Wednesday, November 28, 2007

We're Up and We're Down...



For the last week, we have been experiencing networking issues. At first, I thought it was a Time Warner problem. Multiple times a day (7 plus), we found ourselves power cycling both our router (pictured on the left) and our cable modem. I had Time Warner out who ended up running a new line to the house because of a low signal. No luck. The guy left and down it went again.

My next suspect was the PS3. A new firmware update came out a week or so ago which added some enhanced connectivity for the PSP/PS3 Remote Play function. That and I noticed some weird network errors when the console was on. After checking some boards, I ended up assigning static IP addresses to everything in the house. That didn't solve the problem either. Although by opening up some ports, I did solve the PS3 network issue. Unfortunately, that does not do a whole lot of good when your Internet connection drops.

My suspicion finally turned to my Linksys WRT54G router. Something was causing it drop the Internet connection. While doing some research, I stumbled across DD-WRT which is essentially open source firmware (Read: Free). Unfortunately, my Linksys is a version 6 that is not based on Linux and is not as adaptable. Nonetheless, there is a micro firmware upgrade that covered it. Using some great instructions I found at Scopiontek and some additional tips at Lifehacker, I flashed the new firmware in fifteen minutes.

I cannot say enough about DD-WRT. It is incredibly adaptable and versatile. I am able to change the transmit strength of my wireless signal, view my plug and play ports that open and much, much more. The best part of all? My network now works perfectly, including the Internet connection and the PS3. If you have router problems, do not waste money on a new router, spend the time on the right firmware.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's on the Grill #48


Let's Feast, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Thanksgiving Turkey! Brined in vegetable stock, salt, rosemary and thyme. Stuffed with an orange studded with cloves. Grilled on the Weber rotisserie. Eaten by all....

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

What better way to be thankful, then to put life in focus and look back on the past.
On second that, scratch that. That eight year old Thanksgiving picture has not aged too well. Hair and a red kettle, two things I haven't seen in a long time....

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Britain, Britain, Britain!...


Britain, Britain, Britain!... Land of technological achievement! We've had running water for over ten years, an underground tunnel that links us to Peru and we invented the cat!

Ahhh, Little Britain, how I do miss you. I knew that Matt Lucas and David Williams had been working on a "US version" of the show, so I was sad to hear that because of the writer's strike, their work on the show had been put on hold. The only good news was that they are billing the US version of the show, which will air on HBO, as the fourth series of Little Britain. I guess it will bring something new, as well as some of the old characters.

This writer's strike has caused quite the kerfuffle. Get a move on!

What's on the Grill #47

Rack of Lamb(s)

Rack of Lamb with a roasted shallot vinaigrette! This is a dish we really enjoy and what better way to celebrate such a fine meal than with a surprise trip home from my sister. Unbeknownst to my folks, we flew my sister home for Thanksgiving week. We invited my parents over for what was supposed to be a dinner for four that turned into a dinner for six (My youngest brother also secretly came home, but his 2 1/2 hour car ride is not quite as special as a cross country flight).

It was nice to crack the grill open after so many weeks of dormancy.

Lamb and Asparagus

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Well that was fast!

Yes, last time I checked in we were galavanting around Boulder checking out some of their finest brewpubs. Then came Wednesday, where we actually had to work...a lot. Just to back up a bit, we finished off Tuesday at the Walnut Brewery. Yes, it was the same place we stopped in after lunch. It was that good. In fact, I am continuing to rejoice in the fact that they had cask ale.

Walnut Brewery

Wednesday morning greeted us with a little bit of snow on the ground. It was a little unexpected seeing that it was in the upper sixties on Tuesday. We headed out to NIST where we spent the better part of the day participating in their testing.

Testing 1...2...3?

After undergoing hearing tests and a video recognition test, I went through, we each spent almost two hours in isolation booths listening to pre-recorded messages. This post shows what we stared at. Needless to say, it was a little grueling. After having Mexican for lunch, Keith and I were a little concerned about the lack of ventilation in those things...fortunately, we came out unscathed.

We headed out to the Walnut Brewery for dinner again, accompanied by some others that had participated in the testing. It was a great bunch of people and a really good time. We spent the rest of the evening, at our hotel's swank bar, reminiscing. Five of us had previously worked together ten plus years ago, so it was a lot of fun getting together again.

After getting to bed at a decent time, we woke this morning, ate our complimentary breakfast buffet and trekked back to Denver. I really enjoyed Boulder and told Zoe that we need to plan a visit there one day. We made it through DIA with ease and took off on time. As luck would have it, Keith and I were stuck next to another wack job on the return flight. Keith described him as "inappropriate", I described him as "annoying" and we both agreed he smelled bad....real bad.

At least I will have a comfortable bed to sleep in tonight. After two nights at the Boulder Inn, I am fairly certain that I have slept on 1/2 inch plywood that was more comfortable.

Home sweet home....

Mountains

NIST

A very long and tedious day...we fly out tomorrow. I will fill in the details later.


NIST




Speakers of Pain

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Blackmail


Blackmail, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Why does Keith look evil? Because he is up to no good! He keeps making fun of my picture taking....well game on partner....game on!

Streets of Boulder....

Didn't I have a blog post about these not to long ago....

The Sampler!


The Sampler!, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Here is another shot...including me!



The Sampler & Me!



Oh Hell Yea!


Oh Hell Yea!, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Yes, you are reading that right....REAL ALE!! With an actual hand pump....stateside. We grabbed lunch & then stumbled into the Walnut Brewery to scout out dinner. By the by, Colorado has the highest number of breweries per capita in the US.

My Room: Designed by Mike Brady

Classy. Isn't it? Outside of having to plug in and program the clock, having a remote control with no batteries and the distinct odor of formaldehyde, these are fairly swank surroundings. I plan on hanging out in the nice relaxing leather chair that Keith is currently sitting in doing his Borat "King of the Castle" routine.

Here is the front desk. They actually use real keys! Keith and Dan think they contain gold and are currently thinking of a way to melt them down.

Old Style Boxes


Loser with an iPhone

With Keith and his fancy "I have WiFi...do you?" iPhone, I thought you might appreciate his take on our trip. Check out his vegas trip blog: www.bigvegas.blogspot.com. NOTE: the picture of me coming out of the restroom was not a Senator Craig moment. In my stall trip, tapping my feet only got me an offer of extr toilet paper from the guy next to me.

Well, on to breakfast.

In the Wood


In the Wood, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Hmmm....according to the map at Alamo I never really left home.

Running from the Sun

I cannot remember the last time I have flown west early in the morning. It is like watching a prolonged sunrise. Even traveling over 450 miles an hour, the sun continues to gain on us...albiet slowly. It reminds me of the old Bing Crosby song (old...as if there are any new Bing Crosby songs) Where the Blue of the Night Meets the Gold of the Day. He used the song to open his radio shows in the 40's and 50's. Well no Bing today. Just a little Vivaldi. Thirty minutes to wheels down.

The Ostrich


The Ostrich, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

It was hard to tell under the morning darkness, but I am pretty sure the tail of our Frontier Airlines plane had an ostrich painted on it. Not quite sure who picked the flightless bird for this plane, but nice job. Oh wait, I was just told it was a swan. Thank goodness, that is a little better.

Hey, we are flying with Capt. Steve and First Officer Dan! Well passenger Mike is not too happy with passenger still-drunk-from-last-night-and-smells-bad. Keith, who was sitting in the middle seat next to me (I have a window) just scored an aisle seat. Lucky him.

Frontier is nice because they have DirecTV...live! I am so laden with stuff to do, I am not sure if I will watch or not. Compared with our usual flights, this one, at two and a half hours, is nice and short.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Heading West


Moonrise over Boulder, originally uploaded by Molas.

Tomorrow morning early...actually very early, I am heading to Boulder, Colorado with some peers who fortunately, happen to be really good friends too. We are meeting up with another friend who now works in Boise, Idaho to participate in some intelligibility communication testing. The trip is work related, so it is not exactly leisure...but knowing this group, including Keith, I am sure we will fit some leisure time in. In due course, I will blog along the way...

Wheels up at 615....

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Garage Brewing

The Setup

Today was homebrew day. I am attempting to make a spiced holiday ale based on an English ESB recipe. I was fairly excited today because I picked up a Bazooka T screen for the inside of my keg. Unfortunately, it did not work quite right. I didn't test it with just water, so I will have to figure out the errors of my way on another day. Nonetheless, everything else worked pretty good. Hopefully, it will be ready for my trip to Columbus in December where I will hook up with Mike.

BTW, I think I am going to try to move the brew operation into the old dog room. I need to work out some ventilation issues first, but I think it has great potential. Plus, it would be nice to stay inside when it is raining all day...like today!

Memories


I zipped down to Belmont Party Supply yesterday to pick up some homebrew supplies. While there, I stumbled upon some familiar labels from Greene King. As I was checking out, I was asked about the Greene King and was able to relay our adventure there earlier this year. It was pretty cool to grab a bottle of Olde Suffolk stateside after having hung over the same oak fermenter in Bury St. Edmunds.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Voted!


I Voted!, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

And today, that means a lot.....

Friday, November 02, 2007

Fall Grilling


Fall Grilling, originally uploaded by Another Pint Please....

Apparently I have a blog....

Sorry things have been so slow and sporadic. Things have been a little crazy, needless to say. At least I had a chance to hit the grill tonight. I think the grill, and more importantly my wife, are feeling a little neglected. None to worry, things should clear up as of the first Tuesday after the first Monday of the month....

In cool grill news, Weber reports that nearly one in ten barbecue owners plan to grill on Thanksgiving this year. I know that I will be one. That reminds me, I need to dig up an old photo we had from '99 (?) where we grilled our first Turkey on the Performer. It was pretty good...although eight years later I can gurantee that it can be a lot better!