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13 October, 2004

Slow Blogging Day...

I've been busy with the computers today, so it's been a slow blogging day. Since I have nothing else to post, I'll do some Ask J-Walk questions.

Champthom: Do you have any tips on how to pick up and succeed with the ladies?

Just be yourself. If you're a jerk, you won't have much luck. If not, you'll eventually get lucky. If all else fails, grow a mullet. If that doesn't work, learn how to program Excel with VBA.

Toad: Do you use a smoker box.

This is a BBQ question. No I don't. I considered getting a combo smoker/grill, but it was too ugly and the reviews weren't all that great. I create my smoke by soaking the wood and wrapping it in foil. Then I crank the coals way down low and put the foil packs on the coals. Sometimes it works great, sometimes its only OK. I'm still working out the variables.

Curtis: Do you keep up with any childhood friends?

Not a one. Not even a high school friend. Or a college friend. Or a graduate school friend. Wait a minute... Every once in a while I do get an email from an old high school girlfriend. But not very often.

Curtis: At what age were you the smartest (not greatest knowledge, but at your sharpest)?

Tough question. In terms of academic knowledge, it was probably in grad school. I was a sharp cookie, and spent hours every day reading the journals. In terms of practical life knowledge, it's probably today.

Philip Dhingra: What do you use for spam control on Outlook Express?

Nothing. I've set up some OE rules that help me identify legitimate messages. For example, email from regular correspondents display in a particular color. Emails that have "excel" or several other keywords in the title display in a different color. Blog comments are automatically routed to a different folder for later perusal.

So, when the email arrives, I quickly scan the titles and dump all of the uncolored message into a folder called "spam." Every day or so, I'll look at the spam folder and search the message bodies for a few key words (e.g., "excel"). Invariably, I'll find a few that are legitimate messages. I get about 700 spams per day now, and my technique probably works as well as any purely automated method. It's all based on the assumption that any incoming email is spam, and a legitimate message is an exception. I figure I spend less than 10 minutes per day sorting through all this. Sure, I miss some, but they probably weren't important any way.

Posted on 13 October, 2004

Jeremy And The Celebs

Where the elite meet the petite: Who is that with Jeremy?

My name is Jeremy and I was born on March 30, 2002 and I live in New York City. When I was 3 months old, mommy went back to work and daddy became a stay-at-home dad.

My daddy thought that it would be fun to take pictures of me with well-known people, and it has been fun!

Here's little Jeremy with Al Franken.

Posted on 13 October, 2004

Bush's Earpiece

This is funny: Conclusive proof that President Bush was sporting a concealed microphone.

Posted on 13 October, 2004

Setting Up A New Computer: Observations

Things are going smoothly with this new computer. Just a few observations:

  • Just about all of the pre-installed software on a new computer should be uninstalled immediately.
  • Music Match Jukebox is a bloated piece of garbage. And it looks like they've learned a few things from Real Player. When you close it, you see an ad to upgrade.
  • Microsoft should be ashamed of themselves. Outlook Express is one of the most widely-used email clients in the world. But they make you jump through hoops if you want to move it to another system. I managed to transfer all of my message, but I'm sure the average user would not have a clue. The "transfer account settings" simply didn't work, and as far as I can tell there is no way to transfer your message rules.
  • When did computers turn black, and home entertainment components turn silver?
  • Every new system should have a copy of Irfanview installed on it. But none do.
  • Mozilla Firefox sure installs quickly -- and it loads almost instantly on my system.
  • Whoever decided that Windows, by default, should hide file extensions, should be fired.
  • It takes a long time to copy 16GB of photos across the network.
  • 2GB of RAM is well worth the extra expense.
  • Microsoft really needs to find an alternative to that unwieldy list that appears when you click Start - All Programs.
  • Typing those Microsoft product keys gets old very fast.
  • On my previous LCD monitor, Cleartype made the text look worse. On my new monitor, the text looks a lot better.
  • Everyone should have a 21-inch monitor. I'm thinking I want another one for a dual monitor system.
  • A person who doesn't know anything about computers would have a very difficult time getting a system set up efficiently.

But here's the best news of all: Dell sent me a free AOL CD along with the computer! No extra charge!

Posted on 13 October, 2004

Setting Up My New Computer

Now the fun starts. This morning I'll be setting up my new computer and turning the old one over to Pamn.

The computer arrived late yesterday afternoon. The first thing I did was hook it up to our 46-inch Samsung TV. That TV has a DVI input and the new video card has a DVI output. I have no experience using DVI, so I was curious as to how it would work. In a word: amazing. Crystal clear 1280 x 768, and legible text from six feet away. Now I'm going to need a new computer for couch surfing, MP3 playing, and webcast listening.

So there'll be a whole lot of file transferring going on today, not to mention reinstalling lots of software. If you don't hear from me for a few days, you'll know why.

Posted on 13 October, 2004

Answers To Two Questions

It looks like the Ask J-Walk thing is dying out. Only two unanswered questions remain:

Ozzy: What's the origin of the whole Yahoo (I mean Yahoo!) thing?

I stole that directly from The Register. Whenever they mention Yahoo (I mean Yahoo!) they make a point of including that stupid exclamation point (e.g.). I thought it was funny, so I do it to.

PJL: Do you ever watch the late night shows like Tonight show with Leno? I'm guessing you don't because you're already asleep! Right?

You are correct, sir!

I haven't seen either of those shows in at least three years. When I did watch them, I had no preference. I just watched the one that wasn't showing commercials. If they were both showing commercials at the same time, that was a signal to turn off the TV and go to sleep.

Posted on 13 October, 2004

The Most Common Month

A Google search for "most common month" tells me:

  • December is the most common month for poultry food poisoning
  • In the U.S., May is the most common month for tornados
  • The most common month for states to join the union is December
  • The most common month for weddings is June
  • In West Virginia, the most common month for work-related deaths is September
  • June is the most common month for Americans to lose their virginity
  • January is the most common months for couples to divorce
  • The most common month for injuries related to falling out of a deer stand is November
  • In Bernalilo Country, New Mexico, the most common month for DWI and alcohol-related accidents is May.
  • The most common month for catching a cold is December

Posted on 13 October, 2004

CEO Masks

From Forbes: CEO Halloween Masks.

Masks will print out in full on one vertical sheet of US Letter (8.5in x11in) paper.

These masks are a a few years old, but the Martha Stewart mask is relevant.

Posted on 13 October, 2004