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27 October, 2004

No End To The Excitement Tonight

What a night!

  • Dinner: Smoked salmon, cream cheese, green onions, spinach. Lightly sauteed and eaten on gourmet crackers with cheap Scotch.
  • Lunar eclipse. I took about 75 photos. I have no idea if any of them are worth keeping.
  • World Series. I was born and raised in St. Louis, so I was rooting for the Cardinals. But the Red Sox are a vastly superior team. They deserve to win.
  • Whole Wheat Radio House Concert. Barring any unforeseen weather/power problem, I'll be listening to Mark Erelli and Jake Armerding live from the Wheat Hole beginning at 9:00 pm Pacific Coast time.
  • Out pool is filling up. Yes folks, it was plastered today, and the hose was turned on about 11:00 am. I think I'll stay up until it's filled.

Life don't get much better, does it?

Posted on 27 October, 2004

View Excel Data In A Cell Phone

From Automate Excel: Convert Excel to Wap/WML - View in Cell Phone.

How do you export Excel data to be viewed from a cell phone or mobile device?

The following is a basic example of using a macro to export one column from an Excel spreadsheet to a Wml (Wireless Markup Language) file, which can be uploaded to your server and accessed from a cell phone.

Hmmmm... My cell phone doesn't support Wap/WML. Or maybe it does. Nah, it was a free phone. It doesn't even support new ringtones and it can't take photos. Man, I am so out of it when it comes to gadgets.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

$7,445.64 Per Stitch

More baseball news: Bonds' 700th homer ball a hit in online auction.

Major League Baseball may hand out Gold Glove awards to the league's finest fielders each season, but the $804,129 that fan Steve Williams landed in an online auction of Barry Bonds' 700th home run ball still looks pretty lustrous in comparison.

Williams' online auction of the leather orb on Overstock.com ended Wednesday, after 242 bids were made on the historical piece of playing equipment over the last 10 days. The winning bidder, an individual using the screen name "bomasterj," must now submit his or her payment to an escrow account controlled by Williams' lawyers, who will deliver the ball to the winning bidder.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Software Licenses

From Ed Foster's GripeLog: Licensed, Not Sold.

Is software licensed or sold? Well, it all depends...

"The recent gripe about DRM in the little kid's game reminded me of an old gripe of mine," wrote one reader. The CD for his kids' favorite game -- a copy-protected Broderbund product that prevented making a backup copy -- had gotten too scratched to load. "I contacted Broderbund and requested to pay to swap media. They said they had no more media and no way for me to recover the game. They would not even provide for a download copy or some other arrangements. The game was a few years old and I had all of the material to prove ownership, but now all I had was a useless CD."

But if the game was licensed, not sold, shouldn't he still have a right to a working copy? "It really drove home that the software companies want the best of both worlds," the reader with the defunct Broderbund CD says. "They claim that they are not selling you the program on the CD but rather licensing you to use the software. When the software becomes unusable, they switch their tune and tell you that you own a physical CD that you have damaged and you no longer have your license to the software."

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Air Raid Sirens

Here are a couple dozen MP3s of air raid sirens. I apologize to your office mates in advance.

(via Jaf Project)

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Separated At Birth?

You gotta admit, there is a resemblance.

(via Everlasting Blort)

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Politicians And Pumpkins

Get your free Bush and Kerry Jack O'Lantern Patterns.

We couldn't think of anything spookier or scarier this year than the election. Right Wing, Left Wing, Conservative, Liberal, Democrat or Republican, everyone has an opinion this election year. So do your part, get informed about the candidates and issues and Get Out and Vote!

Our political pumpkin patterns can help you do some creative campaigning for your favorite candidate.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Crane Migration

This is pretty interesting: Operation Migration.

A new generation of Whooping crane chicks is currently being guided from their summer home in central Wisconsin to their new winter habitat in Florida.

How are they being guided? By using an ultralight aircraft.

(Thanks Rybka)

Posted on 27 October, 2004

A Room In A Room

New from Yamaha': My Room - an indoor soundproof room for adults.

Yamaha has announced Series 3 of their "Avitecs MyRoom" line of personal, soundproof rooms. Unlike the previous series which were marketed towards musicians only, the new MyRooms are being advertised as suitable for activities such as computer use, DVD playing and study.

Claustrophobics need not apply.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Madeleine Peyroux

If you like the sound of Billie Holiday's voice, you'll probably like the sound of Madeleine Peyroux's voice.

The site has a dozen sound clips, and you can listen to an entire song at The Ark. Click "Listen to Ark Artists" and then select her name from the list. You'll be treated to an excellent rendition of a Leonard Cohen song by Billie Holiday Madeleine Peyroux.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Still More Answers

Some answers from the Ask J-Walk thing. In other words, I should be working but I don't feel like it.

Cesar: Watching the "World Series" I wonder who came up with that word if this is not a Baseball World Cup and teams are US teams and play against each other.

I've always thought that World Series was a dumb term for a sporting that involves only a few cities from two countries. Here's a site that discusses the origin of the name World Series.

Ponty: What did you hate most about being in the banking profession? What did you like the most?

I was the head of the market research department and I didn't like managing other people. I'm a terrible manager. I liked playing with the computers and interacting with the people. We had some great people working there, and we had lots of fun. But then the company went down the drain and people were getting laid off left and right. Towards the end, it was like a ghost town.

Terry Curtis: I enjoy your blog and was trying to add to my RSS feeds. When I click on your XML button all I get is "Cannot view XML input using XSL style sheet. Please correct the error and then click the refresh button, or try again later. An invalid character was found in text content..." Can you help? The invalid character changes over time but always the same result.

That happens occasionally. I tend to do a lot of copying and pasting, and sometimes the stuff that I paste contains an invalid character. I really should check it every time I update using an RSS Validator. But I don't.

I've found that some RSS aggregators are very strict about invalid characters, and simply throw up the error and quit. Others just substitute a question mark character.

biff: In one word, describe Pamn's skill level at Excel.

Adequate-for-what-she-uses-it-for

wok: I used to want to have longer hair, but now don't. Don't have any particular reason why I don't anymore. Do you have a reason for having longer hair, and for keeping it longer?

No particular reason. I've had it long for about five years. Pamn likes it, so I just maintain the status quo. I would, however, like to shave it bald and start all over.

wok: If someone bought you a new full sized truck, and you had to drive it every day, would you drive a Chevy, Ford, or Dodge? (All the trucks are identical in features, color, gas mileage, etc.)

What a stupid question. A truck is a truck and I have no idea what distinguishes those three brands.

wok: If you were forced to live in Los Angeles, Manhattan or Dallas for a year, in identical living conditions where would you choose to live? (The cost of living were the same, relatives are in the same proximity, etc.)

Dallas, by process of elimination. I hate L.A. and I have no interest in New York.

wok: What would be your 'desert island' Fast Food item (other than a dessert) and what's your 'desert island' Soda - has to be caffiene free, and not a 'cola.'

Fish tacos from Rubios. Lemonade (it's not "soda," but I don't drink much soda at all).

wok: Name two musicians that to you, are just absolutely innovators and originals, with that certain 'something' that makes their stuff always sound amazing.

Joni Mitchell and Bob Dylan. I'm sure that if I actually thought about this question I'd have a better answer. But Joni and Bob would always be on my short list.

peter: I was wondering how I submit a link for your approval?

Click on the FAQ link (on the left), then scroll down towards the bottom to get the email address. I usually don't respond to such emails. If I like the link, I'll post it with appropriate credit. Also, use the Search feature to make sure it hasn't been covered before (about half of the suggested links have already been posted).

Joe: Are you getting over-excited about the upcoming groundhog day?

I'm excited, of course. But not over-excited.

Philip Dhingra: How's the adsense revenue?

Well, it's not a huge amount of income, but it's steady -- and it's more than I anticipated. Over the course of a month it adds up to a very decent donation to Whole Wheat Radio. Unfortunately, the ads inserted by Google don't change very often and they sometimes lead to sites that I would not recommend.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Google Buys Keyhole

Google is branching out even more: Google buys map provider Keyhole.

Internet search company Google Inc. has acquired Keyhole Corp., a supplier of online satellite maps that allow users to zoom down to street level to specific locations, Google said Wednesday.

The Keyhole Web site already reflects the new ownership.

Google said it had cut the price of Keyhole's mapping service to $29.95 a year from $69.95, effective immediately.

I downloaded the trial version and did what everyone will do first: try to locate their house. The satellite data for my neighborhood is from 2002, prior to when our house was built. But X marks the spot where our house now sits. If I zoom in real tight, I can see my neighbor waving to the camera.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

The First Dog

I didn't realize it but Barney, the White House Dog, has his own Web site. You'll find his bio, several videos, a Q&A section, and a new photo every day.

Here's Barney driving a golf cart.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Delta Airlines Suspends Blogger

From BBC News: Blogger grounded by her airline.

A US airline attendant is fighting for her job after she was suspended over postings on her blog, or online diary.

Queen of the Sky, otherwise known as Ellen Simonetti, evolved into an anonymous semi-fictional account of life in the sky.

But after she posted pictures of herself in uniform, Delta Airlines suspended her indefinitely without pay.

Ms Simonetti was told her suspension was a result of "inappropriate" images. Delta Airlines declined to comment.

Her blog: Diary of a Flight Attendant. This site is probably getting a massive amount of hits, thanks to the free publicity from Delta Airlines.

(Thanks Chas)

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Top 101 Web Sites

For the second time, the J-Walk Blog has made PC Magazine's list of top Web sites: Top 101 Web Sites: Fall.

It's listed in the "Good Reading" category -- along with Boing Boing, Salon, and Slate. Here's what they say:

This blog contains links to anything and everything that amuses J-Walk's creator, John Walkenbach, from master salesman Ron Popeil to the Hamburger Duplicator for potentially ending world hunger. Though he warns that items may or may not interest you, the links and commentary are generally interesting and well written.

If you want to see the entire list of sites, you'll need to click your mouse 101 times. Even then, you may have trouble locating the text blurb for each site, since it occupies about 2% of the page (the rest is ads). As much as I appreciate the recognition, I must admit that PC Magazine's Web site is just about as user-unfriendly as it can possibly be.

To save some time, you can view the complete list here.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Lifestyle Pets

In a few years, Allerca will be selling hypoallergenic cats -- thanks to the miracle of genetic engineering.

The cat allergen is a potent protein secreted by the cat's skin and salivary glands. Removal of the allergen will not harm the cats in any way. The resulting hypoallergenic cats will improve the health and quality of life for millions of cat-allergy sufferers.

While some breeds of cats have been promoted as having less allergen than others, scientists that have tested this hypothesis have shown that all cats, regardless of breed, produce allergen. Allerca will produce the first cats that will not affect human allergies.

Reserve one today. Only $3,500.

By the way, these genetically engineered cats probably won't look like the one shown here.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

LDS Prom Dresses

If you're Mormon, here's a good source for modest prom dresses and wedding gowns: LDS Bridal And Prom.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

100 Facts

From The Nation: 100 Facts and 1 Opinion.

The Non-Arguable Case Against the Bush Administration.

It has 100 facts, and each has a link that purports to back it up.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

1080 In Vietnam

In the US, you can dial 411 to get a telephone number. In Vietnam, they give out even more information: Vietnam's Phone Operators Offer More Than Just Numbers, Everything From History to Sex Advice.

What's the best way to sue my neighbor? How big is Ho Chi Minh's mausoleum? Is surgery necessary to remove a bunion? Am I pregnant?

For answers to these questions, call 1080.

Directory assistance in communist Vietnam goes a lot further than America's 411. It's a combination of a lonely hearts column, Dr. Ruth and general information service, with a force of female operators ready to take on just about anything, 24/7.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

The Lunar Eclipse

The Astronomy Picture of the Day is a handy map that shows when the lunar eclipse will be visible throughout the world.

Tonight's eclipse is easy and convenient for much of the world to see. Anyone who can spot a full Moon can see it fade out as the Earth's shadow engulfs it. No protective glasses or expensive telescopes are needed, just a little moxie.

The above illustration shows how the eclipse will appear across the Earth. The total lunar eclipse starts at 9:14 pm Eastern Daylight Time, equivalent to 1:14 am UT in the morning for sky enthusiasts in the United Kingdom. From the moment the first part of the Moon disappears to the moment that the last part of the Moon reappears will be 3 hours and 40 minutes. For those unfortunate enough to suffer clouds, the eclipse can also be followed over several live webcasts.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Hi Monkey

Here's a strange site: Hi Monkey! It's created by a little white monkey, and it has hundreds (thousands?) of pictures of him.

Here he is in New Orleans, contemplating the purchase of a Lucky Dog. Interestingly, he seems to be a fan of the late John Kennedy Toole.

the lucky dog cart! immortalized in the book "confederacy of dunces". it's a triumph of contemporary design. let's take a moment to admire the clean lines of the bun, the artistic squiggle of the mustard and the life like sizzling goodness of the wiener. all this admiring has made me a little peckish. i'd like one lucky dog with relish, please!

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Google Cheat Sheet

A handy guide to using Google: Cheat Sheet.

You can print it out, and thumbtack it to your monitor.

Posted on 27 October, 2004

Ringtone Sales Charts

Proof, perhaps, that the world is now completely insane: Billboard Rolls Out Cell Phone Ringtone Chart.

Those synthesized tunes that send people grabbing for their cell phones and annoy patrons in restaurants and theaters have been recognized as part of the music industry by Billboard Magazine.

The weekly entertainment industry publication, which tracks top record and CD sales, said it was launching a new chart that will track the popularity of cell phone ringtones, as they are called.

Posted on 27 October, 2004