Monday, November 29, 2010

new office

We just moved to a new office this week, and we got all kinds of fancy new modular furniture. so one of the things that is possible with this stuff is that the desks can be raised and i can set myself up with a standing height keyboard and monitor. apparently that's alot healthier for you than sitting at a desk 8 hours a day. Although most of these studies seem a bit exaggerated. however, why not give it a try? it might keep me from falling asleep sometime. next step: treadmill desk.

Friday, November 26, 2010

black friday my ass

i've decided that black friday is a complete waste of time.

yesterday i was quite insomniac in the evening, despite a large and pretty heavy thanksgiving dinner. i played dragon age late into the night and soon i decided it might be worthwhile to stay up to see what black friday deals are available, even though i had sworn i wouldn't do any of this stupid consumerist nonsense this year.

i remembered the one thing i did kind of want - a dremel set - and home depot would be a good place to go because i needed to return some other stuff and buy more plastic wrap for the windows. so i looked it up, there seemed to be a deal, and off i set toward home depot.

but first i wanted to check on microcenter - they have some sort of deal for a GPS system, who doesnt? but compared to amazon, this garmin nuvi seemed to be a pretty good deal in store. so i drive there first, which is the complete opposite direction of home depot.

there is a line of people waiting outside, and in my mind i think maybe microcenter opens at 8 (it's only 7) and i laugh at the fools standing outside in the rain waiting for the doorbuster. then i drive to home depot, get a nice dremel for $20 less than its usual price, and start heading back. it's now 7:45 as i pull into microcenter. the line's a bit longer but not appreciably. and i get tired. so i decide to take a nap until 8:05, just to let everyone bust in the door, do their thing, and if there's still a nuvi left i'd take it.

at 8:05 there's still a line that's not moving. i take another 10 minute nap. by this time i am dreaming of all sorts of weird things in my car. when i wake up, i notice the same people in line, but one or two people are exiting the store. what, they let you in one by one to buy what you want, then force everyone else to wait outside, prioritized by who is the most greedy and willing to get up at ungodly hours to buy temporary happiness in the form of portable electronics? yes.

some part of me, whether it's pride, laziness, or sleep deprivation, forbade me to enter that charade. i was already ashamed of having come to microcenter twice after declaring to everyone at thanksgiving dinner that i would not be up at 5 to shop. i drove home, happy to be free of this consumer culture that plagues america. i went home happily with a dremel set.

of course, now that i'm on the computer i went back onto amazon...they have an online black friday special as i got a different gps system for a bit less, and it's probably the same anyways. so yes, i did succumb to the greed of america. but i did it in a modern way.

motorcycle tales 2

recently i was able to finish my motorcycle light installation. this is kind of how it went.

after taking out the old lights, reusing the wires that connected to the motorcycle by twisting the wires together with the new light fixtures, and using a 1003 bulb instead of a 1073 bulb, it was time to make things permanent. i bought a soldering iron but it didnt have a stand (i later saw the actual stand) so i used what i could - an empty wine bottle makes a the perfect classy soldering iron stand.

after soldering, the lights were in their fixtures and ready to be inserted. I used a dremel that the bus driver from work loaned me. dremels are useful tools. i was able to cut a small hole in the fairing of the motorcycle where the old lights attached, without doing too much damage. and finally, the lights just slid right in, the base plate fit well, and the wires clipped right into the old attachments inside the bike.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

my stomach as a child

i was browsing reddit today and randomly came across a post reminding us how this got us all free pizzas as a child:

it randomly brought up a memory of when i was in elementary school. there was a program (school district sponsored?) where if you get a good report card, straight A's or gold stars or whatever they give you in elementary school, you could take the report card to redeem a personal size pizza.

we did it once. we took the report card to the local Kmart. and turns out you get the pizza from the layaway department, the place in the way back of the store where returns are processed. i wonder why they have pizzas there too. but i got my personal pizza, it was a small, circular cheese pizza, cut into four slices. i guess i was expecting one of the gooey cheese and pepperoni pizzas you see in ninja turtles. but oh well, it was free food, and we were a chinese immigrant family.

but maybe it was my lactose intolerance, but i ate a quarter of that pizza on the way back, and immediately felt sick, and threw up all the pizza in the car. i never finished the rest of the pizza, and never got straight A's again. well, not as far as Kmart could tell.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

corner office conversations

I have my office on kind of a corner in the hallway - where it starts to change direction. for some reason, that makes snippets of conversation much easier to hear. as people come around the corner, their conversation instantly becomes audible, then almost instantly goes out of range, giving me a short window to listen in at the most strange moments.

overheard today:

A: beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
B: well, i guess so...
A: i mean, it's all a concept.
B: well is it new bacon, or is it "been in your mouth" bacon?
A: oh, of course it's new bacon!
B: ok then of course that makes sense.

Thursday, November 4, 2010


last week, i officially successfully got my first bag of crap on w00t! after a week of waiting, and receiving a ton of other things (a monopod from woot, motorcycle pants, a package of amazon food, and a soldering iron, see previous post) i finally got the bag of crap today.

and it came in a huge box that weighed 4.1 lbs so from the start i knew it wasn't a big screen tv or an xbox 360. but all i wanted was for there to be NO screaming woot monkey. those things suck ass.

and the official stash is:

3 garden sprinkler stakes (looked like sais to me)
3 hdmi cable bending connectors
1 pga golf hat
1 pga bookbag
1 carabiner camera - pink with flowers
1 citronella mosquito repellant lamp

kinda cool - no real bags of crap.

motorcycle tales

i received a package recently that was sent from thailand with very unreadable markings on it. i was scared for a second then i realized i had purchased some flush mount turn signals from a company called, and it turns out they are located in thailand and ship direct. so here's the blog story documenting my first attempt at modding my bike with aftermarket products.

near the end of summer (september) i was riding down broadway and had a small accident. it was basically caused by the lack of paving on prospect which was a huge mess at that time, a little girl on a tricycle crossing the road, and a left turn. i remember thinking this is a typical accident situation, when my eyes met hers, then her dad's eyes, and i knew i had to stop and risk the skid. my back wheel slid out and i remember looking sideways at the road and my bike handle bars, and thinking SHIT my light broke off.

after the father helped me pick up my bike i rode off again after taking some pictures...but those are pretty useless so i never did anything with them. my knee kind of hurt and had a small scrape through the jeans, but my shoulder and arm were perfectly fine. i didn't even notice that the armored jacket had gotten scratched up until later...thank goodness for shoulder pads.

so i took the opportunity to replace my turn signals with flush mounts, which i feel might look better, and definitely won't snap off next time i take a fall. they came a few weeks after i ordered them, with everything except instructions.

then i had to search around to figure out how to install them. fortunately, keithinasia is a very popular seller and provider of kawasaki ninja 250 lights, and there are many forums where people have complete instructions on how to install his flush mounts. so the only thing i could do was go in, and try to pull out the lights.

the light fixture itself was attached by a few screws which came out easily. the wiring kind of plugged into another pair of wires that were inside the motorcycle frame and harder to get to, but they were pretty easy to pop out of the connector. however, i found out that the original bulb does not fit inside the flush mount enclosure - it was a 1073 bulb, and i had to go to advance autoparts to buy a similar but smaller bulb (1003). however, later i plugged it in and it works just as well, and is bright enough.

i would use the old fixture's wire connectors by cutting them off and soldering it to the wires on the flush mount fixture. i plugged everything in and hooked it back into the motorcycle and the turn signals seem to work fine. the next step would be to actually cut the fairing on the motorcycle so the back of the flush mount fits...because if the front is flush, all the crap sticks out the back. that's to come later.