the further adventures of

Mike Pirnat

a leaf on the wind

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The Feline Singularity (and Other News)


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Originally uploaded by mikepirnat.

Our cats have so completely taken over my desk chair that they are collapsing into one another into a sort of feline snuggle singularity, an adorable two-headed mass of sleeping fur so dense that only cuteness can escape. This makes it somewhat difficult to do much of anything in the proximity of my computer.

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In other news, I am now hooked on Rome (thanks to the local library), am enjoying Lego Star Wars 2 (thanks to a CompUSA store closing discount), and I am now included on the official Planet Python feed (yippee!!).

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Best. Birthday. Ever.

I've heard that the measure of a party's excellence is how much one hurts the next day. By this metric, I have officially had the best birthday party ever. We wound down around four this morning, and I've just rolled out of bed to assess the situation, begin the first round of Advil, and start considering the degree to which I will be human today. My right shoulder hurts like hell from too much Wii Tennis, and I am generally crapulous. (I proclaim these proudly as merit badges earned by devotion to good partying.)

Many, many thanks to everyone who came, and especially to Liz for putting the whole thing together. It's not often that I get to feel terribly special, so it was a real treat.

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Christmas Recap

Had a nice visit with my parents this week; their arrival was delayed from Friday until Sunday thanks to the weather in Denver, which allowed us a couple of extra days to get things in order. They're back in Mountain Time now, driving from Phoenix to Durango. Highlights include:

  • A couple of excellent feasts for Christmas Eve and Day. Liz really knows her way around the kitchen.
  • Learned that Mom really likes white Burgundy. A lot.
  • Lunch at Melt was a huge hit.
  • My mother-in-law knitted me a Jayne hat!! It keeps my noggin surprisingly, delightfully warm.
  • Liz and my parents and my mother-in-law and I pitched in on a shiny new Mac as a combination Christmas/birthday present. It's job will be to help both my aging iMac and still-spry-but-time-consuming Linux box retire to gentler pastures. So far it's doing this quite admirably.
  • Liz surprised the hell out of me by hiding a Wii in one of the Mac boxes. The look on my face was apparently priceless.
  • Liz kicks my butt at most of Wii Sports, but I can totally take my dad at Wii Baseball. :-D

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As a nice bonus, Webfaction rolled out WebDav support, so I can shift all of our iCal sharing off to that and have one less reason to keep a machine running all day here at home. Yay!

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June Link-o-Rama

A day of bush-pruning and art-show-wandering has left me in the mood to close some browser tabs and have a happy little link-o-rama for June. Joy!

First off, how about 101 versions of "Stairway to Heaven"? And if your ears aren't bleeding too much from that, let's chase that down with the best 50 video game ending songs.

While we're on the subject of "top-N" lists, check out the top 10 strangest Lego creations; Han Solo frozen in carbonite looks pretty badass to me. (Now where could I put that?)

Thanks to some clever video editing, we can finally settle the debate about how it'd go down if the Enterprise tangled with the evil Galactic Empire. And even though Gnarls Barkley isn't really my cup of tea, I have to say that Chewbacca on drums totally kicks ass.

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January Link-o-Rama Redux

Some part of today managed to melt what's left of my brain, so I settled for skimming rather than chiseling away at my reading, and that has degenerated into a need to close browser tabs and assault you all with another installment of...

LINNcircle k(idd valley)One Letter / ORAmA

My cool flickr-based link du jour is Spell with flickr, which lets you spell words using letter images found on flickr, just like what you see here. Nifty!

Some geek reading: Joel Spolsky on "Great Design" and Michal Zalewski on "Cross-Site Cooking" (potentially dangerous shortcomings of how cookies have been implemented by pretty much every browser).

While we're on blogs, who would have ever thought Chewbacca needed his own blog? I guess you could consider it a scathing satire of "the blogosphere" (a term I really loathe), asserting that any random bloggish drivel is about the same as Chewy grunting and growling unintelligibly (and you probably wouldn't be too wrong). It's really, really daft, but it makes me giggle. What a Wookiee!

Artie attempts to scan your iTunes library, find tracks that are missing album art, and fetch covers from Amazon for you to review and drop into iTunes if they are what you're looking for. As my iTunes library--currently closing in on the 45 GB mark--continues to grow, this seems like an utterly brilliant solution that will save me much time, hassle, and pain... Too bad it doesn't seem to like my increasingly ungainly iTunes Library.xml file. Mostly it seems to time out trying to upload or process the data. Your mileage may vary--let me know if you have success!

Which leads me to the obligatory Mac geek section... I have a new favorite browser: Shiira, a nifty treat from Japan that so far seems lighter and faster than Safari and Firefox, and which sports some wicked visuals (I particularly enjoy the page forward/back that peels the webpage away like a piece of paper). I also ran across a pretty good list of must-have Mac software.

Some amusement for the gamers among us: a library of video game endings for those of us (like me) who were too lame to ever finish most of their games, and, when you have eleven minutes to kill, perhaps this short film will help you conquer your "Fear of Girls". (I'm glad to say I overcame that a long, long time ago!)

Finally, something to get us all ready for lovey-dovey season: SVU Valentine cards. Gosh. Um. Yeah. That's not creepy or anything.

Next time, I promise some real content, even if it's lame, or pictures of the cats doing stupid things.

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"Honey Do" List -> "Honey Did" List

Phew! Even though I've been on vacation for a week, I don't think I've been so busy in a long time! The cause? Liz crafted an elaborate "honey do" list to help me pass the time. Since last Friday, I've vacuumed, scrubbed, buffed, shined, mopped, painted, repaired, mailed, and picked up just about everything in the house that a person can do those things to. (Well, other than the hand rail in the stairwell, and the coat rack in the laundry room, both of which have recently torn out of their respective walls and need some serious love to properly address them.) On a related note, I am now a big fan of the Method products--specifically the stainless steel cleaner, which worked absolute miracles on our sink and stove.

Oh, and our guest bedroom is now a lovely purple color, a refreshing change from the entirely too drab white that it had been for many years. (It's now Benjamin Moore's "Wild Orchid"--many thanks to [info]butterandjelly for providing objective third-party input on the matter; I definitely think it was the right choice.) I know it wasn't the most brilliant idea to repaint the guest bedroom mere days before the impending arrival of guests, but it's done now, and looks nice, and there's to be no more painting until 2006, so that's all that matters. Right?

My mother-in-law has arrived to help celebrate Christmas; as always it's good to see her. Last night we hung ornaments on the tree, had a marvelous feast of braised short ribs, and watched A Christmas Story last night to officially inaugurate the season.

Today, there's very little on the agenda, so once I get cleaned up and get some food into me, I think it's high time for some well-deserved KotOR2. Yes, I think that would be just lovely.

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Two Weekends for the Price of One

Had two completely different weekends in one the past two days--one lazy and relaxing, and one busy and productive.

On the lazy front: sleeping in, watching the snow fall, playing with the cats, watching TV and movies of varying badness (from Hellboy to a Gene Autry movie whose title I never caught, but which was excellent MST3K fodder), wine and cheese, and staying up obscenely late playing KotOR2 (aka "The Next Damn Star Wars Game").

Busy? You bet: we set up and lit the Christmas tree, put some paint samples on the wall in the guest bedroom (and possibly chose a winner), renewed the repainting effort with the master bedroom and master bathroom doors, shoveled snow, cleaned up the kitchen a bit, prepped the annual Christmas letter, wrapped and shipped family gifts, roughed out the schedule for the upcoming visits from my mother-in-law and my parents, and researched replacement doorknobs (as ours are, to put it politely, "dated").

It would be nice, at some point, if perhaps it could stop snowing for more than a day or so at a time, but it's so far looking like my only recourse is to either grump about it here or simply shut up and cope.

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Sick Daze

Ugh. I managed to quite efficiently catch Liz's cold, so now I am enjoying a day of too-low temp, coughing, sneezing, sore throat, and overall blecchy gunk.

On the plus side, I have had some lovely naps (the cats have even deigned to bless me with their magnificent presence), played a bit of LotR: The Third Age (I'll be done with that game eventually, I swear!), messed a tiny bit with TurboGears, answered a phone question for work, and enjoyed marvelous leftover chicken vindaloo.

Mad props to Liz for having the patience to put up with me throwing this little monkey wrench into her day. I guess since I spent much of the weekend looking after her, it all works out. Yay for love!

Back to sleep for a bit, I think.

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Closing Tabs

Just closing some Safari tabs, and I'd rather link here than bookmark for some reason.

Hubble spies lord of the stellar rings (thanks to [info]gieves for the link)

Das Keyboard, which I think I might want to try out.

Sloganizer (thanks to [info]supercarrot for the link)

The Victorian Sex Cries Generator, stumbled upon through Neil Gaiman's journal. Mildly NSFW (some "naughty language").

Speaking of Neil, I ought to read We Can Get Them For You Wholesale at some point soon as the link is supposedly only good for this month or so.

I downloaded some nice Beethoven MP3's from the BBC.

On Friday I ran across this very cool online version of the Hitchhiker's Guide text adventure game, a highly excellent way to waste time at work.

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