Monthly Archives: February 2002

Three years…and counting

I had to go back into my e-mail archive (yes, I keep e-mail forever – my archive goes back to 1995, and before) to verify this since my memory for dates is terrible.

Three years ago on February 27, takaza and I had our first date. We went and saw “Payback” in Crystal Lake and had dinner at a so-so family restaurant, then adjourned back to Dan’s place and hung out and watched roller coaster videos and what aver was on TV. And I, uh, spent the night. Anyway…

It’s hard to believe it’s been three years. Those first few months were a wild ride – just weeks before that first date, we had both broken up from previous relationships (can you say rebound?). Dan lived in McHenry, while I lived in Joliet, about an hour and 45 minutes away. Not bad as long-distance relationships go, but it was an added stress. And right after Duckon ’99, Dan’s former employer (K Mart) started giving him crap about not showing up to work the weekend of the con even though he had scheduled it off months in advance. We talked, and even though we had agreed that moving in together was something that would have been good to wait on, the job prospects were much better in Joliet. Four months into the relationship, Dan moved in. With all that going for us, it shouldn’t have worked.

But it did, somehow, and it has worked amazingly well.

Two years, nine months, and 22 days after that first date, we stood before our friends and families and declared our love in a ceremony celebrating our commitment to one another for the rest of our lives.

Dan, you’re the best damn thing that ever happened to me, and I love you very, very much.

From the Department of Draw-Your-Own-Conclusions, Stereotypes Division:

Gay penguins surprise caretakers

The latest gay couple in New York to be photographed in matching tuxedoes isn’t a pair of businessmen or male models but a pair of penguins at the New York Aquarium at Coney Island.

Wendell and Cass, both 14-year-old penguins–in their forties in human terms–have been together for about eight years, but since penguins have no external genitalia, it was only recently that keepers discovered they are both male.

“They’re one of the most dedicated couples in the penguin enclosure,” Angie Pelekedis, a spokesman for the New York Aquarium, told The [London] Daily Telegraph. “They sleep in the same nest. They even have sex, though I don’t know how successful that is.”

Penguin keeper Stephanie Mitchell added, “I was only seeing one mate with the other, but then one of the other keepers saw it happen the other way round. We did a blood test that proved they were both male. Cass tends to be a rather aggressive bird. Wendell is very nervous; always has been. He’s on edge all the time. They’re currently in a dispute with another couple over their nest. It seems to be one of the most desirable places in the penguin enclosure.”

The Advocate, 2/25/02

(This post gets no fun context links ’cause I’m running back and forth, typing and cooking)

At last, something constructive…

We were going to get stuff done yesterday, really. We went out and did a bit of shopping – Wal-Mart (yeesh, talk about your dregs of humanity), BJ’s Warehouse (unimpressive – glad we have a Sam’s Club membership) and a few other places. We had big plans for cleaning when we got back, but I pretty much just ran out of gas late in the afternoon. Bless his heart, Takaza just let me veg out on the sofa and made up a yummy batch of homemade macaroni and cheese (with that bacon-y goodness!). We ended the evening watching a few episodes of Junkyard Wars on the TiVo and I feel asleep in Dan’s lap watching the Olympics. Mmm, truly a lovely way to end the evening.

Today was a bit better – following the usual Sunday morning rituals of coffee/newspaper/music/call parents (ever the dutiful son, I am), we actually got motivated and cleaned up the house some. As I was scrubbing the underside of the dishwasher kickpanel, I had time to reflect on the nature of the anal-retentive… 🙂

Anyway, after that, Dan went off to do his first (of three) orientation sessions at the health club. I went off to Kohl’s and picked up some shirts and a pair of sneakers (somehow, working out in my black walking shoes seemed a bit…unstylish). Then it was the weekly grocery shopping, and then home. Right now, I’ve got beef stock simmering on the stove, a nice honey-corn bread in the bread machine, and I’m making up a batch of chili for dinner (and subsequent lunches this week). Making up for yesterday’s inactivity, I suppose.

As an aside, I’m amused to note that event hough I gave my parents my Livejournal URL, they don’t read it. I know this because they would be dancing in the streets if they knew we’d joined a health club, but they didn’t say anything about it this morning. Ah well, I guess the net’s not for everyone…

Mmm…Saturday morning. I’ve got my coffee, I’ve got my newspaper, I’ve got some nice classical music in the background. Domesticity is good.

Strangest thing this morning – I was sound asleep having a dream about a phone call I needed to make this morning, when I was a awoken by a terrifically loud BUZZ! Now, the strange thing about this is that 1.) I sleep with earplugs in, and 2.) takaza was still sound asleep. I suppose I dreamed the buzzing noise, but it’s odd. Unfortunately, this was at 4:30 AM and I never did get back to sleep. I did get in some lovely snuggle time with Dan, though, so all was not lost (and he didn’t growl at me for waking him up. Probably ’cause I made it worth his while 😉 I’ll probably be pretty snoozy come tonight, though.

On the agenda for today: cleaning up around the house, and a trip to Wally World for a few things for the kitchen, plus some more shopping for sneakers. And I’ll probably make some bacon and eggs for Dan when he wakes up 🙂

Good grief, I’m glad it’s Friday.

Where did I leave off…oh yes.

So we went and toured the health club on Wednesday night and all I can say is day-ummm. This place has everything that I’d been hoping for – on-the-spot exercise counseling, health monitoring, assistance in putting together an exercise plan, nutrition analysis, plus really, nice facilities. It comes at a cost, but at least it’s strictly month-to-month, they don’t lock you in. takaza and I are going to drop off our membership forms on Monday and schedule whatever appointments we need to get us started. The plan is that we’ll meet at the health club every day after work (it’s between us, so it’s convenient) and spend an hour exercising, swimming, or whatever our plans work out to be, then head on home from there.

A side note: This journal will not be turning into “Tom’s Exercise Journal” – I hate those kinds of things, and find them incredibly tedious. I may record some of that elsewhere, but not here.

After touring the health club, we joined The Gang for dinner and games. That was a lot of fun – Thomas is a good friend of the owner of a local small restaurant and he has no problem with us showing up there and hanging out. So we got a yummy dinner and then the twelve or so of us broke up into groups playing Connect Four and Settler of Catan, and Dan and I a couple of others played a few rounds of darts which watching the Olympics. Much fun was had by all, even if we did get kicked out at 8:45 so the owner could go home (they normally close at 8).

Thursday wasn’t too exciting, though we did head out before dinner and pick up some workout shorts at Target, looked at music devices at Best Buy and looked at sneakers (and got completely ignored by the incompetent sales staff, as usual) at Just for Feet. After that it was home for a cozy dinner of pork chops and steamed corn, yum.

Tonight…well, not sure what will happen tonight. Given my choice, I’d rather curl up with a nice threesome of me, Dan, and the TiVo (we’ve got about eight hours of stuff stored on there right now), but Dan mentioned some of his co-workers were getting together tonight for dinner and then going to see “John Q”. Now, the reviews for “John Q” have sucked and I have no desire to see it, and even less desire to spend time around his co-workers who (in my opinion) tend to treat him like crap, but if he feels that it’s in his best interest to be there, I’ll be there with him (And I’ve told him this – one of the promises I’ve made to myself is that Dan will never read anything about us in this journal that will come as a surprise to him). Not sure what will happen, but we’ve done too many things that I wanted to do when he wasn’t too keen about them for me not to reciprocate. We’ll see. Well, time for me to head home. Have a great weekend, all!

Motivation

Well, Monday’s trip to the doctor told me that my weight is getting up to downright embarrassing levels and roller coaster season is coming up and I like swimming but there’s those darned body issues

All of which adds up to the fact that we’re going to start looking more closely at improving our diet and getting more exercise. I’d toyed with the idea of just fixing up my bike and cycling a bit around the neighborhood but I’m coming to understand that that just isn’t going to cut it. After work, takaza and I are going to check out one possibility, and there’s a couple of others we want to investigate (and one we don’t). The way I see it, the only way it’s going to work is if we do it together, with a steady routine, and improve our diet in addition to the exercise. We’ll see what happens.

As an aside, I’m mightily annoyed that this is going to be an expensive proposition for us because we are, of course, not married in a legal sense of the word.

Got my annual bonus today

Well, yesterday, out of the blue, an appointment popped up in my Outlook mailbox: Team Incentive Checks.

Well, that was a surprise. It’s no secret that last year completely sucked for us. I was pretty much expecting a whole lotta nothing in the way of a bonus check (if not, as I joked to co-workers, an invoice “for the pleasure of working here”). After all, the fourth-quarter division report last week started with a slide describing the preceding quarters: Ugly, Uglier, Ugliest.

So this morning, the head of the department starts to run down the numbers: this was plan, if exceeded plan by this much, we maxed out the bonus at X, if we were below plan by that much, our minimum bonus was Y.

In every case, we were so far below plan we didn’t even make the minimum bonus. When all was said and done, our total accumulated bonus is…0.00%. whee.

At this point, the department head launched into this whole cock-and-bull bit about how he fought to give is something, a token at least to reward us for all our hard work during the year (trying to set up, yet again, an us-versus-them environment within the department), and announced that everyone would get a check for $100.

I guess I have mixed feelings about the whole thing. On the one hand, a regular bonus would be great – in good years, that could about to several thousand dollars for me (not that I’ve ever actually seen such things). It’s understandable that last year sucked and we’re not getting a bonus, OK fine. This has the feeling of a sop almost, a shut-up-and-take-what-you-get kind of thing. Speaking on sheer principle, I’m not sure we wouldn’t have been better off with nothing at all.

All that notwithstanding, though, you bet your ass I’m depositing that sucker on my way home form work, ’cause I’ll take any money they give me, principles be damned 🙂 Hey, if nothing else it will go into our coaster trip fund.

Where to begin

So much to do, not sure where to start. Need to wrap up the project plan for P042 – gods, I hate writing these project plans. They’re just going to get run over roughshod anyway, but we have to follow the procedures. Bleah. 15 pages of nonsense and pie-in-the-sky sales projections. Heh. And people wonder why I have such contempt for marketing droids.

So I’ve been following the back and forth elsewhere about CSS (cascading style sheets) vs. tables – yeah, I know, it’s stuff well outside of my areas of expertise, but I like to dabble. The concepts seem fairly reasonable, at least, and I hate setting up tables anyway.

I badly need to update my Coming Out page; it actually gets quite a bit of traffic (about 20 hits a day) due to it’s position in certain search listings (second from the top). I notice my traffic spiked on February 3 – 8 – weird. I wonder if I made someone’s link of the day or something. Nothing evident in my referrer log, though it’s rather rudimentary. Though I notice that I’m on the front page of several search engines if you search for Tom Brady. Looks like many people must have me confused for someone else.

Anyway, so yeah, I’ll be trying to figure out CSS and applying it to my site Real Soon Now. I’ve got some good references, so that should help. Who knows? Maybe I’ll even explore how to apply it to my LiveJournal.

Well, instead of working on my project plan I’ve spent about 20 minutes writing this entry. Who says LiveJournal isn’t useful? 🙂

Efficiency? That’s my middle name! (my parents were a bit weird)

Looks like we’re well on our way to getting online registration for Midwest Furfest up and running; we’ve checked out possible vendors, got approximate prices, and gotten the go-ahead to pursue the project. All that’s left is to nail down the details of how to integrate it into the Furfest web site and we’ll be off and running. My personal goal is to see this up and running by the end of the month, but to be fair I’ll need to talk to our webmaster and see if that’s realizable.

Also been gathering information on sponsor freebies – lanyards, tote bags, pins, etc. Not sure which we’re going to go with just yet, but the prices are surprisingly affordable. Heck, if we can do it maybe we can give them more than one freebie (this is, of course, in addition to the free T-shirt and two sponsor prints). We’ll have to see how the budgeting works out. If anyone is interested in seeing what I’ve come up with so far, drop me a line and I’ll send you the URL.

Last night was quite entertaining. As a birthday gift, my parents subsidized a nice dinner out, so we went out to Copeland’s with friends. Yummy, yummy food, though a bit spicy for some in our group 🙂 We were also celebrating a bit since the night before Thomas (who some of you may remember from our commitment ceremony) proposed to his girlfriend Sherry the night before. Yowza, what a rock she has on her finger now! After dinner we realized it was a bit late and headed on home for a quiet night and then to bed.

Today,…well, takaza is still asleep of course. Franklin called earlier and said that Amelie is still showing in the area, but only in Chapel Hill. We’re going to meet over at his place and car pool up there. The word of mouth is very good on this movie, so I’m looking forward to it. We were going to check out other ceramic tile stores in the area but after looking through the phone book it appears that none of them are open on Saturday or Sunday. What the hell is up with that? I think we had other errands to run today, but I can’t remember what. I’ll talk to Taki when he gets up. I know I need a haircut – when it gets long like this, it approaches Posi-hair

Oh, as an aside, I wanted to mention that my parents sent us a lovely card for Valentine’s Day: “You two make perfect Valentines…because you’re both so special. We love you both, Mom & Dad. Give each other a hug for us!”

Wow. You know, my parents are so damn cool 🙂

Well, off to make waffles…

Playing catch-up

So when last we left Duncan, he was ranting in a curmudgeon-like fashion about how he dislikes birthdays…

takaza, that sneaky bastard, had ideas, you see. After ascertaining that I had no plans for the evening, he started asking around at work to determine nice romantic places to take someone for dinner. Right after he got home, he hustled me into the car and surprised me with a lovely romantic dinner at The Melting Pot. It was just wonderful, a leisurely meal, just the two of us, and I had a great time. The food was tasty, too 🙂

Tuesday night I was feeling kind of tired so Takaza took the initiative and cooked up a yummy dinner of linguine with tomato sauce and Italian sausage. I felt bad because I was pretty much a complete lump and just sat on the sofa while he cooked and cleaned up but he swore it was OK.

Last night I had a bit more motivation, so I set some pork chops in to brine when I got home and started a loaf of bread in the bread machine. Saute up the pork chops in olive oil with a little Penzeys Old World Seasoning, add some steamed corn and we’re good to go. After dinner we watched Swimming to Cambodia, one of my all-time favorite movies. Spalding Gray is an amazing monologuist and I always find his movies riveting. I’d seen this one before but it had been a while and I wanted to see if Dan would like it too. Well, it wasn’t particularly to his taste, but hey, I suppose we can’t have matching tastes in everything. I still have Taboo (Gohatto) sitting on the TiVo to watch, but I suspect Dan won’t be much interested in that one so I’ll probably watch it by myself this weekend.

Then we have today – Valentine’s Day. Dan surprised me with a card and a box of chocolates left for me to find after he’d left for work. Then, right before lunch, I got a cryptic voice mail message from him asking if I’d changed CD’s on the way into work. I checked the center console in my car and there was another card from him, as well as a little gift box of Tic-Tacs (which I love, but they’re addictive!). Silly woof. I have a very small something for him when he gets home – I honestly hadn’t intended to celebrate the day much, but I’ll see what we can do tonight 🙂 I wanna snuggle me some wolf!

I’m feeling restless lately. It’s only been a month since we were up in Chicago, and the next scheduled bit of traveling we have is Technicon in March, a month away. I’m kicking around the idea of an inexpensive weekend trip sometime in the next few weeks – maybe the Outer Banks, maybe the mountains. I’ll need to think about it more.

Behold, the power of TiVo!

So it was the day before the Super Bowl and I’m checking to see what has accumulated on the TiVo overnight. Lo and behold, we have a message and a new option on our menu – well, cool. In addition to the Joe Montana TiVo commercial, there’s bloopers from the commercial as well as a three-minute piece explaining what TiVo is that you can show to all of your friends when they come over to watch The Big Game.

I’m thinking, “This is just bizarre.”

A few days later, what should come in the mail but a letter from the good folks at TiVo explaining that we’re valued customers and we should be sure to tell all of our friends about how wonderful TiVo is, and hey, here’s a nifty TiVo logo static sling sticker to help you start conversations about how wonderful TiVo is.

I’m thinking, “This is getting stranger.” Until I realize what’s going on…

What we have here is a classic example of viral marketing. TiVo knows it has a good thing. Its customers know they have a good thing. The trouble is, everyone else doesn’t know they can get a good thing (thanks to linnaeus for that link). Realizing that traditional advertising methods don’t work – I recall seeing several TiVo ads over the past few years but never got a grasp on what the actual product was – TiVo changed advertising agencies and is focusing more on getting its educated customers out to spread the gospel of TiVo. I think there’s parallels to be drawn here between TiVo and Linux, and, to a lesser degree, TiVo and Apple as well. Certainly in the case of Linux, it’s the word of mouth that does the marketing and the customers that do the evangelization. In many ways, the case for Apple is that it’s David versus Goliath and for TiVo it’s the consumer versus the programming giants. And everyone always wants to cheer for the underdog.

Which is why I may yet put up that sticker on my car or window at work 🙂

You say it’s your birthday…

So apparently, thanks to LiveJournal and ICQ, everyone around the world now knows it’s my birthday. Yay.

Actually, I’m very ambivalent about birthdays. For me, it’s pretty much just another day. This year isn’t even particularly momentous – I’m turning 34, an age whose distinction is that, uh, it’s twice as old as I was when I was 17. At takaza‘s workplace they tend to “decorate” the cubicles of birthday celebrants; I’m so glad they don’t do that here – that would annoy the hell out of me. I guess my whole attitude is yet another example of my descent into curmudgeonhood. Grump, grump, grump.

On the bright side, Takaza surprised me this morning with a lovely bouquet of roses and a card. He’s so wonderfully sweet that way {melt}. And my parents asked me what I wanted for my birthday when I talked to them during our weekly phone call yesterday (yes, I am the Dutiful Son – every Sunday morning at 10 AM or thereabouts, I call them and we chat for an hour or so). I couldn’t really think of much – we have too much stuff as it is, and I really can’t think of anything that I want or need. We compromised and they’ll probably be sending a check to cover a nice dinner out for me and Takaza. That will be lovely. I feel bad because on the one hand I’ve been in the situation where I have no idea what a gift recipient might want, and on the other hand I feel like if I come right out and say something it will either be too expensive or I’m being greedy or I’m not being helpful enough…you see why I really dislike gift-giving occasions?

Anyway, it is nice and very much appreciated when friends pop up from out of the blue and wish me happy birthday. It’s a reminder that even though sometimes we feel somewhat isolated down in North Carolina away from many of our friends, folks are still thinking of us.

Virtually France

I’m watching Tony Bourdain‘s A Cook’s Tour – it’s his TV series follow-up to his vastly entertaining book Kitchen Confidential: Adventures in the Culinary Underbelly. He’s visiting his childhood home in France, and it reminds me very much of the time I spent in France a decade or so ago. Nice memories.

Anyway, it’s been a nice, relatively quiet Sunday following an eventful Saturday.

Saturday was spent at the Tourney of Ymir, an SCA event. I dug through my old garb and managed to come up with a tunic and a pair of pants that wouldn’t get me laughed out of the event and got ready to go. Unfortunately, takaza still had a sinus infection, and a headache akin to a migraine that left him very sensitive to light. We agreed that it would be better for him to stay home and work on feeling better and maybe join us for dinner at Rob and Janet’s after the event.

Ymir was an absolute blast. It was a beautiful, clear, warm sunny day – just right to spend outside. I ran into many friends I hadn’t seen in years, got to hang out with Tracie and Jen, and re-establish contact with some good folks I haven’t talked to in too long, including a friend who blamed me for piquing his interest in furry and then disappearing 🙂 I’ll be looking him up again in the next few weeks, since he’s local. I need to send the URL’s for the ceremony pictures and this journal to several people, now that I think about it.

Dinner at Rob and Janet’s was nice, though I was tired after being out in the sun all day long. Fortunately, Takaza was feeling better and was able to join us. Quail pot pie, venison steaks, and other yummy goodies. It was all great, but I was pretty much falling asleep by the time dinner was over. Though it was night watching the Olympic mogul competition with people who actually knew something about it and were able to provide intelligent commentary (as opposed to what NBC provides).

Today was a slower start, a nice Sunday with light background music, the Sunday paper, and minimal rush. We had lunch with some old friends, then came back home and I took a nap while Takaza went out and did the week’s grocery shopping. Now, it’s a quiet night at home, doing some laundry, and catching up with the TiVo. Mmmm…domesticity…

TGIF, baby!

Hey, I made it to Friday. Yay, me!

We’ve got preparations to make for the weekend tonight. I need to search through my old SCA garb and see what I have in there that will fit takaza. Fortunately, it’s going to be on the warm side this weekend (around 60) so I can rely on warm-weather stuff, which I have more of. I’m looking forward to the event because hopefully we’ll surprise some friends we haven’t seen in a while there. After that, it’s off to Rob and Janet’s place for an evening of Game and Game – venison, duck, and I’m not sure what else accompanied by various games like Outburst or Apples to Apples. My contribution will be fresh spinach sauteed with bacon and garlic. Not sure what Dan’s making yet.

Sunday will be lunch with some old friends from my Clemson days, which reminds me – I need to pick a restaurant and email them directions, since they’re only familiar with the People’s Republic of Chapel Hill and its environs. Hmmm…maybe Copelands? I’ll have to hit Citysearch and see what pops up in the Cary area. Nothing planned after that, except an evening at home and laundry. But that’ll be nice, too.

Dan emailed me with a bunch of info about upcoming theme park trips. Looks like we’ll be buying season passes for Six Flags and Paramount parks again this year. We’ll definitely be hitting Paramount’s Carowinds and Six Flags Over Georgia since they both have the cheapest season passes (yes, they’re good at any park in their respective systems, but some parks charge less for season passes. Go fig). We’re working on a plan that could take us up to Six Flags Worlds of Adventure, Cedar Point, and Paramount King’s Island this spring, but we need to coordinate the dates and vacation time. I think we’ll get to two of the three at best, but we’ll see. We’ll definitely be setting up the trip so we can meet up with Chicago friends (like Linnaeus and Datahawk and Posicat, at the very least) at the parks.

Looking at my friends list, I see that several folks have added me as a friend – yowza! If I don’t add you reciprocally, please don’t be offended; I only have so much time to read LJ sometimes, and until I learn to organize my Friends pages a bit better I’ll have to limit the number of folks on there. It’s a pleasure to meet some new folks, though, and learn a bit about their lives.

This is just creepy…

This showed up in my inbox just now…

From: “Jennifer XXXXXXXX” (XXXXXXXX@msn.com)
To: (tabrady@ concentric.net)
Subject: Hey Hey
Date: Thu, 7 Feb 2002 10:01:15 -0600

**~Hey Hey~**
Hi I juss wanted to tell you how good i think that you are..to me you are the one that really motivated your team and i am really proud of you. I do have to admit that i am a Rams fan cuz i mean i grew up wit them for my 14 years and i have learned to love them. I think that your team deserved everythin they got and i swear if the Rams would of won i would be happy in a way but i would also be very ferious cuz i mean your team and you outbeated them ever since the 1st quarter in the game. I juss wanted to inform you on how great you played at the superbowl and how proud i am wit your team. I am only 14 and i have grown up to love the sport of football and yea that was one of the greatest games in my intire life i have seen so for and i know that you guyz are goin to come back and win and yea i did hope that my team would of won but oh well who always said that second best in ones heart cant sometimes win every once in a while.

It goes on, by the way. For another two paragraphs or so. And this is the fourth or fifth email I’ve gotten, though thankfully they’re not all so, um, effusive.

I suppose it’s nice to be getting fan letters, even if they’re not for you.

Lather, Rinse, Repeat

Not much to say today – a whole lot like yesterday at work, though somewhat less stressful. Still, no time at my desk and certainly no time to duck into Furrymuck to say hi. Bummer. Tomorrow will be more of the same, but with extra solvent fumes! as I spend the day cleaning up the mess we made yesterday and today. Yay.

So tonight was spent getting takaza‘s new iBook configured. Migrating Eudora from PC to Mac took some deep knee bends (had to dig up an 8-year-old Mac utility to strip out the CR/LF out of all the mailbox files) and he still needs to nail down some basic programs for everyday use before he turns his laptop over to me. I’m not sure if I’ll nuke the laptop and rebuild from scratch or what – I’ll have to see.

That’s it from me tonight. I’m off to bed.

Awash in technology

Good grief, what a day. I started the dreaded 200-gallon batch at work today – fortunately I got the help of a couple of coworkers who will be working on a similar scale in a month or so. I reckon I’ll be helping them then; nothing’s been said, but it’s only right since they’re taking the time now. I hate working on this scale, though – we’re working with smelly, nasty materials, and in spite of the fact that we’re in coveralls and gloves, I always end up with the stuff on me somewhere. Then there’s the silica – fumed silica is a solid powder that’s lighter than air. If you look at the stuff the wrong way, you’re lost in a cloud of it. We had to put in about 50 pounds of the stuff – it was all over me, in my hair, in my socks – bleah. At least I was wearing a respirator. And tomorrow I’ll be doing it all again as we finish off the batch

OK, that’s enough of my whining, ’cause that’s all it is – whining. I came home, took a thirty minute shower (and ramalion is so right – massaging shower heads are indeed da bomb) and started to feel somewhat better. Add to that a lovely foot massage from takaza and some, uh, other stuff, and I feel much, much better now.

Meanwhile, in the second of the three times that I was actually able to visit my desk today I put in an order for an iBook for Takaza. I also went ahead and ordered an Airport card – we got a good deal on that and we’re finding wireless network cards for the laptops to be indispensible items. Both will arrive tomorrow and then the fun begins. We’ll need to figure out how to integrate the OS X iBook into our PC-centric network. Actually getting it connected and onto the net is easy, it’s the file sharing with the other PC’s that’s going to be a challenge. A quick Google search shows that it’s going to involve some Samba/CIFS configuring. OK, I’ve dabbled in that a bit so this should be do-able.

On the bright side, as soon as Takaza migrates over to the iBook, I’ll be moving over to his laptop and can finally reformat the IBM Aptiva I’ve been using, since it’s starting to shake apart under all the hardware and software that’s been added and removed. Best thing to do is to just wipe the drive and reinstall Windows 98. We need to figure out what to do with the Aptiva, either leave it in our room or put it in one of the guest bedrooms as a guest box, where we currently have a console-only Linux box.

Mmmm…happy shiny tech. Big fun, you betcha.

Fnord

I am so NOT ready for this week to begin. Maybe I could hide under the bed and make it all go away.

By the way, a special hi to my parents, who now know this journal exists. Not sure that they’ll ever read it, but who knows?

We watched the Super Bowl last night. The commercials were only so-so, though there were some amusing ones – that helped. I’m vastly amused that AT&T’s mlife.com website that they had been promoting with teaser ads apparently wasn’t live until sometime well into the second quarter. I suspect that whole marketing campaign is going to be a flop – the product that they’re trying to sell is too indistinct.

We also recorded the pregame show on the TiVo, which allowed us to (blessedly) fast-forward through the worst of the blather. The blatant displays of pandering, linking the September 11 events to the Super Bowl turned my stomach. It’s a freakin’ football game, people – this isn’t about freedom, or patriotism, or any of that treacle. All I can say is, thank the gods for the fast-forward button. I also learned that TiVo is great for watching the game itself. The snap, the play, the tackle, fast forward to the next play (ignoring the announcers’ blather), repeat. Made for a much more enjoyable game.

Funniest moment: we switched inputs to let the TiVo build a buffer and surfed around some other channels. Something funny came on and Dan asked me to pause it and rewind – took me a second to realize I couldn’t. The TiVo virus: know it, fear it.

I did have fun cooking last night. I made a nice batch of chicken and dumplings, with an excellent recipe from Cook’s Illustrated. Took a good long while, though – about four hours int he kitchen. It was worth it, I think. That, coupled with a nice white bread fresh from the bread machine was heavenly. Adding the dry milk powder to the recipe really makes a big difference – I now see why so many recipes call for it. Fo dessert, takaza made a delicious mint chocolate chip ice cream with a recipe he got from the net. We’ve mostly made custrad-based ice creams up until now – this method is much easier and very tasty as well.

Looks like we have new evilness on the horizon: After some research, it looks like we can add digital cable for only $13/month. That would give us about new 15 channels that we’d actually watch, plus a whole slew of music-only channels. I think we’ll try it for a few months and see how much use we get out of it. Scary thing is, this will push our Time-Warner bill a hair over $100/month (basic cable + “standard tier” + digital + broadband). Not that big of a deal, but still psychologically significant.

So, today is to be spent prepping for the big coating batch to be made tomorrow and Wednesday, with Thursday and Friday probably spent on cleanup. I can hardly wait (not). Off to work now…

Our story thus far

It’s been a delightful day – and last night was fun, too. We had dinner with the gang at San Remo, a nice little Italian place not far from our house. After dinner (and a somewhat disappointing tiramisu), we took advantage of the balmy evening and walked around the shopping center for a bit. They have a lovely lake with fountains there, so it was a pleasant setting. We packed it in early and came home, where takaza scanned in pictures and I futzed around on the net.

We had an early start this morning for a nice round of shopping with Franklin and Rob. We hit United Restaurant Supply, where I got two half-sheet baking pans and one full sheet pan (for $16 total! Yowza!), then it was over to a nice little Italian market where we picked up some pasta and other items (and then a stop by Krispy Kreme across the street. Evil, evil place!). After that, it was off to a barbecue grill store to see what they had in the way of outdoor gas burners (Alton Brown gave us some good ideas in his show about squid). Looks like we can get a burner for about $50, and a nice wok would be another $20-30 or so. Hmmm…interesting ideas for our Memorial Day party…

After that we made the obligatory stops by Best Buy and Circuit City to look for a DirecTV/TiVo combo for Franklin (they were out). After that it was back here to finish scanning pictures and putting up the website with our commitment ceremony pictures on it, then a nice evening of eating dinner while watching pretty pups on Animal Planet.

Boring married life at its finest 🙂

They’re up!

Well, it only took two and a half months, but we finally have them online and ready for everyone to view. Ladies and gentlefolk…

Pictures from the Brady/Hauschild Commitment Ceremony, 18 November, 2001

Let me know if you have any questions, wonder who’s who, what’s going on in a picture, or whatever. We’re going to be getting some reprints for our parents (we have the negatives), so if anyone wants copies we can negotiate. Unfortunately, you’ll have to pay for each pic you want reprinted, sorry – we wish we could cover the costs but it’s just not possible right now. Anyway, if you’re interested, let me know.

Whee!

Friday, glorious Friday! It’s just amazing out there right now – mid-70’s with a good stiff breeze. The front’s supposed to come in later today bringing with it rain and temperatures into the 30’s, more January-like than anything we’ve had for the last few weeks. It’ll be a welcome change, though.

(Completely pointless aside: I have commaphilia. This is, of course, the tendency to put commas all over the damn place whether they’re kneaded or not. I usually try to edit out the extraneous ones, but if you see any extras please pretend they’re hyphens or maybe (just for fun) an interrobang.)

Hmmph. I always knew I was a frustrated English major. Silly me, I wanted a degree I could actually make money with (dodges thrown objects from Liberal Arts majors everywhere 🙂

It’s been a quiet week in Holly Springs…no wait, that opening belongs to someone else. Anyway, we’ve been doing the married-folks-at-home thing a lot this week, so just to be different we’re getting some of the gang together and going to San Remo’s for dinner tonight, followed by either a show at Six String Cafe or chatting at the Paradigm Coffee House. In general, a nice, low-key kind of night that gets us out of the house.

I’m a bit concerned about Takaza. He’s had a headache pretty much nonstop since Sunday, and headaches aren’t supposed to do that. By all the symptoms, I’m strongly suspecting a sinus infection. He’s got an appointment with the doctor this afternoon, which makes me feel better. I love my wolf, but he’s mighty stubborn sometimes 🙂

Plans for this weekend include another nice, lazy day tomorrow; maybe I’ll even get motivated and do my taxes, since I’ve got all the forms in hand now. Sunday should be a nice, though chilly day. Another great day for a hike, I think – I’ll see if anyone is interested at dinner tonight.

Enough of my scattered prattle. I’ve got to head back to work and go make some coatings, yay.

Oh, by the way – The News and Observer had an interesting interview with the president of Lord Corporation (my employer) where he talks about the neat stuff we do. It’s a good interview, and he even mentions some of the products I’m working on. Cool!