chad and i had a formal discussion, and the decision was made that our bet/pact ends when he gets on an airplane tomorrow morning to go to costa rica.  so today is my last day in which i am financial incentivized by a friend to not eat red meat.

i had to choose my words carefully just now.

i wanted to say “i am incentivized to not eat red meat”, but there is plenty of incentive built-in, both in terms of keeping myself healthy and in terms of helping the environment.

i wanted to say “financially incentivized” but beef is pretty expensive, and steaks are really expensive, so choosing not to eat those things has probably helped the wallet overall.

i can’t even say “incentivized by a friend”, because jen doesn’t eat meat at all, and she has been a huge supporter of this project.

so as parker has pointed out in the comments earlier, i have a reservation with two friends at a very nice steakhouse tomorrow night.  and frankly, i do not know what i am going to do.  right now my plan is napoleon’s (by way of casey from sportsnight) – first show up, and then see what happens.  if i’m tempted by the steak,  i will have one.  if i’m not, then i’ll stick with fish.

as for beyond tomorrow night, i’m pretty sure there are no pepperoni pizzas or racks of ribs in my future.  though i might have to make an exception for in ‘n out.

honor is not dead

i haven’t had any red meat in a while.  but sunday, i had the perfect opportunity.

currently my red meat situation is thus: zach entered the pact with me at sundance, but he fell out a while ago and paid me $100 for the delight of not having to deal with it anymore.  however, right as zach failed, chad entered, mostly because i challenged that he couldn’t do it (rather than for the reasons i am doing it, which he found compelling but not quite compelling enough).  and since then, in april, chad has been going strong and i have as well.

sunday i decided to get a  sandwich.  i showered and got ready and drove over to the town and country shopping center at el camino and embarcadero.  that’s the thing about california, even the yuppie strip malls sound exotic.  i wanted to go to the village cheese house, but it was closed on sundays (dumb!).  so i went over to the mayfield bakery & cafe and i went to their bakery section and i asked for sandwiches.  jen and i had been before, and they had ‘run out’ of sandwiches in the bakery section and asked us to go sit for a full meal, so i asked them if they still had any sandwiches.  the word choice was weird, because the lady there informed me that they served to-go premade sandwiches at the bar in the cafe so i should go over there.  i left the bakery section, wondering what she thought about my choice of using the word ‘still’, and went over to the cafe’s bar.

on a sunday, around 1pm, the mayfield cafe’s bar was disappointingly busy

i asked the bartender what sandwiches they had.  he told me chicken salad, paused, turned and opened the mini-fridge behind him, peeked into a sandwich, and said “and also turkey”.  i thought for a second about how i always eat turkey sandwiches and chicken salad sounded exotic, like where i was, and that i don’t know if i’ve ever really had a chicken salad sandwich, and predictably proclaimed that “i’ll have the chicken salad”.

as i got into my car, i noticed a strange smell, familiar yet unexpected.  as i pulled out of the town and country parking lot and on to embarcadero road, i peered in to my sandwich.  as i waited for the red light to change so i could turn on to el camino, i realized that yes, those were giant chunks of bacon, thickly cut, on my chicken salad sandwich.

the thoughts that went through my mind are as follows (roughly): “fuck!  maybe it’s turkey.  i’m in california, why would they give bacon without telling you?  wait, this is clearly regular bacon.  it smells too good.  no way its turkey.  ok, no one is home.  no one knows what i’m eating.  i could just get away with this.  no, that is not right.  ok well i’m not going back to change it and i’m not going to waste this $8.  well, wasting $8 is way better than wasting $100.  maybe i can pick out the bacon?  cmon, picking out bacon, what have you turned into?  ok, what’s the right thing to do here.  pick out the bacon.  just eat it.  go get a burrito no that gave you really bad heartburn when you did that yesterday you idiot.  ok pick out the bacon.  ok just eat it no one will ever know”

so i get home, cursing to myself that i bothered to ask what kind of cheese was peeking out (brie) when i got the sandwich but didn’t bother to explore further for bacon.  and wondering if i could really deal with not telling chad that i had broken the diet, or even with telling chad and breaking the diet and paying him $100.  and i got in my kitchen and i opened up the sandwich and looked at the slice of bacon, almost whole, staring back at me.  and i thought

“i don’t really even want to eat this bacon enough for the trouble”

and i picked out the bacon.  and i put it in a trash bag.  and then i ate a middling chicken salad sandwich, or at least a sandwich that i hope was middling because otherwise chicken salad might really, really suck.

wait, summer is almost over? summer is almost over.

i was supposed to do a lot of things this summer.  i was supposed to start reading again and maybe play guitar from time to time.  i was supposed to code a lot and take photos.  maybe run a little bit.  i was supposed to try and turn into a person.

i kind of did this.  i didn’t code much of anything useful, but i took some photos.  i read a lot, but not books so much.  i started playing chess again, which has been a real revelation.

it’s frustrating, though.  there are so many things i want to do, and yet i never do them, and i have no good reason for why i don’t do them other than “well i’d rather eat dinner with jon and then watch the west wing” or “i’d rather play halo online for the 3000th time” or “man i was really tired today” or “i just didn’t want to get out of bed.”

these are not reasons not to live.

i’m also thoroughly displeased with my once plentiful but now constantly fleeting ability to speak plainly.  i’m wondering when exactly that transformation happened since junior year in college.  oh junior year in college.

i say this to make it clear some of the reasons why i may seem unhappy.  my lethargy pisses me off to no end, and yet i sit here and do nothing.  damnit.

also i haven’t seen jen in like a month and a half.


let me pimp some sites of friends.  and yes, i realize the irony that the only people who read this are my friends.  or possibly no one.  but moving on.

  1. threecoasts – group photoblog by me, roy, and mike fischer (a friend of roy’s).  in theory, every day each of us posts one photo that was inspired in some way by the photo before it.  in practice, roy has been traveling and it hasn’t quite worked out so far, but i’m sure it’ll get better as we do this more.
  2. equalszee – zach is posting music.  self-recorded, free music.  why not go take a look?  i helped produce!
  3. mytheoryontimetravel – i have my own photoblog you know.  and it’s kind of active again!

i’m yelling aloud in a cavernous empty room.  and i won’t stop yelling until someone walks by and tells me to shut up.

revenge is mine!

so part of the reason why i lost a huge number of files (in the end, let’s just say i lost everything) 2 weeks ago is because two of the 1.5tb drives i ordered were actually defective.  this will happen from time to time and i was pretty unlucky to get two bad drives but i can’t put much fault on newegg or seagate.  you have to assume the drives are bad, is what i’m saying.

anyway, yesterday i got two replacement drives in the mail.  i’ll mail back the bad drives tomorrow, because just now my second drive finished resyncing and i have 4 beautiful solid green lights on my NAS and 0 drive alerts and 3.9 terrabytes to get busy filling.

i think i’d fill these drives a whole lot faster if i had a just-announced nikon d300s.  but that might have to wait.

two separate but equal points

1a) the first two seasons of the west wing are latched into my brain.  i love the pacing, i love the writing, i love everything about it, but it always leaves me feeling that i should be doing more, or at least that i should be trying to do more.  which maybe is more than most.  but still not enough.  or something.

2b) i’m starting my music library over.  i would like suggestions on how to organize my music.  now that i’m starting over, i mean.  clean slate.

i mean it’s all very depressing.  this is what happens when i’m left alone for 3 months.

update: i went with letting itunes manage my music.  talk about depressing.

another readynas update

friday was not my finest hour.

2 of the readynas drives were showing as failed.  i pulled one.  everything broke.  my nas then spent the next 3 days claiming that the entire volume was dead.

i have somehow tricked it into thinking that one of the previously ‘failed’ drives is not dead, and i’m copying files off of the nas as we speak to an external drive.  however i’m seeing a lot of read errors when i copy files (mostly around my DNGs and NEFs, the files straight off my camera), which leads me to believe i’ve lost a significant amount of data.

so, what have i learned from this ordeal, in which i thought alternately that everything was fine, that i lost everything, and now the reality that i’ve lost some things, especially the things that matter most to me:

1) don’t panic and stay calm.  instead of pulling drives willy-nilly, i should have started a copy to an external drive on friday and let it go until it was done.

2) back things up.  more.  meaning, before i even started this upgrade i should have backed up the entire NAS to SOMEWHERE, anywhere.

3) back things up, more.  meaning i should have been copying my irrecoverable files on a weekly basis to somewhere else.  photos, documents.  not music files or things that i can get again, but something like “original RAW files from trip to europe with jen” would count.

4) sometimes shit happens.  i was freaking out on friday.  but i watched some west wing, went to sleep, woke up, talked to jen, and spent saturday out of the apartment, away from all the devastation.  and after all this, i didn’t care as much about losing files.  as jen said, they are just things.  and as i was telling myself, it doesn’t mean i didn’t experience the things those photos captured.

on a more specific note about the readynas, i think after inserting a new drive, the right move is to reboot, let the entire RAID rebuild, and then replace the next drive.  this relates back to #1 – patience.  this shit takes time.  i wanted 4.5tb as fast as possible, and rushing through it kicked my ass.

update: final tally, 173gb of 698gb (24.79%) lost, most of which were photos.

maybe i spoke too soon

i might have sung the praises of my readynas too soon.  drive 4 added fine.  then i replaced drive 1, and that worked well.  then drive 2 blew up in the middle of adding it (possibly a bad drive) and after adding drive 3 (supposedly fine) the NAS has been doing a raid sync for over 24 hours.  something is seriously messed up!  so maybe some tough love will help.  readynas, this is what you’re supposed to do – this is what i paid for.  get it right or pay the price.