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November 2005

Written By: Gary on November 28, 2005 No Comment

So I’m starting to come back around to what I call The “New” West Wing. I call it this because it’s like all the other shows that have a spin off. We’ve got Law and Order and CSI:Everywhere but you can’t have “The West Wing:Detroit”, that’s just not right. And I’m not really sure what’s in The East Wing so we have The “New” West Wing, it was really the only way to change it. It’s too bad, I really like the original, I mean I really really liked it. Now it’s just a decent show that’s getting a little better every time I watch it. And while it has some of the same characters, it’s not the same show it was and it’ll never be.

So here’s my point (I actually have one for this post), if you gave it up last season (like I did), it’s time to come back and give it another try. It’ll take a few episodes to get your head back around it, but it’s worth the effort. Just remember, it’s kind of a spinoff…

This is an entry I wrote a few weeks ago that I forgot to post :)

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2005 5 Comments

So I hate assembling my Christmas Tree, it’s only a few years old but it’s making me cRaZy, especially since I’d rather have a real tree (but my allergies bug me when I do). So I’m looking for a fake artificial one, here’s the trick: I want it tall and have multi-colored lights. Most of the tall ones (9-10 feet) I see are all clear unless I go really tall and really expensive. The ones I’ve seen are in the $199-$299 range, look great and the bottom isn’t too big (i.e. it doesn’t take up the whole room). I actually really like the $199 nine-and-a-half foot one I saw at Home Depot yesterday, I might just have to go clear if I don’t find anything in a few days.
Has anyone seen anything they like or can recommend that fits what I’m looking for? (Multi-colored, 9-10 feet, not a huge base and $200-$400)

If it really bugs me, I could always change out all the 1000+ bulbs, right?

Written By: Gary on November 27, 2005 2 Comments

ScientificIntellectualYou’re a Scientific Intellectual!

Kind of expected but I even changed a few of my answers on the few that I couldn’t decide on to see if it would change, but still scored the same. I guess I pretty much answered enough in that direction so that my poetic or philosophical answers were still out weighed.

What Sort of Intellectual Are You? brought to you by Quizilla

Found at UltraBlog.

Written By: Gary on November 26, 2005 5 Comments

So I’m at Panera and there are all these college age students here with their laptops (I’m sure a few are older and a few are younger), more than I’ve ever seen here before. My guess is that a good portion of them are home from college for the weekend and their parent’s homes don’t have the high-speed internet access that they’ve gotten used to at college. So they’re here using the free WiFi. At least that’s my theory (and I’m sticking to it).

One thing I’ve noticed other times when at Panera is that the network always seems to work (start working) better if I launch Internet Explorer first, I’m not sure why, but whenever I’m at a hotspot and having problems that seems to get me going. I think it helps at other places but it really helps at Panera (it might be the user agreement they have you agree to before proceeding).
I noticed an extra network when I was trying to connect called “Kristy” and also noticed an iBook user who had all sorts of windows open (but none had web pages). We tried the above IE “trick” but I guess the new iBooks don’t ship with it. It was her first time trying to connect to a WiFi hotspot so there might be some other problem.
We never did get it going, I think it’s something in the “internet connect” options, she somehow created a 802.1x (point to point?) network and we couldn’t delete it. I had something similar happen once upon a time and it seems to me it was a bit of a problem until I was able to delete it, but I don’t know what I did to do that.

Written By: Gary on November 26, 2005 No Comment

So I know you’re thinking the winter holidays when I say gift certificates but really that’s not it. I’m thinking of my birthday which was ten weeks ago and that I finally just ended up spending the last of my gift certificates. And yes, I know that was ten weeks ago, but I didn’t want to waste them.

Yesterday I spend the last few at Best Buy for memory for my computers. After moving some around between a few I ended up doubling the memory in the one and increasing the other by 50%. I thought it was going to work out a little better than that (I thought the one had more memory slots) but you can still tell the difference on both of them.

I think most of the gift cards were for Technology or Books or Target (plus I had a few duplicate items that needed to be exchanged). Things I bought with the gift cards were:

  • Memory for the computers
  • Firefly on DVD
  • An astronomy reference card set (very cool)
  • iTunes (I had to return an Apple item and that worked out best)
  • Anansi Boys by Neil Gaiman
  • Smallville Season 1
  • The West Wing Season 1
  • Liz Phair’s new album
  • And I know there was another book or two…

    Except for the Firefly DVDs, I think everything I bought was on sale! I’m a good shopper. :)

    Thank you everyone!

  • Written By: Gary on November 26, 2005 One Comment

    ThisibelieveSo on This I Believe (an NPR national project that invites you to write about the core beliefs that guide your daily life) this week Penn Jillette did an essay on “There Is No God” (you can also listen if you don’t feel like reading).

    Believing there is no God gives me more room for belief in family, people, love, truth, beauty, sex, Jell-o and all the other things I can prove and that make this life the best life I will ever have.

    – Penn Jillette

    On “This I Believe” you aren’t supposed to state what you don’t believe, but it’s interesting since he chooses to believe in a negative (“No God”). He makes it a very liberating concept and I thought it was interesting and different way to think about it.

    I like being able to discuss things and not have to agree with the other party and yet be able to understand what and why they’re saying it.

    Please note I’m just commenting on his story. I’m not saying what I believe, disbelieve or how this impacted what I had for lunch, I’m only discussing him presenting his article so direct all your comments to Mr. Jillette or you can contribute your own essay.

    Written By: Gary on November 24, 2005 4 Comments

    So I was in the newspaper today (image of article) and they ran a photo too so that made it a even more fun. At least I assume the photo was in the printed edition. It’s the local paper by where I work so I’ll have to check it out next week, but I remembered to check on-line and there it was “Expert shares advice on technology deals”.

    Here’s the story, people always ask me what tech stuff to buy and how to get good deal on it. So a few jobs ago I started doing sessions for people who were interested and I’d get stuff together and they’d come with questions and I’d tell them what they “needed”. This job I started opening it up to the public for parents (I work for a school district) and residents and I do it near Thanksgiving so I can give them tips on all the Thanksgiving sales that’ll start on Friday. Then they can figure out if it’s worth getting up early for if it’s one of those killer deals. This year one of the paper’s reporters came and voila I’m in the local paper (she had mentioned the dates in the paper too).

    Written By: Gary on November 24, 2005 No Comment

    Drive Safe! Eat Lots! And Be Thankful!

    Written By: Gary on November 23, 2005 No Comment

    End results:

  • Cost: $400 ($40 less than expected).
  • Time: I called them at two hours fifteen minutes and it was ready. Slightly disappointed that they didn’t call to let me know.
  • Car: Much quieter than when I took it in.
  • Car Bonus: He printed out a list of all my previous car repairs so I can put them in one spot.
  • Weather: Much colder and wetter and snowier than earlier. Although the snow that’s sticking looks beautiful.
  • Caffine Levels: Off the chart. Remember, free Coca-Cola refills for the two hours I was at BK.
  • Written By: Gary on November 23, 2005 No Comment

    So it’s something in the front end. The plate where tires get bolted on. I actually thought it was something like that (I checked to make sure the bolts were tight).

    (Technical words that I didn’t really write down or listen to were removed to protect the non-technical)
    Them (Sales and Repair guys): So it’s the thingy in the front end where the tires attach to the front of the car. (Or something like that)
    Me: I’ve had a lot of work done in the front before…? (they generally have good warrantees so I wanted to make sure it wasn’t something I already did)
    Sales guy: No, not at all, you’ve had ____, _____, _____ and _____ done before.
    (I’m sure my eyes glaze over like I see when I’m explaining gigabytes and ram and firewire and WiFi to others)
    Me: That’s not all in the front end?
    Repair guy: Laughs (at sales guy and says) yeah that’s all in the front end.

    So we work out the details and such. The right side is worse but I get both sides done. Like I said, I do try to take care of it.

    Sales guy: It’ll be about two hours
    Me: You sure?
    Repair guy: Yeah that’s about right.
    Me: You’re really sure? Four hours is okay, but I’ll go do something else if it’s really longer than two hours.
    Them: They pretty much promise it’ll be about 2 hours… (We’ll see)

    If it’s not ready, I know they’ll blame it on getting the part. Like I said, even 8 hours would have been fine, I just want to go do stuff. And it’s cold and wet (wet snow, actually) out so it’s a hassle to walk home if it’s only 2 hours. If it wasn’t wet, I’d just bundle up and rollerblade home and not think twice about it.

    So I’m at Burger King, which is about 20-25% of the way home. I’m eating the wonderful Chicken Tendercrisp sandwich and unlimited Coca-Cola and enjoying theur semi-wireless Internet access (which is pretty much what I’d probably be doing if I was home). It’s only semi-wireless since it’s wired but my AirPort Express makes it wireless for me…

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    Written By: Gary on November 23, 2005 No Comment

    So my car has been making some funny noises up front lately. Guess where I am? I’m waiting at Belle Tire to see what’s wrong with it. It’s something up front and with the tires or alignment or steering or something

    We’ll see how it goes. It’s a little busy here, probably some people who want to get their car fixed before they travel for the holiday. I’ve spent $700-ish each of the last two times I had service so I’m hoping it’s not too bad. It’s only a 2000 so it’s not that old, it’s at 56,000 miles and I take pretty good care of it (oil, tires, brakes, etc.).

    FYI – Michael Moore is on the television in the waiting room (it’s like a hospital, we’re all just waiting to hear how bad the news is). IT’s some C-Span broadcast from Mott Community College in Flint, Michigan from last Sunday. He’s such a dork. I’m not talking about his views (I wasn’t listening that much) just that he’s a goof (very gracious though).

    So as I’m writing the previous sentence he’s started talking with the sign interpreter on the stage making her do “tricks” showing different signs and such. Not really appropriate, it’s not why she’s there. At least it’s not in my experiences with deaf culture. Maybe it’s different since she’s doing the television show but I’m thinking it’s not.

    So my ears just picked up a bit. He’s talking about the auto companies and how foreign cars last so much longer and how/why the american car companies are closing things down (lots of closing and layoffs in the Detroit/Flint area lately, with more soon). My car is not foreign although I’ve had to do very little service on foreign cars I’ve owned.

    Written By: Gary on November 22, 2005 One Comment

    Target BottlesSo the Jones Soda company has released their Thanksgiving Dinner in a bottle. The soda flavors included are: Brussels Sprout with Prosciutto, Cranberry Sauce, Turkey & Gravy, Wild Herb Stuffing, and Pumpkin Pie (Also included: Serving spoon, moistened towelette, and wine list). how cool is that?!? I’m armed with some to take with me to Thanksgiving Dinner. We’ll see who I can dare to try it.

    They also released a pack with Broccoli Casserole, Smoked Salmon Paté, Turkey & Gravy, Corn on the Cob, and Pecan Pie. I’d really like to try the Corn on the Cob but I guess that packaging was just regionally distributed.

    Around Halloween I tried the Caramel Apple, it was interesting. It tasted like apples and then the aftertaste was the caramel. Definitely different…

    Written By: Gary on November 22, 2005 One Comment
    1. Do you like the colder weather, or are you into the hotter weather?
    I like hotter better, but colder isn’t as annoying as much for the short term (I can go out side for a minute and not come back hot and sweaty.

    2. What is your favorite thing about winter?
    Snow and/or ice on the trees and Christmas lights outside (with now).

    3. Do you have a favorite comfy, cozy lounging around outfit?
    Not really.

    4. What’s your favorite warm drink when it is just too cold out there?
    Hot apple cider with carmel whip. Preferably the cider has had a cinnamon stick soaking in it all day…

    From Tuesday’s Tales.

    Written By: Gary on November 21, 2005 One Comment

    Arlonjanis20051120I just read the funnies from Sunday and I thought this was absolutely hysterical!!! I’m still laughing at this while I write this.

    This silly thing is, that it probably wouldn’t make that much of a difference in the long run, I know people like it different temperatures but if they’re both cold they’re both gonna turn it up they’re both going to get warm. (But I’m still laughing)

    Written By: Gary on November 21, 2005 2 Comments

    So in the last 10 weeks gas has dropped a dollar! At least it has in the Detroit, Michigan area. Probably two out of three stations are $1.99 or less for a gallon of gasoline. It’s just crazy to think that it was over $3.00 not that long ago.

    Not much of a deep thought but it keeps hitting me every time I pass a gas station and see how low it’s gone.

    Written By: Gary on November 20, 2005 No Comment

    WorldstatmapThis is one of the best parts about blogging. People from all of these places came to read my blog today. Yes, I said came to read my blog, sure they read a bunch of others out there but they also came to mine. :)

    I’m sure some more read from some of my RSS/ATOM feeds and the PDA version (I only have tracking on pages with the images on that load the blogflux logo at the bottom of the page) and there are probably a few false positives but I’m sure the numbers are higher. Heck if they don’t load the graphics or hit stop before the bottom loads or if it’s somehow cached somewhere it won’t count it.

    I’d blog even if I didn’t know how many people came by but it’s sure nice to know.

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    Written By: Gary on November 20, 2005 No Comment

    So I really like movie previews and a while back I posted a link to a Superman Returns preview (that was probably fake). But as I was looking at this Superman Returns preview I noticed something really interesting.

    In addition to the normal options of QuickTime and Windows Media Player they added two more options: Download this to your iPod or your PSP. Very cool that these have caught on so quickly. And it benefits them, why have you and your friends download a movie preview a dozen times when you can download it once and show it to many many friends…?

    FYI – I couldn’t get QT previews to load on my PowerBook, but the iPod one worked for me. How strange is that?

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    Written By: Gary on November 20, 2005 No Comment

    McribtourSo there is a site protesting the use of boneless pigs for fast food (bonelesspigs.org). It’s a marketing thingy for McDonald’s who it looks like its canceling the McRib sandwich and marketing it as a farewell tour (and we know how those go, I think I saw the Rolling Stones farewell (or was it a reunion tour in ’93). This is a problem as it is my personal favorite and it doesn’t look like the tour is in my neighborhood. If anyone hears that they are coming to Michigan please let me know (Toledo is close enough and/or it’s an excuse to go to Chicago).

    Found at the Fire Ant Gazette.

    It’s a funny thing with McDonald’s and the extra domains. I remember way back when when they didn’t even own their own domain and someone did a Wired article about names and trademarks. They tried to give it to McDonald’s and couldn’t even get anyone interested at the time (which was 1994). Here’s a copy of the article (and another), they both seem to load a little slow but the first is all in one file.

    I really regret not buying up more domain names. But back then it was $50 a year and a two year minimum. I didn’t have the cash and didn’t realize at the time that these were going to be worth money as the 1-800-NUMBERS of the the future (if not more so). I did know this is where the world was going and I was driving along at the right speed but I didn’t just know how cRaZy the who thing would turn out. I certainly missed that boat (the cash making boat). Tthe article also talked about the money making of squatting but they did say that evaluations on how this would be handled were occurring at the time.

    Written By: Gary on November 19, 2005 One Comment

    So I’m about 40 posts away from 1,000 posts and I’m also about 24 days away from two years of blogging. No real reason that they should meet but it’ll be pretty close. I’m better off if they don’t meet then I can post twice about the different-versaries. But I should probably reflect a little at both of those times and then it’ll be the new year and time to reflect a little again.

    I really haven’t accomplished much in the past year, so I’m feeling a little guilty about that, especially as I’ve been hearing so much lately about “how do you measure, measure a year..?

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    Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 No Comment
  • Apple 12 inch Powerbook: Software, Internet, Music, Audio Books, Podcasts, eBooks, Movies and more. It’s got just about everything I need.
  • Palm OS Cell Phone (Samsung i500): Phone, Day Planner, Address/Phone Book, a few games, slow internet (but I can get info and check my mail), it’ll work as a modem for my computer in a pinch.
  • Digital Camera (Minolta Dimage Xt 3.2MP): Photos, short Movies, Audio recording and in a pinch it’ll work as a thumb drive (I think it’ll work as a webcam on a windows machine).
  • iPod 60GB color (no video): Music, Podcasts, eBooks, my (read only) calendar/addressbook, some eBook files and works as a really big thumb drive.
  • TiVo (250 GB DVD recorder): Plays TV (what I want when I want), Records what I want every week (and makes suggestions), plays CDs, DVDs, Video CDs, streams audio and photos from my computers. With the new (free) HME options I can check the weather, movie listings, RSS feeds, photo feeds, flickr streams, play games, play my iTunes, back up shows to my computer and more (people keep writing these modules).

    All are pretty mullti-functional devices that are converging. The Powerbook + TiVo have pretty similar capabilities and the phone + palm + camera + iPod are certainly sharing some capabilities too. Merge those in to two devices that let me doc them together and life would be good. The only thing missing is a real video recorder (and that’s probably coming soon).

    I’m pretty covered, I’m not sure what else I need. Other than the newer / faster / smaller versions of these same gadgets, of course (I’d like the iPod video player). Maybe something to power/charge all these gizmos. Obviously I need a TV/projector for the TiVo (and speakers for the surround sound) but other than normal appliances these do pretty good for me.

    From Top 5 Friday.

  • Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 No Comment

    As I decided that yesterday was officially the first day of Winter. And I found this cool fall flickr photo of mimbrava’s. I thought I’d blog it as I’m probably going to retire this fall background theme for the season.


    so very orange
    Originally uploaded by mimbrava.


    Written By: Gary on November 18, 2005 3 Comments
    1. Do you like board games? If so what is your favorite?
    While not actually a board, my favorite is actually Dominoes, which (if you’ve never played) is like playing cards, they’re a million games you can play with one set. As actual board games go Scrabble is probably my favorite regular old board game.

    2. Do you like card games? if so what is your favorite?
    Euchre is probably the only regular card game that I really like. I like Sequence too, but that’s more of a board game.

    3. Do you like computer games? If so what is your favorite?
    Not a big computer gamer. I play Solitaire or Scrabble on my Palm Pilot. I play SameGame on my TiVo (it’s a new option they’re testing) but I can’t find a rendition that playes exactly the same on my computer or Palm.

    4. Do you play role playing games? (EverQuest, MUDs, SIMS, Etc) If so, tell us about the game you are addicted to.
    I used to play the Scott Addam’s text adventure games (not the cartoonist). And I used to play SimCity and get addicted every so often, but not in a long time.

    5. If you do not play games.. how do you pass the time?
    Well, I do. But when I’m not I read, see movies, bike, rollerblade and surf the ‘net.
    Six. Okay, so there wasn’t really a 6 but I didn’t have a category for one of my favorite games.
    It’s trivia, has a board and requires a DVD player: Scene It? It’s the best trivia game out there, games are fast and it’s easy to learn.

    From Tuesday’s Tales via The Daily Meme.

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    Written By: Gary on November 17, 2005 No Comment

    So I like Jill Twiss’s Blog, it’s called “The World of Jill Twiss:Where Good Things Are Good and Bad Things Are Comedy Material”, it’s generally pretty funny and I’ve had her on my blogroll for a while. I’d go see her if I knew she was ever in the Detroit area or I was in her area. There’s a video on-line of her, it’s stand up and the lighting is awful not so great but you can hear her just fine so go take a look.

    Written By: Gary on November 17, 2005 One Comment
    1. What is the URL to your site?

    2. When did you start your site and where was it hosted?
    I use 1and1 web hosting, I’ve been using them since they did a big (free) promotion about two years ago, I’ve since upgraded my service. I’ve been blogging since December of 2003.

    3. Do you have your own domain? What is it called and what is the story behind the domain?
    I have my own domains. The main ones I use are GaryLaPointe.com and GarySaid.com. I started the blog about two years ago but it was originally just a sub-directory of GaryLaPointe.com, I thought it was too long and two complicated and I kept changing the subdirectory as I changed the blog name. I wanted something short and sweet and of the few I tried GarySaid.com was available so I made that my home for blogging. I also wanted to keep my personal blog away from something I might use for my resume and such.

    4. If you are still on a free site… what domain name do you covet?
    Evne though I’m not on a free site, I would like just Gary.com, it’s very short and sweet and it’d fit on a license plate.

    From Tuesday’s Tales via The Daily Meme.

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    Written By: Gary on November 16, 2005 One Comment

    Okay so it’s more than 10 characters but only 10 actors/actresses:

  • SanDeE – L.A. Story – Sarah Jessica Parker
  • Marty – Beautiful Girls – Natalie Portman / Mathilda – Léon – Natalie Portman
  • Kat Arujo – Mystic Pizza – Annabeth Gish
  • Bill & Ted – Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure
  • Bruce Wayne – Batman – Michael Keaton
  • Dr. Daniel Jackson – StarGate – James Spader
  • Doug Dorsey – The Cutting Edge – D.B. Sweeney
  • Danielle De Barbarac – Ever After – Drew Barrymore / Holly Pulchik-Lincoln – Boys on the Side – Drew Barrymore
  • Lucy – Stealing Beauty – Liv Tyler / Faye – That Thing You Do – Liv Tyler
  • Marty McFly – Back to the Future I/II/II – Michael J Fox

    From Ten on Tuesday.

  • Written By: Gary on November 16, 2005 2 Comments

    So while watching NBC’s Medium this week, the couple go see a preview of the Memoirs of a Geisha movie. They show a full page ad in the newspaper and a big color poster at the theater and mention the name more than a few times. So when they go to commercial, guess what movie I see an advertisement for?

    Written By: Gary on November 16, 2005 No Comment

    So a few little things:

  • I got up extra early yesterday, so I napped (bad idea), and now I’m awake!!! But at least I don’t have to be anywhere until 11 in the morning.
  • I’m really liking SpamArrest as my new challenge response mail filter.
  • MegaMillions is up to $315 million! I bought a few chances at that. (Hmm… I wonder if the results are up yet??)
  • NBC said they have more information on getting glasses for Medium-3D episode and I don’t think there is any more info at all.
  • I’m off to bed now!
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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 6 Comments

    Don’t forget the Mailblocks service is discontinued tomorrow, November 16th, at Noon. So copy/migrate your mail and don’t forget to get your refund.

    The more I play with it, the more I like SpamArrest and a substitute. I’ve mentioned it before and been playing around with it the past few days.

    For the refund: You’ll need your mailing address, phone number, birth date, Paypal address (if you paid with one), and your account’s secret question/answer to get the refund. You can get your secret question by logging out and when you log back in it will ask for your birthday (but it means birthdate) and then it will ask you your secret question.

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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 One Comment

    TiVo is giving away a free movie called Red Trousers. It’s only for Series 2 DVRs with broadband (but not the DirectTivo). This is just to test the new “TiVo Video Download” service. Here’s the thing, it’s downloading the movie via your high speed internet! It’ll be interesting to see.

    I’ve always thought there would be a market for showing the first 15 minutes of a movie (or even 30 minutes). Let me pick some movies I’m interested in from a list, it downloads the first fifteen minutes, in exchange I answer a few (5-8) multiple choice questions for them. (If you don’t answer all the questions, you can’t delete it, which means you can’t download another).

    They’re calling it an advanced screening, but it’s out on DVD (click the image), I think it’s more of an advanced preview of the new system.

    In this dazzling combination of documentary and short film directed by and starring Robin Shou, star of MORTAL KOMBAT, and which Los Angeles City Beat called “a must-see for Hong Kong action fans” and the LA Times called “pure delight,” the death-defying feats performed by the world’s greatest stuntmen (nicknamed “red trousers” for the pants they wear during their training at Chinese opera schools) are profiled through interviews and clips that showcase their work. Intercutting with the documentary footage is the short film LOST TIME, a futuristic martial arts adventure in the style of Alex Proyas’ DARK CITY, where one can appreciate the stuntmen’s extraordinary achievement in their final cinematic form.

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    Written By: Gary on November 15, 2005 No Comment

    So I’m looking for a new service to replace a service that I’ve loved, Mailblocks, they’re shutting their doors today (or tomorrow). I want a spam blocking service that uses captchas (I do understand the pros and cons but most importantly I’m aware that it does work and I do check my pending box for real messages). I see there are two other companies out there that look similar, SpamArrest.com and iPermitMail.com. I’d really like to use IMAP for my mail.

    Can anyone tell me if they support IMAP? Or can anyone recommend these companies in particular? Or some other companies with similar service? It’s looking like SpamArrest will be my choice but I am looking for options.

    (Later) I’ve discovered that SpamArrest uses IMAP (found some info here). But it doesn’t let you see the unverified mail via IMAP (Mailblocks let you see it and you could drag from there to the INBOX and it automatically verified it) this would be really useful. I’d still like to check out others, because I’d really like to be able to do this (it worked really well for me in the past). Even if it wouldn’t auto verify it’d be nice to see it (with IMAP I can pull the mail down and look at it offline and it still keeps a copy on the server.

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    Written By: Gary on November 14, 2005 6 Comments

    Why would they do this?!? Sugar Free? And the box looks the same! That’s just mean!

    So I was going to have a bowl of cereal as a little snack tonight and I was pretty disappointed. I don’t generally keep sugar around the house so I had to use powdered sugar. It actually worked pretty good, just don’t watch anything too funny when you eat it because if you laugh you might accidentally inhale some of the sugar…

    Think dry cardboard-ish Cherrios, but still in cool letter shapes.

    Written By: Gary on November 14, 2005 No Comment
    If you could only choose three beverages to drink for the rest of your life, which three would you choose?
    Coca-Cola, Hawaiian Punch (it’s a drink at the bar that tastes like the real thing) and water.

    Found at Michele’s.

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    Written By: Gary on November 14, 2005 No Comment

    So they’ve finally opened up all the lanes on I-96 from Telegraph to Greenfield (maybe farther but I don’t go that much farther). It’s definitely sped up my ride to a from work! We bottleneck at Southfield now but that’s okay I can always skip it if it’s really busy. It’s the mornings that are always the killer with the ride and traffic. So I’m a much happier camper now…

    Written By: Gary on November 13, 2005 One Comment

    I had read the book a while back and enjoyed it, I remember it being odd, but I did enjoy it (it seems to me some of the sex stuff was a little odd, but I don’t recall why).

    So (and I bet you saw this coming) I saw the movie Shopgirl last night. It seems to be playing at a limited number of theaters. It’s more of an “arts theater” movie than mainstream. I don’t remember how much they used from the book but it was still enjoyable. So it’s really got an array of odd characters.

  • Mirabelle (Claire Danes), the meek/quiet beautiful woman who’s single and pretty much a cat lady waiting to happen.
  • Jeremy (Jason Schwartzman), the eccentric slacker guy she meets at the laundromat and has a disastrous date or two with.
  • Ray (Steve Martin), the older wealthy gentleman who asks Mirabelle out. He wants her but not commitment.

    We’ve got some dry(?) humor, the characters say and do insane things. You know these people, you’ve seen them do and say the stupid things that happen in this movie.

    I can’t say it was a great movie. I can say I really liked it. The individual scenes were really good but the cuts seemed a little choppy. I had to think on a few if they decided to run some in a different order. And it needed a few explanations, like why Ray picked her and some other things that might not matter in the end but they still made me wonder…

    I noticed some characteristics in Mirabelle and Ray that I see in myself, but since some are good but some are not so good, we’ll skip over the particulars. But I could identify with them both and that’s probably why I really enjoyed it.

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    Written By: Gary on November 13, 2005 No Comment

    Look around your house, what is one thing that you have too many of? One thing?!? I’ve got too many things of several items:

  • Books
  • Magazines
  • Computer and other tech ports

    From Question of the Day

  • Written By: Gary on November 12, 2005 One Comment
    1. Have you ever been to the ocean?
    Yes. The Atlantic and the Pacific. I’ve swam in them both multiple times.
    2. When is the last time you wore a swimsuit?
    I think the last time I had a swimsuit on was about fifteen months ago. I was swimming in the English Channel at the time. (I said in not across.

    3. Do you respect people more for staying through difficult times or knowing when to call it quits?
    We’ll those can easily be mutually exclusive. I think they need to stick with it for a bit before they quit. If they quit/give up they lose a little respest and a lot of sympathy…
    4. Name a TV show that made a huge splash in the beginning, but has since gone downhill:
    I’d have to say The West Wing. But it’s definetly started to pick back up, but it’s still not the same.
    5. Have you ever eaten shark?
    Yes. Shark tacos actually. I’m thinking it was at P.T. O’Malley’s when they used to be on Grand River. I could be wrong on that, it might have been a bar that popped up at the same location after P.T.’s moved to Abbott.

    From the Friday Fiver.

    A strange title since I think of “Jumping the shark” as when a TV show starts to go downhill. (I guess that goes with item four but most of the questions were water related.) As in when on Happy Days when they did the stunt with Fonzie jumping the shark to attract viewers it pretty much had hit it’s low point and there was no turning back.

    Written By: Gary on November 12, 2005 No Comment
    1. What is the first thing you did this morning?
    Hit snooze on the alarm clock (several times).

    2. How many pictures do you have on the wall in the room you are in right now?
    None. It fell off a few days ago and I need to fix the hook on the back of it. It’s a print of The Kiss by Klimt.

    3. If you could go to your favorite store and buy 1 item, regardless of cost, what would it be and why? Nothing that is a necessity!!
    I’d go to the Apple store and buy a new dual-processor desktop system. It’d be loaded to the max with storage and memory (and if a computer and monitor counts as one item I’d get one of their huge beautiful LCD monitors for it). My current desktop is loaded to the max and had an upgrade on the processor and I’m pretty close to the max on everything else so it’s about that time. I think I bought it in early/mid-2001 so it’s getting up there in dog years…

    From Free-for-all Friday.

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    Written By: Gary on November 12, 2005 3 Comments
    1. If you could write one law regarding the driving laws, what would it be? Why?
    A $500 fine for notusing blinkers (changing lanes, turning, etc.). And double the fines for anything if they are practicing districting driving (cell phones, turned around for their kids, yelling at their spouse) if it’s important enough to endanger others it’s important enough to pull over.
    2. If you could get the entire world to change one thing about itself (the way it works, the way we think on the whole, etc), what would it be? Why?
    To be more tolerant of others and their opinions.

    3. What’s your plan for ‘alternative energy source’ plan? Can it work in real life?
    I think the hybrid cars would help in all sorts of ways. It’d help with pollution, depleting energy resources//dependancies and I’m sure more that I can’t think of. I’m sure people would just replace a few of their light bulbs with more energy efficient ones it’d help too. It’s less power and less heat generated (so it’s not competing with the air conditioner in the summer).
    Bonus Question for Comments:If you could remove one law, what would it be? Why?
    I can think of a few but non that I’m willing to start up a debate on.

    From 3x Thursday.

    Written By: Gary on November 10, 2005 One Comment

    TiVo added a new enhancement this week (or at least it showed up on my TiVo, it might not be on yours yet but it should download it soon) called “Overlap Protection”. Now it can help with goofy network show times, ome shows are scheduled from 9:00 to 10:01 or something similarly goofy, so now the 10 o’clock show previously wouldn’t record it due to the overlap (or depending on your “priority” settings, it might not record the other one). The enhancement is now it won’t skip the second show, it’ll just give priority to the hight priority show and chop the few minutes from the lower priority show! Yeah!

    You’ve been able to “pad” a show for a while now, which means you take a show that’s on from 8-8:30 and you know it always runs a little late so you pad two minutes at the end. Now it records from 8-8:32 (let’s assume it’s a season pass). So I’m assuming it protects and gets most of the show. We’ll have to see.

    I did see that manual individual recordings take priority.

    What’s the limit though? If it’s an hour overlap into a two hour show, does it still tape half of the two hour show? I now see there’s a five minute limit in this overlap. It’s too bad that’s not adjustable (5/10/15/30/60/120), I’d probably set it for ten or fifteen minutes. I’d only use the hour option around the olympics or something like that where it’s okay to miss the an hour of a four or six hour show.

    This is only for the series 2 recorders (the ones with USB ports on the back) but not DirecTiVo. If you don’t have 7.2.1 you can ask to get on the request list and they’ll bump you to the head of the line. It’s not that much of an upgrade but just in case you’re running a much older version (I don’t know what other versions are still out there) you might want to request it.

    [This post has been modified quite a bit from when I posted it earlier today]

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    Written By: Gary on November 10, 2005 6 Comments

    So if I managed to hit the lottery and get a few hundred million I’m thinking I’d want to share it with my readers. To prove you’re a reader I’d have to have some kind of requirement like you’ve posted a comment in the last six months or something like that; that’s beside the point but it might be a reason to start commenting. I only get a few hundred commenters every six months so what’s a few thousand bucks per commenter if I just got a couple hundred million?

    So here’s the sharing part: Assuming I offer you your dream laptop what would you pick (it must exist, you can’t make up a non-existant machine) and why? I don’t need model numbers, I’m just wondering what features you’ve want/need and what you’d use it for. In good faith, this would need to be a laptop for you to keep and use, not sell.

    Of course, this would also include a year of paid subscription to one of the wireless networks like T-mobile (Border’s and such), WayPort (McDonalds and Aiports) or some service I’m not aware of (you did put WiFi in your dream machine didn’t you?). Which service would you want/use the most?

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    Written By: Gary on November 9, 2005 4 Comments

    Don’t let the number ordering on the books fool you, The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe is the first one in the Chronicles of Narnia series. They renumbered them a few years ago and made a book written later,The Magician’s Nephew, be the first one because it chronologically took place first. I still think they need to be read in the original order. If you haven’t read the series be sure to read it, I’ve mentioned Narnia many times before.

    I think they should be read in the original order for the same reason I think Star Wars should be watched 4, 5, 6, 1, 2, 3 – Who cares about the decline of Anakin Skywalker if you don’t know who he’s going to grow up to be? The story of R2 and 3PO isn’t important if you don’t know what they will do someday if you haven’t seen A New Hope (#4), they’re just some silly robots. Episodes 1-3 are the sequel to the story they just take place chronlogically first. Who cares about the story of the lamp post in Narnia if you’ve never had time to wonder about it? Obviously the movie folks feel the same way since they choose to start with The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe.

    The movie for The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe looks incredible! The effects look great, I get chills every time I see the preview. I hope it lives up to my expectations…

    Written By: Gary on November 9, 2005 No Comment

    How many news stories weren’t heard yesterday (and today) because of election “news”. I say “news” that way because most of it was speculation after speculation until all the counts are done. And then they spend all day today talking about how close it was and/or why those guesstimates weren’t correct or why person X didn’t end up winning.

    It’s a colossal waste of time until the real counts are done (and it’s not like we have to wait weeks for the results). There is real news they could be telling us. There are people missing, there are wars and disasters. There might even be something nice that happened in the world that they can tell us about. Heck, I’d rather hear the weather or traffic report than election speculation.

    If they really want to give me election information today. Tell me the winners and give me 5 minutes of the winning candidates telling me the first dozen things that they are actually going to do/fix/implement once they take office. Condolence speeches to the losers and congratulations to the winners aren’t telling me anything…

    Written By: Gary on November 8, 2005 89 Comments

    I never realized that Patricia Arquette’s character on Medium, Allison DuBois, was based on a real person.

    She came out with a book called Don’t Kiss Them Goodbye. It looks like she got a 3 book deal (at least Amazon lists two more).

    I just saw two good Medium quotes at the IMDB so I thought I’d mention them.

    Allison Dubois: It’s 9 PM. How am I supposed to know you’re OK? How do I know you’re not lying dead somewhere?
    Joe Dubois: If something had happened, somebody would’ve called. If I were dead, who are we kidding, you’d be the first to know.

    [Joe + Ariel are both trying to talk to Allison at once]
    Ariel (Daughter): This is completely unfair! I had her first, Dad.
    Joe (Husband): No, point in fact, I had her first or else you wouldn’t be here.

    Written By: Gary on November 8, 2005 16 Comments

    This is different – I just saw this on the news (I rarely watch the news on TV). Natalee Holloway who disappeared in Aruba earlier this year has never been found and her family hasn’t gotten much response from authorities in Aruba. So the Governor of Alabama is requesting that the nation boycott travel to Aruba to hit ’em where it hurts.

    Written By: Gary on November 8, 2005 No Comment

    MegamillionsTwo-Hundred Twenty-Five Million dollars! The MegaMillions drawing is tonight. I’m off to spend a dollar (or two)…

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    Written By: Gary on November 7, 2005 One Comment

    Medium3DSo I poked around and found a little more on the Medium episode in 3-D (November 21, 2005). Looks like TV Guide, NBC stations, Sprint and a variety of others will be doing promotions related to this. It still looks a little limited, they’ll have to disburse more if they really want people to watch it. I just saw some this weekend at a store behind the counter (maybe the cell phone counter at Best Buy?). More specific info should be available on or after the 14th.

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    Written By: Gary on November 7, 2005 No Comment

    So it finally happened, after being there for days (and days) my buddy’s brain finally misfired. This is a good thing, the whole purpose of him being there is for this to happen and them to observer/record/monitor it so they can “fix him”.

    WirebraidThey still want to keep him for a bit more (they want more data). The doctor had noticed some (very) slight activity on the left side of his head earlier in the week and I guess this all centered in that general area (data good!). Not sure how long they’ll keep him, I guess they generally like 3-5 occurrences of the problem before they let you go and he’s nowhere near that. Usually, if it’s a bad one (and I guess this was a kinda bad one) he can feel some after effects (aftershocks) and not so much with this. So we’ll just have to see…

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    Written By: Gary on November 6, 2005 2 Comments

    So what I liked about the live episode of The West Wing was that they referred back to a lot of issues that had come up in old episodes. Actually, I’m thinking Santos referred back to more of them (I think he’ll win the election). Otherwise it was a little boring, I think Ellen should have given us a little more background on the debate. Obviously it was rehearsed to do the free form format. So what was and what wasn’t prepared.

    You can vote on who you think won the debate (scroll down the page). It was 65%-34% when I voted (that’s Santos winning).

    I did see that the west coast is supposed to get a different episode than we did so that’ll be interesting to watch and see how different it turns out to be. I guess the show just wasn’t busy enough for me, that’s part of what I like about the show…

    On a side note, I saw a few ads for Medium and how they’re doing a 3D episode in a few weeks. That’ll be interesting. Where do I go to get my glasses?!?

    Written By: Gary on November 6, 2005 2 Comments

    Your Birthdate: September 11

  • Spiritual and thoughtful, you tend to take a step back from the world.
  • You’re very sensitive to what’s going on around you, yet you remain calm.
  • Although you are brilliant, it may take you a while to find your niche.
  • Your creativity is supreme, but it sometimes makes it hard for you to get things done.
  • Your strength: Your inner peace
  • Your weakness: You get stuck in the clouds
  • Your power color: Emerald
  • Your power symbol: Leaf
  • Your power month: November
    What Does Your Birth Date Mean?

    Not bad of a description actually. And it looks like this is my month. It’s November and I’ve got the leaves on my blog.

    Found at Lisa’s.

  • Written By: Gary on November 6, 2005 No Comment

    So there’s a new 26 Things Photo Scavenger Hunt this month (they only do it a few times a year) that has 26 things to get a photo of and post them all by the end of the month. I’m really going to try and do this, I always start (or at least think about this) but never finish/do it. I’ve got a very cool refrigerator to use for the “a fridge” category (assuming that’s what they mean) and I’ve got a few other ideas for some of the others…

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    Written By: Gary on November 5, 2005 164 Comments

    sleepingSo I actually clicked on the above ad at Yahoo! today. I usually ignore them but I just couldn’t help myself. I just thought it was interesting enough to share.

    Of course all it really does is do a search for “eating spiders while asleep” at Yahoo. If you want to see the results to find out if it’s true, you’ll have to click on it yourself.

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    Written By: Gary on November 5, 2005 No Comment

    Skylab10Centstamp-1So I got this package in the mail the other day (from a small mail order company). It had a Skylab stamp on it! It was only a 10 cent stamp (actually it had other old 10 cent stamps on it too) so that makes it about 20 years old. It was strange, I assumed if they had hundreds of these laying around it that it’d be better to sell them for a few pennies more than to actually use them. And it’s a nice Stamp I’ve always liked the way that one looked so it really caught my eys. My purchase was a $100 upgrade to something I had already purchased preciously so I’m assuming they weren’t scraping for loose change to mail this. It just struck me as strange…

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    Written By: Gary on November 4, 2005 No Comment

    So I kinda posted this information already on Dean’s World, he generally asks “What are you up to?” on Fridays. But I’ll elaborate more for my blog.

    I slept great last night, I didn’t have to work today and I managed to sleep in. This is the best sleep I’ve had in six months, not counting using a sleeping pill (which doesn’t always work) or being sick (which generally has me sleeping). It was beautiful out today, probably the last day I’ll get to drive around with the top down in the convertible so I was really enjoying that! And I got takeout and ate Chinese at the park (yum!).

    It was a slow night. Went to Happy Hour, sort of. I’m not really a bar person, I wish I was, or at least wish I could strike up a conversation more. I had a drink but I was mostly there to pick up some hot wings, my buddy who I’d normally be at happy hour with is in the hospital (see yesterday) so I was taking him some “normal” Friday food.

    We hassled Kim, one of the nurses, since I didn’t understand what they meant when they said they were flushing (cleaning) the IV “tap” in his arm. I got a mostly satisfactory answer but it’s still not 100% in my head. We played some Dominoes (I barely won) and hung out there for a while and I came home the long way (I-94 between the Lodge/10 and I-96 is closed for the weekend). I’m thinking he’s going to be there more than a few more days…

    Written By: Gary on November 3, 2005 2 Comments

    WirebraidSo my buddy is in the hospital for the week (or maybe two). He’s under observation for some concerns revolving around his brain misfiring. I’m not going to get into the specifics of the “brain issues” but it involves some memory lapses (so if I ever murder anyone, I’m going to pin the whole thing on him). The thing is he’s wired up (see photo) 24/7 on a 20-30 foot connection and under video surveillance. And to top it off, he has no internet access :(

    So he’s probably bored out of his skull, they’ve weaned him off his medication, have sleep deprived him and he hasn’t had any problems. No problems mean nothing to measure, which means nothing to solve. And to top it off the other five people under observation have all had occurrences of whatever problems they are “in” for…

    He’s got a DVD/VCR but the remote is missing and without the remote you can’t pause it or skip/fast-forward. So this means he’s got to watch a show straight through or if a Doctor or Nurse comes in he has to ignore it and start it over later (ignoring the parts he’s already seen).

    No complaints about the food but everyone brings him food/snacks/cookies/pie/etc…

    I’d be going crazy but he seems to be doing okay so far. It’s another sleep deprived night for him :(

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    Written By: Gary on November 2, 2005 4 Comments

    My blog is worth $34,436.94.
    How much is your blog worth?

    So this seems to be the badge/test/meme all the cool kids are doing this week, so me being the follower that I am (not), I’ll do it too…

    The previous version of this blog (http://garylapointe.com/mypointe/) is worth about the same (so if I redirected all traffic would it be worth double?)

    The Daily Meme is worth $103,310.82! Which is just funny since I put so little time into it, but it’s a resource, a compilation of memes (although not usually badge creators such as this). So I only make changes as the happy and as sites die.

    Click the link and you can find out the value of your blog! It uses Technorati data and Weblogs/AOL deal for value. More than I’m willing to analyze but still fun to check out.

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