I was up late Monday night, and didn't sleep very well for reasons I'm sure I don't need to explain here. When my alarm went off on Tuesday morning I decided that after a night like that I just wasn't ready to face the insanity at work. Sleep deprivation, worry and depression don't leave me in the best of moods, so I'd hardly be tolerant of AC's foolishness, and I really wasn't looking forward to trying to make our broken Network Management Server work again (that's a story best left for another time). I called in and left a voicemail with the department secretary saying that I was going to take the day off and then rolled over to go back to sleep. I didn't wake up again until around 10:00 AM, when I heard somebody banging upon and swearing at our front door. I was groggy and couldn't really understand why anybody would be doing such a thing -- then I realized it was the apartment complex, replacing the deadbolt and door knob on our front door. I got dressed, fed Ra and wandered out to the living room to greet the maintenance man who was trying to get our deadbolt to work properly in the door. A few minutes afterward he got everything working and wished me a good day.
I made a brief lunch (Atkins flakes with almond chips, and a quarter cup of whole almonds to go with it) and settled in front of the computer. I did lazy work on the machine, then got tired of being online and watched a movie by myself. Okay, so I wasn't entirely by myself, I had Ra curled up next to me on the couch.
The rest of the day was relatively uneventful. I checked in with some folks online, answered a few e-mails and balanced my checkbook once the movie was over. enveri came home and we talked for a bit, since she was curious if I wanted to do dinner. At the time I declined because I wasn't in a sociable mood, and I didn't want to spend the money for a dinner at BD's. When roho got home we took a walk down the street to a store called Fruitful Yield, which seems likely to replace GNC as our store of choice for obtaining Atkins supplies. Some things, like the Atkins cereals, aren't stocked at this store and still have to be ordered online (my bigass Atkins order arrived while I was in California, thankfully bringing with it several boxes of the cereal). However, they do stock the Atkins shakes that seem to be popular, as well as the Advantage bars. Not only is this store convenient -- it's within walking distance of the apartment -- it's also cheaper than GNC. I really do adore this neighborhood. I just wish it weren't so bloody expensive.
After we dropped our "groceries" off in the apartment we decided to walk across the street to The Continental for dinner, since Kes wasn't in the mood to cook and they wanted my company. We got there after braving the rush-hour traffic, were seated and then had to wait for our order to be taken. I brought some Splenda packets with me since I decided I wanted coffee, something I was soon to learn was not going to be an easy task. While the restaurant wasn't terribly busy and the waitstaff didn't seem to be short it took forever to get our food.... and while I was waiting I couldn't get a refill on the one cup of coffee I'd drank no matter how much I begged and gestured. It was frustrating, to say the least. Worse yet, when our food did arrive, it was nothing like what we'd ordered. Kestral's steak was underdone and missing the grilled onions she'd asked for. My scrambled eggs stank and were discolored, making me wonder just how long they'd been in the fridge. My ham was also greasy and burned in some places. We tried not to make a fuss but sent the food back, and got something a bit more palatable not too long afterward. The eggs were still revolting, though, so I pushed those aside and snacked on my ham and tomato slices. Who says you can't eat well on a diet? I'm hardly bored with my food selection, even now, two months later.
We walked home after dinner and sat around for a bit. I wasn't in the mood to practice my bass, which was sort of bad since practice had also gotten skipped on Monday night. Eventually everyone went to bed, although I lingered for an hour or so more. I took a shower and went to bed about midnight.
Got up on time this morning, freezing my proverbial tail off. I had left the windows up during the night and the air had taken on a biting chill that wasn't terribly pleasant. Once I'd roused myself, fed Ra and gotten dressed I prepared lunch (cheddar cheese and pepperoni sticks) and grabbed an Advantage bar for a late-afternoon snack. I tried one of the Atkins breakfast bars I had gotten from Fruitful Yield on Tuesday and was quite pleased. It was sort of like a Rice Krispy bar, with chocolate on it -- and best of all it was only 2g of carbs. Like I said, I can eat like this for the rest of my life, although my wallet may not be entirely happy about that.
The drive in to work was uneventful, although I was upset to see that my pickup is still misbehaving. I have got to take it to Jiffy Lube this weekend so that I can get the radiator and cooling system flushed. Hopefully with enough pressure behind it we can knock loose whatever is clogging things up and causing the engine to run so blasted hot.
Work itself wasn't too bad. I had lunch an hour later than I usually do since I was waiting for a coworker to get out of a meeting, and most of my day was spent fighting with HP's OpenView Operations product, trying to undo the damage that was done last week by a simple (or so one might thing) host name change. Eventually the problem was resolve (around 3pm Central Daylight) and I was able to heave a sign of relief. Yes, we lost a week's worth of data and productivity on my part while I hammered this problem out, but it's done now and I don't have to reinstall from scratch. I there's one thing I don't want to do it's reinstall -- 10 months of work would go right down the drain.
I came home armed with the CDs for Mandrake Linux 9.1, which I recently installed on my laptop. Since I don't have an *IX distribution on my desktop (and since FreeBSD demands a floppy drive to install, something my workstation does not have because I'm a cheap prick and I think 1.4M is a waste of my time in the era of CD-R) I decided that today was the day I was going to try to get dual-booting set up with XP. The first installation did not go at all as I planned, and had to be completely wiped out because it misallocated swap space and created far too many partitions. The second time around seemed to be okay, and it even asked me what boot loader I wanted to use, something it hadn't done the first time. Once I got the software installed and the updates downloaded I started poking around. Thus far I have found out that Grip is the single greatest program for ripping CDs to MP3 or OGG, but my IDE chain blows and I get tons of contention so I shouldn't try to rip and encode at the same time. I also learned that the default display manager in Mandrake is a total piece of crap. Eventually I coaxed the system over to GDM and it's been a lot happier, the load has stayed much more stable. A third thing I learned is that Mandrake didn't ship this distribution with a version of Java that worked, so I had to download 1.4.1 from Sun's site and install it before I could view websites like Cthulhu Coffee that used Java.
I'm still in Linux right now, with all my NTFS partitions mounted and some MP3s playing from the primary hard drive. I'm really impressed with how this is handling, overall. I even found a LJ client called Drivel (apt name, don't you think?) that is written for use on the various *IX flavors, so long as you have GNOME and the proper libraries. Since installed every library known to man I figured this wouldn't be a problem. I downloaded the client and was a little miffed to discover RPM thought I wasn't meeting one of my dependencies. I said I needed GTK2 version 2.0 or higher. I have GTK2 2.2.1 I knew I was alright, but I couldn't seem to figure out what it was looking for. Eventually I got tired of it, forced an install by using --nodeps and moved on. The Drivel client is pretty nice. It reminds me a great deal of the Visions client (the original Windows LJ client) and it's pretty robust overall. I particularly like Drivel's ability to save and open drafts of entries, something that can be done completely independent of posting. This is a good feature, one that I wish would show up for the Windows clients!
I practiced for 30 minutes on the bass tonight, running the c-major scale and working on the arpeggio as well. Right now my goal is to strengthen the fingers of my left hand, get a bit better at stretching (man, those first five frets feel like they're a football field apart) as well as learn to read the sheet music again and actually be able to play the notes indicated without looking down at my fingering on the neck. It's slow going, but I'm seeing some progress on being able to hit the notes I want without looking. Maybe I'll eventually be able to correlate notes from the sheet to notes on the guitar. *wry chuckle*
Yes, my mood has improved a little. I'm still not "great" by any means, and I'm terribly worried for RB and I miss a certain panther lass lots (I suspect her computer still hasn't been repaired, and that work has been keeping her busy as well) but I'm sure all will return to normal soon -- or whatever passes for normal in my life, anyway.
Before I close out, I do have a question and I'd like people to vote on it so that I know what the best path is to take.....
How should I handle all the pictures from my trip to California in May, 2003?
Thanks for sharing your thoughts on the matter. No matter what approach I take this will be a monumental task, but I want to do it in a way that people are going to enjoy browsing through.
Well someone came and took the lamp away