Tiny plant

cactusThis post is to prevent my top-most from being the bitter one from yesterday.

When I invited Brigitte to my house warming party she asked if I would like alcohol or a plant. I opted for the plant. She warned me that it would be an incredibly small plant since she was saving for a new bumper (detailed on the Catty Girls Discuss podcast). Small it is but I’m glad there’s one more living thing in my apartment (not counting what happened to my milk).


New apartment

I’m completely moved into my new apartment. I bought a couple pieces of hardware to make it feel more cozy. Namely a Panasonic AE900U HiDef projector, Integra 4.6 receiver, and Paradigm Monitor 9 speakers. My friend Seth from upstairs and I got everything hooked up on Saturday in time for a nice house warming party. You can view photos of my apartment on Flickr.


RobotSkirts @ one year


A year ago today my first post went live on RobotSkirts. It may not seem like a major event since this blog is neither high traffic nor high volume, but it was the catalyst for most everything that happened the following year. Some time in early April last year I answered an ad for Hack-A-Day bloggers. Since I had been blogging daily up to that point, I had some nice example posts to show my work. On May 7th, I graduated from the University of Nebraska with a BS in mechanical engineering and my first post for Hack-A-Day went up. I wrote the feature post for each day and worked full time at UNL controls (great job). Blogging went fine and I got to go to Defcon where I met my boss for the first time (not really realizing that most bloggers hadn’t). In early August I became Lead Blogger at Hack-A-Day. I had moved out of my apartment and was commuting to work which was putting a lot of pressure on me. I decided to leave the UNL controls job and start pursuing a full time mechanical engineering job. I also moved in with my college roommate Frosty who was working as a mechanical engineer at Case New Holland in Grand Island. Fabienne was brought on board to do how-tos at Engadget with me. In October, Weblogs, Inc. sold to AOL and I became the how-to editor at Engadget (up to then I was just contributing). I kept working for ENG and HAD for the next few months, but engineering opportunities seemed few and far between. The blogs were going fine and HAD was turning in some impressive numbers. On my birthday last Thursday I was offered a full time editing position at AOL. It’s an incredible opportunity and I jumped on it. Tomorrow I’m moving back to Lincoln where I’ve rented a two bedroom apartment that I’ll use as a home/office. I guess what I’m trying to say is: Happy Birthday Neal and thanks for encouraging me to blog.


My new Mac mini

mac mini
[trim] I had opened with my “how I learned *nix back-story”, but we will save that for another time. Ever since blogging became my only source of income, I’ve started to worry about how “mission-critical” my computers are. I decided that relying on some operating system and GUI that I hacked together wasn’t the best plan (I run Linux on everything). I hate Microsoft, so I’ve only got one real choice. Continue reading


SXSW torrents

sxswThe South by Southwest Fesitvals have have provided sample tracks from many of their artists for the second year in a row. The two torrent files contain over 3GB of some of the best music in the country. It’s completely free and legal. I discovered some great bands last year thanks to these torrents and I hope for more of the same this year.



equilibriumI downloaded Equilibrium in preparation for Ultraviolet; both movies are written and directed by Kurt Wimmer. There was one word I thought during the opening, “dumb”. This movie is visually gross as well: obvious computer generated outdoor sets and futuristic cars that are just Cadillac Sevilles that have had flat white house paint applied to them inside and out. This future society has decide to suppress war by medicating the populous therefore limiting emotions. People like Christian Bale are responsible for book-burning patrols. Everything is going fine till Bale misses one of his doses and becomes enlightened. The film gets a little better once they start using interior sets and get to action. There is a constant nagging wonder as to why this society, aiming at peace, maintains such a large number shock-troops. Also, Taye Diggs‘s character is a little too emotional for someone waiting to expose his partner for being emotional. I guess no one plays “calm and collected” nearly as well as Christian Bale. This film gets a solid “Meh”.