Tuesday, January 31, 2012

2012.01.31 Tuesday

Wrapping up month one of twelve. Dang that went fast.

Work was hectic, yet didn't feel all that productive.

After work I went for a run since the weather was nice. I went about 1.8 miles at a reasonable pace, but this route included more hills than what I used to run. Once the weather stabilizes I should be able to run more regularly and show more consistent improvements.

Cooked up some tilapia for dinner, and supplemented that with bread and mashed potatoes.

Did some online house hunting and surfing, then fell asleep quickly.

Monday, January 30, 2012

2012.01.30 Monday

Had some difficulty sleeping. Somebody liked to breathe really loud.

I felt pretty un-energized until I got my morning coffee, and then I just felt restless and tense. Kinda sucked, to be honest.

Lunch had the potential to be a fun game of volleyball, but then we weren't able to scrounge up enough people so that didn't happen.

Stopped by HEB on the way home from work to pick up a few goodies. I picked up some Almond Butter to try out what that is like on a sandwich. Also picked up some Red Quinoa to try a different variety of quinoa.

At home, I helped out some more with bathrooms, then played around with virtual machines and went to bed.

2012.01.29 Sunday

Woke late. What could you expect from staying up until after 4am.

Grabbed some coffee then started busting my rear to clean house. I vacuumed everything, and dusted most things. Even though my parents have hardwood floors downstairs, there was a surprising amount of debris collected by the vacuum.

Also interleaved with that cleaning effort, I assisted in taking apart another bathroom. The vanity and base boards and most hardware of the half-bathroom was removed. I also unpacked some of the closet in there. While this was happening, my mother chimed in that the sink in the master bath had broke. Turns out a piece of pipe that was welded on was no longer welded on. Solution? Take the pipe from the vanity just removed from the half-bath and install it in the master bath.

Also spent time playing around on htpc stuff. I came up with the idea of having a virtual machine to be the "media server" on my host machine since it is pretty fast. It works, but does get choppy sometimes. I'll probably keep playing around with this longer than I should.

Then went to work, remotely. Kelc came over and read while I listened to music and cranked out a word document.

2012.01.28 Saturday

Spent a good portion of today trying an HTPC experiment. I'm trying to get a semi-old PC and semi-old tv tuner to become a media provider.

Worked more in the bathroom. Took out the sink and flooring, ripped up some baseboards, cleaned up some things.

For dinner, Sloppy Joes.

After a shower, I headed over to Marisa's to hang out. A good group of people were there, all mostly relaxed. I was somehow coerced into joining a super-late-night trip to Kerbey Lane.

Friday, January 27, 2012

2012.01.27 Friday

Had a little bit of a changeup this morning; no carpooling. Then for lunch a group of work people went over to Ichiban.

Left work about normal time for a Friday, but instead of going home I went to UT Campus to attend a seminar about acoustic forensics that a coworker was presenting. Pretty darn cool and I learned a few things about acoustics that I did not know.

After the seminar and discussions, I met my parents for a dinner at Amaya's Taco Village. A lady was enjoying a retirement party, and brought a lot of family and friends to celebrate. It's awesome to be able to retire at 55.

Back at home, Kelc came over and we talked and did some research into schools/jobs. Then I started playing around with an HTPC idea I had brewing.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012.01.26 Thursday

Finally felt like I caught up on some sleep. Maybe the lack of thunder and lightning really made that sleep feel more successful.

Work is slightly more taxing this week. Sometimes that is a good thing, sometimes not. When it is a 5-day week, it makes me exhausted by the time the weekend comes around. If it is a 4-day week, I usually jump into the weekend and do a lot more since I have momentum going. Weird.

After work, ate dinner and played a good portion of Mass Effect. I started falling asleep to a game. That usually doesn't happen.

Went to bed slightly early.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

2012.01.25 Wednesday - First Day of Last Class

Super grog morning. The storms and car alarms ruined my sleeping.

Work was hectic, but in a manageable way. Luckily the interruptions were cut off early by *drum roll please* the first day of my last class in a graduate program. *the crowd goes wild* We started the class off strong with some subs, and the first class was mostly an introduction, so no stress at all.

Went home, ate dinner #2 which consisted of soup, then cleaned up in the kitchen. Gotta do my fair share, right?

Spent the little portion of remaining day to play Mass Effect. My initial impression is that it throws you into a battle that is difficult when you are new to the game, so you have to adjust the difficulty level. Second is that it takes forever to get to exciting parts; instead the game shoves the story in your face, and keeps adding more and more names to remember, and the drama between everybody. Third is that everybody in your squad sucks to start with. I'll keep plowing along though, just wanted to get my initial thoughts down somewhere, and maybe I can comment on how my feelings change through the game.

In bed a tad early.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

2012.01.24 Tuesday

Another day, another way. Not really too much to talk about here. Looks like the weather is taking a turn down rainy lane. Work was plain.

Tried to get to sleep earlier, but that didn't work out. Decided I should maybe stay up in case Kelc wanted to come over, but that also didn't work out. Fooey.

2012.01.23 Monday

Did not get enough sleep last night. I felt like my stomach was having a hard time breaking something down.

Normal work day, with the added bonus of volleyball.

After work, I joined Habs and Taylor on a trip to the consignment center. Not really sure what to expect. Lots of cool fancy furniture, but with fancy pricetags. The cost of owning a house is still sinking in, bit by bit.

Home, ate the last of the chicken taquitos I bought from costco way back when. I played some Tomb Raider, then got to a part in the game where my game wouldn't load a crucial component to finish the level... it was just missing. Supposedly, this is a known bug, but has no known solution except sometimes restarting the level. Well I did that, and it still didn't load. I'm on the second to last section of the game, so I'm calling it "done". It was fun, but I would not have paid full price for that game. It felt way too buggy and cludgy, but also great level designs. As far as replay value, probably zero? I mean, I have a bunch of cheats unlocked, but I'm already done, so there is no point.

Did some house scoping, then waited up for Kelc. Then she texted me late saying she wasn't coming over... nice ... guess I'll go to bed.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

2012.01.22 Sunday

Slept in again. I wonder if I'll ever not be able to sleep in.

Eggs and toast breakfast. Butter is the key.

Not really much planned for today. The conference championships for NFL are happening today. I suppose I could watch those.

The Ravens had their chance at the super bowl stolen from them. The patriots started to play rather dirty once they realized what was slipping away. There were plenty of hits that I felt were unsportsmanlike, and just crappy defense.

The Giants didn't really show up during the first half of the game. Maybe it was the rain. Maybe it was Manning.

2012.01.21 Saturday

Slept in, yet again. Went back home, and much to my surprise my brother and sister were at home. My sister was working on some ideas she has for her wedding. My brother... I have no idea what he wanted to do.

Ate some pizza, then went to an open house. I think I'm getting better at picking out houses from online listings. There are lots to filter out.

Back home, I got into a lengthy discussion about some wedding stuff with my parents and sister. Kelc left to go eat with friends at Plucker's, and by the time I arrived, they had left. Awesome.

Went home.

2012.01.20 Friday

Off-friday, good times. I slept in and fixed up some breakfast to start off the day.

I made a trip over to Goodwill to drop off some things I've been holding in my trunk, just wasting space. Came back home to start demolishing a bathroom. Took off the baseboards, removed most hardware, and partially disassembled the vanity.

I did some house shopping, then played games. I played some Minecraft, and I guess I lost track of time because Kelc came over and the sun was nowhere to be found.

We went over to her house to watch Twilight. (*sigh*) I brought my laptop and played games and surfed the interwebs while getting bombarded with the terrible movie in the background.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

2012.01.19 Thursday

Everything about this morning was just slow. Slow getting up, slow shower, slowly cut some nails, slowly get to work.

By the end of the day, I'm running around all over the place. Then I'm getting phone calls at the end of the day. *grumble*

Good to be done with the week.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

2012.01.18 Wednesday - Internet Protest Day

Such a difficult topic to discuss.

On one side of the arena, we have businesses that make money by selling content, or creativity, or media, or whatever you want to call it. The build up of the internet in terms of size and speed, and the ever-increasing capability of computers has threatened this business by creating convenient methods of infringing on copyright claims. So really, it is in their best interest to disable foreign sites from distributing their content freely.

On the other side of the area, we have the public. Regular people are also content producers, not just big business. Some people post things they create, or link to things they find interesting. This blog is an example of content producing, but I can assure you I am not a business. On this side of the arena, there is growing fear that big business will be able to dictate how the internet is run. We have all grown to understand that the internet has good sites and bad sites, just like there are good parts of cities and bad parts.

So what do we do? Ideally, nobody would steal content, or infringe on copyrights. Does crippling information sharing solve this? I'd say partially. I would imagine the illegitimate business of selling bootleg movies on the side of the road would increase some. I guess my point is that once you reach a certain size, you are going to have some type of loss. Retail stores do as much as they can to prevent loss, but it still happens. The key is finding a balance of preventing as much loss as you can, while not imposing problems on the trustworthy buyers (discouraging them from making a purchase). The other issue I see is that these "big businesses" push money to legislators to "support" their decisions on what type of legislation introduce and support.

For instance, HR 3261 (the Stop Online Piracy Act) was introduced by Lamar Smith. This site shows that a good portion of his campaign contributions are related to TV/Movies/Music. Now I didn't do much digging, so I don't know how much credibility that site has, but that is the kind of wonky-ness that I don't like about politics.

Who is in the driver's seat, and why?

Otherwise, work was slightly more hectic, but mostly normal. I think this is my last free Wednesday for another semester. Fun.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

2012.01.17 Tuesday

Typical of mornings after running, I was groggy. Around 30 minutes before my alarm was expected to go off, I remember thinking about how deep of sleep I'm in.. then my thoughts drifted away to nothingness. Peace reigned for a short period of time, then BRAPP and my alarm started blaring a less than preferable Spoon song, I Turn My Camera On. I need to make myself a good morning song playlist.

We had enough people to play some vball today, so game on. I could feel my leg muscles tensing up from the running I did yesterday. Full soreness will probably set in tomorrow.

Left a tad later than planned, but still made it home in reasonable time. Ate dinner and cleaned up. Then played some more Tomb Raider. I'm about halfway done, and maybe 7 hours in. Next up in the queue is Mass Effect, maybe. Mark says I don't need to worry about the story and dialog that much; Habs disagrees saying the story is where the value is. The little that I did play felt taxing on me. Instead of being able to sit back and smash buttons, I had to listen to people talk on and on about some imaginary stuff. Definitely not my normal preference in gaming, but I had been recommended to try it, and I got it on sale.

Went to HEB for a late night shopping adventure. I'm planning on cooking up some pork ribs over this weekend. We so excited.

Monday, January 16, 2012

2012.01.16 Monday

Some people are just not all that bright. On my way to work this morning, I was cruising along in the "fast" lane at speed-limit plus a couple mph. The roads were already mostly empty since a good chunk of people get this holiday off, so there shouldn't be any reason for somebody to tailgate and pass me. Well a dude driving white truck was in a rush, passed me angrily, then not but 5 seconds later was being pulled over by a cop. If he was trying to get somewhere on time, he just won.

I had a tough time getting started on things today, even after my coffee. Ended up staying later than normal.

At home, I went for a run. With the weather being non-winter-like, I was able to run just under 2 miles. That is a big step up from last week's puny 0.6 miles. It's crazy how much easier it is to run when it isn't painful to breathe.

Ate some lemon chicken and rice (thanks mom), and quinoa again. Played games and goofed around with the time I had left.

2012.01.15 Sunday

Slept in today. Typical weekend mentality. Cooked up some eggs and toast for breakfast. Watched some How It's Made marathon, and sipped on coffee.

Spent some of the morning playing games, then helped my dad go through some stuff in the garage.

Ate a late lunch of soup. Too much soup.

Played some more games. So lately, I've been playing Tomb Raider: Anniversary. It's a remake of the 10-year-old classic, using the new game engine. I think it is a lot easier to play because they reduced the number of buttons you have to keep track of. I think this game will take less time to complete, so I'm going to plow through it before jumping back to Mass Effect. (Speaking of which, I'm still near the beginning of the game, and I'm at a part that I can consistently die. Frustrating.)

Kelc and I went for dinner at Applebees (le gasp?). I don't know if I can go there much more.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

2012.01.14 Saturday - House Shopping

Started the day off with a hefty breakfast of eggs. Gotta have that protein.

First house was pretty close to Lakeline and 1431. I like the property sizes available in this area, but the roads needed updating. As an investment, I could see that property being a good choice since 1431 has been steadily growing. The house itself was a little awkward since they had performed some additions and construction on it.

Second house was very close to Milburn park. It was a more cookie-cutter, all rooms upstairs, smaller lot, tiny garage. I think the previous owners smoked, sooo probably would want to repaint and rip up the carpet.

Third house backed up to Anderson Mill Rd. This one-story had a lot of larger rooms, and a large cul-de-sac lot, but for some reason cramped the laundry room. I think the garage was even smaller than the previous house.

Later, went to the Fourth house. This one I had the highest hopes for, but unfortunately there were lots of blatant issues with the house, and the listing agent said the seller was not really negotiating. I liked the floor plan and the architecture the most in this house out of the rest, but it's over-priced.

At the very least, I'm getting closer to understanding exactly what I want, and grasping more about the areas and trends. One day, I'll be able to sit back and forget all about it.

Spent the remainder of the day playing games and trying to let everything sink in.

Friday, January 13, 2012

2012.01.13 Friday

It's Friday (Friday) the 13th. The news made sure to say that multiple times this morning. As if it is a huge occurrence, and not just an arbitrary number assigned to a day.

Grabbed some breakfast with the guys. The rest of the workday was pretty plain.

Went home and finalized some scheduling with home viewing. Also spent the evening shopping around. Too many choices.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

2012.01.12 Thursday - Quinoa trials

I woke up this morning. Yay, no coma... but super groggy.

Not a lot to talk about for today. Plain day at work.

Cooked up some Quinoa to supplement some leftovers for dinner. The taste is actually pretty good by itself. It's possible to cook in a rice cooker (for more simplicity) and to use broths instead of water (for more flavor). I might start cooking up lentils more often too. BEANS ARE MAGICAL FRUIT, YO.

Cleaned up in the kitchen, then an evening of house shopping/accounting/video games.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

2012.01.11 Wednesday - Balls to the Face

Had a clumsy morning with some tossing and turning, tv remotes falling, alarm clocks bashing. To top it off, it was also oddly cold.

Luckily the weather today warmed up. Over work-lunch, our group was able to get a 3v3 volleyball game together. So some of this is a bit hazy for me, but in either the first or second game, I got the ball spiked right into my face while blocking at the net. Read that as, a volleyball smacked as hard as possible went about 1 foot then my face stopped it. I remember instant pain, but I couldn't see anything. From this darkened state, I remember just focusing on putting my feet in the right place to land on the ground, then sitting down. Eventually the "lights came back on" and I could see. My face stung, and my head had a deep ache to it. After a minute or two I was back and ready to play. We played some more games, which now thinking back about it, I don't remember them all too well. Mark thinks I may have a mini-concussion. Totally worth it.

I went home. My head ached a little during the afternoon, which also flew by pretty fast. Ate some dinner, then left to the Brixton in east Austin for Arrested Development Trivia. That head injury is probably not going to help me out.

We ended up getting 6th out of 13, but our team only had 3 and others had 6, so it's almost like we got 1st.

Home, snooze.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

2012.01.10 Tuesday

I woke up to the feeling that I just fell asleep. Not a cool feeling. Don't want to get up.

Work was rather normal. I started learning some LaTeX (pronounced "lay-tech"). It is a document preparation system, or a typesetting program. It is quite a change from MS Word.

Traffic was light today, for unknown reasons. Went home and went running for the first time since late October. I can tell that I'm out of shape, but on top of that my throat hurt from the cold air. I don't know what it is, but my air passages ache quite a bit when it is moderately cold. Maybe it is a form of cold-induced asthma.

Had a cool casserole dinner, then cleaned up in the kitchen.

Shopped around for houses online, and played a little L4D2, then called it a night.

Monday, January 9, 2012

2012.01.09 Monday - National Crapionship Game

Woke up somewhere in the middle of being refreshed and really groggy. Maybe even a little of both.

Normal work day, mostly. No volleyball because it is cold and rainy.

Hasbro and I took the toll roads home to see how that would go. As most tolls are, there is less traffic. Even with the rain the speeds were maintained pretty high, unlike the normal roads. We will have to do some more number crunching to determine the value of toll versus the more direct route.

So let's see here. I'm going to make some assumptions based on my car, the times are approximate, and the cost of gas is around what most stations have currently.

Short Route:
Distance - 17.5 miles
Assuming worst-case mpg (traffic times) - 20mpg
Cost of gas - $3.15
Time - Upwards of 50 minutes

Cost of Short: $2.76 and 50 mins of time

Long (Toll) Route:
Distance - 36.1 miles
Assuming best-case mpg (cruising with open roads) - 29 mpg
Cost of gas - $3.15
Time - As low as 35 minutes

Cost of Long: $3.79 + $4 toll and 35 mins of time

This may boil down to determining a price to maintain sanity on heavy traffic days. Maybe.

Home, ate some food. Then over to Habs to watch the college football national championship game. What a let down. The game had one touchdown that was pretty bad looking. How the heck is the SEC ranked so highly? Are strong defenses really that valuable if you don't have any offense whatsoever?

Stopped by HEB and picked up lots of random things. Quinoa, local honey, pistachios, organic bananas, and of course coffee.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

2012.01.08 Sunday

Woke up late again. Sleep was great.

Went to The Village Downtown in Bryan. It is a local-oriented cafe, reminded me of a mix between Kerbey Lane and Little Deli. The atmosphere seemed very Austin-like, and progressive.

Walked over a few blocks and shopped at a shop called Earth Art. They sell all kinds of neat things, it's hard to describe.

Back at Ray and Marisa's, we watched the Steelers game. Everybody else had to leave. The game ended in overtime with Tebow thanking God.

Drove home. Stopped at Torchy's for late dinner.

2012.01.07 Saturday

Woke up to the cable guy showing up for a service call hours ahead of schedule. Result: he was turned down and told to come back later. NICE.

Played some video games and sat around, watching tv for most of the earlier part of the day. Then we got ready for an HEB run to prepare for a big feast.

The big meal consisted of bison, venison, chicken drumsticks, fettuccine alfredo, spinach/pear/avocado salad, and french bread. Everything was amazing.

The guys took some time out of the evening to perform a ceremony, recognizing and focusing the collective energy we share in the world. The girls watched Toy Story 3.

Later, we played some Loaded Questions game, and consumed adult beverages until people were tired. Sleep was easy.

2012.01.06 Friday

The goal for today is to wrap up everything that is left at Justin's house. Lots of little things left around, some furniture needed moving, and the carpets needed cleaning.

Back home, ate some leftover bbq. Yum. Then I half- goofed around, and half- packed up for BCS. I had to do laundry and get things unpacked to re-pack for the trip.

Drove over to Paul's place to pick him up for the carpool. His door was locked, lights out, cell phone off, and not answering anything... but his truck was there. Not sure what to do, Kelc and I decided to just go without him. Later he called saying he was passed out and exhausted from driving all around, so it wasn't a big deal that we left him.

We took the "other" way to BCS, which tip-toes on the edge of Hearne (where I have some relatives). Cool thing about Hearne: it's got a lot of trains. Uncool thing about Hearne: you get some really crazy people driving large trucks. Case in point, I was driving along the highway going the speed limit, and a truck was going slow in the right lane, but when I was about to pass them they sped up very angrily. Then they started speed-matching me, and making sure I didn't pass them. Will I get shot? Maybe, maybe not.

Nah, we arrived at BCS without incident. Listened to a good chunk of RadioLab on the way too.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012.01.05 Thursday

Ah, the end of the work week. Short weeks are the best. I almost feel more productive too, but that could be that nobody is around to interrupt me.

Had a little lunch outing to Don's BBQ. Delicious.

After work, I had plans to go see the Muppets movie with Habs and Taylor. Much to our dismay, the times we had were completely incorrect. Instead, we went out to Kerbey for food, then Main Event for some bowling.

Also much to my dismay, our kickball team had their first playoff game and lost. I totally forgot about it until it was too late to do anything, and I wasn't all that excited about playing. Oh well.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

2012.01.04 Wednesday

Woke up a little later, took a little longer getting ready, and on the road later. Traffic was about the same. I feel like I don't recognize the traffic on 183 any more, or like I don't remember having to do the drive.

Another plain day that was slow.

After work, I was summoned to go take a look at why Kelc's internet service wasn't working. I arrived, was able to connect to the router over wi-fi, so that wasn't the issue. Next, I wanted to see the status page, but that required me logging in. Luckily I guessed the router password. Then I tried seeing if the router had a dynamically assigned IP from the cable modem... and nothing. Bingo. Tried resetting the cable modem... nothing. Just continues to blink the Ready LED (instead of being solid) and dumps out an IP of which is obviously incorrect. Other than checking the cabling to the wall outlet, there wasn't much else I could do on my own, so I called up Time Warner. Their phone system makes you click through steps of resetting these devices before getting the option of talking to a person. Then when I finally got through to a person, they told me to perform the exact same steps (which I had done multiple times by this point) only to reach the same conclusion... no connection. I asked if there was a diagnostic page for the cable modem that I could read to them to help them figure out what the problem is, and they said "it does not exist".

After hanging up, I found a diagnostic page saying that the cable modem could not find the signal. TWC is silly.

Read more book. Then bed.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012.01.03 Tuesday

Welp. Melatonin might have helped a little to get me asleep, but I woke up around 4am, totally energized and ready to go. After struggling to fall back asleep, I finally closed my eyes then woke up abruptly around 5:30 to what sounded like a jet engine spinning up. WHAT. Then gingerly slept until my alarm beeped my head off.

Back to the grind with some minor adjustments. In particular, the fact that nobody was around at work. The hallways were quiet, and the people that showed up were pretty laid back.

At home, ate some leftovers and read up on mortgages.

2012.01.02 Monday

I woke up fashionably late today, since I had the day off. It was officially my first night sleeping in my new room/residence. It's going to take some adjusting.

Spent most of the day dilly-dallying around. Looked up houses with Kelc online. Drank percolated coffee that my dad percolated.

Picked up some Dominos pizza for dinner. My dad found some old pictures that were sitting around in storage. Some have me in my very early years of life, others were taken long before I ever existed. Pretty cool to see familiar things from a long time ago.

Tried taking melatonin to get to sleep at a reasonable time... we'll see how that goes.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

2012.01.01 Sunday

Woke up super late, then realized that my winter break from work is almost over. Kinda sucks because I feel like I haven't optimized this time off. Still have today and tomorrow to do something.

Went home and goofed around in my room most of the day. By goofed, I mean moved stuff from one spot to another.

Later in the evening, I went back to the old place to wrap up some things and grab the remainder of stuff.

2011.12.31 Saturday

Hard to believe New Year's Eve is here. These days/months/years are flying by way too fast now.

Woke up at the lakehouse, spent a moment there, then headed back home.

I spent some of the early portions of the day helping my parents set up a sun house for their plants. It's made out of PVC pipe, some plastic sheeting, and some zip ties. Not too shabby.

Spent the middle portion of the day getting my computer set up, and organizing my junk.

Later on in the evening I met up with Habs and Taylor at their place. We tinkered with some outdoor lighting, chatted, played games, goofed around, etc. Didn't feel like much time had passed, and it was already just about midnight. Kelc arrived just in time to witness the 12:00 time on the clock.

Then we changed into swim attire, popped some champagne, relaxed in a hot tub and watched fireworks go off just a street or two over. Pretty awesome and relaxing way to step into the new year.

Kelc and I spent the night at her place.