February 27, 2007: The Life of an Ephemerist

When considering the diarian pursuits of famous English language ephemerists, of which I hope to someday be of note, I find it encouraging that Samual Pepys was born on February 23rd and John Evelyn died on February 27th with my birthday squarely in-between them. Apparently the final week of February is an important week in the field of serious journaling.

The weather is milder today and Oreo is very excited to be returning to Doggie Paradise after taking a four day hiatus. He has a lot of pent up energy that he needs to get out. He is going to be a terror to the other dogs today.

I got into the office a little earlier than usual. My team is almost completely out today so the place is very quiet but I need to be in the office as there is pretty much no one to cover the phones or anything today. So I don’t even get to go out to lunch today and will just be eating in the office.

This coming weekend Dominica is planning on traveling to Frankfort via Amtrak while Oreo and I head back up to Geneseo for another weekend of packing and moving. With Dominica not there I might be able to complete the basement in one last big push leaving only the big objects that are perfect for the professional movers and the computer equipment that just can’t be moved until the last minute. Dominica will be staying in Newark on Friday night and leaving for Utica early on Saturday morning. I will be leaving on Friday night and making a stop in Scranton, I hope, on the way north.

Tonight there is a “Meet your Neighbours” party for the residents of 1180 Raymond Blvd over at the Theater Square Grill at NJPAC that Dominica and I are planning on attending. We are concerned that when we RSVP’d that they had asked for our “company” which leads us to believe that there will be a lot of people going to this event that are not from our building which will cause the whole thing to end up a lot like the last party at 1180 where the residents were definitely an afterthought and we pretty much felt like intruders in our own homes. It was quite uncomfortable and very inappropriate considering the prices that we are paying to live in the building. But the management would appear to prefer to use our facilities as a community showcase. They tend to forget that that space that they are so willing to give away for outsiders to use is space that we are paying for in our monthly rent charges and its availability is reserved for the residents who are being charged for it. I think that the rental company often has a hard time remembering who exactly its customers are and is far too concerned with its own publicity.

To be sure that the Theater Square Grill party was not actually an attempt to garner investors while attempting to appease the residents by giving them some snacks. We asked the concierge whose job it is to know everything going on in the building and, of course, they were not even told of the event which leads us to believe that it is simply a renegade event without any authority to have gone through the building putting invitations into everyone’s doorways. Never, ever, should an announcement like that make it throughout the building without having completely informed our concierge with all of the details. We should never have to bring papers that have been shoved into our doors down to the desk and inform the concierge ourselves of what is going on and yet we constantly have to. I think that the management has completely forgotten that the concierge is even there and has a job to do.

Today I called to find out what the dress code is for the event tonight and at least by now (the day of the event) the concierge has been told about the meet and greet at the grill. Of course the word is “no dress code” but that is what we heard for the last party and that was basically black tie and we were pretty uncomfortable even after having dressed up. Anyone coming in or out of the building on their normal way to or from work or the grocery store or whatever would have been very uncomfortable indeed.

During lunch today I took the opportunity to watch a lot of RocketBoom that I have been missing from being so busy as of late. I can’t wait until more shows get started of the quality of RocketBoom. It is amazing, to me, that RB has been able to do so much, so well for so long and that no one has really come along with anything on par with it after all of this time. Some Internet television companies need to step up to the challenge and start creating some really incredible content.

Speaking of Internet television, last night I finally began converting the XHTML Web Design class that I taught two years ago at Castile Christian Academy from MPG to XVid so that they can be made actually useful when posted online. I think that I am going to need to modify them and tweak them using a video editor to make them really useful as the audio is pretty weak. But for now, I have the entire series converted (it took about twelve hours with an Athlon 64 3200+ processor doing nothing else!) and each of the twelve “episodes” which were close to 3GB each under MPG compressed nicely to under 200MB using Xvid. To be fair I did lower the resolution a bit to be a more manageable size as having them at full 640×480 seems a might silly considering the whole videos are nothing more than me talking but even when you play the new 320×240 resolution videos blown up to 640×480 it looks very much the same. That is some massive compression gains! XVid rulz! My plan is to extract the MP3 audio tracks and make the classes readily available as just audio as well as making XVid and MP4 videos available for download (MP4 for the iPod people.)

I have a major goal that I am attempting to reach even given my limited free time today: decommissioning of one of the big servers remaining in Geneseo. The single most powerful machine there (and I believe the largest power draw) is a big Athlon 64 3800+ server that is just about ready to be shut down and my goal is to turn it off tonight after migrating the very last of its services to Scranton. That will be a big relief and a large piece of equipment that can be disassembled and moved out of the house when I am up there this weekend. One less thing to worry about! And less electricity to be paying for too. My electric and gas bill in Geneseo is still at $170 even with us almost never being there! Talk about taking a big loss. I can’t wait to stem that flow of cash.

Today was a pretty slow day – I got a lot of chance to talk to people on the phone today and do some catching up in the office. You need that from time to time. Even being slow the day just flew by.

Daylight Saving Time (DST) is changing this year which a few of you might know already and everyone needs to be prepared. The time is changing on March 11th early in the morning so don’t forget. It is less than two weeks away! Don’t forget to change your clocks. If you run an old computer operating system like Windows 95 or Windows NT 4 you can expect to be left in the dust as this is your “Y2K” and your computer is done as far as the time goes. Time to get Vista. And a new computer.

Dad did his first (I assume) MPEG2 to Xvid conversion today. He converted a parade that I marched in with Kelley’s Heroes in late 2001 in Caledonia. It turned out to be the last normal parade that I would march in with the Heroes and the only parade that Dominica ever got a chance to attend. It also happened to be the day that I picked up my bright yellow (Zoom Zoom) 2002 Mazda Protege 5 stick shift. My first ever new car. I believe that Dominica and I drove the new car out to Frankfort to visit her family immediately after the parade. I hope to have the video of this parade posted to OurMedia sometime soon. Maybe even by tomorrow.

I managed to get out of the office just before six so that I could head home and get to the evening’s event which started pretty early for metro folks who have to commute.  This is our first time hitting the Theater Squire Grill so we are interested to see how it is.  So I am posting early as I know that tonight is going to be very busy even if nothing goes wrong.

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