March 13th, 2007

About a year and a half ago, I decided to make my laptop a dual boot machine with Windows XP and Linux. I had just received it back from a repair under my best buy service plan, and it was returned to me with a 100 GB drive instead of the original 60 GB one, so I figured, that’s plenty of room to set up a linux partition.

I originally tried Ubuntu, which at the time was in it’s Breezy Badger release. There were a few hardware compatibility problems, and I couldn’t connect to the Pitt network with the available software, so I switched to Debian. Debian had a more updated version of XSupplicant, which, at the time, was the only available client with which one could use Linux with Pitt’s required 802.1x authentication set up.

Getting XSupplicant running was a struggle the whole way, but eventually I had it up and running. It worked for about a week and then just stopped working, and nothing I could do.. reinstalling, reconfiguring, etc, could get it working on the network again.

Eventually I gave up trying. Recently, however, my laptop fell upon hard times and had to be fixed again (this was a fiasco. Maybe I’ll write about it sometime). When I got it back I decided to try again.

I put in a 120GB hard drive, set up Windows XP (which always needs to be loaded first, it seems if you want to dual-boot. XP doesn’t like to share), and then installed Ubuntu’s latest release. Luckily, there’s a fork of XSupplicant called wpa_supplicant, which works much better, and some enterprising Pitt students had written a nifty little connection script to help get it going.

After using the lappy for a week or so under Ubuntu, I decided that thing had been stable enough and got to setting things up on the my desktop computer as well. I put in a 250 GB drive I had kicking around (yes, I had a 250 GB drive, far larger than any other hard drive I have, just kicking around), and dropped Ubuntu on that machine too.

Overall, the switch is going well. I’m still using XP for job search stuff, as I just can’t seem to make my resume look as good in Open Office as it looks in Word. Also, when I start playing online poker seriously again, I’ll probably still use XP on the desktop for that, as I doubt that PokerOffice would run very well under Wine.

The only real complaint I have so far is that I can’t get my laptop’s wireless card running. That’s my next project as far as this stuff goes…

The Continuing Voyages of the Starship ‘Bicycle Trainer’

March 13th, 2007

As I mentioned a while back, I picked up a bike trainer in the hopes of becoming more active. At the same time, I started tracking my food intake more carefully, trying to make sure I was running a reasonable daily calorie deficit.

Surprisingly, I’ve stuck with this pretty well over the last six weeks, and it’s been working pretty well. Since I started, I have lost just over 12 pounds, and as of yesterday’s weigh-in, I’ve reached my lowest recorded weight of my adult life. That’s pretty neat.

While I’ve had some sustained initial success, there’s still a long way to go. I’d like to drop at least 20 – 25 more pounds over the coming months. I’m not going to be pushing things and try to do it too quickly… this is more of a long term goal. Right now, I’m probably about 20-25 pounds lighter than I was when I first moved to Pittsburgh, but it’s hard to say, as I used to be pretty vehemently anti-scale.

So why the recent push? I don’t know, but it’d be nice to really be not just in a healthy weight range (which I’m still a bit above), but to be actually nice and fit. Also, as silly as this sounds, I’m trying to get down into ‘interview shape’. As I’ll be outlining later, I’m currently in a job search. At a conference in April I’ll be doing a number of screening interviews, and I’m very aware that how I look will be almost as important as what I say in getting to the next step. That sounds really ridiculous, but I’m also pretty sure it’s true. At any rate, it’s a good motivator moving me towards a healthy goal.

There’s lots more to say about life in general these days, but we’ll leave those things for another post.

Bombs from the Moon

February 1st, 2007

So, regarding this whole Mooninite bomb scare fiasco…

I wasn’t going to say anything about it, because at this point many others have basically said the things I would say (such as Mr. Wheaton and others). I think that the whole reaction from Boston, State of Massachusetts, and media outlets was outrageously overblown. Arresting the guys who made the neat little signs is crazy, as well.
Here’s the thing I think is really concerns me, though. What the heck is up with Boston’s Bomb Squad? Are they complete morons? I’ve seen plenty of pictures of these things since yesterday, such as the all of the signs people took and are selling off on ebay. They’re pretty basic. I’d think that it’s pretty clear to anyone with any knowledge of electronics (or, say, bomb making) that these aren’t explosive devices of any type. It was a circuit board, a bunch of LEDs and some D-Cell batteries. Good job on spotting the danger, guys.

Hey Boston… these are the guys that are supposed to protect you from a real threat. Good luck!

Double Cash!

January 31st, 2007

Tonight I pulled off the rare feat of a double-cash in the Wheatie tournaments. The 8:30 main event was the usual $10+1 NL Holdem Tourney. And, because Mr. Jeremy busted Mr. Wheaton out of the Second Chance tourney last week (Playing Pot Limit Omaha 8 ), he chose this week’s format of Razz.

As it turns out Razz is Rad.

I finished 4th place (out of 43) in the first tourney, and 5th place (out of 40) in the Razz tourney. This was my first time playing a Razz tourney, but I figured I’d go for it since it was just $5 bucks, and the WWdN crew is neat. Razz is one WEIRD poker game, but made for a good time as as the Second Chance.

So, I have to say. It’s been a good day. I got a free burrito (something like a $6.50 value) and netted $59.10 in 2 small buy in poker tourneys. Add to that a good spin on the trainer, and notification that my first monring appointment has been cancelled… great stuff. Everything’s coming up AntiDJ!

I love it when the food is free…

January 30th, 2007

…even when the reasons don’t make sense.

This evening when I returned home from work, I put some more time in on the trainer. It’s been working out pretty well since I purchased it. I’ve been on the bike almost every day (with days off for rest, of course), mainly after work and while watching reruns of Star Trek: Voyager on Spike. I’ve now realized that the only way I can really justify watching Voyager is by exercising while doing it. It’s like a penance.

Anyway, lets get to the main matter at hand here… Free Food. After the spinning and the showering, I said to myself, “Man. I’d really like some dinner. I also don’t feel like making something with my very limited food supplies right now. Why don’t I go down to Chipotle and get a burrito?” So I did.

Upon arriving at the restaurant, I start making my order. “Veggie Burrito. Nope, no fajitia veggies. The hot salsa, please. Yes, cheese and sour cream, please. Nope, none of the guacamole. Yep, that’s it.” With that the burrito person starts wrapping the burrito.

The register clerk looks at this and says, “That’s only two sides. How do I charge that?”

I think to myself, “Two sides? It’s a burrito.. a veggie one.. charge it as that.”

“I dunno,” says the burrito maker.

The register clerk came up with a solution. “Sir, how would you like a free burrito tonight? I don’t feel right charging you full price for that burrito.”
“Great,” I say and walk away a little perplexed.

Sure, I didn’t get some of the fixin’s that come with the standard veggie burrito package. But what I ended up with still weighed almost a pound, and clocked in a 925 very tasty calories. A nice, filling dinner. Yet, these clerk folks felt like that was not enough!

It’s a little bit crazy how people are about food and portions. How was that burrito not going to be worth the money? I don’t know, but I sure enjoyed my free food.

Exercise? What’s that?

January 22nd, 2007

Long ago, I used to ride my bicycle a lot. I would hop on after work, or on the weekend, and ride a whole bunch of miles. Then I moved, and for some reason I stopped riding.

Since I moved to my new apartment back in late May. Since that time, I rode my bike a total of three times, for about 45 miles. Yes, from June until now, just 45 miles. With about four months of prime riding weather in there. My disinclination to ride was not helped by my acquisition of my other two-wheeled friend in August.

Needless to say, since the time I stopped riding, I’ve noticed a certian reversal of some of those neat effects of my regular biking schedule. Last week, I figured I should do something about that by getting out on the bike, but I let the cold and rainy and icy weather turn into a convenient excuse not to get out there. Also, since I hate going out to the gym and other such things, I didn’t get myself into an exercise facitlity.

Well, today I decided to do something about that. I went out and picked up a Blackburn Trak Stand Trainer. My original plan was to check out Pittsbugh Pro Bikes since that’s where I picked up my bike and they’ve been pretty good to me in the past. As it turns out, they’re closed on Mondays these days, and that’s lame. I ended up going to Gatto Cycle, as I figured they’d be open. I could have waited, but I felt that if I did, I might start finding convenient excuses to not get out and buy a trainer.

After getting an old tire on the back wheel of my bike, the trainer set up pretty quickly. I adjusted all of the settings, strapped on the heart rate monitor and spun for about 45 minutes. Now that I have my bike on a trainer, right in front of my television, computer, and stereo, I should have no excuse not to get on and get some regular exercise in.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

What I really need right now is 1099 cubic centimeters of displacement…

January 12th, 2007

Shadow at the Schenley Oval

What I really need right now is a nice long cruise on my Shadow. No distractions…. just me and the bike cruising along with no destination in mind. It wasn’t even a bad day for it either…. low 50s, high 40s… totally managable…

But no, I had to go and be the responsible Shadow-daddy and winterize her all up. It’d take 3-4 hours to get her back up and running. No time for that, right now, no time for that.

Instead, all I have tonight is a sixy of Iron City and a bag of O-fries.

Poor replacement.

Things are going well in the land of poker.

January 8th, 2007

I’ve been playing poker online for about two and a half years now, on and off. At the beginning, I was mainly playing low Limit Hold Em, on PartyPoker. Back in May or so, I switched to PokerStars, and once I started there, I was mainly playing Sit and Go tournaments.

I had been doing pretty well with the whole tournament end of things, so I stuck with that. Occasionally, I’d venture into play some very low stakes NL Hold Em, but not to frequently. I wouldn’t keep too much money in the PS account, so I never really had the bankroll to play much in the NL cash arean.
Over the last week or so, however, I’ve started to spend most of my time playing the 1/2 NL tables, and my-oh-my has it been a sweet ride. I have gone up by the factor of several 1/2 maximum buy ins (the max buy in is 200). While this is, of course, just short-run success, it’s fairly encouraging.
Last night, after a couple of winning sessions, I decided to pick up PokerOffice which is a tool that tracks your performance in the online rooms. It also tracks the performance of your opponents by observing them while you have tables open, which is a neat. As far as I’m concerned, it’s already paid for itself, as when I opened a table to take the program for a test run, I earned back the money I spent on it in about 30 minutes.

The main thing about it that’s helpful, though, is it’s the tracking of my own results. I’ve always had a vague sort of idea that I’ve been a winning player over all, if just slightly so. Now, however, I’ve got some numbers to actually back my impressions up, and the ability to go in and find out where I’ve been messing up.

The other new thing I’ve been experimenting with this weekend is multi-tabling. I’ve always been really adverse to the idea, as I’d figured it’d be confusing or too pressuring… and at first it was. Right now, I’m sticking with trying to get the hang of playing just two tables at once. I’ve definitely made a few extra mistakes while trying this out, but over all, it seems to be growing on me.

Anyway, I’m pretty excited that I’ve been doing well, but I’m also aware that these results so far are just short-term. We’ll see if I can keep it up.

To Ohio and Back, Part III

January 5th, 2007

NOTE: This post was started just before last Thanksgiving (original timestamp: 11/14/2006, 01:38). When I had just about gotten it finished, blew up, and finishing the post became a low priority. After I got the blog back up, I think I just forgot about finishing it, or assumed that I had already posted it. So here it is, two and a half months after Part II: TO OHIO AND BACK, PART III
Look, it’s a post so good it has been almost a month in the making. Not really. The delay is really just a testament to my ability to put things off until I forget about them. For those of you who remember (or just care to read the last entry) I was in the process of telling you of my super neat multi-day motorcycle and music trip to Ohio. It’s time to talk about Tuesday.

I woke up on day 2 to some really beautiful weather: 74°, clear sky. I couldn’t ask for a nicer day for a long ride. I quickly packed my things, checked out of the hotel and got the bike ready to go. The odometer read 993 miles at the start of the day.

993 on the morning of Day 2

The planned route for the day was Ohio 3 all the way up to Cleveland. Rt 3 was suggested to me by a coworker who is originally from Ohio, and the line looked just right on the map1, so I figured I’d give it a go.

For the first half an hour or so, Rt 3 was kind of lame. It was congested and a main suburban commercial district type road. I had suspected that this would be the case until I cleared the greater Columbus area. The upside is that it was on this stretch where I bought fuel for the lowest price of the trip2. See, look:

Woah, almost reasonably priced gasoline!

After stopping for gas, the road opened up within about 5 minutes of travel. No traffic, few buildings, and wide open scenery. Unfortunately, this is also when the sky got overcast and began to threaten rain. Luckily I was back under blue skies in a half an hour.

A little over half way from Columbus to Cleveland, I found myself entering Wooster, OH. I figured that it would probably be pretty lame of me to not at least check out the campus of The College of Wooster, given that institution’s indirect impact on the last five years of my life3. So, I decided to try to find the place.

You’d think that it’d be pretty easy to find a college in a small town. As it turns out, that’s not always so. The main problem is that there would be signs saying “College of Wooster” with an arrow, however there wouldn’t be any further signs when turns were required. I kept at it, and after riding around for about 20 minutes, I found the college.

I found a place to park, and walked around the campus a little bit. I stopped in the student center, checked my e-mail, and caught up on other Internet-things. I saw some of those weird squirrels everyone used to tell me about. I almost got run down by some maniacs in a golf cart. And that’s about it. There’s not really much to do on an unfamiliar college campus on your own. I headed back to the bike, fired it up, and got back underway.

The route for the rest of the trip was to take Ohio 3 to Ohio 94 to US 42 to Ohio 10. The rest of the ride up to Cleveland was very nice. Traffic remained very light and the skies stayed clear. I hit the Cleveland city limit at about 5:00 PM. I took my time riding around the city, and then made it to the venue by 5:45.

When I got there, I found out that the doors wouldn’t be opening until about 7:00. I had already figured I’d have to wait a while, and I was on my own, in a city I knew roughly nothing about4, so I figured there wasn’t much of a point in riding around and getting lost. The bonus to this plan was that I scored free street parking right in front of the venue, rather than paying the 6 bucks to park in the lot. The bike was parked not 20 feet away from the lot attendant too, so I was sure that it would be very safe.

The only food place in the area was across the street from the venue. It was a sub place. It also closed in the same minute that I arrived at the front door. For dinner, I stopped at an adjacent gas station and bought some junk food.

The venue for the show was the Agora Ballroom. From the appearance of the building from the outside, I was expecting a much larger venue. The stage area was not very large, and there was a smallish pit area in front of the stage, with a raised sections around the main pit area that had seating. I took up residence at a table just behind the sound booth, with a good view of the stage, and stayed there for the evening. I think that there may have been other sections of the venue closed off for this show, including larger stages. Like the previous venue, the beer selection was terrible. Here’s the best I had to deal with:

That's the best there is?

Immediately after doors opened, they had a DJ begin spinning. For the next 45 minutes or so, It was transported back to about 1999 or 2000. Someone was putting an awful lot of effort into perfectly beat matching a set of 6 year old gothic/industrial club classics for a staggering population of dancers of zero. Whatever passes the time, I guess.

The first band for this show was Rotersand, which was a band whose music I had not previously heard. They did a quick set, 25 – 30 minutes or so, and the music was enjoyable. I’d have to check out their CD to know for sure, but the songs didn’t strike me as particularly great. The music was definitely passable, though, and they were a good opener for the show.

Next up was Imperative Reaction. I like Imperative Reaction. I saw them on their 2004 tour and they rocked out. Their set lasted for about 40 minutes. While I would have liked to see more of them, they hit most of the songs I wanted to hear5. I will be sure to pick up their new album when it comes out… sometime. I was supposed to be released over the summer, but it is yet to appear.

They are The Men, silent and cold...

Covenant. That’s what this trip was about. Sure I wanted to see Snog, and sure I really wanted to go for a longer ride on the bike, but I’m not sure any of it would have happened if there wasn’t Covenant scheduled to be there at the end of it all.

Just as the previous times I saw Covenant6 the show was great. The sound was near perfect, I had a good view of the stage, and the sizable crowd had a good energy throughout. In a previous post, I had written that I hoped I wouldn’t hear much off of the album Skyshaper. Since this was the Skyshaper tour, however, they played a number of tracks from the latests album. As it turns out, I really enjoyed the new material much more seeing it live. Seeing the band in person gave the songs something more.

The set:

  1. 20 Hz 7
  2. Sweet & Salty8
  3. Bullet
  4. Tension
  5. Figurehead
  6. The World is Growing Loud
  7. The Men (extended)
  8. We Stand Alone
  9. Ritual Noise
  10. Stalker (Club Version
  11. Encore 1

  12. Happy Man
  13. Brave New World
  14. Dead Stars
  15. Encore 2

  16. Call the Ships to Port

At the end of the show, the sound guy gave me his copy of the set list, as I was sitting right next to the booth the whole time. I was disappointed to learn that they originally had played to play “Like Tears in Rain” during the first encore, which I would have liked to hear. “One World, One Sky” was also set to be included in one of the three intended encores, but I’m not too disappointed about missing that track.

The show was finished by midnight, which was great considering I had a 2-3 hour ride back to Pittsburgh. I was able to get out of the venue quickly, hop on the bike and get underway within about 6 minutes of the end of the show. Since I had to work the next day and was getting pretty cold, I decided to just ride back on the highways so I could get home as quickly as possible.

I stopped at the first rest area I encountered along the highway, about 30 miles or so outside of the city. Given the temperature, traveling at 70 miles per hour on the bike without a windshield was a pretty chilly proposition, so it was time to add a few layers of clothing.

As I parked, a car pulled up in the spot next to mine, and 5 people dressed in club gear got out. I spoke with them briefly, and found out they had just come from the show as well. They were headed back to Morgantown, WV. I’m glad I wasn’t them. While inside the rest area building I encountered two other groups of people who had come from the Covenant show. Crazy.

After adding some clothing, and fueling up the bike, I got back underway. The extra layers made a huge difference, and the ride was much more comfortable after that. It was very boring, of course, but at least I wasn’t cold.

Sometimes boring is better than exciting, though. This brings me to my next point. When you’re driving or riding along, never start thinking about how boring the drive is. Why, you ask? Well, that’s because as soon as you start thinking about that you’ll get pulled over by a cop.

I was cruising down the highway at about 71 or 72 miles per hour or so, no traffic to speak of. I’ve already past the last exit in Ohio. On my left, I passed one of the access roads between the East and West bound roads. I didn’t see the police car until I was already passing the access road. He was hanging out, lights off, like a snake hiding in the grass. He was facing the opposite direction, though, and I wasn’t really going that fast, so I figured I was safe. I did slow down a bit, and continued down the road.

After about a quarter of a mile, I looked in the rear view mirror and saw him pull out. Sure enough, the lights came on. I was only a half of a mile from the final rest stop in Ohio, so I decided not to pull over right away, and instead to wait until the rest stop9.

As I pulled into the rest area and parked the bike, I could tell right away that the officer was not happy. The first thing he said to me was, “Why didn’t you stop right away when you saw me.” I explained to him that since I was on a bike, and not in a car, I didn’t feel comfortable stopping on the side of the interstate, so I chose to do so in the rest area instead. The answer didn’t exactly please him, but he at least seemed to understand somewhat.

He then proceeded to tell me that he clocked me at 82 miles per hour. I informed him that his reading must be off because I wasn’t going any faster than 71 or 72. He told me he was sure of his reading, and I continued to insist that his equipment was off, and that I had no reason to travel 82 miles per hour, in 40 degree weather on my bike with no windshield or nifty heated accessories. It was then that he admitted that he had only got me at 70 miles per hour, but had figured that I must have been going faster, being on a bike and all, and that he was trying to get me to admit to that.
He then asked for my paperwork and such. As I began to reach into my inside jacket pocket, I saw him tense up so I said, “I’ve just got to get my wallet from my jacket. I’ll do it slowly, and in your plain sight.” When I told him that I had to get my registration out from under the side cover of my bike he tensed up again and told me that I couldn’t open it up.

“Sir, I can’t let you open that,” he stated.

“Well, I guess I can’t show you my registration,” I responded.

“Sir, don’t be difficult. I need you to show me your registration. Now.” The guy was backing off, getting super agitated.

“My registration is with my tool kit, underneath the side cover. I need to use my key, then unlock and remove the panel so that I can show you the registration. That’s where it is.” I was doing my best not to come of as defiant, and really trying not to show off my annoyance.

“Okay, but do it slowly.” He backed off a couple more steps, shined his light on the bike and covered his weapon with his right hand.

This really bothered me. First, he lies to me about what he observed. Then he gets testy when I try to comply with his requests. I figured there was no way I was getting away from this one with just a warning, even if he did admit I was just going 5 over the limit.

I produced the paperwork and he took it back to his car. Sure enough, a couple of minutes later, he returned with a freshly drafted speeding ticket. He also told me to make sure I “watched my attitude when dealing with officers of the law.”

Since I was stopped anyway, I fueled up the bike again and got back underway. The rest of the ride passed without incident, and I arrived back on campus around 3:00 or so. Odometer reading at the end of the ride? Well, you can see that for yourself:

1227 at the end.

And that’s pretty much it, folks. It was a great first road trip on the bike, and I’m looking forward to taking more long rides next season. As for now, this past weekend, I did most of the winterizing on the bike, so she’s asleep for the winter.

Rest well Shadow, rest well.


1I have a pretty good track record for figuring out what roads a good motorcycle roads by looking at maps. Really, it’s not that difficult to figure out, but I bet that all of that time I spent reading maps as a limo driver is paying off these days.

2This was not the lowest observed price. About 20 minutes later I saw gasoline advertised at $2.01.

3I find it highly unlikely that you’re reading this if you don’t at least have some idea of what I mean by this.

4Except that whole bit about Moses. Confused? Read this.

5Aside from “Rift”. How could they not play that? Fuckers.

6Synthpop Goes the World in Toronto, June 2002, and at Manray in Cambridge, MA, May 2003.

7This song came with a helpful little intro, in which a computerized voice would say “100 Hz” and then a 100 Hz tone would play, and then 80Hz, and so on, all the way down to 30, 25, and 20 Hz. Very educational.

8Despite what I said about coming around to like the rest of the new album, I still maintain that this song is useless.

9Choosing a safe place to pull over is a perfcetly legal practice. If you don’t feel comfortable stopping for a cop on the side of a dark and secluded road, you can wait until you find a well lit or less isolated place. While being legal, it usually pisses cops off, as you’re not pulling over right away, and they assume you’re screwing with them. I did it though, because I don’t want to be on the side of an interstate on my motorcycle… not with a rest stop just a mile up the road!

Stuff, Things, and Some Whatnot

January 5th, 2007

It’s been about 3 months since my last post here… surprise, surprise.

Nothing much has changed here in the Anti-Camp. I was up in CT for about a week or so in December. I didn’t get to see a number of people I wanted to, but that’s always the case with my visits home. If I missed seeing you, hopefully we can catch up next time I’m up in the area.

In other news, e-mail service at is officially dead. I used theantidj at theantidj dot net as a main e-mail address for many years, but around May of 2005 I really started using my gmail address as my main e-mail address. There were many reasons for this, but mainly it was because the gmail address was easier to give out, and there was less spam. I haven’t been checking my email accounts regularly for at least a year, and would only go in there from time to time to clean up the spam.

While doing website maintenance stuff today, like upgrading WordPress1, I decided it was finally time to just nuke the e-mail service to The spam messages were up to 300-500 a day, and I couldn’t be bothered to figure out how to implement the spam filtering on my hosting service. Maybe someday & will come back. That day is far away from today, though.

If you don’t have my gmail e-mail address, you should be able to figure it out, if you know me. It’s just my

I also just realized that “To Ohio and Back, Part III” had never been published; it’s been sitting as a draft for a month or two. I’ll check it over and get it published later tonight, so you can read about the end of my trip to Ohio on my motorcycle…. from 3 months ago.

Also, some more thoughts on poker coming soon. I’ve been doing well playing the 1/2 NL at PokerStars recently, as well as doing alright in 1 and 2 table SnGs. I even had some success in The Wheatie in the last week of December with a 5th place cash out of 50 or so.

Of course, I frequently make these posts after long periods of times promising more content soon… only to wait another few months to make another empty promise. Let’s see what happens this time!


1WordPress 2.0.6 has an important security upgrade, kiddies, so you should upgrade your sites now if you’re running it. I’m looking at you, Pegritz & Jimmy.