Tag Archives: Sick

Lucky Day

This will be a somewhat scatterbrained… err, random post.

First off if you are having problems with a certain contest, then plugging the secret letters into the Internet Anagram Server could be very helpful.

I like RPGs and play in a couple now & then.  I have also run the occasional session or two, but lately I got this itch.  The itch to play in a campaign world of my own devising which means I’ll need to run more than a single session or two. In trying to prepare myself for that, I’ve been following some new blogs and today read the logical article I’ve ever seen on the subject of war & international relationals.

This week while staying home sick1, I finally got around to upgrading my work laptop from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10. I had been holding off mostly because it is my work machine and I had the idea I should keep it on Ubuntu’s LTS releases. Then I realized while I was keeping the system on a theoretically more stable version, I kept adding 3rd party packages/repositories to update specific programs I wanted (which contradicts the point of sticking with a LTS release). So I did the upgrade and was pleasantly surprised at how smooth the upgrade went. However I did run into one minor and one major problem after the upgrade.

  • Minor problem: My dual monitor configuration got screwed up. Most likely because I did the upgrade at home (where I don’t have a 2nd monitor for the laptop).
  • Major problem: All my SSH keys stopped working. I ended up recreating them and getting them pushed back out to all the servers I need to access using keys. Still that was disconcerting, especially since nothing about the keys (client/server) had changed. Even our network admin at work was confused by that one.

On the positive side, Adobe Flash Player 10.x is available for Ubuntu 8.10, so now I can watch Comedy Central’s clips of the Daily Show again (under Flash 9.x, they always crashed Firefox). Additionally there are prebuilt packages for Gnome-Do 0.8.x for Ubuntu 8.10, which like Mr. Pibb + Red Vines is crazy delicious! Specifically, Gnome-Do with the Docky theme. I believe the idea behind the Docky theme was to mimic some functionality of OS X’s dock, but could be mistaken (don’t own a Mac). The performance is bit slow on my older desktop2, but it works great on the work laptop.

1 Nausea + dizziness + complete lack of energy. Fortunately I’m mostly over it now, though still working to get my energy levels back up.
2 Based on an AMD 1800+ CPU.

XBMC + Hulu = GOLD!

I’ve been home sick today and when not sleeping I’ve been working to upgrade the version of XBMC I have installed on my softmodded XBox.  I had been running the last stable release, but running into the occasional problem.  First off I’ll note that Nautilus under Ubuntu 8.04.1, does a crappy job of working as an FTP client.  That held me up for a while, but after switching over to using gFTP things went much smoother.

The side effect of Nautilus working so poorly was I had time to do a little googling.  I’ve heard good things about the Hulu website for watching TV shows I’ve missed.  Thing i I hate sitting at my computer for long periods of time when I’ve got a comfy couch1 and a much larger TV than computer monitor. So as I said, I started googling and looking for a XBMC/Hulu plugin and I did find one in the XBMC Forums.

Unfortunately the 0.2 release mentioned in the first post of that thread didn’t work so well for me and there were 38 pages in the thread.  I did some more searching and found an article over at LifeHacker.  The article seems to be talking about the same plugin but links to a newer release of it.  I kept looking to see if there were anything else out there and found what appears to be the main site for the plugin, xbmc-hulu.  That last site doesn’t provide a simple download, but you can use subversion to checkout the lastest copy of their plugin.

And that latest version is pure gold, which is to say I’ve not run into a single problem watching any videos via the plugin.  Now I can sit back on the couch and watch Colbert Report, The Daily Show and all sorts of other good stuff that I don’t get with my cable TV package.  If my sinuses clear up and this cold goes away, I could be really happy.

UPDATE: I appear to be getting quite a bit of traffic (for me anyway) on this post, so thanks for stopping by! Also I’ve finally read through the entire 40 pages (at the time of this writing) in the XBMC Forums thread about this plugin.  From reading that thread, there appears to be a lot of confusion on where/how to get the plugin to work.  So for the record, I’m running xbmc-hulu 1.0 (SVN copied checked out on 26 January 2009) on top of T3CH’s 2009-01-25 build of XBMC (rev17349) on an original XBox (softmodded using Mech Assault via ProductWiki’s instructions).

UPDATE: Per the XBMC-Hulu plugin release thread, there is no currently working version of the plugin.

1 Someday I will have a comfy chair!

Blasted Lawn Mowing

Though not many, there are times when I miss living in an apartment. These times usually coincide with my having to mow the lawn after letting it nearly go to seed. When we bought this house with a tiny yard, <strike>we</strike> I decided it would be best to get a Reel Mower. That way we wouldn’t have to spend money on gas or oil, plus the maintenance costs would be lower and as a last added bonus we’d get more exercise pushing it around the yard.

Yes, yes, you can stop laughing now.

No really, stop laughing at me.


Anyway, we got one and before winter hit we used it maybe twice and it still seemed like an excellent idea. Now that summer is here I’m really beginning to feel that added bonus. Especially when I’ve had a cold for a week. A cold that had me coughing up huge chunks of flem, keeping me from going out and mowing the lawn in bits & pieces as I meant to do this week.

Instead, I just spent several hours fighting my lawn which had patches a foot or 2 high. Those of you with powered mowers are probably thinking “so what?”. Those of you with reel mowers are (hopefully) thinking “you poor bastard.”

You see, oh users of powered mowers, when you run across patches this tall a reel mower tends to bend the grass stalks down into the rest of the grass so they pop back up after you pass by the taller bits. To mow patches like this with a reel mower, you either:

  • run at the patch, lift one side above the height of the tallest piece of grass at the last moment, and drop the spinning blade on top.
  • or you use hand shears and chop it even more manually than with the reel mower (or you cheat and just pull the tall bit out).

With only one or 2 spots like this, it is not much of a problem but when you get to half the lawn it becomes a much bigger issue. Add in upper 80°, 50-60% humidity and you’ve got yourself a long, painful evening a head of you. Or at least I did when I started around 6:30 this evening1.

Still for all my complaining, once I finally finish with the lawn I do get a real sense of accomplishment out of doing all the work. And I’m meeting more of our neighbors than Ariesna because I’m out working on the lawn every week2. So when we attend neighborhood functions, more people tend to recognize me as that idiot nice fellow who was out working on the lawn. This seems to irk her a bit, but I don’t mind. 😀

1 I finally gave up the fight around 9:30 with only 1 long patch of grass left to mow.
2 When I’m not sick. Usually. Ok, I’m out there at least every other week. Or so. *grin*

Interesting Couple of Days

Sunday night both Ariesna and I were feeling a little run down. Monday we both woke up sick. Not sure what her symptoms were, but I had a sinus pressure so bad I was dizzy. I slept through almost all of Monday, but around dinner time got up enough energy to head downstairs. And that night we had an unexpected visitor.

I was watching some videos on my computer when all of a sudden Ariesna was shouting. I looked over and saw something flying around. Turned out a bat had somehow worked it’s way into the house but then was scared and flying around freaking out Ariesna. We locked our cat in the bathroom. Closed as many interior doors as we could and opened the door to our porch. Then after much cursing and effort we were able to drive the bat out onto the porch. All the time we’re doing this, our cat is wailing and crying most pitifully from the bathroom. Though as soon as we let him out, all was well. *shrug* Go figure.

Then Tuesday we’re both still feeling under the weather. I work from home liberally dosed with cold & sinus meds and feeling a bit tired, but closer to being back in the land of the living. Later that night, I mute the TV during some commercials to talk to Ariesna and we hear some rather pitiful wailing from our porch. I look out through the windows to investigate and find one of our neighbors’ cat (was wearing a collar) is sitting out there. Since it was a warm night, I just left him alone but I felt kind of bad about it. I did check the neighborhood email list but there wasn’t any reports of a missing cat. Plus several of the people in the area feel it’s ok to let their pets run free1 so I figured it would just go home soon afterwords. I did keep looking out and after a couple of hours it eventually left but I still feel kind of bad about leaving it out in the cold2. Mind you, I’m not going to let a strange cat into my house with our current cat. But I suppose I could have let it into the screened portion of our porch.

Today I made it into the office, still slightly down but significantly improved. Ariesna stayed home sick again. Then she went to the doctor and found out she’s got pneumonia. *wheee* She gets to stay home the rest of the week as she can’t risk transmitting that bit of plague to the kids at her preschool. It also blows our plans for Friday and the weekend. Ain’t life grand? *sigh*3

1 No, I do not share that opinion. It’s dangerous for the pet (could be katnapped, run over, hurt, lost, etc..).
2 The weather recently warmed up, so it wasn’t all that cold but still…
3 Yes, this post is mostly a pity party for us. :p

Banana, Crackers and Gatorade… Oh my!

Well, I finally feel like I am at least partly back from the dead. But really, that’s getting ahead of myself; allow me to backtrack a bit.

2005. May. 7th. Ariesna and I were joined in wedded bliss. Unfortunately with her just finishing her degree and paying for a wedding money was tight so we didn’t have the cash to go some place exotic and we couldn’t really afford to spend more than a night away. So I picked a B&B just a few hours drive away. A helpful friend had recommended it as the most romantic B&B in the area. After the ceremony & reception, we drove out and enjoyed our one night there.

2006. Ariesna and I went back to the same B&B for an entire weekend. We ate out at a couple of nice restaurants, did a little shopping and hit up an art museum while we were there. It was a grand time, but by the end of it we were both tired. We got home, chilled for a while and eventually went to bed. Blissful slumber was interrupted at 4:30 AM by me waking up feeling like I was choking and/or drowning. I ran into the bathroom and spent the next 15 minutes or so kneeling in front of the porcelain throne. After getting myself cleaned up, I tried going back to bed but woke up a while later with the same problem. Again, I eventually got cleaned up and tried going back to bed. Later, I got the intense fun of making a trip to the doctor on what was supposed to be the last day of my vacation. I got weighed1, poked, prodded and a q-tip was shoved down my throat2. The doctor confirmed I had the flu combined with a sinus infection. However he was worried that I was severely dehydrated and wanted to put me on an IV to get some fluids in me. Alas after much poking (in both arms), they realized I was too dehydrated for the needle to go in properly. Eventually, they gave up on the IV and let Ariesna take me home. Though they did tell her to keep pushing fluids down me and recommended she get me to drink 2 liters of gatorade that day and keep pushing the fluids at me the next. She did so, continually waking me up from some of the best sleep I’ve ever had to drink, drink drink. And I don’t even like gatorade! *sigh* I mean the fruit punch version isn’t too bad but the rest…. yeck.

Anyhoo, I ended up spending the entire week home sick and now the night before I finally go back to the office I am feeling much better. I’m just not at 100% yet. My sinuses throb (and continually drain down my throat) and on top of that I’ve got an evening cough3 which feels like it’s going to rip my throat in half. But I’m still taking the anti-biotics the doctor prescribed and I’m hoping when the pills are gone so will be the last of my health problems.

Oh yeah, if you’re wondering about the title on this post that’s pretty much all the food I’ve eaten in the last week. It’s been thrilling. 🙁

1 No, I’m not repeating what that lying hunk of metal claimed was my weight.
2 Apparently, that’s part of the test for strep throat. Only nobody warned me in advance. Incidentally, the test came back negative but it has a 15% chance of failure.
3 It only happens after 5. No idea on why that is, but there you have it.

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