jess flak


During MelFest, I was pulling about 3 wood ticks off myself a day. Today, I picked up Elvis, and when I set him down, I had a bug on my arm, where his neck had just been. At first glance, I thought it was a ladybug - because of it's size. Then at second glance, I noticed this was brown, and did not have beetle movements to it. When I looked closer, it was a wood tick from Elvis's neck that was as big as a lady bug, gorged on dog blood. Sarah and I got it to the sink, cut it in half and washed it's remains down the sink.
jess flak

Car and holidays

My car is a 11 year old Toyota Avalon. It had a hood with 11 years of paint chips from rocks in it, and I wanted that fixed. One of the soldiers that got back from Iraq early was telling me that the auto skills center on post does body work, including painting. Well, they do the paint, you do all the work leading up to it. So, I got to sand my car, put body filler (a.k.a. bondo) in my car, sand body filler, watch it get primed, then wet sand my car, and then tape off the non painting surfaces. It was a lot of work, but my car looks a lot better.

Our holidays went good. Sarah and I were out to St. Louis to see her sister, and for New Years we saw the little apple drop, in Manhattan. That was a lot of fun. Plenty of college kids, seniors, families with babies, a wide variety of people showed up. Not surprisingly, the vast majority of people texting were college or teen girls.
jess flak

Professional Advice

So, currently I have an "old" router at home, a Linksys BEFSR41v4. It has some limitations. I found this Zone Alarm appliance that looks good, and seems to have built in antivirus, so I could unload it from my computer.

Zone Alarm Z100G

If someone has some good information, experience or opinion, I would love to hear it, thank you.
jess flak


So, this XKCD strip is about parents teaching your kids about linux, I've said lots about linux to my dad. When I spoke to my dad last night, he's talking about getting something like an EeePC and running linux. It goes both ways.
jess flak


Between April's gas prices and May's the price of gas has gone up a lot. In April I drove 1156.3 miles and spent $152.56 on 43.58 gallons, in May I drove 660.1 miles and spent 106.35 on 27.78 gallons. Part of that April driving is a road trip with good gas mileage and May was only 3 fill-ups, all local, city driving, just commuting to work.

I have a spreadsheet of my gas going back to February of '07. In April on $1 I could drive 7.57 miles and in May on $1 I could drive 6.21 miles. So if I got April's distance per dollar in May, my gas bill would have been $87.14, or 22% less.

mmmm... smell that inflation. IN A MONTH.
jess flak

Speed Racer

Speed Racer is awesome! The visuals are fantastic, and the story isn't terrible either. Hopefully Stephen Colbert will not be too upset with it, Rain('s character) does not win the Grand Prix.
jess flak

Buracrarcy: The 15th left arm does not know what the 10 millionth right arm is doing:

This is about a friend's year ending tax payment to the IRS. I had first led with how the IRS cashed my check right away while NM and IL had not yet direct deposited my overpayments.

From #uiuc :
[18:28] (name withheld): i accidentally didn't put enough postage on the return. it got returned
[18:28] (name withheld): luckily i sent it 2 weeks early
[18:29] (name withheld): as (spouse's name withheld) said it seems ludicrous that $.49 delayed the payment of so many thousands of dollars
jess flak

How is this for parenting - and other news from NYC?

Some of you have kids, what do you think of this story? Personally, I like it.

I've found some weird site that apparently has stories I like to read because here is something about congestion pricing coming to NYC. (Congestion pricing is an answer to scarcity of streets for the [high] number of people that want to drive on them.) Instead of paying for the streets in time, you pay in cash. Enjoy:
jess flak

LJ and

I've heard a few people complaining here about LJ going pay only ... or some plan of LJ's like that. Given how I know most people here we care some about politics, and keeping track of our congress critters is an easy way to do that with Since it has a blog feature it seems like a very good mix of "Web 2.0"