Wednesday, July 26th

::The Brak Blog::

Comfort Eagle

There's some double-wide shine on a new temporary index.

Check out

[We're Building It Bigger]

As was prophesized by Tom at 10:44 PM CST
[Unique Link] [Neglect Your Oral Hygine]

Monday, July 24th

::The Brak Blog::

Aeris' Theme

One last time we'll do this.

The other day I felt like spending some time with my sister, and so we watched both of the Spider-Man films in a row. It was sort of a weird choice of film, but we had fun anyway. The next day though, I paid for my movie selection. That day at work a huge daddy-long-legs type thing was crawling all over the walls! Gross! I just left him there. Probably not the right thing, but whatever. Later on that night I was just sitting at my computer and all of a sudden this spider goes all crawling up my wall! The nerve!! I was gonna kill him too, but he got away.

Come to think of it now... he never turned up. Eh. *nervous glance around*
So that was just sort of a weird coincidence.

I was eating my lunch at Mr. Goodcents by work the other day, and I was not happy. The previous time I'd been in there I had sat and eaten and read my book, all Joe-Raach-Like. I was quite content. On the day in question I was simply trying to read the paper, but I couldn't, because of this old man. He was sitting there in his fancy suit, with his fancy cell phone, blabbing at disgustingly audible levels. For one reason or another he felt as if the entire Mr. Goodcents community needed to know what an awful liver he had. Thanks for sharing, bub.

And so that's how my entire lunch was. He talked for the entire 20 minutes I was in there. Finally I just wrapped up my food and got up to leave, I was so annoyed. Before I left, I went to go refill my drink. On my way there, the old man hung up his cell phone. On my way back, he had the guile to as me "What time is it?!" As if he had somewhere to be...

"Time for you to get a new liver," is what I wanted to say.
"Three 'til two," is what I actually said.

But seriously. I'd been throwing this guy nasty looks for the duration of my meal, and he asks me the time of day! When, in actuality, he could have found that out by LOOKING AT HIS STUPID CELLPHONE! Gaaah!

Recently, in addition to replacing old men's livers with cellular telephones, I've been replacing the outdated portions of my computer. As well as rebuilding my parents' and sister's. That's actually what's taken up the bulk of my July. I had to replace the case of my mom and dad's machine. Meaning take everything out and stick it into a smaller box. Finding the box was hard, the actual procedure was easy. I also had to give Erin a new hard drive and install Windows XP on both machines. This will be the first week since the last post that I haven't gone to MicroCenter/CompUSA/B.E.TEK more than three times a week.

I got my own little perks out of this though. Most importantly a new processor that pushes my motherboard's capabilities to the limit; for once I'm near the cutting edge. Just as well though, I got a DVD-R/RW drive too! It'll be good for backups, but I'm really excited that I can watch movies on my computer. I put in WarGames just to test it... and watched WarGames. This does not bode well. I'm far too easily distracted. I also got a new fancy-pants monitor. The aspect ratio is 1.6:1, aka Widescreen. I put Spider-Man 2 in to test it, and ended up singing along to the credits song. Stupid goddamn Dashboard Confessional.

Speaking of Emo music: How the hell do they find me, seriously. Somewhere on this site I have a scan of a BestBuy ad that lists a definition of 'emo'. It's a really stuffy way of defining a really bitchy genre, so I put it up because I thought it was funny. Ha ha. Laugh laugh. Thanks to my little joke (which I doubt anyone noticed/and/or appreciated) I've gotten 1050 hits on my webserver from "" alone. Just in July! People are putting that stupid Emo picture on their profiles! Even after I changed the location once to STOP them from doing that! Grah! So mad! Of ALL the things I put on here, the stupid emo thing generates the biggest traffic.

That right there is enough to make one cry. On top of it all, these stupid porn-bots are taking over my comments system. Not that I'm mad that no one comments, because granted, I never post, but I'd rather have No One Neglecting Their Oral Hygiene that like 18 ads for fscking tranny porn. That's just excessive, not to mention gross [I'm doing my best to block them, but they're out en masse].

All the more reason it's time for a change of scenery. I know I've been blabbing on about it for several posts now, but I'm getting pretty excited about the new blog. Not that anyone will be sorry to see it go, but 'ElevatorBlog' got nixed (I thought it sucked too, plus it was taken). I've got a new domain that's way, way better, but shall remain secret until we start construction on the new site. Keep checking back in the coming weeks; one day you'll show up and this'll just be a 404, but fear not. Soon after it will be something new and impressive.

Or at the very least, not the same crap you've been reading for 4 years now.
Four years today, actually.

Shall we pull a retrospective? I think we shall:

Wednesday, July 24, 2002

This is the birth of the blog. The blog has now become. Enjoy the blog and bask in its wonder and glory.

Yeah, well right now I'm happy, because this blog thing is really cool and I like it. Yea for Blog.

Changed the scheme a bit, now it looks a little cooler :)

Please note a couple things here:
1. the length
2. the me being happy
3. the scheme change
4. the smiley
5. the complete degree of oblivity of what was to come

And take a look at where we are today:
1. they're a little longer
2. I'm still happy... on occasion
3. the scheme's hardly ever changed
4. ...
5. I don't think that ever went away.

It's been four years since this whole thing started, and here we are at the precipice of change. Thing are going to change; a LOT. I gave you a glimpse in the previous post with a features list. As it stands right now, all of that's still a very real possibility. The layout's locked in, we've got the name, I'll be registering it later this week, and then we're off.

Here's the part where I thank the people that made this all possible:

Isaac Ahloe: We haven't talked in a long, long time, but he hosted me for free three years ago, which really got me started taking this entire thing a little more seriously.

Ethan and Lizz: Both of you read this piece of crap, and gave me some things to actually write about.

Sean and Hank: Both are hosted on at [/SeanSV] and [/Hank]. You're also both welcome to space on the new site, and I do apologize for the trouble of the name-switch!

Readers and writers: Anyone here reading this thing and leaving comments has made this happen. Knowing that I'm doing this for a couple people that aren't me is what keeps this thing moving, and I appreciate the encouragement.

I can't really think of anything else to say that hasn't already been said in one way or another. I've known that this day was coming for a while now, but it's hard to believe it's actually here. I've had a lot of fun writing the BrakBlog, and I hope reading it hasn't been a total waste of time.

I hope you'll all stick with me for the next leg of the race:
Kirksville in August.

Until then

See You, Space Cowboys...

[Est. Completion of the New Blog: August 15th, 2006]

As was prophesized by Tom at 02:17 AM CST
[Unique Link] [Neglect Your Oral Hygine]

Monday, July 3rd

::The Brak Blog::

Is It Any Wonder?

So I had a really, really frustrating experience with iTunes/iPod the other night.

It's about 2 am, and I've put in about 4 hours working on the Beta version of The Elevator Blog (more on that in a minute) and I've been listening to my iPod for almost the entire time. The battery was almost run down, so I figured I'd plug it into the computer, update my podcasts, and charge it at the same time. I plug it in, and iTunes starts doing some importation of XML business, not knowing what this was, I told it to quit. I just wanted my damn podcast!

"Your Library File is Corrupt. It's been saved as Library(Damaged).itl." iTunes proceeds to then display my library, all 200 songs. That's about 1,800 songs short of what it should've been. My stomach dropped and the cold sweat started. Lucky for me, I only had one playlist to lose, and all my CDs were still stored physically on the hard drive. So rebuilding the library didn't take nearly as long as I thought it would. Needless to say though, the experiance was quite terrifying.

Not wanting to chance a repeat incident, I plugged the iPod into the wall, to charge it from there. Only to find that ALL MY PODCASTS WERE GONE! Not to mention about a third of my albums which displayed that they were there, but refused to play. Instead of freaking out like I did previously, I was just really, really hacked off. Instead of trying to coax iTunes into replacing the missing files, I took a more heavy-handed option. I wiped my iPod clean. Then I told the computer to dump everything in the library back onto it. Then I went to bed.

This morning, and all today, it's worked just fine. No problems. However, there's a very important lesson here: Back up your iTunes crap. Often. ESPECIALLY if you use a lot of playlists or make use of the 'playcount' feature. There's nothing you can do to protect yourself from this kind of error, it's just a little spasm cutorsy of iTunes [Literally 5 minutes ago it just prompted me to download 6.0.5. *cringe*] In any case, a regular back up of your "iTunes Music" folder, as well as the .itl and the .xml files should remedy this. The .itl/.xml combo is what's going to save the playlists/playcounts, because they're all embedded into those files as near as I can tell. Back up what you would miss. Right now. Do it. Close this blog window and burn that stuff to a CD. It'll take you 5 minutes and save you potentially days of work if you ever run into a 'Damaged Library' disaster like mine. GO.

So anyhow. Today I went to an Indy Car Race at the Kansas Speedway. On the one hand, it wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it'd be. I was expecting so be bombarded by confederate flags and see drunken brawls all over the place. I really only saw one confederate flag, and, despite the rediculous amount of alcohol being served, there were no fights to my knowledge. Plus the hot dog I had was really, really good. On the other hand, car races are a snooze fest. In terms exciting time vs. time spent waiting for something to happen, it's about a 20:280 (ratio measured in miles). It's one very big left turn.

Another thing that bothers me is racing nomenclature. I saw the Kansas Lottery Indy 300. As the race progressed, I saw a count at the top of the score board. It slowly clicked up, and I realized it was a lap count. Around 80, I was starting to get bored. About then my dad took me to get the hot dog. When all was said and done , it was up to 120. At 150 I thought, "Hey, halfway there. I might make it." And so the race dragged on. Suddenly, as the count approached 200, everyone stood up, almost at once. "How nice," I observed, "Sort of like the 7th Inning Stretch in Baseball!" As I streched, I mused at what a good idea this was; I was stiff. When that count hit 200 though, almost everyone started to walk out!

What the hell? I was hunkered down for another 100 laps! There was no way I was the most hardcore race guy there. Far from it. Come to find out that the Kansas Lottery 300 means the race was 300 miles long, and the Kansas Speedway track is 1.5 miles long. I'll let you do the math and realize what a total dolt I am. So all in all, it really wasn't bad at all. I kinda had fun. But it's not really something I think I'd go to on my own accord/money.

Hank was over the other day. We both got our room stuff from Truman! We spent a lot of time deciding who would bring what, setting up our campus email accounts [tch886 at truman dot edu] and other senseless crap like that. My huge level of excitement for college is dampered by the fact that I have to get a menangitis shot. Gross.

Speaking of college and the future are stuff, I mentioned earlier that I was working on the new blog. I am, seriously! I've gone through two color schemes and one layout design, as well as two menu styles already. It's kinda cumbersome, because I feel pressured into making it amazing enough to last me another four years like the BrakBlog layout has. I think that's sort of an unreasonable expectation. In any case, here's the general gameplan:

Beta versions of the Elevator Blog-
I'll continue to tinker with the layout/colors until I get something I really really like.

Alpha version of the Elevator Blog-
Once I get something fairly polished, I'll upload it to the net, so I can consult some people for advice on design etc.

Doman registration-, or something near that.

There's going to be a period, after the last day of July, when several things will happen: Getting my account linked to the new domain, so it's the primary address, moving BrakBlog into a subdirectory, and then getting to point to said subdirectory. And not even necessarily in that order. During this time stuff is going to be down left and right, so please bear with me. I hope that 20 days later (max) when I head down to Truman, the Elevator Blog will be up and running, ready to chronicle my college ordeal.

New Features-
  • Hank's new MacBook has the tools to create podcasts. Expect college podcasts aimed at updating old friends and family members as to the go-ings-on of Hank and Tom [guest staring Lizz].

  • I'm really interested in making an RSS feed, but I don't really understand them. Ethan says I don't update enough to justify one. I plan to fix both those of things this fall.

  • I'm going to format Greymatter (my blog software) so that I can categorize my entries by general topic. Topic Candidates include: Life [general], Current Events [Predom. Politics], Maintinance [for when I know things are broken/working on fixing them]. I can't really think of anything else I talk about on the blog, but if anyone has suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

  • The new layout will be a dark background with white text. I'm told that's easier on the eyes when dealing with computer displays. Thoughts?

That's the future, tentatively.
Wait and see what happens to everyone's favorite Cowboy.

As was prophesized by Tom at 01:46 AM CST
[Unique Link]