It's been a busy week since the last post. On Monday I worked a full day then jet-setted out of Hobby Airport to St. Louis with my brother leading the way. He's a little younger than I am, but much more "outgoing" then I am. As a first-born, I tend to be much more conservative. I don't fully buy into this birth-order stuff, (one more look) but we do seem to follow some general patterns it espouses. It had been over 10 years since I last flew. I wasn't nervous at all about flying--I had flirted with attending the US Air Force Academy after high-school. No, it was my concern about navigating successfully through all the check-points and gates and being were I was supposed to be and not create problems for anyone else by being late or doing something stupid and creating a social/traveling blunder. My bro was a great guide and got us through it all wonderfully. What a dude!
Anyway, the reason for the sudden trip to St. Louis was that my paternal grandfather passed away and we wanted to support our dad and grandmother. My paternal grandparents live in Jefferson City, MO. It had to have been over 20 years since I last visited their city and home. Driving it to Jefferson City was very strange. I have grown up down here in the Houston area my whole life. This is my home. But driving through the city, going to the funeral mass, visiting with the cousins...it was like being home. I don't really believe that places can imprint on our genes, but it was very wierd. My paternal family has always lived and grown up in that area. I am a 7th-generation German-American. My ancestors lived and died up in Missouri. The reason I ended up down here in Texas was that dad took a job with an oil-company after he got out of college and the service. The memories I have of Grand-dad are of his basement filled with very old issues of Popular Science and Popular Mechanics, a giant HAM radio (he was an accomplished ham HAM radio operator all his life), and his deep voice. I am still getting to know the man he was through my conversations with his son, my father. I learn more with each conversation, and more about my dad as well.
So we are driving the streets and the whole place feels like home. The style of the houses and buildings, being in the Catholic church mass (I'm Protestant now...and by the way...their mass didn't include the Apostle's Creed. Is that left out now? I was amazed at how much of the mass I remembered! It all came flooding back in a warm way.)
Then there was the pace and look and feel of the city. It was weird. I met up with all of my cousins who I haven't seen or spoken to for so long. The whole experience has left me very reflective. We always felt relaxed and comfortable going out to Kerrville, TX to visit my mom and maternal grandparents, but it really wasn't the same feeling. I guess I can explain it like this, out there with them, I always felt the deepest connection with the people--not so much the place. They were always moving so it wasn't where I was at with them that mattered. Just that I was with them. With my dad's parents, they almost never moved (at least as long as I knew them). Grandma's house had gotten smaller (I had gotten bigger) but the place didn't seem to have changed much in all those year. I don't know. It's just weird knowing that you have a whole "other side of the family" and home that I don't experience much. I really need to do better. I guess it's an "Ohana" thing.
So now I need to add Missouri (Jefferson City) to my short-list of places to relocate to if ever Lavie and I decide to do a major relocation in our lives away from Texas. The current list (mine-not Lavie's!) stands as follows: Hokkaido-Japan, Alaska, Idaho, and now Missouri. Go figure.
- So I owe my bro an apology...while waiting for our flight back home Tues night, he was wondering what Apple's big announcement that week was going to be. I told him I doubted it would be a video-iPod. Wrong. It was. Some links: Apple iPod video, discussions on the subject, how to put your own DVD/video on the video iPod (for MAC users, for Windows users)--I'm sure more guides will follow.
- Topic two we discussed--what does the alliance between SUN and Google mean? Sun is vague with their annoucement. Slashot comments. Something of a merge between the word-wide access of Google portals and a blend of Sun's Looking-Glass project and OpenOffice on the fly? From any pc--anywhere in the world? Right now, it's just a Google toolbar with Java technologies. Tommorrow?
- If you run Windows and have patched your system with the latest critical updates that were released last week, you might want to be aware that one of the updates could break your pc. We are focusing on MS05-051 as the culprit. SANS has some info here, or go direct to the source at Microsoft.
- Mark Russinovich over at SYSinternals (home of some awesome freeware power-tools for your pc) has a very good blog. His latest posts discuss the Windows registry as well as using some of his tools to troubleshoot Windows Explorer lockups. Neat learning material for all you System Administrators out there.
- Another neat freeware tool for doing CD/DVD images that I came across: LC ISO creator. It lets you create an ISO image from a CD/DVD-ROM.
- Apple has a new Quicktime trailer of the new Goblet of Fire movie coming out.
- Apple also has an Harry Potter collector's iPod. Wow.
- Update iPod firmware,
- Update iTunes from v5 to V6,
- Install OpenOffice 2 RC3. I like to use John Haller's Portable Open Office. Then just download and install the latest OpenOffice build--per his instructions over the files in his pack. It works great. When you are done, uninstall the "installed" OpenOffice you downloaded and just use his package/launcher.
- Install the GIMP updated version.
- Watch The Place Promised in Our Early Days--I found the DVD and snagged it!
- Mow lawn,
- Do laundry,
- Go Grocery Shopping.
- Watch the Astros! We lead St. Louis 2-1 for the Division playoffs. Next game today at 15:30 CST. Will it be 3-1?).