Our Home Office

November 22nd, 2010

Our White Board

Our food cache/whiteboard

*secret stuff blurred

Well, I have a little free time now, so I finally did the modification to the camper we’ve been talking about for ages. This morning, I went to Lowe’s and picked up a piece of ‘marker board’ or ‘shower board’ paneling. For $10, I got almost three times what I needed, but maybe I’ll find a use for the leftover bits before we leave Campbellsville.

Our refrigerator came with paneling that has wood grained wallpaper to match the interior of the camper. So, my quickie project of the day was to remove that paneling and replace it with hideous, white shower board. Why? Now we have a white board in our camper! Well, two actually. One on the fridge door and one on the freezer door.

I also grabbed a pack of dry erase markers with built in magnets and erasers that stick to the range hood above the stove. In theory, we can now make a grocery list as we run out of things without having to keep track of a notepad. Also, we can use it to scribble down ideas for FreeCampsites.net and not lose the darn notepad before we get around to implementing them.

A whiteboard is one of the things I miss the most from a career in IT. In my first management position, we had an 8’x4′ whiteboard that was our main organizational tool.  I’ve always needed to draw ugly pictures with incorrect labels when designing a new project whether it was software or something more hands on.

I know… there should be pictures. Before I got around to taking any, we had already covered it in scribblings regarding freecampsites.net. As such, if we had an IP lawyer, I’m sure he’d have a fit were we to post images of our plans. Actually, I’m just lazy.
Update: Picture added – super secret plans have been blurred!

Wonder if having a whiteboard in the kitchen will convince the IRS that it’s really a home office?

Rocking and rolling in Arizona

January 22nd, 2010

Whew! The weather has been pretty nutty around here lately. We spent a couple of days in Quartzsite putting up fliers for freecampsites.net and got rained on every evening. One mid-day shower caught us while out on the scooter. Fun!

Quartzsite is just not our scene. Two days would have been more than enough even if the weather had been great.  It was pretty crazy to pull into the BLM area the first night and see rigs lined up awning to awning just like a commercial campground. We had to go about a quarter mile deep into the area before we found a spot where we could get a mere hundred feet from a couple of neighbors. The next morning, we found out why the area was so ‘sparsely’ populated as the kids in the converted school bus had breakfast and blasted the MTV version of the Grateful Dead over the world’s crappiest PA system. Ah, well… at least it wasn’t polka.

This morning, we got up ‘early’ to try and make it back to Slab City by dark. Apparently, I was still on California time and not really adhering to Jenn’s schedule. Still, we got out at a reasonable time and then sat in mid-morning traffic at Quartzsite while the rain started splattering. The wind had not stopped in at least 24 hours.

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Coding on the road

January 19th, 2010

After two years, I’ve finally started finding the joy of programming again. While in Fernley, NV, I wrote a quick patch to add a new playstyle to the crawl roguelike. Several days ago, I found and patched a bug in bcrypt, which I wrote nearly eight years ago and have ignored ever since. Best of all, I’ve started writing my own video game. It’s a roguelike, so don’t expect fancy graphics and a constant adrenaline rush. In fact, don’t expect anything for a long time as it’s barely more than a snazzy interface at the moment.

Not to be outdone, Jenn has been working on freecampsites.net quite a bit. I’ve tried to help some, but my PHP is very rusty and the codebase is quite large. I think she may have gotten a small taste of my frustration last night. Since she has expressed at least a passing interest in my game, I talked her through adding a couple of features to the codebase while we were driving to Quartzsite!

I was impressed. As a C neophyte, she was still able to extend my existing functions as well as find and patch a bug while listening to my disconnected ramblings of where the problem was most likely to be. All of that, and my program still compiles and runs this morning! I’m only sorry that I couldn’t talk her into finding a bug in the display code I spent a few hours trying to find yesterday. But, that code is probably overly complex and due for some cleanup. Hell, I get annoyed looking at it and I wrote it within the last week!

Slab City or bust!

April 6th, 2009

Internut - Slab City Library

After we left Quartzsite, our next ‘destination’ was Slab City, just outside of Niland, CA. First though, we really had to do some shopping before I broke into the emergency can of baked beans. So, we hit Brawley, which is about twenty miles south of the Slabs. As long as we were in town, Jenn wanted to get some work done on the freecampsites website, so we endured horribly slow internet for a night, under the assumption that we’d have no internet at all once we hit Slab City.

Go figure. Slab City had the best EVDO connection we’d seen since we left Phoenix. In fact, it’s so good they have an internut connection in the lending library. Speaking of the library, I was really impressed with the selection of books available and found my share very quickly. I rather wish I’d spent more time in the library as I could have dug around for a few gems instead of grabbing the first half dozen titles that looked interesting.

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Update

January 4th, 2009

Well, we have been sitting in the same place so long I think I have a root or two starting. We need start moving before that root makes contact with the soil. The two main reasons  we have been here so long are my new web page and the fabulous hospitality of my Aunt and Uncle. And, well a little lack of motivation on my part compounded with being sick.

Being with family has been great. It was nice to be able to spend the holidays with loved ones. What is Christmas w/o excited little children ripping open presents? My relatives provided that and much more. Roasted lamb, spiced eggnog, rum cake, holiday cheer, and much more. We have had some nice times while we have been here and really appreciate their concern and hospitality. We will miss them for sure. But, now its time to ramble.

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