Saturday, March 31, 2007

Vista GUI enhancements

Vista's new GUI is nice, but here are some additional enhancements I'd like to see. Vista has the ability to be molded by a program to recreate these behaviors. I just wish I knew how to program something to interact with Windows.

Lifted select

When you click and hold on a title bar of a window to move it, the window should zoom out a bit to make it look like it was lifted up off a flat service and is now higher than it was.


I want to grab a window that's on one side of the screen and fling my mouse and let go of the button and toss the window to the other side of the screen. This would be helpful to just getting little annoying windows out of the way. Maybe even have a little bounce or slide when they land or some light collision physics.

Minimize, Maximize, Restore, Close specials

More options to dissolve or have windows appear or change shape other than the slight current animation. Have them fade, burn, explode, flip, spin, shatter.

Tornado Flip 3D

If I have 5 IM windows open scattered on top of each other, it would be nice to use a button and the mouse wheel to spin them around a center axis bringing each one to the front thru the rotation. I dont always need to Flip thru ALL my open windows just one of the 10 IM's I have open to get to the person who responded with "k" and is making my shit blink.


Be able to shrink an open window down (think the middle between full size and minimized) on the desktop and be able to pile these up. And once in a pile I could spin thru them with the Tornado Flip 3D and zoom them back up or back down into their pile again.

If you decide to write a program to do one or all of these at least give me a free copy.

Also dont leave a comment with a YouTube link to a Beryl desktop. I've seen all that stuff already.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

I'm yelling "SHUT THE FUCK UP!" in my head right now.

There are many times in my life that the voice in my head starts shouting,


There are a good many things that triggers this response. Here are a few:
  • "Good evening, my fellow Americans ..."
  • "5 ways to instantly ..."
  • "Only 8 grams of ..."
  • "What I really meant was ..."
  • "Oh you think that's bad ..."
  • "I once knew this guy ..."
  • "I have this problem when I'm online ..."
  • "Do you ever think we are just a small world inside a bigger one ..."
  • "Well it took a little longer than we thought ..."
  • "Um, uh, um ..."
  • "Well company policy states ..."
  • "If I won the lotto, I would ..."
What are some of yours?

An open letter to the pimple on my ass ...

Dear Ass Pimple,

I am writing you this letter to you as all other forms of contacting you have gone without response and as a way to enumerate my various issues I am experiencing as a direct result of your existence.

I am not sure where you came from or why you decided to make your home right on the epicenter of where all my seated weight rests, but I despise you.

You are a rascally one too, you are just out of reach for popping. I can touch you sure, but I am unable to contort myself into a proper pincer movement to destroy you.

Hence my letter. I am formally asking you to leave my hither-to-now unblemished ass and not return. Upon your leaving I will pay you the lump sum of 37 cents. This being an enormous amount for any zit.

Thank you for your time,


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

This game is great! The object is to dodge a meeting by finding ways to kill yourself in the office within 5 minutes! Have at it!

Quote of the Day

"To announce that there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."

-- Theodore Roosevelt

Monday, March 26, 2007

I couldnt have done it without you!

Thanks to all my loyal visitors finding me thru searches on Google, I am pleased to announce ...

*deep breath*

I am now the 5th result when searching Google for:

"hock up my xbox 360 to my computer"

I honestly have never hocked up anything for my computer - come to think of it I dont think I've hocked up anything for anyone.

"Excuse me sir, but could you hock up some mucus please?"

But an honor is an honor. *deep bow*


John and Elizabeth Edwards

John and Elizabeth Edwards have made a hard decision to continue to pursue the Presidency of the United States after learning Elizabeth's cancer has returned.

"I think every single candidate for President, Republican and Democratic have lives, personal lives, that indicate something about what kind of human being they are. And I think it is a fair evaluation for America to engage in, to look at what kind of human beings each of us are, and what kind of president we'd make," Edwards, the party's 2004 vice-presidential nominee, told CBS' "60 Minutes."

Elizabeth Edwards said she feels "terrific" now, "except for a cracked rib that is completely unrelated to any of the more serious issues I face."

"You know, you really have two choices here. I mean, either you push forward with the things that you were doing yesterday, or you start dying," she said. "If I had given up everything that my life was about, first of all, I'd let cancer win before it needed to. You know, maybe eventually it will win. But I'd let it win before I needed to."

I was concerned when I heard they would hold a press conference to make an announcement. Everyone seemed to know it was about Elizabeth's health, but what no one really knew was whether this would keep John from running or not.

I would have been GREATLY disappointed if he would have decided to back out. Maybe if she was bed-ridden with only a few weeks left to live, but she's fine to get around and to live her life. A diagnoses of cancer doesnt mean your life should just end and you should wait for it to eat you alive.

I also think it's important that we might have a person running for President that gives a shit about the plight of cancer in today's society. Based on the latest data, American Cancer Society epidemiologists predict that approximately 1.44 million Americans will be diagnosed with cancer and 560,000 will die from the disease in 2007.

And for the first time since 1970, the President has decided to cut Cancer Research funding to the NIH. He is proposing to cut funding for 18 of the 19 institutes in Fiscal Year 2007, including the institutes conducting research on two of America’s leading causes of death: cancer and heart disease. Funding for the National Cancer Institute at the National Institute of Health would be cut from $4.79 billion to $4.75 billion in Fiscal Year 2007.

Sure it might not sound like a BIG cut, but considering the projection for 2007 for the Iraq war is $110 billion dollars it's a whole lot. And we spent over $411 billion dollars so far on the Iraq war with no end in sight.

Between 9/11 and most major terrorist attacks prior to that and all since and all the casualties from the Iraq war (just Americans in this example) we have lost about 7 or 8 thousand people? And a death is a death and each one is awful, but we've spent about $51,375,000 per death in Iraq and the War on Terror - compared to the project $8553.75 we'll spend per cancer death this year. Which is the greater threat to the American way of life? If we measure terror in lives lost and lives lived in fear, then I think cancer has been the odds on favorite for sometime now and will continue to be far into the future.

Friday, March 23, 2007

A funny thing happened the other day

So there I was working on my motorcycle in my shed, minding my own business. I had just got done changing the oil and was starting to change the spark plug on the side I was one. And my neighbor came over to see what was up. I need to stop and mention here that my neighbor is a convicted rapist and spent about 20 years in prison. I know this because I found him online after he moved in. He's a decent enough guy and knows a LOT about engines and has seemed to pay his debt to his society, so I dont pay him much mind.

He offered to help change the spark plug on the other side while I was doing my side so off he started going. After finishing that I removed my gas tank to refill my radiator and then we fired it up to burp the radiator.

The motorcycle didnt start. It turned over, but no gas was getting to the carburetor. So I filled the carb directly with gas and the bike ran just fine. So for some reason there was a problem with the gas reaching the tank. I checked the fuel switch and found it wasnt working. Little did I know I dislodge the vacuum line for it and that was the cause of the problem. My neighbor put the hose in his mouth and blew into it to try to flex the diaphragm inside the switch.

Later did I find out that this fuel switch is often called a "petcock". So when I found that out I realized that my neighbor came over and blew my petcock.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

I'm getting too old for this shit

It's officially been my birthday now for 2 hours and 34 minutes. Just got back from a local bar where my friends' band - Erastus rocked out.

Had an amazing time, bunch of friends came to hang out and I danced with some chick that looked like Kate from Lost but a foot shorter.

I also think I got herpes from a bar fly that was licking everyone too.

And for the record I am now 3 decades old. Now I must go clip some Geritol coupons before turning in for the night.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

50" of Blackness or How I now hate HDCP DRM

As you well know I am currently enjoying my super huge 50" HDTV. I recently got some HD hookup from Time Warner cable and they supplied me with a HD set-top-box that has dual tuners and can record in HD format as well (with no huge payments - eat that Tivo).

The cable installer hooked up my box via Component cables. I requested HDMI but he said they only hook up Component, but I could use HDMI later on if I wanted to on my own. I figured this was because HDMI cables can be kind of pricey and to keep their cost down (and some TV's bought awhile back didnt include HDMI) they just used Component.

Fast forward to a few days ago, I'm watching some TV. Some documentary I think that I have recorded and poof my TV goes off. Powers down completely. I freak out for a second and then I think, 'Mmmm maybe it just got too hot and shut itself down for safety'. So I let it cool and it does it again, and again and again. I unplug it to clear it's memory and all sorts of stuff but it does it about every 30 minutes or so. Then the next day - nothing - not a trace of the problem and all is well. Then that night it starts up again. I figure if it keeps doing it I'll call on Monday and have someone at Samsung come and look at it (in home service rocks).

Two days pass and it's fine. I use the TV for hours and hours without an issue. I start thinking about the problem. Every time it did that the cable box would stop functioning - I could only turn it off. So I start thinking that it's sending a wonky signal to the TV and the TV is shutting off instead of puking. So it does it last night and I power off the cable box, power the box back on and then power the TV back on (previously I was cable off, TV on, cable on) and blamo I see a nice big black screen that says:
Your TV does not support HDCP, please use the YCbCr cables (Component) for further service.

HDCP is High Definition Content Protection, DRM bullshit that works over DVI or HDMI based connections. So at some point while using the TV at certain times, one of the other tuners in the box was off doing it's own thing and flipping to some copy protected channel and the set-top-box must have been trying to negotiate some old jank ass key to my brand new TV and killing it.

I would have never seen the error if I didnt power on the stuff in the specific order, it sends a fail command that shuts your damn TV off. So this is the future of TV. When we are fully digital and hi-def if your keys dont match or something happens it will just turn your damn TV off - Ugh. Supposedly it's only supposed to downsample the picture, but apparently there are still some bugs in the system.

At any rate this ONLY happens via DVI or HDMI connections, so I am back to my component cables. I guess I wasnt getting any benefit from the HDMI cable anyway. *sigh* fucking DRM.

More reading on how HDMI and HDCP can suck a big DICK.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Crackdown 2 Wishlist

First off, I love Crackdown. But with most games that I play, I always find little things that I think could use some improvement. And there arent a whole lot in Crackdown and I feel it's a very complete and worthy game. Any enhancements could easily be put into a sequel of the game. The folks over at Aeropause recently made a list of things they'd like to see in a sequel and here are mine:

Enemy Targeting

When you Left Trigger lock on to an enemy, tapping left or right on the D-pad should cycle to the next enemy in the field of vision. Currently they arent used and it's hard sometimes to release your lock and re-lock onto someone else. I like that your lock stays put on the bodies so you can kick them into other baddies - there just needs to be a way to cycle targets if you want.


There is a LOT of water in Crackdown. If the next city features this much water, the game needs boats. Also with so much vertical space and development the game needs aircraft as well. Small planes, ultra-lights, helicopters, blimps and the like. All the vehicles in the game must be just like the cars where you can co-op cruise around with your friend too. Oh maybe even a mini sub for some super fine underwater zones. Oh and jet pack!

Orb Hunting Help

Orb hunting in Crackdown is a ton of fun. Jumping and climbing thru the city and finding agility and hidden orbs is a great mini-game (even if unintentional in its design) - however I need 2 or 3 more orbs till I reach the 500 for agility and I have no idea where else to look. Dont put a map in with them all on it, that would ruin the fun. But at least have an indicator by island and sub-area that there are X number of agility orbs still not located. Maybe for the secret hidden orbs just have the count be per island and not by sub-area.

New Zones

Crackdown is replete with unique areas to explore. From amusement parks to weird Epcot like structures to stone quarries and racing arenas. But for Crackdown 2, we need more. How about a football stadium, rock concert, space rocket center, steel factory (with lots of molten steel fun), an underwater city section, ski slopes, nuclear power plant, natural history museum, aquarium, a cluttered, narrow street full of merchants, race track, and a naval ship yard.


Unless you are playing co-op, you feel kind of alone in the game. Sure there are NPC cops and people, but your interaction with them isnt anything beyond their random talking and waves, to kicking and shooting them for fun to them shooting and kicking you for the aforementioned kicking and shooting of them. An NPC informant would be nice, and especially an NPC controlled garage that you could take your agency car to and get it repaired would be quite excellent. NPC's at the supply points to further parts of the story (or subplots) would be sweet too.

More Super Upgrades

When playing Crackdown, it's easy to dream of the exact same game but only played via superhero characters like Spider-man or the Hulk or whomever. And while fun to sandbox in for awhile it would severely overpower the current threat in Crackdown. So to would adding some other super upgrades. But there are a few that could be added that wouldnt spike you way above the world potential threat. Things like enhanced vision (night, motion, etc), bouncing, self-gliding, more guns/ammo carrying capacity, wall smashing or a big shockwave when landing. And the big one MELEE. I need more than just a spin kick to take my baddies down. I need a double-axe handle smash, a drop-kick, a juicy double-chest punch and the ability to pick up a living person and hurl them. I want to hurl the living!!!

More Stunt Bonuses and Achievements

If I hit one agility orb and before all the dots are collected, I hit another and another I should get some sort of chain bonus. Same with enemies. If I kill one and before his skill dots are collected to me I can drop another and another and another I should get a chain bonus.

Also there needs to be more dumb little achievements. Maybe not official XBOX Achievements but a nice list of things I've done (sort of like Fable). What's the farthest I've kicked something? What's the farthest I've fell and lived? What's the longest time I've been on fire? How man cars have I blown up only to have land back on my face? How far have I drove? How many cars have I drove? How far have I thrown a body or gotten blown up by a grenade? All that fun stuff.


I need a laser, heat beam, puke beam, cruise missile, and the ability to swing objects like a baseball bat to wreak further havoc. Oh and a flame thrower. And I better be able to light stuff on fire with my jet pack if I land on them too quick with the huge flame out.


Here's some more little things I didnt feel the time to make a better category for:
  • Back flips
  • Swan dives
  • purchased car upgrade parts like spikes
  • tanks
  • roller blades (maybe with rockets)
  • random normal crimes from citizens
  • bigger police force to hunt you the more evil you get, topping out at another agent
  • more online options, such as races, bounty hunting, full tilt deathmatch
If you havent already - go play Crackdown, it's an AMAZING game and well worth a sequel.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Where was I?

If you didnt see me around yesterday, I had an emergency with my eye.

I have a medical condition known as keratoconus in my left eye and as such have a VERY hard time with the vision in it. I just recently got fitted for a new contact (my 13th different one if my count's right) and I wore it to the Y. While playing around in the pool I got splashed a bit in it and ended up with some irritation from the water. The result is a nasty case of "irisitis" which is basically an inflammation of my eye. It was very painful and I had to leave work almost as soon as I got here. I was dizzy and couldnt see to drive, so my Mom had to take me up to an emergency visit to one of my eye doctors in Toledo.

At any rate, I have "irisitis", a small corneal abrasion and two scratches on my cornea (probably from be trying to dig my contacts out because I felt like my eye was going to explode). I am only some drops now to fix this all up and have to go back tomorrow for a follow-up.

Lastly I would just like to say that Principal insurance can kiss my ass. They are the company that we have our insurance thru at work right now. During the past two years of dealing with my keratoconus they have done nothing but brush me off or give me the run around in dealing with this. We dont have vision coverage, but this is a medical condition and they say they cover it. Well they helped pay for the expensive tests I have to have but the only treatment option they will cover will be a corneal transplant. I've blogged before about getting Intacs which my doctor said I'm a perfect candidate for, but they wont pay for it or the special contact I have to wear to have even a limited amount of vision in my eye.

Over the past two years my condition has gotten a great deal worse. I've lost almost all functional vision in my left eye and even with a hard contact in my eye to squash my cornea back into shape I still dont have good vision. But my need to tolerate Principal comes to an end as of April 1st. I am happy to say I was a member of the senior staff to vote them out and move to Anthem for insurance. And Anthem covers the Intacs - which I hope to have before May so I can see again.

News Jam!

Time for a News Jam!

First off, conservative mouth-piece, Ann Coulter is coming under fire for her "faggot" remarks at a recent conservative meeting. If you missed it, here's the skinny. What's great is a ton of advertisers are pulling ads from her site because of it too. Hit her in the pocket book.

I know I've mentioned Ann on my blog before and if you missed it, I basically think she is a stupendously evil woman. But honestly I'm starting to think it's all an act. She found a market that will pay her to babble this stupid shit and so she's just running with it. Then again I doubt it.

Next up ... steamy emails and NASA! Woooo! This is another nominee in the "Just Let it End Already" awards. A lot of women have done this sorta thing before, the only press worthy thing is that she was an astronaut - and that's only worth about 5 seconds on the crawl.

Best quote from the article:

The documents also include an undated letter to Oefelein's mother in which Nowak wrote that she was taking steps to divorce her husband so she could be with Oefelein.

"Bill is absolutely the best person I've ever known and I love him more than I knew possible," Nowak wrote.

A NASA spokesman didn't immediately return a call seeking comment Tuesday.

So ... was NASA asked to comment on the situation as a whole or on how deeply she felt in love with Bill? "And later today we'll here from NASA spokesman Tony Smith on the space agency's thoughts on whether or not Bill was a big cutie snuggle bear or not."

And finally ... Libby is FOUND GUILTY! YAY! Although I love that he got found guilty for perjury we should really be looking at what he purjered himself for. Dick Cheney and the Bush administration got pissed off that there was a person (Plame's husband) who wouldnt go along with them faking evidence to go to war with Iraq, so they outed his wife (Valerie) while she was undercover as a CIA agent (a felony whether you knew it or not) and thus put her life in danger and totally ruined her career. Oh well, one down ... I just hope it doesnt stop here. Oh and btw, thanks for voting for Bush again you ass clowns.