February 28, 2006

Two slips of worthless paper... not!

Andy Ihnatko explains how buying lottery tickets is a bona-fide good investment.

So anybody who claims that I just threw away six dollars on two slips of worthless paper with numbers on them doesn't know what he's talking about.


Posted by jackhodgson at 06:46 PM

Knots Illustrated


Posted by jackhodgson at 05:44 PM

Dave Winer

Scripting News: "Laissez les bons temps rouler."

Posted by jackhodgson at 04:35 PM

Millar is an O

redsoxcirc100I hadn't heard anything this winter about where former Redsox first-baseman Kevin Millar ended up. It was a foregone conclusion last fall that he wouldn't be back with the sox this year. But other than that I'd heard nothing.

This morning, a quick search of the MLB website shows him now in Baltimore. A story on the MLB site describes him as, "part-time first baseman and outfielder". In Boston he was adamant about being the full-time 1B man.

Here's a very Kevin-like quote from him in the mlb.com piece.

I mean, I miss a lot of those guys [in Boston], but that's the reality. That's the tough thing about this game. You have family. You play with somebody and they get traded or you get traded.

But you know what? You get a chance to see them and beat them up -- hopefully, 19 times. And, hopefully, I can give away some of their secrets.

The Red Sox play Baltimore for the first time on April 7.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:18 AM

Fat Tuesday

Today is Mardi Gras, "Fat Tuesday". The last day before the start of Lent.

In New Orleans it's one of the biggest days of the year. A big part of their personality, and of their tourist economy. It's a week long event which wraps up today.

Reports are that, contrary to the post-Katrina fears last fall, Mardi Gras is being held successfully in the Big Easy. But not without challenges.

The city has some 200 fewer cops than they did a year ago, and only 2 of the area's 9 Emergency Rooms are really functioning.

But I congratulate those affected by this not-totally-natural disaster, for making a comeback, and I'm wishing I was down there throwing beads myself.

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:59 AM

February 27, 2006

Trading up

Kyle MacDonald is working on trading a paperclip for a house. Every trade is for an item a little bit better. So far he's made it up to a truck.

[via Rocketboom]

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:54 PM

Paul Shea would understand

This morning I had my first cup of coffee in two weeks.

I've come to the conclusion that coffee isn't the primary cause of my stomach problems.

My high-school friend, Paul Shea, was the first of my peers who I remember loving coffee. This was back in the day before coffee became the thing it is now. Pre-Starbucks.

I can't even remember where he got it, but I vividly remember us walking down main street in Melrose, and him taking a sip from a paper cup, and saying, "Ahh, there's nothing like a good cup of coffee."

Posted by jackhodgson at 05:31 PM

February 24, 2006

Survivor: Exile Island -- Episode #4

Terry has a target on his back.

Possible spoilers ahead...

From the very start: Sally or RuthMarie?

Aras: "We have to have a talk about camp responsibilities."

Reward: Survivor Charmin' Bathroom. Casaya wins.

Terry sent to Exile Island.

Back at camp, things fall apart without Terry.

Bobby takes a "dump".

Cerie is working her butt off.

Terry finds the special immunity idol, but how will he keep it hidden?

Cerie is just loving all the friction in her tribe.

Bucket Brigade Immunity Challenge. Heavy rain during challenge. Casaya wins.

A rift in the Dan-Terry alliance. Terry uses loophole to ignore Dan's commitment.

RuthMarie voted off.


Casaya "Older Women"
Bruce, Karate & Art Teacher, 58 (was La Mina)
Cirie, Nurse, 35 (was Casaya)
Bobby, Attorney, 32 (was Viveros)
Courtney, Performance Artist, 31 (was Bayoneta)
Shane, Entertainment Marketing, 25 (was La Mina)
Danielle, Medical Sales, 24 (was Bayoneta)
Aras, Yoga Instr., 24 (was Viveros)

La Mina "Older Men"
Dan, Astronaut, 52 (was La Mina)
Terry, Airline/Fighter Pilot, 46 (was La Mina)
Sally, Social Worker, 27 (was Bayoneta)
Nick, Financial Sales, 25 (was Viveros)
Austin, Author, 24 (was Viveros)

Won Reward
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Casaya
2. La Mina
3. La Mina
4. Casaya

Won Immunity
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Bayoneta
2. La Mina
3. Casaya
4. Casaya

Banished to Exile Island
1. Misty
2. Bruce
3. Bruce
4. Terry*

* Found idol

Voted Off
1. Tina, "Lumber Jill", 45, Casaya Tribe
2. Melinda, Singer, 32, Casaya Tribe (was Casaya)
3. Misty, Engineer, 24, La Mina Tribe (was Bayoneta)
4. Ruth Marie, Retail Leasing, 48, La Mina (was Casaya)

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:24 PM

February 23, 2006

Will Rogers quote

"A king can stand people fighting but he can't last long if people start thinking."

-- Will Rogers

Posted by jackhodgson at 02:29 PM

February 22, 2006

Automated order taking at KFC

May I take your order please.

This makes total sense. It's only a matter of time before all the human order-takers at fast food places are replaced. Long ago the human cashiers ceased to add any value to the process. Which is too bad.

Some pictures...

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:14 AM

February 21, 2006

I want my Maxwell House

For a couple of months I have been having minor, but persistent, stomach problems. Daily heartburn, bloated feeling, like that.

A week ago Monday I decided that it may be caused by all the coffee I've been drinking. So I decided to stop for awhile. My last cup was Sunday, 9 days ago.

Oddly, I have a greater craving today than I did on day one. My stomach is better though.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:47 AM

February 20, 2006

Curt Gowdy dies

When I listened to my first Redsox games, way back when, Curt Gowdy was the voice of the Sox.

Boston Globe story...

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:53 PM

Why it was wrong

Nickerblog is a NH democrat who writes that we should get over the Cheney hunting accident thing and move on.

And as for this Cheney thing, it's a non-issue. In New Hampshire, hunting accidents often go unreported. Cheney didn't take a high-powered rifle and shoot someone in the head. He accidentally sprayed some birdshot into his friend while tracking quail. I mean, it's dumb, but it happens. We, the 61% of us who disapprove of the choices Bush and his administration are making on behalf of our country, need to stop making issues out of non-issues like hunting accidents and verbal miscues and start coming up with a strong alternative for 2008.

I disagree about the Cheney thing. The reason I criticize him, and the administration, is not cause of the shooting -- which I agree was a stupid accident, but accident's happen. The problem I have is with way they handled it after it happened. They kept it secret for a day, they tried to blame it on the victim, and when Cheney decided to "come out" he did it with friendly reporter on FOX.

We learned from both Nixon and Clinton, that it's not the act that's the problem, it's the coverup.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:34 PM

Ice Skating

For the first time this winter there were groups of people out on the lake ice skating today. The combination of recent thaws, then refreezing with no real snow, has led to a glassy smooth surface that is ideal for skating.

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:29 PM

February 17, 2006

Welcome to George Bush's America

The British High Court in The Guardian website:

A high court judge yesterday delivered a stinging attack on America, saying its idea of what constituted torture was out of step with that of "most civilised nations".

The criticism, directed at the Bush administration's approach to human rights, was made by Mr Justice Collins during a hearing over the refusal by ministers to request the release of three British residents held at Guantánamo Bay.

The judge said: "America's idea of what is torture is not the same as ours and does not appear to coincide with that of most civilised nations." He made his comments, he said, after learning of the UN report that said Guantánamo should be shut down without delay because torture was still being carried out there.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:35 AM

Survivor: Exile Island -- Episode #3

Survivor as a contact sport, another trip to Exile Island, and Shane is unravelling, again.

Possible spoilers ahead...

Back from TC Bruce is being a real know-it-all. Is he crazy?

He shows them how to "filter" the water through a pair of t-shirts, instead of boiling it. Will this work? Will they all be sick in a couple of days?

I've thought for a few seasons now that the water supply is secretly pre-treated, and is safe to drink. The producers tell them it needs to be boiled to raise the stress level.

La Mina is struggling. But they win Reward and get some blankets and tarps. Just keep them away from the water.

And they send Bruce back to Exile Island. That is so harsh!

Shane is losing it... again.

Misty and Sally, of La Mina, have a pretty good alliance. They're trying to signup the younger men.

Dan and Terry, also on La Mina, are pretty tight too.

"Let's Wrassle" Immunity Challenge. I think it was inspired by the Big Ball Rolling challenge of last season. People liked the physicality of it. Also this ratchets-up the tension between individual players.

Aras uses the vulcan nerve pinch during the challenge. It worked!

At the end I thought big Bobby was lagging, and somehow afraid to tackle the small RuthMarie, but then he picks her up and carries her to his own goal. Yikes.

Casasya wins immunity.

At TC.

Jeff asks about the fishing spear. Trying to stir up trouble. But then they refuse to admit that it was lost. What was that about? Who in that room didn't already know it was gone?

First time the Exile Island idol is in play. Jeff asks, "Misty did you find the idol?"

"No I did not." Misty is gone.

Sally is the big loser here. Her alliance with Misty had potential but now she's on her own. Dan/Terry very strong now.


Casaya "Older Women"
Bruce, Karate & Art Teacher, 58 (was La Mina)
Cirie, Nurse, 35 (was Casaya)
Bobby, Attorney, 32 (was Viveros)
Courtney, Performance Artist, 31 (was Bayoneta)
Shane, Entertainment Marketing, 25 (was La Mina)
Danielle, Medical Sales, 24 (was Bayoneta)
Aras, Yoga Instr., 24 (was Viveros)

La Mina "Older Men"
Dan, Astronaut, 52 (was La Mina)
Ruth Marie, Retail Leasing, 48 (was Casaya)
Terry, Airline/Fighter Pilot, 46 (was La Mina)
Sally, Social Worker, 27 (was Bayoneta)
Nick, Financial Sales, 25 (was Viveros)
Austin, Author, 24 (was Viveros)

Won Reward
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Casaya
2. La Mina
3. La Mina

Won Immunity
1. La Mina, Viveros, & Bayoneta
2. La Mina
3. Casaya

Banished to Exile Island
1. Misty
2. Bruce
3. Bruce

Voted Off
1. Tina, "Lumber Jill", 45, Casaya Tribe
2. Melinda, Singer, 32, Casaya Tribe (was Casaya)
3. Misty, Engineer, 24, La Mina Tribe (was Bayoneta)

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:18 AM

February 16, 2006

My Powerball Numbers

I bought 2 tickets for last night's drawing.

Out of the 12 numbers in my two entries, I got one number in the drawing.

1 out of 12. You need 6 out of 6 to win the big bucks. You need 2 out of 6 to win $4.

So I didn't do so great. But I figure that the law of averages now says that I'll get lots of hits on the next tickets I buy.

$365 million!

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:16 PM

The fate of Stevens Creek

When I first moved to California the backbone of my world was Stevens Creek Blvd. It was one of the main streets to go through the Apple Campus back then. Our first apartment was in Campbell, just off of the blvd.

When I was trying to learn to play golf, we played often at Deep Cliff which had the actual creek, Stevens Creek, running through it.

I often rode my bike along the trail that this guy writes about.

For thousands of years, these creeks ran basically at surface level, overflowing their banks, twisting and turning their courses as they gradually eroded their banks. As they approached the bay, they fanned out, gradually forming estuaries that interact with the tides, and disappearing into marshes and tidal swamps.

Then, in a very brief time, our farming, building, and industry, by constraining these flows, have turned them into deep, straight-line channels carrying fresh water right out to the bay, bypassing and thus destroying entire habitats. Water that used to filter down into the acquifers is now discharged miles downstream.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:53 PM

Matt and Mark's Dad

Matt is the brother of one of the comments area regulars, Mark aka MGA. Matt recently wrote about the fifth anniversary of their father's death.

In a week, it will be five years since my Dad passed away from cancer. I owe everything to him. My Dad,...


I remember their dad. He was a good guy. He was always willing to explain things to us kids. I was always fascinated by his involvement in ham radio, and the infant microchip industry. I remember he had a great laugh.

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:40 PM

February 15, 2006

Space Elevator Progress


A slim cable for a space elevator has been built stretching a mile into the sky, enabling robots to scrabble some way up and down the line.

LiftPort Group, a private US company on a quest to build a space elevator by April 2018, stretched the strong carbon ribbon 1 mile (1.6 km) into the sky from the Arizona desert outside Phoenix in January tests, it announced on Monday.

Posted by jackhodgson at 03:12 PM

February 14, 2006

Jon Stewart on the VP Cheney shooting

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot a man during a quail hunt ... making 78-year-old Harry Whittington the first person shot by a sitting veep since Alexander Hamilton. Hamilton, of course, (was) shot in a duel with Aaron Burr over issues of honor, integrity and political maneuvering. Whittington? Mistaken for a bird.

More monologue stuff about the shooting.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:28 AM

Can you feel it? It's soon!

redsoxcirc100Yesterday, the Redsox equipment truck drove away from Fenway Park for its annual migration to Florida and the start of Spring Training.

mlb.com story

Pitchers and Catchers report next week. First spring game: Mar 2, first TV game Mar 4.

We don't need no stinkin' groundhog!

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:35 AM

February 12, 2006

VP likes to kill small birds

So don't get in his way.

My favorite line from the story: "...the vice president picked out a bird and was following it and shot. And by god, Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good."

Posted by jackhodgson at 07:50 PM

Big Spark

At first I thought this might be fake, but many people in comments talked about it being real.

via digg

[BTW this posting is also a test of the google video "post this video" feature.

Posted by jackhodgson at 12:25 PM

February 10, 2006

Survivor: Exile Island -- Episode #2

Another good ep. I'm enjoying this season already.

Possible spoilers ahead...

So Shane is having second thoughts. Lame.

4 to 2 merge. Faster that I expected. New tribe members below.

Bruce is actually happy to be exiled!

Remaining Tribes La Mina, older men, and Casaya, older women.

The older women are feeling invaded, especially Cirie and Melinda. Although Ruth Marie, the other remaining "older woman" is flying below the radar.

Shane forms a four-person alliance with Aras, Courtney, and Danielle

Terry, Dan, Nick and someone ("fox"?) also form a 4-person alliance.

On Exile Island, Mr Miyagi is getting into it. Doing the martial arts thing. Odd.

Did he really use up the flint? Can that happen? Also, they didn't show him searching for the idol. Did he find it?

You just knew that someone was gonna lose the spear. Once again I say, have none of these people ever watched Survivor before?

What's with Shane saying they are "physically wrecked" is it a ploy to appear weak?

La Mina wins immunity. They also won Reward.

Shane now wants to quit. Cirie says, "Let him quit!"

"Wait. Never mind. Now I want to stay. I was just a little thirsty."

What's with Aris suddenly "taking charge" and deciding it's either Cirie or Melinda who's gonna go?

At TC, Shane continues with his "we're wrecked" thing. Is he talking way too much?

Melinda voted off.

Bruce joins Casaya. Note that he is nearly twice as old as almost everyone else in that tribe. Another thing, Bruce, the oldest is a karate instructor, and Aras, the youngest, is a Yoga instructor. Could this make for a bond between them?


Casaya "Older Women"
Bruce, Karate & Art Teacher, 58 (was La Mina)
Cirie, Nurse, 35 (was Casaya)
Bobby, Attorney, 32 (was Viveros)
Courtney, Performance Artist, 31 (was Bayoneta)
Shane, Entertainment Marketing, 25 (was La Mina)
Danielle, Medical Sales, 24 (was Bayoneta)
Aras, Yoga Instr., 24 (was Viveros)

La Mina "Older Men"
Dan, Astronaut, 52 (was La Mina)
Ruth Marie, Retail Leasing, 48 (was Casaya)
Terry, Airline/Fighter Pilot, 46 (was La Mina)
Sally, Social Worker, 27 (was Bayoneta)
Nick, Financial Sales, 25 (was Viveros)
Austin, Author, 24 (was Viveros)
Misty, Engineer, 24 (was Bayoneta)

Banished to Exile Island
1. Misty
2. Bruce

Voted Off
1. Tina, "Lumber Jill", 45, Casaya tribe
2. Melinda, Singer, 32 (was Casaya) Casaya Tribe

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:17 AM


This is supposed to be a silly joke, but I think it would be a cool thing.

I had my cell phone ring changed to a loud sneeze. That way, not only do I not offend those around me, they actually bless me whenever anyone calls.

-- Jerry L. Embry, Ruminations

Posted by jackhodgson at 10:55 AM

February 09, 2006


New York Times online:

When the Bushes and Clintons held hands before 15,000 mourners at Coretta Scott King's funeral on Tuesday, it looked like a prayerful moment in the life of the nation. But as almost anyone watching America's two leading political families knew, underneath the tranquil image was a drama of ambition, rivalry, love and alliance that could shape the 2008 presidential election.


Posted by jackhodgson at 11:27 AM

February 07, 2006

Funny joke

Two muffins were sitting side by side in the oven. One muffins says, "Boy it sure is hot in here."

And the second muffin says, "Holy crap! A talking muffin!"

-- The kid on "Two and a Half Men"

Posted by jackhodgson at 06:54 PM

February 06, 2006

T-Shirt folding machine


Posted by jackhodgson at 09:03 PM

I can't think of anything clever to say about this...

Last fall we were all concerned that the high energy costs were gonna make this an expensive heating season. But now that the winter has been mild so far, some utility companies are adding surcharges cause they haven't been able to charge as much as they hoped.

National Grid [in Syracuse NY] has added a small charge on all of their heating customers’ bills for January because the company didn’t deliver as much energy as it expected to.

[Thanks Dvorak Blog]

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:18 PM

Father Andy

Old Mac friend Andy Ihnatko tells how he got to perform a wedding in San Francisco.

Shawn suggested that I become an ordained minister of the Universal Life Church (your basic "Visit a website and print off an ordination certificate" solution) but I dismissed this idea immediately. The ULC is a punchline to a bad joke, and there was a far more dignified solution available: I could become a Deputy Commissioner of Marriages in the City of San Francisco, County of San Francisco, State of California. By coincidence, I'd heard of this gambit last summer. It's a fascinating concept: You show up at City Hall, you sign some papers, and just like that you become 007, Licensed to Marry for a single 24-hour period.
Posted by jackhodgson at 05:58 PM

February 03, 2006

Cringely: Jobs will reshape Disney

Robert Cringely is thinking along the same lines as me:

Strong minority shareholders tend to clash with management (look at Ross Perot with General Motors and Ted Turner with Time-Warner), and Jobs will do the same with Disney. He'll push to end Disney's partnership with Microsoft, to bring Disney into the Apple-Intel alliance, and potentially try for some partnership with Sony, too. It's the start of a grand amalgamation based around a combination of content, technology, and networking, and I wouldn't at all be surprised to see it end as a single huge company five years from now with Jobs at the helm.
Posted by jackhodgson at 09:02 PM

Past Survivors Blog

The CBS/Survivor site is hosting a group "blog" written by a dozen past Survivors talking about this season's eps.

It's an awkward blog, cause the postings for each episode are on their own page, and there are no permalinks to individual posts.

But some of the comments are fun.

BTW, did you notice that on the CBS site, the new Survivor's names are spelled differently on the front page than they are on the TC results page? Sloppy.

Posted by jackhodgson at 11:13 AM

Survivor: Exile Island -- Episode #1

First eps of a new Survivor Season are always rocky. We are supposed to be annoyed I think by the 2-3 weirdos who aren't gonna last long anyway, and we're also trying to remember who is who. This one was no exception.

Possible spoilers ahead...

I don't mind the four tribes so much. It's different. And having them go to tribal council with only four, so soon, is a dynamic we haven't seen before.

Another thing I liked about the more-smaller tribes, is I think it made it a little easier to begin to learn who is who.

Sherm has already posted some good comments over in the Forum.

I think that Burnett always picks a couple of real losers on purpose, to give the others some irritants which they can crystalize around.

What was with the blatant flirting going on from the very first few minutes!

I think that Jeff is calling them "Younger Women" "Older Men" cause four tribe names would be hopelessly confusing this early on. But did you notice in the "next week on Survivor" that the black woman commented on the quit-smoking guy. That suggests that there's some sort of merger. Also, I didn't record the ep, so I can't go back and look, but it seemed that when they were lined up for the challenge, they were boy-girl-boy-girls.

Here's an idea. The first thing that happens next week is that the three remaining older women, get distributed among the other three tribes. And then the first tribe reduced to two is absorbed too???

Misty eating worms, so early on, is impressive. She may be a tough one.

But Misty pretending that she found the special immunity idol doesn't seem like all that great a plan. What happens if one of her tribe-mates wants to see it? And won't bragging that you have it, motivate the others to try and vote you off just to make you use it up? But then again, maybe she really does have it. I don't think the audience will be shown who has it. We'll learn when it is whipped out at TC.

Going in I wondered if the Astronaut would try to pull another Football Quarterback thing, and keep it a secret, but no, "Hey guess what! I'm an astronaut!!" My immediate thought was that this was a huge mistake, but the dynamic between the fighter-pilot and the astronaut, could make for a very strong alliance.

Sherm commented on how the "dead son" moment was really awkward, and I agree. But they had to get it in now, cause she was about to be voted off, and this was their only chance to show that emotional thing. And it does explain a little about why Tina was on edge, and thus more likely to be rubbing people the wrong way.

I couldn't agree more that the "family moment" with the loser's family is awful.


Viveros "Younger Men"
Bobby, Attorney, 32
Nick, Financial Sales, 25
Aras, Yoga Instr., 24
Austin, Author, 24

Bayoneta "Younger Women"
Courtney, Performance Artist, 31
Sally, Social Worker, 27
Danielle, Medical Sales, 24
Misty, Engineer, 24

La Mina "Older Men"
Bruce, Karate & Art Teacher, 58
Dan, Astronaut, 52
Terry, Airline/Fighter Pilot, 46
Shane, Entertainment Marketing, 25

Casaya "Older Women"
Ruth Marie, Retail Leasing, 48
Cirie, Nurse, 35
Melinda, Singer, 32

Banished to Exile Island
1. Misty

Voted Off
1. Tina, "Lumber Jill", 45, Casaya tribe

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:10 AM

February 02, 2006

The idea of health

"I mostly dine on the "idea" of health that is absorbed into my body through the consciousness of the Universe. Or Fatburger if I'm in a hurry."

-- askaninja.com, Question #7

Posted by jackhodgson at 01:15 PM

Survivor Panama starts tonight

Here we go again, but with some interesting changes this time. More tribes, and the chance of individual banishment to a deserted island.

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:30 AM

Six more weeks of winter

Today is Groundhog Day, and Punxsutawney Phil saw his shadow which means we're in for six more weeks of winter. Darn!

Posted by jackhodgson at 08:20 AM

February 01, 2006

"IT Crowd" Ep #2

Second episode is online. Not as great as #1 but still very funny.

BTW, it's disappointing that these folks are issuing these things as streaming WMV files. Quicktime, or a simple mpeg format, would be a much better choice.

Posted by jackhodgson at 09:37 AM