Adventures in the outdoors

Saturday was my “get errands done” day, and I started off by getting the alignment checked on my car. Rather than go to a random alignment place, I went to the mechanic I went to during my oil filter fiasco. (I can’t remember if I’ve written about that incident… perhaps I should someday. But not now.) It was going to take a while, so while I left the car there, I grabbed my iPod and decided to just wander around Sunnyvale. I ate lunch, visited some random garage sales, bought a book for 50 cents, and managed to get a slight sunburn on the back of my neck. When I got back, they were just about to start. When they finished, it turns out that the reason why the car was tending so strongly to the side wasn’t because of the alignment, but because one of the front tires was of a different brand than the other three. Now, these are the same tires that I’ve had on the car since I bought it, but that’s one of the problems of buying a used car.

The head mechanic said he noticed it right away. This is the same guy who noticed right away that it was the wrong oil filter in my original visit. Twice now, this guy has right away noticed something that other people have completely overlooked. (If they had noticed that the brand of tire was different when they rotated them, they should have said something dammit.) They rotated the tires around until they got it as balanced as possible, but I should buy new tires soon anyway, which should fix the problem.

So, out the cost of an alignment check that didn’t end up being necessary, I went two doors over to get the car’s smog checked. The operation was a new one, and it consisted of this funny old man, the very complicated and official looking testing machine that he was constantly griping about, and the testing wheels in the ground. It took a few tries for him to get the machine to keep reading the RPMs from my car through the communications port, and I ended up having to sit in the passenger seat and hold the cable attached while it went through the testing procedures. Hooray for audience participation!

Afterwards, I continued my errands and bought another set of shelves and new shoes. I now have four sets of bookshelves in my room (one of which is ‘s, but he does have about one shelf’s worth of books in there as well.) And I ended up straightening my room on Sunday, it looks a lot cleaner now. And last night, I managed to gain not one, but two levels of Red Mage. Woo hoo!

And today I’m sore — my feet hurt from walking and the new shoes, my legs hurt from walking, and I have a bruise on my arm from moving the unassembled shelf box upstairs.

Spam from the other end.

It appears that, once again, my email domain is being used as the “From” line in a crapload of spam, because I’m getting a crapload of delivery errors and unknown logins. At least no one replies to it anymore chewing me out. (Or they do, and it gets caught by my own spamfilter.)

Spammers die die die if you have to resort to tricks then you aren’t selling anything worth buying.

Another excuse to use this user icon

I had been going really well for a long time. I have had no computer problems for months now. Then, in the span of 24 hours, I managed to kill two computers by not doing anything out of the ordinary. What’s amazing is that the two computers in question were both Macs.

I first hosed the karaoke machine (the “computer” which is just an external bootable hard drive, currently living on my G4 cube) by trying to use the command-line software upgrade, but then not finishing the process. At least I think that’s what caused it. The problem was that the Finder would keep starting up, then crashing, then starting up, then crashing. I had to reinstall the OS (in the wee hours of the morning, of course), but it seems to be working now.

Then the very next day, I was playing with my Powerbook, and I tried booting into OS 9. I got a flashing question mark disk icon, so I tried switching back, but it wouldn’t let me. I tried booting to my hardware test disk, but it couldn’t mount the drive. The next morning, I called Apple tech support, and in the process ended up using the Disk Utilities that come on the 10.3 install disk, which did find the disk and enabled me to switch the startup disk back. What frightens me about this is that there is now the possibility for putting my laptop into a state where it can’t be fixed if I don’t have a specific CD with me.

It finally happened.

Typical operating procedure at the cafeteria here at work goes as follows: Get food on tray, pay for food, take tray to fountain drink station, put tray on counter across from drink, wait in line for drink, get drink and put on tray, walk out with tray and go sit down.

Today, I got most of the way through this procedure when I realized that someone had walked away with my tray. They had left their own tray in its place, which had the same meal, plus some condiments. I had this deer in headlights look on my face for a few seconds, as passers-by commented, “what happened? You look like someone stole your lunch.” “Someone did!”

Content and coincidence

This week has been frustrating. I’ve got lots of little projects going on, and all of them are urgent, but none of them were getting anything to me when they said they would. Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday all went by without me getting anything to work on, then all of a sudden it all came crashing down on Thursday. All of a sudden, emails start flying by, people start calling me, and I’m trying to keep track of different people, projects, files, urls… I got through a flurry of activity, then get stuck and need to get further information from people, none of whom are reachable.

Today was more of the same, with even more people calling me. I woke up late again (need to fall asleep earlier), and had plans to go to Dim Sum for lunch, so I worked from home for an hour and a half at home before going to work. In that time, I got two phone calls from people whom I’d only met yesterday, came face-to-face with the stupid email bug where fetchmail kept downloading the same 4MB email over and over and over, never getting anything after that and choking the system in the process, and continued to research one of the projects, but couldn’t continue because there was information I needed in an email I couldn’t get. During one of the phone calls, I gave them my cell phone number, because I was about to drive off, and sure enough, I got called in the car.

The person (whom I had never talked to before) expressed concern that the HTML wasn’t working right, or it possibly wasn’t the most recent version. They said the engineer was having problems, I asked “is it Person So-and-So?”, whom I knew worked on that particular website, but it wasn’t. I managed to figure out what the problem was, or at least point them in the right direction right before I drove up and parked in the lot of the restaurant.

As I was standing outside the restaurant I thought I recognized someone as they were driving up. We sort of stared at each other, like we almost recognized who the other was but weren’t sure, but didn’t say anything. Once the rest of the people I was waiting for got there, we sat down, and I looked over at the table next to us, and it was at least half-full of Yahoo! employees that I recognized, including the woman I couldn’t place…

… who was the person whom I mentioned in the phone call not fifteen minutes earlier.

Uncle Sam called…

… he wants his money back. Yes, I owe money. A lot of money, it turns out. But as my financial guy said, “The good thing about taxes is that you don’t pay them unless you made money.”

As a part of the liquidation of assets to cut a check, a very important milestone was passed: I am now no longer a shareholder of Yahoo!. (Nor of Disney, which I would have preferred to hold on to for sentimental reasons, but it’s too late for that now.)

In other financial news, shortly after my egg post, the egg market crashed, and I was forced to reduce my prices. I didn’t makes as much gil as I would have liked, but I still made some. And as of yet, there is no income tax in Vana’diel!

That’s a long time….

I mentioned this before, but now it’s gotten really obscene:

.—————————————– — –
| Hamusutaa ( (Internic Network)
: ircname : Andy Scheffler
| channels : @#conversatron
| server : (Hamusutaa)
| operator : Hamusutaa (is NOT an IRC warrior)
: idle : 4459 hours 58 mins 2 secs (signon: Thu Oct 9 17:31:16 2003)

Yes, it’s true, no one’s really using the channel anymore, but it’s still amusing that I’ve been idle for over 185 days.

Penny Arcade Remix

The Penny Arcade Remix Project got linked in a bunch of places, recently, but I just have to share this one comic that’s been sticking in my mind like those annoying stickers they put on CD cases that you can’t take off without scratching the case and even then there’s still a little bit left over that you keep scratching off and off and… oh, I’m sorry, I was digressing a bit there.

“How is the weather today?” “Fine and sometimes bear.”