Auto-tune the news never gets old. Here’s #9.
Auto-Tune the News #6 is pretty good too.
We picked the pool company (again) and finally signed the contract last night to build a pool in the yard.
It’s funny how this worked out. We were ready to sign the contract with a different pool company on Monday then something happened… I was ticked and didn’t want to use this company. You see, we picked this first company because the day before we discussed with them and agreed on a price with discount. Being a finance person, I put all the numbers onto a spreadsheet and expect the total to be X. The guy started to put all the numbers down on his contract sheet but didn’t bother with the discount that we agreed to the day before. When I pointed out to him that he missed the discount, he started by telling me ‘but I included this and that for free’ and wanted to see what the other company is giving me in the pool package. He also made a math mistake by somehow tagging on an extra 10K to the total price. He did realize his own mistake and fixed it. By then, I was soooo ticked that I didn’t want to deal with this anymore. So we called it a day.
Then, I called the other company and spoke to the sales guy and asked him to give me a better price and throw in some of the options that the first company was giving for “free”. Of course nothing is free, you are paying for it one way or the other. It’s included in the price. Free is when you don’t need to pay anything and they still give it to you.
That was Monday Columbus day where we were all taking a day off. My plan was to sign a contract on Monday so we can start the process of getting a permit from the town while I am away for 10 days starting on Wednesday. Well, things didn’t quite work out on Monday so it leaves only Tuesday.
Tuesday morning before 8:30, the first guy called a few times but I was still upset and didn’t want to talk to him. Work was busy and didn’t get to speak to the second guy until afternoon. Finally got the numbers and they looked OK but 10% more than the first guy. The truth is we can’t really compare the two companies solely base on the total cost because they are providing two different options. Since our house is on a slope, we need to have retaining wall built for the pool. The first company suggested using a lot of boulders for retaining wall (turns out the guy bought a lot of them and need to use them somehow) so the price is cheaper by more than 10% for the wall. The second company suggests building retaining wall using interlocking block system and won’t even suggest using boulders.
From the beginning, I was not comfortable with boulders and kept asking if they may roll down the hill. I am also not too crazy about the natural unfinished look of using boulders. I much prefer retaining wall with the finished look. So I got what I wanted (as always).
The funny thing was I got what I wanted only because the first guy didn’t give me the discount (it was less than 5% of the total price). I ended up paying 10% more but got what I wanted.
I rebuilt my Acer Aspire 1 with the factory provided DVDs. Mainly, I did this because I want to use the soon to be released Ubuntu 9.10 UNR. By installing and using the netbook’s version of XP I can get a good idea of a best case scenario as my baseline. With my newly purchased USB DVD drive I got to work.
Removing Ubuntu was a simple matter of logging into the netbook, becoming root, and then running fdisk. I deleted the existing partition and began installing XP. Which refused to boot because I did not delete grub properly.
I ended up booting fron another XP install CD. I selected recovery and ran fixmbr. I spent the whole afternoon getting updates from Microsoft. Once I was up to date I deleted McAfee and installed AVG Free.
The netbook is behaving remarkably fast. On a lark I installed FlashFire but haven’t looked to see if that’s what’s causing the netbook to be noticeably faster. Even Youtube is displaying quickly. If this continues to work so reliably then maybe I’ll leave XP on this machine.
The anime Darker than Black has started a new season and it’s set 2 years after the end of the first season. So far with the exception of April and July (and of course Hei) the settings are totally different. The story starts of a bit slow but as usual the action and the soundtrack make the whole episode work.
There has to be a back story here that will be fleshed out; Hei looks like a homeless superhero. This should be a fun one to watch.
Oh, and there was one thing that made me laugh. One of the main characters of this episode was shooting with a Nekon D201.
President Obama wins the Nobel Peace Prize. Seriously. Wait, what?
President Obama was awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.Less than nine months into his presidency, Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.Less than nine months into his presidency, Barack Obama has been awarded the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize.The first African-American to win the White House, Obama was praised by the Norweigan Nobel Committee for “his extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between peoples.”
Next week the President will show the world he can walk on water. The Birthers and the wingnuts conspiracy folks are going to go bat**** crazy with this one.
I really think this is going to make President’s job much harder. Talk about raising expectations.
Looks like the Swiss aren’t taking chances.
Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said prosecutors opposed the release because the government believes there is a high risk Polanski could flee if released from custody.
A high risk of fleeing. Gee, ya think?
Note to self: next time you install PSE 8 make sure you turn off the Auto-Analyzer. The PSE 8 Organizer tried to analyze 23,000 old photos. That did really bad things to my CPU usage.
I’m playing with Typekit at the moment and having font fun. As I write this I am using Legendum by Roger van Dalen amd Droid Serif by Google Android. Today I received an e-mail from Typekit with my invitation (I applied a couple of weeks ago). I created my account, selected my fonts, and inserted two lines into my blog’s header.
The idea works like this: instead of just using the built in fonts specified in your style sheet, you can select and implement the font you want from Typekit’s offering. This way, the fonts that are displayed match what you want versus what the browser thinks. It works with all current versions of web browsers such as Firefox 3.5.x and Internet Explorer 8. It does not work with Internet Explorer 6, but who cares?
I signed up for the free trial so I’m limited to 2 fonts. Once you select a font you can apply it to the CSS tags that you want. I did not have to change my style.css in anyway, just get the CSS tags right. You can see the badge in the lower right hand corner and if you click it you’ll get to see what’s running font-wise on this page.
Very cool and I’ll keep poking at this.
I may have been under a rock lately. I saw on Reddit that Microsoft Internet Explorer 8 supported StartSSL certificates. So as a goof I signed up at https://www.startssl.com/ and applied for a free server certificate.
I generated via their web page a certificate for blog.dembowski.net, installed it on my apache server and started using it. Firefox complained that I’m not certified as I have not validated who I am. That’s reasonable and very X.509v3 of them.
Internet Explorer 8 used the SSL cert for my server without a single hiccup. Other than my WordPress mixes http and https on the same page, there were no complaints. Internet Explorer just used the SSL cert without any problems.
I use SSL certs for privacy and not for identity, so self-signed SSL certs that I have generated are no big deal for me. But having a Microsoft browser not complain about my SSL web site is surreal.
Edit: Oh. Turns out you also need to follow these instructions too. I added SSLCertificateChainFile to my conf and on my other laptop Firefox does not complain at all now. Chrome works like a charm too.
How did I find out about my misconfiguration? Because I recieved this e-mail from StartSSL this morning:
This mail is intended for the person who owns a digital certificate issued by the StartSSL™ Certification Authority (http://www.startssl.com/).
It seems, that the installation of your server certificate with serial number 45568 for blog.dembowski.net is not complete! You should add the intermediate CA certificate to your installation. This is important, because most browsers will issue an error if this is not properly done. Please consult the installation instructions at http://www.startssl.com/?app=20 on how to do that. The missing certificate can be obtained from http://www.startssl.com/certs/sub.class1.server.ca.pem
StartSSL™ Certification Authority
So after I applied for a cert, they reached out to check if I installed it correctly. For Free. How cool is that?