Sunday, July 6th, 2008
10:48 pm - The Land of Not Dealing  
Some men drink to forget; I play games on the computer. Spent most of the weekend directing an armored battalion from Normandy to the suburbs of Paris in Steel Panthers. Didn't ride my bike at all, although the only day the weather actually allowed me a choice in the matter was today, and I couldn't be arsed. The weather people have been recycling the same damn forecast every damn day for the last couple of weeks — hazy and humid with a chance of showers.

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I did get one thing accomplished. I finally got around to installing the ceiling fan I bought last October. I got it to replace a much older fan I'd installed in the back room. The old fan worked, but it buzzed loudly. The new one wasn't ideal. For one thing, it was all white. The old one was polished brass. Alas, the fittings weren't interchangeable. So I bought a can of bright gold spray paint and made the thing look like brass. Sort of. It's not as shiny as the polished brass (attempts to polish just removed the paint — I should've primed it, I suppose), but it looks way better than white on a white ceiling. Sadly, it is not whisper quiet. Or if it is, "whisper quiet" should not use as a reference the volume of a "whisper" uttered by rude people at a movie theatre. There's a hum. Not happy about that. Also, it makes me realize exactly how much smaller the back room is compared the the bedroom in my old apartment. That house had 9' ceilings, and the room was 14' x 12'. The back room is 11' x 10' with a 93" ceiling. The low ceiling is the main thing. I feel like Charlie and Grandfather at the top of the fizzy-lifting silo with the fan about to chop me into hamburger.

The other weird thing about this fan is that it has a custom sized socket for the light bulb. It's about half the diameter of a standard bulb socket, but bigger than a Christmas light socket. Another specialty bulb to keep track of. I'm guessing they don't make compact fluorescents in that size, either.

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To cheer myself up, I did some retail therapy. Even better, I did it with found money, thanks to the Coinstar machine at the supermarket. Coinstar doesn't charge a fee when you take your payment as an Amazon gift card. I'd been wanting one of these, but couldn't justify adding it to my credit card balance. Then it dawned on me that I had a several large containers of change that I'd never gotten around to putting in coin wrappers plus more just accumulating in various places around the house. Was there enough to get me my toy?

I could've just taken the tubs down to the machine and dumped them in, but being deeply suspicious of anything that says you can trust it to count correctly, I decided to count the dough myself. Also, I was curious to see if I had the $132 that I needed. I started counting just the quarters. When I stopped, I had 100 stacks of 8 quarters each sitting in front of me. Huh. Off to the Machinamobile, away!

I still had my doubts about the system, though. I'd never used a Coinstar before, and I wasn't keen to make a mistake with that much loose change. So I brought 2 rolls of dimes with me, and ran those first, figuring that if something did go wrong, or if the machine counted incorrectly, I wouldn't be out that much. Sure enough, when I put the dimes in, the total came to $9.80, instead of the expected $10. Huh, again. Then I checked the coin return at the bottom, and found the two missing dimes, which somehow managed to slip through a crack. Assured that the count was correct, I dumped in the quarters. The machine got 'em all, except for two Canadian quarters it returned to me. I'll save those for Dunkies.

Anyway, I ordered my toy, along with some books and a new battery for my Palm, and there's still some money left on the gift card. Plus I never even touched the containers of dimes, nickels, and pennies, so next time I need some mad money I'll be ready.


 
 
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(no subject) - zmayhem on July 7th, 2008 - 06:01 am
DXMachinadxmachina on July 7th, 2008 - 02:44 pm
It's a game controller for flight simulators, a substitute for fighter jet style joysticks for those of us older individuals who wish to eschew the viceral, seat of the pants flying of fighters for the more staid, leisurely flight experience of a Cessna or DC-3. Or if we really feel really wild, perhaps a 737.

Vacuum cleaners are good.
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mearamearagrrl on July 7th, 2008 - 06:25 am
Yeah, I threw in a bunch of junk in the coinstar, figuring it would spit out the random foriegn coins. It did, but also spit out some random american money too. Ah well...
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DXMachinadxmachina on July 7th, 2008 - 02:46 pm
It did take the misfit dimes the second time through, although no amount of coercion would make it take the Canadian quarters.
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