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I Got Lightning! December 31, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Science & Technology.
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Looky What I Got

This here is  a Lichtenberg figure that blogbuddy Lemur King sent me.  Isn’t it gorgeous?  Basically they take a particle accelerator and shoot electrons at this block of acrylic which then builds up an electric charge until it’s strong enough to overcome the natural electric resistance in the acrylic and POW!  It discharges and makes all these cool fractures inside the block.  Then you set it on top a nifty base with pretty blue LEDs and there ya go.  Thank you Lemur King!  This is an awesome present!


New Phone October 20, 2010

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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So I found out I was eligible for a new phone since I’ve had my current one for two years.  “Smart Phones” are all the rage now of course and I can get a top-end one for a couple hundred bucks.  I have Verizon so iPhone is right out, but it looks like these “Droids” are generally just as good.  Right now I’m considering the Droid X or Droid 2 by Motorola, the Droid Incredible by HTC and the Fascinate by Samsung.  Any of y’all have any experience with any of these?  Insights?  Cautions?  If so, drop a note in the comments.  Thanks!

Droid X surges into the lead!!

It features an HDMI output (SW33T!), full support for hotmail and better battery life than the Incredible. I’m sure I would have been happy with any of these but overall the features of the X I think match me the best. It has me really pumped for my first smartyphone. To think, it wasn’t but a couple years ago I made fun of cell phone people!


I HAVE IT!!  Truly this is the Phone Of The Gods.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go have sex with this thing now.  I’m pretty sure there’s an app I can download for that.


We’re Gonna Fight It May 18, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Food, Home, Science & Technology.
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Isabelle has her good days and her bad days.  I guess I tend to write these updates on bad days when the the Blue Bird of Optimism gets its butt kicked by the Black Bired of Despair.  Today the Blue Bird decided it was time for smash-beak payback.

Last night she did better with the hand feeding than she has in a while.  I ran out of the food the vet gave me last week and started her on some different Fancy Feast stuff mixed with water.  Maybe that’s been one of the problems:  too much of the same thing all the time.  I’m going to have several flavors mixed up so she gets a lot more variety than she has been getting.  I also figured out a different way to approach her with the syringe so I’m not doing from the same side of her mouth all the time.  I wouldn’t be at all surprised if she was just sore over there.  Gentler feedings = less stress = less barfings hopefully.

I did finally speak with the vet last night at 7:30.  Her office is actually closed on Sundays but I don’t think she actually takes many days off.  The new medicine is in and it did have to be made special for the dosages but it’s not terribly expensive at $24 per bottle.  I dunno how many doses per bottle but I figure at least 20 so that’s not bad.  The vet is also arranging that I get it at cost so it’s even less than what it could be.  I asked her how long it would be before we saw results and she said it would probably be a couple weeks, but she’s seen cases that turned around faster than that.  I’ll pick it up tomorrow.

Isabelle isn’t in any obvious pain, and occasionally she displays flashes of her old self when she jumps up on the bed or couch to join me for a little while.  I don’t think she’s ready to “go gentle into that good night” just yet and I intend to give her the best opportunity that I can.  I’ll see if I can get some lunchtime flexibility to come home during the afternoon for an extra feeding.  I think I probably can and it would probably help a long way.  Also my night class is over for a bit and that will help too.

By Grapthar’s Hammer we’re gonna beat this thing.

Rootkit Hack Warning March 18, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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Apparently there’s a very major security flaw in Intel’s CPUs and this vulnerablility to it is going to be published soon.  According to the people pushing this out into the public Intel has known about this problem since at least 2005 and haven’t done anything (or at least not enough) about it.  Go read that article – very scary stuff!

On another matter that I haven’t seen much outside of the computer security sphere is the Conficker/Downadup worm.  This is another nasty piece of work that the last time I checked had infected 10 million plus computers around the world since last October.  One of the things it does is block malware programs from getting updates to be able to remove it.  Another thing is that it’s spread with USB thumb drives.  I’m pretty sure my laptop got zapped with this one.  Right now it’s just spreading itself around but I saw a report that the security experts think it (or at least one version of it) is going to phone home to get new instructions to “do something” on April 1st this year.  What, exactly, that is nobody except the people who created this thing knows.  Could be very bad from all accounts though.

Happy computing!

Trust Us – We’re Analysts March 6, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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I’m putting together a presentation on some of our recent research findings.  There are lots of graphs and each one needs a slug to go along with it to quickly explain what it’s about or what’s most noteworthy.  I struggled a bit with this one until I came up with the perfect line:

Not Important

Behold January 19, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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My new car stereo/reciever!!  This is the Alpine CDA-9886

Awww yeah!

Awww yeah!

 The factory system in my Rav-4 has been dying for a while now so just after Christmas I went down to a local electronics store and picked out a nifty new stereo to replace it.  I was told that it was a very popular seller over the holidays and that they right out of them.  The guy also said that they were on back-order  and they expected to have new ones in stock in “about a week or so”.  I’m a patient man so I said “Okee dokee” and paid for the stereo and the installation up front.  The salesman assured me that he would call me as soon as they came in and arrange the appointment for the installation.

For the next three weeks I get versions of “Sorry, no they’re not in yet, but we’re certain they will be soon.”  Until finally “Ah, sorry Mr. Yorl but Alpine has discontinued production on that model you bought.  We’re going to have to do some sort of change-order.”  Sigh.  So this Saturday I went down to the store to see what else we can do.  Long story short I upgrade to the next model above for 55 bucks with 20 bucks knocked off for my trouble.  I finally got it installed this afternoon and I am well pleased with it.  I must say that I am somewhat baffled with the remote control that came with it.  WTH??  I guess it’s for the people in the back seat.

Happy New Year! January 2, 2009

Posted by Mitchell in Home, Science & Technology.
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Actually I’m still Christmas shopping for mice elf. Last week I bought a new Alpine stereo for my car (on backorder alas), 75 dollars worth of tea (on a gift card) and $200 worth of new towels. Today I’m going out to shop for a new thinking machine. Here’s the one I’m interested in: the Titan.  No, I don’t know how much it costs though.  They don’t put their prices online which probably means they cost a lot.  We’ll see.

Anybody made any resolutions for the new year?  I’ve made some and I’ll post them a bit later but I’ve gotta run for now.


I got a computer!  Well, I don’t have it yet – they still have to build it.  I didn’t go with the Titan after all – it was a little too $Ka-Ching$ for my budget but I did go with the next one down – the Atomic.  Here’s the rundown:

CPU – Inetl Core 2 Duo E7300 2.53 GHz
2 gigs of RAM
500 gig hard drive
eVGA 9600GT 512MB video card
Sata DVD RW drive
And the basic keyboard, mouse and speakers, Windows Vista OS and antivirus / spyware.

My plan is to have this hooked into my big-assed HDTV and home theater sound system with wireless keyboard and mouse.  Oh man this is gonna be AWESOME!   Truly we live in amazing times.

Firefox Users Be Careful December 4, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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There’s some new malware out there that specifically targets the Firefox browser.  It seems that it collects bank site passwords, so be careful.  I never really liked firefox so I don’t use it but I thought I’d pass this on.  Not that anyone ever comes here anymore, but I wanted a place to stick that url.

Aaaaaaahhhhhhhhhh!!! October 11, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Art, Home, Science & Technology, Science Fiction & Fantasy.
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No, that’s not a scream of agony, or frustration or anything like that.  That’s a sigh of supreme contentment.  I do it every time a fresh, cool breeze blows through an open window or door in my house.  Fall is finally here to break Summer’s searing death-grip on our weather!  Oh, we still have some upper 80’s temps as high for next week, but all the night’s lows are into the 60’s or even 50’s.  I am so happy!

I guess a few updates are in order since it’s been a while that I last typed at you.  Ceramics – the Drop survived it’s first firing ok and it’s probably done with the glaze firing by now.  I find out how it did Tuesday night.  Currently we’re working on some platters where we are to carve some design into an underglaze prior to firing.  As usual I’m running a bit behind.

Pool League – my team continues to struggle with disappearing members.  Hell the team captain has been AWOL for the last three weeks.  I’m guessing he’s not going to be back, so I’m defacto captain now.  whoot.  My own play is pretty good – I can hang with the toughest players and still win 60% of my games.  Now if I could only up my win percentage against the less skilled opponents I’d be happier.

Big-assed screen TV / Xbox – I continue to be enthralled with how good the games look on this thing, and <i>The Force Unleashed</i> in particular.  I finished the game on the easiest setting and so I started it again on the next level up.  I’m spending WAYYYY too much time on this thing but I just can’t hardly stop.  It’s SO fun just murdering tons of dudes in so many cool ways.  Speaking of which, go and watch this guy’s review of TFU on the Wii. All of his reviews are like that and they’re all hilarious.  Even if you don’t give two figs about video games they are still a hoot to watch.

That’s it for now boys and girls.  I have to go fold laundry now.  OH!  One quick DVD movie review – Tarantino’s <i>Death Proof</i>.  Holy cow that was terrible – easily his worst ever.  Avoid.

Sweet Squared September 28, 2008

Posted by Mitchell in Science & Technology.
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So last night after I got my WAP set up I looked at getting xbox live up and running.  I took the old modem and hooked it up to the cable downstairs an then to the xbox and turned everything on.  I expected some problems and / or a lengthy set up session, but no  – everything worked flawelessly!  I can have both modems running simultaneously.  Isn’t technology amazing?  I went ahead and signed up for the Xbox Live Gold account and that went off without a hitch too.  My gamer id is PoolSnark, so if you want to play something drop me a note.  This morning I went around rummaging around in the myriad junk drawers around here and found a cable splitter that I’d picked up somewhere.  I slapped it on a cable coming out of the wall and then two others out of the splitter to the TV and xbox.  And now I don’t have to bugger around with cables when I switch from the xbox to cable TV!

Sweet Cubed!
Last week I had decided that I was going to get a HDTV for my living room and it was going to be my Christmas present for myself.  When I told my parents last week about this I could tell that was what they were planning to get for me.  Last night they confirmed this and told me to go pick out what I wanted and they’d write me a check for it.  Sooo, today I’m shopping for a new HDTV!  I’m going to check out Costco, Best Buy and Ultimate Electronics and see what’s what.  I probably won’t actually buy anything today pending a comparison to what’s available at the BX at Nellis, so if y’all have any advice about this I’d appreciate it.