Friday, April 28, 2006

Square Bagels

A couple weeks ago, I was in Walmart...and I spotted Thomas Square Bagels.

The intent was to have one as breakfast before jetting off for a business trip. Though my usually coffee only breakfast got the better of me, and I didn't get to them until later.

When I finally did try them, I was rather disappointed....not much in the way of a bagel experience in a different form factor that I was expecting.

In trying to come up with how I should use what I had though....I decided to try it really toasted and drowned in butter.

I found this a much better experience, a nice change from plain buttered toast.

Later I came across this blurb:

"With all the flavor of a bagel, and the soft texture of bread, Squares is a tasty alternative to bread. For breakfast, lunch, dinner or snacking, Squares is the delicious new shape of things to come."
So while it is poor as a bagel, it is nice alternative to bread. Having discovered this solution late, and having much craving to excessive butter (actually margarine, spreadable butter hasn't made it onto Walmart's shelves) consumption...I made another trip to Walmart to buy another bag. I noticed on the bag this time on suggestions for possible uses....the one that caught my eye was garlic toast. I'm sure I could've done this with regular toast, but for some reason it had never crossed my mind before.

But, this is what I've been having as lunch lately....

Monday, April 24, 2006

Hear, See, Speak

This morning, while checking my email I got my daily Google Alert on the key phrase "Avril Lavigne". Can't believe I still have this search active, but I guess I'm just too lazy to remove it (even though it only takes one click). Though I also still have other alerts for "Sarah McLachlan" or "Doctor Who" (where the last one frequently alerts me to things that have nothing to do with what I'm actually looking for ;)'s (actually yesterday's) result set included one that caught my eye....the headline was "Lane Bryant introduces line for plus-size brides".....with a excert with a bunch of names, none of which I would think of as plus-size. But, it was one of those notes things with little blocks of many different headings....the Lane Bryant entries was the first block, the block with "Avril Lavigne" was the 3rd one -- "Aldo's AIDS campaign".

Having no extra money these days, and can't really think of a why...I bought a 'HEAR' tag anyways....

Avril Lavigne -- HEAR

Sunday, April 23, 2006

Firefox tweak uncovered - Reduce memory usage on minimize » The PC Doctor

An interesting tweak for Firefox....not sure if I trust it, but I'm gonnna use in on one of my machines where memory is very tight.

The chipset will only support a maximum 512MB of memory...and that's no longer enough for what I run on there. Partly because of the non-native servers/services that I run on there....3 are Java and two .Net....

Monday, April 17, 2006

Logan's Roadhouse

is where I had supper today in Johnson City, TN....

First and only place now outside of the normal realm of experience....other than yesterday eating at Outback Steakhouse and asking for a table for 1, but at least I had eaten there once before in my life.

Anyways, back to Logan's Roadhouse. Turned out to be a good experience eating here, even though I'm feeling excessively stuffed.

But, that's because they heard me wrong when taking my order and my Steak and Shrimp combo entree arrived as a Steak and Rib combo entree. No problem, they let me keep the ribs and brought me the shrimp. I'm sure I was under no obligation to eat everything and they brought me a container to take stuff home if need be. Though not very practical since this is part of my trip to Johnson City, TN...and I'm flying back home tomorrow....

So, I just ate and ate...and let my belt out another notch.....and ate some more. Then I paid my bill, applying my customary math for the tip...rounding up, of course. And, made my way back to the Comfort Suites to.....find stuff online to occupy my time until I feel sufficient tired to call it a night.

It is a shame that there isn't a whole lot on TV to watch tonight....though it is really hard watching the TV, since it is a regular 4:3 TV...and worse it is the highly rounded tube least my old SD TV was of the flatter/squarer tube type....but now it just looks so bad compared to the HDTV (DLP RPTV) that I have.

At least last night I had some stuff to watch, because I had transferred some video files to my laptop before leaving. I suppose if I was really desparate, I could do the same...though the process is a bit more complicated since the computer that runs DVArchive is different than the computer that I can do file transfers with (oddly, the one IM client that works for this has been Windows Messenger.....) But, it is slow and painful and I think by the time I get it done, it'll be time for some ZZZ's. Only have about 512kbps for upstream with my home Internet connection.

Though a speedtest I did last night, recorded a 3Mbps upstream for the hotel's wifi connection. (though it only recorded a 1.5Mbps downstream....probably more people downloading than uploading in the hotel....)

The other meals this trip haven't been very significant....(though it was a nice thick, medium rare steak that I had....)

I had lunch at McDonalds in CVG (had an over 3 hour layover there)....then Outback Steakhouse was the supper....Today, a pastry and a coffee was my breakfast...guess you have to be early to do waffles....its self serve, but I guess they have a limited number of cups of premeasured batter, etc....guess I'll miss them again tomorrow, because I plan to not get up as early.... Meanwhile, I had lunch at Panera Bread....having the Pepperblue Steak sandwich. Wow, all this beef....though I was craving it a while ago...because it is scarce now when I'm scrounging up supper at home.

Wonder what I'm going to do tomorrow.... there's that bag of Al Dente Garlic Parsley Fettuccine

Though how late am I'm going to be at getting home....well, I guess I won't be that late...guess I'll plan for it. Though maybe what I'll be is to tired to pig out....or maybe just too full still.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Over to the subject of VoIP....

Meanwhile, speaking of the 37601 zipcode....

I also happened to be looking to see if phone numbers in this area were available with my current VoIP providers.

Right now I use Vonage for my voice service and Lingo for my fax service. Namely because when I first signed up for VoIP, number portability wasn't a required thing yet and wasn't available in my area. So, I went through the hassle of switching everything to reflect a new phone number. A Vonage assigned number.

Later when I decided to completely rid myself of landline, I found out from Vonage that they can't port numbers to their Fax Line option....only voice lines....and part of the reason was the the less capable fax line service was cheaper than a full blown voice line. I found that I didn't have a requirement to stay with Vonage for the fax line. Especially since there wasn't a difference in price on whether the second voice line was activated to the second port of my current ATA, or if I got them to send me another ATA. Plus it occurred to me that it didn't have to be fax only, and with a separate might be useful should I choose to bring it with me when I travel. Plus the newer ATAs included router functionality....

So, then I found Lingo which offers the UK as part of its 'local' calling area. Though I've only done two calls to the UK since getting it. So, it was hardly a reason. And, 3 cents a minute to use Vonage isn't really a big deal....compared to what I used to spend on long distance.

The other thing about Lingo is that they implement distinctive ring service....and my fax machine can use this to decide whether to answer or not (I also have a DR auto switcher box), so it might be nice to use this down the road. Though it hasn't happened, because I haven't found a suitable excuse to have a virtual number.

But, the plan is after I move, I'll be able to keep my old phone numbers and get new ones.

Anyways....I have discovered that Vonage doesn't have phone numbers for the area code of this zip, let alone for the city....but surprisingly Lingo does.

So, looks like I will be using distinctive ring as a definite should I move to this area. The plan is keeping my current fax number for fax, and adding a local number to this adapter for local voice use. Though the Lingo box is the router combo, while the Vonage is ATA guess I won't be trying VoIP while traveling, any time soon. Though there has been the theory of getting a travel router, though it'll be yet another set of boxes to stash into my bag when I travel...and it is already pretty tedious having to explain all the current ones to the TSA :D

But, what will become of the Vonage line....probably only makes sense if I get a different virtual number and so that it will continue to function as my main number. This will require some thought and quite likely the acquistion of additional technology. Or perhaps Vonage will get numbers for the area or something.

OTOH, I might have a traditional landline....though that'll more likely be if naked DSL isn't an option.... Hopefully, where I move will be an area where I can get both DSL and Cable....since I've been thinking of doing the dual home network for a long time (though the QoS functionality of the Sveasoft/WRT54GS setup has largely eliminated the need to separate different bandwith coming devices on my home network....)

Boy I wish, I get to actually play around with some of these issues soon....

Guess it is time to give blood again...

I happened to glance at the answering machine that announces to callers that they've reached my fax machine and need to press send, and saw that there was a message waiting for me.

Actually there were several, most were the usual automated callers that don't know that they aren't supposed to call me, etc.

But, there was a message from Allstate...which seemed odd, because it wasn't my agent and it is still a few months off to renewal time.

Later as I thumbed through my caller id, I noticed that the American Red Cross had also called. But, no message associated with it.

It then occurred to me that maybe they were calling to let me know that there was going to be a blood mobile at my place of work....Allstate is one of the other tenants in the building and they ran the last drive....back on September 13th, 2005.

So, I went over to the blood site to see when there was an upcoming drive. Sure enough, the blood mobile will be there for Allstate Insurance on May 24th, 2006.

Wonder if I'll still be around for it. I kind of hope that I'm not....occurred to me in my current obsession around the 37601 zipcode...that while I was on the site, I should maybe take a peek and see if there were any blood drives near by during the days of interest (namely the evening of April 16th or the afternoon/evening of April 17th).

As it turns out there is one in the afternoon of April 17th....wonder if I'll make my way over there to give blood. Wonder what are the rules about donating in a different city....or state than normal (or place of residence). Wonder if I'll feel up to giving blood after my job interview that morning....

Guess we'll see..... ;D

Now if I do give, I won't be elligible to donate at the Allstate drive....though I don't have a reason that I have to donate at that particular drive anymore....

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Google Earth Wish List

The neat thing about the power of Google Earth and Google Maps, is changing the way some things are searched for on the Internet.

Though there is one search that I've been doing a lot lately, that sure would be nice if Google (or some other interactive map search) would provide.

Integrate with an apartment finder service and show you where the apartments are near a certain location (or in relation to other ammenities, such as grocery stores, public transportation, schools, parks, etc.)

And today, I was thinking that it would be nice if there was an option to show timeshares....