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Toys

Journal: I am responsible for the increase in gas prices!

Journal by SwedishChef

Forgive me. I am (mostly) sorry. But let me tell you the story.

It all started with my wife who converted a business trip to Wenatchee into the purchase of two jet skiis. Instead of going to the craft store while I was in my meeting, she went to the local SeaDoo dealer and did some shopping. To be fair, she did show me the jet skiis (yes, I know that "Jet Ski" is a TM of Kawasaki) and I did approve the purchase. But she bought them.

And, oh my, they are fun. Up until this summer I had more-or-less congratulated myself on being environmentally friendly in my recreation. I flew gliders, paddled kayaks, sailed sailboats, and rode bicycles. Hell, my wife and I lived for 5 years aboard a 32-foot sailboat with solar panels and a wind generator supplying 90% of our electrcicity.

I knew that the gliders were towed into the air (for 15 minutes - after which I flew for hours) and that I got to the river in a pickup truck, but I figured it was still better than driving an ATV all over the sand dunes.

I can no longer make that claim. I now joyously squander our precious petroleum supply on swooping around the lake.

Such behavior never goes unpunished. The day after buying the jet skiis the price of gasoline began to climb. Oh sure, experts blamed the war, sabotage, declining reserves, and China for the increases. But I knew better. I knew it was my fault. I even sorta felt bad about it.

My sailboat sits idle in the water. I haven't flown the glider this season. I have paddled a kayak exactly 3 times (pre-jet skiis). But I leave my office at 5pm, go downstairs, change my clothes into a swim suit, grab the 3-yr-old who lives here , and go through the gate and down to the dock where we untie the jet ski and get on board. Then we head to the end of the lake and the sandy beaches for swimming lessons.

On the way back we are likely to swoop and soar over some wakes, turn tight circles to look at cormorants and turtles, and yell when we go under the freeway (for the echo).

You all are paying for this, of course, I only hope you can forgive me.

User Journal

Journal: Another summer...

Journal by SwedishChef

It's over a year since my last entry in this journal (or blog, or whatever). Last winter was fabulous for cross-country skiing! I went at least once a week from November 5th until April 9th and generally twice a week. I learned to "skate ski" but that really takes it out of a person. On the bright side, when I strap on kick skiis I can outpace a lot of 20-somethings now. (grin)

I'm sitting at the lake house (yes, being a nerd does have some economic advantages) watching jet skiis and wakeboarders go by. If it werent late I'd jump into a kayak and try to catch some surfing on their wakes. It's terrific.

All in all, there continues to be life after 60.

User Journal

Journal: Damn... I miss Winter

Journal by SwedishChef

It's amazing how quickly one can be addicted to a specific activity. This winter, even with a low snowpack, I managed to get dependent on cross-country skiing. Even to the point of getting "skate" skiis only to have the season end abruptly before using them. The question now is, "Can kaykaking take the place of x/c skiing?" Well, for adrenaline there is nothing quite like hearing the sound of rapids around the next river bend but not knowing quite what is in store for you until you can actually see them. Ok, maybe landing a glider (one shot, make it good).

Cross-country skiing offers little in the way of adrenaline rush but it is satisfying on so many levels. There is the athletic level where you learn new techniques; there is the conditioning level where your body goes farther every weekend; there is the aesthetic level where you come around a bend of the trail and are presented with a view of snow-covered mountains and valleys with frozen lakes and blue sky and clouds and are struck dumb with the beauty of it all.

Yesterday we partied in Wenatchee during their Apple Blossom Festival, eating teriyaki in the park and listening to some friends perform in their rock band. We had gone up to Cashmere to watch kayaks play on Granny's Hole and we had roller-bladed for a couple miles on the riverfront trail system. It was a pretty satisfying day.

I'm new enough to roller blades so that it doesn't take much to give me a workout so that part was great. Watching those guys and gals play on a wave (one using over-sized mitts in place of paddles!) was fun because even though I've surfed on a river, there is no way I can do what they do on a wave. But I'm thinking that with both kayaking and roller blading I might just be able to hold on to some physical conditioning this summer.

Anyway, I feel pretty good about yesterday. And less than three weeks after getting out of the hospital for appendix surgery I'm out and physical. Yes, Virginia, there is life after 60. :P

User Journal

Journal: Snow

Journal by SwedishChef

Winter is finally here... we have been cross country skiing for the past two weekends in the mountains and just a few days ago actually went around the farm on skiis (in the dark). I expected this to be harder on my bad knee that it has been... but find that taking a few codeine pain pills enhances the experience considerably. LOL

Washignton State has a system of groomed X/C trails (from which snowmobiles are banned) and the cost for using them is a permit you put in the window of your car. The permit costs $40 per season for as many people as you can cram into your car!!! Compare this with one day lift tickets at Mission Ridge (Wenatchee, WA) which are over $35.

For those of you who live in Arizona: Eat your hearts out!!! (OK.. at least southern AZ.)

The Internet

Journal: Lame uplink providers

Journal by SwedishChef

Our reverse lookups failed suddenly two weeks ago and a dig showed that they were stopping because no one had SOA. So I called my provider who opened a trouble ticket and then told me that the problem was with a swip that didn't go through and it would be fixed later that day.

A week later it was still broken and I began a series of emails with the network engineer for this outfit who insisted, over and over, that it was our DNS that was broken. While I tried to convince him that it was their fault because we could not get SOA (Start of Authority) for the block and they had to point their DNS to ours and secondary it.. Finally after a couple days of this nonsense I called ARIN which told me that it was the uplink provider's fault and, just as I suspected, they needed to secondary my DNS onto their DNS.

To get this more formally I sent an email to ARIN (with a copy to my uplink morons) asking them to clarify what to do and who should do it. Two hours later I got an email from a network engineer upstream of the uplink provider (but still controlled by them) saying "I don't see a problem". Because they had implemented a secondary DNS off mine and it finally worked.

Every time I contact these guys with a problem I have to teach someone their job. And it takes time. Maybe I should send them a bill for that time. Sigh. Apparently it's not possible to hire competent people and equally impossible to get rid of them when they show they are incompetent.

User Journal

Journal: Three fans!

Journal by SwedishChef

Ok, I know bragging about fans is lame. So sue me.

Of the three fans, two of them give every appearance of being female. This, for some reason, is somewhat troubling. It must be my age which, frankly, means I'm not much of a threat to any young women. Therefore I'm safe to flirt with and be fans of.

To top it off, LadyGuardian's writings make me think of my daughter (who also has two huskies but was an education major).

My daughter married a chem. engr. last summer after swearing never to consider pairing up with anyone remotely like me. He is exactly like me. LOL Oh god, revenge is soooo sweet. When he's here we spend hours talking geek talk and annoying her with references to calculus, physics, etc. He does a lot of processes and that ties in well with computers and electronics so we are exploring new ways of blending the two without MS intervening.

Christmas here is over and it was pretty nice. The tree went up at Thanksgiving (it's fake so there's no fire hazard). I don't much like decorating trees but I sure like to have them up. And all the other nice stuff: the Christmas mugs, the little village with the lights and the train going around it, the music boxes, the lights on the house at night when I get close (we can see houses here a LONG ways away).

Daughter and her hubby were here and he and I celebrated by touring the local sewage treatment plant at the request of the public works director. He had a few problems and between us all we figured out a few cheap work-arounds. That was fun.

No days off of course, except for Christmas Day I've worked every day for two weeks on at least something. Those of you who ponder starting up your own consulting shop should think hard and long. If you don't actually like what you do and would do it even if no one paid you, then find a job.

That's it for now. Thanks to my three fans. I'd add you but I haven't figured out how it works. LOL

User Journal

Journal: Two fans!

Journal by SwedishChef

How appropriate that just a couple days before Thanksgiving I notice that I have *TWO* fans listed. Finally the number of fans has outgrown the number of freaks. I was getting worried there. Too bad the second fan isn't also a girl; as a lifelong nerd I always feel proud when a member of the opposite gender takes any interest in me. Unfortunately my female fan hasn't posted since July of 2002, thereby proving that any interest in me by the opposite gender is short-lived. I'd try being gay but, frankly, haven't a clue how to begin. Anyway, I'm pretty sure that if I were gay, no cool gay guys would show any interest in me either. Anyway, thanks to the new fan. :)

User Journal

Journal: Damn... I have a fan!

Journal by SwedishChef

Sitting here before work checking /. and listening to NPR I noodled into my info section (always disappointing since Karma points disappeared) and noticed some areas I had never looked at before. Friends, fans, foes, freaks... etc. It turns out I have a fan. Golly! :) I wonder if she would like to buy some cats. :P

Building translators is good clean fun. -- T. Cheatham

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