I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

There are new Andy pix up in my Flickr account. See box at right.

If Microsoft Photosynth is ever made available to the public, I think it will be an amazing thing to play around with. I can hardly imagine what would happen if all the photos in Flickr were indexed with this. That would be awesome.


Just for Final Fantasy Fans

Today is my birthday. I'm 31. Yay. :)

I found this weird quarter. At first I thought it was just a new one I hadn't seen, then I realized that it has an anti-immigration sticker on the back. Ingenious use of coinage, really.

It was from the insurance people saying his hospital admission may or may not be covered, just so you know. What a waste of postage!

Maybe Andy will some day be interested in seeing his first piece of mail...

Jen, being the wonderful wife she is (butter, butter), bought me a new hard drive from Best Buy for my upcoming birthday. I've nicknamed it Mammoth.

It's a 300 GB Seagate SATA drive with a 16 Meg buffer, runs at 7200 RPM, and is really slick. It was only $129.

I was not sure that my computer had a SATA controller in it, but we got the drive anyway since the blueshirt said that we had 30 days to return it even if it was opened. What a bargain. Considering that the price was comparable to a 120 GB PATA (aka old IDE) drive, it was too good a deal to pass up.

I sped home and got down to installing it. Fortunately I do have 2 SATA ports on my motherboard, so I was ready to go. I have an MSI K8MM-V. The SATA ports are the orange ones at the bottom left of the picture. (Below the black square and left of the black circle.)

I enabled the SATA controller in my BIOS, hooked up the drive to the controller and power, and was ready to download the Internet! Woo-hoo!

Skrrrrreeeech! Something didn't work right though. It asked me for the driver upon first booting back into windows, so I went and downloaded what I thought was the right one. Didn't work. I searched around and got a different one. Didn't work. Finally, I dug around in my boxes of computer stuff and found the actual diskette that came with the motherboard, which contained the SATA driver. Lucky for me that one of the floppy drives (out of four) in the house works or I'd have had to go to work to get the data off. So, I installed that driver. Nada. Grrrrrrr!!!! Better sleep on it.

The next day I was reading and reading helpful stuff online about the problem and came across this page of help for people with SATA drive problems and MSI K8MM-V motherboards. They recommend using VIA's Hyperion Driver which I have a local copy of here. They also recommend removing the SATA drive and getting the driver installed successfully first. That was the key element that helped me. I did unpower the drive and install Hyperion. That worked like a charm, but when I repowered the drive and booted up, it acted as if I had the wrong controller driver again! Arrrggghhhhh!

So, I did some more research. As it turns out, the lovely K8MM-V has an older version of the SATA controller that can only talk half as fast as this new drive can. So, I had to use these instructions to step down the drive's transfer speed which essentially is just installing a jumper on the back of the drive.

I have all kinds of computer junk lying around, as I alluded to, and that included a ton of screws, spacers, jumper blocks, cables, dead mice (computer ones), etc, etc, etc. UNfortunately, what I didn't have was one of the new smaller jumper blocks that this drive needed. Yet another roadblock! I tried all the ones I had on hand and had resigned myself to waiting to get one from work, when I stumbled across one last one here at home. Though it was the larger version, it was still small enough to be wedged into the space and do the job. Yahoo!

After that, things went great. The DiscWizard for Windows that comes with the Seagate drives worked fine. Much to my surprise, as it says this NOWHERE in the manual, but the software offered to move all my data over and setup the new drive to be the boot drive, which is just what I wanted. So, I initiated that and went to bed. Copying about 75 GB of stuff wasn't going to be fast.

The next morning, I tested it out after removing the old drive. Windows booted up fine and things were good until I tried to look at some things in control panel. Several icons wouldn't open (they crashed) and the recycle bin was corrupted and wouldn't work properly. I figured at this point that I had two choices: use this Mammoth as a second drive or just reinstall windows on it if I wanted to boot off it. Now, I'm nowhere near afraid of reinstalling windows - I've done it dozens of times not to mention reinstalling Windows server - but the prospect of all that work made me decide to just use it as a second drive. That would be fine. I put back the first drive and now I have two.

So, that's what I've done. I have a lot of space and I'm happy for a while. I'm going to put all the stuff I need to burn off onto DVDs on there and eventually I'll burn those DVDs.

Thanks Jen!!!

I'm still waiting for Jen to write her version of Andy's birth story so that I can follow up with mine. It seems he wants to constantly be attached to her, so she doesn't have much computer time these days.

It's just a shame they had to cut that umbilical cord...it certainly would prove useful at times!

Today I got my 10 year service award at the University where I work. It came with a handshake from the President during a mass, a nice plaque, and a free lunch. They used to give out little gifts, but not any more. I personally was perfectly happy getting the plaque. That was enough. It says "To Darrell H, for 10 years of dedicated service to the University."

I can't wait to put it on the wall in my office!

This has been my only real job during my adult life, so I'm fairly proud to have lasted. I have had internships (Eckrich) and part time jobs (Vet Clinic) and have my own consulting business, but 10 years at one job is something significant.

Bobbing Hot Air Balloon
I sure wish I could go to the
Plano Balloon Fest this year,
but I just won't be in the right
place at the right time. Darn it!

Oh well, maybe some other time...

I am determined to go to one of
these again sometime. I went
once when I was a kid and I loved
it. They are beautiful!

Episode 1 of Toei's 1978 Spider-Man TV series. Aside from the costume and powers, it had nothing to do with the American Spider-Man. It's enjoyable nonetheless...

read more - digg story

Japanese Spider-Man

The good ole boys over at Rednecks.tv seem to have pissed off Google. They also have a pretty darn funny condom review in this, their 7th episode of the podcast.

read more | digg story

I made Eggs the other morning and this is how I did it.

hot pan
pat o butter
pkg ham cut into 1/2 in by 2 in strips
add chopped red and grn bell peppers, plus 2 tblsp chopped garlic
sautee some more

6 eggs in bowl
6 tblsp milk
1 tsp italian seasoning mixture
2 tblsp grated good parm chz (not that canned cellulose crap)

when meat, peppers, garlic are well cooked with a little char,
add a little more butter let it melt and then add eggs

Let sit for a sec to set, then fold until no more runny.

Cook until almost done, remove from heat and let sit in pan to finish. Sprinkle on shredded chz. Lots if you're like me. Some if your not feeling like going overboard.

I used inspiration from Bob Blumer and Alton's method from Good Eats Episode 3 for this. It was yummy!

It's been a long time since I've written anything. I don't really have a reason other than the fact that I haven't been inspired. Jen is going to write her version of Andy's birth story, and I want that to come out before I write my version, so I think I've been using that as an excuse to not write.

Something happened today though that I need to make note of. At about 4 am Andy woke us up with a gaging sound, and for the next two hours proceeded to grunt and groan and strain like he was trying to have a BM. The extended duration of said session of suggestive sounds gave us grounds for worry, so we phoned a friend - the call a nurse hotline. Nurse said take him to the Pedi-ER, so we did. We get there at 6:15am and after about 5 hours in there (with Any having blood draw, a spinal tap, an IV, and a catheter) we were admitted and moved to a room. Our Pedi came by and ordered up a battery of tests which is standard for under 3-monthers. "We go way over board on kids this young to make sure we catch anything that might be wrong." I agreed with an appreciated that philosophy. So, they did an upper GI check and it seems that almost overnight the boy has developed reflux. He's going to be in the hospital thru Thursday for observation, but this certainly complicates our lives a little. We'll see how things go...

This also happens to be my first night keep Brendan all by myself. Jen is at the hospital with Andy, so we're here - me blogging and him playing Mario Kart. :) Before we came home, we Mama Margies for Pollo Jack enchiladas and Bean n Cheese tacos and chips. I've never seen a little boy love salsa as much as this one. Opens mouth and points. "Is hot dad!" Give the boy some water.

This is a nifty little gadget that lets you turn your "ordinary tap water" into yummy soda. It isn't necessarily cheaper per liter than store brands, but there is a fun factor involved. There are lots of flavors available, but a smart person might "acquire" some commercial syrup from a pal in the fast food industry. Dr Pepper made right at home!

[update]: I also found a review of the machine here. Not flattering, but I'm still interested!

read more - digg story

Me, briefly

My photo
North Texas, Texas, United States

This is the story
of a man named Darrell
who was working
and bringing up a family.

This is the story
of his lovely family
with 3 kids and wife
all at home.

We're a happy family!
Yes, we're a happy family!


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