Archive for January, 2006

Chinese New Year

Today is the Chinese new year! Kung hei fat choi!

Friday Funday LXXIX

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

The Official Ramen Homepage [del.icio.us]

While I sincerely doubt the validity of this site’s claim to be the Official Ramen Homepage, it certainly is stuffed to the gills with noodly goodness. TFSM would be proud.

Little Dead Birds [del.icio.us]

Actually, the site is called Zoological Museum Amsterdam Bird Type Specimens in 3D, but that doesn’t stop it from being a page full of little dead birds, with sticks up their asses, slowly spinning for your macabre delight. Or if you happen to be studying birds. You know, either way.

Bed Books [del.icio.us]

Oh. My. God. This is so fantastic! I like to read in bed, but it’s often a pain in the neck, literally. I can’t get comfy and read at the same time. Now I can!

Birds [del.icio.us]

Birds. A movie about dogs.

S.T.A.T. [del.icio.us]

You’re a doctor with a defibrillator. You have to revive patients. Carefully.

ALLOpod Episode VII – First Episode of the Year of the Dog

ALLOpod Episode VII – First Episode of the Year of the Dog

This month’s first song is Beautiful in Grey by David Gielan (whose name I have no idea how to pronounce). But it’s the first podcast of the new year! We’ve done the maths and looks like we have an average of 400 d/ls every month. Not too shabby! Hopefully with some more aggressive marketing, we can boost those numbers.

This is an exciting year for ALLOpod. Not only do we already have several great interviews lined up, but we’ll be getting our hands on some new gear. Our first big purchase is a limiter (it’s already on its way), which should help keep us from clipping (among other things).

Unfortunately, our budget is still pretty thin, and all out of pocket, so we’re looking to get underwriting and single-episode sponsors. Underwriters would get a number of benefits, including prominent mentions in each episode, the show notes, and on the main podcast page. Single-episode sponsors would get sixty seconds to deliver any message they’d like. However, we’ve decided to let the first three sponsors have two minutes instead. If you’re interested in underwriting or sponsoring the show, send an e-mail to podcast alifelessordinary and we’ll send you more information.

We’re also going to be running at least one contest this year, the details of which we’ll disclose in the near future.

Another new feature is something we’re calling ALLOpod Extras. These will be short episodes that we release periodically and that focus on a single topic. Keep an eye out for the first one, and you’ll see what I mean.

We’ll also be starting a book club. Our first book will be announced next month.

One last feature we wanted to tell you about is that we will begin creating enhanced podcasts that have chapter stops and photos in them. If you’d like to take advantage of the enhanced features, you’ll need to listen via iTunes.

In yet another scatter-brained show, we talked about all sorts of things, ranging from the founding of Rome (and ab urbe condita) to doggie bags. I’m not sure how we got there, but listen and find out.

Recognizing that we were really straying off-topic, we decided to listen to David Gielan’s Through These Eyes. And what would ALLOpod be without Andrew Burton’s technology haiku?

“winter computers”

computers can work

longer, harder, and better

now i sleep all day

Afterward we had a long discussion about the film Brokeback Mountain and human sexuality. By the way, the version of Romeo and Juliet we mention was director by Franco Zeffirelli. In the course of our conversation, I felt it important to point out the difference between sexual orientation and sexual preference; they’re not interchangeable and I wanted to make sure everyone knew why.

Next month’s interview will be with Stu Evey. Mr. Evey was one of the co-founders of ESPN. We’ll be talking with him about what it took to get ESPN up and running, as well as his thoughts about the direction that ESPN is headed. We’re taking your questions for Mr. Evey, so get them in ASAP!

If you have any questions or comments, e-mail us at: podcast alifelessordinary . If you send us a question or comment, be sure to mention if you want to be included in the shout-outs.

If you want to hear your name mentioned in our shout-outs, send an e-mail to: podcast alifelessordinary . Please include your name and location (for example, “Thomas in Spokane, WA” or “Phoenix in Japan”).

Links:

David Gielan [del.icio.us]

Insider Hosting [del.icio.us]

Chinese Zodiak [del.icio.us]

Ab Urbe Condita [del.icio.us]

Andrew Burton [del.icio.us]

Brokebank Mountain [del.icio.us]

Zeffirelli’s Romeo and Juliet [del.icio.us]

Life in Hell [del.icio.us]

Life in Hell: Because we are gay

The Superior Person’s Third Book of Well-Bred Words [del.icio.us]

Seahawks Madness

For the first time ever, the Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl. I actually had the NFC championship game on and was, more or less, watching it. For once, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl for more than just the commercials.

It’s already nuts in Seattle, and I’m sure that Spokane will also be crazy. I wonder how crazy it will be if they actually win the Super Bowl.

At any rate, Go Hawks!

Friday Funday LXXIII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet.

I recently ran into a bunch of cool stuff that uses Google Maps, so here’s another theme week!

Google Maps Mania [del.icio.us]

Need I say more?

Google Sighseeing [del.icio.us]

Just as the name suggests. This site is pretty well layed out, with locations and categories. I also found another sightseeing page, but it isn’t as pretty. I would venture to guess that there’s a fair amount of cross-over.

Essential Resources for Google Maps [del.icio.us]

This page contains some =really= cool uses of Google Maps. So does this one.

Cell Phone Reception and Tower Search [del.icio.us]

What happens when you mash together FCC broadcast tower records and Google Maps? You get this cool, if somewhat useless utility.

Google Maps EZ [del.icio.us]

So what if you want to add Google Maps to your website? Here’s a great guide to help you out.

USPS = United States Parcel Smashers

Today I received this pathetic looking box.

WTF?

How hard is it to deliver a box without totally destroying it? It really makes me wonder how frequently things like this happen. And what about the postal employee at fault? Does she just look at the crushed box, shrug her shoulders, and toss it in the bin? At the very least, I would have appreciated an apologetic note.

I sat with the box for about an hour, trying to decide whether I should just open it now, or take it to the post office and open it in front of an employee, so that they could see that I was not at fault if the item inside was broken.

I eventually decided to open it, as I hadn’t paid the extra $1.35 for insurance, which meant that the post office wasn’t likely to be sympathetic, no matter how hard I cried. Moreover, I don’t like the people who work at our local post office. Back in Cheney, Nancy and Joe (that’s right, I know them by name) were the friendliest postal employees I had ever met. Now I’m stuck with three mean guys. One of them is particularly evil, and =every time= I go in there, he’s the one who ends up helping me. I’m not kidding.

Fear not, however, as the item I had ordered was unscathed. Perhaps next time I’ll pay the extra $1.35, just to be sure.

Friday Funday LXXII

Friday Funday brings you some fun and interesting links from my travels around the internet during the previous week.

I think it’s about time I had another theme week. This week’s theme is Flash games. Try not to waste too much of your employer’s time. -)

Pandaf Golf II [del.icio.us]

After I completed the first hundred levels, I decided to move on to another game. It’s addicting, if only because you get really frustrated. Make sure you write down the code to each level in case the ball gets stuck in a loop (which happens from time to time). You can also edit your own levels.

Planarity [del.icio.us]

So far, I’m up to level 18 on this one. It’s hard, but I think it’s a lot of fun. I tried to jump up to level 100, just to see what it was like, and my browser crashed (but the level looked sweet). If you don’t want to play using their weird window, try this link.

Sheriff Tripeaks [del.icio.us]

Kind of a neat little card game, although it’s amazingly simple. Perhaps if you have kids, this is one you can play with them.

Samorost [del.icio.us]

I have no idea, but I managed to beat it in about ten to twenty minutes (I wasn’t paying attention). I linked directly to the .swf file on this one because I was confused at one point about what I was supposed to do next, and it turned out that I needed to scroll down to see what I needed to click on.

Cororo The Maze [del.icio.us]

This one will scramble your brain. Ack.

And even though this doesn’t fit in with the theme, I couldn’t help but toss it in there. I’m pretty sure Kris made this.

Tiger 10.4 Release Party [del.icio.us]

A vide of the Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger Release Party at the Seattle Mac Store.

Geico Revisited

Yes, another post about Geico. Man up.

Has anyone else noticed that Geico has three different styles in their commercials? They have the spots with the indentity-crisis suffering gecko, their classic “I have some great news…” reversal spots, and those weird ones with the “cavemen.”

I’m willing to let the reversal spots go, simply because they’ve become such a popular part of society (in case you don’t understand what I mean by “reversal spots,” I’m referring to those ones where you think the commercial is for one product, but then someone says, “I just saved a bunch of money on my insurance by switching to Geico!”), but why in the world did they ever make the caveman ones?

Granted, the one that I see the most (where the Geico representative takes the two cavemen to lunch at a country club to apologise for belittling them in the Geico commercial) is moderately funny and there’s =a lot= of really nice, subtle action (not to be confused with acting; this subtlety is clearly in the writing. No guff to the actors or the director, but it was clearly the writer(s) who came up with the good stuff) in the spot. I just don’t see why they’re making these, unless they’re trying to phase out the gecko.

We know they aren’t trying to phase out the gecko, however, because they just overhauled his image (*cough* worse *cough*) and produced a whole slew of new spots in which he appears. Moreover, he was named as a favorite advertising icon late last year. Plus, the gecko is all over the Geico website, but only the gecko. Nowhere on the site was I able to find a single Neanderthal.

According to a page on Geico’s own website, the spots that feature the gecko, “are consistent favorites among viewers.” So the question remains, if the gecko is their image, and if he’s such a strong image, why dilute the brand with other, non-image spots?

Meme of Four

Mike has tagged me. Now I’m required to answer these questions, and tag four more people:

Four jobs they couldn’t pay you enough to do: Manual masturbation of farm animals, anything that has to do with human waste (bodily or otherwise), crime scene cleaner upper, work at the DMV.

Four movies you used to love and watched over and over to the point that now you have them memorized and the prospect of watching them again causes your eyeballs to bleed: There was this Sesame Street bedtime movie I loved when I was really little. I guess I’ve seen Wayne’s World enough times that if I see it again, my will bleed. I have State and Main pretty much down pat. And can you really ever see Rushmore enough times? The answer is no.

Alternatively, four movies you loved when you saw them in the theater but don’t dare watch again for fear they won’t hold up: Jury Duty, In the Army Now, The Son in Law, Bio Dome (obviously I’m kidding, although I actually did see Jury Duty in the theatre).

Four places in the United States you’ve always thanked God you don’t live even when you were living in a really small rathole in Kentucky: Texas, Alabama, Georgia, and Louisiana (just to name a few).

Four places you would like to visit on an extended vacation: Italy, Greece, Bora Bora, Nepal (again, just to name a few).

Four TV shows you are strangely tempted to watch but have so far resisted: Lost, Scrubs, Commander in Chief, Beauty and the Geek.

Four Websites that aren’t on your blogroll that you visit daily: Well, I don’t have a blogroll (yet, but it’s on my list of things to do), but a few great sites I check out daily are: Emily’s Blog, Katie’s Blog, Andrea’s Blog, and Alli’s Blog. Can you tell who I’m going to tag?

Four foods you don’t really like and can’t understand why you eat them but you eat them anyway and feel bad about it afterwards: I really don’t eat food that I don’t like, yet oddly enough, I can name three off the top of my head: mushrooms, olives, and beer. I don’t like any of them, but I eat them every once in a while because I want to like them. Yet, try as I might, I just can’t find the taste for them.

Four albums you never listen to anymore but can’t bring yourself to trade in at Tower Records: If I don’t listen to them, it’s because I either already have sold them back, or they’re in a box and I’ve forgotten about them, but probably would sell back if I knew they existed.

Four places you’d rather be but sadly won’t be any time soon: Hawaii (because I miss my aina), Scotland, England, Bora Bora.

I tag: Tom, Katie, Andrea, and Alli.

Coelacanth Going Extinct; For Real This Time

Here’s a subject near and dear to my heart: the coelacanth is in danger of extinction.

In case you don’t know what a coelacanth is, it’s an ugly, oil-filled fish that is so old, it’s often referred to as a “prehistoric fish,” (seriously, the species has been around for like 400 million years). It was long thought to be extinct, but a fisherman caught one off the coast of Africa in 1938. Since then, many of the fish have been found and studied, giving scientists a rare glimpse into the past.

Now, deep-trawlers off the coast of Tanzania threaten to kill the coelacanth once and for all. This article has all the details, but the basics of the story are that (once again), the local fishing trade is accidentally killing fish that it shouldn’t be.

Not all hope is lost. Groups dedicated to helping the coelacanth are educating local fishers about the fish, its rarity, and its importance. Someone has even developed a fast and safe method of returning the fish to its normal depth (between 100 and 300 meters). The Deep Release Kits, as they’re called, are small, highly portable, and extremely easy to use. Along with the kits, T-shirts were made and the instructions for using the Deep Release Kits were printed on the back.

The story of the coelacanth is truly amazing (you can read it here) and it would be a shame to see humans destroy what was described as, “the most important zoological find of the century.”

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