Friday, September 29, 2006


I know I'm like a week+ late on this one but I just had to post it.

A pirate talk translator. Put in any english sentence and it will give you a pirate translation back.

I'm bein a week+ late on this here'n but I jus' had t' post 't.
A sea dog talk translator. Put in any english sentence an' 't will give ye a sea dog translation aft.

Calling Dick Tracy!

A cool technology I just had to share.
I remember a couple of years ago thinking that I wish I had this!
It's a bluetooth wristwatch. Sync it with your bluetooth enabled cell phone and it will vibrate and tell you who's calling. All you have to do is look at your watch to see the caller id. You don't have to dig your cell phone out of your pocket.
They look a little pricey and not quite the style that I prefer but it's only a matter of time before there are many many more options out there.
One step closer to fullfilling Dick Tracy's wrist watch phone!

Tuesday, September 26, 2006


This was sent to me by HockeyGuy and was too good not to post.

What if Al-Qaeda converted new members the way the Mormons do?
Watch the video below.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Hey Kettle, "You're Black!!!"

What a silly silly man. Elton John was on Jay Leno recently and said this, "I don't have a silly iPod. I like to go buy the whole artist's work."
Uhhhh, have you seen yourself lately? And 'he' is calling the iPod silly?
Life is much stranger than fiction sometimes. You just can't make this stuff up.

Monday, September 18, 2006

My Zune is bigger than yours

Ooo la la! MS really choked this time. It may not be a huge deal but it sure does make for some fun media coverage.
Basically MS's new media player dubbed the "Zune" has some not so nice connotations in French slang. The article is HERE if you want to read more. Evidently, 'Zune' or a very close pronunciation of that word in the French Canadian dialect is what parents use when they speak to their children about genitals. The closest translation in English would be "wee wee".
As I laugh my ass off about this one I'll leave you with my favorite quote from the article.

"All of Quebec has been giggling for the last couple of days at the thought of Mr. Gates swearing that there was an 80 per cent chance that he'd whip out his little zoune before the holiday season ...''

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Design and Shlock

Here is yet another example of the difference between Apple and Microsoft. This pic is M$'s newest keyboard. It looks like something you might see in the next Batman movie in the Bat Cave. Not on millions of desktops. Talk about ugly. Does Apple really have the market on good designers all locked up? I have a hard time believing M$ can't come up with something better. Even Apple's failures are better examples of good design than M$'s best work.
I have to believe it comes from the attitude and culture in Redmond. There is some kind of vortex of mediocrity that pervades the entire company. I recognize it because I have experienced it. It's weird. Examples of good industrial and UI design are few and far between at M$.
The next example of bad design will be M$'s new Zune iPod mimic unit to debut later this year. Have you seen pics of it? Ick. It's like they have made a conscious decision to have bad design. I can hear the conversation in executive offices in Redmond now, "Well, Apple has all the good design. So, what do you say we be number 1 in bad design! Yes, let's start a new business unit, fund it with 1Billion dollars and 2000 people and get right to it."

Monday, September 11, 2006

Threat of dying

This article gives you a color coded guide to how likely you are to die from certain threats including terrorist threats. They use the Terrorist alert color coded system used by the government. The numbers are the number of deaths counted in the study period 1995 to 2005.
I had no idea I had such a high probability of dying from falling. What is that about anyway? Do we have a lot of people out walking tightropes and crawling along ledges of tall buildings? The highest I get off the ground most days is when I crawl into my bed at night.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Healing Field 9-11

In light of the 5th anniversary of the terrorist attacks of 9-11-01 we took a family trip to a Healing Field. It is a display of flags set up in a local open space. Each flag represents one of the victims who died on 9-11. There are over 2500 flags. It was sobering...there were tears...lots of em. We didn't expect the emotion that would come. It came and I'm glad for the reminder of what I felt 5 years ago. Even our dear dear Shelby was beside herself. "I didn't think they killed so many people." she said. "Oooh, it makes me so mad, so very very mad, those evil people, they are just evil, why did they have to do this?" And the tears kept flowing...
Here are some pics from our trip. If you want to find a healing field to visit click on the link above and search for one near you. Make plans and go, you will not regret it. It is the very least we can do to remember and give to those who had their lives taken away and to those who gave their lives trying to save others on that day.

This picture is a 'stitched together' panorama to try and give you an idea of the size of the field. It's not the greatest vantage point but there weren't any 'higher ground' points from which to shoot.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Labor Day Fun

We took a half day trip this Labor Day as a family. We visited Antelope Island in the middle of the Great Salt Lake. Salt Lake City was named after this giant inland sea of course. And since we live here we thought it appropriate to go visit. We'd never been there before. It is about an hour from our home and you can reach the island by a man made causeway. Antelope island is the orange colored island in the South East corner of the lake. The causeway is from the east lakeshore to the northern tip of the island. (see map)

We took a bunch of pictures. It was a beautiful day and a beautiful place. It smelled a lot like going to the beach! The Great Salt Lake is full of salt of course!

We took a guided hike to 'Buffalo Point' on the northwestern side of the island. The trail wasn't too bad and we got enough height to have an amazing view of about 80% of the lake.

Buffalo Point was a very rocky place and we saw a mountain goat, wait, that's KJ!

We lucked out and had the Naturalist all to ourselves on the guided hike. We sat on the tippy top of Buffalo Point and learned all about the Great Salt Lake. Did you know there are several islands in the lake? Did you know that parts of the lake can be 8 times as salty as the ocean? Did you know there are only two forms of life that actually live in the lake? Brine shrimp and Brine Flies. Brine shrimp are actually harvested/farmed and turned into pet fish food. If you've ever bought food for your goldfish there is a good chance it had brine shrimp from the Great Salt Lake in it. The Brine flies are hatched under water and then they make their way to the surface for the rest of their life. Of course salt mining is also a big industry at the Great Salt Lake. Why is it so salty? The Great Salt Lake has no outlets. So, water comes in but the only way it leaves is by evaporation. As water evaporates it leaves behind any minerals (salt, magnesium etc.) behind.

Here's the fam sitting on Buffalo Point, Antelope Island, Great Salt Lake, Utah. With the lake in the background of course.

KJ entertained us with his recent 'survival skills' he learned in scouts. Here he has a sunflower bud in his mouth. He says they are quite tasty. I tried to get him to try out the sage brush but he wouldn't.

Antelope island was named as such because when the Mormon pioneers arrived in 1847 they found wild antelope on the island. Years later the antelope were all hunted off and the island was turned into a State Park. Around this time wild Bison were introduced to the island and the herd now stands at over 600 head. They thin out the herd each year and sell off some of the animals. The Bison roam freely around the island and you can see them off the side of the road as you see in this picture. We tried to have KJ get out of the car and get closer but the Bison weren't cooperating so this shot is using our digital zoom at about 50 yards away. Many people call these animals 'Buffalo' and they are, sort of. We learned this day that the term 'Buffalo' is incorrect and that the animals we usually call Buffalo are really Bison. Buffalo is supposed to be only used for some African animals or something. Whatever. At the restaurant at the visitors center they serve 'Buffalo Burgers' not 'Bison Burgers'. Go figure. So yeah, you can sit at the restaurant eating a buffalo burger and watch the 'Bison' literally roam the fields right in front of you. Ironic. Ya.

The State Park preserved a ranch that has been on the island for well over a hundred years. They had lots of old stuff. Been there done that. ;) But Shelby did get to ride a horse!

Well, that about wraps up our trip. It was fun and interesting. We want to come back and actually try and do some 'swimming' or floating in the lake. With the salinity so high they say you can float in the water with very little effort. Weird.
One thing was that it felt a lot like being at the ocean. A large body of water with sandy beaches. The smells. But there were no waves and strangely enough no seagulls. We have lots of seagulls in utah but we saw very few of them here.
So it was a little eery sitting on top of Buffalo Point looking out over the lake and not seeing or hearing waves. It was very serene. There were also no boats on the lake at the time we were there. The Great Salt Lake has a couple of marinas and people do go sailing on the lake. It would have helped it feel more like the ocean if we could see boats out on the water.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Treadmill Serenade

Ok, this has got to be the best (non-exercise related) use of a treadmill I've ever seen. The music isn't that great but the choreography is amazing. I wonder how long it took these guys to get this right.