Pat's blog

Dear Comcast, why do you show 83% of a program?

File this under "Ill Considered" and "Misconfiguration"

Okay, here's one that defies all logic and explanation.

At 2:00 AM, Spike broadcasts Star Trek: Deep Space 9 (DS9). This is an hour-long show including commercials. Comcast in Boston airs Spike on channel 33.

Comcast in Boston also airs EWTN (religious programming) on channel 33.

Get Rid Of Junk Charity Callers Painlessly

I've found a great way to shake off the junk charity callers, you know, those "Disabled Police and Firefighter Association" type calls that try to guilt you into sending some money. By now most people who pay attention to the news are aware that these organizations pay telemarketers huge percentage commissions, to the point that donors would be aghast at how little of their donation actually goes to help the cause.


Pretty Rose
At the risk of this becoming the "Pat's Flower Garden" page, I wanted to balance out the photo of the sick lily with this photo of one of my roses. This particular bush is very happy this year. In the background you can see a very cheerful patch of Dianthus.


The pollen has been really bad in Massachusetts the past couple of weeks. Everything that's outside is covered with a fine coat of yellow dust. I was practicing flight maneuvers on Wednesday evening over a pond in Winchendon, and I could see a distinct, wispy patterns of yellow on the pond from all the pollen that accumulated on its surface...and this was from 1500 feet up! We've kept windows closed and ventilation running to help keep the pollen out of the house. Hopefully it lets up soon.

Lily Mosaic Virus

My stargazer lily, one of the things I most look forward to seeing in my garden, picked up a mosaic virus. I haven't finished reading about this, but I suspect I'll have to rip the whole plant out :-(

I wish I had some nice pictures of it, all I've got are the ones I just took.

US Airways Baggage Policy

Cleaning out one of my mailboxes, I noticed a notification from US Airways informing me that, due to the cost of fuel, they have implemented a $25 charge for a second piece of checked baggage.

Since it's weight that causes more fuel to be used, they ought to be charging passengers by pounds of baggage times number of miles traveled rather than by the piece. Clearly they're just trying to extract more money from passengers, using fuel as the scapegoat.

US Airways, the contempt you hold your customers in is one of the reasons I avoid flying you anywhere.

Amusing Photo: Domain not resolving

Sorry, but here's some geek humor for the day.

Care to take a guess why the domain in this photo isn't resolving?

Do It Yourself Car Service Payment Plan

Every so often I talk about my budgeted savings plans, and one of the ones that people find the most interesting is the way I save for my car maintenance.

The car maintenance program is easy and just requires that you have a savings account somewhere, and a place to track how much is in the fund. You don't need to open a new bank account unless you want to.

Slippery Roads

We're having a snowstorm that was completely predicted. Unfortunately, my neighborhood seems to be a bit low on the food chain for basic plowing and treatment in winter weather. Today the roads became a bit slippery, and a Dodge Durango slammed into the rear of my car, which was parked and minding its own business. Looks like it'll be an expensive repair; let's hope that my insurance company sees fit to waive the $500 deductible.

Here's one of the pictures.

Plastic, Curves, and Stress

I purchased some Staedtler french curves last week to help in a logo I'm drawing. These curves are basically flat pieces of injection molded pastic in the proper shapes. If you've ever used a plastic protractor, it's the same kind of thing. If you've ever used a plastic protractor, you have probably also discovered that they break.

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