Blinky lights

I sort of love spending time in the datacenter… aside from the sound.

If I Haven’t Slept, Isn’t It Still Yesterday?

Yea. Computers you so crazy. Now that I haven’t slept in 36+ hours, I am going to try to sleep or at least relax.


new and silly

My old T-Mobile G2 (HTC Desire Z) is falling apart. It has no touch sensitivity on the left side of the screen. The microsd card slot is broken, so the usd card falls out or loses connectivity regularly. The back won’t latch properly. Yesterday there were some Google app updates, and they caused my phone to be completely useless until I uninstalled Google Voice. Then it had three of the random recurring reboots I’ve just become accustomed to. I’ve had it for two years. I’m hard on my devices.

In a fit of frustration, I went to the T-Mobile store to see if they had either a Nexus 4 or a Nokia Lumia 810. No Nexus 4 (not really a surprise, but thought I’d ask). But they had a Lumia 810.

Now I have a Lumia 810.

While I bought it, I’m still not entirely convinced I wanted to move from Android to Windows Phone 8. I have decided that if I get another Android phone, it will be an unlocked Google phone. None of this carrier nonsense, with no OS patches. None of this manufacturer nonsense with bullshit half-assed UIs. For now though, this Lumia is the new hotness.

That said, the initial booting of the 810 was not a good experience.

First, it threw an FFFFFE70 error when I entered my Microsoft account (my Microsoft account was created from my hotmail/xbox live account when I got the Surface RT so this was an existing Microsoft account).

We weren’t able to activate your phone. If you call support, you can mention this error code, which can help them to figure out the problem: FFFFFE70

Initially I thought maybe I had entered a typo. So I tested it. In testing I intentionally added a typo and it actually gave me a ‘username or password incorrect’ error instead of the FFFFFE70 error, so that was not it.

I thought perhaps it was just an intermittent issue, or perhaps I had lost cell connectivity at the time, so I tried adding the account a handful of times after verifying network connectivity. Every single time I attempted to enter my Microsoft account credentials, it gave me that error. Even after a reboot.

A phone is pretty useless without your contacts and email!

I finally did a hard reset (start screen, swipe to left, settings, about, reset your phone, read warning, yes, yes) and went through the initial setup again. This time when I entered my Microsoft account information, it simply took a minute or so, authenticated me and configured the phone with that information.

I have no idea what happened or why this happened.

The second thing is that when setting up the phone for the first time, it takes a LONG time. It took about 10 minutes. The phone lets you know: it has a dialog up with a greyed-out button that says it’s configuring applications and it is going to take a few minutes (implied “leave it be!”). When this happened on the initial setup, I thought the phone had crashed. The second time, I knew it was just how it is and it finished up in about the same span of time. This is no big deal, but might be a bit off-putting if you aren’t expecting it to take so long.

Those two initial experiences aside, the phone is alright. I’m hoping to have some details on switching from an Android phone to a Windows 8 Phone. So far that has actually been a little easier than I expected.

Travel Read

While on a 5 hour flight, I read the latest Jo Nesbo book, Phantom. I very much enjoy the character Harry Hole, though I didn’t think this book was quite as tight as some of the others.

And I’m not saying that because the ending was what I expected but hoped against.

The Travel Crazies

There are a lot of leaves that need raking and bagging. My toes are frozen. It's 36.

When I prepare to travel, I think of my mom. Why do I go into insane-person travel planning? Why do I pack days in advance and check into my flight online within minutes of being able to and why do I quintuple-check my arrangements? Why do I try to ensure the house is in good shape before I leave?

I freak out before I leave so that when things are out of my hands, I have done all I can. I clean the house so that I can return to a tidy one. I over-prepare in advance so that I can relax while I’m travelling. I know, I know.

Still, right now I am flipping out and so I am going to go back to that. Business trip, it has its own extra added stressors. It will be ok. I will enjoy the trip! But I will also be very thankful when I’m home in a week.

Sunday is for Hockey


Two hockey games yesterday, both wins! Yay us.

Spicy Eggplants & Basil

Little Thai eggplants

On Friday we had a couple of pounds of Thai eggplants (round, slightly larger than a golf ball) that needed to be cooked. I decided I wanted to make a spicy eggplant dish to serve over rice.

I halved the eggplants and steamed them for about 10-15 minutes until they were soft (I do this so that they do not absorb oil/liquid when stir-fried).

I sauteed garlic, ginger, and red pepper flake in oil until they were aromatic. Then I added the softened eggplant, a couple of diced serrano peppers, soy sauce and fish sauce. I let that cook down until it all sort of became a squishy mess, removed it from heat, and then I tossed in a ton of fresh Thai basil. That’s it. It made for a tasty meal though the serranos were not as spicy as I thought, so it could have been spicier (sriracha or chili-garlic sauce helped at eating time).

let there be light

I just found out today that our local power company is doing rebates on LED bulbs. I can’t remember which ones we are using in part of the house but each bulb was around $40. Ouch! We definitely prefer them over cfls and need a few more.


Smudgey tablet. The TouchCover is putting square outlines on the surface rt screen

I am not sure I will ever get used to the amount of smudges on tablets. The weird thing about this is that since I store the Surface RT with the Touch Cover attached, the felt-like keys are cleaning the square-shaped smudges and leaving boxes on the screen. It’s very strange looking (yes, I should just clean the damn thing).

I haven’t had issues with the Touch Cover falling apart but the edges did get softer as I used it. It freaked me out so I have taken to detaching it (rather than flipping it around to the back) when I am not doing a lot of typing (saaaaaay playing Jetpack Joyride for hours and hours on end) in an effort to keep it in good shape.

I do still love the Touch Cover for typing!

[also of note: W8RT has the best on-screen keyboard I've used. It's like it was designed by people who... actually type. Ahem. ]

Soup Weather

Homemade pho by N!

We’ve been living on soup recently. N made homemade pho for the first time, using a Steamy Kitchen recipe at the recommendation of a friend. It turned out very well! Not that pho is that expensive to go out and eat, but it’s nice to have some pho broth handy in the freezer when you’re not feeling up to going out.