Thursday, September 27, 2007

Only 9 Years? I thought Google invented the Internet


Today is Google's 9th birthday. Personally, I guess I've only been Googling things for about 6 years, but it really seems like Google is a mile marker for the Internet. Meaning the advent of Google seems to have happened along with the Internet starting to look a lot better. Fewer frames, more good design.

Anyway, who could have guessed that 9 years later Google would be providing me with free email and blogging and RSS feed reading, along with permanently living in a search box in my browser window. Now if only they could get a few more modules on iGoogle, I might be able to ditch Yahoo! completely.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Watch This Wednesday #1: I Said Good Day, Sir!

As promised yesterday, I'm starting a new feature, where basically I find a video to share with you. At least starting out, I'm going to be showing favorite clips from movies, limited of course to what I can find online. I haven't quite mastered the whole getting pieces of videos that I already own and doing something with them other than watching them.

This week, I give you a favorite scene from the REAL Willy Wonka, Mr. Gene Wilder. My only regret is that this clip, of which I found two versions, omits the first part of the rant, where Mr. Wonka spouts some Latin. However, if you click through to the actual webpage on YouTube, the text of the first part of the rant is there. In fact, since that person doesn't actually own the copyright on the text, I feel okay about giving it to you here:
Wrong, sir! Wrong! Under section 37B of the contract signed by him, it states quite clearly that all offers shall become null and void if - and you can read it for yourself in this photostatic copy - "I, the undersigned, shall forfeit all rights, privileges, and licenses herein and herein contained," et cetera, et cetera..."Fax mentis incendium gloria cultum," et cetera, et cetera..."Memo bis punitor delicatum!" It's all there, black and white, clear as crystal! You stole fizzy lifting drinks. You bumped into the ceiling which now has to be washed and sterilized, so you get nothing! You lose! Good day sir!

Some of my favorite lines to quote:
"Its all there! Black and white! Clear as crystal!"
"Build up a little boy's hopes and then smash all his dreams to pieces."

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Buttered Pop Tarts

You know how growing up you assume that everyone else lives the same life as you and then as you grow up and meet other people you slowly find out that you do some things differently than everyone else. Growing up we could never have the Pop-Tarts with frosting on them, because that would be dessert, not breakfast. Not that we got Pop-Tarts, with or without frosting, all that often. So pretty much they were a delicacy. Anyway, when you toast the unfrosted Pop-Tarts, putting butter on them is pretty much the only way to go. The butter melts into the crust, it's great all around.

Lately I've been finding out that putting butter on Pop-Tarts is greeted with a near universal "huh?", followed by a semi-universal, "wait, what? gross." Not sure why no one else I've talked to lately has ever done this. Probably because they only eat frosted Pop-Tarts. It's rare to ever see more than the strawberry flavored Pop-Tarts in the unfrosted form these days, although I did happen upon some unfrosted blueberry about a month ago. Anyway, I think they are great, and I encourage you to try it out.

The todo nebula

I know I haven't been the best blogger ever lately. My mind has been pretty jumpy lately and I'm having a hard time focusing on much of anything. I need to take some time and write out what all I need to get done I think. A lot of times when I'm feeling unsettled like this its because I have this nebulous feeling that there are things I need to do, but I can't put my finger on them. And when I feel that way, it really helps me to write down everything that I need to do, and then attack that in an organized way. In any case, I do plan to attack the blogging in a similar organized fashion, with at least one small weekly item (coming Wednesdays this fall!), and maybe something a tad more substantial if I decide my hectic life can handle it. In the meantime, I found a topic I wanted to write about in the draftbin, and you can check that out in a bit once I finish writing it up.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Great things in September 18th History

From wikipedia:


323 - Constantine the Great decisively defeats Licinius in the Battle of Chrysopolis, establishing Constantine's sole control over the Roman Empire.
1502 - Christopher Columbus lands at Costa Rica on his fourth, and final, voyage.
1793 - The first cornerstone of the Capitol building is laid by George Washington.
1810 - First Government Junta in Chile. Though supposed to rule only in the absence of the king, it was in fact the first step towards independence from Spain, and it is commemorated as such.
1851 - The New-York Daily Times, which will become The New York Times, begins publishing.
1952 - Rick Pitino born.
1970 - Jimi Hendrix found dead in his basement in London.
1974 - Xzibit born.
1978 - BigDigital blog author, "J" born.
1982 - First smiley-face Emoticon sent by Carnegie Mellon Professor Scott Fahlman.

Yes, thats right, today Xzibit is 33 years old, and Chile celebrates 197 years of independence.

And yes, today is my birthday, too. If you enjoy the blog, leave me a comment. I'll turn on anonymous commenting for those of you who don't have a blogger account for a day or two as well.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Still scratching my head...

Saturday I had the great pleasure of being in attendance at the Utah-UCLA football game in which my beloved Utes totally humbled the previously-#11 Bruins to the tune of 44-6. Given that to date we'd looked horribly lost on offense, and a little worn out on defense, it was a stunning turn of events to say the least. I couldn't find anyone who wanted to come, and in the end I just ended up sitting with my buddy Gary and his brother. At halftime, Gary's nose started to bleed and in the end, he had to go to the hospital and get looked at. So, I watched nearly the entire second half with total strangers, but it was still a great game to watch. I also happened to take my camera with me, so here are some pictures and a video:

The Marching Block U

The Muss

The Huddle...

...Lining up...
...Lining up...

...Touchdown Darrell Mack!
...Touchdown Darrell Mack!

Go Utes!
There are more photos here. But this one pretty much says it all.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

We have liftoff!

Today was kind of a big day in the grand scheme of my graduate work. Why? Because today my alerts went into production in the Electronic Medical Record (EMR) system at Intermountain Healthcare. The crazy part is that no one actually told me about it. I was kind of running out of steam on some writing I've been working on this afternoon, and while killing some time, I decided to just send an email and ask when the latest release of the system software was going to happen. Last I'd heard it was schedule for Aug. 29th, and then that didn't happen. All I knew was that things had been pushed back. Anyway, I got a quick response saying that the release had happened early this morning (around 1 am). I was, of course, pleased to hear that my code had made it into production, something that at one point I thought might never happen.

So then I decided I better track down the programmer I'd been working with on this project to find out what I needed to do to turn my alerts on. When I finally did find him, he told me that yes, the release happened last night, and my alerts were working fine. What? I thought I had to "turn them on" once the new release was in place. Not so. In fact, at that point, two alerts had already been sent. Which I guess was a good thing. It was just all a little fast. I had told the providers I'd email them to let them know when we were turning the alerts on, so I had to scramble and put that together and mention that they'd started going out earlier today, so to keep an eye for them.

Anyway, I'm a little nervous about the whole situation, but overall I'm very excited to have the system up and running.

Friday, September 07, 2007

News from my favorite band

In case you weren't aware, the Counting Crows have been back in the studio working on a new album, their first studio album since Hard Candy. Additionally, they are releasing a deluxe version of "August and Everything After" which will include all the original songs, plus some unreleased demos, and a full live concert recording from Paris in 1994. And, they are releasing it on my birthday (Sept. 18th). How thoughtful of them, right?

As for the new album, its entitled, "Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings", and it comes out November 6th.

Good times.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Random Thoughts on the English Language #13: States of conjuction

I think at this point, pretty much everyone has heard the term "Californication", a (once) clever combination of California and fornication. I think I heard it first from Rick Majerus. Not to say he coined it, just thats where I heard it first. Its since been a Red Hot Chili Peppers song, and a TV show. But for some reason (okay, actually I was listening to "Walking in Memphis" and somehow the word "Memphysema" appeared in my mind), the other day I started thinking if there were other such combinations of locations and other words that might be cool to coin now before someone else beats me to them (ala Japanimation). So I pulled up a list of US States (gotta start somewhere, right?), and here's what I've come up with so far:

Delawareness (I'm not Del-aware enough to know what they are more aware of there)
Oklahomicide (Evokes thoughts of the bombing, no?)
Texecution (I'll be surprised if no one ever has used this one before)
West Virgingivitis (Are teeth required for gingivitis?)
Wisconsinants (I think they get more made fun of for their Wisconsivowels)

Ok, so my curiosity got the better of me and I found all of these except for the virgingivitis ones on Google. Next time I'll take a world map and see what else comes to mind.