Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Oh please help me!

For some reason, I have this song stuck in my head: "Tinky-winky; Dipsy; Laa-Laa; Po! Teletubbies; Teletubbies, say he-llo! Eh-oh!"

As demonstrated in this video:

I dare you to press play. Note: if you watch long enough, the disappearing Teletubbies on the orange screen later in the video will give you the after-glow effect.

If you like, you can play with the Teletubbies here (BBC, in the UK) or here (PBS, in the US). This little game-like thing on the PBS Teletubby site has kind-of-neat sounds. My daughter called me strange when she saw me playing it. Don't know why. (Now you should vote for me for president, eh? I'm not ashamed to admit I enjoyed playing on that page for a minute or so...) If you've never seen the Teletubbies in action, you can check it out at this video on Youtube (didn't want to overly-clutter my blog post, so I just put the link to it).

By the way (or perhaps, by way of completely changing the subject), I noticed in the One-Year Bible reading for today that, in Proverbs 6:6-11 it says we should "Take a lesson from the ants"... kind of like what I said in the last post! (Ok, I admit, Solomon said it first - well, before I did, anyway!)

I've added a new link to my list of "Interesting Places" (over to your right if you're reading this on my blog site instead of in an RSS reader or by way of e-mail). Take a look: "The Sleep Talking Zone" - I already got a bag of green peanut M&Ms simply for commenting there!

One other thing: consider visiting the link to folding at home - you can help make a difference in the research on Alzheimer's and various other diseases. Just be sure to configure your folding client to contribute to the LBD folding team (team 258) - that way you can "jump in" in a team that's already in the top 1000 of all folding teams (although we're starting to slip in the rankings... which is why we need your help on our team!). It's a simple, easy way to put your computer's spare computing cycles to good use.

Ok, I'm done with this post... go read something else interesting (like the "interesting places" links) or get your computer folding for team LBD...

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Stupid ads

What's up with all those stupid dancer ads all over websites? I mean, really; they have some animated guy or girl or clown doing these stupid dancing moves, sometimes moving forward & backward, for things like mortgages, car insurance, and online education. Seriously; do you find them as annoying as I do? They're not the worst offenders, though; the flashing ads are the worst. You know, the ones where they flash various colors, or I even saw one going from white to grey to black in rapid succession (with the text changing to suit the background, of course). Isn't that the kind of thing that can cause epileptic fits and seizures (in people prone to those sorts of things)? Could the ad company be sued for injury or death if that occurs? I can tell you one thing - I will never click on or buy from one of those ads. In fact, I will very quickly scroll the screen (if possible) or refresh (to get a different ad displayed) or put my hand over the ad when I see one of those. How stupid!

Now, in case you missed it, please read the previous post before continuing this one, so you'll know that I've announced my candidacy for President of the United States. I'm running as the leading member of the... um... haven't come up with a party name yet. Maybe we'll go with the "Nameless Party" for now... or perhaps "Common Party"... any suggestions? Feel free to post suggestions in your comments... (I briefly considered "Eusocialist Party" because of the ant icon - but wait, you haven't read that part yet, since it's in the last paragraph, below - anyway, after reading about "eusociality" I don't think that's necessarily a good party title...)

So, anyway, according to this article, you should vote for me, since I'm running as an independent (per the above mentioned nameless party), not as a Republican or a Democrat.

Want some more reasons? How about these:
  • Want an honest candidate? Here's the real reason I'm running: I want to work for four (maybe eight) years and then retire. Ok, they're going to be really tough years, lots of work, but I think it'll be worth it. Thus you can see: I'm honest. I'm really telling you the truth. And, further, I obviously have no personal agenda behind my campaign and won't be biased by whatever support comes along - like the guy trying to sell Suzukis at our local non-commission Suzuki dealer, who gets paid a salary and only a bonus based on volume - not on amount over invoice - I've only your, the common person's, best interests in mind.
  • I'm just a normal guy; I'm going to do what's best for the normal guy, 'cause once I'm not president any more, I'm just going to be a normal guy again.
  • I like cats. But I have a dog. See? I cater to the rest of my family, putting their desires above my own. I'll do the same for the US.
  • I know everything. (Ok, that's not quite honest... :)
  • In general, I'm a fairly reasonable guy. I think I am, anyway.
So, what else can I offer? Um, let me know what you want; I'll do my best. I don't really have a party logo yet, but I'm thinking it'll be an ant (a red, white, and blue starred one), to represent the "power of the little people" - like the common man. You know, how an ant can carry a proportionately larger mass than its own (although this is explained in terms of its size here; it's not so much that the ant is super strong, but that it has proportionately less mass compared with its muscle strength, or something like that). And while ants are small, working together they accomplish much. Note, however, that I'm not suggesting that we turn America into a huge ant farm, where everyone does the same bits of work over and over. Just that, if everyone does his part (or her part), we can retain America's strength through diversity. (Or something like that.)

Ok, I was going to go ahead and post this, but I have to ask: what are these people thinking? By "these people" I'm referring to the auditionists (I think I made up a word there) on American Idol (I don't usually watch that show, but it was on, and the wife & kids wanted to watch it - see, again, putting others before myself... :). I mean, really... wait, maybe I should reconsider my own music before I go on about this... but my wife said my music is better than some of the stuff she heard. Of course, she's my wife, but I believe she's telling me the truth!

One other thing: I don't have a vice presidential running mate; qualifications (in case you're interested): (natural born) citizen of the US, resident for the last 14 years, at least 35 years of age, and, as near as I can tell, must be a resident from a state other than Alabama (since that's where I reside), but I can't recall now where I read that last part (the "not from the same state" part). Let me know if you're interested...

Monday, January 28, 2008

Save the Earth... drink from trash!

I was noticing on my Starbucks cup (thanks again, Cecily, for the gift card!), while out on a mini-date with my wife, that they use post-consumer recycled fibers for some of their materials... like 60% of the little paper "don't burn your fingers" thing that goes around the cup, and 10% of the cup itself. Thus, I'm drinking my nice, fresh, hot Starbucks coffee out of someone else's trash. That's right! Cool, eh? (Actually, it was hot, or at least rather warm, not cool; I don't like iced coffee or iced lattes...) Or, maybe, disgusting. Now don't you want to rush out to grab a Starbucks? (If you care, it was a Cinnamon Dolce Latte, skinny - that is, skim milk or something, mostly sugar free; my wife wasn't too enamored by the flavor, while I thought it was ok, but might have been nicer if it was slightly sweeter, or perhaps more cinnamonny. Actually, it was a cinnamon dolce latte whether or not you care; the "if you care" part was only meant to indicate that I was telling you in case you wanted to know.)

I think Joe Muggs (in Books-a-Million) is probably the same way. In fact, I'd bet a bunch of these coffee (and other paper-product) cups are the same way. So, save the earth... drink from someone else's trash! You know, we could cut down even more... why bother recycling, which takes resources (and energy) to accomplish? Why not just have a place where you turn in your cup when you're done with it and it can be immediately reused for the next guy's drink? After all, the coffee's pretty hot, so it'll kill all the germs anyway, right?

And we could go even further, like not washing the dishes... it costs money to heat the water, and we have water involved (and we're already in a drought in the Southeast anyway - apparently back in October they were expecting some cities to simply "run out of water"... ). So let's skip the dishwashing. Maybe use some Clorox wipes. Use the new, no-streaking formula to avoid any nasty looking streaks on the plates, and overfill them with food so you can't see any leftovers from the previous eater's meal.

Boy, maybe I should be a conservationist after all... I seem to have a lot of ideas for reducing human impact on the ecology of the earth, eh? For instance, if we get rid of all the people who want us to increase our corporate fuel economy, we'll have fewer cars on the road, thus using less fuel; in addition, the roadways would be less congested, leading to less time that the remaining cars would be sitting at idle, burning fuel and not making any headway, and would spend less time having to accelerate (due to less time sitting idle) thus leading to still further increased fuel economy... and less frustration on the roadways, leading to more considerate people, happier people, and better efficiency at our daily jobs, leading to increased productivity, lowering cost of goods, and increasing the economy of the US... hey! Cool! All that from simply doing away with those who think we need to increase our vehicles' fuel economy!

That's it, I'm running for president... feel free to write me in on your ballot. And I'll be more than happy to accept any campaign contributions...

Friday, January 25, 2008

Figured it out!

While watching "Transformers" just now, I realized something. If you haven't seen my UFO posts, go take a look at those first, and pay special attention to the UFO in the videos. That UFO must have come from the All-Spark (aka "the cube") when it affected the Mt. Dew vending machine! Just thought I'd share that...

Snail Mail and Ostrich Attacks - the Animal Post

In case you hadn't seen this news article, the term "snail mail" is now more truthful than ever. I think the US postal service is a little better... sometimes it seems I receive things before they're even sent. Once I received a letter (ok, a billing statement) which had a postmark date earlier than the billing date on the inside of the envelope. Then again, the year I was in WPI in Worcester, MA, I had a letter from my then-girlfriend (ok, she's still my girlfriend, although now we're also married), from Birmingham, which took nearly a month to arrive (it was strange when I received subsequent letters, asking about the content of that one, before it arrived). When it did, I noticed that one postmark on the letter (it had more than one) was Denver, CO - now I know I'm not a geography major, but I'm pretty sure Denver isn't quite "on the way" from Birmingham, AL to Worcester, MA.

Speaking of snails, what did the snail say when it was riding on the back of a turtle? "Wheeeeee!" (That's not an original; I heard it from a cruise director, who offered other ones, like: "Did you hear about the restaurant on the moon? Great food, no atmosphere.")

And since I'm in an animal mood today (or so it seems), here's a wikiHow link on Surviving an Ostrich Encounter. As a summary, here are some of the tips:
  • Hide in a thornbush - the ostrich won't be as senseless as to run into a thornbush; instead it'll sit there and laugh at the silly human.
  • Grab a long pole and hold it in front of you; they further go on to suggest that if you know ahead of time that you're going to be under ostrich attack, you should carry something with you, since you don't want to be trying to find something while the ostrich is bearing down on you ("Time out, Mr. Ostrich; I need to find a long, pointy, stout stick to keep you at bay"). They suggest a thorny acacia tree branch, just don't get something flimsy enough that the ostrich can break it.
  • Play dance floor (see the third article tip for elaboration on this point).
  • Ostriches, like young children, like shiny, man-made things. So don't wear jewelry, eyeglasses, or similar articles. Of course, if you're not wearing your glasses, I suppose your risk of ostrich encounter goes up since you can't see where you're going. If, like me, you have one of those heads that God has finally perfected and is removing all that hair that covers it up in order to show His handiwork to the world, you might want to wear a hat so it's not so shiny up there.
Anyway, just some tips to keep in mind in case you plan to encounter an ostrich. Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

More Inspiration in Adversity

I was going to post something witty, something silly, something to waste another moment or two of your life, but (lucky you) I found something worthwhile to share. But it's not mine.

If you don't know who Rick Burgess is, he's 1/2 of the Rick and Bubba show, a morning show that's really entertaining and inspirational at the same time. Rick recently lost his 3-year-old son in a tragic accident; the boy drowned in the pool at their house while his dad was away doing a conference in Tennessee. This past Tuesday was the memorial service for little William Bronner Burgess. Rick spoke at the service. The speech is what I want to share. You can go to the Rick and Bubba website to download an MP3 of the speech (warning, it's over 31 MB).

Alternatively, you can see the video in the following links (the volume's a bit low in either MP3 or YouTube video format, so you'll probably need to turn it up a bit):

Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 1
Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 2
Rick Burgess - A Father's Heart part 3

Listen to (or watch) the videos; they're very inspiring. Seriously, very inspiring.

That's all; I will simply leave you with Rick's challenge: Don't an apathetic, weak, ineffective Christian; there are people out there who need to know Jesus; some you don't know, some you do. Make sure you do your best to tell them about Him.

And Jesus' challenge: "If you love me, obey my commandments."

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Fixed... sort of...

Well, I'd noticed recently that the "interesting quote" wasn't working (must've been the aliens attacking my blogger template; but I gave them a Diet Mt. Dew!). Anyway, I've fixed the interesting quote. At least for Firefox browsers, anyway; there still seems to be some issue in Internet Explorer... it seems to be using excess CPU time (you'll notice the quote types out pretty slowly in IE); sorry about that. I'll try to get that working better sometime or another (but I use Firefox, so don't hold your breath - it may be later rather than sooner). I hope my ineptness at making the blogger template work properly won't keep you away (after all, I've yet to reveal my "big surprise" of the template...).

Anyway, I think elephants are really cool. They're probably my favorite animal (other, perhaps, than my kids... :). And ants. You know, some ants are pretty good. Tasty, that is. Back when I was in band camp was the first time I tried the little six-leggers. Some of them are pretty good. Some aren't so good. I'd recommend, if you're going to try them, that you first pinch off the head - that way you can be sure that they're dead and aren't going to bite you while you're biting them.

When I was younger, I was allergic to ants. I also had a habit of managing to squat down in anthills in the back yard while playing, without realizing it until the buggers were all over me (at least twice I recall serious incidents with the ants, wherein my mom ended up removing my shoes, socks, and pants in the back yard; this, of course, was when I was really young, like kindergarten or something). We always had some prescription Benadryl elixer (a fancy word for "liquid medicine") on hand for ant bites. Sometimes my feet, ankles, and legs would get so swollen I couldn't put on shoes (or even walk very well). I guess I was trying to get back at the relatives that had bitten me when I was eating ants on the football field parking lot during band camp. My allergy to ants seems to have subsided in my old(er) age, so maybe my ant feasts were helpful in overcoming the allergy. (By the way: if you want to try them: the orange/red ones are pretty good, the tiny black ones aren't bad, but, if I recall correctly, the black and red ones weren't so good, and the medium-sized black ones are fairly nasty.)

I think I'm going to quit writing this now and pay some attention to "Bill Cosby, Himself" which my wife and oldest son are watching. Later, all...

Title Of the Post

First sentence of the first paragraph of the post. :)

There's not going to be much here (I have to get ready for work), but I've been wanting to use this title for a while now (at least since yesterday around 2 pm). It reminds me of the song Title of the Song by the group Da Vinci's Notebook, which unfortunately seems to no longer exist (I never found the hidden picture on their splash/redirect page, but I didn't try very hard). That was one hilarious song; at least the part I heard (I only have the sample portion that they made available back when their website, and their group, was working). Note: they do have some potentially questionable content in their albums, so consider yourself warned. But "Title of the Song" was very, very funny. It went something like this (at least the part I recall), in a grand, boy-band style:

Title of the Song
by Da Vinci's Notebook
Declaration of my feelings for you
Elaboration of those feelings
Description of how long these feelings have existed
Belief that no one else could feel the same as I

Reminiscence of the pleasant times we shared
And our relationship's perfection
Recounting of the steps that led to our love's dissolution
Mostly involving my unfaithfulness and lies

Penitent admission of wrongdoing
Discovery of the depth of my affection
Regret over the lateness of my epiphany

Title of the song
Naive expression of love
Reluctance to accept that you are gone
Request to turn back time
And rectify my wrongs
Repetition of the title of the song
Anyway, this was pretty funny, I thought. Maybe it's just me. (Da Vinci's Notebook: I hope that you aren't upset at my putting a portion of your lyrics on my blog - it's actually free advertising for your CDs; but if you want it removed, just let me know and I'll delete it.)

YouTube is making me sad. If you didn't see the earlier post (What?!), they're already telling me "you're getting old!" Now I notice they're also telling me, "You have no Friends" (you won't see those words, since you have to be logged in as me when viewing my profile, but you'll see, on the page to which I linked, "This user has not added any friends"). Thanks a lot, YouTube! Between that and what I had previously considered a friend's MySpace account ("so and so has to make you a friend before you can view her profile!"), I realize I must be lonelier than I thought. At least virtually lonelier. Out in the real world I feel ok. After all, I'm married to the most beautiful, most wonderful person I know, who happens to be my best friend, girlfriend, etc. all rolled up into my wife!

Oops... now I'm late for work... gotta run!

Monday, January 21, 2008

UFO part III

Since today was a holiday from work and school, we left a bait on our front lawn furniture, a Diet Mt. Dew. The UFO took the bait, quite literally, as revealed in this video:

I heard the UFO, grabbed the video camera, and ran outside (I'd gone inside shortly after placing the Diet Mt. Dew on the furniture to grab a Diet Mt. Dew of my own - yes, I prefer Coke Zero, but we were out - when I heard the UFO). Got the video of the UFO landing on my front lawn, followed by the terrifying sight of the alien (can't you hear the trembling terror in my voice on the video?). Unfortunately, I managed only to get the alien's robotic hand in the video when it grabbed the Diet Mt. Dew. It sure scurried back quickly afterwards, though; you can hear the UFO's engine starting while the robotic arm is still in the picture, but the little bugger got back on the ship before it took off.

Apparently the UFO had some effect on the video; you'll see a blacked-out area in the screen while the ship's flying off into the horizon. I'll have to see about getting the aliens back again with another Diet Mt. Dew and maybe we can get them to communicate with us. I've plenty of experience communicating with strange things that speak in weird tongues; after all, I've two teenagers. Hopefully that'll come in handy if I can ever get the aliens to stick around long enough to talk.

Ok, American Gladiator's on; gotta go watch some quality TV now...

Sunday, January 20, 2008


I just was looking at my video on YouTube (see previous UFO posts), and over on the left side (I was logged in with my Google account) of my profile it says, "Age: 36" - and I said, "I'm 36? That stinks!"

Of course, I'm not really bugged by my age, other than the minor amount of what I've managed to accomplish in those 36 years. (Not exactly, but sort of like the sentiment over here on Dean's blog.) I've lots of ideas, some sort-of-started projects, but usually my lack of perseverance, coupled with a distinct knack for laziness, leads to a lack of completed projects. (Most recently, though, I've managed to semi-complete some UFO videos... see my recent previous posts.)

On the plus side, I've made some pretty nice children, but I suppose I should credit those more to my wife (plus they're simply pretty good kids all-around).

You know, there was something else witty I was going to say about my age, but I no longer recall what it was. Guess my senility is kicking in. :) Guess I'll just go waste another hour or two watching a movie instead of doing something productive... (note: I'm not saying it's bad to watch movies, so don't feel guilty about it if you're watching one yourself)

The UFO returned!

I heard a strange sound this afternoon, just outside the house, and so I grabbed the video camera and:

Wow! I think the UFO must have charged me with a static electric field, because after I filmed it, I came inside, walked across the rug on our wood floor, went into the kitchen, and gave my wife a kiss, and when our noses touched it shocked us both! I can't think of any other explanation (you know, like shuffling feet on a cold, dry day while wearing a flannel-like, semi-fuzzy shirt and my wife having her hand touching the (grounded) stovetop... none of that could have anything to do with it).

I'll have to keep an eye out for strange markings in the backyard. Come to think of it, I have seen weird, track-like markings out there; I had assumed they were from driving the go-cart around and around in circles, but now I realize they must have been alien signals! And all the times the reception goes bad on my TV, when I thought it was the microwave, it must have merely been coincidental that the nuker (AKA microwave) was on at the same time, and instead it must have really been UFO interference! And that one time I was abducted and taken away and had weird experiments run on me... no, wait, that wasn't an abduction, that was my wife taking me to the ER back when I had a kidney stone... But maybe it was the aliens in the Diet Mt. Dew-like UFO that somehow put the blockage in my kidney in the first place! I should keep track of this...

Ok, have to go play a game with the family now... "Last Word." Was a family Christmas present that we're only just getting around to playing. ... wait ... are they really my family? Or only look-alike clones left in the place of my family by the Diet Mt. Dew aliens while I was sleeping last night... or maybe I'm the look-alike clone... am I really me? Do I exist? :) Gotta go...

Friday, January 18, 2008

A UFO Tale

Early this morning I was awakened by a UFO: Unidentified Frightening Object (which was later identified as my alarm clock). I quickly jumped out of bed and headed out of the bedroom, but before I made it to the living room, I heard a UFO:

An Unidentified Farting Object (or Unidentified Flatulent Object if you’re a tad more sophisticated). Upon entering the living room, and seeing one of my boys and my dog, I had my suspicions as to the real identity of that particular UFO; there were no confessions, however, so the actual identity will remain a mystery. This was followed by a nasal UFO: Unidentified Fetid Object.

I sat on the couch to regain my wits, when I smelled a UFO: Unidentified Fragrant Object. This was much pleasanter than the Unidentified Fetid Object (which, hopefully, was just the byproduct of the Unidentified Farting Object, and not something more substantial, such as an Unidentified Fecal Object left by my as-yet-un-house-trained dog). But before I could rise to attempt identification of the Unidentified Fragrant Object, I was nearly bowled over by a UFO, an Unidentified Fast Object, which came from the stairs. It evidently tripped as it attempted to avoid me, and transformed into another UFO: Unidentified Falling Object. After the fall, it was quickly discovered to be my eldest son, who occasionally has issues with balance, probably due to rapid growth leading to unfamiliarity with the reduced air pressure in which he finds himself.

Anyway, I headed into the kitchen, where I observed another UFO: Unidentified Frying Object. My wife wasn’t feeling well, and my daughter, ever so loving and helpful, had offered to make breakfast. What she was making, I’m not sure; thus the UFO moniker. It looked something like this:

My trip into the kitchen had unfortunately produced another UFO, an Unidentified Flat Object, the flatness coming from my stepping on whatever it was the Unidentified Falling Object (now identified as my son) had dropped when he fell. I think it may have been some other Unidentified Fried Object of my daughter’s creation, but the world may never know (I’m not sure even chemical or subatomic analysis could reveal the mystery of whatever had been pulverized by my careless stepping).

The unfortunate event of creation of the UFO had a follow-on effect, the creation of a second UFO: the Unidentified Fused Object that was now, unfortunately, fused to the sole of my sock (I guess, then, it’s only a ½ UFO, since the sock is still identifiable; depending on whether you cut the “UFO” in half lengthwise or vertically, you’ll end up with either “iicn” (if cut horizontally; the “U” becomes two “i” characters, the top of the “F” could be mistaken for a “c” character, and the top of the “O” could be mistaken for an “n” character) or “UI” (assuming the vertical cut removed the “fingers” of the “F” and left only the vertical portion of it, which would resemble an “I” character). Not that that particularly matters much.

At any rate, I said “Good morning,” to my daughter and then left the kitchen, re-entering the living room, where I then observed another UFO: the Unidentified Feasting Object. As it turned to face me, I recognized my third child (second son) who’d emerged from his bedroom and was now heartily eating one of the Unidentified Fried Objects my daughter had created (don’t ask me how he managed to get into the kitchen, get the UFO, and get back into the living room without my having noticed him; I’m not really sure; maybe I was distracted by the Unidentified Fused/Flat Object of the previous two paragraphs).

I suggested that these boys should take care of the UFOs (Unidentified Filthy Objects) in their room, the majority of which are probably over-worn (and under-washed) clothes (Unidentified Fabric Objects) and broken toys (Unidentified Fun Objects), and maybe a sandwich or two (Unidentified Food Objects), although we try to keep them from eating in their room.

At last, I found myself once again sitting on the couch, reflecting on the morning’s UFOs. As I did so, I realized that I, myself, had my very own UFO: an Unidentified Far-away Object. Some of you may have the same. It’s called sanity. “But how can it be unidentified if you’ve already labeled it?” you might ask; I can only offer this observation: consider the definitions of “identify” as per the Merriam-Webster online dictionary:

transitive verb
1 a
: to cause to be or become identical b: to conceive as united (as in spirit, outlook, or principle) identified with conservation>
2 a
: to establish the identity of b: to determine the taxonomic position of (a biological specimen)

intransitive verb
1: to be or become the same
2: to practice psychological identification <identify with the hero of a novel>

I’d say that, until the sanity has reached its proper place in my mind, it technically remains unidentified. Thus the sanity, while it’s far from me, remains an Unidentified Far-away Object.

Hope you’ve enjoyed that… now go find a UFO of your own! (And if you haven't already, check out my UFO video in the next post.)


I suppose you may have heard the news about the UFO in Texas. Well, I was talking with my wife and mentioned something about wanting to see a UFO myself. I guess those little buggers were reading my thoughts or listening to my conversation, because the next thing you know I'm looking at a UFO from my front porch! Look at the video I took of it:

That was a terrifying experience, thinking we were going to be taken over by some strange alien race that flies in something that closely resembles a Diet Mt. Dew bottle. Weird! The thing was hovering near my porch, then suddenly sped away at twice the speed of light! (Ok, maybe not quite that fast, but it was really, really quick, much faster than a slug, even a slug with nitrous oxide or a turbocharger installed! It was sort of like a super-fast flying thingy.)

Sorry for the poor quality of the video, but I had to put my video camera on its "Magic Pix" night-mode setting, which caused it to be a little blurry, especially in motion. Strange how the UFO managed to stay pretty well focussed; I guess I'm a really good cameraman!

As a side note, I found a free video editor from Pinnacle that you might find useful; it's called VideoSpin. I used it to put the date on the video.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

GMail for Mobile, anyone?

Stupid phone (Samsung T429). Stupid T-Mobile (T-Zones). Stupid GMail for Mobile (uh, Mobile GMail - better to click that from a mobile phone). IT'S NOT WORKING AGAIN (in case you couldn't tell). I guess I'm just going to have to give up and get some sort of smartphone or something (like a Blackberry or a Treo or some HTC device, or maybe something with - egad - Windows Mobile). If only I was rich... :)

Anyway, some questions: anyone out there get GMail Mobile to work (reliably and consistently) with the Openwave browser that comes on low-end Samsungs? Particularly on T-Mobile's T-Zones plan? Every other WAP site seems to work, and quite a few non-WAP sites as well, but the GMail (or really any Google mobile site) login page doesn't want to work (or when it does, it won't get past the secure login page).

Other than that, anyone have suggestions, recommendations, or thoughts on various smartphones, PDA phones, and the like? Including where to get one really cheap (or even free)? If you have info on the latter, feel free to e-mail it to me at the link above if it's limited information (e.g., a single phone offered for free), so that I won't lose the chance to act on the opportunity if someone else reads your comment before I. (Yes, that's grammatically correct: there's an understood "do" verb at the end of the sentence, thus requiring the subjective "I" instead of the objective "me.")

You know, even a good, uber-cheap or free non-T-Mobile but unlocked (so it can be used on any network) GSM cell phone might be usable... since I could likely then install the GMail mobile Java Midlet application and not have to bother with the WAP browser for that site anyway.

Thanks in advance...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Frustration, again... but the post gets better

I was going to make a funny post about road-related things, but I've been frustrated by my phone again and don't feel much like laughing at the moment (I'm pretty irritated by T-Mobile at the moment). T-Mobile's T-Zones service is not accessing the GMail mobile site. Or maybe it's my phone. I don't know; but it's really, really frustrating and irritating. That's how I try to stay in contact with my world, which admittedly isn't very big, but I like to stay in touch.

Ok, slightly less frustrated now... I went out for coffee with my wife, and I'm in a better mood now. We were going to go to Starbucks (to use a gift card I received as a Christmas gift for working with the youth choir - thanks "Jane" [or Cecily, if you prefer], mainly for the opportunity to work with the youth choir), but Starbucks was crowded; so crowded, in fact, that there wasn't even a parking spot, so we went to Joe Muggs over in Books-a-Million instead. The coffee was ok, the company excellent.

In an effort to succumb to the valiant efforts of the Joe Muggs/Books-a-Million, that is, they put "buy one get one half off" on their mints at the order/pay station, I suggested to my wife that we get a couple of small tins of mints. She got the peppermints and I got the cinnamints. (Note: they were $1.99 + tax, or $1.79 after the 10% discount card discount, not the $1.61 they are online; but we did get two for that price, so we still beat the online price overall.) Anyway, later on, I took a look at the tin; check out these two photos of the front & back of the tin, and see if you notice anything odd (click them to view larger images if necessary):

Well, if you didn't catch it, let me clue you in: take a look at the serving size and number of servings (on the back) and the net wt. (on the front). The last time I checked, 17 * 2 is 34 (or, 20/2 is 10). Um, hello? Who did the math on this number of servings compared with the net weight? Maybe that's why they were buy one get one free...

As I sit here (intermittently) writing this post, I'm watching "American Gladiators" on NBC. An entertaining show. Not quite as good, in my opinion, as the original series, but entertaining anyway. (If you don't recall, we only have broadcast television, so don't bother telling me about some great series on some obscure - or even not-so-obscure - cable channel; thanks anyway!) My wife wonders at times if it's scripted, but I don't think any writer could script such poor monologues... :)

Anyway, what about road-related things? Well, I've recently found myself frequently shifting into neutral while coasting downhill and saying, "I'm coasting down a hill in neutral." That's illegal in Alabama (and, apparently, in Rhode Island as well, according to this site). Funny, though: according to the Alabama law, if you're the driver of a "motor vehicle" you can't "coast [on a down grade] with the gears or transmission of [your] vehicle in neutral or the clutch disengaged," but if you're the driver of a "truck or bus" you only can't "coast with the clutch disengaged." Um... I guess Alabama doesn't consider a "truck or bus" a "motor vehicle," at least not if you're coasting down a hill. And if you're in a truck or bus, you apparently can coast in neutral as long as your clutch is engaged (now we have to determine whether, in an automatic with the gearshift selector placed in neutral, is the clutch engaged or not? What technically defines the clutch, when most automatics have the transmission and engine connected via the fluid in the torque converter?).

Hmm... loophole (?) here: "A law enforcement officer or a peace officer of any incorporated municipality or town which has less than 19,000 inhabitants according to the most recent federal decennial census shall not enforce this section on any interstate highway" (Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-5A-171 (8)). Thus only state troopers could legally ticket you for speeding on an interstate highway (you know, those numbered roads whose names start with "I-"). But we wouldn't be speeding anyway, now, would we? Ok, forget this paragraph...

Another regulation that probably isn't regularly enforced (or even known, even though it makes sense): "Pedestrians shall move, whenever practicable, upon the right half of crosswalks" (Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-5A-214).

Now here's one that makes sense, yet I find ignored all the time (it's one of the "inconsiderate" ones): "Where a sidewalk is provided and its use is practicable, it shall be unlawful for any pedestrian to walk along and upon an adjacent roadway" and "any pedestrian upon a roadway shall yield the right-of-way to all vehicles upon the roadway" (Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-5A-215). In the research park where I work (and in various neighborhoods around here, although not my own, since we don't have sidewalks), I frequently see people walking or running on the road right next to a perfectly good, serviceable sidewalk. And I've even moved my car out of the regular lane and into a turn lane, without turning, to avoid said idiots jogging several feet out onto the road when there's a sidewalk a few feet away. Oh, did I say "idiots"? Oops.

It's also illegal to solicit contributions or employment or to distribute any materials from or near a roadway, and it's illegal to fish from a bridge or trestle unless the bridge or trestle is marked with a sign that specifically authorizes such fishing (Code of Alabama, 1975, section 32-5A-216).

Also in Alabama you can't:
Fun, eh? I found out a lot tonight by looking through the Code of Alabama. Maybe this was enlightening to you; maybe it was amusing. Maybe it was boring. Maybe it was too long. Sorry about that. You didn't have to read it all, but I thank you for doing so.

Oh, and my T-zones seems to be working, somewhat, again. Well, for GMail - it was working for non-secure sites before, just not for secure sites (the GMail mobile site, indeed all Google mobile - and non-mobile - sites, uses secure pages for the login, but then switches to the non-secure pages once you've logged into the site). Hooray (for now)!

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Interesting things, redo

Ok, take a look at the road marking sign on the traffic light post to the left (feel free to click it to enlarge to try to read the words). First, note that while it does look funny, it's actually a real sign. I edited it slightly in GIMP to emphasize the words, which you might or might not (probably won't) be able to read. I messed around with the color levels, etc., but didn't retouch the lettering. That sign says, "Cecil Ashburn Dr/Four Mile Post Rd" (with little arrows pointing the directions). If you look carefully, you'll see the sign is about the width of a traffic lane (maybe more). If you're in the area, you can find the sign at this intersection:

View Larger Map

This is one of those, "this road is renamed at this intersection - it's one road to the right, one to the left." We have a lot of those in Huntsville and Madison. This one just happens to have a lot of words in each name, and it's printed back-to-back on a single sign. I found it interesting. (Sorry for the lousy picture quality, but I was driving at the time, in an area where I don't normally travel, and had to snap the picture quickly; my son and I were on the way to watch "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything" - which we both enjoyed - for his birthday trip today when I spotted the sign.)

Anyway, I just thought I'd share.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Morbid blog post...

Ok... maybe that's a little too morbid... but you can click on it and see your own b'day "death report." Anyway, what I really wanted to touch on in this morbid post is ... social networking. Or something like that.

My topic of concern is this: how are we doing at taking care of our "stuff" should we wake up to find ourselves no longer alive (humor there; we'll either be in Heaven or not; make sure you're ready when that day comes!). For instance, were I to be hit by a bus this afternoon (not likely, since I'm sitting on my couch in my living room, but always a possibility, I suppose), how would you, my avid reader base (all three of you now, I think), know? Now, certainly, some of you would know, as one or two of my readers are people I know (primarily from church). But at least one of you really doesn't know me outside this blog (well, ok, a little outside this blog, from posts on other blogs, but you get the point: not outside this virtual world known as the internet). How will that person know that the author of [LAPSE... brain dead] is now a little [brain dead] himself? (But, rest assured, I'll be rejoicing in Heaven when I'm not here!) How many days, weeks, months will have to pass before you give up and figure there's no reason to return to this blog, and won't know whether I've gone into a witness protection program, or to Heaven, or just finally been disgusted with blogging, or whatever else might prevent my posting?

For instance, I have a friend, John Sibley, who lives (or at least lived) in Worcester, MA. He was the guy who ran the Bulletin Board System (BBS) on which the original "[LAPSE... brain dead]" appeared. For the year I was at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (in, believe it or not, Worcester, MA), John and I became good friends. He visited my dorm once or twice, bringing Duncan Donuts coffee (mmm, mmm good!), and once I visited his home, where we watched Wes Craven's Shocker and had a really good meal, including twice-baked potatoes (which put the cafeteria food to shame). It was his BBS that allowed me to communicate, via something later known as e-mail, with my aunt at UAB in Birmingham. Several years after leaving WPI, I ran across his e-mail address, and we eventually started an e-mail group known as LBD. However, he unfortunately has since dropped from, as near as I can tell, existence - he no longer contributes to the Team LBD folding @ home, his e-mail address is no longer valid, and I don't know any way to get in contact with him (John, if you're out there and reading this, give me a shout - my e-mail's in the upper left corner of my blog). I don't know anything about John's status at this point, and haven't for several years. Where is he? To what's he up? Is he still even kicking in MA? Get my point?

I need to make sure, for the sake of my "virtual friends," that someone - my wife, my brother, someone - knows how to log into my blog and post a departure letter. Or maybe figure out some way to post a timeout that will automatically inform the readership that something untoward has happened. (In the software industry, at least where I work, these are known as "watchdog timers" - timers that are set and, if all goes well, are reset before they time out; if they ever time out, then we know something's not working properly somewhere along the way.)

So, anyway, if you have your own blog (or other online, virtual community space of some kind or another), consider having some sort of plan in place for the unexpected. Just a courtesy to allow your readers to know what's going on when, well, nothing's going on.

Just some thoughts... didn't mean to be so morbid, but it's something worth considering, perhaps. I'll try to make a "nicer" post in the not too distant future...

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Inspiration in adversity

In case you missed the last post, the Redskins didn't make it past the wild-card game in the playoffs. But, even through the loss, there's something to be found. Consider the article on the Redskins web site, here. Some excerpts from the article:
"Gibbs learned to respond to the adversity the only way he knows how: through his faith in God."
This, in case you didn't know, is a keystone of Joe Gibbs, his faith in God. (Consider the book, Racing to Win, by Gibbs; it's inspirational and definitely worth reading.) And he's not ashamed of it.

But back to the "inspiration in adversity" part of the post; consider the last part of the article on the 'skins site, some words from Joe Gibbs:

"You have to realize that in team sports, it is kind of rare all of a sudden a team gets that feeling [truly becomes a team]," Gibbs said. "I think this team has that. I think in my experience as a head coach, there have been 4-5 teams that really grabbed that. This team has it.

"What happens with a team like that is that they quit worrying about their roles. We have guys on the team who could be highly upset. Reche Caldwell wants to catch more balls. Rock [Cartwright] wants to run from the line of scrimmage.

"But what they do is they say, 'Whatever the coaches want me to do, I'm going to do it. I'll go as hard as I can.' That's hard for most people. As individuals, we grow up thinking me, me me. I'm the worst. You're focused on yourself.

"To be able to put yourself and your goals to one side and concentrate on the team--this team has that and it's hard to get. I'll never forget the other teams that had that.

"And I'll never forget this one."

This is where the inspiration comes; this is, believe it or not, kind of a picture of "God's team" - of Christians. We're all part of the same team, we all have our roles to play (consider the passage 1 Corinthians 12). Sometimes we have to just do the things that need doing, the things that we're good at, the things that God has gifted us to do. Take, for instance, Rock Cartwright - he's a very, very good kick returner. He is a good running back, true, but his current role with the Redskins is primarily kick returner, and he does a great job at that role. If he was concerned about his lack of utilization as a running back (roles filled, at the moment, by Clinton Portis and Ladell Betts), then his attitude would suffer, and likely his usefulness, his effectiveness as a kick returner would be impacted.

Sometimes we have to simply fill the role we're currently asked to fill. And when we are, we need to do it without complaining, without getting upset about what we're asked to do; otherwise our performance will suffer and our team won't be able to accomplish as much as we otherwise could. It may be that the position will remain the same for as long as we're left here to take part in the team's activities; it may be that our role will change sometime in the future. But, when we have a role to play, we should do our best to fulfill that role and, at the same time, "cheer on" (encourage) those filling other roles. (Believe it or not, this also applies to "regular life" as well - in your job, in your family, in your school, wherever you are, do what you're called to do, do it well, and do it without complaining; of course, "regular life" really doesn't exist for a Christian - there is no separation of our "Christian life" and our "regular life" - it's all the same, and trying to make a distinction between the two is a mistake that needs to be addressed.)

So, there you go... inspiration in adversity, finding something in a loss. Turning a lesson from sports into a lesson for life.

Saturday, January 5, 2008

They gave it a shot...

But the Redskins came up short. Too bad their offense didn't play through the game like they did in the last few minutes of the 3rd quarter and into the 4th quarter, and that their defense didn't play like they have the last few games. Too bad there's a stupid rule of "down by contact" (or whatever) when a kickoff is recovered by the kicking team (otherwise Washington would've scored TD #3 on that strangely missed by the Seahawks kickoff after they took the lead 14-13). Too bad their offensive line wasn't able to give Collins a little more time early in the game. Too bad, too bad, too bad...

But they gave it a good try. My only question now is, when will the 'skins finally put it all together? They have the talent (assuming it stays healthy); they have the coach (assuming he keeps coaching); they have the will (look at the end of their regular season); they just need to get it going, keep it going, and pick up a break or two. Next year? Hopefully.

But for now, I guess there's not much reason to keep watching the NFL ... at least until next season, anyway ... :)

Blogathon, part II

Ok, maybe not really part two, but more like part 5, but this is only the second post with the title "Blogathon," so I'll leave it that way.

What am I writing about this time (as the Redskins are about to start playing the Seahawks in an NFC wildcard game)? How about encryption? Can you figure out what this says (note: due to the lack of spaces in the encoded text, it isn't wrapping properly here, but you can still select it all and paste it in notepad or something):

Ujlw%oz(j* q!#/}v&'u|{E89c0C1>"&'1C*4*7-//KD7C8P?LSH?DHE?ZAKANDJPJcFRNW[S_TZyngY[V\t_jf nznb_klz"pyhn'wo*lz-s}s$,$)~&&F9:]22>#"0B=4;F.21@>2M>EEQJ<6JVAMYN=VQ}_`+WcIUL[Wp_kQ]nQpi[ca[vdhn'{oc`lm{1$%O{/|*}m"vt#1&|"&#|F9:]22>)'A<3:E+77P?K8<>GPI;5IU@L_MZ@LGMGla\SZeTQPR_kUOeUpSr\Vh[wmcha|dhgvtlrl&v}}* tr.p|x"&}*~%F9:]22>364(0>E:76/::2M>EEQG<:H<W<;I[@P@CLaWLNYfKXNPyz{nbZY[h4

Good luck! If anyone cracks it, let me know. If not, I'll go with a simpler algorithm in a little while and let you take a shot at that one. If you want the secret decoder, maybe I'll upload it somewhere in a little while and post a link here...

Go, go grandpa!

Saw this article a moment ago... I could see my dad, or even myself, in this situation someday. We do enjoy our cars... :)


That is, "weblog marathon." Well, here's my third post of the day. What a waste of time! :) Of course, I'm sitting on my couch waiting on the Redskins to play (starts at 3:30 CST). Go 'skins!

I'm also eating chili, recovering from donating platelets yesterday (ok, not much to recover, but my left arm, the "taking it out" arm, is a bit sore) for a friend's brother who needs them in order to undergo a kidney transplant (consider donating blood or platelets if you're not a current donor), and making up silly songs like this:

The Pocket Furniture Song

Powered by

Ok, that's really bad, I admit. Took all of about 30 seconds to compose. I must give credit for the "midget" line to my youngest; he's 9 and loves to sing. And I know there's a grammatical error in there, but I did it for the sake of the rhyme. Guess I'm a hypocrite now (see older posts) - and remember, little children, that it should be "you and me" not "me and you"! If you want some (slightly) better original music, check out my music page.

I was talking with my wife a little while ago, and she mentioned grocery shopping. I thought of the recent Pizza Hut commercial about their "PizzaMia" $5 special, and thought, "Hey, if we eat Pizza Hut pizzas 6 nights a week, say 3 mediums per night, that's only $90/week for dinner (ok, not counting drinks)." That might be a great way to reduce our budget! And who doesn't like pizza? (Ok, my stomach would revolt, with a profusion of excess acid due to my GERD - gastro-esophageal reflux disease - but at this point it really doesn't matter what I eat, the acid's coming... it's only the amount and severity that is controlled by the intake components, i.e., what I eat.)

So, speaking of pizza, anyone tried the "track my pizza" thing? Looks like it may be tied to Papa John's pizza ("better ingredients, better pizza, Papa John's"). Seems like a silly waste of time to me. Then again, so is most of what I write on here, so maybe it's not so bad. (Can anyone follow posts like this which ramble all over the known universe as far as topics?) Then again, a friend of mine talked about his tying a coffee maker and soda machine into their network so they could tell when the coffee was done, or whether their favorite soft drink was in or out of stock at the vending machine, before having to walk down to the break room. Oh, vending machines... they took them out of the break room where I work, said we weren't using them enough to justify keeping them in place. Now I haven't anywhere to get a diet coke at work. (Then again, they had a strange selection there, including both regular Mt. Dew and two slots of Diet Mt. Dew.) Guess I need to invest in one of those mini-fridges. (I have a thermo-electric cooler, and while it works fairly well, the fan on it gets rather loud when it has been run continuously for a while, and has to be replaced to restore quieter operation, and I don't want to mess with that anymore.)

Ah, well, my diet, caffeine free Coke is finished... need to grab a Coke Zero from the fridge. If you haven't tried Coke Zero, and like/want/need to drink diet drinks, give it a shot - it's pretty good (although they don't have a caffeine free version, which I should probably drink due to my acid reflux). Later...

Layers... and I'm not talking onions...

Found this video a moment ago while looking up the correct spelling of "Guinness" - thought it somewhat amusing. (Note: I haven't slowed it down to read all the words on the shirts, and I haven't checked out the radio station website; I make no endorsement of either, and from the brief clips there may be some shirts with offensive content, so consider yourself warned!)

Reminds me, a bit, of Randy's mom dressing him for going to school in "A Christmas Story." (A wonderful movie if you've never watched it - actually, it's wonderful whether or not you've watched it - the wonderfulness isn't dependent upon your having watched it or not; I've watched it every year since it came out, wearing out two copies on Beta video.)

Anyway, that (the T-shirt thing) must have been uncomfortable (I presume he's not claustrophobic). I'm sure, by the end of it, he couldn't move his arms, and probably couldn't have extricated himself from the shirts without help. But he probably was warm! And based on the shirt sizes, starting at small, he must not have been a big fellow, so the extra 100 pounds wasn't incidental weight, either.

Wonder for what I could get into the Guinness book... most unimaginative posts to a blog in a 24-hour period? :)

Friday, January 4, 2008

The Meaning of Like

Like: not "said" - when, in the destruction of the English language, did "like" become a synonym of "said"? I get onto my children for this all the time, to no avail. "Was like" <> "said" (that is, "was like" does not equal "said").

"I was like, 'whatever works for you.'" - um, no, you aren't like "whatever works for me" - if you were, you wouldn't be saying "was like" when you mean "said" - instead, you'd say "said" when you mean "said."

"Was like" - to be similar to. "I was like" or "he was like" or "she was like" or "they were like" - all of these mean "to be similar to" - not "said."

AAAAAHHHHHHHHH! Someone help me, please! Let's get English back to English instead of allowing it to continue to progress down this path of destruction until, several generations from now, no one will be able to understand this that I'm writing! We'll lose all sorts of great literature because people won't understand the meaning. For instance, consider this post - an example of losing the meaning over generations. Please, help save English. Forget about saving the world (global warming isn't something that's going to kill us, nor is there a whole lot that we're doing to cause - or can do to remedy - it); what good is a world where you can no longer communicate with your history (since you can't understand what was written "back then")? Let's save our English!

Which way?

Take a look at the photo on the right. Can you figure out which way you're supposed to go on this particular stretch of parking lot? (Click to enlarge the image if you need to.)

For some reason, many drivers can't. I'll find myself trying to enter a parking lot lane, similar to this one, and have to wait for someone to drive out of it. Or, shortly after entering it, I'll have to "move over" because someone is heading down it the wrong way. The other day I saw a lady enter the wrong way then drive across the parking areas to get onto the next lane, the one positioned for the direction she was driving. Why didn't she turn into that lane in the first place instead of turning into the wrong one? I've even been nearly hit in a parking lot because of someone driving the wrong way or entering the wrong end of a parking lane or driving across all the parking spaces. What's wrong with people? It's not really that hard to follow the rules, is it? And it's not that much of an inconvenience, either!

And people parking in the fire lanes... yesterday I saw a parking lot road, the main road next to the shopping area of a strip mall, nearly completely blocked - it was down to barely enough room for one car to drive by. There was a mail truck parked on the side nearest the stores and an SUV parked directly opposite the mail truck, about 2 feet from the curb (i.e., not very close to the curb, but out in the roadway instead). Between them was barely enough room for a single car. If the lady was dropping off someone or picking up someone, ok; but she wasn't - she was simply sitting there. For the entire time I parked, walked to the video store to drop the movies in the "quick return" area, and walked back to my car, she sat. (And it wasn't that much of an inconvenience for me to walk to the store to drop off the movies - why can't others do that as well?) I don't know what she was waiting on, but she was still there as I left.

Also yesterday (what I day I had driving!) I was nearly hit by some lady not paying any attention to oncoming traffic as she drove around a garbage truck picking up garbage, blindly following the guy in front of her (who had time to clear the truck before my vehicle approached). She was in my lane, nowhere for me to go, and not paying any attention to what was going on around her.

Inconsideracy, stupidity... these should all be fine-able offenses when it comes to driving. How many accidents have you seen because someone simply wasn't paying attention? You're driving what could be considered a dangerous object - heavy, fast, and completely in your control - use your mind while driving and make sure that your "control" of the vehicle really is that (control). And don't be inconsiderate; when the parking lanes are angled, you should be going in the direction such that the lines start near you and move away as you drive through. Increasingly people are putting arrows on the pavement so that you don't even have to think about the parking spot lines - all you have to do is drive in the direction of the arrow! Not that hard to do, and it saves people a lot of frustration.

And don't park on the side of the road near the store (unless it has parking spots marked there). Take the extra 30-60 seconds to park in a parking spot and walk where you're going (we all need more exercise, anyway!).


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Energy-safe or sorry?

Thanks to Amateur for bringing this to my attention in her recent blog post. Go read that one first (and the articles contained here [Fox news] and here [MSNBC]). If you want to see the text of the bill, it's here. A summary can be found here.

What does this mean? Assuming compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) replace your incandescent lights, pay more up front, save a bunch over the (longer) life of your lighting, and really hope you don't break one! WARNING: Compact fluorescent lights contain mercury! If you break it, please take care in cleaning up the mess!

Here is the Main DEP's fact sheet regarding the whole situation (referred to in the Fox news article, above). The Maine DEP's Fluorescent Bulb Info page shows some good tips for cleanup, and does reference the fact that CFLs should not be disposed of in regular trash (due to the fact that they contain mercury).

GE has a good page regarding CFLs. Especially note that, if the CFL is in a place where lights are turned on and off frequently (such as, for instance, a bathroom, or a kitchen when the kids are going in and out getting drinks or snacks; of course, if your kids are like mine, then the lights are left on most of the day regardless of whether someone's in there at all!), you're not going to reap the benefits of the CFL design. (If your kids are like mine, though, you'll save a lot since the lights are regularly left on all over the house! :)

So... to buy, or not to buy? You won't have much choice after 2012 (for 100w bulbs; 2013 for 75w bulbs and 2014 for 40w & 60w bulbs - and, note, I mean "equivalent light" here, the wattage is the incandescent wattage - the CFLs produce similar amounts of light [lumens] with much lower wattage), unless you use colored lights (see the text of the energy bill).

In other news, Madison has two interesting weather alerts today:
Looks like the "bone dry arctic air mass" is leading to a potential for fire conditions across the area. Funny... the coldest night of the winter leads to a fire hazard!

Enough, I'm done with this post... have to go prevent things from freezing and catching on fire at the same time... :)

Tuesday, January 1, 2008