On Thursday night Roger and I carved pumpkins for the weekend. I did the more traditional one with some additions such as scar and eyebrows. Roger's is a stencil of the cheat a character from the Homestar Runner website. We will see how they are recieved by our Trick or Treaters this Haloween. Hopefully we get lots since we have lots of candy. We decided to go all out this year and give out full size candy bars. We went to BJ's and got some variety packs of full size bars. Anything the kids don't take we must eat, don't need all that candy.
October 2004 Archives
I was supposed to have my new windshield installed this morning at 8 AM so I could be at work by about 10 AM. I drove over to the place this morning and got into the area a bit early. I decided to stop at McDonalds and get some breakfast to kill time. As I was eating Mike from Windshield City called and said my windshield was used after an accident last night. He would have another by 10:15 AM. This of course screwed me for work. I called my boss and let her know, since I wouldn't be able to make it until 1 PM which is almost not worth it. Then I called Karri since they live a few miles from the repair shop. Went to their place until 10 AM.
I got to the shop a few minutes before the truck with the new glass. I watched Mike do his work and chatted with him. Very interesting stuff. This shop does a lot of work for both Pohanka and Lindsay Lexus. He told me about problems with the RX330 and ES330. Apparently they have little plactic tabs for guides during manufacturing. Only problem is they are too thick or something and are now causing stress fractures. My car had similar tabs which he removed in the replacement process. He also showed me how the break-away rear view mirror works. He said he often has to go over to Pohanka to help them with it as it is tricky.
As he was taking off the windshield he looked to see what caused it. There was a tiny chip in the black area at bottom. I had missed it totally. He said chips in the lower black area are bad, something about it being different material down there. As he removed the windshield and pushed a little to pop it out the windshield cracked from one edge to the other. Definitely needed to be replaced. He replaced it with PPG glass rather than Toyota/Lexus. I was fine with this since he was recommended by two Lexus dealerships. As far as I can tell there is no difference. Just happy to have it done.
Sometime Saturday Night - Monday Morning my windshield on my car broke. I have no idea how. It wasn't a rock chip as far as I could tell, I have chips and they have caused nothing. This crack started at the bottom of the windshield in the center and went up and turned toward the driver. I contacted my Lexus dealer and apparently there is no warranty coverage on the windshield? Who knew. Thus I had to call my insurance company and there special glass line. Tomorrow morning I am getting my windshield replaced. YEAH!!
Just had to share a few stories about kids. As I was setting the phonathon a few lower school kids were working on a project. This project involved French words, which they apparently didn't know. Me being taller than them and apparently an adult they asked me how to spell a few French words. Well as many know I am a horrible speller in English, let alone French. I was able to help them with chataeu, but I was stumped on the French version of William. The next day as I was tearing down the phonathon and a student came down to retrieve a forgotten sweater. This time I was able to help simply because I was tall(er), it was on a hook out of reach. I just find these little things cool. Lastly, today I was working out and some students asked me how to spot while lifting. Now in this case it was upper school students who have seen me attempt to help them with computers and that is something I in theory know.
People ask me why I commute and work were I do. Moments like this are why. Makes the job worth it.
I like going to 7-Eleven for various reasons. They have a huge selection of on the go and junk food. The primary reason I go there though is to get a Coke Slurpee. This is apparently a problem more often than not though. At least half the time I go to a 7-Eleven the whole Slurpee machine or sometimes just the Coke portion is non-functional. It isn't usually the machine is off, it is that the Slurpee mix is not at the right consistency or isn't cold enough. This gets you liquid instead of the icy goodness you expect. Why is maintaining a Slurpee machine so difficult?
For the first time in almost 2 years I actually updated one of my other sites, my DVD site. I am still planning to do some more major updating to it in the next week or so. At least I finally cleaned out some really old and out of date info. The amazing thing is I passed the 1 million hit mark. Pretty amazing if I do say so myself.
I completed my weekly weigh in again today. I continued my trend of the last few weeks of 1 pound a week. My goal date is now Dec 19, a Sunday 8 weeks from now. I would like to lose another 16 pounds by then, hopefully I can accelerate to 2 pounds a week. Still a fairly good steady rate.
As has become tradition Jim hosted Oktoberfest again this year. Again he provided a wonderful selection of German foods. We had Sauerbraten a wonderful roast like thing. Then we had some home made noodles prepared by Dan and Heather. Roger and Travis cooked up some Schnitzel, which is breaded and fried veal. Lastly, we had various brats and Sausages. Of course there was also a vast selection of various German beers. Including obviously the traditional Budenweiser :). Lots of people made the trek to Jim's and all enjoyed themselves. Also as you can see in the pictures to the left Roger and Travis dressed for the occasion. They even brought their own (super)mugs, to ensure the beer would always be flowing.
Well Roger took delivery of his bike yesterday, so the dynamic duo is complete. They are waiting for their third (not me) to make Satan's Pickles official. Nice bikes I must say.
Almost a month ago Travis and Roger took a class to learn how to ride motorcycles. It was like a behind the wheel course that first time drivers take in high school. They both passed and then later took the written test at DMV. Today Travis took delivery of his motorcycle. Later next week Roger will get his. Oh yeas it has begun.
I would love to be able to delve into how information passes amongst mailing lists and junk mailers. I moved in to my current address a little less than a year ago. Obviously my parent's have never lived here nor used this address. A few months after moving in I got a few messages addressed to my dad. Now today I get an add addressed to my mom. I just wish I could figure out where and how the databases have connected my parent's to this address. It would be an interesting trail I assume.
Last night I went to see this movie with Roger and Travis. First, if you can be offended than this movie will most likely do it at some point. Second, if you like South Park you will like this movie, if not you might not like it. It was very funny at times and a little dry at others. The sets and puppets were actually very well done. Especially the face work. It slamed the left a little more than the right, but was pretty equal bashing all around.
I went in today (Saturday) to do some more wireless investigations. I turned off all the access points and then did some comparisons. We currently have a mixture of 3Com 8000 and 8250 access points. These have worked ok, but not great. Also the 8250's are not manageable or configurable. Before the 3Com wireless debacle began in the summer of 2001 we had Cabletron access points based on a Lucent form factor and chipset. We still use some of those access points and find them to work well. The wireless division of Lucent was spun off to Agere and then was bought by Proxim. The current product line is still called Orinoco. We bought one the newest AP's on the market, one made by Proxim, the AP-700.
After I turned off the two access points I did some testing with the Ekahau software I mentioned previously. I first used the 3Com by itself and did a survey to see what it was doing, then I did the same with the new Proxim AP. I found that the signal strength of the Proxim was better and more importantly so was its Signal to Noise Ratio. The SNR in the room with the AP improved slightly and greatly in the room next door. I then turned on the next closet access points and repeated the tests. Lastly, I turned all the access points back on and tested one last time. It appears the Proxim is indeed better. The true test is Monday when everyone is back to see what happens.
If the Proxim truly is better hopefully we can upgrade some more. The Proxim is by far more configurable and manageable. It is like night and day between it and a 8250.
As I was driving home today through Baltimore there was a march of people holding register to vote signs. There was a hundred or so people. It seems in certain areas there is more drive to register voters than in others. Maybe it is assumed in the other areas people are already registered to vote. Dunno.
Today I got an evaluation of Ekahau Site Survey 2.1. This is what I spent several hours today just playing with. After spending about an hour walking one floor of our building I had a very useable map of wireless coverage. With more time it will be interesting to see how I can tune the wireless. It was amazing to see how bad some of the coverage was given the position of an access point.
Today was weird. I got to work about 7:15 AM. The first time I looked at the clock it was 12:15 or so. Then the next time it was 3:15 PM. At that point I thought it was about 11 AM or so. Just felt weird and really didn't feel like much had happened. Then I got engrossed in something else until about 6 PM. Just a funny feeling.
One of the reasons for the lack of updates recently was the release of the Star Wars DVDs. It is like watching them again for the first time. I saw things I never noticed in the theater or on VHS. If you like the movies, you must see them in this version. Highly recommended. I even watched some extra stuff on the 4th DVD. One of the funny things was TV commercials from the late 70's and early 80's.
This weekend I was updating the arcade to the latest versions of mame (87u1). In the process I found some games I had never seen before. One was Empire Strikes Back that is like the old Star Wars vector game. This one you attacked AT-AT walkers instead. Another one was a Road Runner game. The whole premise of the game was running away from Wille Coyote. Fun stuff.
Well I had another bi-weekly weigh in. I actually lost 3 pounds in this 2 week period. Hopefully the trend will continue. I have a goal too, in shape by 12/17, for reasons that will be known later.