March 21, 2009: Long Walk and Katie Visits

I did some serious sleeping-in this morning.  Dominica and Liesl had gotten up and had gone down to the living room for hours before I got out of bed.  Oreo had left me and was in the nursery laying in the sunlight when I finally pulled myself out of bed around eleven this morning!  Boy did that feel good except for the fact that, like anytime that I sleep for this long, my sinuses are killing me.  Argh.

Dominica was able to work on her UNIX Administration class while I was still sleeping.  She completed her third lesson in the final course so she is not twenty percent of the way through this final course.  Her goal is to have the course, and the entire UNIX Administration program, completed by the end of the month.  Once she is done with this she is thinking about taking the Database Administration program as well which is shorter than the one that she is completing now.  She really enjoyed her last database design class from SUNY Empire so this might be fun.

I got pretty much straight to work for the office.  I had been watching my BlackBerry all morning from bed so I knew that nothing was going on but I have my usual patch management weekend project to do today so I wanted to get started on it as soon as possible.

I put in a couple of hours working and then the family decided to take a nice walk.  We bundled up Liesl as it is not quite fifty out today and took her and Oreo for a nice, long way winding through Chapel Hill.  We did a few loops around so that we walked much farther than any one path through our side of the complex.  It was a good forty minute walk, I would guess.

As always, Liesl was asleep before we were even out of the parking lot.  Oreo had a great time but completely wore himself out and was limping by the time that we returned.  He tends to do this to himself.  He is a bit irresponsible when we go out for our walks.  He just cannot contain himself.  He is going to sleep the rest of the day.

After our walk I did some more work and Dominica took care of Liesl.  Then, when I was done working, Dominica set about baking and I took care of Liesl for quite some time.  Then we took turns showering and watching Liesl before Katie came to visit.

I had a tiny bit of spare time today and downloaded SimpleMedia, a Java-based UPnP Media Server.  I am trying it out on my Windows XP desktop to stream music and movies up to the PlayStation 3.  I loaded it up with over 8GB of music that I have ready on my desktop and it started working instantly.  Now Dominica has access to thousands of songs that she can play anytime upstairs.  This will make it so much easier to not have the television on just for “something to do.”

The music streaming works perfectly but the videos had problems.  As near as I can tell the problem with the videos is coming from a lack of bandwidth which must be caused by the PS3 being on the wireless.  We have 802.11n hooked up but there are non-802.11n devices on the wireless network so the PS3 is not getting the bandwidth that it could be getting.  There is also a bit of wireless interplay coming from neighbouring networks.  The real solution is that we need to get the CAT6 cabling run through the floor and up to that area of the house and we will be on GigE instead of wireless which will solve all of those problems quite easily.

Katie arrived around six thirty or so.  She and Dominica made dinner which included some leftover pollock chowder, cheese ravioli and an apple/pear crisp.  We opened a bottle of wine, the last one from the bad batch that we received from Marketview Liquor in Rochester, and, of course, it was vinegar like the others.  So we threw that out and opened the very last bottle of wine in the house, Lone Star Chardonnay which was so unlike any chardonnay that any of us had ever tasted that Katie and I were wondering if they weren’t bottling Niagara and just calling it Chardonnay.  I had no idea that a chardonnay grape could taste so much like a new world grape.

After dinner we watched several episodes of Coupling. Katie loves the show but only can get it from BBC America which only shows a few of the episodes, random ones from different seasons, and plays them out of order.  Just another reason why Hulu and Netflix are SO much better than cable television which costs orders of magnitude more.

Katie took off around eleven thirty and we went to bed before midnight.  A very early night for us.  Tomorrow Dominica is planning to go to a candle party that Katie is hosting in Haverstraw.  Oreo and I will be staying home.  There is just too much work to be done to be able to really go anywhere.  At least it will give me a chance to do a bit of work.

My “I’m a Pepper” SpiceWorks t-shirt arrived in the mail today.  I earned it from being really active on the SpiceWorks forums.

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