About me

I'm a geek working as a distance learning specialist for a large corporation.

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This is my favorite way to listen to music now.

My Yahoo "radio station"
(Unfortunately, only works in IE.)


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September 2007
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John Williams is probably the most well known film composer in history. He owes much of that success to the Star Wars series, but Jaws, Superman, Close Encounters of thePre-prequel-era Star Wars music tribute

[caption id="attachment_730" align="alignright" width="300" caption="The Dark is Rising sequence"][/caption] When the Dark comes rising, six shall turn it back; Three from the circle, three from the track; Wood, bronze, iron; water, fire, stone; FiveThe Dark Is Rising, except on film (Review: The Seeker)

For all you dad's out there, and mine specifically, Happy Father's Day. Thanks for all you've taught us, thanks for all the fun we've had. Thanks for the trips to theHappy Father's Day

Okay, I get distracted for a little while and suddenly there's new stuff in the Star Wars universe. I can feel the geek in me slipping away... But at least IStar Wars trailers

This is just a list of things I saw today that you need to see. Doctor Horrible, Act 1, the 8-bit Nintendo version: Mail truck converted into a Colonial Viper (original BattlestarStuff you just need to see

[caption id="attachment_1036" align="alignright" width="285" caption="Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince"][/caption] I haven't read the books. In general I've tried to avoid reviews and other spoilers for the film (though I didReview: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Yeah, I got this from a chain mail, but it's the first one to make me laugh out loud in a few years, so here you go...   A Lawyer and aHow to make $490

Yeah... somebody had too much time on their hands. Still, it's kinda fun. [caption id="attachment_1180" align="aligncenter" width="300" caption="created by Kris Staub - click for larger version"][/caption] You can even buy a print ofSci-fi Periodic Table (TV and Movies)

Slice of Scifi - Science Fiction TV & Movie News, Interviews & more » Paraglider Sucked Into Killer Storm Wow. This definitely qualifies as the craziest story I've heard about paraglidingFlying woman freezes, falls, and survives

Last week I started doing something I hardly ever do - I started reading a non-fiction book. Even more amazingly, it's an auto-biography. That's a genre I almost never delveC.S. Lewis on living by hope

In the 7 day challenge, today’s topic is: Embed a legal youtube clip that I either found today or created myself. Then tell everyone about the clip and related information. I consideredTelling Time - 7 day challenge

[caption id="attachment_562" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Kirk and Spock over the Enterprise"][/caption] First off, if you haven't yet, go see the trailer. This one is worth the HD download. It's pretty. Okay, back already?Star Trek (2009) full trailer released

This is probably my favorite short film to date. I'm sure that says something about me. This really is an amazing job. My favorite is the Tetris demolition. Frogger was a niceNew York destroyed by Pixels!

Creating Passionate Users: Re-igniting passion We can't expect passionate users, if we ourselves can't hold (or rediscover) the passion we felt for the work we chose. That is an excellent point. WhenRe-igniting passion

This thing has "inspiring Disney movie" written all over it. Two guys grow up in Cleveland with disabilities, both physical and environmental, join the wrestling team, and become inseparable friends. There'sESPN goes for the heart - Tuesday TubeWatch

Unexpected costs, things that have broken lately, and lessons learned

In the last month or so, it seems like Murphy is camped on my front step.

  • Computer – dead. Motherboard, presumably, is fried, based on research.
  • Car inspection – over $500 more than expected in repairs.
  • VCR – dead.  Yes, I still had one. No I don’t have a DVR. I don’t have digital cable either.
  • Wife’s TV – extremely unreliable, verging on death. Picture fades to black for long stretches.
  • Three extra trips to the lab for wife’s newly diagnosed chronic condition (in addition to the chronic condition we both already have).
  • Medicine for that condition.
  • $600 in further repairs for same car in one month.
  • Shocks are shot in the other car.

So what am I doing about this stuff?

  • Car repairs – Paying for it, of course. No choice in the matter. The only thing I’m doing is putting off repairing the shocks, since I only use that car to get back and forth to work. One more repair and I’ll have no choice but to buy a new car, which is way outside of reality at the moment. These cars each have to last me another 5 years if I can help it.
  • VCR – nothing. Wife has a VCR we can use in the meantime (though it’s virtually featureless, it has the benefit of working.)
  • Medical stuff – again, paying for it. No choice. At least I can work out payment plans for much of it, though that mostly just extends the pain.
  • Computer – trying desparately to save enough to buy a new(er) one that won’t be obsolete in a month and a half. Best price so far is $600 that I don’t have. Last time I saved that much discretionary cash it took me well over a year. The above problems aren’t helping.

What have I learned from this?

  • It’s easy to blow through your emergency fund. Make it as large as possible.
  • Preventative maintenance should always be considered (a tune-up a while ago might have saved me some of this latest car cost).
  • The health care system is way too expensive.
  • I can get away with not having my own computer for a couple months, but it takes a lot more organization, and access to the internet through some work computers (for online banking, email, and this blog mostly). If I couldn’t do that, I’d be sunk. I seriously miss Quicken, though. What I can’t do is empty the memory stick in my camera (which is also broken, btw – the camera, not the stick), or get the existing pictures off my old computer, or work on my musical hobbies.

I had an unexpected influx of cash recently, which is extremely helpful. Instead of helping to get me out of debt, though, as it was intended, it’s just keeping me from going farther into debt. Still good, though. Excellent timing in that regard.

(Btw, this post isn’t meant to be looking for pity; I understand I’m still in a way better situation that many folks. This is just a venting and reflection post.)

What curveballs has life thrown at you lately? What have you learned from it? If you’re comfortable doing so, please leave a comment.

[tags]personal finance, murphy’s law, life lessons[/tags]

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