Mount Sutro: An Electronic Periodical

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The Seventh Month

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help


I find it interesting how many people I know have a birthday in the month of July. As I have aged and met more people, the number of July birthdays has continued to increase apace. As it turns out, my new circles in Tallahassee are also familiar with this phenomenon.

I wonder if the Halloween holiday, traditionally more popular with younger children, gets some women thinking about their biological clocks. Aside from a decrease in northern temperatures, which would not be applicable in the case of many I know, I can think of no other reason for October to be a preferred procreation month.

No matter the root cause, the birthdays have been all over the place. The end of last week saw three birthday events back to back. Thursday was Omar's "going out" party night during which we enjoyed Poor Paul's and the end of a band's set at Bullwinkle's. Friday was Omar's "staying in" party night hosted at his place and attended by many.

Tallahassee to Athens MapWaking up at a reasonable hour of the morning Saturday, I packed and departed Tallahassee for alternative rock's hometown, Athens, Georgia, the now one-year old home of Erik (birthday) and Lauren. The custom directions provided were excellent and made for a smooth, scenic trip. For the record, my flight plan was as follows: US 319 North → I-75 North → I-16 East → US 129 North → SR 10 West → Arrival in Athens' Boulevard neighborhood.

The three day trip was extremely enjoyable. Besides touring the University of Georgia campus, where Erik is working toward a graduate's degree, we drove through the various neighbourhoods and walked among the shops and eateries of downtown. Quality non-franchise stores and restaurants are a fixture of Athens and my few experiences were no exception.

The Grit offers vegan and vegetarian fare and a regularly changing menu filled with fresh, organic fruits and vegetables. I had a chili cheese hot dog with split pea curry soup, both of which were absolutely delicious.

The Five Star Day Café serves good 'ole home cooking, counter service style. The meatloaf dinner came with a slab of perfectly seasoned and sauced meat, suitable for two meals. Add to that generous pilings of skin-on mashed potatoes and large noodle macaroni and cheese for a meal I could not personally finish, but wished I could.

When we walked up to the door of Transmetropolitan, we were disappointed to see they were closed for their one day per year über-cleaning session. Since we had decided on this place because we wanted pizza, the Mellow Mushroom around the corner won out despite it being a chain. Needless to say, they keep up with the Athens bar of restaurant quality as evidenced by the garlic loaf, house salad, pizza and local microbrew pints. From there we wandered to Junkman's Daughter's Brother, the eclectic gift and vintage clothing store.

Like all trips and vacations, the time moves quickly and before you know it the return home begins. Wishing to maximize my time in Athens and feeling comfortable having now taken the route once, I left in the evening Monday night and carried on into the darkness. There were several long stretches of US 129 where I saw no other vehicles. Except for a few patches of rain, the ride back was nice.

Finally, no trip report would be complete without a few regional observations.

First, most of the radio stations and other organizations refer to the mid section of the state as "middle Georgia." Not "mid" or "central," but "middle." If I knew a good redneck joke, I would tell it now.

Speaking of radio stations, I never thought I would rejoice when I encountered a "top 40" station. When you are traveling through Georgia without a CD player and sub-par FM reception, you take what you can get. Needless to say, the one religious station and one country station I was forced to choose between were unacceptable and thus for a time radio silence was instituted. Luckily I was able to hang on to an oldies station—a title I have serious objections to considering they played a lot of stuff that came out after my birth—for a fair bit of time.

Athens itself was another story completely. The one station I listened to was WPPP Hot 100.7 FM, which features rock but airs all matter genre of songs and artists, absolutely commercial free. It gave me much aural pleasure.

In all it has been a pretty good month for me, which is good with my name and all.


Disable Offline Files Synchronization Warnings
Many custom settings cause errors during synchronization. Edit the registry to remove all but critical reporting and synch uninterrupted.

Mr. TTT Burger
"Introducing THE BURGER BUNCH, part of seven new plush dolls guaranteed to bring magic and mystery into the world."

In pictures: G8 summit body language
I meant to post this sooner, but it is still interesting.

Bob Sokol and Amyl on Stupid Pet Tricks
The 1983 story of a man, his dog and David Letterman.

Does anyone speak German?
I would be very appreciative for a German to English human translation of this article. Or at least a summary of what information was discovered about the therein-referenced IP addresses.

Unbelievably Cool
I may not care for the Bush White House nor watch American Idol, but I am very jealous of this. Some day...

The Knowledge Base

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help


While trying to fix a problem that had been preventing me from using the Offline Files feature of Windows XP, I saw repeated references to a command-line tool released by Microsoft designed specifically to work with Offline Files.

The first few sites that referenced the tool—called CSC Utility (csccmd.exe)—all pointed to a relevant Microsoft Knowledge Base article. Once there, I quickly realised why I saw so many people across the internet looking for the executable.

Microsoft developed and released the last version (1.0) of the CSC Utility as part of the Windows Server 2003 Resource Kit Tools. That kit is easily available to download, but from what I read about my specific issues, only the follow-up version (1.1) would suffice.

For an unknown reason, Version 1.1 is only officially available from Microsoft Product Support, and getting it apparently involves contacting Microsoft and either demonstrating the file is necessary to solve a documented problem or paying for the "support call." Even then, it seems that often people's telephone messages go unanswered.

In any event, there was only one way that I wanted to solve this problem and the CSC tool was it. I started searching around specifically for a site offering the download. When I finally found one at megaupload.com, I discovered it was a porno pop-up, ad-laden hell hole.

Fortunately the download that resulted was a legitimate, virus-free copy of the CSC Utility Version 1.1. Obtaining a utility designed to tweak a major component of Windows should not be this difficult. I have no idea why they refuse to make it available for public download and instead link to the 1.0 version—beneath a disclaimer about how several features are only available with 1.1.

Of course within minutes of finally using the tool, my offline files were in order and working perfectly. It is completely aggravating to spend more time than necessary fixing something stupid in Windows. Save yourself the grief and aggravation and download CSCCMD 1.1. Convenient, no? Please do not link directly to the file, but instead send your friends here.

Client-Side Caching
Command-Line Options
CSCCMD (1.1)

by Microsoft

 
 
 
Download

 
 
 
18.5 KB

I figure while I am at it, why not pass along some other facts you may enjoy.
  • In the event your server-side share changes—which can include it being relocated, renamed or removed—and the Synchronization Manager fails to work because it complains about the modified share, use the csccmd /moveshare command to rename the share in the CSC cache.

  • If you use a redirected My Documents folder as I do, enabling Offline Files forces it and other system folders to automatically cache locally. You will see the ticked "Make Available Offline" option dimmed for My Documents, My Pictures and the other administratively assigned offline files. This is particularly annoying in my environment, where every document does not need to be accessible all the time.

    This one has a simple ending, though. Use the Group Policy Editor (gpedit.msc) to enable a setting called "Do not automatically make redirected folders available offline." It is located here: User Configuration > Administrative Templates > Network > Offline Files. The same panel under Computer Configuration contains even more settings, including the administratively assigned offline files option.
  • Unlike some of the other folders Windows considers "special," the Offline Files cache (%WINDIR%\CSC) cannot be moved or redirected automatically. The official solution is to use the cachemov.exe utility from the Windows 2000 Resource Kit, but I crafted an alternative workaround.

    The freeware Windows junction creator and reparse point viewer—aptly named Junction—by Mark Russinovich is the perfect way to relocate your CSC cache to another local disk or partition. Use Junction to create a symbolic link in %WINDIR%\CSC pointing to your preferred folder. All requests for that original directory will be seamlessly redirected to the true location, transparent to the user and system. This sort of symbolic linking is popular among Linux/Apache web hosts who generally set www to redirect to public_html.
  • If things are really loused up, consider simply reinitializing the cache. This option will delete all offline files, reset the Offline Files database and clear the "Make Available Offline" settings. You can do this from the Offline Files tab in the Folder Options control panel applet. Press Control+Shift while clicking "Delete Files," then confirm your selection to begin the reinitialization. For Windows 7 and Vista, follow the steps in KB942974.

  • It is easy to bookmark the specific key within the Registry Editor, so if you intend to modify administratively assigned offline files often, I suggest doing it here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > NetCache > AssignedOfflineFolders.

  • Speaking of Registry Editor favourites, take them with you, share them with others and never lose them again by exporting this branch: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Software > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Applets > Regedit > Favorites.

  • Sometimes when you use TweakUI, Windows will start displaying icons in sixteen color mode. If this happens, edit the Shell Icon BPP string to 16 and reboot. That key is here: HKEY_CURRENT_USER > Control Panel > Desktop > WindowMetrics.

  • If you would like to force Windows to use a UNC network location in lieu of installation media, change the Installation Sources and Source Path keys to the UNC where the Cabinet Files live. Those keys are here: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE > SOFTWARE > Microsoft > Windows > CurrentVersion > Setup.

  • The recently released Security Update for Windows XP (KB917537) may give you a hard time if you wisely do not have Internet Information Services installed. If you find this update installing repeatedly and appearing as a new update, create a zero byte file called asp.dll and save it in the inetsrv folder within %WINDIR%\System32. The next time you run Microsoft Update, the patch should stick. In the event it fails again, reboot your computer then scan for updates. A sign of success is the asp.dll file you created having grown in size to 361 KB from zero.


"Traces of two earlier buildings on a wall in old Montreal"
Like counting the rings in the trunk of an old tree, the photo of this Canadian building allows us an unusual yet compelling glimpse into the past.

Ernest and Bertram
Watch the eight minute short film that was pulled from release after a cease and desist from the Sesame Workshop legal team. [ via ]

Giant Bat-Eating Centipede
Holy shit! [ via ]

Save Flash Video (FLV)
Supports sites like YouTube and Google Video.

Free Player for Flash Video
FLV Player 1.3.3 is a standalone client for playing FLV videos.

.htaccess Cheat Sheet

Vote Side of Hashbrowns for America
"Featuring multi-media public service advertisements (PSAs) and a new Web site, www.PayAttention.org, the Vote campaign is designed to educate young adults about the ease and importance of voting in the 2006 midterm elections. This target audience, 18 to 24 years old, is the largest group of non-voters in America, according to the U.S. Census Bureau."

The Familiar Stranger

by Archived Article (2001–2014) Help


After completing a routine read-through of my bookmarks, I moved on to Wikipedia in search of a few topics I had read about and found interesting earlier. I am not entirely sure of the six degrees of separation involved, but I eventually found myself reading about the music industry.

After a few more hops, I came upon an Associated Press article from 09 July 2006. It stated that music album sales in the United States were down 4.2 percent (12 million albums) in the first half of 2006, while online music sales surged 77 percent during the same period.

Those are some interesting figures, considering we are regularly told that free (illegal) file sharing mediums are negatively impacting album sales. I would like to know if those unsold 12 million albums were actually purchased in the form of the 281 million singles or the 14 million full-length albums downloaded.

Regardless, the article's prominent header graphic—as inserted by the publisher, canada.com, where I happened to be reading the above—was the soundtrack album cover for the Disney Channel movie High School Musical. In a one sentence mention it is said this album was the best selling so far this year, pushing 2.6 million copies.

Back at Wikipedia, I browsed the page about this soundtrack whose music was apparently quite popular. At a glance, it appears to be exactly as you would expect: pop fluff for kids.

The "Mainstream success" segment of the page detailed music chart histories, online sales figures and other statistics. From these tables of data it popped out at me like a familiar stranger does, walking toward then past.

Listed as singer on multiple tracks was Andrew Seeley. It seemed possible that the person that popped into my mind could be one and the same. I searched for the name and in doing so discovered my original inclination was correct.

Many of the details are long washed away, but I remember when Andrew Seeley started at Lake Brantley High School. He made himself popularly known through his thespian performances and general sociality. I knew him mostly due to the close relationship between the Drama and Band departments, the latter of which I partook.

It was amusing to watch a pack of giddy sixteen year old girls frothing as the so-called hot newbie from Canada passed in the corridor. From our limited interaction, he seemed like a nice enough guy filled with motivation and budding talent. And a nice smile, as I recall.

Photo Credit: Andrew Seeley

Above: Remix of official promotional photograph.

Below: Junior yearbook picture, Lake Brantley High School, 1999

Andrew Seeley, Junior yearbook picture, Lake Brantley High School, 1999


It seems the exhibitions I witnessed were indeed a prelude to more, as he has done some Hollywood acting, released original music, performed a live tour and played a hand in several other ventures, including the disc that indirectly brought these memories to the surface.

I found it interesting to note that of the cited Lake Brantley performances in Andrew's IMDb biographyInto the Woods, Gypsy, Once Upon A Mattress, The Miracle Worker and The Merchant of Venice—I remember having seen them all. Not due to a secret love for stage shows, mind you, but in doing sound booth work and the support of my friends, both on stage and in the pit.

I suppose if someone can go from one red paperclip to a house in fourteen trades, I should not be shocked to randomly stumble upon someone I once knew, if only barely. I do find it refreshing to learn that some people are doing what they want, what they have wanted to do from an early age, and are succeeding.