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Stoopid Cats

Today is leaf day. Or it was supposed to be. I raked all the leaves off my back yard last weekend (9 bags worth). You can't even tell.

T's back, after four days away at Nature's classroom. I picked her up yesterday. She fell on wet leaves at Nature's classroom and her arm hurts. She has a doctors appointment on Monday. She is kind of out of commission, so no leaves for her.

Last Tuesday, while helping T pack for Nature's classroom, I brought four cases of water up from the basement to my car. I carried them two at a time. T also had various bags and other overnight field trip related items.

At the CTAUG meeting I brought the prize box from my car to the meeting area. To do this, I usually drag my laptop (on wheels) with one hand while carrying the box with the other. In retrospect that isn't a good idea. I should take two trips.

I finally got the strap fixed on my guitar so have been bouncing around the house w/ it while playing.

Friday I picked T up from Nature's classroom, and because of her arm moved all her boxes (and related stuff) back to the house.

My back was feeling a bit irritated.

Saturday morning I saw three cats on my back porch. I have two Cat Stop units on my back porch. They are supposed to chase away the cats. I got mad and threw the neighbors basketball (also on my porch) at one of the cats. My back is now in quite a bit of pain.

All you cat lovers can call this Karma.

I know I'm not an athlete by any stretch of the imagination. But, I figured I'd be able to throw a basketball w/ hurting myself.

I'm sick of my yard being the hang out place for every stray cat in the neighborhood. I think they were using one of the leaf bags (which are now at the dump) as a bathroom.

I'm considering getting a dog just so it'll blow up the cats like in the cartoons.

Multiple Monitors

So, I'm stuck on two monitors and have thought of getting a third. How do you plug a third monitor into your laptop?

Well, there are options, but most of them are rather expensive. Here is some info http://www.realtimesoft.com/multimon/products.asp#MultiMonLaptops.

The Digital Tigers sidecar was way beyond the amount I was willing to spend. Same with the Magma.

The VTBook, a PCMCIA video card was very intriguing, though. And it supports two monitors, so that is even better. I could go up to four monitors completely. http://www.vtbook.com/ . But, still $250 is a bit pricey.

After some searching I discovered the Tritton SEE2, a USB SVGA adapter.

http://www.everythingusb.com/tritton_see2_usb_2.0_svga_adapter.html

There are a few things I found interesting about this. First, it is nicer on the budget. Second, it's USB. Theoretically I could add a dozen to my laptop. By the nature of USB, it is hot swappable which means I don't have to turn off the computer to remove the monitor. I have no idea how this will work, but that is the theory.

Then, I start thinking. Maybe I could get a USB port switcher, and switch the monitor(s) between computers (Similar usage to a KVM switch, except for USB devices) as needed. That was really intriguing to me.

While searching for a new KVM switch ( The one I have has been dying for quite a while and I have a new computer on the way) I came across a model that included USB ports for switching between USB devices. It's called the Port Authority

Theoretically I can plug the USB VGA adapter and a normal monitor into the KVM switch and then switch two monitors (as well as the keyboard and mouse) between multiple computers as needed.

It's a pretty intriguing idea, and I'm fairly excited. I'm not convinced it will work in practice, though. I'm not sure monitors are designed to be hot-swappable.

The KVM switch and adapter came in just shy of $200. In honor of http://www.ooine.com/ I did a google search for coupons. If I'm a new customer and spend $200 at Buy.com I can get $15 off. They accepted the coupon even though I was not a new customer. I wonder if they'll try to revoke it.

The question is, how do I bump up over $200? I added a few USB cables and a PS/2 to USB converter. That's $204 dollars total. Minus the $15 coupon. - a $25 rebate on the KVM switch.

I'm feeling pretty good, even if it is rice and pasta for the next several months while I pay off my purchases. Merry Christmas to me.

Did I mention that the air hockey table I want (from Sam's Club) dropped over $100 bucks after Christmas?

I needed some more mic cables

I needed some more mic cables, so I could mic up the drum set. At the same time I had a coupon for www.musiciansfriend.com . It was $25 off any purchase of $250 or more. Plus they are running a great sale w/ free shipping for all orders over $29. Usually this number is closer to $199. Let's see what I need and if I can hit that $250 mark:

First, I added this

Musician's Friend Lo-Z Microphone Cable 20' 10-Pack
Musician's Friend Lo-Z Microphone Cable 20' 10-Pack

And I'm short of a few guitar cables too, so I added two of these:

Musician's Friend Braided Instrument Cable 1/4
Musician's Friend Braided Instrument Cable 1/4" Red 10 Foot

With all the extra cables, I'll be out of cable ties; I bought 3 packages of these:

Cord-Lox 3/4
Cord-Lox 3/4" x 5" Cable Control System 5-Pack

I'm not sure how many of you know about my snare drum woes, but my snare drum has broken snares. Because it is so old, I can't find replacements. I added this snare, as it is one of the cheapest I've ever seen. It should do fine for my purposes:

Pulse Steel Piccolo Snare 14X3.5 Inches
Pulse Steel Piccolo Snare 14X3.5 Inches

The drum key that came w/ my brother's set is starting to rust a little:

Evans Torque Drum Key
Evans Torque Drum Key

And the drum sticks I have are kind of wearing out, probably due to age. So I added a few sets of sticks:

Vic Firth American Classic Hickory Drumsticks Nylon 3A
Vic Firth American Classic Hickory Drumsticks Nylon 3A

Pro-Mark Natural Hickory Drumsticks Wood 5B
Pro-Mark Natural Hickory Drumsticks Wood 5B

I was still about $100 bucks under the coupon threshold. After discovering that Behringer products could not be included in the promotion, I ended up with this mic set:

Nady SCM 900-CM 90 Studio Mic Package
Nady SCM 900-CM 90 Studio Mic Package

I'm torn. I love to get and play w/ new mics, but I'd almost rather have had the direct box and patch bay that I had originally selected. Since I'm not actively recording bands, those would have more immediate use to me than the mics. Maybe next time.

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