Waiting for people to return my phone calls

A brief comparison of search engines – first hits:

octopus+urinal in Yahoo: The Urinals of the Red Vic

octopus+urinal in Google: South Park S9 Ep10 (“Mystery of the Urinal Deuce” – posted by Octopus)

High End Systems fog juice – any brand – is mostly “food-grade” glycol. And while it will, over time, completely dissolve the 1/4″ Crosby someone dropped in the tank for some reason, rendering both the partially dissolved Crosby and the now blood red fog juice useless, it is not considered hazardous waste. And the ppm of glycol is way below that in anti-freeze. Bottom line: you can dump less than five gallons down the drain if you have to.

If that saves some poor stagehand the two hour internet/phone odyssey I went through to discover that fact – my work here has been worth it. {BTW – the MSDS says “Follow state and federal laws” – which are apparently non-existent.}

Looking up at the stars, do you wonder how many might be looking back down at you? This site tracks the number of people in space right now.

They found a hobbit T-rex in China.

Wired lists the contents of a cup of coffee. I still want another cup.

And this blog is worth nothing. Nothing! How I know…

(Are We Lost Yet is also worthless – if’n you waz wunderin. Maybe if I updated it…)

I have – however updated my Examiner column. Natch. You can’t paste a table into the interface directly from Excel. You need to paste it into Word – and then into the interface. I’m not sure if Alpine is the highest municipality in Arizona (my search was not exhaustive), but I’m pretty confident that Yuma is the lowest.

Now You Know.


Ambition impaired by relative contentment

Probably the single biggest reason I’m not a full-time writer is that I still enjoy my dayjob. Consider: it’s 3am, I’ve been sandbagged into pulling what essentially amounts ot a double shift, and I’m out in a parking lot banding pallets full of plastic flooring together. And I’m still having fun.

Not sex-on-the-beach kinda fun, but I enjoy doing things and being helpful. And I haven’t played with a banding crank since my day-labor days back in the late 80’s.

Now, if a big-enough deal falls into my lap, I could walk away from my job the next day and feel hunky-dory about it, but the odds of that are microscopic.

On my other blog: the coming fire season, the sad story of Macho B, and the grim realities of freelancing with feelings.

Are We Lost Yet?

My Beloved Suns beat Sacramento handily in front of a half-empty arena. Meanwhile, the Dallas Mavericks lost to the even lowlier Grizzlies. That leaves the Mavs 3 games up with six to go, and hosting the Suns on Sunday. Nothing is settled yet.

How did we live without the internet:

How to choose a urinal in a public restroom.

Wii baseball flat out cheats once you get to the pro level. I’m not just talking about how “Sakura” can throw 100+ mph or a inside screwball that would take three different hands for a human using a controller. I mean there is a Japanese strike zone which shrinks or expands according to the conceived competence of the pitcher. Except for Sakura, who can get a strike from a pitch in the dirt.

Just venting. Maybe I should break down a buy a new game…

Now you know.

Reading on the toilet at my Superbowl Party [1/25/09]

I know, I know, you’ve been thinking, as well as I, that it has been far too long since we spoke in this blog about toilets.

Here, then, is a fine article about the good work of the World Toilet Oganization. [via Smartset]

And SitOrSquat’s interactive map for finding toilets around the world.

Now – send those photos in!

For something to read upon the toilet, consider The Guardian’s list of the 1000 Novels Everyone Must Read. This link leads to the F&SF intro for that list.

A week from now, I’m hosting a Superbowl Party – because I can. Anyone who actually reads this blog (all eight of you) is invited. E-mail me if you don’t know where my (west-central Phoenix) house is. Party starts 2 hours before kickoff (scheduled at 4pm local time, plus or minus a dozen long comercials). Plenty of food, and at least one beer.

Now you know.

My kitchen and Antarctic urinals may be nothing but waves [11/30/08]

So what my wife and I learned that we have the room on our credit card to plausibly rennovate the kitchen, which has the same cabinets from original construction circa 1949. So they’re a little dated. All told, this is a $3000 project if you include a new dishwasher – which we will. If our tax return is what we expect it to be, this ought to be off the books by the end of the year.

The question is: can we install it all before Chistmas?

I expect to learn a lot about installing cabinets in the next four weeks. I’ll share.

And now, for toilets in Antarctica:

Here’s some collected photos of them. Here’s some history of how they were maintained in the past. And here’s the website of Cedar, one of the people who cleans them right now. So now you know what stalagshite is. And Cedar’s Flickr set is way worth it. And remember, it’s summer in Antarctica.

Oh, and there may be no such as things as particles. It might all be waves.

Now you know.

Notes from my five day weekend [10/21/08

First of all, if you don’t post regularly, you lose 50% of your traffic. In my case, that means I go from six to three (all of whom, I suspect, have my phone number).

There’s no overarching reason why I didn’t post, just a list of little ones. My kids went to Disneyland, which left my wife and I under some pressure to use our “quality time” wisely. So we experimented with going a day without computers or TV. I got called into work unexpectedly. We have some friends in town because their daughter is in the hospital. None of which would eat a whole weekend, but it all collectively adds up.

With our chance to see a grown-up movie without logistical obstructions, we chose W. Because you can’t torment the current president enough to satisfy my wife. Oliver Stone’s bio has no information that hasn’t been circulating for some time (he should have given Bob Woodward screen-writing credit), s the only new part is the dramatic re-enactments of it. Josh Brolin does a great Bush, but Stone has him eating or drinking through the whole movie, apparently just out of spite. And they dwell on this process with close-ups, which gets old fast.

So I didn’t learn much about the 43rd President, but I did come away with some perspective on the problems with biographies, especially on film. I’ve always been baffled by what directors include and leave out. W spends tme on Bush’s first campaign for congress (which he lost) but almost no time on his legendary battle against incumbent Ann Richards for the governor of Texas. It is mentioned briefly that Ann richards would be hard to beat. Then cut to the victory party.

He beat Ann Richards the same way he beat John Kerry in 2004 – by stirring up the base and making sure they all got out to vote. Now, the 2004 race was outside the film’s focus (which was largely decisions leading up to the Iraq invasion), but some insight into how this idiot keeps beating supposedly smart democrats would be instructive.

I have the same problem with the John Adams bio that ran on HBO. There were some moments I really wanted to see, that the series just skipped over. John Adams playing bad cop in the treaty negotiations between the new nation, England and France probably saved the union. Two lines.

I know you only have so much time, but show – don’t tell.

The good news is that they left that area open for me to write a play about it. Someday.

OK. This is not intended as a collection of other websites, but I have collected a few anyway over the past five days.

Chris Mathews becomes more partisan everyday, but you can still destroy your political career on Hardball. Here’s a recap from this morning’s Fix.

Trying to get your book on the shelves at the bookstore. Publishing marketer Andrew Wheeler explains on his blog why you shouldn’t take the numbers personally.

Why is your child’s textbook a pile of unreadable crap – the same as yours used to be?  The Textbook League explains, with an extended excerpt from physicist Richard Feyman’s account of his time on the California curriculum committee.

And finally, a return to an old and nearly forgotten obsession of mine: pictures of toilets found randomly on the internet (but these in particular are worth seeing!).

Worth waiting for? Probably not. But thanks for your patience anyway.