Haven't been on here in ages. Not entirely my fault though.
Back at the end of May, we had a minor fire in our house. All in all, it could have been a whole lot worse... fire damage was contained to one room... water damage a little further in... smoke throughout. Everyone is safe (wife, all 7 cats, and myself), and the house is well on the way to being restored (and in many ways, improved... having homeowner's insurance is definitely a good thing).
Life, though, has been a bit sideways for the last few months because of this. We've been living at my folks' place (except for one cat that is being boarded at our vet's... just not enough room at the house to deal with his special needs) and living on a minimum of our belongings... most of our things are in a storage unit. I've also been trying to exist using my father's PC (several years old, very quirky, and does not get along with this web site at all) but needed to do a few things tonight that required my box, so here I am.
So... yeah. That sums up my summer... existing at my folks house, spending just about all my free time getting the house back in shape, plus surviving hurricanes that decide to come calling at the most inopportune time.
7 years agojtbrown
9 years agojtbrown
So things are, in general, good right now. It's been quite a while since I've honestly felt this way since there's always been at least one or two things that could definitely have been better.
*After some financially tight times, we've turned the corner and are getting back to a more comfortable place.
*After a difficult year, businesswise, I received a decent annual review and, very unexpectedly, even got a small raise.
*Speaking of work, after dealing for more than a few years with a supervisor generally regarded as inefficient, confrontational, and borderline incompetent, my department has been reorganized into a much better situation.
*Icing on the work related cake - as an afterthought of the reorg, they finally have parted ways with said supervisor, thereby guaranteeing I won't get stuck dealing with her again.
*Faire season is rolling around - one audition is in the books and I got the role that I really wanted. There's also going to be a new faire starting up this year... run by folks I know and like... located about 20 minutes from home!
10 years agojtbrown
Though the weather outisde is... less than ideal, today is the start of a hopefully awesome long weekend.
Took off today, Friday and the following Monday, so no work to worry about.
NJRK opens this weekend, so I'm getting super-psyched up for that.
Tonight I journey down to the Sovereign Bank Center to take in a few hours of my idol and songwriting mentor, Jimmy Buffett.
Never mind the rain clouds... summertime starts tonight!
10 years agojtbrown
... after the three day vacation weekend. My health has improved enough that I've gone back to 'full-time' duty with the NJ Ren Faire and Kingdom this year, which means that my holiday weekend was given over to doing lots of work for the faire. Memorial Day weekend is our biggest push for production work, so the majority of the construction that needs doing gets done that weekend. I got to put in full days of carpentry-related work on Saturday and Monday, while Sunday was filled with rehearsals.
While it didn't make for a very relaxing long weekend, it was a good one. This is usually the point where I start getting particularly psyched for the coming season... I have all my scripts and I'm nearly 'off book' by now... the various shows are starting to round into the shape they'll be performed in... all the work of the past few months is nearly coming to a head.
I'm having the extra fun of delving into a new character for this year. NJRK is an Arthurian themed faire (though our exact storylines at least partly diverge from the literature basis of the legends) , with a continuing storyline from year to year. For several years I portrayed King Lot of Orkney (see the current profile pic); Lot was a supporter of Arthur and Camelot in our canon, though he was a bit irreverent and unorthodox. I had a lot of fun wearing 'the pointy metal cap' during that time. This year, after being away from the show for a few years (I was back last year but in a much lighter duty than usual) I was recast into a new role - I'm now portraying Sir Kay, Arthur's foster brother and senechal of his household.
It's denifitely a bit different; while I'm still a character that holds some authority, it's definitely a different mindset that I'm finding myself in. I'm enjoying the challenge of fleshing out a new persona, though. I was comfortable as Lot, so it's nice to challenge myself a bit again.
So, if anyone finds out that they'll be within striking distance of Clinton, NJ during the last two weekends of June, come on out.
10 years agojtbrown
After a few weeks of dealing with my wife's old PC (I would log on to check email and that's about it... miserable, slow, old box it is) my new system is here, up and running. One minor issue of not having any sound right now but that should be corrected soon enough.
It's nice to have a seemingly reliable new machine again... I just need to get used to Vista.
10 years agojtbrown
So, I've been tossing around the idea of getting a new PC - my current box is over four years old at this point and I'm just about capped out in what I can expand to keep it able to run the newest things. The mobo limits me to AGP cards so I'm definitely behind the the curve on video cards and I've topped out the memory I can put into it. I've also been getting some odd sounds coming from it recently... my best guesses were that either the HD, power supply or a cooling fan were getting close to crapping out.
Needless to say, I made sure to back up anything irreplacable and started some preliminary legwork on what to do... splurge on a new system, build a whole new system from scratch or just see about a major upgrade. I think my old box knew what I was doing, though, and took it personally. For the first time in over 15 years of owning PCs I managed to foul up and get a couple of nasty viruses on board... I managed to find and clean up most of the malware but there was enough that was going to be stubborn enough that I decided to just do a full wipe of the HD and start fresh. Now remember that odd sound I mentioned earlier? It seems that one of my guesses was correct; apparently the strain of doing a full wipe was too much and Mr. Hard Drive doesn't seem to want to spin up anymore. So now, instead of a PC, I have a large, expensive-looking paperweight sitting next to my desk.
Good thing I had started looking into alternatives, yes?
End result is that I'm just going to buy a whole new box. While I could probably save a few bucks by just doing a major refurb or a self build, I just don't get all that much pleasure out of doing computer rebuilds. At some point in the future I'll probably look into reviving my old box for use as a server (or maybe an entertainment center PC... one of my co-workers had some ideas in that direction).
10 years agojtbrown
ITS CHRISTMAS DAY ALL IS SECURE
'Twas The Night Before Christmas
He Lived All Alone
In A One Bedroom House Made Of Plaster And Stone
I Had Come Down The Chimney With Presents To Give
And To See Just Who In This Home Did Live
I Looked All About A Strange Sight I Did See
No Tinsel No Presents Not Even A Tree
No Stocking By The Mantle Just Boots Filled With Sand
On The Wall Hung Pictures Of Far Distant Lands
With Medals And Badges Awards Of All Kinds
A Sober Thought Came Through My Mind
For This House Was Different It Was Dark And Dreary
I Found The Home Of A Soldier Once I Could See Clearly
The Soldier Lay Sleeping Silent Alone
Curled Up On The Floor In This One Bedroom Home
The Face Was So Gentle The Room In Such Disorder
Not How I Pictured A Lone British Soldier
Was This The Hero Of Whom I'd Just Read
Curled Up On A Poncho The Floor For A Bed
I Realised The Families That I Saw This Night
Owed Their Lives To These Soldiers Who Were Willing To Fight
Soon Round The World The Children Would Play
And Grownups Would Celebrate A Bright Christmas Day
They All Enjoy Freedom Each Month Of The Year
Because Of The Soldiers Like The One Lying Here
I Couldn't Help Wonder How Many Alone
On A Cold Christmas Eve In A Land Far From Home
The Very Though Brought A Tear To My Eye
I Dropped To My Knees And Started To Cry
The Soldier Awakened And I Heard A Rough Voice
'Santa Don't Cry This Life Is My Choice
I Fight For Freedom I Don't Ask For More
My Life Is My God, My Country. My Corps'
The Soldier Rolled Over And Drifted To Sleep
I Couldn't Control It I Continued To Weep
I Kept Watch For Hours So Silent And Still
And We Both Sat And Shivered From The Cold Nights Chill
I Didn't Want To Leave On That Cold Dark Night
This Guardian Of Honour So Willing To Fight
Then The Soldier Rolled Over With A Voice Soft And Pure
Whispered 'Carry On Santa Its Christmas Day All Is Secure'
One Look At My Watch And I Knew He Was Right
'Merry Christmas My Friend And To All A Good Night'
This Poem Was Written By A Peace Keeping Soldier Stationed Overseas
The Following Is His Request I Think It Is Reasonable.
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