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GRAFFITI -- August 02, 2004 thru August 08, 2004

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Welcome to Orb Graffiti, a place for me to write daily about life and computers. Contrary to popular belief, the two are not interchangeable.     About eMail - I publish email sometimes. If you send me an email and you want privacy or anonymity, please say so clearly at the beginning of your message.

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MONDAY    Tues    Wed    Thu    Fri    Sat    Sun   
August 2, 2004

1930 - Good evening. That was a long damned day. Muggy (low 90's), hot (high 80's), and I hit a total of 7 sites over the course of 9 hours, patching MS holes everywhere I went. In and out of airconditioning, outside, in the car, on the beltway, back in the aircon... whew. My lungs are so happy to be home ... so I work in the garage prepping the recycling for tomorrow's pickup, of course. More tomorrow, thanks for dropping by!

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Mon    TUESDAY    Wed    Thu    Fri    Sat    Sun   
August 3, 2004

0723 - Good morning. Two Happy Birthday's going out today. A couple of members of my family on the Brady branch are celebrating today: Julie and Tom. You might know of young Tom, he's got a couple of Superbowl rings. I also want to send a shout out to a good friend and his wife who just celebrated the one-week birthday of their new baby daughter. Privacy requests prevent saying who, but you know who you are!

I got this in an email yesterday...

What happens when you:
1) have nothing to do
2) own a sharp knife
3) have a large lime
4) own a patient cat
5) drink too much tequila
6) and it's football season?

Click here to see the frightful result, if you dare!

If anyone wants to take credit for that one, then I'll be utterly, completely happy to publish their full names. Really.

Last night, after that short post, I got the bills paid, did the trash and the recycling, went to the bank for a deposit and some stamps, cooked my supper and did other assorted minor maintenance items. There wasn't much time left for fun or technology. Soon, soon I hope to be back in the swing. Oh, yeah, and when I said sites, I meant physical places where I practice the IT tango, not websites! Sheesh! But thanks for dropping by, have a great day!

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Mon    Tues    WEDNESDAY    Thu    Fri    Sat    Sun   
August 4, 2004

0630 - Good morning.

Doom 3 upgrade successfully applied to the Gaming partition

Wow! Doom 3 is out, maybe still on the shelves at a store near you (although they were almost sold out at the local Best Buy by late afternoon yesterday). It's a rockin' first person shooter. And no, my hardware (dual Athon MP 1900+, 1G RAM, Radeon 9700 Pro) isn't even close to good enough to play it at the highest resolution / effects levels. That said, I'm playing at "High" F/X, at 1280x1024 and it only gets choppy just at the first contact during a particularly intense firefight. Of course, that's just when you don't want to freeze up, so I'm either going to drop the resolution or the F/X setting (maybe both and see what change irks me less). But make no bones about it -- this is one hell of a game! Not for small children or easily frightened people. You'll have dreams, you see...

[screenshot image credit to 1up.com, until I can figure out how to grab my own...]

I was joking with Greg last night that after successful application of the Doom 3 upgrade to my gaming OS, I might be feeling ill enough that I'll need a day or two off... but no. I played for something less than 3 hours last night, and that was enough for the moment. It was time then either to stop, or to play on through the night. I chose the former course of action. This game will be fun for a long time, and in a short while, the user mods are going to start flooding in. Wooooooo!

No, I'm not going to tell you how I really feel ... GRIN! Now I need to get to work. Have a great day!

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Mon    Tues    Wed    THURSDAY    Fri    Sat    Sun   
August 5, 2004

0710 - Good morning. Yesterday I got home early enough to try to knock down the worst of the backyard overgrowth. Luxuriant doesn't begin to describe 6" of lawn growth over a two week span. I took one high pass over the whole lawn, then another pass at a lower setting. I then got about 1/3 of the way through at my preferred grass height, with the bag on, before I ran out of steam. I'll need to finish that up tomorrow, I think. Not tonight as it rained buckets last night, thick with thunder and lightning, too.

By the time chores and dinner were done, it was 2030. So I relaxed and played doom for about 1.5 hours, then did a little prep work for today's gig. I'm helping one of our clients with a workstation migration. This is problematic only because his Windows XP Program Menu expansion covers three full columns!!! Anyway, I'd best be about it. Have a great day!

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Mon    Tues    Wed    Thu    FRIDAY    Sat    Sun   
August 6, 2004

0735 - What? It's Friday already? Wait, that's not fair. I still have lots of things that I need to do, and I haven't gotten to them yet! Sigh.

Well, at least it is Friday. That's some solace. Today, after a hopefully short work day, Marcia, Lucy and I are headed down to Richmond, VA to meet a rescue lab, currently called Maui. If everyone gets along, then the freshly rechristened Molly will be coming home with us. We'll see what happens, more news as it's fit to print.

On the subject of XP-SP2, I've heard mostly good things about it, and just a few horror stories. I would not, when it comes out in the next few days, bulk apply it to every system you have. Pick one or two sacrificial goats in the organization, apply it to their machines, and then help them fix the broken bits of their work patterns (apps borked because of the new security models, etc), documenting as you go. Then when you apply to other worker-bees, you can run your fix-it-up script that you developed from the tester machines. I'm prepared for a busy week next week.

Now I've got to go tank up the car and get on the road. Happy Friday, have a great day!

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Mon    Tues    Wed    Thu    Fri    SATURDAY    Sun   
August 7, 2004

Meet our new dog, Molly

Molly & kneeMolly & hand0931 - Good morning. Yeah, that's Molly, and so is this, and this (right and left). My work day finished up at about noon, and by 2 PM, Marcia and I were on the road southbound to Richmond. It wasn't a horrid drive, although we ran into a few slow-downs, it wasn't nearly as bad as it would have been if we'd left two or three hours later. Total trip was 6 hours, so that's something. We got there, met with Molly for the first time at the foster mom's house. Sweet, good natured, well-formed and reasonably calm. This dog, who'd been temporarily named Maui after being abandoned at a shelter, was ready to come home with us. So she did. There's been a bit of territorial scuffling between Molly and Lucy, with Lucy being substantially more aggressive. But that's already settled down significantly. The trick, of course is not to show either dog excessive favor.

Lightning in the cloudsI tried to capture the lightning a few nights ago. But between the not-excellent low-light characteristics of the D450, and the shutter lag, I really only got this one shot out of twenty or thirty. Still, it's better than nothing. This was a small part of a huge lightning storm that passed by to our north. Overhead I had stars, and to the south east a full moon rising. But the dark mass of clouds to the north was full of piss and vinegar.

We have had storm after storm over the past couple of months, and with the poor drainage in the red clay that underlies this development, root-rot has pretty much killed my lovely large garden. I'm going to harvest out the carrots if any made it, and the last few tomatoes, then till the whole thing back to flat. Then I'll seed it for grass and let it regrow before winter. Next spring I'll build frames and the garden will be a series of raised beds. Now it's time for me and the dogs to get outside ... Marcia's off running errands. Have a great day!

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Mon    Tues    Wed    Thu    Fri    Sat    SUNDAY  
August 8, 2004

Prepping the garden for demo. Final harvest is done. This is an ex-garden.

0925 - Good morning. Above, you can see what occupied my day yesterday. First I unscrewed the lattice from the stakes, and stacked that out of the way. Then I pulled the stakes. That is the state in the left picture above. After collecting the stakes, I proceeded to harvest what I could, which was a couple of cucumbers and a triple handful of tomatoes. Then I pulled up the plants, then took up and bagged the ground cover fabric. I also took out the weeper hoses (4 x 50' each), rolled and tied up for storage. That gets us to the center picture. The final phase was gas-powered. I first used the lawn mower to knock down the high grasses at the edges and at the bottom of the garden where I didn't have anything planted. Then I used the rototiller to turn everything in. That took about three passes. Now we're at the rightmost picture above. By the time I was done, seven hours were gone by.

Relaxing on the deckMolly goes exploringAfter I'd cleaned up, we relaxed on the deck for a while, then Molly went careening around the yard in exploration of all the new smells I'd turned up during the day's work. Today I'm buying a piece of heavy lumber, a couple of heavy eyebolts and some rope. I'll use that to screed the ground to fairly flat, then seed it and cover with grass trimmings from mowing the rest of the yard. With regular waterings, that should be green and happy in about a month. It'll set that way all fall and winter, then I'll setup my raised bed garden there next spring.

Okay, it is shopping time. Have a great day!

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Visit the rest of the DAYNOTES GANG, a collection of bright minds and sharp wits. Really, I don't know why they tolerate me <grin>. My personal inspiration for these pages is Dr. Jerry Pournelle. I am also indebted to Bob Thompson and Tom Syroid for their patience, guidance and feedback. Of course, I am sustained by and beholden to my lovely wife, Marcia. You can find her online too, at http://www.dutchgirl.net/. Thanks for dropping by.

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