Friday, December 30, 2005

Urban Planning

An Open Letter To The City Planners Of Atlanta, GA:

Dear Sirs,

Bravo! I must applaud you for your innovative methods for insuring that you don't run out of street names anytime in the near future. In particular, I must point out that the re-use of the name "Peachtree" for every fourth street is a stroke of genius. Now we, the driving public, don't have to worry about remembering all of those bothersome street names, because no matter where we want to go, it's on Peachtree.

Again, Bravo!
posted by S.C. @ 4:06 PM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Open Door Policy

As I discovered last night, few things in life are as uncomfortable as the following scenario.

Upon arriving at the location for a surprise birthday party for a friend, I was struck with a sudden bout of intestinal distress which necessitated an immediate, and lengthy, transaction with a toilet. Upon entering the restroom at this fine establishment, I discovered that neither of the stalls had doors on them.

You do the math.
posted by S.C. @ 7:31 AM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Year In Review, The Finale

Yes, it's time for part four of my year in review series...

Let's start our journey with an obligatory Inspirational Story...

I tried describing the heart monitor I had to wear, then I just decided to show it.

An exposition on my love of bad movies.

An overheard conversation about the joys of marriage.

Have you ever wondered about the fraud protection on your credit card? Well, wonder no more...

Or, have you ever wondered what the most important thing in a good marriage is?

Finally, who can forget my fabulous trip to the local mall?

Paging back through my archives, I've decided to have a "Worst HellDesk Call Of The Year" contest. I'll post the entries later today or early tomorrow, so check back and help me chose the Worst of the Worst.
posted by S.C. @ 10:12 AM | 2 comments

Good News

We learned last night that my mother's oncologist told her that, since she hasn't lost her hair this far into the chemo treatments, she probably won't at all.

Considering all of the other side-effects she's had to deal with (mouth sores, thrush, neuropathy, etc.), this is excellent news.
posted by S.C. @ 8:11 AM | 0 comments

EULA-gy for Java

A developer named Yakov Fain noticed the following section in one of the Microsoft EULA's (End-User License Agreement):

"The software product may contain support for programs written in Java. Java technology is not fault tolerant and is not designed, manufactured, or intended for use or resale as on-line control equipment in hazardous environments requiring fail-safe performance, such as in the operation of nuclear facilities, aircraft navigation or communication systems, air traffic control, direct life support machines, or weapon systems, in which the failure of Java technology could lead directly to death, personal injury, or severe physical or environmental damage."

Good thing Microsoft is covering all of their legal bases...

via Vaultspawn
posted by S.C. @ 7:37 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

A Good Christmas (Eve)

I hope everyone had a good Christmas, even though I know some of your family members had visits from Santa Claus' evil brothers, Vomit Claus and Pneumonia Claus...

Friday at work was pretty boring, but good at the same time. Casual dress, iPod clipped to my belt, headphones on my head, just taking care of business. Didn't even turn on most of the lights, kept it nice and cozy in my department. It was so dead here that my supervisor for the day told me to go ahead and leave after lunch. Free half-day! :)

Friday night, The Redhead and I had dinner with a friend of hers from college, T, and his girlfriend M. T lives in Oregon now, and manufactures bio-diesel. He's a really cool guy and, like everyone The Redhead went to college with, is incredibly lucid and intelligent. His girlfriend is very nice and personable, easy to talk to, and a muralist, which is cool. A very nice couple to hang out with, so I think The Redhead and I will be heading out to Oregon sometime later this year to visit.

Got my Christmas gift from The Redhead, which was a package designed to keep me warm. Comfy slippers, warming massage oil, and the best part...glassblowing lessons! I had been thinking about dropping subtle hints that I wanted something like that ever since we went down and blew some ornaments for our parents, but it turns out that one of the reasons we blew the ornaments in the first place was so she could see if I was interested. That sly boots...

Saturday, we hung around for the morning, got some brunch at our favorite spot, and then went to see Syriana, which is absolutely incredible. It's amazing that George Clooney has taken a career that once consisted of three facial expressions and a good haircut and turned it into one of the most productive, substantive acting/directing careers that's going today.

After the movie, we headed out to my parents' farm for my family's Christmas. Some gift giving (an incredible number of ties changed hands), as well as DVD box sets, books, music, and art. A fantastic haul, followed by a terrific dinner and some good company. We sat and watched several episodes from Season One of Arrested Development. That show is bizarre, but excellent.

A fantastic Christmas Eve. The Christmas Day update to come in a little while.
posted by S.C. @ 9:13 AM | 0 comments

Thursday, December 22, 2005

Empty Calories

FDA Disclaimer : This post contains no calories, fats, oils, vitamins, or minerals. In fact, it has no nutritional value at all.

No, I'm not dead, or missing, or asleep. I just don't have anything to say...

But, like most people who are in love with the sound of their own voice (or, in this case, the slant of their own font), I had to *tell* you that I had nothing to say, and to do it in as many words as possible...hey, maybe a career in politics isn't out of the question after all!

I'm working the skeleton shift tomorrow, so the trick will be not falling asleep in my cube...
posted by S.C. @ 2:00 PM | 1 comments

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Need He Say More?

NYPD Commissioner Ray Kelly, talking about the transit strike in NYC:

Asked how he felt about devoting personnel and money to the strike, Kelly simply stated, "There are things we'd prefer to be doing rather than this."
posted by S.C. @ 1:55 PM | 0 comments

Conservation, Part The Second

We could also stand to get rid of Sen. Ted Stevens.

I mean, Alaska, I *know* it's cool having your guy be the third in line in order of Presidential succession, but come on, the guy's a jackass.
posted by S.C. @ 1:49 PM | 1 comments

A Call For Conservation

People who know me know I like to eliminate waste where I can, and I have a great idea for somethinig to get rid of:

Let's get rid of this woman
, who filed a restraining order against David Letterman (talk show host) because he's been mentally harassing her and caused her to go bankrupt.

From Yahoo!News:

Nestler's application for a restraining order was accompanied by a six-page typed letter in which she said Letterman used code words, gestures and "eye expressions" to convey his desires for her.

She wrote that she began sending Letterman "thoughts of love" after his show began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East.

She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised "teaser" for his show by saying, "Marry me, Oprah." Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her, and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time.

I mean, DAMN.
posted by S.C. @ 1:43 PM | 5 comments

Year In Review, Pt. 3

Yes, it's time again for our stroll down memory lane here at Nothing Rocks Harder.

First, a description of my musical addiction.

Next, a nice description of a widely traveled disease I picked up over the summer.

Thirdly, who can name this CD?

If you like whine, you'll love my Podcasting Lament.

Ever known anyone with an unfortunate name?

And, to wrap things up, how about a little gratuitous cuteness?
posted by S.C. @ 8:32 AM | 0 comments

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

A Bit Of A Disconnect

While at lunch, I saw the following three items appear in the news crawl across the bottom of the screen (Fox News), in the following order:

"Cheney: 'The fact that we haven't been hit in four years is not by accident'." (Regarding the Bush wiretap policy)

"Britney Spears sues US Magazine for libel."

"Military Convoy Attacked In Iraq Today."

Does anyone else think that this is TOTALLY FUCKING INSANE? Or is it just me?
posted by S.C. @ 1:29 PM | 1 comments

Post-Mortems Suck

I went flying on Sunday afternoon, just a quick trip to London (KY) and back, to get a feel for the new (used) plane the group I fly with just purchased. The flight itself was pretty unremarkable, up till the last 10 miles or so...

I was in the traffic pattern at my home airfield, getting ready to land, when I made the startling discovery that, sometime in the last few minutes, the electrical system on the plane had crapped out. The engine still ran fine, since it's self-contained and designed to continue running as long as it has gas, but I had no flaps (makes the plane more stable at slow speeds), no transponder (makes the plane more easily identifiable on air traffic control radar), no exterior lights (makes the plane easier to see and avoid) and, most importantly, NO RADIOS.

Needless to say, my heart did a little pounding until I got the plane on the ground...

Complicating matters was the fact that my home airfield has a control tower, making it illegal to land without explicit clearance from said tower, which is usually obtained over the radio. The tower has a device called a light gun which can flash high-powered red, green, or white light at a plane, and grant clearance that way, but because of the way the light was that day, and the fact I was a little distracted looking for other traffic that might be in the pattern, I was unable to see the signals. After a couple of circuits around the pattern, I decided the safest (and most legal) thing to do would be to head to a nearby, untowered, airport, where I could land with no radios and stay reasonably safe.

So, yeah, an interesting afternoon.

The reason for the title is this: After the event, for many many many many many many hours, I did nothing but review the events, my actions, everything. And I wasn't kind to myself...

I'm past that now, and have actually made intelligent, rational judgements about what I did and how I did it, and I feel like I learned a lot from the experience. But those first hours afterwards could've really sucked...I've got to express my gratitude to The Redhead for recognizing that I needed some time to lie on the couch, eat comfort food, play a video game or two, and generally get my mind off of wife rocks! :)
posted by S.C. @ 8:49 AM | 1 comments

The Calm (Before The Storm?)

Things here at work are much, much calmer this morning, pretty much because everything works right now...

The Redhead and I went to a sneak preview of The Ringer last night, which is the Johnny Knoxville movie about the Special Olympics. Pretty standard "boy is desperate, boy does something highly immoral for the good of someone else, boy meets girl and has to lie to her, boy falls in love with girl, boy tries to rig the Special Olympics, boy repents" type movie. Fun, brainless, and not badly-written.

The screening was held by the Kentucky chapter of the Special Olympics, to give local special ed. teachers and parents of children with special needs the chance to see the film and comment on it before the national release. With very few exceptions, the audience really seemed to enjoy the film. I was impressed at how well the film stayed away from the trap of mocking the Special Olympians themselves...
posted by S.C. @ 7:46 AM | 3 comments

Monday, December 19, 2005

Not What You'd Call A Good Start

Without going into the details, I'll just say that the first half of today involves several servers not working, cranky technophiliac CEO's demanding to know why they can't get to the Internet, and a trip to the impound lot.

On the bright side, free movie tonight.
posted by S.C. @ 9:42 AM | 2 comments

Friday, December 16, 2005

Folding Is Good

So, I've jumped on the distributed-computing bandwagon by setting up a couple of Folding@Home clients.

Folding@Home is a project where scientists at Stanford University are running simulations of how proteins fold, which dictates their behavior. These simulations are geard to cover every possible fold of every possible protein, which is a lot. Each fold takes about a day to model on a Pentium 4 computer, so the group at Standford was faced with an enormous computing requirement that would be quite costly to fulfill.

Their solution was to create a distributed-computing client. Volunteers download the client and leave it running in the background of their computer. The client lists itself as ultra-low-priority, so it doesn't cause a notciable slowdown of your computer, but when you're not doing anything, it uses the unused processor time to run the simulations, and then reports the results back to the master server.

The applications of this research can be applied to Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and cancer (it's estimated that AT LEAST HALF of all cancers are caused by a misfolded protein). Considering that my computer at home runs idle form at least 85% of the day, I felt it would be a good thing to donate my extra processor time to a worthwhile cause.

Who says the Internet is just for porn? ;)
posted by S.C. @ 9:37 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Year In Review, Pt. 2

Sorry, kids, I was actually busy yesterday, and forgot to post my weekly version of "The Year In Review" which, for the uninitiated, I'm doing once a week during the month of December to highlight some of my favorite posts from this past year.

The first stop on today's journey is my foray into Holiday-making. I figure if Hallmark can do it, so can I.

Then, I ask the tough questions.

Next comes my rant about the news media (following the bombings in London).

July's HelpDesk Call of the Month (try not to scream when reading it).

I explain where the title of my blog comes from.

For dessert, may I present "It Came From The Sears Catalog!"
posted by S.C. @ 7:40 AM | 2 comments

The Other Side Of The Coin

A short while ago, I posted a link to an entry over at The Daily Slacker where he explained what really goes on in the minds of men...

To keep things fair and balanced over here, today I send you over to Jezzy, who has posted a guide for men about what women really want.
posted by S.C. @ 7:35 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Oh, That Wacky Weather

I tried to go flying last night, because the forecast was calling for the low clouds we'd had all day to lift for the evening, before coming back down and covering us with rain / ice / snow today. Unfortunately, the clouds missed the memo and, as much as I enjoy the thought of "scud running" (flying low underneath low clouds) at night...

I've said this before, and I'll say it again, but I believe that the ability to just say, "No, I'm not comfortable flying in weather like this," is a hugely important quality for a low-time pilot like myself to have...

I'll try again on Thursday.

In other news, today is this month's Louisville Forum lunch. Hopefully, this month's will be a little more informative and a little less like a slap-fight between four grown men.
posted by S.C. @ 8:33 AM | 1 comments

Tuesday, December 13, 2005


Around our house, Law & Order is frequently found on TV. I find it interesting that, with DirecTV, I can find an episode of the show on somewhere, 24 hours a day.

Most weeknights, TNT runs multiple episodes back to back, and they've gotten so good at it, they've been able to expand their ad windows by at least one ad per episode, because the roll the closing credits in a split screen underneath the opening roll for the next episode.

Smart people, these TNT guys.

I mean, they can figure out how to make money off of showing the same movie three nights in a row on the weekends.
posted by S.C. @ 9:03 PM | 1 comments

525,600 Minutes

The length of a year.

Which is the minimum amount of time that I need to train to the point where I can move into the aviation department, at least part time.

It's not entirely pleasant, realizing that I'm stuck in my current job for another 52 weeks.

365 more days of coming in and hoping that our ISP doesn't completely fuck up our network (which they do about 5 or 6 times a year).

12 more months of taking calls from people who really shouldn't be allowed to touch computers.

4 more quarters of cobbling together database projects for people who can't figure out what they want.

1 more year of working on projects that give me indigestion.

I'm going to deal with it, and get through it, because I have to. The image of what I want to do (corporate aviation) is strong enough to make most work days bearable.
posted by S.C. @ 3:20 PM | 0 comments

Play With Me, Or Else

If nobody plays with me, I'll be forced to play with myself, and nobody wants that, now, do they?
posted by S.C. @ 11:08 AM | 0 comments

A Little Competition Is A Good Thing

Have any of my readers tried "Peep Jousting"?

Someone explained it to me thusly:

"You put two Peeps in a microwave holding toothpicks. They expand until one pops the other and is victorious."

Who thinks of these things?
posted by S.C. @ 9:27 AM | 0 comments

Cubans & Chainsaws

We watched Scarface last night. Hell of a movie.

Then we went to bed, and I had dreams about chainsaws. How surprising is that?
posted by S.C. @ 8:51 AM | 1 comments

Play With Me

Here's a game I borrowed from Jezzy, who borrowed it from Carol:


"If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment here on my blog with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me.

It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished leaving your comment, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you! "

Go to it!
posted by S.C. @ 8:07 AM | 1 comments

Monday, December 12, 2005

Tech Help Request

Yeah, I know, I know, I should have all the answers...

The problem is, I don't have all of the software.

Any of my readers have Quark and know how to export from Quark to anything else (preferably to a PDF file)?
posted by S.C. @ 1:22 PM | 0 comments


I normally keep my expectations for movie adaptations of my favorite books rather low, because they normally suck. With Chronicles of Narnia, however, I couldn't help but to have some high expectations. The books were some of my all-time favorites as a child, and I still revisit them from time to time. So, I was a bit apprehensive going into the theatres Friday night to see the movie version of The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Turns out my fears were completely unfounded. This movie is, by far, my favorite adaptation. Period. It even beats out the Harry Potter films, which I consider very well done, indeed.

I really can't give a coherent review of the film, seeing as I'm still salivating over it. Just go see it.
posted by S.C. @ 10:09 AM | 7 comments

Overheard Conversation : True Love

While at the coffee shop this morning, picking up my daily required dose of caffeine, I heard the following:

Man : "Here's your coffee."
Woman : "Christ, I told you to get me a medium, not a small."
Man : "I'm sorry that I can't seem to do anything right."
Woman : "You can't do anything right at home, why should I expect you to do anything right when we're out?"

I tell you, it's so refreshing to see a loving relationship in action...
posted by S.C. @ 9:44 AM | 2 comments

The Importance Of Communication

My Dad cracks me up:

"When I got home Friday, I discovered a number of very handsome leather organizer thingies in my office, placed in strategic spots. Now, I'm pretty slow, but after twenty eight years of marriage, I can recognize a tactful suggestion that my office looks like a pig pen and it needs to be cleaned up before company comes next weekend."

So, of course, one might ask what action he took in the face of such subtle suggestions...

"In any case, today I sprang into action. 'Sprang' might not be the best verb, but for an old guy I did my best imitation. I ruthelessly pitched old books I'll never use and sent some good ones to the wreck room upstairs where maybe the progeny will discover them."
posted by S.C. @ 7:08 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 09, 2005

NOW I Finally Feel Safe

Thank God, Shaq is now a cop.
posted by S.C. @ 1:54 PM | 1 comments

The French Toast Connection

As previously mentioned, whenever there's severe winter weather forecast around here, there's a rush on the grocery stores to buy milk and bread, leading us to ask the question, "Why does everyone only want French Toast when it's snowy?"

Well, seeing as yesterday was one of those days, with the forecast calling for 5"-9" of snow, and we ended up with a grand total of...maybe 1/16th an inch...I think I've discovered the reason for all of this.

I believe that local grocery stores keep track of how much milk they have that's getting ready to pass its "sell-by" date. Whenever that stock reaches a certain amount, they contact the helpful local weather persons who, in exchange for some cold, hard cash under the table, conveniently start spewing their tripe about inches of snow and slick roads and hazardous conditions and so forth.

Keep this on the D-L, though. If they get wind that I know of it, I might have to be "removed"...
posted by S.C. @ 8:03 AM | 2 comments

Christmas Shopping, Done Wrong

Read the product reviews, they're the best part.

The item is sold through Amazon, but may not be considered work safe, due to some language on the page.
posted by S.C. @ 7:25 AM | 1 comments

Thursday, December 08, 2005

New Toy

UPS delivered my newest toy yesterday, the new DirecTV R15 DVR. Basically, it's a DirecTV receiver + a Digital Video Recorder, all in one box. What sets this apart from other DirecTV DVRs is that the DVR service is not provided by TiVo.

My initial impressions are very favorable. I can't imagine how anyone watched TV before DVRs were invented... ;)
posted by S.C. @ 10:01 AM | 2 comments

Southern Snow

Here in the South, we have a very advanced system for dealing with the possibility of snow and/or ice: Panic.

As a friend of mine put it:

yes the weatherman/gorecery store conspiracy has started already here...


weatherman said: "looks like an 10% outside chance of sn..."

IQ's dropped 55pts instantly.

all he had to say was 'sno...'

- BOOM! world comes to an end.

and it will only get worse today...half the idiots in my office will want to go home early cause we might a get a little bit of winter mix tonite around 7-8 oclock.

so they will feel that they NEED to leave at 1/2:00 in order to get home before it happens.

"but if we dont leave now - we wont be able to get any milk & bread"

WTF! - are you gonna make french toast all fuk'n night!?!?
posted by S.C. @ 9:11 AM | 0 comments

Safety vs. Security

No doubt, most of you have heard about the man who was killed by an Air Marshall in the Miami airport yesterday. If not, here's an article with the pertinent details.

My question to you, my readers, is simple. I want to know your reaction to this incident, given the following facts:

-A visibly agitated man takes his bag and runs off of a plane, and is overheard using the word 'bomb'.

-Air Marshalls follow man and order him to cease and desist.

-Man refuses, and makes a move to reach into his bag.

-Marshall shoots the man.

-Man turns out to be bipolar / manic-depressive.

My focus here is on policy, not enforcement. From the facts at hand, I strongly believe the Marshall involved acted correctly given the situation and the policies governing the use of deadly force. I'm not even, at this point, criticizing those policies, but I would like to hear opinions from people who have other views on the way law enforcement employs deadly force in this country.

Any thoughts?
posted by S.C. @ 7:42 AM | 0 comments

Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Capital Punishment

Sometimes, I think I might favor the death penalty for stupid people, like for the woman who mistook a block of white mexican cheese for a block of cocaine, and hired a hit man to kill the men who had the cheese, not realizing the hit man was an undercover police officer.

Removing a person like that from the gene pool would be a public service.

via The Washington Post
posted by S.C. @ 2:17 PM | 1 comments

Year In Review, Pt. 1

Ok, why not?

Every Wednesday in December, assuming I remember to do it (Do you remember / that time in December...god, the musical theatre geek in me lives!), I'm going to post a few of the 'Greatest Hits' of this year, or at least posts that I find in my archives and don't think, 'Ewww, why did I write THAT?'

A lot of these entries date to before I even had this blog, and they were just transferred from my journal over at Red vs. Blue.

Today's trip down memory lane:

Star Wars, Episode III - Before and After

Southern Living, or Why I Love It

June's HelpDesk Call of The Month

A Surprising Musical Act

Finally, What Would Jesus REALLY Do?
posted by S.C. @ 10:55 AM | 0 comments

Welcome To

This post was inspired by Edgy Mama talking about Stephen King in a recent post of hers...

In my past life as a theatrical technician, I held a couple of interesting jobs that took me interesting places. One gig in particular had me living in Bangor, Maine for half a year...

Bangor is an interesting little town, only about 40,000 people if you count the little townlets around it, and I'd say about 20,000 of those are crazy as hell. Like the guy who walks along the railroad tracks for 2 hours every day during the summer, doing nothing but...wait for it...bagpiping. It's a quaint little town where the most interesting night spot is the dance club that's erected in the conference room of the local Ramada.

One of the more interesting things about Bangor is that it is home to Stephen King. He has a nice house just outside of downtown, with a wraught-iron fence that has hand-made iron bats, gargoyles, and other monsters at frequent intervals. These items must be replaced periodically, as it seems to be a common pasttime for the natives to steals said ornamentation.

Having read a lot of Stephen King, I know the town of Derry, ME (supposedly fictional) very well. Several of his stories are set there, and he has an incredibly descriptive writing style that really conveys the visual image he wants to show you. Which is why it's so easy to recognize Bangor as the model for Derry.

The pharmacy where the narrator's wife in Bag of Bones dies? Shopped there, it's right next to a movie store and a sushi place.

The truck stop (Dysart's) where Jonesy stops for food in Dreamcatcher? Eaten there.

The canals and sewers where Pennywise, the clown from hell, kill and maims people in IT? Crossed them every day on my walk to and from work.

Hell, Derry is even described as being located off exit 45 on I-95, which is where Bangor is situated (by the way, Maine is one of those states where the exit number is not based off of actual mileage, which pisses me off to no end).

The point of this pointless ramble is that, in my mind at least, Stephen King is has an extraordinary talent for putting images into the reader's mind, and that's a talent that I have great respect for.
posted by S.C. @ 9:41 AM | 2 comments

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Communicating Their Needs

I just got the following email from one of our clerks in Knoxville:

This file to down load the pictures to is not working it is saying it is not created do you want to created it?"

I'm not even going to comment on this because, if I did, I'd say bad, bad things, and probably swear a lot.
posted by S.C. @ 12:41 PM | 2 comments

Technology Kicks Ass

The iTunes music store is now offering a new crop of TV shows to download. While adding Law & Order, Battlestar Galactica, and The Tonight Show (among others) is a really good move, the best move is adding some vintage product, namely Knight Rider.

You heard me, you can now put K.I.T.T. on your iPod.

We've reached the pinnacle of human technology!
posted by S.C. @ 7:50 AM | 0 comments

'Tis The Season

Ah, yes, the season is upon us once again, when time comes to be sorted into groups based upon your last name, which will determine your ultimate fate regarding which type of dish you will bring to each party...

Being in the 'P' category, we were side dishes last night.
posted by S.C. @ 7:35 AM | 2 comments

Monday, December 05, 2005


"Hi, we've got your furniture ready for delivery, would Tuesday work? Great. They'll be there sometime between 8am and 4pm."



posted by S.C. @ 12:08 PM | 1 comments

Hybrid Pros and Cons

An interesting little article has some Q&A's regarding hybrids, and I thought the following emailed question showed a very thoughtful analysis of the situation that I wanted to pass along:

Q. You have shown a lot of one-sided arguments in support of hybrids. I just want to give my two cents. The real problem with hybrids is that they are horrible to look at. I know beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but can you imagine a guy with tattoos or a cowboy driving a hybrid? It's a car that doesn't look manly. Take the Prius. It looks like a mouse with wheels, like something out of a cartoon. You think someone is going to really give up his tough-looking truck or manly muscle car for a car that looks like it was made for an old grandma? I'm in my mid-20s and in favor of doing something about the gas crisis, but I can't bring myself to ride a hybrid because of the way they look. Make a Mustang hybrid, and I'll buy it the first day it comes out.

:: insert sound of head slamming against desk ::

I honestly don't know whether to laugh, cry, or track this person down and remove him from the gene pool before he procreates...

The writer who was furnishing the answers to the questions had the following response:

A. Some of us think tattoos are ugly.

via AutoBlog
posted by S.C. @ 8:20 AM | 3 comments

PETA Can Just Go To Hell

Animal rights aside, this is just plain fucking wrong.

"Until your daddy learns that it's not 'fun' to kill, keep your doggies and kitties away from him. He's so hooked on killing defenseless animals that they could be next!"

Not that PETA has never gone too far before, but this is, what's the phrase, FUCKING INSANE.

Tipped off to the madness by Becki
posted by S.C. @ 7:53 AM | 1 comments

Mmmm, Comfy Feet

Good morning, all you wonderful blog readers...all 8 of you, I mean...

I'm happy this morning for a number of reasons, first and foremost that my new thermostat kicks ass and, you know, actually causes the furnace to heat the house.

Also, I brought some slippers in from home today because, while freezing my toes off under my desk kicks ass in so many ways, I think I'll keep them nice and toasty today.

Yesterday was so much fun, we didn't leave the house once! Well, the Redhead went out to the front porch to get the paper, but otherwise we just sat around, chored, and relaxed. And it was *good*.
posted by S.C. @ 7:44 AM | 0 comments

Friday, December 02, 2005

True Love

I was joking last night that one of the big reasons The Redhead married me was my family's coffee cake recipe.

She admitted to me this afternoon that, yes, that was a big reason. ;)
posted by S.C. @ 2:00 PM | 3 comments

At Least He Knows What He Did Wrong

Rally-car driver Travis Pastrana, discussing his incredibly horrible crash in Steamboat Spring, Co.:

"Coming off a long fast straight, into a left 5- (sharp left turn) over crest, I knew the second we could see the corner that we were carrying more speed than I had talent."

Pastrana and his co-driver (rally-car driving is a team effort, one guy driving, the other navigating and giving tips about taking turns and things) had nothing more that bruises to their bodies and their egos.

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posted by S.C. @ 7:33 AM | 2 comments

Thursday, December 01, 2005

10 Points...

10 Points go to PrincessYumYum over at Slate Your Name for trivia prowess.

That is all.
posted by S.C. @ 11:44 AM | 0 comments

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

My brother Andy forwarded the following email to me, which is his response to a gentleman from Merril-Lynch asking if their return trip had been less eventful than their travel to the competition. (For more details, check out this entry.) The funny thing is, they made the return leg with a large cardboard check, like they hand out at golf championships. The email is as follows:

Thanks for the email and we (Dom included) will send you the W-9s shortly. I figured you might want to hear about our travels back from Princeton (I put it into timeline format for reading ease):

1:00 PM – Leave Princeton with driver
1:45 PM – Arrive at Newark Airport
1:57 PM – Find out our plane (2:45 flight out) has yet to leave Charlotte to come to Newark
3:00 PM – We are told by the completely unhelpful ticket agent that we will not be leaving Newark until at least 5:15 pm
5:45 PM – We go eat dinner at the fabulous Dick Clark’s in Newark airport since we have now been told that we will not be leaving until 6:45
6:50 PM – Still waiting
7:15 PM – Actually board our plane
7:20 PM – The also completely unhelpful flight attendant tells us we must check our enormous check or else the plane won’t leave. Doubts arise amongst Dynasty as to the possibility of actually getting the check back in Charlottesville
9:15 PM – We arrive in Charlotte and find out from the gate agent that no planes have been able to go into Charlottesville for the past 2 days and they didn’t see it happening anytime soon. We question why US Airways in Newark told us we had spots on a flight from Charlotte to Charlottesville when no flights could fly in all day. The gate agent then directs us the ticketing counter past security to get assistance.
9:30 PM – We find out that the gate agent was mistaken when we get to the check-in counter and they direct us back through security to terminal E
9:40 PM – Security informs us that all of us had been selected for additional screening, we are humiliated.
10:00 PM – We arrive at “Special Situations” in terminal E. They inform us that they are not actually that “Special” as they can do nothing for us. We leave the terminal immediately.
10:10 PM – We find out that there are apparently no rental cars in all of Charlotte that we could use.
10:12 PM – The baggage claim starts up and the only thing that goes around is our enormous check.
10:35 PM – We arrive at the lovely Charlotte Greyhound station, they tell us, “We aren’t sure if we should sell you these tickets but good luck getting on.”
10:45 PM – We get 4 of the last 5 seats on the bus.
4:20 AM – We arrive in Richmond, VA as broken individuals.
5:15 AM – We leave from Richmond on the Greyhound to Charlottesville
6:30 AM – Arrive in Charlottesville, no cabs at the station
6:45 AM – Cab picks us up
8:00 AM – Three of us arrive in class.

I am compiling the expenses now for the trip and will send them to you tonight. Thanks again, we all had a great time and now have a ridiculous story to tell our progeny.
posted by S.C. @ 9:56 AM | 1 comments

Justice Is Sweet

Apparently, some guy successfully sold an empty box on eBay for over $600. How'd he do it?

It was the box for an xBox 360 premium system ($400 retail) and, even though the description stated VERY PLAINLY that the auction was just for the box, some stupid jackass paid $611 for it...

One point of view would feel sorry for the buyer but I, instead, congratulate the seller. Good job, man!

posted by S.C. @ 9:45 AM | 1 comments

"Yes!!! Naive Melody!!!"

I love recordings of live shows, I really do. I like being able to indentify particularly outstanding moments and listen to them over and over again, and not just good bits from the band.

I have a recording of a concert from a group called The String Cheese Incident. They cover, during the third set, the Talking Heads' This Must Be The Place (Naive Melody), which has got to be one of the most beautiful songs ever. They start the song with a nice, relaxed percussion intro, and about a minute into the track, you can hear some guy in the audience figure out what the song is, and scream "YES!!!!! NAIVE MELODY!!!!"

I like it so much, because I've been that guy, that guy who is so completely blown away by the fact that he got to hear one song or another. And that's why I love live recordings, because the audience really has an impact on how the entire thing sounds...
posted by S.C. @ 8:39 AM | 0 comments

Teen Driver + Cell Phone = Bad, Bad Stuff

We've all suspected that cell phone usage while driving makes other people drive like idiots, and the fine folks over at Ford have gone and proved that. Testing teens and adults in a driving simulator, they came up with some very interesting numbers. For example, teens and adults missed only 3% of potentially dangerous traffic hazards while just driving, with no phone. While using a hands-free cell phone, the missed hazard rate for adults increases to 13%, which is to be expected, since people really get into their conversations. What's really scary is, the missed hazard rate for teenagers using hands-free phones jumps to 53%.

I find an interesting parallel between these statistics, and some of the certification hoops I have to jump through when I fly. For example, the rating I'm currently seeking, an instrument rating, requires that I have 50 hours of cross-country flight time logged, in addition to the training I did to get my license in the first place. The reason for this is becoming quite clear, and it's that pilots need to be able to instinctively fly the plane before they add in the rigors of instrument flight.

Most adults don't consider the massive amount of work they do, just driving a car, because it has become second nature, almost instinctive. Teenagers, though, are still learning these skills, and if you add in another distraction, like a cell phone, the entire system starts to completely break down.

It makes me wonder if a graduated licensing schema would be a better choice for teaching our youngsters to drive...

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posted by S.C. @ 8:00 AM | 0 comments