twice today i tried fixing my linksys befsr41 router, twice it failed, although the second time around i might've found a solution to all my problems. i also got yelled at by somebody at the unemployment office when i called about my missing check. and, julie lepage unexpectedly comes to dinner.

i checked the dishes and glasses and silverware that'd been sitting inside the washing machine since last night. AMAZING! not only were they clean, but they were spotless as well, something that i have a hard time achieving when i hand wash and dry my dishes on the dish rack. it must be the amazing circulating air dryer that's inside the washer. i was reading the instruction manual, a full load only uses 9 gallons of water. i think using the dishwasher actually saves more water versus when i do the dishes by hand.

had two projects running concurrently today, one was a back and forth online debug session, the other some bug fixes and tweaks. both appear to be over, but you never know. projects are never really over, they just sort of fade away. but i was pretty much held a captive in my house, my pseudo office, working. not that it was hard to stay indoors, once again it was very cold outside.

i called the unemployment office to inquire about how come i didn't get a check last week. after being on hold for 30 minutes, a woman answered, "what do you want?" i started to explain my situation, how on so-and-so dates i was supposed to get an unemployment check. "I CAN'T HEAR A THING YOU'RE SAYING!" she yelled. up to this point, everyone that i've talked to at the unemployment office has been courteous and kind. today, i got the rotten apple. i relocated, jiggled the phone cord, talked louder myself. "did you even read your unemployment handbook?" she asked incredulously. "when you make more than your weekly benefit, you have to reopen your claim in order to get your checks again." she then put me on hold for a few more minutes, then came back and said i'd get my check in a few days. "and read your handbook!" she added, before hanging up.

so i was on the phone with linksys twice today. last night i talked to marie, and the fix she offered didn't take, the connection broke hours later. today, it was robert. he prescribed a fix that involves setting my pc to dynamically get the ip number from the dhcp server but manually setting the ip number for my mac. it was a weird fix, but at this point i'd do anything to get the router working. it seemed pretty solid, and i actually breathed a sigh of relief, but then from the bedroom i heard the telltale sounds of my aim going down and trying to reconnect in vain. when i called linksys tech support again later at night (24/7 tech support, say what you will, but you have to love a company that can offer that) i got eric, who, after hearing me describe the problem, said that it was a problem with my motorola modem model (surfboard sb4100), and that he's seen reports of it before. apparently the modem doesn't have enough power to generate a strong enough signal for the router to detect, which kind of makes sense, because the cablemodem works fine connected directly to either the pc or the mac, but not through the router (unless i establish a connection first with a computer). his solution: either put a small powered internet hub between the router and the cablemodem, or, get at&t to give me a different modem model.

i started making dinner early, around 5pm, since i didn't have a very big lunch (a meat bun). tonight it was going to be some tricolor cheese tortelloni with a spicy tomato pesto sauce. i was just thinking what a waste of food because once again i made too much and would have to either eat it all or save the rest as leftovers (and i hate leftovers), when julie called me (on the road no less) about borrowing my ibook to check her cablemodem connection again. i said sure, but then also invited her over for dinner, since i made enough for two. not only was it tortelloni, but i also made smoothies (my complex drink of choice). after dinner, julie insisted on doing the dishes. later, she left with my ibook, out into the bone chilling new england winter cold.

my hair's getting unruly. i don't think i've cut my hair since i got laid off back in june. with all this dry weather though, i'm getting major static cling action. thank god i don't have too many metal surfaces around the house otherwise i'd constantly be getting static shocks. but wintertime is the best time to have big hair because it's actually functional, warms the head. i think my hair's starting to get a little out of control though, despite the fact that i've received several positive comments about it during reunion night. i want a haircut and i also want to shave off my beard, a total hair removal makeover, i think it's time for a brand new look.

and, the five books underneath my bed:

the handy science answer book

voices from the ming-qing cataclysm: china in tigers' jaws edited/translated by lynn a. struve

sex lives of the hollywood goddesses by nigel cawthorne

operation solo: the fbi's man in the kremlin by john barron

stokes nature guides: a guide to bird behavior volume ii by donald & lillian stokes