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15 September, 2004

Guess The Number

Right now, my monitor has a blue sticky note on it. It has a number that's between 1 and 100. Guess the number, and you'll win an autographed copy of my new book: Excel VBA Programming For Dummies.

Official Rules*:

  1. Click Comments, and enter a number between 1 and 100. Make sure that the number hasn't already been entered.
  2. Type an inscription -- how you'd like the book to be autographed. For example, "To xyzzy, my biggest fan, but the dumbest Excel person alive".

If you prefer to omit your email address, that's cool (I don't blame you). I'll announce the winner as soon as there is one (if ever).

Any disputes will be settled by Pamn.

* Offer void where prohibited by law. One entry per blog reader.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

J-Walk Guitar O' The Week #7

I had forgotten all about this Wednesday tradition until I got an email from Pete. Thanks for the reminder. I can't believe that anyone actually noticed it was missing.

Without further ado, this week's guitar is a 1994 Gibson Lucille.

This is the exact same guitar that B.B. King plays. I've heard that he's got a bunch of them, and none of them is really special to him. The only difference is that some of his Lucilles have his name inscribed on the fretboard.

About ten years ago, I went to a music store looking to buy a semi-hollow body guitar. I played a few of them and then spotted this one. It felt just right to me, so I bought it. They also had it in red. I've never seen B.B. King play a red guitar, so I got the black one.�

This easily ranks as one of my top-3 favorite guitars. There's just something about the weight (it's heavy) and how its balanced that's just perfect. And it's capable of a very wide variety of different tones.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Classified Information!

I'm going to let you all in on a little secret (but it's classified information). It's called Jim Rosen's Wealth Building System.

This is really incredible. You can double your paycheck, get instant money, and even place free ads. Why, one guy even made $10,000 with a single ad! And there's a couple who made $1,600 in one day. Some blonde chick made $24,000 in two days!

And you know what? It only costs $39.95. Yes, you read it right. And this is the amazing part: It has a risk-free money-back guarantee!

For only $48 a year, you can get Jim's phone number, which will allow you to keep up to date with the latest tips and secrets Jim is using to create his fortune. You'll probably want to become a V.I.P. member (it's only $7.99 for a lifetime membership). As a V.I.P., you'll be notified every time Jim comes up with a new way to make money.

Man, this here Internet sure is great!

(via Cotolo Chronicles Blog)

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Color Palette Generator

Somebody might have a use for this: Color Palette Generator.

You can use this php script to generate a color palette based on an image. You may upload an image, or choose one from the list. If you upload an image, it will be kept on the server and can be used again.

Here's the 9-color palette it generated from a parrot photo I uploaded:

(via Jaf Project)

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Play Smells Like A CD

Has anyone tried this? Febreze Scentstories.

Select the disc you want to play, insert it into the player, close the lid and push play. As the disc plays, a quiet fan rotates through five scents, one every 30 minutes over the course of 2.5 hours. The player shuts off automatically after all five scents have been played. You can stop the player or skip through the scent tracks at any time. Discs are interchangeable and reusable.

I read some reviews here. Some people love it, others hate it.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Cactus Progress

When we were in San Diego, we had a very nice three-stalked cactus that was about six feet high. It was in a large container, and there was no way to move it to Arizona. So I chopped it off at the base and put in in a small pot.

After about a month in Arizona, it began to show signs that it wasn't dead. I put in in the ground, and it seems to like it there. It now has six new stalks and it appears to be very healthy.

I'm posting this only so I'll have a way of gauging its growth over time.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

MS Forger

This joke is getting a bit old, but that hasn't stopped me yet.

New software: Microsoft Forger.

Introducing a new product in our Office line called Microsoft Forger. We have been copying other peoples software ideas for years, so who is better to provide you with a product that imitates other peoples style and signature. Microsoft Forger is the ultimate product for pundit-proof forgery.

Even if you are just getting into forgery or are an old hand, this product will deliver all the power that you need to turn out credible documents with little or no effort.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

My Presidential Choice

I've thought it over and I did my research. I've decided how to vote in November.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

John Kerry No Hero

From Broken Newz: Ex-Bandmates Say: John Kerry No Guitar Hero.

New reports about Kerry's little-known post-Electras music career have led to controversy and further questions about his courage, veracity, and fitness to serve as Chief Executive.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

The Pitch Experiment

A scientific experiment that has been underway since 1927: The Pitch Drop Experiment.

In 1927 Professor Parnell heated a sample of pitch and poured it into glass funnel with a sealed stem. Three years were allowed for the pitch to settle, and in 1930 the sealed stem was cut. From that date on the pitch has slowly dripped out of the funnel - so slowly that now, 72 years later, the eighth drop is only just about to fall.

There's supposed to be a live webcam so you can watch it for yourself -- but it's not working.

(via Incoming Signals)

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Going To Work Stories

The Defective Yeti writes: Two Stories About Going To Work.

This morning on the bus there was a man who looked exactly like Saddam Hussein. And not the groomed-and-besuited just-a-regular-guy Saddam we've seen in recent courtroom footage, either -- I'm talkin' the bearded-and-bedraggled just-pulled-out-of-a-spider-hole Saddam.

Funny stuff.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Photoshop Elements 3.0

A new version of Photoshop Elements has been announced: Adobe Photoshop Elements 3.0.

Adobe has today announced Photoshop Elements 3.0. New features include the Healing Brush, previously only available in the full version of Photoshop, and new Spot Healing Brush as well as the ability to support RAW files. Other new features include SmartFix which analyzes a photo and automatically applies enhancements and the new red-eye function has been improved, all you have to do now is to click in the vicinity of demon eyes to remove them.

I use Version 2.0, and it work well. I'll be happy to upgrade if (1) they can make the damn software load faster and (2) it doesn't use product activation.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Counterculture Photos

Photos by Lisa Law: A Visual Journey.

Lisa Law's photographs provide glimpses into the folk and rock music scenes, California's blossoming counterculture, and the family-centered and spiritual world of commune life in New Mexico. They are moments that she lived, witnessed, and recorded on the frontier of cultural change.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

The Matrix And Pizza

From the ACLU, a Flash presentation about ordering pizza.

It's actually an anti-Matrix ad. Matrix stands for Multi-state Anti-Terrorism Information Exchange.

A dangerous program - ominously called the Matrix - is being proposed by a handful of states in conjunction with the federal government. Unfortunately it's no Hollywood invention -- this Matrix would compile your personal information into a giant database that law enforcement agents and government contractors can use to search through information about your private life and investigate your activities.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

A9 From Amazon

From CNET: Amazon powers up Internet search engine.

A9.com, an independent unit of the Internet retailer, launched a new version of its Web site late Tuesday night. The service greatly expands on and organizes early features of A9, which launched in test form in April, to create a helm for steering personalized Web search. To this end, A9 lets people navigate, annotate and store Web pages they've visited, and as the TiVo digital video recorder does with television programs, it will recommend sites based on users' past preferences.

Check it out here: A9.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

USDA Memo

At Harpers Magazine: It's What's For Dinner. It's from a memo sent to meat inspectors by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. A few excerpts:

  • You are justified to stop production if it is physically impossible for you to properly examine the product presented to you. That means, for example, that the tongue is on the hook backward, or the paunches are upside down. That does not mean a paunch that is right side up but twisted only slightly, or the weasand [esophagus] and bung [anus] up underneath the paunch or intestine.
  • You must learn the difference between active and healed pleural adhesions and pleuritis.
  • A contaminated liver needs one stamp for pet-food salvage if it is otherwise healthy. If there is a single isolated abscess that can be removed, stamp the salvageable end and make a slice for the company to know how much of the liver they can have for pet food.
  • Clumps of hair on head and/or tongue are NOT a major source of bacteria. If you must, you can put a spot of ink on the area. Someone down the line will trim it. DO NOT STOP THE LINE.

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Praying For Peace

A painting by Ron DiCianni: Praying For Peace.

It features George W, and the ghosts of Abe Lincoln and George Washington.

For a mere $99, you can have this print hanging on your wall. I wonder who would actually buy such a thing?

(Thanks Terri Noble)

Posted on 15 September, 2004

Marathon Monks

A transcript from a TV show: Japan - Marathon Monks.

The monks pursue enlightenment. What they put themselves through are so utterly extraordinary, it must rate as one of the most incredible and dangerous feats of endurance. These men may be the world's greatest athletes.

It is 1.00 am and Genshin Fujinami is preparing for what lies ahead. White is the Buddhist colour of death. He wears it as a reminder his journey will take him to the limits of life itself and quite possibly, beyond.

Fujinami's pilgrimage is more than 80 kilometres long. The monk will traverse the route every day for the next three and a half months. He'll sleep for just two hours a night, then walk for seventeen hours only stopping to utter a few secret incantations.

(via Pathologically Polymathic)

Posted on 15 September, 2004

One Girl Diary

By Andrei Dorokhin. Interesting collage-style art in a Flash presentation: One Girl Diary.

Posted on 15 September, 2004