jason thurber's weblog

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Archive for the ‘General’ Category

Annual life-changing updates post…

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Post-Birthday update:

  • New job (for quite a while now)
  • Moved to Rocklin (near Sacramento)
  • Sold my STI and am commuting the 1.25 miles to work by bicycle (need to figure out what to do about the rain)
  • We’re down to one car for the family (which sounds more impressive than it is, we have a lot of family/friends in the area)
  • Now that we have one car, we’re renting a house with a three car garage… go figure

Written by jthurber

November 26th, 2008 at 4:03 pm

Posted in General

A quick “still alive” update

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If you’re not listening to Pandora (assuming you’re in the US) then you should be. It is awesome! There is a free iPhone application and PandoraBoy for your Mac (so the remote works).

On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness: Episode 2 is now available from Greenhouse. If you’re a Penny-Arcade fan then you’ve probably already played Episode 1. If not, check them both out… I’ll be playing thru Episode 2 this week.

Written by jthurber

October 29th, 2008 at 10:02 am

Posted in computers,General

Smash and grab…

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A lovely sight greeted my wife as she returned to our car at Fort Funston. Some wonderful human being had smashed our rear quarter window (the one with the antenna in it) and stolen… almost nothing. They stole a roadside assistance kit (basically jumper cables and some other stuff, I’ve never opened it) and our “earthquake bag”, which contained water, some food and some tools. The did not steal the iPod out of the glovebox or anything else out of the trunk.

$450 later we have a new window. Any thieves reading this, please note, the least expensive windows on a car are almost always the ones that roll down! This is compared to the most expensive ones that have tint and/or wires in them (which is all the other ones on the Forester).

BTW – AA Willian’s Auto Glass in Mountain View (650-937-0272) did a great job and had it fixed the morning after it was broken (at my office).
BustedWindow

Written by jthurber

April 24th, 2008 at 3:43 pm

Posted in General

18 Week-old Pup

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Well, Prima is 18 weeks old now, and got her last major vaccination shot this morning. She has been going to Puppy Class, Puppy Socials, on walks around the neighborhood and meeting lots of people, dogs, kids… and even some cats. Her favorite activities at this point are sleeping in the sun (it completely hypnotizes her) and eating leaves when our attention wanders for even a second on her walks. We’re looking forward to taking her to the beach once the last vaccination has had a chance to take effect.
Oh yeah, she likes playing fetch too…
Prima playing

Written by jthurber

March 24th, 2008 at 2:41 pm

Posted in General

New pup

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We brought a new dog into our lives about a week ago (our 10 1/2 yr old greyhound, Nicole, passed away on August 17th of last year). The pup’s name is Prima and she’s an 11 week old whippet.

This is the first puppy for either of us. We both had dogs that had puppies when we were kids, but weren’t really responsible for their care in any meaningful way. It’s a lot of work :)
Prima in her crate

Written by jthurber

February 5th, 2008 at 10:11 am

Posted in General

Installed Akismet – will it prevent comment spam?

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Written by jthurber

January 11th, 2008 at 9:46 am

Posted in General

Nietzsche Family Circus

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I like this one:


Madness is rare in individuals – but in groups, parties, nations, and ages it is the rule.

Make your own here. Found at The Online Photographer

Written by jthurber

March 15th, 2007 at 12:50 pm

Posted in General

Speed via Sprint’s Merlin EX720

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Getting tired of random disconnects using Bluetooth DUN on my Treo 700p. Bought Sprint’s new Novatel Merlin Expresscard 720 (they had one in stock at the nearest Sprint store). Activated based on instructions here (in the store using Parallels… they were very impressed… although the manager had offered to activate for me on a different laptop).

I need to figure out how to keep Parallels from messing things up when I start it, but so far I am quite pleased!

Written by jthurber

February 27th, 2007 at 5:09 pm

Posted in General

Bookbinding I Results

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On the first day of the Bookbinding workshop at San Francisco’s Center of the Book I made this casebound purple covered journal. Not a bad first attempt :) It was a great workshop, and I’ll definitely take Bookbinding II this March!

Purple Casebound Journal Purple Casebound Journal Purple Casebound Journal

Written by jthurber

January 21st, 2007 at 7:14 pm

Posted in General

Obligatory bi-annual post :(

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Yikes, it’s been a bit of a ghost town here recently (well, lots of comment spam still showing up on older posts). What has Jason been up to?
- Work
- Sleep
- Taking pictures

I’ve been putting together albums for the wedding I photographed last December, and am frankly very unhappy with the alternatives out there. These solutions can be broken down into a couple of categories:
- Consumer “digital offset” printing (ala SharedInk.com, Blurb.com and Apple’s Albums) – Quite poor resolution, affordable, easy to order
- Professional printing (Asuka, CornerstoneAlbums, etc) – Generally awesome quality, terrible enrollment/qualification process (I’m not enough of a “pro” for these sites) and very… very… expensive
- DIY – Lots of options here, but I’m looking at putting together my own albums from scratch (as compared to print & assemble options like this)

In pursuit of a truly viable DIY option (and in what may end up being a stupid move), I signed up for a weekend long bookbinding class at the San Francisco Center for the Book. This should be sortof fun actually, I’ve ended up reading about bookbinding a couple times over the last year and it sounds interesting. If I end up making anything cool I can post some “product shots” here.

Oh yeah, and I’m planning to ride in the 24 Hours of Adrenaline in Idyllwild this August with 3 or 4 friends. Talk about covering the full spectrum of weekend events in one blog posting :)

Written by jthurber

January 18th, 2007 at 1:24 pm

Posted in General

A lesson about testing cheap blades…

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An important safety lesson brought to you by the Home Shopping Network:

Written by jthurber

September 18th, 2006 at 10:15 am

Posted in General

Microsoft Keyboard and OSX, Tilde doesn’t work

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The bold part would be the “how to fix this problem” version of this post.

Maybe this is a stupid problem, or a result of plugging in a keyboard the first time I booted up a new machine, but I was having some major problems with the key mapping on my trusty Microsoft Wireless Natural Multimedia Keyboard. The biggest problem was that my ~ (tilde) key didn’t work. This sounds like a stupid problem, right? Wrong.

That ~/` key does two important things. Toggle between open application windows (generally) and specify my home directory in the command-line (and when I set up a new machine I live in Terminal for about two days). I was so bothered by this that I actually switched to the Apple Keyboard and Mighty Mouse to see how that was. In a word, it was “bad”. My wrists began to hurt immediately and my typing/mousing speed was terrible. Anyway, this is a all backstory…

After 10′ish searches on Google with no success I ultimately stumbled across the “Keyboard Viewer” in the International Preference Pane. I watched what ~/`was doing, and it was pushing cmd+space (which is obviously not a character). Then I opened Microsoft Keyboard’s Preference Pane and pressed the ~/` key. It popped up the Hot Key dialog and asked what this key should do. After trying a few options I realized that “Handled by Mac OS” was the right answer. Now I have a tilde again and all is right with the world… or at least a LOT better!

Written by jthurber

August 17th, 2006 at 4:39 pm

Posted in General

House sale update.

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After 4 back-to-back days of “open house” we accepted an offer and now, less than 30 days later we have closed escrow. We’re no longer owners, but instead have assumed the role of renters (we’re renting back for a month or so). I got a nice little thrill today when I went to check my accounts online and saw that our mortgage is now Paid in full (I suppose it would be ever more thrilling to see that and actually get to keep the house ;) ).

Written by jthurber

May 19th, 2006 at 11:52 pm

Posted in General

The joy of price protection!

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Picked up a 2.16ghz MacBook Pro this weekend from the Apple Store in Valley Fair mall. Today Apple announced a speed bump of the base MBP (along with the new MacBooks) which meant that the 2.16ghz chip was “included” in the high-end MBP. So, when you go with BTO (build-to-order) a loaded MacBook Pro is $300 cheaper than it would have been.

I went into the Apple Store, explained this to them and they refunded $300 to my card, which was nice! Note: There is a 10 (or 15) day window where Apple provides price protection, so it was luck that I didn’t pull the trigger a bit sooner on this.

Written by jthurber

May 16th, 2006 at 7:08 pm

Posted in General

One MBP to rule them…

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Since December I’ve been using a smoking Sager 9890 for “work stuff” (namely, running XP, Office/Outlook) and anything that needs to happen really fast (like photo processing or playing Grand Theft Auto). The Sager 9890 is a crazy machine: dual 80gb drives in RAID0, Nvidia GTX 7800 video card, 2gb ram (with 2 spare slots)… the fastest machine I have ever used, bar none! My old Powerbook 15 (AiBook G4 1.25ghz) was used for… um, browsing on the couch and watching TONS of Top Gear. Now that the MacBook Pro has been out for a bit, can dual-boot to WinXP, is fairly stable, and you can get a “properly” equipped one without going the BTO route, I’ve decided to pull the trigger and go with a single solutio.

So… I’m writing this from a MacBook Pro 15.4 2.16ghz with a 100gb 7200rpm drive (currently has 1gb of RAM, but help is on the way). It currently has Parallels running XP with everything I need on the Windows-side of the world and (of course) OSX for doing everything that doesn’t involve Outlook :). I’m very pleased Apple decided to go the Intel-route, as this has allowed me to consolidate work and, well, other work in a single machine. I like to work in OSX, but sometimes I need to work in XP. The MacBook Pro will let me do both… now I just need to come up with a good name for it (the AiBook was never called anything but PB15)!

[Update] My new 1gb stick of ram from Transintl.com came in today. It makes a HUGE difference!

Written by jthurber

May 15th, 2006 at 8:53 pm

Posted in General

Wear your seatbelt…

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Saw this posted on Jalopnik. Pretty effective advertising!

Written by jthurber

April 27th, 2006 at 9:36 am

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Almost done staging…

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After a frantic monday spent cleaning, touch-up painting, boxing up over half the kitchen, more cleaning, washing the windows (inside and out) and random boxing of clothes we’re just about ready for our open house weekend. We signed all the paperwork to list the house this Sunday (Easter), the realtor’s tour comes thru on Thursday, and hopefully the rain holds off this weekend! If you know anyone looking for a house in the South Bay please let me know (send email to jthurber at this domain name).

I took some pics of the house:

External View

Master Bedroom

Kitchen

Written by jthurber

April 18th, 2006 at 10:49 am

Posted in General

My Humor Litmus Test

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You’re probably familiar with the concept of a litmus test as it relates to politics.
Well, I have found my very own humor litmus test. It’s self explanatory, really. If you don’t think the following is one of the funniest things you’ve ever read, then we don’t have a compatible sense of humor (and you couldn’t serve on my Supreme Court):
My Humor Litmus Test

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March 28th, 2006 at 2:32 pm

Posted in General

Upgraded site and time to start posting again…

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Updated my blog to take advantage of some security patches in the latest WordPress, and realized I haven’t posted in many months. I’ll need to start doing that again. Since my last post:

  • Built my big three section desk.
  • Sanded, stained and waxed section 1 of my big three section desk – this is called section alpha in the plans.
  • Realized I don’t have a spare 4 days to finish the remaining two sections before we move, so they’re going to live in the garage until they live in storage until they (and we) find a new place to live.

We’re in the process of staging our home to sell. For the unitiated; staging is the process by which you figure out that you have approximately 200 percent too much stuff. Having removed the 200 percent overage you come to the conclusion that the remainder doesn’t look right by itself, so you buy some new stuff, which means that after moving you have 250 percent too much stuff.

Written by jthurber

March 27th, 2006 at 10:27 pm

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Back from Australia…

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We got back from Australia on Sunday the 1st at 9:30am. While the flight out was totally painless, the flight back was… umm… less painless. I had real trouble sleeping, so had probably gotten four hours of (poor) sleep when we landed at SFO. I carefully stayed up all Sunday, but then couldn’t go to sleep until 3am that night. My schedule’s still not right (as indicated by my posting this at nearly 3am).

High points from the trip:

  • Attending the second day of the “Boxing Day Test” between Australia and South Africa (this is a major Cricket game, 40,000 attendees). The crowd was extremely entertaining, and aside from spending all day in the sun and drinking a lot of good beer, it was a great day (actually, the beer didn’t make it a less great day until that evening).
  • Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary outside Sydney. My wife was able to pet a Koala, and we walked amongst (and petted) kangaroos, emus, wallabys and lots of other native animals. It’s a great alternative to the Zoo (however, both Sydney and Melbourne have excellent zoos).
  • Spending Christmas on a Sheep (Merino) and Cattle farm with our friend’s family. We got a superb tour of the farm, and had several great meals.

The wedding went well, although it was very hot. All in all: It was a great trip, I’m glad to be home, and I wish I could sleep…

Written by jthurber

January 4th, 2006 at 2:54 am

Posted in General