Sunday, August 28, 2011

garden fail

My garden is toast.

The heat has brutalized everything except the one happy, healthy
sunflower. I don't think I even planted that; must've been from a
visiting bird.

I think I am going to remove the fencing around it and let the chooks
eat up the random greenery (a few weeds).

written offline and synced later

Monday, July 25, 2011


Overheard in the lantern restoration hobby forums. It describes clueless sellers who think their mass-produced widget is valuable because they saw something vaguely like it on TV:

ARMPIT = Antiques Roadshow moron, price instantly tripled

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Another fine SUV driver

I don't know what it is in the psyche of aggressive idiots that makes
them choose SUVs, or if being in SUVs turns normal folk into aggressive

Consider the following: tooling along IH635 with traffic flow, which is
to say a little quicker than posted. A fine fellow in his fullsize SUV
pulls up behind me at approx. 1/2 vehicle length spacing and leaves it
there. Nice, yes? Can't see any part of his grille in the rearview,
only half the hood and his windshield.

We both exit to IH30 east and he maintains his following distance. As
we merge onto the (currently empty) highway he decides now is the time
to strike. Does he take either of the two completely unoccupied lanes
on the left or pass me on the right shoulder? Yes, my friends, he makes
a careening, wild, no-blinker pass on the right shoulder. Pick of the

And he was on the phone.


written offline and synced later

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

More offline fun with Thunderbird

Google Reader no longer works offline; they have dumped Gears but HTML5 is not yet up to speed.

Liferea looked perfect as it syncs with Reader but no longer can auth with google.

Thunderbird does a decent job even though it's not mentioned. Like all the other solutions I've tried it doesn't download the target page, only the text in the RSS itself. No pics or other attachments.

  1. export RSS list from Reader
  2. import into Thunderbird
  3. when going offline it automagically updates feed list
  4. read offline later; if I want to follow links or comment on something I email the article to myself using the Thunderbird Forward menu button and read it later.
Works fine.

Thunderbird is turning out to be a pretty good solution for folks too cheap/frugal to buy a mobile data connection.

Saturday, July 16, 2011


Although I tend to work solo overnight, there are brief periods of
overlap with other humans.

One of those overlaps sometimes includes a break period. A cow-orker
asked if I would like to play chess during this time.

I said I wouldn't /like/ to, but I would do so.

I have chess dyslexia. And I don't care for the game much. I can't
tell if there is a chicken/egg relationship there or not. I can't see N
moves into the future and I don't /care/ about N moves into the future.
You can see how this might affect ones gameplay.

Tonight during our inaugural game I figured it out; I dislike chess in
the same way I dislike office politics. I do this, trying to maneuver
them into doing that, which makes me do this and them do that. Arggghh!
Deeply annoying stuff.

I don't mind strategy, _per se_. I do have a plan in mind when storming
a field full of opponents in Halo. Do this to lure them out then kill
them. Protect oneself, pick weapons, and use resources wisely. Don't
know what the difference is between the two in my head but I certainly
feel different about chess and FPS games like Halo.

written offline and synced later

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

el cheapo PJ arrives

Got the projector. Took less than a week from paypal to Chinese seller to delivery via DHL. Double boxed and packed quite well:

Since we were in the middle of playing Halo when the other PJ died we picked up where we left off:

It was dusk outdoors and you can see light from the windows in the top of the pic.

Our first impressions of the hardware:
  • it's not a small projector but fits on the small table we were using before.
  • very effective "squirrel cage" type fan makes some noise but keeps temps very reasonable: 100F on the case and 130F exhaust. I do not worry about overheating.
  • no zoom, which we knew ahead of time. Have to move it forward/back
  • remote and buttons on pj are generic but useful. 2x/aaa required for remote. It's strong enough to bounce off the projection wall rather than point at the pj.
first impressions of the projected image:
  • it was rather harsh and washed out.
  • There are several different profiles: standard, movie, vivid, and user. Movie was considerably better and less intense so we started messing around with the user-definable setting. We ended up with:
Contrast: 40
Brightness: 40
Hue: 50
Sharpness: 40

At this setting I'd say the RCA/Svideo quality is about 90% that of the old PJ. The SVGA input is really good, and is at least as good as the old PJ.

Ran it for a few hours the first night: netflix DVD, netflix stream via wii, halo on xbox.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011



When your corporate blog article hits the "REACHED MAXIMUM NUMBER OF COMMENTS. NO MORE COMMENTS CAN BE POSTED" point (apparently 5,000 comments) that's either very good or very bad news. In this case it's bad news.

I am currently googling Hulu Plus and Amazon Prime.