Overseen Photography

When it has been a long day…

… and especially if you’ve been drinking, this kind of thing is really funny.



Perhaps they really know their customers.


Happy laptop once more

The nice help desk guy got me up and running once again (and in fairly short order too).  There are a lot of perks to to working at Microsoft, not the least of which is getting questions answered (either from tech support or the people who designed the software in the first place).

The solution to my problem was to use the recovery module on the XP install CD to manually copy a new system file over from the CD’s system folder.  There may have been an automated method but it wasn’t obvious (not to mention the MCE install CD I had wouldn’t do the trick).  There was no way I was going to get it solved on my own except by wiping out Windows and starting fresh.

Now I just need to fix all drivers that managed to break in the repair process… how does replacing that one file cause all the other stuff to break?

Life Weird

I never knew I had cockles…

… I thought that warm feeling was heart burn. 🙂

My lovely wife has started a blog… it does me proud.


The best laid schemes o’ Mice an’ Men…

I was hoping to keep a record of my vacation (more for my sake than for any interest it might have) but my laptop threw a shoe. 

Windows could not start because the following file is missing or corrupt:

Kee-rap!  Wouldn’t you know it, I have CDs of Windows from 98 to XP home but no XP pro cds to attempt a repair (I have MCE CDs but they seem to lock up when attempting to use them).

Oh Joy.  I get to pull my hard drive.



The first three hours of parking at Downtown Disney is free with validation.

Reeves: “Can you validate me?”

Waiter: “You’re a wonderful human being.”


Road trip!

When we found out we needed to be out of our house for a few days to have our house tented for termites we decided to make the most of it, we planned a road trip to southern California.  In the process we realized it’s the first trip of any length we’ve taken alone for almost three years.  Time for some quality time.


Can anyone tell me where this is… specifically?


Epic story… epically bad screen writing

If you were a geeky kid who spent a lot of time reading Greek adventures as a kid you’ll be able to keep up with this movie, if not you’ll likely miss a good chunk of Troy.  The movie is more notable for what it lacks than what it has.  I do give the movie high marks for production values, acting, and cinematography but too little was spent on the screen writer and the score (though it could be argued the music tried valiantly to pick up the fumbled script).

Troy attempts to condense Homer’s Iliad down to an audience-digestible length of 165 minutes.  Perhaps out of fear of looking too much like The Clash of the Titans the storyline is given a more realistic angle by eliminating the very big plot point of the gods.  After doing away with the magic the writers also decided to dispense with character development since the audience would know the big names like Achilles, Odysseus and Ajax (let’s take a leap of faith and assume today’s movie going audience also has a taste for 2800 year-old Greek epic poems).  There are so many characters in this movie that the screen writers found it easier to simply pigeon-hole them into action movie stereotypes than to detail the motivation and conflicts.  Granted, there wasn’t a lot of time but you just can’t squeeze an Epic into a two-plus hour movie simply by calling it an Epic movie.  Even condensing the nine year siege of Troy down to 14 days left them with no room to fit in the scale of this massive story.

On the plus side the movie has more than a few entertaining combat sequences, even though they were a little higher on the splatter-factor than needed (not quite Tarantino gore, but lacking the absurdity to temper it).  The action was fast paced but the violence detracted from it (sure, violence is bad, but please keep the reality out of my escapism).  Particularly cringe-worthy was the drawn out scene where you get to watch a character gurgle and choke, dying from a gaping, bubbling throat wound.  Yummy.  Parents, this movie is violent, well deserving of its ‘R’ rating.

The movie also features the maximum amount of beefcake allowable by law.  So if you intend this as a date movie be forewarned: you’ll either look like a sicko for taking your date to see the violence or you’ll look like a fat putz compared to the well muscled (and extremely well oiled) bodies of Brad Pitt, Orlando Bloom and Eric Bana.

All said, this movie is definitely worth a rental.  It’s quite well filmed so you’d do well to take the rental over to the house of your friend with the really big TV and bitchin’ sound setup.  If you really want to see it on the big screen, please don’t pay full price.  I paid ten bucks and am still steamed 24hrs later.

Rating: Rental


Hotmail sold my e-mail address to spammers!

How often have you heard this?  Perhaps even thought it?  I know I’ve been asked about it more often than I can count and see it crop up on every web board I frequent at some point in time.  The story is always the same…

I signed up for a Hotmail account, never told anyone about the address, only used it a couple times to e-mail friends and within a couple days I was already getting junk e-mail!  Microsoft must have sold my e-mail address to spammers!  How else could you explain them sending me spam when I didn’t tell anyone my new address?

Well, I can tell you with absolute certainty that Microsoft did not sell your e-mail address to anyone.  Junk e-mail is actually so costly to Hotmail that if we were to try to make a business out of selling e-mail addresses to spammers the addresses would be so expensive that spammers couldn’t afford them. 

But if Microsoft didn’t sell my address, and I didn’t tell anyone my address, how did the spammer know to send me junk mail?

The answer is simply: they guessed.  Spammers invest a lot of time in generating software designed to be good at generating possible e-mail addresses.  The software performs what’s called a “dictionary attack” by taking a list of words and names and combines them into every conceivable address.  The word list can include e-mail addresses found in public locations (e.g. if posted to a newsgroup you can bet that will get spam).  After constructing their list the spammers then try to send e-mail to their list of constructed e-mail addresses.  In order to increase their odds, the spammers will identify the largest ISPs to test out their new e-mail lists.  As the world’s largest free e-mail provider (source: Guinness) it’s no wonder spammers hit us hard.  After preening their lists the spammers then change the domain names and start hitting other sites.

Junk E-mail costs Hotmail a lot of money.  In, fact, junk e-mail costs everyone money (estimated cost to businesses last year: $10 billion).  Businesses hate it, consumers hate it, ISPs hate it.  There is no possible way for Hotmail to profit by selling your address, the cost in customer support complaints alone would be enough to sink us.  Add the storage, administration, networking, PR and legal costs to the pile and there isn’t a spammer out there who would be able to afford to buy our list were it for sale.

In short, no, Hotmail didn’t sell your e-mail address.


Using perpetual motion to pump water

A limitless source of power has been tapped by South Africa’s Roundabout.  They’ve created a well pump driven by a merry-go-round.  As the children play, pushing the merry-go-round, a pump pulls water up from the ground into a storage tank.

Say, that reminds me…

Emeka, the matrix has you.

(via boingboing)

Dogs Life

Worry is subsiding

Nala is very thankful for all the well wishes (Nala can’t read so I simply give her a dog biscuit every time someone posts a get well wish, she seems thankful).

I took Nala to the Vet again Tuesday morning (our normal vet, not the emergency vet) and the doctor gave me a little more information.

Her condition isn’t uncommon, especially in older dogs.  We should expect her to recover almost entirely.  Nala has essentially lost the user of her inner ear for balance (temporarily or permanently wasn’t clear).  Animals (dogs and humans alike) use multiple inputs to establish balance: inner ear, visual queues and muscle position.  Take away one of the inputs and things will be wonky at first, but the animal will learn to cope.

It will be a few days before she’s able to get around well on her own (she’s already managing pretty well, but does tend to go bump in the night).  The doctor said to expect her to be unsteady for a few weeks or longer… especially since Nala is shy one leg.  Many dogs never get back to 100 percent and will have some minor symptoms.  The most common vestigial symptoms being a tendency to fall down when shaking dry and perpetual head tilt (which is actually kind of cute).

For now we’re continuing to baby her, more for our own sake than hers.