Tuesday, December 29, 2009

What did you get ?

Yes it's better to give than to receive, but I'm just a boy in a man's world, so I like "receiving" :)
Here's some examples of my 2009 Christmas spoil:

Leatherman Blast. I have several junky imitations, but this is my first "quality" example. What a well-made piece of gear. God bless America.



Coghlan's Sierra Saw. I've wanted one of these for a while, and the hint dropping paid off. This will no doubt come in handy for those unexpected anti-green fits of tree-cutting rage...much quieter than the proverbial chainsaw too :)

Double StoveTop Sandwich Cooker. I never thought much about these, but it might be a nice camping accessory.



Legacy of Laughter: A book to curl up with.



LED Light: I'm overdosing on LED lights, but this one has a nickel metal hydride battery pack, supposedly better than an older one that I have. It comes with 110v and 12v charging cords.

What did you get ?

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Boxing Day Brunch

It's a good thing I didn't overdo it yesterday with the turkey ingestion because today's Brunch was pretty indulgent. See here for the steak and egg toast recipe.





Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Oh Christmas Tree

The silly looking bound and gagged tree has been freed, and is starting to look the part. Me and the boys unwaveringly voted down the intentions of another "dweller" to go with that awful gold leafy icky look with only white lights. We want color !! It's not done yet, but here's what we have so far:

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Console Repair Guy

UPDATE: Since I wrote this 3 years ago, I've heard nothing but negative reports about this guy. Additionally, when my repair failed, repeated attempts to contact him were not successful. I don't want to badmouth anyone. I had one short-lived good experience but the repair did not last...


If you need a game console fixed, may I wholeheartedly recommend:
Background: Joel's "out of warranty" 80gig PS3 packed it in, and Sony wanted just shy of $200 to fix it. A difficult decision since the new "slim" 120gig version's price had just dropped to $299. I opted to get him the new machine. While looking on Kijiji, I found an ad from The Console Repair Guy. I sent him an email outlining the problem, and he concluded a new laser unit was needed, and that he would charge me $95. Short story longer, for that $95, he came to my house and picked up the PS3, and also delivered it back to the front door, repaired; all for about half of what Sony Canada wanted.
Outcome: Both Joel and James now have a PS3, meaning they have to find something else to fight over (the snow shovel maybe?)...

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Decluttering vs. Christmas

Ok I'm suspending the "Decluttering" initiative until the new year. I've had 2 bouts of cold/flu/bronchitis so far this month, and the Christmas preparations have fallen behind. I must play a little catch-up. We have not had a real tree for the last few years, so we decided it was time to play "non-conforming conformists" and get one at the local tree-man stand. 35 bucks was a bit of an "ouch" but it's here, and it's up. No decorations yet but we still have time :)


Now that the tree is in hand, I almost forgot about the homemade root beer. It only takes an hour or so to whip up a 20 litre batch. oops, got to run to the water and wine store for extract and bottle caps. This year, a combination of old Pepsi bottles from PEI, even older 300ml Pop Shoppe bottles, and some classic Coke bottles of the 237ml "2-sip" variety..done:

See last year's here...

Thursday, December 17, 2009

The mercury doth plummet...

We've started burning wood pretty much full time now. Until this week, I've been burning pellets in the wood stove via a pellet basket. The photo below shows the indoor and outdoor temperatures late last night:

 By this morning, things had cooled somewhat, both in and out. The indoor fell overnight by almost 3 degrees, while outdoors it went from -9 to -12. I could have kept the indoor from falling, but by doing so, I might have had to light the fire again. So far, this was the coldest night of the season.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Decluttering, Week 14

Still plowing through the home office junk...
  1. PowerColor ATI 9200SE Radeon Video Card, fried, garbage
  2. 3 more phone books/yellow pages, curb recycle
  3. 2008 Page-a-day calender, (still at Jan 1st), curb recycle
  4. Smoke Detector, garbage
  5. Yet another Computer Tower, recycle
  6. IBM PCMCIA SCSI Card w/ centronics cable, garbage
  7. IBM Etherjet ISA card, garbage
  8. SONY NP-66H Camcorder Battery, recycle
  9. Creative Labs CD-ROM (1994), recycle
  10. AA Flashlight, garbage

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Linux in a Windows world ?

I guess I'm a bit strange when it comes to computers, if not in other ways. I tend to lag behind in technology, and see little wisdom in buying the latest greatest at the premium price. Consequently, our home computers have largely been running Windows 98SE or some flavor of Linux. Of course Windows 98 is no longer a viable option, and Linux is synonymous with "work". Last Christmas, I got Debbie a Netbook running Linpus Linux. It has worked well overall, but Acer's support is far from perfect. Often, a "live update" will alter permissions on certain files and render things unworkable until a search of the latest online user forums reveals a solution. I have a pretty good unix/linux background, but most normal people would just abandon the thing, or buy a Mac even. Additionally, these Netbooks with the Atom N270 processor are not fast. Browsing the web and viewing Youtube videos can be a bit  troublesome. Further to this, printing has been problematic under Linux. I've tried several different approaches, CUPS, HP Linux packages etc but none work right, if at all. So, our little HP P1005 printer can't be exploited. Nor can our 4x6 HP photo printer. Add kids with Ipods to the mix and it gets to be too much. What's my point? Well, I needed a cheap solution so I bought a cheap "off lease" IBM ThinkCentre from Staples. On sale for under $200. For me, its biggest selling feature was the included XP Pro CD/License. (An XP Pro CD still retails for about $180 in Halifax). With free delivery, it arrived at the door the next day. You get what you pay for, of course, but I think this will work just fine for now. It's a P4 3ghz small footprint box with an 80 gig drive, 1 gig of ram, and 8 USB ports. I can scrounge a bigger drive and more memory. Now I should be able to toss two or three older machines :)

 
 
 

Habs squeeze into 8th in the east

I have to comment on my favorite team, and last night's game against Ottawa. Halak stopped 44 of 45 shots. Ottawa failed to cash in on seven power play chances, resulting in a 4-1 win for the Habs. This is significant in that it moved Montreal into 8th place in the East...lest we lose hope  :)



Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Decluttering, Week 13

A little late again, but I'm still at it. From a "confession" viewpoint, I'm not really seeing much difference. That statement should provide some insight into just how much stuff I have amassed over the years. I have alot of books and magazines and I hate throwing them out. I'm sick really though aint I ? Take number 9 below for example. The Datsun 210 was Debbie's, and we got rid of it in 1988 or so. What was I keeping it for an extra 20 years "just in case" ???
  1. Bag of magazines, curb recycle
  2. Incandescent Outdoor Christmas Lights, garbage
  3. Outdoor Light gutter clips, garbage
  4. La Crosse Indoor/Outdoor Thermometer, junk, garbage
  5. Desk Lamp, busted, garbage
  6. Old motion detector/alarm, garbage
  7. Another old Pentium 3 Tower, recycle
  8. Quicken 6 for DOS, garbage
  9. Haynes Datsun 210 Shop Manual, recycle
  10. Programming in Basic Plus, recycle

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Good News...

I don't know if it's a sign of age, but I routinely find myself surfing over to my hometown newspaper website to check out the obituaries. The paper / site are updated twice weekly, and I was happy to see that for the whole month of November, I was greeted to a "nobody died" report. I realize that we all have an appointment with death, but it's good to see a whole deathless month  :)


Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decluttering, Week 12

Continuing with the home office purge this week. Not as much as I had hoped and a bit late, but a nasty flu has knocked me down a bit:

  1. Old Jacket, garbage
  2. Old IBM PS/2 mouse, garbage
  3. Old 9-pin <->DIN cable, garbage
  4. 64 meg expansion board ??, garbage
  5. "Old" Adaptec 2130 MFM Disk Controller, garbage
  6. 3.5" Floppies, garbage
  7. Old Phone Books, curb recycle
  8. more magazines, curb recycle
  9. Fundamentals of Nursing (huge), gave away
  10. Medical-surgical Nursing (huge), gave away
lots more to come...