Saturday, December 30, 2006

On this day in history...

California opens it's first freeway (1940)
Eliza Dushku is born (1980)
Wayne Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games (1981)
Ephedra is banned (2003)
Saddam Hussain is excecuted (2006)
iRob is born!

Happy birthday to me!


P.S. I bought myself a really kick-@$$ birthday present, but it won't be ready for 1-2 weeks. Expect details to follow.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Back to the Futurama

They are bringing "Futurama" Back!



P.S. You know what rocks? Today is the first day of my eight day vacation. That rocks.

Friday, December 22, 2006


My new coworker bought me a fantastic new toy for Christmas and my birthday!

(Well, I think she may believe that she bought me a Wal-Mart Gift Certificate, but really she bought me Starscream.)



Thursday, December 21, 2006

Unhappy Meal(tm)

So as I was out late tonight running various errands, I decided to treat myself. (Something I usually know better that to do. Eating here makes me often feel like I ate a newspaper.)

But I was feeling lazy and wanted something comforting. So I picked up an old favorite.

However it wasn't quite what I remembered. They tasted different, and worst of all they screwed with my sauce. (Hot mustard sauce has been discontinued. You would have thought I would have found a link for that, but no.)

Apparently it didn't sell well enough, so they dropped it. That sucks. I don't want 'honey-mustard', they already have 'honey'. I wanted 'hot mustard'. And it is no more. So I had to have strange unfamiliar nugget things without any sort of sauce I really like. The barbeque sauce is not bad, but when you have your heart set on that gooey spicy goodness, not much else satisfies.

Damnit. Anyone know of a reasonable facsimile?


[EDIT - Actually, you know what? Nevermind. I read the entire Wiki article and some of the links. I don't know that I'll be eating these again.]

"Eat a live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day."

Tuesday, December 19, 2006



So after being extremely sick last night, I'm at home today. Was barfing into the wee hours, not fun.

So I'm working from home, which is hard. Basically it means I hover near my laptop until someone sends me an email. Then I repond. Lather, rinse, repeat. I've done most of what I can do already today but I need to feel like I am 'working', since I'm billing for today. (I'm out of sick time for the year.)

Mostly I'm feeling better now, but extremely tired, weak, cranky, and dehydrated. (Which would explain the other three.) I'm drinking lots of water and not accomplishing much which is my solution to all illness.

So I'm too sick to go to work, but I'm too well to be laying in bed. That means I'm in a sort of purgatory until 5:00 when I can leave my work computer alone without guilt.


(50th post, btw.)


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Damn boots

My boot broke today. The zipper came off the tracks, in such a way as to make clear that it will never function normally again.

The boots were not terribly expensive to begin with, (I think they were under 50$.) but the zipper in the other one went last year, and it cost me 30 bucks to have it re-done. I checked back and it would be another 30 to do this one. (no surprise)

Normally I would chuck them and get new ones, but they look good, are comfy, and generally function well. I have a bad track record with shoes, and they don't seem to last long regardless of how much I pay for them.

So do I sink the 30$ into the boots, or do I break down, chuck them, and go boot shopping? (Your votes are welcome.)


"There are two types of people--those who come into a room and say, 'Well, here I am!' and those who come in and say, 'Ah, there you are.'"
-Frederick L Collins

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Shades of Dexter's Laboratory, Batman!

I've been reading an interesting article on the most dangerous toys of all time.

Number two is pretty cool - It's a home atomic energy set. (For the kiddies!)

It's really interesting to see how our views have changed. Nowadays if a toy can be considered even remotely dangerous it is banned. When I was growing up.. well.. let's just say I'm surprised as many people survived as they did. (Hands up whoever got to play with lawn darts!)

Of course, I grew up with that, and even I was slightly taken back by an electric fan that J's mom used to own. It had 4 inch metal blades, and the flimsiest of guards. (It was similar to this one but more deadly.) What was even more disconcerting was that it had developed an electrical short, and rather than replacing it she was attempting to find somewhere that would fix the death trap. (!)

From my observations it stands to reason that every generations' experience is safer than the one before, and vice-versa. So the grandchildren of our generation will be bouncing around a Styrofoam environment in hermetically sealed bubbles, while I'm pretty sure my great grandparents favorite toys were poison darts and a live wolverine.


"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."

Friday, December 15, 2006

Chrismas Carol

Merry Christmas from Twisted Sister!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

Don't drop the soap

This is cool. I totally need to make one.

I have absolutely no idea what I'd use it for, but that's not the point. (Silly.)


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Best. Lines. Ever.

Evey: Who are you?
V: 'Who' is but the form, following the function of 'What'. And 'What' I am, is a man in a mask.
Evey: I can see that.
V: Of course you can. I'm not questioning your powers of observation. I'm merely remarking on the paradox of asking a man in a mask who he is.
(From 'V for Vendetta')

Damn that's cool.


Too dumb to shop


This is not an encouraging development.

I tried to buy something at a local store yesterday. Like many others, they have launched a self service checkout isle. The idea is that you walk up with your items, scan them yourself, bag them yourself, pay, and leave.

As someone who does not find joy in retail interaction, this sounds ideal.

And it was, insofar as it went. Right up until I tried to give them some money. According to the diagram being displayed on the instruction screen, I was supposed to swipe the debit card on the keypad and then use the pad to enter my PIN.

So I did. Then I stared blankly at the screen while nothing happened. And then a twelve year old customer service girl came up to show me that it isn't that card reader (indicating the keypad) it's this card reader. (indicating one mounted on the side of the screen.) Barely surpressing a smirk. (Good job, Grandpa.)

So I paid and left with what minor dignity I could muster. I decided to grab dinner at the Harvey's in the same building. When I handed the cashier the debit card, she gave me the keypad. Then she asked for the card back because she spaced out and forgot to complete the transaction, and needed to start over.

I call it a draw.

I seriously don't know what I'm doing. I never know if the answer to 'Do you want your debit receipt?' Do I need it? Do I not? No matter where I'm shopping, I guess wrong. If I hand the cashier the debit card to swipe, they hand it back and indicate I'm to swipe it on the keypad. If I hang on to it, they need to swipe it on their register. I can't win.

Is this it for me? Do I seriously top out at paper money I can hold? I used to be able to do this stuff.


"The older I grow the more I distrust the familiar doctrine that age brings wisdom."
-H. L. Mencken

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Lawyer humor

It's important that when you are thinking of getting close to someone that you remember to bring protection.

(This may be a good time to remind my readers that I do not guarantee SFW.)

Thanks to J for this little gem.


"My mother always wanted me to be a lawyer."
-Tony Danza

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

What's in a name?

J's mom has occasionally calling me 'Rod' for twelve years. (That's the name of her cousin.) Another person I work with in HR keeps calling me 'Brad'. (That's the name of her boss.) A guy at work who I only ever communicate via email (my address of which is my name) keeps calling me 'Greg'. (This one I have no idea.)

Maybe it's me.


The Tick: It's your turn now, Thorace-bog.
Alien: It's Thrakkorzog. Thrakkorzog. With a K.
The Tick: We're only serving humble pie, Whatchamazog.
Alien: For the last time, it's...
The Tick: Thorax-and-a-bog. Four-yacks-and-a-dog.
Alien: No.
The Tick: Ah, laxative-log.
Alien: No, no, no.
The Tick: Sapsucker-frog.
Alien: Thrakkorzog.
The Tick: Susan?
Alien: Now you're doing it on purpose. How juvenile.

-from "The Tick"

Monday, December 04, 2006

Scientists levitate small animals

It sounds like the punchline of a joke, but actually it's the title of a news article.

Those scientists - they're wacky!


Saturday, December 02, 2006


There is an article in the Washington Post about new toy packaging - specifically about the fact that it may as well be made from laminated titanium for how easy it is to get the new toy out.

My new prize possession took me about 20 minutes to get out of the packaging. My tools included:

  • Small set of wire cutters (1)
  • Small utility knife (1)
  • Needle nose pliers (1)
  • Hands (2)
  • Adult brain (1)
  • Years of experience working with hand tools (10)

I can only pity the poor 8 year old who gets this toy for Christmas and is not allowed to play with scissors.

"Here you go billy! I bet you can't wait until you get an engineering degree at MIT so that you can reverse-engineer the packaging!"

I've seen Egyptian Pharaohs with less elaborate packaging.


“More and more products are coming out in fiercely protective packaging designed to prevent consumers from consuming them. These days you have to open almost every consumer item by gnawing on the packaging.”

-Dave Barry

Friday, December 01, 2006

Keyboards without Keys... just 'boards'?

I love science-fictiony stuff.

One advance that I am particularly fond of is keyboards that aren't.

Modern 'qwerty' keyboards are highly reminiscent of the original alphanumeric keyboard - the typewriter. That is because the technology is directly descended from those machines which slapped lumps of metal into ribbons soaked with ink onto a piece of paper.

It is entirely possible that the keyboard I'm typing this on right now, with it's quaint 'clickey-clackey' noises and bouncy keys will soon be obsolete. I've seen several new technologies that could easily replace this in the next few years.

One involves using lasers to project a keyboard onto any flat surface. Then the unit (which is wireless, using Bluetooth) senses the motion of the user's fingers and translates this into one or several key presses. For nostalgic and feedback purposes, it also makes 'clickey-clackey' noises when a 'keypress' is sensed. This technology is now available for the low low price of 179.99 (US)

Another involves using acoustic sensors to triangulate where a surface is striked, or rubbed. It can tell the exact position any object contacts the other by the vibrations measured from several different points. Therefore a keyboard template could be laid on top of the surface, (or painted on, for that matter) and can take any possible configuration. This one is currently in development.

But it doesn't go 'Clickey-Clack', and I would miss that.


"Where the hell is the 'Any' key?"