27 February 2008

It's alive!!!! (But for how long?)

Well, it sort of works. It's a bit of a process, getting it closed, but it does close, and it does hold itself open. In short, my laptop now works in much the way a laptop is intended to work. Hooray for me!

I'm sure you've seen the hinges before, but here they are again, broken as can be.

And here are the hinges I bought to replace those broken old hinges. I know, they're not the same size at all. How on Earth is this going to work?

With JB Weld of course!

The first step is attaching the hinge plates to the bottom of the laptop. The hinge manufacturer actually intends that this part of the hinge will be attached to the lid of whatever it is you're hinging, but in this case it made more sense to do it the other way. I didn't want to be throwing JB Weld around on the screen itself to get these things to stick.
And of course the real first step was cleaning up the old hinge area, using a steel file to roughen up the surfaces of the hinge plates and the laptop bottom (sort of a giddy thrill, filing down your laptop...), but I didn't take pictures of that.

I let that bit dry most of the day, and then in the evening I attached the rotating screw jobbers (otherwise known as thingamajigs) to the lid and let that set up overnight. So this morning, I was left with this. Of course all night the lid had been supported by a bottle of wine and a Yankee Candle. But in the morning I removed those, and voila! It holds itself up!

And check it out! The lid closes!

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!! Suck it, Service Net!

Of course, this may only last another month, if that, and it won't fit in its little carrying case any more. Sniff. But what other option was there? I mean apart from buying a new one... and if the only other option is to buy a new one, why wouldn't you mess with the old one? Worse comes to worst, I'll.... have to buy a new one. Oh yeah.

But for now I have a normal computer. I can even put it on my lap. It's great!

26 February 2008

Work in Progress

Okay, well, the long-awaited laptop fix is still in progress. I have bonded the hinges to the bottom of the machine and will bond them to the lid this evening after dinner, so they can cure over night. Unfortunately I don't have any way to clamp them that I can think of, but I may be able to come up with something. Fortunately I don't think the stress will be such that the lack of clamp will be a significant problem. But we shall see.

I do hope this works, but even if it doesn't it will at least look interesting. And that's something in and of itself.

On another note, the rumor that Barry Bonds may come to the Rays remains just that, a rumor, and I hope it will never turn into anything more. I do not want to see that man in a Rays uniform. I don't want to have to heckle one of my own players, but I will if it comes to that. Having already booked a large block of tickets for the game the night before the wedding I can't quite disown the team yet, even if they do pick Bonds up. But the ice is thin here, very thin. Why don't be spend the money Bonds would cost on better pitching? That would be a better value for this season, and a better long-time use of money as well. I hope that realization has already permeated the front office.

25 February 2008

Bleeping computers

Well. Since the assholes--I mean, warranty company--won't fix this thing, it more or less falls to me to do so. I don't know how to go about it, but I figure, if I make a mess of things, I won't wreck my data, and it's not like the machine is in great shape anyway. So I don't exactly have a lot to lose here.

I have the JB Weld. I have a variety of interesting hinges. I have a pretty good idea of what I want to do. The computer will look... odd, when it's done, assuming this works at all. It probably won't fit in my computer travel case, either, but it would at least close and therefore potentially be able to travel. Probably not on airplanes. At least not easily, although perhaps I could nestle it in a piece of luggage...

Anyway, check back tomorrow for pictures. Whether it works or not it should be amusing and frustrating. At least I know this going in... And then maybe after I'm done I'll rebuild the hard drive. Yaay!

21 February 2008

It Ain't Right

Just clicked on ESPN. Here are the top news stories in the college football ticker:
# USC's Hazelton has surgery on stomach muscles
# Louisville dismisses Council after robbery arrest
# LSU QB Perrilloux suspended for rules violation
# DUI arrest costs Vols punter 5 games, scholarship
# Gamecocks WR Lecorn arrested on drug charge
# Court reverses former Oklahoma QB's conviction
# Ex-Texas RB Taylor sent to jail for five months
# FSU puts itself on 2 years probation after scandal

Seven out of eight of them are about people getting arrested or suspended after breaking the law (or the NCAA rules). That's just sad.

14 February 2008


The stress is getting me down. I don't have time to post right now and even if I did I can't write anything without at least a somewhat clear head... and I don't have that at all right now. I'll be glad when the interview is past and I've looked at some houses. Whether any of it goes well or not I'm really just looking forward to getting it all overwith. I don't feel well. But at least I'm feeling a little more prepared for this interview than i was, and we have a plan for the househunting, and this will be a fun weekend with friends. I can handle this. I'm just not enjoying it right now.

12 February 2008

The hinges of doom

Well, they were out of JB Weld at the store. So I bought something called Faststeel, which is a "steel-reinforced epoxy putty." It was only $3 so it's not like it was a waste of money really. But it didn't do the trick. It held great for a day, but at the end of the day yesterday it broke. I'm not sure whether it didn't bond properly to the various materials around the hinge, or whether it failed because of heat stress, or what. But we're back to square one. I do have to go out today in the direction of a different home improvement store, so I'll check again for them.

But Smittygirl had a thought. What about getting some little brass hinges and bonding them to the plastic frame? Then the lid would still be able to close, and I could come up with something else to protect the wiring. Might work. Any thoughts? Will JB Weld bond brass hinges to plastic? Hot glue perchance (ha ha! Battleroach 2000 lives!)?

11 February 2008

2007 Books

Thought I'd clean up the sidebar a little. Here's the list of all the books I read in 2007. It's a far cry from the original goal of 24 but hey.
They're listed in order here, though in the image on the sidebar they're listed by nonfiction best to worst and then fiction best to worst. At least as I think of them now.

2007 Books

Thought I'd clean up the sidebar a little. Here's the list of all the books I read in 2007. It's a far cry from the original goal of 24 but hey.
They're listed in order here, though in the image on the sidebar they're listed by nonfiction best to worst and then fiction best to worst. At least as I think of them now.

08 February 2008


Well, Mesa may not have had any interest, but Comair wants to interview me.
Hooray! It's really awesome, I'm stoked. And highly nervous. I mean, they're going to ask me questions about stuff that I used to know, so that's not so bad. But I used to know it. I have to unlock that part of my brain; hence the appearance down there on the book list of the ATP oral exam guide. There's another book on the way, could be here tomorrow, Monday more likely.

Comair is being very nice, too--they fly me to Cincinnati and home on their dime, which is great. And all I have to do in return is not be a fool and prepare for the interview. I suppose I have to dress up and stuff, too, and probably should trim my hair a bit. But those things aside I'm very excited. Hooray!

It's Ba-ack!

It being my computer. Yaay!

They didn't fix it. They suck!
Bastards. I'm not going to into it as it makes me furious. And they won't even pay to fix the screen if it breaks because they'll claim it broke because I didn't repair the hinges. Which is technically true but also devious to the point that if I could I'd drive by their little office building wherever it is with a truck full of high-powered explosives and really give them a fright. Then after I returned the truck and disposed of the explosives I'd fly overhead and drop a bomb on them. Ha! Ha ha! Suck it and die, Service Net, you heap of double-smoked butt-jerky!

Anyway, so now I need to figure out a way to solder these hinges back together as a temporary fix. I won't be able to close the lid any more after I do that because the hinges themselves are stuck tight, but at least I'll be able to use it like a normal laptop. Any other suggestions would be appreciated. I think I can even post some pictures, hold on...

01 February 2008


I have received my first response to my airline application. Unfortunately it is as frustrating as receiving no response at all.

I applied to four regionals, actually submitted the final application yesterday, so to have heard something personal back already is good. The response came from Mesa, which is mostly a holding company of sorts that owns jets and pilots and flies routes for other airlines' regional carriers. Good company to work for, lots of domicile options.

My applictaion looks good. Actually, it looks "really good." But they're not interested in interviewing unless I can get current again.

My application indicated that I was currently unemployed, so presumably I have the time to get recurrent, which is true. What I lack is the money, and I have to assume they know that. I couldn't craft a response to their message that didn't sound petulant so I just haven't responded yet; if they can't guess that I can't afford to get current (if I could, wouldn't I have done so before applying?) is telling them as much going to get me anywhere? Or is it just going to be insulting and make me look like an entitled shitbag who doesn't deserve a job anyway?

It costs $90 an hour to fly even a simple Cessna 172 at the local airport, plus I have to pay the instructor. To get recurrent I need to pass a checkride, but what's the value in passing a single-engine check when I want to fly multi-engine aircraft? Even with the single engine it's going to be 10 hours minimum, so over a grand by the time I pay an instructor and checkpilot for their time. I don't have that money right now. It simply isn't an option.

To get recurrent on instruments would require renting an instrument certified plane, the cheapest one of which at the airport is $150 an hour plus an instructor. Fortunately there are a lot of available approaches around here--an NDB at Knight, ILS at Vandenberg and PIE, a VOR at Whitted, and there are GPS approaches everywhere. But to feel comfortable again with any of them? Another 10-15 hours, plus a checkride, at least two grand before all is said and done.

I suppose at some level I knew this was going to happen. I could have tried to get recurrent last fall, but the money coming in then was being stockpiled into savings so we could survive now, and three grand out the door then would mean three grand less in savings now. And since I won't be actually starting work until August... well, anyway, it wasn't until December that I learned the regionals were even accepting applications from peaople with less than 2000 hours.

There are still three other carriers. I kept hoping, as I was filling this out, that one of them would be able to take a chance on someone who's noncurrent but has a lot more hours than they require. Maybe one of them will; all along I've been hoping it would be American Eagle. I have less hope for Pinnacle and Comair, though; Mesa was my plan B, Comair and PInnacle were my C and D. I might be surprised, but I might not.

Fun way to start my Friday. I really should've waited to check the mail.