Thursday, January 31, 2008

Did P. Diddy Buy All the Cristal in Arizona?

[Picture a training montage]

My mom is in training for a Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Team In Training event at the San Diego Marathon this June. The goal is to raise money for research to fight leukemia and other blood cancers. My dad is has gone two rounds with non-hodgkind lymphoma. For those who know my dad, if he's going to let anything kill him - it wouldn't be cancer. More than likely it will involve some sort of Marxist revolution. Who knows? Anyway - for more information (and hopefully you'd like to make a donation), please check out the event page.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Tried a tactic that never worked

I'm not a basketball fan. Never have been. Maybe it is because I can't dribble and I'm bitter about it. Who knows? I'm not a psychologist. I'm not Dr. Phil. The part about basketball that I really don't like is that the playoffs seem to take about eight months to complete. That is way longer than any process to decided the two finalists should take. This is very similar to the presidential primaries. Holy shit, will November ever get here quick enough.

Yesterday was Florida's primaries. I voted. I voted absentee a couple weeks ago - it was just a oddity that I was actually in Florida for the election. I'm technically a Floridian still - at least for voting purposes. To be even more specific, I'm a absentee resident of Palm Beach County (hooray hanging chads) - so that groups me in with the worst voters in the United States. So I absentee voted for Obama. Hillary won. It doesn't count anyways because Florida jumped the primary line and the national party won't count the delegate's votes. It is stupid. Stupid, stupid, fucking stupid. I could have changed parties and voted for McCain, at least my vote would have counted.

Anyway. Here's a video of a ghost -

Tuesday, January 29, 2008


From my author friend Katie.....

1) Which book do you irrationally cringe away from reading, despite seeing only positive reviews?

"How Stella Got Her Grove Back" - mainly because I know a girl who wrote her thesis on it and she divorced a friend of mine after six weeks of marriage. I'm Irish - we wrote the book on grudges.

2) If you could bring three characters to life for a social event (afternoon tea, a night of clubbing, perhaps a world cruise), who would they be and what would the event be?

Ok - here are the three characters I'd bring to life for a night of wings and beer at Morty's Pub in Waterloo: Hermonine Granger from "Harry Potter", Jose Arcadio from "One Hundred Years of Solitude" and Raskolnikov from "Crime and Punishment". I think Arcadio would stick us with the bill.

3) (Borrowing shamelessly from the Thursday Next series by Jasper Fforde): you are told you can’t die until you read the most boring novel on the planet. While this immortality is great for awhile, eventually you realise it’s past time to die. Which book would you expect to get you a nice grave? Any book by Pat Buchanan.

4) Come on, we’ve all been there. Which book have you pretended, or at least hinted, that you’ve read, when in fact you’ve been nowhere near it?

Ayn Rand's 'The Fountainhead'. I've been after trying to finish it since 1992.

5) You’re interviewing for the post of Official Book Advisor to some VIP (who’s not a big reader). What’s the first book you’d recommend and why? (If you feel like you’d have to know the person, go ahead and personalise the VIP).

I would recommend reading "Chuck Klosterman IV". It is all about being (or knowing who is) advanced.

6) A good fairy comes and grants you one wish: you will have perfect reading comprehension in the foreign language of your choice. Which language do you go with?

I agree with Katie - Latin all the way.

7) A mischievous fairy comes and says that you must choose one book that you will reread once a year for the rest of your life (you can read other books as well). Which book would you pick?

The Phantom Toll Booth. That book still freaks me out.

8) I know that the book blogging community, and its various challenges, have pushed my reading borders. What’s one bookish thing you ‘discovered’ from book blogging (maybe a new genre, or author, or new appreciation for cover art-anything)? 

I discovered the awesome writing power of Katie Schmidt. Althought I already knew she was awesome and I have letters written by her that I'm waiting to sell on Ebay once her book hits the top of the NY Times best sellers list.

9) That good fairy is back for one final visit. Now, she’s granting you your dream library! Describe it. I'd like a library with one of those ladders that has wheels and you can move it along the shelves to find that one specific volume that solves a crime.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

As God is my witness, I thought turkeys could fly

I'm starting to mess around with Visual Studio 2008 Express and the .NET Framework 3.5 at home. Really, I should kick my own ass for saying that's what I do at home. Geek. Geek. Anyway - Microsoft gives you an option of downloading an ISO image and burning a DVD of all the installers - and I've got a working DVD writer now, so I figured it was time to head on down to FutureShop and buy some blank DVDs.

For those of you in the lower 48, FutureShop is a Canadian electronics store chain - similar to BestBuy. BestBuy actually owns FutureShop - so their sales are always the same and there's really not much competition going on. There are no Circuit Citys (Cities?) here - just "The Source by Circuit City" - which used to be Radio Shacks.

So I'm there at FutureShop, looking at blank DVD-R's. I see a 25 pack of Memorex DVDs for $21.99. Two rows down - there is a 50 pack of the same Memorex DVDs for $19.99. 25 more DVDs for $2 less. I am bad at math, but I know something isn't adding up here. At the same time, a FutureShop associate was stocking some nearby shelves. I got her attention and asked about the difference in price and if there was something different between the DVDs that couldn't be seen with the naked eye.

"No, they're the same - that's just the sale price on the 50 pack." she responded.

I was still confused. "I'm not trying to start trouble or anything, but wouldn't it make sense to put the 25 pack on sale also. Who is going to buy the 25 packs if they cost more than the 50 packs?"

Now she was confused. "Well," as she thought for a couple minutes ", this is just the way they do it - it's the sale price. It's a good deal."

Yes, it is a good deal - and like anyone who passed college algebra (after three tries), I bought the 50 pack. Still - I'd like to know why. It doesn't make sense to me and it's been three days and I still can't get the thought out of my head.

Off to hopefully cleanse the thought from my psyche - for now, here is - Where are they now - stars of WKRP.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Something else, also terrible

New footage of the Cloverfield monster!

I don't care what Bryan says - "One Crazy Summer" is far superior to "Better Off Dead".

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Hell, I like you.

It has been almost two weeks since I started using my new Dell with Microsoft Vista Premium. In the two weeks, I have had four system halts (for lack of a better explanation - the system just stopped working) and two blue screens of death. Now, to be fair - I've been trying to do a large amount of different tasks at once. I've had Media Center open, I've been importing a clip from a VCR and I've tried playing around with the Windows SideShow LCD on the case all at the same time - and well, I recommend not doing that.

Tonight, at the request of Quack, Pat, and Lenker - I learned how to import video into this thing. The first clip is a "bump" ad we made for Fazoli's. They really didn't like it and we lost their advertising contract after we aired this.

The second clip is the opening to "17 News" - the once a week news magazine we produced in college. Well, I produced it. Pat hosted it. Lenker and Quack prank called the studio.

I'll work on finding some more classic clips. There's a tape of that preacher here too. If only I had the tape of the homecoming parade or the dating show.

The XPS itself is a great machine - but I can't help feeling that it is crippled by Vista. The overhead involved with the Aero interface and the constant "System Needs Your Attention" messages really seem to bog down the overall flow of what should be an amazingly powerful beast of a machine.

I was tempted to downgrade to XP. The disc is sitting right behind me on the bookshelf between "Naked" by David Sedaris and a copy of "The Wedding MC Guide" that we never gave to the MC of our wedding.

I'm not going to do it. I'm going to stick with Vista and ride this thing out. Why? Maybe I'm into some form of Microsoft S&M? All I need to remember is - the safe word is "XP".

[Update] - Completely forgot that today is my fourth year anniversary of moving to Canada. Happy anniversary to me!

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

F**king Vista Isn't That Bad

I'm a computer geek. People know this. What people might not know is that I'm also a raving luddite. This is the reason that I've eeked along with my Dell Dimension 4100 for the last seven years.

Unfortunately it recently stopped turning on, so I was forced to go to Dell and buy a new computer. "Forced" might be a strong word. We use Dell at work and their products have always been good to me, even when I have spilled a beer on them or dropped them. That being said, I decided to purchase a Dell XPS 420, which so far is an amazing (yet soul-less) machine.

Unfortunately, it came preinstalled with Windows Vista.

But why should that be unfortunate? Sure, I've only been using Vista for a day and half, but it really isn't that bad. I'm typing this, watching "Family Guy" on TV Tropolis using Windows Media Centre (I'm in Canada, it is 'Centre' here) and copying a shit load of photos from a portable drive. I think Adobe Photoshop Elements is running too.

Yes. It is running. I better go catch it.

So back to this Vista bashing. I might eat my words, but I want to give it a chance. I've read a lot on the interweb about it, and I've yet to find a positive review of it - other than from Microsoft. Maybe it will suck and I'll just load Windows XP. Then I'll have to load drivers and I'll be in this cold office all weekend instead of cleaning out the garage. Hmmmmm.....maybe this is a good weekend to load Windows XP after all.

Friday, January 04, 2008

Your mom goes to college

I like seeing people get upset at technology - mainly because I'm a wanna-be luddite.

Go David Lynch!

"..this table is made of formica..." I still have no fucking idea what happened in Fire Walk With Me.