Sunday, November 30, 2008


I think "figsomer" should be a word. Meaning, of course, "more fig-like" - "that tree's fruit is figsomer than this tree's fruit."

Why? I'm playing my wife in a game of Scrabble on Facebook, and it would have been a 176-point killer word. But I couldn't play it.

Oh well...

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Love of "German" engineering?

Another amusing commercial oddity: the "Routan boom" - observe:

However, the Routan isn't a product of "German engineering" - it's a Chrysler minivan. Yes, it has a "German-tuned suspension" - and a VW badge - but that's about it. (Yes, slightly different exterior/interior, but that's typical of cousin-vehicles, like the Ford Crown Vic/Mercury Grand Marquis, the Mitsubish Eclipse/Plymouth Laser/Eagle Talon, etc.) It's a Chrysler platform, drivetrain, electronics, etc. It's even built in Ontario on the same assembly line as the Dodge Grand Caravan and Chrysler Town & Country.

Just thought I'd clear that up before it becomes too widespread a misconception. Of course, the Germans have their own minivans/MPVs (Sharan & Touran), but they don't think them appropriate for the US market.

Personally I think I'd prefer the actual German-engineered vehicles.

Who wants a 50" Plasma TV? Also, dumb cows...

First the dumb cows part (I think this should be part of Dean's blog; visit it for better reading, but think about coming back here afterward, yes?): anyone else find it amusingly ironic that Chick-Fil-A, who always put educational "toys" in their kids' meals, puts out ads that intentionally misspell things ("eat mor chikin")?

And now to the TV... anyone want a 50" plasma TV for a good price? Apparently these people did. If you don't want to read the article, let me summarize: a Wal-Mart employee, attempting to open the doors yesterday morning to let in the waiting crowd, was knocked over and trampled. To death. This is what we've become? A nation so concerned about "the good price" that we no longer care about people? What kind of "Christmas Spirit" is it to walk over a man - being trampled - to get into the store to shop for gifts? Sounds sort of like another story Jesus told (albeit with a less happy ending in the modern version). In fact, other store employees were trampled trying to get to the guy, and even an 8-month-pregnant lady was injured (she and the baby are fine, according to the article). They even managed to literally break the door frame.

COME ON, PEOPLE! This is ridiculous. In fact, the shoppers refused to leave the store even after they were told it was closing because the employee had been killed.

Sorry for such a depressing article... I just wanted to say, "STOP IT!" To lighten things up a bit, here's a video that I "stole" from Dean (who got the link from Christy):

Not exactly the same, but the words ring true: "STOP IT!" Let's remember what Christmas is all about - love. "For God loved the world so much that he gave..." (the extra-underline emphasis, which you probably can't see, is mine) - that's why we give. Love. Keep that in mind while you're shopping: it's not about the giving, it's about the loving.

Ok, and now back to your regularly scheduled life...

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Here's a stupid, frustrating "game" for you. My personal best (so far) is 5.5 meters. Enjoy.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

How to cure hiccups

My kids were discussing cures for hiccups, so I offered one: cut off your head. While I've not personally tried this cure, I'm pretty sure it would resolve the issue of hiccuping, stopping the hiccups nearly immediately. Curious: why is "hiccup" also spelled "hiccough"? Seems weird.

On a completely different topic, you may have seen on my Facebook or twitter that I'm considering attempting to write a Facebook app (just for fun). But I'm idea-less at the moment. Anyone have any cool ideas they'd like to see in a Facebook app (one that's not already out there, or that's poorly implemented)? If you have any ideas for such a thing, let me know, and we'll try to work out some details (and I'll try to figure out how to write such a thing).

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Thinking about Time

Throughout the day I've been thinking about time. Interesting thing, when you think about time vs. eternity. What is "eternity" (as from a Biblical perspective)? Quite honestly, I think it's a concept that we humans have very little grasp of in our current, temporal form (which, to some degree, happens to be a temporary form as well). "Way back when," you know, "In the beginning God created everything." (an amalgam of Genesis 1:1 and John 1:3 from the NLT)

First, that's pretty cool of itself, and shows how incredibly creative God is. Second, think about what He created: everything, from things so large we can't see the end (the universe) to things so small we can't see their constituent pieces (atoms). But along with all that He created the laws of physics (to keep us well-glued to this planet, for instance, and the light and heat we get from our sun to keep us visible and warm) and time itself. Apart from our universe, where does time exist? I don't think it does. Sequentiality (there I go, making up words again!) is a gift that God gave us to allow us to enjoy a chronological life. When we try to think about and discuss "what's after life" - we run into a problem because we try to think in temporal terms - the very terms that God created in us through the universe. I don't think those limits exist outside our universe... and that's a very difficult thing to try to comprehend. Hence our somewhat inadequate terms "forever" and "eternal" and "infinite" - I don't think they really do justice to the life (or death) that awaits once we've finished our chronological lifetime in this universe.

It's not a "forever" per se - it's a life outside of the limits of time. That's weird (but, I'm sure, quite wonderful; at least as long as you're prepared it will be).

Anyway, that's just what I was thinking about at times today. On a completely different topic of time, I wonder what's to happen now... I've introduced the woman of my dreams, the love of my life, my beautiful wife (yes, they're all the same person! and sometimes it does seem like she has three personalities... but I love them all! :) to the fantabulous world of Facebook. Will she have enough time to get done the things she normally did before being introduced to Facebook? Will the amount of time I get to spend with her change? Will I have to interact with her through Facebook now? Will I have time to help explain all the oddities of Facebook to her? (I'm kidding, of course; hopefully you have found her through my own Facebook account, although I'm not sure I've listed it before now.)

On another completely different topic of time, I'm fairly confident I won't have enough time at work to accomplish all the tasks I need to get done tomorrow. But I think I'll put off thinking about that until at least Tuesday, at which point the tasks will be overdue and thrice as stressful. :)

For those who have made it this far, I'll share an original joke:

A manicure is something that makes a fake person better.

Until next time... (sorry, couldn't resist)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008


Anyone else find this funny? (As in "odd" funny, not "haha" funny, as Dean would say; click on the hyperlinked word "this" to read the article.)

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

My facebook did WHAT?

First, let me say, "Facebook" is still simply a weird name. Think about it: "face book" - huhwhat? Sounds like an overly-simplified explanation an irritated girlfriend would give to her soon-to-be-ex-boyfriend in a sunny apartment in a low-grade comedy film upon returning home after finding out she was cheating on him:

"face. book. facebook!"

Upon completing the utterance of which she would smack him upside the head with a ridiculously large dictionary that just happened to be sitting on the coffee table.

Ok, now that's out of the way, let me alert you to something: face. book. beacon. Facebook/beacon

Say what? Take a gander at this guy's article (and his follow-on article) for more details, in particular about how to stop what I'm about to explain from happening to you. But here's the scenario. I'm playing a game on Kongregate (99 bricks, if you want to know, an infuriatingly frustrating yet way-cool evolution of the Tetris theme - I once did fairly well in a Tetris tournament in my year at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, and Tetris was the cause for the failure of the "y" key on my keyboard when a friend got mad at having lost and slammed down on "y" for "yes, a new game!" and the "y" quit typing thereafter; incidentally, WPI had a really great use for their fantastic lecture hall: on Saturday nights it became a 50-cent movie theatre for the students with one of the best sound systems I've ever heard, and this was back in 1990-1991).

Wait, sorry about that.. where was I? Oh, yeah... Kongregate... so I'm playing a game on Kongregate (99 bricks, if you want to know...), when up pops this little Facebook windlet (that's a mini-window... I like making up words!) that says, "Hey, you last played 99 bricks on Kongregate, you want me to add that to your Facebook?" Um, what's the deal? I don't even have a facebook window open! (I just opened a window, and it has me all logged in now, even though usually it asks me to sign in...) So what's going on?

Looks like facebook is now doing this little "tracking" thing... and lots of people are starting to get in on the action. And they'll (facebook) gladly keep track of where you've been and what you're doing. Now, say you have several people who use the same computer... or you access facebook on a public computer (like a library - yeah, we all know you wouldn't be doing THAT! - or an internet cafe)... and suddenly your facebook profile is being shared around like it's anybody's business. What's up with that? And even if you are the only person to ever use your computer, do you want facebook keeping tabs on you? And suddenly you're getting highly targeted merchandising that seeks to exploit your habits and weaknesses? For example, say you tend to spend a significant amount of time exploring, I don't know, music-instrument-related sites because you really want a set of bagpipes to learn (don't tell my wife), and now when you log into facebook there are 17 bagpipe related ads attempting to pull your hard-earned cash away from important things like food for your family or new jewelry for your wife (sorry, babe... unfortunately this is merely hypothetical... :) but I do love you!)... and it happens to hit on a day when you forgot that an automatic debit hasn't yet cleared your account and you decide it's been a hard day and you want to splurge on just a small practice chanter to get started and then that bill hits and suddenly you're overdrawn and your lovely wife can't get milk and bread and Lucky Charms to feed your 17 starving children (ok, I'm the one who wants the Lucky Charms)...

Not that that has happened, mind you, but I'm just saying. Could if you don't have much willpower. On the other hand, if instead you'd simply had the standard random ads from facebook it's not likely that the one intermittent ad for a bagpipe clearance sale would have caught your attention.

Anyway, you decide... there are instructions on the articles linked above for blocking the facebook beacon site from being able to track you as you bound wildly across the open internet landscape. Oh, and be careful... it's a jungle out there. (As you probably will have guessed if you've ventured onto this blog post, and now I'll bet you're regretting having read for this long.)

Monday, November 17, 2008


Hey, potentially anonymous person I don't know. Welcome to my blog if you've never been here before. Well, welcome if you've been here before, too. You are all welcome here. In fact, bring your friends, and your friends' friends, and their friends' friends. If you want, let me know and I'll visit your blogs, too... multi-level blogging, that's what I'm all about! :)

Seriously, though... I had an impromptu life/Bible session with my family at the dinner table tonight, and the main point I wanted to make regarded habits. During the discourse (well, can you call it a discourse when it's all of about 5 minutes of talking? of course, with my family, it took us about 15 minutes to get through it) I came to the realization that the word "habitat" has the word "habit" right in there! And what is your habitat? It's where you live. And do you want to live in a good place or a bad place?

Up to you. Take the time and effort to start good habits (and they're not habits if you do them once each!) and stop bad ones (and note: it will take conscious effort at first on both counts; however, after you've been consciously striving towards either goal you will eventually find that it's no longer either conscious nor an effort... it's, in fact, a habit, or the lack thereof in the latter case). Then you'll be living in a good place - a habitat made up of good habits, not a bad place - a habitat of bad habits.

(Or maybe I'm just weird and the words aren't really related at all.)

Oh, you might want to take a look at a new blog I've linked over to your right (if you're reading this at my blog's homepage instead of in some sort of reader): The Reverend Mojo. He's not really a reverend... he's my littlest brother, the one who my middle brother and I used to sometimes drop on his head in our garage converted into a nursery on Saturday mornings and then tell my parents we didn't know why he was crying, he just woke up like that... anyway, either in spite of or perhaps because of all those head injuries he has some interesting things to say. Sometimes. Maybe you'll get lucky on the day you visit. :)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Pet... or Party Tray?

You may not want to read today's blog or watch the embedded video (below). I don't know how you'll know whether or not you want to read/watch it until you do, though...

Similar to my post here (which includes info on, this post will discuss potential alternative food sources. One which is easier to raise than, say, goats, cows, pigs, chickens, rabbits, turkeys, deer, etc. I'm talking about the cute, cuddly cuy - aka "guinea pig." This little critter is a delicacy in some nations (like Peru). Now here is the video, an excerpt from "Bizzarre Foods" (from the Travel Channel, video on YouTube):

Interesting how the roasted cuy looks on the plate, eh? I'm sure some will say, "What a horrible thing to do!" (If you want a more pet-friendly way to "cook guinea pigs" check out this site - it's safe, promise) But it's just a cultural difference. We think nothing of raising other animals for food which, I'm sure, other nations may find odd. But think about cuy for a second: you could keep a whole farm of them in much less space than, say, chickens or rabbits. Yes, they won't provide as much food per critter, but still, you could have a farm of them without causing too much fuss. As long as you have a yard you wouldn't even necessarily need tons of GP (Guinea Pig) food, either. And there are (out)side benefits... maybe it's time to revisit an idea I had and shared on my extended-family web site. Here is the text of the original e-mail regarding the business opportunity (I'm looking for investors):

Dear all,

I have had sudden inspiration for a new business opportunity. What
I'm proposing is environmentally friendly lawn service. My lawn
service would feature a corps of well-trained, but mostly hungry,
guinea-pigs, which would be loosed on the customer's lawn for the
purpose of reducing the grass height. The guinea pig army would be
released in the morning, left, and retrieved in the afternoon, for a
reasonable fee. The upside, of course, would be the ecologically
sound, environmentally friendly method of lawn treatment (the guinea
pigs would also fertilize said lawn during the course of their primary
yard service, that of reducing the grass height).

This endeavor would require a fairly large farm of guinea pigs (once
the initial investment was made, however, said farm should be self-
sustaining, and perhaps even income producing depending on the
reproduction rate of said farm). The individual guinea pigs would
have to be implanted with an RFID chip, for ID and tracking purposes.
When the GPs are placed, they would be scanned out using the RFID
chips, and when retrieved, they would be similarly scanned in. Any
missing GPs would then have to be tracked and located via the RFID
tracking device (only a low-level transmitter would be required, since
the locomotive capabilities of munching guinea pigs has been observed
to be rather low).

This is where you come in. I'm seeking investors to participate in
making my business dreams come true. Invest as much or as little as
you want, but I hope it's in the former category instead of the
latter. As a bonus, for a mere $10,000 investment, you'll get a
picture of your guinea pig, signed by me and imprinted by the foot of
said GP, that you can frame and hang on your wall to let others know
of your investment in the future of our planet. If you invest
$20,000, not only will you get the framed certificate, you will be
allowed to name the guinea pig (what a great honor to bestow on a
loved one, naming a guinea pig after them!), and the name will be
included on the picture, as well as a certificate assuring that your
guinea pig has actually been officially bestowed with the name of your
choice. For $25,000, we'll even throw in the framing and express mail
charges of your guinea pig's picture and name certificate. For
$50,000, you can have the opportunity to actually launch your guinea
pig on a live lawn-care run, complete with the privilege of scanning
said GP in and out of the tracking system (and, if it goes missing,
you can track it down yourself using our high-tech rGPTS - RFID guinea
pig tracking system). For an investment of $100,000 or more, you will
receive your guinea pig once it enters retirement, and for $250,000
you will have the honor of having your guinea pig retired early, where
it can service your own lawn. For investments of $500,000 and up, you
will be provided with a pair of guinea pigs and all of their direct
offspring will be treated as if you had invested $25,000 (that is,
you'll be able to name it and we'll send you the framed picture and
certificate express mail). Investments of $1,000,000 or more will
include second generation offspring, although the naming rights will
be offered to the first investor in the event that two $1,000,000 GPs
have converging family trees.

I hope that this investment opportunity has come at a great time for
you, and that you'll seriously consider all the benefits of investing
in this company. The company is not officially a company yet, since I
don't have the Delaware company filing fees at the moment, but once we
do, we'll see about getting some sort of tax credit for investors and
those using the service since we're providing ecologically safe,
environmentally friendly alternative lawn care.

Thanks for listening, and I hope to be hearing from you (especially if
you're sending large checks!) soon.

Tony Moore, founder of GPESEFLCS (Guinea Pig Ecologically Safe,
Environmentally Friendly Lawn Care Service)

-- addendum: also good for food!

Enjoy! (Now is the time to invest, when the market is down... I guarantee I won't lose any more of your money than you invest in the company!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Video: My Hands Are Bananas

Don't know why. You'll have to watch to find out. Maybe I need help...

No, I am not responsible for that video... only for putting it on my blog for your viewing pleasure...

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Move awaaaay from the flu...

Yeah, that's right - Google is now providing estimates of flu activity based on analysis and evaluation of search data by location. If you take a look at the image above (which is currently linked to the image on Google's "learn more" page of their FluTrends site), you can see how the Google search analysis compares to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention; why it's not "CDCP" I don't know... maybe too close to "CCCP" from back in the days of the USSR?) analysis of the data provided by doctors. The thing: Google's data was available one or two weeks earlier than the CDC data.

That's pretty cool. Using search engine technology for public good - the CDC reports are used to help hospitals, pharmacies, and doctors' offices prepare for upcoming demand as the flu spreads in various parts of the country. And earlier warnings are better, of course. In fact, you could even plan to take vacations away from moderate flu areas into minimal flu areas if you have that opportunity and ability. Or, if you're a traveling doctor (aka "quack"), you could plan your travels into moderate- to high-flu areas in order to peddle your amazing cure-alls. Or, if you're like me, you could stock up on Mt. Dew (the title of that post doesn't seem like it, but read the whole post to find out) when the flu starts to spread into your area.

Anyway, pretty cool. A useful use (that appears slightly redundant it seems) of search engine technology beyond, well, searching for information (such as "avoid to play song dead turkey" - where my blog used to have the 7th entry on that search page, but apparently no longer does; still don't know who would search that, or why).

On a different topic, let me know if you can see the extrasolar planet in the image at this article. I can't.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

This is my son...?

I came home today to find my son had morphed into this thing..

Sunday, November 9, 2008

How did we miss the Internet for 20+ years?

If you take a look at this article on Wikipedia, you'll see the history of the "internet" which became a commercially available entity in the late 80s and commonplace by the mid 90s. However, if you look at this site (on, which is where the retiring Denny Zager sells his custom guitars), you'll see that, apparently, Zager Guitar was providing online video guitar lessons since 1969. Look at the logo in the upper left corner:

EZ-Play Guitars - Online Video Lessons - Since 1969

What? PCs weren't even available until the mid- to late-70s... so where did you have to go to get these online video lessons? And why did it take another 20 years for "online" to become commonplace? This is baffling to me.

Oh, and Denny Zager - he's part of the duo Zager & Evans, who had a single hit: "In the Year 2525" - interesting song:

Zager since has primarily been a luthier, originally customizing others' guitars, then hand-building his own custom guitar line. He's retiring this year, though. You can still find some of his guitars (or guitars customized by him) on eBay (just mentioning in case you're interested).

Saturday, November 8, 2008


My wife is making pancakes. I made an observation:

Pancakes are a lot like babies: they start off small, then grow; they start off kind of wet and gooey, and they're soft & squishy; and they taste good.*

What a great post for #200 (at least by Blogger's count; I've not verified, nor checked if they'd corrected their counting error), eh?

Last night my oldest son (whose birthday is today) said something like, "I could run a million miles in these feet." So, I figured out how long that would take.

Consider the equation above; if a person started running at age 5, ran 10 hours per day, 6 days per week, and 51 weeks per year, at an average speed of 5 mph (that is, a consistent 12-minute mile over the entire time spent running), that person would have run a million miles around age 70 years, 4 months, 1 week, 2 days. (That's not really an exact number, just an estimate at 4 weeks per month, which technically is only true of February in a non-leap year.)

I could never accomplish such a feet (er, feat) with my feet. One, I could sustain a 12-minute mile for, at most, 11 minutes, not 10 consecutive hours of running (or even nonconsecutive hours in a 24-hour period). I'm not a runner. Back in the Navy I used to exercise... twice a year, at the semi-annual PRT (physical readiness test), where I would do at least 40 push ups, 28 sit ups, touch my toes, run a mile and a half, and be sore for two weeks afterward. Yeah, my idea of exercise is picking up babies*... and mine are all growing up (not all grown up yet, but no longer babies). Of course, I have a really cute niece who seems to like me who's 15 months old, and a 3-year-old nephew (who's destined to be a cowboy), and I have two more nieces/nephews on the way, so I'm keeping in practice.

* note: I've never really eaten or even tasted "baby" - other perhaps than veal - that comment was simply for humor's sake, as un-funny as it was.

Friday, November 7, 2008

slower traffic keep RIGHT!

And you don't have to drive 10 mph below the speed limit (and 20 mph below your normal speed) just because you're on a bridge - the lanes are the same width, you know. (I say 20mph below normal 'cause that's often the amount you speed up once you get past the end of the bridge.) And it's kind of silly for traffic to be 5 mph below the limit in ALL FOUR LANES ... and for traffic to STOP for minutes at a time with NO accidents or breakdowns or anything...

Ok, enough of that. I think there is a side effect of the medicine I'm taking for my ankle injury...

Gotta run, more later. Ok, not really, just want to go watch a movie or something... but I'll write more later, I promise.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


This is a test, only a test. Trying to see if mobile blogger, via mms, will recognize my phone again. It used to work, then apparently t-mobile changed something, and now it doesn't seem to support my phone number anymore. So, this is only a test..

Werewolves in Sweet Home Alabama All Summer Long

Don't know if you are familiar with it, but I like Kid Rock's "new" song, "All Summer Long" (I previously mentioned that I find it funny that there's a version with "smokin'" censored, but not the other potential illegal and/or amoral things). "New" - there's a funny notion. My wife noticed, naturally, that you could overlay "Sweet Home Alabama" over the song with little interference. Personally, I noticed that it sounds like "Werewolves of London" (ca. 1978 or so; until this morning I thought it was "Werewolves of Thunder" and had no clue who the artist was or what the lyrics were) by (the late) Warren Zevon. (If you take the link on "All Summer Long" - above or here - you'll see that it was, in fact, based on the two.)

Despite the failure to change the pitch of "Sweet Home" to match, consider this YouTube video which does a comparison of all three songs:

Whatcha think? If you want a version of Werewolves with the lyrics embedded in the video, take a look at this vid on YouTube. Anyway... I like all three songs. Not necessarily together, especially when one's in a slightly different key, but all three.