winexe 1.1 centos 6 and windows 2012 R2

One of the software applications that I use at work relies on a linux uility called “winexe”. It turns out that this particular tool is incompatible with Windows 8.1, 10 and Server 2012R2. This incompability is due to the fact that SMB 1.0 support was removed from these versions of Windows(1), and the tool uses it, so now it doesn’t work.

The major symptom is running the tool and getting the error “NT_STATUS_INVALID_PARAMETER”, but seeing that the authentication is working successfully (I confirmed this by putting in the right + wrong password and noticing the behavior change).

The fine folks over at winexe did release a version 1.1 that fixes this issue. Unfortunately, it has to be statically compiled against Samba, and a specific versionΒ at that. This took me several hours to solve, and I drew from several resources to accomplish it. Here is the process I used.

# make sure EPEL is enabled in /etc/yum.repos.d/epel.repo

# fixup a bunch of samba dependencies
yum install gcc perl mingw-binutils-generic mingw-filesystem-base mingw32-binutils mingw32-cpp mingw32-crt mingw32-filesystem mingw32-gcc mingw32-headers mingw64-binutils mingw64-cpp mingw64-crt mingw64-filesystem mingw64-gcc mingw64-headers libcom_err-devel popt-devel zlib-devel zlib-static glibc-devel glibc-static python-devel
yum install git gnutls-devel libacl1-dev libacl-devel libldap2-dev openldap-devel

#per the docs, remove libbsd-devel if installed
yum remove libbsd-devel

#clone the git repos. samba is huge, like 280MB
cd /usr/src
git clone git:// winexe-winexe-waf
git clone git:// samba

#per winexe bug 64, samba needs to be reverted to a6bda1f2bc85779feb9680bc74821da5ccd401c5
cd /usr/src/samba
git reset --hard a6bda1f2bc85779feb9680bc74821da5ccd401c5

#fixup the build deps. I chose to build it as big and static as I could, so the only linked dependency is gnutls
# cd /usr/src/winexe-winexe-waf/source
# modify 'wscript_build', and at the very end ...
stlib='smb_static bsd z resolv rt'
lib='dl gnutls'

#build it! this does a huge configure, then also compiles samba, which takes a while.
./waf --samba-dir=../../samba configure build

#executable should be  /usr/src/winexe-winexe-waf/source/build/winexe-static

Plenty of help from the following URLs:

Review: The Old Man and the Sea

May sound crazy, but I never read Ernest Hemingway’s “The Old Man and the Sea” until today. Here are my thoughts.

The Writing. I found the way this story was presented to be really off-putting at first. It has this aggressive, almost clipped sentence structure that leaves very little room for ambiguity or interpretation. I think this is really interesting because it stopped me from focusing on the words themselves, with their lack of complexity, and allowed me to weave a very visual imagination of the story. Many times Hemingway references the Old Man’s hands, the cuts, the coloring of the fish, but does so with such brevity, no, /terse/ language that it really let me hone my own mental picture.

That said, I think with some more complex language the story could have been much more intellectually stimulating, or challenging, but I do think this would have limited the impact of the story and made it less accessible. I also appreciated the continual repetition of various plot devices — the relationship between the Old Man and his catch, his hands & body, and the relationship with the Boy — in a very mechanical method which really drove home the feelings invoked by my own imagination. Quite impressive that this was done with such simplicity, without forcing me to reason through and internalize the content to get the message.

The Story. I really appreciated the story, and it hit a chord with me: as a suburban husband with a regular job, family, and a lawn to mow, TOMatS presented as the struggle of man, nature, survival, and the affirmation of self and identity in the face of adversity.

I think that the vast majority of Americans won’t ever know the struggle like the Old Man. I mean, nobody really does the back-breaking work against an unyielding earth, just to scrape by. The refinements in technology have removed this component from most people’s lives, even including farmers and other folks who work the land; the very minute fisherman population of the world may experience it as this story tells it, although even they are going away in favor of fish farming. The stark presentation of the story really made me reflect on how much I yearn for that — I would /like/ to be a tough-as-nails, can-do anything sort of person, but I’m just not, and maybe I’m OK with that? Regardless, the story pulled at a very visceral need for challenging, or surviving, nature.

The Old Man is presented as almost crazy in a few places throughout the story, and I really appreciated that even in the harshest of circumstances the Old Man stays true to himself. Throughout the story, he ensures his continued performance through self-talk — smothering his self-doubt with his own desire to be who he /wants/ to be, rather than who or where he is. This is loudest when he promises to say 100 Hail Mary’s, not now because he’s busy, but in the future. I personally appreciated this, as I think that reflection, and self-talk are critical to honing my own

Finally, the ending of the story is tragically acceptable. When I finished the book, I put it down and was a bit sad; I wanted more, but knew I didn’t need more as the story was complete. There is no pretty bow, no wrap-up. In fact, the ending is a bit melancholy, but wholly acceptable for what it is — the fervent struggle against nature and one’s own limits, eventually ending with life just “going on.” No parades, no applause, just … recovery, and then back to it. Although packaged in an attractive, man-vs-nature box, I think everyone can really see their own struggle-win-lose-mundane life reflected in this story.

The characters. The character development in this book is not particularly nuanced, although it is deep. The language used allowed me to portray this grizzled fisherman in my mind, and to almost build my own backstory, intertwined with the deliciously slight details about the Man’s history. I appreciate that he has a name, that he has a background in arm-wrestling, and that he has a father-son relationship with the Boy who isn’t his … but these are all little bits that don’t impact the story, but definitely did what they’re to do: reel me in and make me love him. I adored the Old Man, and considered that he could have been my own father, and that I wanted to be like him: staunch, determined, tough, self-confident. Although it wasn’t a very deep presentation of the character, I truly did become attached to him, and was actually quite sad that there was no ticker-tape parade, that he didn’t “win big,” because he /should/ have … but in real life, people don’t win big like that, they just make it to tomorrow, and this made me love him.

So there’s my review on this book. I thought it was fantastic, and I totally understand how this novella rocketd Hemingway to (inter?)national fame. If you don’t have it, borrow my copy, or pick it up from the library, or swing by your local bookstore today!

Grade: A+

Welcome the flip side, I took it slow

My two favorite sayings, one which I say all the time, and the other that I think, don’t say enough and don’t certainly don’t do enough.

See you on the flip side. Several years ago I ran this here blog and we, my friends, strangers, and I, posted a ton of news, comments, articles, pictures and more. A lot of it was incredibly inane, and the majority of it was the rantings of a selfish, immature young man. Then, perhaps for the better, a hardware failure sidelined, and I just didn’t have the desire to rebuild it – with so many alternatives, and with life going another way, why invest? I wrote it off, and said to everyone, “See you on the flip side,” my way of saying until next time. But not just any next time, the other side of this time, because next time may be more of the same, whereas the flip side will always be new, something else. I like that there is always a flip side.

Take it slow. My sister dated a guy way back in the day, Steve Richards, who used “take it slow” as his parting line. To me, being 10 or 12, that was the coolest thing ever because Steve was the coolest thing ever. At the time, I’m sure it was some cool anti-establishment saying, and as an adult, asking someone to take it slow is not necessarily the thing to do. But I think it all the time, and I always think about how to relay what I am *really* thinking, which is to be aware, be grateful, and be kind. That’s hard to say, but it is what I mean.

So much has changed in the past decade, which may or may not end up on here. There will definitely be a lot of technology and work things, and probably a personal thing or two here and there. I like the long form here more than the 1-3 sentence cesspool of FB, so that’s what I’ll do.

Welcome back! Until See you on the flip side, and take it slow πŸ™‚


This post has no content besides the fact that it is 12:58am on Monday, August 21st, 2006, and that I am restless. Not good or bad, just that it’s almost 1AM and my mind is still blazing. Carry on πŸ™‚ *comments disabled to deter spammers*

Larry the Lion and his pal Leo

Here comes Larry. He s the laziest lion I know. Larry is a lazy lion. Larry is the laziest lion. He likes to lie in the nice warm sun And listen for lizards as they re on the run. Leo is the laziest lion I know. Leo is a lazy lion. Leo is the laziest lion. He licks his lips in a lion way And laughs when the lion cubs Come out to play. Larry and leo lounge in the night. and then they lounge in the day. They live life in such a lazy ol way. Larry and leo the laziest lions I know. The laziest lions I know… Shamelessly hijacked from the Internet at large.

2006-03-05 16:54:15 – keener2u
Does Larry live in Kenya? I heard they have lions and tigers only in Kenya.
2006-03-05 21:49:36 – susanQ
No. Larry lives in my bedroom.
2006-03-06 12:21:32 – keener2u
Is you bedroom anywhere near Narnia or Kenya? They lions and tigers in both places?
2006-03-08 19:29:19 – susanQ
Well, there is this wardrobe…
2006-03-09 09:26:33 – GrooveMan
This is my latest Creation / Abomination πŸ˜› Man you have got to love Co-Workers… Such good Cannon Fodder
2006-04-05 04:07:50 – Ryan
Dude, the only connection to the United States is your stupid blog. Now BLOG BITCH! Anyway, whats up, dude? I’m sure you’re way to busy to email me, but hit me up sometime if you can find the time. Ohh, and can I come to your wedding? :O)
2006-04-08 22:40:41 – WC
.–. .-.. . .- … . ..- .–. -.. .- – . -.– — ..- .-. .– . -… … .. – . –..– .. .–. .-. — — .. … . – …. . .-. . .- -.-. …. .- .-. — ..- -. -.. .. ..-. -.– — ..- -.. — !
2006-04-08 22:41:56 – WC
.. .- — -.-. .- .–. – .- .. -. .— . .- -. .-.. ..- -.-. .–. .. -.-. .- .-. -.. –..– — ..-. – …. . ..- … … . -. – . .-. .–. .-. .. … . !
2006-04-19 02:22:42 – SubMOA
I’m sure he’ll update soon, Jean Lucpicard. -.– — ..- .- .-. . -. — – – …. . — -. .-.. -.– — -. . .– …. — -.- -. — .– … — — .-. … . -.-. — -.. .
2006-04-26 19:17:24 – keener2u
I think we lost him to that harlet. Wait that sounds bad, I meant that charlatan!!! Wait no, I think I might be the charlatan. That’s, that’s a travesty! That’s a sham. That’s a mockery!! That’s a travishamockery!!!!!!!
2006-04-29 10:50:03 – susanQ
The harlet has been out of the country for weeks. He continues to be a free man. It must be the one armed man!
2006-05-02 12:05:13 – realbighead
does anyone have a good tombstone graphic to put up here? RIP
2006-05-11 22:03:02 – The NSA
We are watching your every move.

Vegas post, Christmas, Vacation/Cruise

I updated the below post about the Las Vegas trip with Amanda’s version of events, which I’ll be commenting about in a little bit. Still on the list of things to do is 1) Upload Vegas pics 2) write up a brief Christmas review, and then 3) write a loooong review of the cruise while it is fresh on my mind. Cruise pics will be hit or miss as they come in – we have over 10 people’s photos to collect, totalling well over 300. It’s going to take some time to sort them out, photochop them, etc. With that, read on below for Amanda’s Vegas stuffs! [b]UPDATE![/b] – Las Vegas Photos are up. Check below or click on the Photos link above.

2006-01-14 00:29:17 – sooTi- This is a little off subject, but I thought it was totaly you :).
2006-01-16 14:47:14 – GrooveMan
2006-01-16 17:22:19 – GrooveMan
2006-01-26 21:15:37 – keener2u
2006-01-26 22:41:08 – jrdn
2006-01-28 20:34:00 – Craig
2006-01-28 20:41:53 – woman
2006-01-30 14:02:35 – GrooveMan
2006-01-31 12:49:23 – Craig
2006-02-12 11:38:23 – keener2u
2006-02-22 18:39:21 – Craig
2006-03-01 16:57:11 – keener2u
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2006-03-01 21:45:06 – rand0m
2006-03-02 09:55:56 – keener2u
2006-03-02 19:50:24 – Craig
2006-03-03 14:57:31 – evil man
‘ SELECT * WHERE 1=1 —
2006-03-04 08:25:08 – keener2u
2006-03-04 14:37:14 – dumycrasher

Back from Vegas, Trip info, Photos & more!

I am back from Vegas … arrived this morning at 2:30am, asleep by 4am, back at work by 9am! WOOO!!“1 Photos, a Trip summary and more will be on its way shortly so keep your eyes peeled. [/u][b]Update #2[/b][/u] [L=]Las Vegas Photo Gallery[/L] is up and running. Comments on all of those photos will be along shortly, as will be the cruise photos. Check ’em! [b]UPDATE!![/b] I had Amanda put together the trip post because I am already forgetting bit and pieces. Photos are on my laptop, but need to be uploaded. I’ll re-update this bad boy with comments about what she has to say and post the pics at the same time, maybe later today. The Totally Biased Review of Fabulous Las Vegas (by Amanda): [u]Day 1:[/u] Randal works until lunch time, in the sense that he is physically present at his office, but his mind is already in Fabulous Las Vegas. Check-in at the airport is speedy and smooth, followed by a cholesterol extravaganza at the airport A&W before boarding the plane. Short layover in Phoenix then touch down in Vegas at about 5:15 Pacific. Ash and Jesse are still not married. We gather our belongings and after a 45 minute shuttle ride down the strip with good conversation from the driver and fellow passengers, we check into the Imperial Palace Hotel and Casino. Upon arriving, our options are a conservative 1950’s holiday vacation room with 2 double beds across the room from one another, or a king size smoking den. We opted for the king bed with some hesitation, but looked for another option once we opened the door and wondered if Marge Simpson’s sisters had just checked out of it 5 minutes ago. Randal’s post-smoker sensitivities to the perfume of ash tray had him dialing the front desk before the door shut. Imperial Palace sent us up new room keys after a short negotiation, and we upgraded to a lovely room on the 15th floor. Ash and Jesse are still not married. Around 7:30 we go down to the lobby to sing praises to the hotel manager for his speedy resolve of our needs, which apparently hasn’t ever happened in the history of the hotel, because he looked at Randal like a three-headed Fyarl Demon. Ash met us there in the lobby and hurried us into the car and off we went to the Nevada Department of Shotgun Civil Ceremonies, or something like that. Amanda played the part of official witness, and Randal was the photographer, capturing all ten minutes of moments. Wham, bam, that was it, so we hopped in the car and went to catch the Fremont Street “experience” of the whole roof lighting up with video propaganda to gamble, drink and look at titties. It was pretty. For dinner, a sort of ghetto dim sum of deep fried oreos, cheese dogs, and chocolate dipped bananas. We walked about and saw the sights of Paris, the Bellagio and Caesars Palace until we just couldn’t stand up anymore. The two couples thus parted ways and settled in for… none of your business. [u]Day 2:[/u] Champagne Brunch with the Newlyweds at the IP tea house, then back to the Bellagio to catch the fountain in the daylight, and see their gallery display of Impressionist Landscapes from Corot to Van Gogh. The collection was really amazing. The heavy hitters like Monet, Renoir, Gauguin and Van Gogh are always wonderful to see originals, but it’s great to have a style exhibit, rather than just a name exhibit, because you see the hidden treasures of the era that stand up to any of the big names in excellence, like Boudin, Rousseau and the Corot. The gift shop prints did none of the works justice, but a print of an oil painting never does. Ash and Jesse headed back to LA, and we were left to our own devices, so we walked Caesar’s Palace and otherwise “did” the Forum Shops, complete with wildly expensive designer boutiques, and a wildly sexy foreign automobile showroom. I think you can refer to the July Defcon/Vegas photos for highlights of the very same line-up of hot rods. The Venetian: Venice, Las Vegas is sooooo much better than Venice, Italy*. You’ve got Doge’s Palace, the Grande Canal and Saint Mark’s square, but in Vegas they’re clean and pretty, and filled with restaurants, shopping and casinos with gambling, instead of restaurants, shopping and churches with nuns. Sometime after sunset (which is hard to tell the difference between night and day in Vegas) we went on a lovely gondola ride for two, complete with singing of some of the mobster/rat pack favorites by our gondolier, who was a black man with a fake Italian accent and an amazing operatic singing voice. Unforgettable. Dinner at the indoor “streetside” Italian cafe was the perfect roundout of the evening. The food was well done, the wine was right, and the waiter was a fresh-off-the-boat silver-haired Sicilian gumba with the “I’ll break your knees” attitude to go with his suit and pinkie ring. Everything right down to the zabaigone for dessert fit the evening just right. Back at the Hotel, just when you think we’re about to crash, Randal gets a second gambling wind, so Amanda dresses in as little as possible and hangs off his arm while he rolls high on the $5 craps table. With $50 bucks, Randal can play craps for eternity. Perhaps it’s because he’s so good with numbers, or perhaps he was blessed by a witch doctor, but that $50 will never turn itself over to the house. Sometime around 4:30 in the morning, Randal took his $50, left the craps table and blew it on the worst bottle of wine France has ever crafted, and two collector’s edition silvery official Imperial Palace wine glasses. We drank ourselves silly and eventually passed out. [u]Day 3:[/u] We slept in. Room service was lovely, and the rest is none of your business. [i]Edit: Yes, all day.[/i] [u]Day 4:[/u] Checkout time was at 11:00 am, and our plane did not leave until around midnight, so we had all of Vegas to see and no hotel room to fall back on. Lunch at New York, New York was the best deli sandwich you can get west of Queens, and the digestion time for those 2 pounds of thinly sliced meats was spent seeing “that end” of the strip. And, of course, the final shopping extravaganza, in which Randal spent most of his time on those “man seats” in the corners of cosmetic stores reading a magazine. What a trooper. Keeping with the culinary theme of the day, we caught Nathan’s Famous for dinner, the official hot dog of the New York Yankees. A 7 o’clock show of Blue Man Group at the Venetian was the final destination of our trip, and a fine ending it was. The show was really incredible. Whether you’re into the wonders of technology, slight of hand, tricks of the eye, or really dry humor, the Blue Man Group is a must see. Then, back to the hotel to fetch the luggage, off to the airport and tucked in at home by 4 am. A hell of a trip indeed.

2005-12-21 16:36:37 – moose
I expect a full report AND holy crap Amanda is quite the looker, I am very pleased that you two are together. Welcome home.
2005-12-27 15:56:07 – realbighead
2005-12-29 18:11:35 – Ryan
You sound busy. You haven’t started coke again, have you? I’ll fly back for your wedding. Yes, it is going to happen. Don’t deny it. I said DON’T! I write in fragments. See? Neat huh? OK, anyway. Can you email me your email address, I don’t think I have it. Ryan
2005-12-30 09:21:01 – GrooveMan
Need a Mexico Update… Post Damn It πŸ˜›
2005-12-30 12:51:08 – Craig
2006-04-29 10:43:02 – smarter than you
Fuckin’ Las Vegas Venice is better than Venice, Italy??!!! Are you on crack??!! You need to get out more and see the world (and if you have, you need to pay more attention next time). Las Vegas Venice may be nice but you cannot copy the history and soul of the original. Christ on a popsicle stick – no wonder the world thinks all Americans are arrogant. btw, no one cares about your implied "we fucked ALL day" – what are you, like a 14 yr old that just got on the internet for the first time?

Going to Vegas, New Truck

I’m heading out to Vegas here in a few minutes with Amanda. Awesome. I’ll be back late Monday night. I did buy a new truck. That whole thing below was part of an elaborate ruse so that Amanda wouldn’t know. It worked too πŸ˜€ … anyways, [L=][/L]

2005-12-16 21:15:44 – Ryan
The steering wheel is on the wrong side!!!!
2005-12-26 16:23:23 – jrdn
2005-12-26 16:23:40 – jrdn
does it need new tires? call me LOL!
2005-12-26 17:59:48 – rand0m
actually yea, they are not in that good of shape. And it needs an alignment … do you guys do those?
2005-12-27 23:08:33 – jrdn
we only deal with tires… but we give out slick deals with brakes plus for allignments and brakes… I can save you around 20% if not more on your tires also.

Myspace, Eloping to Vegas, Mom’s Surgery

OK So an UPdate! First things first, I made a myspace account, and it is the most ninja shit ever. You can check it out at [L=][/L] – don’t forget to add me as a friend. On that note, myspace is more addicting than cocaine, tobacco and alcohol combined. I can’t stop refreshing all of my friends profiles, hoping for an blog entry, a sign of life, a comment, even a new photo – anything. It’s really pretty sad, but at least I am the EREETEST NINJAMAN ON MSYPACE. Amanda and I are going to Las Vegas for a friend who is eloping. She is flying into Denver on Wednesday night, we both fly out of COS on Friday afternoon and return late Monday night. Then she sticks around until the following Friday, so I get a LOT of Amanda goodness. She’s pretty awesome. I’m sorry for all you blokes out there who haven’t really liked someone – it changes everything. And this isn’t puppy love, first time love, fuck-until-we’re-raw love, it’s just straight up goodness. It’s so good, in fact, that we are wondering if it is abnormal. It must be. But I’m crazy about her. SO yes, going to Vegas on Friday. My mom went into surgery last Monday morning to have her knee replaced. I spoke to my dad about it, he said swing by on Wednesday or Thursday. I went by there, met up with my dad and visited. She was really out of it. It is extremely difficult to see someone who is invincible, hobbled. The worst part isn’t that she was in a lot of pain, or that it will take ages for her to recover — it’s that there isn’t a damn thing I can do about it. That makes it terrible – just watching her suffer and struggle through it. She always says “This too shall pass” … let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later. I don’t know what our Christmas plans are, but I imagine they will be low key. [b]Update[/b] – Oh, I nearly forgot. Tonight, after 7.5 years of faithful service, I will trade in my white 1982 Toyota 4×4 Pickup truck in for a green 99 Ford F-150 XLT 4×4 pickup. It’s in superb condition and the price was right. I’ll see if I can get some photos sometime. That whole thing fell through when they saw what a POS my trade is. *sigh* Another one bites the dust πŸ™

2005-12-13 00:57:10 – pinky
i’m sad that the shitty white truck is no longer. sad.
2005-12-13 01:39:44 – rand0m
Well, it had a really tough time starting in the morning a few times last week, and that was the last straw … I had been waiting for it to die / trying to kill it for a loooong time and finally decided that it just wasn’t cutting it. Oh well, on to better things πŸ™‚
2005-12-13 15:24:19 – GrooveMan
"sniff" to choked up for words… "sniff"
2005-12-13 15:25:36 – GrooveMan
…End of an Era…
2005-12-13 17:53:07 – GrooveMan
You getting ready for your Cruise? πŸ˜‰
2005-12-15 14:13:13 – keener2u
Stupid pirates! I think they bellywagged the jollyroger and set teh main mast to the poop deck. While he died on the starboard port!

Thanksgiving Trip to ND recap

OK So I went to North Dakota. I’ll just kind of give a play by play here, with some little things tossed in for good measure. As I had said, security at DIA was sucky. I had wireless internets there, though, and that was pretty cool. On the flight to North Dakota I got to sit next to this nice girl from the SF Bay area named Karen, who was visiting her Fiance-to-be’s family in Bismarck. She was expecting her boyfriend, an opthamalogist who lives in Oregan, to propose to her over Thanksgiving. She showed me a bunch of photos of their trip to Australia, and next thing I knew I was flying into Bismarck’s Airport. Flying into Bismarck at nigt is very weird. You’re flying along, flying along, flying along and all of the sudden the inky black flatness turns into an airport and you’re on the ground. Fly fly fly fly fly fly fly fly OMFG LIGHTS land disembark. It’s crazy how the city and the airport spring out of nothingness. And I mean nothingness. OK So I land in Bismarck, get off the plane last (I was seated in the very back), get off the plane, and there is the embodiment of awesomeness herself, Amanda. So we hug and kiss and hug and kiss some more, and it was good. Really good. Reunited at last. Then we got into the truck and headed home. Home being her parents’ place, in the basement. Yep, shackin up, visiting in sin. πŸ˜€ It was a looong 2 hour drive across the black, black planes of ND until wha-Bam, Minot! I think I napped during the drive. Then we were there. I don’t think we did much Wednesday night besides talk to her parents and snuggle. Oh, we got some coffee. Twice. And I met Amanda’s friend Renee, who is supposedly a lesbian but recently juked fate and married some dude … she worked at the Starbucks that we visited. Oh, and there is 1 Starbucks in Minot. Small Town, USA. Thursday was Thanksgiving! Amanda and her Mom cook like fiends on meth. We didn’t poke our heads up until noon or so, went and got some coffee from the bitter working-on-Turkey-Day starbucks folks. I wore pajamas all day until just before we ate. Amanda also got all done up, but Amanda’s Folks wore pajamas and flannel throughout. That was really relaxing, seeing that they really didn’t care. Dinner was incredible, the talk was incredible, it was all a good time. We watched “Waking Ned Devine” after everything, then got to the snuggling again. Very low key, very relaxing, super duper thanksgiving. OK So Friday came around and it was busy. We had Moxie Java, coffee that is sold only at random gas stations in ND, with Amanda’s friends Krista, Manders (aka Amanda) and Manders’ lesbian SO, Sonja. The coffee was fucking terrible. Krista thought it was the greatest thing ever, but it was actually god awful. Potentially the worst mocha I have ever had. Anyways, had coffee, then went over to Manders’ & Sonja’s place. We hung out there for a while and talked about all kinds of things, from NuvaRing to Boys to college, to family and more. It was a good time and I think I made a good impression on Amanda’s friends :-). So we left Madners’ place and headed home, had some leftovers (mmmm) and then headed over to the Blue Rider, a local bar in ND. I determined two really odd things about ND and it’s bars: 1) There are fifty bazillion of them and 2) 2/5 bars are smoke free, something that is close to extinction here in CO. Anyways, the Blue Rider is a quaint little smokefree joint that serves beer and beer only. It was maybe … 40′ deep by 15′ wide. Tiny place, and slammed accordingly. Anyways, they had a decent Hefeweizen and a *SUPER* local band called [L=]the Greenman Band[/L]. The band was comprised of Amanda’s elementary school orchestra teacher, Minot State’s Music Theory prof, a highschool vocals instructor and her husband, an english teacher. All teachers, all cheery, friendly, very nice and extremely talented. Right, so there was the bar and the band, and we met Mike and Kendra there, who are some friends that we know from Colorado Springs! It was like transplanting home to ND, and it was good. Met Kendra’s Mom & brother, Lucas as well, but unfortunately the four of them had to leave pretty quickly.. Stayed, enjoyed the band, then our ride showed up and we headed home. I think we watched a movie Friday night, but I don’t recall which. So Saturday rolled around and we woke up late, as usual. And then … I don’t know what we did. OH right we went over to Amanda’s Mom’s studio in Burlington. Right before that, though, we swung by Starbucks and a bagel shop called the Bagel Stop? and picked up some yummies. At Amanda’s Mom’s shop we met a couple of the family friends, who were all very pleasant and happy to finally meet the much renowned me. From there, we were supposed to hit up Kendra’s pottery show at the Uni, but unfortunately our schedule didn’t permit it — we busted straight from the studio to Garrison, a town ~60 miles south of Minot, for the annual [L=]Dickens Village Festival[/L]. The Dickens Fest is basically where the entire (tiny) town of Garrison converts into somethhing straight out of Dickens’ Christmas Carol. We walked the entire town, had a smoked turkey leg, had a supposedly famous but not-too-tasty Waffleberry donut, and watched their little parade. Then we went home and stayed up really late chatting … at least 3am or so, but then fell asleep. Sunday. We didn’t wake up until something like 2pm. We had no idea it was that late when we got up, but it was a really good nights sleep. So we woke up, and were supposed to do something … mmm … I don’t recall, but I think it was supposed to happen at noon. So then we went to Grizzly’s with Amanda’s folks and had an early dinner. From there we went and had coffee with Manders, Sonja & Krista again at 4:45. That was a pretty good time, but we kinda had some other stuff to do. Ran a couple errands, headed up, fired up the DVD player and watched `Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants` and `My Big Fat Greek Wedding`. Yes, I already turned in my Man card. Anyways, they were both good movies, and after drinking a gallon of Wassail we snuggled and hit the rack. It was nice having a low key Sunday, being my last full day there and all. Monday is kind of a blur. Woke up to Amanda leaving for class, fell back asleep, woke back up an hour later, took a shower and started packing. Amanda came home and we finished the packing and clean up and all that, and then … mmm … shit I don’t know. I know we had a tasty breakfast casserole, then … something or other, I don’t know. We left Minot around 3:30 and headed for Bismarck Airport — another two hours of travelling the black emptiness of non-city ND. On the way there we stopped at a Lewis & Clark exhibit museum thing. Blew an hour there, and it was pretty interesting. Anyways, we arrived at the airport, spent a while kissing, hugging and crying and really not wanting to part ways. Finished all that, blew through security and that was that. The plane ride home was really uneventul, sat next to an older guy who works for the DoD who was very quiet. I took a nap, arrived in Denver, met James at the airport and headed home. That’s the entire trip in a few hundred words. It was really a great trip — I got to see one lovely young lady for never-long-enough, visit North Dakota and enjoy a vacation. It was a helluva time. I can’t wait to see her again, here, there, anywhere. I’m all twitterpated. Every time I think about her I get this googly-eyed-shit-eating-grin look on my face. She does all these cute and awesome things and just makes me feel like a million bucks. She is unbelievable. I know I missed a ton of things, so please feel free to ask questions or, in the case of Amanda, point out missing things :-). I had a sore throat on Sunday, lived through it on Monday and have been enjoying a full blown chest & head cold since. I’ve been sleeping like crap, and my back hurts. Hence the whole fell-asleep-while-posting last night. Also, the same reason that it takes me forever to type this up — if I focus at something for too long, like a laptop screen, my eyes tear up and I get a head ache. So I’m going to hit the rack.

2005-12-02 16:24:27 – Craig
Sounds fun. Sucks that you had all that relaxation only to come home to a head cold πŸ™ *yuck*
2005-12-09 01:21:35 – – –
Im glad you got to treat yourself to a nice vacation with Amanda! (You are most deserving of it) I gladly await the invitation to your "BIG DAY". Come on you know its coming. Merry Christmas if I do not see you.