October 14, 2008

Something cool for you multiple monitor geeks

Recently, at work, I was given the option of a laptop or a desktop. Since the desktop came with a 21" monitor, I opted for the desktop, notwithstanding that "management's preferred option is the laptop". I cited the reduced strain on my eyes and management said, "Okley-dokley." Anyway, a couple of weeks later, my boss mentioned that laptop users were now being given the option of having a 21" in addtion to the built-in on the laptop. Of course I said yes.

The cool thing about newer laptops is the ability to have multiple monitors. However, I found it quite maddening to try and keep track of what was open on each monitor. Invariably, I'd tab through my open applications to the one that I wanted it and said application would be on the other monitor, at which point I'd drag it over to where I wanted it to be. And then I'd promptly forget about it until I attempted to use the program again.

Never fear, though: someone has fixed my problem for me. I give you Oscar's Multi-Monitor taskbar. Excerpt:

Normal Windows XP or Vista:


All windows are displayed on the primary monitors taskbar regardless on which monitor they are opened.

With Multimon Taskbar:


Second Task bar is added to the extended monitor and it displays item from that monitor while primary taskbar displays items from the primary window...

TaskBar (freeware)

  • It adds second taskbar to the extended desktop on Monitor 2
  • It can add third taskbar to the second Extended monitor if you have 3 monitors setup.
  • It shows only applications from that Monitor
  • It hides the applications on Monitor 2 and 3 from normal Windows Taskbar
  • Adds a Move to Monitor button to windows applications (XP).
  • Add Text Clipboard Extender
  • Buttons to roll-right the taskbar (good for full screen Remote Desktop)
  • Very carefully written, I don't want to crash my own desktop!

There is a pro version, which costs money and, to be frank, is a bit more robust. However, I've found the freeware version to be just fine. Also, there are some more features which I won't bother to discuss. You can find out about those features here.

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October 13, 2008

Words of wisdom from Gerard

"I prefer bazookas to burkas," and other sound reasons women should continue to take their clothes off.

Jaw dropping eye candy photo of the exquisite Keeley Hazell ,courtesy of American Digest.

Update: For those so inclined, I hear that the voluptuous Ms. Hazell appeared in September's issue of Playboy.

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Good news

Psych has been renewed for a 4th season.

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My liver is in open revolt

And my kidneys have decided to vacation on the French Riviera to recuperate from this past weekend's trip to the GABF. On the plus side, the ache in my feet has subsided and the foul emissions of methane (prompted by lots of cask conditioned ales plus lots and lots of greasy food) have been reduced to a point where coworkers in neighboring cubes have stopped clawing at their throats and faces.

Lots of pictures and commentary to post in the near future. To whet your appetite, or kill it as the case may be, I'll leave you with this shot of me. While I truly have a face for radio, I will offer the defense that I was sleep deprived and alcohol, well, whatever the opposite of deprived is. Picture below the fold, for those of you with strong stomachs.


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October 08, 2008

Worth 1000 words

A friend sent me the email link to today's Woot item, along with this comment:

Check out today's www.woot.com product description.

sounds almost exactly like what I heard last night

And here is the image. more...

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October 07, 2008

Getting started with Linux

Sure, I'm a KDE sort of a fellow, but lots of people love Ubuntu and its Gnome interface. Here's a quick How To Set Up Ubuntu on your computer tutorial. It's pretty short, so I won't excerpt anything from it. Just click on over, if you're so inclined.

BTW, I'm about to replace my PC's hard drive with something much larger than currently resides within my tower. However, the smallish hard drive will be ideal for installing some version of Linux; I'm leaning towards MEPIS 8.0, which looks pretty slick. The reason for two hard drives, rather than partitioning a single one is that I don't want a crash to wipe out two operating systems at the same time. And, if I'm feeling really adventurous, I'll add a third HD with the OS X (open source Mac clone) installed on it. Nothing like 3 operating systems to let the whole world know how freaking geeky you really are.

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Something really important

Well, I know that many of you are worried about our imminent slide into a socialist country. Think of the bright side: for those of us who have wanted to visit France, electing a Marxist makes things easier. By taxing and spending the ever living crap out of us, we'll become France. No need to buy expensive plane tickets.

Anyway, too many of you are obsessing over November 4. I will admit to having done so on occasion myself. However, November 1 & 2 are much more important days in that The Legend of the Seeker kicks off. Here are some more images for you to compare to the images you had already conjured up in your brain.


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Technical difficulties

My main email server is struggling right now. I cannot retrieve emails past September 19. Apparently, something is bogging the server down in the worst way. I will clean it off tonight, but in so doing, I'm likely to erase any emails that anyone has sent to me during the last month. In other words, don't take it personally. I really would like to respond to you, but I'm simply not able right now.

Yes, I have another email address that I could post here, but I'm not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent. Too many spambots, don't ya know.

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October 06, 2008

Useful site

If you have a certain wmv file that you want to convert to Flash Video (flv) format and upload to YouTube, you might check out this site, which allows you to convert between multiple video formats. Just an FYI.

Update: See below the fold, if YouTube hasn't pulled it yet. more...

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GABF personal update

Well, this Thursday morning, around oh-shit thirty, I and 3 friends will drag ourselves to the airport, at which point we'll get lashed to the wings and dragged along at 37,000 feet to Denver.

Oh wait, I wasn't able to use frequent flyer miles. We paid cash this time, which means that we'll get to ride inside, which is nice.

I still don't know what geographic area of the Convention Center I will be assigned to, but you might be able to find me wandering around downtown Denver Thursday, Friday and Saturday. At least one of those days, probably Thursday, I'll be at Rock Bottom Brewery along the 16th Street Marketplace. I'll be easy to find, as I'll be wearing my Ace t-shirt or my Nuke the Moon t-shirt from IMAO. Probably the former, though, because I want to wear the nuke shirt around Boulder just to see how people respond.

Oh, and late Thursday night, we'll finish off the day with a Thai Pie washed down with some Fat Tire at Old Chicago's. We'll be easy to find, as we'll be the guys who haven't slept in 24 hours while drinking massive quantities of beer.

Come to think of it, we won't be that easy to find. The GABF brings lots of like minded individuals to Denver.

Update: Well, I know where we'll be now. From an email received about 30 seconds ago:

We have 1 ½ islands this year. The full island is a combination of Colorado, Utah, Wyoming, and Montana.
Oh and we also have the Bull & Bush band in our area again.

The Bull & Bush group is a lot of fun. I'll make nice again with them to try and score some swag. Oh, and come Saturday evening, I'll have enough temporary beer tatoos on my face and arms that it'll look like I stepped out of a Ray Bradbury novel.

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Liquidity of assets

Sure, you've already seen this everywhere else. I'm simply filling the gap by placing it here on this blog as well.

If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Delta Airlines one year ago, you will
have $49.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in AIG one year ago, you will have $33.00 today. If you had purchased $1,000 of shares in Lehman Brothers one year ago, you will have $0.00 today. But, if you had purchased $1,000 worth of beer one year ago, drank all the beer, then turned in the aluminum cans for recycling refund, you will have received $214.00. Based on the above, the best current investment plan is to drink heavily & recycle.

It is called the 401-Keg.

A recent study found that the average American walks about 900 miles a year. Another study found that Americans drink, on average, 22 gallons of alcohol a year. That means that, on average, Americans get about 41 miles to the gallon!

Makes you proud to be an American!

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October 05, 2008

In game analysis of Steelers-Jaguars

Watching Pittsburgh manhandle Jacksonville in the first half, while managing to gain only a 6 point advantage, I remembered many other Steelers' games that looked like this. Pittsburgh more than dominated, but failed to capitalize, keeping the Jaguars one touchdown and an extra point away from victory. Just now, Jacksonville scored and took the lead. If you're Steelers' fan (I'm not), this should look eerily familiar.

In other NFL news, Miami one their second game in a row. And the Cardinals are in first place. The end times must surely be nigh.

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October 04, 2008

More from the TV wayback machine

Back in 184, Joe Piscopo has a comedy special on HBO. There were pretty funny skits: one where he did an "HBO Sports" special, with Eddy Murphy as Carl Lewis; one where he spoofed the Thriller video as the Nutty Professor; and one in which he played the lead singer of the Deltones, who had a gig singing to a mob boss. I mentioned it to my a friend today; he had never seen it. Anyhoo, I headed over to YouTube, and darned if they didn't have the video up. Jim Treacher once remarked on one of his blogs (not the Puce, because that would have been unreadable) that "YouTube is going to destroy this country and I don't care". I happen to agree with him.

I'll embed the video below the fold so that it won't hang your browser while it loads:

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October 03, 2008

From the wayback cartoon machine

So Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear (Hey, Boo Boo, what's in that pick-a-nick basket?) turned 50 on October 2. While I'm not old enough to remember when the show actually first aired, I remember vividly watching as a small child. I've recently introduced my children to those characters, courtesy of the Boomerang Channel.

Here's one that you might remember: Where's Huddles? I enjoyed both the comic book and the cartoon. One episode, if 38 year memory serves, involved Huddles building a swimming pool in his backyard. His neighbor mentioned that he had a "5 figure check", which made the pool digging guy quite happy. Until, that is, he discovered that 2 of those figures were to the right of the decimal point.

I know what you're thinking right now: what the heck is wrong with you, and why do you remember crap like this?

In response, I'll point to the back of the exceedingly long line of other curious people. Much like sitting on Santa's lap, you'll just have to wait your turn to find out.

Update: I'm still amazed by what you can find on YouTube here, here and here.

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My reaction

Okay, once more into the political breach. I did watch the veep debate last night, while simultaneously following threads on 3-5 blogs; my wife called me an absolute dork. Anyway, I thought that Palin did well. There were times when she was out of her depth on subjects (not surprising, she's been on the national stage for about 5 weeks), but she managed to swerve into similar experience earned in her capacity as mayor and governor. Biden also did okay, but I think, at times, he forgot about the split screen when Gov. Palin was speaking. Gore lost the election when people all over the country saw him sighing and making upset faces whenever Bush spoke during their first debate. However, one downside for Joe was that he lied. A lot. Shamelessly and repeatedly, as if by sheer repetition he could make his statements more true. I'm a political junkie, so I noticed 8-10 of Senator Biden's prevarications right when he said them. I realize that debaters will, at times, stretch the truth in ways that serve their purpose, but I did not know that being able to spout complete bullshit was allowed, or that said spouting would be considered a net positive. Jonah has a pretty good analysis of this:

What struck me the most about the debate – and it probably helped having quintessential Obamaphiles in the room – was how Biden’s “gravitas” is derived almost entirely from the fact that he can lie with absolute passion and conviction. He just plain made stuff up tonight. I read a long list tonight in my debate with Beinart here at Wash U, we can visit the details tomorrow.

Just a few: Flatly asserting that Obama never said he’d meet with Achmenijad; that absolute nonsense about spending more in a month in Iraq than we’ve spent in Afghanistan (“let me say it again,” he said as if he was hammering home a real fact); the bit about McCain voting with Obama on raising taxes; his vote in favor of the war etc.

It’s amazing how the impulse to see Biden as the more qualified and serious guy stems almost entirely from his ability to be a convincing b.s. artist. I’m not saying Palin was always honest or unrehearsed, but when she offers up a catchphrase or a talking point, you can tell. When Biden spews up a warm fog of deceitful gassbaggery the response seems to be “what a great grasp of the issues he has!”

His ability, nay his eagerness, to fake not only the “facts” but his sincerity is so shameless many pundits seem either mesmerized by it or scared to call him on it. I’d call his fakery passive aggressive except it’s actually just aggressive aggressive. Beyond being a tool of trial lawyers, I never saw much similarity between Biden and John Edwards, but tonight I was really struck by how alike the two are. Edwards fakes being an everyman, and Biden does too. But his real fraud is intellectual seriousness. He talks like an intellectually mature person, but that’s all it is – talk.

Update: More from Jonah:

And, again, I never said that Palin was pure. My point is that Biden showed himself to an exceptionally facile liar. He makes stuff up with great passion, conviction and seeming command of the substance. So it just bugs me when people say he's better on the substance. I could be a great physicist if I'm not held to a requirement to be factually correct;

"Well, Gwen, that's an interesting question. As we all know the hamster spinning at the earth's core runs in a counter-clockwise direction. Let me repeat that so everyone understands. That hamster does not run in a clockwise direction, that would be madness. It's counter clockwise. That's why our lakes and rivers don't simply turn into a fine mist, and why our atmosphere doesn't simply spontaneously combust. This is something that my dear friend John McCain just doesn't understand. And it saddens me."

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October 02, 2008

Playoff brackets

September madness.jpg

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October 01, 2008

Tomorrow night's debate

I posted this in the comments over at Wachel's site, but I, being a narcissistic asshole, decided to post it here as well.

Ifill: Good evening, America. Tonight is the Vice Presidential debate between the charismatic, experienced, intelligent Senator, Mr. Everyman himself, Joe Biden, and his slow-witted opponent, the former mayor of Wasilla. Now let’s begin

Question #1: Senator Biden-can I call you Joe?-, please tell us about how much you love your family and how it pains you to have to leave them for hours every day, riding Amtrak in to DC to do work on behalf of the American people.

Joe Biden: Snakes! Get ‘em off me!

Iffil: Thank you, Joe. Now, former mayor Palin, please explain to everyone why a bubble-headed former beauty pageant runner-up like yourself should even be included in this debate? Please, no mention of “I was asked to be on the ticket” because you’ll only embarrass yourself.

Gov. Palin: Gwen, I’d first like to say that maybe someone should help Senator Biden.

::Biden beating his head on the podium::

And next, I’d like to–

Ifill: Time’s up. Onto the next question.

Gov. Palin: I thought that I’d be allowed to respond?

Ifill: HAHAHAHAHA! You thought?! You’re killing me! HAHAHA! ::sniffs, wipes away tears:: Anyway, Senator Biden, please tell us why you graciously allowed to share the stage with this killer of polar bears.

Biden: ::whipping out his junk and shaking it at the camera:: Look! I can go pee-pee like a big boy now.

::proceeds to urinate on stage::

Gov. Palin: Ms. Ifill, isn’t this a bit inappropriate?

Ifill: No one cares about your prudish, Puritanical ideas. Now go back to blaming rape victims, or raping them yourself, or whatever you do when your husband isn’t incestuously breeding with your gap-toothed offspring.

::another 45-50 minutes or so of this::

Ifill: Now, one final questions for our next Vice President and the stupid bimbo who shares the stage with him. Please tell us, in your own words, why you would make a good Vice President. Sarah, go first.

Gov. Palin: Gwen, I’d first like to point out that I’m really worried about Senator Biden.

::points at Biden, who has just set his hair on fire ::

And I’d like to say that as your Vice President I will-

Ifill: HAHAHAHA! You actually think you can win?! Bitch please! Oh my, but that’s funny. Senator Biden, I’ll give you the last word.

Biden: EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE! ::running naked around the stage::

Ifill: Thank you, Senator Biden. And thank you, America.

Post-debate reviews
Chris Matthews: I think that Senator Biden really touched a chord deep within the American people tonight, showing that he was really one of us. Sarah showed that, pretty as she is, she really isn’t ready for primetime. Keith?

Keith Olbermann: I’d just like to say that I touched myself when Biden ran naked around the stage. And I know that everyone in America was doing the same. Let’s just call off the election right now.


Ahh well, it should be an interesting spectacle. It reminds of this old joke about who gets to leave in the lifeboats. The first man is asked how many Titanic passengers survived. The second is asked how many drowned. The third is asked to name them. I kind of think that that is how the debate will go.

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Linux games on Live DVD

Everyone who plays computer games has, at one time or another, seen a game and thought, gee that looks cool, and then installed it on his/her PC, only to be disappointed when the game wouldn't easily travel with you.

Okay, that second point was more important before laptops became so ubiquitous, but it's still -somewhat- valid. Anyway.

Now, though, you can carry a Live DVD of Linux games. All you need to do is carry the DVD with you, pop it in the drive, boot up your computer and off you go. Sounds like a great deal to me. Excerpt:

lg-live is a live Linux DVD pre-installed with some of the top linux games out there. You just boot from your dvd, select your game and start playing. As simple as that.

Minimum requirements for the games to run:

- AMD 1800+
- 512MB ram
- ATI Radeon 8500 (NVIDIA GeForce3)

The liveDVD itself is based on ArchLinux and comes pre-loaded with 13 popular Linux games, and more are planned for future release. Some of the games currently available are:

Astromenace is a brilliant 3d scroll-shooter allowing you to feel the adrenalin rush of a fierce space battle against relentless swarms of alien invaders. Immerse into a decisive battle against tons of cunning foes, face the terrifying bosses and protect your homeland throughout 15 diverse levels of the game. The hardcore gameplay of AstroMenace, packed with pure non-stop action, will become a full scale test for your basic instinct of survival.

Battle Tanks is a funny battle on your desk, where you can choose one of three vehicles and eliminate your enemy using the whole arsenal of weapons. It has original cartoon-like graphics and cool music, it’s fun and dynamic, it has several network modes for deathmatch and cooperative — what else is needed to have fun with your friends? And all is packed and ready for you in “Battle Tanks”.

Glest is a real time strategy game which is freely available. The game is settled in an ancien

There's a lot more. Check it out if you're so inclined.

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