yo joe

Better not forget to mention...

The most important purchase of the night this past Friday: We picked out and took home our beautiful new wedding bands: Til ya see them, they are sterling silver and platinum with a small diamond in the middle of each. And yes it looks great on me; me being a man :) I am very excited for the day when I get to put it on & keep in on! Just a few weeks now.... or less.... (details being resolved)
  • Current Mood
    excited excited
yo joe

True Story

Melo and David J's Story in Haiku:
..... {
Have plan to get Wii!
Wait, freeze for sixteen hours......?
Patience is preferred.
..... }

Yeah, were gonna camp at Target from 6pm Saturday to 8am Sunday. Then logic took hold. That and the weather report...

On the bright side, I got a shiny new PC game! Two in fact! Three-- Four, if you're really counting, in all: PC-Gothic 3 (been wanting this for two years- yay whee whoooo!) Then at Target Friday evening after our decision, I asked for PC-FEAR for $30 as a consolation (hey, no Wii) game :)-- Meli went for it, bless her heart. Then as we checked out Circuit City -- hey, we were doing a bunch of traveling shopping that night-- I got PC-Gothic *2* with its **expansion** I never got to play cause impatience got the best of me back then...and I'd bought the UK version of Gothic 2... Anyway, got it for for $3!! Yes three dollars! Yay me!
  • Current Music
    paradise lost b-sides collection

Death of a salesman

A bittersweet end. Working in my music and development studio on an average day and without fail, the stench of stale cigarette smoke would work it ways upstairs from the apartment below. I'd spoken with the wife of the husband who spokes downstairs, and asked if he'd at least smoke outside. She noted that they were hoping to adopt and he'd planned to quit before adopting a child. In fact, he would from now on start smoking outside like the rest of us (kinda former) smokers do- That is, when you prefer your house not to have a putrid smell.

That seemed to hold true for a while. For weeks, I was able to work again in my studio without wanting to gag and move to another room and ultimately be unproductive. Sure, when he smoked it gave me an excuse to be lazy and not make as much progress as I'd been wanting to, but at least I could shift the blame on to somebody else. Then again, I was much happier when I could get back into my work.

Of course, all good things must come to an end - The smoking resumed, for whatever reason - Perhaps they were unable to adopt a child after all, perhaps he just didn't care because if he had to put up with my new kitten running around through all hours of day and night, I could at least deal with his cigarette smoke.

Then something wildly unexpected happened. I won't spoil it yet.

Friday afternoon, I'm at work while my wife-to-be (next month hopefully! we are having a civil ceremony and then a formal reception in 2008 when we've saved enough money to throw an extravagant party for all of our friends and family), calls me on the phone in a kind of terror at the scene unfolding outside of our apartment building. We live in a corner unit, and don't share walls with anyone, only the floor that separates us from the neighbors below.

Before I go on, I'd like to say that the woman downstairs was always very nice and courteous to me. The husband, on the other hand, seems to only have one expression and it's something, if I were to put into words, along the lines of "I wish you were dead." Or maybe like, "I wish you were dead so I could feast on your rotting carcass." As such, he and I never really exchanged any words. Not that I didn't try repeatedly saying "Hi" or "Hello" without as much as a nod of acknowledgement.

A short anecdote: One day, the woman from downstairs comes knocking on my door and when I get down there, she explains how they'd like to adopt a child and such and such, that they need references and would I be willing to put my name down for them and put in a good word. Despite my encounters with the husband leaving me less than thrilled at the thought of being partly responsible for handing over an innocent child to them, I say okay, put my name and number down.

See, I figured I'd just get a phone call some day and they'd ask some basic questions which I would answer with "selective honesty" and good cheer. Instead, I received a bulky packet of papers in the mail which would have been way better suited to someone like, oh I don't know, a family member or relative or good friend- You know, somebody who knows anything about them. The questions were extremely personal and left me with few options: Fill it all out with lies, giving them a better chance at adoption- Fill it all out with the truth, truths such as "I don't even know these people", "The smoking is really annoying to me upstairs", and -- for further emphasis -- "I don't know anything about these people, so how the fuck am I supposed to fill out this stupid questionaire?" The final option was to not send it in at all, which is what we chose, because either other option would have forced me to lie about people who I really don't even care about that much.

Back to a few paragraphs ago. As many of my friends and co-workers know, my fiance has been through a lot these past few weeks. Hell, the past many years, let's be honest- Ever since being diagnosed with lupus. (I mention it specifically because it's not something we really keep private. Lupus awareness is important. Please look at lupus.org.) This time around, it was a combination of things, ranging from severe, stabbing and crippling pain, loss of mobility, full flown flu symptoms and a host of other problems. Trying hard as I may, so futile it was, to not miss much work, I did my best to take care of her while she was staying at our apartment, helping her around, cleaning up, making lunch and dinners, etc., and also trying to get in to work as much as possible. Anything that needed to be done, any help she needed, I did my best to be there for her. I know she'd have done the same for me, and has at times when I've been very ill. It's never something you really think about when you love someone that much.

This past Friday, towards the end of the work day, I get a series of frantic phone calls from her that there are all these officials outside of the house and it has something to do with the downstairs neighbors. The police were there, the apartment managers, animal control, ... homicide detectives- You name it. This, as it might with anyone in her position, frightened her a bit and we both were really concerned as to what was going on. She was afraid to go down and ask them, as to not get in the way of whatever was going on, so immediately after work I bolted out of there to my car and sped home. Just in time to find out that everyone had left.

Everyone. Including the four cats the neighbors owned. Including a dead body. Yes, a dead body. Six men and women carried out a corpse in a white body bag, set it down and laid a blanket on top of it. It was around this time that my girlfriend fainted. No injuries, thankfully. She didn't share that part with me until later, as to not upset me further. Probably would have; I was already speeding home as far as I could in the first place.

Even though both of the neighbors cars appeared to be present, the wife was apparently not there. From the little that my girlfriend overheard, there were questions as to her whereabouts.

What happened in there?

We knew something was up earlier in the week. Normally, every few weeks or so, the neighbors leave out their empty water bottles to have them replaced with full ones at the end of the day. On Monday or Tuesday, I left the house and saw the empty bottles, and upon my return that day I saw the new bottles in the hallway leading up to both of our apartments. Okay, that's normal enough. Guess they're not home.

Next day, water bottles still there. That afternoon, a package from UPS is lying in front of their door.

Next day, neither the water bottles nor the UPS package had been picked up. Well, they must be on vacation, we surmised! It was an optimistic guess, cause I'm not sure why someone would leave for vacation when they know there's going to be a delivery of water bottles the same day of departure. Nevertheless...

This is the best we could come up with: Wife went on a vacation that day, on or around the time that the water bottles were placed outside. Husband was home alone. Husband died. How? Why? Don't know. Suicide? Overdose? Murder? He was a drinker and heavy smoker, but those sorts of things don't ordinarily lead to sudden deaths. He wasn't in the best shape but seemed young, maybe mid 30s And the other question- Where was the wife? My girlfriend actually overheard one of the officers at the time asking that same question. If she knew something was up, like him not answering the phone for days, why didn't she return? Could have been abroad I guess. No way of knowing. What we guess happened is that either she or somebody from his job must have gotten suspicious after numerous unanswered phone calls and notified the police to investigate. And well, the rest is history...

How long were we living upstairs from a dead body?

Life of some sort has seemed to return to the apartment downstairs, although all the blinds are down- Not typical for them. The cats have returned. I've heard movement, seen a silhouette through the window when I've been outside. Can't tell who's in there. Guessing it's the wife. She probably was on a vacation with friends and returned to this- A shattered life, so it would seem. If that's the case, I feel really sorry for her. Not that I liked the man or anything; Frankly, he seemed like a very unpleasant individual. Alright, a douchbag. Regardless, we can't pass judgement on anyone- On her for picking the guy, or on him for being the way he was. What do I really know? Maybe there's a whole other side to him I'd never gotten a chance to learn. Suppose it's too late now.

Hmm. I hope this doesn't sound incredibly insensitive, although it probably is- At least I don't have to worry about cigarette smoke wafting its way up to my room anymore.

So listen, I intend to keep following up with the news to see if there are any reports on this, because I'm really curious as to what really happened. If I do find anything out, I'll post an update. For now- A moment of silence. Goodbye, neighbor I never liked or got to know very well. I'm sure there are many friends and family out there who will miss the guy. Rest in peace!
  • Current Music
i hate southpark

(no subject)

The bad news is that... Turns out, the wireless router I bought a few months ago and was praising the quality of, turned out to be a piece of shit. It's okay until you start doing heavy transfers over wireless. I'm not even talking about the BitTorrent type, where the thousands of connections seem to break down the majority of home routers. No, just a standard file copy from one Windows computer to another and about half way through, after I'd gotten about 10Gb done, the wireless part of the network shut off... And re-appeared a few minutes later. BitTorrent kills it too, for the record.

The good news is, my cat Mouser is alive. He made it. It was a rough few weeks... But now, he's probably in the best health he's been since a kitten. The new high quality prescription food we're giving him has made such a difference, and every day I'm feeling more confident that we won't have to go through this again. We also took a step back and realized, maybe there is more we can do for the cats that we haven't been doing- better care and giving them fun things to do, and so we've been making changes which I also think have helped him get healthy. I'll try and post some pictures soon.
i hate southpark

Could this possibly be more true?

"On justice and friendship, there is no price. But there are established credit limits."
-The Tick

You know Arthur, when you spend two months riding around on a really big man, you start to learn a few things about yourself. You learn that it is a really great thing to stay on Earth and live in a place that has no arms or legs of its own. And most importantly, Arthur, you learn how to close your eyes and tell yourself that this just isn't happening to me.
  • Current Music

This better not be the way it ends.

Mouser seemed to be doing okay once he got out of the hospital, but they forgot to something critical. We bought him on a Sunday night home and got a call Monday morning @ 7am; The doctor forgot to leave a note on his medical release that he needed a paticular anti-biotic. I go there Monday night and nobody has any idea what I'm talking about. The doctor has left until Wednesday. They "could" call him but they only have his home number. I suggested that they "do" call him and leave a message and perhaps he could call back with some, I don't know, information. Well I don't know if they never called him or if he never called back, but we never heard anything. Great. They even had the nerve to lecture me that, by matter of procedure, I should have immediately followed up our hospital visit with a visit to the vet- As in, the next day, as if that's always possible- Because then the vet could have prescribed something, even though these idiots had no idea what that something should be.

So I at least got the # for a reputable vet in Parsippany and scheduled an appointment for earliest time, Monday. Hoped at least they'd made some kind of mistake, that he'd be okay. Nope. Peeing blood. Went on the bed- Again. OUR bed. With our BRAND NEW mattress pad because the last one he ruined. My fault, I guess, I'd just assumed they'd like, helped him. Allow me not to neglect to mention that also threw out all of his old food (according to the dr., this was the cause), got specialty UT food, purified water, cleaner conditions, new everything basically. So- We called back and spoke to a doctor. Spoke with him expressing my concern. He said he could do this and that and such and such, and I said "Well, I can't exactly afford to pay for all of this again when- If he'd been given medication- He'd probably not be sick all over again" and the response was something along the lines of "So what do you want me to do about it then?"

We brought him back in. They were kind enough not to charge us for part of the visit. We still paid $100 for the antibiotics, which I think would have otherwise been included in our prior $1,000 visit, but hey, that's cool right? No one there to argue with who knows anything! (Fairfield Animal Hospital, by the way.)

It's interesting. The first doctor said that if we spent the $1,000 and had the procedure done, there would be a 90% chance it would not come back again. The second doctor we saw when we returned said that it's a disease and does not get better, and this would probably continue to happen, and that he might have to be put to sleep if we cannot afford to pay $1,000 every few months or however long it may be. That is not to say I regret paying the amount in the first place, that is also not to say I would not do it again. But there has to be a point where I have to ask myself whether or not I can afford it (answer already is: no, sadly) and whether or not his suffering is worth it. Cats don't really show the pain they're in, but I bet it sucks when you're peeing blood and you're so blocked up that you can't help but randomly pee on your owner's bed that you never so much as drooled on in six years, get me?

We don't know what to do. That is, me and Melissa - my girlfriend of 3 yrs (just about). She was even nice enough to offer to pay for half of his first procedure, even though I had this cat before I met her. Now we're just sad, because there is this inevitable darkness looming ahead. I guess we'll have to see. We're feeding him (much to his chagrin) oral antibiotics twice a day-- you know, like we should have been doing since the first night we got home. Today when we did it, he peed blood at the same time. Not looking so bright. Fuck.

At least we're trying out best... That is what counts... Just have to avoid somehow going any MORE broke in the process.
  • Current Music
    moonlight awakening (yes, i listen to my own work sometimes)
yo joe

Mouser Trauma

My cat Mouser had to go to the emergency animal hospital in Fairfield last night at midnight. He had a blocked urinary tract and was very sick, requiring a procedure to be done immediately. The bill? $1,000. But I'm more sad for the cat than the money (which, by the way, I don't really have-), and yet glad we caught it in time...

That's all folks...
  • Current Mood
    melancholy melancholy
yo joe

This is the saddest day

I never thought I would say this, but I'm getting tired of cereal. All kinds. Cocoa puffs, fruity pebbles, even the moderately healthy types. What will I do for breakfast? I'll probably die.
yo joe

Wireless router update

Another fascinating bit of information to share. Thanks largely to the outpouring of suggestions and comments I got in regards to my last entry, I went ahead and bought a Belkin "High-Speed Wireless G Router", model F5D7231-4. As a network administrator working with pro-level hardware, I have to say I'm rather impressed with this thing and it was definitely worth the money. If I ever decide to go ahead and buy one of those experimental pre-standard wireless cards, this thing supports them all! Pre-N, G+, G+ MIMO, and good ol' B/G. Isn't that amazing? It's TURBO FUELED and ready for action!

In other news I have re-opened my music web site for my project, moonlight awakening. It's at http://www.moonlightawakening.com. For all you stingy bastards, if you've got Quicktime 7 and some speakers then every song can be listened to in high quality for free as much as you want. It's dark rock & alternative music, so "as much as you want" could vary immensely from person to person, quantified as somewhere between "a whole lot" and "can't get enough". I'm very happy to share this. Have a wonderful night.
yo joe

Wireless routers

I am begrudgingly adding an entry to my livejournal at the request of the hundreds of passerbys who ask, why Dave, why won't you grace us with some of your delectable anecdotes?

I'm sorry to say that this entry is not of that nature. Today, I have a question. A question which I do not really expect anyone to answer. Still, I will not relent.

I have to replace my 4-Port 100/10 Router (yes, it does routing, NAT, port forwarding) and a Wireless B AP. I'd prefer a combination of the two- More specifically, a Wireless G router and ethernet switch. I don't really see many combinations that have more than four ports. I could probably deal with that, if I had to, but I do need the ports for my wide array of networked peripherals.

Can anyone recommend a device that is decent feature-wise, low priced, and doesn't crash any time I (never would, it's illegal) use BitTorrent or file sharing applications? I'm planning on buying this today, so make it quick! If I don't hear from anyone, I'll probably buy something medicore and it will be all your fault.

Thank you, thank you!!