Thursday, August 30, 2007

Test Post

So this is a post made from my Macbook via bluetooth through my Razr talking on T-Mobile's internet connect.

Not the fastest connection in the world, but it seems to work. I am going to include a smaller image on this post as well and see how it does.

The image upload, once I ran it through iPhoto to make it into a small photo (sorry, print quality photo's from Disneyworld will have to wait until we get home) wasn't too bad. I might even try a medium sized photo upload speed if I am feeling frisky in WDW.

48 hours and counting

So it's that time once again the annual (or at least it sure seems that way :p) Smith family trip to Disney World. I am pretty excited for this upcomming trip for 2 main reasons.

1) We have the Disney dining plan. Shalisa and I did this the last time we went to Disney World (in '05) and we pretty much decided that any subsequent trips to Disney World would include the free dining. I obsess WAY too much about the cost of food when we are on vacation (I see the dollar signs racking up as we order our bread and water) and Disney only exagerates the problem with their over-inflated park prices. The dining plan allows you to order really... anything you want for your meals, and it just uses a dining "credit" which you pre-purchased before you even arrived at the park. I think if '05 the cost per adult was like... $45 per day (we got it free with our hotel reservation) and Disney has now upped the price to something like $60 or something. In my opinion even at $60 it is still a great deal only because it reduces the stress of watching money fly out your wallet every time you sit down to eat. BUT what makes this so great, we got it FOR FREE. Basically Disney runs a promotion every so often that for every night you have booked in a hotel room, they throw in the dining plan for free for everyone in your party. So Shalisa, Maddie and myself all got a free dining plan at zero cost. Free makes me happy. Free food makes me extra happy!

2) The REAL reason I am excited about this trip is that it will be the first time that Maddie has ever been to a theme park. I know she is way too young to even remember things, and Shalisa and I often mocked and scoffed at parents who drug their 2 year olds around the park, wondering what sort of idiots would do that, but I also know that her face will absolutely light up when she sees things, and Shalisa and I don't have unrealistic expectations for this trip. Since we are both seasoned WDW veterans we don't "have to see everything" on our trip, and we have planned excessive amounts of time at our hotel for both regular sleeping and nap time. I think in our daily schedule for each day we have blocked out 3-4 hours mid day for Maddie to come back to the hotel room and take a nap. Since we won't be wheeling her around the park non-stop all day every day I hope she will be a happier child than the ones I have seen in the park before.

My excitement is only tempered (every so mildly) by my broken wrist. I am not real thrilled with hanging out in 90 degree weather with a cast... but I will deal, and honestly at least I have had the cast for 5 weeks, I am pretty comfortable getting around with it. At the very least, I can use it to club those unruly children in front of me in line, so that will be fun :D

During our down times I am going to try and make a real effort to make a blog post a day from Disney (need something to do to kill the time). Disney has pretty steep prices for internet access (I think it's like $10/day for wifi) but my co-worker Joel had a good idea. I am going to see how much it costs to use my phone as an internet access point, sure it's only like 128 Kbps, but I can blog and browse with that, plus I don't need any cables or anything as I can use the bluetooth to do it, and to top it all off, it's only like $15 for a month compared to the $110 it would be for my Disney stay. I need to get Shalisa to buy off on it, but if she does I will even try and post blog posts from the plane (uploaded when we land at our layover) and some other fun stuff.

Again, no promises, we will see how it works out, but I suggest tuning in as it could be an epic posting week by yours truly.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Hey Miss South Carolina

Stop ripping off Adam Sandler, he did it first! (please view previous article first to understand context, and then wait for the last 30 seconds of this clip... priceless).

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I just cried

But I don't know if it is from laughing so hard or because this is the state of our youth:

In case some of you have become confused during that whole speech, I found a convenient map to help navigate through the speech:

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sorry for the lack of posts recently

But I am being attacked by airborne particulate of some kind which has made me fall under some sort of sickness. Or in more simple terms, I have really bad allergies which I believe turned into a sinus infection.

I am going to the doctor at 9:20 this morning, hopefully he can give me "the good stuff" and then I will be all better. After pretty much emptying the medicine cabinet yesterday to try and knock this thing out (seriously, I took Ephedrin, Claritin, Nasal spray, Benadryl) I finally hit one that worked. At around 9:45 I toook 50mg of Benadryl (two tablets, not 1). Wow, that did the trick, I am not even sure if my nose was running, that was like being clubbed over the the head by a 2x4, I was out cold. I woke up this morning SUPER groggy, I feel like I am walking around in a haze, but sadly it is all worth it because my nose isn't running right now. I was going to pick up some of the "non-drowsey" benadryl at the store before work, but the appointment lady said not to take anything until AFTER my doctors appointment.

So my nose is just starting to run, and I have to sit here and take it.

But yeah, as soon as I start to feel even a small modicum of relief I will post some more stuff up. I want to talk about High Seas Online since most of you probably have no clue what that is, I have some thoughts about church, and I have some other exciting news that I can't quite talk about.... yet...

So stay tuned, I promise more posts are forth coming.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Oh looky looky!

Yet another new blog for everyone to read!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Hey Judah, Cohen, Landon and the rest: Watch Out!

Maddie often likes to play with her many boy friends (Judah, Landon, and others). I have seen her play with them, and I must say I have seen her exhibit this EXACT same behavior:

And the scary thing is guys, I don't think women ever really change ;)

Monday, August 06, 2007


Okay, so the instant I make a nice snappy response in my comments, I find out like always, I am behind the times.

The Cloverfield trailer IS online you can find it here:

They also have a website here:

There is also a viral site to go along with the movie at: which just LOOKS like a regular crackpot website, but is in fact a tie in site. There are some puzzles on the site, that when unlocked open up more videos and information that may or may not be related to the trailer.

Spoiler alert!: After launching the game you may notice a slightly blue star in the upper left portion of the sky. Clicking it will launch your mail client with an email address and a subject already filled in. Sending an email to that address sends an auto-reply with the following hints about each of the puzzles. (If you use gmail, just copy and paste the subject and address into a new mail inside gmail).

If you're receiving this auto-response message it means that I've gone into hiding. You should be careful now, too. They're likely to start coming after all of us in an attempt to keep the balance of power in their favor. But remember, as our numbers increase as a group, the weaker they'll become.

As you recruit new people to our cause, you might need to share this message as guidance for how to navigate the 5 locks to the key code...

1. The first lock will test your memory. Follow the trail of light and sound, but be careful -- one wrong move will send you back to the beginning.
2. For the second lock, you may need to look to the stars. They will help you find HAAS who will lead your way.
3. The third lock will require you to extinguish all lights but one. Only with one light remaining will you be able to proceed.
4. The fourth lock will let you move all 4 pieces through the control of one. However, unless the three key pieces are simultaneously placed into position, you will not be granted access.
5. The fifth lock will be the toughest. Seek help again from the stars to reveal your key and the message that you must decode. The two working together will open the way.

Good luck.


I for one am a fan of viral marketing (I know .justin thinks it's retarded, but I think he is retarded for thinking it's retarded :p)

Edit to add: Also, for those of you who are COMPLETELY clueless, this was the movie trailer that previewed right before Transformers, there was no title to the movie (hence the use of it's codename Cloverfield, not the actual name of the movie). The movie is being produced/directed by J.J . Abrams of Lost & Alias fame. Also J.J. Abrams is directing the new "Star Trek" movie that is due out Christmas of 08.

Edit 2: A full walkthrough is now posted in the comments section, but I put it there for those that want to try and do the puzzles WITHOUT cheating.

Welp, I succumed

I finally moved over to feedburner so I can track how many rss subscribers out there there are. My guess is... 2.

Here hoping for "not sucking"

I think it is a sad commentary on movies nowdays when my first thought on a movie is "Gee I hope it doesn't suck " but alas that is where we are today in Hollywoods "sequel mania."

Now not all sequels are bad, heck I think X2 was the best of the 3 so far (it built on the great foundation of characters 1 laid down, which is the key to any franchise movie series, build up your cast of characters early) and I think we can ALL agree that Last Crusade (the 3rd) is the best Indy film to date.

Batman has always had a nice series going, although when Batman & Robin hit that was brutal and I pretty much considered the series dead. But then Christopher Nolan (yes that Christopher Nolan, of Memento fame) decided to direct Batman Begins. I would argue that not only is Batman Begins the best Batman movie hands down, but possibly the best "comic book" movie of all time.

So in that light I don't know how to feel about this:

On one hand Christopher Nolan is back directing (although I don't know if he wrote this one like he did Begins) and Heath Ledger as a "young Joker" seems about as perfect casting as you can get (outside of Jack who was perfect but is too old now). But on the other hand this seems like a "we made tons of money with this formula so lets try it again" movie studio play, and those almost ALWAYS end up badly. I guess we will see.

Also, does anyone find it humerous that this is a sequel to a prequel... think about that one.

Friday, August 03, 2007

Why does Google rock SO HARD

Seriously, outside of perhaps Mr. Jobs and his fruity company there may not be a large mega company I love as much as the goog.

I am not typically a super fanboi of mega companies, and even in Google and Apple's case I don't think I am a fan of the "company" so much as the products they kick out. Apple has had more than it's share of face plants over the year, but even a lot of those were just "before their time" (Newton anyone?). Similarily Google hasn't had a perfect success record, but honestly MOST of their products are EXACTLY what I am looking for.

I have been using Google's search probably longer than most, I started out using webcrawler way back when I first started on my internets journey. I then had a BRIEF affair with excite before I finally settled on Google as my search engine of choice around the year 2000.

So for 7+ years I have been googling and loving it. Not only that but I know Google Reader has been many an individuals gateway into the wonderful bliss that is rss. This here blog is hosted on Blogger that is, yes, owned (bought) by Google. My main email account is a Gmail account. My personalized home page is Google/ig, my router was paid by funds made through AdSense and while working on my latest project I have been using document collaboration with Brian Dickman using Google Documents. And the scary part, not a SINGLE one of these products do I use over another product because "it's google"... instead I use all of these because they are either 1) the only offering or 2) the best offering at the time I started using them. Google seriously owns my online soul!

So as I was sitting here, listening to my iPod, thinking about how I have been doing a better job of updating my blog lately, an idea struck me. I need to have iTunes update my blog in real time with what I am listening to, that should be a simple enough script. And then I thought "I can't be the first person to do this, heck there are probably 100's of these scripts out there" so I Googled it real quick. First hit was: itunesblogger hosted on none other than Google's own code repository. Now is hardly a new idea, Sourceforge has been around a LOT longer. But you know what my main complaint about Sourceforge is, they have 100's of thousands (millions?) of awesome programming projects, and absolutely NO WAY to find ANY OF THEM. Unless you are linked to Sourceforge by a developers web page or you google across just the right keywords contained in the project page... you would never find anything.

So take Sourceforge, add great "searchability" to it, and presto: you end up with a code repository on google that will hopefully be what I dream of it being.

Learning Languages

So through highschool I attempted to learn Spanish. I took Spanish for 2 years, and I think I can't even count past 10 in Spanish now. I can identify the primary colors (but don't ask me what torquise in Spanish would be) and I could ask where the bathroom is.

In summary, my Spanish SUCKS.

When Shalisa and I left for France I listened to these "learn French in 30 days" audio programs, I even did it pretty religiously every day like I was supposed to. I can't count past THREE in French.

In summary, my French is WORSE.

When we traveled to Germany and Italy Shalisa decided to try and learn German (knowing my previous experience with French I didn't even bother) and I decided to be the official Italian speaker for the trip. I did okay with Italian (or at least, I could stumble through it) mainly because Italian and Spanish are both Latin derivitives and so lots of words are the same/similar. My Italian is horrendous, but better than my French.

In summary, my Italian is PUTRID.

Get the drift here, past English I can't seem to make anything stick. YET, there is a strange caveat to all this. In my recent programming foray with Brian Dickman [side note: he really needs a blog so I can link it here] he has decided to use Python as our programming language. My experience in Python is all of about... 30 seconds 5 months ago. Yet by the end of last night while I was no Python master coder, I can stumble my way through it well enough to figure it out. Give me another week or 2 and I will be owning Python like master hacker.

Pascal, Basic, qBasic, C, C++, VB, VB.NET, C#, Java, and myriads of others. All of them I can "get around in" if I needed to program something, and could EASILY read any of them. So why is it my brain can pick up a new programming language faster than most people can finish a paperback novel, yet when it comes to learning a new SPOKEN language, my brain is a complete and utter disaster.

Puzzling indeed (and somewhat frustrating for someone who highly enjoys visiting other foreign speaking countries... Imagine if it only took me a week or 2 to master a spoken language, that would be AWESOME).

Thursday, August 02, 2007

7 states and 95% of the world to go...

While clicking around, I found this. I have always looked for a good way to track all of the places I have been, this seems pretty darn good!

So I have 7 states, and 95% of the countries in the world to go... I better stop going to Disney World!

ETA: Bad Ryan, BAD. Forgot to link: The map tool can be found here at