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February 2007

Written By: Gary on February 25, 2007 35 Comments

It’s kind of a simple question, but I can’t find a specific answer. Do the terms, WhiteList and BlackList, that we commonly use these days to block/allow e-mail, web sites and comments have racist origins?

I can’t find the answer. I think about it every time I modify instructions for our mail filtering at work, just waiting for someone to ask me, but I can’t find an answer anywhere on the history of it. I’ve found some things when looking on-line related to hollywood (usually political writing) and on blackballing people (also from work or organizations) but nothing on the origins of the word even in that context.

I’ve seen some software FAQs skate around it with some stupid explanations to avoid the issue, but I think red + green universally mean stop + go so greenlist and redlist makes sense and since we don’t have green people it wouldn’t be considered racist (or even incorrectly thought to be). Maybe this is a non-issue, but I’m wondering what you think.There are tons of options: stop/go, allow/deny, junk/non-junk, etc. Also, even if it doesn’t have racist origins if people perceive it to be, then how much of a difference is there.

Later: Ah, I found this and I do recall part of the origins of blackball, (I knew this already, I just forgot that I knew it) but it’s still not an answer.

Written By: Gary on February 23, 2007 One Comment

So I went back to the doctor today to see what the verdict was today. And after a very long wait (I was about to go back up to the counter to remind them I was there, they were shutting down for lunch and I was the only one left not waiting for someone to come out) I got to see him. Unfortunately they didn’t have an answer for me. They can see something that looks like some kind of irritation on the bone, something that looked rough or worn, but nothing that looked broke. So they see some kind of unknown problem. Of course, this doesn’t help me any…They don’t really want to cut into me to look because some muscles and vessels are attached to this bone and there is always the possibility of risk when operating on that. So they don’t want to do that just for some kind of fishing expedition.

So “let’s run some blood tests” and see if we see something odd that might be causing/related it. It was a lot of tests, but not many tubes so I was okay with that. But I’m confident they wont find anything in my blood. Of all the quarts I’ve been drained of in my life, I can’t think of anything they’ve ever found. I really thought as a result of the bone scan they’d be able to fix this and I’m disappointed that while it was obvious there was something on the scan it’s not something (at this point) that they can fix.

BTW, the pot I’m talking about is a little piece of bone protruding from the palm of the hand, but I can’t recall the name right now.

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Written By: Gary on February 23, 2007 No Comment

I’ve been using Quantcast to look at some site statistics. As usual noting is perfect, I know it doesn’t count anything from RSS feeds or anywhere else I might have had info pulled some other way from my site (RSS, my PDA version, AvantGo, etc.) and I’m certain I didn’t get their little piece of code on every page on my site. BTW, you don’t need their code to get information from them, I had information already, this just got me a few bits more but I see I still don’t have any on ‘Audience Composition’ and I’m not sure why.

They have fun data mostly based on the geographic data of the location of people viewing your site. I don’t think I have that many Asian viewers but that out of country viewing has to be allocated to someone. Can we legally get “spammers” declared as an ethnicity?

Written By: Gary on February 22, 2007 2 Comments

If you want your time zones to be correct after the March 2007 Daylight Savings Time change be sure to download this DST update from Palm.

  • Treo 700p, 680, 650, 600, 300, 270, 750, 700w, 700wx
  • LifeDrive
  • Tungsten T5,T3, T2
  • Tungsten C, E2, E, W
  • Zire 72, 31, 21
  • TX, Z22
  • If you’re viewing this page via your Palm OS device you’ll have an option to update it OTA (over the air).

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    Written By: Gary on February 21, 2007 One Comment

    So some different things got me thinking about Roswell: Quite often Grey’s Anatomy does since Katherine Heigl was one of the stars. So that started me thinking about the TV series Roswell and I started surfing around stumbled along THE video clip (to set this clip up, you need to know that Max and Liz didn’t know each other well but secretly had crushes, two men get in an argument in the Crashdown Cafe, a gun goes off, Liz falls to the ground and Max runs to her side) where it all started . It was a great series but it only made it three seasons, which is actually pretty good for sci-fi.
    And then I remembered that the Roswell UFO Festival is this summer (as always) but this year is 60 years since the aliens crashed there. The biggest coverup since well, since anything else. This is the reason as to why they always dismiss UFO sightings as ‘weather balloons’ because that’s what they accused the Air Force guy of doing, of confusing a weather balloon with a spaceship…

    I’m really thinking of going to the festival this summer, has ever anyone gone? Any tips? Anything from someone whose been there but not during a festival? Maybe a not-to-miss place (museum or restaurant)? Or an alien-theme hotel or maybe just a good but cheap hotel?

    Written By: Gary on February 20, 2007 3 Comments

    Do you ever notice that sometimes in the comments you can see an image of the poster? Those are called Avatars. Sometimes they are of the poster and sometimes they are image representing them. Regardless of which one you use anything is more interesting than nothing. It gives a little more recognition / flavor to your post…

    Gravatar has a way to put those on places where you comment. Two cool things about that. One: They’re free!!! Two: They’re retroactive. If you set it up, it’ll automagically show up on any old comments you left on this site and on thousands (and thousands) of sites where you may have already commented! Plus, they’ve just gone back on-line after redesigning their site.

    It’s not a big favor and I never ask you for much so please find a image of yourself (it’ll let you size/crop it) and go sign up! Of course you realize you need to come back here and leave a comment, right? And I’ll need a volunteer or two who already has a Gravatar to leave one so other’s can see how they work…

    Please note: I’ve noticed that after you add an image you have to go to the My Gravatar page and say you want to associate that image with your e-mail address.

    Written By: Gary on February 19, 2007 One Comment

    HA! Never heard that one before!!!!

    “The early bird may get the worm,
    but the second mouse gets the cheese”

    — Wendy’s MySpace Page

    I Googled it and found all sorts of references but didn’t see an original source.

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    Written By: Gary on February 19, 2007 No Comment

    So I’m at the pace to get a bone scan (actually this was last week, I’m just finishing up this post now). I think I mentioned I’ve had some on and off problems with my hand/wrist, I had a CAT scan the other week (nothing to see) and now I’m up to a bone scan. So this morning I had some radioactive “dye” (something that attaches to phosphates I believe she said) injected and they stuck me in some machine that watched me for a few minutes to see how it flows through my body. Then I had to come back in 3 hours to get more images taken, not so bad except the center is in Ypsi and I work 30 miles away (but I’ve gotten some e-mail done, an order done and picked up some supplies for work at Target).

    Not related to the tests but in the morning I had someone in Nuclear Medicine named Kelly helping me out, now this was odd to me since I had an ex-girlfriend (fiancee actually) named Kelly who worked in the Nuclear Medicine department at a local hospital. A little bit of a coincidence, no…

    So now I’m waiting to go back in. They have WiFi but I can’t get past the “accept their internet policy page”. And I left my book in the car, so I’m really bored now….So they finished the bone scan and while the image on the screen was only a few images high I could clearly see a glowing spot on my right hand where it hurts (the left hand didn’t have any spots like that) so I’m hoping they can diagnose the problem or at least know where to focus the search. I go back Friday for the results…

    Another coincidence (making it a weird bigger coincidence) – the afternoon Nuclear Medicine person was also named Kelly!!

    On a side note, since they injected me with radioactive stuff, they mentioned that if I have to pee that I should go and not hold it in any more than necessary. Kinda made me nervous. Certainly didn’t encourage me to go pee, I didn’t want the radioactive “stuff” pissing passing through that part of my body…

    Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 6 Comments

    Pringles Drivers.Freecarmedia.ComGet a free car or get $400 a month to drive yours. If you get a car from them it looks like it cover maintenance and tires too. I’m not sure how I feel about this but if it was a product I loved and I could make (up to) $400 a month, that doesn’t seem to bad.

    If you are chosen, you will receive a new car, wrapped in an attractive advertisement, to use for two years or you will be given the option to wrap the vehicle that you currently own and get paid up to $400 a month.

    I could drive something like a TiVo, Apple, SixApart, some musical performer I like or a travel costa rica wrapped car. I’ve said before I like my convertible because I can put the top down, not because it’s sporty and I could be happy driving a box. Well, it would definitely take away any considerations of being sporty and getting paid would be nice…I gotta figure if you get paid you have to claim it, if you’re just driving their car it might not count as income (plus you get service) so it just depends on what you’re looking for. I might fill out one of these profiles, it’s not like I have to take it if they offer me.

    They used to do with years ago with VolksWagon Beetles and Kool cigarettes, I’m not sure what the pay-out was then but they were always interesting to see (been googling for a few minutes now, can’t find an image of that to show).

    Written By: Gary on February 18, 2007 No Comment

    I upgraded my Movable Type yesterday and today (the blogging software that this site runs on) from 3.2 to 3.34 so if you have any problems commenting or even reading don’t be shocked. I’ll post a note here here when I start (and when I’m done) so outside that range everything should be fine.

    DONE! (Well, mostly done, but it’s almost 6 am and I’m off to bed). Details you probably don’t care about (unless you have problems) are listed below…Boring updates below. (Some of this info is for me to recall too too.)

  • 12:22 EST Yesterday – Starting messing with on-line stuff (was reading and making backups, etc. the previous few hours)
  • 12:30 EST – Semi-running on backup copy of MT (where new install will go)
  • 12:34 EST – Sidebars not showing up (many were referenced in old directory path) and the actual trackback is not listed in individual entries.
  • 12:52 EST – renamed to old path and everything seems to be working (didn’t want to do that, wanted some differences but their’s too many changes to find so I’ll live with it)
  • 1:17 EST – All looks good, currently running a rebuild. But all I really did was make a copy of everything. The problem was duplicating the mySQL database, I had to do it via the command line and the file is a little smaller (which makes me nervous) but it seems fine.

    I needed the extra configured backup since I have plans to take Mom out to dinner (and then to see Silent Violet) and if I crash it I need something to revert to.

    All seems well so far, so I’m going to get a burger. I’ll run the upgrade when I get back.

  • 3:39 PM, It’s a good thing I made that backup. Multiple FTP problems. The first is my FTP program (Transmit) has a new feature that it’ll delete directories before replacing them, it didn’t used to do that (not sure when the added that “feature” as the default) so it pretty much deleted my whole 3.2 install of MT. So I had to reinstall the backup. The other problem is now it seems to be stopping the FTP transfer (when pushing up the 3.34 MT install) for some reasons….
  • 3:48 PM, I think the FTP transfer the second time was sort of my fault, it was confused since it new the directories were there and it remember them (even after I deleted them [via command line] and refreshed Transmit). So it was really a caching problem. Althought Transmit does seem to ask me more questions now (merge, replace, skip or resume) and I’m not sure what resume is. It used to just ask me twice (once for files and once for directories) but it probably asked me about 50 times (maybe once per directory).
  • 4:20 PM – It’s all up, but it’s got bugs. Still playing with it to check it out. Gonna start a rebuild if this post updates properly.
  • 4:46 PM – A few minor broke things but I think it’s related to MT-SimpleComments (and there is a new version so I’ll try that after LATE tonight.
  • 1:50 AM – Turns out I thought really broke it and I decided to leave it (I’m so glad I never got to the rebuild), it just got worse the more I messed with it and I was running late to Mom’s (again!). And the problem was SO minor it would have taken me another 5-10 minutes to find it (in hindsight).
  • 2:00 AM – I think I found a minor bug in MT-SimpleComments; if you unpublish a post after it gets a comment it’ll still list the comment. This is rare since the page wouldn’t show up in a listing anyways, but where the problem is is I show a list of recent comments on the front page so it shows up there. I’ve never noticed this before now, but it may be an installation problem, I see a few other minor leaky things (but it might be an incompatible plug-in problem too).
  • 2:28 AM – It’s getting better and better. I think I’ll hit the sack soon, just a few more minutes.
  • 5:45 AM – It’s way better. I’ve got MT-Blacklist working almost all the way. It’s stopping everything, It’s just harder to add things to the list now. I’ve fix a few other things and the only other thing I know is broke is the tops of the Category Archives have all the categories listed instead of just the related subcategories (it didn’t in 3.2). I’ll fix that later, it’s probably simple.

    But I’m done updating this post for now, if something weird happens and you can’t comment, please e-mail me.

  • Written By: Gary on February 17, 2007 No Comment

    SilentvioletcdI’m heading on over to the Magic Bag in Ferndale (Michigan) to see Silent Violet tonight. It’s a CD release party and Ben Cyllus and Daniel Zott are also playing this evening too (I don’t think I’ve ever heard them before).

    So I figure I’ll see a few new bands and buy a new CD and get it autographed!

    Written By: Gary on February 17, 2007 No Comment

    If you are a college student you can get 300 free text messages from Sprint every month for a year. Just take your ID to a Sprint store. (Don’t forget to cancel in a year!)

    From SlickDeals.net.

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    Written By: Gary on February 14, 2007 3 Comments

    heartI hope everyone has a Happy Valentine’s Day! Try and make it a great day for everyone else too. Smile at everyone today!!!

    And remember if you do get a card for someone they (she) really does look at the back to see if it says Hallmark.

    And remember, some people take this day really seriously. So be nice to the extra-sappy people…Here’s some background on Valentine’s Day.

    And some history(?) of the heart as a symbol.

    Written By: Gary on February 14, 2007 One Comment

    I’m always disappointed that I used some other web addresses for my blog (GaryLaPointe.com/blog, GaryLaPointe.com/nice, GaryLaPointe.com/mypointe) before I settled on http://GarySaid.com/. The problem is I’ve been linked by all sorts of sites to the old address and it’s impossible to change them*. Many place on your blogs, search engings, listings in Blogrolls, BlogShares, Techortati, etc. You can’t just delete them since they do point towards you but they’re not correct (and some you can’t even delete if you want). I’ve got good redirects so I’m probably okay with links, but it really bothers the obsessive compulsive part of my brain.

    One of my biggest sets of incorrect links are on other sites where I’ve left comments or trackbacks** to my old URL, well it wasn’t old then, but it doesn’t link back to here (but most times will redirect you to the correct page). I know some of you have changed your address by switching from Blogger to Typepad to your own website, etc. and the old links just go to a redirect, a note that says you moved or sometimes (the worst) an error page. I also know some of you have deleted them on purpose and started over but maybe you’d like that insightful comment you left here 3 years ago to link to your new site…

    Here’s my offer for you: I’ll replace your old comment links on my site with your new site. This will help with people reading the archives and who click on your link so you may get a few new readers since your old dead links will now work (and it’ll probably help with some search engine stats as I get reindexed). Leave me a comment and list some old blog addresses you have posted comments here with (make clear which is the new one) and I’ll see if I can do a search and replace to fix the links. It probably won’t help with any specific page links or trackbacks but at least they’ll point to the correct site (if I see broken ones as such I can redirect to the front page). I’ll fix your blogroll link if I’ve got one too (be sure to point that out). I’ll even fix things like remove/add the WWW if you’ve since settled on one or the other.Obviously, I may have to ask you a few questions if it seems like someone is trying to get me to move your URL to theirs. But it should be straightforward. I’m really hoping it won’t be too chaotic.

    * From a technical standpoint, if you redirect your whole site sometimes you get indexed for each URL. If you set up an error page some people don’t find the site. Different sites treat it different ways. I’ve been playing with Technorati and it’s seems like they index the old sites (if redirected) and the new. Blogrolls that just redirect you never get fixed and other odd issues appear.

    **I’m extra lucky in that while I’ve moved my site around it’s always been my site. So all my posts have the same numbering so most links probably still link back to a specific spot and it’s likely so do the trackbacks.

    Written By: Gary on February 12, 2007 3 Comments

    So I’ve done this before. Taken a look at the TTLB Ecosystem (a rating system for blogs based on links) and I’ve looked at the 10 blogs above me and below me and listed the ones that I liked. Today, I rank 908 (this always varies but I’m much higher than usual) and the list has about 43,000 entries at this time. I wanted to see what was “near” me at this time so I took a fresh look….

  • 898) Pesky’apostrophe – always better than an unexpected period
  • 899) First Draft
  • 900) Dane Bramage
  • 902) High Desert Wanderer
  • 903) Bettnet.com – Musings of Domenico Bettinelli
  • 905) Yankeemom
  • 906) Da Goddess – Friends are like bras, a good one never lets you down
  • 908) Gary Said… (This is me!)
  • 909) OPFOR
  • 910) My Splatter Painted Life
  • 911) Conservative Cowboy
  • 912) Roger Ailes
  • 915) BaylyBlog: Out of our minds, too
  • 916) Tennessee Guerilla Women
  • 917) Liberal Common Sense
  • 918) Bizinformer

    My criteria was pretty loose: looked okay, reads semi-okay and has been recently updated. I listed most of them except the one that I couldn’t see through the odd color schemes, ones that hadn’t updated in a while and one that wasn’t a blog. Like I said, I was just curious again. It’s strange I fall right in the middle of a bunch of political, war or religious blogs (although a few less religious ones than last time). Maybe the blogosphere consists of that high of a percentage of them, but I just don’t see them very often(?).

  • Written By: Gary on February 10, 2007 4 Comments

    Do they intentionally just put the car door buttons for the locks / windows just out of reach of a coat hanger in case you’re fishing one through the window? Well, it sure seems that way to me…

    I guess I should start at the beginning (actually a little before that). I’m the kinda guy who misplaces things but since I know that, I’m prepared for it. I keep spare keys for my car / house at home, work and with friends. And I label all my stuff like my camera, computer, pda, backpack, etc. Back when I used to really misplace things (I’m not as bad any more), I’d put post-its in the front of the books I read with my name and number on it so when I left them somewhere. I do still keep a spare tie and belt at work in case I somehow walk out of the house without one or the other. In essence, I never “lose” stuff since I always get it back :)

    And if I ned to leave my car running with keys in it (to scrape windows or check mail or whatever) I open one of the smaller windows so if the car decides to lock it’s not a problem, normally I could start it without keys in it except that the remote start broke and I didn’t fix it yet (I actually had someone follow me the other day to drop it off, but the place went out of business, so I did actually try). Twice times at work I’ve had to call someone from my office to come meet me at one of the schools with my spare key (the other few times I was at my building so no one had to know). What happens is I end up dropping them while carrying something into a school with my hands full or answering the phone as I climb out or something else distracting like that.

    This time it was different. I was leaving and I put my stuff in the car from the passenger door and thought, “gee it’s cold, I’ll start my car before I get my mail” so I started the car and pushed the little lever to open the tiny passenger back seat window. Then I got the mail, threw some out, put some in the house and went to get in the car (you saw this next part coming, right?) and it’s locked. Turns out I don’t sit in the passenger seat enough, there is not button for the back window, it’s just the front passenger window and the button for the lock. So pretty much all I did was lock the door. I was fine with it, stuff like this doesn’t upset me, even though I can’t seem find a spare for the car anywhere I look. And I start to realize everyone I know who has access to a spare key isn’t going to able to bring me one for hours. The problem is the car is running (and has a full tank of gas) and it’s parked in the garage.So I’ve got some options:

  • Let the gas run out and having someone come by later with a key.
  • Take a cab somewhere that there is a spare key and come back, but that would cost more than the first option.
  • See if I can get the door open without damaging the car.
  • I tried to get the door open. After many trips up and down the stairs (my condo is on floors 3 and 4) trying to hunt for a hanger that was all metal (without the cardboard hanger piece). And after lots of bending of the glass windows in my car (trying to fish in a coat hanger) I managed to find and squeeze a metal rod (dowel-like) that I had bent enough to have a hook on the end so I could pull back the button that opens a window. Success!! Total time, about 35-40 minutes, most of that was trying to find things like a hanger and trying to find something to bend it and things like that. And I managed to not inhale to much exhaust fro the car too. All in all a mini-adventure for the day…

    From a security standpoint, I couldn’t have done what I did if the car wasn’t running. The windows don’t work if the key isn’t in the ignition, and once the car has been parked for a while if you unlock it from the inside it sets off the alarm so I feel pretty secure. I’m glad I never got around to using that metal rod since that would have meant cutting it in half!

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    Written By: Gary on February 9, 2007 No Comment

    This is insane!

    State senator’s bill would make it illegal to cross the street tuned into portable electronic devices such as MP3 players and BlackBerrys.

    For one, you can have these devices with headsets off (and not actually outputting audio) and not distracting you. And the other is that Deaf people cross the street all the time without hearing traffic. While they do have more practice if they’re talking to someone (signing and watching the other person) they’re definitely distracted and this bill. (Have you ever ridden in a car with deaf people signing to each other? How about while they’re signing to the people in the next car over?!?) And I’m not sure if this covers if you’re texting or just using audio? What if you’re reading the paper or a book? Or reading a billboard ad on the side of a bus?

    Either way, I just want the gov’t to start supplying someone to hold my hand while I cross the street. That’s what we really need, right? It’s certainly what they’re leading up to…

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    Written By: Gary on February 8, 2007 No Comment

    ToyspringhandSo imagine this: You’ve got some kind of handheld inviso-detecter-o-rama and through the viewfinder you can see the invisible creatures in your world. Better yet, if you can see them, you can shoot them. Now imagine this handheld device looks an awful lot like your Treo.

    ToySpring has created a game, called Arcade Reality, using your Treo that uses the live image from your camera to to superimpose the creatures on. So it appears as if you are fighting arcade creatures in real life. Here are some more screenshots.

    Personally, I don’t see how they can get enough processing power out of these handhelds to do this, but the machine might have overlay capabilities that I’m not aware of (I’ve never tried to program a Palm like that). Or they might just be faster than I think. I have seen some zippy video games, I juse don’t play them that much these days…

    Written By: Gary on February 7, 2007 No Comment

    I’ve slept great that last two nights!!! Today I got about nine hours and yesterday I only got 6-7 but I had to get up for work so I probably would have slept longer (but it was quality sleep). I just haven’t been able to sleep in on my days off lately and I think I’ve really needed it. I used to do a 12 hour day (or two), now it’s rare if I get an uninterrupted 5 hours…

    I’ve got a few things to do today. Most importantly to mail in my taxes! THey’re done, I just need to get them in a mailbox. This is an item from my 101 in 1001 list to mail them in on time. I always do them late (sometimes years late).

    Speaking of 101 list I got 1/2 an item done this week. I was going to change out all my exterior lights on my car. One of the back lights went so I change out all the bulbs on the back end. It’s really cold out, even in the garage, so I saved the front end until the next bulb goes out (I already have them all purchased so I’m ready to go) and it makes a little sense to wait until one’s bad too. I’m hoping to drive this car a few more years so maybe after that I’ll never have to change another bulb on this one ever again…

    Written By: Gary on February 5, 2007 No Comment

    Just testing Digg!

    read more | digg story

    IT WORKED, but unfortunately it doesn’t let me pick any categories (or tags).

    Written By: Gary on February 5, 2007 9 Comments

    Maybe someone can help me with this: When I look at my Technorati page for Gary Said… it hasn’t been showing my posts lately. Any suggestions on how to make my posts show up consistantly in their listing?It showed a few test posts I tried a few days ago and some posts from a few months ago, but it used to show every post and I can’t figure why it stopped (I ping them every post, sometimes multiple times).

    I’ve got their code on the bottom of the page and like I said, I sometimes show up (but I think it used to show up all the time). I have no idea why the two messages work a few days ago and it doesn’t work now.

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 49 Comments

    2000Bloggers2000Bloggers-GarySo I made the 2000 bloggers list that I mentioned last week. It was kinda hard to find my picture (the one to the left) buried in with the other (almost) 2000 but I found it. As of today it looks like there’s still room for about 400 or so more (nope see the update below).

    If you arrived here from a 2000 bloggers list PLEASE leave a comment! UPDATE: Due to all sorts of reason dealing with linking and indexing the 2000 bloggers list has been removed from the original site. Worries and threats of it being considered a “link farm” to trick search engines caused Tino to remove the original list. It’s funny because while the list was replicated, I don’t think anyone was told to replicate it (even though the code was easily made available). And some people were put on it without their knowledge so how can you penalize them? I just wanted on the list to generate some new viewers (and it has). Forget raising my Technorati, since my posts somehow don’t show up on their site (everyone else seems to index me), how does a higher ranking help me?!? Getting a few more readers (and being more findable) is one of the reasons I signed up on Technoriti, but without content, I’m not very findable (even if my rank goes higher). I’m not sure if anyone came here via Technorati (did you?).

    I’m not sure if the list ever actually made it to 2,000. Does anyone know for sure?

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 No Comment

    So I keep forgetting to mentioned that I found iLike, it’s kind of a music social networking site.

    The big difference is it recommends music to you and allows you to download it for free. It appears to work best with iTunes, if you download the iLike sidebar it’ll upload lists of what you listen to most and make recommendations in the sidebar where it’ll let you preview music and download it directly to iTunes. Now the free songs are mostly artists that you haven’t heard of, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t any good, I’m really enjoying some of my new found music. It seems like most (all?) of the new music comes from GarageBand.com

    My iLike page is at http://ilike.com/user/garylapointe

    They just keep adding new features that they’re pretty god a keeping you up-to-date on the iLike Blog. And they’ve got a widget for your web page (which I’m hoping is showing up on your screen as you read this) and it’ll even let you play my recently played songs as you read this post!What I don’t like about it is it calculates favorites based on the songs in iTunes on your hard drive and not what’s on your iPod (even if this was some manual option I had to select I could deal with it). I’ve got a 60 GB iPod, I don’t have that much room on my laptop to carry around all my music on it all the time (besides I’ve probably got it with me on my iPod). So really what it thinks is my favorite is what I’ve bought from the iTunes store that’s on my laptop and played the most (on the laptop or the iPod). So Conjure One is what it lists as my absolute favorite and while I like them a lot they wouldn’t be listed as my favorite. And when I was playing a lot of Christmas music (which I also had on my laptop) it push that up on my favorite list (I see Kenny G is still high in my rankings because of Christmas.

    Written By: Gary on February 4, 2007 No Comment

    It’s the Linksys CIT200 iPhone and works with Skype and you’d might not even realize it was a real phone. It looks more like a generic Nokia cell phone than a home phone and it works great. Actually, the one thing that makes it “not normal” (which doesn’t bother me as much as others on-line) is if you are manually dialing you need to dial the “+1” before all calls, to me it’s slightly silly, you should be able to configure it to have a default country (and area) code.

    So I really like my iPhone.You can see all the people you have on your Skype list on the display of the phone so you just scroll down and pick who you want to call. I’ve wandered all over the condo and it’s clear everywhere (I’m on the 3rd/4th floor and it’s clear on the first level too!). It’s got a headset jack on it, a great speaker phone and supports call waiting. From the USB base the plugs into the computer it even has a button to press so you can page the phone so you can’t misplace it. You do need to route the audio on the computer so it properly goes to the phone (Skype has audio settings but it seems like the computer overrides them).I initially set up Skype when I dropped my land-line phone. I wanted a way to make phone calls in case I forgot my phone somewhere (or it broke) and wanted an easy backup. Plus when I’m out of the country if I have interent access, I can make phone-calls to the US very inexpensively (2.1 cents a minute).

    If you use Skype it’s a must have, if you don’t have Skype and you need an extra phone line in the house get Skype and pay for unlimited outgoing calls to land-lines in the US and Canada for $30 a year. If you don’t get a phone like this you just use a headset on the computer.

    What don’t I like about my iPhone? It’s got a crappy wallpaper background and while they have several to choose from, none are a plain background so it’s always hard to read the screen. The “+1” is a minor annoyance, but since I really don’t use it that much, it’s okay. The audio configuration is mildly annoying, I’m hoping an update fixes that (update: I did just install the Jan 22, 2007 update and the audio confusion seems better, we’ll see how it feels after a few days).

    Written By: Gary on February 2, 2007 One Comment

    So while I’ve done my share of dating (friend set ups, personal ads, on-line, etc.) my blog has never factored into dating. I don’t really mention dating on-line and I generally don’t mention blogging to people I’m dating. But when you look at some of the stats from QuantCast and the make up of what they think my readership is you’d think I might have gotten a date (or two) due to that last 3+ years of blogging or at least a little more flirting…


    Now these are stats probably mostly guesstimated from where people are geographically. And since my blog is definitely not a he-man’s sports/gambling/you-get-my-point blog they probably are semi-accurate. Although the Asian stats have to be off (maybe spammers?) since I don’t get any comments that make me think that guesstimate might be accurate.

    It’s just an observation, and some silly points to bring up the fact the the stats here are interesting in the way they present them. You can get a bit on your blog by just putting your site in the search box. Some sites seem to have more information than others, I’m not sure why but it must get some info from other sites.I did put the QuantCast tracker on my site a week ago so the daily stats are probably semi-correct on the web visitors, but I’m not sure how many users use blockers that might stop that tracking, but I’m sure it doesn’t compensate for RSS readers and stuff like that.

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    Written By: Gary on February 1, 2007 One Comment

    No not that iPhone. The iPhone that’s been out for a while, the one that Linksys/Cisco owns the trademark to (but debating that is not the purpose of this thread). It’s a regular old looking phone, kinda cellphone-ish, it’s cordless and you can carry it around the house and it connects wirelessly to your Windows PC and can make and receive Skype calls. Your Skype friend’s list shows up in the display and you can dial from there. I thought it was pretty cool and it was on the odd clearance rack at Target (the UPC on the box didn’t scan and the had an extra price tag on it, like they received it by accident but needed to tag it to get rid of it) it was a great deal! It’s even got a spot for me to plug in a headset!

    I like Skype, it’s a great idea and even though I only intermittently use it, it always seems to work for me. You can call other computers for free from your computer to and from anywhere in the world (this includes conference calls and video calls). You can call land lines in the US or Canada for just pennies a minute with no monthly fees (or unlimited for $30 a year) from anywhere in the world. Calling other countries cost a bit more depending on the location. Getting a number where people can call you at your computer (no matter what computer you are at, anywhere in the world) is about $60 a year. So going on vacation, it doesn’t matter where you are just load up Skype and connect to the net and people can call you! Get several skype numbers, one that’s close to Grandma and one that’s close to the kids in college and you’re just a local call away for each of them.

    Then phone’s charging and so I haven’t even used it yet. But I can’t wait to try!FYI, they do make some other models of the iPhone that don’t require a computer, they just need WiFi to work. I see that as a minor problem in some places since you need a web browser to activate the Wifi (Panera, McDonald’s, Border’s, etc.). And they’re a lot more expensive. When they get smaller and cheaper, or better yet when they come built into my cell phone…

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