• Pixar tells story behind ‘Toy Story’ – Interesting read describing how one of our favorite movies almost didn’t get made due to Disney’s mismanagement.
  • Lenny Henry – this man is AMAZING… to realize the comic genius behind the genie in Bernard and the Genie is the same man as Chef!
  • COLOURlovers is a web site to monkey around with color and palettes.
  • 10 real PC games you can download for free from CNET reviews
  • The 29 Healthiest Foods on the Planet – according to this list, I don’t eat very much that is healthy… but you probably guessed that already.
  • 25 SQL Commandments for those times when you need some guidance or back up for your arguments
  • Stellarium – ” Stellarium is free GPL software which renders realistic skies in real time with openGL. It is available for Linux/Unix, Windows and MacOSX. With Stellarium, you really see what you can see with your eyes, binoculars or a small telescope.”
  • The “Built From Scratch” Crystal Radio – “…construct a crystal radio with parts fabricated right at home.”
  • Smoking a Turkey – Oh, I’m definitely going to try this sometime soon… very soon…
  • Why Good Programmers Are Lazy and Dumb – years ago, when asked to help in defining the characteristics of someone that would be worth hiring as a programmer, my first characteristic was imagination. Later, after a bit of thought, I added lazy. When asked about the two, my justification was that a person that was imaginative could imagine and ‘see’ the solution before starting to work out the code. Then, the lazy trait helps since a person that is lazy doesn’t like to do things over and over – you find the most efficient way to do it because the alternative is mind-numbing drudge. Didn’t think about the dumb part though…
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Books!

August 29, 2005

Yes, books. I love books; paperbacks, oversized comics, all of them.

However, I love hardbacks the best.

Partly because they hold up better over multiple readings, partly because the first editions are printed on archival paper so they last longer.

I think I’m a bit of a twit about it though. I’ve been collecting First Edition Science Fiction and Fantasy hardbacks for, well, a long time. I read them, some of them multiple times, and I love to collect them.

Unfortunately, it is a bit of an expensive hobby; a hardback can run between 25 and 35 dollars. Ouch.

Now, I love the dust jackets and all, but I don’t sell them. If I buy it, I’m keeping it. With that in mind, I don’t mind buying the discounted books at Barnes and Noble or Borders. Sure, there is a little black mark on the pages but it doesn’t affect the dust jacket or the way it reads, so I don’t care.

A couple of years ago I discovered bookcloseouts.com and I find I don’t buy much anywhere else now. For a little more than a hardback, I just received four beautiful hardbacks in the mail:

Hmmmm, I think I like books in series… (this is no revelation; I have at least six series that I’m waiting for the author to finish up before I read them. I’m strange that way. I may give up on Robert Jordan though). I did notice that Amazon has these discounted at around 16-18 each, but since I got all four delivered to my door for 33$US, I think I still got the better deal at bookcloseouts.com.

Da Na Na Na Na Na…

August 28, 2005

“Da Na Na Na Na Na… They say it’s your birthday!”

Yup, today is the anniversary of my birth. It was a surprisingly good day as well…

Now, before you get the wrong idea, it wasn’t a good day because my wife and son went out of town this morning for the whole day. I missed them today; however, my son gave me a Darth Tater before they left and I was serenaded with the ‘Happy Birthday’ song.

I don’t really know what made it a good day. I visited my mother in the hospital a couple of times (she is recovering from a major surgical procedure) and we watched us some Andrew Lloyd Webber and chatted. Went to church, drove around in a gas-guzzling old suburban with no air conditioning, fed the dog. Watched a bit of TV (Simpsons, Family Guy, American Dad, Tripping the Rift) and vegged on the couch.

Nothing special really.

However, since almost every waking moment for the last three weeks has had SOMETHING filling it, perhaps the doing nothing was the special bit.

So, I’m going to go to bed. I’m not going to stay up until 2 or 3 A.M. tonight – I’m waiting for the key to turn in the lock to tell me they got home okay and then I’m ‘ZZZZZZ’-ing.

Happy birthday to me!

Web Sudoku is a logic game (follow the link for the rules) that I started playing while waiting for my mum to get out of surgery yesterday. I have now played a total of six an unknown number of games…

sudoku best 2005-08-25
(updated at 2:30 A.M. 3:15 A.M. since I switched to Medium Hard Evil level and have a new personal best)

Now that I’ve got the hang of the rules, it is getting easier. Kind of like Minesweeper where you set up rules and do what you can, then re-evaluate the ones that you couldn’t do before. My best times on Minesweeper were around 150 seconds on the expert level…

On a side note, do you know how cool it is that St. Mark’s Hospital has free wireless internet throughout the hospital? Not only could I distract myself while waiting (after reading the National Geographic) but today mom can read and write email and surf to take up time while recuperating.

Now, to be perfect, they need more power outlets…

Update: I just set a new personal best on the Evil level. 6 minutes 33 seconds. Sweet!

Update 10/16/2005: I just beat my previous best time! 4 minutes 29 seconds. I think it is time to do something else for a bit.

Google Talk

August 23, 2005

Google Talk

After a couple of hints across the web, I guessed and found the install page for Google Talk. You heard it here first!

What defines friendship?

I’m not getting ready to spout out something; I’d really like to know. Some people I consider friends I haven’t visited or talked with in years; others, it has been a couple of hours ago. A few people that I consider to be friends I haven’t ever met in person, yet I’m as close to them (as far as I’m concerned) as to someone that lives nearby.

Someone downplayed a friendship of mine because when I mentioned that it was a friend from online the person commented “…that can’t be considered a real friendship because you don’t really know that person.” Huh? What does the fact that this person lives a state/country/continent away have to do with friendship?

So, I put the question to you all – what defines a friendship? Does a friend have to be someone you’ve pressed palms with?

  • Handy lists to maintain so you don’t have to waste mental CPU cycles thinking it up.
  • The PVC Store is a great place to find something to do with all of that pipe laying about.
  • iLounge has a couple of resources for free music from the internet here and here.
  • Gutting a CRT to make your own iMac? Here is someone else’s version: the iMike!
  • Some great ideas on how to Cool your home naturally.