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December 2003 Archives

December 1, 2003

Rich people need calcium

Hmm. Renzo insists to me that 1) ND's fake punt was a good call, 2) Stanford was as much to blame as ND, and 3) unicorns do exist. While I'm not sure about the third one, he said that Stanford intentionally didn't cover the wide outs, meaning that there were 9 Stanford players rushing 8 Notre Dame blockers. In that kind of situation, the punter and wide outs are trained to pass because otherwise the punt is almost guaranteed to be blocked.

December 2, 2003

It's not the *pigs* that I'm worried about

I forgot to mention an important aspect of SC: the booth for the magazine that I write a monthly column for ("Cluster World":http://www.clusterworld.com/) kicked other booths' asses -- _we had booth babes._

December 3, 2003

I only understand about 1% of what she says half the time

Woof -- what a letdown. I got home last night from Bloomington to two massive piles of snail mail (Tracy usually elects to let me handle all the snail mail). This morning, I was sorting through it and saw check-like envelope from Linux Magazine (the parent company of the magazine that I write a column for). Woo hoo! My first check! How exciting! (it's not that much; it may even qualify for framing on the wall similar to a "here's the first dollar we earned" plaque, right next to Bobbe the Bigmouth Bass) I eagerly tore it open and was disappointed to see that the check was made out to "Jeffrey Squires". My name was misspelled in multiple places, although all the other information was correct (address, etc.). Doh. I guess they don't love me so much. :-\ This actually isn't a big deal, but it was kind of a letdown.

December 9, 2003

It might get lost; you have big ears

"The only good thing that can be said about Notre Dame's 2003 football season is that we screwed USC." - Brian B.

Someone is sending either lots of spam or a virus (I can't tell which -- it's in an Asian language) using my e-mail address as a return address. I'm getting oodles of bounces this morning. So far, no angry "Take me off your list!" messages yet, though.

December 10, 2003

Dissertation news

So I'm finally gonna do it -- I'm going to graduate. I've had long talks with Andy about the exact content of my dissertation, and the first -- extremely rough -- version of it is 166 pages long. I'm sure there will be more, though. :-) There have been a few wrinkles over the past few days; this morning, for example, I discovered that I was no longer a student at Notre Dame (apparently I was dropped sometime while I was deployed last year). That was a bit of a surprise. But the best news that I've gotten all day is that Dr. Stevenson has agreed to be my official advisor at Notre Dame. The "small world" aspect of this is that he was my co-advisor for my Master's -- he was a professor in the Electrical Engineering Deparntment at the time (he's now a joint EE/CSE professor). Woo hoo!

December 14, 2003

I accidentally ate a moose

Perk rocks -- he sent me a gothic industrial mix CD. I've never really listened to much Gothic, but this is fun stuff.

It snowed here yesterday. This morning there's a nice layer covering everything. Good stuff.

Not much else today. :-)

December 20, 2003

Coefficient of rigidity

Tracy's comment about Perk's Mix CD that he made for me:
"Oh, that _thing_ you left in my car? It's back in its case."

I'm getting _craploads_ of spam to my whois contact info this week. i.e., a _significantly noticable_ increase over this past week. It's all Bayesian-proof stuff, too -- containing tens or hundreds of random English words and a single http image for the advertisement. The weird thing is that they're all hawking the same thing (illegal cable). Why on earth would a spammer send the same message content to whois information tens or hundreds of times a week? That makes no sense whatsoever. ...unless the spammer is being fradulent and telling their customers that they're sending the message to X recipients, even though their database has only (X/N) e-mail addresses; so they send the same message to everyone in the database N times. <sarcasm> Wait -- spammers being fradulent? Nah, that would never happen. </sarcasm>

December 21, 2003

Spam count

So those spams that I mentioned in my last post -- I got 36 in 5 days. All to the same address, all about the same two items (free cable or a CD with all kinds of "banned" material [yeah, right]). Woof!

December 25, 2003

You pull this crap one more time, you're fired. Tell Janet Merry Christmas.

I got all kinds of cool stuff for Christmas -- just about everything off my Amazon wish list (gotta put more stuff in there now!), "XM radio":http://www.xmradio.com via the Delphi Roady with a car kit and a free home kit (which will arrive in a few days -- all the stores were totally sold out), and traditional Holiday Cash(TM) from Gramma P. which will be used to purchase a new watch that can set its time from the time signal at Ft. Collins, CO. Those are my two geek toys for Christmas, and I'm _quite_ pleased with them.

My journal page looks absolutely crummy on anything less than 1280x960. Others have told me that "it looks funny," but I never made the connection as to why until now when I looked at it on a computer with a very small screen and saw that the right hand navigation seems to be finitely placed. I'll need to fix that. [sigh] I guess I can't complain; I got the style for free from some web site.

December 27, 2003

Will, the ocean is like... the sea.

Tracy and I spent Christmas week down in Ft. Myers, Flordia, with her parents, as we have for the past few years. It was a nice week, although it still strikes me as somewhat odd being so warm for Christmas. ☺

I unfortunately didn’t get to see Tim G. (ell-tee-never-p; a fellow reservist who was called up at deployed to Ft. Huachuca at the same time as me) while we were down there (Tim and his family live in Ft. Myers as well); our schedules didn’t mesh. Doh. ☹ But we chatted on the phone for a while; he sounds like he’s doing well.

I finally remembered to bring my roller blades with me, so I got to skate through Christmas week (har har) in mid-70’s weather. Yummy.

My in-laws have a funny tradition — there’s a very strong sense of “make things come out even” throughout the family (that’s not the strange part). A direct side-effect of this is that everyone knows what everyone else is getting for Christmas (including the intended recipients). There’s a thin layer of pseudo-secrecy about the whole Christmas-present event that is a total farce. Everyone knows it, yet everyone refuses to acknowledge it. This, too, I suppose, is not that weird.

What is weird is that they still insist on wrapping all the presents. For example, my parents-in-law — they requested a specific present from us this Christmas (by brand and model number — which was great/extrememly convenient for us). We bought the item on-line and shipped it to them. It arrived, unwrapped, in a marked package about a week before Christmas. So what did my mother-in-law do? She tookit out of the box (keep in mind — the present is for her), wrapped it, and put it under the Christmas tree.

That’s just weird. ☺

3 pounds, 5.2 ounces of Christmas cards, envelopes, and postage later, Tracy and I sent our holiday wishes to family and friends. It was a repeat of our last Christmas letter: a) I wrote it, b) Tracy thought it was stupid, c) everyone else though it was hilarious, d) Tracy later begrudgenly admitted that it was “somewhat humorous.” ☺

(if you didn’t get a card, cope. If you bribe us enough, we’ll put you on the list for next year)

I finally moved the last of the users away from the old squyres.com server; I’ll stop paying Pennyhost soon enough and move 100% over to WOPR. Don’t get me wrong; Pennyhost’s service has actually been quite good over the years. But now I can stop paying them and have my own server, which is a Good Thing.

Woo hoo!

Tracy has so many frequent flyer miles on Northwest because of her trips to Asia that we got bumped up to first class on the flight home. Yummy!

(sung to the tune of “Mickey Mouse”)

S-U-G — gee, we love you!
G-A-R — are we having fun yet?
M-O-M-M-A — a wife like this rocks!

December 29, 2003

It's like mah daddy told me once; the only thing bettah than a crawfish dinnah is *five* crawfish dinnah.

In browsing through some music samples on Amazon the other day, I discovered that Windows Media Player sucks. At least 1 in 4 times, when you click on the music sample link, the media player window pops to the front but instead of displaying the song title and starting to connect to the media, it says "hurl" and does nothing.

I've started playing with the "Zinf":http://zinf.sf.net music player on Linux (instead of XMMS). Although it was relatively annoying to compile (it has a lot of dependencies), it has a *much* better music organization structure than XMMS -- it searches and finds all your music and then lists then according to artist and album. This is by no means a new concept -- but for someone who is used to XMMS's lack of music organization, it's great. It also has a great method of editing Ogg/MP3 tags, so I spent a little time fixing up a lot of my tags. I even discovered that a bunch of my old music was corrupted (some holes in MP3s or Oggs), so I re-ripped them. There's still a few problems with Zinf that I'd like to see fixed (should use case-insensitive sorts, a few random crashes, better differentiating between the currently-playing playlist and other playlists that may be open, fixed width title displays, etc.), but I think I'll give this a whirl for a while instead of XMMS and see what happens.

December 30, 2003

Oh my God, I'm dating a murse!

I have been listening to the same tape (The Crystal Method, _Community Service_) in my car for over a year -- ever since I returned from active duty in mid-Oct 2003. So I've been listening to it for about 14.5 months. My "XM radio":http://www.xmradio.com/ arrived today. Ergo, the 14.5 month streak has ended. I took the tape out (which was emotionally difficult, I admit) and put in the tape adapter for XM radio. After about 60 minutes, the radio had programmed itself and was ready for listening. Just doing a little driving around Louisville, I heard some songs that I had never heard before (exactly what I enjoy about the techno channels on my "DirectTV":http://www.directtv.com/) as well as some classic cuts from Yes. Plus the fact that XM has two satellites -- one named "rock" and the other named "roll" -- that's just too funny! How can you not love a service with an attitude like that? I think I'm going to enjoy XM radio very, very much. I filled out the paperwork to get my free home adapter kit today; it'll go out in the mail tomorrow and I'll probably get it in 8-10 weeks. That'll rock, because then I can listen to XM radio in my office during the day -- not just while in my car. Music variety -- that's what I crave, and I'm hoping that XM can deliver it to me. I still need to do a proper installation in the car -- route the antenna wire nicely, etc. Perhaps this weekend.

Oh my God... it's Pancake Man!

Tracy and I are watching _Friends_ tonight, and what does she notice? "They have two microwaves in their apartment!" My wife is the GE Queen of Microwaves.

About December 2003

This page contains all entries posted to JeffJournal in December 2003. They are listed from oldest to newest.

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