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I found out my dad died today. I’m driving to Augusta shortly to be
with my family. Fuck.

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Looking back over the last few days, I see that I’ve only written
short and trivial entries for a week or more. Things are finally
settling down in the series of inconveniences that is life.

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We were supposed to go see The Hours Sunday, and then
last night and both times external time constraints prevented
that. With any luck we’ll go tonight. This is also supposed to be that
point at which the worst of the frigid weather is passed. It might
still get cold, but not into the teens again.

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Good lord, as if Mondays weren’t already bad enough, there is a whole
nother layer of localized phenomena lately. New office with all the
attendant woes, same old people (ditto), and I just plain walk in the
door ready to go home. Sigh.

The Cheesecake Factory was pretty good, and at 7 PM there was zero
wait. That was a good call. The only time we’ve been able to eat there
with no wait is by getting there at 3 PM.

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Today is Superbowl Sunday. I dropped the pretense that I care about it
around the time I turned 18. I followed football minimally as a
teenager, just enough to converse about it in the eternal effort to be
like everyone else. As much as I love baseball, I am filled with a
deep and abiding apathy for football. Every year we try to celebrate
by doing something that is normally crowded. We’re going to have
dinner (or “linner”, kind of like “brunch”) at the Cheesecake Factory
in Buckhead and then maybe a movie.

Yesterday we saw Confessions of a Dangerous
Mind
. Yes, it’s true, I have not seen The Two
Towers
but I have seen this. I thought it was a great movie,
fantastically funny and disturbing. Sam Rockwell did a great job, and
his Gong Show segments were eery. I’ve seen some negative reviews on
this that all seem to miss a crucial point – over and over we are
given to believe that this may or may not all be happening. That’s
what I really liked about the visual style. The way the movie looks
does a lot to subvert the narrative and give it all a sense of
ambiguity. There is a lot of cool stuff that is straight out of stage
plays or live TV dramas of the 50’s, like when walls become
transparent to reveal the other end of phone conversations or when one
step takes characters into another scene. There is a crucial scene at
the end as Barris is really melting down and moments of the movie are
replayed on the soundtrack as the corresponding settings are wheeled
by as stage flats. That said to me “All of this is as real as you
choose to believe it is.” I found it clever and engaging filmmaking.

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Still freakishly cold here. I’ve seen several places, like nearby
apartments, that have ice running all the way from the structure to
the gutter. That mess of frozen crap tells a sad story. We’re leaving
faucets dripping all the time until it warms up, even though I don’t
think we’re in much danger. Our pipes run through the same crawlspace
that contains the furnace, so there is always a layer of ambient warm
air at the top of it. I went in there yesterday to get something and
while it wasn’t toasty, it was significantly warmer than the outside
air, maybe 50 degrees or so.

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On SFF.net, John Bartley asked a
crucial question in response to my post about giving blood: “Do you
want to kick it up a notch?” I’m not sure if I do. For the moment, I’m
giving the maximum blood I can – 6 1/2 pints per year. He offered up a
link to Oregon Red Cross
and to CERT pages for several emergency
organizations . At this
moment in time, I think what I’m doing is the max I can stand. I am
CPR certified (which I might need to renew) and I give a little over 3
quarts of blood a year. I’m not quite prepared to be one of the
emergency preparedness people.

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Our move the the Palisades office park is done. We’re now on
Peachtree-Dunwoody at I-285 (and I do mean *at* – a slingshot could
wing a rock into traffic.) There are ups and downs to it. I will miss
our old location very much, but this is inarguably nicer space. The
Atlanta Beat, the women’s soccer team, has their administrative
offices upstairs so we might be running in to soccer players in the
halls. Not being near to Oxford Comics will be a downer.

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A guy at work pointed me to this, an
open source Tivo-like PVR
. I might just decide to go with this
rather than a real Tivo brand one. Since I wanted to find a series 1
to be able to hack it, add a web server, etc I could just simplify it
by building my own box and adding this software. If I do it right, it
should be similar money.

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It is supposed to get into single digit temperatures over this
weekend. The local news is full of apocolyptic reportage about the
horrible things that happen when it gets this cold. It’s not really
that bad, but southerners aren’t built for this. I think I’ll be
stopping at the hardware store and getting some of those light switch
and power switch insulators. I can feel drafts from mine right now.

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I’m at a low ebb. I’m listening to songs like Everclear’s “Summerland” or
“Santa Monica”, songs of throwing your shit in the car and driving
till you see water. That has a strong appeal to me right now.

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Can no one within the googlosphere have ever used the term before? I
might have coined that, which I really mean to be broader than just
Google itself but the sphere of easily accessible networked
knowledge. In the early days of this weblog I made a post about two
terms I consider myself to have coined – HIRPHUA
and nicotracry.
I was wondering why Google picked up the first but
not the second, until I realized I spelled it “nicotacracy”. I really
meant the former spelling, so let me plant the flag again.

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There are some things that are just not prudent to say online, in
newsgroups or weblogs or other easily accessible internet locations
(especially within the googlosphere.) So, bearing that in mind,
imagine a five year old Bill Mumy looking at you while I say “It’s a
GOOD job.”

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I’ve been too busy at work to even write in the weblog. Nothing like
working all weekend to lift the sagging spirits.

Here is an interesting article about
XM Radio
and how the guy programming it is the guy who is largely
to blame about the current sad state of FM radio.

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Still cold down in Atlanta. It got down to 17 degrees last night. I’m
not as badly affected as some of the lifelong southerners, having
survived much colder during my youth in the prairies of Nebraska and
Kansas. If I wanted to be cold, though, I wouldn’t be in
Atlanta. Maybe we should have moved to Boca Raton.

In what might have been a bad maneuver on my part, I registered the Astraware game Bejeweled
for my Handspring. This might be the end of my useful life on this
planet. From henceforth, you’ll find me with a stylus in my hand,
fruitlessly tapping on a little piece of glass.

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In my day job, I have ocassion to see a lot of the registration
information for blocks of IP addresses. I run a server that caches
geographic information relating IP to geographic coordinates. I saw
something that caught my eye, a typo in the record that made me think
a large commuications company was in fact in the porn business. Here
is a link to the record
that made me think that
.

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Today is the last day in this office location. I am going to miss
Piedmont Center. It’s an easy backroad drive to my house, near Lenox
Mall and Phipps Plaza, etc. I’ve enjoyed being here, even though our
office space is kind of roguey. We’re moving up near Perimeter Mall,
which I am dreading. I have an escape hatch out of traffic now, and I
won’t get that up there. I firmly predict that it will make driving
into and out of work a living hell.