mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
An open letter to the engineers who design home espresso machines:

My understanding of an espresso machine is this: it makes espresso, natch', and it steams (presumably milk, but one never knows). The overall purpose is for the average Joe like me to make coffee-based drinks like lattés and capucchinos. 

Kvetching to follow... )
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Dear Dr.'s office medical records staffer,

Let me get this straight: you won't fax my sleep study to the pulmonologist without my signature because you can't prove I am who I say I am...but you'll fax it directly to me, no questions asked?

(I suppose it would do no good at this point to remind you that the last time I requested records for another specialist you didn't even ask my birth date.)

I guess if I receive the fax then that proves I'm me, is that it?

I like your employer, Dr. Clark, but your office needs to nail down its procedures. I'm starting to get dizzy.

Patiently yours,

- Bill
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Dear Dr.'s office medical records staffer,

Let me get this straight: you won't fax my sleep study to the pulmonologist without my signature because you can't prove I am who I say I am...but you'll fax it directly to me, no questions asked?

(I suppose it would do no good at this point to remind you that the last time I requested records for another specialist you didn't even ask my birth date.)

I guess if I receive the fax then that proves I'm me, is that it?

I like your employer, Dr. Clark, but your office needs to nail down its procedures. I'm starting to get dizzy.

Patiently yours,

- Bill
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is a story about how I got my nuts off. Hard to do with cold hands and inadequate tools, and eventually I had to get another guy to help me. With his help, it took just a few minutes.

Locking lug nuts are idiotic, and now, as it happens, no longer on my vehicle.

As an idea they're okay I suppose, but in my life at least they created more problems than they solved. If someone wants your wheels or, in our case, genuine Honda plastic hub caps, always a hot item at any flea market, locking lug nuts aren't going to stop them. With the proper tool, they're easily removed.

I just don't happen to have the proper tool. Or the key. We did, at one time. The good, hardworking, and scrupulously honest wheel tech at Sam's Club kept ours when he installed our new tires two years ago, and his good, hardworking and scrupulously honest compatriot at the desk swears there are no extra, un-accounted-for Honda lug keys laying about the service center.

This all started with a flat tire on the van. We re-roofed back in August and I was certain I ran over a nail that we neglected to sweep up. It happens, you know? Saturday morning, I'm driving to the recycling center and the left rear tire goes flat. Okay, I've dealt with this before: get out the spare, the jack, the lug wrench, the key for the lug nuts...

Cut for length... )

The damage to the old tire was substantial: a thumb sized hole in the inner sidewall. Not, therefore, a nail from our roof, or some punk with a switchblade.  Something far bigger blew that hole; I have no idea what. Replacing the tire will be painful on the pocketbook, but:

I'm grateful the blown tire happened so close to home, rather than, say, on the interstate at seventy miles an hour.

I'm grateful that it happened to me, and not Michelle and the kids.

I'm grateful that I was able to find the parts inexpensively.

I'm grateful that the dealership personnel were helpful.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
This is a story about how I got my nuts off. Hard to do with cold hands and inadequate tools, and eventually I had to get another guy to help me. With his help, it took just a few minutes.

Locking lug nuts are idiotic, and now, as it happens, no longer on my vehicle.

As an idea they're okay I suppose, but in my life at least they created more problems than they solved. If someone wants your wheels or, in our case, genuine Honda plastic hub caps, always a hot item at any flea market, locking lug nuts aren't going to stop them. With the proper tool, they're easily removed.

I just don't happen to have the proper tool. Or the key. We did, at one time. The good, hardworking, and scrupulously honest wheel tech at Sam's Club kept ours when he installed our new tires two years ago, and his good, hardworking and scrupulously honest compatriot at the desk swears there are no extra, un-accounted-for Honda lug keys laying about the service center.

This all started with a flat tire on the van. We re-roofed back in August and I was certain I ran over a nail that we neglected to sweep up. It happens, you know? Saturday morning, I'm driving to the recycling center and the left rear tire goes flat. Okay, I've dealt with this before: get out the spare, the jack, the lug wrench, the key for the lug nuts...

Cut for length... )

The damage to the old tire was substantial: a thumb sized hole in the inner sidewall. Not, therefore, a nail from our roof, or some punk with a switchblade.  Something far bigger blew that hole; I have no idea what. Replacing the tire will be painful on the pocketbook, but:

I'm grateful the blown tire happened so close to home, rather than, say, on the interstate at seventy miles an hour.

I'm grateful that it happened to me, and not Michelle and the kids.

I'm grateful that I was able to find the parts inexpensively.

I'm grateful that the dealership personnel were helpful.

mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Royally fucked up and put noindex/nofollow directives on a client's website. Over the course of just a couple of weeks their sales leads dropped from avg.10/day to less than 1.

I've corrected that, updated their sitemap, and put some activity into Google's Webmaster Tools to let them know the site is still alive, so things should improve in a week or so.

The 3rd party SEO company that works with the client tried to throw us under the bus for it - and rightly so - but the client was more concerned that SEO company didn't spot the problem earlier. My screw-up never came up: in the conference call, the fact that I'd already addressed every issue raised mitigated the bloodshed, at least on our side.

I know how it happened. I know basically when it happened. I know how to prevent it from happening in the future - actually, it's unlikely to in any case. The circumstance in which it happened was an exception. Still, it was a stupid, brainless thing to let happen.

I'd be okay with it if I didn't have very many more mornings like this one.


mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)
Royally fucked up and put noindex/nofollow directives on a client's website. Over the course of just a couple of weeks their sales leads dropped from avg.10/day to less than 1.

I've corrected that, updated their sitemap, and put some activity into Google's Webmaster Tools to let them know the site is still alive, so things should improve in a week or so.

The 3rd party SEO company that works with the client tried to throw us under the bus for it - and rightly so - but the client was more concerned that SEO company didn't spot the problem earlier. My screw-up never came up: in the conference call, the fact that I'd already addressed every issue raised mitigated the bloodshed, at least on our side.

I know how it happened. I know basically when it happened. I know how to prevent it from happening in the future - actually, it's unlikely to in any case. The circumstance in which it happened was an exception. Still, it was a stupid, brainless thing to let happen.

I'd be okay with it if I didn't have very many more mornings like this one.


Finally.

Apr. 10th, 2009 10:02 pm
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)

After more issues that I care to deal with again, I’m burning DVDs. As it turns out, I have to split the video between two discs since the whole three hour session came to just over 9gb, and I don’t have any double-sided discs.

That’s okay though. I’m seeing the end of this project, finally.

TMPGEnc was just the software I needed, though after first use it started throwing errors - or rather, vsfilter.dll started throwing errors. I haven’t had time to really investigate and a cursory Google search turned up - surpise! - nothing. Okay, next to nothing. The only "solution" I found wasn't really a solution, insofar as it didn't work. Again, that’s okay. When this project is over, I'll have time to investigate further.

The summary is that by tomorrow morning's Easter festivities at church, I'll have two discs - the second is in the burner right this minute - to give the pastor, and we can call this one done.  I need to invoice the church, even if it's all donated: I want to know, come year's end, exactly what I did this year.


Thoughts on the Linux box

Through this whole project, the Linux box has been a real trooper, allowing me to do day-job work while the primary box was rendering - or even blog entries like this one. I can't work as fast or efficiently, but some of that can be attributed to unfamiliar software and workflow.

Not ALL, mind you: some of it is that the box is eight years old and software for Linux is sorely trailing behind what's available for Windows. I've only found one code editor that allows remote open/save, Komodo, but it functions no better than Notepad in a lot of ways: no tag completion, no syntax hilighting (at least for classic ASP/VBscript), no Intellisense. Thankfully, I have most of VBScript, CSS and javascript syntaxes memorized, but I'm still typing a lot of stuff longhand and that slows a chap down.

Can't do video on this box; it's just too old and can't handle the throughput. There are precious few offerings anyway.  (Kino? Please. It's shit.) I got to thinking, though, that it would probably work just fine for audio recording, and there are good options for that for Linux. My first love is still the Windows box, but when it's busy and I have a hankerin' to lay down some tracks, why not plug in to ol' Tux and go?

I need some additional cabling and I think I can make a go of it. It's worth a try.





 

Finally.

Apr. 10th, 2009 10:02 pm
mapsedge: Me at Stone Bridge Coffee House (Default)

After more issues that I care to deal with again, I’m burning DVDs. As it turns out, I have to split the video between two discs since the whole three hour session came to just over 9gb, and I don’t have any double-sided discs.

That’s okay though. I’m seeing the end of this project, finally.

TMPGEnc was just the software I needed, though after first use it started throwing errors - or rather, vsfilter.dll started throwing errors. I haven’t had time to really investigate and a cursory Google search turned up - surpise! - nothing. Okay, next to nothing. The only "solution" I found wasn't really a solution, insofar as it didn't work. Again, that’s okay. When this project is over, I'll have time to investigate further.

The summary is that by tomorrow morning's Easter festivities at church, I'll have two discs - the second is in the burner right this minute - to give the pastor, and we can call this one done.  I need to invoice the church, even if it's all donated: I want to know, come year's end, exactly what I did this year.


Thoughts on the Linux box

Through this whole project, the Linux box has been a real trooper, allowing me to do day-job work while the primary box was rendering - or even blog entries like this one. I can't work as fast or efficiently, but some of that can be attributed to unfamiliar software and workflow.

Not ALL, mind you: some of it is that the box is eight years old and software for Linux is sorely trailing behind what's available for Windows. I've only found one code editor that allows remote open/save, Komodo, but it functions no better than Notepad in a lot of ways: no tag completion, no syntax hilighting (at least for classic ASP/VBscript), no Intellisense. Thankfully, I have most of VBScript, CSS and javascript syntaxes memorized, but I'm still typing a lot of stuff longhand and that slows a chap down.

Can't do video on this box; it's just too old and can't handle the throughput. There are precious few offerings anyway.  (Kino? Please. It's shit.) I got to thinking, though, that it would probably work just fine for audio recording, and there are good options for that for Linux. My first love is still the Windows box, but when it's busy and I have a hankerin' to lay down some tracks, why not plug in to ol' Tux and go?

I need some additional cabling and I think I can make a go of it. It's worth a try.





 

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