Friday, August 28, 2015


So, not only will they not hire me, they won't even take my email! :)


Well, I thought it was funny. I guess you had to be there.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Jokes in waiting

The other day, I saw a Pinterest post where someone's ex-roommate had hidden...

Well the post went like this (I looked for this post until I fell down a rabbithole of Twin Peaks and finally quit and came back (that's a couple hours of life gone)):

Person Posting: discovered this when I had to open up an access panel to repair something-plumbing


Person Posting: When I called my ex-roommate, he said "I see you finally found my secret 'stache".


Person Posting: He waited literally five years to spring that pun on me!

End Scene.

That reminded me of a similar joke(?) that I fell for in the house we're renting now. In the room that is the office, coming out of one wall there was a length of coax cable. Didn't think anything of it when we moved in - there were a number of inconvenient cable drops coming out of the floors where cable was ran in the past. Only those were drilled through the floor and this one, as I said was in the wall. Coming through a hole. Mind you this wasn't cable sized or coming out of a box. It looked like someone had hit the wall with a hammer, cleaned the edges of the hole, and then painted the wall - with a terminated length of seemingly cable box ready coax sticking out of the hole. 

An artist's representation

But - the wall had been painted - after the hole was there and the cable was just left hanging... out of a ragged hole... in a freshly painted wall. 

This is what it should have looked like - or a blank wall

So. We checked with our landlord to see if it was jake for me to clean out the hole and terminate it properly with an extra data connection, as that room was going to be our office and that's where I was going to put our DSL modem. He was okay with it so off to Lowe's I went.

What I found out after I got back with everything that I needed including a double comm outlet cover with a coax and network keystone. Out comes the drywall saw and I grab hold of the cable to hold it out of the way while I squared off the hole. And I pulled the cable out of the wall. 

I literally pulled the cable out of the wall - because the whole of the cable run was about 3 feet long. Apparently, instead of patching the wall before they'd painted, someone decided to paint the wall and then stick a fake cable in the whole with no one being the wiser. 


Well, I thought it was funny at the time. Maybe you had to be there?

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Priority Gmail

There's a trick that I adopted that lets me see all the Gmail from my professors at once by creating rules to mark incoming emails as Priority. The Priority labeled emails are grouped in the Mail menu in Gmail:

To set this up, go to the Settings Menu (the gear icon on the top right), then go to Settings (yes - that's Settings in Settings).

Then go to the Filters tab to have Gmail (filter and) label for your incoming email. Click on the Create New Filter link and fill in the From box with the email of the person(s) that you want to label (my prof's, in my case - I created a separate label for each one to keep things straight).

If you want to test it, you can hit the magnifying glass button, otherwise just click Create filter with this search >>:

More options will open in a new box. We want to create a new label and apply it to our filtered results. To do this click on the Choose Label... dropdown and chose "New Label".

This will open the New Label box. Enter a new label name - I chose "Test" - and pick a place where in the menu you would like to have the labelled emails appear. I chose to put them under Priority:

Click [Create] to close this box and create the label.

Also - I chose to Star it and Always mark it as important. That way when a message came in about a class, it was collected into one place by the filter, and it is starred and marked important so that I could un-star it when I'd read it, and un-important it if it no longer applied - for example, if an assignment had been turned in or if the email was a class announcement like a upcoming event that the department wanted the instructors to promote. I did both of these because sometimes I could click on an email on my phone and just skim it or otherwise not actually read it and then forget about it by the time I got somewhere that I could do something about it. But that's just me.

What ever else you want to check, make sure you have the Apply the label checkbox ticked.

To finish, just click the [Create filter] button.

Don't wait until the messages start coming in - it will only process incoming email. If you already have email from the person (or persons) that you're creating a filter for, Gmail won't label them if they're already in your Inbox. If you wish to label already received email, you can drag them from your Inbox to your label on the left pane of your window:

A gratuitous drag screenshot

One more thing- If you want to get rid of a label, hover over your label in the left navigation pane in your window, click the dropdown arrow and choose "Remove label". When you do this, it changes the filter that you created - it removes the label option, but doesn't change anything else. For example, if you set up a filter to label, star, and mark as important; then remove the label, it will still star and mark incoming email - it just won't label it because you remove the label it was using. Do do that, you have to go back to the Filters menu and delete it there.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

The futility that is life (Drying is Hell) (Updated)

Ok. I stole that last parenthetical bit from Groening.

So, I move a washer and dryer from the old house, in the back of my Pilot. Unload them and put them in to their alcove. Laundering starts. And then (of course) the dryer fails to heat.

When I opened the top of the dryer and hit Start, I notice the heating elements aren't turning orange. Hoping it's the top thermocouple - and since it's the only one I can reach, I run a meter on it - and (also, of course) it tests normal. In order to check the other one - and to see what I might have knocked loose during the move, the dryer will have to be pulled out of the alcove.

But, there's this one problem.

The opening is off center and the wall that comes out on the dryer side is wider than the wall that comes out on the washer side. The upshot is that after all this - everything will have to be unhooked and the washer moved out of the way in order to pull they clothes dryer out far enough to open up the back.

And the faucet on the hot water side leaks. Only a little, but of course it does.

It's just a pain in the butt all the way round. And so, I thought I'd share.

Look. If you're designing spaces or furniture or cabinets or whatever - things will have to be tweaked. The backs of things will have to be accessed! Flush mounts are slick and all but eventually you'll have to check the cords in back. That's all I'm saying.

Update (sometime later)

What eventually ended up fixing it - after all that, in case you were wondering - was an electrical breaker.

The short version:

  • The thermocouples checked out. 
  • Found online that a possible cause was the timer/controller module. It was a bit twitchy anyway and I thought that it had finally gone. I pulled the part and looked up and ordered a replacement online. This was great - but it didn't make the dryer heat.
  • After more research, I found out that a dryer can run but not heat if one of the legs of the 220v outlet was bad (and the other was still good). Tested *that* and that turned out to be the underlying problem. Replaced the breaker and all is well.

The moral of the story is don't take anything for granted. I assumed that the outlet worked so I went to a lot of trouble without going through a full set of tests to assess the environment and the equipment. There was a flight mechanics (?) motto I ran across a dog's age ago: In God we trust. Everything else we check. A shame I forgot that in this instance.

More (yet later still)

In case you're wondering about the techie stuff (I'm reminded about Heinlein's ballistics chapter...), here are two videos by some people:


Electrical panel

If you want to fix anything, check YouTube first. Also - please don't electrocute yourself.

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Howl How long has this been on the bucket list? I don't even have a bucket list and its on mine.

Monday, May 19, 2014


I got this in my NSU email account:

Congratulations! Based on your Northeastern State University academic achievements and nomination, you have been accepted to the university member society. is the preeminent organization dedicated to recognition of student success, and to empower students to achieve through scholarship, recognition, exclusive privileges, job opportunities and more. Activate your Honor Society Membership

Featured Privileges:  
  • Exclusive scholarship listings.
  • Access to regalia, honor cords and tassels. 
  • Free access to career guide books.
  • Free access to premier job postings for college students and graduates.
  • Graduate school test prep discounts for GRE, GMAT, LSAT or MCAT.
  • Dining discounts at 18,000 restaurants nationwide. 

Of course it's a complete scam. I haven't been posting any of my grades online, and for the school to do so is strictly verboten... so how would they know about my "academic achievements" from Adam's?


Monday, March 3, 2014

Sausage balls

So, sausage balls (sounds like an expletive, I know but, literally: sausage balls)

Another easy thing to do - as I found out last night. If you look up a recipe for this, basically what you find is mix ground sausage with Bisquick and cheese, ball, and bake. Nice, simple, and easy. Then you look up a second recipe and the ratios are different. Here's what we used:

1 pound (a tube) of breakfast sausage (minus two patty's worth that got consumed for breakfast earlier the same day)
2-1/2 cups of Bisquick
1 cup of sharp cheddar shredded
Onion powder, because it was there
Cajun blackened seasoning, because... hey, why not?

In recipe-speak, the next step is "Combine ingredients", but really that's an understatement. Mix the Bisquick, the cheese, and all in one bowl and dump the sausage in to another bowl. Add a handful of dry mix into the sausage about an handful at a time and work it into the sausage, like you were kneeding dough. I don't know if a mixer with dough hooks could be used - I don't have one - but be prepared to put some work into mixing the stuff. Use your hands.

After all is said and done, you come out with a ball of mix that kind of resembles pie crust dough both in texture and in feel - the fat in the sausage mix isn't any greasier than the shortening in pie dough - to me, anyway. Next thing is turn on the oven to 375, spray a baking sheet with Pam, and then ball the mess a chunk at a time until you have row after row of English walnut-sized balls.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes.

What comes out of the oven is like a hybrid between a cheese biscuit and a bite of sausage. They are unbelievably good right off of the baking sheet. Not a bit oily - which is kind of surprising, since they have so much sausage and cheese in them. I haven't tried them with any kind of sauce. The Paula Deen recipe on comes with a suggestion of mixing a cup of mayo with a tablespoon of mustard, but as I don't like mayonnaise that much, that kinda sounds gross to me. I'd just go with mustard - if I had to pick - just the same as I would use on any sausage roll that I'd get for breakfast.

I wonder what they'd taste like with syrup...