What?

Where did my weekend go? It went by way too fast. Seriously.

Not much going on lately. I’ve been trying to cut back our budget (or lack thereof), because we spend money without any regard. I had a real shock when I setup an account on mint.com (which is a fantastic site!), and saw what our spending on food was over the past month. I’m not going to put it here, because I don’t like to talk about personal finances, but needless to say, it was a lot more than it should be. So we went grocery shopping, and have instituted a once a week dining out rule for the time being. My goal isn’t to cut out eating out, or eating things we love, so much as it is to budget doing so.

Started playing rock band a bit more lately (haven’t really been playing much the past few months), since I can never seem to play my real drums when I want to. It’s obviously not the same, but it can get close when playing on expert, and I get the same workout. I grabbed the demo of Guitar Hero: Metallica
the other day, and it’s pretty cool. I’m not that into the interface Guitar Hero uses, but there’s no denying the killer song set they have in that game, so I’ll probably pick it up when a good deal comes around.

While on the subject of Music, some awesome new releases lately:

Lamb Of God – Wrath: Love it! It’s no secret that LoG is one of my favorite bands. Metal at it’s finest. Unlike a lot of their hardcore fans though, I thought that the last album (Sacrament) was a killer album. I loved the obvious Pantera influence, and I’m not that big of a fan of the cookie monster vocals. That said, the new album is a return to the more aggressive style, and with it brings more growling. It’s not a bad thing, but IMO it doesn’t do the music justice.

Mastodon – Crack The Skye: Another killer album. I love these guys! Very prog oriented, technical band. Their lyrics are total cheese-dick fantasy stuff, but there’s no denying that their music is fantastic.

Static-X – Cult Of Static: What can I say, it sounds like every other Static-X album to an extent, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

From the not new (although they do have a new album coming in May), but new found love category: Isis. I’ve heard these guys a ton in the past, even seen them a few times opening for various bands, but I never really gave them a chance despite rave reviews from both friends, and music rags. Finally getting into them, and I have to say that I feel like a total tool for not giving them more of a chance before. Awesome layered, ambient, metal oriented music.

My comcast cancellation call

So I called comcast to cancel my cable internet service today, and the conversation went something like this:

comcast: Hi, how can I assist you today?
me: Hi, I’d like to cancel my internet service.
comcast: May I ask the reason?
me: I’m switching to FIOS.
comcast: Why do you want to do that?
me: Faster speeds.
comcast: You know, we have pretty fast speeds available too.
me: I’m pretty sure I have the fastest already.
comcast: What city are you in?
me: Ashburn
comcast: One moment…. Yes, I see you have 16/2. You do know that you are getting a discounted rate on this service? You pay $56/mo, normally it’s $62/mo.
me: All the more reason to switch.
comcast: So there’s nothing we can do to keep you?
me: No. I’ve already switched.
comcast: Okay. You just need to return your router within 5 days.
me: Thanks. Have a nice day.

Verizon FIOS Install Part 2

Well, miss utility showed up on Friday to paint lines. Saturday afternoon, I found a bunch of guys in my backyard digging. I went out to see what they were doing, and how they planned to get the fibre to my house. We have a 4 foot wide stone path that goes from the side of the house all the way to the garage, so the fibre has to get across it somehow. They found a drain pipe that connects from my gutter drain, that goes under the path to drain the water away from the house. They wanted to run the fibre in that. I told them no way, you need to tunnel under the path. They weren’t happy about it, but they gave it a shot.

They dug a whole about a foot deep on one side of the path, then trenched it out and took a 6 foot spike and hammered it under the path. I sat out there watching them pound away at the spike, wondering how they planned to get it back out once they made it through. After about 10 mins of work, and digging on the other side to find the end, they just pounded the thing right back out. I was pretty impressed.

They shoved the fibre cable through, and pulled it out the other end, then routed it up the thin trench they made through the yard back out the fence to the box. We are lucky enough to have the junction box directly behind our fence. They ran it up to the side of the house, and bundled it up and zipped it to another pipe for the installer to connect to the box he’ll install.

The cable itself is pretty heavy duty. It’s about half an inch wide, and it’s flat rather than rounded. The ends are capped off with a nice thick cap to cover the polished ends.

All told, they were done in less than an hour, and left very little trace that they had been there.

my brain is bigger than yours

I’ve spent a lot of time working on the new serve-you.net users site. The last iteration died a miserable death long ago. In the past I’ve used a full blown CMS like PHPNuke or Mambo. This time I decided to keep it simple and use WordPress. I’m pretty happy with the results so far. I also found a pretty slick help desk called Trellis Desk that I have setup as well. I’ve tried several in the past, and they all either cost too much, or are a pain to get working the way I want (often both). I moved all of this to a new server, so I don’t have to worry about people having access if there’s a issue with the server that the control panel lives on (like last week).

Aside from that, work has been kicking my ass. I had to take a few days off this week to clear my head. I’ve actually been seriously considering finding a new job in the past week. I really don’t want to leave, but I’m frustrated with the way things have been going downhill, and I feel completely helpless to fix them. We’ll see how things play out over the next few weeks. If things don’t get better, I’m definitely going to pursue some of the leads I get sent all the time.

Halo 3 is the shit

Haven’t posted in a bit, so I thought I’d write something about what I’ve been doing lately.

I got Halo 3 the day it came out (of course). I played the campaign for a few days, and it was cool, but I’ve never really cared about the story line. I’ve always been a fanatic about the multi-player. So once I got a stable network connection up there, I got on xbox live, and I have been playing it pretty much every evening after work. It kicks much ass!

We saw Clutch last weekend up in Hagerstown, and they were awesome! I have waited a long time to see them, and they are fantastic live. Actually considering going to the show at the 9:30 club next month to see them again.

I went and saw Danzig the other night in Baltimore, and I’m sad to say, it was a huge disappointment. I’ve never been a huge Danzig or Misfits fan, but I’ve always liked them. I just wasn’t feeling it at all. I sat upstairs watching them on a tv and drinking instead of hanging around in the crowds. It’s sad that this was probably the highlight of some of these people’s lives.

The trip to California is happening in a couple of weeks. Assuming all of San Diego hasn’t burned down by then,we’ll be traveling from San Jose/San Fransisco, to Monterey, then LA, Palm Desert, then San Diego where we will fly back from.

Other than that, not a lot has been going on. We’ve been doing stuff to get ready for the party. I’ve been watching as much football as I have time for. Good game coming up tonight, that I’m really looking forward to VT vs. BC. I would have gone down to Blacksburg for it if I hadn’t had the concert this week, and a vacation coming up.