Friday, October 31, 2008

S-video in the Onkyo TX-SR606

As I mentioned previously, I bought a new A/V receiver for my Birthday.

So far it has worked well, but I could not get the S-Video from the Directv R15 DVR to display on the TV via HDMI. I even read the manual!

A couple of weekends I fought with it and finally posted on an A/V Forum specific this (TX SR606) receiver.

The way to get it to work: when defining the input for the Satellite, leave the input selector as '----' instead of trying to select one of the values. Yes, the manual says you need to select an input, but it only works with S-Video if you leave it blank.

I also left the HDMI mode to pass through since the TV did a better job of up-converting the video than the device did.

It works like a charm now. Sunday I will take the TV off the wall and run the HDMI cable so we can watch the Giants! Oh wait, the Falcons are playing so I can't see the Giants crush Dallas. Once again, it sucks being here.

Next toy: I want a Harmony remote ;-)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday - catch me if you can

He moves really fast for 2 and 3/4.

Deb joins the chase!

What he really wanted was a Popsicle.

See what others are 'showing' today.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Meghan's 14th Birthday

Last week was Meghan's 14th birthday, so we took her to dinner at Cherokee Cattle Company (If you've never been there, try it. They have huge servings of good food and an usually good selection of deserts. Guess why we go there ...)

Last night was her party with friends. It was a pretty calm affair after last year. All the girls behaved and seemed to have a good time.

Courtney's friend also slept over, here they are being hams.

More pictures in the Flickr site.


Last Sunday, after a very good night sleep for most of us, we went to get our pumpkins for Halloween.

More pictures in the Flickr site.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Possessed Keyboard?

For a few minutes this afternoon I thought the keyboard on Deb's computer was possessed. Every time I would type a space a comma would also be displayed. In every application I tried.

I looked at the keyboard, nothing obviously wrong with it. Shook it a few times, blew on it, nothing helped. Finally I got out the can of compressed air and blew it out. Out came a piece of dried orange/pink sugar. Hmm, who likes Popsicles? Who watches Thomas the Tank Engine videos on the computer?

Yup, at 2 and 3/4 Christopher has caused me to do computer repair. (Though in his defense, who gave him a Pop when using the computer?) This child is going to be more trouble by far than either of the girls.

Oh yeah, we took many of the child-proof door locks off the doors this weekend. He has the figured out to the point where they buy us less than a second to catch him before he's out the door. It takes most adults a couple of seconds, so we just took them off.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

13 tons of top soil is no match for us!

We've been in this house for over 11 years now, so some of the parts of the house and yard are showing their age. One area that I've despised for the last few years was an island in the front of the house. It had a number of junipers and weeds and flowers and weeds.

Well, a month or so ago I started pulling up the juniper bushes. The first set were horrible to get up, but that was because I didn't have the right tools. The second weekend I was able to pull up 5 more within an hour or so. A couple of more hours of work and the island was gone. Except for the holes, hard packed Georgia red clay and roots from the birch tree.

So, this morning we had 13 tons of top soil delivered. Yes, 13 tons. Next week we have a landscaper coming out to over seed the whole yard, including the new areas.

We had a number of doubters about whether we'd be able to move this amount of dirt without a bobcat or a lot of help. Several people recommended I go to Marietta center and get some, um help. If you know my political leanings you know there is no way I'd do that.

Instead, I borrowed 3 wheelbarrows and an extra shovel and the whole family joined in. At our best, Meghan would have a load 3/4 full when I came back with an empty wheelbarrow, then I'd finish hers while she started on the new one. Deb had a smaller one that she was filling and dumping. Courtney was helping with Christopher and dumping small Tonka truck loads herself. Christopher, well he was a toddler with 13 tons of dirt in his yard. Click over to the Flickr site for a bunch more pictures.

Total time: 3 hours and 15 minutes to move 13 tons of dirt. We rocked!




Sunday, October 05, 2008

43,000 False Alarms in 1 year

If you don't live in Cobb Co. you can ignore this one.

Wow, your tax dollars at work.

Last year, the most common call for service was to alarms and there were almost double as many calls as for the number two call for service, traffic accidents.

Of the about 43,000 alarm calls, almost 99 percent were false.

from here.

In response Cobb County is requiring you register with the county if you have an alarm. Failure to do so is a $100 fine. You do get 2 false alarms before they start charging you.

We've had the alarm in our house for 11 years now and have only had one false alarm the led to the police coming out. That was a strange story, it wasn't really the alarm system who called them, but a phone number that was somehow registered to our house. This was back in the days when I had a second phone line for the dial up modem, so you know this was a long time ago.

We have had the monitoring company call us a few times when the kids (or I) open the door in the morning without shutting it off. We did that A LOT when we first got the dog.

Details of the ordinance is here:

Saturday, October 04, 2008

Thomas the tank engine: Encourage Illegal Street Racing?

This morning as Christopher and I watched the new Thomas the Tank Engine movie, one thought entered my mind: why are they encouraging street racing on a toddler's movie?

The show starts with Thomas and James racing to the wharf, often at speeds faster than normal, cheered on by the crowd and encouraged by their boss. They even have a bunch of kids singing a song encouraging them!

They aren't racing for pinks, instead to see who gets the better job! At least it isn't at midnight on the side of Super-7 ;-)

They almost run a railroad signal, then race off the split second it changes to green! What are they teaching our children!

Remember kids, street racing is illegal and dangerous, even if you are on a railroad track!

(For the humor impaired, this post is a joke. I actually enjoyed watching the movie with Christopher. The songs are silly and a little over the top, but perfect for a 2 year old.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

50 Reasons to date a geek

Last night Courtney and I had an interesting conversation about the geeky boy in her class who helps the teacher with technology issues. I gave her the little speech about why dating geeks is better than dating jocks and she gave me a strange look. (She is 10 after all.) I expect she'll remember the conversation in 15 years or so and do the right thing ;-)

Then I found this blog entry today: 50 Reasons to date a geek

I have to agree with a lot of them, but several are wrong. For example:

43. They’re not jerks: Although geeks have a lot to be proud of, they’re almost never full of themselves.

A LOT of the geeks I know are a!!holes when they want to prove how much smarter they are then the people around them. Usually these are the ones that don't have dates.

This one is just funny:

22. There are lots of good ones out there: Geeks tend to not be very active in the dating field, so there are plenty to choose from.

So single ladies, go find yourself a geek. Geeks in school, wait until end of Junior year and notice how the ladies who are thinking about MRS degrees suddenly show up. I remember a lot of friends at UMASS suddenly having dates and women interested in them as we got closer to graduation. Wonder why (see #42). No Deb knew me BEFORE I went to school for computer science ;-)