getting better all the time

Well, this weekend was an improvement over last week. Yeah, let me tell you about last week. Wednesday was, if I recall correctly, the day the excrement began impacting upon the air moving appliance.

Exhibit A: Check Engine – the all purpose something-is-broken-on-your-car light, also known as a Malfunction Indicator Lamp (MIL), turned itself on Wednesday evening. This resulted in mr. Jetta spending the weekend at the mechanic’s and mr. Larry spending much money to have a light turned off. (Fuel filter replacement). Other results: I find out how much I could spend to have the cold air maker work again. yikes
Exhibit B: Sleep – see previous entry – results: 3-4 hours of sleep and a very cranky, grumpy, snappy, and sick-feeling me.
Exhibit C: Fscking Script Kiddies – What I thought was a hardware problem turned out to be an infestation of script kiddies in my server. I found just how insecure my old Linux server was. And just as I get everything cleaned up …
Exhibit D: Why the phone company should die a horrible, painful, hideous death: – Friday morning at work I notice my computer at home is not online. Friday afternoon, just before leaving town, I find out why — no dialtone on my home phones. This was fixed (in two visits) by Monday. The people who fixed it broke my DSL. This was fixed (by the extremely friendly people at SBC Advanced Solutions) by Tuesday morning, with a few phone conversations and one visit.

Anyway, as I was saying, this weekend was much better than the week itself. AggieCon 33 was much fun, with many old friends, and much game playing (Fluxx, Girl Genius, Magic (ok, I didn’t play much magic, but I watched), Dance Dance Revolution, and many more) and other funness.
And this week is not so bad, so far. Natalie acquired a new pet – a guinea pig – while we were in CS, and that’s been fun too 🙂

word of the day

today’s word is carrageenan. It’s apparently “derived from Irish moss and several other red algae”. And I’m also drinking it.
(The phrase “word of the day” should not be taken to imply there will be a word of the day everyday. Or, in fact, ever again. It merely means that today has a word, and this is it.)

new (scary) adventures in (not so) hi-fi

Earlier this evening, Natalie and I were experimenting with some digital audio recording .. ok, actually we were recording .wav files on my laptop. She was practicing a song she’ll be singing at some friends’ wedding we’re going to this weekend. (She sounded great, by the way 🙂

I was using Winamp with a line-in input plugin and the diskwriter output plugin to record so that she could hear her own voice. In between recordings, I accidentally switched from diskwriter output to regular, allowing us to hear a just recorded .wav file.

Unfortunately, I forgot to switch back before starting to record again. So instead of being quietly written to the harddrive, the sounds coming in through the laptop’s builtin microphone were played through the laptop’s builtin speakers, which was again picked up by the mic, ad nauseum.
Really — nauseum. The laptop started to screech, like when you pick up the phone right next to the answering machine while it’s taking a message. Only louder .. and harsher .. and much screechier.

It was hurting our ears, so of course I start yanking out cables (why I chose the ethernet cable, I’m not sure). Natalie said “ow” and the machine apparently agreed because it started repeating, half-lost in the shrieking feedback, “ow ow ow ow ow …” Natalie said it sounded like it was posessed … I think it was.

After what seemed like long enough to break our eardrums and the computer’s vocal cords (but was probably only 3 seconds), I hit ‘Suspend’ .. when I turned it back on a minute later, it started with the screeching again. I chose the mute button this time, and then exorcised the evil feedback demons – using the stop button of course. Not sure why I didn’t hit that first. The power switch seemed faster than using the mouse, I guess.


If I ever get around to it, I’m going to install some voice recognition software on my computer at home. Aside from being able to play a song just by saying the title, or turn on the lights by saying “illuminate“, I’d also have to hook it up to the phone (of course). And not just in the extremely-elaborate-and-unncessarily-complex-answering-machine way .. it would be more like a personal secretary.

I’m thinking this would work sort of like procmail — it would filter incoming phone calls based on certain keywords. Instead of a .procmailrc file, I’d have a .procphonerc. It would probably look something like this.

Of course, I could use it for more than just getting rid of telemarketers. I could call and talk to the computer when I was away. Turn on the lights, check my email, check the temperature in the house, turn on the air conditioning .. all kinds of completely geeky stuff. heh .. someday. Whenever I find some freetime 😉


Dang, haven’t posted a thing since last wednesday …
Work’s busy, but fun .. saw a movie this weekend (40 Days and 40 Nights) .. short review: it was funny, but nearly as disturbing in parts as There’s Something About Mary

Funny linkage:
found the Teddy Borg on http:/// this morning