I’m trying to be all healthy and active and whatnot

I Read A Lot of Internets

No Use for a Name, er, Title

It appears as though the heat is not functioning in my office which is making for an interesting work environment. I’m moving around a lot. Typing helps.

I kinda want one of them thar fancy universal remotes, but I’m severely skeptical about how well they’ll actually work. Also, we lose a remote at least twice a month and I can’t imagine what horrors would be unleashed if we lost The Remote and then we had to, like, stand up and shit. Barbaric! Our remotes always return, they usually just go traveling through the innards of our couch for a few days before resurfacing.

Also, I don’t really have $150 for a remote. There’s that, too. And our entertainment set up isn’t that fancy. I just feel like a tool having 4 remotes.

I’ve reached the point in the semester where I’m having mini panic attacks every 30 minutes or so when I think of all of the stuff coming up over the next few weeks. Aside from school stuff, I realized last night that the baby’s birthday party is on SUNDAY and we still haven’t nailed down some minor details…like what we’re going to feed everyone. (I feel it’s important to mention that my mom and grandmother just kind of barreled their way into taking over the party and I’m completely unhappy with what they’ve done. They’re having it some place that’s costing a bajillion dollars just to rent so now they’re like, “Uh, the food is going to be too expensive.” Gum for everyone, I guess.) Only one person has RSVPed to me so far, which isn’t surprising. People are really bad about RSVPing these days, aren’t they?

The baby’s actual birthday is next Thursday and I, of course, have a huge assignment due the next day. A serious con to unplanned pregnancies is that your kid’s big day might fall during a traditionally shitty time of the year. Behold our success last year. I had vowed after that not to be so ditzy about his birthday this year, so let this be my reminder to myself to have something a little nicer than a Hostess cupcake and a scented candle to celebrate the birth of my only child.

Not that he cares, of course. But you know when he looks back at the pictures when he’s 25 he’s going to say, “What jerks.”

6 comments to No Use for a Name, er, Title

  • Presents, cake and gum sound like a hell of a party to me!

  • oldefezziwig

    http://www.woot.com/ has some kind of universal remote deal today.

  • Mary

    As to what to feed everyone, cake? Oooh, or cupcakes. Then you wouldn’t need to cut anything.

    My mom used to make delicious punch for our birthday parties that basically consisted of a bottle of Hawaiian Punch mixed with a bottle of 7-Up. It was fizzy red deliciousness.

  • Ed

    I have a Harmony 880 and love it, for the same reason I love my TiVo. It’s not so much its bare-bones functionality–anything can shoot IR light at your gear, and sometimes even do it right. It’s how you talk to it.

    What’s nice about the Harmony remotes is how you program it. You load a small application into your computer, then go to their web site. You tell it what you have and how it’s all connected together (via a pretty nice set of questions it asks), and it cogitates for a second or two then downloads a file to your computer. You then fire up the application which reads the file, then programs your remote via USB. No entering codes that might or might not work, or cycling through endless let’s-try-this-one loops.

    The remote operates by “activities”, like “watch a DVD”. Select that activity, and it sends every command to every device necessary to do that, and then sets the controls on the keypad to do the right thing, e.g., “pause” sends the signal the DVD understands, not the VCR.

    It also understands that your system can get out of sync with what the remote thinks it’s doing. Press the “help” button, and it will ask you a series of questions, like, “Is the DVD player on?” If your answer is different from what it thinks, it’ll correct it, then ask, “Did that fix the problem?” If you say no, it will ask you about other things that might have gone wrong.

    Their database knows about something like 200,000 different devices, so it will have no trouble with that old VCR that Grandma was going to throw away. And on the off chance that you have something that it doesn’t know about, it has a “learn” mode where you tell it each function, point the device’s remote at it to get the signal, then assign it to a button.

    Describing this makes it sound complicated but it really isn’t. The whole interface is very well thought out. It’s definitely designed for non-technical people, and Logitech learned from the mistakes made by earlier universal remote makers.

    One bad thing I’d warn you about is that it’s more fragile than I’d like. We’ve already had one replaced under warranty after being dropped one too many times. Also, it can be hard to get it to sit properly in the charging cradle.

    Four and a half stars, maybe four and three-quarters, out of five. Joe Bob says check it out.

  • I was just going to post something about RSVPers but then got totally sidetracked by Ed’s comment about his remote control, so now I have to go check Amazon.com for that. Thanks Ed.

    Oh yeah, RSVPers suck. Bye.

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