December 11th, 2017

Married

I got married. Congratulations to me and my lovely wife.

We chose to have a simple thing at the JP here in San Francisco (just like Jessica Alba, our role model). The real story behind this date involves Karen’s Mom. About a month before, Karen tells me that her Mom says that this day (March 25) was the only “lucky” day to get married this year for the two of us. This is based on me being a pig ear and Karen being a Lion’s butt, or something like that — Chinese superstition stuff. Since this was only a month away, and on a Tuesday, we joked about just going ahead and doing a JP-wedding for about a week, and then decided “what-the-heck, let’s do it.” Neither of us were enjoying the process of trying to figure out a cool wedding plan anyway. We never quite figured out anything we completely loved, but knew we didn’t want anything traditional; from there, a night of planning ended up being a night on the Wii. We flew Mom and Dad out and they served as our witnesses at the courthouse, and Srijesh dropped in as well and took some great pictures too. It was actually a beautiful setting — San Francisco City Hall provides a great backdrop.

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Scary Dog-Like Robot

DARPA (creators of the internet, a surprise to Al Gore), have come up with a robot that is simply scary. Carrying 340 lbs, imagine this thing armed with video cameras, an internet connection, and a few machine guns. Having something like this (or hundreds of things like this) coming into your town would likely immediately kill off a significant percentage in heart attacks alone. Watch the entire video before you decide this is NOT scary.

http://gizmodo.com/368651/new-video-of-bigdog-quadruped-robot-is-so-stunning-its-spooky

Update: After talking about this quite a bit, I’ve decided that this robot’s use in search and rescue alone more than outweighs my “fear” of the robot. Another fun option would be to saddle up this thing and ride it up the mountain yourself!

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Cables, Best Buy, and Ignorance

I went to Comcast to try to get another one of their crappy Motorola HD DVR boxes, and was very pleased to find out a new box has been released. The only problem? It has HDMI output instead of DVI, which is what my plasma uses to connect. Since they are really the same video signal, with just different plugs, I expected a cheap converter to be provided from Comcast, since – if nothing else – I have given them about $2,000 a year for the past several years. But no dice (even after being somewhat of a pest in the Comcast store). Next stop: Best Buy, where I find they stock this converter (from Monster) for over $30. My only other option is to buy this cable for $60.

Fortunately, I know to head over to newegg and find this converter for $3.99. Since shipping was higher than the product, I threw in the coolest and tiniest 2gig thumb drive for another $13. (I love this little thing.) My whole purchase and shipping was still less than the cost of the overpriced Monster option.

Cables are cables, and those that spend a ton on expensive ones are wasting their money. Since making my newegg order, this article came out which really sums it up best – you could do just as well with a coat hanger as these fancy overpriced cables.

I blame both consumers and retailers for this situation, but consider the retailers most at fault for providing such limited options. With no $4 converter at Best Buy – the largest consumer electronics retailer in the US – the consumer has no reference to even question the pricing of the Monster adapter. It is an abusive and manipulative use of their position, and obviously such a disservice to their own customers.

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