Monday, January 30, 2006


This product seems neat. Even in my tiny condo, my wireless access really doesn't work so hot anywhere besides the room the access point is located in. This must be maddening in a larger home. I do know that the signal pattern ('f' in this case, as if the antenna were sticking up through the dimple in the donut) the little antenna(s) transmit is really only conducive to being on a single floor. If one had the ability to kick up the power level (federal law!), it would be awesome-er.

(* By not so hot, I mean that it's fine for browsing, but not for streaming media or big downloads. Six feet away (on the metal ironing board- hmmm....), the laptop would not reliably play a 5mbps video (wifi should do 54 mpbs (or 11 if it's the old way, 'b'), so it shouldn't be a problem).

Friday, January 27, 2006

I like Reynolds

For my foil hats. Of course everyone knows, you need the old Tin (Sn) foil for proper frequency rejection. That's why the Johnson Administration made the change to aluminum, so the robots couldn't tell anyone about the moon landing and/or Kennedy assasination.

Similarly, you too can now create your own EMP generator to fry the RFID tag in your Gillete Mach 11 razor blades. And, happily, from household items!

Don't get me started on getting electrocuted by disposable cameras.

Well, OK, if you insist. I am of the opinion that your run of the mill photo hut employee doesn't like anything out of the ordinary. So, I remove the standard roll of film from the camera before submitting it to processing. So it looks just like everything else and doesn't confuse anyone. That and you get a free battery out of the deal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Dick Hatch is going to jail for evading taxes WITH MONEY HE WON ON TV! Idiot.

Blackberry shutdown?

Good. Yeah, I said it. It's an excuse to be an asshole control freak. You're so cool, you can check your email at the dinner table. If you're a manager of anything, you need to be able to delegate.


From the top 101 business blunders, I had to google what a pork queen looked like. And she is exactly what you want in an Iowa Pork Queen.

More midwestern queens:

She looks like she's holding a handgun gangsta style

I love it when Seniors look like 45 year olds. (I'm sure it's just a bad photo. Sorry.)

Meat puns!

Corn fed! (Their server is broken: cut and paste this in:

How do you choose between the pork queen and the beef queen?

Horse queen? Check out the rest of the site. Some good stuff on there.

And, the dairy queens. (On Wisconsin!)

CO Notes:

And don't forget about Queen Nicotina.


So this guy writes an article about how he doesn't support the troops. Seems like an extreme position to take. The vast majority are just doing their job.

Now, obviously, the nuts must come out.
Conservative columnist Michelle Malkin quickly nominated Stein as "one of the most loathsome people in America."
This Michelle Malkin person endlessly fascinates me in her disingenuousness. Isn't she the one who crows endlessly about how The Left engages in ad hominem attacks? (Yes, she is. That question was rhetorical. She was on the O'Factor Radio thing just the other night complaining about that very same thing, and in the same breath she called some lefty guy a name. Hate monger or smear artist or something like that. Couldn't find a transcript.)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006


Another upgrade in computer land. I was having trouble making archival backups of a certain DVD set, and decided to buy a dual layer drive to see if it would work. As usual, I chose an offering from LG Electronics. Rucky Gordstal! This time I chose the GSA-4167B, which is not on their website. I bought it here, for $40. How can I say no?

Once again, LG has triumphed. Quiet, fast, reliable, and writes and reads EVERY format. Even DVD-RAM.

Monday, January 23, 2006

My thought of the day

All these people you see on the news complaining about the awful conditions that our overseas troops are enduring and demanding that Rummy himself get to installing armor on everything... I wonder if they're paying extra on their taxes this year? Are they reporting ALL their income, or just the trackable stuff?

(I'm not saying the conditions aren't bad, and I really don't think it's right to start a fiat war without getting things set up really good first. I wonder how bad the conditions are relative to other wars we've fought though. We haven't achieved Perfection in Warfare®, but are they closer than in the past? I bet they are. Anyway, I am just curious.)

Saturday, January 21, 2006


If only the word "intoxicated" were involved, I would think this news story was perfectly ironic.

Woman jailed for leaving kids to go see Springer

Friday, January 20, 2006

That guy!

I was working in the downtown offices today, and needed a food fix. I was hungry and not feeling well, and tired. I wanted Mexican food. I needed Mexican food. I got the #3 from La Bamba, two tacos and a quesadilla, and a big-ass diet Pepsi. I trudged back to the office and set myself up for eatin'.

A coworker- oh, let's call him... "Jim Badenmacher"- was also in the lunchroom/conference room/betting parlor eating his daily $9 chinese meal (*). Which on previous occasions I have complimented as a good looking meal. We haven't really ever spoken besides that.

I dig in, and he starts up:

"Look at all that food! That all just turns to fat, you know. Do you know what that does to your blood sugar?"

"Diet Pepsi?? That shit'll kill you. Turns into acetyline and antifreeze in your gut! Gives you neurological symptoms!"

"You better be careful, it's living like that that gave me prostate cancer!"

All this looking out at me over the half glasses, munching vegetables and gesturing with chopsticks.


(*)Where this guy gets $9 for lunch every day, I want to know. Certainly doesn't make that much at our company.


  • Ozzie Guillen has become a US citizen.

  • It began snowing today, and I was, miserably, walking up State Street. Moments later, I saw a girl twirling, looking up, watching snow melt on her hands and eating snow out of the sky. I gave her a funny look, and she smiled from ear to ear proclaiming, "I'm from LA!!" Heartwarming.

  • Thursday, January 19, 2006


    On the really good Penn Jillette radio show, he was talking atheism. And an atheist funeral director called up to tell some stories. She was talking about the irony of an atheist saying some of the prayers, saying, "I felt like I was going to get struck by lightning saying some of these things!"

    Not a very good atheist, is she?

    Wednesday, January 18, 2006

    TSG Mug Shot: Leif Garrett

    My goodness!
    [I've been using this as an exclamation lately. It's good fun.]

    Monday, January 16, 2006

    That's bad

    Oh boy. Even I know this is a bad thing to say.
    Wide right.

    Vanderjagt slammed his helmet to the turf, obviously forgetting how fortunate he was to have had the chance.

    "It's extreme disbelief," Vanderjagt said. "From the Polamalu interception reversal to Jerome's fumble, everything seemed to be lined up in our favor.

    "I guess the Lord forgot about the football team."
    Way to totally miss the point of everything.

    Saturday, January 14, 2006


    I was watching Eliminidate and heard one of the girls say something funny. Her role on the show was to be the smarter, more rational of the girls. Note: the word is larynx, but I've spelled it this way because that's how she said it. She was talking about an annoying girl.

    "I just wanted to grab her larnicks and rip them out."

    Which reminds me, I saw a giant Cadillac in the parking lot of the American Mattress/Check-n-Go/Pizza Hut/Starbucks/Quiznos strip mall today with the license place: UNKLAR 1. So either Larry Lujack is buying a mattress, or some imposter wants the world to think he's charming and delightful ol' Uncle Lar.

    Friday, January 13, 2006


    Wednesday, January 11, 2006

    That song?

    The one on the credit card commerical that goes "I'm 25 for a moment...I'm 33 for a moment" and so on? It absolutely freaks me out.

    Sunday, January 08, 2006

    Success and Failure

  • I rewired the antenna array (2!) to improve reception. Score! See, my "view" to the Sears Tower is obstructed by trees, so I need an antenna with tremendous gain to get some decent reception. I already had a decent one, so I bought an identical one and wired them up with a splitter. It worked OK, but upon further research and thought I realized that I had done it poorly. After calculating various wavelengths and soldering, I commenced to installing it. It worked beautifully for mere moments when I snapped something inside of it. After even more soldering and insane amounts of electrical tape, I got the thing hooked up. Delicious!

  • I have completely lost my Windex. I was using it a mere few hours ago. It is now gone. Where did it go??

    Mark Borchardt and Mike Shank on Family Guy? With Frank Sinatra, Jr.? Genius. Now he's singing the theme song. Wacky.

  • Saturday, January 07, 2006


    Step one if the grand media pc experiment has been undertaken. Alright, step two. Step one was gutting the original media pc to become the server. Step two was purchasing a new pc to replace it. New as in used, of course. In this case, my Compaq Deskpro was previously loved by the good folks at Universal Studios, which is somehow fitting. I got it on ebay for $77, shipped. It's a Pentium 3 1.0 gHz. It also is the exact width of most entertainment center shelves.

    That leads to the next steps in my plan. My simple goal is to have two things: a machine that will digitally record "My Name is Earl" for me when I'm out, and a machine that will display such things onto my television. There are three things you need for that: a computer, a video card with outputs that are compatible with the television, and a video capture/tuner card that obtains the tv programs.

    Sidebar: to get video into a pc in this manner it needs to be converted to MPEG format. That involves the hardware basically taking an uncompressed snapshot of each frame of video and then compressing it. There are two ways that can be done: the adapter card takes the snapshots and sends them to the main processor for compression through software. This allows the card to be very cheap, because it's not really doing much. Or, the card itself can have a chip that does the compression, sending only compressed data to the computer. That's better for three reasons: the theory is good, specialized bits for specialized things. Two, you are sending far less data through the already strained (even on the best computers) datapaths. Three, your processor is needed for more inportant things, like making the paperclip talk. It's like modems- even now, there are the $12 modems and there are the $50 modems. The cheap ones, that only work in Windows generally, replace some hardware with software emulation. Great if you want to build a $99 computer, bad if you want any performance at all.

    Same thing with the display- video cards with hardware mpeg decoding can be sent the compressed mpeg data right from the disk, rather than using the main computer to decompress it. With video cards, this is becoming less of a cost thing and more of a feature thing. It's got it or it doesn't.

    So, you can save $200 on adapter cards and build a screaming 3 gHz $1500 monster with fans-a-blazin' that uses 200W of power and needs to be in another room because it's so loud, or not. I choose the other way. We'll see how it goes.

    Monday, January 02, 2006

    Horrible technical news reporting

    Read this "mainstream" report about a computer vulnerability, and then read what Microsoft actually said. Pitiful.


    Network Maintenance!

    Spent some of the weekend doing upgrades:

  • Added a second hard drive to the main computer to create a RAID-0 array, including the ceremonial Windows reinstall. The reinstall wasn't exactly necessary (Windows XP is quite reliable), but this hardware change was different enough that it was in my best interest. I put in the array to make it go faster. So far, I am pleased. One of my futile hobbies is attempting to digitally record all the Three Stooges episodes onto DVD. Each episode ends up being nearly 1gb in size, and as you might imagine, editing such files can be troublesome. It was dissapointingly slow before, now it is acceptable.

  • Upgraded the server. Doubled the memory, tripled the speed (750 mhz!) and rebuilt the insides for better airflow. This new setup should also be more power-saving friendly as well. Now I have to figure out how to increase the storage space. It is full. Like SR, I am contemplating the benefits of the computer-as-DVR. In theory, I can just stick an adapter card into this server now that it has been upgraded, install some software and off I go. It will not be that simple. The computer-as-DVR science is not ready for primetime. You have to be willing to tinker, as far as I can tell. On the other hand, the problem with doing research on the internet is that while failures are almost always documented, successes rarely are.

  • Sunday, January 01, 2006

    You my boy!