brave new dubmac world

back in the summer of 2000 i ran a (kinda) live “web cam”: in my vw bug as i drove from NC to NM.

i recall it was not easy to find ideas on the ‘net for how to do this. i really just knit together technologies that other people had created, though a fair amount of apple scripting was involved (ugh).

the following year, apparently there was still no more info on the ‘net about mobile computing because the fella on the left coast who decided to run a web cam during his ride to roswell basically mimicked my setup.

so tonight i am googling for things and what should i find but a guy who has “installed a mac mini”: in his 2001 vw beetle. which is very cool. had the mini existed in 2000, appealing though the form factor is, i probably wouldn’t have been able to use it because power is a problem. you can’t just plug a desktop computer into your car cigarette lighter. that’s one of the reasons i used a laptop; it’s made to be mobile, and good, reliable means of powering a laptop off of 12volt existed back then. with all the other stuff i was trying to figure out, discovering enough about electronics and power supplies to safely power a mini from my car without frying the computer in the process was out of the question.

the thing that just slays me is not that there’s now “a power supply specifically designed for installing a desktop computer in a car,”: (well, ok, that does slay me a little), but that they even sell a “mac pack”: to make it easy to use with a mac.

so anyway, in 2007 some folks i know are leading a Route 66 caravan to roswell and i think spacepod and i are going to hit the road again for that trip. now on Route 66 I might not get good mobile phone coverage but I think I should try and run the spacepod cam again anyway. maybe it would be sweet to mount a mac mini and power supply on the underside of the tonneau cover, use a wireless keyboard and mouse to control it and… hmmm… run the video cable up to the front footwell… hmmm… get some vintage light housings from ebay to stylishly protect isights…

yeah this could be cool.

it was a dark and buttery night

the first part of last week kind of bit. i pushed through it, finished the kitchen, made the applesauce, went to the beach, scammed half a thanksgiving dinner off my folks, and j and the puppy arrived friday and we had a pretty awesome long weekend together. long weekends are good.

we made a roasted turkey breast, peas and mashed potatoes; i’d gotten an insanely huge amount of stuffing from my folks, plus gravy and pumpkin cheesecake and what with all of that we had a real fine repast last night.

this morning we met d & s for brunch at piedmont (very tasty, though next time i’ll certainly go a la carte for bacon, hash browns and possibly a biscuit). it’s so freaking awesome that there’s this great restaurant within walking distance of my house. man.

we saw casino royal after brunch and it’s true, it’s the best bond movie in many a year. oh my god. i proclaimed daniel craig the beefiest bond ever. j praised the emphasis of story over gadgets.

it’s taken a year but the kitteh and puppeh seem to have reached what j described over brunch as a “detante”. the cat moves much more freely about house and sat nearly contentedly on my lap with the dog mere feet away. the dog is also a little more wary of or perhaps a little less curious about the cat. we started leaving them alone in the house without the cat shut up in a room. no one was eaten or injured during those times.

i am in your [blank] [blanking] your [blank]

“base – killing – d00dz”:

“macaronis – warming – feets”:

“mail – givin – spamz”:

aaaand my personal favorite:

“coop – layin – eggs”:

rich creamery butter

the color mary selected is called “melted butter”.

today we had a focus group to talk about the intranet at work. for almost ten years now i have worked on the intranet and we’ve never had a focus group before. it just never occured to us to gather user input in that way.

it was really cool– i sat in the room as the “subject matter expert”. but wow did it screw up my day. i thought i’d get a chance to eat a proper lunch and run to the post office at 2 when it ended, but that didn’t happen. i got to run out for food at around 4, and then i got caught in the hall by people wanting to discuss the focus group and i didn’t actually eat until 5. i was loopy and tired and stressed and just felt bad, not a big shocker after skipping lunch.

on the way home from work i got a quart of Melted Butter and some sanding supplies, and laid into the kitchen again when i got home. not having a functioning kitchen is becoming a real problem. as i write this i’m now ravenously hungry at the inconvenient hour of 9pm when i imagine most of the places i’d want to eat are closed.

so anyway, the new color definitely looks better than the old yellow but i hesitate to commit to it without seeing it in daylight. but i desperately want to finish this project tomorrow night, put my kitchen back in order and then prepare for thanksgiving.

we’ve got another focus group tomorrow.

do what mary says

so this morning i woke up knowing the yellow in the kitchen is wrong. it’s too green. and it needs to be semi-gloss, not satin, and i need to really sand those areas where the paint peeled.

shayne came over and she finished up the second color coat in the dining room while i knocked out the cabinets and some of the trim in the kitchen.

she went home and brought back her yellow paint samples. i was deep in indecision mode. we pondered samples over sandwiches. sarah came in.

so sarah worked on trim in the dining room and i worked on the kitchen some more and i deferred the decision on yellow.

then mary walked in. there was nothing we could really give her to do. she has great taste and good color sense. so i gave her a swatch of the dining room paint, a spare floor tile, and sent her to the store to pick out a new yellow.

she brought back many samples– but of course, she had a favorite. so that is what i’ll try. it looks very harmonious with the dining room paint sample. we’ll see!

as a bonus i fixed some peeling paint in an adjoining door frame, painted the bathroom window which has never looked right (my theory: it was primered, but someone forgot to actually paint it), and painted the wood window switch plate that J trimmed to fit the awkward bathroom switch.

i am very sore. tomorrow: sanding. after all of this, painting the walls of the kitchen is going to be cake.

so tired.


tomorrow: second color coat; all the trim, including the cabinets.


also, “feline disapproval.”:

painting day one

today and tomorrow i am painting my kitchen and dining area. i’ve done almost everything i had planned to do in preparation, except for washing the walls with TSP. the furniture and appliances are all moved around, the paint and supplies are bought, and i even woke up and got breakfast right on time.

my plan is to work from 10am until dinner time tonight, and then again tomorrow. i’ve got some helper elves coming over tomorrow to help carry me through the second day, which will be great. i am sure i’ll need a boost right around then.

the kitchen is going to be a deeper yellow with bright white cabinets and trim; the dining area is going to be a sort of coffee with cream color. i’m really attracted to the idea of a very fresh green in the kitchen, but because the floor is a deep green, green walls would be way too much green.

this will get rid of the last of the very pale yellow that the previous owner painted everywhere in the house. now that the kitchen is much better lit, and has more white appliances in it, it’s clear to me that it needs a deeper color so it doesn’t look so stark.

in the dining area i’ve got such strong color on the table and chairs that a neutral seemed in order. i want that room to feel a lot closer and warmer.

of course, i had to pack up all the crazy salt and pepper shakers that were sitting on shelves in the dining area. i’ll be ditching those shelves since they don’t fit in with the room, and i’m thinking now of putting in a series of smaller shelves that spread the collection across the whole wall and make it easier to see. the room is too small to put any kind of storage furniture on the one blank wall, so i might as well use it for decoration. and maybe making that wall more detailed will cut down on the echo-ey-ness of the room.

10 weird things about me

Bart’s “ten weird things”: meme, because “cortocorto”: tagged everyone, so why not?

1. This one is a riddle: although I was born in the continental United States, I was not born in any state in the union.

2. Once when I was a very little girl mom and I were going somewhere on a toll road in her 1965 VW Beetle. It was a very hot day. My mom noticed the woman in the toll booth staring into the back seat. When my mom looked back, she discovered that I was stark fucking naked. I really hate being hot.

3. When I was in elementary school, I attempted to start a newspaper. I tried to get other kids involved but for some reason, they did not share my romantic visions of journalism. I did, however, produce at least one issue which my mom photocopied for me at work. I was worried she would get in trouble.

4. I have shaved my head, mainly out of curiosity.

5. I have hated eggs since birth. They make me gag. Oddly, I love eggnog.

6. I was a vegetarian for about 15 years. I hate how smug I was about it at the time.

7. When I was in junior high, I had orthodontic surgery to reduce the size of my lower jaw. Afterwards my jaw was wired shut and I was unable to speak for six weeks.

8. I find watching Star Trek: The Next Generation comforting and relaxing because the world of STTNG is very orderly and clean.

9. I have worked at the same company full time since I was 20, and I had my first job there when I was 16.

10. When I was a teenager I habitually snuck out of the house late at night and walked around the city.

durham restaurant scuttlebut

Word on my neighborhood listserv yesterday is that Jo and Joe’s is closing this week so Jo can move to Belize and take care of her father.

The owner of Fowlers swears up and down in “a Herald-Sun article”: that they will re-open December 1st. I think no one believes him, however.

And at the bottom of that article, it says that Piedmont starts seating people TODAY. For reals!

Oh, and “xta”: mentioned a new place to me named “Nosh”. This place i have not ever heard of, but she said it was great.

What restaurant scuttlebut do YOU know?


last week the U bend under my kitchen sink came apart. after several frustrating attemps to screw it back together, i replaced the washer and the nut and it went together again like magic, seeming more secure than it had in a long time. i left a bucket under it though, just in case.

so this morning while washing out a pan that can’t go in the dishwasher, i realize that water is shooting out of the cabinet under the sink. yep, i had come apart again last night while the dishwasher was running. the bucket was full and washing that pan finally caused it to overflow.

so i spent a good twenty minutes or so mopping up water, discovering in the process that my spiffy new mop is for shit for this kind of thing, but my awesome microfiber shop towels are extremely effective.

this process required a couple of trips to the basement which is, of course, flooded, because the gutters are full of leaves.

i am also reminded that the center vent cap over my roof is slightly dislodged, probably by the guys who clean my gutters, so there’s probably a small puddle in the attic as well.

and, of course, i get to drive the waterlogged stinky car to work today because his tires are far superior to the no longer stinky other car. i took him up to virginia last weekend and it rained heavily all day sunday. at my usualy stopping place i mopped a couple of cups of water out of the rear footwell with my trusty microfiber towels.

good times.