Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Election morning travails

Every morning I hop in the car and turn on the ignition. The radio blares as I inevitably forgot to turn down the volume the night before when I parked. Alas, the emanations of the radio are neither the sweet tones of a ballad nor the inspiring driving rhythm of a strong bass line but are the cacophonous babbling of talk show hosts.

If you can't tell, I hate talk shows. I hate them so much, I reserve a preset button for the reliably innocuous classical music station. However, in my restlessness I usually switch around radio stations, sadly suffering from some acute amnesia that blocks out the fact that talk shows dominate morning radio. Being a forgiving soul, I tend to allow them one or two complete sentences before becoming disgusted and continuing my spectrum meandering.

Perhaps the show that attracts my ire most is KITS's The Woody Show. Before you ask, I looked up the web page specifically for your convenience this morning as I compose this blog and not because I've ever seen it before. The content of that web page is such eye bleach to me, that I quickly avert my eyes after getting the offensive link. You're welcome. If I could expunge my presets of this show, I would, but unfortunately, KITS is one of the few stations in my area that plays the music I like (although less and less now as the management has tried to attract younger audiences ~ get off my lawn, kids!!).

Most mornings, the two sentences I hear are some toilet humor or indignant and ignorant rant on some idiotic happening. Usually they pick some poor odd news article and poke fun at the village idiot. I let them have their "fun" and switch the channel after a sentence or two and shake my head in resignation. Often, I am particularly irked when they comment on legal or political matters.

What does this have to do with this election morning? I'm doing my usual channel surf and I hear "Woody" say ~ Why are we not voting? [Whathisface] is not registered and I know this is an important election in like ... Pennsylvania and ... Ohio... [at this point I emphatically push a different preset.] My respect for this morning show has hit an all-time low. I hear them rant and rave about all sorts of issues facing the nation and the community, and this pathetic apathy is the result? Don't bore me with your sophomoric preaching if you can't take 30 minutes out of your lives to do the perhaps ONE REAL THING to change your community for the better.

And that reference to Pennsylvania and Ohio completely ignores the state and local issues. I can't believe these people have a show and that anyone actually listens to it.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Polling the divide

The AP asks why Obama is in a tight race with McCain when so many indicators suggest Democrats should be doing better (the economy, the unpopularity of Bush, etc.), and provocatively polls white voters. I don't like their poll at all because the questions (Would you describe blacks as "friendly"?) are applied to races as a whole. It's like saying, would you describe water as cold? Some water is cold and some is hot. Some blacks are friendly and some are not. Some Asians are good at math and some are not. Some criminals are cheating lying @$$es and some are not.

The problem is, at least some respondents of the poll felt that the form of the poll was acceptable and so we have the results in the graph.

My apologies, Blogger.com is not very kind to my images and I'm too lazy to figure it out. But the story is here with a bigger version of the image. The AP writer then concludes that the reason Obama is in such a tight race is because some white democrats and independents still harbor misgivings about voting for someone because they are black - white Republicans are overwhelmingly not likely to vote for a Democrat whether they are white or any other color - and describes the difference as resulting in as much as a 6-point spread in voter polls.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Umbrellas and Smoke

The recent conflict in Georgia has seen an explosion of propaganda and rhetoric on both sides of the newly re-descended Iron Curtain. Perhaps some clever commentator will coin a new term for Russia's indignant flexings, but I will leave that to better poets. Regardless, I hadn't really given much thought to the strategy behind the words being bandied about, but this article from the Christian Science Monitor interprets those words in the context of international ... law is not the right word ... understandings(?) governing the use of force. It's probably better to just read the article.

But to encapsulate the story, a few years ago, the UN passed a resolution (or something) that in essence post-facto legitimized the NATO intervention in Bosnia, which originally was not authorized by the UN. It did so by generally stating that the international community must act to prevent genocide, and must do so over the interests of sovereignty. After the international community finished singing kumbayah, it left countries wondering what would trigger accusations of "genocide" and what the limits of this new invade-first-ask-questions-later resolution would be.

Well, the Russians have cloaked their military "intervention" in Georgia in the mantle of this genocide-prevention resolution by alleging that the fighting in South Ossetia was "genocide." Now, there are conflicting reports about who started what fighting (with the Russians saying the Georgians began military operations against separatists, and the Georgians saying the separatists attacked first on the urging of the Russians) and there were hundreds of civilian casualties in the fighting.

The rest of the article is more about scolding the Russians and highlighting tensions that have arisen than it is about the standards involved so I won't bore you. Regardless of right or wrong in this case, the Russian example has proven that the international standard for intervention is A MESS. Apparently the only clear standard is the old truism: might makes right. In that vein, can the U.N. do anything right?

On a separate note, I think it's hilarious that the Russians looked to China for help in backing their play to assist separatists in another sovereign nation. Ummm... Uighurs and Tibetans and Taiwanese? I mean, the general antipathy or at least suspicion towards the U.S. aside, Chinese diplomats have shown one card constantly ~ they will not support any precedent for foreign intervention in domestic security affairs, especially on the grounds of human rights relief. Love 'em or hate 'em, the Chinese are dependable on that.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Obvious, but not?

So I have a bluetooth headset. I have no idea how to do more than answer a call, put a call on hold, and hang up on a call with it. It makes incomprehensible beeps at me. Is it telling me it's low on battery? Is there an incoming call? Learning headset beep language is a specialized skill like semaphore or Morse code. You couldn't PAY me to learn what all the different beeps, boops and flashes mean. No doubt someone is fluent in the language of bluetooth headset beeping, but that skill is like knowing Klingon except geekier.

So I guess the obvious solution is to have a headset that TELLS you what's happening and understands what you say to it. The question becomes why haven't other manufacturers figured this out before? Is there some reason people wouldn't want this functionality? Is it just too expensive (it is significantly more than a baseline headset)? Perhaps it's buggy?

I guess maybe the biggest reason is that if all you do with the headset is to answer calls, you don't need to access all the random esoteric functions all the time and 90% of the extra cost is wasted...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Pink fishing pole!

This is awesome! This dude has been fishing with his granddaughter and bought her a Barbie fishing pole. They caught a 21 lb. catfish with it.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Numbers on video game studies

Here's an interesting article describing some conclusions drawn from studies of video gaming. It's not as comprehensive as I would have liked, but it does confirm that some skills in video gaming are transferable to real-world applications. For one example, it specifically points out a particular study on laparoscopic surgeons (who use small incisions to insert tools and cameras inside body cavities to perform procedures). The article cites a study author as saying that, "The single best predictor of [the surgeons'] skills is how much they had played video games in the past and how much they played now. Those were better predictors of surgical skills than years of training and number of surgeries performed."

Well ain't that a kick in the pants? Anyway, sadly, most gamers are not laparoscopic surgeons. However, what's good for the goose is good for the gander, no? I would think that complicated control schemes and video interfaces would benefit from video game experience in any profession.

Beyond complicated controls, I firmly believe that map interpretation, landmark recognition and navigation, and spatial orientation skills all benefit from some types of video gaming as well. The article also points out problem solving and strategy formulation. In this day and age, even social skills can be bolstered by online communities ~ although being the king of dorks might not be the most lustrous mantle...

But as the article concludes, it's not all sunshine and roses. Violent fatties.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Asylum from Texas

A missing Rice University student turned up on the UC Berkeley campus and is suspected of possession of stolen property and other crimes. I know Houston is a $#!thole, but it's still better than living on cans of beans and instant noodles in a 2004 Dodge Neon in the East Bay.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Oh the things you'll see

So I'm reading some of the recent Fark.com listings this morning and I come across "Dog swallows two-foot-long stick and survives. Your dog doesn't want stake." I chuckled to myself about how domestication seems to have robbed some animals of their survival instinct. I wondered how many wolves find long sticks on the ground ~ probably on a daily basis; and then how many decide to attempt to swallow said long sticks ~ probably none.

Thus convinced of my logical vindication, I continued perusing the listings and came across "It was only a matter of time. Man chokes to death during a cake-eating competition." Isn't it funny how the universe will poke you in the ego right when you need it? This dude tries to one-up his friends who have shoved 2, 3 and 4 "fairy cakes" (whatever the heck those are) into their mouths by stuffing FIVE in his pie-, forgive me, cakehole. He collapsed on his way to the "toilets" in convulsions and died at the hospital.

Fairy-cake fragments. Don't breathe this.

I guess stuffing your face with too much crap is just part of hanging around with humans.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What happened to their racks?

Just a quick note memorializing the disappearance of Daily News boxes along my route to lunch. I've been gone a couple of weeks from the lunch scene, but upon resuming my food-seeking treks, I noticed that there were no newspaper boxes along my path on Page Mill Road where there were previously three or more. I was relegated to searching the boxes on El Camino.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Personal Best = Botox Injections

Mark Spitz gets skewered in this article by Ann Killion at the Mercury News. Why you hatin' AK? A brother's gotta eat. I will concede: hawking botox injections is a bit of a come-down from winning 7 gold medals in 1972, but if even Ms. Killion seems convinced of Spitz's genuine enthusiasm for his paralyzed face, then good on him, I say! At least he's doing something that excites him. Some Olympic athletes like to parlay their success into motivational speaker gigs or celebrity has-been reality shows or even fodder for med school applications. Even if not the most noble of professions, selling botox to make people feel good about themselves is not nearly as titillating as perhaps getting caught partying in a short skirt without any underwear ~ especially for a 58-year-old dude.

There are gems of irony and real humor in the article as well though. I especially liked the anecdote about bullshitting the Russian swim coach into getting all the Russians to grow mustaches as well (nostalgia for the good old days when the bad guys were Reds... although I guess some things never change). But Ms. Killion sledgehammers the last line by tying the new Speedo swimsuit technology (LZR) to Spitz's botox.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

By Jingo, Chinese Paranoia Pondered

I never would have thought I would have a chance to use "jingoism" in my blog twice in one week, although honestly because I hardly ever post more than twice in one week, but this BBC blogger's post regarding his observations on the reactionary paranoia and bellicose nationalism displayed by many Chinese actually reflects some of my own observations. He's definitely put more thought into it than I have.

The almost-defiant pride displayed by many mainland Chinese is quite frightening, and it is coupled with what I would call paranoid suspicion of foreigner's motives. They often interpret adverse foreign actions as specially designed to attack Chinese pride in every case. It's as if they believe that honor and "losing face" are sufficient in themselves to explain any adverse action. Any other explanation, such as negligence (on the part of American bombers in Belgrade) or human rights (in the case of Tibet or political dissidents) are dismissed as facades for the true motivation of Western powers.

That's the other thing ~ Chinese I've spoken with tend to anthropomorphize (if that's the proper word) the entirety of Western society into a single sentient beast out to destroy their resurgence. I patiently try to explain that Western society is composed of hundreds of millions of people, thousands of cultures and dozens of nations, and collective action on their part is not only improbable but patently ridiculous. Even accepting that intellectually (and many of the Chinese I've socialized with are intellectuals), they nevertheless return to their (seemingly) instinctive Chinese v. foreigner mentality.

What I've seen since the 90s is an unbridled growth in nationalistic pride, probably fostered in part by the Chinese government to silence dissent and solidify their position. Tyrants throughout the 19th and 20th centuries have found ultra-nationalism to be a superb tool to ostracize the opposition and justify their methods ~ Napoleon. Hitler. Marco. Hirohito. Hussein. Khomeini. Mugabe. In the transition from Communist patriarchy to Free-market socialists, I can only wonder if China will be able to check its swing into fascist police state.

Pride is a cardinal sin because when mixed with other base human emotions, it leads to the other cardinal sins. That is why it is the greatest of the cardinal sins; as Saint Thomas Aquinas wrote, "inordinate self-love is the cause of every sin." What I've observed first-hand is a hubristic conviction that Chinese culture is superior to other cultures and therefore not susceptible to the dangers that history has shown us. Many Chinese I've spoken with see no inordinate self-pride in placing themselves above the other nations of the world, and do not see the irony in nevertheless excoriating the Japanese, British or Germans for doing the same in the past. Such willful blindness is incomprehensible to me.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Finally, another use for my "Extender"

When I first "upgraded" *cough* from XP to Vista last year, I was excited about the possibility of streaming HD TV through my house and the unlimited storage space I could harness with my PC. I'm generally fairly satisfied with how that vision turned out. But in the process, I've discovered that I actually dislike most TV programming.

Looking at all the programs I've recorded over the last year, I have some operas recorded off PBS, nature shows, a few documentaries about historical figures, and a crapload of "Family Guy." It's actually an embarassing amount of Family Guy. I can't help myself.

Aaaaanyway, the end result of my discovery is that although I'm using the Media Center the way I meant to, I don't actually value it that much. Add in some technical and execution faults (response time to commands is SLOW, menus are pretty-looking but often useless to me, I don't have the high speed "n" wireless so I've got wires criss-crossing my living room, etc. etc.), and the overall palate has a bittersweet finish.

But!! If I could stream movies from Netflix through my computer and Xbox 360, that would be another happy use. A closer examination of the Netflix FAQ area shows that not all Netflix movies would be available, but rather a "separate, smaller library of 10,000 movies and TV episodes." I suppose it's possible that all 10,000 could be crappy, given the amount of dreck on TV nowadays, but I'm definitely intrigued by the possibilities. I suppose I'll give Netflix a try when they start that service.

It's Miller time!

InBev to buy Anheuser-Busch for $52B. The Belgians are coming. There goes the neighborhood. I'm not a huge fan of beer, or alcoholic beverages in general actually, but there are times when I like to throw one back and relax. Honestly, Budweiser is not my first choice if I have to choose "one" to throw back. My understanding is that Bud is an economical choice for multiple throwbacks or particularly large volume consumption. I'm sure it's quite acceptable as bong fuel.

Still, A-B is kind of an icon for American culture. A final bastion of unrestrained jingoism: "yeah, it's cheap and tastes like piss, but it's our cheap piss ~ rah rah American flag." As point of fact, A-B has, in recent years, tried to highlight in its ads its American ownership vis à vis SABMiller's South African ownership, and SABMiller has responded in kind with its "President of Beers" commercial line.

Well, that argument now appears moot as the Europeans flex their economic muscle.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Tiki Torch deaths

I originally saw the fark.com tag "NJ wins Darwin award for rash of tiki torch oil related deaths. Hair oil called in for questioning" and snickered a bit. I clicked on the link and wondered whether I would be regaled with tales of self immolation or fiery hair-dos.

Turns out that people drank the tiki torch oil thinking it was apple juice. The report does mention that the bottle is labeled "Tiki Torch Oil" and carries warnings in English and Spanish, so I'm gonna assume that it is responsibly labeled. And the child that was injured was actually poured the oil as a drink by an adult, so apparently it's not immediately an instance of an attractive danger.

Really what's going on here is a cluster of New Jerseyans who don't bother to read labels before ingesting things. The report says the incidents were unrelated, so it wasn't just one person making a mistake that affected others.

I mean, FORGET reading nutrition labels for fat and calorie content. These guys don't even read labels for "DANGER: EAT ME U DIE." If it's in the kitchen, they eat it.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Sunscreen: Boon to Bane?

According to a "new study commissioned by the European Commission" (can any hack write for AFP now?), common sunscreens can damage and kill coral reefs even in small amounts. That's just great. So I'm in a tropical area, trying to limit skin damage, and now I can get guilt-tripped for getting in the water. Well, hopefully someone will quickly develop some new environmentally-friendly sunscreens.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Nerdtastic Reference Page

Sorry for this book-keeping post. Just a reference page for myself.

Demonic Circle
Arcane Barrage
Hunger for Blood
Chimaera Shot








Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Think you know toilets? You don't know SQUAT!

Have you ever seen a squat toilet? If you haven't, it's basically a rectangular piece of porcelain, like an extraordinarily tall tile or something, with a ovoid hole in the middle. The ones I've seen have "convenient" textured areas on either side of the hole to provide better traction for your shoes. I'd never seen one prior to my visit to China in 2001. In some of the touristy areas, the public restrooms would be equipped with them. To say I was "relieved" (haha! me so funny) to be staying in hotels with sit-down toilets instead of the squatting toilets would be an understatement.

Well, China's potty training has come home to roost. Apparently after doing test-runs (zomg "runs"! I kill me) in Olympic venues, the Chinese organizers have decided to add some sit-down toilets after receiving numerous complaints that the only facilities available were the squatting toilets. Apparently they won't all be replaced, but every venue should have some seated toilets. "The percentage will depend on the situation of each venue. We are doing our best to improve on the current circumstances." Sounds pretty lame to me.

I guess I shouldn't impose my expectations on bathroom facilities on other cultures, but having traveled extensively throughout the world, I can say that aside from a surprising Italian highway rest stop, I can't remember ever seeing those squat toilets outside of China. To be fair, I have used ditch latrines in less developed countries, but none of those are hosting the Olympics!

P.S. I also considered calling this blog entry, "Did Mao Have a Wide Stance?" but it didn't seem as descriptive of the real controversy.

Monday, March 03, 2008

L2Read Ks n00b

I was watching a consumer-oriented news report on the local CBS news tonight and it concerned car title loans. Apparently you put up the title to your vehicle as collateral on a loan. Sounds pretty straightforward right? Well the catch is that the lenders tend to charge huge interest rates on the loan, which is completely understandable considering that a the collateral loses value at a huge rate. If you don't have decent credit, the annual percentage interest can be something like 90%. The example shown was an $8500 dollar loan that over three years would incur $15,000 in interest.

The problem is, if someone needs money from strangers that urgently and doesn't have the credit rating to cover a more conventional loan, that person tends to be, shall we say, under-skilled at financial management. In fact, I would go as far as to say they could foreseeably "forget" to read contracts with 90% APRs in black and white and large letters.

I don't know what "predatory lending" is, technically; I would think it's some statutory term. But in a dictionary sense, it seems these kinds of loans are definitely predatory on people who most likely don't understand loans. That said, the upside is that the number of these kinds of loans can't possibly be very high considering that most people won't hold valuable cars free and clear if they don't understand money. In any case, I found myself with little sympathy for the lady who screwed herself over by agreeing to the loan based on her Cadillac Escalade she received as a gift from a relative who paid CASH for it. Come to think of it, has she paid her gift tax on that Caddy?! Someone call the Board of Equalization.

And yes, I'm being uncharacteristically vindictive in this post, but I was uncharacteristically annoyed by the stupidity being fostered by the story.

Friday, February 15, 2008

What Fengshui means to the Golden Arches

Golden? Too electric. Lemon Cream arches? Cornsilk arches? Muted earth tones and an open watery dining area seem to be the prescription for a Fengshui McDonald's in Hacienda Heights near LA. As a tangent, I think that's where this cool Buddhist temple is that serves a very decent veggie lunch for a very reasonable price. But if you don't want to go the vegetarian route, you can now get your zen on at McD's.

They mention that they're putting a McCafe in the new McDonald's. They tried a McCafe at my local McDonald's here, and it didn't do so hot. It was actually a pretty decent little coffee shop, but I never saw anyone go in. I think they may have been intimidated by the swanky decor compared to the tile floors and plastic swivel chairs of the McDonald's. It definitely threw me for a loop. Well, best of luck to them; may their feng blow and shui flow freely.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Not his only crime...

I was waiting in the doctor's clinic reading my favorite newspaper, The Palo Alto Daily News. It's my favorite mainly because it's FREE, but also because it gives local news not given by most internet providers. Anyway, the story I read this morning was that a local restauranteur, Simon Yuan, was sentenced to four months in a "detention facility," four months of home confinement, and a year of supervised release.

I hadn't seen the reports that federal tax agents had busted into his establishment 3 years ago; the article says they blew open the front and back doors of the restaurant. I wish I could have seen that. Tax evasion seems like such an attractive crime. A criminal could almost convince themselves that there's no victim or at least see themselves as some sort of small-scale Robin Hood, stealing from the rich to give to themselves. However, it's still a crime of theft with the motive of greed and personal enrichment. Simon used the proceeds to fund trips for his wife and luxury automobiles.

Perhaps the biggest crime against our Palo Alto Community itself, however, is related to the so-called Hunan cuisine they serve there. Having been taken to eat at my white friends' "favorite Chinese restaurant" and being served the "Hunan" food there, I feel violated.

I really don't have much against Americanized Chinese food ~ if I know that's what I'm gonna get. PF Chang's? Get me some Pepto-bismol and I'm gtg. Panda Express? It probably saved my life when I was living in Virginia. But the problem isn't the Americanization of the menu (which is obvious from the cocktail bar, upscale decor and smarmy white-tablecloth service). It's that the food tastes genuinely WEIRD. I mean... it's weird. I order a signature Hunan dish ~ Hunan spicy pork, and it LOOKS like Hunan spicy pork, but what's that flavor? And the flavor extends across the menu (that I've tried) ~ it's like they have a "special" sauce going on back there that they douse everything with. I'm guessing it's polyurethane. That, or semen (which I've never tried and could explain my inability to place the flavor).

To add insult to injury, just a few miles away is Hunan Homes restaurant, which while far from being my first choice in Chinese restaurants, serves very credible Hunan food without the weird taste.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Nothing to write about

Actually, the title of this post is inaccurate. It would be more accurate to say there's a lot to write about, but nothing that I want to write about. There's actually a ton of stuff going on in my life atm ~ people moving all over the place, politics, health issues, and of course my nephew and niece (so cute!) - but none of those topics seems like something I want to put in this meaningless blog. Apparently, my posting criteria are (a) pithy and (b) insignificant.

I mean, seriously, my last few posts have been about Wii-mote modifications, a comedy painting near a bathroom, and the SMURFS.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Wii-mote Mino-wity Wii-port

I saw a link to the webpage of this guy, Johnny Chung Lee, while reading my tri-weekly dose of profane humor at penny-arcade.com. In it, he describes how he's used the Nintendo Wii's controller to create different input devices, for instance, tracking the fingertips a la Minority Report, albeit in 2-D. It's pretty rudimentary, and actually somewhat elementary once you understand the basics of what he's working with, but considering the ease and and common availability of what he's talking about - he points out that there are more wiis out there than tablet PCs, making it one of the most common electronic input devices - it really makes me wonder why I'm still using a mouse and keyboard. Or at least a mouse.

He does note that he's planning on working on 3-D tracking using the "Wiimote" with the same principles ~ something that would mainly be constrained by the infrared camera's resolution, I assume. Anyway, it's fun watching his well-presented videos.

I'm embedding a youtube video where he uses the wii to track the head for a virtual-reality-type display.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Colbert's portrait hanging in the National Portrait Gallery

Stephen Colbert has successfully managed to get his portrait into the National Portrait Gallery, there to hang next to other important images like portraits of the founding fathers and the sign saying "all employees must wash hands before returning to work."
The article is pretty funny as it cites Colbert's "sack work" as very persuasive and instrumental in getting his portrait hung there.
Of course, the portrait is only there for six weeks and is NOT joining the gallery's collection (not YET, as we hope).

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Oh noez! They be takin' mah Scrabulous!

OMG. It's happening. Hasbro and Mattel, who split ownership of the Scrabble trademark, have asked the Indian developers of Scrabulous (or the Faboo Scraboo as I call it) to remove Scrabulous from Facebook!

According to the BBC article, they claim that Scrabulous is infringing their copyrights. Now, I have no idea why the BBC links Hasbro's and Mattel's Scrabble trademark ownership to copyrights, but I assume BBC means that Hasbro and Mattel (H&M) split ownership of certain copyrighted materials in Scrabble. I don't think there's really any question that the identical Scrabble board, game rules, tile values, and tile counts (and more) are copyrights.

One problem is if H&M think they can make their own online Scrabble game, they might want to choke off competition to open the field for their game. Another problem is the amount of control H&M could exert on licensees might be hard to negotiate. They might insist on name changes, design changes, advertising changes, etc. I hope that H&M is willing to give these guys a license. In any case, SOS ~ Save our Scrabulous!

Edit: Here's an interesting blog on this story from the BBC with an insightful quote: "my point is that, as Google has already found, the early dreams of being a happy-clappy, open-source, 'do no evil' kind of business soon fade when the realisation dawns that you are worth suing."

Edit: Here's a link from Yahoo to a video from ABC news. Basically the same stuff, but it does reveal that Hasbro sold a license to Electronic Arts a few months ago for electronic versions of its games. I'm guessing that means Scrabulous is going the way of the dodo. /cry

Monday, January 14, 2008

Smurfy 50th Smurfiversary!

Wow, the Smurfs are old. 50-years-old to be precise. I just remember watching them in the '80s and getting a Smurf Sing-Along LP album. In retrospect, I never really liked them, but it was better than watching the other stuff on TV. As much as I enjoy golf now as Saturday naptime TV, I despised it when I was ten.

So have a Smurftastic Smurfiversary... Now it's time to celebrate with 99 smurfs on 1 smurfette action.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Surf's Up in Half Moon Bay!

Wow ~ the world class Mavericks Surf Contest is going to be held tomorrow off Half Moon Bay, just over the hills from where I live. It must be amazing to see how that small community copes with the large number of people that show up for that event. It's bad enough on normal weekends with beach-goers and hikers, but with an international surf contest it must be craaazy.

Apparently, the Mavericks MySpace page will be having a live web-cast of the event, and the organizers are trying to tell people to stay away to avoid impacting the sensitive coastal flora and fauna. As the ninja turtles, who as denizens of the NY sewer are such poseurs for sounding like stereotypical surfer dudes, would say, the contest will be totally tubular, man.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

Proposed closure of state parks!

I read in SFGate that the governuh's budget plan includes the proposed closure of 48 State Parks/Recreational Areas/etc. The full list is here, but the primary impact to me would be the closure of 9 in the Bay Area. To my relief, these closures would be temporary until the State budget situation improves, with reduced budgets going to patrols of the closed parks. In any case, I don't think I've been to the State parks mentioned, although I'm a big fan of the State Park system.

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

w00t ~ word of the year for 2007!

Merriam-Webster has named "w00t" the word of the year for 2007. Although I've been using w00t! for years ~ I remember using it during my Everquest days, possibly as early as 2001 ~ apparently the movement in the English language towards texting and computer aided communication has brought this celebratory phrase to the forefront.

I own (or pwn) this shirt. It's sweet and now has a culturally significant word on it.