Tuesday, July 29, 2008

TV free week.

I'm sure people get tired of hearing me say I don't want to have a TV. After all, I was raised that way. But this guy ( http://www.marcandangel.com/2008/07/28/40-positive-effects-of-a-tv-free-week/ ) wasn't, and here's his list of 40 great things that came about from turning the TV off for a week.

“What could you accomplish if you stopped watching TV? What would you do with all the extra time?” My wife asked me these questions two weeks ago. After a short discussion, we decided to find out for ourselves. We completely eliminated television from our lives last week. It turned out to be an incredibly rewarding experience. We now have a plan to drastically reduce our future viewing habits.

Here are 40 positive effects from our week without television.

  1. Wrote 4 blog posts. – I usually only have time to write 2 articles a week.
  2. Made it to the gym 5 times. – I went Monday through Friday for about 45 minutes, hitting every major muscle group.
  3. Increased household communication. – TV kills the flow of household communication. We both noticed that we had a lot more time to talk.
  4. Read a novel cover to cover. – I read the short novel “Siddhartha” by Herman Hesse. It’s a powerful story about the importance of life experiences as they relate to approaching an understanding of reality and attaining enlightenment. I highly recommend it.
  5. Caught up on current events twice as fast. – I typically waste a good hour everyday watching CNN. This week I grabbed my news off the web. It took me significantly less time to scan CNN.com.
  6. Enhanced focus on everything. – TV is a huge distraction, even when you hear it from the other room. It’s so much easier to concentrate when you don’t have a TV yapping at you. I had no idea how much if affected my ability to concentrate until it was gone.
  7. Learned a few new skills. – I took my own advice and learned how to change the oil in my truck… pretty darn easy.
  8. Spent more time with friends and family. – We invited Angel’s sister and some friends over for a mid-week dinner party.
  9. Cleaned the house. – Something Angel and I habitually evade by watching TV instead.
  10. Learned new recipes and prepared 5 home cooked meals. – We cooked large portions so we could have leftovers for lunch every day.
  11. Spent more time enjoying simple pleasures. – Deep conversations, long walks, telling jokes, etc.
  12. Finally trimmed the hedges in our front yard. – I always put this off because I am tired after mowing the lawn. This time, however, I did it on a totally separate evening. It only took me 30 minutes.
  13. Cleaned out the garage and sold 2 old dehumidifiers on eBay. – We setup a 5-day eBay auction and got $65 for each one of them!
  14. Took 2 evening strolls around a local park. – We hadn’t been to this park in years… there’s only 1 reason why.
  15. Saved money on our electric bill. – Our power company’s website allows you to check your daily usage. Sure enough, less TV equals less electricity usage.
  16. Burned more calories. – We were off the couch moving around.
  17. Backed-up critical files on both of our laptops. – Transferred them all over to our Iomega 500 GB external drive.
  18. I played my guitar. – …for the first time in a year. I’m hooked again!
  19. Found 2 news bands I like. – I used online music comparison services to find 2 awesome bands with similar music styles to my favorite band, Counting Crows.
  20. Listened to more music. – In addition to finding new bands, I had more time to listen to my favorite music.
  21. We stargazed in our backyard. – …for the first time since Angel and I first started dating. It was blissful.
  22. Caught up on times with an old friend. – I hadn’t spoken to my buddy Jon since my wedding a year and a half ago. We had a pleasant 30 minute conversation on the phone.
  23. Handled basic household maintenance. – Replaced the AC filter, applied pest control spay, replaced fire alarm batteries, etc.
  24. Took Angel out on a romantic date. – I took her to one of our favorite Italian restaurants and then out to a local pub where we slow danced to a live music.
  25. Finished up a little DIY project. – I’ve been stalling on staining, sanding and hanging a certain wooden shelf for nearly 6 months.
  26. Updated the photo frames throughout the house. – Sometimes it’s nice to mix things up. We spent some time sorting through our digital photos and replaced a few photos in various photo frames throughout the house.
  27. Played racquetball. – Great 2-person sport!
  28. Organized my monthly planner. – Entered all my known commitments into my planner and did a little time planning each night.
  29. Reviewed our long-term goals. – Angel and I had an open discussion last Tuesday night about our goals for the next 3 – 5 years.
  30. Setup recurring automatic payments for most of our bills. – Now our electricity, phone, insurance and cable bills are automatically withdrawn from our account each month. This basically buys me 30 additional minutes of free time every month.
  31. Updated my resume. – It only took me 45 minutes.
  32. Quiet relaxation. – Instead of clicking on the TV, I spent some quiet time gathering my thoughts each day when I returned home from work.
  33. Intelligent conversations at suppertime. – Quite frequently we eat supper in front of the TV. Since there was no TV watching this week, Angel and I had some really interesting conversations instead.
  34. Hit it off with our new neighbors. – We spent more time outside and ended up running into our new neighbors. They seem like pretty cool people. There’s certainly the potential for friendship here.
  35. Exchanged back massages. – It sure beats canned laughter.
  36. There was more time for “quality time”. – You know… just me and her and some classical music in the background.
  37. More real life experiences. – Because we were off of the couch, actually doing something.
  38. Watched 1 quality movie. – Instead of watching whatever was on, we went to Blockbuster and selected 1 quality movie to rent.
  39. Ironed my clothes each weeknight before bedtime. – …since I had more free time in the evenings. It made my mornings less stressful.
  40. We got more done. – Because we had so much more time to do it all.

I strongly recommend a week without television to everyone. You’ll be amazed…

Sunday, July 27, 2008

A hint from the firefox Agent training manual.

So your reading an article and you have no idea what the word antimacassar means.... your first reaction is to google it. Good reaction. But then everything goes horribly wrong. You reach for your keyboard. With the gas prices as high as they are you dont have money for mountain dew to burn on useless movements for your keyboard. Stick to your mouse.

FIREFOX 3 Quick Search procedure:
1.) highlight the word.
2.) click and drag it up to the search box at the top right.
3.) read
4.) use the back button built into your mouse (WHAT? you don't have a web ready mouse!)

go ahead. try it out: antimacassar

Thats efficiancy. you can use all those extra movements you just didnt do to utilize a setup like this:

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Yay, more Apple hate.

I'll admit that I don't always have concrete reasons for my tech choices. I'll stick with AMD to the end, even if their CPUs under -perform Intel simply because I like their company.
Similarly, I don't care how great ipods are, or how cool the new iphone 3g is. I think that apple is a company of glam craving, secret-society-wanna-be like numskulls and I've simply never liked their products. They are a sterile company, removing the need for a community by simply making idiot proof, overpriced, fashion-centric products, they make up for the fact that none of their features are actually new by having a stupid consumer base* and advertising like they are the first to do things when they never are.

So I'm always glad to see the worlds most consistently respected source of tech news (wired digital is a conglomeration of ars technica, wired magazine and reddit) point out that apples losing their clean cut image and their "it just works" theme and publicly becoming the money grubbing-Microsoft-like-entity that i always thought it was on the inside.

* I know plenty of smart people that own a mac, but im sorry, the majority of thier sales are made on the fact that most people care more about how shiny and white something is than its price point or its featureset.

Monday, July 21, 2008

ebooks and video game

Two arguments Ive had with a selection of my friends over and over again concern wether or not ebooks will replace books as the norm within our youthful lifespan (I'm argueing within the next ten years... though i started this the year i read 100 books on my palm pilot so that was already over 5 years ago.) and that, in fact, girls do play video games.

Well the mighty digg.com community saw fit to put two articles back to back today. The first, anouncing that thanks to their kindle device (which is selling so fast they cant keep it in stock) amazon (aka, the worlds largest online retailer) is making 12% of books sales directly to the kindle (that means not just ebooks, but ebooks on a single device.)
the other article you can read for yourself. or just read the headline ESU study: 40% of US gamers are women

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Why was this not on the news?

I honestly cannot fathom why this got zero news coverage... Here is a partial Quotation of Judge William Young's ruling on the terrorist Richard Reid.

(full transcript found on CNN http://www.cnn.com/2003/LAW/01/31/reid.transcript/ )

"You are not an enemy combatant. You are a terrorist. You are not a soldier in any war. You are a terrorist. To give you that reference, to call you a soldier gives you far too much stature. Whether it is the officers of government who do it or your attorney who does it, or that happens to be your view, you are a terrorist.

And we do not negotiate with terrorists. We do not treat with terrorists. We do not sign documents with terrorists.

We hunt them down one by one and bring them to justice.

So war talk is way out of line in this court. You're a big fellow. But you're not that big. You're no warrior. I know warriors. You are a terrorist. A species of criminal guilty of multiple attempted murders.

In a very real sense Trooper Santiago had it right when first you were taken off that plane and into custody and you wondered where the press and where the TV crews were and you said you're no big deal. You're no big deal.

What your counsel, what your able counsel and what the equally able United States attorneys have grappled with and what I have as honestly as I know how tried to grapple with, is why you did something so horrific. What was it that led you here to this courtroom today? I have listened respectfully to what you have to say. And I ask you to search your heart and ask yourself what sort of unfathomable hate led you to do what you are guilty and admit you are guilty of doing.

And I have an answer for you. It may not satisfy you. But as I search this entire record it comes as close to understanding as I know.

It seems to me you hate the one thing that to us is most precious. You hate our freedom. Our individual freedom. Our individual freedom to live as we choose, to come and go as we choose, to believe or not believe as we individually choose.

Here, in this society, the very winds carry freedom. They carry it everywhere from sea to shining sea. It is because we prize individual freedom so much that you are here in this beautiful courtroom. So that everyone can see, truly see that justice is administered fairly, individually, and discretely.

It is for freedom's seek that your lawyers are striving so vigorously on your behalf and have filed appeals, will go on in their, their representation of you before other judges. We care about it. Because we all know that the way we treat you, Mr. Reid, is the measure of our own liberties.

Make no mistake though. It is yet true that we will bear any burden; pay any price, to preserve our freedoms.

Look around this courtroom. Mark it well. The world is not going to long remember what you or I say here. Day after tomorrow it will be forgotten. But this, however, will long endure. Here, in this courtroom, and courtrooms all across America, the American people will gather to see that justice, individual justice, justice, not war, individual justice is in fact being done.

The very President of the United States through his officers will have to come into courtrooms and lay out evidence on which specific matters can be judged, and juries of citizens will gather to sit and judge that evidence democratically, to mold and shape and refine our sense of justice.

See that flag, Mr. Reid? That's the flag of the United States of America. That flag will fly there long after this is all forgotten. That flag still stands for freedom. You know it always will. Custody, Mr. Officer. Stand him down."

Sunday, July 13, 2008

You can be in the best shape of your life!

I've seen lots of diet and fitness programs advertisements. I can't help but feel that they're missing the most obvious thing in the world.

I know what it is. I can tell you how to make weight management easy. You can eat whatever you want, whenever you want. Fitness? You'll grow muscle over night without even trying. and the best part is, its free, you don't have to sign up for anything.

Want to know the answer too all of this?


Friday, July 11, 2008

video games make people deranged?

Jack thomson, probably the most well known anti video game advocate of all time, has been bared from practicing law for 10 years and is charged with 25 charges of misconduct. He probably doesn't feel that bad though because he knows we all care, look at the truck load of flowers we (being the internet, yes I did donate, it was too funny of an idea to resist.) sent him two years ago.

I just want to highlight one of this "great" mans endevors. Jack Thomson pledged that he would donate $10,000 to a childrens charity if video game makers would make a game based on a scenario he proposed. The game was made and jack coped out of making the donation. When our beloved penny arcade stepped forward and made the donation in his stead Jack Thomson did not even wait a day to attempt suite (and yes, arrest) against its members. (full story available, of course, at wikipedia. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jack_Thompson_(attorney) )
Guess the last bit doesn't apply anymore O_o

I'll leave you all with a few words from the man himself.
"The moral midgets like the computer geeks at Penny Arcade think that I am some sort of pixelated piƱata in a game. I'm not. Gabe [the in-comic alter ego of Penny Arcade artist Krahulik] decided to go after me, and he chose the wrong target. I've been at this longer than he has." yah jack, penny arcade is out to get you. If you think web comics are real i can see where you would worry about video games.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I will be a cyborg yet!

I deeply wish i had sufficient funds to acquire the absurd array of near-cyborg-making electronics and software (list will be updated, check back too see more.)

Hardware: The top of the list is inovative and awesome, the bottom is necessary for real portable computing
*(for facial recognition, im never going to forget another name once I get this set up.)[oh yah, and seing backwards... always wanted to do that. or with extensible base, over crowds.]
** rather than a laptop because the screen would be a waste of space and the nano-itx build would be much more easily augmentable.

  • Dragon Naturally speaking voice recognition software.
  • facial recognition software

Just a little hint.

Need more hard drive space? I doubt you can find a better performance/price ration than this drive. LINK (at least for the next week. but thats how computers go.)

Friday, July 04, 2008


Because there were comments about no pictures of us. (on a post where I'm in the third picture).
here is evan and I, tired, becuase we just spent 3 hours walking through artists alley where evan bought a print.

anime expo Day 2

So we're back for more. The convention center is even more crowded today. I don't know how many people come to this but I'm guessing its in the tens of thousands over the 4 days.

Even more cosplay. Including me with my friend matt and his brother mike.


This is disturbing to read... Think your sunscreen is protecting you?


Thursday, July 03, 2008

It's not just the otaku.

That are genderally confused that is...

Anime expo day 1

so we went to a ton of booths and got enough free posters to cover every room in my house. Now were watching an anime in a theatre that's running them 22 hours a day through sunday.

more cosplay atached

This years anime expo theme is "can you guess that gender?"

EDIT: if you are confused as too what the above are dressing up as... see some of these videos click here

So were at the expo. The cosplay abounds. More later.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

new speeds

Just because i can....

Now i understand my coworkers