I'm in yr blog, changin thingz

In the past few months or so, I've been really getting into/learning a lot about the Open Source Movement, and how to become involved with it. I like the fact that it's a populist movement for the tech generation. I've always wanted to become involved, but since I don't know my ass from a hole in the ground when it comes to programming, I'll just do my best to spread the gospel. There's an incredible amount of software out there you can use to tweak, hack, and generally mod out your comp however you see fit, and here are the top open source apps that I cannot do without.

1. Launchy. It's a sweet little keystroke launcher that you can use to quickly access pretty much anything you want. A huge time saver; and you can do a lot more than just launch applications

2. Rocketdock. - One of the cooler features that Mac has that windows doesn't is its 'dock' feature. Quick and handy access to your most used programs, and it looks pretty sweet, too.

3. Greasemonkey. If you're not using Firefox, you're a fool. Greasemonkey is one of the best addons for the best browser in the world, because it makes firefox infinetly customizable through user-created scripts. Like I said, I don't know the first thing about creating this stuff, but there's a ton of user-generated scripts to try out.

4. Stumbleupon. - Social browsing/web site finder. Total netcrack. Can't recommend it enough.

5. Mediamonkey. - A sweet little media player that has all the dynamic features of itunes without the bloated memory usage (250mb?? Are you fucking kidding me?). Plus, it syncs with ipods.

  • Current Music
    Burial - Untrue

(no subject)

I am a total wuss when it comes to flying. I guess that can be forgiven, considering that I haven't set foot on an airplane in about ten years. Of course, it was snowing/windy as all hell in Chicago the morning that I left, and the takeoff was a little choppy. And by 'a little choppy' I mean just that. A little rough for about two minutes; but guess who grips the armrests in abject, William-Shatner-in-that-twilight-zone-episode terror? Yep. It got better as the flight went along, and it sure is nice to be back home, at least for a little while. That big yellow orb in the sky frightened me at first, then I realized that it was the sun. I had forgotten.

On a side note, you'd think that the average Amazon.com user reviews for a standard bic pen would be boring.
And you'd be wrong.
  • Current Music
    Royal Trux - (Have you met) Horror James?

Welcome to the Occupation

Am I getting old? A conversation at work:

The players

J. - 27 yrs old.
Cameron - 25 yrs old.
Bryan - 19 yrs old.

The scene: The breakroom.

Cameron: So, what kind of music do you guys like?
Bryan: Pretty much whatever. But I have two favorite bands: System of a Down and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.
Cameron: That's cool. I like Every Time I Die, as I lay Dying, stuff like that. What about you, J.?
J.: I dunno, I guess if I really had to pick, I'd say Pavement, Guided by Voices, The Ramones, and Fugazi.
Cameron: Ahh, so you like old-school punk and like, mid 90s indie rock? That's cool. Do you like R.E.M?
J.: Yeah, they're pretty awesome. I was actually listening to "Murmur" before I came to work.
Cameron: Haha, yeah, I thought so, you strike me as someone who would be an R.E.M. Fan.
Bryan: Umm, Who's R.E.M.?
Cameron and J. (simultaneously): Dude... Seriously?
Bryan: Yeah, who are they?
(J. and Cameron sing snippets of various songs, from "Losing my Religion" to "What's the Frequency, Kenneth?" and are met with a blank stare).


I'm pretty much used to people not having heard of the bands I like, but seriously... R. E. Goddam M.? Just... Wow.
  • Current Music
    Uknown Artist - Radio Free Europe

A Minor Place

You know, it took quite awhile for it to hit me, but a week ago or so it did, with great vengeance and furious anger. Teh homesickness.

I like Chicago. I really do, but the other day, as I was walking home from work (uphill. In the snow. Both ways). I was looking around at the buildings and was struck by a really strange feeling. The buildings here (specifically, homes and apartment buildings) just look different than they do back home. And while that was interesting and novel when I first got here, for a few minutes on my walk home they just seemed alien and unfamiliar.

I always hated the phrase 'you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone'; not particularly because it's cliched, which it is, but because I never liked the sentiment. I have always tried to inhabit those moments, those little pockets of time that you know you'll remember forever, and while I did acknowledge them occasionally while they were happening, the truth of that cliched phrase is simply this: hindsight is a bitch. I want to play wii, drink too much coffee and smoke too much on Newman's porch, I want to sit in my kitchen and play the 'oh my God you've got to hear this song' game with Zach, I want to sing impromptu, drunken Roky Erikson covers with Aaron.

I don't regret coming here, I like Chicago quite a bit, but it ain't Austin.
  • Current Music
    John Prine - Clay Pigeons

Where does the time go?

Well, seeing as I have a few minutes to kill before work, let's just interrupt this year-long hiatus from lj, shall we?

Guess it's been pretty crazy since I last posted... what with moving to Chicago and all. I'm liking the city very much. It's getting cold though, which I don't mind at all, but Eryn hates. Give me 20 degrees over a hundred and ten any day. The getting around via mass transit thing took a little bit of getting used to, but it's not bad at all once you get the hang of it. It's a hell of a lot better than trying to drive/park in this city. I opened a flickr account for all the Chicago pics I plan on taking while we're here, so that should keep me busy for awhile.

meh. time to go. I'll try to keep up with this lj thing a little more in the future.
  • Current Music
    Portastatic - Sour Shores

(no subject)

So, we survived the ice storm intact; I had to miss work three days in a row, but that's ok, although I was beginning to get a little cabin fever-y toward the end there. We even managed to catch "Pan's Labyrinth" before it got too terrible out there. Amazing movie. Kinda had a David Fincher-meets-Tim Burton vibe going on. Oh, and I finally got my phone re-activated. Hooray!

Well, must go. Have to go to work, and the baddest little cat ever is attacking my leg.
  • Current Music
    Bishop Allen - Little Black Ache

(no subject)

Apocalyptic rainstorm yesterday. Garage flooded. No good. Also, there was a dead cat in my backyard last weekend. Also not good. However, I have a little extra money in the bank due to a recently corrected payroll error, and two racks of ribs marinating in the fridge, plus I just got Call of Duty 3 in the mail (thanks, gamefly); so things aren't all that bad. Also, I recently found out that as long as I give proper notice, I'm free to take a week or so off here in a couple months, and I just might fly up to England to see Mr. Wilkinson *crosses fingers* so, cheap airline tickets and available cash willing, I might just be able to swing it. Yay!
  • Current Music
    Over the Rhine - Latter Days

across the street from your storefront cemetery

Well, Christmas went really well, aside from a little minor (but honestly, quite expected) family drama. I did a good job picking out gifts for everyone, I believe, so I'm giving myself a little pat on the back for that. I got a 250 gig external hard drive, so mad piracy shall ensue. My brother got an ipod, which has piqued my interest in possibly purchasing one in the future. I've got to pay my damn cell phone bill first, though, which I should be able to at the end of the week (thank god for promotions involving a salary as opposed to straight commission). Until then, I'm pretty much incommunicado, since our house phone is on the fritz as well. Managed to get back in touch with Lincoln after a long hiatus, which is pretty cool.

No plans for New Year's yet. Hopefully something fun will pop up. I'm sure as hell not going downtown, though. And in other good news, Eryn's coming home soon, so the kitty and I won't be so lonely.
  • Current Music
    tv on the radio

(no subject)

So, I get a package from Amazon today, I get all excited and open it up, only to find out, much to my chagrin, it isn't what I ordered. It was, apparently, what my neighbor ordered, which I discovered upon inspecting the address. So, I did the neighborly thing and drove it over to her house. Good deed for the day accomplished.

Did a bunch more rearranging stuff the other day. The place is starting to feel more and more like our place every day, and I think that kicks ass, although taking down pictures of my family and replacing them with a Hellblazer poster felt kind of weird. Next step: remove ridiculous wallpaper. that should be fun.

Stank of America still hasn't sent me my check card. My patience wears thin.
  • Current Music
    Dead Milkmen - Death Rides a Pale Cow