so i've decided to finally go wireless for my network here at home. i hate having to use an ethernet cable on my laptop when i'm in the living room, and i'd love to have the option of surfing the web from my backyard deck when it's warm outside or check e-mail from the bathroom. i was hoping to snag a refurbished or used airport hub, but even those are fairly expensive (close to $200). so now i'm trying to decide whether i should go with a much cheaper non-airport wireless ethernet router/station solution. the airport looks cool and all, but once i got the network up, all that hardware will be invisible. maybe i'll drop by microcenter tomorrow and see if they have anything cheap that i can buy and test and if it doesn't work, i can always return it. i'll have to get an airport card though for $80, there's no way around that.

today instead of painting at jeff's place i partnered up with bruce to help dennis continue working on his walkways. last week dennis had paid some guys to finish up with the remaining concrete demolition, so there would be no sledgehammer action today. instead, we shoveled out buckets full of rocks and dirt, to drop the floor 5 inches down to where the walkway will eventually rise to. next, we figured out how many bricks we'd need to pave the path (approximately 350 bricks) then went ahead and sorted the good bricks (those that were extruded) from the bad bricks (those formed from a mold, the older bricks). when the supply truck came by and dumped a load of stone dust out on the sidewalk, we shoveled all that dust into the walkway, the substrate for the eventual stone pavement. when that was done, we took a break for lunch, susan having fixed us ham & cheese and turkey sandwiches upstairs, with fresh hot chocolate on this rather chilly but not unpleasant day. just like last week, maybe because i was really hungry, but the food was quite delicious, the highlight of our work detail. we went back outside and pulled out the remaining good bricks from the border of the other walkway, replacing them with bad bricks. i used my bare gloved hands to pull up the good bricks (they were lying in the ground vertically), and then using a rubber mallet to knock down the bad replacement bricks (horizontally). i don't want to brag, but i think we did a pretty good job, it didn't even look like we did anything, which was precisely the look we were going for. with that done, we called it a day, dennis coming downstairs with his checkbook and writing me a check. i told him i had worked 3.5 hours when i had actually worked 4.5 hours. i didn't realize this mistake until many hours later, but by then i figured it'd be too awkward to go back and ask to be paid for that missing 1 hour of work so i figured i'd just eat the cost, call it one of life's little lesson. i was pleasantly surprised however when dennis called me up later in the evening, informing me that i had perhaps made a mistake in the number of hours i worked, and would give me a supplemental check tomorrow. sweet!

i was tired when i came home, and tried to fall asleep on the couch but never got around to it. i wasn't too hungry, so for dinner i just reheated the leftover soup from last night. i'm pretty sure that wasn't great soup, i almost wanted to dump it. i spent the rest of the night watching hannibal, followed by the ring. alone in the house, watching a really scary movie, perhaps not the brightest idea.

dennis gave me a copy of the harvard university gazette, where there were several ads for paid medical studies. i might take a look at this one:

cocaine study: researchers seek healthy men ages 18-35 for a study examining the effects of cocaine on the brain. study involves brain MRI examinations. compensation up to $350.

i bet i could made some pretty good money being a guinea pig for the science community. a little neighborhood handyman work, a little programming freelance, and a little human test subject work, a guy can make a decent living like this!

it's been crazy cold the past few days! right now it's 42 degrees, 20 degrees cooler than what normal mid-may temperature's supposed to be. the inside of my house has been able to stay at 60 degrees though, but even that's pretty cold. the hairs on my arms stand on ends when i type and my hands are like ice. i saw the forecast for next week though, temperatures in the 70's. it's going to be nice, it'll give me ample opportunities to work on my tan, my goal of becoming all golden brown by the end of this month.

some interesting links i've visited recently:

wired had an article about how search results are being clogged by blogs. from my own personal experience, i know this to be absolutely true. the past few weeks, i've been inundated by people searching for "who died on dawson's creek". the article is also interesting because they talked to iprospect, the company that mark's wife deb works at (and the company that in the past i've done some minor freelance html work for).

a photo essay of tama-chan, japan's favorite seal. watch out for crazy fans dressed up as seals and cult members disguised as nature activists trying to capture tama-chan.