Sep 142009
 Monday, 14 September 2009  Posted by at 10:39 life, misc Tagged with: , ,  No Responses »

Lets just say it was a silly weekend 😉

Got a lot done, but not everything that needed to be…

Tried out a really good chili recipe and an even better corn bread recipe.

Went shopping for a new couch on Sunday and found a likely candidate, but the place does not deliver, so thats a challenge.

Used Garbo to help catch a neighbor’s dog that we saw wandering loose and watched almost get hit by a car. Little scary but Im glad she is safe and back home.

Else wise, a pretty relaxed weekend.

Aug 202009
 Thursday, 20 August 2009  Posted by at 08:56 geek, life, work Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

Yesterday at lunch, a group of us are sitting together and M comes and joins us with a meatball sub. She is taking it out of the wrapper and one of the meatballs starts to fall. She catches it and as she does so says ‘I lost my poor meatball.’

Now, M is Canadian and had a *very* puzzled look when I commented that no one sneezed. The entire table then broke out into a chorus of ‘On Top of Spaghetti’ further confusing and amusing the Canadian among us.

This then prompted B to ask how, prior to the internet age and forwarded emails, viral videos, etc. things like On Top of Spaghetti became as ubiquitous as they did. We all paused for a moment as we considered this, and then the conversation moved on.

Any thoughts?

Aug 172009
 Monday, 17 August 2009  Posted by at 13:51 geek, house, life, misc Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »

So, after nine years, the plastic headlamps on my SantFe were cloudy and yellow and the light they were emitting was poor. I saw some adds for headlight restoration, and after some research went to the autoparts store and picked up the 3M Headlight Lens Restoration System. I selected that one after much research and consultation with the guy at the store predominant as it comes with a sanding/buffer wheel drill attachment. As I did not have a buffer, this made sense for me.

I get home and grab my cordless drill and set to workj on the first headlamp. Wow. If you have an older car with plastic headlamps that have gotten yellow and foggy, these kits make quite the difference. And it took maybe 15 minutes to do the one headlamp.

I then move onto the second headlamp. ALmost immediately the drill starts to loose power. Now, I have known for a while that the Black & Decker 9volt cordless drill batteries I have were dieing. But not even 20 minutes? I go back inside and do some research. The drill is 12 years old. My father bought it for me as a present when he came and visited and we went to the B&D Outlet in Burlington. I decided I could not complain and that I had gotten a goodly amount of use from it. So, I do some research and decide what I need is an impact driver.

They just opened a new Lowes by my house – the Friday we left for Pennsic was opening day. I had not been in there and so off A & I go to explore the new Lowes and buy an impact driver. We quickly discover that you can get a cordless drill, and impact driver, or a combo kit. A looks at me and asks why you would need both. I shrug and, thinking I am cleverly saving money, grab just an impact driver. My choice is between a Bosch and an Hitachi. The features are almost identical, but the Bosch only has a three year warranty and the Hitachi has a ten year warranty. Home comes the Hitachi.

We get home, I set it to charge, and we go about our other business of the day (he had some sewing to get done and I went and fixed the garbage disposal). About an hour later I look and sure enough it is charged. I grab the buffer wheel go to attach it to the impact driver…. ah, thats why you would want both. Hmmm….. would have been useful if the articles I had read mentioned that the impact driver has a different and non-compatable choking mechanism from a drill and that you can’t really use one as a drill. Back to Lowes I go.

I stare at both the Bosh and Hitachi combo kit trying to decide when the sales guy wanders by and without me saying a word says ‘I’d go with the Hitachi. You cant beat that warranty, and they are getting quite the good name in power tools.’ I thank him, and back home I go.

Overall I really like the driver and drill I got. And I can’t complain too bitterly about having to replace my old Black & Decker. I was amused when the cashier tried to sell me a one year warranty extension.

Jul 172009
 Friday, 17 July 2009  Posted by at 08:26 life Tagged with: ,  No Responses »

Today training on Office 2007 and the process for migrating to Outlook does not seem very important….

As I said earlier today, on Twitter, There are just somethings you can never really be prepared for. #RIP

Jul 032009
 Friday, 3 July 2009  Posted by at 06:48 Blogging, life, misc Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

NB: Those who are anti-twitter, please dont just skip this. I am not trying to convince anyone of the pros or cons of Twitter or any other social media. I am merely doing some introspection as to why the different social media work for me.

NB2: No offense to anyone who posts in the way I say people don’t want to read… its just my perspective on what makes a blog entry interesting to me.

Number 7 on Michael Hyatt‘s list of 12 reasons to start twittering got me thinking. It says:

It will make you think about your life. As you answer the question, “What am I doing?” you start to see your life through the lens of the people following you. Interestingly, it has made me more intentional and thoughtful about my life.

And that is true not just for Twitter, but for LJ, blogging, Face Book, etc. I find I have moments each day where I think ‘I should blog about this.’ Usually its something I hear on NPR while driving or during a conversation, or just some random thing I see or think about when walking Garbo. Usually I forget what it was or become distracted by the time I get to my keyboard.

The point being I do find myself, subconsciously, considering what are bloggable moments. Lets face it, no one really wants to read “got up, took a shower, walked the dog past the #asshat who doesn’t like dogs on his unmowed lawn, etc.” The same is true on Twitter. A daily tweet of “Cottage cheese and an apple for lunch” is boring, but a one time tweet that reads “Cottage cheese and an apple for lunch, again” lends some insight.

What people really want to read about, IMHO, is the moments in the day that are different, that stand out. Dont get me wrong, I love the weekend summary posts from my friends – I like knowing whats going on in their lives. But, its like the difference between a kid who comes home from school and says ‘fine’ or ‘english then math then lunch’ versus ‘In class we talked about …’ The later is far more engaging.

In some ways I think this is why Twitter is working for me at the moment. I can give short little updates when they hit and, theoretically, blog more in detail about them later. Or, just plain vent – note my not infrequent use of the #asshat hash tag. 😉

But the point, I suppose, is that any of the social media force you to take pause and reflect on moments to decide if they are interesting enough to blog/tweet/status update about. Thoughts?

May 262009
 Tuesday, 26 May 2009  Posted by at 12:52 events, geek, house, life, people Tagged with: , , , , , , ,  No Responses »

Lets see… on Saturday, A & I had the day off together, which NEVER happens. We slept in a  little, too Garbo for a nice long walk, cleaned out the fridge including washing it down inside, stopped by The G’s to try out their Wii Fit,  then ran a bunch of errands, which included buying a Wii Fit. For the record, this may be the first video game console I have owned since the Atari 2600. (Consider yourself either old or geeky if you didn’t need to click the link to know what I was talking about.) That evening we engaged in the next step of the Cock Ale.

A few notes on the cock ale …First, for those who don’t do period brewing, or even any brewing, the cock ale recipe is kind of legendary. Everyone talks about it in a chiding sort of way, but I dont know anyone who has actually done it – few internet accounts show that people dont read as they have used raw chicken. Fools.

Secondly, if you take out the chicken the recipe sounds really good – ale with raisins, dates, nutmeg, mace, and sherry. Yum. This leads to my plan. I have done a very very basic ale for the base – I didn’t even add hops, but have used oak chips for my bittering agent, which is a first for me. I have siphoned off maybe a half gallon of that for comparative purposes. Then I have about a gallon with cock in it – well its a gallon jug with the adjunct ingredients and topped with the ale. The remainder is the recipe without the cock as that actually sounds quite drinkable.

Now the dimea… I really wanted to have it for Rapier Academy but couldn’t get my act together to get it done. Now my choice is to either bring it to Golden Rose and offer it up as a side highlight, or save it for Pennsic and bring it to the A&S display in the barn (do they let you display alcohol? I dont even know…). I would really like to make it more of an A&S thing then a curiosity thing, but it means either I only brew one beer for the baronial parties as I only have two kegs – and I despise bottling. Plus I have to store and transport it and space going to Pennsic is always at a premium.

Anyway, back to the weekend… Saturday night we went to the Bavarian Brathaus in Cary. A had heard ads for them on the radio, and we quickly convined a small crowd to join us (The Gs, Wystric & Sunnevia, and Duncan). Awesome food, awesome waiter, and good times. Afterwards we went home and played with the Wii for a little while.

Sunday… A worked, and I ran errands, took Garbo to the dog park, did laundry, and cleaned the house. Thank heavens for Brigida. Without her the house would not have been half as clean for the party. That evening, we got a call from Maddellena begging us to come help her eat a turke. She had fortuitous timing as we both realiezed we were hungry and without a dinner plan. We finished what we were in the middle of, grabbed showers and headed over for a very fun evening. Then back home, a few more tasks, and then more Wii.

Monday, A did a few last minute things around the house, and headed off to work. I took Garbo for a long walk, and looking at the weather and forecast called the Gs asking them to bring their pavillion over. I got back home and realized that there was nothing more to be done I watched a few episodes of The Big Bang Theory as I did random bits that came to me.

At just before three the sky opened up and I became convinced that we would not have anyone for the party. Silly me. By my count we had 43 people come by. And I am sure I missed one or two in the counting. That makes this the biggest cookout we have done so far. Thanks to everyone who came, who helped out, and who helped clean up. And special thanks to Dreya for making the beds look like someone actually tends to them.

All told a really good weekend.