Sunday, February 28

Retro Jetsons Faire

Photoshop these peculiar plants:


May the voting commence!

Saturday, February 27

Chilean Earthquake

A few key websites to watch:

From the USGS, 10-degree map centered in the area.

Article from Hawaii 24/7 regarding the tsunami warnings, including tsunami travel times.

Updates from CNN.

World time zone map from

I'll add more links as they become available.

World of Mouth

How Social Media is changing the world. Very cool video:

Thursday, February 25

Ethics in Utah Politics?

No way!

Yes, way.

Interesting article in the Deseret News today - this is a good one, no bs involved.

Has to do with a requirement of legislators and lobbyists that they take an online test of ethics. Imagine that. Did Buttars take it? The article points out that a majority of the body has not only not taken the test, but that there even is a test.

Anyway, while it's a requirement for legislators and their ilk, the general public (that's you and me) can also take the test. Legislative Ethics Training is produced by the Office of Legislative Research and General Counsel.

Bonus: If you navigate to the test via the instructions provided by the Deseret News is this choice "Chose Wisely" entry (graphic at right).

This from the Department of Redundancy Department.

[Additional protip: If you're using a netbook, you may have to go full-screen to see the navigational buttons in the tests.]

Wednesday, February 24

Miscarriage of Justice?

The internet is all a-Twitter about a new bill in the Utah State Legislature concerning whether a miscarriage - in any form - can be considered as murder.

Click on that Twitter link above for interesting reading.

More at the Utah Legislature's website on House Bill 12.

Sunday, February 21

A Different Kind of Pain

On several occasions, I've written at length about pain - meds, spine, ear aches, etc. All organic, they've run the gamut. So why is it, that when one is presented with something entirely inorganic, that the pain begins anew?

Boy, that sounded like BS.

Anyway, as Marilee is the uber shopper around here, I've begun to see the pleasure in finding deals. Even if you have no outward intention of actually buying anything. As such, I'm always looking to see if there's anything new under the sun at woot!, and the fave around here, DealSucker.

Dealsucker alerted me to quite the deal today, a "Car Oxygen Bar In Metallic Blue".

I'd seen these previously, and the deal today is quite impressive - at just $2.99, I'd love to have one. particularly for the truck, but also for our Rodeo. And ultimately for the Grand Am, but since it's been sitting dormant in the driveway for six months or so, still with a mangled passenger-side window, that will have to wait.


Painful is the description of the ozone generator. Written in pristine Engrish, it's actually a joy to read, in a perverse sort of way. Likely cut 'n' pasted verbatim from the original text, there's nary a hint that whomever pasted it attempted any form of correction. Thusly:

This product produces ozone and anion which can rapidly eliminate the car inside soot, peculiar smell, and have force sterilization, purification air, make your car air as fresh as bathes in the forest.

Uh, bathes in the forest?

The anion is called "in the air of Vitamin", is beneficial to the health of human beings.

MY definition of anion is a negatively charged ion.

Plug and play installation.

I'd certainly hope so.

Has the best medicine function, and can effectively reduces the cough, sneezes, asthma's incidence of a disease.

Careful, there. Now we're claiming medicinal properties? Call the FDA!

Suitable for all 12V car power.

Yeah, 24V car power has been out of vogue for some time.

Direct insertion the portfire, the blue lamp bright denote enter the work estage.

Saved the best for last. "Portfire", as far as I can tell, is a device for igniting fireworks. As the generator is blue, a blue lamp - more likely an LED - seems plausible. But "enter the work estage" puzzles me the most.

Anyone care to take a stab at it? Any Engrish majors out there?

Saturday, February 20

Too Obscure? Or Just Too Much A Stretch?

Whenever one has to explain a Fark Photoshop contest entry, one can be sure of NO votes.

Photoshop this Russian rehearsing:

My entry?


Adobe Acrobat.

Yeah, I know.

Wait, Wait... That Was Tolerable

This morning, upon return from McDonald's, I had a "Driveway Moment"; that parcel of time where one cannot get out of the car lest one misses the last little bit of whatever's on NPR. And "Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me" was on the local NPR station.

At that moment, I decided on listening to the entire show once I got into the house, though it was about an hour later when I got around to listening to it.

It had been playing for about fifteen minutes when I realized Marilee, too, was listening. Several minutes later began the following brilliantly stimulating conversation:

Me: "Do you realize you're listening to NPR?"

She: "Oh NO."

Me: "Yes."

As an aside, Marilee is not one who can stand "Talk Radio" as she calls it. I, for one, consider "Talk Radio" as that drivel that KSL Radio insists on broadcasting during the early afternoon hours - in other words, Sean Hannity and his ilk. A call-in show, in other words.

In Marilee's ears, that which she refers to as "Talk Radio" is where only talking is heard. No music, only talking. This includes any and all shows on any NPR station.

One evening on a return trip from somewhere, "Prairie Home Companion" was on - she identified it as being some sort of religious program - "No, dear, it's not religious, it's from Lake Woebegone, and..." let's just say something was lost in the translation.

Admittedly, today's "Wait, Wait" was a compilation of several earlier shows - nothing "live" - so she didn't get the whole effect. "Wait, Wait" is funny, irreverent, witty, all the adjectives one can think of. And "we" will try to get her to listen to next week's show.

Why? Because she actually listened to "talking" on the radio today.

Friday, February 19

Call it a Mask or Call it a Blank, But Here's Crasher Squirrel!

Yet another Fark Photoshop yesterday began thusly:

Photoshop these bored guards and their hairy friend

The original:

Now what do you suppose I could put in there? [Eight votes as of this morning]

I'd looked for Crasher Squirrel in the past, but all I could really find was THE original of Crasher Squirrel, that curious creature who appeared in a couple's photo while they were on holiday at Lake Minnewanka in Banff National Park in Canada. The little guy has become an internet sensation and can be found in every corner of the internet.

The couple decided to send their photo along to the National Geographic's website for consideration in the magazine's Photo of the Day contest. From there, the photo spread like wildfire.

As for the Fark Photoshop yeaterday, I'd found, previously, an image that could be used as a blank or mask, but yesterday couldn't get the image to load - so off I went in search for another copy, and found this oh-so-large replacement. It's a PNG with a transparent background, so you shouldn't have any problem inserting it into your own creations:

Just do a right-click and a Save As as you would normally do to save the image to your computer.

And above all, have fun!

Thursday, February 18

Oh How I Miss Saturday Morning Cartoons

And a Fark Photoshop to boot.

Photoshop this da Vinci under wraps:


If you have to ask, you're probably far too young.

Monday, February 15

Who in Their Right Mind...

Oh, wait, maybe that's the point.

Was home for lunch last week, and heard it waaaay before I saw it. Engine revving at an unheard of rate, you'd have expected the thing to be going 88 miles an hour. But not.

Speeding by at top speed of five miles an hour was a neighbor's recently-acquired Ford Falcon. I wouldn't be surprised that the seller paid them to take it off their hands. Visually, the car is quite a stunner. Nary a dent or scratch. But under the bonnet, I dare not even imagine what it looks like.

In an earlier time, the following would be a joy to have in your driveway:

Even parked on the street it'd be a joy. But since the neighbor allows it to be in the garage, it boggles the mind that that old of a car probably has no catalytic converter, let alone any sort of carbon monoxide reduction.

[I'll take a moment here to say I wish no ill will on any of my neighbors. Even the new owners of this classic.]


This evening, the wife and I were watching TV, when she exclaimed "What's THAT?"

"Sounds like a car", even before she turned the volume down.

"Don't they know they're gassing the whole neighborhood?"

With that, I pretty much knew what the source was. And I was right. For there, a door or two down, was the infamous Falcon. Inching its way into the garage. At RPM's worthy of a Delorean going back in time.

Proof that George Lucas is god

That's un-capitalized, you may note.

The proof:

Colossians 4:14 "Luke...

Deuteronomy 8:11 ... I Am...

Psalm 2:7 ...your father".

Chris Buttars is an Alien

What the hell planet is he from?

Mr. Buttars, ever the one to come out of nowhere with a lame-brain idea, not to mention opening his mouth before thinking which seems to happen more than the legislature would like - see my commentaries from previous legislative sessions in 2008 and 2009 - has come up with a zinger this time.

From the Salt Lake Tribune:

"Contending 12th grade is a wasted year for most high school students, Sen. Chris Buttars, R-West Jordan, suggested Monday [February 1] that the state could save $102 million by compressing high school into three years.
[He] outlined his proposal for members of the Public Education Appropriations Subcommittee, dismissing 12th grade as a uniquely American tradition that is followed for reasons no one can identify. He acknowledged getting rid of it won't be easy."

Ya think?

One commenter on the Trib's website did acknowledge that Buttars should be commended on thinking outside the box; I, on the other hand, think that the residents of West Jordan (his home district) really need to consider thinking outside this box at the next election:

Sunday, February 14

Ethics in Social Media?

Does it exist?

OK, so I may have done something a bit underhanded just now. And with all my luck, it'll come back to haunt me.

As a variation on a theme, I just made another comment on the poor name choice for Apple's new toy tool:

Is an iPad a Maxi-pod?

Yeah, I can't help myself.

Anyway, no sooner had I posted that on Twitter than I had a retweet from @ipadtweet, repeating my comment. Likely having picked up on my iPad comment.

So I decided to test my theory by tweeting the following:

"Ethical? Is exploitation of an automaton a viable tactic to increase the visibility of your content? Example: iPad - "

[The link is back to bob's bs.]

Will this provide new linkage to my blog? Dunno.

Watch this space for an update.

Snowboarder Protip

If you're representing your country in the Olympics, and they are footing the bill for you to be there, make sure you look good.

Chances are, my readers don't understand Japanese, unless you're withholding some information. So you may not understand the following clip. But do understand one thing: Kazuhiro Kokubo got into a serious world of hurt when he looked as unkempt as he did in the video.

Yeah, so the whole snowboarder anti-authority style is what permeates the sport. But if your culture expects you to be otherwise, then watch yourself.

Yeah, that was bs.

Saturday, February 13

Do the Birds Still Sing in Hell?

Horace Greasley. Remember that name. A POW during World War II, he had quite a story to tell of his imprisonment. And his erstwhile activities.

I only read of his exploits this morning, and wanted to paraphrase the account, but cannot do the story justice. So I'll just use the description from Amazon; you can get the book he wrote to the right.

"Do The Birds Still Sing In Hell? is an incredible tale of one man's defiance, of adversity and the lengths he was prepared to go to for brief, passion-filled moments, each time under a death sentence. This is the story of a young man's outlawed obsession for the girl he loved, of man's most natural craving and of his determination to defeat her Fatherland. This story is about good over evil, how love can blossom in the most impossible of situations. It is a story about desire and hope but above all it is a story of heroism."

Also, an awesome article about Horace at the Telegraph's UK website.

Horace died on February 4th.

Monday, February 8

What Waking Up Looks Like

Marilee sent me this, from one of her friends.

I guarantee you will not be able to look away from this little video:

Sunday, February 7

Did That Touchdown Break Twitter?

Tried to tweet that CBS should start cueing up 'Heidi', but my tweet took forever to go through.

Mayhaps Twitter bogged down with that 31-17 Saints touchdown?

Anticlimactic Super Bowl Ad Placement

I'm seeing this more and more today - not in a general sense, mind you. Really, today, February 7th.

The following is supposedly an ad for Google (like they need to advertise) that will be airing today during the Super Bowl:

Specifically, during the third quarter. At least that's what this article at Business Insider (a Silicon Valley online rag) has to say.

What point is there in finding out what the commercials are, before the event?

And why do they have to spoil the show with all that football?

What will be most interesting is how social networking plays into all the hoopla. As Facebook is a bit more sluggish and overloaded they won't be much of an issue, IMHO. But Twitter?

I'll be watching TwitScoop, thank you very much.

And by the way, there's a YouTube channel already set up for the event at

Stomach Bowl Sunday

Classic Cathy cartoon in today's Sunday Funnies:


Saturday, February 6

Heaven's Got A New Angel

I'm apparently not the first person to utter those words, as a Google search just made me realize.

Mary Lou has left the building, so to speak.

Her life support was removed yesterday at about 1pm Pacific time; she lasted until just after 1pm today. Now she's at peace, no more pain.

My cousins Erin and Kirk were with her until the end; cousin Laurie Sue and family spoke with her on the phone and sang to her over the last few days. While I wasn't with her until the end, I'm fortunate to have spent the time with her last week and will always cherish it.

Harold's Gone Missing

I suppose this post could also be titled "Where's Harold" a la Waldo.

In his place is this guy:

While I haven't seen Harold - the original one, that is - or his successor, it turns out I'm not the only one who has criticized his existence. A couple other blogs here and here - and even THE New York Times - have commented on them. And all created by

The Times article headline simply states:

Don’t Like the Dancing Cowboys? Results Say You Do

Oh, great. As that article is from three years ago, Harold isn't going away any time soon.

Friday, February 5

The Width Of A Horse's Ass

I don't know if any of this is true, but it sounded fun. Yeah, I know, by perpetuating the [possible] myth I am therefore adding to the illusion of it being true.

Fun, nevertheless:

The US Standard railroad gauge (distance between the rails) is 4 feet, 8.5 inches.

That's an exceedingly odd number. Why was that gauge used? Because that's the way they built them in England, and the US railroads were built by English expatriates.

Why did the English people build them like that? Because the first rail lines were built by the same people who built the pre-railroad tramways, and that's the gauge they used.

Why did they use that gauge then? Because the people who built the tramways used the same jigs and tools that they used for building wagons, which used that wheel spacing.


Why did the wagons use that odd wheel spacing? Well, if they tried to use any other spacing the wagons would break on some of the old, long distance roads, because that's the spacing of the old wheel ruts. So who built these old rutted roads?

The first long distance roads in Europe were built by Imperial Rome for the benefit of their legions. The roads have been used ever since.

And the ruts?

The initial ruts, which everyone else had to match for fear of destroying their wagons, were first made by Roman war chariots. Since the chariots were made by, or for, Imperial Rome they were all alike in the matter of wheel spacing.

Thus we have the answer to the original questions.

The United States standard railroad gauge of 4 feet, 8.5 inches derives from the original specification for an Imperial Roman army war chariot. Specs and Bureaucracies live forever. So the next time you are handed a specification and wonder what horse's ass came up with it, you may be exactly right - because the Imperial Roman chariots were made to be just wide enough to accommodate the back-ends of two war horses.

When we see a Space Shuttle sitting on the launch pad, there are two big booster rockets attached to the sides of the main fuel tank. These are the solid rocket boosters, or SRBs. The SRBs are made by Thiokol at a factory in Utah. The engineers who designed the SRBs might have preferred to make them a bit fatter, but the SRBs had to be shipped by train from the factory to the launch site. The railroad line to the factory runs through a tunnel in the mountains. The SRBs had to fit through that tunnel. The tunnel is slightly wider than a railroad track, and the railroad track is about as wide as two horses' behinds. So a major design feature of what is arguably the world's most advanced transportation system was determined by the width of a horse's ass.

Hatch Prayer Video

Sorry, just had to post this:

One observation, however - couldn't the virtual crop have edited out the singing?

California Folks

The update from California is thus, from my cousin Laurie Sue:

"It's not too long now before I think in the next 2 days we will know..... I loved my mom and love her very very much. I remember your mom, and your dad. I have fond memories of them all, laughing in the great DeLong tradition. Now we are the ones who will carry on the laugh to generations of DeLongs. All of them have great smiles. All of them have great senses of humor. Time and life march on. Our Lord God is great. Even if times are tough. Keep the faith."

[Photo is from July 2002]

Thursday, February 4

Illness Squared

Whether it's a really bad cold or a mild flu, I don't know. But Marilee and I both have it.

That bit of too much information was confirmed today when we both acknowledged that we both are having, uh, intestinal troubles. And as far as the primary conditions, there's the congestion, headache, stuffed ears, scratchy throat, body aches. I felt so crappy and fatigued this morning - again - that I was off to the Instacare.

And, pray tell, where did this lovely condition come from? One obvious conclusion could be that we both got back from a visit to the Golden State with a brief stopover in the Silver State.

And since we did spend substantial time in a hospital last week with my Aunt Mary Lou, who knows what we may have picked up.

Praise Be To Heinz

From Fark:

Hearing the cries of anguish, frustration, and sorrow for 40 years, a change has finally come to the world. One that promises to raise our spirits, and to make our lives better. Yes, the ketchup packet has been re-designed!

Wednesday, February 3

All The Good Ones Were Taken

An article from long ago mocked the merger of Sperry and Univac saying "All the good names were taken" when the two companies decided on "Unisys".

So, too, when an entrepreneur chose "TrueTwit" for their Twitter follower service which purports to decide whether a new follower is a human or a (ro)bot.


Wasn't there snickering around the conference-room table when Apple chose iPad?

Wouldn't an entity, deciding to create a new product, check to see what the true nature of the word "twit" is?

Therefore, wouldn't it be more apropos to call their product "TwitBuster" or some such?


What Part Don't You Understand?

To the driver of the little car southbound on I-15 last night, near Lindon:


An acceleration lane is for just that. Accelerating. One must accelerate to match the speed of the rest of the cars on the thoroughfare. The old "defensive driving" advertising of the seventies and eighties remind you that one should never insist on the right-of-way. It's not a right as in your Civil Rights, no, little car driver, it has to do with the opposite of left.

Your forty-miles-an-hour speed in the acceleration lane is a bad idea, no matter where you live. In inclement driving conditions, I can see your 40 MPH would be appropriate, but not on that section of I-15 where the traffic speed was easily 65 and maybe a little bit more.

Further, I am NOT going to slow down to your speed to let you in. Twice I slowed to let you accelerate into the space but you chose not to do so. That you apparently gave up and instead drove onto the shoulder is not of my concern.

I just hope you kept your head and arms inside the vehicle until the ride came to a complete stop.

Monday, February 1

Is Mormonism A Second-Tier Faith?

Oh, don't get all huffy with me.

I'm just commenting on something that recently happened in California. Yes, THAT California. While Mormonism and California in the same sentence may conjure up thoughts of propositions to the eighth degree, this time it has to do with what one Pagan chaplain says about Catholics, Protestants, Pagans, and, yes, Mormons.

Yes, putting Mormons and Pagans in the same sentence may be blasphemy, but this topic needs to be reiewed not just by Californians, but by those in other parts pf the country. Since the article, linked below, is from St. Louis it may mean that Golden Staters don't want to deal with it, either.

But Utahns? Anyone with a Journalistic bent in Utah wanna take a stab at this one?

Is your faith about to be demoted?
By Kathy Nance
Special to the [St. Louis] Post-Dispatch

Nice Brief

No, this isn't about Hanes. Or Fruit of the Loom. Besides, reviewing what someone chooses to wear, particularly of the undergarment variety isn't what my blog is about.

Besides, that would be of the plural sense. Like scissor vs. scissors.

"Nice Brief" refers to a comment I received on January 31st for my post "Hull Breach Is Imminent". A classic Dilbert cartoon I ran across recently while perusing an old hard drive backup. The comment went thusly:

"Nice brief and this fill someone in on helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information."

Now, I don't expect that everyone in the world is a genius at English. People who are, probably don't lower themselves to reading blogs, unless they are looking for examples to show their classes. Besides, geniuses at English probably get paid to show others the subject. That the commenter says they are working on an assignment is at least somewhat conversant in English, albeit broken.


That day, there was a visitor to my blog from "The Russian Federation", but there was no actual "page" viewed. Strange, that. And they'd left a comment. And since I moderate the comments to my blog, and finding that comment all that much more peculiar, decided to Google it.

Glad I did.

For there, on that glowing Acer Netbook screen, were about 30 other blog comments with exactly the same text. No, that's not a coincidence.

What does it mean? Hard to tell. Maybe it's someone doing research to find out how gullible internet denizens are, to just allow any comment to be made on their posts. Whether by the commenter or the Engrish professor proving a point to his or her class will never be known.

Needless to say, I deleted the comment.
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