Monday, September 28, 2009

Time flies, no?

We got moved in, but it became apparent in the next few days that I highly overstressed my back while doing it. I'm better now, though.

Past couple of weeks have really mostly been the typical "work, sleep, eat, repeat" routine. Teri's pregnancy is still kicking her butt, so most evenings she spends resting in bed, so I've been passing the time reading or watching dvd's.

We did get our cable hooked up this past Friday, including internet. The TV part's been great, but the internet part.... not so much. The guy hooked it up to his laptop to activate it and it worked fine, but when I hooked my computer up a few minutes later...... nothing. Link lights looked okay on the modem, but the nic showed solid, no flashy. Power cycled the modem, but no help. Called the cable company and their automated system did a remote reset of the router and that fixed it. Hooray!

It worked fine on Friday, but on Saturday it started going up and down a bit, especially later in the afternoon. I ran some errands and tried again and it seemed ok at first, but still was going up and down a bit into the evening. The modem would reset itself from time to time, and that seemed to help each time, but then last night it was just a no-go. Link lights looked good, but I was lucky to get the occasional packet in. Could barely load text-only blogs, never mind trying to play a game or something.

Called the cable company again and this time it routed me to an agent. I described what was going on and she indicated she could see exactly what I described to her in her activity logs -- tons of missed/dropped packets and timeouts, etc. Seems odd that that would be the case -- when it's working it's nice and zippy, so I don't think it's a wiring issue, and it's a new modem -- I watched the tech pull it out of its plastic when he set it up. Even so, she said she'll send a tech out. She could do it for tomorrow, but since Teri and I both work... Friday it is. Since the TV's working and the fall season just started, Teri and I have more than enough to keep us occupied in the evenings now, and can read when we run out of recorded programs too. Ain't DVR something?

Although, knowing me, I'll check the internet connection out each night anyway ;-)

As it was, during the times it was working I put in a lot of DDO and a little EQ2 this weekend. For DDO's soloing, I'm finding I prefer melee oriented characters, and I'm thinking that a straight-up human fighter (bonus 1st level feat, after all) seems to fill the bill best. I tried a fighter/rogue multiclass combo, but found that the dual-wielding path I took wasn't "doing it" for me. Don't know why, really. It's not like I lost a lot with that 1 rogue level, and if I were to take every 5th level as a rogue I could end up with a 16/4 fighter rogue at the end with several of the rogue skills capped out and a very respectable +19 BAB for the fighting still.

But, the idea of an Arcane Archer took me, so I made an elf fighter. From reading the descriptions on the DDO compendium it sounded like I'd need at least 1 level of ranger in order to be one, so I started level 1 as a ranger, then swapped to fighter for the additional feats and "kensai" enhancements. I'll grab level 9 as a wizard and that will then open up the Arcane Archer abilities at that time, plus the wizard spells will have some utility, so far as detecting secret doors minor AC buffs, etc. Thing is, I'm soloing right now, so while I'm doing okay at plinking at things as they run at me, I'm still forced to "sword and board" most of the time. And I'm not sure that I'm doing any more damage with the bow than a competent sorcerer or wizard would, so I'm not sure any group would want me as "ranged dps" in these low levels. Time will tell, I suppose.

Anyway.. enough rambling on that.... I tried several other classes too, deleted several, have open character slots again, etc.

Logged in to EQ2, but really it was just in order to re-attune my gear that got changed from "Lore No-Trade" with the latest update. For my lower level toons I also adjusted the new xp slider to 75% AA and only 25% toward adventuring.

Today's computer stupidity: Guy calls up and wants me to renamed a file, then put a replacement file into the folder from the desktop. no admin rights needed, the idiot just thought they would be. He didn't even TRY to do what he needed to do.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Moving Weekend

We closed on a house last Tuesday, it was recorded officially on Wednesday, and we started moving in on Wednesday night. Well.. moving our stuff in, anyway. We didn't actually spend a night there until Friday. But we love it! We've got about 80% of the stuff put away now, and my back is killing me (had a disk removed June 08 -- much better now than I was, but it's still twinge-y and tires rather rapidly). The big stuff is done, though. It's mostly just finding places for decorations and knick-knacks and such anymore.

But as a result... no gaming for me this weekend. We ordered cable, but it's not gonna be hooked up until the 25th. So.... got a long skill burning in EVE, and the rest... they'll keep. I did download DDO now that it's free to play now and ran through the early tutorial on Friday before the serious moving began, but that's it.

Today's computer stupidity: Company homepage down, giving a "not authorized" error. 1st 10 or so calls this morning: "Internet's down!"

Except of course, none had actually even TRIED to use the internet, which was working just fine, tyvm! Ay de mi!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Labor Day Weekend, 2009

I work a 4-day workweek, so I had last Friday off. Since we were going to be closing on our house here this week, we needed to go get our appliances out of my wife's house in "T or C" New Mexico, so we reserved a trailer down there, borrowed my father-in-law's truck with a towing hitch and headed on down. I-15 to Route 6 to I-70 to 191 to 491 to 64 to 550 to I-25.

You may notice that of the 700 mile trip, only about 200 of it is on the interstate. Still and all, the other roads are mostly in good repair and mostly have 65 or 70 mph speed limits, so overall it's about a 12 hour trip. If it was all on an interstate it'd probably be closer to 10, but... such is life.

Anyway, we made it there about 7pm and stopped off at our friend's house who we were staying with. took her and her husband out to La Cocina restaurant as an early thank you for letting us stay with them. Yeah, we have a house there but we stayed with friends. But that's becuz the house has renters and no spare beds or anything like that. It works out.

Saturday was bright and clear but never got much over 85 degrees, so it was quite pleasant. We got the trailer and headed for the house. The renters were actually house-sitting elsewhere, so we let ourselves in and got our washer and dryer and a few other things out and loaded inot the trailer. It took less than an hour. We looked through and figured what we'd need to look at fixing in order to have the house be saleable, and then.... back to our friends house, unhitched the trailer so we wouldn't be dragging it around the rest of the day or on Sunday, and then we took a nap. Yeah, we're boring, but we were also in BFE, NM. So sue us!

Did dinner at a local steakhouse that was pretty decent. A bit pricey, but not terrible. Visted with our friends in the evening, read a bit, and called it a night. Sunday was church where my wife got to visit a bunch of friends she hadn't seen since she moved out last year. She enjoyed the reunion and had lots of fun catching up with "everyone." Met in the afternoon with a real estate agent and walked through the house again. He gave us some names of contractors who can fix the roof, carpet the place, and repaint it. Then we went to his office and signed everything we needed to in order to hire him as our listing agent and put the house on the market come October 1 after the renters have moved out and we've had a chance to make the place look better.

Visited a few more of my wife's friends in the evening, thne back to where we were staying. Our friends there had made a lovely bbq chicken dinner for us all, so we enjoyed that. Visited for a while after, thought about watching a video, but decided that since we'd be pulling a trailer on the return trip the next day that going to bed early was a good idea. So we did.

Trip back was surprisingly quick, though. Once I got used to how the truck handled with the trailer I was able to more or less go the speed I normally would. A bit slower, but not much. took about 13 hours to get back, but we stopped in Moab for a half hour for dinner, so it was really only about 12.5 hours driving, even with the trailer. Not bad. Not bad at all.

Got back, dropped the truck and trailer off at the in-laws, picked up our dog and our car and headed home (only 10 minutes away from there).

Long day, and we were glad to be home. And my AWU 5 was set to complete in about 3 hours, so I logged in to EVE and queued up my next skill. Only took 26 days for AWU 5. About 6 for Caldari BS 4, then 34 more for Caldari BS5 and I'll be in my Golem. PLus I'll have a path paved for capital ships too, though it's gonna be a very long time before I think of training them.

We closed on our house up here yesterday, so tonight we start moving in -- drop the appliances and such in there tonight after work, then go return the trailer to Uhaul. the rest of the stuff we've got fits into a pickup easily enough (3 trips, but nothing's big) so we'll be doing that this weekend. Got the "vital" utilities set up, but still need to order cable. More for the internet than for TV, but the fall season's about to start, so it will be good to be able to watch Chuck, if nothing else.

In other news, we found out today that my company's contract is not being renewed so as of 9-30-09 I need to find new work. Rather... I need to find new work now so that once this current job ends I can move right on over. This is actually rather expected and I've been looking around for the past month or so, but anything I've seen so far has been in the neighborhood of 30-40% lower pay to start. There's a possibility that the new contract company will hire me, but even if they do it will still be about a 12% pay cut. Not really nice, but survivable, if it comes to that. Time will tell if the new company will hire me across, though. We shall see. I'll be more actively looking elsewhere too, though, and a friend of mine is a headhunter for my field so I'll see if I can enlist her services as well.

A bit unsettling, but .... life is change, right?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Musings on the Boston Tea Party

I've been re-reading 1491 by Charles Mann lately, and last night I finished it again. In his last section he talks about the Haudenosaunee alliance (Iroquois, Mohawk, etc), their system of government, and how much interchange there was between the Indians and the Colonists before the Revolutionary War. I learned in my American History classes growing up that the Founders based our Constitution primarily on the English system of government, but added "new ideas" of personal freedoms to it.

In reading 1491 and seeing how the government of the Haudenosaunee worked. . . .it seems rather obvious where those "new ideas" came from (and since the alliance can be traced back to at least the 1140's, if not even a bit earlier... hardly "new" ideas, just new to the Colonials, it would seem), well -- it actually looks pretty obvious to me where they came from. Interestingly enough, it seems quite a few of the settlers "defected" to the Indians since they enjoyed greater personal freedoms with them. Even people captured in raids and ransomed back to the English would often go back to their captors voluntarily. In some ways this also served to keep political excesses in check in the colonies, since if any governor tried to control his populace harshly, people could simply head west and "disappear."

So in light of this, how come my title of this post talks about the Boston Tea Party?

Well.... again, in my history classes growing up, I was taught that the perpetrators of the BTP dressed themselves as Indians in order to disguise themselves, yet from what I can discern it seems that it was still pretty well known who did it. What if the Indian costumes were just that -- costumes, not disguises? What if those who dressed that way were making a statement (imitation. . . sincerest form of flattery. . . ) that "we will be free like the people who we are dressed as?"

There's a quote in the book from Louis Armand de Lom d'Arce, Baron of Lahontan speaking of the attitudes of the Indians that he met:

They could not understand why one Man should have more than another, and that the Rich should have more Respect than the Poor. . . . They brand us for Slaves and call us miserable Souls, whose Life is not worth having, alleging, That we degrade ourselves in subjecting our selves to one Man [a king] who possesses the whole Power, and is bound by no Law but his own Will. . . . [Individual Indians] value themselves above anything that you can imagine, and this is the reason they always give for't, That one's as much Master as another, and since Men are all made from the same Clay there should be no Distinction or Superiority among them. [Emphasis in the original.]
If this truly is a representative attitude of the Haudenosaunee peoples, and the colonists thought it good and sought to emulate it, well... they're already tossing the tea overboard in order to say "We reject King George's authority over us," so why not dress as Indians in order to add the idea that "we are free men -- One's as much a master as another . . . and there should be no distinction or superiority among us!" to it?

Maybe it really was an effort to disguise themselves and it only came out later (and thus we learn in our history classes) who the "partiers" were, but maybe it was something more. I don't know, of course, but that's the thought that struck me as I read all of that.