Aug 28, 2008

School habits

Now that I've been sentenced to that horrible prison/zoo called college for four more months, it's time for the old habits to start back up. These include:

In-class dozing (also known as trying to keep my head propped up on my fist as I drool on my notes)

Procrastination (why do it now when you can do it later?)

Getting Disney songs stuck in my head. I'm not kidding. It always happens when I'm taking a test, and it's always something from The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, or Aladdin. And I really hate, no, detest Disney songs, which makes it that much worse. I imagine this is what happens to the parent who stays home with the kids and ends up watching the same movie 7 times in one day.

Aug 24, 2008

Favorite software

I've decided to stand on my soap box and declare to all of you the applications I think you should be using. The ones that come with Windows are crap. The apps I'm going to suggest are all free, easy to use, and better than the ones that come with Windows. And they're free. Pretty cheap. Click on the app name to download it.

For a huge list of the best software and hardware out there, go here.

7-Zip - Free compression utility, so you can extract any compressed archive.
Any Video Converter - Great for converting that video you downloaded off the internet that's in an AVI format to one that works on your iPod.
Audacity - An audio editor. I use this to make my own ringtones (and I'll make you a ringtone if you buy me a Slurpee).
AVG Anti-Virus - When your free year-long Norton or McAfee trials finally end, this is what you should use. The new version 8 has vastly improved over version 7. Use it or I'll send you a virus.
CCleaner - Cleans up garbage and temporary files that slow down your computer.
DoPDF - Pretends it's a printer, and when you "print" to it, it actually creates a PDF of the document.
DVD Shrink - For ripping DVDs to a file that can be converted for use on your iPod using Handbrake or Videora iPod Converter.
Firefox - The only browser that you should use. Better than Internet Explorer, Opera, and Safari. Internet Explorer is garbage. Stop using it. And don't try to deny that you use it. My site traffic software shows that many of you visit my site with it.
FoxIt Reader - A less-bloated, open-source PDF reader to replace Adobe Reader.
Hugin - For stitching together panoramic photos.
GIMP - Sort of a free, open-source Photoshop.
HandBrake - Converts DVD files spit out by DVD Shrink to files you can put on your iPod.
ImgBurn - Burns files and folders to DVD/CD.
MediaCoder - Convert any audio/video format to any other.
OpenOffice - A free office suite that is compatible with Microsoft Office.
Picasa - The absolute best photo organizer for your family photo collection, also has some good editing tools.
SketchUp - 3D design and drafting.
Taskbar Shuffle - Lets you shuffle around the open programs showing on your taskbar.
uTorrent - A lightweight BitTorrent client.
Virtual CloneDrive - Mount disc images as though they were real discs.
VLC Media Player - This will open absolutely any audio/video format.
Yawcam - Versatile webcam software that lets you do time lapse, motion sensing, and a lot more, because that's what people buy them for, right?

Aug 23, 2008

Back to school

School starts tomorrow. How depressing. But these videos are still funny. Alice Cooper is the man.

Aug 13, 2008

Health diagnosis

I'm afraid I have some bad news. I have been diagnosed with a syndrome called Paruresis. According to the International Paruresis Association, it's a condition that affects 7% of Americans, or 17 million people. Its severity can range from mild to severely debilitating, and apparently I am in the moderate stages of it.

It is quite likely that this disorder will affect me for the rest of my life, although there is a chance that its severity will decrease and disappear with time. I know you're asking yourself, "What can I do to help?" Here are a few suggestions:

(1) Don't talk loudly as you walk into public restrooms.
(2) Don't make sudden movements behind people who are using the urinals.
(3) Don't sit around and talk with others after washing your hands. Just finish your business and get out.
(4) Avoid grunting and heavy breathing while in the stalls.
(5) Make a donation to the International Paruresis Association.

In following these suggestions you will help others with this debilitating disorder.

Aug 7, 2008

Prick cars

Pricks and idiots drive cars, just like the rest of us. Some pricks and idiots drive normal, everyday cars. Some pricks and idiots drive prick cars. Some cars automatically make people pricks and idiots, and here's the list:

Land Rover / Range Rover
Anybody who's read a quality survey of new cars knows that Land Rovers and Range Rovers are consistently at the bottom of the list in quality. Like every year. Seriously. "Hey, I just took my Discovery into the dealer for the third time this week. I rule." No, you don't.

Cadillac Escalade

Not cool. Any GM product with that much fake wood and chrome is like a fly strip for poseurs.

Nissan Altima
You may think I've made a mistake, but just pay a little extra attention to these guys next time you see one. Something about this car makes people turn evil.

Mercedes-Benz S-Class
The only people that can drive this car and not look like pricks must be at least 67 years old.

Hummer H2
Seriously, the people who buy these things must know that people will key them for it.

Jeep Wrangler (with large rims)
I like Wranglers a lot, but they should make you sign something before you're allowed to buy it promising that you won't put on rims larger than 16 or 17 inches. The closest thing to off-roading that these Jeeps experience is driving through the slush that the snowplow left at the end of the driveway.

Chevrolet Corvette
$47,000 will buy you a much faster, better-quality, better-looking, and slower-depreciating car than this. The interiors of these things have more low-quality plastic than a Chinese army figurine factory. Plus the guys that usually drive these look like Rush Limbaugh.

I'm probably going to add to this list as the Car Gods so inspire me, so check back regularly.

Aug 1, 2008

Cat antics (cantics?)

Those who know me know that I'm a former cat hater. Besides the exhorbitant amount of shedding, answering of nature's call in odd places, gaping scratch wounds, and a big plastic box full of sand and poop in the middle of my house, cats are actually very entertaining. Here are a few documented cantics.

One of Stella's many hobbies is to sleep on my homework, especially if I'm in the middle of doing it.

Here they've removed all the plastic bags that I had neatly placed inside another bag, and made a nest out of them.

Yes, that is a spindle of DVDs that she is using as a pillow.

This picture is from the second day we had them. I was searching frantically for them so that I could get them to a vet appointment, and finally I noticed two sagging lumps in the bottom of our box spring. I stuck my head up through the hole they had made and this is what I found.

Our old Dell laptop had some overheating issues, which both cats took advantage of often.

We walked into the living room and found Harper sitting like this. Then in her best Joe Pesci voice she said, "What, do I @#$%ing amuse you?"

Somehow she got up there without knocking out any books. Yet she couldn't figure out how to get down.

We've caught them several times in compromising positions. "Uh, I was just, uh, looking for my wallet."

Typical fighting positions for both of them. Harper always ends up on the bottom. Kind of hard to end up on top when Stella is such a fat lard.

They are very particular about the Christmas tree, and they're always in it "redecorating". Very interesting to come home to.

We're still trying to figure out this one. They dragged the Christmas tree skirt from the tree in living room into the kitchen, then stomped it into their water bowl. That same tree skirt also made their undersides and paws turn pink.