kadenza: (do it)
So today I had my first outdoor run of the year. It was -1°, but I just bought a running jacket the other day and thought it was a good time to give it a test. All the winter gear was 50% off at the Salomon store. Having never run in the cold, I eventually decided on a thermal shirt, the light jacket, long leggings, wool socks and one of those earwarmer headbands. I was quite comfortable once I got going.

I was keen to finally test my new Garmin watch. Unfortunately, it didn't actually finish acquiring satellites until I was already 1.8 km in, at Castle Frank (the green marker). After months in the gym, I was again amazed at how interesting it is to run outside--I didn't even notice I forgot my ipod until I was practically halfway done. I enjoyed looking in all the windows of the high end stores on Bloor St. For example, Coach had a hideous dinosaur sweater in the window that probably cost like $1000.
[ETA: it's actually $695, I was not too far off].

Of course, the cool part was getting home and downloading all the info from the watch, including elevation and temperature. My average speed was 9.5 kph, which is my usual setting on the treadmill at the gym; it pleases me that I can keep it up when out in the real world. I ran to Bathurst and then turned around. Every time another km had passed, the watch beeped and told me my pace (I didn't actually read the manual, so all this was all a surprise to me). I could see that I was definitely slowing down during the second half.

I think it's neat you can even see the places where I crossed the street.

kadenza: (nophoto)
My Galaxy S4, after months of odd behaviour, finally stopped charging altogether on Sunday and became a useless phone-shaped object. This was actually something of a relief to me, since I figured it would probably happen only after the warranty expired. So fortunately, it crapped out with a whole month to spare. They took it back at the Wind store with no problems, even though I couldn't find  my original receipt, and gave me this sweet flip phone as a loaner. If I want to text, I have to use multi-tap. In other words, I don't want to text.



In the background is my new cashmere warp. I guess I really like grey stripes.
kadenza: (facepalm)
I've noticed that people now like to message exclusively on Facebook. Like, at no point do they suggest that we switch to email, or even ask for my email address. My latest customer is one such person. After about the 70th message I finally asked if we could switch over, because the PM thread was just getting so long I could no longer keep track of it, and there is no search function. Anyway, I feel kind of sad that email seems to be for "old" people now, like a VCR that is flashing 12:00.

(what's a VCR? My own daughter doesn't even know what a DVD player is.)

Strange...

Mar. 25th, 2014 10:58 am
kadenza: (?)
 Without any notice from Shapeways, my necklace has been reinstated. My only indication that it I was back in business was a sales notification last week. I had another sale yesterday, and a third this morning. Google Analytics isn't giving me any clues where the sudden spike in traffic is coming from... so that's a mystery, but I won't complain. I dare not ask Shapeways what's going on, in case it was a mistake and they take it down again.

For the record, Shapeways is not exactly a ticket to early retirement--so far I've earned $7, and they only let you cash out when your profits total $30.
kadenza: (test pattern)

• We had a good time with some LJ people I'm too lazy to tag at Esc-It on Saturday night (they lock you in a room, you have 45 minutes to get out). It was fun, but we failed. There was a logical leap we just utterly failed to make, and it seemed so obvious once it was explained to us. Fooling around with that burned up way too much of our time, though we also had some technical difficulties with one of the four locks. Before we dropped her off at her grandparents' place, Nat was begging us to take a screwdriver. She was afraid we would be trapped forever.

• Still being child-free, we spent Sunday morning downtown around our old 'hood and had brunch at Le Petit Dejuner for old time's sake. I ate what was supposed to be a cheese croquette and ended up with a big mouthful of beef. It was so not cheese. I'm still feeling squicked out about it, and they really didn't seem to care. The rest of the food was actually pretty mediocre, and we won't be going back. The lineup outside is really undeserved.

• I scored a typewriter afterwards at the Sunday antique market. The ribbon is kind of dried out, but otherwise it's in amazing condition. It smells kind of like it's been in an old lady's attic for the last 50 years, so I stuffed a bunch of lavender sachets into the case. It probably won't help.

Pretty sweet, isn't it?

IMG_20140316_105554

Shapeways!

Jun. 25th, 2013 07:36 pm
kadenza: (yeah)
I'm having a bit of a nerdgasm over my first Shapeways order, which arrived today. It's my first 3D printing experience, and I can't quite get over the fact that two weeks ago it was a design on my screen, and today I'm holding it in my hand. I am living in the FUTURE! I've been turning it over and over to check it out from every angle, and having CAD flashbacks. Apart from the fact that it took a ridiculous amount of packaging--about a 6" square box filled with bubble wrap for a 3 cm piece--I couldn't be happier with the whole process. I think if I were to change anything, I would make the jump ring a bit more robust. All this for $14 (plus shipping). Next time I might try for the polished silver, which is still only $41.

screenshot2 IMG_2061

Here is my model and the real thing (in bronze)
kadenza: (hammer)
Last night I got hit with some type of malware. I'm still not exactly sure what happened, but to the best of my recollection I was minding my own business looking at Flickr and clicked a link in someone's comment, which led to some type of 404 error which led to some other site that brought up a warning in Chrome about how that site could potentially harm my computer. I closed it and went back to Flickr and forgot all about it until about five minutes later when I was suddenly barraged with a crazy variety of popups, sound files and strange icons appearing in my system tray. It seems that the malicious software had managed to install itself and was disguised as the Windows security thing, with the little shield and everything. Nefarious. I had about 6 or 7 little bubbles popping up begging me to start a virus check and I had no idea which were real and which were fake. Meanwhile some video or sound file was blaring at me in Chinese and shortcuts to porn sites were materializing on my desktop. In retrospect I probably should have just turned it off and started in safe mode, but instead I dicked around in Task Manager for a while trying to manually close things which I'm sure just made it worse. When the crisis seemed to be over I attempted a few restarts, and nothing happened-- the screen just went black. Oh dear. Then I went to bed. I wasn't as filled with dread as I was that time a few weeks ago when the hard drive was lost, because now we have a backup system and everything worth anything is safely stored on it.

This morning I woke with a clear mind and started up in Safe Mode, ran Search & Destroy (oh man, it found a ton of stuff) and then did a system restore. System restore, I love you. I'm back in business. Now I've got to find some way to make sure that doesn't happen again, but I'm not quite sure what.
kadenza: (horrible)
I checked the UPS tracking info on my package from Tiger Direct this morning to see how it was coming along. To my astonishment it said "Delivered at 8 p.m.". Marshall opened the door and there it was. It sat out on the porch all night and somehow managed to not be stolen. We were here but didn't hear any doorbell or knock. So anyway hooray, we now have a (very cold) 1.5 TB network backup system, but I'm kind of peeved at UPS.

I don't know if I mentioned that the hard drive situation from a few weeks back was completely resolved. Acer gave our old drive back, we had it cloned, and everything is back to normal. All my applications etc. are back and still working, all pictures and files are right were I left them. The dude who did the cloning said that the old drive had thousands of bad sectors and was not long for this world.

Relief

Nov. 12th, 2009 08:58 pm
kadenza: (yay)
Happy to say that the hard drive errant has been returned... temporarily, at least. Marshall drove out to the depot and was prepared for another battle, but when he asked for the drive they said, "Sure!" and brought it out 5 minutes later. We do have to return it after the transferring is done, but we have 15 days to take care of that. O, sweet RELIEF.

As for the doctor thing, that will be resolved tomorrow one way or the other. As [livejournal.com profile] travellight suggested, if the wheels of justice set in motion by my own GP do not yield results, I will encamp myself in their office and refuse to leave until I get some.

Bah

Nov. 12th, 2009 03:52 pm
kadenza: (heinous)
I try not to bitch too much in my journal, but this day has been simply sucktastic. As some facebook readers already know, my laptop was FedExed back home today after nearly a week at the repair depot out in Mississauga. It went in for a noisy fan. It came back with a new hard drive. And no, I didn't back it up first. Everything, everything, everything was on that hard drive. Every picture I've taken since April 08. My entire music collection. Many vital work files. Every time I think of something new that I'll never get back, I feel a wave of nausea. Anyway, Marshall spent a fruitless 45 mins. on the phone arguing with tech support and then finally decided to just drive out there and demand the old one back, though I believe it has probably been pressed into a tiny cube by now. I know it was very stupid not to make a backup, but how can they decide to just change the hard drive without calling first?

To add to my aggravation, I still have not heard back from Nat's pediatrician regarding her bloodwork. On Friday, I called to ask if they were in yet and the receptionist said yes, but "there's a problem, and the doctor will have to call you herself." Ok, I'm not the most paranoid parent on earth, but even I have limits. You can't go telling me there's a "problem" and then not get back to me for a week. On Monday I called back, and have called back every day since. The receptionist doesn't even have to ask who I am anymore. Finally today in desperation I called my own family doctor to ask if he had heard anything (I saw he had been CCd on the bloodwork requisition). This isn't even his case anymore but he's already called me twice to let me know what he's found out (so far, diddly). My nerves are shot and I'd like this day to just be over already.

Duh

Sep. 18th, 2009 09:08 am
kadenza: (duh)
It seems to take us a while to figure things out. We have a ton of unwatched tv shows etc. stored on the laptop but no easy way to get them to the TV. Then last week Marshall's friend told him about this thing he has that is essentially a hard drive with an HDMI port which he downloads his shows onto and then plugs into his TV. Sounds ideal, but I was browsing around on Tiger Direct last night looking at these "multimedia players" and they were several hundred bucks, and for some of them the hard drive was not even included. The specs sounded strangely familiar: HDD, USB ports, graphic interface, wireless connectivity, HDMI output. Um... I think we already have something like that, and it's called the Playstation. I threw an episode on my USB key and ran upstairs to test it out. I didn't even need to transfer it, it played straight from the key full screen, and it looked amazing. Not quite HD, but I'd say better than DVD.

So anyway, duh. It was one of those moments where I felt smart and dumb at the same time.
kadenza: (carcassonne)
Skype, you're on notice... G-chat has implemented a new video/voice thing and it seems to work really well. [livejournal.com profile] newschick and I gave it a test run yesterday.

This morning at about 4:30 we woke up to the disturbing sound of water dripping somewhere in the house. Turns out rainwater was coming in through the bathroom fan vent and dripping down onto the toilet and floor. After cleaning up and placing buckets, getting back to sleep while worrying about soggy walls and joists was not so easy.

The roofing guys have just left after sealing up every seam they could find on the flat roof (which was just replaced in August). Fingers crossed that does the trick. If not, I hope finding the source of the leak doesn't involve too much ripping up of drywall and ceilings. When your house is 97 years old, things like this are bound to come up, I guess. I do miss the condo at times like these.
kadenza: (intermission)
So we have finally cut our last Rogers tie as of yesterday, and our cable internets will be replaced by Tek Savvy DSL by Thursday. As I'm pretty sure I mentioned before, we gave Rogers cable and phone the boot a few weeks ago. They allowed us to buy our own modem, which arrived on Friday.

The good: Primus home phone. It's cheaper, but has more features. We discovered yesterday we have call waiting and also some type of telemarketer blocking service. Whenever one calls, we dial *44 afterwards and they're blocked for evarr. I'm looking forward to using it on this mysterious 123-456-7890 number that calls practically every day, and there's never even anyone there.

The ehh: I'm not thrilled with Bell ExpressVu. I still can't figure out where a lot of my favourite shows are, the remote is completely non-intuitive, and several channels that we used to consider "basic" are mysteriously not included (like CNN!) unless we get a specialty package. The PVR is dumber than the Rogers one and a lot of things about it bug me. Also, I'm pretty sure the HD looks slightly more washed out than before. Anyway, the frigging satellite thing is bolted to our roof and we have a 2-yr contract so it's not like we can do much about that.

The bad which became good: We finally accumulated enough Airmiles for our PS3, but it was on that very day they gave away their last one, and they've been out of stock ever since. When I called, the woman suggested we just redeem a crapload of Bay/Zellers gift cards with our points and buy one at the store. This was a great idea and saved us several hundred Airmiles. In fact, it meant I was able to pick up a sound dock for my ipod as well. There is something to be said for things that are free.
kadenza: (baleeted)
There is a Bell dude on our roof at this very moment installing an ExpressVu satellite dish thingy. Marshall is just champing at the bit for him to finish so he can call Rogers and tell them to eff off. New service provider summary:

Phone: Primus
TV: Bell
Interwebs: TekSavvy

So thanks, locals, for your recommendations on this matter. We will be saving about $30/month.
We already got a call from Rogers' "customer satisfaction team" asking why we switched phone providers.

In other news, PayPal naturally ruled in my favour and $71 was credited to my Mastercard. Huzzah.

In other other news, we finally accumulated enough airmiles for a PS3 yesterday, only to find out they had just given away the last one. Booo. I guess it will be a while longer.

Oh, Rogers

Jan. 22nd, 2008 10:43 am
kadenza: (duh)
It all started a few days ago when we received a flyer in the mail from Rogers Cable, informing us that they were raising our rates. We got all keen on the idea of either cancelling a bunch of channels we don't use, or maybe even cancelling cable altogether. Whee! So Marshie gave them a call and it turned out we could actually get rid of a lot of the VIP package and just keep basic cable plus the HD channels we like, saving maybe $40 per month. Ok, sounds good. After maybe 45 minutes of discussion, the Rogers rep said he couldn't actually make any changes because our account has been flagged with "missing equipment". He transferred Marshie to Accounts where they told him we had not returned our old cable modem or PVR, and they had therefore charged us $800. Beg PARDON? Yes, a month ago we moved and a dude came to hook up our stuff. He gave us an updated PVR and modem, and took the old ones away. But they have no record of it. No, we did not keep your crappy old crap. Yet we are somehow on the hook for the equipment they lost. Naturally we are not going to pay, but several days have gone by, the warehouse has been searched and the stuff has not turned up. Yesterday when Marshie called, they said they didn't even have a record of the technician visiting in the first place. Rogers, you can suck it.

Now Marshie is talking about cancelling everything, including internet, because we have many free wi-fi signals from around the 'hood (the one I'm using now has the mysterious name 'Princess'). I don't think we should rely solely on stolen interwebs, but something should definitely be done.
kadenza: (duh)
So when I picked up my new phone on Sunday, the dude at the phone cart wrote me out a long list of instructions on how to get my old number ported to my new phone. Switching from Rogers to Fido, and the fact that my old phone was in Marshall's name resulted in further complications.

He told me to:
1. Call Fido and transfer ownership of the new phone to Marshall.
2. Have Marshall call Rogers and get them to port the number to Fido.
3. Have Marshall call Fido and transfer ownership back to me.
4. Call Rogers and get them to cancel the old account.
5. Wait 15 days.

What I actually did:
1. Call Fido and ask them to port my old number to my new phone.
By yesterday afternoon, it was done. So, duh.
kadenza: (macpc)
I had a makeout dream starring John Hodgman just before waking up this morning.

Speaking of the areas of my expertise, I am scheduled to visit a friend of my parents' this afternoon to help him learn Excel. I called him a few days ago to ask specifically what he wants to learn, since it's not my greatest strength. Does he want to sort the data? No. Does he want to perform calculations? No. He wants to learn how to type words into the cells, and make it so the cells fit the words. That seems to be pretty much it. I tried to just tell him over the phone, but he said no no no, I can't learn like that. Whatever.

He also wants to know a few more things about Photoshop, so there is an upside. Plus the part where he pays me.
kadenza: (Default)
The Handycam, at long last, is fixed. After wasting time with the repair shop last year, this time I took it right to the top and went to Sony HQ. In less than 24 hours I got a call to tell me it was ready. Another vital piece of info for this story is that our TV went in for an adjustment last week-- though only a month old, it had started to buzz like an old neon sign and was driving us insane.

So today I went back to Sony and was paying for the camera repair (which thankfully only included labour), when two guys emerged from the back wheeling a TV on a cart to the loading dock. I recognized it immediately.

Me: That's my TV.
Sony lady: Yeah, really, eh? Just put it in my trunk, that's what I tell 'em.
Me: No, seriously, it's my TV. It came in for repairs last week.
Sony lady: Really? Wow, you've had a bad week!
Me: Tell me about it. [waving to TV] See you at home!

Sure enough, as soon as I stepped in the door I got a call from the repair shop that the TV was back from Sony and ready for delivery (it's way too big to fit in our Civic). Now please, everyone, for the love of God, just stay fixed.
kadenza: (stunta)
I've been busy lately, so sincere apologies to my bleary-eyed fans who have been frantically hitting Refresh lo these many days. I've been working on a fairly large project with a fairly tight deadline, but it's nearly finished. It's been fun, but trying at times.

I've sent out 18 Gmail invites in just the last three days. Fark.com has a request list for people who need them and I've been inviting random Commonwealth Farkers from all over the place, and receiving nice thank-you notes back. I will be sorry when Gmail goes live as it's been kind of fun.

Our LCD monitor has been acting out of sorts, still can't quite nail down why. Whenever I do something graphically intense (and as a graphic designer, this is quite often), the screen goes black for a second or so. It's irritating as hell.

For some low-tech fun, Marshall hooked up his old Commodore 64 over the weekend and we played a number of our favourite games. He also showed me some stuff he programmed from scratch when he was 12 or so that absolutely blew me away (including an animation of himself chugging a can of Coke, and belching afterwards). He was a very smart kid. I told him that back when he was a young nerd, he probably never imagined that he'd be playing on his C-64 with his wife some day.

Sad Camera

Feb. 10th, 2004 05:43 pm
kadenza: (Default)
There is little doubt in my mind now that our digital Handycam, one month past warranty, is very sick.
I performed several tests on it this afternoon to try to get a better understanding of what goes wrong and when, so I could explain it fully to a repair person. I tried different things with different tapes, and the results were fairly, but not entirely, consistent.

In no way do I believe that my LJ readership cares and/or has any experience troubleshooting video equipment, but I want to get the details down. So, just keep on a-scrolling... nothing to see here. )

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kadenza: (Default)
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