Tasty AND Educational!
Posted in Strangeness
Afternoon watch, 8 bells (4:04 pm)

Here's how you can calculate Pi by throwing frozen hot dogs.

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Bloody Thursday
Posted in General
Afternoon watch, 5 bells (2:46 pm)

Two of my cow-orkers and I went to give blood today. Everything went quite well, the blood center was pretty bare, not a lot of people braving the icy roads to get out and donate today. Good news for us other donors I guess, but maybe not so good for injured people. I was about 2 weeks late getting to the donation center, I've been getting over a cold and you have to wait for your symptoms to be gone before you can donate.

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CueCat, Catalog Software
Posted in Books, Reviews, Tech
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:02 am)

We got a CueCat barcode scanner yesterday. It's a simple, cheap (under $20) device you can find in a few places online that lets you scan many different types of barcodes. We're using it to catalog our book and dvd collections. I scanned about 150 books last night in a very short amount of time. If you combine that with software such as ReaderWare, you can have your entire collection catalogued in an evening. I'm thinking about LibraryThing, though, too. They don't do music or dvds, but they have a very nice book interface (I like it a lot more than ReaderWare, anyway).

I "declawed" our CueCat (it's the USB version) and it scans perfectly now, no encryption. All you do is plug it in now and scan, then the barcode shows up in your application just like you typed it. I didn't even install any drivers for it—it just worked. I highly recommend one if you have stuff to catalog. You have to buy them on eBay or at some other place that has a supply of them, the company that originally made them went out of business (see the WikiPedia CueCat article for details).

So to sum it up, if you want a cheap barcode scanner, get a Cuecat. Declaw it. If you want to catalog books, use LibraryThing. If you want to catalog your media collections, I think something like ReaderWare is more your style.

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More Snow
Posted in General
Morning watch, 7 bells (7:52 am)

Well we got a couple more inches of snow last night, but only about two here in Post Falls. The nice thing about it being so cold is the snow is very light and powdery.

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Colocated Servers
Posted in Tech
First watch, 3 bells (9:51 pm)

Today I had to get a new server installed with the other two we already have colocated. It took me a while to get to the right people and get things going, but things worked out better than I could have hoped for. We're moving our servers into a new space in their facilities. Currently we're in a shared rack that pretty much anybody has access to. Friday we'll move the rest of the servers to the new 1/4-rack sized lockable cabinet where I put the new one in today. This will be much better for us, and was something we wanted when we first moved in, but no cabinets were available.

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Invader Zim Christmas mp3 Ringtone
Forenoon watch, 8 bells (12:10 pm)

In honor of the horrible holiday season (see Invader Zim Volume 3: Horrible Holiday Cheer), I present to you the Santa song as an mp3 ringtone.

Bow down, bow down
Before the power of Santa
Or be crushed, be crushed
By his Jolly Boots of Doom!

View my entire (work in progress) Invader Zim Sound Page of Doominess here.

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Gone Jackals
Posted in Reviews
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:29 am)

If you ever played Full Throttle, you'll recognize Legacy by The Gone Jackals. I don't care much for the rest of the album, a little too rough-around-the-edges garage/bar band music for my tastes, but Legacy has a special place in my heart for the hours of time I put in to Full Throttle.

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Snowed On
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:29 am)

Yesterday it snowed. I don't mean it snowed so much as it snowed. I was not home at all yesterday other than to sleep. When I got home at about 11pm last night, I had to shovel all this snow off my driveway. Unfortunately by this time it had rained a bit, and the snow was very heavy and slushy. When I finished, besides a sore back, I also took in a few pounds of water on my pant cuffs. I am now waiting for some dry pants (one cycle through the dryer last night apparently wasn't enough) so I have something to wear to work.

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Holiday Parade and Fireworks
Posted in Creepiness
Forenoon watch, 5 bells (10:45 am)

Yesterday was Coeur d'Alene's annual parade downtown, it started around 5pm and lasted about an hour. We took chairs down this time to be more comfortable, but it was difficult getting a spot to put them even though we arrived 30 minutes early. Many people "staked out" their spot and left to come back 10 minutes before the parade started, which I don't think is quite fair to everyone else, but oh well.

The parade wasn't all that, either. Many of the floats were just the same as the 4th of July floats with Christmas lights on them. The holiday spirit was real nice though. People are getting into the Christmas mood now, and this is truly a great time of year. I do have one serious complaint, though. One of the floats had a guy in a robe being crucified, with blood running down his arms and everything. Extremely creepy and (depite being a devout Christian myself) inappropriate. I don't want to get in to a big religious thing here, but the real, true gifts that Christ gave were his atonement for our sins in the garden of Gethsemane and the fact that he was resurrected. Yes, He died for us, but that takes a back seat to the atonement and resurrection.

It's really like one step below militant fanaticism if you ask me, this shockingly gruesome display of torture. It's one step below gun-toting, heathen-killing crusades. And before you get all up in my face, I spent two years in a foreign country as a missionary, so don't go off on how I don't know what I'm talking about. There's a right way and a wrong way to celebrate this season, and that float was in serious bad taste.

Back on a good note, the fireworks display was great, we had a reay duesy of a show. It's always better than the 4th of July fireworks display, too. I didn't take my camera this time because I had to carry two chairs down to the parade and the water, it was just too much to tote around for three hours.

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New Bond Film
Posted in Reviews
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:27 am)

Yesterday I went with my sister-in-law , her husband, and her husband's brother to see Casino Royale, the new Bond film. The opening scene reminded me of this video of Russian free-runners I saw online many many months ago. I agree with other reviews that the opening scene really set a pace just a bit too high for the rest of the movie (I think it was by far the most exciting part of the film), but overall the movie was quite good, and I have no reservations about the new James Bond. He did a great job. Lorien wouldn't come with us because it wasn't Pierce Brosnan anymore. I personally prefer the Sean Connery days myself, but he's not exactly making many movies anymore, so I take what I can get.

So to sum it up, go with an open mind and you'll be surprised at how much you like it. It's definitely worth watching.

Cheese Log Recipe
Posted in Recipes
Forenoon watch, 4 bells (10:07 am)

Well, I suppose it could also be a cheese ball, it just depends on how you shape it:

Cheese Log Recipe
8 oz. cream cheese
1/4 cup butter
1/4 tsp summer savory
1/8 tsp parsley
1/8 tsp dill
1/8 tsp marjoram
1/8 tsp basil
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder

Mix all ingredients together thoroughly, shape into ball or log (use wax paper, it's less messy). Coat outside of log or ball with ground pepper. Enjoy with crackers, chips, or whatever. My brother-in-law Greg makes this every time they come for Christmas (or the season thereabout). It's quite tasty.

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Turkey Night, Gaming Night
Posted in General
Forenoon watch, 6 bells (11:07 am)

Last night we played games (I played—and lost—a game of Settlers of Catan) after recouperating from eating dinner. Today is filled with more "fun" stuff, like sitting on the street freezing waiting for the parade to come, then going inside, then going back out and freezing while watching the fireworks.

I must say, though, our Thanksgiving Fireworks are way better than the 4th of July fireworks are.

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Happy Turkey Day!
Posted in General
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:14 am)

Happy turkey day to all my readers! We're heading to Lorien's parent's place for the holiday. She stayed up last night baking an amazingly good looking apple pie, rolls, and another fruity dessert thing. As nasty as last night's snowstorm was, it didn't leave much on the roads (it was turning rainy late last night) so getting around town won't be very difficult.

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Cord Car Auction
Morning watch, 8 bells (8:09 am)

Last night's auction wasn't all that exciting—Dad decided not to go for it (we had the money and could have won!) because the car had to be picked up in Missouri within two weeks. Driving home through the snowstorm last night (at 35mph on the freeway), I realized what a chore that would be and despite how cool it would be to have our "family car", it just wasn't the right time.

So what was the car worth? The stripped down shell (no engine, transmission, steering; original but in need of complete replacement interior, etc etc) sold for a little over $11,000.

Wish Us Luck!
Afternoon watch, 6 bells (3:27 pm)

We're bidding on a 1936 Cord 810 on eBay right now, auction ends tonight. This is what it looks like restored.

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