September 19, 2006: Four Days Left in Centipede Land

Dominica woke me up this morning to kill two more centipedes that she found in the hallway. That is six in two nights. We thought that it would be getting better but it is getting far worse. It is like they know that we are leaving in a few days and they all want to come after us before we go.

Only four days left though. Only four more nights of sleeping with centipedes crawling over us and biting us while we sleep.

Now that Dell’s exploding laptops have gotten completely out of hand and could possibly have killed children (flaming missiles in the living room, set the living room furniture on fire) Dell and Apple have been banned from a number of airlines! Just in case people think that my complaints about Dell, Apple and Sony’s product quality is all hot air it is a pretty big move for airlines to prohibit their use while happily allowing HP, Lenovo and Acer products. Now Toshiba is beginning a recall as well for the same issue. I used to like Toshiba but I have come to realize that I have never actually seen a Toshiba that I was actually happy with. So I have stopped including them in the list of machines that I recommend to people. After all of my happy experiences with HP it is hard to recommend anything else. I sure wouldn’t spend my money anywhere else. Especially not on a laptop. Desktops offer more lattitude so there are occassions when other options may present themselves but in laptops – HP is the only way to go these days. (Especially now with dual core AMD Turion 64bit processors!)

Radioactive Shed I like this picture. This is David Hahn’s radioactive shed being encased in barrels before being shipped to the desert to be buried. Young David, a teenager at the time, built a nuclear reactor in his parents’ Detroit suburb backyard and managed to get awfully exposed before he was discovered. David now works for the US Navy. It is just nice to know that a fifteen year old with an atomic energy badge from the Boy Scouts can power his entire town. Or maybe blow it up. This story is only funny, of course, because David didn’t get in “that” much trouble, didn’t kill himself, got a cool job because of it and everyone was okay. In reality, building a backyard nuclear reactor is probably no more dangerous than if he had used a Dell laptop while listening to his American iPod with the volume up too high (American iPods go higher in volume than iPods in other countries because Americans are more demanding of being able to hurt themselves.) At least his nuclear reactor project did not turn into “flaming projectiles” like a Dell laptop can!

I finally managed to make it to Jiffy Lube today. That really needed to be done with all of the miles going onto the PR5 now. I grabbed a quick bite at Taco Bell next to the oil change place. My days are so short. There is hardly any time to get anything done.

It is official, we found out this afternoon that we are definitely moving to Newark on Saturday. Yay!

I was reading Wil Wheaton today (well, his blog at least) and he was talking about how great the Apple iTunes store was that they would let you download your music again if you had a catastrophic loss of data (which is a pretty common occurrence for the Apple hardware crowd – isn’t that right Sara, Jeremy, Phil, etc.?) Ok, that is cool. But I was surprised to learn that to do so required you to call Apple and explain what happened and get them to unlock your downloads for a period of time so that you could get them again. I was under the impression that the reason that people were so willing to spend such high amounts of money on such low quality music files from the iTunes store and suffer so many use limitations was because Apple provided an online repository of your music protecting you from the dangers of data loss. Since Apple locks you from making backups of your music. And since they make you use it with their software and since the whole system is designed around locking you into their highly unreliable iPod hardware. When I do downloads from the Audible store (not music but what’s the difference?) they provide an online library for me so that I never have to worry about maintaining my own backups of the stuff that I buy there. That was a huge selling point that it was SAFER than CD’s, not less safe or at least less convenient. Audible stores everything that I have ever purchased from them and lets me download it when I need it or listen to it directly from their website if that is convenient. I, of course, make my own backups but it that fails they take care of me – built it. No special calls. No “favours”. Just the way they do business. It is sad when Apple’s customers get excited about Apple’s service when they surprise you with the service level that you would just expect from any competent company. It really shows what massively low expectations people have of Apple.

I left work just after six thirty. Another long day but not too long. I am getting into the stride of being really busy and it eventually just becomes normal. I got home just fifteen minutes or so after Dominica. She took longer than usual because of an accident in Nutley.

We ate dinner at home tonight. We are attempting to clean out the pantry and the fridge so that there is as little to move to Newark as possible. We finished watching Out to Sea that we started last night (was it last night?) There was only a tiny bit left. Then we watched The Sweetest Thing which Dominica had never seen. Then it was time for bed. I took Oreo out for his evening walk and we had managed to go all of the way around the building in the lawn before we came across the first “pesticides” sign carefully placed so that no one would ever know. So we rushed back to the house via the driveway and got Oreo right into the bathtub and washed his feet and legs. Poor little boy. I can’t believe in a neighbourhood full of tiny children who play in their yard (and the driveways) unsupervised with parents who can barely read English if at all that they would spray pesticides and put only one tiny sign in the courtyard entrance at the back of the building so that only someone like me taking a walk all the way around would ever stumble across it and even then I ended up approaching it from behind. And the yard is totally unlit at night so even if there were signs we wouldn’t be able to see them. Only four more days. We can make it.

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