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February 2006

Written By: Gary on February 28, 2006 3 Comments

At a certain age
you’ll find it extraordinary
the compromises
one is willing to make
for even the possibility of love.

That’d be Denny Crane from Crane, Poole and Schmidt in Boston.

Written By: Gary on February 28, 2006 One Comment
1. Do you have a problem admitting you’re wrong?
Sometimes. But I usually keep my mouth shut if I’m not sure so I usually avoid it. (So I guess that’s a yes).
2. Would you rather watch someone important to you walk out of your life or beg them to stay?
I’d beg. That’s better than regretting it. And if they’re leaving what’s to lose?
3. Are you the kind of person who would rather try your best and fail, or not try for fear of failure?
No fear of failure in most things. I’ll generally try!
4. Have you ever expressed interest in someone high above your status, where your chances of being rejected were very high?
I can’t think of anything but I’m sure I have. I’m not a stranger to rejection.
5. If you made a contribution to a charity would you want credit, or would giving be enough?
Giving is enough but if I can get credit too…

From Monday’s a Bitch.

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Written By: Gary on February 26, 2006 No Comment

When Meredith walked into the room I really thought that somehow she was going to fix it!

Stupid. People are stupid…

Written By: Gary on February 26, 2006 One Comment

Originally uploaded by Mindaou.

Click for a larger image.

So I was looking at flickr photos (not mine) and saw this interesting building. I’m guessing it’s in Egypt (but I’m not really sure…

I’ll let you know what I find out. From the comment I was able to find out more.

It’s the Memorial of the Unknown Soldier build in 1975 in the Nasr City district in Cairo.

It looks as if Anwar Sadat inaugurated the statue, was assassinated near it and was buried there also.

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Written By: Gary on February 26, 2006 No Comment

So it’s always a hassle to view web sites on your phone / PDA. Google has been making this smarter when you search from their mobile site. If you search for “gary said” you get this list and when you click my link (which is first) you get a pretty nice stripped down page. Now I offer my site as a PDA/cell phone version but the graphics are still full, I noticed Google strips them down a bit and removes animated gifs (which is a mostly good thing). The other thing is Google continues to alter the pages as you follow links keeping your browsing experience zippy (I don’t do this but my lower pages are sort of small screen friendly).

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Written By: Gary on February 26, 2006 One Comment

So did I tell you for sure that I am absolutely positively going to go to Egypt this spring? Details to follow…

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Written By: Gary on February 25, 2006 44 Comments

I can’t remember if I mentioned this before, but my buddy who smashed his car decided not to replace it at this time and the other day we were talking about a scooter-type thing. Moments after having one of these discussions someone drove by in a Velux Diamo so we chased him down to get some info. So we went to look at one yesterday, and hours later walked out with one! It’s an electric start convertible 150cc motorcycle with CD/MP3 player (the things that look like armrests are speakers) a “trunk” and it gets 75-80 MPG and goes 65 MPH. There’s an optional LCD GPS/DVD you can get too! More photos of scooters here. I’ll get some photos of him on it later!

Written By: Gary on February 22, 2006 No Comment

So eight people at a meat packing plant split the $365 million PowerBall prize. 8Powerballwinners365Mil After taxes it was about $15 million a piece! That’s great I’d hate to see one person get all that (unless it was me) it’s just so much money. It’s going to affect so many more people this way. The people ranged from 26-56 years old and some had played for years and some played just a few times. This is the way I like to see the wealth spread!

I’ve got more info (and how I’d start spending $365 million) in my earlier post. Read the full story at CNN.com

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Written By: Gary on February 22, 2006 One Comment

Here is an audio file of me talking on the way home from the Aimee Mann concert (it’s got a slight disclaimer on the quality at the start). It’s not polished nor is it what I plan to have as a podcast once I get there. It’s me talking over Aimee playing on the car stereo, I’m recoding it on my digital camera.

So I’m testing audio enclosures with MovableType and MT-Enclosures. I’m just playing with it (it’s only supposed to be in the RSS 2.0 feed as of now, does anyone else use MT-Enclosures in other feeds?). The file is too big, but it should have good ID3 tags (names and info) including album art. Can anyone tell me if it’s working? (In your feed, with your podcast downloader or anything?)

Written By: Gary on February 22, 2006 No Comment

Question of the Week – 2006/02/20. More about how you sleep!

Are you a “sheet next to the skin” person or a “blanket next to the skin” person?
Do you like a heavy comforter, or just a light blanket?
Heavy comforter (I like it cold).
Ceiling fan or no fan?
I’d like a ceiling fan but I don’t have one. I usually run some kind of fan for the noise.
Windows open?
No. Sometimes on vacation when it’s someplace nice…
Nightlight or complete darkness?
Complete darkness, like a cave.
How many hours a night do you sleep (or would you sleep, if given the chance)?
I’d like about seven-and-a-half, it’s rare that I get it.

From QOTW.

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Written By: Gary on February 21, 2006 One Comment

So Panera (which in my opinion is the fastest restaurant ever) has implemented using those little pagers they give you at restaurants when you have to wait to get a table. Usually they are calling my name before I even get to the pickup area so this seems like a total waste. It’s something else to handle while getting change and your drink and napkins and stuff. Plus these pagers are the ones shaped like coasters, you don’t really have anything to “coast”…

This post brought to you via free Wifi at Panera :)

Written By: Gary on February 21, 2006 One Comment

So Aimee Mann was in Ann Arbor tonight. It was in the Michigan Theater, I kept thinking Hill Auditorium and then I realized it was somewhere else. Obviously I figured it out, it was right around the corner, a really nice small venue and I was in the front row. It was a great seat, no one could even really be in front of you. I’ve been there before but I can’t remember for what (maybe something jazzy with Lou?). I got a Philly Steak sandwich and then a Long Island at the place that used to be Dooley’s. And the whole town appears to have WiFi (blogging and booze, now that’s just a bad idea).

Aimee was great!!! She was excellent to listen to and interesting to watch. It was the last show of the tour so she kinda blamed the technical glitches on that. This would be the guitar (from hell) that wouldn’t tune, she thought it sounded so bad she stopped in the middle of the song and then apologized about a gazillion times. I didn’t get any pictures (that’ll come in Audra’s review) and he didn’t play some of her classics: Red Vines, Voices Carry and the 3rd one I had in my head when I started typing this sentence.

Audra Kubat was the opening act. She was great too. I’m not even going to try to describe her, if I did it’d be some kind of quirky earthy tragic(?) poet chick, (that’s a compliment) and I think that’s what makes me like her. She’ll get a separate review later.

Written By: Gary on February 20, 2006 2 Comments
So I usually don’t take these, let alone post them but I saw this and had to take it.

It’s science and was a general standardized “test” so I felt the need to score myself. There were a few I wasn’t sure but I took my best guess and did okay…

I generally don’t even do these goofy quizzes that define your type. I usually just stick with the more thoughtful memes (which I haven’t done much lately).

You Passed
8th Grade Science

Congratulations, you got 8/8 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Science?
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Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 One Comment

So I’m watching a rerun of Las Vegas on TNT and when they started the intro I was ready for the Elvis song they play (“a little less conversation…”) and I got something totally different. I wonder if they didn’t want to pay the rights for the syndication or what…?

Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 2 Comments

I can’t even imagine winning this much money. 15, 17, 43, 44 and 48, with a Powerball number of 29,It’s the biggest pay-out ever, $363 million was the highest before but that was two winning tickets. According to CNN.com ‘the cash option is $177.8 million, or $124.46 million after taxes. On the installment plan, over 30 years, the first payment would be $6,507,986 after taxes.’

As long as you you don’t blow it, it seems like you’d be better off taking the $124 million and earn the interest over the 30 years. Not even factoring in the compounding if you could get 5% a year return on $100 million you’d get $6 million a year, that’s pretty much the payment you’d be waiting for (if you did a little better on the interest it’d be a lot more). Over 30 years that’s $150 million more. Even if you didn’t get that interest rate you’d still get significantly more even at 3%.

What to buy for family and friends:

  • Move all of them into new paid off homes.
  • Same for hybrid cars.
  • New Apple computers and iPods for everyone!
  • TiVo’s galore. (To go with new A/V systems)
  • College educations for the kids (single dorm rooms and new laptops when needed).
  • Big extended family vacations every few years (cruises, exotic locations, the olympics, etc.).
  • Mom would get to quit work.
  • I’d have a few vacation homes: London/Miami/Costa Rica. Or I guess I could just live in one of them.
  • Lots of new stuff at the places I volunteer (or have volunteered). New office stuff (tech), kids stuff and more. We always wanted a hot tub for the 24 hour crisis line in East Lansing…
  • A “LaPointe Computer Wing” for my old school might be nice too.
  • Some games/states put a cap on the prize the seller store can get. With this game it’s normally 1% but it’s a max of $50,000. So a nice kickback for them if there is a limit.
  • Found some foundation/fund for other school and computing scholarships.
  • I’d travel and compute for fun and relax.
  • I’m sure there’s more I haven’t thought of…

    I’d be reasonable in all this stuff, the new homes and cars wouldn’t exceed peoples ability to pay property taxes, insurance, utilities, maintenance and stuff like that (unless it was $300 million, then they wouldn’t have to worry about that…).

    I keep adding to this list but that’s ’cause it’s all they keep talking about it on CNN…

  • Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’m at the Burger King that has free wired internet but no wireless. So I go to pull out my trusty Apple Airport Express out of my backpack. Or at least I try to. It’s gone!!! I dig and dig, I’ve got everything in this thing. If McGuyver carried a Powerbook, this is all the stuff he’d have “digital duct tape” and all that.

    It’s not here. But then I notice neither is my mini retractable ethernet cable, the last time I used both was (you got it) at this Burger King. I ask if they have a lost and found and they don’t (how weird is that?). But I describe it to them, they go to the office and sure enough they’ve got it!!!

    FYI, if you don’t know what an Apple Airport Express is, you’re missing out (even if you’re a windows user). Read my earlier review about this wireless router / repeater / music streamer and printer adaptor (it’s really small only 3.7 x 2.95 x 1.12 inches).

    Written By: Gary on February 19, 2006 No Comment

    Since Aimee Mann disappointed me the other week by canceling her concert. I thought I better speak up since things are now way better at my end. She’s rescheduled for tomorrow in Ann Arbor and I managed to get a seat in the front row!!! I’ll post a review later (hopefully with photos).

    So if any one reading this is going, drop me a note and maybe we can say “hi” before or during or after or something…

    Written By: Gary on February 16, 2006 No Comment

    This week in Circuits with David Pogue he’s interviewing Scott Gaidano president of Drive Savers (a hard drive recovery business):

    This is our most famous computer: it’s a laptop that was rescued from the bottom of the Amazon River. A cruise ship hit an underwater barge, and sank down to the bottom. And the woman, an amateur diver, several days later, against all international law, broke in with a Maglight flashlight. Went down two flights of stairs underwater. Green, dark water. Found her stateroom. Remembered to bring her key, and rescued her laptop, and got it to Drive Savers. And we recovered all the data for her.

    What makes that one extra interesting is that message came through while I was planning and trying to decide on the 3 or 4 day Nile cruise of my Egypt trip. Maybe just the 3 day (and I’ll back up all my data).

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    Written By: Gary on February 16, 2006 No Comment

    So today Woot is having a Woot Off, this means instead of having one deal a day (at 1 am EST) they change the deal every time they run out of it (if they don’t run out, it only lasts 12 hours). A Woot-Off generally lasts 24-72 hours and happens once (or twice) a month. Sometimes these are refubs so pay attention (it’s listed up near the price, so you can’t miss it).

    What’s this mean for you? Great deals all day long (as long as they keep selling out) for a few days. More about Woot.

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    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2006 No Comment

    I was a little disappointed with the opening ceremonies with the olympics. A few neat things but I wasn’t enthralled, even with TiVo to get me through the slow spots. The fireworks and sparkler type things were awesome!

    And who’s this guy who’s doing some of the commentary for the skating? Dick Button? They act like he’s some hotshot but so far (IMHO) he’s just this dorky guy who’s annoying (seems kinda mean).

    Later: Okay, so I looked him up, he’s won a few gold in skating (over half a century ago), but he’s still kinda gruff for figure skating.

    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2006 2 Comments

    So I don’t consistently or the same place. Especially since it means I have to get up on Sunday early to go to the place I like best. Besides, I don’t like my organized religion too organized.

    So we’re reading one of the the prayers out loud and there is a page turn in the middle of it. It’s something they print up with the hymns and readings of the day and a few things just happened to paginate badly. So I read it real quick to see if there are any differences (different churches use different versions) so I don’t actually have to turn the page in the middle of it and draw attention to myself. It’s one of those things everyone should know and I was just checking for variations and I’ve already set my booklet down. So we get to the part where it splits and I practically jump as everyone turns the page, it sounds like a flock of damn birds just took off.

    It just struck me as pretty funny at the time. Although my writing here doesn’t really convey how humorous it was then.

    I was starving towards the end of the service, I didn’t have time for breakfast since I was in a hurry to go. Now I’m at the goldfish cafe eating waffles right now. Yum!

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    Written By: Gary on February 11, 2006 One Comment

    For some reason that seems like it would be a nice thing, an Apple store open 24 hours a day. I suppose eventually I’d get burnt out if I hung out all hours of the day but it’s still a nice idea. If the Genius Bar were a regular bar…

    Why am I even talking about this? Rumour has it that the Manhattan Apple store will be the first 24/7 location. Now, it’s not worth moving to New York for, but I can still dream about it.

    Written By: Gary on February 10, 2006 4 Comments

    Napkins are napkins, right? Sure some might be bigger or fluffier or prettier but they’re all generally the same. At least in my experience. I picked up some America’s Choice generic napkins the other day and every time I use them I cringe. They aren’t very absorbent and kinda non-porous. Their qualities reflect that of paper more than napkins. I could probably run these babies through my ink-jet printer except they might not absorb the ink.

    Written By: Gary on February 5, 2006 3 Comments

    In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.

    Robert Heinlein

    For a science fiction writer, Robert Heinlein has a lot of great short quotes that have nothing to do with Sci-Fi.

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2006 4 Comments

    AimeemannitunesorigOkay, she didn’t actually disappoint me because I didn’t actually see her. It’s the fact that she rescheduled and I didn’t get to see her was the disappointing part. She was supposed to be in Ann Arbor tonight at the Michigan Theatre, I didn’t have tickets but there were seats available and I usually do pretty good picking some up at the last minute. I’m not sure when the show got bumped to the 20th (not one-hundred-percent sure I can make that one, but I’ll try). Since I really enjoyed the Liz Phair iTunes Originals album I picked up the other day I thought I’d pull out my Aimee Mann iTunes Originals album I had never really appreciated them before Liz’s so I’ll have to check out the few others I’ve purchased (and didn’t purchase).

    I first saw Aimee Mann in concert (and started listening to here) at the Lilith Fair test tour, this was the tour when Sarah McLachlan took some other female artists out with her to show the concert promoters that people would come. I think it was Aimee, Sarah, Lisa Loeb, Patti Smith and Paula Cole. It was a nice concert in that it wasn’t a madhouse with all these bands playing on all these difference stages, but (if I recall correctly) it seems the performances were cut a little short due to having five headliners….

    On other disappointments today:

  • Since I didn’t go to AA, I thought I might check out the festivities downtown for the SuperBowl but the weather is so crappy out I don’t even want to be wandering around downtown.
  • So I since that didn’t happen I figured that I always enjoy Battlestar Galactica so let’s watch that, but I really thought this week’s was a little slow :(

    The thing about Galactica is I never rush to see it but it’s always SO good I never understand why I waited to watch it…

    Actually I had a pretty good day today, I’m not moping, I’m just whining because I was just listening to her and thinking about it so I started typing…

  • Written By: Gary on February 4, 2006 2 Comments

    I just opened about 30 tabs to catch up on my blog reading and about a dozen wouldn’t work. And then I noticed a pattern…

    I always forget how many of the blogs I read are at blogspot.com until blogspot is down and I’m trying to catch up. It’s odd, the ones hosted at blogspot but have their own url seem to be okay (I think).

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    Written By: Gary on February 2, 2006 No Comment

    Tristin beautySo my favorite beauty got kicked off of Beauty and the Geek 2 tonight but not before she had a few breakdowns. First she was watching her geek while he was speed dating (he forgot she was listening) and he insulted her intelligence. Then he screwed up the apology (a few times) and made her cry some more and insulted her again (so she cried more). Plus they got sent to elimination (the third time in a row) so she cried a few more times. And then the part that made me sad, they lost the elimination round and won’t be back. She was just nicer than the others and seemed more normal that the other ones.

    It’s interesting that the show and WB web site lists her as “Cocktail Waitress / Shot Girl” but her web site (www.tristinclow.com) says “Tristin is an aspiring singer and actress”.

    I like the show since I know people like these guys, some from high school and some from college but I knew people like this (and a few traits might apply to me to) so it’s extra hysterical. PopMatters suggests that next season might be the other way around with (hot?) geeky women and self-absorbed dense boys. That might be appealing too…

    Written By: Gary on February 1, 2006 3 Comments

    The Wednesday Mind Hump seemed extra easy (and quick) so here we go:
    Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate.
    Hot or cold? Hot.
    A bunch of short weekend trips, or one long vacation? Bunch of short trips.
    Almond Joy or Mounds? Neither!
    Country or Rock And Roll? R & R!
    Cosbys or Bradys? Cosbys (I always liked Bill)
    Brand new car or brand new house? House.
    Inside or outside? Outside.
    Pepsi or Coke? Coke!!!

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