Archive for March, 2007

It Makes Sense

This might or might not have happened earlier. If it did happen, I might or might not have taken creative liberties.

Her: Hey, can you put that box of contact solution I bought away?
Me: What’s that over there?
Her: Oh, that’s more contact solution.
Me: You bought them both today? But it’s a different brand.
Her: Yeah, the first one was on sale.
Me: That doesn’t explain…
Her: But the other one is the brand I use.
Me: *blank stare*
Her: It makes sense.
Me: *Puts the contact solution (both of ’em) away*

Sometimes it’s better not to ask questions.

You Have Got To Be Kidding Me, Windows Mobile

I’ve already written about the ridiculous hoops Microsoft’s mobile operating system has made me jump through, but things only got worse tonight. I had actually reached an uneasy truce with the software, had set it up to my liking, and just about everything was working great. I’d even gone out and tried purchasing a couple of time waster games from Handango (gotta have something to play on long flights).

There were just two small things. The first is that Windows Mobile got caught by the Daylight Savings bug, so that every time I tried to sync it with my computer, it went back to being an hour behind schedule. I looked up how to fix it, but it required upgrading the syncing software to ActiveSync 4.5 rather than 4.0. There were some horror stories about that so I figured I’d survive for a few weeks with the clock being an hour off.

The other thing was that, as a few people had suggested, it’s not all that easy to scroll through your address book to make calls — especially when driving. So I figured I’d bite the bullet and get some voice recognition software. I bought one at Handango for $6… but it wouldn’t install. Every time I tried, it would cancel itself in the middle with no explanation. Over to the manufacturer’s website, and they note that I have the wrong version of Windows Mobile, but Sprint has an easy download upgrade package. Ah, great. And it’s just a minor upgrade 5.1.170 to 5.1.195. How much could possibly go wrong (hint: foreshadowing).

Yeah, so I click the link, download the 45 meg (that should have been a warning sign) upgrade file, and give a whirl… What does it do? It resets the entire phone. Suddenly everything I had set up, all the contacts I had put in, all the software I had bought and installed… gone. And, even better… I can’t get it to sync at all. What’s the problem? Well, it needs ActiveSync 4.5 rather than 4.0 — so I need to upgrade. Another big download, another crazy install process… and it requires me to restart my computer. Go do the reboot, and then… it’s still cranky. I do get my contacts back in (phew), but that’s it. It refuses to admit that any of my old software exists. In fact, the ActiveSync is downright rude about it:

“If a program you installed is not listed, the program was not designed to be used with your mobile device.”

Well, that’s just wrong. Not only was most of the software designed to work with my mobile device IT WAS WORKING with my mobile device until you pushed me to upgrade. The software files are still listed in the ActiveSync directory on my computer, but ActiveSync itself insists they don’t exist.

This isn’t exactly making me a fan of Microsoft’s mobile efforts…

On the plus side, the new versions of these software (a) have a built in voice dialing ($6 wasted apparently) and (b) no longer requires me to sync my email (which I never wanted to do in the first place). But, I’d rather just have kept my programs working (crazy as that may sound). Hell, even just being able to reinstall them would be nice.

Whatcha Gonna Do…?

Ok. Now that I’ve done the video blog thing and the photo blog thing, I might as well figure out how to do the music blog thing. I just installed the audio player plugin that plenty of sites seem to use and wanted to test it out with a few of the songs I’ve been listening to this week.

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

In theory, clicking on that sucker above should play three songs for you. For your listening pleasure, they’re three amazing new tracks from Vic Ruggiero’s latest (solo) album, Hamburguru, which (tragically and inexplicably) is only available in Japan… or through Chuck, which is how I scored my copy.

You know how sometimes when you’re in a group of people and a conversation wanders and wanders over time and then someone asks how you got from point A to point Z? And then people walk backwards through the string of the conversation to figure out all the twists and turns? I keep doing that with my life, where I start wondering how certain things happened that never would have happened if not for random event X so many years ago. With that in mind, I started wondering how I came to be listening to a Japanese CD from a guy in Brooklyn that I bought from a guy in Chicago, and realized that it’s a process that went back about 20 years or so. As I was looking for stuff to blog about, I figure I may run that string back to the beginning and see if I can figure out my music obsession from way back when. Should be a fun way to make use of the audio plugin at least. At my current pace of blogging, it may take a while to actually run through the whole string, and I imagine I’ll be posting other stuff during that time as well, but this should serve as at least mildly entertaining filler and/or random nostalgia depending on who you are (all three or four of you, that is).

Happy Cows…

One cool thing about having the new phone is that I’ve finally got a semi-decent camera phone. I guess I’ve had it for a while, but since it wasn’t my real phone, I never really thought about using it for taking photos. So now I can do posts like these, including some photos snapped with the cameraphone.

Way back when, Sunnia and I used to take our dog Sugar hiking in Sunol, which was a lot of fun. But, the hike is pretty strenuous and Sugar can’t handle it any more. However, for a couple weeks we’re taking care of Vince and Natasha’s dog (so they can go get married somewhere), Apple. And, since Sugar is still in Chicago and today turned into a gorgeous day, we thought we’d take Apple hiking in Sunol.


It really is a beautiful place, and is great for dogs because there’s also a nice creek that runs through part of it where the dogs can swim. I discovered a pretty cool feature of the cameraphone as well. It has a “sports” setting that will let you snap from 5 to 30 photos in rapid succession, which I tried to use (not all that successfully) to capture Apple chasing a stick in the creek.


As you walk up the hill, though, there are some great views.


At the top, you can look down on quite a view, with some huge birds (hawks? eagles?) flying around below you. I tried to take a photo of the birds, but I didn’t do a great job. You can still see some of the scenery, though.


The coolest part of hiking in Sunol, though, is that the hiking trail is actually through a cow pasture, and there are a lot of very big cows that don’t seem particularly afraid of you. Early on there was a fairly big cow that started jogging towards us and I began to get nervous… until Sunnia started “mooing” at it. She claims that all you need to do to stop a cow from charging you (and I’ll admit, the cow wasn’t charging, just jogging…) is make a loud mooing noise, and maybe raise your arms to look bigger. I’m not sure I believe her, but it seemed to work.

Of course, if you’ve seen the Real California Cheese commercials, you know that “happy cheese, comes from happy cows… and happy cows come from California.” So, here you go. Some happy California cows.


Not sure how interesting a blog post this is, but, hey, I’m still getting the hang of this blogging thing, and throw in that camera phone and, wow, two new things at once. Next thing you know, I’ll even be messing around with Flickr.