February 24, 2006: And the countdown begins…

I was up and at’m this morning. Dad called before I left the house to let me know that the server was down at the school again. I had actually seen that last night and knew that it was down. They have so many power issues in that town. I swear that the power must go off at least twice a week down there.

I arrived at the school around 9:30 or a little later today. Dad was teaching when I got there. He managed to get three classes in today. Pretty good for a Friday. I did some playing with the Asterisk server that I have been working on while I was there. I managed to get an IP phone to work from the school back to the office and the sound quality was great even over the multiple asymmetrical links and the VPN. You couldn’t tell that there was a VPN in the middle at all. I was very impressed. This system is going to work really well once I manage to get all of the kinks worked out of it. That will take some time. There is a lot to be learned. It is definitely keeping me busy.

My Aunt Sharon is teaching art classes at the school for the seventh through twelth grades and today is her first day at the schoo. The juniors and seniors were out on a field trip today so she just had the lower four grades. Apparently it went really well. She really enjoyed herself today.

Dad, Aunt Sharon and I all went out to Lorraine’s for lunch. We all got the Friday fish fry. Wow was that good. I was not prepared for their fish fry to be so good but it might just be the best fish fry that I have ever had. I am not afraid to say that that fish fry had to have been better than the amazing fish and chips that Dominica and I got several times while we were down in Walt Disney World. No kidding. I am going to be getting the fish fry in Castile quite a bit more often from now on.

I left the school a little on the early side this afternoon so that I could get home to be with Oreo. I was still too late though and he had made a mess on the floor again. We think that it might be his new diet. He just doesn’t have the same amount of time between “trips outside” that he used to have. But, other than that, Oreo seems to be feeling really well. Today he wanted to play just like he used to. He has all kinds of energy and is acting like his old self. We are thrilled with the progress that he has been making. While playing with him today I managed to get his green, moon shaped binky stuck on the ceiling fan.

The vet finally called near 6:00 to let us know Oreo’s blood test results from the sample that they sent to Cornell last week. It turns out that he does not have a thyroid condition. So we don’t know exactly what that means. The doctor thinks that there is a good chance that he simply susceptible to having high blood fat content and that the diet might make the difference. So Oreo is going to be on this prescription, low fat diet (Dr. Hill’s W/D) and we are going to have his blood checked again in April to see what kind of progress we have been making. Apparently they think that the diet alone has a very good chance of taking care of the problem. So far so good so who are we to argue.

Dominica found this hilarious online article on dealing with a monk infestation.

Sorry to anyone who was trying to listen to the Ogg Vorbis version of the SGL Podcast Episode 45. Somehow the file that was sent to OurMedia was bad and it was useless. I got that fixed tonight.

Tonight is a really busy night for me even though nothing is really going on. I have three big projects that I have been working on that I am trying to make some progress with plus Oreo is making a pretty heavy demand on my time now that he is feeling better. He has this thing about bugging me to play fetch with him but only playing for two or three throws and then wanting to be on his own. But that only lasts a minute because then he wants to play again. I think he learned this behaviour from the hamster. Plus, I have lots of little things that I need to get taken care of for people that I have not had a chance to get to all week. Not to mention SGL updates that need to be taken care of. Thank goodness for Saturdays or I would never be able to get anything done. I really appreciate being able to work on days when it is almost impossible for a customer to call me.

I have managed to do a bit of ready this past week or so. I finally completed reading “The Object Oriented Though Process, Second Edition” which I started quite some time ago. And I read the new O’Reilly book “Asterisk” in just two days. I am currently forcing myself through “Database Systems” which is a super technical book that I can barely get through but I am learning so I am trying to keep at it. I need to force myself to read more books. I have so many magazines that I get all of the time that they distract me quite a bit and I never feel that I can spend any time away from the computer so books tend to take a back seat to everything else. But I really do, generally, get a tremendous amount of value out of them. So I need to just make more time for them is the bottom line.

I had three students at school today start blogs although I am not sure that any of them really grasp the purpose and they are just doing it because it is the “cool” thing to do. If they actually start posting to their blogs I will give you some links.

Art and Danielle are hosting the youth group that is doing the 30 Hour Famine this year. The kids are all over at their house this evening and then they are splitting up and the boys are spending the night at the Ralstons and the girls are going down to Perry.

I ordered Dominica the third season of Gilmore Girls because she wouldn’t stop whining about it. I have no idea why she likes that show so much but she is totally addicted to it. So that is on its way from Amazon and should be here in the middle of next week.

By 8:30 my brain was pretty much burned out and I needed to take a break. I gave up on working on the Asterisk box for the day and decided to just spend some time working on the movie database system. That isn’t stressful at this point and is pretty relaxing. It is at a point where it is easy to see real progress happening without me having to put in lots and lots of brain-busting work.

I took all of the reviews that I have done over at Scott’s Reviews and copied them over into the movie database system so that you get to see my movie reviews when you are browsing for a movie to watch. I think that this is a pretty neat feature. It really makes using the database a lot more useful.

I also wrote a review for Zathura. I have been neglecting my movie review site so I need to get caught up a little bit. Now that the reviews are also going into the database maybe I will be a little more diligent about it.

Dad and I are planning on doing a birthday lunch at the Omega. It seems appropriate to celebrate my birthday there.

Dominica’s parents are coming out from Frankfort on Sunday to visit. They will be arriving around noon and staying for the afternoon. They haven’t been out this way in quite a while. It is perfect timing since I spent quite a bit of time cleaning the house this week and, overall, things are looking pretty snazzy. I should have plenty of time to do additional cleaning tomorrow too. Having three sets of people over to the house in the same week really has its advantages. If only the house looked like this all of the time. But that doesn’t seem like it is very likely to happen.

Just in case there is anyone out there who has been trying to go to IthacaPortal.com and haven’t been able to get to the site for the past week that is because the site is gone. I decided that it was time to stop putting money into the site so I let the domain expire. Just like IthacaEats.com that went before us we tried to make a review site but we ran into the barrier of the restaurants and other businesses changing so rapidly that we couldn’t keep up. We also found that Ithaca’s businesses were very fickle when it came to maintaining web presences and often a given restaurants (and by a given restaurant I am referring to close to half of all of the restaurants that had sites at all) would let their sites go down for months at a time and when they came back up they barely worked and were totally inaccurate and out of date. At one point probably close to ten percent of the sites that we listed were for restaurants that were out of business and most of the restaurants in town didn’t bother having sites at all. Because the purpose of IthacaPortal was to be the site that linked to all of the local business sites it was not very useful since none of the businesses seemed to care at all. So we decided that we didn’t care all that much either. I still plan to have a new site up at some point but I am letting the IthacaPortal name fall away.

Andy got home from North Bay this evening. He called around 10:00 and we talked for about an hour. I worked on getting more movie reviews and pictures entered into the database. It is going to take a while to get that all taken care of but I have over 10% of the pictures done so far. That isn’t too bad. Boy will it be nice to have that all done though. I am looking forward to that.

Well, I am going to post and go to bed. This is it, the final SGL posting of my twenties. Tomorrow I turn the big THREE OH. Thirty years old. It’s hard to believe. In some ways it seems like I must have been in my thirties for a long time all ready but in other ways I don’t even feel like I am an adult yet. How can I be turning thirty?

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