Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Thank you dad, for paying for my AMA membership

Today was a day much like any other and I would have nothing to write about here, except for an unfortunate event that occurred.

Our evening began much like any other; Mike informed me over IM that he was now leaving and would soon be there to pick me up.  At about the time he would normally arrive, he called me to tell me his car battery was dead so I should take the bus.  Then about 5 minutes later he asked if I had caught the bus yet because he got a boost from someone.  I had not, so I waited for him to arrive.

Once he got there I got in and we began our journey home.  When we came to this semi-busy intersection we stopped at the red light... and the car stopped.  And it wouldn't start again.  Being right near by a Les Schwab he asked to see if they could give us a boost and they were kind enough to do so.

So we were on our way again, only we weren't because the light was red so we traveled about 10 meters and the car just stopped again.  We called AAA and spent the next hour -- trying to wave cars to go by us since the hazard lights wouldn't work even -- waiting for the tow truck to come.

The car was towed to the Toyota dealership for after hours drop-off repair (everyone seems to suspect it's the alternator) and our friend Clayton was kind enough to give us a ride home.  Hopefully the car will be working again after tomorrow,

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Handful of strawberries

Mmmm, strawberries I grew myself.  Completely delicious and so full of strawberriness.  Too bad that the last of them are now gone.

Monday, April 19, 2010

New Computer

I built a computer for Mike.  As you can see, I'm not very good at making the cables inside all neat and tidy.  Check out that massive heat sink, it was bigger than I expected.

Friday, March 05, 2010

New template time!

Thought I'd mix things up a bit with it really being spring here.  So I decided I would prettify the blog with some cherry blossoms that you can see blooming around Redmond.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lloyd's on ice

On Saturday we went to Castle Ice Arena in Renton for a birthday celebration. Impressively, there is actually somewhere here to ice skate.

What was rather interesting about the whole experience was that it completely reminded me of Lloyd's roller rink back in Calgary. You go in the front doors and pay, there's a place for skate rentals, and a small rink to go around and around in while they blast music into the dimly lit arena. They even had strobe lights going on.

I have to say that it really made me miss being able to skate in my own skates that actually fit me, and the Olympic oval with nice ice.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Is that going to fit in the car?

I posed this question to Mike while we stood in the electronics section of Costco. We were looking at the 52'' TVs that they had there. "Yes, I measured the trunk, it will fit" Mike replied with great confidence. I had my doubts of course, but Mike said he measured, so I figured it would be ok.

On Sunday we went to Costco to look at the TVs they had available there. Mike had an urge to buy a new TV (not sure why, our old one worked). So we ran around running lag test on these TVs with Mike's laptop, a timer program, and a digital camera.

The idea behind it is this:
  1. You have a laptop with HDMI out that outputs a timer to both its screen, and the TV
  2. You take several pictures showing both the laptop and TV screen
  3. The time difference between the laptop screen and the TV screen is the lag on the TV
So Mike would get a helpful Costco employee to hook up our HDMI cable, set his timer running, and then I'd snap several photos for samples. This got us several odd looks from other people in the store, but the Costco employees didn't seem to mind. When we first ran these tests, the results of all the displays were rather disappointing (90+ ms). Turns out Mike was doing it wrong. He had an incorrect resolution set for his laptop and this was causing extra delays.

So we went around testing all the TVs a second time, this time with his resolution set differently. Mike was much happier and less baffled with the new data that we got. Satisfied with the ~20 ms difference shown by our tests on the Sharp TV, he ran off to get a cart to put the TV on. (While he was away, a couple came up to me and asked which TV I thought was best, to which I had to reply that I hadn't done the research on the models, I was just assisting in taking pictures). So he paid for the TV, and then we pushed it in the pouring rain all the way to the back of the parking lot where our car was parked.

Upon attempting to put the TV through the trunk with the seats down, a critical problem was discovered. The opening at the back of the trunk through the seats was too small.

"That's ok," said Mike, "we'll just put it in the back seat instead."

Of course, it didn't fit through the car door into the back seat either. Seems like his measurements weren't quite so accurate. I made sure that Mike quickly discarded his next idea of tying it down sticking out of the trunk. So then we pushed the TV all the way back to the Costco entrance. I stood by to guard it for 20 minutes while Mike went to get a UHaul to transport it in.

We managed to deliver the TV safely with the UHaul, but I'm going to stick with my assertion that the TV is too large.

TLDR version: We got a new 52 inch TV