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My Cycling Log

2008-11-29 19:03:53 876

Emily and I went to get a Christmas tree today. We decided to try out a tree farm this year instead of just getting a tree from Lowe's like last year. The only one in the phone book (and that Google knows about) is Swedenburg's Christmas Tree Farm that is just east of Columbus. Pulling into the place was like going up someone's driveway and just didn't feel right. We asked the old man at the end of the road if it was the tree farm and he told us where to park. We loaded up on a huge wagon pulled by Clydesdales with another family and rode about a quarter mile to the trees. The driver explained to us how it worked; get off the wagon, pick up a saw, pick a tree, cut it down, and then he would pick us back up. Emily and I looked at most of the trees and decided on a really full cedar. We decided on our tree after the other family had already started cutting on theirs and I still had mine down and moved over to where the wagon could pick it up way before they had theirs cut down. So rode back to the place and the guys there shook and bound it up while I went in and paid for it. We drove back across Columbus to buy another cookie sheet and potato masher at Belk. Ate a billion calories at the Santa Fe Cattle Company and then came back to Starkvegas. I got the tree's bottom limbs trimmed and cut off a couple inches from the trunk. Did some leveling of it at Emily's direction and then she got it wrapped in lights while I was the "light bitch" following her around the tree. I am not complaining, that cedar is "pokey."

Oh I slighted the Tivo on that last post. It is 300somthing hours now! There are 40+ items in "recently deleted" that have not had to go away for the space yet!

2008-11-26 17:34:23 875

So I have turned my Tivo 2g 40 hour into a 263 hour. I started out this morning going to Lowe's to get a cheap Torx set so I could open the Tivo. Turns out I needed a 10 and 15 to do everything and found a cheapo set of bits with a handle for $10. I pulled out the original drive, a 40G Maxtor and went about installing mfstools on Allard. At first I downloaded the mfstool beta source and compiled it. This worked perfectly for the backup of settings, but did no good when I actually ran the command to copy things from the old drive to the new. I then got a copy of the 2.0 statically compiled binaries and they worked great for the copy. Double yay for my SiI680 IDE controller because it is fast. I ran this command " mfstool backup -Tao - /dev/hda | mfstool restore -r 4 -s 127 -xzpi - /dev/hdc " to do everything and it worked flawlessly. I thought I might get a slight speed boost on the Tivo by running a 80 conductor IDE cable but that just resulted in a nonbooting Tivo. I put the old cable back in and everything is running perfectly now.

2008-11-23 21:49:19 874

Lehman's bachelor party last weekend was a blast. I doubt I will ever be very good at golf but at least I have fun trying. Eating at Old Waverly was awesome. Thinking about that makes me hungry again.

As of last Tuesday Emily and I have been married for two whole years. I sent her some pink roses from the University florist. They were superfast, it was less than two hours from the time that I ordered them until Emily called to tell me she had them. Emily worked until 7:00 so when she got home we went out to Restaurant Tyler. Emily had the ribeye rollintini (which hasn't been available the last two times we have been) and I got the special duck dish they had. It was very excellent.

I just finished my last systems programming lab! So happy it works!

2008-11-14 21:40:06 873

I bought golf clubs today. I decided I wanted to get a bag and some clubs for myself for whenever I get invited to go play golf. Guess it helps too that I am going to play golf tomorrow. Anyway at lunch I went over to Trulove's pawn to see what I could get. They had a ton of clubs and bags so the lady just told me find what I wanted and she would give me a good price. I looked around for a while and found a nice looking red bag. Managed to find a few irons with nice long shafts for a tall person like me that matched. Also picked up a couple drivers and two wedges. I assume that P is for pitching and L is for lobbing on the wedges. The store had absolutely no putters though! The lady looked over the bag and said "How about $30?" and that was what I expected the bag was worth by itself so of course I accepted that price. Once I got home I realized that the bag had the matching club covers for my drivers and the snap on cover to go over everything too.

I went to my least favorite retailer tonight only because I do not know where else to buy a cheap putter on a Friday night. I made the best purchase ever, a putter, wiper blades, and shotgun slugs. Yay America!

This morning was the foggiest ride I have ever had into campus. I could not see the signal light at Hwy 12 until I was within three or four car lengths from the white line. The ride home for lunch was wonderful because of the comfortable temperature though. Of course the rain started coming down before 5:00. My ride home was not the heaviest rain I have ever ridden in, but it was the heaviest rain I have ever ridden in once it got dark. I was running three flashing red taillights so I was not worried about getting run over. The rain had come down so hard that the worst part was the amount of water on the road coming up to get me. There is always a huge puddle across the road at the Comfort Inn on Russell and it got my shoes good. The car passing me on the left put up a good wave of water too so I was pretty wet after my first mile. The Whitfield/Ave of Patriots intersection was scary because it was under at least three inches of water. The end of Patton was the same way. I learned my lesson about 90 degree turns on wet pavement way back in 2005 so I am crazy slow when I make turns in the rain. Nothing like my usual 25mph+ turns where I lean in good enough to drag my toe clips on the ground when things are dry.

2008-11-10 21:50:05 872

Oh Paula Deen, you are bad. I made my on version of Herb Crusted Pork Tenderloin tonight with a half of the huge pork loin that Emily and I purchased on sale on our massive Halloween night grocery trip. I made it my own by pulling sprigs of rosemary and thyme from the backyard. Ground them up with a mortar and pestle into kosher salt with a good pour of olive oil. Mashed some chopped garlic in it to finish and then rubbed that onto the pork. Roasted it in my big cast iron at 450 for 20ish, dropped the temp to 425 and covered it for 45, and then left it uncovered for 15 or so. Like Heaven. The best piece of pork I have ever cooked!

2008-11-04 22:53:13 871

So I voted this morning. I bet I fell into a very small group of people, those who rode bikes to the poll and did not vote for Obama. The line was horrible; it wrapped around the front of the armory to the parking lot side. Luckily Russ Ward came up to the line just as I got there around 7:15 so I had someone to talk to for the 40 minutes it took us to get inside. So yay, my third presidential election to vote in and the first ever that it appears I did not vote for the victor.

The OCH tax is hanging on by a thread. One precinct left to go and it is just going to be passed by .6%. Yay for higher taxes! Apparently there was no organized opposition to this bond issue. I do not see how OCH could afford the massive advertising campaign in favor that included a sign every ten feet, billboards, and even space in the Reflector. Anyway next time they ask for more cash I guess I will have to do something to get a resistance movement started.

2008-10-21 21:32:04 870

Traveled to the Sessers' favorite city in proximity to Starkville this weekend, glorious B'ham. Of course Emily had class on Friday afternoon and then again early Saturday so she was in Jackson staying in our newest favorite hotwired hotel, the Staybridge Suites. She got back into Starkvegas a little after 1:00 and we headed out after pickup up Bryan. The ride over was nice an uneventful. We went directly to the shopping center north of the Galleria so Emily could go to the TJ Maxx. Bryan and I went to the Halloween store in the same place and decided not to part with loads of cash for mediocre costumes. However we were both able to find nice jackets in TJ Maxx to blow some cash on. From there we headed up to the Sheraton at the convention center. By my account this is at least the 4th time Emily and I have stayed there. I had pricelined a room for about 60% of the "special deal" I got in an email from Sheraton earlier in the week. We had a nice room off the back of the atrium that's window looked down on the atrium. Was a long way from the elevator but the way I understand things that is usually desired. From there we headed down to Five Points and met up with Jimmy at Surin West. The parking was really sketchy with what seemed like homeless people asking for $5 to park. Luckily we found street parking for us and Jimmy. Supper was freaking awesome. I have to recommend the sushi appetizer that comes as "chef's selection." The chef selected rather well. I ordered the spicy mixed seafood which had a 3 pepper of 3 on the Thai hot scale. It was excellent but not what I would call 3 of 3 on a Thai scale. I've never had Thai food anywhere else but I would at least hope that the highest value would make my eyes water a bit. It didn't get super hot until I loaded up on the cracked red pepper that Bryan requested. After that Jimmy rode with us to Sloss's haunted house. I remember it being absolutely awesome in 2003. In comparison it completely sucked this year. After waiting more than two hours to get in, it was horrible. Anyway from there we went back to Five Points to Dave's and the Blue Monkey and then called it a night and gave our farewell's to Jimmy.

Sunday morning we got up and headed for breakfast. I really wanted IHOP so we went all of the way to Lakeshore to find an IHOP with a full parking lot and people lined up out the door. From there we headed back up Oxmoor to the Waffle House. Major disappointment that they did not have gravy for their new biscuits so Bryan and I missed out. After that we headed back to the block across from our hotel to go to the art museum. The Leonardo da Vinci exhibit was awesome. I have never had a chance before this one to see anything of his in person. The museum actually has a ton of stuff that would take Emily an entire day to view. So I dragged her away after a while (promising that we will be back) and we headed toward the Summit. On the way though we stopped at Vulcan and went up the tower to see all of Birmingham. After that the Summit was enough fun. Emily got to shop while Bryan and I walked around and finally made it to the Apple store. Right before we headed home we stopped for an early supper at SweetBones Alabama and had a meal that was like Dooey's crossed with Macaroni Grill. And as soon as I can reverse engineer their flat cornbread I can die a happy man. Of course from there we headed home on my sleepy full stomach and got back to Starkville before it got too late.

2008-10-17 19:14:27 869

So I sat down to post, and then the Gallop poll called the house phone. I got to spend 15 minutes telling a lady with a Minnasota accent how conservative I am through a series of yes or no questions. I did give an affirmative for Obama being a more green candidate, but I did not get to back that up with the fact that we are certainly economically doomed with his environmental ideas.

The weather yesterday was wonderful for riding to work. There was a slight mist in the air and the temperature was perfect. On the way home I rode the long way, out to the south down Lynn Lane. Things were going great. I was able to keep up with the car I was behind from campus until I turned off of South Montgomery where I actually got to pass them for a second in the turning lane. Lynn Lane and Industrial Park were uneventful. Then I pulled out onto 12 and I felt something slip out of my bag, slide down my side, and hit the pavement. Traffic was nuts so I just quickly prayed that it was my extra tail light that had somehow fallen out of my bag. After I pulled into the first turn to Green Oaks I checked my bag to find that it really was my phone that had fallen out. I headed back out into 12 and played frogger to find the remains of my three week old phone. I found the main body and battery but no SIM card or back cover. After riding home I found that it will not even power on. Luckily I still had the phone I had borrowed from Sesti a few weeks back when my Sony-E died. I thought I had my extra SIM card on campus so I rode back to work only to find that I had only taken the outer box and not the inside piece with the manuals and new SIM card. So after back home, I got on the phone with ATT and got my new SIM card activated and in the backup phone. So once again I am on the backup phone with no numbers because iSync does not support it. I did find out some good news from the ATT call rep. Because my main cell line is still in my mother's name I am planning on changing it so I can bundle it with the home line and Emily's phone. Once I get that changed I will only have 11 months until I am upgrade eligible for another reduced rate phone. Even though, I am still on the market for an unlocked reasonable phone that will work with iSync without too much fuss.

2008-10-06 22:57:05 868

Crazy week last week. I had the pager so I was on edge every night. It was also Kary's last week at work with us. I also ended up having both a test and the huge lab 2 of programming languages due on Friday. Due to all of the stress I cancelled my camping trip with the Waldroups. After Tuesday night, I decided to submit my lab late and just concentrate on the test. I know that was the best decision but I did not do the best on the test. The Garraway got up with me Friday morning to see if I could hawk DVDs for him at the Tupelo band clinic. Since I had already traded pager duty for the weekend and had cancelled the campout I was clear to go. We had Kary's farewell lunch at Mugshot's. Of course I was late to show up because of my test but David had put in my order for me, the Cory approved Gamble of course. I then finished my hellish week of trying to move big endian Sparc rrd files to little endian Intel Linux without losing all of my hair. We went out to eat with Garraway when Emily got off work at 7 at Rosey Baby's. This was my first experience at the 2.0 rendition of this classic Starkville establishment. The food was decent but the service still grants a medal. In order, the Abbey gets the gold platinum plated medal of suck ass service in Starkville. Rosey Baby's 1.0 is a distant silver to the Abbey and Rose Baby's 2.0 is right on the heels of 1.0 with its bronze. We picked that place because Garraway had not been since he had been married off. We will not go back. Ever. Maybe to try Rosey Baby's 3.0 when it opens up after closing for spring break in 2009.

So then it was Saturday. Really really early. Like so early Emily is leaving for the ER and I am up kinda early. David came by and picked me up before 7am. We headed up to Tupelo high school and got his sweet rig setup in the press box of the football stadium. We then setup a table with a TV (actually a tiny little monitor with a bazillion inputs) on it near the restrooms/concessions so I could have a base station to sell DVD's. It was a long long morning and I think I had all of two sales. At the lunch break David came down and helped me move to the shade in front of the restrooms. In the afternoon sales picked up a lot. If I had sold one tape to every fifth kid who came to ask me to show the Tupelo show, Garraway and I could now retire. Anyway he had the best setup ever in the pressbox. Basically a DVD factory based off of two Sony cameras and some magic mixer boards that do magical things with video and it all ends up on a DVD. It was seriously an all day event because we did not get packed up until nearly 10pm that night. Made it back to Starkvegas pretty late and David was the guest of our north wing.

On Sunday we got up and went to Kidz Church where David gave me some pointers on how I could make the sound and light a little better. I love free advice. Then he had to run off to the Catholics with his inlaws. All afternoon and night Sunday I spent working on my programming languages lab and finally got it done around midnight! I turned that 100% working piece of coding hell (1600 lines of C++) this morning. Now I have until Friday after this one to get lab 3 completed...

2008-09-30 21:57:19 867

Two wedding in two weekends. Not as bad as the summer of 2005 but still seems like a load of people getting married. Anyway started off Friday night by having a social "watch the debate" gathering at Bryan's in front of his slightly big TV. Then on Saturday Emily and I got out of town after some takeout City Bagel and headed to Jackson. Hit Target to get some presents for the couples and then headed back toward Starkville to get to the church. This made the first Catholic wedding I have been to in a modern chapel. I was a really nice wedding with a wedding party that challenged the Muncie's in size. We left the church and headed nearly to Carthage to Cathryn's parents' weekend home for the reception. It was wonderful with so much food and the creepy photographers from the Sesti wedding, only this time the creepy dad was playing creepy DJ too. The girls had loads of fun dancing and I participated by taking pictures. After a while we packed up and headed to Philadelphia. On a whim Emily and I had reserved a room at the Hilton Garden in Saturday's AM. Bryan came down from Starkville and met us there. After a bit we caught the shuttle to the casino and met up with the other girls. We headed straight to the table games and orbited several times looking for a $5 blackjack table. There were none so we settled on a $10 table. Jennifer managed to get a little ahead as I completely blew my bank. About the time I ran out of money Emily came in and got us way back in the black. Since we were way ahead, we decided to quit and Jennifer asked for comp buffets. The pit boss gave them to the three of us even though I had not played a card for a while. Later on we went and hit the buffet. Bryan nearly had to pay but some crazy guy was in front of us with an extra freebie. That was somewhere in the AM of Sunday so we called it a night and caught the shuttle back to the hotel. Got up Sunday morning and got Emily back to Starkvegas just in time for her to go to work at 11am!

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