August 26, 2010

Product idea ()

by fluffy at 11:21 AM
With my Apple wireless keyboard and Magic Trackpad, what I'd really like is a lap desk that is designed to accommodate them clipped together. I envision something like a thin but rigid plastic slab with flexible spring "clips" along the top edge which would clip on to the round back part of the trackpad and keyboard, and they'd be spaced such that you could have either device on the left or right.

(The rigid base is necessary so that the trackpad has something to click against.)

August 24, 2010

Bandwidth caps exist (, , )

by fluffy at 7:26 PM
Somehow I appear to have gone over the 250GB Comcast bandwidth cap this month, and "coincidentally" my connection has been shut off. According to the handy bandwidth chart I usually use about 100GB/month, which actually surprises me since I don't do a lot of torrenting or online gaming. I suspect this is a result of my new hard drive which caused Crashplan to go crazy with re-scanning my whole disk.

At least I can get online via my Nexus One in the meantime. Sigh.

Annoyingly enough, Comcast was supposed to call me to warn me, rather than just shut me off outright. Meh.

August 23, 2010

Things retrieved from my grandfather's house ()

by fluffy at 8:09 PM
  • An ophthalmologist equipment box (with no equipment inside — he had plenty of equipment but I just really liked the box)
  • A few more of my grandma's pots (she was a fairly well-known potter in her day) and a glass ashtray
  • A collection of small bottles - several classic bitters bottles (my grandma's), several old prescription bottles for phenylbarbitol (my grandpa's), and three really old, unopened, still-with-now-rather-concentrated-fluid-inside travel samplers of various liqueurs (could be either)
  • My great-grandfather's (my grandma's dad, b.1875, d.1964) ceremonial "deputy sheriff" badge; he claimed that this gave him actual police officer privileges (which the accompanying certificate makes the case for) but apparently he was just a pretty big ol' braggart and wanted to be the big man around town. There's no date on it but it's signed by Sheriff Elmer Michael Walsh which dates it sometime between 1946 and 1950.
  • A really awesome 50' tape measure from Sears and Roebuck Corporation
  • A broken-but-repairable "brownie" camera (Falcon Minicam Junior); the optics are dirty and foggy and there's a puncture hole on the casing which would need to be covered by electrical tape, but there is still a manufacturer of 127-format film (in Croatia!), so maybe I could take some (very foggy) pictures with it (although I suspect that processing it will be a major pain)
  • An excellent-condition Miranda T (35mm film camera), in excellent condition except that I can't seem to figure out how to open the film (and the controls are a bit wacky compared to more modern cameras); it has two lenses, a 50mm f/1.9 and a 135mm f/3.5. Both smell strongly of my grandpa's house. I really wish Silicon Film had ever made it to market.
  • My ophthalmology records from when he was still practicing. Age 13, glasses deferred. (Age 32, I still don't need them most of the time.)
  • An exposed roll of Kodachrome KR 135 print film. I believe I will be sending some business to Dwayne's rather shortly.
  • An eclectic collection of ties
  • A rather nice leather jacket
Most of these will of course just be on display as nice decor-fitting reminders of my ancestry.

Reasons I like Apple (, , )

by fluffy at 7:50 PM
When I was en route to Chicago, the battery in my MacBook Pro began to swell, so bad that my touchpad stopped working and when I opened the battery cover, the battery popped out with a great deal of velocity. So I made an appointment at the nearest Genius Bar (which is annoying to have to do), and when my appointment came up (after a few failed checkins) I showed my quite-round battery to the Genius(tm) who immediately just gave me a new one for free, despite my MacBook being about a year out of warranty. It never hurts to ask nicely (although I was prepared to argue for it anyway).

Also, having previously been dissatisfied with a compact Logitech keyboard and a Wacom Bamboo Touch, I bought the Bluetooth keyboard and Magic Trackpad, and while it's weird to spend $140+tax on a mouse and keyboard, these are actually quite comfortable, and I have them on a little Ikea lap desk and it's much more comfortable on my wrists than trying to put up with my horrible keyboard tray. Hopefully this will help a lot. Unfortunately, the lap desk is a bit thicker and squishier than I'd like, so I'll have to try a couple others out, but still, not a bad setup, and altogether costs way less than a proper keyboard tray (and a desk that can hold a proper keyboard tray).

August 21, 2010

Remembering the good things (, )

by fluffy at 9:30 PM
This past week and a half has been a bit of a whirlwind, but in the interest of best preserving the memory of my grandfather I will try to only focus on the good things.

August 15, 2010

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August 13, 2010

The following has no basis in fact whatsoever ()

by fluffy at 11:58 PM
In the UK, Smarties (what we call M&Ms over here) used to come in a number of colors, including red, yellow, purple, green, blue, tan, orange, mauve, and fuchsia. it turns out that a few years ago, because artificial pigments are evil and toxic, the Smarties company changed the pigments to be "all-natural," but in the blue one they switched to a pigment made from a CHEMICAL derived from a BACTERIA called "cyanobacteria." So they are feeding our children CYANIDE (cyanobacteria are called that because they are natural producers of cyanide) and expecting you to just accept this! This is an outrage, and another example of BIG BUSINESS trying to pull the wool over our eyes.

We must stop supporting M&M Mars until the day that they remove the blue M&Ms from ALL versions of them around the world.

August 11, 2010

August 3, 2010

On universal translation (, , )

by fluffy at 7:42 PM
In science fiction series where there's some sort of universal translation thing which uses some ill-defined 'receiving the intent' sort of thing (Farscape, Star Trek, etc.), it seems likely that all civilizations would eventually lose their own cohesive languages. After all, if all children could just understand and be understood implicitly in whatever random babbling they come up with, there's no reason for them to adjust and learn their own civilization's common language, right?

So really, when there's a scene from the perspective of someone who is without the translation conceit, it seems like everyone should just sound like squealing, growling, baby babble, and the like.

August 2, 2010

CreateSpace CD is live ()

by fluffy at 2:22 PM
For those who care, the CreateSpace edition of my album just went live. The CreateSpace edition is a bit better-looking than the one that's currently at CDBaby, and has full lyrics in the liner notes. Eventually CDBaby will be carrying the CreateSpace edition though (if I ever sell out of the DiscMakers run, which is more contingent on me having successful live shows than anything I think).

Not that it matters or anything. I'm much more interested in the potential for getting noticed on Amazon's retail distribution channel, although that also seems fairly unlikely. Maybe I should make my music, you know, good first.

Meanwhile, I'd still appreciate getting reviews on the CDBaby page (or even on the Amazon page, when it finally goes live).