Nala’s 6th Anniversary

Nala enjoying the autumn air in Connecticut

Wow I can’t believe that exactly 6 years ago I went to Petsmart the Petmart in Clearwater just to get some pet food and I ended up getting a pet.  I recall seeing Nala in her little cage and she was the feistiest little ball of fur out of all the cats that were there.  She was playing with her little feather toy and pretty much pouncing on the thing like she was killing a mouse or something.  I played with her a little and after getting the OK from the misses, I decided to bring her home to keep Thumper company while we were at work.  Their first meeting was very interesting since Thumper saw it as an invasion of his space but over time he warmed up to her which is what I hoped he would do.

These days, Nala spends her time in Connecticut being taken care of by my in-laws and has more freedom to jump around and explore her surroundings as well as getting attention from people almost the entire day.  She’s also a bit lazier as well and doesn’t have that kitten energy she once had but she’s still quite active for being middle aged.  I still visit when I get the chance to snap pictures and play with her and the fat one.  Like the pic above that I took when I was in CT in October.

Firefox FAIL!!

Ahh Firefox, you have failed me time and again these last few months and for the life of me, I don’t know what happened to you when you were upgraded to version 3.6.

I’ve been a heavy user of Firefox since it was introduced a few years back and for quite a while its been a great web browser.  I like all the extensions that I’ve been using with Firefox but lately the latest build of Firefox seems to be freezing an aweful lot on just some regular web pages.  I don’t do a lot of heavy browsing, I just use it for running Seesmic for my Twitter feed and then Meebo for IM.  I use it even less at home since I use my iPad more for browsing than my computer at the moment.  I was filling out a form this morning I don’t know how many times before I got fed up and switched back to the old staple, IE8.  Say what you will about IE, it just works which is why I’ve been keeping it around (well its not like I can get rid of it being a WinTel guy)

I know there are other alternatives like Opera, Safari, and Chrome but I don’t know if I’m willing to jump onto another web browsing platform.  I guess we’ll see if Firefox continues to fail me or not.  If it does, I’ll start looking around for another platform to replace Firefox and as usual I’ll keep IE as my trusty backup.

Mifi’s aren’t all they advertise to be

I haven’t posted a tech blog post in a while but now is a good a time as any.  I’ve been at a client site for the past month or so and they don’t allow us to connect to their network because we’re not using their computers.  So what options does that leave someone that needs access to the internet to get email, exchange files with people, and be connected to their colleagues….hmmm…..  The option that my team chose was to get a Verizon Mifi device.  These little buggers are about the size of a hockey puck and are data only but they are supposed to let one connect to it so they can use the internet.

My experience so far with one of these devices hasn’t been all that good but I’m hoping its because the reception in the room is so poor.  It’s a pretty straight forward device, turn the thing on, put in the password once, and you’ll always be connected to the internet.  It might be the device placement but so far the connection has been a little on the spotty side.  Throughout the day I continue to get disconnected from the network which is a little annoying when you’re in the middle of chatting with someone on IM or trying to upload a large document to a shared folder somewhere.  There also is a limit to the number of people that can connect at any one time.  At times I’ve been frustrated enough that I’ve used the tethering features on my iPhone so that I can complete some task I’m trying to get done.

Overall, its a pretty good idea to use a mifi device where you don’t have a connection but to me its almost not worth it since it costs so much money ($30 a month for 5GB of data a month) and the 5GB cap has got to go.  Oh well, I’m not going to worry about it, this is my last week at this client and then I’ll be relaxing for a bit.  Can’t wait!

Hybrid cars suck

Last week I had the opportunity to drive a co-workers Toyota Camry hybrid and I can say that the experience was…… lacking. I know it’s environmentally friendly and all that good stuff but the driving experience just sucks! I drove a Prius before a cowpoke of years ago and I thought that experience was weird but I attributed that to it being a Prius. I thought that the Camry would be different since it was adapted from a regular car. Nope WRONG! The car drives ok but there is no power in the thing. I step on the gas and it kicks in kind of late with the power. The acceleration is Wally bad, but that might be due to the under powered engine and the extra weight of the battery.

This week I’m driving a regular Camry and the experience is way better than the hybrid. I also noticed that a lot of the trunk room was used up for the battery pack on the hybrid. It looks like I won’t be getting a hybrid any time soon until it drives more like a regular gas only car. It needs the get up and go of a gas car and needs more horsepower to get up to speed in a short amount of time. Maybe I’m just spoiled but that’s just my opinion. Now I just need to save for the next 8 years so I can get my mid life crisis German sports car.

Life after LASIK

After over 25 years or so of wearing glasses, I can finally see clearly without them. A little over a week ago I had LASIK surgery on my eyes so that I could see without glasses. For the longest time I resisted getting surgery because I was afraid of going blind and I was also afraid that they were going to use a blade to form the flap so they could get to my cornea to reshape my eye. It was Claire that convinced me to go and get an evaluation at Millenium Eye Center which specializes in laser eye surgery.

I had an evaluation done a few years ago in Hawaii when I was visiting my father and back then I was told that I was a good candidate for surgery. At the time they still used blades to cut a flap so they could get to the rest of your eye. This was the part that scared me the most besides the whole blindness thing. Claire and I actually went in together for a consultation and they said that we were both good candidates. I think hey mentioned no less than four times that our prescriptions were really close. We decided after the evaluation to have the surgery done for both of us.

What the clincher for me personally is the new technology involved in the surgery. Instead of using a blade to create the flap on my eye, a laser is used instead. This method is supposed to be safer and more accurate because there are no mechanical instruments used which can get my eye infected. We had to wait about 10 days before the procedure and we had to wear our glasses too. The procedure itself wasn’t that long, all in all I think that we saw the doctor for a total of 30 minutes.

Part one was the flap which they used a laser to make little bubbles to form the flap for the second part of the surgery. I think the scariest part was when I was listening to the doctor and then he said “prepare to go dark” and then I couldn’t see anything. The sight loss was only temporary and then everything was really hazy. Part two was the reshaping of my eyes with a laser. This part was pretty interesting. The only thing I saw was this big ball of red light while the procedure was being completed. Claire actually went first and she was able to see my procedure being done. The cool thing was that we were able to see pretty well just 15 minutes after the procedure. Naturally we weren’t allowed to drive afterwards but the next day we were basically seeing 20/20. So far things have gone pretty well since then. I don’t have to worry about drying out my contacts or packing contact solution. I just have to put in eye drops a few times a day to keep them hydrated and to help them heal.

This is quite a progression, last year I agreed for the first time to get contacts and ditch my glasses, this year I went all in and got LASIK. Both of these were great suggestions for me by Claire :). I’m looking forward to a good portion of my life being free of glasses.