May 21, 2007


Proctors Theatre Arcade.
Originally uploaded by bluemarvel.

Earl is in the Capital District tonight on business and invited me to join him for dinner. I love these last minute road trips. We’re just getting back to his room in downtown Schenectady. We’re going to watch the season finale of “Heroes” and then I’m going to jump on the Thruway and head home.

Here’s a picture of the arcade at Proctor’s Theatre. I find these older buildings to be fascinating. We don’t build them like this anymore.

I love these last minute trips.


I just finished my lunch. On the menu today were two pieces of leftover pizza from the weekend. It was yummy.

Lately I’ve been against using the radarange (o.k., microwave) for anything. Earl came home one night last week and noticed that I was heating the brussel sprouts by steaming them on the stove instead of nuking the heck out of them. When I make popcorn I use the latest version of the old-fashioned motorized West Bend popcorn popper, complete with canola oil and dripping butter goodness. Even when I boil water these days I use the stove instead of the radarange.

When I was a kid I thought my grandmother’s radarange was the coolest thing. It was so heavy it took two people to carry it. You needed to lock the door shut before you could turn it on (the rumor about needing lead gloves proved to be unsubstantiated). If you used one of the fancy plates sparks flew around inside while the food cooked. You weren’t suppose to use the fancy plate in the radarange.

While these devices appeal to the geek, today I can’t help but think that using microwaves to cook food is somehow not normal. It’s not that I’m afraid of a microwave oven or think that my head is going to explode by standing near one but with all the radio waves, television signals, satellite signals and cellular chatter in the air today, I feel like I’m contributing to Mother Earth and the welfare of her children a little bit by not adding to the technological mix while I melt butter. So for lunch I heated my two slices of pizza in the oven on our pizza stone. It came out crisp and tasty. If I had used the radarange it probably would have been a mixture of soggy at one end and chewy on the other.

Once You Go Mac…

So I’m back on my PowerBook G4 full-time again. Last night I had to catch up on some web site work for my various sites, as well as some sites I maintain for various charitable organizations. While I don’t use a lot of the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editing functions unless I’m in a crunch and use the same text editor on both Linux and OS X (Vim for the most part), I had a dilly of a time trying to create graphics and maintain the sites using the tools available on Linux. I could accomplish the task, but it wasn’t as easy to do as it was on my PowerBook.

Plus, any and all fonts look infinitely better on OS X and that makes a considerable difference when you’re staring at the screen for long periods of time.

So I moved all my files to the larger server in the house (we have two here, yes I am an übergeek), powered down the HP computer and powered my PowerBook back up. The rest of my editing flew once I switched back and the whole experience felt more comfortable.

If you don’t want or have a Mac, I still recommend Ubuntu Linux for the everyday chores. I had a weird thing going on with YouTube videos locking up the system that I couldn’t solve and I couldn’t make any vidcasts using Linux due to a lack of webcam drivers, but for everything else I must say that Ubuntu was adequate. It’s not as nice as Mac but it’s not as vulnerable as Windows when it comes to security and the great part is the fact that it’s free.

I guess it’s true that once you go Mac you never go back.

And We’re Off.

Still quite puffed up from the final grades for the last semester, I eagerly jumped into the swing of school again this morning with my one summer course: “Intermediate Algebra”. The joy of dancing variables will last for eight weeks.

One thing that was readily apparent is that my fellow students are serious students. Most of them are over the age of 30, they all seem to be serious students (whereas during the regular semester there’s some that are not so serious about their studies) and more importantly, three are super woofy. When I told Earl of this last point he said I need to take pictures.

Since this is a 12 week course in an eight week slot, classes are longer and the pace is considerably faster. The teacher seems enthusiastic and people were actually participating in class, so I have to say that I’m quite excited about this little quick burst of education. Whereas last semester I waited for others to participate before jumping in on the discussion, this morning I answered the very first question and thank the universe I was correct.

Let’s see how enthusiastic I am in a week when I’m swimming in polynomals.