Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Thursday, July 31, 2008 7:27 pm

No power, please, I’m an American*

Filed under: Weird — Lex @ 7:27 pm

While looking for a trailer for “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” (official one here), I stumbled across an ad/trailer for “Swing Vote”, apparently a comedy whose premise is that a presidential election comes down to one man’s vote. (I can see one flaw in the premise right off the top of my head: If enough vote-counting has been done that we know that the election comes down to one person’s vote, then it’s presumably hours or days after the polls have closed, so how can this guy still be allowed to vote? But never mind that for the purposes of this post.)

Part of the ad was a poll that asked what you would do if you were the swing voter in question: decide the election, think about it or let others worry about it. At the time I saw the ad, 81% of respondents were saying they’d be the decider (as opposed to the deciderer, I guess), 8 % were saying they wanted to think about it and 11% were saying let someone else worry about it.

This is an Internet poll, so it’s obviously not scientific. Still: 11% would pass up on the chance to decide a presidential election? Who are these people, and what are they doing wandering around on the Internet, let alone having the right to vote? Yeesh. That’s sort of like saying, “Eh,” when asked if you mind whether someone cuts your head off with a rusty saw.

*Props to whoever can guess where I derived this post title from.

Monday, July 28, 2008 8:53 pm

For Tony Snow’s kids

I can’t say I knew Tony Snow, the Fox commentator and former White House spokesman — we bumped into each other in a doorway at a college reunion one time — but he and I shared two things: an alma mater and an employer (albeit at different times). In the wake of his untimely death, I’m happy (if that’s the right word) to pass on information regarding a trust fund that’s being set up for the benefit of his kids. You can donate online at the Center for Health Transformation Web site (the link is over to the right).

Or you can send a check made payable to the “Tony Snow Family Trust” to:

Center for Health Transformation
Attn: Tony Snow Family Trust
1425 K Street, NW
Suite 450
Washington, DC 20005

Sunday, July 27, 2008 11:29 am

Take his comic books. Please.

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 11:29 am
Tags: ,

Tony is getting rid of thousands of his old vintage comic books for the cost of shipping (or, if you’re local to him, the cost of buying him a beer). Some might be valuable as comic books go, although he’s offering no guarantees on that point. You can find out more at Take My Comic Books! Offer good while supplies last. Void where prohibited. Over 18 only (actually, I’m not sure about that part).

In case you’ve ever wondered what it’s like when lightning strikes the video camera in your hands …

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 11:25 am
Tags: ,

… now you know. (The videographer wasn’t seriously hurt, and the camera obviously suffered little enough damage that the video could be retrieved. Still, kids, do NOT try this at home.)

(h/t: Wired Journalists)

Australian blogger dead at — I am not making this up — age 108.

Filed under: Sad — Lex @ 11:24 am

108-year-old blogger dies

Thursday, July 10, 2008 8:59 pm


Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 8:59 pm
Tags: ,

Went to the eye doc today. I need new glasses — no duh — but otherwise everything was normal, except that she kept using the word “mature” a lot, as in “as your eyes mature” and “mature retinas” and so forth.

If my eyes are so mature, why are they continually drawn to Just askin’.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 6:51 pm

Quote of the day

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 6:51 pm

From Tony Plutonium, on all the folderol about what Wes Clark said about John McCain’s being shot down vs. his qualifications to run the country: “Does that imply that if I get sideswiped while riding the Suzuki, I’m qualified to be a county commissioner?”

One guy who won’t be coming to my high school class’s 30-year reunion

Filed under: Sad,Weird — Lex @ 6:51 pm

The James David Boyd in this story was David Boyd, my good friend and classmate all the way through junior high and high school. I last saw him at our 10-year reunion, when he seemed to be pretty much the same David I’d gone to school with. But I guess a lot can happen in 20 years.

Damn. I can only begin to imagine what his family is going through … and what they still have to face.

I guess he had a good day

Filed under: Fun,Hooper — Lex @ 6:50 pm

Daddy: Hey, Hooper — did you have a good day?

Hooper: What do you think I am, some kind of FREAK who didn’t have a good day?

My stepdad’s claim to fame

Filed under: Fun — Lex @ 7:05 am
Tags: , ,

Jerry 1, OPEC 0.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 7:02 am

Well, THAT sucked

Filed under: Housekeeping — Lex @ 7:02 am
Tags: ,

My hard drive died a couple of weeks ago. I only got the computer back from the shop yesterday (more on that in a minute).

Everybody who lives through this kind of thing learns some lessons. Mine was: Despite using XP Media Center’s backup function faithfully and backing up to an outboard hard drive, which appears to have saved most or all of my data, many of my apps are now gone for good. Among them was Office, although after I raised hell with the repair shop, they installed a temporary version I supposedly can combine with my authorization key to make permanent. (I’ve finally found my disc for the permanent version, so worst case, I can reinstall. Still….)

But I had a number of other apps for multimedia, and they apparently are either outright gone or else fatally damaged. Among them were Photoshop Elements, Premiere (video capture/editing), an audio editing suite, Click 2 DVD (video capturing and DVD burning), and others, enough to make me a one-man multimedia center, lacking only Flash and something like Dreamweaver for creating Web pages. They were factory-installed on the original hard drive, with no discs accompanying the computer. Their total replacement value is somewhere north of $2,500. And they’re gone for good. Also gone: Norton Antivirus (and my attempts to install AVG freeware have been running into problems).

Interestingly, it was my freeware apps that seemed to survive in the best shape. Firefox, IrfanView (photo-editing), Ad-Aware antispyware, Audacity audio-editing software and most of the others survived, by and large. But the expensive stuff? Bye-bye.

I also was underwhelmed by both the quality of the work this place did and the length of time it took them to do it. In particular, when they called me to get authorization for the work after running a diagnostic, I specifically asked them to recover both data and apps. No one told me they couldn’t recover the apps. Had I known that, I might have looked into getting a new computer rather than trying to fix the one I’ve got. Also annoying: They appear to have created a new user, one that isn’t listed among options for sign-in but under which most of my data appears to be stored if you look at the DOS directory. I’m not going to name the place here on the blog, but the parent company is going to be getting a long list of specific complaints.

So, to protect your stuff, learn more about backing up than I did. And do it regularly. Mean time to failure for hard drives is something like 5 1/2 years, but that means a lot die much sooner than that. My repair bill would have paid for a slightly-better-than-low-end laptop, and if I had really needed the multimedia apps for work, I’d be looking at that repair bill PLUS close to two grand for a new PC.

And software makers: Get over yourselves and start including discs with the PCs to which you license your stuff. I don’t give a rat’s hind end if it costs you more.

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