I have my creative hat on tonight in an attempt to design a banner for my own website. Whilst searching for some inspiration, I stumbled upon Symbols.com, an ‘Online Encyclopedia of Western Signs and Ideograms’. With over 2,500 symbols catalogued, it’s an impressive site that gives explanations to the origins and uses of each of its symbols. Symbols.com is right up my ally. I have a great fondness for trivial tidbits of info and this place is stacked with them.

Since my home has had no power since Monday, I’ve had to go 19th century on some entertainment options: coloring, Parcheesi and reading. I was pretty surprised that I remembered how to work one of those book things. Here’s the illustrious list I knocked off this week:

The Meaning of Ichiro: The New Wave from Japan and the Transformation of Our National Pastime by Robert Whiting

Magician’s Nephew and The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

Got Game: How the Gamer Generation Is Reshaping Business Forever by by John C. Beck and Mitchell Wade

Although my townhome has no power, I know someone that does. I am alive and well with minor damage to my townhome. My family is safe, but South Florida is a mess. People coming to blows over ice and water. People waiting hours (up to 16) for gas. It’s like downtown Baghdad with better landscaping. I have posted some pics on my Flickr account. They really don’t do the disaster justice. I’m just happy we weren’t plowed like the Gulf Coast. I’m going to count my blessings right now.

Welcoming Wilma

Unfortunately, Wilma is not a stripper. She’s the 21st named storm for 2005 that just got done vacationing in Cancun. You know this of course. You also know that she’s about to plow into southwest Florida as a category 3 hurricane. I live in southern Broward county on the southeast side of the state. Although we won’t experience a direct hit, we expect winds of nearly 100 mph as Wilma passes through. Since my townhome was constructed after Andrew, it should be able to withstand a category 5 storm. However, my biggest concern is that Wilma will park my Scion in the cul-de-sac or plant a palm tree in the glove box. As soon as it’s safe to venture out tomorrow, I’ll get some pics. I may not be able to post them because there’s a good chance there will be no power. Wish me luck.

Many of you know I love Google. They totally have it together. Lots of smart, creative peeps are crazily working to provide untouchable services. Whether it’s their search engine, maps, email, IM, it almost seems that have it all.

Well, I was reading an article over at Download Squad about a new free email service called Goowy. Now, the last thing any of us need is another free email account. If any of you are like me, you have a Yahoo! account, multiple Hotmail accounts, Gmail (of course), and whatever other free accounts available. But what if something came along that was different enough to peak your interest. Goowy did just that for me. Essentially it’s a flash-based online email client that not only provides 2GB of storage (size does matter), but a calendar, RSS reader, online games, and a skinnable interface.

I haven’t spent but 10 minutes playing with the site, but I’m impressed. I mean, it does what everyone else does. It sends and receives messages. But the thought and creativity that went into building a unique email experience is pretty cool. I’d highly recommend creating an account even if all you did was poke around and see what’s up. You never know. You may have found your new email service.

Mister Nice Hands, it really can’t be described. And it’s probably not safe for work. I mean, it’s not pr0n, but the guy in the next cubicle may look at you funny. And you may want to turn the sound down. That’s all I can say.

If you’re feeling hungry (I know it’s nearly lunch time on the West Side), then point your browsers to The Official Ramen Homepage. Some brilliant fellow has put together 289 recipes for ramen noodles. Yes, RAMEN. You know, the packs of noodles you can get 6 for $0.89 (10 for $1 in some places). Regardless of your locale’s ramen economy, the availablility of nearly 300 ramen recipes is not only impressive, but necessary to feed countless people across the world. I mean, when I was a kid, my mom might have thrown an egg in my ramen… maybe some cut-up hot dogs. I don’t think she would have thought of Hyperactive Candied Choco-Ramen. That’s the bomb! This site is exactly what the originators of the Internet were thinking of when they created the Information Super Highway. God bless you, Matt Fischer. You are a true innovator.

Everyone has seen the footage. Makes me feel a little helpless. Very hopeless. I did the little I could. I hope you do the same.

Donate to the American Red Cross.

A couple of nights ago, I was chillin’ on the Inter-nizzle, when I discovered Konfabulator. Konfabulator is a little program that runs widgets on your desktop. What kind of widgets, you ask? Just about any kind under the sun and there are new ones everyday. The default installation comes with some fly widgets like a picture viewer, analog clock, and weather widget. But if you visit the Widget Gallery, you can hit up hundreds of cool things to put on your desktop. What are you waiting for?!?!?!

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No relation to a celestial sea-person, but it seems that Google has taken its maps to a new level. Every lunar landing is mapped. However, I was hard-pressed to find a Waffle House or Super Wal-mart.

I know, I know. Google has a mappy feature with satellite views and all that jazz, but I wanted a map of the USA I could print out. So I searched for ‘printable maps‘ and BAM! First link was National Geographic’s Xpeditions Atlas site. Exactly what I needed. Not only was a US map available, but a map for just about any place on Earth was there. Pretty sweet. Then I searched for ‘high paying jobs with little responsibility‘. Not as successful…

Obviously, the peeps at Google have nothing better to do with their free email system. I don’t know if the Gmail users out there noticed, but if you open your Spam folder and look below the Google search box at the top of the page, you’ll see a link to a spam recipe. To the right of the recipe are arrows you can use to navigate through the selections. Among the yummies you can create: Spam Swiss Pie, Cricket’s Spam Quiche, and Spam Vegetable Strudel. My fave, Spicy Spam Kabobs. Looks delicioso!

EDIT: I just discovered Gmail gives you recycling tips when you open your Trash folder. Sweet.

Old School
Apple rumor sites are all abuzz. AppleInsider claims that Apple will be releasing a two-button mouse. Many are speculating that Steve Jobs wants to woo more Windows users with the more familiar device. Honestly, adding another button to the Apple mouse won’t be sufficient since many third-party pointing devices work very well with Macs. What will they think of next? Perhaps a backspace key. [Link]

Whose house?
Although I live in a state surrounded by water on three sides, I have yet to go diving. During a foray into cyberspace, I stumbled upon Divester, a bomb-ass blog about, you guessed it, diving. A recent entry discusses an article about some sunken U-boat near Norway that is a popular dive spot. Pretty sweet. So now I’m trying to get some co-workers interested in getting scuba certified. Then I’ll be on my way to finding One-eyed Willy’s treasure.

Judd at TechnoTaste created a Google Maps plugin for Firefox. Now you can use the search bar in Firefox to find places anywhere on the planet. Need some Cuban food in Pembroke Pines? I recommend Padrino’s. They have an all you can eat lunch buffet. Tasty. And the next time I’m in San Fran, I need to stop by Sun’s Cafe. They claim to be a Korean Teriyaki House. ???
Via The Open Source Weblog.

I missed the premiere of the Episode III trailer last night, largely due to the fact that I refuse to watch the OC. However, our fellow netizens have provided a torrent for your downloading pleasure. I must say, Episode III looks awesome! Of course, I along with many said that the last two times George Lucas premiered trailers only to be severely disappointed by the films. Odds are this film will be just as disappointing, but no matter. The dark side is powerful and I shall succumb to its treachery on May 19. Thanks to kottke.org for the hook up!

I installed an extension to Firefox called stumbleupon 1.9992. After installation, it asks for your interests and directs you to websites you may like. Today I stumbled upon ‘Time‘, a photo-chronology of a family in Argentina. They’ve been taking pictures on the same day every year since 1977. The scrapbook is pretty amazing.

Gizoogle! Now this is a search engine. When you do a search, ask it to translate the page. You gotta see it to believe it! Via TPILB.

Apple I Replica Creation by Tom Owad
Tom Owad wants you to learn about computers. So he wrote a book to show you how. What kind of computer, you ask? How about the first personal computer ever, the Apple I?

The book isn’t just a ‘howto build your own Apple’. The book goes into detail about fundamental digital computer design. Now anyone with $100 can restart the home computer revolution in their own garage.

Honestly, I’ll leave the high-level computing chapters for Larry. I just want to know how to build the damn thing. There is a foreword by Steve Wozniak (the other Steve behind Apple) and the book is available at Amazon or any local bookstore.

via Wired News

Where's Lumbergh?Look at what I got in the mail today. A Rio Red Swingline stapler. Milton would be so proud.

Yes, you read that correctly. Sharp has unveiled a refrigerator that can keep food warm. Your miso soup or chicken katsu can be kept warm at 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) while you grab a cold Kirin in the neighboring compartment. Hubby, wife, or life partner coming home late? The warming area can be set to act like a real fridge and chill the food. What will the Japanese think of next? Probably a handheld gaming system with dual touch screens. That would be sweet!

Francis Hwang had a cool idea. He wanted to auction off a modified version of Apple’s U2 iPod. When the Unauthorized iPod U2 vs. Negativland Special Edition was listed on eBay, Apple got wind of it and told eBay to pull the plug. That was December 2004. Now it’s 2005 and Francis won’t let the man keep him down. He is currently auctioning the iPod on his own site. I’d like to meet Francis because he’s got some serious cojones. Apple will sue at the drop of a hat. I wish him the best of luck. Auction ends March 14, so place your bids while you can.

via Wired News

I’m on a wallpaper making frenzy. Here’s a little something for all of the Red vs. Blue fans out there. Don’t forget the headlight fluid.

I thought I’d make a sweet ass wallpaper by throwing together two things I love, iPods and Halo 2. You like it? I thought it was pretty cool. Until…

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I am always amazed when people are inventive and creative. I guess that’s why I like computers. With a little time and mental capacity, you can make something really cool. A friend of mine sent me a link where a guy did just that. CVS sells a $20 digital camera that you can use and return to CVS for processing. After it’s all said and done, you’ve spent upwards of $35 to process 25 pics. Well, some guy wanted to stick it to the man. So he modded the camera so he can download the pics to his PC. Now he doesn’t have to fill the pockets of CVS’s execs. Instead he can take as many pictures as he wants and only print out what he wants. My favorite part of the mod, a warning he posts before attempting to flash the firmware:

WARNING: It is easy to kill your camera if you make a mistake following these instructions. If losing the $20 you paid for your camera is too much for you to risk, stop now and go watch TV or something. Follow these instructions at your own risk.

You’ve been warned. See you at CVS.

Get Firefox!
So here’s the deal. If your not using Firefox, I’d highly recommend it. And I’m not gonna give you the ‘it’s more secure than IE’ crap. I’m asking you to use it because it’s cooler. Adding a news aggregator is one thing, but the Firefox community has so much more to offer. The ability to personalize your browser is a huge reason why I use Firefox. I have no doubt that anyone that uses it would feel the same. If you’re interested in trying it out, click on the banner I provided. Here are a few cool things you can download to make your Firefox experience a bit sweeter:

Themes – Themes change the look and feel of the browser.

Extensions – Applets that add functionality to the browser. I recommend the following:

  • Sage – Our friendly news aggregator
  • Tabbrowser Preferences – Adds some extra options to the basic tab controls.
  • ForecastFox – Displays weather in your status bar. Click on the icons and Firefox takes you to Weather.com.
  • FoxyTunes – Control your fave music player from your browser. Supports Winamp, iTunes, WMP, et. al.
  • Tab Clicking Options – Allows you to control tabs via mouse clicks. Way cool.

Of course there’s more, but I have to run to a meeting. If you try it, hope you like it. If you don’t, shame on you.

Some of the Nug’s loyal readers are probably wondering about my little blogasm yesterday. Usually I post on topics I run across when I surf. It’s a very passive way to find info to blog about. That all changed when I downloaded an extension for Firefox called Sage 1.3.1. It’s a news feed aggregator that is displayed in Firefox’s sidebar. It’s pretty sweet. So essentially, I visited all of my fave sites and added their RSS or Atom feeds to Sage. Now I get the news delivered to me. Needless to say, it’s a much more efficient method of news gathering. The results were pretty obvious yesterday.

From the desk calendar I got for Christmas, here’s a pretty interesting trivia question:

Which U.S. racetrack was the first to install a photo-finish camera?

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Whilst reading a post about the Airbus A380 on the Londonist, a link to the Polish Poster Gallery was given. What is wrong with them? This is their movie poster for Weekend at Bernie’s. WEEKEND AT BERNIE’S! Damn!

Via the Google Blog, the world’s most popular search engine now has an operator that will help you find movie-related info in a jiffy. Looking for a movie about rings and elves. Try [movie: rings elves]. How about a Steve McQueen flick? Try [movie: Steve McQueen]. Heck, maybe you want show times for a film in your area. [movie: Las Vegas, NV] should do the trick. I said it before. I’ll say it again. Google. Cool like the other side of the pillow. And I thought the [define] operator was sweet.

Mobile PC Magazine has released their cool and controversial ‘The Top 100 Gadgets of All Time‘. Some notables from the list:

89. RUBIK’S CUBE, 1974 (Which I can solve in under 5 minutes!)

I wish they still made ‘Speak & Spell’. That should totally be higher on the list!

I know everyone’s probably heard about Apple’s revamped iPod line. They’ve added a new 6GB iPod Mini, increased the iPod Mini battery life to 18 hours, lowered the price on the 4GB iPod Mini, 20GB iPod, and all iPod Photos. Not bad.

Unfortunately, the old adage “get what you pay for” holds true. The iPods are cheaper, but they come with fewer accessories. Apple is no longer including a firewire connector for new iPods in favor of the more Windows-friendly USB 2.0. And according to The Apple Blog, some much loved items are also missing from the iPod Photo bundles.

The iPod photo also no longer ships with a dock, AV cable, or carrying case, so to get a 60 GB iPod photo that is feature-equivalent to the original, your accessories tab at the Apple Store will run you $77 plus whatever you spend for the case.

Although the new price point for the 60GB iPod Photo is much more attractive, the fact that you get much less sours the deal some. I guess no matter how cool a business is, it’s still business. The bottom-line matters most of all.

Larry found one of the coolest sites ever. OpensourceCMS provides one location for everyone to play with some of the more popular content management systems. The username and passwords are provided. All you have to do is visit, logon, and play. No need to worry about mucking up the site. Everything gets rebuilt from scratch every two hours. If anyone is interested in online publishing or blogging, swing by. It’s gnarly!

Due to “human error”, a spam message sent to MSNBC was distributed to their breaking news subscriber list. MSNBC posted the usual apology online stating “[the company] regrets the error and is taking steps to make sure it does not happen again.” This just goes to show that all the money in the world cannot cure stupidity.

Often Fabe and I talk about how cool Google is. Did you know that Google posts it top search terms on a web site for all to see? So anyone can find out that they love Brad Pitt in the UK, futbol is the most searched sport in Spain, and that Hilary Duff was Canada’s most popular actress in January. That’s pretty sweet. If you want to see more, just visit Google Zeitgeist. It’s hot.

Some doctors out at UCLA found a way to transfer x-ray images to iPods. Dr. Osman Ratib and Dr. Antoine Rosset thought spending $100,000 on workstations to view x-rays was stupid. So with the help of open source and Dr. Rosset’s programming skills, they were able to transfer x-rays to Mac desktops. Obviously this wasn’t enough, so they modified Apple iPhoto to view the images and transfer them to an iPod photo.

“It’s amazing. (With iPods), people are carrying around 60GB in their pocket, when I don’t even have 60GB on my computer,” Dr. Ratib said. “That’s the beauty of adopting consumer technology.” Good job, Dr. Ratib. Let’s hope those HIPAA compliance officers don’t jack your iPod.

Experts are speculating that Google will go public with their Gmail service soon. Probably has something to do with the 50 invitations Gmail users received to give to friends and family. Honestly, I don’t know that many people. If anyone wants a Gmail account, leave a comment. Remember to say ‘Please’.

Looking for a place to eat? Google can help. Say your looking for a Korean restaurant in Nashville. Just visit Google, click on the Local link, and throw in the appropriate keywords (korean, nashville, tn). Voila! You’re eating good!

Now if you are interested in a good Korean place in Nashville, I recommend Arirang on West End. They cook your food on grills in front of you. The kalbi and bulgogi are awesome!

But you only live once. I found a site that gives you stuff if you refer friends and associates to the site. Essentially, you create an account on the site, try out some promotion the site offers, then refer your own friends. Once you have enough referrals, you can get free stuff. What kind of free stuff? Everything from gift cards, iPods, and laptops. What kind of promotions? Everything from credit card offers, Netflix, Blockbuster Online, web hosting, and eBay. I googled it and it’s legit. Now I just need you guys to help me out. Heres the link you need:


Now go and help me get an iPod. Unless you want to help Nugget get one which is something I totally understand. It’s his site…

I am nerdier than 91% of all people. Are you nerdier? Click here to find out!

Larry killed me on this quiz. I will formally accept him as my Nerd God.

Who's your daddy?Introducing Jimmy’s Scion tC. Needed to get something a little more economical than the Xterra. Gotta save the planet and all. At least I can do that with an mp3 player.

What’s this about a Google browser? I don’t know how they got this by me. I mean, I’m a big Google fan. I can talk about how pimp Google is all day, f’sho! Somehow, those Internet gangstas got one passed me. Today the rumors for a Google browser grew when the Mountain View, California company straight jacked Firefox’s lead programmer. This news had me high like Marion Berry with a crack pipe because I dig Firefox like I dig Google. They both be supa fly! Of course, news of this sort doesn’t totally surprise me because I have no doubt that Google can hire anybody they want. What are they worth now? A googillion dollars? They could roll up into any company strapped with pocket protectors and red Swingline staplers and nerdjack anyone they wanted. Why? Because Google is a bad-ass mother fucker! Sort of like Samuel L. Jackson except it can do Boolean searches.

Lunch and stuff

Grabbed some grub at Arby’s on this fine day. It’s 65 degrees outside which is perfectly pleasant, unless you’re from Jamaica or Puerto Rico. Then it’s freezing. I’m totally getting tooled on for moblogging. It’s not easy being a geek. Ask Nugget. He knows.


Thanks to Nugget, I am now an IT manager in South Florida. It’s a sweet gig. I get to play with computers all day. Occasionally I get off task.

Originally uploaded by Skewed1.

I picked a great day to mess around with Nugget’s blog! If you take a look at my next post (above), I am now able to take a pic with my camera phone, email it to my Flickr account, and Flickr automatically posts the message to the Nug. One of the coolest things ever…

I found a way to create posts from my camera phone. If pics start popping up on this here bloggy woggy, it’s totally me.

I’m in DC drinking and eating the biggest grapes ever! Happy New Year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Day 2 of my DC trip has almost concluded. Here is a pictoral diary of today’s events. I took a good handful of photos, so I provided links to them instead of embedding them into the page.

After spending a good hour trying to find parking in downtown Washington, D.C., we found spaces about three blocks west of the White House. Upon exiting my vehicle, I discovered that someone in DC doesn’t like the cold weather (image). Since it was around noon, we decided to hit a local culinary hot spot for a bite to eat (image). After throwing down some chili dogs, we headed to our first destination, the White House. On the way there, I took some shots of the 1st Infantry Division Monument in President’s Park (image).

Pennsylvania Avenue between 16th and 17th was blocked for security reasons, so a gang of people were standing on the sidewalk outside the south lawn to snap pics of the most famous house not to be on MTV Cribs (image). Police officers were present to make certain no one stood in the streets, jumped over the fence, or used a tripod to take photos. My girlfriend’s sister was reprimanded on several occasions about her tripod. Once we informed her that Secret Service doesn’t have a sense of humor about things like this, she desisted.

Next stop on our tour, the World War II Memorial. On the way there, I snapped a pic of the Washington Monument from the 2nd Infantry Division Monument (image). The WWII Memorial is beautiful (image). The memorial is divided into two areas, Pacific (image) and Atlantic (image), representing the two theaters the U.S. fought in during the war. There are bronze reliefs lining the memorial and inscriptions everywhere. It’s a very impressive monument for those that served during World War II.

Next stop was the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. This memorial is striking. Two dark stone walls that meet at a right angle (image). The only words on the memorial are the names of men and women that did not return to their families with only three soldiers standing sentinel over their fallen comrades (image). Profound is an understatement for this monument.

We visited the Lincoln Memorial next. The memorial is an impressive edifice built in that classic hellenistic tradition (image). Of course the building houses one of the most famous monuments in the country (image). The statue of Abraham Lincoln is immense. I wish I took a picture of it with someone standing next to it so you could get an idea of its size. You’ll have to trust me on this.

From the Lincoln Memorial, you can look across the mall to the Washington Monument (image) and the U.S. Capitol, if you’re standing in the right place. The distance from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol is two miles. It seems so much closer in pictures.

The final stop for the day was the Korean War Veterans Memorial. This was eerie, yet moving (View image). The expressions on some of the soldier’s faces seemed panicked and grip you (image). Some seem to be in complete control (image). Yet you still feel there is a sense of gravity no matter what their facial expressions are (image). By far, this was my favorite monument (I am biased). However, I was disappointed because the monument seemed incomplete.

All in all, my day in DC was more than eventful. Now it’s time to drink some champagne and eat lots of grapes. I hope everyone has a safe and happy New Year! Felicidades and I’ll be posting again soon.

My girlfriend, her daughter and father, and myself are visiting her sister in northern Virginia. Today we took a leisurely stroll to the U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial in Arlington, VA.

U.S.M.C War Memorial

The monument is a reproduction of a photograph taken by Joseph Rosenthal on February 23, 1945, when five U.S. Marines were raising the flag on Mt. Suribachi in Iwo Jima. The first thing you notice when you are standing next to the monument is its size. It’s huge. The men would stand 32 feet and the flag pole they are erecting is 60 feet tall. The detail in the statues is also amazing. Wrinkles in facial features and buttons on clothing are clearly visible. The pedestal on which the statue sits list every major battle the Marines took part in since 1775.

The monument is located next to Arlington National Cemetary. Since it was a cold and overcast day, it set an eerie tone for the visit. Yet, it was invigorating to see something up close when I only saw it in print or television previously. Also, from this monument, you can see the Washington Monument, Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, and the Capitol Building across the Potomac River. Breathtaking.

We will be in DC until next week, so expect more pics from the Nation’s capital.

Sorry for my absence. I have been joining Nugget and hundreds of thousands of gamers that spend way too much time playing Halo 2. It seems that we’ve been playing the game online so much that Xbox Live traffic has quadrupled. Not doubled. Not tripled. Quadrupled.

Needless to say, my girlfriend isn’t really happy about this. But I need some “me time”. And what better way to spend “me time” than to empty clips of ammunition into alien scum while shouting expletives at complete strangers. Gnarly.

Now I purchased the Collector’s Edition of H2 which comes with a DVD of extra goodies. It’s fabulous, interesting and entertaining! And one of the coolest things in the DVD is a video some guys in Texas made using the Halo 1 video game engine. The result is quite possibly the funniest things I have ever seen. I recommend the Thanksgiving Day PSA. It’s frickin’ hilarious. Damn! I’ve spent a lot of time playing Halo 2!!

Did I mention my girlfriend is not pleased…