Monday, December 29, 2008

Credit cards

Apparently someone swiped my credit card number and tried to go on a $500 shopping spree at Walmart. The CC company phoned me this morning to let me know, and automatically cancelled the charges.

I think the number probably got stolen when I was having lunch at Subway across from the U of W back during exams. The transaction didn't complete the first try, and the machine spit out an error message with the full card number on it, and I didn't think to take that receipt. There were some seedy people there that day (trying to steal potato chips of all things); they probably picked it up off the counter when nobody was looking.

Oh well, it's no bother. They've already mailed out a new card.


Christmas has come and gone, and I find myself newly in possession of a new rug, a cycling backpack, a compact bike pump, a paper shredder and various other goodies and doo-dads.

A decent haul, but nothing crazy.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Damnit, Jim!

I'm a mathematician, not a mechanic!

Well ok, I'm a perfectly decent mechanic too, just not when it's -30c outside. My car was also sharing my distaste for the cold weather, so I took it in for a service to discover that the battery was only putting out 228 of its rated 575 CCA. $178 later ($110 for the battery, plus misc labour) and it's all good as new again.

I also changed the end on the extension cord for my car, and installed the interior car warmer. The former task was made more interesting by the fact that the outlet tester I had grabbed to double-check the wiring was actually broken, and the latter task was made more interesting by the fact that the cord inside my car was an absolute bitch to plug the warmer into. Took a good 5 minutes of wrestling before I managed to cram it in.

I probably should have done all this in October. Oh well.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Exams are Over

I'm a winner!

Also I need to get my car serviced so it actually starts in -30 weather.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

The failure of 3D

It seems like not a year can pass without half a dozen people trying to reinvent the failure of 3D computer interfaces, and it's the same story every time: Some sunless nerd watches a downloaded copy of Minority Report in their cavement, and as soon as they see the computers they jump up and shout "This is UNIX, I know this!" before rushing to their computer and loosing yet another half-baked UI abomination upon the world.

Tycho at Penny Arcade summed it up well at the end of this rant about Playstation Home:
This is the terrible secret that roils beneath their false universe: it is nothing more than a cumbersome menu, a rampart over which you must hoist yourself to accomplish the most basic tasks.

Next year I'm sure someone will do it all over again...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


Today I learned to hop on my unicycle. Hooray! Yet another skill to cross off the list.

Yes, I'm also studying for my exams...