So my last update happened two months ago — stuff has happened in that time.
Pics are up on my gallery from Christmas, as well as recent travels (see below). I’m still going through the Hawaii pics, but they should also be up shortly.
Went to Hawaii with Jen, and had a LOT of fun! We went snorkeling, swimming, and walked around a lot. We were on O’ahu.
When we got back, Jen had to get over an illness while preparing for her 3 week trip to Ecuador and the Galapagos islands! That’s where she is now, as a matter of fact, having a great time, she says. Meanwhile, I was left to my own devices, until I was scheduled to fly to Dallas for PyCon 2007. Pycon, for those of you who are not nerds, is a conference for the computer language Python. This happens to be what I am writing my website in, so I was interested in going, and it was reasonably priced.
I really kinda hated Dallas, but the conference was good. Some concepts that I had been struggling with for a long time finally started to sink in. I also got a TurboGears squeezie mini toolbox for asking a question!
Coincidentally, a science fiction convention was occurring in town the same weekend, and my favorite (living) genre author was there, Stephen Brust. So I hopped in a cab and went over. Got some pics of that, too, and he signed the copy of Dzur, given to me by Dad, that I had fortuitously remembered to bring along. (On the way back to the hotel, the cab driver was really impressed that I guessed he was from Eritrea, hehe.)
Finally, when I was walking to get a bite to eat on the last night, I broke up a fight at a gas station I was walking past. Two guys were on the ground, and the white guys’ girlfriend was screaming and begging him to stop. That guy had blood running down his face — the other guy, a black dude, had his t-shirt torn to shreds. I have no idea who started it, but I just walked over and grabbed the closest guy (ripped T) and pulled him back and away. I think the other guy was the aggressor because he started coming at the guy I was still holding, yelling expletives. But I’m a big guy and holding a hand out and glaring menacingly seemed to be enough so that he stayed back. Finally the tension seemed to be lessening, so I let the black dude go (they were both small, wirey guys) and went on my way. Just wanted to share that random event. 🙂
Since returning I’ve been dealing with Intel about coming back to work for them. My old group really could use my help for 3-4 months. However, it’s been tricky because I haven’t been out of Intel for more than a year, and there are rules against coming back before then. It turns out that instead of coming back as a contractor (and making CRAZY money) the only way I can come back is as an Intel Contract Employee (ICE), so I would get benefits, but the money would be more in line with what I was making before I left. Bah… I don’t need health insurance (I have my own, thanks) I need the ducats! At this point I just feel sad for Pat — it’s been almost 5 weeks he’s been battling the Intel bureaucracy. Even if for less money, I am inclined to still say yes, but now it would be more as a short-term favor to my old co-workers. Before, they could’ve had me back indefinitely.
Anyways, I’ve been working on the website all this time (although it doesn’t look much different than 3 months ago). But stuff is happening under the covers! Oh, yes! I’m looking forward to the next few days, where I get to implement the front-end features and redesign that are now possible due to the back-end changes.
Finally, I’m still looking for a band to join. I’ve had a few auditions/jams but nothing yet. I’m considering just forming my own thing, and keep doing open mics etc. So we’ll see how that goes.
Oh one last thing. Somewhat embarrassing. I got a box hacked last night! I have a laptop that I use for irc and for backups, and a few days ago I had given the root account a temporary password so I could use a samba admin tool on there. Well, somebody found out, and I noticed that they were running an irc bot from my machine! They hadn’t really hidden it, or messed with my system other than copying the zombie irc client to /root, and running it. I was able to determine what channel the zombie bot was joining, and so I joined that channel. There were about six other zombies in there. I didn’t say anything, and after a few hours I guess the hackers noticed me and kicked me out. The channel was #hackblue on undernet, BTW.