Poor Canal St.

Seeing some pictures of Canal Street, in its current state, on CNN has me kinda bummed. Canal St. was my favorite boulevard in New Orleans. It’s a great place to hop a streetcar to the riverfront or to the city park. It also hugs the west border of the French Quarter. Hopefully the interesting city of New Orleans can upright the palm trees and repair itself.

Canal Street, amidst a hurricane:

Canal Street amidst a hurricane

How I was able to see it, in full sunlight, loud, bustling with traffic and life. You can check out the full picture at Flickr.

Canal Street, with streetcars

Working towards a PVR

I’ve spent the day reading for class, working on some math, burning all the DVDs on my two hard drives to disc (near 40), and deciding which version of Linux I want to install for my dual boot system. I am anxious to set up my box as a PVR, and am interested in using the program Freevo, which runs under Linux. The perfect solution for a user like me is a distro designed specifically for Freevo, turning my machine into a media center of sorts. I am currently trying out an open source solution for Windows, called Media Portal. While it does grab the weather, work as a jukebox, display slideshows of my pictures, and record TV, I do not need all that. I currently just need a solution for recording live television. While I could pick up a DVD-R, it is actually cheaper to install a tuner card into my box. I could stick with the trusty VHS option, but that really doesn’t give me any project to work on that requires me to pick my brain in setting up, running in to problems, and then feeling really satisfied when everything works out. Besides, VHS is such a bad form of recordable media, with sound quality being extremely poor, and picture quality being even worse.

As for Linux distros I am checking out: Ubuntu, Ark, and SuSE.

My CryBaby Niece

my nieceYesterday I had to watch my niece for a few hours since my sister’s husband is out of town. She constantly cried, and was, in general, not happy about being here. At 7:30am this morning, my sister was back to drop off her daughter for another day of fun. Again, crying, and general unhappiness. Pick her up and she cries, set her down and she cries harder. So, I had to find a combination of location, lighting, and toys to keep her happy. The key to her happiness: Set her on the kitchen counter, by the window and sink, with a pacifier in her mouth, a strand of beads, and random cups and toys nearby. She’s been sitting here for a short while and has not cried yet. We’ll see how long this lasts.

Syncing two iTunes libraries?

I am trying to figure out a way to keep my iTunes library synced on two computers and am hoping someone has an answer or a suggestion.

I currently keep my music in two places, on my Windows machine which is used as a jukebox (I love it so…), and on a removable drive which fuels my iBook’s iTunes library, which I use to sync my iPod.

I only have a 30GB drive on my iBook, problem #1. I am considering performing surgery, and installing a 60GB, or 100GB drive myself. The procedure doesn’t look, or sound that difficult, but I don’t have the time right now to do it, with school starting next week and all. Considering my lack of space, I don’t use my iBook for storage of files. I use it as a mean email machine, for web browsing, and for syncing stuff. I do work with large files on the iBook, but only after I have mounted the removable drive.

If I use the iBook to import, then I have to move the files to the Windows machine, and then import the music into iTunes. While it’s only a sentence long procedure, it can be tedious. If I use the Windows machine to import, then I have to move the files to the removable drive and import it into my iTunes library on the iBook, also tedious.

I am wondering if there is a Windows app that will write to two drives, or at least mirror a folder on two seperate drives (as in a RAID configuration). I am also wondering if I can set up Automator to check the removable drive, when it is connected, check for changes in the drive, and import the music into iTunes on my iBook. I have very little experience with Automator, but I understand it is to be used for stuff like this.

So… any ideas?

A little pathology over here, please?

My Parents As Teachers represenative came today and recommended that I get my child a referral for a speech pathologist. Meh… The last thing a parent ever wants to hear is that there is something wrong, developmentally, with their child. So, I hopped on the phone, made an appointment with an audiologist for a hearing screening, then called my pediatrician for a speech pathology referral, and she responded back with First Steps, an intervention program for children up to the age of 36 months. My daughter turns three in December, and from there the school district will take over. I am very fortunate to live in the area that I do, as we reside in the Lindbergh School District that has excellent programs with amazing funding, excellent schools, and, so far, great staffing.

Not every child qualifies for First Steps, but every child can be screened to find out if they do. After answering multiple questions over the phone, I was told that I would get a call back within the next week to set up appointments for screenings. If she doesn’t get into First Steps, then I suppose I will have to set up visits with a private pathologist.

I always knew that my daughter wasn’t up to par in terms of speech, but I always figured that she would just kind of catch up. It’s so weird. The kid can count to twenty, recognize colors and shapes, say a full set of ABCs, and has crazy, fine tuned motor skills. Her Early Childhood Educator had recommended getting assistance with PAT, so I did. Now, PAT is recommending getting help elsewhere. Hopefully, she qualifies and we can get to the root of the problem. I am so ready to have a conversation with my kid, one with real comprehension.

N’awlins

The Cigar and IAfter waking at 4am on Thursday, Katie and I hopped down the highway, arriving in New Orleans at around 4pm. After grabbing a beer on the street, having dinner, and going to grab beignets at Cafe Du Monde, we ended up on Bourbon Street, doing as the locals do… living it up. We had hand grenades, a shot of Jeiger, and a few 32oz beers. When I was good and toasty, and feeling royal, I bought a Churchill cigar, costing around $9. Katie and I smoked half of it just cruising the street. Today, we took a boat cruise on the river, walked down to the Garden District, and road the streetcars around the city. We’re back at the hotel, gearing up for another great dinner. We’ll definitely end up on Bourbon Street and finish the cigar…

P.S. We went to the Voodoo Museum today and I totally bought my daughter a voodoo doll.