Saturday, April 30, 2005

only in dreams

You know you've been working on a project too much when you have a dream where a tester bitch-slaps another tester and angrily shouts, "All system test issues go through me!" when he finds out that the other tester opened a test issue herself.

In no particular order, other random selections from the crazy dream:
  • Me leaving to go on a three week vacation to Hong Kong with my parents, leaving May 6th, but really leaving May 7th... and me wondering how this snuck up on me without me remembering I was about to leave. After waking up, I realized it's because I don't leave for my three week trip till June 26.
  • I noticed a second band on my Seiko Kinetic watch that had a number on it. The number moved every time I moved the watch. Neat, but that's not how the thing really works.
  • I wanted to go back to "work" to grab my laptop for the trip. Yes, I keep my crazy pictures in mind even in my dreams. Gotta have the laptop in case I run out of space on my memory cards.
  • I opened up my suitcase and it somehow expanded to hold a huge stack of blue jeans. How huge? About three and a half feet tall. They were all exactly the same too. Stylish.
  • "Work" was in this random 2 or 3 story house that was really dark (like the Lava Lounge). Yes, Barnes, the Lava Lounge used to be a house. Hint: it's in a residential area, and it's a house.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

cheap gas!

When I took this picture last March, we all though that gas was expensive. I also knew that years down the road I can pull this out and talk about how cheap gas was back in 2004. What I didn't realize was how fast it took. 33% increase in a year. Fantastic!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

more destruction

So sometime around 2am Sunday night, half of the tree decided to fall down, missing the house (and my dad inside) by just a few feet.

Another angle...

View from the side of the house.

Yes, I'm standing on top of the thing looking down into it.

The "before" shot. The two branches and all the leaves were what fell.


If any of you are complaining about how you can't get a good view from the pics, I blame the camera. 35mm equivalent just doesn't cut it. So... next time I'll make sure that I'll have my DSLR so that I can get a nice shot at 28mm. Much wider angle... see more...

Then again, DSLR's don't exactly fit in my pocket when I travel. I *do* plan on getting some sort of bag/sack so I can use it when I hike. And yes, I will hike like crazy this summer. W. PA, WA, and Japan. Hell yeah. Er... might try to slip in VA, BC, and HI while I'm at it... HI only if I miss my flight and I get "stuck" there. That would actually suck a lot.

Monday, April 25, 2005

thanks bush

Knowing this, I'm happy I own a Nokia phone.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

winter wonderland

My parents' backyard. Notice the limb(s) on top of the telephone lines. Nice!

Angle from camera 2.

Another limb. This one tried to take out the cable. Somehow our cable managed to survive the ordeal.

Some nice detail on this break.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

aging gracefully

According to T-Mobile, this is how I'd look in 40 years. If you're curious to see how'd you look in 40 years (or after the sex change you've been saving up for), you can go check out their site.


So after running my computer for about a year, I decided I should try to bring it back to spec...

A bit of background... here's what I bought originally:
AMD Athlon 2400+ Mobile (1.8GHz clock @ 1.45V)
1GB Mushkin RAM (400MHz DDR)

This is how I've been running it this past year:
1.4GHz @ 1.65V
RAM at 266MHz DDR

For those who don't know, that's just retarded, but remarkably stable. In other words, it's running way *slower* than it should be. CPU is 22% under it's prescribed speed, but using and extra 14% power (makes it more stable). RAM is running 33% under speed. It's like buying a sports car, driving under the speed limit, and putting in premium gas when regular would do just fine.

So today I'm fixing it. Back to spec. My computer should now be about 10-20% faster. Yay free upgrade. Boo being retarded.

At some point, I may even decide to overclock this thing (as I traditionally do). Maybe next year when I seek an additional free upgrade. I'm pretty sure I can get another 10-20% out of this (conservative estimate). Not out of line with the typical 40-50% that I've gotten in the past (Dual Pentium II 300MHz @ 450MHz, Duron 600MHz @ 858MHz).

Wednesday, April 20, 2005

i'm funny

I just found out today that I may have to add another destination to my 2005 travels. Penciling in St. Louis, Missouri for mid-June. That means...

Week 1: Trip to St. Louis (or maybe Chicago)
Week 2: Trip to Montreal
Week 3: Trip to Seattle
Week 4: Trip to Japan

Then maybe sometime in August go to India. And I'll somehow manage to miss elite status for my frequent flier program again... just because... And if I'm really greedy, I may get a random trip somewhere sometime in May? Which call center does Mississippi?

ipod = heart failure?

So I'm not sure what is trying to say here. Are iPod owners more likely to suffer from heart failure? or is it just me?

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

another design

Not enough time to talk about the weekend (ask about 1040EZ and Zyng if you want details). But for your reading pleasure...

Wednesday, April 13, 2005


At about 7:30pm tonight a cop rolled up across the street from our house. Me being me, I peeked out from behind the curtains to see if anything was up. The cop rolled down the window and sat there. Fine... I've got stuff to do. I'm not going to sit around and see what happens...

Now it's two hours later. I've seen at least two or three cars pulled over. I guess they're using tonight to enforce the infamous "double stop sign" that we have for our street.

An explanation...
Our street has a median. To go past it, you have to cross both sides of the street. Nothing special here, except for the fact that there's a stop sign in the middle. In other words, you'd stop twice while crossing. Keep in mind this is a side street with very little traffic... and the median is barely wide enough for you to stop without having part of your car sticking out.

But anyway, if you're ever driving by Washington on Cottage Grove, beware. You might get nailed.

Monday, April 11, 2005


Links compliments of the UPA.

HP researching new technique to save battery life while improving usability
For those of you who know Spanish - using your eyes to control the mouse

And for kicks, have any of you ever seen the Terminator movies? Thanks, DARPA!

get perpendicular

Does anyone have this song on MP3? I want to jam to it on my way to work. A step up from listening to recordings of people calling into our call center (yes, for quality assurance purposes).

Thanks, Japan!

Sunday, April 10, 2005

biologists are cool

This made me chuckle. It's proposerous. People don't come from monkeys!

Anyway, I saw Sin City last night. I dunno about other people, but I liked it. Very unique, and good, cinematography. I loved the way they used color and contrast and all those camera angles. Plus, I thought the plot was interesting. I have to admit I didn't anticipate much for the plot, so I was OK with three stories strung together. If you like design stuff, you should definitely check it out.

Friday, April 08, 2005

take your pick

Maybe my name does mean something....

And apparently we're all dildos covered with fish and chips. Envious yet?

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

old domain, new domain

I just renewed and updated it so that it would forward all traffic to this blog. So for all of you that are too lazy to remember how to find this site, your life just got easier. Go treat yourself to a cookie.

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

creating a ruckus

Boo issue 1!

NPR story about my friend Laz

Sunday, April 03, 2005


I'm cleaning up my office... since I never completed that task when I moved in (in May), and I probably won't today either. But anyway...

Sometime early 2004 I came up with a list of destinations to choose from for vacations. Today I found this list, and I'm going to throw it out (fine, recycle it). But let's see how I did...

Destinations (ranked in order of nothing):
  1. Hawaii - technically stopping by for 6 hours in July
  2. Europe (UK / Spain / Other?) - Done. One week in the UK in December
  3. Hong Kong / Japan - Done. 2+ weeks in HK last August. Japan for a week this July.
  4. New Zealand - nope
  5. Grand Canyon - nope
  6. Seattle - Done. Four days last June. Going for another week this July.
So I still have some work to do, but I'm satisfied.

updated shopping list

Registration for the UPA Conference
Hotel reservations for the UPA conference
Macpherson struts for my car
Backup ignition control module for my car
Canon Digital Rebel XT
Sigma 18-125mm lens
Romaine lettuce
Dijon Mustard
One loaf of rye bread
More yogurt
Skim milk
Assorted fruit
Light bulbs
1 lb rotini

Rental car for Seattle
Train ticket from Osaka to Hiroshima
GMAT Registration
2GB CompactFlash card
Crumpler Budgie Smuggler camera bag

Saturday, April 02, 2005

really, i'm alive

Just in case you all doubted me, I'm back for real. But no, this blog isn't going to get any more interesting. But just to satisfy your hunger for content, I can talk about how Ohio Savings Bank finally pushed me over the edge.

I've been with Ohio Savings Bank since I got I started working at Progressive. In other words I've been with them forever. My first checking account, actually. I wouldn't have remembered this, but the CSR greeted me by thanking me for being with them since 1999. That was nice, but I'd really prefer to not have to call. Heck, that would save me time, and save them the cost of having a CSR handling my call.

Anyway, you're wondering why I had to call in the first place. Just as background, this is the most recent happening in a series of events that have been planting doubts in my mind about this company. Let's start from the beginning...

From 1999 till 2002 I had absolutely no problems with the bank. Sure, it was a low maintenance relationship, but I think we were both happier that way. When I moved from Pittsburgh back to Cleveland I was able to change my address online. It was a breeze. I was happy.

In 2003, they "upgraded" their online banking system. Personally, I liked their old one a lot better. It looked better, it was designed better, and it was more responsive. Then again, I wasn't about to be too picky. I'm sure they did it for a reason. Exactly what reason it was still escapes me, but I do know that it wasn't installed so that people could change addresses easily. So yes, when I moved again in 2003, I had to call into their call center to have my address changed. Sure, it was a bit more of a hassle, but still OK. After all, any new system takes some time to get the kinks worked out.

And they did work out some of the kinks. In 2004 the system was more responsive, which was good. But they still didn't fix the change of address thing. Plus, they started having these random adjustments to my balance. Strange, but as long as I didn't lose any money, I let them do whatever. The one time I did get a random charge they took it off, which was nice of them. Maybe they miss talking to me. Who knows...

Going back to the address thing, when I moved in 2004, I tried calling again to change my address. No go. Apparently I couldn't do it over the phone anymore. Good thing I live one block from the branch. Since banking hours suck, it took me a few weeks to get over there. When I got there, I was a little surprised at the address change process. The teller printed out some random statement and just asked me to write my address "somewhere" on it and it would be taken care of. Seemed a bit odd, but I figured she wouldn't bother asking me to do it if that wasn't the real process. Yes, it seemed a bit odd at the time...

Just like how it seemed odd that my statements kept going to my old address. So I made it over a second time. This time the teller gave me a change of address form to fill out. Jackpot. Done. Funny though... my statements *still* kept getting sent to my old address. At this point I decided to give up. The statements are useless anyway. I can check my stuff online.

Then the recent event: A random $10 service fee. I have free checking. No fees, no minimum balance. One time this happened before because I used my ATM card as a check card and I had to pay some activation fee. Not this time. So I called in. Naturally, I wanted an explanation. I even tried to be nice.

This is what they told me: The $10 charge was because a recent deposit didn't clear. In laymans terms, someone wrote me a bad check. I was a little skeptical since the check was from Greg and last time I checked he wasn't a deadbeat (yet). On top of that, I remember that he asked me when I was depositing the check so that he could make sure he had enough money. The other thing that made me wonder is why I still had the money deposited in my account. I'm not positive how these things work, but I always figured if someone gave you a bad check, you didn't get any money. Otherwise, I'd write myself huge bad checks and pay the $10 penalty and get a ton of free money. I told the CSR that I had the money and it was never taken back. He was surprised.

So what's the resolution? None to date. Someone is supposed to call me back Monday to let me know what the heck is going on. Regardless of what happens, I'm going to switch banks. Too much drama for me. Besides, all I use this bank for is depositing checks so that I can EFT the money to my *real* bank account (at the First Internet Bank of Indiana... they let me use whatever ATM I want and I get interest too. Check em out.). Considering this, I really don't need a replacement bank. But hey, I don't always act rationally.

Friday, April 01, 2005


In case you've been wondering where I've been, I've been around -- but my internet hasn't worked for about a week. That explains half. I've also been pretty busy with stuff. That explains the other half.

At least I got some letters written. So the question is.... which is better?
Being able to steal someone else's internet connection at low speed
Not having interference so that my internet can go twice as fast