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Father Ted

Filed under: General — 19day @ 21:20:20

Father Ted is a Irish Comedy (ishcom?) that I’ve more or less recently encountered, and I highly recommend it.

Basically it’s about the wacky adventures of three priests in a parish on the secluded and sparsely populated Craggy island, a fictitious island near Ireland. Father Ted, the titular character is mostly down to earth, less than completely moral but generally the sane anchor of the show. Father Dougal is young, childlike, living in fantasy and never quite aware what is going on. Father Jack is the old drunk who mostly is limited to the vocabulary “Drink”, “Feck”, and “Arse”.

Watch these clips to get a taste (but they are links, no one feels like allowing the embed, meh)
Intro (by The Divine Comedy)
Down with this sort of thing (sort of a meme now)
Being discovered acting racist (pt 1)
Should we all be racist now father? (pt 2)
Diversity slideshow (pt 3)
I don’t beeeeelieve it (One foot in the grave is also a good show)

If you enjoyed, go out and find the series. There are 3 of them (and being like television series over across the pond, it only amounts to 25 episodes. And there will never be any more, as Dermot Morgan, Father Ted, died during the wrap up party of the final series.



Interruptable Power Supply

Filed under: General — 19day @ 02:29:54

So I’ve had yet another hardware issue, but this time with my UPS.

Last thursday, in the morning, my APC Back-UPS ES 500 started making a terrible noise, and I heard vista go duh-dun, the usual sound when a USB device is disconnected, and indeed that moment the monitoring software for the device, PowerChute, invoked a balloon message telling me it lost connection to the UPS. The noise lasted around 5 seconds, and then suddenly stopped, and all was well. I checked the status of the device thought the app which now apparently could connect to the UPS, and it said all was well, though the battery was charging, and was only at 57%. Odd, it hadn’t needed to go to battery in a long while. And the noise was quite alarming, like the sounds of dolphin laughter piped through a broken speaker.

Of course, it didn’t end there. The next day, in the morning, the exact same thing started to happen, and just as I was peeking behind my desk at the UPS to see what might be up, thwump, the computer reboots as gracelessly as possible (and the 4th graceless reboot in a row, all for different reasons). I was quite alarmed, the noise was just as terrible and went on for the 20-30 seconds before the reboot, and then stopped. And the USB had dropped out as well, before the reboot of course. I shut off the computer and unplugged everything from the unit, putting it aside while I rewired everything into the wall sockets.

I started searching the APC knowledge base and such looking for an explanation of this issue, and even resorted to emailing their tech support, which I had done before to get the Vista compatible version of the monitoring app when I ditched my old computer. The trouble is, the thing is supposed to beep, it just beeps in very specific ways. It beeps at a regular interval when the thing is on battery, it beeps for self-test, and it beeps continually for an overload. But the beeping it made for me during those ‘events’ were unlike any healthy beep. It sounded like the speaker itself was somehow messed up. I made this very clear in my email to the technicians, but of course the first three quarters of their reply was about the standard error code. I supposed it’s natural for them to assume that the users don’t know that their beeping unit is supposed to beep and that pasting back that same information will solve 90% of these types of inquiries. Just as natural as it is for me thinking them stupid for not reading the initial email properly saying it was very definitely not one of those types of beeps.

They did ask me further questions, the answers to which will almost certainly mean they’ll close the issue without any further digging. One was about the age of the battery, and it is quite old, so old that I can’t remember. Certainly older than 4 years, perhaps 5 or 6. On the forums, I read that apparently the lifespan given for any of these products is 6 years… that’s pretty bad, but also estimated 2 swaps of the battery in that time… ugh. A while ago the app was bringing up notices about how my battery was old and I should get a new one, but it was on pain of a lesser battery charge, not random noises and load-drops. Another question they asked was about the loads connected to it, and admittedly, there was a bit going on. There was the tower itself, and both LCD monitors, and then a power-bar with my four external hard-drives plugged in. All of that is not very good, but it never had any problems handling it before.

I haven’t heard back from them yet, but I suspect they’ll just say that with all that crap, and an old battery, anything could happen. Right now I have my own theory, but it has holes. The UPS sometimes runs self-tests, and from the sound the unit makes (deep click), which sounds like when it takes over due to a power spike/brown/loss, that the test actually throws the current load over to the battery. The battery, being old, can no longer handle the load, and it tries to signal the overload condition, a continuous beep. Now, there are a few issues I have with this: Why would the beep from the speaker be so screwed up? So little power that it causes it to sound like a robot coughing? And why would the USB drop out? Same? And the self-tests happen quite rarely (in fact, I’m not sure what actually controls or schedules them), so why did this happen two days in a row (where the second day, it actually couldn’t cope and the computer rebooted)? The only thing I can think of is that if it couldn’t complete a self-test on one day, it tries the same time the next day (both events occurred in the morning, and I think it was at the same time). Windows Event Log is no help, it reports Thursday’s drop out with the battery, but since on Friday it rebooted, it lost most of the logs around that event, but given where the logs stopped and started again, and given the time it took for me to rewire, I’m guessing it was at the same time each day.

So what exactly is the point of the self-test (if that’s what caused it) when it does something like this? Where’s my warning from PowerChute saying the battery is unusable? The requests for ordering a new one was based simply on age, not on any result of diagnostic as far as I know. It’s like a printer wanting you to replace a yellow ink cart that has barely been used because you printed a lot of black documents and it suggests replacements by page count, and you ignore it, until one day the yellow ink really is out, so the printer catches on fire. Anyway, I’ve wanted to upgrade to a newer unit ever since I got the new computer, so I went out and got an APC Back-UPS XS 900 (the two letter model number indicator doesn’t ever seem to match the advertised series, ES and BE, XS and BX). I was debating going with a different vendor given this experience, but everything I read online seems to indicate that APC was better, or at least as good, as the very few competitors out there for the yokel consumer space.

I haven’t rewired yet or plugged this beast in (basically the battery pack is two batteries, and the sockets are inconveniently in the back so I’ll have to rework the area it will sit in), hopefully it works because the forum did describe a few people who had units DOA.

This poor computer takes a lot of abuse. I’m off to Mexico in a week, so hopefully it gets the graceful shutdown it deserves.


Logo Madness

Filed under: General — 19day @ 22:44:42

So waterloo is going ahead with its attempt to rebrand, this time presenting two new logos, which seem designed to make us want to like the previous one more.


You win again gravity!


To boldly go where no university has gone before

Hmm, these seem even worse to me. The first one looked like it was trying to be hip or something. This first new one looks like its sinking into a weeping mire, or just otherwise depressed. I assume they were trying to go for a jaunty or casual angle, but the horizontal colour split just makes it look like it is sinking. And a black and white photocopy will look worse at best, or just a solid stupidly tilted W at worst.
The second of the new ones looks like its trying to be futuristic, and what’s more futuristic than not bothering to fully write out all the letters, thus my comparison to the star trek text. Photocopied, it will just look like crap, perhaps just WAT, or WATRLOO. In fact, if the E is giving them so much trouble, just take it out.

Maybe I just hate change, but honestly none of these three attempts do anything for me. At least they say that these are only for marketing purposes, so diplomas will be spared this and get the good old shield.



Filed under: General — 19day @ 22:33:39

I’m the owner of one quarter of this horse.

Her name is Grace By Design, out of Bella Reena by Royal Mattjesty. My family split the stud fee, so I own a quarter. I’m slightly torn on the nature of owning (or partially owning) a race horse, since I don’t necessarily agree with forcing them to run in circles. But I suppose not to long ago they would have merely been beasts of burden or war, so it’s still a nicer life now, if not free.


A flash photo of a developed photo, some touchup required


A horse is a horse, of course, of course…

And there will be more where that came from.


Tomorrow’s End

Filed under: General — 19day @ 18:44:37

– OR –
The Girl From Tomorrow, Part Two

Opening Titles

A promising start

My Girl From Tomorrow blog post I think has more comments than all my other blogs put together, which is kind of scary. What is more scary is that searching “Katharine Cullen” on google’s image search (without quotes, and at least only right now, I’m sure since I’ve pointed it out, it will go to page 317) one of the images I’ve reproduced without written or oral permission is the first hit. That’s messed up. Something else amusing is that they messed up her credit in Tomorrow’s End, which has her as Katherine Cullen. I’m assuming it’s still her and not some evil twin.

So I thought I’d start off this entry answering a few of the questions from the previous one. Yes; sometimes; and not really no. One person took aim at my use of the term “capshul”, well, I know they are pronouncing it correctly. It’s just that out of all the words with the aussie accent, that one was most noticeably different to my pronunciation when I was a kid. Someone else said how they watched this recently and their inner child fell in love with Alana. Better than one’s outer middle-aged man anyway. Kind of creepy still to remember the huge crush I had on her when I was a youngin’, before I became this bitter shell of a man, I mean. Dipping back to the first entry for a second. The whole Katharine that was young and Katharine that grew picture was meant to be a reference to her apparently being a child extra in Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, but hell if I know which one of them is her, crikey.

Anyway, so what can I say about Tomorrow’s End? Well, for one, the title is too short, so the opening music buildup thingy (if I knew musical terminology, I would use it) is too long for the letters to tumble down into frame, while the first show was a better length because it was scored for that opening sequence. They should have gone with something longer like “How the Future was Fucked”. That is how the characters from 1990 should have reacted, since basically they are told that no matter what they do, in 510 years time, the world will be a crap hole. They’ve seen the future, it is murder. In general, I didn’t like this series as much as the previous one, because it’s set in a dirty dark place that’s trying to be futuristic but without the budget for that. So unfamiliar place, with the familiar characters sort of scattered for a while, takes a while to build up.

I’ve already done the overall talk of the series from last time which I think still applies. So let’s get onto episode specific ranting and raving:

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