Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The versions are regressing

Usually, when you bring out a new software product, you increase the version number. This is what the Romans did with their Roman Numerals when they were still making software.

Microsoft have just released the third version of their C# Compiler and have given it the version number 3.5. The first one they versioned 7.1 and the second one 8.0. I'm going to send Microsoft a letter and explain how the versioning system works.

Or... Are Microsoft becoming environmentally friendly and recycling everything including version numbers?

(Click image to zoom to full image.)

Sunday, November 25, 2007

O'Doul's - restricted or not?

O'Doul's is my favorite non-alcoholic lager. If you stick a wedge of lime in the neck I can't tell the difference between it and a Corona except for the fact that I exaggerate a little more after the Corona.

The drinking laws in the United States prohibit anyone under the age of 21 from buying booze. So the question that I have asked several times: Is O'Doul's restricted for sale to under-21's or not?

Next time that you're in a restaurant ask a waitress this question. 95% of the time they will not know. The other 5% of them will be divided on the answer.

I thought that I'd found the answer when shopping at Safeway's. I bought some O'Doul's and at the checkout the register to not ask the cashier to check my I.D. So that must be it I decided, it's not regarded as a restricted drink.

To my surprise, however, when shopping at Fry's Supermarket the register ask the cashier to check my I.D. So apparently Fry's have classified it as alcoholic and Safeway's as non.

So if you're under-21 and want to buy it you need to shop at Safeway's and not Fry's. This is of course a moot point as no self-respecting under-21er would risk damaging their reputation by buying a non-alcoholic lager. This is a drink that will only be bought by someone with the choice.

Full moon rise

This evening there was a full moon and the moonrise was just after the sunset (5:21pm Arizona Time) so I thought that I would try and capture the moonrise on camera.

I hiked to the top of Piestewa Peak as this would be a great point from which to watch it. It was a fairly chilly day so I tried to time my arrival at the top as closely to the moonrise as possible. I was, however, about 20 minutes early. This meant that by the time the moon had showed itself I was shivering from cold.

I did get these shots which I'm averagely pleased with. I think that there may have still been too much light to make this a great full moon rise.

Depending on how cold it is I might try and do this again next month.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Junk Mail

I've started sending empty envelopers back to companies who send me annoying junk mail with return envelopes to buy stuff. I'm wondering if anybody else does this?

I'm thinking that companies should start numbering their envelopes so that when they receive an empty one they will know that the person wants to be taken off the mailing list. A bit like clicking the remove me link on emails to stop receiving them.

If everyone started returning empty envelopes then the cost of sending out mailings would soar and would force companies to reconsider who they mailed. I have heard that only 2 to 5% of mailings are responded to. If that's the case then the cost of receiving return mail would rise by a factor of 20 to 50 times what it currently is if everyone returned their envelopes.

I'm curious to know if others have opinions or ideas along this theme...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Soft Latin Rap

I was listening to Julieta Venegas' Eres Para Mi on the way home from work on the radio and was trying to work out its classification. It's an excellent song but seems to be in an unusual category of soft Latin rap. Does anybody know the more commonly known classification for this type of music?

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Lango Massi

We went to the Deli Palace a couple of days ago and had one of the best curries I've had in a long time - excluding of course the ones that my wife makes makes. Before we'd even sat down the waitress asked what we'd like to drink. I spoonerised Mango Lassi into Lango Massi. The waitress almost collapsed laughing. How very rude of her.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Not Authorized

Good quote at a conference today:

"We're speaking as people who are not authorized to speak about this stuff"

Monday, November 05, 2007

Copper Bark Tree?

Went hiking in Crown King yesterday and came across this tree with a copper bark and I can't identify it. Anybody know what it is?

I seems that half the trunk is covered with this copper bark and the other half is bare.

I have tried to search for the obvious "Coppper Bark Tree" etc. but nothing shoes up yet...

EDIT: Thanks to Melodie (see comments) this tree was identified as a Manzanita. More about it in Wikipedia here: Manzanita.

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Beer better than water after exercise

News story I just read with my thoughts in italics.

A recent study at Granada University in Spain has found that drinking beer after exercise to be better at rehydrating you than water. The study was tested on 25 college students. I bet that they had a really tough time finding college students that were willing to participate in a study that involved drinking beer. The students had to perform strenuous exercise in 104F temperatures. This was probably lugging barrels of beer from the truck up into the hall where the study was taking place.

The group was split into two and half of them drank beer and the other half drank water. What a bummer. Imagine signing on for the study and being assigned to the group that has to drink water. Now it doesn't take a mathematical genius to notice that they managed to split 25 people into 2 groups. Why 25 if you're splitting them in 2? What happened to the odd man out? Was he alternating between beer and water?

Apparently the hydration effect in those drinking beer was slightly better than those who drank water. I know why this was. Those drinking the water were standing there sulking and reluctantly sipping at their drinks while they were watching the others drink beer.

I know when Christmas starts

I've discovered when Christmas starts. It's at midnight on Halloween. It has come to my attention that workers in stores across America have instructions to take down the Halloween decorations at midnight on Halloween and replace them with Christmas decorations.

I've noticed that Tom has already lamented about Wal-Mart starting the Christmas (Shame on Wal-Mart) music. Tom: the law says that Christmas starts when Halloween ends, not when Thanksgiving ends. Go back to law school.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Halloween sugar buzz

It was Halloween last night. This was our first Halloween in our new house. Well it was my first Halloween as the trouble and strife had to work. It was great fun.

It was/is a great way to meet a lot of people in the community.

Next to the front door I had a packet of eyeball chocolates. I was fascinated at the different approaches each kid took to getting their loot of candy. Some kids politely took one eyeball and I had to encourage them to take more. Others put their buckets down and dived in with both hands scooping up as much as possible.

I tried to get rid of all the candy but at the end of the evening there eyeball packet was still half full. I thought it was all over when fairly late into the evening some stragglers arrived; just two kids. I made them take the rest of the candy.

I'm wondering if this is the best Halloween strategy for a kid. Go out late and then you have everyone giving you everything that's left over. Or does this backfire and you end up visiting lots of houses that have run out of candy?