One of the nice things about taking a day off is that it really does
help clear the mind. And it gives one the energy to tackle painful problems, like:

Why is the tv-out signal not working since I cleaned up the mess-o-cables in the back of the new PVR?

even in the face of painful recent history involving:

  • reinstalling drivers
  • messing around with control panel configurations for hours
  • rebooting n times
  • getting depressed at the complexity of things that should be simple

So I figured I'd try something silly like plug the video card in
another PCI slot, “just for fun”. At which point I realized that I'd
plugged the cable going to the RF converter into the video
capture card, not the video out card. Sigh.

I, for one, am water:

You are water. You're not really organic; you're
neither acidic nor basic, yet you're an acid
and a base at the same time. You're strong
willed and opinionated, but relaxed and ready
to flow. So while you often seem worthless,
without you, everything would just not work.
People should definitely drink more of you
every day.

Which Biological Molecule Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Goofy quiz making the rounds.

Book Review: The Botany of Desire

A popular book which dissappointed me. Like Color, it does one chapter per topic:

  1. Desire: Sweetness / Plant: The Apple
  2. Desire: Beauty / Plant: The Tulip
  3. Desire: Intoxication / Plant: Marijuana
  4. Desire: Control / Plant: The Potato

I found the chapters uneven. Apple and Marijuana were quite good, the other
two quite repetitive.

The chapter on apples was
most intersting from a historical point of view — apples don't hybridize
like most plants — the discovery of a good line is seemingly always the
result of deliberate and careful horticulture, and a good apple cultivar
can make its discoverer a fortune, if properly marketed — cf. the Red

The chapter on marijuana was the most humorous, especially the bit where
the author tells of his experiements growing very (very) large plants, in a
small town where the local sheriff tends to stop by for innocuous reasons.

The story of tulips (focusing on the investing craze in europe in the
1600's) was a tad frustrating because it combined good writing about
the appeal of the plants (and I'm really not much of a flower-lover, so
it's saying something) with not-so-great writing about the historically
important 'bubble'. I don't even remember the potato chapter, which
probably means I was asleep when I read it. The book, like many
non-fiction books I've read recently,
tends to be repetitive, which gets quickly annoying.