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1408 - the best movie I've seen since that cooking show. No… - Blather, Rinse, Repeat
July 8th, 2007
12:15 am

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  • 1408 - the best movie I've seen since that cooking show. No spoilers here.
  • house, part 1 - I had a guy come out and look at my roof a few weeks ago. I had another guy come out just a few days ago. The net effect from the two visits is that the roof was put together poorly when it was installed, and it was probably installed long enough ago that, in any case, it's due to be replaced.

    This is coming while I'm still in the early phases of working on my bathroom. I kind of know what I want to do with the bathroom, but I haven't talked to contractors yet to have them tell me how much my crazy ideas will end up costing. Now, I'm thinking that I can use the bathroom (if I either finish or back out the tub fixture project I've just started) without spending any more money there, and perhaps it makes more sense to do the roof in the short term, and then as I pay that off, come back to the bathroom.

    Or, maybe, I do the bathroom now, and hope the roof holds up until I can afford to have it done.

    Many years ago, Dad asked me what I meant by 'cool' in some context. I don't know if he was being Socratic - affecting ignorance to encourage me to articulate my thoughts clearly - or if he was just square enough not to understand. Since then, I've come up with a piece of an answer (I forget the context of the original question, so it's hard to know if it's relevant). One can have a 'cool' demeanor, which means one is less effected by circumstances - a useful opposite would be 'excitable'. But carrying that forward to objects, I stumble on. What makes a 'cool' movie? The best I can come up with is to make 'cool' synonymous with 'popular', and that doesn't satisfy me.

    I mention this because I'm wrestling with the price of this roof. I don't have that sort of money right now, so it means financing the purchase, which is probably OK, but I had several ideas of other things I might do with that sort of cashflow, any one of which would have been more satisfying to show off to friends. But, in a weird way, maybe the purchase of a roof is the 'cool' choice - given the choice between a super-fancy HDTV setup and a roof, the roof is more likely to encourage a state of placid calm, while the HD rig would hopefully be exciting.

    I guess a similar way to look at it is that only the guy unconcerned with impressing his friends would buy the roof, and that would be the cool thing to do.


    What Would Fonzie Do?

  • die, mower, die - I just got the invoice for my last set of repairs for my mower. So, today, I mowed the front lawn and the strip of grass along the road, at which point the belt that drives the blades snapped. Nice. That's twice in about one month I've killed this mower.

  • house, part 2 - thinking about the prospect of abandoning the bathroom project, I looked into what it would take to finish replacing the tub fixtures. The old stuff uses unthreaded copper pipe, the new ones are designed for threaded pipes. I guess they're both perfectly standard, so it's not uncommon to have to adapt between the two. I went in to Home Depot today and got some adapter fittings. They fit nicely on the copper pipe, they fit nicely inside the spigot, the only problem is that I have about an extra inch to span between the end of the copper pipe and the socket on the spigot. Maybe this is the time where I learn how to solder pipe.

    Also, I bought some spackle. If you recall my anxiety over the attack of bathroom vampires, many of those holes are now (minimally) patched up. There's still a bunch of those nasty drywall anchors exposed - I may yank those out and fill the resulting holes with my newfound spackle. Because when all you have is a hammer, you make a bunch of holes in the walls.

  • hustle - Not long ago, I set up a wiki for work - a good way to communicate information. I'm a little cranky that one of my coworkers dumped a bunch of opinion onto one of his pages, but it seems impolitic to edit the page. Shortly after getting that up and running, I decided to set up a similar wiki for collecting my own thoughts. Some of it is organizing project ideas for my after-hours commercial aspirations, but more of it is random non-geeky (who am I kidding?) notes that are good to have in one place.

    One category that I've been jotting down notes about is various dances I'm more or less familiar with. I was just taking a cha-cha and a waltz class, and it's better to write down what I know now than forget it and take the same classes again in a year to remind myself. I jotted down some notes about the Hustle Line Dance (very John Travolta), but I left a dangling link for the Partner Hustle. I've learned a tiny bit about the dance during a number of dances where they give you a crash course in a dance before the dance proper starts.

    So, Friday, I decided to go to the "Seattle Hustle Club", which I hadn't been to in a year or two. The regular instructor/DJ is ill, and one of my favorite instructor/DJs was filling in, so I figured I'd refresh my memory. Turns out, it's still a complex dance, regardless of who's teaching it. Also, I was reminded that there's a reason I don't go to this place often. The format tends to be two lessons, followed by the dance. The first lesson is 45 minutes of beginner instruction, which is my speed. The second lesson purports to build on the first, and if you kept up with the first lesson, you'd be fine with the second. And then there's the dance.

    My experience is that the level of ability increases as the night goes on (no surprise), but my feeling is that the expected level of ability goes up, too. I'm working hard to keep up with the beginner's class, that's fine. I'm stumbling through the advanced class, that's... tolerated. And by the time the dance itself gets going, I feel completely out of place. The floor is crowded with people much better than I.

    So, I went home very early after the lessons. The good news is that I was able to jot down my notes while they were fresh (or at least not totally gone) in my mind. Perhaps I should track down a class that teaches hustle with plenty of time to practice the basics - I think that'd make me more comfortable.

  • XML - One of my tasks at work involves porting an open-source XML parser to an underpowered console CPU, to read off an emulated optical drive. So far, the file that I'm trying to read either runs out of memory, or spends 7 hours loading before crashing. This is what they don't tell you in those game design school TV commercials.

  • learn to drive! - I hesitate to gripe about driving behaviors, not knowing how you drive. Still:

    One habit that's been grating on me lately is people coming to a stop past the solid white line across the lane. Sometimes I panic when I see people doing this, like when they have a stop sign and I don't - I get worried when they don't come to a stop on their side of that white line. Other times, they're just doing themselves in, like at a traffic light with a sensor - the sensor isn't out in the intersection, it's where the first car is supposed to be. Back behind the line. Also, creeping forward into the intersection hurts everybody else's visibility, so unless you really are the most important person there, maybe you should wait your turn. Behind the white line, please.



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[User Picture]
From:sboyko
Date:July 10th, 2007 12:56 am (UTC)
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Oh, your driving gripes are so much in tune with my own driving gripes that it's scary. Seriously... sensor BEHIND the line. Don't look surprised when you don't get the advance arrow...

[User Picture]
From:tsmaster
Date:July 10th, 2007 12:59 am (UTC)
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That's just the practical reason why they shouldn't do it. I'm much more freaked out when I'm right-of-waying along at 35 MPH and someone comes to a stop a full carlength past the line.
[User Picture]
From:brandifer
Date:July 10th, 2007 02:10 am (UTC)
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GGGGGRRRRRRR Bad drivers irk me to no freakin' end, and they are just everywhere these days. C'mon people, that's machine's not an extension of your id, it's a hazard at best and a weapon at worst!

If there's anything I'm trying to drill into Alida's head before she gets to permit age in a few years is that things are there for a reason. There's a reason for the white line. There's a reason for turn signals. There's a reason the yellow light means "better stop now if you can't get all the way through the intersection before it turn red" and not "stomp on the gas and careen wildly through the intersection because you're too important to wait".

One really, truly dangerous habit poeople around here have is failing to allow traffic to merge. If you're merging onto the freeway you'd better be adjusting your speed to aim for the next available 'hole', because people here absolutely do NOT change lanes to allow you to merge into traffic at traffic flow speed. "I was here first, this is my lane, I don't have to move any damn where to let you in" is pretty much the law of the land. It's absolute lunacy. Give me the California 6-lanes any day of the week, THOSE people know how to drive.

::sigh::
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