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Good morning, America, how are you?

While I was aboard the USS New Orleans, I came to heartily loathe the Arlo Guthrie version of the song “City of New Orleans“. Why? Well, first off, I’ve never liked Guthrie’s nasal whining or his politics; second, hearing the freakin’ song every 15 minutes (well, actually, it only seemed that often) would make anybody hate it. However, iTunes just served up the Willie Nelson version, and suddenly I like it a lot better.

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When Charlie Stross, the most excellent SF writer, calls someone a freak, it bears investigation.

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TechEd: the big day arrives

This morning, I woke up early, got dressed, checked out of the hotel, and hit the speaker lounge to get some work done. Of course, I ended up talkin to several MS folks, including some for whom we’re now doing work, so it wasn’t entirely productive in terms of the number of pages I wrote. I had a good visit with the folks from Solid Data, who make a cool solid-state disk for speeding up Exchange recoveries, and I got some cool swag for the kids– always a key objective at these events.
After a couple more vendor visits (including with the fine folks at Good Technologies, who had darn well better come out with a PalmOS device so I can buy one), it was time to deliver my session. Mark Mortimore of TechNet fame suggested some additional topics, which I totally forgot about once I got on stage. I was completely in the groove, even though I went about 15 minutes long; the whole session was pretty much a blur. People who’ve been to my presentations in prior years can testify that 15 minutes isn’t all that long; at least this time I wasn’t scheduled right before lunch. I got to see several friends (hi, Darcy, Kevin, Kim, and whoever else I couldn’t see while blinded by the stage lighting!)
The session seemed to go really well, but I guess my eval numbers will tell the tale. Jesper Johansson was telling me that he was surprised by the eval numbers– the high session got an 8.4/9.0, and even luminaries like Don Box were hovering around 8.2. My high session last year at the MEC was a 7.9, so I’ll be interested to see whether my numbers this year hold up. Of course, since I totally forgot to tell people to fill out their evaluations, I may get a big fat zero!

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If you need me, I’ll be on the sofa watching TV

Next Tuesday, the installoid is coming to put in my HDTV box. The local provider has HBO, Showtime, Discovery HD, and the local CBS affiliate. This is kind of disappointing; I don’t watch anything on CBS, so I’d much rather have ABC and Fox. Supposedly, they’re coming soon, along with ESPN-HD. (However, ESPN is broadcasting in 720p, and I am too cheap to buy a 720p TV at this stage of HD’s maturity, so when I do get it it’ll be upconverted to 1080i).
Because this is just a test, it’s too early to tell how much Buckeye will charge, what other channels they add, and so on. I figure that if I really like the HD content, I’ll be better able to stomach buying an over-the-air tuner for local channels and an HD-capable satellite receiver. Then again, maybe not. I also have to budget for a progressive-scan DVD player; my three-year-old Zenith 2550 has component out, but no p-scan. I need to find someone with a p-scan player and a conventional TV and horse trade with them, probably.

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Let’s see how this looks for a blockquote.

From the halls of Montezuma
To the shores of Tripoli
We will fight our country’s battles…

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Too bad most of my friends are married

I wonder how long it’ll take for eBay to remove this Instant Girlfriend kit from auction.

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Beignet, done that

Happy Mardi Gras! For breakfast, Arlene made beignets and bacon. For supper, it’s crawfish étouffée, red beans and rice, and all the trimmings– the beads are hung, and the boudin balls will be on the snack platter a bit later. We’ve even got a midnight snack planned. Laissez les bons temps rouler!

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