There have been some largish life events, so I thought everyone might like an update.

First, I moved to Denver. Lauren got a job and her own apartment so she’s graciously taken me in. So that’s where I’ve been lately. We didn’t have internet for a while, and even still my computer is broken from the move. However, Lauren’s new computer, which she built herself, has been running swimmingly all day. So I write from it. For those of you concerned, I am consciously trying not to co-opt her new machine into my own, despite her generosity. I know it’s hers and I’m not going to take it over even if she lets me.

It’ll be a lot easier to do that if I can fix my machine. It boots up fine but after about five minutes the screen goes blank except for vertical lines. The color varies, sometimes black, sometimes brown, sometimes grey. Afterwards the fans run as if the machine is running normally, but I cannot even get the numLock light to go off on the keyboard. It has been suggested that it could be a problem with RAM, which I’m rooting for as an alternative to the video card. I haven’t done much work on it, yet, however, since first we had no internet and I had other pressing issues to tend to, and later Lauren’s computer build was in progress. Checking the RAM should be simple, but my graphics card is pressed right up next to the ram slots, so I cannot remove any w/o removing my GPU, so the process will be time consuming. If anyone has any ideas for fixes or diagnostic tests or whatever, please let me know.

While I’ve been here not on the internet I’ve been helping? get things set up. When I arrived there were numerous problems with the apartment that turned out all the be linked to an electrical issue. Only half the power the apartment was supposed to get was coming to us, so lots of stuff worked poorly or not at all. But they fixed that.

Then the internet was supposed to be flipped on, but it didn’t work and some guy from the ISP had to come fix something that was mislabeled, probably about 1 foot from where the electrical problem had been. After that was repaired I had to talk to customer service for around 45 minutes to actually get the modem/router thing to work, but we got it in the end and we haven’t had any internet related issues since.

The third thing to break was our water heater, which burst and started dripping water down right beside Lauren and I and all her shiny new computer parts. I suspect the heater would have burst a long time ago, but who knows how long it hadn’t been actually heating water because of the electrical issues. Lauren and I were right there luckily and got towels and bowls, and when it became clear it wasn’t slowing down I managed to pull a lever thing that seemed to stop the flow. A maintenance guy came and replaced it (with my help lifting) soon after, and everything’s been good on that front as well.

So the joke is that there’s not much left that can break before we’re fully refurnished. I just hope the toilet and other plumbing holds together.

Lauren and I also went to the Ren Faire w/ her sister, brolaw, and brolaw’s bro. Those are words, right? Shut up red squiggly lines. It was pretty nice, although, we left a bit earlier than we might have otherwise, due to incredible rain. I don’t think it rains like that in Kennewick. See video put together by brolaw, Kevin. Oh, also, constumes furnished by brolaw’s bro, Austin, so credit and thanks to him.

Next week is the long planned vacation to Grand Lake, similar to last year. So I will hopefully be away from the internet most of that week as well. If I’m online during day light it means the weather is not cooperating, and at night it probably means the fire ban is still in effect and I can’t make s’mores. 🙁 Will be way fun, though, rain or shine, fire or no. Mother is going to come down for part of the week this time so I probably won’t have to post as many pics to make her jealous.

Oh, also, toast/bread with peanut butter and banana, a long known deliciousness, is good with walnuts added. Just sprinkle them on there, press them into the gaps between the banana. We had leftover walnuts after making cookies and that’s how I’ve been getting rid of them. I recommend it.

Get on G+ if you want shorter, more frequent updates from me. Otherwise, I’ll try to update this a bit more than I have been of late. Peace.



I’ve written a screensaver. I wrote it for Lauren, cause she said she wanted one, so it’s mostly a gift for her, but you all can have it as well if you want. It was inspired by her love of the color picker. There is no version for you Mac or Linux people… so sorry. What you have to do if you want to try it out is

1. Download it (first link in this post)

2. Move the LaurenSaver.scr file into your C:/Windows/System32 folder

3. Go to your screensaver settings (depends on your version of Windows but you probably know how to do that right?)

4. Change your screensaver to LaurenSaver

5. Click Settings to customize the settings. LaurenSaver has a setting for everyone! 🙂

6. Enjoy

If you have any problems let me know. I am also interested in bug reports and feature requests, just get a hold of me somehow. And if you are some coder guy who wants the source code I can give you that to, just shoot me a message.


WIDLM: Dancing

Pat got married, for any of you don’t know, and I was at the wedding. There was no dancing at the wedding. Well, actually, I take that back. There was a little, if you use a broad definition. At the reception afterward, though, there was much dancing. Luckily, I didn’t have to participate hardly at all. Me having to dance is the kind of dancing I most despise. I don’t really care if other people do it. I just don’t really get it.

People say it’s liberating or freeing or whatever, and I can sorta see how that could be true. I don’t think I need to be much more liberated than I am, though. I’m pretty sure I’m immobile in my most perfectly free state. Perhaps that’s not true for everyone. I don’t think it’s really all that liberating anyway. It’s true that you’re not constrained by the normal societal rules, but you enter into a new set of rules. You’re supposed to move much more than normal, but it’s not as though there are no limitations or judgments made. Maybe in modern dance class, but not in the normal world. *shrug*

Personally, I just can’t get into dancing, so I can’t really do it. I can do it for like 5 seconds as a joke, but I’ve got nothing sustaining it. It is an emotion based activity, and my emotions are pretty limited, or absent, or constrained, or something. As a result, when I have to do it, it’s very unpleasant. Hence the WIDLM.

Anyway, I’m glad Lauren didn’t make me dance. That was nice of her. I hope everyone else that was dancing was having fun at it. Seemed like they were. Good party Pat’s wife’s dad.



No… I like Q the character. I mean ‘Q’… the letter. Lauren brought it up today, while we were playing Bananagrams. Why do we need ‘Q’. It isn’t useful. What word with ‘Q’ wouldn’t be equally well served with a ‘C’ or a ‘K’? Maybe it was needed in the past but it seems vestigial to me and I think we should get rid of it. Get the alphabet down to a round 25. Word games would be a lot easier, but that wouldn’t ruin them. Some of them might need reworking is all. Oo… there’d be a spare key on keyboards. I’m sure the benefits are ennumerable and great. Let’s get on this people.



I got back from Colorado, had a great time, but this is not the time for that. This is the time to rant about how my internet was broken when I got back. And I couldn’t fix it. And I couldn’t get help. I did fix it, just now, somehow. I don’t really know how. Pure luck or something they did on their end finally probably. I’m pretty sure my internet was broken since the 19th. Totally ridiculous.

When I went to my ISP’s website (on Lauren‘s computer on the other internet in the house) and tried to get help, the webpage broke and said that it was in an infinite referral loop. Are you joking? When I did get the number I had to do the obligatory computer run around, and I finally talked to someone who transferred me w/o warning to some other computer thing that didn’t understand my phone’s inputs so I gave up.

My internet is a shambles for what I pay for it. I blame the government, and I call upon the government to fix it. Or something.

I’m not really that mad. I’m mostly just glad it came back. And Sidney and Dan are here. And I’m making cookies. 🙂


WIDLM: The anti-rangers

Lauren dibs this topic first, but I think we’ve decided that they’re so bad we can both write about them. The title is not clear, but I’m talking about people at national parks and stuff that don’t follow the rules, like stay on the path and don’t feed the wildlife. We’ve seen a few of those people up here, and it’s sad. Lauren hasn’t written her post yet, so I don’t know what she’ll focus on, but I’m going to propose a solution.

I think we should have some website where you can submit photos of these offenders. The parks service would have then review them to make sure they were violating a law and then use facial recognition to penalize/bill them appropriately. They could make it mandatory when coming into the park to sign up and have your mug shot or whatever, if need be. Anyway, facial recognition could make them pay for the damage they do, at least a little, and the law abiding among us could feel useful by snapping pics of the offenders.

So, come to the future parks service. Let’s fine those bastards.


WIDLM: WordPress

Really not all of WordPress. Just the interface to add a new post needs to be updated. I run this blog with WordPress, if you couldn’t tell. On Lauren‘s tiny laptop the text box is covered up by all the side options. On my huge monitor, the text entry field is all tiny and most of the screen is filled with useless closed boxes or white space. I don’t like it. Maybe now that I am posting at least once a week I’ll be motivated to actually change it.

Well, that’s all I got for this week. I’ll try to be more full of hate in the future.


WIDLM: Security Lines

Everyone dislikes security lines, but I dislike them more than most. A lot of people look at them a necessary evil, or think that security needs to be even tighter, but I think that the security we do have is ineffectual as security, and a bane to the economy and life in general.

I know most people don’t think of it like this, but wasting time is like murdering someone a little. I mean, if someone locked me up in jail, wrongly, for the next 70 years of my life, people would think that that’s pretty terrible. About as bad as if they’d just killed me. Well, what about 35 years? 5? Well, obviously wasting 5 years is much worse than wasting an hour, but an hour is still an hour and I’m never gonna get it back.

2,819 people were killed in the terrorist attacks on 9/11. Let’s estimate that since then the average early arrival time at an airport has increased by half an hour. Using studies mentioned here as a guide. According to, “there are 809,611,003 airline passengers who traveled in America for the year 2008”. Let’s round that to 800M and apply it to each of the 10 years since 2001. That’s 8B passengers each losing .5 hours for a total of 4B hours lost. Quick math puts that at 5,846 American lives. So in the 10 years since 9/11 we’ve more than doubled their damage for them, if you follow the logic.

Maybe you don’t agree with the logic exactly, but even if things are only 1/10th as bad as I think, that’s still awful. Is it worth the price? It’s not like they’ve actually stopped anyone. Every major terrorist plot that’s been subverted since 9/11 has been subverted after they already boarded the plane. And this analysis doesn’t include invasion of privacy, racial profiling, and inconvenience from other stupid security policies like taking off shoes and not allowing liquids.

Anyway, this rant has been part of WIDLM, or What I Don’t Like Monday’s. It something Mitch, Katie, and I kinda thought of to as a nice counter to Lauren‘s What I Like Wednesdays. Hopefully Lauren will join in.

Things I think Update

Yay. A new video.



Some stories are 1 part mystery 1 part romance or 1 part danger 1 part triumph. This story is 1 part shopping 1 part stochasticity.

On a Monday afternoon a young couple goes into Costco. They shop happily enough, joking and sampling, agonizing about whether to get guacamole, unaware that disaster is so near. They purchase their few selections and enjoy some food court refreshment, still unaware of the DISASTER lurking. They approach the exit, receipt ready. She begins looking in her purse, “Why can I never find my keys?!?!” He looks to his right, past the girl, eyes lazy but something gets through. “Those kinda look like your keys,” he says, also lazily. Ice cream and heat make him lazy. She looks, “OMG!” They step slightly out of line. The customer service woman hangs up. “These are my keys.” “They were found outside.” “Do I have to show…” “No.” They rejoin the line and live happily ever after.