I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

And where exactly do I find the Curse Icon? Would that be in Control Panel under the Perdition group or just under Administrative Tools? >:->

I just got some photos off of my digital camera. P1005856 wouldn't display, and now I know why. I took a photo while I was in the distant future, and the time police obviously have corrupted it so that I won't be able to share with you all the pictures of my 49th times great grandson, the president of the federation. Oh well, your loss...

I want to check this out!


Oops! Another one - http://www.mrwebauthor.com/techtv/cfh.html

I was able to fight off the 8-year-olds for a few minutes of some first person shooter on an Xbox 360 at target last night, and I have to say that I'm impressed. The graphics were really, really good. So, my mission now is to find a good 360 podcast. 360insider has one, so I'm going to give it a try.

Anyone have a 360 yet who could tell me what they think of it?

(click to zoom)
(or see a really big version here)

A truly amazing picture! This has to be a sign that man is meant to go to Mars!

I'm taking donations via Paypal to send a man to Mars. How about George Bush or Jesse Jackson?

Here's something that I just ran across from a while back. It's Brendan's very first typing. He is my son after all...

Here are photos from today's doctor visit. Jen's writeup is far better than anything my "second person" point of view could provide. Just be warned, it's medically graphic - sort of...


Pre-appointment pic. By the Christmas tree in the building lobby.

We ride up to the 13th floor. Aren't buildings not supposed to have 13th floors? I thought that was bad luck or something. Well, we're hoping for nothing but good luck today, so maybe 13 is lucky for us!

We wait, and wait, and wait, and wait some more. I'm freezing! Boring magazines...

"The" table

Jen on "The" table during the ten minute post-you-know-what wait.

The Ultrasound machine. I just love neat technology!

x x

Fingers crossed... :)

In just under an hour we're having an IUI in the hopes of 9 months from now having a bouncing baby girl. You always hear bouncing baby boy, and I don't know what the version of that for girl is, so...bouncing baby girl.

I'm wearing the closest thing that I have to a pink shirt, a maroon one, and I hope that'll do. Jen is wearing her two lucky charms around her neck, one on a pink string. Maybe those together will give us good JuJu.

The plan is after the IUI to have lucky Bean and Cheese tacos for her and Breakfast Jacks for me, or maybe I'll partake of the BnC also. Brendan, when he was in utero, always yanked the cord and demanded Bean and Cheeses, so that might give us luck too. We can hope!

We are keeping this trying to have a baby secret from our families, so if on the off chance any of you read this, wouldja mind just pretending to be surprised when we tell you? Thanks! That will at least make us feel like we have a secret. I do expect that we'll keep the name secret until the new baby meets the family in the recovery room. That's what we did last time and it drove some members of the family nuts. I'm leaning toward using the name of one of my childhood friends as a middle name, and the name of a favorite TV show character as the first name, but that's all open for a 9-month debate.

Wish us luck!

You have got to try this!!!!!!


My friend Amanda told me about it, and it is really cool, just like her!

You tell it the name of a song or artist you like and it plays music similar to that. You add artists and it adds variety. I like!

If you create a station, add a few artists/songs, then email it to me at darrell (at) darrellh.org so that I can hear it. I'd love to hear some new stuff. There's a button in Pandora that lets you share your station.

My friend Lorraine emailed me today this picture of her daughter's new puppy. He's a long haired chihuahua named Gizmo. What a mini mini!

In light of Jen's recent posts, I thought that this would be appropriate. My friend just emailed it to me today.

Pregnancy Q & A

Q: Should I have a baby after 35?
A: No, 35 children is enough.

Q: I'm two months pregnant now. When will my baby move?
A: With any luck, right after he finishes college.

Q: What is the most reliable method to determine a baby's sex?
A: Childbirth.

Q: My wife is five months pregnant and so moody that sometimes she's borderline irrational.
A: So what's your question?

Q: My childbirth instructor says it's not pain I'll feel during labor, but pressure. Is she right?
A: Yes, in the same way that a tornado might be called an air current.

Q: When is the best time to get an epidural?
A: Right after you find out you're pregnant.

Q: Is there any reason I have to be in the delivery room while my wife is in labor?
A: Not unless the word "alimony" means anything to you.

Q: Is there anything I should avoid while recovering from childbirth?
A: Yes, pregnancy.

Q: Do I have to have a baby shower?
A: Not if you change the baby's diaper very quickly.

Q: Our baby was born last week. When will my wife begin to feel and act normal again?
A: When the kids are in college.

We just got back from Goblet of Fire. It was fantastic! It was two and a half hours, but it flew by! The interesting thing about this adaptation was that, despite the length of the movie, it felt like a really fast overview of the book. Jen said it best with "If it wasn't part of the core story, it wasn't in this movie". There was no S.P.E.W., no house elves, none of the actual game at the Quiddich World Cup (though a bit of lead-up and follow-up), and very little character development. I guess that they assume you know all the characters by this time, but I could have done with a little more of the pensive, thought-involved Harry. Hermione's primary role in this movie was to look radiantly beautiful (and let me tell you she did!) in her evening gown for the Yule Ball. Ron's job, as always was comedy relief (see the pic of him in his formal), though this time is was mixed with teen "I'm-totally-pissed-off-edness" which kind of detracted from the character. However, his part was true to the book, and in fact toned down quite a bit. In the book, he was mad at Harry pretty much all the way thru, and in the movie, he warmed up earlier...

It was a very good movie and it was fairly true to the main plot of the book. I am always thankful for that. I would have loved an even longer version with more lead-in, but I don't think that a mainstream audience would have sat through the 4 hour "Darrell version". Maybe someday, on a DVD or whatever is next, you'll be able to see the Theatrical Cut, the Director's Cut, and the Extended Version of movies at your choice. That'll be cool!

I say, see the movie, and then immediately read the book for the whole story!

Harry's Goblet Fires Up Box Office
Sunday November 20 7:11 PM ET

Harry Potter's new Goblet overfloweth.

Conjuring up a franchise-best $101.4 million from Friday through Sunday, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire ended Hollywood's long-running slump and recorded the fourth-best opening of all time, according to the ticket counters at Exhibitor Relations.

This time out, Harry (Daniel Radcliffe), Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) cope with danger, hormones and the torturous TriWizard tournament, as well as yet another professor of the dark arts, Mad-Eye Moody (Brendan Gleeson and the pushy tabloid hack Rita Skeeter (Miranda Richardson).

Despite a PG-13 rating for scary content, which includes the usual assortment of scary creatures along with a character's death and the first cinematic appearance of Lord Voldemort (spookily essayed by a noseless barely recognizable Ralph Fiennes), the fourth installment in the Potter saga accounted for nearly 60 percent of the weekend ticket sales. The film opened in 3,858 sites, where it averaged a magical $26,290 per screen.

"As the audience has gotten older in time, faithful readers of the Potter books will remain faithful to the movies," Warner Bros. distribution chief Dan Fellman told the Associated Press, adding that the opening exceeded the studio's expectations.

Goblet grossed $39.3 million Friday, $35.4 million Saturday and an estimated $26.6 million Sunday. Its three-day total exceeded the previous Potters: Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban opened with $93.6 million in 2004; Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets grossed $88.3 million in 2002; and the first adaptation in J.K. Rowling's series of Hogwarts tales, Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone scored $90.2 million in 2001.

When the smoke settles and final tallies are released Monday, the new film will rank behind only Spider-Man (which spun up $114.8 million in May 2002), Star Wars: Episode III--Revenge of the Sith ($108.4 million last May) and Shrek 2 ($108 million in summer 2004).

Worldwide, Goblet gobbled up $181.4 million in 19 foreign countries, with England, not surprisingly, contributing the highest portion of the overseas money--$24.6 million.

The Potter-powered box office pushed the take of the top 12 films to $171 million, almost 20 percent higher than this weekend last year, when National Treasure was the top attraction.

From Yahoo! Movies.

Check this out, which I saw a link to on MuggleNet:

GOF grossed $39m on opening day according to Box Office Mojo. Woo Hoo!!! They figure it will have made $101m over the opening weekend. I hope that JKR is making some money from the movies...I think she's a good person despite some of the rumors to the contrary.

I found this too: http://www.rupertgrint.net/

P.S. J.K. Rowling's website is one of the best I think I have ever seen. I'm not just saying that...it's awesome. It was made by http://www.lightmaker.com/ - supergood!

I'm playing with Bren's mind this morning asking him questions and stuff.

Here's an example:

D: "Brendan, would you like a sister?"
B: "ummmmm"
D: "A little baby sister to hold?"
B: "ummm.....No!" *hits me with a sock*
*Sock fight ensues*

I don't think he wants a sister. Silly kid. Who doesn't want a little sister to protect? I was just asking to see what he'd say; not for any real reason.

Brendan is so funny sometimes! We're up early again (haha, 10:30 is early on a Sunday) and I figured I'd better feed him before Jen got up, so I picked up the one thing he's almost guaranteed to eat - a banana. I walked over to him and said "Heeeeey, Bren, want this?"

He said "Wow! A be-na-na-nana!" That was a yes! :)

Later, he stole my chair in front of my computer and wouldn't get up, so I just sat down in his chair and said "Well, I'll play yours then!" I expected him to say "No!" and run over to get rid of me, but he didn't. He said "ok" and took my mouse and started moving it all around. Not to be outdone, I started playing his Winnie the Pooh Toddler and it was fun! Every time I did something right, Bren would say "Jood Job, Dad!" and high five me, then say "Yay!"

After I finished a level, I said "That's cool." and he said "Das Cool! Is Fun!" Hehe.

Then on another level I pretended that I didn't know what to do to complete a task (click the mouse one of Rabbit's Vegetable jars) and he came over and said "Here, Dad" and took the mouse and clicked for me.

(Right now while I'm typing this, he just told me "Come on Dad, go see Mom!" and my answer was "No, we are not going to go wake up mama". He *bawls*. Sorry son!)

These mornings are fun (with the exception of wanting to go disturb mama) and I really enjoy the time with him.

I need to remember this URL: http://www.free-codecs.com/download/K_Lite_Codec_Pack.htm

AA says that it plays anything...

http://littlesurprises.blogspot.com/ is something I want to read too.

The heading says it all...

I just learned about MuggleNet today. Cool!

These are scans of a Life Magazine article they just posted. I'll be visiting their site quite a lot, I expect.

Squares A and B are not the same color, despite what he says here.

Oh, Damn, they are the same color. I tested it by putting that picture in Paint Shop Pro and sampling the colors. This is amazing!!! Test thyself!

Thanks Alan R Miller! (I saw this on http://madprofessor.net/)

SI.com previews the 422nd Quidditch World Cup final
Posted: Thursday November 17, 2005 5:18PM
Updated: Friday November 18, 2005 11:29AM

The moment witches and wizards have been eagerly anticipating for four years is here: the final match of the 422nd Quidditch World Cup. In just a few days, Bulgaria will take on Ireland for all the marbles, and SI.com has all you need to know for what promises to be an exciting contest. (As all with all Quidditch matches, the final won't be televised, but my sources say highlights will feature prominently in the new Warner Bros. film, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, which opens Friday.)

For those of you Muggles who aren't familiar with Quidditch, it's the oldest and most popular sporting event in the wizarding world. Played on a long oval field with three elevated hoops on either end, two teams of seven players each try to score points in one of two ways: by either throwing a Quaffle through one of the hoops on their opponent's side for a goal (worth 10 points), or by capturing the tiny, elusive Golden Snitch (an immediate 150 points).

Participants must be careful, however, of the two large iron balls called Bludgers that fly haphazardly around the pitch and try to knock players off their brooms. Once the Snitch is secured, the game is over and whichever team has more points wins.

The favorite for the final is Ireland, which has had a remarkable run through the World Cup. In one of the most lopsided matches of the tournament so far, Ireland flattened Peru in the semifinals with its superb Quaffle-handling skills. Most impressive was Ireland's ability to maintain its poise even as the Peruvians countered with their trademark flopping and whining while claiming leg injuries (a tactic that has led Brazil to five World Cup titles).

The Irish chasers -- the players who try to score goals with the Quaffle -- are among the most talented, fluid threesomes in the history of the sport. Head coach Jack O'Philson (often known as the "Druid Master") has his able chasing trio run the Hawkshead Attacking Formation, a triangle-like offense that few seem to be able to describe with any accuracy.

Bulgaria is somewhat of a surprise finalist, narrowly downing Uganda in the other semifinal. The defensive-minded Bulgarians' secret weapon is 18-year-old seeker Viktor Krum, a schoolboy at the Durmstrang Institute who is a natural at hunting down the Golden Snitch. Well-versed at the Wronski Defensive Feint maneuver, "Air" Krum often hunts down the Snitch so quickly, the match is over even before opposing teams can score a goal.

There were some eligibility issues surrounding Krum before the tournament started, however, as rumors circulated that he hired an agent before his final year at Durmstrang began. As a result, he lost out on a major six-figure endorsement deal with Thunderbolt brooms.

Krum didn't cause nearly as much of a stir, however, as his teammate, chaser Jakob Levski, who refused to suit up for Bulgaria's second-round match with Luxembourg in observance of Yom Kippur.

SI.com's pick? We can't imagine the Bulgarians will get on the board often enough to make the Irish nervous. Meanwhile, look for Ireland's chasers to score early and often, despite Bulgaria's excellent defense. The wild card is Krum -- if the Irish can't keep him away from the Snitch long enough for them to score goals, they could be in trouble. Still, expect Ireland to win in a close one, 170-160. Not that we've read anything about the final result.

It's never too early to look ahead to the 423rd World Cup, which will take place in four years. Bulgaria should be a strong team once again, as Krum will be a third-year professional by then and his legend as one of the greatest seekers of all time will merely grow.

Meanwhile, England fans are still recovering from the huge disappointment of their team's 390-10 upset loss to Transylvania in this year's second round. The team should bounce back as a favorite for 2009, however, as most of its players will be returning. And there are reports of some up-and-coming young seeker by the name of Potter ...

[RE: the title - Doesn't he mean "Firebolt"? ]

This is from Sports Illustrated.

Potter 4 came out yesterday, but we haven't seen it yet. I can't wait! I hope it is true to the book...

Goooooooood morning, Internet, and welcome to your Saturday morning blogging report with you host DarrellH. It's 55 chilly degrees here in the Alamo City. Today we have several interesting websites to share, so on with the show!

Site number one is from Sony, who've had a ton of bad press lately. Sorry about that Sony!, try to be smarter next time when you want to screw your customers! :) On the good side of Sony is the robotics division, whose QRIO robot can really groove! Here's a good music video with them, but you have to register with the site to see it. Hint: use a fake email address, as they don't make you verify that you've given a correct one.

Site number two is the Cylinder Preservation and Digitization Project at UC, Santa Barbara. Pretty Amazing stuff! Here's one that isn't in the collection unfortunately... Oops23. (That's Oops to the 23rd power, which is probably a little nicer than what that guy was thinking at the time.)

Site number three is Google Video of the Day. It is an interesting concept, but I am beginning to question the quality of the video "picker" after that worthless Dancing Cat video.

Site number four is Busted Tees, which has a lot of humor value, but I'm afraid that I'm not buying. I might wear some of their shirts at home, but there aren't many that I'd go to the grocery store with.

Finally, site number five is an independent with a lot of juice. Phil Heiple wants to help you make your own solar power setup using instructions on his site. I would love to do something like this someday.

Have a good day, net folks!

I need to check out http://www.feedmap.net/ and http://frappr.com.

One of each please! Looks like a fun ride.

I was cleaning today and found this last page from the last Far Side desk calendar. I used to buy one of these every year, and I sure miss them...

Video Podcasts are a current interest of mine and I've been looking for a good directory of them. I can't seem to figure out how in iTunes to get just the video ones, though I haven't given up on that yet. For now, I'll use PodcastAlley's List.

If anyone knows how to get iTunes to list on the video ones, let me know please. :)

I enjoy "Tiki Bar" particularly, as I think I've mentioned before. Here's a link. And here's another! More Tiki!!!!!!!! And I don't even drink! haha.

I'm just now checking out http://www.maryandkarla.com/. They're #2 on the list of Vid Podcasts. I'll say if Ep 20 is any indication, they're both twits...we'll see. Hehe. Yup. Stopped it about 4 minutes in. Next!

RocketBoom is good too, most days. Today...ehhhhh. The robot is cool...I really like the part about transparent screens. More! More!

Later! :)

Brendan's week-old cold has really gotten worse. This morning at 5am, he woke up and woke us up. He came to bed with us and his breathing was so raspy that we never went back to sleep. We decided that we should go ahead and take him to the doctor, so I took off work and we did just that. We (fortunately) got a 10:10 appointment with our very busy doctor and he got checked out. It turns out the he has The Croup.

Yikes!!! What the heck is that???? Well, WikiPedia says this and Medline says this.

That's actually not as bad as it sounds. We got a prescription to treat the symptoms, but our doctor said unequivocally "I do not treat the croup. It's a virus, and everybody knows that there are no cures for viruses. I do treat the symptoms, though." He said to get a vaporizer, which we have, and to give him an oral steroid (the prescription).

Our vaporizer is kinda,
sorta like this...but different.

This is one of the reasons that I just love listening to this doctor (Christopher Gulde, of Children First Pediatrics, who I highly recommend) -- Here's what he told us about the prescription. "Let me give you a little advice here: don't skimp on this one and get the generic. Get the name brand because it tastes good. I've tried the generic and it tastes terrible. You're gonna have enough trouble getting it down him, at least you should get the good tasting one to make it a little easier. The generic tastes like...dirt. It tastes like dirt spiked with...DIRT! Trust me!" LOL LOL I just love this guy! He could be Alton Brown's twin almost. Same personality and looks and everything.

Anyway, so we're waiting on the prescription, and all will (hopefully) be well. Plus I got a day off using some of my copious bank of sick leave. A small bonus, that.

P.S. I can't go to WikiPedia without finding something interesting that I wasn't looking for - Magical Beasts in Harry Potter

P.P.S. Did you click that link for WikiP's croup article? It's dreadfully short! Sure would be nice if some knowledgeable medical-type person would expand it or con one of their whitecoat buddies whose into pediatrics into doing that...nudge nudge.

Watch this cool video.

Google Video Rox!!!

Enjoy some random videos (after you watch that one) at http://video.google.com/

November 14, 2005
Internet Service to Put Classic TV on Home Computer

Looking for "The Fugitive?" Didn't get enough "Eight Is Enough?" Would you like to "Welcome Back, Kotter" one more time?

Warner Brothers is preparing a major new Internet service that will let fans watch full episodes from more than 100 old television series. The service, called In2TV, will be free, supported by advertising, and will start early next year. More than 4,800 episodes will be made available online in the first year.

The move will give Warner a way to reap new advertising revenue from a huge trove of old programming that is not widely syndicated.

Programs on In2TV will have one to two minutes of commercials for each half-hour episode, compared with eight minutes in a standard broadcast. The Internet commercials cannot be skipped.

America Online, which is making a broad push into Internet video, will distribute the service on its Web portal. Both it and Warner Brothers are Time Warner units. An enhanced version of the service will use peer-to-peer file-sharing technology to get the video data to viewers.

Warner, with 800 television programs in its library, says it is the largest TV syndicator. It wants to use the Internet to reach viewers rather than depend on the whims of cable networks and local TV stations, said Eric Frankel, the president of Warner Brothers' domestic cable distribution division.

"We looked at the rise of broadband on Internet and said, 'Let's try to be the first to create a network that opens a new window of distribution for us rather than having to go hat in hand to a USA or a Nick at Night or a TBS,' " Mr. Frankel said.

Warner's offering comes at a time when television producers and networks are exploring new ways to use digital technology to distribute programs.

Many of the recent moves include charging viewers for current programs. ABC has started selling episodes of some programs to download to Apple iPods for $1.99. And NBC and CBS announced last week that they would sell reruns of their top new shows for 99 cents an episode through video-on-demand services. CBS is working with Comcast and NBC with DirecTV.
(The CBS programs to be sold on Comcast include commercials, but viewers can skip them. The NBC programs on DirecTV and the ABC programs from Apple have no commercials.)

Of the media companies' new experiments, Peter Storck, president of the Points North Group, a research firm, remarked, "They are saying let's take the plunge, put the content out there, and figure out how to monetize it." Programs on In2TV will range from recently canceled series like "La Femme Nikita" to vintage shows like "Maverick" from the early 1960's . Other series that will be available include "Chico and the Man," "Wonder Woman" and "Babylon 5."

The company will offer a changing selection of several hundred episodes each month, rather than providing continuous access to all the episodes in a series, Mr. Frankel said, so as not to cannibalize potential DVD sales of old TV shows.

And in the future, when Warner negotiates with cable networks to syndicate popular programs, Mr. Frankel said, the price will be higher if the network wants it kept off the Internet.

For AOL, the In2TV deal is part of a broad strategy to create a range of video offerings to attract people to its free AOL.com portal. It already offers some video news and sports programs from CBS News, ABC and CNN.

At the same time, it is creating programming aimed at women and young people, including an online reality series called "The Biz," giving contestants the chance to become a music producer, in conjunction with the Warner Music Group (which is no longer owned by Time Warner).

Next month AOL will introduce TMZ, an entertainment news service, in a joint venture with another Warner Brothers division, Telepictures Productions. TMZ, named for the 30-mile zone around Hollywood that is mentioned in some film-union contracts, will mix breaking entertainment news and gossip with a database of information and video about celebrities. It will be run by Harvey Levin, former executive producer of " Celebrity Justice," a syndicated program about the legal woes of entertainment figures, which Telepictures canceled last spring.
TMZ and most of AOL's programming effort, so far, have been built largely around short video segments, reflecting the conventional view that Internet users are less likely to want to watch full-length programs on a computer screen.

Yet a recent survey by the Points North Group of 1,098 Internet users found that 28 percent said they wanted to watch regular television shows on their PC's or laptops, Mr. Storck said.
Full-length TV shows on the In2TV service responds to that demand, particularly as more people hook their computers up to their television sets.

AOL will offer a version of the service meant to be watched on a television set connected to a Windows Media Center PC, and it is exploring a similar arrangement to link the Internet programming to television through TiVo video recorders.

For those who want to watch on a big screen, AOL is introducing optional technology that it says will produce a DVD-quality picture. Even with a broadband connection, most Internet video looks grainy at full width on a computer monitor, let alone a big TV set. The new option, called AOL Hi-Q, will require the downloading once of special software, and the program may not start for several minutes, depending on the speed of the users' connection.

There is a catch. To use the technology, viewers will have to agree to participate in a special file-sharing network. This approach helps AOL reduce the cost of distributing-high quality video files by passing portions of the video files from one user's computer to another. AOL says that since it will control the network, it can protect users from the sorts of viruses and spyware that infect other peer-to-peer systems.

AOL is using file-sharing technology from Kontiki, a Silicon Valley company providing a similar system to the ambitious Internet video program of the BBC.

Warner is also adding shorter segments and interactive features for users who do not want to watch entire episodes. Each month, there will be a series of one- or two-minute excerpts drawn from the full-length episodes, featuring funny scenes or segments showing famous actors when they played bit parts on TV. (Brad Pitt, for one, had a small role on "Growing Pains" in 1987.) These excerpts can be sent to friends by e-mail or instant message, and will eventually be offered on mobile phones.

Other programs will be accompanied by interactive features that can be displayed side by side with the video, like trivia quizzes and video games related to the shows. One feature, to accompany "Welcome Back, Kotter," will allow users to upload a picture of themselves (or a friend) and superimpose 1970's hair styles and fashion, and send the pictures by e-mail to friends or use as icons on AOL's instant-message system.

"This is great goofy stuff that fans are going to love," Mr. Storck of the Points North Group said.


This is from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/11/14/business/14warner.html (requires free login)

I've used Kontiki, and I think it is good. This will be a great way to (hopefully) see some old stuff that is still good. I'd love to watch the entire "Six Million Dollar Man" series.

I had a really weird dream this morning: I dreamt that I was sitting in the front row of pews at a church watching some technology news on a giant projection screen. On my right was the pope and on my left was Jen. I can't think of two people less likely for me to be sitting in the front row with. Hehe. Anyway, it was so boring that the pope dozed off and slumped over on to me and I had to wake him up. Analyze that Carl Jung!

In unrelated news, it's the 118th anniversary of Bloody Sunday. Not this one though...that was recorded almost 100 years after the event, curiously.

Also, according to WikiPedia, the first known web page was written in 1990 on this day. Viva la Internet!

Check this out. I particularly like how they travel around the map!


This is an interesting glitch.


I think I know why - back in the old DOS days, when I was a wet-behind-the-ears computer lab assistant, you could make new files by typing "copy con whatever.txt" at the A:\ prompt. That meant take input from the console (aka the keyboard) as long as the person wants to type and then when they tell you they're done, save the file as "whatever.txt"

So, no folders named con. It's a reserved word.

I could be wrong though. ^-^

Today in RuneScape I also grew my first crop of sweet corn. Mmmm-mmmm, corn on the cob!

(That's a joke for Jen, who knows that I pretty much hate corn on the cob. I like eating corn, but not on the cob, thank you very much!)

I just was talking about Bob the Builder with Brendan, and I asked him what Bob's cat's name was. He hummed and hawwed and finally started a string of chatter with "Whisker the P", so I think that's Pilchard's new name. Lol.

First: Nerd alert!

I've been working on a problem today at work where certain spam emails get through our filters even though (judging by the content) they should have been blocked.

What I'm working with is what is called a "phishing" scam, where the scammer tries to trick someone into revealing personal information so that the scammer can commit identity theft. It's very common right now.

When you look at it in your browser or in an email client that renders the HTML (like Microsoft Outlook that we use) you see a normal message. But, when you look at it non-rendered, you see terrible misspelling like this:

Drae Mrebme,We muts cehck thta yoru ID was regiseretd by real peolpe. So, to hlep prevetn automadetregtsirations, plsaee clikc on thsi lkni and cpmolete coed verifoitacin prsecos: (link removed by me)
Tahnk you.

The source code looks like this:

I searched in Google and tinkered and experimented with this all afternoon trying to figure out what it was. My mistake was not noticing that there were only two different codes in all that junk: 8238 and 8236. If I would have noticed, I could have solved this a lot faster. But I didn't.

As it turns out, 8238 and 8236 are kind of like HTML open and close tags. They resemble a "B" and a "/B" with angle brackets < > around them - the code to start bolding in HTML and the code to end the boldface. BUT!!!!, these codes are to start and end reversing of the text. So the phrase "sremmaps diputs", if wrapped in those codes would render as "stupid spammers". It's really very ingenious. The filter can't figure out what that means because it is written to look for words that are in a predefined "badness" database. While it would certainly recognize the word spelled correctly, it would not recognize "sinep". It's amazing that this is part of standard browser rendering. I can only think of one reason that it would be in there - for rendering languages that read right to left like Japanese. It's amazing. I have to find a way to use this to my advantage.

I'm so thankful for this web page: http://www.pandasoftware.com/virus_info/spam/. If they hadn't had info on this, I would have never figured it out. My problem, mainly, was not knowing what to search for in Google to find my answer. But there it is. I've written a script to capture those kinds of emails now, but we'll see if it works...

Okay, Nerd-fest is over. Hehe.

Update: Incredible! My filter script works! I sent that text above from my hotmail to my work account, and it was trapped. When I released it and let it be delivered, it looked perfect. When I forwarded it, it looked messed up again. This is just wacky.

Statistics show that closed-minded Texans vote in droves while open-minded Texans apparently went to have coffee.

I'm disgusted with you people.

...means not working!!! :) I wish I was home relaxing with the family. Only a couple more hours. Tick Tock! Tick Tock!

...are very annoying! I can't post any on the Anime Club site. So, I thought I'd test it here.

Why, oh why, does it work on my blog and not over there????? Blast ye blogger photos!!!

Wendy (Xiaxue) is in the middle of a controversy again. Newspaper Article. Blog Entry.

I enjoy her writing, but there are a lot of people out there that she sure makes mad. I'll come out and say that I prefer the larger stalls too. It's not like I'm freakin taking an hour in there and until they put up a sign that says "handicap use only" as they do on those nifty parking spots near the door at Wal*Mart, I don't plan to change my preference.

Gee, I hope my sponsors don't pull their sponsorship...oh, haha, I don't have any sponsors, so I don't have to give a crap about what anyone thinks.

I appreciate Wendy's interesting and colorful blog, and hope that she keeps it up. She posts the good, the bad, and the ugly - and that's her right.

I saw this ad today in animated form and thought I just had to do something with it. The original was animated, but I didn't bother to get the whole animation.

Here's *my* version. hehehehehehe.

Comment with props or shlops, kay?

Added: to go along with this hilarity, read this. It's funny.

After Lidia, I saw Jaques Pepin. He looked like he was making some good stuff too...

I was sitting on the bed this morning after showering and just flipped on the TV (like I often do when I don't have any other pressing matters to attend to*) and saw this lady Lidia making so tasty looking Italian food. I wanted some, so we ended up going to CiCi's Pizza. Lidia would have slapped me, I'm sure.

Lidia's Italy Website

*I have to say that I haven't sat down and really watched broadcast TV in at least 6 months (until today and that was only for 15 minutes or so). I just don't do it anymore. We don't have or really need more than basic cable and we get all out news off the net or NPR on my way to work. We watch DVDs and our favorite series (like Voyager and Mythbusters) but hardly ever broadcast. It just sucks and costs too much. Sorry Time Warner.

This song always makes me cry when I listen closely to it. (I heard it today on Launchcast) It's my highest rated song on Yahoo. :) How ironic.

"100 years" by Five for Fighting

Here's a clippy clip clip...

You are a Life blogger!

Your blog is the story of your life
- a living diary.
If it happens, you blog it. And make it as entertaining as possible.

I must say that is is a fairly accurate representation of me (with the exception of the dopey picture). I juse answered some questions and this is what I got...

I just grew my first Jute!

I really didn't know what that was until I checked it out in WikiPedia.

Listening to "It's been a While" by Staind on Yahoo! Launchcast radio.

I was just downloading Konfabulator, and I saw a countdown widget for the release of The Matrix Revolutions.

I can't believe that it was two years ago already. I remember going to see it the first night at the IMAX here. It was great. All in all, my favorite one is still #1; the sequels just couldn't match the original "Whoa" factor.

So, R.I.P. Neo and Trinity on this 2 year anniversary.

Okay, Okay, so this is it and then sleep...Have you ever wondered what the people on the radio talk about when they aren't on the air? Well, here's a little taste. Leo calls into the studio I think to do a segment each day/week and you get to hear them before and after. It's kind of like being there...


He has such interesting things, if you're a nerd. http://leoville.tv

Such weird things appear on the net in the wee hours of the morning...e.g.: http://video.google.com

I just keep hitting Another 15 random videos »......

What the hell is this??? I just sat and refreshed for about 10 minutes...it's mezmerizing.

Tonight's a late boy's night. Jen went to bed at 10:30 and Bren and I are still up. He watched Clifford's Really Big Movie, which actually isn't bad, and now we're both playing on the computers and half listening to Springtime with Roo. He's playing on www.starfall.com, which has to be one of the best sites for the 2-year-old set that there is, and I'm fooling around in iTunes. I decided to get my music library organized, and it was taking soooooooooooo long to transfer all of it to my lovely little iPod (15 Gig), that I had to do something.

I knew that my USB 2.0 card wasn't functioning properly b/c every time I hooked up the iPod, it said "I really could talk faster if you'd fix your USB card...". So, I shut down the computer, pulled out the card, and did a little googling. Soon enough, I had the driver downloaded (11.8 meg, about 15 seconds on lovely Earthlink cable) and ready to install. After I installed it and rebooted once just for safety (it didn't make me, but I'm like that) thing were just swimming! I hooked up the iPod and had all the songs transferred in about 10 minutes, whereas before it was transferring about 3 songs every 10 minutes. Yeah! It's great to fix something.

I've almost caught up on my TWiT episodes. I'm just starting episode 28, which I think is the latest one. It's really great. I listen in the truck on the way to and from work. I haven't listened to NPR, my usual, in about 2 weeks. It's been refreshing not to hear all that political drivel, and that garbage about the war and all.

I've been looking at all the podcasts on iTunes this week, and have listened to some and downloaded some of the VideoCasts too. I watched a bit of TWiT video, and a little of Tiki Bar (really weird, but good). I have downloaded some of DLTV, but not yet watched it yet - I really want to. And finally I watched an episode of Ms Kitka. That's definitely not your mainstream podcast, but it's good to be "exposed" to things unusual. Hehe.

And finally, I've just added myself to http://www.frappr.com/twit. What a cool piece of coding!

I took a picture of the top 20 podcasts so that I could look back and see what they were a year from now. I wonder if podcasts will even still be around a year from now...

That's all. Time to put the kid to bed!

Oh, it's so nice and cool outside now! We've gone walking around the 'hood twice now and it's pretty nice to be able to do that. Here are two pics from tonight's stroll.

A pretty cloud formation near sunset time.

A surprised Brendan in his little push-car. I'm on the end of the blue handle seen at left...

Unrelated: Here's a site I think Jen will like and that I want to read some more of too - http://mylittlescraps.blogspot.com/

Oh, oh, and another: http://gazzarus.blogspot.com/

Me, briefly

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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!


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