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Date: Sat, 31 Dec 2005 18:02:07 -0600 (CST)
From: logcheck@lukpac-test
To: root@lukpac-test
Subject: thebox-test 2005-12-31 18:02 System Events

System Events
Dec 31 17:59:59 thebox-test kernel: Clock: inserting leap second 23:59:60 UTC

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Umm, this makes no sense:
Metro area      % over/under-valued
Racine, WI +20%
Milwaukee, WI +16%
Madison, WI +16%
We're behind Racine and tied with Milwaukee? I would have expected Madison to far more over-valued.

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I did some digging online today to see if perhaps our house was a mail-order house. Not sure yet, but as far as I can tell it wasn't a Sears home, as none of those plans match our house.

I did have another thought on the mystery door/front closet. Rather than a front entrance to the hallway I'm now thinking it was another entrance to the front bedroom. This would make a bit more sense for a few reasons (the other door to that bedroom looks like it's always been in that place, and this door opens in, unlike the door at the end of the hallway that opened out). I'm not quite sure *why* it would have two doors, though. Unless perhaps that was originally the "master" bedroom (it does have the larger closet) and...I don't know. Still need to get next door.

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Fun with the assessor's office website. The date each house on our side of the street was built, going right down the line (ours in bold):

1889, 1889, 1919, 1951, 1924, 1923, 1936, 1941, 1926, 1952, 1944, 1914, 1914.

Talk about strange.

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The second truck load of stuff made it over here today. I think we'll have to make a few more car trips to the old house, but for the most part we're out. Of course, the car hole at the new house won't be getting a car in it anytime soon, but I guess we'll survive.

One thing we both really like about the new house is the doors. All of the inside doors on the first floor (with the exception of the front closet door) are solid, three panel doors. A far cry from the hollow core ranch crap we're used to. That said, I noticed at least 3 doors had been removed over the years. One between the entry and the living room, one between the dining room and the hallway, and the original front closet door (more on that below). I had assumed they were long gone, but while putting things in the garage today I happened to glance at the attic, and sure enough, there were two doors. A trip up the ladder revealed the third. It looks like the hardware is gone, but the doors themselves seem to be in decent shape. Who knows how long they've been out in the garage...

Speaking of that front closet...the odd thing is the original door opened *in*. Clearly not the norm for a closet, and I don't think there would have been enough room for the door to open, even if it was empty. The only thing I can think of is perhaps it was an alternate entry to the hallway. This would have taken away a lot of space in the second bedroom, so I still can't quite figure it out, but at this point I don't have any better ideas. I must make a trip to the neighbor's house soon for a tour, as her house seems to have been built based on the same plans. It will be interesting to see what some things were originally like, or how that house was remodeled differently.

At the very least, though, we can get rid of the crappy folding door on the front closet (which I've almost put my arm through a few times) and get the original back on - opening out this time around.

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The ID freaks just won't give up:
Contrary to Judge John Jones' assertions, intelligent design is not a religious-based idea, but instead an evidence-based scientific theory that holds there are certain features of living systems and the universe that are best explained by an intelligent cause. No legal decree can remove the digitally coded information from DNA, nor molecular machines from cells. The facts of biology cannot be overruled by a federal judge. Research on intelligent design will continue to go forward, and the scientific evidence will win out in the end.
*What* "scientific evidence"? Even if Darwin's theories are somehow debunked (not bloody likely), "we don't know what happened" does not a theory advance. Nor does "some power made things this way" evidence make.

I've asked before, but I'll ask again - if certain things are so complex that they can't be explained and a "designer" is necessary, where did that "designer" come from? Wouldn't it be too complex to just exist? It's an endless cycle - if something is so complex that something more complex *had* to have created/designed it, then something more complex obviously had to have created/designed *that*.

In other news, it's mere hours before Christmas, and...I have just about zero holiday spirit. I distinctly remember years ago being completely excited this time of year, between the tree, presents, etc. These days, it's just another day. Presents don't excite me much anymore, nor do they apparently excite the people I should probably buy presents for either.

Blah. Amy and I have both been feeling crummy. I'd really like to know where all this snot keeps coming from. Thankfully the house is still slowly coming together. Most of the boxes that needed to go downstairs are finally there, and I finally got everything hooked up for the TV/stereo in the living room. Monday will involve another trip with John's truck, which will hopefully mean we'll be done with the old house.

Meat loaf, beat loaf, I hate meat loaf.

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We made a little progress today. A bunch of boxes are downstairs, and a bunch more are piled up in the kitchen ready to go downstairs. The dining room table is the dining room, and most of my plants are in front of the window. We're still a ways from being done, but it's getting there.

Now if only the cold and snow would go away...

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As much as I hate this stuff...:

How evil are you?

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I just happened to spot this editorial from my old paper today:
At this point, some people may be thinking, “But we're humans — we exercise a choice.” I think not, at least not in any remotely healthy psychological sense.

I’m pretty sure I was imprinted to be straight, and not just because of my experience, or lack thereof, with Miss Jones.

Indeed, offered the “choice” of homosexual experiences early in life, I simply wasn't biologically attracted. Nor did it seem were the presumed purveyors once that fact became obvious in preliminary negotiations.

Thus, I came early to the inescapable conclusion that typically, gay people aren't particularly interested in straight people, nor would I suppose are straight people particularly interested in gay people — at least not in a sexual sense.
Check out the rest for a decent read and plenty of comments.

I know I've used the "sexuality is biological, so you shouldn't judge people based on it" argument many times before. But recently I've wondered why it matters at all. I still think your sexuality *is* something you're born with, but what should that have to do with anything? Why should being gay only not be a problem because one was born that way? What if every non-straight person chose to be that way? I fail to see the (potential) problem. It seems like the "born that way" argument actually reinforces the idea that that being non-straight would otherwise be hard or impossible to defend.

I've asked this question before, and I'll ask it again: if Adam and Steve decide to hold hands, fuck each others' brains out, or get married, how does that in any way affect your or my heterosexual relationships? The last I checked, none of my gay friends were forcing me to sleep with them. Or trying to destroy my relationship. Or causing the sky to fall.

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Come on. We don't love Satan *that* much here:
O'REILLY: Now, this is a conservative city, Richmond. I mean, this is not Madison, Wisconsin, where you expect those people to be communing with Satan up there in the Madison, Wisconsin, media.
Or does Bill think my shrine to Satan in the basement is too much?

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This will seem really strange to those who know me and know what I eat, but lately there's been something I've really missed from Racine - Italian restaurants. For some reason I was thinking about chicken from Mike & Angelo's yesterday (not exactly Italian, but...), and I could really go for some thin crust Racine pizza (I've liked Geo's the past few times I've had them, but others would do as well). Pizza is certainly prevalent here in Madison, but for the most part it's a different animal than what you often find in Racine. The thin crust at Paisan's comes fairly close, I guess, but it still doesn't seem to be the same.

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Mental note - when cutting through plaster and lath using a rotary cutting tool (think RotoZip), keep a spray bottle with water handy. Pine lath - ahem - smolders easily.

Well, our bedroom is finally put together. At least as together as it's going to be with this furniture. Another outlet and cable/ethernet jacks helped that along. Things are *slowly* getting done around here. I do stress slowly, though.

Time to go put in the water softener.

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I don't think the kids are very happy, and we're not either.

As anyone who was at our old house knows, it was *perfect* for dogs. Big back yard, totally fenced in, with a sliding patio door that opened right out to it. If the kids had to go, we opened the door and let them out - that simple. Both would get *very* excited going outside - there's a reason they call them *Springer* Spaniels.

Unfortunately, the same can't be said here. The yard is of a decent size (albeit not as large as our old yard), but the door opens to the driveway, and the yard isn't fenced in. This means whenever they have to go out, we have to wrangle them, put them on leads, and hope they don't get wrapped around a tree or something (as Jake has already). Plus, Freckles in particular doesn't like this new situation - a few times I've literally had to drag her to the back door, at which point she just kind of sits outside. No longer does "outside!" bring immediate joy and excitement. And somebody (Freckles I'm betting) has already had a few accidents in the house, one right in front of my face.

So I don't know what we're going to do. It's currently a pain for us, and the dogs don't seem to like it at all. A fence (in the spring, I suppose) seems like the best idea, but that won't work where the back door is, unless we put a big gate across the driveway (something I don't really want to do). I'd rather not do a doggie door, and moving the door (or putting in another door) seems like a big expense. And I don't know about an invisible fence. Hmm.

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Well, I'm home sick today. I'm actually feeling much better than I was yesterday (it's bad when you're tired but can't fall asleep because you ache too much), but it seemed like a good idea to continue to rest up today. Amy was none too happy how quickly I (mostly) got over it.

So it's COLD out. Looks like 6 degrees at the moment. I don't envy the guys putting our new roof on right now. That said, there's one thing I'm *very* happy about at this house - the walls are actually insulated. I don't know if it's from when a bunch of remodeling was done, or when they put the siding on (or a bit of both), but either way, I'm leaning on an outside wall now, and it isn't cold at all.

So who wants to come over and help us unpack?

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I don't know which I hate more: snow or moving. Of course, putting the two together is even less fun than watching Jerry Falwell on The 700 Club.

So, yes, we're moved. Well...most (but not all) of the stuff is at the new house, but right now 99% of it is sitting in heaps in the living and dining rooms. And there's still plenty of stuff left at the old house. So our work is far from over.

Over the past few days I've begun the process of getting to know the house. During the inspection I noticed that the whole house seemed to be rewired. So far that seems to be confirmed. That said, rather than do something "modern" (I'm thinking it was done in the 1980's) and actually separate circuits out, things were re-done pretty much as they would have been originally - lots of stuff put together on the same circuits. Sure, to be expected in an old house, but NOT WHEN YOU START OVER FROM SCRATCH. Plus, despite the fact that they deactivated and (in most cases) took out all of the old outlets and wiring, they only put one outlet in the two downstairs bedrooms. Even though there were two in each originally.

Sigh. More projects, I guess.

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Time for some geek talk.

I've had DSL from TDS for over 5 years now at one place or another. Getting things initially going always seems to be worse than pulling teeth, but once they are going, they are usually great. A big plus over most other providers is their system can assign multiple (up to 254 I believe) public IP addresses - just plug in a switch and go.

Well, we've had the same Paradyne equipment for years. Works great at long distances (our old house is over 20k feet from the central office), but it's limited to 1 Mbps. Prior to moving I asked about faster speeds at the new house. "Yes, you can go faster, but you'll need a different modem." "What if I stay at the speed I'm at now?" "You can use the same modem." Great - no worries.

Until yesterday, that is. The phone was moved to the new house, but the DSL wasn't. Well, the DSL was still on at the old house, and wasn't working at the new house. And what did TDS have to say about this? "Oh, your new location uses different equipment, the Paradyne won't work. The technician will be bringing an Actiontec modem tomorrow."

Now, this had me a little worried. The Actiontec equipment they use not only has a modem, but router, switch, and wireless access point. Great, except I want my multiple public IP addresses, and everything I've seen says with this you get one to use with NAT. Hrmm.

So the tech comes today, and checks some stuff out in back. He hands me the modem in a plain box. I quickly open it and verify it's an Actiontec. I spring into action.

Me: Previously we were using Paradyne equipment, which allowed for multiple public IP addresses. Can that be done with this, and if so, how?
TDS guy: I'm not sure I'm supposed to be telling you this, but I really don't care. Go into the advanced setup and select "Transparent Bridging". You should be good to go.
Me: Great!

I quickly got the thing out and plugged in. After a few missteps, sure enough, I was getting a public IP address. Actually two - one via my wireless and one via my 10/100 connection. Great!

So, yes, one hurdle overcome. Let's just see how long it takes them to bump up the speed as requested.

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The Simpsons Archive

Vital stats:
DOB 2/16/79. I'm a web developer at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections. I like lots of old music, including The Who. I spend a lot of time working with computers. And my favorite TV show (when I actually decide to watch TV, that is), obviously, is The Simpsons.

In May 2002 I officially graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a BS in computer science. In 1997 (man that seems like a long time ago) I graduated from Washington Park HS. Yes, I know, that site isn't very impressive, and no, I haven't touched it for several years.

WFS Logo

One of the best experiences I have ever had was on a trip called Western Field Studies. This is a 33 day adventure throughout the western United States. Students travel on a school bus to national parks, monuments, forests, and places of historical interest and camp out (in tents or under the stars). I was a part of trip 25, which took place in the summer of 1996. A first for WFS was we took along a laptop computer and kept up a web site. That link will take you to the 1996 site, where there is a link to the current site.