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Goofy ideas that make sense…

I have a wireless network at home. I don’t like its limited range. And I’ve been thinking about buying an “official” range extender from my access point’s manufacturer.

But when I saw this range extending antenna, I nearly jumped right in and ordered it.

The idea of an antenna based upon a hacker’s toy (using a Pringles or similar can to get extra WI/FI range) strikes me as very intriguing. And the Cantenna seems, on the surface at least, to be based on some reasonably sound antenna principles.

I might still buy one, even if I’m not sure whether it really works. The concept appeals to me, and its not outrageously priced 😉 […]

Irony…

There is a sad story today from New York regarding a city councillor there being gunned down in council chambers.

There is all sorts of irony to this story, but the thing that makes me shake my head is how the American news reporters seemed to miss the biggest irony…

The councillor who was shot, James E. Davis, supposedly was a “crusader against urban violence”. But according to the story…

Davis, 41, a former police officer, was carrying a concealed 9mm handgun, but police officials said he never had a chance to draw his own weapon during the 2 p.m. attack.

Equally ironic…

”It’s clear that Mr. Askew (the murderer) came in as the guest of James Davis and got around the magnetometer with James Davis,” Bloomberg said.


“Bloomberg said he and councilors routinely bypassed the metal detectors, a practice the mayor vowed would end immediately.”

So…the crusader against urban violence carried a concealed 9mm handgun and regularly bypassed the metal detectors around city hall…and was gunned down by a man carrying a 40 caliber handgun he escorted himself around the same metal detectors.

Its ironic that the anti-urban violence guy was gunned down. But to me, its a lot more ironic that he was carrying a concealed gun at the time, and that he regulary bypassed a security system intended to detect things like concealed guns. Crazy Americans…

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Crude on the surface, but elegant…

I came across this rather crude-looking home-brew CD changer mechanism in a Slashdot article. It takes me back to my days in High school, when guys built computers with wooden cases. Except this is a wooden mechanical device interfaced to a computer…

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Google hates me…

Another chapter has been written in the ongoing saga of my battle with Google’s news site and my desire to post “top news” links from it on my page.

In this latest episode I had to do battle with their restructuring of their page, the inclusion of new translated characters in their URLs, and […]

Safety First!

Someone on one of the message forums I frequent posted a German “safety” video. You need Windows Media to watch it: if you have Windows, you probably are good to go. If you are connecting over a low speed connection, be warned that the file is several megabytes (7 MB, approximately): you might be […]

Sore back…

My back hurts at the moment. Really badly. Sort of on the right side, between the shoulder blades. Its bad enough that the pain shoots down my arm, and at times I feel like I can’t breath.

Yesterday I couldn’t even lift a coffee cup with my right hand. Reaching for the mouse on my computer hurt. I drove to a store five minutes away, and ended up having Irene drive back because I couldn’t steer well due to the shooting pain.

Today its a bit better…a Tylenol 3, two Robaxecets, and a couple of Vioxx so far, and its only 2:30 PM. All of this pain is one thing, but what really bugs me is …

…the fact that I can’t point at anything I did and say “that hurt my back”. I had a dream in the wee hours of Sunday morning in which I hurt my back. I suddenly woke up in pain, and sure enough, my back was sore. But what did I *do*?

Probably whatever it was wasn’t very heroic. I likely bent over wrong, or picked something up that I can’t remember…something dull like that. If I was into extreme sports, I could say something like I twisted my back while free climbing some 1000′ sheer drop, but no, all I can do is look at how my posture when I reach for the mouse and stuff like that.

Oh well. On the plus side, I get to take large quantities of pain killers and lie on the floor a bit. Thats always fun… […]

Server Cooling upgrade #2

I’ve mentioned before how my server is overheating. Well, this weekend I took hole saw in hand and added some better fans to the chassis. You can check out my photographic journey through the upgrade if that sort of thing interests you.

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Hard choices…

Irene and I love our animals. Seven cats, a horse…

…and until yesterday, a dog. We made the decision On July 3rd to have Sheena euthanized.

Goodbye, old girl…

It was a tough choice. Sheena was still alert and wasn’t screaming out in pain. Up until year ago, Sheena was still pretty active: she was at least 13 years old, which is pretty old for a dog her size.

Last year, though, she had a setback. She had what seemed to me to be a stroke: the vet thought it might have been a tumour or nerve damage of some kind. For over a week she couldn’t walk at all, and afterwards she was very weak. She recovered some of her mobility, though she stopped going on walks of more than a hundred yards or so. She never recovered her balance, really: a light bump would tip her over. And her hearing was mostly gone afterwards…cataracts took away most of her vision a few years ago.

The last few months we watched Sheena getting more and more feeble. Recently, she reached the point where she often couldn’t stand up without help, and she was barely eating.

I don’t know how Sheena felt about it, but I kept thinking that her quality of life had gotten pretty meager. Irene and I had talked several times about what it would take for us to decide it was “time” for Sheena. Ultimately, Irene called me up in tears and told me she felt that time had arrived.

I am an agnostic. I don’t really believe in an afterlife, but then again I don’t disbelieve. I’d like to think that we made the right choice, and somewhere Sheena’s spirit is alive and healthy, enjoying a run through a grassy field with Irene’s horse Brandy like she did years ago. Maybe one day I’ll be there too, and Sheena will run over and let me scratch her ears the way she liked. I’d like that… […]