MsGeek.Org v2.0

The ongoing saga of a woman in the process of reinvention.
Visit me at my new blog, MsGeek.Org v3.0

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Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Last post here...for future posts, please visit my new home on the updated Blogger:

See you there!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

In transition...

I will be moving this blog to space using the Blogger Beta system. I want to move everything to Blogger Beta but apparently I'm not eligible for that yet.

I will also be taking this time to figure out what I'm going to do with this blog. I've moved a great deal of my writings to other places, and this general-purpose place has sort of languished.

BTW this is post #776 here...maybe the post where I make my final decisions about what I'm going to do should be reserved for #777. Do THREE sevens clash?

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Two reasons to vote November 7th:

1.) The House of Representatives passed the Torture Bill.

2.) The Senate passed the Torture Bill.

There were too many Dems on the Yea side (12) in the Senate to sustain a filibuster. So Howard Dean didn't even try to get one going. Call 'em the Dirty Dozen. Neither Boxer nor Feinstein was one of them, thankfully. It will make pulling the lever for Evil DiFi a little more bearable.

It's time to vote the GOP bastards out. Unfortunately the only way to do it is to support the Dems.

Monday, September 25, 2006

OMG WTF BBQ-ed Thinkpad 600x....

Linux kernel hacker Alan Cox has always sworn by his ThinkPad 600x. I have one myself, and one 600e with a screwed up LCD that an acquaintance gave me from the pallet of ThinkPads he bought from the Enron bankruptcy auction.

However, all that love went up in smoke, quite literally, on September 22nd.

According to Alan Cox's wife, this was the scene she saw right after the explosion.

Alan was on the other side of the room from the laptop. I was elsewhere. He yelled out, I ambled towards the room in my own good time, and then I heard Fire! Real fire! Call the fire brigade, now! and I speeded up a bit.

From Alan subsequently, I gather there was an explosion and flying pieces of laptop, and a fireball, and a couple of fires started where (presumably) boiling battery landed, and one fragment smashed an LCD monitor. And then there was smoke and smell (there is still smell) and smoke alarm wailing and firemen and sirens and paramedics (happily unneeded) and police and a man with a notebook asking questions for the fire report.

Now I'm worried about BlueTank, (600x) TejanoAzul (ex-Enron 600e) and my former BlueTomato, another 600e now living with my friend Shelby. The older battery I have that I use with the Tank when hooked up to a power source is an authentic IBM battery. The newer battery is Hacked By Chinese and I'm not entirely sure I trust it now. Tejano Azul doesn't even have a battery...I gave its battery to SFVLUG prime mover Brian Ragazzi and it's now living in HIS 600e. Chad Page has a couple of 600 series laptops with batteries in various stages of health.

Perhaps there's going to be a recall of 600 series batteries? The 600 series had other battery problems, namely the fact that the AC subsystem in the 600 series tended to over charge and fry out batteries prematurely. Perhaps IBM isn't going to give a hoot because the 600 is way too old to care about. Who knows.

All I know is that these are ugly, ugly pix. And Alan Cox is one of the unsung heroes of Open Source. He doesn't deserve to have his pride and joy computer go Kablooey and to be even mildly injured in the process. Eep...

Sunday, September 24, 2006

The sooner I can get this moved to, the better. Going back to this interface and this look is like getting a vanilla ice cream cone when you asked for Jamocha Almond Fudge. Isn't ready to go gold yet??? C'mon Googleplex, hook a sista up!

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Now I know why I'm having a hard time getting into the groove...I'm fighting off a cold.

I hate it when I'm sick. Really. It sucks.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

It's weird...I've updated some of the other blogs I keep, but not this one.

OK, time for Geekback, where I just throw out observations in random access mode.

1.) It's time to rename Pope Benedict the 16th or whatever number he is. He's now Pope Maledict the Nothingth. If you know anything about Latin root words you would understand the appropriateness of the name. What a fucking dick. He did everything but declare a new round of the Crusades. Gasoline, meet match. When Dubya and he get together it's going to be a freaking love fest.

2.) They finally found a permanent name for "Xena," the dwarf planet that upstaged Pluto. It's now Eris. So far Robert Anton Wilson hasn't weighed in on this yet. But I bet there are lots of happy Discordians out there. Fnord.

3.) I've mentioned it other places, but why not here: I have opened up Hardware Store Jedi again because I'm preparing to do version 2.0 of my hardware lightsabre tutorial. I have to give 'nuff respect to Random Sabers, the company that made this all possible. They made me two "naked" sabre hilt blanks, basically a couple of aircraft-grade aluminum tubes that are 1" in diameter and 9.5" in length, (these are custom specs, not the standard "practice saber" they sell which is 1.25" in diameter and 11" in length) with a hole drilled near the top to admit a hex-head set screw. These sabre hilt blanks actually can be fitted with solid "stunt" blades for things like kata and theatrical "fighting" and even sparring, although one needs to be really careful of exactly what you use for that last purpose.

I bought two blue acrylic blades from Random Sabers to go with the hilt blanks, but those are strictly for kata and "lookin' purdy" as my buddy Jim Smith would put it. I'm looking at using rattan for actual "stunt blades," and also maybe doing foam rubber covered "blades" for casual whacking around and being silly. Unfortunately I didn't grab any pool noodles while they were still available, so the foam covered "safety" blades will have to wait until mid-Spring when they bring the Summer pool toys out at the 99 Cent store and Dollar Tree. Of course, I put "safety" in quotes because even after you pad down a sabre blade it is not 100% harmless.

4.) I'm trying to get into the groove of being a student again, but after 4 months off it's really painful to shift back into that headspace. I'm still walking around with post Comic-Con withdrawal. "Post-con syndrome." I was supposed to go to a grad school fair at Woodbury today but I got the time of the fair confuzzled with the time the Common Threads club was having what used to be called a "White Elephant Sale" but they referred to as a "vintage clothing sale." I missed the grad school fair. However, I did make the rummage sale event. Not much truly vintage clothing there, mostly stuff of '80s and '90s vintage, but there were three boxes full of patterns, some from the '60s and '70s so I suppose that also makes them vintage but most were pretty recent. And the ones I grabbed for $0.10/ea are recent...the oldest is from 1985. That one I can't even use, because it's a little girl size dress. However, it *does* show me how a Sailor blouse is constructed. Which is a good thing, because I want to make a Seifuku blouse one of these days.

The Common Threads club is starting to get to know of the professors who's a faculty advisor asked me if I figured out what I was going to do with the huge honkin' pile of black cotton/poly twill I bought at the fabric sale. After finding the Sailor dress pattern I started thinking..." twill...Seifuku...ok, goth-loli Seifuku!" Sugoi! Kakkou-ii! Kawaii!

One thing though...I will have to find a pleated skirt somewhere. Because pleats just look like too much of a hassle for a sewing padawan like myself. However, I do have all that fabric...gotta figure out SOMETHING to do with all that. I wonder if the outfit will look OK with just a regular skirt, not a pleated one. Oh well, something to think about, anyway.

5.) I'm very, very frustrated with the California election. Why is Angelides rolling over and playing dead? It's after Labor Day, dude...start the campaign, for crissake! Grumble grumble...

Monday, September 11, 2006

ABC and Disney deserve to lose.

The bastards did it. Looks like The Big Dog will sue soon.

Until then, have a ABC/Disney's expense.

UPDATE: Read this Keith Olbermann essay. He's on fire tonight. Un-freakin'-believable. Send this to your friends.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Crikey indeed.

I think some of my Aussie friends are breathing a sigh of relief that Steve Irwin has snuffed it. Certainly Irwin has done almost as much as Paul Hogan in feeding stereotypes about people from the Great Southern Land. However, the guy did do some decent things for wildlife preservation over there, so he deserves some credit. It was, however, pretty questionable to bring your 1-year-old in to visit a croc in the beast's enclosure. You just don't expose a kid to that kind of risk, no matter how good at handling dangerous toothy creatures you are.

I suppose the biggest loss is being felt at the Discovery Channel. Their marquee personality is no longer among the living. How are they ever going to survive such a blow to their talent pool?

Yes, I can be a snarky little devil at times. Especially now.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Vault kicks, Ralphs sucks.

This is an actual message I sent to Ralphs Supermarkets, Inc., about an actual incident. There are many good reasons why people shouldn't shop at Ralphs. They pulled some evil shenanigans during the supermarket strike, for instance. But this was the last straw for us. There are not a hell of a lot of supermarket chains left in LA and even less that I will patronize. Now there is one less that I will shop at.

This evening I went to the Ralphs at Woodman and Sherman Way...I think it's considered Van Nuys there but maybe it's North Hollywood or possibly Arleta. In any event, I wanted to take advantage of the 5 12 pack for $11 deal Coca-Cola beverage deal advertised in your current flier.

I loaded up 5 12 packs of Vault Zero, which is a Coca-Cola product. The card price said "4 for $11" which was the same for all Coca-Cola products. The coupon mentioned "any Coca-Cola product" as qualifying.

However, when I tried to check out it was a completely different story. The grand total was almost $18 including CRV.

The manager was less-than-helpful and very rude. "The ad says Coca-Cola, Sprite, Diet Coke or Dr. Pepper. No Vault."

"Vault is a Coca-Cola product. The coupon says Coca-Cola products. It doesn't specify which Coca-Cola product."

"Yeah but the ad does."

No "Sorry about that." No "we apologize for the inconvenience." He treated us like we were something he scraped off his work boot.

"Fine! Be that way!" I said, and my husband and I left the store, and the 5 12 packs of Vault Zero.

Note well: my husband and I are never, *ever* going to darken the doors of a Ralphs again. End of story. We have never been treated so badly and we don't want to be treated that way again. We will be also contacting the local Coca-Cola bottler and telling them about your refusal to honor the deal on one of their less well known products.

To add injury to insult, the checker refused to surrender the coupon so that we could use it elsewhere. It makes me think only one thing: that the store intends to redeem the coupon regardless of whether it was properly used or not.

So there you have it: our sordid tale of abuse at the hands of a Ralphs manager. I hope this guy gets in a world of hurt with his higher-ups. Nobody treats me this way and gets away unscathed. Nobody.