All posts by trowelfaz

‘Crotch’ Rocket or the ‘Joystick’ controled motorcycle

You see some strange things when you have an hour trip to/from work everyday. I’ve seen men shave (complete with shaving cream!) and countless women change everything from their blouse to everything head-to-toe, but this latest tops everything else. As I pull up to the stop light, I notice a man and woman on a crotch rocket motorcycle. The man was wearing those knee-length red basketball shorts, basketball jersey and hightops. Nothing interesting there, unless you consider the bubble butt (baby got back on that one!) riding along in the denim daisy dukes and white flip flops bumping and grinding, or rather, rubbing, on the seat. No, that was not all that unusual in the big scheme of things. What was unusual was the way she had her arms wrapped around the guy. Well, she *was* holding on, but not like you think. She had her hands down the front of the guys shorts (both hands) and, while stopped at the light, her hands certainly were busy. When the light turned green, he gunned it and pulled the front wheel off the ground. I guess she pulled back on the stick thinking she was flying an airplane or something. They get behind a slower car and I catch up. Her hands are still active, and now he has his left arm in a ‘reverse reach around’ position. They finally turn left and continue on their ‘merry’ way.

I don’t think a helmet would protect them from a Darwin Award if they keep this up. Then again, they weren’t wearing a helmet anyway. At least she had a good grip on things.

New Mail Client for Mac Users!!!!

Finally, Adobe has released a new email client perfect for Mac users:

or for the Professional:

Adobe understands that Mac users cannot stoop so low as to type text in emails, but instead feel the desire to attach screenshots to get their elitist point across. To support the stick in the rear Mac fanboys, Adobe now offers Photoshop to replace the Mac email editor. Simply Select New Document, set the page size (the larger, the better), and click the Text tool and start typing! Easily change your font style, add additional images, apply some effects and press Send! In mere moments, your 22MB email with the graphical representation of ‘Wanna do lunch?’ will be clogging the 100+ recipients of your misdirected message.

Seriously folks, my cow-irker received an email from a vendor answering some questions about their online server for which the replay WAS A FRICKIN’ SCREENSHOT OF THE ANSWERS!!!! WTF?!?!? Granted, this is an online application company that sells a hosted bug tracking application geared for people that are incapable of downloading bugzilla. As it is, the mailing list at work catering to people with Macs is already flooding with screenshots (‘I have attached a screenshot of the screensaver settings so you can configure yours the same’), but from a vendor? I sure hope we drop this vendor like a hot potato.

Anti-theft? Or p*ss off consumers

I really despise all the lawsuits and attacks the ‘entertainment’ industry inflicts on consumers. I won’t get into the whole copyright infringement, making available, copy protection and other interference that these groups impose on consumers (don’t get me started on how they persuade lawmakers to spend tax dollars to ‘protect’ their ‘assets’), but instead will rant about something that may normally go unnoticed. That is CD and DVD packaging. These things are locked up tighter than Fort Knox! Talk about a reason for online distribution! First, you have to navigate the huge plastic security holder for which the cashier does not have the unlock dohickey for, thus needs to ask other cashiers and ultimately the manager to retrieve (I guess that notched piece of plastic costs a small fortune, so a large retailer can only afford to have one). Next, you need to navigate the stronger-than-titanium plastic wrap. Finally, behold! NOT! You are thwarted by the edge stickers so thin, they have chemically bonded with the case. You finally manage to pick a corner up, only to have it tear into a 2mm piece that sticks to the tip of your finger. You keep digging at the sticker, further scratching the case (beyond the diagonal scratch across the front of the case from trying to remove the cellophane). Finally, you get about an inch separated and, after 30 minutes, decide to try to force the case open in hopes that the sticker will split along the case seam, just like when you try to remove masking tape from a roll, but all you get is a thin jagged strip, but alas, you crack the case instead. Only after you are deemed worthy, are you able to extract the pressed round plastic disc, hopefully unscathed (both the disc and yourself). And you get that torment for a mere $15.

Compare this to the console game industry. Their products have a much shorter shelf life compared to music and movies, cost 3-5 times more to the consumer, but have much easier access. OK, many games are proudly (or more times than not, haphazardly thrown) behind a finger and nose print decorated glass wall. Once you are able to find someone to help (after asking about a dozen people, and only after the security cameras catch you trying to jimmy the lock), and they call in Bob from the night crew to come in and drop off the only key, the only thing separating you from your purchased entertainment is a thin layer of plastic. A quick fingernail run along the fingerhold and the plastic seems to mysteriously disintegrate (or more likely, leap off the game case to the nearest hand/arm/flat surface in static induced vengeance). Total extraction time: about 10 seconds. I guess game companies cannot justify making you wait any longer to play the game since by the time you load it in your console, 50 additional copycat games have been released, and your game has now been replaced with a version 2 which fixes the horrible gameplay and graphics from the version you just purchased.

*SIGH* Digital downloads are where the future is at. If only the stodgy greedy industry your listen to consumers.

“I think I can….”

Coming home today, I heard the sirens of an emerging emergency vehicle. What I wasn’t prepared for is almost a 3 minute wait until it rounded the bend. To my surprise was a small mini van type vehicle with the siren roaring and lights flashing. Even more surprising is how speedy it was. NOT! I watch as the driver nagivated the intersection at a speed I can assume a turtle could pass, then when on the clear straight-away, he gunned it! Well, the engine (all 3 HP of it) revved up, BUT IT WAS NOT MOVING! Or at least, did not give the perception of moving. The transmission shifted into second gear, and it has moved about 20 feet, but the little engine was really trying. So another minute passes, and I can still see it struggling to get up the hill and out of sight. I pity whoever he was going to save.

On another note, here is something I grabbed from caphrims comments:

Wii Fit

My wonderful wife scored the last Wii Fit in Target yesterday!! (sorry caphrim, no Wii’s in stock). It is pretty cool, and Wii Ski is a great game to pick up along with it. For those skeptical about getting Wii Fit, this video should help the decision:

Book Roll

I have finished or about to finish a few books that I wanted to share. First is Personal Days. This is a comical story about life in a downsizing company ultimately resulting in layoffs. It is a quick read, and is structured much like a blog. I enjoyed the first few chapters, but when the book switched formats to that of a screenplay (complete with act, etc), I stated to lose interest. If you have ever worked in an office, you can certainly identify with many of the characters and their roles, and much of the book did not contain much ‘meat’, but as I already stated, read like a blog (which is good for those with ADD!) However, the last chapter is presented as a letter, but is basically the book inside of the book where the intended storyline is laid out. In between plot descriptors in the last chapter are divergent thoughts leading credibility to the letter it is supposed to represent. To be honest, I skimmed over much of the last chapter, picking out only the bits that related to the story told in previous chapters. In all, the book is good library material if you want a book you can relate to without the need for an all encompassing story.

Forbidden Lego is a book that many have tried to get banned, based simply on the title. If those who are against the book actually READ it (or rather, looked at the pictures), they would see it is nothing more than a Lego how-to guide. Nothing stood out as contraband, just some creative uses of Lego’s and other common items to help foster greater experimentation in engineering. There are steps on how to make a paper airplane launcher, a catapult, a plate dispenser and other projects. In all, very entertaining and projects that I would have loved to undertake as a kid (and many I did with my erector set!). The reasoning for the title, and thus subject to ignorance
from the uneducated is due to the projects not being officially sanctioned by Lego since the projects may launch an object or use non-Lego parts. That aside, it is a great book to show kids that Legos don’t need to go together only the way shown on the box, but to rather think outside the box and apply some engineering principals.

How to Fossilize your Hamster is yet another book from the New Scientist team to supplement the ‘Why don’t Penguins Feet Freeze?’ and ‘Does Anything Eat Wasps?’ series. I immediately recalled many of the questions answered in this book from the previous books, but this edition goes a step further and gives instructions on experiments you can carry out at home to come up with your own results. While I like these sorts of Q&A books, the addition of step-by-step instructions are an additional benefit that will help to demonstrate these theory’s to kids so they can better understand the world around them.

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