Please use GoodSearch for your internet searches and select a charity (such as Dominican Sisters of Houston). Thank you.

stuff I might actually buy this year

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

D40 bd35k SOG flashlight hippo

Nikon D40 DSLR (good enough according to Ken Rockwell)
Panasonic DMP-BD35K
SOG S63 EOD eyeing it as a gift for a friend
L.L. Bean Solar Dynamo Radio Light
Fisher Price Amazing Animals Hippo (Thanks Natty!)

snackin' Christmas

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 24, 2008


off to midnight mass

This year, my volunteerism is not needed at any of the services at my parish. That leaves me free to attend midnight mass at the cathedral. Yay! We'll take off in a few minutes. Christmas carols precede the mass.

corn dog lunch

big photos of the shuttle

Monday, December 22, 2008

The Big Picture tells stories in B-I-G photos. Here's a set of photos of the shuttle.

NASA looking for rubber ducks

NASA offers $100 to first person to find their rubber duck.

PHOTO here.

new HDD

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Brrrr. Pretty cold these days.

My friends, I have spent an inordinate, exorbitant amount of time setting up my new hard disk drive. My computer, from which I blog and do all things digital, has been a one-drive system from the day I bought it almost two years ago. I have gleefully acquired for myself another drive (hereon referred to as "HDD") and plunged into unfamiliar territory of setting it up; hence the crazy amount of time it took. In my case, I want the new drive to be my main, or "system" drive with a clean install including clean install of applications.

If you would like the full details, please e-mail me. In fact, if you ever have questions, please e-mail me. In brief, the tasks for setting up were:
(1) Decide how to partition the drive -- I opted for two partitions, a 30GB for the operating system and programs, and the remainder of the HDD for data. Both NTFS.
(2) Enable AHCI in the BIOS.
(3) Perform clean install of Vista. During installation, there is an opportunity to partition the HDD; that's when the partitioning happens. No need to pre-partition the HDD.
(4) Install Vista updates and drivers, especially for your motherboard, monitor, and graphics card. Also any drivers that will help your internet connection gain optimum speed. In my case, I had forgotten the password to the modem and had to get that reset ... it ended up being among the last things that got accomplished. Regarding Vista updates, if you have service pack 1 (SP1) alread downloaded, it probably would help speed things up. I had SP1, but couldn't find it when I needed it.
(5) Edit registry so that Vista will create user directories in the data partition, not the system partition. There may be other ways, I don't know.
(6) Create user accounts.
(7) Install applications.
(8) Copy files from the "old" user accounts to the user accounts on the new HDD. Very important that folder options be used to enable viewing of hidden files ... e-mails are under those. If you copy files into each folder under each user, then the Vista folder icons will remain intact. If you copy the whole user folder over, the folder icons will be just the plain ones.
(9) Perform any other set-ups for other applications. In my case, I set up Windows Media Center so that I can watch and record TV, where to save the recording, and also tell it where to find the recordings already in the older HDD. E-mail was already set up when I copied the e-mail folders over. However, it will require that you confirm your password on first login if you have the "remember password" option enabled.
update: (9b) If you have collected fonts over time, copy the fonts over to the new drive.
(10) Use the back up feature in Vista to back up the system partition onto DVD's so that you won't have to go through this craziness again. (I have Vista Ultimate ... other editions might not have this feature.)

After a month or so, I may delete the old files. Alternatively, I can back up the data files onto DVD and go ahead and wipe clean the old drive.

The details of hunting and searching for "how to's," of false starts, wrong paths, and "grumbling" (putting it nicely) are not included in the list.

Now that it's done, I can go back to being busy about other things. Happy computing to all!

monks chant

Sunday, December 14, 2008

I've been looking for a Gregorian chant CD by monks. Yes, I want all men's voices.

The Best Works of Gregorian Chant by the Monks of Santo Domingo De Silos Abbey turns out NOT to be what I'm looking for.

However, I kinda like the following two (and now I'm tired of searching and will stop here):
update: also here
I'm not sure what it is I'm looking for; perhaps a rich bass undertone (without tweaking the equalizer).

I'm leaning towards Chant Music for Paradise.

If y'all have a suggestion for other CD's along these lines, please drop me a note. Thanks.

random shot

Friday, December 12, 2008

I believe this is the chapel at University of the Incarnate Word

free rice

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Free Rice was a bit addicting for me. It's multiple choice on the meaning of a word. They'll give you the correct answer and eventually the ones you got wrong come back around.

I never got to level 50, though I tried until I'm falling asleep in my chair here.

The Advent Conspiracy

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

seen at Waiting for the day

The Advent Conspiracy


Monday, December 01, 2008

Consider it done. I replaced the bottom of the kitchen sink cabinet. The old bottom was fiberboard or pressboard and it crapped out after getting soaked. I removed the failed cabinet bottom and have put plywood in its place. I painted the plywood (after applying primer) with some trim paint I had lying around. The replacement is not as good a job as I would have liked, but I think it's functional enough. If we put everything in a few rectangular buckets and let the buckets sit on the cabinet bottom, I think it'll work beautifully. The link to the series of photos can be found at the earlier post.

puppy cam

(click on image to go to the live cam)
update: it doesn't seem to be working any more