Speedylube ripoff

Badly needed to get the oil changed so I went to the Speedylube that is associated with the dealer. I am given two choices, about 43 for just a change or 50 for the Eco option. I am told Eco means that they will recycle the oil. These places have been recycling oil for years, why in the world would they just throw it away and pay the hazardous waste fee instead of recycling? This does smack of being a huge ripoff, heck the price for a basic change seems high but like I said, the car badly needs the oil changed.

Thanks Microsoft

It is nice when a company recognizes that decisions they made many years ago no longer make sense. Reinstalled XP this evening with the retail disk I have laying around but could not activate since the key is OEM. Such a bother they ever set this up. Well there is a tool for fixing this, go to http://windows.microsoft.com/en-US/windows/help/genuine/product-key and choose the XP tab, install the tool enter the key and everything should be good.

T-Mobile Fail

Went to check on the cell account and was informed that my password did not meet their requirements. So, using lastpass I generated a very strong password but when I tried to use it I informed of the follwing, the password:
Must be at least 8 characters long.
Must contain both letters and numbers.
Must contain both uppercase and lowercase letters.
Cannot contain spaces or special characters (!, @, $, %, ‘).

No special characters! That is ridiculous, if they were doing the passwords correctly I should be able type in a hundred character password with any characters I want they would just hash it down and save the hash. Hopefully they will figure this out eventually.

eMusic update

Checked back earlier this week and they have finally gotten the link for downloading the track fixed, only took a 6 weeks. If I did not keep finding more music there that I want to get I would just cancel, this almost sounds like an ad but really, they have been adding quite a lot that I like and will eventually buy, hopefully they don’t “upgrade” the site again for a while, it is just barely working now.

eMusic FAIL

I have been a subscriber to eMusic.com for at least a couple year now, I have always been pleased with the experience, good music, good price and downloading music was simple. They recently redesigned their website and it is now and complete disaster. I can no longer download in either Firefox or Chrome which limits to me the execrable microsoft internet explorer, one of the worst jokes foisted on humankind. Even in that I still have trouble downloading, if the title is too long then the download button moves when I hover over the entry and no longer works. Such a mess, suppose I should just suspend my account until they fix their website.

ABC News fail

Just posted this on Facebook:

ABC news just said the satellite that is going to deorbit next week is going to “burn up when it hits the scorching hot ring that surrounds the Earth.” Wow, they should not report science topics when they don’t know something as simple as why objects falling to Earth from space burn up.

Wanted to have it over here too for my own archive and because it is so amazing that they would say something so absolutely wrong.

iTunes was driving me nuts!

iTunes Playlists with podcasts in them have moved, they are now under the podcast tab and must be selected there.

But it is all OK now. After a recent update to iTunes (one of the version 9 installs) I found that a smart playlist I had setup was no longer getting synced. This was quite irritating since it was a playlist of podcasts I had setup for when I am driving around, I set it to play and I don’t have to mess with the device again. For the past few weeks I have been trying off and on to find a solution to this and was getting quite frustrated until I finally noticed someone on a board say turn on playlist syncing under podcasts. I read that and thought there is no playlist option there, well I go take a look and realize that Apple added a new option for playlists on the podcast tab but it is below everything else so you don’t see it until you scroll down, subtle that since there was never a need to scroll before. I look down there and lo and behold there are all my playlists (smart and regular) which include podcasts, click the one I want and it syncs over properly. Glad to have this working again, hopefully this will help someone else from going nuts over this change.

Reality is for suckers

I had started this a while and forgot to publish it, so a little old but that does not mean the idea has lost merit.

Saw a reference to an interesting post over at John Dvorak’s site today. He was referring to an editorial which appeared at the The Independent, a British publication. A very interesting read, for the most part summed up what I have been thinking these past few weeks.

One of the replies I found most interesting was someone who was obviously against the current plan begin proposed which would include a public payer option and held up as examples that the current system works people who are getting good care on the Medicare system. I guess someone forgot to tell this guy that Medicare is government run and paid for health care paid for by taxes on all.

Taxes update

Took a look at my T-Mobile wireless bill this weekend and the city utility tax charge is still there, bit more than bothersome that. I did a little searching and found that Olympia levies a 9% taxes on phone service. So I called them up again asking where I can send information showing that my address is not in the city, will hear back from someone this week.

Upon reflection, I realize this would make a lovely class action lawsuit. There must be many thousands of people out there who are being charged these fees for localities they do not reside in and do not realize it.

It also occurred to me that I bet the sales tax they charge is also at the Olympia rate, not only does this compound my irritation but it is illegal. The law is that they must charge the rate for where the service is delivered, my house in this case. Perhaps a call to the Department of Revenue is in order to get these guys smacked down.

City taxes

Something for those of you out there who don’t live in a city. I was just looking at my cellular bill and noticed they are charging me a City Utility Users Tax. Well, I do not live in the city and feel that I pay enough in sales taxes which I cannot avoid to the city when shopping that I need not send more of my money to them. I called the company to get rid of this and was told that they base whether to charge this tax on the zip code which very inaccurate, my zip code covers two cities and about a quarter of the county. Hopefully they can clear this up and I can stop having to pay about 3.50 a month for service I don’t receive, not much but it does add up. If you don’t live in the city then check your bill and make sure there are not any incorrect charges there.

Convert .tod to mpg

Finally found a quick way to convert the .tod files which my JVC camcorder produces into the much more usable mpg format. I have tried the ffmpeg method but when I use that the resulting files cannot be opened in my editing program which does me no good. This same editing program also has a batch convert option, I just pull that up and point it at the directory full of tod files and tell it make me mpg files, takes a little while to run the convert but it is really only the time it takes read in the file, swap a few bytes and write it back out. The program is called VideoRedo, I have the TV Suite version, I really like it. The program will also pull in my TiVo files and allow me edit them for output to a DVD. I see that this version costs a bit at $75 but I think it is worth it.

One note, if you are doing this then first specify the output directory then add the files to convert, this way the resulting batch file will have the correct output path.

As they say, don’t talk politics

I was chatting with a friend at work Thursday afternoon when someone who sits nearby joined in. Somehow the discussion turned to government regulations and after a short while this other guy was getting quite angry about this topic. There was no way to just discuss this with him, his viewpoint appeqrs to be the only one that matters and any competing ideas are so wrong and dangerous they have to be literally shouted down with vulgar language.

In a nutshell, his contention was that the government required banks to make loans to people who could not afford them and that this is what has lead to the current economic problems. At the time I was too flabbergasted at his reaction to respond but it occurred to me later even if that was the case, the banks were not required to structure these loans to fail or make them without performing due diligence. Our current problems were not the regulations fault but greedy banks looking to grab whatever they could damn the consequences. (Of course, there is a lot more to this topic but I will leave those books to someone else to write.)

I don’t care for induhviduals who hold such extremist views that a simple debate is just not possible. The only way to discuss current events with these induhviduals is when one just agrees with everything that is said, that is not a debate or discussion though.

Mariners game

Heading back to Tacoma on the sounder train. Very cool, free parking and an hour ride to Seattle. The only drawback is the train leaves Seattle only 35 minutes after the final out which does give much time to hang out. Perhaps next time will go north on the train and then take the bus back, havt to check the schedules. By the way, the Mariners won, yeah!

iPod Touch wifi issue

Just thought I throw this out here in case someone else has the problem and does not feel like plowing through the hundreds of comments on other sites. My lovely little iPod Touch decided that it did not want play networking anymore, going into the settings menu yielded the message No wi-fi and the wi-fi menu was not even available, it was disabled for some reason. Very annoying as I had to go check twitter, withdrawal symptoms were setting in.

Well, thankfully the solution was pretty simple, just enter the Setting menu, then choose General, spin to the bottom and choose Reset. Now choose the Reset Network Settings option and the menu should be enabled now. Unfortunately you will have to reenter your long and nasty key but it will after that which is the goal.

Bing?

(Oops, forgot to publish this last week.)

There must be someone at MS with a sense of humor after all or perhaps John Cleese is consulting for them. Monty Python had a scit where a medical machine was brought into a hospital whose only redeeming value was that it went bing! Funny that MS wants associate their search engine with something that did nothing except cost money.

Global warming?

I have been hearing a lot more talk lately about how global warming is bunk. Or that if it is happening then mankind is not to blame, that what is happening is just part of a natural cycle.

Let’s look at it this way instead, no matter how one feels about this topic the actions that would be required to reduce CO2 emissions will have the added benefit of reducing the amount of pollution that is generated which will in turn improve air quality. That will mean we all would be healthier for not having to breathe the junk combusting fossil fuels produces or eating foods contaminated by the same.

Think about it, actually being able to see a blue sky in the middle of a big city.