Archive for June, 2006

Shameless YouTube Links: Bunnies!

June 29, 2006

I promised that Shameless YouTube Links would become a regular feature and so it has.  This week’s video links specifically intended and designed to get hits on my blog?  Bunnies!  Yes, that’s right folks, cute, little, fuzzy-wuzzy bunnies!

Six videos of rabbits, my friends, designed to make you say:  “Awwww, how cuuuuuuuute!” Or, for the hunters among you:  MMMmmm!  Dinner!  I leave it up to you which camp you’re in.

Me, I’m just in it for the hits.  😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJWl7m5Y38w
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R4h9zV2bHvU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GFgJLbPT4ow
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MPoB3Ewkfys
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-LPIoGx3cFU
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iot9gUR857U

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Topics for Friday Night Party Line for June 30, 2006.

June 28, 2006

Here are the topics we’ll cover on the show this week. Please check out our “best of” show from last week (it’s our most popular show ever) at www.fridaynightpartyline.com.

–Is podcasting a medium that’s here to stay? Have any shows you listen to podfaded? What do you think the future holds for it?

–I read an article online about a guy who went undercover as a car salesman. I’ll talk about what he found out, but what’s your personal strategy that you use in dealing with salesmen when you buy a car.

–Both HD DVD and Blu-Ray players are out now and the word on the street is mixed. Are you planning on buying one of these? Who do you think will win the format war?

–How many domain names do you have registered? When did you start doing it? Has it worked out for you?

–If you could meet any three celebrities alive today, who would they be? What would you say to them? How would you like to meet? Over dinner? At an event? In your living room?

–Who are your top 3 least favorite celebrities and why?

— You’ve heard old wives tales as to treatments such as chicken soup for what ailes you. What’s your favorite wives tale or old country remedy that you still use to treat what’s bothering you.

–What was your favorite collection? Stamps? Comic books? Beer cans? Why did you do it? Do you still do it? What made you stop?

–What is the nature of motivation? Is it genetic? Does the environment cause it? Why do we like to do the things we like to do? Why do we like to do some things and then move away from them and on to other things?

–Schadefreude means taking delight in the misery of others. Have you had this experience lately? Tell us about it.

Insomnia.

June 26, 2006

It’s astonishing. I slept well last night and I felt decent today. I juggled all my projects and did my thing. This not typical at all.

Insomnia is a horrible thing because it robs you of your edge. Oh sure, you can show up and people think it’s Thaed at the office, but really, it’s Zombie Thaed! You think he’s going to help you with your project, but instead he’s going to eat your brain!

So thanks to Benadryl, I slept. I regenerated, borg like and got my superpowers back. Or at least I was able to do my job without anyone asking where the This Evil Dead tryouts were.

I guess when you are old you need to sleep. Who knew? So, this week, acknowledging the limits of my aged body, my goal is to get a good night’s sleep every night of the week. This means going to bed at 10:00 or 10:30 at the latest.

It’s funny, that bastion of accuracy, Wikipedia, has a disputed article on insomnia that apparently isn’t accurate and contradicts itself. That’s probably because someone thinks that certain illegal herbs help you sleep. I’m not willing to go that far. It does say that a hot bath helps, that’s definitely more my speed.

What do you do to help yourself sleep?

The Best of Friday Night Party Line, Part I.

June 23, 2006

Tonight’s Episode of Friday Night Party Line is up.  This is a “best of” show with bits taken from the first 9 or so episodes.  When we first started, we were using different audio equipment, so the sound quality varies from segment to segment.  If you are new to the show, this is the episode for you to listen to in order to hear what the show is about.  Thanks to all who participated over the last 13 weeks.   Here is the RSS feed and as you know it’s on iTunes and Yahoo as well. You can always download it directly from Libsyn too.

Cars of the Future.

June 22, 2006

In 50 or 60 years, when computers with cameras and sonar and GPS systems can drive cars with fewer accidents and fatalities than people, the interior of the automobile will look completely different than it does today.  From the future compact to minivan, cars will be places where we no longer lose time to travel.  The steering wheel and controls will be gone.  Seats can oppose each other and there will be at least a table for passengers to use and all the latest entertainment or work equipment will come standard.

For larger vehicles, everything will be modular.  You’ll be able to change from bed to kitchen to desk to treadmill.  Whatever you would do normally, you’ll be able to do while hurtling down the interstate at 80 miles per hour.  It will be far better than public transportation, because you’ll have all your home comforts or office necessities in the vehicle. 

Vehicles with bathrooms will be far more common than today.  Eight-hour night trips will be very popular.  Imagine packing your car then setting the GPS and climbing into a very comfortable bed.  You would get a great night sleep and arrive at your destination.

Parking in big cities would be different as well.  You could tell the car to park itself someplace cheap and be back by a certain time.  Or you might tell it to just drive around until you call it later in the evening.  Cars will become the ultimate party accessory when you don’t have to worry about drunk driving.  You can have a full bar and limo-like module pop out for bar hopping complete with disco ball.

Sure, it will be difficult to give up control of your car to machines, but the payoff in time is huge.  Time in the future will be even more precious than it is now.  And I’m sorry, but no flying cars until we can control the weather.  It will be at least another 150 years.

Why I don’t like Rilke.

June 21, 2006

I can't remember what year it was that I helped my dad deliver oxygen tanks to his patients. I think I may have been in college and on some sort of break, like Christmas or Spring break. I do remember it vividly, though, because there were many people who were elderly and suffering from emphysema who needed the oxygen. My dad is patient and nice to people (much more so than I am). He did this work without it getting to him at all. But then perhaps as in any job, you get used to what you see after a while.

I don't remember any specific examples of the elderly emphysema patients, but I do remember one young guy. He had some sort of disability, not emphysema, and he seemed fine to me. We went into his cabbage smelling apartment and he had a great number of books and papers spread out on the floor in an otherwise nice space. He had black curly hair and a beard and a mustache. I don't think at the time that he was even 30.

We chatted about what he was reading. It was Rilke. Now I was an English major, so I was acquainted with it and the genre. The man read some of the poetry to me while my dad fixed his oxygen tanks. It turned out that this guy passionately studied Rilke all day long. He had nothing else to do as he had qualified for government disability payments which obviated the need for a job to pay for his apartment and lifestyle. He read Rilke all day instead of working.

This left a very negative impression on me. It appeared to me that he was working. He was working the system. Sure I wasn't a doctor, but the guy moved around just fine and wasn't using the oxygen while we were there. Moreover, he didn't care whether he worked or not. He seemed quite adapted to the lifestyle of being a ward of the state. It suited him. It didn't suit me. So now, years later, I always associate Rilke with someone who doesn't want to work.

Rilke's personal life doesn't help my view of him. This is from Wikipedia: "Rilke was called up at the beginning of 1916, and he had to undertake basic training in Vienna. Influential friends interceded on his behalf, and he was transferred to the War Records Office and discharged from the military on June 9, 1916. He spent the subsequent time once again in Munich, interrupted by a stay on Hertha Koenig's Gut Bockel in Westphalia. The traumatic experience of military service, a reminder of the horrors of the military academy, almost completely silenced him as a poet." The article goes on to describe how Rilke flitted about the world, leaving his family for various poetic study.

With all due respect, Rilke seems rather insubstantial. Maybe it's these characteristics that appeal to those who run from responsibility instead of facing life's labors, at least in my observation. Oh, I'm sure there are exceptional people who love Rilke. This is just an anecdote, a memory from my past that colors and jades my viewpoint, right or wrong. But to this day, I still don't like Rilke.

Cute Kitten Videos: A shameless way to get blog hits.

June 20, 2006

I’m a blogger, therefore I like having people read my blog. It’s not all about that, mostly it’s about self expression. But any blogger will tell you that the little report that they get showing how many hits they receive in any given day provides some level of pleasure.

Now this is not a mainstream blog. It’s not meant to be, it never will be. However, when I did the post on childbirth videos, a funny thing happened. More people showed up. It is by far and away the most popular post on the blog. By far and away, I mean by hundreds of hits.

What did this teach me? I’ll tell you: Youtube video links = blog visits. I think I’ll make this a recurring feature, but just every now and then, not every day. I’ll call it YouTube video links day. Okay, I’m sure it has to be something that will be searched a lot right? Therefore, today's YouTube video link day is: Cute Kitten Videos!

Me, I don’t much get into cats, but I know I’m in the minority with that viewpoint. A lot of people are. So for those people, here are some cute kitten links on Youtube.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8UFzYKnClDs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OR6PbuEYxzk
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buJFBdVupZM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l_Hjpa5TXes
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aPo1VUeSJDI
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=L2YPWczqIko

I'll be back to my usual drivel tomorrow.

iPod goes the way of all things.

June 19, 2006

Last night, I got the unhappy iPod screen on my 5th Generation 60 GB unit.  Then, tellingly, I heard the “click, click, click” sounds of a dying hard drive emanating from it.  I had to face the truth (with apologies to Monty Python).  It's passed on. This iPod is no more. It has ceased to be. It's expired and gone to meet its maker. This is a late iPod. It's a stiff. Bereft of life, it rests in peace. [It’s] pushing up the daisies. It's metabolic processes are now history! He's off the twig! He's kicked the bucket, he's shuffled off his mortal coil, rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisible! This is an ex-iPod.

Being a poster child for iPod dependency, this event upset me greatly.  My Scooba had similarly given up the ghost earlier in the week and had been shipped back to the good people at iRobot for a swap out (the pump quit).  Two crucial gadgets going the way of all things in one week is hard for me to take.

Amazingly, I had free time today to visit the local Apple store at lunch.  My friend David went with me and we discussed what we thought they would do.  We both figured the answer would be that they would ship it off someplace and that I would have to face the prospect of being iPodless for an indeterminate period of time. 

I had to make an in-store appointment to be seen because they were very busy.  I did this and David and I went to lunch.  Upon returning, the young man at the genius counter immediately told me they could swap out the unit.  I could not contain my joy!  The $30 restocking fee seemed inconsequentially small to have my iPod back.  Besides the iPod itself costs as much as a dishwasher.  $30 is nothing.  I even went further and extended the warranty.  I don’t normally do that, but hey, I’ve already killed one unit, why tempt fate?

So I have my shiny new iPod ensconced in it’s Lexan case and I could not be happier.  Incidently, I only use it for Podcasts and movies.  I’ve never loaded a single song on it.  Now I just need my Scooba back so I can have clean floors again.

Taking the Domain Name Plunge.

June 18, 2006

I finally did it.  I went to godaddy.com today and registered mentalinterface.net and fridaynightpartyline.com.  I had held off doing it prior to now because of the cost and for another reason that’s embarrassing to me.  I didn’t understand the mechanism of pointing the domains.  I had an irrational fear that if I bought the names, I would have to use the hosting service I bought the names from.  I just did it today, so they are still going through the pointing process.  But I was being dumb about the pointing. Pointing a domain name is as easy as falling out of bed.  Oh well, its not the first time I’ve been dumb and it won’t be the last.

I can see why godaddy is always hawking name registration on podcasts and elsewhere.  It’s expensive.  If you wanted to really tie up a name, you’d have to spend some serious money.  All the .net, .com., .org., .biz etc. extensions could run up massive dollars.  I’m content with what I’ve done, although part of me feels like I just got suckered.  I mean, look, I doubt that I’ll ever monetize either my blog or my podcast.  A fool and his money are soon parted.  My internet creativity is really just an (increasingly evermore) expensive hobby.

So, my fellow bloggers, have you ever registered a domain name?  Was it/ is it worth it to you?

Friday Night Party Line Episode 12 is up!

June 17, 2006

I can't believe we've made a dozen episodes.  It's been 12 weeks of fun and I've really enjoyed it.  Thanks to Kelly, and Tommy for being guests tonight!  Here is the RSS feed and as you know it’s on iTunes and Yahoo as well. You can always download it directly from Libsyn too.