August 28th, 2004

So Petey's back.

howardtayler mentioned, when doing the linucon t-shirt design, that putting petey on it was an option because he could bring petey back before the shirt was out. Knowing how far in advance he does his buffer, this means he'd already drawn it, but still...

Linucon's doing pretty well. We've got lots of panelists, the art show's good, we've sold most of the dealer's room space already, the guests are having fun, the video room is in good hands, Reese wants to spin fire, we've even got a guy offering to play the piano blindfolded if we can find him a piano...

Howard's just joined Warehouse 23. He met Steve Jackson at Penguicon last year, and I wonder if this is related?

Jay Maynard's Tron costume was done for the Penguicon masquerade, and I took some of the the pictures of it that went on his website. Now he's on the Jimmy Kimmel show semi-regularly, and the alamo drafthouse is flying him in to introduce their next showing of Tron. (Yes, I'm pestering him into bringing Linucon flyers.)

Neil Gaiman did the intro to Wil Wheaton's book Just a Geek after Penguicon introduced the two of them (even though Wil couldn't make it to Penguicon, we got 'em in touch anyway, and things worked out ok)...

I don't know how many attendees we're going to have (always hard to tell the first year), but the ones who do show up are going to have a blast...
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Domestic bliss.

This entry has no interest to anybody but me. I'm warning you. It's pure diary of the "ate lunch, went to bathroom, did dishes" style...

The station wagon I inherited from my mother decided to behave a bit funkily the past few weeks, overheating, having no pickup, and going through 3/4 of a tank of gas in two days of fairly minor errand running. Mostly it just sits there in the garage (I don't use it much), but this was Unhappy Carness.

So I took it for an oil change. It hadn't been the full 3000 miles since the last oil change, but it had been the 6 months or whatever on the little sticker after which the oil goes stale or something. (It's been sitting in the ground for how long?)

It turns out, that the problem was the air hose that goes to the air filter. It was loose at the end next to the engine, sucking in air that didn't go past the mass airflow sensor, so the onboard computer was going "not getting enough air!" and strangling the engine. (Not something you want to have happen on the highway.) Of course the way we found this out was get an oil change, have the mechanics scratch their heads at the description of the symptoms and suggest $300 or so worth of general maintenance (fuel filter flush, new transmission fluid, etc), decide to do all that later, pull out of the oil change place, and have the car stall after about four feet. (They'd jostled the hose replacing the air filter, you see, and it came the rest of the way off when I turned the wheel, so the airflow sensor flatlined and the onboard computer paniced. The nice guys at jiffy lube tightened it back on, and it's now a much, much happier car.)

What amuses me is that a 1993 Ford "needs an" escort actually _has_ an onboard computer. What's the processor, a Z80? The fabled 80186? Running lithp?

Of course the OTHER thing I need to do with this car (and half the reason it spends so much time parked with me not driving it) is get the license plate switched over to Texas from Florida. To get a texas registration, I need a texas title. To get a texas title I need a florida title in my name. To get a florida title in my name, I need a death certificate for my mother, according to the florida bureau of bouncing back car related paperwork you mail to them...

So I'm engaged in a process that involves three bureaucracies in two states, for a car I don't really drive much. This con chair thing isn't leaving me time to drive around the country (and I have a girlfriend I rather enjoy hanging out with), and I live right next to UT within binking distance of grocery stores and restaurants. (Well, you can't bike with a bag of cat litter, that does involve a car. But you can also pick up a couple month's supply in one trip...)

George is happy. George found the blue blanket Namaur used to like, and she's made it her favorite perch. Cute kiggy. Purr purr purr.

Mark wants a kitten. Inquiries are continuing.

Rob
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