In preparation for the wedding, Jenn and I are running around registering for stuff. We don’t need a lot since the house is pretty well set up already with appliances and such, but we do need silverware that didn’t come as a mismatched set from Goodwill and we want new, nicer dishes.

The problem is most standard dish sets are these heavy, clunky things that look like rejects from a beginning pottery class and make me feel like I’m in kindergarten.

For a while I considered just eating on fine china every day (why not?), but the thing stopping me is you can’t put most fine china in the microwave. I don’t need oven-proof dishes, but they do need to be dishwasher- and microwave-safe. Enter the notion of “casual china.”

To that end, we went Saturday to Macy’s and registered for some awesome kate spade casual china from the Gramercy Park collection. Not the standard five-piece sets, though, since we never use saucers and rarely use teacups, so we custom crafted a set together. They’re pretty sweet.

That was pretty much the high point of the weekend. Planted some stuff in the backyard. Saw The Devil Wears Prada. Cleaned stuff up. The usual.

Next weekend is my birthday, so I should probably figure out what’s going on for that…

I should probably add this to my Interaction Preferences entry, but I’ll throw it in here for now.

In the last week or so I’ve been running across some particular email things I absolutely hate:

  • Don’t send me an email and then show up before the email arrives in my inbox to discuss the contents of that email. Give me at least 15 minutes to receive, read, and digest what you’ve sent before incurring further conversation on it.
  • Don’t send me an email with half of your response then come tell me the other half in person. Send me the whole response - with all of the required details and context - so I don’t have to mentally assemble the complete response and somehow get that filed for later reference.

media, windows comments edit

Jenn and I saw The Devil Wears Prada yesterday and I liked the soundtrack so I picked up a copy. I listen to my iPod and not CDs, so I tried to rip it this morning So I could have it for my commute.

No luck.

I have two CDROM drives at home. One didn’t recognize the CD at all, the other recognized it as audio but wouldn’t play it (all tracks zero length).

Reboot, try again (just in case it was a fluke), still no luck.

Did some research in how to figure out what kind of copy protection I was up against and found that most copy protection detectors need an ASPI layer to be installed in order to work, something that doesn’t come with Windows XP by default.

I installed the one at ForceASPI 1.8 (tried the one at Adaptec and it didn’t work… at least it wasn’t recognized by ClonyXXL) and rebooted. Put the CD in the drive (the drive that didn’t even recognize it to begin with) to inspect it…

…And it totally knew how to play it. No copy protection circumvention needed. Just installing the ASPI layer fixed it.

I’ve never heard of an ASPI layer fixing a drive against copy protection, so maybe the installation just corrected something that was wrong - replaced a corrupt driver or something. I’m not going to question it - the ends justified the means for me. Might be a simple first step for people having CD ripping issues, though. YMMV.

Ever wonder how much propane you have left for your barbecue? We have this pressure gauge thing that mostly works to let us know, but these new transparent propane cylinders have been a long time coming. I have to have one.

Update: Looks like they’re between $80-100. You can get one here or here.

It’s going to be a long day today. I am every shade of aching, from my head down to the small of my back. I can type well enough, which is good, but I can’t write because I can’t frickin’ grip anything. Just goes to show how much of a desk jockey I am, that the fireworks show on the fourth took it out of me that badly. In my defense, it is a lot of hard work. I normally don’t go out digging trenches and whatnot.

I’m also vastly undercaffeinated, so it’s time to fire up the ol’ Mountain Dew train and get on board.

Greg was awesome enough to get Jenn and I some Western Display Fireworks crew shirts so we’ll look all official next time we’re working (Western is who we do the shows for).

Big Cheese of the South
SeasIn other news, I have been playing Hexic on Xbox 360 and finally got a black pearl cluster, giving me 20 pride-filled Gamerpoints. It’s been a long time in the works getting there, so I’m pretty stoked. You should have seen the [pain-ridden] victory dance last night.