Taylor Swift Trouble (Goat Edition)

I learned tonight that after parking at home -- even if I'm in a rush -- if a Taylor Swift song starts playing, I have to listen all the way through the (long) intro to get to the chorus so I can imagine a goat singing it.

I'm afraid to watch a Skrillex Goat remix for fear that I won't be able to "unhear" it.

Ok, too late.. Actually, that's not so different.

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120% Truth.

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I'm looking forward to getting a Google Glass someday... Then I could take stunt kite pictures while both hands are occupied.

It'd work for R/C planes and helicopters too!

It'll also be handy when riding a bike and your phone is stuck in a pocket. I wonder if "ok glass, start next playlist." will work? That'd be great -- unless "glassing" gets lumped in with "texting" when it comes to operating vehicles...

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Ready Player One: Guilty Pleasure

Got around to reading Ready Player One: A Novel by Ernie Cline last week.

The reviews described the book as "a melding of 80's trivia, 8-bit video games, and the Metaverse," so it's not like I couldn't not read it. This description is spot on: maybe a bit too on.

I definitely enjoyed it, mostly because I got all the jokes and references so I felt "in." I also had the self-satisfaction of knowing "the abandoned dwelling" puzzle right off the bat and got to be the "superior comic book guy" waiting for the characters in the book to catch up. Suckered in; still: I had fun.

The lamest part of the book was how low-brow the writing was -- the metaverse wasn't rendered in my mind with descriptive Gibsonian adjectives or passionate phrases: instead, it was built up entirely from 80's references. Essentially, whenever he had to describe something he'd say "it looked exactly like $X" where $X was an element from Real Genius, an Anime, Ghostbusters, an Arcade Game, etc.

I almost want to say "no fair," but I liked the Darmok at Tenagra episode of Star Trek: Next Generation, so I'm not going to cast any stones.

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How to draw an Owl

This made my day:

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The 10,000,000 LinkedIn Club

I hope Who's Who 2012 hasn't gone to print yet... I have an update!

The "Read More" goes on to say LinkedIn has only 70 Million US Members... Wow, this is slowly turning into a Total Perspective Vortex...

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Online 2013 California Campfire Permit

With the Super Bowl over, it is time to start thinking about Camping Season.

A California Campfire Permit is only good for the calendar year in which it was issued -- so each January you need to get a refresh.

This used to mean having to visit a US Forest Service Office or a CAL FIRE Facility (fingers crossed someone was there when you got there) and, if you were lucky, they had permits in stock.

Now, thanks to the Internet, you can just get a PDF and print an annual Fire Permit from home... when you can find a working CA National Forest Site, which isn't that easy:

This link seems to work reliably though: Sequoia National Forest Campfire Permit, and even though it says "Sequoia Forest" on the website, the permit is good in any National Forest in California.

At the bottom of the page there's a link to a simple 4 question quiz that will give you a California Campfire Permit if you pass it:

Note this screenshot isn't the whole permit -- you have to pass the test to get that.

Have fun burning pinecones!

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Secret Bruised Broken Rib Treatment

About 4 years ago in Tahoe I remember going down a Black at the end of a fun day.

I remember doing interlaced C turns: right, left, right, left: this is great! Then the slope got steeper, and I got Zoolandered turning back to the right -- leaning back, the board didn't feel right: "Come on, start cutting into the snow..." No luck, I was skipping along the top of some ice, leaning back farther, picking up speed... "Come on!"

I stopped leaning back, the board cut back to the left, caught, and -- FWOOM -- I was airborne. The steep slope fell away from me as I continued straight out into the air. I was in the air long enough to think about:

  1. Arthur Dent flying techniques.
  2. That my arms were both straight out like wings.

My last thought was "you might want to bring those arms in for landing" before slamming into the ground.

That was the first time I bruised a rib. Last week I got to go to Squaw for a ski trip, and it was great.

I'm not sure which fall borked my ribs this time, but something's definitely wrong with them today. I didn't experience any pain during the trip, but in the 5 days since returning: the pain has slowly increased every night.

Last night if I moved my right side at all, I woke up gritting my teeth and bearing down.

Enough to get up and do an Internet search on "bruised rib treatment." Apparently there have been no medical breakthroughs since the first time I hurt my ribs -- the only thing that heals them is "time." The internet tells me I've got about 3-4 weeks of this to go through before recovering. I guess that means last night wasn't the pain climax I was hoping it would be.

Still, the Ski Trip was worth it. So, each time I feel the pain (that's basically every inhale) -- I try to think of something pleasant from the trip. Maybe eventually it will work.

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Happy Vacation

...Misusing canvas transforms to turn your laptop into a yule log.

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Upgraded Internet from AT&T DSL to Comcast Business Class – So Far So Good

After Comcast stopped giving me a reasonable deal on their internet about 6 months ago, I switched to AT&T's DSL Direct Basic plan.

AT&T advertised the service as offering 768kb/s down, but I guess AT&T has forgotten how to count that low... I was getting over 2Mb/s in practice:

Sure, its graded an "F" -- but that was "f"ast enough for just about everything I use the internet for (OnLive did deny my signup request though). Netflix, SSH Shells, and multi-player iPad games seemed to work just fine.

AT&T representatives have been calling semi-weekly to push me into a uVerse upgrade. "All your neighbors are doing it" (when they're not in LockUp for drug dealing?). Every time I've said "No thanks; I'm happy with my current DSL service from AT&T -- I have no interest in uVerse. Please add me to your do-not-bother list" but these requests seem to get lost in the chaos of a fully-staffed callcenter... They call again in a week.

So last week I put in an order with Comcast and, thanks to the two service techs that spent the morning in the box outside the apartment complex, I've now got Comcast Business Class Internet:

Now I can do 30" (2560x1600) high-quality Remote Desktop connections over a Secure VPN, AND still stream Google Play, watch 8 cat videos on YouTube, a Netflix movie, and do an "Update All" on all 43 outdated apps on my iPad. No Buffering!

The last bonus of Comcast Business Class Internet is that the service comes with a static IP -- if it really stays static I might drop Linode's virtual hosting service (as great as they are) since my computer at home is always on in practice anyway. Since I prepaid Linode through 07/2013, I have some time to think about that.

Looking forward to the next upsale call from AT&T.

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