Last night I found a 20Q game at Wal-Mart for just under $10. It asks you 20 vague questions and then guesses what you're thinking of. It's very accurate.
You can also play on their website: 20Q. It's fun. Try it.
Thursday, December 29, 2005
Wednesday, December 28, 2005
Well, it's official. King Kong is not quite the blockbuster movie studio executives had been hoping for. Ticket sales have been slumping all year, and any hopes that this movie would help offset the trend have been dashed. As it stands, Star Wars Episode III is the only $300 million dollar blockbuster of the year (there were 3 movies last year).
I have some theories why people haven't been going to the movies.
First, the summer action movies have been getting dumber and dumber over the years. I won't go see a movie if it insults my intelligence in the trailer. Let's take the movie Stealth. Lightning strikes a new military jet and it becomes smarter than the actors in the movie and goes into self-preservation mode. Gimme a break. You can't have a whole movie about that.
Second, special effects have lost their ability to wow. Every movie put out this summer seemed to overflow with special effects. Special effects should not be a substitute for a storyline. The Chronicles of Narnia is an excellent example of special effects done right because they didn't get in the way of the story. Again, let's take Stealth. This movie is obviously about a computer-generated jet and nothing else.
Third, you don't have to put with audience distractions. I can't tell you how many movies I've had to listen to some teenage brat talking to her boyfriend on the phone the entire movie. A initiative to block cell phone reception in movie theaters in gaining momentum. I hope it succeeds.
Fourth, picture quality. DVDs are spoiling movie-goers. It's arguable that movies on DVD look better than they do on the big screen. DLP projection looks brilliant, or so I've heard. When are we gonna start seeing more theaters with DLP projectors?
Fifth, concession stand prices. It now costs about the same for a bucket of popcorn and a coke than it does to eat at a nice restaurant.
Sixth, there are just too many movies out at one time right now. To some extent, that makes sense. Put a out a bigger dragnet and you're gonna catch more fish. But a lot of times there is more than one movie I want to see so I have to pick which one. Plus, when there are so many movies, the quality seems to suffer, I think.
Posted by Michael at 2:05 PM
Yesterday the Senate voted to block oil drilling in the Artic National Wildlife Refuge.
I have mixed feelings on this. Opening ANWR is not going to alleviate our dependence on foreign oil. Some estimate it could lower our dependence by about 2%. Still, 2% is nothing to scoff at.
Although I don't think drilling in ANWR is going to have much impact on the environment, I'd rather see more legislation and incentives enacted to help lower our energy usage. People in the United State use more energy than any other nation by a significant margin, and it cannot continue forever.
Let's focus on reducing our oil consumption rate. Our automakers could make our cars more fuel efficient, but they don't because they aren't forced to. The government could place extra luxury taxes on SUVs. These are nothing but status symbols anyway. Also, the government could give tax breaks to people who drive manual transmissions, which have better fuel economy--people who drive hybrid cars already get a similar break. Probably the best thing the government could do is start educating the public about our energy problems.
Posted by Michael at 8:49 AM
Tuesday, December 20, 2005
Norma Rae is one of my favorite movies. In that movie, Norma Rae has a job in a factory with atrocious working conditions, and she organizes a union to get a more inhabitable work environment. It's a great movie. The idea of one person taking on an industry and winning is as old as David and Goliath. It's easy to root for the little guy, or gal, as the case may be.
Now, I've seen on the news where the Transportation Workers Union in New York City walked off the job, forcing thousands, even millions, of people to find alternative means of transportation. This has a potentially expensive impact on New York's economy--maybe the economy of the United States. Does the union have a genuine reason for doing this or is the reason nothing more than greed?
I have mixed feelings about unions. On one hand, they can make a difference. On the other, once they are organized, they tend to use strong-arm tactics to get what they want, and it typically doesn't benefit the members of the unions so much as the leaders of the union.
Posted by Michael at 6:25 PM
I love Egg McMuffins. I've been seeing the commercials on TV for the Back to Basics Egg & Muffin toaster. I could not resist. At just under $40 at Wal-Mart, I figured it was worth it.
I love it. It takes about 4 minutes to make the perfect Egg McMuffin at home now. You should get one.
Posted by Michael at 8:37 AM
Sunday, December 18, 2005
I just watched the final episode of HBO's Six Feet Under, and now I'm certain that it is the most brilliant television series ever made. Six Feet Under was never afraid to take you to places that were uncomfortable and sad. Yet the show was extremely funny and uplifting at times. If you haven't seen the ending, you should stop reading now.
At the beginning of nearly every episode, someone dies. This has been one of the most fascinating parts of the show. About 4 or 5 episodes from the end, however, Nate dies. And after spending the next few episodes watching everyone learn to cope, Six Feet Under doesn't let up. Instead, it takes it one step further. Rather than leave you wondering what happens to all of the main characters, it uses the same methodology from the opening scene to show you how Ruth, Keith, Rico, David, Brenda, and Claire all meet their demise. After having been with these characters for 5 years, it's like watching all of your family die within the span of 2 minutes. It's truly devastating. But the show could not have ended any other way.
Originally, I thought the show was about the Fisher family learning to cope without it's father, but ultimately, it's about something much more important. It's about using your time to live as much as you can before you die.
Posted by Michael at 1:40 PM
Friday, December 16, 2005
Six Flags has a new person at the helm, and he thinks he can turn the troubled company around. One of his first edicts is to send Mr. Six packing. Now, I'm all for returning Six Flags to it former glory, but I love Mr. Six. He's such a clever marketing gimmick. I don't understand why you would want to get rid of him. When that music starts playing and he does all that age-defying dancing, it brings a smile to my face.
There is an online petition to keep Mr. Six as the mascot for the theme park chain. You can sign the petition here. It only takes a few seconds.
Posted by Michael at 9:42 PM
I just got back from Tulsa's newest movie theater, Riverwalk Movies. Actually, it isn't in Tulsa...it's just across the river in Jenks. Overall, it's a nice theater. It doesn't look very big on the outside, but on the inside, it's cavernous. The seats were comfortable for the most part, and they're rockers, which is a bonus in my book. They don't have automated ticket dispensers yet, but maybe they'll put some in. The Riverwalk Crossing will now be a great place to go have dinner and see a movie.
So what movie did I see? King Kong. I thought it was excellent. It's a little over three hours long, but it didn't have any real slow parts. The middle part of the movie has some really ingenious action sequences in it. Oh, let me warn you, it has a lot of insects and creepy crawlies, not just gorillas and dinosaurs. I could have done without the scenes with all those critters. I defy you to watch the movie and not squirm during those segments.
The special effects in the movie, though generally great, were a mixed bag. When you are watching Kong, it is so well done that you believe you're watching a real gorilla. Some of the other effects, like the scene where a bunch of people are running with a herd of dinosaurs, look a little fake. But it still believable and fun.
The ending of the movie is really sad. Think "Passion of the Christ", only with a gorilla and biplanes. That part was hard to watch, but it had to be in there, or it wouldn't be King Kong, right?
Now back to the movie theater. When the movie was over, the projector turned off just when the credits were about to roll. It was kinda like they were saying get out, we have another group of people waiting in line to get in. I thought that seemed kinda rude, but it was their opening day and they were having some technical difficulties, so I'll give them the benefit of the doubt.
Posted by Michael at 8:58 PM
Monday, December 12, 2005
Tuesday is an important election in Tulsa. There is a vote on 4 propositions to "fix the county". From what I've read, this is largely a waste of tax payers' money.
A local website called Do the River First makes a great argument for voting no on all the propositions, except for proposition 1, which they say you should vote yes on. Check it out.
Posted by Michael at 9:04 AM
I've been reading about this guy on death row in California named Stanley Tookie Williams. For those of you who don't know, "Tookie" is credited with founding the Crips, a gang that has been associated with thousands of murders in Los Angeles. Even so, I'm not really a proponent of the death penalty. Our justice system is run by people, and people have flaws--they make mistakes. People also have agendas. I don't believe you can make an argument that our legal system is blind because of this.
Since "Tookie" has been in prison, he's apparently turned his life around. He's actually being beneficial to society now. He's trying to keep kids out of gangs now. The society we live in is largely Christian. In Christianity, there is a big emphasis on redemption, and yet a lot of people want to see this guy pay for what he did. I find it all a bit hypocritical.
The other thing that bothers me about executing Tookie is that it will make him a martyr. If you thought gang violence was bad before, just wait to you kill their leader. And we know Los Angeles is prone to rioting. I wouldn't be surprised if we see one this week. It could be costly.
Supposedly Schwartzeneggar is considering pardoning him. It will be interesting to see what happens.
Posted by Michael at 8:36 AM
Friday, December 09, 2005
Within the last few weeks Tivo has been making several improvements to its service for those people with broadband.
First, there is the Netflix partnership. While the official launch of the service has yet to occur, they did do a test the week of Thanksgiving where you could download a movie of their choosing to your Tivo. I opted to help them with their test, and the next time I checked, the movie had downloaded to my Tivo flawlessly. Now, I'm sure the movies will have DRM in them to prevent copying, but I didn't really check.
Second, there is the Yahoo! partnership. I have yet to receive this update, but some friends are telling me they got it, and it's cool. You get access to your Yahoo! Photos account. There are also local movie listings with showtimes and free streaming music. I'm anxiously awaiting this update.
Third, there is the ability to download content from Tivo into portable devices such as Sony PSP and iPod video. I don't have either of these devices, the iPod video sure sounds sweet. I'm kinda wondering if there are any plans to let you download iTunes video into the Tivo. I kinda doubt it. Rumor has it that Apple is cooking up a DVR of their own, using the Mac Mini as the platform. I have mixed feelings about this. I'd love to see Apple branch out into new markets, but I don't want to see the Tivo company suffer because of it, as it is one of the few companies I'm fiercely loyal to right now. I'll betcha the Apple DVR will let you download video to it exclusively.
Posted by Michael at 6:45 AM
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
I heard a program on the radio yesterday talking about "holiday trees". Now, I did see a video on Yahoo yesterday where this one company had a Jewish display in it's store. It had some other religious displays. But there was no Christian display. There was a snow flake tree, instead. Now, that is obviously unfair.
Then, this guy came on and started talking about how Christians are being persecuted in this country. This is when I started to get offended. I'd like to plop this guy down in Iraq for a few weeks, and then we'll see if he still feels persecuted in American. The last time I looked, the U.S. isn't sending Christians to gas chambers, like they did in Nazi-controlled Germany last-century. Or we could send this guy to Bosnia or Africa for a few weeks to see if he feels like missing holiday displays is anything like ethnic cleansing.
Discriminated against? Maybe. But certainly not persecuted.
Posted by Michael at 8:28 AM
Friday, December 02, 2005
On December 22, the TSA will allow passengers to bring scissors and small screwdrivers onboard airplanes in the U.S. The TSA says these as low-risk items. They are going to concentrate more on finding explosives.
Hmn. I don't remember the September 11th hijackers having any bombs on them. They effectively used very low-tech items similar to scissors and screwdrivers.
I'm glad I'm not flying anytime soon.
Posted by Michael at 12:00 PM
Thursday, December 01, 2005
What is with this country? Are we really so irresponsible?
Channel 8 had a survey on their website tonight. The survey asks "Should parents be held accountable for students who cuss at school?". When I submitted my answer (no), I got a statistical graph saying two-thirds of those who responded said yes. I have a problem with that.
I remember when I was in school. My parents told me over and over not to cuss in school. I knew they would not have approved of my potty mouth. But I had one, and I knew how to use it. There is nothing my parents could have done differently that would have changed that. Anyone who presume's otherwise is only fooling himself.
Our country really has a problem with facing reality. There is this pathological need to blame someone else for any wrongdoing, and it frequently involves blaming by association. It really needs to stop. I sometimes wonder if I'm really a liberal or if I'm just a radical thinker. I'm sure the parents of those kids involved in the Columbine shootings were probably good parents. I don't think people who make guns have anything to do with drive-by shootings. I don't think that people involved in drunken auto accidents have any right to blame the bartender who served the driver liquor. I believe that most people know what they are doing when they do something wrong, and they are soley responsible for their own actions. Sometimes bad things just happen, and no one is at fault. Deal with it.
Posted by Michael at 10:14 PM
Wednesday, November 30, 2005
Okay, I can't keep silent any longer. I'm sick of hearing people like the Catholic League and Jerry Falwell complaining about the use of "Season's Greetings" instead of "Merry Christmas" in retail shopping centers and "Holiday Trees" instead of "Christmas Trees" on public property.
It's not that I'm against Christmas or Jesus or anything--I'm not. I just think these people need to focus their energy on stuff that's important, like pedophile priests or deforestation of the Amazon.
Let's face it. Not everyone in America is Christian. Some are Jewish, some are Buddhist, and, yes, some are even Islamic. While these other religions make up a smaller percentage of the population, it is still in most retailer's interest not to offend these groups with religous endorsements.
As for "Holiday Trees", this is going a bit far, but I understand why government agencies would use this terminology, what with all the lawsuits going on. Still, I feel silly calling a tree a holiday tree.
Posted by Michael at 2:28 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
Surface is probably my fourth most favorite show on TV right now, behind Commander in Chief, Lost, and Desparate Housewives. Last night's episode was pretty thrilling, just as it has been all season. Then, as the credits were rolling, instead of showing a preview for next week, it simply just said "New episodes of Surface are coming in January". Why, NBC, do you taunt me like this!
Posted by Michael at 8:34 AM
Sunday, November 27, 2005
Tuesday, November 22, 2005
And it's in my hands--for the moment, at least. It's going on eBay later.
But boy was it a spectacle last night. One of my co-workers tipped me off about one of the local Wal-Mart's so I went there and got in line just a few spaces behind him. I was number 42 and they had 48. So, four hours later, I had one in my hands.
Posted by Michael at 8:36 AM
Monday, November 14, 2005
The local news is reporting that three separate witnesses have seen a mountain lion in the Ray Harral Nature Park in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma.
A professional trapper has been hired to capture and remove the animal. I hope they don't have to kill it.
Posted by Michael at 9:28 PM
After having installed my Sirius receiver, it became clear to me the remote control did not work properly. Sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn't. I tried a few things with the battery, to no avail. So I took the unit back to Circuit City and exchanged it for an identical unit.
I called Sirius the other day to see what I would need to do when I swapped units. They told me to call them once I had the new unit and they would just switch out the serial numbers in their system. No big deal.
So I called them. The agent I received on the phone was super pleasant. However, he was unable to pull up my account because their systems had just gone down or something. Sensing my disappointment, he said the system would probably be back up in less than 30 minutes and he would call me back if I wanted him to. I said sure. I figured that would give me time to re-mount the new unit in the car anyway.
Two minutes later the phone rang, and it was the same Sirius dude. He asked me for my new serial number and said within 5 minutes I would see a message saying it was activating. No sooner than I had hung up with him, the unit did indeed activate, and I was good to go.
So far, I love Sirius. Perhaps I love it too much. Now, I want to go somewhere in the car--doesn't matter where--all the time just so I can listen to it. Maybe I should write the marketing department and pitch some commercials to them.
Posted by Michael at 8:19 AM
Thursday, November 10, 2005
Okay. I have a sickness. I admit it. I love all things electronic. But it's not merely enough to admire these gadgets...I must own them.
Recently, one of my co-workers bought a Sirius radio for his car, and he's been playing some of the Sirius streams on his computer at work. Now, everyone in Tulsa knows the radio stations here suck, so this has piqued my interest. But the real kicker is that the idea of satellites beaming music into my car gives me pleasure that is probably illegal in Oklahoma. So, tonight, I added a Sirius receiver to my car. Installation was must easier than I expected it would be. These things truly are plug and play.
Just a few days ago, I aquired a Tivo and a new PalmPilot. My collection is almost complete. The only thing left is a high-def TV. That's the last thing I can't live without, but it should be a while before that happens because it's becoming too costly to support my electronic habit.
Posted by Michael at 11:30 PM
When the screen went black at the end of Lost last night, I was upset and pissed off more than I have been with any previous episode. Sayed (spelling?) had just pronounced his love for Shannon and he'd never leave her. Then she ran off in the woods and got shot, and then apparently died in his arms. Shannon, the spoiled little rich girl, had really been showing signs of growing up, and then they whacked her.
Or maybe they didn't. We didn't actually see Shannon die. It was implied. The teaser for Lost had said one of the characters would be lost forever. After thinking about it, there are three possibilities:
Shannon could be lost forever because she died. But maybe she didn't.
Sawyer could be lost forever because he slipped into unconsciousness and did not recover. Seems unlikely.
Or the one survivor they lost in the woods about half-way through the show could be the character lost forever. That character was essentially a "red shirt" character like they used to have on Star Trek. I'm thinking this one seems the most believable.
Finally, the other bad thing about Lost is that next week is going to be about the people in the tail section of the plane, so we probably won't learn of Shannon's fate for at least another episode.
Posted by Michael at 8:19 AM
Tuesday, November 08, 2005
Well, perhaps Oklahomans are smarter than lawmakers thought. The "Education Lottery" is just not generating the revenue lawmakers thought it would. An education lottery is a paradox anyway. Presumably, as more money is fed into the lottery, more money goes to the schools and children receive a better education. But, as children receive a better education, they will be less likely to play the lottery as they get older because they realize what a waste of money it is, and less money will go into the lottery. In other words, it'll never solve Oklahoma's education problems.
Posted by Michael at 2:18 PM
Monday, November 07, 2005
Last night I had the most delightful dream. There was this tree in this old woman's yard that was a mythical strawberry tree. The strawberries it produced were nearly as large as a grapefruit. They were delicious and sweeter than any strawberry I've ever tasted. Each morning the neighborhood kids would gather around the tree and pick the latest ripe berries off the tree.
I'm not sure if the dream means anything, but I was one of the best dreams I've ever had.
Posted by Michael at 8:33 AM
Wednesday, November 02, 2005
I received a letter in the mail yesterday from Canada. When I opened it, I found a check for nearly $4,000 in it and a letter saying I won an international lottery (which I did not enter). The total prize is $75,000 but there are 4 other winners I have to split the winnings with. Anyway, the check is to cover the taxes I owe the federal government. To get the rest of my money, I have to call a toll-free number and hand over my bank account number.
I knew this was a scam from the first sentence. But the check looks absolutely authentic. Just to confirm my suspicions, I did a search on the internet. I found talk of similar scams. One helpful site had this to say:
If you want to be sure you're not the next victim of a foreign lottery scam, here are five tips:
1. First of all, playing any kind of cross-border lottery system is a violation of Federal law, and law enforcement officials ARE paying attention. IOW, it's illegal. Don't do it!
2. You can't win a prize in a lottery if you didn't buy a lottery ticket.
3. Real lotteries don't ask you to pay a fee. If you have to write a check to win a lottery prize, it's a scam. IOW, never, ever send any money for 'processing fees,' or share any other financial information, in order to claim a prize.
4. Never fill out any prize forms or 'claims' either through snail mail or online -- you may end up on scammers' 'sucker' lists as a result, which means you'll just get more solicitations.
5. Don't believe -- or pay for -- any 'secret systems' that will help you win lotteries. If someone really had a foolproof secret system to win lotteries, why would they sell it to you?
So, don't be fooled if you get the same thing in the mail. You can read more here.
Posted by Michael at 9:39 AM
Well, last night I gave up on my Sony Clie. It won't hold a charge, and I can't be sure if it's the battery or the charging cradle. I wasn't willing to spend any more money on it to find out.
I thought about PocketPC, Windows Mobile, or whatever the hell they are calling it these days, but these devices are still too expensive. History has shown I don't use my PDA frequently enough for me to justify the cost.
So, I'm now the proud new owner of a Palm Z22. This is my first Palm-branded PalmPilot. It only does 160x160. I sorta miss the Clie's 320x320. But the Z22 has other features lacking on my Clie. The one that I'm most thankful for is non-volatile memory. If the battery runs down, I won't lose my data.
Posted by Michael at 7:21 AM
Thursday, October 27, 2005
Chad Oliverson's performance of Dr. Frank-N-Furter was spot-on. He is the star of the show, without a doubt. And those platform shoes! They are about 4 or 5 inches tall. I kept thinking he was gonna twist an ankle, but that did not happen.
The show was one of those shows that's so much fun, you don't want it to end. I was afraid they would tone it down for an Oklahoma audience, but it was a word-for-word reanctment of the movie and just as risque.
One of the cool things about the show was the ushers before the performance started. They are in character and they kept doing think to various audience members. That's definitely not in the movie.
There were a few things that detracted from the performance considerably, however. Some of the actors act like they are bored. Others are very flat when they sing. It took a while for the stage production to build up to the energy that's in the movie through most of it. Another problem was the sound kept cutting in and out. Still, the problems were minor, and should not keep you from doing the Time Warp again.
Posted by Michael at 5:37 AM
Thursday, October 20, 2005
Wednesday, October 19, 2005
The other night was a cool evening, so I was driving back home with the windows down, when I came upon a fog bank an interesting fog bank with a well-defined boundary. As I drove through it, it quickly became apparent to me this was no natural fog...it was a cloud of pesticide! By the time I rolled the windows up, it was in the car with me to stay. Dammit.
I don't think the city should be allowed to just randomly spray the area with poison. Several times during the summer, a truck can be seen driving up and down my street spraying a dense cloud of pesticide to kill mosquitoes and probably other insects. Pesticides don't just kill insects. Other animals eat the insects and they die, too. Then other animals eat those animals, and so on and so fourth. I'm adamantly against pesticides and rarely use them in my house (unless there is a spider, and then it's so long sucker!) Plus I just really don't appreciate having the breathe the shit. Even with my windows up in my house, I can sometimes smell the pesticide when they spray outside. What's also aggravating is that there are very few mosquitoes this time of year anyway.
Posted by Michael at 5:51 PM
Tuesday, October 18, 2005
Who else here thinks Corporate America is screwing them over? Can I get a show of hands?
I'm tired of companies that lock you into a contract to keep your business. It goes against our society's long-held belief that competition spurs innovation and drives down costs. Today, if you want a cell phone you're more than likely going to be locked into a two-year contract. You can get a cell phone sans contract, but then your per-minute cost is much higher than if you signed a contract, and it will cost you even more in the long run. Corporate America has gotten lazy and rather than innovate, they just lock you into a contract so they can innovate at their own artifically slow pace. It used to be such that if you didn't like a company, you could run to the competitor, but not anymore. If you don't like what company A has to offer, company B has a similiar set of offerings and the same type of contract, so you're not really changing anything at all. Consumers have fewer choices today than they should. Does Congress do anything about it? Are you kidding?
I have some friends who are moving from an apartment to a house. SBC says they can move their service, but they have to pay a re-connect fee, and their DSL contract starts over if they do. Now, if they decide to cancel the service, they are required to pay around $200 to break the DSL contract, since the contract isn't up for a while. That's outrageous. Talk about being between a rock and a hard place.
Here's a shocking idea. I bet you that if a company were to provide a decent service and treat it's customers like customers instead of revenue streams, it would probably do pretty well for itself.
Posted by Michael at 1:36 PM
Monday, October 17, 2005
Wednesday, October 12, 2005
I'm 4 episodes into Surface on NBC, and I'm addicted. This show is somewhat campy, but in a fun sort of way. It's really a good blend of Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, E.T., X-Files, and Abyss. If you like "creature features", you should not miss this one.
Now on to the spoilers.
In the last couple of episodes, we learned that the creatures secrete a mucus membrane around them that lets them live inside lava. It now looks like the creatures have been living inside the earth's crust for a long time, as the creatures seem to have DNA in common with dinosaurs. Yeah, yeah. Where did they get dino DNA? We saw in Jurrasic Park that it's not easy to come by. Logic aside, there has been some really cool happenings. A whirlpool in a lake in Austin, Texas opened up, swallowing a boat and a para sailer recently. Actually, the entire lake just went dry. It turns out these whale creatures have been digging tunnels under much of the continent. Later, Old Faithful in Yellowstone erupted lava! And the best part is the one kid who is raising one of the creatures in a swimming pool. A poodle started barking at the creature from the water's edge, and you can imagine what happened next! The creature ate the poodle. Awesome! I hate poodles.
Posted by Michael at 9:30 AM
Today is the first day of the Oklahoma Lottery. Well, sorta. They only have scratch-offs right now.
Anyway, I was going into my local QuikTrip this morning to get cash from the ATM when I noticed Cindy Morrison from Channel 8 (at least I think it was her) doing a story from inside the QuikTrip. She was blocking the ATM, so I didn't go inside...it looked like she was going to be a while.
So I went to a different QuikTrip. On an impulse, I purchased a Lucky 7's scratch-off. And what did I win? Absolutely nothing. Now see? Here is where Oklahoma screwed up. They should have made virtually every card a winner at the beginning. That way, people would play, win, and think, "Wow! That was SO easy. I'm gonna buy a hundred of those!" And everyone would be addicted. But, thankfully, they didn't do that, so I probably won't play scratch-offs any more.
Posted by Michael at 9:20 AM
Well, after nearly an entire day of playing with firewall settings, I have the Tivo Desktop, an add-on application called Galleon, and an add-on application that pulls down Netflix information all communicating wirelessly with the Tivo from my PC. It is a beautiful thing to be able to play music sitting on my PC through the speakers in my living room. Or I can pull up current weather information or movie showtimes. This thing rocks!
Posted by Michael at 9:17 AM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
I've been trying to decide if Tivo is right for me or not for several days now. I've been voraciously search the internet for stuff about building a DIY PVR, but it's just not as cost-effective for me to do that. Well, this morning, my mind was made up. CompUSA was offering a $20 instant rebate on Tivo, in addition to the $150 mail-in rebate from Tivo itself. That put the cost of the hardware at $30. That doesn't include the subscription, but it's still cheaper overall than a DIY system.
So far I'm pretty happy with it. I've not been able to get it to connect to my wireless network yet, but hopefully that will be resolved shortly.
Posted by Michael at 3:54 PM
Wednesday, October 05, 2005
Well I went to the fair last night. We started off at Bell's. The Zingo is rougher than I remember. I'll probably never ride that again. The drop ride that Bell's has is freaking scary. Just before it drops you, you are about twice as high up as any ferris wheel out there. The drop really got my pulse a racing! The midway this year seemed like a tone-down version of last year. I didn't see any new ride configurations, but it seemed odd to me that a lot of the rides there last year were missing this year. Oh well. I still had a good time. That is until I got mildly sick on this one ride. I'm not sure what it's called, but basically, we were on it longer than normal because somebody wanted off half-way through. So they stopped it and then restarted it. I probably won't ever ride a ride like that again either. Then later I had a funnel cake and everything was right with the world.
Posted by Michael at 8:02 AM
Sunday, October 02, 2005
Just got back from seeing the new Jodie Foster movie, Flightplan. I have mixed feelings about it. It was very suspenseful throughout the entire movie. You could never really be sure if Jodie Foster's character was crazy or not until about the last quarter of the movie. But the movie was slow in parts...real slow. If you haven't seen it, wait for video. It's worth a rental, I suppose.
The biggest problem I have with the movie is its utter implausibility. The real villian took a large risk relying that no one on the plane would see or remember Jodie Foster's daughter. Why would the Sky Marshall pick a woman that knew her way around the plan? He should have picked someone less likely to ruin his plans. What if when they were searching the plane, one of the other stewards had actually searched the hiding place where the girl was...it seems unlikely the Sky Marshall could have forseen all the events that ensued.
Posted by Michael at 12:36 AM
Wednesday, September 28, 2005
The Associated Press is reporting that some Japanese scientists have photographed a giant squid in the wild for the first time. For those of you who aren't total geeks like myself, scientists have known for years about the existence of giant squid because their bodies wash ashore from time to time. But no one has ever seen or been able to photograph one while it was still alive. It's like the Holy Grail of underwater photography. Now, if I can just get that Yeti picture I took developed, I'll be rich!
Posted by Michael at 10:24 AM
Sunday, September 25, 2005
Thursday, September 22, 2005
We tried the Elephant Bar Restaurant last night. The food was really good, but we had the worst waitress I've ever seen. The food didn't all come out at once. She promised one of our party he could use a coupon, but then the computer wouldn't let her use it. She got all of our checks wrong. I'm not kidding, this poor girl needed to go back to McDonald's and beg for old job back.
Posted by Michael at 8:55 AM
Well, Lost continued it tradition of raising more questions than answers. And, of course, it ended with a cliffhanger. The more I watch this show, the more I feel like I'm going to be unsastisfied by the eventual revelation of all the secrets. There's just no way they can explain all the freaky stuff happening on this island.
Did anyone watch Invasion? It made me jump about three times. It was good, spooky fun. I think it's going to be a retelling of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. The previews for Invasion and Surface made the two shows look very similar, but after having seen the first episode of both, I no longer see a similarity.
Posted by Michael at 7:34 AM
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
While the government is struggling to figure out where the money to pay for New Orleans will come from, NASA is spending billions of tax-payers' dollars to send probes to other planets. While I'm all for the advancement of scientific knowledge, it suddenly seems inappropriate. Yeah it's interesting to know how the universe formed, but what does it really gain us? Personally, I think we should put NASA on hold until we can afford it again. I realize the news likes to shoot for the dramatic, but they're saying now if we don't curb our deficit, it might never be paid off. Can you see the United States filing for bankruptcy? It would be the end of everything as we know it.
There's also the war in Iraq. Extricating ourselves from that Vietnam now will go along way to freeing up dollars for Katrina relief.
Having said that, I'm wondering how they are going to rebuild New Orleans. Are they going to bulldoze the low-lying areas and start over? If so, it seems like a waste of money to rebuild there. They will always live in the shadow of levy failure. To properly rebuild, they need to move out of the low-lying areas or build them up so they aren't below the water level.
Now that the Republicans are in control of everything, let's see how they handle this.
Posted by Michael at 8:46 AM
Monday, September 19, 2005
I don't know if anyone else watched Surface tonight on NBC, but if you didn't, you're a loser. This show really has potential to be something great. If you took the movies Jaws, Aliens, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jurassic Park, and Abyss and combined them, this is the show you would get.
For those of you who missed it, I taped it. Not that I would let you borrow it...I'll just watch it again and again so I can rub your face in it.
Okay, for those of you who missed it and aren't savvy enough to download it with BitTorrent, here is what happened: It all began one night when a bunch of drunk, obnoxious teenagers were taking a joyride in Daddy's yacht and one of them started water skiing. Eventually, the kid on the skis fell. While he was waiting to be picked up, he looked over at a dingy in the water and saw a large creature with a tail jump off it into the water. The next thing you know, the thing, or it's identical twin raised its head out of the water behind him. Obviously, this caused some alarm. He started screaming for his friends, and they pulled up alongside him to rescue him seconds after the creature went back under the surface. No one else saw it. Then, the Coast Guard shows up, parents all called, and suddenly the teen who was in the water is grounded.
Next scene: in some icy waters, a large aircraft carrier has pulled up alongside a derelict submarine. A crazy scientist lands in a helicopter and begins communicating with the officials on the flight deck. We learn through a bunch of technobabble chatter that the submarine went missing a few days ago and was found 5000 miles off-course. They've not been able to make contact with anyone inside. When they pop the hatch, it's empty, but all the circuits in the computer systems are fried. Immediately, the military begins to suspect the Koreans have some kind of new weapon. But the scientist has his doubts.
Next: a young marine biologist drops her child off with her ex-husband and heads to work. She's going on a dive to study a volcanic vent in an effort to prove life began there. When her submarine gets to the bottom, she is in for a surprise. There are gigantic holes in the sea floor that seem to be very deep. As she's studying them, something starts coming up through the hole. Several somethings. The turbulence causes her submarine to flip over. She swears she saw some unusual light and a dorsal fin.
Jump to a couple of red-necks about to embark on a grouper spear-fishing expedition. We learn the guys are brothers and this is "little brother"'s first dive. Are they really that ignorant?
Meanwhile, the boy who had a close encounter can't get it out of his mind. He coerces his friend to take a small boat out to the buoy again late one night. This time they don't find the creature, but instead they find hundreds of eggs floating in the water. Naturally, they snatch an egg and take it back home and put it in the aquarium to see what hatches.
When the marine biologist returns to work the next day, word of her underwater adventure has gotten out and the crazy scientist on the aircraft carrier shows up to tell her that her sub is being confiscated. They interrogate her for three hours to learn what she saw. We learn that she's a very hot-headed woman (any doubts why she is a divorcee?). We also find out the submarine originally found has a large bite mark on the hull...from a mouth large enough to probably swallow the sub.
So the brothers take a boat out to an offshore drilling platform. The older of the two says the best fishing is around the platform. They attach their spearguns and into the water they go. It's not long before they find a grouper. But then they notice something much larger heading their way. The swim into the rig's framework for protection, but the younger brother accidentally shoots his spear gun, hitting the creature. It takes off and since the speargun's cord is attached to his wrist, he goes with the creature. The older brother does his best to save him, but is unable to keep up. As the younger brother is carried away, we see a bright flash of eerie blue green light. So long little brother, we hardly knew you. The older brother surfaces too quickly and gets narcosis.
It doesn't take long before the egg in the aquarium hatches and escapes. The teenage boy sees the creature scurry upstairs into his sister's room. He follows it into her bathroom and locks the door behind him to keep it his secret. Wouldn't everyone in the house wonder what the slim trail is all about? Luckily, he catches it in a shower curtain. Hmn, it can break through glass but a shower curtain can contain it? That should come in very useful later.
The marine biologist returns home and calls her father to tell him how she's been shut out of her lab by the government. Her son sees a news story on the TV about a large whale, or something like a whale, that washed up on the beach in Carolinas. He calls his mother in to look at it. Then, the mad scientist guy shows up on the TV (boy, he really gets around!) and relays some BS story about a whale carcass and how they've shut the beach down to protect the public. She books a flight to that area so she can see for herself what is going on.
The red neck, freshly out of the hospital, also sees the TV story and thinks it might help him figure out what happened to his brother. We learn his wife doesn't believe his story about the flash of light and thinks his narcosis caused him to hallucinate. So he heads for the beach, too, leaving her doubting ass at home.
Cut to a secret meeting with the NSA. The scientist unveils a large tooth about the size of a small microwave oven and begins telling them what he knows about the creatures. But of course, the scene ends before we learn anything, really.
Now, we jump to a fishing boat somewhere off the coast of South America. A grandfather and grandson are fishing one night. A meteor shower begins. But the meteors all seem to be falling in the water just a few hundred feet away. And so we are left with our first cliffhanger...WTF does the meteor shower have to do with it?
The trailer for next week was actually a trailer for the next several weeks. All I can say is WOW! This show seems really ambitious in its scope. It looks very expensive to make. It also looks very similar to ABC's Invasion show, which is getting rave reviews. Invasion starts Wednesday after Lost. I can't wait!
Posted by Michael at 11:04 PM
I noticed this morning, as I was waiting in line for my daily Egg McMuffin, there was a sign up saying you could win a trip to Disneyland just by buying a Happy Meal.
How is this different than gambling? And doesn't this promote gambling to children?
Of course, I also have a Diet Pepsi sitting here on my desk with a promotion on it where I can win an XBox360. Probably fewer kids drink Diet Pepsi, but the promotion is not limited to just Pepsi's diet drinks. Again, this seems like gambling.
I guess the difference is that you spend money and you actually get something back. Whereas with real gambling, you get nothing back unless you win. Personally, I think I should be able to gamble if I want to, but I have a problem with corporations targeting children.
Posted by Michael at 2:36 PM
Friday, September 16, 2005
After hearing the President's speech last night, I got the impression that he is going to single-handedly rebuild New Orleans. His vision is definitely ambitious. Hopefully, when the government starts helping out with rebuilding, they won't buy they supplies from the same store where they buy $1200 toilet seats.
Posted by Michael at 8:16 AM
Friday, September 02, 2005
This is the funniest thing I've heard of in a long time. This morning, I've become made aware that my cat has figured out how to turn a touch-lamp in my living room on and off. He was sitting beside it, touching it, making the light cycle through it's three brightness settings. For weeks, I've thought there was something wrong with the light, as it would go on and off in the middle of the night. Now I know otherwise.
Posted by Michael at 5:25 AM
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Today at work, I went down to the smoke hole with some fellow co-workers (I don't smoke). When we went to board the third floor elevator, we noticed it wasn't quite acting right, but it's always had a quirky personality. Not thinking too much of it, we got on, pushed the button, and the doors shut behind us. But then nothing happened. The elevator refused to budge. A quick glance around the compartment, followed by a nervous laugh. One of us decides to try to pry the doors open with our fingers. No luck. Uh, this sucks. We pushed the call button. After a couple of rings, someone actually answered our call. "Dominoes pizza!" Just kidding. I have no idea who it was. After talking to the guy for about 10 seconds, one half of the door opens. Deciding not to tempt fate, we step back out into the hallway and decide to take the stairs. All in all, I was only trapped for about 20 seconds, but that was long enough.
Posted by Michael at 3:16 PM
If the price of gas has got you down, you might be interested in one of these alternatives.
If you are interested in using Tulsa's public transportation system, maps & schedules are available on the Tulsa Transit website.
If you are interested in carpooling to work, eRideShare is a good place to look, I'm told.
Posted by Michael at 11:29 AM
Okay, folks, here is a list of start dates for the fall shows I am looking forward to:
|FOX||Prison Break||August 29th||7:00pm CST|
|NBC||Surface||September 19th||7:00pm CST|
|ABC||Lost||September 21st||8:00pm CST|
|ABC||Invasion||September 21st||8:00pm CST|
|ABC||Desparate Housewives||September 25th||8:00pm CST|
|ABC||Commander in Chief||September 27st||8:00pm CST|
Posted by Michael at 10:36 AM
Tuesday, August 23, 2005
I read this morning that J.C. Watts will not be running for governor in Oklahoma next year, and all I can think is: hallelujah! Though I don't like our current "quiet" governor, I doubt J.C. Watts would be any better. In fact, I'm sure he would be a thousand times worse.
Posted by Michael at 2:37 PM
If gasoline prices continue to stay as high as they are for the long-term, I'm wondering if we will see urban people exercising more public transportation options. With this in mind, I decided to see if I could get to work from my house relatively easy using an established bus route. Unfortunately, the closest bus only comes to within a mile or so of my workplace, and that just isn't close enough, especially on rainy days like today.
I would like to see train service become popular again for cross-country travel. I have a love affair with trains. There's something timeless about riding one. But I have concerns about train safety in the U.S. The train companies cut corners in the U.S. by building dangerous railroad crossings in several places, and a few times a year you hear about a car being struck or a derailment. Most train crossings in Europe are safer because the highway usually goes over or under the train track.
We'll have to wait and see, I guess.
Posted by Michael at 8:21 AM
Saturday, August 20, 2005
Well, it looks like the United States has conceded the major sticking point on the Iraq constitution: the Iraq constitution will be based on Islamic law, after all. The parliament will not be able to pass legislation that contradicts Islamic beliefs.
What a colossal disappointment! The enshrinement of religion in the role of government has proven itself evil more times than not, and I can't think of a single Islamic state that isn't hostile.
Posted by Michael at 10:00 AM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Did you guys read about this? This is crazy! Apparently, the Henrico County school system decided to sell a 1000 used iBook laptops for $50 at the Richmond International Speedway in Richmond, Virginia the other day. Hundreds of people showed up and a riot broke out faster than you can say "Start your engines!" One woman wanted a laptop so bad that she wet herself in line rather than step out of line and risk not getting one. Another guy, who has seen way too much Emeril Lagasse, hit a guy with a chair while saying "Bam!" at the same time. An enderly man was pushed to the pavement. Someone is selling the above shirt on eBay.
Used iBook laptop: $50
Emergency room co-pay amount: $150
Making a quick buck off someone else's tragedy: priceless
Posted by Michael at 6:40 PM
Wednesday, August 17, 2005
Tuesday, August 16, 2005
Monday, August 15, 2005
Wednesday, August 10, 2005
Last week the NRA asked us to boycott Conoco Phillips for supporting a law that makes it legal to fire an employee for having a gun in his/her car at work. A few Oklahomans, mostly hunters, have already been terminated under this law.
I'm feeling conflicted about this. I don't agree with the gun law. But on the other hand, Conoco Phillips supposedly doesn't rely on foreign oil, so by supporting them, you are not supporting foreign oil producers. Which is the lesser of two evils?
Posted by Michael at 3:07 PM
The owner of Bell's Amusement Park in Tulsa, OK, is stating publicly that he is considering a move to Jenks. Jenks is welcoming Bell's with open arms. Bell's is home to the only coaster (the Zingo) in the United States that has a city ordinance prohibiting it from running after 9 pm. Why? Because some idiotic neighbors of Bell's complained the noise is too loud, many of which moved into the neighborhood after the coaster was built. What did they expect? They're next to the Fair Grounds! It's a noisy place. This has also prevented Bell's from building any new coasters, something the park desperately needs. This fight with the neighbors is almost as old as the Hatfield and McCoy disagreement.
Though Tulsa will lose out on some revenue, I think it's a smart move. They're considering an area near the Oklahoma Aquarium. Bell's can only get better if they have some room to grow, without any petty neighbors causing problems for them.
I hope they take the Zingo with them.
Posted by Michael at 2:07 PM
Monday, August 08, 2005
Sunday, August 07, 2005
The balloon glow on Friday night was disappointing, due to the bad weather in the area. Only three balloons were inflated. So I got up the next morning and was treated to scenes like the one above. It was so whimsical to see all these balloons floating in front of downtown Tulsa. I could have stayed all day.
Posted by Michael at 9:07 AM
Friday, August 05, 2005
Thursday, August 04, 2005
A national group is saying that Tulsa's roads and bridges are not being maintained properly. For Tulsa residents, that comes as no suprise. Our potholes are more like sinkholes: they've been known to swallow entire vehicles whole.
State Question 723 is coming up that would provide extra tax money to fix the roads. Oklahoma has a history of mismanaging funds, particularly when it comes to giving Tulsa an equal share. Whether or not the extra tax would be beneficial remains to be seen. I don't think S.Q. 723 is very popular with most voters, however.
So what's the best way to fix the streets? I remember seeing a Dateline episode a few years back where a company made rubberized asphalt that lasted several times longer than normal asphalt. But, of course, the company was on the brink of bankruptcy. There were two problems with it. 1) It was more expensive in the short-term (but since it lasted longer, it was actually less expensive in the long-term). 2) Existing companies did not want to offer rubberized asphalt because they felt they would get fewer contracts.
Maybe we should all just trade in our cars for hovercrafts. We wouldn't even need roads or bridges, just grassy areas and open waterways.
Posted by Michael at 12:13 PM
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
Space.com is reporting a 10th planet, larger than Pluto has been discovered in our Solar System, although some scientists think we need to change the definition of what a planet is. Still, I think it's interesting that we've got all this equipment and we are only now discovering it. Makes you wonder if the killer asteroid could be right in front of our faces.
Posted by Michael at 7:54 AM
Monday, August 01, 2005
Tuesday, July 26, 2005
Monday, July 25, 2005
Wednesday, July 20, 2005
I just heard that James Doohan of Star Trek fame has passed away. He played one of my favorite Star Trek characters (Scotty), and from what I hear, he was a decent person in real life, unlike William Shatner who sounds like an ego maniac and maybe even an Eggo maniac, too.
Posted by Michael at 3:50 PM
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Well, I arrived at the office this morning to find that my cube was flooded overnight by a leaking hot water pipe. Of course, the pipe was sorta above my desk, and everything on my desk and my neighbor's desk was soaking wet. We're talking Hurricane Emily wet.
When I turned my keyboard over, a cup of water poured out. The same story with my monitor and laptop. There was also a scorched place on the wall where an electrical fire almost started. we were lucky the building didn't burn down.
I'm just glad I wasn't sitting there when the hot water started to spew.
Posted by Michael at 1:53 PM
Monday, July 18, 2005
Being a supporter of the Nature Conservancy, I just couldn't let this one go. Oklahoma Attorney General Drew Edmondson has filed a lawsuit against several Arkansas poultry companies, claiming they are polluting the Illinois River with phosphorous runoff from chicken litter. Not only is the runoff toxic to the environment, it also has a negative economic impact on Oklahoma businesses. Can we say float trip?
Now the funny thing is, the poultry farmers are claiming they will be run out of business if the lawsuit proceeds. This is probably the argument from polluters that pisses me off more than anything. It's like saying, "Sorry if we are making you sick, but we have money to make!" Would the argument be the same if we were talking about nuclear waste runoff?
I just wonder where the money will go if Oklahoma manages to win the lawsuit. Will it go toward cleanup efforts or what?
Posted by Michael at 12:17 PM
Friday, July 15, 2005
James Cave of Tecumseh. While he was in his garage, he felt a pain in his foot. When he reached down to rub it, he was struck in the hand by a pygmy rattlesnake (thus explaining the pain in his foot). But wait, it gets worse. After all this, he fell backwards...on top of a copperhead snake that bit him on the foot (not sure if it was the same one or not) and then in the groin. Ouch! As of Friday, he remains in critical condition at an Oklahoma City hospital.
Posted by Michael at 11:26 PM
State Representative Fred Morgan wants to ban the sale of violent video games to minors, stating that parents are not aware of what is in the video games they are playing. The ACLU says parents should decide what their children can watch, not the government. The ACLU's argument sounds good in theory. But in reality, most parents just don't pay attention to what their children are renting. When I worked at Blockbuster, Blockbuster had a policy of not renting M rated games to kids unless the parents said it was okay. It was my experience that after we called the parents two or three times at work during the day, the parents usually just had a note put on the account to let their children rent whatever.
Posted by Michael at 9:33 AM
Thursday, July 14, 2005
You'd think being the spiritual leader of the Christian world would be a full time job. Apparently not. It must have been a slow day at the Holy See today, because Pope Benedict had time to publicly disapprove of Harry Potter. I'm not even sure the Pope knows that Harry Potter is a fictional character. The Pope says Harry Potter can somehow "distort Christianity in the soul". Huh? It's just a book.
In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if the Vatican has something against fiction in general. Earlier this year, the Vatican condemned The DaVinci Code. I'm surprised it took them so long, but--again--it's just a work of fiction.
With all of the terrorist crap going on in the world, maybe the Pope should spend more time paying attention to things that are real.
Posted by Michael at 9:32 PM
State Senator Frank Shurden is trying to get a bill passed that would give the State of Oklahoma permission to surgically castrate someone convicted of rape. Castration would only be an option where the is supporting DNA evidence and the the rape involves children or significant injury. Similar legislation has been attempted at least two times before and was not successfully passed. I was surprised to find out that a few other states have successfully passed compulsary castration laws.
The Eighth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution prohibits cruel and unusual punishment. That aside, this website cites a Danish study that showed repeat offenders were mostly non-existant after being castrated.
I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Being a man, the thought of castration is a daily fear. However, if it works, it's hard to argue against it.
Posted by Michael at 7:30 AM
Wednesday, July 13, 2005
Tuesday, July 12, 2005
Sounds like Worlds of Fun in Kansas City is building a new inverted coaster called the Patriot for the '06 season. I know where I'm headed next summer!
P.S.: I recently rode Powder Keg at Silver Dollar City, and it was another brilliant addition to the park. While the restraint system is a little odd/uncomfortable, the ride itself is very thrilling, if a little short. The ride is being billed as a family launched coaster. Having heard that, I didn't expect the launch to be all that impressive, certainly no where near the intensity of Mr. Freeze at Six Flags Over Texas or Six Flags Over St. Louis. Boy was I wrong. The launch doesn't last as long as Mr. Freeze but it's every bit as intense...maybe more. Sadly, I only got to ride it once.
Posted by Michael at 11:49 AM
Monday, July 11, 2005
I found this humorous. The National Institute on Media and the Family has decided that a recent patch to the Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas game that unlocks sexually explicit minigames has pushed the game "over the edge."
Now, the funny thing is, before the patch was added, you could kill innocent bystanders and cops, graphically stomp the head of prostitutes into a bloody mess, launch rockets at police helicopters, etc, in the game. It took the addition of a sexual situation to make the Institute really throw a fit. Go figure.
Posted by Michael at 10:44 PM
Snopes.com has an interesting idea about keeping an address book entry in your cell phone with the name "ICE", which stands for In Case of Emergency. Basically, the idea is that emergency workers would see this entry and call it first to notify a friend or family member something has happened to you. I don't know if it will catch on or not, but it's probably still a good idea.
Of course, I would think Home, Mom, and/or Dad in your address book would probably work just as well, too.
Posted by Michael at 10:33 PM
The Lober Messiah recently posted an article about the self-checkout line at Wal-Mart that is dead-on. Here are the rules I think should be listed above the self-checkout area:
- If you are buying produce, go to a real person. Produce doesn't have a bar code (unless it's been genetically engineered to have a bar code and in that case it's Frankenfood anyway and you don't want it).
- If you are not paying with plastic, go to a real person. All other forms of payment are too complicated.
- If you are buying alcohol or cigarettes, go to a real person. Sorry teenagers!
- If you have more than 10 items, go to a real person. They've been scanning barcodes much longer than you and they're better at it.
- If you are not tech savvy, go to a real person.
- If you've ever worn fishing lure ear rings, please read the previous bullet and go to a real person!
- If you are retired, go to a real person.
- If you can't read, GO TO A REAL PERSON!
Posted by Michael at 8:27 AM
Mix 96 reported this morning that 211 phone service is supposed to go live in the Tulsa area some time today. Supposedly, it gives out information and is supposed to alleviate some of the traffic from the 911 call center. Other than that, I don't know what it's for. Maybe I'll prank call them later today: If they were to carpet the entire state of Florida, how much would that cost?
Posted by Michael at 8:24 AM
Saturday, July 09, 2005
Well, after ordering it nearly 2 weeks ago from overseas, the GBA Movie Player finally came in the mail. I was so excited. I had already downloaded the player from the internet and converted a couple of movies so I'd be ready when it got here. For those of you not in the know, the GBA Movie Player will let you play video on your Game Boy Advance (or Nintendo DS). With the conversion software, you can even convert DVDs.
So I put the movies on the Game Boy, turned it on with growing anticipation, and hit play. The movie sounded like shit.
The coversion software is configurable, but nothing seemed to help. I had to resort to using third-party software to modify the audio prior to sending it through the converter to get decent audio out of thing. It only took me all day to figure that out, and I thought about slamming my head into the wall several times.
Posted by Michael at 11:52 PM
Friday, July 08, 2005
Here is yet another example of our dumbass court system: click here
How can the court, with an honest face, say a naked woman is contributing to the delinquency of minor when said minor is 16 years old? Name one 16 year old who hasn't seen a naked woman already? Hello? We have this thing called the Internet now. Gimmee a break.
What is this country's hang up with nudity, anyway? Violence is much more a threat to our sanity/safety than naked strippers, and yet our movies are full of carnage. You can show a 100 people being brutally gunned down in a movie and get an PG-13 rating. Add in some nudity, even in a non-sexual situation, and you either get an R or NC-17 rating. I just don't get it.
Posted by Michael at 10:45 AM
Thursday, July 07, 2005
I'm sure some of you will disagree!
Update: A friend of mine has pointed out that the questions in this survey are probably not the best at determining how nerdy a person is. For instance, there are no questions about Star Wars, Star Trek, Monty Python, Douglas Adams, PDAs, or blogs. I'm sure my nerd level would have spiked if there had been questions like: What color socks did Mr. Spock wear in episode 22 of Star Trek? (This is a trick question--he doesn't wear socks in that episode...I thought everyone knew that!)
Posted by Michael at 1:08 PM
NewsChannel 8 is reporting the Tulsa Parks Board has reversed its decision to include a Creationism display at the Tulsa Zoo.
You may remember that Dan Hicks went to the zoo recently, and he was so insecure about his own religion beliefs that he found a Ganesha statue threatening to him. Now I've been to the zoo several times. I've never thought the Ganesha statue was particularly menacing...it's just a hunk of marble. I guess it might be threatening if it fell over on top of you!
What the NewsChannel 8 report didn't tell you (ahem) is why the Parks Board changed its mind. After giving some thought to Dan Hicks request for equal representation of his religion, the board felt adding a Creationism display did not meet the criteria of equal representation. Instead, they did an intensive study of the Ganesha statue. Here is what they found:
- The statue is near the elephant exhibit.
- The god looks an awful lot like an elephant.
So the only way to be fair would be to build a statue of Jesus next to the primate exhibit. Oh, I'm so gonna pay for that comment!
Posted by Michael at 12:19 PM
Sadly, the war on terror continues this morning and London has a black eye. London was hit by at least 4 bombs. An al-Qaida group is claiming responsibility.
BBC News reported this quote from President Bush: "the war on terror goes on". I'm hoping he had more to say than that because, by itself, that quote just sounds like a thinly-veiled attempt to justify his own war-time agenda (which seems largely ineffective at the moment). He wasn't even being attacked by the press this time, but he sounded like he was on the defensive. Hmn.
What do these al-Qaida terrorists hope to prove by randomly blowing up a bunch of innocent people? It just doesn't make any logical sense. It does show they have absolutely zero respect for life. I believe we should treat them with the same level of respect when we catch them.
Posted by Michael at 9:38 AM
Wednesday, July 06, 2005
I've been reading about 8 year-old Shasta Groene's terrifying ordeal, and it just makes me sick and angry. She's now saying she was kidnapped by Joseph Duncan and abused by him several times. She also saw him abuse her 9 year-old brother, who is now presumed dead. What's even more disgusting is that Duncan is a convicted sex offender who was previously released from prison. Sociopaths that repeatedly pray on children should never be allowed to rejoin society. They have no conscience, and there's growing evidence they cannot be reformed, so why do we continue to let them out of jail?
On the other hand, I want to talk about sex offender registries. Do they really make you feel safer? Just because you know a sex offender lives down the street, doesn't mean you can know where that sex offender is all the time. I think they are ineffective, they instill an unhealthy sense of paranoia, and they are a waste of tax payers' money. I might feel differently if I had childen, I don't know.
Posted by Michael at 11:20 AM
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
Despite the fact that some drunk bastard kept setting off projectile fireworks over my head, I had a great time at the Tulsa Celebrates Freedom fireworks display last night...until some other drunk bastard started screaming "Happy Birthday America!" right behind me over and over. Well, it was slurred and sounded more like "Hoppy Birthday Amerka!".
To make matters worse, a third drunk bastard started making fun of the second drunk bastard and started shouting the same phrase in his best demonic-sounding voice.
Ah, what fun it was to be among Tulsa's, uneducated masses.
Posted by Michael at 1:18 PM
Here is a cool website that keeps track of all the states you've visited. I'm from Oklahoma, but I've been to all the states marked in the picture below. I wish they hadn't used the color red...it gave me horrible flashbacks from the last election!
create your own visited states map
or check out these Google Hacks.
Posted by Michael at 11:56 AM