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15 June, 2004

The San Diego Earthquake

San Diego bloggers react to today's 5.1 earthquake.

I was lying on the couch, reading a book. I felt some rumbling, and it was followed by the house shaking for about five seconds.

If this house got destroyed by an earthquake, it would be very bad luck for the new owner. As some of you know, we sold the house and we are now renting it back from the buyer for a month.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Grilling Preferences

When we move next month, we won't be taking the trusty Weber charcoal grill. It's served us well for about 10 years, but it's showing its age and we'll be replacing it when we get to Arizona.

I've considered a gas grill, but I'm 99% certain that we'll go with charcoal. I'm curious...

What is your preferred method of grilling?
Charcoal grill
Gas grill
No preference
Neither - Food should never be grilled.
Free polls from Pollhost.com

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Conservative Discount

Get a Conservative Discount.

Our Mission: Give owners of conservative American companies an outlet for publicly stating their political affiliations and giving them a way to offer like-minded Americans discounts on their products without undermining their existing sales channels.

I guess they're having some trouble getting this site off the ground. So far, they offer only one product: A stupid-looking $40 figurine called George Claus.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Moving The Cell Pointer In Excel

Here's an Excel� question asked of Jim Coates in the Chicago Tribune (use msnerd / mortimer to sign in):

Q. Hi, Jim. I work in Excel spreadsheets a lot. Is there a shortcut to changing the direction of the next cell where data is entered? Sometimes I need it to move laterally across the page and other times down for tabulating numbers. Could the command be programmed into a function key maybe?

Jim goes on to give an answer that involves Tab, Enter, Shift+Tab, and Shift+Enter. But his answer won't work for everyone. He failed to mention the 'Move selection after Enter' setting in the Edit panel of Options dialog box. This setting determines how the Enter key works.

Actually, a much simpler answer is:

Just enter the data and use one of the arrow keys to move to the next cell.

My point is not to ridicule Jim Coates. Rather, it's to point out that many of Excel's options are simply too difficult to find.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Do Not Spam List

File this one under "Well Duh!" - 'Do Not Spam' List Will Not Work, FTC Says.

A government-run "Do Not Spam" registry would only generate more unwanted e-mail because unscrupulous marketers would simply treat it as a source of leads, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

I wonder how much time and money was spent coming to that conclusion?

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Juana Molina

Thanks to Curtis for turning me on to Juana Molina -- an indie singer/songwriter from Argentina. Her music is excellent, but her Web site is pretty annoying: mystery navigation, background music, and small pop-up windows for the content.

Here's a better source for information:

Formerly a celebrated Argentinian comic with her own successful TV show, Segundo is her second album, and the first to be heard outside her home country. Turning her back on her previous career, Juana's music flows from her acoustic guitar, off-kilter electronic sounds and rhythms and a vast, strangely comforting plethora of noises from flora and fauna, while her voice is soothing and mesmeric. Segundo is a wonderful album bubbling with joy and underpinned by gentle grace.

I downloaded a few MP3s, and now I'll buy at least one CD. This is the kind of stuff I could listen to over and over. Her voice reminds me of Astrud Gilberto.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Andy Griffith Show Lyrics

Now who woulda thunk that the Andy Griffith Show's whistlin' theme song had actual lyrics? It's true. The song is called The Fishin' Hole.

The music was written by Earle Hagen and Herbert Spencer, the lyrics by Everett Sloane.

Here's how it starts out:

Well, now, take down your fishin' pole
and meet me at The Fishin' Hole,
We may not get a bite all day,
but don't you rush away.

What a great place to rest your bones
�and mighty fine for skippin' stones,
You'll feel fresh as a lemonade,
a-settin' in the shade.

And the bridge:

Whether it's hot,
whether it's cool,
oh what a spot
for whistlin' like a fool.

I'd never heard of Everett Sloane (shown here), but he had quite a career. He was also an actor and appeared in many TV shows and movies.

After more than a decade as a stage performer and radio actor (one of the medium's finest, appearing on an estimated 15,000 broadcasts), Sloane went to Hollywood with Orson Welles' Mercury Theater group and made his movie debut in Citizen Kane (1941), playing the excitable Mr. Bernstein.

How did he die?

Apparent suicide with barbiturates in Brentwood because he was afraid he was going blind.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Local Blogger Hits It Big

A blog called Brianstorm is featured on the cover of the San Diego Reader. Here's the story behind it.

Congratulations, Brian.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Newspaper Registration

CNN covers one of my big pet peeves: Web newspaper registration sites debate.

Imagine if a trip to the corner newsstand required handing over your name, address, age, and income to the cashier before you could pick up the daily newspaper.

That's close to the experience of many online readers, who must complete registration forms with various kinds of personal data before seeing their virtual newspaper.

I find this hard to believe:

The Philadelphia Inquirer started online registration in March, asking readers for e-mail, home address, gender and birth date. About 10 percent to 15 percent of the 300,000 registrations to date have bad e-mail addresses, said Fred Mann, general manager of Philly.com.

Only 10-15 percent? I would think that at least 80 percent would give a fake email address.

And there's always Bug Me Not.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Patent Busting Contest

The EFF is holding a Patent Busting Contest.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation's Patent Busting Project is here to protect you from dangerously bad patents. And you can help us pick which patents we're going to bust first!

We're currently seeking nominations for ten patents that deserve to be revoked because they are invalid. Sadly, we don't have the resources to challenge every stupid patent out there. In order to qualify for our ten most-wanted list, a patent must be software or Internet-related and there must be a good reason to suspect that the patent claims are invalid.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

The Life Of Birds

If you like birds, you'll like this PBS site: The Life of Birds. Here's an excerpt from the Bird Brains section:

The scene: a traffic light crossing on a university campus in Japan. Carrion crows and humans line up patiently, waiting for the traffic to halt.

When the lights change, the birds hop in front of the cars and place walnuts, which they picked from the adjoining trees, on the road. After the lights turn green again, the birds fly away and vehicles drive over the nuts, cracking them open. Finally, when it's time to cross again, the crows join the pedestrians and pick up their meal.

If the cars miss the nuts, the birds sometimes hop back and put them somewhere else on the road. Or they sit on electricity wires and drop them in front of vehicles.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Lonely Socks

Finally, an online database of lost socks. It's called Lonely Socks.

Here's the data for the sock shown here:

Date: 15/6/2003
Owner: Mr Morrison
Colour: Dark blue
Info: Dark blue sock with HIPPO written on it!

If you find this sock, please contact Mr. Morrison immediately.

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Google World

A handy interface to all things Google: Google World.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Giant Jesus

For only $2,750, you can get a life-size Jesus Bobblehead Doll.

The first Life-Size Jesus Bobble Head is here! As you can see in the photos, more Giant Jesus BobbleHead are nearing completion and will soon leave China for Bobble Head World. The Life-Size Jesus BobbleHead is made of a fiberglass composite material and is hand painted. He's coming by boat, so the trip will take a little while.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

Office Morons

Take the Office Moron Test.

Morons. Offices are full of them; irritating little people with no redeeming features, forming their own social hierarchies within the walls of the workplace. It's understandable, of course; if you were to sit in the same room day after day, staring at spreadsheets and filling out orders, the monotony of your life only rivaled by the monotony of your thoughts and dreams, you too would be yearning for your own besuited Lord of the Flies scenario.

I couldn't take the test because I don't work in an office.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

46,720 Hours Of Commercials

Found on Craiglist: Free To Good Home.

For the past 20 years I have recorded EVERY television commercial on CBS, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. From Sony to Salad Shooter from Pontiac to Prego, I've captured them all!

Each day at midnight I let a tape record for 6 hours, insert a new tape for recording, and repeat twice more. After that, on my other VCR's I edit out all the shows which yields roughly 6 hours and 24 minutes of commercials daily. I now have 46,720 hours of commercials stored on 7,787 VHS tapes.

Posted on 15 June, 2004

The Katherine Interface

Type some text, and see Katherine's reaction: The Katherine Interface. Here's her response to "Bush will get re-elected."

(via The Presurfer)

It's OK, but it's definitely no match for Eric Conveys An Emotion.

Posted on 15 June, 2004