I learn what I think when I read what I write.
matthew's picture

Gone for the weekend...

I'm gone for the weekend. I'll be back on Monday. In the meantime, Justin, Jon, Sam, whomever -- you guys toss some funny stuff up here, would you?

Unfortunately, this means that I also won't be approving any anonymous comments, and I fear for the state of my inbox. But hey, it's nice to get away for a while, and I'll be taking my laptop to record some of the experiences!

In case you are interested, we're heading to St. George, Utah. It's about an hour northwest of Las Vegas. We'll be hitting Vegas for one day over the weekend, but since neither of us really likes to gamble, our money will be staying safely in our wallets. A wedding will take place Saturday afternoon in Vegas, which is the ostensible reason for us going. And we plan to spend a good part of the evening watching the free shows along the Strip. If I recall correctly, even in November, Vegas stays comfortably in the sixties and low seventies, so here's hoping it's windbreaker weather rather than heavy coats!

matthew's picture

Health insurance and the value of life...

Over at slashdot.org, they have a pretty nifty feature. As a subscriber, for free, you can keep a "journal", or "blog", of sorts. It doesn't have nearly the nifty features I get here with Drupal, such as photos, private messages, recipes, etc... but nevertheless, since they are hosted on such beefy servers, over such a massive connection, with hundreds of thousands of daily readers, it's a compelling proposition to maintain one's weblog there.

This morning, for the first time in several months, one of the people I've flagged as a "friend", Ironica, posted a new journal entry. And it's compelling.

matthew's picture

The Bathroom Stall...

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The following story is definitely "toilet humor". You've been warned; if you are of delicate sensibilities, you may not like it. If you enjoy funny, weird stories, this may be right up your alley.

Mom, that means you! I think it's pretty cute and funny, but you always made bad faces at the dinner table if we told these kinds of stories...

It had been a very, very long movie for five-year-old Zachariah Matthew Barnson; nearly three hours is pretty much his limit. As we stumbled out of the theater last winter where we'd just seen "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", Zach looked up at me with pitiful eyes and said "Dad, I really have to go to the bathroom!"

matthew's picture

Resumé for Matthew P. Barnson

I've had many hits from search engines looking for "OpenOffice Resumé". Here's the template I use. You'll need to right-click and "save as" if you want to have any hope of it working.

matthew's picture

Coolest thing ever...

The Matrix is a pretty cool movie. Now witness the coolest thing ever as you watch a favorite scene in ASCII!. That's right, you too can enjoy ASCII animation. It helps to have your browser font size set very small, or have a high-resolution (1280x1024 or higher screen). Watch it. Love it. Live for the ASCII characters...

Important note: this is pretty big. It takes a while to load, even on fast connections.

Timpane's picture


Well, ladies and gentlemen, the "other summer" has begun with two huge releases this weekend, and there is no end in sight.

Since last wednesday, "The Martix Revolutions" has kung-fu philosophized its way to north of 80 million dollars (domestic), and Will Ferrell's "Elf" has charmed its way to over 30 million in two fewer days. IT HAS BEGUN!!!

So, to honor my new favorite Movie season, I present to you, in order, the notable releases from here until New years..

matthew's picture

The Desert Star Heckling Society Rides Again!

Last night, in the latest edition of the grand tradition, four stalwart friends assembled at Denny's in Murray, Utah (just a few minutes south of Salt Lake City) for a night of fun.

"I don't know," I mouthed around a jawful of green beans and half-masticated chicken, "we did the Hoo-Doggy last time, and it just seems dated, you know?" I adjusted my backside a bit on the not-too-soft, very narrow, short green booth bench next to an outside window under the dim lighting in the greasy-spoon.

matthew's picture

Food: Daikon or Turnip rather than potatoes?

So, I'm in Day Two of my low-carbohydrate diet. Trying to make sure that I get multivitamins, and have a good mix of veggies to keep me healthy. I'm really trying to avoid the diabetes that seems to traditionally afflict my family, and from the diabetic community, this seems to be a really sure-fire winner. It involves lifelong diet changes, though, which may be hard, but as for the weight-loss and diabetes-avoidance aspects, I only have two words to say: Cool stuff!

One thing I've really missed, though, is potatoes. One poster on the alt.support.diet.low-carb newsgroup suggested using daikon for hash browns rather than potates. One also suggested that Turnips work really well, but you have to soak them in water plus a little cream for about 20 minutes before cooking them.

Sammy G's picture

There Is Such Thing As Free Lunch

People never cease to amaze me when it comes to the opportunity for receiving free food.

For those of you lucky enough not to live in the Upper Midwest, let me bring you up to speed on the Minneapolis "situation". I walked into the local sub joint a couple weeks ago. As standard with most walk-in retail food operators, a fishbowl is perched near the checkout register, asking people to drop in their business card for a chance to win a free six inch sub.

Retail value of six inch sub: less than $5.00.

I noticed that next to the free-sub fishbowl, was yet another fishbowl. This second fishbowl had been placed there by another business looking to drum up sales leads. This second fishbowl, placed by the largest Minneapolis athletic club had an pretty cool offer. Somebody's card would be chosen at random at that winner would receive a free year's membership at the gym.

matthew's picture

Heading to St. George!

So, today, I turned in a few resumes. Called a friend in Great Britain (Ahh, IP telephony is so nice!) and asked if he knew of any jobs available, or people I could talk to looking for a job there. No dice, but I'll be talking to him again soon I think, seeing if he remembered any names. Played Planetside for about 30 minutes... didn't even go into the new expansion area. Dead world, nobody on this time of day (11 AM Mountain time).

Answered a lot of emails. Fixed emailing problem from my web site... it turns out that I hadn't synched over the "sendmail" binary from my old system. Using a different version of postfix's sendmail interface really made it unhappy, and every message bounced. Finally fixed the primary DNS on a couple of my domains. All DNS requests for those domains were being answered by the lowly little Pentium Pro 200 in my basement running OpenBSD. Uck.

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