Sunday, January 27, 2008

New Food

We've had a couple of nice revelations in food news here in our little town this week.

Firstly, the giant asian food market in Cary that we drive 3 hours to visit a few times a year is opening a new branch - here in Stallings! In fact, it'll be less than a half-mile up the road! This is a really nice, clean store the same size as a large grocery store, with a bakery (char siew buns all the time!) and even a small restaurant inside. Since we'll be regulars, we will have to ask them to carry a couple of the things that Bernie misses from Malaysia. Hopefully, this news will stimulate us to take walks in the evening, where we can be rewarded with something from the bakery!

Secondly, we got a flyer in the mail about a new restaurant called Dillas, which is a quesadilla place that delivers like a pizza place. We tried it last night and I'm sold. Mom was over visiting, so we ordered a 2-person quesadilla (a 14 inch tortilla folded in half) with spinach, chicken, mushrooms, tomatoes, etc. for them, and I (hating mushrooms) got a personal size one with steak, beans, onions and rice. Wow - it was very good and stayed crunchy during the delivery time. Probably much healthier than pizza, too. An interesting option is that they actually have one with pizza ingredients as well. Very cool, and we'll be doing this again sometime soon.

Now for something completely different. Three things Bernie told me she'd never do, caught on film:

knitting - and sitting with the cat on her lap (that's two in one):

And ironing:

Sunday, January 20, 2008

We Won't Get Fooled Again

With apologies to the Who.

Local meteorologists: Be warned. At no point this weekend did you even speak of the possibility that we would get no accumulation at all - until the snow and rain ended. In fact, when the rain, sleet and snow had not even started until three hours later than your prediction, instead of backing off, you reported that the predicted accumulation would in fact be more than you originally stated. In poker, this is known as a bluff. I canceled a road trip that I had been looking forward to for a long time based on your fear-mongering, and now we all feel stupid. You've abused the public trust yet again, and we won't be trusting you any longer.

I've been really lazy today and accomplished very little. At least I'll be well-rested for work on Monday.

Tuesday update: They did it again! Predicted gloom and doom ice storm for this morning, that is. Guess what? Nothing fell. It's not even that cold.

Saturday, January 19, 2008


I dragged Bernie out to see Cloverfield yesterday after work.

I loved it. With the self-imposed limitation of using a handheld camera and first-person perspective, I don't think it is possible to make a finer movie. It's not just a monster movie, it's more like really being there, and it also has a nice storyline that isn't connected to the monster.

This was a cross between a video game and a nightmare, and when the movie ended, I realized I'd been tensed up for an hour without relaxing. I never got the chance to get the popcorn that I'd been craving all day, either.

The only drawback is that Bernie hated the shaky-cam perspective. She says I owe her a chick-flick next time, and she won't buy my assertion that the love story in this movie counts.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Weekend Over Already!

Man, it went by so fast.

On Saturday, we began by going over to my parents' house and watching the UNC-MooU game. Very satisfying outcome, as UNC got a 30 point lead early and coasted for the rest of the game. The best thing about beating the wuffies is going to their message boards to watch them whine about the refs. Every time. Seriously. NC State has never lost a single game to UNC according to their fans. It's always been the referee favoring the Tar Heels. Even when they are beaten by 31 points, the ref caused the 30 point lead and the State players "quit because they could tell the fix was in". Then is the inevitable whine about how UNC "left the starters in" after the game got out of hand. What a bunch of idiots.

We stayed in on Saturday night and watched a bunch of junk on TV.

Sunday morning at 4 am, the cat started throwing up again. Poor guy. Of course, then he has to be fed again, and won't let us sleep until that's taken care of. I ended up closing the bedroom door and of course the cat has to bang on the door to let us know how he feels about that. When I got up for good, I had to go in to work for a little while. We deployed our new portal release today, and I was the test lead, so I had to round up the group and document and sign off on the production validation tests. This only took an hour or so.

Then Bernie and I tackled the big project - the attic. We bought a bunch of storage containers earlier in the week, since Target had a great sale price on them, and we condensed and reorganized our boxes, and we now have a metric ton of cardboard to get rid of, but we can walk in the attic again. I'm wiped out.

By the way, Bernie made chicken pot pie for dinner (and she already ate some of hers for lunch). Looks good, doesn't it?

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

ISP Change

Last week, i decided to get a divorce from Time Warner. In the past, I resolved never to get cablevision from them ever again, and only allowed them to provide me with broadband internet. Well, last month, they raised their already-higher-than-everyone-else rate from $44.95 a month to $46.95 a month, and put a note in the bill "warning" me that the rate was going up - in the bill with the rate increase in it! Thanks for the warning, jerks!

So I called up Windstream and found that I can get their Greenstreak broadband for $34.95 a month at 3mbps, which is technically slower than TW, but because TW is a shared connection, it turns out to be effectively the same speed. They can also bundle my Dish Network subscription and save me more money, but I have to be a Windstream customer for 6 months before they can take over my relationship with Dish. They also will be doubling that speed to 6mbps in February without raising the rate. After consulting Bernie, we signed up.

OK, so the installer shows up. I don't have a phone line connected to the house at all, because we use VoIP over the internet. The guy says he's only going to connect us to the box on the outside of the house and not do anything inside. Bernie calls me and she hands the phone to him and I tell him to make it work inside or the deal's off. I come home and he's done a crappy, messy wiring job inside my wiring cabinet to one phone jack in the house - upstairs. Strike one on Windstream. I'm ticked off, but I get out my wire tools and cut out his work and re-do it so that I now have a jack inside the wiring closet that I can plug the DSL modem into.

I have a letter in the mail from Windstream telling me that there is a sticker on the back of the letter with my ID and password, which is necessary in order to enable the DSL modem. I turn the letter over - no sticker. Strike Two.

So I call technical support. They ask me for all sorts of ID over the phone, then tell me they have no record of me at all. I'll have to call the business office in the morning to straighten it out. Strike Three.

Despite striking out, I decide to give them one more chance. The business office gets it straightened out, gives me my ID and password, and last night, I get it all working. The speed difference isn't noticeable. I guess we'll call Time Warner tomorrow and tell them to take a hike. That should be pleasant.

My readers should be used to something simple like this becoming a total train wreck by now.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

My New Ride

You are looking at my new truck. The color is "Dark Cherry Metallic". Aside from the intoxicating new car smell, the new features include the Sync audio system that hooks up to your MP3 player via USB and lets you do voice commands like the "Play artist Michael Bolton" gag on the commercials.

(Bernie tried that one on me this morning and I don't have any Michael Bolton on my MP3 player. Ha!)

It also will bluetooth to your cell phone and let you make or receive calls using the voice commands. Heck, it will even READ your text messages to you! We'll be taking a road trip to Raleigh soon, and I think I'm going to have to drive the truck rather than Bernie's car, gas mileage be damned!

I've probably seen the end of the new toys for a long time now, because I've had too many lately. But I'm now set for my car for the next 3 years. Hopefully, when that time comes again, they'll have some better, more fuel-efficient engines in small trucks.

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