Tuesday, July 31, 2007

For The Bigfoot Lover In You

I was putting together a collection of sex feet designs (I believe they're "officially" called "happy feet") and was playing with the positioning of them. It occurred to me that it would be funny to do a bigfoot version. At first I had it without the text, intending to just say it was bigfoot in the product descriptions, but then I realized the large+small feet combination could be mistaken for a pedophilia design. I very quickly added the text.

The text is, by the way, in a font based on the title text in a Gamera movie. I thought it worked just as well for bigfoot.

Anyway, if you like it it's available on a variety of gift items and women's clothing: I Love Bigfoot t-shirts and gifts.

Monday, July 30, 2007

An Embarrassing Mistake

I'm having Lean Cuisine shrimp & angel hair pasta for lunch today, but when I took it out of the microwave I was scandalized to find some of the shrimp were not cooked. I figured they were supposed to be pre-cooked. I decided to contact Stouffer's and had taken this picture to send to them. I was looking at the box to find their web site when I noticed the step in the instructions I had skipped. I was supposed to stir it and put it cooking longer. Oops! I finished cooking it and it's just fine.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Important News Alert

Friday, July 27, 2007

And this is our cute little kitty.. Aaaagh!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

One For The Kids

Here's a silly little design I doodled tonight just for the kids. Well, playful adults can get it too. Who wouldn't want a ride in a rocket-powered monkey-driven car? Well, a shirt with one on it is the next best thing. This is already one of my favorites. :)

What it's all about

I've had a blog on Yahoo for a bit now, but it's starting to be a bit constraining. I looked around a bit and found that blogger.com seems to let me do more in the way of customization, etc., so here I am. I do have friends on Yahoo, so I'll likely continue to post there, but anything not specific to Yahoo will likely be here too. In time I'm sure this will become my primary blog, once I'm used to the new power - I hope it doesn't go to my head. :)

I see there's a spot on the posting form for entering the time and date. If that works like it seems it aught to I may backfill with some old informative posts of mine. So if you're seeing older posts than this one, other than one or two test posts, those were added later. They're still interesting, though, else I wouldn't bring them over.

See you all later!

Groundhog Day!

This is mostly a test post, but I may as well post something a little interesting. This is a groundhog that has been eating fallen apples from our trees. I tried to get closer by pretending to eat some leaves i picked up off the ground, but he (or she) would have nothing of it.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

A Note On Using A 2Gig MicroSD In An LG VX8300 Phone

I just got a pair of SanDisk 2-gig MicroSD cards for my and my wife's LG VX8300 phones. I had some misgivings about buying them, since I had read a review somewhere on the interweb that noted that the phone only can read up to 1 gig. I had also read that they will format a 2-gig to 1 gig and use that. That was okay, since CompUSA had (and maybe still has, as of this writing) 2-gig SanDisks on sale for less than the same brand of 1-gig card, so I was still getting at least the same storage for less money.

Later I read in another review that it will actually format the card with two 1-gig partitions, but that if you format it with another device that supports 2 gig partitions and create certain directories (folders for those of you with no pre-Windows95 experience) it will use the full space with no problem.

When the cards came in I decided to see for myself what the phone would do with them if I didn't format them. Well, lo and behold it just created the needed directories on the existing 2-gig partition and used them without complaint. I checked the card memory through the phone's menu and it's seeing and reporting the full 2 gig. I have all my new pix, flix, and sounds bing recorded to it now, and have switched the camera resolution to its full 1280x960.

Another thing I saw in reviews was that Verizon had disabled playing MP3s on the phone, but that a menu trick would let you switch it on. You then had to create a specially-named directory just for MP3s for the phone to see them. Then others said that later versions of the firmware had disabled that trick. Still others noted that the latest version played any MP3 you care to place in the normal music directory. I am happy to report that on our phones the news is good: they will in fact play MP3s placed in that directory. I'm now listening to a shuffle of the several I've initially loaded on it. (With no headphone and on the lowest volume - decent little speakers for their size. Now playing: Lithium by Nirvana.) The headphone jack takes a smaller size plug than normal, but I should be able to find adapters at Radio Shack or somewhere so I don't have to limit my choice of headphones.

One additional caveat about playing music: if you are playing music and pause it the phone's battery will, for some reason, keep draining as if you were still playing music. Hopefully that's something Verizon can fix in a future firmware update, but meanwhile if you have one of these phones be sure to exit the music player altogether if you're done listening for a while.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

A Cooler Monitor

My wife's new monitor, a Samsung Syncmaster 971p, just came in. (Sans memory cards we also ordered, but that's another story.) I'll be setting it up tonight and maybe posting a review here later.

Anyway, she wants to replace her ginormous (it's officially a word now) corner desk with a smaller one. I was doing an image search on "corner computer desk" to find her old one and show an employee just how big the thing is (well, I couldn't very well tell them it's the same one the girl on JenniCam had) and along the way found a blog mentioning the two displays above.

They're pretty cool. The one on the left, manufactured by Sharp, displays three different images at once. Which one you see depends on which direction you view it from. Their press release on it suggests it be used in a dashboard display, allowing the driver to see directions, the front passenger to look up destination information, and the kids in back to watch a movie. I think it would also be cool in a crowded house where arguments over what to watch are frequent and heated. Just add headphones (bluetooth stereo, anyone?) and a couple extra tuners with independent remotes and you're good to go.

The one on the right is very cool too. Back when I was playing more FPS games I would have been drooling over the thing. The company who makes it, Seamless Display, makes flat display panels that fit together seamlessly (or at least with a small enough seam so you can't see it in the example pictures.) If you can't tell from the picture, the monitor is made of three panels, with the side panels joined to the center one at an angle to arc around the user. Sweet.

Friday, July 13, 2007

Helpful Things You Can Do On The Internet

Apparently there are several sites on the interweb where a body can sign up to contribute their time to those sites' projects. Here are a few I already knew about or recently heard of, followed by a list of others.

Distributed Proofreaders
I have this on in my blogroll already. Basically it's a site where you can help proofread, one page at a time, scanned and computer-transcribed public-domain texts to be included in the collection of Project Gutenberg. You get to pick from a list of current projects, some of which can really suck you in. (Yes, I have participated in this one.)

The Stardust probe traveled to a comet and once there held aloft an extremely light gel block (aerogel, the stuff is called) to gently catch bits of interplanetary & interstellar dust. They then put the aerogel under an automated microscope and took over a million pictures, scanning the position and focus depth along the way. Volunteers scan through the pictures, noting tell-tale signs of dust impacts so that the scientists can retrieve the captured dust for analysis.

Galaxy Zoo
An astronomical photographic survey promises to reveal a good million or more galaxies. The astronomers want to find and classify them all, but while computers are good at finding possible galaxies, they aren't nearly as good as humans at verifying that they are in fact galaxies and noting their characteristics. You can help by looking at the pictures they have gathered and noting whether each is a galaxy, what type, and the direction of rotation for spirals. They say that as a participant you may be the first human to see these galaxies.

And here's a list of others (more details at Distributed Human Projects at distributedcomputing.info)...
Have fun!

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

400th Design On Cafepress - and Another Gratifying Sale

My 400th design - Will Work For The Weekend just came online yesterday in the Cafepress Marketplace. The inspiration for it should be fairly obvious.

I also got my first sale of Untimely Ripp'd, on a toddler shirt. I knew someone out there would get it.

Thanks to everyone for your support!

Monday, July 9, 2007

Catching Up On The IVF, and This Weekend


Okay. If you've been keeping up with my blasts on my other blog you know what happened, more or less. I suppose somebody might come this way via a web search on "IVF blog" or some such, though, and wonder how the cycle ended, so here goes for the record.

My wife had ordered a bunch of El-Cheapo™ pregnancy tests, with the primary purpose of monitoring the drop-off of the trigger shot, whose presence in the body will give a false positive on a pregnancy test. Once you see that fade to nothing you can be more sure of subsequent positive tests. She has been participating in online IVF communities and more than one person there has said that those tests will drive you nuts - particularly if you get all negatives and then finally get a positive blood test.

Well, she went ahead and did the tests, and kept taking them a couple times a day after the trigger faded. They kept coming up negative, putting her into a bit of a funk, until one came up just barely positive. She was ecstatic. She did another a couple hours later. It gave an even fainter positive, but we chalked that up to dilute urine and I talked her into not doing any more until morning. We figured the urine would be more concentrated and the pregnancy further along so the result should be a darker line. She got up to pee in the middle of the night and got nothing. Then again the next morning - nothing. The same that night and the next day. Well, as you can imagine, she and I were in more of a funk than she was before the positive test. I got her to agree to not take any more tests until we got the results of the blood test. She tried, but couldn't hold out and took one the day before the blood test. Negative again.

She did a little research, and found that the positive test followed by negatives is most often indicative of a "chemical pregnancy" which is when an embryo starts to implant then fails. It was a totally unknown thing until recently when the tests began to detect pregnancies early enough to see it. We both went through a bad time then, each of us breaking down in turn over it all. By the next day, we had pretty much gotten our grieving over it done and took the news of the negative blood test calmly since we were expecting it. We had been holding out a sliver of hope, that maybe the urine tests were defective, or her chemistry odd (as mentioned above, they don't work so well for some women for some reason), or that maybe it was a second implantation that had kicked the chemistry up into detectable levels before failing while the first continued. In the end that proved as false as it was unlikely.

While on the phone with the doctor (I was on another line with a customer who called at the same time) my wife told him that if we do another cycle we'd want to do a full workup on her to see what might have gone wrong that we could correct or compensate for. He agreed, of course. We'll be calling in some time this week for an appointment to discuss our options.

The Weekend

This weekend we devoted to getting away from things - a break in the routine activities & surroundings to give us a breather before getting back to dealing with all this.

Saturday we drove to Williamsburg and Jamestown. We had lunch at a decent little deli in Williamsburg next to the William & Mary campus, near the historic district, after driving from there to Jamestown and back looking for a good restaurant. (We had found a place in the guide book that specialized in pies - meat, dessert, & pizza - and were looking for that. Turned out to be basically a shack along the road, so we decided to skip it until we could hear more from someone else who'd tried it.)

After lunch we decided it was just plain too hot to walk around town and headed back to Jamestown again to the museum there. Once there we parked and went in, to discover that what looked like a big air-conditioned museum was actually just a ticket counter, cafe, and gift shop, as far as we could see. The settlement museum and replicas of the three ships that brought the colonists were, of course, outside in the heat. We decided to skip that and take a look in the gift shop. We got some hat+t-shirt bundles. My wife plans to give her hat to her dad. We had planned on staying in a hotel that night and doing more touring the next day, but it was supposed to be even hotter so we decided to go home and try to tour some nearby caverns the next day.

Sunday I was awakened by my wife telling me the internet connection was down. I got up and checked it out. Sure enough the lights on the cable modem were fewer than normal. I reset it with no improvement. I reseated the cable - again nothing. I called their tech support and was put through some voodoo manipulations (part of which - the shutting down of the computers - I skipped since I know that makes no difference to a cable modem when you're using a router) which again had no effect. The phone tech scheduled a visit by a technician monday between 8 and 5. That done we headed out.

We had picked up pamphlets fir various interesting attractions at a rest stop the day before, and there were three caverns with tours within a day trip distance. Two - Luray Caverns and Endless Caverns - are very near each other so we figured on taking the shorter-length tour first then the other if we felt up to it.

We went to Luray first. The web site said the guided tour was about an hour. I think it may be out of date. The tour was an at-your-own-pace walk along a brick path (with the entrance down a pre-OSHA flight of stairs), with guides stationed at interesting points describing them periodically. It took us almost two hours.

Three highlights:

The Princess Collumn, near which some of the bones of a teenage native american girl were found by the man who discovered the caverns. (According to the guide there are two theories as to how the bones got there: either she wandered in and got lost and died there, or she had been buried in the ground above and her bones were gradually washed down a sinkhole and fell through cracks in the rock. Since only some of her bones were there and there wasn't enough light for scavengers large enough to take them away, the latter theory is favored as most likely true.)

A giant stalactite that fell from the ceiling about 7000 years ago. Dripstone has formed over parts of it since, indicating how long it's been lying there.

The Stalacpipe Organ. A man from nearby noticed that the stalactites each vibrated with a different pitch when struck. He went through the stalactites in one room of the caverns and found one for each note on an organ keyboard, then fitted them with electricly triggered rubber hammers connected to a keyboard. For years they had a guy who played it, but he retired several years ago. Now they have it rigged to play automatically and only have it played live for special occasions. The tones are quiet but very nice.

We took lots of pictures, many of which I'm sure were shaky in the low light, but I'll try to pick out some good ones to put in my album here.

After that we went to a local Pizza Hut for a late lunch. We decided we were too tired from Luray - and we had leftover pizza - so we decided to head home. It was still a little early, so we took a scenic route.

Now we're back home, and it's back to the old routine at work and home. I think we will try to make more of these day trips in the future, though.

Oh, and when we got back the cable modem was working again. Probably an outage that we were just the first to report. If we had cable TV too instead of DirecTV I'm sure that would have given another clue. I guess I should call and cancel that technician's visit. :)

Sunday, July 1, 2007

For The Hirsute G.I. Joe Fan

Here is my latest design - an homage to the packaging of the classic GI Joe Adventure Team action figures - "Life-Like Hair And Beard". The perfect gift for that hairy child of the 70s. Also available in full-chest size.