Thursday, August 31, 2006

Absolut Search

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Think Where's Waldo for vodka drinkers. I saw this as an ad in HOW magazine just when I thought Absolut was incapable of making memorable ads anymore. (Yes, I used to cut and save them – even have the Keith Harring and Kenny Scharf one framed on a wall). On the website it's a scrolling test of skill where a sharp eye, lightning reflexes and a good imagination are required.

There are 82 hidden bottles, I found 33. Give it a go if you have 2 minutes to kill.
Least Likely Movie to be Found on Blu-ray

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While cruising 'round flickr, I found this tape cover somebody apparently scanned
and thought, here's a movie that would be lucky to make it to DVD. Does that mean in a decade or so it may become only seen in museums?

And while you ponder that, may I recomend you check out 2 new Robyn Hitchcock tracks (including Museum of Sex) over at 'You Aint No Picasso'?

You can thank me later.
Bad Blind date

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Bad Blind Date
How long do you take beofre you decide a relationship just isn't working?

Also: Post number 666!

Your blog posting failed. The Blogger servers have flagged your post as potential spam.

Your post has been saved to your Cheap-ass guy for the Poor Guy account as a draft but not published.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

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A new company, called SpiralFrog, will be trying to get the kids away from illegal downloads and pirate music sites by offering a legitimate source, supported by advertising instead of download fees and backed by Universal, with millions of songs in its catalog from thousands of artists.

The catch: you'll have to sit through advertisements and will be prevented from making copies of the songs or from sharing them with other people. You will also have to revisit the SpiralFrog Web site regularly to keep access to the music they download. And the songs will be encoded in the Microsoft WMA format, meaning they will probably not work on Apple iPod portable music players.

UPDATE: This won't work at all under MacOS.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Rachael Leigh Cook's Career Notwithstanding

, , ]

Anti-drug advertising campaign a failure, GAO report says

By Donna Leinwand, USA TODAY
WASHINGTON — A $1.4 billion anti-drug advertising campaign conducted by the U.S. government since 1998 does not appear to have helped reduce drug use and instead might have convinced some youths that taking illegal drugs is normal, the Government Accountability Office says.

The GAO report, released Friday, urges Congress to stop the White House's National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign unless drug czar John Walters can come up with a better strategy. President Bush's budget for 2007 asks Congress for $120 million for the campaign, a $20 million increase from this year.


The GAO report is "irrelevant to us," says Tom Riley, spokesman for the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP). "It's based on ads from 2½ years ago, and they were effective, too. Drug use has been going down dramatically. Cutting the program now would imperil (its) progress."

––Well, doesn't this sound familiar, the White House gets data it doesn't agree with and the decision is to ignore it. Heckuva job your friends are doing there, Dubya.

Read the whole story over at
Google Video? Meet Blogger


What should have posted and is here thanks to the embed tag:

Monday, August 28, 2006

YouTube and Blogger No Longer Play Nice

[YouTube, Blogger, Google]

I know I said no more ranting but it looks like cross-posting YouTube
videos on Blogger has feature has broken – or at least so in my hands.

I am starting to think I would settle for Google being (ever so)
slightly evil in exchange for a bit less sucking.

Current Mood: Cranky.

[Blogger, Google]

Looks like joining the Blogger beta was a big mistake – postings by email don't show the title anymore and adding images takes forever. I also seem to have changed the template by simply looking at the additional template options!

This is progress? What happened to the cool / good Google? I would have expected this half-baked code from a Microsoft lab but not the folks in Mountain View. Perhaps all that free food and stock options have made them soft.

End of rant.

UPDATE: for some reason this post via email seems to have kept its 'headline.'
UPDATE[2]: by adding the update above I have now lost the 'headline.' What's the Yahoo! blog URL again?
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I guess there has been some rather strident complaints from both Microsoft and Mr Gervais over the leak of these video (which at this writing are still up over at Google). From what I gather Microsoft (UK?) paid a great deal to make these, including an absolute promise that it was kept inside Microsoft.

Some have blogged that the original video itself was only on tape (to prevent easy duplication, I assume) and was kept under careful lockand key. Let's hope that if the leak is traced it will not cost someone their job. Then again, I am sure Paris Hilton and Pamela Anderson also at one point thought there was only one copy of a tape and it was locked up as well.

The question now is roll with the punch or be all cross about it and make yourself look bad. Just my 2¢, is all.

[www, fun]

From the people who brought you The Official Church Sign Generator now comes The Official Seal Generator!

Hours of fun!

Friday, August 25, 2006

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Part one of two faux training videos for Microsoft UK employees featuring Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant in their roles from the BBC version of The Office.

Act fast, from what I hear Microsoft UK has already had these removed from YouTube.
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Entertainment Weekly recently spent 30 minutes chatting with John Cryer about "Pretty in Pink" as a new release celebrating its 20th anniversary with the extras-packed Everything's Duckie Edition, hits shelves Aug. 29.

You came up with the ''candy machine'' line [when Duckie's shoved into the girls' room]. Anything else you'd like to take credit for now?

What else was all me... ''Blane: It's not a name, it's a major appliance.''

Thursday, August 24, 2006

[money, music, mp3]

Stumbled across this page by Ryan Irvine (good hodgkins) via Audioblog while looking for Bruce Springsteen's "Pay Me My Money Down."

Some great tunes (and a great theme) – help him out by clicking on the ads, eh?

Hold Me Closer, Secret Senator


"WASHINGTON — In an ironic twist, legislation that would open up the
murky world of government contracting to public scrutiny has been
derailed by a secret parliamentary maneuver.

An unidentified senator placed a "secret hold" on legislation
introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Barack Obama, D-Ill.,
that would create a searchable database of government contracts,
grants, insurance, loans and financial assistance, worth $2.5
trillion last year. The database would bring transparency to federal
spending and be as simple to use as conducting a Google search."

[knife, silly]

Who doesn't need a cigar cutter next to a bicycle chain rivet setter next to a golf divot repair tool? Wenger may be on to something with this 'everyman's gadget' it's calling "Giant Knife Version 1.0". It wouldn't be a knife, though, without a blade, so Wenger put seven in the line-up. And it wouldn't be Swiss Army unless it came with tweezers and a toothpick. (They're included, too.)

Here are all 85 tools included in Giant Knife, Version 1.0:

1. 2.5" 60% Serrated locking blade
2. Nail file, nail cleaner
3. Corkscrew
4. Adjustable pliers with wire crimper and cutter
5. Removable screwdriver bit adapter
6. 2.5" Blade for Official World Scout Knife
7. Spring-loaded, locking needle-nose pliers with wire cutter
8. Removable screwdriver bit holder
9. Phillips head screwdriver bit 0
10. Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
11. Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
12. Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5 mm x 3.5 mm
13. Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6 mm x 4.0 mm
14. Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0 mm x 6.5 mm
15. Magnetized recessed bit holder
16. Double-cut wood saw with ruler (inch & cm)
17. Bike chain rivet setter, removable 5m allen wrench, screwdriver
for slotted and Phillips head screws
18. Removable tool for adjusting bike spokes, 10m hexagonal key for nuts
19. Removable 4mm curved allen wrench with Phillips head screwdriver
20. Removable 10mm hexagonal key
21. Patented locking Phillips head screwdriver
22. Universal wrench
23. Laser pointer with 300 ft. range
24. 1.65" Clip point utility blade
25. Metal saw, metal file
26. 4 mm allen wrench
27. 2.5" blade
28. Fine metal file with precision screwdriver
29. Double-cut wood saw
30. Cupped cigar cutter with double-honed edges
31. 12/20-Gauge choke tube tool
32. Watch caseback opening tool
33. Snap shackle
34. Telescopic pointer (I thought this was a radio antenna!)
35. Compass, straight edge, ruler (in./cm)
36. Mineral crystal magnifier with precision screwdriver
37. 2.4" Springless scissors with serrated, self-sharpening design
38. Shortix key
39. Flashlight
40. Fish scaler, hook disgorger, line guide
41. Micro tool holder
42. Micro tool adapter
43. Micro scraper-straight
44. Reamer
45. Fine fork for watch spring bars
46. Pin punch 1.2 mm
47. Pin punch .8 mm
48. Round needle file
49. Removable tool holder with expandable receptacle
50. Removable tool holder
51. Multi-purpose screwdriver
52. Flat Phillips head screwdriver
53. Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5 mm x 3.5 mm
54. Spring loaded, locking flat nose nose-pliers with wire cutter
55. Phillips head screwdriver bit 0
56. Phillips head screwdriver bit 1
57. Phillips head screwdriver bit 2
58. Flat head screwdriver bit 0.5 mm x 3.5 mm
59. Flat head screwdriver bit 0.6 mm x 4.0 mm
60. Flat head screwdriver bit 1.0 mm x 6.5 mm
61. Can opener
62. Phillips head screwdriver
63. 2.5" Clip point blade
64. Golf club face cleaner
65. 2.4" Round tip blade
66. Patented locking screwdriver, cap lifter, can opener
67. Golf shoe spike wrench
68. Golf divot repair tool
69. Micro straight-curved
70. Special tool holder
71. Phillips head screwdriver 1.5mm
72. Screwdriver 1.2 mm
73. Screwdriver .8 mm
74. Mineral crystal magnifier, fork for watch spring bars, small ruler
75. Removable screwdriver bit holder
76. Magnetized recessed bit holder
77. Tire tread gauge
78. Reamer/awl
79. Patented locking screwdriver, cap lifter, wire stripper
80. Special Key
81. Toothpick
82. Tweezers
83. Adapter
84. Key ring
85. Second key ring

Dennis Pireta, Wenger's marketing director put it succinctly when he
noted, "This is not exactly going to win any awards for lightest,
smallest or most efficient tools…" The knife is a brute, weighing 2
pounds, 11 ounces and measuring 8.75 inches. But don't worry, it has
a key ring so you can carry it on a belt loop.

Wenger set the price at $1,200. Each knife must be ordered
individually through the company.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Funk to Funky, Eric's A Junkie

[movies, marketing]

"I Was a Junket Whore" by Eric D Snider is a hilarious recount of his
paid trip to the Seattle 'press tour' in support for the movie "World
Trade Center," by director Oliver Stone and starring actress Maggie

NOTE: This column resulted in Paramount banning him from their press
screenings, and using their muscle to be banned from a few other
studios' screenings, too.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

[teen pop]

Ms. Spears, flogging your husband's 'career' will have no effect on
extending your time left in the spotlight. Dark hair and that dress
isn't helping much either.


Tony Jay died on August 13th from complications while
recovering from surgery. He was best known for his
voice work in animation and computer games, but was
also a Legendary Royal Shakespeare Actor and a
Broadway fan.

The Voice of the Supreme Being in Time Bandits, Shere
Khan in Disney's animated series Tale Spin. He was
also Monsieur D'Arque in Disney's animated feature
Beauty and the Beast, Frollo in Disney's The Hunchback
of Notre Dame, and closer to my viewing style:
Chairface Chippendale on The Tick, the Chief on 2
Stupid Dogs, and (unbeknownst to me until checking
IMDB) Judge Silot Gatt on The Adventures of Brisco
County Jr.

He also had parts in Star Trek: The Next Generation;
Eerie, Indiana; Twin Peaks and Night Court.

Jay was born in England but was later naturalized as a
US citizen. He was admited for surgery in April 2006,
but never recovered fully due to complications with
the surgery. Jay is survived by his wife Marta and his
son Adam, who is following in his fathers footsteps as
an actor.

He will be greatly missed.

(thanks to The Disney Blog for alerting me)

Monday, August 21, 2006

95 Years Ago

[history, Writer's Almanac]

Thanks to the podcast of The Writer's Almanac, I learned that "On this day in 1911, the Mona Lisa was stolen from the Louvre in Paris. It was one of the most audacious art thefts of all time. Vincenzo Peruggia walked into the museum, headed straight for the world's most famous painting, took it off the wall, hid it beneath his clothes, and walked out. The whole nation of France was stunned. There was a popular rumor in Paris that the Germans had stolen da Vinci's masterpiece to humiliate the French. Police had no leads until two years later, when Peruggia tried to ransom the painting. He was caught, the painting was unharmed, and the Mona Lisa was returned to the Louvre, where it still is today, with much better security."

I wish this map was bigger but if it was I am sure it would just end up on eBay. ;)

Stop(motion) Look Listen

[movie, stop-motion, retro, video games, ads]

Check out the amazing stop-motion world of PES – "Game Over"
reetlling classic arcade games with household objects. "Coinstar" has
all of your loose change coming to life.

If you have watched Comedy Central at night I am sure you have seen
his animated Bacardi bottles.

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Nut Tree Returns (?)

The Nut Tree Returns (?), originally uploaded by idogcow.

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Vacaville gets the Nut Tree back, in a way. I know they say 'you can't go home again," but maybe just this once?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Death by Mass Merchant: The book closes on A Common Reader

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This isn't a new story or an uncommon one (sadly). Finally got 'round to looking up what happened to a wonderful books-by-mail company & found this very interesting article by Tim Parry:

What killed A Common Reader? Was it simply management issues? Or can the death be pinned on category killer The sudden January shutdown of the Pleasantville, NY-based book catalog and its parent company, The Akadine Press, remains a mystery.

Founded in 1986 by James Mustich Jr., A Common Reader carved out a niche as a seller of little-known and underappreciated books, some of which it republished under its own imprint. When Akadine Press filed for Chapter 7 at the United States Bankruptcy Court, Southern District of New York, on Jan. 10, it had 1,285 creditors holding more than $1 million in unsecured nonpriority claims.

The company's remaining stock and equipment were auctioned off on Feb. 22. Another niche book cataloger, Atlanta-based Bas Bleu, acquired its house file. According to the data card, A Common Reader had more than 39,000 12-month buyers, who spent an average of $55 an order.

As of press time, Mustich was unavailable for comment. But Ann Ruethling, who founded Spring Valley, CA-based children's-book cataloger Chinaberry in 1982, sees the demise of A Common Reader as yet another reminder that niche merchants need to find the right balance of product and customer service, as well as a strong business model, to stave off Internet monsters such as and Barnes & Noble.

“When Amazon became a presence, we became aware they were someone we needed to protect ourselves against,” says Ruethling, whose company — of which she remains a board member — also publishes the Isabella catalog of spiritual books and gifts. “You could search on Amazon for any book we carried, and they were selling it for less. We'd also get e-mails from our customers telling us they loved our catalog and would use it as a reference and buy from Amazon.”

To maintain its niche — and its business — Chinaberry added unique and exclusive items such as educational toys and customized coasters to both catalogs. Today the merchandise mix for both titles is almost evenly split between books and gifts. Reuthling's theory was that carrying gift items not available at Amazon would keep Chinaberry and Isabella customers loyal, and that they while they were ordering gifts they'd order books for themselves as well.

Ruethling says her company's customer service is another advantage it has over Amazon. Chinaberry's contact center reps have actually read the titles offered by the catalogs, she say, and can therefore recommend additional books to customers.

“Some customers will go to Wal-Mart no matter what to save a few dollars, but our customers truly care about the book,” Ruethling says. “They can go to Amazon and not have us around for a year or two. But if they go to us, we'll always be around. And if they care about what their family is reading and playing with, they'll vote for customer service over price.”

Though Chinaberry had a few rough years, both titles exceeded sales goals in 2004 (the most recent year for which fiscal information was available at press time). The company's posted a profit that year, turning around a net loss of $46,306 from the year prior.

May 1, 2006 By Tim Parry

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Mind Over Matter(horn)

[Disneyland, Matterhorn Howard Johnson's]

Spies from The Disney Blog tell of a webcam mounted on the roof of
the Anaheim HoJo's pointed at the Matterhorn.

Before they rearranged the freeways down in LA, we kids always knew
we were close to the action as soon as we could spot 'the mountain.'

Haunted Mansion With the Lights On

[, , ]
Shaky, hand-held amateur video of Disneyland's Haunted Mansion after the workers switched on the lights (to escort out some thief/vandals). If you can avoid the whip-pans and the commentary, some interesting video....

Monday, August 14, 2006

Jessica Simpson's Career: Dead or Alive?

[, , ]

See also: How to revive a failing 'career' (Step II).

Her TV show and her marriage are over, she could (barely) play a leggy waitress in short-shorts, so what does America's non-heiress, non-pregnant, blonde pop-tart do to reclaim the spotlight? How about remaking an 80s dance-pop hit with breathy new vocals?


Check out this clip of Joe's daughter latest effort.

[PNSFW Link to step I of the plan]

Good OpEd on the London Arrests

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Last two paragraphs from Bruce Schneier's OpEd in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune today (but read the whole thing):

"The goal of a terrorist is to cause terror. Last week's arrests
demonstrate how real security doesn't focus on possible terrorist
tactics, but on the terrorists themselves. It's a victory for
intelligence and investigation, and a dramatic demonstration of how
investments in these areas pay off.

'And if you want to know what you can do to help? Don't be
terrorized. They terrorize more of us if they kill some of us, but
the dead are beside the point. If we give in to fear, the terrorists
achieve their goal even if they were arrested. If we refuse to be
terrorized, then they lose -- even if their attacks succeed."

Vintage ToonCast

[, ]

"Right to worship God in my own way" and "right to a speedy trial"?
Oh that's right, this is a *vintage* cartoon.

Enjoy the way things used to be over at Vintage ToonCast, citizens!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Can Anything Be Better Than Disneyland's Mickey Ice-Cream?

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Thanks to the Disneyland PodCast for the tip and for the details I have a 'new' place I want to eat at Disneyland: Café Orleans.

"After a stint as a cafeteria-style restaurant, Café Orleans is once again offering table service, with about 60 seats in the redesigned interior and 120 seats on the patio."

As anyone who knows me will attest, here's what *really* caught my eye on the new menu:
“Mickey" shaped Beignets — Topped with powdered sugar and served with raspberry coulis and vanilla crème anglaise.Photo by Adrienne Vincent-Phoenix.
Who Now Will Be Like Mike?

[] [] []


Mike, I will miss you. I only saw you when I was home sick but you always made quite the impression. I learned this from the Yahoo! obit, "Douglas' afternoon show aired from 1961 to 1982. It featured his ballad and big-band singing style, other musicians, comedians, sports figures and political personalities, including seven former, sitting or future presidents."

Talk-show legend Mike Douglas died today, 11 August, on what was his 81st birthday.

Potter Fan Fic

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A very strange comic, haven't even read it all the way to the end yet but anything with a 5th house at Hogwarts called "Sparklypoo" and girls with cat-ears is too good to not be posted.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Super Magritte Bros.

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This is not a Pipe - Threadless, Best T-shirts Ever

Only the second time I have been tempted to get a Threadless t-shirt and it's again a green one. Perhaps this is a trend?

700 Mexican Pizzas... and One of Those New Gorditos!

[] [] []

This just in from the Marion Chronicle Tribune:

"Group apologizes for taking three years worth of Taco Bell sauces"

A group of 10 to 15 masked individuals entered Taco Bell, 3244 S. Western Ave., around 10:46 p.m. Tuesday to return a three-year stash of fire sauce packets, police say.

The group returned six 40-gallon trash bags filled with approximately, 25,000 sauce packets to the restaurant. With the stash was a note stating that they had been accumulating the sauces over three years and kept them stored in the trunk of a vehicle, but felt guilty about keeping them and decided to return them to the restaurant.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Haunt Your Own House

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A nice little Photoshop tutorial to make your house (or any house picture) look haunted! [via BoingBoing]
[] [] [] []

A sign the end times are upon us all:

Oh, and some scary folk who seem to be a little too happy about all this. [via Daily Kos]

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Helvetica, The Film

[font, typography, movies]

Helvetica turns 50 next year and it’s getting its own biopic.
Helvetica, the first feature-length film about a font, will premiere
in 2007. [via:]

This is not a parody so don't go looking to see Christopher Guest.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Have You Had Enough?

[mp3, politics]

Rickie Lee Jones, Tom Maxwell and Ken Mosher (Squirrel Nut Zippers),
have, with Andy Paley producing, a new swing(ing) song about
surveillance and voting for a government that won't spy on Americans
or take away our freedom to help the "Blue America," grass roots

"Have You Had Enough?" :

The melody will be familiar but it will sure start your toes a'tapping!

Friday, August 04, 2006

Google Earth, circa 1906


Santa Cruz resident Peter Nurkse (with time on his hands after being
laid off from Sun Microsystems) found The Library of Congress offered
for download a high resolution file of a 3-by-6-foot aerial
photograph of San Jose (just post 1906 earthquake) printed from a 4-
foot-wide negative.

He spent hours using Photoshop to brighten the photo, sharpen the
contrast and remove blemishes. Next, he printed it on photo paper
using his five-year-old printer. Lots of photo paper -- 28 sheets in
all, which he carefully pieced together.

The original was taken by a man named George Lawrence, who used a 50-
pound camera that was lifted perhaps 800 feet into the air by kites.

Lawrence came west from Chicago to document the destruction of the
1906 quake. He used his kite gear to capture bird's eye views of San
Francisco, Santa Cruz, Salinas, Pacific Grove and San Jose. In short,
Lawrence created the turn of the last century's Google Earth.

[ registration required]

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Pilot by USR

Pilot by USR, originally uploaded by idogcow.

[] [] [] []

Add a grey Visor by Handspring to the list my PDAs – currently in use as a text-reader. The nice thing about the Visor? The USB dock lets you iSync with ease.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


[politics, eff]

Stop the Surveillance Bills!
idogcow. Get yours at

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