With all the ballyhoo in the last week with the election, I haven’t had much time to reflect upon all the things going on in my life. So rather than a political rant, here’s my life recently:
On the 28th of October, I celebrated my 2-year anniversary with my girlfriend, Allison. I already wrote about that. But two days later, we sojourned north to the Brookfield Zoo. It was a bit chilly (cloudy and windy, too), but the fall leaves were gorgeous. I didn’t remember the Brookfield Zoo at all, since I haven’t been there since probably grade school. My most vivid zoo memories come from the Henry Doorly Zoo in Omaha, NE, where I’ve gone more times. The worst thing about the experience was all the kids, whose parents dolled them up in costumes and prodded the little brats through the exhibits. Some of them were kind of cute, like the drooly, sleeping babies in lion costumes, but others, the three and four year olds in ninja costumes chasing the peacock with plastic swords while the parents gave a disinterested “Tim, stop that…” before giving up.
I was so bummed yesterday by the results of the election, I went ahead and splurged on a new computer part for myself (women eat chocolate, I buy electronics). I’d been meaning to buy it anyway, but like any case where I have to spend money, I’m tighter than a snare drum. Anyway, it’s a super-fast 300gb hard drive which I will use for video storage. I’ve been mapping out the new configuration I’m going to use for optimal performance. This will be my fifth hard drive, for a total of (technically) 736gb of storage space. Believe it or not, I need it. I currently have something like 130gb of video, 90+gb of audio, 80gb of games, applications, documents, and images, and about 15gb of operating and program files. That’s not counting the continuous influx every day.
I’m enjoying work as much as ever. When I first started, the days crawled by, and I only worked about 15 hours a week. Now, I’m working 20 hours a week, and I’m unhappy that hours for student workers are capped at that amount. I’d like to work more. As it stands, the most I can do is work extra to accrue a sort of poor man’s paid vacation. I use this sort of thing to take days off or get “paid” for work holidays.
During fall break, I drove south to hang out with Abou at Illinois State. It’s a nice campus, but like any college campus during the day, there’s not a whole lot to do. He, his hairy friend Don, and I spent much of the morning at the local coffeehouse, heckling Abou about his romantic interests and discussing Plato at length. Also, I spent a fair amount of money on CDs, since one of the nicer music shops there had a fair amount of post rock and other good music. Abou eyed a nice vinyl of ELP’s Pictures at an Exhibition but abstained from buying it until he could give my digital version a dedicated listen.
I’ve been experiencing a lot of problems with my video card lately. In February, I bought a top-of-the-line-but-soon-not-to-be Asus 9800XT. Recently, I noticed that the on-card fans stopped spinning, leaving the card burning hot to the touch. I got a replacement from NewEgg, and shortly thereafter noticed that the new one did the same thing. This time, I’m getting a lesser model and will mod it to 9800XT specifications. Hopefully, I won’t experience anymore problems, although I’ve been rather disappointed in general with ATi and ATi-reference products. ImmaculateZion had problems with two separate X800Pro cards, eventually settling for the same model I will be ordering.
Why is this important? Half-Life 2 is coming in out a scant 12 days. Possibly before, if the release groups have their way. I’ve been waiting since 9/03 for this, and I’m practically messing myself in anticipation.
My brother is still in Costa Rica, but enjoying himself. Personally, I could never handle being away from my computer for an extended period of time, but it’s cool with him. I installed a USB2.0 card in his machine a few weeks ago, and, disgusted with the state of his software, implored him to let me reformat and reconfigure his machine when he gets back. To my great delight, he agreed, so it’s Open Source Software time, baby!