Wednesday, August 27, 2008

apple comes through

so i took my computer to the apple store today to see if they could finally fix my flickering screen problem. I showed up for my appointment and one of the techs said that he'd take it in the back and check it out, which worried me because I often have trouble replicating the problems for them, since the flickering is unpredictable. I also took it in for a chunkt and clicky trackpad button, but that had also been quiet all day.

After about a minute he came back and said "how would you like a new computer?" and i said "I'd love one". so he gave me the chance to backup my computer and bring it back in a couple of days, after they get the clearance and tags to send it back, at which point I will receive a new laptop from them. Since the one they sell now is better than mine, i get an upgrade to a core 2 duo 2.0 ghz macbook (currently I have the core duo). I imagine it will also have a superdrive, which mine has, which I believe means I will gain dual-layer burning as well. I will just keep my ram upgrade since it will work in the new one and they'd like the old ram back if I have it. The only thing that I am disappointed about is that I like the keyboard layout on my current computer more than the layout on Yolanda's newer Macbook. Also, this doesn't mean it's free of defects - Yolanda's had her computer since December, and one of the USB ports stopped working, and the entire thing periodically shuts down without warning. We are taking it in so it's fixed while we are in SF.

He said he is also putting apple care on it, but I don't know if that means extending my coverage or just porting over what I have.
It occurred to me that if I hold out a few more weeks then potentially I could get one of the new macbooks that are supposedly coming out in september, but honestly, I don't want to push my luck. It took 5 trips to the apple store to get this far and I feel like if I cancel this work order, the next guy may not want to do this. I asked about replacement computers once before, since they only thing I have left on this one that was what I initially purchased is the screen, and they said that it was very rare. The guy today said they can replace it because it's a refurbished model. Also, given the quality of apple's latest hardware, the iphone 3gs, i don't think I want the first generation new macbook.

The new computer's not in my hands yet, so I am still wary, but things look good. I got a work order number from him today. Now I am just waiting for a phone call from them to tell me that I can bring it in.

Tonight we are going to see Richard Swift, and tomorrow Sondre Lerche. The last time we saw them at the doug fir they both played amazing shows. Tomorrow is also Yolanda's and my four year anniversary.

I was offered the job today at the OSU/ONID computer help desk, and I am still deciding whether or not to take it. When I considered trying to help people over the phone with a system that I myself will have only the day before been introduced to, while moving to a new town and starting four classes at a new school, I thought that I was setting myself up for exhaustion. Plus the job sounds shitty now that I know they are really busy.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


This jingle goes through my head at least once a day:

i understand that the dogs are back after a long absence.

These were my favorite cookies when I was six. I'll say that they still are.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Shanghai Bummer

Tonight we had an outing with our coworkers where Trader Joe's bought us pizza and beer at Old Town Pizza and then we took a tour of the Portland Underground, also known as the Shanghai Tunnels, a system of underground passageways where Portlanders in the 1850s were kidnapped and sold into slavery on ships.

Tonight was a perfect example of why I don't like to hang out with most of my coworkers. A good amount of them got drunk and acted like obnoxious 12 year olds while the tour was going on, trying to out-do each other for attention or make out with each other. I would have loved to hear what the very nice guide, who was passionate about what he was telling us, was saying but i couldn't over a group of drunk, disugusting idiots making catcall noises, wandering away, talking about how they had to pee, and making terrible jokes. Would have been a lot of fun, thanks for ruining it by making everyone there really uncomfortable and embarrassed for the group. Yolanda pointed out a couch that one of the girls was laid out on was from one of the first whorehouses in Portland and people probably exchanged all sorts of diseases on it and/or died on it, which was comforting but annoying that she was laying down on it.

If anyone would like to try to go on the tour again, i'd really like to go check it out again. I also plan on volunteering with them so I can spot this ghost that's supposed to be down there.

Also, now the clicker bar on my macbook is loose and chunky. Holy shit, man.

Monday, August 18, 2008

A collection of found notes

After reading Found magazine, one usually gets into the habit of scanning the ground for notes and debris that might be funny or interesting. I found a pretty good gem by the registers at work this week. Here's the front of it:

I was reading this side to Yolanda, and she was laughing like crazy, which I thought was weird because it's not that funny. It's even sort of sweet. Finally she yelled "Turn it around!!"

I looked around for the people depicted in the drawing, but nobody matched. Nobody that I work with is named anything close to "Heime".

Yolanda found this one at Goodwill a few days ago. It's a pretty major mistake, and a good lesson learned.

Here's one that Yolanda had found when she worked as a buyer at Buffalo Exchange. She said that she found it in the pocket of a pair of jeans a guy was trying to sell. She found it an kept it and had to hold back her laughter until he was out of the store:

In case you can't read it, it says "These jeans aren't mine. They probably belonged to some other girl you were fucking - perhaps someone you met through the personal ad you posted while you were still living with/ sponging off me."

This is one that Jimmy found somewhere.

"45 - 65 - 60; Wife complaining in Morning. Did not feel like much got done during day + distracted in the evening; 55 Tired"

This last one is one that jimmy and I found while attending De Anza College, in Cupertino. It was probably around 2002. It was taped to a table warning about the carpet, but we took it anyway:

I think that the handwriting is pretty neat.

I've found some others in the past, such as a grocery list where the item "gas pills" was underlined 3 times, and another one warning that if someone ever saw dog poo on the sidewalk again, the owner would get their face pushed in it, but I don't have scans of those.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008


I just confirmed our reservation for the Preview Days for the members at the Cal. Academy of Sciences. Yolanda and I are in the first available slot, Sunday Sept 14 at 9am. We are not required to leave the academy at anytime, the slots are for crowd control, so we can spend the max amount of time there all day.

Email to Phone: Fixed!

I fixed the problem. I noticed that when I emailed myself a reminder to download "Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid" on Noel's suggestion, i saw that the email was from my number, since it was a text message, not, like the picture messages. So i tried that and it works like a dream. The only drawback is that it's the size of a text message instead (160 chars). I can look at gmail through my phone via the browser, but now I can screen them before I check it.

We went dancing at Soul Night last night a Rotture, it was a lot of fun but very hot. Today's supposed to be hotter, like 105. Yolanda and I cleaned the pool this morning and now we are filling it up. It's looking like it's more lever and less wrinkly. Also, not slimy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Recents events and things of notes in my life:

1)This summer's season of "The Mole" wrapped up last night and I found it to be very satisfying in terms of who won and who the mole was (that link's a spoiler, if you care), but even more satisfying in terms of who didn't win. It was a good season overall. I didn't think it was as gripping as the Australian seasons, but I enjoyed putting the time aside each monday to watch it. Since i download most shows now, and think even more shows are just plain garbage, it's nice to have something regular to look forward to each week. Pushing Daisies is starting again in October, and Yolanda and I like that show too.

2)Tangre moved in yesterday seemingly seemlessly. We found a mattress for her today in Aloha and got it home thanks to my brother's/dad's bronco. That car is great fun and terrifying to drive. The steering is nearly 45 degrees off of true, it's very wide, and the only gauge (<-- hard word to spell) that works is the speedometer. It's got a battery voltage and another gauge that I'm not sure of, so they may have worked but probably not. It still contains a picture of mt dad, his sunglasses, his hat and many other articles that were in the car, as well as smells the same as always, so it's sort of like a mobile Sam Hedstrom museum. My brother got the license for Oregon that reads "8EIGHT", which is like the ones he had in CA and NV that read "8EIGHTS".

3)I booked Yolanda's and my trip to California for the Grand Opening of the California Academy of Sciences this afternoon. I had seen a very good offer to stay at the Nikko Hotel in SF (the hotel behind the forementioned "8 Eights") but when I went to book the rooms today, they were priced at almost twice as much, so instead of paying all that, I booked us an extra day at the Kabuki Hotel in Japan Center. We'll be there from the 13th to the 18th, and from what I understand, can visit the Academy on the 14th, 15th and 17th, which is TEN DAYS before the rest of the people!

4) I have an interview soon with the Computer tech department at OSU to be a telephone helper to students for their computers. Apparently it's very easy, says my new roomate Timothy. I was honest in the application that said I had a very basic knowledge of fixing things and had mostly just done troubleshooting my friends and families computers, but was familiar with a lot of software, and had no experience with Vista or Linux. We'll see how it goes. It pays minimum wage. I'd like some kind of income while at school, however small.

That's all I can think of right now.

Monday, August 11, 2008

God Speed, Tortoise.

I put Bernard on craigslist this morning at about 3 am and by 9:30 I had ten responses. This afternoon a very nice gentleman named Alan came and picked him up. Alan does reptile rescue and care for a few pet stores, but he said that he is going to keep Bernard with his 2 red footed tortoises, in an outdoor enclosure for the rest of the summer. He also has three red-eared sliders (which are apparently illegal in Oregon, because they are taking over ponds are are considered invasive.) He says that Bernard will be good for his daughter, and he will keep the name Bernard so not to confuse him.

Bernard lived in Danville, San Jose, Portland, and now Vancouver. He was a celebrity in my fifth grade classroom, and a quiet but smelly floormate to Liam.

Alan said that I can come see him in Washington whenever I want, or when I am done with school, I could have him back. Many of the responses I got were impressed that I had him for nearly two decades. I am as surprised as they are. It's been a hell of a ride, Bernard.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Free Work-arounds

I thought I had found a way to get my email forwarded to my phone for free, since verizon wants to charge $9.99-$19.99 a month for that service, as well as the data charges you'd accrue while accessing it. I noticed that when I sent my brother an email from my phone, he'd replied at, and I got the message. This is the same address that I use to send myself ringtones. So I tried sending myself an email there and I received it fine, even past 160 characters!

So i tried having my gmail account forward any email to that address and then leave it on the server. What happens though is very odd. Any message sent directly to my phone is just fine, but when something is forwarded to it, my phone reboots! My phone will shut down and start back up on it's own, and never receive a message, and google sends me a message that says that the delivery failed permanently. I think that's very odd. This is a similar problem that occurred when I first got the phone and wanted to be able to upload pictures directly to my blog. When google would send back a confirmation message, the phone would restart. Blogger fixed this problem by having an option to turn off the confirmation message, and that seemed to fix it. But now verizon added back in thier add for which is generally longer than the blog posts!

So I tried it again with my hotmail account, thinking that maybe verizon just had a problem with google, and that worked! So i set up a dummy hotmail account that my gmail forwards to that forwards to my phone, and set up filters in my gmail account so i don't get the things like my OPB newsletter and the like. It took about a half hour to get this all working, but now i get emails on my phone that can include attachments like pictures for no extra charge (i called verizon to verify this) for free!

UPDATE! Oh I was wrong! new hotmail accounts only let you forward to other microsoft accounts! So i tried it with my OSU account and I get the same rebooting! This is just fine since I am not that busy that I need to answer email right away anyway. Blech.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Stinkbug Defense: It works

Members of the insect order Hemiptera, family Pentatomidae, also known as Stinkbugs, will, in defense, squirt out a liquid if disturbed. For some species, this liquid is foul smelling. For others it is foul tasting.
Today I took Beatrice for a walk to Sacajawea Park at the end of our street to take a look at the wild blackberries that are growing there. They've been very green for awhile, but the ones in our backyard turned dark, so I thought that maybe the ones down the street would be dark as well. They are all still green, but there was one that was dark, so I plucked it off and threw it in my mouth. I immediately sensed that something was bitter, then hot, then wrong. I also sensed there was something extra in my mouth, so I spit it out and saw a small green brown pentatomid wriggling upside down in the dirt by my feet. I also spit out the blackberry. This wasn't surprising so much because I had found one a few days earlier on the same plant, on another ripe blackberry. I looked at some of the other blackberries and sure enough, there were two pairs mating and one watching them, perhaps waiting his turn. Apparently they love blackberries.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Macbook Screen Flickering

I can't believe that my laptop screen is flickering again. I can't even defend their software anymore because the 2.0 firmware for ipod/iphone is slower and buggier than the hacked 1.1.4 firmware, and the apps crash 100% more than the homemade ones on Installer, which was < never. Fucking apple. My conclusion is: there are no computers that work well. When my laptop works, it works great, but this screen flicker is driving me bonkers. This will be the 4th time it's sent out to be fixed. I can't wait to sit in the apple store to try to reproduce it again for the guy in the utilikilt.

Yolanda's macbook, which is around nine months newer than mine, shuts itself off all the time as well as has some other problems. I can take mine in, but she has online homework daily, so she just has to deal with it until school's done.

Anybody looking to buy a Wii? My last hope was some kind of announcement at E3 about interesting games for it, but instead they announced another Wii Sports, Animal Crossing and Wii Music, which is like guitar hero or rock band, minus a score or any kind of challenge. I'll bet there's a peripheral to buy for it too (such as the $90 wii fit board, or the $25 zapper, $159 rock band, or $100 guitar hero, or the NEW add on that makes the controller better, probably $30) And animals crossing? I've played it twice already. I'm tired of nintendo's bullshit. Mario Kart Wii is just awful. Oh well. I think with all the games I have for it and on virtual console, and since nintendo is still purposefully trickling them out to store and keeping them in high demand, I can get about $500 for it on the ebay or craigslist. Thank god for that at least. I think I am over video games which makes me a little sad. I'm pretty happy with my old xbox and my DS, since i have every nes and snes game on the xbox (literally, all of them) and i can play the DS on the toilet. New video games make me bored and sad. What's strange is, I think to myself that I am happy playing the games of my youth over and over again, but that's the problem with newer games is that they are the same thing over and over again. I guess i'd just rather play the first ones in 2D, or that I don't need to learn a game again. At least the newest zeldas (minus twilight princess) have been good. I guess what I don't want to do is pay for video games.

Bah! Technology!