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FIGMO's Follies
 
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Below are 20 journal entries, after skipping by the 20 most recent ones recorded in Lynn Gold's LiveJournal:

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Saturday, November 26th, 2011
12:27 pm
Decisions, decisions...
I currently have a "dumb" phone that's on its last legs. I'm looking at upgrading to either an iPhone 4S or a Samsung Galaxy. My service provider is AT&T, and yes, I'm way overdue for my upgrade. Here's what I care about:
  • Ease of use.
    I expect there to be a learning curve, especially since I'll no longer be able to dial by feel. Which is easier to use as a phone, including the speaker feature?
  • Searching while talking.
    Can I look up stuff on my smartphone while I'm talking on it? If so, how awkward is it?
  • PDA functionality.
    Let me be blunt: I Miss My Palm Zire 72. I want to be able to use my smartphone as a calendar, alarm clock with customized alarms, and as a list-tracker. Do either have apps that can do this? My iPod Touch's alarm clock is way too soft to wake me up; I've heard the iPhone is way better this way, though. I have no experience with the Android platform.
  • Available apps.
    What's out there for each platform? I know I can run apps on an iPhone that'll save me money (which will help offset the monthly data fee). Do these exist for the Android?
  • Upgradability.
    Can I upgrade the hardware or software at all? The iPhone appears to be software upgradeable but not hardware upgradeable, while the Galaxy appears to be the other way around. Please correct me if I'm wrong here.
  • Battery life.
    How do they compare?
  • Tethering.
    I'm going to have to pay for a measured service plan no matter how I roll it, so how easy is it to use either one as a MiFi hotspot? Yes, this is very important to me.
  • "Regret factor."
    Will I still feel good about this phone a year from now? I like buying tech gear that's going to last me a while and keep me happy, which means I tend to go for the top of the line.
  • Other stuff.
    Since I don't have a smartphone, I don't know what I'm missing or what to look for beyond what I've mentioned.
So...which is better, and why?

Current Mood: curious
Saturday, November 12th, 2011
11:35 pm
Goodbye, Keris
I just learned about the sudden death of keristor a few hours ago. I am in shock.

I first met Chris Croughton at my first full Worldcon, Magicon, in Orlando in '91. I enjoyed hanging with him at cons where we were both in attendance. He was friendly, fun, and someone I always looked forward to seeing. I also chatted quite a bit with him online (the two of us both being tech-geeks and around the same age). I remember how he beamed when he accepted his Filk Hall of Fame award when he was at FKO with the N'Early Music Consort. He later told me about how hard it was not to "burst out" to anyone about it.

I enjoyed his cheerfulness, his knowledge, and most of all, his sense of humor.

Damn.

Current Mood: sad
Wednesday, October 12th, 2011
12:07 am
Lots of little things have been going on
In a nutshell:
  1. Paul Metz's memorial, followed by a double birthday party.
    Can we say "emotional see-saw?" I offered to speak (I knew him a long time, got to watch him grow up, and I'm a "professional voice"). I was fried after that. dimakoi and I carpooled, shlepping from one affair to the other. We got out of the memorial later than planned because we kept running into folks we hadn't seen in ages and who we missed. When we finally got to the party, I was too tired to change into something more appropriate for the party (Hawaiian themed), even with Hawaiian shirts lying in front of me. I needed the party after the memorial, but I was frazzled.

  2. Steve Jobs died.
    If I said I was surprised by this, I'd be lying through my teeth. It was a case of deja vu for me because my father lost his fight with cancer within a month of being told he had to sell his dental practice. Like Steve Jobs, Dad was a workaholic. Dad was also 56 when he died.

    As for Steve, I didn't really know him, but I met him on a couple of occasions and even got to chat with him briefly. He was very nice to me, although I suspected it was partly because I was one of the few reporters who wasn't asking a question that showed a lack of understanding about computers. (For the record, I asked about the pronunciation of his name; back then, you'd hear it as both "johbs" and "jahbs," and I cared enough to get it right.)

  3. I made plane and car rental arrangements to go to New Jersey next month.
    I'm visiting my relatives for the first time in 3 1/2 years. Am I nervous? A little. Am I looking forward to it? Yeah. When my cousins and I get together, we kind of fall into place as if we hadn't been apart. I'm going to my cousin Sophie's Bat Mitzvah, and as usual, I've been searching for the right fabric. At the Fabric Outlet in San Francisco I found a knit ultrasuede in a smoky blue and pale pink that's sort of smudged and swirled almost like a tie-dye. It's color-appropriate for my palette and for the time of year (November). Better yet, it was 40% off! I wanted to make something with a little stretch because I expect to gain weight before the affair. I'll have been at my mother's house (aka The House Of Food) for two days, and Mom will likely want to feed me 3 1/2 years of home cooking in less than a week. Mom is starting to fill her two refrigerators and full-sized freezer with stuff she knows I'll want to consume.

    Btw, I'm flying into Philadelphia, so if any of you want me to shlep a care package from the Silicon Valley to your kid going to school out there (I'm not naming names, but you know who you are), please let me know. I'm taking two large suitcases, and I plan on filling one with stuff that isn't coming back with me.

  4. My energy is slowly coming back.
    Once the clostridium difficile infection left my body, it was as if someone stopped sucking out my energy with a hypodermic needle. This Is Good. Sometimes I am exhausted after work, but I kick ass when I'm on the clock.

  5. My kitchen appliances are all dying at once.
    Before I spend my work money on anything fun, I need a new refrigerator, stove, and dishwasher. If I had the $$$ I'd get a dual-fuel range, but I don't, so I'm going with the cheapest electric non-flat-top stove I can stand. I've been researching this, but any additional input is welcomed.
Compared to some of the stuff other folks I know are going through (esp. my fiancé), my life has been pleasantly dull for a change.

Current Mood: tired
Friday, October 7th, 2011
12:40 am
Thought of the Month
Nobody cares about what their friends look like. They care about what their friends smell like.
Sunday, September 18th, 2011
1:10 pm
Paul Metz Memorial
When: Saturday, October 1st, 11:30am
Where: 1st Congregational Church of San Jose, 1980 Hamilton Avenue, San Jose, CA - nearest cross-street is Leigh Avenue

Service will be in the sanctuary with a reception to follow in the Fellowship Hall.

As for helping Stephanie, Brendan, and Morgan:
  • Someone has set up a fund to help Stephanie and the boys. For more information on how to donate, contact patrice.lajoie.carney@gmail.com.
  • Some of Paul's PayPal colleagues have set up a fund. For information, click here.


Current Mood: sad
Monday, August 29th, 2011
10:23 pm
Paul Metz: 12/21/1961-8/27/2011
My dear friend Paul killed himself this past Saturday. I knew he was in bad shape mentally, but I hoped he'd pull out of it.

Paul was the kind of guy legends are made of. Stories about Paul behind the cut-tag.Collapse )The world was a better place because he was in it. I miss you, my virtual kid brother.

Current Mood: sad
Wednesday, July 27th, 2011
12:10 am
Thursday, June 2nd, 2011
1:53 pm
Well that explains a few things!
Last week my adorable but not technogeeky fiancé was at my house and said, "You somehow managed to get a cord caught in your shredder."

This sounded absurd. First of all, I rarely use my shredder; he uses it more than I do. When I do use it, there aren't any cords near the blades. The rest of the week I continued on with my job search, life, and so forth, wondering why there were no new messages on my answering machine. I figured he was clearing it remotely (he gets messages on my machine).

Last night I tried answering the phone that has the answering machine attached, only it was dead. In a classic case of "Yeah, you can smell this one coming," I followed the power cord and phone cord and discovered the latter had somehow been cut in half. I have no idea how he got the phone cord stuck in the shredder; all I could do was burst out laughing. Fortunately, I had a spare phone cable (hey, I'm a geek!) I could use to hook up the machine.

The reason I was in the computer room was I was suddenly unable to connect to my home network. Around a month ago my backup drive stopped appearing on my home network. I had tried power-cycling it. I reseated the connection. No luck. I've been having to power cycle the router a lot in the last couple of months because my wireless printer kept falling off the home network.

Last night my wireless router was D-E-A-D. The power was connected. It was plugged in. This router is I-forget-how-many-years-old; it's 802.11g, and at the time it was the top-of-the-line protocol available. The only reason I can connect to the net wirelessly right now is there's a Google WiFi transponder across the street from my house. It's slow, it's clunky, and it's not secure, but at least I can sort of get to the net till I go out and buy a new router.

Yesterday someone asked me if I'd ever configured a router. Heh. It's time for me to turn into the Good Router Configuration Fairy. I bet my other networking problems are suddenly going to go away real soon....

Current Mood: blah
Saturday, April 23rd, 2011
12:41 am
Because you needed to know this


Current Mood: amused
Monday, April 18th, 2011
11:59 pm
Why I love northern California
This was my view when I arrived home from work this evening:



That's not a blur on the photo; that's a double rainbow.

Current Mood: awed
Thursday, February 3rd, 2011
9:29 pm
Why Apple rocks
On the way home, something horrible happened to Studmuffin (my new MacBook Pro). I'd been having random problems with the graphics for a while, but it went really wonky when I got home from Conflikt. I took Studmuffin to the Apple Store Monday evening after work. They quoted me "five to ten business days." I'm typing this on my fully-repaired Studmuffin now. This was way faster than I expected to get my computer back.

To think, folks wonder why Apple customers are so loyal....
Thursday, December 23rd, 2010
1:01 pm
What happened to my life???!?
I used to have a life. It was a very busy one, but I enjoyed every minute of the business, whether it was hopping from one job to the next, practicing guitar, arranging music, or going to science fiction and filk conventions.

The other day I had a job interview. One of the questions I was asked was what I did when I wasn't working. All I could think of was cuddling my dog and way too much elder care. Way too much. I've hit what I call "trauma point" with it, and it scares me. When I'm not doing elder care, I'm busy coming up with ways to avoid doing elder care. Sometimes I'll carpool to his house with dimakoi so he can't arm twist me into staying there. Other times I'll leave Lady home so I have an excuse to go back home (gotta take care of the dog, right?). I love him and his parents, but I don't like staying in a nursing home, waking up to the smell of elder-poo in the morning or getting hit head-on by the smell of elder-pee when I open the guest room door to go to the bathroom.

Since the interview I've started finding time to arrange music and do other things for myself despite the needs of my fiancé and his parents. My own mother went in for knee replacement surgery last week, yet I was busy taking care of his parents instead of my own.

I am hoping I didn't blow the interview because I've been arm-twisted way too much into doing tasks that totally suck out my soul.

Current Mood: discontent
Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
10:51 am
Laugh OTD
This morning a recruiter called to ask me if I was available for a contract. I of course said "yes."

"Do you have Oracle database experience?"

"I think so." (I worked at Oracle for three years.)

"Do you know what 'SQL' [pronounced "see-quel") is?"

"Of course! Structured Query Language."

"Are you sure?"

"Yes."

"I ask because we sent two candidates to the client, and neither of them knew what it was. When the interviewer asked what 'SQL' stands for, the candidate asked, 'Can you spell that?'"

Current Mood: amused
Friday, April 23rd, 2010
2:07 am
Yippee! Ow! Yippee! Ow! Yippee! Ow!
The other day I went to the worker's comp dentist to have my teeth looked at.

The good news: I'm getting feeling back in my lower front teeth (the ones that lost it after I broke my jaw).

The bad news: It hurts, and it's going to continue to hurt as the nerves grow back.

Current Mood: surprised
Tuesday, March 16th, 2010
12:29 am
I had to share this video
This comes from Soviet TV, 1976, and is easily one of the worst lip-synch jobs I've ever seen:



My favorite part starts around 1:25 where he yodels and then tries to hit the bottom of his range.
Saturday, March 13th, 2010
12:03 am
Twittering OTD

  • 11:50 Out of context QOTD: If I can get through Mitosis, I can get through anything.

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
Wednesday, October 28th, 2009
11:05 am
A second test
Blog It on Facebook seems to want to let me post to LJ using an app where I have to specifically post to LJ. This is from that app. This is soooo not what I want.
12:22 am
Facebook -> LiveJournal
I know there's a way to have one's LiveJournal posts go to Facebook. What I would like is the reverse -- for my status updates on Facebook to go to my LJ the way my Twitter posts (tweets?) do with LoudTweet.

Does anyone know of something out there that'll do this? Thanks in advance....
Tuesday, October 27th, 2009
12:03 am
Twittering OTD

  • 23:51 Testing synchronization between services.

Automatically shipped by LoudTwitter
Thursday, October 22nd, 2009
11:49 pm
RIP, Soupy Sales

Enough folks are posting obits that I figured I'd instead post some video. Note that this is NSFW unless no one can see your screen.

The background: It was Soupy's birthday in 1959. The crew was playing a practical joke on him for his birthday by putting a stripper behind the door during his live TV show. Luckily for Soupy and his career, the version where you could see what he was seeing never got aired.

Update: YouTube yanked the original video, which included the version folks actually saw on TV. I found this on the Internet Archives.
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