Got a call from Robert Redford ..

Hi, this is Robert Redford ..

Mr. Redford! How nice of you to call. I have truly enjoyed your body of work, and I’m delighted to hear from you.

.. I’m seeking your support on proposition ..

Your call is very timely. I was just thinking about the movie, "The Candidate", in which you played ..

.. after all, it’s only fair to those involved, and more fair to you.

.. a candidate whose goal was to get elected to a Senate seat. He had the right look (yours), the right hair (yours), the right teeth (yours), the best suit and the hottest handlers in the business.

So, be sure to vote in the next few days and ..

He didn’t have a message per se, and decided to tweak the establishment. In the end, is anti-strategy worked, and he won the election.

.. it’s right for those involved and right for you.

The last line of the film was the most poignant: after winning, with the press clamoring to get into your hotel room to interview you, you turned to your campaign manager and asked "What now?".

Thank you for your support.

What now, Robert?

Original Post: November 2, 2006

Your chance to stay at Fawlty Towers

"Fawlty Towers" was a brilliant situation comedy that had only a single season series on BBC back in 1975. It’s now been repeated most years by our local NPR television station during their fund raising campaigns.

Written by John Cleese and his then-wife Connie Booth, it was loosely based on the experience ‘enjoyed’ by the Monty Python troupe at the Gleneagles Hotel in the eastern English resort of Torquay.

‘Enjoyed’ is a bit of a overstatement; suffice to say, the cast found themselves at the hands of one Donald Sinclair, who made quite an impression on Mr Cleese:

Cleese called hotelier Donald Sinclair "the most wonderfully rude man I have ever met" after they were berated for their table manners and had a timetable thrown at them when they asked the time of the next bus to town.

If you’re a fan, that sounds very, very familiar. Like a particular Basil Fawlty, played by John Cleese.

I told you that story to tell you this one: the Gleneagles Hotel was to be plowed under to make way for luxury apartments on the site, but the Torquay Council refused the zoning permissions and have instead transformed the site into a 41-room hotel.

Visitors to the hotel pose for pictures before a poster in the lobby. Want yours taken there? I sure do.

Original Post: September 30, 2006

Where in Springfield?

In 2006 (at the time of this post), we don’t know in which state the Simpsons’ Springfield resides. Thanks to Dan Cameron (who uploaded it to Flickr), there is a fully-detailed map of the city itself.

In 2007, 14 Springfields coast-to-coast participated in a contest, and Vermont won. See the USA Today article: “Jubilant Vermont town hits a Homer”.

Original Post: November 19, 2006

Orbit and Gravity Madness (game)

Thanks to Connor for pointing me to Orbit on 2dplay.com.

This game is a bit addictive; the idea is to launch your comet away from the spheres (that represent planets of varying gravitational strengths). Avoid crashing for as long as you can.

Original Post: November 19, 2006

Engineer a custom BSOD

This is a utility to create a custom Blue Screen of Death (BSoD) screen saver with which you can amaze your friends and terrorize your IT enemies.

Get it from TechNet: BlueScreen Screen Saver v3.2.

Original Post: November 14, 2006

Duck Amuck for the Internet Age

You may remember “Duck Amuck”, where Daffy Duck is tormented by a cartoonist (who later turns out to be Bugs Bunny).

Well, here’s the internet age equivalent: “Animator versus Animation”, by Alan Becker. This is a Flash-based bit of art (converted to a symbol) that escapes from it’s box and turns against the editing interface with hilarious results.

Original Post: August 18, 2006

“Old-Timer Technology”

A little lofty, a little whimsical. I’m on a plane at the moment, working on a strategic outline. Of course, my mind wanders and I start reflecting on technology at large.

I remember the daze when (roughly in time order from when I encountered / mastered them):

  • 5-1/4” disks.
  • AppleWorks.
  • Prodigy.
  • The art of loading a mouse or joystick driver into high memory (this made you a ‘PC expert’, btw).
  • Learning the value of markup languages from WordPerfect 5.1 “Reveal Codes”.
  • F3 as the help button (WP51).
  • DesqView.
  • Lanman.ini.
  • HIMEM.SYS and EMM386.SYS
  • That awful-didn’t-allow-cut-and-paste-commands WP51 macro editor.
  • Spreadsheet linking.
  • QEMM.
  • NetBEUI.
  • “CORE” installation (any Hanford BCS readers out there?).
  • While on the subject of Hanford: U:\ drive.
  • Heh. Still on Hanford: SWE0 and SWE1, giving way to MTC0-MTC7. Those were the days.
  • Permanent Swapfile.
  • WFW. More importantly, Microsoft Hearts.
  • SYSTEM.INI and WIN.INI and the [386Enh] section.
  • Downloading the Microsoft Knowledge Base as a 75K .hlp file.

Of course, I’m showing my age. Naturally, I left a few out (on purpose; stimulates the discussion). What do you remember?

Original Post: June 21, 2006

Anagram ‘bot

Thanks to Sternest Meanings, which hosts an anagram bot. Some fun ones from off the top of my pointy little head:

‘microsoft pragmatic evangelist’
anagrams to
‘Castigative comforter sampling.’
.. does this mean a sampling of scolding yet comforting statements?

‘michael coates’
anagrams to
‘A choicest male.’
.. this one does NOT need explaining 😛

‘I do my Sudoku puzzles in ink’
anagrams to
‘Dizzy up melodious skunk in.’

.. I should have quite whilst ahead.

Original Post: May 29, 2006

How to NOT spend $2.5 MILLION on a Super Bowl Ad ..

.. and get lots of exposure anyway. Here’s how ManCrunch (a gay men’s dating site) did it:

Just look at all the money they saved. But what did they get?

  • Publicity. Lots of it. Cannot swing a dead cat on the video sites without running across this. Note that we’ve seen guys kiss on super bowl commercials before .. remember the Snickers ad from 2007?
  • Impressions. Lots of them, and well before the game. 207,000 on YouTube so far and thousands more scattered around the video sites.
  • News. Bing gives us these answers to the search.

Folks get nuts about these commercials. They talk about them for weeks prior, ensure they’re in their seats at the appropriate (and publicized time) to see them during the game and then go to aggregation sites to watch the line-up of what they’ve missed. That rate them, trash them, discuss them at the water cooler and espresso bars for days.

It’s bigger than this though. Is this a hoax, or very clever marketing? I’m guessing the latter, and I applaud the chaps who put it together.

We’ve seen eHarmony and Match.com ads on the television .. these sites position themselves more as ‘relationship’ (versus ‘hookup’) sites. I cannot tell from the limited information thus far, where ManCrunch site on that scale.

I suspect we’ll all know more in the coming weeks. Will be fun to watch. Thanks to Jessi for the referral.

IQ and Cholesterol, Part 6

The latest numbers, and some comparisons from the last tests (15 months prior):

I’ve posted these over time:

I need to do some dietary review .. the cholesterol numbers are all going the wrong way. Other stuff is good though .. will test again in July.

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