Wednesday, March 28, 2007

OK, OK I Like It
I'm not a fan of much of the advertising movies make for television but there's an ad for the Disney animation "Meet the Robinsons" which has one scene that cracks me up. A T-Rex is chasing what I presume to be the hero and can't get him. The bad guy asks the T-Rex why he hasn't nabbed the kid and the T-Rex responds in a very well done growly-but-understandable voice, "I have a big head and little arms!" The waggling of the "little arms" that goes with the second part of the line is hilarious. I may have to go see this in the the8er. The link above is to the movie's official site and the trailer includes the T-Rex scene.

Monday, March 26, 2007

About Fred
The image I posted below is one I cobbled together in Photoshop. I'm going to upload it to CafePress in order to make a bumper sticker out of it. If you'd like a copy, let me know. They run $2.50 exclusive of shipping and if there's enough interest (i.e. I order 15 or more), I can get a break on price and cover the shipping cost. So, if you're willing to pony up $2.50, I'll have one made for you.

Sunday, March 25, 2007

I've Made My Choice

Friday, March 23, 2007

Going Cracker Mouse
I'm a serious Mac fan and I loves me some o' them gadgets but lately I've had a problem that was so serious as to render using the computer impossible. I use an Apple wireless "Mighty Mouse" which, when it works is just fantastic. But I've had a problem with it: the cursor would jump around the screen like it was searching the desktop for crack stashes. I looked at a few resources and saw nothing that really addressed the problem. I even downloaded new keyboard and mouse firmware from Apple. But tonight I found the solution to the problem: it seems that mousing on a solid color surface solves the problem. It's a little weird to be mousing on a sheet of printer paper but at least it works. I'll take utility over elegance in this case.
I have the feeling that there is something more to this. And it may relate to the halogen light on my desk or the light from my LCD TV. But I'm going to clean my mouse pad and see if that makes a difference.
The modern world can be glorious but when it doesn't work in expected ways, it can be quite the pain in the butt.
Oh yeah: the post title is a nod to famed British Pekinese Tricky Woo.

In other gadget news, I finally got a Moto Razr phone and it's a vast improvement over the LG slider phone I've been using. The wireless companies are smart to pester their clients with offers of credits when the service contracts expire. I'll end up paying about $30 for the phone. DEal.
Trademark Troubles
I've started a new business of selling cheap knock-offs of designer dresses but the trademark police are after me. Maybe I shouldn't have named the business Oscar de Low-Renta.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Arc Of A Diver
This could be called Newport News news. Were I so inclined. And I am. A little item in today's noisepaper: "New fireboat sinks before put in service." I will snip the item as reported in the Associated Press (taken from here):
NEWPORT NEWS - The city Fire Department's new boat sank Wednesday morning - before the department could even take ownership of the $385,000, state-of-the-art vessel.
The boat, moored at a marina by the James River Bridge, was discovered with its back end on the river bottom and the front end sticking up out of the water. Investigators were trying to determine the cause.
The fire department had yet to take ownership of the 33-foot boat. It was waiting for the manufacturer, MetalCraft Marine of Canada, to finish installing electronic equipment, department spokeswoman Dana Perry said.
Perry said the department has two other boats that can be used to fight fires on the water but it doesn't have the capabilities or technology of the new one, which is named in honor of Carl Brashear, the late Navy master diver.

If the name Carl Brashear rings a bell, he was the subject of the Cuba Gooding starred movie "Men of Honor." And with full respect to the courage and achievements of MCPO Brashear, is it really a good idea to name a boat after a diver?

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Because I Can
A little picture blogging since I scanned in the cover of Jake's new album in order to add it to my iTunes artwork. A very restrained, low-key cover after the self-titled, portraited cover of the last disc.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Sweet Oily Mother Of Food!
If you think I meant to type "holy" in the title of this post, I didn't. Here is a report on (get the man on Artery-Rooter on the speed dial) a spray-cheese filled, bacon-wrapped and battered, fried hot dog.
Holy Human By-product!
My ARM adjustment info arrived. Day-um. Time to pay this sucker off.
All Right!
Jake's new CD is out. So out that it might as well be mincing around San Francisco bath houses. Sorry - bad analogy. When I say it's out, I mean he's sent me one and it's playing in iTunes even as I type this. Worth the wait? You bet. Take that with the grano salis that I'm an abject fan of the man's work. I want to say that weak Jake Armerding disc is the better of any number of other artists' work. But he's only put out three and there's not a weak effort in the bunch. The new disc is called "Walking on the World" and I'll save the song listing for later but it does contain the title track, "Flirting," "Keep The River On Your Right" and "Falling In" all of which I've heard him play live. Good stuff. I love the electric guitar on "Assassination Blues."
Actually, I knew his CD was out because his gigs page has listed "CD Release Shows" starting last Thursday. (What a treat to get a copy in the mail!) And he's coming to a local venue on April 3 so you know where I'll be that night. Strangely, I don't see links on his site to buy the disc nor is it in iTunes yet. His other two discs are and I strongly suggest anyone not familiar with Jake to drop and buy a few tracks. I do believe I'm going to have to pick up a few copies of "Walking..." at the show so I can give them as gifts to the initiated and the un.
I've been waiting for this release for a while and I'm not disappointed in the least. Perhaps the only thing I'd fault Jake on is that he's not more prolific. But with my luck, if he were, the quality of the product wouldn't be as high as it is. As it stands, my "Jake Armerding" iTunes platylist now contains 35 songs and runs for 2 and a half hours. That's a lot of Jake. But I could hear more.

Monday, March 19, 2007

New On The Blogroll
Hog On Ice and Blue Crab Boulevard. On the former, scroll down to the post "Where Sicilians Really Come From." The guy can write. He's funny. He blogs food. Could a man ask for more? (Hat Tip to Gradual Dazzle on that one.) The latter has one of the most gorgeous header images I've seen. Blue and Green. Fabulous. Plus, lots of good stuff. Go. Read a lot. Thank me later. (Hat tip to Lycurgus.)
For Your Amusement
I have joined the Forum at Birds and Moons which is an online community for the PRS-inclined. The name comes from the fretboard inserts that Paul Reed Smith uses ("moons" are sometimes seen as dots). There is a thread on an eBay scam which goes on for 13-some pages. It's not exactly G-rated with language (more by implication than explicit obscenity) but it is fall-down funny. If you visit and don't understand any of the terms used (the plural term for PRS guitars, for instance, is PRSi), make a comment and I'll try to explain.
Hypnopompic Thoughts
A day or so ago, the Amber Room came unbidden to my mind as I lay waking. I have no special knowledge of the whereabouts of this missing treasure and I don't recall having seen, read or heard anything about it any time recently. So I don't what obscure process of mind brought it floating up into my consciousness. There are several theories as to what happened to the panels that make up this magnificent treasure (point of explanation: I love amber. It is a "gem" that is warm, honey hued and even absent the preserved insects that drove the plot of "Jurassic Park" imbued with a kind of life that mineral gemstones get from their faceted refraction.) I won't go into the theories here as the Wikipedia page at the link above has considerably more detail than is worth my repeating.
But what formed in my mind is the notion that someone, one of the Nazis who took the room apart and packed it out, saved as many of the panels as possible by covering them up. The idea I had was that they were painted over but painting over probably wouldn't have been sufficient, the elaborate carvings would be too identifiable. But perhaps if the panels were plastered over, they could have been stored as slabs of plaster in some relatively unsecured location whence they could be removed at a later, safer date.
I'm afraid that this is hopeful speculation on my part as the destruction of the amber in the destruction of Konigsberg castle is vastly more likely. But I hop that some day the Amber Room will be found and reconstructed. It would be another sad loss in a long war were it to have been destroyed.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

My Lousy Typing
In typing the word "answer" this afternoon, I made it "naswert." I like it. Today's assignment: what is a naswert?

Monday, March 12, 2007

My Hero
If you want to see and hear a fat man make a Paul Reed Smith sing, here's almost five minutes of Johnny Hiland on YouTube. Mr. Hiland has his own signature model in the PRS range. That in Vintage Yellow would be a sweet guitar. There's also a QuickTime movie of JH demonstrating what his guitar can do. Nice.

Saturday, March 10, 2007

An Old Question
If a tree falls in the forest and there's no one there to hear it, does it make a sound?
Of course it does. The sound is of self-proclaimed environmentalists whining about the loss of forestation.