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"There are no forks in Fight Club." - kingfox

       Um...
                   OK...

Current Location: Hoboken, NJ

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Do people still repair TVs? and is it worth doing? I came home today to find my Samsung HDTV had bit the dust, despite being well taken care of, plugged into a UPS and all of that..

When trying to get it to start, it clicks a few times and there is a moment of sound but it is never able to successfully activate the picture tube. After trying unsuccessfully to start, it clicks off. Fully removing it from power and plugging it back in hasn't done anything.

In any case, the TV is out of warranty, but it wasn't a really cheap TV when I brought it in 2002, ao I'm disinclined to replace it. It's a 27 in. flat CRT HDTV with two component inputs and a slew of regular composite inputs on the back, and I'm using all of them, so I imagine it won't be cheap to replace if I were to buy new.

Worth getting repaired? How much can I expect to spend?

Keep in mind that me looking at it myself is completely out of the question.. I deal in software, folks. Design an enterprise identity management system? Configure some servers? No problem.. but, my legally-blind self isn’t about to start poking around inside a TV with all of its capacitors and what not.. :)
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Hey... Who's going to drewuniversity Reunion next week?
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I just got a third-party utility to allow my Treo 600 to play MP3 ringtones, just so I could put TMBG's "Call connected through the NSA" ringtone on there...
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Apoligies to _yggdrasil and the CNS '06 crew...
This was the first drewuniversity graduation I haven't attended since I myself graduated in 2002. I really wanted to go and wish people the best of luck, but I found myself to be sick as a dog when I woke up this morning (strangely, I was fine when I went to bed last night..)

For future reference, I'd hesitate to recommend the following combinations of foodstuffs in succession as standard Friday night fare:
  • "The Elivis" from Peanut Butter & Co (consists of peanut butter, banana, and bacon)

  • "Understanding Vanilla" flavor rice pudding from Rice to Riches

  • A shot of Tequila and two Corona's from a nearby bar

although I'm not sure if that's what it really was.. and I did have a great time celebrating kikibird's birthday on Friday night!
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kingfox knows things ...

... and I was rooting for incetardis...
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Geeks and Garfield
Originally uploaded by C. D. Ford.
A picture randomly taken of shmivejournal, runstaverun and I with Garfield by this dude on the L train last night.
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redvector and ariestar's 25th b-day.

IMG_0794.JPG
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Realizing I hadn't posted a link to the photos from Frank and John's 25th birthday party last week. Here they are!. Also, take a look at the pictures that kikibird took.

Be forewarned, however... The dudes look like ladies and the ladies look like dudes... :)
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So.. I suppose when it has now been over a week and a half since I was in Iceland and I have failed to make even one blog entry about it, I should probably just consider this LJ dead...

That would be a waste of a permanent account though...

Perhaps I should just give myself a kick in the ass and start posting in this thing again...

Things to think about...

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Current Mood: apathetic apathetic

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agent179 and I...

... recovered the other half...

... of my umbrella...

... at the Hoboken train station...

... it has been...

... reconstructed...
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Tonight I came home to find that the entire hallway area and my third floor apartment had been consumed by a particularly noxious odor. Turns out that the landlord had made the monumentally stupid decision to apply a new wood stain to all of the floors in the restaurant on the ground floor of the building in the dead of winter. Now, mind you, I've certainly dealt with wood stain before, but this stuff was ridiculous. I am three floors above the restaurant, and the odor was so strong that it induced an almost instant splitting headache, among other things. (One of the problems with my building is that the wet walls, particularly the open area behind the washer/dryer unit, are extremely efficient at carrying whatever is going on in the restaurant right up to my apartment. Ordinarily, the odor from the kitchen of a good Italian restaurant is quite alright with me.. but this was clearly unacceptable).

One of the other side effects of this noxious odor is that it seemed to propel me to produce some particularly pungent prose (and apparently induces temporary fits of alliteration as well) in the form of a rather blunt letter to my landlord. Now, I may perhaps be sending a mixed message by including this letter in the same envelope as my rent check, but no matter. Especially considering that those postal bastards are going to be kicking it up a notch next week, I have got to conserve.. :)

Here's the letter in PDF format.

I was particularly pleased with the last sentence, which I think (slightly modified), might be useful as a general disclaimer in a number of situations.. :)
Please do understand that my fair, but not charitable, criticism is an objective assessment made in the context of a customer in a business relationship, and does not constitute a personal attack.

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Current Mood: splitting headache

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IMG_0465
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
That would be Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, of course...

A bi-annual indulgence that a few of us take part in (which corresponds with the two times a year that Joy and Mike visit the east coast), celaeno, nemo_wistar, redvector, and leprechaung and I went to Morimoto in Philly this past Wednesday.

Most of us (except Joy) had the Omakase, which roughly translates into "I'm in your hands." Basically, you order the Omakase at a particular price point, and you get an eight course chef's choice menu. This is the best way to experience everything that the restaurant has to offer.

Seems a bit much, perhaps.. but I have to say it's entirely worth it. I didn't know that food could be this good. redvector and leprechaung experienced it for the first time, and I'm sure they'll be along for subsequent trips.

celaeno did an excellent writeup in her journal. redvector posted about it as well.

Looks like Joy's entry is protected though, so I will have to do my own writeup. In the meantime, have a look at the pictures.

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IMG_0445
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Pictures from my holiday party are up.
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IMG_0240
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Here at jennifriend's apartment in San Diego catching up uploading all of the photos we've taken over the past few days.

These are the ones we got on the drive down from Monterey.. Some great sights in the Big Sur area.
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I'm in LA.
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IMG_0174
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Pictures from the SIGUCCS gala event at the Monterey Aquarium are up.

jenniever has many more Monterey pics in her camera. I'll link to those when she uploads them.

kingfox and I gave our talks today. Both of them went rather well. I gave a talk about Drew's identity management projects and Russell talked about change management for desktop images.

The conference is almost over so we'll be leaving and heading down to LA tomorrow morning. We're taking the scenic drive along the coast, so we're expecting a nine hour drive with plenty of photo ops. Should be fun...
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I meant to post these pics yesterday. You can see that the fog was quite heavy in SF this past Saturday...
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I'm posting from Monterey at the conference hotel. We got here this afternoon after spending a day in San Francisco.

I'll post the SF pics to Flickr later in the evening.

Also, unrelated note.. Microsoft made it a little annoying to set up an ad-hoc wireless network in Windows XP SP2... I remember it being easier with SP1.. so took a little bit of trial and error to set up my computer to share the hotel's broadband with kingfox over an ad-hoc wireless network.. but we eventually got it working...
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Just wanted to let everyone know that my annual holiday party this year will be held on Saturday, December 10th. Newlyweds celaeno and nemo_wistar will of course be flying in from Oregon that week and will be in attendance. (ok, now refering to them that way just feels weird..)

I hope all the usual suspects can make it!

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blackbytes, kingfox, jenniever and I will be all over California next week.. We'll be attending the SIGUCCS Fall 2005 Conference in Monterey but will be taking advantage of the opportunity to use some vacation time too.

Here's the schedule (tentative) in case anyone will be around:
  • Saturday 11/5 - San Francisco (arrive at SFO early afternoon), spend the evening in SF.

  • Sunday 11/6 - Depart for Monterey in the afternoon.

  • Sunday evening 11/6 - Wednesday morning 11/9 - Conference in Monterey. I will be giving a talk on drewuniversity's Identity Management projects. kingfox is giving a talk on change management and desktop imaging.

  • Wednesday 11/9 - Drive down the coast from Monterey to Los Angeles.

  • Wednesday evening 11/9 - Friday afternoon 11/11 - Los Angeles

  • Friday evening 11/11 - San Diego

  • Saturday morning 11/12 - Morning departure from LAX. Arrive later that afternoon. kingfox and I will see if we can arrange to get them to park the plane right at redvector's place...

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A shout out to the "mystery camera person" at periol's party...

IMG_0073
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
At one point during Peter's party an unidentified female, who will henceforth be referred to as "mystery camera person" asked to borrow my camera. She snapped the picture at right, thanked me, returned the camera, and walked into the next room. At no point during this was there a discussion of where I was going to be posting the pictures, or even if the pics were going to show up on the internet at all...

Of course, I immediately consulted shmivejournal who had witnessed what was happening and was wondering the same thing I was.. No doubt Jay's powers of over analysis would lead us to possibilities I would never have considered...

We figured there were three possibilities:
  • She would merely ask Peter who I was and where I would be posting the pics.. This is the most mundane possibility.

  • She didn't care if she got the picture, merely that it was taken.. That.. somewhere, on the internet or elsewhere this image existed was enough for her.

  • She had Google superpowers that would make mere mortals and geeks alike quiver with fear... Being plugged into The Matrix, she would immediately become aware when the image was posted online, if not having used her mental powers to pull the image off the camera's memory card directly..

Well, whoever you are, whereever you are, Mystery Camera Person, here is your picture.. Submitted via the "I borrowed your camera and don't know who you are" lost and found... We only ask that you use the image for good and not for... well.. Perhaps stick to the lighter side of the varying shades of evil...

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periol's halloween party in Jersey CIty...

IMG_0072
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Peter Barnes flew in from LA for a weekend and threw a Halloween party at his old place in Jersey City. He had quite a crowd for such short notice and it was great seeing everyone.. although methinks kingfox and runstaverun both were perhaps a little partied out towards the end...

Looking forward to seeing Peter again in LA with jenniever, kingfox, and blackbytes in a week...

More pics from that evening here.

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caniswolfie's party.. with Pumpkin Pi...

IMG_0039
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Rian and Megan had a housewarming/halloween/post-wedding celebration party at their apartment on Saturday. Although kingfox and I didn't get there until quite late (blame WoW :)), we had a great time.

kikibird carved an awesome Pumpkin Pi for them. More pics here.

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IMG_0011
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Got my PowerShot A620 today, so I took a few pictures around the office.

It's a nice solid camera... I think I'll be happy with it.. Should be useful for my trip in a week...

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Does anyone here use Google Talk and find it useful/better than AIM, Yahoo! Messenger, MSN Messenger, etc.?

I just added the balance of my GMail contacts to it now, although I've had it for a while.. It's very minimalist.. very Google...

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Thanks to everyone for the camera suggestions. I ended up ordering a Cannon PowerShot A620, which is basically the replacement for the A95 model. Reviews are overall positive, so I think I'll be happy with it.

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Figure I should post a little about celaeno and nemo_wistar's wedding..

daylami and I drove in from Seattle Friday afternoon and took the ferry across to Victoria. We arrived around 7 or so and after spending a sizable amount of time looking for a petrol station so we could put a few liters in the Neon, we arrived at the Laurel Point Inn a bit before 9. Picked up our room keys and about halfway up the elevator I realize.. hmmm... Room 652? Aren't Mike and Joy in 650?...

As it turns out our suite was, in fact, next door to Mike and Joy's, and beyond that, they were adjoining rooms. Even though they weren't to arrive until tomorrow, this knowledge was a source of much amusement that evening. We decided to wait by the door when they were due to arrive and as soon as we heard them unpacking, we cued up That song by That British guy, which of course could only mean one thing....

Sadly, that was the same day that daylami received some terrible news about her apartment in NY having burned down. Everyone should keep her in your thoughts and send best wishes. I know that if anyone can get through this, Charlotte can.

The wedding was held on Sunday at 3. The rain kept back sufficiently that the ceremony could be held on Mike and Joy's balcony, which is fortunate, since the Victoria backdrop is beautiful. There are some pics of the ceremony in my Flickr account that you can look at. It was a civil service (God optional), small, very well done, just like they wanted it. Dinner was at Japaneese Village. There were some amusing toasts given.. Fun and good food was had by all.

These are some of my best friends in the world, and I'm very happy for them. Those two are made for each other more so than anyone else I know!

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OK.. I do promise to post more about Mike and Joy's wedding soon, perhaps even an explanation for why I'm wearing a Japanese Kimono over my suit, but for now I must digress...

My crappy Kodak decided it was time to die while I was in Canada. I was planning to replace it eventually, but will need to do some sooner than I expected, since I'd like to have a camera for when I'm in California next month.

Basically, I'd just like a simple digital point & shoot that's at least as good as the one I'm replacing (at least 4 megapixels, 3x optical zoom). Keep in mind that I'm not a good photographer, so I don't need anything fancy. My Kodak used SD cards, and I have a number of devices with built in or external SD readers (tablet PC, desktop, Treo phone, etc.) so I'd like something that works with SD if possible.

Any good suggestions?

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2005-10-16 049
Originally uploaded by Axel Larsson.
Some photos from Joy and Mike's wedding are up...

More later...

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and it's raining... in Victoria...
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E. Axel Larsson
Name: E. Axel Larsson
Website: eLarsson.net
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