Friday, June 30, 2006

24 Hour News Channel My Ass!

FoxNews: you SUCK! Ditto CNN! Frankly.... screw all the cable news channels. When a story like this comes through the online news sources, you might think that at least one of the news channels would give an on the hour update. Especially any who claim to be a 24 hour news channel. But no, they're all showing replays of early talking head shows.

Israel warns: free soldier or PM dies
Middle East correspondent Martin Chulov

July 01, 2006

ISRAEL last night threatened to assassinate Palestinian Prime Minister Ismael Haniyeh if Hamas militants did not release a captured Israeli soldier unharmed.

This is a huge news story, but not one mention tonight at 9:00. It truly is unbelievable. And particularly insulting that I have to get current news from Britain . Who still does their level best to support Palestine in doing anything they want without repercussion. Watch the report Here.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Useless Product of the Day

A Tonneau cover for a Pontiac Solstice.

The Solstice is already soft-top convertible. It has a soft cover built right in! It's right there behind the seat, taking up the entire trunk. Who is going to spend an extra $250 for this, when you can just put the top up?

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

I act like a criminal because I have allergies.

The over-the-counter sinus pill situation is really pissing me off.

My husband has childhood asthma. He takes Singular daily. Yet I still force him to help me chop down the giant mounds of honeysuckle that went into bloom about a month after we moved into this house. It was near making us pass out in an sinus-coma each time we walk out the front door. So depending on circumstance, he needs to take OTC allergy medication. As do I.

Apparently my area is an allergy nightmare. I often overhear others bemoaning this area and its pollen vortex. It actually is really windy here. There are windmills on the mountain tops a few miles away.... so vortex isn't so much of an exaggeration. Plus we often have a lot of construction dust. This often means we both take daytime allergy pills. And before bed, nighttime allergy pills. (I am an insomniac, so I refuse to take anything that will mess with my sleep.)

We had been taking Tylenol allergy pills for several years now. Both daytime and nighttime versions. They get the job done w/o too many side effects.

But of course this just happens to be the same pills that tweekers use to make methamphetamines, and new laws have been passed making it much harder to get these pills in any quantity.

The new "tweeker" laws are a hassle, but they can be lived with. It is annoying that we can only buy enough supply for a week. Whatever. What is actually worse is that Tylenol, keeps fucking with their branding. They keep changing their design, packaging and options every other month. We had bought 'Tylenol Allergy Sinus" capsules for years. Now they don't make "Allergy Sinus" anymore. Instead we get "Tylenol Allergy Complete", or "Tylenol Sinus Severe", or "Tylenol Cold Sever", or "Tylenol Hoof and Mouth Disease (Nighttime)". It seems to change every month. And no store has the same set. And none of them come in capsules anymore. It's either caplets or gelcaps or something. And now they have decided that every product has to have "cool burst" flavoring in it. These aren't chewable tablets. Why are they adding flavoring to pills that are supposed to be swallowed whole?

I could understand if adding 'cool burst' was to keep the tweekers from using Tylenol's product to make meth. BUT IT DOESN'T! It's just flavoring. Who's brilliant idea was this? Make a product that has no flavor, then add something that tastes like a bad tic-tac. Add it to every product line you have. Give none of your customers a choice. Good job Dee Dee Dee!

Apparently, even the pharmacists are frustrated. A week ago I'd had it, so I called out the pharmacist to help us find an equivalent that doesn't have pseudoephedrine, and won't keep me awake at night. He basically gave us one of those Scooby doo "Ruh-roh's". I had to ask if we were the only ones complaining about the branding issue. He confirmed we weren't. He said everyone is.

It isn't like we are brand loyalists. We have been taking the same brand because we know its side affects. They are tolerable. Other allergy medication we've tried either make us too jittery, or don't work for us. I just want the same product I've been buying for years.

So I am forced to check every store I go to, hoping they might have our old brand. In affect looking like an f-ing tweeker!

Monday, June 26, 2006

Gay pride and womens rights!

This is coverage of the Gay Pride parade from my local news on Sunday. I have lived in this area my whole life, and fully support the gay community. But I really want to know why lesbians have rights that straight women don't?

If lesbians get to show their boobs on TV, so should straight women. (Grandma, keep your top on... no one wants to see that) Hell, these days the networks can't even show the tiniest amount of plumbers ass without it being blurred.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Robogames 2006 Review

One of the things the Robogames people do really well is marketing. It was one of the most photographed events I have ever been to. So I am mostly going to point you to their sites.

(A few days ago when I started this entry, that was my plan. Shockingly , or maybe not so - Few sites seem to be admitting they were ever there.) So here goes my rant.

As a member of the "paying public", it was obvious we were not the people the Robogames were catering to. Honestly, there was no reason to attend unless you were competing in the battlebot competition. If you were interested in other robotic technology, there was really nothing to see. Battlebots are super cool. But also, super 5 years ago.

As you can see from the picture above, the venue was cavernous and twice the size as they needed. ( As I understand it the space isn't cheap) Thankfully they suckered a few people like me to pay 20 bucks for an event that could have been held in a school auditorium.

Behind the wall of flags were one set of viewing stands. Here. Apparently last year there were two sets. Here. And here. I didn't expect a RoboNexus size event, but one naturally thinks it might be the same size or slightly larger than last years event.

In front of that was the combat pit where teams are queuing up to compete.

Next to that was an area where teams were working on their robots, and completely blocked off to "the paying public". Here. Unless you wanted to pay $750.00. Pretty steep in my estimation. It was however the most densely populated area in the place.

Here was a very lonely guy from the Space Elevator Challenge. He didn't really have anything to show except a video demonstration that if I recall correctly came from CNN. This picture also shows how much space was really being utilized.

I was really astounded when I started reading nothing but favorable coverage.

I apparently am the only one saying the emperor has no clothes. It made me wonder if I was just being a super bitch. If that is the case, then why are there so few sites posting pictures and reviews?

There are more pictures of the t-shirts. Here, (which was more interesting than the event).

Non Battlebot robots this year Here. Last years robots here. The HItec representative is smiling here, but when I saw him, he look bored out of his gourd. He had one bot that looked functional. I even asked if he was going to get the bots up and working. I had seen their show at RoboNexus. Here, and it was a crowd pleaser. He claimed he was going to get them up for robosoccer, but I left early, and have yet to see anyone post pictures.

I have been trying to think how to write this entry since Saturday. I have really been struggling because I love the hell out of robotics. I want to think that I didn't have my expectations way out of whack. This isn't like the year 2000. (The robot dark ages). In 6 years robot forums are popping up like pimples on a teenagers face. Screw space camp, now robot camps are becoming popular. Target for christ sakes is selling Robonova kits. HT Robots-Dreams. I am sorry if I expect a little more innovation that what can be found at Target.

The funniest thing about the show I have to admit, was a guy I talked to briefly who was working on this bot. (Sorry, this is the best picture I could find) He asked what had brought me to the show. I replied I had been watching IRobot for a few years now. Which he seems to scoff at. Alright fine... I see his lack of fondness for them. I say well... "they do sponsor a lot of events that feature robot technology". "Those are rolling robots" he says" not walking robots. True. I say that walking robots are a much more complicated creature. Make some niceities and scuttle away.

I recall this story to my husband later who thought I was imbelishing my own snarkyness on the conversation. I tell him "no - that is what he said". My husband asks "Well all the bots in the combat pit are rolling bots". Come to think about it, I think there were 3 total walking robot there... ok 4 if you count Aibo.

My husband says that if I think I can do better, I should plan an event. And on some level I agree with that. On another level I think that isn't realistic. There is just a certain rhythem of the world. A certain yin and yang. I don't love making movies, but I love paying to watch them. If every time someone was not entertained by a movie they decided to make one themselves, there would be infinitely more crap in the world. By paying for an event, you hope you are funding people to do what they love to do, and what they do well.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Thrianta Baby.

An absolutely fascinating history about the Thrianta rabbit breed here.

Once brought to the edge of extinction by World War II after the Germans invaded the Netherlands. It is said they were smuggled back to Holland in empty coffins meant to hold soldiers for re-burial.

All of the rabbits you will ever see on this site are house rabbits who lead pampered lives.

Here is a picture where the sun is not shining through her ears.


Woot sells 1200 of the Roomba Sage June 9th.

Just because I'm robot needy.

I'm dying to know if Auzzies name their roomba's like we do.

HT lifekludger.

I want a roomba MOD!

Or a shiney metal one.

So people can kiss my shiney metal ass.

Other great photo's here:

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Comcast... AGAIN.

I have had to deal with Comcast six times this month, and let me just say... it is pissing me the fuck off. I apparently have nothing better to do than sit on hold with Comcast. Let me just start out by saying I understand outages and equipment failure. Stuff breaks down.

Apparently all the time.

If you have read this blog, you know it is an ongoing issue with us. I don't know what the fuck it is. My husband and I do research. (pre-shopping) We don't buy bottom of the line....

Anyway... I digress.

If hadn't had to deal with them 4 other times this month I would be less close to the road called livid when this morning my net, cable and landline went dead.

Let me just say again... I understand outages.

What pisses me off to no end is that they refuse to tell you when they have an outage, system convert, or whatever. A customer likely will still be pissed off, but they will pissed off and go away. Instead they insist on having you call back on average 2-3 times. Then come up with creative ideas on how to get the support people to just tell you if there is a widespread problem.

I will admit, when my house goes technologically dark, I'm going to be surly. But at least I haven't lost time on hold. Wasted a chunk of time playing guessing games with support, and generally livid in the end they just didn't say there was an outage.

It isn't like we really have a lot of choices, so telling customers they are having a fucking problem wouldn't make that much of a difference.

I know... I know.. I am being overly sensitive. Maybe someone hit a pole down my street. Playing 50 questions is appropriate.

There must be a lot of people in my small town plowing into underground cable lines. I also find it totally unreasonable when they have a failure that all their services fail. Again, not an isolated incident.

In another event earlier this month our HD cable box starts acting up. As you can see here, this also is not an isolated incident. So we take the box in and swap it out.. really thinking nothing of it. Because we have been through - I don't know, close to 4 HD boxes since my entry on 10/9/05. Since we were still getting digital static with the new box I called customer service.

After being on hold 40 minutes or so, the support guy comes on, and I say in a jovial tone "Hi (whatever the support guys name was) you guys have to be having a system wide problem". I was on hold for 40 minutes". To which I get an uncomfortable laugh. He then takes me through the motions of rebooting my box. Finally after about 10 minutes he says " you asked if we were having a system wide problem, last week they switched everyone over to a fully digital signal and lots of people are having problems".

Well.. okay. I am a little surprised this would be our problem, because half of the house is working fine. We set up an appointment for 3 days later because if I have to swap out another box, I am going to freak out.

When they tech comes out, she is about ready to slit her wrists. She confirms that the system switch has made her life completely miserable. Comcast apparently didn't inform any customers of the switch, and anyone with copper coax needed to be restrung. Which apparently half my older house was wired with.

I understand I would have had a tech come out, but it would have been nice to get that handled on the 1st or second calls.

Then... I just have to bitch again about the f-ing HD situation. It has been 10 months since we got HDTV. They still have the same f-ing 20 channels. Roughly half of them still sports content. At least half of the time, what is listed to be on - isn't. It would be super out of this world, if they added one channel every 6 months. That is all I ask.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Alien Monument.

I think aliens are secretly living among us. Why else would they have built this alien friendly - gas station quickie mart in the middle of nowhere? They can fuel up... get a few Twinkies, and be out before anyone sees. I hope when our robot overlords find out, there will be some ass kicking. Now that would be some good TV. Or a good reality show. Set them up in the same house with nothing better to do than get all hissabitchy with each other. Maybe there could be a house romance.

Update on the Alien Mart: I am so bummed! I've driven by this place a half a dozen times and never stopped to get anything inside. I did a search to see how redundant I was being. Because, lets face it, most things probably have been blogged about a million times. I was glad to see, I wasn't just one of many, beating this thing to death. There were a few interesting links of note though. Here and here. I will have to stop inside the next time I drive by the Tower Mart.

Open today.

I am so giddy. This is the first paraphalaenopsis I have not killed. Yeah.. techies can grow things too!

Paraphalaenopsis labukensis x Kaseem's Delight.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

When bunnies smile.

This is a completely un-doctored photo:

My girl loves carrot tops. I am not sure why she does this. We have other house rabbits and none of them have ever done this. She starts out really slow. Then works herself into a perfectly good carrot top froth. She starts eating them so fast, and gets so drippy, you can see the bottom of the photo she even starts dripping on the camera.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

I (heart) robots.

Since things are less crazy I'm back to doing one of the things I love best. Scouting new technology. So my husband and I figured we would go to the robogames. Sadly... it turned out, we were a weekend early. I new it was ominous when I didn't see any geeks around. But while driving back, on the freeway, there was a cab with an electronic billboard which had an advertisement for Irobot! Luckily I had my camera since we were going to the robogames.

Since I had just bought a fancy new camera, I wasn't sure that I had gotten this shot. I couldn't tell if the text had come out. Both cars moving different speeds on the freeway and all. So my husband stalked this guy so I could get another shot, only to find out the billboard cycled through other advertisements. I could only imagine what the driver and his passanger were thinking.

I thought it was super cool... being an Irobot fan for many years now. At least the day wasn't a complete wash. We upgarded cell phones. My husband put his Razor through the washing machine last week. Maybe I will write about that later.

RoboNexus picked up my blog!

It has been a long crazy year, and so this blog has gone silent again for a while. Things are now (at least temporarily) smooth sailing. So I was actually thinking of moving this blog and setting it up under a new name. While looking around for an old post I made when I first got my Friendly Robotics mower, I found that RoboNexus actually linked to an entry I made last year about the show. How cool is that?~ So I guess I will stay around for a while under Snarkolepsy.