Saturday, December 29, 2007

To look down when riding back country

I was teaching a friend how to snowboard today and took a quick break to explore a small run that went off into the woods next to the slope. I maneuvered through it perfectly until just before the end when I went down hard. After the wall of pain ebbed I looked around and I after thinking about it I think I finally know what happened.

The path was on the left side of a hill and was mostly straight. To keep my balance I had to keep my toes dug in and lean a little into the hill. I swerved around some trees and just as I leaned forward to stabilize myself my knee hit something and I went down hard. I looked back over the path I covered and there was a 18 inch stump about as think as my fist sticking up out of the snow. I missed the stump with my board, but I was leaning so far forward that my right knee hit it.

Lesson Learned : Turns out there are more things to consider than just the trail when you are off the beaten path.

Monday, December 3, 2007

that I like ethnic food

It turns out that all the ethnic foods that I thought I didn't like just wasn't done very well. I'm out in the San Francisco area this weekend and we've been hitting some incredible restaurants.

Friday night I had a catfish po-boy and sweet potato fries. Saturday I had sushi (awesome) and Ethiopian food (freaking awesome). Sunday we had tamales from the farmers market and Indian food from one of the best Indian places in the entire bay area (redicu-freaking-awesome).

We managed to skip the foot long burrito place and we missed the hippy breakfast place, but I think it was for the best. I haven't been this full since thanksgiving :-)

Monday, September 24, 2007

how to achieve my dreams

Randy Pausch is a professor at Carnegie Mellon University. Randy has cancer and only has about 3 months of good health left. He gave a farewell speech entitled how to achieve your dreams.

The post-gazette wrote this article about Randy and the Wall Street Journal posted a short video clip of the speech But if you have the 1 hour 44 minutes you really need to watch the whole speech

At the end of the speech he reiterates what he considers to be the biggest life lessons hes learned. My two favorite are:

[speaking about impasses in the pursuit of our dreams] "Brick walls let us show our dedication. They are there to separate us from the people who don't really want to achieve their dreams."

Don't bail; the best gold is at the bottom of barrels of crap.

I can't imagine what it would be like to know Randy. I watched him for two hours and I'm thoroughly impressed. At the end of the speech it was obvious that I was watching someone teach by example. He knew his dreams, followed them to completion, and didn't take no for an answer.

how to roux a chili

Recipe is here : White Chicken Chili

The recipe is pretty solid but it needs some tweaks. I needed to use a much lower heat when I was simmering the soup and I needed to stir more. I ended up with some burnt portions on the bottom of the kettle. Also, an hour is a little lite on the amount of time it took to cook the beans.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

that my camera has a 15 second exposure setting

I also learned that 15 seconds just isn't enough some times. Yup, its another photo post. Heres the album:

Some of these had to be tweaked a good deal just to bring the levels up enough to be seen. Its a bit late in the night to do them justice, so I just uploaded the picassa fixes.

The other thing I learned tonight was the real downside to not having an SLR. The video viewfinder couldn't get enough light to show what was going to be captured in the shot. The peephole on my camera was too small and too awkward to handle lining up the shot. The other downside to shooting in the dark was trying to transition from the dark of night to the bright LCD and back again. I got a headache pretty quickly.

I always end up learning more about photography from the comments on these posts than what I do from taking the pictures themselves. Maybe someone can explain to me how you take a picture of a bright light behind a dark object and have it turn out well. It took me quite a while to get the moon behind that windmill and I'm still not 100% happy with how it turned out.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Monday, September 17, 2007

how to fix a logitec xbox wireless controller

I bought a logitech wireless xbox controller a year or so ago and its worked out well. Recently the controller developed a drift in the left joystick.

When the N64 first came out it re-calibrated the joystick on the controller each time the system was powered up or a controller was connected. The logitech controller decided that this was really unnecessary and never automatically re-calibrates itself.

I tore the controller apart and couldn't find any manual alignment switches. A small consumer review comment on an old website pointed out the answer.

Remove on battery from the controller. Hit and hold start and the left trigger while you put the battery back in. This will realign the controller.

Official model number of my controller is G-X3B12.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

how to take a picture of a spider web

I took a hike with a friend to a local park and brought my camera along for the ride. Aside from the Mosquitoes it was a beautiful day. (For the record, I <3 Deet)

While we were hiking we almost ran into a spider web that was hanging across the path. We ended up ducking under it, but only after I spent 20 minutes trying to get a shot of it. The little preview screen of my camera wasn't good enough to show the webs so I just kept shooting. Once I got back and download the pictures it turned out that the first shot worked the best.

The key is to get a dark back ground behind the web. If you can get the light behind you, do it. My camera has an overzealous flash, but with some tweaking I managed to get a decent shot out of it.

Here is the album. I'm trying the slideshow thing. If it doesn't work for you, post a comment and I'll fix it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

why no one watches tennis

The USA Open is on right now and I had it in the background as I was working on my next script-fu project.

Last night I watched as Roddick blasted 130 mph serves for an hour and I was completely captivated by the skill and power of both competitors. As it turns out, the two guys playing knew each other pretty well and there was a good bit of banter during the match. I laughed, I was amazed, I had a good time.

Tonight I thought I'd try tennis again. It was fun last night, why wouldn't it be fun tonight? Federer was playing (which is like saying Tiger is playing at a golfing event) and the stage was set for some nice background sports. Only problem was that Federer wore black.

At all the other tournaments Federer wore a conservative white tennis outfit. Today he happened to look at his closet and decide that the US Open deserved a black shirt, shorts, socks, and shoes. Personally, I could care less, but if the amount of commentary from the sports casters is any indication; this is the end of the tennis as we know it. To hear them tell it, the color of Roger Federer's clothes rocked the very foundation of the US Open.

They talked about it before he went out onto the court. They talked about it as he warmed up. They talked about it as he won the first few matches. I turned off the tennis match for an hour to do other things. Curious to see how the match had played out I turned it back on AND THEY WHERE STILL TALKING ABOUT IT!!!!

Sorry.... I can understand talking about clothing at an awards show. I can even understand a passing comment at a golf tournament (long time on the air, goofy looking outfits, kinda boring to watch). But how boring does something have to be to warrant an hour and a half of "Do you think he is more imposing in black?" or "He is really striking in black".

More of a rant than a lesson but still... If you have nothing good to say DON'T GO IN TO BROADCASTING

Friday, August 17, 2007

that I'm not the only one that hates the news

I really think that this comic (click to view) really sums it all up.

After seeing giddy newscasters chortle the death toll from the Minnesota bridge disaster I'm ready for news to be a paper in the morning and an hour of tv before prime time comes on. Reporters talking 24 hours a day isn't really news.... Its gossip.

Saturday, August 4, 2007

how to make a coffee grasshopper

The name needs a little work, but here is the skinny :

3 - 4 leaves fresh mint
8 oz Coffee, brewed strong
1tbls Milk
1 Tsp Ghirardelli Hot Chocolate Mix

Brew up the coffee and pour all the ingredients into a blender and let it rip. The ice is really only there to cool off the coffee but you can turn this into a frozen drink if you use more. Recipe yields one magic bullet sized serving.

The mint might be a little much on its own, but the combination of the mint and the strong coffee gets mellowed out by the chocolate. It could be my new favorite summer time drink.

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

that Tripods are awesome

Also: ants don't like to get sat on, bees are kinda cool, and I need a shorter camera stand.

Here are the photos. As always... clicky to get a bigger pic.

On a side note: is no longer my site. I let the URL lapse and GoDaddy won't give it back. I'm ok with it and I'm working on a different URL. Hopefully I'll have the old site up under a new name shortly.

Monday, July 23, 2007

what you don't know can make things so much better.

I'm a big fan of Netflix. The only complaint that I've had with them is that the synopses of their films either tend to be misleading or give so much information about the film that it ruins it.

I decided to stop reading previews. I add films to the netflix queue and don't look at them again until I've gotten and seen the film. Films are so much more powerful if you don't know anything about what you are seeing until you've seen it. You struggle to understand right along with the characters as they struggle to find themselves. Small plot twists that are sketched out in previews to setup the story suddenly become these jarring moments if you aren't already expecting them.

There is no better way to watch a film than to go into it knowing only as much as the title and just watching it for what it is. Of course, taking that sort of mentality into a film is hard when you see something that moves you. You want to tell someone about it but can't without ruining their chance to see the same thing.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

not to leave my lunch at work

I left my leftovers from lunch at work and decided to pick them up after I got back from playing frisbee. I got to work fully intending to grab my lunch and get on the road.

Then I turned on the computer to kick off a quick compile. An hour and a half later I raced out of work to make sure I hadn't gotten a move-it ticket for parking in the errand parking spots.

Lesson Learned: There is no such thing as one quick thing.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

the beauty of a loop

I really had never heard of Imogen Heap until I watched The Last Kiss and was treated to Hide And Seek (link goes to youtube)

Kyle over at sent me a link to Imogen performing Just For Now live in a radio studio. I've posted the video below.

I've watched this thing through twice now and I'm captivated. I hadn't realized how strong she was vocally until just now.

Lesson Learned : Good things can come in 5 second intervals

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

that fireworks are fun to film (Basic camera theory)

Happy 4th of July! I went to the local fire works and just kept shooting till it was over. Click the album below to see the best of the results. I also bought a tripod today which should with macro photos in the future

2007-07-04 fireworks

Now for what I learned. I really should spend some time reading up on basic photography theory, but here is what I've gathered from trial and error so far. Shutter speed is important for deciding how much action should be captured in an image. The slower the speed the more the image will blur. This part makes sense.

The part that confused me was the f/stop. The f/stop determines how much light will make it through the camera to sensor. The lower the number the more light would make it through. For the most part, I've been shooting images in lower light situations that require the lowest f/stop and as quick of a shutter as I can manage and still see the image. The confusing part was trying to understand why anyone would want to use the f/stop priority setting on my camera.

A Tedious Explanation of the f/stop by Matthew Cole has a solid write up of exactly what the f/stop is. I still don't know why you would want to use the f/stop as the priority, but at least now I know what it is.

All of this leads up to the part that I learned photographing fireworks. A 2 second exposure is juts about enough time to take the shot as soon as the firework explodes. To get a quick capture of what it looks like at any point in time the shutter speed can be moved to 1/2 or 1/5 second. To get a very interesting shot, push the shutter speed up to 4 or 6 seconds and turn the f/stop up to darken the image. This one takes a little guess work to line up the shot, but the result is an exposure that covers the entire life span of the firework.

Lesson Learned : What the f/stop is and how much nicer it is to take a long exposure on a tripod.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

that a lotus blossom is sweeter if you take the time to smell it

Or at least that is what the fortune cookie said. Personally, it sounded like the writers were kinda scraping the bottom of the barrel.

That said, I had a chance to attend a power mentoring event at work. The idea was something akin to speed dating only it was with the higher ups at work and career advice instead of singles and awkward attempts to score a phone number.

I ran out of questions before the time was up so I asked the same question that always gets asked at these sorts of events; How do you manage the work-life balance? The I got back kinda surprised me. The manager I was talking to said her most important work-life balance tip was to take you vacations and enjoy them.

She went on to suggest taking the overseas where your cellphone won't work and the laptop needs a power adapter. There are always deadlines and projects that need to be done. Sometimes you just have to buckle down and do it. The important thing is to make sure you have off time and make sure that off time takes you completely out of the office.

Lesson Learned : Cheesy fortune aside, I need to start smelling roses.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

to keep tabs on the little things that can make you laugh

I rediscovered zim through the magic of Tv-Links. Every time I see Girr I crack up no matter what kind of day I'm having. Check it out for yourself with The Walk Of Doom or Bad, Bad Rubber Piggy (A personal favorite) Note : both of these are about 12 minute streaming divx files

Oh yeah... and then there is this (click it to get it to play):

Lesson Learned : **sniff** I love'ed you piggy.... I love'ed you.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

to appreciate the sky

Its everywhere all the time and we so rarely think to look up. As soon as I had my camera I began to notice how beautiful the sky really was and today I got to try my hand at capturing it. Although some of these shots were from other times when I had my camera handy most were taken in my back yard right after I got home from work.

Lesson Learned : They weren't kidding when they said take time to stop and smell the roses.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

that a Java interface can be kinda handy

I mostly code in c++ but I learned Java in college and I'm taking the time to brush back up on it. I quickly ran into interfaces and abstract classes. C++ has prototypes and inheritance, but none of it really seems to match up that well with interfaces or abstract classes in Java.

An interface is a contract that states certain functions will always be available for an object that implements this. This allows polymorphism in Java with out using strict inheritance.

For example: a BasketBall and a SoccerBall object could both inherit from a super class called Ball that had a virtual function that allowed them bounce. This would follow from the C++ mindset as well as abstract classes from Java.

Now take BasketBall and SoccerBall and have them both implement a Bouncing interface. There is no real equivalent for this in C++. In Java both the BasketBall object and the SoccerBall object will have the ability to bounce regardless of any other differences in the classes. There are no parent classes for either BasketBall or SoccerBall; there is only the guarantee that certain functions exist.

Lesson Learned : Java is still more than a little odd, but it seems to at least have its reasons.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

how to cook "The Grocery Run"

I came up with this recipe on a whim as I was trying to figure out how to clean out the fridge and make dinner at the same time. What I ended up coming up with tasted a lot better than I thought it would so I wrote down what I had done.

I call this "The Grocery Run" because I made it out of the random bits that I had in the fridge about 2 weeks after I should have gone to the grocery store. Its also called that because it would generally take a grocery store run to get half of the things on that list. Most of those ingredients were around only so I could make something else that hadn't used them all up.

3 eggs
fresh rosemary
1 green pepper
Romano cheese
flat bread
soy milk (or normal milk might work)
olive oil


Mince or crush garlic. Sauté the green peppers in a little olive oil and add the garlic just before they are done. Add the pepperoni to the green peppers and garlic. Toss a few times and let simmer on low heat.

In a larger pan scramble the three eggs. While they are still runny add a little soy milk and mix in. Add the green pepper / garlic / pepperoni mix to the eggs and continue to cook at medium heat. Sprinkle the fresh ground rosemary onto the eggs. Continue to toss or stir the eggs to mix ingredients. Add the cheese and a little more rosemary.

Once the eggs are cooked but not browned, add more milk. This milk won't be absorbed by the eggs. When I did it, it sat in the bottom of th pan and started to boil a lot like how you would reduce a sauce. Stir and cook till the milk is no longer visible.

Take the flat bread and place it on top of the entire mixture. Cover the pan and let the whole thing simmer for about a minute or until the flat bread is warm and soft. Take the flat bread off of the top and place it on the serving plate. Move the egg concoction onto the flat bread and enjoy.

Lesson Learned : Leftovers aren't always extra portions of something you've prepared.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

about the beauty of the sound of silence

I recently bought some koss earphones that have sound isolating foam. These aren't the expensive ones I was considering earlier but they follow the same concept. They really are earplugs with a small tube that ports the sound in to you ear. Outside of being a little troublesome to put it they are comfortable and sound great.

The real upside is that they block out almost every thing. I can't hear the air ventilation, my typing, or conversations anywhere near me. I've put them in with nothing playing through them and just the quiet helps.

Lesson Learned: I work much better when I can control the ambient sound. And these things were the best $10 I've spent in a long time.

Monday, June 11, 2007

that breaks happen to the best of us.

I promised I was going to update this every day and then life got ahead of me and I stopped doing it. For that, I'm sorry. I'd say I won't let it happen again but I'm not sure I could without lying.

Anyways... Now that I'm caught back up (or at least content enough with how far behind I am to take a break) I'll be posting updates again. Today's post is more of a discovery than a lesson, but I haven't been able to get this song out of my head since I heard it last night and I had to share. Listener beware... its an addictive little tune.

'I Wish I Was A Punk Rocker (With Flowers In My Hair)' ~ by Sandi Thom

Kudos to Becky and Nanette (hope I spelled that right) for pointing it out to me. Now if I could only stop singing it...

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

that cheap cookies are that way for a reason

I tend to snack a lot while I'm codding. For some reason I think better when I'm eating something. I bought some duplex cookies out of the local vending machine and was merrily munching my way through a complicated function when I had to stop and think about the implications of what I was writing. As my mind started to wrap itself around what needed to be done I unwrapped the cookie I was eating.

First off, I'm a huge oreo fan. Double stuffed cookies understand the concept behind that type of cookie. Namely, its all about the white stuff in the middle. Vending machine cookies have a thin layer of frosting in the middle, but its enough to do the job. Or so I thought, at least until I realized they cheated the cookie. Instead of a solid layer of sweet flavor between two bland pressure cooked cookies there was an O of frosting staring back at me. Ah well, serves me right for snacking outside of meal time.

Lesson Learned: Look before you eat because you usually only get what you paid for.

Monday, May 14, 2007

that american are coin snobs

A recent post I saw on Craigslist's "rants and raves" talked about foreign tourist holding out change and hoping a kinda (and honest) American will just pick out the right amount. I started to think about it and realized Americans are pretty snobby when it comes to our pocket change. None of our coins have a numeric value printed on them. The few coins that actually list their worth are written out in English, which really wouldn't help a foreigner.

On the flip side, Euro coins print the numeric value of the coin as a numeral. I suppose that sort of thing would sort of be required with a multi national currency.

Lesson Learned: Make sure to cut people slack. Just because its easy for us doesn't mean we've made it easy on someone else.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

that you can catch an edge on roller blades

"Catching an edge" in snowboarding is what happens when the downhill edge of the snowboard digs into the snow and sends the snowboarder catapulting forward head over heels. Any first time snowboarder has caught their fair share of edges the first few times out. Its almost a rite of passage.

I managed to catch an edge playing roller hockey today. I took a shot while I was rolling down the court and caught the side of the front wheel on my left skate. The wheel acted like a brake and stopped my left skate, immediately sending my left knee straight into the ground. I hit and rolled but my knee managed to take the brunt of it.

When I stood up from the fall I had an extra bump under my knee. I thought I broke something until I realized it was just extra swelling. For a moment there I was sure there was some major damage. Fortunately it looks like its just a flash wound.

Lesson Learned:
Kneepads are no longer an optional part of my roller hockey equipment.
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Wednesday, May 9, 2007

how much the little things can add up

When I first started working I drank at least a cup of coffee a day. I drank two or three on the bad days and generally skipped it on the good days. Each time I bought a cup of coffee from the coffee shop it came with a coffee cozy to keep you from burning your hand.

Every time I finished a cup of coffee I'd throw the little cozy into a corner. Once the pile had grown large enough I'd neatly organize them and stash them in one of my cabinets. I now have almost two year's worth of coffee cozys hiding in my cube.

I stacked all of the cozys on top of each other and ended up with a column that is only about a foot shy of the ceiling. I'd post a snap shot here but cameras aren't allowed at work. (Thats a lesson for a different day).

The only downside to my monument to caffeine consumption is the realization that each cozy represents at least a dollar's worth of coffee. A dollar isn't much for coffee but its still humbling to start counting up the total amount you could have saved by sticking with water.

Lesson Learned : Small things will add up over time to be a lot larger than you'd think they could be. The trick is figuring out if they are worth it.

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

that naked juice should put some clothes on

Naked Juice is a brilliant idea to sell fruit juice that is only fruit juice... and some nutrition additives... and some preservatives... and some herbal supplements... and some... The only naked thing about Naked Juice is that it doesn't have any added sugar.

The really naked truth about the stuff is that its mostly flavored apple juice that will run you 3 bucks apiece.

Monday, May 7, 2007

that negation kills

I heard this first from a friend of mine who was in a comedy troupe, but its proving itself even more true as time goes on. Negation kills the joke. It doesn't matter if what someone said is true or not, play along and see where it goes.

For example, I was eating out the other day and a co-worker sat down behind me. I didn't notice him till he tugged on the back of my shirt and told me to get him a refill for his soda. I knew he was just kidding around but I still went to the default negation. I said something along the lines of, "I can't, I'm eating" which generated a slightly awkward moment where he had to back out of his request. It would have been far better if I would have said something like, "sure thing, right after I'm done eating." Not only does that avoid the awkward silence, but it gives him an opening for another punchline which may even lead to some witty banter.

So now I know, don't say no. Just make sure your yes is so over the top that no is the only way they can take it. Of course, ignore all of this if you are talking to someone without a sense of humor. If you aren't on the same page it could be taken rather poorly.

Thursday, May 3, 2007

that I've been drinking far too much coke.

I started reading up on nutrition facts and I'm now convinced that a coke a week is still too much coke. (I've been drinking one a day). The clincher though was when I went to get a coke out of the machine today, punched in the button where the coke always was without thinking about it, and ended up with a completely different soda.

Blind habits like that are usually a pretty good sign that I should lay off.

Oh, and that "you can't sit with a tv in your lap" . Thanks Darcy

Wednesday, May 2, 2007

that lime light turns every one a little green

I had the change to read Barack Obama's book the Audactiy of Hope. Ever since then I've had an eye on Obama. I'm a fan of the way he thinks and how frank and open he is when it comes time to express those thoughts.

Needless to say I was a little surprised when I saw that Obama's campaign seized a myspace account.

I did some more poking and found the letter the owner of the site sent to Obama's campaign to explain the situation.

All of this had me worried that Obama may have finally succumbed to the sliding ethics of presidential politics. The situation is more than a little ugly but it looks like Obama is at least trying to do the right thing here.

Which brings me to what I've learned. Things get more complicated quickly once you start to add coverage and influence. The more powerful and more visible you are the more worried you have to be about what other people are saying and who might be listening to them.

I guess thats just another reason its good to be unknown.

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

the difference between the shure e3c, e4c, and e4c-n

I work in a cube farm can get loud at times. I listen to music to drown out the noise but my ears can only take so much loud music before I have to give up and put up with the noise around me. I looked into isolating headphones and I've found that Shure makes the best in the business as long as price doesn't matter.

The only downside to Shure, other than price, is the sheer number of models they have. Shure's entry level earphone is the E2. Following the E2 are the E3, E3C, E4, E4C, E4C-N, and the $500 e5. The Shure website lists the difference in price but not the features or the reason for the different price.

Its taken me weeks but here is the breakdown. The E2 will sound better than anything you've ever used before but there is still room to grow. The E3* series is the price to performance sweet spot. The E4* is a noticeable step up from the E3* without breaking the bank. The E5* is the best on the market but you pay a premium for it. If you have the cash to spend the E5 is worth every nickel (all 10,000 of them).

The C or the C-N doesn't change the technology or form factor. The only difference in the different options seems to be color and cord length. There is a G option on some of the earphones that may offer a sound stage ability which will allow the source of a sound to move forward, back, left, and right instead of just existing between you ears.

I'm still not sold on spending that much money on earphones, but the reviews do make them very tempting. Perhaps in a month or so I'll learn what they sound like in person.

Monday, April 30, 2007

to not recompile xorg while its in use.

Apparently xorg has the ability to be recompiled while it is being used without changing system stability. Nvidia, on the other hand, does not like finding out that its kernel module is out of sync with your kernel and may kill Xorg the next time you open an application.

Also, the new xorg startx script defaults to not allowing remote X connections. This makes sense from a security point of view, but it can be troublesome if you use remote X connections and weren't expecting it. Server options for startx are stored in the startx script which is generally located at /usr/bin/startx

how to use a self service car wash

Self service car washes work much better if you see the bubble brush and use it to wash the car. Another tip for all would be washers: bring towels. They don't provide a car drier and the spot free rinse really isn't.

Friday, April 27, 2007

what ctrl-r does in bash

Hit ctrl-r in a bash window will bring up a search prompt that will take user input and scan previously entered commands for a match. Hitting ctrl-r again will cycle the previous commands. This is a more intelligent version just mashing up till you see the command you were looking for.

how to remove a splinter

I realized today that a small scratch just under my knee was really less of a scratch and more of an entry hole for a splinter. The whole area around the splinter was a little tender and I could feel about where the splinter was by pressing on the skin.

This lead to several lessons for the day. First off, razor blades are incredibly sharp (which can be handy if you need to cut some skin). Secondly, cutting yourself open intentionally is a really interesting sensation. Lastly, if all else fails ask a friend to get the needle nose pliers and start pulling.

The splinter that finally came out of my leg was just a little longer than the diameter of a quarter and I've included photos below. Click the photo to see more like it.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

that washing machines are a lousy way to clean leather

The wallet is fine and the cards all seem to work, but that is the last time I'll throw pants into the wash without check the pockets.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

that originality is overated

I always figured that a day was never wasted if you could walk away from it knowing at least one thing you didn't know when you started it. I kicked around the idea of starting a site that I would update daily with something I had learned. I finally decided to start that page today.

I signed into blogspot and started to sign up for my very own blog page. I chose a title, listed the URL I wanted to use, and all seem right and well. With a click of the submit button I was sure I had begun to carve out another little section of the internet to call my own. The only problem was that the URL I wanted to use was taken. Apparently someone had tried this before.

The best part about the internet is how simple it is to voice yourself. People from around the world can sign up and become a part of it in a manner of minutes. That much freedom often causes most of the normal options for urls and ids to be taken, so I'm used to getting creative with titles and the like.

I creatively entered another URL only to find it taken as well. 15 URLs later and my creativity had started to turn to frustration. Every combination seemed to be taken by 3 post blogs or blank page holders that hadn't been updated in 3 years.

That was when I learned todays lesson: There is a good chance that even your most original idea has been done before, done often, and (if you are lucky) done very poorly. Well... its either that or that blogspot should be a titch more aggressive about reclaiming blog names.