Archive for January, 2006

Great car dealership

January 19, 2006 Comments off

If you’re in the Seattle area and are in the market for a new Honda I highly recommend Honda Auto Center of Bellevue.  We purchased a 2005 Accord Coupe from this dealer last fall and were impressed by the organization at every turn.  The service department rocks too – we got assigned to Jason Diaz.  Awesome!

Today I had the unfortunate pleaseure of needing to buy a new tire ASAP.  😦  I had to go pick up our daughter from daycare early because she’s got a little bit of a cold.  Then I also needed to stop by the Redmond Comcast office to get a digital converter for work.  When I pulled out of the Comcast lot I heard a thunk thunk thunk from a tire.  CRAP!  Just what I need, a sick kid in a sick car.

I got out and found a huge bolt sticking straight into the right-front tire.  At least it wasn’t flat (yet) and I wasn’t about to try to pull it out.  I’d guess it was a good 3/8” diameter shaft, and that was going to go flat quick.  So much for taking Kaitlyn home to let Alicea keep working.

I looked in my phone and found Jason’s number (I don’t have the main service line in my address book for some dumb reason).  I called Jason and he (luckily) was in and answered right away.  He remembered me and asked how he could help.  I explained the situation and he quickly identified they had a tire in stock and that they could squeeze me in right away.  Awesome!

Alicea showed up to the dealership just a few minutes after me and whisked Kaitlyn off to home and bed – boy does she need it.  I settled in to the waiting area and what to my wondering eyes does appear?  A little sign advertising free WiFi here!

Honda of Bellevue, you’ve got our business.

Update: Not only did the shop service my car quickly (and washed the outside … and vacuumed the inside) but they didn’t make me buy a new tire!  The tech was able to patch it – that’s right, a patch for a bolt.  Not a nail; a bolt.  I was prepared to buy a tire, and they knew that.  Most places I know would have sold me that tire.  So I went home having spent $55 instead of $190.  Sweet!

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Don’t go there … ugh, too late

January 19, 2006 Comments off

Chirac threatens nuclear weapons against ‘terrorist’ states (AFP):

French President Jacques Chirac comes aboard "The Vigilant" nuclear submarine, at l'Ile Longue military base, in the northwestern region of Brittany. Chirac for the first time warned Today that France could use nuclear weapons against states that launch or plan "terrorist" attacks against it involving weapons of mass destruction.(AFP/Pool/Jacques Demarthon)AFP – President Jacques Chirac for the first time raised the threat of a nuclear strike on any state that launches “terrorist” attacks against France.

[Via Yahoo! News: Top Stories]

Just what we need.  Iran pissed off France and now France is saying that if there are any terrorist events aimed at them they’re bringing out the nukes?  Shit, and I thought the US used questionable foreign policy.

It is interesting, though, with this whole Iran thing of late to see England, France, and Germany taking the lead in pissing off Islamic states.  I don’t want to comment on the merits of their decisions, but at least the world can get ticked off at them instead of us for once.

Maybe we should sever diplomatic ties to more countries around the world so we can’t get involved!  Isolationism returns and the US is safer!

Yeah, I didn’t think that was going to happen.  🙂

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IT & Business consulting

January 19, 2006 Comments off

“Our main consulting strategy is to convince clients that we do stuff they can’t do themselves, and that we deserve lots of money for it. The best way to do this is to always look good, and always sound like we know something you don’t. Because we do.”

Huh Corp – We do stuff

I used to work for a consulting firm, and this website pretty much sums it up!  🙂

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How to confuse the mentally inept

January 19, 2006 Comments off

Evolution Not Completely True?:

Yesterday I claimed in this blog “I will prove to you beyond all doubt that the theory of evolution is not completely true.”

About a third of you are reading this and thinking “Oh crap, not this boring topic again!” Another third are thinking “What stupid argument is this nut bag going to drag out now? We’ve seen it all.” And the remaining third are thinking “Let’s see how much trouble he can stir up with people who don’t realize he’s yanking their chains.”

I will put my argument in simple bullet points so that you may more easily follow.

1. Evolution is defined as the change in species over time. (Roughly speaking)

2. Einstein proved that time does not pass for an observer who is moving at the speed of light. It’s not just the observer’s perception; it’s his objective reality.

3. Therefore, evolution does not exist for an observer moving at the speed of light.

4. Although no people move at the speed of light, there is nothing special about our perspective except that it is ours.

5. Evolution is not true for all potential observers and therefore it is not completely true.

6. If something is not true for all observers, it is only a point of view.

My own definition of science is that it’s the search for what is useful. Evolution seems highly useful in terms of how we conceive the whole of biology, geology and whatnot. I’m all for it on the basis of usefulness. I’m even willing to call it a “fact” as we commonly use that term.

But I’d have to side with Einstein and say it’s not completely true.

[Update: Is it relevant to my point that no human can travel at the speed of light? Photons travel at the speed of light, and from their perspective there is no evolution.]

[Via The Dilbert Blog]

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Advertising in the Z dimension

January 17, 2006 Comments off

TargetStores paint ads on roofs for satellite map services.

Wow, this is pretty interesting.  Whoever thought of that is one smart marketing cookie.  I would imagine this will only work for big companies (cost) with a recognisable & simple logo that can be easily applied to a roof, and who’s retail roofs are big.  WalMart could paint their big smiley logo … just make sure you put the eyes on the north side since that’s the perspective these services use.  But I don’t think Home Depot could do it because their logo is all text.

BUT, what’s you’re ROI from that ad?  I mean that had to cost quite a bit to paint the roof of a whole Target store, including the roof-mounted equipment (air conditioners, etc.).  Is it worth it?

It is when you get picked up in the blogosphere!  And I’ll bet CNN and MSNBC pick this up as one of their fluff stories; they just report on whatever bloggers pick up these days anyway.  Sad.  Go be journalists.

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Choosing a new computer

January 11, 2006 Comments off

Man 1: So, how do you like your laptop?
Man 2: Oh it’s nice.  I just got it over the holidays.
1: Isn’t that wonderful.  What kind is it?
2: It’s a Toshiba.  I have a Toshiba TV, so I figured I’d give this one a try.  I got it at Best Buy…

Wow.  So that’s how the “real world” chooses a computer?  Folks I couldn’t make this stuff up if I tried – I just overheard that in a hospital waiting room.

Speaking of hospital waiting rooms, I’m not sure when this post will actually get published.  You see the hospital I’m at today doesn’t have WiFi available for public consumption.  Oh they’ve got a WiFi network, and I seem to be sitting within inches of an access point judging by my signal strength, but the one network they have is locked.

Come on folks – provide public access!  Overlake Hospital Medical Center in Bellevue, WA provides campus-wide WiFi for guests … free.  It was AWESOME to be able to get online when Alicea and Kaitlyn were in the hospital last year.  Sure, they’ve got an encrypted network too, but providing guest access is essentially free for them.

Why?  Because pretty much every enterprise-class access point these days supports multiple SSIDs (wireless networks) with independent security and independent network connectivity (using 802.1q VLAN tagging on the wired port for those of you who understand what I’m talking about).  The point is it would take them an extra 5 minutes to set up a guest network on their existing infrastructure.

A hospital runs in the hundreds, if not thousands of dollars per day for room and board alone.  I’m sure they can shave off a few pennies to provide a valuable service to their guests and patients.

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Gender confusion

January 10, 2006 Comments off

44129570-OWhat’s the best way to politely tell off someone who keeps getting your kid’s gender wrong? – Blogging Baby.

Oh I’m totally all over this one.  Alicea and I just aren’t pink people, and while Kaitly does have a number of outfits that are pink, there are just as many (probably more) that are blue … or yellow … or green.  I’m sure we’re causing some sort of colossal rift in the space-time continuum, and that Martha Stewart is willing to go back to jail to sort out this grave situation, but oh well.

How hard is it to say, “How old is your baby” or, “what a cute little one”?  I’m horrible with remembering people’s names, but that doesn’t stop me from having a conversation with them.  I just use generics and nicknames and the like.

Bah … whatever.  The world’s not going to change is it?  Well, enjoy a clip from the article:

Look, most babies are bald. They don’t have boobs or beards. They depend on you to follow a rigid orthodoxy of color and clothing style in order to establish their gender to the outside world. But my wife and I don’t buy into any of that crap, so usually we dress our daughter Juniper in boyish t-shirts and osh-kosh b’gosh farmer’s overalls. We don’t care when people tell us we have a very cute little boy. We have some stock answers ready for when we receive such a compliment:

“Thank you very much. When she’s a butch teenage lesbian we’ll tell her you thought so.”

“Eh, she’s alright.”

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Separation anxiety

January 9, 2006 Comments off

I never thought I’d be the person who would get all mushy at the prospect of leaving home for 9 days.  I mean I always miss Alicea when I travel, but I’ve never turned into a sobering idiot.  That changed tonight.

So what’s different this time?  I think a huge part of it is Kaitlyn.  She’s so aware of what’s going on these days, and the development she’s made in the last couple weeks is simply astonishing.  She’s now sitting up for extended periods with no problems, she can roll back to front – and now front to back, and she’s finally figuring out that solid food is a pretty cool thing.

I got to the airport here in Seattle, on my way to Charlotte via red eye flight (yuck), and had to find the nearest bar.  One nice big Alaskan Amber later I don’t necessarily feel better about leaving my beautiful girls behind, but I sure am tired enough to guarantee I’ll sleep on the flight.  Plus I got myself moved to an exit row so I’ll have plenty of leg room.  [Good thing it’s an aisle seat with all that beer I just had].

The other think that’s got me down is the whole reason I’m headed to Charlotte.  My dad is going in for surgery on Wednesday morning.  Cancer.  They caught it early and all that, but still.  Yuck.

When my folks were out for Christmas they brought along all this stuff to read … probably 25 pages of materials.  I read 2 pages, and skimmed Dad’s test results.  I just couldn’t motivate myself to read the rest.  Hell, motivate?  I completely put it out of my mind.

For better or worse, I just ignore stuff that I don’t want to overwhelm me.  I did the same when Alicea got sick, and Kaitlyn was born so early.  Why worry about the details?  I figure a doc will let me know the pertinent parts if I need to know.  I’ll ask a few questions to get the general idea, but that’s really it.

It’s served me well so far, hopefully that track record will continue.

Well that’s all for now.  Time to go sit in a cramped airline seat.  BLAH.

I love you Kaitlyn.  I love you Alicea.  Miss you already.

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Nice case

January 6, 2006 Comments off

Now I’m not one of those people who go all crazy with flashy lights and what-nots on their computer cases.  BUT, I’ve got to respect this…


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Here’s Johnny!

January 6, 2006 Comments off

AnandTech: ATI’s OCUR Brings CableCard and HDTV Support to Windows Vista

And here’s our mystery manufacturer of Dell’s CableCard box now.  Thanks ATI!

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