Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
User Journal

Journal: Chronicle Sample Merchandice Sale

Journal by Chacham

So, there was a JDRF sale at the company. Or rather, the sale benefited the JDRF. With company themed items, i was interested, for whatever reason.

The sale was Thursday, the email Wednesday (well, after 5 on Tueday), declaring a company "sample merchandise sale". "Pre-Sale 8:00 am - 9:00 am ($10 donation to get in) Sale 9:10 am - 3:00 pm (No charge to get in)".

I sent an email to the sender:

Please excuse my ignorance.

What is a presale?

Which got her response

Pretty much gets you in before the big rush and you have a better chance getting something you really want. Kind of like getting to meet a movie star and get an autograph before having to stand in line and not getting it.

I sent a thank you, and a little later:

I'm sorry to bother you again. I spoke to a couple people and realized I didn't understand two things.

1) Are things able to be purchased during the pre-sale?
2) What is a Sample Merchandise Sale? Specifically, what is meant by "sample"?

to which i received no response. Oh well.

A friend encouraged me to go and to just spend the $10, so i did. I found out a few things:

  • Samples are samples of branded items from other companies. That is, the other companies want to sell stuff with this company's logo.
  • Almost everything is sold within 2-3 hours.
  • You can purchase items during the pre-sale.
  • Very few people show up to the presale.
  • They have the sale once a year.

The prices were on the board, i wasn't sure what was what. There were a number of tables, a few people, and stuff lying here and there. Model cars of all sorts, Playstation games, shirts, caps, pants, wallets, and more. I found some police trucks on the "dollar table" and grabbed all eight. At first i hesitated from taking them all, but they encouraged me to do so and brought me a box to hold them. I also got a Captain America snap together model truck (Round2 AMT AMT857) and a cap and shirt. I went to pay and they had forgotten to charge me the extra $10, but after i reminded them, my price was $33.

The truck is fun. It's a KiNSMART KT5365, though it is a police truck. The doors open and the spring loaded action lets me pull it back and it rolls forward. It's not a small car, but is about the size of my hand ("Scale 1/46"). It happens to be a F-150, prompting me to ask, "Have you played with a Ford, lately?"

Back to the office, the lady who sits next to me showed no special interest in the truck. That is, until she saw the doors opened and the spring loaded action. All of a sudden she wanted one for her son. Her son is in his twenties and lives out of state. But who's counting? Two other people wanted it for their children. Heh. I find the whole thing amusing.

When my erstwhile boss asked me to meet him downstairs around lunchtime, i came down with the truck to show it to him. It was he that encouraged me to go in the first place and i thought he might want one. No interest. On my way back up, i was toying with it in the elevator. Two people were there of which the woman was eying me strangely. So, i asked with feigned surprise, "What?! You didn't go to the sale this morning?" There might have been a smile or a "what sale?", but it was all over soon. That is kind of out of character for me, but it sure felt good. :) For now at least, one of the trucks is being left at my desk.

At the register, i was asked if an emailed recipt was ok. Sure it was. My email address? I used a plus sign to help identify it. The program wouldn't take it. I hate stupid programmers.

I replied to the email with a thank you and then:

Hope i'm not spamming you. I just have to let it out.

I _really_ should have bought more models.

There aren't any left, are there?

A few minutes later she responded

Not spamming at all. Unfortunately, there aren't. I can follow up and see if any come up in the future though. What kinds are you interested in?

Really? There's a chance? I sent a response starting with:

Thanx for replying. I know i am hoping against hope. :) But it doesn't hurt to ask.

Who knows where that will go?

The Captain America truck is being sold on ebay for around $20. $5 was a pretty deal.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Bought a rice cooker

Journal by Chacham

I bought an Oster steamer some time ago (looks like this one with the lcd from this one) to steam corn. Eventually, i used it to make rice, after figuring out that the tray holding the rice needs water too; the steam isn't enough. Silly me.

Although i still love the look of the corn, i no longer eat it as often, now that i have satisfied my craving for folate with a supplement. This supplement is not the usual folic acid. That does not seem to do the trick for me. It is Metafolin which "is the pure stable crystalline form of the naturally-occurring predominant form of folate." Whatever it is, it does the trick for me.

But, i still make corn and offer it to others and sometimes eat a bit myself. Regardless, i use it for rice and brown rice, which is probably my favorite food(s). Other than parboiled rice, i find steaming superior to cooking, whether due to the amount of water or agitation hurting the kernels.

Now, years later, the steamer is showing some age. The plastic lid is chipped, the drip tray doesn't get all the drips, and the coating over the heating element is cracking off. Mind you, it still works well. Though, i feel it might hit its end of life some time (not necessarily too) soon.

Concurrent with my steamer observations, i have been hearing about the rice cooker. These have been around for a while but have gained popularity in recent years. The word rice alone was enough to catch my interest. But then i would wonder why i needed a specialized steamer. Well, between wanting rice, gadgets, and having tasted rice from other people (which may have been higher quality rice), i began to covet a rice cooker to call my own.

Of late that got stronger, aided by my ailing steamer, so i searched for (something like) rice steamer reviews. I must have read a few articles but was most impressed by this one, which recomended a cheaper Hamilton Beach model and also a more expensive Zojirushi model, depending on intended use.

After going going back and forth, reading the reviews, and really asking myself what size i needed, i ended up purchasing a Zojirushi NS-LAC05XA on Amazon. I went with the Zojirushi because i want it for brown rice, and have been happy when buying more expensive appliances from companies with known for quality which end up working well and that for a while. You really do get what you pay for.

I taste tested some Della white basmati i purchased at a local Kroger, making a cup in the steamer and another cup in the rice cooker. I had made it in the rice cooker a few times already.

I filled two bowls, some on this side and some on that side, i knew which was which and my friend did not. He chose the steamed rice calling it sweeter and therefore determining it was from the cooker. I also chose the steamed because it was more watery which was better than the drier stuff from the cooker. Well, not dry, but it looks like a little more water might have helped. Though, i went back and forth on whether the steamed rice tasted watery and if i truly liked it or not. In any case, the rice cooker is much easier to clean and dry off.

More tasting with other brands and varieties may follow.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: New girl on the block oddity. 13

Journal by Chacham

My apartment's building is one of many around a circle. That is, the circle is surrounded by a square of lots, with apartment buildings on all four sides. As it so happens, i am now in my third apartment there, and on a third side.

Well before my arrival on the scene, the center of the circle was a pool and pool house, The pool has since been filled in and is mostly grass now. The pool house was at first the apartment office, which has moved to one of the apartments, and now is used for storage and also for housing the washing machine and dryer electric card machine refiller. It's a nice area and a few kids play there. The same kids usually, the ones that live in the circle.

Aside from the toddlers, most of the kids are black girls. I don't know if this is due to the population or just those are the ones more likely to play there, but that is irrelevant. It just makes others stand out. Until recently, there were three white girls playing outside, of which i know the two Jewish ones who are, iirc, 9 and 10 years old. I know them mostly because they play with my upstairs neighbor's kids when they (the upstairs kids) come on the weekends. The other girl has said hello to me once or twice in passing, but her family left to some other state. As it so happens, her father is black and her mother, white.

On Thursday i saw a new girl across the circle riding a bike. I thought her new because she was white, making it remarkable even at a distance. By her dress i could tell she was not Jewish (at least not Orthodox) and wondered if someone else had moved into the complex. The fact that it wasn't the beginning of the month didn't seem to bother me. Late afternoon on Friday, as i was going to a program, this girl saw me, and, looking scared, ran in between two parked cars so i could not see her. That was odd. A moment later, the black girl she had been playing with turned to me and said hello, which got my shy response. Since she was around at least one of the Jewish girls (who seem to be popular amongst the circle's kids), i asked them the following day what had happened.

Samantha has a white father and black mother. Her mother's sister lives in the circle and she visits her cousin (the girl that said hello to me on Friday) once in a while. She is Indian (this part makes no sense to me), flatulates when she gets nervous (these were not her exact words), and Xian. I am amazed at a girl's ability to learn so much in such a short time.

When Samantha saw me, she noted i was Jewish and thought i was going to curse her. (Really?!) She also doesn't like me because i don't accept her god. I asked the two girls if she played with them. Apparently, Samantha stipulated that they would have to accept her god, at least for the day, in order for her to play with them. IIUC, the older girl did not play with her, the younger one kind of ignored the topic and played with her. I did not get that last part so clearly. Though, their parents seemed to weigh in on the matter at some point.

And here i thought fundamentalist Xians tended to dress more conservatively. This girl had short shorts and a loose top. That's just plain odd. On a related note, i used to think that couples where one was black and the other white were rare, and ones where the woman was black rarer still. Yet, i see more often now.

User Journal

Journal: Looking for Galen's De Temperamentis in English (4) 2

Journal by Chacham

Continuing the search for Galen's De Temperamentis in English, i saw that Cambridge University Press published the first book in the Cambridge Galen Translations series, Volume 1, in April, 2014. Indeed, Amazon has it listed as being published on April 7, 2014.

Amazon has it at $134 and free shipping. Cambridge Press has the list price is $140 and $6.50 shipping, but their Academic Alerts offers 20% off the first online purchase. 140 * .8 = 112, which is also the price of the eBook. Add shipping, 112 + 6.5 = 118.5, and it comes in less than Amazon's price. Good thing i checked.

The question is, does this include De Temperamentis? Whereas the listing includes the Table of Contents, De Temperamentis is the Latin title, not the Greek one. So, i emailed the press [Note: only excerpts of the actual email are quotes here.]:

ISBN: 9780521765176
Galen: Psychological Writings

Does this book contain a translation of De Temperamentis?

The reply cam pretty quickly:

Thank you for your enquiry. Unfortunately ISBN: 9780521765176 Galen: Psychological Writings does not include a translation of De Temperamentis (the table of contents is below). I have checked our catalogue and none of our other Galen books include a translation of De Temperamentis so I'm afraid you will need to look elsewhere.

Luckily, i responded (and somehow refrained from referring to the original Klingon):

It seem that "Galen: Psychological Writings" is part of the "Cambridge Galen Translations" series, of which it currently is the only book. Is De Temperamentis (or its source in Greek) scheduled to be translated as part of this series?

To which her reply was the disappointing:

We have another book due to be published in this series but it doesn't contain De Temperamentis either. I'm not aware that De Temperamentis is due to be translated as part of the series.

I thought my search was over, but, in the background, someone else asked a couple others, including Professor Philip van der Eijk

Is this work represented by the Mixtures work included in Vol. 1? If not, is it due to be included in a later volume?

To which the professor responded:

Mixtures will be included in volume 2, "Works on Human Nature", which we hope to finalise for publication this autumn.

It is quite exciting that he responded (though he never responded to my email on Sept 9, 2013) I was sent the message along with the following:

Apologies; it appears that this text will be available in "Works on Human Nature" (as explained below). Please note that when Dr van der Eijk says that they are "due to finalise for publication" the volume this autumn, he means that it will be submitted to the Press this autumn. Actual publication will only take place around 9 months after submission.

So, it looks like it will be done, but i'll have to wait about another year for it.

User Journal

Journal: Phrase: It is interesting to note 4

Journal by Chacham

I love checking google for definitions, word comparisons, and phraseology. Just now, i was reviewing my own unfinished essay when i came up to the term "It is interesting to note". So, i searched google for the phrase and sure enough, the firs link was "It is interesting to note that ..." there is a bee in the editorial bonnet. It is a short and perhaps amusing read.

One paragraph says it best, and reminds me of Strunk and White's Elements of Style (PDF):

The words "It is interesting to note that" are to all intents and purposes banned from JIPLP since they generally add nothing but length. If the text which follows those words is interesting, they are redundant; if it is not interesting, it shouldn't be there in the first place. And if your reader is reading what you've written, he's going to note it whether you tell him that it is interesting to do so or not.

Wow! (Also, note he used if and a comma without then .)

But, i'm still wondering if i should keep the phrase.

The essay analyses a work in an attempt to show that it is talking about an idea later stated as a theory. This includes many quotes shown to be akin to this point or that. By one particular point there is clearly no proof, but it works really well. So, after explaining how it obviously is not a proof, "nonetheless, it is interesting to note that he." The phrase is meant to concede that there is no proof, per se, but that it is still notable, and therefore the rest of the paragraph will continue along the theory. I think the phrase should stay, though perhaps changed to "Nonetheless, it is noteworthy", much like the author in the blog offered to change his submission, also for a reason.

I'm too close to my own material to decide, so it's in for now. But, i feel i ought to garner opinions from others.

--

Is an unproven statement said to be in a state of nonproofiness?

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle/Verbiage: Firefox 3

Journal by Chacham

I installed Firefox some time ago, before i fully appreciated it. Eventually, i realized what it and the addons were, and started having a wonderful experience. I can hardly imagine browsing without NoScript, Cookie Monster, or AddBlock (Edge). Not to mention Lazarus (?), Mouseless Browsing, and a bunch of other useful tools.

When FF3 came out, it was okay, except that ridiculous Awesome Bar which was remedied with Old Location Bar. FF4, removed the status bar, remedied by Status-4-Evar. FF5 or 6, was just too much for me. They didn't fix their changes, they added auto updates (which could not be turned off), removed the menubar (in some version), and started spamming versions for no good reason. Major-number.Minor-Number.Revision no longer meant anything, but Chrome had to be copied. So, i reverted to FF3 and was back to my erstwhile bliss.

Eventually, HTML5 became a problem for me. FF3 did not support it. As more sites used it, functionality was diminished. But, FF decided to allow us to turn off auto-updates, and i upgraded. Issues with the url bar and tabs moving to copy Chrome were fixed with about:mozilla options or by rearranging the bars, and i even upgraded now and then. For the menubar, i had switched to the Mac which forces applications to have a normal menubar. At some point i realized that the menu bar can be shown, so i use it on Windows as well. I am not sure if that option was always there or if it was added at a later date.

FF29 brought the epithet ChromeFox to the fore, as the UI copies Chrome. To assuage users that preferred the old UI, they recommended an addon. I am suspicious, though. If it really was (and is intended to be) optional, why not make the new UI an addon? OK, they want it to be the default. So leave both in the browser. I wonder if the design group uses Chrome as their main browser.

Today, i wondered again why escape doesn't stop anything until i found out they removed that functionality in FF20. Until now i just expect FF not to work as intended, and search for fixes when things bother me enough. Well, today i found SuperStop which implements the classic stop functionality under [shift]-[esc].

I ask myself why i stay with FF at all. The answer is the plugins. NewsFox is my favorite RSS reader, looking similar to Agent which was my newsreader of choice back when i actually followed some. I eventually got used to ForecastFox Weather (hesitating because it reminded me of some other spammy program), and like nifty little thigns like Show Anchors 2 which helps when pasting a URL somewhere. There are others, and then there's Greasemonkey which itself includes others. Addons are what make FireFox good.

I must give Mozilla a pat on the back. Besides saving passwords from early on, which ranks high in awesomeness, FireFox Sync is a close second. I now use FF at different locations and don't have to reinstall plugins or passwords again. Kudos to them for a job well done.

Regardless, i often feel that i have had it with Firefox and wish there was a fork maintained by different people. That is, people who focus on backward compatibility, standard version numbers, and want FF to be FF, not just whatever happens to be popular right now.

User Journal

Journal: Silliness: Chainsaw Mick

Journal by Chacham

The Spring 2014 issue of the Knight Letter arrived just as i was finishing Collected Works Book 11, and so got right to it.

There's a lot of light humor in the magazine, but one thing in particular made me laugh (links mine):

A chainsaw carving of a hookah-smoking caterpillar has been beheaded by vandals in Ripon, England. The statue had been commissioned by the local council to commemorate Lewis Carrol's visits to the down during his father's residency at Ripon Cathedral. Chainsaw artist Mick Burns (known localy as "Chainsaw Mick") was philosophical about the vandalism. "It's not the first time it's happened with my sculptures, it comes with the territory," he said.

User Journal

Journal: Chronicle: Homemade Oxiclean, Amazon Smile, & Amazon with FF 4

Journal by Chacham

Searching on Amazon for Oxiclean and reading the comments made the point of how expensive it was. Searching Google for homemade oxiclean returned a number of results such as this one.

After buying washing soda and hydrogen peroxide at Walmart, a big red cup (until one of its lines, estimating it was at least 12 ounces (1.5 cups)) was used to put equal amounts washing soda and peroxide in a 5 gallon bucket. After filling the bucket a little over halfway with hot water in the bathtub, in went some white shirts, towels, and a sheet that never seems to get clean at one end. A half-hour later, the now dirty water was was dumped and washed the items with other clothes went into the washer. It indeed get's everything white, what bleach alone did not do. Of course this time i did a pre-soak, which apparently makes all the difference.

Another page thinks this is still too expensive and recommends something at the dollar store. Kudos to her for the math.

On a side note, i started using Amazon Smile and chose a favored charity. The font came up small for me but i just increased the size. Seemingly, i only need it at checkout and Amazon reminds me sometimes about it. On a side side note, Amazon slows down FF terribly at times. I wonder if it is due to the plugins.

User Journal

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.

User Journal

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."

User Journal

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.

User Journal

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.

User Journal

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"

EARTH smog | bricks AIR -- mud -- FIRE soda water | tequila WATER

Working...