Archive for September, 2008

Computer with bright lights fixed by monolith

September 26, 2008

I setup my computer in a temporary spot in my bedroom in my house a while back.

This seemed fine at first, but the computer was facing my bed, and more importantly, my head.

The blue power light doesn’t seem bright until the room is dark and you’re looking from the direction where it sends most of its light. This had to be fixed.

To block the light, I stood up a box in front of the computer. The box is from an IBM Model M space saving keyboard made 16 years ago. It is connected to my computer, and I used it for all the typing here. The box is almost wide enough for a modern full-sized keyboard, and deep enough for three, so it is not a space saving box.

The box blocks the light quite nicely and looks like a monolith of sorts. That may explain why I was sung to sleep by a chorus excitedly making the sound of the long vowel ‘E’.


FPL Web Site: Logging out will be ignored

September 21, 2008

When I tried to log out from my FPL account, I got this page:

The only request I was making was to log out, but big bold letters tell me that my request was not completed. Below that, it tells me that I logged out. So, did I log out, or not? Methinks the web developers should pay closer attention to how they handle error conditions, especially common conditions.

FPL Policy on Comments and Suggestions

September 21, 2008

I noticed the following line in the FPL Web Site Terms and Conditions:

While we welcome comments and suggestions from our customers, unfortunately it is FPL policy not to accept or consider unsolicited suggestions, ideas, or materials.

They should have written this:

While we welcome comments and suggestions from our customers, it is FPL policy to ignore them.

That doesn’t seem to change the meaning while stating it in a much clearer way.


September 21, 2008

I got this in the mail:

re|Think your life . . . on purpose

Stop accidentally rethinking your life. You’ll get further if you plan to do it next time.

A LORAN-C transmitter is near

September 21, 2008

While looking for interesting places to go, I noticed an odd circular shape on satellite photos north of here. I finally figured out that it is a LORAN-C transmitter. The LORAN-C system doesn’t get much use anymore, thanks to GPS, but its successor eLORAN might still be deployed. In any case, LORAN has played an important roll in navigation as far back as WWII, making it interesting from a historical standpoint. I also find it interesting from a technical standpoint. I wonder if they take visitors.
It is located at 27°1′59″N, 80°6′53″W.

Lawn mowers, California, and wood

September 21, 2008

I had to cut the lawn today, so I was reminded of this little tidbit in the lawn mower’s manual:

The message to Californians is clear: do not use your lawn mower to cut wood.

FPL’s On Call needed to power VCRs

September 20, 2008

I got this choice quote in the mail from FPL used to explain the usefulness of their On Call program:

People are using more electricity in their homes today than they did years ago because of things like computers and VCRs.

So, people didn’t use VCRs years ago, but they use them a lot now. Seems like they need to take another survey of how people use electricity. Who uses a VCR now? Oh, right, that would be me. Did they know? I’ll have to be on the lookout for power company spies from now on.

Screwdriver needed to get to screwdriver

September 20, 2008
Screwdriver held in by screws

Screwdriver held in by screws

Along with buying a house, I have needed to get several tools that I otherwise wouldn’t have needed. I bought a nifty looking screwdriver at the local Home Depot, brought it home, and then noticed something bizarre. To open the package containing the screwdriver, I needed a screwdriver. No less than five screws where holding the package to the front of the included case. Two are in the picture.

I did, in fact, have some screwdrivers already, so opening up this package wasn’t a problem. Still, whoever came up with this idea must have been drunk, likely from screwdrivers. It’s like something out of a Heller novel.

A messy start with clutter

September 20, 2008
The front of the Jovian outpost

The front of the Jovian outpost

Amazing! I finally got a web log thingy, although that required assistance to get past two errors the system threw at me. I’ve also had a cell phone now for about a year and a half. I’m slow with some things.

I got a house, and I keep finding things that are crazy or hilarious, so I figured I’d start posting them somewhere instead of keeping them to myself. The house is still a mess inside, so you get an outside picture.

The previous owners had young children. The oldest was probably between four and six. On the opposite wall where she slept was this:

Evil Harlequin

Evil Harlequin

The title of the log has to do with my location. It makes the Kubrick theme a nice reference.

False Steps

The Space Race as it might have been

You Control The Action!

High Frontier

the space colony simulation game

Simple Climate

Straightforwardly explaining climate change, so you can read, react and then get on with your life.