The Speed of Technology

I just had a wacky little thought. Since it is shaping up to be a slow blog week (good stuff to come, but not until next week), I figured I'd share. The icon that most programs use for a shortcut for saving (pictured at left) struck me as outdated. When I started thinking about it, I realized that it is so outdated, that many computer users probably don't even know what it is a picture of. When was the last time you used a 3.5" floppy?

I can't really think of anything better to replace it—maybe a folder with an arrow going in to mimic the "open" shortcut icon. And I'm not trying to complain—afterall, I know what it means. I just thought it was kind of an interesting observation.
Tuesday March 11 2008File under: misc

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The Upside of Being Under the Weather

Ugh. I'm just recovering from a nasty bout with a devilish bug that had me laid up for the past couple days. Today is the first day since Saturday that I feel able to get up and move about in a semi-regular fashion, albeit with significantly less energy. I was fortunate that my particular strain was just achy muscles, headaches, fever, etc. and skipped over the whole yammying* aspect. On the whole, it wasn't a pleasant experience. All my time lying shivering in bed did allow me time to try to put a positive spin on things. Since I know a lot of others are going through a similar aguishness, I thought I might share my look-on-the-bright-side conclusions.

1. Lying in bed is a comfort activity that many of us don't get to do often enough. Sure the shakes are bad, but pulling the covers up to your chin in the middle of the day without the feeling of guilt that you should be doing something else is a bit of a perk.

2. A forceful respite from our sometimes hectic schedules can be a great opportunity to reflect on our lives from an outside perspective. When you're in too much pain to push a broom, write thank you cards, or paint the bathroom, you will find that you have some good old fashion think-time.

3. Being sick gives you an excuse to listen to your body with open ears (for those of us that don't find ourselves doing that enough on a regular basis.) If chicken noodle soup is the only thing that sounds good, eat it. If you wanna lie in bed ALL DAY and not move, do it*.

4. For those times just before the worst of things and right after when you are able to think clearly and move your appendages slightly, but not so much your whole body, there isn't a better time to negotiate working from home. Your work will like it because you won't infect the whole office. You will get to skip out on a commute (and probably a lot of office politicking). Everyone wins.

5. The line between being too weak/incoherent to do anything constructive and being too lazy is quite fine. Bask in that laziness, if just for an afternoon. You know you want to. Trooth* is, the longer you bask in the slow life of letting your body take care of itself as it was made to do, the quicker you will return to health.

Can you think of other upsides of being under the weather.
Tuesday March 4 2008File under: misc

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Content du Wren

I am a student of the internet. I've learned my career skillz from it, honed my communications skillz on it, and been kept current on countless [usually pointless] cultural trends via it. As you all know from some of the projects and websites I've posted about before, my technical internet skillz are above average, if I do say so myself. An arguement could probably be made either way on my communication skillz. As for the cultural trends, I'd like to present an argument in my favor presently.

One of the things about the internet that so often boggles my mind is the amount of content that is created so frequently. Somebody is out there writing up those top ten lists, programming those addictive flash games, and compiling those LOLcat* photos. So in the interest of giving back to the internet a small portion of what it has given me, I've created these 3 bits of content. I was thinking of posting them all separately so as to try and capitalize on the fickle permalinking internet masses, but 1)none of them is good enough to warrant a solo post 2)BdW isn't really a place for non-personal, internet trend-based content (for the most part) and 3) I've got a huge affinity for the number 3*.

So, here you go, content du Wren:
Internet Memes: My take on the internet masses' take on Despair, Inc.'s take on Motivational posters.
Manliness Quiz: Quizes are all the rage on the internet. Here's mine.
Thread Voting: One of the most common links of "content" that I come across in a day is a compilation of stuff on a given topic. While it doesn't really count as content, because the true creative genius is just stolen from elsewhere, there is a bit of a organizational thought that goes into it.
Tuesday February 26 2008File under: misc

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Cute Kid in a Suave Hat

Everybody loves a picture of a cute kid, right? It seems to be all the rage these days. Granted I can't claim any responsibility for this kid being as she isn't a direct descendant or anything, but I can still capitalize on the cuteness, right?

But* in hopes of making this a less blatant attempt at using a picture of a cute kid to fill an otherwise slow time here at BdW, I will say this: see that super-suave hat Punky is wearing? Yeah, I made that. Lately I've been pumping out the hats like an underemployed guy who occasionally knits to make the time pass a little more quickly, which is to say not like a factory or like my income depends on it, but more than last year.

So here's another picture. It is a little better picture of the hat but a much worse picture of Punky. She anticipates the flash when she knows she is getting her picture taken, so she kind of squints her eyes and adopts a "Dude, Where's My Car?" facial expression.
Sunday February 24 2008File under: pics, misc

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Troothpicks Update

This blog is supposed to be a log of the exciting things in my life, right? Things that I would share with people who I would like to be in contact with more often but am not for various reasons*? Well, when I do finally get around to catching up with people, one of the things that they always ask about it how troothpicks is going. If that doesn't just lend itself to a blog post* then my name isn't, well, you know*.

Yeah, so troothpicks! This holiday season was a smashing success thanks to the various BdW readers that participated in the mutually beneficial exchange of goods and/or services. In fact, in only a week long period, I almost made back all my invested money*. From here on out, it is profit, baby...profit to the tune of $5.00 an hour! Anyway, I was never in it for the money, right?*

So with the holiday season's market research successful, I figure it is time to widen my audience. As luck would have it, that website I made a while back in exchange for free ad space, Sponsor My Loans, has completely taken off media-wise with coverage in all sorts of fancy places. Since troothpicks ads are all over the page, the traffic on troothpicks.com has increased with the traffic of sponsormyloans.com. In short, people who I don't know are checking things out! I've already got a number of inquiries about custom picks and one from an adoring fan who wants to sponsor the idea to the tune of $10,000*. Alas, no new orders...yet.

Besides ever expanding web traffic, I'm really close to making the retail debut of troothpicks. By the end of the week, I've promised myself that I will have printed up enough stock to be able to visit local novelty stores and beg them to put my product on their shelves. (I plan on working on my puppy dog eyes in a mirror before hand.) Maybe troothpicks are more of an impulse buy rather than a premeditated, fill-out-the-credit-card-info type of thing.

Anyway, I'll keep ya'll posted. (Oh, and Horge, I totally fixed that typo too.)
Monday February 18 2008File under: misc

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CoPost - Living At Home


I get guff for living at home. My friends have more or less gotten over it, but new people usually have a field day (at least after they've gotten to know me well enough to a) learn that I live at home* and 2) feel comfortable giving me guff*). It's all good, though, because I realize the humor in it, esp. when taken in the context of today's societal impression of adult children living at home. Plus, I'm comfortable in the way my situation is set up.

Anyway, in having to defend myself to people* over the years, I've come up with a pretty strong argument both for the general case of living with one's parents and for my specific case. In fact, I feel so strongly about it, I wrote a persuasive "article"* for RealWorldReally.com, a blog geared towards the soon-to-be college graduate. Just like my last cross-blogging experience, it was really fun. I like the format of the semi-anonymous, pseudo-academic article. I hope you (and the millions of readers at both blogaboutbeer.com and realworldreally.com) do too. I'm planning to do another one soon, so stay tuned.

Okay mom, now you can go wild with your oh so witty retort in the comments. I can take it.
Saturday February 16 2008File under: misc, writing

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Cross-Blogination

Look at this neat picture I drew* of a mug of frosty root beer. Doesn't it make you thirsty for a nice cold one? Me too. Root beer has been right at the top of my favorite drinks list since as long as I can remember. I've often heard about the origins of said elixir and wondered about how it got the dubious moniker of "beer".

Well, when you're curious and underemployed, the only thing to do is go look it up. And since I have been looking for an opportunity to try a little freelance co-blogging, I thought I would try my hand at writing a little "article" on the subject. Well, Luke over at Blog About Beer* was kind enough to post my little "article" being that it is somewhat on topic. See?

Now I am a semi-published, pseudo-contributer of content on this thing we call the world wide web. It is a concept that I think I like. Stay tuned for more cross-blogination* or if you want me to write an "article"* for your theme specific blog, let me know.
Friday February 8 2008File under: misc, writing

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One Panel Comics

:D
Like I mentioned in my last post, I've kind of got comics on the brain lately. I'm growing esp. fond of the one-panel comic genre. It is hard to explain: maybe it has something to do with the experience being non-linear. Or maybe it is because the subjects often vary so widely. Of course it doesn't hurt that there's usually not much to read*.

Anyway, I thought I might highlight some of my favorite one-panel comics. Many of them you've probably heard of* and some of them are more obscure. Common newspaper ones include Bizzaro (which has a neat co-posting arrangement* with Neatorama), the Lockhorns, Herman, That's Life, Pardon My Planet, and Rhymes With Orange. And then there was the Far Side: the world may never see another comic so great. (For full disclosure, not all of these are always one-panel, but most of them are most of the time.)

There are a whole slough* of web comics out there which I have only barely gone through. Most of them haven't made the "big time" (e.g. newspapers) because of either content or quality of drawings. But I think they are often as good or better than their printed cousins. Anyway, be warned: these may not appeal to everyone's taste. See Mike Draw and The Fretting Zoo. Also, XKCD is worth a mention although it is only occasionally one panel.

Anyway, did I miss any? Do you have any good one-panel web comics that you'd like to share?
Monday February 4 2008File under: misc, links

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R. Crumb at the Frye

Museums = culture*, right? Whenever I am feeling under-cultured, I try to find my way to a museum, preferably art*. On a recent visit to Seattle, in an effort to pass the time and up my lagging culture, I visited the Frye Art Museum. It was my first visit, but the great experience insured that it won't be my last.

The exhibition we went to see was about R. Crumb, a name that I have heard many times but never could quite place. After seeing some of his pieces, I realized that I was quite familiar with his work. The reason that I didn't make the connection is because I didn't think comics would ever make it to the walls of a museum. There were great examples of his work from one panel posters to 4 page comic book stories and much in between. Not only was it great to see a more accessible form of art in a museum, it was great to see some of the process of a famous comic artist (what with me spending an increasing amount of time thinking about my comic series).

Anyway, if you are look for a fun time that can also be cultural, check out the Frye Art Museum in Seattle. Oh, and I almost forgot, it's free!
Sunday February 3 2008File under: misc

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Snow Day

Wasn't it just a week ago that I was diving into the waters of the Pacific to go for a nice swim? Well, this morning I woke up to a couple inches of snow covering the ground. For those of you in Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio, you probably don't fully appreciate the way snow affects places that don't get snow very often. It is looked on as a novelty rather than a hassle. And since around here it usually doesn't last through the day, you gotta get out and take advantage of it when you can.

First thing this morning, I put on some gloves and went outside to scope the quality of the snow: decent for packing and enough to embark on a modest-sized project. After mulling it over for a bit, I came up with the idea of building an arch. It felt very Andy Goldsworthy-esque. As I worked, the snow got even better for packing which I knew meant it was melting fast. Well, I'm proud of my little arch – so proud, in fact, that I went a little crazy with the camera. Here is an attempt to make it bigger than it is and here is Tussieroo enjoying it*.

After my snow architecture session, I went up to the local sledding hill with the neighbors. (Sled technology is vastly improved since my days.) Good times in the snow. They say more snow for tomorrow. Maybe I will attempt something more ambitious like an igloo*.
Monday January 28 2008File under: misc, pics

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