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Exit ArchiveArchive for April, 2005
Permalink Comments Off on Nutrition Bar SHOOT-OUT!Comments Off on Nutrition Bar SHOOT-OUT! By

While enjoying the fun and thrills of OS X 10.4 and the new Mail features, I re-discovered a nutrition bar review I wrote during a sales meeting in August 2003. At that meeting, we had constant access to a bewildering variety of nutrition bars. Hating nutrition bars in general, I thought it’d be fun to try as many as possible! It was like comparing wooden apples to wooden apples.

Instead of letting this never-sent e-mail go to waste, here it is in its uneditied glory!

(Best to Worst)

Balance Chocolate Raspberry Fudge
It’s like chocolate raspberry truffle as concocted by your lumberjack uncle Clem!

Balance+ Yogurt Berry Plus Antioxidants
Mystery berries and tangy yogurt do their best to disguise the soggy gravel brick.

Balance+ Honey Peanut Plus Ginseng
A touch of honey, a touch of peanut, a barrel of compacted dusty cobwebs.

Balance+ Chocolate Banana Plus Antioxidants
The slight hint of fake banana flavor nearly overwhelms the bland pastiness.

PowerBar Raspberry and Cream
Delightfully tart raspberry flavor wrapped in raw, moist vitamin ooze! Delish!

Balance Outdoor Chocolate Crisp
Texture and flavor just like compressed wood mulch with “Waft-o-Chocolate” binding agents.

Balance Chocolate
Since when should chocolate taste like nuclear sewage? And a radiation-sickness aftertaste? UGH! Disgusting.

Permalink Comments Off on Truck Full o’ TigerComments Off on Truck Full o’ Tiger By

Only I will appreciate this, but I’m posting it anyway, because that’s what this space is for!

The FedEx guy came in a with a normal-sized box and asked me, “Is this a cell phone?”

“Uh, I doubt it,” I said. “I don’t know what it is.”

“My truck is full of these. Everyone’s getting boxes like this, and they look like the boxes the cell phones come in.”

“Well, I’m not getting a new cell phone.”

Both being curious, I opened the box. It was Tiger!

Mac OS X 10.4! Days early!

I don’t think the FedEx guy was as excited as I was, but it made sense to him. And I love knowing that his truck is full of boxes of 10.4, all going out to make people happy today.

Permalink Comments Off on Marketing Runs AdobeComments Off on Marketing Runs Adobe By

I love this posting on Daring Fireball. What happens when sales guys run a creative company? Gosh, I wouldn’t have any idea…

I love this guy’s writing and logic, and it’s silly that I have not yet put a link to him on my homepage.

I had a ball reading about your France trip! I’ve decided that I want to travel with you and you can’t say no. So, where do you want to go???

I liked your site, really informative website, some good links too. [Name Removed for Everyone’s Protection] old and rare books. BOOKS AND MEMORABILIA including literature, performing arts, first editions, Pacificana, sport, cricket, music, antiques, military, shipping, aviation history, art, craft, Australian, old postcards.

spamidiot’s old books

Stevo. I loved the France diary, mon frere. However, I am severely disappointed that there were no entries regarding hot, French, man-on-man action with accompanying pics. Since it was a Disney trip, I just assumed there would be some homo-erectus encounters. Oh well. It was still lovely to live vicariously through thee.


Two guys from the IT dept. here on 16 came by asking for help. Seems one of them found a worm in his Hershey bar. Make that some worms.

Being the A/V geek, they wanted me to get proof of their existence. So I pulled out the handy digital camera and got two shots and a little movie of the biggest worm crawling around. Grim.

It was a Hershy’s with almonds, and the hole in one of the almonds must have been the little guys’ home. They must have thought it was the end of the world when their little nut suddenly got chomped. Poor fellas!

Permalink Comments Off on France! LIVE is DoneComments Off on France! LIVE is Done By

Well, that’s it. France LIVE! is finished. Oh, except for the tweaks I plan to make. It needs a once-over to fix spelling errors and factual problems. But it’s done!

I think I went overboard this time, writing way too much. But hey, it’s my webspace, I guess. Why not post something I’ll remember forever? Until nuclear destruction wipes out everything electronic? In that case, we’ll all be too busy scrounging for food amongst the ruins of civilization to much care what kind of pastry I ate in Paris.

Hoo ha! Well, thank to anyone who read it. I had fun doing it!

My God, this is funny. Not 100%, but enough to crack me up several times.

It’s an alternate Episode III trailer!

I’m tired.


(so what now? wait 7 days before my phone rings?)

Permalink Comments Off on Hackers’ RevengeComments Off on Hackers’ Revenge By

Man, oh, man! The hackers did something really weird this time! There was a “too many users connected” page that came up instead of the Forum. When I went to check my databases, they were gone! The only backups available were the hacked databases.

Panic time!

I sent in a help ticket, then, for fun, I tried deleting one of the dozen or so new database user accounts that had been created. That did something, ’cause then my databases were back and the page was up again.

But I’m now afraid there’s been some kind of back door opened into my database and one of those remaining user accounts can be used to get to the Forum. What the hell?

Well, I have started work on a more robust and, hopefully, secure Wren Forum. It’s complicated to change the CSS page to get the design how I want it, so it may take some time.

This is all so annoying!

I found this news story, which reminded me of Steve’s post about the butterflies.

Since you clearly LOVE the Hotel New York so much, you’ve got to go take a walk over to the Hotel Santa Fe. That’s where we spent a night last year. Wow. You’ll thank your lucky stars you’re staying at such a fun, luxurious, intricately themed hotel such as the New York once you see the Santa Fe — which is a bit like a Motel 6 without the class.

If they mated:
Michael Eisner and Michael Jackson.

I feel cheated. I came to the site to see Steve’s first Parisian trip report, since he is leaving today, and I get nothing. Nothing. NOTHING. What a rip. At least an airport report would be nice!

Permalink Comments Off on France! LIVEComments Off on France! LIVE By

I’m gonna do it. Yes, friends, I’m a nut-job. I’m gonna do the travelogue again for my trip in Paris, April 7–20.

Happily, the page is up and ready to go, so please stop by often and see what’s happening in good ol’ Pahree.

I had the best day on Sunday…

On Sundays, I love to play beach volleyball. I look forward to it every time, and I’m dismayed on the days I can’t make it. This time, however, I was a bit apprehensive. While the group I play with is very laid-back and full of friendly, funny, and welcoming guys, I noticed part of it had been self-segregating into “better” teams. Instead of the entire group getting together every few games to re-organize randomly into new teams, these “better” teams tended to remain together for the entire day.

I’m not a great player. I am merely okay. My worst trait is that I am inconsistent. So the week before, when I was playing on a court with a couple of the other “better” players, a few faux-innocent, gay-catty “it’s all in good fun” comments were thrown my way, and some unvoiced and no-doubt half-imagined frustrations simmered. I became too self-critical.

I think it’s morbidly amusing that, at 36, I still begin to doubt myself if any self-appointed upper-tierer reminds me that I’m not as good as I think I am or want to be.

The last time I played volleyball with a group who was too good for me was two summers ago, and it was a depressing experience. It started off well, the first couple weeks being full of, “Ha ha, it’s okay!” and, “If you’re cute, we don’t care how well you play!” But the charms of being new wore off, and people began giving me helpful but frustrated pointers so often that I couldn’t just relax and enjoy the game. I then, of course, played even worse. My last day with that Saturday group, I had played several games with a team that made every effort to keep me from making contact with the ball. It was nearly amusing in its obviousness!

That experience, plus the previous Sunday’s malaise, had me doubting myself.

The day before Sunday, I passed some kind of volleyball tournament near Venice Beach. I stopped the first major Rollerblading excursion of mine in many moons so I could watch the two-man teams compete. Of course, they made it look so easy. Part of me knew it was. Of course there was skill, but this was not something I could watch and say, “Oh, I could never do that!” I could do this. I just needed to play more and not be so demanding of myself.

Standing on the pedestrian side of the cement activityway, I watched how the tourney dudes played, comparing their techniques to the advice I’d been given by the Saturday group two summers ago. I should not have been surprised that while some of the advice I’d been given back then was excellent, some of it was utter bunk. Look at that! I did not have to hold my hands just precisely so… I could hold them however I pleased, as long as my elbows were locked and I steered the ball with my body as well as my arms. As long as I allowed myself to control the ball without panic.

I rolled away from the tournament after giving myself a barrage of tiny little pep talks.

Not long afterward, I passed by the old, too-good-for-me Saturday group at Will Rogers. It was packed! Three full games were up and running, with many spectators and hangers-on lounging in the sun courtside. I saw Van and a couple other Sunday blokes out on the third court, and I wanted to play. I had time to do so, but I did not have the guts yet. Instead, I just sat for 15 minutes on some deteriorating concrete steps and watched, then finished ‘blading back to my car.

So of course, this Sunday, I was uneasy. I had a tenuous self-confidence from Saturday’s observations, but I still felt hesitant walking across the sand toward the nets where the gang was already playing. I paid too much attention to the dingy green backpack I was carrying, heavy with the half-empty one-gallon water bottle inside, and to the flip-flops in my hand, the ones I’d bought in Hawaii after not wearing that kind of footwear for probably decades.

I headed right past the “better” court and a few guys playing ukuleles to join some of the fun folks at a net nearer the ocean. At that net, we were too far away to hear the songs the ukulele guys were plucking out in unison. But it didn’t matter. It was a gorgeous day and it was time to play!

My first game, right off the bat, brought near disaster. The volleyball sped between my outstretched hands, catching my right thumb. The entire court heard the crack. I stared at my thumb in confusion. Should it be hurting more? Was it dislocated? Was it broken? Would I have to bow out already and walk back across that sand? Would Van help me if I needed it?

That exhilarating event set the tone for the day. I had an injury! I had an injury, and the humorous banter was just ramping up on the court. I was a-okay here. I could relax. And I was gonna work at improving my game instead of being worried I couldn’t.

I determined that if it wasn’t dangling or bleeding or protruding bone, my thumb was fine. It was astoundingly sore, but X-rays and such have since determined it was merely sprained. Thank goodness.

Because I was now worried about re-injuring my thumb, I did not play particularly well. I did not play poorly, either. I got very tired as the hours went by, and I had a moment or two of emotional distraction as Van, who has avoided me with the precision of a drum majorette, actually strolled way over from the “better” courts to our humble net to play with us. He didn’t talk to me aside from a “Hi,” and he was uninterested in even making eye contact, but he didn’t avoid being around me, either, which was new.

At the end of a few hours and a good but losing string of games, I began to ponder leaving. A number of guys, including Van, had left by then, but the newly-unwrapped 2005 version of Daylight Savings Time meant there were still some hours left to go in the day, and the mixed-media weather at the beach was perfect. I did not want to leave. My thumb wanted to, but I didn’t. It could have hopped on The Big Blue Bus and let itself into the apartment for a soak and a rest, and I would have stayed to keep playing. I wanted to stay.

Right then, a great thing happened. The remaining guys from the “better” court came over to those of us left on the “other” court to see who was left and willing to play. And that was when the real games began.

I don’t know if it was because I was tired enough to be more relaxed, or because I was having so much fun already with some of the guys on the courts, but my level of play jumped. I became less afraid to take chances, painful thumb or no. I felt more in control of the ball, and more like I was contributing to the team. These four or five games were hyper and alive. Some of the play was astonishing in its quality. Everyone was happy and talkative.

As each game ended and my body made more strident demands regarding my leaving, another game would start up, and I’d hop back in, excited and eager. Two Asian guys I recognized from the Saturday group were playing here for the first time, and they even commented on how much more relaxed the Sunday group was. The two guys are great players, but this time, I was not intimidated. I played damn well, and didn’t doubt myself or shrink back from the game.

We finally called it quits as dark, wintry clouds rolled over the mountains in the north and the air got gradually colder. The lines were wrapped on their plastic spools, the Hawaiians got their ukuleles together while wrapped in blankets to keep warm, and the lot of us headed for the tunnel.

It must have been just after 7:00 when I parted from the others and headed toward my car. As I walked, my back was killing me and my not-broken thumb was swollen and throbbing. My backpack was heavier though the gallon bottle was now three-quarters empty. I had sand all over myself. My fingers were caked with grime. My dirty feet were back in the flip-flops and would have been shuffling were it not for my dislike of that lazy sound. My sleeveless arms were cold from the rapidly-cooling sea air. My throat was dry and getting sore.

I felt great!

I won’t be back to volleyball for three weeks. Sure, it’s because I’m going to Paris, so I won’t complain. If I could play this Sunday I don’t know what I’d be expecting. I don’t think I could expect another unexpectedly meaningful day of beach volleyball. But I can long for it and appreciate that Sunday happened as it did. I had the best day!

Permalink Comments Off on No Pontification on the PontiffComments Off on No Pontification on the Pontiff By

The pope died, and I have nothing funny to say about it. I am disappointed in myself.

Permalink Comments Off on Suck Spam, SpammerComments Off on Suck Spam, Spammer By

Ha ha! One of my anti-hack features actually worked! Ha ha ha! Eat that, dumb-ass!