The LandPhil be honest, be honorable, be kind, be compassionate, and work hard.

May 9, 2005

Slow day in collections

Filed under: General — phil @ 10:04 am

Last week, I received a phone call at work:

“Systems, this is Phil.”

“I’m looking for Phillip Cheetham.”

“Speaking.”

“Hi Phillip, my name is <something> and I’m calling in regards to your Mastercard account with Direct Merchant’s Bank. It shows here …that …you …have already paid your bill. Sorry to have bothered you.”

“I do what I can. Have a nice day.”

April 12, 2005

Firefly

Filed under: General — phil @ 12:52 pm

I’ve been informed that someone I know, nay, someone I would call a friend doesn’t like the television show Firefly.

I must say that I’m very, very disappointed.

Perhaps one day, in the future, when my wounds have had time to heal, we’ll be able to get past this horrible slight. Perhaps…

Probably not, though.

March 31, 2005

Car fun

Filed under: General — phil @ 10:27 am

So, there I was, driving to work yesterday morning on the dirt road behind my apartment. I take the dirt road because it’s much faster than taking city streets. I was driving down this dirt road and I came upon the last turn before it intersects with the regular city street that runs into campus. As I passed the nice yellow “suggestion” sign that said 25mph, I turned the corner a little wide.

This is a right turn. My backend started sliding out to the left. I compensated (overly, as it turns out) and then started spinning the other way. I bounced my car off the left side of the road and skidded to a halt facing the wrong way. I had my window cracked, so I got a car full of dust.

After making a mental check of myself (most of my momentum was lost in the spin, not in the impact, and what was lost in the impact was lessened by the loose dirt and slight incline of the side of the road), I tried to start my engine again since it had stalled. It didn’t start.

Swearing at myself, I hopped out of the car, popped the hood and gave the whole thing a once over. Externally, I’d pretty much demolished my passanger side front bumper. And by demolished, I mean that I’d clearly broken all of it’s screw mounts and snap ins, but it was still more or less attached and kind of sagged a bit. I also popped the right front wheel well cover out. Internally, the car appeared to be ok. I had some dirt on my intercooler, but I brushed that off. No leaking fluids and no sounds of escaping gas. I closed the hood, got back in the car, and started it right up. (The ECU probably went into fail safe mode and just needed to reset.)

I drove it to work and spent the day there. When I left that evening, I checked again to see if anything was leaking from my car. There wasn’t. So I got on the road and headed home (to Pasadena.)

About 5 miles outside of Riverside I heard (and felt) a loud bump. I wondered what it was, but the car didn’t drive any differently, so I kept going. About 2 miles after that, some dude drove up next to me and started waving and yelling and pointing at my tires. So I slowed down and pulled over to the side of the road. I got out to discover that the large bump that I had felt and heard was in fact my right *rear* tire blowing out. Fun times!

I changed my tire on the side of the road.

The drive home was slow, but I got there in one piece. Later that evening, my dad and I finished moving the rest of the large things out of my apartment. It is now empty, save for a few cleaning supplies. As luck would have it, though, I managed to smash something against my leg while I was carrying things. My cell phone was in my pocket. The external display is now broken.

This morning, I got up and took my car in to Vince to have him give it a once over and make sure everything was fine before I had the bumper replaced. I figured, I’d just pay the $1000 for the new bumper since technically I’d already been paid for it way back when when I got in my first fender bender. Vince had other ideas, though, as once he got it up on the jack he discovered that I’d broken a radiator mount. That required the front end be removed to fix and would get pricy in labor costs. So, he recommended that I get my insurance company involved.

I have a claim number. I am only liable for $500. Yay, collision insurance. Boo being an idiot.

March 23, 2005

An experiment

Filed under: General — phil @ 8:40 am

So, today I left my apartment at 7:30 am. I got to work at 8:33 am. Yesterday, I left my apartment at 7:00 am. I got to work at 8:27 am. Monday, I was running late and didn’t leave my apartment until 8:00 am. I got to work at 8:45 am. I have tried in the past to leave before 7:00 am. I still get to work between 8:15 and 8:30 am.

There is clearly a trend here where at some point in the morning, I can leave my apartment and get to work instantaneously. My goal is to find that time.

March 22, 2005

The Rules for Driving according to Phil

Filed under: General — phil @ 11:00 am

Here’s a few off the top of my head:

1. If you are not going faster than all the traffic around you, get out of the #1 lane.

2. If you are in a truck or tracker-trailer, stay in the slow lane. Under no circumstances are you allowed in my #1 lane.

3. If you are coming up on my bumper quickly, you have 2 choices: a) signal so that I know you’re going to go around me, or b) wait patiently for me to move out of your way. Riding 2 feet off my ass gets my brake lights, asshole.

4. If I am coming up on you quickly, you have 3 choices: a) speed up, or b) move out of my way, or c) stay where you are. With that last one, do not, under any circumstances, attempt to execute b after I have assumed you have done c. I will honk my horn and flash my brights at you if you cut me off while trying to pass your slow ass.

5. If you’re going to pass someone, pass them. Creeping by at a 1mph difference is not passing. Pulling up next to someone is not passing.

6. If there is a large gap in front of and behind you, do not ride in my fucking blindspot. Also, see #5.

7. If you don’t have a headset, don’t talk on your cellphone. This goes double for CHP. Extreme consequences may constitute breaking of this rule.

That’s all I can think of right now.

March 18, 2005

Amazon Search

Filed under: General,Links — phil @ 9:08 am

I thought this link deserved it’s own post.

A new way to search Amazon.

March 16, 2005

Thoughts

Filed under: General — phil @ 6:00 pm

If one were to click the link over there on the side for Vague Idea, one would find a community of sorts. It’s my ring of friends in the local area (plus one or two.) It’s a regular blog that anyone can register with and post and do all that nonsense. There is also a message board.

On this message board, the proprietor posted a topic called “Gonzo Thread.” Apparently it is a reference to the stream of consciousness writing style of Hunter Thompson that was coined “Gonzo Journalism.” I found this amusing as that the basic structure of a message board (forums and threads and posts) is counter to the idea of stream of consciousness writing. It’s hard to truly “stream” when you’ve narrowed yourself down to a category, topic, and discussion underway. And more importantly, how was this different from posting to the public blog?

I think it all boils down to: How is the data presented? Many people prefer the illusion of community presented by the message board, rather than the stark landscape of anonymity afforded to the blog poster. When, in reality, it’s merely the aesthetic of how it’s presented.

So, this begs the question: Why hasn’t anyone seriously attempted to incorporate the two? It shouldn’t be that hard to create the databases (or just swipe any existing forum or blog database) and allow for multiple “views” of the data. You could view it like the traditional message board, in a threaded, by topic fashion, or you could just loop that shit out of the database in chronological (or perhaps categorical) order and spew it onto the screen.

I’m seriously tempted to try it myself. Perhaps when I have more time.

New blog

Filed under: General — phil @ 4:50 pm

Well, it’s not exactly new. It’s still my blog. With a new engine. And I have to figure out how to import all my old entries (this may be a long time coming, or possibly not at all.)

In the meantime, welcome to the new digs. It was time for an overhaul. Now at least I won’t have to trim the spam.

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