Monday, December 28, 2009

Use by

Hey, McDonald's puts a "use by" date on their breakfast burritos. Weird, but hopefully effective.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

tic-tac

Looks like tic-tac has changed their packaging (see pic). In addition to the change in the lid, the bottom of the box is contoured (inset), and the whole box is now made of a more flexible material, rather than the former brittle plastic.

Also, it says, on the wrapping, "product of Ecuador" - so, I may now have eaten a product produced by someone who had cuy for lunch. That is, guinea pig. Cool! I'm one step closer to dining on the wonderful household pet!

(Yes, I know, they're manufactured on an assembly line, not actually hand-produced, and eating this doesn't really get me any closer to eating one myself, but I can pretend, right? All I want for Christmas is roast guinea pig, roast guinea pig, roast guinea pig... OK, I know, they're usually barbecued, and that's how I'd like to try it, but "barbecued" didn't fit the song's meter like "roast" did.)

Friday, December 25, 2009

Get this: Platinum 10ct TDW GIA Certified Diamond Ring (F, VVS2) (Size 6.5) | Overstock.com

Everyone reading this blog who has a wife should get her one of these, but do it soon, because the sell-out risk is very high:

Platinum 10ct TDW GIA Certified Diamond Ring (F, VVS2) (Size 6.5) | Overstock.com

Just imagine the look on her face when the credit card bill... I mean, when the ring comes in! My wife will be TOTALLY not expecting this. Which is fortunate, since I didn't actually get it for her - sorry, dear, if you're reading this - but at least you weren't expecting it! :) Besides, you're worth more than a million, anyway! That would certainly be beneath you!

What I want to know is, how does a $1 million piece of jewelry end up on OVERSTOCK.COM????

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Technology

Just thought I'd throw out some techno junk.

Today I helped a virtual friend identify a song's artists - he had some old home movies that had a version of Jingle Bells on it, in the background or something. He didn't know who it was, and I couldn't quite find the right one. Anyway, here's what we did: he was streaming the video off his family's web server to his computer, and then streaming his computer via Justin.TV (note: I do not endorse any activity there, as that is a live site). I listened, but could not identify the artist - I had never before heard the version he was streaming.

So, I downloaded Shazam to my Nokia E71, and had my friend play the clip again. This time, I let my E71 "listen" (using Shazam), which then identified the artist, album, and track, which I then located on YouTube: "Twistin' Bells" by Santo & Johnny (1962); enjojy:



Pretty cool, huh? You, too, can get Shazam, for your iPhone, Blackberry, or Nokia smartphone. Free for a bit, then you have to pay if you want all the premium features (the free version allows you something like 5 identifications per month). But it's more than just the Shazam: it's the whole process by which we, a guy I've never met in person and I, identified a song from an old home video, even though we're roughly 400 miles apart (note: not EXACT directions there, just city to city; privacy, you know).

In other news, T-Mobile is having a "global outage" - which, apparently, really is at least as global as all of Alabama, 'cause we in the south are having trouble and friends up north are, too. No cell calls, no text messages, no logging into their web site (although, interestingly, it appears that their WAP server is still serving). Spent many minutes waiting on their chat support ("you are number 189 in the queue" - and that was good compared to some of my friends who got in after I did), and got a $20 credit ($5 per line on the account). I just hope the services are restored in a timely fashion. Funny, isn't it, that something that we didn't even really have twenty years ago is so "vital" to our existence today. Funny, are we humans.

And, on another note, I still rather enjoy my qik and bambuser accounts, which allow me to broadcast LIVE video from my Nokia E71 phone (as long as I have network coverage). All on T-Mobile's $5.99/month T-Zones plan (you can't get that one anymore, unfortunately - I think their cheapest option now is $9.99/month). So, the other day, when my kids were doing their Christmas concert (combined band/choir concert), and my dad couldn't make it because he was ill, I could broadcast it and he could see it live while it was happening! That's pretty cool.

I'm sure there are other uses for our burgeoning technological world... feel free to share your favorites in the comments!

Monday, December 14, 2009

O Holy Night

The editors of [LAPSE... brain dead] (yes, I know, there is only one of me, but so often I feel like at least two different people) would like to wish all 7.32 readers of this blog the merriest of Christmas with one of the most beautiful Christmas songs, "O Holy Night." This rendition brought goose bumps to my flesh, making my skin crawl in all sorts of ways. You will simply have to listen for yourself to grasp the fullness of the moment, the emotion, the passion, and the candor of the singer. Nothing more can I say, but enjoy: "O Holy Night" (note: the video is mistitled; note: I said "mistitled" - not "mistletoe" - you are not required to kiss the person next to you while standing under this blog)

Friday, December 4, 2009

Qik - Spanish Fort 6th Grade Band by Kingdad

This is the Spanish Fort 6th Grade Band - yes, my youngest is in it, playing sax. Can you believe these kids have only been in band since August? (Yes, some may have been playing before, but probably not many!) I missed the first part of the first song. My bad.



You are viewer #

Free Hit Counter

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Thrill "rides" and unexpected prizes

Want to bungee jump without the cord? Skydive without the parachute? Commit suicide by jumping off a building without the death? If you answered "yes" to one or more of those questions, then check this out:

Wisconsin Dells - Extreme World - Terminal Velocity

Check out the Video Preview. The get your $34.95 ready, head to Extreme World in Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin, and hang on to... well, hang on to your hat, maybe, 'cause there's nothing else to hang onto on that "ride"!

Also, I got the following e-mail in my inbox today:

Dear Email-User,
We at Huangshi Dongbei global office likes to officially congratulate you for the draw that just held by our company which featured you as the second place winner of our yearly promotions.
Your email address with MICROS ID ( VDT-37011-XLG-692TM-8WQ ) was luckily
drawn to be this year winner of a Brand New 2008 X5 BMW and a cash prize of $970,000 United States Dollars.
Provide..Full name..Address ...Phone...Sex..Country...
Contact Email..chinaclaimoffice@yahoo.com.hk
Agent Name..Chan Liu
........................................
Phone..+8613710452080
............................
Lottery Cordinator

How awesome is that? I won a 2008 BMW X5 and $970,000 as a SECOND PRIZE in a contest I didn't even have to enter! And, apparently, there were several of us who won second prizes, because that e-mail was addressed to multiple recipients ("agtony@g - m - a - i - l.com", "bftony@g - m - a - i - l.com", etc., all the way down to and through my e-mail address - I added the "-" between the "gmail" part to provide some internet protection from scouring, scraping robots and crawling spiders that might otherwise try to harvest those poor recipients' addresses from my poorly protected blog post).

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Blanketed Pigs

Our family has graduated to adult pigs in a blanket! Awesome!

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Yay, it's Christmas

Yay, it's Christmas. Yes, the tree is up. We did it, we decorated the tree. Cool, huh?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Pennies

Coupons on the Arby's tray liner. Oh, boy! What savings!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rendering, anyone?

First, I apologize (I think there is a bad word at the end of this video, in the credits). Now that's out of the way, what you are about to see is NOT REAL. Not in any way. It's some guy's "spare time hobby" - he's modelled these cars in 3D software, animated them in video, and put his computer to work rendering the whole thing - for 110 days! Yep, he let his computer run for nearly 1/3 of a year to create the following video (note: it's too wide; click the video to view it on YouTube, and I suggest full-screen mode! Might be looking for a new blog template shortly...):


Don't know about you, but I'm impressed! This is just something the guy "threw together" for fun. I only really see one glitch in the whole thing (anyone else see it?). I just wish I had the spare time to do something like this. Oh, and maybe, you know, the crazy talent to be able to put it all together, too, of course. And I wish I could just play everyday (hey, Dean, did you catch that misuse of "everyday"? That was just for you!).

Friday, November 13, 2009

Survey says...

Just spent 10-15 minutes on the phone with someone doing a survey about (apparently) H1N1 and its effects on our daily activities.

...
Surveyor: "How many adults in your household ages 18 and over?"
Me: "Three"
Surveyor: "How many of these adults are male?"
Me: "One"
Surveyor: "How many of these adults are female?"
[at this point I resisted the urge to say, "Really? REALLY?"]
Me: "Two"

...

Surveyor: "Regarding your air travel" [which was previously indicated NOT during the last 60 days] "did you get the H1N1-specific influenza vaccine prior to your travel?"
... uh, we just said it wasn't during the last 60 days, and the H1N1 vaccine was only made available starting in October...

...

Beyond being rather time consuming (and thus annoying, as my food is sitting nearby, waiting on me to eat it), this survey was actually nearly entertaining because of the questions and their obvious answers.

Oh, and I said I was totally not concerned about H1N1 whenever he (she? couldn't really tell) asked.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Technological Wonders... and un-Wonders they reveal.

Here's my family, which was broadcast LIVE on the internet via my cell phone:


Yeah, cool, huh? Not the content, but the fact that, now, you can INSTANTLY broadcast video LIVE from the palm of your hand, wherever you happen to be! Just go to bambuser.com if you want this awesome capability yourself. (Or you can go to qik.com - that links to my personal qik.com account - which I also sometimes use.)

Later...

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Storm? What storm?

Thanks to any and all who may've prayed for our safety; I think it worked. Doesn't appear to be any damage around our house; not the giant dead pine in our front yard (it's still standing), not the already-half-falling-off-the-house shutters outside the garage windows, nothing I can see.

So, thanks!

(Note: I am working from home today since the low spots on US-90 tend to flood with heavy rains, so to be even safer I'm taking the day out of the office and working from my living room.)

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Upside down again

I think I've posted when this happened before, but it's happened again: my straw was manufactured upside down. Now I have to move to China or Australia or something in order to drink my tea!

Monday, November 2, 2009

Interesting

Watching "Modern Marvels" on the History Channel. About 80s tech. Apparently the CD minimum capacity of 74 minutes was specified by Sony because one of their leaders was also a conductor and wanted Beethoven's 9th Symphony to fit on a CD. Cool.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Dinosaur print?

This giant claw print was found in our backyard. Dinosaur print? I had Alex pose next to it for scale.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Can you see?

Can you tell what's in the trailer of the truck in front of me? Click the pic to make it bigger if you are having trouble.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Funny yellow line

I was watching the Patriots/Titans game, in the snow, and it's funny: the "yellow line" (1st down marker) sometimes goes across the players, since the snow is similar in color to the white on the uniforms. In particular, there was one close-up of a Patriot as he walked backward to the formation or huddle, and his helmet is VERY close to the color of the snow, so the yellow line showed across his helmet, very plainly and obviously.

I would upload the video of it (took a short clip on my phone, pointed at the TV, which actually worked and is visible), but I think that might violate the Google/Blogger terms of use, since the NFL games always say, "Any rebroadcast without express, written consent of the NFL is prohibited." Sorry, but I will respect that little tagline and, since I don't have the NFL's express, written consent, not rebroadcast that tiny little clip of a portion of their original broadcast. But it was funny! Take my word for it!

Friday, October 16, 2009

My coaster...

My coaster has peanuts in it. I like peanuts. I like my coaster. And how about that picture, taken basically in the dark with my E71 led flash? Not bad. (Before the flash, I could not see the target at all, and missed with the first shot.)

Review of Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl

The book “Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl” (by N. D. Wilson) is one of the best I have read recently. This book characterizes God's creation in imaginative ways that may elude those of us stuck in the doldrums of daily life. Wilson's perspective on life, from ants to giant oaks, is refreshing and reminds the reader of the creativity and awesomeness of the creator. Further, Wilson expresses some concepts that are very intriguing, yet simple, but may easily be overlooked in either a casual or a deep study of creation.

Wilson's creative, often humorous look at things made me stop to appreciate just how wonderful the world is, and how often I fail to appreciate the wonder and the beauty of the world around me. Initially near comical, the book slowly turns into a more serious side, exploring the concept of an overarching creator from a mere worldly perspective while never abandoning its lighter side. This approach lends itself well to offering this book to an unbelieving friend with potential for more in-depth discussions of creation and, more importantly, the creator. I thoroughly enjoyed the book and have already encouraged others to read it.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Sandwich idea.

The other day my son was eating a peanut butter and honey sandwich, and my daughter was eating tuna, and I wondered, "What if you put tuna on a peanut butter and honey sandwich?"

So I tried it.

It tasted like... a peanut butter and honey sandwich; there wasn't really any tuna-ish flavor at all. It did, however, have "consistency" or "substance" that a mere peanut butter and honey sandwich did not have.

So, tonight, I suggested that perhaps we try this: start with peanut butter and honey sandwiches for dinner (tomorrow night). The next night, add tuna to the peanut butter & honey. The next night, add another ingredient, like apple: peanut butter & honey & tuna & apple. Keep adding one ingredient per night (e.g., hot dogs, bananas, chocolate syrup, vanilla ice cream, cauliflower, etc.) until you get to a "gross" sandwich, then back off one ingredient (to the previous night) and continue from there (until you run out of creative ingredients that no longer cause a "gross" sandwich).

Good idea, right? Now, eventually you'll probably get to a sandwich so thick you can't readily eat it, so you'll have to throw the whole thing into a blender and drink it, or maybe just the ingredients (besides the peanut butter & honey) and make a "paste" to lather on top of your peanut butter & honey, that might work.

If you get bored, you can go back and start at peanut butter and honey and try adding some of the ingredients that "grossed" your mix in previous days, adding them separately, and see if you can come up with other "good" mixtures to add to your peanut butter & honey sandwich.

Just a thought.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I'm going to Mars!

That's right - I'm going to Mars! Well, my name is, anyway. You can too; sign up here.

And don't forget to watch NASA crash some spaceships into the moon tomorrow (starting at 5:15 CDT on NASA TV, which you can watch online if you don't have it on your satellite or cable provider).

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

No, thank you!

Click the picture to zoom in. @ Logan's, and the cooler says, "Premium steakhouse cuts" and "Hand-cut Maurice." Huh? No, thank you, I'll just have the cow-steaks, no cannibalism for me. :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Why would someone put an iPod in the offering?

I like the closing quote: "Isn't it funny what we're willing to give up when we know our Father is going to take care of us."

Monday, October 5, 2009

Time and place

To the lady in the greyish- brown Buick Park Avenue on the causeway across Mobile Bay (whom I don't know): the driver's seat of a moving vehicle isn't the best place To be dancing, as you probably aren't paying as much attention to the task of driving as you ought. Then again, I'm composing a blog post on my phone while driving...

Friday, October 2, 2009

Technological wonders...

Here I sit, in the passenger seat of our 2006 Kia Sedona LX minivan, on our way to Birmingham, typing this blog post on my computer (I'm taking a break from the manual flowcharting of the Matlab code that I'm tasked to convert to C# since I was unable to locate a good auto-Matlab-flowcharter to use as a starting point). When I'm done, I will post this to my blog, courtesy of my phone's internet connection. Now, I'm not on 3G or anything (it's T-Mobile, and they don't have much in the way of 3G, although it's coming), nor do I even have their "smartphone internet plan" (which is something like $20 or $30 per month). No, I'm using the old T-Zones WAP (wireless access protocol) internet, on EDGE speed, via my Nokia E-71 phone and JoikuSpot light (that is, the free version). It's $5.99/month (too bad I didn't get in when it was $2.99). The Nokia does a great job of passing the "internet" requests over the T-Zones (or T-Mobile WAP) settings, even though I don't have "real" access to the internet (in fact, I've only found one application that doesn't seem to work over the T-Zones connections, and that's Google Talk via Pidgin). All-in-all, I'm pretty pleased with my setup so far (despite the "slow" internet speed - almost like being on dial-up again!).

Just thought I'd throw that out there for your reading pleasure. Back to work...

What Is This?

I see these usually every other week or so, but sometimes more frequently, and occasionally more than one at a time. Anyone know what it is? The front, which you can't see, looks like it has a round airlock or something. My curiosity is getting to me, so I appeal to my super-knowledgeable readers for help.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Identity Theft part II and Fishing in Heaven

My 11-year-old and my wife were in the car yesterday listening to Cathedral Made of People (by Downhere; aside: really, really good music! check out their CD "Ending is Beginning") when the boy asked, "Mom, what will it be like in heaven?" To start with a counterpoint, my wife said, "Well, some people say it will be, 'Oh, there's ol' Grandpa, sittin' on a cloud bank, fishin'!'"

The boy, without missing a beat, responded something like, "OH!" Then did an "air cast and reel" and said, "Look, I caught an angelfish!"

Yeah, that's my boy! Here's the video of Cathedral Made of People:


So, I was thinking about the identity theft thing; as a preventive measure, why not, after you've already gotten your house (mortgage) and car (loan), just go ahead and ruin your credit yourself so that anyone stealing your identity won't be able to do anything with it anyway?

NOTE: THAT WAS INTENDED AS HUMOR ONLY, NOT SERIOUS ADVICE! PLEASE DO NOT FOLLOW THAT ADVICE IN REAL LIFE!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wheel of Fortune and Identity Theft and more!

Tonight must have been airhead night on Wheel of Fortune. In one single game I saw a contestant attempt to buy a vowel that the player to her left had just attempted (unsuccessfully) to buy only moments ago ("I'd like to buy an 'E';" "Sorry, no 'E's;"
On another note, a virtual friend and I were amicably arguing about the appropriate punishment for identity thieves. He kept arguing "kill 'em!"... but I think I have a much better punishment.

  1. The "stuff" that the identity thief bought using the stolen identities is given to the victims, and the identity thief is responsible for paying for the merchandise.
  2. For those victims who do not want the "stuff" the thief bought, the associated items will be sold and the money distributed to the victims as compensation for the identity theft.
  3. All possessions, businesses, etc. belonging to the thief are then sold as initial payment for the "stuff" that was illegally bought.
  4. The identity thief is then locked up doing hard (or otherwise profitable labor) to continue to pay for the illegally purchased items. During this incarceration the thief is NOT allowed access to the internet, mail, or outside contact (in order to prevent further perpetrations of identity theft).
  5. Once the entirety of the balance due for the illegally purchased goods has been paid, the thief will CONTINUE to do hard (or otherwise profitable) labor for LIFE, with the proceeds being split three ways:
    • 1/3 is used to support the local prison system
    • 1/3 is used to support the local school system
    • 1/3 is paid to the victims in a continual compensation for the identity theft
  6. In deference to my virtual friend, I agreed that, once the thief is no longer capable of doing hard (or otherwise profitable) labor, he can be killed... and his organs sold for that last little bit of profit.
I think that this sort of punishment for identity theft would provide a great deterrent for future potential identity thieves; consider:

  • If the sentence is death, the thief might think, "What's the big deal? If I get caught, I get killed, and that's the end of it."
  • If the sentence is according to current sentencing standards (cf. Wiki Article and news article), the thief might think, "What's the big deal? If I get caught, I get two to ten of state-sponsored bed & breakfast... and I can probably continue my identity theft practices while the state's paying to feed me so that, when I get out, I'll have a lot of 'stuff' waiting on me!"
  • If the sentence is LIFE of HARD (or otherwise profitable) LABOR with NO OUTSIDE CONTACT, the thief might think, "Whoa! Maybe I don't want to be doing this 'cause, if I'm caught, I'm going to be paying for it for a LONG time!"
So there you go, my recommendation for the sentencing of identity thieves.

Totally unrelated (or is it?), are you familiar with Google's Street View? Surely you are. This guy is... and he's making his own version, cheap (check out the article, then come back here for more amazing insights!). On top of that, it would be possible to add a second "Google street-view-like cam system" mounted vertically above the first, leading to stereoscopic panoramic imaging. What good is that, you might ask? 3D. With the stereoscopic imaging, you could generate three-dimensional panoramic views. Add to this the fact that you could conceivably conceal the equipment in, say, a hat band, and suddenly you have for some really impressive spy-like (private investigator) work... tie it in with GPS positioning data, and you suddenly have geotagged (that is, location aware), three-dimensional, panoramic imagery.

Cool, yes? Just wait; there's more. If you haven't already, check out Picasa, Google's photo indexing and editing software (a free "rival" to Adobe's Photoshop - while not in the same category as Photoshop, for the casual user, Picasa probably offers all the functionality you'd need, and it's free). Guess what Picasa does now? Face recognition. That's right - you let it search your photos, and it'll say, "There are #### unidentified people in your photos." You then start tagging the faces and Picasa starts recognizing the tagged people in other photos. It's not perfect, but the more you tag (and untag when it guesses wrong), the better it gets. In fact, it will even pick up "faces" that you would otherwise have ignored... like the face of your son on an ornament hanging on the Christmas tree which is the backdrop of some photo or other. Even when that face is tiny, out of focus, and partially obstructed.

Now... mix THAT in with the aforementioned panoramic, location-aware, three-dimensional imagery, and suddenly you have some pretty sophisticated spyware... the ability to recreate the moments, including tagging and identifying the people in your imagery. And since you have 3D, location-aware imagery, you can identify not only the people in the photos, but also the when and where of their locations. All automatically (once it's built up a database of people, of course... or a concise database of "intended targets" that you want to try to track for whatever reason).

Pretty scary stuff. Almost makes you long for the days when you actually had to see someone to shoot them... you know, like 30 years ago.

'sall for now!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

My Dog Likes Peanuts

OK, so in lieu of anything interesting, I offer the following video of my dog eating peanuts (note: video taken with my Nokia E-71 phone in not-so-well-lit conditions, hence the poor quality):

video

Now that's out of the way, here are some pictures of random vehicles (ok, they're really pictures of the sky, with random vehicles littering the scenery; note: you can on any of the following pictures to see them larger!):








And here's one of a pretty rainbow (note: this one was taken at a different time than the preceding sky/random vehicle pictures):



Now, I don't know if you do this, but I like to look for neat patterns in my odometer. Here is one that I saw while taking the pictures of the sky and random vehicles (this is the odo in my 2006 Kia Sedona LX, which I rarely get to see neat odo readings in because my wife's driving it, but I caught this one, and here's unretouched proof):


Finally (weird: the font just turned blue!), here's a picture of a sign in the parking lot near the theatre where we saw "9" the other day (I would say it's a disappointing film, but since I had no expectations going in, I couldn't very well be disappointed, now, could I?). Note that, among all things prohibited, you will NOT find "football," "dueling" (either with guns or really long, thin, whippy knives), "cattle roping," or "streaking," so I guess those things are all OK to do in this particular parking lot.


That's all, folks... later!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Random At Last!

To those of you disappointed in the quality, content, length, and (in-)frequency of my recent blog posts, I hope to appease you with this one. Well, it'll be hard to satisfy that "freqyency" thing in a single post, of course, but I'll try to do better.

First, how about a picture or two (or three)?

This one (<---left), which you probably can't make out very well, was taken from the sunroof of my car on Monday; it was POURING rain (the "blurred spots" in the picture), and yet the sun (that bright spot in the upper left corner) was shining brightly, to the point that it was heating my arm in the window. I've seen sun and rain simultaneously, but NOT like this! It was weird. This one (right--->) was taken on the way home from work on Tuesday; it was just a strange looking sky. Click the image to see it enlarged, and you'll see what looks like "streaming sun from the horizon" coming from just left of center... it appears that the point of origin is over the horizon, but the sun is actually behind me - I'm heading east in the evening. Not really sure what caused that odd light display.

Finally, this (right--->) was my dinner last night (picture taken up close w/ my Nokia E71 phone's camera and its built-in flash, causing the oversaturation and the odd coloring): my wife's AWESOME salmon (of which I have NEVER tasted its equal, ever, anywhere; not even at O'Charley's or anything!), some broccoli, and black-eyed peas mixed with couscous. "Couscous" - sounds funny, actually tastes pretty good, which is good if you're doing the South Beach Diet (like I am) since you're not supposed to eat white rice. Couscous is kind of like "midget rice" - but with a slightly different texture. I like it. I think I'd have preferred the peas separately, but it was good in the couscous, too.

So... I think I've determined my ideal job: Emperor of Japan. No power, no real responsibilities, just lots of free time and really good, healthy food. The week I spent in Japan (2007, I think) I had MUCH fewer issues with my acid reflux (as compared to my usual acid reflux issues eating unhealthily American). I know, "King of England" would suit nearly as well, and not have as much of an earthquake problem, and while the Irish food is pretty good, too, I really prefer Japanese cuisine. I wonder where I need to apply for "Emperor of Japan"?

Speaking of dreams... I had a really weird one last night. In the dream there was something wrong with me, cancer or something (don't know what; I think I knew in the dream, but apparently my subconscious thought that wasn't a part I needed to know for the story), and after eating I had something stuck in my teeth (that's a common problem I have; in fact, I keep a package of floss in my car for just such issues after lunch at work). Anyway, we were at someone else's house, and so I went into the bathroom to see if I could find some floss, and all I could find were some floss-picks. So I grabbed one and went to town on the white "stuff" between two of my upper-right molars... and eventually managed to work this "thing" loose, and pulled it out... and it was a tooth! Somehow, there was a one-inch-long, one-centimeter-square molar "stuck" in my teeth, like it was a "rogue molar" that had somehow formed there. Anyway, I pulled this thing out (don't ask me how - it doesn't even make sense that it could BE there, or that it, given its size, could be "stuck" between my teeth in the first place!), and it was all bloody, but it was dried blood, and there wasn't a lot of blood nor a huge, noticeable hole in my gum. I swished some water around, expecting some stinging pain from an open wound, but no pain, and I couldn't even really feel any hole in my gum with my tongue or anything, just relief from the "stuff stuck in my teeth." My wife said, "Come on, we need to get you to the hospital," but I was arguing that it didn't hurt and wasn't bleeding so obviously I was fine.

Weird, huh? I think I've had someone comment on a dream on here before, so come on, you dream interpreters, give me an explanation on this one!

Anyway, that's all for now... if you want something else to read, feel free to check out these stories (which I found interesting):

And, once you're done with those, please consider visiting The Give Worship Project - a project founded by a semi-acquaintance of mine, whose goal is to "to help equip and encourage [indigenous worship leaders throughout the world]" by providing both instruction, encouragement, and equipment "as they help to 'make His praise glorious...'"

Until next time... a topato! (If you don't get that, search this blog for "topato"...)

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Look!

Spent yesterday and today ... and not just a little money ... on costumes for the kids, who wore them to a costume birthday party tonight. Looks like my bluetooth OBDII reader to have my phone scan my car's (or cars') check engine light codes will have to wait until next paycheck. :) But they are cute, aren't they?

Really?

At the thrift store, found this: "Windows User's Guide to DOS" ... Just in case you wanted to go backward in your computing... :)

Friday, September 11, 2009

Cinnamon

My favorite "flavor" of things is, I think cinnamon. For example:
  • Cinnamon flavored/topped oatmeal
  • Red Hots (little candies)
  • Cinnamon gum
  • Cinnamon breath mints
  • Cinnamon Tic Tacs
  • Cinnamon ice cream (from Marble Slab)
  • Hot Tamales
  • Hot Tamales Popsicles
  • Cinnamon Dolce Latte from Starbucks
  • Hard cinnamon candies
Etc. So... I was thinking... why not a cinnamon flavored soda? I mean, they have ginger flavored soda ("ginger ale"), so why not a cinnamon flavored one? Maybe even a cinnamon flavored ginger ale.

I like cinnamon! If you happen to come across or create a cinnamon flavored soda, let me know!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Sea Salt

So, what's up with the recent sea salt craze? I love the blue corn tortilla chips (yes, I'd marry them, but I'm already married to the greatest female God ever graced the earth with, and I'm not really into that whole polygamy thing) - they are lighter and not as overly salty as the regular chips. Anyway, you'll notice they are made with sea salt. And the other day I noticed at Sam's Club that all the Planters nuts (I got one tin of cashews and one of dry roasted peanuts - they didn't have a mere peanut/cashew mix, so I figured I'd get handfuls from each tin and mix them myself) were made using sea salt. And I've seen sea Salt scrubs and stuff at those center-of-the-mall selling stands. So, what's up with all the sea salt fascination these days? After all the global warming and save the old growth tree huggers and PETA and green this and save the world that, don't we realize what we're doing with this sea salt craze? We're going to completely desalinate the ocean! Maybe not today or tomorrow, and eventually the salt will go into people and then into the ground when the people die and eventually back into the ocean from erosion of the ground where the bodies decayed, but that will take generations, and the earth's ecosystem may not survive long enough to support 100% fresh water oceans. Yes, it will be beneficial for shipwrecked sailors, but what about the salt water marine life? I mean, sure, no more shark attacks, and maybe no more jellies in the gulf, but we'll lose a lot of beneficial things, like tuna. I like tuna (it really upset me when O'Charley's quit selling their grilled tuna meal!). I like it a lot. Grilled, flaked, salad, you name it. And when all the varieties of salt water marine life are gone, coastal fishermen will be out of work (until the fresh water species realize their world just got a lot bigger). And if the sea algae and plankton can't survive in the fresh water environment, well, there's a huge CO2 sink gone... And that might REALLY lead to some human-induced global warming. We could unintentionally lead to the collapse of the global ecosystem and the elimination of all life on earth, just because we want to put a little sea salt on all our stuff (food, bodies, etc.) instead of regular old salt.

Please, for the sake of all life on earth, start boycotting products that make use of sea salt now! This public service message has been brought to you by Tostitos Blue Corn chips, featuring sea salt.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Child labor

Hope I'm not arrested for this... But, hey, why else do we have them? Also, I've been sick.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Why, oh why?

Why do we push ourselves too hard on the first sign of rebound from illness? Having been down for nearly a week, after going into work today, I've now cleaned out a trunk, swapped batteries from one vehicle to another, and spent quite a while working on a potential spare computer, including crawling around under my desk hooking my keyboard and monitor back to this computer after failing to get the potential spare running.

And now I sit, sweating, panting, barely able to move my fingers... silly human, just rest and recover, for goodness' sake!

To all out there who are sick and think you're now on the mend, I offer this proposal: W A I T!!! Just take it easy for a little while longer. You'll be better soon, no need to rush it.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Feelin' foolish

For my son's birthday he wanted to go see the GI Joe movie. We were going to see the 4 o'clock showing, meaning we would arrive after the previews started because they got off the bus at 3:50. So, we were in a rush. Got the tickets but the lady didn't say which theatre (number). In a rush I glanced at the ticket, saw "cinema 14," and we headed there. Got in, got seated, and realized, hey, the movie's already showing... And it's only 8 minutes after 4. Weird. Anyway, appeared to not have missed much, were enjoying the movie, and it abruptly ended around 5:10. Strange... Was supposed to be a 2 hour and 10 minute movie. Looking at the ticket... Oops, it was in "theatre 6"... The "cinema 14" was part of "premiere cinema 14." Boy did I feel bad, having now ruined the movie he wanted to see for his birthday! And foolish. I went to the counter and explained the situation, and they're letting us see the 5:15. In theatre 14! Oops.

Good quote

In the sermon yesterday, our pastor said, "[for believers] sinning should be the exception, not the norm." I wonder how many believers really believe that?

Monday, August 3, 2009

Salt n' vinegar crickets?

Yeah, I ate one. About one calorie. My third child brought them back from a vacation with his friend. Fun...

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Here are friends and family

Here is a quick pic of friends and family while we're at the beach in Gulf Shores. Fun!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Relax

Here is a picture of my oldest son's "big catch" - we threw it back. Just out relaxing at my in-law's place.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hunter?

Anyone else remember that TV show Hunter? I'm eating with the family at Ryan's, and my oldest boy said something about choking on a chip, to which I replied something like, "It's ok, I know the German." Referring, of course, to the Heimlich. My youngest asked what that was, it was mentioned about Mrs. Doubtfire, where Pierce Brosnan was choking, which of course brought about the thought of Remington Steele. Which I didn't really watch, but brought about the thought of the show that took an internet lookup to find out the show I was thinking about: Hunter. Anyone else remember that show?

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

A fight! A fight!

I am sore, and I am beat. Yes, I was in a fight... with my Lexus! But the family pitched in, and the air-to-conventional suspension conversion process is 87.5% complete - well, not counting reinstalling the rear interior - seats and everything - and clipping the wires that provide the "air suspension error" warning, which seems a silly warning if you've explicitly turned OFF the air suspension (there's a switch in the trunk). All four of the air shocks have been removed, and three of the four conventional shocks have been installed.

But it's late, I'm pretty beat up (I'm walking - not like an "old" man, but like a "decrepit old" man). The fourth shock just doesn't want to go in... so I've put off its installation for the evening and will go borrow a spring compressor from an auto parts store in the morning.

The whole thing isn't quite as simple as the instructions on the internet would have you believe: "30 minutes per shock." Or maybe it's just my lack of mechanical skill (due to lack of practice)... it's more like three times that amount per shock for me.

But I'm saving, what, $200 or $300 for someone else to install it?

Ugh... in retrospect, it may have been worth the $200 or $300 because I have a feeling I'm going to spend that much in pain killers and massage therapy over the next few weeks...

Monday, July 13, 2009

The invasion has begun!

Look how close the slugs are coming, and to the back door instead of the front! It's a sneak slug attack! Man the salt shakers... They shall not take us alive!

Invasion of the slugs!

See? I TOLD you they are planning an invasion .. Two of them this morning, and look what direction they are heading... Not toward the yard, but toward the house! Prepare now, the slugs are coming.. The slugs are coming!

Seriously, though, as weird as the invasion of the slugs might be, there is another coming that you'd better be ready for; His name is Jesus. He came once already to prepare us... Next time, you'd best be ready and not caught off guard. For more info check out a copy of His story, known as the Bible. You can find one at a bookstore or a church if you don't already have a copy.

Ok, so my tie-ins aren't quite as good as Dean's... Visit www.deanlusk.com for more.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Not a good sign

Just saw this outside Don Carlos Mexican Restaurant.. Not a good sign if you're a pedestrian.

It's a game

Based on this limited view of my drink cup, can you figure out at what restaurant I'm having lunch? If you've been recently, this should be easy.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Slug

Here is the slug that I think is attempting to infiltrate my house. It was outside again this morning.

Office 2010: The Movie

Yeah... this is actually pretty neat or funny or simply stupid (depending on your point of view).

I liked it.

"As Seen On TV" : Jesus Pan

Um... yeah...

Jesus Pan - The Orginal JesusPan Seen and Heard Everywhere


Thursday, July 9, 2009

Test mobile post

This is just a test post to see if T-mobile's MMS system is properly sending to e-mail addresses now. It wasn't earlier. Here's a picture of a kitten getting a bath. Enjoy!

Low Rider

Just a quick blog post to let you know what a Lexus with a bad air shock looks like.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Reflections

So, if I live to be 74, my life here on earth is half over. The question is, what do I have to show for the first half of my life? Money, things, wealth? Education, status, fame, power? Even if I DID have those things, they would be meaningless, since they won't follow after human death. So, what IS worth having? Well, I hope that I have impacted my children, and that it's a good impact. I hope that I've directed at least one person toward the Lord. And I hope that act II of my life is useful in the eyes of God. If you catch me off that course, please feel free to attempt to redirect me; you know, waving, shouting, running me down with a dump truck and tying me to the bumper and dragging me back to the right path, that sort of thing. And now I'm going to enjoy my diet Coke and hopefully soon a Red Robin burger.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Your thoughts?

I'm not going to put a lot of discussion about this one; just read the article here or watch the video here.

Not that a lot of this really matters to "the rest of us," of course. (You can check out various responses to the Fox article here.)

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Watch this (worth the time)

This is much longer than the videos I usually post, and not quite in the same vein. But I hope that you will take the time to watch it, and listen. Alternatively, you can go here and download it in MP3 format (direct link to the MP3 here) to put on your iPhone, iPod, MP3 player, etc., and listen to it while you are doing something else. Seriously: take the time to hear what he's saying.




Friday, June 12, 2009

Pandemic: Tips To Avoid the Flu

Now that Swine Flu is officially a Pandemic, I thought I would pass on some words of Wisdom I just read from Kevin Nealon's book, Yes, You're Pregnant, But What About Me?

Kevin's tips to help avoid catching various flus and diseases (note: the grammatical errors are his, not mine):

  • Do not shake someone else's hand and then lick your palm
  • Do not make out with someone with runny snot on their upper lip
  • Do not chew on the Kleenex that someone just sneezed into

This is a pretty funny book, but I'm only partway through it, so I can't comment on its entirety. And, no, it's not part of Thomas Nelson's excellent Book Review Blogger program. :)

Friday, May 29, 2009

Review: The Hole in Our Gospel by Richard Stearns

26,500 children died yesterday. 26,500 died today. 26,500 will die tomorrow, and the next day, and the next, all due to poverty-related causes (lack of food, lack of clean water, lack of medical care, etc.). And yet each one of these deaths is preventable, provided that those with means – you, for instance – each do a part to combat the poverty and hunger that is rampant in many parts of the world. This is the message that Richard Stearns is trying to bring to our attention, a wakeup call to Christians everywhere. Something’s missing in our modern vision of the Gospel, the “Good News” that we (the church) are supposed to spread to a lost and dying (in more ways than one) world. Somewhere over the last 2000 years we’ve lost sight of true religion, God’s religion: “to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world,” (James 1:27b, NKJV*) and “to him who knows to do good and does not do it, to him it is sin.” (James 4:17, NKJV*)

“The Hole in Our Gospel” is not a book about statistics, it’s about people, individuals; but the statistics in the book are quite astonishing and eye-opening. However, the numbers presented are justly used to show the quantity of suffering, while the supporting text shows the effectiveness that a single individual’s contributions have. Through his own personal experiences, Stearns shows how the Gospel, in its entirety, can truly change the world. That “whole Gospel” includes not just the telling of the good news, but the providing and caring for those in need.

Having just finished “The Hole in Our Gospel,” I can confidently say that this is a book that should not be read by the average Christian. That is, it should not be read by the average Christian who wants to remain average.

It is very difficult to write a review of this book without going in-depth into its content; suffice it to say that it is very engaging and very personally challenging at the same time. This book serves as a call to action and a reminder that we were saved for good works (see Ephesians 2:8-10), not just for our own personal gain. Richard Stearns does a phenomenal job of portraying our modern world and our modern church. Time after time I was personally convicted by the words in this book. From tears to anger, shame to sorrow, emotions are stirred by the portrait of those suffering in parts of the world that are not necessarily next door to my house, but are reachable through a variety of methods easily at my disposal.

* New King James Version®, Copyright © 1982, Thomas Nelson, Inc. All rights reserved. Bible text from the New King James Version® is not to be reproduced in copies or otherwise by any means except as permitted in writing by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Attn: Bible Rights and Permissions, P.O. Box 141000, Nashville, TN 37214-1000.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Spoiled

I am a spoiled rotten person.  Yes, I had my motorcycle repossessed recently (and subsequently redeemed it with the assistance of my dad); yes, I am driving a 15-year-old car as my daily driver (again, courtesy of my dad, after another vehicle was totaled by vandalism shortly after I bought it); yes, I can't afford the iPhone or Blackberry I "need" or a new guitar or a nice Kayak or Canoe to start a new (admittedly healthy) hobby.

But I am spoiled.  Likely, you are too.  Go ahead, be offended... but didn't you eat today?  Two or even three times?  And maybe shower, and use a toilet, and perhaps brush your teeth and put on clean clothes?

I'm currently reading a book called "The Hole In Our Gospel" - it's for Thomas Nelson's Book Review Blogger program (Google it - I don't feel like adding the link right now) - and, yes, it's powerful.  Look for the review coming soon, but I don't want to do the review until I completely finish the book.  In the meantime, you can read a fellow blogger's review here.

I'll leave you with one of the quotes that Richard Stearns (the author) put in there, by the really famous philosopher "Anonymous":

"Sometimes I would like to ask God why He allows poverty, suffering, and injustice when He could do something about it."
"Well, why don't you ask Him?"
"Because I'm afraid He would ask me the same question."

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

In Honor of My Wife's Anniversary

In honor of my wife's 18th anniversary, which also happens to be my 18th anniversary, I have uploaded a new song to my music page: "Dog Poop" (it's a love poem set to music; I'd like you to think it's an old Irish jog, but 1) it's not old; 2) it's not really Irish; 3) I'm not quite sure what qualifies as a "jig").  Note the fancy "tin whistle" part (it's near the end, so you'll have to listen to the whole thing! Haha!).

If you're reading this on Facebook, you'll probably need to visit my music site at http://musicofnoneyet.googlepages.com/ - but do it sooner rather than later, because Google is doing away with their googlepages and going to google sites instead.  Unfortunately, the fancy scripts I use on my music page won't be supported on google sites... I guess I may need to actually look into a real web host now, eh?


Dog Poop (a Love Song)

Powered by Podbean.com

Some info about this recording:

  • It was done in a single, separate take of each track (acoustic, vocal, tin whistle, bass, drums)
  • The acoustic, vocal, and tin whistle tracks were recorded using a PS2 Rock Band USB mic
  • Bass was done using the guitar-level input on a USB M-Audio Fast Track
  • Drums were also done using the Fast Track, but with the input switched to LINE instead of GUITAR input (in retrospect, I wonder if I should have left it at GUITAR level to boost the input signal, as it was quite low at first)
  • The DRUM track was done by my 10-year-old boy (yes, in a single take!)
  • I have performed this LIVE at a Valentine's banquet back 2004 (I think); it was quite well received (I was the comedic interlude between "real" skits by the Wall Highway Baptist Church youth drama team, led by my wife)

On a side note, if you are offended by the poor quality of the music I am creating, you can do something about it!  I will gladly accept donations to:

  • Buy better musical gear and recording equipment
  • Buy a Porsche, which will encourage me to spend more time out driving (thus away from home and making music)
  • Bribe me to quit the musical business altogether

Just let me know if you would like to make a donation and you can send it to my PayPal account.  That way I don't have to worry about meeting you in person, fearful that you might try to stop the music another way (like with a knife or a .45 or something).

Here is the text of the original poem:

Dog Poop

by A. R. Moore

 

I gave my lady dog poop

On our anniversary;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw the poop at me.

 

I gave my lady dog poop

For her birthday, by and by;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it in my eye.

 

I gave my lady dog poop

As a Christmas gift so dear;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it in my ear.

 

I gave my lady dog poop

As a valentine so sweet;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it at my feet.

 

I gave my lady dog poop

As a new year’s gift for luck;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it at my truck.

 

I gave my lady dog poop

On Halloween so quick;

She said, “You are retarded!”

Then she threw it as my trick.

 

I give my lady dog poop

Every chance that comes along;

She always says, “You retard!”

As she throws it back quite strong.

  

Copyright © 2002; you may tell others about this poem, link to it, send it in an e-mail, etc., as long as the author is given credit (what a moron, wanting credit for this poem!) and ensure that enough of this notice is included that others, when forwarding your e-mail or whatever, include enough of this notice that other to whom they forwarded the poem, when forwarding it themselves, include enough credit… you get the idea…

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Silly Swine Flu!

I just heard last night, via twitter, "Huntsville and Madison County schools are closed tomorrow: two possible cases of swine flu."

What?  I don't mean to be rude, but this is getting a bit silly now, folks.  Please, can we stop the media overhype?  Check out this article if you want a "real" media perspective (i.e., what I'm about to say, but from a real new station instead of little old me).

According to the CDC, 1 out of 91 cases of swine flu has resulted in death.  That's a little over 1%.

Again, according to the CDC, over 200,000 people are hospitalized with "regular flu" each year, and 36,000 of those result in death.  That's a nice 18%.  They also say that 5-20% of the American population (estimated) contracts a flu virus each year.  Yes, that ends up with a lower percentage of "death rate" than the 1 in 91 of swine flu (although the 1/91 is probably more relative to the percentage of hospitalizations vs. death of regular flu).

Now, I'm not saying, "Don't be careful."  But the precautions (recommended by the CDC) are the same as for "regular" flu:

  • Stay informed. This website will be updated regularly as information becomes available.
  • Influenza is thought to spread mainly person-to-person through coughing or sneezing of infected people.
  • Take everyday actions to stay healthy.
  • Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze. Throw the tissue in the trash after you use it.
  • Wash your hands often with soap and water, especially after you cough or sneeze. Alcohol-based hands cleaners are also effective.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth. Germs spread that way.
  • Stay home if you get sick. CDC recommends that you stay home from work or school and limit contact with others to keep from infecting them.
  • Follow public health advice regarding school closures, avoiding crowds and other social distancing measures.
  • Develop a family emergency plan as a precaution. This should include storing a supply of food, medicines, facemasks, alcohol-based hand rubs and other essential supplies.
  • Call 1-800-CDC-INFO for more information.

Except I'm not so sure about that "prepare to stay in your house for weeks on end" suggestion.  Yeah, stay home from school if you get sick - not to avoid getting sick.  Do we ever shut down schools for "regular flu"?  Not really sure what the difference is.  From the World Health Organization:

What are the implications for human health?

Outbreaks and sporadic human infection with swine influenza have been occasionally reported. Generally clinical symptoms are similar to seasonal influenza but reported clinical presentation ranges broadly from asymptomatic infection to severe pneumonia resulting in death.

Since typical clinical presentation of swine influenza infection in humans resembles seasonal influenza and other acute upper respiratory tract infections, most of the cases have been detected by chance through seasonal influenza surveillance. Mild or asymptomatic cases may have escaped from recognition; therefore the true extent of this disease among humans is unknown.

Whatever.  They even admit that the "91 reported cases" may be underestimated; it just so happens that someone noticed one particular case was of a particular type, so that particular type is now getting a lot of attention.  Whatever.

What I want to know is what happened to all the antiseptic wipes that we all had to provide as part of our children's "school supplies" when they started school?  (Yeah, our kids were in Madison, but now they're not, as we've moved.)  One of my kids recently had a fairly nasty flu-like infection - we kept him home, he recovered in a day or two, and now he's fine.  Didn't even need Tamiflu or anything.  Back when we were in HSV a couple of weeks ago most of my family got sick with probably flu-like symptoms.  Whether it was allergies or flu, we don't really know.  But we're all still here.

Be careful, people, but don't be silly.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Obscure Phrases

I've decided to enlighten the world on the less-known origins of some common phrases.  To start, consider:
Kill two birds with one stone.
This particular phrase comes from the time of the Great Stone Age Depression, when stones, which were previously abundant and frequently used in bird hunting (which was, unfortunately, often done out of sport instead of for the bird's - or birds' - meat, feathers, hides, and beaks, which were fairly useful items for households, and led to the careless anthropogenic extermination of such varied species as the dodo bird and its less liked cousin the doo-doo bird, which was a common defacer of stone-age artwork) ... whew! that was quite the parenthetical insertion, wasn't it?  Anyway, back to the Great Stone Age Depression.  Back when stones, previously in abundance, suddenly became rare and expensive items.  Hunters, dealing with ever-decreasing quantities of and ever-increasing-replacement costs of stone, began to develop techniques wherein a single stone could be banked off one bird in a glancing blow, usually to the neck or head (causing terminal injury to the initial recipient of contact), and then into a second bird, typically causing a fatal injury to it as well (or at least enough of an injury to bring the bird to the ground, such as a broken wingtip, where the expert marksman would finish the bird, often with the original stone after it had been retrieved from wherever it fell, since stones were quickly becoming precious commodities).  In fact, in some cases, particularly accurate bird hunters could take down three or more birds with a single stone, but the more common (and frequent) occurance was to fell two birds.  Hence the saying: "kill two birds with one stone."

As part of this downturn in the stone-age economy, navite Australians began to fashion stones into exotic shapes that would, when thrown, return to the thrower after ringing in two or more birds, thus saving the hunter the task of retrieving the thrown stone and potentially having the stone stolen by stone-starved, hungry hunters hiding in the nearby bush to grab the stone once it fell to earth.  This, as you can imagine, led to the later development of the boomerang.

Come back next time as we explain the meaning of "don't count your chickens before they hatch" (preview: one farmer had three dozen eggs, and pre-sold the thirty-six chickens; unfortunately for him, half of the eggs were actually twins, but he had only pre-sold the thirty-six instead of the fifty-four, leaving him with an extra eighteen chicks; why is this a problem, you might ask? well, what would you do with eighteen chicks? if he sold those, that would drive down the price and he would not get as much for his next round of chickens due to overproduction, so the poor famer had to settle for keeping eighteen chickens as pets, and chickens do not make very good pets).

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Weird

I just turned to see my daughter eating M&M's and Mustard. (She says she was eating pretzels & mustard, but I know better.) Gross.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

77 seconds of TV

Why do writers of TV shows like "Destroyed in Seconds" (guess what I'm watching right now?) and "The Detonators" insist on repeating what you've already watched after returning from each commercial break?  Do they really think that Americans are of such limited intelligence that we can't recall what's happened in the first ten minutes of the half-hour show across the 2-4 minute break?  Or that we've forgotten what is going on just before the break?  I've decided that, given this phenomenon, along with the "repeated video" during the episode, we get roughly 77 seconds of original material per half-hour show, as follows:
  • intro: 23 seconds
  • outtro: 23 seconds
  • four 3-minute commercial breaks: 12 minutes
  • one-minute recaps after each commercial break: 4 minutes
  • title credits: 2 minutes 30 seconds
  • ending credits: 3 minutes 30 seconds
  • super-slo-mo and repeated, multi-angle video of the same event for each segment of original material (assuming seven original video segments and 51 seconds of repeated/slo-mo per segment): 5 minutes 57 seconds
  • original material: 77 seconds (i.e., 11 seconds per each of seven original segments)
Wow.  I just spent 1/2 hour of my life for seventy-seven seconds of original material.  At least it's the "perfect" or "complete" amount of original material, eh?

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Top Search Queries

Just noticed that [LAPSE... brain dead] (the blog you're reading, although you might be reading it in a feed reader or an e-mail subscription or a Facebook note) is highly featured at the following Google queries (search positions as of the time of this posting):
In case you're interested in such things.

As per the last post, I have decided it's probably a good idea to read Ephesians 4 each morning until the behavior it describes becomes predominant in all aspects of my life. In particular, those morning and evening commutes are quite stressful for me at times since people don't seem to know how to drive, and my thoughts don't necessarily meet the standards I'm called to uphold (that is, to live "a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you"). Sometime I plan to put together an explanatory video of why it's important, courteous, and safer for someone to move from the left lane to the right after passing, even if planning to pass the next person a little ways down, let the guy behind go by, and then move back to the left lane for the next pass. But not today - today we're heading to Pensacola to the AWANA games (the younger two are both participating), and then we'll be hanging out at my parents' house for a while.