Pardon the Interruption 2

My Internet connection at home was down for the last three days.  I’ve been troubleshooting it myself and on the phone with the Indian tech support for the last 8 hours that I’ve had at home.

It was annoying as hell, and finally pushed me over the edge to moving my email ops to Google Apps.  I just had to, with that sort of service interruption.

Now I’m going to go to bed.  If the connection stays good for the next 24 hours or so, I might have more for you tomorrow.

Sigh.

A Recipe Your Wife Or Girlfriend Might Not Enjoy

Michelle came over tonight for a screening of State Fair and a ‘state fair smorgasbord’ of corn on the cob, fresh, lightly salted sliced tomatoes and cucumber, and sloppy joes.  I concocted the sloppies myself, and I have to say I enjoyed them quite a bit (can’t say the same for Michelle; they had a little too much kick for her).  If you have the ingredients handy, maybe you want to give them a try:

  • one pound of lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 TSP chipotle seasoning
  • 1/2 cup of your favorite BBQ sauce
  • 1/8 – 1/4 cup of Secret Stadium Sauce or your favorite sweet/tangy ketchup alternative

Brown your meat, drain the fat.  Reduce heat to medium-low.  Add 1/2 cup water and chipotle.  Stir in until mixed evenly.  Add 1/2 cup BBQ sauce.  Stir again, mixing evenly.  Add Stadium Sauce and stir.  Simmer, stirring occasionally until most of the water has evaporated (your meat should start to stick together a bit).  Serve on a bun, or like we did, on a GARLIC BREAD BUN.

Tasty!

Vote for Wordy

Here’s a copy of an email I just got from Wordell:

Hi Everyone,

I’m entered in the National Geographic Traveler World In Focus Photography Contest, and I need your votes for the People’s Choice favorites.  I’d be honored if you could take a few moments to vote for this shot:
http://www.worldinfocuscontest.com/bin/Rate?image_id=1006813778

You can only vote once per email address, but if you’d like to browse and/or vote for any of my other shots, search by photographer name on this page:
http://www.worldinfocuscontest.com/bin/Rate

Thank you so much, and don’t be shy about sharing these with your friends and co-workers!

Ryan

Looks like the deadline is today, so go ahead and git ‘er done ASAP.

Recap of the Weekend

I accomplished nearly everything on my list from Saturday.  Got some equipment for my shelf-hanging extravaganza, but didn’t finish it because the screws I had for mounting are too big.  Michelle has some smaller ones at her house that should work well.

Our Sunday-funday on the boat was time well-spent.  We dressed ourselves and the boat up in pirate regalia and tooled around Pewaukee Lake.  We actually might have spent more time anchored in the middle and swimming around in the water, but it never hurts to get a little exercise with your booze-crusin’.

Some buddies of one of our friends just happened to find us by luck out on the lake.  Michelle rode in with them on a tube when the day was done.  She looked pretty proficient out there (I admit I was a little concerned, what with the imbibing that happened throughout the day).

We finished up the evening hanging out at Lisskingard Palace on Dousman and ate some pizza from Toppers.  We caught a little bit of the ‘Miss Universe’ pageant, and I was floored by how young some of the contestants were.  Overall, it was a good day.

One byproduct of the weeeknd: I have an unusually large quantity of Corona in bottles in my fridge now, if anyone cares to stop by and enjoy them.  In addition, if you are Amish, would like to pretend to be Amish, or simply find the Amish intriguing (or good bakers), Michelle would love to share some very friendly bread with you.

That is all.

Basic Installation

One of the little projects I monitored on the computer today while I was doing other things was an install of Windows XP on my desktop computer.  I wanted to be sure that I could do a podcast again some time soon, and I know for sure that the hardware and software support that I need should work with this OS (Windows 7 is kind of wonky with audio mixing on my hardware).

I do have a nice, easy slipstream’d XP-plus-SP3 disc that I can run when I need to do an XP install (used nLite and the tutorial that I read quite some time ago on Lifehacker).  I have it set up so that I don’t have to key in the product key, pick my time zone, tell it who my users are, things like that.  I put in the CD, tell it where to install, and in about 20 minutes it’s pretty much all set.

The only thing lacking is all the other software that you want to have with your “basic” installation.  When I rolled this disc, anyway, there was no means of adding extra (i.e., non-Windows) software to your deployment.  So, I often end up downloading and reinstalling a bunch of stuff anyway.  With that in mind, here is my list of software that I NEED for what I consider “basic functionality” when I do a new Windows installation.

It should be noted that I wrote this with XP in mind, but to my knowledge, nearly all this software works in Win 7, too.

  • Audacity
  • AVG anti-virus
  • DisplayFusion
  • Firefox
  • Image Resizer powertoy
  • Flash player
  • Java
  • Launchy
  • OpenOffice
  • Pidgin
  • cleartype tuner powertoy
  • Skype
  • Tomboy notes
  • VLC
  • WinSCP
  • 7-zip

The good news: seems like the audio shat I need is back to functional.  And I am back to making lunch…

A Rare Saturday At Home

I can’t remember the last time I was at my house on a Saturday.  I have a bunch of things I’d like to accomplish.  We’ll see how far I get down this list:

  • put away all the dishes
  • put away all the clothes
  • take stuff to the basement that needs to be in storage
  • get rid of old computer junk
  • hang new shelves in the kitchen
  • Get laptop audio working to a point where I could actually do a podcast again before I die
  • 1 load of laundry

Tomorrow, Michelle and I will on a pontoon on Pewaukee lake.  Should be fun!  What are you up to for the weekend?

On the Road Again

I have meticulously logged every tank of gas and mile that I’ve driven on my car since I started working in Oshkosh again.  160 miles a day is a lot, and I wanted to be able to anticipate fuel consumption, cost, etc., at the beginning of the month when I get my hard-earned monies.


DATE GALLONS ODO READING MPG PRICE PER GAL TOTAL $$ PER MILE LOCATION
06/01/09 10.85900 369.20000 33.99945 2.69900 29.31 0.0794 BP, WI & OH
06/03/09 11.33700 369.50000 32.59240 2.74900 31.17 0.0843 BP, 20th & SP
06/05/09 9.50000 341.10000 35.90526 2.77900 26.40 0.0774 FLEET FARM
06/09/09 11.84700 381.30000 32.18536 2.78900 33.04 0.0867 RENEW
06/11/09 9.56000 348.80000 36.48536 2.77900 26.57 0.0762 BOB’S
06/15/09 11.59800 398.10000 34.32488 2.73900 31.77 0.0798 BP, 20th & SP
06/17/09 11.88500 420.30000 35.36390 2.79900 33.27 0.0791 MOBIL, CAP & DWNR
06/21/09 10.62200 348.10000 32.77161 2.71900 28.88 0.0830 RIVERSIDE BP, CAPTL
06/24/09 12.79500 433.40000 33.87261 2.67900 34.28 0.0791 RENEW
06/26/09 11.39600 371.00000 32.55528 2.64900 30.19 0.0814 RENEW
06/29/09 9.48100 303.60000 32.02194 2.60900 24.74 0.0815 RENEW
TOTALS 120.88000 4084.40000 33.78888 2.72666 329.60 0.0807

This is sort of what those charts look like.  I’m breaking it down by month, and then I’ll probably average those figures out quarterly, or over the course of the year, what have you.

I had a really light July with all the traveling we did and days off that I took.  Still, up to this point, I’ve put 10,197 miles on the vehicle since 6/1.  I was thinking it over this afternoon, and I’m not going to crack 100,000 miles on the car before January 1.  But it’ll be close.

I feel OK about the mileage as long as I’m taking care of the car (and I am).  I was actually imagining how interesting it would be to still be driving this car when it flips 200, 250, or 300.  I figure cars these days will last a while, especially if they’re not that old as you pile the miles on.  In my limited observation, the cars that have historically had trouble are the ones that actually used less, because maintenance slips your mind, or they sit around in the elements to rust out and fluids to dry up, that sort of thing.

If I end up doing this commuting for a long while, though, I will be glad to pick up one of these badboys when they come down in price.