Auto Show pics are back 
Sunday, 15 February, 2009, 01:35
Posted by Administrator
I noticed that, somehow, the Auto Show album links disappeared from the navigation box. I've fixed that problem and have added an album for this year's Auto Show, so go ahead and have a look if you'd like.

This year's Auto Show was somewhat depressing. There wasn't that much in terms of new stuff ... the whole atmosphere seemed a bit subdued. Nissan did show up in the end, but they didn't bring anything new (except for the Cube, I don't think that was at last year's show).

I have pictures going back to the 2002 Auto Show up on my website, but they're not in album form at the moment. I'll have to grab the originals and make them into iWeb albums like the 07-09 shows ... not sure if I can pull that off with my current equipment, though. That means it's approaching upgrade time, and I noticed that 500GB laptop hard drives are available. From what I understand, MacBook Pro hard drives are somewhat painful to change, but 100GB just doesn't cut it these days.
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Nokia e51 
Friday, 30 January, 2009, 19:09
Posted by Administrator
When a phone that you've been using for nearly 2 years suddenly decides that it's not going to start up anymore, it's probably time to replace it. I have replaced my Nokia 6110 Navigator with an e51. I considered the e71 as a replacement but, because I don't have T-Mobile Internet service on my plan (nor do I have any intention of getting it), I didn't see the need for a large screen and a full keyboard. That, and I have the company-provided BlackBerry, so there's really no need for me to put Internet service on my personal phone.

I'm liking the phone so far. The screen is nicer than the 6110 Navigator's, and it feels solid and sturdy. I've downloaded a couple of apps to the phone as well; however, it looks like one of these apps will be coming off because it doesn't actually meet my needs. The official Nokia VPN client requires special hardware support from the server end, and it can't seem to connect to the office's PPTP VPN, so I'm going to find a replacement. The end goal is to allow the e51 to make and receive calls using the office's phone system -- it has a built-in SIP client, and I'd love to make use of the office phone system when I'm on call without having to use a soft phone.

In the worst case, I'll just establish a VPN tunnel to the office with my little D-Link box.

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How to defrost a 22-pound turkey in 12 hours 
Monday, 19 January, 2009, 14:23
Posted by Administrator
Yes, it can be done. No, it doesn't involve warm water, because that could potentially result in turkey soup.

Fill up a bathtub with cool water and put the turkey (in its original packaging) in the bathtub overnight. The turkey can be placed in a clean garbage bag (I believe "kitchen liner" is the politically-correct term nowadays) if that helps you sleep at night.

The above (admittedly short) sequence of events resulted in a hilarious scene involving me running down the stairs with a 22-pound defrosted (still in the original packaging) turkey wrapped in a towel. However, the turkey ended up delicious.

Just remember not to take a shower in that bathtub afterwards. The water will get cold overnight, and that coldness will transfer into the floor below the bathtub. When you stand in the bathtub your feet will be uncomfortably cold, and even warm water will cause huge amounts of steam to cloud up the bathroom.


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The Big Two Eight 
Saturday, 17 January, 2009, 17:24
Posted by Administrator
Today's Julie's birthday ... happy birthday Julie :)

We just got done cleaning up a bit. She's making a turkey and some pasta (her decision, not mine) and we've got family coming over. It's been a busy morning. Not looking forward to the snow this afternoon, but you can't stop the weather.

In other news, we have found a creative and somewhat disturbing way to defrost a 22-pound frozen turkey. Not going into details because we haven't eaten it yet :)
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Happy New Year! 
Friday, 2 January, 2009, 19:17
Posted by Administrator
2009 has arrived. Hopefully it'll be easier than 2008 ... could do without flooding, power outages, and so on.

Julie and I have not made New Year's Resolutions. We figure that they're frequently broken and, therefore, worthless. However, we've set some goals. We want to get in better shape so we can go biking again in the summer. The main problem is maintaining motivation, and this appears to be the problem with a lot of people. The motivation may exist at the beginning of the year, but it falls off later on down the line. If either Julie or I were to undertake the plans we had discussed on the way home yesterday, we'd probably stop doing these things because the motivation just wouldn't be there; we're going to work together to reach our goal. It's going to take a lot more than just motivation, obviously, but we'll see how it works out.

Julie commented that our house is a lot warmer than it used to be when we got home from her mom's yesterday. The funny thing is that the thermostat was set on the exact same setting as before -- it's just running the standard weekday program -- so it looks like our new windows are doing their job quite well :)

Despite the fall in gas prices, I am still not experiencing any buyer's remorse. It's been 10 months since I traded in the RAV4 for a Civic Hybrid, and buying gas half as often as I used to still feels just as nice. I don't know if I'll ever get used to the brake feel, though, as I still haven't gotten used to it. It's the regenerative braking that makes it feel strange.

So ... first post of the year, and I didn't wait until February to make it :) Julie's birthday is coming up on the 17th, and The Melting Pot in Villa Park is closed (they're moving to Zed 451's former location in Downers Grove) so I guess that's out of the question.
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