Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Spotted This -- had to link it.

subliminal messages obama is like superman

Just a Joke

The joke below was e-mailed to me recently, and I've entered it with the text that I received in the e-mail. However, it seems that the more popular version of the joke has the gender of the characters switched.

A man was leaving a convenience store with his morning coffee when he noticed a most unusual funeral procession approaching the nearby cemetery. A long black hearse was followed by a second long black hearse about 50 feet behind the first one. Behind the second hearse was a solitary man walking a dog on a leash. Behind him, a short distance back, were about 200 men walking single file.

The man couldn't stand the curiosity. He respectfully approached the man walking the dog and said, 'I am so sorry for your loss, and this may be a bad time to disturb you, but I've never seen a funeral like this. Whose funeral is it?'

'My wife's.'

'What happened to her?'

The man replied, 'My dog attacked and killed her.'

He inquired further, 'But who is in the second hearse?'

The man answered, 'My mother-in-law. She was trying to help my wife when the dog turned on her.'

A poignant and thoughtful moment of silence passed between the two men.

'Can I borrow the dog?'

The man replied, 'Get in line.'

It's just a joke, I thought it was funny.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Beijing 2008 - Olympics In The Air

Last October, during the beginning of my time in Beijing, I wrote this blog post that mentioned air quality with two comparative photos.

Since then, I've been following the blog of James Fallows who also has been posting photos for comparison.

In the last several days -- China has done several things to try to improve the air quality for the Olympics.

  • Temporarily shutting down most factories East of Beijing
  • Even-Odd car restrictions

Both of these are huge undertakings. Consensus, so far, is that the measures are not working. That said -- I heard it's supposed to rain soon, and there really hasn't been a decent rain in Beijing since the shut-downs and traffic restrictions.

James Fallows' "Weather" Photos for July

July 2, 2008 East or west, home is best Photo by James Fallows - July 2

July 12, 2008 With 26 days to go Photo by James Fallows - July 12

July 15, 2008 Something familiar, something new Photo by James Fallows - July 15

July 19, 2008 Everything changes tomorrow
Photo by James Fallows - July 19

July 26, 2008 Sunday morning Beijing Photo by James Fallows - July 26

July 27, 2008 Eleven days to go Photo by James Fallows - July 27

So, that's the view in Beijing. It's not really pollution, it's Olympic Spirit In The Air!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Strange Helicopter Transportation (photo)

I was driving into work this-morning, and I saw a helicopter driving down the road. Weirdest thing ever, so I absolutely had to take some photos out my window.

Quite unexpected. That's all I'm saying.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

For My Floridian Friends

Upcoming Hurricanes
comic strip theorizing upcoming hurricane names and paths

The XKCD web comic is one of my favorites.

Me and My Enneagram [Updated]

This is a bit of a meme that's been going around one of my circles of friends. It's this Enneagram test. So, after putting it off for a week, I finally decided to take the first (and longer) of the two tests presented at the link above.

I will not pretend that I've actually read through what this means or what it might mean, but - generally - I have a tendency of being very central on most personality tests, so -- I've linked the whole result set, with all of the scores, so that you can see the whole picture. Maybe one day, I'll try to figure out what it means myself. ;-)

[Update: Enneagram Info from Vahl over at the Daily Skew - - read the comments there -- Damian has declared that I'm not a 9, not sure what that's based on though. ]

Here are my results:

You are most likely a type 9.

Taking wings into account, you seem to be a 9w1.
No personality test is completely accurate. Although several measures were taken to make this test as accurate as possible, there's always a chance that you are not typed correctly by it. Therefore, when deciding which Enneagram type and wing you are, you might also want to consider the types with the highest test scores on the lists below.

(Note that your lowest scores may be omitted.)

Type 9 - 8.7
Type 3 - 6.3
Type 7 - 5.7
Type 2 - 5
Type 1 - 4
Type 8 - 3

Wing 9w1 - 10.7
Wing 9w8 - 10.2
Wing 3w2 - 8.8
Wing 1w9 - 8.4
Wing 2w3 - 8.2
Wing 3w4 - 8
Wing 8w9 - 7.4
Wing 7w8 - 7.2
Wing 2w1 - 7
Wing 7w6 - 6.6
Wing 1w2 - 6.5
Wing 8w7 - 5.9

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Song In My Head

First, it's a really good song. Musically complex, and very heart-felt. I would link to it here, but I didn't find a source that has a copy.

However, for two days I've had this same song going through my head. I've LISTENED to the song at least 12 times trying to satisfy whatever is making this song run through my head. It hasn't helped. So, I figure I'll try to give it to someone else, maybe the song will leave me alone for a while.

Artist: Elton John
Song: Tonight
Album: Blue Moves (track 2)

Tonight, do we have to fight again?
Tonight, I just want to go to sleep.
Turn out the light, but you want to carry grudges.
Nine times out of ten, Hmm, I see the storm approaching
Long before the rain starts falling
...Tonight, does it have to be the old thing?
Tonight, Ooh Its late, too late;
to chase the rainbow that you're after.
I'd like to find a compromise,
and place it in your hands.
My eyes are blind, my ears can't hear,
and I can not find the time
...Tonight, just let the curtains close in silence.
Tonight, why not approach with less defiance,
the man who'd love to see you smile
Who'd love to see you smile Tonight.

Tonight, just let the curtains close in silence.
Tonight, why not approach with less defiance,
Just let the curtains close in silence.
Tonight, Why not approach with less defiance,
the man who'd love to see you smile...
the man who'd love to see you smile...
the man who'd love to see you smile...

Thursday, July 17, 2008

First Life

So, you've heard of "Second Life"...

Clark Boyd over at "The World" (BBC / WGBH) posted a blog entry with a link to a REALLY funny site, so without further introduction

Get a First Life

Opinion: VMWare Server 2.0 Beta [Updated]

I've used VMWare Server 2.0 Beta for about three solid hours now...

Things I like.
  • Virtual Hardware v. 7 with USB 2.0 support.
  • Tomcat based VM monitoring, is pretty responsive.
  • Does NOT request or attempt to "require" IIS.
  • The Server interface, while different, remains similar.
Technical -- I've loaded VMWare-Server beta on two separate Windows XP host systems (I have an Ubuntu as well, but I've had problems in the past loading both "player" and "server" under Linux (as in - they try to delete each-other's drivers)... So, I'm not likely to try that.

What I do not like:

There is not a way to launch a Virtual Machine without using an Apache-Tomcat servlet through a web browser. This seems terribly inefficient when I am simply trying to load a local VM on a local machine. Inside the web based VMWare management tool, there is a button to create a link to this virtual machine on your desktop. This shortcut, once created, will attach to (and, if necessary, start) the virtual machine without needing to start a web browser. This is still slower to load than the old VMWare server interface was.

The "fat client" , player style interface that used to be available for VMWare Server 1.x has been replaced with a browser plug-in loaded console screen that is very painfully slow to load, it feels like bad java back in the day...

If launching a virtual machine console viewer from inside the browser interface, it takes a painfully long time to load and launch. The operating system will be having no problem starting up as I'm waiting for this thing to finally display. By the time the console opens for me, the login prompt is already waiting ... EVEN with a Windows XP guest OS. This is much better when launching from the desktop link.

Where I gave VMWare-server 1 (****) four out of five stars, I give the VMWare-server 2 (beta) (***^) three and a half out of five.

To be fair, I have little doubt that this console will be improved before the final version releases. I just wanted to let my early opinion be known.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Flamingo Hand

This came from one of those e-mails that people send around. It was a collection of "hand art". One that I'm sure has an online source somewhere, and if I find it, I'll link to that ... but, I thought this was interesting enough, so .. check it out.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Twitter by Proxy

So, I'm done with twitview.

Twitview uses the web server ( to pull my twitter data feed. Once pulled, I turn links into links.

The twittering view at the right side of this blog now uses twitview, as does the open-social app that I wrote for my iGoogle. I also added twitview to my main homepage.

Another advantage of this, is that my twitter feed is now also proxied, so will be visible in places where twitter may become blocked or banned.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Google Apps, iGoogle and Facebook

I've added Google Apps to my domain. I had already started handing pieces of my domain to Google when I started letting them host my blog. At the same time, I'm starting to take pieces back. More on that later...

I started playing with the Open Social API today. Really simple thing -- I realized that I wanted to put some basic, static HTML in a box on both my Facebook page and to my iGoogle page. So, it took me about an hour to create an XML container application that would work within Google's open-social specification.

Facebook's developer framework is far more complex, but - thankfully - there's an application for Facebook called "Open Gadget" that allows me to wrap my Open Social xml format into an application format for facebook. It's not perfect (it makes the user click to "activate the gadget"), but it does what I want it to do.


Second -- I have decided to "proxy" my own blog, locally. I'm doing this because my friends in China are not able to see my blog. So, if you are not already reading this through my proxy page, try it out...

Friday, July 4, 2008

Happy Independence Day

It is, of course, the Fourth day of July.

After several years of tension, and many attempts by various colony-side groups to get the British parliament to listen to basic grievances, conflict arose.

The Colonists and the British Army started shooting on 19 April 1775 at Lexington - just outside of Boston. On 11 June 1776, more than a year after the war had begun, the delegates to the Continental Congress appointed a committee of five, and they got started on the serious work of making a formal declaration of Independence. Thomas Jefferson did most of the writing, and the decision to ratify a Declaration of Independence was adopted by the Continental Congress on July 2, 1776. Over the next two days, wording of the draft document was debated, and the final wording was approved after minor changes on 4 July 1776.

The war continued trough 1783. The Treaty of Paris was signed on 3 September 1783, and the last of the British troops left New York City on 25 November 1783.

George Washington left the office of Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army in December 1783, and did not become President of the United States of America until 30 April 1789, 14 years after the revolutionary war started, 13 years after the ratification of the Declaration of Independence, and 5 years after the British left.

[edits: added links to Wikipedia Articles]