OK, so I got really behind on my blog. Whatever. So it's like 2003 and all, which is pretty cool. I went to New Year's at Arlo's house, and we had a pretty cool party. Team Austin 2600 competed in the latest Linux Top Gun and won. We got a gift certificate for $250 to Fry's, so we're still deciding on what we are going to spend it on. We also got 2 tickets to SXSW, so i'm not sure what we will do, being that there's 3 of us. I should have my current resume up and posted this week sometime, so that's a plus. Then i can just tell people "it's on my website" :).

So I went to this benefit concert at this cool outdoor place called The Chicken Wire Ranch on east 6th street, saw a couple cool bands and watched RoboCop on a projector. We had the usual flight path meeting last night, and hung out with the web admin for We headed out to Kerby Lane and had dinner, conversation, and some laughs. So back to the present, we went to Mojo's after the benefit, and the group dwindled down to me, puzz, and jake. And here I am, writing my log. Mmmmmmm... good coffee, strong coffee. Well, Thomas has no machine, and we're bored - so we're off to do something.

Ok, so i've been terribly bad about keeping up with my blog. Oh well, I must try to do better. Things have been busy lately, and I just lose track. So I finalized my plans for going to Canada; going to go see Kristin towards the end of February. My website is here (but has no domain servers!) because daniel moved his servers and hasn't hooked everything up again yet. My brother got a new job, so i'm happy that he's back working again.

My hair is getting longer again. Jacob and I clipped the sides our heads back in November, and mine is growing pretty well. I haven't had my hair like this since like... high school. I get all nostalgiac just thinking about it. :) Speaking of high school... I really am starting to feel old. I graduated in 1996, and here it is 2003. Time flies...

I spent $200 on repairs for my bicycle yesterday and the day before. Crazy stuff. My roommate has switched schedules, so we don't work anywhere near each other's shifts anymore. So I figured i would start riding again. I just realized my bike is like 7 or 8 years old. wow, time is flying. So i got a new derailluer, new rim/spokes (my original wheel got bent pretty bad), water bottles, some socks, and chain oil. It's like 30 miles to work everyday, so i plan on taking the bus as far north as I can go, then ride from there. I'll work toward eventually making the entire length, but 300 mi/week is pretty daunting. I was riding an average of about 200 mi/week when i was swimming. Then again, I was swimmin 9 practices a week, too. oh well - gotta go meet daniel for dinner.

funny the things people say without thinking about them. i was on the bus today, and a bunch of teenagers got on. one of them, on entering, said "it's cold as hell". it was amusing to think about that statement. last time i checked, hell was supposed to be a burning lake of fire. heh.

It snowed last night after the 2600 meeting. We all went to Mojo's, and were about to leave to eat at Kerby, and it started snowing outside! We all went outside and admired the phenomenom. It has been at least 5 years since i've seen a snowflake in austin. It didn't stick, of course (hasn't since 1985), but it was still pretty neat. I just got myself a new parka (see a picture of me wearing it here). Before you say "THAT'S NOT A PARKA!", this is a swimming parka. It's what swimmers wear to keep warm at swim meets between their events. I outgrew my parka from my swimming days, and got a new one (thanks to Jason of the now defunct Chapter 41) from Lane Four Swim Shop. Swimming parkas are the greatest coat. They are long, and reach down to just below your knees - large enough to wrap up in and go to sleep or whatever. They're thick nylon on the outside and totally keep the wind out. I'm riding my bike (partially) to work now. I live 25 miles away from work, so it's quite a ways. The bus only goes as far north as Lamar/Kramer, and it's 7 miles more to Dell. I learned that it's a LOT more work to get there than it is to get back to the bus stop from Dell. Going north is pretty much ALL uphill. It was prticularly hard on Friday, when it was 37 degrees (Farenheit) with a strong headwind. To add to the chilliness, all I had on was a long sleeve shirt (no coat or anything). I fixed my friend/ex-relative Maria's computer today, and made a few dollars to pay for my new parka. Her cdrom went out, and I replaced it. I might be building her a new computer soon; her current machine is a Gateway Celeron 433 (bleah). I think i can make them a good Athlon 1700+ with a decent setup (she only wants to surf the web and do word processing-type stuff) for around $500. Well, gotta write the notes for the last meeting.

people have the silliest arguments on the bus. today, this guy is telling other people how there's no reason for anyone to be south of William Cannon (a street i live off of) in Texas whatsoever. there are some weird people on the busses. it seems everyone is a zealot for some really stupid explanation of life from their twisted perspective. it almost reminds me of forrest gump, except that the conversations these people have are completely pointless and stupid. people make the most uneducated blanket statements about groups of people while riding on the bus. it's an interesting mix of the eccentric and the ordinary. I have ffound that the bus is a good place to sit down and do things you wouldn't ordinarily have the time for otherwise... like this blog. I'm also going through my html book for ideas on how to improve the site. I found out today that my weblogs are filled with nimda and code red worm attempts. stupid people who don't know how to run a webserver. it still shocks me that there are still people who have that crap spewing from their box. then again, microsoft has vreated a society of do-it-poorly-myself web admins who have no undertanding of what they are really doing when they open up a webserver. my friend larry told me today about a proactive approach to dealing with thos servers. he described a post on slashdot about a perl script that will automatically use the already vulnerable attacking webserver's security hole to apply a patch for the nimda virus to that machine, and shut it down. when the system is booted again, a message box pops up telling the owner what was done and that the patch is fixed. nifty, i think. i must try it. I have also found the bus a great place for scanning wireless networks. I started scanning somewhere near the 183/lamar intersection, and have now found 170 wireless networks thsi far. I just crossed Ben White Blvd. someday, i'd like to (armed with a gps, of course) ride every line in capitol metro with an external antenna and see how well i can map out access points in the city. Naturally, this would take more than a day, but it seems like a fun project. well, i am nearing my stop, so that's all for now.

12:30 AM
It's 12:30 in the morning, and I'm at Magnolia Cafe. I went to nuclear taco night with Thomas and Bill, and we had nuclear tacos. Yum. There were girls and everything there too, it was pretty cool. After that we did engineering stuff, and had fun with a yagi. I rented Dazed and Confused and Slacker at I Love Video, and paid my late fees for Bamboozled. All good movies in their own way. One thing about nuclear tacos: they don't digest very quickly. I feel all bloated. I'm sure I will "pay in the end" at some point tomorrow; we shall wait and see. I'm not looking forward to getting up in another 4 1/2 hours to go to work, but that's life. So anyhow, a good night of food and things, and i'm off to bed soon.

8:00 PM
It seems I got my roommate Jody's sickness. My stomach this morning was hurting so bad. At first I thought it was the nuclear tacos from last night, but it kept going even after the tacos went out the other end. BTW, you do pay in the end; not an overly comfortable feeling. I've spent all day taking trips to the bathroom, hopefully I get bettery by tomorrow. I watched the coolest movie today: Slacker. It's directed by Richard Linklater, also the director of Dazed and Confused. It's all about Austin in 1990, totally a counterculture independant film. It's a lot like my description of the people on the bus from my 02-11 post. pretty funny.

3:30 AM
So it's 3 in the morning, and it's 28 degrees (farenheit) out. I'm not particularly looking forward to the ride from the bus stop to work later. I have a little under 3 hours before i leave, and my clothes are washing now. I decided not to sleep tonight because I probably won't get enough sleep to get up in time and have good rest. Besides, i slept in all weekend, so i'm not really tired. I will probably be working on my pictures page today, so look for that to go up in a day or two. I have to decide on the structure of my site soon, for archiving and ease of use purposes. I need to finish my resume, also. Much to do, seems the story of my life. This weekend was pretty cool. We did the weekly meeting on Friday, though not many people showed up. It's a bummer that Flight Path was forced to close their back room by the city. Apparently, they don't have enough parking as required by the city for parking, and neighbors complained that people were parking in front of their houses. They are accepting personal petitions in the form of essay to submit to the City. I'll probably write one sometime this week.

11:55 PM
Well, I made it ok though the day... I wasn't really tired in a sleep-deprived sense (i'm still not), but rather my body was worn out. It seemed to take forever to get to the bus stop after work; of course the headwind didn't help, either. I feel like I'm getting into better shape now... though I still have a long way to go until i'm actually IN shape. I'm on the bus now, after stopping at mojo's for a couple of hours to relax. That place is like therapy for me when i'm stressed out. Rumors have it that the rent is getting too high to maintain the business there. It's really upsetting what the yuppies are doing to this town. There are all kinds of places shutting down because property values have skyrocketed and the old austin businesses can't afford to stay around. The Austin Chronicle had a story on the decline of local businesses due to what is happening to this town. Corporate/eletist stores are popping up all over the place and forcing the local businesses out all over town. 6th & Lamar isn't even recognizable anymore. It's like someone transplanted Waterloo Records and the G/M Steakhouse into some kind of pseudo-urban yuppie hell. I've heard that G/M Steakhouse is being pressured to close because of higher and higher rent imposed by the property owners. It's really weird to see them open 24 hours now. They used to only serve breakfast and lunch. The worst part is, the people who actually live in central Austin seem to have the least amount of say in what is happening here. Downtown has become a tourist attraction at the disposal of people living in Round Rock and far northeast Austin. So anyhow, it's approaching midnight and I'm still not tired yet. hopefully that will change by the time I get home. I don't know how well I can handle biking 7 more miles on no sleep again. I need to get a digital camera so I can catalog the events throughout the day and post them up here. I will look and see If i can find something decent cheap enough. Well, time to get off the bus. That's all for tonight.

It's just before midnight on the 23rd of February. I'm in Nebraska, my grandfather's memorial service was held yesterday. I've had a wonderful time spent with my family. I very much wish I could do so more often. I learned some new things about my grandfather, and learn to admire him even more. I have a great heritage in my family - something I hope I never forget. I talked to my cousin Brandi on the phone yesterday, and got to see how she was doing. She and her husband are in England living for now, and are going through the legal process of getting a visa for him to live/work in the US. She gave me her e-mail address and I gave mine to her mother, so we'll get to talk soon :). I saw my cousin Brent and his girlfriend Loree (who incidentally live in Austin, but the only time I ever see them is in Nebraska). Most everyone was here, and we were able to spend a lot of time talking about old memories surrounding grandpa and the family. I'll be getting some copies of things said during the memorial service from my uncles, and will be posting somewhat of a memorial of my own on the web. I didn't get to bring a camera this time, so i won't have any pictures of my own - however there should be some that will available soon, and I will likely add those to the memorial i want to put up. As part of the estate, we all got to pick out some things we would like to have; I found some neat old 120/116 film cameras. There was specifically an AGFA that is in great condition that i get to take that i want to shoot some pictures with and see how well it does. I really do enjoy being up here at the farm. I might try and spend some vacation here sometime this year - it's a great place to relax. Well, gotta get an early start in the morning, so i'm off to bed or something.

Well, we won't be making Austin tonight. It turns out that it snows (and sleets and such) in Austin and ACTUALLY sticks for the first time since 1984 and I MISS IT!! I've waited 19 years for it to happen again and here I miss it. So I'm sitting in a restaurant in Brownwood Texas, eating a chicken fried steak breakfast, sipping hot chocolate, and spending the night with my family in the local Best Western. From all reports, the roads in and around Austin are very icy, so we've decided to stop here for the night. Apparently, my dad thinks a piece of toast and a bagel in the morning, then pizza at 4:30 is 3 meals, and I'm the only one eating dinner tonight. Everyone else went to sleep, and I'm here at Skillet's eating my late dinner. I was again reminded of the utter stupidity of people tonight. As we were driving between Cisco and Brownwood, we came upon someone making donuts in the snow IN THE MIDDLE OF A US HIGHWAY! As an additional credit to this person's stupidity, he didn't even stop as we approached, but instead did another donut and then proceeded to drive DIRECTLY TOWARDS US on the wrong side of the road. We had to pull off to the side to avoid a collision. In other news, this restaurant appears to be the place all high-schoolers in Brownwood converge upon just before midnight. I swear I don't remember being so obnoxious in high school. I got a hold of a copy of my uncle Phil's speech from the memorial service. He is supposed to be sending an electronic copy via e-mail soon, so I'll have that up shortly. I will e-mail my uncle Steve when I get back to Austin to see about getting a copy of his poem written for the occasion. Most likely, Dell will be closed tomorrow, along with all the schools and such in town. It's pretty cool when it ices over in Austin... the whole city shuts down. We only get ice once every couple of years, so buying trucks and stuff to salt the ice really doesn't make sense just for one day out of 700. When I was a senior in high school, in 1996, it iced over pretty good. One reason NOT to drive in Austin when it has iced, is that there is a huge amount of elevated roads and bridges. It's nearly impossible to get anywhere in town without traveling over some sort of elevated road. So anyhow, in 1996, it iced, and there were a LOT of new people to town, as the city had recently had a growth spurt. To add fire to the flame, there was a new superintendent for the Austin school districct. Everyone here knows that when it ices, you close the schools and no one goes anywhere. Instead, everyone tried to travel the roads, and the schools stayed open and buses ran. There were 800 wrecks in a period of 3 hours that morning, and all the school children who rode the buses, sat on the bus for 6 hours because all the bridges were closed. I, refusing to go to school, instead rode my bicycle to work at the grocery store a couple miles away and made some extra cash selling flashlights and batteries to stupid people suddenly stocking up for ice that would melt 8 hours later. I wish i could find an AP out here to connect to. It's sure to be a long morning/afternoon waiting for the ice and all to melt tomorrow. Perhaps I'll find something on the way back to the motel. Well, it's past midnight now, and I'm kinda tired, so I think i'll head back or walk around a minute or something. Peace out. Word to your mother.

12:50 AM
It's 12:50 in the morning, and we are supposed to (hopefully) leave tomorrow sometime from Brownwood, Texas. We've been stuck here 2 days, due to a whole lot of ice that seems to have covered all of Texas and the obvious lack of snowplows and de-icing trucks. It does appear that TxDOT (the Texas Department of Transportation) has at least one de-icing truck in this town, as I saw it spreading anti-ice cheer earlier on the main road here. I have been reminded what it is to be a family traveling in close quarters - my sister has been sulking since we got here. Neither of my sisters appear to appreciate my the banter between my brother and myself on various subjects. They see it as "always arguing", when it's somewhat of a sport to us. As stated by my grandfather in his letter read at his memorial, this is a characteristic of personality that seems to bless all Menke men and plague their families :) . All my family has gone to sleep, and again I have found myself at the Skillet's eating a late dinner. We watched a movie today at the local theater, which is much nicer than I expected. But alas, it had to be a chick flick we watched, which ended in the usual instant problems-gone resolution of the chick ending up in the guy's arms kissing in some unrealistic and inappropriate place. The movie is called "How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days". Bleh. I decided to bring my laptop along for the trip wherever I went today, to see if I could find an access point to latch onto in the hopes of getting internet access. It appears that most of the access points in this town are attached to some common backbone service - appearing to be a wireless ISP here in town. It spans the entire town, it appears.. as I can pick it up over about a 1 mile length at least. Either I don't put out a strong enough signal, or some sort of authentication is needed I suspect the former. I ran a tcpdump earlier and found absolutely boring traffic: nothing but ARP, UDP broadcast, and a little bit of bootp - no TCP/IP traffic at all. I got bored and decided to take a walk to the local Hasting's (a cd/movie/book store), and found an suprisingly good selection of techno. I bought a pair of headphones and a Vegas by The Crystal Method on CD. Yes, I know it's old, but I didn't have it yet. So I have put both of my new belongings to use; the headphones plugged into my laptop, and The Crystal Method playing on the laptop. Of course, this is Crystal Method in ogg form - hope I don't get threatening letters from the RIAA for excersizing my fair use rights. I changed my font in xmms to "symbol", which appears to be Latin. My playlist looks really cool; now I just need to memorize the Latin alphabet :) . Apologies to those of you reading this (I know you're out there!), I haven't been able to find a place to actually update the site, so it's being stored on my laptop until such time as I can access my server again. If Jacob ever updates his pictures again, I'll have a new pic or two up. It appears that I'll be out of work for another day. I tried to call into work just now, but it appears that the mailbox for the people we contact is full. Heh, too many people before me called in first. I don't think anyone was at work - I tried to call at about 11 this afternoon, and it went straight to voicemail. The weather man says it's supposed to be up in the 50s tomorrow sometime - we'll see if that's the case (that's between 10 and 15 for you canucks and other celsius-using types). Well, I think I shall retire for the night and get some sleep or something. Until next time.

12:02 PM
Well, it's noon, and we're on our way back to Austin. The roads have become drivable again, and the radio is saying that the roads back home are mostly clear.. or should be by the time we get there. I called my roommate Jody to find out if Dell was open today, and I found out that he's been there since MONDAY because of the snow and ice. He said he already had 62 hours for the week. He's getting mad cash on his paycheck this week. I came across a funny fortune today:
"What George Washington did for us was to
throw out the British, so we wouldn't have
a fat, insensitive government running our
country. Nice Try anyway, George."
--D.J. on KSFO/KYA
Funny stuff.

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