Wednesday, September 30, 2009

disposable technology = sandisk and toshiba suck

I don't normally post about technology on my blog but I felt I had to this one time. You see I'm a geek / nerd / whatever you want to call me. I work with computers, i fix computers and I play with computers. I have no fear of technology. I have to say however that the way companies seem to be putting quality control of their products on the customer sucks, actually it right royally sucks. The two examples I have are as follows.

The Sansa Sandisk E250 - I bought this in Feb 2008. I didn't really use it till I started cycling as the idea I had for it didn't pan out well. When I used it I realised that there was a static/ sound drop out at the headphone socket. After investigating online I find out that I am not alone and that this is a common issue with them, in fact it seems that Sandisk knows well about it and if you are in warranty they will fix but if you didn't realise in time then you are S.O.L. I opened this device up and resoldered the connector and I have (I think) removed the drop out issue for now, but static seems to remain (not major - the drop out of one ear was ANNOYING). I should not have had to do this, when enough units had this issue Sandisk should, like car manufacturers issue a recall and fix or replace the units. They did not.

Sandisk - you are on notice. I will no longer be buying your products, and as you can tell from this blog you will no longer be on my recommended suppliers list. This probably will not mean a lot to you, but I recommend technology to a LOT of people, you will be a manufacturer to avoid. Hell I even recommend the technology for my company. The same goes there.

My next gripe - The Toshiba M35X-S111, an older laptop we have had it for about 3 years now. The problem is once again Shoddy soldering on the motherboard (it has been relegated to an emergency, dire need backup). One of the pins of the power connector has a dry joint and as it was soldered with high temp soldering I have been unable to get a good solder joint. I am about to try again. We bought an extended warranty on this thing - extended to 2 years. Yup, you got it, 2 years one month later the fault appears and because of it the battery is now also shot. We ended up buying an HP to replace it. With the new HP we have had better luck. I used to recommend Toshiba's, you got it, no more. We even had the chance to get a Toshiba for a better deal, um no thanks.

Toshiba - you are on notice. I will no longer be buying your products, and as you can tell from this blog you also will no longer be on my recommended suppliers list.

I feel better for that. You don't need to tell me that this was a waste and they will never see this blog. Well it made me feel better, I have vented about it and it helps me. If the companies want to refute my claims they are more than welcome.

Have a nice day everyone I'm going to solder a Toshiba laptop AGAIN

EDIT: I called Toshiba as I came across a recall for batteries which included ours. Our battery did not have the serial number they wanted on it, because the serial number sticker was missing. After talking with the first line customer support my details were forwarded to the battery replacement team so they could investigate. 3 hours later I get a call asking for my address to send the battery, I mentioned the lack of sticker, he said they had a contingency for these situations and it was to send the battery. I still hate the fact the power adapter has a solder weakness but they are replacing a 5 year old battery free without me having to go through bells and whistles. I am impressed by their support team so have officially removed my notice above.

Weekend Update

After the evilness of the rich food and drink over this weekend Jen and I ended up getting out on Sunday for a 20 mile ride. It was fun and no real issues except we both realised it had been a while, for me my rear was just a little tender after it *LOL*.

Stats for the ride are:

  • Total Distance: 19.54 miles
  • Total Time: 1hr 27mins 54secs
  • Ave Speed: 13.34 mph
  • Ave Cadence: 66rpm
  • Max Speed: 25.42mph


Friday, September 25, 2009


Its been a busy week so far, I have not been able to get on the trainer or get out to ride. On a positive not I have been able to resolve and issue with my personal trainer (she was going to have to quit, but through arrangements she doesn't have to and I can continue with her which is good).

Food wise I have been maintaining an input level of about 1600-1700 calories for this week so we will see what happens weight wise. I feel as if I might be eating just a little too much but the scales should tell.

Posting will be scarce this weekend as we have Gabe, Em and Marina visiting so wooooooooo! (seriously its cool, Marina is from Sweden, we have a real live foreigner.....hmmm wait...... oh never mind *LOL*)


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Chapter 2 begins

Its been busy of recent and I have not been able to get much riding in (we did the rails to trails on Saturday but that is it). It has been so busy I have not even been able to pull out the trainer I bought. I have made it my goal to get this done so I can get my leg muscles back *LOL*.

For the last 5 days Jens cousin Ken and his wife Amy were visiting and Ken and I (more Ken) worked on the eaves problems we have. After the 5 days I am glad to report new wood has been installed and has also been pressure washed. I was going to post pictures but I have decided to wait. At the moment I have the start pictures, the in progress (needs painted but repaired) and as soon as I have it painted and pictures taken I will post the finished result.

Weight has fluctuated due to rich eating. Weigh in on Sunday was 245lbs but I hope to get it back off soon. Goal for end of year has now been set at 220lbs this gives me the ability to lose 2lbs a week with a couple of weeks to fix any gains or plateaus. Official date I am looking at this for is January 3rd (Sunday) To get to my Goal of 200lbs I am calling March 28th the goal date. The problems I foresee for these goals are as follows:-
  • Halloween
  • Thanksgiving
  • Christmas
  • Jens Birthday
  • New Year
  • My Birthday

Basically multiple dates where I may end up eating or drinking badly. Probably should add this weekend also as we have Gabe, Em and Marina coming to visit. Looks like we have Jazz on the lawn and other activities in our future *LOL*. But you know that's why I build in a cushion to my weight loss. It allows me to have the occasional bad day then get back onto my normal eating. Without these occasional days I doubt I would have got to where I am today.

It may have been quiet on my Journey of recent but it is not at an end. I would say that now that I have reset my goals that Chapter two has officially started. I have the tools to continue this journey and its time for me to use them. Don't expect this to be quiet again, this blog gives me an output for my thoughts on my weight, my cycling and anything else I need it to be. It also pushes me to continue if I get lazy. Its out here for anyone to read but its also here for me to read and realise how far I have come.

Talk to Y'all soon.


Sunday, September 13, 2009

Dirt, Guts and Donuts

So we tried our first attempt at mountain biking this weekend. At the suggestion of Scott in work he thought it would be cool if we come out to Gallatin for the Dirt, Guts and Donuts race as it was a nice easy introduction and would be fun. Ok he got the fun part right and it probably means that we need new bikes but easy? Not a chance *LOL*.

First I talk about Jen - or as I like to call her, the mountain goat on wheels. First time out at a mountain bike race, riding a POS 45 - 50 dollar walmart special bike and she won the woman's division. I bow down to your mountainy might Jen *LOL*. From what I could tell she was stoked and had a hell of a time.

Me - that's a different Story. I did not finish. The thing is I went out to see if I would like mountain biking and to take it easy. As such I was in the situation that I came across the other Did Not Finish rider Lisa. The reason we did not finish? Lisa had ended up going off the trail heading down a 5-10ft embankment and dropped another 5-10ft into the lake, bike and all. I did not finish because it was only human nature to assist in getting Lisa , her bike and other gear out of the lake safely and making sure she was ok till people better trained than me could make it to the spot (I had called Jen and sent another rider behind me for help). The end result was that we both did not finish, the more important result for this situation is that Lisa, while a little sore is ok and did not require a visit to the hospital.

Ok time for me to hit the books

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Back on the bike

So here is yet another post, see told you I was slacking.

Over the last 2 weeks I have not worked out or rode the bike. I have missed it all! Last night we got on our bikes and rode to quiznos for dinner. All around we rode just under 11 miles and then I ate 800 calories of sandwhichy goodness. According to sparkpeople I burned 898 calories. That means I was negative for the ride, go me. *LOL* This ride made me realise how badly I had missed riding. As it moves into winter months I am only going to be able to ride outside on the weekends but I am also in the process of getting a trainer to allow me to work on my training at night. I will not fade back into the obesity I was dealing with. I will not fade into the night! Bring all that you can life because you know what? I'm ready for it all. Yeeeee and Haw.

I don't have access to the stats but will post them tonight. In related news I also have personal training for the first time in 3 weeks. I will not lie when I say I have slacked. I have the gear at home to work out but just cant motivate myself to use it *LOL* to much else around me to distract me (read clean, yard, wow, netflix).


  • Distance : 10.7 miles
  • Time: 49min 26sec
  • Ave speed: 12.99mph
  • Ave Cadence: 53rpm
  • Max Speed: 24.21mph

    Ok back to work.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

More posting goodness.

So as promised I and posting some more. Two things that I have that I feel are bolg worthy. First is that Jen got herself a motorcycle. Not just a motorcycle but a kick ass motorcycle. It is a Triumph 2010 Bonneville T100.

She had been looking at a couple of other bikes but of them all I personally think this is the best of the bunch. If they just made them like this in bicycles then man I would be set *LOL*. Here is a pic of Jen in action in the neighborhood. She has graduated out of it and has done a couple of 30-60 mile rides.

Other blogworthy news is that I nearly had my eyes pecked out Hitchcock "Birds" style. Well ok maybe not quite but I walked into our sun room and right outside the door perched on the handrail for the step were two of the biggest vultures I have ever seen (REALLY close up) they were sitting looking down at the gap under out sunroom where poor Marley (our cat) was hiding. Below is a picture of them on top of the neighbors roof after I scared them off (like I really could, think they wanted to move).

They were still around Monday morning but thankfully I haven't seen them today.

Ok time to move on. Laters folks.