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June 17, 2002

Saturday Report

Jean has an interview today, and school is out, so I'm staying with Kelly this morning. I'll probably work an 11:30 to 8 shift to keep on schedule. In the meantime...

Agora, where I host this weblog, was down much of the weekend, so even though I had time, I didn't post. Saturday was NOVA, but I was off playing even earlier. As a sort of early Father's day present, Jean let me run off to Tom's to engage in a kit bash. We gathered together all our widgets 'n' gadgets and cracked open our Gameboy Advances. This is the first 'electronics project' I've ever done, and it's a good thing that it was in quotes, i.e. not really advanced electronics.

The task involved completely disassembling the unit, using a Dremel tool to chew away some of the plastic to make room for the frontlight, installing anti-reflective film on the LCD, putting the frontlight in place, soldering a resistor onto the circuit board, and the frontlight onto the power bus. We learned along the way, and some of the directions were not totally clear, so we ended up with some dings on our clear plastic screen covers, and some dust trapped in between it and the frontlight (or between the frontlight and the LCD). As a result, it really does look like a home handicraft job, with some dirt reflecting light out of the screen and scratches marring some of the viewable area.

Even given all that, it is so much better than the original screen visibility that I've been playing with it more or less non-stop. I'm gonna have to stock up on more rechargeable batteries real soon now. You can bet this baby is going on the plane with me for Disneyland. My unit was certainly out of warranty, so you might not want to try this yourself, but as Tom and I observed, now that we've done it, we could do it again in a third of the time with much cleaner results. I might even do it again someday with a new unit.

We trucked off to NOVA, and had a fine time. The projector fund is within a hair's breadth of being complete! In eight months of fund raising! What happened to that club of ten years ago, when we were all so poor? My how things change. And yet the club is still a social venue, and indeed the main place I go to socialize with my friends.

This weekend, we didn't go to the movies after the meeting, instead opting to go to a restaurant for a snack. We went to the Outback Steakhouse, where the theme is, as you would guess, Australian. The waitress called everyone 'darlin', and the choices in food were mainly coronary specials, so I ordered the soup and salad, then decided to take the plunge and get dessert. The cheesecake I ordered was so rich and huge I got through maybe a third of it before asking for a takeaway container.

After we wrangled together the bill, Dan was stuffing it into the stack of menus, as if he was afraid it would blow away. I said, "don't hide it." Then as we were leaving, in my best Steve Irwin voice, I stage-whispered "undernaith wahn of these naipkins is a tip for ouwer waitress. Under the ahther napkin is a venomous snaike!". The guys were already snickering, and than as I reached the door, I stage-yelled "Crikey!" Never afraid to play the fool, this one .

Posted by dpwakefield at June 17, 2002 09:17 AM