Watches I have known

I got a new watch. Again. I bought my last watch in 2001. There was nothing wrong with it. However, Casio brought out a new version that drops the moon phase and tide graph, and instead has 5-band radio atomic clock synchronization. As you can see, it’s not a major departure, visually speaking. The function of the buttons is slightly rearranged, the actual time is larger and easier to read, the time zones don’t have editable names, and the alarm now has a snooze function.

How to stop procrastinating

I’ve been reading Kluge: The Haphazard Construction of the Human Mind by Gary Marcus. One of the things the book discusses is that the parts of the brain responsible for abstract goals and evaluating long term priorities are relatively recent additions to our ape brains. It was a big deal when scientists discovered that crows could make tools, because it demonstrated that they too could engage in a complex form of reasoning, continuing to work at something in spite of lack of positive outcome, in order to bring about a longer term goal.

Free money

Everyone should have a chunk of cash in an instant access savings account; see Dilbert’s guide to financial success. If you’re in the US and have $250 spare to put in a savings account, I’ve got a voucher you can use to open an account with ING Direct, and they’ll give you $25 free. (Plus $10 for me.) I’ve been saving with them for a while, because their rates are so much better than my bank’s savings account rates (4.

House stuff

Time Warner turned up yesterday and hooked up the Internet. We now have a nice, reliable high-speed connection again. There seems to be nobody in WiFi range who has a wireless access point; either that or they’re not broadcasting SSIDs. Reception is fabulous throughout the house. The modem and router are in the office, and I have the music server up and running again. It turned out that Time Warner have some kind of lock on their back-end systems to restrict the allowed set of MAC addresses for cable modems.

Grrr (not vrrrroom)

No news from the car dealer, though they answered my call and haven’t forgotten me. I’m watching various web forums on the off chance I can find a Prius within a day’s travel. If not, well, hopefully Toyota will ship on time and the car will reach the dealer on time and I’ll be able to buy it just in time for us to leave for Austin. One effect of Prius demand exceeding supply is that some local dealers are selling second hand cars for more than the MSRP of a brand new one.

How to make online gaming a success

I have broadband. I have a PlayStation 2 next to the router and cable modem. I have disposable income. I play video games. Yet, I do not have a PS2 network adaptor, and I haven’t played any online games. I’ve been thinking about why not. I decided to put together some suggestions for Raph Koster, who’s the big cheese at Sony in charge of online PS2 gaming. Either charge a subscription, or charge for the game, but don’t ask me to pay twice.

Shoe dream

I dream of shoes… Actually, it was about shopping, which is even sadder. Except I couldn’t go shopping because I didn’t have a reasonable pair of shoes. I think it’s subconscious anxiety about the fact that my new Birkenstocks haven’t arrived. I bought them in San Francisco, which has an excellent Birkenstock store—go figure. A pair of sandals to replace the current pair which are wearing out, and a pair of something that looks like black canvas trainers, except they’re not, hopefully to replace the beaten-up Reebok Classics.

Clean bill of health

Just had my annual physical. Pulse normal, blood pressure 110/75, eyes normal, chest/breathing normal, no sign of hernia (whatever that is). My weight is slightly lower than ideal, but only slightly, and I like it that way. In the unlikely event that I have high cholesterol, they’ll contact me. Oh, and a neGcon I found on eBay arrived. WipeOut 3 weekend!

Final late-night reflections

Renewed my membership of Amnesty International. What with over a thousand non-judicial “disappearances” in the USA in the last couple of months, I think they’re going to be very busy over the next year. Who knows—I could even end up needing their help myself. All it would take would be for someone in power to decide they suspected me, and I could be grabbed and jailed indefinitely—and possibly tortured, if the right wing get their way.

“Flash! I love you flash! But I’m not sure I need 128MB…”

I ordered 64MB of CompactFlash memory for the digital camera. After a couple of days I hadn’t heard from the vendor that it had been shipped, so I sent them an e-mail asking what had happened. Come the weekend, I gave up and bought two 32MB cards at CompUSA instead. On Monday I called the vendor to cancel the order, and discovered that they’d shipped it the previous Thursday, but hadn’t read their e-mail for two days.