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December 2005

Written By: Gary on December 31, 2005 2 Comments

I hope every one has fun tonight and is safe throughout the new year.
May our your next year be better than the past year!!!

Written By: Gary on December 30, 2005 2 Comments

So, similar to what I did the other day for the TTLB Ecosystem (a rating system for blogs based on links) I’ve looked at the 10 blogs above me and below me and listed the ones that I liked. Today, I rate 8051 and list has about 45,000 entries. I was curious what was “near” me so I figured you should be curious too…

  • 8042. Bruce Eisner’s Vision Thing
  • 8044. Emergent Voyageurs
  • 8045. The Michael Bane Blog
  • 8046. diary of a london cokehead

  • 8047. the Weary Pilgrim
  • 8049. Doing the right thing
  • 8050. Make My Vote Count
  • 8051. Gary Said…
  • 8052. Patriotic Mom
  • 8053. Neo-Hippie Ramblings – I’m a Non-Conformist Just Like All My Friends
  • 8054. Danny Ayers, Raw Blog
  • 8055. Ambot ah! [ technology news and reviews ]
  • 8057. Elder of Ziyon
  • 8058. Security Awareness for Ma, Pa and the Corporate Clueless
  • 8059. IN CASE OF LOVE…run like hell and never look back!
  • 8060. Polish (Legal) Immigrant Deep in the Melting Pot
  • 8061. InhouseBlog – News for Inhouse Counsel

    My criteria was pretty loose: looked okay, reads semi-okay and has been recently updated. I listed most of them except the one not in English, one that hadn’t updated in a month and one that wasn’t a blog. Like I said, I was just curious. It’s strange I fall right in the middle of a bunch of political or religious blogs. Maybe the blog-o-sphere consists of that high of a percentage of them, but I just don’t read them often(?).

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    Written By: Gary on December 30, 2005 One Comment

    So the other night I saw they were running The Long Kiss Goodnight so I TiVo’d it. This is an excellent action film with Geena Davis (yes, I said Geena Davis and action film in the same sentence). She’s the school teacher that “private eye” (use that term loosely) Samuel Jackson refers to as “amnesia chick”. Turns out they found her on the beach eight years ago with no memory. A car crash, some strange dreams and a little bit of info dug up by the private eye and we on our way.

    It’s a good chase from there to figure out who’s bad and who’s good and who’s really bad. It’s definitely a different movie for Geena so check it out on the late night movies, NetFlix it or (gasp) physically leave the couch and go to the video store. The picture on the cover of the DVD does nothing to promote the film, maybe it’s supposed to look like Lethal Weapon or something.

    So this movie makes me think of an old friend from high school, Ken Christensen, I’m not sure if it’s the plot, Geena Davis or both. But this came out after the last time I’ve seen him so I know we never talked about it or saw it, but I can’t get that thought out of my head…

    Written By: Gary on December 28, 2005 2 Comments

    So TiVo rolled out (started rolling out) their new features in the music, photos and more section. These new features I think will pave the way for what you have to look forward to from your home entertainment center. They now have (without you having to install anything on your home computer) movie listings, traffic, weather, photos (Yahoo!), streaming Internet audio (Live 365), games (yes, I said games) and you can listen to podcasts. This is very cool stuff! I especially like SameGame, it’s a fun game you’ll just have to try. This all assumes you have your TiVo hooked up to the network (and not the phone).

    So the weather and movies (you can purchase tickets on-line too). Are tied to your My Yahoo! account (or you can put in your zip manually). The photos are also tied to your Yahoo account. You can view photos of others on-line but you have to type in their Yahoo name. My Yahoo Photos name is “garylapointe”, try it if you get a chance I’ve got photos of a trip to Costa Rica and a few from when a family of ducks was wandering around the high school.

    Typing text for the with the remote is awful (can I hook up a USB keyboard yet?) they need to work on that, it always seems as if I need the farthest letter (and you can’t go off the right of the screen and come back on the left). Please fix this… :)

    The podcasts are cool but it just seems to be streaming it. No decent way to build a playlist. They only have a list of 30 or so podcasts that you can add to your favorites. You can specify any podcast but as I criticized “the typing” above it’s even more awful for the typing of podcast addresses.

    There’s a lot with the Live 365 streaming and you can subscribe to get more (not sure on the costs).

    Written By: Gary on December 27, 2005 5 Comments

    So Doug did something like this: He took the lowest ten sites (excluding two spam sites) on the TTLB Ecosystem (a rating system for blogs based on links) and created a link to them to help with the evolution of their sites. For example the lowest on the rank is 45,000 (give or take) called Insignificant Microbes, I rate 8051 and am a Flippery Fish and the top 10 are ranked as Higher Beings.

    I’m doing this a little different than Doug. I’m going to look through the very bottom of the list, work my way up and pick the first ten that I like (not dislike) that have posted recently (some are pretty outdated). I looked from 45550-45592 and I ended up with eleven and in the spirt of linking felt no reason to reduce the list to just ten.

  • 45550. Good News Edition
  • 45562. Ananthoo’s Updates
  • 45563. Sacred Insanity

  • 45567. Sensible Mom
  • 45564. Gadget Loft
  • 45576. mike jr: Humor
  • 45575. SEO Files: Google Archives
  • 45580. The Schonborn Site
  • 45585. Bloated Monster
  • 45586. Brooding Dane
  • 45588. High Class Blogs
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    Written By: Gary on December 27, 2005 No Comment
    Q1 – Co-Workers: Do the people you work with tend to be younger than you, the same age as you, or older than you? How do the differences in age or generations play themselves out in your work environment? In other words, are these sorts of differences good, bad, or not a factor in the work you do?
    Most of the people in my building are older than myself but district wide with all the teachers a lot of the staff is younger than me. Though in most of my previous jobs I used to be the baby where ever I worked.

    Q2 – Television: Last week, Kevin Martin, the relatively new chairman of the Federal Communications Commission, said he was in favor of an “a la carte” cable pricing plan that would allow consumers to choose to pay only for the individual cable channels they want. Do you like the idea of a la carte pricing for cable TV? If Martin is successful in getting the cable industry to offer it, how many channels do you think you’d choose to subscribe to a la carte?
    Yes!! Please yes! I’d do about nine channels: ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX, UPN, WB, USA, SciFi and G4. There might be a few more but I’d have to check the TiVo to see what else. I do like a few of the HD channels out there (inHD, inHD2 and I think there are a few more from other networks I don’t get) so I might check into those depending on the price.
    Q3 – Eating Out: After receiving the bill for a great meal in a restaurant you’d been dying to try, you notice that your waiter neglected to charge for one of the items you ordered and happily devoured. Would you… tell the waiter, not tell the waiter but leave a larger tip than called for, or not do anything? Would your answer be different if the meal or service really sucked?
    I don’t think I’ve ever not been charged for en entree or anything big, generally a soda or a drink. Which would get the waiter a bigger tip. It’d depend on the service.
    Q4 – Business Cards: Do you have one? If so, how often do you hand yours out verses receiving them from others?
    I have business cards (but I need more). I hand them out occasionally, more people generally give them to me than the other way around.

    From an old Four For Friday

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    Written By: Gary on December 27, 2005 One Comment

    So here’s a photoblog of Melike’s, it’s called MatchingFreak v.2. In the background info for this site she says:

    In my senior year of high school, I put up a picture of my outfit every day for about three months.
    Ever since then, people have been asking me to do it again, so I’m giving it a try.

    Every day you get a shot that shows her full outfit, jewelry, belt/shoes/socks, etc. There’s no text, the pictures pretty much speak for themselves.

    While this might not be a blog I visit every day (I do read her regular blog) I thought it was unique enough to mention. I must say in a few small pictures it clearly show how the outfit matches and this appeals to the instructional design (and obsessive compulsive) side of me. This astounds me because I really have to think about making things match and then once I get out of the house I sometimes realize they don’t match (this is where a spare white shirt and tie at work helps out). My common matching mistake is wearing a lot of brown (jacket, pants, socks) and then forgetting I’m brown and putting on the black shoes when leaving the house.

    On Melike (meh-lee-keh) and her blog: She’s a junior at MIT, double majoring in chemical-biological engineering and music. She writes her blog in both English and Turkish. Beside blogging she’s got photos, drawings, musical compositions, quotes (friends and family) and a comic she’s drawn. There’s a lot there, I’m not sure how she manages to get it all (life/blog/dress/study) done…

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    Written By: Gary on December 26, 2005 No Comment
    1. Which of the following generally costs you more: a normal trip to your barber/hairstylist, your usual lunch at your favorite restaurant, the most recent amount you paid to fill up your gas tank, or your biggest single contribution to a single charity in 2005?
    My biggest contribution to a single charity was the largest: which would to First Step (the shelter I volunteer at). Next would be Gas, Hair, Lunch.
    2. What drink — alcoholic or not — do you drink entirely too much of?
    Coca-Cola. My other drinks are water, Cap’t + Coke, Long Island Iced Teas, and a fruity drink that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.

    2. What drink — alcoholic or not — do you drink entirely too much of?
    Coca-Cola. My other drinks are water, Captain + Coke, Long Island Iced Teas, and a fruity drink that tastes like Hawaiian Punch.
    3. Did you receive a Christmas card from anyone you didn’t send one to? Did you send them a belated card in return?
    Yes. I got lots of nice ones this year (I sent none).
    4. Take this quiz (if you haven’t already!): What is most important in your life?
    Family. (See the details of the quiz below).
    5. Before taking the quiz, which of its categories (career, love, money, health, family or fun) would you have said would be your answer?
    Family and Fun.
    6. Do you believe in soulmates? Do you think that there are at least one out there for every person, that there is a single “true” soulmate for every person, or that there aren’t soulmates for everyone?
    I hope there is at least one, ’cause I think I’ve let a few get by already.

    From the Saturday Six.

    Family is most important in your life.

    Having a high focus on family indicates that you are a loving and nurturing person. You want to have a nice big family of your own, and you are very close with your siblings and parents.

    Life Piechart - QuizGalaxy.com

    Take this quiz at QuizGalaxy.com

    I’m not sure how it divided out the Fun and the Love to decide on just family…

    Written By: Gary on December 26, 2005 One Comment

    My HoroSpoke for this past week says:

    From the viewpoint of an unbiased bystander, you’ve got your shit straight. You’re balancing a myriad of those spinny plate things and have yet to drop a single fucking one. Bravo. Unfortunately, I’m not an unbiased bystander; I’m your overly opinionated astrologer. Sweets, you need to cut the shit and deal with some of those fucking skeletons. They have escaped your unorganized closet and are making their way down Broadway to parade all that stands for your misery. Go tackle those bastards before you have a breakdown during their final dance all over your lack of balls.

    Wow! Some of that’s not so far off these days…

    Jenna at GirlSpoke does HoroSpokes every week.

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    Written By: Gary on December 25, 2005 One Comment

    Merry Christmas!! I was going to try and sleep a little more but my mother is visiting and is downstairs trying to use the remote control to turn the lights on down there. But she keeps blinking lights (and relays) on and off in my room. Scared the crap out of me! I guess I should get up so we can eat and do the present thing. Yea!!!

    Everyone have fun today and don’t forget to be nice to your family :)

    I’ll have a report on some of my loot later…

    Written By: Gary on December 24, 2005 One Comment

    I’ve been out doing a little more shopping today, I didn’t think the stores were bad at all. Some stores had long queues but lots of registers open, so I didn’t wait much more than an average day. Plus, I cashed in one of my gift certificates and bought Makers: All Kinds of People Making Amazing Things In Their Backyard, Basement or Garage while at Borders (thanks!).

    Everyone please drive safe and take care today. Be nice to your family even if they are making you cRaZy!

    Written By: Gary on December 23, 2005 No Comment

    Two free videos from the iTunes Music Store. You don’t need an iPod to see these, you just need the free iTunes software installed.

  • Chronicles of Narnia Rap, which I mentioned a few days ago.
  • Battlestar Galactica, a 21 minute behind the scenes (which I haven’t watched yet).
  • Written By: Gary on December 23, 2005 No Comment

    So I was watching “Coming Attractions” a weekly show on E! that shows six or eight movie previews in a half hour (I TiVo this every week). Three new ones (new to me at least) in particular caught my eye:

  • Take the Lead (March 24, 2006): A slightly new twist on the substitute teacher in the NY public schools detention room. Antonio Banderas is the former professional dancer (instructor?) who subs for the class during the day and brings ballroom to them. Based on the story of ballroom dancer Pierre Dulane. This looks really good.
  • Imagine Me And You (January 27, 2006 Limited Release): Another new twist on love, wanting what you can’t have and how to know if they’re “the One”. This looks great! It has a bunch of people I’ve never seen before (other than Giles from Buffy who plays the father of the possible bride to be). I’m looking forward to a trip to the Main or Maple in January (this would be the theaters most likely to get these limited release movies).
  • The DaVinci Code (May 2006): I’m only mentioning it because I was very interested in this movie. Tom Hanks with Ron Howard directing, it’s just got to be good. This preview was such a snoozer that I just had to mention it with my two good previews. Although I did like that Jean Reno was going to be in it, I’ve always liked min.
  • Written By: Gary on December 22, 2005 No Comment

    If there is someone who needs* a Christmas tree I have a very nice artificial 7.5 foot Martha Stewart brand tree to give away. It’s only two or three years old and in great shape. It’s just a pain to assemble so I bought a three piece pre-lit tree this year. All you have to do is make arrangements to come pick it up, I’m in the Dearborn (Detroit) Michigan area. As soon as it is claimed I will post it is reserved (which means they haven’t picked it up yet) and or taken. Please feel free to e-mail me about this (be sure to answer the immediate auto-reply you will get) include a phone number to make arrangements.


    It’s one of those trees that have each branch needs to be put in. It’s in great shape. All I ask in return is a photo of it when you put it up this or next year. Photo is of the actual tree (this tree is not pre-lit).

    A pickup sooner than later wins :)

    * This is for someone who has no tree, not for someone who needs a second/third/fourth tree for their basement/cottage/guest house.

    Written By: Gary on December 21, 2005 One Comment

    So I remember having to come home from college one week when my Grandfather was really sick. I was really close to him, my Mom and I lived with him and Grandma until I was six or seven. I don’t even remember what it was for but I know it was a really big deal. I had to get a professor to let me have an extension on a big exam (maybe it was a final) for a “family emergency”. I really liked the Prof but he was a pain in many ways and he asked for a note. I remember saying that “if everything went well there wouldn’t be anything to get a note for”, he said no problem and told me to reschedule the exam later.

    We were there for hours, I don’t remember much of the day, I remember reading that damn calculus book but not much else about the day. What I really remember is going into see him after the operation. Someone, maybe my Mom, said he was in bad shape but the operation went well. I went in the room and he had a ventilator tube down his throat and about a dozen IVs in him and a bunch of beeping charting machinery. I had no idea, I had to get out of there and go out in the hall, it was too much for me. I was probably twenty-two or twenty-three at the time and someone followed me out of the room to check on me, one of my uncles maybe, I think they were afraid I was going pass out or something. I don’t remember what they said, something like ‘we knew it was going to be bad’ and I wanted to scream “I’m just a kid. I’ve never seen anyone like that before. How am I supposed to know what’s bad!?!” Before then I probably hadn’t seen anyone with more than an IV or two. Nobody had been really sick since I was younger and they had kept me out of the hospital those times, so I was pretty clueless. I did go back in the room, but was a bit more prepared when I went back in, as I said I had no clue.

    It’s funny because I probably never would have referred to myself as a kid at the time but I certainly felt it. But I didn’t have any other frame of reference to put that in. He did fine afterward the surgery, he lived about another decade afterwards…

    That whole scene’s been popping into my head a lot lately, not sure why. No one’s in the hospital, no one’s sick. My other grandfather died just about a year ago so I know that’s been in my head. It just keeps coming up. Plus, I always get a little morbid around the holidays from missing “the way it used to be”. Tonight there was a hospital scene on TV that looked too familiar and made me start thinking about it, so here I am…

    FYI – the comment about ‘we knew it was going to be bad’ was re-written several times, it was very caring and not condescending. But I can’t get it written the way I want so you get this little disclaimer.

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    Written By: Gary on December 21, 2005 No Comment

    I’ve always thought this would be a good idea for a web site but it seems like it’d be more work than I have time to do. The HappyNews site promises “Real News. Compelling stories. Always Positive.”

    Stolen from Scott.

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    Written By: Gary on December 21, 2005 No Comment

    sad mac iconIt makes me crazy that the OS X Mail application doesn’t let you see who you Blind Carbon Copied (BCC) a message to! I sent it, shouldn’t I be able to go back and check?!? Argh!

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    Written By: Gary on December 19, 2005 No Comment

    So this was on Saturday Night Live. It’s a bit dorky but fun.

    Now free at the iTunes Music Store.

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    Written By: Gary on December 18, 2005 No Comment

    Taralipinski-WikiSo whatever happened to Tara Lipinski? It’s not a name you hear much any more. I haven’t even seen her on television much (acting or skating). It’s skating season so she’s popped into my head a few times lately when I see it on TV. Plus I saw some Champions on Ice posters at Breslin last week (even though she was with Stars on Ice) which also made me think about her.

    I’ve seen her a few times, something (fundraiser?) just before she got big, a few times with Stars on Ice and some Tara & Friend’s show in East Lansing. She was very impressive each time.

    It just seemed as if she completely disappeared. It seems like Sarah Hughes dropped off the map too…

    Later: With a little Googling I see she’s going to be inducted into the hall of fame next month. I think that’s at a show in St. Louis which I think it’s where she hurt herself which lead to her not skating so much (anymore?); I have no idea if it’s the same arena. She’s got a story in International Figure Skating this month, I’m assuming that’s related to the induction(?).

    Written By: Gary on December 17, 2005 No Comment

    So we played WhirlyBall again yesterday!!! I love playing this game. If you haven’t seen me mention WhirlyBall before, it’s kinda like basket ball but with a whiffle ball/scoop and you’re driving a bumper car!

    We were at WhirlyBall West in West Bloomfield, MI. I didn’t have any problems the few other times I played but I knew I was going to have a few bruises this time and sure enough the two spots where I knew I got bumped while bouncing around the car are looking pretty colorful.

    There’s a video on the web site that gives a sample of what a game is like. It makes the game seem pretty slow where it seems quite busy the whole time you play…

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    Written By: Gary on December 17, 2005 One Comment

    This is my one-thousandth post! That’s all I’ve got to say about it…

    Although no one said anything about my Christmassy background.

    Oh another thing, since May 21 of this year I finally hit the 100,000 spams stopped by MT-Blacklist mark!

    Written By: Gary on December 16, 2005 One Comment

    So Yahoo Small Business has started including Movable Type with their small business installations. This has got to be great for Six Apart (MT’s owner) and since I’m a huge MT fan and user you get to hear about it! This includes 5GB of disk space and 200GB a month of storage and a free domain name for $8.01 a month (this is 33% off for the first 6 months) including PHP, mySQL, fastCGI, Perl, MT updates and 24/7 phone support.

    This offer is only through the end of this year. I’m not sure how many MT users this license includes…

    Doesn’t Yahoo! already own some blogging site (other than Yahoo! 360)?

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    Written By: Gary on December 15, 2005 4 Comments

    I wish TiVo made it possible to turn on Closed Captioned (which would make it have subtitles). I use a TiVo and a Data/Video Projector so I don’t have an actual television that I can turn the captioning on. This is annoying in that when I can’t hear something clearly (and “rewinding” doesn’t help) there’s nothing I can do. We really need this as a feature.

    There’s other reasons to have this:

  • For your little kids to have the text while they watch TV to help with the connections between the audible and written words.
  • Language reinforcement for those with literacy issues. This was just covered by Google with the phrase of (SLS) Same-Language Subtitling (which I’ve never heard it referred to as that before).
  • And of course one of the main reasons (it’s original purpose, I believe) for the Hearing Impaired.
  • Having the TV on when there is company over (which I generally don’t do unless there is a holiday themed movie on) to mute it and just have the text. (It always suprises me how many people haven’t seen “A Christmas Story”.)

    I can turn it on when watching a DVD but it might still be an issue when using the DVD Player in my TiVo, I may still have to go to the main menu of a movie (I’ll have to check that when I get home).

    I’m sure there are some hacks to make this happen on the TiVo but it should easily do it. It really needs it since you can control the speed of the TiVo it can affect when the actual captions appear.

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    Written By: Gary on December 14, 2005 No Comment

    So this isn’t exactly a very Christmas-ish tale, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t entertaining hysterical. Dave at Blogography has a Lego Advent Calendar which means a new little lego toy for each day of the month of December.

    Be sure to start at the beginning of the story on December 1, the “Lego chapters” have their own special sections but they are mixed in with regular posts. I’m thinking there will be a Santa, reindeer and a few other holiday items before the end of this but I’m not sure it’ll end happily ever after

    He started with the fireman toy and wrote a little story and decided to add a chapter each day, each chapter has the new Lego toys posed, some graphics added to enhance the imagery and descriptive text with dialog. Since the beginning of the story we’ve had an explosion, a psycho killer with a rotary buzz saw, some maimed characters, a bit of blood (I didn’t know that plastic could bleed so much) and more than you can imagine can occur in just a dozen frames of story. Actually, it’s possible Dave’s finally gone over the edge (but in a good way) although he expresses some concern about this too (but not until the 6th).

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    Written By: Gary on December 12, 2005 8 Comments

    So it’s been two years that I’ve been blogging!!! I’m still short three posts from 1,000 but maybe I’ll have something more introspective to post in a few days. I just couldn’t let the day go without a post. Besides, I have a few questions for you…

    Blogging facts from Gary Said…

  • This is really my third permutation of my web site title and my fourth URL, but it’s the only dedicated one so I’m thinking I’ll be sticking to it for good (I hope). I got the distinct address to separate it from (more professional?) non-blogging activities. I’ll probably only switch if I got something better, like gary.com.
  • I get block about 500 comment/trackbacks spam hits a day which is about 15,000 hits a month! Thank you MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp! Blogging would be no fun without both of these tools (details on these tools below).
  • I’m still averaging about 3 posts every two days. And a few memes that I never got to finishing each week.

    My questions to you:

  • How often do you read my blog?
  • Why don’t you comment more?

  • Where are you from?
  • Have you seen The Daily Meme, my index of memes? (These aren’t my memes, just my index. Just a little self/cross-promotion…)

    Geeky spam details (optional reading): This is about MT-Blacklist and SpamLookUp which are spam prevention tools for Movable Type 3.2. MTB kills most spam (the most obvious spam) and marks some for moderation. SLU checks out what MTB passes in and either posts it, labels it as stuff you should look at (moderation: waiting for approval to post or delete) or as junk (waiting for approval, deletion or automatic deletion in 60 days). This means spam (almost) never gets posted and a small percentage of the real stuff gets delayed but makes me confident real stuff doesn’t get deleted.

  • Written By: Gary on December 11, 2005 One Comment

    So I looked all over the house and checked my pockets but I can’t find my “wallet”. I put it in quotes because it’s not a wallet, it’s really all the stuff I keep in my pocket (some cash, a charge card, driver’s license, some business cards of mine, a few cards for the shelter and that’s about it). But I can’t find it. I checked the two pairs of pants I ware yesterday but no luck. I know I had it when I went to the library but I don’t know if I took it to the Christmas party last night. I was hungry so I didn’t look long and I had some other cash, I’m up at BK so At least I’m full now. It’s that I generally only put it on one or two places, I’ll look harder when I get home…

    LATER: Found it/them. The location was one of the many pockets in my Dockers Mobile Pants I had checked those pants several times but not that “secret” pocket. I normally wouldn’t put stuff like that in that pocket (it’d be inconvenient) but I guess I decided I wouldn’t need that stuff much for the rest of the evening…

    Written By: Gary on December 11, 2005 3 Comments

    MycondocarSo there’s an interactive Flash-based map browser out called FlashEarth. It uses maps from Google or MSN and can superimpose cities and streets on the map. It’s very cool and pretty quick. It seems like the MSN maps zoom in a level closer. Give it a try!

    I used the MSN maps to do this picture of my condo. There’s actually 4 condos in the images (you can see the two chimneys of the upper units). The cool part is that you can clearly see that there is a car parked in back of my place (on the left side). So it’s either a visitor or I left the car out of the garage, which I rarely do, so it’s probably a really nice day out. It’s hard to tell since it’s in the shadows. I’m guessing this image is about 4 years old since I think that’s my old grey/silver/purple-ish convertible (the color changed in the light, technically it was light iris pearl) with the black roof.

    Written By: Gary on December 9, 2005 One Comment
    What first got you started blogging?
    Heather was doing it so I had thought about it a little bit. Then I started watching Joan of Arcadia and used it as my motivation to start blogging.
    How often do you post to your blog?
    I think I average about 10 posts a week.
    Do you have more than one blog and if so, how are they each different?
    I’m working on some more (more techy ones) but just need to do the last little bit. So it’s really just the main one.
    Where did you first hear about memes?
    I probably saw them on someone else site, I’m not really sure.
    Do you remember the first meme you participated in and if so, what was it?
    Either the Scrabble one (I think I first saw it on Heather’s) or The (original) Friday Five (now deceased).
    Do you run any memes yourself and if so what are they?
    I don’t run any memes, but I do run The Daily Meme.
    How did you find this meme?
    It was submitted to The Daily Memee so I had easy access to it.

    From the brand new meme theGhost Works Virtual Hash.

    Written By: Gary on December 9, 2005 2 Comments

    anna nalick So Anna was great!!! She was at the Soaring Eagle in Mt. Pleasant, pretty small theatre, mostly good seats everywhere (try and stay away from the sides). We were pretty close up front (but to the side) and I snuck up closer to catch a few of the songs. She only played for about 40 minutes so that was a little disappointing but it was a great 40 minutes. No new songs either. I took a few shots but as usual the low light just didn’t come out very well. At some point she realized she didn’t have a set list and didn’t know what was next, she was pretty funny about it. She was very excited about her new boots and mentioned them a few times. And she was really cute in person too.

    Anna and GarySo afterwards (after Rob Thomas) she was at the souvenir stand doing autographs. Got over there pretty quick so there were only a few people in line before me. As she was signing my CD (I bought another one) she happened to look back and saw how many people were in line now and there were hundreds, she really seemed surprised there were that many, I’m not sure what happens when she plays in a larger venue. She seemed pretty normal with the stuff she talked about and they way she acting about things, that was really nice…

    I didn’t really know much of Rob Thomas’ songs (they seemed to think he was the headline act). I knew a few and a few of the Matchbox 20 songs that he played. And towards the end he did Let’s Dance by David Bowie and it was excellent. He also did a song with Anna at the end but I was way up front waiting in line to get my autograph.

    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 2 Comments

    Speaking of getting hit by the search engines, I get lots of hits on my earlier posts about Anna Nalick but strangly very few comments.

    She’s in Michigan a few times this week (Mt. Pleasant and Detroit). I know I’m going to at least one of the shows.

    Anyone else out there going to any of them? It actually might be billed as just the Rob Thomas concert but she’s opening, so don’t be late! They’re both at small venues so leave a comment (or e-mail) and maybe we can say hi at the concert(?)…

    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 2 Comments

    SpisearchresultsSo I can’t believe how many search hits I get I get on this blog as a result of this “eating spiders” ad campaign from Yahoo! It’s bringing more visitors to this site than I can imagine. And I’m getting the weirdest comments to it. Some of it’s just some people screwing around but it’s still unbelievable as to how many results I’m getting from it. I’m not scoring as high on the search results (I was in the top 5-10 on many variations, but now I don’t even make the first pages for most of the searches that make it here) but I’m still getting massive hits.

    All I can say is this Yahoo ad is getting people to click around and that’s for sure. I’m not sure what such a massive campaign would cost but it seems effective from my end.

    Comments related to “spiders” and “eating” should be placed on my earlier post. This post’s comments should be about searches, advertising, etc.

    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 One Comment

    Bumper sticker that I was just behind:

    Peace on Earth for Everyone.
    No Exceptions!

    Or something close to that meaning. And I agree!

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    Written By: Gary on December 7, 2005 No Comment

    BlondfirexmasSo Blondfire (formerly known as Astaire) has released an exclusive Holiday EP through iTunes. It’s only $3.96!! I’ve mentioned Blondfire several times before and seen them in concert and I sure wish they’d play somewhere local again.

    I’ve purchased it at iTunes and I am (impatiently) waiting for the tracks to download…

    And speaking of holiday tunes:

  • The free iTunes download of the week is Jingle Bells by Diana Krall (it’ll only be free through the 13th of this December).
  • And for 99 cents you can get Let it Snow by Carly Simon.
  • Written By: Gary on December 6, 2005 One Comment

    "Someone will invite you to a Karaoke party."

    And my lucky numbers are: 49, 5, 33, 17, 23, 7

    The food was pretty good too! :)

    Written By: Gary on December 5, 2005 One Comment

    I love my Christmas tree! When I get a few more decorations up (and clean up the living room) I’ll do a picture. All the white lights are really bright though.

    Another 26 things got by me and I didn’t get more than one photo taken. I can’t find it (maybe it’s still on the camera).

    I need to finish my 101 things in 1001 days list since I know I’m going to be crossing one off this week.

    It was Cat in the Hat day in the morning and afternoon preschool so they asked me to dress up and come read to the kids! We did “The Cat in the Hat” and “Green Eggs and Ham” They all had paper hats (and big bow/bowties) that looked like the Cat in the Hat. :)

    BlogSpot.com seems to be down tonight (a few blogs and memes I like are up there).

    Written By: Gary on December 4, 2005 4 Comments

    So the nine foot trees are sparse around here and I had to give up on one with colored lights, all I could find were white lights. So I’m thinking I’m definitely not going to find a colored light one on sale after. I decided the Martha Stewart one from K-mart really was the nicest one (it’s a little skinny but that’s part of when I like it). Here’s the problem, no one has them in stock. I’ve check a half-dozen and friend’s have checked a few others for me. So here craziest part: They’re on sale today (28% off) but no one has them! So I check the first store I checked and they’ve got them marked on-sale but have none (at least mark them out of stock!). And the manager remembers that one of the stores got two in, but can’t remember which one (how helpful is that?!?).

    So I get the phones numbers of a bunch of stores from them (including a few I hadn’t checked) and start calling. No one has them. Kelly calls me and tells me they have one at the store by her (that’s funny, they told me they were out when I called). She’s calling from Liz’s and they hop in the mini-van and pick it up and deliver it to me! Now that’s service!

    I’ll put it up later and see if I’m happy enough to not replace the 800 bulbs with multi-colored lights. Once I put my colorful ornaments on, maybe it’ll be okay. Or at least okay enough…

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2005 No Comment

    Let me start with me saying, “If I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry.” But this story is a little more about Adam. This is not really a “history” it’s an offshoot of my previous post on memory but it got too long to stick in as part of that post (it started as a just few sentences).

    To me, Adam has been one of the biggest proponents of podcasting and moving items onto iPod-like players. He’s not the creator of podcasting or even the word “podcasting”, he’s not the creator of attaching files to RSS feeds (though I think he suggested it to Dave Winer who did do it), he’s said he couldn’t even get people to do some of the work he needed to make this work, I’ve heard him say “I couldn’t get people to ‘do my homework’ for me”. He makes it sound as if the original program for receiving podcasts was parts that he found and cobbled together and had to learn applescript to do it (I may not be giving AC enough credit here).

    Adam Green editing parts of Adam Curry and Dave Winer podcasts into a 35 minute history (I haven’t listened to it yet, I found it after I posted this and just added it).

    A podcast that he and Dave Winer did (Trade Secrets, I think?) often gets credit as the first podcast and he denies it (although says they did earlier shows). So it seems to me it’s not like he’s just trying to get credit (he’s getting it for that item, but still denying it), it really seems as if he’s just trying to get some of it straight. During some of this the rival to RSS, RDF, already supported audio attachments but no one really utilized it.

    He’s certainly one of the biggest proponents of podcasting out there and he’s always said he wants to somehow figure out how to make money off it. He’s not going to make money off of the actual concept, that’s done and gone and that’s where the history so it really doesn’t matter that much from a monetary standpoint. It seems like it’s just a history thing. Apple’s stuck it in iTunes and there are a million other pieces of software out there. His money is probably going to be from selling tools, space, advertisements and maybe his own shows (I’m guessing). I don’t know if you can really make money off the talk show network? and interviews? Oh and he does a great show and is very entertaining! This is probably key in the whole process.

    It’s possible I’m getting some of this wrong (especially the RDF part, I’ve only seen that written once and maybe heard it once). But AC comes off as pretty charismatic and people who generally disagree with him seem to come off more like grunters/complainers (at least the stuff I read) and that’s always going to make things fall in his favor. Without Adam podcasting would have happened (no doubt in my mind), but he had a big part in it and people like him since he’s the old Mtv face. I’m not aware of any of the other “big names” out there trying to make money on the scale that he is and a lot of the “big names” out there have jumped on board of what he’s trying to do. In an alternate universe where Adam had nothing to do with podcasting I think he’d still have jumped on the bandwagon and be doing stuff awfully similar to what he’s doing now; he’s got the connections, history, money(?) and motivation to do this kind of project.

    As I said, if I had to put two names to the success of Podcasting it’d have to be Dave Winer and Adam Curry. I’m not saying others weren’t there but those two seem to be the big push no matter where you look.

    All this “stuff” just builds on previous technology. Web browsers were after Gopher browsers (I don’t think University of Minnesota ever gets credit for that) which was after WAIS, FTP and any other processes that it used and tapped into. All most of it was doing was putting a nice front end on “stuff” that was already out there. It’s possible that Gopher was concurrent with the original web stuff, but the web certainly wasn’t more popular until images was added and NCSA Mosaic was out (although no one remembers Mosaic, they remember Netscape).

    Another way to look at market and getting credit: Apple didn’t create music files or create music players. They just took a idea and built on it on it and ended up with a huge percentage of the market of the MP3 players and a great on-line store. Now iPod is synonymous with music player.

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2005 3 Comments

    So I’m listening to Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code, there’s a whole thing on the history of podcasting going on and discrepancies and people always saying who created what. My whole thought in bringing this up relates to my previous post and what I remember about the Oakland County Child Killer. There is definitely some discrepancies in the story and even when he’s telling it he’s commenting on confusing parts. There are definitely some recalling and stringing together of details that is not complete. I just think memory is interesting and how it works and how things fit together.

    Written By: Gary on December 3, 2005 24 Comments

    So just a few days ago I was thinking about the Oakland County Child Killings from a few decades ago. I thought it was pretty bizarre that I even thought about it at the time. I was in a parking lot and I remembered trying to recall the type of they were looking for (at the time I couldn’t think of they name but it was a blue Gremlin, with a white stripe). I do remember thinking it was strange that I was even thinking of it and I’ve thought of it several times since then. I was on the way to the car, not from it, so I wouldn’t have just heard it on the radio (besides I’m pretty sure I was listening to a Laura Veirs CD earlier, it was my day off, so I didn’t need the traffic report).

    So here’s the extra strange part, I was googling around looking for John McElroy’s Automotive Insight show to see if they had an on-line feed (which I never did find) and I found this WWJ Audio Page with a link to a November 30, 2004 story about the killings. I’m 99% pretty sure it’s from the same day I was thinking about it. Coincidence? Or did I catch part of the story and not remember? or…?

    AmcbluegremlinThe car involved looked similar to the one on the right. It’s not exactly right, but I’ve really been thinking about this the last 24 hours and googling for more info and the car in particular (I think because I was in a parking lot). I’m thinking the model they were looking for that the white stripe was definitely thicker (I really remember the white stripe when I think back), darker blue and the car wasn’t as long (stubbier?) click the image for what I think is closer to correct but wasn’t clear enough to shrink.

    I only listen to that station for traffic and weather (on the 8’s) and you’d think I’d remember if I had heard a 5 minute story on the topic. This was huge when I was a kid since I was in Oakland County and one of the missing kids was from Berkley so I think I’d have listened. This was real life boogey man stuff…

    So here’s the second extra strange part. I’m leaving the same store yesterday and while I’m getting in the car I see a police car four aisles down and when I sit down I see it’s in the second row already (that was quick) and then I realize it’s a different car. As I drive away I notice there are about five police vehicles slowly cruising the parking lot (this is one of the new outside malls in northern Allen Park). When I go down the hill/around the corner to the other new mall I see that a few minutes later they are down there too. Something was going on…

    You do have to factor in memory stuff, both short term and long term. I had totally forgotten that they had found the bodies and while I remembered the other cities were close I hadn’t recalled how close (right next door practically).

    More info on the old case: WWJ, Oakland Press and Click on Detroit. Don’t know how long these links will last but this google search seemed to find quite a bit on it.

    Written By: Gary on December 2, 2005 No Comment

    A new non-reality show, Space Cadets, starts on Channel 4 (I’m assuming that’s on the British networks) next week and looks like it runs ten days straight. It’s a reality show where they train people to be astronauts and then take them up to a space station. Or do they…?

    It’s a hoax so it should be entertaining. I just have to figure out a way to watch it, they might carry it on a station here or I’m sure the ‘net will make itself useful in finding it for me.

    Found at The Jammy Blog

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    Written By: Gary on December 2, 2005 3 Comments
    Who is your favourite superhero?
    Cyclops from the X-men. He had the interesting powers (and the coolest girlfriend) but also the downside of the goofy goggles.
    If you were a superhero, which one would you be?
    Superman, he’s got it all.
    Justice League or Injustice League?
    Which supervillain would you be?
    “Lex Luthor, the greatest criminal mind in the world.”
    If you could have superpowers, what would they be?
    Teleportation would be handy. Not as exciting as flying but probably a lot easier to incorporate into my “normal” life. I could live anywhere and work anywhere and it wouldn’t matter…

    From The Friday Five

    Written By: Gary on December 1, 2005 No Comment

    So Thanksgiving was great, really really cold, but it was great. We were at my cousin’s house, which used to be my grandparents, which is where I grew up until I was about seven. She had family from her in-law’s side there and some relatives from our side. There wasn’t many from my side of the family but they only live a few blocks from my Mom (we’re the only single people left around here so we always tag along with their events). We probably had about a half-dozen kids too so they were fun, I haven’t seen them much at all lately so it was great to see all of them.

    My extra bonus for the day was that my cousin’s sister-in-law was there and she had her eleven week-old baby and he was great. I got to feed him and hold him for a long time (and a little bit later on too). He was great, I haven’t had many babies around lately, the next youngest ones (who weren’t there) are about two-and-a-half now, still fun but too heavy to carry around for that long.

    So my cousin Scott and Katie showed up for dessert and so did his dad and girlfriend so it got to be a full house at the end of the evening. . He had a new iPod nano that I was checking out.

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