Entries from June 2006

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Thursday, 29 June 2006 [03:02 CDT]

returns, indeed

Actually late Wednesday night....

I led worship for the youth tonight. Their regular guy was out. Trying to rehearse five songs with a new band knowing you'll be performing in a little over an hour is a bit stressful, but things went well.

Afterward some of us went to Chuy's. Big surprise, that.

After that, we then went to go see Superman Returns. And I'll tell you what: it was good. Almost great.

The biggest surprise was that it felt like one of the best of the 1980s-era Superman movies. Every once in a while there'd be a phrase spoken or a turn of the head and I'd briefly be reminded of watching Christopher Reeve. Really. Routh nailed it.

And, unlike some of the movies from 25 years ago, this one actually had a good plot. It was believable. It wasn't shallow.

My only complaint was that there were just a few too many deus-ex-machina moments, or whatever the Latin phrase for "Superman out of a machine" would be. Though I guess that's kind of what it's all about. "Superman Saves Everyone, Every Time." Film at 11.

Anyway, probably other things have gone on since my last update, but it's far too late in the day to be reminiscing. I may hit on them in my next update.

Friday, 23 June 2006 [13:13 CDT]

Juneteenth Lawn Care and the CD Orgy

So, unlike the previous two weeks, the last couple have been relatively free of "social obligations".

I beat Metroid Prime. I've since started playing Pikmin.

For Father's Day, I decided at the last minute to go visit my Dad. I drove up to East Texas Sunday evening and watched the NBA finals with Dad (The Dallas Mavericks vs. The Miami Heat). (This may sound familiar to some longtime readers.) He'd serendipitously already decided to take the next day off, so he and I got up (relatively) early and did yard work all Monday morning. Mowing, edging, trimming the hedges. You know, man stuff. Came back to Austin that evening. I was so inspired I mowed my own back yard (the first mowing of the season!) the following morning.

Yesterday I went to the DMV to get my license renewed, and I was in and out in ten minutes. Shocking!

So, since I'd expected a longer trip downtown, I stopped by the huge Goodwill and Half-Price Books down there at Lamar and 2222. I got to looking at the CDs, and ended up buying twelve CDs for $24. Six of these CDs were for "me":

The remaining CDs were fodder for, which is sort-of a cross between Netflix and Napster I'll explain more below:

So, more about You sign up for free, though you need to give them a credit card number. You list via their site music CDs which you own but no longer want. When they find someone that wants what you've got, they notify you and then you put your CD in a postage-paid mailing envelope they've provided, put the sucker's address on it, and drop it in the mail.

Congratulations! You've just mailed someone you don't know a free CD that you once paid for!

The recipient pays $1.50 for each CD mailed to them. Here's the genius, though. Each time I mail out a CD, I earn a credit to have someone else mail a CD to me. For $1.50.

So I'm getting rid of CDs I didn't want anyway to earn the right to get CDs I do want for $1.50 each. Clever, and potentially expensive for a guy like me.

The problem is, I don't own that many CDs that I don't want. So after listing the half-dozen or so I did have, I've been trolling thrift stores looking for cheap CDs that I think someone else might want, picking them up for $3 or less, and listing them on If this works, it'll be because I live in Austin, and most people don't. Therefore I can pick up a ton of used CDs for cheap that are just flat hard to find in most other cities.

Well, that's the theory, anyway. Talking to a friend about this last night, he sagely intoned, "Elephants at two for a quarter are only a good deal if you need two elephants."

Monday, 12 June 2006 [00:08 CDT]

...three weeks later

Actually late Sunday night....

So, the last week of school came and went, and by now I've blown through two of my ten weeks of summer. You may wonder, "What have you been doing these last two weeks?" Well, fortunately my need to log stuff comes to the rescue. This summer, I've decided to track my bedtimes and when I wake up, and at a very coarse level the things I do during the day. So, here's the list, through today:

date up down
Mon, 5/29 8:30a 11:30p chord chart CSS, Metroid, web surfing
Tue, 5/30 5:40a 1:00a triad, checkout, projector, recommendations, eat & apply Jorge's, Fry's, worship set
Wed, 5/31 10:40a 2:00a ogg CDs for Paul, NIN mp3 CD, WalMart, piles of papers, check register
Thu, 6/1 8:25a 1:30a APCS curriculum, Johnny Carino's, APCS, band practice, download Ubuntu 6.06
Fri, 6/2 10:30a 1:00a burn Ubuntu, drive to East Texas, chill
Sat, 6/3 7:30a 12:00a family reunion
Sun, 6/4 7:00a 5:45a church, NIN
Mon, 6/5 12:30p 12:15a phone (Paul), laundry, Metroid, beans
Tue, 6/6 5:45a 1:00a triad, coffee fund & time log @ school, Mark's CPU @ church, groceries, Metroid, worship set
Wed, 6/7 9:10a 2:00a Metroid, Chuy's, Goodwill, vacuuming, average_bitrate.rb, corner of study, yum update
Thu, 6/8 8:45a 2:30a weed back & L side, closets, Metroid, band practice, Metroid, Woot-off
Fri, 6/9 9:30a 3:00a finish closets, bathrooms, Paul & Julie arrive, groceries, small group, chillin' w/Paul
Sat, 6/10 9:30a 12:45a chillin', Chase's, Chuy's, fix_pauls_stuff.rb, fix_dashes.rb, chillin'
Sun, 6/11 7:30a ? church, Zyng's, Paul & Julie pack & leave, eHarmony, update

Some trends should be clear. I don't play much video games in my life, but in the summer I spend some time playing great games of yesteryear. This summer so far I'm playing Metroid Prime, which I'm enjoying. For those of you who've played the game, I've got all four "guns", and all four visors, but I'm missing a suit and a whole lot of artifacts. Figure I'm more than half-way through, at least.

You'll also notice I stay up late, usually. Bedtimes after one o'clock are exceedingly common.

An awesome just-graduated student of mine (Zach Camos) gave me a free ticket to the Nine Inch Nails show in Houston. He and I and two other recent graduates (Brit and Ryan) all drove down together. I've been listening to Nine Inch Nails since probably 1991, but had never seen him live. It made for a very late night, but was worth it.

Paul and Julie pawned off their toddlers on the grandparents and came down with just their infant for the weekend. We mostly just 'chilled' while Paul hooked his Xbox 360 up to my broadband (an option he doesn't have at home) and used the heck out of did, downloading as many demos as he could fit on the hard drive of the thing. And since I cleaned up the place for small group and for them, it hasn't been so tidy around here in a long time.

There was also a cool family reunion in there, some coding in Ruby, and buying a 250 GB hard drive (for $50) and USB2 hard drive enclosure (for $12) off, thanks to some timely text notifications courtesy of Woot Watchers. I missed the Bag O' Crap, though.

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