Knowing is Half the Prattle.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

New Song Advice

I play acoustic guitar for the 6 month olds and it really seems to quiet them down or they start to make happy sounds. Here are the top 5 songs that they respond well to.

  1. Punk Rock Girl - Dead Milkmen

  2. Science Fiction Double Feature - Richard O'Brian

  3. Vibrator Dependent - Mojo Nixon

  4. Fake Plastic Trees - Radiohead

  5. The Grand Old Duke of York - folk song

Alot of other songs they listen to but don't really react to, but funny enough they usually get upset when I play "Got You (where I want you)" by the Flys. But that's pretty obvious why because it's only two chords and it bugs me too.

Any suggestions for new songs?

Yes I already tried Freebird. Luke warm reception. The songs should be playable on acoustic guitar, so Chemical Warfare by the Dead Kennedys is out.

Subliminal Messaging

Friday, December 05, 2008

You Wanted Me to Type How Fast?

When I was first out of college I applied for entry level jobs and they always said something like "must type 50 wpm +" or "must type 60 wpm +". Of course I could never type that fast at the time and would wonder if the 4 years I spent on college would have been better spent just practicing typing. College doesn't prepare you for an entry level job, it prepares you to be the boss. Anyway, at the time everyone in the world didn't have a computer so the number of people who could type was much less. You'd think that the average typing speed was very low and the standard for your average Joe would also be less. OK, now fast forward a few years to today when everyone and their grandmother has a computer. You can reasonably expect that people on average are faster at typing. So now I play the game "typeracer". I still don't think I'm a fast typer, but according to the game, I type around 54 words per minute. On their scale, I'm somewhere between a "pro" typer and a "megaracer". Megaracer! So all that time when I was applying for those entry level jobs I was expected to be not just a decent typist but an incredible, off-the-scale typist? I'm not sure if I should be happy that I can type that fast now or livid that such an unreasonable expectation was put on me (and scores of other recent graduates) at the time. I can tell you that I was livid at the time since a 4 year education to which I gained (what I thought was) excellent experience amounted to nothing.

By the way, if I didn't go to college, I was offered both a full time radio DJ job (at WRKL) and a job working for the high school in the TV studio. After college .... "How fast can you type"?

Awesome! Time Machine Operator.

Opportunity to operate a full time machine!

oh... maybe not

Saturday, November 29, 2008

That's Not Boots, It's Just a Monkey

For all of you who were at Elana's birthday party, she would like you to know that the cake was not Boots the Monkey but rather "just a monkey".

Yes I realize that Elana wanted me to make her a Dora the Explorer cake in addition to a monkey cake. (I'm sure soon to be featured on

Elana was not sure why people were calling it a "Boots the Monkey" cake when it was clearly "just a monkey". For those of you who do not know, this "just a monkey" cake was actually the 4th in a series of "just a monkey" cakes.

Sorry for any confusion that this may have caused.

Friday, November 28, 2008

OK, Now You've Gone To Far

I was OK with pieces of candy bars in my ice cream. I'm a big fan of the Ben and Jerry's Heath Bar Crunch. But when you start sticking candy bar pieces from one candy bar into another candy bar then you've crossed the line.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Grand Theft Auto IV - Naked Gun Edition

I know I've been posting a lot of videos recently but I found this one to be pretty funny. From the files of Police Squad, Grand Theft Auto.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Does Anyone Understand This?

Maybe I'm fuzzy on the concept of a treadmill.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

He Was Profound From and Early Age

At Elana's school they asked the 4 year olds what kind of animal they would like to be and why. On of the kids answered...

"A giraffe, because they speak to me."

... heavy

Sunday, November 02, 2008

The Witch Casts Her Spell and the Princess is Caught

From this year's Halloween party.

The Harvest Bounty

It's fall and time to bring in the bounty of the harvest. Yeah that was worth all the work.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Con Ed Likes "Happy Days".

Yeah, we're talking to you Potzie!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Reinvention of the Clock

This browser does not have a Java Plug-in.

Get the latest Java Plug-in here.

I haven't posted for a while since I was dealing with kids and feedings in the middle of the night, but I did get the chance to play around with programing. I have been wanting to play with the processing language for a while and decided to finally do it. This applet is a little modern clock that took me about an hour to do. I need to play with this more.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Some People Think About Typography Way To Much

Like architects for instance.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Have You Driven Windows Lately?

I like it when companies admit that their reputation sucks. Along the lines of the old "Have You Driven a Ford Lately" commercials, Microsoft has their own version. Basically the Ford commercials boiled down to. Hey we made crappy cars for a while but try us again we're better now. Now Microsoft is doing the same thing with Microsoft Mojave. Basically they set up a controlled experiment where they introduce people to the new Microsoft Mojave operating system. It's not new, it's just Windows Vista in a new package. Then they asked people how they liked the new operating system and reported that everyone loved it. How bad does you reputation have to be, before you run and experiment like this? Oh yeah we know the reputation for our product sucks so we'll prove that it's just a bad reputation and it doesn't really suck. Um... didn't that reputation come from somewhere?

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Great Book From Amazon

"A Million Random Digits with 1000,000 Normal Deviates" from the Rand Corporation is one of those books that is just thrilling. You never know where it's going to go next. Maybe a 3, maybe a 7? I'm not going to spoil the ending for you.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Attention Babies.... Are You Ready To Suck?

Mic stand from the dumpster. $0
Found Velcro straps. $0
Easily bottle feeding twins? Priceless.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Mikayla and Aden

After a request for fresh pictures. The new kids.

Friday, August 01, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Oh Yeah! Oh No!!

OK, this actually made me laugh out loud.

Drunk History vol. 2.5 - Featuring Jack Black

This is the way we should have learned history in high school. More at

Here is a picture of the birthplace of Benjamin Franklin as it is today.

The "Sir Speedy" store is apparently named after one of Benjamin Franklin's nicknames.

Friday, July 18, 2008

A Night at the Opera

Made this on the website "Type is Art" On this site you take a given set of typographical segments and rearrange them to make a picture. This is mine "A Night at the Opera" The site suffers from a limited interface and the site really appears to be a secret advertisement for some woman's print which honestly isn't the best picture in the gallery but it's fun.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Wow, This Would Have Been a Great Idea 20 Years Ago.

The Zpen!

Yeah! A pen that can take what you write on paper and upload it to a computer screen. Just in time for a generation of student note takers who text message and IM like crazy and when penmanship is being cut from elementary school curriculums.

In the interests of full disclosure I do have a Wacom art pad but I've never actually used it for text capturing and don't imagine when I ever would want to. Maybe some artists who don't already have a drawing pad may want one but when that first drawing app for the iphone comes out, this invention is dead in the water.

wait for it ....


Oh yeah and if that's not good enough for you, use the scanner that probably already comes with the printer you got with your computer. To "upload" your drawings.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008

I Think I've Just Found the Most Obscure Online Quiz Ever

What Kind of Zouave Are You?

If you don't know what a Zouave is click here. Oh, and the quiz is specifically referring to American Civil War Zouaves exclusively. Go 11th New York!

When is Vanilla Not Vanilla?

When you buy Stonyfield Farm yogurt. I got a "vanilla truffle" flavored yogurt today and guess what flavor it is? Chocolate! The only way you would have known that this is chocolate is to have read the ingredients. Does truffle automatically imply chocolate? Yeah maybe technically it does but it would be nice instead of throwing some fancy marketing name on it they could have just called it chocolate yogurt. I had expected this to be just some variation of vanilla that doesn't make a difference anyway. Can anyone really tell the difference between "French Vanilla" and "Vanilla" anyway? I guess everything sounds fancier when it's French. If it's vanilla, just call it vanilla thanks. Save you're fancy adjectives. I can gaurentee that this is the chain of logic that caused this to be named "vanilla truffle" went something like this.

Marketing Guy #1: All women eat is yogurt. We've marketed them into believing that all this sugar and fat is a health food.
Marketing Guy #2: Yeah but the only other thing that women eat is chocolate, brownies and cookies.
Marketing Guy #1: Well we have to move all this vanilla yogurt.
Marketing Guy #2: Hey maybe we can get women to eat even more yogurt if we make believe that this is both a health food and a decadent treat. Let's throw some cocoa into it.
Marketing Guy #1: That will confuse them enough. Brilliant.
Marketing Guy #2: "Chocolate Decadence"?
Marketing Guy #1: To obvious.
Marketing Guy #2: Oh hey the boss just called and he likes to call it vanilla because it has a vanilla base instead of a plain yogurt base.
Marketing Guy #1: How about "Vanilla Truffle". It's got that candy spin to it.
Marketing Guy #2: Perfect.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

My Code Added to an OpenSource Project

So I while ago I wrote some extensive php code to change the open source project Geeklog from its own authentication method to instead use LDAP for authentcation. The code I wrote was pretty extensive but someone took that code and whittled it down to the very basics and added it as a standard feature of the software. At least they gave me some credit. Honestly if I was looking at Geeklog fresh and trying to implement LDAP, I'd be pretty confused because the code really doesn't look much like anything. Also there are a few things that aren't really explained here. The LDAP attributes being used here are UNIX LDAP shell account attributes. If you're looking at using this with a microsoft implementation of LDAP or with Netscape's implementation of LDAP for iplanet, the you're missing a bunch of other attributes. All this is in the original implementation of the code and really isn't explained in the Geekog documentation. Also the setup of your LDAP tree isn't really covered in the documentation either which is pretty crucial.

1 <?php
3 /* Reminder: always indent with 4 spaces (no tabs). */
4 // +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
5 // | Geeklog 1.5 |
6 // +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
7 // | config.php |
8 // | |
9 // | LDAP configuration file. |
10 // +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
11 // | Copyright (C) 2008 by the following authors: |
12 // | |
13 // | Authors: Jessica Blank - jessica.blank AT mtvnmix DOT com |
14 // | under contract to MTV Networks |
15 // | Evan Rappaport - evan.rappaport AT mtvi DOT com |
16 // +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
17 // | |
18 // | This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or |
19 // | modify it under the terms of the GNU General Public License |
20 // | as published by the Free Software Foundation; either version 2 |
21 // | of the License, or (at your option) any later version. |
22 // | |
23 // | This program is distributed in the hope that it will be useful, |
24 // | but WITHOUT ANY WARRANTY; without even the implied warranty of |
26 // | GNU General Public License for more details. |
27 // | |
28 // | You should have received a copy of the GNU General Public License |
29 // | along with this program; if not, write to the Free Software Foundation, |
30 // | Inc., 59 Temple Place - Suite 330, Boston, MA 02111-1307, USA. |
31 // | |
// +---------------------------------------------------------------------------+
33 //
34 // $Id: config.php,v 1.1 2008/05/01 19:27:48 dhaun Exp $
36 global $_LDAP_CONF;
38 $_LDAP_CONF['version'] = '1.0.0'; // Module Version
41 // LDAP Settings
43 // Basic LDAP variables
44 $_LDAP_CONF['user_ou'] = "People";
45 $_LDAP_CONF['group_ou'] = "Group";
46 $_LDAP_CONF['branch'] = "dc=mydc,dc=com";
47 $_LDAP_CONF['user_branch'] = "ou={$_LDAP_CONF['user_ou']}," . $_LDAP_CONF['branch'];
48 $_LDAP_CONF['user_attributes'] = array("uid","cn","ou","objectClass","shadowLastChange","loginShell","uidnumber","gidNumber","homeDirectory","gecos","userPassword","givenName","sn","mail");
50 // LDAP server configuration
51 $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][0]['bind_dn'] = "cn=mycn,ou=LDAPusers,dc=mydc,dc=com";
52 $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][0]['password'] = "mypassword";
53 $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][0]['host'] = "localhost";
55 // (put additional servers here; example given below)
56 // $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][1]['bind_dn'] = 'cn=foo,ou=people,dc=corp,dc=com';
57 // $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][1]['password'] = 'joshua';
58 // $_LDAP_CONF['servers'][1]['host'] = '';
60 // LDAP server selection
62 /**
63 * If you wanted to set up some complex logic to determine which
64 * LDAP server is in use, this is where it would go.
65 * We have provided the basic infrastructure for multiple LDAP servers;
66 * the rest is left as an exercise for the user.
67 */
68 $_LDAP_CONF['server_num'] = 0;
71 // Default user settings
72 $_LDAP_CONF['user_defaults']['ou'] = $_LDAP_CONF['user_ou'];
73 $_LDAP_CONF['user_defaults']['objectClass'] = array("account","posixAccount","top","shadowAccount","person","organizationalPerson","inetOrgPerson");
74 $_LDAP_CONF['user_defaults']['shadowLastChange'] = "0";
75 $_LDAP_CONF['user_defaults']['loginShell'] = "/etc/ftponly";
77 ?>

Monday, July 07, 2008

GM Still Doesn't Want You to Drive

I was just reading an article on (the top story) which talks about the coming of a new era of driverless cars on the horizon. GM is announcing that driverless cars will be on the road in the next 20 years! Hmmm... where have I heard GM announcing that driverless cars will be on the road in 20 years before? Oh yeah, the Futurama exhibit at the 1939 World's Fair. Who thinks that 70 years from now there is going to be another announcement of driverless cars on the road in 20 years? Who thinks that GM is even going to be in business in the next 20 years? Not holding my breath.

Futurama Part I

Futurama Part II

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Naming a Series of Drinks.

There are tons of names of mixed drinks but no one seems to name a series of drinks that you drink one right after the other. Here are two suggestions.

A Menage Artois = Three Stella Artois in a row.

The Pep Boys =
1 glass of Manishevitz
1 Mojito
1 shot of Jack Daniels.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Welcome Back to Runescape

I've logged in to the mmorpg game RuneScape for the first time today in over 3 years and surprisingly my account still works. The game is still exactly as I remember it... tedious drudgery. See you in another 3 1/2 years.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

What Kind of Crack are You On?

So, I was reading a few articles online today and all of them made me believe that the authors need to pay closer attention to reality. Here they are.

#1 Ten Perfectly Pure Gadgets
The exective summary: Here is a list of 10 gadgets that are perfectly pure. They have not and can not be improved upon.
Why I think the author is on crack: Your examples are the pop up toaster, the radio and the etch-a-sketch (among others). Yeah sure there hasn't been much advancement in pop up toasters since their invention. Instead of saying that it is a perfectly pure design, maybe you should consider that it was a stupid idea to begin with. They didn't improve on the design of the pop up toaster, they ditched the idea completely for the idea of the toaster oven. Ever stick a bagel in a pop up toaster? A number of the other examples are similarly inspired by a delusion.

#2 Apple could create headaches for Garmin and TomTom
The executive summary: GPS manufacturers don't have anything to fear from Apple's new iphone which comes with a built in GPS receiver.
Why I think the author is on crack: Your theory is that people won't use iphones for GPS navigation because...

1) "Unless there is a decent vehicle mount kit available, it's hard to believe so." Um you think no one is going to develop a bracket with a suction cup for the iphone? Do a google search for "car mount for iphone".

2) "Can you take and make calls while the GPS continues working in the background, giving you all those voice directions?" You don't think they thought of that?

#3 OK this is not so much an article but an activist group.
The executive summary: They want you to leave your 1/2 eaten food on top of garbage cans so that the homeless can take the food and eat it.
Why I think they are on crack: So here are two scenarios. Which do you think is more likely?

1) Actual homeless guy (not a con artist, drug user, "vietnam vet", etc who claims to be homeless) comes along and sees 1/2 eaten meal of questionable age and decides to have lunch.

2) food gets knocked over, by wind, rain, etc splashes food all over the place, blows garbage into the streets and food attracts pigeons, mice, rats, bugs (add your own favorite animals here).

Thursday, June 26, 2008

NUTEX or Ex Nuts?

It's interesting that whenever someone discovers something, there is always someone who is ready with the next quack medicine that claims the medicinal properties of that thing. Case in pont ... Nutex brand condoms. Coated with radium. For her pleasure?

"Get next to Nutex" Ask for them by name. Keep a dosimeter handy.

More fun radioactive products of yesteryear at the Oak Ridge Universities Historical Instrumentation Collection Museum.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

DIY Laser Show

Years ago when I was in high school a friend (Dave) and I put together a laser show as part of a battle of the bands. Actually, it was mostly Dave because he owned the computer which controlled it. Here's someone who is doing basically the same thing but these days, you don't have to hit up your physics teacher to borrow a laser. Still a cool idea. The way we did it was cooler (of course) because instead of just mounting the mirrors on a speaker to synch with the music, we had a computer where you would hit buttons and trigger your own sounds. Those sounds were preset so that you would repeat the best patterns. Since the concert was so loud and the laser speaker was up in the lighting booth you couldn't hear the computer sounds from the audience. I think.

The Fly, The Opera

The Fly, The Opera ...... The horror... Oh, the horror.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Alternative Energy Vehicles

Are you as sick of news stories about [fill in the next upstart company] and their new [pick your favorite fad fuel that isn't gas] car that is going to change the world? I'm sick of those stories. When you find a company that actually starts producing real cars rather than concept cars and maybe even actually producing and selling more than 10 prototypes, give me a call. Otherwise, I've had enough of your pointless news stories.

Monday, June 23, 2008

New for 2008

Aden (left) and Mikayla (right).

Friday, June 20, 2008

I Need to Get the Sheet Music for This.

Yes if you've ever wanted to play John Cage's orchestral masterpiece 4'33" (4 minutes 33 seconds), now you can buy the sheet music for it online. It's a steal at only $5.95 plus shipping. Click here to order. With comments like .. "Most versatile work in my repetoire" it's a must for any beginning musician.

If you've never heard this master work, then here is a video of the BBC Symphony Orchestra playing it

This is the Definition of Performance Art.

There are two required elements for something to be performance art.

1) Nudity
2) Nonsense

This video is the very definition of performance art.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

DNA tested McCaws?

Someone is giving away hyacinth macaws on craigslist. In the ad they state ...

"these are lovely birds they are well tamed and they also DNA tested interested person get to me via ..."

DNA tested? Yeah lady, it looks like a hyacinth macaw but can you prove it? I'm not taking this bird off your hands without proof.

Hey this parrot is nailed to the perch.

What do you mean pining?

Monday, June 16, 2008

You want to ask me about your office?

I got this e-mail today.

"Schlesinger Associates, a national Marketing Research Firm, is currently organizing a study among men and women in the area regarding health conditions at our mid-town Manhattan offices."

I have no idea what goes on in your mid-town Manhattan offices.

You Can't Resist this Job Applicant. It's Futile.

So I think I'm interviewing a Borg next week. On the resume', the first skills listed are "Excellent technology absorption capability" and "Ability to work effectively in a team environment". You don't hire him, he just assimilates your company.

Saturday, June 07, 2008

The End of Suzi's Television

At one time, that was a good TV.

Monday, June 02, 2008

The Bed to Die For.

I've always thought that the Sleepy's Mattress trademark "For the Rest of Your Life" was a little odd. You could interpret this as ...

1) You'll keep coming back to Sleepy's because we're so good.
2) You'll get a great night's rest from this bed.

Or you could also interpret it as "This is your death bed". Apparently this association was also lost on the Hannah mattress company because they also tried to register the trademark.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Quest for Lunch

So I'm watching the movie "Quest for Fire" on and it's the scene where the canibal neanderthals are having a nice hearty meal of human flesh. Occasionally on hulu, they run little ad bugs along the bottom of the sceen. Is this what Chili's had in mind?

Friday, May 16, 2008

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

New Band Names

A while ago I posted a blog entry about how you can get a great 80's band name from randomly clicking the captcha on the site. They have since updated the captcha and the band names are better now. After about 15 min of clicking, here are the top 30 generated names I got from that site.

Bizarre Con
Superbaby German
The Tripped
Awed Torment
65 Exceptions
January Red
The Stowe
Taylor London
Office Craig
2:18 Squads
The Blanco
Cloned Barbara
As Argued
Mr Demolition
Harry Democratic
Lenox University
The Expenses
Soundness House
The Vacancies
Yancy Exclaimed
Dr. Meaningful
Haves Had
Representative Large
Jr. Champagne
Kentucky Adultery
Superintendent Yacht
Timely Cambodian
On Fluffy
Ill Disclosure
In Steel

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Apparently Criminals Don't have Fax Machines

Transcript of a conversation I had with the bank over a credit card bill.

Bank: Your payments have been posted to another account, you need to call XXXXX to get this straightened out.
Me: OK, what is the account number so that I can explain this to this person specifically.
Bank: We can't tell you that over the phone.
Me: OK, can you send it to me in an e-mail?
Bank: No we don't have statements in electronic form. We can fax it to you.
Me: Um... OK
Bank: What is your fax number?
Bank: OK we'll fax it to you in 24-48 hours.

So, you can't verbally tell me the account number over the phone but you can fax it to me (over the phone lines) to a number that I just gave you? So, aren't you really just telling it to me over the phone in a different format? I guess criminals don't have fax machines. Stupid criminals.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Happy Bar Mitzvah Seth

I rarely post youtube videos here but this is another great example why is a national treasure. Feel free to stop the video at anytime.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bath Time

I think there is a kid in there too.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Can I pass 8th grade science?

JustSayHi - Science Quiz

Apparently I can, and I can get pretty much the same grade I would have gotten in 8th grade without studying. Which I didn't.