So, I was perusing the MythTV mailing lists, when I came across a post which linked to this device (actually, it linked to the 1210, but the 1220 is better, IMHO):
In short, for $800, you get a rack-mountable enclosure that will take up to 12 SATA drives and present them to a host PC. Which means I could turn that into a massive MythTV storage device! As a bonus, it comes with literally all the gear you need to get the thing working: all the drive mounts, cabling, an eSATA PCI card, screws… it’s a very complete package.
Unfortunately, I should probably actually, you know, finish our basement first before I start drooling over such things. And after that, I’d still want to buy a proper server rack. And a couple rackmount cases so I could rack up my firewall and Myth backend. And then there’s all the gear I want for my media room, such as an HD-capable projector, screen, gear for a myth frontend, some sort of audio system…
Well, trip number two has come to a close, this time a jaunt out to Regina for some mom-time with Linda! As usual, food was abundant, as was amusement (and slightly hurt feelings :) with the copy of Ticket To Ride that we purchased and hauled along. Among other things that were accomplished, I:
- Proved to myself that my knitting needles (as previously mentioned) would easily get through airport security (they didn’t even register on the X-Ray, so far as I know).
- As a result of 1, half-finished Lenore’s new hat. Unfortunately, I ran out of yarn, as I neglected to bring a second ball.
- Finished reading “Red_Mars”, a rather largish tome by Kim Stanley Robinson which details the terraforming of Mars.
- Learned how to make Cabbage Rolls! Linda is an excellent tutor. :)
- Started reading “Robots and Empire”, by the legendary Isaac Asimov.
And on the topic of Red Mars, a mini review. In short, it’s a massive vision, incredibly detailed and realistic. Characterization is good, though the dialog a little unbelievable at times. The plot can be a bit ponderous, and Robinson seems to relish showing off his knowledge of Mars topography, going on for pages describing the Martian landscape. The discussion of the sociological impacts of Martian colonization are quite fascinating, particularly in conjunction with new technologies that are invented in the course of the story.
In short, highly recommended for anyone into hard science fiction and who can stand a healthy dose of Tolkein-esque verbosity.
Given that I’m part of the Men Who Knit webring, it seemed like a good idea to write an entry about, you know… knitting.
First off, I gotta thank Lenore for a lovely christmas present. I’d on occasion eyed the Denise Interchangeable Knitting Needles. This set, which comes in a nice, folding case (with the name Denise stamped on the front in gold embossing… did I mention I really dislike the name ‘Denise’? And gold embossing?), comes with a large assortment of needle tips (ranging from 5 to 15US) and cables ranging from 5” to 19”. In addition, the kit comes with joiners, so you can join cables together for larger pieces, as well as attachable stitch holders (of which I’ve already lost one), so you can transform a cable into a flexible straight needle or a stitch holder.
The result is an incredibly compact, yet very flexible kit, which is particularly handy if you tend to knit on the go, as I do. And at ~$50 bucks, the kit is a huge bargain, as it easily replaces a very large needle collection. Highly recommended!
On the project front, the baby blanket continues unabated. All the components are finished and blocked, so all that remains is to sew it together. Yeah… that’s all. I just have to assemble a blanket from the ~30 parts I’ve made. Oh, and did I mention I’ve misplaced my tapestry needles?
Additionally, in my spare cycles, I completed a new toque for myself from some very cool, chunky yard made from part lambs wool… let me tell you, this sucker is warm. And it’s actually long enough to cover my ears! And with that done, I’m working on another Yellow Goofy Toque for Lenore, though this time slightly larger and in the same yarn I used to make Lenores Mittens and Lenores Scarf.
See? I knit. I’m just too busy to write about it. :)
When one thinks of mental illness, the first thing I think typically comes to mind is the sick homeless, left devastated by the ravages of their disease. It’s sad to note that, among the homeless population, a significant percentage (up to 15 percent, according to the UCSD) are mentally ill, often suffering from schizophrenia or bipolar disorder, both of which are treatable with modern medication. Worse, even if they are provided with medication, they often stop taking it when they begin feeling normal again, thus creating a terrible cycle.
The thing about these people is that, when you see them, it’s almost always the case that they’re already destitute, barely living on the streets. You never really get a picture of who these people were before their illness destroyed their lives. It seems natural to assume they’ve always lived that way, but these people were once sons and daughters. Mothers, fathers, and friends.
Which brings me to what I think was one of the most saddening things I’ve witnessed. We were in New York, waiting for the NJT to arrive so we could return to Newark Airport, when an older black man arrived. He was dressed in a suit and trench coat, a Samsonite-esque suitecase in tow, a newspaper stuffed into the front pocket, gray shot through his beard giving him a look of distinction, and a look of complete and utter confusion on his face. As I watched, he continually talked to himself, seeming to debate some issue that I couldn’t comprehend. Then, occasionally, he would stop, rubbing his chin in a thoughtful gesture, seeming to consider something before starting off again, all the while his eyes staring emptily.
It was obvious this was a man who, at one point, lived a good life. As he spoke, it seemed like he may have once been a lawyer or businessman, a salesman or accountant. He may have a family somewhere, wondering where he is. Or he may have none at all. But now, he was just a lonely man, lost in a fog of delirium.
I wonder how long it will be before he’s just another sick homeless person, dirty and starving, ranting on a street corner somewhere. Just another statistic, a stereotype, ignored and forgotten.