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Relative Sizes of Bodies in Space
Feb 27 2010

Click-the-pic for the animation
in a separate window.

Airport Without the Security
(and in this case without the flights)
Remember the days?


A 10-hour overnight layover in Pittsburgh in 3 minutes.
Read the comments to this creative young woman.
I probably would have spent the time on the laptop, napping, and discarded reading.

New England Road Sign Win
Feb 23 2010

From FailBlog

20th Anniversary of Photoshop
Feb 23 2010

That's nearly the same version I use up there.
The actual anniversary occured on Feb. 19.
Compare the original splash to the latest.
Click on the original above to see an unofficial PS splash screen history.

Click on the latest below to go to the entertaining Photoshop Disasters site.

Caption The Photo
Feb 22 2010

Keyboard Shorts
(not mine)

"Where is the Insert key?"
"What happens when you press the Enter key?"
"Does the Delete key work? How about Ctrl-Alt-Delete?"

Etc etc...

"The Best Talent Money Can Buy"
A quick word from Manfred Wolf
Feb 18 2010


Manfred Wolf has been a professor of English in the San Francisco Bay Area for over 40 years,
and a friend to me for just over 6 of those.
His book, "Almost A Foreign Country", is available here.

The Carbon Footprint of the EPA
and the Copenhagen Summit
Feb 18 2010

Not the new BP logo.
I thought it'd be nice to put a flower here after the last post.

This news is not particularly new, but because I've recently received some thoughtful and profane (and sometimes both) responses to my comments regarding Al Gore's cap and trade plans, I thought I'd supplement even more material. Anyone could see that the Copenahgen climate change summit was attended by thousands who took private jetliners and then large automobiles to the world theater meeting. I thought I'd share this article, which is new, and goes into more detail.

Another article coming in the same publication, but with a somewhat different perspective, is here.

The least the cap-and-trade people could do is to set an example for the rest of us regarding environmental care.

A Solid News Day for America

Feb 18 2010

Texas Taxpayer Flies Plane into IRS Office
Las Vegas Mayor Rejects Obama Invitation
Man Dies Waiting for Ambulance after 10 Phone Calls and 30 Hours
Atlanta Police Arrest 61-year old Woman for asking, "Why?"
School-issued Laptops used for Spying in Kids' Homes
Highest Earners Pay the Lowest Taxes

Pardon my alternate use of the word "solid".

An Older Brother? Fred on Everything
Feb 13 2010

Vietnam veteran, police beat journalist.
And he listens to real Blues.

Let him make a few comments; and being Valentine's weekend, it'll be perfect.

More Superbowl News Op/Ed: The Who Blew

Feb 10 2010

Not quite my generation, but liking the Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin, I was point-5-to-1 generations too young. That is, when I was young.

I didn't even feel sad for these guys; without Moon and Entwistle they positively blow. If you saw anyone else play that way in some club by a cover band (or even themselves) somewhere, they would at least be ignored if not booed and chased out of the venue. What a pile. Please retire and have some personal dignity. I'm sure their "farewell" tour was in the 80s. If you just have to play, tour in Vegas with Cher like a proper waste case, guys.

Speaking of piles, I heard one person say The Who's appearance was to avoid the "wardrobe malfunction" problems that was unfairly placed on a couple of other younger musicians on a television network, then in a series of legal battles, a few years ago. I think that's a strong possibility. Not that I care about television networks or have ever probably heard Ms. Jackson's or Mr. Timberlake's music, but it brings up two points for me:

1. Get old English-scooter-rocker dudes to play so that even if all the possible wardrobe malfunctions occur, the lawsuit would be drawn up by completely different motives. That is, all of us would sue, not just fake pious religious freakouts.

By the way, for those of us who happen to live in southern (you know the ones) or otherwise religious (I'm looking at you, Utah) states, you sure consume a lot of porn and commit a lot of violent rapes compared to the rest of our already scared-to-mention-sex country. You were born from sex. A specific kind of sex act. All of you. That's right. I know that fact is not allowed to be taught in our schools lest a teacher be fired and never work again.

2. Appeal to the classic-rock types who listen to the same exact tracks from the exact same artists, over and over, by those who listen to the radio loud (think my age and older American working-class) on the way to work, and especially on the way home from work on Fridays. I'm pretty sure many of these same people I am admitedly stereotyping have no idea the British invasion bands did not come from the States, except for maybe the Beatles. I've been in more than one discussion over the years with Ah-mir-ikuns that swear 'Zep and The Stones are midwest prairie people.

In any case, these folks who appeared at the Superbowl halftime show were pathetic, as even any mediocre musician would have a right to say. And not just because they were missing two of their best, Entwistle and Moon, but because it was just a bad excuse for a classic rock music performance.

Great game, though.

iCan: Superbowl 44
The New Orleans Saints

Feb 07 2010

Geeks and non-geeks alike watched this game, and many who did may regret Indianapolis' "inevitable" win-turned-loss; it was surely a comeback from quarter one.

I have a certain bias for New Orleans, since in most American cities musicians are treated like junk, especially in "music" cities like Los Angeles and Nashville. In places like Austin and New Orleans, we are treated as professionals. Even by the local artists who've been playing much hotter and longer than our young dumbbutts have. When they could easily be dismissing brats like us or sending us to the wolves, they teach us instead of talking down. Then they feed us a square meal and make sure we get some peace, practice and rest for our next show. If we're especially young or just thoughtful back to them, they protect us from hard drugs and the rougher sides of the city.

Regarding the Louisiana city and their people more recently, they have been struggling to survive after nearly every facet of our own government all but ignored them since New Orleans took a major hit from Katrina (and old engineering) less than five years ago.

It was a good sports championship comeback from any point of view and a victory for underdogs everywhere. My congratulations to New Orleans and the Saints of all types who are from there.

Feb 05 2010

The Apple iPad:
What a pretty piece.
- No multitasking
- No Flash
- No USB ports
That's just 3 of the several weaknesses for at least $500
Think about your reaction if any other company put out the same exact product,
at the same price and the same obvious missing features. No, really.

Pros: probably a nice e-reader, living room browser (no Flash!) and gaming device for kids.

I mentioned I feel bad for the guy's obvious health degradation at the presentation,
and considering how much he gave to his industry. We all needed a sort of anti-Gates.
Buyers of the v.1 product should wait.
Here's my post of the original colorful paintjob.

Feb 04 2010

Just an RSS test (fail - screenshot win): I sent this to Leo Laporte last January 19,
from a screenshot of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.
Leo didn't say a word one way or another about his appearance on Jon's show.

Superbowl News!
Feb 04 2010

Colts, Saints Blinded By Natural Sunlight Upon Arrival At Stadium

From The Onion :

"MIAMI—Members of both Super Bowl teams, who played the majority of their regular season and playoff games in domed stadiums, squinted in pain and sought refuge from the sun Thursday after walking onto the field at Miami's Sun Life Stadium.

"What is that thing? It's not gonna be on during the game, is it?" said Saints running back Pierre Thomas, who experienced lingering spots in his vision after his attempts to look directly at the unfamiliar object.

"Usually, stadiums have, like, a lot of little lights on the ceiling. I really hope that burning spot thing just goes away before kickoff."

During the team's afternoon walk-through, frightened players reportedly retreated into the stadiums' interior when, according to Thomas, "the air started doing this freaky-ass swirling around stuff for no reason."

Nerd Proximity Shirt
Feb 03 2010


John Blake and Norman Rockwell
Feb 03 2010

Birthday of my father, John Blake, and the artist Norman Rockwell; born 45 years apart.
Rockwell died early in Nov of 1978; my dad died almost exactly 25 years later.

Total Americans. See many of them around anymore?

Time to Write
Feb 02 2010

Johnny Carson with the Rat Pack:
I don't even like the Rat Pack that much (below); Dean Martin and Sammy Davis, Jr. can be ok, but Sinatra is especially overrated. My opinion is outnumbered by a huge margin on this and many other topics I know. Take the paragraph below:

The TV series "Lost":
I couldn't get through even a simple pilot episode of the television show "Lost", which is wildly successful in these modern times. Never mind all the other shows producers sell like crazy to the same public; a public that can't have an original thought in their own schools without getting overworked cops and mysterious black helicopters involved. But that was an earlier post (what's that picture above for? Click here).

Let's continue with "Lost" for a moment: The dialogue is way too slow for being so inane. The beginning of the show starts off with a shiny dude going on and on with a cute girl about whether she knows how to sew quilts and darn socks for several minutes so that he can finally ask her to stitch his plane crash gash-wounds. Their dialogue is slower than relaxed: as if his and her main priority is to be polite and sexy for each other. Never mind the drama back music and green-screen shots. C'mon.

I feel bad because an actual professional tech journalist asked me directly to watch it and I promised to get back to him. Another future friend I might've "lost". (Hah!)

This post is not about a TV show. It's just time I write before I rest a few hours. You readers keep in mind this is just so I get myself to type. Not that any of my earlier essays are that good or bad, and this could be especially poor. Or great. Let's see.

The other day was my birthday and like many of us who are not kids anymore, I woke up in another battle of introspection and decided to remember how bad things might really be, and are for many many of us. I was starting a new job so I had almost zero to gripe at myself (or life) about.

BB Gun News:
Here's something. I didn't just turn 9, but I could have because one of my most memorable birthday presents arrived the other day in the form of a BB gun. And that's right, it's a Daisy Red Ryder (70th anniversary model), compliments of my stepdad. Tonight I read the whole user booklet, filled with the "caution" and "danger" symbols covering nearly every paragraph while I set up a stuffed cardboard target box against the fireplace. I'll have to wait to put a folded blanket up as a backstop until tomorrow when it isn't too late to hammer a couple nails in the wall to hold it up. I live in a half-decent place, but it is an apartment and my neighbors are working people, some with young kids. Funny I'm more worried about making hammer-and-nail noises late at night than I am BB gun noises with ricochets, accompanied by my screams as I "put an eye out".

Anyway the sparkling-new Red Ryder is against the wall, still yet unloaded. I think I got it because it was featured in the first Christmas movie I openly liked, which was last December with my mom and her husband. It was a thoughtful gift, and a couple days ago the stepdad presented it to me just like in the film, hidden behind something near their fireplace. I can respect his gesture

Just trying to wrap it up, whatever it is I'm wrap-writing.

I didn't get a .38 for my birthday, which would have been cool too. Or a shotgun. Or a number of rifles. I might be good as a sniper, but I'm not even a gamer. I've never owned a gun just because (no real reason), but I did want this one .228 I saw at about 12 or 13 when my dad went to buy more molds for his bullet-maker thing. Then later I liked a short .38. My dad didn't shoot often but he owned several basic firearms. When my brother and I inherited them we donated the lot to our brother in law, who didn't quite live in the big city and knew more about guns anyway. Sinatra's friends knew about guns too I hear.

See? I just thought of a way to wrap this up: I said bad stuff about Sinatra and that's good for them. They can use more than a BB gun on me, right? Never mind what the fans of certain TV shows might do. Or technical middle school administrators whose students attempt to become the next Nikola Tesla.



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