TITS (no, not that)

…no, it’s not what you think.  Which is sort of the point of this story.  And it’s my first foray into the “Sensational Title” genre. Just so it doesn’t offend anyone, as this is a ‘family’ web site, TITS is an acronym.  TITS = Truth in Titling Stuff.  I came up with this acronym after President Bush and his “No Child Left Behind” Act from the early noughties.  Yup, how’s that one working out based… Continue Reading TITS (no, not that)

Stuff I Learned in Boy Scouts

Stuff I learned in Boy Scouts, but wasn’t in the official Scout Manual.  Please, no Catholic Priest jokes here, sad as that situation was (I was lucky and had wonderful troop leaders and a wonderful organization, along with wonderful fellow scouts).  And it’s very sad to have to open something like this, which is about some good memories, with a sentence like that.  Anyway… “Flaming Zit Zits”: This was a term that probably only people… Continue Reading Stuff I Learned in Boy Scouts

The English Language and Comedy

The English language is a wonderful and terrible thing, as are most languages.  It is both glorious and confusing.  A true reflection of human beings. It begs the question(s): What were they thinking?  Did they make this crap up as they went along?  And like most everything else in this world created by humans, the answer to the last question is: Yes, it was made up as they went along.  Knowing that helps it make… Continue Reading The English Language and Comedy

Let’s Go Buffalo!

Recognition.  Finally.  In 2021, after almost a quarter of a century. It’s so nice to see that beautiful charging red, white, and blue logo in the headlines.  The patience and loyalty of the fans, the effort and perseverance of the players, the intelligence of the coaches, and the wisdom of the owners along with all of the other personnel in the front office, stadium, etc. are what make it possible. What about the foundation it… Continue Reading Let’s Go Buffalo!

A Lie or Half Truth

Whether intentional or just an accident of technological development or some strange strategy that involves plausible deniablility, in the end it is a lie? What’s the lie? Answer: LinkedIn’s statement about posting links in posts. Here’s what they state (a direct quote): “When you share a link that’s longer than 26 characters, we automatically shorten it once you click Post, to make it easier to read.” Below is a snapshot of their article on this… Continue Reading A Lie or Half Truth

Bandwidth Lies

Bandwidth Lies

Where did providers come up with how much “bandwidth” is needed to watch a video.  Not to reference a “buried lede”…  It’s about money. Frontier says you need to purchase a 25 Mb/S to properly view a 4K video (AKA TV Show, movie, etc).  Comcast, AT&T, and most other internet providers say the same thing.  We’ll wait and discuss the content providers like Hulu, Amazon, Netflix, Apple, and especially AT&T / DirecTV, later. The first… Continue Reading Bandwidth Lies

Comedy with a Concrete Block

One might not consider the word comedy in the same sentence as concrete block.  As it turns out, it is quite possible.  How you ask.  Well run down to your local HomeDepot.com web site and consider the humble concrete block.  Also known as the cinder block, top cap, etc. Let’s start off with the most useless 360° View of any product on the planet, except perhaps a rock.  Do a search on HomeDepot.com for a… Continue Reading Comedy with a Concrete Block

99.9%

…but what about the other .1%? 99.9% is certainly a great milestone to reach in many instances.  It’s not so great if it is a percentage that indicates failure rate (and other things too).  But in terms of positive achievements, 99.9% is superduper.  Except for that last .01%.  That’s still a bad thing. Remember what the Lysol can says?  Kills 99.9% of germs.  Well, disregarding what a germ is (virus? bacteria? wheat?), my first question… Continue Reading 99.9%

Backmasking

A long time ago I drove a car that had a cassette tape player.  This player had a relatively new feature where, OH MY GOSH, it could play both sides of the tape without removing the cassette and turning it over.  It doesn’t seem like a big deal anymore with all of today’s digital media.  But back then it was cool.  Cool until it stopped working that is. To accomplish such a task, there were… Continue Reading Backmasking

Guilty Gift

Have you ever gotten something for free? I have.  Aside from all the gifts from parents and friends over the years, I have gotten a couple of things for free.  And I’m not talking about anything related to “sticky fingers.” The first thing that comes to mind is walking out of a local grocery store one evening.  After unloading the contents of my cart in the car I went to return the cart.  When I… Continue Reading Guilty Gift

Hibbet Sports - Auburn AL

Lost and Found

I lost my Weightlifting Belt! The good news is that I got it back.  That part of the story isn’t even the interesting part.  The interesting part is belts history.  And it is quite a history, because it is an old belt.  It’s going on about 35 years that I’ve had it. Before losing it last week, there’s only one other time I’ve ever lost it.  That was when I was teaching a class in… Continue Reading Lost and Found

Breaking Bad – White Household

I have had a production question about Breaking Bad that I’ve had for almost a decade.  And here’s how the question evolved. I had occasion to watch many of the Breaking Bad episodes while I took care of my daughter when she was just a baby.  In order not to wake her, I would watch the show while listening with headphones. Listening with headphones is a whole new world.  There are so many subtle sounds… Continue Reading Breaking Bad – White Household

Maximum Night

The Vast of Night is an interesting film worth watching. If you’ve seen it, have you thought about another movie that has almost the exact same premise? Here’s a hint: Substitute a bunch of autonomous self driving cars, trucks, and other motorized devices for the various insects and ‘monsters’ depicted in The Vast of Night. Still can’t think of the other movie? Well, take a look at the background image for this article. Beyond that,… Continue Reading Maximum Night

A Conversation with a Child on Spelling the Days of the Week

What better place to start than the beginning… The first day of the week is Sunday.  Simple, think about the word sun and add day to the end of it.  Easy. OK, next Munday.  Nope, Monday is spelled with an ‘O’, not a ‘U’.  Yes it sounds a little bit like MoanDay. Next is Toosday.  Again, it sounds different than it’s spelled.  Just add in an ‘uh’ without the ‘h’, instead adding an ‘e’ after… Continue Reading A Conversation with a Child on Spelling the Days of the Week

Slower

Have you ever wondered if your mind is playing tricks on you? That happened to me today as I was driving to the gym.  On a road that I’ve driven on hundreds, if not thousands of times over the past decade I passed a speed limit sign that proudly displayed 35 MPH.  I thought to myself, “That looks odd.  Isn’t the speed limit 40 MPH?”  As it turns out, it was.  Thank goodness I wasn’t… Continue Reading Slower

Ready Player One and Price

The Commodore 64 was NEVER more expensive than the TRS-80 Color computer or any other equivalent computer (the Sinclare ZX series was not as powerful).  This article is more about setting the record straight on Commodore than it is a criticism of the Ready Player One movie or book. Did you like the Ready Player One movie and / or book?  I sure did.  But there’s something I just can’t get past. Somewhere near the… Continue Reading Ready Player One and Price

Typing

What was it like to write something a hundred years ago?  A few hundred years ago?  And those aren’t even the right questions.  Steven King (yes that Mr. King) has utilized long hand on paper pads, typewriters, and word processors.  So we don’t need a time machine to figure those things out. But that’s his experience and probably not mine or yours.  He could tell us about his experience, but that is not the same… Continue Reading Typing

An Intex brand pool with happy people swimming. It is an illusion. (No offense to Intex, they have great products)

Pool Disillusion

Boy, oh boy.  Man, oh man.  Girl, oh girl.  Woman, oh woman.  Whichever applies.  Have I got some thoughts about swimming pools for you today. In ground or above ground, those things are work!  Of course you might not be doing the work yourself.  Perhaps you hired someone to do it for you.  In either case, it’s still hard work. As an example of how a pool manufacturer (nothing against Intex, they actually sell good… Continue Reading Pool Disillusion

Weights and Stuff

What does one do during the Covid-19 Virus outbreak to stay in shape if one is used to going to the gym on almost a daily basis.  Run?  Sure.  Bike.  That too.  But that’s legs and cardio, what about upper body? For me it was time to break out the olympic weight bar that I’d bought back in the college days along with all the weight plates.  Except there was one issue.  I only had… Continue Reading Weights and Stuff

A Small Piece of Movie History

I have the bag of Kettle Chips used in one of the first takes of a scene in the movie “Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure”. It wasn’t the bag that made it into the final edit because they wanted a larger logo for the product placement.  They used a different version of the bag with an alternate logo in the final cut.  Sponsors, go figure…

Tense Up

Most of the T-Shirts back in the day had it all wrong.  Frankie never said, “Relax.”  He said, “Don’t Relax.”  The exact lyric is, “Relax, don’t do it.”  See?

Pandas

I heard a joke about a Panda the other day and decided to rewrite it a bit.  It is told from an third person direct narrative perspective as most jokes like this are.  I turned it into a “shaggy dog” story. A Panda walks into doughnut store and asks the clerk for two glazed doughnuts.  The clerk turns to the cook who hands him two fresh glazed doughnuts.  The clerk puts them in a bag,… Continue Reading Pandas

Today’s Writing Exercise

While editing several stories today I found myself mired in a quandary on how to present a series of events.  Should it be done chronologically or using the Inverted Pyramid method employed by journalists?  To warm up I rewrote a famous news paper article from the New York Herald detailing the events of President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. Below is the newspaper article as it was written in 1865;       This evening at about 9:30 p.m.… Continue Reading Today’s Writing Exercise

Never Give Up

“Never Give Up!” is something I’ve been preaching for decades.  From all the 6 and 7 year old (under 8) kids I’ve coached over the years to my daughter today I say the same thing, “Never Give Up!“.  It’s a good lesson for anyone. A great example is a football game from a long time ago.  In 1993 the Houston Oilers came to Rich Stadium in Orchard Park, New York to play the Buffalo Bills… Continue Reading Never Give Up

Good Deed for the Day

It’s been a while since my last good deed earlier this past summer.  But that’s OK, because the good deeds seem to come in groups with quiet gaps in between. Here’s the story; Early on a recent Saturday morning I checked on the front yard sprinkler system.  The previous day I’d made some adjustments to it for a more efficient spray pattern.  After checking on it I went back inside, closing a large six foot… Continue Reading Good Deed for the Day

Pride and Prejudice

The opening line of the 1813 book by Jane Austen is: “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune must be in want of a wife.”  What did she mean by that? It seems as though a million people, over more than a hundred years, have analyzed this line, its meaning, theme, etc.  But no one seems to have applied any true context to the statement.  So… Continue Reading Pride and Prejudice

Kindle

I read some interesting stuff today about Kindle.  Since most of what I read is more appropriate for a “How to” article, it is posted here: Kindle, on my technical information website.

Flashback Buffalo

Weird day in regards to life and football.  I watched part of the Bills VS Oilers comeback game from the early 1990s in the morning.  The backup quarterback Frank Reich played the entire game for the injured Jim Kelly.  Flash forward to the evening and I’m watching a preseason Bills VS Colts game.  The Colts head coach is Frank Reich.  The Colt’s quarterback for the second half was Chad Kelly, nephew of Jim Kelly.  Jim… Continue Reading Flashback Buffalo

Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club

I was shopping for some stuff on WalMart.com and SamsClub.com today and saw something interesting.  There’s not much to write about, but I do have some questions. Are they stupid? Do they think their customers are stupid? Is it a combination of the above or something else? Here are some snapshots of their web sites.  First, the Wal-Mart example that initially caused me to ask the above questions.  Notice what they have noted as “BEST… Continue Reading Wal-Mart & Sam’s Club

An aerial view of the Sacramento River in Sacramento, Calif., taken March 17, 2010. (U.S. Army photo by Michael J. Nevins/Released) The view is looking almost due south, taken from an altitude of approximately 300 feet, at an approximate location of 38° 31' 06" N - 121° 32' 56" W, with the foreground on the west side of the river. The neighborhood seen in the background of the image is known as the Pocket. Significant work was done on levees on this section of the river over the next decade since this picture was taken.

Sacramento River

I was driving on a small highway today that ran along the Sacramento River today.  I later found myself reading about the river on Wikipedia.  A familiar picture was included with the article that I recognized as the neighborhood I live in.  I was curious about the where the picture was taken and exactly what it was looking at.  Thanks to Google Earth I was able to pinpoint the location in about half an hour. … Continue Reading Sacramento River

Turbo (the movie)

I turned on the TV the other day and watched a few minutes of the animated Disney film, “Turbo” and noticed an ‘issue’.  The little snail named Theo, nicknamed Turbo, acquired his ‘super speed power’ when he was sucked into the ram-air intake of a supercharger on a Chevrolet Camaro.  The below frame from the action sequence occurred about 16 minutes into the movie. Here’s my question: If he got sucked into a supercharger, why… Continue Reading Turbo (the movie)

WikiWand – An Abomination

I was working on a project today for a client. It involved creating a website using the MediaWiki software as a foundation. The objective was to create a site that looked like Wikipedia. Its purpose was to support a book in the spirit of Issac Asimov’s “Encyclopedia Galactica” from the Foundation Series. Part of the project involved finding new “skins” / “themes” for the site to make it look a bit more modern. I remembered… Continue Reading WikiWand – An Abomination

Stingray and Good Deeds

I received a check in the mail for $539.00 from the state of California.  It was a tax refund.  But there’s a problem here.  I haven’t finished my taxes and sadly I’m not expecting a refund.  My address was on the check, but it was made out to someone else. I had no thoughts about cashing the check myself because, well, that’s not me.  Instead, I decided to return it to the state of California… Continue Reading Stingray and Good Deeds

Wikipedia Contribution

I just finished my first complete, written from scratch article contribution for Wikipedia.  Since 2006 I’ve only done edits and other contributions for existing articles. The article is a “draft” until it completes the review process.  While it’s a draft, it can be found here: Charles Robinson Rockwood.  When it’s accepted, it will be published here: Charles Robinson Rockwood The writing and editing only took a couple of hours after Mr. Harriman turned the basic story… Continue Reading Wikipedia Contribution

Automotive Lockout Kit

Locked Out

I saw someone trying to break into a car in the grocery store parking lot today.  Luckily it wasn’t being stolen.  A guy locked himself out of his car.  I thought I could help, but my lockout kit wasn’t in the car.  I drove all the way home, found it and drove back.  I parked next to him, got out, introduced myself as an ASE Certified Master Auto Technician and told him I could have… Continue Reading Locked Out

Play Call of the Century

Auburn University Tigers VS Purdue Boilermakers 12.28.18 – Nashville, TN – Music City Bowl Score; 63 – 14, Auburn winning.  With their second and third string players on the field, Auburn drives down to the Purdue half yard line.  2nd and Goal with1:04 left on the clock, Auburn University has the chance to set the all time record for most point scored in a bowl game ever.  Another touchdown and extra point will put the… Continue Reading Play Call of the Century

Delorian – Full Time Circuit Console Display

In a very odd circumstance a couple of months ago, I became curious about movie continuity while watching Back to the Future.  They did a fantastic job of coordinating all of the various clocks in the Delorian, the dance in 1955, the clock tower, and even the clock at the mall where for the first time Marty and the Delorian go back in time. The issue I had when verifying all the times was with… Continue Reading Delorian – Full Time Circuit Console Display

Mr. Harriman

I’m proud to announce publicly for the first time my involvement as an editor for Mr. Harriman on several different projects.  He has given the green light for promoting several new web sites in support of his forthcoming books.  Please visit LifeOfTheSaltonSea.com and RiseOfTheSaltonSea.com for a preview of what’s to come.

Flights and Teachers

I had occasion this evening to think about how I express respect for people. Here are two stories from my past on that subject. Date; Early 1990s or early Noughties Place; St. Louis International Airport The Story; I was standing in line waiting to board the airplane and glanced behind me.  Immediately behind me was an actual pilot (It turns out he was THE pilot or the co-pilot, not just someone in company uniform hitching… Continue Reading Flights and Teachers

Lab Rat Kindergarten and Automatic BBs

OK, the title is way worse than it sounds… My decease father’s degree was in ‘family and child development’.  On a side note, he was Bo Jackson’s professor at Auburn University. Anyway, I attended Kindergarten at the Child Study Center (CSC) at Auburn University, AL, USA.  The CSC in the below picture is the front of the building as it looks across the Concourse at Haley Center. That building has been around for a really,… Continue Reading Lab Rat Kindergarten and Automatic BBs

Twins

…you thinkin’ what I’m thinking on these saws? Yes!  Identical twins separated at birth, one got a job at Harbor Freight Tools and the other got a job at Home Depot, and independently they both designed the exact same saw. Right…  Reality check.  Made in China, marketed for resale through several US companies. What’s cool is they went to the trouble to put the ‘miter’ in a different spot for the two pictures. When I… Continue Reading Twins

A One in a Million Shot

First of all, War Eagle! If you know what that means you’ll understand the focus of this picture is not the leg of the lovely bikini clad woman.     Perfect!  A sexy leg, and a towel hinting at the setting, a cruise ship in Gulf of Mexico.  The largest ship in the ocean (at the time), the Royal Caribbean’s Liberty of the Seas.  This picture was taken looking down on a swimming pool from… Continue Reading A One in a Million Shot

Fast Food Driving

…was at a local Burger King with my daughter, eating a cheese burger. Noticed a guy pull in, in rather a hurry.  He got out of his truck carrying a bag. I immediately knew they had messed up his order.  And they had. A few minutes later, I saw another car pull into the parking lot driving in a similar fashion.  I knew what it meant. I was seeing a pattern.  And there was.  He… Continue Reading Fast Food Driving

Went, Gone, Go, or Goes Missing VS Disappeared

What happens when one invents a word to replace two others?  Apparently in the noughties and early teens of the 2000’s, we take a step back in our linguistics, and dispose of the new term. There’s a word for for went, gone, go, and goes (etc.) missing.  The word is disappeared. Actually it’s not about going back to an old term whose origins are in multiple words for describing a single word.  It’s worse than… Continue Reading Went, Gone, Go, or Goes Missing VS Disappeared

Jamiroquai

…what if I was there all day with a replica ‘helmet’ / ‘hat’ / ‘head dress’? What if there was a web site that had a bunch of products? The head dress, T-Shirts, etc.?

Spare the Air

First, the problem, then a question, followed by a bit of context… During the month of December 2017, almost three quarters of the days Bel-Air was selling Duraflame logs, a ‘No Burn Day’ had been declared. So how come the Raley’s company is allowing their Bel-Air grocery stores to not just sell Duraflame logs, but actively pimp them out? It’s one thing for a business to sell something, but when they stack that product up… Continue Reading Spare the Air

Environmental Profiling

The Admission I environmentally profiled someone today.  I’ve never done anything like that before.   The Back Story I had just finished some major repairs on a Volkswagen Tiguan engine and I began hearing things.  No, not voices, but subtle noises coming from the engine.  I’ve certainly heard the engine in that car before and always keep an ear out for unusual sounds, but I never had occasion to listen really closely to all of… Continue Reading Environmental Profiling

Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part III

…but first, a Digression If you’ve worked on cars as far back as the 1980s or 1990s there were several publishers for service manuals.  Among many publishers like Chilton, Haynes, and Clymer, Robert Bentley Publishers was at the very top in terms of quality.  Size too.  Thickness, length, and width.  It would seem that I’m waxing a bit phallic at this point, but it’s true.  And in this case, bigger was better.  I also can’t… Continue Reading Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part III

Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part II

I’m actually writing this after having disassembled and cleaned everything.  And I was right.  It was a broken valve spring on cylinder #2.  I was also quite satisfied with myself on correctly diagnosing the issue, but that didn’t last long, because this wasn’t a customers car, it was ours.  I still have to pay for all the parts. I have no interest in giving step by step instructions on how to remove and assemble all… Continue Reading Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part II

KickStarter; The Adventure Begins

Preface I am creating a KickStarter project. I’ve never done this before and I don’t know exactly what to do, but I also know that I’ll figure it out.  So here goes. To understand why I’m starting this project, please read this. The Beginning It’s really not that big of a deal creating a KickStarter project.  They’ve made a fairly nice interface that walks one through the creation process and includes many good tips.  My… Continue Reading KickStarter; The Adventure Begins

Classic Shell and KickStarter

Origins of the Story (context is always important to understanding a story) I just had an evening of frustration dealing with a major update (Windows 10 “Fall Creator’s Update”, essentially Service Pack 4) on a computer that went completely pear shaped.  In brief, I discovered that the update ‘broke’ an add-on piece of software called Classic Shell and also caused Windows Explorer to repeatedly start and crash, rendering the computer unusable.  Thankfully I was able… Continue Reading Classic Shell and KickStarter

Man in the High Castle – A Granular Issue

Subject; The Man in the High Castle.  An Amazon series based on the Philip K. Dick novel by the same name. The writers, directors, special effects people, cinematographers, etc. for this TV series have all done a fabulous job.  But they made a mistake in episode 8 towards the beginning where a main character is working on a gun replica.  The scene shows a close up of him boring out a gun barrel.  It was… Continue Reading Man in the High Castle – A Granular Issue

Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part I

Introduction This is the story of a recent adventure I had with a Volkswagen Tiguan.  No, it isn’t about some wild road trip or a horrible accident.  In fact most people would probably find this story quite boring or simply wouldn’t understand it.  However, if you have a ‘broken’ Tiguan, or actually any other Volkswagen sold in the US that has a 4 cylinder ‘petro’ (non-diesel) engine sold after 2009, then I hope you’ll find… Continue Reading Adventures with a 2010 Volkswagen Tiguan S ( 2.0 l 16V TSI Turbo Charged EA888 Engine Family Generation 1 – Part I

How Come the Majority of Tow Trucks and Rollbacks in California are Yellow?

Where I come from tow trucks and rollbacks are all different colors, yellow, blue, red, white, green, etc., with white being the most prevalent color, but not the dominant color.  In California, hands down, yellow is the most predominant color, with white a distant second. How come? My first thought was visibility.  Possibly.  Likely even.  But then, tragically, I started to drift down that familiar rabbit hole of thought. Question; What is the most prevalent… Continue Reading How Come the Majority of Tow Trucks and Rollbacks in California are Yellow?

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Beauty and the Beast

‘Spoiler Alert’; Don’t read the ‘crossed out’ part.  It detracts from the original idea. I was watching Beauty and the Beast this evening (not my choice, just what was on and what everyone else wanted to watch).  Anyway, I couldn’t help but think there might be a couple of other issues the Beast may have been given that were left unsaid in the movie, or for that matter the story and any of the other… Continue Reading Beauty and the Beast

I’m Sorry

To all the writers of books, movies, stories, TV shows, etc., and to real life people in actual encounters where someone says, “I’m sorry.”; NO! NO! NO! NO! NO!  And in a similar fashion to how Roger Ebert’s quantified how he felt about really horrible movies, it has gotten to the point where I hate, hate, hate, hate, hate it when characters or real people say, “I’m sorry.”, when they’re not.  And they aren’t. Think… Continue Reading I’m Sorry

Terminator Genisys – Continuity Error

…OK, last night I watched Terminator Genisis and spotted a bit of a continuity error.  This is a picture of the bus they were escaping in somersaulting on the Golden Gate bridge.  I didn’t see this the first time, but went back later to look at it frame by frame.  The reason I went back to look at it was because it occurred to me as I saw more exteriors of the the bus that… Continue Reading Terminator Genisys – Continuity Error