March 31, 2006

Trading Spouses: Feel-Good TV

I admit it: Fox's Trading Spouses is a guilty pleasure.

The families they manage to find for that show are just so amazingly bizarre that you can't help but watch the trainwreck and then feel much better about your own life.

Like the crazy dad on this week's show. The man was washing butternut squash with handsoap. He gives his children three minutes in which to drink an entire glass of milk. A time for everything, and everything only at its time.

I... Just... Wow.

If ever I didn't appreciate my own family, that show would remind me on a weekly basis just how good I had it.

Posted by Colin at 8:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 27, 2006

Roof Rack

For my own future reference (or anyone else with a ZJ-model Grand Cherokee):

The following Thule and Yakima rack setups will use the factory roof rack siderails. The factory crossbars must be removed with either system. It's a winning proposition anyway, since my factory crossbars are absolute toast at this point and I wouldn't chance tying anything to them.

Both kits can be bought piece-by-piece, and Thule and Yak both sell half-sets of the towers if I need to go in teeny increments.

Thule
430 Tracker II
TK2 Tracker
LB50 Load Bars
$196 MSRP/total

Needs 5 locks, $56 MSRP

Opt. 871 Fairing, add $60 MSRP

Yakima
Control Tower
Landing Pad 2
48" Crossbar
$169 MSRP/total

Needs 5 locks, $55 MSRP

Opt. 38" Fairing, add $50 MSRP

Posted by Colin at 3:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

AirPort Express and Voodoo

Okay, I have to clear this up because a myth has been propagating for far too long.

Some people are experiencing their AirPort Express base stations simply disappearing off the face of the earth when they go to use them, particularly in the later firmware revisions. I am among them.

Somewhere along the line, someone made a crazy jump of logic that the Express' DHCP client was the problem, because changing their Express to use a fixed IP address instead of a dynamic one fixed things. It just snowballed from there, with countless other Express owners experiencing no further problems after trying it, generating credence for the myth. I hate to break it to the DHCP Voodoo crowd, who are positively certain that it's assigning a static IP that fixed all their problems, but that's not the case.

The actual problem is not with the DHCP client, but with signal interference.

The reason your AirPort Express suddenly stopped dropping out is only tangentially related to DHCP.

Every AirPort Express unit ships in "Automatic" channel selection mode. Every time the Express is rebooted, it scans for competing base stations and selects the best possible channel. When you change any settings, the Express reboots. Ergo, after you selected fixed addressing and hit the Update button, the AirPort Express rebooted found a new, interference-free channel.

If someone sets up a new base station within range of yours, or someone's cordless phone happens to use your channel, your Express will still go tits-up regardless of whether or not it's using DHCP.

Posted by Colin at 12:32 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 23, 2006

Sing!

So the Dresden Dolls have a wonderful new song out titled "Sing."

The album it's on—Yes Virginia—doesn't come out until next month (darnit), and it's not available as a single, so you'll have to catch it on the radio. (See, radio's still good for something after all!)

Great song. Even more epic, I think, than anything off the self-titled album. It's got nice buildup and crescendo.

They're also coming back to Phoenix! They're playing at the Club House in Tempe on April 17th. 8pm, all ages, $15.

Even better-er, they're also putting out a song book for $40 in April containing sheet music and guitar tablature for their songs. And lots of photos. And a bonus DVD.

Yum.

Posted by Colin at 2:26 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 22, 2006

The Undead Seek Mates

So, Joan Rivers, in search of a beau, has posted a profile on Match.com.

And much to her surprise, she has received zero responses so far.

Eh?

1. She's Joan Rivers. You have to be able to stand Joan Rivers to date Joan Rivers.
2. If you go to a personals site and see someone using the photograph of a celebrity, you're going to assume it's a fake.

Ergo, I invite Ms. Rivers and any other celebrities to use my new dating service, StarSchmuckMatch.com. We serve to help average schmucks (and schmuckettes!) meet up with fabulous Hollywood heartthrobs for romantic trysts. All celebrity profiles are hand-verified before posting, ensuring no average joe is lured into an undesirable relationship (well, if they are, at least they know the celebrity is authentic). Join today for only 9 easy payments of $99.99!

Posted by Colin at 9:20 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 19, 2006

Rain o'er me

How about that rain again today in the valley? That was great. Second time this month the Phoenix weather has washed my car for me.

After it stopped raining I opened my bedroom window all the way to just let the cool, fresh air flow through. And it stayed that way until 7:30 tonight, when I finally had to close it because it was actually getting too cold in the house.

The thermometer says it's 72 in my bedroom as I'm typing this, but my freezing feet guess it's actually a little chillier.

Posted by Colin at 10:55 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 14, 2006

Political Logic

1. Legislation was introduced in Phoenix to restrict sales of pseudoephedrine.
2. Zero arrests have resulted from the restrictions or the "leads" offered by them.
3. Meth usage has increased throughout the state of Arizona.

Ergo, according to the politicians behind it, the legislation has been successful.

Uh... huh?

The same politicians proudly make the statement that they found some people were buying pseudoephedrine from multiple pharmacies. People shop at multiple stores? Someone call Ripley's!

Posted by Colin at 6:07 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 13, 2006

Where's my rain at?

Screw you, weather!

You may have rained forever on Saturday, but the forecast was that you were to rain again on Sunday. You have failed me.

Then again, the mountains I can see from my front yard are still completely coated in snow, so I can't complain too much.

Plus my car's clean now. Yay rain!

You're welcome again any day now, Mr. Rain.

Posted by Colin at 12:11 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 11, 2006

All hail glorious rain, lord of the sky!

Thank you India, thank you terror, thank you disillusionment... the skies have opened and upon the Earth they have dumped an unholy (but much-welcomed!) amount of precipitation.

It has literally been raining here in Chandler since before I woke up this morning. Nearly non-stop. Even when it quit "raining" for a while, it was still sprinkling. Glorious, glorious rain. I love it.

Suck on that, 140-some-odd days without rain! Your reign of terror is over!

I love the rain. It's a shame it's been such a party pooper this year up until now. (Also, I'm really, really glad I didn't make any camping plans for this weekend, since it's apparently like hell frozen over once you get an hour out of Phoenix.)

Posted by Colin at 9:49 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 7, 2006

Fun with Polaroid

I gave a brief presentation on Polaroid image and emulsion transfers to a bunch of artists last night, and it seemed to go over really well. I received a number of compliments when it was over on how interesting it was. Way to luck out, heh.

If you've never tried a Polaroid image transfer or emulsion transfer, definitely give it a look. It's easy as all get out to begin and you can end up with some absolutely amazing results.

The image transfer Bible is Holly Dupré's eBook, and there's a large gallery of nothing but image transfers and emulsion lifts at Marek Uliasz' Polaroid Transfer Resources.

Polaroid transfers are also an excellent start for mixed media projects—you can lay down an image transfer as a framework and easily pastel, pencil, or paint the hell out of it.

One tip: if you try an emulsion lift, be sure to slap some Contact Paper on the backing. Some tutorials leave this step out, to disastrous results: the backing will dissolve in the hot water you use to lift the emulsion, leaving you with a bunch of nasty hot water and possibly polluting your emulsion layer with annoying white flecks.

Posted by Colin at 7:47 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

March 3, 2006

Jury Duty

Oh joy and rapture, I've been summonsed to appear before the Superior Court for jury selection.

I have to give Arizona credit for trying to make the process agreeable. They give you much more notice than other states due (it's nearly two months to my appointment; I've heard from friends out-of-state who get a week's notice). And if you're "lucky" enough to be assigned to the Superior Court in downtown Phoenix, they've recently renovated with all sorts of neat stuff to hopefully speed up the trial, and they also offer WiFi for sale so you can do something productive (or completely unproductive) during breaks.

Of course, I didn't get summonsed to the Phoenix court; mine's for the Mesa court. Which isn't all bad, since it's a heck of a lot closer than downtown Phoenix. But it also probably means it'll be something less interesting, as the exciting cases all seem to go downtown.

Whatever potential cases I've received a summons for today is irrelevant anyway, as I've got to defer it until the summer due to scheduling conflicts. Which is another area Arizona cleans up: you can do your summons responses online, including choosing an exact deferred date you can serve for the selection process. Sweet.

Posted by Colin at 7:19 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack