Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Deep Fried Turkey

Normally on Thanksgiving, there is plenty of turkey left over. This year, we didn't have that experience. The 14.5 lb. deep fried turkey I made was almost completely consumed by the eight adults who attended! That is a lot of freakin turkey per person! Now, of course, I do understand this, as the turkey was by far the best that I have ever eaten, but still, wow.

The experience turned out very well. After watching a couple of Food Network shows, and reading some articles -- my only concern was safety. It seems a disturbing number of people hurt themselves when they deep fry turkey with propane. I took all the required per-cautions, and it went off without a hitch. In fact, it went so well that I've decided that all major holiday meals this year will be centered around deep fried turkey. Yum!

Wii at Home

Well, that was fast... Target had 42, and while my wife was there, 5 sold.

Looks like I have a Wii at home to play with... can't wait to get home...

Waiting for Wii

I've been trying to get a Wii since launch. I didn't really think about getting one, until the day before. On launch day, we tried several places, with no luck. Then, on Black Friday, I went to two Targets and even a Wal-Mart at 5:30 in the freakin morning. Again, no luck. In fact, there were no units even being sold on Friday -- which seems weird. On Sunday and Monday, I felt extremely sick, so I didn't even try to get one, or think about it.

About 30 minutes ago, I read that Target had plenty in stock. So I called my wife, and asked her to check it out (since I'm at work). She called me back in like 15 minutes saying "I'm on my way".

So now, I'm stuck at work, waiting to find out if, in fact I have a Wii. I feel like a little kid. I can't wait for the phone call... I hope I get one, and if I do, I don't know how I'm going to stay waiting until I get home...

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Doing my Part...

Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King
Martin Luther King

If you don't understand why I'm doing this, read here.

9 and 1

So far, so good. We beat the Jets and the Giants. Now, if we can beat the Patriots, we are set.

I think I heard someone last night on the news say that the Bears can win the division this week, if they win, and the Vikings and Packers lose. It could happen, maybe. The Pack are at Seattle, and after that embarrassing lose to SF, I think the Seahawks are going to be pretty tough. It seems less likely that the Cardinals will find a way to be the Vikings in the Dome. But - I suppose it could happen.

Even if the Bears don't win the division this week - they will win it soon. Green Bay and Minnesota are both 6 games behind at this point - there will be no recovery!

Animator vs. Animation 2

From the guy who brought you Animator vs. Animation, comes Animator vs. Animation 2!

The sequel is just as good as the original. I love it!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006

How to Follow a Turducken...

Last year, it was the Turducken, which, was good. Although several family members did admit it didn't live up to they expectations.

How could/should I follow up a Turducken?

With a deep-fried turkey. I've had them before, but I've never attempted to make one myself. I have to say, I'm excited (and a bit worried).

So far, I haven't decided on rubs, injections, etc - but I will finalize my choice before the weekend (in time for shopping).

8 and 1

It was an interesting week for football. How about those Chargers!?! What a crazy second half! A total of 778 yards by the quarterbacks, 440 from Palmer and he lost the game, that's just crazy. I was watching Inside the NFL last night, and in the highlights, they showed some Bengal during the game saying "We're gonna need 50 point to win this." At the time, I sure he wasn't being totally serious - but as it turns out, that was the exact right number. They really seem to be the team to watch out for in the AFC. I wonder if Indy can beat them?

Of course, it was the Bears game that I was most interested in watching. I was filled with some dread, wondering if the team that lost to the Dolphins or the team that beat the Seahawks would show up. In the beginning of the game, it looked as if the wrong team showed up. Eli looked pretty good, Rex looked like crap. But then, as the first quarter wore down, things changed. The Giants weren't dominating, and the Bears started to look a little better. At the half, the Bears looked like they were coming back.

The second half was all Bears. And I think they looked pretty good. Hester completely redeemed himself with the crazy 108 yard return off a missed field goal. How crazy is it that two years in a row, the Bears have done that? Last year it was Vasher, this year Hester - is this to be a yearly event? ;-)

With one down, and two to go in the crazy road trip from hell, I'm feeling pretty good. Except I'm not sure who the Jets beating the Pats says more about. How good the Jets can be, or that the Pats are really beatable?

If we beat the Jets on Sunday, I think we stand a really good chance of beating the Pats as well. Not because the Jets have, but because the momentum will be on their side. Of course if something crazy happens, say Green Bay beating the Pats, then the Bears might be in trouble. The Pats loosing four in a row? Can't see that happening.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Error Messages Done Right

Japanese Windows Error Messages, via some MSDN blog... Real? Who knows... still fun.

  1. The Web site you seek cannot be located, but countless more exist.
  2. Chaos reigns within. Reflect, repent, and reboot. Order shall return.
  3. Program aborting: Close all that you have worked on. You ask far too much.
  4. Windows NT crashed. I am the Blue Screen of Death. No one hears your screams.
  5. Yesterday it worked. Today it is not working. Windows is like that.
  6. Your file was so big. It might be very useful. But now it is gone.
  7. Stay the patient course. Of little worth is your ire. The network is down.
  8. A crash reduces your expensive computer to a simple stone.
  9. Three things are certain: Death, taxes and lost data. Guess which has occurred?
  10. You step in the stream, but the water has moved on. This page is not here.
  11. Out of memory. We wish to hold the whole sky, But we never will.
  12. Having been erased, The document you're seeking must now be retyped.
  13. Serious error. All shortcuts have disappeared.
  14. Screen. Mind. Both are blank.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Vote!

Today is Election Day (which should be a paid holiday for all Americans). If you haven't voted, make sure you do so.

If you need any extra reasons to vote, here is a lovely list of 109 reasons, why we need to get rid of the 109th Congress.

I voted this morning, and I'm happy to say that my polling place didn't force me to use the electronic voting machine. Good old paper ballot, with an optical scan. Thank you Cook County!

Friday, November 03, 2006

Diebold Has Some Nerve...

I can't believe the nerve of Diebold. The Diebold e-voting products have proven to be filled with flaws (easily hackable, return wrong votes, etc). For them to attempt to get HBO (a company known for the quality of its documentaries) to pull a documentary about the machines is pretty gutsy.

But whats better yet, they haven't seen the documentary, and in the letter they sent to HBO, they are talking about a completely different movie, made by different people. Way to go Diebold, for proving you guys can't get anything right...

Thursday, November 02, 2006

2 Years of Blogging

Wow, I was just looking at my blogger profile and I realized that I've been blogging for 2 years. Crazy. Amazing how time flies.

7 and 0

OK, so this is another seriously late post, but how about those Bears on Sunday!?! 41 points in the first half - tying a team record. I'm still pretty certain we won't go 16 and 0 (the Patriots and maybe even the Giants are going to be tough as hell to beat), but at this point, I do think we are set to be the NFC Champions! The road to that title, certainly would seem to run through the Windy City.

As to the game Sunday? I think the Dolphins are pretty screwed! They maybe coming off the bye, but Joey Harrington has never been very good aginist the Bears (oh wait, he hasn't ever been very good at all...). I'm pretty sure we are going to see another very one sided game.

Back from MAX

I've been back from MAX since Friday. And in some ways it has taken this whole week just to recover. Las Vegas is a crazy city. So what did I learn? I'll separate it in to two difference sections, Vegas and MAX.

First MAX. The conference was one of the better ones I've been too. I took a full day training session on Flex with ColdFusion on Monday, which was really worth the extra money and time. Before that training session, I really didn't feel like I had a grasp on how to use CF as a back end for Flex. Sure I could cut and paste example code, play with it, and make it sort of work, but I didn't have a good understanding of what I was doing -- now I do (at least with the basics). That knowledge was reinforced by the Flex sessions that I attended. I really feel I'm ready to dive, head first, in to a complex Flex project.

Other things I learned? Well, I think Adobe is on track with the Apollo product. I didn't get to see as much of it as I wanted to, but from what I did see, Apollo is going to be a great solution for providing a single application across the OS/browser divide. The fact that it will render Flash (and Flex of course), HTML, PDF, CSS, etc in a single easy to use environment should really allow it to take off. That being said, I'm concerned about making the product a success. Macromedia tried with Central. Sun with Java something-or-other. And, there have been others as well, who've tried to create a platform for bringing web applications from the browser to the desktop. Is this the right time? Right product? Only time will tell, but I think Adobe is on the right path, and truly "gets it".

Of course, an equally large part of my week was Vegas. What a city, it many ways, it shows the best and the worst parts of what America is. The best part of the experience was playing Black Jack. I had never played in a casino before. I stepped off the plane expecting to play, and lose, I choose an amount that I could accept losing and when with it. In the end, on my last day, I ended up with a profit of $5! This including the money I spent on food, drinks, etc. I consider that to be a huge win!

Seeing the many casinos was pretty cool -- of course the casino floor in all of them ended up being the same. Different ways to get you to spend money. That being said, I was really impressed with the expense, the use of costly materials, and the overall quality of the finished products. Some of the places I visited were truly beautiful. The thing I didn't really expect, or realize was the size of Vegas. When you are on the strip, the different locations don't seem that far away. However, try walking from Mirage to Paris, and you soon realize how far away they really are. Last, but not least, was the food. While the food at MAX itself was fairly boring, the after parties, and the special event made up for it. I got to eat Kobe beef for the first time, at two different places, it was damn good at Tao, but it was incredible at Little Buddha. And I did end up eating in my third Emeril resturant, Emeril's N.O. Fish House -- it wasn't as good as the other two I've eaten at (Tchoup Chop andNola), but it was still one of the best food experiences I've had.

Last, by not least, I met some really nice people at MAX. That, perhaps, is the best part of the conference. Each year, I make more friends, new contacts, and expand the list of people I hope to see at the next one.

Friday, October 20, 2006

MAX

Tomorrow morning I'm off to Adobe MAX in Las Vegas! I can't wait. This year, I'm going to focus a lot of Flex, some ColdFusion and a sprinkle of After Effects, Flash Video, and Flash Lite.

Of course, since it's in Vegas, I'm planning on doing some serious R & R as well. I'm hoping to hit several of the roller coasters while I'm there, grab some good food from places like Bobby Flay's Mesa Grill, and of course gamble a bit.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Election Time...

It's far to early to say that these predictions are going to come true, but the site, Electoral Vote has compiled all the poll data to come up with some interesting numbers. They aren't the only ones showing a big shift, Election Projection and The Hedgehog Report are also showing big changes coming to both the House and Senate.

Only time will tell, but the numbers look promising...

Click for www.electoral-vote.com

Click for www.electoral-vote.com

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

6 and 0

Well, any win is a good win, right? I can't believe how badly the Bears were prepared last night. But, of course, even worse was the way the Cardinals played. How do you loss a game when you force the opposing quarterback to make 6 turnovers!?! How?

Up until last night, I had assumed that the Raiders were the worst team in the NFL, after last night, I'm not so sure. Sunday the Raiders and Cardinals play, that should be funny, or maybe just sad...

The good news for me, is I get to watch all the games Sunday from the Las Vegas Hilton Football Central. Looks like quite the place, I can't wait...

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Killer Pinball Pictures...

Saw this on BoingBoing this morning... To cool, the photos really capture the spirt of a pinball game. I wish the site had prices though, cause if they prints weren't out of my budget, I'd seriously consider getting one.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Organics at Target

According to Slash Food, Target is going to start offering more organic foods. I agree with the article that this may simply be a response to Wal-Mart, but who cares why Target does it - just that they do! I always strive to buy as much organic food as possible, so this is a very exciting event for me. If this really pans out - I think we, as consumers, we start to see a lot more organic food showing up in "normal" grocery stores in the very near future.

Monday, October 02, 2006

4 and 0 baby!

It was rough weekend for me. On Thursday night I ended up in the emgerency room in incredible pain in my upper mouth, Friday was lost to a drug induced haze while I attempted to deal with said pain, and Saturday started with me getting two teeth pulled.

After all of that fun - I was really looking forward to laying in bed on Sunday to watch some football! Most of the games went as I hoped (Before tonight's game I'm 10 and 3 for the week). But, of course, it was the Bears game that I was looking forward to the most. Going in to the game, there was a lot of talk about weather or not the Bears were real. Could they really beat a good team? After all, being 3 and 0 against the Lions, Packers, and Vikings isn't saying much. Well, I hope now the doubters stop talking. What a game. Wow. To say that the Bears won is an understatement. The Seahawks were completely dominated! In all ways. On offense, defense, and special teams. What a great game. Hopefully, people will now stop being so hard on Rex Grossman, the kids got game. Looking forward, I think the Bears are going to end up being 6 and 0, and maybe even 7 and 0... but I dare not think that far ahead.

Go Bears!! :-)

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Keith Olbermann

All I can say is wow. Way to go Olbermann!



Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Football

What a great football weekend (for me at any rate)!

The Bears, 3-0 how sweet it is! It looks like we may finally have a real quarterback! And how about Desmond Clark! Of course, I can't forget our top 5 defense, the boys are getting things done, as

But, the game that really felt the best for me was the Falcons at the Saints. I picked the Saints to win, cause I didn't have the heart to pick againist them. How sweet it was to see them come out, with such passion and fire, and beat the pants off Alanta.

I think someone from ESPN said it best last night... The Saints are Americas second team.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Designed to Sell

Wow, it's been a crazy month. I can't believe I haven't written a post since the 8th. A lot of stuff is going on (as normal). Perhaps the craziest thing that has happened this month, my wife and I (and I guess our house) were chosen to be on HGTV's Design to Sell.

We just finished shooting on Saturday. What a crazy wild, fun, tiring experience! The crew were great, the hours were long (but not horrible), and overall the experience was surreal. Imagine having a cast of 10+ strangers in your house for days, and stranger yet, having the whole experience filmed for a national TV show.

I wasn't sure how well the changes would work, when you watch the show on TV everything looks pretty good; but there is no way of knowing how the house looked in real life. Now that I've been on the show, and I have seen the work first hand, I have to say I'm impressed! The rooms they redid were the kitchen, our backroom, and the front yard. All three of them look about 1000% times better. Perhaps the single biggest surprise for me was how big of effect can be gained by little design changes.

With the winter around the corner, and the housing market cooling off as well, we may not really try to sell until the spring -- but being on the show has really helped us get the house ready. I can't thank everyone who worked on our house enough. What a cool way to make money!

For those who are interested about when the show will air -- I have no idea yet. Also, I will post some before and after pictures to Flickr soon.

UPDATE: Pictures are now on-line.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Confidential... "do not distribute"

Caught this over on Boing Boing. Pretty scary, crazy. Having worked for the government I understand how security can be done, and sadly, as is clearly shown by the Google query, how it is often screwed up.

If I was working in the IT deptartment of one of these places, I'd be hiding my head in shame.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Windows Live Writer

This post is a test of the Live Writer software, from Microsoft.  I have to say, I'm pretty impressed with it.  I was curious to see if it would pull my Blogger information, and sure enough, it did with no problems.  It pulled my stylesheet in, allowing me to create a post with the full look and feel, which is quite nice.  I haven't played with most of the other features, but overall I have to say this is a pretty solid product.  Only time will tell, however, if I go for this when I want to post, rather than just going to the the site.

UPATE:  One thing that is missing, inline spell checking - where are my little red squiggly lines under misspelled words?  Microsoft should really have including that feature - but I guess Live Writer is still a beta...

Friday, August 11, 2006

Bill Gates - My Hero

A lot of people have a lot of very strong feelings about Bill Gates. Some love him, some hate him. I've always respected his ability to create the most powerful software company in the world. From very humble beginning to an unquestionable powerhouse, the Microsoft story is pretty amazing.

Then of course there is the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, which has done undeniable good in the various fights it has taken on. Now, according to the Toronto Star, the foundation is donating $500 Million Dollars to fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria. That is an unimaginable amount of money that hopefully will really make a difference in combating these diseases.

For becoming the wealthiest man in the world, and then using that money for good - Bill Gates is a hero to me.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Perfect Storm?

Among the normal spew of semi-interesting, often outlandish, and sometimes just silly posts that are normally on Digg, I found this one this morning. A slightly scary, very cool satellite image of 3 different typhoons forming in the Pacific ocean around Japan. I don't know if this happens often, but it reminded me of the plot of Perfect Storm. According to the article, this isn't an unheard of situation, and the three storms aren't moving toward each other, but still if I was living on the southern coast of Japan, I'd be a little concerned!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

IFBIN

Learning Flex or Flash can be a bit frustrating - especially if you are coming from a different world, like say ColdFusion or ASP. A great resource IFBIN.COM, has just changed its model and is now a free open source tool! With 100's of very specific tutorials this tool is a real life saver for anyone who needs to pick Flex or Flash in a hurry. Check it out! :-)

80s ISUZU GEMINI

All I can say is WOW! This footage seems to be real, and not computer generated - if so, it is the best car stunts that I've ever seen. I don't remember the car - not sure if it was ever sold in America, but it looks to be your basic crappy entry level vehicle, which makes the shunts even more impressive.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Flex 2

In the little free time I have right now, I've been playing with Flex 2. Wow. Adobe really brought together a product that is light years ahead of the first version. The amount of tutorials, example applications and blog based information let loose by the company is quite impressive as well.

In the end, this is exactly what I would expect from Macromedia, it's nice to see that Adobe hasn't changed the culture, but in fact, seems to have enhanced it! Great job guys!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

CF Debugging Printing

A constant frustration for many ColdFusion developers I've worked with is the way CF debugging output prints. Since MX (v6), it has printed as source code from the browser - which not only ruins any design aspects you may have wanted to print, but also wastes miles of paper.

Thanks to RedBalloon for pointing out a very easy fix - by modifying your print styles, or just adding one for the .cfDebug class, you can prevent this from being printed at all.

Good stuff - it is now a part of my "standard" CSS file.

1 Year Ago...

Wow, one year ago today at 10 am, I was in a hospital room watching my wife go through the early stages of labor. I had no idea what I was in for - having a child, being a father - nothing I read or heard really prepared me for it. The best advice I received was from my friend Sean, who told me I was in for the most wonderful experience of my life. He was so right.

Watching my little girl come in to the world, and watching her grow day by day over the last year has been incredible. And while she may not know it is her birthday today, we celebrate anyway. We celebrate the joy she has brought to us and the joy we will continue to have as we watch her grow from 1 to 2.

Happy Birthday Evelyn!



 

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Coulter Gets Dropped from Newspaper

It is no secret that I hate Ann Coulter!

So I am happy to report that a major news paper has dropped her, and another is considering it.

News Hounds has the story - hurray!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Another Great Flickr Tool

Another day, another Flickr tool. This time it's flickrInspector, found via Scoble, pretty slick set of data pulled from any Flickr account about it. Total photos, most interesting photos, etc.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Preloadr, yeah Baby!

Photo Editing Tools for Flickr, too sweet! If you use Flickr, you must check out Proloadr!

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Firework Madness

I've lived most of my life in dense urban areas. When holidays like the 4th roll around, I'm used seeing a decent amount of fireworks set off by my neighbors - even though every place I've ever lived has laws against them.

What I experienced last night, however, was unreal. Starting at about 8:00pm (a good hour and a half before it was dark) people in the neighborhood started setting off small bottle rockets and firecrackers. It was at a pretty impressive rate, but I really didn't think much of it. When the sun finally went down, the sky lit up, for well over 2 hours. I couldn't believe the number and variety bottle rockets, firecrackers, etc going off. It was a non-stop barrage of light and noise. Normally I'm a pretty big fan of these little shows, but after 30 minutes or so, it just became silly. It may have gone much later than 11:00pm, I don't know I gave up and went to sleep.

I have no idea what made yesterday so special, or different, but if every year is going to be like this, I'll never have to go to a "real" fireworks show again.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Happy 4th of July!



17,000 fireworks wrapped in to a single roll, and then lit. Wow.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Mr. Rogers, We Miss You...

Mr. Rogers was part of my growing up, seeing him address congress in 1969 to defend Public Broadcasting really made me miss him. We need more people like him out there fighting the good fight.



Thanks to Andrea, for sharing this with me. Oh yeah and if you don't, support your local Public Broadcasting Network(s)!

AT&T Pissing Me Off...

As if giving the government records of calls made by Americans wasn't bad enough, now AT&T is about to change it's privacy policy in some very alarming ways. What pisses me off about this most, is why AT&T is doing it.

With lawsuits already on the table, and more likely they are just attempting to cover they butts in the future. But instead of doing something that makes sense, say stopping the practice of giving away information about its customers, it is instead going the very scary route of make the customers data their own.

I am a AT&T customer (at the time I thought SBC would be a lesser evil than ComCast), but if this new policy chances, I won't be for long. Wake up AT&T, your customers want a basic privacy protection, the kind that your competitors in the cable world give.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Meow Mix House

I love cats and even though the show was created, and being sponsored by Meow Mix as a push of it's own products, I really like the idea of a reality show that helps animals in need of a home.

The web site is kind of lame - and seems like it was created by a web designer noobie, but again, I'm fond of the idea, and will watch at least one episode. If nothing else, it is an interesting "think outside of the box" idea for a new show.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

MAX 2006

MAX 2006!!

I can't wait! I've never been to Las Vegas, it should be a blast! Looking forward to exploring the city, eating some great food, and of course learning about Adobe Products, Flex 2 in particular!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Animator vs. Animation

This is one of my favorite Flash Animations of all time. I'm experienced the pain of loosing a battle - as I try to get my animation to do something and fail. Its nice to finally see that struggle presented as a story.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Quote

All you need in this life is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure.
- Mark Twain
Now, who does that fit perfectly? Oh yeah - the President...

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Google Notebook

The gang at Google just keeps making my daily internet experience better. The newest tool to make my daily grind better is Google Notebook. The ability to copy and save pieces of code, text, URL's from any system has really helped me streamline an otherwise slow process. Before Notebook, I would email myself from, work say, when I found something I wanted to save or look at later, so that when I got home I would have it. Now, I just highlight and right-click. Beautiful - plus of course, I get the added bonus of being able to search the notebook contents with Google.

Water Bridge

Wow, a river, with a bridge going over it, that is a canel! Talk about your crazy engineering!!

When I saw this on Digg, I was pretty sure it was Photoshop madness, but according to Snopes, it's real. Crazy.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Oblivion Domino Day

Saw this via Boing Boing... WOW! Oblivion is my favorite game right now, and though the editor is really easy, setting this up must have taken forever! All I can say is good work, and damn. The syncing of the music is most impressive, though a close second is the variety of objects he used.


Stupid Plane Tricks

Footage from a BBC documentary featuring some crazy aerobatics in a twin engine plane - some of it with both engines stopped. Very cool - not sure if I could have handled being in the plane while it was going on though...


Sunday, May 21, 2006

Welcome to the World of Big Brother...

Anyone who has been keeping track of what is going on in Washington since Bush stole the election in 2000 - knows it has been coming. But this is a big and scary acknowledgement of Big Brothers coming... how could Gonzales's statements be taken as anything but the coming of 1984.

The press has a right, a duty, and the honor of keeping our government honest. And while they do not always do that job well - it is a practice that is needed for our country to survive.

We have a system in place for people to be whistle-blowers - but I do not believe this system really covers the needs of a government that commits serious crimes. When a government is guilty - those crimes should, need, to see the light of day - and the press is the body that should do it.

I really hope the press, both in America and the rest of the free world take the Bush Administration to task on this. There is a reason that the first Amendment to the Constitution provides for Freedom of Speech - any American who doesn't understand or believe in need for it, really needs to reconsider why we have a Constitution and a Bill of Rights.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Happy Friday

Happy Friday, enjoy this Bushism...


Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Colbert for President

Stephen Colbert roasting Bush and to a lesser extent the media from last weeks White House Correspondents' Dinner has convinced me that he should run for President! OK, not really, but I am seriously impressed with his nerve! Wow, it takes some serious guts to get up in from the the Press Corps and the President and rail him like that! Nice job Stephen!

If you want to thank him, a site has been setup for just that purpose (35,000+ people have done so already!).

Very Scary Numbers

I may not be able to identify every country on a blank map of the world, but I do alright. And I can name all of the states in the U.S. with easy (though I'm a bit hazzy on the capitals).

According to CNN, a new study has found some very scary numbers, in regards to how many 18 to 24 year old Americans don't know where places in the news are. But perhaps the most frightening number is this:
Fewer than three in 10 think it important to know the locations of countries in the news and just 14 percent believe speaking another language is a necessary skill.
How can we expect to compete in the world when this is true?

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Rachael Ray in Time

I'm a bit late in picking this up, but I wanted to say I think it is really cool that Time sees Rachael Ray as part of the Time 100 - The People Who Shape Our World. Love her, or hate her - you have to admit, she has changed the way a large number of Americans are cooking and thinking about food. And for the better (though you all that hate her, most likely don't think so). I do love her - her food (though it really should be 45 minute+ meals), her cute sayings, her smile and laugh - I can't help it I've got a crush. While I wish she pushed all-natural and organic foods more, and sure she gets to be a bit much if you watch too many shows back-to-back, still she is on the short list of my favorite TV food people.

Oh yeah, and the blurb about her is written by Mario Batali.

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Fixed Headers / Scrollable Table

Finally someone has come up with a pure CSS solution for creating scrollable tables with fixed headers. I tested with Firefox 1.5 and IE 6.x and it works pretty damn good. I've tried to get this to work many times and always failed. Slick stuff!

$100 Rebate Checks

Do the Republicans in the Senate really think we are dumb enough to buy this proposed $100 Rebate check? Give me a break! At the price I paid at the pump yesterday ($3 a gallon), the check would just barely give me two fill ups. Wow... what a relief - that kind of savings could make or break my ability to buy a... what? I don't even know, extra couple of cups of coffee and maybe a dinner out? Big deal - and of course, since there is no such thing as free money - there is a very high price for this. We have to open up part of the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to oil exploration just to get this "windfall." If you look at who is sponsoring the bill - things become a bit clearer. Senator Ted Stevens is one of the backers and he has been trying very hard for years to try and open up one of the last truly pristine place in America to drilling. Of the rest of the sponsors I don't see a single person I would trust to watch my dog for an hour, let alone guide energy policy.

What a joke - hopefully Americans won't buy in to this. I got an idea, why don't we use this money (where is it coming from anyway, more deficit spending?) to invest in technologies that get us off the oil, instead of just putting a few bucks in the average persons pocket?

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Being to Cheap or Too Stupid...

I love playing good computer games. Since I was 12, it has been one of my favorite hobbies. In the past several years, two games have filled my game playing time more than most. A couple years ago, I got Morrowind. Up until that point, I hadn't been very happy with more RPG's, but Morrowind filled the void and provided me with damn near endless game playing. I think I played it for about nine straight months. Since then, I've been waiting for Oblivion to come out. And now that it was, I've barely played anything else. Sure, I still love Guild Wars, and I'm learning to love World of Warcraft (though I still think it is a bit over-rated), but given the chance to play anything, and I'm booting up Oblivion.

Bethesda has started to release optional content to expand/enhance the game. While I'm nowhere near needing new content yet, I really like that I can get new missions, items, etc. for $2 a shot. To me, this is a great way for the developers to expand on playability and still make good money (which they deserve for making such a high quality game). What drives me nuts are all of the complete idiots filling forums all over the web calling this behavior unfair, evil, etc.

Give me a break! First of, why shouldn't you pay for someone else's hard work? Second, it's optional, if you don't want to pay for it, the game is still worthwhile. And, come on, really, what else can you get for $2 that provides at least a couple of hours of entertainment?

I for one, am happy to pay a couple of bucks to expand my playing experience, knowing that it helps to make the product more successful, which in turn, will make the bean-counters more likely to approve the creation of the next great RPG!

Fox News Commentator Joins White House

Wow - you know for years people, like myself, have blasted Fox News for being a tool of the White House. Always preaching the "news" as giving to them in talking points from, I suspect, Mr. Rove. Now I guess, the White House has decided to make the relationship a bit more official - or least is going to reward one of the Fox News talking heads.

I can't say I know a lot about Tony Snow - but I know enough to know I don't like him. His appointment, to me, sends a very clear message that Bush cares nothing anyone outside of his far right group of uber conservatives. It also shows me how flawed the administration really is. When your poll numbers are down - and most Americans are in favor of change - you don't appoint someone to a major post who is exactly like you. You reach out, and attempt to find someone who can talk to both sides of an issue. What is the chance that anyone on the left is going to listen to Snow without assuming he is lying, I wonder?

Oh well, I guess I shouldn't be that surprised. The Bush Administration hasn't done much with it's time in office except make one bone-headed mistake after another. Maybe this is a good thing - maybe more people will wake-up and realize that it is time to end the right-wing strangle hold on American politics.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Fun Quotes

Weather forcast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.
- George Carlin
My Karma ran over your dogma.
- Unknown

Friday, April 21, 2006

7-UP

When I read this morning on Slashfood that 7-UP was now going to be "all natural", I was pretty excited. 7-UP has always been my favorite lemon-lime soda and I was glad to see they were getting with the program. However, in the back of my mind I made note to check the ingredient list the first time I was it in the stores to see if it really deserves to be called "all natural." As it turns out, I didn't have to wait that long, the Accidental Hedonist points out, the claim of "all natural" is a lie, straight out. It contains the ingredient High Fructose Corn Syrup, which as AH points out is a lot of things, but natural isn't one of them! Not even by the weak standards of USDA. I hope Cadbury-Schweppes falls flat on their faces with this, and is forced to relabel or change the ingredients.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Surprise Coffee Find

I was at my local Jewel/Osco yesterday picking up some last minute groceries. I needed to get coffee, but I was dreading attempting to find a coffee that was Organic, Fair Trade, or better off both at a decent price. I've become very spoiled by Trader Joe's cheap Organic Fair Trade java, but I didn't have the time to drive out just for that. Image my surprise, when I came across a reasonable priced Organic Fair Trade coffee from Millstone! I haven't tried it yet, but what excites me most about it, is the fact that it exists.

Maybe, just maybe, food companies are starting to figure out this whole be good to the earth and those who farm it idea. Or maybe, the companies are purely doing it to appear that way. No matter what the cause of this, I'm just happy to see a product made organically by people who are getting paid a fair price showing up in the average grocery store.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Mario

Mario Tailgates NASCAR StyleI couldn't believe this when I saw it. Mario Batali, wrote a NASCAR cook out book? No way, I thought for sure it was below him... But I did an Amazon search, and sure enough, there it is.

I guess it makes sense. Food Network is working hard to expand its market and from what the Slashfood article says, Mario seems to really be a NASCAR fan, but still... How weird.

Next thing you know there will be a Wolfgang Puck football tail-gating book, or a Rachel Ray golf food in 30 minutes.

Wheee!

This little video is pretty funny.

Quote of the Day

We've heard that a million monkeys at a million keyboards could produce the complete works of Shakespeare; now, thanks to the Internet, we know that is not true.

- Robert Wilensky

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Nerd Level

I am nerdier than 64% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out! A "how nerdy are you" test is making the blog rounds. I've never liked the word nerd, prefering geek instead.

I guess the good news is I'm not a total nerd...

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Cadbury Bunny

More Easter Bunny goodness. I remember this ad very well from my childhood - it is still one of my favorite ads ever. I'm not even sure I ever liked Cadbury eggs, but this ad still makes me want one... maybe I'll run downstairs and get one....

Easter Bunny?

This is one big freakin buuny! Wow, I wonder what kind of Easter eggs this guy lays?

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

WOOHOO!

DeLay Decides to End Career in Congress.

All I can say is WOOHOO!! Now, if there is any real justice in this country, he will end up in jail, where he belongs...

Ann Coulter

A couple of years ago, I picked up the book Lies and the Lying Liars Who Tell Them by Al Franken. When I realized that it was, in large part about Ann Coulter and her book Treason, I decided that I should read it first. I was amazed at the lying, and complete misuse of facts to make her very points. I was barely able to finish the book, but I managed. I'm glad I did - it is important to know your enemy - and it made Franken book all the more enjoyable.

It always bugs me to see how often she gets away with her lies and deceit, but finally, perhaps that is changing. According to the Palm Beach Post, she is in trouble with the Elections supervisor for lying about where she lived. From the article:
In his official incident report released last week, poll worker Jim Whited wrote that Coulter tried to vote in the Feb. 7 town council election at Bethesda-by-the-Sea, the right place for a Seabreeze resident. Coulter left in a hurry when, Whited said, he asked her to correct the record. Later she cast her ballot at the St. Edward's precinct, where real Indian Road residents go.
Why would she lie about this? What was her goal? Really the answers to these questions matter less than the fact that she has once again been caught in the act. She isn't trust worthy and now she may have committed a third-degree felony. Why would anybody listen to or trust her?

Monday, April 03, 2006

Independent World Television

I was scanning the blogs I track with Bloglines today, and I came across a mention to Independent World Television in a post on News Hounds. I love the idea of this organization - I don't know if they can make it, but the tag line has me hoping for them:
"No corporate dollars. No government funding. No commercials. No strings. You have the right to know."
My real concern is not that they make it - but who listens to the truth they speak. If you care about the real news and the truth, it is out there, but too many people are content to get news from complete misleading sources, like say Fox News. How do you change their minds, is it possible to bring them back? I hope so...

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Truly "Nature" Chicken

I just read a little blurb over on SlashFood that makes me very happy. The British supermarket chain Sainsbury's is going to plant 1 million trees on its chicken farms to allow its organic hens to live in a more nature setting. Since chickens are descended from jungle fowl, this is a great way to return the chicken farm to a more nature environment. I would be willing to bet that a side effect of this is healthier, not just happier chickens. Healthier chickens will lay more eggs, meaning more output, meaning more money for Sainsbury's. Hopefully this will be an example following by food producers worldwide.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Tweaking Oblivion

If you have Oblivion, and like me would really like to see it run faster, Atomic has a great tweaking guide and of course there is TweakGuides, but they haven't released their guide yet.

Video Game Collection

Every once and a while I look at the collection of games stacked up in my home office and think that I really need to get rid of some of them. But it's hard to get rid of games that are favorites (past or current). How can I throw away Descent, Dune II or even Flight Simulator 2004? Any way, I no longer feel bad about my collection after finding this guy and his collection on digg.com.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Neat Trick...

If you are a developer, chances are at some point you’ve been handed an Excel worksheet and told to update the database of a given application with it. Now depending on what db you are working with, and what kind of access you have to it, there are many easy ways to do this. However, none of my normal methods could help me in the situation I found myself it this week. The db is Oracle and the access is extremely limited so I prepared myself for the horrible task of manually creating a bunch of update statements via cut-n-paste, putting all of that in a ColdFusion page and running it

Thankfully a co-worker stopped me and suggested that I use formulas in Excel. "Huh?" I said to him. After giving me a look that said very clearly said "how could you not know this," he explained that if the data in the spreadsheet is correctly separated in to cell, you can use a little formula magic to write all of your SQL statements for you. For example if you have your primary key in A and data to update in M your formula might look like this:

="UPDATE tableName SET fieldName = '" & M2 &"' WHERE primaryKey = " & A2

Then copy the formula and paste way to create an update statement pre row, which can be copied in to your db tool of choice or a CF file. Now I may, in fact, be the last developer to learn about this, but I had to share, in case there were other lost souls like me out there. ;-)

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

More Big Time Cuteness...

So, if you need a little cheering up, or just want to waste some time, I present Kitten War.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Happy St. Patricks Day

Being American-Irish and a Chicagoan, this is of course, a big day (although the city official festivities were last Saturday). We are doing anything too exciting this year, except, making this: Murphy's and Baileys Cheesecake. Its good to be Irish!

Happy St. Patricks Day!!!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Inside Trader Joe's

Most people who know me, know that I love Trader Joe's. The NY Times is running an inside look at how the company operates. Its pretty cool to get some inside dirt on such a secretive operation - of course, it really isn't that inside, since Trader Joe's invited them...

Also, I think it is very interesting that NYC is just now getting a TJs. I guess they aren't always the trend setter! I wonder if 3 Buck-Chuck is going to go over well there and will it still only be $3?

So Wal-Mart Doesn't Completely Suck...

I guess everyone does something good once and awhile... Looks like Wal-Mart is going to offer more organic foods in the next couple of weeks. If that happens, the end result may be good. With the buying power and exposure to customers that Wal-Mart brings to the table - the market for Organics is sure to go up, and that should mean prices will go down (assuming basic economic principles still work). Who knows, maybe this and the Plan-B decision is a sign that Wal-Mart is going to attempt to be a good corporate citizen. Could it be?

Friday, March 03, 2006

Extend Firefox Winners announced

The Extend Firefox contest has ended. The winner, a new extension called Reveal has, within moments of playing with it, become a 'must' for me. I expect IE 7 and some of the fancy features of Vista will offer a much 'prettier' version of this functionality, but until then, I expect I will come to rely on having Reveal on my systems.

Congrats on making such a slick extension!

Sad

How many Simpsons family members can you name? Ok, now, how many freedoms guaranteed by the 1st Amendment can you name? The results of this survey are very scary. No wonder the government gets away with so much crap, we the people don't even remember what it's job is...

Elder Scrolls 4

Well, any free time that I have at all right now is about to be completely sucked away. Bethesda has announced that Elder Scrolls 4: Oblivion on March 20th. Morrowind was the best RPG I have ever played, beating out WoW, Ever Quest and many others. From what I have seen, this one will clearly be a similar experience.

Tuesday, February 28, 2006

No More SharePoint!

No more SharePoint for me, at least not for a while. I've taken a new job, and I'm happy to report that I'm back to doing what I love most - ColdFusion Developing! Woohoo! Just in time for this month's Chicago ColdFusion User Group meeting (which I would attend anyway). This month Ben Forta is stopping by to talk about ColdFusion and Flex2. I'm pretty excited about this one, Flex is a killer product and I can't want to see it in action! I've had the Alpha and now Beta on my machine for awhile, but haven't had the time to play with them. It will be good to see what Macromedia... I mean Adobe has going!

PETA

Anyone who knows me knows that I love animals. But I have to say, I'm really starting to hate PETA. This story about how they want the big lottery workers from last week (who happen to work in a meat packing plant) to give some of the winnings to pigs is just crazy! If they had come out and said, "We would like to show you why you should donate to us, or to other groups that help pigs." That would have had one thing, but this whole militant, rage againist the machine crap is just getting old.

Yes, animals need more protection, but we don't need PETA. When they do things like this, it just makes people dislike them, which in the end could make it harder for other, more sane, animal rights groups to raise money and awareness. So PETA, stop with the BS tactics you're just pissing people off...

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Steelers!!

I want to say that I'm hoping for a Seahawk win on Sunday, since they are the NFC Champs and all - but I'm not. I'm hoping for a Steeler win, giving the Bus something he deserves, a ring. The Hawks aren't a bad team, far from it, and the way they played this year is pretty incredible, but still, I can't help but feeling the Steelers, with 3 road playoff wins, should be the winner.

So I'm picking the Steelers, by 14!

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Microsoft SyncToy

So I'm a Computer Geek, and I should know better, but... I guess I had to learn the hard way. I have a little thumb drive, it's an older one that only stores 256 MB. However, it has been great for taking files with me from home to work, office to client locations, etc. Do you think I ever remember to back it up? Of course not. So the other day, I'm at a client site, using the drive to transfer files from my laptop and a desktop. I get impatient and pull it from the desktop before it is finished writing and pow! Everything is gone.

Thankfully I was able to rebuild most of what I destroyed - but ouch, many hours lost because I didn't remember to back it up. D'OH!

Now that I've learned my lesson, I'm using a great free program called SyncToy from Microsoft. It allows a very simple sync or backup between two folders, on different devices, or not. Hopefully, I won't repeat this mistake...

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

MCP

I am finally a Microsoft Certified Professional (MCP) in SharePoint! The test was pretty tough, considering the things I've mentioned before (too many question on topics other than WSS and SPS), but I managed a 96.2%! WOOHOO!

Monday, January 16, 2006

End of the Season

With the Bears season now officially over, I know that Bears fans everywhere need something to pick them up. Thus, I give you, Cute Overload.

Seriously though, what the hell happened to the defense last night!?! What was going on with Tillman? Where were my Bears? The ones that have no offense and killer defense. As bummed as I was, as stunned as I was, I did see things to be happy about. Finally the Bears showed some real offensive abilities. Rex threw really well (although too often), Bernian was hot until he got hurt, and Joes was solid like always. Even with the loss, it was still a great season, and it looks to be a great one next year.

As any good Chicago sports fan will tell you, next year will be the year...

Sunday, January 01, 2006

2006

It is a new year, and it offers new beginnings, new adventures, and new challenges. I can't wait!

Happy New Year!!