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June 2005

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2005 2 Comments

The Apple iTunes store has added Podcasts at the iTunes Music Store
icon (just click on “podcasts” from the main menu at the ITMS) and of course they are free. I know you’re thinking, “Who cares, I’ve already got podcasting software to download them and add them to my iPod?” But this doesn’t need software this builds it right in so your friends who you haven’t gotten to listen have no excuse now (the software is free and so are the downloads). Plus they updated the firmware on your iPod to offer several benefits (read on). And Apple started their own weekly new music podacast!

The new iPod software puts the podcasts in a folder so they don’t get mixed in with your music. Plus they all appear to be automatically bookmarked when you leave a podcast and come back to it!!!! This is important for the longer shows (some are 20-60 minutes) when you want to come back and not have to fast forward through a lot of information!

What didn’t they do? I don’t see any way to make my own smart playlist of podcasts. It’s inconvenient to jump around between different podcasts (or I’m doing it wrong). I used to make a smart playlist of short (30sec-2min) daily podcasts and listen to them all in 20-30 minutes, it was like my own radio show. I’m really hoping I’m missing something on this and someone can correct me on it.

I’m sure I’ll find more to comment on about this good and bad but so far the plusses far outweigh the minuses to me…

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2005 2 Comments

Easy3BlogSo I’ve got a new very easy place to recommend to blog, it’s called Easy2Blog. It’s got loads of options and it’s easy to configure. They’ll do ad exchanges for you, an about me section, a blogroll-type thing, counter, rss, sydication badges that automatically add your blog to others myYahoo/feedburner/etc., commenting, easy to add photos to posts, search, counters and an easy way to add blocks of html for other services like blogrolling or whatever you’d like (you can easily reorder them too).

Downsides: It doesn’t let me post with Safari (Mac Firefox & Mac IE is okay). It lists your e-mail address on the site (this doesn’t appear to be an option) so get a spare if you don’t want it listed (I’ve still got free gMail to give out). It’s got ads (but that’s how they pay for it) and you can deny explicit content (or request it) for the ads. It doesn’t appear you can use a client for editing.

This company provide bunches of other sites for free but with add-ons for a cost so I bet they’ll offer ad free options for now, but even if they don’t it’s an easy place to start up if you want to try this “blogging thing” out…

And it’s really easy to use.

FYI – My new blog is not an Easy2Blog. I’m still faithful to MovableType.

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Written By: Gary on June 28, 2005 4 Comments

So not only is one of my favorite podcast’s back in business (he’s been busy for the past 5 weeks) but I got a mention for suggesting today’s word, “Voilà!”, be sure to listen to the the audio (it’s only 74 seconds). Scott does Today’s Podcast which is generally “A brief daily podcast of words and quotes”. He’s always looking for words to do and even has a phone number where you can leave comments or messages. Be sure to check it out…

He does mention my new site that I’m migrating to (http://GarySaid.com/). It’s not 100% done yet but if you’ve got blogrolls or bookmarks please change them. It should be done by the end of the week. It’s (mostly) fully functional (and currently has the same new posts as the old site) but many links take you to the old site. It should be complete this week…

Written By: Gary on June 27, 2005 2 Comments

Horse JoystickCheck out this joystick! You can’t see it in the photo? It’s the horsey! The faster you rock the faster you go and you turn the head to go right or left. I’d have to assume this will be very intuitive for kids. You never know for sure but I’d think this would work for them. The “game” was pretty much a POV with you running around the landscape and it was very cool with the way the joystick worked.

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Written By: Gary on June 27, 2005 2 Comments
Someone has decided to give you a gift out of the blue. With no limitations on cost, or accessibility, what gift would you appreciate the most and why?
I’d want a baby. I’ve always wanted kids and it’s been on my mind lately. Also, I just had a discussion about adoption today so it’s a timely question… A wife who wants kids might make more sense but that’s probably harder for someone to shop for. I’ve got a lot more criteria for a wife, my only requirement for a baby is that it’s healthy, although if they can build/program to order I can probably come up with the specs for a wife.

This wasn’t what I planned to say when I started this answer but it did say “no limitations”. Other items that crossed my mind were time (but since you can’t put that in a bottle I might just need ca$h so I didn’t have to work which would result in time) or a trip across the solar system (ours or some other, I’m not too picky).

From Question of the Day.

Written By: Gary on June 26, 2005 2 Comments

VR air hockey photoSo this is a new twist on Air Hockey. It’s a blank table, with a camera above it and a projector above it. You just move your hand and it “assumes” you have paddle in it to hit the “puck” (which is really just a projection). The calculations are done and it bounces the ball back to the other side of the ice…

My take: So this could project a multiple of games on a table that had other uses. Plus you could have a “mirror flap/door” at a 45 degree angle to control if the projector projects down to a table or across to a wall (for movies/TV). Now that’s an entertainment room.

It’s from Playmotion but I can’t find anything on their site about it.

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Written By: Gary on June 26, 2005 No Comment

To catch a butterfly once is blessed foreverSo this is one of the many rocks that are piled up around Lake Michigan around the campus at Northwestern. There were tens of thousands of rocks and I’m sure there were thousands with writing on them. Many were too faded to photograph but I captured some of the ones that I really liked. I’ve got a few more of these that I’ll be sharing with you later…

Written By: Gary on June 25, 2005 No Comment

I just went for a walk outside and it’s great outside, cool for the first time in days. Yahoo! says it’s 73 degrees which seems high, but since it did hit 97 a few days ago I guess 24 degrees less is a huge difference. I just felt like it’s more of a neighborhood (because it is) than my condo, even though if I walk a block I am in a neighborhood.

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Written By: Gary on June 25, 2005 No Comment

So part of the Chicago trip was to go to NextFest and run by Wired Magazine and highly sponsored by GE. It was on Navy Pier and they had all sorts of new technologies on display. I’ll be doing multiple-posts about them over the next few days (weeks?).

Me, the guy into all the gizmos and gadgets did look at more than a few of them and say “Why?” They were just that far out that I couldn’t see any kind of application for them.

There were lots of cool space stuff: ships, robots, solar powered material and more.

A lot of VR related things, so of it new and not ready to go and some a bit old (several years) that I still haven’ seen hit the streets.

Motorola had a lot of phones, just about anything interesting was “out in Japan but not here, yet”, “concept only” or “years away” . Generally, in my experience, most phone demonstrations go that way.

More later….

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Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 No Comment

weather reportIt got to be a hot one today. They said 97 today and I don’t think they were exaggerating! I’ve bounced all around today. Heather’s house was my base and I bounced between there and the paths by the water at Northwestern U and downtown Evanston each a few times. And I drank about 10 gallons of water, coca-cola and Gatorade. I also took a bunch of photos which I’ll add later once I get back to a WiFi zone (I’ll post a few and add a bunch to my flickr feed). It’s still pretty hot out even with the sun down (even with a breeze).

Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 No Comment

We’re talking about easily accessible things here (in no particular order), like:

  • Riding the train.
  • Evanston, IL.
  • Rollerblading.

  • East Lansing and MSU.
  • Holding babies.
  • Riding with the top down on perfect days.

    I almost didn’t put that last one since I can’t contol the weather, I was trying to list things that were always accessible. I like first kisses too, but those aren’t always available so I didn’t list them. I can’t always find babies either but they’re an option more often than nice days in Michigan (and first dates).In case you didn’t know I’ve done four of these in the last 24 hours. That might be what inspired this…

  • Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 No Comment

    If it took this long to just get a menu (yes, I do need more than just the tequila menu) how long will my food take? Wait, why do all the other tables have another insert in their menu that I don’t have? Please note I’m not actually trying to get an answer to this question, I’m trying to get the insert or specials or whatever it is.

    If the food’s good I’ll let you know. The resturant (named in the title) is in Evanston, Illinois.

    Later: It was really good, I got chicken enchiladas with cheese and sour cream (and it didn’t take too long to get the food). They were a little stingy with the sour cream but maybe I just ate it all since it was SO delicious! They kept my Coke nice and full too!

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    Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 One Comment

    You know HD Television is going to replace sliced bread as the “best thing since…” when your family (well, Dori’s family) watches “darn near anything so long as it’s in HD”, today it’s Swan Lake, a documentary on soap making in Nebraska and team rhythmic gymnastics. I’m gonna have to make the jump one of these days, but just finally got digital cable last week…

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    Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 No Comment

    So I had power all the way down here on the train (yes, I’m in Chicago now) which was a treat, if only they had WiFi. I plugged in the the laptop before I went to bed and the darn battery charger cord came out 1/8th of an inch and now the thing is dead. I was going to take it with me when I left for Evanston (my plan was to blog, eat and shop all day, with some rollerblading in there too). My battery lasts a decent time but it seems to take forever to charge… I’m just annoyed because it’s only out of juice because it slipped, not ’cause it ran out. Maybe I’ll have to be geekless part of the day.

    Written By: Gary on June 24, 2005 No Comment

    Have you seen the video? It should give you some clue as to how goofy he was acting on the show the day her was talking about Katie…

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    Written By: Gary on June 23, 2005 No Comment

    100 movie quotesWhile I may have goofed the wording up, I see that my guess won for first place in the 100 best movie quotes of all time! As Casablanca was my second guess, I would have hoped it would have scored higher (but it did get six of the one-hundred quotes).

    Some of my favorites:

  • I’ll get you, my pretty, and your little dog, too…
  • Elementary, my dear Watson.
  • Soylent Green is people!
  • I’ll have what she’s having.
  • Open the pod bay doors, HAL.
  • Get your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape.
  • All right, Mr. DeMille, I’m ready for my close-up.
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    Written By: Gary on June 23, 2005 One Comment

    So I finally watched the pilot episode (the only episode?) of Fearless with Rachel Leigh Cook as Gaia. I enjoyed it, a few good songs and some excellent stereo sound (I had the headphones on). A little corney here and there but it was good for a pilot. You can download it from here; it’s an AVI that played pretty good on my powerbook.

    And I see there’s a new series with the same character. The first book is Kill Game (Fearless FBI). I’m going to check it out, I’m sure it’s a little less high school than the other series and that’ll make it more enjoyable…

    Written By: Gary on June 22, 2005 3 Comments

    So I’m going to be in Chicago soon mostly for fun. Any readers want get coffee / drink / something? It’s fun to put a voice / mannerisms to a person you’ve communicated with but never really met… Leave a comment or e-mail if interested.

    I really need a way to keep track of who I read and where they are geographically or I’d just invite / say hi to the people I read but I can’t think of anyone in that area. I’m also in Philadelphia later this summer so if you’re from there and happen to stumble across this post be sure to say HI!

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    Written By: Gary on June 22, 2005 One Comment

    Samantha MurphyI thought Ram’s Horn was open 24 hours a day. I was in bed dying for waffles. And then when I got back home I realized that I probably could have gotten them at Big Boy (I think they’re open 24/7).

    So you should give a listen to Samantha Murphy, in particular to ‘I met him “At the Laundr-O-mat”’, that’s the one I just heard while I was out in the car and I really liked it. I can’t find it at Amazon so I’m guessing she’s limited release still (the link is to iTunes) or not out yet. I heard her on the Daily Source Code with Adam Curry while on the late night waffle quest.

    So it turns out she does her own podcast called smTv! And she has audio samples at her web site.

    FYI – I ended up settling on a bowl of HoneyComb cereal.

    Written By: Gary on June 20, 2005 3 Comments

    So Eqypt has been on my list of places to go. I’ve always wanted to see the pyramids.

    So I think I might have to make this happen. This one though I think I might have to do a tour with a group or something since I have no clue about anything in regards to this. I’m not even sure what else to see while I’m there besides the pyramids.

    So I’m looking for recommendations for a tour or something along those lines that you might have taken that you’d recommend (or oness to avoid). I’d also take some suggestions on some places in particular to go to (or avoid).

    Written By: Gary on June 18, 2005 4 Comments

    So at 9:59 am this morning I’m at the Ticketmaster web site for Tori Amos tickets, they go on-sale at 10. Refresh (not yet). Refresh (not yet). Refresh (not yet). Click to buy (yes!). I’m in row P? TicketmasterWhat’s up with that? Release try again, Row R? Try again, row P, same spot! So I try single seats, doubles, everything is that far back (I see that same spot on row P a half dozen times). It’s ten hours later, I can still get as close as row U. If it took this long to sell a few rows, where the heck did the first 15 rows go (plus the 4 in the pit) is the first few seconds. I mean I love Tori and all, but where did all those seats go in the first few seconds?!?

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    Written By: Gary on June 18, 2005 One Comment

    CathatbdaySo remember a few months ago a I mentioned I got auctioned off? So today was the birthday party for the winning seven year old; she got to have the Cat in the Hat come to her themed party. We had a blast. They came running out front when I got there and were pretty excited. They made me read four books and eat lunch and the birthday girl even read a new book she got and did an excellent job (even another first grader told her so). And even though they weren’t eating cake at the time they lit the candles and blew it out so they could cut a piece to send home with me :)

    Written By: Gary on June 17, 2005 No Comment

    Anna Nalick is on the Today Show on NBC on Saturday, June 18th. She’s supposed to be performing around 8:10 AM EST. Set your TiVo!

    Anyone know what’s supposed to be on the Anna Nalick Import CD…?

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    Written By: Gary on June 16, 2005 4 Comments

    So I keep seeing this commercial for Toyota vehicles (I can’t find anything related to it on-line). It’s got two kids up in the control booth with “Bob” and they cheer him on as he keeps test crashing the cars (he’s got an assembly destruction line he can control). They’re like “now the eight seater”… I think it’s hysterical…

    The boys are so sad when Bob runs out of cars. They say “what about your car?!?

    Dandee (see comments) found a link http://www.visit4info.com/details.cfm?adid=22183&version=2&type=normal but said it will expire in about a month, so view it if you haven’t seen it!

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    Written By: Gary on June 15, 2005 No Comment

    Unfortunately, she had to die of starvation in the end. But I’m not sure if she was actually aware of it…

    LARGO, Florida (AP) — An autopsy on Terri Schiavo backed her husband’s contention that she was in a persistent vegetative state, finding that she had massive and irreversible brain damage and was blind, the medical examiner’s office said Wednesday. It also found no evidence that she was strangled or otherwise abused.

    CNN 6/15/2005

    Via Kinky Convolution.

    Written By: Gary on June 15, 2005 No Comment

    One of my favorite bands, The Indigo Girls, released Rarities this week. Eighteen tracks of odd stuff. Demos, different mixes, live cuts, EP versions and some tracks I don’t know if they’ve ever been released (like Ramblin’ Round featuring Ani DiFranco). If you get it at the iTunes store it comes with 2 bonus tracks.

    I’ve probably seen them at least a dozen times not just all over Michigan (Auburn Hills, Clarkston, OU, MSU, Mt. Pleasant, Ann Arbor, Ypsilanti) but I’ve seen them in Chicago, Philadelphia, Milwaukee and I’m sure some places I didn’t think of here…

    Written By: Gary on June 14, 2005 No Comment

    Flickblog LogoGet some free stuff from Flickr. All you need to do is send them an addressed enveloped (no stamps required) and they’ll send you some buttons and stickers!

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    Written By: Gary on June 14, 2005 3 Comments

    Writer Shelley Jackson invites participants in a new work entitled “Skin.” Each participant must agree to have one word of the story tattooed upon his or her body. The text will be published nowhere else, and the author will not permit it to be summarized, quoted, described, set to music, or adapted for film, theater, television or any other medium.

    More information can be found at the skin project site. It’s a really interesting background to the project (it’s only one page) so check it out. One big rule, if your word is a body part, you’re not allowed to get it on that body part. Makes me wonder about the story itself….

    It’s actually one of those odd things mulling around in my head. I’d like to get a good word like “genius” or “universe”, it’s a lot more appealing that getting something like “dork” or “limp”.

    Found at Blades of Grass.

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    Written By: Gary on June 13, 2005 No Comment

    Dakota FanningI just love Dakota Fanning! Here’s a preview for Dreamer with Kurt Russell, Dakota Fanning, and Elisabeth Shue. And it’s got horses too…

    Written By: Gary on June 13, 2005 One Comment

    So people have asked me about my mail filtering. I use Mailblocks but they haven’t been offering anything since AOL bought them. I thought they were supposed to have offered something by now (at least to AIM users) but I haven’t seen anything yet. But I’ve found a similar service called SpamArrest and they’ve got this nice little demo that explains the service (it’s always hard to explain). It looks like they have more storage than Mailblocks (1GB vs. 100MB) but I’m not sure if they automatically authenticate outgoing mail addresses automatically. It’s got a thirty day free trial (I can almost promise you won’t give it up if you get spam) which people won’t even know you switched services (unless you give them one of the spamarrest addresses). Have I ever led you wrong with a technology tip?!?

    *I am an affiliate of this service. So while this isn’t a paid advertisement It’s not the normal mentioned that I give for products I love or future products I want. The problem is they don’t offer the service I use anymore (but they didn’t kick me off either) so I’m mentioning this similar competitive one. I do benefit if you buy via this link but that’s no different than many of the links that I offer that pay me a referral kickback affiliate fee.

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    Written By: Gary on June 12, 2005 2 Comments

    This was one of the opening acts for Ivy. They’re from Grand Rapids, Michigan. Why haven’t I ever heard of them? FYI – Them is the sibling team of Bruce and Erica Driscoll.

    I talked to Erica for just a minute and got her autograph on my CD. When I saked where they were out of, she said “somewhere between Grand Rapids and Brazil”, which didn’t make a lot of sense until I read their Web Site. She was charming, beautiful and very nice.
    And she signed my CD “To Gary- heart Erica”. Sigh…

    We showed up late and only caught a few of the songs, I was very disappointed with this since I thought they were excellent. Wish I had taken a picture or two. Didn’t even think of it at first. They shared some of the musicians with Ivy which was interesting. I think she looked more like the drawing on the Astaire Music web site (it’s gone now) then the photo on the CD cover. I didn’t get an opportunity to talk to Bruce.

    They’ll have an iTunes Exclusive Live Acoustic EP released soon! Their first album, Don’t Whisper Lies, is a five song EP, it’s cheap at the iTunes store! If you’ve got quicktime you can listen to an interactive jukebox thingy they have set up. And they’re featured in the May BMI Podcast.

    UPDATE: The band is now called Blondfire.

    Written By: Gary on June 12, 2005 2 Comments

    crazy carSo the other day I saw this cRaZy car. It’s got these wild colors and weird junk stuff glued all over the car, like shells, pencils, dolls, painted bottle-caps and more than I can list here. crazy art carSo of course I took some pictures (click for larger versions), but when I got home they didn’t come out at all (it looked like the lens cover didn’t open all the way). I was pretty disappointed since I was trying to show someone the photos when I discovered they were duds…

    Fast-forward to a week later. Guess what I saw!?!?! You got it, the cRaZy car! If you look hard at the enlarged version you can see the back wiper blade is a baby doll’s arm. It’s just completely bizzaro and I saw it twice in a week in different areas of the metro-Detroit area…

    Written By: Gary on June 11, 2005 No Comment

    Detroit Tiger CarSo all over downtown Detroit are these goofy looking “cars” that I guess are some kind of art. I’m sure we saw at least a dozen as we navigated our way around last night. This one was in front of Tiger Stadium Comerica Park and as you can see it does look like a tiger.

    Anyone know the story behind these things?

    Written By: Gary on June 11, 2005 2 Comments

    6. You are given the gift of an original oil painting by any famous artist.  What painting would you choose and why?
    Easy. The Kiss by Gustav Klimt
    5. Last week, the Reader’s Choice question asked you to identify your favorite movie line.  Later this month, the American Film Institute will list the 100 Greatest Movie Lines of all time.  Which one do you expect to win?
    “Frankly Scarlett, I don’t give a damn”
    4. You have the ability to snap your fingers and be instantly transported to one of three places whenever you wish to go there.  Which three places would you select as your destinations?
    Costa Rica (probably Jaco, since I like the ocean there), London, England (I always enjoy England) and Berkley, Michigan (most of my extended family lives there) and work (I hate wasting time driving to and from work). Yes I picked four. I’m assuming you can teleport back to your starting point which would be home. If I had this power I’d probably move to one of the locations (probably Costa Rica) and make that home so I’d only need the three other destinations.

    3. What is the most embarrassing question you’ve ever been asked?
    Hmmm… I don’t embarrass easily so nothing comes to mind. Probably when I was younger when someone would ask me if I liked (insert some girl’s name here) and I’d be embarrassed about it. The bonus about embarrassing questions is you have the bonus of asking the same thing back.
    2. Which business do you have the longest continuous relationship with:  your bank, your auto insurance provider, your home telephone provider, your cellular phone provider, or your cable company?  How long have you been with them?
    My bank (credit union), I’ve probably been with them since 1988(?) and I’ve never seen a back with anything even close to the same services to make me consider changing. They are 100 miles away and with the Internet and a toll free number it’s like there right here.
    1. When was the last time you looked your significant other in the eye and told him or her how much they mean to you?
    Not having one right now I can’t really answer this one.

    From Saturday Six.

    Written By: Gary on June 11, 2005 No Comment

    Spirit of Detroit PistonsSo the Detroit Pistons are going for the gold again. I was just downtown last night and just happened to be in the right spot to get a picture of the “Spirit of Detroit”, a 26 foot tall statue, wearing a Pistons jersey.

    FYI – The statue was created by Marshall Fredericks and put on display in 1958. He never named it the Spirit of Detroit (I’m not sure where the name first came from). At the time, “It was the largest cast statue made anywhere since the Renaissance and was designed to require no repairs for 100 years.”

    Written By: Gary on June 11, 2005 One Comment

    Dominique Durand IvySo we went out last night four bars/clubs and for the fourth one we ended up back at the first (so it was really three). There was a mission though, Ivy was in town at the Magic Stick (which is above the Majestick, get it?). So it was regular happy hour, to the greektown casino where L’usa were playing (we’ve got friends in the band) and then to the concert. We missed most of the opening acts but we kinda knew that with all the running around (that’ll be another post).

    Ivy was great, I think I originally heard her on a WB show (or some show) and they showed her information in the end credits. I think the band is generally three people but I think we counted eight at one point. The photo is of Dominique Durand (I needed to be closer, my camera is great but my flash is pretty lousy). I gave my e-mail to a woman there who took a lot of photos I hope she sends me a few!

    So the concert was great, a nice small venue but there weren’t many people there. They’ve got four or five albums out there so I would have expected a few more. I knew it was a small club so I bought my tickets in advance in case they were sold out, I guess I could have saved a few dollars and picked them up at the show. If you had considered going, you really missed out! If you haven’t heard them check them out at the iTunes store.

    I looked to see where they were playing today (I’d have done a short road trip), I’m surprised there is no Saturday show, Toronto tomorrow (a little to far for me on a Sunday night). I’ll be keeping my eye out for them again (and picking up the few albums I don’t have). Here is their official Ivy the band web site.

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    Written By: Gary on June 9, 2005 2 Comments

    BeautygeekI generally hate the reality shows but this new one by Ashton Kutcher called Beauty and the Geek is hysterical. Seven beautiful women and seven dorks geniuses have to team up and teach each other some skills if they want to win the competition, but “they’re so far apart on the social spectrum that they’re practically different species”.

    They extra funny part is I know these guys (or at least guys like them) from high school and/or college. Plus, some of these guys have never been on a date or kissed a girl. When the one category is massage the one guy was practically shaking when he realized he was going to have to touch a girl. The women learned auto repair faster than the guys learned massage. Be sure to check out the preview.

    I missed the first episode so I’m not sure how the teams were picked, but it’s some interesting choices.

    In one of the final competitions two guys are in the other room watching the girls compete. The question is “What are windshield wipers made of?”, she responds with “rubber” and both guys watching said “I didn’t know that?!?”…

    Joe says, “I’m still a Virgin. No, I’m not saving myself…” HA!

    Written By: Gary on June 7, 2005 No Comment

    Tori AmosThis week iTunes has an exclusive four track album for Tori Amos out his week called (coincidentally) Exclusive Session: Tori Amos – EP. The album has live versions of Crazy, Seaside, Sleeps With Butterflies and The Power of Orange Knickers. Tori is one of the few people that I think does good “live albums”.

    They also have three free songs this week.

  • Augustana – Stars and Boulevards from You’ll Disappear
  • Harald Johnson, Jarle Vespestad & Tord Gustavsen – Curtains Aside from The Ground
  • The Backstreet Boys – Never Gone (Album Sampler)

    These links should launch iTunes (if you have it) and show the songs. The free songs will not be free after Monday, June 13th 2005.

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    Written By: Gary on June 6, 2005 One Comment

    2.5 hours and a Two and a Half Men marathon is pure entertainment. As always they entertained me way more than the average show. They just crack me up!!!

    Written By: Gary on June 5, 2005 One Comment

    Lacy at Silverberry got a new Macintosh Powerbook. She seems to be liking it and has a flickr slideshow showing that “Apple really has packaging and presentation details down”. They really do, it’s especially noticeable with the laptops and the iPods IMHO. So a like is here for your pleasure…

    Written By: Gary on June 5, 2005 No Comment

    So I heard on the radio something like “Pistons fans were really encouraged with the win from last night”. We’ll I would think so, wouldn’t they be down if they lost?!?

    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2005 2 Comments

    Does anyone ever know what happened with the Fearless Televison series? I was watching TV last night and caught part of She’s All That with Rachel Leigh Cook and it reminded me of the TV series that was supposed to be semi-adopted from the books.

    UPDATE: I did find the pilot on-line (if it’s busy, try again). Did they every air this?!?

    And since we’re talking (okay, since I’m talking) about Rachel Leigh Cook does anyone know if she’s the same RLC who narrates The Devil Wears Prada Audio Book?!?

    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2005 2 Comments

    Only one more day until The 4400 return (again) to USA. I liked this series (although there were certainly portions that I didn’t like) but it had a X-files meets Taken kinda flavor. In case you never saw it, there was a UFO siting, a flash of light and all of a sudden 4400 alien abductees from the last 100 years were returned, same age, no memory of where there were and some have some new abilities (okay, so I left a few details out). It’s the whole secret behind the little girl and why were they all returned that interests me. They clearly left the series open for a sequel but most times they generally never get back around to doing it…

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2005 2 Comments

    So I’ve been tagged with the book meme (list current books and favorite books and tag a few more people) from Dave over at Blogography.

    How Many Books Do You Own? At least five-hundred. A complaint from the last time I moved was “who the hell taught you to read?”. The answer is probably my grandfather, who didn’t teach me to read but taught me to want to read.

    What is the Last Book You Bought? Mindscan by Robert Sawyer. I have yet to read this one, so here’s some background on the author. He’s the canadian Michael Crichton, what does that mean? It means he’s awesome (I hope he likes MC) and he makes complicated science fun. He generally does more with connecting everything (science and religion and the mind and the universe) in a holistic way and making it all tie together. He’s entertaining, humorous and very knowledgeable.

    What is the Last Book You Read? Time’s Eye by Arthur C. Clark and Stephen Baxter. Imagine To Your Scattered Bodies Go (a classic series from way before it’s time where everyone who ever died resurrected all at once) and the Secret Wars comic (pieces of planets carved up and reassembled into one new planet) combined into one new story. The Earth has been cut up into pieces throughout time and a mishmash of the planet has been reassembled, one step to a new piece of the puzzle may take to the ice age or the future. Plus these silver orbs that defy physics and appear to be watching. Throw in Alexander the Great and Ghengis Khan and you’re ready to go.

    Name five books that mean a lot to you. Let’s see if I can keep it to five…

    The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis. This and the rest of the Narnia Series will take you to another world. Don’t let the recent chronological renumbering of the books confuse you, this is the one to start with. Four children who find a passage into another world. A world where they are destined to sit and rule and fight to save the world where “every day is winter, but never Christmas”. This will be a movie this December and I get chills when I see the preview.

    Calculating God by Robert Sawyer. Imagine aliens land on earth (Canada of course) and only want to meet with a paleontologist. Imagine they have record of several disasters in the past of their planet the coincide with ours (such as the dinosaurs being wiped out 65 million years ago). What can the cause of this? Why God of course! Isn’t that the reason for science? To prove the existence of God? He’s got some great humor and science and philosophy that’ll make you want to read all his recent books. I’ve given several of this book away as gifts.

    Lightning by Dean Koontz. This is a book that I cannot believe hasn’t been adapted into a movie. A non-typical Dean Koontz book with a hero (that I can’t reveal too much about) and the woman he loves and has fallen in love with over and over. And in typical Dean Koontz fashion they are being chased by the bad guys. Hmm… i don’t know what else to say without giving away the story. But it’s my favorite book by him.

    So You Want to Be a Wizard by Diane Duane. Forget Harry Potter, if you want wizardary this is the series to read. There are rules to spells, you calculate them, they take time, they have a price and in the long run they slow down the death of the universe. Join Kit and Nita as they learn about wizardry and save the world (several times). Diane Duane has written seven of these books and several other fantasy series, Star Trek books and some SpiderMan books. Another book I’ve given away multiple copies of…

    Alas Babylon by Pat Frank. The 1959 classic end of the world novel on how a small courageous Florida town survives after the bombs drop. This is probably the only required fiction I ever had in high school that ever made an impact on me. It’s about people and the basic needs they have after an attack. I can’t imagine how the pampered world of today would be impacted if the same thing happened now.

    I’ll mention The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy but won’t use it since Dave did. And an Honorable Mention to The Watchmen (which to me) was the backstory to The Incredibles (yes, this dark comic is the reason those cartoon characters retired) and resposible for the resurgence of Batman (The Dark Knight Returns) in the mid-1980’s.

    Now “tag” five individuals to provide their own lists. Okay lets see. Heather, who got me into blogging. Allison who actually has a Douglas Adams quote at the top of her blog right now. Dave at A Product of the 80’s who comments often but I can’t think of him ever mentioning any books. Diane at Arcadian Expressions who’s another Michiganian. Alfie at Noiblata who’s also local. Jenni at Kitten Kiss with whom I share a birthday. And Kelly who doesn’t post often enough but I bet has some interesting reads. So maybe that’s more than five but at least I stuck to five books…

    Feel free to tag yourself (no, that’s not dirty) and post a link in the comments.

    And I’ve already thought of a few other books I should add… Sigh…

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2005 3 Comments

    When I walked in last night I noticed the garage door closer opener made a funny noise. I thought maybe I didn’t pull the car in far enough but when I looked it seemed fine. You do see where this story is going, don’t you? Today when I opened the garage door it stopped just even with the back bumper. I’ve got a stupid ball hanging from a string so I pull up far enough and sure enough, I wasn’t up far enough. So now I’ve got a great big gouge in the back bumper (and two little ones). And I had done so well keeping this car in good shape so far. :(

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2005 3 Comments

    Picture 23MegaMillions is up to $106 Million… Do I need to say anything more?!?

    Just keep me in mind if you win! Especially if I’m what reminded you to buy a ticket…

    FYI – They are changing the game in two ways come the 22nd of this month. The first is that California is joining the game which will be interesting if the jackpot keeps growing until then. The other is that they are increasing the number of balls and the payoffs of all the prizes.

    The odds of winning will get smaller but they are pretty small already…

    Written By: Gary on June 2, 2005 No Comment

    So it’s graduation time again. I kept thinking about last years graduation and how emotional it was. This year’s wasn’t as emotional but there was one speech where we didn’t think she was going to be able to finish. She caused a lot of eyes to be not-so-dry.

    There really seemed to be an extra connection between the kids and the class as a whole. After listening and thinking about them I realized this was the group, that after a few weeks of just starting high school, that they experienced 9/11 together. I don’t know if that has anything to do with it or maybe it was a smaller group or maybe just one of those things but it was something I noticed…

    For those of you who don’t know much about me: I’m an administrator in a school district (this means I have to sit on the stage) and I’m a pretty energetic/fidgety person. Sitting on a stage for two hours with out standing up or going to take a break or stretching or getting a soda or something is a huge test of stamina for me. I just don’t sit still for that long. This is one of the few times in my life that I actually have to stay there and stay still. For most things in life a hour is all you have to do manage so this is always a test. Of course I made it but it always seems like a test…

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    Written By: Gary on June 1, 2005 No Comment

    Pick up line:

    Can I borrow a quarter?
    I need to call my mother and tell her I’ve found the girl I’m going to annoy for the next 5-10 minutes.

    I just love McSweeneys

    Click for a whole list of them.

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