Tuesday, May 31, 2005

draft tomorrow

Summer league draft is tomorrow. Yep, I'm captaining for the second year in a row. Speaking of... it's time for me to flop down with the laptop and get a draft board set up. Good times...

pic of the day

Olympic National Park
Hurricane Ridge Trail

As Arnold would say, "I'll be back." To return July, 2005 for more fun, and pics that don't have screwed up exposure.

Monday, May 30, 2005


I got tired of mappr's incredibly slow uptake system, so I've started aiming for geobloggers instead. Honestly, I like the interfact a lot better anyway. Plus, it can take photos in the UK, which is a definite plus. Adding China, Japan, and Europe would be even better.

Also, apparently I can dominate the service too. Of the last 30 pics, 90% of them are mine... Plus, after a couple of hours I'm already on the top geobloggers list with ~69 photos. Heh... and I've barely scratched the surface of my photo collection. ;-D

Thursday, May 26, 2005

china 2004 done

Finally finished uploading all the pics from our China trip in 2004...

Next up, pics from Seattle, Mt. Rainier NP, and Olympic NP...

Wednesday, May 25, 2005


I'm reading this article about how Ford is buying back some parts plants.

...Ford would take back 24 ailing work sites and pay $550 million in restructuring costs as part of a deal that could eventually save the automaker millions on parts.
Is it just me? Or did it just say that Ford will spend half a *billion* dollars to save a few *million*? Maybe the reporter is just using millions as an expression of "a lot of money" and not literally a few million dollars.

Further down...

Ford said the agreement could save it $600 million to $700 million by the end of the decade. But it expects to incur charges of $450 million to $650 million this year and $300 million to $500 million between 2005 and 2009...
Um... so optimistically, Ford will spend only $750 million. Also optimistically, they will save $700 million. Eh... so in the best case scenario they still lose $50 million? What the hell?

Merrill Lynch analyst John Casesa said in a research note Wednesday that when Ford spun off Visteon it forced the supplier to try to compete with wage levels that were too high. Casesa said the deal is a positive for Visteon but a negative for Ford.
OK. It's beginning to make sense now. Visteon didn't want Ford's baggage, so they're asking Ford to take back all the crap so they can actually be competitive. Nice one.

pic of the day

View from Victoria Peak, Hong Kong

ohio savings

The Ohio Savings saga is about to end (I hope)...

May, 1999
Account opened as my primary checking account for when I was in Cleveland. Meaning... when I made money, it went to them.

Fall, 2000
Account demoted (First Internet Bank won out with the free checking with interest). Account balance reduced to $100.

May, 2002
I moved. I was able to change my address online! That's what I expect from online banking.

Fall, 2002
They "upgrade" their online banking system. Sure, the old system wasn't broken, but the new one featured more weirder workflows, tons of waiting, and less functionality. A step in the wrong direction.

May, 2003
Apparently a piece of functionality they removed from the web site was the ability to change your address. Changed my address over the phone. Sure, I'd rather do it online, but at least I could still call in and do it whenever I want.

May, 2004
I move again. Still can't change my address online. Now I can't do it on the phone either. I must go to the branch and change it.

June, 2004
I leave work early one day to get to the bank that's literally down my street. I like the convenience. They don't have an address change form, but the teller asked me to write down my new address and sign a slip of paper so she has a record of what to change it to. Sure, seems strange, but this is Cleveland Heights. Besides, they never screwed up anything like this before.

August, 2004?
I'm still getting statements sent to my old place. I leave work early and head over to the branch again. I ask to change my address. This time I get a form to fill out. Phew. Finally...

March, 2005
I randomly check my account online and I notice that I got charged a random $10 fee. I call in and the rep explains to me that the check I deposited recently bounced and that was the fee for a bounced check. I explain that the check didn't bounce and that I had already taken out the money. He said he would look into it. I leave him my work number.

April, 2005
After a few weeks of hearing nothing back from them, I check my account online. Looks like I got charged another $10. This time they really did do an overdraft fee (of $35 or so) because for some reason when I withdraw my money their system did it twice! They then gave me two overdraft fees which they removed. Good. Only $20 in fees instead of $90. Makes me feel loved. The rep doesn't have any resolution for the $10 fee, but be did say that he would clear out my old address and update my phone number.

May, 2005
Still nothing. I check online. YET ANOTHER $10 FEE. This is really pissing me off, as if it wasn't before. I call them again. No resolution. However, he does point out that my phone number isn't right. Didn't the last guy update it? Apparently not. This person updates it again. They'll get back to me. Sure....

A week later, still nothing. I call back in. This time the rep tells me that the $10 fee is a returned mail fee that I'm getting because my address is wrong. Why didn't anyone tell me this earlier??? She asks me to have it changed by going to the branch. I explain how I already tried twice and there is no way I'm going to keep trying to test my luck. She then suggests that I go to the branch where I opened my account to do this. She also says that if I tell my story I can get back the $30 that were taken from me. I'd better... On a side note, my phone number is finally up to date.

So on Friday, I'm going to try to head out of work early and get this crap straightened out. After I get my $30 back, I'm closing my account. I don't actually need the account. I more or less let them sit on my $100 out of goodwill. So much for being the only local back that I liked.

Tuesday, May 24, 2005

pic of the day

Dali, China
Three pagodas

Looking back at the temple through the gate entrance. One of my favs.

Originally uploaded by paulip88.

Since I'm spending most of my free time uploading photos, this is what you get.

In other news, I've been busy as hell. Combination of work, more work, broken drainage pipes, and after work events. Tomorrow I get a chance to buy groceries. Wee!

Monday, May 23, 2005


Hong Kong - view from Grandma's apartment - looking North
Originally uploaded by paulip88.

Finally got around to uploading pics to flickr...
Finally got around to stitching some of these pics together...
Finally putting it here for all y'all to see...

Sunday, May 22, 2005


Another day, another day to upload more photos onto flickr, listen to more music, and get some work done. Yes! Work!

Not my usual weekend thing, but hell, I need to get this stuff done. Besides, looking forward to my three week trip definitely makes it a lot more tolerable. And sorry if I can't shut up about my trip. I can't help it. I haven't taken any time off since the week before Chrissmas, and that's entirely too long.

Thursday, May 19, 2005


Yes, I've had a flickr account for several months (actually forgot I had it). Well, I finally uploaded some photos.

Thanks to Carol for randomly reminding me that I should be on the thing a bit more actively. ;-)

back in business

Got my replacement case and motherboard today so I'm back in business. Yeah, $200 wasted, but I can now say that I've had 7 packages shipped to me over the course of a week from 4 different vendors... including an order so big amazon had to use four boxes. Yes... I always strive to achieve.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


I just ran this 5k that the fitness center at work organized. Despite the fact that I felt like crap for the last mile (something with the allergy meds wearing off and asthma in a blooming park?) I managed to finish 2nd at 20:45. I have no idea how this relates to other times I had, but I did find the time for the first 5k I did back in 2002. I think I finished a good 1:40 faster... then again, that was in Pittsburgh with it's crazy hills and stuff. Heh.

Anyway, I'm happy I did it and I'm happy with my time. I might even do another race before the end of the summer... not till after my trip though. My cash situation is pretty dismal with the broken computer, random purchases for my trip, and then some likely obscene travel expenses after I get there. Fun. Good thing I can cook and fix my own car...

Sunday, May 15, 2005


You be the judge...

I have to say that I'm not totally anti-Rice. I guess the fact that she had a position at Stanford gives her some credibility. As for certain Yale-grads...


Straight from the mean streets of Compton...

Saturday, May 14, 2005


I managed to fry my motherboard today. As a result, don't expect to see me on AIM any time in the immediate future (since I only have my work laptop to use now).

Unfortunately, my warranty for the thing expired two weeks ago. In other words, no "free" slow service to fix it for me. Heck, shipping the thing already costs over $10...

Fortunately, I'm pretty sure that I know what's broken (since this is exactly what happened to it the last time it broke). Yeah, it's a known problem. Only thing is that I need to get a replacement part and I'm having some trouble finding it. If anyone out there could help me out, I'd greatly appreciate it.

Here's what I'm looking for...
I'm looking for a Phase Width Modulator (PWM), RT9202. Not sure if there is any other good drop in replacement. Not sure precisely what it does... all I know is that based on experience and what other people have observed, this is what's broken and needs replacement. Anyone???


The latest... A 4GB MicroDrive for my digital camera.

Just a quick size comparison... Back in 1988, for our first computer, we had a 20MB hard drive that was about the size of a telephone book. Today, I can *affordably* get 4GB (4,048MB) packaged in about the size of a condom (no, I couldn't think of anything else that size).

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

random links

Random link #1

Some background on random link #2... Onterrio Smith was caught in MSP (Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport) with a few vials of what they thought was cocaine. Since Smith is an NFL running back, there's no way he would be travelling with cocaine! After all, he's already violated the drug policy twice and his next offense will land him a one year suspension. No, it wasn't cocaine. It was dehydrated urine. I always try to keep some in my carry on too... just in case?

Monday, May 09, 2005

make up

To make up for going to bed at 5:30am Saturday (er... Sunday), I woke up at 5:30am today. Actually, the real reason is that I need to be at work at 3am tomorrow, so I might as well try to keep things messed up as much as possible. Hey, I get to leave really really really early that day. Heh.

Sunday, May 08, 2005

congrats, laz!

Congratulations, Laz, on completing law school. (This should definitely go into my design portfolio.)

the real reason i'm going to japan

I'll arrive in Osaka July 8th, and I leave July 17th. Coincedence?


Saturday, May 07, 2005

green day

For those who haven't seen Green Day in concert, I highly recommend it. Not only do they rock, but they do everything they can to make sure that the fans are into it. Also definitely worth going if you're into high school girls. I felt like we were the only people there old enough to drink. But overall, two thurnbs up!

Schedule for today:
Finish project - DONE
Compose a gift for Laz - DONE
Consult on making a food booth at an International Festival
Deliver project
Print out and complete gift for Laz
Laz's graduation party

P.S. If you noticed the deliberate spelling error and "got it," awesome. And cultual!

Thursday, May 05, 2005

outdated... i mean... cleveland rocks

I was putzing around Continental Airlines' website, and I found some information about Cleveland.

Particularly interesting is the business section. For those who don't know, TRW has since been acquired and their HQ has been converted into an upscale mall and medical facility (yeah, makes perfect sense doesn't it...). OfficeMax has also been acquired. There goes two of the companied that defined Cleveland business. And no, most Clevelanders are not optimistic about the economy (not anymore at least).

The Entertainment section is entertaining too. The Flats are now dead. For sports, the Cleveland Lumberjacks (minor league hockey) team is gone. That's not too bad. The worst part is that they say that sales tax is still at 7%, instead of 8%. Fantastic.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

i hate geagle

This isn't a new development, but I hate Giant Eagle. For those who aren't familiar with this, a quick recap:
  1. The company is based in Pittsburgh. I'm from Cleveland, so that makes me anti-Pittsburgh.
  2. Their prices suck
  3. Their produce sucks. On more than one occassion I've thrown out produce in my fridge because it's been there for two weeks and looked like crap, only to find the produce at Geagle looked just like what I trashed.
A lot of people assert that Giant Eagle's prices aren't bad, especially when things are on sale. Today I'd like to disprove that theory.

Yesterday I went to Marc's and Sam's Club on my usual food run. Today I got Geagle junk mail/spam. Let's see...

Marc's regular prices vs. Geagle regular prices

Marc's Geagle
$0.98 $1.69 1 lb red delicious apples (and the Marc's ones are actually fresh!)

Marc's regular prices vs. Geagle sale prices

Marc's Geagle
$2.50 $2.50 1 package NutriGrain bars

Marc's sale prices vs. Geagle sale prices

$0.88 $0.89 2 liter soda
$2.98 $3.99 2 lbs strawberries
$0.25 $0.40 1 ear of corn
$4.98 $5.00 24 can cube o' Pepsi
$1.88 $3.99 1 Dole pineapple
$1.99 $2.00 1 can Reddiwip
$1.33 $1.59 1 package Thomas' English muffins
$1.50 $2.00 6 pack Musselman's apple sauce

Clearly, even a Giant Eagle sale doesn't make it any cheaper than a Marc's sale.

Monday, May 02, 2005

still works!

Two things:
1 - NESticle works on Windows XP, at least version 0.42 does. For some reason I had some of the crappy music from the game "Shadowgate" in my head. That inspired me to go get the NES emulator and get the ROM. Totally legal. I have the game, it's just a backup copy!

2 - My new sound drivers? Clearly, if I can play some high tech Nintendo game on my computer with sound, then my sound drivers must be OK! Right???

To make up for this worthless post, you get a pic of something even more worthless...

Those are some massive tailpipes on this truck! Wait a sec... how come the one on the left isn't attached to anything?

Sunday, May 01, 2005

more randomness

As if wielding a chainsaw and moving several thousand pounds of fallen trees over the weekend wasn't good enough, I've managed to get another random task. This time it's consulting on how to run a booth at a food festival. Yeah... exactly. Food service experience. Heck yeah!

On another note, I'd like to thank Microsoft for installing some new audio drivers that make my computer crash when I try to use WinAmp or iTunes. What a great feature!

still cost effective

So I've spent a good deal of money fixing my car this year. Is it still a good idea to have a 12 year old car when I can clearly afford something that costs 5 to 10 times as much? Let's do a quick cost assessment....

Since the beginning of the year, I've driven a little over 4,700 miles. Total cost -- including gas, toll, insurance, repairs, license, parking: ~$1,200. That's about 25 cents per mile... or $400 dollars a month. I think we're still ok.

Of that, about $480 is maintainance costs. The rest is mostly gas and insurance. A new car would have about the same gas mileage (21/28/23 city/hwy/avg) so gas would be the same. Insurance would probably cost more. That means that my car has an equivalent car payment of $120 / month. Not bad.

But yeah, I do have some maintenance coming up. Need to change the oil in a couple of weeks. That'll cost me about $10. Oh no...

But wait! I should be getting $80 in rebates to offset those maintainance costs (thanks, Monroe!). Awesome! But somehow this *still* doesn't justify me spending tons of money on camera stuff.... or does it???

I found some idiot who would work on my car for free. Oh wait... that's me! [halfway through replacing the driveshafts and front shocks]

2001 - When my car was new... to me at least...