General Ramblings comments edit

It seems that Fred Meyer has finally started carrying Senseo coffee pods (which, apparently, are coffee pads in other countries, but the US somehow got different terminology), which I am happy about. Now I won’t have to make my own, which looks like a tough prospect at best, nor will I have to drive to hell and back to stock up.

General Ramblings comments edit

It’s nearing election time again, and the amount of spam coming in to me with political messages is increasing noticeably as election day nears, so I figured it’s time once again to offer up a public service announcement to all the souls out there who feel the need to send me messages on various topics:

Always check your facts.

I think this is a good rule of thumb for anyone sending anyone else a message on basically any topic, but it’s particularly important when trying to communicate concern to others regarding political issues - nothing is worse than misinformation.

The best place to start, especially if the message you’re passing along is a letter you received from someone else in a chain-letter format, is Snopes, the Urban Legends Reference Site. This site dedicates itself to debunking urban legends of all forms, including the chain letters that make their way around the Internet. More than likely the letter you’re sending out is already on Snopes and has been checked out. The beauty of Snopes is that they list the various letters, tell you whether they’re true, then point you to official reference sites so you can check the facts yourself.

If it turns out that the email you want to send is actually true and it’s something you feel I should be concerned about, send away. (That said, you might want to take a couple of seconds to clean up the 100+ lines of forwarding headers on the mail so I don’t have to scroll down, down, down, down to get to the four-line message itself.)

Thanks for your effort, I really do appreciate it. See you at the polls!

General Ramblings comments edit

Friday night I busted home and went to dinner at a Chinese place with Jenn and some of her coworkers. I generally like her friends, but I don’t really know them, so it’s hard to get too excited about going out with them.

We went to a place that serves Chinese “family style” - everyone at the table orders one big plate of something, sticks it on the lazy susan in the middle of the table, and shares.

In the immortal words of Joey Tribiani, “Joey doesn’t share food.

I hate family style Chinese - almost as much as I hate Szechuan (I’m a Cantonese fan - more deep fried is better) - so I wasn’t too pleased to discover this, but it all ended up all right. I had some lemon chicken and Jenn had sweet and sour chicken, and we got an order of fried prawns ($1 each! expensive!) and some pork fried rice.

Saturday was the day to have your birthday party, or at least it was according to the people I know.

Saturday afternoon the extended family gathered in Sandy, OR for my grandfather’s 80th birthday. People I’d only ever seen like twice in my life were there (and they all expected me to remember their names and relation to me since the last time I’d seen them, 24 years ago or whatever). It was fun to see everyone, but it slowly turned into a school dance situation where each of the “families” (or “cliques”) would gather in a given location and talk amongst themselves rather than mingle. Which was OK by me, since I get along just fine with my parents.

After that, I went home for a quick nap in preparation for the next party, which started about 7:00p.

The next one was for my friend Jason, who I’ve known since college and who always has a great party. This was no exception, though I’m sorry to say that, due to both Jenn and I being a little tired (and some substantial intoxication on the part of yours truly) we had to leave a little earlier than originally planned on.

Two and a half hours in the bathroom at home and I was doing much better. (Let it be known that this is the only time I’ve ever puked from alcohol - this is not a regular occurrence. And it really, really sucked, so I don’t plan on doing that again any time soon.)

That said, the party, as always, was a great time and I look forward to their Halloween party.

Sunday I had planned on getting together with an old friend who I’ve been trying to get ahold of since before last Christmas. I like the guy

  • we were like brothers in high school - but over time our schedules have become conflicted and we just don’t see each other much anymore. I’ll shoot an email or a phone call his way every so often to see if he’s freed up any (his time seems to be much more constrained than my own) and if I get a reply, it’s usually that he’s still busy.

Anyway, I got ahold of him via instant messenger on Friday before coming home and he said he’d call me Sunday morning so we could get together, he could see my house, and we could catch up. He even went so far as having me email my phone number to him so he wouldn’t forget to call me.

He never called.

So now I’m feeling like the jilted, abused lover in a bad relationship and I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m tired of being the only one to put out any effort in getting together. You know what? Fuck it. If he wants to get together, he can make the effort now. I’m not gonna take this shit anymore.

Sunday we ended up doing errands and such, which did need to be done. Ugh.

And that’s the weekend in a nutshell.

windows, dotnet comments edit

I stayed late after work last night to try and get some help with my SendTo menu project. Talked to a guy smarter than me at C++ and, while he gave me some ideas as to what I should test, the problem still isn’t solved, so I still can’t tack the SendTo menu into the Visual Studio .NET solution explorer.

Interfacing with the Windows shell shouldn’t be this hard. I mean, I’m a smart guy. I’m no Raymond Chen, but I’m a smart guy nonetheless. I just don’t think it should be this difficult. In a day and age where the rough stuff is abstracted away by managed code and garbage collection, someone much smarter than me should have already figured this out and fixed it by now.

I guess I’ll keep trying. Seriously, though, if anyone knows of someone who understands shell programming in C++ (and, hopefully, also knows managed extensions for C++) and would like to fix this thing for a little piece of fame (no fortune, sorry… maybe a six-pack of your favorite beverage?), let me know. You’ll be helping the world as we know it.

General Ramblings comments edit

I’ve had quite a weekend, all on the cheap.

First, I looked all over town for some cord winders to help manage some of the cables for the controllers on the PS2. I have some, but one broke and I need to replace it - the cords on this thing are unruly. I looked high and low and was about to pay $5 each for them at when I found them two for $2.50 at the APC Factory Outlet. I bought four pairs so I won’t have to go looking again for a while. I hope. Cost: $15 ($10 for the winders, $5 for shipping).

Then I went out looking for a new pair of slippers. I come home every day, put on my slippers, then wear the bastards all over - out to get the mail, watering the lawn, barbecuing… it’s almost like I just need a floppy, comfortable pair of shoes. What it ends up meaning is that whatever slippers I get, I need them to have a nice, durable sole but still be cushy inside.

Anyway, I’ve worn out the insides of the slippers I bought last year and the interior comes out in hanks when you pull your foot out. Unfortunately, slippers are a seasonal item and don’t normally come out in stores until late fall/early winter. It happened that Fred Meyer had them in stock, though, and I got some pretty rugged slippers for the bargain price of $16.

Finally, Sunday (today) was the Corillian Engineering department picnic at the Oregon Zoo. A great lunch, free all-day pass to the zoo, passes to the new HimalAmazon motion simulator ride (hella fun), and passes to a behind the scenes tour of the Alaska Tundra exhibit where we got to see how they take care of the grizzly bears, musk oxen, and wolves. Fun!

I love looking at the animals at the zoo. My favorites are the polar bears and the giraffes (well, they’re all my favorites, but I really like those two). Here’s the polar bear, hanging out. (Also available in a 1024 x 768 wallpaper size, if you really like it.)

[Polar Bear at the Oregon Zoo (Click for

I remember when you used to be able to feed the giraffes at the zoo and ride elephants. They don’t let you do that anymore. I can see maybe not riding elephants, but come on - I wanna feed giraffes!

Something I hadn’t seen before - a giraffe bending over to get some food off the ground. Quite the contortions it has to do to get down there:

Giraffe bending down to get food off the

Wait a sec… let’s investigate that a little closer, shall we?


That’s what I thought.

So now I have a new mission next time I’m at the zoo: take a picture of the nuts on every animal I visit. Heh.

Oh, but to tie that all back into the “bargain weekend” theme: It cost me $3.50 to ride the light rail from Hillsboro out to the Zoo and back; and $2.50 for a zoo key (a plastic key that you can put into electronic boxes around the zoo that tell you things about the animals - Jenn and I have a bunch of different ones and get a new one each time we go). Total: $6.

Thus, for all the cool stuff I got and the fun I had this weekend, it only ended up costing a total of $37, which is a pretty cheap weekend if you really think about it. I’m stoked.