Friday, December 31, 2004

If you use P2P networks - beware...

This is just lovely. Modified files, uploaded to Peer-to-Peer (P2P) networks that install spyware on your PC, the latest tactic of the RIAA and MPAA. And the ability to do this is brought to us by our lovely friends at Microsoft, thanks to a loophole in Windows Media DRM (Digital Rights Management)that allows companies to create bogus media files and link them to adware. Read the article here for more.

Christmas website scam

So this guy, Alex Komarnitsky, started a website two years ago purporting to let people turn his Christams lights on and off over the internet. But he really wanted to see if he could use computer tricks to make it look as if the thousands of Christmas lights adorning his house were blinking on command. This year he went even further - when a local news channel did a story about his site and had a news copter hovering over the house, he had is wife in the house turning the lights on and off manually. He has now come forward and admitted it's a hoax. And here is the link to the site itself - if you are interested. Sounds like a pretty shifty thing to do, if you ask me.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

The great iPod debacle

That's what I've decided to call it. It's been all taken care of for over a week now, so I believe I have enough perspective on the whole situation to be diplomatic when I write this - so here goes...

It all started on December 8th. The iPod I've had since February started acting up a lot - it would skip a song, play the next and maybe one more, and then it would freeze. Totally locked up and it would just sit there till you reset it. Very annoying, and it got worse on Sunday the 12th. I was at the gym, and it did the same thing - skipped a song, played the next, froze up. It wouldn't reset, though. It just sat there, then turned itself off after a few minutes. But it wouldn't power back on. So, I made a trip out to the Apple Store at Easton Towne Center, and figured they could look at it for me. If you haven't been in an Apple Store, they have this thing called the "Genius Bar". If you are having problems with an Apple product you can take it there and get assistance. So I go to the Genius Bar and consult the "Genius". He was able to get it started, and says "Looks like the battery is dead - it'll need to be charged, but it works OK." I pointed out to him that the battery had just been recently charged, and was in fact half charged when it quit. He didn't seem to think anything of this, and said again "The battery is dead. Just give it a good charge."

So I took it home, recharged the battery fully and tried again. And it still did it, no different than before. So I took it back to the Apple Store again on Sunday the 19th. And when I talked to the next "Genius", he said it was probably software corruption, and suggested we return the iPod to factory default. So he offered to do that for me, and we did it. It also deleted all the songs off the iPod - but I could reload them from my PC. He got it to load a couple songs off the test Mac they use, and they played back OK. So he gives it back to me, "There you go. When you take it home, it'll need to reset again and reload the system software since you use a Windows PC." All well and good, I said - but I was still worried. And with good reason.

I get home, and later that night I try to reload my songs on the iPod. It detects that it's connected to a Windows PC, and wants to reformat again - good so far. After it's done, it loads the system software. So far it's doing exactly what it's supposed to do. The firmware update works fine, and it seems to be OK - so I try to upload songs to it. It starts OK, tells me it's loaded 900 songs - then it freezes. Locks up totally - and locks up my computer too. I disconnect the USB cable to the computer, and the computer is OK again. I had to restart the iPod though. But it did restart, and I tried again. It didn't work - again. I tried several times, and even tried the iPod restore and firmware download again. Nothing worked, and I was getting rather pissed off at it. It seemed to always stop on a certain song - so I deleted it. And then it would stop on other songs, so I deleted them too. I got rid of about 200 songs and it still wouldn't download correctly. Now I was really mad.

So I make ANOTHER trip to the Apple Store on December 21st, and went directly to the front desk and asked for the manager. Suffice to say, that was absolutely no help, as she didn't even express concern over the problem and just directed me to go to the Genius Bar. Lovely customer service skills. I went to the Genius bar, and met the ONLY person who actually cared enough to help. And he quickly diagnosed the problem - a faulty hard drive in my iPod. You know what he did? He LISTENED to it - because it made an odd noise when he started it up and tried to look at the system settings. No one else had even though of this, but I guess I should not have been surprised. He went to the stockroom, and returned with another iPod to give me in exchange for the faulty one. I left the store and went home, tried the whole procedure again - and it worked. Flawlessly. Because this time, it WAS FIXED.

So, I've written letters to the manager of the Apple Store, the Senior Vice President in charge of Retail for Apple, the Senior Vice President in charge of the iPod Division, and to Steve Jobs himself. I've expressed my concerns to them, and hopefully something will happen. We'll see, I suppose. I'll keep you informed if anything comes of it.

Sunday, December 26, 2004

Merry day after Christmas

It's been a very interesting last few days. Wednesday afternoon a huge snowstorm started and it covered the area with quite a lot of snow by the time it finished the next day. Around Delaware (where I live) we had at least a foot of snow. And since part of the storm included freezing rain, the snow had a nice ice coating over it. We couldn't get out of our driveway Thursday or Friday, so I didn't go to work either day. In fact, I spent a large portion of time both days shoveling snow with my wife - loads of fun. The city finally got out our way Friday evening and plowed our streets. It was a good thing too, because we needed to be able to get out of the house for Christmas - we'd already committed ourselves to be at my mother's house Christmas morning and at my wife's parents house for Christmas evening. We made it out to my mother's house OK, got there about 7am (my 3 nieces get up VERY early even when it's not Christmas), and had a great time opening presents and having breakfast all together. We left around noon, went back home to get the things we needed to take down to Cincinnati (where my wife's parents live) and get the dog ready to go. We loaded up the car and got on the road, had a decent drive into Cincinnati and had a second present opening extravaganza - no kids this time, but 3 dogs. Because we have Lucas (our golden retriever), her parents have Molly (a chocolate Lab), and her sister has Tanner (a beagle). Having 3 dogs also makes for an interesting Christmas time. The dogs get presents, of course - but also seem to monopolize picture taking in the same way children do. Although, with the scenes straight out of Sodom and Gomorrah our dogs got into, these pictures aren't quite as family friendly. Molly is female, Tanner and Lucas are male, and even though Tanner and Lucas are fixed, they were all trying to go at it. It was actually pretty funny! Anyway, just wanted to post a bit about what's been going on recently. I really need to post an entry about the huge problem I had recently with my iPod - but I'll need to compose my thoughts and come up with a way to write about it without just typing expletives constantly. Hope you all had a Merry Christmas (or whichever celebration you subscribe too)!!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

A match made in the Islands of Fire

Survivor host Jeff Probst has announced he is dating Survivor:Vanuatu - Islands of Fire contestant Julie Berry (read the article here). Probst is 43 and Berry is 24. As recently as a week ago, he had been denying rumor that they were dating, rumors that had emerged earlier in the season and were strengthened after the broadcast of an episode in which Julie was shown at a challenge wearing a hand painted tattoo of a heart with the word "Jeff" in it. Hee. Maybe he fell in love with her after seeing her sun bathing naked in front of the rest of her tribe. True love, yo - you can't knock it.

Pictures (but not of Julie's naked ass - thankfully)

Friday, December 17, 2004

Trailer for the Tim Burton remake of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

You can watch it here - Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Teaser Trailer. Hmm, could be very cool.
You can also check out the newest trailer for Batman Begins here. That looks like it will be really great! It better be, to make up for that horrible Batman & Robin piece of crap.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Picture of my nieces

I didn't take this one, but it's a great picture of my nieces -

Very cute, aren't they?

Wednesday, December 15, 2004


I'm finally back to doing my real job (for what it's worth), and hopefully this means more regular blog updating. I still haven't had a chance to play with the pictures with my new camera, so I've definitely got to get off my ass and do that - cause Christmas is coming, and I'll just have more pictures to go through. Yup, gotta do that. BTW - buy a iTunes Gift Certificate through the link above (If you want), and I get a little bit in return. Works out good for all, no?

Friday, December 03, 2004

[Sarcasm] Oh, OK Barry - whatever you say [/Sarcasm]

Hot on the heels of the leak of Jason Giambi's grand jury testimony (revealing that he used steroids), Barry Bonds testimony has also been leaked. He stated that he "used a clear substance and a cream given to him by a trainer who was indicted in a steroid-distribution ring, but said he didn't know they were steroids". Right. The article further reports "Bonds told the federal grand jury last year that Greg Anderson, his personal trainer, told him the substances he used in 2003 were the nutritional supplement flaxseed oil and a rubbing balm for arthritis". Does this revelation really surprise anyone?

Thursday, December 02, 2004


Not really "Bah, Christmas" more a "Bah, work sucks". I haven't had any time to do much other than work recently, and for that reason have not posted very often in the last few weeks. Hopefully (fingers crossed), my work situation will get better soon and I'll be able to post more. I haven't even had time to play with my new camera - I know I promised I'd post up some of the pictures I took with it, but I just haven't had a chance. I'm thinking I'll be able to do it soon, this weekend at the latest. Wish me luck!

Friday, November 26, 2004

Say Cheese!!

My lovely wife got me a new digital camera for an anniversary present - the Kodak EasyShare DX7590. I got a chance to use it for the first time yesterday at Thanksgiving dinner at my Mom's house, and it was really easy to use. Had to get up early today for work or I would have a few pictures to put in the post - I'll definitely get a chance to post some after the weekend.

Happy day after Thanksgiving!

It's the busiest shopping day of the year, so I'm sure you're out there now fighting traffic and long lines at the register - but if you get a chance, go check out the Virtual Bartender. Ask Tammy to do something, and she'll do it - maybe. Some commands I've had work are "kiss", "flirt", "gymnastics", "jiggle", and "pillow fight". Just an FYI, this is a bit racy (no nudity though), so it might not be safe for work.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Busy, busy, busy

I know, I know - it's been a week since my last post. But in my defense it's been a fairly busy week. Getting back into the swing of things after vacation really took a toll on me, I'm still not 100% back up to speed. And tomorrow is Thanksgiving, and I have it off but have to work Friday - but then I took Saturday off. So I work a day, am off a day, work a day, am off till Wednesday. Could be worse.

Vacation was great - I didn't write a lot about it cause I never seemed to get a chance to. We went to Las Vegas, stayed at my Dad's timeshare at the Hilton Grand Vacations Club. Decent room (and it was free!!) and located right behind the Flamingo - so the location was great, right in the middle of the Strip. And we were really busy - went to the Tournament of Kings at Excalibur the first night we were in Vegas, and since we walk EVERYWHERE we go in Vegas we had to walk there through a rainstorm. A rainstorm that generated a RECORD SETTING AMOUNT OF RAINFALL for Las Vegas. You wanna know how much? 0.25 inches. I know, it seems like not a lot, but in the desert? That's A LOT. Trust me. So we were wet, and cold, and it is really tough to walk around the Strip when the sidewalks are wet (since all the casinos have fancy sidewalks of marble or polished granite or whatnot). Suffice to say, once we got to the show, we were really glad to be inside. They started our "feast" (it's a dinner show) with tomato soup, and it was so good!! A great way to recover from the weather outside. We had fun at the show, but took a taxi back to the room - no WAY were we walking through that rain again!!

Gotta stop here for now - I'll try to post more about the trip soon. I'll also try to get back to posting more regularly - hopefully my cruddy work situation will get better soon.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The Amazing Race 6 premiere

So I think it's no secret I love The Amazing Race, I've posted a few times before about it and how terrific it is. The 2 hour premiere episode for the sixth season was last night, and it was so great! My wife and I already have a team to hate (Jonathan and Victoria, mostly because Jonathan is an ass), but who knows about the other teams ? Some of them seem like they could be OK, and a lot of them need to pay closer attention to their clues and road signs and maps and... well, pretty much EVERYTHING. I can't wait to see what happens!

Vacation never seems to last long enough...

Greetings! I've not posted in a long while because I was on vacation. My wife and I went to Las Vegas (with a short side trip to California) and we just got back on Monday. So, I'm still trying to get back in the swing of things - and just started back to work today. Since I've still got a lot of catching up to do this will be brief, but hopefully I'll have time for a longer post tomorrow or Friday. I am glad to be home, but truth be told I would much rather still be on vacation. I guess that's pretty true for anybody though, isn't it?

Thursday, November 04, 2004

OK, now that's just cruel

You've had a rough week. You ended a hard fought campaign hopeful that you and your running mate would win - only to lose to a retarded Texan. Your running mate conceded the election Wednesday, and you figure you'll decide what to do next since you gave up your seat in the Senate to run. But wait - it's not over! Your wife has breast cancer! Seriously, what's next?

Election 2004 (or as I like to call it, Wait - WTF?!?!)

So yeah, John Kerry conceded the election and George W got a second term. He's also declared his win 'historic'. Not the word I would choose, but whatever. But I hate how all the Republicans are now all about bridging the partisan gap, and Bush himself said he wanted to "earn the support" of those who voted for Kerry. They say this after running one of the most devisive campaigns in history, and basically convincing the Republican faithful that 'Moral Values' are more important than any other issue facing this country. What a crock. We'll see just how bad the next four years can get - with the dollar losing value across the globe, huge domestic deficits, and ever eroding lack of respect for the US in the eyes of the world. Oh well - there's always 2008, right?

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Kerry Concedes

According to a story on CNN, John Kerry will officially concede the 2004 election to George W. Bush. Not a whole lot else to say about this, it's certainly not the way I wanted the election to go. Guess it's time to move to Canada, eh?

Friday, October 29, 2004

An important message brought to you by... EMINEM?!?!

No really. I case you've forgotten just how important the presidential election is, watch this video for Eminem's song "Mosh" off his new album Encore. Very cool video, and a very cool message. Word to your mother.

In a more humorous election-related vein, check this little Flash animation out -
Political Bohemian Rhapsody. Pretty funny!

Thursday, October 28, 2004

New Photo iPod

Sorry about the lack of posts recently - work has been seriously kicking my ass. Once I get home I don't really want to even look at a computer, much less use one. So here's a second post for today - hopefully this helps make up for the recent dearth of new posts :)

OOH - I want the new Photo iPod! Who wants to buy me one of the 60 GB ones? C'mon - it'll make you feel good!

The Amazing Race 6!

The next season of The Amazing Race is set to premiere on CBS November 16th - check out the website for racer profiles!! I love this show so much - it's so awesome to have another season so soon after the last one ended. I just wish they would release the earlier Races on DVD, since I never got to see the first one. It'd be a great thing if CBS ever did release them on DVD - I know it'd sell really well!

Friday, October 22, 2004

Jon Stewart on Crossfire

If you haven't seen Jon Stewart's appearance on CNN's Crossfire yet, go to this link and watch it. And here is a link to Jon's comments made on The Daily Show Monday about what happened. Very funny stuff!

Sunday, October 17, 2004


A great new show on The Discovery Channel - No Opportunity Wasted gives participants $3000 and 72 hours to live a dream they have NOW. It's hosted (and was created) by Phil Keoghan, the host of CBS's The Amazing Race (the best reality show EVER). The show is very inspirational, and Phil came up with the whole philosophy behind it when he was 19 and had a near death experience during a dive into a shipwreck. Read this interview with Phil for more info about TAR and NOW and his philosophy on life and how to life it like each day was your last. A good piece of advice, I think.

Saturday, October 16, 2004

George Lucas to receive AFI Life Achievement Award

The American Film Institute has selected George Lucas to receive it's Life Achievement Award. He's the 33rd recipient of the award. You can read the full article here. I agree that he has contributed a lot to filmmaking, and so I believe he deserves the award. The innovations he has pioneered (digital filmmaking, special effects (ILM), sound (Skywalker Sound and THX) alone are worthy of a life achievement award. Now, if it were an award purely for directing... well, not so much.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

America - F**k YEAH!!!!

Went to see Team America on Tuesday night (it was an advance screening) and it was really funny. My wife and I are still singing songs from it days afterwards. I really need to get the soundtrack for it when it comes out on November 2nd (ooh - Election Day!)

Monday, October 11, 2004

A very, very sad day

Christopher Reeve died Sunday night, after suffering a heart attack Saturday night and falling into a coma. I'm really sad about this, Christopher Reeve was the perfect choice for the Superman movies - and he became a hero in the eyes of this 10 year old (well, I was at the time). Then he had his riding accident in 1995 and became paralyzed, but became even MORE of a hero and an inspiration to all. We'll all miss you Chris, and those who knew you really DID believe a man could fly. RIP.

Saturday, October 09, 2004

SETI - nope, not in Ohio!

Here's the link to the Slashdot post, and here's the actual article from the Fort Wayne Journal Gazette -

The search for extraterrestrial life has ended at the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services in Columbus, Ohio.

The department Thursday fired a computer programmer who admitted to using a state-owned computer server to process data for the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence project, run by the University of California at Berkeley.

Charles E. Smith, 63, told administrators he didn’t think loading the SETI software on the server was much of a problem because he ran the program only when the server wasn’t being used, according to a disciplinary report.

Department head Tom Hayes disagreed.

“I understand his desire to search for intelligent life in outer space, because obviously he doesn’t find it in the mirror in the morning,” Hayes said. “I think that people can be comfortable that security has beamed this man out of our building.”

So OK then. If you are a programmer or systems admin or computer professional working for ANYONE - you shouldn't be loading shareware software onto their servers. I'm down with that. He deserved to get fired in my opinion. No need to kick the man when he was down though. You fired him - you don't need to basically call him stupid as well. Just my two cents.

The second Presidential debate

Watched most of the debate last night - Bush didn't really sway my opinion of him. I still think he's a weasel, and his attacks on Kerry didn't really go anywhere new. He just keeps hammering the same couple of points - "liberal", "flip-flopper", "unfit to be Commander In Chief". I thought Kerry handled himself well, and didn't get rattled by Bush's more forceful and confrontational tone - a real departure from Bush's performance in the first debate where he seemed really tentative and had long silences before coming up with something to say. Apparently, Bush's performance (and a odd bulge in his jacket) have launched a theory that he was wearing an earpiece in the first debate. Some say the picture is doctored, some say when he said "Now let me finish" in the middle of an answer that he was actually talking to the person in his earpiece (here's a link to a forum that has a Real Audio clip of this. I don't know if he did or didn't - but he didn't look like he had an earpiece in for last night's debate. One more debate to go - hopefully Kerry will continue to shine!

Friday, October 08, 2004

Good to be in DC!

Go to Watch "Good to be in DC". Repeat as necessary. That is all.

Seriously - go now. It's really funny. You'll like it, I swear. GO!!!

Thursday, October 07, 2004

A vision of the future

I read Robert X. Cringely's I, Cringely regularly and his latest article really has some food for thought. Although the ability to act as your own broadband ISP/Cable provider/VoIP provider is outside of the means and technical knowhow of most people, it's still a very cool idea. Wish I could do it!

Cheney : Not up on the whole internet thing

Hee. In Tuesday's Vice Presidential debate, Dick Cheney was trying to direct people to look at, a nonpartisan Web site run by the University of Pennsylvania. But what he SAID was "factcheck.COM" - which is a for-profit advertising site based in the Cayman Islands. They re-directed traffic (since they were getting swamped with hits) to a site run by George Soros, a billionaire who makes no secret of his opposition to the Bush administration. A lawyer for the owner of factcheck.COM said his client "picked the Soros site partly for its political views", but also because Soros can afford the cost of all that Web traffic. And traffic to is still being routed there - click the link above if you want to check. They have a disclaimer on their page - "We do not own the domain name and are not responsible for it redirecting to We are as surprised as anyone by this turn of events. We believe that Vice President Cheney intended to direct viewers of the Vice-Presidential Debate to" Hee. I'll bet Cheney could be heard muttering after he was made aware of the error, "F*** the internet." Hee.

Wednesday, October 06, 2004

One small step for (a) man...

Congratulations to Mojave Aerospace Ventures (MAV) and their leaders, Burt Rutan and Paul Allen, and also to pilot Brian Binnie - SpaceShipOne completes 2nd Historic trip to space and wins the Ansari X Prize. The second trip needed to clinch the win happened on Monday. I was able to watch the landing, and it was a very cool moment. Check this link out to watch video of the flight.

On a sad note, Rodney Dangerfield died Tuesday afternoon. He was 82 years old. Rodney, we will miss you. And we respect you. RIP.

Saturday, October 02, 2004

You've got to have an exit strategy

If Bush wins the election in November, I think I'll move to Belize. Yeah, or Canada. That could work.

Friday, October 01, 2004

The first debate

I watched very little of this, heard a little bit about it on NPR this morning. According to this Boston Herald article, the debate hasn't changed many opinions or helped many undecided voters make up their minds yet. Perhaps the next debate will help them. My mind is already made up (*cough* the banner at the top *cough*), but you should go out and do some research if you're still undecided yourself. Just be sure to cast your vote November 2nd - if you aren't registered, go here - but you need to hurry!!

Ewww, that's just fugly...

My wife loves this site - Go Fug Yourself - some truly poor fashion choices on display here. Go check it out!

Thursday, September 30, 2004


The pilot for Lost finished up last night (and will be shown again this Saturday) - so far I'm really liking this show. I'm just hoping that the weird "monster" on the island with the crash survivors doesn't turn out to be something lame. If you haven't watched the show, definitely take advantage of the Saturday replay and check it out - you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, September 29, 2004

Where is her miniskirt, made of snakeskin...

It's possibly getting a little too much airplay, but Bowling For Soup's 1985 is a funny song - funny video too!
If you have iTunes - click the link below to purchase 1985


Saturday, September 25, 2004

There's only so much time in the day, you know.

Been awhile since I've had time to post anything - work has really been sucky recently and I've been so busy I had no time to get one written. I'd get into why work sucks so bad, but that would just end up making me mad - so I won't. But on a different subject, a couple of my favorite TV shows had their season premieres recently - Smallville and Joan of Arcadia. Joan just premiered last night - it was great! I'd really missed the show, and it was a good episode. Love that show, and this season looks to be pretty good. Smallville was on Wednesday night here - we don't have a WB affiliate station, so WB shows play on weird days usually at 10pm or later - which sucks sometimes. It was a pretty good episode, but had entirely too much of two things - naked Clark was one, and Lana (just Lana in general, she's bad) was the other. The introduction of Lois Lane was cool, and I'm hoping they really do some good things with the character. I also REALLY thought it was cool having Margot Kidder play Dr. Swann's assistant, Bridgette Crosby. If you don't watch the show, it's REALLY cool because Dr. Swann is played by Christopher Reeve. Of course these shows plus all the other shows I watch - well... It's alot of TV. But you've gotta do something with what little free time you can get these days, right?

Thursday, September 23, 2004

It's on like Donkey Kong!! (to quote Chip)

Didn't have enough time to post about this yesterday, but the finale of The Amazing Race was Tuesday. It was a great race, and the best finish in my opinion. Chip and Kim were my favorite team by far, and it was great fun to finally have the team I've been rooting for during the season finally win one!! One of the best parts of watching the finale was my wife's reaction to some interesting hats worn by Chip and Kim, and Brandon. You can see them in this picture -

That's right - red ski caps that say "Canada" on them and look like a maple leaf! Here's a bigger photo -

Neat, huh? So basically, every time my wife saw one she started giggling and going "I want one!" They are proving to be kinda hard to find though. Haven't had any luck except for one we found on eBay, and the bidding for it is over $33 right now. That's a little pricey. Gotta keep looking, I guess. But overall a great show (2 time Emmy award winner!) and a great finale!

Wednesday, September 22, 2004

A really good reason to not even open spam

Apparently, some spam emails "opt-out" links are actually JavaScript exploits. You click on the link and the malicious script uses an exploit in Internet Explorer to basically turn your PC into a email relay - opening it up to unauthorized access and turning it into a spam source. Nice, huh? No one should click those links anyway, since all it REALLY does is confirm your email address and shows a spam emailer that someone reads mail at that email address. Read the full article on The Register here. So it would be a good idea to not let your mail program run JavaScript, to not open spam mail at all, and to maybe use Mozilla's Thunderbird instead of Outlook/Outlook Express.

Sunday, September 19, 2004

Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow

Saw Sky Captain Friday night. I really liked it a lot! Very interesting concept and I thought it was well executed and really looked great. The visual effects were terrific, and the whole style - with the animation and the CG backrounds and the colorized look - it was really effective to set the tone and pull you into this world. Go see Sky Captain - you'll enjoy it!!

Saturday, September 18, 2004

Hmm, looks like it might be time to stop using that pirated version of Windows...

This article on goes over Microsoft's new plan to "provide a better experience for users of licensed software." Right. Sounds more like a way to find out more about who's NOT using licensed software to me. It's optional at this time, but who knows? They could start making it an automatic mandatory check, like whenever you go to Windows Update it would automatically check maybe. We'll see what becomes of this, if anything.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Make your own Flash movie

This site is pretty fun - D.Film Moviemaker. you can choose from pre-rendered backgrounds and characters, add some music and your own words and make a fun little flash movie! Have fun!!

Thursday, September 16, 2004

Try it - you might like it

Been listening to some new bands recently on my iPod -

Coheed and Cambria - a quirky little band from upstate New York. You've possibly heard the single A Favor House Atlantic or seen the video for it. If your interested and you have iTunes, you can click this iTunes button to download it for yourself!
A Favor House Atlantic

My wife heard this song and thought it was Rush - because she thinks the singer sounds like Geddy Lee. And he does - a little bit :)

Lacuna Coil - an Italian band, kinda Goth rock, I like the tune Heaven's a Lie a lot. A guy on a message board I frequent described Lacuna Coil as "Evanescence, but with talent". Hey, that's not nice... or am I dumb for thinking Evanescence has some talent? Again, if you're interested and have iTunes, you can download the song by clicking the iTunes button -

Heaven's a Lie

By the way - these aren't free downloads. If you want them, you'll have to pay 99 cents. Not a bad price to hear some cool new music, but I wanted to be sure nobody thought I was giving away free music or something!

Wednesday, September 15, 2004

Whoops, forgot one!

Forgot one game on the post from yesterday -

SIMS 2 - for PC - This is probably the most anticipated sequel of the year so far, I can't believe I forgot to list it before! It's getting good reviews from the game magazines - looks like it's even more fun than the original, and I'm sure it will sell VERY well.

Tuesday, September 14, 2004

New and upcoming video game releases

I know I said I'd be posting yesterday, but I had a big problem with my PC and spent a good few hours fixing it, didn't feel much like doing anything else on a computer after that! So, here's a little info about some upcoming video games (a subject near and dear to my heart) that sound like fun -

FABLE - for PC and Xbox - This game came out today, and it sounds really cool. It's a role-playing adventure game with a twist - everything you do from childhood (where the game begins for your character) to death - affects the game and your character, how he looks and acts and interacts with everyone in the game. Neat stuff.

HALO 2 - for PC and Xbox - This one doesn't come out til November 9th, and I can't wait!! It's going to be even better than the original Halo, check out the trailer if you don't believe me.

KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC II : THE SITH LORDS - for Xbox on 12/04 and for PC on 2/05 - I loved the first KOTOR, and this one certainly is shaping up to be as good if not better than it was.

PLAYBOY : THE MANSION - for PC and Xbox and Playstation 2 - This game gives you the chance to BE Hugh Hefner, building the Playboy magazine empire from scratch. And as you become more rich and famous, you get to outfit the Playboy mansion and throw huge star-studded events. Could be a good time! (Definitely ADULTS ONLY, though)

LEISURE SUIT LARRY : MAGNA CUM LAUDE - for PC and Xbox and Playstation 2 - The new installment of the famous Leisure Suit Larry series looks like it will live up to the old games and will also push the boundaries of the Mature rating for video games! This one is out now, check it out - if it's your kind of game :) (Again, ADULTS ONLY).

Sunday, September 12, 2004

Short post

Not going to be able to post much of anything, cause I'm sending this one in over dial-up. Yuck. I had forgotten how bad dial-up sucks. Cable modem or DSL - it's the only way to fly, baby. I'll have much more to say tomorrow once I'm back at my own PC and my cable modem and wireless network. That's the good stuff!

Saturday, September 11, 2004

Friday, September 10, 2004

Resident Evil:Apocalypse

Went to see an advance screening of Resident Evil:Apocalypse last night with my wife. She's not a big video game fan, so it wasn't her cup of tea, but we had a good time. I thought it was an alright movie, and that it was certainly better than the first one. Milla Jovovich is back - but none of the other actors from the first movie. It also stars Sienna Guillory and Oded Fehr. Here are a couple of pictures -

Sienna Guillory as Jill Valentine

Milla Jovovich as Alice

Like the first movie, this one also dosen't hold true to the storyline of any particular Resident Evil game, but uses some pieces of the games and develops a story based on events that happen in them. This one borrows plot elements from Resident Evil 2 and Resident Evil 3:Nemesis. It was a pretty decent movie - especially since we got to go to the advance screening for free!

Thursday, September 09, 2004

Truly not happy about this...

Alright, I read this story from USA Today. And I got a little mad, because I'd jokingly said awhile back "Gee, wouldn't it suck if Lucas goes back and replaces Sebastian Shaw with Hayden Christensen at the end of Return of the Jedi?" And he DID IT. Man, I'd actually pay a lot of money to get the real, unchanged, un-Special Edition, ORIGINAL Star Wars Trilogy on DVD. But apparently that isn't even close to what we will be getting on September 21st. Damn it, we need to save these movies from their directors!!

Michael Moore wants to show Fahrenheit 9/11 on TV before the election

Here's a link to a message written by Michael Moore and posted on his website in which he explains why he isn't submitting Fahrenheit 9/11 to be nominated for a Best Documentary Academy Award. This is a great idea!!


Seems like Blogger was having some server trouble yesterday. I wrote two posts for the blog yesterday morning, and tried (several times) to publish them - with no success. Kept getting an odd error message, after it had tried for 5 minutes or longer to publish. So I emailed Blogger support around 10am yesterday, and hadn't heard anything back from them by 3pm. I decided to try one last time to publish the new posts - and that time it worked! I did get a reply from Blogger support later on that said they had been having some problems and that they should be resolved now. So now I'm keeping my fingers crossed every time I try to publish new posts to the blog - hey, you never know what will help, right?

I'd heard a story about this band on NPR a week ago, and just today got around to checking out their website. The Mini Bosses. They play rockin' versions of old NES game music, like from Mega Man and Ninja Gaiden. You can download a few songs from the website to see what I mean. Takes me back to the old days when I spent hours sitting by the TV playing those games on my NES - good times...

Wednesday, September 08, 2004

Atari to re-issue some old games

Interesting news here - Atari announces it will re-issue some of it's old games. Called "Atari Anthology", it will include 85 games that were originally on the Atari 2600. Another collection of re-issues, Atari Flashback, will include 20 games and will actually be a miniature Atari 7800 console complete with old school joysticks. Might be cool, might suck - I'd totally kill at all the 2600 games.

Give 'em the old flim-flam flummox, daze and dazzle 'em...

Greetings all - I had intended to post on Labor Day, but it turned into a really weird day that involved a almost 2 hour stint at the urgent care office (not for me, for my wife), followed by a fruitless search for a open pharmacy on a holiday. Some HAD been open, but since we were looking for one after 5pm, they had closed. Everything is OK, no major trauma and she ended up not needing the prescription anyway. But no post Monday. Ah well, could have been worse.

Yesterday we went to see Chicago - The Musical at the Ohio Theatre. Been a while since I've seen a musical, and I really enjoyed it. We have season tickets, and this was the first show of the series. A really great way to start - hopefully the other shows will be as good or better. Coming up in the series are Oliver!, The Producers, and Moving Out, among other shows. Should be a good series!

Friday, September 03, 2004

America lagging behind in broadband access?

Acoording to this article, the US has dropped from third to tenth in country-wide broadband penetration across the globe. And some articles in the media indicate that America has "missed the high speed revolution" and is a "broadband backwater". Sure, South Koreans and Swedes "enjoy 100Mbps connections" - but they are more compact geographically the the US. No denying though that I personally would LOVE to have a 100 Mbps broadband connection (by comparison, the best available cable modem connection in the area I live in is 6 Mbps download and 512 kbps upload). Heck, who wouldn't want to be able to download a 72 megabyte file in like 6 seconds?

Thursday, September 02, 2004

The new iMac

The new version of Apple's iMac was unveiled at the Apple Expo on France on Tuesday. Here's the info from Apple's website, and here is a picture of what it looks like "under the hood".

Wednesday, September 01, 2004

Don't Panic!!!

This is awesome news from the BBC - new version of Hitchhiker's Guide To the Galaxy text adventure game to launch on BBC Radio 4's website. The original version was created by Douglas Adams and Infocom back in the 80's, and I loved that game. The online version of the original game can still be found through this website, but read the description on the page carefully to learn how to play the game online. EDIT - Apparently the website's online java version of the game is not always available, so some times it may not work. You can try again later in the day. Just an FYI.

It's still a really funny (although sometimes exasperating) game, and it really brings back memories of the old days when I played it on my old Atari 800 (64K of RAM, baby!!). The packing for the game was the best - all the neat stuff you got with it. It came with Peril Sensitive Sunglasses (black cardboard wrap around sunglasses), pocket fluff, a miniature space fleet (empty plastic bag), Hitchhiker's Guide brochure, and "Orders For Destruction". They just don't make games like that anymore.

Go see Napoleon Dynamite - it's fricken' AWESOME!

Forgot to mention this a couple days ago, but my wife and I went and saw Napoleon Dynamite last Saturday. It was really funny, and we thought it was pretty good. The website is kinda fun too, has some quizzes based on events from the movie. Anyway, I'd recommend the movie pretty highly - and stay till the end of the credits!

Not sure about this idea...

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, and the brevitiy of the few post I made within the last week or so, I've been kinda out of it. But I think I'm finally over being sick, so that's a good thing! And hopefully I'll be able to post more often now, which would be an even better thing, right?

This is kind of interesting, but I'm not sure it's a good idea - Nintendo's new handheld gaming system, the Nintendo DS, to have free Voice over IP chat feature. The deal with it is you can connect a headset to your DS and use it's built in 802.11b WiFi capability to connect to a wireless hotspot and then chat with other Nintendo DS players. But the maybe not so good part mentioned in the article is that you can also make free phone calls. I'm hoping that isn't actually the case, but I suppose it is theoretically possible. Nothing on the company website specifically confirming or denying this - there is some pre-release DS info on their site here. It does mention voice chat and wireless networking for multi-player, but not VoIP calls. We'll hear more about this in the coming months, I'm sure.

Saturday, August 28, 2004

Google Search bar

You'll notice that there is a Google search bar up under the blog title, but there's also a search bar at the very top of the page. Well, the one at the top is a Blogger feature and is there to search this site only. The Google search bar under the title runs a normal Google search - just starts it from my site. You'll probably also notice ads from Google too - hey, like many other people out there blogging and whatnot - I want to get PAID too!! Many other sites use Google's ads, now I do too. So, do click an ad or two if you see something interesting - every little bit helps, right?

Friday, August 27, 2004

And the winner is -

Read this article to find out what the top ten Sci-Fi movies are, according to The Guardian UK's panel of experts. That list works for me, I agree with it for the most part. I probably would have put The Matrix up just a little higher, but not much higher.

Don't forget to watch Dave Chappelle's Showtime special, For What It's Worth. It premieres on September 4th at 9pm.

Thursday, August 26, 2004

You heard that from WHERE?

You know what I mean, you read something here on the blog and tried to explain it to someone and they were all, "Huh? Blog?" Well, with the new Email Post feature, now you can just email the link to the post you're talking about to them, and make life easier on yourself. It's a new feature for Blogger, and it's active on my blog right now. Just look for the little envelope with an arrow icon below each post. It's all about serving the (2) people who read the blog, yo.

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Recent events

Sorry for the lack of posts recently, I was sick this past weekend. Start feeling a little odd on Thursday, and by Friday evening I had a fever just over 101. Not a lot of fun, I assure you. So I was out of commission Saturday, and still a little out of it Sunday morning. Felt a whole lot better Sunday, but still not normal. But it's all OK now, so here's something a little more interesting to read about!

Having a bit of trouble finding the soundtrack to Garden State, it's been out since the 10th of August but it seems that every store I go to doesn't have any in stock. Maybe I'll just download it from the iTunes Music Store - oh wait, they don't have it either!! Well, technically I can download each song individually, but that's really not the same, is it?

My wife and I went to see an advance screening of Suspect Zero last night, it was interesting, but not a great movie. An unconventional thriller, and had some interesting plot twists. Not the best, and the trailer for it gives away too much (like many of them do), but still not a bad movie.

We also went to see Open Water - saw that Sunday evening (after I was mostly recovered from my illness.) It was good, not as scary as I had though it would be though. And the weird thing I noticed - Steve Lemme from the Broken Lizard comedy troupe (they did the movies Super Troopers and Club Dread) was in it briefly! And the girl in the movie (Blanchard Ryan) was in Super Troopers! This all relates because as I was sitting there watching the movie, I was thinking "Hmm, where have I seen that girl before?" and as soon as I saw Steve Lemme, I realized that she was in Super Troopers. See, this is how my mind works sometimes.

Friday, August 20, 2004

GMail Notifier

Google's free email service, GMail, now has a small tool you can download and run on a WIN2K or WIN XP computer. It sits in your system tray, and notifies you when you've received new mail in your GMail account. Download it here.

Interesting news

This article about a major medical study hits close to home for me - since I have Type II diabetes. The study recommends that all Type II disbetics, regardless of their cholesterol levels, should consider taking cholesterol lowering drugs (like Lipitor.) It is interesting that Lipitor's manufacturer, Pfizer, provided some funding to the study, though it is noted that the study was supported primarily by the British government and the British equivalent of the American Diabetes Association and was conducted independently of the companies involvement. It's an interesting idea, but I don't know if just one study is going to convince me that taking MORE drugs is a good idea - I'm already on plenty of medication, thanks.

Thursday, August 19, 2004

Garden State

Just saw Garden State last night at The Drexel - it was a sneak preview since the movie hasn't opened here yet. Both my wife and I loved this movie, it was really very funny, well written, and better than I expected. Who knew Zach Braff from the TV show Scrubs could write and direct a pretty darn good movie? It wasn't perfect - but it was witty, and engaging, and filled with great performances from Braff and Natalie Portman, and from Peter Sarsgaard. Go see Garden State - you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Star Wars Original Trilogy DVD's

Here's an article about the September 21st release of the 4 DVD Star Wars set. I'm getting it, but I'll admit that the rumor of additional "tinkering" by Lucas worries me. Some of the added elements in the "Special Editons" were alright, but some (Greedo shoots FIRST??? WTF???) were horrible.

In case you hadn't noticed, Windows XP Service Pack 2 is delayed - again. The company statement is that it was delayed "after receiving feedback from IT groups saying they hadn’t had time to implement a tool for temporarily blocking the automatic download of SP2." Since SP2 causes conflcit in several applications, like Norton Antivirus Corporate Edition, Veritas Backup Exec, and some of Microsoft's management tools, this tool is a necessity for many companies. Also, SP2 is certainly not perfect - there's already one hotfix available for it. The SP2 delay is (so far) just for corporations - home users should be able to get SP2 from Windows Update starting today.

Saturday, August 14, 2004

NASA identifies flaw that killed Columbia astronauts

In this ABC News article, NASA reveals that the method used to apply insulating foam to the shuttle's external fuel tank was defective. This caused cracks to develop because of spots where there was no insulation, a failure that resulted in a suitcase-sized piece detaching from the external fuel tank of Columbia and striking it's left wing. This foam strike punched a hole in that wing, which lead to the failure of the heat shield.

Is Microsoft's Windows XP Firewall secure? The old Internet Connection Firewall is changed and updated by Service Pack 2 into the NEW on-by-default Windows Firewall. And according to the article, isn't all it's cracked up to be.

Friday, August 13, 2004

Lots of news...

The Google IPO is nigh, beginning at 9:00am Eastern. Bidder registration closed last night.

Governor of New Jersey, James McGreevey, shocked everyone when he announced he was gay, and resigning as governor. He made the announcement at a press conference on Thursday. He won't officially resign until November 15th to prevent the need for a special election.

The Supreme Court of California ruled on the case against the gay marriages performed in San Francisco, and said that Mayor Gavin Newsom had exceeded his authority in allowing the marriages. The over 4,000 same-sex weddings performed in San Francisco in February and March were ruled to have no standing under state law and the court declared the marriages "void and of no legal effect from their inception." That really stinks - I still don't get what the big deal is over gay marriage. If they want to get married - let 'em, I say.

First Bonnie (which was downgraded to a tropical storm, and wasn't as bad as it was expected to be) hits, and now Hurricane Charlie prepares to hit the Florida coast. Winds are expected to top 110 mph. Sucks to be in Florida right now - hope it doesn't get too bad for them.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Build a Better Bush

We were having a lot of fun with this link at my office yesterday - Build a Better Bush . Thanks to my wife for emailing it to me (love ya!)

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Athens Olympics - most secure Olympic Games ever, or most invasive?

Read this story from CNN about the enormous effort several companies have made to provide the security for the Summer Olympics in Athens (opening ceremonies are this Friday.) It's a huge - and expensive - undertaking, and involves lots of electronic surveillance from over 1,000 high-resolution and infrared cameras, 12 patrol boats, 4,000 vehicles, nine helicopters, a sensor-laden blimp and four mobile command centers. But there are questions of invasion of privacy to consider, since the system can pickup spoken words and analyze e-mail and phone traffic (cell and standard) and has the ability to understand Greek, English, Arabic, Farsi, and several other languages as well. Groups in Greece have protested against the system, and some have even gone as far as going around spray-painting security cameras. It's a tough line to straddle, the line between providing security for an international event and respecting privacy of thousands of individuals both native and visiting the country. Hopefully this huge system will do only it's intended job, and won't be used in a more invasive manner to pry into people's private lives.

Saturday, August 07, 2004

RIP - Rick James dead at 56

Rick James was found dead yesterday morning at his home near Universal City, CA. Very sad news indeed. First Ray Charles, and now Rick James. Maybe this will stop all the idiot kids running around going "I'm Rick James, bitch!!" We can only hope.

Friday, August 06, 2004

The new Batmobile - in action!!

Check this amateur video of the Batmobile from Batman Begins - SWEET!!!

Thursday, August 05, 2004

Updated versions of Mozilla Firefox and Thunderbird released released updated versions of Firefox (now on version 0.9.3) and Thunderbird (now on version 0.7.3) yesterday. This new release is to correct 4 bugs in the earlier versions. Read the MozillaZine article for more info.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

The Village - WARNING!!!!! (Slight) Spoilers!!!!!

I saw M. Night Shyamalan's The Village on Monday night. Unfortunately, it wasn't quite what I was hoping it would be. I liked The Sixth Sense alot, and I just love Unbreakable - it's one of my favorite films. But The Village - wasn't what it had been hyped up to be. I don't want to give away the whole film, but this is DEFINITELY not a movie about mysterious monsters in the woods. It's basically a treatise on the evil of modern society, and how a group of people hoped returning to a more innocent time would rid them of those evils. I did like the performances in the movie, Joaquin Phoenix was very good, as was Bryce Dallas Howard and Adrien Brody. William Hurt gave a particularly good performance - very good indeed. Again - I don't want to ruin the entire movie, so I won't get into to many specifics on the performances. There were funny scenes, and scary scenes, and very touching or emotionally moving scenes - but the movie as a whole just seemed weird, kind of insincere. Because all the trailers and commercials make it seem like a "scary monster-in-the-woods what do we do?" action movie - and it isn't. It wasn't horrible or unwatchable - just not what I expected, I guess. Don't think I'll be recommending it to anyone, maybe telling them to wait till it's out on video or something.

HP to ship notebooks with Linux pre-installed

This is a great thing - HP to launch Linux notebook. Since Linux is already installed and configured, you shouldn't have weird problems with drivers and stuff. Plus, you've got support from HP if you do have a problem. Nice!

Saturday, July 31, 2004

A bit of fun

Try this game - HomeRun. Yeah, I know it's not written in english, but it's pretty easy actually. Click the sign that says "Start", then keep the drunk guy from falling over by moving the mouse left or right. You won't see a mouse pointer, so it's tough to gage how far left and right you are moving.

For some funny reading, try The White House (it's a parody site - the REAL White House URL is Some pretty funny stuff on there, but may not be appropriate for all - viewer discretion is advised.

Friday, July 30, 2004

Go me!!!

I made my post about the Batman Begins trailer way, way, WAY before it was posted over on Slashdot. I rule.

If you are a Blade fan, you may want to check out the website for Blade Trinity, the final movie in the series. Watch the trailer, check out the downloads (desktops, AIM icons, etc.), and hope (like I am) that Jessica Biel doesn't suck up the place. Hee - the spellchecker wants to replace "Biel" with "bile". That's kinda funny!

Thursday, July 29, 2004

Batman Begins trailer!!

Go to - click Trailer - Enjoy!!

Slight change to the site

You'll probably notice that Haloscan commenting and trackback have been added back in, I finally got around to setting it up in the new template I'm using. So - comment away!!

Hope is on the way!

Watched some of the Democratic National Convention last night, and caught all of John Edwards speech accepting the Vice Presidential nomination. He's quite the public speaker, isn't he? Very charismatic, very engaging. I first noticed it during the primary, whenever he spoke in public he was projecting this sort of "down home" vibe - kind of an appeal to the everyday people to connect with him because he has been where they are and stands for what they stand for. Don't personally know if I buy all of what he's selling, since I don't ever really trust malpractice attorneys, but he's damn good at selling it. Cute little kids too. We'll see if his vision of the One America he wants to help us reach holds out once he and John Kerry get elected in November (boy, am I optimistic or what?)

The problem for the Democrats is the divisiveness within the party - a case in point was Al Sharpton's speech at the convention last night. He strayed from his "approved" speech - which I don't have a problem with at all, he made some great points and had some valid observations and calls to African Americans across the country to make their vote count, and to slam the Republicans who seem to thing those same votes are for sale - "Mr. President, the reason we are fighting so hard, the reason we took Florida so seriously, is our right to vote wasn't gained because of our age - Our vote was soaked in the blood of martyrs, soaked in the blood of (civil rights activists) Goodman, Chaney and Schwerner, soaked in the blood of four little girls in Birmingham. This vote is sacred to us. This vote can't be bargained away. This vote can't be given away. In all due respect, Mr. President, read my lips: Our vote is not for sale." He received a few standing ovations during his 24 minute speech (he was scheduled for only 6 minutes), and got great responses from the conventioneers for statements like the preceding and this comment, "The issue of government is not to determine who may sleep together in the bedroom, it's to help those that might not be eating in the kitchen." Fiery stuff indeed, but here's the problem. The Democrats can't afford to even have the hint of division - the margin of support between Kerry/Edwards and Bush/Cheney is so close right now, and we can't afford to have another Presidential election like the last. Hopefully the Democrats can pull together the different elements developing within their party, like the delegates who still stuck with Dennis Kucinich during the roll call. A lot is riding on their ability to show the public what Kerry and Edwards are all about - and convince people to get out and vote. Not much time left till November guys - you had better really get on it.

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Some people have no sense of humor...

Well, that didn't take long. The Richmond Organization, which owns the copyright on Woody Guthrie's tune "This Land Is Your Land" (on which JibJab's "This Land" is based (See post below)) is suing the creators of the site. Read the article here. No sense of humor, I tell ya...

Hee hee!!

Got the link to this from my sister - This Land starring George Bush and John Kerry. Very funny stuff!!!

Short post today, feeling sort of out of it. If anything else strikes my fancy I may post it up, otherwise I'll update again tomorrow.

Saturday, July 24, 2004

Hey, this tastes a little funny...

Ewww. Read this. I'd rather starve, personally.

The CRN Test Center recently evaluated Windows XP Service Pack 2 Release Candidate (RC) 2 - and 3 of their 5 test machines no longer worked, blue-screens of death appearing after the install completed. Whoopsie. Sounds like SP2 RC2 is still not ready for prime time, hopefully this gets corrected soon - because that service pack is desperately needed.

Friday, July 23, 2004

Or maybe she WILL come back some day - update on the Linda Ronstadt/Aladdin controversy

The chairman of the prospective new owners of the Aladdin Hotel and Casino, Planet Hollywood Chairman and Chief Executive Robert Earl (a partner in the group that won the right to buy the Aladdin in bankruptcy court) has responded to the controversy - read the article here. He's also offering to take Michael Moore up on his offer to join Ronstadt onstage. It's also noted in the article that the Raelians, "a group whose religion revolves around beliefs about extraterrestrials and cloning, named Ronstadt an honorary priest or guide, a title that previously has been bestowed upon celebrities such as Moore, Madonna, Sinead O'Connor and George Michael." So she's got THAT going for her.

On a more personal note - this is my 100th post! A small milestone to be sure, but worth noting I think. It's quite a bit of fun to write this blog, and I think it won't be long till I've written my 500th post and beyond. That's all for now, more to come later maybe. 

Thursday, July 22, 2004

NASA releases pictures from the Apollo 11 mission

A large number of pictures taken from space and from the surface of the moon by the Apollo 11 astronauts have been digitized and are available online here. This was just linked on Slashdot, so site response may be lousy right now. You can view the thumbnails, but I haven't been able to pull down a full-size image yet.

New Look

The page IS different - you aren't seeing things. I changed templates, decided I liked this one better than the old one (with some help from my wife - thanks honey.) I've added most of the little extras I had on the page into the new template, but haven't added the Haloscan comment/trackback scripts in. Blogger hosts commenting now - and I may just stay with that instead. The drawback would be that any comments added thru Haloscan under the old page would be gone. Haven't decided for sure yet - and I'm sure I will change other things - so leave comments for me and let me know what you think of the new layout. Your input is appreciated!

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Well, I guess she won't be coming back some day...

Singer Linda Ronstadt removed for the Aladdin Hotel & Casino following a concert Saturday night after expressing support for controversial documentary filmmaker Michael Moore. Whoa. Sounds like someone touched a nerve, eh? This really shouldn't have surprised them as she's been making the same dedication at EVERY show. Since her recent summer tour began.  And here's a great response from Michael Moore via his website - an Open Letter to Bill Timmins, President Aladdin Casino and Hotel. God, that's a great response.

Fallout of the Download.Ject/Scob worm

The writer of this article raises a valid point. Now that the problem is (hopefully) fixed, why can't we know which sites had a problem? Sure, they are afraid of lawsuits - but isn't hiding the truth from the world just as bad? I guess the watch word for Net users these days is "suspicion" - be very cautious of what websites you visit and what they might be doing "behind the scenes" while you are there. As always, be sure you are updating Windows, running anti-virus scans at LEAST once a month, running a firewall or behind a router, and using spyware/adware/malware detection and removal utilities like Spybot and Ad Aware.

Saturday, July 17, 2004

It's a start...

I'm not normally one to cheer for Microsoft, but this is good news - Microsoft awarded $3.95 million in a lawsuit against spammer accused of sending millions of messages trying to lure e-mail users to a Web site that illegally used a Microsoft trademark. Now if they were just as diligent in securing Windows, that would REALLY be something. I do remember this, the spam wanted you to go to (Microsoft's ACTUAL Windows Update website is and download a toolbar that they claimed would download Windows updates for you. I never really understood why someone would think that was necessary, since Windows Update isn't that hard to use, and if you have Windows XP it can be setup to download and install updates automatically. But getting rid of the big spammers is a good thing, so I guess it all works out in the end.

Friday, July 16, 2004

Awwww, that's...umm...sweet? I guess?

I guess it's true love - John Edwards and his wife celebrate each wedding anniversary by going out to eat - at Wendy's. Alrighty then. My wife and I celebrate each of our wedding anniversaries in Las Vegas.  Yeah, our choice is better.

A bit of fun

Got this link from my wife - Escape! Very simplistic design and graphics, but it's a lot of fun - and it's addicting. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2004

Another big Vegas merger...

It was just announced today that Harrah's Entertainment Inc. will buy Caesars Entertainment Inc. for $5.2 billion in cash and stock. To quote the Tim and Tom Connection, "That's a lot of cheddar, a lot of salad." Harrah's operates 28 casinos in 13 states under the Harrah’s and Showboat names, and has about 41,000 employees. Caesars owns 28 properties worldwide, including Caesars Palace, Bally’s Las Vegas, and Paris Las Vegas, and employs 54,000. This merger will make the new company the world's biggest gambling company. So, now most of the properties in Las Vegas will be controlled by only two companies. As long as both deals are approved and go through - of course. Fewer comp cards to keep track of is a good thing, I suppose!

Emmy award nominations

The Emmy nominations are out - and Arrested Development got 7 nominations! I love that show! And The Amazing Race (the best show EVER!!) got 4 nominations, including Outstanding Reality-Competition Program, the award it won last year. It'll win again - I did mention it's the BEST SHOW EVER, right? The most nominations overall went to Angels In America, with 21.

Steve Ballmer bets that Xbox can take Sony in the next-gen console war

Well, I certain don't have the same rosy outlook that he does, but - Steve Ballmer, the CEO of Microsoft, predicts victory in the next-gen console war. Well, we can only hope that he's got his "Developers, developers, developers!!" on board.

Apple has confirmed the next iMac will utilize a G5 processor while speaking to analysts and members of the press during it's 3rd quarter fiscal year '04 conference call Wednesday afternoon. It also states that the reason why the new iMac won't ship till September is because IBM is having manufacturing problems. IBM makes the G5 processor for Apple, and could not supply enough processors to Apple for an earlier launch of the new iMac.

Wednesday, July 14, 2004


Feeling tired today? Be sure to visit and tell them about it. The site has received 32,000+ messages so far (read the Slate article here) and they don't show any signs of slowing. But seriously, who ISN'T tired? Heck, I'm tired every day!

Tuesday, July 13, 2004

Which movie villain are you?

This is a pretty cool quiz - Which Movie Villain Are You?
I, apparently, am Agent Smith -

Saturday, July 10, 2004

Books schmooks

This article about a National Endowment for the Arts survey released Thursday states that fewer than half of Americans over 18 now read novels, short stories, plays or poetry; and that the pace of lost readers is quickening, especially among younger readers. So, go read a book already!

Friday, July 09, 2004

A view into the future of computing-on-the-go?

This article from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette talks about a project in development at Intel Research Pittsburgh called Internet Suspend/Resume. If it actually works the way they say it will, that would be really useful. Perhaps someday we won't need to lug laptops around to do work or stay connected to the internet when away from home!

News of an exploit that affects Mozilla/Firefox - seems they are susceptible to the shell: scheme. The newest version of Firefox (version 0.9.2) includes the patch mentioned in this link. The only thing that changed between the 0.9.1 release and 0.9.2 is the inclusion of the patch. You can check if you are vulnerable by opening Firefox and then - 1) Type about:config in the location bar. 2) In the textbox labeled 'Filter' type shell 3) should be listed and set to "false" If it's not listed or set to true, you need to apply the patch. The patch will fix older versions of Firefox and of Mozilla and Netscape 6.x or 7.x.

Thursday, July 08, 2004

[Singing] But how do you know she is a witch? [/Singing]

In (Awesome!) news from Broadway, Monty Python's Spamalot (The Musical) announces that David Hyde Pierce, Hank Azaria, and Tim Curry will star as Sir Robin, Lancelot and King Arthur. And there was much rejoicing (Yay!).

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Finally!! A new post!!

Greetings. I'm back from my trip, and not really happy to be back at work, but oh well. Had a good time visiting my Dad and stepmom, and my brother and his family. I've got some pictures, and I'll be linking a few of them into the blog - but I haven't had a chance to do it yet. The Amazing Race was on last night. Gotta have your priorities :)

In other news, Microsoft released a "patch" to fix the exploit in Internet Explorer that allowed compromised sites to download the trojan known as either Download.Ject or JS.Scob.Trojan. I say "patch" cause it's really just a workaround right now. A more comprehensive fix is said to be in the works.

Google is cracking down on people making a buck or two off of Gmail accounts. Google has added to it's user agreement, stating that Gmail users may not "sell, trade, resell, or otherwise exploit for any unauthorized commercial purpose or transfer any Gmail account." Darn, there go my dreams of financial independence.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Money money money money...MONEY!!

So the Big Game/Powerball jackpot is up to like $290 million. Now if I could only win...

MGM is now being courted by two suitors - Sony and Time Warner. Sony bid $5 billion for MGM back in April, and Time Warner just entered a bid recently. $5 BILLION. With a "b". Billion, like your own island with giraffes and stuff running around.

Apple is apparently making a new iMac - but it won't be shipping till sometime in September. They aren't taking orders for the current iMac any longer, and the current stock of iMacs won't last till September. Whoops.

Well, another weekend is upon us, and once again the wife and I are going out of town. So I will once again be incommunicado - possibly till Wednesday. We will be in Chicago, visiting my Dad and stepmom, and my brother and his family. My brother and his wife just had another baby last week, so we get to go and visit with my NEW niece, Isabella.

Here's a picture of baby Isabella with her mom, my sister-in-law Errin -

So cute!! Now, my brother has three daughters. In about ten years, he'll never get to use the bathroom or the phone. The poor guy is just hopelessly outnumbered. It'll be nice to visit with all of them, and I'll have some new pictures to post once I return, I'm sure.

Thursday, July 01, 2004

Spider-Man, Spider-Man... Part 2

Whoops - teenager trying to bootleg Spider-Man 2 caught by theatre employee with night vision goggles. Hee - bet his parents were PISSED.

In other news, the Las Vegas Monorail will finally open starting July 15th. Since it was supposed to open in March, it's about time. This is really cool news for me and my wife - cause we love The Vegas!

Spider-Man, Spider-Man...

Went to see Spider-Man 2 last night - it was great! The Spider-Man movies have become the best movie adaptations of a comic book series as far as I am concerned. It all starts with the director - and Sam Raimi is a hell of a good director. His Evil Dead movies are brilliant, but since not everyone likes horror movies they didn't have huge mass-market appeal. Raimi was the perfect pick to direct the Spider-Man movies, and he's proven that with this movie. He really understands the subject, and it's so evident in the special touches he put in and in the performances he gets from his cast. And what a great cast - I always thought Tobey Maguire was the perfect choice for Peter/Spider-Man (Here's a link to an interview with Tobey Maguire (also has a interview with Alfred Molina)) and Kirsten Dunst was a great choice to be Mary Jane. I wasn't sure about James Franco as Harry Osborn, but he was good in the first movie and was even better in Spider-Man 2. He won me over with the great job he did in his big scene near the end of the film with (MAJOR HUGE SPOILER WARNING) Willem Dafoe reprising his role as Norman Osborn, encouraging his son to get revenge for him. By far my favorite single performance would have to be J.K. Simmons as J. Jonah Jameson, publisher of The Daily Bugle. He had some great scenes in the original, and practically steals the second movie.
The film was great - I highly recommend it to one and all, and will be seeing it again myself as soon as possible!

Wednesday, June 30, 2004

Fahrenheit 9/11

If you haven't seen Fahrenheit 9/11 yet, go see it. See Spider-Man 2 of course - but don't neglect to see Fahrenheit 9/11. It's a very important movie, and was also very entertaining. Well worth the price of admission, I thought. You can also read some of Michael Moore's interview in the most recent Playboy Magazine here (WARNING : This link will take you to a snippet of the interview in the July Playboy magazine. It's hosted on, which is DEFINITELY not a safe-for-work website).

Saturday, June 26, 2004

Pavitr Prabhakar, The Amazing Spider Man...wait, WTF???

Yeah, this is kinda weird. Spider-Man India – Spider-Man comic book "re-interpreted" for Indian audience. Man - first our JOBS get outsourced to India, now our superheroes too??

In other news, Jack Ryan is an idiot. If you have a wife as hot as Jeri Ryan is -

you shouldn't be doing stupid stuff like trying to get her to go to sex clubs and boink you while other people watch. Not very smart, huh?

I'll be gone the rest of the weekend, and through Tuesday probably. Not sure if I'll be able to post while away (being as the only access I'd have would be dial-up (bleah!)), so I might not post for a few days. To my reader(s?), I apologize for the downtime. Be back soon!

Friday, June 25, 2004

Gorramn good news

For fans of the FOX show Firefly, the shows early cancellation was hard to take. The release of the episodes made things a little better - we could finally see the episodes never shown on FOX, like the original pilot episode. Then came word of the movie adaptation of Firefly - and the word is good. The title of the movie is Serenity - and there is a newly created official movie website here. Not a lot of stuff on there yet, but does have a little info in the blog. The release date for Serenity is April 22, 2005.

Another upcoming movie, The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy is running a contest where the winner will appear in the movie. Only one problem - you must be a resident of the UK, no overseas entries will be accepted. Darn.

Thursday, June 24, 2004

You've Got Spam!

Hee. Hee hee. Hee hee HA! HA HA HA!!! Software engineer at AOL charged with stealing AOL's subscriber list and selling it to spammer. Oh man - what an idiot!

So - first Google announces Gmail, with 1 gigabyte (1 GB) of free storage. Then recently Yahoo announces it will increase it's free storage to 100 megabytes (100 MB), and if you pay for Yahoo's premium service you get 2 GB. Now Hotmail is offering 250 MB free, and 2 GB for their paid service. Well, if nothing else, Gmail has forced other free mail providers to make their services a little better. Although it is odd that Yahoo and Hotmail have "trouble" with Gmail - blocking invitations or sending them straight to the bulk mail folder. Weird, isn't it?

Wednesday, June 23, 2004

Prepare to be assimilated...

This is just creepy - Microsoft has been awarded a patent for using human skin as a power and data conduit. Sounds like the Microsoft wants to Borgify us all. The article talks of "virtual keyboards on a patch of skin", and "(It) need not be limited to the skin of a human being". I've got chills over here people!

And in other tech news - Comdex 2004 is cancelled. They say it'll be back, better than before even, in 2005. Well, if they can really revitalize Comdex like they discuss in the article - it would be worth the year off. We shall see in 2005, I suppose.

Lack of update problem? SOLVED!

Been a while since I posted something - but here I am!

Cool news for those of us who use portable devices (cell phones, PDAs, laptops, etc.) fuel cell technology. Battery life extended 2.5 times greater than current lithium-ion rechargeables - and this is just the first generation of these Mobion fuel cells. Sounds pretty good so far!

The first privately funded manned space flight happened Monday. The pilot, Mike Melvill, reached a height of 62.21 miles above the surface of the Earth. The craft, called SpaceShipOne, and the exotic booster plane White Knight that carried it into the atmosphere were built by Scaled Composites, the company of aircraft designer Burt Rutan. The project was funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen - to the tune of more than $20 million.

I've got some pictures I took last night that I'll be posting up here - once I can get them onto a site I can hot-link them from. Gonna try and do that later tonight, so I will post again if I can get that working.

Saturday, June 19, 2004

Blogging ain't easy, yo

Well, today I decided to look on the lighter side and not get all heavy and serious like. So here's a quick movie review-

Went to see The Terminal with the wife last night. We both enjoyed it a lot. I thought Stanley Tucci did a great job as the uptight stickler-for-the-rules bureaucrat, and I liked Tom Hanks performance - I thought he really brought a lot of heart to the character. But the show, she was stolen by one of the supporting characters - by Kumar Pallana, who plays Gupta, a janitor at the airport. He's also been in Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, and The Royal Tenenbaums. Gupta loves to mop an area of the floor, surround it with "Wet Floor" signs, and sit back and watch as harried travelers in a hurry ignore the signs and end up slipping on the wet spot. Like this time, when he got Catherine Zeta Jones -

He also has some great bits during the dinner between Hanks and Catherine Zeta Jones (hee - plate-spinning!!). Here's a pic of him juggling rings -

Overall a good movie, I thought. Definitely worth the price of admission.

In other news - check this Slashdot article about Gmail. I might have to try some of those utilities...

Friday, June 18, 2004

9/11 Commission report - communication failures and chaotic decision-making

I don't really have anything witty to say about this, but I'm sure you've all heard the findings released yesterday by the bi-partisan commission investigating 9/11. Here's an article summing it up. It's shocking, it's disturbing, and it's troublesome to hear that so many things went wrong. But - with just a bit of perspective - it's not impossible to understand. I remember hearing of the initial crash into the north tower, and thinking "That's horrible, a plane accidentally crashed into the World Trade Center". Of course, that supposition was very quickly dashed - the terrible images captured of the second plane flying purposely into the south tower made it all too apparent what was really happening. I know I wasn't alone in my initial thought, because when the attack began I was in a doctor's office - everyone around me was talking about the "accident". Yet it's still troubling, understandably so, to hear of the problems our government and others were having during the crisis. Even President Bush had communications difficulties - he had trouble reaching top officials in Washington from the elementary school in Florida he was at - he couldn't get a secure line, and had to use a cell phone! The hijackers (at least once that I've heard of) pressed the wrong button, and instead of addressing the passengers in the plane - they transmitted to air traffic control the message "We have some planes. Just stay quiet and you'll be OK." followed seconds later with "Nobody move. Everything will be OK. If you try to make any moves, you'll endanger yourself and the airplane." Some reports are attributing these statements to Mohammed Atta, the hijacker of American Airlines Flight 11, the plane which crashed into the north tower. Once the controller who heard this contacted his supervisor, the Boston air traffic center contacted the Northeast unit of the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), with a frantic message: "We have a hijacked aircraft headed towards New York, and we need you guys to, we need someone to scramble some F-16s or something". The response from NORAD was - "Is this real-world or exercise?". Fighters were scrambled from Otis Air Force base (153 miles from New York City) at 8:53am - 7 minutes after Flight 11 crashed into the north tower. This all happened within 29 minutes - the hijackers transmission was at 8:24am, the call to NORAD at 8:37am, the crash at 8:46am, and finally the F-16's scrambled from Otis AFB at 8:53am. Even if the fighters had scrambled a little earlier, it would not have prevented that crash. But what of United Airlines Flight 175, which crashed into the south tower, and American Airlines Flight 77, which crashed into the Pentagon? Could they have been stopped? Doubtful, at best they would have been shot down over populated areas - not a option I think the military would have taken. Besides - pilots didn't have a clear authority to shoot down civilian aircraft, even though VP Cheney did issue the order with approval of the president. So it's impossible to tell.

Is any one person/agency/administration to blame? No. Too much went wrong, too many people didn't have the right info at the right time. I'm sure we will be debating this for years to come, and we actually don't have the final commission report yet, so there will be much more discussion very shortly. The only hope we have is that all the discussion and investigation leads to lasting changes that, we can only hope, prevent such a tragedy from occurring again.

Sorry for such a downer post - I just needed to get that out there, I suppose.

Thursday, June 17, 2004


This just seems like a bad idea to me - Microsoft plans to offer anti-virus software. I guess when your OS is the number one target of every virus writer out there, it seems to make sense. And I suppose as long as it isn't bundled in with the OS it won't be perceived as the de facto standard. I guess the worrisome part for me is that I don't know if people will actually ever properly use anti-virus software - I talk to people all the time who think that they have no virus problem, and yet they are running a 4 year old copy of Norton Anti-Virus that was never updated. Or the swear that they do anti-virus scans "every day" - and when you ask some more questions you find that means that the scanner does a quick boot-sector scan at startup, and they think that is good enough. Well, one can hope that at the very least Micro$oft maybe will train people to use anti-virus software.

WTF??? Panda Porn??

And, in news very close to my heart (because I just LOVE The Vegas...) - the MGM Mirage Group's offer to purchase the Mandalay Resort Group was approved by the Mandalay board. MGM is assuming $2.5 BILLION in debt from Mandalay. Damn, that's a lot of debt!! The deal is expected to close sometime first quarter of 2005.

Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Random acts of blogitude

So, the new release of Mozilla Firefox (version 0.9) is now the current preview release. You can download it here, but beware - if you use version 0.8 now you will need to uninstall it BEFORE you install 0.9. Your current Firefox profile SHOULD be imported into 0.9 automatically - but any Extensions or Themes you had for version 0.8 will be gone. There are new versions of most of the useful Extensions available, hopefully more will be coming soon.

The first virus that infects cell phones has been discovered - it's called Cabir. It infects phones using the Symbian operating system, and propagates via bluetooth. Fun!

In other news - my wife and I went to the BIA Parade of Homes, which is a yearly event where local home builders all build homes in a new development and totally trick them out - landscaping, decks and patios, decorating - the whole nine yards. I always see at least one home theatre system in these homes that I want to install in my house. It was a lot of fun, the weather wasn't great - but at least it wasn't pouring down rain on us whenever we were outside. We must have walked up and down 9,000 staircases though - quite the workout. There were a few very nice houses though. Here is a picture where you can kinda see the house I liked the best - it's on the left -

I know it's hard to really see anything in the picture - but it's the best I've got since I didn't have my camera with me. I found this pic on the Parade of Homes website. You've got to do the best you can with what you've got, or something. I don't know - I've got nothing.

Friday, June 11, 2004

Sad passings and a new beginning

Hey - did you hear that Ronald Reagan died? No fooling! He's getting some big state funeral today, and people have been going to view him at the Capitol rotunda. Yeah, I was surprised too - it's like no one at all in the media is talking about it.

And now another sad passing (sans the sarcasm) - Ray Charles passed away yesterday. He shall be missed.

In much brighter news - Leo LaPorte has announced that he has accepted a job to host a daily show for G4/TechTV Canada!!! This is good news - Leo's regular presence on our TV screens has been missed. I'm just hoping that this will be carried on G4/TechTV here in the States...

Thursday, June 10, 2004


Yeah right - like I even care ;) What really disturbs me about the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony "marriage" is that he divorced his wife Dayanara Torres ONE WEEK before marrying J. Lo. That's cold man.
He left this -

For this -

I don't know - but I'd have stayed with the woman I have TWO KIDS with. Maybe I'm weird...

Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Emergency post - The Amazing Race 5

I'm in trouble - I didn't post about The Amazing Race 5, premiering July 6th on CBS. So, here's a post about it.

Starting Tuesday July 6th - 11 teams of two, all with pre-existing relationships, will start off on a race around the world. For the last team standing - 1 million dollars. For everyone else - Philimination!!! (Heh, I just had to throw that in there. The Television Without Pity folks will get that. If you don't read TWoP - click the link and start! What's wrong with you?). Check the CBS website for more info - including the hot off the internet presses list of Racers!

There you go sweetie, I kept my promise to post about TAR. (Love you!)