Monday, December 31, 2007

High-speed camera shot of a lighter

For all you other people out there having a slow day at work:

Returning a generous gift

My wife got me a 16 gig iPod Touch - a generous gift to be certain. However, Macworld is in two weeks and I'm willing to bet there's going to be some kind of announcement about iPods and/or the iPhone.

So what did I do this morning? I called Apple and returned the Touch. I'm going to sit on the cash until Macworld and see what happens. If there isn't an update, I'll take the cash and repurchase the Touch. If there is an update then I've succeeded in not making the generous Christmas present from my wife obsolete in less than three weeks.

Chance of asteroid hitting Mars increases to 4%

This is headline-worthy? Mars?? 4%?? Do people not have better things to do with their time? Based on the following quote from Don Yeomans, a space man at NASA, no.

"I think it'll be cool," said Don. "Usually when an asteroid is headed toward Earth, I'm not rooting for an impact."

Usually? So, sometimes you do hope for asteroids to collide with Earth? As long as it hits your house and not mine.

Those of you long-time readers are familiar with how I feel about NASA in general (hint: it's a pointless waste of money and I don't like it) so I literally laughed out loud when I read this quote:

"Should a collision occur, it would likely blast a half-mile-wide crater north of where the rover Opportunity has been exploring since 2004."

They've got to be kidding. What are the odds? We send a rover to a distant planet to do what, I'm not sure (look for life? There's plenty of life here we haven't discovered that's being systematically destroyed by the systematic slashing and burning of the rain forests) and now that little rover, that's probably no bigger than a car, worth tens of millions of dollars, is sitting on a planet and an asteroid could land on it. The irony cracks me up. Seriously, I'm laughing right now. I would LOVE it if an asteroid the size of a football field landed on the Mars Rover. I'm envisioning it happening over and over again in my mind and I can't stop laughing.

Original article from USA Today.
Photo courtesy of here.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Thoughts on Christmas decor

I realize it's after the fact, but I'm convinced people who have inflatables in their yards have different kinds of inflatables in their closets and they all scream the same two things: tacky and lonely.

Photo via

New look. Whoopee.

Yeah. Got bored. I was trying for something a little less "Blogger-like". I don't know if I succeeded since, you know, I used one of their templates.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Southwest Airlines: go ahead and change your baby on the toilet lid

Normally I'm a pretty big fan of the Southwest Airlines. They have funny flight attendants and the prices generally can't be beat. I've flown them countless times over the last five or so years. This Christmas was no different.

Last night as my wife and son flew back from Oregon my son did something very characteristic of himself: he pooped. While this isn't a good thing, it's a normal thing. We dealt with it on the way over (or, I should say, my wife did). However, on the return flight it was my turn. My wife informed me that there was a changing table in the "forward lavatory". So I picked up my very cute, but reeking son and made my way to the front.

When I peeked into the lavatory there wasn't a changing table. I asked the flight attendant who was dutifully doing whatever it is flight attendants do when they aren't distributing beverages and crackers, if the changing table was in the rear lavatory.


A bit surprised, I asked where I should change him, thinking I might be able to do it on the floor in front of the door we boarded through - inconvenient, but roomy. She told me to do it on the toilet lid.

Now, I'm 6'4" and moving around in those little bathrooms is fairly uncomfortable. But when you're trying to balance a 28-inch wiggling baby boy on a dirty toilet in a moving can imagine.

I must have given her a "look" because she said, "I can give you a garbage bag to put down if you want."

You're too kind.

I took her little garbage bag and made my way into the lavatory. The short version is that Jake was screaming, his legs hanging off one end of the toilet and his head and hands touching the disgusting backdrop behind the toilet. I wish I'd been able to take a picture because I'm pretty sure it hadn't been cleaned recently as it appeared there was something (I'm trying not to think about) that had splashed up behind the toilet and run down the backdrop.

The backdrop my seven month-old son's head and hands were touching.

Needless to say, I'm quite disappointed with Southwest's lack of consideration for parents and I feel much worse for those who have kids older (and taller) than my son who need to change diapers on their flight.

Photo courtesy of here.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas from Oregon

Merry Christmas from a damp, green, beautiful Oregon! I hope it's a wonderful one for you and yours.

For lack of anything else to write, what was the best gift given or received in your family? For example, did your mom give your dad something particularly thoughtful? Did your family do something for a less fortunate family? Let me know in the comments.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Need a an invite to NBC's private beta? Tech Crunch has a few thousand

As was mentioned here, NBC pulled their content from iTunes and started their own web-based streaming video service. It's called Hulu and at the moment it's in private beta which means you need an invite to check out your favorite shows from The Office to Arrested Development to 30 Rock.

Well TechCrunch got an allotment of about 2,500 invites for their readers. As of this posting there are over 2,000 left, so jump on over and get yours by clicking here.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Need some last-minute Christmas gift ideas?

Brain freeze? Can't figure out what to get the last few people on your list? Jump over to LivSimpl for 11 non-lame, last-minute Christmas gifts generic enough for anyone, for under $30.

And tell your friends.

Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Prisoners escape by covering hole in wall with girlie posters; warden says he's been meaning to watch Shawshank Redemption

See CNN article here. It looks as if two men, one in the slammer for manslaughter and the other for robbery and weapons offenses, "...removed cement blocks from two walls, squeezed through the openings, jumped to a rooftop below and then made it over a 25-foot-high fence."

That sounds vaguely familiar. Oh yeah! I remember where I've heard of this happening before! It's in every prison movie that's ever been made!

What's worse is, "The section they escaped from was supposed to be the most secure area of the facility."

Bad form Warden Gentles!

"The men helped cover up the break by placing dummies under their bed blankets, and hiding the wall holes with magazine photos of women in bikinis, authorities said."

Your tax dollars at work.

Fuzzy britches courtesy of here, Warden Gentles pic from here.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The fan mail keeps rolling in

Recently I've received a lot of fan mail (not really) from people of all walks of life thanking me for my contributions to the Internet and society as a whole (also not true). I thought I'd share just three examples with you.


Dear Dave,

I'm a huge fan of your site! Really, it's amazing. You're amazing. I'm a model and I know you're married and everything but I gotta tell you that you're really good looking. Not quite sure what you were thinking with that whole shaved head fiasco, but still, you're so hot you could pull off anything.





The Other Drummer changed my life. I used to be a crack addict until I found your site. My cravings for The Blow completely disappeared once I subscribed to, and regularly read, your RSS feed.

Subsequently I became an upstanding citizen, eventually earning a six-figure salary. But somehow, I still felt unfulfilled. Then I started reading your other site, LivSimpl and it changed me. I felt so pure. So alive. Like swimming in the ocean with dolphins. Naked.

I promptly gave away everything I owned, spent months in solitude mastering myself through Zen techniques and then moved to West Africa. Here, I currently live amongst indigenous tribes distributing vaccines, helping dig wells and teaching agricultural principles to ensure entire cultures don't become extinct.

And it's all because of you.

With a debt of gratitude I'll never be able to repay,

- Mark

P.S. It just occurred to me that I could have given all my fortune and extravagant worldly possessions to you. Sorry I didn't think of that sooner.

P.P.S. I ran into Bono out here in the bush. He says hi.

And finally, in a slightly different vein, E-MAIL THREE

Dear Mr. The Other Drummer (if that's even your real name, which I really don't think it is),

You wrote about me recently. I sat across from you on the train and I you described me as a woman-ogling psycho who drinks his own blood and doesn't blink. I found your post about me, and this site in general, to be completely offensive and inappropriate.

How do you sleep at night?

As a French-Canadian living in the great state of Alabama I feel the need to point out that you are mean-spirited and completely wrong about everything you write about. Have you ever heard of journalistic standards and research? I think not.

Oh, and I do blink, just not very often.

I hope the Internet police shut you down. And quickly. You probably don't even have the guts to publish this. You are a coward.

- Felix (not my real name)

That last one's my favorite.

Yes folks, its messages like these that get me out of bed in the morning and motivate me to press on. Keep the love comin', and I'll keep changing the world.

Monday, December 10, 2007

If you could make a million dollars a year doing anything, what would it be?

The only stipulation is that it has to be considered a real job. For example, my ideal job would be to get paid $10 each time I kiss my wife. However, that's not a real job.

Which is a shame because I'd be filthy rich.

My ideal job would be to get paid to blog/write - mainly about tech news and products. Sort of as a quasi-journalist/columnist.

What would you do? Leave word in the comments.

Picture courtesy of this fishy site.

Scott Baio, Backstreet Boy get married

Congratulations to the happy couple. I had no idea Scott Baio was gay.

Via CNN's homepage.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Crazed fans line up for new Apple Store opening in New York

It was freezing cold and snow was starting to come down, but at 2:30 p.m. EST there were already several hundred people waiting in line at the new Apple Store on West 14th St. in Manhattan's Meatpacking District, which which opens at 6 p.m. One estimate put the crowd at about 600 people with several hours still to go. - CNET

For Pete's sake people! What's the point?? Are you planning on making a purchase? Order it online or go to one of the other TWO Apple Stores in the city. Do you want to see the store? Go tomorrow when the crowds have thinned out.

Also from CNET: "So why wait? Well, Apple's given some incentives. 'Come celebrate with us this Friday as we'll be giving away thousands of limited-edition posters and commemorative T-shirts,' the store's Web site invited tantalizingly."

Commemorative T-shirts? Heck! Why didn't you say so?!


Now, in the interest of full disclosure I will admit that I went to the grand opening of the Salt Lake Apple Store. HOWEVER...

1. I'd never been to an Apple Store before and the nearest one was several hundred miles away.
2. I showed up about a half hour before it opened.
3. I was looking at it from an integrated marketing perspective just as much as I was looking at it from a (then) Apple Fanboy perspective.
4. Yes, I got a t-shirt. No, I don't know where it is.

That being said, these guys are nuts. 15 hours in the bitter New York cold to walk through a store and look at products you already own.

Dare to break the rules

That's right Mr. Bird. Stick it to The Man.

Photo courtesy of here via Digg.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Hanukkah Ham

Waaaaaaaait a second...

Original story/photo here.