Cerebral Flotsam And Jetsam - My Mental Maelstrom

04
Jul
2004
14:33

Anarchy in the UK!

Quick update.
Went to Liverpool. Went to “The Beatles Story” museum. Very cool.
Went on a tour of John Lennon’s and Paul McCartneys childhood homes. VERY cool. Quite momentous and moving for me.
Was treated like a total celebrity when I sat in with a Stevie Ray Vaughan tribute band. The fact that I am from Austin seems to carry it’s own inherent set of credentials. A very nice guy named Tony brought me a choice of 3 different guitars, and a very nice amp to use. I sat in on several songs and it went great. The band is “Texas Hurricane”. They were excellent and more than that were all the nicest of people you could ever hope to meet.
Had somewhere around 30 people over to Jess’s parents house for her birthday. We barbecued outside all day and partied into the wee hours. I gave a small acoustic performance in a back room of the house. Invented the “Captain Archer” dance. This is my second dance invention, the first being “Do the Pope Hat”.
Barbecued again today for the 4th of July. There were 3 of us Yanks here so we used it as a good excuse to use up the ton of food left over from the day before. Casey (my cousin) and I did the barbecuing since it was a holiday for us, and we felt we should “host”. We decided the Brits should also celebrate today as “yay! We got rid of the Yanks!” day.
Perhaps I will elaborate on some or all of the above when time permits. Cheerio, pip pip, and all that guv’nor.

26
Jun
2004
9:34

Karmic roller coaster.

So I got on the 4:15 plane to DC. Met up with Casey and Jess. We then went to list ourselves on the 9:30pm flight to London. It looked very full, and both my friend and the agent we spoke with said it didn’t look like we would get on that flight, but we could try. It was the last flight of the day so if we didn’t get on we would stay in a hotel (which she reserved for us at a discounted “distressed traveler” rate) and catch one the next day.
We inquired what happened to our luggage since the agent in Austin told us our bags would go straight through to London with or without us. The agent in DC said that due to new security measures no bag could ever travel without it’s corresponding passenger on board, so our bags would have been pulled off when we didn’t get on the previous London flight. She checked on our bags and they were indeed in DC with us. They usually need 2 hours to get the bags arranged to go on the next flight when they’ve been pulled like ours were, and the next flight was only an hour or so away, but she said they would try to get them on. We asked what would happen if they didn’t get on, and she said that in that case we couldn’t go on the flight due to the no bags without people rule.
We waited around even though we knew we probably wouldn’t get on a flight until the next day. As everyone was loading, they called us up to the counter, and to our surprise, gave us a choice of several seating arrangements. Jess and I sat together on a 2 seat aisle, and Casey just a few seats away. Score! I called as we were in line and canceled our hotel reservation.
The flight was all right. We watched Mystic River, and didn’t really manage to get any sleep unfortunately. We arrived at Me-row (Heathrow) and went to get our bags. Long time. No bags. Empty carousel. No bags. Jess went to check on them. They were in DC. She filled out some paper work, and they said they would send them on and deliver them the next day (which they just did a few minutes ago as I write this.) So the first agent was wrong in that they didn’t go straight through, and the second agent was double wrong in that we did get on the plane without our luggage, and they did send it along anyway even though we were not on that flight.
We had a good time on our first day though I was falling asleep (literally) at several of the pubs/cafes we stopped at, and we finally went to bed after something like 40+ hours of being awake.
More details later. This was intended to be just a quick and non-entertaining update, but it has instead turned into quite a long but still devoid of the effort to make it entertaining update. We’re here, we have bags, and all is right with the world for the moment.

24
Jun
2004
12:57

Very bogus journey

2 seats on the 11:45 flight to DC. I sent Jess and Casey along, and I stayed behind knowing I could call my friend Scott (who is the one that works for the airline) to get advice.
Then I get the text from Jess…
The passes for the second leg of the trip to London are in my bag. They won’t be going anywhere from DC until I get there. All flights looking very full. I now wait at the terminal to see if I can get on the 4:15 flight to DC (It’s currently 1:00). Luckily flights to London on Friday look less pessimistic. I am very, very bummed. And kicking myself for having their passes with me. Luckily there is an intel booth demonstrating their laptops, and thus my internet connection at the moment. Words can not express my lack of morale right now.

23
Jun
2004
23:37

Dodgeball

Go see this movie. Now. Freakin’ hilarious. Incredible cast. Whoever found this script deserves a HUGE bonus.

17
Jun
2004
19:40

Mozilla Firefox 0.9

It’s out!
Best results ae obtained if you first totally uninstall .8 before installing .9. If all goes as planned it will give you a dialog box to import your bookmarks, settings etc, from your .8 settings.

17
Jun
2004
13:58

Gmail

I’ve often thought that maybe I should start using the “category” functionality of movable type where you can specify certain categories for each entry. I’ve never really thought that I would use or need it that much, but then I find my entries generally falling into a few categories. This would fall into the “Geek Stuff” category.
For those who may not know, the all-powerful Google have introduced their own web based email (like hotmail, yahoo mail, etc.), called Gmail. It’s currently in beta testing and the only way to get an account is to be invited by someone already in it, or get randomly chosen. For example, they randomly choose people with Blogger accounts (since Blogger is part of Google now). I was interested in checking it out so I checked my seldom used Blogger account to see if I had an invite. Negative. On a whim I checked my wife’s Blogger account. Bingo! Knowing that she would probably never notice it, and even more likely would have no interest in it, I took the invite and made my own Gmail account.
Since I have my own domain, I don’t really need an online email account, but I did occasionally use Hotmail when there were problems with my account, or when certain ISPs had my server blocked because they think my shared server sends spam (though this is a false claim, getting unblocked from an ISP is next to impossible). Goodbye Hotmail. Gmail will be my new alternate mail. Not only because I like Google far more than Microsoft, but because it is innovative, slick, and very cool. They give you a gigabyte of space, and encourage “archiving” as opposed to outright deleting. Then you can do a search through your old mail at any time. No more need for separating things into folders, since you can just do a search for “llamas” if you’re searching for that old email about what to do if your Llama has a stomach ache from eating your A-team action figures.
Keyboard shortcuts and other cool features make me actually want to use Gmail, but I doubt I could ever give up using my main heathallyn.com address and the ability to check it with Outlook or other POP3 mail programs. However, if they add POP3 access in the future, it will become even more tempting. If there’s anyone who needs a cool web based email, and wants to try Gmail, I have 3 invites left to give out.

16
Jun
2004
10:03

Excellent adventure, or bogus journey?

Our trip to the UK approaches. Panic sets in. Here’s the story.
Regular plane tickets cost way too much. Slightly more than gallon of gas, at around $1000 a piece. No way could we afford that. I have a friend who works for an airline and can get us “friends and family” passes for way, way cheaper. The catch is, you’re basically flying standby, so there’s no guarantee you’ll get on.
As I was confirming everything with him yesterday, he noted that the loads look “doable, but iffy”, meaning we may get stranded in Chicago if there’s not room on the flight. We would have to wait until a flight came up that did have seats.
As another kink, his airline has an embargo for certain dates during which friends, family, and leeches can not fly without the actual employee being present. So he’s going to have to “bid” for his days off and hope he can get our departure date off so that he can fly to London and then fly back with us (we will, of course, pay for his even more greatly discounted ticket back and still come out at less than half retail price). Should he not be able to get those days off, we would have to buy tickets from London to Paris, and fly out from there, because the embargo is only on westbound flights from London and Amsterdam at that point. You following? Probably not, but that’s alright.
I am still looking forward to this adventure, but hope we end up as Wyld Stallyns, and we don’t end up playing twister with death. (movie references in case anyone was confused)

10
Jun
2004
21:42

Invasion of the body snatchers

I was reading this entry on a friends blog, when I had the sudden urge to reply. I’m the anonymous comment you see there, which links to a picture. I didn’t mean to leave it anonymous, but when I did so accidentally, I found it amusing, and thought it lent itself to the mysterious theme of my comment.
Looking back I find the story behind my comment amusing in itself. The day before, I had been surfing Kevin Smith’s message board, and while looking through all of Mr. Smith’s old posts, someone had posted a version of that picture in a post. I took note because I thought it was a great picture, and one of those classic famous movie moments like “Soylent Green is made of people!!”
The next morning I saw Will’s post, and I immediately thought that picture would be a hilarious comment. I Googled a bit but couldn’t find it, or at least not a decent sized version of it. I later decided to look through all the hundreds of Kevin Smith’s posts to find it again. After several hundred posts, I did find it only to realize that I had forgot that this user had put a caption on the picture saying “STOP CHANGING THE FUCKING SUBJECT!”, so it was of no use to me. I went back to Google, and eventually found it. I was surprised at how difficult it was to find that pic, being such a famous movie moment.
So all in all, I ended up spending probably 3 hours or more just to satisfy my brain’s little whim, and the end result is most likely no one thinks that’s nearly as amusing as I did. I’m still very proud of it. I am determined to find more uses for that picture.

10
Jun
2004
15:32

What’d I say?

Tell your momma, tell your pa,
Gonna move you back to Arkansas.
All right, baby what’d I say?
Whoa, all right, baby what’d I say?
Oh baby, oh baby.
All right, baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, all right, yeah.
Baby, what’d I say?
Yeah, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Oh, what’d I say?
Baby, what’d I say?
Ah well, ah hey, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Hey, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
All right, baby.

“Music’s been around a long time, and there’s going to be music long after Ray Charles is dead. I just want to make my mark, leave something musically good behind. If it’s a big record, that’s the frosting on the cake, but music’s the main meal.”
-Ray Charles
1930-2004