Gmail Flake Fixed at!

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Cool Stuff, Opinion — posted by Tyler on May 29, 2006 @ 5:48 pm

Finally! The Gmail Flake at now has the option to show “All, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13 or 15″ unread emails. Before it would show all of your unread emails by default. This was not desirable, so now that it’s fixed I’ll be using it as my homepage portal; officially switching from Personalized Google Homepage.

Earlier this month on a previous blog post about Pageflakes, Ole Brandenburg commented that a fix for the Gmail flake issue was in the works. He came through for us and now my biggest complaint has been resolved. Now I’ll just keep an eye out for more flakes that I currently use on Google (google calls them modules) and within a matter of time Pageflakes will certainly rival Google as a portal page! Good job, Ole. Keep up the great work!

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Finding New Music Based On What I Already Like

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Tech, Opinion — posted by Tyler on May 27, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

How would it be to be able to tell someone that one of your favorite songs is “Dreaming in Colour” by The Art of Noise and then they could tell you that you’d likely also like tracks that feature mellow rock instrumentation, electronica influences, new age influences, a vocal-centric aesthetic and a clear focus on recording studio production. Then they would play things with that focus in mind and you could say, “Yea, I like that” or “No, that’s not exactly what I like.” Pretty soon you have an entire radio station customized to the style of music you like and you’re discovering new artists that you never knew existed!

That’s what the folks at the Music Genome Project have done. They’ve created a service called Pandora that will allow you to create multiple radio stations based on a favorite artist or even just a song. Give it a shot! You’ll be surprised how fun it is to listen to new music and expand your music experiences!

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The Da Vinci Code: Critical Failure, Box Office Hit

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Web Log (Blog), Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on May 22, 2006 @ 1:06 pm

I generally shun hype, trends, and fads. Maybe it’s my little way of rebelling against society. I have never seen even one episode of Survivor, 24, or Lost. I didn’t see Titanic until several years after it was released, when radio stations finally stopped playing that Celine Dion song eight times an hour. I don’t own an iPod, my gaming machine is an Atari 2600, and I don’t know or care who got voted off American Idol last night. If everybody’s doing it, there’s a good chance I’m not.

I spent a few years enduring all the hype surrounding Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code before finally breaking down and borrowing the book on tape from the library. I was facing a 24 hour drive from Dallas to Salt Lake City and I needed something to keep me awake thru the drive. I wasn’t impressed. Maybe it was the fact that I was listening rather than reading. I’m a sucker for a French accent when spoken by a woman. Heck, I’d enjoy a French woman reading the Novell Knowledgebase. But an American male voice faking a French accent is just plain annoying. Even worse is an American male voice imitating a female voice with a fake French accent. If the person reading this book to me were a woman, or were the story to take place in, say, Australia instead of France, I might have enjoyed it more.

Maybe. But then I’d still have to get past the numerous red herrings, false resolutions, and half-baked historical soliloquies. Not to mention the plot holes, the dryness of the lead character, and bizarre recurring imagery of a naked old guy. Then again maybe I just hated it because so many people liked it.

The book has been the talk of the world since publication. Which means the movie was inevitable. For almost a year it seems like we’ve been hearing about this film and all the controversy it has generated- from the anti-“Code” documentaries to Vatican denunciation to Tom Hanks’ goofy hairdo. But when Ron Howard’s film interpretation of this “thriller” premiered in Cannes last week, it was skewered by critics as bland, bloated, over-hyped, and way too long.

But critical failures do not always translate into box office flops, as evidenced by Da Vinci’s $77 million box office opening. Lines for the movie strung up and down the halls of the theater I attended Saturday night. Luckily we were there to see Dreamworks’ Over the Hedge, which turned out to be a great little film. I suppose it’s not fair to knock a movie I’ve not yet seen. To their credit, Ron Howard generally makes good movies and Tom Hanks is generally a great actor. The filmography I’m sure is amazing, and the footage filmed inside the Louvre is surely stunning. All pluses.

Will I eventually see The Da Vinci Code? Sure. Probably in about 6 months when I rent it from McDonalds Redbox with a free promo code. I’ll let you know what I think.

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Guitar Lessons Starting Soon

Filed under:Inspiring, Cool Stuff, Video — posted by Tyler on May 18, 2006 @ 11:06 pm

My boss is quite the guitar player and he only started about three years ago, so I’m extra impressed. He’s going to start teaching me starting next week and I’m really excited to learn. I tried to pick up the guitar once before (acoustic…this time I’m going to start on electric), but I didn’t stick to it. It hurt my fingers (which I hear is pretty normal) and I never did it long enough to get past that point where you develop calluses and your fingers don’t feel bent up and misshapen. I’m determined to stick to it this time.

I was watching Conan O’Brien tonight and he showed a clip of a guitar player (Ben Litchman) that I was impressed with. He played the “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” theme song. What’s really cool is that he’s apparently playing the bass line and the melody on one guitar. I imagine this takes a bit of skill. Judge for yourself.

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Looking for “Tooele Jokes”???

Filed under:Web Log (Blog), Tooele, Opinion — posted by Tyler on May 16, 2006 @ 10:55 pm

I was looking at some server logs today and noticed that somebody found this site by searching for “Tooele Jokes” on Google.  It may have been just coincidence that just yesterday I read an article in the Deseret News [] that wrapped up the article by knocking on Tooele.

I’ve been living in Tooele, Utah for about 10 months and it didn’t take long to realize that I really like it here.  If I’m being honest, I’ll have to admit that I was on the joke-making end of things before I moved here.  I can’t even tell you why I made jokes; maybe because everyone else did?

Now my question is, why?

When I first moved here I used to make excuses (even to people who lived in Tooele!) about the reasons we were moving here.  I feel horrible for it now, because there is absolutely no reason to be embarrassed about living in this wonderful city.  The commute is only 35 minutes away from Salt Lake City, it still has a small town feel (although that seems to be changing quickly as more and more people decide to make Tooele their home), and the house prices aren’t ridiculous (although that’s also changing…but comparatively we will always have cheaper house prices than the Salt Lake valley).

I’m a big believer in the adage “if you can’t make fun of yourself…” and so I can take a joke or two about Tooele and I can even tell a joke or two about Tooele, but what’s the draw?  I don’t even really know myself and I used to be one of the joke-makers.  It has to be more than just the interesting spelling/pronunciation, right?  Throw in a chemical spill joke, an inbred or hick joke, a small-town joke, BFE jokes, and what else is there?  Oh yeah, the bad grammar.

A colleague at work could tell us a few.  He seems to rip on Tooele non-stop and he’s not ashamed to do so.   Perhaps he can share a few with us?  In fact, if you know a good Tooele joke, post a comment.  Let’s get a good collection going so that when people find this blog by searching for “Tooele Jokes,” they won’t be disappointed.

I’ll start.

When I first came to Tooele I noticed myself doing things that I would never have done when I lived in South Jordan; things that made me realize “I had arrived”- this was my new home.  For example, I started cutting across parking lots, wearing dirty clothes to Walmart and hanging out there, and I think I even spit out my window once.  Oh yeah, and I let my son run around in only his diaper, all the time!

Obviously for all of us who live here in Tooele, none of these things are true and these generalisms do not accurately describe the population of Tooele.  Not so obviously for the people who don’t live in Tooele and have never even driven through Tooele, the jokes about Tooele are NOT TRUE!  Maybe the chemical jokes will come to an end soon enough as the Deseret Chemical Depot closes down in a few short years; the chemical agent is close to being completely destroyed.

Whatever your reason is for poking fun at Tooele, I’d like to hear it.  I really don’t care that anyone makes it the butt of their jokes, I’m just curious as to why?  Who instilled in you that Tooele is something to be made fun of and someplace you wouldn’t want to live?

If you’ve moved here from Salt Lake Valley or someplace else, what is your take on Tooele?  Have you overcome your stereotypes?  Are you starting to question (like I am) why you ever made fun in the first place?

So post your opinions, comments and questions…and jokes!

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