Tuesday, July 31, 2007

System Restore Works

A few days ago, I told my new home system to safely remove the flash drive from the USB port I plugged it into, but instead chose the controller for the two DVD drives in the system. uh oh. Went to play Railroads!, no cd drive found, rebooted the system, only the two internal hard drives found, no optical drives. Argh. Dug through the carry-all bag that came with the system and found the driver cd. Popped it in, went to device manager and tried to update the controller's driver. Unable to read from the drive! Rebooted into system setup and changed the boot order to the first DVD drive, put in the XP Media Edition restore disk I got from the manufacturer, system booted fine from the drive. So the drive can be read, windows just forgot how to talk to it. I was this close to re-partitioning the drive, re-formatting the partitions, and re-installing the operating system when I finally remembered, system restore. Took the bootable disk out of the first DVD drive and went back into windows, launched the system restore tool and picked a checkpoint from the week before. Rebooted the system again, and my drives all appeared! Launched Railroads! just fine, launched another game from the other drive, whew! Must stop scaring myself and just remember to use the tools that I have.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Sneaky Prius

There is a hybrid car in the subterranean parking garage here that scares me half to death. It is as quiet as a mouse, and when I'm walking through the garage to the elevators, I don't ever hear it coming. It should beep or whine, or something. Too quiet.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Side of living here

I'm easly amused while driving, another LA driver saw this and I thought it was cool too. You might follow that link and think the same.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Training Ball over the Shirt off my Back

Strange doings over the past week or so. Most of the time was spent downtown, either at work or at Dodger Stadium for dinner and a show. What great shows they were. Even the ones lost were very close, or offensive see-saw battles. Except for one, but I didn't really expect for them to win six in a row. Most of the season it was hard to win three in the row, so five was a treat! Have been spending a lot of time in a new circle in the club overlooking the game. Have gotten to know more about A, his wife L, their daughter J, and heard about son M more in the last week than I ever knew before. They even sat at the window with me and bought a few of my meals. How cool is that? It was hard for them to let me pay for anything, but I was able to grab the check a time or two. See, they didn't have to sit in their hot seats during day games, nor sit at the bar only to cool off, they could sit down by the glass and watch a panoramic view of the game in air conditioned comfort. Of course we could have all stayed at home, but it's the company we keep that helps to define us. During the night games, as I would enter and leave, a woman commented that she liked my dodger shirt. It was not my favorite one, and instead of smiling and thanking her, I just commented that it was the browniest one I own, and hurried out the door down to my seat. I should have stayed and talked, and if I had been thinking, I would have. I haven't bantered longer than a few minutes with a woman in months, and here was one willing to risk a comment. It might even be the one that wanted to buy my shirt the week before.
Wait, I need to explain that one. I'm sitting at the stadium club bar finishing my last beer about twenty minutes after a Tuesday night game some time back. A couple of blonds were on my left and during the eighth and ninth innings were surrounded by a half dozen yokels having a grand time. When the game ended, the gaggle left the place leaving the two of them alone to joke with the bartenders. When one of them quizzed about them no longer being surrounded, she responded that now she could pay all of her attention on him. I thought I only muttered 'lucky you' but he wheeled and said that it could be on you Proto. Now knowing my name she and her sister ask about the baseball I was semi-juggling. I told them that it was an 'official training ball' that I caught during batting practice, and showed them the stamp saying so. The younger one asked what I was going to do with it. I answered that I would put it on a shelf with twenty or so others, until a nephew or niece came over and wanted to play catch. I don't think I have that many, but I said it anyways. The elder then commented that she like my shirt and offered to buy it from me. She started saying that the style of shirt I was wearing was no longer for sale in the stadium stores. It was, for over two years, why didn't she get one then? After pondering that one out loud, I mentioned that my rates were not reasonable and the bidding would have to start over one hundred dollars. After saying that she didn't like the brownish ones that were on sale now, she then remarked that she knew I had another shirt underneath, and started counting with twenty, then thirty, and finally fifty. I shook my head at each offer and they packed up and started to leave. As they went to pass me towards the exit, I extended the training ball and offered that to her.
"For me?"
"really? a present"
"absolutely, I have plenty."
With a girlish grin she skips off with her new toy after her younger partner, and I get a warm feeling of proving that there are nice guys in the world. Even if they won't sell their blue and white Hawaiian pattern Dodger shirts off their backs to them.
That was a long explanation, but it helped me remember it.
The Dodgers are away until the thirty first of July, so maybe I'll gamble a little this next weekend, and catch up on the hamsters in big blunder 8, too. Neither of which will improve my conversation skills, yet they entertain me.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Eighth of Forty, to Where?

Something strange is afoot. I find myself playing just well enough to get into the money, then make a big play, get knocked out, collect my prize and go home. Once I make it into the money, I don't seem to care about getting higher and maybe even placing first. Is it because I do not want to fill out a W2 or get a 1099 for the higher amounts? Maybe. Then I would have to start verifying all of my losses to counter against winnings. This 'hobby that pays for itself' is starting to get into a dangerous range. Cash games are not a reporting problem, just have to keep track. I use a statistics database created by another player. Tournaments would seem the same, but they are not. If you make twelve hundred or more, the amount has to be reported. Some states, like mine, it has to be reported at six hundred and up. Five hundred and ninety nine and below, no form is required. When the prize money gets that high, I seem not to be at the top of my game. Could be the late hour, and knowing that my alarm is going to go off at five thirty in the morning, then again, it could be just avoiding the paperwork. Let's say I made fifty dollars an hour at work, a ten hour day would be five hundred bucks. If I made that much the night before in a tournament, should I think about changing careers? No. Not at this stage. Wins are not packed close enough together, and I love what I do for work, and they like me doing it too. Maybe I'll just keep it to weekends and stay away from weeknight tournaments. I started to write about how the new format at the local club took my suggestion and is only paying one place per table of entrants. Last Monday night it was four tables so only four places paid. When it got down to eight of us, someone suggested that we pay fifty bucks for all, taking four hundred out of the prize pool for the top four. We all agreed. Next hand the suggester goes all in for twice my stack. I look down at ace-king of diamonds, hesitate knowing how loose he plays, and three to act behind me. I know I'm getting fifty no matter what, and call. He shows two black queens, I don't improve on the flop, turn, nor river and am out in eighth place. A fun race, one that I won an hour earlier, but not now. Collect my fifty bucks and head for the door. Getting up Tuesday morning on four hours sleep was not fun. Why do I do this to myself? Well, as fun as it is, I'm not doing it anymore. I think I'll stick to the weekend tournaments at the bigger clubs around town. It's a little more expensive than playing at this little club, and the prize money is better, but the field of players is also larger and it will be more of a test to get to that final table. The skills are improving, the books are being re-read, all I need now is a wish of luck.

Monday, July 9, 2007

Was your Fourth happy?

My mostly was, watched the fireworks at the stadium with some buddies, though driving home in an open convertible whilst various neighborhoods were shooting off missiles into the air with their reports booming all around me was a little scary. At least none landed in the car. Did see Live Free or Die Hard that day, and had a blast watching all of the amazing stunts in that film. Critics be damned, I had a good time. Saw the Transformers last Friday afternoon. Wow! Nice work with the CGI and the continuation of the mythos of autobots and decepticons. A very loud movie too. The only bad thing last week was the Dodgers having to lose four in a row before finally winning one yesterday. Well, it's one in a row now! After the all-star break, the season will resume it's march to the October playoffs. My fingers are crossed. Fires breakout, water intakes are found to have mussels after their spawning time upstream, water pumps being shutdown because of endangered smelt fish, lack of rain during the last year, all make for a doubling of water rates. Watched an episode of Big Brother 8 Sunday night. A new bunch of misfit hamsters act out for our viewing pleasure. Not sure exactly why I like this show so much. I do not subscribe to the live feeds, but I do read some forums that describe the feeds now and then. Strange, strange, strange. A new computer/phone was announced today at http://www.openmoko.com/ and http://www.openmoko.org/ Looks like something cool for the phone hacker in you!