All posts by Shawn

Building A House Is A Lot Of Work

Funny I think that because it hasn’t even started yet. πŸ™‚

But I met up with my architect and saw a new property that I liked better (and put an offer on it) on Tuesday, met with a landscape architect on Wednesday, going to Irvine to meet with the company for the home automation/smart home stuff this afternoon, starting the escrow on the new property tomorrow, etc.

Oh yeah, that reminds me, I need to go to the bank before I drive to Irvine to cash out a CD (I need to wire 5% of the purchase price tomorrow when the escrow starts).

Hopefully it will be less work later, but I have a feeling that’s not going to be the case.

Escrow

Well, they rejected my offer I put in yesterday, but came back with an offer that was still pretty good, so I’m going to go into a 15 (quick huh?) escrow on the new lot tomorrow.

Anyone want to buy my old lot? πŸ™‚

New Property

Funny how things work out… I was meeting with my architect this morning, and he showed me a lot for sale right down the street from my existing one. To make a long story short, I put an offer on the new property today, so hopefully I’ll get that and sell my old lot.


The old lot is really nice, but the new one is 10x better…

  • No other lots on either side (I wouldn’t have to look at the side of people’s houses)
  • The property itself is 3x larger
  • The useable pad is 2x larger (the old one is still one of the biggest around)
  • There is an area below the slope on the property that I could put a full-on orchard without needing to use the normal lot pad
  • The views are amazing (ocean, lake, golf course, city skyline, etc.)
  • Private driveway off the main road, so you don’t even see the road from where the house would be.

So basically I could put a big house, a 30 car garage, have a huge backyard and still maybe have room for a football field. πŸ™‚

Weird how things happen…

RAZRberry Coming Soon

It looks like the Motorola RAZRberry is getting close to being released (the latest ETA is within the next 3 months). It’s a pretty slick phone. It’s about 1/4″ wider, .5″ taller and slightly thinner (if you can believe that) than the Motorola RAZR V3.

It’s codename is Franklin, has all the stuff the RAZR V3 has, and adds a full QWERTY keyboard, 192MB memory, a bigger/higher resolution screen and it also runs Windows Mobile 5.0.

Dan Castillero Design & Construction

Now that I’m moving forward with having my house designed and built, I just wanted to say how nice it is to have an architect that actually does everything when he says he is going to. No nagging necessary… which is a welcome change from every other architect (individual and firms) I’ve dealt with in the past.

It’s really early at this point, but it’s SO nice to not have to follow up with them on things they said they are going to do. If Dan says he will call me in 2 weeks with something (for example preliminary design ideas), I’ve found you can bet money he will call you in two weeks. Other architects I’ve worked with went something more along the lines of… “Gee, I haven’t heard from them, and it’s been 4 weeks now.” So then you call them up and they tell you they haven’t started anything because of whatever (insert random reason here). Hmmm… were you ever going to call me? πŸ™‚

Anyway, just figured I should mention that since the little things like that often go unnoticed, and you usually only read about the bad things when researching a company.

My Mom’s Blog Sucks

You know what? I try to help a mom out… hype up her blog and drive hundreds of thousands of visitors. And what’s the thanks I get? Nothing. Her blog hasn’t been updated in 6 months.

That makes me look foolish for sending all my dedicated readers (which is like me and my sister basically.. heh) to her blog which practically could be talking about the Cold War it’s so old and outdated. Maybe if I say it sucks, it will be tough love and she will get on it.

Update… Wow, that was quick. I noticed my mom updated her blog tonight (only 30 minutes after I posted this… uhm, hey mom, how many times an hour do you read my blog?? heh). It’s a good one too… you should read it and click on the link after you read it. I fell out of my chair I was laughing so hard. Finally! A good post! πŸ™‚

Killer Coding Ninja Monkeys

Today at ninja school, we got our first uniform. What I want to know is how am I going to strike fear into my enemies wearing something like this? It definitely doesn’t make me look like I can kick ass.

It wasn’t quite what I had expected, but I guess it’s a good first step.

Update… A little Googling and I realized that they probably got them from Think Geek. What the hell?? When do we get to assassinate people? Or at least look like we can?

Booger Sandwiches

I don’t know why I find this sticker so funny… My friend Amanda gave it to me like 7 or 8 years ago and it has been posted on my desk ever since. And to this day it still makes me laugh. So I decided to scan it and put it on my blog because I have nothing better to do.

Now you too can enjoy booger sandwiches for the introductory price of $1.00 each! πŸ™‚

vBulletin 3.5

The Digital Point forum is now live with vBulletin 3.5 beta 1. I spent some time today and last night recoding all the little hacks I made on vB 3.0.x, and turning them into plug-ins for 3.5 (yay for the new plug-in architecture).

Along the way, I even found some bugs (some of which I fixed on my own). Hopefully it will get fixed in the distribution though so I don’t have to fix it every update. πŸ™‚

Most of the changes are for admins and moderators (inline moderation, plug-in system, template history system with diff, etc.), but man it’s nice!

There are some cool things for end users too though, like AJAX stuff… you can double click a post to edit it “live”, pretty tricky. Also dumped vBulletin’s internal search engine for MySQL’s fulltext search engine. It also support persistent marking of read threads which is so much nicer.

Uhm… does anyone care? If you read this far, you have less of a life than me. heh

French Chateau Style Home

Until a few days ago, I had no idea what was the difference between different style homes. For example, I couldn’t tell you what’s different between a Tuscan or Italian style.

But dammit, now I know! And I also know that I like French Chateau style (which is what I’m going to have my house designed as). French style has steep roofs with slate roofing materials. It also uses a good amount of stone, but not so much it’s overwhelming. I like it. πŸ™‚

This is a French Chateau (as an example), although this one is a little much for my tastes…

Apple Really Switching To Intel

Well, it looks like CNet and the Wall Street Journal was right. Apple is indeed switching from IBM’s PowerPC architecture to Intel processors.

I think it’s probably a good thing for the long term, but not so hot in the short term. I bet Apple hardware is going to drop now that everyone knows the PowerPC machines are going to be dropped starting next year. I bet a lot of people are going to wait to buy a new Mac now.

Training To Be A Ninja

As many of you know, I’m in the middle of fulfilling my childhood dream of becoming a ninja. At this stage of training, it’s just a lot of book work, but hopefully someday it will be all worth it.

Today we learned about the Monkey Steals The Peach move. This is where you take your opposition, and physically rip their balls off. It’s pretty effective I would imagine and I can’t wait to try it out on my fellow students.

Thanks to Boing Boing for the picture.

Apple Switching To Intel?

Apple switching to Intel processors has been an on and off rumor for more than a decade. But CNet is reporting that Apple plans on scrapping the PowerPC processors and move to Intel as soon as next year, with the official announcement coming next week at the Apple developer conference.

Personally, I find it a little hard to believe, but we’ll see I guess. Maybe Apple is using Intel as a pawn to get IBM to fix their manufacturing issues with the PowerPC chips.

It also seems like an odd time to do it because all the new gaming consoles moving from Intel to the PowerPC based architecture. If nothing else, the hundred million or so orders for PowerPC chips might be a good incentive for IBM to get on the ball with the architecture.

San Diego Padres

I’m really not a baseball fan, but what I want to know is how in the hell the San Diego Padres all of a sudden are awesome?

They went 22-6 this month (May), have won 6 straight, 11 straight at home, are in first place, etc, etc… What the hell? I thought San Diego sports teams were always supposed to suck?

Maybe I should go to the stadium for a game one of these days (I haven’t been to the new stadium at all, and they have been using it for 1 1/2 years now).

The Hand That Feeds

Trent Reznor was supposed to play at the MTV Music Awards next month, but there has been a change of plans. MTV would not allow him to play his hit song “Hand That Feeds” with the backdrop being a picture of president Bush.

Interesting how political music is… Personally, I had no idea that the song was about Bush’s war policy (and specifically Iraq).

It’s a cool song, but I didn’t pay much attention to the actual lyrics, so I went and looked them up… I guess it is kind of political after all. {shrug} To be honest, I would have had no idea until MTV banned him from doing it, so I guess he got his message out even more now.

The Nine Inch Nails website just says, “Apparently the image of our president is as offensive to MTV as it is to me.” heh

Lyrics

You’re keeping in step
In the line
Got your chin held high and you feel just fine
Because you do
What you’re told
But inside your heart it is black and it’s hollow and it’s cold

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?

What if this whole crusade’s
A charade
And behind it all there’s a price to be paid
For the blood
On which we dine
Justified in the name of the holy and the divine

Just how deep do you believe?
Will you bite the hand that feeds?
Will you chew until it bleeds?
Can you get up off your knees?
Are you brave enough to see?
Do you want to change it?

So naive
I keep holding on to what I want to believe
I can see
But I keep holding on and on and on and on

Will you bite the hand that feeds you?
Will you stay down on your knees? [8X]

Ransom-ware

Since people don’t have enough to worry about with all the spy-ware, hijack-ware, ad-ware, etc. these days, now they can worry about ransom-ware. A malicious program comes in and encrypts all your documents, and you get to pay for the encryption key to be able to decrypt them… Nice! πŸ™‚

//www.cnn.com/2005/TECH/internet/05/24/internet.ransom.ap/

One more reason to buy a Macintosh, or at the very least, use Firefox instead of Internet Explorer.

Fortune Cookie Translation #1

Okay, because I’m bored, I’m going to start translating fortune cookie fortunes whenever I get one, so here’s my first one…

Fortune: You will receive an unexpected gift from an acquaintance
Translation: Don’t have sex with any acquaintances, because they have diseases

Wood iPod & Laptop Cases

Tired of the sleek look of your iPod or PowerBook? Well now you can look like your straight out of the 70s and get a wooden case for them.

They are custom made by Peter Kinne out of, “about 50 percent recycled or reclaimed wood from old hot tubs and tables, and stainless steel from salvaged bikes.”

If you want one of these bad boys, $39 will buy you the iPod case over here.

Bondage Action Figures

Apparently a Japanese toy company is coming out with a line of highly detailed bondage action figures. They look like good stocking stuffers for all kids. πŸ™‚

I didn’t scale the picture down intentionally just so you can see the fine craftsmanship and detail that went into these toys. heh

Stream XM Radio Online

Okay, so I’m addicted to XM Radio (satellite) since I bought my truck. I didn’t think I would use it at all, but it came with a 3 month trial (like a crack dealer… give you enough to get your hooked) so I tried it out. To make a long story short, my truck has a 6 disc CD changer that has never had a single CD in it (no exaggeration… it might not even work for all I know).

Anyway, I realized yesterday that if you have an XM Radio subscription, that also entitles you to listen to any XM Radio station online by streaming it live. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it requires Windows Media Player. Would be cool if they made it a normal Internet radio stream so you could listen to it with whatever you want (I prefer iTunes).

RAZRberry

Not new news, but something I just read… Motorola is working on a new version of their RAZR (which BTW is a really cool phone).

Basically it’s going to be as thin as the existing model, but wide enough for a QWERTY keyboard. It should also run some flavor of Windows Mobile as the operating system.

Texas Cheerleaders

I don’t know why I find this funny, but I do…

Texas lawmaker Al Edwards proposed a bill (which passed on a 85-55 vote) that specifically forbids cheerleaders to do “sexy cheers”, “shake their behinds” and/or “break it down”. What exactly is “breaking it down” anyway?

That’s our tax dollars being well spent. πŸ™‚

BTW, does anyone else think Al Edwards looks like Morgan Freeman’s long lost twin brother?

Blogger Stats

I wonder if Google is ever going to fix it so Blogger stats are updated on user’s profiles. It’s now been over 6 months before any user’s stats were updated (and counting). According to blogger, my last post was on November 3rd, and one of my blogs (which has well over 100 posts now) doesn’t have any posts and doesn’t even exist yet for that matter.

Google has a monster computing grid which essentially gives unlimited computing capacity for anything they want, but they can’t figure out how to get the stats updated on Blogger? Weird.

Dale Mohlenhoff Letter

Man I love attorneys… I got a letter from Dale Mohlenhoff today, letting me know that “my website” uses the phrase CREDIT AFTER BANKRUPTCY somewhere. Since American Debt Foundation has a registered service mark for that phrase, it is his belief that consumers are confused that when they are on “my site”, they think they are on American Debt Foundation’s site.

Let’s take a moment and forget the fact that Dale forgets to actually mention what the address or domain (or even name) of the offending site is… but even if he had, considering I don’t have any sites that have anything to do with bankruptcy, I think it should be interesting for them show the following in a court of law:

“…imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive…”

I looked up the service mark, and it has to do with “Conducting workshops and seminars in the fields of financial education, bankruptcy information, and credit re-establishment and credit acquisition as well as audio and video tapes.” Maybe I should put up a poll on Digital Point Solutions to find out how many people using ISP billing software or free webmaster tools thought they were actually attending a bankruptcy seminar or purchasing audio tapes. heh

Another interesting thing about this letter, is it keeps referencing an enclosed attachment that doesn’t exist. Maybe the opened envelope is the attachment? {shrug} Maybe he should get a job with Winn and Sims. Oh well, whatever… at least it gives me something to yammer about on my blog. haha

Hydrogen Powered Hummer

Hummer made a “proof of concept” vehicle that basically turned the Hummer SUT (which is what I have) into a hydrogen powered vehicle. The engine actually stayed the same (the Vortec V8), but was modified to work on hydrogen.

Now for the funny part… πŸ™‚ The hydrogen system is less powerful than the normal gasoline system, so they added a super charger to bring it up to 180hp (a little more than half the horsepower of the gasoline version without a supercharger). Which gave it comparable performance to the gasoline counterpart. You think a gasoline powered Hummer uses a lot of gas? The hydrogen powered version needs to be refueled every 60 miles. πŸ™‚

Oh well, at least they are working on it…

Speaking of which, some Australian dudes may have come up with a way to economically (and quickly) generate hydrogen from water using sunlight. The current way to make hydrogen in large quantities involves using a whole bunch of fossil fuels… Kind of stupid to burn up a bunch of fossil fuels just to make a clean burning fuel in the end… stupid.

Flaming Shots

In case you ever thought that drinking a flaming liquid might be a good idea, just watch this idiot…

Too bad it’s an animated gif, because it’s huge (almost 2MB). Someone that knows how to do anything useful in life (unlike me) should convert it to a .mpg or something so it doesn’t take so long to load.

Gas Stations

Man, it seems like I’m bitching and moaning about stuff lately, but here’s another thing that annoys me. Gas stations put caps on how much gas you can buy with your credit card in a single transaction, and with gas prices getting close to $3/gallon here, you always have to run two different transactions to fill up your tank. Most gas stations seem to cap the amount at $40, $50 or $60 worth of gas. If gas keeps going up, you are going to have to go through 3 separate transactions just to fill up your tank. Lame. Hopefully I have nothing else to bitch about for awhile. heh

Pink Is The New Blog

It’s really rare for me to post about someone else’s blog unless it’s *really* good. But I ran across one today.

//trent.blogspot.com/

It’s really just some guy rambling about celebrities, and I’m not one to give a rat’s ass about celebrities… but it’s pretty funny. Another nice thing is that it’s updated more than once a day, so there is always something new (unlike my blog.. hehe)

I Am A Dude Magnet

First of all, let me say that I never bought my car to attract people… That being said, one thing that I’ve found really annoying is the fact that I’m now a total guy magnet. It wouldn’t be quite so bad if I was a chick magnet (heh), but I’m not…. just guys.

Everywhere I go, I have guys stopping me, wanting to talk to me about my car. Everything from asking if I like it, to asking stupid questions like, “How much did it cost?”, “Do you think you could drive over my car?”, etc. I’ve had guys trying to talk to me about it when I’m on my cell phone, others block me into a parking space with their cars when I’m trying to leave.

Get a life guys… I don’t want to be your new boyfriend! hehe