improving our doors

December 15, 2006

We had an electrician out last week, and we’ve gotten just about all of our electrical work done. We still have our crappy old front porch light, as the one we got wasn’t going to be a suitable replacement. We found another one to use, but I haven’t picked it up yet. Instead, we got some more smoke detectors, a fire extinguisher for the kitchen, and a new doorknob. I really like the knobs we picked; we’re planning to use them in all the interior doors. They’re brushed nickel, lever-style knobs. (There are photos on Flickr.)

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slogging through enterprise

December 12, 2006

Every once in a while I hear about how good Enterprise got by the end. I watched the first season a year or two ago, and it was so-so, but had some pretty good episodes. I’m working through the second season, now, and it’s consistently mediocre. It’s also got the most bizarre sexual overtones. In the episode I’m watching now, Stigma, there are two plots. In one, it turns out that T’Pol was mind meld raped by a Vulcan gay and has contracted Vulcan brain AIDS. Vulcan doctors are out to end her career, so Archer and T’Pol go have a Philadelphia-style trial where the gay judge doctor stands up and says, “I am a Vulcan gay!” Well, actually he says something like, “I am a member of that minority which practices a different form of intimacy, due to either birth or genetics; it isn’t clear.”

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what ever happened to quick start guides?

December 3, 2006

This week, I bought a Canon Elura 100. I figure that once we’ve got a screaming baby, we’ll want to take lots of video, so that when we have a screaming teenager, we can embarass him or her in front of his friends. When I unpacked the camera (which is absolutely tiny), I found lots of little scraps of paper. There was a registration card; a leaflet suggesting, in eleven different languages, that only Canon accessories should be used; a pamphlet explaining how to install the Windows-based video software; a blue-on-white page explaining, in fourteen different languages, how to clean the tape heads; and a 366 page manual, containing 133 pages in each of three languages.

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reviews are not bug reports

December 2, 2006

Sometimes, I see a bad review of a module on the CPAN, and I wonder why it wasn’t filed as a bug report instead. For example, I recently saw this review of the popular and indispensable Time::Local. The reviewer makes three points:

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hateful semi-circular dependencies

November 28, 2006

Recently, I’ve been trying to help do my part to prevent needless memory consumption. Today, at work, Dieter and I were talking about ways to reduce Email::Simple’s significant memory consumption. Here’s an example: I created an eight megabyte email (50 lines of headers, 10,000 of body) and wrote a program that slurps it and makes a new Email::Simple, giving a crude (ps-based) memory check as it goes.

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wii acquired

November 21, 2006

I had thought that I’d just pre-order a Wii from Amazon and not worry about it. Then they failed to ever inform me of any pre-order periods, which filled up quickly and didn’t include me. The local video game places only took pre-orders if you’d agree to buy a pile of games. When the weekend came, I figured I’d be willing to wait a few hours in line, but not overnight.

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my house is falling apart

November 17, 2006

Today, the weather was crap. It was extremely windy and rainy. In the afternoon, I started to hear a weird noise coming from outside, like the kind of fake thunder you make by shaking a sheet of aluminum. It turns out that the flashing from around the third floor roof came loose and was shaking around like crazy, barely dangling off the house. Just as we came back from the grocery, it came off and fell to the ground. There are now a few pieces of aluminum sitting on my rear porch.

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critical notes from college

November 15, 2006

I’m trying to get rid of a lot of the crap that’s crufting up my office. Today I went through my old college papers and threw out nearly all of them. On a handout from a hermeneutics class, “From Notes Made in 1970-1971” (I assume it’s Derrida), I saw the following marginalia from Young Self:

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