Tree daze

Man, it’s been three days…three whole days…since my last post and checking up on other blogs. You guys have left some interesting comments in the interim. Which I’ll respond to later tonight.

Three days, three excuses for not posting:

1. I didn’t feel like it, so the posts would have been crappy (I mean, more so than usual).
2. My parents visited on Sunday.
3. Yesterday was shot–I was in negotiations with General Mills to market Liquid Egg Product cereal (“NOW! With less salmonella!”)

Sketch of what the box could look like:

Liquid Egg Product Cereal Box Sketch

(The head’s supposed to be an egg. My mug would scare off the customers.)

Another sucky election

True, it wasn’t Bush-Kerry 2004, but…the results for the US Chess Federation executive board voting are in.

I did not bother to vote, and I wasn’t alone. Only two good things happened here:

1. If I were forced to vote for one person, it would have been Randy Bauer, and he did get elected.
2. Sam Sloan did not get re-elected. (Here’s my short blurb on him.)

It was difficult to know who to vote for because, well, of politics. Not knowing which rumors and accusations are right and wrong, and who has hidden agendas.

Susan Polgar easily led all candidates in the voting, and any other result would have been a surprise. It’s like an Arnold Schwarznegger running for office: when you’re famous, you get more votes. (The Polgar sisters are very famous in the world of chess.) To me, this is not a problem; it’s not like she can help being well-known, it’s good to have a female presence on the board, and she’ll likely do a decent job.

I was disappointed, however, to see that both Polgar and Truong were elected, and to four-year terms at that. They had a recent, low-key marriage which should have been better publicized, and they will essentially be voting as a block for four years. It’s not too hard to see a link between limited publicizing of the marriage and making sure both of them get elected.

Days of old

When you were a kid did you ever…

  1. Try to figure out how many licks it took to get to the center of a Tootsie Roll pop?
  2. Get a “kick me” sign stuck on your back? And actually get kicked?
  3. Get confused because you associated “grimace” with happiness because of the McDonald’s character, just to find out something different from a vocab list?
  4. Try to build an igloo in winter?
  5. Get a guilt-trip from your parents about not eating awful food because of starving kids in Ethiopia?
  6. Have an irrational fear of Mr. Glitch from Mathman?
  7. Have other kids try to convince you there’s a ring around the Earth because the equator’s a yellow line on the globe? (I didn’t fall for it.)
  8. Think Duck Tales was a good show?
  9. Think America’s Funniest Home Videos was a good show?
  10. Discover that…oh, I don’t have the guts to say this one.
  11. Get a fingernail ripped off by performing a foolishly risky biking maneuver?
  12. Have teenagers pretend to offer you cocaine when it’s really just a handful of snow?
  13. Think you would ever get to be as old as you are now?

I can’t believe I’m trying 3D Mailbox

3D Mailbox screenshot

One of my friends came across the unorthodox 3D Mailbox recently, and felt it was so odd, he had to share it with someone.

He said it was “too frightening” to try. However, unable to resist the siren call of representing all my e-mail as bikini-clad babes, I’ve downloaded it to see if it’s worth using.

The good:

  • It’s a creative idea. The ability to represent e-mail as a scantily-clad member of the opposite sex is a great hook (you can specify male, female, or mix).
  • They’re developing other “levels”, which will hopefully add variety and maintain interest. The next one is Los Angeles Airport, where the e-mails are represented by jets.

The bad:

  • Why can’t we move the camera freely? The camera locations are preset, and there are two levels of zoom. While this should be sufficient for usage, it’s annoying.
  • Their webpage claims “With over 60 camera angles, music and sound effects, you’ll never be bored!”, but I suspect it’ll get old fairly quickly.
  • Getting more levels and no watermarks on outgoing mail costs $30.

The ugly:

  • The program seems to eat up an awful lot of computer processor for the level of complexity of the graphics.
  • It can’t possibly be true that 40 people worked on this.

At first, I was a bit surprised at how much vitriol the program’s received (for example, here, here, here, and here). But now I understand. It’s not that good. And if I ever want to look at computer generated chicks in bathing suits, I can pretty much roll my own if necessary.

More reasons to earn your GED

Nice attempt at trying to spell “The Simpsons”, but they may want to try using even fewer S’s next time.

The Simpon!

For the past few months at the building at work, some guy in a Beemer or Benz would park in part of the fire lane. Parking can be very tight, so we sometimes have to get a little creative if it’s full–but I’d see this guy parked there even if there were other spots available. So, they put up a No Parking sign in that “parking spot” thinking they’d solved the problem.

Unfortunately, this is only effective with people who can read English (or aren’t worried about blocking emergency vehicles in case of, er, emergency). And the Beemer guy is instead tucking away a motorcycle near the “parking spot” to skirt the rule.

Signs are for losers

When there’s no Castro, there’s Castro

Super Castro Brothers

Cuba seems to be preparing for the death of one old guy with another old guy.

Every July 26, Cuba has a revolution celebration where Fidel gives an hour long speech, during which the people apparently reply “Fi-del! Fi-del!” This year, the cheers instead were for Raúl Castro, who unlike his 80-year-old brother, is a spritely 76.

Highlights from Raúl’s speech:

  • Cuba is open to dialogue with the next U.S. president.
  • The Cuban military is more prepared for a U.S. attack than ever.*
  • Adults should be able to drink milk, too.
  • Cuba needs to address food production.

Has anyone else noticed Communist countries tend to have trouble growing enough food for themselves?

*Shame on Raúl for plagiarizing Hugo Chávez’s speeches!

Radio ads

Crappy Radio Tower Clip Art

You think that clip art of a radio tower is crappy? Check out some of the radio ads we Miamians have to endure:

Headquarter Toyota: “You’ll feel like you bought from the factory!” That’s one way of warning their customers how dirty their showroom is. At least they’re not ashamed of it.

Some Other Random Car Dealership: “We accept all credit applications.” Well, that’s just swell. If they said they’d finance everyone regardless of credit, that might be something. All these guys really guarantee is that they’ll take 20 seconds to skim over Random Guy’s credit app (and only afterwards laugh in his face).

Since when did we live in the year 12X6?: Hearing a fishing store advertising compound bows was slightly jarring, and I wondered why 13th century bows would appeal to the fishing crowd. (I had confused them with composite bows, which were so effectively used by the armies of Genghis Khan. Compound bows were invented in the sixties and are used for hunting.)

Corona Beer: “Official Sponsor of the Timeout.” They spout consistently lame-o stories about how sports employees decided to drink Corona instead of doing their jobs. I feel sorry for Corona having to shell out money for a radio campaign guaranteed to drive people away from their product. Unless, of course, they created the ads in-house, in which case the perpetrators deserve the Howard C. Forman treatment.

Beverly’s Jewelers: Miami is the third poorest major city in the US. We don’t need to hear about jewelry that’s on sale for “only $3,495”.

Cell phones

I hate the idea of being expected to be available all the time. Wasn’t there a time in human history when we didn’t have to worry about getting random and/or inconvenient calls every hour of the day?

Not that people call me all the time, but I hate having to have this conversation:

“Donnie, why didn’t you answer your cell phone?”
“Well. Maybe I was sleeping or busy or something when you called.”

Learn this:

The Liquid Egg Product Law of Cell Phones
Having a cell phone <> 24/7 availability

Anyone wanna take a stab at this game?

Electronic Arts has the official NFL license wrapped up, so any competing American football video game products can’t use real NFL teams or players. So, they have to find other ways to attract gamers.

They can sign retired players, and in this preview of All-Pro Football 2K8, we see that one of the former players 2K Sports uses is O.J. Simpson. In the game, he plays for a team called the Assassins, and the preview’s worth it just for the crowning moment at the end.