Tag Archives: ramblings


Bars of soap slipping?

I was going to lament the slow demise of the basic bar-of-soap cell phone design, but it’s not really as bad as I thought. Surveying three top wireless providers’ phone selection, I see that 10 of 59 are in this category. So I don’t have to worry yet that by the next time I want to get a new phone, I’ll be forced to live in flip-phone hell.

Actually, that survey showed me that there are still some cool things going on in phone design. This thing from Nokia will be really interesting two generations or so forward.


Frozen annoyance

I don’t love it when a frozen dinner requires you to remove the film from two different portions prior to cooking. One’s OK, but two is somewhat difficult to do without disturbing the other(s).

But lemme tell ya, that’s nothing compared to those stupid ones with the, I think, Betty Crocker brownies. Last time I checked, you were supposed to cook the dish for a while, _remove and set aside_ the gooey brownie, then cook it some more. I refuse to buy those, which unfortunately restricts my choices quite a bit these days, because they’re all the rage right now. Hopefully they’ll get over those or figure out a better way to balance the microwave energy or something…

In case you were wondering, my refusal to buy the latter category of dinners is probably the reason you’ve been hearing that the top 3 frozen dinner makers have fallen bankrupt. I guess I should have warned them about my vast consumer power. Ha ha, hahaha!



So, you ever decide to upgrade the storage on your living-room server, buy a hard drive, realize that the hard drive is SATA, which means it won’t work on your server, then figure, “hey, I have SATA on my desktop, might as well try that out”, then realize that your SATA is also RAID-0 capable so you might as well buy another drive and take advantage of that, only to find out after a couple experiments that it’s really not RAID but FakeRAID, and after you find a disk-clone utility that works with FakeRAID, you get the partitions cloned, but now GRUB won’t load due to some error that you don’t understand, so you reinstall the Windows MBR just to see that Windows will at least boot, but you can’t find the XP CD any more so you have to find some random MBR utility on the web and hope it works, but it does indeed work and Windows now boots, but of course Linux doesn’t because neither GRUB nor your installed kernel can deal with FakeRAID, and you finally get GRUB reinstalled but it still gives the error, which is number 18 which turns out to mean that GRUB can’t address your Linux partition through the BIOS, so you figure you might as well try updating the BIOS even though that seems unlikely to fix the problem, and since you don’t have a real floppy in the system and the BIOS makers haven’t graduated into the 19th century or whenever this is and they don’t make a CD-bootable flasher, you have to get the USB floppy from your laptop, make a flash floppy, make a bootable CD from the floppy, boot it only to find that you downloaded the wrong BIOS, repeat that process twice more until you do get the right BIOS, which then stuns you by actually fixing the problem, so now GRUB boots and can get you back into Windows but you still need to get dmraid installed in your initrd in your Linux kernel so you can boot that, which requires that you find a rescue CD that supports dmraid so you can even get to your Linux partition to do the initrd thing, after which you find an article that explains how to install dmraid in initrd, which thankfully works and now you finally are back to the point that everything works again, and it’s kinda cool?

I just did.


Addressing a human

I get mildly annoyed when I hear people say “I’ll have the…” or (worse) “Gimme the…” when they’re ordering something at a restaurant. Seems like it fails to address the actual human who is taking the order. If they tended to have the word ‘please’ in there, it would significantly lessen my annoyance, because ‘please’ brings the other into it (not quite as well as “s’il vous plaĆ®t” does, though).

Though I have to say that “I would like…”, which is the phrase I most commonly use, doesn’t really address this issue either. I can’t recall if I tend to add ‘please’ or not. Anyway, I’ll have to watch myself and work on that a bit.

For your consideration,



(fun word. Do a web search on it to see all the different ways it’s used…)

I wonder how many of the ills of the world (ya know, the things that I declare to be ills) are a result of entitization, of the human tendency to spontaneously create entities. Entities want to survive, to grow, to reproduce, whether they are biological entities or the sort of virtual entities that people create, like companies, governments, jobs, committees, subdivisions, etc. We create a company to do a this or a that, but then it grows, morphs, spawns, and we find we are no longer happy with what it has become… but now we can’t easily stop it.

Whence virtual entities get their power to do these things is not completely clear, but that they do, and that it can go astray, is clear. I suspect that the power comes simply from the human act of naming the entity as such, i.e. it’s really a quirk of psychology and/or language. If that’s the case, then we can mitigate the ills by simply taking care to not create entities needlessly.

So, ya know, go do that.



I’m thankful for… learning. I mean, I don’t know about you, but the thing that gets me going more than practically anything else is acquiring new knowledge, skills, insights… And this world is just freakin’ full of opportunities. Significant forces in the world are aligned to not only allow me to learn, but to encourage, beg, force, and reward me to learn. That’s a nice thing, that I practically can’t escape doing what I like to do most :-). I better keep this a secret, though…