Monday, December 31, 2007

Patching This and That

It seems I am constantly looking for patches to fix one thing or the other: Internet Explorer, Windows XP, my web browser, something vital in my life. Now I learn that there is a hoodia patch. Yes, I have heard of people wanting hoodia fix. But exactly when did hoodia itself need a patch?

Sunday, December 30, 2007

All That Glitters...

ately, I've seen several guys walking around with heavy gold chains around their necks. Maybe it's because I don't have any fashion sense but I really don't see the point in having something around my neck that's worth more than my head. This doesn't mean I wouldn't buy this shiny bling. I've been tempted on more than one occasion to buy several of the smaller, thinner gold necklaces. I thought about forming each one into a letter of the alphabet, gluing it to piece of paper and then mailing it to myself. If the post office is going to deliver "get rich quick" schemes to my house, it might as well be a gold chain letter.

What I Got For Christmas

During this recent Christmas day, you could almost hear the collective joy of millions of people as they stood knee-deep in wrapping paper and ribbons and uttered those spirit filled words, "Is this all I got?" But not me! On Christmas morning, I bounded out of bed full of glee and excitement because I knew that Santa was going to reward all my good deeds. I anxiously hurried over to my 24 inch high Christmas tree, anticipating the 60 inch flat screen, high definition television that I would find underneath. And what did my innocent eyes find? A 60 inch cardboard cutout with the words "Try again next year" written on it. The first words out of my innocent mouth may not have been the most thankful. In fact, I may have labeled Santa as a specific part of the human anatomy as well as compared him to the husband of a woman who has children. But once those joyful words of praise were spoken, I placed my cardboard cutout on its tv mount. I soon discovered something as I sat in front of my new simulated TV. The shows on it are just as good as the real ones.

Saturday, December 29, 2007

Horsing Around

My daughter wants to get in to horseback riding. She made a very convincing case as to why I should help her get into this. So I told her that I would look into it and make a decision shortly. I researched the costs for caring and feeding such a magnificent animal (the horse, not my daughter) as well as horse riding apparel. After adding up all the expenses and looking at my bank account, I made my decision. My daughter was very happy when I said that I would help her. She was less-than-pleased when I gave her a bunch of quarters for the horsey ride in front of Wal-Mart. Kids these days ....

Monday, December 17, 2007

Truck Gas Mileage

Lately at work, we have been working to fit our vision system and cruise switches onto various 2008 model year pickup trucks, such as Dakota and Toyota. One thing I've noticed in these late year models is the proliferation of electronic controls throughout the vehicle. Even the tonneau cover
for some of the truck bed is motorized. Of course, this means a need for bigger batteries and more powerful alternators than before. This electrical demand is not free. Since these pricey vehicles are already struggling to get 15 miles a gallon, how much of an impact does this increased amperage have the gas mileage? We're estimating 3 to 5 mpg goes into powering everything. But that just our guess.

(by the way, tonneau is pronounced ta’-no)

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Wireless Energy Transfer

Remember those times when you were filming a once-in-a-lifetime moment: your child's first step, your loved one as they receive that well-earned reward, a stranger on the downswing of a police baton, Bigfoot stepping out of a UFO. Is there anything worse than having your camcorder batteries died at the critical moment? (Aside from being chased by Bigfoot or that cop.) Well, that may soon be a thing of the past. Technology has been developed to recharge your vital electronic devices without plugging them in. Next year you will be hearing more and more about wireless energy transfer devices. These technological marvels will charge your cell phone, camcorder, and the like simply by putting your equipment in close proximity to them. Rechargeable batteries may soon be a thing of the past!

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Hey, Y'all. Watch This!

My girlfriend and my son were teasing me about not being a bling-kind of guy. It's not that I mind wearing shiny goodies. But I prefer having a low profile to one that attracts attention. Take for example an eye-catching Patek Philippe watch. It has a very elegant, stylish look to it. Yet I don't see myself wearing one, especially with a price tag of over $100,000. I'm not worried about attracting attention. It's the $200,000 worth of bodyguards surrounding me that may bring a look or two in my direction.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Annoying Festive Lights

Thirty seven lights. Between my home and my workplace, there are 37 festive lights: glowing greens, warm reds, and flashing yellows. But since they are more than just ornamental, I find them to be more annoying than anything else. Today's trip did not help matters.

I cover 55 miles of real estate in my drive to work. Often my commute takes no more than 70 minutes. But a delay here, a dawdling-driver-in-front-of-me there and my trip can approach that mind numbing, blood pressure raising two hours mark. This morning, I won the equivalent of the loser's lottery as I caught every single light at red. Not "red about to change to continue-on green." Oh no! But rather "yellow changing to show-stopping red." After 100 minutes of this stop-and-go-and-stop, I finally arrived at work.

Fortunately the day was not a complete loss. Today, I joined the ranks of the greatest minds in science and proved that you can't travel faster than the speed of light ... especially when it's red.

Thursday, December 06, 2007

Fashion With Function

Here I am strolling into an important meeting at work. Well, of course it's a meeting at work. Who has meetings at play... all right, aside from golf games... and hunting expeditions... yes, and any day in Congress. But aside from that...

One of the great aspects of doing product reviews is that you sometimes get very cool stuff to try out. Just the other day, I received a dark blue mock turtleneck shirt (the one I'm wearing in the picture) from Perfect timing for today's chilly weather. Perfect timing since I needed to look really good. As you can see, I need all the help that I can get. Even though the Clothing4All shirt can't work miracles, it has a great smooth feel to it. While it kept me comfortably warm all day, I discovered that my new shirt has some unexpected benefits as well.

Around here, the guiding principle of business is "Management-By-Crisis." You might know it by its more common term "Overpaid-People-Yelling-A-Lot." By either name, the idea of planning is disregarded. Instead, upper management makes decisions seemingly on the spur of the moment, often contrary to the advice from their more knowledgeable employees. When that inevitable crisis results, you can sit in a meeting and be regaled by the raising voices exchanging colorful words of curse and angrily placed blame. Yet, as you can see from the picture, I made a wonderful discovery. I found that I can retreat into my shirt while keeping a watchful eye out for thrown pencils, cups of coffee, fists, etc.

These meetings could be productive. They could be called to resolve issues and develop cost-effective timelines. Unfortunately, they tend to start at the bottom and go down hill from there. Even for their moments of entertainment, they eventually become absurd wastes of time. And yet again, my shirt served me very well today! As you can see, I am able to withdraw my head and arms and get some actual work done. You can't tell but I'm actually sending a fax. I can poke my head out once the smoke (and mirrors) has cleared and the decision to have a pre-meeting to set up another meeting to discuss why this meeting failed has been set.

And so! If you're looking for style, I highly recommend getting this mock turtleneck shirt. If you're looking for a way to protect yourself from the spittle of bellowing CEO or from mind numbing droning as VPs try to suck up to their boss, you definitely can't go wrong with this article of clothing!

A Big Thanks to my good friend, the Dawnster, for risking her camera to take these pictures. :D

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Ultimate Coffee Machine


In the early days of computers, we thought that a 4.7 MHz system was a technological marvel. Compared to our abacus and pocket calculator, it was! These days, systems that are running at 2000 MHz are hot stuff. And I do mean HOT! I imagine you would be sweating a bit too if you had hundreds of switches turning on and off at 2 billion times a second.

Well, get ready because things are about to get hotter with computers that run 50 times faster than today's. Naturally with today's environmental concerns, somebody has asked the question, "Can we do anything with all that wasted heat coming off those new chips?" The answer is yes! Instead of putting a heat sink on the computer chip, they have installed an Espresso Coffee Machine. Soon you too will be able to buzz right along with your computer as you make mistakes 50 times faster than you can today. A word of caution if you get this new system: you'll know that you've had too much espresso when, instead of sweating, you percolate.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Travel Insurance

Do you find insurance to be one notch above a scam? Take life insurance for example. You're betting that someday you're going to die. When you win that bet, you lost. With travel insurance, you're betting that you're going to be sick while traveling. Who really wants to win that kind of bet? Actually we need a different kind of travel insurance. After all, the best way to find out if you like someone or hate them is to travel with them. As common a practice as that is, no one offers love-hate travel insurance for dealing with your companions. If we're going to gamble like this, why not have some fun?