Friday, December 22, 2006

It's that time of year!

I went on my annual excursion to Canada the 20th through 22nd. Woohoo! It was probably one of the best trips I've taken there; for many reasons. For starters, an hour before leaving I received a generous Christmas bonus that pretty much covered the trip. As if that wasn't enough, I also received a 6% salary increase. My job rocks ;) I was also there with my favorite person in the whole world (girlfriend dummy). I took some pictures, but they're nothing most people haven't seen before. All the really good memories I keep up in my noodle ;)

The only thing that almost put a damper on the trip was some asshat hotel valet decided to finish off a loose door sill cover on my car (read: he broke off a piece of my damn car). Thanks to the raise/bonus, I broke down and drove straight back to Cleveland and ordered a new sill cover from the dealership. If you're wondering why I didn't make the hotel pay for it, the answer is simple: it was somewhat broken to begin with. They'd just waste my time and argue that it's my fault and I should have warned them about it. While that may be true, just handing my car back to me with the piece completely busted off like nothing happened is not cool. What's done is done.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

"In west Philadelpha born and raised"

"..on the playground is where I spent most of my days!"/Fresh Prince. I went on a single day trip to Philadelphia on Saturday and feel like crap (click the picture to the right for a few pictures). A guy there was dismantling two cars that are the same as my model, so I decided to go score some cheap parts. Unfortunately, aside from two parts I did pick up, he wanted to pretty much sell me stuff that might not work on my car (heated steering wheel), or overcharge (i.e. one rim for $75.. I've seen a set of four go for ~$125). I ended up just buying a window shade and rocker panel (which was fun transporting back... ~7ft long, L-shaped, riding shotgun between a friend and I for ~450 miles.

We went and visited a "unique" part of town on South Street that can be be described as a ten block version of Coventry (pawn/consignment shops, salons, art & occult stores, etc). I got to eat an actual Philly Cheese steak from a place so popular the line never went below thirty people deep, even at two or three in the afternoon. It was good, but not "let's drive 450 miles to get another one" good.

One last bit... Dallas driver's don't have CRAP on these mofos. Holy F'ing crap. I've never seen people park and drive more jacked up than I did on this trip. Parking in the middle of the street (literally), double parking, blowing red lights, you name it. Some stupid b*tch almost rear ended me doing 60mph on the freeway. I swear if I didn't lunge my car forward a few feet, I'd be writing this from a hospital in Philadelphia.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

525i, wheee.... or not

I had to take my car into the dealer today to get a leak checked out. I swore it was oil, but it turned out to be a coolant leak. Oh well. Yay for extended warranties! While my car was in they gave me a 2007 525i as a loaner. The thing looks sweet inside and out. I hated the interior style at first but it's growing on me. The only thing was the ride was smooth, but it really seemed to have no pickup. For a 2007 BMW 6 cylinder with barely 2000 miles on the odometer, I expected a hell of alot more oomph. Oh well, I've still got four years left on my current car :)

Here are a couple of shots:

Sunday, October 8, 2006

Neat-o Javascript

Surfing around the various forums, someone posted this groovy ass javascript. That's so cool for pretty much a single line of code! It works for pretty much any website. Just browse to the website you want to do it to, then paste the following code into your browser address bar:

javascript:R=0; x1=.1; y1=.05; x2=.25; y2=.24; x3=1.6; y3=.24; x4=300; y4=200; x5=300; y5=200; DI=document.getElementsByTagName('img'); DIL=DI.length; function A(){for(i=0; i-DIL; i++){DIS=DI[ i ].style; DIS.position='absolute'; DIS.left=(Math.sin(R*x1+i*x2+x3)*x4+x5)+'px';*y1+i*y2+y3)*y4+y5)+'px'}R++}setInterval('A()',5); void(0);

I heard it doesn't work on Firefox, so if you use that browser... Jimmy crack corn, and I don't care. Serves you right.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Credit cards are the devil

I hate credit cards and the companies behind them. I opened an American Express account a month ago and did a balance transfer in at 0% for 12 months. All I had to do was spend $100 on their card within 90 days. No problem! Done! Next thing I know, a month later I get an e-statement saying payment is due... IN 5 BUSINESS DAYS. Oops! Didn't get payment there fast enough! Darn! Rate went to 15% overnight. Screw them. I am pulling out every dollar I owe on it out of savings and paying it off next week. They will never see another dime of interest or fees from me. In fact, I plan to fully abuse the card priveleges by using it then paying it off in full every month and getting the cash back on purchases.

To top it off, on this very same day, a new credit card with a $10,000 limit shows up out of the clear blue sky from another company. Who? What? Come to find out some store branded card I had like five frickin years ago dumped my info to this company who then jacked up the rate and available credit and issued a new card without even asking if I wanted it. It said "you can dispose of your Marta card!". What the HELL is a Marta card?!?! I told them they can cancel the store card AND this new card and asked for proof of cancellation in writing. I don't care what closing accounts does to my credit score... I hate having open accounts that I haven't touched in 5-10 years (long forgotten by me) floating around on my credit report.

Saturday, September 9, 2006

Yay! Mrs. Pac Man!

Woohoo! I just won a Mrs. Pacman Tabletop on eBay! Damn straight it's a waste of money. I collect those things and think they're freaking sweet for some reason. For $55 bucks shipped I can't go wrong, considering the average price for the damn thing is usually $75 plus shipping. I just couldn't resist. Yah I'm a computer nerd/dork, so what?

In other news, I took an Ohio Carrying Concealed Weapons course, passed, and received a valid permit. Since I haven't lived here for five years consecutively I had to pass an FBI background check first (which I did). I find it amusing (annoying?) that after spending ~$150 in courses, ~$100 in equipment, and ~$70 in government fees that they provide a permit that bleeds ink and must be kept in a paper sheath! Are they serious? I almost want to email them a link to websites selling Eltron printers for under ten grand. For the uninformed, Eltron printers are the same style/brand used by the DMV to print drivers licenses.

At work, I've been instrumental in refacing an NRA website (which as of this writing has yet to go live). I'm also in the process of migrating a major client's site from Microsoft .Net v1.1 to v2.0 as well as a graphical reface. It's been fun considering it's my first full blown v2.0 project. I'd mention the client by name, but they're supreme court lawyers and I don't know the legality of doing so... so... yah ;)

Friday, August 11, 2006

Loaner Car

Today totally kicked ass. I took a vacation day for no real reason. The lady and I had lunch in Little Italy, I got a haircut and we did some shopping. Best of all, after visiting the dealer and the body shop, I found that for $65 I'm getting: two days loaner bimmers, two car washes, engine inspection, a new aux fan, new fan clutch, two new lift pads, four rust spots removed, and bonding work done on a runner panel. Rockin.

While I was getting the big daddy mobile looked at, I was given a free 2006 325i loaner (see pic on right). The car was pretty sweet, if not a bit small for my tastes. Imagine something the size of a Cavalier with taste, quality construction, and an awsome ride. The neatest thing was the key and ignition/start system. You just insert the little remote into a port and hit the start button. As far as the car itself, the interior was nice, but a bit cramped for my style. I like the roominess in my car ;) I also missed little things about my car, like the onboard nav system and memory buttons for seat/mirror/steering wheel positions. Other than that, I'd love to tear up rush hour with a 3 series, though I think I'd ideally compromise for a fiver. Driving the loaner made me realize I desperately need to adjust the EQs and soundstage settings of the audio system in my car. It sounds like ass compared to the car I drove today.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Sittin on the dock of the bay

I was just trolling around the net and stumbled upon this video. It's an awesome remix of White Zombie's More Human Than Human with Powerpuff Girls mixed into it. Stupid? Probably. It's still amusing to me though considering certain friends of mine (who will rename nameless) dragged me to that god aweful Powerpuff Girls movie years ago. Finding and liking this video entitles me to have my revoked man card returned.

I just got my favorite person in the world this home gym for her birthday. It was a pain in the ass to put together, but hey... maybe I'll even use it once in awhile! I now have a home gym and a treadmill in the basement... now if the rest of the basement didn't look like crap I'd be golden!

Nothing else has really been going on. I just saw Clerks 2 yesterday. It had it's hilarious moments, but I think that the first is still the best (has a sequel EVER been better than the original for any movie?). I'll be buying it when it comes out on DVD for sure.

Saturday, July 22, 2006


If you tried to visit this site most of today, you probably found it inaccessible. Well, some ahole decided to hack my box. As soon as I realized what was going on I collected backups, recorded some forensic information, and wiped the system clean and started over. I had sneaking suspicions something was amiss the last week or so because of strange things that have been happening on my system (which I chalked up to XP and some shell extensions I installed recently). I suspected wrong. This is the price I pay for opening inbound ports on an XP machine and not being more security conscious.

To the guy if you're reading this: F*CK YOU. Oh, and you're either incredibly brazen or incredibly retarded. I have a webcam staring directly into my face when I'm at the console. You remotely take over the mouse and run a program while I'm sitting at it? The network and two firewalls are now hardened. Thanks for the heads up, douchebag. Your upstream ISP will be getting emails and logs about this event, and that little program you ran has been copied and will be analyzed in short order.

Thursday, July 6, 2006

Real men of genius!

So some people I know decided to pack two hundred sparklers into a copper pipe and call it a firework. I'd like to think anyone with half a brain would call it a PIPE BOMB. In any case, I think the following text would make a great "Real Men of Genius" Bud Light commercial:

<Background Singer>

Bud Light Presents: Real Men of Genius

Real men of genius

Today we salute you, Mr. Improvised Munitions Creator.

Mr. Improvised Munitions Creator

You take Independance Day so seriously that you create explosives from harmless sparklers.

Hope I don't lose a finger!

Sparklers? Snakes? Poppers? These devices are for nancy boys. Anything less than a quarter stick of dynamite just doesn't impress you.

I'm a real man with nine fingers!

So crack open an ice-cold Bud Light, master of munitions, because nobody is going to tell you 200 sparklers in a pipe makes a pipe bomb.

Mr. Improvised Munitions Creator!

Proof of their stupidity: Video 1 Video 2

Friday, June 30, 2006


What is it?! Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaah! Someone posted a link to this cryptic site on a forum I regularly read. Here is a screen capture. The website has all kinds of weird codes, logs, and counters tracking all kinds of things. It's apparently been up for over six months, but hasn't really gotten much attention until the final 24-48 hours. Nobody knows what it is, but most suspect it's going to be some stupid virual marketing for:
  • A movie
  • A new game
  • Some schmuck hyping a domain to sell it because now its "famous"

The site is getting absolutely slammed with millions of hits as the counter for whatever is going to happen (or not) ends at midnight (an hour and a half from now). Whatever this thing is, it has alot of people's attention.

UPDATE 7/1/2006 12:30am - None of the above. It was some stupid "social experiment" by some guy in Florida. What a waste of time, money, and energy.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I went fishing today and didn't catch a thing as usual (unless seaweed counts). It was close to sunset at Edgewater, so I decided to snap some pictures with my LG VX8100. Some of them came out pretty decent, but others look like typical grainy camera phone crap. Have a look.

I got my replacement Axim x50v a few days ago, and so far it's kicking ass. One thing I did notice was that it doesn't really like "Today" screen (what would be the desktop on a PC) programs being installed. That kind of sucks because that is supposed to be one of the useful features of a Pocket PC.

In other news, my 90 day contract try-and-buy period ended this past Tuesday, and I'm now a full time employee at my company. Woohoo! Guess I didn't screw anything up ;)

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Busy weekend

I went to a graduation party out in Norwalk on Saturday. The party was out on what I guess is one of their reservoirs(?). It's pretty nifty getting "out to the country" once in awhile. Free food ain't so bad either ;) I also went to my brother's for Father's day. I hate having "planned" weekends, but at least I made time to install a doorknob plate and paint the back hallway of my house.

In other news, I decided to contact Dell about my piece of crap crashing all the time Axim x50v. Instead of calling them I decided to try their chat support line. It's pretty frickin bad when you can tell *IN CHAT* that the person is in India. Look at a couple of these excerpt lines:

  • 7:22:06 PMVeronica_01102991 Please let me know since how long you have been facing this issue?
  • 7:23:08 PMVeronica_01102991 Please don't worry I will take care of the issue .
  • 7:31:13 PMVeronica_01102991 I am sorry please ignore the above message.
  • 7:31:20 PMVeronica_01102991 Please ignore it
  • 7:34:57 PMVeronica_01102991 Please do not worry, I will definitely take care of the issue and make sure to fix it for you in no time.

  • Who talks like that?!?! After wasting my time telling me to do a soft and hard reset (boy, never woulda thought of that!), then telling me to downgrade my "x30" ROM (I have an x50v and they knew that!), they finally agreed to ship me a replacment unit. We'll see how it goes this week.

    p.s. Idiots are already blowing off fireworks as a write this. Get a life! July 4th is over two weeks away!

    Wednesday, June 14, 2006

    Micro stuff rocks!

    I just ran across this page of "Top 10 Strangest Mini-Sized Devices" on Digg. Man is that stuff cool. I'd love to get a cell phone with the projector (pictured to the right) and one of those Toshiba Micro Hard Drives. That'd be bad ass.

    Speaking of portable electronics stuff, I got my Dell Axim x50v last week. Yah. I'm not too terribly thrilled with it right now. I'm not sure if it's the hardware, or the latest Windows Mobile 5 software, but it's been nothing but a headache. If I put it on the cradle while it's off... I get a locked up device with a gray screen. How about if I leave it on the cradle for an extended period? I find a locked up device with the screen on, but the backlight refusing to light. Kickass. Fortunately, it's still under warranty so I'll be calling Dell to speak to Habeeb, er, I mean "Joe" about getting it fixed/replaced under warranty.

    Monday, June 5, 2006

    Where do I sign?

    I've been dying to get my basement finished and decided to check out the Owens Corning Basement Finishing System. What a frickin joke. They came and gave a three hour presentation, then wrote up a quote for $28,000. $28,000. That had to be said twice. That's to finish 750 square feet over three days of labor. Let me put that in perspective. A few years ago I spent $38,000 for: four months of labor, new glass block windows (~9), new vinyl windows (~20+), the entire first floor redone in dry wall, a new kitchen and bathroom torn to the studs and rebuilt (including fixtures, cabinets, plumbing), new light fixtures/outlets/switches throughout, and a new main 220v panel with new romex runs. Suffice it to say, Owens Corning won't be getting a call from me anytime soon.

    Other than the quote nothing new is really going on. I'm still digging my new job. I've got a new toy coming at the end of the week: a Dell Axim x50v. I can't wait to mess with it.

    Saturday, May 13, 2006

    Beverage Nirvana

    Behold! Beverage nirvana! I just bought a metric ton of apples, oranges, carrots, and celery to make juice out of. The picture is of carrot apple juice. While it may sound weird or gross, it's actually really damn good. The carrots provide alot of the water volume and carrot flavor (duh), while the apples add sweetness. Making fresh juice is time consuming, a pain in the ass, and messy... but man is it worth it. Plus it's healthy (something I'm not accused of being very often ;) ).

    In other news I'm still at my new job and still like it. I just moved my desk from the "new bitch desk" spot (directly in front of entrance door) as it was referred to. I even got an upgrade to an LCD monitor. w00t!

    p.s. Don't forget tommorrow is Mother's Day. I didn't!

    Saturday, May 6, 2006

    Camera Phones Suck

    I attempted to go fishing at Edgewater today. Unfortunately, the temperature decided to plummet into the high 40s/low 50s from the high 60s and low 70s that it was all week. The water was super choppy and overall it just was not fishing weather. Suffice it to say we lasted about a half hour before calling it day. I did catch something... if a minnow counts! Seriously, I don't know what kind of "fish" it was, but it was like an inch and a half long. Mmmmm... dinner! I think the first hint we shouldn't have bothered was that nobody else was fishing when we got there ;)

    While I was out on the pier, I attempted to take some pictures with my VX8100 phone. Boy did that not work. Everytime more than 40% of the picture was in motion (i.e. the lake) the damn thing refused to take a picture (just showed a fuzzy garbage screen). Out of 15 pictures I did take, the one to the right was the only even remotely decent one. So much for useful technology. Next time I'll take my trusty Sony Cybershot.

    Saturday, April 29, 2006


    I've been sick for a week and it freaking sucks. It never fails that as soon as the weather clears up I come down with a cold or flu. Blah.

    Anyways, after having this site up for like five years in classic ASP and HTML coded by hand, I decided to reprogram the entire thing is C# .Net. You can't see the difference? Well, that was kinda the idea. I mostly did it for back end management, as well as to add a members section. The members section will contain files and other things I don't want unfriendly people seeing (and I've been surprised by exactly who views this site).

    Friday, April 14, 2006

    Jack Is Back

    This was just so cool and well put together I had to post it. It's a fake trailer for "Titanic 2: The Surface". The clips are ripped off of previous movies. See how many different movie titles you can count. At first watch I saw Titanic (obviously), Con Air, Shawshank Redemption, and The Bourne Identity. I'm not sure what movie the underwater clips are from.
    In other news, I just got new tires for my car. I got a set of Falken Ziex ZE-512's. You can't go wrong for $68 per tire. I'd thought I'd be paying in the $110 per tire range. Go! Go! Internet pricing! ;)

    Tuesday, April 11, 2006

    Sofa King We Todd Ed

    While I was out yesterday I saw the gem in the picture to the right. How retarded. I'm sorry, gull wing doors belong on Lamborghinis and DeLorean's and that's it. Any moron that drives that thing around and hops out at a 7-11 or movie theater should sign a purchase contract agreeing to be bitch slapped by the first person that approaches them. There are lots of things you can do to enhance your car's appearance... that shouldn't be one of them.
    I've been at my new job three weeks and am still loving it over my old one. The work is coming like a tidal wave and I can't get enough of it. Busy days fly by. Plus getting out early and driving winding country roads home everyday ain't so bad either ;)

    Saturday, March 25, 2006

    New Job

    I started a new job this week after only eight months at my previous job. I came to the realization that being in IT/IS in the manufacturing sector sucks. You're last to get money and resources, and first to have them taken away when some other department needs them. I also found that when I was programming for someone with a genuine need that appreciated the work, my day flew by. Recognition of good work increases employment satisfaction? Who knew! Unfortunately, such work was hard to come by. I did a total of... ready for this? One programming project while I was there. It was a project I could've banged out in a day or two if I had a written spec.

    As of March 20th, I started working for a political campaign web programming shop. I've already done a site for a cable industry lobbying group, and start work on an NRA (yes, that NRA) related site next week. Did I mention I also got a substantial raise over my previous job? Yep. By the way, the picture to the right is of my dual monitor PC at the new place. Oh, I also get to wear whatever I want to work unless a client is coming in. That rocks. I like it here and won't be looking back anytime soon.

    Saturday, February 25, 2006

    Auto Show

    I got free tickets to the private preview of the Auto Show this year, so I thought I'd check it out. I'm pretty much glad I didn't have to pay for it. For the most part it would be like paying to go to a car lot, except that the salesman don't bug you, and you're not allowed to test drive anything. Maybe the salesman thing had to do with the fact that everyone attending the preview were supposedly in the automotive industry? Oh well. I weep for those that go this weekend and pay full price. In general people were pushy, rude, and anything worth looking at was swamped with people. That means good luck sitting in and checking out anything affordable that didn't lool like crap (the Scion xB... and the new Honda Civic looked nice, and anyone who knows me knows I HATE small cars).
    I snapped a few pictures (with my cell phone) of some of the more interesting cars I saw (like the interior of a new Audi A8), a new Dodge Viper, or a couple Aston Martins) which can be viewed here. Overall, there really wasn't that much "wow factor" to the show. That's probably why 62% of people on a poll said they wouldn't be attending.

    Friday, February 3, 2006

    Safari hunt

    This is just an update to my post from yesterday. After wasting well over 35 hours of troubleshooting time with this damn Zebra printer, I finally isolated and solved the issue with it either not printing or partial printing labels. What was it? Their DRIVER! And not just any driver... the latest version of the driver off their own website. After wasting days upon days talking to tech support, sending this thing back to them twice, and using multiple parallel, USB, and serial cables I came to isolate the problem to their own latest and greatest driver.

    Great, right? Well, I figured I should tell them about it. Get this... they already knew about it not working with the .NET Framework. Mind you, I emailed like six people in the company and only one bothered to respond. They are well aware of the issue with their newest driver not working with the .NET framework (the old version worked just fine). Funny, it wasn't mentioned ANYWHERE on their website. It also wasn't mentioned in the "known issues" readme file that came with the download. So I guess it's OK for them to know and distribute CRAP drivers and leave it up to end users to play the "is it my cable? my printer? my program?" game.

    Thursday, February 2, 2006

    The sweet and sour

    Sweet! I was surfing around on Digg and found this cool site called Meebo. It's basically an instant messenger interface for Yahoo, AIM, ICQ, and MSN but strictly over the web (no software to install, no special ports). You may be saying "so what, some of those services offer their own web version". The difference is any corporate firewall that blocks IM is going to have those web addresses blocked. I've tested Meebo from at least two secured networks and it got by without a hitch.

    I'm really sour on Zebra printers. If you need a thermal printer, find something else... ANYTHING else. I've got one of these pieces of crap (TLP 2844-Z) and suffice it to say its super picky and their tech support is worthless. It's been back to the manufacturer twice. They've told me "don't use USB" (then why the hell does it have a USB port?). On four separate machines now (3 XP SP2, 1 2000) the reliability of whether it'll print or not can best be described as erratic. God I hate this thing.

    Wednesday, January 25, 2006

    HA! HA!

    I got a laptop in for repair today. Apparently the person was using it in the kitchen and knocked it clear off the counter while it was still running. Defective hard drive! Yah that was boring. However, next time he brings in a machine for repair, something tells me he'll think to check the contents of it first. *points and laughs* HA! HA!. The best part was when he asked if I had accessed then disc in the drive, then non-chalantly attempted to remove it and hide the label side from my view. Hell, given a few more minutes I would've made copies. Mwahahaha!

    Sunday, January 22, 2006

    Falling sand is fun?

    So I found a fun new time waster called "The Falling Sand Game". Sounds lame? Yup! But it's addictive as hell. There's basically four "faucets" along the top of the screen dropping salt, water, sand, and oil. You can build walls, grow plants, mix the elements, set fire to the oil or plants amongst other things. Still sounds boring? I thought the same thing. Then I ended up screwing with it for 45 minutes. Check it out (picture to the right is clickable).

    In the Quick Links bar on the left I added a link to It's supposed to be a "Slashdot killer". If you don't know what Slashdot is, just move along and pretend you didn't read this. Digg is basically a news submission blog type thing; or, as Digg says "With digg, users submit stories for review, but rather than allowing an editor to decide which stories go on the homepage, the users do."

    I just got my girlfriend set up with Dragon Naturally Speaking software (speech recognition) and a Plantronics headset for voice recognition. This stuff seems pretty sophisticated and actually works. No more typing? Say it ain't so! I can see it now, me, programming: "public int Get Customer Balance Open Parenthesis int Customer ID close parenthesis open curly brace sequel connection cust db equals new sequel connection..."

    Tuesday, January 3, 2006

    If you like pina colada!

    Why the hell is this song stuck in my head? I actually had to look it up... it's Escape (The Pina Colada Song) by Rupert Holmes. Whoever the hell that is?
    I moved a bunch of older posts off to an archive page because they were slowing down the load time on this page. Thanks for the "kickass" 256k upload and blocked port 80 Cox! I'd host the site at work like I have in the past, but thanks to wonderful Sarbanes-Oxley regulations, it would be considered a breach of proper security policy. Yay.

    I just went to register for Tri-C web based courses and was pissed to find that every single damn web course is filled. Sociology. Humanities. History. Archeology. The hell? *sigh* I ended up signing up for English Technical Writing. Another exciting action packed semester ahead for me! I think Junior's reaction (picture on right) about sums up how I'm feeling about things right now.
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