Moving isn't fun.

The holidays went fairly well - if lean. Angela & I had to limit spending so we could pay to get out of our apartment lease early. Two month’s rent was fairly painful, but at least we won’t have to worry about rent for a couple of years. (Though the money is going into an account; we want to use it for a down payment on a home). Moving wasn’t fun - by the time I was done moving out, I had trouble lifting more than a couple of pounds. Add being ill to that, and it was one wonderful time... I’m actually still sick, but given the massive amount of pollution in the air (due to an inversion making the whole valley into a bottle), I don’t expect to get well for a while yet.

I got my sattelite dish moved; I was originally planning on using Digis to provide my internet service. But they couldn’t provide service to my home (apparently a tree is enough to block their signal), so I ended up doing something I never wanted to do: Get service from Comcast. I got their “20 Megabit” service, which is supposed to be 20 megabits with bursts up to 50 or so. Often, that’s what I get. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. For example, after watching YouTube for about 1/2 an hour, YouTube was throttled down to ~300 kilobits. Being at a site (at work) where bandwidth is very precious, and we’re doing all kinds of throttling, I can understand some throttling; but it’s already annoying me. That being said, I’m generally getting 10-20x the performance I had with 1.5 Mb DSL. So I can’t complain too loudly.

It’s also nice to be out of an apartment complex - there is far less WiFi in the air, so there’s less interference. Which is good, because it means I can get decent speeds out of it, rather than 56kbit at times.

I’ve recently upgraded my Mac to have Intego’s VirusBarrier X6. Apparently, they’ve combined NetBarrier with VirusBarrier in this product. So I’m actually liking it at this point. Some functionality is duplicated with other things I’m using -- I’ve been using Objective Development’s Little Snitch for years now to control what programs can talk to the rest of the network (outgoing) -- it’s an anti-spyware thing, but it’s nice to be able to have finer grained control over my system. VirusBarrier X6 (and NetBarrier) seems to have functionality similar to Little Snitch. But I’ve used snitch for so long, I’m not inclined to convert... not when there’s not really a compelling reason to do so.

Speaking of Macs... I’m seriously thinking of nuking & re-installing OS X on my MacBook Pro. Things are just acting funny sometimes. If I have a kerberized NFS mount with a token expire while the screensaver is going, it’s not possible to do anything other than reboot the system (you can’t even ssh in & shutdown via command line). Sometimes the system slows down to a standstill for no good reason (no hard drive, CPU activity). Just little things, but it’s starting to annoy me...

I’ve decided to take up amateur astronomy - I even have a decent starter telescope; the Celestron FirstScope, which is a 3” Newtonian Reflector with a Dobsonian-esque mount. It was a steal for $40, given the reviews from people who are used to $15,000 telescopes. I’ve been waiting for a night sky where I can actually see starts -- something that has yet to happen with this curséd inversion.

Work is going well; other than our lack of bandwidth, I can’t complain too much about it. I now live only 3 miles from the office, which really reduces my commute. Plus, it’ll drastically reduce my fuel costs...