January 30, 2005

Saw

Saw

I just saw Saw. I did just see Saw. See-Saw. Um, I just viewed the movie Saw. Not bad, pretty intense movie mostly set in a single room with two individuals being tormented by an unseen psycho. About what I expected, but in a good way. They obviously took their set decoration cues from Fincher's Seven, very gritty throughout. Maybe a little overdone, every location looked like a public washroom, from a bad part of town, that hasn't been cleaned out in 10 years. I was surprised at the "stars" involved in this production, it's a pretty twisted little flick that I think most Hollywood types would shy away from. Cool, good for them. The ending didn't have a big twist or anything terribly remarkable, in my opinion. But I was fine with that as it maintained a pretty even tempo from begining to end, making for a fairly intense 90 minutes [?] of entertainment.

Posted by Fungii at 08:55 PM

January 29, 2005

You know you need new forks...

corrosion

...when they start to look like this. Very corroded, the dropouts were so worn it couldn't hold my front wheel straight and they looked like they could bust off at any moment.

rightleft You can see one dropout [right] was much more worn out than the other one, hence the wheel sitting askew. It's amazing the right dropout held the axle at all, there's very little for the skewer to clamp on to. You can also see in the first picture small holes were being formed in the fork leg from all the corrosion!

new
For comparison, here's a view of the dropouts from my new forks.

Marathon SL
Here's my new forks! I took the stickers off, it makes them less desirable to thieves.

Old and new
Here's my old forks next to my new ones. You can see the new ones are quite a bit longer than the old ones. Something I didn't realize when I first got them.


Front viewSide viewAnd here's what it looks like after I finally got it installed! I had to pick up a new headset today as well, as the old one was pretty thrashed. You can see the longer forks have changed the geometry of my bike quite a bit. It felt funny when I took it for a test ride, it tracks differently on corners. I'll get used to it eventually, I guess.


Posted by Fungii at 08:11 PM

January 27, 2005

New Forks!

My new forks!

My old RockShox Judy T2 forks have pretty well had it. The dropouts are so corroded that it can't hold my wheel straight anymore. And it looks like they could bust off at any moment, which would not be good. Because it can't hold my wheel straight, my disc brakes are rubbing like a sonofabitch. Noisy, slowing me down, not good.

So I popped in to check out some forks at the Bike Shop. Not much of a selection, I guess they're waiting for the '05 forks to come in. Of what they had most were over $500, and I don't want to pay more than that just for some forks on my work bike. They had a couple sub-$500 forks, but they just looked and felt like shit, so I was in no hurry to fork over the dough [lol] for them turds.

Luckily, I asked fellow courier, James, where he would go for forks and he recommended Single Track Cycle, a shop just down the street from me. When I got there, I saw a SALE sign in the window, always a good sign. [ha!] I ended up purchasing an '04 Marzocchi Marathon SL ECC5 for $340! Wicked deal, their normal price is close to $900! I actually found them at the bikeroom.com for $700+ [not sure if I have the 85mm, 105mm or 120mm version] but that's still more than half off, so I'm happy. Going to install them this weekend, it's gonna be sweet!




Posted by Fungii at 07:05 PM

January 20, 2005

MT "nofollow" plugin

I added Movable Type's "nofollow" plugin to my blog tonight and it seems to work. I was surprised they had it working for version 2.661, what I'm still using. I think the "nofollow" attribute will cut down on spam in the long term, but I'm sure the bastards will keep doing it in the short term as there will be plenty of blogs that won't implement it right away, if ever. And the spammers will do their best to find a way around it.

I'm still getting a few comment-spam attempts but none have gotten through since I did the comment-test-question thing for comments. Two days, no spam, woohoo!

Posted by Fungii at 09:32 PM

January 19, 2005

New Spam Blocking thing

Well, my attempt at stopping spam using a simple question on th ecomment entry page wasn't entirely successful. My activity log showed that a few attempts were made, but blocked by MT-Blacklist. None got through though, and it looks like there were a lot fewer attempts in the log than usual so it does seem to help. I wonder if they're bypassing the question somehow or if their bot is programmed to answer simple questions like that somehow. Or maybe they have some poor bastard in a third world country spamming me by hand.

My added field seems to have kinda screwed up my preview screen as well, I get an error at the bottom of the page. And it rejects any attempt to post from the preview screen as I don't have my test question on that page. Mmmm, not sure what file to edit to get it on there either.

Update: you can now post from the preview window, though I still get the error at the bottom of the page when I first load the preview page. I think I know what's causing it, too tired to fix it right now.

Update: found the solution here. Error gone, sleep now.

Posted by Fungii at 08:57 PM

Another beautiful day

I was riding down fifth avenue today and there was a large moving van double parked in my lane. Traffic in the next lane was heavy, so I decided to hop onto the sidewalk, go around the damn truck and then hop back onto the road. As I was heading back onto the road, a cop jumps out in front of me, gesturing at me to stop. Sometimes I think I live in fucking Mayberry or something. Got a $25 fine. And I could have gotten another one yesterday, but I saw them before they saw me so I was off my bike before I came into view. Still, they knew I was riding on the sidewalk and warned me not to do that. I've been toying with the idea of starting a mailing list with the couriers downtown so we could warn each other when there is danger. It could work using Blackberries, though I noticed a lot of couriers are still using those big-ass Motorola radios and simple cell phones.

As if that wasn't enough to bum me out... I was coming up to a green light at the end of the day, but I knew the light was going to change so I booted it. A lady in a SUV, gabbing on her cell phone, ran through the red light at full speed, nearly killing me. She was totally oblivious as to what she had just done too, I could see afterwards that her brake lights didn't even come on. Luckily, my brakes were working well enough, and my reflexes were quick enough, that I managed to avoid getting hit. But it was very, very close and I would have been humbled pretty bad had I not taken evasive action. Yes, I did hurl some obscenities at her.

Some lady pulled up beside me first thing this morning while I was stopped at a red light and warned me that "my reflectors weren't very visible and she could barely see me". I'm covered in fucking mud, a lot of good reflectors are going to do under all that mud. And this was after the sun had already come up, so it was like open your fucking eyes lady, I'm wearing sunglasses and I can see just fine. I didn't say anything in the off-chance that she was just joking. Or completely fucking insane.

Posted by Fungii at 08:28 PM

January 18, 2005

My brain hurts

I was trying to do a little spam fighting by using a new field in the comment page, and I could not get it to work! I kept editing comments.pm but none of my changes seem to take. Finally, I came across a bit of info that MT-Blacklist overides comments.pm with its own post() function. Argh! So I edited that and it worked right away. Oh yeah, it was the file MTBlPost.pm and the function was comment_post_hdlr_266() for my version of MT. So I guess I'll see if this makes any difference in the deluge of spam I get everyday. It's a very simple question, so it will probably only stop bots and not a real person. Unless it's a person that failed kindergarten.

Posted by Fungii at 11:04 PM

January 17, 2005

Moved My "Last Five" thing to the sidebar

I moved my "last five" thing to the right sidebar and now my page seems to display somewhat normally in Firefox and IE6. Now I just need to do something about my ugly banner div at the top. BTW my "last five" is just a list of the last five songs, movies, games, books and TV shows that I've heard/watched/read/played/ignoredWhileDoingLaundry. I haven't kept it up to date very much lately as evidenced by the hockey game that's still on there from last year under TV. The music list keeps pretty current as I have a plugin [doSomething] in Winamp that updates my list automatically for me.

Posted by Fungii at 08:59 PM

January 16, 2005

BJC-5100 problem solved!



It would appear the purge unit in your printer is beginning to wear out.The printer will require service.Temporarily you can try manually purging the cartridge, to do this please follow the steps below.
1. Remove the BC-23 from the printer.
2. Hold the cartridge upright over something you can get ink on to, such as a garbage can or scrap paper.
3. On the top of the cartridge there will be a vent hole, blow as hard as you can into this hole until some ink drips out from the bottom of the cartridge.
4. Then clean the bottom of the cartridge, so ink does drip. Now test the printer, if the same problem occurs or keeps occurring it will need service.

I just received an email from Canon support giving me advice to fix my "out of ink" error. I did as he requested and er, it worked. Something so simple, yet it never occured to me to try that. Whoohoo, I have two working printers now.

Posted by Fungii at 09:15 PM

Firefox

I downloaded Firefox today and saw that this page still looks totallly screwed up in that browser. Plus most of the customization things I made in the sidebar don't work. Worse, I was messing around with the html and css source and ended up wrecking the way it was displayed in both browsers! Ick, I managed to get it hacked together so it looks reasonable in both browsers again. Although the banner at the top is pretty FUBAR in FireFox. Oh well, I'll work on it, later.

Posted by Fungii at 08:55 PM

Printing like a madman because I can

Just as I was about to go to bed last night, I had an epiphany. Well maybe not, but I did suddenly remember I still had an old HP Deskjet 500C sitting in a closet. Since my Canon BJC-5100 is MIA, maybe I could ressurect the old beast for one last kick at the can. After dusting the large, dusty thing off, I had to tear apart my apartment searching for the power cord. Finally found the strange doohickey. It's a long, thick cord with a massive brick right in the middle. It terminates with a bizarre right-angle plug, that inserts into the bottom of the machine! Who the hell designed this thing? I just unhooked the parallel cord from my dead Canon and it fit into the HP. Installing drivers was a breeze. Then I spent a few hours trying to get some old cartridges working. No luck, so I went to Staples again today, picked up a cheaper knock-off refill cart and voilà! I can print! [ugly, low-rez printing, but hey]

Posted by Fungii at 02:48 PM

Customize

I added the customize option over in the right hand pane. »»»»»

You can change the font family, color, and font size of the blog entries on the main page here. Plus you can make this main pane bigger or smaller. I only tested it in IE6, don't have any other browsers installed yet. I know my page looks a little funky in Firefox, but last time I tried to make it work in that browser I just couldn't manage it. Might be easier with a newer version though.

Posted by Fungii at 09:46 AM

January 14, 2005

Buying expensive ink carts with no ink in them!

A while back I had to do a bunch of printing [on my Canon BJC-5100] so I purchased a new ink cartridge just in case my old one ran out of ink. Yesterday my old cart ran out, so I swapped it out for the new one. Tried printing some stuff and not a drop of ink graced my lily-white sheets. [Mmmm, that sounded weird.] Anyway, after screwing around with the drivers, furrowing my brow and eyeing the damn thing disapprovingly, I decided that I must have been stuck with a dud cartridge. Dug up the receipt and went off to Staples to get it replaced.

Got home from work with the replacement cartridge, popped it in the machine and got down to some heavy printing. Nothing. The goddamn thing prints absolutely nothing on the pages. And now the driver keeps informing me that the cartridge is empty. Thinking it might just be because the cart is new, I told it to print about twenty pages. Absolutely nothing was printed. It sure irritated me with that awful noise it makes though. I thought it might be my printer, but it does seem to communicate with my PC no probs; my PC recognizes when there is a cart in there, which slot it's in, etc. Plus the printer is dragging the print head across the paper back and forth like it's supposed to, everything seems fine.

I examined the cart, but it's hard to determine whether or not there is any ink in it. One thing I did was take a piece of wet tissue and hold it against the print head. I know your not supposed to do that, but usually a bunch of ink will gush out into the tissue if you do. Capillary action I think. Anyway, no ink at all came out, so I'm pretty sure the damn thing is, in fact, empty.

I need to print out a bunch-a-shit this weekend for work, so it looks like I'll be making a return trip to Staples tomorrow. Going to try a test print with the cartridge, if I can, before I leave the store. I will not likely be able to as it's an old BJC-5100 and I don't think any newer printers use the carts mine doesBC-23. Think I will try to get a BC-20 this time instead. I know this model works with my printer as well, and if they did get a bad batch of BC-23 cartridges, maybe the BC-20's will be from a completely different batch.

Update: went to Staples, forgot my receipt [!] but they replaced my cart anyways. Not only that, but they gave me back $4 in change because the BC-20 is cheaper! WTG Staples, you guys rock!

Came home, popped it in the printer, tried printing, bzzzzt! Still doesn't fucking print! Followed directions from Microsoft to manually remove and reinstall printer drivers. Didn't work. Googled till my eyes bled, found this, nice to know I'm not alone though it didn't help solve my problem. I cleaned the print head contacts, soaked the cart in hot water+Windex, nothing has worked. I sent an e-mail to Canon Canada, I now breathlessly await their response. I've spent about five hours on this thing today. It's starting to look like I might have to buy a new printer. :(

Update: solution!

Posted by Fungii at 07:20 PM

Posting from my Blackberry?

I upgraded to the 4.0 software a couple days ago so maybe I can post to my blog using my Blackberry now.

Posted by Fungii at 08:51 AM

January 06, 2005

Another Day, Another Flat

It was like deja vu all over again today. I went to work and almost immediately got a flat tire. Major suckage. And I never got around to going to MEC to see if they had any of the good Continentals.

I had a problem with my lock today. My U-lock key lost it's nib the other day and it kept popping out of my lock before I was finished locking my bike. Very frustrating. That, plus the fact that you could open the damn thing with a Bic pen made me go get a new one. My options were limited. I could have gotten a Kryptonite "New York" U-lock that weighs a fucking ton and costs $120. Or I could go with an MEC cable lock for $11. I went with the latter and have been relatively happy with my decision until today. The one thing nice about it is that I can leave it unlocked when I carry it in my bag and then just "click" it together when I lock my bike. Until today, when it got cold and I guess the spring inside froze up; it would not "click" together so you could still pull it apart with your hands. I thought I could free it up by whacking it against a post. Not only did that not work, but it busted the top cover right off the lock. They sure build $11 locks cheap these days!

So I decided to use my glue gun to reassemble the thing, but I needed glue sticks, I was all out. Went to Office Depot, no luck. But I successfully found some at Staples. After soaking the thing in silicon spray in an effort to keep th internal parts moving more freely, I hot-glued a piece of an old camera film case in place of the old busted cover. Looks ugly as hell, but seems a tad sturdier than the old cover.

Got a new tire tube in my bag and I'm ready for more fun tomorrow. Oh yeah, I got about 20 pickups and deliveries that need to be done "first thing Friday morning". Groan.

Posted by Fungii at 07:23 PM

January 05, 2005

First Flat in '05

As soon as I got downtown today, my tire went flat. Yuck, at least it was easy to fix with my new metal tire levers, unlike the old plastic ones that kept bending and snapping off every time I tried to use them. I was hoping I would get a lot less flats with these new tires, especially after I went for a full month without a flat after I first bought them. Apparently not, I got two flats in one day last Thursday and now today I get another one. Shitty, I'm going back to buying the cheap, shitty MEC tubes rather the nice, but expensive Continentals. I'm riding on the Continental CountryRIDEs, 26X1.75. Looks like their Contact Security tires have the best puncture resistance, although this doesn't sound good: "In view of its tough construction, it is not a comfortable touring tyre with low rolling resistance".


My CountryRIDEs: 3 plies/ total 66 tpi [threads per inch].
Explorer: 3 carcass plies; 84 tpi.
TWISTER PRO: 4 carcass plies; 228 tpi.
TWISTER: 3 carcass plies; 84 tpi.
ZETA: 4 plies/ total 110 tpi.
Top Touring 2000: 5 plies/ total 213 tpi.
Contact: 4 plies/ total 240 tpi.
Travel Contact: 4 plies/ total 240 tpi.
Sport Contact: 4 plies/ total 240 tpi.

Mmmm, looks my tires have some of the lowest threads per inch of all their models, no wonder I'm still getting flats. The Sport Contact model sounds good: 'The 26" version helps the bike messenger meet those deadlines... All this added speed for your bike with zero detriment to puncture protection and reliability! Extremely fine and strong carcass plies, SafetySystem puncture protection...'. Sounds like it was made for me! From the Contact model page: "We are so convinced of its SafetySystem puncture protection that we offer a 1 year guarantee against tyre failure." Wow, that sounds good to me, where do I get these things. Even if they don't honour that guarantee for couriers, it sounds like they have a lot of confidence in their puncture resistance. I need these tires!

Looks like MEC carries the TravelContact, which does use their SafetySystem puncture protection. Cool!


Posted by Fungii at 11:39 PM

January 02, 2005

More Moovies

More movies [and DVD's] I've seen lately:

Fail-Safe: I saw this one last night at around 1:30am, couldn't sleep, too much caffeine I guess. Good flick, Henry Fonda as the American president dealing with a nuclear mishap involving bombers heading for the old USSR. [it was made in 1964] I like his approach to solving the problem, crazy but better than the alternative. Also stars a young Larry Hagman as his translator.

Buffy: Season Seven: finally finished watching the last season of Buffy and I must say it comes across a lot better on DVD than it did on cable. Glad I completed the set, but what will I watch now? :(

Peter Pan: watched this one awhile back, and it was quite good. I usually don't find kid's shows very entertaining, but this one rolled along nicely. Great production values, a good story that wasn't sugar-coated for the small-fries. This is the kind of movie I would have loved as a kid.

Day of the Dead: I've seen the original Night of the Living Dead [and Tom Savini's 1990 remake, which was actually pretty good] and I have the DVD of Dawn of the Dead [the original, haven't seen the remake yet], so when the third in the trilogy came up on Scream I thought I'd check it out. It does have a lot of talking, but it also has a lot of very cool, gory effects. I actually thought the film moved along quite well despite being so talky, unlike Dawn which had some flat spots. And Bub the Zombie was a hoot to watch, they should have taken him with them at the end.

The Forgotten: sure, this movie is like an extended Twilight Zone episode, but it's a good Twilight Zone episode. I quite enjoyed it, Julianne Moore was good, the story was fun to watch unfold. I liked how people got suddenly taken away. And there was at least one scene that made me physically snap my head back when it happened. Reminds me of that scene in Joe Black when Brad Pitt gets hit by a van. [Now that was funny, gruesome, random death in a sedate chick-flick]

Secret Window: Johnny Depp made this movie worth watching, looks like he had fun playing the part. Typical Stephen King fare, you could see where it was going very early in the movie, but it was still fun to watch. Had some gore, some laughs and they didn't tack on any artificial happy ending.

And I've been continuing my Monster Movie Marathon. I finished both The Invisible Man Collection and The Frankenstein Collection. Now I'm working on Dracula. Whoa, that's a lot of movies!

Say cheese!

Posted by Fungii at 07:33 PM

Holiday Movies

Watched a whole lot of movies over the holidays, I think my brain is melting! It was nice to get some time off and relax though. Here's some of the stuff I watched:

Cold Mountain: I actually didn't watch this whole movie, just the first 40 minutes, I couldn't stand watching any more than that. I hated this movie. Nothing happened, the characters were so lifeless and uninteresting, it was dreadful. And the people on IMDB gave it a 7.4/10 rating, go figure. The part where people got blowed up real good at the very begining was kinda cool tho.

The Last Samurai: this one was pretty decent, and I'm not a big Tom Cruise fan. The happy ending seemed a little forced tho.

Mystic River: I didn't have very high hopes for this movie, but it was very good, I was pleasantly surprised. I love the way Clint Eastwood directs a film, he seems to have the patience to let the story and characters develop naturally, unlike a lot of other directors that seem afraid any quiet moments will cause the audience to lose interest.

Bad Santa: funniest movie I've seen in a long time. You'll either love this movie or hate it, it's very demented.
------------------------------------------------------------------
Willie: You know, I think I've turned a corner.
Marcus: Yeah? You fucking petites now?
Willie: No, I'm not talking about that. I beat the shit out of some kids today. But it was for a purpose. It made me feel good about myself. It was like I did something constructive with my life or something, I dunno, like I accomplished something.
Marcus: You need many years of therapy. Many, many, many fuckin' years of therapy.
------------------------------------------------------------------

LOTR: Return of the King: never saw this when it was in theatres, so watching the extended version on DVD was my first viewing. Very good, great finish to a great trilogy. Apparently, the Saruman sequence was missing from the theatrical release? I don't see how they could do that after watching the EE. How would they explain the where the magical orb came from? Finishing the Saruman story seemed pretty crucial to the whole story, even though they kill him at his fortress rather than having him return to the Shire like in the books. People complained about the multiple endings when this first came out, but it seemed perfectly natural when watching the DVD. Maybe people were getting restless after sitting in a cramped theatre for over three hours.

Posted by Fungii at 12:52 AM