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Monday September 20th 2010 (Entry was updated on Monday September 20th 2010)


Broken blog
No, not really. I've just had a lot going on, and not much to say.

I came across this picture I took a few months ago.. It's another HDR picture. Gives is a bit of a gloomy quality, I think.



Tags: poop

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Tuesday August 3rd 2010


Loss of prime

If you've ever rebuilt an engine you know you're supposed to pack the oil pump with grease or assembly lube so it'll start pumping when you first crank the engine over.

Well, imagine you either forgot to do this or just didn't do it well enough. Finding this out when you go to crank the engine and it doesn't build pressure is a bit of a bummer.

I had this issue when I first went to start my 2.7l rebuild in the Intrepid. The solution? An oil can, pump style:



Any can similar to any of the above will do.

You also need a piece of hose (4 or 5 inches of 1/4" hose will do) and a hose clamp.

First, fill can with oil. Doesn't really matter what weight, but you might want to use what goes in the engine.

Now attach the hose to the tip of the can, then put the hose clamp onto it and clamp it so the hose is securely and leak-free attached to the can.

Now find your oil filter on the engine and remove it. Notice there's a couple holes on the flange where the filter screws on. There's the threaded center hole which leads to the engine's innards, and then there's the hole on the outside that leads to the oil pump. This second hole it the one you want.

Insert the hose into this second hole and make sure it's a snug fit (so you won't get oil all over yourself). Now simply pump the oil from the can into the engine. You don't need a lot, but I'd say at least 10 or so pumps. Add a few more pumps for good measure.

Now remove hose and oil can, replace filter and crank engine over. It should now build oil pressure.



Tags: tips tricks lost prime

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Wednesday June 23rd 2010


Lost
So I finally got around to watching the last episode of Lost. Wow, what a let-down.

I almost felt like the episode was written by someone other than the regular writers. It simply didn't have that "Lost feel" to it.

Oh well.

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Monday May 17th 2010


Hurra for 17. Mai!

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Wednesday April 14th 2010


Weeee Target!
Starting this previous Sunday, Target (and Target.com) offered the Wii for $199.99 w/free Sports Resort/Motion Plus Controller. Red picked one up, and with her discount it came to $179.99. Beats gamestop's deal by $20, and no need to deal with gamestop nor wait for shipping. She also picked up an additional remote, and with that you got a free nunchuck too.

The Target deal is good through this week.

Tags: Target > gamestop

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Wednesday April 14th 2010


The Internet is broken?
No, but rather Symantec is broken.

A co-worker brought in his daughter's notebook, claiming she's unable to connect to the internet.

I checked the basic settings and such, and it all looked fine. Upon trying to ping 127.0.0.1 it returned with "general failure". When plugging in the network cable it would not see the network and not get assigned a DHCP address.

I noticed the Symantec 360 software (anti-virus and firewall, I'm guessing. I have no experience with it. I always tell people to toss out anything Symantec as soon as possible) was out of date. Seeing as it was most likely a free trial that was installed by the notebook OEM, I figured I'd get rid of it and install a free AV software instead (Avast! in this case). Once the uninstall was complete, what do you know, the network interface started working just great. It immediately got assigned an IP address and just like that internet access was restored.

Symantec only does two things right (and that's only because it wasn't their software to begin with, but rather something they acquired by showering someone with money), and that's BackupExec and Ghost.

Tags: Symantec Norton McAfee virus crap

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Thursday April 8th 2010 (Entry was updated on Thursday April 8th 2010)


Gamestop.com
What a bunch of fucktards.

I placed an order for a Wii system w/Sports Resort bundled for $199. Then I came across a coupon code to save another $10, so I cancelled my original order (within minutes of placing it), and placed another order using the coupon code. I was happy.

FFWD a couple days and I check the order status online, and the order has been cancelled. Just like that, no word from them that they would be canceling the order nor why they were canceling.

I google and find that apparently the coupon wasn't supposed to work with console purchases. It did, though, so that's their own damn fault. Dumbasses.

Anyway, I figure fine, I'll place an order without the coupon. But NOOOOO, can't do that since I've now exceeded the limit of 2 orders per household (even though both orders were cancelled long before they shipped/billed).

I look for a way of contacting customer support. Just a phone number. Argh! Why can't these people get that if you have a web site that allows online ordering, you're supposed to have online support as well (bonus if you have live chat)? If I wanted to call and talk to some douche on the phone, I could just as well have placed my order on the phone to begin with. The point of doing it online is because it's quick and I can do it when/where I want.

So I give the dumbshits a call. Seems they can't fix my online account so that I'm allowed to place an order, but they'd be happy to take the order over the phone.. Sigh. Fine. Since I'm placing the order on the phone, though, there's no way to track it online since they "bypass" the system on the phone. I give him my cc info and such (they already had my name/address from the online order). It comes to $7 more than online. When questioned, he says free shipping and such doesn't reflect until the order is billed. Sigh. Dickwad suggests I call 'em back the next day to check on the order status and make sure they only charged me what they were supposed to (I guess they fuck up stuff regularly and need constant checking up on?).

A couple days go by.. This morning I have an e-mail from dipshit CS rep Kevin informing me that they are unable to confirm my billing address, and that I should fax them a copy of my cc statement. I call 'em up and complain, and they tell me it's my cc issuers fault since they won't confirm nor deny my personal info to anyone but me over the phone (good on them!). I think it's gamestop's fault for being imbeciles, but hey, that's just me.

I tell 'em to keep their damn Wii and to cancel the order. I'm done jumping through hoops to buy a gaming system I really don't care to buy anyway (it's for Red and the kiddies).

So now I'll just sit back and wait for the next Wii+Sports Resort combo to come along, and I'll never, ever buy anything from Gamestop.com or their pimple-face staffed mall stores again (nor have I ever to this day).

Edit: Here's a random GameStop hating video off YouTube:




And while I'm at it, Logitech's RMA procedure blows chunks too. No online way of doing it, no toll free number to call. You have to call a regular phone number, then talk to some person butchering the English language in India. Not once, mind you, but 5 times. This because they can't spell my damn e-mail address correctly even after confirming it over and over again, spelling it out and using the phonetic alphabet to boot.

See? This is why you have an online RMA process. Customer types their own info in, and if it's wrong, they can't blame anyone but themselves.

Can you tell I've had it with calling asshats to complain about their shit?

Edit: Added random youtube vid

Tags: gamestop can eat shit

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Friday March 12th 2010 (Entry was updated on Friday March 12th 2010)


More PhonePower.com
Well, I thought I had the PhonePower VoIP problem solved a while ago. Turns out it wasn't, though. While I was able to make phone calls without issues, incoming phone calls were hit or miss. Sometimes they'd work, sometimes not. I thought maybe it was due to a laggy internet connection, but it seems outgoing calls were fine all this time, so the connection should be okay.

Well, I did some more googling, and came across some pages (one of which was actualy pp's own support pages) saying to forward ports 5004-5061 (UPD only). I did, and just like that, incoming calls worked great.

For about 16 hours, that is. Then it was back to hit or miss.

More Googling. Came across some pages saying to turn off the SIP (Session Initiation Protocol) ALG rule. This seems a bit counter intuituve, since SIP is specifically designed to make VoIP behind NAT routers easier. Well, I turned it off, and incoming calls worked immediately.

As an experiment I decided to turn off the port forwarding and re-enable SPI (Stateful Packet Inspection), and it still works great. Shortly after this, I had two incoming calls, both worked without issues.

I'm using a Cradlepoint MBR900 router and a Grandstream HT-502 ATA, so YMMV on whether you need to turn off SPI. I read several posts where turning off SPI was the end of their issues. I'm guessing they have routers that don't have SIP ALG.

Ironically enough, all these steps are outlined in PhonePower's knowledgebase, but are not all that easy to find. One would think that technical support staff for PP would know to turn off SIP, since it's in their own support pages.

According to the installation guide that comes with the HT-502, all you need to do is connect the WAN port of it to a LAN port on your router, and it will work just great. Clearly this isn't so. Maybe on the most basic of routers, but certainly not on ones with a decent feature set.

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Tuesday March 9th 2010


Microsoft Access 2007
First off, let me get something off my chest:

I hate the new Microsoft Office 2007 user interface!!!!

Now, with that out of the way, let me get to the point.

I had been using MS Access 2003 at work for years for databases. We have a rather outdated Unix based software that "runs" our company (accounting, quoting, orders, shipping etc). A downside to this being outdated is that getting data in or out of it is a hassle. Basically we have to export to a text file, then import that into an Access database. This has been working fine for years.

Then along comes Access 2007. Now suddenly I'm not able to import anything into any database.

If I try to import the text file, I get a message like this:
The changes you requested to the table were not successful because they would create duplicate values in the index, primary key, or relationship. Change the data in the field or fields that contain duplicate data, remove the index, or redefine the index to permit duplicate entries and try again.

Googling the error tells me to compact and repair the database, since it's apparently broken. Well, even if I start a brand spanking new database, I still get the error, so clearly it's not a case of a broken db.

Lots of Googling and MS Knowledgebase later, I'm still unable to import a simple text file. Did I mention this worked just great in prior versions of Access?

Then, suddenly, it hit me. I started thinking maybe the fact that the text file came from a Unix platform has something do to with it. This, since Windows and Unix have different ways of indicating "new line". Unix does it with one simple character, while Windows uses two; one for new line, one for "carriage return" (yes, just like in the old days with typewriters, Windows has to be told to move the "carriage" back to the start when you make a new line).

Anyway, so I open the text file in Wordpad which is able to read Unix formatted text files just great (I'm surprised Microsoft didn't decide to break this too while they were at it). Once opened in Wordpad, I just hit "save", so it'll overwrite the Unix formatted file with a now Windows formatted file.

Bingo! Access now lets me import the text files without a hitch.

Why the hell couldn't Access just say "Hey, this file is in Unix format, and I can't handle that.. even though I used to be able to."?? Oh no, The changes you requested to the table were not successful because they would create duplicate values in the index, primary key, or relationship. Change the data in the field or fields that contain duplicate data, remove the index, or redefine the index to permit duplicate entries and try again. makes a hell of a lot more sense. Not.

Tags: scrotum microsoft lick

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Thursday February 25th 2010


Spartacus - Blood and Boobs (2010)
This plays on the Starz network. Original title is actually "Spartacus - Blood and Sand", but if you've ever seen it you know what boobs I'm talking about. They're everywhere!

Like the title suggests, there are two things aplenty in this series: blood and boobs.So much, in fact, that it's a little on the ridiculous side.

Here's a screen shot to illustrate:



At first I thought the blood was a bit overkill, but then I got used to all the boobs and life was good.

Tags: gore, man loses woman and gets cross and kills lots of people as a result, Boobs!

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Monday February 22nd 2010


Magic Fists of Phone Power!
Phonepower.com is a VoIP phone service supplier. I recently subscribed and tried to get the Grandstream Handytone HT-502 ATA to work. Well, it didn't.

I tried the USB Travel Adapter, and it worked fine, so the connection and service worked fine.

I chatted with PhonePower support, and while the man at the other end was somewhat helpful, it didn't solve my problem. He wanted me to put the HT-502 in the DMZ. I did so, but it still had the same problem (not registering with their system). He said it seems like the application is being "double blocked" (whatever that means).

Finally he gave up stating they don't support VoIP over wireless internet connections. Still, it should at least work, even if QOS might not be the best.

So I took it upon myself to solve it. Some Googling later and I came across a post saying to turn of SPI in the firewall of the routher. I did, and the problem was solved.

One would think PhonePower.com would have come across this issue at least once or twice....

Tags: internet phone

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Monday February 22nd 2010


The Book of Eli (2010)
Pretty hyped up, this movie was. Not as good as hyped up to be, this movie was. Red and I to see movie we went. Not very impressed we were.



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Friday February 19th 2010 (Entry was updated on Friday February 19th 2010)


Toyota responds to recent safety issues
I'm sure you've heard and/or read about recent issues with sticking gas pedals, failing brakes and possessed steering wheels.

Well, not one to let these serious issues go unnoticed, Toyota has implemented some new safety systems.

Toyota adds safety features
1. Emergency stop button in center of dash, easily reachable by both driver and front seat passenger (rear seat button optional).
2. Advanced Nautical Converted Universal Retarder (ANCUR)
3. Driver's side floor mat securely bolted to floor.

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Wednesday February 17th 2010


Grandaddy


Tags: sophtware slump "are you giving in 2000 man?"

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Wednesday January 27th 2010


Bed time
So Red asked for one thing for Christmas; beds for the kiddies. Up until Christmas they'd been sleeping on a foldout couch bed. Not the most comfortable, although they're so small and light that they don't notice, but odds are they'll grow bigger and heavier over time.

I went to the local Big Lots! and priced out some beds. The only wood bed in full size they had was $99! And that's for a cheap particle board bed.

So I decided to build my own beds. It took me a couple weeks to build 'em in my spare time. They were ready to be slept in on Christmas day. It's made out of 1x4s, 1x6s, 2x4s and 2x6s. The hardware (for attaching side rails to head/foot boards) was ordered from Woodcraft.com. The finish is Minwax Polyshades in classic oak shade. The wood (pine) came from the local Home Depot.







The mattresses sit on 1x4 "bunky boards", also home made. Cost me just over $20 for two sets. Compare to the $50 (cheapest I could find online) you'll have to pay for one set elsewhere.

In the end I didn't really save any money, but I got some beds that are home made, and in my mind, a lot more durable than the particle board crap Big Lots! was selling.

This was basically my first real wood project, and I'm happy with how it turned out!

Tags: diy pine toddler single youth

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Tuesday January 26th 2010


Will it fit?
That's what I was wondering when I was considering buying a new TV. Will it fit in the car? I.e., can I get it home?

Well, I measured the inside space of the vehicle I'd be using (Red's S-10 Blazer). About 42" wide inside. I didn't measure height and length since I figured they would be plenty.

I was thinking of getting a Vizio 55" from Costco.

So off I go to Google to find the outside dimensions of the box the TV is packaged in. Shouldn't be too hard, I figure. I mean, for such a big item, it's a decisive factor in whether people are able to bring it home or not.

Guess what? I was unable to find any box dimensions.

Oh well. I figure it should fit. Worst case scenario I'll just take it out of the box.

Once at the store, I actually decided on buying a Sharp Aquos 60" (LC-C6077UN) instead. I had brought a tape measure with me, and I measured the box. Wow.. 42" wide. Well, should just fit.

As a PSA of sorts, here are the dimensions: 42" x 21" x 62".

Should be the same for LC-60E77UN, I would imagine. I'd say the 65" Aquos will not fit in an S-10 Blazer without taking it out of the box.

42", that's the same width as the Blazer. Yep, it barely fit. A little bit of a friction fit, in fact. Even the length was just barely good enough. There was less than an inch to spare length wise. Only because of the hatch glass being on the outside of the hatch did it fit.

A couple pics to illustrate:

    

Tags: external measurements cardboard container television

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Tuesday December 8th 2009


Winter weather advisory
Well, it's winter, what would one expect? It would make more sense if they issued summer weather advisory. I mean, I sure as heck would be caught by surprise if I got up to leave for work one day in December and it was 90F and sunny as heck outside.

It's winter, we're already expecting winter weather. No need for the advisory.

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Tuesday November 24th 2009 (Entry was updated on Tuesday November 24th 2009)


Transitional phase
I suppose we're in a sort of transitional phase still with people adopting the DVRs and getting rid of their VCRs. I'm sure when VHS came on the market people would say things like "I recorded the show on my VHS last night". After VHS was widely spread and old news, it was simply "I recorded the show last night".

These days we're seeing the same thing with DVR. "I recorded the show on my DVR last night". Isn't that a bit superfluous? I suppose it's a way of trying to be sneaky about bragging. Much like "I watched the show on my LCD TV last night". These are both things I find myself reading in forums over and over again.

Anyway, that's all. I'm going to go back to using my dual core computer with 4GB of memory displayed on a wide screen LCD monitor now. All while my DVR is recording 1080P shows for me to watch on my 1080P LCD TV later while the sound plays on my 1000W 7.1 surround sound system and the 400W subwoofer.

Tags: I'm better than you are, in a subtle way. My LCD TV and DVR make it so. Or so they think, at least.

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Friday November 20th 2009


Invincible engines
If you frequent a car forum or any other forum where there's occasional car talk, you'll come across someone spewing some BS like this:

Engine Y is a great engine. My first car, a Brand X model Z, had one, and that engine just didn't want to die. And I tried hard to kill it!

First of all, who deliberately tries to "kill" the engine in their only mode of transportation? Nobody.

And what do they mean by "tried to kill it"? I bet they mean running it up to redline occasionally, maybe even a burnout or two. Neither of these things will kill an engine. Your tires and possibly differential will die a lot quicker than the engine.

Give me any engine that you think can't be killed, and I'll kill it in seconds. Easy as pie. Pour some sand down the intake and oil fill cap, then fire it up. Let it run for a bit, then cut the gas line and throw a match on it for good measure. I guarantee that engine (and car) will be killed.

The sand down the oil fill is basically what the government required to be done to cars that were traded in on the "cash for clunkers" program. Check youtube for a bunch of videos showing the result.

Tags: d-bags spouting bs

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Monday November 9th 2009


Treasure Raiders (2007)
I'll copy and paste someone else's comment from IMDb:

This movie SUCKS BALLS!!!!!

And boy, the author of that comment summed up the movie nicely.

This is a bad mix of The Fast and The Furious and National Treasure. Except, it's set in Russia, where apparently everybody speaks awful English (and nobody speaks Russian). Especially awful was the one cop whose every line was spoken in fluent American English, except for one word that was spoken (badly) in a Russian accent.

David Carradine stars in this movie, and this lends further evidence towards his death being suicide.

I've seen cheap porn with better acting and plot!




Tags: Worst movie ever

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