For that matter...
You might as well watch this juggling video. I've never seen anyone juggle to music before.
My collection of rants and raves about technology, my kids and family, social/cultural phenomena, and inconsistencies in the media and politics.
You might as well watch this juggling video. I've never seen anyone juggle to music before.
Here are two excellent reasons not to visit Paris.
I think I counted more red lights than green. Notice the pedestrians running for their life about 5 minutes in.
I may have just found the perfect form of caffeine.
Buzzaire is, quite simply, a caffeine inhaler. One squeeze, one inhale, and you've just rushed 150mg of caffeine into your blood stream. Mints or drinks have to go through your digestive tract first before partying in your blood (or through your skin, in the case of caffeinated soap). But the lung/blood barrier is the fastest way (other than injection or IV) to get caffeine into your system. Not only will you get one heck of a rush, but you'll also freshen your breath! A hint of peppermint oil in each puff will give you a little extra perk with its peppy zing. Buzzaire can beat up your air!
The Wireless Extension Cord is a close second. I've told at least three people in the last week that I was waiting for this technology. I wonder how long before they start building this into laptops?
Just plug the Wireless Extension Cord (WEC) base unit into a standard wall outlet, and plug whatever you need into the satellite unit. The WEC uses microwaves in the 7.2GHz range, so it won't interfere with wireless networks, Bluetooth components, etc. Now, all you need to do is adjust the antennae on the two units so they are aimed at each other. Turn everything on and you have the power! The distance the WEC units can broadcast differs from situation to situation (due to interference of such things as walls, power lines, and microwave ovens), but we've beamed power over 300 feet! The future is wireless - and the WEC's are your ticket to the future.
Then there's the Screened Sphorb. I'd never considered buying one before, but after reading the description, I can't imagine how I got along without it. This baby has to be seen to be believed. (Hopefully the 360 view will download - there seems to be a lot of demand on the site right now.)
The Screened Sphorb, now using resolution transistors to create an array of functional sub-screens, features embedded motion scripting and is easier to use than the typical shift serve found in any local computer mart. With the Screened Sphorb, you can mod elementals AND screen drive in twice the time using only half of the optional memory pods, while the other half waits to achieve a normalized state. What does that mean for you? It means more time profit and more time outside equilibrium. It also means you can tweak the voltage in any direction without saving your state and you'll still obtain the results that happened, no matter what, no matter where. And it's the #1 reason customers typically get two Screened Sphorbs and use them together at different times, depending on the temperatures you want to achieve, and how often you plan to precipitate a normalized state with the included cable.
Wow! I couldn't have said it better myself! No, really, I couldn't!
They've got some other excellent products, too, including the iZilla Digital Media Monster ("If you've been looking to step-up to a hungry man sized portable media player with incredible tech powers... this is it.") and the USB Tanning Center ("Get the USB Desktop Tanning center and, in the comfort of your own cubicle, a scrumptiously golden tone can be yours in about the same time it takes you to update your lame blog with another meaningless entry that nobody will ever read. Ever.").
Good thing it's payday. I don't think I'm going to get away without at least a T-shirt.
I just had a very strange experience.
I'm sitting here in Sheri's Coffeehouse in Norwalk, OH. A very nice but nervous older woman came over and asked me a few questions. It went something like this:
Her: "I've noticed you sitting here for a while. Is this [pointing at my laptop] a laptop computer?"
Me: "Yes, it is."
"Does it pick up many channels?"
With a perfect deadpan: "Actually, I'm connected to the internet. They have a wireless internet connection here."
"Oh, so you're connected to the internet?"
"Yes, I connect over the internet to my office, and I work from here."
"Where is your office?"
"I work in Chicago, I'm only visiting."
"Well how do you like Norwalk so far."
"Just fine. My wife is from Norwalk, I work from this coffeeshop every month or so when we visit."
"That's great. Have a nice time."
The takeaway from this:
Finally, for those people who can't decide if they'd rather be programming or hanging out in the back yard, ThinkGeek presents the Computer Bug Zapper. Turn it on while developing, and watch in amazement as it zaps bugs while you work. For only $9.95, I can get one for the office and another for home!
Woke up with this morning with the feeling I had already been up once to turn off the alarm. The clock showed it was something-oh-five in the morning as it usually does. I felt more tired than usual, but didn't think anything of it, since I had trouble getting to sleep last night.
Went through my normal routine, dressed by something-ten, coffee brewing around something-twenty, packed up the computer about something-thirty, left the house by something-forty. Bill Bennett on the radio as usual, traffic in all the usual places, a little heavier than normal because of the construction on 49. Parking was incredibly light. (I parked in the second space on the right!) Got out of my car at the train station at something-oh-five to watch the something-oh-three train pull away from the station.
Walked into the station and discovered I had woken up an hour too early. Something-oh-five was 5:05, not 6:05. I'm writing this from the 6:24 train, instead of my usual 7:03.
I can see it now... "Sorry for getting to work early, boss. I underslept."
What really bums me out about this is:
At least the parking lot cued me in. Otherwise I might have turned right around and driven downtown. And this gives me a chance to upgrade Bugzilla before everyone else gets in.
It might, according to a small study coming out of Berkeley this week. A story in the Toronto Star provides an analysis.
Remember the whiny, insecure kid in nursery school, the one who always thought everyone was out to get him, and was always running to the teacher with complaints? Chances are he grew up to be a conservative.
At least, he did if he was one of 95 kids from the Berkeley area that social scientists have been tracking for the last 20 years. The confident, resilient, self-reliant kids mostly grew up to be liberals.
Lest you get upset at the findings, the author of the article gives what I think is a very balanced read on what the study really means.
The results do raise some obvious questions. Are nursery school teachers in the conservative heartland cursed with classes filled with little proto-conservative whiners?
Or does an insecure little boy raised in Idaho or Alberta surrounded by conservatives turn instead to liberalism?
Or do the whiny kids grow up conservative along with the majority of their more confident peers, while only the kids with poor impulse control turn liberal?
For conservatives whose feelings are still hurt, there is a more flattering way for them to look at the results. Even if they really did tend to be insecure complainers as kids, they might simply have recognized that the world is a scary, unfair place.
Their grown-up conclusion that the safest thing is to stick to tradition could well be the right one. As for their "rigidity," maybe that's just moral certainty.
The grown-up liberal men, on the other hand, with their introspection and recognition of complexity in the world, could be seen as self-indulgent and ineffectual.
This article could clearly be (and probably will be, before dusk) cast in both of these views. I'm impressed that the writer presents such a balanced view of the situation.
Comcast got our cable modem back online this morning. It had strangely gone down without warning sometime Saturday, so Trish has been without email and internet, and I had been without... well, lots of stuff.
After testing everything inside the house, the tech worked his way to the back yard and found chew marks on one of the connectors. He replaced it, and back inside everything started working like clockwork. He left us a bag of nuts and berries to keep the squirrels from getting hungry, and said he'd see us again in a few years when they chew through it again.
But seriously, the tech didn't seem to have all his diagnostic ducks in a row. He knew enough about line levels and all, but I was a bit surprised when, after determining that we didn't have any kind of a connection, he typed "www.yahoo.com" into a browser just to make sure.
Aside from that, I was really pleased with how Comcast handled the situation. I've been on the phone with them a lot in the last couple of weeks, for various reasons. The hold times have been under two minutes, if there was a hold time at all, and the person on the other end had both the knowledge and information to answer all my questions. Also, I was especially pleased at how they shifted gears after I demonstrated I knew what I was talking about. No dumbed-down script, no requests to repeat what I had already done, or checking the simple stuff ("is there a link light on both ends of the cable?"). It's very encouraging that a big company like Comcast serving primarily the home market has technicians with the sophistication and professionalism to deal with users like me.
By way of comparison, my brief experiment with Verizon DSL was not positive. The hold times weren't bad (I called off-peak, of course), but the person on the other end didn't seem to know his OS from a hole in the ground. I got rather frustrated when, after the third time on hold, he told me I had to run a Windows application on my Unix firewall in order to complete the connection to DSL. I finally convinced him to give me the login and password that application was to provide me. Later, I spoke to a Level 2 Tech who said the login and password didn't even apply to my type of connection.
In the end, it wasn't the customer support that turned me off, there just weren't enough good reasons to switch. Both Comcast and Verizon say in their Terms of Service that you may not run a server, but over the phone, both will tell you that they don't really intend to enforce that rule unless you abuse the service. (Running a spam server, a very busy website, commerce, that sort of thing.) While I'm becoming more comfortable with the idea of running a small server for personal use over the service (maybe the TooMuchBlue gallery?), I don't want to flout the rules either. Verizon DSL's ads suggested that servers were fair game, but what Marketing giveth, Legal takes away.
Verizon also said they could deliver speeds over DSL nearly as fast as cable, for a lower price. Turns out, I could have paid a little over half as much for a little under half as fast a connection. As it is, there are days I'm tempted to drop another $10/month for Comcasts extra-speed option. (My current connection is 6000/384, the speed boost would give me 8000/768).
So all that to say, I'm very happy with Comcast, and barring any changes, I'll probably keep them for quite a while. Maybe if Verizon delivers on the fiber-to-the-house option...
I'm not sure what this means, or who I might be offending here, but I found this to be an interesting report.
NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Older women who say talk shows and soap operas are their favorite TV programs tend to score more poorly on tests of memory, attention and other cognitive skills, researchers reported Monday.
For example, compared with women who preferred to watch news programs, those who favored soaps were more than seven times more likely to show signs of impairment on one of the tests, while talk show fans were more than 13 times more likely to demonstrate impairment.
"Those findings are quite robust," Fogel told Reuters Health.
He said it's not possible to tell whether the programs somehow contribute to cognitive decline or whether women in the early stages of decline gravitate toward those shows. Preferences for daytime TV could also be a marker of a sedentary, homebound lifestyle, and research suggests that staying physically and socially active can help stave off mental decline.
But regardless of the reasons, a preference for talk shows and soaps "is a marker of something suspicious," Fogel said.
So there you have it – turn off Sally, save a life!
I haven't been taking a break from blogging per se, just had some really busy weeks at work, and some really busy weekends to match. Trish and I spent last week in Universal City, CA. I was there on business, and for the cost of one extra night and her plane tickets, she was able to get a much-needed and much-deserved vacation. Meanwhile, her mom stayed home with Ethan and Emma, which gave them a much-needed vacation from their parents.
We're not sure yet if the adventure was a vacation for Dollie or not. Trish is hoping to do it again during another trip later this year, so I guess we'll find out when Trish asks her to watch the kids for a week again.
Last night, we took the kids to see Veggie Tales Live at the Star Plaza. They both had a lot of fun seeing the veggies, singing along and dancing. Ethan is really lucky he even got to go. He was supposed to be at a friend's house until 4. When he wasn't back on time, I went looking and found that friend hadn't been home but 5 minutes, Ethan wasn't with them, and Ethan was off playing in the backyard of someone else who also wasn't home. I wonder if he'll ever really understand how close he came to missing out.