June 2006 Archives

Highway info

I was in a meeting at work and we were trying to determine what the exit number was close to our work. I had some guesses, but figured I'd turn to the omnicient Internet. I was basically looking for an I-15 exit map and it was harder to find than I thought. I searched UDOT's site, to no avail. Google gave me more.In the process, I found this I-15 site which has quite a few interesting history tidbits I never knew about Utah and its highways. It also contained the I-15 exit mapping I was looking for.

Thumbs down for Geek Squad

I consider myself fairly savvy with computers and associated things, so I'd never feel the urge to use the Geek Squad - Best Buy's pay-a-lot-of-money-for-a-techy program. Well, I just had a bad experience with them yesterday and whereas I was neutral before, I would not recommend them to anyone now.A couple in my church group had a wireless network that was apparently set up a while ago (probably months). They asked around at church a bit to see if anyone could hook things back up for a little extra cash. I volunteered, though I declined monetary payment. On a tangent, I read a guy say that after being taken for granted, he always charges for his computer services, even if it's food or something else - just so they know it's not for free. I thought that was a great idea, so I settled on a dinner or two. Anyway, the set up took longer than I thought, largely because when the GS came out before, they changed passwords and WEP keys, etc. but left no usernames or passwords. None at all. I couldn't believe that, but I think I read elsewhere on Google where that was the case. I don't want to go into all the details, but this couple was eventually able to get some information, which was helpful. However, they were not given a username and password to log in to the wireless router. That's important. I spent a while on the phone yesterday and talked with a girl who was very polite, but refused to help me with my questions (Can you tell me what the password is that you set on my box?) because the warranty was out of date. This is a password they set but didn't write down anywhere. They apparently don't have standard passwords either.At any rate, I wasn't too happy with the call. To every question, she politely refused to help. So, I ended up just resetting the wireless router to the defaults and starting over. The moral is that customer service matters and if an organization isn't willing to help their customers on (what I would think are) obvious things, they don't deserve my business or recommendations.

Fishy luck


I've never claimed to be a great fish caretaker, but it still kinda stinks to have that confirmed. You may remember my suicidal Tetra from a while back. Well, he died while I was on a trip several months ago and my brother tossed him out. Then my fish had babies (and yes, those naughty guys were all siblings). They had lots of babies. I kept them for several weeks while I tried to figure out what to do with the ~17 fish in a small 5 gallon container. I finally took a couple of the adults and most of the babies to a pet store that was willing to take them off my hands for free. This left me with 5 fish: 3 adult, mostly black Dalmation Mollies and 2 toddler Dalmation Mollies, one an albino and one that was light with some golden-brown streaks. I tend to let the tank go for 2-3 weeks before I really clean it, which I find to be a pain, although I'll occasionally put in some fresh water and take out some old. Despite this, my fish have seemed relatively satisfied with their environment and I've read that Mollies actually prefer brackish water. Anyway, so fast forward to yesterday when I decided the tank needed a cleaning. The problem was that I didn't want to spend the time to wash all the gravel and everything - so I took what I thought would be a shorter route. I lugged the tank to the sink and carefully tried to dump out the worst water and floaties that had formed. I did this repeatedly while always trying to leave enough water in the tank for the fish to survive, and also trying to keep the fish from leaving with the water. Well, the problem is that my fish can jump. and while they were merrily at the bottom of the tank as I was pouring, one of them zoomed up and launched himself over the edge into the Great Wide Open of the kitchen sink and drain. I thought he was a gonner, but he didn't quite make it down the drain due to the drain guard. I tried to grab him a couple times but he was slimy and squirmy. I finally managed to get him and throw him back in the tank. I finished my water transfer and filled the tank back up, trying to keep an eye on the guy. He seemed pretty lethargic and acting suspicious, but so did everyone else. I think I traumatized them. I mean, how would you like to have your home and air supply just slip away from beneath you?Well, after the other guys started acting normal, the jumper (I think - some of them look alike), still stayed in a corner not moving. Last night I found him face down against the gravel with the gills still moving. This morning he was lying on the gravel, gills still going. I'm sure it's down to a matter of hours before he goes or I help him on his journey to fish-jumping heaven.

Stood up


No, I wasn't stood up by a girl. Fortunately, I never have been. But I got stood up by a dive shop. I had a trip to Florida and planned ahead to take a day off and squeeze a little diving in while I was down there. I got a hotel, car and called around to find a good dive shop. I decided to go with Southeast Oceanic Services and talked to the guy two or three times. He said Tuesday (6/6) would be fine. I was pumped.So Tuesday morning I'm driving all over and except for stoplights, things are going dandy. My next hotel even let me check in around 8:00 AM (it usually needs to be after noon), so I could drop off my stuff there. I headed straight to the dive shop after that and was pretty excited. The weather was gorgeous. After I woke up my brother and got the number, I called the guy. On the 4th call, he finally picked up. I was running 5-10 minutes behind and just wanted to tell him I was still coming. That's when he told me something to the effect of "Yeah, I don't think we're going out today." I was stunned. I told the guy I had called multiple times the previous week and he told me again that they weren't going on a trip that day. I was pretty peeved. I mumbled something and then just hung up on him.In that spirit, I recommend against Southeast Oceanic and would tell anyone asking not to cater to them. In the end I did a bunch of frantic driving around and calling and found a shop, Pro Dive, and ended up going with them. They were a little more expensive, but very friendly and seem to know their stuff. I met some cool people out there, found a fishing pole about 25' deep, got pretty close to a large nurse shark, saw lots of fish, and had a good time. The only drawback was that try-as-I-may, my white skin refused to tan.

My house

It's been a hair over 2 months since I bought a house. It's a nice house in a nice location. In fact, it's too nice. It's an investment house, but since I put so much work into designing it, I wanted to live in it for a bit and enjoy the fruits of my labor. Now I need to find a roommate. In preperation for that, I finally took a few pictures and figured I can post them here.

Here's the front of the house:

Here's a pic from just inside the front door.

Here's from the back with some nice mountains in the background:

Here are a few pics of the Great Room (basically kitchen, living room and dining room combined):

Where's the line?

I like my privacy. There are Libertarian portions in me that don't want the Feds poking their heads around everywhere. I do understand the need for government and am appreciative of the relatively stable system we have in the U.S. However I wonder at times if they go too far on things. Where's the line between civil liberties and a police state in the name of eradicating evil, specifically the sickening evils of child pornography and terrorism? Believe me, I would love for the world to be completely rid of these terrible practices, but I don't think Big Brother watching everything I do is the answer. I'm sorry if I'm sounding paranoid; I don't think I am, but I'm disturbed by this news that the government now wants Internet providers to keep track of which users visit which sites. I know much of this data is already captured, though not for extended amounts of time and is not released to the government. Plus you often have "cookies" on your computer that leave a trail of where you've been.Not too long ago there was a disturbance when Google fought to not release records of which sites were being visited. The user wasn't tracked, and I was willing to let the government see that info (not that my opinion matters). Now they've gone the proverbial next step and want user info also. I'm sure some of the info will help them capture some that need to be locked up, but at what expense? My personal response to this would be "No, we live in a free country where this monitoring isn't appropriate." Even though the supposed reasons are good, I don't think it warrants the squashing of certain freedoms. Plus, you can always ask "What's next?"

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This page is an archive of entries from June 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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