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My little cousin’s getting married!

Well, not my littlest cousin, but they all seem little compared to me. I remember babysitting Justin, and now he’s getting married this January. They’ve got a web site with wedding info.

Opening night at Toyota Center

Rockets.jpgNot really opening night for the team, but opening night for the arena: last night was the first sporting event held in the Toyota Center. Farina got us tickets, and it was a great idea – I loved seeing the place. It’s very bright and airy. Electronic goodies abound, with great LED signage everywhere. It’s truly a much more enjoyable place to watch a game than the Compaq Center was – if you even have fifteen seconds to spare during a game, there’s something interesting on a stats sign somewhere to occupy your time.

The real opening night for the Rockets is October 30th, and I’ll be there. Can’t wait. The banners (retired players’ jerseys) weren’t up, so those will probably be a part of a ceremony on opening night.

And I should have gotten a digital camera a long time ago! I shoot pictures with this thing everywhere. You can click on the picture at right for a bigger version, which I don’t usually do in the blog.

Bayou City Art Festival

BayouCityArtFestival.jpgWe went to the Bayou City Art Festival this afternoon and saw more great stuff than ever before.

Artes del Alma, the husband-and-wife team of Greg and Shannon Gerber, makes beautiful crosses adorned with wire, beads, and little trinkets. A large, two-foot-tall one that had a candle holder in the center caught my eye, but we settled on a smaller one with a magnet on the back.

Erika and I both loved the work of Jay Long, an artist I’ve seen for a couple of years. His deep, earthy color schemes, somber portraits, and whimsical subjects somehow remind me of what would happen if Robert Smith, the lead singer of The Cure, painted instead of sang. Even the fun stuff has dark undertones, but it’s all harmless. We picked up a couple for the library in the new house.

Finally, Suzy Scarborough intertwines classical paintings by Vermeer, Rembrandt and the like with scientific imagery and numbers. I couldn’t resist one of her versions of Vermeer’s “The Girl With a Pearl Earring.”

After the show, we went by Park Square (the subdivision where Perry is building our new house) and walked through the other new houses in the neighborhood. The number of houses with laminate countertops surprised us. Man, that stuff looks bad. And I’m glad I sprung for the undermount sink – we saw a granite countertop with a normal sink and it was hideous.

House is in the trim stage

Entry_t.jpgI dropped by the house yesterday, and it’s in the trim stage. The kitchen cabinets are done (except for the granite countertops), the wood trim is up, the walls are painted, and they’re working on the tile floors in the bathrooms. Getting pretty close to complete. We close three weeks from yesterday, Lord willing. You can see the complete photo gallery here.

This weekend is the Bayou City Art Festival, so we’re headed out to do some walking downtown. I’ve gone every year for the last four years, and I’ve gotten stuff from Jimmy Ellis each time. I’ve probably hit my limit on collecting his stuff, though: it dominates my home office at the moment. It’s probably time to get some stuff for the new house, things that we can put in the living room.

Eddie Izzard touring – but not near me

sexie5.jpgMy favorite comedian, Eddie Izzard, is touring the world – but alas, no stops in Houston. I’m highly tempted to fly to another city to catch him, but the stops are really close to me closing on the house. The best date would be Oct 27-28 in DC, but I’m doing my house inspection on the 29th, and I don’t want to get stranded and miss it.

If you haven’t seen Eddie Izzard, you owe it to yourself to at least check out his web site. He’s very much the thinking man’s comic: his standup is not so much a string of jokes as it is listening in on a funny man’s stream of consciousness. He’s like Dennis Miller, but not offensive or demeaning, just plain hip and fun. And I suppose I should mention this if you haven’t seen his act – he’s a crossdresser.

Drywall up, wall textures going on

Loft.jpgIt doesn’t look like much now, but this will be the center of my efforts for world domination, muhahaha. Okay, maybe it’s just my home office getting that much closer to completion. The drywall is up in the whole house, and they’re adding the texture on the walls & ceiling today.

I’ve gotten on a fitness kick: I’m going to try working out every day for the next six months. A friend of mine is six months into a workout plan, and he’s looking a lot better than I do, which motivates me. I’m already thinking that I want to put a stationary recumbent bike in the home office, put a keyboard on it, and work out while I work. If there were pedals attached to my seat right now, I’m sure I’d weigh twenty pounds less. I’m always tapping my feet and bouncing around to music because I like to program with techno music on, so it seems only natural to take it to the next level.

Greek Festival

greekfest.jpgJust got back from an enjoyable evening at the Greek Festival at Westheimer & Montrose. After the first hour or so, having found only food booths, Erika observed, “Don’t these people do anything other than eat?” No offense to the people pictured here, but judging by the size of the crowd (so to speak), that appears to be true. I didn’t realize it until I got back and started looking at the pictures. It was a big crowd, ayuk yuk yuk.

The straw that breaks Microsoft’s back

Today, Valve Software announced that hackers had stolen the source code to their upcoming game, Half-Life 2. This presents a variety of expensive problems for Valve, and I won’t go into those here, but the interesting part for me was a line from Valve’s explanation:

At some point, keystroke recorders got installed on several machines at Valve. Our speculation is that these were done via a buffer overflow in Outlook’s preview pane. This recorder is apparently a customized version of RemoteAnywhere created to infect Valve…

Basically, they’re starting to point the finger at Microsoft for the attack – if Microsoft Outlook was more secure, they wouldn’t have been hacked, and their code wouldn’t have been stolen. Hey, if it’s true, then it’s true, and this will definitely get investigated. I’m sure MS has a crew en route to Valve now, not to mention antivirus experts.

I predict that this becomes a watershed event in the computing community. Network admins who want to rid their shops of MS products will use this as a reason: “Boss, if you leave Microsoft Outlook in place, we might get hacked just like Valve did. Remember Valve, that company that went under because they couldn’t sell their games anymore? What if one of our competitors pays some hackers to knock us down just like they did Valve?”

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