Wednesday, November 14, 2007

More Soulja Boy

A few days ago I blogged about the Soulja Boy dancing phenomenon. The videos I posted there were topped by Bo Ryan, Wisconsin's basketball coach, contributing his dancing skills to the world.

Fart Sandwich also blogs

My friend Fart Sandwich also blogs! Well, his xbox blogs automatically it would seem. It keeps a running tally of when he plays, what he plays and such. Written as if the xbox itself was alive and keeping a verbal record of how often he plays.

The real Fart Sandwich does in fact have a blog, but it is really too serious to have a link from this post I think...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The great fart sandwich gets voicemail!

I blogged before about some of the accomplishments of the great Fart Sandwich. Well now he has voicemail! You can leave him a message by using his SayNow service below or on his newly created blog.

SayNow is free, but your cell phone carrier may charge you for receiving text messages.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007 a sport!

I was blown away again today at the sport known as.... "Sport Stacking." Yes, this does in fact exist.

This kid is the best at this:

Apparently this is an actual sport...want to learn how to do it? Watch some training videos here. Or buy a stacking kit at Target!

Dancin to Soulja Boy

I think the song pretty much sucks, but just like the Macarena and the dance that went with that, 2007 has its very own. Crank That by Soulja Boy

Here are 4 video's that capture the phenomenon fairly well.

The original video for "Crank That"

Texas longhorns football dancing before a game.

Little black kids dancing at home.

Little white kids in ballet class. (by far the best one I have seen so far)

Monday, November 05, 2007

Top 10 Flash Videos/Sites

The whole idea of flash is pretty cool. You combine elements of animation, multi-track layouts, scripting language, vector objects all into an amazing multimedia design environment. The possibilities are endless really. Here I have assembled my Top 10 list of the best flash Videos/Animations/Sites I have run across so far.

#1 - Animator vs. Animation by *alanbecker on deviantART
A fun take on the use of the flash creation environment.

#2 - - Pretty simple animation, but another take on products on a online shopping page interacting with each other.

#3 - The guys over at Neostream are awesome. Some real talent there.

#4 - What list of flash animation would be complete without mentioning Homestarrunner, specifically the emails. The animation is pretty basic, but as a basis for cartoon animation, flash allows the animator to work more on the story.

#5 - Ok, so I only have 4 for now, but I will add more later.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Net Neutrality with Timothy Wu

On Saturday I attended a forum at the University of Chicago presented by The Triple Helix club. The speaker was Columbia Law Professor Timothy Wu, who works in the area of copyright and telecommunications policy, and is currently writing a book about the current state of affairs on the internet related to net neutrality. He spent most of the talk discussing aspects of his book, which basically covered the history of the common carrier; organizations like Western Union and Ma Bell. It was interesting to learn how closely the current debate follows these previous situations. I ask Professor Wu what his thoughts were on the perception that regulation limits innovation. He responded by referring to the fact that we can now plug any device into a phone jack (cheap telephone, modem, anything else) and be connected to the phone network. This was because of regulation and is pretty much why the internet even exists today.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nobody uses Discover Card anymore

Upon quarterly review of my companies accounting, I have noticed that out of all higher dollar spending customers, nobody uses the Discover credit card to pay us. The last time a customer used Discover card was back in January 2007. And that was a $250 monthly recurring charge. That customer was the ONLY one paying with Discover card out of the XXXXX number of customers we have. In fact, even in the previous year (2006) that customer was still the only one paying by Discover card!

Luckily the cost of accepting discover card is virtually zero. They charge no ongoing fees for keeping an acount open (cough AMEX).

One of our other divisions has a large number of customers paying by Discover card. This division concentrates on services that are more targeted to smaller businesses and consumers in general. I would guess that either 1) Discover prefers to concentrate on consumer spending or 2) people in business dislike using Discover card.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

getting screwed....again

More than 3 years ago I blogged about an awesome new practice that Caterpillar was instituting. It is somewhat complicated, so just read that post to understand more about what why this sucks.

This week, I received notices from Caterpillar via email. These notices basically said the following:

Dear everyone who pays us money for things we buy from you,

We will now be screwing you in yet another new and exciting way. Some of the big wigs here decided we could fire some people and generally cut down on some of our administrative overhead (read: healthcare costs) by using some 3rd party accounts payable software. We also cut a deal with the postal service so they no longer have to deliver mail to our offices! From now on:

1) If you want sell us something, we will generate a PO and send it to you via email or fax. All electronic eliminates paperwork and the cost of processing the paper. You will actually probably appreciate this aspect.
2) (The best part) We won't accept your paper invoices anymore!!!!

To accomplish this, YOU must PAY a 3rd party for access to this software. You will pay them about 1% of your revenue passed through this system. So remember, like before, if we are your biggest customer (or only customer) you are basically screwed! You are now losing another 1% of your already low profit margins. (By the way, if you are one of our super large suppliers who we really depend on, please just work with us to use this system...the fee structure works in favor of larger companies.)


Again, please note: This is how it is going to be from now on. We can do this because we are a huge giant company, we don't care about the people we do business with, and everyone else is doing it so we figured we should jump on board.

For those of you that only have very small contracts with us, this will probably be of benefit to you, as you will get your payments even faster. However, those of you that do a large percentage of your business with Caterpillar, you will be screwed in a new and exciting way.

-The lamers at Caterpillar


Reason #2370492 why big business sucks.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

New Radiohead album for $1

I just downloaded the new Radiohead album "In Rainbows." A few days ago i "pre-ordered" it, and then today they sent me a link to download it. The best part about this process, was I paid $1 USD for it. (.01+.45GBP). I could have paid $10 or $100 or $1000 or whatever I wanted to pay. I tried to pay 0, but I couldn't seem to get that to work.

As ARS Technica points out...this is the future of music and entertainment. Give stuff away and people will pay for stuff they really want. Radiohead's goal was to get people to buy their $80 "disc box" which included the In Rainbows album, a 2nd disc with additional material, 2 LPs and a bunch of assorted artwork and other crap. Radiohead claims "the free-download experiment is working out very well so far, driving an 11-fold traffic boost to the band's Web site and converting plenty of those hits into sales of premium boxed sets for £40 a pop." That assumes everyone paid .01GPB! I assume that a good amount of people paid $10 or $15 or more for the album.

Anyway...not that I like Radiohead all that much, but I wanted to be a part of the experiment.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Google maps updates street views for Chicago

Google maps just updated its Street View system for the Chicago downtown area. So of course the first thing everyone at the office did was look to see if anyone got 'caught on film.' Turns out, one of my co-works was spotted riding his bike to work early on a weekday morning. I, on the other hand, do not appear (at least not that I found). My bicycle, though, was parked in front of my office building.

Monday, September 24, 2007

up to $50

I just made my second donation to Barack Obama's primary campaign. They are getting really creative in the way they are getting people to donate.

Since I had already donated several months ago, I have been getting messages once a week or so with different political statements from Obama or his campaign manager. Most of these emails contain some kind of plea to donate money. This week's email contained a new tactic that I thought was really interesting. If you are a previous contributor and you donate again, they will match your donation with that of a first time contributor. They give you the option of sending a personal message to that person when they make their donation. It was kinda fun. Within a minute or so I had been matched with another person and I received a nicer personal message back from them.

Another interesting thing that Obama's campaign is doing is you can get on their text message list. Every so often something is happening, Barack is on TV or giving some special speech somewhere and I get a text message telling me about it.

With all of this interactivity going can he not be leading the money race! Yes I think Hillary would probably be a decent choice...but she is certainly no Obama. So anyway...if you are stumbling upon this post...and you want to donate visit Barack Obama's website and make a donation. You can donate as little as $5! will be worth it to join this movement.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vista won't use Firefox as default browser

Going along with the theme of my last post, this is my short story about getting Vista to recognize Firefox as the default browser for all applications.

When I upgraded to a workstation with Vista, I had several problems with getting things to run smoothly. I previously blogged about my problems using Trillian. But I could never figure out why Vista would not recognize Firefox as the default browser for things like Google Desktop search, or when clicking a link from within an Outlook email. I spent time several months ago trying to solve the problem, messing with all kinds of settings in the control panel, to no avail. Then a few days ago, I decided to try again. I googled for "vista defaulting to IE not firefox" which returned this result from a cnet forum. The post describes how installing Safari, and then using Safari to manage the global browser preference will make my problem go away. I install Safari, then go into Safari's preferences and set the default browser to be Firefox. Presto! Everything now uses Firefox as the default browser including the two main problems areas of Google Desktop Search and Outlook. Thank you to Safari, no thank you to Vista.

I am sure there are other ways to fix this problem, but this one was quick, simple and painless.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Trouble with imbeding images...InDesign, Photoshop, Illustrator, etc...

I have been having a hard time attempting to make a credit card authorization document for use internally to my company. The main problem is that I want to display our company logo inside the document. This is easy enough for a word file, but I want to turn the word file into a PDF. Here comes the hard part. How do I make the logo appear in sufficiently high quality on the PDF? I tried exporting the logo in several different formats, originally from .ai, and then into other formats uncluding .eps, .jpg etc... The best result I could get was with a PNG file...however even that had problems when displayed in the PDF format...jagged edges on the lines of the logo. It looked acceptable when printed on paper...but still I thought I could do better.

I decided it was time to ditch Microsoft Word and attempt to build the document from something more suited to graphics. Using Adobe Illustrator would take too long and I would have problems with text formatting. I decided to use Adobe Indesign (formally Adobe Pagemaker). I have Adobe CS3 Web Premium installed on my computer, and I figured it would be included....but no. InDesign is not included with CS3 Web Premium. Luckily I had upgraded from CS2 Standard...which included InDesign. Unfortunately, I had uninstalled the entire CS2 suite when I upgraded to CS3. I had to reinstall standalone InDesign from the CS2 suite...which appears to work fine.

Then I was easily able to setup the document using InDesign, and import the logo in vector format, which looks really sharp. Now the problem became that the credit card "placeholders" which were in the original word document were generated with "word art" whatever that means. Even though I could copy and paste them into InDesign, it would not translate them onto the printed or PDF versions of the file. In a quick fix effort to get the project done, I took a screenshot of the word document, imported the card placeholder imaged into Photoshop, tweaked them a bit, and then sent them over to InDesign. Should I decide to spend a bit more time on the project, I will re-do these placeholder images in Illustrator and replace the low-rez ones.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

RealArcade can suck it

So a guy who sent me an email from yahoo had their standard advertising link at the bottom. For some reason, I noticed it and saw that it was an add to download an updated version of Monopoly to play on the computer. Turns out it was an add for RealArcade. Regardless, I downloaded and started playing the game, only to get about 3 minutes in and have the game stop the free trial...please fork over $20!!! I can get the actual Monopoly board game for $17.66 and have something that I will never accidentally erase or lose interest in.

RealArcade = Real Networks = Real player = all worthless crap...

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Do I really look like any of these people?

Trillian doesn't work well with Vista

I have been having a lot of problems with Trillian on my new Vista machine. Basically it refuses to retain a lot of my preferences and history and stuff when I restart my computer or restart the program.

Reason?: From the start I believed it to be some kind of permissions problems or something related to Vista's OMG SOMEBODY IS HAXXORING YOUR COMPUTERZ security features. Reason 32703944 why Vista blows...

Solution?: Install directly to C: instead of within C:/program files. Everything seems to be working perfectly now...did several restarts and it is now retaining everything I need retained!

Now...I love Trillian...but please, please go faster with your new Trillian Astra.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


I got distracted about a bazillion times today for one reason or another...mostly because I was covering for Sales, who had nobody in the office today (lucky me.)

One of the things I found was this image of what Wikipedia looks like....I think it is probablyh fairly accurate, though you could substitute the yellow circle for Star Wars certainly, or WoW or something similarly enthralling that geeks pursue in their spare time.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Anyone need an Industrial Ultrasonic Cleaner?

I want to talk a brief minute about Ultrasonic Cleaning Technology. Companies make ultrasonic cleaning systems and generators for precision cleaning applications. How does it work? Well think of high frequency sound waves that shoot through water to create bubbles between particles of dirt and the surface of the part. The bubble forms and collapses creation a detergent action and cleaning the part.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Barack Obama for President

Today I donated to Barack Obama's campaign. It is the first time I have ever donated to a political campaign. I hope that Obama can bring change to America and lead the country into a prosperous future.

I think that everyone should check out his campaign and be a part of an experience like no other.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Best Animated Movie Ever

Most people don't care for it too much, but I feel South Park, The Movie was the best animated movie of all time. For these reasons (and probably more):

1. Lines like these:
"Mr. Garrison: Eric, did you just say the F-word?
Cartman: Jew?
Kyle: No, he's talking about "f(beep)k". You can't say "f(beep)k" in school, you f(beep)king fat-ass!
Cartman: Why the f(beep)k not?
Mr. Garrison: Eric!
Stan: Dude, you just said "f(beep)k" again!
Mr. Garrison: Stanley!
Kenny: F(beep)k!
Mr. Garrison: Kenny!
Cartman: What's the big deal? It doesn't hurt anybody. F(beep)k-f(beep)kety-f(beep)k-f(beep)k-f(beep)k.
Mr. Garrison: How would you like to go see the school counselor?
Cartman: How would you like to suck my balls?
Mr. Garrison: What did you say?
Cartman: I'm sorry, I'm sorry. Actually, what I said was...
[picks up a megaphone]
Stan: Holy shit, dude."


Terrence: You're such a pig-fucker, Phillip!
Phillip: Terrance, why would you call me a pig-fucker?
Terrence: Well, let's see. First of all, you fuck pigs.
Phillip: Oh yeah!

any many more, some of which can be found here.
The social commentary is the best I have seen, ever. No subject is left untouched.

2: It is a musical...and the songs are sometimes better than the quotes. Also Robin Williams sang Blame Canada at the Oscars when the song was nominated. It didn't win, though it should have. They gave the Oscar that year to the Phil Colins song from Tarzan. Disney movies always win, even if they suck. Does anyone even remember Tarzan? Yeah, I didn't think so.

3: more to come.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Jarrett writes about how he became a music pirate, but at least he tried. A clip

"...But alas, my suspicion is that anyone who would have been cool enough to work at Rhino in their heyday some twenty years ago would never be so callous, foolish or shallow to allow these kind of absurdities to occur.

Since I've resigned myself not to waste any more time with the music business, I suppose I'll have to resort to purchasing used CD's & records, or having my friends occasionally make me a copy of one of their newer CD's.

Call it piracy. Call it whatever you want. But at least I tried. I gave you several chances and you failed miserably at every level."

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Verizon payments by check?

A "Need-to-Know" bit of informaiton included on the latest Verizon Wireless bill states:

"Your check authorizes us either to make a one-time electronic funds transfer (EFT) from your account or process as a check. An EFT may be withdrawn from your account the same day you make your payment and your check is not returned to you. ...If payment is returned unpaid you authorized us to collect an additional $25 fee through EFT from your account."

Really? I don't see anywhere on a check where if says you have open access to deduct whatever funds you want from my account through the ACH. I also doubt that is within Verizon's rights to debit through ACH more than the account holder has specifically authorized. I don't have a problem with them converting a check to ACH, as it cuts down on processing time for them, makes for less waste, etc... However, if my check bounces through my own fault, and Verizon decided to deduct some extra $$ to cover the cost of dealing with my bounced check, then they can forget it. There would be no way in hell a bank would allow that to happen to a customer account. Also - use of my cellphone does NOT constitute agreement....FU Verizon!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

we are already depressing...

I used to call this blog, La fin du monde est..., which basically means "the end of the world is..." Well I guess we are more closer to the end than I really thought.

Nick Monahan writes (almost 5 years ago!) a very moving story about a horrible experience in dealing with airport security. He relates the events that he believes led to the breech birth of his son. His most profound comments show us that we need to stop worrying about the impending loss of personal freedoms and the slippery slope that we will go down if we don't do something. We don't need to worry anymore because it is already too late. He writes

this country has changed for the worse and will continue to change for the worse. There is now a division between the citizenry and the state. When that state is used as a tool against me, there is no longer any reason why I should owe any allegiance to that state. And that’s the first thing that child of ours is going to learn."

I hope that I will be able to prevent the brainwashing of my children into thinking that our country is a wonderful place. That freedom is the very essence of our society, because by them time they can even learn what freedom is, they will have lost the chance to have the experience. Yes the United States is better than some places, but it is no longer the land of opportunity and hope that my great grandparents came here for.

So do we stop worrying now? Will we be screwed no matter what we do? Can anyone do anything to make really make a difference anymore? Will voting for a new president make a difference? What if i get 5 friends to all vote for him, or 50 or 500 or 5000 or 50000? That just means another guy gets to deal with all the shit that the last guy let happen, and perhaps the guy before him as well? It is depressing really, how little any one person can really do to change anything.

Monday, March 12, 2007

drupal fix, nerdcore for life,

Stupid Internet Explorer and their strange interpretation of certain code. Had a slight formatting problem with a site I manage using Drupal. IE was reading a cell spacing tag in the CSS file and inserting a tab at the first line of the page. Firefox had no such problem. So removing the spacing in the css eliminated the problem...for now. Thanks to brenda003 and archivschachtel both drupal forum members for their solution(s).

In other news, ytcracker, a nerdcore rapper and friend of Server Central recently released an album called Nerdlife. On the album, on the last track #17 at about 1:55 you can hear him give props to the best datacenter around! I don't think he will mind if I promote his album some here by linking to the track in question.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Fart Sandwich Takes 3rd

I previously posted about the Lumines competition in which my friend was competing. It took them the better part of 60 days to finally post the results. Though they have not yet contact my friend or sent him his prize.


Friday, February 23, 2007

Cubs tickets on sale today

Last year I blogged about the first day of ticket sales for the Cubs. By 3:45pm last year, 21 games were sold out. Of course "sold-out" doesn't really mean all tickets int he 40k+ stadium are gone, just most the general seating. They reserve blocks for group sales, and the remaining "close to the field" seats that aren't season tickets go on sale at a later date to kind of even out the rush I guess. This year, by 5pm only the following 15 games were sold out:

April 9th – vs. Houston Astros
April 21st – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
April 22nd – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
May 18th – vs. Chicago White Sox
May 19th – vs. Chicago White Sox
May 20th – vs. Chicago White Sox
June 2nd – vs. Atlanta Braves
June 16th – vs. San Diego Padres
June 30th – vs. Milwaukee Brewers
July 14th – vs. Houston Astros
August 4th – vs. NY Mets
August 5th – vs. NY Mets
August 17th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
August 18th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals
August 19th – vs. St. Louis Cardinals

I think the discrepancy between this year and last year can be attributed to some of the following:
-The Cubs has a worse season in 2006 than they did in 2005.
-There is one fewer home series against the Cardinals this year (last year even had 1 four game series)
-Last year had Ryne Sandberg jersey retirement day.
-The Braves played a series in Chicago, which doesn't happen very often, and I guess some people like the Braves.
So those four factors, plus others I am sure, led to games not selling out as quickly. Plus I think their system was not functioning very well today, as I will explain below.

My personal ticket buying experience was pathetic. I was granted the opportunity to buy tickets online only twice throughout the day, running with 2 different web-browsers. The first time I caught window right as it flipped at around 11:30 am or so, but was unable to actually "purchase" any tickets because it said the system was busy - this did not happen last year, perhaps they reduced system capacity to lessen the ability of people to snatch up tickets? The 2nd time, I didn't catch the window in time and it kicked me back out. The 3rd time was a repeat of the first, but it was 5:23pm and still I can't buy a ticket!??!?!

Finally around 5:40pm I was able to buy tickets. I choose the 9/19/07 night game against Cincinnati because it is the final night game of the year. Should the cubs be doing well at that point, it might actually be a fun game to go to. Also I got bleacher seats...hoping for a drunken good time. Then I got in again about fifteen minutes later and got some terrace reserved tickets for the 6/26 night game against Colorado. Finally at aound 6:20pm, I bought my final set, Saturday 4/14 against Cincinnati again. Much cheaper tickets but decent enough seats in the upper deck infield. Figure I will invite the family to come in (and bring jackets.)

I really wish it was easier to get cubs tickets. Perhaps next year I will bite the bullet and go to the field to get tickets in the morning on the first day. I figure I would get a better shot to get decent seats.

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Zazzle - It really works!

I previously talked about Zazzle is a site where you can create merchandise like t-shirts and hats and stuff, with your artwork printed on it (similar to a lot of other sites like threadless). Zazzle lets you earn a commission on every item you sell. Well a total of 4 people bought my t-shirt and Zazzle sent me a check for about $10. I was going to make the t-shirt anyway, so now I recouped about 60% of the cost of the original t-shirt for doing absolutely nothing! Now...if only I can find a way to get people to buy other fun t-shirts I make....

Farewell Chief Illiniwek - Goodnight Sweet Prince

Last night was the final halftime performance of Chief Illiniwek at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The NCAA has decided to discard its stated mission of "governing competition in a fair, safe, equitable and sportsmanlike manner, and to integrate intercollegiate athletics into higher education so that the educational experience of the student-athlete is paramount." Instead it has decided to regulate politics and free speech in America. Mascots and symbols have nothing to do with "fair safe equitable and sportsmanlike competition." The despicable and underhanded way the university and the NCAA handled the situation is deplorable. Adding fuel to the fire, schools such as FSU can retain their "symbol" because they have a relationship with the Seminole tribe. So because there is no existing Illiniwek tribe, Chief Illiniwek has to go. Dumb...really dumb.

After years of battle the politically correct left have finally won by using the almighty dollar! Since the UofI was prohibited by the NCAA from hosting post-season championship tournaments and competitions, they would be losing sponsorship, brodcasting and general revenue from these events, and I guess they couldn't bear that loss anymore. I assume that there is some financial considerations going on with the Seminole again they win, we lose.

While I couldn't make it down to the game last night, and also couldn't watch it on tv (stupid local broadcasting combined with crappy Illini record this season), I was able to scrape some videos off of Youtube showing the halftime performance. An honorable end to a longtime tradition. The curtain call at the end was probably the best part (probably the only time the Chief has ever acknowledged his own performance).

*Full performance with the pre-roll video, from higher up in the stands.

*"Official video" by Illini Productions including high quality pre-roll footage, continues until Chief stops to wait in the hallway for the team.

*Full performance from television feed. Shows Chief exiting into the hallway.

*Courtside view of whole performance, little shaky, but good enough.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 1st half.

*Better quality courtside view of whole performance, 2nds half.

Apparently there was also a large movement to coordinate a switch to black clothing for the 2nd half of the game. Partially documented by this picture.

Chief Illiniwek

Update: illinoishomepage has some good videos and news coverage as well. Though their streaming sucks right now (probably because they don't use Cachefly). Should be better tomorrow or in another day.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Chris wanted these books

Chris wanted these books, so I decided to get them for him! (Please file under professional dev :)

MySQL and Perl for the Web


CGI Programming with Perl

Enjoy Chris!

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Train-ing While Tired, Tax Refunds

I seem to have a problem with commuting in the morning.
This is the second time that I have not paid attention while riding the CTA trains in the morning and suffered a commuting mishap. Probably due to being tired.

The first time I got on the right train, but didn't pay attention when the conductor said the train would be going the wrong way due to problems with switching. I was counting the number of stops without paying attention and quickly got off at the appropriate numbered stop. Then I realized the stop looked different. I was confused and disoriented. I didn't know where I was for a minute or so. Eventually I went down to street level, and figured out which way I was walking and walked the rest of the way to work, turning a 20 minute trip to a 40 minute trip. I could have walked directly from home to work in less time.

Today I was waiting at Roosevelt for the orange train. Normally the trains come through there alternating between green and orange. A green came and went and I thought the next one would be the orange. Stupidly, without looking at the sign on the train, I got on. I didn't pay attention when the train went the wrong way and found myself going around the loop the wrong direction. So I decided to just ride around the loop the opposite direction. By the time I realized that the green line does not go around the loop, rather straight west, it was too late, so I got of and decided to go the other way, but again the green line does not go to Quincy in that direction either. So I ended up walking to work again. And again it would have been faster if I walked directly from home to work.

The moral of this story is, I need to pay attention to the trains in the morning.
While walking to work today, since I screwed up my train rider, I want past the Thompson Center. In the plaza H&R Block was holding a "National Tax Advice Day," which was simply a media stunt with obvious H&R Block employees standing in a tight pack cheering about tax advice or something. I believe they were getting people to sign up for some kind of tax service. It was ridiculous and almost not worth writing about here. If only I didn't have a major beef with their current ad campaign "I got people."

I am certainly not an English scholar, in fact Alyssa was berating me last night about they way I spell certain words (I 'am' getting better...slowly). However, the "I got people." campaign, discussed here, is only contributing to the dumbing down of society. Do the lower income people in Chicago, those being targeted by H&R block, really need to be spoken to at their level of literacy as well? In addition, an income-tax refund loan is at exactly the same level of a payday loan. 30% or so annual interest rate isn't much better than the 40% loans offered at the local Currency Exchange. These loans take huge advantage of people that can't manage what little money they have.

Another big FU to H&R block.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

My first video game console

Knuttz has an interesting graphical history about the evolution of the video game console. My first video game console was the Gemini system (pictured right), which played Atari cartridges. It was fun and provided entertainment for years when I was growing up.

I later purchased my very own Nintendo Entertainment system (pictured left). I saved a lot of loose change and did loads of odd jobs around the house to get this gem. My sister was still playing hardcore on the NES through to the late 90's.

My Neighbor had first an Atari 2600, then the Coleco Vision, then a fully tricked out NES with running pad and all, then he eventually got a SNES (then I moved away). I thought the Coleco was cool because you could play some games that were slightly more advanced than the Atari. Plus it had the older school paddels.

Current I have nothing, but if I was to buy something, it would probably be an Xbox 360.