Morning Cup O' Joe

Time you enjoy wasting isn't wasted time.

Whole new realm of party balloons

Great potential to terrify your children if you hired this guy for a birthday party.

Big scary monster balloons

Big scary monster balloons


October 6, 2009 Posted by | Oddities | Comments Off on Whole new realm of party balloons

Are you a jerk, a slacker, a depressive pessimist, a diplomat?

This American Life on NPR has a good podcast about one bad apple spoiling groups, contrary to common thought that group dynamics are more powerful than an individual.  The first ten minutes or so lays out the findings of a single study.  While it may not be conclusive, it does beg the question of where you fit in your organization? 

December 23, 2008 Posted by | General, Philosophy | 1 Comment

Nature Tech

The Smithsonian Channel has a new show called Nature Tech that takes a deeper look at the science behind the way some of the natural world works.  So far it’s been a great show. The episode on motion was very cool, slow motion bird flight, flies and other amazing bits of nature.  I definitely give it two thumbs up if you have access to the channel. It looks like they’ve even posted some of the footage to their website.

November 14, 2008 Posted by | Science and Technology, Television | 2 Comments

Remember The Milk iPhone App

Finally, Remember The Milk has released their native iPhone app.  The webApp was pretty good, but had a few quarks, especially around dealing with completing tasks.  My initial thoughts on the app are that it works pretty nice.  Entering and editing tasks is pretty clean, though you do jump screens to edit fields.  Completing tasks is exactly what you would hope for.  A swipe of the finger is all it takes.

You do need a Pro account, $25/yr, but if you’re using RTM and the iPhone, you probably already paid for that anyway.

November 5, 2008 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, iphone, Software | 1 Comment

The Dark Knight

I’m surprised that I can’t find a post on MCOJ about this movie. I’ll admit to not having seen the last batman film. I think I gave up on them due to Val Kilmer or George Clooney. Take your pick. In any event, through some work connections my dad got to see The Dark Knight last night.

He said it was fantastic and not at all like the old style that came across as hokey. Very good, very dark and apparently the Joker is extraordinarily creepy and sinister. I may actually have to plunk down the 8 bucks for this one.

June 24, 2008 Posted by | Movies | 10 Comments

Japanese Game Shows Take 2

Mike has posted on here about the Ninja Warrior challenge. The latest variation of Japanese game show to catch my attention is Unbeatable Banzuke. Unicycle stunts, trials riding mountain bikes

Unbeatable Banzuke- Super rider

Sample Courses:

  • Hand Walk I, II, IIIA, IIIB — Obstacle course where competitors walk on their hands. This course has a break zone. Between IIIA and IIIB, the Conveyor Belt was changed to Bamboo Bridge.
  • Like a Pierrot I, II, III, IV, V — Obstacle course where competitors ride a unicycle. This event has the most victories.
  • Super Rider I, II, III — Obstacle course where competitors ride a bicycle.
  • Skeboarder — Obstacle course where competitors ride a skateboard. This course has a break zone.
  • Bamboo Derby I, IIA, IIB, III — Obstacle course where competitors walk on stilts. Between IIA and IIB, Green Mountain was changed to Snow Mountain.
  • Kangaroo — Obstacle course where competitors use a pogo stick. Has a break zone.
  • Giant Ball — Obstacle course where competitors stay atop a 5-foot-wide ball.
  • Ottoto 9 — Obstacle course where competitors balance a metal pole on two fingers. Letting the pole fall or touch any metal obstacle results in failure. This course has a break zone. This course has been conquered by one person.
  • Super Helico — Obstacle course involving a radio-controlled helicopter. This course has a break zone to allow the copter’s batteries to be replaced.
  • Neko de Drive — Obstacle course involving a man transporting a woman on a wheelbarrow that looks like a cat. The contestants have 60 seconds to complete the first four obstacles and reach the break zone. After that, the time is unlimited.
  • Quick Muscle — Two competitors have to do as many push-ups as they can in 3 minutes. The one who does more at the end of 3 minutes is declared the champion.
  • Muscle Gym — Two competitors have to do as many sit-ups, back extensions, and push-ups as they can in 3 minutes.
  • Athletic Love — Two people of a couple stand at either end of a bridge-like construct. They have 60 seconds to reach the center without falling off or using their hands.
  • Sponge Bridge I, II — Competitors have to walk atop three rows of giant foam blocks, each harder than the last. KUNOICHI‘s third stage obstacle, Domino Hill, is similar to this event.
  • Daruma 7 — A ‘daruma’ sits atop a stack of 7 blocks. Competitors use a sledgehammer to knock out each block from the bottom up without letting the ‘daruma’ fall off.
    • Super Daruma — Modified version of Daruma 7 which has 9 blocks to knock out instead of 7.
    • Daruma 7 Ace — Modified version of Daruma 7 which the blocks start out small and get larger.
  • Extra Kendama — Competitors play with a life-size kendama. They have 60 seconds to swing the ball onto the large cup, then onto the small cup, and finally onto the central spike.
  • Seesaw 60 — Two people stand atop a giant seesaw. They have 60 seconds to move a 10-kg barrel from one side to the other without letting either end of the seesaw touch the floor. A third person gets to call out advice to the other two people.
  • Banzai 90 — A 6-person team has 90 seconds to launch one of their own onto each of four padded logs hanging several feet above the floor.

On the G4 network.

May 28, 2008 Posted by | Humor, Oddities, Television | 1 Comment

History of Home Values, Presented as a Roller Coaster has a unique visualization of the above graph.  Instead of a pie chart or line graph or any number of variations, they’ve plotted housing values as a roller coaster ride.

April 21, 2008 Posted by | Geeks and Gadgetry, General, Humor | 2 Comments

I’m Late, or am I?

More fun for today from Google.    Gmail Customer Time.

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Humor | Comments Off on I’m Late, or am I?

Google Wakeup No Really, I need this.

New feature just launched today, April 1st, for Google Calendar.  Google Wakeup. Something tells me this won’t last. 🙂

April 1, 2008 Posted by | Humor | Comments Off on Google Wakeup No Really, I need this.

GTD ala Tim Allen

We all have standards in various areas, various ways and various forms. You might like your sheets tucked, maybe not. Then you’ve got the cleanliness issues. Dishes on the counter may not be acceptable, but maybe they are. A few clothes scattered on the floor, no good. Maybe a messy pile is your idea of organization and efficiency since you never have to worry about which drawer your underwear is in. Assuming you even wear underwear. And then there is the bathroom. Let me guess, your toilet is always sparkling and fresh. Oh, only when guests are coming over or your parents are in town? The bathroom is one of those places that standards become important. The challenge is that you’re in such a wonderful environment for molds and mildews of all sorts. Look at your shower? Warm, moist, heck you probably have some oatmeal laced body wash in there perfect for hungry little buggers to snack on. The shower pretty much is a petri dish on steroids. I’m ashamed to admit my shower had reached a rather nasty point. It’s never been all that great thanks to a crappy fiberglass basin with a dark stain that looks something like Gorbachev’s notorious birth mark, I’ve never really liked my shower. 6 years ago when I bought the house, it was really nasty. A hearty scrubbing with a variety of bleach based abrasives and scrubbies and it only moved up from disgusting to kinda gross. The shower doors have hard water stains that just won’t come off and some lime deposits that look like they belong in an underground cavern, not my shower. With the initial cleaning behind me, the new grime was at least my grime. Somehow this is much less disgusting than the grime of others even though I’m sure there are only subtle variations in the list of thousands of germs inhabiting each nook and cranny. At least they are my germs.

The shower had crossed some threshold in my mind. I don’t know why those exist or what we can do to set them lower, but sometimes you’re just done with something and it must be dealt with. Today was the day for the shower. Recent scrubbings just hadn’t been enough. Rust stains from some unknown source had appeared. Soap scum was building up and the floor was exhibiting a new birthmark. Mind you, I’ve tried before to deal with the stains. I even went so far as to try a mild solution of muriatic acid. No real luck. Today was a day for something different. It wasn’t about chemical bonds, scrubbing bubbles, bleach, acid or space soap. Today was about power tools. The application of more force and power could certainly help me in my quest to clean the shower. So with my goal in mind, I threw a couch on the lawn, set the car on blocks next to the couch and prepped for my afternoon of Redneck Cleaning. I’m sure I owe royalties for some Jeff Foxworthy trademark, but there pretty much isn’t a better way to describe my plan of attack. I rolled the gas powered pressure washer around to the back of the house and up onto the porch by the bedroom. Thankfully the bedroom has a sliding door to the porch and provided reasonably direct access for the hose to the gun. I checked the distance to the shower. Just under the 25ft of hose that I had. It would work, I would have my glorious victory over the shower.

So here I am, preparing to drape 25ft of pressure hose across my bed into the master bath to clean a shower. 1800psi of water jetting out, blasting mildew and stains away. It had to work! I fired up the motor, angling the exhaust away from the window so as to minimize the fumes entering the room, hopefully reducing the likelihood that I would be found dead from carbon monoxide poisoning. With the motor running, I pushed the door closed around the hose and went to the dreaded shower stall. With the first squeeze of the trigger I knew I had made the right choice. White, brilliant gleaming white, shone from the tub where previously only a dingy surface was visible. Maybe gleaming white is exaggerating, but it was at least a clean-ish off-white. Each pass of the wand across the tub blasted a one inch strip of whiteness in to view. Rust stains, gone. Mildew gone. Soap scum, gone. In a matter of seconds, pressurized water had done what hours of Ajax and scrubbing couldn’t. The floor, the walls, the doors and their tracks. Everything was fair game and subject to blasting and with each pass I felt myself closer to feeling good about the shower again. In total, I think I spent about five minutes gunning down every nook and cranny of the tub and tile. It’s not perfect, the birth mark is still there but I have faced the evils of the shower and I claim victory. Maybe pressurized acid would stand a chance against the birthmark, but I’m fond of my skin and eyes so I think I’ll live with the stain.

Mission Accomplished. I may not have had an aircraft carrier to stand on or banner, but damnit, my shower was clean again. And in less time than any other scrubbing event ever. So laugh at me, call me a pig, but wallow in your jealousy of power cleaning tools in the bathroom. This was man cleaning, I’m talking putting all the colors together in one laundry load, wipe off your fork and put it back in the drawer, use a rake in the bedroom, testosterone fired man cleaning and damn it felt good.

The best part was Julie, thrilled with the clean shower and giving it a stay of execution so I don’t have to buy a new stall and doors. Not yet at least.

So for my local friends, the power washer is available. I highly recommend it. But not for washing children or pets.

March 23, 2008 Posted by | How-To, Humor, Rants | 5 Comments