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Can that thing measure a New York Minute? 'cause Jimmy could walk through that door any minute. And this is New York City.

Defending your country...

I got my new Army black beret today. It was made in Canada, thankyouverymuch. The official start day for these berets is Friday. What a pain in the butt. You have to shave them, shape them, etc., etc. They're actually quite difficult to wear properly. That's why the French are so uptight, for example.

I think everyone in the Army is gonna look dumb for a while while we learn how to wear berets.


I was driving around Atlanta today taking care of administravia (getting an ID card, parking permit, etc.), and I heard "Weapon of Choice" by Fatboy Slim on the radio (it's probably a remix of something else -- it is Fatboy Slim, after all -- but I have no idea what the real song is). Even though I've heard this song many times, I never paid too much attention to the lyrics.

I was amazed to hear a Dune reference:

Walk without rhythm, and it won't attract the worm.

Trippy.


Played with qmail -- a replacement for sendmail. Seems quite powerful and flexible. I have to say that it's non-trivial to install; it requires additional users, groups, directories, etc. I guess I've grown accustomed to sendmail over the years, and am now quite comfortable with it.

qmail's strengths seem to be that it scales much better than sendmail (it claims to, anyway), is 100% secure (there's an open $5000 challenge for anyone to find a security problem with it), works nicely over NFS (when you use it in "maildir" mode), and lets users make their own arbitrary mailing addresses (e.g., jsquyres-foo@hostname).

I guess it makes me somewhat nervous, 'cause it wants to work in maildir mode, where -- if I understand this right -- it has a separate directory for each user's mail and puts each mail message in a separate file. This actually makes a lot of sense, and there are a lot of good reasons for it. But I'm not sure that pine can read the messages that way (although it might -- gotta dive into that a little more, I suppose). I dunno if imapd can, either (same disclaimer).

I guess I'm just uncomfortable 'cause it's a large new system --
no mail server can be small and simple to use; they're just too complicated. Maybe I'm getting old. ;-)

----

The next day...

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I just noticed why I never heard the "Dune" reference in "Weapon of Choice" before. I just heard the song again on the radio. The voice is quite clear and easy to understand. I always listen to the song in MP3 format on my computer. And my computer actually has fairly good speakers.

But the voice on the MP3 is distinctly degraded and difficult to understand. Proof positive (to me, anyway), that MP3 really does degrade the sound quality. I'm tempted to encode this song in ogg/vorbis and see if it's any better. Hmm...


The last time I was here, I discovered that my hotel charges
$18/night for parking. Wow! Yes, I can get reimbursed for that, but that ultimately comes out of all of our tax dollars, so I went looking for a different garage within walking distance of my hotel. I found one -- it's the parking garage for America's Mart. It's actually right across the street, but who's counting?

They have a max of $7/24 hours. And it's literally right down the street from my hotel. It's less than 1/3 of the cost! I'm not only defending our great country, I'm saving taxpayer money as well. So I parked there all last time I was here.

As an added bonus, if I left early enough in the morning, I would get there before the attendant was on duty, and therefore I could drive out without paying (the gate is up when there's no attendant on duty). I didn't note enough when the attendant came on duty so as to figure out how to always avoid paying.

I was wondering if the same conditions would apply -- the last time I was here was about 1.5 years ago. And lo, the conditions are the same -- I parked in the garage last night and left this morning for $7. The attendant was there at 7:45. I'll have to see if I can leave before then tomorrow...


I've noticed a curious phenomenon with my hotel room.

When I come back at night, the volume is turned up 100% on the TV. I think the maids must be severely hearing-impaired.


I had dinner at Planet Hollywood last night.

I had dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe tonight (they're right across the street from each other).

Per diem rocks.

(I'm such a simple man...)


I now realize why I tend to stay late when I'm working down here (aside from not knowing anyone else in Atlanta, only having working clothes, and having free high-bandwidth internet connectivity at work)
-- the traffic in downtown Atlanta between 5-7pm sucks. Stop-n-go traffic made a normally 5 minute drive about 20-25 minutes.

Ugh!


On the way out tonight, I dropped my laptop. Aaahhh!!!

The CD drive cover broke off.

Where I previously had one vertical line on the screen, I now have about a dozen.

:-(

I think it's now definitely time for a new laptop.

:-(


I've started watching Witchblade -- the new series on TNT. Very bad -- I don't have time for it.

It has very cool photography. Lots of matrix-like effects. They had a very cool scene in the first five minutes of the show tonight with two dirt bikes jumping right at each other, mixed with several bullet-time spins at stopped time. Trez kewl. They play a lot of good music, too.

Indeed, TNT is headquartered here in Atlanta -- I don't know if it's the headquarters, but there's a TNT complex right next to the edge of the GA Tech campus where my building is. There was a multi-story Witchblade poster on the side of the building yesterday.

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