I am typing on Earl’s old Compaq Presario tonight….

I am typing on Earl’s old Compaq Presario tonight. You’ll never believe it, but I decided that it needs to run RedHat Linux 8.0. It’s kind of nice, because I have an extra machine at the moment and I can experiment with Linux again without disrupting my work on my regular computer. Pretty cool circumstances.

Earl and I went to Buffalo over the weekend. Well actually, on Friday night we went and saw “Star Trek:Nemesis”. If you’re a Trekker go see. If you’re wanting to see what Star Trek is all about, skip it and go rent another Star Trek movie on DVD. I love Star Trek and while I’m not a wild and crazy Trekker type, I do look forward to the new movies and such. I found this one boring and predictable, and it had quite a few plot holes. It’s not one that I want to see again.

On Saturday we drove through a snow storm and headed out to Buffalo. Every year we do Christmas shopping all in one day, away from our home turf. This year we decided on Buffalo. We hit the Walden Galleria and got 90% of our shopping done in just a couple of hours. We then checked into the hotel, and then headed out to the older McKinley Mall. When I was going to college back in the late 1980s at SUNY Fredonia, McKinley Mall was *the* shopping spot. It’s holding it’s own pretty well against Walden Galleria.

We then went crazy with TGIFridays – appetizers AND dessert, but who cares it’s the holidays. At least I stuck to the no dairy/no chemicals/no sugar thing pretty well. Except maybe for the apple crisp at the end. I had a wonderful grilled vegetables dish that I look forward to having again!

We decided to go out for a drink Saturday night… actually two drinks. I like that bar “Buddies”. It’s a crowd that Earl and I fit in with well.

Sunday we drove home, stopping in Rochester on the way to tidy up the shopping. We bought a Sony DV mini cam for the house – that’s the “house present” this year. It’s kind of cool – we can edit videos on both the PC and the iMac. I’ll have to share our creations as they get, well, created.

And then it was back to work today. I was in a funk again, but snapped out of it in the late afternoon. I really don’t know why. There’s stuff irritating me at work, but I don’t know why because it’s really business as usual. I don’t think it’s work that’s putting me in a funk so much as time tells me that it’s the holidays but I don’t honestly feel it. I’m hoping that it kicks in this week for me when I go and do Earl’s Christmas shopping. At least I’m keeping calm at work while still in the funk. I know tomorrow will be a better day.

I am so excited. Tonight I found out the somethin…

I am so excited. Tonight I found out the something that has had me wondering for years. Brett Somers is still alive. You remember Brett Somers. Once married to Jack Klugman, she’s probably remembered most from “Match Game”, upper row, center panelist. She, along with Charles Nelson Reilly, was on a “Game Show Reunion” version of Hollywood Squares this week. It was kind of cool, they had Peter Marshall hosting with Tom Bergeron in the center square. The Price is Right voice (Rob Roddy?) was doing the announcing, they had one of the lovely Price is Right models, and then your usual standards.. Wink Martindale, Bob Eubanks, Chuck Woolery… it was good fun. And it was great to see Brett Somers again. I had heard a couple of years ago that she lived in Upstate N.Y., and then I saw her on a rerun of Match Game ’90 on the Game Show Network where she looked very frail. Well tonight she still looks very frail but she still is chugging along. Good for you Brett!

Earl was in Buffalo last night getting acquainted with some of his new duties. Like this summer, he is working part time in Buffalo and part time in Utica again. It may become a permanent thing. I am very proud of him for his accomplishments. Ironically, we are going back to Buffalo this weekend for Christmas shopping and spending the night Saturday night. It should prove to be fun.

Tomorrow is the company Christmas party and retirement party for one of our employees. We have our Christmas party during the day… which is kind of convenient because then tomorrow night we can go see the new Star Trek movie.

I’ve been concentrating on my goals a little bit – let’s see how they pan out. I seem to be a little bit more calm at work.

I was frustrated last night because the clock system here at the house was going crazy. Come to find out, the underground wire between the house and the barn must be getting wet, because once I disconnected that circuit everything seemed fine. I am going to make some adjustments to it so that it doesn’t effect everything else when it shorts out. Let’s see if that helps it along!

I got antsy last night around 12:15 (mostly because Earl wasn’t home) and danced around the house like a maniac. It must have been good, because when I weighed myself this morning I was a very light 185 lbs. Very surprising! πŸ™‚

I had a very strange dream last night where I was actually talking with Sylvia Browne. Sylvia, if you’re reading this, please let me know if we did talk last night. πŸ™‚ It was an amazing conversation, but it had some ominous overtones to it and led into that recurring nightmare I had… but it didn’t feel as bad as it usually does. The nightmare I’m talking about is the one where Earl and I are approaching some sort of conscious decision to “cross over” because the world is coming to an end. Like we’re doing something for a “greater good” or to save others. I always get the sense that it is nuclear related somehow. Like we are giving up what we have to save others. I think the uneasiness in the world is spooking me a little bit. I’m trying to write down as many details as I can every morning to see if I can find a pattern.

I guess I could be thought of as weird because I really enjoy sleeping and dreaming. I feel so at ease in my dreams (most of the time) and feel like I can actually control what’s going on. I’ve read several books on dreaming and I’ve found every one of the fascinating. For example, when I dream of elementary school, I can usually wake up and find the clocks acting all screwy. It’s like my subconscious is saying “Hey – the clock system is messed up again” even though I’m asleep. It is so fascinating to me.

Well it’s getting late, I’m going to read a bit and call it a night.

Well Earl and I just got done watching Judging Amy…

Well Earl and I just got done watching Judging Amy. A pretty good episode, until the very end. It struck me as a bit hokey when she found out that her ex-husband has had a detective following her around for a year. Oh well. Now, I think Amy Brenneman is one of the hottest women on TV, ever, and I really like the character of Amy Gray, so this story line is striking me as a little weak. Let’s see how it pans out.

Earl and I decorated the inside of the house tonight for the holidays. The tree looks beautiful – I’ll be posting pictures in a day or two. Earl took a picture of me wearing the Christmas Tree Skirt. Now that’s lovely. I was smoothing it out over my lap and he said I should put it on, so I did and even posed. I looked like a fool.

I felt much better at work today. I don’t know why I was in such a funk yesterday. I think it helped that last night I took the time to write my goals down for 2003. Earl has his managers do that at work, and I decided to participate in the exercise. The list is a little lengthy, but it’s all stuff that I really want to achieve next year. Sort of an organized New Year’s resolutions I suppose. One of the things I have planned are two lengthy bike trips. One will be a three day trip in late April or early May. The other will be a seven day trip in late August. I am really hoping to accomplish both of those next year.

Earl is slowly adjusting to his iMac. It does amazing things, but we’re finding that OS X 10.2 is not as “compatibility friendly” as we would like it to be. There’s a bunch of stuff that he still can’t do, but he made his first iPhoto album the other night and now he’s playing around with pictures he took tonight. Let’s see how he does. Thanks to Thom for the insight on “Virtual PC”. OS X really reminds me of Linux, but then again, it’s written on Unix which Linux is a derivative of, so there you are.

The Caroline Rhea show has been very fun the last couple of days. I wish the New York affiliate would get on the ball and move her to a normal time slot so that Monday night Football didn’t interrupt it.

I’ve been finding myself staying up later at night and my body seems to be adjusting pretty well. I seem to function pretty well on 7 1/2 hours of sleep these days (I was sleeping 9 – which I think was too much!)

Tom has found himself to be quite comfortable on the new desks. Now he can sit right over the keyboard.

Here it is, Monday, I’m at work, writing in my blo…

Here it is, Monday, I’m at work, writing in my blog. This will be a short entry, but I haven’t written in my blog in a while and I feel so inclined. I need to clear my head a little bit and this will give me the opportunity to do just that.

Earl and I spent the entire weekend at home. We decided to redecorate the “wreck room” that I often mention. We had good fun and did it like the team we are. We put in two new desks; I threw out a lot of junk (I accumulate so much crap it’s not even funny) and we started getting organized. There’s still a lot more work to do, but we are getting closer. Hope to have the project done by Wednesday or Thursday.

We also set up Earl’s computer even though it’s not Christmas yet. Those iMacs are pretty impressive. It can do a lot of nifty things. It’s a shame that there’s not more software for it though, because I’d like Earl to be able to do wonderful things with it, but there’s a couple of Windows programs he was using that are missing a Mac counterpart. Maybe we’ll stumble across them sooner or later. But he made a wonderful photo album last night that I found quite impressive.

On Saturday we picked out our Christmas tree, though we are going to decorate it tonight. We wanted to give it a couple of days to fall so it looked a little fuller. We also put up the new outside lights and they look great.

I’m in a little bit of funk today and I don’t know why. I hope that I snap out of it before heading home.

Well I better get back to work. I hope to write more tonight.

It’s December 1st already! :) I can’t believe it…

It’s December 1st already! πŸ™‚ I can’t believe it. Right on cue, we got a couple of inches of snow today, which is a cool thing. Bad thing about it, the snowplow wiped out our mailbox. I can’t understand why. It’s well off the shoulder of the road, there was no snow hiding it and the roads were bare. Thank you NYSDOT.

Wednesday night we headed down to Philly to spend Thanksgiving with Earl’s family. It was a wonderful visit. Everyone seemed to be in chipper spirits and the the food was wonderful for Thanksgiving dinner. And I maintained my weight, which I was something I was worried about.

We went shopping Friday at Oxford Valley Mall, which included a stop at “Chick-Fil-A”. The food court was packed as it was black Friday, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. Friday night we went to a Beatles revival concert, starring “The Mahoney Brothers” in Trenton, N.J. We went with Rick (Earl’s youngest brother) and Helen and Helen’s sister Nicole and her boyfriend Larry. It was a lot of fun. I’ve never been a big fan of the Beatles, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. They had ketchup chips there, which was sweet.

We headed home on Saturday and sort of vegged out when we got back (after a stop at Wegmans). The DirecPC connection has been flying along lately and we played on the computer until 2:30 a.m. or so. Oh, we did watch Godspell on DVD last night, which was nice. We haven’t seen that in a while.

Today we had my father and his girlfriend and my sister over for Thanksgiving dinner. What a nice time we had. Earl and my sister were watching the football game in the living room, and my dad zonked out in the rocking chair, so it gave my dad’s girlfriend Karen and I a chance to chat. We caught up on family gossip and such. It was a nice conversation, I enjoyed it very much. I’m happy that my father and her seem very happy together.

After they left we watched “American Dreams”. Can I tell you, I really enjoy that show. Sometimes it absolutely boggles my mind when I see the racism that was occuring back in the 1960s. (I shudder to think what it was like before that!) I can’t believe that people were segregated so – that people actually had to ride in the back of the bus simply because of their skin color. How whacked is that. Crazy.

I am reading the latest Sylvia Browne book about dreams. As with all of Sylvia’s stuff, I find it absolutely fascinating. She seems to be writing like a fiend though, she has a book coming out like every four months or something like that.

The gash in my head finally healed up enough that I could start shaving my head again. Thank goodness. I was getting sick of my hair. My clippers had died though, so I couldn’t buzz it down first. I just went for broke, lathered up the week and a half of hair I had and shaved it off every so slowly. Came out pretty good, if I do say so myself. I kept the goatee. It’s getting on my nerves, but I think I’ll maintain the commitment to keep it for a while.

We are planning the big Christmas shopping extravaganza for Saturday, Dec. 14 this year. This year’s destination is Walden Galleria outside of Buffalo. As I’ve mentioned before, each year we pick a different shopping mall to do all of our shopping at. We like to do it all in one day, and in a place that we haven’t been to before or at least not recently. That way we see everything “fresh” and aren’t bogged down with the “same old same old”. I’m looking forward to the shopping trip.

I guess we are going to end up going to Lowe’s tomorrow night for a mailbox. I think I should send the bill to NYSDOT. I don’t think they’ll pay it though.

It’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow ni…

It’s the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. Tomorrow night Earl and I are making the trek to suburban Philly to visit his family. We’ll be there until Saturday morning. I’m looking forward to seeing them as we haven’t been down there since late May! Plus, we get to go to Chick-Fil-A, which is always fun.

I’ve been messing around with some shareware and now have Windows XP looking like Mac OS X. It’s pretty cool. Since there is sure to be some Macs in my life, I need to get familiar with how they do things, so here we go. Let’s see what I can do. At least people can be talking about my screen at work, as I’ll do the same thing there. I’ve found some pretty nifty toys. You may want to check out http://www.stardock.com and see what they have to offer. They can do some pretty cool things to Windows – and it doesn’t have to look like a Mac if it doesn’t want to. πŸ™‚ The other thing I’m playing with is “ObjectDock”. It puts these little dancing icons at the bottom of your screen – it’s pretty cool. If you want a copy, drop me a line. No guarantees and no documentation, but you can mess around with it and get it to do things.

“Judging Amy” is on in about 5 minutes. I’m really looking forward to it. I dare say it’s my favorite drama this season. Actually, it’s probably my favorite show on television right now. Last week’s episode was really good and thank goodness they sort of ended the stalker story line.

I’ve been maintaining my weight pretty well. I tried TaeBo last night for the first time and thought I was going to die, but I made it through and I felt wonderful afterwards. I look forward to doing it again in the morning.

Work has been hectic and I’ve probably been more stressed than I needed to be. I need to work on that. (Note to self).

Well I’m going to get some water and call it a night.

Can I tell you that I love my HP Pavilion 760n. I…

Can I tell you that I love my HP Pavilion 760n. I really do. It’s a fast, reliable machine that looks pretty nice as well. There’s only one problem with it. It’s running Microsoft Windows.

I have been, for the most part, a Microsoft proponent all my life. I started using Windows back in 1988 when I worked for Digital Equipment Corporation. The first version of Windows I used was called “Windows/386”, which translates roughly to “Windows 2.0”. There were no screen savers. There were no nifty looking 3d-type icons. It was very flat, but functional.

For those that have kept up with my blog, you know that I mess around with Linux from time to time. I recently used RedHat 8.0 and I must admit that I loved it. It just had too many hardware shortcomings to fulfill all my needs. It wouldn’t cooperate with my scanner, my webcam and my TV card. And that’s a problem. It’s not RedHat’s fault. Hardware manufacturers are scared silly of Microsoft and keep their drivers secret so they can’t be easily reversed engineered and ported over to Linux. This is how Microsoft keeps the upper-hand and this is how Bill Gates became the richest man in the world.

Earl and I played with an iMac again this weekend. Jinkees, I love that machine. The Jaguar interface on OS X is absolutely beautiful. If I could have that interface for all my users at the office, I would be one happy IT Administrator. My life would be so much easier.

I am thinking about getting a copy of Appleworks for Windows and giving it a spin. Maybe it won’t be as cranky as Microsoft Office and I won’t be getting dumb questions anymore! Office 2000 and Office XP has become so bloated that it drags down the machines we bought just one and a half years ago! This is unacceptable. I work for a small company that has a very limited IT budget. We don’t have the resources to upgrade the machines constantly.

So I have decided that I we are going to become a Mac household. Soon. I do love my HP though – I wish Apple would release a version of OS X for it. It would be the perfect marriage. For now, I’ve put the “OS X” theme back on my Windows XP machine so it looks like it’s running Mac software. Almost, not quite.

O.k., enough geekrant for one night. Earl and I went to the movies last night and saw “The Emperor’s Club”. We LOVED it. Absolutely loved it.

Today we went to Syracuse to my sister’s for Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom’s side of the family. It was great seeing everyone and the food was absolutely wonderful. I snapped a couple of pictures, which I am going to include elsewhere on the site this week.

There’s not much else going on. We’re looking forward to going to Philly on Wednesday night to visit with Earl’s family. It’s a short work week, which will be hectic, but nonetheless enjoyable.

I think I’m going to call it a night.

It’s a snowy Saturday here in Upstate N.Y. I’ve b…

It’s a snowy Saturday here in Upstate N.Y. I’ve been keeping busy about the house while Earl has been at work wrapping up the company’s month-end finances. It’s inventory time for him. Last I knew there was a database glitch and he would be delayed. Oh well.

If you look around the site, you’ll notice I did some major housekeeping, and there’s a bunch of new photos up there. I hope you enjoy them. I have a hunch this will be easier once we get an iMac into the house, but Windows XP has been keeping up pretty well today.

The scrape on my head has a lovely dark scab on it. Shows up wonderfully! I think I’ll end up with a cool looking scar. Makes me look rough.

Last night we went and saw the new 007 movie. It’s was pretty good, though there were some really far-fetched parts of it. And a cameo from Madonna. Ironically, she’s in Britian in the movie so she uses her Detroit accent. She really should give up movies. They don’t suit her well. And the way she copies Cher’s electronic processing in the theme song is a bit nerve wracking. That’s so 1999.

Tomorrow we’re going to my sister’s for the first of three Thanksgiving dinners this week. Let’s see how healthy I can eat this week! πŸ™‚ I’ve been doing well and have lost a total of 33.5 pounds since Easter Sunday. I need to get back to exercising though, I’ve fallen off the routine a little bit.

Wow I’m writing in my blog tonight and it’s going …

Wow I’m writing in my blog tonight and it’s going along at warp speed! Whaddya know. I’ve been using RedHat 8.0, and I must say that I love it, but our DirecPC connection doesn’t. If you haven’t heard of DirecPC you’re lucky. Because Earl and I live in a relatively rural area, we don’t have cable or DSL access for internet. It’s either a slow dial-up connection or a satellite connection. DirecPC is actually now called Direcway. On top of one of our barns is a oval satellite dish that sends and receives our internet signal. It’s super fast for downloads, but upload speeds can suck from time to time. And the software that drives the beast only works on Windows. Earl’s Windows XP computer connects for us and shares the connection, but whenever I try to surf with Linux the connection drags right down to almost nil. So I’m using Windows XP for surfing at the moment. Which is sort of a shame, because RedHat 8.0 is damn pretty and works great! I look forward to using it again in better circumstances.

I was a real geek at work today and finally got the phone project done. I can now monitor the status of the phone system from my PC. It’s way cool. While I was wiring, though, I was standing on my desk and stood up quick and gashed my head on an overhead beam. Since I have a shaved head, you can really see the mark. It hurts quite a bit. It’s more of scrape than a gash. I guess I won’t be shaving up there for a couple of days.

I’m feeling much better since my little bout with the sniffles on Monday. I think the dried skin on the nose is worse than the actual sniffles sometimes!

Last night we went to my sister’s office in Syracuse to hook up her new computer. It’s great being her IT support person. She has a beautiful new Gateway with a flat-panel monitor. I’m insanely jealous. Afterwards we met up with my mom and went out to supper. It was good fun and everyone seems to be doing well.

I talked to my dad tonight and he seems to be in good spirits. It’s nice that the family is holding it’s own, especially with the holidays coming up.

Earl and I are going on a road trip this weekend. I’m not sure where yet, but Earl said that we can eat at Chick-Fil-A. So that either means Nashua, N.H. or somewhere in Pennsylvania. Attention Chick-Fil-A, you need to come to Upstate N.Y.!!!

Well already I’m into my next adventure with Linux…

Well already I’m into my next adventure with Linux. I installed RedHat 8.0 this evening, but this time I was smart about it and made my computer “dual boot”. I can go into Windows XP or RedHat 8.0 when I boot up the computer. Much more convenient this way. At least now I can try it out before wiping out the Windows system and avoid a reinstall. I should try the same thing at work.

Earl and I got ourselves into the holiday spirit a little bit this evening by watching “White Christmas” on DVD. What a charming movie. I hadn’t seen it in a couple of years and I must admit that I enjoyed it very much. It makes me realize how fast paced the world is these days – people enjoyed each other much more back then, and took their time to relax. I need to do more of that.

I’ve been fighting off the sniffles desperately and I’ve been hinging on a losing battle today. I ended up going to work very early because of personnel issues, came home and took a nap, went back to work to do my regular stuff and then came home early and slept until Earl got home. We had a wonderful vegetarian supper this evening too. Earl’s helping out with my healthy lifestyle best he can. I’m glad that he’s supportive.

The holiday season officially starts on Sunday for us with Thanksgiving dinner with my Mom. Then it’s off to Philly for the actual holiday with Earl’s family, and back on Saturday for another dinner on the following Sunday with my dad. Whew! I am determined to make the holidays mean something this year and I am determined to enjoy them. Now I don’t mean to sound like I’m going to be a bastard about it and everyone is going to be happy if it kills them. I just want to feel the true spirit of the season and not get caught up in the commercialism of it all.

Can I tell you that I am getting quite sick of the banking industry? We’ve been using a locally owned bank here since we’ve been together, but now they’re being gobbled up by some corporate entity and now we’re stuck with it. Time to look for a new bank.