Trying to continue a relaxing Labor Day weekend, woke up early (7:30am) and had coffee outside. Made blackberry pancakes for breakfast with blackberries from our yard. Rearranged some furniture and then went to install my new hard drive in a machine. No luck, a 200GB exceeds the EIDE 137GB limit so I’d lose 63GBs. Argh. Went to wash and vacuum the car with Gay and then took the dogs to the Zoomies drive-in, a Vashon Island fast food place (that should be called “Slowies”), for burgers and fries. They give the dogs free little ice cream cones, which is pretty cute. Ouzo hates when we spray Binaca in his mouth when he barks at pedestrians.

Lunch outside in the end of summer Seattle weather. Back to the hard drive… after learning a lot about IDE and the 137 GB limit, and the BIOS in a circa 1999 machine, just decided to upgrade to a later version of the Linux kernel and it worked like a charm! Then dinner and the first part of Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers. Quiet. Relaxing.

Fry's Electronics

Today we went to the new Fry’s in Seattle (Renton, actually). I’ve been to the one in Silicon Valley in 1996 and was amazed, but never got to enjoy having a Fry’s until now. The store is huge and the parking lot is like two football fields (it’s the size parking lot that Costco should have). In fact, the place is like Costco without being a warehouse. This was the Grand Opening weekend so it was just packed with people; people who blocked all the aisles with carts so you could barely walk through the store.

It’s basically a super Best Buy or Circuit City but what really impresses me is the breadth of stuff for PCs. You can buy every piece of a computer and assemble it entirely from this store, including specialty cables, cooling fans, tricked-out cases, etc. Seeing an aisle of motherboards with about 30 on display is something I’ve never seen anywhere. And the prices are great if you know what you’re looking for; I got a 200GB Western Digital hard drive for $95 after rebates. That’s less than 50¢ per GB which is easily half the best price I’ve ever seen for a hard drive.

They even have a separate Apple area (with an Apple logo’d archway) with all the Apple hardware, including the extras (we got a replacement iBook battery too). A G5 was on display, so I got to see that for the first time in person.

The employees seemed overwhelmed by the number of people and they weren’t familiar with the store, but there are lots of employees — it was easy to find one to ask a question. For example, it took a good 10 minutes and three employees to find a power cord (not located anywhere near the power supplies). To get out we had to be herded through an amusement-park-like line to get to the 65 (!) cash registers. But it was pretty quick process to get checked-out.

67,000 recipes! We’re over two-thirds of the way to 100,000 recipes. Recipezaar is the largest database of recipes on the internet (RecipeSource claims “7 times larger than 10,000” but it’s so easy to find non-recipes and duplicates that it’s safe to say they have fewer than 67,000).

I don’t know who is more stupid, the kid who made the Blaster-variant virus or the FBI that took a week to find him. He put the URL to his own web server in the code with a domain name registered to himself and he bragged about it on his web site (Google cache) and the executable’s name is his own nickname.

This is probably how the kiss happened:

Madonna, an expert at crafting moments like these, was likely the kiss’ architect, and didn’t have to clear it with anyone but herself. Britney on the other hand probably deferred Madonna’s plan to her managers, who then held target-marketing studies, clicked through a series of PowerPoint pie charts in dimly-lit conference rooms, crunched Excel spreadsheet numbers, calibrated their “Britney-Coming-Of-Age” barometer to see if the time was right for such a display (sexy enough to titillate the kids, while toned-down enough to bypass conservative, middle-America parental units), tabulated the results to arrive at “yes,” stuck a wind-up key in Britney’s back, turned it clockwise a few turns, and pushed her out on stage to seal the deal. [via What Do I Know]

MyWireService just got a great review:

Awesome user interface, easy to get started without instructions, and clever “add ons”. This is without a doubt the ultimate RSS feed tool for newbie’s. It gives me great pleasure to give this service a 5 out 5 rating. They will be charging $9.99/year after the beta period ends and normally I would dock them a point for that. To be fair though, I can not ignore the tremendous job that they have done to create a really great service. With this in mind I will cut them a break and stick with my 5 out 5 rating. After all people, bandwith is expensive and they are asking for less than a buck per month!

It’s nice when people recognize your hard work. And I like that he explicitly recommended it for newbies, which is our target market!

I’m not as bright as Dostoevsky,
I’m not as clever as Mark Twain.
I only buy a book for the way it looks,
and I stick it on the shelf again.

“This Is Just A Modern Rock Song”
—Belle & Sebastian

My dad was recently diagnosed with hydrocephalus. Unfortunately, he was diagnosed by a neurosurgeon, not a neurologist. After talking to a couple doctor friends we have, they stressed the importance of having a neurologist examine him before deciding it’s hydrocephalus. And his regular doctor never suggested a 2nd opinion (or even a 1st opinion, for that matter), which seems suspect.

So I’ve been trying to get them to want a 2nd opinion. But they’re full of excuses, such as the neurologist is 50 miles away, or “they probably don’t know either” or it’s just too inconvenient. Sometimes people confuse me. Before I get brain surgery, I’m going to have 3, 4 or 5 opinions. And part of the reason they’re convinced their neurosurgeon is smart is because “he talks fast”. That’s not smart, that’s a very poor bedside manner.