Tuesday, May 30, 2006
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The UPS man dropped off a new shipment of Yerba Mate for me today. In fact he woke me from my afternoon snooze that was brought on by the game of golf. Is getting your tea delivered by UPS an extravagance?
I've tried a few brands of Yerba Mate but tend to prefer the brand that I cut my teeth on. Luckily this is also the cheapest brand that I've come across. I also prefer the coarse cut (with stems, or as they say on the package "con palos") because this requires a smaller vacuum to be formed in the mouth to extract the liquid.
I'm trying out a blend flavored with mint and lemon. Jury is still out.
Luckily Yerba Mate is an acquired taste - one that is rarely acquired by others and so I rarely offer to share my drink with them - which is strange - because that is what drinking Yerba Mate is all about.
I dropped a new ball not far from the large mouth bass and couldn't help noticing that the ball could have easily fit in the open mouth of this fish. On top of this the fish was facing the tee with its mouth open. Turning to the back of the score card I could find no local rule as to the action that should be taken if this had happened. On arriving at the clubhouse of Legends at Arrowhead the staff were of no help either. I hope that this did not bugger up anybody's game today.
This should be a reminder to golf clubs that they should take these sorts of events into account when publishing their local rules. Like a southern African golf club that has the local rule: "If there are lion lying on the fairway, players may skip that hole and more on to the next hole without penalty."
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Our hosts had said grace before dinner began. Neither my wife nor I are Christians however we respected grace and closed our eyes and said amen at the end. In fact we respect all religions and are not atheists - but that's another story.
My wife obviously knew the story (she'd been there when it happened) and didn't want me to repeat it in front of our hosts and other guests who are deeply religious. I could tell that she didn't want me continue the story because of the way that my legs were being abused under the table. However, I was too far down the line to stop and could not think of any other direction in which to turn the story. Anyway, it wasn't (in my opinion) offensive to Christians if you listen to the whole story and hear that comment in context.
The difficulty at the leg kicking point is trying to focus on the story and move your legs at the same time - multi-tasking the tongue and the legs. Half my brain was trying to anticipate from which direction the next kick would come - which would allow me to reposition my legs to miss it - and the other half of my brain was trying to re-arrange the words in the story to ensure that it didn't cause any offense to anyone.
Did I succeed? Well the bruises on my legs are small so in that respect yes. We'll have to wait and see if we're invited back again to see about the other one...
Friday, May 26, 2006
LONDON, England -- It's a question that has baffled scientists, academics and pub bores through the ages: What came first, the chicken or the egg?
Now a team made up of a geneticist, philosopher and chicken farmer claim to have found an answer. It was the egg."
I think I had to jump to reach a ski map in a holder on a pole because during the winter there is usually several feet of snow to lift you up there. I took the map and sat on the deck of one of the lodges and tried to construct what the surroundings must be like in the winters.
I then noticed a signature on the map that read J Niehues and I thought - this can't be. I was at school with this guy in Africa. He's an old friend of mine from Zambia. I was positive that this was the same guy because at school he was useless at everything except art, where he was a genius and scored top marks all the time.
Since then, for the last 7 years, I've been telling all other old school friends that I know what J Niehues is doing. He's drawing ski maps for a living in the USA.
Today I serendipitously came across J Niehues' web site and got really excited that I would be able to email this old school friend again. After further research on J Nieheus' web site I discover that he left school 20 years before us and on a completely different continent. Just a bunch of coincidences and now a very misinformed network of old boys from our school.
James Niehues - Map Artist - Vail
I didn't realize that it was previously the academic OR pre-season football rankings that determined which college that you went to. I was always of the impression that you looked at the male to female ratio and depending on your gender and sexual preference chose accordingly.
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Thursday, May 25, 2006
The price comparison was easy. Photoworks charges more for each photo (0.15) and for shipping (2.90) versus Snapfish (0.12/photo) and 2.05 for shipping. Snapfish wins.
Quality? I really made a mess of this one. The bunch of photos that I uploaded to Snapfish were cropped and reduced in all sorts of manner while the ones uploaded to Photoworks were a homogenous bunch of fairly high quality digital images. As such the Photoworks release appears to be of better quality but when comparing like with like (i.e. the Snapfish that I didn't bugger up) the quality appears to be the same.
Given that all was equal except the price means that Snapfish win. Both shipping and photo prices are cheaper.
Well done Snapfish. Take the rest of the day off.
What has surprised me is that we are moving from tangibles to non-tangibles in an effort to get to brick and mortar - very tangible.
Anyway back to the matter at hand. Getting Kyle a house. Well Dan from BuyDansHouse.com is trying to sell his house for $630,000. I am just wondering what value Dan attaches to an afternoonn with Alice Cooper? $630,000? Unlikely, but possible. I'm going to put the two of them in touch with each other...
Good luck Kyle!
Good luck Dan!
"No I'm not Lance Armstrong," I said for the second time. After being falsly mistaken for Lance Armstrong, twice, I went to the web to check out his photo. I tried to find any small features of resemblance but there were and are none. To clear up the confusion I am posting a picture of myself (above) and of Lance Armstrong (below). You can immediately see that we look nothing alike. End of discussion.
Wednesday, May 24, 2006
What is blip.tv?
blip.tv is a video sharing site. Their goal is to change the world by bringing excellent free video publishing services to people who are unable or unwilling to get outlets from major media organizations in the United States and throughout the world. Their passion is democratization.
Okay, but who are they?
They're five friends in New York City who believe in open media and all those nice buzzwords. They believe the world becomes a better place when the printing press becomes cheaper. They want to enable everyone to share video with the world.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
I haven't tried it yet but was sufficiently impressed to blog it though.
Monday, May 22, 2006
Actually that completeness stuff is a bit of a lie. The reason that I have finally started posting to this blog (after ignoring it for over a year) is to do away with the millions of notes on my desktop and to store everything somewhere that I can easily find it AND I can now say "the info that I've just mentioned is on my blog" instead of "I'll try and remember to email you the link when I get home."
By the way - very impressed with the special FX on Amanda's personal site - kudos to the designer/programmer who did that.
Here's a questions for you (leave a comment with the answer): Where did you first hear of Rocketboom from (assuming that it was not here)?
My answer: From the CSI episode in which Amanda played herself.
This is Amanda Congdon from Rocketboom.
Rocketboom, if you're not familiar with the videoblog (vlog) concept is an excellent, esoteric and slightly eccentric videoblog that she presents on weekdays. It runs for about 3 to 5 minutes each day and is an excellent watch during your lunch break when you can't use the keyboard because the tuna mayo filling has come out of your sandwich and is making a break for that gap between the G and H keys.
My advice: Don't let the tuna go there. Watch Amanda instead and your IT department will thank you for not jamming those keys - seriously.
That has just reminded me of a story from when I once did IT support. I got a call: "My keyboard has stopped working."
So I went around to the computer in question and checked it out. I was surprised that Anne-Marie was so adamant that it was the keyboard and I checked out a few other things that could be preventing the keys from working - like a loose connection between the cable and the box. I finally agreed with her that it must be the keyboard and so I picked it up and put it under my arm and walked away.
A few seconds down the corridor I felt water running down my leg and soaking through my suit pants. The keyboard was leaking. I returned to Anne-Marie and had a few more questions for her.
Apparently it was a full cup of tea that had entered the keyboard.
Sunday, May 21, 2006
I've loaded and run Agent Ransack (version 1.7.3) and this grep program found everything that I was looking for. I didn't challenge it but in time to come I will.
What has particularly surprised me while looking for a solid and free windows based grep utility is that there doesn't appear to be any out there. This is such an old requirement for any computer system that I would have thought that there would be several excellent utilities available with open source and a well supported community as there are with so many of the other essential utilities.
I can remember writing my own DOS version of grep in 1991 and could easily do the same again now but I don't want to spend several hours putting together what several hundred programmers must have already done and made available to everyone else.
Of course, when you watch documentaries about how they "heard" schools of fish into shallow waters or into columns of confusion you might think that this theory is not true or a bit wacky. But consider this. When they are herding and controlling these fish are they hunting or are they playing? Are they like the modern man when he goes hunting? The man who hunts for sport and not the need to eat. The enjoyment of the hunt and not the necessity of the hunt.
So do dolphins fish for food? Or are they just playing?
In football we have the ethical players that will never even consider performance enhancing drugs or steroids. We have the others who won't think twice about doing that. These are the extremes and a small percentage of the players.
In journalism you have the same makeup. You have the exceptionally ethical who will go to prison instead of revealing their source. You have others that will be anything but ethical.
The problem with journalism is that it relies on the fact that everyone is ethical. Without that journalism as an industry fails. It doesn't matter if a few football players use performance enhancing drugs; it doesn't detract from the product that the football players are producing: great sports entertainment. In fact it often adds to the product.
In journalism this extreme not only undermines the product (trustworthy reporting) but destroys the reputation of the entire industry. The fact that you have no idea how true something is that you're reading is THE problem. At what point do you start trusting a journalist? How do you know what percentage of what he/she is saying is true? How much of their work was "invented" to fill the gap?
Saturday May 20, 2006 I uploaded and ordered 25 from each of them. Snapfish, it appears charges 0.12 per photo and so gave me $3.00 credit towards my purchase. They then added on $2.05 shipping and handling of which 0.08 was tax. Photoworks charges 0.15 per print and so gave me $3.60 credit and added on $2.90 for shipping and handling.
I ended up $5 lighter after ordering those 50 photos.
I will now sit back and see what happens. I'm going to rate the 2 companies from 3 different perspectives: 1. Price 2. Performance (speed of delivery) and 3. Quality. I will keep you posted about who does the best. If there are other companies that print photos that you've heard of then post a comment to this blog and I'll do the same with them and let's see who comes out tops.
We today I came across a fantastic posting where the scammer got stung by a reverse scam. I was so impressed with this story. In fact I was glued to the screen while I read it. It read live an exciting novel and is very well written. Here it is:
My friend James gave me a link to the www.419Eater.com web site a few years ago and in the same cool and clever style they scam the scammers. Another great service for the internet society.