Nano Nanu

Mar. 22nd, 2009 12:26 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (daicon-girl)
I bought Starr an iPod nano for Christmas 2007, in the hopes that she could use it to listen to her music library and crochet podcasts on her work commute (nearly as long as mine). As well, she received a device that played her iPod through her car stereo. This caused a problem: the device plugged into her cigarette lighter, which hadn't worked in years.

Today, I finally found the round tuit for correcting that problem. After some Googling, and removing her car's engine air filter, I found the likely electrical fuse, and learned it was indeed blown. Starr admitted to spilling some liquid in the lighter socket once upon a time, and I had hopes for an easy repair. One trip to Auto Zone later, and the little iPod broadcaster works great.

This just makes me terribly happy. I finally got around to fixing the issue I'd promised to, and fixed it properly with a little skull sweat and some digging under her PT Cruiser's hood. Getting something done is such a good thing.

Becalmed

Sep. 30th, 2008 08:43 am
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
In a perfect world, I would have an e-book or three loaded on the Newton right now, or have an iPhone with web access. Instead, I am sitting on Rt. 664, as I have for the last hour, waiting for them to clear a major accident from the Monitor-Merrimac tunnel. The good news is that I've got a nice calming trance podcast on the iPod.

I tried first to write some notes for fiction projects, but while a thought or two leaked through, I'm generally blocked; so I am journaling on this Apple notepad instead. I need to scrawl less sloppily; the handwriting recognition on the final OS rev was pretty good, but there's only so much of my bad penmanship it can take. Lowercase 'f's keep coming out capital, for some reason. I'm adding more curve to the tops.

Car behind me just stalled out, guy asked for a jump start. No problem. Asked three times which terminals he had the jumper clamps on... after impressive display of sparks from my battery terminal, went and checked myself. Reversed them. Thank goodness that didn't kill the Hyundai.

Just remembered I could send email from my work Blackberry; updated everyone there on my status. It seems I'm not the only NASA employee trapped here. I wonder if the accident was mechanical failure, or one or more people being idiots? I've been cut off twice in the last 24 hours by rude drivers trying for a single-car position advantage; Hampton Roads drivers can be brutal. On the other hand, I certainly hope no one was seriously hurt... as the cliche goes, "been there, done that".

Whoops. We're moving. Will post this from work.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
I have driven to Orlando. I have driven to upstate New York. In neither of those cases was I responsible for the steering wheel the whole time, if at all; so, yes, a five-hour drive can absolutely wear me out!

Since NASA Langley is practically sitting on I-64, I packed the car on Wednesday night and headed right to Blacksburg from work Thursday. 64 and I-81 aren't too unpleasant on a Thursday evening; my CD player may be broken, but the iPod plays through it nicely except for the pauses when it tries to eject nonexistent CDs.

Unfortunately, my transmission started throwing fits around Afton Mountain (who could blame it?) slipping and locking into third gear three times on the trip down. Pulling over for 10 minutes each time seemed to reset things, but that's no way to run a railroad.

I made it safely to the Microtel, where I was informed that the wireless access was a bit spotty on my floor :( Nevertheless, in an effort to adjust my sleep rhythms for the weekend, I stayed up for a couple hours unsuccessfully farming Primals in Zangarmarsh, only getting kicked off the server three times.

Friday I headed down to see my Mom (one of the main reasons for my Thursday travel), which was lovely. We traded Xmas presents and had good conversation over a mildly disappointing lunch. Interestingly, I'm still on a hot-rodded Mac G4 tower, and she's got the latest and greatest iMac Intel Core 2 Duo, which she took great glee in showing me.

Went to the lube place, got the transmission flushed, and had them look at my rear tires, which were making unhappy growly noises. Yep, they needed replacing. Technicon was getting expensive already...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (TARDIS42)
Yesterday was a real roller-coaster ride.

I was slammed with tickets at work yesterday, and fell behind despite my best efforts. I'm catching up a little bit today, but what a mess. There is never a lack of things for me to do here, let me tell you!

So, back in April, the driver's door switch in the Hyundai broke. The car believed that the door was constantly ajar, meaning I couldn't keep the power locks locked while the car was in motion (BAD), the dome light wanted to stay on all the time (turned it off), and the open-door dinger would chime erratically (psychosis-inducing).

While I still have to take the car by the dealership for several reasons, it finally occurred to me that with three pennies and a bit of duct tape, I could restore proper function to the switch. Now the locks work right, I've got my dome light back, and the dinger is no longer suggesting that I go on a three-state murder spree.

Then we headed over to [livejournal.com profile] ptownhiker's superhero game; and, less than a block away from the venue, someone's cat darted in front of the car. It was over before I registered the blurred shadow. We pulled over immediately, and found the owners, but it was far too late. The owners thanked us for having the decency to stop and find them... thank goodness I was heading straight to a big gathering of friends, because that was a hell of a downer.

The WWII superhero game, on the other hand, may have been the best session we've had in the campaign. All the heroes pulled together as a team and contributed something vital to the rescue of a torpedoed troopship in the North Atlantic, and the evening was full of crazy plans and laughter. One of the heroes has what is basically the Portal super power, and we come up with a new way to abuse it almost every session :)

And this morning I found where I'd accidentally hidden my iPod from myself. So, an eventful day-and-a-half.

EDIT: Here's a Flash version of the Portal game. I wish I hadn't found this at work :) http://portal.wecreatestuff.com/
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Today, as I drove to work, I plugged the iPod into the car stereo and listened to an episode of Astronomy Cast. (iTunes link)

Astronomy Cast bills itself as "your facts-based journey through the cosmos". There are few surprises in the podcast for a hard-core space geek, but the presentation is good and the content accessible to almost anyone listening. The science expert for the show, Dr. Pamela Gay, becomes excited and passionate when talking about her fields of expertise, but seems ever so slightly impatient any other time. Overall, it's entertaining and informative, and it's usually one of my first listening picks.

Today I heard pretty useful advice about purchasing binoculars and telescopes for casual amateur astronomy - useful because I think there's a telescope in my near future. (Suffolk is a short drive away and has nicely dark skies.) The previous episode, however, made *me* impatient; 30 minutes pointing out that higher dimensions, alternate universes, black holes, and FTL travel really do none of the fun things that science-fiction writers come up with. Hey, kids, human exploration will be over as soon as we land on the remaining solar planets - after that, it's all data analysis! Check out this set of spectra!

I admit, based on what we know right now, all that's probably true. But scientists have thought before that little remained to know, then been forced to change their minds when something new poked though the statistics. I'll acknowledge the validity of thier statements for now, but I'm not yet ready to give up the dream of yearly trips to Alpha Centauri! In the meantime, the "serious scientists" need to stop being such bummers. Carl knew better.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (cartoon)
I was working on a journal post this morning, but my USB 2 expansion card freaked in the middle of that, ruining an iPod update and crashing the computer. So no post.

That's kinda the tone for the whole month of October. Good things certainly happened, but it's been pretty rough. My workload's been amazing - I netted almost 120 hours in one 2-week period. As well, a carefully-arranged Halloween costume failed to materialize; then sickness killed a carefully-planned Halloween party trip.

On the other hand, I was too lazy to put together an interesting outfit for a later party, and wound up just attending in my Enterprise uniform... winning First Place (Men's), to my surprise!

I'm really bummed about missing Rising Star this year. It sounds like they're gonna have some fun! But we've dropped $700 on car repairs this month, and holiday gift-giving's on the way, so we have to watch the budget like a hawk. (Here's hoping I don't have to replace that PCI card.)

Questionable Content - one of my favorite webcomics, and worth reading through from the beginning - is selling a t-shirt which proclaims, "She Blinded Me With Library Science!" which keeps bringing to mind a certain Yeager crew member.

I did in fact begin NaNoWriMo this week. I have no expectation of finishing in time - the demands on my time are manifest right now - but I'm starting it anyway. This is the closest my head has been in years to having a complete plot and interesting characters lined up, and I'm not giving up now. I may even get around to reposting my WARS stories to elfie, just for my own inspiration.

Taverncast - a WoW podcast - did a Halloween episode called "War of the Murlocs" this year. Despite the fact that I listened to it during the day at work, am closely familiar with the old Orson Welles broadcast, and caught many of the in-jokes, they still managed to creep me out a tiny bit. Maybe it's my overactive imagination: judge for yourself at war-of-the-murlocs.mp3 if you like. I'll be having fish for dinner tonight as my own strike back against the slimy rampagers.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (menace)
Been away for a while, again. December was a rough month for me; one of the high points was the sinus infection that kept me feverish, nauseated, and flat on my back for all of Christmas weekend. On the other hand, [livejournal.com profile] raininva trumped her Valentine's Day gift to me with an even more geeky present: a 30GB iPod video. Dang, but that thing is small. It's full of anime and British SF right now, but even with video-on-the-go I never have time to watch anything right now.

Back in April, I barely resisted a rant about SF fans and reviewers. However, this review of the "Starship Troopers" novel pushed the rant to the surface again.

Rant follows... )
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (manic)
70 degrees and sunny outside today when I can't go out and enjoy it for a couple hours, and it'll be 45 again this weekend when I can. Poo. At least I'll be back in western Virginia and might be able to catch up with some people.

The iPod is so nice. I'd forgotten how good that really-loud on-demand Jean-Michael Jarre could be for my moods.

Robotech.com mentions this week that there will be a Robotech CCG this summer, and that Robotech: Shadow Chronicles is in pre-production as we speak. Yeah... I will believe in them both when I see them, and wait the same period before I trust in the quality of either. The CCG especially - designing an entertaining CCG with staying power isn't the cakewalk a lot of companies think - and they take a *lot* of money to support.

I haven't been real focused the last week or so, and haven't gotten many things done that I'd hoped to. Have to reign myself in on that.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (rabbiteer)
Sunday night [livejournal.com profile] raininva and I celebrated both an early Valentine's Day, and a late anniversary of the day we began a serious relationship. We drove out to one of Rain's favorite restaurants as she told me about the incredible gift she'd got me that would blow me away.

Well, we got settled at the table and she presented me with my gift - the first season of Gargoyles on DVD. Now, that was certainly cool and something I'm pleased to have in my collection, but it didn't quite measure up to the hype she'd been giving me. But I played along, and told her I was very pleased with the gift (not hard to do, since I did like it).

She said, "Yeah, I'm glad you like it; though I did get you a backup gift in case you didn't." And she hands me a 1 GB iPod shuffle.

iPod!

An iPod has spent quite a long stretch on my list of "things I'd like to have but I'm not holding my breath". And I have to admit it's keen to have a device which plays hours and hours of music on a single charge, with no moving parts besides the control switch. And it's tiny, and weighs nothing!

A passing waitress saw me looking at The Precious and said, "You must have been a very good boy lately!"

Not really. But my sweetie loves me :)

*****

Rain got a nail in her Pontiac's right rear tire Friday night, and assuming the tire was unsalvageable, we headed to Wal-Mart on Sunday afternoon for a replacement. There was a five-hour wait there! I swear, I'm going to start boycotting Wal-Marts not because of any political feeling, but because they are always overcrowded and scary. I want to start bringing a machete when I go to the Superstore down here!

So, I was about to admit defeat - Wal-Mart was impossible, and everything else was closed - when I saw a Shell station with a bunch of tires propped outside; I rolled the dice and pulled in. Turns out there was a friendly good-ol-boy in there who wasn't even busy, and had the tire plugged and airtight in 15 minutes, and even re-inflated the spare for us. Only charged about 15 bucks, too!

Here's some karma for you, guy. You deserve it.
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (flying_gif)
Dug out the sketchpad Wednesday night, and worked on that character some more.

There's an Eddie Izzard joke where he drops into the role of the young Hitler in painting class, muttering to himself, "I can't get this tree to look right... wait... dammit... fine! I'll just have to kill everybody!"

That gives you an idea of how well the drawing was going.

Saturday night was a birthday party at the bowling alley for one of Rain's work friends. I knew a bunch of people there from her work, including the one guy who begged off and just played Final Fantasy Tactics all evening. I bowled well... which is not to say I got a high score, but that I actually hit pins most of the time and got the rare spare and strike. Next time we go for ourselves, I think we're putting the bumpers up. We had them for one game because of a youngster's presence, and the score sheet's a lot less embarrassing when there's no gutter balls.

Back to the gym today, finally. (The holidays played hell with our gym schedule.) I was hoping the new mini iPod would be a lot cheaper, because it'd make an excellent gym companion, but no joy.

In the last week, I've read Diane Duane, Frank Herbert, Tom Clancy, Robert Heinlein, and Arthur C. Clarke, among others. That, and [livejournal.com profile] madwriter's posts have reawakened my writing urge. We'll see if it goes anywhere... the nice thing about 15 years of abandoned projects is that I have a lot of source material to mine :)
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
So, this morning in Tokyo, Steve Jobs announced a 10 gigabyte iPod for $500. I'm not sure that if added every CD I own to my MP3 collection that I'd have 10 gigs, even if I tossed in a gig of files to use it as an emergency boot drive. Heck, put a color screen on that puppy and you could watch ripped DVDs off of it!

Apple: "Yes, we're expensive. But isn't this cool?"
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (slaine)
Apple's announcing new product at next week's Macworld Expo. My reliable insider sites have been saying things like "1.2 gigaherz G4 PowerMacs" and "cheaper, smaller, lighter iMacs with 15 inch LCD screens", not to mention possible bugfixes to OS X.

This week, Apple's put blurbs on their front page such as "Far Beyond The Rumor Sites". This, of course, has the rumor sites whipped into even more of a frenzy. Here's the latest: a Apple PDA to compete with all those Palm and Windows CE machines out there.

iWalk PDA

http://www.spymac.com posted this image, along with a video (which you have to register to see).

If Apple sold a PDA, and it was competitively priced against a Palm, I'd consider it. But it would start with no apps, probably be as expensive as all Apple hardware, and besides, that thing in the picture looks like a mockup to me. One dial to control a PDA?

Guess we'll see next week...
mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
Apple introduces iPod, a FireWire-equipped digital audio player (MP3, MP2, more) with a 5GB hard drive (1000 songs). iPod is the size of a standard deck of playing cards, and includes: 20 minute skip protection; FireWire connection; a 10 hour lithium-polymer battery which charges in 1 hour; backlit LCD display; playlist support; ID3 tag support; a scroll wheel for fast song access.

iPod will ship November 10 for $399.

Apple iPod Here's a look at it.

I really wanted one of these for about 15 minutes, until the price got posted. I can think of other things to do with $400. If this is the beginning of Apple's move into consumer electronics - well, I have my doubts. It's neat - and I do want one - but I can't afford that price.

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mikailborg: I can't even remember what event I was attending, but I must have been taking it seriously. (Default)
mikailborg

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