Friday, July 24, 2009

Time to try linux again i guess..(not a funny one sorry!)

Well, about once a year I go through this.. the 'i friggin hate windows' phase I have.. you'd think by now I'd have switched to linux or gotten over it.. but no.

On Wednesday I got to work, got my laptop bag out of the back and swung it onto my shoulder as I do every other day.. what I didn't do that day was zip up the bag. My (work) laptop flew through the air with the greatest of ease and went CRUNCH on the parking lot. So the screen is bust.. which is bad news for work (they're stuck buying me a new laptop) and bad news for me, because my work laptop is the one I use when I'm at home.

At home I have a 5 year old Dell Inspiron with a whopping 256Mb of memory.. so I get that out on wednesday night and was frustrated beyond all belief when my facebook page would lock up first IE, then google chrome.. and then firefox when I finally frustratedly installed it.

Now I'm back on my screw Windows kick.. least for what is basically just a net machine.

So I grabbed a spare laptop harddrive (that way if I wanted to put windows back on there I can just switch drives back), started downloading Ubuntu 9.x and decided to give it another go. And now I've decided to blog about the move over to Ubuntu.. more to document what I'm doing and how I'm doing it.. and to see if I can handle getting rid of uncle bill's kool-aid and make the change, and if not, why not.

It was an inauspicious start.. I changed the harddrive over and installed Ubuntu.. the install was quick, user friendly and flawless (except for reporting the wrong time.. I'll look into that).. the problem was.. it didn't work. The install completed 100%, told me to reboot.. I clicked reboot and then got a page full of corrupt file warnings... and it didn't work. The hard drive was making funny clicking noises.. not good. At this point I'm blaming the hard drive... Ubuntu is still safe.. I switched to another hard drive and ran through the install again.. this time it worked on reboot.

I managed to get the wireless connection picked up in less than 10 minutes (a huge improvement over my previous linux forays where I've NEVER gotten my wireless card working). and thats where I'm up to.

Tonight I'm going to try and dink with a few websites, make sure I can get flash pages loaded up properly.. and maybe even dip my toe into the sordid world of linux based email clients.. wish me luck!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Life in the Fast/Slow Lane

Life in the fast/slow Lane

For those of you who didn't know.. I haven't been driving all that long.. never really NEEDED to back in the UK, and didn't get my license as soon as I got to the states.. anyway..

I work an hour from home, so I drive about 100 miles a day 5 days a week, which gets real old real quick.. so now I've clocked a lot of miles, but not for a long time.

So I thought I'd share a couple of my more memorable experiences while driving.

1) Smushed my car - this one that'll probably never get forgotten. I decided to run out at lunchtime and get a bottle of iced tea. This was a bad idea. I was sitting at the intersection of a divided highway.. a semi (I fuckin hate semi's.. and every bastard who drives one.. if you drive a semi, believe me.. I think you're a douche, just so you know.) Anyway this semi is waiting to turn down the road I want to come off.. but he wont move.. im sitting there for nearly a minute and he wont go.. uch.. theres nothing coming.. so I figure he wants me to go first.. this was my 2nd mistake (the first being to go out at lunch for an iced tea).. So I nip across half the highway and pass him by.. what I didn't see was the guy coming down the side of him.. I never did see him until my car was spinning.. he t-boned me almost perfectly in the middle of my passenger side. Airbag deployed in the passenger seat (goddam thing cost me like 1900 to get replaced, even though there was noone sitting there).. and his piece of shit toyota rust-a-lop-olis was smushed to all hell. It was my fault.. (i have the $97 ticket from the cops to prove it) and I hold my hands up.. it was a dumbass move on my part.. but gawd dammit.

Lesson(s) Learned: Don't go out for tea at lunchtime. Don't hurry across an intersection because some d-bag semi driver doesn't move. Airbags are LOUD.

2) Potential smushing - Almost got smushed again not long after my car got fixed.. I was following some jackass who was clearly not driving as fast as I was.. sure they were going over the speed limit, but hell, thats not my problem.. so I whip down the side of them.. I looked down there, there was a car in the distance but it was a ways off.. what I didn't see was the car in a dip just ahead.. I did see him.. just as he came to the top of the dip and I was about right on top of him.. he slammed on.. the guy i was passing (who by the way sped up when I went down the side of him.. i fuckin hate that.. if you speed up when someone goes around you, you deserve to die.. preferably buttfucked to death by a crystal meth tweaker) and I slid into a space not much bigger than my car. So yep.. that sucked.

Lesson(s) Learned: I often try to pass douchebags who speed up. Look before you pass, then look again.. and then look one more time. Playing chicken with oncoming traffic is not as glamorous as it sounds.

3) Given the finger by an old lady - This was fairly recent, and if I'm honest, still makes me angry to think about it, but I do see the funny side..
I was driving home and was back in town.. not far from home, just had to pull off the main road through town and get to the house.. but I got stuck behind some old lady doing 20-25 in a 30mph zone. I'd been at work all day, then I had been driving for nearly an hour. I wasn't in the mood for her bullshit old lady driving.. so I get right behind her and I see the lights up ahead go red.. then they go green, I figure we can make it so I'm pretty pissed shes driving so slow, but we can make it.. its all good.. she gets to the lights.. its still green.. yay.. then the dozy old bint slams her brakes on and slides to a stop.. on a green light.. I slammed my brakes on and stopped barely an inch behind her.. i.. lost.. my.. shit.. i was yelling.. screaming.. cursing.. waving my arms at the stupid old coot and I see her looking at me in her mirror.. the light turned red by now.. I was so fuckin angry.. the light goes green.. she looks forward, turns around.. looks at me and just sits there.. oh i was pissed.. i leaned on my horn for about 20 seconds before she takes off.. now it just so happens that my turn was right after the light on the left, so I swing into the turning lane and pull alongside her (shes doing like 10mph) and I yell at her, something along the lines of "are you fucking stupid or something?" (i never claimed to be a particulary nice guy.. and i was fuckin pissed :P) and she leans her arm out the window and flipped me the bird, and spun me into a whole level of pissed off I've never been in before in my life.. GRRRRRR.. then I had to turn.

Lesson(s) Learned: Old people do not belong in cars. 90 yr old women also have road rage, just slower than normal people.

So thats the 3 highpoints for me, driving-wise.. but I'm hopeful that things will calm down.. For the sake of the fuck-us and for my own sanity, I've taken to driving the speed limit. I've stopped passing people just because they're in front of me (a nasty habit that I picked up fairly quickly). And I'm trying to be much more zen about the whole driving thing.. sure there are many many goddam idiots out there.. maybe I'll be one less.

I do notice something though.. these years of driving behind slow people, who clearly were stupid and dont deserve to drive.. they're not smart enough to handle it, thats why they drive slow.. I now realize that its douchebags like me riding their ass and passing them in unsafe areas that causes it.

So I'm outta the fast lane and into the slow lane.. but I still fuckin hate semi's :)

Saturday, July 11, 2009

wayne chicken show and rambling

Wayne Chicken Show and rambling:
Warning: Post may contain partial nudity, and not in a good way!

Today was the Wayne Chicken Show parade.. my 4th since I moved here, and with every year, it seems so much more normal to me. Lets not forget though.. I was born and raised in the UK.. we are not a parade'y type bunch.. we're not particulary patriotic (unless we're playing footy against Germany).. and well.. we just dont do that kind of thing.. are brits too stiff upper lip'ish? I dont know..

In the 4 years I've been here some things have changed though.. probably more about my state of mind.. i dont think of myself as British so much anymore.. I say soccer instead of football.. I spell color without the u.. and i didn't even flinch (well no more than is reasonable) when the Chickendales came down Main St.

Real sexy, right?

But all in all, the parade is pretty cool.. its nice that a town can come together and celebrate something, even if it is as random as chickens. The other bonus of the parade is that the kids have finally developed a killer instinct.

So at the parade, they throw candy (see.. im using those damn american words again).. so the kids get to pick up candy off the floor and eat it.. which normally we dont allow.. but its all wrapped candy its all good.

Now the past few years, the kids have been hesitant to run into the street and eat food off the floor, which isn't all bad, but it always seems like they get gypped cause of the brats sitting around us are faster.. but not this year.. this year, Nathan, who despite me pushing soccer onto him, will probably end up playing football because that boy has some momentum when he starts moving.. was hellbent on getting the candy.. and other kids were not going to get in his way. And well, we know that I dont normally like other peoples kids, so seeing them not get their way was awesome, especially the tubby whiny brat next to us who started bawling cause someone got to a piece of candy before her.

What really shocks me about this, when I sit and think about it is just how much I have changed, and I'm using the parade as an example, but its not just the parade.. im being americanized..

will it turn out to be a good thing? we'll see :)