evening of Google searches
Wednesday, February 14 2007
This morning it sounded like rain was falling but it was far too cold for that. What I was hearing was the sound of little ice pellets colliding with the roof and windows. I honestly don't know how such pellets could have formed. They seemed to be frozen rain drops, but the temperature outside was only a little over ten degrees Fahrenheit and it's hard to imagine any mass of air higher up being the twenty degrees warmer necessary for the creation of water droplets.
Later, sitting beside a blisteringly hot wood stove, I saw those ice balls landing in a layer of fluffier snow accumulated on the picnic table out on the south deck. Their impacts, which tossed up parabolic domes of snow, looked like animations of meteorites hitting the lunar surface.
Gretchen was scheduled to teach a class at Bard at noon, a college that never closes no matter how bad the weather. But there was no way anyone was going to be driving across the ball-bearing-littered landscape, so last night she'd preemptively canceled her class. I didn't see a single vehicle pass by on Dug Hill Road all day.
This evening I was trying to get Xfree86 working on a Debian Linux computer that may one day serve as a living room music server. I want that computer to display a limited GUI on a tiny five inch black and white television screen. It works great when in simple text mode (640 by 200 I think), but its H-hold goes to shit the moment it jumps into a 640 by 480 graphic mode. I'd be happy running it in a crappy 320 by 200 pixel mode, but there's no option for picking that in dpkg-reconfigure xserver-xfree86. I tried different H-sync rates in the advanced part of the xserver setup wizard, but nothing seemed to work. What's strange is that 320 by 200 pixel mode is a frequent default that people end up in when they can't get their Xfree86 configured correctly. I wish I'd somehow end up in that mode, even if by accident. I like the potential of Linux in projects such as this, but it always seems that if something little isn't working it always takes me at least an evening of Google searches to come up with a solution.
Being Valentine's Day, Gretchen made me a Sculpey heart, which she accidentally overcooked in the toaster oven, giving its colors a metallic sheen. I also burned Gretchen's Valentine, a CD containing a mix of songs all having "heart" in their titles (excepting "Magic Man," a song by Heart). The cheesiest of the songs in the mix was Britney Spears' "Email My Heart."
This evening Gretchen and I watched the Sound of Music, a musical she'd placed in her Netflix queue the moment she'd learned I'd never seen it. (Of late she'd been mocking me with lines like, "Oh no, he's from this country, he just hasn't seen the Sound of Music for some reason.") I can't say I much enjoyed it but somehow I endured the entire thing. And the tension and suspense at the end were almost enough to make me forget about all the dull parts earlier in the production. As musicals go, it proved surprisingly light on the actual music. There were only about five different songs, each used several times in various reprises.
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