Wednesday, August 31, 2005

My dwarf african frogs are still alive. I got them 4 1/2 months ago. I think this is a new record for me in aquatic husbandry.

Axim report - Web Browsing, RSS, and Ebooks

I'm enjoying my Dell Axim x30. I've ended up using primarily as an ebook reader, email reader, and web browser. Before I bought my Axim, I had tried to browse the web on an older ipaq. There is no contest. If you want to use the web, you need Windows Mobile 2003 second edition. Pocket Internet Explorer has some really nice wireless features, like you can tell it to put all of a web page's content in one column, very nice (although this does mess up some sites' style sheets).

Since most of the sites I check frequently are blogs, or blog-like, I love RSS on my Axim. RSS allows me to find out when there is new content, instead of me having to wait forever for the entire page to load, then find out nothing is new. The program I use is called qmail (this is a free Japanese program), but there is an how-to in English. It's a pain to set up, but once it is set up, it's great.

The ebook reader I use is Vade Mecum. It's an open source Plucker clone for the Pocket PC. I like Vade Mecum because I had a bunch of ebooks in plucker format from my Clie days. It also supports highlighting and annotating. It can be a little slow though. Fine for just reading, but a pain if you are trying to keep up in a larger document in a class and have to jump around in the document a lot.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

I've got no strings

I've recently purchased a used Dell Axim x30 with wifi off of ebay.
Basically, this means I can check my email and RSS feeds from anywhere
around my house. I like it. My only gripe is battery life(about a day),
but I can't expect the same as I got with my Sony Clie sj20(about a week).

Friday, August 12, 2005

How to automatically turn off Bluetooth on a Dell Axim x30

The wireless button on the Dell Axim x30 turns on Bluetooth and wifi. It is such a pain to turn off Bluetooth manually every time.

To disable Bluetooth (bt) on a Dell Axim x30, use this program called WifiPower. The only thing about the download is that pocket ie, mozilla, and firebird will open .cab file in the browser window (useless), but Internet Explorer 6 allowed me to save it. I copied it to my pda (make sure wireless is turned off), ran the program. Then I set the wireless button to use the new program (settings -> personal ->buttons). Seems to work so far.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Unwanted Advice - Dogs

As a part of my continuing "unwanted advice" series, here's my opinions on getting a dog. (Disclosure - I do not currently have a dog, my husband does not like them. However, I have trained several dogs and had one growing up.) In a nutshell - make sure the dog you are getting is what you really want.
  • Don't get a dog from a pound / humane society unless you really know what you are doing and are willing to put the time into it. I know this may offend some people. There are many people doing great work rescuing unwanted animals from shelters. I hate to say it, but the dog is there for a reason. Sometimes the dog got lost and picked up and is a wonderful animal, or was scared of thunder and ran away, or the family was moving and couldn't find it a home. But just as likely, the dog barked, dug up the yard, wouldn't be house broken or started threatening other dogs / children. These problems are almost all trainable, but you have to be committed.
  • Beware of dogs 6 months - 1 year Like people, dogs go through a teenage stage. They rebel, run away, and try to assert themselves. If you have a puppy, be ready to ride this one out. After they reach about a year, they will settle down as a doggie adult. Until then, you get to lay down the law. A lot of dogs, especially ones who haven't been trained as puppies, end up in the shelter or in the classifieds at this point.
  • Make sure the dog you are getting will fit your lifestyle. Many purebred dogs were bred for a specific reason. Thus, beagles are loud and stubborn, what you want in a hunting dog. It might not be what you want in your back yard. Terriers like to dig because they were bred to kill vermin. Some dog breeds are very active, a border collie in a small apartment is a recipe for disaster. (Yes, you can make any dog work, but YOU have to be willing to put in the time and effort. Why not make it easier on both of you and pick a dog that is what you want in the first place.)
  • If you get a stubborn dog, you had better be more stubborn. Dogs like to have someone in charge. If you won't do it, they will. Some dogs are more likely to want to be boss. One quick way to check puppies is to hold the puppy on its back. This is a position of submission. A dominate puppy will struggle and fight to get free. A more laid back dog will struggle for a little while, then relax. Be especially careful if you have younger children. A dominate dog will think it is higher up than them. This can lead to confrontations.
  • Train your dog. Nothing causes the neighbors to hate you like a barking dog. You need to teach your dog how to behave around other dogs, people, and your house. You won't enjoy having your dog around if it doesn't behave like you expect, so teach it how. Basic obedience training is a good idea, come, sit, and stay are infinitely useful.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Review - Harry Podder - Dude Where's My Wand?

Title: Harry Podder - Dude Where's My Wand?
Location: Desert Star Playhouse, $11 for a matinee, includes free popcorn
Synopsis: Harry Podder discovers he's a wizard and going to Warthog's, the best school for wizards on the Wasatch front. He runs into Ron and Hermione and stop the evil Voldie from finding a certain item.
What I thought: It was pretty good. One important thing I didn't realize until half-way through was that the play opened before the next Harry Potter Book came out, thus the search for a copy of the next Harry Potter book became a lot more funny. There were a lot of funny references, but no great lines that I can remember. Although, they did slam Salt Lake's soccer team pretty hard. I enjoyed the way they changed the words to well known show tunes to fit Harry Potter. Overall the play moved well and was a nice afternoon diversion. If you are a Harry Potter fan, it is worth seeing; I'm just not sure it's worth $11, more like $7.50.

Sunday, August 07, 2005

Pictures on flickr

I have pictures posted on

I've decided I like flickr. I can upload pictures for free. I can mark pictures as public, private, or visible to friends and family. I like this option because I can post pictures of my children and only friends or family can see them. (If you fall into one of these categories, e-mail me you flicker id and I'll add you so you can see the photos.) I can subscribe to RSS feeds of people whose pictures you like. This means I can be notified when there are new pictures instead of having to check.

My husband and I are deciding if we want to get a pay account ($25 a year). That would allow us to post full resolution pictures and have a higher bandwidth quota.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Freezers on Ice

I've about decided that having an ice maker in the freezer is almost useless. I use ice maybe once a month. The ice maker is taking up room that could be filled by other items. Mostly the ice tray sits full of other groceries. Plus, if the freezer is full, something inevitably pushes against the switch and turns on the ice maker, and I get to rearrange the freezer to turn it off again.

Monday, August 01, 2005

The secret to authentic refried beans

One of my husband's co-workers told him the secret to authentic (and good) refried beans was cumin. I bought some at the store the other day and my husband made burritos. Delicious.