another misAdventure

"We are all of us living in the shadow of Manhattan."

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Google Maps Redux

OK, I talked about Google maps before, but they just made it 100% cooler. Now they have "hybrid mode" so you can see both the satellite view and the road map (with labels) at the same time -- roads superimposed on the satellite picture. So freaking cool!

OK, I'm a geek.

Oh, and I also notice that they have streets marked one-way where appropriate. I don't remember seeing that before.

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Saturday, July 23, 2005

Happy Birthday, Kathy!

This is the entry for everyone to wish Kathy a Happy Birthday! Happy twoty-two.

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Thursday, July 21, 2005

My Apparently Stolen Phone

OK, here's the phone story: Matt and I went to the grocery store the Saturday before last. That's relevant because that's the last time I had that cell phone. We called home to check on something, then called a bit later to say we were on our way home so we needed help getting stuff unloaded.

The next day, I was heading to Home Depot and went to grab my phone. It wasn't where I would normally leave it. I thought maybe it was in my car, but no. So, I just left and figured I'd find it later.

I didn't.

The next day I was out to lunch and I noticed that my phone charger was not in my car. Very unusual, since it would be in one of only two places -- either in the well of the console of the car or plugged in to the lighter socket. I have no reason to put it anywhere other than those spots.

That's when I decided that, maybe, someone had gotten into my car and stolen the phone and the charger. Maybe the car didn't get locked after we unloaded groceries. Odd, though, because there was also a bunch of change in my car that wasn't touched, at least as far as I could tell.

So, I called Cingular to see if anyone had used the phone in the past day. They couldn't tell. They can only see the minute summary from the previous billing cycle. But, I could get on the internet and check the minutes.

That led to about five calls back to their customer service trying to get my ID available on their web site, because it was probably activated before but I couldn't remember the password I used, and the "forgot my password" link wasn't helping a bit. Finally, I got a new user id activated ...

And I could only see the minute summary from the previous billing cycle.

So, a couple days later I went to the Cingular store. I told them what happened and could I get a new phone activated?

Well, no, not exactly. Ours was a former AT&T Wireless account, and they no longer had phones programmed for the AT&T service. I could get a new Cingular phone, and transition my account from AT&T Wireless to Cingular (you'd think that was dealt with as part of the merger).

AND, since I had family plan, I could either get one phone with an entirely different account, or get new Cingular phones for everyone on the account (Kathy, Ryan, and me).

Uggh, I wasn't prepared for that, and needed to go do some research on plans since there are fifty billion combinations of different plans and I don't expect/trust the Cingular retail flunkies to actually help me pick the right plan.

Finally, last night, I got the job done. Got three new phone pretty much exactly like the ones Kathy and Ryan had (Samsung). Nothing fancy. Got pretty much exactly the plan we had before - National Family Shared, 500 minutes. Didn't really get much in the way of help from the retail flunky, but I pretty much knew what I wanted so he was adequate.

Now I just have to re-acquire all the phone numbers that I had before.

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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Don't you understand, man? You've struck coleslaw!

Odd stuff. I was Googling for LG tonight, and found out that, in Korea, they sell special refrigerators just for kimchi. It was apparently big business, and more than 40% of Korean households have them, but the companies are (or were) having problems because the market is pretty much saturated. And, funny thing is, there's not much of an export market for them. Gee, you suppose? I hadn't even thought about the need for something that culturally specific.

LG also makes internet enabled refrigerators, washing machines, and ovens.

Why was I looking up LG - the Korean electronics company? Well, because my old, apparently stolen phone is an LG. And because I knew the LG stood for something and that they used to sell stuff under a different brand that I always thought was more low-end, cheap import stuff. Yep, they used to be Goldstar, or "Lucky Goldstar". I just had to satisfy that curiousity.

The title of the post is from a "M*A*S*H" episode, and that line has always just stuck with me.

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Thursday, July 14, 2005

Comic Comments - All-Star Batman and Robin #1

OK, the series actually has the unwieldy title "All-Star Batman and Robin, the Boy Wonder". The logo basically reads like this:
"Batman and Robin the Boy Wonder".

There's really nothing special about this story, and some things that are just nonsensical. It's a rehash of Robin's origin. It's an All-Star series, so it doesn't have to fit continuity, though this story doesn't do any harm to it either.

The focus of issue #1 is on Vicki Vale. Go figure.

Actually, much of the focus of #1 is on Vicki Vale's figure. As in, we get four pages of Vicki in various stages of undress - OK, mostly bra and bikini panties. On two of the pages, her full form takes up the full page, or very nearly so. Message of this section, she's centerfold quality. And she's hot for Bruce.

Bruce Wayne is a lucky, lucky man. Or would be, but he has other things on his mind. Like, recruiting a young aerialist even before they actually have common motivations.

As for the nonsense, we go from Dick Grayson's parents being shot (on the ground after their act, not in the air during it, so there's less drama to the scene) to Gotham police taking away Dick and preparing to beat him, possibly to death. For no apparent reason. Yes, I get the idea that the Gotham police at this stage are brutal and corrupt, but there's just no reason given for the potential beating. If the cops were in on Dick's parents' killing, and they wanted to be rid of him, why wasn't he just shot in that scene as well. He was standing right next to his parents, so the gunman had the opportunity. If, on the other hand, the police weren't in on the murders, they're apparently just going to beat Dick for the sport of it. Wouldn't there be lower profile target than, say, a boy who's parents have just been shot in front of hundreds of circus-goers?

The attraction to this series is supposed to be the creators: Frank Miller and Jim Lee. Lee's artwork is very nice, pinup quality, but doesn't really enhance the storytelling. Miller phoned it in, and in fact some of the scripting sounds more like Jim Lee anyway.

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Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Galactica 2005

Summer is apparently now catch-up time for TV series with long-term story arcs. My Tivo has little better to do at this point, so I've been catching up with a couple of series that I've heard a lot of good reviews about, namely "Battlestar Galactica" and "Lost". I'm not 100% sold on either of these yet (i.e. they're not "Babylon 5"), but I'll probably stay with both through the coming seasons.

More on "Battlestar Galactica", since I've now watched the full first season, after the break:

There's a lot of good story potential in this series, and they've been using it. Not only is there the possibility that any one person may turn out to be a Cylon in disguise, and thus there is suspicion on everyone, but there are also a number of other conflicts that may not -- probably don't -- have anything to do with Cylons, because they pop up in every society. There's a conflict between civilian and military authority, there's political conflict, there are personal conflicts ..., and there's Baltar who may or may not be just plain nuts.

There's also some fun in recognizing elements re-used from the original "Battlestar Galactica". I watched that from time to time, but wasn't really a fan because a lot of it was just bad. Especially when they got to "Galactica 1980", where I actively avoided it.

I'm also pretty interested in some of the theology discussion, since we have the polytheistic humans and the monotheistic Cylon "bad guys". Interesting twist.

Anyway, I'm with this for the foreseeable future, and I'm glad that I timed it so that I wait less than a week to resolve the season cliffhanger.

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Sunday, July 03, 2005

Late Night D&D

Went to the Cubs game with Ellen, Matt and Bob yesterday. No visible offense. Blah. Lunch was better than the usual Saturday array.

Got home and chatted with Doug for a while (back on summer break). I suggested that I'd be willing to run D&D "Blood on Bright Sands". I think I made that suggestion about 8:00. We finally got organized to play about 10:00 -- Matt, Doug, Kalen, Kathy, and Paul.
Fortunately, the mod runs short, plus they decided to skip past a couple parts without investigating, so we got done by about 1:00. It's not a very good mod, but since its the first in the series it was good to get everyone through it.

I still wound up staying up 'til 2:30 trying to print the Adventure Records, as my laptop/PDFs/and the network printer don't seem to be playing well together. Well, it also took longer because I kept falling asleep while waiting for the computer.

Today, it's time to work on the side yard some more -- get the arbor assembled and get the side bed finished up.

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