Archive for July, 2006

Friday Funday CV

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

System Administrator Appreciation Day [del.icio.us]

Today is System Administrator Appreciation Day! Don’t forget to hug your SysAdmin. After all, without him or her, you probably wouldn’t be reading this. If you know a thing or two about computers, this video will be really funny.

20 Questions [del.icio.us]

Think of something, answer a series of “yes or no” questions, and this site will tell you what you’re thinking of. I love to try to beat these things and I rarely do. I was shocked when it nailed coelacanth right away!

Gonzaga Love [del.icio.us]

If you’ve lived in or near Spokane, this should make you laugh.

Royal Rumor [del.icio.us]

I see a lot of hilarious Daily Show clips on YouTube every day and normally I wouldn’t even think of posting one. But damn if this isn’t the funniest clip I’ve ever seen. I was laughing so hard that I was crying (at work, naturally). It starts off a little slow, but when it gets to Steven Colbert, well, just watch and you’ll see.

How to write a successful CV [del.icio.us]

You know, since today is Friday Funday CV and all…

Outdoor Webcam Offline

As you can see, the outdoor webcam is offline. It’s been offline for several days and will probably be offline for quite a while longer.

After my computer crashed the other night (the day after Microsoft officially stopped supporting Windows 98! Hmm…), I had to delete the video drivers to be able to view anything (I was getting an “out of range” error). I tried to hunt down the driver disk, but I’m not sure where it is. I downloaded the drivers from ATI’s website, but I still have all of these “unknown devices,” most of which are functions of the video card.

One of those functions is the ability to receive video from an RCA cable (via a proprietary dongle), which is how my outdoor webcam connects to the machine. So unless I can find the drivers any time soon, the outdoor webcam will just have to stay offline.

Not that there was ever much to see anyway.

Friday Funday CIV

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

Today is the two year anniversary of Friday Funday!

Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain [del.icio.us]

I don’t think I can describe it better than that. Be sure to check out this video of them playing Smells Like Teen Spirit.

How to make love to a woman [del.icio.us]

Funny, weird, and so not safe for work. For some reason, I was able to immediately recognize Bill Plympton’s distinct style. Now, where the hell have seen his work before? I know I’ve seen 25 Ways to Quit Smoking before, but where did I see that? Hmm…

Monkey with a Deathwish [del.icio.us]

Actually, this is a gibbon. These little buggers are amazing; I’ve never seen one fall or even slip. This particular gibbon really seems to know just how much it can get away with.

I Know Flash [del.icio.us]

This is every crappy Flash site you’ve ever seen.

Ohne Worte [del.icio.us]

I had my doubts about this video when it first started playing, but I quickly changed my mind. I would love to do a live action version of this. And really, if you don’t totally love Yann Tiersen, you aren’t human.

Lost

To save everyone from further bad resolution related puns, I’m going to write this post now.

I just finished season one of Lost last night. Oh. My. God.

The pilot? The pilot! Best. Pilot. Evar. Usually pilot episodes are pretty lousy, but every once in a great while we get a gem. Perhaps it was because it cost them over $10 million to produce the pilot (it’s the most expensive pilot episode in network television history), but I suspect it had more to do with the writing than the budget. I also think that (I can’t believe I’m about to use this phrase. Don’t hate me) in a post 9/11 world (sorry!), plane crashes evoke a very strong, visceral reaction in us.

Let me back up a bit.

We don’t have cable, and for some reason, we don’t get ABC over the air. Well, if we bypass the VCR and hook the antenna up directly to the TV we do, but then that’s all we get. I had heard some people at work raving about the show, and it sounded pretty interesting, so I found a torrent and downloaded season one (the internet is truly beautiful). Wow. I wasn’t even halfway through season one when I knew that I needed to get season two (it’s still downloading. Download faster!)

Anyway, I don’t want to say too much here for anyone who hasn’t seen the show (you really should watch, it’s a well written and well produced show).

A couple of fun things: because the show is shot in Hawaii (entirely! Scenes that are supposed to take place all over the world are all shot in Hawaii), I often recognise the locations. I’ll often shout, “Hey! I’ve been there!” or “I know where that is!” or “That’s not an airport in real life!”

Also, for other graphic art/font geeks out there, I ran across this forum a while back (I think it was posted on BoingBoing). This sort of thing fascinates me. What can I say, I’m a total geek.

Resolution Revelations

I’ve been meaning to write this entry for a couple of weeks now, but for a number of reasons, never got around to it. So before I put it off yet again, here is an update on my 2006 New Year’s Resolutions.

Eat right – Life change. That’s what I said about my eating habits back in January. Until recently, things didn’t change much. We still tried to stick to what the South Beach diet taught us, but you know as well as I that old habits die hard. In early June, I found out about a guy who lost 30 pounds in three months by keeping a spreadsheet and making small changes to his eating habits. No restrictive dieting, no exercising, just careful monitoring. Reading through the posts on his blog about what he did, it made a lot of sense and seemed simple enough. So, a few weeks ago, Morah and I decided to try it. Progress has been slow, but I have lost a bit of weight. Couple that with the fact that I exercise more frequently (more on that later), and I’m really feeling good about this. After all, I can eat whatever I want (on the first day, we had delivery pizza for dinner), I just have to watch how much of it I eat. I wrote (read: am still writing) a PHP program that helps us keep track of our eating habits, and we’re starting to get better at correctly guessing how much of what we can eat. If you’re trying to lose weight, I highly recommend reading Jeremy’s blog entries (there are only four or five of them) and making those small, simple changes. Life changes.

Work out more frequently – In January, I mentioned that I tended to work out very sporadically. That was still the case until a few months ago, when our elliptical machine broke. Then I stopped working out altogether. We bought the extended warranty on it (one of the few times I’ve ever actually done that), which got us all of our money back (all of it, no questions asked. That was pretty sweet). After we dumped it off at donated it to Goodwill (hey, it still works. The frame just needs welding), I got a key to exercise room at our flats (they said they’d tell us when it was done. They never told us). Now I exercise more often. Ideally, I exercise six days a week, but it’s usually five at the most. Still, I’ve been getting up early in the morning and exercising, which is working out really well. The morning is a lot easier than the afternoon for me. When I come home from work, the last thing I want to do is go work out, but first thing in the morning, I’m full of energy.

Floss my teeth – I haven’t thought of the children. What I really need to do is visit a dentist.

Do my traction – I still use my block and wedge at work and I still don’t do my traction at home. I set an alarm on my phone to go off daily so that I would remember to do it, but now, when the alarm rings, I just turn it off and go back to what I was doing. I really need to find a better way of reminding myself.

Save money – I’m trying to pay for a wedding. In Hawaii. I think I’ll have to put this one on hold until next year.

Drink more water – Remember how I said that I always have a water bottle at work? As it turns out, having the bottle at my desk and full of water inspires me to drink. It’s a 1 litre bottle and sometimes I drink two of them. I almost always drink over 1 litre a day, and often, over the course of the day, I’ll drink more than 2 litres. That’s not bad for someone who never used to drink water. You know what really helps? Kool-Aid. If you buy the sugar free Kool-Aid and make it with Splenda, the total amount of calories in it is zero. That really, really helps.

Use my electric toothbrush – Done and done. As I mentioned in January, I put my old toothbrush in a drawer to train myself to use the electric one. Well, it worked. So well, in fact, that my old toothbrush is now out of the drawer and back in the holder. I have little to no temptation to use it. Pretty much the only time I do use it is when we go on trips, and even then, sometimes I bring the electric toothbrush. Say goodbye to this resolution, it’s the last time you’ll see it.

Get caught up – Not by a long shot. In fact, I’m even further behind. Perhaps I can combine my traction and my magazines into the same time. Sort of a, “do your traction and read a magazine” sort of thing. I am going to stop listening to a few of my podcasts; one of them is fairly repetitive, one of them doesn’t apply to me much anymore, and a bunch of them have ceased production. I have been listening to podcasts while I work out, which is helping me to get up there. Hopefully it won’t take too long, especially since it’s the summer and there’s nothing good on TV.

Stay caught up – See above.

Build my business – I’ll give you one guess about how well this is going. As usual, procrastination won and I haven’t done much. It also turns out that one of my “really great ideas on how to make money” was not as feasible as it first seemed. I know I need to get moving on this, but I’m at a difficult stage: I need to change the name of the company. See, Minimum Wage Productions is what I always imagined I would call my company. Even back in high school, that was the plan. So, when I started my web design, video, audio, print, et cetera company, I called it Minimum Wage Productions. No surprise there, right? I recently decided that I wanted to focus primarily on web design, with (perhaps) a little print and graphic design, and stop doing video and audio production altogether. If you heard the name Minimum Wage Productions, would you think web design? Probably not, and neither would I. So now what the hell do I call it? I have a few ideas rattling around in my brain, so hopefully I can come up with something soon. As usual, I’ll keep you posted.

And there you have it. My 2006 mid-way update. I’m proud that I’ve made some strides in the right direction. Now if I could just get off my lazy butt and do some of the other stuff…

So how are everyone’s resolution going? Have you been able to do what you wanted?

Friday Funday CIII

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

Beatboxing Parrot! [del.icio.us]

No joke, this parrot can lay down a wicked tune.

Stuntsup [del.icio.us]

You’re a Norwegian high-dive stunt guy (with a really hip moustache!). How many points can you get?

Population: One [del.icio.us]

Utterly pointless, but it really puts things into perspective.

Stars, before they were stars [del.icio.us]

It’s fairly long for what it is (over ten minutes), but man is it funny. I’m really not a fun of the laugh track, though.

Draw the Pirate [del.icio.us]

A funny, if highly predictable, film.

Nothing like Something for Nothing

I love getting stuff without having to pay for it. I’m not talking about stealing, here, I mean using gift certificates and stuff.

I have an Amazon.com credit card, on which I earn one point for each dollar I spend (three points when I shop on Amazon). Every 2500 points, they send me a gift certificate for $25. It takes forever for these things to expire, which is nice, because then you can get some fairly pricey things from Amazon without having to pay for it.

So whenever we get a chance to use the credit card, we do. Shopping, petrol, a pack of gum, whatever. The points rack up pretty fast (which means I’m spending a tonne of money. Damn).

Every once in a while, Morah and I will get on Amazon and browse around, trying desperately to remember what in the world we wanted to buy. Why is it that you can never remember what you want when you are actually in a position to get it?

Anyway, we’re browsing around the other day and suddenly I remember that we wanted to buy the movie The Spanish Prisoner. Turns out, it’s out of print. Suck buckets, right? Well, last night we were at Hastings because I had about $20 on a gift card after I did a CD buy back.

On a side note, I love how they call it a buy back, even though I didn’t buy the CDs from them in the first place. Is it just me, or does every Hastings seem to carry more used discs than new ones? One of these days, they’re going to reach critical mass and the entire buy back program will be shut down until 80s becomes popular again.

So we’re at Hastings (remember?) and I’m puttering around, again not able to remember what the hell I want, when all of a sudden, it hits me: The Spanish Prisoner! I did a quick search on one of their info kiosks, not really expecting them to have it (which is the case with every Philip Glass album. “Oh sure, we carry that title. Just, not at this location”). But, to my surprise, there was one copy in the store. I accosted the nearest employee and begged her to be the Sherpa to my Reinhold Messner.

So now, I am the proud owner of a copy of The Spanish Prisoner! This is usually about the time when Criterion releases a version of the film, effectively killing my buzz.

One thing I did remember while I was in Hastings was that I wanted to check out the new OK Go album. I really like their song A Million Ways, but after listening to clips of the other songs, I’m not sure I’d be as into the rest of the album. They seemed a little too pop rock and a little less indie rock. Still, if someone else bought the album, I’d rip it.

Speaking of A Million Ways, have you seen the video for it? It kicks so much ass. In fact, it kicks so much ass, that OK Go are having a contest where you make your own version of the video! The winner (chosen by awesomeness) will be flown to an OK Go performance and will get to do the dance, on stage, with OK Go. There are four people in the group, Morah and I make two, so who else is interested?

The Mail is Yours, But the Package Isn’t

I just got a package that was shipped using Priority Mail from the USPS. On the side of the box, it says, “This packaging is the property of the U.S. Postal Service and is provided solely for use in sending Priority Mail. Misuse may be a violation of federal law.

Federal law, huh? That got me wondering what constituted misuse and how you could be punished. As it turns out, there isn’t a lot of information out there.

There are, however, a couple of laws of which you could (maybe) be found guilty. They are: obstruction of mails generally and frauds and swindles.

That’s it. It’s highly likely that there are other laws that prohibit you from doing things like this, but I couldn’t find them.

while I was looking around, I found this very bizarre law, and this law, which isn’t quite as strange, but is still kind of weird.

Unfortunately, I still don’t know what, for sure, constitutes misuse. What about throwing them away? After all, it’s not my box, it belongs to the United States Postal Service. And since I don’t want to accidentally commit a federal offense, perhaps we should all just play it safe and return our used Priority Mail boxes to the post office when we’re done with them.

Friday Funday CII

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

I always find these great sites and think, “That’s totally going in the Friday Funday!” Then I promptly forget to write them down and by the time Friday rolls around, all I can remember is that I saw some site that I wanted to include. Anyway, here’s what I managed to dig up this week.

Nudist Trampolining [del.icio.us]

Sometimes even I wonder how I find this stuff. Probably work-safe, but just in case…

10 Beautiful Women Who Are Way More Intelligent Than You [del.icio.us]

George Hrab would love this link.

AcceleRacers Track Mod [del.icio.us]

Who says you’re too old to play with HotWheels?

Find the Celebrity in You! [del.icio.us]

Now you can use facial recognition software to determine which celebrity you most resemble and finally put that bar bet to rest. So who do you think I most resemble, Charles Baudelaire or M. Night Shyamalan?

Natural Hallucinogen [del.icio.us]

This is trippy! Man, I can see myself doing this all day long…

North Korean Missile Crisis

Is that an appropriate title? I suppose it depends on your point of view as to whether or not North Korea should be allowed to test their missiles.

Many countries around the world say no; our own president calls the missile tests a “problem.” Yet Kim Jong Il claims that he should be allowed to test the missiles in the name of defense, citing the U.S. as one of his biggest threats.

So who is right?

On the one hand, testing ICBMs is, in fact, a provocative action. Despite claims that they require the missiles as part of their defense strategy, when the entire world, even your allies, tell you to cut it out or there will be consequences, perhaps you should cut it out. Just a thought.

On the other hand, with the United States invading countries without any sort of provocation, perhaps North Korea really does have something to worry about. In fact, we told them that a missile test would provoke us, so now we even have an excuse (a paltry one, but an excuse nonetheless) to go steaming in and topple the whole regime.

I think we need to more closely examine why Kim Jong Il feels so strongly about this. After all, China, North Korea’s closest ally, didn’t want the missile tests to happen. Why, then, is the dictator so persistent? There has been much speculation, including some thoughts about Il needing to prove that he’s as tough or tougher than his father. I suspect that the real reason, or part of it, is that he wants respect. Remember how he was made fun of in Team America (also see this clip from The Daily Show and this clip from MADtv)? He has previously said that Bush’s naming of North Korea as part of the “Axis of Evil” was disrespectful and has said that Six-party talks could resume if the U.S. were to treat his country with more respect.

What do you guys think about this? Is North Korea in the right to test their missiles, or is the rest of the world in the right to tell them not to? If we wanted to test some sort of new weapon, do you think we would listen if anyone told us to stop?

I’ll leave you with this comment, paraphrased from one made this morning on The Early Show by Harry Smith, basically saying that North Korea shouldn’t be ignoring its allies, doing whatever it wants to, and acting like it doesn’t have to answer to anyone. Does that sound like any other countries we know?

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