Archive for June, 2007

Mandatory (& Soggy) Posting

Thursday, June 28th, 2007

Haven’t posted since Monday, and some people are getting worried, so let’s do this thing, with the help of my raindrop icon:

Our rainy season is continuing in a major way, which is VERY uncharacteristic for this area for this time of year. Usually there’s no foreseeable chance of rain for a month or so by this point in June, but instead there’s no foreseeable chance for this ending for more than a day. It’s rained on Oklahoma City for 18 days in a row, breaking a 100-year old record. For us, storm systems have been stacking up like planes waiting to land at a major airport, with a major downpour rolling in about every 4 hours for the past week now. (Today I think we only had three come through where I was.)

Anyway, I like this better than drought.

For now.

It has come to my attention that on or about the 19th, when I said I was ending my two-month daily posting streak, some people thought that meant I was quitting blogging.

Yeah, you wish.

I mention this because I talked to my mom just now, and she said she ran into contry singer Jake Kellen‘s mom (long story) in the post office, and she asked my mom why I had quit blogging.

Apparently she gave up on checking back in after that, and hasn’t seen me posting since then.

Don’t give up, people. (A better explanation is here.)

Anyway, my writing has tapered off because our frivolous overtime continues at work, and it’ll only get worse in the next week or so. My department might not even get July 4th off, because our project manager decided to take all of last week off, just as we’re getting into crunch time, so now we all have to work late, holidays and weekends to make up for lost time.

Yes, I agree with what you’re thinking.

Also, I bought a 320 GB hard drive from Office Depot on SlickDeals.net for $50 after rebate, plus a bonus mini-TV, with free shipping. Seriously, SlickDeals doesn’t mess around.

Anyway, I’ve been installing that and reinstalling Windows plus every piece of hardware and software I’ve got, and encountering problem after problem which I won’t get into here.

So get off my freaking back about not posting.

But thanks for caring, all the same …

Where’s There’s Smoke …

Monday, June 25th, 2007

My wife and a firend just happened to be driving through downtown Dallas today when they drove past this massive warehouse fire that blanketed the city in smoke for several hours; they actually missed the worst part.

You can see the four other pictures she took on my Flickr page (link in the upper left side of this page).

This is exactly why God gave us blogs and digital cameras.

The Funniest 5-Second Video on the Internet

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

This could possibly be the funniest five-second video on the Internet:

Be sure to have your sound turned on when you watch this; also, watch it several times, because it just keeps getting funnier and funnier.

Mike Myers could learn a thing or two from this clip …

UPDATE: It’s actually a prairie dog (Lubbock representin’!), and the original source video is here — it’s from a Japanese kids’ show.

I did it! Two solid months!

Wednesday, June 20th, 2007

Okay, you may have noticed that I didn’t post last night. It’s partly because I forgot, because I was caught up in doing something interesting for a change (more on that later), but also because I felt the challenge was met, then more than met.

What challenge, you say? Or don’t?

In April, about a month before my birthday, I decided to see if I could post at least once every day until the end of the month — about ten days. At the end of the month, maybe I could decide to post every day until my birthday, to make it a full month.

After all, I used to post not just daily, but several times daily. That was in the heady early days of blogging, when it was tres chic to read blogs, so I had a big regular readership. I was happy to burn lots of time being a blogger, and serving a worldwide audience.

Now, though, blogging fever has cooled, and my major health speedbump last year (I’m all better now, in case you’re just joining us) sapped a lot of my momentum. I’m still keeping the blog, and still posting, but lately I had been down to one or two posts a week.

So, in April, I decided that I could make it a priority to post something for ten days, even a whole month. I could hold down the ridiculous number of links that I used to put in back in my heyday, and suppress the urge to find cool illustrations for every post among my 20-odd gigs of clip art and royalty-free stock photos, and maybe hold the rambling to a minimum, and maybe it wouldn’t be such a life-sucking chore to do a few consecutive posts.

So I did that, and finished out the month fairly painlessly. Then I figured that since I was on a roll, I might as well keep going until my birthday, and make it an even month. Then, apparently still high on birthday wishes and sugary cake, I decided to keep the streak going until June.

By the end of May, I just took it one day at a time. Each day, I couldn’t bring myself to break the run I had going, so each night I squeezed one more post out of my brain, and thus neglected more worthwhile things I could have been doing. I thought, well, I’ll just make it to the two-month mark and then we’ll see.

And yes, we did see. And what we saw was that on Sunday I temporarily slipped back into my old mega-posting ways, just for old-times sake, and got it out of my system. And we also saw that that kind of posting kind of murders a whole evening.

And now I think I can go back to my slackerly once-or-twice weekly updates with a clear conscience.

I’d just like to thank all my regular readers for checking in daily, and remind you to keep checking back, because I will post again soon, and hopefully I’ll have some more samples of the better things I’m doing with my time.

Monday, June 18th, 2007

What you want more?? No, I blogged myself out last night. Go back and read that. It’s been 24 hours and still nobody has commented, so I’m not wasting any more good blogging energy until SOMEBODY READS THE LAST ONE.

So there.

A lot of water under the gate …

Sunday, June 17th, 2007

Today is the 35th Anniversary of the Watergate break-in, which lead to the downfall of President Nixon. These days, when government scandal and treachery are the normal way of life, it might seem strange that a news story about a bungled burglary could monopolize the news for two years and culminate in a constitutional crisis, but it did. It was the biggest news story for the entirety of my freshman year in college, which I must say made for some interesting Political Science classes.

So anyway, let’s take another look, shall we?

First, the boring informational links: Watergate.info and Watergate on Wikipedia.

Okay, now let’s have some fun:

The Watergate Comedy Hour.

Watergate: The Card Game! (Scroll down to 1973 to see Watergate.)

Nothing conveys the promise of lifelong commitment like a Watergate Wedding! Book yours today!

I want this shirt really bad: VOTE ROBOT NIXON. May death come swiftly to his enemies!.

The Watergate Follies.

Watergate editorial cartoons. Not very good ones, since they’re from “Herblock”, but they’re still interesting in their heavy-handedness and anachronism.

The Watergate Hotel on Flickr. Lots of pictures of the the humble physical structure from whence launched the scandal that toppled a presidency.

The so-called Saturday Night Massacre. No, don’t get excited, nobody was really massacred.

That we know of.

I used to have this comedy album: National Lampoon’s The Missing White House Tapes. Side One was mostly audio from Nixon’s speeches recut to hilarious effect (“I was an active vice president … I had a … firm … staff … and I stuck it out!”) Side Two consists of comedy sketches which include Chevy Chase and John Belushi as performers, a couple of years before the world knew who they were.

A librarian’s personal Nixon book collection.

Watergate era poster: “Daffy Dick and Spiro T. Pig”. I’m sure it was funnier at the time.

Watergate.com: “Home of The Nixon Era Times, the Official Publication of the Nixon Era Center of Mountain State University.” Well, aren’t WE full of ourselves.

Was the now-senile Mark Felt really just a smokescreen for the real “Deep Throat”, Alexander Haig? The author of The Silent Coup seems to think so.

Dogs named Nixon.

A BABY named Nixon. Seriously.

A goth pin-up girl named Nixon.

Seriously.

Watergate items on Ebay.

And now some videos:

Watergate“, a school report in the form of an excellent short documentary, including present-day teenagers reenacting scenes from the time:

It’s good to see the kids having an appreciation for classic historical periods …

Next: You know the t-shirt I linked to above? It was a reference to this episode of Futurama:

Nixon’s back! Who’s kicking who around now?!

Next: Another Nixon appearance on Futurama — this time in Spanish!:

Muy fabuloso!

Next: The famous “I am not a crook” speech:

That was history in the making, right there! Personally, I thought the “There will be no whitewash … in the White House” speech was going to be much bigger than this one, but all these years later it’s nowhere on the cultural radar screen. Go figure.

And finally: Video of Nixon’s resignation speech:

Father’s Day

Saturday, June 16th, 2007

It’s been almost14 years since my dad died, and I still feel weird every Father’s Day when I can’t get to talk to him. He and I never had a bad relationship, but I’ve always had the feeling that he thought I was weird in some way, and I know there must have been some things about me that he couldn’t understand. For example, I’ve always really liked music, and he … well, not only was he not into it, I’ve never been entirely sure he could hear music. He would recognize that there was sound, of course, but I’ve never seen any evidence that musical sounds meant anything to his ears, just like Japanese writing didn’t mean anything to his eyes.

I’m not saying that in a negative way, of course, just that he and I were wired differently, and that was at least part of the cause for our emotional distance.

But, like I said, we were always on good terms, so I guess that’s the best you can hope for.

I guess what I’m trying to say is: If you’ve still got a dad, call him on Father’s Day. Go see him if you can.

If you’re reading this at a time when it’s not anywhere near Father’s Day, call him anyway, while you’ve still got the chance.

Continuations …

Friday, June 15th, 2007

Two nights ago I posted some music & video links that I saw on Attack of the Show, and last night they had some more good ones — and bonus points for the fact that this time the segment was performed by surprise guest Jerry Springer, which was a double surprise since, although they often have guests of his celebrity on the show, they’re almost always announced, and appearing in interviews, as opposed to conducting part of the show.

Anyway, I digress: Here are the sites announced by Jerry, almost all of them pretty interesting:

Your Truman Show — This is basically an announcement (and demonstration) of plans for an upcoming invitation-only beta launch of a tell-your-life-story-on-video site; I applied for the beta — will you? Still though: what do you want to bet that it quickly gets clogged with footage of teenagers horsing around, just like YouTube did, and also the user-submitted portion of Acceptable.TV.

Veoh — Another upstart YouTube competitor, but still worth checking out.

Song of the Year — This is a songwriting contest … with a whopping $30 entry fee! But it has the backing of VH1, and Norah Jones is one of the judges, so if you have a killer song, it might be worth it. Besides, maybe the killer fee will keep out some of the riffraff.

And finally: I was a little surprised to see them mention Acceptable.TV (which I mentioned above). I posted a couple of times about that show back when they were making new episodes, but it’s not even on the TV schedule any more, at least until when & if they start a new season.

Anyway, it’s still on the web, and, in keeping the spirit of last night’s post, here are two episodes of one of the best viewer-made series, Leet Haxxors. The first one is translated in leetspeak for the benefit of any haxx0rs watching (“D00d! UR so pwned! U n00b!”); the second parodies every erroneous cliche of bad hacker movies (most obviously Hackers), so check ‘em out, n00b, LOL!:

Had to work late again …

Thursday, June 14th, 2007

… no time to post …

… Except for this:


My computer geek score is greater than 85% of all people in the world! How do you compare? Click here to find out!

I’ve actually taken this test a couple of years ago, and might have even posted the results on my old blog, but I forget what they were. Anyway, I saw it again tonight on Steve’s site, and this time I scored an 85 (Computer High Geek), which is way too high for me. Maybe the results give too much weight to the fact that I’ve programmed in Basic (about 100 years ago) and played on a Commodore 64 (about 97 years ago) and have four computers in the house including a Linux box.

On the other hand, there’s nothing that asked if I’ve ever programmed in Fortran (in college, on punch cards no less!), swapped out a motherboard (more times than I can keep track of), or edited digital video. So maybe it all evens out.

Still, though: I’m not that l33t, not by any stretch of the imagination.

Music and Some Video

Wednesday, June 13th, 2007

Bunches of random things:

As if we need another video site, check out Chime.TV. Still, this one looks to have some new angles — including a charming little “Aloha” page — so it’s worth a look. … I saw that site and also this piece of news on Attack of the Show: The White Stripes are releasing their new album on a limited-edition hand-painted flash drive. The only problem is that it costs FIFTY-SEVEN dollars, for just a half-gig drive. … Notice that the Pitchfork Media site mentioned offhand that Porter Wagoner will be opening some tour dates for the Stripes … frigging PORTER WAGONER!!! WTF??? … And finally: Lately in my new music sequencer I’ve been messing around with an old MIDI file of this song, which was a favorite of mine about 38 years ago, and still casts that kind of hippie-dippie bubblegum feelgood spell over me. And now all these years later I’m having fun assigning various instruments to the separate tracks. Now I need to find where I put my backup CD with all the rest of my MIDI’s on it.