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Cats & Their Toy Mice

Posted 2012.08.18 10.19 in Cats

I think it’s kind of cute that the cats tend to keep their toys all together. I’m sure it’s just coincidence or whatever, but they play with the toy mice then when they’re done playing, the toy mice all end up in a little group.

Except there was something… unusual about the collection of toy mice, this morning.

Maybe don’t read on, if you’re easily squicked out.

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Wreck of a Weekend

Posted 2011.04.25 9.23 in Aquaria, Sports, Uncategorized

What a miserable crappy long weekend. The weather wasn’t as bad as forcast, though it was still fairly dreary. That wasn’t the worst of it though.

Thursday night was supposed to be good but instead I had to watch first Montreal, then Vancouver lose their playoff games. One disappointment after the next.

Friday was marginally better, with a new Fringe episode – although I didn’t think it was that great an ep. Too much telling, not enough showing.

Then Saturday night Montreal lost yet again. Three losses in a row now.

And last night was Vancouver’s turn to drop their third in a row. They were up 3-nil in the series, now it’s on to game seven.

And through all of this, my beloved pet snails had been dying off. I don’t know what the hell happened exactly, because the fish and frog in the same tank have been doing fine. Just all the snails died. The last couple died on Sunday. Including Little Buddy, who had been with me for nearly two years. He was my little methusela snail, the one who wouldn’t die. Till yesterday.

RIP Little Buddy.

What a crappy weekend. Nothing good came out of it, just disappointment and sadness.

Thermostat Failure

Posted 2011.04.14 16.51 in Computers/Internet/Technology

After nearly a full month of flawless operation, my DIY ethernet thermostat suffered some kind of stroke yesterday evening, and this morning slipped into a coma.

I don’t know what cause the glitch but it appears that the microcontroller that runs the whole thing has been fatally befuddled. And while 98.2% of the time, I use a socket for any IC in any project, in this case for some stupid reason I did not.

Indeed, everything is soldered, hot-glued, and taped in there so well that I’m not sure it’s even worth-while attempting to debug & repair. I think this is a back-to-the-drawing-board moment. Or at least, back-to-the-assembly-line moment.

So, I have a couple replacement parts on order (and you can bet I’m re-stocking my IC stocket supply), and I suppose I’ll have to rebuild the darn thing over the weekend. It wouldn’t be such an issue if this had happened closer to the summer months, but for now I can’t leave the house unheated for days-on-end.

Hopefully the parts will arrive tomorrow and I’ll be able to get at it. Otherwise it’ll probably be a week before I can recover from this tragedy.

In the meantime, my home heating needs are being serviced by this neolithic thermostat that was recovered from an archaeological dig, and has been on display in a dusty old museum somewhere. Or quite possibly I found it on a shelf in the storage closet.

Broken Nano

Posted 2010.09.13 22.33 in Computers/Internet/Technology

My iPod Nano broke…

I’m not exactly sure, but I suspect the damage happened when I was prying it open with a metal screwdriver.

I only wanted to see what was inside. I was curious and bored. I blame Apple – they make these things so darn difficult to open. I mean honestly – they are designed to be disposable, and that isn’t cool. If the battery goes soft, you are expected to throw it out. If the headphone jack gets loose, you’re expected to throw it out.

I’m not just ticked about being expected to toss out a $175-ish product, but the wastefullness is pretty eco-harsh. Not that I’m helping, by killing it with curiosity. But come on, is it that horrendous to throw a couple screws on the back, instead of sealing it up with self-destructing metal click tabs.

Serendipity?

Posted 2010.03.09 9.46 in Computers/Internet/Technology

After all theĀ hype last month about the winter olympics, I was contemplating maybe getting thisĀ Vancouver Olympics DS game that I had seen advertised.

I was midly interested, but not enough to plunk out the cash. So I more or less forgot about it.

Then just the other day I was over at the post office, and in the parking lot I spotted an abandoned DS cartridge! I picked it up and turned it over and surprise! It was the vancouver winter olympics cart I had been thinking of getting. Coincidence? Hmm…

Well, when I got home I popped it in my DS and then found out why it had been abandoned. It didn’t work – not recognized. Upon closer inspection, I saw that the plastic casing had a bit of damage – nothing obvious, but just a slight ‘dent’. I pried the cartridge open and pulled out the board inside, and then I could see the real problem.

The precious mask-ROM chip was cracked. Maybe the cart got slammed in a car door or something. Just enough to crack the ROM chip but not enough to really disfigure the cart or damage the circuit board.

I tried some different tools but the ROM was most-assuredly deceased. The EEPROM was still alive and accessable though, and I was able to retrieve the game saves from it. So, 222 and shadow, whoever you are, I have your game save data. The game itself though is toast.

Anyways then I was reading about the game, and found that there’s this bit where you have to try and save winter because some bad guys have stolen the snow spirits and it isn’t going to snow any more anywhere ever. The one little snow spirit who escaped is all like begging for help to save his friends so they can make it snow again…

No more snow? Yeah… see I’m kinda ok with that. Good luck though.