I'm just a guy at a house

It's a long story. :)

As is the yearly tradition in the H household, we watched the President's State of the Union address this evening.

The president spoke for about 50 minutes, and was interrupted by applause 60 times (by my count.) To both my pleasure and displeasure, he only said "nook-u-ler" three times. I wish he'd learn how to pronounce the word nuclear. Oh well.

I am not going to list all the bullets that the president hit, those are covered better in the press, but I do want to note some things that caught my attention:

1) I particularly enjoyed this phrase from early in the speech. It sounds very familiar. I think maybe he used it last time, or a very similar version of it. "Tonight the state of our union is strong -- and together we will make it stronger." Mmmm-hmmm! Love that. It's very powerful and hopeful.

2) He mentioned that "In 1945, there were about two dozen lonely democracies on earth. Today, there are 122. " That's amazing to me. I guess it is good. I wonder if on average the people of those countries are better off than they were before.

3) He talked about the state of our society, and the statistics he mentioned were interesting: "In recent years, America has become a more hopeful nation. Violent crime rates have fallen to their lowest levels since the 1970s. Welfare cases have dropped by more than half over the past decade. Drug use among youth is down 19 percent since 2001. There are fewer abortions in America than at any point in the last three decades, and the number of children born to teenage mothers has been falling for a dozen years in a row."

4) He took another shot at the rights of same-sex couples in this remark: "Yet many Americans, especially parents, still have deep concerns about the direction of our culture, and the health of our most basic institutions. They are concerned about unethical conduct by public officials, and discouraged by activist courts that try to redefine marriage. And they worry about children in our society who need direction and love ... and about fellow citizens still displaced by natural disaster ... and about suffering caused by treatable disease." I have to come out (so to speak) and once again support the rights of same-sex couples to marry, have children or adopt, and generally enjoy all the rights granted to couples in traditional marriages. I believe that the president's crusade to prohibit same-sex marriage is wrong and goes against the spirit of America. He insinuates, I believe in the above, that same-sex marriages cannot nurture children with direction and love. Shame on you Mr President for being so homophobic. I bet there were a lot of boos in progressive towns like Austin.

5) I also would like to thank and congratulate a very special person, as the president did tonight: "Today marks the official retirement of a very special American. For 24 years of faithful service to our Nation, the United States is grateful to Justice Sandra Day O'Connor." Cheers, Justice O'Connor!

All-in-all, I enjoyed the speech, even if there were parts that I didn't agree with. It is the one time every year that I feel "part of" the government. I feel like I know what is going on and enjoy discussing afterwards the points that were made . I look forward to the continuation of the tradition.

The transcript of the speech is available from CNN, for anyone who wants to read it.

One final thing - when I was a kid, my parents took a picture of me near the TV while President Carter was doing a state of the union. I have always enjoyed that picture and I wanted to take a similar one of Bren just for fun.

Just reminding myself to look at

http://www.theprodukkt.com/

Starforce, the copy protection provider, which is despised by all games fans and allegedly screws up computers, is threatening to call the Feds on Boing boing over a post they made. Supposedly their blog post broke 11 international laws and they were being contacted by their US lawyer.

(I can't seem to Digg this, but I'll post it instead and Digg it later. Some bugg going on in digg, I suspect.)

read more | digg story

I'd call these paper dolls, but you can call them whatever you want. Pretty interesting. I don't think that Brendan would play with them other than to tear them up, but they might be nice to have later on.



Google says Happy Lunar New Year.
I say Happy Asian New Year.
Either way, here's to the year of the dog!

Just for fun, here is a recipe that may be enjoyed for the new year: Chinese Sticky Cake.

Here are some photos from the New Tang Dynasty Television 2006 Chinese New Year Gala.



Here's an update to my Spellfire post from a few days ago.

As it turns out, the second book came out in 1994. I never knew about it. We did finally pick it up at Half Price Books. I had put it on reserve at the library, but it never showed up. I think that their copy is lost. Oh well.

I was thinking that when I kick the bucket, I would like all my books and DVDs and whatever new media there is in the distant future (! I hope !) to be donated to the library wherever I'm living at the time. Maybe that will happen. It's better than just throwing it all away or giving it to Goodwill. I think that's what happened to a lot of my grandmother's things that no one wanted.

A great way to waste time. From the site's "about" page: QuipBoard is an online community letterboard where anyone can write a message, which is then shown to other visitors. Write what you want. Be creative. Be weird. Be silly. Be whatever you want. Messages that you write will be saved onto our server for all to see and enjoy.

read more digg story

I particularly like the last part of their “about”: QuipBoard is NOT RESPONSIBLE for the content of the messages in any way, shape, or form. If you want to complain about being offended by a message you saw, please first slap yourself, for us, for being such an idiot.

Now that's giving it to you straight!!! :)

http://2006.bloggies.com/

Even though I think the name Bloggies* is silly, I still plan to vote for Boing Boing in the categories where they're listed. :) This will be a good way to (potentially) find some good new blogs to read too.

*Sounds too much like bogeys.

I just visited the brand new, shiny, sparkling AltonBrown.com. Niiiiicccce! I can't wait for his soon-to-be-released podcast to come out. I hope it is on iTunes so that I can get it easily.

I liked Alton's old website a lot and I read his blog periodically. One of his last entries (and I hope he'll forgive me for placing it here) was this. I love it!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Rule 37: If you write cook books, don't read them at book signings.



posted by Alton Brown, 5:53 PM

The reason that I thought to visit our culinary Yoda's website this evening was to find his tricks for cooking great spaghetti. That's here, if you're interested...

[From Slashdot] Robot Pets Almost as Good as Real Ones?

Gallamine writes "Many people claim that pets are good for their owners. But, what about robot pets? Some scientists at the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue's Veterinary school say yes, robot pets can benefit humans. Petting an AIBO caused the human stress hormone cortisol to decrease in patients, much like a real dog, although the effects weren't as pronounced. Also, AIBOs sent to nursing homes caused the residents to be less depressed and lonely. Similar research is being done by Dr. Dr. Takanori Shibata with his robotic seal named Pero."

I submit that robot pets are better than live animals for several reasons, one of which is lack of poo. :p

Supreme Court rejects BlackBerry patent appeal

The Supreme Court Monday turned down a request to review a major patent infringement ruling against the maker of the BlackBerry e-mail device.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10989832/

I have some amount of concern over this, as I am the primary Blackberry support person at work. Granted we only have a few units, but they are all in the hands of pretty important people.

I'm very interested in the Lunar New Year. The upcoming year, which begins on what Americans call January 29th, will be the year of the dog.

More information is here. There's also a festival going on here in San Antonio. Info on that here.

Here's a cool little video of "The Perfect Car". Don't we all wish we had one like this?

read more digg story

Yahoo!!! I submitted my first story to Digg. Okay, okay, so it isn't a story, but nevermind that.

We're about to finish reading Spellfire by Ed Greenwood. This will be Jen's second and my at-least-fourth reading of it. It's a very good book.



Originally released in 1988 as a paperback (382 pages), I bought a copy soon after it was released and enjoyed it a lot. The original cover is above. I've read it a few times, as I said before, and I always enjoy it. It looks like I read it about every 5 years, and somehow I tend to forget the ending, so I'm always surprised. I do that with books - I can always remember whether I've read a particular book or not and whether I liked it, but I think I purposely forget the ending so that I can read them again. It goes with my whole "getting the most miles" out of things that I buy I guess. :)

When I started researching the info to write this entry, I was ever-so-pleased to learn that Greenwood had turned this great book into a trilogy!!! 14 years after the original release, he added a second and third book to complete the story.



Here's the new cover of #1, which I like, but I don't think it is really true to the Shandril in Clyde Caldwell's original cover art. You can see a large version of that here or by clicking the book cover at the top of this post.

Here are links to the info on each book at Amazon.

Spellfire (Shandril's Saga, Book 1)
*http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786918748/

Crown of Fire (Shandril's Saga, Book 2)
*http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786927496/

Hand of Fire (Shandril's Saga, Book 3)
*http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0786927607/

Yahoo!!! Since we're just about finished with the first book, I have to go out and get 2 and 3. I hope they're good! I've never read any Greenwood that was not excellent, so I have high expectations. I fear that the prices are a bit steep for new copies though, so I'm going to head out to my local Half-Price Books and see if I can find them there.

I found two interesting things on Wizards of the Coast's website while I was searching for info:

An interview with Ed Greenwood (local mirror).
&
Narm and Shandril's stats for campaign/informational
use (local mirror). [!Spoilers!]

[I also want to look more at http://www.clydecaldwell.com/. He is a prolific painter, and I recognize many of the prints in his gallery as D&D novel covers.]

Until now, I thought that deuterium was something that was made up for Star Trek. They often talk about finding more of it in Voyager so that they can keep going. Starship fuel, essentially.

Well, I was just reading this article and it talks about it. I guess it is real. Google says that it is something fairly simple too! I am surprised that I haven't run across it in any of my science classes or in my own existence. I'm a 'junior science guy', and friend of science people...oh well. Now I know.

I must admit that I've never seen anything like this...


Share Video at DropShots.com

By the way, this was filmed at Case Western Reserve University, according to the page on DropShots. Jen said the first time she watched it, "That must have been at MIT or something." So, whomever at CWRU did this, you should feel proud that you're being compared to MIT .(unless you're rivals..I don't know if you are. hehe.)

There's this show that my dad and I used to love when I was younger called Beyond 2000. Since that name is rather cliché now, they've changed it to Beyond Tomorrow. As far as I knew, it was no longer produced, but I've recently found it again on the Science channel.

I would love to watch some more of this now that I know about it again.

We like to shop at a place downtown that we call "The Crazy Store". We call it that because it has a lot of very unusual products and you never know what you are going to find there. It's very inexpensive, and I consider it an adventure to go there. For instance, I love Pizza Inn pizza, but there aren't any locations here. At The Crazy Store, I once bought some of the sausage pizza topping from Pizza Inn and also some of the diced red pepper that they put in their pizza sauce. Yummy!

This time, we found A&W restaurant Coney Sauce (with meat, hehe) and some wacko conditioner.





We did NOT buy the conditioner, but if we had...



Love you, Jen!



Well, that just about sums it up, I think!

Test your own site at The Gematriculator.

(From J-Walk/A Rational Being/Silly Humans)

I was just reading Consumerguide.com's Buying Guide for Data-Storage Devices. It's pretty good, but it doesn't list some of the newer formats like SATA. That's OK though.

Their main Guide index is http://products.consumerguide.com/buyingguides/index.epub

I use HowStuffWorks.com a lot and these guys have just partnered with them, so maybe I'll be reading more of their stuff.

Another new partner of theirs is http://www.mobiltravelguide.com/mtg/, but I haven't read them yet.

I saw this guy on the freeway yesterday. I'd like to have a truck like this. I'd put a DirecWay dish on the telescoping arm, and then go around to places and offer free Wifi to people who bought coffee and snacks off the truck. It'd be like a mobile ShahBucks! I could also put a WiFi camera on the top of the arm that people could control, like this.

This is my friend Sister Catherine with all the Christmas cards she received. She'll be 90 on February 11, 2006. She's really an interesting person. I highly recommend being friends with someone of advanced age who is not a relative of yours. They really have a different way of looking at things. For instance, with Cat, there is no sugar-coating of the truth - but that may just be her personality. :)



I'm not exactly sure what this is, but I got it out of a candy jar at work recently. I now just have to get up the courage to eat it. Maybe I'll feed it to my workstudy instead. :)

We ate a Jim's the other night. Brendan got a neat cow mask to color. It was good.



Even though I absolutely love this photo of Brendan that I took on April 1, 2003, and call it one of my all-time favorites, Khayes' awesome picture of her son has really captured my heart this morning.

Trick or Treat

I've corrected the location of the picture so it should show properly now.

Since I work in, on, and around email, I think this is a useful little guide.

http://www.onimoto.com/index.php?post=50 (local mirror)

It's how to find out who to complin to about spam, or at least to find out where it really came from. It's not too hard to do, either.

As Jen says, I'm home again this afternoon, which is nice.

I was just reading one of my free weekly nerd magazines and Brendan came over to sit in my lap. I turned a few pages and then saw a picture of a pricked finger and he goes"Oh, Boo Boo!!!". I told him, "Yes, that's blood" and he says "Boo Boo" again. Then he gets up and runs over to the desk and grabs the scotch tape. He brought it back to me and said "Fix boo boo".

So we did. You can see the tape if you click on the pic to zoom it. :)



We're off to Culver's in a few minutes. I'm very excited. I'm going to have a double cheeseburger with a diet coke and a side of Drano. :p hehe.

Happy Friday! Maybe I'll do a new SPF entry this evening if I get around to it. We just started watching Deep Space 9 from the beginning and we have two episoses (at least) slated for tonite, so I may not get to it. We'll see.

I was just reading XiaXue's Blog and happened to click on an ad. I figure that she deserves a few cents. According to this page on LocalBrand, which is the one remaining sponsor who didn't abandon XiaXue like all the rest of the chickens, a Tai-Tai is a Chinese lady of leisure and has to do nothing but have fun all day.

The most amusing thing about it is their "Tai-Tai in Training" shirt is that I don't think it is intended to be a sexual pun; but it is!

Be sure to VIEW SHIRT FILM - funny thing though - it doesn't have the shirt in it. Hmmm. Wacky blokes!

I can't be the only one out there who dislikes the "mini mode" of windows media player, can I?



It really bugs me to have this on my taskbar. I just don't like it. I expect some people find it very useful, but I'm not one of them.

I'm happy to say that I've finally found out how to turn it off and it was so simple, yet so in a place I would have never looks. Here's how from Microsoft's website.

I've been playing with Flickr today and I've found a photo that I just can't take my eyes off of. It's riveting! ;)

http://www.flickr.com/photos/hughes_leglise/85304624/

I can't remember if I ever mentioned this, but if not for Cat Schwartz I would never have gone to volunteer at the Red Cross shelter during Katrina. Cat, I wanted to thank you for your Blog post on Katrina and your experience in Houston.

The evening of Sep 24th, I had been thinking about going to volunteer - I had heard the call on the radio, I didn't have anything pressing over the weekend and the family was out of town. But, I finally talked myself out of it. Given time, one can find an excuse to do or not do just about anything after all. So, I stayed up goofing around on the computer until 3:25am and then I went to bed, having thoroughly convinced myself that there wasn't anything of use that I could contribute to anyone. The next morning, I woke up about 10am and went to the computer for my morning blogs. Just by chance, I read Cat's post from September 19. At that point, I couldn't stop myself. I showered, made a quick post, and then ran out the door before I could come up with a reason not to. I rarely just take action like that, but I knew that I couldn't let myself think too much or I'd talk myself out of it. I'm not one for getting outside my comfort zone, or even near the edge of it, very often. Some times I'm sorry about that fact.

Anyway, If you start reading with this post from Saturday, September 24, 2005 and go up post by post, you can follow my story. It turns out that I did have something to contribute. I learned a lot about a lot over those few days. I like to think that I helped a few people. Those people definitely helped me, even thought they didn't know it.

Without the encouragement of Cat, I wouldn't have had one of the best experiences of my life. So again, Cat, thank you, thank you, thank you.

Brendan and I were just watching Episode 1 of the Transformers (1984), which was my favorite cartoon when I was a kid. When all the Autobots transformed and rolled across the screen, Bren said "The Cars!", and on the next shot (above them) he said "Old Cars!" LOL! I had to laugh!!! What a joker. I enjoyed it a lot. I think they're too much blasting and fighting for a 3 year old to watch much of it, but I still like it.

The next thing I plan to watch is Firefly; My brother gave me the movie Serenity for Christmas, and I just don't want to watch it without having watched the series...

I've finally managed to reach 10K points in MyPoints.com! I've been trying to get here for a while.

Darrell, Member Since 11/18/98
Point Balance 10320 Points
Points Available to Redeem 10320 Points
Pending Points 0 Points
Points earned since account was opened 21820 Points
Points redeemed since account was opened 11500 Points

Now time to go blow em!!!

Unintentially Geeky Joke In Apple's Share Price
Contributed by Mike on Tuesday, January 10th, 2006 @ 06:19PM from the groan dept.

Unless you're the sort of person who immediately recognized why the folks at Google originally sought to raise $2,718,281,828 in its IPO, you might want to just pass over this story. A reporter at News.com noticed an extremely unintentional inside joke with Apple's closing share price today. On the very day the company officially announced its first Intel-based product, Apple's stock price closed at $80.86. If you don't get it, it's time to read up on your computer history. No, there is no way at all that this was intentional. However, that doesn't make it any less amusing.

I love this! Too funny!

I just saw an ad on TV for Underworld: Evolution which is coming out this year. I loved the first one and hope that this new one will be good too. I think I'll be interested in BloodRayne too. That's out already. IMDB members did not seem to like it, but I'm sometimes contrarian, so maybe I still will.

I'm still up this early morning reading my email. I get emails from MyPoints and I'm trying to work my point level up to 10,000 so that I can redeem. You don't have to get that high, but it is a personal goal. I really like MyPoints. I have gotten tons of free stuff from them by reading emails and occasionally answering surveys. Mostly, we redeem points for Red Lobster/Olive garden gift cards. It's a very nice treat.

Here's my account summary as of right now:

Darrell, Member Since 11/18/98
Point Balance 9970 Points
Points Available to Redeem 9970 Points
Pending Points 0 Points
Points earned since account was opened 21470 Points
Points redeemed since account was opened 11500 Points

Getting close!!!

If anyone wants to join, please let me invite you. I get a few points that way. Arigato!

I didn't get the whole story on this, but whilst talking with my mum about baby names over Christmas, the fact came out that my dad picked my name. That's interesting and was pretty unexpected to me.

J-Walk has an excellent, excellent post about the recording of the musical intro/closing for Windows Vista. I listened to the whole video (it's too dark to watch it) and found it very enjoyable. The most interesting part is near the end where the main guy says "Now we have to listen to over 4 hours of source material and pick out what's excellent then cut that down to two to six seconds." Wow! Lot of work just for a sound.

This still won't change the way that some people say GIF, but I read a version of the story back in about 1990, so I don't need to change.

This is an unusual story without much of a a point, except to remind me later on of a song I like and how I came to know it. One Saturday morning, I woke up to blaring loud music outside my bedroom window. Now, I like to sleep in on Saturday, and some prick was messing up my carefully made plans. I knew who it was - the neighbor lady's loser on-again, off-again boyfriend. He likes to go outside and sit in his jeep in her driveway and play music and smoke. One would think that if he liked her, he'd be inside with her, but I digress. Sounds like some other neighbors that a friend of mine has mentioned in his blog. Anyway, loser-boy was playing this really loud music. The funny thing was that my sleep fogged brain was really liking this song. As with many of the songs that I immediately like, it had pitch bends, but just vocal ones. Anyway, I woke up a little more and caught some of the lyrics - "You should never have trusted Hollywood". After a little Googling, I found out that it was System of a Down, a band that I'd heard of but never known any of the songs sung by. The song was Lost in Hollywood and it's really pretty good. The lyrics are not too nice, but the flow of the words, along with the vocal harmony really interests me. One of the things that I often do is listen to the sound of the words without really processing their meaning. Sometimes this is because I just can't understand the words, but sometimes it's because I don't care what they are saying - I just like the sounds. Anyway, Yahoo has a clip of the song at http://music.yahoo.com/track/19212171. A bit more of it is here.

Here are the lyrics as found on http://www.ratajlyrics.com. Trust me when I say that it is a much better song when you ignore what they are saying (it's kind of stupid) and just listen to the sound and harmony.

"Lost In Hollywood"

[Daron moans a little bit]

I'll wait here,
You're crazy,
Those viscious streets are filled with strays,
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

They find you,
Two time you,
Say your the best they've ever seen,
You should have never trusted Hollywood.

I wrote you,
And told you,
You were the biggest fish out here,
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

They take you,
And make you,
They look at you in disgusting ways,
You should never trusted Hollywood.

[Serj moans now]

I was standing on the wall,
Feeling ten feet tall,
All you maggots smoking fags on Santa Monica Boulevard,
This is my front page,
This is my new age,
All you bitches put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.

All you maggots smoking fags on Sunset Boulevard.

All you bitches put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.

Phoney people come to play,
Look at all of them beg to stay,
Phoney people come to pray.

[Serj and Daron Harmonize]

Phoney people come to pray.

All you maggots smoking fags on Santa Monica Boulevard,
All you maggots smoking fags out there on Sunset Boulevard.

All you maggots smoking fags on Hollywood Boulevard.

You should have never trusted Hollywood.
You should have never gone to Hollywood.

All you bitches put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.

You should have never trusted Hollywood.

http://www.boingboing.net/2006/01/06/atari_st_magazine_sc.html talks about a guy that uploaded some scans of an old Atari magazine to Flickr. I have some old AV magazines around here somewhere that I want to do the same thing to. I love looking at the old ads for the "Newest Fastest Computers" and things like that. Maybe I'll get around to scanning some at some point...

Here's a cool article from The A.V. Club that I enjoyed.

And here are my "takes" on their list:

MTV's True Life's - never seen it; really don't care.
They Live - never seen it; really don't care.
McDonald's Sausage McGriddle - I really prefer the Bacon, Egg, & Cheese ones thanks. What I don't get is why they don't offer Ham, Egg, & Cheese. I'd really go for that.
American Idol - Watched it once; really don't care.
Windham Hill - "New Age" music is a favorite, so I respect them. Vangelis is with them, who I like.
Con Air - Great movie; loved it. "Put the Bunneh back in da box."
America's Funniest Home Videos - Love it; miss Bob Saget.
Superheroes - Generally like them; Superman, Batman; Firestar (what a gal)
The Bee Gees - An old band; think I like em but I can't name any of their songs.
iTunes Celebrity Playlists - Never looked one up; but I might check out Dan Radcliffe's now.
The Final Item In Yahoo's "In The News" Box - Haven't noticed it, though My Yahoo is my home page.
Renny Harlin's Films - Never heard of him, nor seen any of those movies.
Atari 2600 Games - You don't know old school if you haven't played any of these.
The Pest - never seen it; really don't care.
LFO's Summer Girls - never heard of 'em; really don't care.

So there you have it!

On the way back home from visiting my parents the other day, we stopped in Waco at a Krystal Burger. We'd never eaten there before, so we had to stop. The food was just okay in my opinion (the meat is grilled with onion* and I had to scrape it off) but I took two good pictures!





*I hate Onion. Onions hate me. We're both OK with that. I like The Onion, however!

I like this too. I got this and the last from Kevin Rose's Digg profile. Good stuff, Kevin! :)

read more | digg story

Now THIS is really cool!

read more | digg story

I use VNC a lot, but Tight VNC looks like it might be an improvement to the original. Have to check that out.

I'd love to do this as a weekend project.



If anyone has a spare XBOX laying around that they want to give me, I'd certainly take it!

-----

I also just saw a good (but old) Mars photo. Here's a little piece of it.



To see the whole thing (27 Megabytes), go here.

Here's something very interesting that I saw the last time I had a program crash on my work computer. I submitted the error report and if you click the logo below you can see what I saw.



I'm quite surprised at the level of honesty about what caused my problem. LOL.


Google's masthead is in Braille today to celebrate the birthday of Louis Braille, inventor of the system. Happy birthday, Louis!

From the last TWiT, I got to Google Zeitgeist. They say that the "Top Gainers" in searches for 2005 were:

Google.com - Top Gainers of 2005

1. Myspace
2. Ares
3. Baidu
4. wikipedia
5. orkut
6. iTunes
7. Sky News
8. World of Warcraft
9. Green Day
10. Leonardo da Vinci

Now, most of those I know about, but I hadn't heard of Ares, so (duh) I googled it. Here's what it is. http://aresgalaxy.sourceforge.net. It might be the next big thing. You heard it here first...or probably not.

I've linked the list above for ease of use. :)

On another subject, does anyone know exactly what Schultz from Hogan's Heroes says when addressed by Klink? It sounds to me like "Hier Wohl, Kommandant". You see, I wanted to put that in the title of this post, but about 30 minutes of googling didn't reveal it to mein eyes, so I gave up...meine google Fähigkeiten sind kaputt!

From BoingBoing, I just learned about http://secondlife.com. It looks kind of like RuneScape, but in a real world setting. I'm not sure I want to have a second life, though; my real one is enough work as it is. If I'm going to have another life to manage, I think it would be much more fun to have a sword and fight monsters during it.

On the other hand...I wonder if there are cows in Second Life...Hmmmmmmmmmm. :)

This article provides you with needed techniques to get back in your system if you have forgotten your local account password. May be useful some day...

read more | digg story

I've been looking at SANS Internet Storm Center this evening. SANS is good and wise and helpful. I took one of their mentor-lead classes and I really got a lot out of it.

I have been reading a little of Jon Aquino's Mental Garden today. He's got some interesting ideas. I particularly like his piece called Create 37-Signals-style graphics using free tools and fonts. That led me to http://37signals.com and their http://www.writeboard.com which has got to be one of the most useful and interesting online tools that I've seen lately. I don't know what I would personally use it for, but I know some people who might find that it fills a need.


Remembering J.R.R. Tolkien
J.R.R. Tolkien, who was born in Bloemfontein, South Africa on January 3, 1892, would have been 114 years old today. J.R.R. Tolkien is the author of The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, and is widely considered as the founder of modern fantasy. As of 2001, Lord of the Rings had sold over 52 million copies worldwide and been translated into 25 languages. He died in 1973.

(from http://www.wizardnews.com/)

Welcome to 2006! Today, among other things, I'm thinking about the fact that US postage rates are about to go up on January the 8th. That got me thinking about the "letter" stamps that you can use to make your old stamps match the new rate. This page shows pictures of those stamps. I am wondering if I can find out what the new make-up stamp will look like. From the page above, the first stamp that I remember is the E rate.



I loved that stamp. It may have been the first thing to get me interested in stamp collecting. I've since decided that it costs more money than I want to spend to collect stamps, but maybe in my old age I can go back to it.

Here's a link to USPS publication 604a, which shows pictures of nondenominated postage. They're black and white, and only so-so quality...


Here's a picture of one of the new 39 cent stamps that I found on USPS, but I still haven't found what the new make-up stamp is --- if there is going to be one. I like the Chili Peppers a lot, but the rest of the series is not nearly as cool - which I why I'm only showing this one. :p

Update: This is the only one I've found so far. Maybe they aren't using a letter stamp this time. That would be sad.



Maybe some people like Navajo jewelry, but I'm not one of them. That thing looks like a map of the left occipital nerve ganglia or a Romulan battle cruiser or something. I'll buy some of these and use two instead...

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