Mike’s Dump

November 14, 2005

Sandy’s Horniest Moment Ever

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 2:31 am

I never have and probably never will again see Sandy this horny. See for yourself.

Family at Montanas

It was Sandy’s birthday over the weekend and we took the kids and her
family to Montana’s. Going to Montana’s was Isabelle’s choice because
this is where we went for my birthday during the summer. Isabelle’s
favourite part of going to the restaurant was I had to wear deer
antlers while the staff sang to me. Now that Sandy and I have both had
this wonderful opportunity for public humiliation I don’t think we will
go back for future birthdays. The advantage I had over Sandy is I knew
to bring the camera!

The other entertaining moment at the restaurant was when Erika noticed
the stuffed caribou head mounted on the wall. At first she didn’t know
what to think of it. After a few minutes of staring she stood up in her
high chair and started chanting at the top of her lungs, “moose, my
supper”.

Erika was worried the stuff animal hung at least 10 feet above us was
going to eat her supper. We tried to convince her the caribou wasn’t
going to try any of her food but you could tell she didn’t believe it.
I watched as she grabbed a French fry, without lifting her head, her
eyes rose slowly to look at the caribou to ensure it wasn’t seeking up
on her. (I hate it when that happens to me)

Erika appears to be over the “fluff phobia” but still can’t stand
floating toys in the bathtub. We can now add taxidermied (what do you
call that?) animals to the list.
Family at Montanas

September 28, 2005

Wake me up when September ends

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 2:34 pm

The title of this post is the name of a song by Green Day from the
American Idiot album. This is my song of the day. Correction, it has
been my song for the month.

I’ve complained about the service I’ve received on my laptop here and
here. I thought it was about time to phone again to get an update. I
was extremely excited to actually get someone that answered the phone
within the first couple of rings. The answer I received on the progress
of my laptop is more inline with what I have come to expect. The quote,
“I know that the laptop was received [by the company repairing it] but
I have no idea when it will be completed. When we get it back we will
call you”.

Using my extended warranty to have my laptop fixed has been like a
going to see a bad movie that has been hyped up to be the next Oscar
winner. You have high hopes the movie is worth your time and money.
When you get to the movie it starts ok. You sit and wait for it to get
better and live up to the hype but it deteriorates. Just when you think
it can’t get any worse the hidden ankle and wrist restraints come out
and bind you to the chair. A dark figure slowly comes into focus on the
screen and you hear “hey buuuudy”. Oh, yeah, it is a cameo appearance
from Pauly Shore! You can’t get out. You can’t plug your ears or gouge
out your eyes. You must sit and wait for the end. Knowing that the end
has to come sooner or later you just hope you can hold on without
incurring any permanent mental trauma.

The laptop phone call was pretty minor. I didn’t stress at all over it and it isn’t why I’m waiting for September to end.

We bought a digital camera a couple years ago (just after Erika was
born). I think we paid about $380 for the Kodak 3.1 mega-pixel camera.
I don’t believe we have had a single complaint about the camera. A
couple months ago the little piece of plastic that holds in the
batteries broke. The camera was still usable as long as you used your
thumb to hold the batteries in place. It was a pain so we had it sent
away for repair. Well� I found out on Sunday that Kodak would like $400
to fix the camera. Now let’s think about it, I paid $380 for the camera
and they want $400 to fix it. I don’t think I’ll be repairing the
camera. When I looked at the camera before sending it away it looked
like the whole case might need to be replaced but I guessed 100 bucks
tops.

The camera news was pretty minor. I didn’t stress at all over it and it isn’t why I’m waiting for September to end.

Sandy took the van in for the 40000 KM check-up. The dealership changed
the oil, rotated and balanced the tires, did something to the brakes,
and a wheel alignment. Five-hundred fifty dollars later we have our van
back. In the notes it said the power steering fluid is very dirty and
the engine needs to be wash. Both of these weren’t completed today.
Looking at the details of the bill I was shaking my head because we
spent $160 on the tires (rotation and alignment) without getting any
tires. I don’t doubt for a second that people question where all the
money goes when having software developed. I guess today is one of
those days that I sit in the customer’s seat and wonder the same thing.

The van repair bill was pretty minor (in the grand scheme of things). I
didn’t stress at all over it and that isn’t why I’m waiting for
September to end.

Wednesday’s I come home early because Sandy works in the evening. Today
was no different. I come home kiss the kids and Sandy hello, power up
the work laptop and log in to check my work email. Whoops, not today.
Today I had trouble trying to connect through the VPN. I thought my
wireless router was giving me grief so I went downstairs and threw it
against the wall a couple times (I mean cycle the power. I only threw
it against the wall in my head). Checking again, I then had a wireless
connection but still no connectivity to the internet. Ok I try one of
the other computers. Nope, nothing. I finally figured out I wasn’t
getting an external IP through my wireless router.

Reluctantly I decided to phone TELUS. Being in the middle of the labour
dispute I was convinced I’d be on hold longer than I would at Best Buy.
I have to say that I was very impressed. I didn’t have to wait for help
at all. After some troubleshooting and the tech checking my account
there was an answer. I recently signed up for the 2.5 Mb service
because the only thing it costs me is to lock in with TELUS (which I
did for 3 years). The problem was in order to receive the new service
my existing modem would have to be replaced (would have been nice to
know when signing up). The new modem was sent out last week (which I
learned about today). Once I get then modem I’m suppose to hook it up
and my account will be configured September 30th. No internet
connection until the 30th!

So please, wake me up, when September ends.

September 22, 2005

I’m Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 3:20 pm

I have been putting it off, putting it off and putting it off. I’ve
finally got around to replacing the hard drive that I knew would fail
back in June (I don’t procrastinate at all). What pushed me to finally
buying the drive and installing it was the fact the files were becoming
inaccessible (not a good feature in a hard drive).

Instead of having 242 GB of storage I now have 402 GB. Two 200 GB
drives and 2 GB drive for the OS. The first 200 GB drive is full of…
umm media. No it’s not porn or is my plan to acquire 400 GB of porn.
Can you imagine how much porn that would be though? Really, I’m sure if
someone tried to watch that much porn non stop they would just die.

Anyways, I’m hoping to have another outage in the near future. I would
like to get away from hosting myself and try out http://www.webhost4life.com.
The prices seem good and I haven’t heard anything bad about it.

September 15, 2005

Missing the Point

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 2:04 pm

I read this the other day and I had to shake my head. I think it is great that the Canadian government is talking about introducing a do-not-call list like the USA has but when you start reading the exceptions the entire purpose is lost.

These include exceptions for charities, political parties, polling companies, and businesses with existing business relationships

Most of the “spam” phone calls that I get are from either charities or companies that I already deal with that are trying to get more of my money. Sandy and I donate to different charities over the year but I never give to a charity that phones me. We gave to a charity once over the phone and they started calling us twice as much.
I’m still waiting for someone to come out with a system that I can program in what phone numbers I want to accept calls from. Anything else would get routed to an answering machine without ringing my phone. It would have to work without the phone ringing because those people don’t give up until you answer!

One or more files from the Emulator for Windows CE installation is missing

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:36 am

I have been trying to do some work on a CE.NET application using the emulator and ran across a problem. When I attempted to launch the emulator I would receive the following error:
Emulator for Windows CE
One or more files from the Emulator for Windows CE installation is missing.
Please reinstall Emulator for Windows CE and try again.

I’m using XP SP2, VS.NET 2003, on a Dell D610 (Pentium M). My VS.NET (2003) installation is quite recent but I attempted the installation repair option anyways. This changed nothing. After a little bit of digging I came across a couple knowledge base articles
http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;883989
This one wasn’t my particular issue but it had a link to the following article:
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/891667/
This page had a few different instructions but didn’t actually try them. I opened my boot.ini and added the /NoExecute=AlwaysOff option. I found this on another page but I don’t remember where.
Later I found that /execute = /NoExecute=AlwaysOff at http://www.sysinternals.com/Information/bootini.html so following the above instructions would have worked for me.
After a reboot I tried again and my emulator started working.
This link describes the different settings for DEP in the boot.ini. Based on what I read disabling this feature is a potential security risk because it attempts to protect from buffer overflows.
http://support.microsoft.com/kb/875352

Best Buy Jeopardy!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 11:20 am

Mike: I’ll take Best Buy for $200, Alex
Alex: Turn around time is one week
Mike: What is the amount of time a customer is told it will take to repair a laptop when it’s dropped off?
Alex: Correct
Mike: I’ll take Best Buy for $400, Alex
Alex: Ha, ha, ha, no minimum two weeks
Mike: What the customer service representative says when a customer checks on the progress of a laptop to be repaired after one week?
Alex: Correct
Mike: Best Buy for $600, Alex.
Alex: 20
Mike: What is the number of times the telephone rings before being returned to the automated menu system?
Alex: Correct. We would have also accepted; what is the minimum wait in person for your sick wife to find out when they told you your laptop was fixed they meant that it hadn’t been sent away yet?

Mike: I’ll take Best Buy for $800
{Cheesy sound effect}
Alex: You have found the daily double. How much would you like to wager Mike?
Mike: All of it
Alex: For a true daily double here is your answer. If it came up and bit Best Buy in its collective ass they would have no clue what it is.
Mike: What is customer service?
Alex: Correct
{Applause}
I don’t seem bitter do I? Today is probably the closest in my life I’ve come to completely freaking out on someone. I was just waiting for someone to answer the phone so I could start yelling. If I was there in person I would probably go all Steve Balmer on them. There is nothing like a little game of Jeopardy to take the edge off.
I was really happy to hear yesterday my laptop was fixed and ready for pickup. When Sandy phoned me to tell me about her experience with Best Buy’s customer service and the fact that they don’t have a clue what they are doing (based on the fact that my laptop hadn’t been shipped out for repair yet let alone fixed) I was extremely pissed off.
To make matters worse I tried calling Best Buy to ask what is going on with my laptop. It appears their phone answering capability got worse since I phoned last because it took me half an hour to get through to somebody (either on hold or the phone just kept on ringing). When I finally was able to speak with someone I did my best to remain calm. I would say I had limited success 🙂
I just want my laptop fixed is that really too much to ask? Hopefully Sulley will be back next week.

September 10, 2005

Sulley Please Come Back

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 2:52 am

Jealously is a horrible thing. I’ve been spending a lot of time with
Dell lately. Late nights, early mornings, breakfast, lunch and supper
sometimes. Dell goes with me everywhere. I’m convinced with all the
extra time that I’ve spent with Dell over the past few weeks Sulley
became jealous. This jealously reached its peak about a week ago
getting so bad that Sulley isn’t communicating with me anymore. Sulley,
my Toshiba laptop which has been my primary computer for the past two
years, won’t boot up.

I had bought the extended warranty on my laptop assuming that if
anything went wrong I could just take it in, it would be fixed and life
would be good. I bought it hoping like any other type of insurance that
I would never need to use it. When Sulley (named after a character from
Mosters Inc because it is big and blue) would no longer boot up I
thought at least I have a year left on my warranty.

I dug up my warranty information and phoned Best Buy. That initial
phone call should have been my first indication of what the customer
service would be like. I listened to the first 3 options on the
automated response and pressed 3. Listened to 7 more options and
pressed 7. Three more options and I pushed the final option
(interesting that it was always the last option). Satisfied that I
successfully navigated the phone options the phone began to ring. Ring
and ring and ring� the phone rang at least twenty times so I hung up. I
was frustrated to begin with because my laptop wasn’t working and now
the company that is supposed to give me support doesn’t answer their
phone.

I phoned back and instead of going through the customer service/repair
option I push the computer sales option. Hmmm, someone picks up on the
first ring. I explain the situation and they transfer me over to the
same department that didn’t bother to answer my call the first time but
this time I got through. I explain one more time my problem and they
said, yep sounds like a hardware issue bring it on in. Before I hung up
the phone I asked what the turn around time would be and I was told
about one week.

Almost a week later I phoned in again (through the same painful set of
options) with no success on the first attempt. Instead of hanging up
after 20-25 rings I waited and was sent back to the last menu and where
I pushed the same option again. Ten more rings and I get a hold of
someone (seemed like they like the phone as much as I do). When I
inform the person that I dropped off my laptop last week and I wanted
to know its status the response I got was laughter. That’s right, they
laughed at me because I wanted to know how my laptop was doing after
nearly a week. I wasn’t all that amused so in a very serious tone I
said I was told it should be done within a week. The guy on the other
end managed to stop laughing and said sorry sir we have so many
computers to work on that there is a two week waiting period before
they can even get to my computer.

I was thinking about the phone call afterwards. The first guy on the
phone tells me about a week (I think he was a salesperson) and the guy
doing the actual work says bare minimum two weeks. Wow, does that
situation ever sound familiar.

Being the customer in this experience I would have been disappointed if
I was told in the beginning it would be a minimum of two weeks before
my computer would be looked at. But if I was told the realistic time up
front my expectations would have been set properly. Even if they do
complete the repairs to my satisfaction what I will remember the most
is that I was told a week but that estimate wasn’t even close.

The moral of the story isn’t to set realistic customer expectations up
front. It isn’t to make sure the people doing the work give the
estimates. The more of the story is you should never ignore your
computer. If you choose to make sure you get a backup before they leave
you otherwise they don’t take half of what you put into the
relationship they take it all!

August 27, 2005

Yeah, it smells like old cheesies

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 5:14 pm

Everyday something new and interesting comes out of the girl’s mouths.
Most days I’m ok with what comes out as long as it doesn’t force me to
change my clothes or hit me direct in the face. Today it was Isabelle’s
turn to say something blog worthy.

Isabelle, being in the same room as Erika, provided me with the initial
intelligence. I walked into the bedroom and realized my mission was
clear. I told Erika it’s time to change he stinky bum. Isabelle pipes
up and says, “Yeah, it smells like old cheesies”. Of course my reaction
was to take notice of what I’ve been trying to avoid (the overpowering
smell filling the room). Yep, old cheesies, it was a good description

I may never look at cheesies the same way again, ever.

Cheesies

Well I’m off to vacuum the corn pops from my bed.

Note to self: Sure they gotta have their pops but they need to sit on Sandy’s side of the bed.

August 21, 2005

69, dudes. Whoa!

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 2:38 pm

[Bill and Ted meet themselves]
Ted: OK wait. If you guys are really us, what number are we thinking of?
Bill, Ted: 69, dudes.
Bill, Ted: Whoa.

Yeah! This is my 69th post. To mark this milestone I was going to write
something deep and meaningful. Something that would make people laugh
and cry, something that would change the world. After thinking for all
of five minutes I realized that I had nothing so the plan changed to
why I blog and what’s next?

When I started blogging I had absolutely no plan or goals. Even now I
wouldn’t say that I have a plan. The name that I picked for my blog,
Mike’s Dump summed up what I thought my blog would be about. My blog
would be a place for me to do a brain dump on whatever came to mind
whether it is good or bad.

I find it a lot easier to write when I’m a little fired up which is why
several of my posts are me venting about something or someone. This
venting helps me relax the same way that programming does (or coffee
and Friday lunches). The benefits to blogging over coding are it
doesn’t take as long to write a post compared to programming. When I
code I’m just trying to put whatever is bothering out of my mind
instead of facing it head on. I probably could get the same mental
release by simply writing in a diary but I couldn’t find a book with a
built in spellchecker.

Something interesting I have found over the past few months is many
times I discover how I feel about the topic while I’m writing. For
example I’ve wanted to write this post for a longtime but haven’t
thought about why I blog until today. Self-discovery is one of the
unexpected benefits that I have gained by blogging. And yes, when I’m
making a self-discovery both of my hands are on the keyboard in case
you were wondering.

Going forward, I think Mike’s dump will always be a dumping ground for
whatever is grinding my gears though I have been giving much thought
about blogging on other topics. I haven’t decided if I’ll add the posts
here under a different category or maybe start a new blog altogether.
Odds are against me writing on the finer points agriculture but some
combination between writing about what I know and what I don’t know to
provide an opportunity to learn something new is what I want to try.

A post that I read not too long ago that I thought was amazing was show
don’t tell. The author wanted to communicate one idea; “A good team
leader provides inspiration by setting a positive example”. It may
sound cheesy but I was inspired after seeing how the author expanded
this one idea into a four-hundred word story. In coding terms I saw the
story like using a design pattern to solve a programming problem
compared to using the dreaded “GOTO”. I would like to improve my
written communication to that same elegance.

Well, Erika is screaming so there must be some fluff in her toes. Time to go rescue her.

August 19, 2005

These are the Bloggers in Your Neighborhood

Filed under: Uncategorized — mikesdump @ 10:22 am

These are the bloggers in my neighborhood
In my neighborhood
In my neigh-bor-hood
Oh
These are the bloggers in my neighborhood
They’re the bloggers that you meet
When you’re walking down the street
They’re the blog-gers that you meet
Each daaaaaay

I’ve had that stuck in my head all-day. I feel much better now.

If you want to find the bloggers in your neighborhood check out Feed Map.

I haven’t been feeling well for the past couple of days so when I
wasn’t sleeping or watching Lord of the Rings I thought I’d check who
is blogging in the Edmonton area. Coding in an Igloo happened to be the first blog I decided to
look at.

As I mentioned to kill time when I couldn’t sleep I was watching Lord
of the Rings. There came a scene with Arwen played by Liv Tyler, which
reminded me of something that happened at work the other day. To make a
long story short somebody had typed “Go *uck my elf”. What they meant
to type was “Go *uck myself” (sounds much better right? (All in fun of
course)). When I read this I laughed and for whatever reason the first
elf that came to mind was one of the Keebler elves and not Arwen.
If you were going to be intimate with an elf which one would you pick?

Keebler Elf
Liv Tyler Arwen

I got a little off topic there, anyways, when I read the first post about building the
data model “to bind them all” it peaked my interest. When I finally got
to the post where
the author associates all the people that he is working with to LOTR
characters I had to keep on reading (I’ll have to try that some time).
There was some funny stuff there.

So go read the tales of the Igloo coder, add yourself to Feed map, and let me know which elf turns your crank.

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