23 August 2005

Strange Things Seen

I work unloading boxes from semi trailers for Federal Express. This morning I unloaded a box marked "Adjustable Mouse Pads". Huh?

Tabloid Headline: "Kitten Guilty of Murder! Sign enclosed petition or Fluffy DIES!" Oddly, the part of that I have the most trouble with is someone naming their kitten "Fluffy".

Fairly often, at FedEx, we unload boxes marked, "Visual Graphics". As opposed to, you know, those graphics you listen to. Or smell.

21 August 2005

Lantiers 1 : Routers 0

After a couple of weeks, a moderate amount of online research, several phone calls, and endless fiddling, I now have our router configured and our network firing on all cylinders.

We tried several things, me and plesant Indian woman "25219" (I didn't catch her name - something like "Veesha" - but that's her Linksys Technician ID), but the thing that worked was changing the LAN IP range from 192.168.1.x to 192.168.2.x. I can't imagine why that matters, but there it is. It took about 40 minutes. Well, like 3 weeks of poking at it and 40 minutes on the phone.

Anyway, Cindy and I are now both online, and firewalled by the router. Now I'll blow up my hard drive and re-do it to get the spyware and junk off.

For my next trick, I will DHCP my slackware Linux box on and get it Internetable. (You ought to know the rules before you break them - I can get an A in any English class you give me, so I can occasionally throw out words like "Internetable")

18 August 2005

DRM: We are not amused

I had my first encounter with DRM, and it wasn't pretty.

DRM (Digital Rights Management) is a way of putting controls on digital media (MP3 music files, most notably) to restrict its use.

Cindy and I went to Del Taco the other day, and I idly pulled off my peel-and-win sticker. I won a free download of one song!

After a couple of days I got around to claiming my prize. After a couple of small hassles (confusion about where to get the song, and having to give my email address) I downloaded the song of my choice. Yay!

I double-clicked the song in my MP3 directory. Windows Media Player came up. I don't like WMP and try not to use it. So I closed it and opened WinAmp.

The file was not playable in WinAmp. But, but but . . . I got the song legally - I won the right to have the song (not quite as good an argument as 'I paid good money for it!', but hey, I won the right to have it!) but I can't play it the way I want to? My song? On my computer?

*sigh* Whatever . . . it WAS free . . . so load WMP and try again.

"Downloading License"

Uhhh . . . license for what? I won the song . . . I picked out the song I wanted, and you let me download it. I need a license for WHAT? For my song? On my computer?

Windows Media Hassler connects to Internet to download the license (whatever that is) and . . Cannot Reach Network.

What do you need a network for? I want to hear my song.

Click on Internet Explorer. Google (the start page) comes right up. Clear out Windows Media Nazi and try to load my song again . . .

Cannot reach network. *I* can reach the network. But WMN can't.


It was three more days before I got my song. The song I can only play using the player it tells me to. The song I can't play on any computer except this one.

This is why I don't buy music downloads.


I have been too long away from this!

Well then, what's going on, constant readers? Not a whole heck of a lot. I continue at Fed Ex, loading and unloading semi trailers. I much prefer unloading, though it's a tough workout. Manager Cindy pulled no punches during my second interview, when she said it's a 5-hour workout. She also said I would ALWAYS hurt, and that's pretty much true.

I had my first encounter with DRM (Digital Rights Management) and I am NOT happy. More in the next post.

I was sick for a bit, so I haven't seen our little friends hardly at all. I did just play an online game with Adam. We played The Battle For Wesnoth, a multiplayer online fantasy game. It was okay . . . we won eventually, but my forces sure took a beating. The concept is entertaining, but it may take a while to get used to the dizzying number of races, terrain bonuses, skills, and other things. I still prefer MegaMek, though that may be because I'm more familiar with it.

Cats and bird are well; B'Orange is completely nuts.

The routing issue still confounds me, though I have two secret weapons now: a shiny new router, and a technical support phone number.

Read Agatha Christie's "Murder on the Orient Express", mostly just to see what it was. I'm not 'nonplussed' but I'm barely-plussed. The main character is Belgian. His name is "Hercule Poirot" - comments welcome on how you might pronounce that. He "twinkles" at people. And, worst of all, not a car chase or machine gun battle in the whole thing. No giant robots, either.

05 August 2005

Here's one

I didn't really mean for this to become a Gene Ray advertisement, but I couldn't resist posting this. This website takes Gene Ray (the timecube.com guy) sayings and strings them together more or less randomly, for an endless nonsensical flow of 'wisdom'. It's entitled, apporpriately, "Communications from elsewhere"

Just hit "Refresh" on your browser to load another diatribe.



This website (www.timecube.com) is hysterical - it hardly ever changes, but I check in once in a while just for grins. Here's a quote:

I am flabbergasted that the "big brother" hired pedants can brainwash and indoctrinate the powerful antipode human mind to ignore the simple math of 4 simultaneous 24 hour days within a single rotation of Earth, to worship one and trash three. Magnificient evil job by teachers.

You'd think he'd get off a couple of incoherent blasts like that and be done, but no! He goes on and on and on. Some of the quotes sound almost-deep and almost-meaningful -

Today, you have the opportunity to make tomorrow better than yesterday.

. . . but then things come unhinged at the last minue

Your future is your plundered past. Today, you have the opportunity to make tomorrow better than yesterday. To do less, is a crime against children.


Some of it is just off the deep end . .

Also, proof that humans are Cubic forms that rotate a 4 corner face lifetime, not an entity as the 4 corner stage faces do not occur at the same time for the 1 corner face individual.

Truth about Santa Claus debunks Santa God. God evolves from Santa.

He has a somewhat inflated view of himself -

I possess data, with proof, that will absolutely blow the lid off the present civilization.

Dr. Gene Ray, the Wisest Human,

The 'wisest human'? That is soooo cool, I wish I'd thought of it. Wouldn't you love to have that on a business card?

Bonus points if you have any idea what he's talking about. Well, actually I get what he's talking about, mostly - it's just goofy.


03 August 2005

Good News!

Just a short entry to let everyone know that I got the job at JoAnn Fabric & Crafts! I got a call today around 1:45pm asking Friday morning, 10:00am was a good time to come in to do my paperwork. Of course, that was a perfect time -- just about anytime would have been a perfect time! LOL!

YEA for me! I have a job! I have THIS job!

Thanks so much to those of you who held me in your thoughts and prayers. I really appreciate it. :-)