Monday, December 17, 2007
No problem. Well, except for falling down the stairs. Icy they were ow. Up and cleaned, no problem. Then the universe dropped another storm on us. Ugh.
Okay, I can see the dams forming I'll go up and clear them off. Off I go. Have I mentioned I hate ladders? Took me years to realize it's not a fear of height I have, it's a fear of control - or lack there of. Ladders worry me as they aren't as stable as I'd like them to be. Still, up I went. Got through all the tough stuff and up onto my deck where it's only a few feet....
Does it count as falling off a ladder if the ladder slips on the slick deck causing you to evaluate gravity's focus on the way down? I landed with my legs pinned under one rung and around another - no breaks. Never hit my head, banged my arm, which I'm guessing is where I slapped out on the ladder.... Damage? Nothing major, I'll heal. And that blur of motion was all of my training going out in a woosh.
Still, job done.... but two falls in three days. Universe is telling me what exactly? *shrugs*
Wednesday, December 12, 2007
Tuesday, December 04, 2007
I knew this day would come. My eldest daughter had convinced my son, much before he was ready to move out of "the kids room", that he wanted to do this - it lasted an hour. This was his idea though - it might work.
I watched as my wife did her imitation of a bulldozer through the messy floor of the room that used to be the toy room. I helped move the box-spring out of the "girl's room" and get it settled in the cleared space in "the boy's room". My son settled it, only wanting to trade his small stuffed tiger for a much larger Sully (from Monsters Inc.). I let him have both, some rules can be broken on special occasions.
We said good night, and closed his new door partway. Unlike the room he's been in he had no clock night-light, so the only light was that leaking in from the other rooms. I went downstairs to ponder when he got this old. As my wife came down she let me know that two of the cats were on his bed, keeping an eye on him.
And he slept through the night, no problem. I feel like I missed something, or, maybe, I'm just feeling like a parent.
Monday, December 03, 2007
What do to during those times? Run? Withdraw? Start Drinking? Nah... tough it out. My father-in-law once told me during a rough patch that life is a pie made of 50% of the best pie ever, and 50% $h*t. You will eat the pie, but the choice is yours what you eat. Sometimes, you get to eat 100% $h*t for a few days, or weeks. It's hard to stay focused that it will come around, but it will. Giving up is what dooms you to it.
My other favorite quote during these times is from Winston Churchill: "If you are going through hell, keep going"
Stopping only leaves you where you don't want to be. Still, I'm glad it's over. Building some muscles sucks. I'll leave it at that.
In other news, my youngest daughter is convinced that there is only one thing to say to someone when they are a bad driver...
"GET OFF THE PHONE AND DRIVE!"
lol.... No idea where she got that from.
Welcome to December!
Wednesday, November 28, 2007
Normally I'll push back gently and teach folks how to use Snopes (and kudos to those of you reading who now use it as a litmus test before forwarding!). Normally though, it takes years to drive a good Snopes spike through the myth vampire. It hadn't occurred to me that people may be being misled because of a lack of information on how to spot these scams. With that in mind, a few snippets of wisdom from Dumb Little Men!
3. Is the source reliable? Who is telling you this information? Are they likely to know the truth about the subject? More importantly, if they are just passing on information, is their source reliable. A classic old wives tale will start with the phrase, "They say that...”. This is an attempt to sound authoritative without the onerous task of actually being authoritative.Check out the article for all 10....
When someone tells you "They say that 60% of businesses fail in their first year and 95% of online businesses don't make it past 6 months" your alarm bells should start to ring. Who are They? Why don't they have a name? Can I contact them or refer to their research to see if their claim is correct?
4. Does it match with reality? Sometimes there are opportunities for us to test Old Wives Tales in the real world. This happens when we can compare the claim with what we observe for ourselves."If you let a baby cry itself to sleep, it will develop separation anxiety"Look at a few cases of children that have been allowed to cry themselves to sleep and see how they have developed. If you see examples that have grown up into well adjusted children, then you know the Old Wives Tale isn't as water tight as it sounds. A dozen cases cannot conclusively prove an old wives tale correct, but just one or two might disprove it.
Monday, November 05, 2007
Since 2003, over 100,000 gamers worldwide have banded together through Child's Play, a community based charity grown and nurtured from the game culture and industry. Over two million dollars in donations of toys, games, books and cash for sick kids in children's hospitals across North America and the world have been collected since our inception.
This year, we have continued expanding across the country and the globe. With over 45 partner hospitals and more arriving every month, you can be sure to find one from the map above that needs your help! You can choose to purchase requested items from their online retailer wish lists, or make a cash donation that helps out Child's Play hospitals everywhere. Any items purchased through Amazon will be shipped directly to your hospital of choice, so please be sure to select their shipping address rather than your own.
When gamers give back, it makes a difference!
Friday, November 02, 2007
Last night we were putting the kids to bed and having a bit of the "I forgot my...". Normally the rule is, if you don't remember it, you can forget about it - this was an exception night, so I went off to find my son's blanket. The one he has had since he was too young to know he had it.
I couldn't find it. Thus, I used the innate magical abilities that are granted to Fathers everywhere and cast my spell of searching; "Wifey? Have you seen Kyle's blanket?"
"Yes. It's in the freezer."
Come again? "Uh. Ok." I may not understand why, but I know a "I'm sure I know" tone when I hear it. In the freezer, above the frozen veggies and below the frozen meats, was one semi-frozen blanket.
"I put it in there once over the summer and he loved it," she explained. Anyone tell him it's November and not August?
I brought it back to my son who quickly turned it into a pillow/wrap.
"Dude, that's cold." I said with all the wisdom of my position as Father.
"I like it that way!" He said, and rolled into it a few more times for good measure.
Odd, but how often is that likely to happen? Being weird myself, I went into the freezer this morning for some ice and there his blanket was cooling for tonight.
Thursday, November 01, 2007
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Monday, October 29, 2007
Our local paper had an article talking about how some students a town over were working to get one million letters for our troops overseas. They had gotten the local bank to put donation boxes up where people could drop off letters for the troops.
My wife mentioned this to the kids. The eldest went over and grabbed paper and pencil and started drawing a picture and writing a story for them. The other two, seeing this, started in as well. In the end, we had three "letters" (with a lot of parental closed captioning for the younger two) that were ready to go.
.... and that's when I realized how you tell if you "got it right".
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Caught this interesting "5 stage" image over on WoW Insider talking about a post over on the Daedalus Project. It's interesting to think about where members of our fledgling guild (Disciples of Delusion over on Kael'Thas) are in that progression. Some are clearly in Entry, others in Mastery/Burnout.
Oddly enough, we have a few that are in a stage pre-entry, not quite engaged fully, but enjoying the game. Others are hitting Burnout, but not on what's listed, rather on the "I need a group to hit Instance X and my luck with PUGs is < 0%".
I guess I should read the article! *laughs* Weighing in at 9 pages of webcontent, I made it a few in and like the graph best. ymmv.
It's a good story, and I'll leave the summary to the creators:
It is a story of a world where men and women carry magic in their blood, and spilling it can unleash terrible power.
Where these "Blooded" hide in fetid slums from the Church of the Angels, commanded by their divine masters to "cleanse" the Blood Magic.
Where choices are fraught, alliances rarely safe, and blood is all.
A young monk named Jered flees the Church when his own Blood Magic is released. Now he must survive the pursuit of the Church, the gladiatorial pits of the Blooded underground, and the hidden truths of the ancient struggle. The choices he makes will tip the balance of the war between Church and Blooded, and change his world forever.
Mixing a vivid world with fast-paced action and punk attitude, we think BloodSpell will be like no film you`ve ever seen.
Amen reverend! It's an epidemic! Something in the gene of mobile phone users lately. A good 80% of the ringtones I'm running into are the retro-analog-telephone ringing. It's like watching prairie dogs pop up looking for hunters every time I hear that tone - all the people with it grasp for their phone.
There's a reason for this folks: Your ringtone sucks!
Friday, October 19, 2007
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world. The unreasonable man persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.I was reminded of this quote when I ran across this old Apple ad. I had forgotten that Apple had run this. It's old enough that they still had the multicolored Apple logo.
Sometimes, perhaps being a little more unreasonable is an option - as long as your doing it to nudge things in a better direction.
Thursday, October 18, 2007
I got turned onto Nightwish thanks to a Pandora station that I created. A nice fusion of many of the aspects of music I like, but don't find often enough.I didn't know Nightwish released a new album last month! Damn iTunes, now I own it. Too easy to buy music now *laughs*
This is [soon to be named] a 6 week old kitten that joined our zoo family yesterday. She joins our 3 kids, other 2 cats, and dog.
Thus far, she's still a little shy. She prefers to stake out one spot and watch. She has, however, much like her eldest cat sister, shown the 75lbs dog that the 1lbs kitten can hiss and claw with the best of them. One hiss now, and the dog backs up!
Doesn't stop the foolish pup from coming back in for more though - he's dense that way.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
Monday, October 15, 2007
My performance in the WBCOOP over the years.....
2007: 101 out of 1324, played 4 hours.
2006: 1653 out of 2247, played less than an hour
2005: 360 out of 1471, two hours
Sunday, October 14, 2007
My first table bounce was 24 minutes later and we were down to 1268. My first table was pretty tight, the largest stack was ~12k. This one, multiple players with 20+k. I'm still bouncing around the 10k starting chips.
I finally broke into the 12k range with pocket 8s after floping a set. Didn't go past the flop. Soon followed by my Q-10 beating up on one of the chip leaders with Q-9 for an 8600 chip pot. He took it back soon after though. That's poker, back to my 12k from 16k.
1st break. I am 443/952. Average stack is 14044, I'm ~1k below that. Not bad so far. We lost 372 players in the first hour. Largest stack is 104650, smallest 375. 100k? talk about right place right time. Break is over, and in we go!
We are now 200/400, at the 5th blind level. Rapidly find the 933 placed player as his pocket JJs lose to QQs. Thankfully, not me. Although I stupidly played back at a tight player and lost 2k *sigh*
Down to 902 players, Q7 lost to QQs. Haven't seen many hands recently, still around 10k.
Another table bounce. I'm on the low side here. A few 40+ and 30+k stacks. Down to 880. 800 more to go before anyone is in the prizes.
Ick, down below 10k now.... blinds are still 200/400, no ante. At this table, though, I'm a good looking snack. Doesn't help I'm the short stack at 9k. Hmm..... I go all in with AK (16:24) ... and I'm up against... AK. We split. Rah. Long way to split the blinds.
16:27 my first kill, My AJ knocked off a K-low. Back to 14k, and still short for the table.
16:33 up to 28k, out of the young lunch zone. My A8 (two pair) bet up on one of the big stacks 10-5 (two pair). Down to 729 players, another short stack at the table gets eaten alive.
16:42 and down below 20k we go.... a few bad plays, and a few outplays. Getting interesting now. Large stack at the table is 58k. Pushed it with top pair, K kicker. Back over 20k.
16:50 I have 50k! I just tripled up with my pocket 2s. 2s full of jacks on the river. Sadly, I thought he had me beat with trip jacks! Doh. I'm now 2nd in chips at the table.
17:01 another kill and I'm over 60k, barely. He went out in 468th. My A-J beat his A-lower. Two more deaths at the table we we're down to 459 players total. I'm still 3rd largest at the table.
17:08 just laid down pocket Js preflop. Would have lost my shirt too. 67k pot before it got to me.
2nd break; I am 40 of 415. Avg stack is 32k, I am at 63k. Stack range is 161k to 675.
Back now 500/1000 ante 75. I get pocket 10s on the button. Sadly, nothing comes of it. Something didn't feel right, bailed out after the flop.
17:22 down to 45k. Let pocket 7s beat up my 6s. Doh. Back to 50k by 17:26.
17:31 down to 347 players now. Large stack at the table is 80k. I'm back to 55k. Wow, we have an admin watching the table. Wonder if he's blogging about us?
17:47 Wow, back to 2nd largest stack. The 80k imploded down to 30k. Getting expensive now. 750/1500 with 150 antes.
17:51 down to 264 players, observers are talkative now. Getting down to the "interesting" time.
17:58 broke 70k as my flopped straight turned into a flush with a straight flush draw. Down to 238 as another player dies.
18:02 99k stack landed at our table. I have pocket Ks. I doubled through him, 143k. He had pocket Qs. He's now down to ~20k and says it's his 2nd or 3rd bad beat to cost him the 6 figure stack. Now 1000/2000 with 200 ante.
3rd break I am 15 out of 188. Average stack is 71k, and I am about double that. Stack range is 263k to 5k. Not bad at all.
And we're back 1250/2500 with 250 ante. AJo to open. Nothing much happens.
18:31 down to 179 players.
18:34 I just killed another. Up to 180k, I liked that guy too. Bloody P. I'm second stack at the table. Two of us around 180k. 170 players left. Seeing empty seats, and slow to fill kills. Getting down to the wire.
18:47 Have our first official "I'm waiting for the money" perma-sitting out player. Ick.
18:48 down to 134 players.... over 200k now, my pocket Js worked out against the other live leading stack.
18:53 down to 150k, gotta stop playing medium hands against that guy. Now 2000/4000 with a 400 ante. And I thought my blinds got ugly...
18:59 down to 125 players.... 81 is where the first prize is. I have 155k still. 4th largest at the table now.
19:08 down to 100k in stack. Ouch. Play is getting vicious. Now 2500/5000 with 500 ante.
19:11 losing more cash on being in hands where folks go all-in around me. Alive though. Barely. Haven't seen much in the way of hands, and have played them poorly. Ouch indeed.
19:14 bad call, down to 50k. Shoulda let it go against the new guy. Kicker wars, he won.
19:15 sucked out the river, back to 100k
And finally out in 101st place..... Very close.
Thursday, October 11, 2007
As a fan and a techie I've been watching this battle since Napster rocked the boat and iTunes changed the world. Even Amazon now has MP3 downloads - what a shock, we were right, digital downloads were here to stay. Seems everyone but the RIAA realized that.
I wonder how the landscape will change if/when more bands and major stars push for a change. Will the RIAA start suing Madonna as well as 85yo grandmothers for file sharing?
Thursday, October 04, 2007
Wednesday, October 03, 2007
I have registered to play in the PokerStars World Blogger Championship of Online Poker!
This Online Poker Tournament is a No Limit Texas Holdem event exclusive to Bloggers.
Registration code: 7833286
Friday, September 28, 2007
Tanzan and Ekido were once travelling together down a muddy road. A heavy rain was still falling.
Coming around a bend, they met a lovely girl in a silk kimono and sash, unable to cross the intersection.
"Come on, girl," said Tanzan at once. Lifting her in his arms, he carried her over the mud.
Ekido did not speak again until that night when they reached a lodging temple. Then he no longer could restrain himself. "We monks don't go near females," he told Tanzan, "especially not young and lovely ones. It is dangerous. Why did you do that?"
"I left the girl there," said Tanzan. "Are you still carrying her?"
From 101 Zen Stories. Minor editing on my part; the original "do near females" didn't make much sense.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Also lousy for recognizing bad habits. Lately I've caught myself mentally gulping when I converse with my new manager. I hadn't put 2+2 together until this afternoon; each time I had had a similar conversation with my old manager, he had found a way to prove how everything was my fault. After five years of that, when the IM bell rung, I knew I was about to do something wrong - even if I hadn't.
Another bad habit outed and about to be squashed. How many more? Probably a few, but they will all get squashed. Good to be back to abnormal again.
Monday, September 10, 2007
It's been a month now, what are my impressions? I'm hooked, most people I show it too get that "omg I would so get one if...." look, and it's amazing how much it silently integrates into your life. And no, I'm not going to show the Miss Teen USA clip again!
I haven't been bit by changing from Verizon to AT&T. The call quality is the same, if not improved in many ways. Yes, the edge network sucks, which is why I set up WiFi when I'm at my friend's houses. Everything else works, camera, calendar, etc. and it all sync's nicely with the Mac (sorry, haven't bothered to try it on the PC).
Can you do most of this with a decent phone? Sure. Does it have the Apple iPhone ease of use? Not yet, give it time though. I can see people getting infected. When I hand people the phone and start showing them how to interact with it, they are instantly hooked. It's much easier to deal with the touch screen than it is to navigate through the various click-menu's on a given phone.
Enough rambling, so one anecdote and out; I sit down from time to time and browse reader on it - a smaller version of what my Dad used to do with the newspaper. Only now my kids crawl near me, surround my head so they can see, and start asking for videos they know exist on YouTube (everything from ROFLMAO to Little Bear).
As long as it isn't Miss Teen USA again, they win. My daughter's comment when I'm browsing Reader is "Ugh. Too many words."
Wednesday, September 05, 2007
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Monday, August 27, 2007
I realize that Gateway hasn't been doing well, but $710 seems low - they could get more than that on eBay. This minor levity brought to you by the headline field in Reader that says ~32 characters ought to be enough for anyone.
For the curious, the full article is 'Acer to acquire Gateway for $710m'. Now you have to wonder if Acer is being over charged.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
Italics added by me. Drawing a gun is a threat that can get you suspended? Zero tolerance indeed. We've lost track of creativity as well. I used to draw huge war scenes.... I'd hate to see what that would land me if I went back to school.
School officials suspended a 13-year-old boy for sketching what looked like a gun, saying the action posed a threat to his classmates.
The boy's parents said the drawing was a harmless doodle and school officials overreacted.
"The school made him feel like he committed a crime. They are doing more damage than good," said the boy's mother, Paula Mosteller.
The drawing did not show blood, bullets, injuries or target any human, the parents said. And the East Valley Tribune reported that the boy said he didn't intend for the picture to be a threat.
At what point do we realize that all the paranoia in the schools isn't going to help - you need to fix the families, the parents, who aren't involved.
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
I would like to thank you for your generous offer to have me come back to the most reliable network provider. Your $25 off of a phone offer certainly gave me reason to consider returning my 8gig iPhone. After all, getting another LG that drops more calls on your most reliable network is most compelling. Still, you can read about that on your tech support calls, so I wont rehash it here.
I would also like to congratulate you on how fast this offer got to me. I have had my new iPhone for 5 days and you have already put in your counter offer. Where was this speed and agility when my wife broke her screen on her Verizon phone? That was when you told us we had to buy her an entirely new phone as replacing the screen as just as expensive. At that point I wanted to deal, and I offered you a 2 year commitment for 2 new phones, if you could wave the 1 month left on our "new every two". You said no. Oddly enough, had you said yes, I would be locked into a contract with you instead of AT&T.
After 10 years I believe I have figured you out: You promise a reliable network, and you never promise good customer service.
I'll take my chances with AT&T.
Friday, August 17, 2007
Thursday, August 16, 2007
Still playing with it, but already hooked. Setup was a little murky in that I had to go to an AT&T store to get a confirmation code, but I think that the credit check used your existing payments from iTunes, for which I had none, so nothing to check against. Once I had the code, it was all good.
I suppose the truly geeky thing would be to say that this post came from the iPhone, but I'm not that bad . . . yet! *laughs*
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I doubt it.
If you do ever eBay as a seller here are my tips;
- Don't respond to the spammers - You can be flagged as one too!
- If your auction ends, and the winner is invalid - Report it immediately. If you don't your auction will likely be canceled.
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Friday, August 10, 2007
Cross your fingers!
Wednesday, August 08, 2007
The difference? I sent one email complaining that my winning bidder violated the terms of my auction and that I wanted him removed so I could issue Second Chances to those folks who didn't. While eBay responded to that, other bidders in my queue were deleted, but not the auction.
Keep your fingers crossed that one of the buyers still wants it! Second Chance #1 times out in a few days.
Monday, August 06, 2007
This last one has the winning "yeah right". The winner listed themselves as living in the US, but when you go to invoice them, an entire address in Nigeria. I have to ask these people using Nigeria as a scam location - knowing that the moment most web folk see the word Nigeria in an email or auction they figure its a scam, you'd think you'd use a different country? Anyway, so I write to the winner and say "This auction stated only shipping to the US. Please retract your bid" and I got back "please its just your help that i needed i will explain later to you." [sic].
Right. Sorry, not going to give you my bank account so you can send me millions of dollars that you need to sneak out of the country but that you'll split half with me. Ugh.
Tuesday, July 31, 2007
To no ones surprise, not even mine, the 3rd listing was finally canceled. The owner of the account that sent me the "Please ship to Nigeria" had bid on at least a half dozen other items, and tried similar scams judging by their feedback page. What a jerk.
At least this time, I could see the scam in action. Thus far, 3 listings, two "completed" auctions, and still the item hasn't sold. Even worse? I had an interested real buyer that got screwed by the scam jerk too! I can't even contact them to tell them I put up another auction. Complete pain in the @$$.
And people make a living on eBay? I can't say I see how......
Monday, July 30, 2007
All good, if you skip the "only to US" part of my auction. Oh, and that I can find no record of the PayPal transaction on PayPal, only in his email (no, I didn't use his email to verify it - seen enough URL scams to know better).
I've put it back into eBay's hands. We'll see what they say. I'm hoping we can drop this bidder and move onto another one and not have to relist it for a 3rd time.
Thursday, July 26, 2007
I'm sure he can speak for himself.
Sadly, I will be telling the grandkids I sat on my @$$ and blogged about it. Lesson there kids; the consequences of a choice, will be with you your entire life. Make the one that suits you best -- often, that may not be the right one.
Lock Picks are a Home Improvement!
Wednesday, July 25, 2007
The auction completed yesterday afternoon, for a decent bid. I started into the final steps, sent out the invoice and shutdown to get ready for Martial Arts. The universe blessed me with some free time after dinner before class began, so I went down to play video games.
I checked my email. eBay informed me that one of my bidders reported that they lost control of their account. The auction has been deleted and all activity expunged because of the invalid account bidding. "Sorry" said the email. Somehow sorry didn't make it any better. Another 7 days down.
I've put auction v3.0 up. Here's hoping this one can go off without a hitch. If not, [expletive deleted] eBay, I'll go take a shot on Craig's list.
Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Is the saga over? Or is this the next chapter.... we'll find out this afternoon!
Friday, July 20, 2007
The episode is up for an emmy for Outstanding Animated Program. If you've managed not to see it, go check it out (the jump is funky, it'll come up). Even my non-WoW playing friends enjoyed the episode, and those of us who play still quote it all too often. Seeing the SouthPark friends babbling in Elwynn still cracks me up.
After a few seconds my Instrumental Rock station was formed. Been on all morning. Currently it's playing a tune by Joe Satriani. Gotta love it when you learn new tricks.
Wednesday, July 18, 2007
There is already one bid out on the craptop. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that this will be the end to this saga. The optimist in me is hoping to get enough from the sale to get a new iPhone (okay, shoot me I said it) and a Wii for the family.
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
Even when I'm not using the laptop it causes trouble! If anyone wants it, $600+s/h and you can have it!!
Monday, July 16, 2007
These are the addons that I use while playing WoW. All links will lead you to Curse-Gaming.com.
Adds a "sell all the junk" button to vendor windows. It only sells gray items, and you can configure it from the defaults. Makes chasing "where did that junk go" much easier.
Instead of 5 different bags (or worse in the bank) this mod condenses all your bags into one "space", allows you to search it, and view your other characters (including banks!).
Helping answer that "should I roll on this BoP?" is EquipCompare which brings up your current item (or items) next to this new item. Got a new BP and not sure if it's good? View it, and next to it will be your current one so you can compare the stats.
Very nice mod when everyone has it. Allows you to see the healing/damage/etc. that your group is putting down. Still the most fun at the end of the night to show that it was the mage that required the most healing, not the tank. *evil grin* Allows for syncing of multiple data sources so the entire party's view of the battle is taken into account.
Helping you to realize that if you cast one more spell the 70 elite is going to come and squash your clothness is the Threat Meter. Like DamageMeters, works best when all members have it.
I recently started changing how my default UI was laid out. As a hunter, I wanted to do a few things that the default layout wouldn't let me do. Bongos lets you customize, tweak, resize, and generally break a lot of "rules" you thought were fixed for button bars.
Friday, June 29, 2007
Adium is Trillian for OS X - a one stop IM application that can aggregate all your IM contacts into one place. I have friends on AIM, ICQ and MSN. No problem. Adium had a few IM protocols I had to go look up!
I had been using Launchy on Windows, which was inspired by QS. Both applications search, and index information and applications on your HD. You can then launch QS, key in a few letters, and bring up anything from your favorite website to an application. QS wins where you can now take it a few steps further. You can chain QS commands into actions. So I can say, take this file, and move it to, this directory. And it's done. No Finder, no drag and drop, just keyboard.
On Windows I had been using jEdit and Notepad++ for text editing. While the built in Apple text editor was okay, I missed having tabs for editing (I'm not a multiple-window guy) multiple files. TextWrangler filled that gap and does very nicely. I haven't tried it for code, I still fall back to VIM - don't bother selling me on Emacs, it wont work.
There are a few more that I'm playing with to get things settled, but nothing worth mentioning till I get more into them. And yes, if you ask me about the Mac, "It just works." If you haven't tried it, you wont believe me. I can see why the catch phrase is so overused.
I added the emphasis. This is from a Rolling Stone Article entitled "The Record Industry's Decline". The store of the recording labels is one for any entrenched business model - at some point you will be obsoleted and trying to push the genie back into the bottle wont work. You will be left behind.
So who killed the record industry as we knew it? "The record companies have created this situation themselves," says Simon Wright, CEO of Virgin Entertainment Group, which operates Virgin Megastores. While there are factors outside of the labels' control -- from the rise of the Internet to the popularity of video games and DVDs -- many in the industry see the last seven years as a series of botched opportunities. And among the biggest, they say, was the labels' failure to address online piracy at the beginning by making peace with the first file-sharing service, Napster. "They left billions and billions of dollars on the table by suing Napster -- that was the moment that the labels killed themselves," says Jeff Kwatinetz, CEO of management company the Firm. "The record business had an unbelievable opportunity there. They were all using the same service. It was as if everybody was listening to the same radio station. Then Napster shut down, and all those 30 or 40 million people went to other [file-sharing services]."
Anyone want to tell the oil industry about that?
Monday, June 25, 2007
Times change. Dangers remain. 10 years after he became President of the Interstellar Alliance, Sheridan prepares for a fateful Babylon 5 reunion that could prevent Earth’s impending doom…if he will also compromise his core principles. Meanwhile, commander Lochley confronts an unexpected interloper on the way station – a being whose presence makes the B5 freeport the crossroads between heaven and hell.
A little more digging and you find out that it will be a DVD release available July 31.
Friday, June 22, 2007
I'm sitting here listening to the soundtrack for Pirates of the Carribean 3. There is a scene where all our major characters meet for parlay and as they walk to meet each other we go from the normal orchestral pirate themed music to.... ready? A western.
Yup, you could as easily of pictured the Stranger walking into a town to this music as much as Jack, Elizabeth, Will and Davy Jones. I loved it, awesome change.
Ah well, back to work. Pick up the soundtrack if you like the movies. See the movie if you haven't.
Friday, June 08, 2007
"A complex system that works is invariably found to have evolved from a simple system that worked. A complex system designed from scratch never works and cannot be patched up to make it work. You have to start over with a working simple system."This is from The Poker Shrink's latest article over on PokerNews. What struck me, is that my first though wasn't about Poker, it was about work and how true this was. A simple system, that is grown into a complex system (and I mean intentionally!) works nicely. A system built complex from the start inevitably fails too meet some of its goals.
This has become known as Gall's Law and can be found in the book Systemantics: How Systems Really Work and How They Fail.
My last job had a few systems like this. Our original product was "built in two weeks" by my former manager. It was still living when I left the company. I worked with it for 5 years, and it had close to 10 years on it before that. It was a simple system that was grown to be overly complex and needed a redesign. It worked, but it failed to meet a number of its goals.
I wrote, during my first year, a complete replacement for it. The replacement failed, it was too complex. We had lost that simple system that made the original so good. The complexities that plagued the elderly version weren't replaced or lost, they were brought forward and modernized. So we got a modern elderly version wth the same problems.
Thursday, June 07, 2007
I added the color emphasis. She's right. We really do need a law that punishes for reckless endagerment of democracy. I can see a number of politicians that would have enough of these on their records to make "hardened criminals" look like petty thieves. Go one step further though, receiving one, only one, excludes you from holding a public office.
(7.) The secretly negotiated debate contract bars Kerry and Bush from any and all other debates for the entire campaign.
"Under what I call the Debate Suppression and Monopolization Clause of the contract, it is illegal for the candidates to debate each other anywhere else during the campaign," Rice says. "We need a new criminal law for reckless endangerment of democracy."
Somehow, I don't think our leaders would let that one through.
Wednesday, May 30, 2007
For the past few weeks I'd change my alarm to different times depending on if I was commuting to the office, working from home, or heading to class. It was annoying. This week I decided it would be set to one time, and left there. I now get up before most of the house does.
Today was the first day where I didn't have my commute to work but was up. I moved onto "Week 6" in my training schedule from last year and started the day with a 2 mile run. Managed to put my best per-mile time up for the year thus far.
The world at 6am is quiet. There are a few walkers, some people driving, and not much of the ambient noise I'm used to when I run. That and it was cold, relatively speaking. It was 60 instead of 90. All total, made for a nice start to the day.
Thursday, May 24, 2007
Transformers? He-Man? Tiny Toons? Animaniacs? TMNT? Batman the animated series?
Enjoy. The links, after the jump, are to YouTube (mostly) for the opening credits.
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
The fun, as it turned out, was getting the PERL XML::Checker module working. More precisely, getting Cygwin to compile it. There are some assumptions in the CPAN module that make perfect sense in most distros - but in Cygwin it's more minimalist - you only get what you want/need. And GCC isn't one of them and the errors thrown by CPAN's makefiles don't make it intuitively obvious.... but after a few hours of "wtf this should work" I finally saw the one line, amidst 100s, that said "gcc not found" and off I went.
Friday, May 18, 2007
I was, and have been, a big fan of Transformers (well, all but the last one on Cartoon network - the rework of the first release in an anime style missed, imo). When I saw that they were doing a movie with human actors, not a cartoon, I was very skeptical. That lasted till the first preview.
From the previews this looks like the people from Terminator 2 and Godzilla got together and decided to take on the story of Cybertronians. Although, this time they're not trying to go home, it looks like they are trying to take over. Decepticons attacking the world, Autobots defending it. Sounds like a good 4th of July movie to me!
I can't wait.
Wednesday, May 16, 2007
This is my first post being written on my new Mac. As part of all the changes for work, this is the really big one. I'm still OS agnostic, but I'm getting really hooked on having access to all the open source tools I want as well as a very solid default set from Apple. Quicksilver rocks.
The rest I'll have to write up later. For now, back to work!
P.s. If you get the joke, well, you have proven your geekness for this week.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
The HD crashed. Okay, where are the backups? I had backups of the files I needed from before I moved them to the laptop, small changes mostly, no big deal.... um.... where are the backups? Oh, thank you Norton, when you backup the C drive of one system and the C drive of another system and place them into the same directory you get..... yes, one file. As in, last one in wins. Ouch.
Guess that was lesson one.
Lesson two; If your linux system drops the filesystem into readonly mode run backups before restarting. Ouch is the lesson for that one. I had access to the files I needed, but "assumed it would reboot" as it always had. No such luck, the partition information (looks like logical sectors 0 and 2 got smoked) is gone and although I have found some tools to rebuild it, I can't write it back to the disk!
Seems that dd_rescue is able to copy it off so maybe I can get lucky. Once I find a disk to copy it to... I don't think it'll all fit on my 1gig flashdrive.... although I'm going to find out.
Tools to remember....
testdisk by CGSecurity -- Found my missing partition information. Can't write it back because the disk is fubar.
dd_rescue - a better dd command, it'll keep running even with errors.
Knoppix live CD -- has bailed me out more than once, and did again. Comes loaded with testdisk and dd_rescue. Knew I kept this live CD around for a reason.
*back to praying....* I knew M$ would get even with me for having more than M$ OSes in the house!
Monday, April 23, 2007
It was a very nice weekend. Almost tempted me to break out the summer clothes. The pattern for this year though is chaos and snow wouldn't surprise me. Got some nice spring cleaning done. Grass seed and patch is done. Garage is completely reorganized. Windows are open. Life is good.
And only 5 days left at work. When the opportunity for my new job hit I was surprised more than anything, I hadn't expected what I found. Then, as I got the hard sell to stay from various departments, it got me thinking about why I was really leaving. They were right, even to my ears, the answers I was giving didn't add up.
It took awhile but I realized that I've been "staying with it" for a long time now. Perhaps it was a little Stockholme Sindrome. Who knows. Whatever term you'd like to apply, it was a challenge I had to understand and overcome. I feel much more like myself than I have in a long while, and that's a good thing.
If you find yourself in one of those positions were "it's not all bad", "I can deal with this", "It's only a temporary thing", take some time to figure out if that's true or if your hiding a deeper problem. No matter the answer you find, you'll be better off for it.
Monday, April 16, 2007
Here's the blog post that finally got me to admit my addiction *grins*. As many authors have said, if you have the right personality you are going to want to avoid this game. It gets very addicting trying to survive the final few waves.
You've been warned! lol
When did America become a nation of frightened wimps? When did we cross the line from courage to cowardice? Was it sometime in the 1990s? After the Oklahoma City bombing? After the Columbine shootings? After 911?
There have been a good half dozen stories I have spaced on. Perhaps I should steal the craptop from the wife when I need to write some notes or *gasp* use some paper. Heh, lesson learned.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
In September of 2005, a social studies schoolteacher from Arkansas did something not to be forgotten. On the first day of school, with permission of the school superintendent, the principal, and the building supervisor, she took all of the desks out of the classroom. The kids came into first period, they walked in; there were no desks. They obviously looked around and said, "Where's our desks?"
The teacher said, "You can't have a desk until you tell me how you earn them."
They thought, "Well, maybe it's our grades."
"No," she said.
"Maybe it's our behavior."
And she told them, "No, it's not even your behavior."
And so they came and went in the first period, still no desks in the classroom. Second period, same thing. Third period. By early afternoon television news crews had gathered in the class to find out about this crazy teacher who had taken all the desks out of the classroom. The last period of the day, the instructor gathered her class.
They were at this time sitting on the floor around the sides of the room. She said, "Throughout the day no one has really understood how you earn the desks that sit in this classroom ordinarily. Now I'm going to tell you."
She went over to the door of her classroom and opened it, and as she did
27 U.S.veterans, wearing their uniforms, walked into that classroom, each one carrying a school desk. And they placed those school desks in rows, and then they stood along the wall. By the time they had finished placing the desks, those kids for the first time I think perhaps in their lives understood how they earned those desks.
Their teacher said, "You don't have to earn those desks. These guys did it for you. They put them out there for you, but it's up to you to sit here responsibly, to learn, to be good students and good citizens, because they paid a price for you to have that desk, and don't ever forget it."
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
More of a mental test for me this round. The physical, as you probably guessed, was "easier" - that's not to say I wasn't completely physically fragged, I was - but I was dealing with other aspects of growth that weren't muscle related.
I'll post more details when I get some more time. It's been a busy few months. Lost the pony tail, new belt, and now - new job! I think that covers my "things come in threes" for this year.
Thursday, April 05, 2007
Question; I'm guessing we're talking about the Christian/Catholic (sorry I still can't tell them apart) King James Bible here, which doesn't chronicle Satan's activities. So is this really a fair graph?
Lies. Damned Lies. And Statistics.... yeah.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Into this comes the WTFPL license. I'm going to reproduce the license exactly as it appears on the source website, if you are easily offended (and think the real meaning of WTF is 'what the fluke' or some such) you might not find this as funny as I did.
That would be one license that I'd have fun reading when I installed the software. I wonder how many filters would/will block its text due to the colorful metaphors.
Thursday, March 29, 2007
Monday, March 26, 2007
I stand 6' 2" and have an athletic build. I have no problem picking up an adult and tossing them into the air. I've always been strong, and it has always worried me. I have many memories of "not using much strength" and hurting someone inadvertently.
Superman summed it up well;
"I feel like I live in a world made of cardboard, always taking constant care not to break something, to break someone, never allowing myself to lose control, even for a moment, or someone could die."It's a demon that has always haunted me. I have always tried to be in constant control. I always visualized it as trying to keep a demon in a box. Problem is the demon is always looking to get out. It presses against the box, finding the smallest crack and lashes out.
Truth is, in bottling it up I made it worse. What happens when you place a sleeve with specific weak points over an explosive? When it explodes the weakpoints collapse first channeling the shockwave. Instead of an occasional "oops" with a normal kid tweak, I would try to push the explosion back through the weak point and then repair the box. I imagine now that the box looks like it was marked fragile and sent through ACME Mailers.
That all changed as I worked toward this rank. I had to learn the real lesson; that control is being able to consciously choose what you do. The difference between the explosion choosing a random weakness and you channeling what you need of it to do what needs to be done.
Even knowing how much I have learned I am
I'm still afraid that I will break some cardboard.
Friday, March 23, 2007
Monday, March 19, 2007
Thursday, March 15, 2007
And tomorrow, it is supposed to snow. Doh.
Tuesday, March 13, 2007
"I'm not dead yet!" *laughs*
Monday, March 12, 2007
Seriously! Last week, even with the heater, the day would start around 55F. Warms up quick enough, but those chilly weeks make it interesting typing.
Friday, March 09, 2007
And remember only two defining forces have ever offered to die for you: Jesus Christ and the American Soldier.I think our souls are pretty safe, lets hope our soldiers are dying for our freedom and not something else.
One died for your soul, the other for your freedom.
Thursday, March 08, 2007
During February vacation my Daughter and I went to class early to help out. As part of that class she earned a free individual lesson for winning one of the contests in class. She's scheduled to take advantage of that individual lesson this weekend and she and I were talking about what she might learn.
"Perhaps you'll do more of your stick form," I said smiling. "Or perhaps [our master] will just beat on you."
"Yes," she said without looking up from the work she was doing with the refrigerator magnets. If you turned on your universal translator you'd realize that she meant "either sounds good".
"You can tell we go to the same school," I said between chuckles to my wife.
Odd thing to be proud of? Not at all. I am very proud that my daughter has overcome her fear of our instructor and now looks forward to practicing with him. She will learn how to punch and kick, and that will serve her well. Learning to overcome her fears will serve her even better.
The second one goes to my youngest later in the day. We are the landing zone for my wife's brother's first child when they need to go to the hospital to have #2. Since the little one hasn't slept over our house before, we scheduled some time for her to come over and get a taste of it before the big event.
I walked into the kids room to see my wife and youngest playing. I noticed that the portable playpen had been set up and couldn't resist bothering my daughter.
"Do you sleep in there?" I asked her, motioning toward the playpen.
"No," she gave me her already-patented-at-3-years-old 'Dad are you nutz?' look. "That's for crying children."
I couldn't stop laughing...
Wednesday, March 07, 2007
The first hint of this was a few years back when we were in the car and the kids were having an overtired-meltdown. My wife put on a omg-why-are-we-listening-to-this channel of soft, slow tunes. You know the stuff, it's what a typical cartoon or movie puts on when they are lulling the antagonist to sleep. It didn't work on our kids, they were still screaming. I gave my wife a look and slapped in a Metallica CD and turned it up. Within a couple minutes they were asleep.
Yeah, I laughed too, mostly at my wife's "Huh?" expression. Our kids grew up around Metallica, not Barry Manilow, they're used to sleeping through it. Lesson learned, and a trick we use when we need everyone to calm down.
Last night as I was changing out of my gi I hear some Metallica in the background. I thought I had left the radio on in the living room, but as I started walking toward the living room, the music got quieter not louder. I walked back toward the music and it led me into the kids room. I had wondered where my Metallica S&M CD ended up! It was in the kids room, playing on their radio - with all of them soundly asleep.
Monday, March 05, 2007
Yes. Try to power it up. It wont power up - no LEDs either. Now, by this time I had had it plugged into the AC for at least 12 hours to charge the battery. Nope. Looks like the battery is dead.
Call up Alienware: "Batteries only have a 1 year warranty." Oh, and their tech's saw the bad battery during their inspection of the system and did not tell me. They are willing to send me a new one, in 4-5 days, for an addition $100+S/H! My cost.
I put the rep on hold and walked around to calm myself from going "Drill Instructor" on him as he would likely hang up. Mentally I reviwed the fun: I bought the 3 year on-site agreement that sends has sent no one on-site. I've sent the system back for repairs 4 times, each time taking two to four weeks round trip. Between two of those trips was a half dozen OS rebuilds, by me (remember on-site didn't send anyone on-site) before it was diagnosed as a memory issue and sent back. And, after all this, they wanted to charge me $100 for a battery.
The end result after I refused to pay and wanted to go up the food chain? The battery is being shipped out for free, "only this time". I had hoped they'd take me up on my idea of buying the laptop back and letting us both go our separate ways - no luck there. I guess they figure after the warranty is up (next year) - I can't bother them anymore.
They've got that right: I only make mistakes like this once. They wont get another purchase out of me.
Since it is Monday, I'm sure we could all use a small smile. Go check out Drug Dealers vs. Geeks. A simple comparison between Drug Dealers and Geeks.
All I can say is; Damn! Damn! *laughs* Enjoy!
Wednesday, February 28, 2007
Tuesday, February 27, 2007
- Duplicated your problem
- Diagnosed additional problems
- We replaced your Motherboard ...
- ... and your memory
Through it's not quite 3 years of life the following has been replaced:
- The screen, a week after I received it.
- Memory, twice. Once last year, and again this year.
- Motherboard, this years adventure.
Shall we take bets that the motherboard was faulty and caused most, if not all, of the problems I've encountered? We'll find out.
Sunday, February 25, 2007
Friday, February 23, 2007
- Feb-07: RMA approved after proving to the tech that I indeed have a clue and a broken laptop.
- Feb-13: FedEx shows that they have delivered the craptop
- Feb-14: I get an email from Alienware telling me I have an RMA and I should ship my laptop. Um.....
- Feb-22: FedEx sends me an email telling me that a package has been shipped to me
- Feb-22: Email from Alienware saying that they are working on my laptop. Um....
- Feb-23: Email from Alienware saying that they fixed it and will be shipping soon
Thursday, February 22, 2007
Wednesday, February 21, 2007
Unfortunately, from my experience, our culture thrives on Specialists, not Generalists. So it was very interesting to me to run across this quote over on Bob Sutton's blog.
Generalists, people with moderately strong attachments to many ideas, should be hard to interrupt, and once interrupted, should have weaker, shorter negative negative reactions since they have alternative paths to realize their plans. Specialists, people with stronger attachments to fewer ideas, should be easier to interrupt, and once interrupted, should have stronger,more sustained negative reactions because they have fewer alternative pathways to realize their plans. Generalists should be the the upbeat, positive people in the profession while specialists should be their grouchy, negative counterparts (page 526).It's left me thinking, hope it does the same for you.
Saturday, February 17, 2007
Until then, this is the first post off the new system. Why the heck did I ever buy the craptop.... oh, when asked to name my system I found there was only one good choice...
And a well learned one at that.
Friday, February 16, 2007
Here are some of the fun ones:
- "You cut your hair?" *incredulous look*
- "Turn around!"
- "NO! YOU DIDN'T!" Two of the girls my daughter takes Martial Arts with were a bit miffed at me.
- "You look more like your son now." Yeah, he has a short haircut too. We still looked alike.
- "Why?" This question is not just asked by your 2yo now.
- "Lose something?"
- "I hear you cut your hair and you are building a computer?!" My brother-in-law after a mutual friend, and blog reader, let him know. *laughs* Thanks, made my morning today.
Thursday, February 15, 2007
The Alienware arrived at the main office a few days back. I got an email saying "Here's your order status. Please ship us your laptop". Not sure what kind of Two-Face style message that is. I did try to call this morning - went through 3 levels of menus to get to "We're closed". I'll try again later. I honestly doubt they've looked at it yet.
Wednesday, February 14, 2007
I had been asked when I had it "Why" and many folks are asking the same question now that I cut it off -- interestingly it tends to be the same people asking. Anyway, I never had a real answer for "Why". I could never answer the question myself. Sure, I found answers that people could understand; "I'm 1/3 Native American", "Why not?", and for the guys "Don't worry, I'm sure your wife will tell you size doesn't matter" (man did that irk some). Truth is, I didn't have an answer. It was time.
I don't have an answer for why I cut it off either. It was time.
Interestingly enough, I had the ponytail for 1/3 of my life at this point. Cosmic causality perhaps?
Monday, February 12, 2007
Into building systems? Check out the build I have for my new rig (link is to a NewEgg wishlist). If ya got an opinion, be glad to hear it!
Feels weird though. I wonder if Samson had a similar reaction.
Thursday, February 08, 2007
Yesterday evening I was playing along and I started smelling "something wrong". Those of you who have experienced this know what I mean. It's not smoke, but the melted plastic smell is unmistakable. I quickly powered down and checked the fans. Nothing wrong.
This is where you can tell I worked in IT. Upon booting up I immediately backed up my system. While the backup was running I noticed the "charging" indicator for my battery was on. Odd, as I was running on AC power. I watched as the battery discharged while "charging". I'm willing to bet when it hit Zero is when things ended. The system clicked off and nothing I could do to bring it back to life.
I know I've said it before, and I'll say it again; Never, never, will I buy another Alienware. I've tagged all my posts, at least one problem per year since I bought it. What a pain.
Oh, and if you buy that extended "3 year onsite" warranty - ask when (hell, if) they would come onsite before purchasing it.
Wednesday, February 07, 2007
Wednesday, January 31, 2007
If the version number ends in .0 don't install it!Vista SP1 is already in the works and is rumored to be set for a release later this year. This is why I do not run and install new Microsoft releases. There will be one major patch before it is stable and by that time we'll know exactly what we're getting into.
Monday, January 29, 2007
Today is a good example, there are 7 birthdays in the next 3 weeks, and none of them are being listed. See if you can spot the bug:
birthDay = new Date();The birthdays array contains two items, a name and a birthday represented as MM-DD. Everything is well formed in the source data and loads properly. However, on days like today it fails. Take a minute, I wont make you suffer long...
dateInfo = birthdays[idx].split("-");
// Internal JS representation is 0-11 not 1-12!
If you figured it, skip the following explanation;
In the code above, when the object is created it gets today's date; Jan 29 2007. When you try to do the SetMonth for February, it fails as February of this year cannot have 29 days. However, it does push the month to March, which can. Not sure why it pushes to March, but it does. This resulted in all the February birthdays I had "mystically" going away for a little while, then coming back.
The fix? Do a birthDay.setDate(1) to force it to a day we know all months have and everything works as expected.