The good, the bad, and the ugly!

OK, I kind of forgot I have a blog here. Anyway, here’s a bulk update of the last few weeks.

Good:

Thanksgiving: HAL, LE and I went over to TvS’ place two doors down for a most excellent Thanksgiving dinner with their whole family and MP. They had turkey and all the trimmings; we (mainly meaning HAL) made a delicious garlic-roasted leg of lamb and brought it over. Later, fell into a wine-and-food coma for several hours (as expected!).

Narrowly escaped Jury Duty for the time being.

The upstairs bedroom floors are finished…I had no idea wood can be sexy! Check it out:

Only now do I find out I don’t have “before” pictures like I thought I did. Anyway, beneath the carpet we ripped up was a rough, ratty-looking layer of hardwood covered in scratches/gouges that appeared to be from someone dragging heavy furniture all over it (or possibly a large hammer and chisel ;-), and a healthy layer of white paint splotches from whenever the walls were painted. A Craigslist find by the name of M&T Floor Sanders transformed it with a good sand-down, seal and a few coats of polyurethane. Any traces of carpet staples, paint/crap, and most of the scratches are gone without a trace (although a couple really deep gouges are there for the duration). So as of a couple days ago HAL and I are officially moved in.

DTV: My shipment of Trance Vibe circuit boards came in the mail; I populated 2 units for testing. Nearly everything is going smoothly with it so far: they fired up and ran with only minimal code changes (mainly relating to I/O pins being moved around and a couple inputs added). In addition, the boards fit *perfectly* in the enclosures. One minor problem discovered is that if I want to add Blinkenlichten chips to any, I’ll have to buy a shitload of them and have them factory pre-programmed. I thought pressing the chips against an unpopulated footprint and hitting ‘program’ would work, but keeping all legs aligned and touching at once for this process is turning out to be non-trivial.

Xmas party:
Dragged Kr* along to the company ChristmasHoliday party; we had a great time. As is par for my company events :P we both got rather well lubricated (although no more than anyone else there, for sure!), did some dancing, and I came home with my tie around my forehead, ninja-style. My officemate won Bush Job of the Year for the pest-control system he rigged up in our office (to stop ants trying to nibble on our ficus, alternating strips of copper are wrapped around the trunk and wired up to a bench power supply. When the ants climb to the spot where they have to step on both at once, they drop…) The Xmas video somehow ended up on youtube :P

Bad:

*bump* *block* "Excuse me, would you like to take a minute to do something for the environment?"
"No thanks, I already polluted at work."

Crazy guys and rude panhandlers around Davis are multiplying, if the hivemind of Livejournal is to be believed. A thread HAL linked me to today discusses, and reveals some facts about, the one I’m most familiar with near Powderhouse.

My family (folks and brother) will be coming to Boston this weekend. This is a good thing :P But, it means I have to find ways to keep them entertained for the whole weekend, and also felt it necessary to make some token effort at straightening up the place before they show up, particularly my bedroom. I went so far as to put my clothes…in the dresser! (Now that it no longer lives in the kitchen of course.) After this took bloody ages, I quickly realized why Bachelor Tim stopped doing that, and instead adopted the highly efficient clean pile / dirty pile system. If anything, the dresser is a pessimal clothes management system. (I’ve made further optimizations to clean pile / dirty pile and will post the results soon! :P)

Ugly:

I got a response from GMAC about my complaint from that double-billing scam they’re running. “As a courtesy”, they agreed to refund me $20 of the $60 they stole (which comes out to $15 after registered mail). There’s probably a statistical model that calculates the minimum partial refund to make the average angry customer go away, but I’m at a loss as to who I would bother whining to next.

I’m tempted to print out my own little stuffer and enclose it with all future payments: “As a courtesy, I’ve decided to pay my bill this month.”

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2 Responses to “The good, the bad, and the ugly!”

  1. AnonyMousey says:

    Yes, everyone should have an Ethernet cable connected to their radiator.

  2. Tim says:

    It’s not just any radiator, it’s an Intentional Radiator! Biggest Wifi Antenna Evar. Or, the hole in the wall for my cable hookup just happens to emerge behind the radiator. :-)

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