Sunday, August 31, 2008


There's some interesting stuff on this website, Mostly there's a host of videos that have presented in the past to elite groups. The website makes them freely available to the public.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Fun Fact #21

The only domestic animal not mentioned in the Bible is the cat. That's weird because we know that Egyptians kept them.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Opt Out

DYK that you can call 1-888-5-OPT-OUT to get your name removed from mailing lists for preapproved credit bullshit generated by your credit report? Try takes around 2 minutes to complete as long as all your info is correct. It's a good idea for the following reasons:

1. Eco-friendly - less paper/load on post office
2. You're less at risk of people taking preapproved offers and opening accounts in your name.
3. Save time opening/processing/shredding these things.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Kicked a Car

Today on the way to school, there was a car in the bike lane on Call street. This a common occurrence and it always pisses me off (except when they're trying to turn out of a side street & there's a lot of traffic...then it's understandable). This car was in front of me and I was slowing down for a red light anyway. I always want to kick or punch or key or fucking hammer cars that sit in the bike lane when they've got the fucking car lane to sit in. Seeing this new black Acura at a standstill in the left half of the bike lane, I decided that I was going slow enough to kick it, so I did. I wondered what would happen to my balance if I tried something like that. I kicked the car, put my foot back on the pedal, and kept riding. No problem. Wish I was wearing my cross country spikes or something to scratch that bitch up.

Now that I know I can do this without directly hurting myself, I might make more of a habit of it. I used to yell at them if their windows were down. I'd like to figure out a way to inflict more damage on them without imposing much cost on me (e.g. the extra weight of carrying a car-bashing chain or something and keeping it easily accessible). Leave me some suggestions.

I'm Really Not a Masochist

I'm not a masochist: I don't get off on pain. I don't really like it or seek it out. I'm not a wimp either. I think you already knew that. What you might not know is that there is one kind of pain that I kind of enjoy. It's not the rigors of a PhD program; it is gum pain.

I like flossing hard enough to bleed and holding it there for a minute. I like to spit out the blood afterward. Back when I was losing my teeth, I loved to push them around and add a little pressure to the gums. I guess braces weren't really enjoyable for the most part. I think the best way to get this good gum pain is by using woven floss and really getting in there. I guess that might be a big enough incentive to get me to floss more than once a week.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Least Favorite Song

One day I was driving with Walker riding shotgun (with a shotgun??). We were listening to a CD in my car and when a new song came on, I said "this is my least favorite song on the album." Walker proceeded to turn up the volume, thus confusing the other passengers.

Just because it wasn't my least favorite song doesn't mean that I don't like it (enough negatives in that sentence for you?). It's little things like that that make you appreciate the people who understand you. I also like confusing others in some types of scenarios.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Pick #90

Death Cab for Cutie - "Bend to Squares" from Something About Airplanes

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Recipe #2: BBQ Chicken Subs

Ingredients: chicken, canola oil, Nature's Season, BBQ sauce, hoagie rolls, provolone cheese

Chop chicken into 1" cubes, fry in canola oil. Top with Nature's Season while frying.
Cut hoagie rolls down middle, line with provolone, fill with chicken, top with BBQ sauce. I like to put another slice of cheese on top at this point, but it's optional.
Now, put the filled hoagie rolls in the (toaster) oven @ 400° for about 5 minutes, until the bread is crunchy & the cheese is melted.
I like to take BBQ sauce to the table in case I want to add more.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Don't Make 'Em Like They Used To

When I was up in Virginia, my family that we were staying with had a refrigerator from the 1940s in their garage. I think it was a Westinghouse. You open it up and there's an icebox on top. It kept things very cold.

I'm sure that the energy efficiency of this old thing would make it eat more electrons than my air conditioner, but it still works. I can almost guarantee that a refrigerator purchased today would die in under 40 years, not even coming close to the life of this 70-something year old appliance.

It's a shame that in this day of improved technology (as compared to the good old days) that not everything lasts as long as it used to. It seems that companies think that planned obsolescence will earn them more profit in the long run. They are flawed, at least theoretically. If they made a better, longer lasting product, then they could capitalize on its superiority by charging a higher price.

I've mentioned the same thing with my HVAC unit & water heater, which are both still original (house was built in 1977). Current estimates for water heater life spans are sub 20 years. I guess new ones are more energy efficient, but I doubt that they offer much advantage over the old ones (unless you compare apples to oranges and say that now you can get a tankless one).

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Picks #88 & 89

I've been out of town for a week straight with limited computer access, so here's this week's & last week's picks:

Eddie Money - Think I'm in Love

Splender - Yeah Whatever

Thursday, August 14, 2008


This company made a gyroscope to minimize zero- and low-speed boat roll. Check out the video on their website. We're staying with my mom's cousin's husband in Virginia and his plant was working on this. He said that the next project he's working on is something about an electric motor for putting fins on the bottom of cigarette boats so that they don't flip up in the air when going fast.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Virgin Galactic

I've heard talk for a little while now that Virgin is preparing to send ordinary people (with a little bit of disposable income) into space. I didn't realize that they are so close. Apparently now it's only 12-18 months until they do their first commercial flight. I went to their website and it blew me away. You can watch a couple videos and read the FAQ.

I think the thing that I found most amazing was the low price tag. Tix start @ $200,000!! I know that I'd go into space if I had a chance. I don't want the negative health effects of spending weeks up there (although I'd probably stay that long anyway if given the chance). I'm not exactly sure how long the trip into space lasts, but I think it's about an hour of air time.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Computer Crapping Out

It looks like my computer's starting to show signs of old age. Recently, it's not been wanting to wake up from naps (aka after being in standby). Sometimes it decides to display a black screen when I try to turn it back on. I was thinking about it and decided to ask Drew if he still makes computers. Affirmative. He's willing to help guide me through building my own.

I'm trying to decide what kind of specs I want on this new computer. I've been thinking about learning Linux. I'm concerned that if I use an OS like Ubuntu, then I might not be able to use software that I've purchased in the past that's for Windows. I'm especially concerned about RosettaStone and Stata. It would also be nice to have Excel when I need it for something that I'm not yet ready for in Calc from

As for cool stuff, I want to be able to watch (and maybe capture the stream) live TV on my computer (hey, that sounds like TiVo). I want a Terabyte or more of hard disk space, blazing dual processors, lots of memory, eSATA, maybe hook up dual monitors...

If you have any other ideas that would make my computer rock out, comment here.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Soft Drink ≠ Soda

It bugs me when people refer to sodas as "soft drinks" with the implication that Gatorade, juices, milk, water, etc. are excluded from the category of "soft drink." Of course, a hard drink is one containing alcohol. Drinks without alcohol are all soft drinks.

What set me off about this is a stupid panel on the side of one of those stupid "FridgePack" 12-pack of cans of Coke. It says something like "who knew soft drinks could be hydrating?" Umm...I think that's the definition of water. Gatorade's a good hydrator. Sodas don't hydrate you...or maybe they do, before the caffeine dehydrates you more.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Pick #87

Flickerstick - "Beautiful" from Welcome Home the Astronauts

I heard this song on Pandora and I really like it. Pandora's probably a better way to find new music than reading my blog.

Saturday, August 2, 2008


I am amazed at how many people have visited my blog in the past year. Without the counter, I'd probably still think that only a handful of people ever looked at it. Turns out that 2645 is about 80 times more than I would have predicted before adding the counter.

Friday, August 1, 2008

CFL: The Gift That Keeps On Giving

By now, many of my friends have moved on to points in their lives where they have to pay for their own expenses. For my friends who have to pay their own utility bills [or if they leave the light on as long as they are awake (even if not in the room)], I like to get them compact fluorescent light bulbs. In a way, I'm forcing my agenda on them and they like it. That's right, they'll be saving energy. Also, they're saving money. I think it's a sweet setup and everybody wins.

I've tried to do this with canvas bags before. The problem is that people forget to use them or don't like the color or something. With the lights, you screw it in and it works just like any other light & there's no more effort involved. I call that "incentive compatibility."

Summer Jeans?

Nobody wears long sleeve shirts in the summer, so why do they wear jeans. I mean, it gets hot. Triple digit heat index here.

I understand why people who need to wear jeans do so. For example, roofers, landscapers, and cowboys all want solar protection. Fine. What about college students? What are they thinking when they put on pants in the summer time? T-shirts are fine, they aren't wearing button-downs. It shouldn't be for dressing up or fashion and I don't see how it could be for comfort, so why do they do it?