Category: "Travel"

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04/23/09

  10:01:58 am, by The Dreamer   , 382 words  
Categories: Travel, Home, Safety & Security, Healthcare

Finally got my front door rekeyed.

I've been thinking of doing this ever since I bought the condo that I had been leasing. Worried about what keys are out there.

Plus there have been two occasions where I've come home to find my front door unlocked.

First time I was still leasing, I had gone away to Calgary on Xmas holidays for a week and came home to find the door unlocked.

Second time was after I owned it, I yelled at the building owner about it and since then whenever they say they'll be around doing maintenance inside all the units...I take time off from work to make sure that my unit stays secure.

Evidently the reason is because the landlord doesn't believe in deadbolts, and won't lock them after someone has been in (even though I'm pretty sure the insurance company's discount for having deadbolts, assumes you use them.) And, like my door...units don't have doors that close properly (year round). Though my neighbor has it worse...if they don't close their door completely, it'll swing wide open on its own. And, there have been too many occasions where I've come home to see their door wide open and there's nobody home. Probably doesn't do much for the heating costs....

So, I had been looking at finding details on line about doing the rekey myself. Though not in any major hurry....plus nothing, except maybe buying completely new locksets, via Amazon.com.

Well, the new yellow pages came out a couple weeks ago...and I happened to flip it open to look at locksmiths. And, that got the gears turning again.

And, now with the upcoming trip to Penguicon...the combination of anxiety and paranoia (partly induced by my CPAP & sleep issues)....I went and called the first big locksmith add in the yellow pages and had Bandit Locksmith come out and rekey my front door.

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11/28/08

  06:34:42 pm, by The Dreamer   , 630 words  
Categories: Stuff, Travel, Appliances, TiVo HD / Premiere / Elite

Black Friday and Amazon.com

Black Friday started early because of Amazon.com.

I had take Wednesday off from work, because I needed to. And, I had thought that I might need to use it to wait for UPS to show up. But, UPS hadn't showed up when I got home Tuesday night...and somewhere after 7pm they showed up with my delivery.

I took delivery of a Ricardo Beverly Hills Capistrano Lite Free Wheelers 29-inch Two Compartment Vertical Pullman, Iris Purple. Should complement the 21-inch version that I got for my trip to OLF. Plus I had tweeted that my old pullman was starting to look sad....

And, while I was waiting at home on Tuesday, I happened by Amazon.com, and saw that they were starting Black Friday already. They had the Leatherman Micra for $12.99. Don't know what its usual Amazon.com price, but it was lowered for a limited time (right now it shows up as $16.46).

It was very tempting, but at first I was going to resist. Even though I could use some new tool gadget in my pocket since I was missing. But, a quick look at my shopping cart and my wishlist, and my planned purchase list. I saw that I had down to get another Tea Wand as a present, but I hadn't actually ordered a new one yet. So, I added that to my cart and put that order through.

2-day Prime delivery would put that sometime on Friday. I didn't really want to venture out to the mall on Black Friday, so I went ahead and ordered it.

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10/18/08

  06:30:24 pm, by The Dreamer   , 226 words  
Categories: Stuff, Computer, Travel, Storage

I'm back....

....after upgrading the other harddrive in my main desktop. I finally got around to doing it. Sure was a pain being without my main computer. All the things I wanted to do online (and offline), but couldn't. Sure, some of the (online) things I could've done from other computers (and some I did)...but there were things that were unique to this one.

This should be it for upgrades this this computer until I finally break down and get a new one....whether it'll be the latest and greatest with Windows 7 or I finally make the switch to a Mac (or perhaps Linux will be mainstream?)....who knows.

Meanwhile, it looks like I'm in the market for a new watch already. :..(

Full story »

10/12/08

  06:59:04 am, by The Dreamer   , 186 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Wireless/iPhone, Travel

barrybackup & bcharge

While disabling berry_charge.ko (guess I could've blacklisted it) solved the high CPU condition of udevd. It didn't charge my blackberry overnight.

In my search, I saw mention of barry and bcharge. So, today I crammed those packages onto my EeePC 901.

I used it to do a backup of my Blackberry...but that was just to see it work. I'm only looking for the charging aspect, and there wasn't details on what I needed to get that going. Though I guess I installed too much, wonder if I can go back and peel the backup gui part off later.

Took some searching around, but I eventually found that bcharge resides in /usr/sbin, and invoked it by hand to make it go. And, since turning it on and writing this post....the battery guage on my Blackberry has finally gained a segment (unlike overnight where it just stayed put).

Wonder if I'll reboot now or later to see if the udevd scripts work....and maybe when I get home I'll take a look at whether tethering is an option or what else I can do.

10/11/08

  05:44:46 am, by The Dreamer   , 265 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Wireless/iPhone, Travel

high cpu usage of udevd on EeePC 901

I'm at the Ohio Linux Fest, and I'm using my EeePC 901 as a charger for my Blackberry (8703e). But, I was finding that it was getting of toasty and noisy.

Had noticed the CPU graph in gkrellm was pegged. So, I started looking to see what was the cause.

udevd was consuming all the CPU....that didn't seem right, but after doing some reboots and experimentation....I found that it was caused by plugging my Blackberry in. It would continue to consume the CPU after the Blackberry was unplugged. So, a reboot was necessary to get things happy again. I had tried restarting udevd, but that seemed to cause other problems (probably loss of state information for other devices in the Eee?)

So much for using the EeePC as my mobile/travel charger for my Blackberry (and work phone).

But, this morning I did a more extensive google search and eventually found mention that disabling the berry_charge kernel module would "fix" the problem. So, after locating the module at

/lib/modules/2.6.21.4-eeepc/kernel/drivers/usb/misc/berry_charge.ko

and renaming it (to disable it). I rebooted and tried plugging in my Blackberry.

That seems to have fixed it. My Blackberry is charging, and the CPU graph looks good on my EeePC. The work phone, Motorola KRZR, doesn't show this issue with charging from my EeePC.

Full story »

10/09/08

  08:03:48 pm, by The Dreamer   , 640 words  
Categories: Wireless/iPhone, Travel, Home, Storage, Amateur Radio

Failed HD upgrade.

I was all in a rush last week to upgrade the other drive in my primary desktop. Partly because the plan was to use the old drive as the backup drive of my other computer. Guess, I'll just have to go without backups for a while longer.

I had resorted to ordering the drive from Amazon.com instead of my usual source TigerDirect.com, because I wanted to know that it was going to show up for certain on a certain day before the weekend.

And, it appeared as desired on Friday. But, first Saturday I was volunteering my Amateur Radio skills to do communications at a SAG for the Yellow Brick Road Race. And, I was way too tired to take on a project like this when I got home. Being up early and being kept up by a yapping dog downstairs was part of the reason. Also being nice than expected and standing in the sun near the end probably didn't help either. But, it was cool. Though it has me thinking that maybe I'll continue to hold out for the Yaesu VX-8R, instead of wimping out and getting the VX-7R. Probably do so by deferring the upgrade of my mobile phone until next year. (likely to be a decision between Google Android or a Blackberry...choice of carrier might be as solidly decided as well either.)

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09/30/08

  11:07:18 pm, by The Dreamer   , 239 words  
Categories: Software, Computer, Travel, Storage

This evenings activities

Today after lunch, I popped into the K-State Computer Store....and walked out with an Iomega Ultramax 1TB External Harddrive - dual interface (USB 2.0 & FW400). Sticker price was $205, but it rang up as $199 + Tax.

As soon as I got home from work, I set it up and went to backing up my system using it.

Haven't worked out how to get the other machine backing up....since the old external drives are USB 2.0 only, and the old computer only has FW400 (and USB1.1). But, the SATA enclosure I got for upgrading the internal drives on this computer is also dual interface. So, I suppose if I step up the upgrade of the 250G internal drive to a 500G...the old 250G drive can be backup to my old machine.

Meanwhile, as Ohio Linux Fest looms closer and closer...I decided it was time to upgrade Firefox on my ASUS Eee PC 901. I was kind of annoying that 3.0.3 came out so soon after 3.0.2, but hopefully enough time has passed now that it is safe to upgrade the 3.0.1 to 3.0.3. I think the only thing left is tweak Thunderbird to access a few more email accounts. And, I should be ready to hit the road using it. Think I'll leave the work laptop home this trip. But, I'll probably bring it along for LISA...since I'll probably have to do work during it.

Wonder how the Thunderbird on the EeePC updates.....

07/02/08

  11:03:10 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1077 words  
Categories: General, Home Theatre, Computer, DVDs / NetFlix, Travel, Home

So, what did UPS bring me today?

Well, there were 3 boxes from Amazon.com.

I started out thinking there were things I needed, or wanted to stock up on, or have in preparation for other acquisitions. But, then I trimmed it back to keep under budget...and I'm not sure I ended up with stuff I really needed.

First, the mouse on this computer is not moving around as well as it could. Not sure if the mousepad is getting gummed up (its a 3M Precise Mousing Surface pad, so maybe....) or the mouse bottom is getting gummed up, especially since the teflon pads have migrated around the bottom...so maybe that adhesive is what is gumming things up. So, I bought a new mouse and a new 3M Precise Mousing Surface pad.

Next, I was thinking of getting the Netflix Roku player. I doesn't come with an HDMI to DVI cable....and I would need one to connect it to my system. So, I got out of these. Of course, now I don't think I'll get the Netflix Roku. Because based on reviews...its not quite DVD quality, which since I do DVDs in an upconversion player...would likely be quite a step back. It also doesn't do 5.1, which I figured I could live with since my initial interest is watching old TV shows (namely old Doctor Who shows). So, there's probably no immersive sound field to get into....though I'm the guy that watches all his DVDs with subtitles, because I don't hear dialog all that well.

But, a review I watched recently, says the Netflix Roku player doesn't do subtitles either. So, that has pretty much shelved my interest to get one for the time being.

Third, or rather, in the box with the mouse and in the box that had the HDMI cable (the 3M mousing surface came in a 2nd day air envelope)....was a roll of duct tape. The one roll of duct tape that I could find the last time I needed to do a patch....disappeared. The building people had been in doing some other work, and I suspect they packed it off along with theirs when they left. But, I wasn't home when they came to do the work, etc. So, I don't know what really happened to it...except that it was on my dryer, which they moved and rearranged stuff around to do their work....and now I can't find it anywhere. One is regular duct tape of the same kind that had gone missing. And, another roll was acquired only because it said it was purple. Of course, its not the purple I was thinking it would be. Oh well. :P

The other two boxes from UPS?

Full story »

05/21/08

  08:54:02 pm, by The Dreamer   , 947 words  
Categories: Travel, Appliances

Cuisinart - SS-1

Link: http://www.cuisinart.com/catalog/product.php?product_id=515&item_id=627&cat_id=3

For more than 2 years, possibly even longer than 3 years... I have been thinking of replacing my coffee maker.

The coffee maker I have now is a Black & Decker Spacemaker, of approximately 15-16 years. They just don't make them like this anymore...current model Black & Decker Spackmaker Coffee Makers don't compare either. Though I was leaning towards giving up my search and getting one anyways. Except the old one basically still works, just the stopper seal on the removable water tank is starting to lose its elasticity.

At first, I was looking for another drip coffee maker. More likely something in a regular paper basket type filter, because I had tried other types before and they didn't yield the same coffee experience.

The later the office got a Flavia coffee maker. This thing was cool...it was single serve machine, where I needed to use two packets on large to get close to filling my cup....but I could do more than just coffee. I could have tea, or hot chocolate or whip up cappuccinos...at work. I thought about getting one of these at home.... But, I wasn't sure if it was really something I wanted at home. The special packets wasn't something I was sure I could justify. Plus I belong to a coffee club where I'm getting coffee on a regular basis....and I occasionally indulge in coffees such as Hawaiian Kona or Jamaican Blue Mountain. There was even a time where I was considering going on another cruise with a port in Jamaica, just so that I could get some more cheap Jamaican Blue Mountain.

Full story »

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Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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