I went with my grandfather today to check out the popcorn crop. We met with Charles Johnson, writer/editor for The Furrow magazine (published by John Deere) and he interviewed us about the popcorn and how its grown, etc.

The crop is going to be lean this year, which isn’t good, but considering how dry this summer has been it could be worse.

Merritt-Pop 2006

Merritt Popcorn Company

Call out the fire brigade

I got called in to cover for one of the night shift guys last night; not my favorite thing to do but overtime pay is kickin’ rad, so I went in. Pretty quite night as far as work goes, but I got a call from my brother (David) at 01:45. He told me that one of the warehouses from Dad’s store was on fire — that might be bad enough, but to make matters worse, it was the building I use as my garage. It’s less than a mile from my house, so I keep my motorcycles and the Jaguar parked there as I don’t have a garage at home.

By some stroke of good fortune, I had one car with me at work and the other parked at my house, and both my bikes just happened to be parked in other buildings. There was a truck parked in there that David and Jason pushed outside, since the fire department wasn’t going to do anything about it.

The FD basically just did damage control to keep the fire from spreading to adjacent buildings. Its a total loss, but somehow the front corner where I kept my tools, spare parts, tires, etc. for my bikes pretty much only has water damage, it didn’t burn.

All my stuff was basically salvageable, and of course the whole place was insured so I’m sure that will turn out OK. I’m waiting to hear back from the insurance agent now. Dad is out of town, so David and I are taking care of it.

Pictures after the jump.

Cell service restored

Treo 650 Posting from my new cell phone – a Treo 650 PDA/phone. Switched back to Verizon because I’m sick of getting the run-around from Sprint.

Update: Yes, my number is still the same.

The Motorola H500 Bluetooth headset is worth its weight in gold.

Friday has come and gone, and I still don’t have a phone from Sprint. Still waiting. I don’t miss them already. Look for a Sanyo MM-5600 on eBay as soon as UPS shows up with it.

Dear Sprint: I hate you.

So after losing my phone in Vegas, I was assured by Sprint that I’d have a new phone in my hands today (Monday). Well, the day has passed, and no delivery. After calling Sprint, I was informed that my phone wasn’t due for shipment until NOVEMBER 9. This is ENTIRELY unacceptable, and made that very clear to them. They’ve again assured me that I’ll have a new phone by the end of the week, but now I’m very skeptical.

So here’s the line in the sand. Either I have a new Sanyo MM-5600 in my hands by 17:00 Friday, or I’m switching carriers. Again. I’m not paying $100/month to Sprint, including $5/mo “insurance”, and getting jerked around while I don’t even have a phone to use.

Medical Briefing

The external fixator and pins which have been a thorn in my side (or, perhaps more accurately, my wrist) were all removed yesterday by the fine medical staff at Vanderbilt. Now begins the task of physical therapy to restore a full range of motion and strength.

Alex took video while they pulled the pins and unscrewed the fixator. Interesting stuff, not too bloody. I’ll post the videos soon; I have to do a little editing first. In the mean time, I did post pictures:

FOLLOW-UP: Doctor says the infection in the middle pin site needs attention. Have to have outpatient surgery to go in and clean it up. Shouts to Allison and Crocket, my buddies at the Vanderbilt Hand Clinic.

Weekend snow

We got a bit of snow this weekend. Nothing to get excited about, but it only comes once a year or so around here. Click more for pictures from my drive home from work Saturday morning.


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Taken on Highway 64 between Winchester and Huntland with my new Motorola V551 camera phone (thus explaining the poor quality). Motion blur due probably caused by taking pictures while driving 70MPH — not going to win me any safe driving awards.

A motto for life

Asked to describe his personal philosophy, car-sales-and-finance guru Jim Ziegler replied, “Never do anything you couldn’t picture John Wayne doing. He never lied, he never stole, he never backed down, and he sure as hell wouldn’t have driven a Saturn.”

Car & Driver, January 2005 (pg. 70)

And we’re back

After a nearly three-week hiatus, is back online. I’m sure you’ve missed us during the absense.

First, lear got 0wned by some Romanians who also took down half of iGiles in the process. After getting iGiles back online, I didn’t even bother fixing my personal site. Now we’re back with a clean install of Debian, replacing the dated RedHat 7.0 install that I got tired of maintaining.

Next, effective today I resigned my position at iGiles. I’m taking a contract position at NABC as CTO. I’m also going to do more freelance consulting, something I’ve missed over the past couple couple of years.

At any rate, this site is now hosted at my house on a ADSL line from Butler Networks. It should be fast enough for what I’m doing here — mainly e-mail and development hosting. If it turns out to be too unreliable, I’ll outsource hosting somewhere (probably A+ Hosting).

In other news, I’m finally becoming a property owner, as I started the paperwork this week on buying the house I’ve been renting since February. I think this is a good move (and Bob gave me a good deal).

Signing off after this test transmission. Going camping tonight (Halloween), and then headed to Knoxville for the UT vs. Duke game.