So yeah, things are finally returning to normal... There's about 20 things on my todo list to get done, but I finally have things all planned out as to how things are going to work. Unfortunately, this weekend would be PRIME time to get this done, however, BarCamp Milwaukee is this weekend... so my list will just have to wait.... Some highlights:
* Replace the hard drive on a machine that is currently sitting idle, throw a couple network cards into it and install smoothwall on it... (Been running Gentoo for about 7 years on the firewall... it works, but appliances that don't take maintenance time = good.)
* Collect all my old hard drives and transfer any useful data on them to one fileserver at home and organize all my photos, videos, downloads, etc.
* Retire some old machines that are having issues.... Specifially what was my main server at home for the last 5 years or so... (a Dual Pentium 2 with 512MB of memory.. hey.. it was a good machine way back when)... its the main box I connect to IRC through, and its currently also has about 5 years of mail and logs that I can never bring myself to delete. Too many times have I found a phone number or email address I would have lost. Its was providing DNS, NTP, Apache (along with some webfiles I need to save) and MySQL. Some of that will move to the smoothwall... some to the fileserver... some I really don't need at home any more.
* Check out Zenoss at home... VMWare goodness and network monitoring!
* Reinitiate my use of ledger for my personal finance tracking, and build an AOL/Yahoo bot that I can send messages to from anywhere in the world so that it will add in into my ledger. Should be easy to do.. Yay Python!
* Finish my Foresight Linux Build/QA management tool. Its REALLY cool... and from what I can tell, its really needed... just need to find the time to work on it. TurboGears (and hence CherryPy and Python) goodness here... Will probably work on this from BarCamp.
* About 10 little projects to build or gadgets to buy that I've seen from sites like LifeHacker. A Bluetooth GPS device sounds handy... (assuming I can use it with my SideKick, or even better, the new Sidekick LX I may or may not be getting) and someone ... and Remember the Milk... or Tracks... I still like the idea of MonkeyGTD... but its stagnated a bit... and, its not quite as portable as I'd like.
* Finally Implement my own OpenID domain
* Ditch b2evo and probably write something from scratch. I really don't like any of the blog software that's out there... so... things might look different around here...
I'm sure there are a ton of things I'm missing
Ok.. first.. i RARELY bother to take these... but saw this on someone's page that I respected and it seemed acurate for them... so.. I took the 5 minutes to take this and:
Not too surprised by the results... although... I DO feel the need to disassemble that quiz and see how it works... not too hard to see which ones of those fit into which category... but guess its just the nerd in me to figure out how something works.. lol
Secondly... overwhelmed is an understatment. I'm finding myself with A LOT to do... and I've always felt like I've needed more hours in the day. As much as i *LOVE* being lazy and sleeping... and have always been a bigtime night person and NOT a morning person. So, I think I just might be able to pull this off... maybe...
First, some background.... my sleep scheudle has always been kinda... crazy... for quite some time... I've stayed up very late.. often past 3 or 4am... and been up for work the next day around 8:30am. Lately, I've found myself pushing myself less and less... and getting to bed around 1 or 2 am.. and sleeping a little bit later.
The problem is... my body doesn't like it... normally, by the end of the week, I start feeling very sluggish. So, sometimes, on Friday's I feel useless. The second problem is that I NEED to catch up on the weekends. So, I end up sleeping for 8-12 hours (making me a binge sleeper, i guess). This is manageable.. but often leads to the feeling that i've wasted a whole weekend. And worse, if I push myself to get through things even more.. I end up getting myself sick. Normally just a cold, but still annoying then when I have to deal with it.
The other nasty side effect is... sometimes I don't even make it to Friday.. which then means that I end up sleeping more thursday night... and end up being thrown off and either end up sleeping TOO much on the weekend (where I end up tired or with headaches) or end up sleeping less then I need and then end up dragging earlier the following week.
So... the first system I read about was the Uberman... which I think I read about back in 2000 or so.. which, as cooshie (is that a word?), as the IntegrationWare days were (dot com-type consulting company, playing quake after hours.. sometimes longer then the 8 hour work day... indoor basketball court for lunch or 'brainstorming' free throw sessions... free drinks in the kitchen... with beer on friday [long standing tradition to celebrate another week of being in business])... I didn't dare to try to ask my boss (at the time there were serious pressures facing the business) if I could take a nap while I'm at work.
But... Uberman is simple... every 4 hours... you take a 20 minute nap. That's it. So, that means you are sleeping for 2 hours a day, effectively getting 22 hours in your day. I'm not really sure what I'm getting now.. on average, but its certainly more then 2 hours... and there's something to be said for the consistency of it all.
Earlier today, i came across this post, talking about the 28 hour day. Which basically makes your week a 6 day week. The problem is... that you have to negotiate a 4 day, 10 hours per day work week, and Monday melts into your weekend giving you a 56 hour weekend... Sounds great in theory... but I honestly don't know if I really could sleep a full 8 or 9 hours a day at this point.
And, in a way.. I'm already tuned to a polyphasic (as opposed to the more typical monophasic, where you sleep the same amount of time everyday) sleep schedule. Its just over a longer period. And I don't really get sleep depreviation symptoms until things get really out of whack, so I've always had Uberman in the back of my head.
But I recently came across the "Everyman" system... which sounds MUCH more possible to integrate into my daily routine. Its actually kinda simple. You get a 'core sleep' at night... anywhere from 1.5-6 hours. depending on what your body can take, and how determined you are to squeeze the most out of your day. then you just space out three 20 minute naps throughout your day... (one of which is during the work day.. but that's easier then squeezing in two 20 minute ones).
Another interesting alternative is the "Dymaxion" which gives you 3 hours of sleep a day, landing it right between the Everyman and the Uberman, and is four 45 minutes naps throughout the day. Which also only needs one during the work day, but 45 minutes is a much bigger chunk, and still unmanageable for me, when I often work through lunch.
The other positive thing about it... it will put me on a rigid schedule... which would probably be a good thing.. since that's my biggest problem.. when I get to working on something and find out that the sun is coming up and I need to be at work in a few hours...
Will give it some more thought and maybe take the plunge.
Yay.. just got home to check on a new project i was worrying about.. and turns out i had nothing to worry about!
Yesterday, my Glass Starter Kit from Northern Brewer showed up, and i didn't get to open it up until after midnight. Within the next month or so, I wanted to be able to share my first batch of beer with some friends, so I wanted to get started right away.
I unpacked everything.. and had already read the instructions online.. so, I kinda knew what I was doing. It took about 4 hours until I was done, and I went to bed worried that I had ruined my first batch.
First, very minor, but i added the barley to my brew kettle before I brought the wort to a boil. I wasn't too worried about this, but of course.. I wanted everything to be PERFECT. But, that just wasn't going to happen.. of course. The biggest worry I had was about the yeast.
You see, it comes in this little package with a little nutrient pouch inside of it. My pouch was already half inflated, indicating that the yeast was already active. I tried to smack the package opened.. and THOUGHT that I succeeded. I can even swear that it continuted to inflate a bit more. It wasn't until I went to pitch the yeast that I realized that the nutrient pouch wasn't broken yet.
Panicked, thinking that my yeast wasn't going to fully activate, I quickly decided to break the pouch and add it to my brew. I sealed it with the stopper and the fermentation lock and before went to bed.
No activity a few hours later... and came home at lunch to find that about once every five minutes... the fementation lock was bubbling!! Yay! That means that SOMETHING in the brew was producing some kind of gas.
I went back to work, and it wasn't until about 11:30pm that I got home.. and the FIRST thing I did was check on my beer! I was SHOCKED to see this:
There was a large head formed and looked like blow off is a real possibility! So much for worrying about it not working out! The lag period supposedly can be up to 48 hours.. and here... 22 hours in.. it looks.. and even smells... a little like beer.
Ok, the smell isn't quite like GOOD beer.. but its vaguely beer related... So.. the plan is.. about a week or so in the carboy... The Thief that was missing from my kit should show up on Monday... and I should be able to get an idea of how its progressing, but i think within a week I can be bottling by first batch and within another couple weeks.. I'll be enjoy an Extra Pale Ale that I made myself!
OK... so.. July 4th is commonly known as independence day here in the United States. I guess about 230 years ago or so we fought some big war to tell England to leave us the hell alone. Of course, that brings to mind all kinds of questions as to how or why we got to where we are today and how we REALLY lost sight of what we were trying to do from here.. talk about scope creep! ha
Anyway... I declared Independence on the 4th of July. I officially removed (or scaled down) my use of Microsoft software from all of the machines that I have direct control over. I was hoping to be able to make a post on the evening of the 4th saying how smoothly everything went and how I don't need Microsoft at all....
But of course... the best laid plans didn't go as I would have hoped. The biggest culprit: Hardware support. I finally managed to get all the machines running Foresight Linux... some were clear sailing.. but the biggest problem was the new machine I have that's about a month old. First, nvidia's Linux support is mediocre... and it took some manual work to get X windows working, but with any luck... this issue will be solved within Foresight so that the next person who tries to do an install will not have the same issues. Yay for open-source projects being agile and able to react to issues as they arise and provide solutions to the community. I really can't say enough about Foresight and really think that they managed to solve the package management issues and now its just a matter of polishing the little things that can go wrong that make BIG headaches for non-technical people. Its getting there!
The other problem is... the shiny new Creative Labs SoundBlaster X-Fi that I finally upgraded to.... has NO Linux support. NONE. Some attempts are being made to reverse engineer a driver, but Creative is planning on taking the path that nvidia has taken... a closed source binary driver. I guess its better then nothing, but really... who cares about the internal calls that your drivers makes to your hardware? If Creative's competitors are really determined to get their hands on these DEEP DARK secrets, they can dedicate some resources to disassembling the drivers and then producing copies of Creatives Hardware at cheaper prices.
When will companies learn that the path to success is through openness and sharing. Wasn't this the problem that Apple had back in the 80s? Superior hardware and software paradigms, but a closed platform. If you didn't pay Apple royalty fees, you couldn't make hardware for their machines. The reality is, if apple would have allowed people to create hardware for their platform, they would have dominated the market, and there would have been all kinds of people trying to produce cheaper harder that was more reliable. By closing your hardware interfaces and forcing it to work with only your software, its only a matter of time before someone produces a lessor product, that's of acceptable quality for significantly less cost that will wipe your product out.
The same argument applies to Record Companies, Movies Companies, Microsoft, Sony, Blu-ray, HD-DVD, and any other area where people are trying to product their business through secrecy, legal action, or encryption and trying to dictate what people can do with the products that they purchased. The irony is, without innovation... there wouldn't be a Music/Movie/Technology industry.
Whoa.. quite a tangent rant.... only other point is.. I wanted to note.. as of last night... my qwerty typing speed is between 85-110wpm, depending on the text... I did my first exercises on a dvorak keyboard... and weighed in at a whopping 16wpm, with really short easy words. Yeah.. this is going to take some time.. but I think its worth trying to see what ends up happening with my typing skills.
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The life and times of an atypical average guy.
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