Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Awesome Things to Inspire You

Instructions for interacting with this post:
  1. Either read or look at the pictures below
  2. Get inspired
  3. Create something
Look out Guatemala, just seeing this bag makes me want to invade a small country.
Can I get one with more pouches?

I bet this next awesome thing is heavy especially with that many books on it.  Also, I wonder if the shelf for each state contains only books that relate to that state.  Learn more about this awesome American bookshelf here.
Wooden bookshelf in the form of the USA map
What is that landmass extending from the east coast of Florida?

This image from here has inspired me to create a similar series of images of items available for purchase and where they can be purchased from depicting what can be purchased to make for an awesome party/ experience.  If I get more followers on this blog, and if you're good, I'll publish them here.

The topics to be covered will be:
  • Diamonds and Denim
  • Pimp and Ho
  • Unicorns and... something rhymes with or is appropriate to go along with unicorns
  • High Class and Hobo
  • Favorite Movie Character

This Post is Now Halloween Themed

Finally, Nathan took his love of Tetris and added it to everyone's love of jack-o-lanterns resulting in the first (that I am aware of) game of Tetris inside a pumpkin. Behold:

 This Post is Now Even More Halloween Themed!

Way to go Nathan!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Presidential Election Update

Who Wants to be at the Top of America's Org. Chart?

As an email I received received from PBS points out, not once in the three Presidential debates did either President Obama or Governor Romney mention the words "climate change".  Here is the page that covers the "Climate of Doubt" PBS Frontline special.

I am not convinced that either presidential candidate represents the things that are important for me, i.e. a strong middle class, increasing the availability of good paying jobs, protecting the environment now and defending the future of the environment for generations to come, shifting the role of the military from large scale land invasion forces to large numbers of nimble, far-reaching operatives capable of eliminating threats to civilian life anywhere around the globe within hours, as well as redefining the role of the roles of large numbers of military units from combat operations to engineers and builders of infrastructure capable of rapidly bringing the conveniences of the developed world to the developing world... (I haven't really thought this last part through yet but it sounds like it would be a good project for our young men and women).

I am officially (and somewhat seriously) starting a Vote for Mike write in campaign to elect Mike Rowe, best known for his work on such Discovery channel hit shows as Dirty Jobs and Swamp Loggers, to become the next President of the United States.  Mr. Rowe might not have the foreign policy chops to become commander and chief of the most highly funded military on the planet but he is certain to present the problems the United States is dealing with in a way that is both entertaining and easy to relate to.  During his work on Dirty Jobs, Mike has become familiar with working class Americans and I believe he will keep these people in mind when shaping national policy. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

You Should Get Windows 8 Now

You should really get yourself a copy of Windows 8 right now.  Here is where you can do so.

Friday, October 26, 2012

Windows 8 Drops in the Middle of My Month of Halloween Horror

Windows 8 is officially available for purchase starting today... from... here, I think.  At the time I setup this link to the official Microsoft Windows website, I found I would need a PhD in Microsoft to determine how much money they want me to give them to get my hands on a copy of the operating system.  Seriously, all I want to know is how much this thing costs and where I should send the money.  You try looking at this page and telling me how much the product they are selling will cost me:

Psych Wards are Full of People 
Who Have Been Driven Mad by this Website

Topics covered by Microsoft employees before creating the page above:
  • We want to tell people that Windows 8 will be release on October 26.  Good.
  • It's critical that people know Windows 8 will be "Serious. Fun."  This is essential.
  • Include the phrase "And more" because people should be aware that our product will do more than what we are able to explain using words, pictures and video.
  • Finally, as we are all aware, offering a new version of the best selling computer operating system in the history of the world is best conveyed by the image of a man holding up a child who is sucking on a lollipop.  Put that front and center on the site.
Topics not covered during this meeting:
  • Screen captures of the actual product
  • Displaying the price of the new product
  • The competition has a much better page that describes their latest os

I've written about my experience using the pre-release copy of Windows 8 I snagged several months ago here.

Oh and I am impressed by the fact that Microsoft is offering these new computer/ tablet things that run Windows 8:

Someone should have told the graphic designer to adjust
the hue/ saturation slider before going to publication
with the image above.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Community is Back on NBC

The NBC comedy Community is back on NBC tonight at 8:30 p.m.  While I enjoy the show because it is well written, has a terrific cast and the production value tends to be high, the name of this blog is Clean Sheets and Dirty Girls.  I present the best reason for watching Community, Alison Brie:

Cute but She Doesn't Look Like a Dirty Girl, Yet

 Getting Warmer

Warmer Still 

 There We Go

If you need further proof of Alison Brie's dirty side, or you just want to laugh at something naughty, check out her appearance in the first episode of short lived series "The Committee" on FunnyOrDie.com.  I would embed the video right here but I want to keep riding the Google Adsense train to Gravy Town* and the fine people in Mountain View aren't crazy about including strongly sexual or profane content and, bluntly, this video is filthy.

*Not a real place

Monday, October 15, 2012


Try watching these shows on TV:
  • "Revolution", an hour long drama series on NBC, which according to this article is doing really well in the ratings thus far
Nevermind, this show is not very good- I'll leave the videos up just in case you want to watch:

The Pilot, Originally Aired on 9/17/12

Eps. 1, Originally Aired on 9/24/12

Eps. 2, Originally Aired on 10/1/12

Eps. 3, Originally Aired on 10/8/12

Eps. 4, Originally Aired on 10/15/12


Eps. 5, Originally Aired on TBD

Eps. 6, Originally Aired on TBD

Housing Woes

Recently, I began dipping my toes into real estate market.  This is not a kids game, folks.  Real estate is a grown up business.  Last week, I scheduled a meeting with a guy who wore sagging jeans and sneakers and arrived more than ten minutes late.  Standing on the street outside the place I was looking at potentially moving into did give me a feeling for the neighborhood, which did not help his guy's chances of interesting me in the property.  But enough about that... 

My list of things that I want in my first home are reasonable.  It's not as if I'm going to hold my breath until I turn blue until I get a place like this:

These photos give you a small taste of the fancy home shown above.  Go here to get your full fix.

I expect to deliver more Halloween goodies next time.

TL;DR: Searching for my first home is going to be far more of a challenge than I anticipated.   

Pumpkin Video

What Halloween party would be complete without a pumpkin keg?

A pumpkin without a liquid center is like a 

Here is the link to the full article that includes a video on making a pumpkin keg.  Now, I really want to throw a Halloween party just to have an excuse to make a pumpkin keg.  Also, next summer I want to make myself a watermelon keg.

I would ditch the jar in favor of an actual drinking
glass or cup, of course.

Continuing the Halloween Festivities

A super slow motion video of pumpkins being smashed:

Notes on MoviePass Service

Below is the actual first paragraph of the MoviePass Terms of Service page:

MoviePass® makes all attempts to provide unlimited access to films in theaters nationally. However the time and locations for movies may vary depending on theater inventory, usage, and showtime availability. It is not until the User displays the Certificate print out at the theater, that the seat will be reserved and confirmed for the title and showtime selected. If the title and showtime the User wants to see is not available, MoviePass® will not be held responsible.

What would this read like if we were to substitute a Ford Xenophobe, a vehicle I just made up, for the product MoviePass  is selling:

Ford Motor Company makes all attempts to provide unlimited access to the steering wheel of all the cars we sell national wide to the rightful owners of those vehicles. However the time and locations you may access the interior of your car may vary depending on other people's usage of your car, which you have no control over, and the times when your vehicle is in functional condition, which varies. It is not until the owner attempts to use their keys to open their new Xenophobe, that their use of the car will be reserved and confirmed. If the interior of the vehicle is not available for any reason, Ford will not be held responsible.
The last sentence of this paragraph about the MoviePass product is what bothers me the most because it says that if you cannot use their product the company that sold you the product "will not be held responsible".  Also, it's weird that the U.S. trademark office has issued four trademarks to services all calling themselves "MoviePass".  Unless I'm missing something there is no list on the MoviePass website that lists what movies are available for use with theI call B.S. on MoviePass.

Pro-tip: There is an infinite amount of junk for you to spend money on.

TL;DR: Just a reminder that if you throw or attend a Halloween party you might remember to bring a pumpkin keg into the mix.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Even More Halloween Goodness- Audio Episode

Heaven wouldn't let him in and Hell was afraid he would take over so this next performer started his own band:
Get it?  You See Today is the 13th.  Do You Get it Now?

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Homework for Today

That last post sure was weird- hopefully this post will get us back on track.

Happy Friday to all you Ghouls and Gargoyles!

Today, I am serving up two helpings of Halloween Homework.  First, watch at least one of the AFI music videos below.  The first is AFI's "Total Immortal", a Halloween themed music video:

Your next option is to watch a fan produced video that accompanies AFI's song "Halloween":

In part two of your Halloween Homework, we move away from music into the realm of film where you have three options of clips to watch.  The first is a snippet of Tim Burton's classic film The Nightmare Before Christmas.

This is Halloween!
This is Halloween!

The next snippet is also from a Tim Burton creation, Sleepy Hollow:

I tried to find the clip with Icabod explaining that
there really is a man without a head to the townspeople
who agree and tell him that they already know that.

Finally, you can choose to watch the trailer for Tales from the Crypt: Demon Knight:

Needs More Puns

If you are a true Halloween fan, you might spend part of this evening watching all of one of these films.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Take What You Need

Reading Philip K. Dick's Valis (or in my case listening to it on an audio recording) can, just like the myriad of drugs mentioned in the novel, do strange things to your mind.  After hearing chapter three, I began to think about the original Terminator movie from 1984 differently.  Reese, the protagonist, travels back in time to save Sarah Conner, the mother of a great military commander from a killer android who was also sent back in time to kill Sarah before she can give birth.  Early in the movie, Reese arrives in 1984 naked because apparently time travel was invented by a person who has a thing man butt.  He steals a trench coat from a hobo and ducks away from the police who apparently take hobo clothing theft very seriously into a clothing store to boost some less urine and feces stained gear including "a dope pair of Nikes" as RATM called them when similar shoes appeared in Godzilla.  

This completely side tracked me into searching for a new jacket for myself.  I found this stylish jacket with Halloween themed orange accents on sale at Columbia Sportswear.  Coupon code "ALFALL2" can be used right now to lower the price even further:

I Could Destroy So Many Terminators
With This!

The act of a man taking something from a store in the middle of the night is traditionally called stealing but in this instance I believe that this does not register with the audience as theft because it happens quickly, Reese is fighting for the future of all humanity and traveling through time does strange things to a person's needs.  My newly enlightened understanding of the world, which has come about as a direct result of my encounter with Dick (edit for phrasing before publication) has brought me to the only possible conclusion: all people should steal what they need because as long as you do it quickly, believe that you possess the ability to save the future of humanity and, like all things in the universe, are traveling through time, no one will really mind.

Anne Hathaway Does it!

Continuing the thievy theme of this post, here is a photo of the lovely Anne Hathaway as Catwoman:

I realize that via blog is not the most appropriate way to ask
but Anne, if you ever get divorced, I would like to offer you
a pearl necklace of my own. 

Riding the batcycle in the middle of a gun fight is the 
least exciting thing I can imagine doing with Anne
while she wears skin tight leather in that position.

Monday, October 1, 2012

Let The Halloween Celebrations Begin!

Happy Month of Halloween Everyone!

If you want the full experience, please read the following re-printed copy of Edgar Allan Poe's "The Tell-Tale Heart" and then watch the video that follows.  Or, if you're not into reading, just scroll down to the video below.
True! nervous, very, very dreadfully nervous I had been and am; but why will you say that I am mad? The disease had sharpened my senses, not destroyed, not dulled them. Above all was the sense of hearing acute. I heard all things in the heaven and in the earth. I heard many things in hell. How then am I mad? Hearken! and observe how healthily, how calmly, I can tell you the whole story.

It is impossible to say how first the idea entered my brain, but, once conceived, it haunted me day and night. Object there was none. Passion there was none. I loved the old man. He had never wronged me. He had never given me insult. For his gold I had no desire. I think it was his eye! Yes, it was this! One of his eyes resembled that of a vulture -- a pale blue eye with a film over it. Whenever it fell upon me my blood ran cold, and so by degrees, very gradually, I made up my mind to take the life of the old man, and thus rid myself of the eye for ever.

Now this is the point. You fancy me mad. Madmen know nothing. But you should have seen me. You should have seen how wisely I proceeded -- with what caution -- with what foresight, with what dissimulation, I went to work! I was never kinder to the old man than during the whole week before I killed him. And every night about midnight I turned the latch of his door and opened it oh, so gently! And then, when I had made an opening sufficient for my head, I put in a dark lantern all closed, closed so that no light shone out, and then I thrust in my head. Oh, you would have laughed to see how cunningly I thrust it in! I moved it slowly, very, very slowly, so that I might not disturb the old man's sleep. It took me an hour to place my whole head within the opening so far that I could see him as he lay upon his bed. Ha! would a madman have been so wise as this? And then when my head was well in the room I undid the lantern cautiously -- oh, so cautiously -- cautiously (for the hinges creaked), I undid it just so much that a single thin ray fell upon the vulture eye. And this I did for seven long nights, every night just at midnight, but I found the eye always closed, and so it was impossible to do the work, for it was not the old man who vexed me but his Evil Eye. And every morning, when the day broke, I went boldly into the chamber and spoke courageously to him, calling him by name in a hearty tone, and inquiring how he had passed the night. So you see he would have been a very profound old man, indeed , to suspect that every night, just at twelve, I looked in upon him while he slept.

Upon the eighth night I was more than usually cautious in opening the door. A watch's minute hand moves more quickly than did mine. Never before that night had I felt the extent of my own powers, of my sagacity. I could scarcely contain my feelings of triumph. To think that there I was opening the door little by little, and he not even to dream of my secret deeds or thoughts. I fairly chuckled at the idea, and perhaps he heard me, for he moved on the bed suddenly as if startled. Now you may think that I drew back -- but no. His room was as black as pitch with the thick darkness (for the shutters were close fastened through fear of robbers), and so I knew that he could not see the opening of the door, and I kept pushing it on steadily, steadily.

I had my head in, and was about to open the lantern, when my thumb slipped upon the tin fastening , and the old man sprang up in the bed, crying out, "Who's there?"

I kept quite still and said nothing. For a whole hour I did not move a muscle, and in the meantime I did not hear him lie down. He was still sitting up in the bed, listening; just as I have done night after night hearkening to the death watches in the wall.

Presently, I heard a slight groan, and I knew it was the groan of mortal terror. It was not a groan of pain or of grief -- oh, no! It was the low stifled sound that arises from the bottom of the soul when overcharged with awe. I knew the sound well. Many a night, just at midnight, when all the world slept, it has welled up from my own bosom, deepening, with its dreadful echo, the terrors that distracted me. I say I knew it well. I knew what the old man felt, and pitied him although I chuckled at heart. I knew that he had been lying awake ever since the first slight noise when he had turned in the bed. His fears had been ever since growing upon him. He had been trying to fancy them causeless, but could not. He had been saying to himself, "It is nothing but the wind in the chimney, it is only a mouse crossing the floor," or, "It is merely a cricket which has made a single chirp." Yes he has been trying to comfort himself with these suppositions ; but he had found all in vain. ALL IN VAIN, because Death in approaching him had stalked with his black shadow before him and enveloped the victim. And it was the mournful influence of the unperceived shadow that caused him to feel, although he neither saw nor heard, to feel the presence of my head within the room.

When I had waited a long time very patiently without hearing him lie down, I resolved to open a little -- a very, very little crevice in the lantern. So I opened it -- you cannot imagine how stealthily, stealthily -- until at length a single dim ray like the thread of the spider shot out from the crevice and fell upon the vulture eye.

It was open, wide, wide open, and I grew furious as I gazed upon it. I saw it with perfect distinctness -- all a dull blue with a hideous veil over it that chilled the very marrow in my bones, but I could see nothing else of the old man's face or person, for I had directed the ray as if by instinct precisely upon the damned spot.

And now have I not told you that what you mistake for madness is but over-acuteness of the senses? now, I say, there came to my ears a low, dull, quick sound, such as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton. I knew that sound well too. It was the beating of the old man's heart. It increased my fury as the beating of a drum stimulates the soldier into courage.

But even yet I refrained and kept still. I scarcely breathed. I held the lantern motionless. I tried how steadily I could maintain the ray upon the eye. Meantime the hellish tattoo of the heart increased. It grew quicker and quicker, and louder and louder, every instant. The old man's terror must have been extreme! It grew louder, I say, louder every moment! -- do you mark me well? I have told you that I am nervous: so I am. And now at the dead hour of the night, amid the dreadful silence of that old house, so strange a noise as this excited me to uncontrollable terror. Yet, for some minutes longer I refrained and stood still. But the beating grew louder, louder! I thought the heart must burst. And now a new anxiety seized me -- the sound would be heard by a neighbour! The old man's hour had come! With a loud yell, I threw open the lantern and leaped into the room. He shrieked once -- once only. In an instant I dragged him to the floor, and pulled the heavy bed over him. I then smiled gaily, to find the deed so far done. But for many minutes the heart beat on with a muffled sound. This, however, did not vex me; it would not be heard through the wall. At length it ceased. The old man was dead. I removed the bed and examined the corpse. Yes, he was stone, stone dead. I placed my hand upon the heart and held it there many minutes. There was no pulsation. He was stone dead. His eye would trouble me no more.

If still you think me mad, you will think so no longer when I describe the wise precautions I took for the concealment of the body. The night waned, and I worked hastily, but in silence.

I took up three planks from the flooring of the chamber, and deposited all between the scantlings. I then replaced the boards so cleverly so cunningly, that no human eye -- not even his -- could have detected anything wrong. There was nothing to wash out -- no stain of any kind -- no blood-spot whatever. I had been too wary for that.

When I had made an end of these labours, it was four o'clock -- still dark as midnight. As the bell sounded the hour, there came a knocking at the street door. I went down to open it with a light heart, -- for what had I now to fear? There entered three men, who introduced themselves, with perfect suavity, as officers of the police. A shriek had been heard by a neighbour during the night; suspicion of foul play had been aroused; information had been lodged at the police office, and they (the officers) had been deputed to search the premises.

I smiled, -- for what had I to fear? I bade the gentlemen welcome. The shriek, I said, was my own in a dream. The old man, I mentioned, was absent in the country. I took my visitors all over the house. I bade them search -- search well. I led them, at length, to his chamber. I showed them his treasures, secure, undisturbed. In the enthusiasm of my confidence, I brought chairs into the room, and desired them here to rest from their fatigues, while I myself, in the wild audacity of my perfect triumph, placed my own seat upon the very spot beneath which reposed the corpse of the victim.

The officers were satisfied. My MANNER had convinced them. I was singularly at ease. They sat and while I answered cheerily, they chatted of familiar things. But, ere long, I felt myself getting pale and wished them gone. My head ached, and I fancied a ringing in my ears; but still they sat, and still chatted. The ringing became more distinct : I talked more freely to get rid of the feeling: but it continued and gained definitiveness -- until, at length, I found that the noise was not within my ears.

No doubt I now grew very pale; but I talked more fluently, and with a heightened voice. Yet the sound increased -- and what could I do? It was a low, dull, quick sound - much such a sound as a watch makes when enveloped in cotton.  I gasped for breath, and yet the officers heard it not. I talked more quickly, more vehemently but the noise steadily increased. I arose and argued about trifles, in a high key and with violent gesticulations; but the noise steadily increased. Why would they not be gone? I paced the floor to and fro with heavy strides, as if excited to fury by the observations of the men, but the noise steadily increased. O God! what could I do? I foamed -- I raved -- I swore! I swung the chair upon which I had been sitting, and grated it upon the boards, but the noise arose over all and continually increased. It grew louder -- louder -- louder! And still the men chatted pleasantly , and smiled. Was it possible they heard not? Almighty God! -- no, no? They heard! -- they suspected! -- they knew! -- they were making a mockery of my horror! -- this I thought, and this I think. But anything was better than this agony! Anything was more tolerable than this derision! I could bear those hypocritical smiles no longer! I felt that I must scream or die! -- and now -- again -- hark! louder! louder! louder! louder! --

"Villains!" I shrieked, "dissemble no more! I admit the deed! -- tear up the planks! -- here, here! -- it is the beating of his hideous heart!"