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Journal: Chronicle: Listening to MP3s in the car (2)

Journal by Chacham

After searching for an MP3 player on the car i bought a cheap player and a harness. After finding a howto video onYoutube i went ahead and installed the radio.

I lost two screws during the installation. The previous radio had a piece of metal that attached to the radio and to the car, each side with two screws. I lost one of each. How? I'm glad you asked. The attach-to-the-car screws were too hard to unscrew with the Phillips screwdriver, so i used another screwdriver that i got at Dollar Tree to go around the sides of the screw. That worked. The first came out nicely. The second did too, except (for some unknown reason) i stopped in the middle and continued by hand, which ended in a lost screw.

The attach-to-the-radio screws were simple. I had this great idea to attach the piece to the new radio. There was only space for one screw, but who cares, one is better than none. So, i tried installing the radio with dangling metal piece in the car. Wondering why i could not find the piece from under the dash, it hit me that the radio, being half the length, would not reach the bar. Duh! Seriously. I knew it was half the size, i even took pictures of it being half the size. But it still didn't dawn on me that half as long meant it would not reach to the same distance. Anyway, upon removal of the radio the screw fell. I now have two screws loose in the car. During the installation, when taking one of the panels off, a Canadian nickel fell out of a drawer which i dutifully put back. Too bad it wasn't a dollar. Had it been a dollar you could say there's a loony in my car with a couple of screws loose. Come to think of it, you can say that now anyway. Hmm... if i listen to music, we could work tune-ey into that pun. And yes, the former was probably the main impetus of writing this JE. I admit it.

The USB worked. Well, i thought it worked until it started playing the same mp3 over and over again. So, i re-downloaded LoTR, this time including The Silmarillion by another reader. Once at it, i downloaded The Hobbit by the same reader, in preparation for an upcoming trip. On a side note, i realized these are actually for sale at audible:

Unfortunately, those are expensive. LoTR itself would be over $100. Being i liked the recording so much, and now i now it is still for sale, i would think of paying for it. But not at that price! I would rather not have listened to it at all for that, or just use some cheaper. So, what will i do for The Hobbit? But, i digress.

I tried listening to the mp3s. Previously, i deleted all mp3s except the appendix, which is what i am up to. The player played the first one over and over again never advancing to the next file. So, last night, not finding LoTR on my computer, i downloaded LoTR (including the Silmarillion) and The Hobbit, and put them on the USB (i deleted the earlier files forgetting they now existed in .Trashes) as there is no reason to split the mp3s anymore. On the way to office it played the introduction to the appendix over and over. Using next or the +/-10 didn't help. Random did, but only while random was selected. Deselecting it made it repeat what file it was on (unless it was the appendix that it played). Perhaps this is due to having more than one level of sub-folders.

I really need to leave hidden files showing on my mac. Now to delete .fseventsd, .Spotlight-V100, .Trashes, ._.Trashes, ._.DS_Store and .DS_Store from the usb key. Done. The next test will be on the ride home.

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Journal: In Passing: If i only knew then what i know now.

Journal by Chacham

As the two people exited the elevator, they started to talk about kids and graduation, who was in college and who in high school, one mentioned that she still had a son in high school (iirc): "Why did i space out the kids like that? If i only knew then what i know now."

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Journal: Chronicle: Listening to MP3s in the car 1

Journal by Chacham

I was listening to LoTR in the car while going around town, and made some progress during a Sunday drive to Cleveland. Moving along, i finally finished, with just the Appendix left.

With the ring destroyed, the cheap mp3 player died, having served its purpose for less than five bucks, who can complain? But now i want more. I want to listen to more books in the car.

MP3 players abound and so do FM transmitters of varying quality. Some MP3 players are also FM transmitters (or is that the other way around?), but none seem to include the simple feature of remembering playback position automatically. Finding that in MP3 players alone seems to be hard enough.

So, it seemed to me i should purchase the mp3 player and transmitter separately. After some searching, i found the Sandisk Sansa Clip+ amongst their other players which has this sought after feature, and includes a nifty speed option. That can be gotten for $30 or so, especially if going refurbished (and not for the plus?), but then there's the transmitter cost and quality.

Some more searching found someone recommending to simply install a receiver to play MP3s, if the need is just for the car. Good idea. Amazon has a cheap player (or another) in which the comments express its cheapness but usefulness as an mp3 player. Some questions and comments mentioned the need of a harness. Another pointed to a cheap one on ebay.

And that is where i am right now. I wonder how hard is it to install a receiver and if this is a good idea.

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Journal: Verbiage: Umbrella fixed

Journal by Chacham

A good umbrella is always appreciated. I've gone through a few, and lately purchased my second Shedrain umbrella from Amazon to replace the first that i had lost.

Somehow, this one managed to break before i could lose it. It worked perhaps once, but then would no close properly and was broken on one part. So, i sent an email to Shedrain asking for help:

I bought item 2052-CHAR on 3/19/14. (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B007NDTFGM/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i01)

Starting with the second use, one of the metal joints that extend the canopy detached from the rest and the umbrella no longer open or closes properly. ( i apologize for the poor explanation, i do not know how to explain it.) I can send a picture if you would like,

Is there a way to fix something like that? I would like my umbrella to work again. It's a pretty neat umbrella.

That same day, i received a reply:

Hello,

Please send a few pictures and I will see how we can help.

Thank you,

I responded with

Sure, attached are pictures taken from my phone.

And here's a video on Youtube: http://youtu.be/Ll96m4v99ng

I love my mac. :)

If you want any other images, just ask.

And attached 7 images. To which he responded:

Hello,

Thank you for the pictures. I do not think you would be able to repair the umbrella. Please send it to the address below and we will repair/replace it and ship it back to you.

ShedRain Corp
Attn: Dept W
8303 NE Killingsworth
Portland, OR 97220

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thank you,

I sent it in a little bit later and received back a fixed umbrella. Not only was the broken part fixed, they added a number of hooks between the two coverings. So far, it is working nicely. My only cost was the price of shipping it to them.

It seems they gave back the same umbrella because my name, address, and phone number were still on the handle (taped on sheet of paper).

--

When i post the emails i send, i am "afraid" that i sent something silly, or feel apprehensive about sharing the personality i add to my emails, which can change by whom i am sending it to or simply the mood i am in. I know it's not a problem (until someone proves me wrong in the comments :) ).

--

Unrelated side note Started Book 5, Chapter 9 in LoTR.

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Journal: Verbiage: Storium

Journal by Chacham

I found Storium from it's Kickstarter page , via a write up on MakeUseOf's rss feed. (As an aside, i just saw makeuseof's homepage, wow that's ugly!)

In short, one user makes a story and at least one user plays it. The story is in a world and presents challenges, the players decide how to respond and can play some cards defining their strength sand weaknesses. That is, the storyteller does not have complete control of the story, perhaps just the direction. More information can be seen on the How to play page.

I pledged the $10 for the beta access to check out what it is, and i am thinking of becoming a member. The only benefit of member is that the first year is $20 instead of the expected $25. Truthfully, the $5 saved doesn't justify the gamble, but i am enjoying the game.

As of right now, the Kickstarter project has only 12 hours left. Doe this form of storytelling interest you?

Update: Changed "at least two users play it" to "at least one user plays it".
Changed "i just saw the homepage, " to "i just saw makeuseof's homepage"

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Journal: Links of the day: Male gamers/female avatar, yawning

Journal by Chacham

Can you tell a person's gender by their video game avatar?

the male gamers with female avatars ultimately gave themselves away: they moved backwards more often and stayed further away from the group than women playing with female avatars.

Men playing with a female avatar also jumped an average of 116 more times than their female counterparts.

All i can say is: Wow.

Yawning to cool the brain The study seems dubious, but it does remind me of a Simpson's episode where the reason given is "to keep brain from freezing".

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Journal: Verbiage: "If..then" and a comma (2) 2

Journal by Chacham

I believe that in an English if statement, using then and a comma is redundant. I have been challenged on this, told i am incorrect, and shown many examples otherwise.

Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF) does not use "then" after a comma. For example

If the interruption to the flow of the sentence is but slight, the writer may safely omit the commas.

While the book does not list the rule, the style of the book itself shows its application. I feel vindicated...and terribly ashamed at my egregious use of commas.

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Journal: Chronicle: Found known decade-old bug in LWP

Journal by Chacham

Trying to use perl to connect via https with WWW::Mechanize and then LWP::UserAgent, the script returned an error that the server closed the connection. That "server" meant the proxy server. I finally figured that one out that one after telnetting to the proxy server myself. It was a simple test, but not so simple to figure out that it was the test to do.

To make a not so long story even shorter, it's a decade-old bug with complicated solutions already fixed in Debian

Now's a good time to go back to Linode and try that $50 off coupon again. (Instead of applying those patches and whatnot.) It'd either get me a month and some of really easy access to a server, or, perhaps, use hourly billing. If hourly allows me to easily setup an environment, that $50 would last qwuite some time. :)

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Journal: Verbiage: Wikipedia's talk section

Journal by Chacham

Reading Wikipedia's articles without the Talk section is like basing purchasing decision from Amazon without reading the reviews.

Although i left Wikipedia some time ago it contiuosly comes up in Google searches. Recently, i saw an article listing myths within which was listed the Tongue Map. Wikipedia has an entry which is refuted in the Talk section. I eventually got to Common Misconceptions (and its own interesting Talk section) which can be an amusing read.

Just now i was looking up Vinculum as a possible name for the fraction bar. The Talk section points out there is no source for it.

Wikipedia being inaccurate is old news, obvious to anyone who knows a subject. But if you do not know the subject and accuracy matters, be sure to read the Talk section.

A completely unrelated side note: While writing this i glanced at the clock which said "1:01:01" and did a double-take.

A side note related only in that it is unrelated: Started Book 3, Chapter 9 in LoTR

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Journal: Verbiage: Oe the two-letter Scrabble word

Journal by Chacham

So, a friend made a typo in a message changing "of" to "oe". Looking to make a witty response and remembering that oe is on the Scrabble two-letter word list, i went to check it's definition on Google by searching for define oe.

OE "is" a word "&" IS in the official scrabble players' dictionary. MAking it aq LEGAL WORD for use in SCRABBLE, As well. --- So, do u think sCRABBLE allows u to "CHEAT" as well?? smh!!! NO ABBREVRIATIONS are ALLOWED in SCRABBLE "or" words with friends.

Seeming a bit odd, i followed the link to Merriam-Webster, which has it as an abbreviation for oersted and biographical name for Kenzaburo Oe.

Trying to find the word brought me to scrabblefinder.com which has

Is oe a scrabble word?

No Definition of 'oe' Found - It's still good as a Scrabble word though!

Who knows, maybe i'll look it up in The Official Scrabble Players Dictionary (Third Edition) when i get home. (There is a Fourth Edition out there, but it's not what i happen to have.)

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Journal: Verbiage: My Amazon Kindle 2

Journal by Chacham

I bought an Amazon Kindle (received 11/15/13) after receiving a coupon for $40 off. For $29 dollars, the device seemed quite nice and the e-ink display is all its cracked up to be. They said it was valid for a limited time, so i grabbed it.

Afterward, i googled* at the time and found* that there was a $60 promotion as well. I wondered if i should have canceled and waited for the $60, but i didn't. Who knows if that would have worked anyway? Regardless, it's well worth $29.

I replaced it once (received 12/7/13) after the bottom of the directional button stopped working smoothly. It had to be pressed firmly to make it work, which was inconvenient. I reported this to Amazon, and added that i tossed the Kindle to the floor (carpeted, from maybe knee-height) which might have led to ti not working. The rep said that he would replace it as a one-time thing, and that was nice.

Since then, i have gotten a chip in the display, though i am not sure how, but i am okay with it. A few days ago i picked it up, and half the display was frozen. Resetting it didn't work, and now i have a new one on it's way (estimated delivery 4/16/14). Amazon is very nice about the one year warranty, and replaced it with two-day shipping. Yet another reason why i love Amazon.

I use the Amazon to read things in the tub. I highlight stuff to review later online, and together with Kindle for the PC and Mac, the Kindle is great for research.

* Links are examples, and not necessarily the one i used.

There is nothing so easy but that it becomes difficult when you do it reluctantly. -- Publius Terentius Afer (Terence)

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