Thursday, February 26, 2009

Extreme Engineering

The series 'Extreme Engineering' from the Discovery Channel a few years back was recently added to the streaming section of Netflix. Thanks to my Roku Netflix box I can therefore watch them right on my TV. I have watched three of them so far, one on widening the Panama Canal, one on the Big Dig, and one on the Gotthard Tunnel in Switzerland. I have really enjoyed them! However, these construction projects really put the cost of the recent bailouts in perspective. For instance the Gotthard Tunnel is a 35 mile tunnel under the Swiss Alps that will end up being the largest tunnel ever built. They made a point in the documentary of trying to shock the viewer with just how expensive it is... 7 billion dollars. That is mice nuts compared to what our government recently gave to just AIG alone!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Chicken Soup!

My wife Jena and I have been feeling a little sick off and on for the past few weeks. Today we have really been trying to recuperate. We have been drinking tea all day long, taking vitamin C, and basically just trying to rest. Jena is of Jewish heritage and her Grandmother has a terrific homemade chicken soup recipe. We figured it only right to cook up a batch while we are on the mend. I am actually enjoying it right now as I write this. It came out perfectly.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009


I received a new laptop at work not too long ago. It came with Windows Vista. I may be slightly biased because I am a .NET developer, but I think Vista is actually pretty good. Since the release of Vista I have been hearing about Readyboost and the laptop came with a built in SDHC slot so I figured, what the heck! From what I understand Readyboost is basically using flash memory as a cache for your hard drive. The benefit is that flash memory has a really low seek time, so it should be able to retrieve frequently used files very quickly. Some USB drives are rated as Readyboost capable, however any memory that is fast enough will work. I decided to go with the SanDisk Ultra II which supposedly transfers at 15 MB/s. Somewhere I remember reading that Readyboost requires 5 MB/s. At first I was looking at the Ultra III (which is 20 MB/s) online, but it felt just a little too pricey compared to other cards with similar capacity. I finally pulled the trigger when I saw the 4GB Ultra II on sale at Circuit City for 20$ (Although it is slightly cheaper on Newegg). 4GB is the maximum size supported by Readyboost.

All in all I am impressed with Readyboost. My computer feels more responsive. After booting into Windows, it feels like I can start running programs and doing work right away, whereas before there was more of a pause as the computer got going. I also like that I can basically forget about it because of the internal SD slot. It wouldn't be as convenient if I had to remember to keep track of a USB Thumbdrive.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Longs Drugs

Near where I live a Hollywood Video went out of business not too long ago. In its place arose a Longs Drugs. Longs was literally open for a month and now it has also closed. There is a giant sign on the Von's down the street about transferring prescriptions. I have searched all over the internet and I can't find any information on this. It just seems bizarre. There is a CVS down the block, and I believe that CVS just bought Longs, so maybe that is why they shut it down. But then why wouldn't the prescriptions then transfer to CVS? The whole thing smells fishy to me.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


Ouch, its been 9 days since I last posted. My flower almost died. Anyway, I have a pet snake named Squeek and here is his very own post. Squeek is a Ball Python, he is around 4 feet long, and he is like fourteen or fifteen years old. The story goes that the first time Squeek ate a mouse, the mouse made a 'squeek' like sound as it died, and that is how he got his name. He is a hand-me-down snake, I have had him for about five years now.

I fed Squeek a gourmet medium rat about five days or so. I actually recorded it on video and I have been meaning to finish editing it so I could post it online. The soundtrack is the version of Mad World from Donnie Darko. I am now having second thoughts about posting the video, it made my wife cry. Anyway, late last night the rat came out the back-end of Squeek in the form of white chalky feces and a whole lot of piss. I just finished cleaning it all up, and I gave Squeek a nice bath to make sure he is squeaky clean!

After the bath I was able to take a neat close-up photo of him with his tongue sticking out. Too bad looking at that photo made me realize that I probably need to vacuum. Writing this post has also made me realize that the correct spelling of his name should probably be squeak. I have always spelled it squeek, I guess he gets to be cool and have a special spelling.