Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

May your cauldron never run dry!

And while I'm making Halloween wishes... May the curses of a thousand angry warlocks, shamen, and witch doctors be rained down on the heads of the politicians who have their automated recordings calling my house at all times of day and leaving stupid messages on my answering machine. Curses also on the survey takers who call trying to find out who I'm voting for. Seriously. Six calls a day plus all the damn junk mail they are filling my recycle bin with - its just too much. There needs to be a political 'don't call' list where you can proactively make it known that your mind is already made up and there is no point in their wasting time or resources contacting you about their campaign. Just a week more of this harassment...


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Monday, October 30, 2006

Oh DOJ, what have you done?

Remember the time when the internet was no holds barred, take no prisoners competitive? A time when dot.coms flourished or failed, when pets had a place to shop (because pets can't drive!), and 10 foot tall e's were left on Netscape's front lawn to help motivate their employees to develop the best browser they could?

Alas, we are in a kinder, gentler era now. The IE team sends Mozilla a cake to congratulate them on the relase of Firefox 2. A cake. How is such friendly competition supposed to instill indignant anger in the FF development team? This must be a brilliant tactic by the borg to demotivate Mozilla employees by disarming them with kindness... that's just as plausible as there being a message in the sequence of the black/white frosting blobs...

I say to you Mozilla developers, rise up in your cubicles and shout in anger at those Redmond rascals who only coughed up the budget to send you a quarter sheet cake that will only feed a small fraction of your numbers. They didn't even send ice cream. What good is cake without ice cream?!? By the gods, the only thing more insulting would have been if they'd sent you a dozen cupcakes. Get back to your keyboards and code with the fury of those who have been scorned!


cake photo source: http://fredericiana.com/2006/10/24/from-redmond-with-love/

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More reasons to love autumn...

and for Tony to call me a geek.

1. Punkin Chunkin. Lets be clear, if you get drunk and destroy pumpkins by using them for target practice with your shotgun, that's redneck. If you take the time to build a trebuchet to launch your pumpkins vast distances and watch them explode upon impact with the ground, that's geeky. Sure, compressed air cannons are widely used for squash launching, but I prefer the trebuchet for artillery larger than my fist (maybe some other time I'll tell you all about my potato launcher and we can debate the combustible properties of Right Guard vs. Aqua Net).

You don't have to live in Delaware to enjoy Punkin Chunkin, you can find pumpkin launching in most rural areas, often at U-Pick pumpkin patches. Recognizing the lucrative business in tourist attractions like corn mazes, the pumpkin farmers have found a new way to sell their crop. After all, you may only buy one or two pumpkins for jack-o-lanters, but I bet you'll buy 8 or 10 just to see how far they'll shoot.

2. Pumpkin Bowling. This is fun for all ages. Of course adults often find it more fun when liquor is involved, just be sure your scorekeeper is relatively sober and immune to bribery by the other teams. You need a few smallish pumpkins, something you can palm fairly well and more or less spherical in shape. You don't want to use 10-16 pound pumpkins; you aren't going to be drilling finger holes in them (some websites recommend this, but it makes the game a lot messier, and beer bottles are slippery when you've got pumpkin guts on your hands). You'll also need 5-10 water bottles for pins (some people use empty 2-liter bottles filled with sand, but that's a lot more effort). I recommend playing on the lawn; you can play on concrete but you go through a lot more pumpkins that way. It's more fun than it sounds, and dorky shoes are completely optional.

Yes, I've done both. And no, I haven't gone cow tipping. Despite what you may have seen on Heathers, it takes more than two people to tip a cow. Do you realize how heavy cows are?

Happy Halloweenie


pumpkin trebuchet photo source: http://orca.bcnewsgroup.com/gallery/pumpkinfling/PB020875

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Monday, October 23, 2006

A culinary experiment

This weekend I made Mudder's Milk, following the recipe found on the official Serenity movie website. Look under Shepherd Book in the Flash website for the cookbook if you're curious how (or why) Tigers Milk bars, oatmeal, sarsaparilla, root beer, and YooHoo are combined to make anything remotely edible. And if you've ever mixed up this recipe and have test results of your own to share, please let me know.
I took the concoction with me to a party Saturday, to wish some fellow Browncoats safe travels as they are moving cross-country this week. Quite a few partygoers imbibed - both Browncoats and those who've never flown the Firefly 'verse - and said it was good. I don't think they were just being polite, since they actually drank it all from their cups. A few folks added Kahlua and had a second cup. I my optimism improved seeing this; based on the smell and knowing what went into it I'd expected it to be utterly foul. So I poured myself a glass (yeah, I used my friends as test subjects to sample it before I tried it).

Test results: my friends are either devoid of tastebuds, kwong-juh duh (nuts), or both.

Seriously, I thought this swill was horrific. It was probably the pepperminty aftertaste that killed it for me. I took one sip and dumped mine out. I'm a big Firefly fan, but that was just too much. Then again, if I'm the only one grossed out, maybe I'm the insane one. Maybe it was just the worst possible chaser for the ultra-yummy brownie I'd just eaten. Whatever, I don't expect I'll make it again, except maybe as a joke if we are going to a sci-fi themed party.


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Thursday, October 19, 2006

Chevron seven... (b)locked

Legos. SG-1. The Goa'uld wish they were this cool.

Check out the blocky chappa'ai. Its a replicators dream.



Wednesday, October 18, 2006

IE7 Released today

go download it, fool.




distracting the audience

While misdirecting the audience's attention works well in magic shows, I don't think "forget how much we suck, these other people suck worse. really." is a terribly effective PR strategy. But what do I know, I'm not a marketing expert.

"As you might imagine, we are upset at Windows for not being more hardy against such viruses, and even more upset with ourselves for not catching it," Apple said on its site.
The chutzpa does make me laugh though. After all, your immune system really should be stronger to fight the SARS I brought into your home when you invited me to dinner last week. I bet you don't even take vitamin C. You're bringing illness on yourself really. You should seek psychiatric help, you're obviously suffering from Munchausen Syndrome.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I like Apple, but they are kidding themselves if they really believe that they are superior when it comes to security. Based on what I've seen in the world, I'd say EVERYONE sucks. Hell, if a critical system like electronic voting boxes can't be locked down, what chances does a commercial app have?


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Monday, October 09, 2006

Daily Show Geeks for sale

if you chuckle at John Hodgman selling himself as the nerdy (but lovable!) PC in the Mac ad campaign, and you enjoy the Trendspotting segments on The Daily Show, you'll probably enjoy Clearification. It is by far the strangest marketing I've ever seen from Microsoft. Not that I'm saying its a bad thing. Microsoft's ads generally suck ass. This is kind of funny, even if it is random and off the wall. Enjoy.


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