The Island of Lost Resolution

In preparation for the coming year, a progress report on last year’s resolutions, which Rochelle recently found on her computer.

Rochelle found the following snippet on her computer, dated at the end of last year:

“Crap Reduction and Abatement Program — While we have remained committed to the idea of having less stuff, we still have way too much crap. Michael has promised to get rid of his BeBox collection by January 17th (the one year anniversary of their arrival). I have promised to throw any remaining BeBoxes out the front window on January 18th. I have vowed that since Spring semester doesn’t start until February, I would dedicate a couple of weekends in January to weeding through the dressing room which, despite our good intentions, has reverted once again to the Island of Lost Crap.”

For the record, all three of these things will be on our resolutions list at the end of this year, too.

Found It

I woke up this morning at 3am, and after 30 minutes of trying to relax back into sleep, I gave up, and started thinking again about where to find my errant ADB cable. A few minutes later the answer came to me, plain as day.

I woke up this morning at 3am, and after 30 minutes of trying to relax back into sleep, I gave up, and started thinking again about where to find my errant ADB cable.

Amazing what a little time and unconsciousness will do for remembering things. I remembered quite vividly that I had indeed put the ADB cables into a box, as I’d originally thought. What was new was the clear recollection that one smaller box had not fit into the larger tote bin I have all the others in. I knew exactly where that one box was, and that I hadn’t searched it yesterday, completely missing it because it was in plain sight.

So, I got up, and opened the box. There it was, my four ADB cables. Back in business! Cranking through the G3 purge over the weekend. Hope to sell it next week…

Fancy Detective Work

So I am, as part of my effort to get rid of crap around the house, working on resuscitating my old Mac, a Beige G3, in order to sell it. The system has been sitting in the corner of our office, completely disconnected. Indeed, I’d unplugged everything from it, and stored the cables, mouse, keyboard, etc., elsewhere. Heh, to reduce clutter. Now there’s just one piece I can’t find…

So I am, as part of my effort to get rid of crap around the house, working on resuscitating my old Mac, a Beige G3, in order to sell it. The system has been sitting in the corner of our office, completely disconnected. Indeed, I’d unplugged everything from it, and stored the cables, mouse, keyboard, etc., elsewhere. Heh, to reduce clutter.

So setting it up initially involves tracking down all the pieces, so that I can turn it on. Power, graphics, and Ethernet were easy; those are already connected to things in the office, I can just borrow them. And I knew where the keyboard was, because I had used it for a while on my new Mac, until I found an acceptable replacement. After digging in boxes for 20 minutes, I found the old mouse. The only piece missing is an ADB cable to attach the keyboard to the Mac.

I can’t find one.

After digging in boxes in four different rooms for over an hour, I just can’t find where I stored the damn thing. I probably have exactly one of them, and it’s just hiding from me.

So, time to take a break, and think about where it could be. Let’s see, I got the new Mac about two years ago…both Macs where hooked up and running for a couple months…what did I do when I disconnected the G3? Well, I kept using the old keyboard for a while…but that was with an adapter, not the keyboard cable. What did I do when I retired the keyboard…?

Hmmm, wait a minute! I have a padded keyboard case, that I bought specifically for that beloved old keyboard, except the damn thing doesn’t fit. So I took the keyboard out of it, but maybe the cable is still there!

Ummm…but where did I put the keyboard case? Well, the closet, maybe, on the top shelf…? Yes, there it is! And, the top is still open! And look, there’s something inside it!

Eureka! My swim goggles!

Still looking…

DHI 126

Daily Home Improvements: Shredding.

DHI 126: Cleared off my dresser top, mostly by shredding all the old ATM and credit card receipts I was keeping there. After two years, it seems unlikely I was ever really going to enter them into Quicken…

Wow, my worst week ever. I started well, working on the dresser crap while Rochelle watched the network movie Martha, Inc., but then did nothing for the rest of the week.

Oh, well…

DHI 115-121

Daily Home Improvements: HTML work, cable babysitting, redesign work, The World as a Blog, saving junk, RSS work, and some purging of crap.

DHI 115: Continued my obsessive tweaking of this site’s HTML template until I finally got it to (once again) validate as correct HTML. We’ll see how long that lasts…

DHI 116: Stayed home to wait for The Cable Guy to fix our cable. Two days in a row.

DHI 117: Began some major work on this weblog’s design, with the intention of moving it to XHTML + CSS. This is going to be some effort, so you may see the results in chunks as I roll them out.

DHI 118: Added Geo Tags to this blog. Now, before you sneeeeef at how nerdy this is, you should check out the geoblog, where you can see the world wake up and blog, in real-time. Very groovy. Uh, to us nerds…

DHI 119: Moved some empty (future eBay shipping) boxes down to the basement, and generally cleared the crap from a small area of the massive pile of crap in my office.

DHI 120: Added channel-specific RSS feeds for this site. This involved fixing a defect in the software that I use to run this blog, which was preventing the easy changes from working.

DHI 121: Emptied out one of my many plastic storage bins of a bunch of home electronics (center speaker, side speakers, cables, cheap analog camera, etc.) that I don’t want, or want to store, any more. On its way to Goodwill, eventually.

DHI 108-114

Daily Home Improvements: stacking and racking, money laundering, some anti-spam work, a little bit of moving furniture, some work on this blog, and being The Cable Guy.

DHI 108: Continued sorting through and stacking software CDs, eliminating two more piles, and almost completely cleaning one of the many cluttered flat surfaces in reaching distance from my computer chair.

DHI 109: Took 2552 pennies, plus 2 dimes, a quarter, and a couple foreign coins that snuck in, down to Safeway’s change redemption machine. The machines keeps an 8.9% fee, which sounds high until you realize that it’s from money that’s too damn heavy and bulky to ever use in the Real World anyway. If Safeway didn’t have a machine to count them, I’d probably have just thrown them in the street…

DHI 110: Another batch of CDs sorted, separated from documentation, and slotted into the rack. Grabbed another stack from our dressing room, which is really our indoor storage and junkyard.

DHI 111: Converted to a new anti-spam tool, expired one of my e-mail addresses that is getting too much spam, and added a new anti-spam category to this weblog.

DHI 112: We moved our television out of the bedroom and into our parlor. Our setup isn’t as complicated as some — TV, VCR, TiVo, and cable box — but it’s still a pain in the ass to take apart and put back together. To say nothing of lifting my 10-year old TV, of course, which is damn heavy. Rochelle did a nice job of labeling the cables, and I cleaned the 2 years of dust off. Of course, when we hooked it all back together, it didn’t work. After an hour of troubleshooting, we called our cable company. Turns out it’s a neighborhood-wide outage, not us. What are the chances of that??

DHI 113: A variety of tweaks to this weblog. A few TITLE tags, to provide pop-up help; converting many HTML tags to lower-case, in anticipation of migrating to XHTML; converting to an external stylesheet, which should improve the performance of this site a bit; rearranged the sidebar; and a few other smallish things like that.

DHI 114: A trip to Radio Shack, to buy a 50′ coax extension, since it appears that — in the wake of the neighborhood-wide outage from DHI 112 being fixed — only one of the two cable drops in our house is actually functional. The cable coils its way down our hallway, definitely unsightly, but Rochelle was able to watch the season finale of Alias. The cable guy comes tomorrow morning to activate the other drop.

DHI 102-107

Daily Home Improvements: stackin’ plastic, biting off more than I expected, more anti-spam, and a little lipstick on the pig.

DHI 102: Began work on a major consolidation of all my software CDs, from the scattered piles, shelves, and bins that I’ve tossed them into, down to a single CD rack. This is going to be a big project, since I just put in an hour, and I’ve barely dented the task. I think I might need a second CD rack!

DHI 103: Continued working on the migration of my system, installing a number of software packages from CD and fresh downloads. This is a huge task! It will likely take me a couple of months, because I am trying to only move things over as I need them, so that my new system setup has only the software and tweaks that I actually use.

DHI 104: Edited Aldosoft to update the contact e-mail address, and configured Sendmail to block messages sent to the old address. I did this because there was a sudden jump in the amount of spam being sent to the old address.

DHI 105: Did some tweaking on this blog’s page template, updating the copyright date, adding the subtitle to the page as well as the TITLE attribute, and replacing the text RSS subscription link with the rapidly-becoming-standard 80×15 graphic badge for the same.

DHI 106: Submitted this site’s new URL to GeoURL, and added the graphic badge for it to the page.

DHI 107: Added an RSS 2.0 syndication feed to this web log.

DHI 99-101

Daily Home Improvements: Lock outs, the Terminator, and the Great Migration.

DHI 99: I changed the locks on our front and back doors, in preparation for terminating our housecleaner. Sadly, it’s necessary. To make matters worse, I forgot to really look at the front door lock in-place. It’s older and unusual, in that it’s a deadbolt that integrates with the regular door handle. When I got back from the rekeying, I could not figure out how to put it back together quite the way it was…

DHI 100: It’s sad that this particular milestone was letting our housecleaner go. Unfortunately we had an ugly, ugly tax surprise this year, and cutting back on expenses became rapidly more important than the convenience of having someone clean up after us.

DHI 101: I didn’t record any additional distinct DHIs this week, because my access to my weblog was cut off due to my system migration. I did actually do some things, but I find that if I don’t write them down quickly, I forget them. All I can remember from this week is the work I did on re-installing Mac OS X, and migrating over my applications and system settings, etc., which I’m recording as a single DHI, though it’s been quite a bit of work, and I’m maybe halfway finished.

DHI 92-98

Daily Home Improvements: cleaning up, online and IRL, retirement planning, more accurate pings, and listing this site for sale.

DHI 92: Some housecleaning on my e-mail setup. My business e-mail address wasn’t being passed through my spam filtering system. Now it is.

DHI 93: Ongoing cleanup from the party. Yes, there’s still debris. Did I mention that it ended at 5am? Two people passed out on our bed, and one person puked. Two recycling bins are full of all the bottles of beer and wine that were drunk. One person gained six pounds. All in all a pretty good party!

DHI 94: Signed up for online access to my 401k plan. This required visiting the site, then phoning them, then waiting for the PIN to arrive via mail, then visiting the site again to register and confirm my identity using the PIN. Painful, but actually appreciated, since we’re talking about our retirement funds here.

DHI 95: Reallocated my 401k contributions to be more distributed, and signed up for the auto-rebalancing plan.

DHI 96: Fixed a lingering problem with this weblog, where the update pings to were sending the wrong URL for this site.

DHI 97: Listed this weblog on, a trading exchange for blogs, i.e., you can buy shares in different sites, trade them, etc. By listing my blog, I get 1000 shares in it, without having to buy them, and it becomes available for actual trading. While I doubt if this blog will ever become terribly valuable on the exchange, it is interesting to participate in yet another online experiment on how to measure social reputation, etc.

DHI 98: Expired an e-mail address that was receiving too much spam. See my other posting about this strategy for reducing spam.

DHI 85-91

Daily Home Improvements: recycling, sucking hard, painting the house, the hanged man, prep work, party time, and the aftermath.

DHI 85: I pulled a bunch of old computer boxes from the pile in the basement and broke them down for recycling. It’s a substantial improvement that’s almost unnoticeable in the huge pile of crap we keep in the basement…

DHI 86: I used the vacuum to suck down the cobwebs from the ceiling and walls in the parlor and office.

DHI 87: Graffiti.

DHI 88: Re-hanging a bunch of photos and illustrations in the hallway and parlor.

DHI 89: A whole lotta gettin’ ready for our party.

DHI 90: Party.

DHI 91: Sober up. Clean up party wreckage.

DHI 81-84

Daily Home Improvements: commercial transactions, general stuff, sweeping up, and a new cat pan plan.

DHI 81: I actually sold both the monitor I listed, and a second one I was going to list in a couple days. So they’re both out of our parlor, and I’m $225 closer to being able to buy an LCD display of my own.

DHI 82: A fair amount of cleaning and reorganizing stuff that we’re either moving around or getting rid of.

DHI 83: Swept up the debris under our deck, and hosed down the area. It’s cleaner than it’s been in months…or years.

DHI 84: Planned and executed a new arrangement of litter boxes for the cats. Yuck!

Note that with the earlier posting for this week, I actually managed a full week of DHIs, in spite of the basketball tournament!