Wednesday, March 23, 2011

ATT/Tmo = do not want

I've used T-Mobile for for years and have received excellent value for money.

The best way to understand this merger is this quote originally from the WSJ:

"T-Mobile has long been an antagonist to AT&T and chief rival Verizon Wireless, offering low prices that kept pressure on rates."

So, if your competitor bugs you by giving customers a lower-cost option, just buy the competitor. Doesn't bode well.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Cycles of life

No, not cycles of light, you Tron freakazoids.*

A few things happening this week which remind me of the ebb and flow of life:

First, moonzilla. That was awesome.

Second, finally got some seedlings in the ground. More in the greenhouse getting their first true leaves. We had some short, spindly wire fencing that the chickens have been unwilling to jump over so lined the garden area with that. Not convinced it's chickenproof but they don't seem willing to hop over the last few weeks it's been up.

Third, one of our hens ("Orange Chicken") had poop stuck in her butt feathers and down. Dear Wife held her still while I used the waterhose to soften and help remove the accumulation. Bird did great right until the end of the operation when she got a little annoyed at being held so long. Dinosaur growly noises...

The hen's vent was fine, not irritated or anything but she looked funny while she was drying off. She looked great after she dried.

Fourth, I traded my motorcycle for a small pickup truck. That was the bike I rode to Destiny's BD a couple of years ago. Took the truck down to Keller's for a shakedown cruise. Cheeseburgers, o-rings, a longneck and a lemonade. It's good to have a truck again. It's been a while. I feel more truck-related posts coming on.

Do I miss the bike? Sure. Did I need it? No.

Once I got the truck inspected (took a bit of mech work, but not bad) I sold my old commuter car which had been really good to me since I bought it in 2005. Total time from posting craigslist ad to cash-in-pocket: 1hr, 52mins. Thanks, internet!

* and I say that with love.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Gardening 2011

Finally started some seeds this week. Depending on whose last-frost predictor you follow this means I'm about 3-4weeks late on lettuce, peppers, and tomato. Oh well; I've been exceptionally busy with the job searching/interviewing and something had to give.

This is how I organize the seeds. Some kind of aluminum & glass specimen containers I got cheap in bulk off eBay. They appeal to the science geek in me and work well. I have been storing them at room temp but will likely start storing them at 40F (ie, in the fridge).

I'm going to change my Google Calendar for gardening to include reminders so I'll be less likely to drop the ball. Even with the late start I predict an improvement over last year's garden due to:

  1. return to hybrids. Heritage varieties really didn't work well in my poorly-conditioned garden. Might try them again next year.
  2. chicken poop composted in the Fall and directly deposited in the Winter. This should help my nitrogen situation.
I did have some leftover hybrids seeds from last year. I started some with the new stuff this year. I'll consider it a bonus if the come up (because old) or do anything useful (as described above).

Chickens are "big helpers" when working in the garden, which is to say they want to get under your feet and investigate everything.

There were times when I was turning the garden today (see below) when they would get lifted up a bit by the shovel. Standing a little too close, birds?

The garden is small so I turned it by hand with a shovel. The chickens will break up the larger clods.

They were attacking the dirt right up to the moment I turned on the camera and they ran away. I think the sound of the lens motor spooked them.

Also moved the chicken tractor so they had to run in there and get reaquainted with it.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Core subject vs. Football

It's Texas. You're probably not operating under any delusions, but just in case you're wondering whether core subjects or football is #winning:

REQUIRED CERTIFICATIONS: Social Studies From Grade:8 To Grade:12
POSITION: Social Studies Teacher (8-12) / Assistant Football Coach
JOB DESCRIPTION: Position Summary Provide students with appropriate learning activities and experiences in the core academic subject area assigned to help them fulfill their potential for intellectual, emotional, physical, and social growth. Enable students to develop competencies and skills to function successfully in society. Employment preference given to candidates with high school coaching experience.

APPLY TO: Complete on-line application and address questions to: Mr. [redacted], Athletic Director, [redacted] ISD, [redacted]

Yes, direct your questions about this academic, TAKS-tested core subject to the Athletic Director. Nice.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Dear Ron Paul

I agree with almost all of your platform. We start from the same first principles and end up at many of the same conclusions. I have displayed your bumpersticker and yardsign.

Here's my beef
It is one thing to accept campaign contributions then drop out.
It is another thing altogether to ask those contributors for money AGAIN. What, in your words or demeanor, indicate you'd be willing to press the issue this time? What has changed?

Never thought I'd be quoting Bush, but: "Fool me once; shame on you. Fool me — you can't get fooled again."

Wednesday, March 2, 2011


Have had two "second interview" meets this week, so we're still moving ahead. My first choice hasn't set up a 2nd yet, but it's more of a bureaucracy so I'm being patient.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

wii, netflix

The Wii interface to netflix is "pretty cool" as Miley Cyrus might say. There is room for improvement:

  • make the subtitle toggle available from within the stream
  • separate the pause/play and timeline controls a bit. I accidentally moved along the timeline a couple of times when trying to pause playback.
  • Allow a "mark watched" flag. If you don't watch a show through all the credits it believes (correctly) you didn't finish it, but this leaves detritus in the UI ("resume this show", etc).
I continue to be surprised at the quality of the stream, even on my cheapest-tier-possible cable inet.

I marked a stream I watched one star out of five (it SUCKED). Netflix followed up with a 2-second question about the streams visual quality. Nice! They are making sure I didn't downrate the show because of the stream instead of the content. Very smart.