Friday, December 14, 2007


I was wandering through the mountains in my green tights, when suddenly did I come apon some Mountain Dew Elves! See what transpired by clicking on the title link above!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Reflections of a Soccer Mom

When the hard drive on our main computer crashed, we realized that it would take many months, if not years, to realize what all we lost. One thing we learned right away, is that the collection of monthly letters that my wife wrote for our preschool coop newsletter were gone. Some inspirational, others informative, and all with her unique sense of humor. Gone.

Though we could probably dig through stacks of old newsletters, and perhaps find one or two, one thing we knew for sure: we didn't want to lose any more. Besides having a better backup strategy, I realized that maybe a blog could help. It would serve two purposes. It would give us a second place to capture the letters for all time, and give my wife a place to jot her thoughts, and tell her stories. She enjoys writing, and maybe this is just the excuse to do a lot more of it.

There is born the "Reflections of a Soccer Mom" blog. There are only two letters there now, but are worth the read if you have a few minutes. I do realize that I have definite bias towards her work, but I think she is a very talented writer. If I can just get her past the "geek-factor" involved with maintaining a blog, I think it just could work.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Green Towel

Sometimes at my work, employees will send e-mails out to the entire company, without realizing they are out of context. This one struck my funny bone:

I have a green towel at my desk...that is no longer needed...
Thank you.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Red Moon

I went in to work today, and on my drive home, I noticed the nearly full moon as it appears behind a sky of smoke. The colors here are not altered, and this is pretty darned close to the way it looks tonight. I tried a longer exposure, but with the whole earth rotation thing going on, it just ended up like a blur.

I suppose a Red Moon poem would be appropriate here, but I just don't got it in me. I did find a poem online that sounded pretty cool, though its a bit too otherworldly for my taste.

If you have one to share, please do!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Smoke to the South

The winds have died down, but now the smoke is descending on us. This is what we got to see when we got up this morning (looking southeast here - San Diego is due south):

That reddish-orange glow is where the sun is supposed to be. My office is closed again today. Looking to the west, it looks like the end of the world:

So far we've fared pretty well. The most we suffered is a broken tree from the gale force winds we've been having:

Right now, the winds are eerily calm, and there is a kind of unpleasant heat coming from everywhere at once. The smell of smoke is slight right now, but it will likely get worse as it descends on Temecula. I'm surprised they're letting the kids go to school here. At least the lack of wind will help the firefighters do their job.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Wildfires and Santa Ana

Man, these Santa Ana winds are insane. They've already broken off a big chunk of one of my trees in the backyard, and destroyed a couple of EZ-ups in our neighborhood. Still, I'll take that over the fires that are engulfing the areas to the north and south of us right now. There is so much stuff in the air, your eyes water when you go outside, and visibility is terrible.

Right now, I'm just hoping we aren't evacuated, like so many other Southern Californians right now! If these damned winds would just die down, the firefighters could do their jobs.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Substitutiary Locomotion


Substitutiary Locomotion
Mystic power that's far
Beyond the wildest notion
It's so weird,
So feared, Yet wonderful to see
Substitutiary Locomotion come to me

Treguna, Mekoites, Tracorum, Satis Dee
Treguna, Mekoites, Tracorum, Satis Dee

I don't want Locomotiary Substitution
Or remote Intransecory Convolution
Only one precise solution is the key
Substitutiary Locomotion it must be
Treguna, Mekoites, Tracorum, Satis Dee

Substitutiary Locomotion
Lovely Substitutiary Locomotion
You've made substitutiary history
With Treguna, Mekoites, and a little help from me
With Treguna, Mekoites, and Tracorum Satis Dee

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Yo ho ho, and a bottle of rum!

Tis true, another TLAPD is apon us! Drink ye rum,

make sure ye software is pirated,

and toss a coin to yer first mate!

Oh, and don't forget to get ye a real pirate name!

- Pirate Walt the Ochre

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Zooming in on my house

This image slowly zooms in on my house. See if you can spot it before it zooms all the way in!

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Trying out Polls

Blogger just added the ability to add a poll to the sidebar. I think I'm going to try it out. Go ahead and vote already!!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Flying Spaghetti Monster vs the Invisible Pink Unicorn

I know, I know. This blog is turning into another video blog, but what the heck, I'm in charge here, and I thought this was pretty funny:

Reminds me of when I first saw Trogdor, the Burninator!

Check out all his majesty!!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Fujiya & Miyagi

I have no idea what the words mean, or who the band is here, but this is a great video. Using the dots on dice to do these animations is just too cool! It amazes me how little information our brains need to see the images, especially in terms of motion.

Ankle Injuries

More Videos

Um, I just rolled a 4 trillion.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

USB Missile Launcher

Attention office mates! Drop your mice, put down your coffee mugs, and prepare to be boarded! The missiles are deployed, and ready for launch!

This is too cool. I'm seriously considering getting one of these things. It would be so great when people walk by my office, and see the missile launcher turning towards them: FIRE!! Down goes the mug! FIRE!! Down go the photocopies! FIRE!! Ooops... um.... Hi boss!! What's that? You want one too!! :-)

Monday, May 07, 2007

Domino PCs

Here's something neat you can do with all thoses extra computers you have lying around:

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Lego Chaingun

This is pretty neat. This guy built a chaingun out of Legos that can fire rubberbands at 11 rounds per second. You can't really appreciate how cool this is until you look at the video:

Now I have all the pieces I need to build my Lego super robot!! Bwoo-hah-hah-haa!!!

(Well, I have the gun at least!)

Saturday, April 28, 2007

LASIK at home... Really?

OMG, this can't be for real. I'm scared enough as it is, regarding LASIK, and though I'd love to be contact/glasses-free, I'm not quite ready for LASIK. This home kit (if this isn't a joke, which I suspect it is), is too much.

The "How to" cartoon (above, but better seen here) shows how its done in "Four Easy Steps". Find a place without distractions? Yeah, THAT sounds promising.

FFFFVVVTT!! "Ouch!! Gol' danged phone!! Now I'm friggin' blind!!"

My favorite part of the cartoon, is the last frame, where it shows you enjoying all the benefits of perfect vision... including standing next to a target on an archery range!! LOL

Oh, and "Perform the painless procedure" has a footnote that reads "This statement has not been evaluated by the FDA" I think I'm going to order this kit right away!! For $100, its worth the risk of messing up my eyes!!

UPDATE: Okay, I did some searching, and found a link that explains that this is a hoax. Still pretty funny though!

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Dragon Illusion

I guess this one has been around for a long time, but this is the first time I've seen it - in this form at least. I've seen the hollow face illusion in Spencer's Gifts stores, and at amusement parks, but this one is pretty darn neat.

Why? Well, for one reason, you can download the PDF, and make one of your own! I did this, and it looks as good as the one in the video. It only took me about 10 minutes to make.

Update: I hadn't really looked around that site, but now that I have, I've discovered a lot of neat optical illusions and magic. If you like that sort of thing, I recommend sending a few minutes looking around the site. On one of the optical illusion pages, there is an interesting video of a guy who's head appears to pop off, and land in his hands! Very well done!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Mountain Dew Shower Gel

Omigod, I think I could be in heaven. Bathing in Mountain Dew is like the last step in Dew godliness, I think. Like, this soap actually feeds Caffeine into your body through your skin:
Manufacturers claim their Shower Shock soap releases caffeine that is absorbed into the user's system and provides the same hit as a two cups of coffee.

Now if I can just figure out how to order the stuff...

Friday, April 20, 2007

Zombie Claus

Oh no! Not Zombie Claus!!

Yeah, it's an old post on, but I came across it looking for pictures of zombies (don't ask), and thought I'd share. What's with the kid anyway? He looks authentically scared there.

Actually, besides the pile of fake brains, and severed feet in the background, he's a pretty sad Zombie Claus.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Delete a Print Job... GUARANTEED

I have this happen on occasion. I'm printing multiple copies of something, and suddenly, the printer stops. No errors, no weird printing, it just stops. I always think that the printer has printed all the copies I asked for (tonight it was 40), and figure all is well.

Then, I try to print something else. Nothing. Nothing at all. First reaction? Let's check the printer queue, and see what's going on. I look, and there's the document I printed earlier, and nothing else. The heck? Okay, so the logical next step is to "Cancel Document", and move on to bigger and better things.... except that this does not work. Sure, the little window SAYS it is canceling the document, but the damn thing never goes away. I can turn the printer off, and the computer off, and then everything back on, and its STILL there.

Every time before that this has happened to me, I fiddle for an hour, and then, without explanation, the stupid document goes away, and I'm running again. I never know what the magic set of keystrokes are that ultimately rid me of the printer gremlin, and so every time it happens, it costs me another hour of frustrating troubleshooting.

This time, I got smart. I decided to google the words "delete printing queue win XP" (I forgot to mention this is on a Win XP machine). I find a link (click title above) to this article on that basically walks you through the process of shutting off the spooler, killing the jobs manually (I'm actually deleting files!!), and starting the spooler back up again. Sweet. I was up and running in no time. I can't tell you how much joy it gave me to delete the troublesome files. They actually vanish the instant you press delete - imagine that! Definitely the neatest new computer trick I've learned in a long long time.

In case the article goes away (the internet is flaky like that), I'm going to reproduce the important bit here. I hope this is helpful to someone else out there:

If you're trying to delete a specific stuck print job, take note of the job's approximate time and date. Then do the following:

1. Close all open Printers folders.
2. Stop the Spooler service. In Windows 2000, this is done through the Services icon in Administrative Tools (found in the Control Panel); in Windows NT 4.0, it's done through the Services icon in the Control Panel. You can also stop the Spooler by typing NET STOP SPOOLER at a command prompt. If you're using TCP/IP Printing Services, you'll need to stop that service as well.
3. Open the %Winroot%System32SpoolPrinters directory (same in both operating systems). Make sure Explorer is set to view hidden and system files.
4. Delete all *.SPL and *.SHD files in that directory that match the time/date stamp of the job you're trying to kill. If you're trying to purge everything, delete all files with those extensions.
5. Close the Printers folder and restart the stopped services. You can restart the Spooler from the command line by typing NET START SPOOLER.

If you have too many "dead" spool files in the directory, you may also get this error whenever you try to print:

An application error has occurred and an application error log is being generated.
Exception: access violation (0xc0000005), Address:

This indicates that the directory may be overloaded with printer spooler files and needs to be cleaned. Also check into the system's TEMP directories and remove any *.TMP files. These can also be an obstacle; some printer drivers use the TEMP directory for rasterization of print jobs.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Mr. McGroovy's Box Rivets

Wow, this is pretty cool. You can buy these "Box Rivets", and then build just about anything with cardboard.

As I'm a magician, and there are quite a few cardboard stage tricks out there, I think I'm going to be ordering a few of these.

Now, where the heck am I going to get some refridgerator boxes to build me a pirate ship... Yarrr!!

Monday, January 15, 2007

All Hail Dewkid!

I just posted this message:



Friday, January 05, 2007

Flash 9.0.28 Crashes Netscape 7.2

I've always been a non-conformist, and as such, have clung to Netscape 7.2 for probably too long. I refuse to use IE on a regular basis, and even upgrading to Netscape 8.0 or beyond is repugnant to me. Don't talk to me about Mozilla: yeah, I tried it, but Netscape 7.2 is just so... stable.

Today, a happy little window popped up on my screen to inform me that a new version of Adobe Flash was available. Without thinking, I clicked "Install", and a few seconds later, it went away. All seemed good...

...until I visited my first website with a Flash movie. Suddenly, I was presented with the Microsoft crash dialog, and I quickly pressed Dont Send. The first time it happened, I thought it was a fluke, but after several tries to multiple sites, it dawned on me that Flash was the culprit.

Using IE, I pulled up Google, and typed the words "Flash Crashes Netscape", and after looking through some false hits, found this forum where others have seen this behavior. Following a link in that forum, I was able to download Flash Player 9.0.16 from here, and the flash uninstaller from here.

I uninstalled Flash 9.0.28, installed Flash 9.0.16, and all is well again. I didn't even have to reboot! Whew!

Now do you see why I hate to upgrade? I'm keeping Netscape 7.2 as long as I can, which mean Bill Gate can pry it from my cold dead fingers. No, change that. I wont DIE for it, but I will put up a good fight! Well, maybe an argument. Okay, if Bill asks me nicely I may switch to IE, but he's gunna have to see my angry face!

No Bag Babies!

For Christmas this year, we decided to buy Dell laptops for our two oldest girls. The primary reason is for schoolwork, but surfing or playing Zoo Tycoon never hurt either. They will also give them a chance to communicate on a more regular basis with their Grandparents who live 1000 miles away.

We ordered the laptops at a mall kiosk, and they arrived in record time (3 days!). Each laptop was in its own box. Inside the box was another box that contained accessories, and a styrofoam shell which protected the actual laptop. Opening the shell, the laptop is sealed in a foamy bag that sported a graphic of a suffocating child (see pic). Though I understood its meaning, my first reaction was to laugh at the image. My brother-in-law pointed out that it would make a good T-Shirt. Hmmm, I may just do that.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Mystery Science Theatre Mp3000

This is too cool. A friend of mine (posts here as Seymour) pointed out a new website to me:

If you ever watched MST3000, you'll recognize what this is right away. Essentially, these guys take movies, and then add a track of commentary to poke fun at it. This used to be on the Sci-Fi channel, but I don't think its on anymore.

Anyway, the website allows you to download the commentary as an MP3 file for any of the movies they have listed (there are quite a few now), and then play them in sync with the DVD of the movie that you provide (own or rent). I tried this with the latest release "Reign of Fire", and it was a blast. Very good comedy, and worth every penny (did I mention that there is a $2-3 charge for the download?)

The only pain, is that the MP3 file is too long to fit on a single CD (which is how I chose to play it). I had to use some software to split the MP3 into two chunks, and burn it to two CDs. The recommended way to listen to the track is with an MP3 player (ie., iPod). We actually have a couple of iPods, but no real way to play it through my stereo, which is where the TV is. I suppose I could have played the DVD on or near my computer, or even used the new iPod speakers I bought my wife for Christmas, but what's the fun in that!! :-)

Check it out, I dare ya!