Thursday, December 20, 2007

TV Chores

TV Chores

Well its Monday night so I guess it is time to do the chores. Take out the trash, load the dishwasher, throw in a load of laundry, oh and watch Heroes. Yeah, I know I know it seems like you just watched Heroes, but there is another one, a new one, and you have already invested so much time you can't quit now. Don't get me wrong I used to love Heroes back when it was all about people discovering their cool new powers and using them to prevent a catastrophe in a fast paced (sometime edge of your chair) thrill ride. Every episode left you wondering what will happen next, @ least for me.

This season they have tried to really delve deeper into the characters personalities. As it turned out, I didn't care. Then there are the new characters, who quite frankly, are lame. Each one with a power and matching accent that is more infuriating than the one before. Ability to kill people with your eyes = subtitled Spanish, Indestructible morally questionable samurai = Somehow British (PS stop ripping off other peoples powers), Quick learner = worst Cajun accent I have ever heard, Electricity = Ditzy Veronica Mars (way to break that typecast). As far as I can see none of these powers, with the exception of the rehashed indestructible cheerleader, are any better than a good old fashioned handgun. Sure shooting lightening is pretty cool, but is it really any more deadly than actually shooting someone. At least the gun lets you pinpoint who you kill which is much better than the evil black contact lenses that just kill whoever happens to be around. Plus, the gun does not talk which is much better than listening to your horrible impersonation of what impoverished black people from New Orleans sound like, or worse subtitles.

Which brings me to... Reading. Don't get me wrong I love reading, and surprisngly I read a fair amount. Articles, magazines, technical papers, Humerous blogs, occasionally even a novel, but when I am watching tv I would prefer if the would just tell me what they are saying. I know that NBC is sneakily trying to work spanish into all of there shows to glean some market share from our hispanic population, but why all the other stuff. Japanese, Hatian, Jibberish, It's just so much reading, which at the very least, is distracting from whats happening on screne.

I guess there is not much you can do. It happens to all of my favorite shows eventually part of the slow decline in any shows lifespan going from groundbreaking to intresting, to lackluster, to boring / repeditive, to canceled. Hey remember ER wasn't that a great show. What it is still on... Huh. What about Lost? Is anybody still really intrested in that? And the 4400, that was a good one. Some decline more quickly than others, but the end is all the same. At least the Sopranos went out in a blaze of glory, not really at the top of their game but while I was still intrested. Some shows you may continue watching long past their prime just out of a sense of commitment or nostalga, but sooner or later you realize that your favorite show is just a shell of its former self, withering slowly like your favorite grandparent. Now it is more of a chore to watch it than anything else, and like your chores you try to put it off (DVR), and try to avoid it, but it is not going to watch it self. So sit you butt down and watch your shows, or no dessert. Thats right you heard me.

Monday, December 17, 2007



Why do people insist on continuing to make flat head (slotted) screws. These have to be the most infuriating outdated piece of technology since the home telephone (oh you still have one of those... Sorry). So clearly no one would ever buy these on purpose although the do still sell them, but what is most upsetting is that they are included in whatever new fixture or accessories you buy. To make matters worse they are usually some unique size or shape that could never be duplicated with another type of head configuration even if you wanted to put out the effort.

So what is so horrible about the slotted screw? Well, first of all there is nothing to hold the driver in the screw. Even if you have a regular screwdriver you have maybe 2 good turns until you slide out the side, probably scraping you knuckles in the process. Second, in the same motion you have probably ripped off half of the metal of the screw. Now you have a decision to make. Either you back the screw out and start over, or you lean into it and try to power it in there knowing that if you do manage to get ti all the way in it will be left as a mangled razor sharp piece of steel destined to cut you whenever you come within 10 feet of it. And that is just what you can do with a screw driver. Remember that 18V hammer drill you finally convinced your wife you needed. Well throw that into the equation and you have a situation that can only possible end with you swearing and asking where the band-aids are. If you are lucky as the screw was simultaneously destroyed and drill flew off in some direction, probably gouging whatever you were working on or your hand, the screw made it most of the way in.

So whats better? Virtually everything. Since virtually all screws today are manufactured with cold forming any one of a myriad of head types are possible, and all are better than the slotted screw. What more is THEY ALL COST THE SAME AMOUNT TO MAKE. So for the same price as that crap ass slotted screw you could have had a #2 Phillips that everyone has a bit for (it came w/ your drill) and everybody likes. Of you could have had a T25 Torx, an awesome driver guaranteed (by me) not to cam out. You can literally drive a 3in T25 wood screw all the way through a pressure treated 4x4 and out the other side. Or at the very least how about something to please everyone. The combination head will let you use a common slotted driver or a Philips driver. Why would you not at the very least make one of these.

So why do these horrible devil screw keep ending up in my life? I don't know. Maybe there is some huge warehouse of them somewhere and the cannot seem to get rid of them all. Maybe there is an older VP somewhere who thinks they build character. Maybe that same VP only owns a flat head screwdriver and damn if he is going to change. Whatever the reason, there is little sign of them leaving my life so aside from complaining there is little I can do. I guess now is the time in my life when I should start working my way up the ladder at the screw factory so that someday there will be no more slotted screws and the world will be a safer place for my children. Of course by that time everything will be held together with "ultra glue" and there will be no need for such silly things as screws.

Thursday, December 13, 2007



So how is it possible that google is so freakin awesome? It seems that anytime I am going to do something I find out that there is already a google app to do it for me.

First of all gmail is awesome. I had to do something on my wife's Yahoo account the other day and I thought I was going to have a seizure. I was instantly accosted with pop ups, flashing adds, and side bar adds that defiantly border on inappropriate. Not that google doesn't have any adds they are just presented in a different way. Instead of trying to sell me something I don't want or "trick" me into visiting their site (no you will not win a free iPod), it is like they are trying to help me out w/ suggestions of things I might like. eg: I have several emails about SCBA, and gmail puts some small text adds for breathing apparatus in the side bar. I have an email about a pasta dinner, and gmail gives me some adds for pasta sauce and recipes. I would be worried about google stalking me, reading my email and looking over my shoulder, but I am comforted by the sheer volume of email. So yes the google Master Control Program (see Tron) is stalking you but it is also stalking everyone else and in all likeliness no human eyes will ever lay eyes on your email confirming your Penile enlargement procedure, but I'm sure google will still suggest several penile enlargement alternatives. Google does not want you to jump into anything uninformed.

So what about space? Well, I'm glad you asked. I am currently using 4% of 5.7GB. That may not mean much to you,but consider this. I have not ever deleted anything... sure a spam or two, but if you ever sent me something it is in there, and I am still at 4%. How about this, my work email for which the company pays enormous amounts of money gives me 100MB, and it sucks.
Gmail is 100% searchable with the google search engine that you know and love. My work email is 100% not serchable. So why wouldn't corporations just switch over to gmail? THEY CAN. In fact they can even use their own domain name for emails and chats, and whats more if they use the standard version... ITS FREE.

Did I mention there is an integrated chat program that doesn't suck. It's true, It's True. Gmail chat can either pop little chat windows into your gmail window or you can pop them out to their own window or you can use the standalone gmail chat window, and wait for it... It saves all of your chats with your mails so if someone gave you a phone # on im some time its still there in your saved chats you can go and find and and you can even seach them just like you can with your emails. If you want to chat w/ out the MCP watching (see above) you can turn it off. How great is that?

Whats better is you do not have to install anything. In fact you do not have to install anything for any of the google apps they all run conveniently from your browser (that think you are using to read this blog). That means that you can use it on any computer anywhere, and no fancy ports to configure with your firewall, no versions to upgrade, no unwanted addons that try to slipstream into the installs. Just what you want quick and easy.

Why doesn't everyone use it?
I don't know
It was a rhetorical question

Oh an they have a blog service too, in fact you are reading it right now, and it is surprisingly easy to set up, and it all uses your same credentials, and it is surprisingly easy to add content, and...

Well it is clear that this is not going to all fit into 1 entry (or should not), but I thought it only fair that this should be the first entry since google did give me the blog. Lets rename this one:
I ♥ GOOGLE (1 of 5)

That should give me some time to rant about some other things before revisiting my man-crush on google services, though, this does seem like a pretty good start.

Oh, one more thing.
All of it, the maps, the chats, the mail , the blog, the web space all free. All they ask in return is your love, and if it wouldn't kill you, you could click on one of those adds once in a while.