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Entries of a more human nature. Just info about people and the things they do.

Written By: Gary on July 19, 2013 No Comment

A few days ago, I was wondering some things about the Alaska trip: how long Mr. Kuhn had done it for or if anyone else had ever posted pictures at some point in time, so I went to internet to see what I could find out.

Unfortunately, the first thing I found was Mr. Kuhn’s obituary. It seemed an odd thing is that it was just a few weeks ago, right before I started posting every thing about this trip. He passed on June 20th, a week before we left thirty-two years ago.

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I wasn’t even sure how old he was at the time, we were just fifteen, so even thirty years old would be ancient to us. But he was celebrating his 25th year of leading this trip when were on it, so that would make him a bit older, now that I have the dates, he’d have been fifty-seven on our trip. Did I mention that he originally went on this trip with someone else as leader? He retired from the eight years after our trip and it says he did the Alaska trips for over thirty years, so I guess at least five more after us, maybe a few more than that.

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That’s Mr. Kuhn in the back in the blue jacket/shirt.
That’s the fish bake (I think by some mines) in Alaska we went to.

He was this crazy old guy who took us on the adventure of a lifetime. I think about this trip often, I feel that it has a bit to do with the traveler in me. Obviously, I had something of it in me before I left or I’d never have taken this three week trek away from home. Until recently, it was one of the longest trips I’ve ever been on.

Thank you and take care Mr. Kuhn I hope you’re still out there traveling…

In case you know Mr. Kuhn and are wondering why I’m posting his obituary, I went on a trip to Alaska with Mr. Kuhn when I was a kid. I recently found my journal from that trip and scanned my slides and I just spent the last three weeks writing about the whole trip to Alaska. I wrote it up each day and posted information and photos on the same day but exactly thirty-two years later.

Written By: Gary on July 4, 2013 No Comment

Unfortunately, we didn’t get enough time at Chateau Lake Louise we were up at 7 am and out of there by 10 am. I did get a chance to take a few more pictures before we had to take off. It really was a beautiful area!

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There is no question that he was posing for me!

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I do have a copy of the final group photo somewhere, I believe he gave it to us as an 8″ x 10″ in black and white. I’ll have to find it, I’m hoping it’s with a few other items I can’t find that I think I know where they all are. But I’ll probably have to scan it to do it justice.

Group Picture
This is a group picture we were trying to take before leaving. Obviously we aren’t ready, I’m not it it yet!

I’m not sure which portion of the background is the glacier? But I know a portion of it is. Maybe most of the middle “mountain”? I didn’t actually take a photo of the hotel, but you can see part of it at wikipedia (From the description, it looks like they added onto it)

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I liked the room key here, it kind of folds up to be less bulky!

Here’s a few more photos of the area(?) and on the way to Kamloops. Even with these photos in chronological order, it’s still hard to tell when events change sometimes. With my digital camera I quite often take photos of signs so that I know what something is. But what I really want is GPS built into all my cameras so I really know exactly where I took my pictures. That also makes for some fun options to have software automatically place them on a map. WIth that said, these photos are from between Chateau Lake Louise and Kamloops (and maybe Vancouver, but hopefully not).

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A train bridge in the distance.

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A little glare on the window for this one, but I liked the view!

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Kamloops was pretty small but I really remember it being a tough town (I know I mentioned something about Calgary, but I didn’t remember that and it was before I was here!). It was a regular town (not a tourist town and not a big city at all), but I remember making fun of it in a variety of ways: “Kamloops, the only place the 24 hour A&P closes at 11pm”, we thought that was hysterical. We also thought Kuhnloops would be a good nickname for Mr. Kuhn, I guess Fruit Loops mushed with Kuhn and the town Kamloops made it all funny. We were kids, okay?!?

It was really hot, I wrote that “it hit 96 degrees here today” and while that was Canada, I’ll assume that was in Fahrenheit. This was our least fancy (not at all fancy) hotel all trip. I don’t need “fancy” but this one stood out as “not like the others”…

One very “not vacation” thing we did was to go see Raiders of the Lost Ark which I’d said in my journal that “Raiders was just and good and the first time!”.

It wasn’t very much of an Independence Day but we were able to cope :)

If you’re reading this post out of context, this is me re-journaling a trip to Alaska from when I was a kid. You might want to click the “trip to Alaska” link and go to the bottom and read them in order. I’m posting each entry on the same day that it happened years ago.

Written By: Gary on August 17, 2012 No Comment

One of the photo groups went out to a park at sunset to do some silhouettes. I’d never done this before so I made sure to attend.

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There were twenty of us, so we were always asking the two models to move. We pretty much needed them between us and the sun.

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A few of these I cropped and a few I tweaked a tiny bit in iPhone on the iPad. When I say tiny bit, I mean one click and a drag (not a dozen adjustments).

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I cropped a few too. When the contrast was just right there was too much black below the figures.

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If I’d gotten a little lower on this one, I think she’d really look like she was floating.

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I was surprised at how much red you could still see in the ribbon in this shot.

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The bicycle was tricky because she needed to go slow and also not accidentally ride down the hill she was atop of.

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This one I think I cropped too much, but maybe I was cropping something out. Regardless, she’s too much of the image but I love this one, I need to find the original and take another look at it.

I took hundreds of bad ones. Why? Because they kept moving. We didn’t have control over them moving, so we just kept snapping. But I got lots of good ones too!!!

Written By: Gary on August 11, 2011 No Comment

So I have a confession: I LOVE The Big Blue Bridge! It’s the bridge that crosses Telegraph and I-94, I’m not sure why I like it, it’s kind of a bright blue and other than that, I just like it. If you’re in the car with me when I’m crossing it, if I didn’t say anything I think you’d notice something was up.

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This is the side view (and it’s not perfect), I don’t think I’ve ever been thrilled with any of my crossing the bridge photos, it’s hard to see the depth (there’s no where to stand, so focus and such isn’t really an option). This is for my 31 photos in 31 days project today.

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Speaking of things on the road, this guy is driving down the street with writing on the back of his truck and it took me a few minutes to get a view (and then a few more to get a photo).

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This guy has some anger issues, I’m not really sure who he’s yelling at? The government? The Governor? The public? Of course, I had to go look up the definition because I’ve never heard the phrase before. Notice the parts written on both sides of the license plates too. And then the profanity, I can’t believe he hasn’t got a ticket for that yet.

Written By: Gary on August 9, 2011 5 Comments

Doctor Who has been around for almost fifty years, I never got into it, I knew he was a SciFi icon but it wasn’t my thing at all, which is strange in that it’s about a time traveler and I love time travel. In 2005 they reintroduced the series after being off the air for over fifteen years (kind of a reboot). I caught an episode here or there but it just didn’t click and then I was watching an episode and it clicked. They were a year behind in the US so I started looking for episodes to get all caught up and ending up watching the two seasons out of order with the two different doctors but eventually I figured it all out. Now I love it and I feel all giddy when it comes to all things Doctor Who.

So why do I love Doctor Who?!? It’s this story about hope and learning and redemption. It’s about friends and love and understanding and learning. It’s about forgiveness and balance and making things right. It’s about doing the right thing and making peace and hope. Yes, I know I said hope already.

Did you notice that I didn’t even mention adventure, time travel or aliens? That’s the fun part but not the heart of it.

Actually, as I wrote that last part it made me think of something that Rose said at the end of the first season (2005) when she was trying to figure out what to do without The Doctor in her life, I thought maybe I’d steal an item or two for my list, but I’m just going to cut and paste the whole thing:

Doctor Who: The Complete First Series Sci-Fi Channel, The
“It was a better life. I don’t mean all the traveling and seeing aliens and spaceships and things. That don’t matter. The Doctor showed me a better way of living your life. … You don’t just give up. You don’t just let things happen. You make a stand. You say “no”! You have the guts to do what’s right when everyone else just runs away!”

- Rose in The Parting of the Ways

It’s got lots of running and lots of holding hands; I’m big on holding hands so maybe that part has more impact on me. And it’s fun, with a capital FUN.

Just so you know this is part of the Ten Day Doctor Who Challenge (and I have no idea where I got this list from, maybe Tumblr?) so I’ll be doing these for the next few weeks.

Written By: Gary on August 7, 2011 10 Comments

I always love Chicago, I’ve had incredible luck with the weather when you consider the number of times I’ve been there and it’s almost always a different experience than the last time I was there. That’s not to say I don’t do some of the same things: I bike or rollerblade, I get ribs at SRO and I hit the Apple Store; after all, I am a creature of habit (habits?). And with all the people there, you can’t help but spend some time people watching…

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This little girl was sitting right on the edge of the pier(?) looking into Lake Michigan. There were a few other kids with her and they were all pretty peaceful down there by the water, there is a beach not far away and I think they’d been there for a while (some were wet and I’m pretty sure they hadn’t jumped off the edge there). This photo was taken almost right behind the Adler Planetarium.

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It was a nice day but it was hot out, these people were out relaxing during their lunch. This is downtown Chicago at State Street and Wacker Drive and the river is just out of sight to the left. I’d been relaxing in the shade by the water and didn’t even realize how the big steps were benches and grass until I’d gone up those stairs.

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There were people running, walking, biking and blading everywhere (mostly along Lake Michigan). It was really hot when this runner was out and it was still early in the day but there were still lots of people out. You can see the Ferris Wheel at Navy Pier in the background.

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Yeah, I know I title this “People in Chicago” but there are some tiny people in the distance in it. In the distance you can see Chicago in the distance. From the left we’ve got Navy Pier, the Hancock Building, Sears Tower (now Willis Tower) and to my right (not in the photo) across the road is the LIncoln Park Zoo (to give you a frame of reference as I try to do with my photos).

This is my 31 photos in 31 days photo for today.

Written By: Gary on April 16, 2011 No Comment

So this kid Trevor plays songs on the computers at Apple stores and records videos of himself dancing to them and posts them to YouTube. iTr3vor.pngThey’re entertaining and he’s certainly not shy! I actually heard about him because someone else was complaining about the girls in the background making fun of him in a different video and that they’re the ones that look like idiots…

I’m wondering out if Trevor is really just marketing for “Active”, he sure wears a lot of shirts with their name on it. And as far as I know, the other shirts could be their brand too.

Watch on YouTube.

And if that’s not the case, why the heck isn’t someone paying him to wear their shirts?!?

Either way, it looks like he’s having fun and that’s all that matters. I’m not sure how old he is, but he did comments on being 5’1″.

Written By: Gary on February 14, 2011 2 Comments

Have a great Valentine’s Day everyone. You might not be with someone, but there’s still someone out there looking for you.

Beach Couple Ylang Ylang
A couple in love on their honeymoon…*

At least I’m hoping there’s still someone out there looking for me…

* I have no idea if they’re on a honeymoon, but it’s what I choose to imagine for today!

Written By: Gary on July 22, 2010 One Comment

I think it would drive many of you all cRaZy but I think I could handle it.

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Wouldn’t live be easier, if you did everything literally? Eventually things would get better after the crazy parts but I think it could be a good place to be.

Let’s not worry about the underlying themes, bring them to the top or don’t bring them at all….

Written By: Gary on May 19, 2010 One Comment

Throughout life, even before cell phones and even before call waiting, I’ve called people on the phone sometimes initiating (but sometimes returning a call) and they don’t answer so I leave (or not leave) a message. I then move on with my day: I hop in the shower, go to work, I start some laundry, go for a bike ride or I might have even placed the call before walking into a meeting of some sort (it’s not like I’m calling people at 4:59 on a business day).

Cell Phone Etiquette: Observations from a Mom Michelle CiminoI can’t tell you the number of times I get a call back within moments and, because I’m not there any more, I can’t take the call so I end up with a message that says “why aren’t you there?”. In most of these cases I have no reason to believe they’ll be calling me back in a few minutes, I have no idea why they didn’t take my call. In a few cases, I’ve even gotten a “I don’t like that you aren’t then when I call you right back!”. I’m not on a tether, I’ve committed no crime…

Isn’t the real question,
“Where were they when I called?”?

If I don’t know you’re calling me back soon, why would I be sitting by the phone? They weren’t sitting by the phone, right? I could be there for hours and still be unavailable when you finally call. Especially these days, many people have call waiting, if they needed to click over just to say “I’ll call you back in 5, unless it’s important”, or they could text back with out even interrupting their call (although I’d prefer “I’ll be done in an hour” compared to “what do you want?”). The other problem is when someone does answer when already on a call, they say they’ll call you back in 5 minutes (or an hour) and triple the time has past. How long do you wait before leaving or calling back? If you leave, are you in trouble because they said they would call?

I’m not a big fan of people clicking over for every incoming call, so if I’m expecting a call I’ll tell a person I’m talking to (at the start of the conversation), “I do need to take a very quick call from so-and-so” or “I’m on my way to meet someone, so if they call I need to take it for a minute”. Otherwise I generally ignore call waiting. Although, when doing a job search, I’m apt to take unknown callers when from area codes of where I’m applying.

Related sidebar: I’ve noticed times that when I don’t leave a message, I think I’m more likely to get a call back when I don’t leave one! But then it doesn’t mean they played the actual message (if I left one) that might have some useful info like “I’m running late, I’m hopping into the shower and I’ll be on my way”.

Written By: Gary on March 6, 2010 No Comment

So people used to say something like “Where were you when Kennedy was shot?”, for most of my life I think the closest I could come to that was “Where was I during the attempted Reagan assignation?”, it’s not the same thing, but it’s a President being shot so it’s what came to mind for me in those situations.

sts-51l-challenger-2.jpgTwo other things that stick in my head were the Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and Space Shuttle Columbia disaster. The Challenger sticks more in my head mostly due to the imagery of it’s explosion 73 seconds after the launch.

Clearly for many people, “Where were you on September 11th, 2001?” will be that type of question. Personally, that one sticks in my head mostly because I saw much of it live. But then I assume the attacks was designed that way, one crash so that everyone was watching and then additional crashes while so many were already watching. And then so many watched the towers fall so even if you missed the earlier part of the disaster there still parts for you to catch live.

It’s generally disasters or death that people remember: The Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the London Bombing (2005), when John Lennon was shot, when Princess Diana died and things along those lines (FYI, I don’t remember when all these happened). That’s sad that these are the parts of life that people remember and talk about. Keep in mind, it’s not when the event happened it’s really about when you heard about it.

Maybe because disasters are always disasters to most people but great things to one person aren’t always a great thing to another person…

If you can think of some “Where were you?” events, please add them to the comments!

Written By: Gary on October 5, 2009 3 Comments

Neil Gaiman was speaking in Toledo tonight and I was able to go. Another cool birthday present that can be considered to be priceless, the cost of the item has nothing to do with the value of it.

He was part of an author series put on by the Toledo-Lucas County Public Library and the local newspaper the Toledo Blade. If you don’t know who he is be sure to read some of my 18 earlier posts about Neil Gaiman; at least that’s who he is to me. Even though I’d read a few earlier things, it was The Sandman where I got hooked on him (thanks to Chad in college).

Coraline Movie Tie-in Edition Neil GaimanWhen we were looking for a place to eat I double-checked his Twitter feed to make sure he hadn’t mentioned where he was eating or doing something else beforehand. That might seem silly, but just hours before when he needed to be there he mentioned that he was looking for a cafe to write in* and a little while later that his phone was giving him problems and he was going to give it a factory reset* so he might not be reachable for a bit. That might seem a little silly, but I have got to eat somewhere, right? But no such luck.

There were a lot of people there tonight, it was at the Stranahan Theater in Toledo, Ohio, and I’d been there before; by strange coincidence I’d seen Tori Amos there. He was given a very nice introduction by someone at the newspaper who, I think most of the audience would agree, had no idea who he was; it’s too bad they couldn’t have had a big fan at the paper read something about him.

The Graveyard Book Neil GaimanHe then talked a bit, told us the story of how he heard he won the Newberry Award, did a delightful reading of the beginning of The Graveyard Book (the first 20 pages) and gave us the background of how he wrote the book. Then he did a really long question and answer session. He wasn’t doing autographs and he apologized for this (I knew this in advance so I wasn’t disappointed). It was a really nice evening and was glad I was able to attend.

When were leaving, there was a line-up of cars in front, so I tried to cut out around the back to avoid the traffic. And there he was leaving the building talking to a few fans! So I stopped the car and grabbed my envelope (this is where I stuck a few things to get autographed, I knew he wasn’t signing but I like to be prepared, I even had my own Sharpie!). So I ran over there and asked him for an autograph and shook his hand! He was super-nice and he actually commented on the non-typical item of his that I choose to have him autograph. Awesome!

I did only bother him for one autograph even thought I had a few things with me. But while I forgot all about getting a picture (of him or with him) since I was so excited, I did have the sense to introduce him to a friend (that I abandoned as I dashed from the car) to him as a recent fan; she’s thirteen and sometimes shy so I didn’t think she’d come over, I’m so glad she came over and that she even got to shake his hand. It wasn’t as big of a deal for her, but maybe she’ll tell all her friends at school tomorrow that she met the guy who wrote Coraline.

So it’s a few hours later and I’m still really really excited about it. Going somewhere when I knew he wasn’t giving autographs and getting the autograph and getting to meet him. What a great evening!

Written By: Gary on March 24, 2009 No Comment

admiralhopper.gifAdmiral Grace hopper lived from December 9, 1907 to January 1, 1992 and had a lot more to do with computing than most names you know today.

“A ship in port is safe, but that’s not what ships are built for. ”

She graduated from Vassar in Mathematics and Physics and got her Ph.D. from Yale in the same subjects. She to a leave of absence from Vasser, where she was an Associate Professor of Mathematics, and joined the Navy Reserve. I’ve got a few quotes of hers in this post. She’s also attributed to phrase “bugs” in the computer (or maybe “debugging”), but I’ve heard so many stories about that I’m not so sure but here’s a photo with notes.

  • She served on the Mark I computer programming staff at Harvard.
  • In 1949 she was a senior mathematician on the team developing the UNIVAC I.
  • In the early 1950s she worked on the A-0 programming language compiler. This is the first computer compiler!
  • A lot of her compiler work is said to be the basis of the COBOL computer language.
  • In the 1970s she pioneered the implementation of standards for computer languages (like COBOL and FORTRAN).

    “It’s always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission.”

    She was on 60 minutes in 1982, here’s part 1 and part 2, she’s pretty funny.

    Here’s a video of her on Letterman (Oct. 2, 1986). She holds her own pretty good and explains how fast light and electricity can travel. It’s some of the same jokes from the 60 Minutes interview, but dumbed down for Dave.


    Here’s the original YouTube link.

    In 1971 ACM created the Grace Murray Hopper Award which is awarded to the outstanding young (35 or younger) computer professional of the year, selected on the basis of a single recent major technical or service contribution. Be sure to click the link, you’ll see some familiar names (Wozniak, Joy, Kurzweil, and more).

    “The nice thing about standards is that there are so many of them to choose from.”

    Additional info on Admiral Hopper: There is a conference named in her honor Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing. She’s received 47 honorary degrees. When she retired she was the oldest active person in the military! She was in the Navy for 43 years; from 1943-1966, 1967-1971, and 1972-1986. The Navy’s USS Hopper, an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer, is named after her.

    Why am I talking about her today? Because I signed a pledge that said “I will publish a blog post on Tuesday 24th March about a woman in technology whom I admire but only if 1,000 other people will do the same“. I’m one of those 1,000 people, actually when last I looked it’s up to 1,610 people (I think I was number 844 to sign up).

    Info on the post taken from here, her WIkipedia entry and some other info I’ve posted before.

    Later: I see Brenda Wallace, Kathleen Weaver, Miguel Esquirol Ríos, cr0n.net, Joanna Bryson, Carolyn and Andy Roberts chose the same topic as I did.

  • Written By: Gary on November 2, 2008 4 Comments

    The video shows it all.

    Here’s the original Detroit Fox video. Or try here.

    Shouldn’t this be illegal since she’s buying votes?

    Written By: Gary on October 18, 2008 No Comment

    I’ve never understood how technology seems to trap some people and when I say “technology” I’m talking about mostly low-tech. The most common thing that I can’t understand is the phone.

    Gotta Get It – Some people have to get the phone when it rings no matter what they are doing. It doesn’t matter what is happening they have to go answer the phone if it rings. They already have an answering machine so they aren’t going to miss any information.

    Gotta Check It – Other’s have to know who it is even if they aren’t going to answer, they have to check the Caller ID to see who they aren’t going to talk to. These are the people in the past who would have monitored their answering machine to get the same information.

    Gotta Be More Important – If the call waiting is going off they have to switch over, doesn’t matter if they know who it is or not, they’ve got to switch over to the other call. I can see this a little bit if they don’t have voice mail at home, but if they’ve got Caller ID they can call them back. The need to put someone off for a few minutes so that they can talk to someone else first compared to just calling the second caller back a few minutes later doesn’t make any sense to me.

    Voice Mail Inconsistencies – What’s confusing (to me) is some people have to also check their voice mail as soon as they see they have a message, but others can let it sit for a while or not even check to see if there is a message on their answering machine. My experience is the more that a person have a “Gotta” issue (see above) the more likely that they have the ability to let messages rest on a machine somewhere.

    The Phone Victim is the worst of most technologies, maybe because it’s such a simple technology it doesn’t seem to be hindered by age it affects both the young and old.

    If it’s important – they will leave a message, they will call back and they’ve got other ways to contact you (other phones, e-mail, etc.).

    My issues – I’d completely disable the call-waiting on my phone but it’s the only phone I have so if someone is trying to reach me they can’t call another number (but they could leave a voice mail). Personally, I try to only switch over to an incoming call when it’s someone I’m meeting shortly in case something is changing our plans. I’ll also switch over if I’m expecting some info from someone that requires some quick interactivity but I’ll warn the call I’m on at the start of the conversation. I’m also more likely to switch over on long-time friends that I talk to all the time but that’s the benefit of

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    Written By: Gary on October 11, 2008 2 Comments

    These are my new rules for campaigning:

    • You can’t talk about your opponent.

    That’s it. I’m tired of them answering a question by talking about their opponent. It doesn’t tell me what they are thinking. It’s a waste of time if I want to hear what a politician is thinking and planning if they are wasting half their time talking about what their opponent is (or isn’t) doing.

    Politics for Dummies Ann DeLaneyThey need to sell themselves! Show us what they can do. Convince me to like you not to dislike the “other guy”…Imagine if you were trying to get a job and you spent half your time talking about (and bad mouthing) the competition. Or if you were trying to get a date and badmouthing the other guy trying to win her heart. Or telling the police office who pulled you over that guy in the other lane was driving faster. You’re not going to get very far.

    Speaking the competitions name over and over and over again can’t be great marketing either. How often do you see Coke or Pepsi mention their competitor in an ad?

    Written By: Gary on October 2, 2008 No Comment

    So getting user updates about other users on FaceBook is interesting, but I always think ones like this are strange:

    facebook married
    It just strikes me as odd. I suppose it’s not any odder than changing your profile to stating that you’re married, but one generates congratulations and the other doesn’t.

    UPDATE: In addition you can change your profile (this is the same person’s info whom actually made this change today) to read:

    Jane Doe Picture 5
    So it’s an strange system. It might as well as have a category labeled “confused”.Sorry for the crappy image edit but I guess I never installed graphic programs on this laptop (I’ve got something but I’ve never understood layers properly).

    BTW – Feel free to add me to your FaceBook profile if you use FaceBook.

    Written By: Gary on May 18, 2008 No Comment

    I saw this at Dean’s World. It was a interesting not-normal sports story and I decided to put it up a I was watching it.

    But as I teared up a few times during the video, I decided I should share it with you all too…

    There’s a story here to go with it..

    Written By: Gary on January 27, 2008 No Comment

    So I was Burger King today and once in a while I’ll see one of the local homeless people in there (usually it’s when it’s really cold out), I think there’s 3 in particular that I recognize. Today, all three were in there (actually one was on the was out as one came in) which I thought was strange since I’ve been at BK a little more than usual lately and today it’s nowhere near as cold as it has been. Two are schizophrenic, not that I’m qualified to judge, and the other is kinda quiet. The one guy just seems to drink his coffee and step outside for a smoke and talks to himself, he seems to be the most well off, I’ve even seen him get a beer or two at the bar before (it’s possible this guy isn’t homeless). The quiet guy seems to have all his stuff with him (3 big bags) and he must have been there for a while, I saw someone ask him to leave after a while. The woman, I’ve seen her pull stuff out of the trash, and she asked me for my left over fries one time and I gave he those and some cash. Today I intentionally left my uneaten onion rings and my half-eaten Whopper on my tray at the table and she had grabbed it before I got out the door; I’m not sure why it’s a problem for me to just offer her a few dollars.

    When I’m out of town if someone asks nice (even semi-nice) for some money, I’m easy to cough up a buck or two; and in some places, that’s every block or so. I always make sure I have some cash on me for that reason. But the local homeless, I never know how to deal with them, actually they’ve never asked for money at the Burger King but I’d be glad to give them some money, but I hate to offer and for some reason I’d hate them expect it from then on (not that it’d really be a problem).If I’m somewhere around town and someone asks for cash, I’m more likely to buy them a meal if there’s an opportunity, I’d rather spend $5-10 on a meal then hand them a few dollars cash if I can (especially if I can smell alcohol or see bloodshot eyes).

    It’s when it’s the locals that I see often when it throws me. And I’m not sure why this keeps me so off balance…?

    It all makes me sad and feel pretty ungrateful when I complain about stuff in the wonderful life that I have. I’ve got a nice paying job, no debt (other than my house) and I’ve been doing pretty good at saving for my retirement someday. I give money to the shelter when they are doing fund raisers and to school when they’re having auctions and other things when they are happening around town; I could do more I’m sure, but I could certainly doing less too.

    Written By: Gary on September 19, 2007 2 Comments

    So I’m sure many of you know about the student at the Kerry Forum at the University of Florida (here’s one of many videos available). What I don’t seem to understand is why everyone is upset that they tasered him for what he was speaking about. From what I saw, they made him leave for not giving up the mic (which was cut off) and possibly what he was speaking about (and the audience applauded for them making him leave). What they tasered him for was for fighting as they were trying to escort him out. There were four or five police trying to get him to leave and he clearly wasn’t leaving. To me, it looked as if he wanted a scene or had some kind of mental instability.

    Am I missing something?!? I’m not saying the tasering was or was not excessive, but let’s be clear as to why they zapped him, it wasn’t for his words (I can’t imagine the zappers were even listening that close) it was for resisting to leave. I will agree the extra zaps were probably too much (it sounded like a few), especially if cuffed already, but it didn’t really slow him down so I can’t imagine it set as a regular taser (it never took Veronica Mars more than one zap to get someone in line). I generally don’t mess with the law, but I do know you don’t mess with security / police / secret service when it deals with senators / presidential candidates and when a bunch of people are escorting you out the building, you’re probably going to lose if you fight with them about it.

    Tasersurvey200709191028EstFrom this Blog from the Washington Post I get the feeling this student was familiar with the local police.

    Here’s a local Miami news survey and 44% (of over 18,000 votes) say he deserved it, cast your vote! The results really surprised me…Random extra thoughts:

    It didn’t even seem like he was listening to Kerry when he was talking to him.

    When he was screaming “don’t taser me”, I have to assume they were threatening to taser him if he didn’t calm down. Otherwise why scream it?

    It’s possible I’m mistaken and the audience was applauding him just for making the scene, but I don’t think they applauded until he was being escorted out. I don’t think he was considered to be under arrest until he was actually resisting leaving, I don’t think they arrested him for his words.

    Watch some of the longer versions of the video that show after they get him out of the room and down the stairs (about 2 minutes in). He keeps acting like the “inciting a riot” charge was due to the talking and not the resisting to leave. He wouldn’t give them his name, or ID and acted like they were “going to give him [me] to the government”. It’s all cRaZy talk at the end.

    He has his own web site at theandrewmeyer.com , please note his e-mail address if you visit.

    The Bloggerheads do a lot of looking at the different angles and timelines.

    Written By: Gary on August 21, 2007 One Comment

    Hint – It’s an anagram. And it’s cute (and geeky), so don’t watch it if that doesn’t appeal to you…

    My worry would be what if you didn’t get the answer you wanted…“Serge Gandaora”, the make believe artist, is actually another anagram – “George and Sara”

    Written By: Gary on May 9, 2007 No Comment

    I thought this was funny. I usually ignore these but I clicked this one…

    It was titled Funny Father Daughter Dance “A Wonderful White Wedding”. It takes a minute to get to the good part but it’s definitely different for a wedding.

    On a (completely unrelated) side note Wedding Crashers is a kinda funny candid camera show on Monday Nights. You need to fast forward through the talking parts but the practical jokes are pretty good. If you’ve only seen it this week, try it again this weeks episode was kinda weak…

    Written By: Gary on February 25, 2007 19 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, I just forgot that I knew it….

    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 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…

    Garysaidstats

    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 January 7, 2007 No Comment

    sunset jaco costa ricasunset jaco costa ricaOne of my favorie parts of the movie Running Scared (1986), is when Gregory Hines and Billy Crystal (who play Chicago Cops) are in Florida (Key West, I think) and see a bunch of people standing by the pier. They think ‘someone must have found a body’ or ‘a car must have drove off the pier’. As they try to get closer they ask someone ‘what happened?’ and the response is, ‘they’re just watching the sunset’ and the both look at her and say, ‘no, really, what happened?’ and she replies, ‘everyone comes down every night for the sunset’ and they just don’t believe it. But sure enough, it’s just the sunset and they’re hooked they watch it every night get hooked.

    That’s what it’s like here in Jaco, Costa Rica, everyone starts showing up on the beach in the evening. Even if they aren’t going to get in the water they just show up to watch. Some show up just a few minutes before, some show up an hour or so. They bring the kids, the babies, the grandparents and just watch it set and the colors fade away…

    sunset people jaco costa rica(I’m just paraphrasing the movie, I can’t find the actual quotes, anywhere on-line, but you get the gist of it.)

    As usual, click the photos for larger views.

    Written By: Gary on November 17, 2006 No Comment

    “If you want a better world…
    …you’re going to have have to be better people”

    Found on the chalkboard at Trixie’s coffeehouse in Roseville, MI.

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on October 22, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’ve seen web sites where they tell you how popular your first or last name is. This is the first on that I’ve seen that tells you how unique your full name is.


    How Many Of Me.com
    howmanyofme.com There are:
    40
    people with my name
    in the U.S.A.

    How many have your name?


    What I don’t like about this is it sticks with the number I’m given today. If their list changes it doesn’t make another calculation query to the list. But how many more can there be like me?!?

    Tags: []
    Written By: Gary on October 22, 2006 One Comment

    VisitormapsampleSo I found a new visitor map widget for my site. This one uses the Google Maps for viewing and exploring. It shows where it thinks you are and if you click it, it shows all the recent visitors. I always like to know where people come from (and maps, I like maps). How close does it show you to where you think you are?!?

    It seems like it just counts each visitor (or IP?) once, so that’s good, it takes about a half day to update the chart but I think your location is always correct.

    The image in this post is “static”. To see the “live” image look in the footer of any page.


    I got this from here. It’s set up as a myspace tool but it looks like it’ll work fine if you just copy the image and the link.

    I originally didn’t think this was working but I guess it just took a few hours to kick in (I had actually removed the post and had to repost it).

    Written By: Gary on October 19, 2006 No Comment

    I’m sure they thought it would look cool to film their buddy doing this…

    Posted by Jon


    I hope they don’t show the video to the insurance company…

    Tags: [, ]
    Written By: Gary on October 15, 2006 One Comment

    So this Tuesday the U.S. Population is supposed to hit 300 Million people. I was looking for some kind of cool counter to put on my page (even just a graphic that changes with each page load). Not having any luck, but I know I’ve seen one before. Here’s the current numbers, looks like only 10,500 to go…

    FYI, if we round the world’s population to Six Billion (6,000,000,000) that means we’re only 1/20th of the world’s population. That’s not very much considering how big we think of ourselves in a global way.

    Remember a few years back I talked about your ecological footprint and how much of the world’s resources you use. I thought I’d bring it up with the 1/20th number in mind and let you take the ecological footprint survey again.


    I found a crappy JavaScript/CSS one but it just looked like it’d eventually become problematic sticking it in the post. Can anyone help me find one? I can find pages with the info (like this) but I wanted to embed it in my page.

    Written By: Gary on September 1, 2006 No Comment

    So I was watching a re-run of Grey’s Anatomy last night. It’s the one where the wife has the fork stuck in her neck; her and the husband were being adventurous since she has an aneurism and only has weeks/months to live. So they are traveling and doing all the things they’ve always said they’ll do some day.

    This ties back in with the meme from a few weeks ago about what would you do this six months to live. This also ties in with the new show Three Moons Over Milford where the moon gets hit with an asteroid and everyone knows it’s only a shot amount of time before the pieces fall back to earth. Several of the people and episodes are all about living life to the fullest.

    So back to my question: “Why wait?”


    If there is all sorts of stuff I want to do, what am I waiting for? What are you waiting for? Now I know some of us have responsibilities so that has all sorts of implications. But many of us are single with no responsibilities. Why not quit the job and just travel to those places that I’ve thought about? Go volunteer. Go move somewhere interesting and get a job for a while? I could probably figure something out so I could do some reasonable consulting via the net regardless of where I might live.

    I’ve been thinking about this for a while now. My best friend just keeps waiting for the day I call and say see ya, I’ve off to move to Costa Rica…

    Written By: Gary on July 8, 2006 2 Comments

    So I’m at Einstein Bros Bagels getting lunch and they’ve got the little sign where they list the soups they have that day (they removable pieces so they can change the sign depending on availability). Now today everyone seems to want Brocolli Cheddar (including me), which they happen to be out of, but it’s still on the sign. They actually have three choices: Leave it (the likely choice), remove that soup from the list, make more soup. I don’t think Mr. Einstein would be very impressed with their smarts…

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