Thursday, October 30, 2008

Freaky Freakies!

Remember THIS cereal?

There's even a website! I was reading about how a friend of mine can draw the origins of a SciFi RPG he created, all the way back to the Freakies, and I thought I'd search around to see what was on the internet.

Man I sort of remember them, but this video just creeps me out. I may even have collected these things, but if I did, they are long gone now. Probably died in the same bon-fire that my younger brothers used to destroy all the Star Wars figures we had.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Justin Timberlake on Saturday Night Live

(Whoa - two posts in one day!)

My understanding is this is a couple year old skit from Saturday Night Live, but I hadn't seen it until just this week. I was laughing pretty hard when I saw this, and it actually got funnier the next few times I watched it. The subject matter is adult, but the bad words are bleeped, and there's nothing explicitly shown (it was on network TV after all). Still, if you are at work, you might want to wait until you get home to check it out:

ps - According to my wife, Justin Timberlake is the blond guy. I wasn't hip enough to even know he was famous.

Moving an Offscreen Window in XP

About a month ago, I setup a second monitor on my work computer. It's sweet: I can drag windows off my main monitor, and over to my second monitor. This is especially useful when I'm firing off a process that I want to keep an eye on, but I want to keep working on my code. Much better than switching back and forth between my IDE and the process window, and a lot less distracting.

Because I work from home at least one day a week, it wasn't long before I logged into my work computer from home, and discovered that the windows were still lost on the second monitor! Since I only have one monitor at home, I have no way to get to those windows.

Okay, so I tried a couple of things: the most obvious solution is to close the application, and restart. Unfortunately, for like 99% of the applications out there, it remembers it's last window placement location, and returns to that location on next launch. I tried using ALT-TAB, but that just changes focus to the window without moving it.

Doing a Google search, there's actually a lot of helpful advice out there. For the most part the solution is this:
  1. Right-click the window's taskbar button

  2. Select Move

  3. Tap an arrow key

  4. Move the mouse

Well, that's great advice as long as the window you are trying to move HAS a taskbar button, AND the right-click menu has an ENABLED move option. If either of these two things is missing, this advice is useless!!

Back to Google, and some more fine tuning of my query, and some trial and error, I found a solution that worked for me in every case I've tried it:
  1. Use ALT+TAB to find the window you want to move


  3. Press the 'M' key

  4. Tap an arrow key

  5. Move the mouse

Whew! That was harder than it should have been! Hope this helps you!

ps - I know somebody will point out the "Tile Windows xxxx" options as a possible solution. Despite thrashing all my windows at once, it actually only ends up tiling windows that have task bar buttons. If you have a window that doesn't have a task bar button (like CCTray) the only solution I'm aware of to recover the window, is the one I give here.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Judgment Day is Coming

Okay, so I came across a weird news story about a "life-like" robot that was unveiled recently. The link includes a video of this thing in action... sort of. (Personally, I think the thing moves and sounds like crap, so I guess they still have a lot of work to do). Anyway, there's a quote in the article:

And robotics company Cyberdyne Inc are set to start making it on a mass scale on Friday.

Cyberdyne? Interesting - I wonder if that's the SAME Cyberdyne from the second Terminator movie, Judgment Day? If you look at the actual Cyberdyne Inc. website, it does appear that they are building cyborg-like devices.

Will the robots rise up against the humans in the future? Is Judgment Day upon us? Should we be concerned??!?!?

(ps - I'm not REALLY concerned. Mostly I feel bad for the Japanese girl that was the model for the robot, because either she's got to be "weirded-out" by the robotic clone, or upset that her body is going to be mass manufactured. Man, her teen years are going to suck.)

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Praying Mantis

This morning, I went outside to retrieve our empty garbage cans, and found this sitting on the handle:

To give you an idea of scale, his body from head to tail is about 1.5 inches long. He was hanging out and catching bugs that were buzzing around the empty can. I never saw him catch anything, but when I went out later to show the kids, he had some kind of gnat in his "pincher arm", which he discarded while we watched.

I remember the first time I saw one of these around here. My reaction was: "we have these here?" They come in two different color varieties that I've seen. Green and brown. It's possible the color is a difference in gender, or maybe even seasonal.

When I was young, I had this book about bugs. In it was a section on the Praying Mantis, and I loved reading about them. The thing I remember most, was a drawing of a little boy in Mexico catching a praying mantis, and tying a string around its neck like a leash to keep it in his room. Now that I've seen one, I'm thinking that either the picture is an exaggeration, or the Praying Mantis' get bigger the further south you go.

These guys are a rare treat that we see every month or so during the summer. It's fun to see how they move. I especially like their little head. You can wiggle your fingers on different sides of him, and the head spins around instantly to look. I guess they got to have that kind of speed to catch the little gnats that they do!

Anyway, I'm glad I finally got a picture of one. Usually when I see them, I'm at someone else's house, or they are on the outside of an upstairs window screen where you can't get a good picture. This guy stayed put for 30 minutes, so I had time to take pictures, and show them to each of the kids as they got ready for school.