Friday, July 25, 2008

I'm Ridiculous

This morning when I got to work, I spent about an hour sending our e-mails to set up interviews with some faculty members for the college's upcoming research briefs publication.

After I finished that, I checked my Google Reader. Since then I have spent the rest of the day reading about the San Diego Comic Con.

So much great stuff has come out already. But I'm going to wait until Monday to post all my favorite news, photos and tidbits.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008

Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog...

was the opposite of horrible! If you missed it this past week, you need to run to iTunes right this minute and download the three episodes. While it was online for free at the Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along-Blog Web site for just a few days, the episodes are available for just $1.99 each on iTunes. And they are well worth it.

I have not watched or read much of Joss Whedon's work, but I am a fan of Neal Patrick Harris and Nathan Fillion. Of course, NPH, aka television's Doogie Howser M.D., now stars in "How I Met Your Mother." And while I have not seen any of Fillion's work in previous Whedon projects like "Firefly" or "Serenity," I liked him in the TV show "Two Guys, a Girl and a Pizza Place" and the movie "Waitress."

These shorts were very funny and well-crafted. Check 'em out.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

What the Hell? Part 3

In our last episode, our fearless hero dropped his car off at Aamco Transmissions, left to fate. His concern and worry (which because it was a transmission problem caused him to consider what he was going to do when he realized he might have to take out a loan to pay for the fix) appeared and ended up making him physically ill.

He waited anxiously all morning for a phone call telling him about the damage. Finally, about 10 minutes to 1 p.m., he could stand it no more and called Aamco himself.

Drew said that it was, in fact, a problem with a shift solenoid. Our hero still had no idea what that was. Drew said, "Did you notice that the car wasn't shifting into fourth gear?" Our hero responded in the affirmative.

Drew continued by saying that the solenoid was dead, but that there was a good side to the news. The solenoid was an easy fix, easy to get to and shouldn't cost more than $300 to fix. Our hero was excited by this news. His fears were that he'd have to pay in the $1,000 range, but now realized the final figure would be significantly lower.

Aamco finally got the part, fixed the car and did right by our hero.

Final tally: $187.53. Actually, the part cost more than the labor. Rare.

But if you know our hero, you know that for weeks he will be paranoid that something will pop up again. And he's planning a trip home this coming week, a 200-mile trip.

Paranoia can upset the stomach, too...

Monday, July 7, 2008

What the Hell? Part 2

This morning I called an auto repair place close to me to see if they could check out what might be wrong with my car. They said I should take it to "Exhaust Pro." Turns out I think the repair place I chose doesn't work on domestic cars. Anyway, I take the car out to "Exhaust Pro," and leave it there to await my fate.

I get a call a few hours later. The guy there told me that the code that came up in the diagnostic test indicated a transmission issue, something to do with the solenoids. I don't even know what those are!

Unfortunately, "Exhaust Pro" isn't "Transmission Pro" so I had to find another place to take it. I didn't want to drive the car any further than I had to, so I found a transmission place just down the street from there. The "Aamco Transmission" dude told me over the phone that I could bring it in and they would run the diagnostics and find the problem for no charge. "Exhaust Pro" normally charges $29.95 to run the diagnostics. I told the "AT" dude I'd bring it by. He also told me that he was surprised I was bringing in a Ford Focus. He said that those cars usually have really good transmissions and that they rarely get a Focus in there.

Guess I bought a Friday afternoon or Monday morning car. Just my luck.

When I picked up my car from "EP", the dude there told me that he wouldn't charge me the $29.95 since it wasn't something they could fix and I'd be charged again wherever I ended up taking it. I didn't tell him he was wrong.

So, I took the car to "AT" and left it.

Now I have to wait for the diagnosis.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

What the Hell?

The check engine light in my car came on today. Since I'm not mechanically inclined, I called my uncle to get his advice. Basically, I was looking for an answer that would not require a huge out-lay of money. He had some interesting things to say, but I'm paranoid about tons of stuff. And getting stuck on the side of the road somewhere because my car broke down doesn't interest me in the least.

So, I decided to go ahead and take it someplace to get it checked out.

I called the first place I could think of that was close to me. It's a Goodyear Tire and Auto Service business on Richmond Road. I had an excellent encounter a while back when I had a bad tire. So, I thought, might as well check that place out.

I called and told them about the issue at hand. The guy said that if I could come out there right away, they'd run the diagnostic procedure on it to see what might be wrong. I said I'd be there in 10 minutes.

I got there in less than 10 minutes (thankfully I hit all green lights). I walked in and some older gentleman came to the counter. I told him I had just called, that I was there to have a diagnostic run because of the check engine light and that Terry told me he could run that if I got there right away (the technicians leave at 5 and it was 2:30 p.m.). The older dude said, "Let me go back and check." I reiterated that Terry said he could do it today.

The old dude left. He came back in just a couple minutes and said they had taken a couple more jobs since I had called and that they couldn't fit it in. I said, "But he told me he could do it." And all I got was "Well, they can't do it today now."

I am so pissed...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Oh, that Hellboy!

Check out these new promos for the upcoming "Hellboy II" flick set to hit theatres a week from today.

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

A Hair-raising Experience

I have a hard time finding a barber who cuts my hair the way I like. I must admit, however, that as thick as my hair is and the fact that I'm losing it on top doesn't make getting a good haircut that easy.

There is a barber shop in Chevy Chase I used to go to where I had a barber who did about as fine a job as a barber has ever done. Then she up and got married and left that shop. I didn't know where she went, so I had to find a new one. I went back to the same shop, but the other barbers there just weren't what I was looking for. Finally, one Sunday I had to have a cut and the only place open near me was one of those chains.

Word of advice, I don't care if they offer discounted cuts. Never go to a national chain for a hair cut. My experience there was not good.

So, a while back a barber shop opened up down the street from my office. One day at lunch I decided to try it out and get a cut during my lunch break. I was very pleased. So please that I went back a second time when I needed the cut again. When I got up today, I felt that I needed a cut again so I walked down to Shaggy's Barber Shop (yes, that's what it is called) to get my cut. Much to my dismay, someone else was there cutting. I would have felt bad walking back out because there was no line. So I stuck around and got the cut. Luckily, it turned out well.

But there's still only so much you can do for this head of hair of mine.


I would love to see the full-length version of this...

iMac, uMac, we all Mac...

Well, I don't think we all Mac, but we sure should. I have used an Apple Macintosh in school and in a couple of my jobs, but always had a PC at home. In January of this year, I made the switch. I love the Mac.

When I was working at HOST Communications, I worked on a Mac and I would regress to the inferior PC I had when I got home. It was the way the past year when I was taking classes at BCTC. Now, I have a new job and a new Mac, but the same problem. But this time I have a PC at work.

I hate it.

So a friend of mine just got a shiny new iMac. I'm jealous. Yes, I already have a Mac but it's a Macbook Pro. Don't get me wrong. It's the Mac-daddy of Mac notebooks (hahahaha), but now I want a desktop. Frankly, when the time comes, I'll probably get a Mac Pro instead of an iMac. But I'm still jealous!

I am excited, though, because yesterday I ordered my mom a new computer, a shiny new iMac. It should ship today, and should arrive well in advance of my upcoming visit to the homestead on July 11-20. Mom is new to Mac so I'm doubly excited to introduce her to the greatest computing experience she has ever had.

And with the built-in iSight camera, she and I can video conference instead of talking on the phone all the time. Unless I'm having a bad hair day, then it's phone all the way.