Sep 27

Friday Crap Roundup XXX

It’s been nearly a month since the last FCR. One would think I’d have plenty to write about today, but eh, not so much. Dredging the Internet for the awesome and the absurd hasn’t been a real high priority lately.

Varuna

Although this article on Proto-Indo-European clearly falls into the former category.

Still, there’s enough going on to warrant a 30th installment.

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Aug 23

Friday Crap Roundup XXVIII

It’s Friday, and the troglodytes regulars over at Reddit have discovered me!

redditspammer

Turns out Σ thinks posts about cars suck too.

A “spammer” eh? Damn. Imagine the reaming I’d get over there if I actually posted in the same category more than once a week.

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Jul 19

Friday Crap Roundup XXIII

My fundamental quandary, conveniently encapsulated in flow chart form:

sleepflowchart

Oh Mr. Flow Chart, you have no idea ….

In spite of it all, I still have the energy and desire to write the FCR, albeit a short one this week.

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Jun 28

Friday Crap Roundup XX

It’s Friday evening, and the Command Center A/C unit has been fighting a losing battle against the elements all day.

hotthermostat

Or 99 degrees outside as of this writing. Yup. It’s a hot one.

Right, so I’d better finish this FCR before it gets even more uncomfortable.

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Jun 27

In Search of a Larger Stream

I spent today doing something resembling real work. Shocking, isn’t it?

Over the past 24 hours SB and my other sites have earned a grand total of … 13 cents. Since I don’t live in Bangladesh, I need to improve upon that number.

Idahoterrpen

Contrary to popular belief, Idaho isn’t that cheap.
Image credit: Jimmy Emerson

Unfortunately, I’ve run into some problems ….

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Jun 02

Dating as Performance Art

This month marks my four-year divorce anniversary. Although I’ve dated from time to time in the interim, for the most part since then I’ve been a single man. I can’t imagine why.

scowl

Being such a catch and all.

For most of that time I’ve maintained profiles on several dating sites, notably OkCupid and POF. I’m not entirely sure why, though. The results have been, shall we say, less than impressive.

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May 23

The Myth and Tyranny of the Muse

I truly am my own worst tyrant.

When I started this blog back in February I resolved to post an entry every single day. To date I’ve only failed to do so once, and that was because I knocked myself out somewhere on Orchard Street.

orchardstboise

Somewhere around here, I think.

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May 11

Those Damn Ads

I’ve been on the Internet in some form for nearly 20 years. Back then the World Wide Web looked like this:

800px-Lynx_(web_browser)

“Graphics? Are you mad? You’ll crash the entire campus with those!”
Image credit: Russell Boltz

I often miss those days. Everything (and I mean EVERYTHING) was in ASCII text. Social networking? That’s what a Telnet-based BBS was for. I still have an account at one. You should go visit them. They’re lonely.

Before 1996 or so there was a definite Wild West feel to being online, especially if you didn’t tie yourself down to some heinous monstrosity like AOL. If you knew what you were doing there were plenty of ways to interact with interesting people worldwide on a completely noncommercial basis.

aolcds

And you were never, ever short on coasters.
Image credit: techfun

Sadly, those days are long gone. While I’m all for making a buck online, I find it amazing that corporate America is still so bloody clueless about it all these years later. Banner ads? No one looks at those anymore. Pop-ups? Just about any decent web browser can block those. Video spots? Better keep those under 15 seconds, or we’re outta there.

Take YouTube as an example. Given that approximately 99.97 percent of the population clicks that “Skip Ad” button as soon as they see it, I wonder why people bother paying to put up ads upwards of two minutes long, knowing damn well virtually no one will watch more than the first five seconds.

youtubeskipad

“What were they selling? Who knows? Who cares? Play ‘Gangnam Style’ dammit!”

Some advertisers have grown wise to this and (I assume) plunk down more cash so YouTube will run their entire 15-second ad without a skip option. To YouTube’s credit I haven’t seen them force anything longer, at least not yet. Fifteen seconds is at the upper end of my tolerance, I’ll say that.

If you want something really irritating, check out those sites linked at Cracked and elsewhere which feature articles such as “15 Celebrities Who Are Living with Serious Medical Conditions.” You know, those sites so chock full of ads they take forever to load only to provide you with an absolute bare minimum of content? I had to sit through an entire Wendy’s commercial today, just to find out Kim Kardashian has psoriasis.

Kim_Kardashian_portrait_2009

Sneferu has more fulfilling moments when he’s licking my hair out of the bathtub.
Image credit: David Shankbone

I keep hoping technology will eventually allow us live in more enlightened times and that we’re just in a state of transition now. But damn, it’s a painful transition.

May 02

Solitude, Owyhee Style

This week marks the third anniversary of the opening of the Command Center here in the City o’ Trees. Before that, I lived in a small town near the Oregon border called Homedale. Although in the Boise metro, Homedale is arguably its most remote settlement.

And that’s why I liked it, at least at first.

Adrian_City_Hall_(Malheur_County,_Oregon_scenic_images)_(malD0039)

This is actually over the border a few miles away in Adrian, Oregon, but yeah, like this.
Image credit: Gary Halvorson, Oregon State Archives

Immediately after my separation and divorce, I found myself about four months behind on my bills and living with my grandmother. After getting my head above water, I wanted to not only move out, but get away from things as much as I could. Although I love her and we got along well, being well into your 30s and living with your grandmother is just as awful as it sounds.

So, upon perusal of the local classifieds paper I came across a one-bedroom apartment for $400/month in Homedale. At that point I had never been there before. Turns out it was a 45-minute commute to work, but that didn’t bother me. I’ve done worse.

800px-SEPTA-R5-Lansdale-train

Like the SEPTA Warminster Line, the whole freakin’ way.
Image credit: jpmueller99

Before I made the commitment, I wanted to visit and see if everything would be to my liking. Specifically, I wanted to be sure the Internet worked, as I had one of those Verizon air cards at the time. So one weekend I went down there and stayed in a hotel, which was one of those old-school stucco and plaster buildings I occasionally saw as a kid. The air card worked, although I could tell I was on the edge of the service area. Meh, close enough. I’ve never been into the MMORPG stuff anyway.

So I moved into my new apartment on Montana Avenue. Although recently remodeled, the building dated to the 1920s and it showed. The carpet was a garish purple pattern which I suspect was ripped out of Cactus Pete’s circa 1965. That was all OK though. I had a place to myself at last, one where I was unlikely to be bothered.

Unabomber-sketch

But with no homicidal intent.

The commute was a fun drive. It went past apple and pear orchards, rivers, farmland, canals and, um … Nampa. I even made a point to travel down Chicken Dinner Road every day. No, really.

Over time I got over it all. I didn’t even make it a year before I wanted to be back in Boise again. Then the Command Center came up for sale and here I am. Still, it would be nice to have a property in Homedale to go back to on occasion.

Apr 18

Fighting the Electronic Prostate

There almost wasn’t an SB post today. It’s not my fault, dammit. My Internet connection has been spotty at best, holding just long enough for me to open a web browser before it takes a dump again. The fact cable modem support is an exercise in futility doesn’t help.

Tesco_Tech_Support_Advisor

“Is your computer on? Did you power cycle the modem? Did you sacrifice an ocelot to the Rapa Nui?”

With the possible exception of watching Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, there’s nothing more annoying than a craptacular Internet connection. Granted, this doesn’t happen near as much here as it does in the 2T, but it’s still a pain in the ass. Especially when I have shit to do. How bad is it? Well, it took me a solid hour to download a single photo from Wikimedia Commons.

I better end this post before I push my luck too far. Sorry ’bout that.