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"Serial Bus is a place for me to dump interesting links that I find."

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Archives

Control C, Control V Wednesday, December 31, 2008 | comments

Pay attention. Someday you may find yourself in need of a recording or data file. Perhaps you will be aboard the Galactica. Perhaps you will be working with Jack Bauer. Perhaps you will be in a generic action movie.

Regardless, it is extremely important to remember that when they tell you they are giving you the only copy of the data, they are lying. They have a copy of it hidden away. Perhaps your brain is too cluttered with FTL jump locations and terrorist cell information to remember that computers allow you to make an infinite number of copies of data.

Your friend,
Mike

whoaaaa Tuesday, December 30, 2008 | comments

descriptive title, I know

Above, Beyond, and on a Detour | comments

I can't believe the number of phone calls I have received from a single person today. People often ask for directions to get to our community, and I gladly provide them. This person, however, thought that I was her personal Sacajawea.

-I got an initial call in which I gave her turn by turn directions from a destination It took about 20 minutes for her to write down.
-I later that day got a call that she was driving and that I-94 was closed. I told her to take the detour. It will route the right way back to 94.
-Then I got a call that she had followed the detour but no longer was on 94 W. She was on 75 N. I gave her new directions.
-She did the first item of the directions and called back. I told her get on 14. She hangs up.
-She's on 14: what now? I say stay on it until 23. I can give her more than one direction in a call I tell her, she says she'll call back.
-She calls saying she's still on 14. I say call me back when she's on 23.
-She calls me on 23. I say get off at exit 37B. She repeats it back to me.
-She calls me having gotten off at a different exit. I say continue on Main. She turns on Huron. She gets back on main. I tell her the street we are off of and to watch for that. I get her on to that street.
-She calls from that street. I tell her the two main intersections that she is going to go across. She tells me streets she sees. I tell her keep going. It will be a ways. I describe the corner of each intersection. She tells me a street she sees. I say keep going. Keep going until she goes across the second street. By this time I have given in to the fact that I going to get a call for every turn.
-She calls me from the next road. She is going to turn. I say no, go across it [like I had told her 3 times]. I tell her that she is going to see our community's sign at the next light and to turn there to get to me.
-She calls me sitting at the light to tell me that she is at the light. I say good, see you soon. Eleven calls and an hour and a half later (it should have taken 50 minutes), it was over.

The reason for her visit? She was coming in to pick up a check rather than have me mail it to her. She was also looking for other apartments because she would accept no less than a washer and dryer in unit (ours you just have to walk downstairs) and a gas stove. We don't keep data on stoves, but when she mentioned some apartments on Ypsi she had heard of, I happily printed her a map to them and gave her their phone number. You know: in case she had any questions for them.

Winter Wonderland Friday, December 26, 2008 | comments

Who is Parson Brown In the winter we can build a snowman and pretend that he is parson brown
Wikipedia informs us that, "In the period when this song was written, parsons (now known as Protestant ministers) often traveled among small rural towns to perform wedding ceremonies for denominational followers who did not have a local minister of their own faith."
Which makes the lines:
He'll say 'Are You Married?' We'll say 'No man,
but you can do the job when you're in town!"
Far far less creepy.

Dec 25 Searches | comments

As The Consumerist pointed out, this Google trends information shows that a lot of America ate at ihop yesterday and is already thinking about when the stores reopen.

Chickens break up rabbit fight Thursday, December 18, 2008 | comments

Is a suit and tie advised? Wednesday, December 17, 2008 | comments

I'm updating our listing on apartments.com which, in their case, means updating rental rates and also checking boxes that apply to our community. So, for example, under "Pet Features" we have "Cats" checked.

The thing that interestes me, however, is "Pet Interview Required" checkbox. How would that work? Would you have to bring your turtle into the office to see if the people there think that he'd be a valuable addition to the community? Could they deny your application based on a gut feeling that your dog would be annoying? "I'm sorry; you meet all the requirements, but we don't much care for Fluffy."

Baulaugnee Friday, December 12, 2008 | comments

In reading Call of Cthulhu (1925), an archaeologist talks about a tribe of people and their religion. An example:
"It was a faith of which other Esquimaux knew little, and which they only mentioned with shudders, saying that it had come down from horribly ancient aeons before ever the world was made."
It took me a few mentions of the tribe to realize H.P. Lovecraft was using an archaeic spelling of Eskimo.

With this experience in mind, I would like to bring to your attention something that happens quite frequently. Every time I read the word bologna, I first say buh-LOW-nah in my head before I correct myself.

I would like to propose that whatever it took for Esquimaux to be spelled Eskimo also happens to bologna, so that it can be spelled baloney (I'll also accept balloney).

You did it, technology Wednesday, December 3, 2008 | comments

And by "did it," I mean "killed the newspaper." I like the newspaper. I have a job now where I actually have free time during which I could read the newspaper. I really liked the fact that we get the Monday paper free here, so I kind of got used to enjoying thumbing through it. I was seriously considering subscribing to the newspaper.

Then I discovered the magic that is Google Reader. Now all I needed to do to get the news was subscribe to the Google News RSS feed for Ann Arbor. So not only was I getting the news for free from the same source, but I was getting it way before it even hit print. Now when I see the Monday paper sitting there, I send it straight to the recycling.

And not only can I subscribe to the comics, but I get the latest lolcat news too all with Google Reader.

Thanks, Internet!

Not quite there yet, technology | comments

My phone runs windows and I thought "hey, I'm going to get free Bible software for my phone so I can just read right off it at my small group meeting". But then I couldn't find a .cab file to install it. And then they wanted to charge me to download something other than the King James version. And so I thought I'll use the internet, but no one's made a good mobile-y accessible Bible website. And in the end, 20 minutes later, I just made it a word document via copy and paste. All to have a Bible that could run out of batteries.

My nerddom fate is sealed | comments

Because my phone ringtone is the Prologue music to Battlestar Galactica.

How can this be paper | comments

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