Juggling fool

Back in college, one of my roommates wanted to learn how to juggle. I forget how it all started, but it eventually became a big thing among a group of us. I think I got into it simply to prove that my roommate was going about the process all wrong. Regardless, a number of us were regularly juggling in the hallways of our dorm and trying (and failing) all sorts of fancy tricks.

We got to the point that everybody was picking up their own set of juggling balls (trust me, they are a lot nicer than simply using tennis balls) and looking through catalogs of other items for throwing into the air and then catching. Humorously there was another group of kids on campus that got into yo-yoing around the same time. There were jokes about a rivalry between us… but I think I’ve already admitted too much geekness in my past.

Anywho, it’s not like I was about to give up college or anything, but I certainly became a better juggler than the average person. Lo these many years later, I still have the same set of balls (there’s just no good way to phrase that) and am still likely to pick up objects of all sorts of shapes and sizes to see how well I can juggle with them.

Why am I writing about this? Because right here and right now, I want to be this guy.

(Orginal link thanks to Tim at O’Reilly Radar)

Firefox gone bad?

I just wrote a post. Well, almost. About three or four paragraphs in, I wanted to check something in another tab. BAM – Firefox decides to stop responding. Oh yeah, it freezes up spectacularly. There’s absolutely no indication why, and it just keeps beeping everytime I try to click on anything. So much for that post.

Firefox has been getting worse and worse lately. It’s using too much memory and not unloading tabs even after they are closed. It freezes at the worst possible times, and crashes almost randomly. I just uninstalled all of my extensions, but what’s the point of an extensible browser if you can’t actually install any plugins?

I’m not giving up just yet, but I’m getting pretty sick of this. I’m beginning to regret recommending people to switch lately. Maybe it’s time to give some other alternatives a try.

Hooray for data recovery!

My server hard drives are acting up again. Serves me right (pun not-so-intended) for trusting drives that had previously shown signs of failure. So it’s time to look for deals on replacements as they are certainly out of warranty. CompUSA has a great price on a 250GB SATA drive going on (only 60 bucks after rebate for those interested), which would be a start except for one problem – no SATA on the server.

Not to be stopped, I figured for that money it would be worth it to increase the storage on my desktop, switch both drives to SATA, and kill some of my dependency for excess space on the server. Sounds like a plan. Yesterday I picked up the drive and last night I prepped everything. Since it was going to take awhile to copy the 100+ gigs of data intended for this drive, I let it run overnight. This morning I happily noted that everything was complete and figured I would prep the other SATA drive to take over the primary drive’s duties. By now you should have figured out that this is an overly geeky entry and will probably have zoned out before I got to the mildly humorous part. Trust me, I’m trying to get there.

There was a minor annoyace with the existing SATA drive. Because it was originally in a Dell system it had this stupid, inaccessible config partition that Windows refused to delete for me. So I figured I would try out the controller BIOS and look for some low-level utilities. Unfortunately, all it had was the ability to setup a RAID on the drives. Without going through the details, I futzed around with the setup for while before deciding not to risk the data loss and just cancelled out of everything. In my mind that meant, “Don’t make any of the changes I was thinking about.” In my computer’s mind that meant, “Don’t make anymore changes besides the ones you were thinking about.”

I booted up the computer and found only one partition. Turns out, that just by beginning the procedure to create a RAID, the BIOS deletes all existing partitions on the drives. Before you hit create, or apply, or any such button POOF! It’s all gone. Oh joy. I know you can recover lost partitions, but I wasn’t sure how much the software would cost (do I essentially want to pay the rebate over to recover from a stupid BIOS programmer’s doing?!?!) or how reliable it would be on SATA drives. I tried a couple demos that claimed they could do the job for $70 – which was just way too much for the data I wanted to get back. Then I thought of actually searching for “open source” partition recovery software. Thank you TestDisk! Thank you so much.

Sure, it’s not a pretty program. But it did what it’s supposed to do. I restored the partition table and, after a quick reboot, all of my video editing files were back online. Three cheers for Open Source Software!

As a side note, I always wanted to give a little shout out to Accurate Data Recovery – who have done some excellent hard drive recoveries for me at work – and Acronis – whose software does way better disk and partition work than Norton.

Okay, enough geekery…

The whip

Many years ago, a couple of my sisters bought me a whip while traveling out West. It’s odd enough that siblings would purchase a whip for me, but I am now left with the position of finding a location for said whip. For relatively innocuous reasons it has ended up in a storage area in our house that is being called “The Childhood Memories Closet.” I can only imagine the bizarre set of circumstances soon to transpire that will end up with Child Services paying my rather perplexed parents a visit.

Quick blog-by

Just an update on various subjects left hanging:

  • The house is coming along just fine, thank you very much. I know that’s the number one question that people seem to have. And the follow-up is usually about pictures. I’ve been taking a lot, and will be posting more this weekend to let people see the progress. It’s amazing how far a pair of drapes really can go.
  • I went rollerskating for a friend’s birthday a couple weeks ago – as usual, pictures are long overdue. And trust me, the fact that they are embarassing to me is not the hold up. I AM VERY LAZY!
  • This site desperatly needs a re-design. Once again: I AM VERY LAZY!
  • Since I haven’t been posting these pictures, many of you may not realize how shaggy I’ve become. Over the holidays and beyond, I let my beard and hair grow out and now look like a nerdy version of Jeremiah Johnson. This won’t last long past the beginning of Spring, and will certainly be taken care of before the wedding. But I’m still enjoying the “darker” version of me to the “evil” version of me.
  • I’ve rejoined Netflix. I’m sticking to the one movie at a time schedule right now. So far that means I’ve only watched The Constant Gardener – which was excellent – as I try to get back into the swing of things. I figure even one movie a week will put me ahead.
  • My copy of HDAdvance arrived yesterday. And as I copy all of my games up to my PS2, the console experience will never be the same again.
  • In case there was any doubt as to how much I love my job, I just spent the last two hours drinking Guinness and swapping tales of ethnic pride in the cafeteria. And that was some awesome soda bread.

Real updates are bound to crop up at any moment – but they’re bound to be just as pointless.

Y’all got the Internet on that thang?

I really want to head down to SXSW someday – but that’s not likely anytime soon with the way my financial and personal life are going. In the meantime, I’m very happy to get to listen to Heather Armstrong (Dooce) and Jason Kottke‘s keynote speech while I work. It’s interesting enough that I might actually get into this whole podcasting phenomenon.

I’ve mentioned her before, but I do have to stress how awesome Dooce is – if you don’t believe me, just read this entry (which drove both Lisa and I to tears – the laughing kind). No, I’m not one of those fanatical freaks that drools over every word she writes and praises her for the simplest of feats (although I must admit to being way to geekily excited when I realized her blogiversary is only a day before mine – even if she’s been writing for two more years than me), but she still regularly makes me laugh and smile.

Can’t win all the time

Oh well, didn’t get tickets for the Jersey show today. Actually, I could have had tickets for the 6/1 show, but I really just wanted to go 6/3. So I tossed them back in the mix for other people. I figured that would be better than plunking down another 100+ bucks on a night I wasn’t too sure about. I kicked myself right afterward, but considering I’m home early today so that Lisa and I can head down to Philly to see Billy Joel, I think I can skip a show here and there.

Of course, I’m all for trying to get tickets with other people (hint, hint Sara) for the 6/3 show through TicketBastard. Otherwise, I’m sure I’ll be trying to get ones for the next leg of the tour.