6.30.2008

Gamera Hussein Gabs

So...here's one of the reasons I love Facebook. I log in this morning to check messages and whatnot and I find that two friends had posted links to this NYT story.

And changed their middle names to Hussein.

As have I.

Have you?

6.22.2008

Love the Taste....

This message was sent using the Picture and Video Messaging service from Verizon Wireless!

To learn how you can snap pictures and capture videos with your wireless phone visit www.verizonwireless.com/picture.

To play video messages sent to email, QuickTime® 6.5 or higher is required. Visit www.apple.com/quicktime/download to download the free player or upgrade your existing QuickTime® Player. Note: During the download process when asked to choose an installation type (Minimum, Recommended or Custom), select Minimum for faster download.

6.19.2008

Po Po x 2

I've run across two bits on the internets recently that are *sorta* related. First, I found this post on Hack a Day entitled "Don't Talk to the Police." Someone posted it on IP the other day and I decided to watch the videos. Basically, it's a 50-minute seminar on the Fifth Amendment given by a defense attorney and then a police investigator. It's very interesting (if you like that kinda thing, and I do) so if you want to give them a listen, I'm embedding them here.

First, the criminal defense attorney's presentation (27 min.).



Next, the investigator's presentation (21 min.).



What did I take away from this? Nothing that my criminal defense attorney father hadn't already taught me. But, for those of you who don't have the good (or bad) luck of having an attorney for a father (I say bad because you cannot lie to an attorney---they see it everyday all day and know what it looks like so don't even try....), it's a good lesson to learn now rather than later.

Then, as I was clicking along on the information superhighway, I found this tidbit on the Freakonomics blot from the NYT yesterday entitled "How Cops Really Want to Act." The article isn't too long---it's all these anecdotes from actual cops about how they have (or would) resolve crime through "street justice."

There's some interesting ideas. For example, one guy who got caught stealing jewelry was discovered and the police called up some of the women in the neighborhood who allegedly had their jewelry stolen by this particular person. The women then came over to this guy's apartment and stole his stuff. Or one guy who would catch someone selling drugs in the neighborhood and then make the dealer give his money to the neighborhood---shelters, churches, etc.

The comments, however, go on forever. And rightly so. While it may help some feel like justice has been served in the short term, so many rights and *laws* are violated in this idea, I can't even comprehend why these guys would admit some of this stuff. Now, granted, I got picked up for drinking alcohol when I was a minor and instead of taking me up to the police station at the county seat, the town cop called...my *dad*.... Tears (and grounding) ensued. And, I never got *caught* again. See the distinction?

I know that you do....

6.17.2008

In the meantime

I'm incubating a long post filled with unsubstantiated claims and tinfoil conclusions, but until I get that one done, here's a cool thing I found the other day.

Last.fm + Youtube = Music TV Goodness

Basically, you plug in your Last.fm username (or the name of a particular artist you like) and they come up with YouTube goodness based on that artist. I tried it and got this first:

Jimpster remix of Let It Ride by Lisa Shaw



Definitely music goodness---but since most of the music I listen to really doesn't have official videos, I get stillshots of album covers and mountain serenity instead of an actual video. For me, that's fine cuz I'm usually just listening to it anyway if it's music. Still wondering how much it will change since I haven't had time to listen for an extended period and see what surprises it throws in.

Also, don't forget to download the newest version of Firefox ASAP. They are trying to set a record and since I personally think Internet Explorer sucks donkey dangles, I'm gonna help them in their endeavor.

6.12.2008

Sometimes $1.99 is still too much to pay

Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones have a new website called Gennifer and Paula where you can pay $1.99 to watch them chatting with each other. About what, you might ask?
For the first time in history since the 1992 scandal, two of the “Clinton Women”… Gennifer Flowers and Paula Jones recently sat down together and had a chat and made comparisons about their experience with Bill Clinton. The two women discuss not only their relationships with Bill but also their opinions on politics, sex with Bill and their perspective opinion of the Presidential penis and how both feel about Hillary Clinton.
I'll pass. I'm sure whatever they talk about will end up on the internets anyways.

The pool was overwhelming....

You know what they say about bad press?

Apparently, McCain's campaign is asking its supporters to join up at blogs in a little "blogger outreach" program. Here's the page on McCain's site where he has suggested blogs to join (Kos, Politico, Crooks and Liars, Think Progress) and "Today's Talking Points."

Wired's piece has some particularly funny stuff---especially to someone like me who likes internet forums.
"I find it hilarious that McCain's campaign thinks that some astroturf copy-and-paste comments would do anything more than spark some vicious mocking," says Markos Moulitsas, founder of DailyKos, which is currently highlighted as one of three "featured blogs" on McCain's site.

On Memorial Day weekend for example, someone named "Jerry A" posted a news story in an open thread on DailyKos about McCain inviting Barack Obama to visit "post surge" Iraq. At the time, Republicans had launched a publicity campaign criticizing Obama for formulating Iraq policy without having visited the country for two years.

Four minutes later, "Cultural Worker" responded: "Thank you for sharing McCain's talking points of the day. Again."

Jerry tried to explain that he was just innocently posting a news article, but then another Kos user weighed in and asked why Jerry had received 23 troll ratings out of his 25 postings at the site.

Several comments later, Jerry was outed.

"Jerry A is one of the newly-recruited McCain trolls," wrote "Sarah Lee."
So...I guess I need to bookmark McCain's site so I can read the daily Talking Points and match them up with posts on the forums I visit. But don't worry---McCain is targeting right-wing sites as well. Seventy-one sites are listed so far---and Illinipundit is one of them. And for McCain, it's not just preaching to the choir. He's trying to get some of them to talk about him rather than Obama. And I can see why. After scrolling through IP's front page, I found two posts about Obama, one about Clinton, but none about McCain.

Still, I can't help but snicker a little bit at the prospect of finding some of these "parrots." It reminds me a game they play on one forum I pop by from time to time:

6.11.2008

Cleaning up around the edges

I came home from work tonight and discovered my landlord had a *little* work done in the yard today.






































I think it looks *awesome*!!!! All those evergreens had tons of dead branches with dead needles. Ick. But, as you can, it was a pretty big job I couldn't have tackled on my own. Plus, the weeds would grow up underneath the trees and you couldn't mow them because of all the dead branches.

I couldn't find a good picture of the tree prior to the cuts, but here's a picture from when I was trying out different settings on a camera. The tulips are pointing at the first of the trees that were pruned---pretty much right at the point up to which they were trimmed.


















I gotta think it's gonna help cut down on the bug factor as well. A lot of stuff lived and hid in there because it was damp, shady, and pretty safe from bigger stuff like cats and people. The bunnies are gonna have to find another home. But...I'm loving it. I want to have a cookout later this summer and this is gonna help. I don't know if you can see from the last photo, but my yard is a double yard. It goes *all* the way back to that house. It's one of the reasons I love where I live. And now, it just got even better.

I think this makes seven or eight....

So...another person I know has just fired up her own blog---and her writing makes me laugh. And I'm talking *belly* laughs.

Check out The Tulipino Report by Angie. She says it will be more stories about life but not necessarily a mommy blog. She's a local, she's got some great stories, and she's only a click away.

I'm voting Republican

6.10.2008

Sounds a lot like every other sport out there

Big Brown's trainer says he "feels like a loser."

I, on the other hand, feel nauseous since I found out that Big Brown is a product of an equine hedge fund called Equine Acquisitions Holdings.
This might sound obvious, but it’s worth stating: horse racing is nothing without the horse. And yet right now the horse’s best interests don’t seem to be paramount in racing.

Big Brown’s main owner is not a venerable stable like the Phipps family’s or even a group of casual investors who bought a racehorse on a lark (like the old high school friends who went in on Funny Cide, the 2003 Kentucky Derby and Preakness winner). Instead, his main owner is International Equine Acquisitions Holdings, whose stated purpose is to be an equine hedge fund that delivers profits to its investors by consistently racing winners. When you run your stable like a hedge fund, the horse becomes just another commodity to be bought and sold like a share of stock, with little concern for its fate.

...

Rooting for the firm and its co-president and public face, Michael Iavarone (who was fined and suspended in 1999 by the National Association of Securities Dealers for unauthorized trades and who was ordered to pay a judgment in 2003 for not paying for horses he bought at auction), would be validating a “win at any price” mentality.
I'm thinking that last place finish---Not really a bad thing....

6.09.2008

I just might have to reconsider...

...buying the Blackberry Curve I've had my eye on.

Why?

Though I tease my friends with iPhones, this might just be what I've been looking for.

Hmmm...gonna have to ponder this one a bit.

A couple more rolling around in there....



Yah...I know...seems like a lot of stuff gets caught up in my head. What can I say....

*shrug*

I just made this one my ringtone/ringback tone.

I'd embed it if I could cuz I *really* dig the second one, but it's disabled. So definitely click the second one.

6.08.2008

Sunday Matinee

Gonna go see SATC today with some girlfriends. We have a plan to have a spot of wine beforehand then head to a late afternoon show.

So here's my question---which theater do you prefer? I mean, besides the Art Theater downtown, if you have to choose between Savoy and North Prospect, which do you choose? I've heard good and bad things about both---sound/projection/heating/cooling problems at the southern one and rodent problems at the northern one.

So...for instance, there is a showing at 4pm at both theaters tomorrow. All other things being equal, which is your preference and *why*? Honestly, I rarely go to movies anymore so for me, it doesn't seem to be much difference between the two to me. But, I know many of you go to a *lot* of movies and I'd like to hear your expert opinions.

Where do you go see movies here in CU?

/begin rant

Reason #4,578,209,163 why Bill O'Reilly is a total douche:



Dear Bill O'Reilly,

Send a peon to the National Conference for Media Reform to ambush Bill Moyers---a TRUE journalist---and this will be the result *every time.*

Sincerely,
REAL JOURNALISTS WHO WOULD LOVE TO SHRED YOUR SORRY ASS

I mean really, this conference is full of fucking JOURNALISTS you ignorant motherfucker...you can't play your bullshit there...what are you *thinking*? But...of course...that's *really* the crux of it, isn't it?

He's *not*....

/end rant

6.07.2008

F*ck off, I'm full....

So, after salivating while reading Champaign Taste's review of Cafe Luna, I went with a couple of friends tonight to try their "we'll serve you tapas til you burst" Chef's Choice---which, by the way, is now $45. Everyone at the table (or your party, since we sat at the bar) has to partake.

So...we did. And it was fab. I prepared myself by eating nothing but a bowl of cereal today---and it's a good thing because we had:
  • Asparagus in some sort of garlic et al. sauce
  • Mushroom crostini with Gruyere and truffle oil/Vegetable crostini/Goat cheese and olive spread crostini
  • Sesame-crusted sesame-marinated tuna
  • Fried beets and artichokes
  • Coconut shrimp with curry aioli
  • Mixed greens and red onions with roasted tomatoes in a vinaigrette atop a onion tart
  • Sweet and spicy mussels
  • Strawberry-rhubarb pork ribs
  • Pesto burgers with cilantro aioli and crispy onion
  • Tuna tartare
  • Duck confit ravioli
  • Beef kabob with roasted red peppers with potato gratin
  • Halibut atop a golden potato with chive/cream sauce and sauteed spinach
  • Seared salmon
  • Duck with potato gratin
  • Goat cheese balls with caramelized onions and honey
  • Pork shoulder with a yummy BBQ sauce on a pear
I'm sure there's a couple more that I've left off the list. And...I'll admit...I didn't eat the last one. At that point, I felt like Mr. Creosote from Monty Python's The Meaning of Life.



Oof. My grossness aside, it's real tasty, the place looks really nice, and it's definitely something I would go back for. Now that I've tried *many* of their items, I know what I would order for myself for brunch or a meal.

Now I'm gonna go enjoy my food coma....

6.05.2008

Even though it's hotter than Hades

I'm back on the health kick. Loaded up my iPod with a new mix or two, bought some new shoes, and (sorry, guys) a new sports bra.

I'm starting to walk/jog at night after work when I don't have other commitments.

And I've been walking at lunch on occasion.

And trying to eat more vegetables and good-for-you shit like oatmeal and soy.

And trying to quit smoking---I've fallen a bit already but I'm still trying.

And trying not to bite all my nails off---cuz heaven knows I ain't got much else left as far as vices to fall back on.

Summer's here folks---long days, short nights, beautifully sunny days, and blooming flowers and shrubbery, fresh veggies and fruit. Get the hell out there and *enjoy* it. I'm on my way out the door to get fabulous greens and strawberries from sagefool *right* now....

6.04.2008

It ain't all pedophiles and spambots....

Someone was asking me the other day about Twitter (which I just recently started using) and we got to talking about social networking---MySpace, Facebook, Last.fm, Twitter, etc. Basically, what good were these sites? What could you really do with them other than talk about yourself?

Well, you can find some good shit there, too. Like what, you ask?

Oh...I don't know....
Neither hacker would identify their full names or locations. Defiant's MySpace profile lists him in Cashville, Tennessee, but he says that's incorrect. His girlfriend lists herself in New York. Threat Level expects both hackers' names and locations will emerge soon.
Too pedestrian for ya? How about this:

Bloggers are chronicling the event both on the left and the right. State blogs are live-blogging commentary, and several people are providing their reactions through Twitter, the micro-blogging service.

As Mark Kilmer, a blogger at the leading conservative blog Red State put it, "A meeting of the Democratic National Committee's Rules & Bylaws Committee is not engaging television, no matter what the matter."

But on the web, it's an entertaining free-for all, with commentary, debate and ripostes, off the cuff reactions, streaming pictures and sound, all of it capturing the zeitgeist of the moment.

There's other stuff---being introduced to new music, books, art, groups, movements, trends, etc. by seeing what other people are doing/talking about/becoming fans of/listening to/blogging about/etc.

But car crash theater? That's possible in any social situation. And so is stale content and having to sift through a lot of crap---turn on your TV and you'll see what I mean. What's interesting to me is what seems like the growth of social networking. Facebook seems to have exploded with new applications---and new members. More and more people are using these sites as communication networks for business, for politics, for pleasure, for whatever.

That's not to say everyone should go out there and sign up on everything they find. Problogger talks about managing your reputation---making sure you control what information is out there. If you piss people off all over the internets, when prospective clients/business partners/employers/etc. google you, you're toast. But...researching the different sites out there and learning what they have to offer and how you can *use* these sites to your benefit is important.

Even more important, I think, are sites that allow you to use them more easily. Like updating Twitter and having it update on four other sites at the same time. Perfect. Or...like Google Reader's Shared Notes. I recently put a link to my Shared Notes in the sidebar here on Gamera Gabs. I can put items on my Shared page either via Google Reader or through the javascript button in my browser. It makes adding items *super* easy. What I'd *really* like is to have that ability to post items to Blogger itself, so here's hoping.

I'm sure I'm missing a ton of stuff since I'm still just exploring different options myself, but I'm going to try and add some more goodies to the bloggie and I'll alert you to any new additions. Be sure to let me know what you like and don't like. And if you have any tips on how you use different social networks, please feel free to share. I don't mind being schooled.

6.02.2008

I'll believe it when I see it

Everybody and their brother is linking to this post at HuffPo regarding Hillary's speech tomorrow night. Apparently, she is asking top donors and supporters to attend. And the speculation is that she'll suspend her campaign. There's some supporting evidence for this:
Earlier in the day it was reported that Clinton staffers were being urged by the campaign's finance department "to turn in their outstanding expense receipts by the end of the week," another sign that the run at the White House was nearing an end. In addition, Politico wrote that members of Clinton's advance staff had received calls and emails Sunday night, summoning them to New York City and telling them their roles on the campaign are ending.

Sounds dirty....

Do you use Firefox? If so, you might wanna check out Firefox's pledge page where they are trying to "Spread Firefox."

They are trying to break a world record for Firefox 3 downloads in 24 hours. Right now, they just want you to pledge to download. The release date has yet to be determined.

6.01.2008

Green, blue, and red

If you don't remember, last year I helped get a friend's pool up and running. I spent most of yesterday working on it. Here's a shot of how it looked yesterday midday:

















I worked until 8pm yesterday on it and it's a lot bluer and clearer now. Still needs work, but it's coming along.


Unfortunately, someone also took *this* picture as well.

















Ugh....