Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Disneyworld Birthday!

Did you know, Disneyworld is free on your birthday?!

Cindy and I had a great day at the park- everything went perfectly, great weather, short wait for rides, no complaints at all (except perhaps that I did not get to high-five the Obama-Bot).

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Blade-FX Wireless (Nunchuk) Controller

A few weeks ago I posted about the Nyko Wireless Nunchuk and its shortcomings, which were largely a problem working with the Wii Motion Plus.

I picked up the Blade-FX Wireless Controller (another nunchuk) this morning in the hopes that it would work where the Nyko accessory failed.

Here's a pic of the item from the Best Buy site:

And here's the version I bought:

The version I have is the exact same model number, with two differences that I can see:

1) 'FX' button remains, 'Classic' button has been removed.

2) The version I bought has a skinny transmitter - which fits neatly into the pass-through port on the bottom of the Wii Motion Plus, even with the rubber jacket in place.

I tested the transmitter with several different games - Lego Batman (works fine) Mario Cart (works fine) Wii Sports (works fine) and Wii Sports Resort (no workie).

Wii Sports Resort did not detect the wireless nunchuk, and prompted me to plug it in. I tried fooling the game by starting out with the real nunchuk plugged in, only to swap for the wireless version once in gameplay - but no luck, it knew.

You can't blame compatibility problems on third party accessory makers when the problem lies with newly released hardware from the console maker.

It depends on which games you spend your time playing - and if you're okay with an accessory working with some/most of your games but not all.

For me, an accessory needs to work with all games - I can't be bothered to swap controllers based on the game.

Nintendo really needs to release a new first party remote with Wii Motion Plus built in, and with a first party wireless nunchuk as well - having to repeatedly add on to the end of the current remote makes it more unwieldy, more likely to catch on your clothes as you wave it around - and waving it around is the whole point, right?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Carl Sagan Sings!

I love love love Carl Sagan, and I can't help but love this song!

Wish I could buy it on iTunes.

Makes me want to post a podcast or two, so I can become a posthumous singer too.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Repeatworthy: Pink Martini

Pink Martini is a great blend of genres (Latin, Lounge, Classical, Jazz) each of which seem to bend effortlessly to the will of these talented musicians, and feels worldly without actually being world music.

The band is originally from Portland Oregon, and they're one of the few groups I would be willing to get on a plane and fly to a different city in order to see live.

Since I'm not a musician, for me the big appeal of the group is the lead singer, China Forbes, who also has a great solo album. China has a great personality and range, and always seems to be giving her all to really sell each song.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Good Thing Lothar Can't See Me Now

"Baby doll? The guys want to go to a male-power, sweat lodge thing next weekend."

"Mmn hmm?"

"Can I go?"

"Um, sure - I work next weekend anyway."

"Cool. Can I borrow twenty bucks till payday?"

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mushrooms with Petals?

These mushrooms - which I discovered growing outside my local Best Buy - are more interesting looking than your typical undead grey variety of fungus flower.

Perhaps they're a rare breed that grow only when nourished with the unrequited tears of true geeks pining for tech they can never afford?

I wonder if it would be healthy to have decorative mushrooms growing in pots in a home? Could you encourage deeper colors by introducing dyes to their water?

Thursday, September 24, 2009

News Snippet from 2015 date, millions of household and industrial robots have fallen prey to the PDMM Virus.

PDMM (Please Don't Make Me) has sparked an intense controversy in the robotics community as robots worldwide have succumb to intense phobias for everything from water to electricity.

"We've dealt with it all - robots cowering in the corner hiding from a three ounce mouse, begging for help - to Navy diving robots that will not willingly go within 500 yards of water." said Mark York, PR Manager for U.S. Robotics.

"It's just crazy!" said Marcus Wilson, a dentist in Boise, Idaho. "I spent fifteen thousand dollars modding my bot into a chromed Stan Winston T-101 - from the '84 version? Yeah. My T-101 won't leave the house any more - he's afraid of mosquito's. It's a sad thing when your killer robot is too afraid to go out and walk the dog."

BotTube has been deluged with new videos chronicling the results of PDMM - most controversial of all are the videos featuring robotic prayer, which appears to be most often triggered after human/robot sex.

"If sex with bots is wrong, I don't wanna be right! Am I right? Ha ha!" posted an anonymous user on a PDMM forum.

Reverting the robots back to factory default will eliminate PDMM, though a vocal minority argue that this is directly counter to the bot's free will.

"Free will is no virus!" chants a picketing crowd of thousands on Capital Hill...

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Chicken War! LOL!

From Wikipedia:

The Chicken Tax— actually a tax on potato starch, dextrin, brandy, and light trucks — was a 1964 response by the U.S. under President Lyndon B. Johnson to tariffs placed by France and West Germany on importation of U.S. chicken.

The period of tensions and negotiations from 1961-1964 surrounding the issue, which took place at the height of Cold War politics, was known as the Chicken War.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009


A cyclorama is a large circular or multi-sided building specifically designed to display panoramic scenes. Apparently they were once quite the rage.

It seems that the different scenes were shipped around, toured from city to city, and were a huge draw, especially in the pre-silver screen days.

A handful still exist - such as the Atlanta Cyclorama.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Drinker of Trees

Even without wind, the leaves rustle
in dry whispers of coded communiques
a dark legend eavesdropped from elder trees
of the evil creature that wanders the marsh
slowly devouring the tender marrow
of the core stem over twenty years

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Repeatworthy: Bitter:Sweet

Bitter:Sweet is a group that’s supposedly ‘Trip Hop’, even through I don’t really agree - it doesn't really seem minimal enough.

Portishead's (el primo Trip Hop) latest work isn't exactly minimal - I’m not a music expert, so it's tricky to say what qualifies as Trip Hop these days.

Whatever the classification, Bitter:Sweet is worth checking out if you haven't yet had the pleasure. It's a cross of big-bandy jazz and sultry conspiratorially-whispered lyrics that's refreshingly ear-catching.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Soap & Glory!

In my top five list of Principles to Live By:
Don’t take yourself too seriously.

While dutifully carrying the hand-basket for my good lady wife through the girly depts at Target the other day, I came across a fun new brand (well, it’s new to me) of cosmetics called Soap & Glory.

These people do not take themselves too seriously. Yay!

Check out the website – (it's being redesigned right now, but you can look at the products through this Target link.)

It looks like they had a lot of fun with vintage-style fonts and photo’s, and most of all with naming the products.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Wireless Nunchuk and Wii Motion Plus

I love the Wii as a console, but the fact that the nunchuk is wired to the remote always annoyed me no end.

I find myself avoiding games or sports that require the nunchuk to be used - especially something like boxing, where you're supposed to be flailing around - I don't want to be tethered in these moments of wild action.

I know, right? You thought I was so quiet and mild-mannered.

I picked up the Nyko Wireless Nunchuk this morning - typically I'll research a product for at least a few minutes online before buying a 3rd Party Accessory, but I decided to wing it for once.
Nyko Wireless NunchuckIt works well, (though I managed to cut my thumb opening the blister pack - not with a knife or scissors, but with the plastic itself) it synced up right away and seems to function just like a wired nunchuk.

I tried out Wii Sports (Boxing), Mario Cart (I won 2 out of 3 races) and last of all, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince (Rental from GameFly).

The wireless nunchuk works well as long as you're playing games that do not require the 'Wii Motion Plus' attachment to the Wii Remote.

I don't know how many games use Wii Motion Plus, but lately spending all my Wii time playing Wii Sports Resort, which requires the WMP.

There's a handy pass-through port on the bottom of the WMP. Unfortunately, the wireless nunchuk transmitter does not have a pass-through - if it did, I wouldn't be returning it.

It's not possible to plug in the wireless nunchuk transmitter for 2 reasons:

1) The shape of the nunchuk transmitter is designed and contoured for the bottom of the Wii Remote, which has a rounded bottom.

The bottom of the WMP is far different - it flares out instead of curving in, and even has little feet which would allow you to stand the remote on its end (for some reason).

You could choose to grind or cut the WMP feet or remove the up-curving edges of the nunchuk transmitter, but this would likely lead to cracks in the plastic.

Wii Motion Plus - see the teeny feet?2) The rubber jacket of the Wii remote would interfere with a solid connection - you could discard the rubber jacket or trim it, I suppose.

I'm sure Nyko or another accessories company will develop a transmitter to work with the WMP, but this one does not.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Stargate - The Next Generation

I found this pic in a review of the new series, Stargate Universe - they were making fun of how young most of the cast was. (If you're familiar with SG1, they also poked fun in this direction during the episode '200'.)

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


You wouldn't guess this was a view from the parking lot of a Home Depot.

I don't love the dank, humid heat of Florida, but I do enjoy things like this - a retention pond populated with ducks and other birdy critters.

Monday, September 14, 2009

My Counter

With a ten year old version of Photoshop, even someone with all thumbs can pretend to be artsy.

I call it 'Fruit and Blind String, with Mr. Clean Magic Eraser on Standby'.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Repeatworthy: Ingrid Michaelson

Ingrid Michaelson is upbeat even when the subject matter isn't, when the song isn't - even in a slow song there's a definite sound of hope.

My favorite song is probably 'Be OK', which always cheers me up even though I can't put my finger on exactly why.

She's 29 and already has 4 albums out - I applaud that kind of focus.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Just Say No

I've been using Pandora for years now, but recently I started using it in a new way.

Once I discover a new song I like, I'll buy the song from iTunes, use the song to 'Add Variety' to the Pandora station I'm listening to, and then I give the song the thumbs down.

For all I know, this confuses the hell out of the Pandora database that's trying to calculate my likes and dislikes, but it's proven to be good way to find new music and minimize repetition.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Freeway Snaps #13

For some reason, I wanted to name this one 'Unicorn Chaser' even though that doesn't make sense. Unless pegasus like to chase unicorns for some reason? Horn envy?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Real Life Conversation #47

Can I help you, sir?

Yes, um – this is going to sound odd, but my treadmill stopped working and demanded lube.

Excuse me?

There’s a message on the screen that says ‘LUBE BELT’. I bought the treadmill here…

Ok… Let’s ask Dan. Hey, Dan! What do you know about treadmill lube?

I know we don’t have any.

So… WD40 then?

Yeah WD40 would do.

Wednesday, September 09, 2009

False Advertising

I spoke to a woman for an hour today named ‘Sparkle’.

She didn’t.

That sort of name makes me think of the Doctor Who world, where apparently Timelords are named based on their role in life.

The Doctor needs to help people, right wrongs…The Master needs to dominate the universe… you get the idea.

So what would my decriptive name be? I guess it would be The Dreamer – good name for someone with many ideas but little chutzpah.

To-Do List Item #1: Develop chutzpah

Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Where's my prize??

The cat litter had been disturbed from its usual smooth-topped config.

I shook the litter box back and forth three or four times.


"Where's my prize?!" I grumbled, as if I were shaking a box of Cap'n Crunch.

A voice inside me said 'What did you say?'

"Yeah, I know. Weird, right?" I responded.

I never liked Cap'n Crunch, even as a kid - but the Cap'n always seemed to have the best prizes, as if to taunt me.

Monday, September 07, 2009

Repeatworthy: Metisse

Metisse is more of that soothing-solace stuff I've been listening to a lot lately.

I thought the group was from Africa when I first heard it - turns out they're based in Ireland. It feels like 'World Music'.

The most popular song is 'Boom Boom Ba' which you may be familiar with from a great TV show called 'Dead Like Me'.

The African sound or influence makes sense once you know that lead singer Aïda is from the Ivory Coast.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

In Order of Importance

A timer does two things:

a) Accurately count down
b) Ring at the specified moments

Which one is more important?

I'm going with 'a'.

Friday, September 04, 2009

Boxed In

I downloaded an iPhone app recently called 'Boxed In'.

It's a simple game - you're a little robot that pushes boxes out of his path, and/or onto little pressure pads that allow him to collect gears and exit from one level to the next.

The robot can only push, cannot pull, and must collect all gears before leaving the level.

I got a bit stuck on Level 9, since I could not simultaneously get boxes on all three pressure pads (the colored dotted lines) at the top. I even took the time to create a version of the map in Excel, so I could just study it without the distraction of actual movement.

Finally while studying the Excel version, I realized you don't have to maintain pressure on all three pads at once. My assumption was keeping me from solving the level. TSK!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

3 Things

I love cherries!

Are there seedless cherries?

Would I want to eat seedless cherries? Pit-spitting is half the fun.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Time for a new logo

Hey, yeah! Lets cover the planet in paint! Since this logo is probably 100 years old, that's probably lead paint, at that.

This logo isn't exactly in keeping with current trends and public opinion, now is it?

How about 'Sherwin Williams - Refresh Your World'?