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Category: geektalk

09/30/08 11:02 - 57ºF - ID#45870

A happy geek

Moving & starting school created a big mess of technological problems and needs which I think I finally got all resolved today... (and now I'm going to avoid reading homework by telling you about these important things!)

I handed down my dear old Sony Vaio to A before I left home, knowing it wouldn't serve much purpose for me, but he'd get a lot of use out of it. I showed up here with a 2+ year old Toshiba Satellite that's been very serviceable, but was definitely too heavy to carry to class everyday (down apartment steps, short walk to Metro, down steps, metro ride, up steps, up more steps, crowded bus ride, class (sometimes up & down more steps), crowded bus ride, down steps, metro ride, walk, up apartment steps... my knees are really noticing that seven pounds.) So I got myself an Asus EEE PC 900 (Linux variant OS) - 2.2 pounds of sweet surfing & notetaking machine.


Here it is next to my 15.4" toshiba and a 17" monitor. Hat is there to show scale for non-techies. I also got myself a bottom-of-the-barrel refurb desktop with a big fat harddrive. The toshiba is now serving as only a work machine and school is based on the desktop with the EEE serving as an access point. So sweet!

The other major tech issue (besides electric, which has been resolved) was my Palm Centro... I bought it at the end of July, used "local number portability" to keep my Tioga County phone number (which means it's a local call from there to me for all my poor and long-distance averse friends). I had been using a nifty Palm Tungsten C for several years to manage contacts & datebook and was using CompanionLink for Google Calendar to synchronize the Palm with Google Calendar. This allowed friends, coworkers & family to keep track of me - a fairly difficult thing to do with my notorious lack of communication and inconsistent schedules. When I bought the Palm Centro, I didn't realize the essential CompanionLink software hadn't been updated for that version of Palm desktop... I was lost!

Companionlink released the GCal link yesterday and I finally got it all installed and configured today (several calls to Palm tech support later) and now folks in at least three states are able to figure out where I am. Yea!!! It really is a very cool piece of software to integrate all kinds of mobile apps with GCal.

Oh, the EEE needs decoration - could I score an estrip bumpersticker? It has a little Tirade-the-broccoli sticker from Looney Labs a game design & publishing firm created by my friends at Wunderland but could use more.

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Permalink: A_happy_geek.html
Words: 468
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: moving

09/28/08 12:57 - 72ºF - ID#45816

How's it going?

(e:Drew) suggested last night that I need to post more often. I haven't thought of a topic but then I realized I could just answer the question(s) most frequently asked when I meet someone.

1. How's the transition to Buffalo?

I think this might be obvious already, but I love Allentown. I'm very much enjoying Buffalo, all the cool stuff going on and the friendly people. Last night, I went to the ElmwoodJesus fundraiser at Cole's and hung out with (e:Janelle), (e:Vincent), & (e:Jason) while (e:Drew) served as happy hostess. We watched the presidential debate afterwards at the Obama campaign watching party at Cole's - very convenient!. (Thanks for the ride home, (e:Vincent)!)

Thursday night I went to Nietzsche's for a fundraiser for the WNY LGBT domestic violence committee that works with Haven House (domestic violence shelter).


I met some very cool folks there, including Reg and her partner Liz. Reg works for Haven House. I won some cool prizes in the raffle. Does anyone need a copy of Candyland? Kristen Becker hosted the event - she was very funny, definitely a professional, polished comedian. She hosts comedy night at Nietzsche's every Tuesday night. I want to go, but Tuesday's are in the middle of my work week so that might have to wait until break. Ava LaFey, burlesque goddess, did a fantastic sketch (? not sure of right word - it was extremely funny without a lot of skin) where she, as Sarah Palin danced for a lifesize cardboard cutout of John McCain to the Pet Shop Boys Opportunities ("I've got the brains, you've got the looks, let's make lots of money!") When she unbuttoned her conservative red suit jacket, her bra was stuffed with money. Too funny.

Last weekend, my friend A and my puppy Nisha visted. A and I went to see the Pointek/Michaud Jazz Trio (yeah, Nietzsche's again... I love live music.) and saw a Grateful Dead cover band Saturday night. A and I see our favorite local band pretty often in Tioga County but there's always a 30-60 minute drive involved. Live music 500' away? We're there.

Nisha got her hair cut at Pawprints by Penny... cutest poodle cut ever!!! Penny really listened to how I wanted her hair cut and did a fantastic job. The atmosphere there was very friendly. The dogs in doggie day care like to "help" ring up customers.


I'll also give a shout out to Patrick at East End Salon. The grad program I'm in had class pictures taken and I desperately needed a haircut quickly. He gave me a great cut and totally listened when I said I don't use product and the only "styling" I do is combing out my wet hair after a shower. This is a very difficult concept for most stylists to understand.

I would not have been able to find such a fantastic location and some immediate social contacts without all the advice and information I've found on (e:strip). Thank you so much for helping make this transition about as easy as it could possibly be.

(Update from (e:heidi,45556) : my apartment electric situation got resolved and my stuff is now well protected. Thanks, Tim!)

Great set of articles about what issues in housing & community development the next president needs to address:

Housing, transportation, urban policy... geeky geeky! I used to work for Moises Loza and Leslie Strauss, two of the authors, at the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C. HAC is a national nonprofit dedicated to improving rural housing.

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Permalink: How_s_it_going_.html
Words: 632
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: reproduction

09/14/08 02:27 - 84ºF - ID#45678

In Sarah Palin's America...

(Just so (e:tinypliny) doesn't go around thinking that I believe reproductive issues are unimportant...)

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Permalink: In_Sarah_Palin_s_America_.html
Words: 26
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: oil

09/13/08 11:54 - 73ºF - ID#45664

Awash in oil $

Bruce Fisher's article in this week's Artvoice is a really nice discussion of the importance of oil $ in our national politics and more importantly, why we should be looking at Sarah Palin's oil connections rather than her and her daughter's reproductive choices:

So it is that Big Oil rules Alaska-an enormous land mass with a tiny population of only 630,000, which is only two-thirds the number of people in Erie County.

All that money makes public services in Alaska very cheap, and the oil industry very popular. According to published reports, public opinion in Alaska strongly favors drilling in the Alaska National Wildlife Reserve. Alaska public opinion generally favors exploitation of every natural resource. Though Alaska's workforce of a little over 300,000 contains only about 15,000 oil-industry workers, the majority of voters there like the idea of more drilling.

Earlier this decade, a person named Sarah Palin, who is married to a sometime oil-worker, was commissioner of natural resources in Alaska. In other words, she was in charge of Alaska's Office of Oil Affairs.

Now that she is the marquee candidate for vice president, Governor Sarah Palin is front-page news and the front-and-center story for everybody who wants to discuss teenage pregnancy, out-of-wedlock births, Down syndrome and the breathtaking pivot of the Religious Right-which until recently (about three weeks ago, to be exact) frowned upon and fulminated about sex education and out-of-wedlock births.

One cannot help but observe, however, that the longer we discuss Sarah Palin's uterus, the more likely it is that American politics will remain distracted from the central issue of this election: whether the lords of oil will continue to control the United States as surely as they control Alaska.

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Permalink: Awash_in_oil_.html
Words: 291
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: yoga

09/06/08 09:41 - 62ºF - ID#45596


Anyone know of a yoga studio in Allentown?

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Permalink: yoga_.html
Words: 9
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: 10 things

09/03/08 08:11 - 79ºF - ID#45556

10 things i love about my apartment

1. Location: it's on allen street.
2. Location: it's two blocks from the metro.

(Even though the metro doesn't have a "stand to the right" convention, it does have public artwork which the DC Metro system definitely does not have.)


3. Location: There are real live lesbians nearby. I know this sounds very strange but for the past five years of my life, the nearest out lesbians lived at least 10 miles away.
4. Sunny south-facing windows.
5. Hardwood floors.
6. Cute mini clawfoot tub.
7. Full-size range. (e:tinypliny), i know you're afraid of that gaping maw in your kitchen... have you developed a liking for cookies? How about some spicy molasses cookies? (Ginger, cloves, cinnamon...)
8. One very large closet, plus a small one in the bedroom.
9. Dishwasher.
10. China Cat Sunflower lives with me.

Right now she's refusing to come out from under the bed to have her picture taken. She's hanging out with my puppy's turtle.


Just a month or so ago she was happy to be photographed with Nisha:


What I hate about my apartment:
1. The three-prong electrical outlets are ungrounded.
2. There are several two-prong outlets (obviously also ungrounded).*
3. The building doesn't recycle. (this might be a "yet"... but my very large closet is starting to bulge with recyclables. I'm a little obsessive about recycling.)

  • The only things of (dubious) value I own are computers and peripherals. In Tioga County, Pa., the electrical service is unreliable, has frequent large power surges, and suffers brownouts, so I have surge protectors on everything except lamps. Without grounded electrical, the very very important surge protectors are useless.

To remedy the electrical situation, I bought some of these adapter thingys:


But the surge protector still reads "ungrounded." (As does the electrical outlet grounding tester that I have. Yes, I'm that much of a geek.)


  • grump*

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Permalink: 10_things_i_love_about_my_apartment.html
Words: 306
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: elections

09/03/08 05:04 - 81ºF - ID#45550

Register to vote!

Just a quick reminder, the deadline to register to vote for the general election on Nov. 4 is rapidly approaching. Here's the form to print, fill out and mail in:

As a recent transplant from Pennsylvania, I haven't figured out what's up with your primary season. Kavanaugh vs. Hoyt?? I definitely didn't get registered in time for the primary...

Randomly: (e:tinypliny)'s only been in buffalo a year and already is the 5th most prolific commenter?? wow!! that's dedication.

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Permalink: Register_to_vote_.html
Words: 94
Location: Buffalo, NY

Category: metro

09/02/08 07:21 - 81ºF - ID#45542

"Stand to the right!"

I'm liking the Metro a lot (big boo & hiss to the apartment rental guy who told me I'd take it once, think it too gross, and never take it again! (e:heidi,44769)) but what's up with the lack of a "stand to the right, walk to the left" convention on the escalators? In D.C., if folks were standing on the left side of the escalator, people would start bellowing "Stand to the right!"... well, it sounded like a bellow thanks to the neat acoustics of escalator tubes.


Maybe it's because it only applies to six people every 12 mintues? <grin> The metro-riding population is so small!
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Permalink: _quot_Stand_to_the_right_quot_.html
Words: 111
Location: Buffalo, NY



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