Wednesday, December 31, 2008

We'll take a cup of kindness...

In the spirit of the new year, here are the lyrics to Auld Lang Syne to save you the trouble of searching for it yourself. If you're looking for the good rendition of the song and you can find it, I highly suggest the Straight No Chaser version of the song on their "Holiday Spirits" CD.

Should Auld acquaintance be forgot
And never brought to mind?
Should Auld acquaintance be forgot
And days of Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gives a hand of thine
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

For Auld Lang Syne, my dear
For Auld Lang Syne
We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

We'll take a cup of kindness yet
For Auld Lang Syne

Happy New Year's everone!

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I hate itunes!

Now anyone can make a blatant statement. For a statement to have impact, it must have details that back it up. Case in point, I just downloaded a song off of itunes. I then transferred it to the folder that all my music is so that it would sync with my zune. I then checked my zune only to find that it wasn't there. I then checked the file properties only to find out that it was protected which means my zune can't play it. Now I didn't get my major in business in college but one would postulate that the more people that have access to a product, the more revenue there would be to possibly generate. Why would you do something stupid like encode your media so that it would only play on your media player? Some would argue that it is so that apple would sell more ipods but then why would a consumer purchase a media player whose content won't play on anything else besides said media player. Especially since there are other open sourced media players out there (refer to my post on Zune made previously). Anyways, it's a good thing the song I downloaded was free or else I would have been pissed. Unfortunately, this has become way too common an occurance for me though. A couple of months ago, I bought an audiobook off of itunes and then transferred it to my zune. Again, it didn't play. I didn't worry about it too much then because it was, after all, my fault for not checking to see if the file type was compatible with my zune. Fast forward to about a month ago. Microsoft announced that the Zune would support audiobooks from which was where I purchased my audiobook from (indirectly through the itunes page) so I thought all my problems were solved. All I had to do was download the media organizer and then transfer it to the Zune. Once again, because I had purchased it through the itunes store, it was protected and won't play on my zune so if I want it to play on my Zune and just about any other media player in the world, I have to redownload the audio book. Well, that was a longer rant than I intended it to be. How was your Christmas?

Friday, December 12, 2008

Ipod Killer

I've had my Zune for almost a year now and I think I can honestly give it a decent review. Unlike most reviews though, instead of starting off with the pros, I am going to start off with the cons, mostly because there are so few.
-I will start off with my biggest con first. The selection in the Zune Marketplace (the software used to purchase music, videos, etc.) is relatively scant compared to itune at least as far as videos go. They still have a nice selection of video podcasts and music videos but their selection of tv shows and movies is not the greatest.
-TV shows purchased through Microsoft's Zune Marketplace will not, at least as of yet, play through the xbox. This is easily enough remedied if you want to see the videos on your zune player through your tv by a docking station and some component video cables.
-TV shows, movies, audiobooks purchased through itunes will not play on your zune. Mp3s, assuming they are DRM-free, will play just fine. This is because most of itune's media has DRM.
-Digital copies that come with some of the newer DVDs do not, at least currently, transfer to the Zune. They play fine on the Windows Media Player. This is really a big disappointment for me because I recently bought the Digital Copy version of The Dark Knight specifically for the purpose of watching it on my Zune on my business trips.
-Microsoft points do not translate easily into dollars. 99 Microsoft points do not translate into $0.99. Most tracks cost 79 Microsoft points which is approximately $0.99. Because it does not translate easily into dollars, it is VERY easy to spend more money than you think you are.
Hopefully most of these cons will be addressed in the next software upgrade.

Now on to the pros:
-The Zune Marketplace interface ROCKS!!! It it so user-friendly and intuitve. You can sort your music by album, artist, song, date albums are added, etc.
-MixView. Basically, the best way to describe this is to give you an example. Say you're into the Goo Goo Dolls. If you double-click on their profile a collage will show up with artists that inspire them, that they inspire, other listeners who have them as their favorite artists, and other albums they've released. This is great if, you're like me, you enjoy finding new types of music based on stuff you already like.
-Free updates. All updates to the zune software are free of charge.
-Screen size. The screen on the zune is about 3.5" which, I believe is larger than most, if not all, the ipods currently out there.
-$0.99 albums. That's right. You read it right. Not $0.99 tracks. Whole albums for $0.99. Zune has certain artists that it is promoting for the month and they will sell their whole album for 79 Microsoft points which, as stated before, is approximately $0.99.
-Free stuff. Yeah, F-R-E-E. Zune has free songs. Full-length songs. Right now, Zune has a playlist of Christmas songs that you can download for free. Basically, Zune takes one or two songs from the Christmas albums of various R&B artists and puts it into a playlist you can download. They also have a free playlist sampler that you can download just as a thank-you for purchasing a Zune.
-Backwards compatibility. At least so far, Zune has been pretty good at making sure that the software is backwards compatible with all their generation one Zune players.
-Wifi. You can sync your zune to your computer wirelessly. You can also send playlists to people nearby if they also have a Zune. Also, they have an agreement with McDonald's so that if you're in a McDonald's with wifi, you can download music directly through your Zune instead of having to wait to sync with your computer.
-Zune Pass. You can download as much music as you want for $14.99 a month so you can try out different artists and albums. The only downside is that you don't actually get to keep them. If you down renew your pass, you lose all the music you downloaded but didn't purchase. At least that was before the new and improved program. Now, you have the option of keeping up to ten tracks you download each month. They're your's to keep even if you don't renew your Zune Pass.

If you're trying to decide between a Zune and another mp3 player and need some help, feel free to leave a comment. I'm off to enjoy my free music!

Monday, November 17, 2008


I had the day off so I actually have time to update my blog a little bit so that's exactly what I decided to do. First off, on the right hand side, you'll notice my zune tag which basically shows you what the last albums I listened to were. I believe if you click on an album, it'll link you to the album page where you can listen to 30 second samples. Just underneath that is a list of the podcasts I'm listening to right now on my zune. Below is a brief description of what the podcasts are so you can go ahead and stop reading now if you're not interested in that kind of stuff.

A Way with Words: A radio call in show where the host talks about word origins, regionalisms, etc.

Ask a Ninja: A video podcast comedy that answers email questions the way a ninja would.

Chuck vs. the Podcast: An audio podcast that talks about my current favorite sit-com, NBC's Chuck airing Monday nights at 7:00 PM central.

Get-it-done Guy: An audio podcast that helps you become more efficient.

Howstuffworks: An audio podcast that explains exactly that, how stuff works. Each podcast lasts about one to two minutes.

Inspiration Weekly: An audio podcast that tells inspirational stories each week. Each podcast lasts about five minutes or so.

JobDig: An audio podcast that helps your professional life.

Let's Talk Organizing: An audio podcast that pretty much does what the title states.

TFormers: One of my indulgences. Talks about Transformer news including toys, tv series and the movies.

The Mind of Men: An audio podcast talking about random guy things including politics, what to look for in choosing an digital tv, etc.

The Naked Scientists: An hour-long audio podcast that goes over the latest scientific information. The hosts are from England so you'll probably notice the accent.

The Public Speaker: An audio podcast that gives tips on speaking in front of large groups of people.

The Totally Rad Show: A show Shannon got me hooked on. It's a video podcast that talks about videogames, movies, etc.

Zune Insider, Zune Luv, Zunited: Audio podcasts that talk about the latest Zune news.

"The monkey's his uncle?"

Overall, yesterday was a pretty good day once I got out of work. As you can probably tell from the pic above, I was lucky enough to get to see the Lion King Musical before it left the KC area (we saw it at the very last possible showing). If the Lion King is showing in your area, I highly suggest you go see it. It is definitely worth the price for the costumes alone if nothing else. The cast was excellent and the songs were great. There are a couple of new songs (apparently, they made a movie about the Lion King... :) that didn't appear in the cartoons and portions of the show were interpretive dance. The voices of the actors are sonorous and melifluous (fancy words...) and sound almost exactly like their cartoon counterparts.

Not only did I get to see Lion King but before I left work, I had to get gas and decided to buy a lotto ticket. Guess I got the right one.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Burton to film Alice

According to an article I just read, Tim Burton is to do a remake of Alice in Wonderland. Should be interesting. On tap to be in the movie are, of course, Johnny Depp and Helena Bonhem Carter (sp?), as well as Alan Rickman (Love Actually, Harry Potter), and some others. If you want, you can read the full article here. I just hope it's not another Willy Wonka...

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Transformers 2 Trailer (2009)

It's not really about what you think it's about... :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Mutiny on the High Plains

Andrea and I installed a flag pole to our house this weekend. In anticipation of this, we had ordered two pirate flags a couple of days before. Anywho, the flags arrived today and I'm here to post the pictures in all their glory. In case you're wondering, we got the flags from Two flags for $5 total. The shipping cost a little over $5. Below is one of the two flags we bought. The other's pretty much the same except without the crossed swords.

Monday, September 22, 2008


Today, I did something that I hadn't done in a REALLYY long time...I ate my first happy meal since I was about ten.

The reason I chose today to eat my first happy meal in over 18 years? Well, see from the picture below. Yup. It's freakin' awesome!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Microsoft Trifecta

Well, it has been done. I've finally completed the Microsoft Trifecta. I use Microsoft Windows, I own a Microsoft Zune, and I, as of today, am the proud owner of a Microsoft Xbox 360. A coworker had a spare one he had been wanting to get rid of so it now resides at my place. I haven't had the chance to do much with it yet. Basically, I've had the time to plug it, synced the wireless controller, and made sure the machine worked. I'm going to wait till tomorrow to play with it (I have to buy a hard drive so it can save my profile...)

Monday, September 08, 2008

Finally here

Well, I finally made it to Evansville, IN. After waking up at 4 this morning to catch a flight that should've left at 7:10 AM (but didn't due to weather), I had the pleasure of sitting in Cincinatti's airport for 6 hours because I missed my connecting flight. Well, I'm finally here in my hotel room which, at least so far, seems pretty nice. I'd suggest staying at the Fairfield Inn East the next time you're in Evansville.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

twenty years later...

It's amazing how some things stay the same after so long. Just a couple of minutes ago I popped a game into my nintendo (wii) and it didn't play. How did I fix it? I ejected it and blew on the game. Popped it back in and voila. Trick still works like a charm. If only everything were still that easy to fix...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Cuban banned for life from Olympics

My wife and I were wandering through today and I ran across a photo of a good kick to the face. I thought it was during a tae kwon do sparring match but as I looked closer, I noticed that one of the competitors had his helmet in his hand (not a good place for it to be) instead of on his face. I looked at my wife and told her, "That's a stupid place for your helmet to be, pointing to the competitor's hand. Then I said, "The helmet goes there," pointing to his head. Then I looked a little closer and noticed that the other competitor (the one that got kicked) had a tie on. So I thought to myself that's a stupid uniform to be sparring in. Then I looked at the heading. It looks like the Cuban competitor didn't quite like the way the match turned out. The other "competitor" (the one with the tie on) was actually a ref! The Cuban competitor will probably be expelled from the Olympics for life and most likely, his coach will be too. You can see the pictures and read the story here. The photo I saw was the third one shown in the gallery.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Merry Christmas

What's that in the picture you ask? Why that, my friend, is a kringle - a traditional Danish pastry. I told a couple of people that I was going to Racine and they all said that I had to go and get a kringle while I was here so that's what I did today. The one I had was cream cheese flavored. It was pretty good. Tasted like a Danish. It was HUGE! It cost me about $5 and was about the size of a serving platter. Well, that was my random post.

synth in

I get a complimentary copy of USA Today delivered to my room every morning and as I perused its contents I came across an article about photosynth, microsoft's new program. basically, what it does is it takes all the pictures you upload about a single subject and figures where the photographer is in relationship to the pictuer and basically stitches all the phots together for you. now this in itself is nothing new. what makes photosynth different is that you can zoom in on each of the components of the pictures. that's not explaining it too well so here's another description in microsoft's own words:

"First there was the snapshot, and then came video. Now there is Photosynth, a new service available at that will change the way you experience and share photos.

You can share or relive a vacation destination or explore a distant museum or landmark. With a nothing more than digital camera and some inspiration, you can use Photosynth to transform regular digital photos into a three-dimensional, 360-degree experience. Anybody who sees your synth is put right in your shoes, sharing in your experience, with detail, clarity and scope impossible to achieve in conventional photos or videos.

Synths constitute an entirely new visual medium. Photosynth analyzes each photo for similarities to the others, and uses that data to build a model of where the photos were taken. It then re-creates the environment and uses that as a canvas on which to display the photos."

The article mentions that this is just a beta program so there are improvements on the way. Some things that they are looking into fixing:

1) privacy - right now, any 'synth' you upload can be seen by everybody

2) it takes a while to upload the pictures and when you click to zoom in, some computers may take a while for the zoomed image to come into focus.

Check out the page if you have some free time. Kinda interesting.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

deadly, clean service with a smile

I think that if I were to run a ninja training school I would send initiates to be trained as hotel maids to see if they have what it takes to be a ninja. Think about it, have you ever caught a hotel maid in your room? Yet when you leave the room and come back, it's spotless. I've only caught a maid in my room once (it takes a ninja after all) since I've been in Racine. So there you go. If you're in need of a silent assassin, put a want ad out for a hotel maid. In other news, I only had to work till one today so I've been spending time wondering around town. I've made stops at Toys R Us and Barnes and Nobles (got the zombie survival guide) and am now in the hotel recuping.

Sunday, August 10, 2008


Gonna be spending most of the day packing and doing fun stuff. Gotta get ready for my trip to Racine, WI tomorrow. Work's sending me there to train some of their employees so they gave me a per diem check. I call it my GPS check (that's what I'm buying with it later today...well, and food). If you're interested, you can follow me on twitter.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008


Well, I've caught up with the rest of the world and joined twitter.


Here's a fun experiment to try sometime: Walk up to somebody (preferable someone you know) and start a conversation with them in whisper then walk up to somebody else and start a conversation with them by yelling. Do they do the same? Here's an even funner thing to try: Walk up to somebody and start a conversation with them in whisper and randomly yell parts of your sentence. Let me know how that goes if you decide to try this.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Friday, March 28, 2008

I like food.

I like food. Plain and simple. I like food. And not in the way that normal people like food. I like food in a way that is entirely immersive. I enjoy food with all five senses. I enjoy the way it's presented, the way it smells, the way it sounds as you chew on it, the way it feels, and especially the way it tastes as each particle of food is caressed on each taste bud. I even enjoy events where food is the main event. For instance, tonight, my wife and I are going to a dinner theatre at the local high school. The school is nationally recognized for it's cullinary program and they're supposed to have some gourmet-y food there tonight. Then tomorrow, we're going to a Japanese steakhouse with some students from Japan. So I implore you, gentle reader, do not simply devour your food. Enjoy it.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

I'll see you in Hell

Yes folks, the pope, in his infinite wisdom, has deemed it worthy to spend his time devising a list of yet more sins. From the people that brought you the 10 commandments of good driving, it's the new and revised 7 new sins! Trying to lose weight? Why not participate in creating poverty? In just two months, you too, can be watching the pounds melt away in Dante's ninth circle. Join now and we'll throw in a free one hour session of one-on-one personal training with the dark prince himself. In case you're wondering, the 7 new sins are:

1. "Bioethical" violations such as birth control

2. "Morally dubious'' experiments such as stem cell research

3. Drug abuse

4. Polluting the environment

5. Contributing to widening divide between rich and poor

6. Excessive wealth

7. Creating poverty

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Happy National Grammar Day!

As I am sure that you are all aware, today is National Grammar Day so go out and have a grammarific day!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Now if only Roy would come out of retirement...

For those of you that haven't heard, the Avs have reaquired both Adam Foote and Peter Forsberg! This announcement came just several days after they reactivated Joe Sakic. You can read about it here. My master plan's all coming to fruition... Now to talk Roy into un-retiring...

Saturday, February 23, 2008

15 Most Annoying Video Game Characters

Ever wonder what the 15 most annoying video game characters were? Well, we did too so we went to this link and found out. Read #1 and tell me you didn't do the same thing to that character. I know I did at least a hundred times..."Me too"(says Andrea).

Who gilded the lilies?

I was watching TV earlier today and heard the host make reference to gilding the lilies which of course, got me to thinking about where the phrase came from. I'll save you the trouble of googling it. According to, the phrase comes from Shakespeare's King John. "To gild refined gold, to paint the wasteful and ridiculous excess." Just a fun little phrase so I thought I'd blog it.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

verbophiles unite!

If you love the english language like I do, you should check this site out. It's a radio program about language questions and grammar. You can also get podcasts from the site.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

the story so far...

well things have been pretty busy since the last time I posted. where to start...well let's start with Christmas. we went to Andrea's extended family for Christmas eve. Christmas day we (Andrea and I) opened our gifts.

She got me a Roomba (we call it Roombie). after that, we went to Andrea's mom's and exchanged gifts. then we left for Garden and spent Christmas day with my family. after we got back from Christmas, we received a package.

it was our Aerogarden! we paid for most of our wedding and Christmas gifts with a credit card and we saved up enough points for it. go us! we also finally started working on our bathroom.

it looked like a tornado hit it. then a couple of days ago, my work sent me to North Carolina to train their training coordinator and some of their staff. I just got back yesterday night.