I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

Merry Merry Merry Merry Merry Christmas!

And a Happy New Year!!!
Best wishes to family, friends, and gentle-readers. o<8-]



Tonight we went back to the world of RuneScape for a little while. We haven't been there in a long time, so I was really happy to make the trip. We helped Diango with a little problem.



He needed some Christmas "baubles" (ornaments) painted and some marionettes assembled. It was great!



Rosie, the grunge-pixie, told us how to do what we needed to. Click her for a bigger view...

And here are the things we made!


--------------- Painted Baubles ---------------


------------- Colorful Marionettes -------------


She liked em, I think!

Then we took some extra ornaments and decorated the Christmas tree in Varrock. It was beautiful.


That's me going "Wow!". Hehe.

And finally, here's me in all my different hats and scarves!!!



We had a great time on our Christmas RuneScape trip! I hope we visit again soon. Happy Christmas all!

Here's what Brendan wants for Christmas:



I wish I could find some cheap sets of GeoTrax track. He has two engines, but just not enough track yet...

"Anybody out there?" I type, but I already know it's pointless. There's nobody anywhere near me. For almost an hour, I've been wandering around a desolate plain: Gray clouds scud slowly over rough quartz mountains, while a few birds wheel in the air near mushroom-shaped trees. I never see another living soul. It feels like the end of the world.

That's the first paragraph to this story from Wired regarding the end of Asheron's Call 2. I always was interested in the game but never played it. Guess it's too late now. I copied the text to my server if it is gone from the above site. It just caught my interest.

Well, here they are. Know what I think? I'll probably never see any of em. In fact, if he put out the 10 Worst Movies of 2005, I would have probably already seen them all and liked them. Ehhhhh...critics!



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Incredibly interesting numbers about Google from a USA Today article:


Google by the numbers-

Total number of Internet search queries in October: 5.1 billion

Percentage increase since June: 15%

Number of Google searches in October: 2.4 billion

Percentage increase since June: 21%

Google share of Web searches: 47.7%

People who search on Google per month: 91 million

Google's rank among websites: No. 3

Last week's top search term: Richard Pryor

Sources: Nielsen//NetRatings; ComScore Media Metrix; Google

Here's the first part of a very interesting post newly put up tonite on suprnova.org...

"Today, on the exact day, when SuprNova.org went offline, I decided that it is time for everybody to know the truth and that it is time for me to stop pretending like nothing ever happened."

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Heinous: now there's a word you don't hear just every day. I heard it today though. Wasn't it like very popular back in the 80s? I think so.

Well, that's just heinous!

Since I'm playing with Wiktionary, did you know there are so many definitions for the word bridge? (Yes, Wiktionary; it's like Wikipedia, but different.) (Yes, even in paper dictionaries and enclyclopedias, I browse around after I've found what I was looking for. I think it's fun.)

Following up on the article I just posted, I've made the move to BOINC. I'm not as fond of it as I was of the stand-alone SETI app, but it is sufficient. It seems harder to use to me, but now that I am beginning to get used to it, I like it a little better. I have it running on a few machines, and I'm crunching data 100% of the time for SETI. That's one of my favorite causes.

Even though Dr Anderson say "The science that SETI@home does is currently a dead end" I'm still hopeful that some good will come from the project. Maybe some new parts of the sky can be scanned or something. I do believe that there are other intelligences out there, but we just can't detect them yet. Either we just haven't chanced upon them, or maybe they are preventing us from detecting them. Who knows? I'm just waiting to see...

http://setiathome.berkeley.edu

Published online: 15 December 2005

Alien search merges with other home projects

SETI@home is getting a boost in computer power.

SETI@home, a downloadable screensaver that lets the public donate their unused computer time to the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, switches off today. But it is not going away: it is simply joining forces with similar distributed-computing projects on topics from climate models to cures for diseases. The move should boost the number of users, upping the computing power available to search for messages from alien life.

About a dozen projects are now signed up to a common software system, so that they can pool volunteers' computer time and use it more efficiently. As a result, each project should get access to more users, more of the time.

SETI@home, launched in May 1999, looks for regular or strong signals from outer space. It breaks up radio signals from the Arecibo radio telescope in Puerto Rico and sends these to the computers of 5.5 million volunteers, each of which analyses a small chunk of data and sends back the results.

But the project, says director David Anderson, has run out of steam and needs to take a new direction. "The science that SETI@home does is currently a dead end; it was meant to run for two years, it has now run for six. We are just rescanning the sky repeatedly and it's unlikely that we will find anything we haven't found before."

Scientific progress goes BOINC

The Berkeley Open Infrastructure for Network Computing (BOINC) platform will allow SETI@home to evolve, using data beamed directly from different telescopes, including ones in the Southern Hemisphere, and looking at a wider radiofrequency range. "We designed BOINC to let us do the things that we want to do in the future," Anderson says, including rolling out faster and more complex software.

Moving to the new infrastructure will not be difficult for Anderson. He is also director of BOINC, and his team built the software.

A computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, Space Science Laboratories, Anderson was driven to build BOINC because he realized that his and other stand-alone projects, such as Climateprediction.net, were also an inefficient use of resources. Users could subscribe to one or the other, but not both. When each of these projects hit a period of down time, their volunteer computing power went unused. By joining together, computing power can be used where it is needed most at any given time, boosting everyone's resources.

"We get a lot more participants this way," says Myles Allen, a physicist at the University of Oxford, UK, and founder of Climateprediction.net.

If you already have SETI@home or want to start contributing, you will have to download and install software from BOINC. You will then be given the option to donate various percentages of your machine's time to any or all of the projects. Users can chose, for example, to donate 70% of their unused computer power to finding curing disease, 20% to looking for aliens, and 10% to predicting the future climate.

Bigger is better

The list of BOINC projects is sure to get longer, its builders say, because the software makes it easy for scientists to use distributed computing in their pet projects.

Climateprediction.net took three large teams of programmers three years to build. "We and others were, to some extent, reinventing the wheel," says Tolu Aina, a programmer for the site. In contrast, adding something to BOINC is just a "student summer project", says François Grey, an technology expert at CERN, Europe's centre for particle physics.

Developing a single system also means the software is more reliable as more hands work to debug it, adds Allen. Many of the volunteers are programmers who, for fun, spot errors or possible improvements in the software and contribute solutions themselves. Stephen Pascoe, a climate researcher at Oxford's Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, remembers how volunteers once spotted that their climate model was accidentally generating "hailstones several metres across".

The boost in computing power may or may not bring SETI closer to its goal of making contact with intelligent life out there. But Anderson notes that BOINC brings much needed help to intelligent life on Earth, for solving problems closer to home.

(from the journal Nature: http://www.nature.com/news/2005/051212/full/051212-10.html)

Tonight we went to my work Christmas party. It was fun to get dressed up in our really nice clothes. I have a suit that was tailored just for me and I love wearing it. I think I look so good in it and I really feel good in it. It squares off around my shoulders and makes me look like a gangster. It has suspenders (the top of coolness) but I can't seem to locate them. They're probably suspended somewhere. I have to say that the clothes really make the man. At least my confidence and charisma increase. I have to put up a picture.

Tomorrow morning, I have a consulting appointment at 8am. Argh. I need to go to bed if I'm going to make it.

Guess I'll have to finish reading the 50 Coolest Websites of 2005 tomorrow...

Night night!

Here's something else that I just ran across. I never knew that Sailor Moon was also a live action show. I wonder if it is better that Power Rangers?

http://www.tsukiyama-sama.net/BSSMLA/

I tried to download a vid, but the super-suck-o ad-supported download site rapidshare.de would never give me one. Phttttt!

I checked out J-Walk's site this morning, beacuse I haven't been over there very much lately, and found something great.

http://lohanfacial.ytmnd.com/

It's family-safe and quite amazing! Put on your photo face Lindsay!

The rest of the http://www.ytmnd.com/ site goes from terrible to fairly good, but this is definitely the best of all.

"Now you're playing with power!"
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-332646642932144576

And here's another video that I quite like. Just for Final Fantasy fans.
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=4511700021036249808

Hey, I do this!!!

Tonight we went on a tour of Windcrest to check out the Christmas lights with Dobie, Roger, and Vita. It was fun, but I wish that my phone took better quality pictures. I shouldn't complain though...to even have a phone that takes pictures is quite remarkable for me.






I want one of these!!!! The Swiss Army USB drive.



Anyone feel like getting me one? I'll give you a kiss! Hehe.

I'd love to see some macho guy carrying around one of these. I think it'd be really amusing.

Oooh, oooh! I sat in the mimic today...and...I...lived! Three cheers for me!



Skeletor commits slander on Wikipedia...

This is fantastic. Nice work!

MNDaily does a parody issue once a year. This year the online version is remarkably set up exactly like an XP machine straight out of the box. Brilliant web site!

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I'm reading a lot of Digg lately...can you tell? :)

An ambitious Japanese-led project to dig deeper into the Earth's surface than ever before will be a breakthrough in detecting earthquakes including Tokyo's dreaded "Big One," officials said Thursday...



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This is going on my list!

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This is a great list. The one I'm most interested in that I've never heard of before is http://www.openomy.com/. Of course Digg is on the list.

read the list digg story

Here's something cool I found on Digg...

This list features the top twelve dream gifts for this holiday season, ranging from gigantic monitor displays to seven foot tall robots; all costing a pretty penny. Enjoy!

read more digg story

As an independent software, SETI at Home is over. Today is the day that they are officially shutting down the old software. :( That's OK though, as it is beginning anew using the BOINC software. I don't like that software as much, but I'll do what I have to to keep doing SETI's work. I guess I'll get used to it.

Here's my last screen shot before uninstall.



56866 Hours of work:
That's over 2,369 straight days.
That's 338 straight weeks.
6.5 straight years.



That's a darn lot of work and no E.T. yet??? I'm beginning to think that their cloaking technology if circumventing our radio telescopes. Oh, yeah, it doesn't work that way - just joking.

LONG NIGHTS MOON: According to folklore, tonight's full moon is the "Long Nights Moon," so-called because it occurs near the winter solstice, the longest night of the year in the northern hemisphere. Tonight's moon also happens to be the highest-soaring full moon in 18 years. As seen from most parts of North America and Europe, it will be above the horizon for more than 15 hours--a long night indeed.

(from SpaceWeather)

I love astronomy. ^_^

Matt just rules.

Is that link dead? Read it here then.

(Thanks TWiT)

Other night we went to Quiznos Sub. They have high tables.

This is a picture of one of my Morning Glory blooms from back in October. I love these flowers. It's nice to have them wish me well when I depart the house to head to work.

I saw this old chair in a hallway at work today. I've never seen it there before and it will probably be gone tomorrow. I suspect it was a ghost of chairs past.



I would have sat down in it if I'd thought of it, but as it might have been a ghost, it's probably best that I didn't try. It might even have been a "mimic". You know - the fantasy monster that looks like a treasure chest, but eats you when you try to open it. That'd have been bad.



Yee-ouch!

Captured this in Wal-Mart this evening. It was within his reach, so he grabbed it. He does that with apples too. Rascal!



It's the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Calendar , in case you can't tell.

On the way to my truck today I saw maybe the brightest rainbow that I've ever seen. My camera phone just didn't do it justice, unfortunately.

Today I had Great Oatmeal.

Recipe:
Empty two envelopes of your favorite instant oatmeal (mine is cinnamon) into the cooking vessel of your choice. Add the appropriate amount of Promised Land Vivacious Vanilla milk. Consult the oatmeal envelope for the amount. Stir. Add three-ish tablespoons of crushed pineapple. Stir. Microwave on high for 2 minutes. Let sit 5 minutes, then stir and eat.

*Actually, it might be more or less pineapple - depends on how much you like pineapple.
**I also let mine sit for about 30 minutes. I swear it makes it taste twice as good. I cook it in my microwaveable thermos at home, close it up, and then eat it when I get to work. Try it that way if you can. The extra sit time makes a lot of difference. In fact, I once forgot to eat it for breakfast, and had it as dessert at lunch. It was still warm and extra, extra yummy. The only reason I don't always do it that way is that I can stand to wait that long!
***Sorry, Alton, I just use instant oatmeal for the convenience and ease of preparation. If I had more than 2 minutes to make it in the morning, I'd use real. It's a trade-off I'm willing to make for a few minutes extra sleep. :)

I am really getting into Digg.com as you can see from my test below and the newly installed Digg code at the bottom of my side bar.

Well, friends and neighbors, here is a story straight from Digg, posted by my good friend pdlevin. It's the funniest thing I've ever read. Hands down.

Guy Signs Credit Card Receipt with Hieroglyphics

If you read nothing else today, read this. This is so funny you'll wet your pants. If your family is asleep, they'll dash into the room to see why your laughing so hard. You cats will slink away shooting furtive glances in your insane direction.

L, you must read this before work - it will make your day. This is a caper of "Buy for Less" proportions. It absolutely rocks. I think this guy is you.

P.S. OK, though this is the funniest thing I've ever read, it ties with the Bastard Operator from Hell and James Herriot's story of Cedric the Boxer. Both of those are must reads.

Testing



Update: It works! Added it to my sidebar!

I don't understand why they have to put the h in hCG if they know they're talking about humans anyway. As opposed to what? cCG (Chicken Chorionic Gonadotropin), dCG (Donkey Chorionic Gonadotropin), gCG (Giraffe Chorionic Gonadotropin) ??? Even though I don't know why they don't just call it CG*, I know that Jen has quite a bit of it going on right now. :)

*Actually, I do know why they don't call it just CG, beacuse people would confuse it with Computer Graphics. Silly medical acronyms...

Woot is having a food label design contest that looks like fun. Here's one of the entries. Somehow I doubt that they'll be able to really sell this due to a little thing called "copyright infringement" but it's cool anyway!

Enjoy some...



Props to Woot user Vagel for this little gem.

Interested in Area 51? Go to http://local.live.com/ and type in "Area 51" in the Where box at the top right.

It works at http://maps.google.com too, but even more fun is Satellite photos of the casinos on the Las Vegas Strip.

Pioneering Comedian Richard Pryor Dies
Comedian-actor Richard Pryor is shown as he performs in 1977. Pryor, the caustic yet perceptive actor-comedian who lived dangerously close to the edge both on stage and off, has died, his ex-wife said Saturday, Dec. 10, 2005. He was 65. Pryor died of a heart attack at his home in the San Fernando Valley sometime late Friday or early Saturday, Flyn Pryor said. (AP Photo, File)

I'm happy to have some possitive feedback on my video of putting up lights from my friend AA:

"hey! sorry for not answering last night, kinda crashed out. your lights and decorations are awesome! eeyore and tigger! (can it get any better? i think not!) flying leap at the end there huh?"

Thanks AA!

I have a video version of Jen's animated GIF of us putting up christmas lights. Check it out!

Jen is just now peeling some fresh garlic for a project and she dropped part of a toe of it on the floor. I said "Hey, you dropped some, you want me to wash it off?" She said "No, it's trash." I said "Can I eat it?" So I washed it off and did. Here's how it went:

Me: Wash, wash.
Me: Sniff Sniff "Mmmmm, smells good."
Me: Pops in mouth, chew, chew...spits out! "God it's hot, it's hot!" Grabs life-saving Cherry Vanilla Diet Dr Pepper.
Jen: LOL LOL LOL!
Me: "It tasted like a radish at the beginning and then it got really hot!"



I'd recommend this to anyone at least once. It's a rush! :)

She's making sausage and here are a lot of sausage recipes that I found.

I can't beleive that the Mars Rovers have been jaunting around for like a year now. For a while I'd check the site every day to see what was new. I'm still intrigued by them. Long live NASA. Long live the engineers who built these beautiful machines!

This is the bomb when it comes to Xmas lights. I think it's a made video though. I don't think it is really going on like that...I need to check it out a little more...

See it at Spicytuna.net or Filecabi.net/

(Update: I love this video so much that I finally had to get a copy of it and post it here. So, you can see it from my site now too. Link.)

(Update: Apparently that's not they only song they play...check this!)

Apparently it really is real. Here's a link to the genius that created it being interviewed on TV. I am really impressed. Now, I'm going to visit the websites that he mentions to get ready for next year...mwahahahahaha!




Wonders has some good links too.

This is cool! You can buy episodes of Knight Rider (like my favorite TV show as a kid next to Dukes of Hazzard) on iTunes. They cost $1.99 each though. :( I'd probably get one or two if they were 99 cents. Oh well...


(the link will open iTunes)

I haven't seen this version on my local Wal-Mart electronics department shelf yet...Hmmm, have to ask the clueless cashier about it next time. Yeah, right.



(From Flickr)

I don't know what it is either, but here are several pictures that display it!




I am not sure if all of those are genuine, but they sure are interesting.

Me, briefly

My photo
North Texas, Texas, United States


This is the story
of a man named Darrell
who was working
and bringing up a family.

This is the story
of his lovely family
with 3 kids and wife
all at home.

We're a happy family!
Yes, we're a happy family!

Interesting:

Visit Where's George?
Visit Where's George?


The Internet Traffic Report 
monitors the flow of data around the world. It then 
displays a value between zero and 100. Higher values
indicate faster and more reliable connections.

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