Friday, September 30, 2005

For everyone

Thursday, September 29, 2005

"sox" "clinch" "playoff berth"?

You don't hear that too often. Good for them. Let's hope this shrieking late season skid has burnt itself out and they are back on the upswing. Even if they don't win another the rest of the season, they've managed to combine a wire-to-wire first place season with a record breaking slide from 15 up to 1 up (or was it 1.5?). It's been something to watch.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Funny!

A webpage dedicated to a form of junk mail revenge. The photography makes it work. It's as if you the reader are actually doing these things.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Booze!

BUSH'S BOOZE CRISIS

Is it just me, or does this "story" actually sound a bit like some kind of twisted pro-Bush spin job? Yeah, he's a drunk, but that's just because he cares too much!

Awful!

Sign on a door at a client site:

"All visitors must have a visitor badge. Please see the receptionist to ascertain a visitor's badge."

Friday, September 23, 2005

A couple blogs I like:

Product Dose Various products new to the market or on their way to market, with an eye toward modern design. I like a lot of the stuff.

Retro Thing Exactly what you think it is.

Barber Blog "Mr. Earl's in Montana having a haircutting party."

In somewhat related news, I've just placed an order for one of these.
This "Hefty Classic - Slant Bar" version of the "Classic" safety razor (often called the Slant Bar) is made with a larger and heavier handle for those who like a bit more to hold on to as well as a uniquely designed "slanted" shave head that imparts a slicing motion while shaving, allowing for a particularly close shave.
Crown Cork & Seal!

HA!

Is two episodes a record for a show being cancelled? I was surprised it ever made it on the air.

This seems bad

Rita's Rains Breach Two New Orleans Levees

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Plane!

The airliner circled Southern California for hours, crippled by a faulty landing gear, while inside its cabin 140 passengers watched their own life-and-death drama unfolding on live television.
Now that's surreal. And probably gut wrenching for the passengers listening to Miles O'Brian tell you exactly how spectacularly firey your impending death might be, Sanjay Gupta telling you how the LA coroner might identify your crispy corpse, with maybe a chaser of Britt Hume explaining why it's not Bush's fault.
Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa, who spoke with the pilot, identified him as Scott Burke and praised him for the calm he showed during the flight.

"He joked that he was sorry he put the plane down 6 inches off the center line," Villaraigosa said.
I bet he wasn't joking. If it were me, I would have explained that I did it so as not to ruin the stripes' paint. Nice landing though. That's why you want your pilots sober: any lush can fly a plane, it's dealing with the abnormalities when you didn't need that 14th scotch this morning.

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Chipotle!

Pick yourself up some Tabasco brand Chipotle Hot Sauce. It is possibly the best thing ever created by mankind. I love that flavor, and this sauce is a bit milder than the regular stuff, so you can really dump it on. (The green/verde sauce is really good too. The website claims it's the mildest, but I found that mine burned just as much as the original red. It was much more flavorful though.)

Fast fun fact: The Chipotle is simply a dried, smoked Jalapeno. Usually packed in adobo sauce.

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Saturday Night Live!

With Steve Carell on October 1st. That should be some kind of weird.

Monday, September 19, 2005

The future!

Went to the dentist today, after far too long since the last time.

1) Plaque!
2) Ground down a spot on a molar to correct a bite issue. I can't tell the difference All I did was ask him why every three months I bite down on a nut or chicken bone and my tooth screams in pain for a few days. He said it might be cracked and then did that.
3) Never realized it before, but my dentist is Larry David.
4) Digital X-Ray machine! Stick a tiny paddle in your mouth (covered in protective plastic), point the ray gun at the jaw, pop it on for a second, and then BLAMMO, your mouth is on a computer screen. Cool. And, in my humble opinion, the choppers are looking good.

Whoops

NTSB: Derailed train was going too fast

I'm betting the engineer didn't realize a commuter train handles different from a freight train. I could see him thinking "10 mph? I've done over 70 through here a hundred times!"

Thank you, Drudge Report

Scotland tops list of world's most violent countries

"Violent crime has doubled in Scotland over the past 20 years and levels, per head of population, are now comparable with cities such as Rio de Janeiro, Johannesburg and Tbilisi."

Computer troubles

One thing that I didn't mention to DV$ during the PC troubles was regarding the leaving it on versus leaving it off problem. I mostly didn't mention it because it wouldn't have helped the situation.

Anyway, I am in the "turn it off at night" camp. I believe this for the following reasons (provided the role you have your computer serving doesn't require it to run 24x7):

1) It costs money to leave a computer running. The newer the computer, the more it costs. These new Pentium 4s burn a lot of juice.

2a) There are mechanical parts in the computer, and the more you use them, the more they wear. Fans, hard drive, CDROMs for example. Some of these things fail more spectacularly than others, but they all lead to shelling out cash. These generally are not things that wear out during a warranty.

2b) Those fans drag in dust and dirt. 24 hours is a lot more than the couple hours in the morning and a few hours in the evening. The newer the computer, the more a dust buildup can cause problems.

3) Windows benefits from regular shutdown/reboot cycles. If you must leave the thing running, when you walk away from it for the night, give it a shutdown/restart rather than logging off.

3b) The computer is not exposed to certain worms and virii when it's off. Most come in the classic form, the user running a program or clicking a link they shouldn't, but some do come in via security holes in the internet connection. They may also be a combination of the two- some viruses set up your PC as a "zombie machine". It doesn't do anything or harm your files, you don't even notice it if the virus checker doesn't catch it, but then the hacker/small businessman/rogue government agent can send a command to all the machines to start spamming or DDoSing microsoft.com or something. If your PC isn't on, it won't do it. This is a minor, and mostly preventable issue, but I just wanted to show off.

The arguments for leaving a PC on:

1) "It'll wear out the power switch." No it won't. And even if it does, it would be cheaper to repair than almost anything else on the computer. Sort of like using the clutch to stop the car to save wear on the brakes. Who cares if a $100 set of brakes lasts twice as long if the $1500 clutch lasts half as long?

2) "The heating up and cooling off of the componants breaks them." Probably not. If that does happen, the componant was faulty to begin with. I've never seen it. Anyway, the processor heats up and cools off all day long, depending on how heavily it is being used. The other componants don't generate enough heat for this to be an issue.

2b) "Spinning the hard drive up wears it out faster than leaving it on." It is true that spinning up the drive is harder on a drive than running is. But what do you think happens when you walk up to that computer that's been in sleep mode? The hard drive spins back up. How many times per day? Unless you are sitting at the PC working all day, it has to be more than the once or twice a day I prescribe here.

2bb) (I've seen more hard drives fail because they were spinning up and down all day due to ill-advised or careless power saving settings. PC hard drives are not made to be spun up and down constantly like a laptop drive is. If you're using a desktop PC, turn it off when you're not using it, and turn off that power saving "feature".)

3) "It takes too long to start up." I bet you if you turned the PC on and then went to make the coffee or have your morning constitutional, it will be sitting there waiting for you when you return to it. Also, learn to maintain your PC's operating system.

There's no reason (unless there is one) to leave your computer on while you sleep or are off working. That's my point. I invite discussion.

Friday, September 16, 2005

ASS!

The internet connection here at the compound is down, and I'm on the backup dial up service. It acts like it's working- the lights are all on, but it is unusably slow. Timeouts and such. Annoying, and I don't expect it to be fixed over the weekend. Bastards.

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Pistol grip ray gun!

The future! I love the stock and ammo clip/handle.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

The eyes!

She's staring into my soul!

How in the name of all that is sacred can I NOT post this story?

Inventor fuels car with dead cats

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

This seems bad

Evacuees say they were turned back by police

Monday, September 12, 2005

Fuckin' Protestants

Ireland! The jewel of Western Europe!

(the protestant thing was a joke- they're all drunken idiots.)

Seven Wonders of Chicago

Vote for them!

I encourage you to put your choices in the comments, mine are in there. Vote before reading them.

Go Bears

I didn't think they looked all that bad, all things considered. Especially considering that the head quarterback appears to be 16.

For your musical enjoyment.

Retro

I seem to remember sitting around MEAT's kitchen table trying to get a thing like this working. I believe his dad acquired it in some sort of "interesting trade" or other similar transaction.

And I personally used the IBM version of this for portions of high school. I had been using the Apple ||c (with zip chip upgrade and one megabyte memory upgrade, but I needed something IBM compatible for programming classes.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Twenty things "they" don't want you to know

PC World makes a list. Some are stupid, some are useless, some are obvious, but a couple are worth the effort of reading this.

And if I might revise and extend,

CPU is faster than you think: don't even bother thinking about it. The major speed bottlenecks in a PC are the memory subsystem and the hard drive, not the processor. In the good old days, going from 300 to 450 was a 50% jump in speed, and a unique situation. Now you might get that 1.5 up to 1.7, or that 2.8 up to 3.0. You will not notice the difference. And the extra minutes it might shave off of a DVD encoding process aren't worth the effort.

You Too Can Exploit Windows' Bad Security: Consider this: it takes more time to download and install these programs that it does to make a folder called "passwords and serial numbers" and put it in a drawer. Lock the drawer. Done. Sometimes, it takes more time and effort to automate a process than it does to just do it.

High End Manufacturers: Probably more useful advice in the non-computer world. I've fallen for this uncountable times: "a Honeywell humidifier? Don't they make rockets and shit? Hell yeah I'll buy it!" When, of course, it was really made by "Yin Chen Lucky Profit Concern" and uses 4000 watts of electricity (*) and falls apart in a week.

Digital Zoom This is a very good one. What all that interpolation crap means is that when you kick the digital zoom up to say 4x, the camera crops the photo down to a 1/4, and then enlarges the result. So that fancy 4 million pixel camera just took a 1 million pixel photo that will look blocky/fuzzy next to your other non-digital-zoomed photos.

In all things: never misinterpret the word "digital" as any indicator of quality. It's like saying "cotton quality" for clothes or "latex quality" for paint. Meaningless. Digital is just an awkward way of encoding information that makes it easier to manufacture things and easier to process that information. And compress that information. Those 100x70 pixel video videos on websites that are unwatchable? Digital quality!

* - Look at that next time you're buying small electronics- the cheaper ones many times will use more electricity, eating up that price "savings" every month.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Sick of him!

Notes on the concert for the Gulf Coast:

  • Can fucking Randy Newmann write another goddamn song? Shut up! Does he think he's Steve Allen or something? And why doesn't he get a little puffier and doughy while he's at it? I already didn't like the guy, and I've piled my Steve Allen hate right on top of that. Who will inherit the Alan King vitriol?

  • The rest of the concert was alright. I don't appreciate the disaster porn.

  • Garth Brooks is a heck of a performer. No wonder country is the new pop.

  • Dr. John was a sad, appropriate capper for the show. He didn't look well, and to me, he is THE voice of New Orleans.



  • My brain hurts

    A post from a blog I've never been to before, presenting another explanation of the various issues of self. This one uses computer architecture as the model. Basically, your animal self, your hardware, is the computer (running *nix in this case). Your intelligence is you sitting at it. The computer can function just fine without you sitting there, but without user intervention may do things you don't want it to. You, as user, have the ability to give meaning to the things that appear on the screen (observations, feelings), and give direction to the computer/self based on that. To boil it down even further (as he interprets it), your animal brain has two halves- the observational/emotional and the active/reactive part (walking, moving arms, sarcastic comments and so forth). Intelligence is the ability to get in between those two and change the reactions to observations.

    I think. Like I said, my brain hurts. Makes more sense than Freud though.

    Wednesday, September 07, 2005

    Steinberg!

    Speaks. The guy has a way with words.

    If I might add to his comments, let's look as the motivation of the various leaders involved in this remote passion play. If their flock were suddenly made prosperous, their power would dissappear. And they care more about that than anything. Guaranteed.

    The worst

    What the hell has happened to FEMA? I remember them being on top of their game for things like the Mississippi floods during the 90's and various earthquakes.

    Samsung!

    Brilliant. There are two competing standards for the next generation DVD- Blu-Ray and HD-DVD. As you know, a standard DVD only has the capacity for about a half hour of high definition content. [As far as I know,] the two standards aren't even on the street yet. But Samsung has already come up with a way to make a DVD player that supports both. Well played, Samsung.

    Tuesday, September 06, 2005

    Overfed

    I've decided to attempt to use CO's Feedreader program to revisit my blog viewing. One hiccup was that the comments (why we're all doing this no matter what we tell ourselves) would not be reflected in the newness of the blog.

    No longer! Add a second feed, I like naming it the same as the main blog + 'comments' so it is orderly in the window, that points to:

    http://www.haloscan.com/members/rss.php?user=[haloscan username]

    You will now be alerted to the last 10 comments in the blog.

    See the right column for a link to mine.

    For existing blogs for which you might not know the author's username (or people using gibberish to be difficult- HA!), if you click on a comment link that already has comments, then look in the existing comments for a line that looks like this:

    poopy | Homepage | 09.05.05 - 5:43 pm | #

    The pound sign contains the permanant link to that comment. It will look something like this:

    http://www.haloscan.com/comments/[haloscan username]/112593442096818728/#180683

    And, if you couldn't guess, the name/gibberish in the username area is the user name that you insert into the rss.php?= link.

    I'm not actually reading the content in the Feedreader window, I'm really attempting to use it to alert me to changes so I know to go to the site to read the content. My "open in tabs" solution works better for a few, regularly updated sites. But as I add sites that also aren't updated as often it gets unwieldy and this scales better. I retain my hatred for it, but what can you do? I look forward to widening my exposure to time wasting.

    Progress!

    Signed,
    Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar (II)

    From the Captain Obvious Files:

    Official: E. Coli bacteria detected in floodwater

    Chernobyl

    Chernobyl Toll May Be Less Than Feared

    Perspective:
    Lung cancer caused by smoking was expected to kill three times as many people as Chernobyl-related cancers, he added.

    Monday, September 05, 2005

    Heyyyyyy Kidz!

    [bilateral fricative]

    It's FEMA for Kids! Get Some!

    [/bilateral fricative]

    Sunday, September 04, 2005

    Rummy!

    Was supposed to be on Letterman Tuesday, but it was postponed. But keep your eyes out for it, it promises to be good tv.

    Busted?

    The AP is using slang now?

    Anyway, an interesting story about those who stayed in the French Quarter. I suspect every name is made up- I've had the impression for a while that New Orleans is where you go when you want to be forgotten. Like Miami.

    Friday, September 02, 2005

    The Big Disconnect?

    No shit. CNN's compendium of ignorance versus reality.

    Here's a thought- the politicians are out touring the disaster areas, replete with security and helicopters and toadies. There are people dying! In the streets! There's a time and place for bloviating, and it's AFTER PEOPLE AREN'T STILL DYING!! I can't think of a more offensive scene.

    Another thought- It's late summer, George Bush has just won a presidential election. And he is caught at the ranch with his governing pants down. Again. I'm pissed. I've gone along with a lot of bullshit, mostly because part of his deal is that he's got good people around him. But where are they? Who was on TV urging calm and taking control of the situation? The Mayor of New Orleans is out of his mind and swearing on the radio, the Governor of Louisiana hasn't stopped crying since Tuesday- and I don't blame either of them one bit- and W didn't have anything useful to say until Thursday? Nor FEMA or anyone else, that I can recall. Meanwhile, the governor of Mississippi is a raving lunatic, verbally bitch slapping Miles O'Brian for suggestiong that the federal disaster response might not have been good enough.

    Thought three: while I love the journalists out on the scene looking tousled and workaday, where's the public service? Seems like they were just broadcasting disaster porn.

    The Sauce Boss?

    This lunatic sings the blues and simultaneously cooks gumbo while on stage.
    Bill Wharton (Sauce Boss) has cooked gumbo for over 125,000 people for free. He mixes his own spicy Florida Blues and hot sauce right into the gumbo, and at the end of the show, everybody eats.

    Cooking tip:

    Scrambled eggs. Teflon pan. Heat proof silicone spatula. Mix up the eggs. Crank up the heat- that's the trick. It has to be hotter than you think it should be. Melt some butter in there, and as soom as it's melted dump the eggs in. Almost immediately, the eggs will start cooking on the bottom. Scrape the eggs down the edge toward the center, and keep going around the pan until they're done. Dump them out immediately. Two eggs take me under a minute. With a little practice, you'll get delicious fluffy eggs with no brown spots. The high heat fluffs them up- you can actually see it happening toward the end of the process.

    Uh oh.

    The video coming out of New Orleans is horrifying. We all knew the South was backwater, but this is ridiculous. Where's the National Guard? I know the news is going to gravitate to the horror and not to the progress, but you'd think you'd hear about something just to quell the anxiety.

    Hey folks, I'm hearing on the news that Chicago are gas stations are running out of gas. Anyone else hearing about things like that in your neck of the woods?

    Heard an explanation on the radio for gas 'gouging'. Depending on the gas station owners' set-up with the supplier, the station owner does not "own" the gas in the ground. He only holds it on consignment and does not take ownership until it is actually pumped. So the supplier can put the word out that the next gallon pumped now wholesales for $3 a gallon. Nice set-up if you can get it. Very agile. How are profits in the fuel industry going these days?


    This is not a rhetorical question: when was the last refinery bult in the US, and why haven't more been built?

    Thursday, September 01, 2005

    Never thought you'd see this

    Sometimes in the midst of an event strange things pop out at you.

    This sentence, a photo caption, is one such thing:

    Rescuers help Fats Domino off a boat after he was rescued Monday from his New Orleans home.

    Google OS?

    This is fake, but who wants to bet it's not coming?

    Bias?

    CNN: Hastert questions how to rebuild New Orleans

    Drudge: House Speaker Hastert: Rebuilding New Orleans doesn't make sense...

    It only makes sense to consider what it would take to make New Orleans less vulnerable when rebuilding. Don't forget, much of Chicago's downtown is landfill, and many of the streets in the older areas of Chicago were raised. In 1852. I think we can get it done if we can spare the money from rebuilding Iraq. [Oh yes I did.]

    Another option is to go Venice-style with the low lying areas. I'm serious. It could be huge, tourist/novelty wise. And useful given New Orleans' importance as a port city.