Saturday, October 04, 2003

Thursday, October 02, 2003

Outrageous

 
Went to the dermatologist the other day and he prescribes this tube of cream to use on my face. I don't think much about it till I get to the pharmacist and shell out $58 for it. Now, I have a lousy prescription plan (I have to pay 40%) and wasn't thinking when I coughed up the money. While driving home, I got to thinking - what did that stuff really cost before my part was paid? So I pulled out the paper that came with the prescription - $178 for a 100g tube of cream !!! Can you believe that? And to top it off, the possible side effects will keep me busy with anxiety attacks for the next year! This is progress??? I know, I know, the drug companies gotta be able to pay for all that research - cough,cough.

Love is the delightful interval between meeting a beautiful girl and discovering that she looks like a haddock.
John Barrymore

Wednesday, October 01, 2003

On the Techno Front.....

 
I was reading an article today about the forthcoming 64bit computers which propose to make CAD (computer aided design), video and games work much smoother and faster. Current 32 bit models can address 4 Gigs of Memory (the average home user can get by quite nicely at the moment with 1/2 Gig of Memory). Well 4 Gigs of memory is nothing - moving to 64bit means your computer can address 16 exabytes of RAM (there's a new word for me - an exabyte!). How much is 16 exabytes? A mere 16 billion gigabytes! I wonder how I am going to afford a 1 billion gigabyte chip? :) It was bad enough to buy 1/2 of 1 gigabyte! Of course, there is no OS (operating system) built yet that can use 64bit, but that's coming.

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Turning to inkjet printing, noticed that PC World had an article abut inkjet printing by the guru of inkjet testing - Henry Wilhelm (Sep 2003). Those cheapie aftermarket inks I buy? One of them - a Rainbow branded ink is good for about 1 year on an Epson C82 vs Epson's 92 year cartridges! Carrot Ink (which I've also used) was good for about 4 years on a Canon S9000 vs. Canon's 27 year cartridge. So if you're planning on printing quality photos that are going to last a while, guess you'd better buy the real stuff. Or move to dye sub, a different process alltogether. I have found though that for printing in general, these inks have worked pretty well, but they do clog my Canon S300's printheads and do start to streak. Unfortunately the S300 is an ink hog, so I will have to find a printer that works better and is much more economical on ink.

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You a news junkie? Rather than going to all those different web sites, why not have all the headlines delivered to you in one place? That's what RSS feeds are all about. They give you the headlines and enough info to decide whether you want to click on it and read the entire article. I've mentioned before about downloading a copy of Feed Demon to view all these. Feed Demon even includes a browser inside itself with tabbed browsing - and it's free! Most sites have an XML tag (look at DP Review and you'll notice the small xml tag at the top right of the page.. Just right click on it and select "copy shortcut" and then back in Feed Demon, you can create a new channel for DPReview that lets you capture all of DPReview's latest news without having to go to the actual web site. You can create Groups as well, like a Photography Group. Sometimes the little orange tag will say RSS instead of XML - you still use the same procedure. Pretty cool and a news/info junkie's dream!

Rumble Resolved!

 

Finally drug my car in to Toyota to investigate the rumble I've been hearing forever from the rear of my car. They put it up on one of those full length racks like you find in an alignment bay and within a few minutes - problem resolved! The insides of the sway bar bushings were worn out causing a lot of slop and making the sway bar links that go through these bushings bang around. You could move the sway bar easily up and down and hear the clunking noise. (apparently not evident on a normal lift where the car is supported on the frame as you can't get the pressure off to make the sway bar move, so understandable perhaps why my shade tree mechanic couldn't find it).

Of course, they didn't have any bushings in stock , so have to return in a week. (another 130 mile roundtrip!). Still, was glad to get this resolved! Will set me back about $130 total (i'm sure that's a colossal ripoff), but I'm willing to pay just to get rid of the damn noise! Maybe I'll feel like I'm driving a car again , rather than a dump truck! LOL
Take most people, they're crazy about cars. I'd rather have a goddamn horse. A horse is at least human, for God's sake.
J. D. Salinger (1919 - )

Monday, September 29, 2003

Cars - (crappy, awful, reprehensible shit)

Well think perhaps I finally resolved my vibrating tire issue on my '92 Camry. Drove it back to Walmart again (45 miles) and this time planned on putting on Goodyear Viva Touring tires and dumping the Goodyear Aquatred 3's. Discovered they didn't have any Touring tires in my size in stock, so rather than tear my hair out again and return again, I decided to give the Douglas Touring Tires a try. $10 cheaper per tire, too. :) 80,000 mile warranty as well. So I went that route. Service Mgr is one of the nicest customer service people I have met anywhere - he has repeatedly worked with me to solve this problem. Walmart needs to clone this guy. Didn't cost me a dime, in fact rebated me $40 since these tires were less, although I had put some 6,000 miles on the Aquatreds. Guess he felt I had been hassled enough.

Drove off, expecting the worst, but discovered that this had finally done the trick (of course, I had to check the tire pressure before I left, since Walmart is notorious for overinflating my tires. Sure enough - 42 in the left front, 48 in the right front, 40 in both rears. So I reduced them all to 35). Now that's a relief - can't even count how many times I've gone to Walmart over the past year trying to figure this out. Now off to Toyota in a few days to figure out what is rumbling in the rear end of this car - expecting to get hosed by the friendly folks from Toyota. We shall see. If they could stop this rumbling, I'd probably see an even smoother ride - in the meantime, I keep expecting the rear wheels to fall off, the gas tank to drag along the ground, explode, and send me to where I probably belong - hell! Ho, ho!
 

Good ol' Blues!

 Enjoyed immensely the Blues Program that started tonight on PBS. Very well done. Will run for the next 6 nights in a row, each night done by a different director. Clint Eastwood directs one of the nights.

They had some great clips of the early timers playing. One guy really lit into that ol' guitar - Son House was his name. Wasn't familiar with him, but I'm not real history buff of the Blues, so learning something new all the time. Even saw Keb Mo' on the show, who is one of my favorite musicians. Check it out - you might just like it! :)

Sunday, September 28, 2003

An easy way to Support Breast Cancer Research

 
Take Action: Support the Breast Cancer Research Stamp

Take a few minutes to send your comments to your Senator. This stamp has raised 32 million so far.
 
Joe Lieberman, "the Conscience of the Senate"

Say it ain't so, Joe!

(trivia note - to whom was the expression, "Say it ain't so, Joe!" referring to?)