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13 August, 2004

A River Runs Through It

Well, not quite a river. It's a small stream. Running right through the back of our property. Haven't tried the fishing yet. Mucho lightning. Mega thunder. Very, very cool weather is happening right now.

This is what they call the monsoons in Arizona. For more info, go here.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Buzz Bomb

The perfect drink for a Friday evening of blog surfing: Buzz Bomb.

50ml flex (plastic) packs containing 15% alcohol and energy ingredients, including ginseng, taurine, caffeine and sugar, in a cherry gelatin base. When chilled or frozen they become a "vodka jello shot". The idea for the product came from England. Most trends in the alcohol industry start in Europe...

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Nine Things

Thomas Hawk has a list: Nine Things the RIAA, MPAA, Apple, Walmart.com, et. al. Do Not Want You to Know� or How to Build a Large Digital Media Library on the Cheap.

My personal opinion is that the current state of the RIAA is like that of a child playing with one of those pop-up toys. Every time you hit one of the pop-ups on the head with the hammer another one pops up somewhere else. From shutting down Napster to suing grandmothers, my feeling is that their tactics have largely backfired and done nothing but create an enormous amount of ill will and bad publicity directed their way -- not to mention karma.

I can't disagree with that. However, the legality of some of his suggestions is questionable. As always, I suggest that you consult an attorney before doing anything.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Top 50 Fast Food Joints

QSR = Quality and Speed For Restaurant Success. In other words, fast food. Here's their Top 50 Chains, ranked by nationwide sales.

Number 1 on the list is McDonald's. It's followed by Burger King and Wendy's (not Wendy!'s)

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Excel VBA Samples

Newly published at MSDN: VBA Samples for Working with Excel 2003 Worksheets.

Discover macros that you can use to add additional functionality to your Excel worksheets. With a little practice, you can extend these procedures to fit your own applications.

First of all, there is nothing in these macros that are specific to Excel 2003. Second of all, some of the code isn't very good. I'll just pick on one of the examples, which displays a count of the selected cells:

Sub Count_Selection() 
    Dim cell As Object 
    Dim count As Integer 
    count = 0 
    For Each cell In Selection 
        count = count + 1 
    Next cell 
    MsgBox count & " item(s) selected" 
End Sub

First, it's a better practice to Dim cell as a Range object. And, because the count variable is an Integer, the code will fail if the selection contains more than 32,767 cells. In addition, you'll get an error if the selection is not a range (for example, it's a chart). But more to the point, the procedure can be simplified quite a bit:

Sub Count_Selection2()
     If TypeName(Selection) = "Range" Then _
       MsgBox Selection.Count & " item(s) selected"
End Sub

I admit that it's very easy to find fault with other people's code. But I really think Microsoft could have done better with these examples.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

More Catholic Church Humor

This is not from The Onion: 8-year-old's first Holy Communion invalidated by Church.

An 8-year-old girl who suffers from a rare digestive disorder and cannot consume wheat has had her first Holy Communion declared invalid because the wafer contained none, violating Catholic doctrine.

Now, Haley Waldman's mother is pushing the Diocese of Trenton and the Vatican to make an exception, saying the girl's condition -- celiac sprue disease -- should not exclude her from participating in the sacrament, in which Roman Catholics eat consecrated wheat-based wafers to commemorate the last supper of Jesus Christ before his crucifixion.

Those Catholic bureaucrats just crack me up.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Mouse Odometer

Keep track of your mouse clicks with the Mouse Odometer.

Face it, you know you work on your computer too much - but how much? Mouse Odometer is a mouse tracking program. It tells you how far your mouse goes, how many keys you've pressed, and how many mouse clicks you've had for every application you use. Mouse Odometer has tons of other special features, and best of all - it's FREE

This looks like it might be fun. Has anybody used it?

By the way, the source code is also available -- which means that it's probably not a spyware app.

(Thanks Jim Kloss)

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Charles Cooper On Microsoft

From CNET: Taking the Microsoft Rorschach test.

...when you tally in years of Microsoft-hating feedback detailing the enormity of this single company's misdeeds. Sociologists would need to spend years getting to a root explanation, but this much is incontestable: There's a certain something about this particular company that pushes certain folks over the edge.

The article contains a link to a 1976 letter written by Bill Gates (which I've never seen before): Open Letter to Hobbyists.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Spreadsheet Wars

Here's a blast from the past. A 1988 Computer Chronicles episode called The Spreadsheet Wars.

Excel now dominates the spreadsheet world, but once upon a time there was actual competition among spreadsheet products. This program looks at Quattro 1.0, Allways 1.0, Lotus 1-2-3 3.0, Ashton-Tate's Full Impact, and Excel 2.1. Guests include Gary Kildall, Jan Lewis, and Jared Taylor of PC Magazine.

Man, those were the days!

The video is a huge download, but it's worth it if you're a spreadsheet maven.

(Thanks to Ken Mist for this great find)

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Making A Mannequin

Len Gifford's series of photos that demonstrate how to create a mannequin: The Making Of Lauren.

To show that mannequins do not 'Just appear' in window displays I have produced this guide to demonstrate the skills and processes used in the making of a Rootstein mannequin. With top fashion model Lauren I will show you the work from concept to finished product.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Windows XP SP2

At the Scobelizer, people leave comments about their experiences with Windows XP SP2.

I haven't installed it. I've learned that it's always better to wait a bit before installing an update from Microsoft.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Spreadsheet Trends

News item: Compliance Causes SMBs to Reduce Spreadsheet Usage.

Financial executives in small to mid-sized businesses plan to dramatically reduce their reliance on spreadsheet-based accounting processes, according to a survey of 118 business leaders conducted by RevenueRecognition.com and IDC.

SMBs commonly rely on spreadsheets to perform key accounting processes, however, many businesses plan to move to more automated systems that offer tighter internal controls as well as greater transparency and insight into their companies' financial health...

According to the survey, 80 percent of respondents indicated that they believe spreadsheets should not be the foundation for critical accounting processes.

Posted on 13 August, 2004


From Jinx: RIAA Toilet Paper.

Seems appropriate to me.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Blaire's Husband

Blaire is looking for a husband by the end of the year.

As I get older I feel my social circle has been getting smaller and smaller - and the prospects for my potential mate are not as great or abundant as in the past. I've been to single's events, done the club scene, and have been matched up and Internet searched....now, it's time for me to Mass Market! I don't want my search to be limited, nor do I want to wait forever - this is why I'm reaching out to you!

(via The Presurfer)

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Casket Furniture

Welcome to the Casket Furniture Store.

Your source for custom casket furniture, custom bedroom furniture & office furniture, casket novelty products, caskets and coffins, casket plans and casket wear.

Shown here is a set of coffin speakers. The Grateful Dead sound particularly good on these babies.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Free Cinema

A new project from Brian Fleming: Free Cinema.

To help focus our efforts, we made rules:

Rule One: No money may be spent on the production
Rule Two: The film must be copylefted

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Lots Of Ants

This is not science fiction: 100km ant colony hits Melbourne.

Like some "B-grade" horror movie, a giant colony of Argentine ants stretching 100 km (62 miles) has been discovered in the Australian city of Melbourne, threatening the local insect population.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Cartoons From Video

From Microsoft Research: A Slice of Time and Space.

Cohen and his colleagues have invented a way to turn digital video into an animated cartoon. They've also developed techniques to combine animation with a still picture...

Though others have turned a still image into a cartoon, turning a video into a cartoon is more challenging.

It's not a completely automated process it could be in the future. The sample video is pretty impressive.

(via Slashdot)

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Songs In The Key Of W

Ladies and gentlemen... it's the George W. Bush Singers.

The George W. Bush singers and musicians hail from the liberal university enclave of Austin. "I think this is something the Democrats would laugh louder at than the Republicans," McAllister admits, "but I think Republicans can laugh, too."

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Smart Skin

I think they stole this idea from the aliens who crashed at Roswell: Smart Skin.

Terrible, horrible things can be done to this millimeters-thick patch of shimmering material crafted by chemists at NanoSonic in Blacksburg, Virginia. Twist it, stretch it double, fry it to 200 degrees C, douse it with jet fuel-the stuff survives. After the torment, it snaps like rubber back to its original shape, all the while conducting electricity like solid metal.

Posted on 13 August, 2004

Personalized PEZ

Personalized PEZ: Send in a few photos of yourself, pay $98, and you can have a PEZ dispenser that looks just like you.

Posted on 13 August, 2004