Showing posts from January, 2007

Little slice of Ecuador

It's pictures like this that make me want to travel:

Full set here

It's been a good day at The Car Lounge

I swear, the pre-merger Merc diesels are the automotive equivalent of Chuck Norris.

Q of the day: Can you forget how to type?

I've been touch typing ever since I was about 12, though that initial learning curve was steep, and I'm not all l33t like the guys who use the Dvorak layout.

Had a random thought this morning as I was clickety-clacking away on my 12th typing a perishable skill, or is it muscle memory like bicycling? That is, if I stop typing today, how long (if ever) would it take me to forget how to type?

Longest I've ever gone since learning was probably...hmm...1-2 weeks...

I expect it's a perishable skill if enough other stuff comes to the forefront of my brain. Drop me in medieval Europe, and I'd probably forget all about typing in a month or two.

Walmart quote of the day:

But, Wal mart TLE [Tire/Lube Express] isn't there for knowledgeable people who care about their vehicles. Wal mart TLE is there for Mama with her Taurus or Trans Sport who runs the tires till they're bald and the oil till it is so black it has it's own gravity.

Ah, I love The Car Lounge

Idiocracy, followup...

:) hehe

As one (satisfied) customer said "If I'm going to pay $4 for a cup of coffee, I'm not going to get served by a guy."



Watched this trainwreck with Whitney last night. Full disclosure: I LOVE Maya Rudolph.

Love her. Don't know why.

Anyway, the movie's basically Mike Judge running amok for 90 minutes with Matte paintings, bad SNL actors (sorry, redundant. Should say: "SNL Actors"). The premise is pretty good, actually--that smart people will be squeezed out of existence by dumb people who have LOTS of kids. Think the dumb kids in high school that get all the attention and resources, spread over a planetary scale.

...And then it falls apart. GREAT opening, pointless everything else. Much like watching "Beavis & Butthead" or "King of the Hill", there were lots of quotable quotes, but nothing to hold it together.

It's great to have Netflix. You can watch a turd like this, and realize you didn't pay 5 bucks for it.

A new sound in the house

No, not the pitter-patter of little feet. Bought Joey and myself a pair of these:

Yep, Yamaha YRN-22B Baroque-fingering recorders. Perfect instrument to teach some musical basics. I still have my tenor sax and a frankenstein clarinet from my days in the Breathitt County High School Band of Pride, but neither is suited to a 6-year-old.

Music was a big part my life, and now I'd like to at least introduce that to Joey and the rest of our children. If he likes it, great. If he doesn't, that's fine too, but at least it will broaden his horizons a bit.

* * *

Played around with the recorder for probably an hour in the past week, and it's a neat little instrument. There's no set-up required--no moving parts, no reed to soak, no valves to oil, no pads to go bad. The fingering for it is (as you'd expect) like a flute, and since a saxophone's fingering is based on flute fingering, most of the regular notes are familiar to me. The sharps and flats,…

On why I hope Maria doesn't arrive on a Friday

Short version: Because I'm a zombie on Fridays.

Since my prolonged Christmas break, I've shifted my schedule around. And by "shifted", that means getting to work earlier and leaving at the same time or later. On the whole, this works out great Monday->Wednesday, is passable on Thursday, but by Friday I'm just mental mush.

In fact, I'm writing this blog just to try and get some creative juices flowing.

Typo of the day

Thanks for bothering you

Ah, India.

A typical monday

:-) Anthropologists love the mundane. They study the way people live day-to-day, the things we take for granted. So, here's a snapshot of my typical Monday:

4:54 am: Wake up and realize it's almost time to get up, but fall back asleep anyway, entering the depths of REM just in time for...

5am: Alarm goes off. Hit snooze bar for 9 minutes.

5:06am: Inexplicably wake-up, turn off alarm and arise from bed.

5:07am: Do what most people do immediately after getting up

5:10am: eat breakfast, watch the poor Lexington morning news anchors who've been up since 3am try to sound funny

5:30am: Spend next hour getting ready for work.

6:45: Banzai run to get to my 7am meeting. Pass carnage on I75 N.

7am meeting:
- Them: "Oh, we signed off the beta"
- Me: "Aren't there two gating issues still?"
- Them: "Oh, yes, but we signed-off the beta on time".

7:20am: Find out that our stability test from the past weekend blew up. Yep, it's Monday.

7:30am: Make coffe…

News: INTJ no more

(nerd factor 5: I see that title and think it's a variable declaration...yikes...)

Taking this test I found that I'm an now an ISTJ. What's that mean?

As do other Introverted Thinkers, ISTJs often give the initial impression of being aloof and perhaps somewhat cold. Effusive expression of emotional warmth is not something that ISTJs do without considerable energy loss.


ISTJs are easily frustrated by the inconsistencies of others, especially when the second parties don't keep their commitments. But they usually keep their feelings to themselves unless they are asked. And when asked, they don't mince words. Truth wins out over tact. The grim determination of the ISTJ vindicates itself in officiation of sports events, judiciary functions, or an other situation which requires making tough calls and sticking to them.

Yep. As I was reading the full description to Whitney, she was saying alot of "yep". "Yep". "uh-huh".

My brain is mush

5 hours sleep Sunday night.
Arose @ 5 for a 12 hour, stressful day at work.
Whitney had some contractions, so we didn't get to bed until after 11
Arose @ 5 for a 2 hour roundtrip to louisville to get Joe.

Totally blitzed today.

Quote of the day

After half an hour I was incandescent. If I’d had a knife and fork I’d have forced his car to the side of the road and eaten him.

:-) Yes, we love the Evo as well.

Cable ready? Sure...antenna-ready? Nah...

So, with a little help from my friends I finally got my cable-box open using a highly modified dinner fork. (Cue the MacGyver theme...there's duct tape and pliers next!)

Inside I found the line from the ground running into two 3-way splitters, swirling around inside this rather small gray box, with one splitter leading to another like this:

|---> Line 1
|---> Line 2
----> |
|-----> |--> Line 3
|--> Line 4
|--> Line 5

After some experimentation, I found out that I couldn't make the cable and the antenna co-exist using a combiner. So, I segregated it in the box so that the living room and master ran off the antenna, and the upstairs ran off the cable. This meant I had to move my cable modem upstairs, but that's no big deal.

Anyway, nice little bonus: We now have great FM reception, as well. Lite 106.9 out of Louisville :D

Living right across the street from a cop, I kept wondering if I'd get arrested or somethi…

Update--the outlying oil theory

Sunday I was all worked-up about Whitney's car having a catastrophic oil leak somewhere behind the engine. So, this week, I monitored the oil level on the dipstick every morning before going to work, checking it at that time because all the oil drains back to the pan overnight.

Surprise, surprise: No oil loss.

Okay, going theory for now: When I poured-in the oil Sunday, the engine was tilted back at ~30 degree angle from vertical (the engine slants back towards the firewall, and I had the car up on jackstands), so my funnel allowed some oil to spill back off the valvecover.

:-) So, woohoo!

Thought: Sarcasm


a) One must be sarcastic to be a programmer.

b) Programming makes one sarcastic.

* * *

I'm really chasing my tail on this one. I'm going for (b).

Programmers versus Managers

If programmers dictated how software worked:

Every piece of software would be 100k on disk, execute at warp speed, run on everything from a stopwatch to a supercomputer.
Said program would take 10 years to develop, because "I'm close to getting it finished."
Said program would be so obscure and hard-to-use that even its author would create an script file to execute it

If managers dictated how software worked:

Everything would be one big chart or powerpoint slide (less than 3 bullets!).
It would take 2 minutes to deliver, complete, from a napkin drawing that the managers had over their 5th power lunch in 1 week
It'd be programmed by pond scum from Rhodesia, which replaced the rodents from Norway, which replaced the too-expensive chimpanzees from Zanzibar
There'd be a rule that no bugs or customer complaints can be solved until after their next promotion

So, there I was at the Tico...

Jamie graciously floated me some $$$ to buy lunch (It's payday, but I haven't been to the bank yet...)

I selected the special: Chili Burrito + drink for $3.99

The guy in front of me in line, patiently waiting with his accounting book said, "Uh, you know you could've gotten that cheaper by not ordering the special."

Well-natured gal behind the counter: "No, the bean burrito is $3.19, and the drink is $1.25."

What followed was three minutes of an ACCOUNTING MAJOR who couldn't add that up and see the difference.

Yep. The future looks bright.

Quote of the day, yesterday

On getting rid of cable:

So, are you guys gonna start using kerosene lanterns?

Yes, my next house will be made of sod, with a latrine (outhouses are so gentrified!), and a hand-dug well. We plan to make our own clothing. I'll be riding a horse to work, stabling it in the 3rd floor NOC, although horses are notoriously difficult to get into elevators.


After jerry-rigging my 7 1/2 foot antenna atop my entertainment center, I watched the national title game last night.

Wow, did OSU look like a bad team: Flat, underprepared, with no answer to any of Florida's plays. The game was pretty-much over when Tressel went for it on 4th & 1 FROM HIS OWN 30 YARD LINE! This is boneheaded along the lines of Rick Pitino not guarding Grant Hill's inbound pass in 1992.

Wow, did Florida look like a great team--poised, energetic.

After this, I think the Big 10 may want to rethink ending its schedule before Thanksgiving. Both Michigan and OSU stank it up.

Larger question--who would've won between Florida and USC? In hindsight, that would've been a great game that USC probably would've won.

An old fashioned automotive resolution.

WHEREAS Sunday is the LORD's day, the Sabbath. (If you're Christian...If you're a Jew, you wonder why Lazy people won't work on the first day of the week)

WHEREAS activity on the Sabbath not centered on God is cursed.

WHEREAS I can foul-up any "30 minute job".

WHEREAS Whitney's car hates me.

RESOLVED by all members of the Sunday-is-for-football-and-naps club to cease any and all automotive repair activity on Sunday.

* * *

That's the long way of saying: Whitney's car has a leak on the front of the engine, somewhere under the intake manifold, and it leaked out an annoying amount of oil right after I put on a fresh PureOne oil filter and 4 quarts of 5w30. Three big rainbow spots on the driveway (fresh oil + rainwater...pretty colors!), and dollops of it on the garage floor.

The car's currently sitting in the garage with a diaper: A makeshift pan using a doubled section of aluminum foil, filled with oil dry. Checking tomorrow to see how much leaked …

Sayonara Cable, welcome back Netflix

Our cable's going off on Monday and we're getting back with Netflix

Our rabbit-ears receptions was awful, so I went to radio shack and brought home this bad boy:

80" grandpa special antenna.

Tried it out today with a line of 75-ohm coax running directly to a single TV, and the reception was spectacular from all the Lexington stations. It's a directional antenna, but I can point it directly South and get everything I need.

Now the only hurdle is tying it into the house outlets. The house is wired for cable in every room; the obvious choice is through the Cable Box outside, but it's inconveniently locked.

The Tempermental Bimmer of my dreams

4-doors, purring straight-6 with individual throttle bodies and a free-flow exhaust.

This is the e34 BMW M5.
There is one parked in our lot every morning.
I lust after that car.

Back to work...

I had nearly two full weeks off, but it drove me rather batty just laying around the house. (Insert joke about weight, Christmas cookies, and "laying AROUND the house" here).

I did do alot of fun things. Played a bazillion games of backgammon, and it was really enjoyable. Stu and Cathy bought Joey a very nice wood backgammon board for Christmas, and we played at least 1-2 games per day. It's an ancient game, much more congenial and chance-based than chess or checkers...some games you can't win, others you totally destroy the opposition.

Joey's little Lego things aren't working out so well. He's a very active boy, and he likes to be very physical with his toys, meaning those two Lego towers lasted just long enough for The Hulk and The Thing to do battle. They survived; the towers didn't.

I dearly loved my presents this Christmas--especially the two books, particularly the Peter Egan compillation:

The man's a genius.