Déjà, Déjà Vu

One of the women at work looks rather a bit like one of my ex-girlfriends, especially out of the corner of my eye. This results in more than a few funny moments in my head and annoying memory dredgings. It's quite a nuissance and I hope it passes in not too much time.

Unsticking Stuck LCD Pixels

Sometimes the pixels on an LCD can become stuck, displaying only some colors or appearing completely dead. These black or oddly colored spots are a pain in the neck but they're not always permanent. At some point last summer the Mac laptop I was working on got a stuck pixel and after scouring the internet for information on how to fix such things I came across instructions for fixing stuck pixels on the PSP that involved playing a particular video file, containing RGB pulses, and massaging the screen around the stuck pixel. The PSP technique worked fantastically and in a few moments my screen was free of stuck pixels. I have a similar problem on the machine I'm using right now but this machine has no means of playing .mp4 files (which the PSP pixel fixing video is) and rather than trying to figure out how to make it play .mp4 files, I thought I'd ImageMagick myself up a quick solution. To that end, I created three animated gifs that pulse at different frequencies (rgb3.gif, rgb5.gif and rgb7.gif), which serve the same purpose as the video and are substantially smaller in size (1.2KB vs 1.5MB). The great thing about these is they're essentially platform independant and require no video codecs at all. To fix your dead pixels, just fire up a graphical web browser, point yourself at one of the images, move the browser window so that the image is under your dead pixel, massage the screen a little and with luck the pixel may start working again. If you don't have any luck try one of the other frequencies and if that doesn't work, I'm sorry.

UPDATE: If you're here, you might be interested in Unsticking Stuck LCD Pixels: A Script

I am Hansel and Gretel...

...and McDonald's is the witch trying to fatten me up so she can eat me. I mean, come on, $1 for one apple pie and $1 dollar for two apple pies; I didn't want two but I'll be damned if I'm going to pass on a free apple pie. I probably would have been fine with paying 75¢ for one; McDonald's, unless your plan is to make less money, your economics are wrong.

FYI (badgers)

When removing the last badger from the jar, a spatula is your friend. However, when dealing with canned badger, the best method is to cut around the bottom of the can and push the contents out.

Have a Cookie

I just fixed some problems with the code at work, mentioned so doing to someone I was intermittently chatting with on AIM and received a response along the lines of, "give yourself a cookie". I was about to respond that I don't have any cookies when someone walked into my cubicle and offered me a cookie; that folks, is synchronicity.

Beware the White Elephanoceros

I first learned of the White Elephanoceros' existence when I saw him appear from nowhere, brutally slaughter someone and then disappear like a ghost in the fog. After witnessing his terrible might, I sought out information regarding the White Elephanoceros and was able to ascertain only that he had a hit list he was working through. Learning of the White Elephanoceros' hit list and further managing to ferret out that a friend of mine was on the list, I set out to end the White Elephanoceros' rampage of death. From what I had witnessed, it appeared that the White Elephanoceros was very much corporeal but also very ninjalike in methodology; obviously, I needed a very large elephant gun. Knowing I must be prepared for the hunt at all times, I kept my gun with me at all times.

Of course, few people know of the existence of the White Elephanoceros, so I rapidly attracted unwanted attention carrying an elephant gun around with me and was eventually accosted by an officer of the law. The officer said something very much akin to, "What the Hell are you doing wandering around with a huge rifle like that for?" Making the safe assumption that this officer knew nothing of the White Elephanoceros, I carefully explained that one of my firends was in grave danger and I needed to protect him from a very large white elephant (on first inspection you cannot tell that it is an elephanoceros so I simplified the description). Surprisingly, the officer responded by telling me that if I looked closer, I would have noticed that it has the hindquarters and hide of a rhinoceros. I explained that I had neglected to refer to it as an elephanoceros because I did not expect him to follow my meaning and inquired as to how he knew of its existence. The man explained that in his time with the police he had encountered many cases of the White Elephanoceros' violence, becoming a bit of an expert on the matter and invited me to discuss the matter in greater detail. Following the precept "know thy enemy", I took the man up on his offer.

Hearing the officer of the law's explanation of the White Elephanoceros created more questions than it answered. The most interesting matter was that the White Elephanoceros was an agent of his own direction and had not been hired to work through his hit list. The hit list was the central enigma to the workings of the White Elephanoceros; by killing the individuals on his list, the White Elephanoceros was engineering the future in a very specific manner. The specific origins of the list were not entirely clear, but the leading theory was that it had been sent to the White Elephanoceros from a possible future in order to either prevent or cause that future from coming about. A slightly less popular theory proposed that advanced predictions had been run to generate the list (a la Foundation Series). There were, of course, other lesser theories but the common theme was that the White Elephanoceros was carrying out targetted killings to manipulate the future. The discussion then turned to the matter of the ethics of interfering with the White Elephanoceros; if he was enacting the planned will of a superior system, my interference would inevitably cause more harm than good. If the White Elephanoceros was an agent for preventing the apocalypse, killing him would be the doom of us all. The discussion was quite lengthy and ended with disagreement between myself and the officer. The officer believed took the fate approach, figuring it unreasonable to alter the proper course of events, whereas I don't see the ends justifying the means. Being a reasonable man, the officer said that inspite our disagreement, my actions were mine to make and he wished me the best of luck in whatever I decided to do.

I will continue to hunt the White Elephanoceros because I consider him a malignant force that must be stopped. And you, should heed this warning, he is out there and he can appear without warning; you may be on his list.

Side note: It occurs to me that the White Elephanoceros can, to some extent, be considered an allegory for the Divine Plan.