January 30, 2008: First Netflix Movie

I was exhausted this morning, the last few days have been catching up with me, and so decided to sleep in with Oreo for a little while and leave about the same time as Dominica. I was surprised to find that it was decently warm and raining when I got outside. I can’t believe that it is January. (Or February -1 as we say at work.)

I stopped at Cafe Airlie on the way through and got my usual egg, cheese and potato with black pepper on a hardroll and some apple juice for my walk to the train station. It is so warm out that even with a light rain my fleece is a bit too much and I am too warm.

Dominica discovered this bit of disturbia today that occurred along a highway that we drive past on a regular basis. This is right along our normal route between Newark and “back home.” Although now we tend to go out to Williamsport before heading north.
Things were relatively busy at the office today. But busy in big bursts. Really busy bits with large bits of nothing as well.

I learned today that the coach of the New Jersey Giants (an American Football team from Rutherford, New Jersey which is playing in the NFL Super Bowl this year) used to be the coach of the Rochester Institute of Technology, RIT, Tigers. RIT is where I am currently attending for my Masters of Information Technology degree.

My Ruby based email log processing script ran today processing about two million database rows of data. That took several hours of intensive processing. It was 230MB of data sitting in my email account that had to be moved out. But that is a lot of stuff that isn’t stored in there anymore and that is no longer stored on my home storage area network (SAN.) I am very happy with how the script is working.

I did have to make some modifications to the script to get it to process all of the rows correctly. I had not dealt with some older data yet and there were some “end of log” messages, some unnecessary quotation marks and some bad line feeds that needed to be stripped out. But the script is more robust now and is getting better by the day. I think that by tomorrow night that I will most likely be done with all of the archival email processing except, possibly, for one small batch that needs some special oversight. Then I can focus on some reporting tools to dig into all of the data that I have been collecting.

I did some reading in “Practical Ruby for System Administration” today and learned some new tricks for using Ruby as part of by BASH command line. I never think of using Ruby (or Perl, for that matter) in a “one liner” or in-line mode. But it can be extremely useful for that. So I think that this is some good learning for me.

During her lunch break today Dominica went shopping and picked up a folding table for us to use in our apartment. We have been without anything resembling a table for two years now and it is beginning to be a problem. We definitely need a table for our Dungeons and Dragons games. So she picked one up at Home Depot. She also picked up some shoes while she was out. Her shoe collection is getting pretty big.

Dad lost power due to a massive windstorm tearing across Upstate New York today. We were talking over instant messenger when his power went out and he disappeared. It was gone for what seemed like four or five hours but it was on again by the time that I got home from the office.

I had to rush home so that I could help her to unload the car but she got stuck in traffic and I was home almost an hour before her anyway even though we left at almost exactly the same time (she left five to ten minutes before me.) I got home and logged right back into work and put in another hour or so. Then I helped Dominica unload the car, we fed the dog and we ran right over to Food for Life for a quick dinner.

After dinner we came home and I wrapped up the “office” work, started in on my Project Management homework, read some of “Manage It!” by Johanna Rothman which I am trying to finish reading this week and kicked off another long round of email transfers so that I can continue the process of migrating the data into the database. I can’t believe that I am already into the seventh week of my Project Management class. It is amazing to me how quickly the classes just fly by. When I was young they seem to drag on forever. Now I can’t even seem to get a chance to get into one before it is over.

Our first Netflix DVD came via the post today – 28 Weeks Later. It is the sequel to 28 Days Later which is one of the greatest, if not the greatest zombie apocalypse films of all time. Dominica has been extremely anxious to watch it. So I am trying to make time tonight so that we can watch it. If we don’t get to watch it tonight it could be a long time before we get to see it and one of the problems with Netflix and us is that if we don’t get to watch one movie then we don’t get to move on to another movie until we do. This is a problem when there is a movie that we both want to watch like this one. Normally the plan is for Dominica to get movies that only she wants to watch and use Netflix as a method of providing just her with movies so that she can watch them when I am working. It is already apparent how difficult a serialized movie stream will be if we try to watch everything together.

Dominica did some homework tonight as well for her GPS and the New Geography class. I pointed her in the direction of the O’Reilly Where 2.0 Conference which is perfectly tied in with her class. If you are interested in the content from the conference from 2005 through 2007 you can listen to the talks and panel discussions on IT Conversations for free. Very good stuff. Well worth a listen.

Tomorrow is a doggie-daddy day. Oreo is very excited. He was totally ready for today to be his sleep-in day but had to go to daycare. I will be working from home tomorrow and performing a much needed clean up of the apartment. Tomorrow night Dominica and I are heading to the Prudential Center for the first time and will be seeing the live show of Dancing with the Stars which was one of my Christmas presents for Dominica (yes, she actually asked for that.) The really cool thing about the show is that we will get to see Wayne Newton who will be singing, but not dancing, at the show. On Friday we are thinking about heading north up to my dad’s place to visit for the weekend (surprise dad!) But we will have to see how the weather is going to be. We don’t want to be driving in snow. But we do want to avoid the American football game this weekend.

It was almost nine when we started watching 28 Weeks Later. The movie was very interesting because it takes place in London and specifically on Canary Wharf where I worked while I was there just a couple of months ago. They showed people riding the DLR, getting off at Canary Wharf train station and had tons of footage of the buildings, Citi London and One Canada Square, that I worked in while I was there. There was just tons of shots all over the place that Dominica and I got to go which was incredibly cool. But that didn’t redeem the movie which was a horribly cheesy successor to the first film. This film seemed to be a zombie apocalypse cover for social commentary on the US military today. It was not an enjoyable film in the least. The plot was weak and boring and the gross factor was way too high and unnecessary. And every character in the movie was so horribly stupid and everything relied on so much coincidence and plot holes that it made no sense at all. I would avoid this movie unless you just can’t resist seeing Canary Wharf and the Isle of Dogs firebombed. And even then, just watch those bits. For those of us who have worked there it is pretty neat to see your office used as the site of a zombie infestation!

After that we popped in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel Air to watch before heading off to bed. The final result is that the movie was bad but Netflix is a great deal and we are very excited to be using it now.

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