A modern analogy made possible “a long time ago…”

July 30, 2009

anakinFor supposedly being part of the fabled evil empire, I can think of so many other individuals / organizations where this segment of Anakin Skywalker’s dialogue from Star Wars Attack of the Clones (Episode 2) seems to fit well:

You really don’t like politicians, do you?

I like two or three, but I’m not really sure about one of them.  I don’t think the system works.

How would you have it work?

We need a system where the politicians sit down and discuss the problems, agree what’s in the best interests of all the people, and then do it.

That is exactly what we do. The trouble is that people don’t always agree.

Then they should be made to.

By whom? Who’s going to make them?

I don’t know. Someone.


Of course not me.

But someone.

Someone wise.

That sounds an awful lot like a dictatorship to me.

Well, if it works…

Digg This

HOWTO: Prevent Facebook advertisers from using your photos for their ads

July 24, 2009

Well, this is nasty:  Facebook has agreed to let third-party advertisers use your posted pictures WITHOUT your permission.

  1. Click on SETTINGS up at the top where you see the Log out link.
  2. Select Privacy.
  3. Select NEWSFEEDS and WALL.
  4. Select the tab that reads FACEBOOK ADS. There is a drop down box that reads “Only my friends”.
  5. Select NO ONE and click “SAVE CHANGES”.


Digg This

Deadliest Catch… web sites of the fishing vessels

July 15, 2009

I was watching “After the Catch”, a somewhat mild, advertisement-laden rehash of the season’s Deadliest Catch episodes on Discovery Channel where the captains sit down in a pub to talk about various topics with Cash Cab’s Ben Bailey.  Even though I fully realize After the Catch is designed simply to stretch out Discovery Channel’s opportunities to sell advertising, I have to admit:  I find it interesting enough to ‘keep from changing the channel’ after watching the new Tuesday episodes of Deadliest Catch.

image While watching, I noticed the back of Ben Bailey’s shirt read, “Get your CRABS from Phil”.  I fully admit, I loved the shirt and thought, “Hey!  I want one of those!”  Then I looked really carefully at the screen – Thank you Mitsubishi 65” High Definition Television – and I could read the very bottom of Ben’s shirt which said, “http://www.captainphilharris.com”. 

Are you kiddin’ me?  Captain Phil’s got a web site?  Hell yeah.

Then I turned up all the ship’s web sites. 

Then I bought a shirt.  Awright Cornelia Marie!


Incidentally, each of the sea captains actually COOKED something on After the Catch and posted the recipes online.  The crab stuffed mushrooms that Captain Phil made looked pretty tasty so I think I’m gonna aim to try to make those.

RECIPES:  http://dsc.discovery.com/fansites/deadliestcatch/after-the-catch-2009.html

Digg This

The Late Late Show Theme Song

July 14, 2009

imageLet’s all sing along!

The Late Late Show Theme Song
Written by Craig Ferguson

It’s hard to stay up
It’s been a long, long day
And you got the sandman at the door
But hang on, leave the TV on
And let’s do it anyway
It’s ok
You can always sleep through work tomorrow, OK?
Hey hey
Tomorrow’s just your future yesterday


p.s.  I like the Sheep Dog & the Shark.

Digg This

Top 10 Baby Name Suggestions I made that my Wife Rejected

July 8, 2009

LetMeKnowWhenGQCalls-FAR 10) Kal-El

9) Denny Crane

8)  Starbuck

7)  Pedro

6)  Master Chief

5)  Tiberius

4)  Octo-boy

3)  McLovin

2)  Beavis

…and #1…











1)  Darth

Digg This

Life as a Travelling Salesman: “Hotel rooms”

July 8, 2009

I got the idea to write this up after having travelled to Atlanta, GA on a business trip.  I caught up with some guys from Citrix Systems, a partner of our company that does a lot of road warrior sales as well.  One night we were eating Japanese and during a sake-filled stupor, a few of us started telling some of the funnier stories we’ve have about the travelling salesman’s life.  Here’s a few of them… one from me, others from some of the other guys:

imageThe Remote Control Condom”
Apparently, the single most disgusting, germ-ridden item in the hotel room is the TV remote control.  And it’s not just cold germs… it’s E.coli and other feces-originating bateria that linger on the ol’ clicker.  And when you think about it, it’s not that hard to believe.  Of all the things in the room that gets consistently touched by visitors bur frankly, never cleaned… the TV remote control tops the list.

That’s why you might want to consider “wrapping it” with the Remote Control condom.  Take the clear plastic bag out of your ice bucket, and put it over you hand.  Then with your newly gloved hand, grab the top end of the remote control and without touching the remote, pull the plastic bag off your hand and completely over the remote.  Then tie off the end at the bottom of the remote and use it to your heart’s content without ever touching the item.

image “The Deskchair Towel”
Let’s face it:  There’s been a few times in your life where you’ve been too lazy to put on any clothes.  Maybe you’re headed to bed, or you’re just getting out of the shower.  Use your imagination.  So you walk by your desk and… OOH.  Someone’s emailed you.  So you sit down in front of your laptop and start typing away.

What’s wrong with this picture?  Your rear end is officially pressed against the fabric/leather of the chair.  And that’s not that big a deal… until you think about the thousands upon thousand of people that did the exact same thing in the exact same chair that your sitting in right now.  Never mind that your butt might be antiseptic & germ-free… you should probably be thinking about how common it is for individuals with lousy ass hygiene to do email-in-the-buff.

The answer?  The Deskchair towel:  Get a towel, and simply drape it over the chair.  And leave it there for the stay of your trip.  Now feel free to email-away to your heart’s content.

The Housekeeping Tip”
One of the folks mentioned that he the day he arrives in his room – he leaves a $5 bill for housekeeping with an obvious note that clearly explains that the $5 was explicitly for housekeeping.  He explained that he’s seen secretly taped video recordings, particularly in commonly visited salespeople’s hotels where the housekeeping staff has done terrible things to an individuals toothbrush, pillows, and other personal items.

His logic?  Seriously:  It’s $5 all that much to ensure that housekeeping doesn’t do anything nasty to your personal items?

“Phone Humor”
This item had us in stitches for the ‘you’ve been forewarned’ factor alone.  It’s not a preventative measure as much as it is a prank.  I won’t describe the entire concept but simply put, one of the sales guys from Citrix told us about a comedian he saw that said every time he goes to a hotel he takes the phone handset and does unspeakable things with it.  Then he sets it back down on the phone.  He later calls back that room and kindly explains to the guest staying in that room the horrible things he’s done to the handset that they now have close up to their face.

So, so wrong.

“Spilled Orange Drink on Bedspread”
One of the filthiest items in your hotel room is the bedspread.  It is almost never cleaned/changed between guests and it’s a common surface upon which all people sit, lie down, eat, or… do other things upon.

So one of the guys said, that the first thing he did when he got into his room is buy an Orange soda, pour it into a glass, and subsequently pour the glass onto the bedspread.  “Oh no!,” he tells the operator on the phone.  “I’ve accidentally spilled my Orange soda on my bedspread.  Could someone please come bring me a clean one?”


(Incidentally, if you don’t believe it this stuff, check this little article out from Conde Nast Traveler:

Digg This

An interesting compilation of factoids from “21”/The MIT Blackjack Team

July 6, 2009

image The folks at Chasing the Frog put together a really nice list of Q&As from the movie “21” to help clear up what is true and what is false about the movie.  They go over who each of the characters in the movie really were in real life as well as where they are now.  There are also videos from John Chang, Jeff Ma, Mike Aponte, & Bill Kaplan.

More interestingly though, they answer some questions such as:

  • Was an MIT professor really the leader of the Blackjack Team?
  • Did Ben really join the blackjack team to earn money for med school?
  • Had the real Ben lost his father?
  • Was the romance in the movie real?
  • When did the real story take place?
  • Did Fisher really recruit Ben Campbell to play on the team?
  • Did everyone on the real MIT Blackjack Team attend MIT?
  • Who bankrolled the MIT Blackjack Team?
  • Did the team really use code words to represent the count?
  • What blackjack book is Ben reading on the airplane in the movie 21?
  • Where is the secret underground casino in Chinatown?
  • Were the former MIT team members upset that the movie didn’t reflect their mostly Asian ethnicity?
  • Did team members stuff money down their pants to get past airport security?
  • How do the former team members feel about the movie’s inaccuracies?
  • I heard that much of Ben Mezrich’s book is exaggerated and untrue?
  • Did Ben really lose control at the Red Rock and cost the team $200,000?
  • Is the Laurence Fishburne character based on an actual person?
  • Did any of the team members ever get beat up by casino security?
  • Did the MIT Blackjack Team ever use strippers to cash out their chips?
  • Did team members ever drink, visit strip clubs, or play slots during the trips?
  • Did a team leader steal $315k from a player after the player lost $200k by playing carelessly?
  • Did Ben really hide his winnings in the ceiling of his dorm room?
  • What is the most that the team ever won on a single trip?
  • What is the most that the team ever lost on a single trip?
  • Did the MIT team play at other locations besides Las Vegas?
  • Do any of the former MIT Blackjack Team members have cameos in the movie?
  • I heard that one of the players dressed like a woman to fool casino security?
  • Are any of the real life players featured in the History Channel documentary Breaking Vegas represented in the movie?
  • Are there still blackjack teams at MIT?
  • Were the campus scenes shot at the real MIT?


Digg This