August 7, 2002

Day four on Topsail Island. Dominica is feeling much better today. She still has hives but the swelling has gone down and she thinks that she will be able to do things today. We going to go to Audio Labs in Wilmington, NC to check out what they have.

Last night we watched Shallow Hal. It wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought that it would be. It was less funny and more cute than I expected. It wasn’t bad. Nothing outrageously exciting, but entertaining. Francesca loves it. She said that it is one of her all time favorite movies.

Tonight, Min and I went out to see My Big Fat Greek Wedding. It was recommended to us by the owners of the Audio Lab in Wilmington. They said that it was really funny and they were right. We laughed so hard right there in the theatre and for an hour afterwards. We thought that it was exceptionally funny because the movie applied so much to us. It is a great family movie too!

Dominica and I took her cousin Rob to the Audio Lab in Wilmington, NC. He got a chance to listen to B+Ws, Innersound and Pinnacle speakers as well as some Conrad-Johnson and Rotel amps and equipment. He was very impressed. We were hoping that we would manage to spark his interest. Obviously we did. He left the Audio Lab with a pair of B+W 602 S3’s and stands. When he gets back to Phoenix he is going to be relistening to his entire CD collection. He is currently using a Yamaha receiver which he will be keeping for now and a mix of Bose and Infinity speakers.

On the way home from the Audio Lab, I got the pangs of the disentary that has been going around. We are pretty sure that we are getting it from the water. I spent the rest of the day being incredibly sick.

August 6, 2002

Day three on Topsail Island. This is really a long vacation for Dominica. I really wish that we had something better than a bad dial-up connection. It would be so much nicer here if there was someway to get online quickly. When I connect and try to look at Sheep Guarding Llama, it takes forever to load. I need to reduce the size of the site, I guess. I am spending some of my time down here working on a guide teaching HTML and XHTML. We are using a walkie talkie (a Motorola Walkabout) to communicate between the people at the beach and the people in the cottage. It is pretty funny. It is handy though. Otherwise once people head out to the beach, they are unreachable.

Last night, contrary to Loopy’s suggestions, we watched The Time Machine. It wasn’t as bad as Loopy had said but it wasn’t very good. The story really didn’t go anywhere and all of the “technical” stuff that they said didn’t make any sense. The effects weren’t too bad but they sure don’t make a movie. And it seemed really short. There was very little to the movie in general. It was more like an ABC Sunday Night special than it was a full blown Hollywood movie.

I am getting exhausted from lack of movement. I need to get out and do something. I have become too sedentary. I hope to make it out and do some bicycling today.

I forgot to mention that the other night I made it out with John, Rob and Trish to go so some karaoke at the Broadneck Elk’s Club in Annapolis. We were there for a long time on Friday night while we were waiting for Dominica to make it down from New York. She ended up taking a wrong turn and heading out to DC on i95 instead of coming straight down to Annapolis on i97. So we got an extra hour and managed to stay for the entire time that they were doing karaoke. Nate would have loved it. It was a small crowd but we had a really good time. I sang songs like Texas Tattoo (Gibson Miller Band), Tequila Talkin’ (Lonestar), Strong Enough (Blackhawk), Yes (Chad Brock) and I Wanna Talk About Me (Toby Keith.) Then the guy doing the karaoke asked me to also sing two duets with him (one of them was It Wasn’t Me by Shaggy and I can’t remember what the other one was) and he asked me to sing If I Said You Had A Beautiful Body by the Bellamy Brothers. I also sang Pirate at 40 with Rob and John. John and I never heard the song before. It was John’s first time ever doing karaoke. I also did a quintet of some song that I don’t remember. It was a lot of fun.

I am working on school work today. I have a ton of back work that needs to be done.

August 5, 2002

Day two of vacationing in North Carolina. This is my first real vacation in as long as I can remember. I can’t remember being away during the week for the longest time. It seems pretty weird.

Dominica’s brother’s band has finally got an EP done in the studio and will have the finished CDs available in the near future. They managed to get five songs done in the studio. We got to hear a CD-ROM copy that they have now. They are really good. We were really impressed.

We have been having heavy rain on and off. Everyone keeps heading out for the beach and then getting driven right back again.

Dominica’s hives are dramatically worse today. She is in really bad shape. We managed to get a hold of her doctor and the pharmacist today and she is on steroids now trying to control the situation. She is feeling really bad and is unable to do anything during her vacation.

After six months of not having his cell phone work, Eric finally got a new cell today. He is very excited. He now has voice mail as well.

Hopefully Min will be feeling better soon so that we can get out of the cottage and go do something. I want to get out to Wilmington and check out the hifi store there.

August 4, 2002

Well, we made it to Topsail Island ok. It takes about six hours to get down here from Annapolis. We took off around noon and stopped for dinner so it took us a little while to make it down. It is much cooler here than it is in Maryland – the ocean wind is really helping.

Nate and Bob are working on their new web site which will be at Hopefully it will be up early next week.

Dominica has developed an allergic reaction to her antibiotic and has developed a rash and has to take some more medication to treat it. She will probably end up sleeping a good deal of the time that we are down here because of the medicine.

Racing Beat in Annaheim, Cailfornia has finally released the exhaust kit and spring kits for the Protege5. The exhaust kit is expected to add approximately 4.5hp of power and give the car a lower growl. The spring lower the car by .75″. It would be nice to be able to get a little bit more out of the car. The exhaust kit would give the PR5 the same hp rating as the 1988 RX-7. I am hoping to be able to find a computer upgrade kit for the PR5. That is where the biggest difference in performance comes in.

I still haven’t been able to get onto the other computer to get the update that is missing the other day. It will be at very least a week until that update will be able to go up since I am not anywhere near that computer anymore.

I found a B+W dealer in the area in Wilmington, NC – not far from here. I think that Dominica and I will head there tomorrow morning to see what they have. This will be Min’s second trip ever to a hi-fi shop.

Loopy hopped in the Loopymobile and headed off to North Bay yesterday to go visit Miranda. He was supposed to be finished working with Cornell University this week so I expect that he does not have to be back on Monday (tomorrow.) While being out of work is always stressful, I am sure that he will appreciate his upcoming vacation. He has been working at Cornell for a long time now. This is one of his longest runs he has had at work for some time. Actually, off the top of my head, I think that this might be his second longest contract job ever.

August 3, 2002

A lot of driving to do today. Dominica and I are heading on down to Topsail Island, North Carolina to vacation with her family. We are estimating about 6 hours or more of drive time before we get there since the island is almost in South Carolina.

My last Marantz MA-500 monoblock is due in from Korea middle of this week. The big news in our home theatre saga is Loopy’s purchase, over the weekend, of a Sony $16,000 Triple CRT front projection unit. Capable of a 300″, 1500×1200 image (right in line with absolute top of the line HDTVs) the Sony will blow away anything that we have used before. We haven’t come up with a good way to set it up yet. But we will think of something. There are some serious cabling issues involed. And location of the equipment issues. Who knows where we are going to be able to put that massive projector. We are pretty excited though. We should have it is a week or two. Fun, fun, fun. The neighbor girls will be disappointed – the whole time they lived next door we had a wussie two channel stereo system and 27″ TV. Then in their last couple weeks we upgraded the whole system, added 150% more channels of sound, went to DTS and added a 32″ TV. Then, as soon as they leave we add a massive high end front projector! It is going to be like a drive in right in the house. In fact, Nate had the idea of hooking up the projector in the garage… then we could pull two cars in there and it would be just like a drive in. How funny would that be?

I bought my first SACD last night, Patricia Barber’s “Modern Cool”. SACD is the new format from Sony and Philips that is supposed to be much better than regular CD. You have to have a special player to play it but they are as cheap as $180. The nice thing about the SACDs is that many of them are called Hybrids and play as a regular CD in a regular CD player and as an SACD in an SACD player. Making them really nice for transitioning to the new system. So I bought this hybrid disc and it didn’t play in the only CD player I have to try it in. In fact, it won’t even recognize that it is a disc. So I am skeptical. And the disc cost me $33 at Tower Records. So it had better work. I hope to get 20-30 of these Hybrid SACD discs before going out and getting an SACD player (A Marantz, I hope) to play them on. So, I am not rushing out and getting one anytime soon. Most of the discs were in the $18-$22 range though. Just the one that I got was really expensive.

I am actually taking a camera along on this vacation. It has been forever since I really used a camera. In fact, I am taking two cameras with me to Topsail. I am taking my awesome Nikon 5005 35mm SLR and my Olympus digital (actually, the company’s.) Hopefully I will have some pictures for you soon (but we know how it is.) Speaking of pictures, Loopy found a can of used 35mm film in his pocket last week that has been in there since who knows when. He will get it developed and then we will see what the heck it is. We don’t even know who the film belongs to. We know that it isn’t Loopy’s. Hmmm… Quite the mystery.

Since Nate and I talked the other night about correct HTML and XHTML I decided to go through SGL and start removing the rest of the deprecated tags like bold and italics. I have already done this page and will be changing all of the other pages soon. One at a time as I do other work on them. Eventually I will also need to remove the horizontal rule tags but that will be a much larger project so I am saving that. I think that they are the last depricated tag in use on the site.