Burgers and TV

I guess for about a year or so Colorado has had a few “In N Out” burger joints that were imported from California. For years now I’ve been told by native Californians that this is the best burger on Earth and the claim otherwise was to subject oneself to immediate stoning.

So, years ago in mid 2013 I decided to put this claim to the test and drove to the nearest In N Out, which happened to be in Salt Lake City, to sample this most holy of hamburgers…

It was alright I guess. Certainly nothing worth driving 12 hours each way for.

(I know, I know – heresy!)

Anyway, back in the present I’d been meaning to try it again in order to have a sample size greater than one, but the local In N Out has had an hour long wait pretty much since it opened. I’m guessing they’re all of the California immigrants we have here now with nothing better to do, but I just don’t have that kind of time to sit in line for lunch.

Well, the chain has been in the news for a few days for giving San Fran the middle finger over some draconian law or another, and I decided I’d like to support any rare company with a spine – so I trundled over there at 10:15 as they open at 10:30, and hoped I could get lunch by noon…

It turns out that even though they advertise opening at 10:30, they were serving at 10:15. And long story short, I was out of there and back to the office by a quarter to 11!

I got the “Combo #1”, a double cheese burger basically. The burger was definitely better than the one I had in SLC, and the fries were actually really good… Still not sure about the place’s mythical status, but it wasn’t bad.

I’ll swing by again some time when I have an hour to kill to get a burger. 🙂

The other news this week is that my CFO / real estate mogul has been working on refurbishing his in-law’s house. They moved to some other country and he bought the place off of them, and has been cleaning it out for a couple of months now in preparation to gut it and make it his own.

It’s a HUGE place – like seven bathrooms or something – and was full to the rafters with high-end or custom-made one-off stuff from the late 90’s / early 2000’s… Some of which was A/V gear…

He knows I’m into weird old electronics, and he has no use for weird old electronics, so he gave me a bunch of it – and I’ve been going through and fixing things up as I have time.

The first piece I’ve gotten running again is a mid-2000’s 50-inch Samsung DLP TV…

The first TV I’ve owned since 1995… With matching stand!

The cabinet itself was in pretty good condition with only a few minor cosmetic things to iron out, and after a thorough internal cleaning and replacing the lamp ($45), the DLP fired right up!

The next issue to work out was the fact I didn’t have cables for anything I own that interfaces with the TV. For example, the TV has s-video in and my PowerBook G4 laptop has s-video out, but I haven’t had an s-video cable for at least a decade…

The TV does have HDMI though, but everything I had that did modern video was display port…

So, I had a new Apple TV dropped off direct from Apple (The HD – no need for the 4K version on a 720p TV), and got it talking to my PC via a piece of software wizardry called “AirParrot” – and from there it was a simple matter to send the TV some video to test it out…

And what’s the best way to test a circa 2005 TV? With a circa 1986 cartoon of course!

Oh Megatron, you silly, silly robot. (Transformers: The Movie – 1986)

That’ll buff out, I’m sure. (Transformers: The Movie – 1986)

And with that I spent the rest of the evening watching movies on an actual TV – and it was good.

Next up is the pile of Denon stereo gear…

Tags and Title

I’ve owned the Kicks for about three months now, but driven it for two due to the month delay in getting it. The paperwork for the new title and plates was completed about a month ago, but it took another three weeks to get an appointment at the DMV…

Yep, appointment. Thanks to zombies you have to schedule your 30 minute slice of time several weeks in advance. And the day the paperwork came in the first available 30 minute window was October 12th.

Which was good I guess as the temp tags expire on the 15th.

My appointment was at 12:30, so I got there a half an hour early as is my way. Unfortunately the ticketing robot won’t even acknowledge your existence until ten minutes before your appointment – so I spent 20 minutes sitting around so that I could get the robot’s permission to sit around.

Eventually I was able to get a ticket, and three minutes later got called to a window. And almost $600 later had my elk-butt plates transferred to the new car.

Colorado “Elk-Butt” license plates…

One thing I noticed at the DMV was that, for the 45 minutes I was there, I was the only Y-chromosome on estrogen island… Not that I mind, it was just kinda creepy to be the only guy in the entire building. 🙂

End Of Life

This week at work has been all about wiping a selection of old test machines in preparation for giving them to employees / donating them.

Most of what I’m working on today are old Dell Vostro 220’s running Vista; machines that we picked up in 2010 or so and haven’t been touched since like 2015.

These are dual core machines with 2 gigs of “fast” 800mhz ram and 160G HDs… Not horribly impressive for 2021, but they still work, still get on the Internet, and are perfectly acceptable for light computing use. Which is why I’m giving them away.

A few of these were used by our spinoff company, so they are full of weird leftovers of a bygone era… Easy enough to wipe and reload though thanks to DBAN and Clonezilla. 🙂


Yes, the band, released their 22nd album today – “The Quest” – and while it’s not an earth shaker and paradigm changer like “Fragile” or “90125”, it’s pleasant enough.

I tend to think the album’s name is a direct reflection of the album’s intention; this is the current band members on a quest to kindle a new fire.

There are a lot of inspired moments on the new album, and all in all I find it to be a good indication of things to come.

Now, granted, I’m an old Yes fan… After all, I’ve been around just as long as the band… The self-titled first album came out in 1969, just like I did. In fact, pivotal moments of my life have been ‘soundtracked’ by various Yes albums, so certain songs have a lot of memories for me.

When I was just old enough to appreciate music, albums like Fragile (’72), Close to the Edge (’72), Tales From Topographic Oceans (’73), and Relayer (’74) came out and somewhat set the tone for my musical tastes… Grandiose instrumental textures, complicated syncopation and key changes, and lofty lyrical flights of fancy.

“Circus of Heaven” off of “Tormato” in 1978 was memorable because of story (and the unicorn, centaurs, and pegasi) – which I discovered at the same time I was reading Chalker’s “Well World” series and Beagle’s “The Last Unicorn”.

Then the 80’s happened; junior high, high-school, and enlistment. Junior High had 1980’s “Drama” just as I was starting to get into heavier music like Rush and Triumph. And “90125”, from 1983, somewhat set the tone for my high-school years. I still remember being glued to the the TV at a friend’s house when the video for “Leave It” was debuted – and I made it a point to try and catch all 18 versions of it!

The next album, “Big Generator”, came out right before my Christmas leave from the Navy in 1987. I remember laying on the couch in my parent’s living room with my portable CD player, playing the album over and over.

“Union”, from 1991, was a ‘breakup’ album with my ex. The album is full of inspirational bits though, like “Lift Me Up”, and it played a lot in the truck. I actually saw this one in concert at “Big Mac” in Denver.

The next big life change came in 1994 when I decided to reset everything, leave my current job, and go work third shift assembly at Intelligent Electronics – follow my calling as it were. The album at the time was “Talk”, and the first song on the album is “The Calling”, and that might have had something to do with my jumping into the unknown.

“Keys To Ascension” 1 and 2 came out in 1996 and 1997 as I essentially took over the network at I.E. and started my ‘meteoric rise’ in the network world. I listened to a lot of those two albums during long nights of certification studying or while working out a way to solve an unsolvable data networking problem.

Eventually I make another leap of faith and head to Washington D.C., and “Open Your Eyes” from late 1997 comes out as I start working on programming projects for APBI there in Alexandria.

“The Ladder” from 1999 coincided with starting my own company called “PFM Technologies”. And “Magnification” from 2001 came out just as I was making yet another leap of faith and leaving my teaching job for the relative unknown back in Colorado.

“Fly From Here” in 2011 punctuated my departure from a complicated situation and getting back on my own. This is another Yes album that I saw the concert for – though this one was at the Paramount in Denver.

I’m not sure what “The Quest” from today will coincide with… It’s never clear at the time the album comes out, but in retrospect it’s always obvious. The album has some tracks about technology and about the state of the world and the covid issue, so perhaps it will involve that in some way.

I can only wait and see. 🙂