Happy Thanksgiving!

A little Halo 2, a little football (the Lions are wearing their retro uniforms again (boy they look horrible) (boy, the Colts are going to spank them)), and a bunch of food.

Just a shout out to my brother, John! Hope you guys have a great Thanksgiving there in North Carolina!

And to everyone else, fill up on turkey and save the apple pie for me.

Thank you, Mr. Gore

I’m so glad Al Gore invented the internet. Otherwise I would have had a very frustrating evening (instead of just a kinda frustrating evening).

We gave Alix The Sims 2 game this evening and she immediately started installing it. It got to a particular point each time and then died, complaining about a video driver. Hmm. I gave it a try and it rewarded me with a BSOD, pointing to the video driver. I did a quick check online but there weren’t any updates.

I Googled around for the DLL name and ran across a newsgroup posting relating to The Sims 2 hardware requirements. Hmmm. I jumped to The Sims web site and sure enough, the graphics card on Alix’s 1 year old computer wasn’t up to snuff. They had a list of compatible cards, so with that information I searched BestBuy.com and found a number of them available, one at almost half price. Things were looking up.

I went to Dell.com and looked up the specs on Alix’s computer and yes, it has an AGP card slot. Good. I then hopped back to BestBuy.com, checked local stores for the card’s availability. Yes, the Beaverton store had a bunch of the ones that were almost 50% off in stock!

I checked reviews of various cards online and saw that the card that was on sale was deemed “good.”

So Pam and I hopped in the car and returned a couple hours later with a new video card. I plugged it in and Bam! everything worked like magic, including The Sims 2.

Life is good with the Internet.

Thank you, Mr. Gore, for inventing it. I’ll bet you would have made an excellent president.

English bangers and mash

Mmmmm…. Good nerd dinner.

As Ian and I were deciding on what to order, he said, “I think I’m going to have ‘Bangers and mash.'” Hmmm. Sounded to me like firecrackers and slop. He patiently explained to me that “bangers” are English sausages and “mash” is mashed potatoes. OK. That sounded much better than what I had envisioned.

So we both ordered the “Bangers and mash,” and I felt very British for a while. I even put some “Extra Spicy” English mustard on the sausages, which Ian said was nothing compared to authentic spicy English mustard.

It was excellent food. And lively conversation. There’s nothing like a nerd dinner (although excellent food is definitely not the norm).

Oh yeah… Ian is a masterful cab-hailer. After dinner he dashed out into the middle of a busy San Francisco street and flagged one down like a pro. Very impressive.

Good times.

The price of living on the West Coast

Sometimes I like to sit and watch a good football game on TV – even a pro football game. This won’t be one of those days. Even though the undefeated Jets are playing the undefeated Patriots, I’m not going to watch. Why not? Because that game isn’t being broadcast here in the Portland area.

Sure, I could pay a bunch of money to get “NFL Season Ticket” – a premium service in which every game played every week is telecast and available. But the thought of paying $219 (plus the basic Direct TV charges) to watch mediocre teams with steroid-bulked-up overpaid self-worshipers who don’t know the concept of teamwork do a dance when they finally make one good play, just to see an occasional good game (like the Jets and the Pats) doesn’t interest me in the least.

This week’s network TV action in Portland, instead of two undefeated teams, is: the Chargers against the Panthers (ugh), the Lions and the Giants (egads!), or the Seahawks and the Cardinals (ick).


There’s always the World Series this evening. (Maybe Manny will try another “graceful” sliding catch in the outfield – that was good comedy. : )

Where there’s rain there’s snow…

It’s been a relatively dry past few weeks here in the Portland area (but the skies have been nice and grey – oh, yeah, nice and grey).

The weather folks are finally predicting some snow for the Cascades over the nest few days. Maybe there will be enough to make going up to Mt. Hood worthwhile. Currently there’s only 18″ at the bottom and only the groomed runs are open. Blah. Not worth the effort.

That’s one thing about living in the northwest – during the winter when it’s really crappy weather in the lowlands it usually means there’s snow in the mountains.

San Fran time

Hurray! PDX now has free WiFi. I was able to sync up with e-mail while I was waiting on my flight to San Francisco. I’m down here (SFO) for a couple of days, tending to “booth duty” at Oracle World. : )

On Thursday I get to do a demo of VS 2003 for the folks in the sitting area at the booth, which seats about 20 people (from what I understand). I wish my demo was of VS 2005, but Keen gets to have that fun on Wednesday afternoon.

On Wednesday evening Ian and I are getting together at the 21st Amendment for a little SFO Nerd Dinner. If you happen to be in town, come on over. We’re going to meet around 6:30 or so…