Friday, February 27, 2009

More Roomba-ness...

The battery barely charged overnight, for some unknown reason. I tried to run the device again today, only to see it stall out after a few minutes' worth of operation.

So, while I wait for the new battery to arrive, I am trying the process for resetting the battery. Let's see if THIS buys us a bit more runtime. If not, oh well -- there's a new battery on the way anyhow. If yes, then great! It'll mean we have a spare battery in addition to the new one which we'll have soon. The original battery is 3 years old, so I'm not holding out a lot of hope that this procedure will perform miracles. But it can't hurt to try.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

OK, let's try this again, and maybe the third time will be the charm. I already tried to post this twice via ping.fm over the past two days, but neither post appeared.

On Tuesday evening, I attended an event that I've looked forward to since the start of the hockey season. It's the annual Season Ticket Holder Dinner With the Team/Skate Party. In prior years, this event was held at the Skate Zone, where the team practices. However, this year, it was held at the Spectrum.

Since the Spectrum is slated to be demolished at some point after the hockey season, this was going to be the only chance I ever would have to skate on the Spectrum ice. Needless to say, I was determined that I'd be out on that ice to take advantage of that opportunity, arthritic knee or no arthritic knee.

The plan was that when we RSVPed, we were to inform the front office if we needed skates. The rental skates that are normally made available to us at the Skate Zone, which also serves as a public skating rink, were going to be brought in to the Spectrum, and they wanted to know how many skates to bring and what sizes were needed.

When I called, I was told that there would only be men's sizes available, which I found to be a curious restriction. But I told them I'd need men's size, 6, which is what I am told would equate to a women's size 8. However, upon my arrival, I discovered that they DID have women's skates available.To make a long story less long, I wound up with a pair of women's size 6 skates... two sizes too small.

But did I mention that nothing short of the end of the world was going to get between me and skating on that ice? So I loosened the living daylights out of the skate laces,to the point where I couldn't lace the left skate all the way to the top. Then I wedged my feet into those skates. They JUST BARELY fit, and oh boy did that hurt, more than enough to distract my attention from the knee pain. ;) But by gosh, I was going out on that ice in those skates, and that was FINAL.

And sure enough, I did. I was able to get two full laps in before my feet escalated the pain to Crisis Level. At that point, since there was a shortage of rental skates, I turned the skates back in to let someone else have a chance at Skating On The Spectrum Ice for the last time.

So while I would much rather be able to keep the Spectrum, and my team, close by, at least we did get the chance to skate on the Spectrum ice, an opportunity which not many members of the public have. And now I've done just that. At least no one can take THAT away.

BTW... I also made sure to take pictures of Hat Trick on the bench, in the penalty box, and in the announcer's booth.:) And when I went on a guided tour of the locker room, I got a shot of Hat Trick in the stall of his fellow wearer of #10, David Laliberte. :) So it was an eventful night for Hat Trick,too.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CNET News.com: Effects shop fulfills amputee's mermaid dream - CNET News

Message from sender:
Now THIS is just cool. Honestly. Who says accessibility has to be boring?

Effects shop fulfills amputee's mermaid dream - CNET News
URL: http://news.cnet.com/8301-17938_105-10171471-1.html

Fully functional prosthetic tail might be the future of swimming for double amputees.


CNET: The source for computers and technology http://www.cnet.com

My seat

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So THAT'S what my Season Ticket seat looks like from the ice. :)

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Line

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The line wraps at least halfway around the building so far, and we still have 40 minutes to wait before they'll let us in.

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Ticket

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Flyers Wives Fight for Lives Carnival Ticket

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Saturday, February 21, 2009

From the "Let's Try This Again, Shall We?" Department...

A few weeks ago, I had to return a tiny netbook that I'd ordered from geeks.com. Actually, I RMAed it for repairs, and when they didn't have a replacement device available, I was granted in-house credit. That was disappointing, as what I had really wanted was to get back a netbook, be it my original device or a new substitute. But that wasn't possible, as geeks.com didn't have any more tiny netboks in stock.

I set up an email notification, just in case they got the netbooks back in stock. Smart move... I got my email last week that the devices were available again. So now, I am embarking on Little Linux Laptop, Round 2. Here's hoping that THIS teeny tiny netbook has longevity, because I really do like the small form factor and the light weight.

To see what has piqued my nerdy curiosity, head to the Little Linux Laptop site.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lessons will have to wait

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Went to register for classes and was greeted by this. :headdesk: :headdesk: :headdesk:



I'll call and see if I can mail in the registration.

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Post from Utterz.com

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KC uses a neck loop with her two cochlear implants to talk on the phone. She's deaf-blind, but can understand speech with the cochlear implants.

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Well, this is heartening. Click here: Babies who gesture have bigger vocabularies.

Of course, it probably helps if those babies who gesture grow into children who read, but hey. Those of us who grew up talking with our hands will be happy to read this article. :)
I swear to gosh, the wind has been so bad for the past twelve hours or so, with wind gusts up to 50 MPH, I expect to see Elvira Gulch go sailing past my front window at any moment, complete with bicycle.

Behind the house, I keep hearing the crash of various people's trash cans falling over. I looked out to see if ours were OK, and except for the recycle bucket, (which is halfway across the yard from the rest of the cans), everything's still standing. So far.

But I did notice a couple of large, square-sided trash cans right next to our back fence, on the outside. I wondered about the origin of those, but I didn't go down to investigate. A while later, I looked out, and they were gone -- their original owner, who I think lives in one of the houses on the street behind ours, had come to reclaim them.

Understand, these square-sided trash cans (and our square-sided recycle bucket) are not ROLLING to these new locations. They're SKIDDING there as the wind blows them around.

I honestly don't ever remember seeing wind this strong, sustained for this many hours, except when the frayed remnants of a hurricane make their way through the area. And even then, the wind we've got today is outdoing the majority of THOSE weather episodes.

I sure am glad the city came and removed the half-broken branch on our tree last summer. If that thing had still been on the tree, it'd surely have broken off and damaged goodness-knows-what by now. Shoot, it'd probably have blown most of the way to New Jersey by now.

I'm almost afraid to think of what the debris field will look like once the wind settles down. Last time we had weather that resembled this, I saw twigs and branches on our porch, and near our house, from types of trees that we don't even have on our block. Heck only knows how far they flew before landing around here.

For kicks, I turned the news on, and there's an awful lot of damage in this whole region. Trees coming down, power outages, roofs being damaged, and so on. Blah. This wind needs to go away.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

We're going to try this whole "Visit Aunt Rita" thing again. Last week, I was ticked that my parents didn't want me to go with them because my voice is hoarse, if only because I honestly don't think I'm contagious by now (three weeks into this whole laryngitis thing).

Then it snowed, and it turns out that my parents never went, either. They want to go today, so I'm going with them this time instead. I'm glad, because after the headlines of the past week, a dose of "downashore" is exactly what the doctor ordered.

I had been HOPING that the sense of mourning over losing my team wouldn't set in until after the season actually ended, but it's not working out that way. I feel like I have a loved one who's only got a brief time left to live -- torn between "Enjoy their company now, while they're still here" and uncontrollable flashes of knowing that I'll miss them terribly when they're not here anymore. What's worse is that those darned "we're losing them" thoughts will spring up out of no-freaking-where, no matter what I'm doing, and cast a pall over my mood.

No wonder I had a bout of nausea -- literal nausea -- at the Phan Club meeting last night. (My sincere apologies to the cleaning crew, though I did my level best to undo the results of said "organ recital".)

I shouldn't be surprised. Any time I try to convince myself, "I'm fine, really, everything's OK", when things are about as far from OK as they can get, I end up with psychosomatic problems. Usually it's nausea (last night, for example), but since the concussion in 2000 sometimes it takes the form of migraines. I haven't had one of THOSE yet, but I'm carrying an Imitrex around with me at all times Just In Case.

Anyway, here's to a nice day Downashore and maybe a good dose of Favorite Childhood Place will be a good tonic for what remains of my morale after last week's news.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Nuts. I just got an email regarding the "world's smallest netbook" which I had to send in for repairs.

They can neither fix nor replace it, so they are crediting my account for the purchase price.

BUMMER. I'd rather have been able to get the device back. I really liked that miniscule 1.5 lb netbook.

Yeah, I realize that it's the farthest thing from the end of the world that there is, and there are far worse problems in the world. I do get that. But this is just one more annoyance in the middle of a colossally aggravating week. I'd gladly have done without a good portion of what's been going on in the past few days, and this is just piling one more straw onto an already-strained camel's back.

Oh, well. I guess it's better to have this happen now, during a week that would've sucked regardless, than have it happen during a GOOD week and put a damper on a good mood.

Still... BOO. This week has just been a bad one for stress levels, morale, and various and sundry other things. Plus, it means that now I have to start the process of trying to un-purchase the extended warranty on an item which I no longer own. Should be fun. Not.

I'm thinking that the animals that hibernate are onto a DARN good idea.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Wow. It's kind of affirming, in a "We're all being kicked in the figurative gut" sort of way, to see the status messages of my fellow Phans on facebook over the past 24 hours.

I mean, I knew from the word "go" that I am far from alone in my opinion that the ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or organ-eye-zation is screwing the fan base royally, plus they're screwing the Flyers into the bargin, with the way they're handling the future of the farm club.

But MY GOSH. I thought *I* was angry, until I saw some of those status messages. Understand, I'm furious to the point where it's a battle to avoid using profanity, and my Facebook friends' posts are making me look indifferent by comparison.

When all this "raze the Spectrum/move the team" news started breaking a year ago, I wished on ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or and the ¢ordi$h ¢ompany that they would get back every last particle of angst that they caused the Phantoms fanbase. I figured that way, if they weren't hurting anybody in their decision-making, they' be fine. And if they WERE hurting people, then they'd be running up quite the karmic debt.

An Old Testament parable springs to mind. It's the one that the Prophet Nathan used to rebuke King David. It's the story of a rich man and a poor man: The rich man had many sheep, while the poor man had only one little ewe, whom he cared for greatly. A traveler approached the rich man for food, whereby the man took the poor man's ewe and dressed it to give to the traveler. Hearing this story, David grew angry and replied: "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! He must pay for that lamb four times over, because he did such a thing and had no pity." It's at this point that the prophet Nathan tells King David that HE has behaved exactly like the rich man, by sending a man to die in battle so he could marry the newly-widowed woman the man left behind, and the prophet enumerates the list of ways that David will answer for this sin.

Times change, but human nature doesn't. Corporations, and the people who run them, do the same thing all the time. They love the Almighty Dollar to the point where they don't care about the PEOPLE whose almighty dollars fill their coffers. In this case, ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or and the ¢ordi$h ¢ompany are going to slaughter the lamb and sell its meat to pay for a business venture that has lost financial backers in the year since it was first publicly proposed. Does this surprise me? No. I've reached a point where almost nothing surprises me.

But one thing does surprise me. And that's the level of vehemence of the reactions of my fellow Phans on Facebook. If this reflects the level of pain that ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or and the ¢ordi$h ¢ompany are bringing about, by killing the lamb that lots of Regular People love for that marginal amount of profit they're likely to gain, OBOY is that karmic debt ever piling up. Wow. Just... wow.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Cash Cow's death warrant has been officially signed by ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or, and the warrant will be executed upon the conclusion of the Phantoms' offseason.

Prepare for the constant trumpeting from The Organ-Eye-Zation announcing a barbecue in celebration of the esteemed Cash Cow's life, where hamburgers made FROM the Cash Cow will be served. Step right up, get your burgers, there are only a limited number of them, and once they're gone, they're GONE. Don't miss your chance.

I posted at length about it already, and I'm not up to doing it again. So hit this link if you're interested in seeing my relatively unvarnished opinion. And when I say "relatively unvarnished", I mean "I intentionally kept my vocabulary choices family-friendly, despite feeling the intense temptation to do otherwise".

Still... there are some figli di puttana whose names have been inscribed, in indelible ink, on my Excrement Roster. I'll not forget this action today, nor will I forget the agents who are behind it. Read: ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or brass not named Ed Snider and not an integral part of the Flyers front office. In particular, Mr. Luukko is cordially (or not) invited to go Fuukko himself, as are the people from the limb-of-Satan Cordish Company that proposed this abomination of a business decision in the first place.

When I think about it, though, patronizing the new affiliate, wherever it is located, will now be an EASIER decision to justify. Why? Because ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or will not own it and therefore my money won't be going to ¢om¢a$t-$p€¢ta¢or. There's most definitely something to be said in favor of that prospect.

Hot Chocolate

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Vanilla Silk + chocolate syrup. Microwave. Best Winter Beverage Ever. :)

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Tuesday, February 03, 2009

DANG. What a mess this weather is

Boy, is it ever snowing outside! It was doing practically nothing when I left for the Phantoms game.

Sometime during the game, however, Mother Nature pitched a fit. I came out to a good 3" of snow on my car, and the snow was still coming down at a good clip. It was one of those times when by the time you've brushed the last of the snow off the last of the windows, the FIRST couple of windows you cleaned need to be cleaned again.

How bad is it? I live less than two miles from The Spectrum. By the time I was 1/3 of the way home, my rear window defroster wasn't enough to keep the snow off my rear window. I drove the rest of the way home unable to see out my rear window. Fortunately, the side rear view mirror was sufficient for what I needed. Also fortunately, there was very little other traffic on the road besides my fellow fans leaving the game, and most of them were going a different way than I need to go by the time I turned off Broad Street, meaning I had no more than one or two cars behind me from then on. (And I deliberately went slowly enough to convince them that passing me would be a good idea. It works every time.)

Anyway, I'm thawing out, leaving my coat and hat spread out to dry, and making myself some hot chocolate. I've earned it.

We're supposed to get 3"-5", according to the forecast Mark heard. I'd be willing to opine that we're at or near the 3" mark around here already.

Good night! Travel safely if you have to be out in this. Otherwise, do like Captain and Stanley and just watch the Snowflake Channel on Kitty TV (aka the front window) from a nice WARM DRY indoor vantage point. ;-)
=
50 years ago today, the event that Don McLean described as "The day the music died" took place. The plane carrying Buddy Holly, Richie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson crashed, killing all three men and the pilot, Roger Peterson.

I found an article on USA Today commemorating the sad event.

RIP. Give Don McLean's song a listen today, in honor of their memory.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

It should be an active next few days around here. On Sunday, I have the monthly XO users meeting. On Monday, I have the PPPC Board Meeting. On Tuesday, I have a rare midweek Phantoms game. On Wednesday, we hope to have a deaf-blind group outing.

On Thursday, I'm going to sleep. ;)