Category Archives: geek stuff

Larry Got Some Star Trek:TNG Love

I neglected to add something fairly awesome from this past weekend in my previous post:  Larry’s childhood friend Greg stopped by to visit and cheer Larry up.  Greg’s been great about checking in while Larry goes through chemo, but we had no idea what to expect when he asked if he could come over on Saturday!  Greg not only brought his son Asher, but he also brought a SIGNED STAR TREK:TNG BOOK – signed by SIR PATRICK STEWART HIMSELF!!!   It’s a slightly involved story, but Greg is in the Hollywood producing world and had the ability to meet Patrick Stewart this past Friday and provide what is possibly the world’s most perfect gift for Larry!

The inscription reads:

Hi, Larry, I am so happy to sign this for you.  I hope you are well soon and I send you all my best wishes.  Patrick Stewart

HOLY SHIT.  I got tears in my eyes when I saw this, as did Larry.  It is a fantastic thing to know that one of his idols was thinking of him just the day before.

We started Round 5 of chemo today.  I think Jean-Luc Picard’s encouragement will go a long way towards this being a good 2 weeks!

Janelle Monáe’s Fireball Island

I wish, right?  I don’t even know what that would be like, but I know I’d LOVE IT.   I figured I’d write a post now because:

  1. I moved my site to another hosting company
  2. I love these two things I mentioned in the title and so a post had to happen

First, I moved off of my Fatcow hosting company when suddenly the cost to host this site basically doubled.   Say what?  I saw that show on my credit card and I was like, I don’t fucking think so. A quick google of ‘best web hosting in 2018’ showed me a CNET article and at the top of the list was inmotion.   Checked out the website, saw the prices, saw they offered hosting on SSD, it was like, yep, I’ll do that.

The interesting part was transferring the site.  I’d actually been fairly good about doing database backups over the last few years, along with doing full downloads of the website content.  When hosting a WordPress site, you do have to take care of two factors:  the database, which actually has all the post information, including all those damn words; then you also have to download all the pictures and graphics and themes separately.

After downloading all my content from my previous host, I canceled the account and for a few days, if you tried to visit this here URL, you got NADA.  Because my site exists mainly for me at this point, that is not a problem.  I did slowly but surely figure out how to get my database uploaded and restored on the new site, while Filezilla connection to my new host made it pretty easy to upload the tons of content that exists from my site in all its incarnations.

And here we are!  It’s actually been a fairly straightforward process with one really annoying problem:  the character set I guess that the exported database used, when then used in the restoration, decided that some of the characters were weird ass Å characters.   Tech support here, which has been pretty great and helpful, doesn’t know how to fix it.  So I see this being a manual cleanup process that will take some time to fix, slowly but surely.  I also have to fix up pages where I used the Envira gallery plugin as I no longer do and the move to the new site TOTALLY hosed that up.  I ended up only using it for a year or so?  So the impact isn’t total, but annoying nonetheless.

You’re now caught up on the behind the scenes drama!!!!

In the other point of this post:  Janelle Monáe!

She’s been releasing more and more videos from her new album, Dirty Computer, and I am fucking stoked.   Her first song, “Make Me Feel,” is ridiculously awesome and the new Prince song we all need:

The other 2 songs released after are all also amazing, and very very lesbian and/or bi.  It’s fantastic.  Yay, 2018, as there’s so much to fret over, that there is still a boldness in art that isn’t being tamped out.

I still love that we got to see her perform at the Hollywood Bowl:

Janelle Monáe at the Hollywood Bowl

And in the final point of this post:  Fireball Island!

Man, there is just one game from my youth that I freakin’ flipped out over and harassed my mom to get me endlessly until she gave in and got it for me:  Fireball Island.

I brought that thing with me to Cambridge probably every day.  Okay, I probably didn’t bring it every day, but when I could I did.  For some stupid reason I got rid of the damn thing – probably “growing up” or “maturing”.  P’ssh.  When I would look occasionally online to eBay I’d see original versions going for hundreds of bucks and it’s like, nostalgia is one thing but paying that much for it is a little much.

Color me surprised when I’m scrolling through Kotaku one fine morning and see a post indicating a Kickstarter for a brand new version of the game is out.  It might have taken me maaaayyyybe 5 minutes to get my pledge in for the $145.  I’m a sucker.  But I can NOT wait for that game to come out this fall.  What do you think we’ll be playing up on the roofdeck of our new house??? FIREBALL ISLAND, bitches.

Air!

It’s been a rough month or so for me in terms of work. Basically been nonstop in order to try to stay ahead or keep up (it changes, depending on the day), and for quite a few weekends, I would take Saturday off for my sanity but be working from home on Sunday to keep getting shit done.   What have I been doing?  Making myself invaluable in the world of COBOL apparently:

The Inevitable Return of COBOL

Take a gander at that article.  That’s been my life, getting to know the client’s COBOL programs and decipher them into readable pseudocode.  What’s amusing to me is that I honestly might be learning this skill that keeps me gainfully employed; it’s not sexy by any means, but so much still runs on a COBOL backbone and industry is just not really ready to ignore the ol’ adage of “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”

Anyway, the 3-4 weeks of intensity has managed to finally get lessened due to that hard work.  So that’s been great.  It’s still busy during the week of course, but I have been able to take a full weekend both this one and the last.  Yay!

So, what else has been going on?  Let’s go through some of the pictures, shall we?

Twin Peaks

OH MAN.  So much excitement with Season 3 coming up in like a month.  I have to keep expectations in check, but it’s so exciting to realize we’ll get some answers one way or another so soon.

A few weeks ago, Entertainment Weekly released 3 covers that all had to do with Twin Peaks.  If you lined them all together, you could see they all formed one “last supper”-ish picture of major components of the cast.  When I realized this was happening, I managed to finally get to Barnes & Noble and snag 2 of the 3 covers, but of course the ‘good’ cover was the one I couldn’t find, which was the one with David Lynch, Cooper, Laura and Audrey.  Of course.   I held out one piece of hope though – that Larry’s subscription issue would come with that cover, and happily enough, that turned out to be the case.  All 3 covers were MINE.

I am so freakin’ excited for this.

Here are some more official photos of the covers in their full glory:

In the midst of all my geekery, I went back to Welcome To Twin Peaks and looked at their video links.  One of them was to what has been thus far an amazing analysis series that covers the entirety of the show, and while it leaves a lot of the charming and esoteric details for when watching the show, you can watch this analysis and get a pretty great sense of what has happened in advance of Season 3:

Journey Through Twin Peaks, A 4-Hour Video Essay Exploring The Series, The Film & More

I’d just managed to finish watching through to the recap of winding down from solving the Laura Palmer mystery, and am interested in how it deals with the Windom Earle plot as well as Miss Twin Peaks and the dive into the Black Lodge.  And of course, the frustrating then-“series” finale which is no longer the bane of the show’s existence.  “How’s Annie?”, indeed.

Fun @ WeHo’s Flaming Saddles

This guy is ridiculously hot, and I barely remember it at this point due to the alcohol consumption.

Yeah, so when you make it to one of WeHo’s very festive gay bars, you can rest assured eventually some hot mofo will be dancing around for you to ogle.  And sure enough, a weekend ago, Larry & I got to enjoy that pastime.  Greta was celebrating her birthday and her girlfriend Stacey invited us out to Flaming Saddles, a WeHo outpost of a place we’d also visited in NYC many years back.    Anyway, we had a blast.  After a few pitchers of beer, how could you not have fun?  Drag queens, gays, hot guys dancing around….yeah, you tell me how you can’t have fun.  Well, I can actually tell you the best way to fuck it all up:  add shots.  Larry & I had been drinking $13 pitchers of beer for a while, but of course when it’s a birthday party, people always think you need to add shots.  OOF.  Larry wisely and by necessity passed, but I was like SURE.  Danger, Will Robinson, Danger!  Yeah, I entered the zone of blackout drunk and a 36-hour hangover period.  Day drinking is a fun thing, but it’s not a right.  And you can easily fuck that up if you’re not careful.  Anyway, still a blast, and something I’d love to do again.  Just don’t mix.

If you get the chance to visit some place like Flaming Saddles or the Abbey, I highly recommend it.  What’s not to love?

Work Goes to the Standard Rooftop in DTLA

The new partner overseeing the national practice that I work in came to visit our humble Los Angeles office and meet us.  It was a good day and all of us were in the area so why not have an after-work happy hour atop the Standard Rooftop?  It’s just a block away from where we work, the weather was stunning, and the view was great.

See for yourself!

So that brings us to this weekend.  I’m obviously skipping a lot, but I’ll have to make up that differential with some more posts, like movies we’ve seen, etc.  In the meantime, it’s getting close to bed time and today has been a long one, with our Griffith Park run kicking it off and then a lot of work doing laundry, ironing, watching TV, and well, getting mentally prepared for another week.  Le sigh.

Hope all is going well out there for everyone else in this nutso time we live in.

Visiting the Twin Peaks Pop-Up in DTLA

I had been reading about the David Lynch “Festival of Disruption” that had been held this past weekend in Downtown Los Angeles at the Ace Hotel’s United Artists Theater.  It was a musical event with various interesting acts hand-picked by David Lynch…

It sounds like it could have been a cool event (see here: link to the festival’s website) to attend, but I didn’t really pay attention or know about it beforehand.  Tickets went fast.  But the good news was that my social media feed let me know that the pop-up shop situated in what would have been the ticket booth was going to be around for the following week (which is now this week).  And it was in DTLA, just a brisk walk away from where I work.  So YEAH, I was making my way there…as long as jury duty and/or work didn’t get in the way.  Happily, I wasn’t summoned to attend jury duty this week but still may have to go next week; and work is in a small in-between phase, so today during lunch, I did the walk over there.  It was so great, and happily not many people around at that time.   And of course, I got SWAG.  Here are the pics I took:

Still so excited for the return of this amazing show next year.  I honestly have no idea what to expect, and fully realize it could be a crazy-ass trainwreck.  But with David Lynch and Mark Frost both involved, I’m excited whether the results are good or bad.

A Fascinating LEGO Death Star Video

Someone put together the official LEGO Death Star construction kit and made a simply fantastic time-lapse video of it – what’s kind of cool is it’s not like a blocky-transition video, everything is very smooth.  Plus, as each room gets completed, a demonstration of what the room does as well as corresponding audio cues from the movies can be heard.  SO. COOL.

Still working on the next pictures post from Europe.  I got distracted this weekend by wanting to get out of the house….and also playing Anno 1404 like it was crack.  That game is a fun combination of city-building and renaissance themes much the same way Tropico 4 was….which means it’s eminently playable and addicting.  We also went out and saw The Girl on the Train and it was absolute garbage.  Okay, “absolute” is too strong a word, but it was such a waste of time and money.  Talk about a bad way of telling a story.  Recommendation:  PASS.   And then of course we had the second presidential debate yesterday evening and jesus, what a shit show.  It’s clear Donald Trump knows how to play to his base but once you get past the 90s-based attacks and listen to his word salad, it is just shocking he became the nominee for the GOP.  I’m still happily voting for Hillary Clinton and I love that he said we’d be getting a 3rd Obama term with her!  I WISH!