Basically, I was wondering, um…

| Jul. 30, 2008

After attending several panels at last week’s Comic Con, I’m starting to cringe whenever anyone opens a question with the stalling phrase of “I was wondering…”

Yes, of course you were wondering. That’s why you asked the question, isn’t it? I understand that this linguistic tic is used in moments of anxiety, such as during public speaking, and especially when addressing someone you admire, but, um, I was wondering… why don’t we drop this extended filled pause to our questions and simply ask them directly?

And while we’re at it, if we could stop IT people from opening their answer to a question with “Basically…” that’d be just peachy.

Seek the Six

| Jul. 28, 2008

I knew any exhibit as obtuse as the one I saw at Comic-Con this weekend had to be about The Prisoner! I visited the address on the card I was handed: 70.87.154.219. After staring at an unhelpful splash screen for an awkwardly long time, eventually the site loaded: six screens of 6 x 6 images apiece. All I had to do to unlock their hidden meaning was to click on images with six of something in them. I’m starting to detect a theme here…

Anyway, here are some of the images I found which worked for me.

  • six red locks on teal wooden door
  • 6 sign on green brick wall
  • black stadium seats among red seats
  • roulette wheel on 6
  • six-fingered hand
  • rotary phone face all 6’s
  • six stacked stones against blue sky
  • digital stock chart
  • six diamonds
  • Q-bert blocks

Pictures with six things in them, easy enough. This list can also be described as “things they already know at kotaku, io9 or toplessrobot”, but I thought I’d list it here anyway. After you solve this little puzzle, it takes you to a place to enter your email address, then dumps you out on an already available blog following the remake of The Prisoner. The number they gave me is 590875… but I refuse to answer to it.

And thus my viral marketing role is fulfilled. Enjoy!

If I hear Pinball Wizard one more time…

| Jul. 16, 2008

VH1 has been honoring The Who all week. It’s been really inspiring to hear from Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey about the motivation and meanings behind Tommy and songs like Won’t Get Fooled Again, as well as having them deconstruct their music for the benefit of a n00b like me. But that sense of daring artistry is instantly deflated when I hear about that deaf, dumb and blind kid for the 400th time.

Joe McCarthy was an amateur

| Jul. 16, 2008

U.S. terrorism watch list tops 1 million

If we’re winning the war on terror, shouldn’t the list be getting …shorter?

Nickels and dimes

| Jul. 14, 2008

This morning I bought a few hundred shares of stock and shrugged off the $400 price difference between the quote I saw and the one I got.

Last night, I bought groceries using $2.55 in coupons.

I worry that I misplace my financial priorities sometimes.

UPDATE: Okay, this is how I rationalized it: if the stock does well, I make back that $400 and it doesn’t matter how much I paid initially, since I knew I was only going to buy X number of shares no matter what the price. The future selling price is all I am concerned with. Until then, the only loss is the opportunity cost on that $400, which considering I’m buying Ralphs-brand food with coupons and driving the extra mile for gas that’s 1¢ per gallon cheaper, I’m not going to be using that money anyway. The other case is where the stocks do poorly and I lose all of it. Then I’m no longer a cheapskate — I’m just poor.

UPDATE UPDATE: Memo to myself, stick to your guns and do a limit buy based on Friday’s price when buying that Monday, otherwise you’re just another eager jerkoff who’s been waiting all weekend to overpay.

OPPORTUNITY COST UPDATE: Over the weekend I was hemming and hawing about getting an Xbox 360, but if I had waited until today (when I originally told myself to buy this stock) AND bought a 360 I would have been in the same position, financially.

INTROSPECTIVE UPDATE: With all this second-guessing I don’t think I have what it takes for these risky fiscal adventures. Maybe I’m cut out merely to work for a living.

$hit

| Jul. 13, 2008

Well, it finally happened. I forgot how to declare a variable in PHP. Anyone need a budding Actionscript developer instead?

Er, maybe I just shouldn’t try to code while drunk.

Don’t wake up to these songs

| Jul. 7, 2008

I thought that once I no longer had a 9 to 5 job to wake up for this would stop, but here are three four more songs not to wake up to.

Dream On, Aerosmith
Choice lyrics: Dream On Dream On Dream On
Dream On Dream On
Dream On Dream On

You know, I was dreaming, quite happily I might add, until your shrill song woke me up.

Rocket Man, Elton John
Choice lyrics: Rocket man burning out his fuse up here alone

Probably not a good sign that every morning I wake up to a feeling of abject failure, that I am diminished from who I used to be by every day that goes by.

Don’t Stop, Fleetwood Mac
Choice lyrics: If your life was bad to you, Just think what tomorrow will do. Dont stop, thinking about tomorrow

Because tomorrow will bring the same thing as today, like the day before that and the day before that.

Urgent, Foreigner
Choice lyrics: Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency
Urgent, urgent, emergency

If it’s worth waking me up, I hope whatever you have to tell me is pretty darned urgent.

I’m never gonna sell this copy of Lost Girls

| Jul. 6, 2008

Lost GirlsMy sales pitch:

Bought at 2006 Comic-con and signed by artist Melinda Gebbie. Inscription is addressed to ‘Tim’, would make an ideal gift for someone named Tim or Tina. Slipcase has minor wear from shelving.

Buy it now on Amazon, Tim.

A great new drink!

| Jul. 6, 2008

I’m always looking for new taste sensations.

Recently I added one part lime sparkling water to two parts cranberry-raspberry juice and the resulting concoction tasted great! It was like drinking a gummi bear! I was so proud of myself, until I realized I had just invented punch.

Are the corporations of WALL-E really all bad?

| Jul. 4, 2008

Cracked recently ran a scathing litany of 5 Terrible Life Lessons Hollywood Loves to Teach You. It is just painful to read because I can make no solid argument against what Cracked is saying; in particular what they have to say about the irony of casting corporations as villains:

Each and every one of these films are made by a corporation every bit as huge and unfeeling as the ones being portrayed in the movies (and the Walt Disney corporation could crush all of them like a grape). There’s almost something condescending about the way enormous companies are willing to cast themselves as the villains, knowing we’ll give them more of our money to watch it.

Corporations: the cause of, and solution to, all of life’s problems.Speaking of Disney, in the movie WALL-E the earth has been ruined by the excesses of humanity, fueled by a greedy, uncaring, ubiquitous corporation with the cute name of Buy ‘N Large. But here is the thing I don’t get: if Buy ‘N Large is the corporation that made everything, then they’re the same ones that created WALL-E, the robot who saved humanity, and they also made EVA, a robot tasked with finding plant life, a sign welcoming people back to earth — www.buynlarge.com even says they make robots. So wouldn’t this mean the big, bad corporation that caused this mess is also the one with a plan to solve it? Surely someone within Buy ‘N Large was looking out for people after all.

Sadly, I don’t think this was the message the movie intended.

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