zen.org Communal Weblog

September 29, 2005

Did Rudolph's nose light up when it happened?

Filed under: — brendan @ 22:20 GMT

USA Today:
COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) – The Danish Air Force said Thursday it paid about $5,000 in compensation to a part-time Santa Claus whose reindeer died of heart failure when two fighter jets roared over his farm.

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My new toy

Filed under: — pati @ 21:38 GMT

So I’m plugging along in my html course (web design here I come), and one of the assignments is to create an image map & link to a bunch of…whatever. Just download this little free trial sofware and get your homework done. So, boutell.com here I come, download mapedit….and the little geek in me goes “ooooo. this is soo cool! I wanna do this again! ” Wonder how they made this work….

and for only $10 I can own it!

bwahahahahaha

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Oh man this is a BUY

Filed under: — brendan @ 20:41 GMT

For $10 I can get a self-contained package of VAX/VMS flashbacks.

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September 27, 2005

Is too much coffee REALLY that bad?

Filed under: — brendan @ 17:07 GMT

According to the Energy Fiend: Death by Caffeine system,
185.25 cups of Starbucks Grande Caffe Latte + Me = Death

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September 20, 2005

Gahhh online shopping is over-rated

Filed under: — brendan @ 19:22 GMT

I’m helping with a project that needs three 100-foot lengths of CAT5 ethernet cable. And quickly. Fine, says I, this will be easy. I go online to TigerDirect.com, order them, and can’t get it to change the shipping from UPS Ground, but since it’s Friday hopefully it’ll make it in time. Well, up comes the order confirmation page showing me my order number and thanking me—and letting me know most orders will take 5-7 days because of a renovation or move or something at their warehouse.

Nooooooooooo!!!!!!!!!! There’s no way in hell it’ll make it. Why didn’t they warn me?

I call them on the phone (screw email), but the guy said it’s not yet in his system; it could be 30 minutes to 2 hours before it shows up. Maybe try calling in the morning. Fine. I go to Cables-To-Go, spend about 3x as much for the same cables, but get it to promise UPS 2-day shipping. I reach the final page, but it doesn’t say if it’ll be shipping soon. Uh oh. I call them: their offices are closed and won’t open again until Monday morning. Jesus. So my shipment probably won’t happen til Monday, meaning it might show up on Wednesday.

Saturday morning, I call Tiger Direct back to cancel the order. The order’s been COMPLETED AND SHIPPED. What??? It was going to take between 5 and 7 days, I thought. So I’ve got two orders of 300′ of cable coming, with TigerDirect coming at least a day or two after Cables-To-Go. The guy on the phone from TigerDirect, Roberto, says my only real option is to refuse delivery when it shows up.

Ok. Monday, I try calling Cables-To-Go to see if I can cancel *THEIR* order. No answer, the phone just rings. Crazy busy day so I don’t keep trying.

Today, Tuesday, I get an email from Cables-To-Go confirming my order shipped today. TODAY? It was supposed to go out Monday cuz I ordered it on Friday. Well, the email says it shipped only 5 minutes ago so maybe it’s actually sitting in their shipping department and I can call and cancel the damn thing. I call Cables-To-Go, the guys says it’s too late, it actually did leave, so sorry.

Oh wait—they’re doing manual entry of all shipments because of a problem, and it did in fact ship on Monday. The email I got was incorrect. So it (the $200 shipment) should arrive on Wednesday. This is getting nuts. Well, we’ve got two orders en route now, in theory arriving within a day of each other. Whatever. We’ll have them reject the $200 order (C-T-G) and wait a day to accept the $70 order (TigerDirect).

Just to double-check that TigerDirect will really arrive when I expect it to, I check their site: a UPS tracking number. Ok, over to UPS.

The shipment is on its way—as of 8:35am Tuesday September 20th. Oh god. That’s today. But the person on the phone Saturday morning said it had shipped! UPS says it wasn’t even SCANNED until 8:36pm Monday night for its origin, and sat there for 12 hours til it actually scanned for departure Tuesday morning. Grr. TigerDirect, shipping today from Illinois, won’t make it til Friday or MONDAY. And it too can’t be cancelled. So now we’re forced to make sure they accept the $200 order tomorrow, and wait until the TigerDirect ($70) order shows up some days later to be rejected.

This was just insane. So much for the notion online shopping is superior to getting off your ass and going to RadioShack—their products might be a tad overpriced sometimes, but at least you can get what you need immediately.

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I Know a Girl, A Girl Called Trash, Trash Can

Filed under: — Sven @ 17:09 GMT

I was standing next to the dumpster, swinging Lucy in my hand. One, two, three, up into the air and wam, bam. The parts intermingled with my old roof. Lucy was gone. Lucy was the old Zen, gone into retirement over a year ago, she now rests in pieces. I don’t quite understand the joy of destroying at one time fancy electroncis but joyful it was. It was really just the motherboard and case, most of the parts had been pilfered. It was a classic AMD processor, with the memory maxed out to 64M.

Rerun, the Pentium II laptop that had been Zen since Lucy until the tree hit my house is now actually my primary computer. With 8-bit sound, a blue line through the 1024×768 screen, one USB port (so I have to unplug the mouse to rip images from my camera) it’s works great. Well, graphics with patterns in it freezes the I/O to almost not, ripping a three minute CD track take like seven minutes. It’s going to San Francisco with me.

Unless I visit a cypercafé I expect to be off line next week. Unless one of 余艾蕾 parent’s neighbors got wireless without a password. Hmm.

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September 16, 2005

What a pile of Bushit

Filed under: — elana @ 00:20 GMT

Magda and I were looking at what her visa means (like how long can she be here, can she leave and come back, etc), and I saw this on the main page of United States Visas.

A Message from
President Bush:

“America is not a fortress; no, we never want to be a fortress. We’re a free country; we’re an open society. And we must always protect the rights of our law — of law-abiding citizens from around the world who come here to conduct business or to study or to spend time with their family.”

— 14 May 2002, President Bush Signs Border Security and Visa Entry Reform Act

This is one of the biggest LIES I have ever heard/seen/known of. I mean, I WAS IN THE ROOM when the guy at the embassy told Magda that they had to assume that EVERY person who applied for a visa had to be suspected of trying to illegally emigrate. I gotta send a letter to my senators, and to my two former senators about this. I’M SO PISSED.

But it’s not like he tells the truth or anything. I mean, he can’t even talk. Look at the editing job up there. He couldn’t even say “law abiding” without thinking about it. Sheesh.

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September 15, 2005

CBC Labor Dispute

Filed under: — Sven @ 19:18 GMT

One of my favorate podcasts is the CBC Radio 3 podcast, where thay play independent Canadian bands. Last week the host, Grant Lawrence, was replaced by a voice synthesizer, the robot, and implied that he would be back. This week the robot said that there is a labor dispute, after a little surfing it seems that Mr. Lawrence and piers are locked out.

So, if I wish support the locked out workers, should I unsubscribe from the podcast? Would that be bad for the independent artists? I’m not actually sure who I consider bad guys for this one, I have not read enough yet. Plus I’m not a Canadian tax payer, so perhaps nobody the my opnion means nothing in this anyway.

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September 14, 2005

House Update

Filed under: — Sven @ 13:50 GMT

Since Riley got his corn rows progress has started with our house. After today it should be water tight, and by the end of the week it should get shingles. Then we can get electricity turned on again. I have never felt such a need to vacuum as I feel when I go in my house at the moment. I’ve even thought about bumming power off the neighbor.

Knock, knock, knock. Fred opens the door, “Sven, how can I help you?”

“Fred, I need to borrow some power,” says Sven holding up a Pyrex measuring cup.

Rubbing his chin, “I think I have some in the cupbord, come on in.” We walk in to the garage and Fred opens up the cupboard. “Hmm,” he hums fingering through the jars and bottles “coal, wind, solar, hydro. Nope, sorry, I have some raw ingredients but I haven’t made any of them into power yet.”

“That’s ok Fred, thanks for looking.” I should be getting power back next week.

“So,” continues Fred, “when are you going to return that planetesimal movement I lent you last year?”

“I have to go, see you later Fred.” Sven slips out the front door.

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September 12, 2005

It begins

Filed under: — pati @ 19:02 GMT

Pete & I have been planning to remodel our kitchen ever since we moved in six years ago. The place is 30+ yrs old and was built in the housing boom when plenty of folks decided to move to California. So the cabinets were thrown together – nails protude from either side of the shelves inside of the cabinets, the dishwasher is going, the stove is going, and as an additional insult, there’s lovely 70’s wallpaper on the kitchen walls, ceiling, and door to the washroom. There’s also four different types of flooring in about an 800 sq foot space – spanish tile for the entryway & bathroom, fake wood for the living room, carpet for the dining room (?!?) and a different tile in the kitchen/washroom.

We met with a designer to look over cabinets, discuss layout, ponder functionality. We tramped the showroom floor for an hour and a half reviewing counters, wood type and space saving ideas. Our first floor was measured. Now we’re also doing the bathroom.

Our designer took a week off to get her daughter settled into college. Then she had jury duty. Now her mother-in-law has passed away. We’ll wait on the kitchen design, but we have the quote for the flooring. I’m looking into a home line of credit.

And so it begins.

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