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Blog Archives for October 2007

Free Wiimote Jackets

Friday, October 26th, 2007 - Comments (0) in Life, Wii

Nintendo is now including rubber jackets for the Wii wireless remotes with new systems. For anyone who already has a Wii, you can request up to 4 free jackets on Nintendo's website. All you need is the serial number off the back of the Wii.

I got my 4 jackets yesterday and they are pretty neat. The major difference between these and all the other jackets that have been around forever is the amount of cushion at the business end. You could probably throw one of these remotes pretty hard at something (I wouldn't recommend your LCD TV) and it would just bounce off.

What I really like about these is the ease in which it can be removed. My mom got me a rubber jacket for my remote last Christmas and it was such a pain in the ass to remove to change the batteries, I just gave up on it. With these, it's very simple to just pull the bottom half down to get to the battery compartment. No vulgarities, jumping up and down or scissors needed when the batteries run out in the middle of a game.

Wii Jacket 1 Wii Jacket 2 Wii Jacket 3

SELECT brain FROM ass;

Thursday, October 25th, 2007 - Comments (3) in Computers, Life, Work

To quote a wise man (my dad, quoting another wise man (his dad)), "There's never enough time to do it right, but always enough time to do it over."

We have a new website at school where content is role-based. This means when you login you are presented with content based on what roles are applied to your account: student, parent, staff, alumni, trustee, etc. Upper school parents probably don't care about nursery newsletters and students probably don't care about board meeting minutes.

In order for all this to work, someone (me) has to export all of our constituents from one of our databases and get them into a form the website company can work with. This was a major pain in the ass. The database that had all the information I needed didn't have a very useful export feature. I basically had to export all the fields I needed and save it as an MS Access database, and then had to write a bunch of queries and modules to do various things to the data like combine fields to make usernames and unique temporary passwords. Then I had to export the output from the Access queries and save it as an Excel spreadsheet like the company needed.

This was all done months ago to input the data into the website database, but not until recently did they need to generate and mail letters to parents informing them of their usernames and passwords. I sent the mail-merge people the same spreadsheet I sent the website people, but heard that there were more than just current parents in that file; there were some former parents and some grand parents. So in a mad rush they had me re-generate this file for their mailing with only current parents in it. In my haste to get this done I fumbled one of the steps and used the wrong username formula. This means the letters were generated and mailed with the wrong usernames.

UGH.

On the bright side, of the almost 500 letters that went out, only 17 people so far have inquired about their nonworking accounts.

Asparagus

Tuesday, October 16th, 2007 - Comments (5) in Life

I've experienced this phenomenon for a few years now without knowing its cause. Basically sometime after dinner I would go take a whiz and get a faint whiff of a combination of broccoli, skunk and road-kill. This would happen every time I'd go to the bathroom that night. Weird, I know. When I was living on Emmons Drive (the first time I noticed this) I actually took the toilet tank cover off to look, and looked in the shower and sink drains to see if anything was backing up.

Yesterday it happened again and I finally figured out what the causes is: asparagus! Rachelle found an interesting article on webmd on this very subject.

Good Samaritan

Friday, October 12th, 2007 - Comments (0) in Life

Last weekend while hanging out with a friend visiting from Albany we went to Wegmans to return a dvd and pick up some stuff to make dinner. While we were sitting at the traffic light waiting to get out of the plaza, I saw something out of the corner of my eye in the grass by the sidewalk. I usually have pretty good radar when it comes to finding cool stuff (that Rachelle would call “garbage”), so I asked Jason to turn back into the plaza to check it out. When we got back to the spot I found a practically brand new Motorola SLVR cell phone sitting there in a puddle.

When we got home I removed the back cover to the phone, took the battery out and let it dry out for a while. When I put it back together the phone turned on just fine, but it didn’t seem to respond to any button other than end. My first thought was that the owner called Cricket (the service provider) and told them the phone was lost so they sent a brick message to it. By brick message I mean they sent a message to the phone that locked it permanently so it can’t be used; effectively turning it into a $200 brick. But it turned out it was still wet inside. I let it dry out over night and it was working perfectly the next morning.

There was a contact in the address book labeled “meeeee other cell”, which I though was a good place to start. I left a message that I had their phone and to call me back. It was kind of fun, like a ransom call. Trish (if I remember her name correctly) called me back and we set up to meet back at Wegmans. When we met she ended up being this little teeny-bopper who was very happy to see her lost phone.

I asked when she lost it and she said 3 weeks ago! Either nobody picked up a cell phone just sitting there or saw it for 3 weeks? That made me wonder if people just walk around with their eyes closed; it was just sitting there next to the sidewalk in plain view of people walking down the street and even cars pulling out of the plaza. I’d like to think if I lost my phone someone would pick it up and dial the “home” contact to get it back to me. But maybe nobody would bother picking it up expecting me to retrace my steps and find it myself.

27...28...

Thursday, October 4th, 2007 - Comments (3) in Life

Yeah, it's that time of year again; I'm officially 28 years old today. According to my info page I'm actually 28.0202 years as of the time I'm writing this.

I can remember back in the dark ages (the late 80's) when I couldn't go to sleep the night before my birthday because I was so excited. Last night I was dosing off on the couch watching Private Practice at like 9:15, so pathetic.

The thing I've noticed as changing the most in my old age is my patience. I can hold back from doing and getting things that I want without it driving me crazy anymore. There are things I really want to do and things I really want to get, but I'm able to tell myself, "I can do that later", or "maybe next month." For example, I have a parts computer in my car that I'm going to use to build a new desktop at home. This thing has been in my car for weeks. Even just a few years ago I would've had that thing all setup and running the day I got my hands on it.

There’s a part in the movie The Silence of the Lambs where Starling is creating a profile of Buffalo Bill, “…he’s in his 30’s or 40’s – he’s got real physical strength, but combined with an older man’s self-control. He’s cautious, precise, never impulsive…” Not to compare myself to a fictitious serial killer, but I understand what she’s talking about more at this point in my life than I did back when I first saw the movie some 15 years ago. I’m not always cautious and precise, nobody is, but I am certainly getting more and more as time goes on.