Geeking Out at Home

Diann and I spent last night doing something we didn’t think we’d be doing yet: looking at houses online.

To this date, I’ve avoided the insane Seattle real-estate market, but we figure it’s time to bite the bullet and jump in.  It just doesn’t show any indication of slowing down in the next 3 years or so more than it has in the last two months.

This is where the geeking out comes into play.  You see, our realtor had sent us a list of listings (list of listings? that doesn’t sound right) that we were supposed to look over and pick out a few that we were interested in.  Having only laptops in the house doesn’t exactly lend itself towards sharing screens to look at things.

(Warning: lots of product identifiers coming up)

Luckily, my Samsung TV (HL-S5687) has a VGA input.  I connected up the laptop to the TV, and we suddenly had a 1920×1080 (1080p for you theater buffs) screen about 10 feet away from us.  This was brilliant, except for the lack of ability to control the computer.  Several years back, though, I had bought a Bluetooth mouse, and I paired it up successfully to my Lenovo T60p.

There we are, sitting on our couch, looking at home listings on our TV.  Diann had our older laptop looking at addresses and tracking which MLS numbers we liked. So, you’d think we’d be content there.  Then Diann started playing music, and the tinny speakers on the laptop drove me nuts.

I cranked up the Xbox 360, and enabled Windows Media Connect on the laptop.  Shuffled all the music in the 360’s media player, and then we had our background music.

To sum up: Laptop connected wirelessly to the ‘net and VGA to a TV, controlled by a wireless Bluetooth mouse.  Another laptop connected wirelessly to the ‘net, streaming music to the Xbox 360.

I wish I had taken pictures.

Grey’s Anatomy

So, tonight’s episode of [Grey’s]( … sucked.

I hope [ABC]( puts the spin-off thing up to a vote, cause the whole Los Angeles bit seemed awkward, forced, and contrived. I’d vote no, and the other 7 or 8 people I watched it with said the same. Some of them even left early to go to sleep, that’s how awful it was.

[update: [Jenn](, the party host from last night, [agrees that the new episode sucked](!3B09599082A824!187.entry).]

Last night’s Lost episode

Wow. So, the amazing thing to me about last night’s episode of Lost is that the writers of the show obviously had a lot of foresight two years ago when they were filming the opening sequences of the show. I don’t want to say anything more than that because I don’t want to release spoilers, but, wow.

No “Lost” till February

So, “Lost” is going to be offline until February 7. MSNBC has a good article up with viewer thoughts on why this is a good or bad thing. I love “Lost”, but I agree – 3 months is a long outage for a show this complex. And there's a bunch of things they didn't even mention in the first 6 episodes of this season from last season: what happened to the guys in the artic/Greenland/Siberia/whatever that detected the electromagnetic pulse?

Lost Season Premiere

Ok, so this week, Lost kicked up it's new season. Good show, as I expected – definitely some twists I didn't expect.

BUT GOOD GRACIOUS HOW CAN ABC FIT MORE COMMERCIALS IN THERE? Seriously, ABC… We all understand you've got a great show. Probably the most-watched show in it's timeslot. I didn't time it, but it seems to me that there had to be at least 25 minutes of commercials in there. One set of commercials was 4 minutes long! The first half of the show had a long commercial break EVERY 6 MINUTES.

Come on, we've waited how many weeks for Lost to start up again, and now we're missing out on it already because the commercials are getting in the way?


TV Shows I’m Hooked On

So, in the same realm as the “what gadgets are in my bag” style of posts, another listing-style topic. Yeah, everyone reading this probably cares as much about what TV shows I watch as what gadgets I lug around with me, but, it's my blog. So there.

  • Sunday Night
    • The West Wing – Very disappointed that this show is getting cancelled after this season.
    • Desperate Housewives – This one may fall off the list; season two is much more blah than season one.
    • Grey's Anatomy – Excellent show. Probably the best on the list. Seattle-spotting is a fun hobby, but let me debunk a few myths from the show: no one in Seattle actually uses an umbrella, it never rains as hard as it does in the show, and it doesn't thunder/lightning here very often.
  • Monday Night
    • Las Vegas – Good show, but it, too, is on it's way downhill. It's just gotten very gimicky lately.
  • Tuesday Night
    • Dirty Jobs – Excellent stuff here; makes me glad I sit in an air-conditioned office all day long.
  • Wednesday Night
    • Lost – So, wow. Just started watching this; a co-worker let me borrow Season 1 DVDs, and we watched all of them in four nights. Rather than wait for Season 2 to come out on DVD, we bought them all on iTunes and watched them in three nights. Now we're caught up. This show is excellent.
    • Mythbusters – Who doesn't love the Mythbusters, seriously?
    • Good Eats – Good Eats is, well, Good Eats.

Luckily, TiVo manages all the conflicts for me and irons out making sure we never miss an episode. Good stuff.

Delay of Game

It's Saturday, so I've been watching some college ball, and I've come to realize – Delay of Game penalties kind of defeat the purpose. When called, the ref has to mumble for about 20 seconds, the offense and defense have to reset, and a new 24 second clock starts. I figure every Delay of Game penalty costs a full minute, when had the penalty not been called, the offense probably would've snapped the ball within seconds.

Maybe we need to re-assess that rule, and make it not a dead-ball foul. Let the penalty yardage be taken on the following down.

The Apprentices

So, I've been a fan of The Apprentice for a bit now, so I decided that I should at least give the benefit of the doubt to Martha and check out the other Apprentice to see how it is. I don't much like Martha's Apprentice nearly as much as Donald's Apprentice, and I don't really have anything to say yet about the Martha Apprentice candidates, but I have realized one thing: Martha's little sidekick Charles made me understand that chomping on the end of a cigar all the time makes you look like an idiot.


Today, Keith Olbermann of Countdown had a great little editorial piece about the way the Bush administration has handled the unfurling crisis in New Orleans. The full editorial can be viewed here.

… But now, at least, it is has stopped getting exponentially worse in Mississippi and Alabama and New Orleans and Louisiana (the state, not the city). And, having given our leaders what we know now is the week or so they need to get their act together, that period of editorial silence I mentioned, should come to an end.

No one is suggesting that mayors or governors in the afflicted areas, nor the federal government, should be able to stop hurricanes. Lord knows, no one is suggesting that we should ever prioritize levee improvement for a below-sea-level city, ahead of $454 million worth of trophy bridges for the politicians of Alaska.

… And most chillingly of all, this is the Law and Order and Terror government. It promised protection — or at least amelioration — against all threats: conventional, radiological, or biological.

It has just proved that it cannot save its citizens from a biological weapon called standing water.

Definitely worth 10 minutes of your time to read.

Update: Video of Keith's editorial here