Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Death in the Family

The warning signs were there, if often inexplicable. The sudden memory loss, the blackouts, the restorative care. But after a long and costly fight, the end arrived. An IRQ bluescreen, a flatlined RAID array, and my cherised gaming system was dead.

As it lay there, its unblinking LEDs now dim, the normal healthy blue glow replaced by somber nothingness, all I could do was look to the sky, clench my fists, and scream at the unfeeling Fates who had taken yet another system before its time.

Farewell, my baby. Know that as I pluck your cold silicon brain and circuit board organs from your lifeless shell, I will recall fondly the hours we've spent together, battling opponents real and imaginary. And that your replacement is, even now, making its way to me. But you will be missed, at least until your replacement is up and running.

Then the emptiness in my life, and in my heart, will be filled. I will be whole again. Order, balance, and happiness will be restored. The circle of life.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Mother's day redneck style.

Suspicious Vans

Vans can be creepy because you often don't know what's inside. Sometimes you just can't tell what their intent is. Check out the gallery at Suspicious Vans.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is Andy.

See the original image here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Catch the fruit and avoid the missiles (and the edges of the "screen") in this difficult, and apparently intentionally annoying, Japanese game. How well can you deal with distraction?

Thursday, September 25, 2008


Yeah, I was supposed to be enjoying my time off. But instead, I somehow caught the first cold of the season. Stupid germs.

Oh well, hopefully now I'm cold-immunized for the winter. But I know I am immunized for daytime TV.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Theme Songs

When you ply the web as much as I do, you hear all kinds of covers of TV, movie, and videogame theme songs. But here's a collection of them done on unusual instruments or in unusual ways. Get your YouTube on with these theme songs.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Ephemeral Economy

Have you heard? Apparently there's this economic crisis in our country. Something about big investment banks going down in flames.

Wow, if banks can go out of business selling investment packages that are more ideas than physical entities, what does that mean to our economy? A return to hard goods? I guess it's a good thing I don't work at a computer software company.

Oh, wait...

Monday, September 22, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Hello Kitty meets Scary Claus

Campaign Commercials

With over a month to go until the presidential election, we're bound to see more and more campaign commercials as we get closer to the finish line. But these commercials are nothing new, as you can see by the collection of historical artifacts preserved at The Living Room Candidate. It's really interesting to see how much has changed, and how much hasn't, over the years.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is seayjay.

See the original image here.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Confronted with a list of word fragments, you might think it's easy to combine them into their complete forms. You might be correct; and then again, you might not be. Check your word combination/recognition skills with Split Words.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Best Warning Sign Ever

"Not only will this kill you, it will hurt the whole time you're dying."

Old School Pie Chart

Pie chart


A "stay-cation" is a vacation where you stay at home instead of traveling somewhere. While there is some dispute where the word was actually coined (one source finds the earliest citation in 2003), it's gained in popularity this year, what with all the hard economic times and record gas prices.

I'm about to embark on ten glorious days of staycation. Like any single gamer, I'm rubbing my hands in glee looking forward to long ass-numbing days in front of the computer. Wait, how is that different from work? Oh yeah, I'll be shooting opponents instead of emails. Conquering worlds instead of reports. In my pajamas.

So if you don't hear from me for a couple of weeks, don't worry. It's normal. Well, for me, anyway.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Special™ Characters

How many times has this happened to you? You're trying to type a fancy word like façade or résumé? Or you need to make a Registered® Trademark™?

Now you don't have to worry about messing with the Character Map program or remembering series of codes. All you have to do is add this site to your favorites, then Ctrl+C, Ctrl+V with Copy Paste Character.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Bacon Beans!

I recently went to Archie McPhee and got a tin of Bacon Beans:
Bacon Beans
Yes, that's right, bacon-flavored jelly beans. Which are, of course, awesome. I took them to work, which turned out to be an interesting anthropological experiment. As I offered them to my co-workers, I found out that they fall into one of three categories:

  • People who were grossed out by the idea and wouldn't try them;

  • People who would try one and then politely decline any more.

  • People who thought they were totally awesome.
Now, it turns out that there were far more in the first group, and far fewer in the last group, than I expected.

So, what are they like? Awesome, of course! They taste like bacon coated in sugar. They start out sweet, then quickly pick up that smokey, meaty flavor. If someone else eats one, when they exhale, you can definitely smell bacon.

If you like bacon and jelly beans, I recommend them. If you don't, well... you're dead to me now!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

Last year's "Sonny and Cher" lookalike winners at the Puyallup Fair
back to hold on to their title.

A Belly of a Gift

If you're pregnant, or know someone who is, you may be interested to know there's a whole new way of capturing the blessed event as a keepsake. First you make a cast, then you decorate the result for posterity. It's a belly casting.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is Bri.

See the original image here.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Desktop tower defense games are simple: you start by setting up some simple defenses, survive a wave of attacks, buy more defenses and upgrades, and repeat until you lose.

This one's a lot of fun. And it gets so crazy that it might just choke your machine! See how well you can defend against Bloons Tower Defense.

Bombs are good, but Super Monkeys rule!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dental Unpractice

Going to the dentist is a necessary evil we all endure. But how did you choose your dentist in the first place? The reason I ask is, I have to find a new one.

I got a letter yesterday that basically says my dentist is quitting his practice. In the words of Kyle's mom, "WhatwhatWHAT?" How do you decide to up and pull the plug and hang up your drill? I don't get it.

So now I have the unenviable task of tracking down a new dentist and getting all my records transferred. Then the inevitable first checkup with strangers poking around in my mouth. And what if they don't give out the same kind of toothbrush to which I've become accustomed?

Thanks, doc. This whole thing has left a bad taste in my mouth.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Geography of Names

With modern travel and emigration, people aren't tied to one locality any more. Yet no matter where they live now, their last name can be an indicator of their roots.

I came across a web site that shows the concentration of last names around the world. Well, mostly; it doesn't have data from all countries. But enter in your last name and explore! And then your significant other's name, your friends', your neighbors'... at the World Names Profiler.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

PAX 2008

So I went to PAX this year. For those non-geeks among you, it's one of the largest gamer conferences around, put on by gamers for gamers. It was awesome. Just me and 58,500 of my closest friends.

When I first arrived and got my badge, they shepherded us into a huge aircraft-hanger-sized room. There were over 5,000 geeks in this room when it was full:
Sea of geeks!

I saw cool stuff, like upcoming games such as Left 4 Dead and Fallout 3:
Fallout 3 (duh)!

I saw cartoonist Scott Kurtz, Dr. Horrible co-star Felicia Day, developers of some of the games I play, and Wil Effing Wheaton.
Wil Effing Wheaton!

Most people know Wil from Stand By Me and as Wesley Crusher in Star Trek: The Next Generation. What most don't know is that Wil is a geek, a gamer, and an author. I've been following his painstakingly-chronicled life for many years now. Getting all mushy for a second, he's my inspiration, the reason I started blogging in the first place. I now have an autographed copy of his latest book, and a pictoral memory of my fumbling fealty to his greatness.
Left: deer in headlights; right: teh awesome

Wil's keynote speech last year is the best gaming speech ever delivered. Really.

PAX was great. I can't wait for next year!

Monday, September 08, 2008

Caption Contest

In these hard economic times, companies are trying new ways to boost productivity.

Cat, Carpet, Pizza

It's a strange combination, and also a strange way to display them. Ben Ross has created a new "blog" that features 8-bit style animated gifs, called Flying Pizza Kitty.

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Caption Contest Winner

This week's winner is seayjay.

See the original image here.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Activity Corner

Friday Game

Here's a quirky puzzle game that has you re-arranging the hexagonal pieces to connect all the same-colored lines. It's really easy! At first...

Play Hexiom Connect.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Photo Chop Shop

Most anyone with a computer has heard of Photoshop, the magical program with which you can work wonders on images and photographs. But Photoshop is famously expensive, which limits its use to software pirates and the rich.

Until now. With just your browser, you can edit like the pros using the online image editor pixlr.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Handle With Carelessness

Every week when I go to the grocery store, I very carefully select my produce. No dents on the apples, bananas appropriately green, no bruised tomatos, no puncture marks on the (green and/or red) peppers. That sort of thing. It's even more important when getting choice items like peaches or extremely ripe avocados.

When it's time to check out, I carefully place the produce at the back of the conveyor belt, with the idea that it can be lovingly placed on top of the other, harder and more stable, groceries.

But that idea is systematically smashed asunder when the checker, apparently singlemindedly oblivious, brutally tosses the fruit and veggies down to the bagger like so many mini bowling balls. Or, if they're packing the bag, they just whallop 'em in there with no regard to what they land on or how they roll about. What's up with that?

They always treat the egg cartons like treasured heirlooms. If they keep it up, I swear I'm gonna dump out eggs in the dairy aisle and use the cartons for my produce.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Caption Contest

Caption contest

President "dubya" working hard on his idea for an alternative fuel source.