Current Mood:Ugh emoticon Ugh

Four times a year we travel to Osoyoos and directly back, an 8 hour trip dropping off or picking up Amber’s kids to/from their BioDad on the weekend. Pickup usually happens the following weekend.

Sometimes the trip is treacherous, like last Christmas. Sometimes it’s beautiful, like this time, Easter Sunday.

My van’s heater had been acting weird since the return trip the previous weekend, sometimes heating and sometimes not. On this trip it was mostly not working. About 15 minutes away from Princeton, maybe 1/2 of the way to Osoyoos, the van gave a warning chime, the temperature gauge spiked to the max, and steam started shooting out of the hood. I uttered an expletive that I will not repeat here and pulled over.

After waiting a bit for whatever was going on under the hood to settle a bit, we opened it to find hot liquid shooting out from somewhere we couldn’t quite make out. We called around, but were informed that because it was the Easter long weekend there would be no repair places open in Princeton. Nowhere else was close.

After a bit a helpful gentleman stopped and had a look. He really knew his stuff, found where the coolant was leaking from, taped it up, had us put some water into the radiator, closed the cap but didn’t seal it so that the leak wouldn’t recur, and told us to GO GO GO before it overheated again. We rushed into Princeton at about 160 km/h and pulled up to a repair place, but as we were told would be the case, it was closed.

We walked to the Canada’s Best Value Inn (yes, that’s actually the name) and the staff were very accommodating, considering we didn’t know if we’d be there one night or two, since by this point we were told that repair places weren’t going to be open on Monday either.

Speaking of accommodating, the Little Creek Grill was going to close within a half hour of us calling, but they stayed open to feed us! Their grilled beet salad was one of the best salads I’ve ever eaten!

That night I Googled the hell out of the problem. Lots of people were complaining about this one plastic piece that cracks on Dodge vehicles, spewing coolant everywhere. The fix would cost $300 if we found a repair place, but the piece could be replaced with non-automotive parts for far less.

In the end, with assistance from Amber’s cousin’s partner on the phone, we purchased more electrical tape and some metal screw bindings and Amber secured the whole thing for the trip back the next day. It was a nervous drive home but we made it!

Which was good because Amber had a job interview after work the next day, which she would have most likely missed if we had to wait until Tuesday for repairs. As it was her current work gave her hell for missing Monday, even going so far as to call her a liar! We agreed she should quit right away and luckily she got the job she interviewed for shortly thereafter!

I’m no good with automobiles, so I took it to Chrysler for repairs. After a coolant flush and taxes, $800! Maybe I should get better with engines…

We both agreed that Princeton was awesome. Nice and quiet, and the people were really friendly and helpful. I guess we got “Doc Hollywooded”, but it might be a nice place to retire…

Current Mood:Confused emoticon Confused

Methinks the new iTunes has a problem with the maths:

Chaudair? Chaudair? It’s chowdah! Chowdah!

Current Mood:Alarmed emoticon Alarmed

So I was in the right-hand lane on Clearbrook Rd. and stopped because I didn’t want to stop in an intersection, as the law says you’re supposed to when other cars ahead are stopping just beyond it. There was a lady in a car in the crossroad to the right wanting to turn left in front of me, starting to nose out and looking at me.

Er, let me show you in ASCII art:

|    ||    |    |___
|  | || /\ |     her
| \/ || |  |     ___
|    ||    | me |
|    ||    |    |

I figure she just wants to make sure I’m okay with her going in front of me so I wave her through…right into a sideswipe with the car rushing by in the left lane. Facepalm.

No injuries, but a sizable dent in the front of the second car. Stayed to fill in the police officer who seemed disinterested because he talked to another witness just before me…didn’t even want my personal details. Okay, seeya!

Current Mood:Borg-like emoticon Borg-like

I posted a while back that I was having problems with my wireless networking. Sometimes I just couldn’t connect with my iPod and other times my laptop couldn’t connect. It seemed to be random. I blamed the D-Link router, and replaced it (with another D-Link I was given), but the problem continued.

For the last little while my wireless had no problems whatsoever, then this weekend it started acting up again. In addition, my XBox360 was getting disconnected from the wired network, and it seemed to coincide with when the wireless network was in use. Looking online, it seemed a few others noticed the same problem. Yahoo Answers suggested adding the XBox to the static DHCP assignments on the router. The only problem was that the XBox didn’t appear in the list of hosts. Finally I figured out that it wasn’t missing; there was a blank entry in the list. I found that in the XBox’s advanced network settings there’s a way to set the hostname, but it’s off by default and says not to add one unless your ISP needs it. Well, it looks like your router needs it, too, otherwise new devices that connect to the network will “stomp” on its networking.

Once I set a hostname for the XBox and added it and all the other devices to the static DHCP list everything worked. It may be that just the act of setting a hostname on the XBox was all that was needed. Some of my friends have XBox360s and sometimes flaky wireless, so they may be having the same problem.

So, apologies to D-Link, and a big frowny :( to Microsoft…the XBox should come from the factory with a default hostname of “XBox360″, not a blank value!

Current Mood:Confused emoticon Confused

“…and I’ll chase those pants round American Eagle, and round Mark’s WorkWear World, and round the BlueNotes maelstrom, and round perdition’s flames before I give them up!”

Anyone know where I can find black jeans, preferably low-rise, boot-cut? My job doesn’t allow blue jeans and I HATE/LOATHE/DESPISE slacks because every time I sit down everything falls out of the pockets, and don’t get me started on pleats…

I managed to find a great pair at BlueNotes a few years ago, but I’ve worn them out and they haven’t had any available since. I’ve searched online… won’t ship clothes to Canada, and all other merchants seem to be U.S. only. I found some at Wal-Mart but they’re not boot-cut (I prefer my shoes be covered a bit by the pantleg).

Current Mood:Happy emoticon Happy

As expected, the PCS Wireless manager didn’t call me on Monday. I found his e-mail on their web site and left him a nastygram stating that I’d be contacting Telus to explain why a customer who always pays their bill on time, barely uses their system and rarely complains (the best kind of customer for service providers) is moving to another provider when my contract is up in a few weeks.

Got a call today from his employee, not him, saying that they tracked down my phone. Given that I had stated that I wanted a new phone or credit towards an iPhone, I was less than enthused. I think she picked up on that, as she called me back a bit later to tell me they were going to replace my phone with a Motorola Rival.

Pro: Slideout QWERTY keyboard
Con: No flash for the camera
Everything else is about the same: 2 MP camera, voice control, Bluetooth. Guess it’ll keep me going until the iPhone 4G comes out.

Current Mood:Angry emoticon Angry

My cell phone was sent to the factory in early November.  6 weeks ago I called PCS Wireless (my local Telus whozzawhatsis) and left a message…no callback.  I did it again the next week…same, and the week after.  Finally, I went down there and asked where my fscking phone was, since the temp phone I have now doesn’t even have Bluetooth and the handsfree ban is in play.

The guy said he’d find out where the phone was and get back to me.  Nothing.  I went back 2 weeks later and asked again.  The lady said she’d have her manager call me the next morning.  Nothing.  I went in Friday evening and basically said give me my phone, a new phone, or credit toward an iPhone.  The manager will call me back on Monday.  I don’t have high hopes.

The phone’s still under warranty.  Given that it’s had to be sent to the factory 4 times already, each time for weeks on end, I think I’ll invoke replacement anyway.  I went online and found that lots of people were having the reboot issue.  Even if the phone comes back, the problem will return within 9 months…it’ll be a ticking time bomb.

My contract is up in March, I think.  Telus has the least expensive iPhone plan, so it’d be nice if they gave me credit toward one of those and I don’t have to go somewhere else.  Maybe one of the competitors will match it…they can’t have worse service than this, right?  Right?

Current Mood:Borg-like emoticon Borg-like

I think you should use AVG instead of Norton’s bloatware, but these guides are great for your non-tech-savvy friends and family:

Current Mood:Confused emoticon Confused

Yesterday I upgraded my CPU and added more RAM to my computer.  Today I tried to stream some video from my computer to my XBox360 using media sharing and it just wouldn’t see the computer.

Windows Media Player’s Sharing settings could see the XBox360 just fine.  I reset my router, turned off media sharing and turned it back on, I rebooted…nothing seemed to work.

Turns out that even though I didn’t make enough changes to the computer’s config to require a re-registration of Windows, Windows’ DRM settings didn’t like it.  I found the fix here (search for DRM).