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August 2004

Won't somebody please think of the Twinkies?!

I am a Stranger in the Tastykake land. I feel much more at home with a Hostess baked good at my beck and call, however just try and get one in Philly (it ain't easy).

Anyway it looks like it might get even tougher to get any Twinkies, anywhere, at least according to this article:

There's an old saying in the business world when a sale seems all but assured: It was as easy as selling Hostess Twinkies.

That may no longer be true. Interstate Bakeries Corp., the maker of Twinkies, Drake's, Wonder Bread and other products, said yesterday its future may be in grave doubt, in part because Americans are cutting back on sugary baked goods, and investors sent the company's stock plummeting a stunning 42 percent in heavy trading.

What is the world coming to? People, eat carbs damn it!

Another Conversation with the Boss

As I have established before, I am 27 and some people find that hard to believe.

Today, I scheduled a meeting with my boss to talk about my future at my job (and the meeting went well), however there was a very strange interlude. I was talking about my background and it went a little like this:

Me: "I graduated in '99."

Boss: "Undergrad?" (sounding a little shocked)

Me: "Yes, why?"

Boss: "How old are you?"

Me: "How old do you think I am?"

Boss: "Mid- 30's I guess."

Me (a little surprised): "Nope, I'm 27."

Boss: "But you went gray early, right?"

Me: "Yes, yes I did. Nice of you to notice."

And this was after she told me I looked very young today (since I shaved off my beard this morning).


heroI saw Hero with Dave (although he prefers to be called David) this Saturday. He gets a bunch of free movie passes, so I didn't even have to pay, so that was very cool indeed. However, I would not have felt cheated if I had to pay to see this movie.

This is one of the most beautiful movies I have seen in a very long time. The colors are vibrant, the set pieces are massive, and the fights are more than just fights, it is like the characters are dancing.

I do think the crowd at the movie theater was not expecting the movie that they got. I overheard some people saying, "I bet the fights are going to have blood spurting out all over the place," and their friend replied, "Well it is a Quentin Tarintino movie." I knew they are in for a shock, since QT (as I call him) may have had a hand in this American release of the movie, but he had nothing to do with the actual production of the film.

There is a lot of floating about, very much like Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and the crowd did giggle a bit the first time Jet Li floated across the screen.

Overall, swords up for Hero.

Getting the most out of Netlifx, the way

Secrets of Netflix - How to Maximize your Netflix Rentals:

Netflix Distribution Centers
At last count, Netflix has 28 distribution centers. They are located in: Atlanta, GA; Birmingham, AL; Boston, MA; Chattanooga, TN; Chicago, IL; Cleveland, OH; Dallas, TX; Denver, CO; Fort Lauderdale, FL; Greensboro, NC; Houston, TX; Lakeland, FL; Los Angeles, CA; Minneapolis, MN; New York, NY; Newark, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Phoenix, AZ; Portland, OR; Richmond, VA; Rochester, NY; St. Louis, MO; San Jose, CA; Seattle, WA; Stamford, CT; Tampa, FL; Washington, DC. I notice a lot of the high tech cities, like San Jose, Seattle, Greensboro have a Netflix distribution center. Gotta satisfy us geeks! If you live within one mailing day of any of these cities, you will get your next Netflix title in one business day. I have no idea how close you have to be to these cities to be able to receive DVDs in one day.

Philly has a distribution center, sweet! I often wondered why I got my DVD's so quickly. Now I just need to work on watching them in a timely fashion and I will be in like Flynn.

Sick as a parrot

I enjoy watching various British television shows; Keeping Up Appearances, The Office, Are You being Served, The Britas Empire, and The Black Adder to name a few. A&E has a show called Airline UK, which is a documentary style show following the trails and tribulations of various employees of Easy Jet.

I am watching Airline UK at the moment, and the narrator asked a woman how she felt since she may not make it to her destination, and she answered, "Sick as a parrot, actually."

I have no idea what that means, but I like it.

Aaron Burr

theduelIt might be just me, but everywhere I look I see something about the famous duel between Mr. Burr and Alexander Hamilton. Of course, I am in the midst of reading Duel,
so I might be sensitive to it all.

However, this year does mark the 200th anniversary of that fateful day, so that might have something to do with it.

Even though I am not finished with the book, I highly recommend it. I have learned many fascinating things, for example who knew that Aaron Burr was almost President instead of Thomas Jefferson? I sure didn't, but now I do.

Safari Link Generator Script

Many people ask me, "Hey Scott, What is Sara Lee's slogan? I think it is 'Nobody Doesn't Like Sara Lee,' but that is a double negative."

To which I reply, "Silly person, the slogan is 'Nobody does it like Sara Lee."

No one has ever asked me, "Scott, do you have any Applescripts that make blogging much easier for you?"

In fact I do, but you would never know since you would never ask me.

However, being the good person that I am I thought I would share with everyone.

Basically this script takes whatever URL is in the active Safari window and pops up a window asking you to enter some text for a link to that URL. This works best if you have the Script Menu installed and know how to set up Application folders.

Anyway, the contents on the script can be found in the extended entry (to save all you non-Mac people the bother).

Continue reading "Safari Link Generator Script" »

Another job well done, Apple

I spend alot of my time pounding the keys of my PowerBook, actually that isn't entirely true. I do spend alot of time hitting keys, but on my Apple Wireless Keyboard (bluetooth,baby!).

The status of the link between my PowerBook and keyboard is displayed in the top menu bar:


This is great because I can tell if I am in range of my keyboard or my mouse just by glancing up (at the moment I am out of range). However, it has an added bonus, that until a few days ago I had not idea existed.

It seems that the batteries in my keyboard were running low (one of the draw backs of wirelessness), but I had no idea this was happening, until I looked up and saw this:


I clicked on the flashing icon and I found this:


Pretty cool if you ask me.

Apple iPod + HP

hpipodHP finally unvieled the Apple iPod + HP that it will be shipping, and surprise! It is exactly like the one Apple ships in both appearance and price. Most people who watch such things were expecting the HP iPod to be blue, but it is in fact white.

I have a feeling that HP and Apple are going to sell a boat load of these, assuming that supply of tiny harddrives holds up.

Oh, and check out these crazy new printable 'iPod tattoos' that HP came out with.

The iPod has a new magical option called 'Shuffle'

What the hell, New York Times Circuits?

It may be a slow day in the tech news biz when the New York Times Circuits publishes an article about the iPod's shuffle option.

It seems some people believe that the iPod has a preference in the music it plays, or possesses mystical abilities to read the mood of the listener and play the proper tunes.

I know what you're thinking, 'Those crazy mac users!' Not so fast there buddy, I am willing to bet that most of the people interviewed for this article are PC people (and I bet that Apple sells more PC iPods than Mac iPods, but since they don't report the sales of the two separately we may never know).

Stan Ng, the director of iPod Marketing, says:

"The funny thing about it is that it really is random," he said. "When you turn on Shuffle Songs, it creates a randomized list of all the music on your iPod without repeating a song."

Say it ain't so, Stan! You mean my iPod isn't reading my mind? What a rip off.

I suggest all iPod users immediately start an online petition to make Apple imbue all future iPods with psychic abilities. That's what Thomas Paine would do if he were alive today, and you're better than him, aren't you?

Imagine how much porn will fit on one!

Holographic recording technology records data on discs in the form of laser interference fringes, enabling existing discs the same size as today's DVDs to store as much as one terabyte of data (200 times the capacity of a single layer DVD), with a transfer speed of one gigabyte per second (40 times the speed of DVD). This approach is rapidly gaining attention as a high-capacity, high-speed data storage technology for the age of broadband.

Whenever I read something like this I am reminded of Parkinson's Law of Data:

“Data expands to fill the space available for storage”

I just can't wait for my 40 terabyte iPod.

Is that Google on your beltbuckle or are you just happy to see me?

Proving that even people who run a popular blog have too much time on their hands, I give you The Search Engine Belt Buckle:

It was a late August Saturday night in Seattle, we decided not only to hit the dance floor, but boogie on down in a whole new way. All the cats in town are wearing big belt buckles now, so we thought, hey, here’s our chance to show the world our latest hack, the Search Engine Belt Buckle.

No, I don't have a Blackberry.

It really puts things in perspective when you talk to your boss and the conversation goes like this:

Me: "Yeah, he is always having trouble with his Blackberry."

Boss: "True. You have one of those, don't you?"

Me: "A Blackberry?"

Boss: "Yes."

Me: "No, why?"

Boss: "Well, whenever you are out sick or on vacation you always respond to email quickly. I just figured, 'OK, he has a Blackberry with him.'"

Me (over Boss' laughter): "Nope, I just have a compulsive need to check my email."

Boss: "That'll do it."

Me: "But I would really like a HP iPAQ Pocket PC h6315."

Boss: "I don't see any reason for you not to get one."

So, even after the crushing realization that I have some deep mental problems, I am happy because I get a new toy! I mean, productivity enhancer, yeah that's what I meant.

Work for Sun, Get a TV

Calvin Austin writes about 10 years at Sun:

So 10 years at Sun. nearly a third of that time was spent with J2SE 5.0. You get to choose a gift, I chose a small flatscreen tv, far nicer than an ornate clock or engraved crystalware you get at some companies.

I still don't really know too much about Sun and its technology but after reading many of the Sun Blogs it seems like a really great place to work.

I am all about corporate blogs, I think it really lets people like me find out about a company, and lets people who know the products well get to know even more.

Keep it up, Sun!

Continuing my rambling about PocketPC's

ipaqvipaqWell I have decided that I am getting an Ipaq, and since I know all my lovely readers really care about which one I end up buying, so here are the two finalists:

I have almost bought the iPAQ h4350 a few times, but they were all sold out each time I asked about it.

Both of these devices would do nicely for me. The h4350 is faster, but the h6315 would act as my cell phone and my PDA, plus I could get rid of my land line and enter the 21st century. The only thing that is holding me back from getting the h6315 is the cost of the plan. For $80 a month (yes, you read that correctly), you get 1000 anywhere minutes, unlimited GPRS, and unlimited access to T-Mobile HotSpots. Factoring in that I would replace my work phone with this phone, and get rid of my home phone it isn't that expensive.

However, I really do like the integrated keyboard that the h4350 offers, but at least the h6315 has a detachable keyboard.

I am leaning towards the h6315, but I can't help but wonder, What would Jesus do?

The Summer of Scott maybe 'The Autumn of Scott'

As I have mentioned before, I would like to travel to Ireland, and it looks like the dream lives on!

A co-worker of mine decided that he wants to take a trip, and since we get along very well (he kinda reminds me of Glenn), we though it might be fun to go together

Anyway, the point of this post is that Mobissimo Travel seems to have some great fares ($450 round trip to Ireland).

If I do end up going I will take lots of pictures, have no fear. I may even raise a pint or two even though I don't drink.

Sweet Home Alabama

sweetalabWhat can I say about Reese Witherspoon? Of course she is a very good actor, and she is very easy on the eyes, and one of her ancestors signed the Declaration of Independence.

So, it is with a heavy heart that I declare this movie to be neither sweet nor Alabama (I am not sure what that means, but hey I am trying to be clever here). Predictable to the last minute, there are no surprises in this film. I suppose some women might like the part where Reese's character is lead into Tiffany's and told to pick whatever ring she wants, but that didn't do much for me.

I did like Murphy Brown though.

Comic Book Villians

comicbookvillainsWhat happens when a lifelong comic book collector that lives with his mother dies in a town with two competing comic book stores, and he leaves behind a massive comic book collection? Well, that is the question this movie poses, not exactly earth shattering. But is it entertaining?

Not really. Who is the target audience of this movie? The movie pretty much shows comic book collectors in a very negative light, and the only way the main character finds happiness is by 'out growing' his comics and traveling the world.

So, if you make fun of the comic book geeks, who do you have left? No one else cares about these geeks and the small details of super heros they obsess over. Take it from me, I was a hardcore comic book guy for awhile, and then the mid 90's rolled around and the business men started speculating in comic books. Suddenly every comic was reset to issue #1, because they were thought to be worth more, and it seemed every comic had some kind of crappy holographic cover, even the Archie comics.

Bottomline, this forgettable movie isn't worth your time, go pick up a copy of the Fantastic Four instead.