Monday, July 31, 2006
Mel Gibson is Drunk - Experiments in Search
Why select this? Well the I'm sure that searches for Mel Gibson are playing havoc with the search engines right now so a great reason to throw another page in there with his name on it. I have just confirmed that melgibsonisdrunk does not appear in any of the 3 big search engines yet. I will check back each day to see when each of them index it from here. If you discover before I post a comment then please post a comment letting me know which search engine.
Here are the search queries for each of the search engines. Just click the link to see if it's been indexed.
Now do you think that this is a publicity stunt along the lines of the often quoted "there's no such thing as bad publicity" ?
Friday, July 28, 2006
When identity theft is good for you
Identity theft being good for you? Unlikely, or so I thought until I became an avid watcher of the FBI Files.
If you're an FBI fugitive then one of the things that you want to do is to throw them off your scent. Send them in the wrong direction and cause general confusion. What better way than to have someone else assume your identity and have the FBI chase them instead.
As a fugitive you could expose your personal details in a lax manner on the net and hopefully a bunch of identity thieves will steal it and become the target of the FBI agents who are currently trying to track you down via the use of your credit cards etc.
If this is possible, then why am I publishing this information? Why am I potentially helping a fugitive?
Well the FBI always get their man, if the FBI Files are anything to go by. Sometimes it might take 8 or 12 years but once you're on the list you can consider yourself caught. This way, during the process, they also catch some identity thieves.
As double reverse psychology this will also deter identity thieves. The identity thief might think twice because what they think they are stealing is a plant by a fugitive. A bit like those wonderful scamming the scammer schemes.
Thursday, July 27, 2006
Oneupmanship - inventing a new word
I found two definitions of oneupmanship (next to an advert to learn Spanish - go figure) that said it was (1) when you were ahead in a game (for example cricket) or (2) you were cleverer than someone else. I disagree with both of these definitions. I would define oneupmanship as a pissing contest - metaphorically. However, that leads me on to an actually pissing contest that I once witnessed.
It was, of course, at a bachelor's party. We were in a small garden behind a pub and against the wall was another small wall about a foot or two off the ground. The groom-to-be and and a couple of others were on the low wall and they were literally having a pissing contest - who could pee the furthest. The groom-to-be was, understandably, not too steady on his feet and fell forward and being the agile athlete that he was kept one hand on his equipment and did a one-armed cartwheel creating a spectacular Catherine Wheel effect with his kidney-filtered Carlsberg Lager and landed on his feet facing the opposite direction - perfectly dry - but still unsteady on his feet. The judges ruled him the winner (extra points for staying dry) and arbitrarily assigned him another pint to down as his prize - of course.
(I was going to talk about oneupmanship here but got way-laid by a story so hopefully I'll return to the subject in the near future.)
Learning to Blog
I had started the Johnny Depp posting on Saturday and had saved it as a draft. What I didn't know was that when I finally publish it, it maintained the date that it had first been created on and so slotted in way down the blog in date order, and so I learn the follies of dates.
Tuesday, July 25, 2006
A dinner to die for
So that got me thinking. What would I have as a last dinner if I were in that position - and would I calorie count and watch the cholesterol? I think I would order a few tequila slammers but I noticed that none of Last Meal Requests included alcohol so I'm guessing that's not an option.
If tequila is out then I'm sure that champagne would be excluded and so that would defeat ordering Caspian Sea caviar. A search through the list of Last Meal Requests showed that nobody ordered a Big Mac or in fact anything from MacDonald's.
I think that I'd have to settle for my wife's chicken and prawn curry. That's definitely a meal to die for.
How to Video Blog - VLOG
My initial reluctance to video blog (or vlog as I believe it is know as) was because I thought that it was difficult and inaccessible. (i.e. You needed to host a server with plenty of bandwidth etc.) Nothing could be further from the truth. Vlogging is pathetically easy, fast and accessible. Here is the A to Z on how to host your own free vlog.
- Set up a blogging account with blogspot/blogger like this one that you're reading - it's free.
- Set up an account with YouTube - also free.
- Record your video using your digital camera, web cam, or camcorder - your time is free but the equipment is not. Cheapest webcam is probably about $10.
- Edit the video using Windows Movie Maker which I believe comes standard on Windows XP. After you've edited the video select to save it to about a 7Mb size. It think that YouTube's size limit is 10Mb.
- Login and upload the video to YouTube and then go to the My Videos page.
- Somewhere on that page you will see a link to blog the video. Click on this link and select blogspot as the type of blog you want to blog the video to. (This is a once off setup.) Enter the blog name, username and password for your Blogspot blog (not YouTube). It will then link your YouTube account to your blogspot account.
- There should now be a link for you to click and it will automatically blog the video from YouTube to your blog. (The next time you do this you don't have to go through the setup stages and this will be much quicker. i.e. Just upload the video to YouTube and blog it.)
Monday, July 24, 2006
I was only an hour back from dropping Sanjay at the Pet Resort (the word "kennel" will not be seen in any self-respecting dog hotel that wants to stay in business) when a roadrunner appeared outside my window. It flew in to my 3rd floor balcony with a squawk and proceeded to strut about and pose for the photos that I was taking. I didn't even know that they could fly. In fact I wasn't sure that it was a roadrunner because it had arrived by wing - presumably from Reach 11 which is an animal preserve about 50 yards away.
So I turned to trusty wikipedia which assured me that they do fly but annoyingly it informed me that genus Geococcyx (of the cuckoo family) also came in both the Greater and Lesser flavor and I'll be damned if I can work out which is which. According to the geographically locations of where each can be found, this one should be a greater but it didn't look that great to me so I'm not sure if it hadn't come from the south to visit its northern cousins.
Having watched the cartoon Wile E. Coyote and Road Runner as a kid and having never heard of or seen a real road runner, I assumed as an adult that the road runner was a made-up bird that only existed in cartoons. About 6 months ago I was hiking the Cholla Trail on Camelback Mountain when some other hikers near me said "there goes a roadrunner" and there this bird went running past. I was amazed that they really existed but am now better educated. I have subsequently hit one with a golf ball (accidentally and gently - the ball had finished most of its travel) on a bird infested golf course. Long live this zygodactyl footed bird!
Sunday, July 23, 2006
Sanjay has had 3 walks this morning in temperatures of 85, 95, and 105. After the third walk, Sanjay stopped asking for walks.
I supposed I should mention how Rocket became Sanjay. Yesterday evening, left to his own devices, he started nosing through the Bhagavad-Gita. This surprised me because I thought he was a Christian dog and would have chosen the King James' or perhaps Gideon's - but no, it was the Bhagavad-Gita. I watched for a while and then called out a few Hindu names.
When I said Sanjay he left the Bhagavad-Gita and came running over. There is no doubt that he is a reincarnation of a Hindu called Sanjay, and so he has been renamed and is far more responsive to this new name.
This leads me to a question. Have you ever left your dog with anyone and when you've come back discovered that it has a new name?
Saturday, July 22, 2006
Johnny Depp Rocks!
There are some actors who I still trust. Among them are Anthony Hopkins and Johnny Depp. I have yet to be let down by them. Not only are they exceptional actors but they have, so far, never, in my opinion, appear in a trash film. I admit that I have not seen everything that they have been in, but so far so good.
I watched the first Pirates of the Caribbean and remember enjoying it even though I saw it under adverse conditions. I think that I was half asleep on a noisy plane when I watched it which usually destroys most movies. I see that Captain Jack Sparrow continues to break box office records with the second part (Dead Man's Chest) so I will have to put the Johnny Depp theory to the test again soon and see if he continues to impress.
Vern: "You blog about geek stuff."
Rob: "I present life as it is."
Guy: "I take life exaggerated it, twist it, extort the facts, twist again, exaggerate the second twist, and then blog it." (Okay I'm exaggerating about what I said exactly.)
Monty: "Take a an accurate account of what happened and I'll show you a boring story."
Vern's turn to talk but there is silence and Vern with his back to the wall is staring at the bar.
At this point (and here I steal words directly from Rob's blog) '...considerable interest at the moment the barmaid, wearing no bra and a flimsy low cut top, bent toward him...'
So I thought that it was Vern who had been caught off guard by the spectacle but Rob thinks that it was Monty. I'm prone to exaggeration and wild fiction so I'll go along with the facts as presented by Rob.
I didn't notice the bar wench and she had to be pointed out to me. (My wife reads this blog.)
Friday, July 21, 2006
It was a dark and stormy night
Okay, so it was in fact a bright and sunny afternoon BUT then all of a sudden... dum dum dum... the first monsoon of the season rolled in. Well I don't know if it was an actual monsoon and I'll have to wait for the weather authorities to give it the go ahead on tonight's news.
I'm sure you want to know how I captured this video. Well I placed a placed a Pentax Optio S40 on top of a can of Pepperidge Farm's Creme Filled Pirouette Entertaining Cookies (Chocolate Hazelnut best before 7 Sep 2006 but eaten long ago), set the camera function to video and deftly pressed the shutter button.
You may notice that the video shakes about every now and then when there's a gust of wind. I think that the crucial mistake I made was using the Chocolate Hazelnut Pirouette can. I have heard that the French Vanilla and Chocolate Fudge come in sturdier cans which are better equipped for balancing the Pentax Optio S40 during adverse weather conditions.
Thursday, July 20, 2006
An escape risk?
|GLEN STEWART GODWIN IS BEING SOUGHT FOR HIS 1987 ESCAPE FROM FOLSOM STATE PRISON IN CALIFORNIA, WHERE HE WAS SERVING A LENGTHY SENTENCE FOR MURDER. LATER IN 1987, GODWIN WAS ARRESTED FOR DRUG TRAFFICKING IN PUERTA VALLARTA, MEXICO. AFTER BEING CONVICTED, HE WAS SENT TO A PRISON IN GUADALAJARA. IN APRIL OF 1991, GODWIN ALLEGEDLY MURDERED A FELLOW INMATE AND THEN ESCAPED FIVE MONTHS LATER.|
CONSIDERED ARMED AND EXTREMELY DANGEROUS AND AN ESCAPE RISK
Now what really confuses me is that this guy is AN ESCAPE RISK. How can he be an escape risk if he's already escaped? Surely that's why he's on the FBI's top ten most wanted list: because he isn't in custody anymore.
Best Music Video Ever
A-Ha's Take On Me has to be the best music video ever made. Maria Sansone alerted me to this on The 9 this morning and I have to agree with her. How old is this video? It must have come out around 1982 so that makes it at least 24 years old. That's 173 doggy years. Music videos from the 80's look dated today but (of course this is my opinion) this one holds its own. It does help that it was set in a period before the 80's when it was first shown so that does make it appear to be timeless.
Tuesday, July 18, 2006
NoRTH Duck Pizza
NoRTH is Italian themed and following the time tested "when in Rome eat pizza" saying and at M's (M is a cunning code letter which allows me to refer to someones name without spelling it out) suggestion we tried the duck pizza.
Now I had never even heard of duck pizza before let alone tried it. I suppose that a pizza is just a piece of baked dough and you can chuck anything on it right? I've had eye-ball tortilla in Mexico City just off the Zocalo which would imply that you could have eye-ball pizza if so inclined. (I wouldn't recommend eye-ball anything to anyone - when you're eating it you can feel the cartilage crunch in your mouth - very unpleasant.)
The duck came with farmer's cheese (which I have learned is goat's cheese) and was for want of a better word excellent. Once I have perfected my new American accent I will be substituting the word excellent with awesome and will pronounce it aaaaahwsum but I can't do that yet so I'll stick to excellent.
Their pudding was also supposed to be very good but they'd run out of one of the ones that we wanted and so we went elsewhere to tail off the duck feathers.
Monday, July 17, 2006
Roadkill and Evolution
In the survival of the fittest the weakest and worst adapted creatures for the local environment are weeded out. In an area with a lot of traffic that means turning them into roadkill and the gene that survives is that of the animal that can stay off the road or get out of the way of that car faster than your average porcupine.
Has the introduction of the automobile to the world redirected the evolution of some species such that traffic awareness has evolved in the animal kingdom? I'm sure that this could be measured if you could compare roadkill count, animal population, number of vehicles, and average speed of vehicles on a stretch of road over many many years.
If the theory is to hold true then you would expect the percentage of roadkill for each species to drop over the years if the traffic and speed of traffic remained constant.
This reminds me of rabbit corner on the Lowlands Road outside Estcourt in South Africa. The corner is a right angled corner on a gravel road. As such you need to slow down to take it and at night time even more so. No matter how slowly I would negotiate that corner after dark with the headlights on full beam a rabbit would dart out and under the wheels; sometimes two or three would commit Renault hara kiri at a time.
I believed that there there was a senior rabbit making a book on which ones would make it and waiting in the long grass just off the road there was probably a pack of hyenas with napkins already tied around their necks.
Sunday, July 16, 2006
Thinking Inside the Box
"Well my fellow," I answer (I don't really speak like that but indulge me for a moment), "it's because everyone is now thinking outside the box and so if you go back in the box then you'll find that there's no competition in there."
Okay, so that's pretty lame but I was getting tired of hearing about people who had started to think outside the box. Do they realize how small their box was to start with? All they had to do was trip and fall on their face and they were out the box. And what were they doing inside the box in the first place? And they'd been in there for how long?
Okay, so you're facing this dilemma. You find yourself outside the box because you bought into one of these hokey management ideas. Now you want to get back into the box but you know that if you're in there people will want to know why you aren't outside the box and if you're out the box you know that you've been suckered by the MBA's and their fancy chat.
You could execute a straddle; put the box on your head and then you can't see who's looking at you. Perhaps put a pair of mirror shades on the box and then you can see who's looking at you but they won't know that you can see them.
Life and its problems...
I have a confession to make. I am outside the box but I want to get back in. If you know how, please post a comment and let me know.
Thursday, July 13, 2006
I've found a very professional replication of Rocketboom. It's called The 9 (The Nine?) and is hosted by Maria Sansone and has more structure than Rocketboom. Each day, they take 9, exactly 9, no more no less, "news stories" and show clips and screen shots about each one.
The stories always have a web link to something quirky or interesting and so far (I've only watched 2 days and am too lazy to go back through the archives) I'm very impressed. Maria does an excellent job of Anchor Woman and I will be back and keep you up-to-date if I discover anything phenomenal.
Now I've noticed that I've made 2 major mistakes since I started this blog. The first was to post pictures of blondes with what I write. This happens to be purely coincidental because what I have felt like writing about happens to have involved the odd blonde. I haven't actually sought them out. But why, you are asking, is that a problem? Well that has become a problem because of my second mistake. That was telling my wife that she can find out each time I make a blog posting by putting her email address into the box just below my picture on the right. So each time I put something up here (like now), she gets an email and comes over here and inspects it.
"Another blonde I see," she will say when I'm least expecting it. You see, by the time she's read it I've forgotten about the blog, the blonde and the fact that the wife has subscribed to these postings.
She has yet to post a comment directly to any of the blog postings though...
(Completely off the subject, I've just run my US English spell checker against this blog posting before releasing it and it comes up with blonde as a misspelling. Is blonde spelled another way in US English?)
Wednesday, July 12, 2006
People quote me?
Amanda Congdon has been keep us abreast of her ousting from Rocketboom on her personal blog amandaunboomed.blogspot.com I commented on one of her blog postings:
"When life gives you lemons, you go to Secaucus."If you look down that posting you'll see at about the 16th comment I say:
Hey Amanda - when are you and Andrew going to appear on Jerry Springer?
Then two days later (today) I'm reading Time.com's 10 Questions for Amanda interview and see:
Now here's the thing. When I'm not being serious everybody's interested and listening and worst of all they remember everything I say. But if I'm being serious, do you think that anyone pays any attention to me? No way!
One of your readers on your Unboomed blog asked when you and Andrew are going to appear on Jerry Springer. Is it really that bad?
[Laughs.] I don’t think we’ll be doing that anytime soon, but our relationship is clearly pretty bad.
So, what's the solution?
Sunday, July 09, 2006
Red Hot Pawn
Mike (a friend's 6-year-old) and I commenced the game on 20 March 2005, a few months after he started to play chess.
Our game suffers from some unusual obstacles. How often does you opponent, for example, get banned from the computer because he hasn't eaten all his supper or done all his homework? I'm not sure exactly what Mike gets up to but as you would expect with any youngster he needs to be disciplined every now and then which includes restricted computer access. Apparently I, as chess opponent, do not get any say in this.
I am black. Mike is white. I'm in a bit of a predicament. When we started this game I was about 8 times older than my opponent and was certain of victory. As the game draws to a close that multiple has diminished and I am now only 6 times older than him and far less certain about my position. I am about to be beaten. Perhaps it's time to encourage his parents to excercise more discipline and computer restrictions.
Friday, July 07, 2006
Rumor has it that Joanna Colan is going to replace Amanda Congdon on Rocketboom on Monday. Amanda (49% Rocketboom owner) and Andrew Baron (51% Rocketboom owner) split up over the last week.
It seems unlikely that I'm going to be able to catch video stills of Joanna dribbling beer down her chin like I did with Amanda but I'm going to give it a damn good try.
You have to admit that there's nothing sexier than a woman with beer running down her face after she's taken too big a gulp. Okay, I'll drop it here, we're entering the wild bit of wild fiction.
Did you notice the non sequitur from the last blog post to this one?
I have come up with an ingenious and cunning plan for keeping shoelaces the same length on either side. (One might even say that it is a plan so cunning that you could pin a tail on it and call it a weasel.) In fact I've come up with 2 plans. Plan A is demonstrated in the white sneaker. The lace is doubled over and a knot is tied in the center before it is threaded. This allows for a little bit of slippage and misalliance on either end but so long as the knot can't slip through the eyes then you're looking sexy. Plan B knots the laces in a reef knot at stage 2 of the lacing. This is far more secure and balanced and makes it almost impossible to ever have mismatched laces again.
Although I very excited to have solved a problem that has plagued me for decades I am surprised that shoelace makers have not done a better job in helping their customers with this problem. They could have worked this out themselves and put useful little hints on the back of the packaging. They could have also colored the middle of the lace differently to help you adjust the lengths if you're not using the knot technique. One never knows how far to pull the lace back when you're trying to re-balance them and a little pre-made marker on the lace would have been very useful.
Tuesday, July 04, 2006
From our 3rd floor apartment we have a magnificent 180 degree view of the north valley so we decided to stay at home and watch the fireworks from the balcony. The most amazing part of the fireworks display was that there wasn't one. Well not one that I noticed or heard.
As I type this blog entry, a hummingbird (Apodiformes Trochilidae) is hovering (for a moment it was hoovering but then I realized that was practically impossible for such a small creature and a job that only its wife would make it do) next to my window. They come by hourly, peer in the window, and then fly off. If I was paranoid I'd swear that they were spying on me.
We recently had one trapped in the apartment. It had flown in and was up against the window trying to escape. I approached to catch it in my hands and release it but was told by the other person present that its stiletto sharp beak would sever my hand from my wrist. The safest way was to use a combination of a microwave cover and the 3rd edition of the Morris Cody Clinical Pharmacy Book 1B. I released the hummingbird with both hands intact.
There are 338 hummingbird species - and you thought that you weren't going to learn anything from this posting...
Sunday, July 02, 2006
I was so excited about the approaching lightening strikes and howling wind that I went outside and faced the elements and with my camera managed to use one of its features to catch this lightening strike over Desert Ridge Mall.
The trick to catching a photo like that is to leave the lens open for a few seconds. That means switching the dial to the twilight setting which is the picture of the man with a crescent moon next to his head. The next trick is to holding the camera steady. In fact, holding is not the right word because if it's in your hand it's not going to be steady, even if there's no wind blowing. So you have to set it down on a ledge and hold on tight to it so it doesn't blow off. Then press the tit and wait for about 5 to 10 seconds until the operation is over. During that period you have to hope that there's a lightening strike. Keep on trying until you get one.
If you didn't follow that then you know less than nothing about digital photography because I know nothing about it. Zero minus something will give you less than nothing.
Saturday, July 01, 2006
This evening we dined at Tandoori Times. With dinner came a belly dancer - a very good one - my wife was competing for attention and had to take my face by the chin and twist it towards her. This only happened once - I know better than to let it happen more than that.
The belly dancer was somewhat of a surprise because we thought that this was a Middle Eastern activity but when we questioned the hostess she assured us that it is de rigueur in Northern India, which is where her family is from.
We also quized the abundance of beef on the menu. Indian restaurants rarely serve beef because the cow is considered sacred in India. Our hostess said that she is catering to the demands of the customers, which is fair enough. When in Rome, eat pizza.
I thought that the expression Holy Cow must have originated from the concept of the sacred cow in Hindu religion. However, when I checked it on wikipedia I discovered that none of its origins are attributed to that.
I feel that I'm becoming wikipedia's bitch. I now cross reference anything that I'm about to quote as fact against it to make sure I'm not dispensing untruths. My friend Vern said the other night: "You don't actually believe anything that read in wikipedia do you? You know that anybody can edit it and change what they want don't you?"
So far I have not found anything that I don't believe. Perhaps I'm gullible. I've now also found wiktionary. I wonder if I'll become wiktionary's bitch as well.
I almost forgot to mention the food. In fact I did forget to mention the food and came back to this blog about an hour after I posted it to add this:
The food was excellent (as was the service). We had naan, rice, tandoori prawns and sag paneer. Our compliments go out to the chef. We will dine there again.