/*sidenote tool from arc90 */ /* end of Google Analytics code */ A Random Pattern: October 2005

A Random Pattern

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Podcast of the week - and fresh site KJ52.com

J-52 is the first to admit that his gig doesn't make much sense.

"A white dude from the suburbs and inner city of Florida doing Christian rap and driving a minivan?" KJ says. "None of that makes sense. No one says, 'That's the formula, right there!' But at the end of the day, it just proves that God did it."

The absurdity of his situation hasn't stopped him from becoming one of the hottest rappers on the Christian hiphop scene..

This artist rocks - he's got a great song about Mountain Dew ("Oh, what am I gonna do, I'm addicted to Mountain Dew, when I drink like one or two, people say What's wrong with you...). Seriously, dude's got some skills. He's not afraid to have some fun, either. But what's awesome is he podcasts several times a week. Listen to the "Walmart saved my life" podcast. My wife and I cracked up listening to this!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Miers Nomination

For the record:

I support the Miers nomination. It's simple, really. Not to mention that it doesn't much matter. Not to mention that not only I, but 95% of the people posting their opinions on the web are drastically under-qualified to even comment on Mier's qualification or lack thereof.

Yes, it is simple. Bush nominated her. Dr. Dobson supports her. And there are plenty of smart, even qualified, people on both sides of this issue. Who's really surprised, anyways? We all knew this nominee was going to be a huge battle, well before anyone knew who it was. I don't really care about all the politics, and insulted people, and everyone who wants their opinion counted so they can be a power player. I want the kind of person Bush has promised he'd put on the court - and with every nominee previous to this, he's apparently lived up to that. Even those sounding off now aren't arguing that. So why the sudden fear that he's changed tack or lost heart at the last moment, the most critical decision (possibly) of his presidency? Does that really make sense with what you know of our president?

Nope - that doesn't fit at all. Too many of you have the weak stomachs you're accusing the president of - that's my opinion.

I will add that it's not without some trepidation that I support her - but were she to have the necessary things in place to remove my trepidation, there'd be almost no way she'd get confirmed. ;) At least no one seems to be understating the importance of this nomination...

Blogger Help : Promoting Your Blog

Blogger Help : Promoting Your Blog: "Be an active commenter. Try to leave comments on the blogs you read every day. This is in the same vein as linking. Leaving a comment on someone's post can make their day. Nothing beats getting those email notifications that whisper tacitly out at you from the screen, 'You're thoughts have struck me dead in my tracks. I simply must acknowledge you and your greatness.' (Or something to that effect.) Most comment systems also provide a way for you to leave a link back to your blog which begs a visit at the very least. So if you feel inspired, leave a comment or two in your blog travels. It behooves you.

Pitch your posts via email to other bloggers. This is a touchy technique and should be approached with caution. Blogger Eugene Volokh has published a short treatise on how best to pitch one's blog via email and it's filled with great tips and advice. Assuming your blog is actually worth pitching (of course it is), here are some tips from Volokh.

1. Pitch the post, not the blog.
2. Include the full text and your URL.
3. Submit only your best posts.
4. Don't only pitch to high traffic blogs."

Since I mentioned this is something I'm going to start working on, I thought I'd share this helpful advice for increasing traffic to a blog.

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Good - and Really Bad - News about future oil

Rocky Mountain News: Columnists: "Since 1981, Shell researchers at the company's division of 'unconventional resources' have been spending their own money trying to figure out how to get usable energy out of oil shale. Judging by the presentation the Rocky Mountain News heard this week, they think they've got it.

Shell's method, which it calls 'in situ conversion,' is simplicity itself in concept but exquisitely ingenious in execution. Terry O'Connor, a vice president for external and regulatory affairs at Shell Exploration and Production, explained how it's done (and they have done it, in several test projects):

Drill shafts into the oil-bearing rock. Drop heaters down the shaft. Cook the rock until the hydrocarbons boil off, the lightest and most desirable first. Collect them."
(via slashdot)

You might say, "So how is this bad? This is Great!!" And indeed, if you're concerned about the gas prices for the next decade or two, this is very good.

But here's what I think the big picture is: every bit of pain that we save ourselves in the next 30-40 years by methods like these will come back ten times worse (or more) when we really have exhausted every ounce of "black gold" that we can find.

Why? Because it'll make it that much easier for us to "put off" finding another, more viable, solution for the future. The global economy, or everybody's standard of living, will be dramatically affected by how the whole energy situation works out. So it's a pretty important area to focus on - nothing comes for free, and right now we're using vastly more energy than at any point in mankind's history. We need to give some real serious thought and resources towards managing that, or we could put ourselves in some real science-fiction-like scenarios by the end of the century.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

This one's specially for Grandma V (who made the blanket that's capturing the attention in this photo).
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Lifesaver, anyone? ;)
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Black and White - with Attitude. Courtesy of my lovely wife's newly acquired photoshop skills! :)
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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Communication Nation: Kill your little darlings

Blog of the week: This guy puts up lots of great material! The name of the blog really says it all, and this is a focused place to continually sharpen your thoughts on communications, primarily within a business framework.

Communication Nation: Kill your little darlings: "The principle is the same for any kind of creative work, whether it's designing a bridge, building a website or developing software. Often the thing that you love the most is the thing that's holding you back. The reason is that in your heart, you don't believe you have the ability to do it again.

You can."

Ain't that the truth? Anybody else feel that pull? The urge to stop where you are, to leave what you have as it is, even though you know it's beauty isn't enough, it needs more? I've recognized that before, but to see it put forth by someone else helps me to recognize and then deal with that propensity to hold myself back.

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Myst V | Ubisoft

Myst V | Ubisoft

I'm both sad and excited - this is the last release in the Myst series, one of the best video game series ever (in my opinion, anyways). Of course, if you've been following Myst, and Cyan (the company founded by the brothers who created the first 3 Myst games), there weren't supposed to be any more after 3. I suppose the franchise was sold to someone else, and they've decided this is as far as the money would carry it.

If you take a look at the site, it's got some great looking graphics, and a few tiny puzzles to unlock more graphics. I'm not really grasping the whole "slate" thing - hopefully they'll find a way to explain it more clearly soon. Or just put out a demo, that'd be fine too. Anybody done any hands-on with this game yet?

So I'd put this series just below X-Com on my favorite PC game list. I don't buy consoles, otherwise I'd put Mario Kart 64, Donkey Kong, and Super Mario World on the list too. :)

So back to Myst - like puzzles and awesome graphics? Check out Myst V, especially if you've liked the rest of the series.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Frvade - The hardest enigma on the internet

Frvade - The hardest enigma on the internet

Here's one more puzzle site. I really enjoy these things - the key is to not give up and cheat, but take as many breaks as necessary. If you really need help, try finding someone who can give you hints (there's another guy at my office, we can help each other).

Here's your first hint: you can always post here, and I'll help (unless you've already passed where I am, then you probably don't need any hints!)

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Hi from Belgium!

Leuven - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Take a look at this picture. I'm staying a few hundred steps away from this amazing building, built in 1904. Leuven has an interesting history, as does Belgium. Check out the wikipedia article for some interesting facts. Leuven is a college town, and during both world wars it's library was destroyed. Both times it was rebuilt. The city center (where my hotel is) is very nice, and very culturally rich. Lots of restaurants and bars!!

Go to Google maps or some other mapping service and find Belgium, if you don't know where it is. Oh, and if you like fine chocolate, maybe you should plan a trip here yourself ;).

Saturday, October 01, 2005

A quote of the day - Belief and Doubt

"There are two ways to slide easily through life; to believe everything or to doubt everything. Both ways save us from thinking."
- Alfred Korzybski

What do you think of that? And which side do you tend towards?