Guitar Lessons are Coming Along Nicely

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Video — posted by Tyler on June 27, 2006 @ 12:15 am

As previously reported, I’m now taking guitar lessons (electric) and I’m past the fingers-hurt stage to proud-of-my-callaced-fingers stage. It didn’t take quite as long as I thought it would, so I’m happy about that.

Motiviation comes from videos like these that I post from time to time. This guy, if he’s not already signed, could be in any band he wanted to be in. I have much more respect for guitar players now that I’m trying to be one myself. It would be cool to jam like this someday, but I have a lot of practicing ahead of me before I’ll be able to.

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Biking Video Among Google's “Now Free” Vids

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Video — posted by Tyler on June 26, 2006 @ 10:46 pm

This biker is about to crash.  Click here to watch the video.Apparently Google will now be offering some of their paid videos for free, thanks to certain advertisers/sponsors. I don’t know if previously paid videos which are now free make them more watchable or not, but if you’re a mountain bike enthusiast, one worth checking out is well done (although a little long for my taste considering that I’m used to watching 5 minute clips max in Google Video) by Media Zone entitled “The Game Plan“. Because it’s long, allow me to guide you to the good parts.

The first three minutes sums up what you will see, for the most part, in detail during the rest of the video. After that, skip the gear babble (since this video masquerades as some sort of “how to” every now and again, but all we really want to do is watch these maniacs crash, not crash ourselves) and skip to about 5:48. Some decent action runs from there until 7:30. Skip the ‘how-to” again and get on with the action at eight minutes. That will keep you entertained through the ten minutes and 50 seconds mark at which point you can actually stay tuned in for the how-to because it’s actually entertaining. The action picks right back up and carries you through to 14:00 where you get to see another entertaining how-to. Then, what we’re all really here for, the pain section found at 22:37. You’ve already seen most of this by now, but they slow it down for you so you can watch it really good.

I apologize in advance if you click on this video to watch it and it is no longer free. (It was today when I posted it.)  Here are some “always free” google videos to entertain you…if you’re desperate.

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Extension Makes Google Notebook Useable

Filed under:Cool Stuff, Opinion — posted by Tyler on June 24, 2006 @ 9:50 am

I’m a fan of most anything Google releases, but I was scratching my head when just over a month ago they released Google Notebooks. My first note in Google Notebooks was, “I wonder what I’ll use this for?”. And then it basically just sat there, a lone note.

Open Noetbook button at the bottom of FirefoxThen along came a Firefox Extension that changed my attitude completely. With this Google Notebook Firefox Extension, (if you open this link in IE while signed into your Google account, there is an IE plugin that does the same thing as in Firefox) you can easily access your notes at the click of a button.

A small window pops up with a view of your notebook. It stays open while you refer to it so you don’t have to resize windows or pop back and forth between windows. You can even add notes or open the full notebook page.A small window pops up with a view of your notebook.

I’m finding that when I’m surfing the web, it’s very easy for me to get side-tracked from what I’m doing (which isn’t a bad thing, it’s the nature of the web), but many times I find that I would like to get back to where I was before the distraction occured. This extension, coupled with the Google service, allows me to take a quick note of where I was and what I was doing so that I can revisit it at a future date. I used to try to bookmark the page and the come back to it. What I found instead was that I had a lot of bookmarks and I didn’t know exactly why I had bookmarked them.

So if you came across Google Notebooks before and didn’t make much use of it, give it another go with the extension/plugin and you might just find that you’ll like it.

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Japan, err.. China To Land On Saturn By 2024

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Media, Guest, Web Log (Blog), Cool Stuff, Tech — posted by D. Sirmize on June 21, 2006 @ 9:44 pm

Ok, so they won’t be landing on Saturn, but one of its moons, Dione.  Still amazing!

Wait a minute..  You mean they’re planning to land on our moon, not Saturn’s?  Ok, now I’m confused.  So is it the Chinese or Japanese? 

Whatever you do, don’t ask the professionals over at CBS News.  They’re more confused than anybody. ran an article Tuesday, which led with the following headline and picture:

Um… So either the Chinese will be planting a Japanese flag on the moon, or the authors and editors at CBS are idiots.  Given CBS’ track record (think Memogate), I’m betting it’s the latter.

What makes it even more hilarious, LGF points out that the astral sphere pictured in the CBS article is not Earth’s moon, but Saturn’s!  I know, I know- blame the Google image search on “moon” that returned the picture of Dione.  When it all comes down to it, a moon’s a moon,right?  And what’s with that flag shadow?  I’m no physics expert, but shouldn’t a shadow lie opposite the light source?  What are these people smoking?

Ok, ok.  People make mistakes.  But this is CBS- the “Good night, and good luck” pioneer of professional broadcasting.  Legends of news.  Even if the webmasters are dolts, you’d think the mesh of professional fact-checkers and editors might have caught this stinker before it was published to the world.  No bias here that I can detect.  Just pure, unadulterated incompetence.  You’d think a news organization that has the eyes, ears, and trust of millions of people around the globe would be responsible enough to catch a stupid mistake like this.  If they can’t even get the small stuff right, how can we ever trust them to get the big stuff right?

Of course, as soon as this oversight hit the blogosphere, it wasn’t long before CBS changed the flag in the picture.  That clears things up.  Now at least we know it’s the Chinese who will be landing on Saturn’s moon.

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Cold. Refreshing. Healthful. Its All About The Pop

Filed under:D. Sirmize, Web Log (Blog), Opinion — posted by D. Sirmize on @ 6:44 am

Easterners call it a soda.  Industry professionals call it a soft drink.  In Texas they call it Coke. [“I’ll have a Coke, please.”  “What kind of Coke, sir?”  “Diet Pepsi.”]  In Utah we call it pop.  But whatever title you associate with this sweet nectar of life, one thing’s certain: It’s all about the pop.

I start my day off right: a bowl of oatmeal for the heart and a Diet Dr. Pepper for the soul.  And nothing chases away the office blues like an ice cold beverage on my desk.  I don’t even have to drink it.  I just need to know it’s there.  What better way to end the day than with a chilled Dew and an episode of Iron Chef America?

If you are a server- at least in any restaurant I visit- I’ll let you in on a little secret:  Your tip depends on my pop.  I don’t care if you forget to leave the lettuce off my combination platter.  I don’t mind if you hand me the wrong plate or screw up my check.  As long as you bring me that glass of bubbly goodness and keep it full.  The best server is the one who is always aware of the customer’s pop status.  By the time the ice hits the bottom of the glass, there’d better be a new glass on deck.  If I have to actually ask for another refill, your tip’s going to take a hit.  I’m sorry, but that’s how it goes.  The best waitress I’ve ever had was at Chilis a few weeks ago.  She knew the soda secret, and kept them coming much faster than I could drink them, bringing each glass with a smile and a joke.  The steak was dry, the veggies were freezer-burned, and I think the garlic toast came from the day-old store.  But that girl got the tip of her career.

There’s just something about having a full cup of pop, and the knowledge that there’s more where that came from.  It’s comforting, therapeutic, empowering.  On the other hand, having a finite amount of pop creates an unneeded anxiety.  That’s why I hate eating in mall food courts.  Everywhere in the world offers free refills on pop.  Except mall food courts.  Even the airline stewardess will give you another can if you ask.  And if food court food wasn’t crappy enough, pop there is ridiculously overpriced, which I’ve never understood.  “Here’s your slice of pizza.  Would you like to add a 16 oz drink to that for only $1.75 extra?”  According to the good folks at, fountain drinks cost the vendor about a penny per ounce.  And you’re charging me how much??
A regular standalone McDonalds practically lets you plug in and consume Coke intravenously.  But not at the food court McDonalds.  “That’ll be 85 cents, please.”  What’s up with that?  Is there some industry secret don’t know about, some market strategy that’s going over my head?  If the food court greasy spoon is actually saving that much money by not offering free refills, why doesn’t the rest of the industry follow suite?

Then there’s the ice.  You think you’re actually getting 44 oz. of cherry limeade in that Route 44 cup from Sonic?  Think again, my friend.  Don’t even get me started on the ice…

If you’re not going to offer free refills, at least give me enough to last through the meal.  I have enough trouble gagging down a plate of kung pao chicken that’s been sitting in a display case for 8 hours.  I don’t need the added stress of having to pace my drink consumption.  I don’t need a gallon of Coke, just enough to be confident I won’t run dry halfway through my hot dog on a stick.

Being a political conservative, I’m not a huge fan of entitlements, but free pop refills should be a constitutional right.  I know, that’s only a pipe dream.  Until then, I’ll be taking my business to Jenny at the West Valley City Chilis.

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