Monday, May 28, 2007

Another no-go

Looks like Micropilot is out, they don't have any more summer positions available.

Dunno what I'm going to try next.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Apparently I'm sprouting hair again. Go fig. I hope it stays around longer this time.

Monday, May 21, 2007

That's the end of that

Got final confirmation from Apple today that the Visa is a bust, so I'm officially stuck here for the summer.

Oh well.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Magic Hands

So the other day I was reading the release notes for the latest linux kernel, and I noticed some mention of improvements in the piix IDE driver.

Now, for the longest time my laptop has been having these odd hiccups with the harddrive where it would seem to timeout and reset when reading arbitrary sectors, which was causing a huge performance hit. I was worried that I would have to get a new harddrive, a cost I could do without at the moment.

But then when I was reading the description of the driver improvements, it mentioned that earlier versions were having trouble with random bus timeouts, the exact same problem I was having!

So finally today I decided to give it a whirl, and compiled up a brand new kernel. I resisted the temptation to roast some marshmallows over the CPU for the 45 minutes or so that it was churning away, and then finally installed it and rebooted.


No more HD hiccups! Yay! My laptop is useful again!

Edit: actually, it seems the HD is still being stupid, but mostly before the kernel boots which is an interesting change, and pretty much rules out software bugs. Oh well, one of these days I'll just get a new one.

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Another brick wall

CDS is a bust, they require me to have completed my second year of university, which I haven't.

Now I'm going to see if SWAP will let me in. Wheeeeee.

Monday, May 14, 2007

Thus it begins again

So today I got instructions for going through the J-1 process with CDS. I need to fill out an online form (done), then fill out an online application, get a "co-op advisor" at my university to fill out an interview form and sign an unofficial transcript, blah blah blah.

It'll apparently take a minimum of 10 days for everything to get sorted out, assuming everything does get sorted out. That means the earliest I'll be in California is the 27th.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Windshield Washers

So this afternoon I decided to take a look to see if I could get the windshield washer jets on the jellybean to spray a bit more evenly. Currently the passenger side ones spray a bit low/weak, and the driver side ones spray a bit off kilter.

I pulled off the nozzles, blew some air through them to clean them out, fiddled around a bit, but no dice. The one on the driver side is a bit loose so it sits at a slight angle, and I couldn't figure out why the one on the passenger side wasn't spraying as much.

I think at some point I'll just buy a new pair of nozzles. They're really easy to install and remove, and the current ones are getting a bit dry and cracked after 10 years of baking in the sun.

Bit of a setback

So today I got word that my work visa application was declined through AIPT, which puts a bit of a dent in my summer plans for going down to work at Apple.

Apple is still working on getting me down there. They're going to be contacting a different work visa organization (CDS) to see if they can get me through that way.

I've also contacted a local company to see if I can get a Plan B lined up. It won't be the end of the world if none of these options pans out, I'll just sell off some of my stocks to keep me fed until next year.

Needless to say, though, I'm thoroughly annoyed.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

One day your uppance will come!

And that day just happens to be today.

So I was driving home from Superstore down Gateway, and there was some dork in an old toyota tailgating me all the way down. I thought "well, maybe he won't turn down Chalmers", but lo and behold he tailgated me all the way down to Watt.

So I pull up to the red light on Watt with this dork glued to my bumper, and I see behind me that he's pulling over into the cut-out to make a right turn. Ah, finally, I'm rid of him.

But it seems it wasn't his plan to actually turn right. No, instead he pretended to turn right onto Watt, pretended to make a u-turn, and pretended to make another right onto Levis. In reality, what he did was just blow right through the intersection.

I was absolutely disgusted, how some people can think that laws just don't apply to them if they make enough excuses and bend the rules way beyond what any sane person would do.

Then I noticed the next car coming through the intersection, a lovely dark brown Crown Vic, making a right turn onto Levis. In particular, an unmarked police car Crown Vic, turning onto Levis to pull over the dork who just blew through the intersection.

Yup, he got his just desserts. That made me happy. The only sad thing is that I know that it probably won't get him to change his ways.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Visa visa visa

So I finally got in touch with Rick today to get a letter of reference from him. I also got a letter from Sean which was delivered to Apple and forwarded to AIPT this afternoon. Things are looking up on this front.

With any luck, this will be the last detail needed to get my visa completed, and I'm really hoping I'll have it in my hands by Wednesday (fat chance) so I'll be able to make it to California by Mother's Day.

Brothers and Sisters aren't relatives

Today I finally got the title and insurance transferred on the jellybean. It turns out that brothers and sisters aren't related according to MPI, so the transfer had to be made as a complete sale.

That means I had to pay taxes ($160 or so) and I had to get a safety. The latter turned into a bit of a headache.

So this morning around 10:00 I roll on over to AutoCheck to get my safety done. I figure since my car was just in for a full service it should be pretty much just a rubber stamp and out the door. Unfortunately there were two deficiencies, a burnt out marker light, and the front brake rotors were a hair too thin. Ugh.

I went back over to Focus and grouched at them about not telling me anything about the rotors when it was in before. I considered replacing the rotors myself, but it turns out that on my particular model the rotors are press-fit onto the hub so it's a 3 hour job to replace them, with plenty of fancy tools that I probably don't have.

I just let them at it, and it was done by around 4:00. The shuttle driver returned me, with my sister in tow, and we picked up the car at Focus, went back over to AutoCheck to get the safety completed, then back over to Coughlin Insurance to get the title and insurance transferred.

I managed to get things done and home by around 6:00pm, about an hour later than I was hoping, and sat down to a lovely dinner of grilled burgers and oven fries a bit light in the wallet.

I'm at least reasonably happy that I was able to get everything done in one day. Plus I managed to get a reasonably memorable plate number! Yay!

One step closer to hitting the road.

Friday, May 4, 2007

Last day over and done

So the last day at Wheelchair Service of Manitoba is over and done now. All the other drivers wished me well, and I wished the same for them. I only heard a few sniffles over the radio.

I'm gonna miss them, but I have to move on to bigger and better things.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

Visa troubles

Getting this J-1 work visa is turning into a complete headache. They keep whining that I don't have enough letters of recommendation, and I keep telling them that the companies I worked for no longer exist.

At the moment I have no idea if or when I'll get this visa so I can finally hit the road.

In addition to this annoyance, I'm also feeling a bit blue that tomorrow will be my last day with Wheelchair Service of Manitoba. They're really a great bunch of guys, and I'll miss working with them. Of course, I'll miss it a lot less when it's back to -40 outside.