August 2007


The past work week was a woefully unproductive one, although I wouldn’t say I was especially bummed about it. We had a new intern start at the office this week, someone who will be entering the medical billing field. They won’t learn much at our office though, as we generate our bills manually with Excel. Apparently our clinic was a last resort. There was also an unusual amount of melodrama at the office this week that didn’t help either.Over the course of the weekend, I went with my parents to a couple furniture stores and Best Buy to shop for a new TV, something to put the TV on and maybe new living room furniture too. I helped Dad make a great choice for the TV but they’re still undecided on the furniture, even though we had been to several places in the last couple weeks.Recently, had a deal on the Microsoft Zune, a first foray into the DAP market for just $150. Although I initially wanted to like the device, there were some serious shortcomings that kept me away. The crippled Wi-Fi and lack of DivX support are unfortunate. However, at such a bargain price, I figured what the hell. I received it on Saturday, earlier than I expected. That worked out well because I’ll have another new toy to play with next week.For me, using the Zune was a tale of two experiences. The Zune itself is a great little piece of hardware. I think the doubleshot injection molding look is attractive and the unit feels quite solid. It doesn’t budge at all when you try and twist it. The screen looks sharp but it’s not bright enough to be easily visible in broad daylight. The player’s interface is fluid and dynamic without being too flashy. I especially like the emphasis placed on album art in the now playing screen, as I already have a respectable collection built up.While the hardware itself is fine, the software associated with it just plain sucks. I was already biased against it as I find the idea of needing a dedicated program to load content on a DAP repulsive. There’s no good reason all MP3 players should not function as USB mass storage devices and enable drag-and-drop from Windows explorer. A lot of the ‘features’ of the software were just annoyances to me. Although I didn’t have serious issues loading my music the first time, the program later stalled in the middle of transfers and does not have a resume function. I had to transfer about 20 gigabytes of music in incremental steps to avoid having to pick through my collection repeatedly. There were some other small headaches that I learned workarounds for over the course of Sunday night.The state of the software is almost tragic because once you have your loaded on the Zune, it’s a pleasure to use. Too bad you have to wade through a mound of crap to get to that point.

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Week of August 13

Jeff was in town from Michigan this week. The family and I went out a couple times this week. We went out to dinner at Luizza’s in the middle of the week. This weekend we all went out to Mid City lanes to go bowling. Paul Varisco and the Milestones were doing one of their reunion shows, which was the primary motivation for going. The music started at 5:30, a lot earlier than their earlier shows. As for the bowling, it was fun but I have absolutely no aptitude at the sport, if it is one.As I mentioned last week, I felt a need for a bigger TV with my new HD-DVD player. I sold my 26 inch LCD to a co-worker and ordered a Samsung LNT3253H from Amazon. It was nice to get free shipping but it will take nearly two weeks to arrive. So I’ll be ‘roughing it’ for a short while. I also recently purchased a pair of Sennheiser HD-595 headphones which sound great. .. not that I have the highest standards as this is my first set of headphones priced over $20.

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Week of August 6

By and large this was a quiet week and hot. Some of the days were not as productive as I would have liked. There were a couple days where I got a lot done though. My family left town Thursday afternoon so I ran the office both those days. Luckily, both days were uneventful so I didn’t have any serious problems to deal with.I had the house to myself this weekend. I didn’t have much luck finding company for something to do and it was much too hot for me to be motivated to go anywhere by myself so I just stayed home. Between chores, my computer and the TV, I managed to waste my time quite nicely.The HD-DVD player I ordered, a Toshiba HD-A2, finally arrived this Friday. The first thing I watched with it was the first three episodes of Planet Earth, the BBC miniseries. The pictures were absolutely stunning, both just being incredible material and the high resolution of my new hardware. The only trouble now is I want a bigger TV.

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Damn! It’s Hot Outside!

August first is a bit of a physiological barrier. The end of summer finally seems near. Lofty goals set at the beginning seem dead. This week I finally got around to paying my bill and registering for classes in the fall. The class I want on Monday night is full but I’m optimistic. Beyond that I’m ready to go.This past Friday was a rather hectic one at work. I ran the office myself for a while and we had a ‘problematic’ new patient. He held up our schedule quite about, no doubt to the displeasure of our other new patients.I was at home for the better part of the weekend, although I did accompany my parents to a huge furniture store to look for a new sofa. They didn’t find anything they liked and they don’t stock futons so I didn’t see anything interesting either.I didn’t get that much in the line of work accomplished today. I went to the post office to mail some things. Dad and I stopped for lunch on the way to the Metairie office. I barely made a dent in the dictation today. Tomorrow might be better.After work Dad and I went to Don’s house in Kenner to return the computer I foxed for him a while back. I only expected to be there a few minutes but they had a problem with the net access and it turned into a two hour affair. We finally got home shortly before nine.

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