March 29, 2005

Reading List Thus Far

Most of my "reading", at least for fiction, is listening to audiobooks in the car. Just finished Be Cool by Elmore Leonard. I didn't know who was actually in the new movie, so I had to look up it up in IMDB to match the cast with the characters.

In the book, especially because of the wonderful reading by Recorded Books' voice talent, I could really "see" John Travolta as Chili, and The Rock as Elliot Wilhelm. The movie's casting of the mobsters is good too. But Vince Vaughn as Raji? Too bad Snoop Dogg isn't at the self-deprecating stage yet.

Currently "reading": Prey by Michael Crichton. Funny how he places the storyline in Silicon Valley--he gets most of the feel right, but a lot is the usual "detached writer" stuff. But the plotline about the unemployed guy at home is hilarious--been there, done that...

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March 28, 2005

Guilty Pleasures: Britney

Been listening to the sexed-up ex-Mousketeer's (not that one, the blond one. Oh. The real blonde. Oh. Ok, the one from Louisiana). "Greatest Hits" album. Sometimes you just need some mindless entertainment.

Cover of Britney Spears album

Hey, don't laugh. Last year I was hooked on George Michael's Best Of... album (especially Disc 2). That dude could spin some catchy tunes when he bothered to pretend he wasn't gay.

Cover of George Michael album

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March 18, 2005

Useless Facts from NationMaster

Just stumbled across the NationMaster site. This thing would've been great to have during grade school social studies. Or that Schott guy could've used it when compiling his miscellaneous book.

Like this graph really shows which nations are the most "powerful".

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March 11, 2005

Car Talk's "Boss Key"

Just noticed the "Boss Key" at the bottom of the page at

Remember these things? For DOS-based text games, you'd type a key combination and a fake VisiCalc or Lotus 123 spreadsheet would come up. Most times the spreadsheet would be some realistic-looking data, but sometimes they'd be inside jokes regarding characters in the game or game company personnel.

Looks like the Car Talk guys have the same kind of humor. Each time you click the Car Talk Boss Key, you get a different fake graph or spreadsheet, with funny data like "Tom's Memory Decreasing over Time" or a fake memo outlining "Jobs saved by the Car Talk Boss Key". That has got to be a fun gig.

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March 09, 2005

The Latest High Tech Job: Driving Around

I was watching these two IT guys walk around with some laptops on a cart. Turns out they were checking field strength for the WiFi network.

Seems like there's a whole bunch of high tech jobs now that involve just walking or driving around. Like would you want to be one of those A9 guys that drive around cities with cameras on the top of your car?

I'd do it only if I could have drive Zito and Switek's conspicuously green van with the giant bug on top.

I guess after Webvan died, a whole lot of drivers were suddenly out of work. But things must be coming back... Bubble? What bubble?

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March 07, 2005

Concrete Shower Pan, 0; me, 1

Finally knuckled down and tackled taking out the mortar shower pan in the bathroom I'm remodeling. I had hacked away at parts of it with a puny little 2lb hammer, and never got anywhere. I had put it off for so long--it wasn't very appealing ("Oh joy! 4 hours of hard back-breaking labor! Sign me up!") but I had a bunch of stressors to exorcise anyway, and I hadn't really gotten to break anything yet.

Turned out that the mortar broke up easier than I thought it would, after wielding the "big sledge". I swear the house shook with each impact, but that mortar bed broke up into a bunch of baseball-sized chunks. I'm no John Henry or anything, but getting down to the bare wood underneath made me feel great.

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March 03, 2005

The Nicest Thing You Could Say About Your Spouse

My boss and I were talking, and she said, "Being married to Bob is like being on vacation."

Now isn't that one of the nicest things you could say about your spouse? That's wonderful.

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