Saturday, November 13, 2010

Seen recently in the Austin area

Hulu Internet TV

Have you tried it? I just wasted the entire afternoon and early eve watching the entire season of Hell's Kitchen. All the closed caption is garbled on channel 6 so I don't watch the only TV I ever bothered with. House and HK. The House story line seems to have gotten flakey so might not start in on it again. But this is about Internet TV, and in particular

The first time I tried it the streaming was all jerky and slow. Also there was no Closed Captioning, so pointless to watch. My, have things improved. Hulu offers three choices for CC fonts now, black, black background w/white font, and high contrast yellow. I had no problem with streaming either. I am having a problem with losing a portion of the picture with full screen enabled, but the viewing window is easy to see and CC large enough for easy reading. And the commercials.... Oy, the commercials. I do things during commercial breaks. They break for 60 seconds. You can't DO anything in sixty seconds. Oh wait... a PAUSE? TOOOO COOL! An hour long show is just 42 minutes! NINE episodes in just seven hours and that included fixing supper. There is the problem of having to wait until the day after a program airs, but so what? They have the ENTIRE season of many programs. That's a worthy trade off. I think I found a new toy.

"Chinese workers build 15-story hotel in just six days"

"The work crew erected the hotel -- a soundproofed, thermal-insulated structure reportedly built to withstand a magnitude 9 earthquake -- with all prefabricated materials. In other words, a crew of off-site factory workers built the sections, and their on-site counterparts arranged them on the foundation for the Ark project.

"Despite the frenetic pace of construction, no workers were injured -- and thanks to the prefab nature of the process, the builders wasted very few construction materials."

I have to wonder what condition the hotel will be in, say, ten years from now.

What I woke up to this morning...

I'm sure you all have heard about the storm here in MN. Thought I would share a few pictures in case you guys forgot what snow looked like. ;)

Friday, November 12, 2010

Egg on my face

I have been mistakenly attributing videos submitted to the JTI to cyndi, who used to post here, when, in fact, they have been submitted by someone else.

Today on the Racine Post, I spouted off on a commentary written by Mary Beth Danielson, crediting her with running a local website, Racine Uncovered, when, again, it is someone else.

And I'm the guy who's always yammering about lying John.

Now the yolk is on me.

Thank You Applebee's (and other Vet friendly places)

Last night (afternoon) I took Dirty Bob over to Applebee's and we had a free meal. I had the oriental Chicken salad, and he had the steak. I hate to take advantage as I want the to continue this service for Vets, so I ordered drinks and the house appetizer platter. We left stuffed. We got there at 3:45 and the parking lot was full. People were already starting to park in the mall lot area. Luckily we got one of the last open tables in the back. When we left (about 5ish) the line went out the door and down the sidewalk. There were a LOT of gray hairs there early but the crowd when we left was more middle aged.

Texas Steak house was giving away a free blooming onion.
The restaurant at Marriots had a special (we were told)
A seafood place in Glendale (Much too far)
And Monday Golden Corral is offering a free meal to Vets too.
DQ on Washington stopped their give away the year after they won the Red white and blue paint scheme on their building. (no comment)

Bob and I plan lunch there next Monday. Hate the evening crowds. Anyhow thank you to all the places that salute our Vets. Please be sure to frequent them in the future.

Belated Open Blog - Weekend

"I'm late, I'm late for a very important date
No time to say 'Hello,' 'Goodbye'
I'm late, I'm late, I'm late, I'm late
And when I wave, I lose the time I save
My fuzzy ears and whiskers
Took me too much time to shave"

Sorry, I overslept...

It Was a Dark and Stormy Night...

Is the classic horrible opening line of dialogue which has inspired the Bulwer-Lytton fiction contest. Held annually since 1982, the goal is to have people write the worst possible opening line of a novel. This year's winner:

" For the first month of Ricardo and Felicity's affair, they greeted one another at every stolen rendezvous with a kiss--a lengthy, ravenous kiss, Ricardo lapping and sucking at Felicity's mouth as if she were a giant cage-mounted water bottle and he were the world's thirstiest gerbil. "

by Molly Ringle of Seattle Washington.

You can read all the runner-ups and winners in different categories at their minimalist website.

Four for Fridays

Hello everyone! Glad that Friday is around! I get to take my girlfriend home today after her being in the hospital from a surgery. This weeks' questions are about hospitals...

1) Have you ever had surgery?

2) Have you ever had any broken bones?

3) Have you ever spent the night in the hospital?

4) What do you think of the hospital food?

Sorry to be a pain...:P Enjoy your weekend!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

November 11, 2010 - Venterans Day

Thank a Vet for your Freedom

Please click on the start button and rise for the playing of taps for all who gave the ultimate sacrifice.

The Omega Sunset

I have been a little behind and negligent posting recently. I will try to get back on a more regular schedule here.

First thing I want to share was taken in late September when I was in Florida. I got some nice pictures of sunset. Here is the first one.

Look closely at the horizon. You see a little bit of orange beneath the Sun. Here is the next picture.

As you can see, that bit of orange has risen up to meet the setting Sun. This phenomena is called an inferior mirage (those little spiky things are trees from Egmont Key. They are also distorted by Earth's atmosphere). What you are seeing is a mirage of the Sun. The warm water bends the Sunlight as it comes toward you resulting in a second inverted image of the Sun beneath the setting Sun. As the Sun sets, the mirage moves upward and they meet. The resulting shape looks like the Greek letter omega and this phenomena is sometimes called an omega sunset. The physical process is the same as the one that gives the "wet road" illusion on a hot summer day. In this case the mirage is due to the warm waters of the Gulf of Mexico.

Frequently these sunsets are accompanied by a green flash (called, not surprisingly, an inferior mirage flash). I did not get a green flash on this trip, probably due to a somewhat hazy atmosphere scattering the green light (shorter wavelength light is scatter more than longer wavelength light).

Unfortunately, my camera died on this trip...the shutter went bad and then when I got it back the power board went (they are fixing that for free) but the upshot is, I have been without my camera for a while and I am getting antsy to get it back and start shooting again!

Reprinted with permission from the Half-Astrophysicist Blog.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Dear Madame Zoltar

Hello, my heavenly bodies! How are you? Oh my, it sure gets dark early now. Ladies, keep an extra sharp eye out for purse snatchers and muggers. Keep one hand on your cell phone and the other on your .38. It’s always smart to be careful.

Isn’t this weather something – again? Is this Indian Summer, or did we already have that? Or are we allowed more than one? By the way, I hope no one is offended by my use of the term “Indian Summer.” I usually refer to our Native Americans as Native Americans. (By default, that makes the rest of us Immigrant Americans.) Native American Summer just doesn’t sound right, though. In any case, thank you again, Mother Nature, for the fine weather.

Oh dear, last week I was all fumbles and talked about our preeminent and radiant Green Bay Packers being on a bye this past weekend. I thought they were going to face the Dallas Cowboys this coming weekend. I had no idea that they were playing until Grandma Zoltar called me Sunday afternoon and said she heard on the television that they were playing that night. I am so sorry for posting the wrong information. Thankfully, because of Grandma, I watched the game and saw our Packers’ glorious romp over the downtrodden Cowboys. Hurrah! Hurrah! Long live the Packers!

After the elections last week, everyone seems to be walking around in a “now what?” daze. Will anything really change? If so, what and how? The uncertainty is like an itch we cannot scratch… And are you ready for the holidays coming up? It’s only two more weeks to Thanksgiving. There are always plans to be coordinated amongst family and friends concerning where and when they will be celebrating. I don’t know if I’m ever really ready for Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Years, but they approach nonetheless. Sometimes I think it’s better if I don’t give too much thought to the season and just take it one day at a time. That way, I don’t get too worked up and I can enjoy some of the holiday cheer. But if Thanksgiving, or any of the other holidays, is celebrated at your house, then you already know what a production it can be. Try some of Madame Zoltar’s Chronic Nerve Tonic® to get you through the onslaught.

I so enjoyed the St. Luke’s Bottle Band’s performance of “Peacherine Rag” that Mr. OrbsCorbs posted earlier. ( In fact, I enjoyed it so much that I searched YouTube for more videos of them. Sure enough, there are a few out there. In anticipation and honor of the upcoming holidays, here is their rendition of “Auld Lang Syne/1812 Overture” from the Late Show three years ago:

Thank you so much for reading my blog this week. I love you all, my dear dears. It warms my heart to “commune” with my friends. Irregulars, regulars, and trans-regulars unite! Together we stand as a force of goodwill. Together we transcend negativity and launch a loving wave of Irregularity over the planet. Oh my, did I say that?

Launch your doubts and cast your aspersions towards:

Love, kisses, and candy to you all. May every step you take go forward, no matter which direction you choose. Stay warm – hot, even, if that’s your style. Hexarchy!

Open Blog - Wednesday

Is that a squirrel? With fangs?

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Autumn Around the World

Hitler Melts Down Over Randy Moss's Release

Caution: Language Advisory!
Here's another video from cindy. It is part of the Hitler meme which is big on YouTube. This one has some local flavor to it:

Atheists Don't Have No Songs

I have been in a blogging funk recently...hopefully can get myself inspired to pick it up again soon.

In the meantime, I give you Steve Martin and his new hit song...he still has a few funnies left in him!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Propoganda (or just another conspiracy theory)

Most excellent propaganda.

This is my college degree. I went through three years of acquiring a "tool box," of how to use psychological studies of key words that cause flash points in demographics, and how to interpret reams of data gathered from on line profiles. Concepts like indo ctrination of ideas, to inoculating those ideas against outside reason. I learned well and my own senior thesis has been used as a quoted study. (On a side note, my school demanded Master level work for a Senior thesis. Kind of proud of that.) My class mates have gone on to work for the CIA, campaign speeches, advertising agencies, and writing comprehensive manuals. It wasn't until my Senior year that they tied it all together on how to manipulate public thinking. My shock was likened to a magician learning his trade and finding out his profession was capable of great evil. So there are times I see a master stroke, where others might see derisive conspiracy theories. Here is one such.

A group of posters started posting job spam;

"Joann, You wouldn't believe me, but it's easier now to get a job. A lot of employers use the internet now to list good jobs (with good pay). Stop wasting gas and time driving around. Here's a site that lists all the jobs available in your city. Go to"

First it started with no personalized name with just the message starting at "You wouldn't.... " and then went to the more chummy personalized prefix. This was enough to start an anti spam coalition. Once there was a foot in the door with the phrase "You wouldn't... " it became an automatic response to find fault with the poster and everything to do with the poster. Having started this distaste by the reader of a Yahoo news blog(ger), allowed the real reason for this indoctrination of distaste. They started adding reasonableness with sense making pre-posts like;

"The Fed is "printing" money and everyone thinks this will cause hyper inflation so gold is going up. But, nobody is taking out new loans and the banks are not loaning to anyone. So, it doesn't matter how much money the Fed prints when it isn't going anywhere. We are actually in a deflationary spiral in which businesses don't borrow and banks don't lend and prices are going down. But, almost overnight, the scene could change to hyper inflation. Therefore, we are in uncharted waters. Nothing has ever been so screwed up before!. Joann, You wouldn't believe me, but it's easier now to get a job. A lot of employers use the internet now to list good jobs (with good pay). Stop wasting gas and time driving around. Here's a site that lists all the jobs available in your city. Go to"

This was in a news article blog about gold going past $1,400 today. Notice how it starts with a real sense making fact, and then blasts into what has become an automated thumbs down response by other posters. While Hale Bopp may know his quasars, I know propaganda when I see it. Others may look at it all and tell me I'm doing a paranoiacs "They're everywhere" knee jerk, but if this isn't a text book example of what I learned at college, I'll eat the books I still have on persuasion and tailoring public opinion.

It bugs me this sort of thing is so pervasive and the public really has no antibodies to either recognize it or fight it off. Sadly this is one area where having half of the public left of the Bell curve really hurts society. The other sad fact is that people just don't have the time to go past the first level of fact checking if they fact check at all. Trust me, there is a faction that will ridicule this known fact and sure enough twenty posts later someone actually parroted the anti fact of this truth.

We are so screwed. The patient is sick and has no idea just how bad it is. Germany post WWI. Wiley Coyote has run off the cliff and can't look down or he will fall.

Peacherine Rag

" Performance by the St. Luke's Bottle Band, St. Luke's Lutheran Church, Park Ridge, Illinois, May 6, 2007. Join the 'Fans of the St. Luke's Bottle Band' group on Facebook for the latest news."

I received a link to this in an email entitled "Hitting the Bottle." I think it's a hoot.

Open Blog - Monday

Don't even get out of bed: make it a TKO.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

"Laptop use on laps might reduce sperm quality: report"

"(Reuters Life!) - Using a laptop computer as the name suggests may not be good for male reproductive health, according to a study.

"And there is little that can be done about it, aside from using the laptop on a desk, said Yelim Sheynkin, a urologist at the State University of New York at Stony Brook who led the study published in Fertility and Sterility.

"In the study, thermometers were used to measure the temperature of the scrotums of 29 young men balancing a laptop on their knees. Even with a lap pad under the computer, the men's scrotums overheated quickly."

An overheated scrotum is no joke. That's how you develop vapor lock and your swimmers get blocked.

Great night to be a Packers fan.

I'd really like to see the Bears get pounded like Dallas.

Walrus Exercises with Trainer

Submitted by the inimitable cyndi:

That's about how much exercise I can do, too.