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.

August 2, 2002

It is Friday. Dominica is coming down here today. I haven’t seen her for a week 🙁 She is all mad at me because she had to go buy a roof mount bike rack to put my new bicycle on the roof of her car to take it down to North Carolina. We are leaving for Topsail Island first thing in the morning. It will be nice to get away and have nothing to do but relax. No hospitals calling…etc. I will have my laptop with me so I will try to keep everyone updated as to how the vacation is going.

Dominica and Gibran (that she works with) have become addicted to Grand Theft Auto 3 on the Playstation 2. They even brought the PS2 over to hook to the awesome stereo system to be able to play on the 32″ Trinitron with surround sound. Anyway, the thing that makes the story funny is the fact that on the same day that Min and Gibran were playing GTA3 on the big system, Nicklin Associates (the company that I work for) hired the third top professional GTA player in the country. How funny is that?

Today is going to be a short update because I want to get it posted. I will work on getting July 31 off of the other computer before I take off but it isn’t very likely so you will probably just have to wait on that update for a week or so. By the time that I get back from NC we are supposed to have Verizon ADSL in the house and we will be setting up a wireless network. That will be really cool and I can write updates for you while sitting on the deck in the lawn chair looking out at Deep Creek flowing into the Magothy River.

I expect to be able to post tomorrow before we leave though, so expect to be able to check back.

August 1, 2002

Another day of shopping at Bed, Bath and Beyond. John bought $1000 of new bedding for house. It is nice to finally be into the house. The AC is able to keep up too. It is nice to finally be in a nice cool house. We moved in today. We actually slept here last night. The phone line got turned on today so I am finally able to work on the site again.

Nate called this evening. He and Bob are learning HTML in their grad class at Ithaca College so they decided to start working on a web site for Boynton Middle School’s Music Department. Hopefully we will have something to show you there very soon.