July 03, 2014

boom bang pop-pop-pop

The neighborhood pyros are at it again, like every year. It's a day early, but who cares about that?

There's an Indian reservation about a hundred miles from here, and US26 goes right there from Portland, so there's never any problem getting fireworks if anyone really wants to.

The other side of the creek gets overgrown and by this time the grass has dried out, and it's perfect tinder for a huge blaze, so I'm always a bit afraid that someone is going to burn the neighborhood down. The complex hires someone a couple times every summer to clear it all out, and this year they did it about three weeks ago, so it's not a firetrap over there, thank goodness. Still, I'll be worried until the national celebration is finished, probably Monday.

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May 16, 2014


I guess "Selfies" are all the rage right now, and as ever I'm on the trailing edge of the fad. Below the fold are night-mare inducing pictures of me. (Gad.) more...

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May 14, 2014

Bachelor Chef -- cheddar cheese french fries


These "steak fries" come frozen in a bag. You bake them in a blazingly hot oven for 18 minutes spread out on a cookie sheet and they aren't half-bad. So afterwards, put them on the plate and spread grated cheddar cheese all over, then microwave for about a minute. Serve with Bachelor Dipping Sauce (½ ketchup, ½ mayonnaise).

They're greasy as all hell, so I eat them with a knife and fork. Yum! Probably about 9000 calories. (Like I care.)

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 07:51 AM | Comments (4) | Add Comment
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May 01, 2014

Droid update

Verizon just rolled out another firmware update for my HTC Droid DNA. This is the third since I got the phone in 12/2012.

It was huge. In fact, they divided it into two pieces. The first one downloaded without my noticing and when I turned my phone on I got told the update was ready, and that it was the first of two. So I let it install, and then I downloaded the other one (which took about ten minutes through my wifi) and installed it, too, which took a hell of a long time, probably another ten minutes.

One thing that changed is that it upgraded us from Android verson 4.2.2 to version 4.4.2, which (according to Wikipedia) is the latest release.

The feature list there says "security enhancements", so I wonder if 4.2.2 had the Heartbleed bug? (Wikipedia says it was in 4.1.1.)

They also changed the user interface again, but not very radically. (Not like last time, which changed how everything looked.)

It's nice to know that HTC and Verizon still care about us, even though they don't sell this phone any more. (And I hear HTC isn't doing well these days.)

UPDATE: Oh, also the installation process ran my battery down from 99% to 93%. I guess it rewrote nearly all the firmware.

UPDATE: Verizon spearphishing! Twice now I've received text messages informing me that: "Your Verizon Wireless account has been updated. A discount will be applied to eligible lines. Please visit http://tr.im/garbage".

I followed those URLS (different each time) and it went to www.forumbeta.in to a page that looked like the Verizon login. Uh, yeah, sure I'll give you my Verizon login and password. (".in" is India.)

The first message was from "952" and the second one from "256". Right.

But I bet a lot of people have fallen for it.

I wonder why Verizon hasn't blocked that address in its firewall?

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 02:47 PM | Comments (3) | Add Comment
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April 22, 2014

From the nightmare file

I got groceries delivered today, and one thing I included was a package of bear claws. (One per breakfast along with my scrambled eggs and potatoes.)

I was looking at the ingredients and one of the last things was "locust bean gum". When I read it, though, at first it looked like "locust beam gun".

I tell you, there's the making of a B-movie horror feature there. A swarm of locusts armed with beam guns? Yikes!

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April 16, 2014

When the swallows return to Capistrano..


The first lawn mower of Spring. (Are lawn mowers migratory?)

Also, the maple trees are flowering all over my sinuses, and I'm a bit miserable.

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March 13, 2014

All the comforts of home -- except 1

You get used to things, and only miss them when they're gone. I started to make my breakfast this morning and turned on the kitchen faucet to wash something off, and got nothing but a sucking sound.

So I checked my front door, and there was a slip from the management saying water would be out from 8 AM until noon. The city was digging up something having to do with the water.

They've been out there at the end of the parking lot working on something for several days, right where one of the fire hydrants is located.

They turned the water on about 11, so it was only 3 hours and not that much of a burden, but it's still a hassle. Running water is one of those things you don't think about.

And when they turned it back on again, it was muddy. So I left my sink running for about five minutes, until it was clean again.

And then I made my breakfast.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 02:52 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 12, 2014

Bachelor Chef -- baby pizza

I've been creating again.


Toast a hamburger bun.


Add marinara and mozarella, then top with pepperoni.


Cook for six minutes in a blazingly hot oven.


And serve with an appropriate wine.

It wasn't bad, actually.

UPDATE: But it wasn't as good as this:


Pepperoni and Havarti on Ritz. Yum!

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 08:28 PM | Comments (1) | Add Comment
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March 03, 2014

Found on the web


I don't know about you guys, but that's what my breakfast looks like.

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February 26, 2014

Ant detector

A few days ago my smoke detector went off in the morning, and kept doing so off and on for maybe half an hour, then stopped.

This morning it woke me at about 6:30 and it's been intermittently going off ever since. I suppose I should mention that there wasn't any smoke or anything like that, either time. (No, I don't smoke cigarettes or anything else.)

I got fed up with the damned thing and called the office, and the handyman came and replaced it about noon.

When he took the old one off, it was crawling with ants. I guess some of them got inside it and interfered with the detector gap.

I hope the new one isn't vulnerable to ants that way.

UPDATE: I haven't seen any ants in my apartment, which is why this was such a surprise.

Posted by: Steven Den Beste in Daily Life at 01:13 PM | Comments (7) | Add Comment
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