Category Archives: General - Page 2

Eating Mentos and Drinking Coke

We’ve been talking about the Mentos and Coke experiment.  In case you don’t know what I’m talking about, if you add mentos to coke, you get a big eruption from the bottle.  I’m not going into how it happens right now.  We were always curious what would happen if someone drank the coke and then ate the mentos.  Thanks to YouTube, we have the answer.  Check out the video below to see what happens.

Update 6/27/2006:  Sorry, the video was removed from YouTube.  It was a great video though.  I couldn’t find another video of someone eating mentos and coke together.  I’m just going to put up a video of what happens when you add mentos to a bottle of coke though.

Can’t sleep and bored

For some reason I cannot sleep at all tonight.  Nothing major coming up to keep me awake, so not sure what’s going on.  Talk to an old friend Bryan today and hopefully I’ll be able to see him sometime soon.  Been so busy that I haven’t really seen friends lately and I want to change that.  Ever since I’ve been in college, I’ve never really seen my high school friends except for a couple times a year.  That’s another thing that I want to change.  Kind of cool because I found a bunch of them on myspace.com, so I sent friend requests out. 

Besides that I was reading my friend’s blog (Mike who has cancer).  Really want to keep up with him as much as possible because he can really use friends right now.  I know how bored I get from sitting around for a couple hours, let along for days and months.  Might drop him a line tomorrow since he had another operation yesterday.  Think that’s enough time to heal for a bit.  Been working on the house a lot, and the yard is starting to come together, well resemble something that doesn’t look like a jungle.

Also looked up some information on installing Gentoo Linux on a few servers.  One is my personal server which is a G4 Xserver (PowerPC).  I’ve had Gentoo installed on it before, but now I want to install it with a RAID1.  Haven’t figured it out completely yet, but working on it.  I also have a DL360 at work that I’m trying to install Gentoo on which I keep running into problems with.  Spent a little bit tonight on it so maybe I’ll get lucky with it tomorrow.

Anyways, going to try to get some sleep. 

Microsoft Windows XP Activation Frustration

So, here’s the background of what I’m doing before I really get into my rant.  I have my Inspiron 6000 laptop that I’m giving to my wife since I’ve gotten a new laptop for work.  I’ve decided to reinstall windows, just so that she has a clean system without all the development stuff and other nonsense.  About 4 – 5 years ago, I bought a Windows XP Professional disk from my school at the time (University of Cincinnati).  I’ve used this disc to install Windows XP on this laptop a couple times.

This time around, I went to activate it and was informed it has been activated too many times and that I would have to call the phone hotline (888-571-2048).  No problem, called the number and a automatic voice asked me for my installation ID.  I then was connected to a representative that also asked me for the installation ID.  I guess Microsoft has outsourced this department to India.  I have no issues with India, but I do have issues with very thick accents that I can’t understand.  Take someone from deep Kentucky with a thick accent, I would have an issue there also.  So we went through the entire thing, and the woman informed me that this is a technical issue and told me to call the technical department).

So I hung up and called the technical department (888-346-5229).  After waiting for 13 minutes, I was connected to another thick accent representative.  Luckily, his accent was as thick and I was able to understand him a little longer.  He asked what my issue was, and I informed him about the account activation.  He immediately told me I had the wrong department and he was transferring me to …. the activation department.  Luckily I caught him and explained they had just sent me to him.  We went through the issues.  One thing that bothered me was all the questions they asked.  Phone number, email, full name, etc. He then gave me a SR number and said he would transfer me to the support department. 

Another 7 minutes of waiting and someone picked up.   The asked for my name and SR#.  The second I told them this, they immediately said they’re transferring me to technical support put me on hold before I could say anything.  After waiting for another 23 minutes on the phone, I hung up.  Luckily, I have another copy of Windows XP Professional, so I changed the activation key to that one and it activated fine.

This kind of treatment is amazing.  First the require you to activate the product, then they limit the times you can activate it before making you call in and wait possibly HOURS, then the product ends up needing to be reinstalled every 6 months to a year.  I can only guess that since the corner the market, they are just trying to frustrate customers into just buying another copy instead of waiting on the phone for hours.  I know why I switched to Linux and this just adds another reason.  If anybody knows a good place I complain about this to, let me know. 

Harry Potter and Goblet of Fire Preview Spoof

While I was over Justin’s place this weekend, for some reason I remembered an awesome Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire Preview Spoof that I had seen on Talk Soup on E!.  The preview was pretty funny and Talk Soup had turned it into a homosexual preview which was pretty funny.  Took me about 20 minutes, but I finally found it.  Decided to upload it to the site so others can see it.

New House Phone and Bedroom Colors

Since we are going to be at a more permanent residence, we have decided to get a land line now in addition to our cell phones.  Called Cincinnati Bell up and they have turned the phone line on today.  Our house number is (513) 731-3562.  It’s active, but since we’re not living there yet, you probably will only reach us after work when we’re working at the house.  We’re taking our answering machine / phone there tomorrow so you will be able to leave messages for us.

Also, we finally picked out the colors for the master bedroom tonight.  You can download the pdf of the specifics here.  We decided to go with a blue color set for the bedroom.  The walls will be Morning Breeze Flat, ceiling will be Diamond Light Flat, trim will be Polar Bear Eggshell, and the doors will be Morning Breeze Eggshell.  We’re going to stop by Home Depot tomorrow to pick out samples to verify our choices, and if everything goes well, we’re going to start painting the ceiling.

Update (01/06/06):  Oops, through some little issues with Cincinnati Bell, the phone number is actually (513) 731-3562.  I also changed it above.  Pretty nice phone number for me to memorize since my cell is (513) 885-3562. 

Added Gallery to Blog

Added the popular photo management software, Gallery, to my blog.  Spent a couple hours this morning getting it installed and configured.  This was not for the faint of heart.  I would say someone with moderate programming skills would be able to do this.  I have been working on the css of the photo gallery.  Not perfect, but good enough to add it to my blog now.

There is a photo link in the side bar now, so you can get to the album link from there.  Quick link to photo gallery

Phantom of the Opera at the Aronoff

Kristin and I seen the Phantom of the Opera at the Arnoff last night.  The show was very very good.  We both enjoyed it a lot.  We were really impressed that they were able to keep a lot of the same show effects that they had in New York.  Really just a good time.  We were sitting close to the top of the theatre, but we could see just fine non the less.

I do have a minor gripe about a disturbance during the performance.  The problem was a woman that was sitting a row below us being on her cell phone.  She was not talking on the cell phone, but was constantly using the text messaging features.  Since we were in a dark theatre, it had the same effect of someone bringing in a flashlight and showing it around.  Very distracting and very bothersome.  If people really did not want to see it, then why do they come.  You could tell this was a family event, so I think she was being dragged along, even though she was in her 20’s.  It was so bothersome for the people sitting next to her, that they moved down the row to two open seats.

After that disturbance, I realized that there are more benefits to higher priced tickets than just a better view.  As I see it, the higher the price to go to an event, the less of a chance someone will be sitting in the seats due to the higher cost.  Earlier this year I thought that prices were a bit high for people to see theatre, but now I think I understand the price better.  In a perfect world, the price should be cheaper for more people to be able to see it, but in reality this would just create more circumstances of people coming that really don’t want to be there (mostly through families or groups).

25,000 Lights Turned Off

As a lot of local newspapers have reported in our area, a pretty spectacular light show that someone put up at their house was recently turned off because of major traffic that it has caused.  He had about 25,000 lights.

The lights would like up (blink) to a song that he was broadcasting on a special FM frequency that could be heard around his house.  It was running every night from 6:00 to 10:00.  You really could not understand how awesome it was without watching it.  I happen to be working at the same company that he is, and he did send out a video of it (which happens to also be on some news sites). I also found another video floating around of a different song that was played.
Wizards of Winter Light Show in Windows Media Format

Jingle All the Way Light Show in Windows Media Format

I think an awesome alternative would be for the Cincinnati Zoo to bring this man in to do the setup at the Festival of Lights.  It would quickly become one of the Zoo’s largest attractions at the time.  As many people could see them, and it would really benefit the zoo.

The show took him about an hour to program each minute of the display.  I’m going to look into more on how he did it so I can post it so others can have fun trying on a smaller scale. 

Here are some of the additional articles about it:
http://www.wkrc.com/news/local/story.aspx?content_id=F329B3CF-EE51-41BB-95E1-43EF924CEA66
http://www.fox19.com/Global/story.asp?S=4211867
http://www.channelcincinnati.com/news/5482009/detail.html

Great Bengals Game

I forgot to mention that my Dad took Kristin and I to the Bengals game about two weeks ago.  It was a great game and a lot of fun for us both.  It was my first time at the new stadium.  Thanks a lot Dad!!!

Picture129_18Sep05.jpg

Picture130_18Sep05.jpg

My Friend “The Cancer Fighter”

My friend, Mike Hauenstein, is currently fighting a war against an intruder in his body … cancer.  Over a year and a half ago, he was diagnosed with mesenchymal chondrosarcoma (a fast-growing cancer of the cartilage) at Stage 4.  He had most of his right quad muscle removed due to a tumor the size of two grapefruits.  All this occurred when he was only 25 years old.

At 26, Mike is still fighting the battle with ongoing chemotheropy and also undergoing radiation.  The cancer had spread to his lungs and under his collarbones.  The lastest news was that the cancer in his lungs has not grown, but the cancer under his collarbone had and would require radiation.

I’m writing this because of questions that I get when I let people know about Mike and his journal.  People are curious about what it is like, how I interact with Mike, and what Mike is really like.  His journal is a really good place to get an idea of what he is going through.  I know that some people are scared to start talking and seeing Mike.  I know this because at one time I was also.  Maybe he wants his privacy to spend with his close family, how do you talk about what’s going on with him, is there things that shouldn’t be brought up, and what about …?

About 3 months ago I graduated from college, and what I really wanted to do was spend some time with some friends I haven’t been able to see in a long time.  Around that time, Mike had started an online blog.  For the life of me I could not remember the URL or his email address.  I decided that I would register a domain for him, MikeHauenstein.com, and host it on my server with the rest of my personal domains.  He had already started his blog, but I thought that he could link to it from the easier to remember domain name.  I had also added a nice photo program which would make it easy for him and Ann to add photos for their friends to see.  I really hoped that it would cheer him up.  I never imagined it would cheer him up and inspire him as much as it did.  I managed to get a hold of him and showed up at his parents (where he was living at the time) to share with him the surprise. 

After spending part of that day with him, everything I was worried about went away.  It was great to see him and start spending time with him again.  We talked about everything that was going on, good and bad.  It was the same old Mike, just a bit more open about bodily functions emoticon than usual.  Since then it’s been really great spending time with my old friend.  One thing is that at times you have to be a bit more patient than usual, but nothing major.  As I said earlier, he is pretty open about everything that is going on with him and you  can ask him anything you want.  He’s even invited me to join him downtown while he was getting chemo, but I have not been able to make it yet, but would like to when his appointment is early enough.

Medication and chemotheropy play nasty tricks on his mind, causing what he calls "Chemo Brain".  The closer it is to when he has chemotheropy, the worse it is.  "Chemo Brain" is basically this:  He is not able to remember things that well, gets confused very easy, can only focus on things for a certain amount of time, and at times can change moods very rapidly.  Seeing that I have ADD, it’s pretty much at my level (thought you’d like that Mike emoticon).  Just requires reminding him sometimes what the conversation was about, but it’s nothing major.  You can tell it bothers him having the "Chemo Brain" but it has yet to bother me at all.

 There is a bit of a routine with spending time and talking with Mike.  It basically revolves around his chemotheropy.  As I’ve only been spending time with him the last three months, this is just my impression of it. 

Mike usually gets chemo on Fridays around 8:00 am to 9:00 am.  After chemo, he usually gets a steriod injection of some kind that will keep him up until 5am – 9am the next morning.  I’m usually at work until 6 or 7 then I spend some time with the family.  Something that I try really hard to do every Friday night is spend time with Mike on xbox live (thanks again Mike for the free account).  Two more of his very close friends, B and Phil, also try to be online with him also.   We usually play Halo 2 together as a party of 4 against another team.  We all have head sets and a lot of the time between games we spend talking about everything going on.  One major note, just cause he had chemo, don’t play easy against him.  He’s pretty good and usually beats me in scores every time.  We try to stay up playing with Mike as long as possible.   Some times B, Phil, and I get too tired and end up going to bed.  Unfortunatly, Mike never goes to bed when we do.  Other times all the medicine going through him starts messing with his mind and he can’t focus on the screen anymore and usually gets emotion.  At these times it’s good to be around him and really show him the support that he has from his friends.

On Saturday and Sunday I usually try not to call and usually text message his phone to talk to him.  From my experience he is trying to sleep or his throat is hurting him from chemo so I try just talk through text messaging to let him rest his throat.  Sometimes he’s feeling better and he gives me a call and we talk on the phone a bit.  We usually don’t play games online because he has "Chemo Brain" which makes playing the games nearly impossible for him.

Mondays and Tuesday I might text message him or try calling him.  Recently I’ve been talking with Ann when I call because Mike is not feeling so hot still.  When I do talk to him, his "Chemo Brain" is mediocre, but is still present.  He’s usually just getting over the worst part of the chemo effects at this point but not a lot better.

Wensdays and Thursdays are the best days.  He’s usually feeling a lot better and has a lot more energy to spend.  Sometimes we will play online with friends or he will work on his RC plane or his website.  You will also notice on his journal that his typing skills are getting better and more words are spelled correctly.  This is because the "Chemo Brain" is at the lowest point.  Then on Friday the routine starts all over for him.

I hope this answers a few questions about spending time with Mike.  I hope that this would help people that are afraid to call Mike or visit him.  He loves the support that all his friends and family give him.  You will never know how much it really cheers him up hearing from a friend and spending time with his friends.  He’s the same old Mike, just a bit ditzier at times  emoticon.  If you have an xbox live account, look for Phil, B, Mike, and me.  Mike’s gamer tag is L1VESTRONG and mine is LargestTripod.

 I would also like to include this one quote from Mike when we were talking one night after he read this article I wrote:

"I loved it, I wish my other friends would be that open, not including Phil, and B. I have just lost so many friends, because they are scared of me. I am the same old Mike, just a little bit more of a biohazard lol"