July 30, 2009: Home Again

Boy is it nice to be home again.  I have really missed everyone and my house as well.  I have been away for an entire week.  Now it is time to do some catchup.

I was particularly exhausted today.  This week has really been taking a toll on me.  It has been great and really productive but really wearing me out at the same time.  No rest for the weary, I am afraid.  I had to be up this morning a little early so that I could start getting caught back up with everything at work.

Work was quite busy as expected.  And I was trying as much as possible to spend time with Liesl today too.  I have really missed her.  I definitely do not like being away for so long!  It is going to be really rough when I go away to Germany and the Netherlands in a few weeks.  I will be gone a few days longer then!

Today was Liesl’s first day of really “accepting” being fed solid foods.  She has been eating solid food for a while now but has not liked it and really has been fighting it.  Today she finally started just opening her mouth and letting Dominica feed her while I watched.  She was only willing to do it as long as I was standing right there, though.  She is really liking the mix of cereal and peaches that Dominica has started making for her.

I did a bit of work on my OpenFiler installation today as well.  There is something in the setup that is still eluding me and it is not completely working yet but I can tell that serious progress is being made and I am definitely looking forward to it really being working.  It is going to be awesome having a single system on which to store all of our music and movies.  We really need it up and running too.

Dad is coming soon and is going to help run the cable through the floor from the office in the basement to the living room so that we can wire up the PS3, XBOX 360 and the AppleTV so that they get better speeds.  Right now they are all on wireless except for the XBOX 360 which is not online at all because it does not have wireless which makes it almost impossible to use as almost everything requires Internet access to work or, at the very least, to be patched and updated.

Originally I was thinking that I was going to need to purchase a new Gigabit Ethernet switch to place upstairs to handle the needs of the living room.  Then I thought that I would like to move the wireless unit up from the basement to that space as well since we don’t use any wireless in the basement but do use it on both of the higher floors so it would make sense to get the access point as close as possible to where it would be used.  Then it occurred to me that the wireless access point is, itself, a small Gigabit switch!  I guess I can kill two birds with one stone there and save the money that I would have spent buying a switch.  That’s awesome.  I can’t believe that I hadn’t thought of that before.  It does not give me as many switch ports as I would have liked to have had on that floor (just three – all of which are already accounted for) but it does save a bit of money and simplify the wiring strategy and it makes better use of existing equipment in the house and reduces equipment sprawl and power consumption.  It also means that we do not need to order anything new and wait for it to arrive – we can wire things up the moment that dad is able to run that cable.

Originally dad was going to have come down to Peekskill already and was going to be here all this week.  With his sudden trip to Ohio this weekend that has been changed and he is now coming down next Friday and staying over the weekend and for a few days.  So we will see him a week from tomorrow.  That actually works out well as it will give me a week and a half to continue doing DVD conversions so that I will have even more ready for him to ship back with him and help to clean out the stacks of discs sitting around my office right now.  If I work really hard at it this week I might be able to get everything completed that is in the house so that I only have to work on the “current” set of things rather than having stacks of backlogs here to work on as well.

For dinner this evening we tried going over to the Maple Avenue Deli which is right around the corner.  I discovered this little hole-in-the-wall place one day when the GPS went haywire and sent me driving all over the place in the wrong direction.  It is the closest restaurant to us and very convenient.  We could easily walk there.  It just is in a direction that we would almost never go with our normal driving routine so we did not know about it all of this time.  I believe that we have driven that way.  It would be strange if we never had.  I think that we managed to just never notice this little place before.

We were hoping to try out the pizza from the deli but it is a really hot and muggy evening and the deli decided that they could not run their pizza oven with it being so hot.  So all that they had were deli sandwiches.  And no subs either as they ran out of sub bread.  So just round rolls.  We also got ice cream while we were waiting in the heat.  The deli is not air conditioned.  The ice cream was the saddest, tiniest cones we have ever seen.  We won’t be getting ice cream there again.  I’m not sure how much business they do there but it can not be very much.  No one is going there just for ice cream and with the pizza oven turned off there is nothing but deli sandwiches and potato chips.  Rather slim pickings.  We will try back on the pizza – it would be great to find a good pizza option nearby.  Like every pizza place in downstate New York, though, this place specializes in extremely thin crust pizza which no one I know really likes all that much.  It has to be done incredibly well to be even remotely as good as Upstate’s “normal” crust (not deep dish and not thin crust) pizza which is the standard from Albany to Buffalo.

We watched the movie Dr. Goldfoot and the Bikini Machine this evening which was the very first of the Frankie and Annette bikini movies to have a budget of over $1m USD.  Funny to think about how cheap those movies were to make although when you see them it is pretty obvious.  This movies was not part of the standard Frankie and Annette saga and Annette only makes a cameo in this one but Susan Hart and lots of the other regulars are in it.  This one was bad just like the others.  Maybe a little worse.  Silly and somewhat entertaining like all of those weird 1960s “B” movies but definitely not good.

We did some work on our Netflix this evening which has not been working in forever and we managed to get it to work long enough that we were able to watch roughly four episodes of The Wizards of Waverly Place Season One available from the Disney Channel via Netflix On Demand before Netflix completely stopped working via PlayOn on the PS3 again.  We are very confident that the issues are actually with the installation of Vista 32 on Dominica’s laptop where the PlayOn server runs.  We are working to get that laptop prepared to be reinstalled with Windows 7 RC instead of with Vista but in order to do that we really need to get the OpenFiler system working because it is that system that is going to be used to store all of the data that is currently on Dominica’s laptop or on the SAN device that it attached to her laptop.

We tried to get to bed at a reasonable time but that did not work out so well.  Once you are used to going to bed late it is hard to get to bed early even when you are tired.  No luck getting OpenFiler working today but I am hopeful that with some sleep I will be able to fix it tomorrow when I am bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I still have a soar throat from the long drive to Houston.  I can barely talk actually and I am having some extra problems sleeping because of a combination of tickles in my throat and just general swelling and discomfort.

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