Friday, December 28, 2007

Holy Crap Balls it's Cold!

Burrr! At least I'm at the office where it's only -2 degrees and not 15 miles away in Greeley, where it's -18!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Two words: Bacon. Cookies.

Oh, yes, you heard (read) that right. I said (typed) Bacon Cookies. Bacon Chocolate Chip Cookies, to be more precise.

I have often wondered just what would not be improved by the addition of bacon, and I have not come up with very many things. Salad is good. Seafood is good. Eggs, pizza, pasta, sandwiches, vegetables, other kinds of meat (think fillet mignon). All are good. Bacon just has this sweet, salty, greasy goodness about it that makes it a welcome addition nearly anywhere.

But I would not have guessed chocolate chip cookies. The 'Never Bashful With Butter' blog found out, once and for all, that yes, Virginia, bacon goes good with cookies too.

Read the commentary and recipe, watch the hilarious video, and then try 'em out! I'm strongly considering it this weekend.

And if you are worried about being a vegetarian, or something, it's okay, because bacon is a vegetable.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Dis is how I feelz

i-has-frozen.jpg

It's supposed to get down to, like, 9 degrees tonight and only up to 20 tomorrow. And then it's supposed to snow 6 more inches during the day. I like winter and all, but this is getting a little bit old.

Also, this makes me a little sad.

Thisafternoon or This afternoon?

Another escapade in Matt being a huge nerd:

I think that “this morning” and “this afternoon,” when used like “this afternoon I am going to the doctor” or “what are you doing this afternoon?” should be changed to a one-word contraction or merge of some sort. “Thisafternoon” just seems to roll off the tongue better than “this” “afternoon.”

Although, it would not work as well if you were trying to describe the afternoon as its own thing. For instance, “this afternoon is dragging” could not use the merged “thisafternoon”.

I don’t really know what part of speech my first example would fall under; a preposition, maybe? (I don’t even know what to look for to look it up.) But it does not seem like the most outlandish thing ever proposed, so who knows? Maybe it’ll catch on. Or not, since spell check doesn’t like it.

Any words that you think need to be merged, modified, etc? Do you agree with my “thisafternoon” proposal?

Monday, December 24, 2007

God Jul!

Just a quick note to with you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

And just in case you wanted that in a few other languages:
Armenian - Shenoraavor Nor Dari yev
Asturian - Bones Navidaes & Gayoleru anu nuevu!
Bulu - Duma e bo'o
Danish - Glædelig Jul og godt nytår
French - Joyeux Noël et Bonne Année!
Galician - Bon Nadal e Bo Ani Novo
Irish - Nollaig Shona Dhuit
Nii - Nim Ono
Swedish - God Jul och Gott Nytt År
Nifty, eh? Remember, the "J" in Swedish sounds like "Y".

Just in case anyone needs it, here is the Christmas story as it is told in Luke 2: 1-20.

And don't forget, you can watch Queen Elizabeth's Christmas address on YouTube along with other royal footage here.

Have a warm, safe, and wonderful Christmas!

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

I'm not that into chains

Time for another Dale Carnegie moment of Zen from my weekly email:

"We forge the chains we wear in life."
--Charles Dickens

Embrace things in your life that drive you to achieve, and start letting go of those things that do not. It is difficult to distinguish the category in which any of your activities belong, but paying attention to your choices and their consequences will sponsor the awareness you'll need to make better life choices in the future.

Remember the small things that make you happy, and use them to battle things that loom much larger and stress you out.

Consider these suggestions:
  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, hope, and health
  • Never try to get even with your enemies
  • Expect ingratitude
  • Count your blessings, not your troubles
  • Try not to imitate others
  • Create happiness for others
Source: Dale Carnegie Course

If no one has noticed, the Carnegie principles are very big on self responsibility and creating your own opportunities for change. I believe that this approach to life and business is the only way to be happy and successful. If you won't do the things that will make you succeed, who will?

I'm definitely still working on the being happy and successful part, and I don't exactly exemplify the Dale Carnegie principles to the extent that I feel that I should, but I wanted to share this with anyone who cares to read it. What really matters is that we keep moving forward.

Friday, December 14, 2007

It's all in your head

You can conquer almost any fear if you will only make up your mind to do so. For remember, fear doesn't exist anywhere except in the mind.

--Dale Carnegie (1888 - 1955)

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

"Difficult Commute" may be an understatement

Apparently, this:










equals this:


















(Red is bad.)

(Thanks, Google traffic.)

When I left my house at 5:45 a.m. there was about 3" of new snow, on top of whatever was already there, and it was still coming down pretty hard. Needless to say, road conditions were terrible, so I decided to stay in the "north office" instead of going the extra 55 miles down to the "field office," since the first 15 miles alone took me 45 minutes.

At least it looks / feels / seems like winter now!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

New Slang: "That's So Congress"

i.e.: Not likely to get over a 14% approval rating.

To be used instead of "that's so gay / retarded / stupid."

I'm not sure if anyone who is not 'in the know' will get it, but they'll just say it because everyone else is saying it. Because they're so congress. ;)

Friday, November 30, 2007

How To Say "Zoology"

I am kind of a closet word-nerd, but I'm not very good at it. I strive to use the correct word - or form thereof - for the situation and punctuate it all correctly, but, maybe because I only took one English Composition class in college, I sometimes just don't know the rules. So when I learn something new, I get a little bit nerdly-excited. (Just because I like words doesn't mean that I am above making up new ones.)

I recently learned the correct way to pronounce "zoology." I had always assumed that it was said "zoo"-"ology"... I had never really thought about it, because that is how nearly everyone says it. But if you think about it, it would take a triple "o" to make that "oo"-"o" sound. Since there are only two "o"s [now, what is the proper way of doing that?], the word must be said "zo"-"ology."

"Zo-ology." That'll take a little bit of getting used to.

Just in case you think I'm full of it, Dictionary.com's pronunciation says "zoh-ol-uh-jee" and the American Heritage Dictionary says "zō-ŏl'ə-jē, zōō-." So there ya go.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Fred File: Don't Hand Over The Internet To The U.N.

Click on the title to read a great post by former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson from a couple of weeks ago. He believes, as I do, that the U.S. should not allow the United Nations to assume control of the Internet.

The United States invented the Internet and we, through ICANN, have been doing a pretty good job of administering it as well. The U.N. would just screw it up like they do with pretty much everything else they touch.

Off topic, but related... I like that Fred Thompson blogs. I don't know if he personally does the typing or if he employs someone to do it for him (more likely), but it's still cool. Especially for an old dude.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Opposing lolcats

Okay, two completely opposing ICHC entries today:

On a positive note
lolcats and funny pictures -

And a slightly less then positive note
lolcats and funny pictures -
/wrists

Friday, November 02, 2007

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Corporate Big-Wigs Are More Gullible Than Previously Indicated

Ya know what steams me? Well, okay, honestly, a lot of things steam me, but my current frustration is with well intentioned people who try to pass off spam (the email kind) as real , worthwhile information. In this case the spam in question is the "Cell Phone Do Not Call List" emails threatening that "your mobile number is going to be released to telemarketers on (insert date here) unless you call the Federal Trade Commission's Do Not Call registry and sign up before the deadline."

I know what you're thinking: "Matt, Grandma's old and relatively new to the whole email / internet thing, cut her some slack!"

But I do cut my grandma slack. When my grandma sent me that email about a year ago, I politely wrote her back, relaying the information that I had gotten from the FTC website along with a link to the site I was referring to. My 77 year old grandma wrote me back, thanking me for setting her straight and alleviating any fears she may have had. Since then she has learned to be a little bit more skeptical regarding the internet and has sent me other things she has had questions about, and we discussed it.

What I have a problem with is when a (way) higher-up in my company sends that same - obviously erroneous - email, marked "urgent" to the entire company! Field, office, administration, everyone.

Why does an otherwise smart guy feel the need to waste at least 200 people's time with this crap? It literally took me under one minute to Google "cell phone do not call," find the FTC page, and skim to the part about this being false. Of course, being a little bit ticked about this and wanting to stop him from sending anything else like this out, I sent a (very respectful) email back explaining the truth of the matter.

Then, as if I don't know what the hell I'm talking about, I get a response to my response, refuting my information as obsolete. So, not wanting to be out done, I find an FTC release from October 12 and shoot it back. A few minutes later I get another response, basically saying, "well, better safe than sorry" and that's where I left it.

The truth is though, that "better safe than sorry" is good, but "better to take a minute to check this out than waste 200 people's time" is even better.

At this day in age, and for a person is his position, there is really no excuse for this.


*****

I must not like my job much this week. Oi.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Facebook Users Worth $300 Each Per Year

There is a story in Editor and Publisher magazine saying that "a newspaper reader in 2004 was worth $964 a year." While that has apparently slipped to only $500 per year (for several reasons, i.e.: teh interweb), Jeff Jarvis relates this line of thinking to the current, seemingly insane, $15 Billion valuation of social networking site Facebook, reasoning that each Facebook user is worth $300 per year. (I would imagine that this means advertising revenue, but I was too lazy to click through to read the entire article.)

$300 a year doesn't seem like that crazy of a number (less than $1 a day), so maybe that $15 Billion is not quite so insane.

How much revenue are you worth to Facebook? And if you don't facebook, why not?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Happy Birthday, uh, Everything!

On this day in history in 4004 B.C. the world began.
This is Creation Day, that is according to bishop James Usher (1581—1656). Usher scrutinised the time scale in the Old Testament and by careful and assiduous study, calculated that the world was nearly 6,000 year old, having been created on 23rd October 4004 B.C. at nine o’clock in the morning.
I, for one, believe that God's "days" are one heck of a lot longer than our days and that the Earth is way ass-older than 6003 or so years. Not to say that God didn't create the world, I'm just pretty sure that it was a lot slower process. But, for those out there who take a literal approach to the Bible, Happy Birthday, Everything.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Rockies Sweep! World Series Baby!

Rockies 6, Diamondbacks 4.
The Colorado Rockies have swept the National League Championship Series and move onto the World Series!

Yeah, baby!!!!

(I should not have stayed up this late to listen to the end of the game!)

So, you have 5,000 friends, eh? You just keep telling youself that.

Apparently, Dave Winer and Robert Scoble agree with each other that Facebook sucks. Mr Winer thinks it sucks because they "get inbetween (sic) me and my address book," while Mr Scoble doesn't like the limit imposed on the number of friends you can have, notwithstanding that the number is 5,000.

They and some of their commenters go on to bemoan the fact that Gmail limits you to 10,000 email addresses, that the main turn-off of Facebook is it's "walled garden," and other such nonsense.

So, naturally, I had to comment back, as others did, and point out the utter silliness of their complaints, and seeing as I think I did a pretty good job the first time around, I'm not going to rephrase it:
@Everyone who things that 5k FB friends and 10k Gmail contacts is unreasonable: Must I remind you that you are using a "free" (as in beer) service that you signed/clicked-yes-to an EULA with? If the product that you have not made any investment in is not good enough for you, get another!
FB calls them "friends" for a reason, and I am pretty confident that you do not have 5000 actual friends. If you are only using FB/Gmail as a distribution list for newsletters, etc, and it's not good enough for you, purchase a specialized program that will manage that many contacts for you with no limit. Or, as mentioned above, just start a group and accomplish the same things. I'm sure you would have no problem getting all 5000 of your "friends" to join up.
Basically, guys, so sorry about your tough luck, but I, and most of the other approximately 34 million users, don't care.

BTW, I only have 103 Facebook friends.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

I want it more often than I get it

Aventures in creepy Gchat*, with Mel and Matt:

Melissa: I want [removed for drama]!
Matt: Me too. I want it more often than I get it though.
Melissa: That too
And for it to be longer.
Matt: Yeah, either one, really.
Longer would probably be the more useful.

What was "removed for drama" in the totally productive, easily taken out of context, work-time conversation?

"The weekend!"

Duh. What were you thinking? Sicko.


*Gchat is actually referring to the Google Talk chat application that works inside of Gmail and as a stand alone program, not the "graphical webbase chat with a lot of features" made by gchats.com.

Friday, October 05, 2007

On Life and Conversation

Life is a conversation. When we enter it’s already going on. We try to catch the drift of it. We exit before it’s over.
--Kenneth Burke
source

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Verizon probably can't un-brainwash people with their new phone

Regarding the new Verizon / LG "iPhone killer" Voyager, Farpoint Group analyst Craig Mathias says: "Apple is unique in high tech, in that they are not just a manufacturer, marketer and brand. They are, rather, a destination, and many people would simply never consider buying a product competitive with Apple’s rendition of same."

Isn't that sad? That otherwise (relatively) intelligent people, who are so blinded by their lurv for all things Apple, would "never consider" anything else? I guess that's why they call it the Cult of Apple.

Monday, October 01, 2007

"Un-Freaking-Beleavable" -- Go Rockies!

Yay! The Colorado Rockies just won the sudden-death tie-breaker game with the San Diego Padres, 9 to 8, to clench the National League Wildcard spot in the post-season playoffs. This was only the seventh one-game playoff in the history of Major League Baseball.

It took the Rockies 13 innings, 10 pitchers, and four hours and forty minutes to beat the Padres in a genuinely wild game. Now they travel to Philadelphia to take on the Phillies on Wednesday in the first round of the NL playoffs. Tonight's game was the 14th win of the last 15 games, so you know the Rockies are playing some really good baseball, and with an MVP candidate and a Rookie of the Year candidate on the roster, I hope they keep it up!

Even if they get swept in Philly, this has been the winningest season in team history, and this season saw a club record eleven-game winning streak just a couple of weeks ago. This is/was a great year for baseball in Colorado.

And this great finish the the regular season just a few short months after people were calling for the Rockies' manager's head on a platter. Oh, what a difference a few wins makes.

The last time the Rockies won the NL Wildcard was twelve years ago, today. Just for a little perspective, that was 1995, the same year that OJ Simpson was acquitted of murder. I think the state of Colorado needs a win!

Rockies rally to beat Padres in NL wildcard thriller - Guardian Unlimited Sport

Rockies' hard work rewarded big-time - The Official Site of The Colorado Rockies

Super Happy Fun Land, The Tour!


Oh my freaking God! To think that I have friends who actually went there!
Not kosher. At all.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Dude! I've been Dugg!

Or is it Digg-ed? Either way, some guy, "manfmnantucket," apparently liked the Gruver post... probably because he works for / made the site. But either way, he Digg-ed it, and I thought that was kinda cool, because I've never been Digg-ed before.

All of this Digg-ing made me realize that I have never used any of the "social bookmarking" sites and made me wonder which one is the best. [Should that sentence end with a question mark? It's not really a question, it's a statement that I was questioning something, but it sure seems like a question mark would be appropriate there. Hmm...]

Has anyone (of my minuscule number of readers) tried any of these sites? (Digg, Furl, Del.ico.us, etc) And if so, what is your opinion of it/them?

Monday, September 24, 2007

Grüvr: Robert Earl Keen Tour

How sweet is this:








A live-ish map of Robert Earl Keen's current road tour brought to the Internet by as mush-up between Google Maps and the concert schedules found on MySpace by Grüvr.

As of today, the map shows REK appearing in Fort Collins, CO on Wednesday the 26th, a show which I hope I can make it to!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Everything Blends...

Except Chuck Norris!

lol

Yay for Blendtec! It's too bad those things cost, like, $400 or something outrageous like that. Cuz I'd have one!

Friday, September 14, 2007

Damn it anyway!

Have you seen my bike? Maybe it's here.

No, but seriously, if you see my bike, steal it back for me. :(

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Dale Carnegie on Fatigue

As a graduate of the Dale Carnegie course (generously paid for by my employer), I am apparently permanently signed up for the "Carnegie Success Connection Tip of the Week" newsletter. It is normally some pretty insightful stuff, even if a lot of it is mostly common sense. This week's installment is below:
“Our fatigue is often caused not by work, but by worry, frustration and resentment.”
-- Dale Carnegie
Often fatigue at the end of a work day cannot be attributed simply to the hard work we've done. Our own negative reactions to the stressful, daily grind drain our energy and stifle our potential for success.

Here are a few tips on how to relieve some personal frustrations so as to increase productivity without resentment:
  • Fill your mind with thoughts of peace, courage, health and hope
  • Count your blessings instead of your troubles
  • Cooperate with that which is inevitable
Source:
Dale Carnegie Course
12 Weeks, 3.5hrs per week

Ah, Colorado

Where you need the heater and the air conditioning in the same day:

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Power Nap Time!

Ya know what makes it really hard to work in the warm afternoon? Food, the circadian rhythm, and people who write articles like this one.

I rarely take naps, even when I have time. I just feel like there is something more productive that I could be doing. But apparently there is much more good that can come from a quick snooze than previously indicated.

And knowing that makes me want to just put my head down on desk... and... [yawn]... um, rest my eyes.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Tag Outlawed and Ethanol's Effect on the Brown Cloud

Here are two articles that I do not have time to elaborate on right now, but still want to share:

First, a little blurb about a Colorado Springs school banning tag because it's too competitive. What kind of kids are we raising these days?

And second, an article about how the environmentally sensitive, no make that crappy, "E10" ethanolated gasoline may actually be hurting the atmosphere more than it is helping. Sounds like another case of the environmental wackos imposing their "solutions" on everyone without really knowing what it will effect.

I'll try to expand on these later.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Taking Voer!

Durring a discussion about what kind of type face would be appropriate for certain kinds of advertising, the following occured:
Melissa: the gowns, they are taking voer!
Matt: taking voer, nice
that's a fun word to say
"voer"
too bad it doesnt mean anything
Melissa: lol
Sent at 1:00 PM on Monday
Melissa: too bad
Sent at 1:09 PM on Monday
Melissa: add one letter and it becomes voyer tho...

An Open Letter to Congress, re: Alberto Gonzalez

Dear Congressional Democrats,

With regards to your recent treatment of Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez, did you pass Civics class in high school? Or did you figure that you could skip out on that one since the current 18% Congressional approval rating must mean that you are, and always have been, smarter than everyone else?

Just for review, Mr Gonzalez was appointed to his position of Attorney General by President George W Bush, who is head of the Executive branch of the Federal government. Therefore, he works for George Bush. The eight other attorney’s who were fired were Federal Prosecutors, also appointed by George Bush, making him their boss as well. From this, we can infer that both Mr Gonzalez and the fired prosecutors both work in the Executive branch of the U.S. Government and answer to the President of the United States, serving "at the pleasure of the President." From there, it is not a difficult leap to say that, since they work for the President, they can be fired by the President. As far as I know of, there is no tenure system or bargaining union in place to protect the jobs of political appointment.

As for those of you who insist that Mr Gonzalez should have been more independent from the president and act accordingly, not follow the president's orders, need to recall that the Attorney General, even though he works in the court system, is not in the Judicial branch of government, and is therefore not subject to the checks and balances inherent in our separate branches of government.

You should be ashamed of your treatment of Mr Gonzalez and your treatment of the Bush Administration in general. The Attorney General did nothing wrong, immoral, or illegal. He acted according to his duties and his job description.

As far as the democrats in the U.S. Congress, if you would spend a little more time doing your job, which is legislating, and a little less time trying to sabotage George W Bush, your approval rating just might sneak above 20%. That is, until the public remembers that you don't accomplish anything that amounts to more than poorly disguised income redistribution when you do do your jobs.

Signed,

Matthew Thompson

Fort Collins, CO

Friday, August 17, 2007

Finally Friday!

This week, I spent 14.4 hours (that's 864 minutes!) in my work truck since 5 o'clock a.m. Monday morning.

How do I know that? Because of the only neat feature that this base-model 2005 Chevy pick-up has: an hour-meter!

I also drove about 650 miles in that time.

Any way you look at it, that is way too damn long for one week. And I'm just gonna have to do it again next week. And the week after. And...

BTW, the Picassa "BlogThis!" button rocks!
Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Australia gives up on parenting

The Australian government recently announced a $189 million, taxpayer funded plan to curb online porn. Does that seem like they are overstepping their bounds by just a little? Since when was it government's duty to keep my dirty little courser off of porn sites?

And even though that $189 million is Australian dollars, it's still a big ol' chunk of money that could probably be better spent.

To take it one step further, the Australian Parliament is evaluating a proposal that would impose jail time on anyone caught "trafficking" pornographic videos. And by trafficking, they mean possessing five or more.

What happened to the Australia that wasn't a socialist nanny-state?

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

The Treacherous High Seas of Bureaucracy

An English town council baned a boy, 6, from flying Jolly Roger at his pirate-themed birthday party - because it is 'unneighbourly'. His parents must apply for planning permission at a cost of £75, and then an assessment of the 5ft by 4ft flag's "impact" on the surrounding area of Stone, Staffordshire, will be undertaken.

Talk about overreaching government control. Having to pay $120 and waiting at least a month to see if you can fly your choice of flag in your own back yard seems a little ridiculous. However, I do know that many cities have codes concerning signage, banners, balloons, and the like, but I thought those were only concerning things that can be seen from a public thoroughfare.

Ahoy, maties! Run 'er up the flagpole, but just make certain ye pay the good councilpeople off first! Yarrr!

Friday, August 03, 2007

Elton John might be retarded

He apparently wants to "shut down the whole internet for five years and see what sort of art is produced over that span."

Although, it certainly couldn't hurt the quality of music being produced today.

Oi, my aching butt!

Chair that my butt does not agree with:(Crappy plastic folding chair)

Chair that retails for $528 that my butt likes quite a bit better, that I only paid $60 for (cuz it's used):
(HON Sensible Seating® Series Mid Back Pneumatic Dual-Action Synchro-Tilt, Swivel Chair with Arms)

My "new" office down at the Exempla Lutheran Medical Center jobsite came with a beat-up desk, the above folding chair, and a 140 mile-per-day drive.

Luckily, I went out and got the much nicer HON chair today on sale at Office Liquidators. My job sucks a little bit less now. :)

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

"Thriller"

I'm not really sure what to think about this:

1,500 plus CPDRC inmates of the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center, Cebu, Philippines at practice! This is not the final routine, and definitely not a punishment! just a teaser.
It is kinda impressive. I wonder if this is the "detention" or the "rehabilitation" part?

Friday, July 20, 2007

OMG, teh Interweb crashed!

Officials confirm that all online data has been lost after the Internet crashed and was forced to restart.

Breaking News: All Online Data Lost After Internet Crash

"Nigeria was the first nation to announce a full economic collapse from the internet crash. Ninety-four percent of its gross domestic product came from internet ventures."

LOL... But in all seriousness, I'd better figure out a way to back-up my Blogger. I'd be a little sad if I wasted all this time with nothing to show for it.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Facebook in the news

Facebook seems to have been getting a lot more attention from the "real" media these days than it has in the past, and most of it seems to be pretty possitive. Unlike the reactionary stories of (potential) stalking and security concerns and the ensueing (mock) outrage when Mark Zuckerberg introduced the News Feed feature and then opened Facebook's membership up to the whole world, they are now getting coverage on CNN and in Time.

Apparently there is a new found fascination that these new - mostly older - members have with their new online toy. They seem to mostly embrace the "real identity" that Facebook provides and holds people too. Unlike MySpace with it's crypto-pseudo-identities which a lot of people are not comfortable with, on Facebook you are who you say you are. If you search for my name, my profile (or some portion thereof) shows up. Obviously, a lot of people are more comfortable knowing that they are talking to who they think they are.

Anyways... here is a good article from AllThingsD's Kara Swisher on this topic, and below is the video they reference.

Like they say in the article, "You can ignore Cox’s typical ruminations on Facebook being voyeuristic and elitist (of course and who cares)."

Yay Facebook.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

At least they believe in something.

When a Man stops believing in God he doesn't then believe in nothing, he believes anything.

--G.K. Chesterton (or maybe Emile Cammaerts?)

Be sure to read the OpinionJournal's Best of the Web Today column, especially headlines four, six, and seven. Thanks, Al Ron Gore.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Environmentalist Jim

Thank goodness you're here!

I wonder if they realized how close to the ridiculous antics these people resort to? This video is from about 1992! The scare mongers were just getting over global cooling then! LOL

Monday, July 09, 2007

Sexy ALL CAPITALS Ghost

Prime example of the great brand of humor the "Activities for Rainy Days" comic offers. I just ran across this today, and I must say, it's pretty good. Maybe not LOL funny, but at least a good chuckle.

Pessimism

The nice part about being a pessimist is that you are constantly being either proven right or pleasantly surprised.
- George F. Will

Words to live by. ;)

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

All you need to know about the Libby case

Yesterday President Bush commuted the completely excessive 2-1/2 year prison sentence that was handed down to Scooter Libby. This is far short of a full pardon, since Mr Libby will still serve a couple years probation and have to pay $250,000 in fines, and still have a felony conviction on his record.

These three paragraphs from today's Wall Street Journal article are really all you need to know about the entire case:

Mr. Libby was convicted of lying to investigators about his role in leaking the identity of a Central Intelligence Agency operative, Valerie Wilson. Her husband, former ambassador Joseph Wilson [Clinton, Inc], had emerged as a prominent public critic of the administration's case for invading Iraq over weapons of mass destruction.

In his announcement, Mr. Bush underscored his respect for the jury's verdict against Mr. Libby and added that he was persuaded by arguments of those who defended the much-criticized investigation. The investigation, led by special prosecutor Patrick Fitzgerald [Clinton, Inc], continued for more than 18 months, but never resulted in any charges directly related to the leaking. Instead, it produced only perjury and obstruction charges against Mr. Libby, chief of staff to Vice President Dick Cheney, a strong advocate for the administration's war policies.

Mr. Bush concluded that the 30-month prison sentence given to Mr. Libby was "excessive" and decided to commute it. He was careful to add that his decision "leaves in place a harsh punishment," including permanent damage to Mr. Libby's reputation. The felony conviction itself remains intact, Mr. Libby's license to practice law was suspended, and he must serve out his two-year probation and pay $250,000 in fines, though his defense fund could raise enough to pay that.

So there you have it. With my emphasis added, you can clearly see what happened here. Clinton, Inc was still irked over the war in Iraq and wanted to try to "bring down" the current administration, so the went fishing for someone close to the President. It just so happened that a former Clinton, Inc foot soldier's identity was "compromised", so they found someone they could blame it on. Get a sympathetic prosecutor to trump up some fake charges completely unrelated to the supposed crime, and presto! -- worlds largest smear campaign. Liberals everywhere should be ashamed - but they won't be.

Friday, June 29, 2007

Bacteria: In You and In Space

It has been calculated that the normal human houses about a trillion bacteria on the skin, 10 billion in the mouth, and 100 trillion in the gastrointestinal tract. The latter number is far in excess of the number of eukaryotic cells in all organs which comprise the human host. It is sometimes said quite simply that there is more of "them" than "you'' in you. The normal flora occupy available colonization sites which makes it more difficult for other microorganisms (nonindigenous species) to become established.
Eeeeeeww!!!! (Link) At least those little bastards serve a good purpose.

Also, from the same article, did you know that Streptococcus bacteria can survive in space? Craziness!

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

There Are Two Americas After All

Yep, John Edwards' and the democrat's "Two Americas" theme really does have some truth to it, but the real two Americas are not the rich and the poor. They are the vibrant and optimistic versus the stagnant and pessimistic. The people versus the bureaucrats.

Read Paul Jacob's article The two Americas on Townhall.com here.

Also, read Rush Limbaugh's take on The Real Two Americas here.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Summer Solstice

Today (at 12:06 p.m. Mountain Daylight Time, to be exact) is the Summer Solstice -- or "Northern Solstice" to be globally correct (it's winter in the southern hemisphere).

I love the summer solstice. It's the point at which the Sun reaches it's highest point in the sky off of the southern horizon and takes it's longest trip of the year across the sky, making it the "longest" day of the year. More time to do stuff outside in the long twilight. Its also the first official day of summer! And that means it's almost my birthday!

The downside of this is that for the next six months the days are getting shorter. And I am not a fan of that. To be honest, it's a little depressing. [grumble grumble.]

But anywho... there's quite a bit of neat science and astronomy (not astrology) that goes into the summer solstice. Did you know that because of changes in the tilt or wobble of the Earth (currently about 23 degrees off of vertical) that the solstice has not alway occurred on the 21st of June? (Or 22nd, depending on you time zone.) It actually used to happen on the 24th of June (my birthday), hence, the traditional "Midsummer's Day" being held on that day.

So now that there's no doubt that I'm a huge dork, here's some good sites that I found for more info on this solstice stuff:
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for this year's solstice (neat composite image and interesting links)
NASA's Astronomy Picture of the Day for last year's solstice (awesome Stone Henge photo with more good links)
Solstice - Wikipedia
Ancient Origins Solstice

Happy Summer!

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

"Race conditions" in security dialogs

Ever wonder why Firefox makes you wait three seconds before you can install an extension or other add-on? I have, and apparently Jesse Ruderman figured it out.

Apparently, there's a tendency for people to click "okay" or "install" or "yes" as fast as possible without reading any warning or notice dialogs when they think they know what they are doing. This can be dangerous if a site is trying to trick you into doing something that you wouldn't have otherwise done. There are also sites that will take advantage of the "y = yes" keyboard shortcuts that are common in a lot of applications and trick you with a 'captcha' like the one in his post.

I'm a geek, but it answers one of those nagging questions that I probably wouldn't have figured out on my own.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Flag Day

The whole inspiration of our life as a nation flows out from the waving folds of this banner.
~Unknown

We take the stars from heaven, the red from our mother country, separating it by white stripes, thus showing that we have separated from her, and the white stripes shall go down to posterity, representing our liberty.
~George Washington, attributed

When Freedom from her mountain height
Unfurled her standard to the air,
She tore the azure robe of night,
And set the stars of glory there.
~Joseph Rodman Drake, The American Flag
I Pledge Allegiance to the flag
of the United States of America
and to the Republic for which it stands,
one Nation under God,
indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.

Monday, June 11, 2007

It's Not Easy Pleasing Greens

Do environmentalists oppose pollution or capitalism?

Dennis Miller Barates Harry Reid

Last night on Fox News Channel's "The 1/2 Hour News Hour", Comedian / Comedian Dennis Miller took Harry Reid (Democrat, NV) to town in his "The Buck Starts Here".

Damn. That's hard core. Hard core, but honest and pretty funny at times.

For those of you that don't know, The 1/2 Hour News Hour is basically a combo of SNL's Weekend Update and John Stewart's Comedy Central show. And it's damn funny.

Friday, June 08, 2007

Best Non-Flaming Web Comment Evah

Whilst fulfilling my addiction to Lifehacker's offerings to the web, in this case a discussion about Apple's Cinema Display monitors versus those offered by Dell, I came across the best comment exchange ever. And by best, I mean non-flaming, name-calling, immature ranting. Just a nice, clever "Oh Snap!" moment.

Here's a summary:
soslack says:

Colours are far more accurate in the Apple display. Please see http://www.pcauthority.com.au/review.aspx?CIaRID=4837 for review regarding this monitor :)

razordu30 says:

soslack - Your link says nothing about Dell Monitors. You fail at the internet.

Doesn't get much better than that.

Friday, June 01, 2007

NPR: NASA Chief Questions Urgency of Global Warming

Yesterday (31 May) on National Public Radio's Morning Edition, NASA administrator Michael Griffin defended his agency's programs and said that while NASA studies climate change, the agency has no authorization to "battle climate change."

I, for one, think that Mr Griffin brings up a really good point that no one in the traditional media is covering:
To assume that it is a problem is to assume that the state of Earth's climate today is the optimal climate, the best climate that we could have or ever have had and that we need to take steps to make sure that it doesn't change. First of all, I don't think it's within the power of human beings to assure that the climate does not change, as millions of years of history have shown. And second of all, I guess I would ask which human beings — where and when — are to be accorded the privilege of deciding that this particular climate that we have right here today, right now is the best climate for all other human beings. I think that's a rather arrogant position for people to take.
You can read excerpts from and listen to the NPR interview here.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Hurricanes: One More Thing You Probably Cannot Blame On Global Warming

Soil samples from the Grande Playa lagoon in Puerto Rico have given US scientists insight into the last 5,000 years of Atlantic hurricanes. The samples suggest that recent devastating storms may not necessarily be linked to global warming.

Hurricanes... regularly struck the lagoon between 5,450 and 3,650 years ago. This period of intense hurricane activity was interrupted only briefly by a 150 year respite. After that period, there were only few hurricanes -- until about 2,550 years ago, when an interval characterized by a relatively high number of strong hurricanes began, continuing until the next quite phase, which began about 1,050 years ago. But during the last 300 years, the lagoon has once more been exposed to a higher number of violent hurricanes -- just as the unpleasant storms have been multiplying elsewhere as well.
Haha! Take that hippies.

Just one more example of the lunacy and premature jumping-to-conclusions that the wacko-environmental leftists are capable of, slapped around a bit by actual science.

Read Franziska Badenschier's whole article from Spiegel Online here.

Btw... it is raining like a sonofabitch here. Sheesh!

Monday, May 28, 2007

In Flanders Fields

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.
--John McCrae
"Canadian poet John McCrae was a medical officer in both the Boer War and World War I. A year into the latter war he published in Punch magazine, on December 8, 1915, the sole work by which he would be remembered. This poem commemorates the deaths of thousands of young men who died in Flanders during the grueling battles there. It created a great sensation, and was used widely as a recruiting tool, inspiring other young men to join the Army. Legend has it that he was inspired by seeing the blood-red poppies blooming in the fields where many friends had died. In 1918 McCrae died at the age of 46, in the way most men died during that war, not from a bullet or bomb, but from disease: pneumonia, in his case." (Source)

This Memorial Day, I hope everyone takes a moment to remember those who came before us and fought and died for us and those who will come after us and will do the same. They are truly heroes.


(Picture from Kristie Shureen Photography, in Sydney, Australia. Nice, eh?)

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Bush Derangement Syndrome

The acute onset of paranoia in otherwise normal people in reaction to the policies, the presidency -- nay -- the very existence of George W. Bush.

Google it. Or just click the title for Wikipedia's definition. Or click here to read the original article.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

John Edwards sure does love his hair

Wow, this dude sure does love his hair. Some random Slate sponsored "art" project has posted this video of Democrat Presidential Candidate John Edwards primping in preparation for a tv spot. It's pretty classy. And yes, that is a compact he's holding. (The first minute or two are the worthwhile part.)

In other, related news, here is a pretty good transcript from 22 May's Rush Limbaugh Show regarding McCain, Edwards, Hillary, and some femi-nazis. For more on "Saint" John McCain's recent meltdown that Rush mentions, check it out here on Power Line.

What do you think of all this? Edwards' hypocrisies (i.e.: 29,000 sq. ft. house), McCain's meltdown (droppin' the F-bomb on fellow Senators), etc? Doesn't give me too much confidence in either party's congressional / future presidential leadership.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

OpinionJournal's 'Best of the Web' for 16 May 2007

The editors over at OpinionJournal.com do a great job of pulling together a great sampling of news, reviews, and quips from across the Interweb with their "Best of the Web Today" column, and today's entry is no different.

I would like to focus on one portion in specific, although it is all quite enlightening. The fourth topic down the list talks about the death of Moral Majority founder Jerry Falwell, and the unbridled hate that he inspired in the liberal left.

Here is just one of the examples of the irrational hatred that littered the internet today:
"tzs," on Marcotte's blog: "If Mr. Falwell had not used his life to spew hatred at anyone who did not fit his narrow-minded, bigoted idea of who was a True God-fearing American™, one might feel more willing to refrain from stating what an absolutely putrid little excrescence of vomit he was. But I'm being polite, so I won't say that. R.I.P., and after watching Falwell I know know why the Romans threw the Christians to the lions."
WTF? Did Mr Falwell stab this dude's puppy with a screwdriver? Falwell was a relatively polarizing public figure, but, I mean, c'mon, was there some personal conflict here that was left unresolved since college? I don't think so, based on the wealth of similar mindless comments listed.

This is just one more example of how the "enlightened" and "open" and "caring" and "nonjudgmental" liberal Democrat party and their apparent base are really just a bunch of hate mongering hypocrites.

Definitely check out what Porn-Icon Larry Flynt had to say though.

Redunkulous Bugatti Veyron @ 253 mph!

Ever wonder just how fast your car can go?

I did.

Until I looked it up in the manual. My 2005 v-6 Mustang will go 113 mph before the computer tells it "no". I still do wonder just how fast it could actually go without computer intervention, but there are good mechanical and legal reasons for me to not explore that.

But that's just a 210 horsepower Ford.

The folks over at British TV show Top Gear decided to find out just how fast a 1001 hp Bugatti Veyron would go. How's 253 mph grab ya? Check out the video.

How friggin' awesome was that, eh? Not bad for $1.3 Million.

I think I'll stick with my 'stang.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Obama's got a Hemi!

After Barack "the Magic Negro" Obama berates Detroit auto makers for not keeping up in the fuel efficient tic-tac economy car race, the truth comes out: Obama's got a Hemi!

Thanks Detroit Free Press for reporting this story and Jalopnik for picking up this story.

Friday, May 04, 2007

Republican Debate News

Socially conservative Republicans wonder why they are loosing ground in the U.S. political arena...
When moderator Chris Matthews asked who doesn't believe in evolution, three Republicans raised their hands -- Messrs. Huckabee, Brownback and Tancredo.
This was the last line in the article "Social Issues Prominent In Republican Debate" By Jackie Calmes in the May 4, 2007 Wall Street Journal.

Honestly, kids, lets get with the freakin' program. It's one thing to say that you don't believe that we are descended from chimps, that is a reasonable and arguable point. For a serious presidential candidate to flatly state that he does not believe in evolution is down right dumb.

Thursday, May 03, 2007

Zen Stone... I want one!

Check out this super cute and pretty tiny new mp3 player coming out from Creative.

It's called the Zen Stone. It's a 1GB, flash based mp3/wma player, and it only costs $40. You can't beat that with a stick. There's six color choices, too, but black is the only one yet available from the Creative Store.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Redneck Boat Dry Dock

Geez we're a bunch of frickin' rednecks around here.

To make a long story short, one guy bought a boat trailer with no title, and in order to get it re-titled, it needs to be weighed.

However, there is another guy's boat on the trailer, and no water to put it in. Herein lies the problem.

The solution lies in an overhead track crane, some straps, and a few bumbling fools. Viola, instant (temporary) redneck dry dock.

"Bush left the mayonnaise in the sun, kids died" doesn't rhyme.

LOL... but seriously...

This article at the American Thinker site is kinda long, kinda wanders, and kinda rambles its way through a bunch of items that end up telling us what we already know: that the mainstream media sucks.

But, it is a good read with some interesting observations, like:
Designed to shock a jaded public, freak porn occupies so much of the daily news cycle that, other than the weather and traffic reports, I'm not sure the modern news media serves any real purpose anymore. It's merely sordid entertainment.
Mac Johnson ends the piece very well when he says, "Screw it. I'm going fishing."

My sentiments exactly.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Funny or Die: Will Farrell meets his landlord

So... there's this video site called Funny or Die that was created by Will Farrell and company... and it's fantastic. It's mostly user created content with some "pro" stuff (if you can consider it that) thrown in for inspiration, good measure, whatever.

Below is the first video that the site put up. Will Farrell meets his landlord.
The Landlord
Two words: Child Profanity.

This Donkey Ain't Big Enough

lol

Think their egos might get in the way? Just a little?

Cartoon by Ronny Gordon, published at AmericanThinker.com.

Friday, April 27, 2007

"Bad Hijab"

Unbeknown to me, at the beginning of every summer in the 'Republic' of Iran the (actual) fashion police make their rounds of the main streets and shopping centers, warning people about the consequences of not following the 'Hijab', the Islamic dress code. According to Islamic [or Iranian?] law, a woman who does not cover her hair and body in public can be fined or imprisoned for up to two months.

I guess this type of thing has happened every year since the Iranian revolution of 1979, but in recent years the enforcement of the dress code has been relatively lax. Not so this year. According to a BBC report, "Thousands of Iranian women have been cautioned over their poor Islamic dress this week and several hundred arrested in the capital Tehran in the most fierce crackdown on what's known as "bad hijab" for more than a decade." In a slightly bizzar twist, the story goes on to say that "One shopkeeper selling evening dresses told us the moral police had ordered him to saw off the breasts of his mannequins because they were too revealing."

In my humble opinion, that's a little bit, well, wrong, for lack of a better word. If Iran wants to be treated by the rest of the world like a "First World" country and not be on the human rights watch lists, then maybe a good place to start is by giving their citizens a little more freedom and liberty to make their own decisions and not constantly live in fear of their government. But that probably won't happen, because freedom and liberty lead to democracy, and that's not about to be allowed to happen.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Greed is still better than 'green'

The first few paragraphs of this MSN Money story by Jon Markman are seriously high quality. Definitely worth clicking over there for a quick read.

The rest of the article gets into good investments for an electricity dependent world, such as the one that we live in. It's also an interesting read, but it's a little more nerdy. And by that I mean investor / day trader nerdy. But still good.

Friday, April 20, 2007

TC vs. JC

Scientology is pretty mysterious and scary (just check out the Operation Clambake site where he is 'exposing' scientology), but on the more humorous note, remember when some British tabloid said (lied) that the head of the 'church' compared Tom Cruise to Jesus Christ? Well, it was the Sun magazine, and it did, so there.

But we all know how that comparison really would go. Jesus would win hands down. I mean, Tom Cruise is a plenty good actor, even if he does always play the same character, but he did invent the color pink. (Chuck Norris invented the rest.) Jesus, on the other hand, gave his live to save humanity. And for further proof, we now go to (P)MSNBC correspondent, Jim Olbermann:

Jesus wins! ;)

Friday, April 13, 2007

I don't get Toothpaste

I don't think I'm sophisticated enough to get this dude's stuff.
toothpaste for dinner
toothpastefordinner.com
But it is kinda funny.

Friday, April 06, 2007

"Amazing Variety of Imperfectness"

Try as hard as we may for perfection, the net result of our labors is an amazing variety of imperfectness. We are surprised at our own versatility in being able to fail in so many different ways.
- Samuel McChord Crothers
I thought that this was especially appropriate timing, considering the weekend of swing dance performances coming up. Specifically the one tonight that I am going to try not to screw up too badly.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

My Maps by Google

Google has recently introduced a new feature with it's already powerful and popular Google Maps service called My Maps. It's pretty sweet. Just go to maps.google.com and click on "My Maps" in the upper left-ish part of the screen to give it a try. You can add a location anywhere, add your own descriptions, draw lines and shapes, and still get directions. Plus, you can make your map public and link to it like I've done below, or you can keep it private.

Map for the 4th Annual Colorado Intercollegiate Swing Battle.

Why is Easter always on a different day?

Easter is this weekend! Which is cool, but a little inconvenient because of this huge swing dance event that is also taking place this weekend... but that’s another story.

But why did Easter and the Swing Battle fall on the same weekend this year, when they did not last year, and will not next year? (Easter Sunday is the 8th of April this year. Last year it was the 16th of April. Next year it will be the 23rd of March.)

Those dates seem pretty random to me, but apparently, there is a method to that madness. A very, very, old method. That has been updated. In 1582. And 1923.

The date of Easter varies every year within a specific part of the Gregorian calendar (the one the Western world uses). The current ecclesiastical rules that determine what day Easter falls on date back to 325 AD at the First Council of Nicaea arranged by the Roman Emperor Constantine. The council decided that Easter should always be on a Sunday and that it should be the same Sunday throughout the world. To accomplish this, and to ensure that the date of Easter could be determined for any year in the future, they assembled a series of special tables to plot the date. These tables were revise for the next few centuries, but the whole world never really became standardized.

In 1582, Pope Gregory XIII undertook a complete reconstruction of the Julian calendar and produced new Easter tables. This helped fix some of the problems, including Leap Years. By the 1700s these new calendars had been adopted by most of Western Europe, and basically became the world standard, and the date of Easter was finally determined.

Kinda.

The general rule of determining Easter’s date, that ‘Easter Day is the first Sunday after the full moon that occurs next after the vernal equinox’, is not quite exact because of the differences between the actual lunar cycles and the ecclesiastical (church) calendar.

The rules for the church calendar are:

  • Easter falls on the first Sunday following the first ecclesiastical full moon that occurs on or after the day of the vernal equinox;
  • This particular ecclesiastical full moon is the 14th day of a tabular lunation (new moon); and
  • The vernal equinox is fixed as March 21.

All these caveats can mean that when Easter should be according to the lunar calendar are sometimes overridden by when the church calendar says that it should be.

To really figure it out exactly, you’ve gotta follow the crazy formula below:

The formula uses the year, y, to give the month, m, and day, d, of Easter. The symbol * means multiply.

(Please note the following: This is an integer calculation. All variables are integers and all remainders from division are dropped. For example, 7 divided by 3 is equal to 2 in integer arithmetic.)

c = y / 100

n = y - 19 * ( y / 19 )

k = ( c - 17 ) / 25

i = c - c / 4 - ( c - k ) / 3 + 19 * n + 15

i = i - 30 * ( i / 30 )

i = i - ( i / 28 ) * ( 1 - ( i / 28 ) * ( 29 / ( i + 1 ) ) * ( ( 21 - n ) / 11 ) )

j = y + y / 4 + i + 2 - c + c / 4

j = j - 7 * ( j / 7 )

l = i - j

m = 3 + ( l + 40 ) / 44

d = l + 28 - 31 * ( m / 4 )

For example, using the year 2010:
y=2010,
c=2010/100=20,
n=2010 - 19 x (2010/19) = 2010 - 19 x (105) = 15, [see note above regarding integer calculations]
Therefore, in 2010, Easter is on April 4.


That is WAY too much work for me. I think I’ll just keep looking on the calendar. At least the swing battle is always on the first full weekend of April. I think.

(Thanks to the U.S. Naval Observatory Astronomical Applications Department web page for this information and very tough to follow equation.)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Nerd

nerd also nurd (nûrd)n. Slang.
  1. A foolish, inept, or unattractive person.
  2. A person who is single-minded or accomplished in scientific or technical pursuits but is felt to be socially inept.

[Perhaps after Nerd, a character in If I Ran the Zoo, by Theodor Seuss Geisel.]

Dr Seuss invented the term 'nerd!' How awesome is that?

Monday, April 02, 2007

Alternative Energy Sources — A Quick Look

Here is a really good (and only slightly outdated) overview of many of the mainstream alternative energy sources being researched today, complete with both pros and cons, written from an engineer's perspective.

Friday, March 30, 2007

You say 'cynic' like it's a bad thing...

Cynics regarded everybody as equally corrupt... Idealists regarded everybody as equally corrupt, except themselves.
--Robert Anton Wilson

Race as a Factor in School Assignment

...the mystical benefits of "diversity" are non-existent, however politically correct it is to proclaim such benefits. Hard evidence shows that students of all races can succeed or fail in schools that are racially mixed or racially unmixed.
I think that I need to add Thomas Sowell to my list of kick ass people. [Actually, I need to start a list of kick ass people, then add him to it... but that's not where I'm going right now.]

Thomas Sowell is a Harvard educated North Carolinian economist, professor, and author of a dozen books and "numerous articles and essays," covering a "wide range of topics, from classic economic theory to judicial activism, from civil rights to choosing the right college."

I stumbled across one of his articles in Capitalism Magazine online while looking for something that I don't remember now, and had to read three more because I was so impressed with his writing and ideas. The article that I quoted above is just one of many thoughtful and thought provoking pieces on racism listed.

But back on topic, this guy is spot on. Racism is racism whether you're doing it to white kids of black kids. Busing and forced diversity do nothing to promote social and educational equality and success. It has been proven to not work as intended, but (white, liberal) people are so afraid of being labeled as a racist that they dare not even speak of such things in public.

Racism only ends when we stop pretending that race is the differentiating factor between people. I believe that it is culture that determines a person's outcome. [Read more on that in this article.]

* * * * *
Also, how's this for irony: "Capitalism Magazine survives on donations."

I hope I'm not the only one who chuckled at that.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Error Message Haiku

Check this out for another adventure into the Vintage Internet...

In 1998, the folks over at Salon magazine had a contest as part of "The 21st Challenge" (The Culture of Technology - The Technology of Culture). Part of this contest was writing Haiku Error Messages.

Wouldn't it be nice if instead of you computer returning something that more closely resembled linux puke than English every time that Windows does something stupid it spat out something along the lines of this gem:
Three things are certain:
Death, taxes, and lost data.
Guess which has occurred.

Now, this would be no more helpful than, 'This program has performed an illegal function and must close. See 0X14800SIDO24 in kerlan stack...', it is a lot more friendly.

Here is the best that should be used for the dang '404 - Page not found' browser errors you get when a link is broken:
The Web site you seek
cannot be located but
endless others exist

The huge geeks over at GNU.org also have a list of these, although many seem to be duplicated. Other massive geek humor can be found here.

Toyota Less Tough Then Previously Indicated?

We've all seen the commercial on television where the new "full-size" Toyota Tundra pickup pulls a trailer up a ginormous see-saw and then screeches to a halt on the downhill side. Relatively impressive. [Not really, when you consider that most vehicles have about three times more stopping power than starting power, but I digress...]

But could the truthiness of this commercial be stretched a little bit?

Turns out that a higher-up at GM found out the truth / fine print of this ad and alerted his staff via email. This or course ended up on the internet (I found it at Jalopnik) for all to see. Good stuff.

Here is the full message:
Thought you might want to know this. Pass it along to your sales staff. It might help them to sell more vehicles. BTW.....attended the Minneapolis Auto Show kick off breakfast on March 8. Two of our Sandy trainers did a nice job explaining the Tundra ads. I would guess all of you have seen the stupid ad where the Tundra pulls a trailer up a steep grade (a 'see-saw'), and then barrels down hill and locks the brakes up just before the end of the ramp. Seen it? Yeah you have.

Couple things to keep in mind. The V.O. at the beginning of the spot says...."It's tough pushing 10,000 lbs up a steep grade". Myth: Toyota would like the audience to believe the trailer is 10,000 lbs. Fact: It's a 5,000 lb truck pulling a 5,000 lb trailer. A little slight of hand? You bet.

Then, on the way down the grade, the camera zooms in on the brakes as the vehicles comes to a screeching halt just prior to the end of ramp. Next time you see the ad....look for the 'mice type'. It indicates the trailer is equipped with electric brakes. Fact....the electric brakes stop the trailer -- not the truck. A little slight of hand? You bet.

And why does Toyota have bigger brake pads? They need them....their truck is heavier. Stopping distance between our truck and theirs is virtually identical. And why does Toyota have a 6 speed transmission? To improve their fuel economy....which is still 2 mpg less than ours.

And don't forget....their big V8 has one axle ratio -- a 4.3. Suck fuel much? Our trucks offer several axle options to optimize towing and fuel economy. Bottom line: OUR TRUCK IS BETTER! Spread the word.......we can all make a difference. [NAME REDACTED]

GM totally pwn'd Toyota there. lol.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

'Brother Can't Drive'

Another Enzo bites the dust, this time at the obviously incapable hands of actor and comedian Eddie Griffith. That leaves only 398 Enzos surviving in the wild, er, some rich person's garage.

A much better video of the crash and some more explanation is available from Jalopnik, and an interesting and humorous article is available from AutoWeek.

In case you were wondering, yes, that car is... I mean was worth about $1.5 Million dollars. [Insert Doctor Evil here.]

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Luck o' The Irish

Another week, another injury. Although this one happened at an event where there was swing dancing and swing dancers were present, I'm not going to call this one a Swing-jury because I didn't do it while actually dancing.
Looks pretty good, eh? The first picture is from about an hour after the incident, right after I cleaned it up pretty good in the bathroom sink at the restaurant where we ate dinner. It doesn't look too bad and you can barely see any of the secondary cuts, only the deep on stands out. The second picture is after I got home from the urgent care clinic a few hours later. It looks a lot worse because of the dried blood and and the skin starting to dry out a bit. It probably didn't help that we waited to watch the end of the North Carolina basketball game to go get it stitched up.

How it happened makes me feel pretty stupid, although I was not drunk, so that's good at least. After serving beer all afternoon for the Fort Collins Downtown Business Authority's Saint Patrick's Day live music and beer garden hootenanny, I was simply cutting a plastic zip-tie off of a metal pole to help clean up after the festivities and forgot to cut away from myself instead of towards myself, and the knife slipped, and cut across three of my fingers, coming within 1mm of the flexural tendon of my ring finger with that deep cut there.

Could have been a lot worse. The stitches come out next Monday.

Friday, March 16, 2007

VCU Beats Duke (Just for Katie)

Yesterday, in the only upset of the first round of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, Virginia Commonwealth beat Duke 79-77.

As the Wall Street Journal Reports, VCU's efforts were lead by 6' 2", 165 pound sophmore Eric Maynor:
...Mr. Maynor scored eight of his team's final 11 points, including a jumper with 1.8 seconds left, to beat the Blue Devils, 79-77, in the only significant upset of the tournament's opening-day slate of 16 first-round games. He finished with 22 points and eight assists.

Mr. Maynor's clinching basket came after Duke tied the game on a stunningly uncontested layup with 10.3 seconds left. He declined to call a timeout to set up that final shot...
You can watch the video on YouTube.