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Gas Prices Yesturday: 53.9ish
Gas Prices Today: 53.9ish

Well, we're about 95% moved in to the new office. Man it looks great. Feels great too. Very professional and very, I don't know.... "real". I'm pretty much moved into my little podlet (we have 3 sets of 4 desks in a circle, each one a "pod" (detonating me of course as a podlet)). My penguins are here, my books, mags, phone, paper and CD coasters have been retrieved from the storage they were in while we were moved into the temp office. The new place has power and net connections all over the place, is painted, has new funky carpet, new ceilings... it's just swanky. Now I get to get down to doing work! There are some bugs to be ironed out. Keyboard tray problems, none of the new (ooooh, awsome btw) systems' sound works. It's a PCI128 which is detected just fine, but the driver.... uhm.... times out or something. It's no good. Quake problems also. It refuses to load the voodoo driver. It'll only do the default GL one, which doesn't seem as fast as it should be for a PIII-550 with a Voodoo 3 in it. Ah well, we'll see how they play tonight in the deathma^Wbandwidth testing session.

Now back to moving.


Gas Prices Yesturday: 62.9
Gas Prices Today: 53.9

I will not be shameful when I say I slept a lot on saturday. Hell, I'll scream to the skies that I was in bed till after 3pm. Course, I also went to bed around 4am. After a long week of work friday I got the evening off and headed to vancouver for a going away/stag party for my dear friend frogbert who is off to find fame and fortune (but more specifically to get married) in the land down under. So that's how friday night was. Well, let me say this first, before I go on.

Fog'n Suds SUCKS

Hear me? They suck. Don't go there. I arrived around 7:30, and got my appetizer ok. When our crappy waiter finally got around taking our real order around 8:30 it took over an hour of waiting before we asked WTF was going on. At around 10 he confirmed that yes, we had ordered something, and not long after that I was told that my stir fry was on it's way, RSN. A bit later we were told that the bill had been "lost" which was why we were sitting there for so long. Oh, and after he told me that my meal was almost ready I was told that they were out of peanut sauce (it was a stir fry with peanut sauce) and would I like to try another stir fry, or anything else on the menu. Oh and the cost would be taken care for me.

Uhm, no shit. Like I was going to pay after the worst service I've ever gotten in a resturaunt, EVER. New waiter or not, that was nuts. And then after he whined about being $10 short on the bill. I mean, not even a "I'm really sorry about that sir" or similar, but "I'm still about $10 short on the bill." Just nuts.

So the moral of this small interlude is DON'T GO TO FOG'N Suds!

Anyway after we finally got out of there at around 11 (the food was supposed to be quick and basically just to get people together). We wandered around and tried to get something going. It was good to get togeather with people, but let me warn you, a poorly planned stag is not as good as a well planned one.

So after all this (and getting a microwave from Frog, one that doesn't turn itself on randomly) I got in around 3 or 4am. Then slept for 12 hours (though I think I woke up around 9 and had pretty fitful sleep till I finally got up. The rest of the weekend was pretty lazy for me.

Note: Don't do work on computers at night. I had some icky hard drive problems with my /home over the last while (the worst partition to have problems on... thank god for backups. So I figured "ok, I'll nuke it, recreate it, and then swap it with an mp3 partition that won't loose my mail and personal files if it decided to freak out and die. Well, somewhere along the way my /var got nuked, and well, it was time for a re-install anyway. So right now I'm waiting for things to install. I'm told it has 2h43m42s left. Greeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaat. Guess I could just go to bed huh?

Oh, and I'll be keeping track of gas prices (see above) daily (or so) to show everyone how they're jumping around. Yestuday they were about 62 or 64, and then while driving out to my bud's place (happy early bday!) they dropped to 53. On one side of the road. The arco was still at 63. Like... come ON!


Some may wonder why I bother to update this late at night. Well, I do it because I can see two senarios happening:

  1. "Why are you complaining about getting no sleep when you update your webpage at night? Just go to sleep you loser!"
  2. "Why are you updating your webpage in the middle of the day? Don't you have work to do? Get back to work you loser!"
Neither of which I find that attractive (should they actually happen (chances calculated at around 0.000000001%)) so I figure I'll do them while I'm still on a caffiene high from work. Hmm... hope that I don't wake up all perky tomorrow (today actually) from said high.

I don't know if I've complained about this before, but if I could not pay bills that had my name wrong I would be soooo much richer. I wonder if "no your honor, I don't know who Allen Ballward is, why should I pay his cell bills?" would hold up in court. I mean, you'd think that these people if they were unsure about a name would simply ASK when I sign up for these things. I think that the name isn't even consistant sometimes. The card will have the right name on it but the bill will have the wrong name. I can see a mistake on things like the cell bill, but it'd be my guess that when you stamp a name on a credit card that name (and spelling) has some correlation to say, your billing system? Maybe I can lobby for an improved postal service where they deliver to the people who live at the address only. Ie: I'd stop getting mail for whoever lived in this apartment before me because they'd not only be delivering to my apartment # and address, but also to me. Alan Bailward. Not Allen Ballwood. Not Allan Balwerd. Not Alen Balawood. Not Kyle (inside joke from when I did tech support at the real estate board and none of the realtors could understand the name of the person they spoke to so they'd say "is Kyle there" when they meant to say "is Al there" and we'd merrily pass it on to who they asked for, even if we knew it was us... ok, it's funny if you were there).

Anyway, I can see my schedule for the next little while. Home at 12:30am. Sleep ASAP. Wake at 7amish. Repeat till friday. Sleep in till 3pm saturday. Laze around the house doing misc things like laundry. Sleep in sunday and finish up things such as seeing friends and family. Get to sleep early sunday night (yea right). Repeat till May.

While watching TV this morning over cereal I realized how true that joke about "Three's Company" on "Friends" ('it's the one with the misunderstanding' 'oh, I've seen that one') is. I mean, every show has the same bloody plot: Blah blah normal life. Something happens. Someone misunderstands something about it and does something. Continue on this track where one or more of the characters is on a different plane of reality than the others for a while. Have them realize thier mistake. Have them try to rectify their mistake to a canned laugh-track. Have it all come out in the end. Roll Credits.

I'm saddened to think that that's what alien civilizations will be watching when they look closer at our little planet. No wonder we've had no contact. The colony living underground on Mars are probably like "oh shit, there comes another probe! hide unless you want to actually have to talk to those morons!"

Well, it's a theory anyway.

I still hate oracle. Yesturday I spent all day/night trying to get one copy working. Today I spent all day downloading another copy. Their FTP sucks. 6.6Kb/s all day. I can do better (almost) on a 56k modem! That and they seem to have a limit of 1 user or so on their ftp site. I hope it was just me, or just today, but if that sorry excuse for a server is any indication of the rest of the company I have no idea how they survived.

And when I did finally finish downloading the 265.7meg file (which crashed at 265.2 megs (thank god for "reget")), there is now no character based install option. So you're forced to have X and Java on the server you install it on. I don't know about you but when I envision a database server I envision a server with minimul cruft. ie: X and Java. Of course, running the java installer remotely (with $DISPLAY exported) just crashed with the informative error message:

kermit:/usr/local/src/oracle-815$ ./runInstaller 
Initializing Java Virtual Machine from /usr/local/jre/bin/jre. Please wait...
Error in CreateOUIProcess(): -1 
: Bad address

Note the hardcoded path for /usr/local/jre/bin. That's not a script or variable you can change, that's embedded in a binary! Go oracle. No wonder DBAs are paid big bux. They have to afford the detox.

(if you're wondering about the hostname of "kermit" I chose that so I could steal cool ass ascii art)


Today I do have some things to say.

First of all, oracle can kiss my ass. Don't get me wrong, I don't mind putting in extra time to get things going. However, sitting around and installing a copy of some POS database that segfaults on me no matter what I do is not exactly my first definiton of fun. Nor second.

Speaking of things that aren't my first or second definition of fun, bending over and spreading my cheeks for the oil cartel or whoever the fuck they are isn't up there either. I'm sure that "flucuating oil prices" or whatever line the gas companies feed the high school weenies working midnight shift might work on some loosers, but personally an overnight $0.11 to $0.14 jump is my idea of the "pick a number, any number" meathod of gas pricing. Bastards.

In case anyone wonders where I am, assuming I haven't told the 3 people who read this page already, I've been sequestered by work till the end of April for extra work to get a bunch of stuff going. No, it's not april 1 yet. Though I do plan to come to work naked that day, just to see if anyone notices. Actually no, the potential for april fools day jokes is just a little too high. If you want to contact me try my cell # or my work #.

I had a dream last night too. Strangely enough I remember it now. I was in Port Coquitlum (or thereabouts) at the home of the old man who I used to go up to's house to watch TV on saturday mornings (before we got a TV) and for some reason had to get home or to work. Having no car I ran. Ran a long way. Right toward the end of my run I was (literally) sideswiped by a friend of mine, laughing all the way. Not a mean spirited thing, just a friendly tap to let me know he's there as he came baralling past.

Now I wonder what this represents? My struggle for success/happiness while he happily shoves me to the side of the metaphorical road, heading on his way to glory, while I'm destined to flounder? Maybe it's my own insecurities about being an adult and living a "real" life... that I'm afraid to take the step from childhood to adulthood (with life or maturity being represented by my friend). Hmm....

Two final notes:
1 - Congrats to sillz who got a job! A real job! In Canada even! Go my little ozzie!
2 - Thanks to r00st3r from #userfriendly who figured out the answer to my xmms-crashing-windowmaker problem without the aid of a big flashing "here is the answer to arc's problem" sign. Guess just reading the FAQ helps sometimes too. Anyway, now I don't have to worry about things crashing when I change skins.


Note for the day: When photo-editing pictures of Angelina Jolie, the stamp tool is your friend.

Lazy day. I was going to bed at 10 to get monday (two for one mocha monday!) off to a good start, but got caught back up in an old project. Going not too terrible either. I'll post the before/after here after for ya'll when it's done. If I don't do something that might be very soon!

Put up a quake3 server today on fishbowl. is now active and waiting... course, no one (from what I've seen) has even connected yet! Bastards! Someone said something about putting a UT server up but my little computer wouldn't like that I don't think. HD and cpu is going to be pretty full (not to mention ram) with this.

Hmm... I just realized I really don't have a lot to say. Maybe something more interesting will emminate tomorrow with all the mochas.


Before anything starts, today is yet another birthday. Happy Birthday Ramoth!

Now, my day started almost exactly 12 hours ago, when my box booted up and there were hard drive errors. Now, it was about midnight and I was wanting to head to bed, and rebooted for some reason or other (probably a win32 game or something). Anyway, I'm booting up and seeing all sorts of hard drive errors. Gads. On /home too. Lots of fun. So things like my ~/Mail, ~/gfx, pictures, files, html etc were damaged. Now, I didn't lose everything, not by a long shot. The thing is I'm not sure what I lost. See, when Linux does it's equivelant of scandisk it stores any "lost" files, or parts of files in a lost+found directory with filenames like "#3245347631" or some such stuff. So till 2am or so I was examining files with names like #55872345360, and then copying them from /home/lost+found/#53467474576/#3614667 to /home/alan/work/somerandomfile. No, it wasn't nearly as much fun as it sounds. Not with 900+ files in lost+found.

So that was 2am, and it only got worse. First I got to replace the hard drive that was busted (see yesturdays bitch) out in langely. Actually, that went pretty well, considering. Course, I got no other work done for that client, as far as fixing their other problems. Then somewhere along the way we had a client's upgrade blow away their ISDN modem. That was worked on for at least 6 hours (not by me all the time). In the middle of that another client's box went down and I had to deal with some guy who had to have it explained where you plug the video card in. We spent a half hour pushing the main power switch on and off until he realized that it should be the other power switch that will actually start up the system. Oh, and in there we had to build another customer's box, and get me instructions on what to do tomorrow when I hit downtown Vancouver to do some stuff.

I gotta admit though, Cuv was great to share the load with. I think I'd go mad otherwise. This is probably how Silverstr felt when I came onboard. Or not, who knows.

Ok, bed now.


Well, today was certainly a monday. Lets count off the wonderful things that happened today.


I thought so. I said it was a monday didn't I? Oh, ok, one thing good happened, I got my perl server to be able to see if a connection was busted at the end. Course, that was a 3 line fix (5 if you include the debug printouts).

How about the crap that went on. Well, we could count Telus changing IPs randomly; driving to a client and finding (again) they have no spare ps/2 keyboards, and having to drive back to the office; talking a client through a network reconfigure and having them lose both internet and lan connections to your server; going to said client (40 min drive) and discovering that their HD is slowly getting turned into mulch, with lovely errors all over; having to read said error messages through a horribly scrolling screen due to some wackyness with either the video card or the montior; spilling the first mocha of the day on your pants on the way to the first client (yea, I'm out of order here, so sue me) and not having a spare due to yesturdays dirty hiking trip; still having completely no clue what is up with the same client on a completely different problem.

Oh yea, today was a wonderful fscking day.

And tomorrow I get to go replace said hard drive. Ask me what the chances of things going smoothly are? Go on, I dare you... well, since you asked, not very. Maybe the whole reverse physchology thing'll work, if I think it'll suck, it won't right? Sure. Cuv, I just hope that HD is configured up right, cause I'd hate to have to kill you :)

Did I mention I have no pants? Well, didn't until I did the laundry... I ignored the laundry nazis though, and put my stuff in the dryer at [deep breath] 10pm! I'm such a rebel I know. Course, it only went in that late because I forgot about it.

So I have clean pants for tomorrow (generally recommended for going onsite) and have it in my mind to remember my toolkit. I probably won't and should stick it by the door, but I won't. Ditto with the guitar for my lesson-which-I-didn't-practice-for. Pah. Oh, and no, I haven't started working on the new webpage (not mine, the one that'll make money). Doublepah.

Merry monday.


Ooops, forgot to change the date last entry. Eeeek!

Happy Birthday (note it's not belated) to Jay-Jay! Someone I don't know very well, and never did, however, you still deserve b-day greets!

I survived hiking. Staring at 7:30am was a bit rough. Worked some on gfx the night before and all.... it was cold, it was snowy, and I sunk up to my waist a few times. However, I was quite happy that my legs held up the whole time. Sure I stopped some, and we rested, but I didn't have no legs after the first 100 meters uphill like I would have before. I think. Hard to tell without remembering the pain or doing the same hike before. Oh well. A beautiful day nonetheless. I think I'm going to forgo X-Files tonight and hit the hay, because well, I think I can sleep this early :)


There outta be a law about gas prices. They are 64.9 in Abby, 54.3 in 'wack, and have jumped $0.10 in the last couple of days. Just down the road from work the price went from 54.3 to 64.9 in a day, and then the next morning it was back to 54. Gads. Why don't they just change the signs to be more truthful and advertise a chance to bend over and have something large and painful inserted somewhere it doesn't belong. I think "thanks for choosing shell... and thank you for bending over for us" would be a good line for the clerks.

Speaking of clerks I should watch that again soon. Hmm....

Before I forget, some people had birthdays today. I was going to put things up this morning but things were.... well, chaotic. Anyway, happy birthday fenchurch.... all my best!

Speaking of chaotic, we moved into a temp office while renovations are being done at work. It's actually not that bad. Less space but better arranged (at least for us, the bosses have no place to hide hehheeeheh). Gotta remember not to burp too loud now though, as we're a bit more open. It's going to suck when we move back in and have to worry about a) employees other than us who are around, and b) customers who we might not be able to see. The new boxen with sound cards (oh and my new headphones are awsome!), combined with an NFS server with a couple of gig of mp3s will make things SO much nicer. I don't mind working w/o tunes, but even if I'm not actively listening to music it's still nice to have something in the background (other than Cuv's muttering of "I hate you netscape" and "I hate you X"). Also the details of some of the stuff that's been happening has hit the wire. Head out and find it if you're intested, or ask me or something. Exciting stuff though, if it means nothing more than new desks :)

Loki works fast... I talked to a lady there about 2 days ago about seeing if I could snafu a copy of q3 for linux for the official UFies q3 server and today (actually yesturday) a fedexed tin box edition showed up. I am so impressed. Tomorrow I should have it all installed and running too, and at that time I'll go down on my knees and grovel with "thankyouthankyouthankyou" to them. Tonight however, that's what I'm playing :)

I mentioned a bit back that getting out of the human race for a while would be good. Just a couple of weeks vacation if I recall. Well, I think 3 weeks locked in a room with no one around might be the change of plan. Sometimes I just... have no desire to be around, talk to, listen to, or have any contact with anyone at all. I'm not sure if I could do it for more than a bit, but hey, it's worth a try. Heck, I might even come out of it semi-sane (as opposed to my situation currently, while I'm quite insane [insert evil laugh here]).

I finally got paid for a web job a bit ago (I won't tell you what as I'm quite ashamed of the site) and from that went out and got a k7 motherboard for the chip that's been here since christmas. I would have liked to tell you I'm rocking and rolling along at 500Mhz (or higher) right now, but all I get is 8 beeps, pause, 8 beeps. No video, no bios, no nothing. Bah. I've tried with different ram, no ram, reseating cards, moving cards, with nothing at all attached and with everything attached. I really hope it's not the chip, but that's what it almost looks like now. We'll see when I get Iambe to wander over with her k7 to test. If it is I either have to try to get another chip (sweet talkin'), ($DEITY forbid) buy a chip (and I don't have a spare $1k to spend on a nice 850+), or take back the board and trade it for a new chair, which is something else that could do with an upgrade. Something high backed, leather, comfy, and that reclines :)

Hmmm.... my dream (last entry) ended the way it did not because I was a good, honest person, but because I was afraid of being caught. Wonder how much you could read into that. Maybe my thin facade of an intelligent, not insane, educated and hardworking young man is only that, a thin facade. Sometimes I wonder if the faith that people place in me might be misplaced. Maybe I'm just an idiot who should be living in a trailer park somewhere married to my cousin. See, this is why I need to get out :) Actually, I will be getting out. Sunday I'm heading for a hike with Brad... wonder how my leg'll hold up? There is only so much the treadmill and stairmaster at the gym can do eh?

Hmm.... I seem to be writing less often these days. Must do something about that :)


This one I just had to write down. In the midst of not having bizzare and screwed up dreams I just woke up from a doozie.

I was living where I am now, in an apartment with a slightly different layout. One day I am sitting at home watching TV and a neighbor kid is over and he decides to eat out of my popcorn bowl. I don't like this, and jokingly ask someone what it would take to blow the place up to get rid of that sort of thing. They say they'll talk to some people and those people contact me. A plan is set up. I'll pack what I can into bags and, at a certain time, a truck will roll up outside my patio door and I'll load my worldly possessions quickly into it. Or at least what I can. After that a chopper or plane will stop with a huge load of explosives and blow up my little building.

I'm in the midst of this all, calling people and talking to the other members of this crew getting things organized. There is going to a movie involved somewhere. At the end I call and am told to hurry up and get going, aren't I done packing already. So I start packing some of my kitchen stuff into a black duffle bag and then call and ask how the smeg am I going to fit all my stuff into a bag or two to carry. How will I be able to carry more than one computer and some clothes!? I'm reminded that the truck will be outside and I'll be able to throw a few bags into it. Duh.

So I finally start throwing a few things into a bag and I think of how I'll be so happy when this is over and then think of the police knocking on my door in a multi-murder investigation and try to call it off. No one is answering so I drive out the dusty road and try to signal the plane(s) to abort. There is a small homebuilt looking one and 2 huey choppers (loaded with bombs I suppose). I finally get the attention of the homebuilt and tell him that this is madness and I've changed my mind. He agrees and says how mad/stupid it was. We laugh a bit about how this all started from a kid taking my popcorn and eventually everything is left/blows over.

Somewhere in there is the building manager/keeperdude who mutters about the bloody idiots who threw a dead animal on my picnic table in protest against hunting. Not sure WTF that came from.

Anyway, analyzing this I'd say it came from my recent watching of Arlington Road to some degree. There was a lot more but even now, right after waking up from this, a lot of the details are lost. Actually, the details are there (the look of the plane, the layout of the house, how I grabbed my new spaghetti scooper when I started packing) it's the major bits of the plot that are faded, who the leader was, who the cohort was of the bomber groups, etc.

How bizzare....


Bastard laundry nazis. First I try to get it up and going this morning... then it turns out that Saturday mornings (well, actually afternoon) are popular times for doing laundry. So a day of getting my ass kicked at SMAC and StarCraft later I decide to try again... and this time there's a sign saying 'last load must be in by 9pm' (this is at 9:30). Great.... luckily I can survive till tomorrow. It wouldn't be that bad except that all my laundry was already out and sorted, so I had no sheets, no towels, etc. Oh well, I have spare sheets.... even if they are an, uhm.... lovely white and orange.

Working more on the new site. Got a nice button thingy going and (depending on how much time I have and how much I want do do things (mod_perl, mysql)) things should be up and going in not that long (being anywhere from a week to a decade).