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August 31, 2006

Pixel Face Photo

Pixel is difficult to photograph because, it seems, every time I get the camera to take a picture of something cute she's doing, she's not doing it anymore when I get back with it. Well, today, that situation sort of changed.
The new pixel face photo. Click to enlarge
She curled up on some graph paper on my desk while I was sitting there, and my camera happened to be right next to me. I took a few photos, and I present to you one of the good ones, touched up a bit, of course. (Now that I look at it on the web, it seems I reduced the color along the outline of her face a bit much. I'll fix that eventually.)

I'm leaving for Boston today, where I will do a number of things, hopefully including eating some good shellfish. I've been craving lobster or crabs or something for days, and Boston is a wonderful place to satisfy that craving... preferably not at Legal Seafood.

Speaking of crabs, I really want to try The Wednesday Chef's crab cake recipe at some point. They look amazingly wonderful.

It's time to pack for my trip. Pity it's illegal to take toothpaste on an airplane now. I guess old ladies won't be able to brush their teeth in the lavatory before storming the cockpit with their blunt scissors and knitting needles anymore. And, that's really too bad because I would probably find that pretty amusing.

August 29, 2006

Five Foods


I have been officially tagged by Katy to create a list of five things people should eat before they die.

  • My last dinner in Buenos Aires earlier this year was at a chop house in Puerto Madero. I can't remember its name, and nothing jumps out at me on the list of gastronomía at that web site. Walking to the table, there were floor-to-ceiling glass windows separating us from the raw meat and the kitchen, and it all looked wonderful. Because the cattle in Argentina are raised without hormones or anything too unnatural and also because the beef is not aged, Argentine beef has a very different taste from American beef. The flavor is so natural that one might think the cow actually grew out of the ground. I highly recommend Argentine beef, especially eaten in Argentina, to the foodies.
  • Since I was very young, one of my favorite foods has been Maine lobster. There's little more enjoyable than sitting in a fireplace-warmed room and gazing out over the Atlantic Ocean while trying to dismember, clean, butter, and consume a boiled lobster that was caught in a trap not far off the frigid coast just hours beforehand.
  • A wonderful thing about enjoying food is the keen ability to go overboard when purchasing it. When this happens, it can often be brushed off, and the purchaser may even swear to never do it again. However, when the groceries are finally put into the cupboards and the refrigerator, the foodie can start thinking of ways to use the new, wonderful items. This is how, one day, I ended up with 250 grams of very nice Russian sturgeon caviar. It was an impulse purchase at a fine grocer in Dallas, Texas, and it felt like velvet on my tongue, with the slightest hint of salty fish.
  • This item in the list is something I actually have not tried, but I understand its consumption is beautiful, and some day soon, I hope to form my own opinions on the matter. The reason I do not have personal experience with this is that it's illegal to import unpasteurized dairy products into the United States. Because of this, the risk of eating real Brie de Meaux here is high, and for a not-very-outgoing person like me, the better option is to simply take a long weekend on the Continent.
  • And, last, but not least, I would like to include a set of foods that has been dear to me all my life. I never miss an opportunity to use them, and they come in many shapes, sizes, and colors. My last recommendation for something a foodie should eat before death is ridiculously hot peppers.

Since this meme is out of foodie-land now, it's difficult to select another five people to tag for it. In the interest of keeping things going, however, I hereby select the following people to compile and publish their own lists of five foods to try before you die.

  • Kari, alongside whom, a long time ago now, my interests in cooking began to flourish
  • Tamara, who enjoys good southern cooking with good southern beer
  • Andrew, whose travels impart upon him knowledge of food all around the country
  • Helen, whom I introduced to sushi just last summer

Regrettably, Tamara and Andrew may not be joining us in this meme for a while, as their blogs are on a web server that is in transit, somewhere between Los Angeles and here.

And, now... I'm hungry.

August 28, 2006

Transit Friends

It seems I meet cool people when I'm traveling. I met Kurt at Dulles, I met Amy on a flight to Houston, and today, I met Kelsey on the bus. We rode the infamous 61C together from Carnegie Mellon to Squirrel Hill, and upon noticing a frazzled newcomer to the front of the bus having a difficult time discovering the bus pass presentation protocol, Kelsey asked me a question about how our ID cards work as bus passes. I explained it to him, and we talked for several blocks. It turns out he's interested in magnetics applications that are somewhat similar to my own research. I actually discussed the specific concept he mentioned, magnetic nanoparticles, in the Presentation that Never Was. So, he and I will do coffee or beer together at some point.

I started classes today, and my CMU ECE web site reflects the new courses, so you can read about them there. Today's class was Elias's, which will be a good class, and I'll probably learn quite a bit about fiber optics and how all that stuff works, even though I really don't have any particular use for the information that will be in my head at the end of the semester.

In other news, the guys in Los Angeles finally picked up their phone today, and I got a very long-winded description of what happened with my server. They are pushing the blame onto a contracting company called Data Connect, which owes Cogent Communications something like $22,000 for several months of leasing one of their data lines. Cogent shut off that line last week because the payments had become so overdue, and my server was on that line. It seems, despite this, Black Sun still never bothered to call me about it, so they aren't any less responsible. The end result, though, is someone will take my server to one of those shipping outlets so they can pack it up securely and send it to me. That's not going to be a cheap shipment.

Oh, oh, oh, and guess what I had for dinner tonight? I had D'artagnan black truffle chicken sausage, on top of fresh brie, on top of cracked pepper water crackers. And, it was really good.

I'm also still waiting for Katy to officially tag me for the food meme thinger.

August 26, 2006

Food Meme

There is a meme circulating the Internet right now that is infecting food blogger's brains. It was started by Melissa at Traveler's Lunchbox and involves a bunch of people stating the five things everyone else should eat before they die. As you can see, the list is already very long, with over 200 entries so far.

Katy, having written her five items, seems to be working on a list of five bloggers to tag, and it looks like I'll be one of them. So, I have to start thinking about what to write. I have some things to say about special kinds of tapas, and it's possible eating a fresh lobster on the coast of Maine will also be one.

This is an exciting exercise, as I don't often think about what other people should try... just what I would like to try and, occasionally, cook for them, too.

August 25, 2006

Where in London?

Because I've been rambling about my server in Los Angeles in the past couple entries, I thought I'd give you something else to view now. First, there's the anonymous aerial photograph of London on the right-hand side of this entry.
The aforementioned anonymous photograph of London
If you can pin down the name of the building on top of which I was standing when I took that photo, you get many bonus points and possibly a free dinner [1]. If you were standing next to me on top of that building, you are disqualified from this particular free dinner but may receive an altogether different one (or two) in about one week's time.

Also, I didn't get to give my talk again today. It's a pity, too, because I was ready for it (again). I missed today's meeting because I had to take Pixel to the vet. She's on antibiotics now for a sore on her hind left leg that looked particularly unpleasant. The doctor says she probably sustained the injury while in the company of aggressive animals at the shelter. Perhaps, indeed.

I'll also not get to give my talk next Friday because I'll be in Boston. Maybe this is the talk that will never be. Alas and alack, but the slides have been distributed, so at least people will be able to read about my research, in lieu of an actual presentation with commentary and so forth.

I'm yawning before 10 PM. What does this mean? Ah, it probably means I only got four hours of sleep last night. Does that have any bearing on when I'll go to sleep tonight? Nope, not at all.

I want a Magic Hat No. 9. Too bad I can't call Katy.

[1] Travel expenses are the responsibility of the winner. While supplies last. Offer ends when I say it ends.

Server Service Suspended

The company that colocates my server in Los Angeles, Black Sun, has failed to pay their bandwidth bills for the Cogent carrier line that connects to my server. Yesterday, it appears, Cogent suspended service on that line.

As a result, I can't get to that server through the Internet.

Also as a result, several peoples' email service and web hosting service is suspended indefinitely.

Now, I don't have any idea why they've failed to pay their bills. And, their sales department isn't answering their phones.

The only thing I can do is keep trying to call them. My intent is to have them send my server back to me right away, hopefully by 2-day freight or better.

When the server arrives here, I will be able to restore service to those web sites and email accounts here in Pittsburgh, but until then, I will not be able to do anything with them.

If you are affected by this service outage, I apologize, but as you see, the matter is out of my hands.

Netblock Outage

In this edition of Everything Goes Wrong in the Internet, Cogent, the company who provides network services to my server in Los Angeles, has been having some serious issues with their network yesterday and tonight. All attempts to contact my server in Los Angeles are failing; they're stopping either in New York City or in Washington, D.C., depending on the origin of the attempt. And, it's not just happening to me; there are at least 200 other Internet addresses affected by this outage. As per usual, all my emails have gone unanswered.

I can't wait to get my server back.

In other news, my vet's phone number was "temporarily disabled" by the phone company yesterday, and by the time I could get through to their office to ask when Pixel's appointment is, they were closed. So, my talk at CMU, which happens some time between 2:00 and 4:30 today, may have to override the importance of Pixel's check-up at the vet. Hopefully, the vet will be able to see her on Monday or Tuesday, instead.

Sigh.

Oh, but I did watch Dark City tonight, which started off very well and had me quite hooked but then gradually lost its cinematic luster and had a very disappointing ending.

Alas, perhaps sleep will make this day go away.

August 23, 2006

The Skypeway

I woke up early this morning and took Pixel back to the Animal Rescue League, where they spayed her for free and told me my $50 deposit refund would arrive as a check in my mail in 4-6 weeks. I thought they would just refund the credit card charge, but I guess that would be too easy. Anyway, not having $50 for a month is much better than paying $250 to get her spayed at the vet.

I used a cable tie to attach a webcam to one of my speakers, since it wouldn't quite fit on the top of my LCD monitor, and Arin got to watch me, via Skype, solve the mysteries of spontaneously rebooting servers for a while. I also chatted with my mom and Helen today on Skype, and Helen figured out the Mac software doesn't support video yet. That's a pity, too, because I'm sure she would have liked to see Pixel in all her groggy, post-spay glory.

As for this spontaneously rebooting server issue, it's been going on for a few months now, and after many hours of investigation, I've finally pinned down the cause (hopefully) and decided to do something about it. As a result, I have four computers running in this room right now; all of which are contributing to the effort in some way. Also as a result, there may be infrequent disconnects for services I host here at home. After the server is back on its feet, which will hopefully be tomorrow (today, Wednesday), I'll be able to transfer everything else from Los Angeles and then ask the ship of fools there to send my $1,500 heap of black and red circuit slag back to me. It's a very pretty server; I hope I can find a good use for it here or, at the very least, sell it to a nice, geeky home.

Also, you will notice I have added another blog to my blogroll: Eat. A mother in Pittsburgh and her son in New York post to the blog, and their entries mostly focus on restaurants and food but also contain other bits of information on life in the authors' respective cities. Currently, Leland, the son, is taking bread-making classes, and I really enjoy reading about those. Perhaps I'll try my hand at making bread when the weather cools and I can bear running the oven in my window-ventilated first floor.

I'll try to get some more Pixel pictures up here soon. I know some of you are very interested in seeing them!

August 21, 2006

Spammers

I hate spam. I really do. It's one of the worst things that has ever happened to the Internet, and the only thing it does is annoy me.

Today, it seems, someone has started sending emails and spoofing the "From" domain as cwwphoto.com. They're sending these emails to somewhat random addresses, apparently, and I'm getting all the bounces from them.

I'm teaching my spam filter to treat these bounces as spam, but what if it starts thinking real bounces are spam, too? Ugh.

My (not sustainable) solution is to use my backup mail servers to filter out any emails that are not directed precisely to me. Let's see if that works. :)

August 19, 2006

Introducing Pixel

I went to the West Pennsylvania Animal Rescue league around 4:00 this afternoon and found so many cats I wanted to take home. I considered adopting two, but sense came over me again, and I only got one. So, now, you get to meet her! In the tradition of naming cats after prominent literary figures, I present to you Pixel, the cat who walks through walls. I expect a big grin to be on at least Tamara's face after reading the previous sentence. :)

And, without further ado, some pictures! Click them to enlarge.

Friendly Local Beercat

A number of relatively minor things have happened this week, and while it's nothing to write home about, perhaps my avid blog readers would be interested?

I spent most of Wednesday and Thursday working on my presentation on magnetic actuation for my research group, only to find out Friday morning that there was not enough time remaining in our meeting for me to present the entire thing. In all likelihood, I will give my talk next Friday, instead. This is sort of a relief, in that I now have more time to prepare the talk (and pare it down in length), but it is also disappointing because I was quite ready to present this morning.

This past evening, I decided it would be nice to drink a beer or two, so I tried out a new beer distributor called Mellinger's on Semple Street in Oakland, just a couple blocks down Bates from Mad Mex. Mellinger's has an extensive selection of brews, including one of my favorites, Delerium Tremens, which was $88 per case. I ended up with a case of Shiner Bock, a beer that is rarely exported from Texas, for slightly less than half the cost of Delerium Tremens. At less than $2 per bottle, it's a fantastic deal by Pennsylvania standards.

Lately, Katy has been worrying about Oliver, her cat who meows often, seemingly because Dorian is gone. Katy remedied this problem by adopting a new cat, whom she named Eliza.

Dorian has been exhibiting the same sort of symptoms of loss lately, though not quite as severely as Oliver apparently was. Tomorrow (today, Saturday), I think I'll make my way over to Animal Rescue in East Liberty and choose a new friend for Mr. Gray. Perhaps a certain younger female tabby with silver coloring would do the trick. I'll keep you updated!

I also need to figure out the details of attending move-in day at MassArt with Taylor. September 2 is a Saturday, so this is certainly feasible.

That's all the news I have today!

August 15, 2006

Infographics

Today, Fark.com linked to a very enlightening set of infographics hosted by the International Networks Archive, a project involving some faculty from Princeton that aims to develop sets of data that chronicle global issues through empirical research.

Some interesting things I learned from browsing the infographics...

  • While Finland, Canada, and some other usual suspects have the best drinking water in the world, guess who has the worst? It's not Rwanda or India... it's Belgium!
  • 7,000 bags of luggage are lost every day by the airline industry, a figure that gives you only a 99.5% chance of being able to pick up your bags at the carousel at your destination. I'm glad I always carry on!
  • It's true America has the highest percentage of people who own cars, at 78.5%, but did you know that same figure for India is only 2.5%?
  • More than twice the number of people robbed with guns in Ireland in 1997 were robbed with what other device? That's right, a syringe, which outgunned the pistol with 590 incidents, compared to a paltry 252.

Check those infographics out; there's more interesting stuff where this came from!

In other news, Taylor is on a flight to Boston right now, and she'll meet our mother at the airport there this evening. Taylor said the security measures that have come into effect because of the UK hijacking hijinks last week didn't really slow anything down and that the line at security was pretty short. Cool!

Now, I have until Friday to prepare a survey of current research on magnetic actuation at the micro- and nanoscale. I'll give that presentation at the nano-lab meeting Friday afternoon. Here we go.

August 13, 2006

New Blog Host

If you're reading this, then you are connecting to the server in my home study to read my blog, instead of the server I colocate in Los Angeles.

This is the first step toward moving content from Los Angeles to Pittsburgh, and over the next several days, I hope to move all the content from there to here. When that process is finished, I intend to ask my colocation host to return my server to me, after having it colocated there for three years.

During this transition period, I would like you readers to report any malfunctions or other oddities you experience in connecting to any of the web sites I host. By doing so, you will help keep the quality of service high for everyone involved.

Also, you will notice in the address bar of your browser that you downloaded this page from sandbox.colinwetherbee.com. Do not bookmark or link to this site specifically, as this is only a temporary URI change.

August 12, 2006

First Dinner on Phillips Avenue

I cooked my first dinner here for Taylor and Katy last night. It was lamb vindaloo (the lamb was especially good) with rice and raita, accompanied by margaritas. After dinner, we three sat on my front porch until the wee hours. The temperatures were in the 50s, so the ladies had to don sweatshirts, which was sort of crazy, given that it's the middle of August. We had fun talking, and they apparently think it's a really good idea for me to go to Buenos Aires next week. Hmm, we'll see about that.

I think I'm going to move some blogs from my server in Los Angeles to the server on the other side of this room, in order to give them a more permanent Internet up-time. The current situation is getting kind of ridiculous, and Black Sun isn't doing anything to help me, even though I've been a colocation customer there for three years.

Also, Katy is considering getting another cat to play with The Vert. I think Eliza would be wonderful company for him.

August 11, 2006

A Handful of Pictures

Since Taylor has been here, she has been a wonderful help with assembling furniture and unpacking boxes. I now have a tall glass display case in the dining room, a couple new bar stools in the kitchen, and a shelving system in the study.
Looking down my street at night


The Church Brew Works's Pious Monk Dunkel beer
The shelving system is pretty neat because it's big enough to hold all the random stuff, including various computers, I haven't been able to properly store over the past few years. I'm also looking forward to putting things in the display case, but I don't know that I have enough cool-looking and shiny stuff to do justice to the amount of shelf space in it.

I also have a couple new rugs, one of which is huge and takes up just the right amount of space in the living room. Ideally, the dining room could use a rug of similar size, but giant rugs aren't exactly cheap. We'll see what happens, I guess.

Tonight begins an art show and wares sale on Ellsworth Avenue in Shadyside, not dissimilar to the Glow Night they held (and about which I wrote here, I think) last winter. Perhaps Taylor and I should go over there later. The festivities end at 8:00, so we'll have to get there "early" in order to browse all the galleries. The event continues until Sunday at 5:00.

Next Monday, I have another research meeting with the nano-lab group, and it looks like I won't have to complete the survey of magnetic actuation papers before then.
Dorian helping me unpack in the kitchen


One of the staircases leading from the first floor to the second floor
Which is just as well, since I haven't really even started on it, as I've been so busy with moving and with Taylor's visit. Regardless, I must attend the meeting, so that will suck a couple/few hours out of my Monday afternoon.

By the way, the pictures included with this entry are from several days ago, and my kitchen looks much different now. Dorian, on the other hand, doesn't look too different, and he's just as helpful as ever. He has been quite wonderful assisting with this move, especially in terms of occupying the space on the floor where I want to step while carrying something large and/or heavy. The photo of the case of beer is included simply because it was there, and I think it's a fine example of some very interesting packaging. Thanks to Katy, many of my dishes were packed in that box.

I imagine Taylor is out of the shower now, and maybe she has also finished primping. I think it's time to go determine her status and have some yogurt and/or cereal for my 2:00 PM breakfast. And, then, we'll continue the search for the hardware for my pot rack, which we abandoned after becoming tired and lazy some time last night.

Enjoy the photos. I'll try to post more of them, as things around here start coming together better. It shouldn't be too long until this place is completely unpacked!

August 08, 2006

Bomb Squad

When I first looked out my front windows this morning, I saw a fire truck parked diagonally across the street and fire fighters standing around it. I didn't think much of it, as they seemed to have everything under control, and I hadn't had my coffee yet.

I left around noon to go to the 'burbs and do some shopping before picking Taylor up at the airport, and when I pulled out of my driveway, I turned right to go down the street toward the I-376 ramp. However, a man in the street waved me the other way, so, based on his gesticulations and the road block at the next intersection, I reversed into my driveway and turned left, instead, driving past that same fire truck and a police car in order to get off my street.

It turns out the Jewish synagogue where the road block was (Shady at Phillips) received a "suspicious package" earlier this morning. And, so did three other synagogues in Pittsburgh.

Bomb squad robots removed the packages from the buildings and so forth, and it was determined the contents were just some poorly marked digital media. The packages also had no return addresses, and it was this observation, apparently, that caused the synagogue staff to alert the police.

So, there wasn't really a threat in the first place, but it's definitely a strange feeling to have a bomb squad checking out suspicious packages a few doors down.

In other news, thanks in part to Taylor, I now own two new rugs. The first is in my living room right now, and it looks really cool. Hooray!

August 07, 2006

New Digs Update

I'm apparently supposed to write a blog entry now, as people (you, perhaps?!) have been telling me they've been looking for one and can't find it.

Well, Saturday night was an interesting night. I hung out with my neighbors on Bob's porch until 1:00 AM. There were nine of us, including the woman who previously lived in my house (she has moved to Brownsville, Texas, oddly.). We talked about everything, and we all had something to say, since we come from wildly varying backgrounds. One of the interesting things about the demographics of this group, by the way, is that three are from South America. In this neighborhood, it would be common for the immigrants to be Asian or Middle Eastern, but not our group! Anyway, that was lots of fun, and I look forward to more gatherings like that.

In other news, unpacking is just making things messy and ugly right now, but maybe Taylor, who is coming to Pittsburgh tomorrow to stay for a week, can help with that. I also now have cable Internet access, which is blazingly fast, and a washer and dryer that make beeps and have lights that blink and are super-efficent, and gas service is still scheduled for Wednesday. I wonder how Taylor's going to enjoy taking a freezing cold shower?

Because I have Internet access here now, I moved my server and most of the rest of my other things out of Katy's place tonight. When I plugged the server's UPS into the wall, it overloaded the circuit, and I had to go find the breaker box and fix things. It seems I can only have one air conditioner and one UPS on any of my circuits. Which is interesting, since the only grounded circuits are in my bedroom and my study. Anyway, one long power cable extension later, the problem is solved, if not elegantly.

I took some pictures last night, but I don't feel like making them all blog-ready right now. Stay tuned — I'll try to have them up here in the next couple days.

August 04, 2006

Gas Company

First of all, happy birthday, Dad! I don't know if you read this, but if you do, rest assured I've been thinking about you today.

After another hour of dealing with gas company drones this morning, I am scheduled to have gas service next Wednesday, from the same gas company that told me, just yesterday, they didn't service my address, and they didn't have my meter number on file. Yes, that's Wednesday, five days of cold showers from now, when Dominion Peoples Gas Company drives down the road to turn a knob outside my house (or whatever they do).

Katy was a dear and let me take a shower at her place tonight, though, after we ate Indian food and the kitties had some play time.

I've been toying with the idea of taking pictures of this place while it's still full of semi-packed boxes. That way, I won't have to make everything perfect before taking pictures because you'll understand I've just moved in, and I won't have to put up with those of you who will bug me for the next three months about sending some photos your way. However, the easiest thing for me to do remains letting you sleep on my couch for a few days so you can see the house with your own eyes, and I highly recommend that alternative to bothering me about taking pictures. The circumstances are especially so if you're willing and able to assist in the unpacking of the semi-packed boxes that litter the first two floors.

Andrew noted yesterday that I might meet my neighbors in the future. Surely to everyone's surprise, I've already met many of them, and I like them! My immediate neighbors are a retired fire fighter and an oncology surgeon, and I don't really know what anyone else does. I did a Google search on the fire fighter's address last night, and I found out that he might have practiced law at some point, too, and that he has the same (uncommon) surname as another person from whom I considered renting a place to live. They're both about the same age... maybe they're brothers or something. Weird.

Maybe there will be pictures tomorrow. Maybe not. Either way, there should be a brand new washing machine and dryer in my basement, expressly for those times before Wednesday when I want things to rotate in a cold drum for a while.

August 03, 2006

New Digs on the Hill of Squirrels

Some time between 8:45 and 11:45 this morning, I officially moved into my new place in Squirrel Hill. I'm typing this from my laptop, which is connected to the Internet by some lovely neighbor's unsecured wireless network.

The new house has its ups and downs, but in the end (and in the winter), I think this will be a very nice place to live. On the other hand, this means I'm no longer living with Katy, and that is very sad, upsetting, and depressing. You see, we didn't actually "break up" or anything; we just figured out, over the past few months, that we really aren't very good at living with each other. So, now, we're trying to keep bad things from happening to us in the future by preventing the future from happening. This was a difficult decision to make, and it has been even more difficult to live through its consequences. I have a feeling our cats are going to miss each other quite a lot, too.

To add insult to injury, the gas companies of Pittsburgh are wreaking havoc on my brain. The two largest (I think) gas companies here are Equitable Gas and Dominion Peoples Gas. It is now apparent, after filling out forms on the Internet, spending at least two hours on hold, waiting for various people to get back to me, manually reading my gas meter serial number, and so forth, that neither of the gas companies service my new address. Before I get really desperate, I'm going to try the other game in town, T. W. Phillips Gas Company. They, however, are only open for business from 8 to 5 on weekdays, so if I can't get something arranged tomorrow, I won't have gas until next week. Something tells me I'll have to get used to taking cold showers (one of which I took earlier, grunting and grumbling and cursing the entire time).

Another problem that arises from not having gas service is that I can't cook anything, do dishes, or wash my laundry. I posited to Arin earlier that I might just buy a microwave, which could solve all three issues to some degree under the proper circumstances. Instead of buying a microwave, however, I went to the grocery store and spent $150 on lots of food and beverages; nothing of which needs to be cooked. I am presently eating the simplest of those purchases: chips and salsa. At least the electricity works — without a refrigerator, I'd really be in trouble.

In somewhat unrelated news, a frontal system is in the process of passing through here at the moment, and along with it have come some fantastic thunderstorms. I'd really like to sit outside and enjoy the storms, but I have more pressing things to do right now. Like write this blog entry. Or something.