I was reading a post by Ed Bott about a recent increase in e-mail spam. It prompted me to go look at the stats from our anti-spam provider appriver. They were quite interesting to say the least. If you look at the screenshot you can see that our email/spam level has increased almost 3x this month alone. That peak is on Oct 24, on that date we had almost a total of 40,000 emails and at least 30,000 spams. It has dropped off again, so I can't explain the spike at all?
October 2006 Archives
Last Sunday Kelly and I went back to work on the yard. This time we started out bagging 10 30 gallon bags of yard waste. Then we started really digging out the small garden between my driveway and house. We spent several hours digging up and pulling out the roots of various plants and weeds. Some of the roots were 8-10 ft long running along the house. After we had gotten the majority dug up I started to use the tiller/cultivator. I dug up about 6" deep the entire length of the garden. It chopped up the dirt very finely and hopefully served to kill off whatever roots were left.
This weekend we will hopefully bag up the rest of the waste. I will also need to mow the lawn again, hopefully for the last time this year. Maybe all this work will pay off next spring with the yard being more in control and looking better.
Amazon sends out suggestions based on previous purchases and what others have bought. This week I got a really weird one. First the DVD it is suggesting is odd, even more so is the connection. Here is the relevant bit.
We've noticed that customers who have expressed interest in The Lion King (Disney Special Platinum Edition) have also ordered ChickFight 3: Special Edition (two-discs) on DVD. For this reason, you might like to know that ChickFight 3: Special Edition (two-discs) is now available on DVD. You can order your copy for just $29.95 by following the link below.
I am just not sure how they came up with this one. This is by far the oddest yet for me.
Almost six months ago in early May I posted my predictions for the HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray format war. The original list can be found here. I wanted to update a few of my predictions that have come true and others as false. I will do another update in January once sales numbers for CY06 are finalized.
1. Microsoft will release a HD-DVD add-on for Xbox 360 for less than $200 (maybe as low as $100) by the time the PS3 launches in US. - The HD-DVD add-on will be released in Mid-Nov for $199.99.
2. Microsoft will offer a bundle of Xbox 360 and HD-DVD player for the same or lower price as the PS3 in CY06. Microsoft will not however revise the Xbox 360 hardware to include a HD-DVD internally in CY06. - This one looks like it won't happen, it may yet happen next year.
6. The first fully capable dual format player will be Windows Vista based Media Center boxes that include individual drives for each format. This will not happen in CY06 and may not even happen in 1H07. The machines may not be sold with both drives but will be easily upgradeable to add which ever drive did not ship in the original configuration. - Well I wasn't quite right on this. There will shortly be available a Windows XP based computer that contains both drives and thus enabling a single device dual format player. It will be released by Vidabox. At this point it would be much cheaper to buy standalones.
Last week on Thursday I went to Best Buy to get a TV. I had done some looking and decided on the Westinghouse LTV-27w7 HD which is primarily available at Best Buy. I wasn't getting this TV for me it was mostly a present for Kelly. She had a 19-20" old school TV that was getting worse and worse. The picture would bounce even while watching a DVD then the color started to be off. I say it was mostly for Kelly since I will also enjoy using it while at her place.
Anyway the real reason for this post was to tell the story of getting the TV at Best Buy. I had waited until the TV was no longer on sale and was officially lowered in price, which allowed me to use a coupon for it. I had a coupon for 12% off some items. The coupon neither said it was or wasn't for TV's. I asked one of the sales dudes, actually one from the store in a store Magnolia. He said it should work so I said to get me one. We went back to the Magnolia register to ring me out. The coupon didn't work. However the manager in that are worked with me and gave me 10% off anyway. I could live without the 2%.
Karri told me that she had a similar experience at Best Buy. She wanted to buy a receiver for Jerry and mentioned to a rep that she wanted to wait for a 10% off coupon. The rep gave her 10% off anyway. I have also heard from others that they have essentially haggled the price with managers. I guess it can't hurt to ask.
Needless to say Best Buy made me a happy customer again, which they have done more often than not and it is why I spend my money there. Hopefully they continue to upgrade their stores and stay on the right course.
On Sunday the 8th Kelly got up and decided it was time to work on the yard, more specifically the hedges and other weeds around my house. The house I bought last May had sat unoccupied for at least a year before I bought it. Also after I moved in I hadn't done much with the yard other than to mow the lawn since I was busy with the inside. It was finally time to begin the work on the outside. We started by using my battery powered hedge trimmer and hand held clippers. After an hour or so we decided we would need more power. I went to Home Depot.
I got a Ryobi Brush Cutter Trimmer. It seems like a simple straightforward edger and trimmer. However this tool can have the end removed and other attachments added. There are a couple of different attachments available under the Expand-It brand. The only one I had a chance to use is the chain saw attachment. With it I completely cut out the bush to the left of my front door. Then I drastically trimmed back the bush on the right side over to the driveway. It is a really handy tool and I can't wait to try out the other attachments in the process of cleaning the rest of the yard up.
In the end we spent about 4 hours working in the yard pretty hard. We also had a good deal of yard waste that I need to dispose off at some point, still trying to figure that out.
On Thursday October 5th Kelly took me to see the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra's presentation of the Shostakovich Centenary Celebration. It was at the Meyerhoff Symphony Hall. Since it was a Thursday night it was not sold out as it would be on a weekend, but it was about 75% full. One of the pieces was a piano concerto. The rest was a normal symphony. There were some parts of the pieces that I really liked and the rest were ok.
I am a fan of movie scores which are very similar to these symphony pieces. I just like some other composers better. Usually Kelly goes with others to the symphony, but maybe I will go with her more often now.