Tag Archives: radio

Thank you LifeHacker!

Today I was reading an article over at LifeHacker about XBMC. Basically, they recommended upgrading from the last, ancient stable version to the latest SVN build; which I did this evening and boy am I ever glad I did. As now, I can play Matroska video files. Wheee! True, I technically could before but they rendered so slowly it was an exercise in frustration to watch a video all the way through. Now MKV playback is much smoother and I’m much happier with XBMC. Thank you LifeHacker!

Also a quick shout out and thanks to Komainu for pointing out the wonders that are Radio Paradise. The work day goes so much quicker with a better DJ than iTunes’s random play function. πŸ™‚

Are you a hoopy frood, like me?

Towel Day Self Portait

If so, you better have your towel with you today! As today, is Towel Day.

For those not familiar, Douglas Adams was one of the funniest writers of our time. He wrote a wonderful series of radio plays which were converted in a a series of books and a TV show and later into a really awful movie. This was The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. In this, Mr. Adams wrote:

A towel, it says, is about the most massively useful thing an interstellar hitch hiker can have. Partly it has great practical
value – you can wrap it around you for warmth as you bound across the cold moons of Jaglan Beta; you can lie on it on the brilliant marble-sanded beaches of Santraginus V, inhaling the heady sea vapours; you can sleep under it beneath the stars which shine so redly on the desert world of Kakrafoon; use it to sail a mini raft down the slow heavy river Moth; wet it for use in hand-to-hand-combat; wrap it round your head to ward off noxious fumes or to avoid the gaze of the Ravenous Bugblatter Beast of Traal (a mindboggingly stupid animal, it assumes that if you can’t see it, it can’t see you – daft as a bush, but very ravenous); you can wave your towel in emergencies as a distress signal, and of course dry yourself off with it if it still seems to be clean enough.

More importantly, a towel has immense psychological value. For some reason, if a strag (strag: non-hitch hiker) discovers that a hitch hiker has his towel with him, he will automatically assume that he is also in possession of a toothbrush, face flannel, soap, tin of biscuits, flask, compass, map, ball of string, gnat spray, wet weather gear, space suit etc., etc. Furthermore, the strag will then happily lend the hitch hiker any of these or a dozen other items that the hitch hiker might accidentally have “lost”. What the strag will think is that any man who can hitch the length and breadth of the galaxy, rough it, slum it, struggle against terrible odds, win through, and still knows where his towel is is clearly a man to be reckoned with.

After Mr. Adams’s death some lunatics decided to create Towel Day as a tribute to his genius. I only heard about it this year (about a week ago to be more precise) and decided to join in on the fun. And the fact that I’m telecommuting to work today had absolutely nothing to do with that decision. *grin*

Real Life Recap

I’ve not been posting anything for a while because… Well, I just have not felt like it which is not to say I haven’t had anything to talk about. Today, I decided to update the world at large about what I have been upto in my little slice of it.

  • We survived the tornados and hail that hit our area a week ago. Our apartment and cars were not even get damaged by the storm. Below are a few links to some of the stores online about what happened.
  • Last weekend, we replaced Ariesna‘s car (1992 Ford Escort, aka Ghost) with a 2002 Volkswagen Golf (aka Grace, aka Gracie). The really odd part about getting the new car? Even though it’s a replacement for Ghost; Ariesna has been letting me drive it the most. Apparently, this is at least partly due to the amount door dings her old car suffered through in her office’s parking lot but it still seems strange to me. Then today, the dealership called me back asking me to come in and sign a new finance contract on the car. Why? Because they found me another offer which would drop the interest rate by 1.25 points! Now that’s what I call service. So a big thanks goes out to Carousel Motors for the excellent service.
  • Last weekend, Ariesna and I looked at a house. But it was too expensive for the amount of work required to make it a home we’d want to live (namely a musty basement and some bad remodeling in the family room, dining room and kitchen). We showed up about 15 minutes early for the showing and the realtor showed up just short of 15 minutes late. He did eventually call to let us know he was running late… 5 minutes after he was supposed to be there. I was initially a bit underwhelmed by the guy. But when he finally got there and let us into the house; he let us do our own looking around without trying to pressure us and listened to the comments we had about the house to get a better idea of what we were interested in.

What A Day

I had originally planned on attending a Pampered Chef party with my wife last Sunday. I had been thinking it would be some pleasant socializing over some tasty food with a bit of somebody trying to sell me some pricey kitchen stuff. That is to say a not entirely unpleasant to spend part of one’s afternoon. Instead about an hour before the party, our friend Bryon stopped by and mentioned that Bruce Campbell was in town giving a short talk and promotting his new book, Make Love the Bruce Campbell Way.

I thought about it for a minute, but I knew there’d be more chances for Pampered Chef parties and I doubted I’d have any better chance of getting to see Mr. Campbell in person. So after a quick shower1, Bryon and I hopped into the car and drove into Iowa City. We got to the site about 40 minutes prior to the event began. We waited around and it turned out one of my co-workers was also there2. Then about 10 minutes before Mr. Campbell was scheduled to begin speaking; they opened one set of the doors into the auditorium and let everybody in. And naturally, it wasn’t the door we’d had been waiting at. *sigh*

Eventually, everybody was inside and mostly seated but then the organizers explained how the signing procedure was supposed to work and said the new book was for sale at the back of the auditorium. So we ended up giving up our fairly good seats to go get in another line. It took a while to get through the line, but it was good that we both went to the line as Laura3 showed up looking for us. Apparently, she decided the party wasn’t her cup of tea. While we were waiting in line; she kindly thanked me for “being so god-damn tall”.

There was a considerable amount of waiting in line to get the book, but eventually we all got our copies and headed back to find new seats (the good seats we’d had were long gone). A bit after that Mr. Campbell started taking questions. It turns out he’s a very charismatic speaker. There were a number of questions about him working with Sam Raimi, but the only one that really stuck in my mind was:

Questioner: When working on Spiderman, did you hang out with Tobey Maguire?
Bruce Campbell: Why would I?

*grin*

After far too little time had passed, Mr. Campbell stopped taking questions and then made a short speech promoting B-movies as the only place that is still creative in Hollywood.

…getting bitten by a radioactive spider is a b-movie!

After the speech, they started having people come up to get their books signed. Bryon & I had relatively low numbers but when we were going up they weren’t actually checking peoples numbers. Eventually I got up there and had Mr. Campbell sign my book; but I felt like a complete twit, the entire time I was there. I mean I have enjoyed all of his movies that I’ve seen and what I read of the book while I was in line was very amusing but I didn’t really have anything to say to him. He was very polite to me, but it was a rather uncomfortable moment for me. Signed memorabilia is nice to have I suppose, but it doesn’t do much for me. To tell the truth, I’m not entirely sure why I went up to have him sign the book. Other than I’d waited in line to get the sticker saying I could do so. *shrug* Life, go figure.

After that, we took off and headed off to meet up with some other friends for some RPGing. When we got there they were still finishing up with the Pampered Chef party and I got to munch down some of the leftovers4. Then it was game time and afterwards off to Old Chicago for dinner. All in all, a very pleasant Sunday. πŸ™‚

1 Bryon arrived before we were expecting anybody. And yes, I’m extra-specially lazy on the weekend; so if I’m not expecting company I will hang around the apartment without getting myself up and ready for the day.
2 That would be Quincy for those that are curious.
3 Another friend of ours. One who was supposed to be at the Pampered Chef party.
4 Ah, breakfast at 3pm….

Welcome home!

Discovery, NASA
Discovery Shuttle Crew STS-114

Everything morning of the work-week, I’m awakened by my clock radio. Usually, the sounds coming from it are that of an especially annoying DJ. This morning was a bit different; there was a news anchor on the air giving live coverage of the shuttle Discovery making it’s way home. He said it would be landing in about 10 minutes; so I hit the snooze button. πŸ™‚

When the clock went off again, I got up, headed for my TV and found some live video coverage of the event. I’d gotten up just in time as the shuttle landed safely a few seconds later. Welcome home Discovery crew and congratulations to you and to all of NASA on a successful trip!

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