Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Awesome timewaster site

"stumbled upon" this cool site. Click the link to see a freaky painted elevator floor.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

Back in the Saddle

Mon, Dec 3, 2007 - 13.45 mi [Cycling]

13.45 mi in 01:00:21 hours at 13.37 mi/h on Trek 4100.

First day back on the bike since my first 30 mile ride. It's not that it took me that long to recover (tho' it was a bitch of a ride), but at the time I was fighting off a cold and the 30 miles really took it out of me. It took 4 days of feeling like I had a head the size of a watermelon and on the cusp of exploding from all that sinus congestion. I even had to cancel two days of classes on the final week of the semester. Not a pleasant time.

I was able to dope up on some sinus decongestives and get through 6 hour stints (just long enough to lecture and then collapse) and I was still hoping to get a final 5 miles in before the end of the month. That would have put me over 200 miles for the month. Sadly, it was not to be. I decided I would take some extra days to recover and start fresh in the new month. I accomplished a lot in November and I felt good about it so while the 200 milestone was tantalizingly close I left it for another time. I had set out to ride 150 mile, some more 20+ mile rides than October and at least 1 30 mile ride and I got that. I did not want to get greedy or burn myself out in such a way as to make cycling onerous and not fun.

After getting my 30 mile in I decided the next long ride goal will be a 40 mile ride by the end of January and mapped out a cool looking route to a lake I had never heard of. The catch is that it is on the road AND (more importantly) very hilly and if there is one thing I learned from the 30 mile ride with single track, I have no climbing ability. So December will be road riding month. I'll start going along the route and training on the hills. Any climbing tips? I've read lots of forums and Sheldon Brown's site so I got the repetition, steady cadence thing planned but frankly, I want to be able to burn up a climb. I have a friend who bikes with me sometimes and while I'll whoop his ass on the flats or over long distances he always gets me on the climbs and that irks me. I'm shifting down to granny gear and huffing and puffing to keep my cadence steady and the balance between lung and leg burn steady and he mashes by me in 12th freakin' gear just before we get to the top.

What I want to do is ride next to him up a climb and then attack near the top and blow him a way (then sit up and wait for him to catch up - this is after all a duo group ride :) ).

So there it is, my goals for December: 180 miles, at least 5 20+ mile rides, and 3 30+ rides, and train for hills. Oh, and get under 195lbs.

On a different front, my reward to myself for meeting my November goals was to purchase a baselayer, wind breaking vest and some arm warmers. I got to test them out today. If was Dorthy and Toto weather out there today and getting a little chilly on the descents (46 F) and I have to say, they did the job quite nicely. No chill, I wasn't cold and actually got a little warm in spots before I scaled back the exertion to I didn't explode after 8 days of not biking. Now I'm looking forward to the colder weather. After I get me some long fingered gloves and some knee warmers for Xmas I think I'll be set for the harsh (yeah right) North Carolina winter.

Posted from My Cycling Log

Primate route

Friday, November 30, 2007

Case in point

In my last post I mentioned that many organic companies are not necessarily environmentally neutral. However, being the active member of society I am I do my bit and try to initiate change where ever I think I can make a difference. To whit, I sent an email to a organic coffee company concerning the packaging and recently received (i.e., today) a reply. Obvious identifying characteristics have been redacted per homeland security prerequisites ( :) ).
Hello ,
Your customer support request has been responded to.

Your Request :
Email : J6P@pseudorandomnumbergenerator.UPPERlevelDomain
your coffee and the organic/fairtrade aspect. However, I've noted that
your coffe is bagged in plastic. No where on it does it mention if it
is recyclable. Is it (an of so could you let me know if it's 1, 2, etc.
- our city will recylce 1 & 2 only) and if not have you done any
research into biodegradable/environmentally neutral packaging?


Our Reply :
you for your inquiry! At the moment, our coffee bags are
non-recyclable. However, we are in the process of finding alternatives
to make our bags recyclable in the future. We will certainly pass your
suggestion to our packaging and quality control departments.

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Thursday, November 29, 2007

Recycling: Consumers beware

I live in a town where there is some recycling. That is, once a week a truck comes by and picks up our separated paper, cardboard, cans, glass and plastic recyclables. I give full Kudo's to the city for providing this service and I'm sure it keeps our local landfills open longer, decreases our eco footprint etc. etc.

Here's the thing (and I'm not even sure if I should be griping about our city for this as much as the plastics/packaging industry). The city will only accept plastics labeled 1 and 2. My first reaction to finding this out was outrage! OK, outrage is a little strong, how about I was perplexed? I dutifully examine my labels and recycle my 1's and 2's so as to not gum up the system but what about my numbers 3, 4, 5,6, & 7's. These all have the little recycle triangle around them so presumably they are recyclable. Why doesn't the city take these?

Doing a little research, I found out that (and no big surprise really) not all plastics are created equal. Further #1 and #2 are preferred because they can be combined with fresh, virgin plastic pellets to make a lower grade plastics (but not 100%). Each time plastic is recycled it becomes a lower and lower grade. Recycled plastic needs to be combined with non-recycled plastic to be useful.

Each of the other numbers have very little use as recycled packaging because of nasty volatile chemical and tend to be limited to use in plastic lumber of all things (again, in low percentages compared with virgin plastic) and items that are NOT recyclable.

So here is my first conundrum. If recyclable plastic is only good when used with virgin plastics and to recycle the plastics that
that already exist, you need to use more virgin than recycled, how is this helping beyond slowing the growth of virgin plastic use (and frankly not all that much)? We are still using a rapidly diminishing resource for packaging. Something ultimately design to be discarded. This does not make a lot of sense.

My second conundrum is a bit of a slam at the "green"/fair trade/organic market. I'm hip with the whole organic thing. It's not that I think these foods are tastier or more healthy or are better for you because they are "natural" I just do not buy that specious strawman when big agribusiness like ConAgra of ADM trot out studies showing no nutritional difference between their genetically modified corn or other produce compared to organic produce. Big yawn. You're growing a beet for crying out loud. The difference is that the organic produce did not have 80 billion tonnes of fertilizer/pesticides thrown at it that leeches into the soil, contaminates ground water aquifers, contributes to algal blooms and deadzones in the ocean. But. And this is a big but, have you ever noticed how much "green"/organic/fair trade stuff is packaged in plastic?! You're kinda shooting yourself in the foot guys. I happened to purchase some organic fair trade coffee that other week and it was packaged in plastic (and not even a type that could be recycled!

I'm really trying not to be cynical here but I'm here trying my best to do what little I can to make the world a better place for me, my loved ones and future generations. So I try to make responsible choices. Why is it that I'm seeing one step forward and two steps back? I buy organic but packaged in non-renewable plastics, I buy fair trade and it's coming from have way around the world by container ship, I buy green and but is not a renewable resource, I by local but it's not fair trade or organic.

I seriously think that I want to just drop off the grid sometimes. I'm tired of being scammed and taken advantage of by the latest fads, crazes and good for the environment cr*p that companies are putting out just so they can get a better margin without really thinking through the full picture. What we need to a greater emphasis on what has been dubbed "true cost" economics. Consumers need to be told that total cost of each item. How much did it cost for raw materials, the "externalized cost" of environmental disruption/destruction, manufacturing, disposal, long-term storage, waste containment..... I think you get the idea.

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Wednesday, November 28, 2007

CNN/YouTube Republican debate: Gun Control

I just had a revelation! The cliche on gun control on the right has been: "Guns don't kill people, people kill people". I've always had a problem with that simplistic bumpersticker. But to take this idea at face value, I think I've come up with a way to actually make this acceptable to my ethos. Let's allow American to own guns but not allow people to be American.

Just a quick shot from the hip :)

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Tuesday, November 27, 2007

new and going overboard

Trying lots of new things and the blog will get very ugly before it gets better as I have a look at what different things are available and whether they improve or detract from my aesthetic sensibilities. Please bear with

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New and cool computer/life inferfaces

Having started as an Apple head, moved to windows because of necessity and slowly been moving to Linux for philosophy, I've lived the desktop metaphor almost my entire computer literate life. It made sense, it makes sense. It was a great way to get novices comfortable with interacting with technology and integrate it into our everyday life. There are very few hardcore purists who prefer the "command line" to get things done and I admire them for that but being a visual thinker (when I try to understand or explain things to others I'm always thinking about how to represent the idea in a visual form - diagrams, pictures, cartoons, motion, flow). The desktop metaphor was my kind of interface and not nearly as intimidating.

However, it can be argued that today the metaphor is being stretched beyond usefulness and may actually be hindering and limiting our ways of thinking about information, life and that all important human element of social interactions. To be fair, the desktop GUI was developed during a period of time when computer resources were at a premium and you you usually took a performance hit to implement this approach. The serious gain in productivity from the intuitiveness of the interface made up for this hit big time though. Any improvements in the desktop metaphor since introduced my Apple in 1984 have been largely cosmetic or incremental (in my opinion).

I just came across this post over @ slashdot that really got me excited. Finally an GUI that updates the desktop metaphor to more closely resemble your real life desk with all the benefits of individual, idiosyncratic organizational techniques we all use and the ability to rapidly organize, prioritize and reorganize in a more systematic fashion. I found this 5 minute talk on the "bumptop" really cool (and will be checking it out over Xmas:) )but there are other excellent ideas that can be looked at here. Enjoy!

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Monday, November 26, 2007

Getting with it

I've decided to add technorati to my repertoire in the hopes that others can have as much fun reading as I do writing. Let's see what happens.

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Sunday, November 25, 2007


Sat, Nov 24, 2007 - 30.07 mi [Cycling]
Below are the particulars of my ride Saturday but in all honesty the ride itself is not why I'm so stoked. A lot of things happened this week that (frankly) are new to me. First, I participated in a competition. I'm not a competitive person by nature and it really shows. When I've played sports like squash in the past and people beat me (not at all unusual) I just think to myself, "Good for you. You got a good workout and it was fun." I've never felt bad or less worthy or pathetic or lost my self esteem from losing. I just never bothered to get invested in winning. Who cares? As I told my distant past therapist,"My biggest competitor is myself", and not to put too fine a point on it, I did not have high expectations :).

Whatever it was, it was just a game. A meaningless contest that had little, if anything, relevant to real life and I was happy in who I was, how I viewed the world, how I interacted with the world, how I was part of the world. I had my few close friends and realistically had no expectation of fame or glory. I just wanted (and still do) to plod along and do my own thing and contribute my meme to the historical record. When I was in grad school I remember being approached by what would now be called and "evangelical" but at the time,to me, was just another person trying to convince others of the value of a particular perspective. He asked me about my belief in the after life and I expressed my belief (based on my scientific knowledge of the time - and it has not changed in case your wondering) that I fully expected to be worm food, my offspring - if any - would carry me to the future and my greatest contribution would be from my scientific contributions which have a long historical memory. Many a great philosopher/empiricist/writer/painter/poet... were not discovered in their time or their immediate impact fully appreciated. Now don't get me wrong here, I'm not saying I'm the next Aristotle, or Einstein, I'm merely reflecting on the fact that I am content to make my contribution and move on.

Having said that, I ponied up an entrance fee to good cause for a weight loss competition and was just going to try and lose some weight to try and get below 200 lbs (yes I live in the US and am forced to use/understand non metric systems of measurements - gak). However, as you've figured out by now, I'm quite into cycling at the moment and the "prizes" were VERY alluring to me. So I decided to go balls to the wall. These were awesome pieces of technology, science and cycling. I came out in the top four which means I got a pair and I was shocked! With the exception on winning some BBQ equipment for placing a popsicle stick closest to a hidden nail under the sand when I was 12, I've never won anything in my life. Ever. This placing tickled me immensely.

As if that wasn't good enough, I also got my cholesterol tests back and for the first time since I've been getting these fuckers done, I'm in the healthy range. And if those two things do not make for a good week, I got myself a 30+ mile ride in for the first time, some of which included some single track. It was the second time on this particular single track and I had noticeable improvement. I was with some real pro's, but they were very cool and I noticed statistically significant improvement. I felt more comfortable descending on the track, got over some obstacles I did not the first time and the gang was very cool about hanging around for me - the weak link in the chain - as I struggled up some climbs or lost my footing. They were very encouraging (if you're reading: thanks Erica and Chris) you made my effort worthwhile and I felt good about the things I did better - though I do think Chris deliberately took a better endo just to get the best spill of the day :) ).

Finally, as if this was not enough excitement for anyone in 1 week. Very shortly after we began the group ride, I snapped my seat stem. A 1/4 inch bolt sheared in 2. I am of two minds here. First, I think it's kinda cool that my ass and legs had enough power over ~500 miles to knock this baby out. Second, I think this sucks because I can't go riding without a seat. We turn around (less than a mile from the shop) and I have the choice of buying a cheap seat post and taking the seat bolt (you can't just buy a bolt in case you're wondering) or buying a $45 carbon fiber seat post with better quality gear and.. well... it's a carbon fiber seat post! Of course I bought the carbon fiber seat post. $45. Wouldn't you? Hell yeah! Great ride. Great fun and Great week. I'm walking upon a dense mixture of oxygen, nitrogen, carbon dioxide..... ok air......

The particulars of the ride are below:

30.07 mi in 02:56:19 hours at 10.23 mi/h on Trek 4100. [Cycling] Elevation is approximate since this was a single track day. It's also a combination of the commute to and from the start of the group ride. I just added the simple MOB to the home MOB home ride. Accomplished another major milestone for myself. I want to have 1 30+ ride before the end of November and today was the day YeeHaa!
Posted from My Cycling Log

MOB Salem lake standard trail

Monday, November 19, 2007

A cornucopia of plethoric ideas

I've been remiss in the past few days by not blogging. But I have a good excuse. I could not decide what to write about. Not for the lack of ideas. In fact, quite the opposite. I've had so many ideas I could not settle down on any single one. In the end I've decided to throw everything at the wall and see what sticks.

First, I recently participated in a friendly weight loss competition with the fun folks at the fatcyclist's blog with the win being some funky bike grips (ergonomics, which will be discussed later). It was a fun thing to do and a great incentive to encourage me to get back under 200lbs. During the week, Fatty (as fans of the site have come to know and love him) went with friends on a long weekend camping trip where he posted some great photos and solicited plenty of comments (even me).

My comment involved having an external conscience for hire which got me to thinking that it would be fun to post a faux ad for consciences for hire for sociopaths and other maladapted types. It involved clever wordology, references to features offered at different price points, a "test" to best gauge which "package" would be best you and on and on. Frankly, it got a little daunting and intimidating and the more I thought about it the more elaborate it it became, the more I laughed to myself and the less I accomplished.

Today was the end of the weight loss game I had a lot of fun doing it (ignore the poor grammar). And, as I wait for the results I reflected on the fun things that I learned about cycling, exercise, life, and this new 21st century age. First, do not cycle twice your normal distance a the same pace as your normal distance. You will die of exhaustion. Second, as I reflect on the things I did, the exercises I did, my favorite TV shows and my geek nature I'm truly thinking of of starting a second blog that really emphasizes the science involved in everyday life.

For example. I was watching "build it bigger" and "Modern Marvels", involving modern EU architecture that soooo is beyond anything the US or anything any other country in the world is doing that my jaw dropped. Yet, at the same time, I'm thinking, "that's not so outrageous. It's based on science". I'm constantly trying to find real life examples of psychological principles, chemistry, physics, math, geology, etc as it impacts my life every day. What about set point for weight loss, what about the physics of cycling, what about the psychology of morale, even morals (given the expectation that everyone involved in the great weight loss cometition would not cheat and be honest). So I'm thinking of starting a second blog where I mention things that happen to me on a day to day basis and discussing a scientific principle that affected the actions, effects on my behavior on a semi regular basis. I'm thinking of calling the blog "The Life Experiment". I'd appreciate any feedback on the idea.

The other feature I find particularly appealing is the idea of having others contribute their experiences for others to use. This really excites me. As discussed in previous posts, I am of the opinion that information should be free (coming from a science background) and as such I'm a big wikipedia fan, linux fan, firefox fan, open office fan, GIMP fan, ... think of a proprietary piece of software and there is probably a open source version that is as good, better or needs just a little bit of help to bring it up to snuff.

Like the topic suggested, I'm way too full of Ideas right now and getting them out is more important than being coherent.

Comments welcome.

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The time is near

Every year for the past 5 years I've participated in this event and loved every minute. Buy Nothing Day is coming! Nov 23! You know, the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday. One day a year where I feel like enough is enough and I shall not spend. Not on your artificial special sales day to rev everyone one up to empty his or her wallet and go into debt because nothing says I love you more than lots and lots of stuff and debt management classes.

Just take one day and say, "NO". With the planet dying from our north american, industrialized society consumer excess surely we can stop buying more stuff one day a year.

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Monday, November 12, 2007

If this doesn't prove to you I'm a geek nothing will

Took the car in Friday for a regular tune up.

Why blog about this?

As the tech was trying to print out the report of what was done something, a here-to-fore never seen error was interfering. So, there I was, looking over the shoulder of the tech guy trying to solve the problem from software written by EDS (when Ross Perot owned the company) and I got interested. Cool! I wonder how this software works. The tech is playing around and I couldn't help myself. I blurted out a few suggestions, asked some questions and got involved in the trouble shooting.

As if that wasn't bad enough, after that problem was solved I asked a simple, not so innocent question. It relates to the fact that I hate paper. It gets everywhere. I've been getting more and more of my of statements, bills, receipts electronically and storing them as pdfs and what I do have in paper have been in a long-term scanning/sorting endeavor. Mountains of paper reduced to a few redundant CDs.

One of the things I still get on paper is my car receipts and records of maintainance. I don't want to scan new paper. So, I ask, "Hey, that information on the screen there... umm... is it possible to email it to me?" "I don't know, let's try", says the tech. He was kind of into it because he didn't know how and it seemed like a cool idea.

Now, remember, this is software from the 80's working inside XP. We could capture a screen but the data was on multiple screens and it was unwieldy to capture, paste, capture, paste etc. Very unsatisfactory. Then, we found this strange option called "copy append" that did the trick! Presto-change-O, paste once into a document and send as pdf. BOOM! (The other cool thing was that the shop used open office. How cool is that?!)

Now, I'll be getting my records electronically, the tech gets to go to mister boss man and say "hey, here's an idea that customers might like AND we use less paper, saving money".

All this in a garage. Yep, I am a geek.

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Thursday, November 08, 2007

What's that saying? If you're in a hole... stop digging?

Today is my lucky day. I get to combine two of my favorite pastimes: Politics and cycling. I find the clip below absolutely hilarious.

Now to put all my cards on the table, I am neither a republican nor a democrat. In my opinion they are essentially the same party with minor variations around the edges and the fact that it is next to impossible to get a third party into US federal politics is a crying shame.

If I was forced to pigeonhole myself I would probably say that I fall pretty close to anarcho-syndicalism. Just not a big fan of so few people making so many important decisions that affect so many. Also, the other sad fact is, while I love politics, I can't vote. I'm Canadian.

Yes, I am a member of the secret cabal that pulls the strings of cultural power (What? Canadians? Yes. I merely point you toward people and shows such as: John Candy, The Kids in the Hall, Car Poolers, Jim Carrey, Peter Jennings, SNL, William Gibson - the orginator of the term cyberspace [although to be fair he's originally from the US but his ground breaking novel neuromancer was conceived and written in Canada]. I could go on but I think I've made my point.

Now I also have to fess up and take some responsibility for the "gentleman from North Carolina". He does represent my adopted state and I obviously let this guy through the cracks. I should have been more vigilant. He truely is an embarrassment to the state and for that I apologize. Clearly he's been hitting the moonshine a little hard lately and does not have all his faculties together in one spot. The one he's using during this speech is apparently the "I can speak with no logic" faculty. A rarely used faculty but an important one- especially at drunken frat parties. All the words and sentences may be grammatically correct (tho' I am being generous here) but they make no sense. I think he might actually have Wernicke's aphasia.

Watch the clip and I'll actually write about cycling next.

Hmmm. Let's see. If I'm hearing Mr. McHenry correctly, cycling not only does not help the world's energy crisis and does nothing to alleviate global warming but, by choosing to bike to work instead on driving, it actually may send us down the path of global catastrophe by encouraging people to not buy cars, use public transit and reorganize society into self-sustaining units - bad for corporations, bad for America. Those darn crazy democrats. Little did I realize that the vast majority of the population of the world was actually deliberately harming American interests but using pedal power instead of "gas guzzling " (cliche I know) American made SUVs.

WAR I say! WAR! We must stop the war on terror and fight the real enemy... CYCLISTS!

Oh, by the way, in case you are a fan of Mr. McHenry or his ilk, this is my sad and sorry attempt at sarcasm and wit. I do not claim that is of the caliber of Johnathon Swift but with the decline of education in recent decades this may be the best I can do.

Keep pumping

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Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Sat, Nov 3, 2007 - 25.79 mi [Cycling]

Sat, Nov 3, 2007 - 25.79 mi [Cycling]
25.79 mi in 02:38:27 hours at 9.77 mi/h on Trek 4100. [Cycling] group ride with new rider. Very leisurely ride. Eric and I added an extra 5 miles to get some climbing on local roads in. New PB on distance.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Mon, Nov 5, 2007 - 12.65 mi [Cycling]

Mon, Nov 5, 2007 - 12.65 mi [Cycling]
12.65 mi in 00:48:59 hours at 15.50 mi/h on Trek 4100. [Cycling] First Day on the full Salem Lake circuit and new PB average speed!! what a great way to start November!. Great Fun. My average cadence was over 90 and very often over 100. Strange how 90 (which at one time seemed screamingly fast and I was going nowhere) now seems like I'm mashing a big gear. I'm getting more comfy at the higher cadence and being able to last longer between needing a quick breather and coasting. I was also very fortunate to come across a rabbit, who, when I almost passed him, decided he wanted to stay in front and upped his pace. I was able to mark him the whole second half of the course. I wasn't able to pass him and he did tend to pull away on the climbs but I was better descending and was able to keep him in sight.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Mon, Nov 5, 2007 - 12.65 mi [Cycling]

Mon, Nov 5, 2007 - 12.65 mi [Cycling]
12.65 mi in 00:48:59 hours at 15.50 mi/h on Trek 4100. [Cycling] First Day on the full Salem Lake circuit and new PB average speed!! what a great way to start November!. Great Fun. My average cadence was over 90 and very often over 100. Strange how 90 (which at one time seemed screamingly fast and I was going nowhere) now seems like I'm mashing a big gear. I'm getting more comfy at the higher cadence and being able to last longer between needing a quick breather and coasting. I was also very fortunate to come across a rabbit, who, when I almost passed him, decided he wanted to stay in front and upped his pace. I was able to mark him the whole second half of the course. I wasn't able to pass him and he did tend to pull away on the climbs but I was better descending and was able to keep him in sight.
Posted from My Cycling Log

Friday, November 02, 2007

A Satisfying (?) day

I like to fancy myself a computer geek. When friends want to know how to do something on a computer they often ask me. When they have something go wrong I can usually find a work around, fix it at at least tell them what they need to do (i.e., your BIOS is fucked you need to flash the latest version).

One thing that I do have a problem with is locked down computers. My wife has one and it's a load of crap. The wireless card is not working (or so I thought) but I couldn't help because to access any logs or adjust any settings I needed admin privledges. Her computer is provided by her company and they tend not to give that kind 'o' information out.

We took the thing to the dept tech, swapped out her drive, and plopped in another to avoid her entire life from being ruined if we killed the drive and ..... the bloody wireless card worked. We plopped her hard drive into the laptop the good drive came from and it didn't work. Hmmmmm. Well that was not good.

Now I have to say here that my wife is an extremely busy person and her life is on that computer. To fix the thing she would have to drop it off at the IT dept and they would back up her info and do a fresh install which would be a day or two, which she does not have . So, for about 2-3 months now she's been back to dialup and it is killing her (and me) since I've set up a nice little wireless n with DSL Xtreme internet access. She is stuck with 5.6 Bps.

Then I remembered that I had a USB wireless G adapter from a while back and after screwing around trying to hack it so she had wireless again last Friday (remember that whole locked down admin thing? Grrrrrrr) I got it work! YEAH! I'm a hero! She blissfully surfed and surfed and I, like a little puppy dog, sat at her feet looking up at her with doleful brown eyes, basking in her ohh's and Ahh's.

The next day it stopped working again.

So, last night I had some time. I figure I'm going to solve this damn thing and make her happy again (I missed her little giggles of happiness). I hacked and hacked. I Installed, and uninstalled drivers, hardware. I altered network security. All the while having to work around this lack of admin privledges. I was like Stimpy when he was working in his lab from the Ren and Stimpy show.

Finally, I think I solve it. "I know, I'll alter the network settings to make her part of the home workgroup! That will work!." I quickly take her off the work domain and add her to the local workgroup and reboot. I call it a night.

The next morning, I eagerly await her gleeful laughter as she logs on and findout she has wireless again. The laughter did not come. No, not even a little bit. It seems that when I put on the local workgroup and off the work domain you need to log on as an administrator (Did I mention I don't have an admin password?). It's 8AM she has a 9AM meeting and nothing but meetings that require her computer. I am not hailed, I am hanged!

Fortunately, the dept tech can sort this out quick as a bunny and we all think the computer will be running in time for the meeting. uh oh! He doesn't know the password either. He calls a friend ,who also doesn't know, then calls the higher up IT dept. "Sorry, we can't give out that information. It will compromise our security. The computer will have to be brought in."

So, I truck the bloody thing over to IT. I have to say that while the manager may have made me a little pissed, the guy who worked on the machine was really great. He gets in, gets the computer back online and while doing this he notices a couple of annoying bugs. He slaps in a flash drive and voila! annoying bugs gone too!. "Awesome", I think to myself, "I wonder if he can get the wireless card up and running too?"

He gives it a go. He's hacking, slapping in flashdrives, CD's, downloading software updates (all the stuff I could have done if I had the admin password). He gets nowhere. His recommendation, backup her data and do a fresh install. HELLO Square One.

In the end, I was able to get the computer back to her in good shape, I learned I should not try to mess with the network domain settings and still haven't fixed the one thing that is knawing at me. Yep. A very satisfying day.

P.S. Did I mention I overheard the admin password and now can get in as an administrator..... maybe tonight I'll try again ........

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Thursday, November 01, 2007

Internet Advertising: I despise it and so do others

Great little story over at Techdirt on visitor tracking, targeted ads and whether it is good, bad or even matters. Personally, I stand firmly in the "it doesn't really matter" camp since all the complaints and issued that seem to be raised here deal with using an certain browser that I do not use. I shall simple direct your attention to the right column of this blog and leave it at that. I literally cannot remember the last time I viewed an ad when I chose not to have it shown.

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Tuesday, October 30, 2007

testing my image upload cababilities

Cigan's Random Thoughts: Why Linux is Ready, Not Ready for the Desktop and Why we Care in the Wrong Way.

Really thoughtful piece on the "controversy" between Linux or Windows for the average desktop user

Cigan's Random Thoughts: Why Linux is Ready, Not Ready for the Desktop and Why we Care in the Wrong Way.

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I've become more than the sum of my parts!?

For the last month an 1/2 I've started cycling again. It all started with getting hook on the tour de France several years ago then the "I wanna be like Lance" phase where my wife and I went and bought new trek MTBs to start getting fit. This lasted all of about 2 weeks.

2 years, turning 40, crazy cholesterol results and repeated "encouragement" from the wife finally pushed me to start again. Now I have become not only a computer geek but a bike geek as well. I read about the latest gear, read a funny rider's blog, and literally bought the t-shirt (or in this case jersey). It was all under control until one day...... Facebook came into my life (see prev post).

I added a little app called my cycle log which turns out to be a website in it's own right You can record data like distance, cadence, etc. OOoooh fun! I like data! You can also set little goals and track your progress. Cool! Operant conditioning! Even more cool, riding specified distances gets you a certain color on your calendar (I wants me a green riding day) - motivator, great! There was also a way to map your route on another site and get accurate mileage AND elevation but who would be so geeky as to do that...


I'm addicted. I'm down to mapping the route from home to the corner freaking store and giggling like a little girl 'cause I climbed 50ft and it's all in a form that shows me graphs and pictures and maps and oooh bad! The internet, my lust for data and a place to record data related to my bike rides. My poor poor wife. I'm actually considering changing my handle to "3rd of 5".

Damn it's fun though.

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Monday, September 03, 2007

I have seen evil and it's name is Facebook

Yes I've been drawn in. It all started so innocently. I went home for my nan's funeral and my cousin mentioned that a high school friend had a group on facebook to help keep reconnect with everyone. Great! I'll just post the minimum and away I'll go. MMMmmmmm no. It's applications, photos, wall writing, gift giving oh so tempting. Come to papa. I luv's my little apps. Let's try this and this and this, this this thisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthisthis AAAGH! 12 hours and real work has halted. I must stop...... But I'll be back my sweet sweet internet toy

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