Please, Vote!

There is a fairly important election coming up in the next few months, and I feel obligated, like so many others, to try and help inform people of where to vote and when (November 2, for those who have been in spider holes for a while).

Kottke has set up a nice page describing the process involved, and I have tried to go the extra step to help provide information for those in Harris county (Houston, for those not in the know).

I found an official Harris county FAQ which answers some of the most common questions regarding voting and stuff. Here are a few ( 1, 2 ) sites that have locations of where you can vote, on early and on the normal election day. This may be a Red state and there may not be a lot of incintive to vote, but it the only opportunity to express your own opinion.

If you are un-happy with the incumbants in your district you can find out their names here and decide whether to vote for them or not. It’s important to remember there is an election every year and not just every four years.

This is maybe an ‘official’ harris country site that explains how the voting work machines in Harris county.

Cheated by Coca Cola

I came across an issue where it looked like the good folks at the Coca Cola Bottling Company have shorted me on a bottle of the Diet Coke that I purchased with my hard earned money.

Initial Glimpse

I double checked to make sure that they were both 2 liter bottles, and not one 2 liter and one 1.75 liter bottle. Again I was dumbfounded.

Cap

Just to make sure, I checked the lids to make sure that maybe Brandy hadn’t opened one up and drank a swig or some thing like that. She does strange things like that some times.

Cap

I guess I am just a victim of the Coca Cola organization. In the future I will be much more careful when selecting my bottles, instead of random selection. No more of the trusting Jason…

Anyway, Meraz was in town this past weekend, and we had a pretty good time. The pictures are posted here. Now that the secret of him not ever moving back are out, it makes his visits a lot more enjoyable.

I found this story (via J-Walk) about spam models and just about died. I think if I were going to show up in hundreds of thousands of ad I would at least change outfits a few times. It is a nice dress though.

Another thing I found from J-Walk was a link to the eBay auction for the bike lock and the Bic pens that can be used to open it. I started checking out the questions section (ebay account required), and thought it was worth posting.

FireFox Extensions, Part II

I found this page that does a step by step on how to write extensions for FireFox (which is the coolest browser in the world) and thought I would document it but putting it up here. With a working knowledge of XML and JavaScript it seems I could whip something up pretty easily, if only I could come up with and idea…

The howto also links to a page that will generate (via perl) a >a href=”http://extensions.roachfiend.com/cgi-bin/guid.pl”>GUID/UID for you, although I think it would have been cooler if he had set up a web service for it, instead of having to copy and paste it. I really like GUID/UIDs.

The J-Walk blog had an interesting link to a reverse mouse game. I’ve sliging the mouse left handed for a few years now, and I found it pretty difficult until I switched back to the right. I didn’t like how you had to pick the mouse up and physically move it to stay in bounds, but I guess that happens everywhere. Even right handed I am a pretty sloppy mouse guy, which I sure speaks volumes about my personality. And jut for the record, this is much harder after a few drinks.

And I just think this is a really funny story.

Gmail Invites

BTW, if you know anyone who would like a GMail invite, I have 5 left (this is assuming anyone reads these things.). I am pretty sure Google is trying to figure out how “cool” they re by spreading from word of mouth rather than direct user sign-up. I feel obligated to help them out, even though their “save the planet” mentality seems a little off base from me. But I am from a Red state, so my opinion my not count.

Unions for all?

I was reading these two blogs (kottke and bitter pill) and found the differing opinions on the same interview pretty interesting. I tend to think that unions are simply a way of admitting that you are a commodity, but there are others who disagree. I’ve heard that they do a bang-up job of managing pension funds.

Gaining ground

Having spent the morning in a kind of haze, I was cruising through the normal morning reads and found this post by kottke that had what I thought was a pretty funny way of personality catagorization, although I though the parent’s one was a bit strange. I managed to score an FDIG on the new-and-improved and a INTJ on the tried-and-true tests. I am definitely going to be basing life decisions based on these classifications.

In other good news it looks like FireFox is becoming more and more popular among everyday browsers, whether through preference or fear. I’ve been using it for around a year now, when it was still called FireBird (I know, I’m such an OG, I’m making myself sick) and think it is a really great product. I try to recommend it whenever the question of browsers comes up, but that’s not that often around work (you can’t even log into our company site without IE). It’s nice to know that you can now purchase FireFox merchandise, but I agree with this guy about the size of the logo. I’m still trying to pass along the notion that tabbed browsing is the way to go, instead of window grouping. The world may never know…

Firefox Tools

I saw this post on Slashdot a few days ago that talked about a Firefox extension that would visually indicate what type of link you were looking at/about to click called target alert. Being a long time user of the Web Developer Toolbar by Chris Pederick I decided to give it a whirl. The images take a little longer to show up than the page does, but it’s pretty neat nontheless, and makes for a lazier surfing (if that’s possible).

So I got to wondering if maybe there had been an extension created which served as an rss aggregator (I’ve been looking for a nice free one for a bit) and Voila!, I found one. The project is called Sage and is a very simple rss reader for both RSS and Atom formats (why can’t we all just get along?). Not having ever used a reader before I had little or no expectations going into the deal, so I was not disappointed. Sage does allow you to import/export your listing so you can maintain the same list in two places, which is nice, but it is a fully manual process that I think should be worked on to make it more automated, perhaps via remote storage and an SFTP transaction upon opening. They could even use the JavaScript GET to see if such a synchronization was even needed. I am complaining I guess, but not too loud.

I’ve been anxiously waiting for an opportunity to get a GMail account and I finally got one last Friday, from two different people. Apparently they sent out a bunch of invitations to current members on Friday, since Nick had 6 and Michael had several as well. It now looks like they are offering invitations to anyone who sends an email to a GMail account holder which I think is a policy shift, but not having an account before I don’t really know. It could be kind of a social networking thing to see how far the accounts will get before they open them up to the public, or at least that was Mike’s idea. Whatever it is, the application is pretty slick

Just as an aside, there is a contest that picks a winner by drawing randomly from entrants and double checking to make sure they are registered to vote. You can sign up by clicking here. It seems like an interesting idea, I guess. Anyway, it doesn’t take any time and you were already going to vote anyway, right?

Moving and Improving

I have spent the past couple of weeks working more on the kitchen, with a few side jobs here and there for friends, since Brandy and I are pretty nice people.

We started by working on the kitchen some more; I had to make sure the walls looked fairly decent and then Brandy made a Herculean effort while I was gone by priming and painting the entire kitchen. Now that the walls are painted it almost seems like a real room, sort of. We are going to order the cabinets this week, though it will probably take 4 to 6 weeks for them to arrive. In the interim I have installed the tiles to fill the footprint of the old cabinets over the weekend. No grout yet, but we talking baby steps here. I finally managed to get the outlets looking all right, with the help of some texture in a bottle. I hate doing touch up work; it requires too much attention on the presentation layer, which I have never shown too much affinity for.

Nick finally moved into his newly built condo in the ghetto over the weekend of the 27th. There was a huge crew of 10 who helped to accomplish this task, along with the aid of some heavy machinery. We finished up the move in around 6 hours, with some loafing time included. All in all the new place is pretty nice, despite the blue tape every where. I guess that’s one of the down falls when buying a new home, offset by the fact that no one has every fornicated in the rooms before you have.

Last night we helped some friends of Brandy’s friends put some texture on their bathroom walls. We’ve done this several times in our own house so we managed to knock it out in a few hours, without too many problems. There was sort of a remodeling party going on so there were some other volunteers other than ourselves and the home owners (the red eye is awesome). The work everyone did was not in vain, and the end results (1, 2)look pretty good.