Thursday, December 24, 2009
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
Jem's Boots from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.
Saturday, December 19, 2009
Seriously though. Does it get any cooler than this? If you know me well, you know what a perfect combo this "Team" Edward James Olmos shirt is for me. It's from this web comic.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
While holiday shopping with my mom I got a fabulous new Christmas tree. I already had this rad black tree from last year. Check out my new disco-tastic green tree!
Isn't my advent calendar chocolate TOTALLY a companion cube??
Earlier this month I went to the Holiday Handmade craft fair with Miranda. She blogged about it here. I'm finally posting my pictures of all the beautiful crafts (note: I received permission to take every photo). Boy was it crowded! Next year we'll go on the second day and plan to do more shopping. I had most of gifts done already. Even so, it was good I only brought a limited amount of cash. I needed something to keep my spending in check! Luckily most of these sellers have etsy.com shops. I collected many business cards and plan to return to their online stores later.
Saturday, December 12, 2009
If any of my friends out there happen to cross paths, give me a call!
Saturday, December 05, 2009
Friday, December 04, 2009
Thursday, December 03, 2009
We got them tonight and Ben spent most of dinner trying to figure out why they cost so little compared to stores ($6 and up per bean). Something about inelastic demand. Or scarcity. I don't remember. It's cute how he thinks I understand economics. All I know is I'm going to make some FABULOUS marshmallows tomorrow.
Wednesday, December 02, 2009
Sunday, November 29, 2009
Saturday, November 21, 2009
I got a micro ATX form factor case for the project. The guts are as follows:
- Sempron 140 processor
- Gigabyte AM3 motherboard with HDMI output
- Two 640 GB WD green hard drives
- Samsung DVD-RW
- Radeon 4200 onboard video card
- Hauppauge 2250 dual ATSC/QAM tuner card
- 4 gb of unganged 800 mhz ram
The RAM was supposed to be 1033 mhz, but it was unstable at that clock, so I had to bump it down. I didn't want to deal with returning it, and it seems plenty fast.
The processor actually has two cores, that my motherboard was able to unlock, so while it is a Sempron 140 - it registers at post as an Athlon X2 4200+.
The idea for this build was to use MythTV on ubuntu linux. I bought all my hardware with an eye for linux compatibility. That didn't work out. I'm sure that if I really hacked on it, I could have gotten it all to work with linux, but I decided that it wouldn't be up to rachel's standards in the end. I had a copy of Windows 7 beta, so I thought I'd give it a try for the media center.
It worked great! I had spent several hours trying to get linux working, but windows media center was up and running within 30 minutes.
There were still a few software quirks to work out, however.
The main thing I had to work out was the power settings. The system didn't wake from sleep properly, so I had to configure everything to work as hibernate. I got lucky, as my motherboard supports waking from hibernate for windows scheduled events (like show recordings). I had a hard time getting the thing to go back to hibernation after it woke up for a recording. I eventually found this software (http://slicksolutions.eu/mst.shtml) for configuring standby behavior with windows media center, and it works great.
I also snagged a plugin to make hulu desktop a clickable item from within windows media center. There are several out there, and none seem to work quite right - so I'm still working on that.
I had some trouble getting the sound to come across the HDMI because the settings in windows were strange. In the end, I didn't really need to do anything - it just worked. The problem was that it doesn't say that it's a 5.1 signal unless one is actually being sent. This was mainly a problem in the windows media center speaker configuration thing, as it couldn't tell I had 5 speakers for some reason.
Windows media center is a very slick DVR solution. It has netflix watch it now included in it, and you can record things with all the power that you might find in a Tivo. I actually like the interface better in some spots.
We have the capacity to record about 40 hours of HD stuff and have some room left over for music and photos.
We can record two shows at once, which I am amazed that we actually do (I'm looking at you bones).
Here are some (bad) pictures of the interface.
Friday, November 20, 2009
- Love the new stage. The backdrop gives the show designers something to do instead of screwing up the view with complicated lighting, like they used to. It also prevents the camera men from doing wacky side and circling moves from the old thrust stage. Instead we get more nice, front-on views so you can actually see the dances.
- I don't miss Mia. Bring on Stacey Tookey and Mandy Moore instead!
- I love Adam's judging comments. With our fab new DVR I skip Nigel and Mary and go straight to his review.
- I'm not impressed with Wade Robson this season.
(sorry, can't find just the dance online)
skip to 1:45 for the dance
skip to 2:05 for the dance
(sorry for the dumb pop-ups)
skip to 1:40 for the dance
It's no "Bleeding Love," but another great one by Nappy Tabs. (Yes, I watch Bleeding Love about once a month still. So. Good.)
Thursday, November 05, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
To give him time to work undisturbed, I slowly shopped around Target, one of my favorite suburban pastimes. I needed some Halloween candy, stat! I also called my sister who is shacked up in the mountains, hopefully having a relaxing time. Then I got a peppermint hot chocolate at Starbucks and chatted with my mom, watching the snow fall in heavy clumps.
At home I met up with Ben and we walked down the block to the local Chinese restaurant. I love eating lunch out with Ben, and I love hot egg drop soup and rice with soy sauce on cold days. It was quite a trek to get there actually. The snow was knee deep in places on the way back. We passed a group of snowboarders on the sidewalk. They had built a ramp of snow at the top of a set of stairs down the hill. The stairs have a long, shallow rail running down it. They also hooked a bungee cord to the railing. They would bungee up the snow ramp, then jump on the railing with their snow boards, ride it down the hill, falling off onto the snow banks when they lost balance. Very clever.
Ben got back to work and I finished Shakespeare in Love on Netflix. Good movie. For a snack, I indulged in my all time favorite - diet cola with ruffled cheddar baked lays. Browsing for another instant play Netflix show, I found a real gem -
Shelley Duvall's Faerie Tale Theatre! Holy crap this is a treasure. Did anyone else watch this when they were kids? It was on Showtime in the 80s, then picked up for syndication by the Disney Channel and PBS. I selected Snow White to watch. What. a. cast. First, we have Vincent Price as the mirror. With his face is painted like wood and stuck in the wall, he provides droll narration. Then Vanessa Redgrave plays the queen. I kid you not, she has red crimped hair frizzed out and wanders around waving her arms, draped in teal and purple velor. Fabulous. When she dies of vanity at the end she actually sticks her tongue out to make goofy gaggy noises while rolling on the floor. Fantastic. Finally, the singing prince is none other than my beloved Rex Smith! One year after his world debut in the Pirates of Penzance film, he's back! Singing! In thigh high leather boots! Oh, be still my heart. The episode needed a lot less stupid dwarfs and a lot more Rex.
So yeah, really good day so far. I'm not feeling the cooking vibe, so at Target I bought ready made frozen lasagna, ready made garlic bread, and salad in a bag. If you know me, you know how weird that is. Ben said "This doesn't look right" as he was putting the groceries away. I need to find something quick to take to movie club though. Brian has picked a super-Halloweeny treat. It's the Black Cat, by Edgar Allen Poe, starring Boris Karloff and Bela Lugosi. How great is that? I hope I can watch it all and still get enough sleep for tomorrow when it's back to work for me.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Friday, October 23, 2009
question, I started work at noon. So I'm entering overtime for 12+
hours. . . now! I'm trying really super hard not to think of my warm,
soft bed with snuggly down comforter, snoozing husband, sleeping
puppy, and dozing kitty. All probably wondering when I'll join them.
I'm glad Jem was at daycare today. Ben tells me that she wore herself
out hard. Hopefully she will agree to my "sleep in super late" plan.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
an 8 hour treatment. Because of a shortage of slow, continuous
dialysis machines, we are simulating that sort of treatment with our
regular hemodialysis machines. My schedule worked best among staff
for staying here until 2 am, so here I sit. I found out I'd be
staying at 5 pm.
She's tolerating the treatment well and the MICU nurses are very nice
and helpful. I really can't complain. But it's an unexpected late
night and those are hard.
Not much to it. Vitals every 15 minutes, top off dialysate fluids,
run machine checks periodically. She's been watching The Perfect
Storm and Wild Hogs on TV. I prefer my Artemis Fowl book, alternating
that with Stephen Fry's Incomplete & Utter History of Classical
Music. (Thanks Amanda!)
I plan to sleep in very very late and take a nap too.
Sunday, October 11, 2009
Friday, October 02, 2009
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
This started as a 5x?? video, one of those 5 second clip things. But there was so much to put in that didn't fit exactly 5 seconds! I trimmed it a lot though. I believe less is more. But the 5 seconds became more of a guideline than a rule.
I'm disappointed that I whipped out my camera mostly when Zaley was being cute. I wish had caught more scenic panoramas. Oh well. It gives a good picture of what the trip was like. Watch for the bat!
Video Diary of our Bear Lake Cabin Getaway from Rachel Mason on Vimeo.
Friday, September 25, 2009
I had written/published this long thing about all our patients, but decided I didn't want a big rant about the day out there in that much detail. Clotted systems, severe hypotension and hypoglycemia, barfing, and mucho mucho alarms. Enough said.
I'm still decompressing before going to bed. I have the weekend off. Amanda and I hope to see a corny teenager performing arts movie (FAME! I'm gonna live forever . . .) I need to update my blog on Emma's Baubles. She was only in two scenes this week so it should be a quickie. Boy, and someday I might put together that vacation video I promised you.
Happy Weekend, everyone!
PS: My car is super awesome and driving it is the best part of my day. Rock.
Sunday, September 20, 2009
Amanda wants details and I'm not sure what to say. We did pretty much exactly what I wanted to do on this trip. Bullets commence bulleting! (bulletting?)
- The cabin is still deliciously seventies in design. Brown and yellow shag carpet with matching harvest curtains and harvest fireplace.
- I made Nate and Ben walk up the drive way first before attempting to mount it. They poo-poohed my warnings about the steep angles, but later agreed that it was deceptively difficult to maneuver.
- Fry sauce is awesome, equally delicious on french fries and tator tots.
- We all memorized Zaley's signing video. "It's signing time with Alex and Leah..." will that ever get out of my head?
- There is nothing wrong with having a LaBeau's milkshake every day.
- The autumn colors were beautiful. We have a lot of pretty aspens in Colorado, but we miss out on the oaks.
- I thought this might be my first trip to Bear Lake without a sunburn, but somehow it fried my nose!
- The water at the lake was amazingly clear, like a swimming pool.
- We are all majorly nerdy bloggers. This trip will be documented with photos and videos TO THE LIMIT!
- In all our smart meal planning and grocery shopping, we forgot to take into account the attractive small town eateries that stole our appetites.
- Disney's Robin Hood is really really good.
- Jem is depressed that we hadn't moved into the cabin permanently. Talk about dog heaven. She started every morning bouncing bed to bed, doing consecutive laps up and down the stairs.
- The weather was perfect - cool and sunny with scattered clouds. This morning, before we left, there was a terrific thunderstorm. I woke at 5 am to close the windows and watch the lightening beams shoot into the lake. The rain cleared by the time we were packing up.
- I found some joyous remnants of my youth, such as fancy Kermit and Miss Piggy sheets that Amanda and I used to fight over, and our old Rainbow Brite "Rainbow Inside of Your Heart" cassette.