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New jewelry [19 Dec 2008|12:38pm]
I lost one of my earrings a few days ago, and ended up replacing them with the smallest form of these.

But now that they've arrived, I'm not sure how I feel about them.  They are a little larger than I expected, and significantly larger than the half-inch claws they're replacing.  Opinions?

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Victory is mine! [10 Dec 2008|09:30am]
After Paula secured a smaller screwdriver for me, I managed to disassemble the LCD panel, pull out the bulb assembly, desolder the dead bulb, and solder in the new one. And by some miracle, I got all the parts back in without breaking or losing anything. And it only took three trips to the store for tools and about four hours of work.

I am perhaps inordinately pleased with myself for fixing it. I took some pictures of the laptop and panel in various states of disassembly, but haven't gotten around to getting them off the camera yet.
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I need a smaller screwdriver [09 Dec 2008|08:19am]
The LCD in my three-year-old Thinkpad T43 has failed and I'm pretty sure the problem is with the fluorescent bulb in the backlight (the screen will light turn on for a few minutes, but it's all pinkish). After spending two and a half hours monkeying around with screws of fractally decreasing size, I'm finally at the point of disassembling the "no user serviceable parts inside" LCD panel itself so I can desolder the dead bulb and replace it. Except I can't get the practically microscopic screws out of the housing.

A replacement bulb is $8. A used replacement panel can be found for about $100. A whole new laptop could probably be had for $800 or so. I bet I never do this again.
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Famous! [03 Jul 2007|08:46am]
The samba band I've been leading made the front page of the Seattle Gay News for our Pride performance a couple weekends ago.
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Where there's two, there's at least two [27 Oct 2006|03:18pm]
The rat traps we set in our crawlspace caught not one but two rats! Hopefully this will resolve our recent rat issues... we're particularly hopeful because the third trap we set wasn't disturbed, and one of the sprung traps was still baited. Presumably this means no one was left to eat the bait.

So, we also cemented up the hole they were getting into the crawlspace through.

Smashed rats are kind of nasty. At least they probably died quickly.
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Seattle weather forecasts decoded! [31 May 2006|09:16pm]
In most of the world, when they say "20% chance of rain", they mean that there is a twenty percent chance that rain will fall that day and an eighty percent chance no rain will fall.  If it falls, you get a shower, or maybe a storm or something like that.  In Seattle, the last six months have demonstrated to me that this isn't the case here.  "20% chance of rain" here actually forecasts a 100% chance that "20% rain" will fall.  20% rain is like a piddly little drizzle.  40% rain is a little more substantial, but it's not really until 80% rain that it starts to get a little respectable.

I think they say "20% chance of rain" just to keep people from getting depressed.  If they said "100% chance of piddly little drizzle" every day for a week, there would doubtless be some sort of revolt.
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Somewhat humbling [20 Apr 2006|09:20pm]
DDR Extreme 2 has started to challenge me.

Dance Master mode Area D has a number of really twisted missions like "Step 180 times, but get a 'Boo' on every arrow" or "Do not step on any red-colored arrows, but get at least 'Great' on all other colors" or "Get at least 65 each of Perfects and Greats."  It's amazing how hard it can be to be deliberately (and precisely) less than perfect.

I probably would've skipped the whole Dance Master thing entirely except it's the route to unlock all the songs for purchase... very annoying at first because it makes you play all the stupid one-foot songs with no way to skip them, but it's making up for it now.
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Monkey business [06 Apr 2006|10:10pm]
Yesterday I went to a climbing gym for the first time with two coworkers.  It was a lot of fun, although definitely different from the other sort of climbing I've done in the past.  Today my fingertips and shoulders hurt in a not-unpleasant way.

Also, I just read an article in a Japanese children's newspaper about a filesharing program called Winny.  It read like you might imagine the MPAA would would write an article aimed at American kids.  "Winny is very popular, and it sounds like fun, except it's very dangerous!  The Winny network is full of viruses that will send your name, address, and secret diary to everyone in your class, and even anti-virus software can't totally protect you!  Also, if you trade copyrighted movies and software, you will get arrested."

http://www.asagaku.com/jkp/jkp.html (the article at this URL changes regularly, so you may have to dig through the archives to find it depending on when you read this).
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score! [22 Dec 2005|12:45pm]
the asian market right next to my building at Amazon carries the japanese convenience-store style o-nigiri (rice balls with various tasty fillings). these have some of the most clever packaging i've ever seen... they keep the rice separate from the dried seaweed that wraps it until the very last instant, so the seaweed stays crispy. i didn't expect i'd ever seen one again outside japan.
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The right tool [18 Dec 2005|10:09pm]
On wednesday we had a dying tree in our backyard taken down.  The tree service cut the tree into rounds 12-20 inches tall.  So today in order to start turning it into firewood I went to Home Depot and bought a tool called a maul.  It rules.

Talk about satisfying.  It's a little unbalanced as far as exercise goes, though.  Hopefully I won't end up with just one big, beefy arm.

Also, for the MIT people in the house, today I found practical application for my Course 19 education when I went slithering around my house's crawlspace to check out the heating duct that's messed up.  Who knew practice negotiating insulated pipes without getting fiberglassed would ever come in handy.
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unpacking [11 Dec 2005|06:59pm]
All our worldly possessions arrived on Friday, in 222 separately numbered items (actually 221, since item 55, "Sm Trash Can", disappeared somewhere along the route).  We've begun the slow process of unpacking, figuring out where everything goes, and setting it all up.  Paula finished the kitchen today and the living room is more or less under control.  This leaves the bedroom, and office, and guest room, which is where everything we couldn't decide about went initially.  I took a few pictures of it all, they're up in my gallery here.

Also, lower back pain really, really sucks.  It had been bothering me a little bit this past week, I have no idea why, but moving stuff around for the past few days has really aggravated it.  I've never had any problems with it before, hopefully if I take it easy it'll clear up soon.
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Holy crap [05 Dec 2005|01:43pm]
I just got the call from the realtor a few minutes ago, and I officially own a house! Terrifying.
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House update [13 Nov 2005|05:17pm]
The inspection didn't turn up anything major.  There are a couple of repairs we want that we asked the sellers to make, but they declined.  They did offer us some some cash, though, to make the repairs ourselves.  That was nice and, frankly, more than we were expecting given that they have other buyers that are willing to take the place as-is.  I guess they just want to get the deal done as quickly as possible.  All of our contingency periods have expired (except financing, I can still back out of the deal if my mortgage falls through), so we're definitely going to be purchasing this house.

Yesterday we received the title report with no defects and the committment for title insurance, so now it's mostly just waiting until the closing date and making sure my mortgage lender actually comes through with the financing (which I have no reason to believe they will have trouble doing).

Once things get a little closer, we'll start calling some contractors to get some work done before we move in.

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Huh [07 Nov 2005|07:06pm]
Today this came in the email:

Hello. My name is Jason Bobbitt and I am from Roanoke, VA. I found a picture that I believe you created and would like to ask permission to use it for album art for a demo cd that my unsigned indy rock band is working on. The name of our band is Signal 7 and we are releasing a demo entitled The 7 Song EP. We would like to use your picture of the 7 sided knot (seven.jpg) on the front of the cd jacket as well as on our website.

More information about our band can be found at http://www.myspace.com/seventhsignal

Amazing what happens when you put something on the web for long enough.
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Day 1 [07 Nov 2005|07:02pm]
Today was like just about any first day in the office.  I'm sure I accomplished lots of things that needed to be done, but it never actually felt particularly productive.  The morning was all HR presentations about benefits and codes of conduct and such, while in the afternoon I spent most of the time trying to sort out why I didn't exist according to some of the servers (turns out there's an automated sync process that was broken today).  I did get a quick intro to the work, though, and it sounds nifty, from what I can tell from here.
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Here goes nothing [06 Nov 2005|07:36pm]
Tomorrow, for the first time in eight months, I will go to work.

I hope I remember how.
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Woot! [05 Nov 2005|03:29pm]
We got the house!  Assuming the inspection doesn't turn up anything dire (and that nothing else goes wrong...) we'll be moving in in early December!

It has everything we were looking for in a house... hardwood floors, fireplace, natural gas available so we can put in a gas range, and plenty of juggling space out back.  And we got it at list price, despite there being another offer in.

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Eeeeeeeeeeeeeee [04 Nov 2005|09:32pm]
I just made an offer on a house.  It sounds like there are other people making offers, too, though, so I don't know if I will get it.  Fingers crossed!
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Househunting [02 Nov 2005|10:53pm]
Today we went to check out 17 houses.  Of them, several were pretty neat and hopefully we can get in to see the insides with our realtor tomorrow.

Also today we got our first "Is this house really in your price range?" from a seller's agent at an open house.  Must've been the death metal shirt and combat boots.
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Seattle [31 Oct 2005|10:59am]
Huzzah, we have arrived in Seattle!  All of our belongings seem fine, even my gecko (who showed up chilled and sluggish from her ride in the cargo hold, but warmed back up ok) and my coffee tree (we'll see how that does in the gray Seattle weather).  The corporate housing is ok.

Now we are househunting.  There are a lot of houses.  Fortunately, we can't afford most of them, so that narrows it down a bit.
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