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June 2006

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 No Comment

Audra Kubat at the TasteFest

Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

So it’s really nice down here, she’s on stage down by the only grassy area I’ve seen.

The tastefest is nice, not too crowded but yet still a lot of people. And of course Audra is great!

We’ve got kids all over the place with hula-hoops and some are down by the stage (see photo). I might make my way back down here before ity ends on the 4th. (Later) Here’s the video with the kids, they were pretty hysterical playing down there (the audio is awful)

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 One Comment

I’m so far behind in things I’ve been meaning to blog about. I’m going to try and catch up this weekend. I’ve got the concert tonight, Superman Returns, what happened at the computer sale at work, stuff from Chicago from weeks ago, a book or two that I’m read, it’s been forever since I got some photos up from my trip to Egypt, I need to do a real review of my Sprint Treo 700p and I’m sure there’s way more….

I’ll try and do 6 or 7 of these this weekend (that probably means 2 or 3)…

Written By: Gary on June 30, 2006 No Comment

Remember a few months back when I mentioned Audra Kubat opened for Aimee Mann? Well she’s playing in Detroit at Tastefest. I’m not sure how that will be with her at a big public thing vs. the small earthy intimate setting but I’m going to go and find out! And did I mention it’s free?

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2006 One Comment

So one of the things on my 101 in 1001 list is to make sure I own 50 excellent movies (if I don’t own then I need to buy them) watch them again and do a review on-line. By “excellent” it has to be something to have mostly wide appeal (I’m sure a few won’t) and I’m trying to have a range of the types of movies. I probably owned 15-20 I’d put in this category and I’ve probably already bought a dozen since.

Without question StarGate would be one of those movies. And since I’ve been thinking about it a lot since my trip to Egypt. The ultimate edition actually includes the original and the longer cut on two DVDs (and gobs of extras). It’s a great movie with Kurt Russel as the action hero and James Spader as the geeky egyptologist who thinks that aliens might have actually built the pyramids. The government has some items they dug up a few years back and are trying to decipher the writings on it and they bring in the ridiculed scientist to come help them make it work.

I can tell you why I was disappointed, I was hoping for more Egypt references but while I remember lots, this show did turn into seven seasons of StarGate SG-1 full of references so I guess that’s where I recall lots from, I just thought there were more in the original movie. There was a bit, I just hoped for more. Still a great flick, lots of action great scenery, some big explosions and some really great characters. And they really do have a good story tie into the creation of the pyramids. Plus he also finds what every geeky guy traveling across the universe needs, a beautiful woman who doesn’t realize what a geek he really is :)

Written By: Gary on June 28, 2006 No Comment

So I really liked Kyle XY. I’m not saying it’s a great show, but I really like the sense of wonder they give him as he figures things out. You can still get the episode oniTunes for free and I think ABC is rerunning it on Friday night. Here’s the premise: This teenager is found naked in the woods, he’s intelligent but no concept of understanding his surroundings. A psychologist (of some sort) takes him into her family with a teenage boy and girl and the story begins.

Like I said, I really like they way they have him thinking and examining the world around him. Oh yeah, I forgot to mention that he has no belly-button. Be sure to watch the news running on the television in the background when you watch it (you are going to watch it, aren’t you?).

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Written By: Gary on June 27, 2006 2 Comments

So apple just released a new 10.4.7 update to Tiger. The biggest things that excite me are:

Bluetooth file transfers, pairing and connecting to a Bluetooth mouse, and syncing to mobile phones

I’m really hoping this helps with Syncing to my new Sprint Treo 700p. More info at Apple (and more detailed info here).

Written By: Gary on June 27, 2006 One Comment

So I made it in the local newspaper with a (bad) photo and an article about how we’re selling the old computers in our school district for $25. Which I thought would be great since we’ve about 200 to get rid of. But then the phone starting ringing yesterday. The Detroit News wanted some details on it (I haven’t seen today’s paper to check that yet) and Fox2 News called too.

It’s kinda cool that I made Fox2 News at 5:30 (not to be confused with Fox2 News at 5, Fox2 News at 6, Fox2 News at 10, Fox2 News at 10 rerun at 2 am or Fox2 News at 5am which runs until 9am and I haven’t watched yet) where I got a short video/sound bite and video of stacks of computers but the problem is I’m afraid I might get more than 200 computer sales, plus Fox2 didn’t mention the times and the sale today doesn’t start until 1 PM. That’ll be the hardest problem is people showing up early.

Maybe it will be fine but it’s just hard to tell and it’s always better to be prepared for the worst. It’s Wednesday and Thursday too so maybe we won’t have to run it those days. If you’re interested in one just come give me the secret blogger handshake and I’ll try and hook you up…

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Written By: Gary on June 25, 2006 2 Comments

Kyle xy freeI thought that the first episode of KYle XY looked interesting (it premiers tomorrow) and I see they have the first episode on iTunes for free (I think only through the 29th). It reminds me of the TV series John Doe but it looks ask if it will be more of a Family show than a mystery show (I haven’t watched this yet, but I needed to mention it while it’s still free). This show premiers Monday at 8pm ET on ABC Family.

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Written By: Gary on June 24, 2006 One Comment

This was one of my favorite places to sit when I went to MSU. Just to study, relax or read.

The river just rushes by and the white noise just blots out everything else. You could be there for a little bit and turn around and all sorts of people could have shown up and you wouldn’t even know it.

I shot some video (with the sound) too, I’ll upload it later. Here’s the video.

(I don’t think I’ll ever just be able to upload them straight from the phone, they start out in some 3g2/3gpp2 format that everyone isn’t set up to read.)

Written By: Gary on June 24, 2006 No Comment

Williams Hall, MSU

Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

So I’m back in East Lansing qgain, wandering around Michigan State University.

This was my old dorm when I was an undergraduate. I loved it here, it was a really small building (about 250 people) and it was a lot more comfortable than those big buildings.

Written By: Gary on June 19, 2006 2 Comments

We went to see Brandi Carlile last Friday in Ann Arbor. She was at the Blind Pig and as always the small venues are always better, IMHO. The opening act was Penumbrae and they’ll get a separate post later.

She was great, when she first walked out I thought she looked really young (I had thought she was in her mid-20s) and thought I had her music mixed up with someone else’s but once she started playing she was who I thought (she did reveal later she was 25 and she did look older later on…). She was excellent! She played a lot of different types of music, on her CD there is a song or two that has a hint of country and that come out in a few of the songs. She did a few acoustic and some with the band (four guys). I only knew her by name because they were playing her at Barnes and Nobel and I checked out what her name was. I knew I had to have heard some on TV or a movie (I was actually thinking a WB-type show), turns out she had three songs on Grey’s Anatomy last season (Tragedy, Throw it all Away and What Can I Say).

Her music has a range, a few make me think Norah Jones, some the melody makes me think Indigo Girls. I met her and got her to sign the CDs that I purchased and she was just super nice to everyone there. I’d definitely see her again if she comes to town. I should have brought my camera in, I didn’t even think of it (it was way to dark for my cell phone camera but of course I tried anyways, here’s two from while she
was performing and signing autographs).

The concert was non-smoking which was great (it was by request of one of the bands). It was pretty cool in there (until the end of the evening) considering the heat outside Friday. Some of the people at the concert were load to the point of being rude, that’s one of the problems with inexpensive tickets some people just don’t value the experience.

PS – The just re-released her eponymous album with two bonus tracks (and I think new versions of two other songs) so if you get it be sure to look for the one with more than 10 tracks.

Written By: Gary on June 18, 2006 One Comment

I really like the 2005 Dr. Who, he’s the only Dr. Who that’s intrigued me to watch the series and now it’s a new guy…

It’s partly his attitude as Adam asks him how to use the money of the era (of this weeks era)

DrwhoTime Travel is like visiting Paris.
You’ve can’t just read the guidebook.
You’ve got to throw yourself in.

  • Eat the food.
  • Use the wrong verbs.
  • Get charged double.
  • End up kissing complete strangers.
    Stop asking questions just go and do it!

  • He says all this while beautiful Rose (sigh) is giggling in the background. They keep Rose (sigh) but not the Doctor, that’s kind of odd.

    On a side note: My TV crush on Rose makes no sense to me. She’s not my type. She’s got the accent though, how can you not like that?!? But sometimes (just sometimes)she’s got the Pez Head smile which always makes me nervous. It that big smile that makes me think their whole head is gong to flip back and open up like a Pez dispenser does. There’s nothing wrong with her, she’s very cute and has a great attitude on the show, it’s just that she’s not my usual “sigh” type.

    Written By: Gary on June 18, 2006 One Comment

    So if you’ve seen any short test posts lately it’s ’cause I’m testing blogging clients for my new Treo 700p handheld. Some old some new, some worked some didn’t, some the new versions didn’t. I just updated this post since I got slightly confused between a few of the clients when writing this up. The winners IMHO are:

  • Mo:Blog – easy to use (but I did have to look at the manual a few times), stand alone. I only did a few test posts so we’ll see later. One bug – when getting the blog id from the site the numbering got goofed up somehow, since none of the other clients did this I thought I’d mention it. The other odd thing was you pick the category when you set the blog up, not on individual posts. It’s about $15.
  • Azure – I think this was my favorite on my old phone too. It requires some kind of Java environment (I used IBM’s) to be installed. It does allow for the extended entry (and one category) and will download previous posts (this always makes me nervous on the mobile clients due to field length). And it’s free. See below for install information.

    I’m always surprised at how hard it is in some software to find out the web site of the company that makes/made it. It’s not in the about, or in the manual. I’m especially surprised in the ones that want you to register, it might have been on the page where you got it, but it’s gone (or you forgot where you got it).

    For new users to mobile blogging Mo:Blog is probably better, the Java VM stuff is a little tricky (unless you’ve used it before).
    For those interested:

  • None let me use the extended entry (except Azure).
  • Most clients give an error when posting (but still posts). Flickr does this to me too, so it’s an MT thing or something with my install.
  • The other ones I tried include KaBlog 1.42 (limited but always reliable, couldn’t get newer versions to run once I hit edit post), plogit, blogplanet (stable but missing a few features), uBlog, handx, hblogger and I thought one other but…

    The thing is I can do most of this with the MT quickpost option and it lets me use the extended entry (I compose in memopad first). Several programs seem like they’ll work directly with the photos on the palm (and the camera) but no luck with any for me. But I can use the Flickr e-mail option to post photos and text to the blog for that (which works great).

    Decision, decisions…

    FYI – To install Azure: First download the IBM Java WebSphere Everyplace Micro Environment (CLDC 1.1 /MIDP 2.0) on your computer and install J9JavaVMMidp20.prc and JavaVMCheck_enUS.prc (in the JVM/ARM4T directory) on your treo. Then once that’s installed, launch it, say install and type http://web.vee.net/projects/azure/azure_0-5.jad and it will download it from the net and install it. Keep in mind when running Azure it’s got all the options in the menus (title, body, excerpt, extended, bold, paragraph) and you have to go “Back” for some menus. It takes a minute to figure it out, but it works. When it asks for your blog address, what it really want is the long xmlrpc address for your site.

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    Written By: Gary on June 17, 2006 No Comment

    HoudaSpot, file find/search software for Macintosh, is free for the first 5,000 people (the form will be gone when it’s over, you cannot miss the form it’s all that’s on the page). Yesterday I talked about their buzz marketing strategy so you can read that post if you want more info.

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    Written By: Gary on June 17, 2006 No Comment

    Some more photos from my trip to Egypt (from April). This is day 5 and has about another 90 photos broken up into a few sub albums. Many of the photos have captions explaining what they are but here’s the gist of it in case you just jump into slideshow mode.

    Sunrise breakfast in a village on the Nile.
    We took a boat to the West side of the Nile and had breakfast. With then took a little tour of the village where we ate. Wouldn’t it be strange if travelers ate breakfast down the street from your house and then walked around your neighborhood looking around and taking pictures?!?
    Valleys of the Kings and Queens.
    It was a very very very hot day in the Walley of the King and Queens. We went into a few tombs (no pictures allowed) and looked around, it was incredible! You’ll need to read the posts from April to find out a bit more.
    The first day of our cruise on the Nile.
    The ship was awesome and it was a great pleasure to arrive on after our long hot day. I’ve got lots of scenery and other things (including pirates and a trip through the locks).

    The day five photos are located here.

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    Written By: Gary on June 16, 2006 One Comment

    Here’s a mini-review of HoudahSpot it’s a piece of software to help you find files on your computer. First I have to ask: have I mentioned MacZOT.com before? They have a different piece of software way on sale every day with different marketing schemes. Today, a Mac OS X Tiger search program drops a nickel in price for every blog that mentions it. So it could be be free today if enough people mention it…

    THEY’VE EXTENDED OFFER THIS THROUGH SATURDAY. It’s down to $4 and if you blog a mini-review it’s free.

    houdaspot venn pngI’ve complained before about the “find’ options in Tiger so I had to give this search software a try. It’s got options for and and not and or and Venn diagrams to help you choose. It’s got previews for audio, video and photos (with all sorts of info on the files). Try it out, it’ll be cheap or free (actually, I think it’s free just for blogging about it).

    NOTE: If you’re seeing this on June 16 or 17, 2006 or head over to MacZOT, you might be able to get a Free copy of HoudahSpot. Search easily in Tiger, Mac OS X, with HoudahSpot

    Written By: Gary on June 15, 2006 One Comment

    Friday, June 16th Brandi Carlile is in Ann Arbor. It’s only $12 so you can be sure I’m going to be there.

    It’s at the Blind Pig and tickets are $12 (plus any fees; I think I paid $33.20 for 2) and it’s open to all ages. The opening act is Penumbrae and doors open at 7.

    Written By: Gary on June 14, 2006 2 Comments

    4Th1So it was time to ditch the Egypt theme (it’s still at MyTripToEgypt.com). I decided to try a 4th of July theme. With the logo in the upper left and the way the stars show through the upper left, it gives it a flag like look. It is a bit brighter than a I usually use but I really liked the way it came out.

    Written By: Gary on June 13, 2006 One Comment

    So yesterday I had to do my Cat in the Hat appearance at a birthday party (I sold my self at an auction). I needed to change into the outfit before going and while I look goofy while wearing it, I think it looks even goofier when you don’t wear the whole thing (such as minus hat and whiskers).

    So I’ve got the whole thing on, I’m driving the convertible, hanging onto the hat. I’m in the second lane to the left. I pass the cop in the right turn only lane. He swoops out of the lane and into mine (there’s now a van in-between us) and starts following me. It must be due to the rash of Cat (in-the-Hat) burglaries we’ve had lately or maybe there’s a gang of bank robbers who dress up as Cat in the Hat?!? He follows me a few miles and even makes a left turn when I do. He doesn’t follow me down the street to five year old Sophie’s birthday party, could you have seen it if he had pulled me over in front of the house? She would have been traumatized forever…

    The party was great BTW, I read a lot of stories, a few Dr. Seuss and then some. We had fun and I even got an offer for another gig. But doing this more than the few times I do it for school auctions (which always seem to be on summer days) is more than enough for me. Maybe if I could do bachelorette parties instead…?

    Written By: Gary on June 12, 2006 3 Comments

    I just finished reading Stowaway by D. Ann Kelley and James G. Kelley (and I happen to know the authors). Most of it takes place in Michigan, it’s kinda part of a series but it’s by far the best one yet so I’d definitely recommend this one first. It might reveal a few details from the first few books but it’s the most polished and fast read of any of the stories. The endings still end kinda quick though.

    Jill Traynor returns as the main character (after the first book they started adding “A Jill Traynor Mystery” as the subtitle. One of the new characters chooses the Edumund Fitgerald as the ship to sneak onto, I think we all know how that’s likely to end. But the whole mystery revolves around the message they managed to get off the ship that reveals where the ________ is/are located. It’s got a bit of historical fact weaved in (and they clarify the details in the afterward). If you’re from Michigan or the Great Lakes area and like mysteries it’s a must read.

    As a reminder I’ve mentioned their books before, the first two books they wrote were Lighthouse Paradox and Legacy.

    I did have one big complaint about this book, I don’t know who/what did their typesetting but in more than a few spots there are definitely some problems (mostly related to carriage returns and spacing) that I’ve got to assume it was added goofed up in at the final stage of the publishing process…

    Written By: Gary on June 12, 2006 2 Comments

    I know I’ve been back for over a month but here’s another 80 photos from Egypt from day four, we’re still in Luxor: there’s a lot of local shots, some temple photos and a felucca sailboat ride..

  • Around town – Various shorts from around Luxor (Marilyn and I walked ALL over town). Photos of a place where I bought a scarf, a few odd internet places, some apartments and a few street scenes.
  • Temple of Luxor – Some more photos of the outside of Luxor Temple (as were were walking around town).
  • Faluga Ride – A sunset ride on a felucca sailboat ride which is named for it’s different shaped (but we had no wind).
  • Luxor at night – A carriage ride around Luxor at night, dinner and some photos from around town.

    I know I’m only on day 4 of the bulk photos, but it’s been busy. I’ll get some more out the next few weeks, it’s less cRaZy at work, plus I’ve got a few more days off.

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    Written By: Gary on June 10, 2006 No Comment

    She did it!!!

    Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

    This is Bekah (and brother Darren) right after graduation. She graduated from Sexton High in Lansing, Michigan. It was at Breslin Center at MSU.

    Written By: Gary on June 10, 2006 No Comment

    I knew this week at work was going to be cRaZy but I did think I’d have time to blog!?! I haven’t even looked at the photos from Chicago yet (other than on the other people’s blogs). I’m in East Lansing again, one of my favorite towns! Eating lunch at Charlie Kang’s, broccoli with beef with no vegetables (but I still want the broccoli).

    I’m off to Bekah’s high school graduation and I’m sure they’ll be lots of eating and drinking after (well, no drinking for her). I’ll see if I can photo blog something for it later :)

    And tomorrow I get to be the Cat in the Hat for a 5 year old’s birthday party (this was the party that I was purchased for at the school auction a few months a go).

    Since I’m busy this weekend and no time to relax, I’m taking a vacation day Monday, I’ll try to catch up then.

    Written By: Gary on June 5, 2006 4 Comments

    We were talking about Google PageRank the other day when we all got together in Chicago so I thought I’m bring it up here. Check Page RankingThis icon shows my rank and should change automagically if/when my rank changes (archived pages do not necessarily rank the same, see below). Today it’s a five, the scale goes up to ten, but it’s a huge jump for a page/site to grow. You can check you PageRank at PRchecker.info. Or include it on your site with the little piece of code that they list on the bottom of their page

    So I can see I have different ranks on my archived pages, as of today:

  • Blog archive ranks 4
  • Web sites ranks 4
  • Individual Archive ranks 0
  • Today ranks 0
  • June 2003 ranks 0 (these usually take a 4-5 months to grow, I think most of my recent month archives rank 3, most older rank 4).
  • Written By: Gary on June 5, 2006 One Comment

    Sorry for some of the odd display problems lately (no content to the post or no images). I’ve been having some odd rebuilding problems with Movable Type and 1 and 1 hosting (at least I think it’s related to 1and1 hosting, even my access to the MT interface has been slow lately). Anyone else having similar problems…?

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    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2006 10 Comments

    So we met at Piece Pizzeria there was a bunch of us. Kevin (with wife Katie and brother and future sister-in-law ), Dave, Jenny, RW and wife, Kelly, Ariana, Steve and Susan, and myself.

    Logo from Dave at Blogograpy.comWe had all kinds of pizzas, I mostly ate the standards and the weirdest was cheese with mashed potatoes (I wasn’t as fond as some of there others were). Chatted, took photos and more. After we were there for a while most of us left and went to a tequila bar but I don’t think anyone got any tequila, maybe I’m wrong and it was just a bar (it turns out it was the Salud Tequila Lounge) and chatted some more…

    It was great meeting everyone and I look forward to doing it again some time. It was night to see some faces and expressions and voices. I’ll be able to put some of that in my head as read their blogs in the future. I’ve met a few bloggers before but never as a group so I’m game for another, didn’t get to chat with everyone very long but I’ll be reading their blogs to fill in some gaps. I need to get a few missing addresses still. I think Dave came the farthest (from Washington) and I was the second (from Michigan) and I think everyone else was within a few hours…

    I got to chat with Jen and Ariana more as we were taking the same train and it was a bit of a walk to get there.

    Sunday (today actually) I’m going to meet Dave and Jen to go to the museum (which one escapes me right now) but I probably should get to bed so I can do that. I need to get my stuff together too since I’ll be heading out of town from there.

    I’ll have to check out the photos later and see how they came out.

    Written By: Gary on June 4, 2006 No Comment

    This was my view at lunch!

    Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

    So this is what I got to look at while I was sitting on the pier at the beach eating my lunch.

    It was a really great view of the city.

    It was a pretty good burger too :)

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    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2006 No Comment

    I remote posted the flamingo photo from my phone!!! I had problems getting this to work before but it seems okay now!

    I do have issues with the typing on the phone though, it should say “At the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago” (I don’t have remote blog editing working)
    I’ve fixed it now.

    Written By: Gary on June 3, 2006 No Comment

    VERY PINK Flamingos

    Originally uploaded by garylapointe.

    At the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago.

    The flamingos were very very pink. Thought they were worthy of a photo…

    Written By: Gary on June 2, 2006 3 Comments

    Miscdavecago-2So off to Chicago to meet some bloggers. A few I read all the time, a few that read me, a few I’ve read a few times and I’m sure there will be some introductions between strangers. Plus I know a few bringing some non-bloggers. It looks like it will Kevin, Dave, Jenny, RW, Chanakin, Mocha and me. (I’ll update this if anyone else shows).

    I’m actually on my way there now (blogging courtesy of my new Treo 700p with BlueTooth wireless connection to my PowerBook; review forthcoming) eating at a Wendy’s somewhere along the way. I’m staying at Heather’s (new blog under construction), who’s not coming but coincidentally is the one who got me into blogging.

    That guy on the logo is cartoon Dave from Blogography he’s in from Seattle. I think everyone else is semi-local (other then me from Dearborn/Detroit), but I could be mistaken. I’ll post more on the meet later…

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