Things you should be looking at.

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Weird Al - Close But No Cigar

Another video from Al's new album, Straight Outta Lynwood.

This one is a style parody of Cake. It is animated by John Kricfalusi of Ren and Stimpy fame. Warning: may not be entirely safe for work, and is definitely a bit twisted.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Python in Wisconsin

Got the weirdest email from on old friend from high school:

Ok I am sure someone will not believe me but this is so dam odd I have to share.

Since I have not yet stepped up to blogging you all get an email.

I went to Eau Claire WI this weekend to tear down my garage on my rental house (sorry to those I did not have time to let know I was in town so we could have a beer). The
garage was too close to the property line so the dam city would not let me repair the roof and back wall.

Apparently these things need to be brought up to code! It was a real nice large 2 stall garage with lots of storage. Sad to see it go. As we are empting the contents of said building before we flatten it my brother goes to grab a roll of carpet to toss in the
dumpster. What does he see coiled in the carpet??? A dam python!

It was two and a half feet long and just resting in the cool autumn weather before winter
brought its slow cold death. Well my brother grabbed the ax Paul Bunyan style and chopped it’s head off before anyone took a second to say “WTF grab that baby”. Apparently people pay big bucks for these legless strangling machines.

So either the range of pythons has expanded or someone is out a pricy pet. I will have to admit I know jack about snakes but after a quick look see on the ol’ www it seems to be this snake is probably a python of some flavor.

Just had to share the tale of strange,


I love Brad for using the term "legless strangling machine".

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Psychic Enemies Network

Just found this yesterday in an old notebook. It was written by some combination of Jake, Kris, and myself. Given how funny I find it, my conribution to it was probably minimal. Then again, it is in my notebook and in my handwriting, so I'll take credit as transcriptionist for Jake's cleverness.

Jake is sitting on the couch, reading. The phone rings. Jake picks up the phone.

Jake: Hello?

Voice on the phone: Mr. Jones? This is the Psychic Enemies Netowrk calling...

Jake: Listen- I'm not interested...

Voice on the phone: But you should be, sir. Dark forces may be gathering on the horizon, plotting your demise and destruction.

Jake: (annoyed) Excuse me?

Voice on the phone: We here at the Psychic Enemies Network provide the service of prognosticating the worst of all possible future.

Jake: Why would anyone want that?

Voice on the phone: Well, Mr. Jones, we've been running your star charts, turning your tarot, consulting the I-ching, and spilling the innards of a spring chicken, and feel that you may truly benefit from some foresight into the terrible fates that may soon befall you.

Jake: That's crap- we create our own futures.

Voice on the phone:True, and the future you're about to create for yourself could be pretty awful. For instance: that lump you felt in the shower this morning...


Jake: ...yeah?

Voice on the phone: ...well, I'll really need a major credit card. VISA is the preferred method of payment for the Psychic Enemies Network.

Jake scrambles for his wallet

Jake: Number 0742006770424101, expires 02/11!

Voice on the phone: Processing your payment information....ISN'T malignant.

Jake: Thank god!

Voice on the phone: But...if you authorize another payment to the Psychic Enemies Network in he amount of $500.00, we will refrain from telling your employer about the awful and embarassing thing you're going to do next week.

Jake: Why don't you just tell me what it is I'm going to do so I just avoid doing it altogether?

Voice on the phone: We could do that, sir- but that would require the purchase of a Psychic Enemies Network Platinum Account. This account would entitle you to warnings of all potential mistakes, blunders, natural disasters, sexually-transmitted disesases, as well as impending physical and mental ailments. The services includes policy forms for Lloyds of London to protect your financial interests, loved ones, and family should you still be unable to prevent the forecasted and above-mentioned fates. You also receive our monthly newsletter, The End is Neigh, for all the latest news is pessimistic prognostication. This membership, good for a year, costs $1,500.

Jake: So, for $500, you won't tell me boss whatever horrible thing you know I'm going to do, and for $1,500 you'll tell me what it is so I can prevent it.

Voice on the phone: Exactly.

Jake: Isn't that blackmail?

Voice on the phone: You can't dictate to the fates, Mr. Jones- and this is the Psychic Enemies Network!

Jake: Okay, okay- fine! I authorize the $1,500 for my Platinum Membership.

Voice on the phone: A wise decision, Mr. Jones. Now to your forecast. I see....a death. A death in your family...a death in your home.

Jake: Oh God- is it preventable?!

Voice on the phone: Maybe, maybe not. What we can do, since you're not a Platinum Member, is keep your forecasts up to date, making sure that whatever party is about to expire will have a generous life insurance policy from Lloyds of London, half the benefits of which will be payable to the Psychic Enemies Network.

Jake: What a relief! Will you call with updates soon?

Voice on the phone: We will, Mr. Jones. Expect to hear from us on Friday.

Jake: Okay!

Voice on the phone: Ohhh....better make it Thursday

Jake: Why?

We see the Psychic sitting at her desk with a bottle of poison and a prescription bottle with the name "Jacob Jones" printed on its label.

Psychic: Trust us, Mr. Jones.

New South Park Generator

Cool- there's a new version of the South Park character generator.

Here's my new South Park self:

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Ask David: Wireless Connection Sharing and Security

My friend Steve writes:

My daughter Nicole, down in Brooklyn, has a laptop with wireless capability. Her neighbors downstairs just installed wireless service and Nicole would like to use it. What are the security features she should know initiate in order to protect her computer. I know she should create an administrator password and one for her user name. But what else? And how. Firewall? Encryption? It's running XP.

First, we'll presume that Nicole's neighbors have given their explicit permission for Nicole to use their connection. We actually shared a connection with our (awesome) downstairs neighbors when we lived in Saint Paul. We split the monthly cost, and that worked out okay- mostly because our neighbors were incredibly lovely people. But using someone's connection without their consent isn't nice, even though the legality of the activity is still being decided in many jurisdictions. There is a whole culture that has grown around the activity, though. For more information see this wikipedia entry about Wardriving.

Next, be aware of the courtesy required by sharing a connection. I learned that some online activities suck up a lot of bandwidth and can make things quite slow for others on the same connection. So if you're doing something that's very bandwidth-intensive (like file sharing), schedule it to run in the wee hours of night and morning when the connection isn't going to be used by others.

If the neighbors own the account with the service and own the router that broadcasts the wireless signal, there are things that they need to do to protect themselves and Nicole.

  • First, they need to set a password for access to their router. Most seem to come out of the box set for open access, or have a really lame default password like "password" or "administrator." A user must set a proper password in order to prevent anyone who can detect the wireless signal from changing the router's settings. The instructions for how to do this should have come with the router's packaging or digitally with the install CD that came with their router. If they have misplaced these instructions, instructions can usually be found online with a search engine, or go to the web site of the router's manufacturer, go to their Support section, and look for documentation on the router's make and model.
  • Second, they need to turn on whatever wireless security settings their router supports- this will likely be WEP, WPA, or WPA2. WPA2 and WPA are more secure and preferable to WEP, but if neither of those is available, WEP is better than nothing. 128 bit is better than 64 bit. Using this security will mean that they will need to give Nicole a very long sort of password that she should only have to enter into her laptop once.
  • Third, they need to turn off the broadcasting of their wireless router's SSID. SSID is "Service Set IDentifier." Broadcasting this makes the network easier to find for legitimate users AND for illegitimate users. If the broadcasting of this SSID is turned off, it is a little bit harder for ne'er-do-wells to find the signal. The skilled wardriver with the right tools can still sniff it out, but making it invisible to the more casual hacker is still a good idea. It also doesn't hurt to change the SSID from its default value to something unique that couldn't be guessed.
  • Fourth, they should disable remote administration on the wireless router so that only the computer that is directly hooked up to adminster the router can get in and make changes to it. This is often disabled by default on new routers right out of the box, but they should check and make sure.

Nicole only needs to do a couple of things.

  • First, she must turn off file sharing on her computer. Windows XP has file sharing turned on by default, and she doesn't want anyone (even her friendly downstairs neighbors accessing any information on her computer. To do this:
    • Click the START button
    • Right-click on My Network Places, choose Properties
    • Find the network card (probably will say "Local Area Connection"). Right-click on this, select Properties.
    • In the General tab, uncheck "File and Printer Sharing for Microsoft Networks."
  • Second, she needs to enter the WPA or WEP authentication info into her laptop. She should also write it down somewhere secure. If her computer crashes and she has to reinstall XP, she can just re-enter the key instead of having to bug her neighbors for it again.

That's about as much as I know. If you need to know more, these links have pretty good information:

Tom's Networking: Wireless Security FAQ
Pain in the Tech: 5-Minute Wireless Network Security for your Home

By the way- this entry was written and posted using the Windows Live Writer (Beta). I really hope it looks good on the blog, because this is a much nicer editor than the web-based one in blogger/blogspot. Unfortunately, I still have to come to blogger to do the Word Verification. :p

Thursday, September 21, 2006


From VoteJake:

Thursday, September 21, 2006
Today I realized that I've still spent a lot more of my life depending on others than I have fending for myself. So it's okay that I haven't really figured all this shit out yet.

Weirdly, this comforts me.

Tags: , ,

Argument Clinic

My favorite Monty Python sketch.

Weird Al's "White and Nerdy"

So...if I get every reference here, that makes me white and nerdy, right?

I particularly love the street-bought bootleg of the Star Wars Holiday Special. (More info about this here and here.)

For contrast, here's the song being parodied:

I like Al's better. His new album, "STRAIGHT OUTTA LYNWOOD" goes on sale September 26th.

See also: Video for "Don't Download This Song"

Monday, September 18, 2006

Sunday, September 17, 2006

4-Year-Old Drummer

Holy cow.

That's really cool...but I hope his dad has made it lots of fun.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Cup Stacking

A new world record, it seems.

Think she could get a scholarship to college for her cup-stacking accomplishments?

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Simpsons vs. Star Trek Mashup

Mash up of famous TV show themes.
Performed by Culture Killer on theremin, rhodes piano and funnel.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Michael Moore not sucking

But Moore isn't alone, these Aussies screwed with members if the Phelps' church, too:

Mac ad on Letterman

Does it sometimes seem to anyone else as though Letterman is slowly turning in Andy Rooney?


Click here
for streaming video (Quicktime) from Letterman on the Mac ads. (You know: "I'm a Mac" / "I'm a PC")

How Superman Should Have Ended

Movie humor!

Here's how the first Superman movie should have ended:

Surviving an Alien Attack

Friday, September 01, 2006

Video: Weird Al's "Don't Download This Song"

Pointed out by my brother, Andrew:

The video for Weird Al's "Don't Download this Song" is here.

Here's the YouTube version:

Animated by Bill Plympton

Wikipedia entry on Plympton

B&B Relax

Bing has been ill lately (probably a stomach bug), so he spent Thursday on the couch, resting.

He was so still that Bocque decied to lay down next to him, resultiing in the following photo: