Saturday, June 20, 2009

Dr. Phil at My House

Some of you are aware that we have two guests until Monday evening. These guests are Fred's and Jr's age. They have been here since Friday and we had our first melt-down this evening. With the schedule they've been running and all the fun they've been having it was only a matter of time. Fred started blowing up at Scoonie so I carried her out of the room and discussed things with her. Turns out the oldest guest had done some things that made Fred feel bad. These things included saying Fred was as fat as one of her cousins and that Fred had bigger feet than her. Guest one had also said that she could hula hoop for 99 minutes when Fred had said something about hula hooping for 17 minutes.

I decided after a lengthy discussion with Fred that it would be best if Fred would tell Guest one how she was feeling. I invited Guest one in and started the conversation off with what Fred had been feeling. I then let Guest one explain that she didn't mean to make Fred feel she was fat and let Guest one explain her side of the story. I continued to moderate. After awhile, Fred opened up some more and Guest one explained some more and at the end they had a hug.

Yeah for Dr. Phil!

Friday, June 19, 2009

El Cid to PETA, really?

Um, El Cid to PETA, change your name to TAPE, and while you're at it, your current acronym stands for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, why not have your acronym stand for Tame Animals People Eat or something like that?

Why am I blabbering about PETA? Well, while looking at the web-site Digg.com, I came across this article. The article discusses how PETA recently requested the jam band Phish to change its name to the "Sea Kittens". That sounds just as cool as "Phish", right? Actually, I can see attendance at the band's concerts increasing because of the name change - no, really...just imagine the conversation with Joe Teenager and his parents. Parents: "Where are you off to Joe?" Joe: "I'm going to see the Sea Kittens." Parents: "Okay, well while you are at Sea World, could you pick me up a Shamu fridge magnet?" Joe: "Uh, umm, I'll see what I can find. Later." You see, parents will be perfectly willing to let their children see the "Sea Kittens" concerts; whereas "Phish" sounds a lot like "Fish" which I'm sure parents would interpret as their children cursing at them unintelligably. Besides, kittens are cute and cuddly, just ask Jr.

So how does PETA rationalize the name change? In their words,"because few people are aware that fish are actually smart animals with personalities." Oh I know fish have personalities - how do you think Fiesty got his name? But wait, there's more, "For example, they communicate and develop relationships with one another, feel pain when injured (their lips are particularly sensitive, and they use them like we use our fingers), show affection by gently rubbing against other fish, and even grieve when other fish they like die..." Actually, there's some debate at my house as to whether Fiesty grieved when our other fish Golda died...well, it's more like a debate of whether Fiesty murdered Golda, but I don't need to give Scoonie material like this...she'll just run wild with it.

Let's get back to the point. Really PETA? I'm sure you love all the free publicity about this, but REALLY? Leave the Phish alone, afterall, they are an endangered species too! If you don't believe me, look up the term "jam band" and tell me how many you find living in 2009.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Blog Flashback

I've been at this blogging stuff for 18 days now and I think it's time to take a walk down memory lane. That's right, this post is like the TV episode where the main characters sit and reflect on situations that they got into in the past and the TV screen wiggles and shakes and then you see a potpourri of flashbacks from episodes past. The episodes tended to be goofy and I'm pretty sure the producers did it to (a) save on production costs, (b) give the actors a day off, and (c) catch the viewers up on episodes that they missed.

So for all of those who missed it, here's what I've blogged about for the last 18 days:

The all consuming epic talk about the worldwide recession found on Craigslist for an xtreme amount of money. Not as much as you would spend on a stripper who sold healthcare on Craigslist, but maybe as much as Barry and Harry would spend debating on the sound of theme music to get re-elected. But if you could get humans to produce water instead of gas, things would get bigger and better!

So there you have it, my last 18 days in a short potpourri flashback.

Next up, blog optimization. Scoonie's been complaining about my ad set-up - something about ads are obnoxious when you want to read a blog and that's the reason why you are on the blog and you have to scroll past them and they get in the way. However, in my mind, that's what needs to happen if you want people to see them and to get results from placing them there. Not that anyone generally acknowledges them anyway, I've seen the stats - I know what you guys are up to on my site - big brother is always watching. Basically, I've been playing around with the ads and the different types. I currently have four different ad services running on my site...they are - in no particular order - Adsense from Google, Infolinks, Kontera, and Widgetbucks. I am interested in your feedback too - let me know which ones you like and notice and which ones you want to take a figurative pack of explosives to. In the mean time, I will continue to blog and explore ways to optimize my site.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Bigger or Better on Craigslist

I decided to try playing “Bigger or Better” on Craigslist. This is a game I played growing up for an activity for a mutual activity. For those who haven’t played “Bigger or Better” this is how it goes – you start out with a small object and then try to trade that object for something “Bigger or Better”. At the end of the night, you compared your ending object with the other ending objects of other groups and had a good laugh. So here's my CL ad. I’m going to try this out for a month and see what I end up with.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Water4Gas and other fairytales...

As most of you know, I bought a Mazda Miata a while back with the intent to tinker around with it. I've done several projects like change the drive belt, replace all four brakes, clean the window channels, change the oil, and change the rear struts. Meanwhile I looked for other things I could do to improve my car (the ultimate improvement will be turning my car into a Monster; but that's not what I'm getting at with this blog.) The purpose of this blog is to make anyone who reads it aware that Water4Gas is a total scam. As I said previously, I was looking for projects to improve my car and I came across Water4Gas. Water4Gas and all similar HHO/Water for Fuel programs are scams. These sites claim that you can improve your car fuel efficiency by adding a water powered hydrogen generator.

Well, in doing my due diligence on these products, I came across a site debunking them (here's the debunking site). What I found is that all of the HHO/Water4Gas products tinker with the oxygen sensor that tells the engine how much gas to use - basically running your car on a very lean amount of gas. Yes, you will be able to go further on a tank of gas, but it's not because you are running your car on water, it is because you are cutting back your car's fuel intake. So what are the side-affects of this practice? According to the debunking site, "you run a very real risk of burning your exhaust valves or suffering from pre-ignition (detonation). This may not happen immediately but before too long you'll find your engine loses compression on one or more cylinders and will need a complete overhaul."

In addition to the information I found on the internet, I spoke with one of my friends who happens to train mechanics for a living. He told me that it is only common sense that these products are scams. Think about it, if the major car company's could gain a competitive advantage over the other car companies by using a device such as those promoted on the HHO scamming sites, wouldn't they do it?

Monday, June 15, 2009

My Kid the Producer

Fred has discovered the art of making movies. Tonight she set-up her doll house like "Big Brother" by borrowing Scoonie's camera (that also does video) and putting the camera on one side of the dollhouse so that she could film what the dolls did. The biggest difference between "Big Brother" and Fred's film was that the dolls knew where the camera was - after 7 minutes of dollhouse "Big Brother" the dolls broke into a fashion show - the ambiance was created by turning off the lights and turned on the spot-light (flashlight). Jr. and Fred then paraded their dolls for the fasion show and took turns jumping in front of the camera! 15 minutes of fun! The encore was a 9 minute space odessey filled with a trip to Mercury and a space fasion show complete with music!

Human Intelligence Tasks

I came across a random internet tool today. Human intelligence tasks (HIT's) are those tasks that only a human can do. Artificial intelligence can not replicate these tasks. Much like laws requiring Home Owner Associations to have annual audits of records secure jobs for accountants in Nevada, HIT's give job security to thousands of human beings throughout the world. So what are these tasks? How much do HIT workers get paid? The answer to these and other perplexing questions like "How do you place value on a human life?" Can be found on Amazon Mechanical Turk. That's right Amazon has a corner on this all important market and you can become a turk and earn between $.01 and $30 per completed HIT! Wow! Now I can quit my day job and really do something meaningful with my life...Thanks Amazon!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

To Have Theme Music or Not Have Theme Music...

That is the question. I recently put a playlist on this page so I could have theme music for my blog; after all, life's better with your own sound effects and theme music.

However, I was told that some people can get seriously bothered by theme music on blogs. So I've added a "Poll" asking the all important question - "Should My Blog have Theme Music?" Let me know. You can post your qualitative answers here and also suggest the appropriate theme music for my site (if you think I should have theme music; if you don't think I should, leave some comments so I know why.)

None dare call it conspiracy

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Monster Miata

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Flying in a squirrel suit

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