Chaos at Peace

Originally posted 5/5/2009 1:08 pm

Comedian Dom DeLuise died last night, 4 May 2009.  Many folks won’t have a clue who he was because he wasn’t a big screen icon, but IMDB credits him with 154 roles between TV and movies.  Some of his highlights include Captain Chaos in ‘The Cannonball Run’ and ‘The End’ along side his friend Burt Reynolds, Pizza the Hut in ‘Space Balls’, Buddy Bizarre in ‘Blazing Saddles’, and numerous voice-acting credits in animated flicks like ‘An American Tail’, ‘TheSecret of NIMH’, ‘Oliver & Company’, and ‘All Dogs Go to Heaven’.

Rest in Peace, Captain Chaos!

Dom DeLuise on Wikipedia

Paint that Kills… Germs

originally posted4/24/2009 9:37 am

Here’s a link to a foxnews.com article on Germ-killing paint:
http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,517745,00.html (opens in a new window)

This could be a great product once it is approved for use and if it doesn’t cost twice as much as regular paint.

Of course, there wouldn’t be any need of me posting to my blog just to say that.  The point of this post is to wonder how this is going to work.  As new strains of mold, fungi, virus, germs, etc. evolve will the paint work to prevent/kill them, as well?  Or will you have to go buy the latest version of the “re-bleaching” formula they mention in the article.

Like computer anti-viruses…
When you buy the paint, it will have a website you can go to sign-in as a registered user of the paint and get email or text messages (to you phone) letting you know a new version of the solution is available.  You then run down to your local vendor, pick it up and “re-bleach” all the surfaces you painted with this paint.  No problem.  What?  Oh, that ring was just another message telling me there’s a new version.  This may have just dried, but I guess I need to go get the new one.  Maybe I should subscribe to the ‘auto-ship’ feature, where they automatically bill my credit card and overnight the latest version of the formula when it is developed.

Yes, I’m being a tad ridiculous.  We don’t currently see viruses mutating that quickly, right?  But you can see how this is a huge potential money-maker for the company(ies) making the “re-bleacher” and paints… especially with the percentage of the folks out there who buy into the need for everything they use to be anti-bacterial —soap, shampoo, cleaners, etc.

[soapbox time]
You’d think with all the anti-bacterial stuff being used so much, that people would be getting infected a lot less, but it doesn’t really seem to be making much difference.  Doctors’ Offices are still over-booked for the sniffles and coughs.  Hey, folks, consider this:  By using all this stuff to kill germs, your body doesn’t get to practice fighting off the bad stuff so when it makes it through your multi-level security, your body is less capable of dealing with it.  Or maybe it knows how to fight it off, but the stuff that gets through is just more potent because it had to evolve to breach your perimeter.

I’m not saying we shouldn’t anti-bacterialize some things, but every product in your house certainly doesn’t need to be a germ killer.
[end soapbox time]

Bottom line:  I’d like to see the pricing on this new paint and may have to consider it for my bathrooms.  Maybe they can create a clearcoat of sorts that you can just layover existing paint.

My Hero for the Week – Carrie Prejean

originally posted 4/21/2009 1:17 pm

(Maybe I should make this a weekly topic…   I’ll have to think about that)

Carrie Prejean, first runner-up to Miss USA 2009, My Hero for the Week

No, I don’t watch the pageants (or the Oscars or Grammys or CMAs, etc.), but this one has stirred up quite a buzz.  The “news” media is calling it a controversy.  According to what I’ve read, Carrie Prejean and Miss USA 2009, Kristen Dalton, were separated by .36 of a point going into the Q&Q round of the competition.  I haven’t heard anything about the question Miss Dalton had to answer, but Miss Prejean was asked whether she believed in gay marriage, she answered “We live in a land where you can choose same-sex marriage or opposite. And you know what, I think in my country, in my family, I think that I believe that a marriage should be between a man and a woman. No offense to anybody out there, but that’s how I was raised.”  The speculation is that her answer is what cost her the win as one judge made it clear that he didn’t like her answer.

So, why’s Carrie Prejean my hero for the week?  It has nothing to do with whether I’m for or against gay marriage.  It has EVERYTHING to do with the fact that she had the COURAGE to stand up there on the stage, in front of the hundreds/thousands of people in the audience, and the handful or so of people watching it live across the country on TV, and say what she honestly felt.  That, my friends, takes more courage than most people will ever have to display.  According to what I’ve been reading, she’d have locked up the win with the politically correct answer that went against what she believes.

What’s really sad is that the weenie judge who tanked her couldn’t see past his personal prejudice for people who don’t believe the same thing he does and give her great credit for having the courage to answer honestly.  I guess it shows that what we really want in this country are people who look good and feed us the BS they think we want to hear, regardless of what they really believe.

I don’t want to take anything away from Miss Dalton.  It’s kind of sad that her victory is now being overshadowed by this controversy, but I can’t say how impressed I am with Miss Prejean’s character.

Way to go, Carrie!

Comments:

Old Bob wrote (4/21/2009 10:28 pm):
this young lady obviously received some lousy coaching. answering the question from her heart instead of her head is much like applying for a retail job and admitting that you have stolen from previous employers…not smart.

Reply:

Lorwynd wrote (4/22/2009 7:44 am):
I’m sure you’ve seen the news about this. She has since defended her response and said she has no regrets. Maybe that’s just an attempt to put on a good facade, but coaching aside, I know these girls spend a lot of time preparing for these events and I’m sure they know who the judges are and what they are for and against. The question, supposedly randomly drawn, was given to her by an openly gay man who makes his living writing/blogging/whatever you want to call it about famous people, frequently trashing them. I’m sure she knew what answer he was looking for. Instead she chose the higher ground and answered honestly.

Now, let’s think about this from another angle. Maybe she is much more shrewd than anyone gives her credit for. She could have given the answer most people would have expected from Miss California in trying to win, but then what? She wins. Congrats, here’s your crown, a one year contract to be a goody-goody, an apartment , some money, and no one really remembers who she is. It was only Sunday night that this event took place. How many people can put a name to the crowned-less-than-a-week-ago Miss USA vs. how many know the name and face of the runner-up? Who now has the better shot for the talk shows, speaking engagements, and being the poster child for millions of Americans? True, she may have been up for poster child for the gay marriage groups in California and around the USA, but that would have railed against what she believes.

Jimmy Choo wrote (4/26/2009 9:34 pm):
I was really upset that the judge w2ho asked her reacted that way. It’s Miss California’s point of view anyway.

Is technology getting smarter? Are we letting it make us dumber? Yes, and YES!

originally posted 3/20/2009 7:37 am

A talk on Sixth Sense interactive wearable computers:  “http://www.ted.com/talks/pattie_maes_demos_the_sixth_sense.html

(Watch the clip above first, then read on…)
So whatcha think?

While it’s kind of cool, I don’t like it.  Just like I don’t need my phone to do more than be a phone.  We are already too reliant on technology.  Can you remember when you used to actually know the phone numbers, including area codes, of all your friends/relatives/co-workers.  Now we just program all that crap into our phones and when the phone is dead or service unavailable, we’re lost.  Same with half the dolts behind the registers at our restaurants.  Have them try to add up the cost of a value meal plus tax if the registers are down, then make change because the credit card device won’t run your card.  Wait, you probably don’t have cash on you anyway.

And just for a very brief jaunt down the security path:  Currently, someone trying to determine if you are, indeed, the target he’s looking to nab/whack/etc. may be required to approach you at a bar/store/wherever and ask seemingly innocuous questions in a friendly manner which may tip you off to something not being quite right.  Imagine how different that would be if all he has to do is don the camera/projector combo and walk around until his device tells him he’s found his target… no need to talk at all.  No tip off that something’s up.  And then, if he decides to chat with you to lure you somewhere, his computer is providing him tons of data about your hobbies, family, company, etc. that he can use to his advantage.

We’re spending all our time learning how to make computers and technology do things for us under the claim that it gives us more time.  Do you have more free time than you used to or are you spending that time programming your gadgets and answering that annoying ring on your hip?
[I have to admit that I like the addition of the camera in the phone and do send an occasional text]

Comments:

Old Bob wrote (4/9/2009 8:39 pm):
I wonder what happened when he forgot he was wearing the finger sensors and scratched his balls?

Fritz wrote (4/17/2008 12:54 pm):
So… couldn’t one say that telephones have displaced mail or face to face communication the way the modern phone has displaced older ones?

Working Hard or Hardly Working

originally posted 3/16/2009 4:18 pm

I’m a geek!

I freely admit that I am, although I am way out-geeked by some folks I know.

Like millions of others, geeks and non-geeks alike, I am also on Facebook.  Like a smaller population of Facebook users, I play a number of the games created by Zenga for users to play for free.  I still haven’t joined the gazillions of folks playing the pay-to-play online games like World of Warcraft, but I digress.  The Zenga games I play involve a few basic actions:  create your persona, use energy to do missions, buy properties to increase your hourly currency so you can buy more abilities/weapons/etc so you can do more missions.  Throw in level increases based on experience and you’ve got a very rudimentary RPG.  I love RPGs (role-playing games) and am still playing Dungeons & Dragons with paper, books, and dice.  (I know, off topic again.)  So, these games also allow you to attack other players to gain experience and currency.  I don’t get into this much myself, but there are some folks I know who love to do this.

I hit my Facebook account a few times a day at minimum.  At least a couple times a day, I go to the games I play, do missions until my energy is gone, spend or bank my currency and logoff.  Yes, I am able to hit Facebook from my computer at work, and yes, I do hit it now and then (during periods of downtime, over lunch when I’m still at my desk, or for a two minute break from coding —see my job is even geek) to change my status or even hit the games quickly.  When I open the games I usually have notes that I was attacked by someone or someones, frequently multiple times if they beat me.

Recently, I’ve noticed an interesting trend which lead to this post.  When do you think the heaviest hits on my characters takes place?  Over the weekend or evening/night during the typical work week?  Nope.  I see very little activity on the weekend.  Almost all the real damage to my personas and their properties takes place during what would be considered by most to be the standard work day in the North American time zones.  Now, as I’ve said, I do ocassionally hit these games during the day, but the amount of time I spend compared to the amount of time it takes for all the attacks I suffer during the day is very small.

I know a guy who keeps one of these games open for a large percentage of his time at work so he can do missions and attack other gamers.  He also watches for when he gets attacked to that he can respond.  As far as I know, he is the only one in his office who does this, but I have to wonder how many of these guys are out there at work with their game of choice open all day.  Add this time to time spent reading news, chatting with co-workers, etc. and you can easily see where my title came from.

Now, some would argue that if we block sites so people can’t get to these time wasters, productivity would go up.  I fervently believe otherwise.  Block these sites and people will spend more time talking, reading print media, etc.  The only way to increase productivity is to have something productive for people to do and have a manager who makes sure they are getting the job done.  If the workers get their jobs done quickly, let them be rewarded by a few minutes of downtime.  Let them take a quick break from a stressful task to hit a leisure site (that’s tasteful, non-offensive, etc.) without having to take a coffee or smoke break.  It keeps them at their desk where they can still be reached by email or phone.

Of course, I’ve now skewed in a different direction than intended, but I guess that’s ok.  It’s my blog after all.

Comments:

Old Bob wrote (3/17/2009 9:20 pm):
The last paragraph sounds like the basis for a Dilbert strip. All we need now is the pointy-haired boss and Catbert.

Khan is Gone

originally posted 1/16/2009 12:02 pm

As a kid, I remember thinking it would be cool to go to Fantasy Island.  I mean, come on, just show up and get to live out your wildest fantasy… who wouldn’t love that?  Looking back, I realize the fantasies never quite worked out as the people hoped because they never thought about all the potential consequences and repercussions, but I digress.  The point of this entry is to mourn the passing of Ricardo Montalban.  Aside from Fantasy Island (and many other movies and TV shows), he was a fantastic villain in Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.  To read more about him, here’s a link to the Ricardo Montalban Wikipedia page.  R.I.P., Mr. Rourke!

Comments:

Old Bob wrote (1/17/2009 12:56 am):
I hated him as ‘boss’ but loved him as Khan. He was the only villain who really had a chance to kick Kirk’s ass. These days genetic manipulation does not seem so far fetched.

Fritz wrote (1/17/2009 1:40 pm):
Rich Corinthian leather. Mmmmmmmm

It’s Cookie Time

originally posted 1/13/2009 9:58 pm

Well, my daughter joined a Daisy troop a few months ago and now it’s Cookie time.  Which leads me to this post… which is kind of related to the comment Dammun made to my Dontcha Hate It When post.  We’ve already told the troop leader that we’re not interested in sitting in any malls or camping out in front of stores.  Why do stores allow every organization that has something to sell or wants to pander for your money to harass their customers?  Do they think we enjoy it?  “Hey, honey, we need to go to the grocery store.  Which one has the Girls Scouts (or Boy Scouts or DAV or name-your-favorite-group) sitting out front of both doors hitting us up to buy from them on the way in and out of the store?  I really want to go there.”  NOT!!!

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