Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Things to Abhor

Besides sin, I think people should make mint-dark-chocolate-covered pickles.  That way I could triple-abhor it.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Nannerpuss (incl. video)

Ok, so I'm a bit late on the commercials from the superbowl. We started watching it late at my dad's house - it was DVRed - and so we skipped most of the commercials. Anyway, this one's weird, and a great supposed-250th post for my blog:

The wikipedia page on Denny's is kind of interesting, if you care.

Now here's something interesting: apparently the next version of Microsoft Windows (the link is to the wikipedia article on Windows, and is a good general reference) is going to be called "Windows 7." Now here's why it's interesting... let's count:
  1. Windows 1.0 (DOS-based Windowing layer)
  2. Windows 2.0
  3. Windows 3.0/3.1/3.11 and Windows NT 3.1/3.5
  4. Windows 95/98 and Windows NT 4.0
  5. Windows ME and Windows 2000
  6. Windows XP and Windows Server 2003
  7. Windows Vista and Windows Server 2008
  8. Windows 7
So, by my count, the 8th version of windows will be called Windows 7. Huh? Brilliant, Microsoft!

(ok, officially the "build number" - according to the wikipedia article - has the various flavors of XP as "5.x" - that is, an evolution of the Windows 2000 kernel, which is 5.0; Windows Vista is 6.0, and Windows 7 is officially built on kernel 6.1.7000... but still, that's incongruent with the build numbering system, where "7" doesn't equal "6"... guess maybe it's kind of like when Intel called the "586" the "Pentium" for trademark rights, followed by Pentium Pro, Pentium II, Pentium III, Pentium 4, and Pentium D... and now we have no idea where CPU iterations stand! Why wasn't Pentium II the Hexium? Maybe witch doctors had that trademark already... then P3 would be the Heptium, and P4 would be the Octanium - now that's a cool name! What kind of computer do you have? I have the new octanium processor in mine! Of course, "nonanium" - the next iteration - sounds kind of stupid, and who wants a dodecanium?)


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Post 249

That is, assuming the blogger count ever corrected itself.  I don't really feel like counting that high right now, as I'm pretty tired.  I got up around 3 am this morning, you see, in order to meet up at the McD's (whose 24-hour drive through has, the two times I've been there around 4 am, failed to offer any service) to then head to Panama City (work, don't ask; we got there around 8:30 this morning and didn't finish till around 6:00 - and now I'm in a hotel as we're continuing tomorrow).

Anyway... my friend Christy said this video reminded her of me.  Now I can't stop playing it.  Enjoy.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The NEW stimulus package!

Ok, so there are something like 150,000 individual income tax returns filed each year.  Now, suppose 50% of those are joint returns (probably a high number, actually, but I've yet to find any good statistics on the number of individual returns that are joint filings).  The gov't is about to (?) sign an $800,000,000,000.00 (just wanted you to see all the zeroes in that number!) stimulus package.  I say, let's add a zero... make it trillion instead of hundred billion.  And let's just even it off at 10 trillion (instead of 8 trillion), which is approximately the balance of the US debt (as of 2009/02/11, the US debt is $10,713,124,215,572.20, according to

Take that $10,000,000,000,000.00 and give it to those who filed individual tax returns, with those filing jointly getting a double-share.  That's about 44,444 for individual filers, 88,888 for joint filers.  Tell me that people wouldn't be paying off debts, buying cars, and generally stimulating the economy!  And we'd only double the US debt!  Pretty nifty, if you ask me!  I'd like to thank a friend at work (Phillip) for inspiration for this plan.  Time to call your congressmen?

All those facebook notes... new kind of phishing?

So, you see, all these "notes about me" popping up on facebook... like this one of mine (you'll have to log into facebook to see it, and you might have to make me your friend if I'm not already, too!)... are they really just a new, well-disguised method of phishing for personal info?  I mean, the one about me, it asks your birthplace.  Now, how many times have you been asked "place of birth" for one of your "forgotten password reminder/reset" questions when setting up an account for something?  And I saw one a little while ago (haven't done it myself), something like "the name game" or something, that subtly asks you to post info like:
  • mom's & dad's middle names
  • first pet
  • street where you grew up
  • current pet
  • favorite color
And so forth.  All cleverly disguised, such as like this (I'm only posting a few more pertinent ones, not the whole list, and I've removed the answers from the list for privacy reasons):
2. WITNESS PROTECTION NAME: (mother and fathers middle names)
3. NASCAR NAME: (first name of your mother's dad, father's dad
5. DETECTIVE NAME: (favorite color, favorite animal)
6. SOAP OPERA NAME: (middle name, town where you were born)
7. SUPERHERO NAME: (2nd favorite color, favorite drink, add "The" to the beginning)
9. STREET NAME: (favorite ice cream flavor, favorite cookie)
10. PORN NAME: (1st pet's name, street you grew up on)
13. YOUR GOTH NAME: (black, and the name of one of your pets)
So... combine that with some of the ones from the note I posted (eye color, hair color, place of birth, do you wear contacts, how did you meet your spouse)... and you start to have a lot of personal info, info that you may be using as "password reminders" or "password reset verification" questions/answers on your bank account, your mortgage account online login, your credit card account, your e-mail account, who knows what else.  Sounds awfully "phishy"* to me.

All I'm saying is be careful.  Careful what info you advertently or inadvertently make available online.  All it takes is a little time and patience by "collectors" to be able to put together something that defines enough info to steal your identity.  (E.g., although you may not think it's such a big deal if someone gets access to your e-mail account, what if they have a "password reminder" or "password reset link" sent to your e-mail, then intercept that password reminder/reset?  Suddenly the "minor" inconvenience of a compromised e-mail account becomes a major liability!  And while you may think, oh, I'll just close down that e-mail account, how tough will it be for the determined hacker to re-open the account before you manage to change all your online account settings to your new e-mail account?)

Yes, it's nice to be able to share the info between friends and acquaintances... just, please, be careful what you share.  And even though you may think it's innocent at the time of sharing, you never know when someone will put 1 and 1 together to get 2... that is 2 your accounts, 2 your identity, 2 your major inconvenience as you're trying to sort out the chaos that has come from completely innocent information sharing.

*phishing (per wikipedia): the criminally fraudulent process of attempting to acquire sensitive information such as usernames, passwords and credit card details by masquerading as a trustworthy entity in an electronic communication. 

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

127 things...

In the vein of all the recent "about me" things on Facebook, I wanted to make an "about you!" thing on my blog.  So here it is.  Just post a comment, and in the comment write 127 unique, fun facts about yourself!  If you can't think of that many, feel free to share items like:
  • SSN
  • credit card numbers, types, and expiration dates
  • banking account numbers
  • shoe size
  • height
  • weight
  • hair color
  • eye color
  • home addres
  • favorite color
  • driver license number
  • license plate number, make and model of automobile
  • any other personally identifying information
This will be a neat, fun thing to do!  And not at all dangerous!  I eagerly await all sorts of info about you, my three faithful readers! 

:) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :) :)

Ok, really, please don't put any personal information like SSN, bank account or credit card info, etc.; however, DO please feel free to share some items that you think we all might find interesting!  Things we don't know about you that make you unique and will greatly expand our appreciation for just who you are!

Sunday, February 8, 2009

WARNING: dangers of dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO)

I recently came across this site about the dangerous, yet widely available substance known as dihydrogen monoxide (DHMO). From their FAQ, some of the dangers of DHMO include:
  • Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
  • Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
  • Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
  • DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
  • Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
  • Contributes to soil erosion.
  • Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
  • Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
  • Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
  • Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
  • Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
  • Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
  • Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.
Wow. Why haven't we been made aware of this before? Please read the entire FAQ. Here are some symptoms of accidental DHMO overdose:
  • Excessive sweating
  • Excessive urination
  • Bloated feeling
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Electrolyte imbalance
  • Hyponatremia (serum hypotonicity)
  • Dangerously imbalanced levels of ECF and ICF in the blood
  • Degeneration of sodium homeostasis
Please seek immediate care if you exhibit any of these symptoms.

Finally, DHMO, in its gaseous form, is the #1 greenhouse gas; thus it is a major contributor to global warming.

PS: you probably have all ingested DHMO today. You more than likely have also intentionally applied it liberally all over your body at least once in the past week. Dihydrogen monoxide has this little chemical symbol: H2O. Yep, this "killer substance" is good ol' water.

Sorry, I couldn't resist. This is a great example of how data can be manipulated into making you believe something that just isn't real, kind of like "anthropogenic global warming" - that is, man-made global warming. To take the data at the end of a cycle (like an ice age), without projecting the entire cycle, and extrapolate it into the future... kind of like the guy did about "global darkening" (I mentioned that in this post).

But onto another property of good old hydrogen oxide: rust. And I'm not talking about of metal... I'm talking about water itself. Rust is, according to this site, oxidation. (Note: even Merriam-Webster defines the verb form of "rust" as to "become oxidized.") And what is oxidation? "To become oxidized" (again courtesy - and "oxidize" means "to combine with oxygen." Thus, when Hydrogen combines with Oxygen, it "oxidizes" - that is, it "rusts." Thus, water itself is actually Hydrogen rust. So, enjoy your nice glass of rust the next time you go out to eat!

Oh, and my most favorite thing to do with water: order it (as "ice water"). Like this:
"What would you like to drink, sir?"

"Oh, how about a nice glass of partially solidified hydrogen oxide, please? You do have that, right?"
I did that at an Arby's once as a teenager... the guy behind the counter (another teen or early 20s guy) just looked at me weirdly until I said, "Ice Water."

Until next time... a topato!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009


I didn't see it during the Superbowl, but did a few minutes ago. This commercial is great, like something I would come up with if I were in advertising:

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rhythm of Life

Been a while, hello all! (I know, I know, I'm not supposed to start a blog this way, or to say "I'm going away for a bit" or anything like that. Bad blog etiquette. Oh, well, get over it.)

I spent last week in Wichita Falls, TX (on business). We were iced into the hotel one day and had to work from there. I also had dinner one night with some great friends who moved out that way a bit over a year ago.

Oh, wait, first: our luggage didn't make the connection in Dallas. Four of us flew from the Mobile airport through Dallas into Wichita Falls. Four of us didn't have any luggage when we arrived. We stopped back around 2 after the next flight, but again our luggage wasn't to be found (and half the new flightload of people also didn't have luggage). We stopped back again around 9 after the next/last flight of the day, and 1/2 of us got our luggage (no, I wasn't in that half, and again about half the people waiting at the baggage claim area were disappointed). The third guy had his suitcase delivered to the hotel around 11 or 12 that night (why it wasn't on the luggage carousel I don't know); mine arrived the next afternoon.

On Tuesday, when we were iced in, one of the guys and I walked over to the nearby Denny's for dinner. On the way we heard a noise, looked back, and saw an 18-wheeler sliding backwards (no, it was quite a ways from - and posed no danger to - us) - it was turned nearly 180 degrees. I guess the noise was his trailer taking out a street sign or something because there certainly wasn't enough room for him to have made it around cleanly and keep the entire truck on the paved area. There was a car trying to stop next to him - fortunately, I think, somehow, the two didn't collide. After dinner we amusingly watched a Corvette try in vain to climb the slight incline to the hotel parking lot; after a couple minutes' trying, he spent a few more minutes trying to get turned back around, eventually was successful, and headed back out the way he came. We also amusingly walked over some other tire tracks that went up the curb, across the sidewalk, and into the grass.

On the day to head home, two of the guys went to return the rental cars and two of us went to check in for our flight. Apparently the lady behind me was the last one they let on the flight - they had already canceled one flight that day and had now canceled our flight, and they had ordered a replacement flight - with a smaller plane. The two guys that didn't make the cut ended up being driven in a van to the Dallas airport. And they arrived around the same time as those of us who flew.

At least the remainder of the trip - Dallas to Mobile - went off without a hitch. My bag was the third one on the baggage claim carousel, and we all got our luggage this time around. Well, the four of us did, I didn't wait around to see about the rest of the folks whom I didn't know.

Warning: extreme parenthetical comments ahead may make understanding a challenge; read the following paragraph at your own risk!!!

Saturday night my wife and I went to a movie (Taken) and then to a Japanese steakhouse (we had a coupon for $25 off - that was fortunate as this particular place definitely wasn't the best hibachi dinner I've ever had). Met some interesting guys (a Caucasian, and Asian, and a Mexican - I'd say that sounds like the intro to a bad, off-color racial joke, but I don't want to offend anyone - I really don't tell those kind of jokes!) there (who were just "out driving around" and planned to end up in Mississippi, according to their story) - I figured they would probably stalk us home to rob us (no, I'm not really profiling - continue reading to find out the likely cause of this thought), figuring what an interesting ploy: follow a couple into an expensive restaurant to find the "rich" people (I'm not anywhere near rich - as I mentioned, we had a coupon for nearly half off the meal we had), talk to them to find out as much as you can, then follow them home to steal all their valuable stuff. I guess that was paranoia after watching Taken. Anyway, afterward, as my wife and I were heading to the car (and I'm carefully watching to see if the guys are stealthily trying to follow us to our car), there were a couple of girls in the parking lot who were talking and (as my wife put it) "squealing" and wouldn't get nearer than 15 feet from their vehicle. The one with the keys turned to us (as we watched somewhat quizzically) and said, "There's a rat under our car!" They didn't want to get near it. The one with the keys mentioned that her remote had quit working so she couldn't try to scare it away (which is probably a good thing - I could picture her hitting the panic for 20 minutes straight as this deaf rat laughed at them and everyone else was highly annoyed). I offered to and eventually backed the Yukon out of its parking space and pulled it forward several places before they would venture near the car.

I noticed that, after I took the keys, my wife also did not approach the vehicle, instead hanging back with the one who had had the keys.

Sunday was church, after which we went to my dad's house for "the game" (good game, it was! I think I was pulling for Kurt, but it was still a very good game). On the way home, I was thinking about how nice it was just to relax (I've not lived near family since I graduated high school; now I'm 45 minutes from my dad & my brother, which is kind of nice). How the "Rhythm of Life" is all too often a frenzied, accelerated-pace thing, and how it's very nice just to settle down. Last week was a long one, not nearly enough sleep, and not anywhere near my family. This weekend I took my daughter to breakfast (a new thing I'm going to start trying: taking one kid to breakfast on Saturday, and then perhaps to just hang out a bit, trying to impart some fatherly advice, if I can think of any; suggestions welcome! :), then we shopped for a while (ever see a dad & daughter shopping at Charlotte Russe? No? Me either... in fact, during the time that we were there, there were only two other males in the store, and then only for a couple of minutes; but she likes to shop there, so we went). Saturday night I hung out with my "main squeeze" (my only squeeze!), doing the movie & dinner thing. Sunday was church, then just hanging out with family, helping my dad with his computer issues, eating way too much... just slowing the "Rhythm of Life" and enjoying family and friends (ok, in this instance, the "friends" were all "family"... but you get the idea).

If you're in that frenzied, 384 bpm (beats per minute) "Rhythm of Life," take some time. Slow down. Enjoy what God's graciously placed in front of you. You just might find it's not so bad after all.