03/14/2006

The fellow we bought the car from works for Stryker, which makes joint replacements and other medical products. These replacements continue to advance over time. Look at this hip replacement. One of the problems they are trying to overcome is the wearing down of the artificial joints. People who have the implants get a card that they can show airport security to get through metal detectors. Imagine the crazy things you could do with a wireless PC in the joint that was powered by joint movement, itself. cyberdude! Hack from your knee! Maybe you could carry around a little bluetooth keyboard and display to communicate with your knee.

From some forum:
“See that? Now you have no excuse not to get Superstar Saga. Go buy, or you will be the meat of painfulness in a sandwich that is made with the bread that is UGLY!”

And now for Sean’s video countdown.
3. Hanging on a number three, it’s Corgis herding a basketball in the swimming pool. Get the ball out for her, Mark! DO IT!

2. Manamana by The Muppets moves down to number two.

1. This month, at number one, it’s Treat Your Mother Right by Mr. T. Sean walks around saying, “Treat her right! Treat her right!”

02/28/2006

I must be an old fogey, because myspace makes me nervous. All those webpages under the control of a single company seems a bad idea from the point of control and personalization. The current fad is for a band to have a web page “under construction” and then merely a link to their myspace page.

Just to talk about the state of bands today, lemme just give an example. Lamacq Live plays Another Day by Neils Children. They’re a nobody band. It’s a good song. If they’re lucky, it’ll get played a lot on BBC 6 Music. If they’re not, you may never hear the song again. I say they should just put a link to the mp3 on their front page. No catches, no itunes, etc. This way, they stay on peoples’ mp3 players and in their heads, rather than potentially fading away. That song is the key to a lot of publicity. Maybe people spread the word about them and go to their concerts, giving money directly to them, rather than their music publisher. I could be wrong. Maybe the band will do fine without giving away their first top song. It just seems to me like a sure thing vs. a risk of fading out. By the way, the UK is pumping out good new music like nobody’s business right now. But turn on the radio in the US…Clear Channel song, commercial, commercial, old Clear Channel song, commercial, commercial, commercial, etc. Incidentally, New Mexico has more area than the UK, but about 3% of their population. The US has about 3% of the UK’s musical quality, but the UK has 3% of New Mexico’s food quality.
[Quality is a subjective measurement. See store for details.]

I was listening to the This Week in Tech podcast. Leo Laporte sounds like Space Ghost.

Poor Sean was wheezing like Darth Vader last night. Vanessa didn’t get much sleep, kinda staying up with him.

02/22/2006

It’s all over the news that a group of 8 people won the $365 million lottery. What I’d like to see when a lottery is over is a more realistic headline:
Lottery Over: 146 Million Losers
But no…all that gets hyped is the winner and the exciting message that YOU could win…and there are even more losers the next time. People need more concrete physical examples of how unlikely it is that a player will win the lottery. Go to a sandy playground. Behind your back, have someone place a single grain of sand somewhere on the playground. Now, turn around and throw your grain of sand. With any luck, you’ll hit theirs! Yay! Now, make the lottery ticket addict do this experiment a thousand times. Pick a number between 1 and 146,000,000. Is this it? No? Keep refreshing that page. I’m sure it’ll turn up eventually.

Google mail might be the stealth instant messenger. You know, there are those people whom you can’t get on any sort of IM…but they have a gmail address. Instant messaging is enabled by default on your gmail account. (Yes, you can disable it.) I added my brother’s gmail address to my list in GAIM and last night, I caught him checking his email and messaged him. Muahaha! He cannot escape me!

Vanessa and I played more Lego Star Wars last night. It has some pretty funny moments. There are a lot of cooperative puzzles in the game. Last night, we figured one out and, quite unexpectedly, the room we were in burst into disco lights and music and the nearby aliens at a control panel walked over and started dancing.

02/08/2006

Tax return computed. HDTV haughtily mocks and disdainfully laughs at tax return. Tax return hangs head in shame and pretends it wasn’t even looking at HDTV. I got to play with my grampa’s new HDTV the other night. It had a VGA and DVI input. I shoulda brought my computer to hook up to it. BF2 on a screen that large would probably make me sick though.

Gramma Peny, who’d been staying with us for a few months, has left to visit relatives in Kansas. It was nice to have her with us, and to have her as a Scrabble player. Unfortunately, she polished Vanessa into a razor-sharp and unbeatable player who usually wins. Is it time to escalate the Scrabble cold war to studying word lists? I hope not. Won’t someone please think of the children?

Well, congrats to Kelly and Bethany who have just had their second child. Kelly sent me a link to his photos of the baby. It was quite a contrast in the photo album…from a cat peacefully resting on a sunny windowsill to a pink, screaming, angry newborn.

Sean apparently finds Google video and flickr to be very interesting. I can show him a slideshow of basketball hoops (which he is strangely fascinated with) or a video of dogs playing with a basketball in a swimming pool at his whim. I downloaded this video to the Google player and now he can hit the spacebar to start it over and over and over…as long as I’m in a different room…because if I hear those dogs yapping in that video one more time, I’ll go mad! Mad, I tells ya!

People actually consume silver for medicinal purposes? Wowzers. Wonder if it works as well as mercury. Still can’t beat leeches.

12/27/2005

Looks like this

Steamboy last night. Pretty good. It was the first time I watched anime with the dubbed version. Since the story takes place in Britain, I may as well hear Patrick Stewart’s British accent rather than Japanese. Also, it’s hard to eat while watching subtitled stuff. Also watched Star Wars 3 extras DVD. Learned that George Lucas doesn’t know what he wants until he sees his employees’ first attempts. Scope creep city, just like any customer. On a side note, we wondered if Netflix intentionally delayed 3 DVDs to be delivered just before the Christmas vacation.

We went to me parents’ house in Rio Rancho yesterday. Played Alhambra and Triopoly. Triopoly is a derivative of Monopoly with up to three boards (piled on top of eachother). Pretty much like Monopoly but more complicated. I also helped my brother set up a model rocket. I was wondering if the kit aims to teach you about rockets by making you wade through different instructions for each part of the kit. I was oblivious to the educational aims of the instructions and slapped it together as quickly as I could so we could fire it off before dark. The parachute opened halfway but at least it didn’t plummet to the earth. Ate own weight in pie.

We went to some friends’ house the other evening for a Filipino gathering. (Don’t eat the dinuguan!) I was going to connect to his wireless but he had some kinda super kryptonite WPA encryption with some insanely long code that woulda taken me 10 minutes to enter via a joystick on the PSP. He also remembered he had it limited to his MAC id so we didn’t bother. This reminded me that I probably ought to use WPA on my router. (Note to self.)

We had difficulty on the 25th finding a place for lunch that was open on Christmas. We saw some cars in the Oasis restaurant parking lot and went there. It seems to be a high-priced Greek restaurant. I tried some dessert and coffee that were both bitter with liquor. The food was ok but not worth the high price. Go to Koury’s deli instead.

12/09/2005

I finally got to try a bit of php and made a simple script to display mp3 files and formatted links to them in reverse chronological order.

I was playing with Windows Live Local, which has a nifty “bird’s eye view” mode. Here’s our house. Notice the sparse desert vegetation.

We had a bit of surplus in the bank. Car found out through Herbynet and suddenly needed a brake job consisting of rotor grinding and diamond encrusting. I hate cars. (but they know this and they lash out at me!) You just watch it, Mr. Camry! You’re an inch away from the knacker’s yard!

I’m getting spoiled by Firefox’s new feature that lets you drag tabs around to reorder them. UltraEdit also has this. I find myself irritated that it’s not built into the Windows
task bar.

10/27/2005

I’ve been listening to the old book, The Invisible Man in mp3 form. It’s a good story so far. During the first part of the story, we learn that there are strange things about the main character. Unfortunately, the explanation is kinda given away by the fact that the story is called The Invisible Man.

I was thinking it would be funny to chat with a lawyer and feel out the gray areas for them. For example, say the Microsoft lawyers would go after you for dilution of trademark if you got the domain name miqrosoft.com. How much would you have to change the name, letter by letter, before the Microsoft lawyer would feel it wasn’t dilution of trademark? Too bad it would take hundreds of dollars per hour to find out. Anyway, the answer would probably be mjdnwoeiq.com. midnwoeiq.com is just too similar.

On the bus today, I tried downloading a video to the PSP from the internet. As it was downloading, the bus moved forward. The bus must have switched to a different router and the transfer stalled and the PSP froze.

10/25/2005

What was the inventor of some of this shell scripting stuff thinking? Take ksh for example. “I think I’ll make a language that goes insane if you put spaces around an equals sign. Yeah, that’ll be hilarious. Let’s do some cute things with backwards words too…I was always a fan of that.”

It’s the video to the Nigerian hit, I Go Chop You Dollar. The singer sings about how the 419 Nigerian email scams are just a game. He is da winna. You are da losa.

Download (54 MB zip file) acoustic cover versions of some famous 80’s songs and TV themes from The B.A. Baracus band. There’ll be at least one in there you hate…and maybe even one you like.

As I rode my bike home from the bus last night, I realized it’s dark now while I’m riding. Time to get out the old magnet powered bike light so I wouldn’t get run over. Amazingly, I got it working on the bike.

Technical stuff: 0, Nathan: 1

Vanessa told me last night that the doorbell isn’t working. I looked up on the internet how to fix them. Connected wires at button manually. No go. Chime seems ok. There’s supposed to be a transformer hiding in a closet somewhere but I couldn’t find it.

Technical stuff: 1, Nathan: 1

The Sharkport came in that would let me write out a savegame from the internet that turned off the corner dance pad buttons while playing DDR Extreme so that we could actually play it. (Turns out the “Sharkport” is just a USB crosslink cable and some software on both sides.) I hooked it up and put the blue disc into the PS2. Turns out blue is the PS2’s least favorite disc color and it choked. Turns out the old PS2 wouldn’t even read old PS1 games. No way technical stuff is going to beat me this evening. Looked it up on internet and it turns out I need to realign the CD laser. After getting confused as to which version of PS2 I had, I finally get it open and fix it by around midnight. Corner buttons in the game are turned off…and we’ve only had the game for a year now.

Technical stuff: 1, Nathan: 2…Nathan wins! Unprecedented!

The Rapid Ride buses in Albuquerque now have free wireless internet! “All of the city’s 12 Rapid Ride vehicles now have wireless web access. There are 83 hot spots along the route that allow the buses to establish a connection from zone to zone.” I was browsing the web on the PSP this morning. Beefity. Now I can read slashdot while trying to figure out what that interesting bus smell is coming from.

04/16/2005

More wacky patents. What has Namco patented? Pac Man (described in really fancy language), scoring, and every other videogame idea that could be thought of by a 5-year-old. I tell ya, patent examiners need an English language de-obfuscator program. Of course, that’s probably already patented.

Evin and Erica and family came over last night, bringing with them Samba de Amigo…a classic game in which you shake actual maracas to the music. Pretty good game. It’s interesting all the specialized controllers they’re coming out with these days. Maracas, taiko drums, bongo drums, dance pads, cameras, feedback steering wheels, etc. Unfortunately, they all take up precious space where games formerly didn’t need physical space. Still, when they’re fun, they’re really fun.

Vanessa and Sean returned from being away for a few days. Good to have them back, but Sean has a cold now. Seems a miserable lad. I think colds really do make people miserable. Since he’s just a baby, his reaction to it must be entirely honest. Not old enough to put on a show. I have wondered in the past when I’ve had a cold and was moaning and groaning if I wasn’t exaggerating. Still, perhaps I’m a bit more vocal about it than necessary.

If you’re running Adobe Reader 6.0, you noticed that annoying banner ad at the upper-right in the program. To fix it, go to Edit->Preferences… Startup and uncheck “Show Messages and automatically update”.

5/18/2004

Tomorrow is a rather pointless gasoline boycott day. Since you’re just going to buy the same fuel later on, what’s the point? The old “never trust forwarded email” rule comes through again.

It’s the Albuquerque R/C Club schedule. They are having a show on June 26th and 27th. It seems R/C planes are probably better to watch than to participate in, since several hundred dollars can very quickly go “thud”.

Still no baby yet. Many are recommending that the baby be born quite soon due to various travel restrictions. He seems rather obstinate, though.

I don’t know if I’ve mentioned it before, but when free websites ask for registration logins and passwords, you can find logins at bugmenot.com…for sites such as fileplanet.com and nytimes.com. It makes the web as convenient as it used to be!