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17 September, 2004

Help Destroy Romania

Visit this site, and the Romania will have one less pixel: Goodbye Romania.

Warning: by visiting this site you will destroy it. Each visit will remove one pixel from these photographs.

However, we will tell you a story. It's a story about Romania, which is to say, it's a story about change.

(yet another link via Steel White Table)

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Steve Goodman

We're just hanging out tonight listening to the late great Steve Goodman.

I forgot all about this song: The I Ain't Never Heard You Play No Blues. It's a short song, written about 3 years ago. The complete lyrics:

My baby came to me this morning and said I'm kinda confused
She said "If me and B.B. king was both drownin',
Which one would you choose?"
And I said "Oh Baby, Oh Baby, Oh Baby,
I ain't never heard you play no blues"

That guy was one hell of a songwriter. And a great voice, too. He died from leukemia. It'll be 20 years ago on Monday.

I think it's only fitting that Steve Goodman should be the featured artist on Whole Wheat Radio on Monday. What do you think, Jim?

Posted on 17 September, 2004

He Found Some Of Your Life

What a great idea for a blog: I Found Some Of Your Life.

In my possession is one (1) memory card from a digital camera. This memory card was found in a taxi in New York City. I have no idea who the owner of the camera is.

The pictures on the memory card were taken over the course of exactly one (1) year in this person's life, starting July Twenty-Fifth, Two Thousand and Three (07-25-03) and ending July Twenty-Fourth, Two Thousand and Four (07-24-04).

I am going to post one (1) picture here each day. As there are two hundred and twenty-seven (227) pictures, there will be two hundred and twenty-seven (227) posts. The pictures will appear in chronological order according to the timestamp accompanying each image.

As the images add up, I will attempt to assemble an identity for this unknown person.

Most of the photos are very boring. But the descriptions and comments are good.

(via Steel White Table)

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Gum Wrapper Chain Progress

Last year, I pointed out that Gary Duschl's gum wrapper chain was 43,419 feet long, and consisted of 1,012,183 gum wrappers.

Clearly, he's been hard at work. It's now 45,106 feet long, and uses 1,054,019 wrappers.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Monster Truck

Sometimes I feel a bit guilty driving a gas-guzzling SUV. But when I see something like this, it makes me feel like I'm doing my part to conserve energy: Truck maker unveils a monster pickup.

This one could make the Hummer look like a girlie car.

International Truck and Engine Corp. is producing what it calls the world's biggest production pickup, a 14,500-pound monster capable of towing 20 tons.

But does anybody really need a vehicle that is nine feet tall, eight feet wide, 21 1/2 feet long and gets about seven miles on a gallon of diesel?

(Thanks Harry Wahl)

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Shopping For A Toupee

I was doing some online shopping, trying to find a decent toupee. Here's a nice assortment, but they're a bit too expensive (my philosophy: never pay more than $40 for a toupee).

I think this one will work for me. It's described as a "real toupee, artificial hair on a fabric base). I really like the price tag hanging down.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Leonard Cohen: 70 Things

From The Guardian: Who held a gun to Leonard Cohen's head?

As the godfather of gloom turns 70, Tim de Lisle describes his brush with death - and lists 69 other things you may not know about him.

And here's a great quote from 1988:

"As you get older, you get less willing to buy the latest version of reality."

I would have to say that Leonard Cohen is in my top 3 favorite recording artists of all time. His birthday is next Tuesday, and he's got a new album coming out next month. He's one of the few artists who's albums I'll buy without even listening to (and without regard to the fact that it's on an RIAA-affiliated label).

* * *

Update: I found some more information about the new album.

Here are the complete lyrics for the title track:

Dear Heather
Please walk by me again
With a drink in your hand
And your legs all white
From the winter

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Some More Questions Answered

It's time to clear out the Ask J-Walk mailbag...

Kevin orders: Take us thru a typical J-Walk day.

Kevin, as you might imagine, the day of a famous Excel author is a busy one. Typically, I rise at 5:30 when the maid brings me coffee and breakfast in bed. After that, I jump in the shower and get dressed (my butler always chooses my suit and tie). Following that, it's an endless series a meetings, phone calls, presentations, and faxes. I'll usually have one of my assistants scour the Web and put up some blog entries throughout the day.

I usually have a working lunch with either my agent or a celebrity that happens to be in town. After lunch, it's more of the same. Bill Gates usually calls in the afternoon, but I'm getting tired of his constant barrage of questions.

Dinner is a quiet time. The cooking staff usually prepares a 5-course dinner and Pamn and I almost always dine alone. Occasionally we'll attend an opera or a play during the evening. We don't like to go out much, so we usually arrange for the performance to be held in the media room. And then it's off to bed to rest up for another day.

ed wants to know: What is your nationality, as in heritage?

German.

And Shallow wants to know even more: Incidentally I thought of a similar question last week, what are the origins of the name Walkenbach?

Somebody once told me that it's a German word for "running brook."

OPL is obviously new here: Have you seen the movie 'Office Space'? If so, what do you think about it? And if not, you really should.

Of course I've seen it. At least five times.

Danny asks: Are you happy with Casa web hosting service?... I'm pretty satisfied but right off the bat I noticed two broken links in their welcoming e-mail (control panel faq & support faq, ouch).

I'm reasonably satisfied. There have been occasions when I wanted to dump them, but lately their service seems to have improved quite a bit. Their Web site is terrible, especially the Support section. I'm almost positive that it's just some "canned" stuff they put up and never even looked at it.

Dori want to know: Can we see a screenshot of your desktop?

Just go here, and then envision some icons along the left side. That's what my desktop looks like.

Danny asks another one: Do you know where I might be able to get a whole Alligator to cook? Any help would be great!!!

Try Kyle LeBlanc Crawfish Farms. A whole alligator (skinless) sells for $4.25 per pound.

John M asks the type of question that I hate: Regardless of musical type, who would be in your top 5 pick for best guitarist - living or dead?

These aren't necessarily the best (in terms of technical proficiency), but they are guitarists that I like to listen to. In no particular order: Junior Brown, Eric Clapton, B.B. King, Willie Nelson, Stevie Ray Vaughan.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Digital Camera For Dogs

It was bound to happen: A digital camera for dogs.

Manufacturers are finally wising up and exploiting the huge untapped potential of the animal world. Or at least TOMY is with their new Wonderful Shot 3.5 megapixel digital camera for dogs, which they're supposed to wear around their neck.

They should call it a dogital camera, model K-9.

Here's a link to the manufacturer's site (in Japanese)

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Civilian Casualties

From The Guardian: 3,000 Iraqi dead named.

The most complete attempt yet to identify some of the estimated 15,000 Iraqi civilians killed since the US-led invasion in March last year was unveiled in Chicago today.

Iraq Body Count (IBC), a volunteer group of British and US academics and researchers, came up with 3,000 names by combining its database of dead civilians gleaned from media reports with the work of on-the-ground Iraqi researchers.

"Every one of some 15,000 Iraqi civilians killed was a loved human being, whose loss creates heartbreak and bitterness among the bereaved families and communities," said local IBC member Scott Lipscomb.

I knew a lot of innocent people have been killed, but I had no idea it was that many.

Related news: From bad to worse.

The three possible scenarios for the situation in Iraq reportedly laid out by the National Intelligence Estimate can be summed up as tenuous, bad and downright ugly.

The still classified report, whose substance the Bush administration has not disputed, says the best hope through the end of 2005 is for an Iraq whose political, economic and security situation would remain no better than touch-and-go.

Still more news: Poll Finds Bush Lead Surging Among Likely Voters.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Life In A Garbage Dump

Some depressing photos by Maciek Da: Life In A Garbage Dump.

Stung Mean Chey - the biggest garbage dump in the capital city of Cambodia - Phnom Penh. ...and people who have to live and work there. I hope one day their life will be easier.

(via Grow A Brain)

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Ultimate Advertising

It looks like Pontiac figured out the ultimate way to advertise their products: Marketing Execs Eye 'Oprah' Giveaway.

Pontiac wanted to draw attention to its brand-new sport sedan, and Oprah Winfrey wanted to celebrate the start of her 19th season. The result was Pontiac G6s for 276 surprised audience members on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" - and an event that marketing executives say could set a new bar for product placement.

Media buyers say a 30-second advertisement on the show sells for about $70,000. But Winfrey spent about half of the show on the Pontiacs.

If the show is an hour long, that works out to about $8.4 million in advertising. They claim that the cars are worth $7 million -- but that's probably the retail price. And when you toss in all of the media attention, it worked out pretty well for Pontiac.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Drawings By Dave Archambault

Ballpoint Pen Art by Dave Archambault.

After flirting with watercolor, pencil, charcoal, and all of the other "traditional" media, one day I picked up a normal blue ball point pen and did a sub-standard picture of Warren Zevon from an album cover. My friends thought it was friggin' fantastic, but it didn't look that great to me. It was blue for God's sake. I forgot about it for 5 years or so, and one day I discovered that they make BLACK ball points. This was a revelation to me and I decided to try again

These look like stylized photos shot with high speed grainy film.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Got Jury Duty? BYOB

From MSNBC: N.Y. judge to jurors: It's OK to be drunk.

New Yorkers dreading jury duty take note: it's OK to be drunk on booze or high on pot or cocaine while doing your civic duty.

So said a New York judge Wednesday, who refused to set aside the verdict on a retired city firefighter convicted of swiping souvenirs from Ground Zero, citing the U.S. Supreme Court to back her ruling.

Posted on 17 September, 2004

Here, My Dear

Snopes debunks a rumor about Marvin Gaye.

Ordered by a judge to hand over all the profits from his next album to his ex-wife as part of a divorce settlement, singer Marvin Gaye deliberately recorded a wretched album designed to sell poorly, which he sardonically entitled Here, My Dear.

I've only owned one Marvin Gaye album, and this was it. I liked it.

Posted on 17 September, 2004