March 7, 2007: Goodbye Nick Tahoe’s Hots

It was a relaxing night last night for Dominica and I. We ordered in from Nino’s in Harrison, watched two episodes of the fourth season of Remington Steele and went to bed. The server rails that I have been desperately waiting for have arrived but they are not as complete as I would have hoped that they would be (no fault of the supplier but of the way that HP supplies the parts) and I can only mount one server with what came and I need to figure out some way to mount the other now. Will this never end?

I woke up bright and early this morning and was out of bed just after five thirty. I was glad to be awake so early. I wish that I could be up at this time every day. It really helps me to get my day going. I immediately showered and got ready for work. Dominica was just getting out of bed as I was ready to head out. Oreo got up and wouldn’t return to bed. He kept following me around closely until I realized that he was trying to tell me that he needed to be taken outside which he never, ever needs to do until Dominica takes him out on her way to work. He was in a panic so I rushed to get him ready and we ran out of the apartment. He paced rapidly back and forth in front of the elevators because they were taking too long. When we got down to the lobby he made a mad dash for the doors. He only managed to hold it back until we were literally one inch or less outside of the front doors and he stood out there for what was probably a good minute! He was a much happier dog after that. He must have drank a ton last night without us noticing. I ordered my car when we came back in which, by this time, was around seven.

It snowed all last night and there is a good, solid dusting in northern NJ this morning. The roads were slippery and it took me until well after eight before I was into the office which is a really long commute for me. Generally it takes less than half an hour.

Dad emailed me this morning to let me know that Nick Tahou’s on Lyell Ave. in Rochester is changing ownership and name. In theory the menu is going to stay the same but it will be hard to maintain such a major Rochester tradition. Tahou’s has been the “gang’s” traditional restaurant for a good dozen years at this point. The entire Rochester region has taken much of its culinary identity from the restaurant. This is a sad time for the city.

Dell’s “Ideastorm” site is proving to be detrimental to the company although it started off as a good idea. Dell started the site with the hopes of it generating ideas that Dell could use to revitalize its products. Of course, as anyone even remotely interested in computers these days could tell you, the number one request on the site was to sell computers preloaded with Linux. Dell almost immediately promised to deliver but then, after generated tons of positive spin in the media, pulled the plan presumably from pressure from Microsoft. Now Dell has really shot themselves in the foot by getting everyone really excited and then redacting on the project. Why have something like Ideastorm when you already know the main ideas and don’t want to do them anyway? Dell is starting to delete comments from the community on their site to cover up what has happened but some places have managed to get screenshots of them so that Dell can’t completely cover their tracks. At this point the project seems to have generated more storm than ideas. Here is a tip to big business – it’s okay to not ask for the opinion of your customers but definitely don’t ask if you don’t care and definitely don’t ask if you know the answers and don’t like them.

US colleges and universities are starting to warm to homeschooled students says CNN today. Perhaps this is in response to Bush’s “No Student Left Behind” plan to send public educational funds down the proverbial toilet.

Did you know that from 1881-1895 the device that we now know as the facsimile machine was called a telephotograph?

I discovered today that I was able to get VLC to play QuickTime movies at my office even though, for some reason, QuickTime itself doesn’t work. Interesting. Go VLC! So now I am able to watch the high definition Rocketbooms instead of just whatever scraps they are willing to through to the Windows Media viewers. Personally I would much rather see RocketBoom in Xvid and/or Divx but I take what I can get. My media player doesn’t like QuickTime very much and the Windows Media is unreliable from RB so I am always in rough shape.

Dad sent me an interesting article from Breakpoint on China’s looming demographically driven crisis. China is soon facing a serious problem with a male to female imbalance resulting in thirty million single men if no women in the country remain single. Thirty million is a gigantic population. One tenth of the population of the entire United States. Bigger than most countries. And that thirty million are all about the same age or at least the same generation. This disparity is not spread out over the entire population but is isolated to that group born after the population control measures were instigated. The underlying issues are, of course, that the country has a social problem that leads to both overpopulation without individual responsibility and a hatred of women so severe that parents are often willing to kill their own daughters in the hopes of getting a son. There is little that a government can do to combat social issues of this scale.

Today I got a message left on my voicemail. It was from a telemarketing training center. Apparently our phone number is one now being used by telemarketers to use for training purposes. The message was five minutes long because the girl being trained didn’t figure out how to hang up properly. You can hear in the message them saying that that is good and that they can just hang up now. They go on to call another poor, hapless customer and manage to illegal use our voicemail to record the entire conversation. I wonder how that disclosure message might go: “This call may be monitored by previous customers for quality assurance.” Of course the person making the calls is barely able to speak English so luckily we didn’t have to talk to them. They are selling compressed air. Maybe it is compressed hot air. It really shows how useless the US “Do Not Call List” is. Not only do companies ignore it but foreign telemarketing companies are apparently using the US “Do Not Call List” to get their practice numbers from!

We had a chance to get a Wii today but decided against it. I would have had to have wired money and the weather is quite bad down here so extra driving for a video game system that I couldn’t actually pick up for weeks seemed like a bad call especially when I am swamped at work and have no time to run around dealing with that stuff even in good weather. So it looks like there is no hope for a Wii for us for anther two months. But that is okay. We have plenty to do and as time marches on the hype has vanished, at least where we are, and the interest level in the Wii has dropped off for us significantly. So we will see if we still decide to get one after two more months of them not being on shelves. The only games that I am really excited about are Blue Dragon and Assassin’s Creed and neither is on the Wii. Maybe if Microsoft figures out the XBox 360 this year we will get one of those. If they add HDMI they will become quite interesting.

My day ended up being extremely busy. I had breakfast at work but skipped lunch which ended up being very good and I just got busier and busier all day long and never had a chance to slow down at all. By the end of the day I was quite exhausted. This is what Dominica’s whole week this week and last have been like.

Friday is going to be crazy for me. I am going to make an attempt first thing in the morning to get to the DMZ in Manhattan which, I’m sure, will be completely crazy. They open at 8:30 and I have a 10:30 meeting so I have no idea how that is going to work but I have to get there sometime on Friday so that is my first attempt. If that doesn’t work then I have to get there in the early afternoon after my meeting. Then, of course, from Manhattan I have to take the train back to Newark, pack and head for Geneseo for a long weekend of packing.

Given the weather and the slippery roads I decided to leave the office a little early today.  Dominica borrowed a movie from a co-worker today that I guess that we are watching tonight.  Tomorrow we have to take Oreo to the vet after work and drop off the BMW to get the door fixed.  What a month this is!  I cannot wait for April.  I am really looking forward to having a little extra time for a change.  I have way too much to worry about between now and the end of March.

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