If a tree falls in your back yard

You know, it's really hard to get a sense of scale from a tree when it is upright. You can walk around it, try to climb it, or throw things up in the branches, but they deceive you. Maybe it's foreshortening, or slimming lines. I wonder if the secret behind big hair is that proponents are hoping to create the same optical illusion as a big tree - the top just kinda diappears in a froth of leaves, or hair.

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Today’s word is “eggplant”


That coworker brought in more food today - this time it was eggplant in a spicy tomato sauce. It melted like butter in my mouth. So very delicious.

I know that you are too lazy to look it up, so here's a nice link to “eggplant.” It has lot's of translations. Did you know that eggplant is a berry?


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A coworker of mine brought some delicious Yemeni Jewish foods to work. There were a couple of salsa/chutney/curry things, which were okay, and זחוג, which was a paste of cilantro, garlic, “cumin-like spices,” and hot peppers. That was suprememly delicious. I'm not usually a fan of cilantro, but this was WOW.

I still have to ask him what it would go with - although I could eat it straight up on bread - the recipes online (I will leave the googling to you) give a lot of possibilities, but I'm thinking pita.

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It’s all Nader’s fault

No, it isn’t. I will leave the math to you, because the vote counts are public. The only states that Gore would have won if he got the votes from Nader were New Hampshire and Florida. New Hampshire only has four electoral votes. Sorry, New Hampshire, but you wouldn’t have been enough.

We all know that Florida was rigged, so that pretty much eliminates Nader as the root cause.

Besides, shouldn’t all of those Gore voters have voted for Nader anyway?

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Doing 120 Plowing Over Mailboxes

I was tootling along in the middle lane of southbound 35W at a gentle, legal speed. Someone changed from the right lane into the middle lane in front of me. I tapped the brakes to match their speed, and all hell broke loose.

I must have hit black ice and gone into a four wheel skid. I let off the brakes right away, but the car snapped sideways. The car was pointing at the left guard rail. I think at that point the tires started to bite again - I remember hearing them squeal - but the rear end must not have hooked up because the car kept rotating.

Suddenly I was in the left lane staring into the windshield of an oncoming car - 180 degrees from where I had been heading. At this point I think that I had the clutch in and was hunting for the right gear, which was probably an error. In racing and police driving courses the mantra is: if you start to spin, both feet in. If your car is more than sideways then you probably want to lock up your brakes and get stopped ASAP, rather than fool around trying to catch it.

However, I was still turning. My Wheel of Fortune wasn't going to stop on “Trip to Bermuda” at all. Another 180 degrees went by and I was facing the correct direction on the left shoulder. For just a brief thousandth of a second I thought that I might have just come through it completely unscathed.

Then I heard that sickening crunch.

I was still rolling, though, and the car slotted easily into second, so I gave it a blip of the throttle and engaged the clutch. I checked my rearview mirrors to see seemingly motionless traffic behind me. I fed in a little more gas and the car seemed to be rolling straight with no problems. No thunking. No more crunching. No squeals of tortured metal giving way and no fountains of oil spraying across all three lanes.

I stepped on the gas and continued on my way to work.

When I parked, I opened the door and looked at the rear quarter panel. I was sure that I had hit there. However, the rear was straight and true. I was shocked. Sometimes when one hits something with a car it sounds worse than it is because the car resonates.

I took a step to the left so I could see past the open door. A brutal gash sliced across the fender of my poor sweet baby. My car, paid off for barely a month, was very hurt. Sixty thousand miles of commuting and road trips. Our plans for mad dashes across the continent were themselves dashed in three seconds of black ice.

I should mention that I am completely uninjured. My mp3 player didn't even skip. The frozen clementine orange barely moved from its cozy home next to the air compressor on the floor. My airbags didn't go off. The boxes in my back seat did not initiate a garbage-alanch. Inside of my car, the only indication that anything had happened was my own smell of desperation and panic.

Of course, Thursdays are the busiest day at work, but I could barely click to run a set of queries without considering where I could source a bumper skin, and whether or not I would need a new bumper bar. My mental survey of damages kept rolling through my head and interrupting my mostly automated tasks.

I think that I will be okay, financially, even though my insurance wouldn't cover the damages to my car. Since I just paid off my car, I switched to only liability coverage. Liability insurance would cover any damages to the guard rail, but I didn't stick around to ask if it was injured.

Switching to liability saves $400 per six months. Factor in my $500 deductible, and I will break even if the damages don't exceed $900. I can easily foresee $2000 in repair costs, but I might be able save some cash by sourcing some parts myself.

One last thing: I always wear my seatbelt. You should too.

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dæven steike!


You know already that I collect odd words, but did you know that i specialize in embarrassing foreign words? You should hear my spanish translation of the “milk milk lemonade” song.

Anyway, swear in Norwegian all you want!

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Pene a lope!


Sadly, it wasn't as funny as I had hoped, although there were moments.

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Good Karma?

My mom got me a very cool present for Christmas. Thanks, Mom!

I already had a large number of mp3s, but now I am redoubling my efforts to organize and document them with appropriate mp3 tags. To that end I am using two or three things on my PC, from iTunes to Rio's own management software.

So far, iTunes has the coolest playlist options - I can basically write any criteria for a playlist and iTunes will get those songs. For instance, I have a playlist of songs rated four or five stars that I haven't listened to in two weeks. If I rate a new file with five stars it just magically shows up on that playlist. Of course, iTunes doesn't sync with my Rio Karma and I haven't found an option to export a playlist in m3u format, but I have done some shenanigans with iTunes's xml data, xsltproc, and perl to produce m3u files in bulk. I can drag those playlists to my Rio, and all the associated songs go with it.

There are some caveats, but this thing is quickly becoming my constant companion. I wish that it has iTunes-style playlists built in. I wish that I could rate songs and use that data to sort music. I wish that I could assign my own metadata. I wish that I could access all of the ID3v2 tags.

Anyway, whereever I go, I can finally hear those Tom Waits albums that I have lurking in my collection. That pretty much means that I can listen to my music all day at work. 20GB means that I don't have to listen to the same albums over and over again, so I will finally be giving Cake a rest.

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schlocky commercials

Matt Hotujec wrote:

Big time hollywood stars often get paid big money to do schlocky, cheesy Japanese commercials. But the contracts are written to specificially prohibit broadcast in the US. Well, thanks to the magic of the Internet, you, too, can see your favorite movie stars in stupid commercials.


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Child�s Play

Penny Arcade is working with the Seattle Children�s Hospital and Amazon.com to make this Christmas really special for a lot of very sick kids.

Buy something for those kids by buying something from their wishlist. Do it for the kids.

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