As some of you know, I've been using Ubuntu Linux as my only operating system on my personal laptop for about a year now.
About a month ago, the wireless stopped working. Our router is a couple years old, so at first I thought that might be the problem. But the wife didn't have any trouble connecting, and two computers from work could connect, so that wasn't it.
Then I thought it might be the latest Ubuntu kernel update. A few threads on the Ubuntu Forums seemed to suggest that might be the case, but no one seemed to have quite my problem.
And then the upstairs neighbor came home from vacation and turned his wireless network back on. I still have his password saved from once when I was borrowing his network while ours was out, and I could connect to that, no problem.
So I was puzzled. I posted a few times to the Ubuntu Forums, which usually are very helpful, but got no response. I did a lot of Googling. Nothing.
Finally I found something on Google Groups. Someone having an unrelated problem had found the answer in his system logs.
System logs? Holy cow, I have system logs! I suppose I should have known about them, but it seems strange that I've never seen mention of them on the Ubuntu Forums, or anywhere else.
Sure enough, the system logs told me that the stored info that allows the network handshake to happen was bonked.
access point 'coatimundi' is encrypted, but NO valid key exists. New key needed.
So I deleted the saved connection info for my network and tried to connect again. It asked me for my password, and POOF! Connection is successful.
So now I have my laptop back. And all is right with the world.
If you are having problems with anything in Ubuntu, or probably any other Linux distro, check your system logs. The answer may be right in front of your face.
Looks like Yahoo is going to make things right for customers who bought DRM'ed music at their old store. They'll either replace the music with DRM-free editions, or give refunds.
Unlike Microsoft's band-aid (Keeping the DRM servers up for a few more years), this is an actual solution, righting the wrong that Yahoo did to its customers by "selling" them music that could be taken back at any time.
Looks like maybe Yahoo will make it right for people who thought they were actually buying songs, rather than renting. Good for Yahoo. I hope the "compensation" details are actually consumer-friendly.
Birthing class got out early tonight, and we don't have any food in the house. It's a combination of my bum foot and the wife's almost-full-term baby that leads to us not going to the grocery store.
So we went to The Heights for dinner around 8pm. Thursday night is generally a nice night out, and tonight is some of the nicest weather we've had in a while.
The Heights was full but not overcrowded. Most of the seats were taken, indoors and out. It was a diverse crowd - a pregnant couple with a friend on one side of us, a gay couple on the other. A woman and two young boys were being seated as we left. A couple walked in just in front of us, apparently having walked from somewhere nearby (I choose to believe that they walked from home rather than parking in the neighborhood).
The food and the service were good. The wife says she's not sure that we've ever had a bad server there, and I certainly can't think of anything to contradict her.
And I was impressed by their mixed greens salad that comes with all the entrees. It was plain lettuce, but it had cherry tomatoes, jicama, and beets, which is pretty exotic and healthful for your average restaurant. The buffalo shrimp appetizer was delicious, although a little light on shrimp. I recommend saving some bread to mop up the extra sauce rather than eating it with a fork, as someone at my table for two did this evening.
Their rotating beer taps were not entirely exciting this time - Brooklyn Lager and a Sam Adams seasonal - but the idea of rotating taps is cool. The table next to us was raving about the bread pudding sundae, which we didn't order because we were both full.
And we found that Merkado, a restaurant in Logan Circle owned by the same people, is closing at the end of August. In its place will be "a neighborhood place" called Commissary, hoping to emulate Busboys and Poets and Tryst. They hope to grab all the trendy kids who will move into the new building across from Whole Foods and take all their money.
I'm a little sad that Merkado is closing - the wife and I had a lovely dinner there for my 29th birthday - but this sounds like an interesting replacement, although calling it "Commissary" is a little too hipster for my tastes.
I complain a lot about Comcast Cable in DC. Any of you in the area waiting for Verizon Fios to come to DC and at least make Comcast pretend to compete know what I'm talking about.
But they're actually doing something cool right now - they're doing a free preview of their MLB Extra Innings package. Unfortunately, it ends tomorrow, and I just found out about it today. And most of it isn't in HD. But it means I get to watch the first game of the big Mets-Phillies series, and watch the big rivalry that no one (but my wife's coworkers) cares about, David Wright vs Ryan Howard. So far Wright is winning. Both are one for three, but Wright has a double, run, and RBI, while Howard just has a single. Good thing I'm not making rash statements based on small sample sizes.
I'm a little tempted to pay $129 for Extra Innings for the rest of the season. But I watch too much tv as it is, and I don't REALLY need to watch out of market baseball games. Maybe when I retire.
I just saw the doctor this morning about my foot. He says it's healing nicely, and I got a less bulky bandage that makes it a little easier to walk.
He also told me that I should be able to start running again in about six weeks. So, to celebrate my return, I'm going to do the Boo! Run for Life on October 12th, a 10K to benefit the Dean R. O'Neill Renal Cell Cancer Research Fund.
It should be fun. West Potomac Park is a nice, easy 10K course. It's flat and there's plenty of room. And it will be good motivation to get me running again.
There are some unwritten rules about baseball, both for the players and the fans. You don't talk to the pitcher during a no-hitter. You don't walk to or from your seat during an at-bat (Although the clowns in our section at the Nats game the other night didn't follow this one, not even when the Nats had runners on. I missed a Nats run being scored because an entire family decided they had to get up just then).
And you don't wear a jersey to a game that's for a team that isn't involved in the game.
Unless it's a Cal Ripken jersey, as shown in the picture above. You can wear a Cal Ripken jersey to any game, any time, and it is considered perfectly acceptable to punch anyone who makes a disparaging comment. Go ahead and try it - all real baseball fans will have your back.
Why, you may ask? That's a good question. Cal Ripken redefined the position of shortstop. He was 6'4" and 225 pounds when he played the game. That's about five inches and 50 pounds more than a shortstop was "supposed" to be. But that's not why he's the exception.
He made the All Star game 19 straight years. That's longer than most people play. But that's not why.
He played for his dad, right next to his brother. Wikipedia tells us "His 1991 season is the fourth-greatest in baseball history (second among non-pitchers) as measured by WARP3 at 17.0 wins, bested only by Walter Johnson's 1913 (18.1 wins), Babe Ruth's 1932 (18 wins), and Amos Rusie's 1894 season (17.6 wins)." But that's not why either.
No, Cal Ripken is the exception to any rule you might think of (Like the "don't elect a guy to an All Star game based on reputation alone) because Cal Ripken saved baseball.
Back in 1994, baseball went on strike. It was a horrible time to be a fan. I had just gotten into the game a few years before, following the 1988 Athletics through their crushing World Series defeat before latching onto the Orioles' glorious 1989 season and never looking back. And then the strike, and no one knew what to do. We all wanted to go back to being fans, but we were sad and angry and didn't know what to do.
Then came 1995. They restarted the season, although a little late. Then, on September sixth, Cal broke the streak. He played in his 2131st game, surpassing Lou Gehrig's record, one of those "never be broken" records that every sport has. It's the most memorable sporting event in my life. I got home from work and turned on the game, still wearing my Subway uniform and smelling of mayonnaise and onions. I watched his victory lap, and I listened to one of the longest ovations in sports history (Thanks, Wikipedia, for the recap).
All of a sudden, baseball was cool again. Instead of overpaid, uncaring superstars, we had a guy who just went out there, day after day, and played ball.
There are always exceptions to the rule - some pitchers will talk about their no-hitter in the sixth. But Cal can always be the exception. In fact, you may not know this, but a genuine Cal Ripken jersey is even considered acceptable attire, even at a black-tie affair. Try this out, too. Remember, anyone who questions your dedication to Cal can be legally punched in the face. Every baseball fan in the room will be right behind you.
Ever since I posted about him, Brandon Fahey is hitting up a storm. Including that game, he's .294/.294/.529 with a triple and three doubles. He's hit into two double plays, but maybe they weren't his fault. I mean, if there weren't other jerks on first, clogging up the basepaths, he'd just be grounding out.
I'm working from home today, which gave me a chance to check out our new Five Guys for lunch. It was busy, but I got through the line quickly. And then I waited.
They seemed to be getting orders out pretty fast, but I was number 88, and they served 79 right as I paid. So I waited.
When I finally got my lunch, I checked the bag to find two burgers instead of one. Since no one else would eat a second burger (I'm home alone, the wife wouldn't eat the meat anyway, and the cat probably wouldn't care), I took the bag back to the counter. As they were trying to figure out what happened, a woman missing a burger from her bag came up beside me.
It wasn't difficult to figure out what happened, and they quickly fixed it. So I came home and ate my delicious pile of fried calories. And now I have to get back to work.
We waited too long to try out the "new" Rita's Water Ice in Columbia Heights. Their frozen custard is awesome. It's like ice cream, but creamier. If that doesn't sound awesome to you, you must be either crazy or lactose-intolerant. Or vegan. But probably crazy.
As we were walking, the wife and were talking about how nice it is to see so many people out and about. The intersection of 14th and Irving is full of people, all the time. Even a year and a half ago when we moved here there weren't half as many people around. Of course, that was before Target and everything opened. And it doesn't hurt that this is the nicest evening we've had in a while - it's cool and breezy and we've already opened the window in the bedroom in anticipation of sleeping without the air conditioning.