It’s a ROLLERCOASTER!

Man, today has been a rollercoaster, and I haven’t even been awake for two hours yet.

Ok. First things first: I wake up just before noon, a few minutes before my alarm was set to go off. Have to pee real bad, and I had to do it in record time, before my alarm went off (didn’t feel like jarring myself with its noise). Happily, that whole thing went off without a hitch.

So. Bladder emptied, alarm disabled, I go to my computer to wake it up. Waitaminute, it’s not on. Did I turn my monitor off? Can’t remember. Not unless I did it in my sleep. I sleepwalk? Wait a minute: I can’t hear the CPU fan. Aw, shit. It’s shut off. We had a power outage. We had a power outage? Damn. Battery backup hasn’t turned back on. Ok. I reach down and toggle the backup’s switch, my system turns on. Feh. Have to tweak with some BIOS issues, then I continue booting. Mmm. Norton Disk Doctor, yes I want to fix errors, no I don’t want to make an undo disk. Feh. Ok. Finally, I can log into windows. What? I can’t get online? Christ, this is gonna be a long ride.

I go to the kitchen to grab a coke, notice the coffee machine’s clock was flashing. Ok, yes we *did* have an outage. Ok. I turn on the linux server’s monitor and log in as root. What? There’s no trace of the power outage in the system logs? Huh?! That server’s UPS lasts for, like, half an hour. The server would’ve noticed a power outage. Not a trace. I am confused.

I check the internet connection. Appears fine from the server. Hmm. Go back to my room for a smoke, check again, nothing. Ok, something is definitely gone south. Back at the server, I check the firewall settings. Hmm. The firewall kernel module isn’t even loaded. I load it, tweak a few things, still nothing. I do a shutdown and reboot. On the reboot, the server’s init notices the drives weren’t unmounted properly and does a scan on the drives. Reboot continues as normal. Log back in, check the connection. Still fine from there, but the firewall module still wasn’t loaded. Good gawd. I load it again, and this time I run the firewall config tool. Ok, good. It’s loaded and working. Back to my bedroom computer — what do we have? We’re ONLINE!

I am much relieved.

So, a few smokes and a sandwich later, I check my bank account. What? There’s more money in there that I didn’t put in there! Could it be? Well, paint me green and call me money, the Feds decided to let me have my tax return! Hell yeah! I immediately place a large portion of it in my poor little flagging savings account and badda-bing, I’m a happier man.

You know, I’m a simple man with simple pleasures and simple needs. All I need is sleep, elimination, nicotine, caffeine, nutrition, an internet connection, and surprise money. And I got all of those needs in the first hour of my day! Fuck yeah!

Ah, today’s gonna be a gooood day. I got Eeyore’s Birthday to attend. Let’s see if I can get some of my other needs taken care of: booze, fun, community, companionship, and luuuuv sweeeet luuuuv, baby.

Pop a top and raise a can; this might be Shawn’s luckiest day.

Six Hours to Home

I’m heading off to Texarkana in an hour for the weekend, for 3 days of fun and frolic.

Wait, uh, hmm, um, nevermind that last part, I’m just, uh, I’m going to Texarkana. Ok. For 3 days. To visit family. And friends. And, um, to get out of Austin for a while. Yeah.

GO [HERE]

Um, ok. Praise satan.

Laid-out flat

Having trouble sleeping lately.

With the warmer weather, I’m going to bed with the window open, which may or may not be a good idea. It’s good in that I get the benefit of ventilation instead of suffocation, but it’s bad in that I get outside noises which, in an apartment complex, means I get neighbors, traffic, and A/C heat exchangers. Sunday night I laid down around 1am and finally got some deep stage-1 sleep around 5:30 am. Would’ve been no problem had I not needed to get up at 8 to go to work.

But sunday night presented me with a lot of problems for getting some sleep done. First off, a desktop fan I’ve had, and nursed back from death, for 10 years has finally given up the ghost. It was rattling, buzzing, grinding, groaning, and making all manner of god-awful noises, with barely a hint of breeze. It’s had a long, long life and has served its use in this world. It’ll now be sent out to pasture and be relegated to occasional spot-chilling of my computer tower.

Add to that the occasional noise from outside, the slapping of the miniblinds on the windowsill as a breeze blows through, some hunger, some stomach cramping, allergies, ear pressure, and BLAH it’s no small wonder that I was able to get 2 1/2 hours of sleep.

*yawn*

Luckily, when I got home from work (after buying a new fan and some over-the-counter Claritin), I poked around online for a short while, then laid down to nap. I slept for what I think was an hour, tossed around a little, then my roomate came home, after which I promptly decided continued sleep was a good idea. Around 2:30am, freezing my ass off, I got up to close the window and turn the fan down and here I am, making a journal entry. Not sure if I’ll stay up or go back to bed. Jury’s still out on that.

Without sleep, nothing else matters.

(post script: I went back to bed. Wow. Slept long and deep enough, in both bouts, to actually have dreams. Was nice, really nice.)

Little Discoveries, Great Voyages

Over the past few weeks, I’ve heard some small rumblings from friends of mine who I’ve known for years, people who I respect for their music preferences. They’ve made mention of a band called [Evanescence]; figured that since there was a small bit of buzz about them, I picked up their CD last night.

Oh. My. God.

I never really would’ve figured it, but these two people from Little Rock (of all places) can really write some seriously good music. It’s thick. Rich. Layered. My friend and college-mate Jeff S. was correct in saying it takes some serious talent to do those arrangements. The album has a few slow, orchestra-based tracks, but the real stars of the show are the tracks “Bring Me to Life”, “Haunted”, “Tourniquet”, and “Whisper”. Wow. This stuff is hard and deep.

It’s about time we had the return of progressive metal. I love the genre. Actually, I like really deep, thick, rich music. Give me hard beats, yes, heart-racing rhythms, yes, crunchy guitars, yes, but also give me melody, counterpoint, harmony, something other than “verse / chorus / verse / bridge / chorus” once in a while. Some bands that come to mind here are Tool and Dream Theater – those bands really get my juices flowing with the music they provide. Evanescence provides, and, hoo-boy, I gladly accept.

As a sidenote, I suspected, with the band originating from Little Rock, that Evanescence was Christian in their leanings. After listening to the lyrics, I can almost confirm. Lyrics are a hard thing to judge sometimes, but my supposition that they’re influenced by the spectre of the Arkansas State Baptist Convention (evil as a whole, but with nice members) is highly probable. Arkansas is a Baptist state, after all. Luckily, this lean in their lyricism doesn’t detract from the band or their music; they’re not ones to flaunt their God in our faces, which is good. The world needs more Christians like that.

So again, wow. They’re in my heavy playlist rotation. Evanescence goes down like sweet milk.

In other news, I’ll be taking a trip to Texarkana next weekend to visit the family and friends for Easter. Taking off a day early to head out of here on Thursday night. Maybe that’ll help alleviate my long-distance-driving-in-traffic anxiety. Man, do I dislike driving that long by myself. At first, it was a pleasure, but it’s now a pain, a hassle, and a bore. Damn, I hate driving through Dallas. ugh.

At least I have some new musics to drag along. Wish me luck.

¡Vaya con Diabolo!

Supplication and the Start from One

Ah, so much better. Payday. All last week I was kind of sweating things, trying to live on the cheap (and half-way succeeding), trying to make $50 stretch all week. So when I got paid on Friday, yeah, I was much relieved. Nothing quite like trying to float debit-card charges, hoping they stay in electronic limbo until help arrives. Thanks to Johnny Paycheck, rent is paid, food is in my belly (but none in my pantry yet), and I have clean clothes and sheets. It’s a good thing I got paid on Friday: my landlord wasted no time in depositing the rent check I turned in on Thursday. Yikes.

While I was at the laundromat yesterday, I figured that while I was a captive audience, instead of dragging my laptop out and doing a little bit of nothing, I went out to my car, got the hooked needle and nylon thread out, and began stitching up another ripped seam on my passenger seat. Two runs down, about 5 runs to go. I can’t believe I let it go for so long. Believe me, kids, when I say that I now fully understand the true meaning of the saying, “A stitch in time saves nine.” I’m probably looking at 2000 stitches. Ugh. But it’s got to be done.

And can you believe somebody actually suggested I get some of those gawd-awful seat covers for my car? I may have white-trash tendencies, but I’m not that white-trash. Jeez.

I finally got my replacement battery for my laptop from Dell on Thursday. I called them around the beginning of March to get a new battery, seeing that my old battery was subject to a safety recall (something about overcharging, smoking, catching fire — that kind of stuff). They took my information and said I’d get a replacement some time within 5 to 15 business days. That kind of confused me because Dell is based in Austin. Well, I was fine with that, until 20 business days out, when I was like “Um, it should’ve been here by now.” So I call them up again last Tuesday.

The tech on this call told me something went wrong on the first order, so she took my battery serial number again, checked it, and said it wasn’t subject to recall. Huh? I know the first tech said it was, the Dell website said it was, so I went back to the Dell site, completely filled out the form, clicked “submit”, after which it replied with “Please return battery to Dell immediately.” Hmm. Ok. Told the tech what it said. “Huh, ok.” Two days later I come home from work and find a package, shipped by Airborne Express (yes, shipped across town by airborn), sitting on my chair. Yay!

I installed the battery, put the old battery in the cdrom bay, and went out and played for 4 hours without the usage of a power outlet. Was niiiice. I shipped the old battery back the next day. Hopefully they’ll send me the extra battery they promised sometime soon. That was nice, not needing to recharge.

Ok, so how did the time change affect everybody, eh? Me? I slept ’til 4pm today, which we all know is really just 3pm. I stayed up extra extra late last night because, well, that extra non-existent hour made a difference. I was making jokes about going home around 2:30am, which got a giggle out of some of my buddies because, well, that hour didn’t exist. I guess, at the least, that with this time change we’ll have an extra hour of sunlight after we get home from work. That’ll be nice.

With the extra sunlight, though, comes heat. And let me tell you, it is heating up here. Got up to 88F here today, partly cloudy. Wow. To be honest, I welcome the heat (I’m a reptile, y’know). Of course I won’t be too happy about it when I get into my car after work. Nossireebob. Something’s telling me I should’ve worked on my A/C this past winter. :sigh: Ah well. I think I’ll be fine, so long as I can sweat and get some airflow going (heh, yeah, that’s that “440 A/C” we white-trash are so proud of…y’roll down 4 windows and go 40mph down the road). Haven’t quite got my “first sweat” in yet, but once that happens, and my pores are cleared out, I’ll be fine.

Ah, yes. More info than you need to know. :)