October 2002

I have found something very interesting. As I hav…

I have found something very interesting. As I have continued my spiritual journey as a Gnostic Christian, I am finding that people are not understanding that my belief in psychics, mediums, etc. go hand-in-hand with Christianity. They are finding them totally unrelated and are assuming that I am a atheist! I am as far from being an atheist as one can get. I totally believe in God. I totally believe in heaven. I totally believe in all that stuff. But because I believe in reincarnation and psychic ability and all that stuff too, people think I can’t believe in both and so they assume I’m an atheist. Sigh. Part of me says just shut up about religion (it must be my upbringing), but I just can’t. I guess I’m too opinionated.

I better get back to work. Just had to vent.

I am a football wife. It’s official. Just a few m…

I am a football wife. It’s official. Just a few minutes ago, as Earl was watching the Eagles vs. the Giants on Monday Night Football, I poured him a glass a beer and gave him a bowl of pretzels to enjoy. I stayed in the kitchen and baked bread and did the ironing. How unbelieveable is that. The smile on Earl’s face when I gave him snack made it all worthwhile though.

I’ve been in some sort of weird funk today. I can’t put my finger on the reason – it’s not that I’m depressed or anything. Maybe it’s just the Monday blahs. This too shall pass. Tomorrow is another day.

I had a wonderful workout again this morning. The second day is always the hardest. I just need to adjust my routine so that I can work in my workout every morning before going to work. I felt great afterwards and I felt much more productive at work today, so I know it’s a good thing….

I see the counter on our home page is stuck at “1” again. What’s up with that. Frontpage 2002 can be so unpredictable. I think I “broke” the counter when I was messing around with the code last night. Who needs a counter anyways. Not having a counter will add to the mystery of how many people are keeping tabs on us.

I just purchased a “learn French in your car” CD series from Amazon. I’m going to make another go of becoming fluent in French. More specifically, I’d like to speak Quebecois so that I could navigate in Montréal and Québec City. I’d like to go to Montréal for New Year’s this year, and then maybe Québec City next summer. We’ll have to see. I’m intrigued to see how this learning the language in the car thing works out. It has received great reviews online, let’s see if I can become another success story.

Earl and I watched “American Dreams” off of TiVo this evening. I’m really liking that show. I hope it continues to succeed, because we are really into it.

I’ve discovered simplicity. Before 1995, there was…

I’ve discovered simplicity. Before 1995, there was “Windows 3.1” and “Windows for Workgroups”. Remember them? Well I’ve found tons of tools online for this classic operating system and I’m getting quite the functional system running on my spare Pentium. Could this be my future, satisfying my need for simplicity these days? Only time will tell, but I’m getting really excited about this.

O.k. I’m going to try for the 3rd time to write my…

O.k. I’m going to try for the 3rd time to write my blog entry tonight. Every time I try to post my entry, something about Microsoft SQL screws up and it loses it. Lovely.

Earl and I went on a wonderful drive to Ithaca yesterday. I wanted to shop at a Natural Foods store, and there’s a co-op down there so off we went! Ironically, we stopped at A&W in Cortland for lunch on the way. Can I tell you, I love that A&W. It’s one of the older ones. You can park out front, order on the intercom system and they’ll bring it out and hang it on your window (just like on Happy Days). Or you can eat in the dining room. Here’s the neat part, you still have to order over the intercom! It’s great! There used to be one outside of Syracuse in Cicero that we went to when I was a kid, but that was ripped down for a Taco Bell in the late 1980s. What a shame.

When we got to Ithaca we decided to walk around “the Commons”, which is really the Downtown area. It reminded me very much of Burlington, Vt. I loved it. I’ve been in a “granola boy” mood over the past couple of days, and this just enhanced it. I’m trying to get in touch with Mother Nature again – getting back to basics… making my own bread, putting more effort into recycling, trying to be aware of the non-replaceable resources I’m using, etc., etc. I’m growing out my hair and beard again, at least for a while. I suppose you could say I’m moving from the “Greg” side of my personality over to the “Dharma” side. I’ve been called kooky before. I don’t deny it.

The co-op was fabulous. I wish there was one closer to home. I could see myself working in a co-op. I went to the bulk section and tried to buy these organic M&Ms for the office. Well I dumped 1 1/2 lbs. all over the floor. Eeks. After apologizing profusely, the attendant cheerfully cleaned it up. If I had done that at Wal*mart, I would have gotten a stern stare, a click of the tongue and a big sigh. It was refreshing to see a nice human being working in a store for a change.

Earl and I also went to Best Buy at Pyramid Mall just north of Ithaca. I picked up a couple of DVDs — “V” and “V: The Final Battle”. They are both mini-series that NBC showed in the early 1980s. Earl and I have been watching “V” from the Action channel off the Dish over the past couple of nights. And last night we watched the entire “V: The Final Battle” – all six hours! Earl tried to feign not being interested, but about 30 minutes into it he started showing interest. I know Diana is the bad guy and such, but you have to admire her determination and tenacity.

I’ve been reconfiguring the spare computer we have here at the house. It’s a DOS machine. I’m trying to see if I can do everything I need to do with DOS without compromise. Let’s see if this little experiment works. If it does, I’m going to switch to DOS for a while, because I enjoy typing in command rather than clicking with a mouse. Maybe I’ll convert all the applicable workstations at work back over to DOS so that the employees don’t waste time surfing the web and downloading music. I don’t think that’s being too rude.

I’ve been working on cleaning up the wreck room today. It seems like every Sunday I’m cleaning up the wreck room. I guess that’s why it’s called the wreck room.

Earl and I went grocery shopping for some perishables that we couldn’t pick up at the co-op yesterday. Picked up some vegetarian TV dinners for work and some other goodies. I think the time change has kicked me back into this granola boy mode I’m in. I worked out this morning (and feel great) and I look forward to doing it again tomorrow. I’m a little sore since I’ve been out of my routine for the past couple of weeks, but that’s o.k. I like standard time so much better than daylight time. I’m more comfortable with it getting dark earlier. I really like fall and winter the best – I like the prospect of getting dumped on with snow. I like a chill in the air. I like the shorter days. I think it’s the way I’m wired.

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written in m…

Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve written in my blog! I think I’ve been suffering from major computer burnout. The Linux experiment has been a fiasco, I’m back on Windows XP. I’m seriously considering moving my computer to good old MS-DOS – let’s see if I can do that and still get things accomplished!

My little telephone project at work is nearly complete. I have successfully installed an Executone IDS-84 phone system with Infostar/DVX voicemail. All purchased refurbished. After a couple of little glitches (and user errors), we now have an auto attendant answering the phones at work and calls are successfully be processed through the company. I think I’ve found a new facet of my geekdom. I really enjoyed the project although I worked A LOT of hours doing it. If I find myself in search of a career change, I definitely think it’ll be into telecommunications. It’s funny, I haven’t been paying much attention to the servers at work and they’ve been doing great. I wonder if the trick to using Microsoft Windows successfully is not to do anything with it.

I haven’t written since Earl and I have been to Toronto! We went to Toronto the weekend of the 12th. We stayed at a Bed and Breakfast called the Bantinghouse Inn. This place was absolutely charming and I *highly* recommend it for anyone planning on visiting up there. We both love Toronto so, and for that matter, Canada in general. I really think that we’re going to end up living in Canada at sometime – it’s so charming up there. I’d really like to retire to the very southern tip of Quebec (southeast of Montreal), but we’ll have to see on that one.

I’m really antsy to go cycling, but the weather just hasn’t been cooperating. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for Sunday – it’ll be cool, but hopefully it’ll be dry. I’ve been maintaining my weight (loss) for the most part. I think I need to do more aerobic type things. I’ve been reading about Yogilates, which is a cross between Yoga and Pilates. It looks quite interesting. Last night on Survivor they snapped another chicken’s neck on TV and I commented to Earl that I really need to become a vegetarian again. I don’t like what’s happening to animals. Earl’s only beef (ha ha) with my becoming a vegetarian is that he feels he needs to cook two meals. I guess I’ll have to pull up my boot straps and help out with the cooking if I want to be serious about this. And eat lots of peanut butter so that I maintain protein intake. I have a wonderful cookbook for “almost vegetarians” – maybe I should do some experimenting with dishes in that cookbook.

Then I feel totally hypocritcal for being a vegetarian and wearing a leather coat. But I really like my leather coat. I guess that’s what the difference between vegetarian and vegan is? I have noticed that I’ve become lactose intolerant over the past couple of months which is weird. Good thing I’m grooving on rice and soy milk.

I really can’t get into Survivor this season. I’m not routing for anyone and we’re almost half way through already. I guess I want Helen (the Navy swim instructor) to win. They’re all just sort of there and don’t really have any stand out qualities. Not like Kathy last season – she had charisma and personality and everything and really should of won.

What’s up with Will and Grace this year? I think Hanna-Barbera should take it over and make it the cartoon it really is.

Speaking of Hanna-Barbera, Earl and I picked up “Scooby Doo” on DVD last week. Jinkees, I loved it! I was hesitant to get it, because of the wreck they made of Josie and the Pussycats a couple of years ago, but Scooby Doo stayed pretty much true to the cartoon. And the cast did an excellent job of bringing the characters to “life”.

It’s midnight on the nose, time to call it a night!

O.k., I’ve been obsessing over my computer for 24 …

O.k., I’ve been obsessing over my computer for 24 hours or so. As I mentioned yesterday, I switched it to RedHat Linux (version 7.3 for anyone that’s keeping track.) Pretty cool, except I feel like I’m hitting so many obstacles when I use it.

Some of my big problems:

1. USB webcam support sucks. I have two USB webcams, an IBM NetCameraPro and a Kodak DVC-325. Both work well, I just can’t get them to work in Linux. I know it’s the manufacturer’s fault that they don’t work, as they haven’t released drivers for Linux, but it would be nice to have the webcam work without too much problem.

2. I’m having a bugger of a time installing a Java Runtime Environment. As you may have noticed, I have a couple of nifty little buttons, courtesy of FrontPage, on the index page of our site. I can’t see them unless I install Java. Now that kind of sucks. I think I’m going to make them static buttons, because if I’m having a problem with it, other people are having a problem as well. Plus, with the issues going on with Microsoft and Sun fighting over Java, it’s a little too difficult for people to navigate our site without buttons. So I suppose that was an eye opener. But please stop me, I’m rambling.

3. I have a beautiful HP Scanjet 4400c. I love it immensely. It doesn’t work under Linux.

4. Now this may be a trivial thing, but the sounds that come with KDE suck. They sound like they were recorded on an 8-track or a GE cassette player from the 1970s.

5. My “hot keys” on my HP internet keyboard don’t work, nor do they glow. Again, another little nit but it makes me crazy when things don’t work the way they should.

6. The internet connection is slow, slow, slow. Earl and I connect through the internet courtesy of Direcway by Earthlink. To put it in layman’s terms, we have a satellite dish on the roof of the barn that beams the information up to a satellite which beams it back down to Direcway headquarters, which in turn gets what it needs courtesy of land lines and does the same thing in reverse. It’s not the speediest process by any means, but it’s REALLY REALLY slow using Linux. I think it’s because of Microsoft’s “internet connection sharing” functionality, but because Direcway doesn’t have anything but Windows software for this beast, I’m stuck with it.

7. CD burning, etc. is a NIGHTMARE.

I’ll probably get my geek card revoked, but before leaving for work this morning I decided to install Windows XP Home Edition AGAIN. As much as Microsoft angers me with their strong-arm tactics, I can’t help but use their stuff because it does what it’s suppose to do, with everything that I have, about 90% of the time. Yes, Windows XP does crash from time to time, and Earl thanks the computer gods for living with a geek nightly, but at least I can figure out what Windows is trying to do when it crashes and prevent it from happening again.

If I had a server at the house, it would definitely be running Linux, because Linux servers are wonderfully reliable and easy to maintain. But I don’t think Linux is ready for prime-time when it comes to the desktop.

Just had to get that off my chest. Honestly, if I had some loot in the bank account, I’d buy us two Macs and go from there. I’m very impressed with OS X from what I’ve read about it and the little I’ve played with it.

I’ve received several compliments on my “fashion plate” look I’ve been sporting today. Makes me feel kind of good I must say. I dare say that I am very vain, but who cares, I’m beautiful damn it. 🙂 Just kidding.

Tonight Earl and I are cleaning up the house, which looks like Yucca Flats after the blast. The wreck room is definitely living up to its name and I really can’t mention in polite company why Earl’s underwear is in the kitchen sink. 🙂 Just kidding – but we do have to clean up a little bit before the cleaning lady has a heart attack. Isn’t that weird – we clean up when we know the cleaning lady is coming. I seriously need to catch up on e-mail as well. With the computer being such a challenge, I’ve been neglecting my e-mail. I’ll have to catch up tonight.

Almost time for bed, but I decided that I needed t…

Almost time for bed, but I decided that I needed to write in my blog before calling it a night.

I went for a really long bike ride today – about 35 miles around the general area. I purposely threw some steep hills into the mix to keep it interesting and to keep my legs in shape.

This afternoon and evening I decided to install RedHat Linux on my home computer, and I’ve been acclimating to that. It’s been a little bit of a challenge, but I’m enjoying it. Blogger isn’t working right, as I have a 3 line by 15 character window to type this entry in, but I think I’ll get that little bug worked out. If anyone reading this knows how to get my IBM Netcamera Pro working on Linux, I’d really appreciate the help. Please drop me a line at jp@jpnearl.com.

Yesterday, Earl and I went on a leaf peeping ride through the Catskills and then we decided to go shopping at “The Galleria at Crystal Run” in Middletown. Since I’ve lost so much weight, I really needed to get new clothes. Earl said I could get some stuff only if I let him dress me. So now I’m going to work tomorrow looking like an absolute Fashion Plate – head to toe all new. I got these clunky shoes and everything. I usually get my clothes at Target or JCPenney, but this time I went to “Structure” and Filenes. Tres chic. 🙂 I’ll have to post pictures.

I’m writing a blog entry at work again. You can te…

I’m writing a blog entry at work again. You can tell things are a little slow. We just had problems with our internet connection that we repaired after a little bit. I hate it when hubs go bad.

Last night Earl and I joined my sister and her boyfriend and my mother for dinner at Olive Garden outside of Syracuse. It was pleasant enough. We were going to go to Plainville Turkey Farm, but mom wanted wine with her dinner and we didn’t think Plainville served wine. We had a really nice meal.

I did a “past life regression” self-hypnosis session a couple of nights ago that frankly scared the liver out of me. As I was doing it, I came to find out that I lived in Virginia in 1785, my first name was Barnabas, and I was locked up in a crate and thrown overboard off a ship. Apparently this is what they did to people with the plague. A couple of odd things have happened since: I’m not nervous on the elevator anymore and I’ve seem to have lost track of time. Usually I’m very aware of what time it is, but lately I don’t know what time of the day it is nor do I even realize what time of the year it is. I think I’m just nuts.