Monthly Archives: February 2006

How to spend $500,000 in 24 hours…

Saturday 1545: D & me drive over to 85th Street to meet Dale at the first house we were looking at this weekend.

Saturday 1755: 2 hours and 30 miles later, we’re on E Lake Sammamish – at our 6th house for the day and our 9th one this week.

Saturday 1805: We’re impressed by the sweeping views of the Lake and the warm colors at this recently constructed 1910 sqft townhouse.

Saturday 1830: We’re back at home and decide to make an offer.

Sunday 1005: I drive over to Dale’s office to sign the paperwork and write a check for the EMD. Dale tells us he’ll be faxing the documents in an hour or so…

Sunday 1530: Dale calls us to let us know that our offer’s been accepted!

Sunday 1545: As the realization sinks in, I wonder whether we’re poorer by half-a-million dollars or whether we’re just about to be enriched by the joy of home-ownership!

So, we should be closing on the 25th and moving early April.

Restaurant Review: Casuelita’s Caribbean Cafe

Name: Casuelita’s Caribbean Caf√©

Location: 81 Vine St, Seattle, WA

Our Order: 4 different Tapas – the Jamaican Patties, the Jerk Chicken Chop
Up, the Rum Glazed Jumbo Prawns (Camarones Barachos) and the Shantytown


  • Great ambience: Colorful d√©cor, cozy interiors. Has a fun feel about it.
  • Delicious food: An exotic blend of spicy West Indian, Latin American & Mexican tapas and entrees. The chicken chop up was especially delicious.
  • Knock-out cocktails: The ‘Zombie’ with its 151 proof Bacardi and something else I can’t remember were simply delicious! They had a long list of rums including samplers which we didn’t try.


  • Sloooow: We had to wait for 30 minutes even though we had a reservation. Everything took longer than expected – the food was cold when it arrived, the check took ages to get to us, our water glasses was often empty. The delay meant we could have long conversations and it helped that we weren‚Äôt hungry, but it’s not a place I’d recommend to those in a hurry.
  • Slightly noisy: It could just have been the fun-loving crowd at the bar but the restaurant isn’t somewhere you’d go for a quiet night out.

Bottomline: The great food and fun ambience makes it a place you could go back to again and again and not get bored.

Rating: B for the good food and slow service.

Xbox 360 gripes

Chris Prillo has a good list of things he doesn’t like about the Xbox 360 at
My take on this:
#2: You can only download one thing at one time. This is incredibly annoying! especially the first time you boot up a legacy game like Halo 2 which then start to download each map pack one by one. I spent two days just getting the updates required for me to play Halo2 on Live!
#4: Why can’t I schedule the Xbox 360 to download new content for me automatically. This¬†is yet another nicety that’s missing in the 360. I come home everyday and my Tivo has downloaded all the podcasts I care about and has done an overnight update of it’s lineup and any shows I’ve scheduled… So, why can’t the 360 do the same with it’s infinite processing power??
#12: There’s no easy way to boot up the console and go directly to the Blades. This is incredibly annoying as well. Especially if you just wanted to boot the box up to play some streamed music or look at some photos. I now have to sit through 5 minutes of NFS or Halo2’s (or worse – Quake 4’s unskippable)¬†startup cinematics before¬†I can get to my photos. Speaking of photos, that brings me to my personal favorite gripe:
#13: Why does the photo navigation UI suck so bad?? There’s no heirarchy, no favorites, it doesn’t remember the last set it was looking at and navigating or finding the folder you want to view is incredibly painful if you have 100+ folders of photos! I’ve¬†given up on using the X360 for this and have fallen¬†back to using the Tivo as my photo viewer.

Cooking eggs with cell phones!

Weekend Eating: Mobile Cooking

Many students, and other young people, have little in the way of cooking skills but can usually get their hands on a couple of mobile phones. So, this week, we show you how to use two mobile phones to cook an egg which will make a change from phoning out for a pizza. Please note that this will not work with cordless phones.

To do this you will need two mobile phones -they do not have to be on the same network but you will need to know the number of one of them. The only other items you will need are:

  1. An egg cup, (make sure that the egg cup is made of an insulating material such as China, wood or glass – plastic will do. DO NOT use stainless steel or other metal).
  2. A radio, AM or FM – you can also use your hifi.

  3. A table or other flat surface on which to place the phones and egg cup. You can place the radio anywhere in the room but you might as well put it on the table.

How To Do It:

  1. Take an egg from the fridge and place it in the egg cup in the centre of the table.

  2. Switch on the radio or hifi and turn it up to a comfortable volume.

  3. Switch on phone A and place it on the table such that the antenna (the pokey thing at the top) is about half an inch from the egg (you may need to experiment to get the relative heights correct – paperbacks are good if you have any – if not you may be able to get some wood off cuts from your local hardware shop).

  4. Switch on phone B and ring phone A then place phone B on the table in a similar but complementary position to Phone A.

  5. Answer phone A – you should be able to do this without removing it from the table. If not, don’t panic, just return the phone to where you originally placed on the table.

  6. Phone A will now be talking to Phone B whilst Phone B will be talking to Phone A.

  7. Cooking time: This very much depends on the power output of your mobile phone. For instance, a pair of mobiles each with 2 Watts of transmitter output will take three minutes to boil a large free range egg. Check your user manual and remember that cooking time will be proportional to the inverse square of the output power for a given distance from egg to phone.

  8. Cut out these instructions for future reference.
Note: We cooked our egg during the evening using free local calls, if you were to cook an egg for lunch it would cost £3.00 Рnot cheap but you do have the convenience.
PS: This article is crap. Cell phones do not emit anywhere near the amount of power needed to cook an egg. It takes a microwave (at 1000+ watts) a few minutes to cook an egg and it’s silly to think that a cell phone (ever at the claimed 2W) can cook an egg in 2 minutes. Now if you tried using an XboX 360 power supply brick, maybe!

HUMOR: Governmentium

This was too funny to not pass on…

—–Original Message—–
<forwards researching the existence of Econimetrium (EcM)>

The recent hurricanes and gasoline issues are proof of the existence of a new chemical element. A major research institution has recently announced the discovery of the heaviest element yet known to science.

The new element has been named "Governmentium." Governmentium (Gv) has one neutron, 25 assistant neutrons, 88 deputy neutrons, and 198 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 312.

These 312 particles are held together by forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.

Since Governmentium has no electrons, it is inert. However, it can be detected, because it impedes every reaction with which it comes into contact. A minut amount of Governmentium can cause a reaction that would normally take less than a second to take over four days to complete.

Governmentium has a normal half-life of four years; it does not decay, but instead undergoes a reorganization in which a portion of the assistant neutrons and deputy neutrons exchange places. In fact, Governmentium’s mass will actually increase over time, since each reorganization will cause more morons to become neutrons, forming isodopes.

This characteristic of moron promotion leads some scientists to believe that Governmentium is formed whenever morons reach a critical concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass. When catalyzed with money, governmentium becomes Administratium — an element which radiates just as much energy as Governmentium since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons.