Monday, December 22, 2003

Been a while!
I apologize to those of you who have been checking in and hoping to find something interesting to read. I have been a lazy bastard. Seems I been climbing into bed at night, and I just haven't had the urge to 'blog out my day' like I had. So here is what has kept me so busy.

I celebrated a birthday! Yay for me. It's a birthday party! Ray is now 28 years old. One step closer to 30. I got some fun stuff for my birthday. Some clothes, socks, you know. But I also got a pencam to do some blog shots. It works great ... but my iBook hates it. I plug it into the USB port, and it just blinks. Low and behold neither of the webcam/digi-cam driver efforts cover this model. What a bummer. I have gathered the specs and sent them to the "IOExperts" who hopefully will be able to aid me in making it work. In the meantime it works fine on my PC. If I am really desperate, I can run Windows with Virtual PC on my Mac, and then run the camera utilities on that! It's slow as shit, but it actually works.

Two days ago we went thrifting. We had a couple bucks to blow, but we didn't want to try and attack the mall crowds this close to Christmas. So we hit the thrift stores. About 5 in all, along with some "discount store" that has popped up next to an old thrift store we rarely visit. It was a little like odd lots. Some prices were low, while others seemed a bit unreasonable. They had quite a bit of refurbished electronics ... but they were asking too much. And you have to run fast from those "No Returns" signs. Eeek.

I was impressed with the aisle of plastic though. Everything was under a dollar. Neat. That's a lot of discounted tupperware!

I was also pretty excited to find Randy Savage Slim Jim collector tins! They were about 1 inch off from being the perfect cantenna measurements. Too bad. It would have looked nice on my dashboard. Still, $1 for a Randy tin ain't too shabby. Oh, and he had his arm around some whore named "George". Nice touch!

I was disappointed with the thrift store junk. I like a good deal on old shit when I can find it. But there were no good deals. A few shops had nothing but clothing (bad clothing too), while others had piles of good junk, that was way overpriced.

There were dozens of monitors at one shop. All of them priced around $30. It's also fun when you pick up an old 486 and find a price tag for $69.99. What the hell? My guess is that the hicks working the price-guns have no idea how to judge the value of electronics. And I guess that they can't take a hint when nothing sells.

After picking up the kids (they stayed with their aunt all day) we made a quick pass through Taco Bell. I don't know that it was a good idea with all of us on the verge of being sick, but I think we all managed to keep our food down.

And speaking of being sick. Blah! My stomach feels like its full of rocks. This flue just won't leave me be.

This morning we let the kids open their Christmas gifts. We have all been trapped in the house, bored to death. And later this week we will be running house to house for all the various family christmas get togethers. So Santa came early.

Santa brought me "The Art Of Deception" by Kevin Mitnick. I have been longing to read it, so it's first day in my hands, I have all ready read the first 4 chapters. Not a bad book. Each chapter so far reveals some interesting stories which are meant to guide you into a better social engineer. Gooood stuff.

I have also been reading some Cisco study materials. I got my hands on a few eBooks, and also a big rar archive off of the eDonkey network. After about 5 days of waiting for it to finish, I was pleased with what was in it. Not only did I get both Cisco Press books (821 and 811 exams) I also got all four Cisco Academy's. The Adademy stuff is flash based content and HTML. It's self study reading, with a lot of visual aids, exams, and other things to keep it entertaining. I was happy! I also found the Sybex 801 book, which prepares you to take the one big CCNA exam. Great book! It's a much better read than the Cisco Press stuff.

Now I must go. I need to go to the store between my visits to the restroom. God damn this flue.

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