Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Samsung has decided that my wireless receiver might be defective and they want me to send it in. The only problem is that they want me to send in the whole system so that they can verify there aren't any other problems. (That was their reasoning anyway.) This thing has the 5.1 speakers, a wireless receiver, and a A/V receiver. Each item has a couple pieces of styrofoam that fit around it and everything fits together snugly into a large box. It's like a 3-d tetris problem and I'm worried that this puzzle is smarter than me.

I've been reading some SMBC comics. Maybe I'll change the link on the left, because XKCD has sucked for a while, but XKCDsucks doesn't update very often and their criticisms are recently uninteresting. Here are a few good ones.

My trip to Vietnam is coming up and I'm undecided as to whether I should buy a new camera or just bring this old one I bought like 3 years ago from Eric. It takes decent photos in good lighting.

Finally, my credit card has been screwing up recently. On the 16th or something I scheduled an electronic payment from my checking account. Then I checked back on the night of the 19th, the day the payment was due, and no payment had shown up. I was pissed at myself, thinking maybe I had imagined or dreamed the first payment, so I then scheduled another payment. A couple days later I looked at my credit card account and the payment had been made twice, once on the 19th and once of the 20th, so now I had a large credit balance on the card. I emailed the credit card company, explaining what happened and asking that they put the money back in my checking account because I only intended to pay the bill once, and in response they charged my account a third time! Now I have a $39 bank fee for overdrawing my checking account, and $35 credit card fee for having a payment returned. I suppose I should have called them in the first place instead of emailing. I made the mistake of thinking that someone literate was going to receive and act on my email.

(from a stocks forum thread: "Is this seriously one of the board members!??!)
getty222: I am being dead serious. I looked at the board member profiles from the starbulk website and saw that Milena Pappas was one of them. Her profile says she graduated from Cornell in 2005. I googled her name to find out more since this seemed very young to be on a company board, and found this: [facebook link]
getty222: This is who is running our comapny?!?!
handsomerob: So they put a club fisting family member on the board, which is only so they can persuade her vote in its favor? As long as they make money (which they have a strong position to do) who gives a rat’s rear.
goodeal4u20: Get over it, you would hire your family if you owned 12 ships
mkesk2001: Board of Directors should be filled with old men or women with tons of experience. Not someone playing with their iphone during meetings trying to find out where happy hour is gonna be that night.
mkesk2001: Is she the one with her tongue out or the other one?
getty222: I see our party girl has changed her profile picture. Now she's kissing some other girl.
bakerkevin: she's hot. Friending her now.

Friday, January 15, 2010

Today I got shots for Hepatitis-A, tetnis, and typhoid from the doctor in preperation for Vietnam. I thought it was just going to be a drop in and talk to the doctor kind of thing, but no, I sat for an hour and a half in the waiting room, and then probably 20 minutes in the examining room before the doctor came in to talk to me. And he spoke super quickly and I don't think I caught everything he said, but he apparently is an expert in Vietnam becase he worked for national geographic there. It would have been a boring and forgetful visit except that before I left I was measuring myself on an old-school weight scale in the hallway while waiting outside the doctors office. He walked by and told me "Now don't cheat Joe." Its the little things that make me not hate that place. I still should have requested sick leave from work though.

I got a surround sound system because the speakers that come in my new tv suck. I haven't hooked it up yet, but Micros was telling me that you have to run all your audio devices into the receiver, and then from the receiver forward just the video to the tv. I had read other webpages that said the same thing but I'm really hoping they're all wrong. I don't want to be constantly changing sound inputs on the receiver, that sounds like a huge headache. I'll set it up next week and see. I wish I could just change inputs on my tv like I do right now, and it would automatically figure out whether the input has support for 2 channel or 5.1, and then forward the audio from the tv to the receivers. Also I wish that I didn't have to get a dvd player built into the receiver. Anytime things come built together your just asking for something to go wrong and leave me stuck with either a receiver and dead dvd player or a dvd player and faulty sound outputs. Somehow tv sound appear to have missed the technology breakthroughs of the past decade. How hard is it to decode an audio channel and output it? Surely it shouldn't require this massively heavy box and cost $300. I should have tried to breadboard a solution.

Yesterday the cashier at the Alexandria Wholefoods asked me if I got a haircut recently. Hadn't been in there in over a year probably.

I realize I'm behind on quotes here, but I swear they're pending.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Watched a bit of the show trueblood, because it's on on-demand this month. Terrible show, but I still watched most of the season. The whole "prejudice against vampires" theme is a stretch, and it only sorta works because almost every character on the show is a moron. The dialogue would be so terrible at times that I'd pick up the remote and start fast forwarding through the scene, and then other times it would be hilarious. I was always entertained watching Jason be shallow and ignorant, Layfayette was usually pretty interesting, and his cousin (I forgot her name) occasionally had witty retorts. But the characters of Bill, Sam and Sookie all sound like they've been written by teenagers. Pretty much every line is terrible, and when they're the only characters in a scene it's almost like my cue to fast forward. It's not like you'll really miss anything, the plot moves at a snail's pace. I've been thinking about it for a while and I think it's because the dialogue used for those three characters is straight from the Southern Vampire books, which apparently are not very well written. And is Sookie a real southern name? If I hadn't once shared a house with a southern girl named Jaslyn I wouldn't have believed it.

I got a new tv today. Kate made a cruel joke about my tv being inadequate so I went and got a new one. (That's not really what happened.) My last tv was hd, but for some reason this one makes everything stick out in a way that the old one didn't. TV shows no longer have the same atmosphere, it's like a bunch of actors are sitting around and rehearsing their lines. Blu-rays are better, but still have that same effect to a lesser degree. The sound on this tv kinda sucks, so maybe that's related because it's muffling the music more than it should I think. I'll mess with it a little more sometime and see if I can bring back the atmosphere.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! I had a good time out in Colorado for Christmas and California for new years. Besides the usual seeing family and friends, I think the highlight of the trip was when Liza complained about it being cold in Eric's basement, and Eric picks a meat thermometer up off his shelf and then announces that it's 72 degrees in the room. He scoffed at me when I told him you can't use a meat thermometer for air temperature.

Now I'm not a physicist and I'm having a hard time finding a webpage explaining these things. But it seems like a meat thermometer is designed to pick up the temperature from its contact with meat or sauces, and the meat to metal temperature difference will conduct heat much more quickly than an air to metal temperature difference. So a meat thermometer may measure air temperature but only if the temperature changes extremely, extremely slowly. This is how it should work in my mind anyway. Dave and Eric both also scoffed years ago (and accused me of making things up) when I tried to explain that a birddoesn't get electrocuted when it flies from a power line to the ground because it doesn't have much capacitance. Joe gets no respect.

I have some light green milk in my refrigerator that I'm not sure how to dispose of. I forgot to throw it out before leaving on vacation, and now I have new milk, but I have to remind myself not to pick up the green carton every time I reach in fridge. If I was feeling resentful toward my building I could pop the milk jug's cap and drop the whole thing down the trash chute, but this building has been good to me so far. Then I was thinking maybe freeze the stuff in the carton before dropping it down the chute, but I don't want it to explode in my freezer. Now I'm thinking I might put a deflated plastic bag over the top with a rubberband to seal it, and then pop the cap a little and freeze the whole thing. I'll probably do that unless a better idea comes to me.

And my facebook account might have been hacked. One of my coworkers commented about the irony of my joining a group for some website about pirated movies, which I definitely did not join, unless I've been facebooking drunk and don't remember it. So I unjoined myself from there. And am checking through my credit card and bank account records. Nothing else out of the ordinary so far though.

(from a review of Green Street Hooligans 2: Stand Your Ground)
I should have realised from the absurdly elongated title that I was on to a loser. It's like settling down to watch Leprechaun 5: Leprechaun In The Hood and expecting it to be anything other than pure s****.