Monopoly

October 09, 2006

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McDonald's has done their Monopoly game on and off for years. I always wondered what were the key peices to get to actually win something. Well, thanks to the internets, now we know.


RSS Bandit

October 09, 2006

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I had a hard drive go out on me a little while back and am in the process of re-installing all the software on my machine to rebuild it. While it's a huge pain in the ass, I actually like being albe to completely start over a little. I just prefer to do this on my own time line instead of when the computer decides I should. I had been using Sharp Reader for my RSS reader, but am giving RSS Bandit a spin. It's an open source project that's hosted on Source Forge. You probably know I'm a big fan of Open Source software but that's less important to me than ensuring that the software I use is the best at the particular task I'm asking it to complete. I haven't been with RSS Bandit long, but there is one qucik thing that I like about it over Sharp Reader. In Sharp Reader, whenever a new article is picked up an annoying little message window pops up over the windows taks bar. There is no way to turn this off. Sometimes I like this, but there are times when I want the it off. For example, when giving a presentation from my laptop, I prefer not to have a message pop up saying a new story with the title "Increasing number of female college students forced to resort to prostitution to pay for college" has come up on fark.com. RSS Bandit lets you drop different feeds into categories that show up as folders. One knock against it is that each time you open the application, the folders are collapsed and you have to open them individually to see the specific feeds inside each. This is not good. It should remember the state of each folder and launch that way next time. My solution for this right now is simply to keep everything at the "root" level of the RSS feeds outside of any folders. Less organized, but it's the only way to see everything without having to open a bunch of folders. Anyway, it seems pretty good so far.


Noia Theme

September 29, 2006

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In Firefox, you can apply Themes to change the look and feel of your browser. I use Noia. I don't really care about the skin itself, though it is nice. The main thing that I look for is that the right side scroll bar touches the side of the desktop. This means that you can just slam your mouse up against the side of the browser and you will be able to click and scroll. A lot of themes that are out there (including the Firefox default) have a one or two pixel border on the side so you actually have to aim a little when you are trying to scroll. This doesn't make sense to me since you have to be that much more accurate with your mouse for a task that really doesn't reuire it.


Glocks

September 28, 2006

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When I was a kid staying with my Grandparents in Tennessee my Grandpa and I would go out sometimes and shoot .22 rifles at tin cans. Also, one time when I was probably eight or ten my uncle let me shoot a 9mm pistol of his once. Other than that I've never really done much shooting. I've kinda wanted to do a little pistol shooting for a while so last weekend I found a local firing range that lets you rent guns to shoot and gave it a spin. It's a bit surreal. You walk in, show them your ID, sign a form saying you aren't high or drunk and they hand you a 9mm Glock 17 and a box of ammo. Here's a shot of the pistol. Glock 17 Considering I've never really shot a pistol I think I did okay. Target Practice There are 40 rounds in the target below. Twenty shots from about 8 yards and twenty shots from 15 years. These were the last of the box of 50 that I shot and my arm was surprisingly tired. I didn't really think it would be a workout, but it was a bit of one. If you have never shot a pistol (or I suppose a gun of any sort), it's a wild experience. You squeeze the trigger slowly and nothing happens for a while as it's moving back. Then, with a suddeness that is hard to describe, you are literally holding a controled explosion in your hand. It's over so fast that you don't have time to react to it till a half second after the bullet has hit the target. It feels very different than it looks in the movies. No. I'm not going to turn into a "gun nut", but it was a fun experience. A little pricy though. Gun rental was $15 for two guns (I also shot the smaller Glock 26), Range fee was $10, and the box of 50 shots of ammo was another $10. About $40 with tax.


Bug on my windshield

September 27, 2006

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To continue with the bug postings, I'm going to move over to an actual insect. While driving this weekend I hit a bug going about 45MPH. Aparrently he has bug armor because he wasn't the smear that you would expect, but was still well formed and just hanging on the window. I pulled over and without the wind in his face he walked around a little on the glass before flying off. I don't know if I should be really impressed of scared. Seems like it might be the start of a bug army that is doing some crash testing to check out their battle technology before they start the invasion. I managed to get a shot of him before he took off. It's a little washed out since the flash went off. He was a darker in color than the photo makes him out to be. Armor Bug


Comment Math

September 27, 2006

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I've been getting a little bit of comment spam. To try to defeat it, I've added the Math Comment Spam Protection Plugin. When you leave a comment, you will be asked to do some simple math to verify that you are a person and not a robot.


Bugs in my chair?

September 27, 2006

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Okay, this is a photo of the bottom of my office chair at work. What the Hell is that wire doing there? Seems to me that the loop its in would make a nice antenna…… Chair Wire


Real Life Rube Goldberg's

September 27, 2006

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Outside of the boardgame Mousetrap, I can't think of many Rube Goldberg's that I've seen. Of course there are all the ones that Wile E. Coyote and other Looney Tunes characters came up with, but there's something to be said about real life ones like these. After watching this, I've decided that if I ever win the lottery, one of the ways I'm gonna spend my time is making overly complex machines to do simple tasks. Fun with kinetic energy.


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