Sunday, July 29, 2007

Detective Wife

My wife comes home from work and about half an hour later she asks "So how did you enjoy that peach flavored tea?" How did she know I'd had it? I wondered. Turns out that she looks in the trash each day to see what I've been eating and drinking. Her key eye turns to the fridge and notices that there's one less piece of cheesecake in the box. Even when there's no garbage generated she'll know what I've had.

A while after that she asks "So did Ashalia leave a message for me?"
"Oh yes," I say suddenly remembering that I'd completely forgotten to give her Ashalia's message. Turns out that she uses the history feature on the phone to find out who called and what messages I've forgotten.

What I want to know is why she has to ask me what I'm thinking. Surely she has a clever way of finding that out without asking me...?

iRobot go home

We recently bought an iRobot called a Roomba. Here's a YouTube ad for iRobot Roomba. The Roomba is a robotic vacuum cleaner. Technically it's great. The programming is good, it covers the whole area, it's small and can get under anything.

The problem is that it can't empty itself out or unjam itself. In fact it takes longer to clean it out and unjam it each cycle than it would take to use the regular hoover. So from a time saving point of view it's not worth it. I have never seen it make it to the end of a 1hour cleaning program without it jamming and needing assistance. Maybe I live in a very dirty house?

I think, and hope, that this device will eventually improve to the stage where it will use the cyclone concept. It would have to be an articulated device that looks a bit like a large ant with part of it being able to extend under furniture and the other part operating the taller cyclone device.

I look forward to trying it out again in the future but for now I must send the iRobot Roomba back to the mother ship.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Image IQ #5

In which town/place with a population of 6 has this man been hanged? Why was he hanged?

Image IQ #4

What is this famous building/structure? What is the closest town (not city)? What is the purpose of the dome at the end of the structure?

Image IQ #3

Where is this photo taken? (Clue: in south eastern quadrant of Arizona) What is the photo of? Why is the water at the bottom blood red?

Monday, July 23, 2007

Profile of a rattlesnake bite victim

Although I haven't been bitten by a rattler and have no desire to be I've read about the victims. Most of them fit a certain profile. Apparently they're heavily tattooed, almost always men and usually drunk.

I've decided that the best strategy to avoid being bitten when encountering a rattler is to not be a man, tattooed, or drunk. Sometimes not being these things is difficult so I have some ideas. If you mince past the snake it might not recognize that you're a man. Roll your sleeves down over your tattoos and if you've been drinking then hold your breath.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Image IQ #2

For 20 points and the chance to go through to the next round, in which south-eastern Arizonan town was this picture taken?

Angry Botanist Corrects Sign

I was innocently shuffling along a hiking trail in the Chiricahua Mountains checking that each plant and tree had been correctly named when I came across an Emory Oak.

It was clearly not a Mexican Blue Oak as it had originally been label by someone.

I can only imagine the fury and anger of the botanist who encountered this mislabeled tree. He (or she) must have jumped in his (or her) car and driven the 10 miles back to Portal (a small store in the middle of nowhere in south-eastern Arizona) and bought a Sharpie (felt tip pen) and rushed back to correct this sign.

Can you imagine an entire generation of kids growing up in South-Eastern Arizona thinking that an Emory Oak was a Mexican Blue Oak?

Friday, July 13, 2007

More or less of me?

The last time that I checked how many of me there were I discovered that there were 69 of us. Now, 6 months later, I've just gone to today to check if we've increased or decreased in number and I discovered that we have another one. There are now 70 of us.

People sharing my first name have increased from 89,991 to 90,694 (+703) which is a massive annualized growth rate of 1.6%. People sharing my last name have increased from 230,976 to 232,780 (+1,804), also 1.6%.

I've also discovered that my 2 brothers are represented by 3,074 and 456 other ones respectfully.

So according to my calculations there are 299,999,930 you people and 70 us people that live here. So don't try and tell me that I'm not a minority.

Monday, July 09, 2007

Bank of America and Profanity

I'm not sure if this really qualifies as profanity...?

From: WTF

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Fastest Car Purchase Ever

I was just reading Tim Heuer's speed of social networks blog post and remembered this story.

I like to claim that I made the fastest car purchase ever. Until someone comes up with a faster tale, I'm going to continue to believe that.

I think it was 1997. Around 40 of us were working for this company overlooking Oxford Circus in the centre of London. A colleague of mine was transferring to the New York office. There was about a week before he left.

The old "You have mail" message popped up on my screen.

Tony had sent an email to the entire office that read something like this:

Off to New York in 1 week. Haven't got around to selling my car. Garage says that it's worth 3000. I'll give it to the first bidder for 2000 on condition that I can keep it until the day I leave.

I'm sure that it had the make and model and a few other details but those weren't important. I wasn't even looking for a car but I saw a good deal so I clicked reply and typed "done" and then clicked send.

I didn't know this but Tony had set a stopwatch when he hit the send button and later I discovered that he received my reply 45 seconds after he sent out the ad. Another astute colleague also accepted the offered but he thought about it and 2 minutes was too long. He received eight offers that day and 20 by the end of the week. Half the company had agreed to buy his car but yours truly was first in line and drove away with it.

So that's how someone who wasn't looking for a car read an advert in 10 seconds, made a decision in about 0.5 seconds, and bought a car. It was a great car and served me well for a number of years after which some friends inherited it and had it for many years after that.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Kitchen Basketball

I've started playing basketball - well kitchen basketball to be exact - it's safer to start this way than immediately show your ineptitude on the court in front of 8-year-olds.

The sink as you can see, is the perfect basket. Getting it in is not difficult but making it stay in is.

The ball that I'm playing with is a Wilson NCAA ball. NCAA is an acronym for the National Basketball Association, the overseeing basketball organisation in the US. The team in charge of creating acronyms at the NCAA is not the best in the world.

Top tips for Kitchen Basketball:

  • Clear away all glasses and glassware before you start a game.
  • Don't tell your mother/wife that you play this game and only play when she's not at home.
  • If you hit the faucet handle such that water sprays on the kitchen floor take a 1 point penalty.
  • Score an extra point if you bounce the ball off 2 surface items before it dunks.
  • Score 3 extra points if you reflect off the microwave and oven before you "sink" it.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Full Moon Piestewa

I have no idea why but I found myself awake at 5am this morning. Knowing how hot the rest of the day was going to be I decided to take advantage of this unusual dawn rising and hiked up Piestewa.

When I got to the parking lot I was surprised to see (1) so many other cars there and (2) myself there.

I started hiking at 5:30am and that photo is taken at about 5:35am. There had been a full moon about 20 hours earlier so you can see that there's a bit missing from the lower right side of the moon in this picture. This was the coolest part of the day and the temperature was about 75F (24C) at the bottom at this time.