where dave learned to love the internet

handlecrank A mates with spinnaker flange B
An entry-less weekend. That would either mean that I was too lazy, or too busy, to get the blog updated. Thankfully, it was the latter.

Saturday was a football slash work-party day. The Mooney’s came over to help finish the trench for the retaining wall, and Pat and Cynthia came over to watch college football. By the end of the day, Ben had stopped by too – and we all ended up working in the backyard. It was awesome, we got so much done. The labor was worth it tho, nearly the entire 1st course of the back wall was laid down. The trench was filled with crushed rock, compacted, leveled, and the stones were set. The french drain was installed behind the wall, along with the groundcloth. Pat then filled in the leftover trench gap in front of the stones, so everything looks a lot more “finished.” It’s still only 2 courses of stones, and no rock backfill yet – but man does it look awesome. I’ll post some pictures after the work tonight.

Sunday Steve’s water heater sprung a leak, so we spent the bulk of the day replacing that. It was a learning experience. It’s the 1st time I’ve ever had to sweat copper pipe together, which was interesting. In the end, we got the hot water returned to the Mooney household. Then it was off to a BBQ party at Ben’s crib.

In blog-related news, the “cast of characters” page is underway. Right now it’s just a Word doc with some text laid out. Later I’ll turn it to nice-‘n’-pretty html, and add some sweet formatting around it. I expect it to go up by the end of this week. Then the plan will be to link all the “nouns” in the entries to their respective writeup on the CoC page.

Right now my brother is on a bus to Jacksonville, FL, where he’ll go through MEPS. He is officially on the US Army payroll as of midnight tonight, and he arrives at Fort Sill, Oklahoma on Tuesday for Basic Training. Talking to him, he sounded more than ready, not hesitant at all. It was good to talk to him especially since his birthday is in a few days, and he’ll be unreachable at basic. He said he’d write me the 1st chance he gets, it’ll be interesting to hear what he thinks.

Well, with this, I’ll close this largely uninteresting entry. With the wondrous Google (well, I guess the thanks should go to Deja, whose usenet archives Google bought), I managed to search and find my first-ever posting to usenet, from Feb. 1995. Apparently, I hadn’t learned that posting in all-caps means you’re shouting. I was using Mosiac on Coach Marek’s Apple during my AP Biology class. Ahhh AP Bio… where Dave learned to love the internet.

of fog

something's wrong with dave's tie rod
First off, I finally broke down and took the Ford in to get looked at. It’s been “clicking” when I turn and making ugly noises when it hits bumps. I expected the worst, but it looks like I have a loose “tie rod” and some kinda rogue nut/bolt lodged up in my “control arm.” Homeboy Mechanic Joe coulda told me that my Johnson rod and spliff rotator were loose and I’d believe him, I’m totally auto ignorant. I figured I could get the mechanical problems with the truck squared away first, and then move onto the cosmetic things. There are, sadly, a couple cosmetic things to fix: where that dang wrench flew up from the road and bashed my hood (2wks after I got the dang truck), the ripped vinyl on the interior center console, and the totally busted driver’s chair adjustment panel. Oh well, at least the work today is only gonna cost $235…. better than I had been bracing for.

Second off, why ain’t nobody using the comment script I spent so much time on?! You know (mom, dad, others), that instead of e-mailing or calling me to say something about my blog entry, you can click the little “comments” link at the bottom of each one and leave a nice comment for me to see. Oh well, I guess some people are just afraid of technology.

Last night I tested my new fog machine. For those not in-the-know, I am crazy about Halloween. Ever since I was in the 5th grade, I’ve loved the idea of going all out for that holiday. As kids, Frank and I used to take dad’s old clothes and make dummies out of them. Then we’d “hang” the basketball-headed effigies from the roof. Our displays usually included copious amounts of fake blood, and were scored in the background with one of those solid orange cassette tapes you buy at the gas station for 99? (you know, with tracks like “Torture Chamber,” “Howing Wind & Animals,” etc.). This year, I’ve got a house of my own for the first time, and I’m starting a new tradition. I’m building most of the props myself, and what I can’t build I’ve bought (fog machine, black light, etc.). The display will be replete with a fog-blanketed graveyard, a mechanical see-thru ghost, bubbling witch’s cauldron, a strobe-light-lit hanging victim, and much more. I can’t wait, and I’ll post pictures of the event and creative process that leads up to it as soon as possible.

Anyway, Ben, Sharaun, and I completely fogged up Anthony’s garage, and then when he came home and opened the door to drive in, the fog was so thick he had to stop. He was in on the gag, but Brontë wasn’t, she wasn’t that impressed tho. Owell, the fog was, and is, still awesome. We “improvised” a fog chiller to see if the stuff really hugs the ground when it’s cold, and lo and behold it did. Kinda sweet – can’t wait to put it into action on Halloween.

On another note, Jeremy called me today to ask me what a “TiVo” was (referring to my post a couple entries below). Poor sheltered farmboy.

ribbon for most hyperlinks

Anthony bid on, and won, a friggin’ truck on eBay (link hosted locally on my server, since the auction is over). Nice truck. I can’t fathom buying a car on eBay. Can’t wait to do some serious offroadin’ in this thing. It goes underwater, haha.

The Onion’s AV Club section has a good interview up with Conor Oberst (of Bright Eyes and Desaparecidos fame, for those of you who don’t know what the heck I’m talking about). I was reading somewhere (I think on the Death Cab site) that Postal Service and Bright Eyes were doing a joint show somewhere in Europe. How great of a show would that be? I’ve seen BE twice, and each time he was excellent. I also named the Desaparecidos album Read Music – Speak Spanish my personal #1 fave of 2002 (the Pitchfork writer who penned that review should be taken outside and shot).

The RIAA lawsuit thing seems to be making waves in the media almost daily, with articles being published left and right (for some great reading, check out these: 1, 2, 3, 4). At first, I was kinda ambivalent about the whole thing. Once I checked the EFF’s subpoena database and saw that I’m in the clear (thus far), I pretty much stopped caring. I uninstalled Kazaa Lite, and have resorted to using usenet 99% of the time (with a jaunt now and then on Shareaza). However, with the rash of recent media coverage, it’s been pissing me off more and more.

I just did a check on my music folder, and I’m proud to announce that I’m the “owner” of “34.7 GB (37,329,055,240 bytes)” of media. My primary source for new music is the internet. I will, however, buy cd’s when I like them enough. But don’t doubt that the actual purchase of the disc is delayed by me having a perfect-sounding mp3 version in-hand. The physical disc is a nice-to-have, not essential anymore. I still buy, but much less. Thankfully, most of the music I’m into is published on indie labels that are, more often than not, not members of the gestapo-like RIAA conglomerate.

Wow, I think this entry wins the blue ribbon for “most hyperlinks.” I got a little crazy there… sorry. Whatever you do, don’t click here. Told ya.

7th grade flashback

houses of the holy
Got my TiVo installed today. I have decided that I love TiVo. When the dude came to hook it up, he immediately liked me since I was bumpin’ to tha new Outkast jams in the computer room. It took him a while to hook the thing up because the phone wire to the family room was all hosed. Once he puzzled that out, I was up and running, pausing live TV and telling him to make me a sammich.

Last night I got a little crazy and decided to scan in some pictures. Not just any pictures though, there is a story that goes along with these. Surf over to here to check ’em out: 7th grade flashback. Andy (or Kyle or Joey for that matter), if you’re reading – I think you’ll enjoy these. I know I got a kick out of looking at them again.


starting a tool graveyard

Spent Friday evening (while the light was still with us) diggin’ the trench in the backyard. I’ll add some pictures and link ’em soon. Basically, before we can put up the 1st course of the wall, we have to dig a trench and partially fill it with a base material of crushed rock. The rock then gets compacted (with a hand tamper) and leveled. Basically, there’s still a lot of work to be done. But, things are shaping up, and with the help of friends the digging has gone much faster. Then we hit the sushi joint for some rolls, and eventually closed down the local pub at 2am with some friends. Late night.

The PC’s in the house are acting dog-slow, internet-wise, because I’ve been roped into downloading SVCD rips of the 2nd season of Alias. Sharaun got addicted to it, thanks to the Mooney’s. It’s a good show, much better when you watch in succession and actually get into the X Files-ish plot. Bittorrent is great for TV rips.

Was talking to Bob in FL again last night, and he mentioned that he might be getting some plywood and cutting/fitting for his windows. The latest hurricane out in the Atlantic really looks like a killer, but they don’t know where it’s really headed yet. I remember when Frank and dad did the plywood thing at our house in Levitt, in FL hurricanes are a big deal. Funny being here in CA, and rarely ever hearing about them on the news. Instead we get to see Ahnold stumble his way through some questions about special interest groups. Yeah!

Well, I guess it’s time to get back to… something. Today is pretty open. Watching some football right now, and I’d like to watch the Gators play @ 3pm our time. Other than that, I’ve got several projects I could be working on. #1 would be heading to Home Depot to get a new shovel and pick… yup… the pick broke again!! And, Steve somehow managed to break the shovel yesterday also. I’m tellin’ you, this yard is pure rock, and any digging is just insane. So far we’ve been through 2 picks, 1 shovel, and 1 wheelbarrow. I’m thinking of starting a tool graveyard, but it would be too hard to dig the graves.