It's hard to think when you're not used to it.
There’s a nice hike you can do in the Taos Ski Valley that starts near the Bavarian, an Alpine restaurant and lodge stationed near a ski lift terminal at around 10,500 feet elevation. I snapped a quick photo of it as my wife and I walked by it toward the trailhead. My plan was to look at this later if my legs grew tired and my resolution failed. It would be inspirational – something that would help me through any unexpected pain with its promise of nearby civilization. And German beer.
Read the rest of this entry »
I posted a while ago about some of the shenanigans involving the expanding role of radical Islam within the Texas State Board of Education (here and here). It turns out that, while the good people of Texas were sleeping, self-appointed imams have inserted a curriculum requirement to provide an elective course to teach about the Koran in Texas public schools. Parents of other faiths are notably uncomfortable with this development, arguing correctly that the State is treading on their rights to religious freedom by favoring one religion in public schools.
Public school students in Texas, for their part, are more even-keeled. One student at a Dallas High School was quoted as saying, “Whatever. You know what I’m sayin’?”
Um … no. We have no idea what people in Texas are saying.
A while ago I posted a story about what could probably be described as the least fun Star Wars action figure around. Since I’m an original fan (having seen Star Wars no fewer than 6 times in 1977) I thought I should try to bring you a few more Star Wars collectibles for your enjoyment.
The first one is perfect for the Star Wars collector that has just about every action figure ever made. Yes, it’s a little known fact that Kenner came out with The Force action figure in early 1978. Like The Force, the Kenner version is an energy field that surrounds and penetrates all living things in the universe, and it’s a most valuable addition to your collection if still in the original packaging.
As every Star Wars geek knows, however, The Force comes in two distinct flavors. The Dark Side is known to have caused Anakin Skywalker to become the evil Sith Lord, Darth Vader – and Kenner is said to have released a limited production run of 128 Dark Sides between August and October 1978. I had two of these – both in mint condition, but I couldn’t resist temptation, so I opened one. Other than being disturbed by other’s lack of faith, I thought it worked out quite well.
Let me know if you see any other cool Star Wars toys, and I’ll keep you posted if I find more too!
Not a lot to say here, but if you haven’t yet gone over to nataliedee.com, then you should. Are her creations amazing? Do both of these guys shit in the woods?
There are times in your life that you have to engage in self-reflection. You know, that introspective soul searching we occasionally do in order to understand who we really are, what we want out of life, or just to get a bit more happiness or satisfaction out of life. Thankfully, Facebook can help. If you really want to dig deeply into the nooks and crannies of your personality, then consider taking a Facebook quiz or three. Be warned, some revelations may be unsettling.
First off, I wanted to validate my self-esteem and sense of identity, so I took the “What’s your ghetto nickname? quiz and the “What’s your Native American Indian name?” quizzes. Eerily, I found the results to be strikingly similar: “Stank Bug” and “Little Brown Cloud” respectively. Any close friend or family member can vouch for these results, and this told me I was clearly on the right path to a better understanding of me.
Next, I wanted to learn a bit more about my personality, so I took the “Which Harry Potter Character Are You?”, and “Which Tarot Card Are You?” quizzes. From the titles of these, I assumed they would speak to the aspects of my being that sincerely love and respect all things magical and wondrously mysterious about the world. Interestingly, I learned that I’m a forgetful geek like the Potter character “Neville Longbottom”, although I possess the “childish innocence” and “mystical cleverness bereft of reason” characterized by “The Fool”. Truly, I was getting somewhere. So I dove in and took quiz after quiz, popping through them like some ancient pac-man gobbling 8-bit dots.
I could recount all the wonderful and exciting things I learned, but that would take way more time than I want to spend. I’ll just hit some highlights: my hidden superpower is teleportation, my eyes say that I know how to fold a map correctly, I would most likely be arrested for helping a Harvard professor break into his own house, and I should probably move to Dublin.
Some Facebook quizzes don’t provide you with much actionable information. So my lightsaber is green, so what? Does it really matter that I’m not country, I’m as mature as a 15 year old, my emoticon is >=D, or I should get a patriotic pinup tattoo? Probably not. I learned that some of these quizzes are just there for fun. Seriously, I was surprised too, but there it is. Some people use Facebook as some kind of diversion rather than to become fully self-actualized.
So finally, inspired by my wife, I was able to come up with my own Facebook quiz. I thought it was time to give back, to provide something of equal or greater value than what I was able to receive from going through countless other quizzes. I created something that would let us peer deeply into ourselves, and determine how we really see the world. Of course, everyone should take the new “Which Photoreceptor Are You?” quiz today. You’ll be surprised at how similar we all are.
A little flustered, she replied, “Well, it’s hard to think when you’re not used to it.”
Wired and a couple other sites have picked up on insurance.com’s list of the 10 most dangerous foods to eat while driving.
1. Coffee. It’s hot. It can spill. That’s bad. That said, we’re guilty of this. So are you. Admit it.
2. Hot soup. It’s hot. It can spill. That’s bad.
3. Tacos. Very messy.
4. Chili. It’s hot. It can spill. That’s bad. And it’s very messy.
5. Hamburgers. Greasy hands and a steering wheel do not mix.
6. Barbecued food. Um, that should go without saying.
7. Fried chicken. You think burgers are greasy?
8. Jelly or cream-filled donuts. Ever bitten into one and not had it squirt all over the place?
9. Soft drinks. Big threat of spillage, says Insurance.com, and unacceptable risk of “fizz up your nose.” Huh?
10. Chocolate. It melts on your fingers, which makes a mess on the steering wheel.
You can tell this comes from an insurance list. How? Because it’s BORING. It’s also wrong. Who the hell eats coffee or soft drinks? Nobody. I suppose eating coffee while driving is dangerous since the coffee has to solidify, and this either requires dangerously low temperatures or such a long period of time that you’ll fall asleep at the wheel. Ironically, that’s a danger that you could avoid if you just drank the coffee in the first place.
We’ve come up with our own list of dangerous foods. I think you can agree, these are probably much more dangerous to eat while driving than those listed above.
10. Spam. You really need 2 hands to open the can, unless you want to slice a finger and bleed to death. Either way, you die.
9. Raw Oysters. Again – you ever try shucking with one hand? Can’t be done.
8. Fresh Main Lobster. These are dangerous enough when seated at the table. Clarified butter makes these a lethal driving delicacy.
7. Chitterlings. Anything made from intestine is dangerous to begin with. Add the amount of tabasco reuired to force down chitlins, and you’re begging to wipe out.
6. Apple Jacks Cereal. By itself, these aren’t too dangerous. The tune lock you’ll suffer from the Apple Jacks jingle will have you looking for a tree to plow into.
5. Outback Steakhouse Aussie Cheese Fries. Just don’t eat these while driving. You will die of a coronary, and probably crash into a busload of nuns.
4. A jar of mayonnaise. Extra danger points if you lick the spoon.
3. Fresh Sea Urchin. You’ll probably stab yourself to death trying to get to the tasty bits.
2. Molten Lava Cakes. Don’t let Paula Dean fool you. The original recipe calls for real molten lava. Can it get any more dangerous?
1. Yes it can: Pork Brains in Milk Gravy. The real danger here is that you’ll probably kill yourself to get the taste out of your mouth.
I’ll talk a little about Twitter, since that’s the newest big social kid on the block. Millions of people are on Twitter, tweeting to their heart’s content, and millions of people that don’t tweet wonder what all the fuss is about. If you recall, the same sort of thing happened with Facebook and MySpace before Twitter. And again with Blogging before that. And with email lists, IRC, and web forums before that. All the way back to primitive peoples sharing stories around a crackling fire, there have been those who ask, “What’s the big deal with fire anyway?”
All the way back to primitive peoples sharing stories around a crackling fire, there have been those who ask, “What’s the big deal with fire anyway?”
I’ll tell you what the deal is.
It’s not the technology, it’s us.
All through history, people have had this need to connect, to create community, to share their ideas, thoughts, fears, and hopes with others. We want – we need – those connections, just like we need food and water, and even air to breathe. People are nothing if not social animals, and if you’re surprised that now, in the early 21st century people have discovered new and empowering forms of social media, then you just haven’t been paying attention. We have always found new forms of social media, ever since the dawn or symbolic thought and our ability to share stories and ideas through language. I also suspect that we will always create new ways to do so.
And there will always be those who wonder what all the fuss is about.
So, I believe that social media is much like any other form of community – and you tend to get out of it what you put in. Maybe that’s the only rule, and that’s why people talk about twitter and Facebook karma. If you’re a prick to your neighbors, do they invite you to their big 4th of July cookout? If you play nice in your virtual communities, then maybe you get nice back.
In any event, you have to join in to participate – and that’s just the beginning of the fun.
On a business forum, someone asked several questions about what to look for from your WordPress theme and plugins. Having lots of WordPress experience, I felt qualified in responding.
What do you look for first in a theme?
First and foremost, I look for a theme that I think looks good and fits stylistically with the site I’m creating. The first few seconds of a new visit is where you either convince a user to stay or scare them off. I never want the appearance of my sites to drive away potential customers – because it will (case in point: Fabric Land).
You’ve got to remember that WordPress isn’t anything more than a vehicle to drive your vision home to your customers, readers, fans, or market. It’s a great bit of software – and like all software, what you intend to get out of it is as important as how you use it.
Read the rest of this entry »
I spend much of my time trying to understand people, and why some of us are such freaks. OK why you are the freaks.
If you liked this page, then link to it easily by using this code: