June 19, 2006: Recovery Day

Today I am totally exhausted from having switched to the overnight last night. I worked midnight until eight in the morning. Sheep Guarding Llama was down over the weekend and the server came back online this morning around a quarter after eight. Dad had to run over to the server facility in Geneseo and restart the machine. It had become unresponsive. 🙁 Soon that won’t be an issue anymore. I can’t wait to get all of this stuff moved down to Scranton. What a relief that will be.

Mary had insomnia and got online around one in the morning and talked to me for a lot of the night and that helped keep me awake. By the end of the night I was in bad shape and really needed to get to bed. It was all that I could do to keep myself going to the end of my shift. I got my schedule changed this week and I am working the overnight all week. It is too bad that Dominica is in Frankfort this week because I am home all week. And I could have kept Oreo down here but we didn’t know that we could do that until after they had left. That is very sad. Oreo and I would have had a good time. I am all ready lonely.

During the night, around five in the morning, the air conditioner finally caught up and shut off for a few minutes. It was the first time that it had turned off since Dominica and I had walked into the apartment around noon yesterday. Josh and I had even gone outside with two gallons of water to clean off the air conditioning unit. We discovered that the unit was pressed up against another unit that was crammed up into a wall. So that wasn’t helping anything. The two units are totally competing for the same airflow and neither of them has enough room to breath anyway. My unit is in much better shape than the unit for the apartment above me. They have no free airflow at all. Two sides of their unit is against the building and one side is against my unit! No wonder they always just keep their windows open. We pulled my unit away from the other unit so that at least they weren’t touching each other. A tone of the fins on the radiator are smashed so it isn’t breathing properly at all. This thing is BAD. We poured water all over it hoping that the water might clean a little and help in some small way. That and the evaporation would help for a minute. I can’t believe how bad this thing is. And it is supposed to be in the nineties again tomorrow.

Josh and Amanda got up around six thirty. They had to pick someone up at the Newark Airport at eight and we had no idea how traffic was going to be since I have never driven up past the airport before. So they gave themselves an hour to make the trip. Josh is working in Jersey City all day today.

When eight rolled around I totally just crashed into bed. I was dead tired and was not about to attempt to stay awake any longer. Dad managed to get the SGL server back online just before I fell asleep and I was able to check it before passing out. So now everyone can read about our exciting weekend.

I slept pretty solidly until four thirty. Boy did that feel good. I am so glad that the air conditioning caught up during the night. There is no way that I could have slept in the hour yesterday at any point. But with it running solid and going through the night when it cooled down it did a bit to catch up and it isn’t doing too badly now although I am pretty sure that it never got a chance to shut off at any point during the day.

My first order of duty was to get the past two days updates posted onto SGL. Those are up and last night Josh and I verified that the video of the Empire Statesmen was posted on Ourmedia and working fine. So go to Saturday’s update and check out the show. The video is only about forty five seconds long or so but it is enough to give you a good idea of what the show was like. The audio is pretty bad but there wasn’t much that we could do about that. They were playing loud in an indoor convention center that was made completely of concrete so the entire place was one big echo chamber. It is nothing like that when they play on grass with no ceiling. I am always impressed with how well that camera manages to take videos of things, though. Thanks Kodak.

I had tons of emails to go through by the time that I was awake and bills to pay as well. Dad was able to get to the bank and deposit my paycheck today so I am able to pay everything now. Living between two states is tough. I finally managed to pay the rent bill today. That has been a major pain. They started by sending the bill to a mailbox that we don’t have so we didn’t get it for the longest time. Then when they finally sent the late payment bill to the address in New York where we actually get the mail they sent it without the important part of the bill that allows us to actually pay it so we had to wait for yet another bill to come so that we could actually pay them. So that was taken care of today.

I did some work trying to get the wireless working properly on the access point last night and the Vonage line started working again at the house. I haven’t quite figured out what it is that makes that work and not work. It is very sporadic. The Niagara line works all of the time without fail. I am happy that I was able to build an easy to use, more reliable phone system than Vonage did with all of their money. I have all of the same cool features that they have too.

For those who haven’t been following, the HD-DVD and BluRay players are out now and pretty readily available. The HD-DVD players are much cheaper, around $500, and are able to produce, so far, standard old HDTV signals (the highest being 768p or 1080i) which is not all that impressive. The discs are around $20. The BluRay players are currently at $1,000 and the disks are around $30 but they are able to play at 1080p which is a rather higher standard and very few monitors today are prepared to play that at full quality (dad’s is, however.) But the transition away from DVD has begun and it is time for people to start thinking about where they are putting their money. I am not saying that people should run out and grab the new players right away. I sure am not doing that until they get down to reasonable prices. But I am going to begin switching my buying habits. Sure some things will be fine on DVD going forward, especially the stuff that I get from the bargain bin at Walmart. But of new, top quality releases I will probably be waiting to buy them so that I can get them in HD or HD+ quality. No one knows which format is going to win. HD-DVD has a big lead and costs less and isn’t a Sony standard which means that it has a lot going for it. But the quality just isn’t up to what the high end crowd is expecting so we are going to have to wait and see. People like to think that VHS won the analogue era war but laserdisc outlived it and had a larger catalogue throughout its lifespan. I won’t be surprised if the same thing comes up again. People who are willing to pay to have the best often get it. People who used VHS were too eager to copy them or rent them and that kept them from having the best available to them. Money talks and quality demands the money. If someone other than Sony gets into BluRay and brings out a good player, like Samsung, then you could easily see me going that route (once they are less expensive.) But you won’t see Sony getting my money at any price.

I have been through the list of HD-DVD and Blu-Ray movies being listed as available or coming soon from Amazon and currently there isn’t a single one that I am that interested in. Everything that is currently available is stuff that any collector would all ready own if they wanted so that is going to make the transition tough. I think that people, for the most part, are much more interested in getting new movies in new formats and will convert their old collections later if they feel the need for a particular film to be in a higher quality. I don’t expect to be converting huge portions of my DVD collection. I would not have converted so much of the laserdiscs had I been able to keep a working player or played them on my computer(s). DVD won out of convenience and the survivability of the players (my first DVD player survived the entire DVD era, for example.) But I didn’t get into laserdiscs until they had been the dominant high end format for sixteen years and still I ended up going through about five or six players during that time from 1994 onward just to wind up by 2001 or so with no working player at all. Dad’s laserdisc player died some years ago as well. Dominica only ever got to watch any of my laserdiscs when we watched them on Nate’s player many, many years ago. At least, at this point, I don’t have too many movies left on laserdisc. I still need to figure out what to do with all of the ones that remain.

Dominica and I are pretty sure that we are selling the house in Geneseo. We will have to do it pretty quickly. What a pain that is. We were so happy that we weren’t going to be moving for a long time. It was a chance to finally unpack all of our stuff and set it up and have a place to call home. I lived in that house only for three years, actually a little less, and still it was the house that I lived in longer than any house but my parents’ house and by no small margin either. It is tough selling your first house, let me tell you. You get attached. You start thinking of it as “your” house and pretty soon it isn’t something that you want to give up. It becomes an important extension of you. When we first bought the house we thought that we would keep it indefinitely. It was such a good location and size for us. And it wasn’t so expensive. We knew that we would be working in other cities from time to time but the plan had been to always keep it as a form of long term storage and a base to operate out of. But that was when the company was using it as a datacenter as well and when we thought that we would be back more often. But we have all ready discovered that we would only have been in the house about half of the time as it was. If I would have lived with Dominica in Ithaca for that summer in 1994 we wouldn’t have needed the house then for sure. But now we plan to live in “the city” or thereabouts for the long term and keeping the empty house as an expensive storage unit seems silly. If the servers were staying there it would be different. If we could rent it it would be different. But with both of those options unavailable to us there are much better ways to do the same thing. So right now dad is looking into putting in a storage unit at his place that is large enough to hold all of our stuff so that we have a place to keep it all. It sounds silly, I know, to have a storage unit for stuff that you will never see, but it does make sense. There are a lot of nostalgic items that need to be stored that you should cart around with you all throughout your life and, in this day and age of intellectual property, I have a ton of items that need to be stored for legal purposes that I don’t need to have ready access to on a day to day basis. That takes up a lot of space. Obviously we are still hopeful that someone will be able to live in the house for a while and that we won’t have to sell it but we don’t think that the chances are too good for that.

At eight o’clock tonight I realized that I had gone for over twenty four hours without having any food. It is funny how that works once you get busy. Time flies and food is a low priority. Dominica was right, I really don’t eat very much when she isn’t around.

Dad said my new HP DL380 server arrived today. He was able to fire it up and test it out. Its six 10,000 rpm drives sounded like a jet taking off, he said. I am excited to get to test that one out.

By eight it was cool enough outside that I was able to open up the windows and get some fresh air in the house. The air conditioning had ran like crazy all day without stopping once since I went to bed this morning and it wasn’t even hot enough out to warrant using it. This is going to be one hot, annoying summer. But it is only for four more months. Just for the summer months. Ugh. But not for long. We can bare it for that long. Then, hopefully, we can move on up to Jersey City or Hoboken.

Once the windows were open I figured that I could turn on another computer and watch some DVDs. I had been avoiding having a second computer on and definitely avoiding the super hot Athlon XP machine while the air conditioning was running. I had to do everything that I could to keep the heat under control. It is warmer and more humid with the windows open but the air conditioner was going to burn up, along with my electric bill, if I did switch it off for a while. The rest of the week is not expected to be so hot.

I was hungry and lazy so, as you probably guessed, I ordered delivery. I love delivery. I am so totally addicted to getting food delivered. You can tell that this is one of those things that I was deprived of as a child. Dominica thinks that it is funny all of the things that I love to do that are caused by not having access to them when I was young. Things like pizza delivery and ice cream trucks and walking to the store or walking anywhere at all and just looking out the window and seeing people instead of grass. I will, most likely, spend my entire life living in places with tons of people around because I never had other people around when I was a kid. I ordered from Papa Johns because they left a thing on the door and I haven’t had their pizza in a long time. I am tired of Domino’s so it seemed like a good idea.

I popped in the DVD of Major League. That movie is awesome. It has to be the best baseball movie ever. And it is a movie about Cleveland. There aren’t enough movies about America’s great, smaller, industrial cities like Cleveland, Pittsburgh, St. Louis, Milwaukie, etc. I am always happy after watching Major League which is funny because I don’t like sports at all but I appreciate sports movies.

I did some bill paying. There are always bills to be paid, aren’t there. While I was sending out checks for CDs that had been ordered accidentally from BMG I used several “free CD” vouchers that I had. I got some Gary Allan rounding out my Gary Allan collection, some Etta James and some Tony Bennett. Oh yeah, good stuff.

The rain never ended up coming. When the pizza arrived there was the little sprinkling but not enough to know that it was raining if you weren’t standing in it for a few minutes. It ended up staying way too warm all night but at least I didn’t have to run the air conditioner although I wasn’t exactly comfortable.

While I am home alone with lots of time to myself I am taking the opportunity to work my way through all of the movies that are here that I have not had a chance to view yet. After Major League I started watching the 1974 classic film Agatha Christia’s Murder on the Orient Express. Not too many movies left here to go through. Hopefully I will have a chance to swap out the watched ones and get more from home that haven’t been viewed yet. Albert Finney’s portrayal of Hercule Poirot as a rude, loud, hunched man is curious compared to the ultimate performance of David Suchet who has set the bar for the character. Finney didn’t even appear to bother attempt a French accent.

Before my shift started I took the opportunity to shave and shower. Then it was time to begin my night.

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