Now that I've done this....twice, I figure I might as well put this info on my blog so I (or maybe someone) else can retrieve it in case of problems in the future.
After screwing around with various OS's, I decided to settle on Yellowdog 4 for my PowerBook. Unfortunately, Yellowdog isn't what it used to be. YDL 3 installed very well and had few problems. YDL 4, on the other hand, does have a few problems when installed on this machine.
I haven't been super motivated to blog since getting back here. Life is comfortable, but kind of unremarkable the last few weeks. The bass player for Pigeon is out of town, so we're not playing right now, and the new band isn't playing out yet. I'm not curing cancer or solving world hunger or anything very cool right now.
But then Christina put up a post about punk rock, and the ensuing battle in the comments between her and Chance sort of got me to thinking. So I left a comment.
Just got done watching "Tully," a loaner from Neil. It's pretty good but leaves a lot of unresolved things open. Last night I watched "Lord of War" with Neil P. It's pretty good. Graphic, but decent nonetheless.
Friday Neil P and I went out for some dinner with a friend from work, and then we headed over to Jugheads for Metal Madness night. It was a good show. There was an uber butt-rock band there called "Dr. Frankenshred" that, as the name would imply, had a total shred guitarist. I told them that they give butt-rock a good name, and they did put on a good show. The guitar playing was simply gratuitous. The last band up was a local band from the nearby Salt River reservation called "Rez of War." They were five guys, none of which was less than 350 pounds, but they could play some serious metal. It was pretty amazing. We stayed for them to finish the show, and took off.
Lately I've felt like everything I touch, computer wise, was simply turning to crap. There has been a project at work that was nagging me, and some other stuff. Today I decided that my lack of SMTP authorization on my personal domain was actually a curse that was causing me failure everywhere else, so I decided to take it on to see if fixing it solves anything.
I *did* manage to get it working, so now I can receive and send mail using my Mozilla mail client again. Send me an email to make sure...but I'm pretty sure it's up again. The thing about it is....I just don't feel like I learned much with this experience other than following instructions, and that bothers me a bit. But maybe I'll get more understanding as I keep messing with stuff. I'm still determined to become a hardcore OpenBSD dude.
Work....tomorrow. Man, I wish I could have had one more week off. I'm not really sure what I would have done with all of the extra time, but it was just nice to be back there.
The long leg of my return trip is now behind me, and I'm relieved. The trip from Beaverton went well, and it took me about 14.5 hours total. Not bad for just under 1000 miles. The car is treating me very well. It's more comfortable than I thought it would be on a long trip, and it's finally starting to do well on gas mileage. I consistently got about 28 MPG on the return trip, and I was averaging close to 80 mph. One tank got the as-promised 31 MPG that it's rated for on the highway.
Today I left Seattle for the voyage back to Phoenix. The first leg, which was a short hop to Portland, went well. I managed to escape Seattle just before rush hour, and I made pretty good time to Portland. I'm staying tonight with Nate and Christina, and then tomorrow is the hardcore drive for L.A. I'll stay through Saturday with my friend Erik, and then I'll head home on Sunday.
The vacation was great. I managed to not only do stuff that I either hadn't known about (Olympic hot springs) or hadn't done (visiting coastal Oregon) in the seven years that I lived up here, but I also got to see just about all of my friends up here. To those I missed or didn't get to spend that much time with, I'm sorry. I'll be back, and you're always welcome in Phoenix.
I'm in Portland with Flint right now....we came here yesterday to visit Nate and Christina. Last night we went to the movies and watched "March of the Penguins," which is a documentary about Emperor penguins in Antarctica. Being the big Linux fan that I am, of course I *had* to watch a penguin documentary. It was very cool; I recommend watching it.
After being a lump on Penny and Travis's couch for a bit, I finally got out and started doing stuff. Rhiannon and I went to go see Undead Eulogy (Greg's new band)play in Tacoma. They get better every time I see them. I got a 3 song demo CD from him, but unfortunately, it doesn't have "Kitty," which is my favorite song.
Man the weather is really nice here...really nice.
I haven't done too much but to chill with Penny and Travis. Yesterday morning I had the local Firestone check the alignment on the car and they say everything is good...so who knows. I should probably take it to Mitsubishi but I'll survive. I did a little auto repair. Penny and Travis's '97 Escort was starting to miss and jerk about a bit; I took one look at the wires that looked like the original equipment and decided that they were going (the car currently has about 147K on it). While I was at it, I picked up a set of Bosch platinum spark plugs, and a new air filter. Like any good auto repair, the car has to fight you a bit. In this case, the biggest obstacle was that the #1 plug wire had basically bonded itself to the spark plug. When I pulled the boot off, a 1/2" doughnut of plug boot stayed on the plug, recessed in the well for the spark plug, enough that I couldn't put a wrench on the plug. I eventually got it off by working around it with a small screwdriver, but it was frustrating. Later on we took it for a spin and it appears to be cured.
The Lancer is doing better still in terms of fuel economy. Power is good too. I guess having it a sane temperature and being at sea level helps. The last tank I got was 29.5 MPG...it's rated for 31 on the highway, but I was going between 70 and 80 quite a bit so I guess that's the difference. Maybe my car just likes the Pacific Northwest.
So, I made it up here intact. The trip to Portland from L.A. was the longest, and a little bit tiring because my car still has a really slight pull to the right, and it has a tendency to be fatiguing; not physically, but a little mentally because it keeps you on your toes a bit. Since I got the lifetime alignment at Firestone, I'm going to try and take it to them up here and see if it's really aligned. I checked and re-checked the tire pressures, so if it's still in alignment, there must be something up with the steering rack, which will mean a trip to Mitsubishi.
Erik and I stopped by REI today after lunch; it was a whim, but I checked it out. I picked up a nice jacket that would go for $80 for $25, and two nice North Face T-shirts for $10 each (these are nice heavy knit stuff). I also picked up a couple more pairs of nice long underwear for $10 each. Everything that had a price that ended in .83 was 50% off. It was a good deal.
The car did exceptionally well on the way out here. There was still a tiny pull to the right, but it seemed to settle down by the time I hit L.A. Gas mileage is *way* up....I usually fill up just before I hit California, and then I'll just about be out of gas when I get to Erik's place, but this time, I have about 1/3 tank left. Amazing. I've driven without the bike rack here before and I've never had that much luck, so maybe the tires have good rolling resistance or something. I only wish I had gotten a cruise control at this point, but I should make it.
Three more work days until my vacation starts....and I can't wait. Work is of course not cooperating by having equipment fail just as I'm trying to get stuff squared away so it *won't* blow up while I'm away.
I've been doing a bunch in preparation for the trip. Since I'm not a big fan of flying, I'm going to road-trip it. I probably didn't pick the best time to do so, because with gas prices the way that they're going to be in the wake of the hurricane, it won't be cheap. But it'll be nice to have a car while I'm up there. Last week I put new wheels and tires on the car. I noticed a *very* slight pull to the right, so I decided to take it to get aligned. Suckered for upsells, I went for the "lifetime" alignment offered by Firestone. When I got the car back, it drove exactly the same. They showed the right and left wheel toe being out, but the interesting things is that they were both off by exactly the same amount. I wonder if they cocked the wheels a tiny bit to make me believe that something was done. I've checked my tire pressures and they're even, so now I'm wondering if I have a conicity problem with my new tires. I may try to move the left to the right and vice-versa to see if that shifts the direction of the pull; if so, then I know for sure.
My mail server was down the last day or so due to a failed network port on a switch. I colocate where I work, which is a nice fringe benefit, but the routing situation here is somewhat convoluted...to the point that it's hard to tell what's going on when stuff breaks.
There was also a problem with the backup mail exchanger that my friend runs for me...his spam catcher was throwing out email in spite of him having me in the "relay-domains" file. Anyway, it's back now...so if you tried to send mail to me and it failed...I'm sorry. So I guess I should get back to the business of making SMTP authorization and IMAP work correctly.
The Isuzu tires and wheels....well, sorta sucked. They rode well enough at slow speeds, but up at freeway speeds, they were a bit of a nightmare.
So I cruised over to Discount tire to see if I could do anything about that. They looked at the wheels and tires, and said that the tires were shot (apparently they had a 1993 date code on them), and that the wheels, or at least the lug nuts, were a bit suspect. So I knew I was into tires right there, which wasn't a big surprise. I ended up buying the same wheels that I put on my Honda a year ago, they look good on the car. I went with Kuhmo Power Star tires (I don't remember the number) because I had very good luck with the brand on the Camaro. I'm $539 lighter for the experience, but finally, my car doesn't shimmy on the highway, nor do I have to fear bumps. And if I blow up a tire, it won't cost $110 for a crappy tire. So I guess I'm ready for the trip up to Washington, and more importantly, to get rid of the bling bling wheels.
I took my second of two personal days at work today, and I'm glad I did. I was feeling a little beat down. I've just about shaken mega-cold, but my jaw and throat were feeling a little swollen. Some Olympic sleeping this morning pretty well took care of that.
Stephen and I swapped out the bling bling wheels on the Lancer for some ones that he picked up. The wheels are 14" wheels from an 80's style Isuzu Impulse. Believe it or not, they don't look too bad. And the difference in ride is absolutely amazing. Now, instead of fearing manhole covers, I can drive over them and not think about it.