home comments edit

Ever since we moved into our place we’ve thought about getting an irrigation system. The yard is oddly shaped in front (we’re on a corner lot) and there are some pretty inconveniently located parking strips that need to be tended to. That nets out to a lot of frustration running around moving sprinklers and a spotty lawn - green in the parts that it’s convenient to water, dead in the parts you “just can’t reach.”

I’m not sure what financial genius decided that the year we’re getting married is also the year we should get a sprinkler system (probably me), but that’s exactly what we did. We contracted with Dennis’ Seven Dees to get this done, after getting several quotes. We weren’t disappointed.

From the second they got there, you could tell they knew exactly what they were doing. It took them about a week from start to finish, and aside from the spots where they re-seeded and mulched to replace the grass from the trenches (it’s too hot to lay down sod - it’d die), you can’t even tell they were here.

Here’s a backyard panorama of the trenches in place (click for a larger version): Backyard with trenches dug in - click for a larger
version.

Pretty crazy. Then here’s the finished backyard (click for a larger version): Backyard finished - click for a larger
version

Not too shabby, eh?

I’ve also got to compliment them on their service. At every step, they had everything totally under control. Permits with the city, getting utilities marked, scheduling when things had to be done… everything was totally taken care of, and that gave me a lot of confidence in them.

Anyway, I’m stoked. No more manual lawn watering, so hopefully this thing will green up a bit. I’m glad I went with these guys and would totally recommend them to anyone looking for landscape work. We’ll be using them for winterization of the system and probably for any future yard-related stuff we need done.

Check one more thing off the home improvement list!

windows comments edit

I just re-imaged my work machine and for the last couple of days I’ve been bringing it back to life, installing the various thousands of millions of applications that I use on a regular basis to do that thing I do. This time around, though, I’m doing a little experiment.

Before I re-imaged, I was very careful about organizing my Start menu so I could find things. I created a group called “Programming” to keep the various IDEs and development tools I use in, and subgroups for various functions therein. Same thing with programs that work with multimedia stuff (Flash, Photoshop, etc.) - I had a group in the Start menu for that.

The problem is that installers don’t always let you select where to put the icons in the Start menu. Most times, they just create their own company-centric Start menu group, then create a product-centric group under that, then create their one program shortcut inside that. That means I end up installing the program, then manually opening up the Start menu and rearranging things to fit my usage. You know what happens then?

I upgrade.

I take the latest stupid version of whatever stupid project, I run the upgrade installer, and the damn company-centric Start menu group comes back. And the product-centric group inside it comes back. And the same single damn program shortcut comes back. And I, once again, have to go through the rearrangement of icons to be more sensible. This time, though, it’s a manual diff-and-merge process, trying to determine if the old icons still work or how to replace them properly with the new icons.

You know what’s worse? Nothing could be worse, right? No, there is something.

Uninstalling.

Now I’ve got icons in my personally organized Start menu that don’t point to anything. I have to manually keep track of these things or find a program that will run through my Start menu and remove shortcuts that don’t point to anything. Argh!

Why haven’t we figured this out yet? The Start menu’s over ten years old! Installers should let me specify where to put shortcuts if I opt to even create them. If the developer feels the desire to suggest a default location, perfect - users who don’t care can make that extra click on the “Next” button and there’s no skin off their noses. But if I want to override that, and have everything organized, I can. And maybe I don’t even want to create icons - let me uncheck the little “Create a program group for this program” option and carry on my merry way.

I mean, tell me it’s not just a company’s big brass balls thinking that they need a whole program group just to themselves and that, should I deign to buy more of their products, I will inherently want to group the products in my Start menu by manufacturer and not by functionality.

I don’t actually think this will change, not in my lifetime, but this is the sort of thing that irks me. As far as my experiment is concerned… I’ve installed maybe 15 things thus far and my Start menu already wraps into a second column. Unreal.

Just got notification via email:

Your Xbox Video Game system has been shipped! You can expect to receive it in 2-5 days. Thank you for your patience and get ready to get back into the action!

traffic comments edit

We haven’t done a Traffic Asshole in a while, so I figured it’d be a good time.

Jenn and I took a trip up to the Empress Palace last week to do some wedding preparations. Traffic was pretty heavy and Jenn was driving, so I hung out with the camera on the lookout for traffic assholes (as is my wont).

It really didn’t take long.

Check this guy out:

This is why motorcyclists get
killed.

How many thousands of motorcycle deaths do you hear about each year? Normally I feel bad, thinking that cars should pay more mind to the other lesser-wheeled vehicle companions.

Not so with this guy. This right here is why motorcyclists get killed. It has nothing to do with a car’s ability to see you and everything to do with obeying the fucking traffic laws. Look, stud, you are a vehicle on the road just like the rest of us. You have to ride in the lane, just like the rest of us. If traffic is at a standstill or is moving slowly, you’re fucked just like the rest of us. You don’t get to skinny between cars regardless of your size. You, too, must sit and cook in the heat.

If someone had knocked this guy down, I wouldn’t have stopped. In fact, I’d have laughed. It sounds hard, but you get what you deserve. Obey the law, dumbass, and maybe you’ll live to ride your motorcycle tomorrow.