12/29/2005

so there is some interesting geography news in the house today -

an article about digitizing roads called "Modern Cartographers Vital in Digital Age," which I of course agree with. I've read a few articles about guys doing this, it's interesting. The weird thing is that in the photo, the two guys are called "Senior Geographic Analysts." That is a pretty high-sounding title, it seems like senior analysts wouldn't be the guys driving around, they'd be back in the office being bosses. But who knows.

And a really interesting article from Wired about making a robotic car that can drive itself, which also talks about map making (and Navteq, the company in the first article.) Those Navteq guys are getting a lot of press. We actually use Navteq data where I work too.

And the funny rap song in my previous post has a couple lines about mapping websites as well. Double true!
so my old roommate Chughead posted this, it's a really funny short from SNL. I actually saw this one and was shocked Saturday Night Live had something funny. I don't remember the rest of the show, so I don't know if it was all funny. Probably not.


The Chronic what! les of Narnia.

12/28/2005

so to continue the story - I got out of my apartment. I called pretty much everybody who lived near me, hoping they hadn't left for work, and my roommates whose numbers I have (like 2 out of 8) a million times, and emailed everybody else. No luck. My friends and roommates are either deep sleepers or very punctual. I even tried instant messenger. I called my pal who had the key to my main door, but he wasn't answering, and called his sister too, so see if maybe he gave her the key, but nope. So I banged on the door that goes upstairs a lot, and occasionally I'd hear a sound and I'd bang more, but I think it was just the cat. I told the cat to open the door, but he didn't do it - good for nothing. I slid a note under the door saying "I'm stuck in the basement, please unlock this door" in case somebody came down while I was in my room, but then I was worried that it might have flipped over when I pushed it under, so people wouldn't be able to read it. I tried prying open the lock with a screwdriver, but it's one of those slide locks, so that didn't help. Then I tried kicking down the door, but that didn't work, and I probably would have had to pay for it if I did kick it down. So I decided to call 911. I told the guy I was locked in, but I think I might have neglected to say that I just needed to give them the keys to the front door - though if I had done that, maybe they wouldn't have showed up. The guy on the phone at the fire department was surprisingly not incredulous, though my boss said he was probably holding the phone and pointing and doing the crazy finger thing (you know, the pointing to your head and making a circle). So in maybe 10 minutes the fire department showed up, which was good. They sent at least two trucks, which kind of sucked, so I hope there were no fires anywhere. The guy saw me in the window and I handed him the key to the front door of the house. I was a little worried because it was taking him awhile to open the front door, as it's hard to open, and I pictured him breaking that one down, but thankfully he got in and came around to open the door that leads down to my place. So I was free, and got to work at about 10:30, about two and a half hours after I realized I was stuck. My boss and coworkers were amused.
so i am stuck in my apartment right now. i lent my front door key to a friend who was staying with me, and i didn't have a chance to get it back, so i'd been using the upstairs door of my place - however, someone has locked it, meaning i can't get out. it is not so fun. i've called and emailed everybody whose number i know, and my next step is to either knock down the door, try to take the metal grate off the windows (they are all barred) or call the cops and give them the outside key, so they can come in and unlock the door that goes downstairs. pretty ridiculous.

12/26/2005

so I'm getting really sick of these year end list / year in review shows on TV now. they have them for everything - best sports moments, best talk show moments, best show about tacos, whatever. how about some actual crap on TV that I haven't seen before? And when it comes to the best sports moments on ESPN, i've already seen and heard about these things 8,000 times. We get it, Terrell Owens was a jerk, ok, shut up about it now. Yes, steroids was big news, now tell me something new. It's like some kind of worship of the past or something. And the worst kind of this show is when they do the "I Love the 80s" style lists and have random people trying to make little funny quips about "the year's biggest scandals" or whatever - shut up! Jokes cease to be funny when there are 50 of the same kind of jokes in a minute, all about stuff I don't care about. I could give a shit about what place Jude Law's nanny or whatever was in the biggest scandals of the year. In fact, I could give a shit about it when it happened. She wasn't my nanny, so who cares. TV needs to get a life.

12/25/2005

so it's Christmas, Merry Christmas everybody. My pal "Janevsky" made a good point in an email to me: how can Santa deliver presents to kids in DC and New York City? There are no-fly zones there. Kids within however many blocks of the White House are out of luck I guess, unless Santa lands and catches a cab all over town or something. But they'd probably charge a lot for carrying all his stuff, he'd go bankrupt. I mean, I assume that it's pretty cheap to run the sleigh, all you have to do is feed reindeer, but a bunch of cabs - that's big dollars. I wonder how Santa is funded? Big philanthropists? Licensing from t-shirts and costumes and stuff? Some sort of pyramid scheme?

Here's the site NORAD has for Santa. I wasn't aware that government agencies like NORAD used the .org ending. You think it'd be .gov or .mil - like Santa.mil

also, it looks like the site's video flyovers are using Google Earth and maybe ArcScene or ArcGlobe for those geography nerds out there.

12/23/2005

so the Assrockers, who I think are the best band in DC, have a new CD out, "Suggestive Material." They're pretty good and funny, they play kind of joke hard rock, but it's pretty good music, and they're very fun in concert. It's a very dry, winking sort of joke, in that half the people at the shows think they're hilarious, and half think they are completely serious and a cool rock band. They have songs like "MILF," "Ain't Too Drunk" and songs about trucker speed. You can get some of their mp3s on their Myspace page and also on their website. They're playing at Feb 4 at the Warehouse Next Door in DC, as well as Philly, Boston, NYC etc.

12/21/2005

so I was fooling around on iTunes the other day and I noticed you can add album covers to the iPod pretty easily, which is cool, you just drag the image over from wherever - I was using Amazon. But doing this a few times got me thinking how album covers are sort of obsolete now - I don't really think I would recognize one of the CDs I've bought recently, because I basically take it out of the case, put it on my iPod, then put it in a binder, and put the case wherever. Which is too bad, because some of the album covers are pretty cool, like Kanye West's new album, for instance. It's good that the iPod shows the album covers when you play the songs, but I wonder if albums as a physical thing will be obsolete. I mean, I guess they already are to some extent. Which would suck, because I always used to like opening the CD, which is always a pain in the ass, and smelling the new paper smell of the booklet, and perusing the liner notes or whatever photos they had in the booklet as I listened to the CD. I'm sure vinyl would have been even better, but I never really had any of those.

12/20/2005

so I was thinking about Kwanzaa, and how lots of people make fun of it, me included. I guess this is because it's a made up holiday, but really, most holidays are made up holidays. I mean, Jesus was supposedly born in 6 BC in March or some other time, not December, and Valetines Day? Come on. I don't think Saint Valentine went around giving out candy hearts and stuff. I mean, holidays are fun and all, but I think anything that causes people to get stressed out is kind of the opposite of the reason for holidays. I am just going to celebrate Toyotathon and nothing else.

Also, here are some reasons why Jesus is greater than Santa Claus.
so I saw this crazy thing awhile ago, it's very funny. check it out.

There's also a Christmas one of Chewbacca.

Apparently it and other things like it are called "ytmnds," which is a website with an image, sometimes animated, and some kind of sound clip. YTMND stands for "you're the man now, dog" the line Sean Connery said in that movie, "Finding Forrester." I guess the most famous one is Tom Cruise zapping Oprah with death rays. There are a lot of really good ones on the website, ytmnd.com.

My favorites are the Lindsay Lohan Doesn't Change Facial Expressions one, cuppy cake gum drops, Finnish Duck Tales vs Swedish Duck Tales, spread my stapler and fly away and the one about math


Wikipedia
has info on the site too.

I am addicted to Nerf basketball


dunk
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so we've had a little magnetic dartboard in my cubicle for awhile, which is fun. One of my other coworkers has a football we toss around. However, the other day, another coworker got a Nerf basketball hoop, and I can not stop playing the thing. I was making up excuses to go into his office for awhile, "uh gee, did you get that email I sent" then I'd shoot a bunch of shots, but then I stopped with the excuses altogether and just go in and shoot it. I am getting pretty good at the "three pointer" which means from back against the wall. Check out the photo of me doing a monster dunk - note the ball flying down near my elbow. We did some sweet alley-oops too. I am gonna buy one for my room as well.

12/16/2005

so i found a few cool things on the internet lately. For one, my pal Chris is selling a glass head. If i had room, I'd buy it.

Also, I found this page about General Mills cereals. I was looking for stuff on Count Chocula, and they also have bits on Boo Berry and Frankenberry, and even two I'd never heard of, Fruit Brute and Yummy Mummy. I don't really think of mummies as yummy, but hey.

And I found a really cool site calledAbandonia where you can download tons of old video games for free, like the original Civilization, Civ II, and tons of other stuff I remember playing back in the day.

12/14/2005

so it's like the perfect storm of bad news for the Bush administration:

Bob Novak Says President Knows Leak Source


Bush: Iraq Invasion my Responsibility

House Panel Subpoenas Rumsfeld on Katrina

good luck getting reelected now!
so sometimes I really hate Metro and the people who ride Metro - I want to beat the crap out of it and them. Today I walked to the Shaw/Howard U stop at 8:10, and that is three stops from where I work, Judiciary Square. So I should have been at work at 8:25 at the latest. When I got to the platform, the sign said "Green line 7 minutes" which is about 5 minutes longer than I usually wait - but the train didn't come for at least 15, which is ridiculous. And of course, for no good reason, the Yellow line trains don't share the track at Shaw-Howard. Eventually they started saying stuff about delays, but I only heard Greenbelt, which is the opposite direction. When the train finally showed up it was packed with people, and about half of us on the platform couldn't fit in, so we all got pissed and moved back while the folks on the train tried not to look at us. So we sat and waited for the next train, another 5 minutes. When I finally squeezed my way on that one and got to Gallery Place, I had to squeeze on the Red line, while some stupid morons in the middle of the train car had open seats next to them and didn't sit down. Maybe they were getting off soon (although I got off before they did anyway), but even so, offer it so somebody else, shitheads. I just now signed up for the Metro eAlerts, which is good - if I had known the Green line was delayed, I would have walked to the Convention Center stop and taken the Yellow. But I wish there was some kind of Metro Jerk Police who would fine morons who don't move towards the middle, don't walk on the left, etc. If they're having so much trouble with funding, why not fine idiots, it's a limitless resource.

12/13/2005

so I think I figured out why I don't like it when I hear songs in commercials - it's not because they "sold out" or whatever, but when I hear that song again, it reminds me of the product. I guess that's the idea, but when I hear a song I like, I don't want to think of M&Ms or Hondas or Outback Steakhouse or whatever, I want to think of whatever memories I have with the song, or whatever the song is about. Especially "Baby Got Back" and Lil Kim songs.

In other news, I found a pretty neat site listing celebrities' political donations. It has tons of people. Most give to Democrats, like P. Diddy, who gave money to Al Sharpton and Hillary Clinton, while all the country music people, game show hosts (Pat Sajak, Wink Martindale, Bob Barker, Art Linkletter, even Trebek) and wrestlers are 100% Republican. And Prince, too.

Also, there is a guy named Peter Bonerz. Haha.

12/11/2005

so I was flipping channels today and saw these two bizarre looking basketball teams playing. It turns out it was the Wizards and Bulls in some terrible looking throw-back jerseys, like really just ugly. The Wizards one is from the 70s, and looks like costume for one of the bad guy's minions in a James Bond movie, while the Bulls look like some kind of weird pajamas, or some kind of lame 1950's Harlem Globetrotters unis. I don't know if the Bulls are really bad or the unis just make them look like terrible, unathletic dudes. And Kirk Hinrich especially looks like a doofy 50's ball player. Bob Cousy or something.

This page has some more photos of the game.

12/10/2005

Stone IPA is great


stoneIPA
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
so I am drinking this beer currently, it's amazing. I've had it before but forgotten how good it is - it's got a great aroma, very strong and flowery hops smell, and it tastes super fresh. The hops flavor is pretty strong, but it's not bitter, it's just a great, strong, crisp, flowery hops taste. And note the belgian lace on the glass, the bubbles still on there - it means the beer is fresh. This is honestly the freshest tasting beer I've had in a long time - it's from the Whole Foods on P Street. I recommend it very strongly for anybody who likes hops or pale ales, and then hope that you offer it to some pals who don't, because I bet they'll still like it. Stone makes some great beers, mostly very hoppy and with a ton of flavor. One of my favorite breweries.

12/09/2005

so here are some fun links and things. my pal "Janevsky" sent me this article from Slate about Tecmo Bowl, one of the best sports video games ever. I consider its sequel, Tecmo Super Bowl, to be the best video game in history, hands down. I still play it too (see the webpage).

Also, my pal Don posted a hilarious thing about Chuck Norris. It is great.

And Shaq got sworn in as a Miami Beach reserve police officer. I think Shaq is a cool dude.

12/08/2005

so I shot some peas out of my nose the other day. I was eating dinner and one went down the wrong pipe, so I coughed. My nose felt funny and I had to sneeze, so I grabbed a kleenex, and a pea appeared. Then I blew my nose and a couple more popped into the kleenex. pretty cool. my mouth was closed, and i definitely felt them come out my nose. it didn't hurt or anything - good thing they were peas and not peanuts or something.

In other news, I thought this article about a volcano in Vanuatu was pretty interesting. The land form is really wild, a lake in a crater surrounded by the ocean. Check out the photos on there too. Here's a map and a little more about the place.

12/07/2005

GW 78-Maryland 70


gw
Originally uploaded by squidpants.
So I went to the BB&T Classic Monday at the MCI Center, where #19/21 GW beat #17/20 Maryland. It was pretty nervewracking and great.

The game was the first time since 1955 that the teams had played each other while both ranked in the top 25. It was a pretty big win, even bigger because GW beat Maryland last year in the same tournament, thus pretty much cementing the fact that GW is the best team in the area lately. Despite being dismantled last year, Maryland fans kept saying it was a fluke, a bad game, etc. After the game, Maryland coach Gary Williams, classy as always, came up with a laundry list of reasons why they lost, none of which had anything to do with GW beating them at their own game - he said they turned it over to much, he didn't prepare the team adequately, complained that his team had to play Minnesota (boo hoo - MN lost to Gardner-Webb earlier) and that his team played in Hawaii awhile ago and was tired. Pretty lame.The crowd was pretty heavily pro-Maryland, I'd say 3:1 or so, although GW's student section was bigger, which was odd.


I knew it was going to be a good night, because I saw the guy I call the Shaw Samurai hanging out at the Gallery Place-Chinatown Metro while I was waiting for my pal to show up. We went to an owl-themed restaurant before the game, which was terrible, then walked over to the MCI Center in time to miss the tip-off. Our seats in the first half were ok, pretty much right behind the basket on the floor level, so the other basket was pretty small. I was pretty rowdy I guess in the first half, yelling and making fun of bad Maryland passes and cheers and stuff. I was decidely more calm in the second half, I guess because the game was tight.

It was pretty sloppy and rough in the first half, lots of called and uncalled hard fouls, bad passes, missed alley-oops, etc, but GW had a slight lead at halftime, despite pretty bad shooting, sub 30%. We moved to much better seats second half, on the side about 6 rows back from the court, near the GW basket. They were prety sweet. In the second half GW gradually pulled away, despite 5 key guys playing with 4 fouls - Pops Mensah-Bonsu (9 pts, 8 reb) and JR Pinnock (19 pts, 8 reb), both of whom fouled out, Mike Hall (14 pts, 12 reb), Omar Williams and Carl Elliott. Most of the guys played great (including sophomore Maureece Rice, who scored 19), but I was particularly impressed with Elliott, the point guard. He played good defense, scored 11, and at one point after a big crash into a Maryland player, ended up hitting the floor head first. He was on the ground for a long time, maybe 5 minutes, and when he got up there was a pool of blood. He went to bench, got stitches, and came back soon after with a big bandaid on his head and played the rest of the game, hitting the key free throws to finish the game out. (The Hatchet has a photo of the gash in its slideshow.) And at the end of the game, Carl was dribbling the clock out, my little group of GW fans were cheering and pointing at him and he was looking back at me, both of us like "Yeah, we did it." Corny I know, but it was pretty awesome.

It was a pretty sweet win though, GW played great, scoring when they needed to, getting stops on defense, shrugging off some terrible calls by the refs. At one point GW was up by nine, then Chris McCray from Maryland hit 3 three-pointers in a row in about 40 seconds, tying it up. But GW just kept going, got a few baskets in a row and some defensive stops, and led the rest of the game.

The crowd was pretty well-behaved, which was good, besides a jerk in a suit behind me. The guy was probably in his 50s or 60s, and looked like a respectable doctor of professor, not a jerky-looking guy. When we'd do something awesome, like an alley-oop or a three point play, I'd stand up and cheer, briefly, which is what normal fans do at sporting events. I stood a handful of times in the second half, probably 2 or 3, but I'd always sit down right afterwards, since I don't want to block peoples' view (as some Maryland dudes were doing in front of me, during free throws and everything else.) After a foul where we still scored, when action stopped, I was standing and clapping, and the guy behind me yelled "sit your ass down!" I turned around and said, "man, nothing is happening!" which it wasn't, players were just milling around, I think it was a TV time out or something. He kept saying "sit your stupid ass down, you're annoying me" and stuff like that, and I was saying "man, you're being a complete dick," which was true. I kept pointing out nothing was going on, but he was not convinced, it was ridiculous. His friend was kind of amused and said "hey, let's just agree, he's a dick, you're annoying," which I said sure, that's fine, but the other dude kept going "sit your ass down, sit your ass down" over and over. I sat down furious, but about a minute later him and his pal left, since Maryland was about to lose. So I made sure to wave goodbye and have a nice day sir and things of that nature. It's funny what a game will do to grown people (me included, as I was goading him).


Here's a few good articles on the game:
Post column by Mike Wise about GW and the BB&T - pretty sweet. My fav quote: "With the Terps experiencing growing pains and Georgetown content to fly cross-country rather than to drive across town, the Colonials are making their case, one dunk on Maryland at a time."
Post game article
Fox Sports article about Pops and the team by Yoni Cohen of yocohoops.com. Pretty good analysis.
GW Hatchet article

12/04/2005

so I was watching this interesting show on Roman engineering, and they had various professors on there talking about stuff. Towards the end, they were talking about the fall of Rome, and had a guy on there talking, and the text said "Peter Weller - Syracuse University." Peter Weller was Robocop! It sounded like him and I had a couple of pals study abroad in Florence on a Syracuse-sponsored program, and they had classes with Peter Weller. They said he was a real pretentious jerk - my pal Alex said he went up to him once and said "hey man, I really liked Robocop" and he said "well I was in a lot of other things, including award-winning plays, but you wouldn't know about that" or something along those lines. His IMDB entry says he's now a professor at Cuse and is "very popular." Apparently he's still doing movies too, according to IMDB. Pretty kooky.

Here's an about him, from the NY Daily News. odd.
so I was walking to a bar last night, and there was the weirdest precipitation. it was like tiny little hailstones, or frozen snowflakes or something. They were coming down faster then snowflakes do, and they made noise when they hit stuff, it sounded like we were walking inside a rainstick. I remember from geography class that there was some kind of rare precipitation form and I looked it up, it's called graupel. So it was either that or snow grains. It wasn't freezing drizzle because it made a lot of noise hitting stuff, like tree leaves and cars, a little psshhh noise. Pretty weird stuff.

12/02/2005

so I found this really funny video of a lady rocking out with a keytar - she is going absolutely nuts on that thing. The weird part is that the keytar is on a stand, I never knew there was a such a thing.

the weird thing is that I found the video while looking for pictures of Hurra Torpedo, the band that did the cover of "Total Eclipse of the Heart" on kitchen appliances. Apparently they are now sponsored by Ford and are on tour in the US. I would love to see them. The journal on their very professional site (looks like Ford made it) says they broke up or something on November 8th. It does seem kind of fishy though, the whole story kind of seems like it's not real. Maybe the guy who was posting comments here before claiming that it was all part of a Ford marketing campaign was right. Still interesting though.

12/01/2005

so I read today that Metro is going to put signs that say "Walk on the left, stand on the right" in stations. This is good news. I hate it when stupid tourists or other dummies stand where I would otherwise be walking, and thus block everybody and make me miss the train.

Also, my coworker sent me this completely messed up article: a guy cut off his balls after his favorite rugby team won, and he's not too sure why. Apparently he told his pals "if we win, I'll cut my balls off!" Though usually when people make statements like that ("I'll eat my hat") they don't actually do it. It's called "exaggeration." His description of doing it is so matter-of-fact and weird, the guy must be a psychopath. But a self-psychopath or something. I bet there is a word for that.