Apple on my TV

A few weeks ago I had the realization that one thing I miss most while travelling is watching the TV shows that I want to watch instead of suffering through reruns of Law & Order on TBS or TNT (since I’ve seen them all already).  So I order an iPod to TV (composite) adapter.  It was $6.  I plug it in at home, it starts working, then on the iPod it says “Unauthorized Accessory” and the TV goes black.  Great.  I google a bit and find out I need to buy an “authorized” Apple-branded accessory for 10x the cost.  Seriously.  $50.  Are you kidding?  Well, I did, and it’s the same cable.  There is no discernible difference between the $5 and the $50 cables.  What a rip off.  The iPod was free.  I would not have it if it wasn’t free.  As cool and slick as Apple hardware is, Apple sucks.  You already charged someone $300 for the iPod, which is now obsolete.  Now I have to pay $50 for an approved cable?  How could an unapproved cable cause any damage to the device?  Why does the iPod software even have to check for this?  I guess this leaves them a method to close the ‘a-hole’ that is apparently such a danger to the movie industry.  I want my $45 back.  I can see no explanation as to why the Apple cable is any better.  The ‘Genius’ at the Apple store just stare at me with that glazed over fan-boy look and tell me it’s better if it’s made by Apple.

Snowed In

IMG00009-20091219-1223Tomorrow we are hopefully leaving for Colorado.  There’s just two feet of snow standing in our way.  I went out twice today, I love driving in the snow.  I love when snow shuts down the town.  Everything slows down, though there are enough stores open to still get coffee and sushi.  The local channels decided to bag their regular programming to cover the storm.  It brings back memories of waking up at 6am, hopeful that school would be cancelled, watching the school names stream across the bottom of the screen.  Waiting till I heard my school on the clock radio before hitting snooze.  I miss those snow days.

Comcast Cares

Last week, in a training class, I was complaining about how there have been two exposed cables behind our place for the past 8 months.  I trip over them every time I come in the back door.  He told me to find ‘Comcast Cares’ on Twitter.  I’m not one for tweets but I did find an email address.  I was surprised that I got a response within 4 hours of sending the email.  And they showed up yesterday and started burying the cable.  Too bad that there is 20″ of snow sitting on top of what they need to bury.  Oh well.

Parenting Advice


A Year with a Hat

About a year ago, I made the switch to Fedora on my work laptop.  Since I made the switch I’ve only have a few issues.  I had problems w/ my Verizon AirCard not being recognized by Fedora 10 and 11 (well, the kernels included in the distros).  I had problems when I was trying ext4.  It seemed to be a problem w/ VMware Workstation.  The whole system would lock up.  I nuked my video drivers once.

In all that time, I never had to re-install the OS.  I never lost any data, nothing ever got corrupted.  I was able to recover from the ext4 issue fairly easy (copy files back and forth to another disk).  I was able to get a USB AirCard, the PCMCIA one got knocked around (I had a WIndows disk to boot into to use it).

So it’s gone pretty well.  I’ve been able to do pretty much everything I could do w/ Windows (having the VM images w/ Windows is helpful for Office 2007 and Outlook).  I haven’t missed spending hours fixing my Windows install every couple weeks, though I’ve found other ways to waste the time.

I’d love it if Evolution worked w/ Outlook (GAC/GAL sync), presentations worked better when I had Compiz enabled, that my SSL VPN worked (I can login, but the applet never works right), and that WebEx would work.  Though it is nice to run all of that stuff in a VM in a ‘clean’ desktop and leave the rest of my programs open on the host.

No Line on the Horizon

The concert last night was ok, but I liked last tour’s set list.  Their past entrances were better.  The ‘Wake Up’ opener from last time was great.  The boxer entrance from Popmart was great.  I don’t like the new album that much.  The jambi drum for the ‘Go Crazy’ song was cool, though it felt like the scene in The Matrix where everyone was dancing in Zion and Trinity and Neo have sex in the pizza oven.  Totally missed muse, stuck in traffic, I wish i’d been there for that.

There were 2 drunk 40 or 50 something women behind us who kept yelling stuff the whole show “come on out, let’s get started, put down that flag a-rab (bono had a sek or hindu on stage w/ an american flag)” and other random stuff.  Though that was better than the dude w/ no shirt at the ATYCLB tour down in the pit.  The only guy in the whole place to take his shirt off.  Moron.

I sick of the ‘old’ U2 stuff – the 1st 3 off of Joshua Tree seem to be a staple at all their shows but there are so many good songs from that album that have never been played.  Blue Room was good, but 95% of the people there probably never got Passengers.  Pelosi was there, I saw her and the Rwandan president.  I couldn’t tell if the video clips of people singing and talking about the One campaign were supposed to be live or what.  The video cylinder above the stage was pretty cool.  The stage itself was great, you’d think more bands would try for the circular thing.  If they’d done the setlist from last tour on the ‘Claw’ stage, I would have crapped myself.

Bye Bye Speakeasy You Were Good

I’ve been using Speakeasy as my Internet provider for the past 8 years after CapuNet went under.  I’m on the phone right now cancelling my service and I’m a little sad.  They just can’t compete with FIOS.  If Speakeasy had FIOS I’d stay, they have great customer service (even after being bought by Best Buy) and technically competent support people which is such a rarity compared to Comcast or Verzion who don’t even know what .02 cents is in dollars and are more concerned about selling you some package deal than making sure it works.  I’m a whore for speed.  But there is something sad about ending an 8 year relationship for no other reason that something better came along.

Lightning on the Tarmac

After we landed yesterday afternoon, about half the people on the plane made it off before it started thundering and lightning. That of course shut down the airport which also kept us inside the plane, because we weren’t using a jet way, just walking out onto the tarmac.  So the lightning had stopped, even the thunder, but it was pouring.  But I’d rather be soaking wet and in my car on the way home than stuck on an airplane.  But it was not to be.  So we waited and waited – the fifteen of us that did not make it off in time.  I was thinking of using the emergency exit slide.  I mean and I really going to get hit by non-existent lightning.  After more than an hour the ‘ramp master’ finally gave the clear and we could get off, after we hadn’t heard any thunder for more that 45 minutes and it was sunny and not raining.  What a waste.  Can’t they use that fancy radar to see that the storm is past the airport, it’s not like it’s going to double back.

STL = Ghetto

Why are the majority of government sites that I travel to in the ghetto?  Philly was ghetto, Jackson was more or less ghetto, Montgomery is kinda ghetto.  Now I’m in St. Louis and it’s in the ghetto.  I got lost and ended up in some DOL Jobs center and I thought I might actually get shot.  I also thought I was going to get shot driving into the site.  Straight through the ghetto, no matter which direction I came in from.  It’s sad to see these probably once nice areas fall to the wayside.  It’s also sad that the government can’t move to nicer facilities that don’t endanger their employees.  The Navy Yard is a prime example.  There are armed guards at the gate, but once you’re around the corner, on the way to the Metro stop, it’s open season and you get jacked.  Why?

I can see the St. Louis Arch from my room, well only about two thirds of it.

I hope my flight isn’t like my flight from Montreal a couple weeks ago.  I thought we were going to get blown into the ground.  The pilot was eerily quiet and said nothing about the turbulence at all.  That’s worse than making stupid jokes about it.  It means he was scared.  Getting off the plane I saw that he was probably younger than I am.

I wish I had something more interesting to say other than rants about traveling but that’s about all I do now.

Bedford Springs

My job and much of my life revolve around some kind of technology yet I love going to places that are ostensibly free of technology.  Where the technology has been blended into the background, there only to perform its purpose. The Bedford Springs Resort is more than 200 years old but there is a flat screen tucked into an old armoire in every room.  There is wireless internet accessible from anywhere on the grounds, so you can roast marshmallows by the fire pit while you fire off a few emails.  It all seems kind of natural.  It seems somehow simpler than my living room which has a flat screen hanging in plain view on the wall, DVD tower to the right and a subwolfer hiding under a table, while all of the equipment makes a humming noise when the room is still.

Bedford is the place we should have gone instead of Mimslyn.  Bedford is secluded, private and quiet.  We never had to leave.  We spent a day in the spa getting various massages and baths.  I sat and read outside the indoor pool.  It was quiet and relaxing.  I worked on a wooden puzzle in one of the rooms on the first floor.  We had room service delivered outside.  I took many blurry pictures of the exterior at night. I scrubbed myself with ginger and walnut and smelled like lavendar after my bath.  I could do with a daily massage and bath after work.

We only spent one full day there and I already wish I was back there.  The resort has been there for 200 years and there are a ton of cool pictures of rich people from back in the day in their three piece suits or full length dresses, running around in the stream, playing on the lawns or sitting by the pool.  We spent the day in the spa, getting various massages and baths.