*IX

I’m pretty jazzed, in an extraordinarily nerdy fashion…

See, this week I’ve been in UNIX training, paid for by work. The guy who teaches the class is everything I’d expect from somebody who spends all his time in this world…and I like that. Today, he asked us (the three of us in the class) if anyone had a spare box (computer) lying around. I said I did, and so he suggested that I bring it into the classroom tomorrow. Basically, he’s going to install the latest version of Redhat Fedora Core 4 on my machine.

Why am I jazzed about this?

Because this guy’s a freakin’ professional, and he’s certainly going to do a far better job configuring my machine for Linux than my sorry arse did. This means I’ll finally have a stable, powerful development environment for learning some of the stuff I’ve been meaning to.

Woot. Hooray for nerds!

Coming soon!

So last night I was sitting on my sofa, alone in my apartment, when it finally struck me. I figured out the redesign for this website, and in my excitement began drawing it out on a piece of plain printer paper.

Whether or not you’ve been in my apartment, I’ll explain the concept: Valerie and I have this really cool sculpture/relief thingy that her grandfather gave us. It’s a scene of Salerno, Italy, right on the docks, and is made entirely from pieces of cut sheet brass and heavy brass wire. Absolutely awesome, and I hope to do it justice with my site redesign, however long it takes (yeah, maybe even a year…I’m that amature).

I hope to start hammering out the structural design first over the next few weeks as I dig through my books on PHP and a borrowed book called Designing with Web Standards by Jeffrey Zeldman. After that’s straight, I’ll start hashing out the appearance using the magic of CSS (that’s to make it look pretty!).

Anyway, now that the creative block is out of my head, I can finally say with confidence that the redesign is officially underway!

Woo-ha!

Yesterday was a great day for football! Quick Recap (in order of I-care-ness):

1. The Miami Dolphins trounced the Denver Broncos 34-10, making new coach Nick Saban look pretty good at the start of the season!
2. The New York Giants ran over the Arizona Cardinals 42-19 proving that Eli Manning isn’t just the lackluster novelty lil’ bro of Payton…
3. The Pittsburg Steelers handed Tennessee their collective behind at 34-7 to show us that Rothlesburger still has what it takes (even without Plex), and
4. Peyton Manning and his Colts nearly took Baltimore with a shutout at 24-7 (the Ravens scored with 13 seconds left), with Indianapolis’ defense surprising NFL fans everywhere.

Sixteen weeks left in the season, and I still have to watch tonight’s game since McNabb is the lead QB on my fantasy team, the Jersey Trash.

Are you ready for some…

FOOTBALL! American style…

Yesterday was a glorious day, because the 2005 NFL Football season “kicked off” (pun terrifyingly intended) with the New England Patriots dismantling the Oakland Raiders, 30-20.

My fantasy team is ready to roll, my wife is prepared for Sunday afternoon boredom, and I’m bracing myself for yet another crappy season for my Miami Dolphins.

Woot!

Lock down(town)

If you live in the R-I-C and haven’t been to the Canal Walk recently, you ought to go. Besides the unexpectedly temperate weather of late, there is a new feature worth checking out: A large, working, interactive model of a canal’s lock system. Said model is constructed of large slabs of cut stone and bronze. There are two locks – each with their own pair of doors. A subterranean pump keeps the water flowing, and simple, out-of-sight mechanical systems adjust the water levels depending on which way the switches are thrown.

Sadly, the upper lock is already broken, but the model seems otherwise rugged. I hope somebody fixes it soon!

What I’m reading currently…

I just picked up three books recently at B&N, and I felt like sharing with the world what I got so as to give a bit of insight into how I think and what I think about. So here goes:

1. Hegemony or Survival: America’s Quest for Global Dominance by Noam Chomsky
2. Beyond Chutzpah: On the Misuse of Anti-semitism and the Abuse of History by Norman Finkelstein
3. And the book I’m actually reading at the moment: Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media by Edward S. Herman and Noam Chomsky.

I’ll let you draw your own conclusions 🙂

Even with a four-cylinder!

Have you been to the gas station lately? What do you drive?

I drive an ’04 Jetta, and it has the basic 2.0 litre, 4 cylinder engine. I have a stick-shift. I once drove 406 miles with the AC blasting on one 12.5 gallon tank of gas before the gas light came on (and that would’ve let me drive another 60 miles, according to the owner’s manual).

But do you know how much it would cost me to fill my gas tank now?

Try about 40 bucks, roughly – that depends on where I fill up.

Gas prices went up TWENTY CENTS this afternoon alone here in the R-I-C, and even us folks with efficient engines are feelin’ it. I genuinely feel bad for peeps I know sportin’ 8 cylinders…My parents, my lil’ bro, my older bro…sheesh. This is going to put a little financial hurting on everyone who drives.

I know this is all because of the Gulf situation, and I know people have it worse than I do. I know that it would cost me twice as much to fill up in the UK. I’m just venting. The US seriously needs to get off of this petroleum fix.

Excuse me, did you say, “Raw”?

I’m a pretty freakin’ picky eater. Seeweeuswy you guys. Example? I grew up in a household that ate predominantly Italian food. I grew up in a household that also made me eat whatever was put in front of me. And here I am, with utter distaste for peppers, onions, and tomatoes (okay in sauce, as long as they’re not chunky).

For some reason, however, I find it pretty easy to try out new seafood. Ever since I was a youngin’ in Bayville, New Jersey, I’ve tried out dish after dish of sea food at my old friend Matthew Stevens’ house, be it blowfish, lobster, or mako shark steak. Last year on my honeymoon, I went a step further and tasted amazing ahi tuna that was barely seared, leaving the inside cool and uncooked. This, too, was delicious.

None of this could prepare me for the obvious next step…sushi. Specifically make-zushi often containing raw fish.

So I planned an occasion with my wing-man, Dave, whereupon I’d settle this food score once and for all. This past Saturday, we headed for Hana Zushi in Shockhoe Slip for dinner. Dave, being a bit experienced with sushi already, helped me choose my gastric weapons and provided moral support. We each ordered a la carte, selecting from a decent listing of rolls and nagiri. Our plan was to divide and conquer, sharing our selected rolls that we each may experience a broad range of flavors.

My verdict? I really enjoyed the experience – both the exhiliration of walking out on a culinary limb and the food itself. The most amazing point of the evening was realizing a distinct difference between the sushi and most Western food that I’ve yet eaten:

Whereas with Western food (or perhaps cooked food in general) you tend to experience the full taste of the food when you bite into your morsel, the sushi did not provide its full spectrum of flavors until I had chewed the piece for a moment or so. Once I had given a few rounds of molar-attack to my spicy tuna roll, for example, the full effect of the combination of ingredients spread accross my tongue like a taste epiphany.

Wholly different from anything I’ve yet ingested, yet intriguing and delicious, I have a feeling I’ll be seeking out new sushi bars in the future.