Foul Beast, Thy Name is Microsoft

Like every other single person who's bought a Windows PC over time, those PCs have come with a copy of Windows. Computers the past few years have come with Windows XP. With upgrades and such, I think between the 2 of us we have about 5 Windows XP licenses - 3 of which are currently in use.

With the announcement of the coming Parallels for the Intel iMacs, I figured this would be a "nice to have" thing. I don't really need it since I have a PC already, but still would be something cool. I downloaded Parallels, installed it, installed a version of XP that I wasn't using, ignored the activation request (heck, I had 30 days), and went on my way.

30 days passed, and now Windows wouldn't let me log in without activation. "No problem!" I said as I went and grabbed the corresponding license key and typed it in.

"Incorrect license key"

Uh..ok. I tried a few more times with the same result, and finally called the activation phone number I was given. After reciting a 50 digit number into the phone at some computer, it transferred me to a real person. Said real person informed me that you are unable to transfer Windows XP to another computer if it came bundled with that first one. I looked around a bit on the web, and sure enough, last year along with the whole activation thing they made it so the copies which came bundled on computers could not be moved to other computers. "Piracy" was the claim, because people would get computers bundled with Windows XP, then either sell the license key or give it to a friend because they installed Linux or something.

I guess the fact that I already paid for the copy with my computer doesn't matter, and I was still the legal owner of said computer and said copy. I must be a pirate!

Sad to say I won't be using Parallels on my nice Macbook Pro since I do have an XP machine, but it just would've been cool, dammit.

Published in Time Magazine

Every once in awhile I'll send in a letter to the editor for one of the various magazines I subscribe to. Usually they don't get published because I bash on how everyone likes American Idol, or something unpopular like that. Imagine my surprise when at the end of last week I received an email from Time Magazine mentioning my recent letter was going to be published. I couldn't locate the original at the time, but I knew it had something to do with gaming.

Here's what they published:

Aiming for New Gamers

"A Game for All Ages" [May 15] reported that Nintendo hopes its new game controller, which senses a player's hand movements, will appeal to girls and grandparents. As a female gamer who has been playing video games since the days of Pac-Man, I am always amused by game companies that feel the need to target female gamers. Not one of the games aimed at girls has appealed to me. You know what I want in a game? How about realistic female characters instead of bouncy, skinny, half-naked ones? I've given up playing female characters in any game because of how they look. Does anyone really believe female warriors ran around wearing little more than a metal brassiere? If Nintendo is serious about wanting to reach the female audience, it should treat us with some respect. We like questing too!

MICHELLE HEDSTROM Santa Clara, Calif.

They definitely changed a few things, and made it look like I was commenting on Nintendo's new controller, which I absolutely wasn't. I can't find the original I sent since I didn't send it from my main email account, but either I used the word "skanky" and they took it out, or maybe I censored myself. I definitely know I used the term MMORPG someplace, and that's what I was referring too, since now my last sentence doesn't make a whole lot of sense without it (and the letter is out of context) but hey, I'm still published.

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Michelle's New Mugen

With our weekend days spent at the RC track, Leif was getting increasingly frustrated because I always wanted to drive his car. My mini LST batteries didn't last that long, he never could get the LST2 to work properly, so that left his buggy. We took turns driving it, but obviously that wasn't a good solution, so he hit upon the bright idea to just build me another one!

Working on the car

So it was a project we started working on together. The directions were in Japanese translated to English, and I think the translators just didn't get the concept. It would point to a part and then list "Bag F" as the place to find the part. Well huh, Bag F doesn't even exist on the parts list, and it would turn out to be in Bag J. I think it took us roughly about 3 days on and off to finish the car, but we eventually did! The problem with that was that I still wasn't able to drive it immediately since I was going to some scrapbooking things for 2 weekends in a row, and then we flew to Denver for Memorial Day weekend. While I was at the scrapbook things, Leif broke in the engine so at least I didn't have to do that, and finally on Memorial Day, I was able to drive it. It was everything I hoped it would be - fast, sleek, and I didn't break it.

Check out Leif's amazing paint job - before I drove it through the dirt and mud!

IMG_5063

What Kind of American English do you Speak?

The types of quizzes you can find on the Internet amuse me sometimes, but this one was pretty accurate. Based on a few questions, it judges what kind of American English you speak, and I'm not totally surprised at the results, given that I'm from Michigan and have lived in California for 11 years.



Your Linguistic Profile::

50% General American English
25% Upper Midwestern
20% Yankee
0% Dixie
0% Midwestern
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My Name is Michelle....and I'm a Scrapbooker

I just got back from a full scrapbook weekend, courtesy of Scrapbook Dreams. The dream camp was held at the Carmel Mission Inn in Carmel, CA. Cropping started at 2pm on Friday, and ended roughly at 3pm on Sunday. It was a flurry of activity from the beginning. I brought only my regular crop bag and my Cricut, but other people literally brought small stores. I shouldn't necessarily complain about that though since I ended up borrowing correctly-colored paper from a few people (thanks Mary!).

All meals except for dinner on Saturday night were provided, so we could crop to our heart's content, and eat to our heart's content with all the junk food around. Saturday night we went to the Rio Grill (right across the street from the hotel), and had the most amazing dinner. I had herb-crusted chicken stuffed with goat cheese in a tomato basil cream sauce. I highly recommend this place to anyone going to Carmel.

I got a bunch of layouts done, here's one of my favorites:

Sharks Scrapbook Page 1Sharks Scrapbook Page 2

The layout actually came about from playing Iron Scrapbooker.  The same concept as Iron Chef, but with scrapbook supplies.  On this layout, the 2 quotes, and the little tags are leftover from the contest.  They had given us this weird green paper, some mesh, a snowflake frame, and 2 shamrocks as well which I used at the time, but as soon as judging was done I ripped those pieces off and fixed my layout.

Sharks Fans Called for Unsportsmanlike Conduct

The Sharks have been playing a series against Edmonton, so that means both "Oh Canada" and "The Star Spangled Banner" get sung at all the games. At yesterdays game, I was completely mortified when several fans booed the singing of "Oh Canada." Fortunately my section wasn't doing it, and we all looked at each other wondering what was going on. As if on cue, everyone who wasn't booing started singing the Canadian theme very loudly, and about halfway through the song, the singing drowned out the booing.

Today I heard that people did it because the national anthem was booed by the fans in Edmonton at the last game, but that's absolutely no excuse. Any national anthem should be held in the highest respect, and just because they do it doesn't mean we should do it.

I'm glad most people had the sense to not do it and stand up for what they thought was wrong, but at that moment I was completely embarrassed to be a Sharks fan.

Michelle and Leif on Shark Byte

As part of the Fantasy Hockey camp thing we did, for those who read the ultralong writeup, you'll know Leif and I were interviewed for Shark Byte, the Sharks mini TV show that airs before some of the games on FSN Bay Area. The episode aired a few weeks ago, and imagine my surprise when I realized how much I was in it. I was interviewed twice, multiple game shots were shown of me, and of Leif, and it turned out real well.

Someone was kind enough to upload it to You Tube, so here it is for your enjoyment. The clip is about 4 minutes.

Coolest Thing Ever in Hockey

At the Sharks game on Monday (which the Sharks won 2-1!) against Edmonton, there was a point in the 2nd period where Edmonton got a 2-man advantage for about 1:40. To top that off, partway through the Sharks penalty kill, 2 of their sticks broke....and they couldn't get off the ice. So you have 1 Shark out there with a stick, 2 without sticks, and 5 Edmonton players. Needless to say, EDMONTON DIDN'T SCORE. Toskala had some great saves, and with 20 seconds left in the penalty, Hannan blocked a shot with his body, dove for the puck, and pushed it out of the zone. Probably the most unbelievable and coolest thing I've ever seen in hockey before.

The SJ Sharks posted the video to their website, but of course it only works in Windows, so some kind soul uploaded it to YouTube, which you can see below.

Herding Ducks

On the way home from work, after picking up the dogs, we were driving on Tasman, and suddenly Leif said, "what's that?" I looked, and crossing the road was a mother duck and her 9 ducklings. We were the only car on that strip of road (2 lanes going east), so I told Leif to let me out of the car since I didn't want them to get hit. He stopped, and I tried to chase the ducks off the road. Stupid ducks ran towards the light rail tracks, but turned around after the little ducklings couldn't get up the curb. By this time other cars had come and could see what was happening, and the ducks decided the middle of the road was a good place to lie down. Some idiot on his cell phone decided to pull into the other lane and narrowly missed hitting the poor little things, but fortunately the person behind him saw the ducks and stopped.

I was being extremely careful since I didn't want to get hit either, but finally I was able to run up to them suddenly (once the smart person had seen them and stopped her car, allowing me to do so) and scare them back towards the office building - away from light rail. The poor little ducklings were peeping since they were too small to get back up on the curb, so I had to scoop them up to help them. Mother and children scooted safely away and traffic continued as normal.

What they were doing out there who knows, but at least I was able to walk away knowing I had helped creatures in need.

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Another Outdoor Weekend

Second weekend in a row it hasn't rained, and today it was bright and sunny out. I'm hoping the crappy weather is finally gone, and now we have the 100 degree heat of the summer to look forward to. In the meantime, I'm enjoying the weather as it is now - mid 70's and sunny since that's my favorite.

We headed up to the RC track again today, and drove for a few hours. I definitely need to get a nitro car, since my little mini flips over too easily, and I only get a certain amount of driving time because it runs on battery. I was going to drive Leif's monster truck but he was having major issues with it, so I got bored and decided to do some geocaching. First cache I found pretty easily, the second one definitely took me awhile. It was a camo cache, and I think I walked by it about 20 times. It was one of those little electric boxes on the side of a building, and it looked very very authentic so I didn't want to mess with it. I was finally ready to give up, when I started walking by it again, and this time decided to just poke it with my foot to see what would happen...and the faceplate fell off revealing the cache.

Once I got back, Bryan had shown up so he drove his Jato for awhile while Leif finally got the monster truck working so I could try it. It worked, but would hit the higher gears so I could never get it up to full speed.

As is the case with the first nice sunny day of the season where we're outside...we forgot the sunblock. Sigh. Back of neck, back of knees, and lower arms. Fortunately both of us were wearing hats, and he was out longer than I was, but both of us are definitely burned. I don't get why we forget this every year...we go out in the sun after the winter, get burned, *then* remember we had to bring the sunblock, and we don't forget it for the rest of the summer.

Ah well, at least it was nice enough to be outside today.

Hopefully the Sharks will win tomorrow too so they can make it to the next playoff round!

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