1am ike update

the national weather service released a new advisory update at 1am central. looks like ike might not actually make a category 3 before hitting landfall. the path is still toward galveston and houston, although it appears to have moved just a small bit to the east.
if you’re interested in checking on hurricane info, i highly recommend stormpulse. it’s the best presentation of the data i’ve seen on any website. (including weather.com, weatherunderground, noaa, any tv station, etc.) the coolest thing is it’s evidently just two guys, neither of which actually have any specific ties to a government organization or tv/radio station.
i’m going to go to bed now i believe. gotta get up in time to pack all of my hurricane supplies.

hurricane webcam is go

well, we were released early from work today. and my place of employment is going to be closed tomorrow. what does that mean for me? not much, as i have volunteered to be part of the essential personnel ride-through crew. good times — and lots of foodstuffs packed with preservatives — are sure to be had.
having watched the wonderful “3 drunk guys and a hurricane” on ustream.tv for gustav, i decided i should jump on the bandwagon. i got home from work and started trying to set up a webcam through ustream. unfortunately, i’ve got a network-based webcam that didn’t work, and an old cheap webcam that didn’t work. i thought about trying my sony video camera, but i didn’t have the right kind of firewire cable. *sigh*
i went and ate a nice meal at star pizza, then i went to best buy and bought one of two webcams they had that actually listed as being supported under mac os. i’m not sure if it’s the best choice, but it was almost the only choice i had. i got home, plugged it in, and set up my ustream.tv stream. so i present to you now, the houston hurricane chopped n screwed cam. you can’t see much right now since it’s dark, but hopefully during the daylight hours you can see what it looks like in the front of my house.

a candle in every port

over labor day weekend i bought the schoolhouse rock dvd from a local target. it contains all of the songs/cartoons. i used to love some of those when i was a kid, so it seemed like something i should get at some point.
i also was over at the potts and watched charlie wilson’s war. i’d thought about seeing it when it was in the theaters, but talked myself out of it. i hadn’t seen it before. i really liked it. i’m not sure how well it lines up with what really happened, but it was fun to watch. i particularly liked philip seymour hoffman. (but that’s been the case for awhile.) if you watch the extras and see the real-life guy hoffman played, it’s pretty funny.
thursday evening i spent some time shopping on the internet. i bought a couple of things. one hasn’t come in, so i won’t mention it yet. as for the other…i’ve been a fan of devo ever since i saw them on the tv show fridays one night way back in like 1980 or 1981. over the years i’ve wanted a devo shirt, but i never could find what i wanted. over the last few years, the problem became that i could find a few on the internet that i liked, but they never came in xxl. well, i finally managed to find one i really liked that came in xxl. it’s a black tshirt based on an early design they used to wear in concert. it’s got the crooked “devo” letters in white on the front, with a very simplistic line picture of booji boy on one of the sleeves. it’s great. (although there are a couple of others i found that i really like, just none in xxl.)
i also went shopping on amazon on sunday, and purchased a few things. the only thing that’s come in so far is a poster. it’s the famous picture of cash flipping off the camera. unlike a lot of posters which are the original pic in landscape (which includes the stands and such on his right and the hall and woman on his left), this is a cropped version in portrait (with just him and his guitar) with the american records style “cash” written above/behind his head. (the poster is about 24″ x 33″.) unfortunately, even though it was packed in a thick cardboard poster mailing tube, the postal service still managed to bend it in two places, which put creases the whole length of the poster in two lines. *sigh* i hope they don’t do that with the other poster i ordered. fortunately, neither of them were all that expensive.
in a sort of tie-in, i read or heard that rick rubin is supposed to be working with zz top on a new album. i’m pretty excited about that. he did good things with johnny, and i really like a lot of the old zz top albums. i think the combo of rick and zz top has the possibility of creating something really wonderful.
staying with music, jerry reed died recently. (and i’d just watched smokey and the bandit for the first time in a long time. he’s great in that movie.) also, a week or two before that hank williams’ steel guitar player — don helms — died. so part of my amazon purchase (which i haven’t gotten yet) consisted of:

  • the essential jerry reed – jerry reed
  • rca country legends – jerry reed (rca)

i also broke down and made my first blu-ray purchases. even though i don’t have a blu-ray player yet. but i figure the format war is won, so it’s safe to go ahead and make purchases at this point. i’ll list them when they come in.
saturday i took the bel-air out for lunch to goode company bbq. i talked for a while with a guy who has a ’55 also. he seemed to know quite a bit about them, and had done a lot of work himself to his. i gave him my business card, and he is supposed to get in touch with me. it might be a knowledgeable connection that i’ve been wishing i had.
i also bought a couple more yankee candles. it’s not my fault! i had a 2-for-1 coupon, so i sort of had to. i was proud of myself, as i managed to restrain my impulses and only actually purchase the one and got one free. the scents:

  • mulling spices (large jar)
  • hazelnut coffee (large jar)

mulling spices is a new winter scent i guess. it smells sort of like wassail. i was originally going to also get the new cafe au lait scent, but the hazelnut coffee candle had just been brought back from retirement and it smelled even better.
over the last couple of nights i watched march of the penguins. it is a documentary about an emperor penguin colony in antarctica, and all they go through to reproduce. it was pretty good. i think i actually liked the documentary by the two filmmakers in the extras better. (although i didn’t watch it first, so maybe having already seen the movie first influenced my opinion.)

chrome – the new google web browser

someone passed me the link to the comic describing the new google browser (chrome) today. i looked at a couple of pages and said “was this drawn by scott mccloud?” sure enough, when i got to the end it credited him. it’s a pretty good read, and gives some good info about their new take on a web browser. it also has some pretty funny visuals when describing things, as well as funny things in the details.
there isn’t currently a linux version, so i couldn’t download and install it myself. (although they are working on one. i signed up to be notified when it is available.) also, the download was apparently disabled for awhile this afternoon. but it was available an hour or two ago, so a co-worker installed it on his windows box and we played with it for awhile.
my first — very early — impression is pretty positive.
having been the victim of firefox’s slow memory leaks, as well as feeling the pain of a runaway page or plug-in crashing everything, i’m really excited about the fact that each tab runs as a separate process. that’s something i had always wished other browsers did. (or at least a separate process for each window.)
but they went even further, and have a task manager for the browser. it shows each tab and how much memory and cpu it’s using, as well as network use. because they run plug-ins separately, they also detail those. and you can kill each one individually. all of this adds up to something beautiful in the case where you have a runaway plug-in or page. you can see what is chewing cpu or memory and kill just it. you don’t lose all of your browser tabs or windows.
i think they’ve built it using some good ideas. and since they were sort of starting from scratch they were able to design based on how browsers are used today, instead of the design of most browsers, which were built based on the type of usage and web pages in existence years ago. they also released all of it under an open source license, so any other browser (or whoever) can take and implement any of it.
it’ll be interesting to see what happens. whatever the case, i think this will probably be good for browsing in general, as well as open source projects.

the devil makes three

that’s how it started. i was planning on leaving work at 2pm, but i didn’t walk out of the building until 3pm. i was planning on leaving by 3pm, but i didn’t drive away from my house until 5pm. then a few miles from my house, in traffic, it started to rain. then traffic really slowed down. fortunately, i had skipped taking the motorcycle and picked the bel-air (even though i didn’t know about the rain, and the gas cost would be much more). it took me about 2 hours to get from my house to katy. to katy! grr.
where was i headed on a wednesday evening? austin. why? the devil makes three was playing stubb’s bbq, and i’d been wanting to see them since i’d first started listening to them 5 years ago. (they’re from california.) i’d bought the re-release of their first album a month or two ago, and let chris from work listen to it. he liked it, checked them out online, and noticed they were going to be on tour and were supposed to play austin. and things worked out so i could go. what about the radio show? it was pre-empted for the democractic national convention.
i was running way late, so i didn’t get to stroll leisurely into austin and hang out at the hotel, then meet my brother for supper or anything. i pretty much showed up at the hotel, checked in, dropped my stuff off, and went to meet my brother at stubb’s. i did pause long enough to take a picture of downtown austin from my hotel room…
i’d decided to spend a little extra and get a hotel room with a view. before i left my house, i’d searched and booked online. i was on the 15th floor of the hilton garden innn downtown austin, which is at 6th street and i-35. in the pic you can see the state capitol building, and to the right the red/orange light is the t.u. tower. from the hotel, it was about a 4 block walk to stubb’s.
i got there and found my brother. it was about an hour or so before the devil makes three started playing. it was a decent crowd, and a number of people seemed to know at least some of the songs. (on a sidenote, there are so many more interesting people in austin.) their live show wasn’t incredible (like the last show i saw at stubb’s, which was 16 horsepower back in 2002 or so), but it was really good — they sounded good and were fun to watch. near the end i tried taking a few pics with my iphone. it was dark and they were moving alot, but here’s one just to show i was there…
the show ended, my brother hung out a little then left (he had to get up at 6am), then i talked to cooper for awhile. i didn’t buy any merch since i already had everything they had for sale that i want. i had thought about eating, since i hadn’t eaten since lunch, but i didn’t know where to walk to (i’d valeted my car at the hotel and didn’t feel like getting it, even though they’d let me park right by the entrance in an isolated 15 min spot) so i just went back to the hotel room. i thought i’d go to the vending machine, but it was just sodas. i did manage to find a couple of complimentary chocolates from the hotel, so that’s what i had for supper. i watched some tv and went to bed.
in the morning i got up and took a shower, then plugged my ipod into the aux input on the room’s radio/alarm and listened to bob wills while i drank some coffee and sat in the chair looking out the window…
…contemplating life and such. i finished packing and checked out. i was thinking about eating somewhere, but i needed to get back to houston. i dropped some stuff off at my brother’s place and hit the road. i got back to houston around 2:30pm and was at work by about 2:45pm.
i wish i could have enjoyed austin more while i was there, since i think it’s a great town. but i had a purpose and i only planned to be there a short time. and now i can say i saw the devil makes three live.