Jeff & I have been invited to a Halloween party Friday night. The invitiations didn’t say anything about costumes, so I entered into a state of willing suspension of disbelief WRT needing a costume. As you can see, I take costumes very seriously and given the hecticness of my schedule this week (Ok, any week), I was loathe to undertake a costume creation.

Then Meghan asked me at lunch yesterday what I was wearing to the party. I said I wasn’t sure if it was a costume party or not, so Meghan wrote the hosts and asked them. Now I have written confirmation that it is.

So last night I went to Jo-Anne’s (before dinner with Tim & Kim) and Michael’s (after dinner with Tim & Kim) in search of last minute crafts bits. Then when I got home I sewed and hot glued for a few hours.

Today I have a few burned bits on my fingers (Gina + hot glue = almost certain mishap), 1.5 finished costumes (must finish mine tomorrow) and *very* bleary eyes (not nearly enough sleep).

Updates and pictures to come.

Healthy cereal = Impossible to Open bags

I do not know why this is the case, but it seems that all of our favorite “healthy” cereals (Puffins, Granola, all varieties of Bran flakes) have interior plastic bags that are *impossible* to open. I tug and struggle and grunt and pull and and and … eventually resort to kitchen scissors.

All varieties of Sugar Bombs, though, (which, for the record, I no longer eat :( )have bags that you so much as look at them and they pour forth their sugary goodness.

This confuses me. I’m already eating the healthy cereal. I don’t need the concommitant workout.


So here’s the odd thing: I called SmartHome today (since I bought the filters from them) and described the situation. When I got to the part where I said “so I’ve installed the filters and now the towel…” the guy jumped in and said “let me guess: the towel heater is going off and on at the correct times but you’re still getting sporadic light flickers.

Well, color me dumbfounded. I said “um. yeah. That’s exactly what’s happening — how did you know?”

He said “Let me describe your switches; see if I’m right: they’re X-10 brand switches and have a rocker top with a small toggle tab underneath the toggle.”

At this point I was positively boggling — how did he know?! I didn’t even buy the switches from SmartHome, so it wasn’t like he was looking at an order history.

Well, it turns out that those switchs are known for doing this. In these switches, the power used to drive the X-10 circuitry goes through the filament itself. What happens is when a large, short load is put on the line (like a fridge coming on, or the UPS doign the thing it does to recharge itself), the filament dims, and it’s as if there were a momentary brownout. The switch gets confused, loses its state, and then, when the power comes back up to “full speed”, the switch interprets that as an “on”. Equals light on in middle of night for no good reason.

He said the solution is to move up to better switches that use the neutral for the X-10 circuitry (Switchlinc) and that are not so sensitive. Sigh. And they’re $44 each. I do believe him, though, as he *nailed* my problem exactly. He also suggested switching house codes on those switches to see what happens, so I’ve done that and will report back.

Product endorsemnt

For which I am not being paid, but, oh well.

I got a nasty boo-boo on my thumb a few nights ago, right at the place where it joins the rest of my hand. As anyone who’s ever gotten a cut there will know: (a) it *hurts* an d(b) it’s almost impossible to keep a band-aid on it.

Until now (drumroll, or other anticipatory instrumentation)! Band-Aid makes a new(ish) bandage called “Compeed” (no idea why … seems like a silly name to me). These suckers WORK! They’re odd, almost like they’re made of rubbery stuff, and are end-to-end-sticky but not in a way that sticks to wounds. They seal out water *really well*: I stuck one on right after cutting my finger and it stayed on through two showers (including hair washing) and an afternoon of futzing with a sewing machine.

Yah technology!

Wanton lust

For technology bits.

Currently the “really, really, I’d love this, but I’m trying to be a good girl list” includes:

  • 40GB iPod. I’m sort of an all-or-nothing music girl, which is why I never had a CD player in my car [1]… me being me, whichever cd’s were in the car would be the ones I wanted in my house, and vice versa. This is a sure path for madness making. With 40GB, there’s finally enough *space* on a personal player to hold the vast majority of my music (which, including everything, is about 45GB, I think). I don’t think I’ll have a problem with 40GB because some of the stuff I own I wouldn’t want on the iPod (and some of that music is Jeff’s, which I wouldn’t necessarily cart along).
  • BIG plasma or digital projection TV. The prices are dropping ($2799 for 42″ plasma from Gateway, and $3k for 52″ digital projection from Samsung), but I can hold out (sure I can!).
  • Windows PC phone. I’d sure love to have one phone-PDA thing, but we’re still in early adopter phases here (and I *always* get burned on the early adopter thing!).
  • Nice digital camera. Dad has a pretty spiff Nikon, and while I love my Dimage X (and would keep it for the goes-in-the-pocketbook camera), it’s a wee bit annoying to be taking 3 cameras on vacation (small digital, “real” film camera + fun camera [either LOMO or Polaroid Land camera to do manipulations])

[1] My solution has been a mini-disc player for which I make mixes. Those being intentional (with the “flow” worked out and whatnot) somehow manage to fool the “all-or-nothingness” thing.

Ok, I gotta put this here…

We received a question via our intranet feedback form that said (edited to remove bits you don’t care about):

The first column in these tables contain a date. The year in these dates appear to be incorrect. For example, currently the table shows the following dates:

Last update Synopsis
Sep 18 0941 EDT Post 1
Sep 11 2102 EDT Post 2
Sep 2 0945 EDT Post 3
Aug 27 2255 EDT Post 4
Aug 28 1242 EDT Post 5

Can you please investigate this issue? Thank you for your help.

Oh my. Oh my.