Monthly Archives: February 2008

My Missed Call

Research In Motion – LogoAfter several months without having FeedReader running I am back on the RSS wagon. In my opinion, not a moment too soon because I saw a pretty big story break this afternoon. The bolded emphasis on the story below is my own.

An outage has disconnected BlackBerry smart phones across North America.

AT&T Inc. says the disruption Monday is affecting all wireless carriers.

AT&T first learned about the problem at about 3:30 p.m. ET.

There’s no word on the cause or when the problem might be fixed.

BlackBerry maker Research in Motion did not immediately return a phone call.

CNN.com | NYT.com

The humor of that last sentence was not lost on me. Perhaps the CNN.com reporter was calling from his BlackBerry device?

My Repair Bill

Fender benderI have limited auto body experience. In fact I am pretty illiterate when it comes to vehicles. I know enough to maintain it and meet regular checkups, but that is the extent of my knowledge.

One thing I have learned these past two winters is that a small crack usually means there is something else broken and the cost for repair is double what you expect.

The estimate came in on the Jetta and it was over $2,000. Because this will be done through insurance the cost does not directly affect me, but I would never have guessed it would be that much. It is always more than just small piece of plastic that is damaged. There are large, molded pieces that require bracings and often hide other things under the surface that need to be replaced or repaired.

PC Alberta

It is election time! On Tuesday, the day following Stelmach’s election announcement, there were candidate signs on the side of the road. I have to give the members of that campaign party for getting them up so fast.

This feels like a fairly important election and I will do my homework and make an effort to vote. My feeling is that there is much to be desired about the current government.

Alberta is a fairly strong province financially and if properly maintained, could be better. Our natural resources are only going to last for so long, and without future consideration we could be left without much control over what happens up North.

Other things to consider are Stelmach’s election victory over Dinning and Morton, recent disappointment regarding energy royalties and constant criticism with regards to not focusing on important topics like health care, provincial development or savings. All of this added together tells me something needs to be done.

For as long as I can remember Alberta has always been under some form of PC control and history would dictate that trend will continue. My only hope is that if they continue to lose seats then the message should become clear about what Alberta wants.

My Joy Interrupted

After the accident on Friday all I wanted to do this weekend was play BioShock, NHL08 and possibly start Assassin’s Creed on the XBOX 360. There would be some wedding planning to take care of but with Jenna working, the TV, couch and XBOX would be free for me.

XBOX 360 Games

Over the last few days I have been reading about hardware problems with the XBOX 360, how to recognize the signs and what to do when it happens. Most of the issues were with machines that were released within the first year of launch. Mine was a newer build, only four month old and the warranty is good until December so if anything happened I was covered.

XBOX 360 Red Ring of DeathThe earlier 360’s were plagued with a high percentage of failures. Microsoft countered this with a warranty extension on all serviced machines and were adjusting the hardware with releases. Still people were sending their machines in, even after they received a newer build.

I became a little paranoid but I would enjoy the machine while I had it and if I was greeted with three red rings I would accept it. I made sure to extend its life as long as possible by ensuring it would not over heat, the games would not be scratched and that I treated it right.

XBOX 360 Tray Open

Perhaps this was karma coming back around, but on Saturday morning the disc tray would not close. I power cycled, manually closed the tray, held the eject/open button on the console and none of them would do the trick. A surprisingly fast call to XBOX support and it was determined that the console be returned to the Resurrection Ship for repairs.

Maybe they will replace the drive and I will get back the same unit, or perhaps I will get back a new console and one with a later manufacturer date than September 2007. From what I have read the turn around time for receiving the repaired console could be several weeks.

This will get me back to playing NHL07, Splinter Cell and Burnout Revenge on the original XBOX in the meantime. I had finally caught up to the Canucks in their regular season with my Dynasty Mode and will have some catching up to do when the 360 returns. Maybe by then Vancouver will have gone on a winning streak and improved their place in the standings.

My Second Hit

I needed gas. The roads were slippery. 99th street was backed up so I took a side road. I stayed after work to let the traffic down down. It was Friday afternoon.

These are all reasons why it happened. Any one of those could have been the cause, or none of them are relevant. The truth is that him and I were taking a detour from our regular drive because of circumstances.

After work yesterday I was hit by another vehicle that failed to stop at a stop sign. I saw it all play out before impact. I had little room to work with in the intersection, and road conditions were not helping. I did what I could to make the impact less and I am glad I did.

The sound of plastic breaking on a car is so surreal. It has a literal crunch, and the sound is accompanied by a shake in the driver seat. Both times I have experienced this I have been alone, and no one was hurt.

Vanilla Sky: AccidentWhen I think of accidents, big or small, I am often reminded of the car accident scene from Vanilla Sky where Julie Gianni drives the car over the bridge with David Aames in the passenger seat.

Metal, glass and plastic bent and break at once and then it is followed by silence.

Although the speeds were low the Jetta did take some damage and will need some panelling replaced. There is always a bright side to fender benders like this, and it could have been worse. We were both injury free and that is something to be thankful for.


The exchanging of insurance information was very smooth, and the passenger of the other car commented it was the most cordial one he had witnessed.

While we were swapping information I had my hazards on and could not help but wonder if someone who drove by us, or someone from the windows counted me as one on their very own hazard game.