Posts from 07/2008

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Skipped Day

Because of technical difficulties with my hosting company, the results of the Caption Contest will be posted on Wednesday.

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day in history

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Caption Contest Results

Congratulations to my Mom, who won first place in last week's Caption Contest. She wins a $10 gift certificate to! Thanks go out to everyone who submitted a caption this time around.

In other news, I recently completed a six-month-long clean-up of the News Archives -- removing the News stories that no longer exist because Yahoo is too idiotic to realize that they should stop changing their URLs when they archive stuff, and adding height/width attributes to all the picture so that links to old entries actually take you to the right entry. Let me know if anything looks weird!

Mom grazed by son's sausage
Manure thief falls into dung, flees naked
Man stuck in pavement hole for two hours

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day in history

Thursday, July 03, 2008

In Depends Dance Day

Tomorrow marks the 232nd (we were THIS close!) anniversary of the first time one of our Founding Fathers wore diapers and waltzed around a bonfire. To carry this tradition forward, American society instills this patriotic action in its youngsters at early ages by showing them DVDs such as this one .

The national government also comes to a near standstill as thousands of workers go on vacation while allowing the hemorrhage of bureaucratic money (also known as Fridays). Working for a government contractor means that you get this perk by association -- since everyone on the government side is off on a ten day vacation, there's no meetings to attend or customers to appease.

In the spirit of the Founding Fathers (who did not blog), there will be no updates tomorrow. I plan to spend a good two-thirds of the extended weekend eating things wrapped in bacon, such as bacon, and doing shots of vodka out of bacon-cups (which you then crumple up like a Dixie cup and use to chase the shot).

What are your plans for the weekend, other than entering Mike's Lyrics Contest?

McDonald's sued over Happy Meal toy
Truck hauling 12 million bees overturns
Hold the tobacco, pass the pot

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day in history

Monday, July 07, 2008

Weekend Wrapup

The actual 4th Holiday was spent in the wilderness of upper Loudoun County with some of Rebecca's extended family, celebrating Independence Day the way it was intended -- setting things on fire, shooting rifles, and eating venison. Along with the 12-pack of Yuengling, we brought with us a Bacon Salad (salad garnished with chunks of bacon and a dressing made from mayo and leftover bacon grease), and for the squeamish, a couscous salad (made from some fake grain and some pine nuts).

After consuming some delicious chocolate cake, we wended our way down the mountain to Leesburg to watch the county fireworks, complete with All-American music a l? the U.S. Customs line at Dulles airport. Unlike the clowns at the Nissan Pavilion, the Leesburg police department emptied out the pavilion of hundreds of cars in less than fifteen minutes and we returned home to Sterling.

On Saturday, we took a trip to Colonial Beach for the Spellerberg Fourth. Like the stones mined from iron deposits, traffic was Heavy, but we still managed to get there by noontime. We watched Ella learn such important life lessons as "You can only travel in two directions on a dock" and "All puddles are fun to run through but the oily puddles where car drives are the best".

Later in the afternoon, we took a few boat rides out onto the Potomac and made fun of Becca's tubing face while getting obliterated by biting insect. When everyone was pooped, all the kids retired to the living room for a repeat showing of The Adventures of Milo and Otis, the childhood classic which features a talking dog and cat narrated by Dudley Moore. We returned to Sterling late in the evening, but no so late that we couldn't have some leftover cheesy slow chicken for dinner (the "slow" refers to the cooking manner, and not the relative intelligence of the bird).

Drug arrests were real; badge was fake
Glass museum to commission 'Bacon Boy' sculpture
Staunton rejects the bushmen

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day in history

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Revamp Day

We're just weeks away from the Thirteenth Edition of the URI! Zone, an epochal event which signifies that I've needed a better hobby for almost twelve full years now. Although I have rebranded the site every year with charmingly urbane colours and hip lingo (with Ocean Sounds), I've actually done very little under the hood to make this site any more useful or enjoyable (see also, Microsoft Word 97, 98, 2000, 2001, X, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2007, and 2008). In fact, the last time I actually made major changes to the gears in my site's pants was 2005, when I pretended to be like Florida-Mike and learned about two and a half chapters of PHP before hating it.

So as not to stagnate, I've decided to take a page out of the playbooks of successful world leaders, to achieve the same levels of progressive thinking and flourishing that their countries have seen. Here are some of the features I would like to include in my own "Five Year Plan", although it will probably take much less than five years to accomplish.

No More Frames:
The URI! Zone has used HTML Frames since before the birth of Doobie, for the simple reason that it's a logical and useful navigation technique: put your content in one frame and leave the main menu buttons in another frame so they're always available for clicking. Sometime around 1999, people started hating frames and invented today's standard "really long page blog" format, which is about as ridiculous as replying to an email at the top of the thread and forcing everyone to read from the bottom. Now that the primary focus of the URI! Zone is the news updates, it makes sense to go with a single-page format (even if I philisophically disagree).

Streamlining Content:
Last year, I removed the Olio section, and next to go will be the Archive section. Honestly, when was the last time you cared that I hosted a gallery of fantasy thumbnail images in 1997, or read my reviews of N64 games from 2001? I'll also get rid of the eight million high school essays I wrote, because while I love the added search engine traffic, I hate that my site is being used for the dumbing down of plagiarizing snotnoses.

Post Tagging:
Post tagging is one of the few good things to come out of the blogging craze, because you can never have too many forms of categorization. Haven't you ever wanted to look at all the posts where I make fun of NASA at the same time, or wondered how many Friday Fragments posts I've made?

Database-Driven Posts:
I still write out every single post by hand, in a homebrewed mix of Javascript and HTML because I am proud and hate borrowing code from other people. However, switching to a blogging engine like Wordpress would reduce the daily maintenance (giving me time to make posts 12 times as long) and improve the Comments section. With a database-driven solution, it would be easier for Kelley to fix all the mistakes in his comments with a big fat EDIT button. It would also allow me to add a search engine for old posts so you could immediately tell when I am merely repeating a post that I originally made two years ago (I never do that though -- I wait at least three years).

RSS Feed:
A side effect of putting all the posts in a database would be having a chic RSS feed for Rob, which would broadcast my daily updates to the "blogosphere", artificially increasing my traffic at zero cost to me.

JSPs and Servlets:
Working with databases via PHP is more painful than listening to TATU sing the national anthem, so it's only natural that I would employ the very technologies that I use at work every day.

A New Site Host:
The main deterrent to new features has been my webhost, which generally works fine until they try to upgrade something, then breaks down miserably, leaving some outsourced Indian to provide useless tech support by email. If I do anything with databases and JSPs, I would want to move to another host with a better uptime record (which is not just a go-lucky LP from 1957). So, if you know any hosts that run Tomcat and support servlets for less than $107 a year, let me know!

Now it's your turn. What features do YOU think are missing from the URI! Zone?

MLK was a Republican
Saucy intruder whistles for homeowner
Police say UFO was just the Moon

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day in history

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Game Day

One of the reasons why Apples to Apples has such an extended shelf life is the ridiculous number of game permutations you can come up with using the same tired decks of cards. To inaugurate the first day of a Frameless URI! Zone, here's one I made up last weekend, called Apples Poker, for three or more players.

During each round, one player is the dealer/judge and does not get a hand. This player deals four red Noun cards to the other players. Even though the Adjective card is not revealed yet, players can choose to discard what they think is their weakest card and draw a new one. They can also sacrifice all four to get a completely new hand. A round of betting follows this (antes or blinds -- it doesn't matter).

After the first round of betting, the dealer flops a green Adjective card on the table. Players must now try to create a four-card hand of Nouns that are best described by the Adjective. They can replace one, two, or three cards in their hand, but not all of them. Another round of betting follows.

When betting is complete, all players show their hands, explaining why each card is a good candidate for the Adjective card (creative answers are acceptable). If some of your cards are horrible, you do not need to show them unless Chris Smith is also playing. The dealer then goes hand by hand, approving or vetoing each card. The dealer can assign half points with discretion.

At the end, each player now has a score between 0 and 4. The player with the highest score wins the pot. In cases of ties, the pot is split.

You can also have Dealer's Choice rounds, where you play 4 Adjectives to 1 Noun, or use Antonyms and other crazy combinations. Enjoy!

Children know more about Yoda than oak leaves
Rick Moranis too rich for Ghostbusters
"I like the FedEx driver because he's a drug dealer and he don't even know it"

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day in history

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Unfinished Day

In the past seventy-two hours, I've accomplished more on my website TODO list than all the progress the US has made in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Vancouver1 in the past three years combined. All it took was consolidating my fanciful feature fragments into a concrete list with things to check off.

Though I would like to claim credit for being super efficient, I am no longer the accomplishment machine I was four years ago , because old age slows you down and makes you prefer rewatching the fourth season of Alias (to see if Mia Maestro is still as hot as she was when it aired2) to actually doing anything worthwhile. I have plenty of projects that I started with gusto and then abandoned like vegetables during a salmonella scare3.

  • Last year, I started writing a jazz chart which reminded Dan of the theme song from the Legend of Zelda. It currently consists of an intro, two choruses, and a solo vamp.

  • I still have a collection of wooden doorway plates that you install under doors where two carpets meet so you don't wear down the edges or step on tack strips. Note that all house carpeting projects ended ten months ago.

  • Amber still has not received the final rabies booster shot. If she ever overcomes her fear of the front door, she might slip outside, get bitten by a coon of the rac variety (not the Maine variety) and turn into a slobbering, vicious zombie cat, terrorizing the neighbourhood outdoor cats and eventually becoming the main character in an annoying Facebook application.

  • I have a level 25 shaman heading for the 59 Twink bracket, but who is apparently waiting for Kathy to finish her dissertation first.

  • Anna and I started watching the sixth season of 24 last January. We are now 6 episodes into it. That isn't as bad as Jack, though, who borrowed the second season in September 2006 and still hasn't started it yet. I can understand this hesitancy -- it had COUGARS in it.
  • 1: The Canadian invasion has been in the making for years!
    2: Yup.
    3: The upside of the salmonella scare is that I can appear health-conscious rather than ornery about avoiding the eating of leaves and shrubs.

    In search of the magical penis thieves
    Batty for boobies
    Fake bouts showing men kissing draw suspicion

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    day in history

    Friday, July 11, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    ♠ After over four years of living in Loudoun County, I finally signed up for a Loudoun County library card. It wasn't because I'm running low on books to read -- it was just because I wanted to check out back issues of Consumer Checkbook for Heating and Air Conditioning company reviews and I was too stingy to get a subscription.

    ♠ My library card is labelled in a low-tech way with a felt-tip pen, but at least the librarian had good handwriting. On the high-tech side, the card also came with two keyring-sized copies that seem to be all the rage these days.

    ♠ I have never had a keyring card of any kind, even for groceries or movie rentals. My keyring is quite bare, featuring only my house key and car key. However, this spartan composition will make it an excellent self-defense weapon on the day that Carlos Adolfo Dominguez with a bag on his head tries to attack me while I'm waiting for the bus to go to the movies .

    ♠ The other day, I met Rebecca at the Reston Town Center for a post-work dinner. After poring over a listing of movie times at nearby theatres, we realized that there's a distinct movie gap between 7:45 and 9:30 on weekday nights. Wouldn't it make more sense to start showing movies right around 8 so people can eat dinner and watch? Instead movies either start during dinner or so late that you might as well stay up all night afterwards watching one of your unnecessary cable stations.

    ♠ Speaking of unnecessary stations, XM Radio is promoting XM51: All Coldplay All the Time. Didn't they learn their lesson from the disasterous Led Zeppelin channel that barely lasted two months?

    ♠ This weekend, I'll be going for a bike ride, and also starting the Java rewrite of the URI! Zone, something that only took me twelve years to get around to.

    ♠ Speaking of things taking twelve years, a recent hot topic in the news was the DNA-based clearing of the parents of JonBenet Ramsey in the 1996 murder case. Outside of the usual complaints about the media, I always hated the coverage of this case, because it introduced us to the phrase, "under an umbrella of suspicion", and then beat us over the head with it for the next twelve years. That phrase doesn't even make sense -- wouldn't an umbrella of suspicion keep you from getting blamed? Is there a hole in it that's letting the suspicion in? Why am I asking so many rhetorical questions this week? I'm under my umbrella of questioning!

    ♠ Every time I read the phrase "hot topic" in the newspaper, I picture Jim Gaffigan saying it .

    ♠ Don't forget that tomorrow is 12 of 12! Have a great weekend everyone!

    Dicks stops sagging in Flint
    Goodbye from the world's biggest polluter
    Bat-in-the-bra one upped by bat-in-the-pants

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    day in history

    Monday, July 14, 2008

    Chad Darnell's 12 of 12

    4:48 AM: Thumbs down for the ungodly hour that a guest cat woke me up at. Catsitting is overrated.

    7:14 AM: After Caturday morning breakfast, I got a couple more hours of sleep before waking up at a much more agreeable hour.

    7:45 AM: Reading the Post while having a breakfast of cream cheese with bagel.

    9:54 AM: Taking the front wheel off my bike so it will fit in the back seat for "Bike Around Arlington" Day.

    11:55 AM: After a six mile bike ride from Falls Church to Shirlington, we enjoyed cold cut trios at Subway.

    12:16 PM: Wondering if there are any laws on the books about operating non-motorized vehicles under the influence.

    12:42 PM: Apparently in Arlington, it's acceptable for everyone to bring their dogs to a creek and call it a dog park.

    2:36 PM: The pool was closed for renovations so we just took showers and relaxed on the couch. Hot day biking can get pretty rough.

    5:49 PM: At a Lebanese restaurant in Clarendon with Rebecca's parents.

    7:03 PM: Returning home to find the cats (and guest cats) impatient for dinner.

    7:21 PM: Hot day biking results in lots and lots of laundry.

    7:31 PM: Pouring a beverage to keep me company while I post my 12 of 12.

    See more 12 of 12ers at Chad's site !

    Woman kills husband with folding couch
    Pringles are not potato crisps
    The cats in the hats

    tagged as 12 of 12 | permalink | 6 comments
    day in history

    Tuesday, July 15, 2008

    Frazzled: (adj.) Worn-out or fatigued

    My Composition (0:30 MP3)

    For this word, I envisioned nervous energy, constantly on the move, but slightly off-balance. I wrote it for a mythological banjo quintet that can ostensibly play without worrying about ranges because the homogenous nature of the sound seems to add to the frazzled feeling, making the listener frazzled as well.

    Miss USA glad that there's no balance competition
    Drunk infiltrates team of firefighters
    Rubik's Cube used to get on right side of octopuses

    tagged as museday | permalink | 1 comment
    day in history

    Wednesday, July 16, 2008

    Amazon Day

    It's no secret that I overshop at The fact that they store all order histories since the year 2000 provides an interesting snapshot of my life at the time. While I work on fun web site improvements like a JSP-based forum, enjoy this unabridged glimpse at all the deviant purchases I made from 2000 to 2001.

    What's in your order history?

    Santas in civil war
    Why the Washington Metro needs more poles
    Officer downed by ice tea

    tagged as lists | permalink | 1 comment
    day in history

    Thursday, July 17, 2008

    Amazon Day, Part II

    My online shopping increased in 2002, and especially in 2003 when I left the music world and had a disposable income.

    Rejected panda adopted by cat
    San Francisco officials locked out of their network
    Dallas police find cocaine in car used by officers

    tagged as lists | permalink | 0 comments
    day in history

    Friday, July 18, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    below the equator, fragments flush in reverse

    ♠ The plan for this weekend is the annual camping trip in Gore, VA to celebrate Sam E's birthday. Last year's trip was surprisingly quiet, other than the Confederate rednecks all-terraining in their pickup trucks at 3 AM. No doubt, this was because the last Harry Potter book came out at the same time, so everyone was engrossed in finding out that Snape was a sled.

    ♠ Apparently there are no major book releases threatening this year's camping trip, although this weekend marks the release date of CHESS CRUSADE for the Wii -- because apparently it's much easier to move a pawn with a Wii Remote than your hand.

    ♠ In other Wii news, a microphone is being developed that will let you trash talk your opponents online. Mario Kart just isn't the same unless you can hear Mike swear when he gets hit with a Lightning Cloud. Until the microphone comes out, I'll just set up my laptop in the living room and send expletive-filled IMs.

    ♠ My new laptop arrived on Monday and passes the important test -- World of Warcraft runs at 60 fps. Windows Vista is just as annoying as advertised (I missed the drop-dead date for getting Windows XP by a week). Pretty much every action (copy a file, run a program) pops up TWO separate windows asking for your permission to proceed. After just a day of this, I turned off the alerts and was greeted by an alert asking if it was okay proceed with alerts turned off. It's the computerized equivalent of a three-year-old who must get permission to put each foot forward when walking across the room.

    ♠ The laptop has already been put to good use, since there was an all-day meeting yesterday during which I answered emails and debugged things. In the days of yore, I would have had to find a seat next to a wall so it wouldn't be immediately apparent that I fell asleep during the opening comments.

    ♠ When I was a music major, we had an event called Convocation every Tuesday afternoon. Every music major had to perform in a Convo at least once a semester and you had to get a card punched twelve times to get credit for attendance. Every fourth seat in the salon had a narrow vertical beam behind it, so I always made sure to sit in one of these for maximum head support during my weekly nap. Generally, Convo was only good for proving that just because you're a Music Education major doesn't mean you're fit to teach your instrument to children.

    ♠ The Recital Salon was also the backdrop for this poster , with photography by Paige , who has been busy turning her baby into a concert pianist of some stripe who will no doubt accompany Philip's baby on the Hummel at Convo in 2027.

    ♠ Have a great weekend everyone!

    Man finds booby-traps in the lake
    Man finds booby-traps in the park
    Man finds booby-traps in his sandwich

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 7 comments
    day in history

    Monday, July 21, 2008

    Camping Inventory Day

    Vint Hill Farms, Spring Camboree 1989

    Spring Camboree 1992

    Spotsylvania County, every month for years

    Camp Sinoquipe, every month for years

    Camp Big Mac, every year for 4 years
    Rock Enon, every year for 4 years
    Camp Goshen, 1994

    Virginia Beach 2001

    The Cove, 2007

    The Cove, 2008

    Cow Backpacks Trap Methane Gas
    Unrepentant on Facebook? Expect jail time
    Hotel of Doom wakes from its coma

    tagged as memories, media | permalink | 0 comments
    day in history

    Tuesday, July 22, 2008

    Newsday Tuesday

    A dash of lime -- a new twist that may cut CO2 levels back to pre-industrial levels

    Scientists say they have found a workable way of reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere by adding lime to seawater. And they think it has the potential to dramatically reverse CO2 accumulation in the atmosphere... Shell is so impressed with the new approach that it is funding an investigation into its economic feasibility.

    There's nothing like the backing of a gigantic oil company that posted a $9 billion net income in the first quarter of 2008 to convince the world that your environmental idea is a good one. Not only does Shell think it's a great idea, they're actually chipping in a few bucks to fund a study to see whether it's worth the money to keep funding the study. Then again, when I owned the Shell Lego Gas Station as a child, gas was regularly under a dollar per gallon -- perhaps they really care about the Earth after all.

    Adding lime to seawater increases alkalinity, boosting seawater's ability to absorb CO2 from air and reducing the tendency to release it back again.

    The chemical symbol, CaO, of lime has been known for many years. However, earlier scientists tended to misinterpret the chemical equation for dissolving lime in water, leading to many unsuccessful experiments.

    Tim Kruger [...] is the brains behind the plan to resurrect the lime process. He argues that it could be made workable by locating it in regions that have a combination of low-cost 'stranded' energy considered too remote to be economically viable to exploit - like flared natural gas or solar energy in deserts - and that are rich in limestone...

    Mr. Kruger also offered other examples of remote energy sources, including gassy rednecks in Ripley, Mississippi, outsourced Dalit on treadmills in India, or New York geeks standing in lime to buy the new iPhone.

    The process of making lime generates CO2, but adding the lime to seawater absorbs almost twice as much CO2. The overall process is therefore 'carbon negative'.

    When asked what would be done with all the surplus absorbed C02, Mr. Kruger directed reporters to his new drink recipe, for a delightful concoction called an "Irish Carbonne".

    This project is being developed in an open source manner. To find out more, please go to [its] new website, launched today.

    For the uninitiated, open source development means that everyone from around the world will contribute fabulous ideas until they get bored or their free AOL accounts expire, leaving only two scientists left behind. These two will grow increasingly antagonistic as their approaches diverge, with one scientist spitefully deleting the other scientist's lime supply and locking the ocean until the slighted scientist gets fed up and leaves. At this point, OPERATION LIME will fork, with the Indian Ocean hosting the "obviously correct" solution for lime dispersal while the other oceans adhere to the "historically accepted" approach.

    Finally, an uninvolved third party will create jLime two years later, which has nothing to do with the original designs, runs in Java, and becomes the defacto standard in lime dumping.

    Willis says alcohol was involved.
    Police rescue, kill man. Alcohol may have been involved.
    Alcohol involved in second-degree burns on testicles

    tagged as newsday, mock mock | permalink | 2 comments
    day in history

    Wednesday, July 23, 2008

    BU Begins

    origins of a superhero

    Soon Bok Yoon, from the planet Wooie -- I may as well have been an extra in Star Wars.

    Only six days after my birth, they already knew that I would be handsome, intelligent, and able to poop without difficulties.

    As part of the Care and Feeding of Your New Alien packet, new parents are warned that all Oriental kids are plague monkeys.

    Another part of the packet is a twelve page attachment, Communicating With Your New Alien. To all the ladies out there, Un Je Den Ji Nal Bool Ru.

    It takes Americans months to obtain their passport, but little babies who are presumed to be Korean get them immediately. Homeland Security was lacking in those days.

    When I flew over to the Great White Santa, my wrist was the size of Booty's leg.


    Introducing the vomiting dummy
    Little fishies to chew off your dead skin
    How not to do an American accent

    tagged as memories | permalink | 7 comments
    day in history

    Thursday, July 24, 2008

    Proposal Day

    I spent yesterday afternoon writing up a Statement of Work for a proposal at work, which didn't leave me much time to write anything witty or tearjerking for today's update (especially since I spent most of the evening working on various Java improvements for the next edition of the URI! Zone). The best I could come up with was to title today's post ominously and trick a bunch of people, because it's not about that kind of proposal.

    That reminds me of the cleverest episode of Will and Grace I ever watched in Tallahassee (at 6 PM on channel 4 while the Banquet fried chicken was cooking in the toaster oven and Booty was going crazy, running up walls). Grace was trying to trick Harry Connick Jr. into proposing by asking him about a four person seating chart and mixing in the words, Will, you, Mary, and me.

    Harry Connick Jr. was also creepy in the serial killer movie, Copycat, which came out sometime in the 90s and was one of the few movies my sister and I ever went to the theater together for (she was on winter break and we went to the movie theater at Bailey's Crossroad where the giant Target sits now). That was also probably one of five total times we socialized together after junior high school.

    I could keep on stream-of-consciousnessing and reminiscing for several more paragraphs, but then I would steal Friday's thunder, and you wouldn't know where the lightning was without the ominous rumble and would probably die. So for public safety, I'm turning the podium over to you. There are 21 people pictured below who have posted a comment within the past two years. If you are one of them, your job is to either post an interesting story in the Comments section, or ask one of the OTHER 21 people a question that they then must answer.

    The winner of today's little game will be the person who was adopted from farthest away during the Carter presidency, and will win a $10 gift certificate to

    Worker prefers shed to home with wife
    Searching for the largest fishies
    Sex, blood, and baby names for gasoline

    tagged as you speak | permalink | 13 comments
    day in history

    Friday, July 25, 2008

    Friday Fragments

    bow-legged, knock-kneed, and legless

    ♠ It's been a busy couple weeks for web improvements and I'm 100% pleased with Kattare as a hosting company. If you need a hosting company than can handle more complex sites with a support line that's actually useful, and don't mind given away a decent chunk of your disposable income, I would definitely recommend them (and not just for the 15% kickback I would get for referrals). Since I moved over, I've been busy writing a Java forum and gear database for my Warcraft guild , and excreted the last pooplogs of the PHP language from the bowels of this site, replaced with healthy whole-grain Java.

    ♠ For the less technical readers, the difference between a PHP-driven site and a JSP-driven site is like the difference between a homemade third-grade diorama in a Payless shoebox for a book report on The Mouse and the Motorcycle, and the diorama that was obviously made by the rich kid's mom, who went to Michael's to get top quality posterboard. Sure, the first one has a little charm in its Scotch-taped motorcycle and the mouse with no head (because it fell off on the bus ride), but the high-quality one is going to win the school contest and the Book It! pizza coupons.

    ♠ I hated dioramas in elementary school, because although I was artsy (and crafty), I never had the patience to perfect my artistic vision, and the contents of the shoebox never looked anything like what I had in my head. This is also why I my sixth grade "Map Our School" assignment got an A+ for detail and a D for neatness. Had I based a career on this, I would have forgone architectural blueprints in favour of topographical maps of mountains in earthquake-prone regions.

    ♠ Another fun graphical career would be to make the warning signs where roads converge in a nonconformist way (similar to Communist party meetings in the 1950s). Sometimes it's hard to tell the difference between an intersection warning and a mutated stick figure that was murdered.

    ♠ This weekends' plans mostly revolve around relaxing. If I'm so inclined, I'll implement the next big URI! Zone feature: putting five years of comments into a database, so you can read all of Rachel's posts at once, or find out when the last time someone talked about Beavis was. I may also study for a Java certification, which is back on track now that I've gotten rid of that horribly useless Certification for the Learning Disabled textbook.

    ♠ My weekend plans will DEFINITELY not include anything related to my wisdom teeth, since the oral surgeon took all of two minutes to tell me that I'd run the risk of nerve damage if he tried to remove them, and that my original dentist was a freaking retard for referring me in the first place. Dentistry HMOs are the best.

    ♠ Have a great weekend!

    Scrabulous sued, Facebook put on notice
    Newspaper misspells its own name
    Global warming could lead to more kittens

    tagged as fragments | permalink | 0 comments
    day in history

    Monday, July 28, 2008

    Comments Day

    The newest feature to grace the URI! Zone is a custom-written database-driven Comments section which is light years ahead of the old file-based one. From a layman's perspective, having a file-based system would be akin to tracking my budget by writing on a brand new Post-It note every time I bought something and sticking it up on my wall for reference. This was fine in the days where it was just Mike complaining about exclamation points and Rob as Finicky correcting my grammar, but after years of hard use and heavy drinking, there were over a thousand little comments files (containing 3805 comments) littered across the server like so many rabbit droppings.

    Putting it all into a database also lets me analyze the comments in life-changing and amusing ways. For example, who are the most prolific commenters in the history of the URI! Zone?

    What are the names of posters who have only ever posted a single comment?

    Hay, Cecilie, !, One less thing in sets of three, Jay-Z, Eleanor, hubcap, Maria, Dan, Teena, 12 of 12 Fun, Mr. E.P!, Jennifer Saunders, Elena, Bec, JaeTree, Zpitzen, That pickled person story, Alias, snowelf, Casper, l33t gur1, James, anti-political/pro-morality, The General Populace, Allison, Har har, some1, Catie, Joy T., mute, Seriously., Mike Saunders, Elaine, Lynda, Hubster, Could this really be an internet plot against me?, Alyssa Milano, Poun, Key West Chompy

    What were the final posts of some readers who vanished into the ether?

    What was post #222?

    How often have people mentioned the following words in their comments?


    What were the longest comments sections ever?

    Aggressive Driving
    Cheese Puns
    Hurricane Katrina

    Piglet with a monkey face
    Angry man shoots lawn mower for not starting
    Dying eight-year-old marries his sweetheart

    tagged as website | permalink | 13 comments
    day in history

    Tuesday, July 29, 2008

    Ethics Day

    As part of an annual recertification at work, every employee must take an online course in Business Ethics. Because the denizens of the URI! Zone are a shady bunch, these highlights might be helpful in your own lives.

    Socially aware customers are generally white, blonde, female, and braless (which raises two other ethical points, but only when it's cold outside).

    Mimi is obviously more concerned with the fact that her coworker is a total tool-face.

    In the corporate culture, the secret handshake generally requires you to slip exactly $427 in bribes as suavely as possible.

    In this example, Marty wonders whether it was ethical to give that ear-training student a B+ in exchange for twelve bootleg copies of Practica Musica and MacGamut.

    You know what else encourages whistleblowing? Traffic cops and marching bands.

    James is also featured in the Sexual Harassment course, for his flesh-coloured shirt with boobies printed on the front.

    However, ethical frameworks will not prevent your employees from being bitten by zombies.

    When forming an ethics committee, always choose the pale guy with man-boobs as your Chief Officer.

    Ethical frameworks are best conveyed to the company by strippers.

    All issues will die in the "right and wrong" branch of the new corporate decision tree, because it is not in question form.

    One ethical concern that has arisen is whether we should clone really fat sheep. Although it may feed many third world countries, the lambs run the risk of having body issues and baalimia. Always remember that you can't get something for mutton.

    1) Do I really need this many pockets?
    2) I could change into some jeans or introduce myself as "Party Pants".
    3) If I change, I will not have as many pants-related pickup lines to use on Erika.
    4) I'm sticking with the pants!
    5) Erika chose Mark! What a tool-face.

    Unfortunate Domain Names
    UPS Driver gets final special delivery
    Six-legged deer finds a new home

    tagged as mock mock, favourites | permalink | 5 comments
    day in history

    Wednesday, July 30, 2008

    Review Day

    Charlie Wilson's War:
    A fictionalized true-story drama about Representative Charlie Wilson's committee involvement in the Soviet-Afghan conflict of 1980. Manages to be fast-paced without needing action or suspense, mainly because of the snappy dialogue. Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman are great, as always, and Julia Roberts costars as "Julia Roberts with blonde hair". The wit of the dialogue makes this a fun (and brief) movie choice even if you don't give a rat's ass about politics or the Cold War.

    Final Grade: B+

    The Bank Job:
    Although this is a British heist movie, it's nowhere near as convoluted as Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels or Snatch. This is about as straightforward as heist movies come, but it's still great to watch. Jason Statham has definitely been typecast by now, but he plays the brawny con to perfection. Subtitles may be necessary if you're not up on your British English.

    Final Grade: B+

    Be Kind Rewind:
    An indie flick from the write of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in which a magnetized Jack Black accidentally erases all the VHS tapes in a video store. He and his friend, played by Mos Def, then proceed to refilm low-budget copies of classic films like Ghostbusters which develop a cult following. If you're willing to let the nonsensical premise slide, this is an enjoyable but pointless movie, with Jack Black kept in check just enough to not be overtly annoying.

    Final Grade: B+

    Complaints about giant penis lead to arrest
    Robots learn when people are happy and sad
    Man deposits millions, one tattered bill at a time

    tagged as reviews | permalink | 0 comments
    day in history

    Thursday, July 31, 2008

    The URI! Zone will return with new updates on Monday, August 4, 2008 for its thirteenth consecutive year of llamas, boobies and ocean sounds. Thank you for your patience and your continued visits!

    Driver kills sharks in car crash
    Tree shrew is a heavyweight boozer
    Customs not slipped up over gay lube

    permalink | 5 comments
    day in history


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