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.

Aug 172009
 Monday, 17 August 2009  Posted by at 09:26 geek Tagged with: , , , ,  No Responses »

Blind Search is a very nifty concept. You enter a search term, and they give you the results from Google, Bing, and Yahoo without branding. You then tell it which results you think are more accurate and it shows you which of the three search engines generated those results. Be prepared to be surprised.

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.

May 192009
 Tuesday, 19 May 2009  Posted by at 14:51 geek, life, pictures Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

About a year and a half ago I bought a Garmin Nuvi 200w. I bought it just before Adam & I went to MO & KS to visit his family and it was a great investment.

About six months ago it started to notify me that the maps were out of date. And recently we had really started to notice this – it would tell us to take turns that were not there or show us as not being on a road even though we were trucking down US-64.

I looked online and the maps were between $70 and $100. So, I ignored the warning and coped with the map issue, while getting frustrated that a $200 item had become significantly less useful in just over a years time.

This weekend I wa spoking around on the interwebs and I made a discovery. First, my Garmin had a firmware update. This got me excited as I hoped it meant it would find the sattelites faster – which is my biggest complaint about it. As I wa slooking to download the firmware I made a discovery. Yes, a single map is around $70 however a device lifetime subscription that includes up to four map updates a year is a one time fee of $110. No brainer, right?So, I updated the firmware (sattellites still take forever to find, dammit), and updated the maps.

While I was poking around, I foundmyself looking on POI Factory and discovered some useful POI files, including all the rest stops on US Interstates.  I also discovered that, surprisingly, only one corporate entity has published a POI files with all of its locations – Sheetz. I find this odd – not that Sheetz has done this, but that no other company seems to. It is easy to do, and could give your company a boost.

Lastly, I updated the car icon to one with a dog hanging its head out the window:

May 132009
 Wednesday, 13 May 2009  Posted by at 08:42 meme Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

Your results:
You are Geordi LaForge

Geordi LaForge
An Expendable Character (Redshirt)
Jean-Luc Picard
Deanna Troi
James T. Kirk (Captain)
Beverly Crusher
Leonard McCoy (Bones)
Mr. Scott
Will Riker
Mr. Sulu
You work well with others and often
fix problems quickly. Your romantic
relationships are often bungled.

Click here to take the Star Trek Personality Test

Apr 092009
 Thursday, 9 April 2009  Posted by at 13:02 geek, humor, TV Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

From a Radio 1 interview with David Tennant:

What advice would you give to Matt (Smith), who’s taking over as the 11th doctor?

He’ll be fine. He doesn’t need any advice. He’ll be fine. He’s got the hair. He’ll be grand.

Apr 072009
 Tuesday, 7 April 2009  Posted by at 08:59 geek Tagged with: ,  No Responses »

OK, so I am seriously considering the Fonera 2 when it becomes available in the US.

I like the idea that you can have it handle BT directly, and you can attach an external hard drive directly.

Anyone have any experience with FON? Or thoughts?

Apr 062009
 Monday, 6 April 2009  Posted by at 15:02 geek, misc, work Tagged with: , , ,  No Responses »

My office is located in the American Tobacco Historic District. Every day at noon and again at 3:30 they sound the whistle, just as they did in the nineteenth and early to mid-twentyth century when this was a working tobacco factory.

Every day until today that is. Today, it goes off at 11 and then at 2:30. Took a minute to realize that it was the wrong time (usually I dont even hear it) and then to figure out that whatever software drives the whistle must still be set to use the old daylight savings time rules.

Wonder how long it take sthem to get it fixed….