something I need to keep? Yes: keep it. No: proceed to 2.
- Is the item valuable enough (and in good enough condition) to auction off on eBay? Yes: auction the item off. No: proceed to 3.
- Can the item live somewhere else? Probably not, so proceed to 4.
- Throw item away.
Moving day was rather eventful yesterday. My folks ran into a problem which almost caused the deal on our old house to fall through (which would have been a very bad thing), but it all got worked out and we’re now moved in. And so now the fun begins. There are a lot of repairs that need to be done to the house:
- The hot water heater is broken (I took a cold shower this morning).
- Both air conditioners are broken, so it’s rather hot on the second floor.
- All of the smoke alarms around the house are ‘peeping’ (the backup batteries in them are dead).
- Our cable hookup has been pushed out until Saturday.
- There are apparently some mice in the house (our cat should have some fun with this).
- Some wood around the dormer windows is rotting.
- The previous owners left a broken refrigerator and freezer for us to cart off to the dump (gee, thanks).
I fixed the smoke alarm problem last night (at least the ones upstairs), so that’s one job done. And several of the more important jobs are being taken care of today. It will take some real engineering to get a CAT-5 cable up to my room on the second floor, so that I can hook up my computer to our network. And we’ll need to run the incoming coax cable over to our library, where we plan to put our NAT box and cable modem.
Anyways, things are starting to get back to normal. I plan to hook up my computer and begin unpacking my stuff tonight. One of these days, I might even get some pictures up somewhere. Googlebar Lite 3.0 development work should begin again soon – it will be out no later than the weekend of October 8-9.