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1  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Anatomy of a Tear-Jerker: Very cool article on why songs give you chills on: February 15, 2012, 07:16:09 AM
Procol Harum "Whiter Shade of Pale" gets me from the FIRST sliding note on the organ.  I see Cody likes it, too.
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2  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / CQ CQ ham radio operators on: June 05, 2010, 05:35:28 PM
I have a medium-sized box of QST magazines dating back to at least February of 1916.  Do you have any idea if there is a club that would be interested in having them?  I've asked national ARRL, but haven't heard from them yet.  The local club doesn't have a library so can't take them.  If I don't have a home for them by June 15, I'll be discarding them.  Any ideas?
3  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: A warning from History on: June 05, 2010, 06:13:25 AM
Reminds me of some conversations I have had while writing a book. A friend comes to me, all excited, with an idea for another book for me to write. I point to my file drawers and computer to explain that they are filled with ideas for books or articles to write.  Ideas are not what I need.  They are a dime a dozen and come fast and furious.  It's the implementation that's the problem; not the ideas.
4  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Cleaning up whe you spill something on your keyboard on: March 01, 2010, 09:19:55 PM
While looking for ways to clean up from a liquid spill on a keyboard (not out of idle curiosity, to be sure), I came upon this, from  You probably all know this already, but a reminder might be good.

If you act fast and you’re lucky, your keyboard can be salvaged.
Here’s how to do it.
1. Shut off or unplug the computer. If the keyboard is a separate device, disconnect it from the computer immediately.
2. Turn the unit upside down so that it can drain. Do this before running off to find paper towels or some other absorbent cleanup aid.
3. Pat dry every accessible surface with paper towels, paper napkins ... heck, use your shirt if you have to. If only plain water was spilled, just leave the keyboard to dry. If you spilled something hot and
sticky, however, you’ll have more work to do.
4. If it’s a laptop, remove the battery.
5. Do not rinse your laptop. Just let it dry out. As for computer keyboards that have been disconnected from a desktop computer, prepare to be shocked: not only can they be hand washed, some say
you can even put computer keyboards through the dishwasher. Just be certain your device is 100% dry before reconnecting it.
6. Laptops need to be cleaned the slow way. Same goes for computer keyboards if you don’t want to risk the water-rinsing method. Gently pop off the keys one-byone using a flat-head screwdriver for
gentle leverage. Using cotton swabs or a toothbrush, clean the exposed surface with isopropyl alcohol.
7. If anything sticky made it inside the laptop, an internal cleanup will be required. If you’re not a techie, play it safe and call an expert for help. In the meantime, keep your laptop upside down or tilted in a warm, sunny location or near a heat source.
Tip: Never use a hair dryer to speed up the drying process; static damage could result. Also, in the case of a bad spill, the incoming blast of hot air could actually drive the mess further into the machine.

5  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What books are you reading? on: February 06, 2010, 08:26:22 AM
Just finished listening to Nassim Taleb's "The Black Swan," poking holes in most probabability theories and generally making fun of their proponents.  He emphasizes the randomness and effect of extraordinary events.  The reader of the audio version has a real sarcastic edge, which makes otherwise dry material quite amusing.   See him before congress on the stimulus program:

It made a lasting impression on me, but I'd be curious what other think about Taleb's approach -- not to mention his trouble-making style.  Trying to see how his theory might fit into my everyday life.
6  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Amanita Design Christmas Pack (Samorost & Machinarium) on: December 27, 2009, 07:39:51 AM
That did it.  Thanks.  Hasn't helped me much with the game, though. Wink
7  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Amanita Design Christmas Pack (Samorost & Machinarium) on: December 26, 2009, 08:33:42 AM
I've had Samarost for quite some time and really love it, so I just got Machinarum.  Thanks for the alert for this.

I'm having a problem, though, and wonder if anyone else has experienced it, too.  As soon as I make the first click in the third screen, my computer crashes.  I have tried this several times, and have unchecked the full screen option.  Is this a known bug?  If not, are there any suggestions for how I can get this to work?
8  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Would you buy this milk? on: December 17, 2009, 02:27:19 PM
The laptop steering wheel ought to be a real "hit," I'd say.  If you don't believe me, take a look as some of the customer images and read some of the reviews here   Grin
9  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / How to get from Seattle Washington to Tokyo Japan by car on: December 11, 2009, 06:29:50 PM
It's difficult, but not impossible.  Go to google maps.  Type in directions from seattle washington to tokyo japan (by car).  Pay special attention to directions 8 and 23.
10  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What's your favorite LOL joke? on: November 06, 2009, 06:58:53 AM

I just LOVE the way these jokes are all similar.  And how most leave me cackling out loud.  Soo good.
11  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What's your favorite LOL joke? on: November 03, 2009, 07:40:12 PM
A trucker is transporting some valuable penguins from the Philadelphia Zoo to the Bronx Zoo during a heat wave in August, when his large refrigerated truck breaks down not far from the Bronx.  Just as the penguins are about to expire, the trucker waives down an icecream vendor and offers him $500 to take the penguins to the Bronx Zoo.  The icecream vendor agrees and off they go.

Several hours later, the truck is fixed and the trucker goes to the Bronx Zoo to check on his penguins.  They are nowhere to be seen.  He puts out an alert and gets all of the New City police searching for the penguins.

Finally, he sees a large crowd and commotion outside a movie theater in Times Square.  There in the middle of things is the icecream vendor and all the penguins.  The trucker charges up to the icecream vendor and asks him what on earth the penguins are doing THERE and why he didn't take them to the zoo.

To which the icecream vendor replies:  "I DID take them to the zoo. But I had some money left over, so I decided to take them to the movies."
12  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What's your favorite LOL joke? on: November 02, 2009, 02:12:58 PM
13  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / What's your favorite LOL joke? on: November 02, 2009, 01:32:03 PM
I'll start with this one:

A guy is driving around the back woods of Montana and he sees a sign in front of a broken down shanty-style house: 'Talking Dog For Sale ' He rings the bell and the owner appears and tells him the dog is in the backyard.

The guy goes into the backyard and sees a nice looking Labrador retriever sitting there.

'You talk?' he asks.

'Yep,' the Lab replies.

After the guy recovers from the shock of hearing a dog talk, he says 'So, what's your story?'

The Lab looks up and says, 'Well, I discovered that I could talk when I was pretty young. I wanted to help the government, so I told the CIA. In no time at all they had me jetting from country to country, sitting in rooms with spies and world leaders, because no one figured a dog would be eavesdropping.'

'I was one of their most valuable spies for eight years running. But the jetting around really tired me out, and I knew I wasn't getting any younger so I decided to settle down. I signed up for a job at the airport to do some undercover security, wandering near suspicious characters and listening in. I uncovered some incredible dealings and was awarded a batch of medals.''  I got married, had a mess of puppies, and now I'm just retired.'

The guy is amazed. He goes back in and asks the owner what he wants for the dog.

'Ten dollars,' the guy says.

'Ten dollars? This dog is amazing! Why on earth are you selling him so cheap?'

'Because he's a liar! He never did any of that shit.
14  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Help? Learning how to drive... on: August 22, 2009, 10:29:13 PM
You must be so exited about learning to drive!  By now, you know that the act of driving is easy (step on one pedal to move and another to stop, plus a wheel to turn the.  The hard part is knowing what to do when.  I've taught several people to drive, and suggest you do the following:

1.  stick with with 45-minute practice sessions:  keep the sessions short and end before you lose your confidence.

2.  find someone to ride with you who doesn't make you crazy. and can break down the maneuvers in a way that is helpful for you.  I have heard it said that it shouldn't be a parent, but don't believe it. If you have a parent or grandparent who you trust to do the job, go for it.  Probably the only taboo would be a sibling; they can really make you crazy.

3.  remember that there are "rules" and protocol.  It is helpful to know the rules, but even more important to know the protocol:  who is "supposed" to be able to do something, as opposed to watching the behavior of other cars and letting them know what you plan to do.

4.  Stay far enough behind the car in front of you that you can accommodate any stupid thing they might do.  Put even more space between you and the car in front of you if it looks like the car (or truck) in front of that car, or behind you, is apt to do something stupid.

5.  Remember that the purpose of your signals is to let other drivers know what you want to do.  So, apply them early enough and they find the right opportunity to do what you meant to do -- and be sure to discontinue the signal once you have done what you want to do.

6.  Scan the perimeter of the road, the way you would a video, looking for speed-limit signs, and comply with them.  Drive like there's a cop behind you -- probably because there will be, especially if you're young.

7.  Never never ever text or talk on the phone while you're driving!!  This is the most important thing to remember (and sometimes the hardest when your friends are accustomed to having you respond right away).  Just tell them you will not be responding while you're driving and wait until you have reached your destination safely to take a look.

Driving is a real sign of independence.  Think how great it will be to be doing it for a long, long time.
15  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: The Geek's "100 things to do before you die" list on: May 06, 2009, 08:23:35 PM
I thought all geeks were required to learn pen twirling.
16  News and Reviews / Official Announcements / Re: MARCH 2009: It's the 4th Anniversary Fundraiser on: March 30, 2009, 11:13:18 AM
What a wonderful thing to watch that thermometer break through the goal!  Let's pat ourselves on the back for showing mouser the love he deserves for creating such a warm, welcoming, and super wonderful site.  We rock!
17  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: What is Donation Coder? on: November 22, 2008, 01:16:03 PM
I believe this post is spam of some sort.  The same person has posted only one question on many forums in the last several weeks.  Sites representing everything from astronomy to light boxes to computers to aikido to david allen.  They all say something inane like "What's GDT?"  Gets people worked up answering him, but never posts again.  Probably racking up google hits for some reason.  For example, donationcoder pops up first when you search for the poster (whose name shall not be used by me), then a long, long string of other links.
18  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: PC Mag's Top 100 Web Sites - Vote for your Favorite ( Love?) on: June 06, 2008, 10:13:03 AM
19  Other Software / Developer's Corner / Re: The internet hijacked on: May 20, 2008, 06:49:20 AM
cranioscopical, how DO you do it? Cool
20  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Spokeo - new stalking social networking site? on: March 24, 2008, 07:27:43 AM
This could be legitimate, but it sounds more like phishing to me.  Be careful if they ask you to provide your log-in information and/or password in order to be removed from their list.  It may just be a way of getting you to give them your personal information.  Try hovering over the addresses they give, just to get an idea if you might be connecting to some phishing site.  Just a precaution, that's all.  Maybe I'm just getting too suspicious of unsolicited "warnings."
21  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Taking lights to the extreme on: December 24, 2007, 01:00:18 PM
A too much light for my taste.  I don't think anyone has ever beaten this one from last year (from Sarajevo?).
22  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Paypal Announces 20% Cash-Back Holiday Promo - Starts 11/26/07 through Dec 10 on: November 26, 2007, 01:45:08 PM
Okay, I can admit when I'm wrong.  embarassed  Just found this on the paypal site:

It still doesn't account for my misspelled name, though, since it's correct at paypal.  Looks like they farmed out the enticements to some marketing firm.  Still... if you want to take advantage of this offer (only good at selected merchants), it's probably better to enter directly from the, and not through the enticement message.
23  Other Software / Found Deals and Discounts / Re: Paypal Announces 20% Cash-Back Holiday Promo - Starts 11/26/07 through Dec 10 on: November 26, 2007, 01:35:00 PM
This was so obviously a scam that I moved it to my spam folder.  They even misspelled my name.  Really now!!

If I'm wrong, let me know.  But for now, I'm staying way away from that offer. mad
24  Main Area and Open Discussion / Living Room / Re: Gender Genie! on: November 20, 2007, 10:30:15 AM
I got male on one and female on the other.  Am I in trouble?

Seems like the more "educated" I write, the more likely I am to be identified as male, whereas a more conversational tone marks me as a female.

Okay, I understand that they are different styles of writing, but doncha see me changin my lil' self before yer I's? tongue
25  Main Area and Open Discussion / General Software Discussion / Re: Searching for the best read-aloud software on: November 12, 2007, 08:47:04 AM
Thank you, everyone, for your suggestions.  I've settled on TextAloud (asking Mike to read to me once in a while is working out -- and is excellent for help with proofreading).

I do have one other question, if you're still with me on this:

If I were to purchase a reader in one of the languages that have special characters (say, Russian, Chinese, Arabic, Japanese), does the voice read from text written in those characters, or is a transliteration to something phonetic necessary.

For example, if I wished to have a paragraph from a newspaper written in Chinese read to me, could I take the paragraph directly from a Chinese newspaper?
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