July 2006 Archives

About That Probability Thing...

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Correction: in a prior post, I lamented about being 0-for-11 in the Pepsi ringtone thingy. Due to pilot error on my part (i.e., not knowing where on the website to check to see how may ringtones I'd won), I did not know that I had actually won 4 times, thus putting me squarely in the fat part of the 'one in three is a winner!' curve.

Since then, not only am I batting about .500 on ringtones, I got a FedEx letter a couple of weeks ago telling me I'd won one of the phones they give away every ten minutes!

Anybody need a brand-new unlocked Moto SLVR L7?

White Trash Wednesday

[Title ref here]

And speaking of tattoos (which I do frequently, f'rinstance, a couple of weeks ago), we have the logical extension of the 'let somebody tattoo an ad on you for money' - mymilliondollarbody.com:

Following the succes of the million dollar homepage, a Stockholm copycat is offering advertisers to have their logo tatoed onto his body.

The million dollar homepage sold pixels at a rate of $1 each. The 21-year-old Swede plans on charging $1000 per square centimeter with a minimum purchase of 4 sq.cm.
Awesome! Now Go1den Pa1ace has enough room to tattoo
go1denpa1ace.com is the greatest online casino over! Loosest virtual slots - 3-wheel, 5-wheel, progressive! $2 blackjack tables! Free Texas Hold-Em lessons and tournaments ($10,000 cash prize!)! High-stakes gambling, too! Log in and see the weeping Jesus rock, the Virgin Mary cheese toastie, and the haunted walking stick! All at go1denpa1ace.com, the bestest online casino ever!
all in one place.

Of course, they probably had enough room to do that here.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

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11 For 21, Bitchez!

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I'll bet the Euroweenies figured that with Lance Armstrong's retirement, they could get back to the normality of a European winning the Tour de France - maybe even, inshallah, an actual Frenchman winning it (which hasn't happened since 1985).

Not so much.

Between Landis, Armstrong, and LeMond, that makes 11 of the last 21 Tours that an American has won. And even though Landis is going for hip replacement surgery which will probably keep him out of next year's Tour, Tyler Hamilton will be fresh off his two-year ban and mad as hell...

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Reports Of Landis' Death Are Premature

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It would appear that the answer to the question "So, will you watch the Tour now that Armstrong's retired and most of the other expected contenders are DQ'ed under suspicion of doping?" is not only "Yes" but "Hell, Yes!"

I thought Floyd Landis was dead and buried after he bonked in the last 10km of Wednesday's stage, but his ride today will go down as one of the great comebacks in Tour history if he manages to win - which he may very well do, since he's only 18 seconds behind Sastre and 30 seconds behind Pereiro (neither of whom TT nearly as well as he does) and two minutes or more ahead of everybody else.

I watch the Tour on Outdoor Life Network, which has Bob "Tour DAY France" Roll as one of their commentators. I like his goofy schtick on TV, but, damn, who let him near a keyboard?

Floyd Landis barely clinging to life at the start of today’s stage, has dragged himself through determination, through will and through true grid, in fact contention, he can win the Tour de France.

. . .

He can see it now, he can taste it, he can feel it and that one time trial of 54 Kilometers awaits for Floyd Landis. He’s realm the course, he’s pulled himself to within a few seconds of the man that doesn't do time trials as well.

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And For My Next Trick... Lead Into Gold!

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So apparently muggings are on the rise in London, and it's all the iPod's fault:

Just a week ago, Gamespot journalist Guy Cocker, who works in the same building as Crave, was mugged ten minutes away from the CNET offices here in central London. His assailants held what felt like a semi-automatic weapon to the back of Cocker's head and told him, "we're taking all your stuff".

. . .

The papers this morning would seem to agree with Cocker. "Rise in crime blamed on iPods", yells the front page of London's Metro. "Muggers targeting iPod users," says ITV. This is the reaction to the government's revelation that robberies across the UK have risen 8 per cent in the last year, from 90,747 to 98,204. The Home Secretary, John Reid, attributes this to the irresistible lure of "young people carrying expensive goods, such as mobile phones and MP3 players". A separate British Crime Survey, however, suggests robbery has risen by 22 per cent, to 311,000.

Crave then comes up with several ways to hide your iPod when you're in what the Brits would call 'a dodgy neighborhood,' including this one:

Get a Coke can, drink the contents, rinse out the can. Carefully cut the lid section off the can. Superglue a small magnet to the inside of the upper lip of the can so that it's flush with the open top of the can. Place the iPod inside and put the lid on the can. If you've cut the can correctly, the magnet should hold the lid tightly shut. Unless your mugger is exceptionally thirsty, they're unlikely to steal your Coke.

Getting a magnet to hold down the lid on an aluminum can would be a neat trick (unless they've re-introduced steel beverage cans in the UK).

Today's Unsmooth Moment

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Bob & Tom have begun running a Keystone Light commercial featuring 'Unsmooth Moments' submitted by listeners. Naturally, I have many from which to choose, but I submitted this one:

I occasionally visited the local music store when I was in high school. On one trip there, I noticed the guitars hanging on the wall, which prompted me to ask the clerk a question that had been bothering me for a while: "I know that Fender makes the Stratocaster and Gibson makes the Les Paul, but who makes the Air Guitar?"

The clerk thought I was putting him on. "Are you serious?" he asked suspiciously.

"Yeah, " I replied, oblivious to the barely suppressed smirk that appeared on his face when he realized I really didn't know. "Who makes the Air Guitar?"

Then, speaking very slowly and using small words, he explained that an air guitar was 'when you pretend to play a guitar that doesn't actually exist.'

To make matters worse, I was in the music store with a friend, who proceeded to blow me crap about the incident for years afterwards.

--Chris in Fort Wayne, listening on 92.3 The Fort
(Friend of Hal from way back)

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New Office Lexicon Entry: 'Slacker Window'

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Slacker Window - The gray area between screwing up an unpleasant assignment badly enough that you won't be given similar ones in the future and screwing it up badly enough that you get fired. A way to avoid Carter's Trap.

And The Story Had Such Promise

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So Michael Douglas had a nasty encounter with a jellyfish, and asked his son to perform, shall we say, the folk remedy:

"I took my kids down to the ocean the other day and we had a little problem, we have jellyfish. I got stung actually pretty bad, across my back just last week. There's sort of a remedy that we've all heard...urine. It's the remedy if you have a bad sting.

"So I asked my five-year-old son if he would pee-pee on my back. He looked at me like he'd gone to heaven. He was like 'This is what I call a good summer holiday! Pee-pee on daddy's back!' I don't know if it helped at all, but my son was happy. We'll work it out in 20 years - when he's in therapy!" stated Douglas.

I know I'm not alone when I say that that story would have been FAR more interesting if he had asked his wife instead of his son.

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Kyle MacDonald, the red paper clip guy, has achieved his goal. Yesterday, he completed his series of trades starting with one red paper clip and ending with a house.

That's all well and good, but I wonder what the Canada Revenue Agency has to say about a guy getting a house for essentially nothing?

Tattle-Toes

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White Trash Wednesday

Stupid tattoos is a frequent WTW topic for me, and although I've heard of (and blogged about) people using them to advertise (e.g., here and here), I've never heard of someone using them to advertise themselves as White Trash.

Until today. It was his toes that tipped off the police:

CLEARWATER - Richard Costello was tripped up by his own toes, police say.

Costello, 29, was trying to hawk stolen motorcycle parts on eBay, so he laid the items on a linoleum floor and took photographs for the Web site, said Clearwater police Sgt. Greg Stewart.

Costello's feet could be seen poking into some of the images, but it was his toes - tattooed with letters spelling "White Trash" - that got him caught.

The case goes back to March 6 when a 2002 Yamaha motorcycle worth $6,000 was stolen from an apartment complex parking lot on Nursery Road in Clearwater. Owner Derek Lombard called police but continued to investigate on his own.

Lombard, 24, searched eBay and found what he thought were parts from his motorcycle for sale. He told detectives, who analyzed the photos.

They noticed "White" on the right foot and "Trash" on the left. Investigators searched jail records, which noted Costello's branded digits.

It's White Trash Wednesday! Take the whole tour:

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Today's Global Curiosity

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Southport is a town at the mouth of the Cape Fear River just east of Oak Island. While on a day trip there during my vacation, I took these question-provoking pictures.

Why would a ship named YM Shanghai homeported in London (which is interesting enough)...

...be flying the French flag?

Bob & Tom Sneak Peek

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Bob & Tom have been promoting their upcoming album, Donkey Show, with emphasis on the bonus third CD. This CD is an hour straight off a 2004 show featuring Survivor Rupert Boneham and comedian Drew Hastings taking listener calls. The gag here is that Rupert was fresh off winning the bonus million dollars in the audience vote after Survivor: Amateur HourAll-Stars, so naturally all the calls were for him. Hastings, hardly the most stable person on a good day, does not take this well, and eventually completely melts down.

In case you've been saving MP3s of the show, I can tell you with near-100% certainty that the show in question was Thursday, October 8 7, 2004 (hour 3 and parts of hours 2 and 4).

Update (July 17): On last Friday's show (July 14th), very early in hour 1, Tom claimed that the Rupert/Drew CD was from the show on July 14, 2004. Naturally, my show list archive only goes back to August of 2004 so I can't check for sure, but I think Tom misspoke when he said that and didn't realize he did - otherwise, I think, he would have observed that it was exactly two years ago that day. At any rate, the show listing for 10/ 8 7 /04 definitely has Rupert and Drew appearing together in hour 3.

Update (March 3, 2007): Sharp-eyed reader Alex checked the Wayback Machine and found the show listing for 7/14/04, which definitely features both Rupert and Drew. The October 7 (not 8) show I refer to above was probably just B&T replaying parts of the July appearance.

Update (March 4, 2007): It turns out that I actually have the shows archived back to May of 2004, so I listened to both shows. The 7/14/04 show is definitely the one that appears as the extra disc on Donkey Show; the October 7 show is a 'Best Of' introduced by Jimmy 'Maddog' Matis(a DJ at B&T's flagship station, Indianapolis' Q95), and just replays hour 3 from 7/14.

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Greg Baum Neeeds A New Edtior

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Greg Baum wrote a column for The Age summarizing the World Cup (and international soccer in general) that perfectly sums up my feeling about the sport. F'rinstance:

Soccer is a game in which fine lines quickly, sometimes instantaneously, widen into gulfs. If Zidane's early penalty kick had bounced back, there might not have been a shootout. If David Trezeguet's had bounced in, they might be taking penalties still.

Players, knowing this, work to leverage the least opportunity, the chink that might suddenly become a chasm, which makes for the blatant cheating that is the game's most infamous feature. The most negligible contact, or even none at all, will cause a player to sprawl as if riddled by shotgun pellets, variously to win a penalty, a free kick or a pause in play.

As the tournament progressed, it even began to jar on players, who became increasingly loath to kick the ball out of play, as honour demanded. The nadir was the Portugal/Netherlands round-of-16 encounter, in which there can barely have been 15 minutes of play in the second half. (Notably, the player who interposes himself to block another's pile-driven shot rarely collapses, though the pain sometimes must be real and great. [emphasis added])
It's implicit in Baum's parenthetical reference, but I'll make it explicit: they don't collapse because they don't want to take themselves out of the play WHEN THERE'S NO CHANCE THEY'LL GET A CALL!

There is one thing that bothered me, and it isn't even Baum's fault, really. OK, it is, but it's clear that the only editing done on the column was the use of a spell-checker:

The point is that the way soccer is structured, the referee can have a profound, even decisive, influence just by doing his job (or not doing it: refer the Italian league scandal). Players and managers know this and try to exploit it. Having sewn the breeze, they are reaping the whirlwind, and it is ingenuous of any to be affronted by it. [emphasis added]
I'm pretty sure he meant sown and disingenuous.

Yeah, I watched some of the World Cup final (second half, overtime, shootout). Yeah, I have a couple of thoughts:

  • I knew the US was done for when the Czechs scored their first goal. They looked beaten after that one goal (I know that's often the case in soccer, but still), and the collective vibe I got from them was "Well, we didn't really belong here anyway" which is pretty lame considering FIFA had them ranked in the top ten before Cup play started. I know that has absolutely zilch to do with the final, but I just wanted to throw that in there. I predict that the U.S. will qualify for the '10 Cup but won't win a game in Group play.
  • I hate shootouts. My solution? Switch to single fifteen-minute overtime periods, non-sudden-death, one or two substitutions (non-cumulative, re-entry allowed) per period. Subtract one player from each side for each overtime after the first. Repeat as necessary.
  • I don't really like offsides. Maybe it's because I don't really understand the purpose. All I know is that it seemed like any time anybody broke behind the defense, all 11 defenders would stop and raise their hands, and offsides would be called.
  • I don't know what Marco Materazzi said to Zinedine Zidane, but he totally suckered him into that head butt. Materazzi went down like he'd just taken a .50 cal to the head.
  • And speaking of flopping, no way does a head butt to the sternum result in a double-de-cleating knockdown. Soccer players take more dives than Greg Louganis.

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Bob Zany Strikes Back

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Any regular Bob & Tom listener knows how badly the guys abuse Bob Zany on his Tuesdaily appearances on the show. It's all tongue-in-cheek, of course, because they constantly refer to his standup act as one of the best in comedy, but I always figured it wore on him and eventually he'd snap.

And it looks like he finally has, if only for a second. This comes at the 19:37 mark of hour 3 from last Wednesday's show (a day later than his normal Tuesdaily appearance because of the holiday), where they're discussing his 1984 standup album, Hi Home, I'm Honey:

BOB ZANY: And Hi Home, I'm Honey was basically my dyslexic father every time he'd come home from work.

BOB KEVOIAN: I'll be darned.

ZANY: "Hi home, I'm honey. What's dinner for? Not roast pot again!"

KEVOIAN: In '84, that was probably funny.

ZANY: Much like people say about you, Bob.

Audio here.

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Oh, That's Where The Basket For That Hole Is!

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Just in time for the Three Rivers Open this weekend, I've finally put decent pictures on my Shoaff Park Disc Golf Course page.

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I just thought of something that's going to make whoever invents it rich, and I'm already pissed off because it won't be me. You know those breathalyzer interlocks they put in cars that prevents them from starting if the driver has had too much to drink? Somebody needs to invent some kind of biofeedback interlock to prevent road ragers from driving if they're pissed off.

Speedo Guy

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So I was doing some spelunking through my server logs this morning. Turns out half of MySpace is hotlinking to a picture of Speedo Guy from this post last summer. As an aside, there are some really fugly pages where people (either the luser or somebody on their message board) are hotlinking to it or to my Project Beeramid pic. It's like every luser on MySpace said 'give me one of every webtoy you got,' without any consideration as to how it would look when it was done.

I'm not sure what I'm going to do about this yet. It's not like they're stealing a lot of my bandwidth - most of those MySpace pages hit me about once a day, if that - but still. I think for now I'll just update that picture with my URL, so they can know where it came from (and maybe swing by and increase my readership - yeah, I'm a whore that way).

If it keeps getting worse, I can always do something like this or this.

Life Imitates Iron Chef: Battle Long Pig

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My Iron Chef parody: here.

Yesterday in England: 'Cannibal' raider bites pieces from pensioner

A pensioner was brutally attacked in his home by a 'crazed cannibal' who ate his thumb and bit chunks from his face and body, it emerged last night.

Douglas Morgan, 75, is recovering in hospital with his wife Valerie at his bedside after the apparently random and vicious attack which left him unconscious and covered in blood.

The elderly couple were getting ready for bed when they heard a someone climbing through a window they had left open in the heat-wave. Mr Morgan went downstairs to investigate.

. . .

By the time the police arrived, Mr Morgan had lost consciousness from pain and shock. Officers had to pull the man away and use CS spray to subdue him.

The moral of the story: get central air conditioning. [H/T Drudge]

(title callback here) ... because we seem to have some pretty dumb outlying towns.

Later dusk catches some organizers off guard:

Fireworks organizers and spectators across northeast Indiana are realizing that the daylight-saving time switch is presenting a problem for traditional Fourth of July celebrations.

When asked when their local fireworks shows would occur, most local fireworks coordinators just said “dusk” and confessed to not knowing exactly when it would become dark with the clock change.

OK, guys, I've got your answer. It's pretty complicated, so stay with me here...

IT'S ONE HOUR LATER THAN IT WAS ON THIS DAY LAST YEAR! AND YOU'VE HAD THREE MONTHS TO FIGURE THAT OUT!

Maybe we shouldn't have adopted DST; we don't seem to be coping all that well.

Iron Chef: Battle Pike Eel

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Theme Ingredient: Pike Eel (Hamo), twenty live eels from waters near Akashi
Iron Chef: Morimoto
Challenger: Yoshimi Tanigawa, owner/chef of Kichi-sen, Shimogamo, Kyoto
Remarks: I'm posting this today in recognition of the Gion festival that starts each July 2 in Kyoto, since the festival is a major theme in this battle. This post is based on the 3 February 2001 airing of this battle on Food Network.

Field Expedient Corkscrew

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BB brought a bottle of Asti to our Fridaily neighborhood gathering. I don't own a corkscrew.

What I do own is a power drill, a 2 1/2" drywall screw, and a pair of vise-grips:

That Species Is Touristicus Dipshitticus

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The screen door on the house next to us made a sound like a bird being sodomized, so much so that every time it opened, I looked around for the offending bird (not to mention the offended bird). It took me three days to realize there were no birds involved at all.

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This page is an archive of entries from July 2006 listed from newest to oldest.

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