Monday, March 28, 2011

Limitless

Mark had today off, so he and I went to see a matinee showing of the movie Limitless. It was shot in Philadelphia, even though the story was based in NYC, so one of the reasons we went to see it was to play "spot the landmark". They were doing some filming near Mark's workplace, and he saw things like street signs temporarily converted to New York intersections and SEPTA Subway-Surface stations temporarily disguised as New York subway stations. So it piqued his curiosity and he tracked down a used copy of the out-of-print book on which the movie was based: The Dark Fields by Alan Glynn. Fear not, no spoilers exist in the upcoming paragraphs.

The premise of the movie is what happens when a man obtains a supply of a drug that unlocks the full potential of the human brain. Although, as one would expect, there are major repercussions to ingesting such a substance (both medical and human, as in "having any connection to this stuff puts you in line to meet bad guys"), all I could think of were the potential benefits to be had if such a drug existed. I kept thinking, "Give me some of that drug and I'd go into the field of medical research. Imagine the disease cures I could discover with a four-digit IQ!" Mind you, I don't even like taking aspirin if I don't have to. But for the opportunity to leave the world a way, WAY better place than I found it? Yeah, that's a tradeoff I'd make.

Of course, the downside to such a drug existing, besides the health impact and those pesky Bad Guys, would be pretty major. The film didn't touch on the possible global implications of a renegade scumbag in a position of power taking the stuff. But I can imagine that a person like that would have the ability to turn the world into an even bigger dystopia than it already is. In which case, maybe we're all better off that said super-drug exists only in the realm of the imagination.

But oh, the good things that could result, if only that drug were real. I can picture it now.

Mr. Pakistan is back

After nearly a month of no calls, I thought "Filippe from Pakistan" had finally figured out I wasn't going to pick up the cell phone calls, and was done calling me.

Wrong. I just got two calls in a row from the Pakistani phone number. Sigh. Welcome (back) to my IGNORE button, whoever you are. I suppose I should be glad the call's not at the crack of dawn, like his first few attempts were.

Goalies, goalies, goalies, WOO!

It says here that Goalie Guild has acquired The Goalie Post, a fantasy goalie website. Goalie fantasies! Yes! My kind of site!

::clicks on link::

Oh, wait. That's not what they mean by "fantasy goalie". Aw. Darn. ;-)

Goalie Guild acquires The Goalie Post

Monday, March 21, 2011

Aha. Photoworks mystery solved.

Aha. I got an email a few days ago stating that the Photoworks site was closing, and I had the option of transferring my 951 images to Shutterfly.

I couldn't imagine for the life of me how I'd gotten nearly 1000 photos onto a site without having the faintest idea what they were. So I authorized the transfer.

They're available for viewing now. Ta-da! They're the images I used to have on AOL, back when AOL had a photo division. AOL transferred them to Photoworks when their photo division closed, and I completely forgot that they'd done it.

It's good to know what the heck the photos were. :-)

Mini day!

One year ago today, I met a very tiny dog. :-) It was an adoption event at the Wells Fargo Center during a Flyers game. The instant I saw her, I knew she was MY dog. I started twisting Mark's arm till he agreed to letting me enquire after the dog from the rescue organization. Which led to the existence of our NEXT Miniversary, when she came home on 4/10/10. :-)

I hate having to be snarky

I hate having to make snarky posts, but I had no choice a little while ago.

After days of seeing conservative pundits criticize the President for not taking action to support the protesters in Libya, he has lent support to the UN's recently-established No-Fly Zone. At which point, a conservative person who's a Facebook friend of mine posted a critique of the President that says, "Who do you think you are, interfering in Libya?"

The contradiction is enough to make a rational person's head explode, but part of my Lent is not ranting online, so I didn't go off on the poster. I did, however, mention that the President is d-mned if he does, d-mned if he doesn't, and that until he took this action, conservatives had been lambasting him for not doing enough.

Some other conservative person, a friend of the original poster, responded, "Bah bah bah."

I was in serious danger of breaking my Lent at this point. But instead, I responded, "Yes, people who are unable to see contradictions in political situations, regardless of whether they like or dislike an individual, ARE sheep."

Farging icehole. I bet he's among the hypocrites who complained when Obama hadn't taken action yet in Libya, and is complaining now.

P.S. The critique that the original person posted the link to was from none other than Farrakhan. Never thought I'd live to see the day when conservatives would be getting their ammunition from Louis freaking Farrakhan. Maybe it IS the end times after all.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Paws for Japan

Here is some more information on ways to help the people and pets of Japan, who've suffered through earthquakes and tsunami waves, and are now dealing with a crisis at a damaged nuclear plant.

Paws for Japan


Please click on the link to help WorldVets, a 501(c)3 relief organization. All donations will go directly to WorldVets.

CLICK HERE for more info on WorldVets and their efforts to assist in the Japan relief effort.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Photoworks to Shutterfly

Photoworks sent me an email that their site's closing and I could transfer my 951 photos to Shutterfly.

My first thought was, "I have an account with Photoworks? 951 pictures' worth, yet?"

But I think I know what they are. I used to belong to a site called ClubPhoto. *That* site closed and I had to transfer a ton of pictures elsewhere. I'm wondering if Photoworks is the destination site from THAT transfer.

Now that I've authorized the transfer, I can't actually go look at my photos and see what they are. But when the transfer completes, I'll go have a look at the pictures and then I'll know when and where they were taken.

Edit to add: Nope. Club Photo transferred their images to Winkflash. So I'm still in the dark as to how I got nearly 1000 images onto a site that I don't even remember having an account with.

I wonder if I used them in the process of creating one of the Phantoms Phan Club player scrapbooks? I used to take, and print, tons of game photos for those books. I guess I'll just have to wait "up to 48 hours" until my images can be viewed. Mysteries, mysteries.

Six carafes of cold-brewed coffee

Six full carafes of cold-brewed coffee. Think it'll be enough? ;-)

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Japan/Pacific Earthquake and Tsunami

From the Red Cross's site http://american.redcross.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ntld_nolnav_text2help, which you can visit to see complete information on how to make this donation:

On March 11, an earthquake struck Japan near the city of Sendai, which caused damage and generated a powerful tsunami which struck northern Japan and spread across the Pacific.

Your $10 gift to the American Red Cross will support our disaster relief efforts to help those affected by the earthquake in Japan and tsunami throughout the Pacific. On those rare occasions when donations exceed American Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.

Charges will appear on your wireless bill, or be deducted from your prepaid balance. All purchases must be authorized by account holder. Message & Data Rates May Apply. Text STOP to 90999 to STOP. Text HELP to 90999 for HELP.

The images on the news of the earthquake and the tsunami it spawned are appalling. The devastation is worse than anything that anybody could imagine in even a worst-case-scenario disaster movie. Send thoughts and prayers, and if you can send help in some way, send help too.

Friday, March 11, 2011

The Ghosts of Broad and Pattison


The Ghosts of Broad and Pattison. Top to bottom: Veteran's Stadium, The Spectrum, JFK Stadium. I never thought I'd see the day when all three of them would be gone.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Oh, my poor ears

I downloaded several iPod apps last weekend that are related to vision and hearing. I originally went on this search because I wanted to find apps that make John R's iPad more accessible. Unfortunately, the vision related apps all employ the camera, which it turns out the first-gen iPad doesn't have. Farg. But I digress.

One hearing-related app I downloaded is called TooLoud. It measures the decibel level of the room and tells you if the noise level is dangerously loud. So for fun, I fired up TooLoud at the Flyers game tonight. Good thing I had ear protection on, because the sound level I measured early on was between 90 and 95 That's far enough into the danger zone that I got a popup alert, warning me that the sound levels were at a damaging volume.

Now obviously, there's a difference between an iPod Touch and a professionally calibrated measuring device. But you won't catch me at another game without hearing protection, ever. I like my ears. Even though they have had tinnitus for 21 years, they still work more than well enough to get by, and I'd like to keep them that way for as long as possible.

I think I will post decibel levels for the next few games. After I tweeted my results early in tonight's game, the sound level dropped into the 80s for the rest of the night. It wouldn't surprise me if the Powers That Be (or their interns) monitor Twitter for the phrase "Wells Fargo Center" during events. If they realize that the volume levels have reached into the territory where it's an OSHA violation, maybe they'll rectify the situation.

Monday, March 07, 2011

DragonDictation

I have just discovered a free app called DragonDictation which will allow me to speak post and have it convert them into text. That's how I created this post right now.

This is going to make blogging from an iPhone or in this case iPod a lot easier.

Sunday, March 06, 2011

iDevices

It's a good thing that I got that iPod Touch a few weeks ago. It's my first iDevice ever, and I've immersed myself in learning to work it.

This practice has stood me in good stead for the past two days. Last night, Mark, JFM, John R, and I went to the Verizon store to see about getting John an iPad. The wireless internet connection that the store had set up for its iPads was malfunctioning. Because I know how to select a wireless connection on the iPod touch, I was able to navigate to the settings of the demo iPads to pick another working connection. As it was called "vzw ipad connection", or at least "vzw ipad..." something, I figured it belonged to the Verizon store and it would be OK to connect to it. And sure enough, both iPads connected without difficulty even though the hotspot was password protected, which means that someone, somewhere had already entered the password into the demo devices.

John was pleased enough with the iPad demonstration to buy one, so fast-forward to tonight after the iPad and its accompanying MiFi access point both had the time to charge fully. They asked me to set them up, which was when I discovered to my great displeasure that you HAVE to connect the iPad to a computer running iTunes in order to activate it. What. The. BLEEP. What if a person who buys an iPad doesn't OWN a freaking computer? Fortunately, we did have a computer available in order to do this, though I had to actually download and install iTunes on the computer in order to activate the iPad.

I don't begrudge Apple their insistence that their iDevices need iTunes to work, when they are connected to a computer. But I very much begrudge them their insistence that the iPad couldn't be activated unless it was hooked up to a computer running iTunes. The iPad should have been able to be activated all by itself, as a standalone device. PERIOD.

Yes, BTW, I know that the iPad 2 was just announced a couple days ago, and will become available on March 11. But John was willing to forego the newer model because he only plans to use his device for email, surfing the internet, and reading ebooks. Verizon said they'd make up the price differential, if the old model's price gets dropped by Apple when the new devices hit the market, so at least he'll be paying the fair market value for the original model when all is said and done.

I do have to say, iPads are really nice devices. I've got equipment that would fill the role of the iPad, at the moment, so I'm not as concerned about getting one (or any tablet) just now. But it was nice to get some hands-on experience on one so I can know what I want to do farther down the road, when my current gear is no longer able to do what I need it to do.

Saturday, March 05, 2011

One of These Things

If you grew up watching Sesame Street, then you'll know the reference to the song, "One of These Things is Not Like the Others".

Well, I wound up humming it today while looking at the front page of the Inquirer's Entertainment section.

One article was about the Philadelphia Orchestra and the little-known Vivaldi flute concerto they just performed. The next one was about the opera Carmen, its composer, and the 3-D movie of said opera. The third was about the Pennsylvania Ballet ballerina who'd recently been in the movie Black Swan and was in Swan Lake now.

And the fourth article was about Donald Trump's latest version of his reality show, Celebrity Apprentice.

Cue the music, please:

One of these things is not like the others
Which one is it, do you know?
Can you tell me which thing is not like the others
And I'll tell you if it is so.

One of these things is not like the others
One of these things just doesn't belong
Can you tell me which thing is not like the others
By the time I finish this song?

Friday, March 04, 2011

Cats Can Count?

OK, how do they do it? Who taught the cats to count to one? Captain and Stanley each have a food bowl in the basement. They get fed their entire day's ration in the morning, and they eat it at their leisure. It's gone by the time breakfast time rolls around the next day, or at least it USED to be gone.

For the past several days, every time I go down there to feed them, I find ONE (1) piece of kibble left in each bowl. Just one. Both bowls. Every time. It's like they can't bear the sight of an empty cat food bowl, so they leave one morsel in there so the bowl won't feel lonely. Crazy critters. CLEVER critters! :-)