Yearly Archives: 2004

Recent dreams about death

Before I forget about these…

Sunday night, I had a dream about a big spider…. It was so big that it was rumored to have killed (and eaten) Reggie, the lovable dog from Sheboygan. Later that night, I found myself in a very confused state. I work up sideways on my current bed (king size inflatable mattress). I was very confused and must have been warm, because I thought that the house was on fire… I got out of bed and hunted around for my clock… After a minute or two of that, I must have woken up enough to decide that the best action was to just get back into bed. Strange…

Last night (Monday), I had another strange dream. I had a dream that my friend from the dorms, Brian, had killed one or two people. I was then caught up in this fiasco where I severely hurt Brian (in defense) and was accused of killing them. Later, I walked through the woods and finished him off, as he attempted to kill again.

With all of these dreams dealing with death, I can’t help but wonder what is going on…. Also, it appears as though I have more active dreams when the weather is warmer. When I slept in Baltimore, the temperature never really got above 70-75 degrees… Now, there is no a/c and the temperature fluctuates quite a bit due to having the windows open in my room, etc. This is definitely something I plan on keeping an eye on.

Disable search assist in Windows XP / Internet Explorer

I’ve been annoyed by Windows XP file search “util” (that annoying dog, etc) ever since I started using it.  Finally! I came across a tweak to bring it back to the Windows 2000/2003 way of searching:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Windows CurrentVersion Explorer CabinetState

Create a new STRING value and name it “Use Search Asst” without the quotes.

Specify the value data equal to “no” without the quotes.  Here is a reg file that you can copy & paste:

Windows Registry Editor Version
"Use Search Asst"="no"

 If you’re interested in doing the same to IE, modify this key in the same way:

HKEY_CURRENT_USER Software Microsoft Internet Explorer Main


Not only the name of a great song from Blind Melon, but it is also what is happening around me right now.  Lets see… I went to the eye doctor this morning after some irritation last week.  It turns out that I have an eye infection in both eyes.  So I get to take drops & not wear contacts this week.  Also, I’ve decided to drive back to Milwaukee on Friday, so that should be quite a joy (especially without a car radio). 

Here are some interesting things to note:

·        How to make a bootable usb memory stick

·        SourceSafe power toys

·        BlogWave – Publish Sharepoint lists & libraries as RSS feeds

Other than that, I’ve been working on a Microsoft Outlook add-in.  More information to come, but this is definitely in the works and I’m actually planning out the design before jumping into the code.  Also, I would expect this site to go down towards the end of the week.  If all things go well & work out, it could be up again by the weekend… if not, it could be down for over a month.  Consider this an early warning 🙂


Location, Structure, Mechanicals

I am in the process of buying a house for the first time… There are so many little things to keep in mind, that sometimes I feel like I should have majored in a different field.  So to alleviate some of the headaches, I got myself a real estate agent.  I think it would be a bitch to do this without one.  She put me on a list so that I get emails of houses that just entered the market.  Also, she knows what to look for in a house (good & bad)… Not to mention that she gets paid by the [sellers] listing company, not by me. 

So, I took a short trip to Milwaukee yesterday.  I hopped a flight at 8:00am from Baltimore and made it to Milwaukee by 11:00am CST.  At that point, I was able to call a good friend and he proceeded to cart me around for the rest of the day.  I had a 3:00 appointment with my agent, so we had some time to burn.  Got some lunch and then we went to an open house in the neighborhood that I am interested in.  It was a good measure to see the price range of the neighborhood, as well as get a feel for looking at a house.

We then met the agent at the house and she proceeded to lead the way.  One side note, she mentioned that it is illegal to enter a property without the representing agent.  Found this out because we got to the house a little sooner than she did and were invited in by the owner. 

My realtor mentioned the three major things that she looks for in a house.  The location, structure, and mechanicals… Meaning that you should keep the location in mind; when the time comes to sell the house, the location doesn’t really change, so the next buyer will factor that in also.  The overall structure of the house is important.  Is the room layout what you want?  Finally mechanicals like circuit breakers, heat/air, appliances, etc.

Other than that, these are the major things that were pointed out right away at each house:

  • The roof:  How many layers does it have?  Noticeable bows/bends? 
  • Gutters: Are they new? Do they have plants growing out of them? 
  • Siding: Material used/Type of siding… Did the builder do it correctly or was it quickly done? (Caulk between the separation gaps)
  • Windows: Old/New?
  • Basement: Does it smell of water?  Water stains?  Inspect water heater(s) and furnace(s).  Solid foundation, bowed walls, cracks/patches

As far as financing is concerned… It was brought to my attention that there are distinct differences between being pre-qualified and pre-approved.  Being pre-qualified basically means that the lender has looked over the numbers and suggested an amount that you can afford.  This is basically an educated guess, as the numbers have not been verified.  Pre-approved is a bit better, as the lender basically verifies the information provided on the application.  Including how much you earn, what you owe, and your credit rating/score.   A letter of pre-approval is furnished to you, and in turn will be given to the real estate agent to be included with offers.  Ideally, you want to be pre-approved before making an offer, so that you’re not scrambling to get financing.


Outside of the mortgage, it is common to include earnest money with the offer.  This is basically an up-front cash deposit that shows the seller that you are interested.  If the offer is accepted, the earnest money is applied directly to the mortgage.  It is recommended that the earnest money should be less than 2% of the cost of the house, for various reasons…


This is all for now.  If I think of more, I’ll make sure to say something…

Creating panoramic images

I’ve been playing around with my camera since recently buying it.  I must say that I really enjoy taking pictures… but some things have come up.  The first is that I now desire a couple extra lenses… but that might be worked on around Christmas time 😉  The other main thing that has been on my mind is to create a nice panoramic picture.  I took a bunch of shots of the Baltimore skyline the other day, and I want to stitch them together to make one big picture.  So… in an effort to research how this is done, I came across this site.  The Panorama Tools Assistant (PTAssembler) tool seems to do everything (and probably more) that I need. 

Also, an important tidbit to note is that the process of combining the images into one large image is referred to as stitching.

Some Notes:

The computed horizontal field of view (FOV) for my lens is: 67.423.  This was computed by the focal length: (18mm * 1.5 = 27mm)  The 27mm is the 35mm equivalent. 

Sopranos type dream

 I had a strange dream this morning… It mainly involved people from high school.

There was a pre-setting for the dream.  Apparently the bar owner had an employee kill someone the day/night before.  Unfortunately, they killed the wrong person and now knew it.  It seemed like very Sopranos/God Father like to me…

So here I come in… It started with me walking into a bar/restaurant.  I was walking from the back (bathroom/kitchen area) to the bar area when I came upon Brad Jenkins.  He had a shotgun pointed at me, though I didn’t think that it was meant specifically for me.  I kept pushing the barrel away, but he kept moving it towards me.  So, I slipped by him…. he then shot the employee (alluded to earlier) near the kitchen area of the bar.  At this point, it becomes a little hazy, but a large scuffle ensues… it ends up that after this large blood bath, the only ones left are Noth, Yineman, Steve, and Kevin.  For a little bit, the five of us paced around the place while eating out of a bowl of make-your-own chalupa type Mexican platter.  I remember feeling slightly uneasy and saw similar in Yineman and Noth’s faces.  Andy said something along the lines of “…your like a tail” to me, which seemed to clear everything up.  I thought that he was meaning that I didn’t have personality or that I mimic what other people do.  Anyway, pretty much right away, the police came… the fight continued into the street, making it very chaotic.  Somehow, all of us were able to get away… The way I did it was.. in the chaos involving the police, I was able to hop in a car (real piece of shit) with a black man sitting shotgun and his old mother in the back seat.  I remember her bitching pretty much constantly… I was able to drive through some yards and into an alley… after that, I was home free..

At that point, I woke up and figured I should jot it down….

Camera shipped…

Just because I’m sitting here eagerly anticipating the arrival of my new camera (thanks for the recommendation John!), I was thinking that it would be cool to have a short-term notification service.  Something that sits in the taskbar (or whatever) and aggregates rss feeds for short periods of time.  To compliment this, for example, shipping companies would offer an rss feed for a tracking number.  The program would then aggregate that feed for the next 14 days or however long you specify.  When a change is detected, it would update the status and you could view the status at a click of the button. 


Yep, I’m just describing my utter laziness of not wanting to go to a website and enter the tracking number periodically.  I like the idea of entering it once and visually being notified by a program keeping tabs on when the status changes.  Sort of like those weather programs that sit in the taskbar. 


Weird interpretation of soldiers left behind… (sort of a dream)

This morning when I was attempting to wake myself up and hit snooze at the same time, I found myself interpreting news in a dreamy state.  In one of the blurbs of news (between snoozes), I heard something about Bush’s No Child Left Behind act.  The news blurb had something to do with a couple schools being added to the list where kids won’t be left behind.  Now, the way that I took it was that it pertained to the war… Maybe this is due to just watching Moore’s film Fahrenheit 9/11 but in any case… I thought that there were some schools whose students/grads would not be left behind in a battle situation.  Basically, I figured that depending which school a soldier went to, they would either be protected and not left behind (similar to the theme in Black Hawk Down) or if the soldier went to a shitty school, then they would be considered as a more “disposable” soldier.  Anyway, looking back on that thought, it’s a pretty shitty way to think about things and hopefully it doesn’t turn out like that.  Though, one would think so due to the number of prisoners that are being captured and left behind…


Changing times…

I’m changing my life again… I have decided to move out of Baltimore and head back to the Milwaukee area.  This is mainly due to my unhappiness with Baltimore and being slightly homesick for family & friends.  The time away has been great, and I want to thank e.magination for providing a living for me and allowing my skills to grow.  I’ve met some cool people there and will attempt to stay in contact.  Even if that means that I just bug them on IM 🙂  The other major factor in me moving is my current living situation. 


I’m feeling like I’ve been crowding Rob & Rachel somewhat, and I don’t want to be a burden to their future plans.  Couple that with my desire to gain some equity, and I figure that I might as well live where I generally feel the best.  The time in Baltimore has been nice, though.  It has slowed me down a little (something I had wanted to do), and I’ve had the chance to re-evaluate what I’m looking for out of life.  I have also had the chance to see the funky cicada bugs & go to a kick ass horse race.  There are many other memories that I have had here, but rather than reiterate, I’ll just let you discover them through this blog…


I had originally intended to move to the twin cities, but something else came my way.  I was contacted by Dave Lillie about an opportunity that he had available.  I’ll be working for Edstrom Industries, Inc. as an Asp.Net/C# developer.  The clincher that sucked me in is the opportunity to work for Dave, again, as well as work with Jayme and another person.  Name is being withheld on purpose, for now… To work with those people and help guide/start a software development group will be an excellent experience, I’m sure.


So if this website goes down for a little while towards the end of July, you know why… rest assured, I enjoy blogging, so the site will resume and I’ll continue to spout useless information.


Also, if I had a chance to be in Chicago this coming weekend, you can be sure that I would be going to see Souad Massi.