willow_red: (Happy Willow)
I was reading up on some of the election issues this week, and I ran across the following in the Boulder Weekly. They asked each of thirteen candidates for city council five questions. The fifth one was, "What would you do if you found a prairie dog in your backyard?" Answers ranged from quoting from city statutes to saying they'd let their dog or another predator take care of the problem. However, my favorite answer, hands down is this one, from 62-year-old candidate George Karakehian:
Invite him in for a yoga session, then we'd share a cup of herbal tea, and politely ask him to practice safe sex, and zero population growth.

I couldn't stop laughing for several minutes after reading that one. so I thought I'd share.
willow_red: (Stars)

July 2010 release date
M. Night Shyamalan directing
Aasif Mandvi (of Daily Show fame) as Commander Zhao

...And once again, I'm feeling a vague urge to cosplay Katara.
willow_red: (Stars)
From a NASA HQ mailing list:


HOUSTON -- NASA will provide a unique audio "time capsule" in
observance of the 40th anniversary of the first human landing on the
moon. Audio from the entire Apollo 11 mission will be replayed and
streamed on the Internet at exactly the same time and date it was
broadcast in 1969.

The audio retrospective will begin at 6:32 a.m. CDT Thursday, July 16,
two hours before the spacecraft launched. The audio will continue
through splashdown of the mission at 11:51 a.m. CDT Friday, July 24,
and recovery of the crew shortly afterward. The Web stream will
feature the communications between the astronauts and ground teams,
and commentary from Mission Control at NASA's Johnson Space Center in

To listen to the replay, visit:


For historical information about Apollo 11, visit:


NASA's Apollo 40th anniversary Web site provides easy access to
various agency resources and multimedia about the program and the
history of human spaceflight, including a gallery of Apollo
multimedia features. The site is online at:

willow_red: (DI Impactor)
In the end, there can be only one. Unfortunately, the series would be cancelled after the pilot episode, since the first quickening would take out the entire ground station.

(From a very odd conversation with my office-mate)
willow_red: (Road Trip)
I don't have a TOS icon, so you have to put up with my amusing TNG one instead. Do not read this unless you've seen the movie.

Captain, spoilers ahead, 147 mark 32. Shields up, red alert! )

I know that was long, but I hope you enjoyed it! There are some scenes left out, but I've only seen the movie once.
willow_red: (Stars)
I went with [livejournal.com profile] nalablack and her husband to see Star Trek today. I was more or less prepared to hate it. In fact, my stated expectation level was: please be better than Star Trek V. And as many people know, odd-numbered Star Trek movies have a tendency to suck.

That said, this movie was not bad. I know, I'm surprised too. There was a decent balance of drama and humor, plenty of action (even if it went over the top at times), and the characters were recognizable. They also provided a reasonable explanation for why everything is different from Star Trek canon.

At work, someone tried to organize an "Offsite Seminar on Advanced Spaceflight Operations" on Friday, though that plan fell apart due to an all-hands meeting at the same time. But there is talk of trying again next week, and I think I'll probably go, as this should be a pretty cool movie to see on IMAX.

Spoiler-filled review to follow.
willow_red: (Disgust)
As you probably know, I wear contact lenses overnight to improve and maintain my vision. It's a treatment called Corneal Refractive Therapy, and it has worked very well for me. The catch, however, is that I have to wear the lenses every night. Some people can get away with only wearing them a few times a week, but the elasticity of my eyes that makes me such a good candidate for this, also means that my eyes revert very quickly if I stop.

Yesterday morning, I woke up, popped out my contacts and started cleaning them, the same way I always do. Suddenly, I looked down and saw my left lens in three pieces. These are specialty lenses, so most places don't carry them. I tried calling the office that I got the lenses from, and a) they are closed until Monday, and b) the doctor who gave me the lenses no longer works there. Special. Then I called my eye doctor's office. He's on vacation until Wednesday, and might want to see me before ordering new lenses, since I haven't been to the eye doctor in almost two years.

Much flailing around later, it was decided that I would take the remaining lens and alternate which eye wears it (the prescription is the same). This means sleeping with a lens in one eye, then switching it to the other eye for half the day when I get up. This also means having different visual acuity coming from each eye for most of the day. So I will likely spend the next week or two with headaches and nausea of varying severity.

If I'm a little cranky, please bear with me. Reading and other eye-straining activities will probably be kept to a minimum.
willow_red: (Happy Willow)
...Manischewitz is offering $1 rebates on their wine ($1.50 if you buy the large bottle).


(And yes, that web site does want you to verify that you're over 21 before *reading* about their wine. 'Cause you might get virtually shickered...or something.)


Mar. 26th, 2009 07:43 am
willow_red: (Akito)
The National Weather Service has upgraded this winter storm to an official blizzard, and they are discouraging travel, so who am I to argue? Work is supposedly open for business, but given that this storm is supposed to really get going by noon, I'm more worried about getting home than getting there. If they close, cool. If not, I have the PTO hours to cover it.

Stay safe, everyone. Days like today are what telecommuting was made for...too bad my company hasn't figured that out yet.
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)
Does anyone on here remember the Smothers Brothers? They're a comedy/folk singing act that had a variety show in the '60s, followed by a shorter-lived variety show in the late '80s. Anyway, they're doing a live show in Denver on March 14, which is a Saturday. Would anyone be interested in going with me?

These guys are getting older, and there might not be many more opportunities to see them, so I kind of want to get the better (read: more expensive) tickets, which add up to ~$80 on TicketBastard. I could probably be talked into the ~$60 tickets if that makes a difference.

Anyway, I'm just kind of throwing this out there because I have no idea who would be interested in this sort of thing. Also, the economy sucks, so I know a lot of people can't afford to do stuff like this.
willow_red: (Democrat Willow)
Been waiting for this day for a very long time. Here's hoping that some of the damage done in the last eight years is repairable.
willow_red: (Akito)
I finally got around to getting an account on YouTube. For those of you who would be amused by such things, I posted a few videos of Akito as a puppy. More to come as I get around to uploading them from my camera.

willow_red: (Happy Willow)
Wishing everyone a happy, healthy, and prosperous 2009.

And a very happy birthday to [livejournal.com profile] enishi2000!
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)
As I might have mentioned to some of you, my desktop crapped out about a month ago. [livejournal.com profile] j_b suggested it might be the power supply, and I am inclined to agree. I copied everything from that hard drive onto my laptop to be safe, and then tried to start up the desktop last night, after it had been "resting" for several weeks. It worked (huzzah!), but the internal clock had reset itself to 11:00pm on December 31, 2000. I know approximately zilch about power supplies, so here are my questions:

1) Would it be just the power supply getting flaky that would cause the clock to reset, or does the battery on the mobo need to be replaced too?

2) I can't find a label on the power supply itself, but the parts list pasted to the inside of the box says it's 250 W. I've started looking for replacements, but haven't found anything that small. The smallest I saw in the Tiger Direct catalog (that conveniently arrived in the mail last week) was 400 W. Is bigger better, or even safe?

3) Do physical dimensions tend to differ on these? In other words, do I have to make sure I buy one that fits in the box?

4) Should I be looking for a name brand (if so, which one(s)?), or are power supplies pretty much all the same?

5) With a dying power supply, is it safe to leave the computer on when I'm not home? I'd prefer not to set my house on fire, especially with Akito locked inside.

6) Is there anything else I should know that I haven't asked about already?

A big thanks to anyone who can help me out with some advice here!
willow_red: (Cartoon Willow)

Back to yesterday's story. The water ran for about an hour before they shut it off. About an hour after that, I had water in my house again, though it was brown and smelly. When I walked Akito yesterday, we saw a backhoe and some workers down in the hole, working on it. I haven't seen what it looks like today, though. Amazingly enough, the water main break happened at the perfect location. It was right between two entrances to a horseshoe-shaped parking lot. This means that nobody was stuck, and everyone could get their cars out once the water drained. The break was also pretty close to my garage, but luckily, the water didn't get high enough to seep in.

I called the city this morning, and they said the water's fine now; I should just flush out the water in my house for a bit. As of this evening, the water is clear and smells okay, but I'm continuing to filter any water for cooking and drinking for the next few days. However, I must say that I'm really looking forward to showering in the morning.
willow_red: (DI Impactor)

This is the sight about a block down from my house. Click through to the scrapbook gallery. The water main broke about an hour ago. About a half hour ago, I saw a police car booking it in reverse down the street, and then I saw the river of water pooling at the intersection in front of my house. At first, I thought there was a fire, and this was the runoff from the fire truck. I grabbed my camera and walked down the block, and these pictures are the result.

Not sure when they'll get this shut off, or when I'll have water in my house again.

Edit: Shortly after I posted, they got the water turned off, so it isn't gushing anymore. It's raining, so I put out a bucket to try to catch some water in order to flush the toilet at some point. And now I'm idly wondering when my next shower will be...
willow_red: (Stars)
It seems like people are posting a bit about cancer-related fundraisers, so I will chime in with the ones I'm aware of.

First, as some of you might recall, I lost a friend to leukemia last fall (entries are friends-locked, sorry to anyone else reading this). He was 35 years old, and passed away only a few months after his diagnosis. Anyway, he was very involved in the same Engineering National Honor Society that I am. To honor his memory, the national organization has established a scholarship in his name. To raise money for the scholarship fund, our local chapter has teamed up with Ruby's Diner on 29th Street in Boulder. All day on Thursday, April 24, they will donate 20% of anything you spend on food or drinks, if you give them the flyer we made up.

Unfortunately, this is right in the middle of Passover, so I can't eat anything at the restaurant, but I will be there to hang out from about 6:30 until whenever (Ruby's closes at 9pm, so no later than that). Also, I will be matching every dollar earned at this event, up to our goal of $200. At least one other person has pledged matching funds as well, so this means that for every dollar you spend, $0.60 rather than $0.20 will go toward the scholarship fund.

So local people, come have breakfast, lunch, or dinner (they're open 9am-9pm) on Thursday, and know that some of the money you spend is going to a good cause. This is an open invite, so please pass out these flyers to anyone and everyone who might be interested in going. If you have any questions, or would like to donate directly to the scholarship fund, send me an e-mail at my last name at gmail dot com, or comment below.

Click here for the flyer )

Second, when I was at Space Symposium last week, I ran into someone I knew from college who told me about a leukemia fundraiser happening on Cinco de Mayo (May 5 for the non-Spanish speakers) at 6pm at the Red Fish on Pearl Street. I don't know much about it other than the time, location, and the fact that they will have Rock Band for people to play. I will post more info if I find any.
willow_red: (Stars)
Earlier today, my favorite author passed away. It was the stories of Arthur C. Clarke that got me hooked on science fiction as a kid, and it was his writing style I most tried to emulate when I was a teenager. An autographed bookplate from his personal library has held a place of honor on my bookshelf for many years. For those who don't immediately recognize the name, he was the author behind 2001: A Space Odyssey. He publicized the idea of communications satellites in geosynchronous orbit more than a decade before Sputnik, and in the late 1970s, he wrote about space elevators. He was truly one of the grand masters of science fiction.

I've known for a long time that this day would come. I remember reading Rama Revealed one summer during high school, and thinking how much the main character's death sounded like the author saying goodbye. But that was a dozen years ago, and he has written (and co-written) many books since. Last December, however, on the occasion of his 90th birthday, he recorded this 9-minute video, in which he reflects on his long life, and says goodbye to his fans. At the end of the video, he says that most of all, he wants to be remembered as an author.

And that is how I will remember him.
willow_red: (Tetsuo)
For those who haven't seen this in past years, watch NORAD's tracking of Santa on his global journey. As of this posting, he's in Brazil.

willow_red: (Tetsuo)
I've wanted a laptop computer since, well, sometime in high school, but for one reason or another, it has never happened. Heck, I was going to buy one last year, but instead, that money went to buy a new car after my old one was totalled. But I think this year is finally the year for it! Since I know that many of you know far more about computers than I do, I wanted to put this out here before I actually buy, so if there's something you know about what I've picked out that I don't, please comment and let me know what you think of it.

First off, here's what I really want the laptop for: I've been thinking a lot, and it really comes down to being a so-called "desktop replacement." Now, my desktop isn't going anywhere, but it is almost six years old, so I kinda need an upgrade. It would also be nice to have something portable that I can take on road trips, or even just bring to my parents' house because frankly, their computer is a PITA to use. I'm willing to spend a bit for processor speed, memory, and HD because I want it to last a while, and I hear that upgrades suck on laptops. Also, I really, really don't want anything that Vista has contaminated, but I'm not ready to make the switch to a Mac, so XP it is.

I found something I like on Tiger Direct. It's a custom-built Systemax (same company that built my current desktop box) with the following price and selected options:

Systemax 15.4" Widescreen Build-to-Order with Windows XP (base price: $699)

  • Windows XP Home Edition
  • Intel Core 2 Duo T7500 2.2GHz 800FSB 4M Processor  (Add $220.00)
  • 1GB PC5300 DDR2 667MHz SODIMM (1GB x 1)  (Add $50.00) 

  • 160GB 2.5" 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive  (Add $60.00)  

  • DVDRW Dual Drive  (Add $20.00)  

  • No Floppy Drive Selected   

  • Intel 3945ABG Wireless Mobile
  • Integrated 10/100 Network Adapter

  • No Mouse Selected

  • Computer Associates eTrust InoculateIT Anti-Virus
  • Microsoft Office Ready Pro 2007/60-Day Free Trial

  • No Additional Battery Selected  

  • No Additional AC Adapter Selected

  • No Docking Station/Laptop Stand

  • No USB Hub Selected

  • 3 Year Parts & Labor Notebook Warranty  (Add $90.00) 

Total price: $1139.99

So, what do you think? (I'm opting for just the free trial on MS Office, since I can get discount MS software through work.) I've been staring at this for over a month now, and I think I'm ready to buy.
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