Thursday, April 27, 2006

Cellularly Enabled

I finally have a cell phone again. It is nice to have one but I miss my old one. The Samsung phone was really nice but the Sony-Ericsson I now have is also very nice, just smaller and lighter than the old phone. So far the user interface is also okay. There area few quirks to get used to, as in the phone is laid out opposite to the phone I had so I keep trying to press the clear button instead of the send button. But all in all, I didn't have to read the manual yet to learn how to do something. I am not sure I like my ringtone, or if I even remember what I chose for a ringtone. All of the ringtones where rather garish or hard on my ears. I may have to look into downloading a ringtone that is decent and memorable. So now the major thing to do is slowly build up the contacts file again. I have very few peoples phone numbers and I need to change that.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

The best trash

Why is it, that here in the States, people throw out items that just seem not trash worthy. I was living in a college town and rich college kids just throw out some of the greates and still useable stuff. So now I am near a large university but in the Boston area and still I see very useable things getting thrown out. By useable, I mean that I picked up a very nice table, a spice rack, a bookshelf, and a down comforter out of the trash once. Actually the down comforter was intercepted on the way to the trash. So the other day I was walking down to catch the subway when I pass someone throwing out a large wooden desk that was very reminiscent of my own large wooden desk. And otherthan the fact that I could not see the middle drawer, assuming it had a middle drawer, there was nothing wrong with this desk. It could have been sold or given away and yet there it sat on the side of the road destined for some landfill. It was very frustrating to see it there too as I could not just pick it up and even if I ran back for the car, I didn't have the roof rack or space to store it.

Come on people, it is a waste of landfill space. And if the desk was anything like mine, it was likely an old desk that they don't make anymore. What a waste. I know several people who would have liked to have it. This just means that I need to drive around on college move out day and pick up what I need then go shopping for that which I didn't find. I have actually made money from selling things picked out of the trash. For a 1$ investment, I fixed up a broken futon and sold it at a 49$ profit.

I am not implying Canadians are any better as I am sure there are people who throw out good stuff, but I think we try to get more out of out stuff before parting with them. It is more rare to see useful stuff on the side of the road. We are a very wasteful society and we should try to find ways to dispose of useful items in such a way that other people can pick them up and use them. I think more people need to look into joining Freecycle to ensure useful items are not being useful by filling up a landfill site.

On a slightly similar note, the landfill in Rhode Island is almost the highest point in the state. That is a sad state of affairs yet seems to sum everything up.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Harry Potter has arrived

So, I have finally broken down and started reading Harry Potter. I have not been able to put the books down, hence the lack of posts for the past few days. I managed to whip through the first three in no tme and have just started the fourth book yesterday. They are nice light reading. I can pick it up and drop it down with little loss making them great commuting books. I can get swept up in the story but it is still somewhat easy to put the book down when I have too. I have read some books in the past that have caught me up and held unto me until I finally finished the book at 2:00 in the morning.

So I got the iPod to work in read/write mode again by running a disk scan. I certainly hope that I don't have to do that everytime I want to read to the iPod. I am actually investing in a used G4 Mac. I should probably just switch the iPod over to PC mode but it was made to be in Mac mode and the computer was cheap. I figure this way, I can easily sync up with calendars, contacts, pictures, movies and music. The real kicker is that I can have music off the iPod at work too. So now I will have to figure out how to network a Mac with Linux as I am not moving all the music off the Linux box to the Mac. Hopefully it will not be too hard to get some sort of server exchange going that will allow iTunes to grab the music from one computer and plug it onto the iPod.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

iPod Video woes

So I finally got a replacement iPod for my poor stolen iPod. I decided to upgrade and get an iPod video 60G. And while I was at it, I picked up a nice hard shell case. Trouble is, the case does not fit correctly. The back face is supposed to snap onto the front face, but the iPod is just a little bit too big for the two faces to meet. I did not really notice this until my iPod was skittering across the floor as the case had fallen apart. Needless to say, I was quite upset to have had my iPod for only a few days and to have dropped it so soon. So as it stands, I have the front face attached to the iPod with the belt clip attached to that. That is one of the options available for this particular case. But in the end, that leaves the back of the iPod exposed to scratches and greasy fingerprints. I did try looking for another case, but few cases come with a belt clip that is detachable, and few come with a clip that is horizontal to the iPod. Most clips are vertical. Think about it, who really whats an iPod hanging from their belt that will be in the way of not only their pockets but will likely be a pain when sitting down. An iPod is no little thing to dangle off a belt, which makes it seem very strange that most manufacturers that offer a belt clip seem to all offer them in the vertical orientation. The rest must have a little bit of a clue but just not offering a belt clip.

I did manage to eventually get the iPod working under Linux. I was ahving trouble with getting read and write abilities but then I found out that Linux does not like a journalized HFS+. So I reformated to get rid of the journized filesystem and finally got read and write. I uploaded my songs then off I went. Now I find that I can't get read/write, only read, and I can't even plug it into the Mac at work. Something is wrong and I don't know what is going on. I will try to reformat the data partition again and see if that helps. Maybe the fall knocked it around too much and it is broken. I hope that is not the case. I will be at the mall tonight where there is an Apple store, so I think I will stop in and see what they have to say.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Trail Days - May 19-21

Trail days this year is May 19 to 21. I had heard great things about Trail Days from Northbounders last year, but I never had a chance to go to one. They are geared for the Northbounder, and as usual, us Southbounders are left out of the loop. Supposedly, this is a great place for people interested in thru-hiking, and a great place for people who have thru-hiked to meet up with friends they met on the trail. I would like to go but it is in Damascus Virginia and that is a bit of a hull to drive. Maybe I will try to set up for my next section hike to coincide with Trail Days so I can go to it. I had heard that vendors set up tables there and give out free samples. So it is NH, or at least it was in Hanover last year, that is closer and in the fall, so maybe I will try to get to that this year.

I can't wait to move, because then I will have all my camping gear available for use, amoung other things. I have been itching to get back out on the trail on some nice weekend hikes. I have been going for weekly day hikes at a local park, but backpacking is different. I did pick up my hiking sandals so I can start breaking my feet back into those. I have noticed they chafe a little in a few spots, so I have some calluses to build up. Guess my feet have gone soft over the winter. I will have to fix that.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Crazy Weekend

Any time I drive up to Montreal is a crazy weekend and this was no exception. It just seems like I have a million things I want to do and only enough time to do half of it. This weekend I needed to get some packing done for my move at the end of the month and to pick up a few things. I did remember to pick up my film for my camera but I think I forgot to get other small items. Nothing that was important so no big deal. So in the end, most of my bedroom is packed, with just a few books left and some clothes in the closet. I should be able to toss all that in one more box and be done with the bedroom. I also have to track down some stuff in the rest of the house. I have some flour jars and a cutting board in the kitchen, skis and kayak stuff in the garage. Boxes under the stairs and in the garage to be sorted out.

I meant to give the car a washing this weekend as it is long due for one. But unfortunately the weather decided to rain before I washed and not after. So no bath this weekend. It may just have to wait until after I move, hopefully the new place have a hose and spigot I can use. I gave my wax to my father so I will have to go get more sometime. The car needs work on it and I should start saving up for that. It is amazing how cars just seem to attract dings and dents when you are not looking. I expecially like how the car just seemed to lose part of the mirror housing. It is like it grew legs and walked off. There it was gone, not a sign of it anywhere and the mirror was cracked too. I think someone hit my car, cleaned up the mess then drove off, not that I can prove this.

Saturday, April 08, 2006

I'm bored

I really should be emailing people and getting together with friends and yet here I am bored with nothing to do on a Saturday night. Why do I always do this to myself. I know I dislike crowds but it almost seems like I purposely do this then try to blame other people for my supposed misery. Like they never gave me their phone number so how can I get in touch with them. I need a life and I need to figure out how to go about getting one or I will end up old, wrinkled and alone. I think I am reading for a bit then going to bed early tonight.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Meeting old friends

So there I was, trying to mind my own business this morning on a very crowded red line when someone comes over and calls my name. It took me a minute to place the face and she was just about to prompt with her name when I recognized her. So we took the next few stops to try to catch up. It was really quite nice. I had forgotten how many people I know in the area. I think I have more friends here in the short time I lived here than I do in Montreal. I would like to start getting out with people more often and reconnect. I think that will have to wait until after I move and settle in a bit. I feel like I am in limbo a little. I can't wait to get my stuff down here and start painting again. I will have my cats, or at least one of them, here with me too. Just a few more weeks.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Its Snowing!!!

Okay, who requested April flurries. I left for work this morning and it was cold but otherwise okay out. The sun was mostly behind ominous rain clouds but who would have suspected that those clouds would open up and drop snow instead. I heard one of the other commuters talking about how it was raining out but when I got off several stops later, it had morphed into large fluffy flakes of white stuff. Thankfully there was no accumulation. I do in a way want snow but not here in the city. I would rather see it out in the mountains as I still have to test a pair of YakTrax for BackPackGearTest. It will be hard to test them without snow. I was also thinking of testing them in mud, and wet leaves to see if they will help give better traction there too.

So another test series has been completed for BackPackGearTest. I have finished testing a leather boot sealant. It is beeswax based and actually quite nice. Too bad the only boots I had to test them on are kind of uncomfortable to wear. They are too rigid around my ankle for hiking in. They do work very well as winter boots as I have plenty of room for an extra layer of thick wool socks to keep my toes warm. I finally found a use for all those wool socks I knit and can't wear. I discovered I have tender feet, and knit socks are hard to walk on as they are rough on the inside. So I still have one more active series to finish testing and I have two more potential tests that I am waiting for to arrive. I was supposed to get a sleeping bag twice but those tests fell through. Too bad, I really want a down sleeping bag. There is still one outstanding test call for a down sleeping bag, otherwise, maybe next winter.

Birthday Cookies

So another year has pasted and I don't feel older or wiser, just more achy and I blame the thru-hike for that. It wasn't a bad birthday as birthdays go especially a large milestone as this one was. So I am 30 so what. Maybe it will catch up with me later when reality sets in or I fill out a survey and realize I am no longer in the 20-29 age bracket.

I got homemade, fresh from the oven, extra gooey chocolate chip cookies for my birthday. We did find out the hard way that the oven runs a little hotter than what the dial claims. Good thing I could smell them getting extra crispy. It actually cooked in 9 minutes and had a crispy exterior and a soft gooey interior. Very good. I may try to find a way to repeat that on a slightly lower setting so the outside doesn't get quite so dark. Normally my cookies are pale golden and slightly gooey in the center. These were almost like molten chocolate interiors. On that note, I am going to go and dream of molten chocolate chip cookies all day.

Sunday, April 02, 2006

On the trail again

It was just so beautiful this weekend that I just had to strap on some knee braces and hit the trails. I actually hit the trails yesterday and today and seemed to do well. I got to explore Breakheart Reservation a little bit in that I took paths I hadn't taken before. And it was absolutely gorgeous out. The sun was shining in a cloudless sky, I could see the Boston skyline and I could actually see the ocean too. I do have some minor discomfort in my back but the knees seem to be okay and the muscles were sore from Friday. I decided on Friday to rearrange some of the drawers in the lab. And rather than remove the contents to another drawer, I just pulled out the whole drawer and did a swap. Needless to say, all the bending over put a nice stretch through my hamstrings that are still sore today and likely will be tomorrow. I did get some stretching in before and after hiking so hopefully there will be a minimum of discomfort in that area.