Thursday, December 28, 2006

DfC #8: The next call you'll make is to the body shop

Here's a phone booth (remember those?) that supposedly allows you to drive up next to it and place a call without having to leave your car. There are several of these "Phone From Car" units around Carthage, but this is the only one I've seen that doesn't actually have room for, you know, a car next to it. (see the mis-angled curb?)

2 Talked Back:

At January 2, 2007 at 10:46:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

OFF TOPIC -- Stan, check your suddenlink email and see if there is a message from me!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


At January 3, 2007 at 7:50:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

Hi, Jim, sorry about that, I did receive your email and plan on responding tonight. It's been very busy round here. :)


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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Merry Christmas from Suddenlink

On Friday at about 11:30 in the morning, Our new neighbors across the street got their cable Internet hooked up. Which, subsequently, knocked out ours. It turns out that there's a little signal booster thing on the back of the modem that suddenly made the modem not work when the neighbors' cable came online. I walked over there on Friday and asked the two hookup techs if their work had anything to do with our outage, and, without checking anything out, they snarled, "No."

Fast forward to today, now that the Christmas holiday is over. Still no Net. So we called Suddenlink, and they sent, again, two techs (different than Friday's guys) out to check it out. They checked the pole, nothing wrong there. So they checked our modem, and AHA! there was the problem. All they did was take off the booster thing and we were all set. They also admitted that it was because the neighbors got hooked up that we went down. Which makes the first two techs liars. I got no apologies.

How was your Christmas?

1 Talked Back:

At December 26, 2006 at 7:13:00 PM CST, Anonymous Mom said...

Well, my Christmas was good - didn't worry about internet, though! Too busy enjoying company and rejoicing about the reason for the holiday!


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Thursday, December 21, 2006

I'll race you to the Maternity Ward, then we'll have an electrolyte-drinking contest

Here's an ad for a local hospital. The circled word seems a little out of place for a health care facility, don't you think?

1 Talked Back:

At December 22, 2006 at 5:17:00 AM CST, Anonymous Amy said...

Competitively priced?

Competitive as in they are in the same league as other bigger name health care providers?

Do they have competitive hiring practices that bring in more skilled employees?

Competitive because their softball team only placed second last summer?

Or competitive because the nurse will arm wrestle you and if you win you don't have to pay for the anesthesia?


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Perfect for the plants-with-writing-on-them enthusiast in your life

Here's a last-minute gift idea for someone you really don't want to get a gift for: Message Plants.

That's right, you can buy seeds that have custom messages on them. As the plant grows out of the soil, your loved ones will see a surprise message printed (or inscribed, branded or whatever they do) right on them. It's a great gift. Also, it's ridiculous! Buy three get one free!

This is also perfect for sending a delayed "Dear John" letter. Imagine him waking up sometime in January and reading on his newly-sprouted plant, "By the time you read this, I'll be in Cancún with my personal trainer, Marco..."

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

"Must Use Crosswalk When Transporting Giant Roman Candles"

Ever since I pretty much gave up on uploading photos via Blogger, I have really gotten into Flickr. Flickr allows you to not only upload and store pictures, they have photo pools, or groups, that Flickr users can submit their photos to. Groups can be in any range of categories, from dogs to bicycles, police cars to squircles (circular forms cropped to square images), clouds to clowns.

But so far, my favorite group is called Stick Figures In Peril. This group is comprised of photos of stick-figure warning signs, those signs which were designed to be understood regardless of the viewer's native language. What makes this group funny is not just the signs themselves, but the photo captions and the comments accompanying the photos. The title of this blog refers to this sign.


Sunday, December 17, 2006

Leave it to a truck stop to lighten the mood

Well, despite the somber reason for our most recent road trip (see the previous post), there was still something to laugh at on the way home:

3 Talked Back:

At December 18, 2006 at 6:47:00 AM CST, Anonymous Amy said...

:) I've seen that sign.


At December 18, 2006 at 9:18:00 AM CST, Blogger Jami said...

Interesting, I've taken that same picture. What does that say about us?


At December 19, 2006 at 12:36:00 AM CST, Blogger Katie said...



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Saturday, December 16, 2006


Nicole and I are down in Durant, Oklahoma today for her grandmother's funeral. Please pray for us and the rest of the family, for comfort and for God to work in our lives as a result of this loss. Thank you.

1 Talked Back:

At December 17, 2006 at 9:42:00 AM CST, Blogger Emily said...

I will definitley be praying for you guys.

It's strange to see durant, oklahoma mentioned anywhere. i was born in durant!


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Thursday, December 14, 2006

TV shows I obviously missed

I just happened across a TV blog that includes a really cool search function. You put in any date between 1/1/1983 and 11/12/2006 and it brings up a chart of everything that was on network TV that night. I have since discovered what was on TV at 8:00pm on these personally historical dates:

4/13/1988: Became a Christian
ABC—Growing Pains
CBS—The Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour
NBC—Aaron's Way

6/10/1990: Graduated from high school
ABC—Sea World Celebration
CBS—60 Minutes
Fox—The Outsiders
NBC—Magical World of Disney

11/17/1993: 21st birthday
CBS—Hearts Afire
Fox—Beverly Hills, 90210
NBC—Unsolved Mysteries

2/15/2000: Niece was born
ABC—Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Fox—Who Wants to Marry a Multimillionaire
NBC—Just Shoot Me!

2/28/2005: First blog post
ABC—The Bachelorette
CBS—Still Standing
Fox—American Idol
NBC—Fear Factor

3/31/2006: First chat with Nicole
ABC—America's Funniest Home Videos
CBS—Ghost Whisperer
Fox—The Bernie Mac Show
NBC—Deal or No Deal

10/21/2006: Wedding day
ABC—ABC Saturday Movie
CBS—48 Hours Mystery
Fox—World Series Game 1
NBC—Dateline NBC

2 Talked Back:

At December 19, 2006 at 6:46:00 PM CST, Anonymous Mom said...

Stan - The date that really begs to be shown is 11-17-72. I was pretty busy that day and don't remember it!!
Mom ;-)


At December 20, 2006 at 11:17:00 AM CST, Blogger stan said...

If only the search thingy went back that far...


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I promise, I'm not desperate for friends, I just want to see your pictures

I'm starting to get into uploading photos to Flickr more (because Blogger's gone stinkaroo), and I think it'd be cool to have some more Flickr buddies.

So, how about it? Any of you have Flickr accounts? Find me here and drop me a line!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

And here's another reason to dislike the new Blogger

If you post a blog, but then you decide you want to change the post title, the URL of the post is stuck with the old post title. Look at the previous post. I decided to change, "Maybe he's playing hide and seek," to "It'Scotta be some good reason..." which, although not perfect, is more clever than the original. But look at the URL:

The old Blogger would have changed the URL to it-scotta-be-some-good-reason.html or something like that. And I would have been able to republish the whole blog to effect the change, if need be. Now, I can't.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

It'Scotta be some good reason...

Not sure what happened to Scott's blog...

Perhaps it got kidnapped by the nefarious Blogger Beta.

Update: He has told me that he took it down on purpose, partially because hig blog was "just getting old", and partially because of THE NEW BLOGGER BETA. Blogger, are you paying attention? Nobody likes the new Blogger!

4 Talked Back:

At December 13, 2006 at 4:10:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Hmm. Arnold Lee.


At December 13, 2006 at 9:32:00 PM CST, Blogger stan said...

Hey, Meagan, you're going on the next milk carton... Ms. Absentee Blogger :)


At December 14, 2006 at 3:09:00 PM CST, Blogger Scott said...

I don't care who you are, that's funny! This Arnold Lee guy didn't waste anytime taking over my blog address.


At December 16, 2006 at 7:31:00 PM CST, Blogger Meagan said...

Mmmm, I like milk.


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Monday, December 11, 2006

Dynamite with a laser beam

So last week I bought a new laser mouse. Not an optical mouse, with its blinking red underbelly, but a laser mouse, which is supposedly 20 times more precise. I decided to go with a corded mouse, only because I couldn't find a wireless, rechargeable laser mouse within my budget.

Well, guess what. The buttons and scroll wheel on the mouse work fine...but the laser no longer works. I was using it with Photoshop, when it began to act like a battery-powered mouse does when the batteries are almost dead. Then it just stopped. Now it's 100% less precise.

I have tried unplugging the mouse and re-plugging it into each of the other three USB ports on the laptop. I have tried restarting the computer. No luck. So I have to take it back, I guess. It's too bad I just threw away the box this morning. Hope I haven't shredded the receipt yet.

County nerdery taken to the next level!

Even though I am probably the only one who cares, I just wanted to point out that I have made a map showing all of the counties I have ever visited. Whenever I update the counties list (as I did today - visited two new counties last Saturday), I'll color in those counties on the map.

(Notice that the image is hosted on Flickr rather than here on Blogger. Flickr, at least, gives you a nice, clean URL that can be pasted basically anywhere.)

I'm going to the brushwood to chew on some shrubbery

Today I looked into registering, and for now, it's still available. I checked it out on Go, because that's where I'd probably buy the name, and it came up with literally 100 alternatives that I might also "want" to register. Some of my favorites:


  • BRUSHSNACKSHOP.COM <--for those who like to snack on painting supplies

  • BRUSHWITHBITE.COM <--spiciest brushes west of the Mississippi

  • BRUSHWOODMUNCH.COM <--kind of sounds like a restaurant in the Old West

  • BUSHSNACKSTORE.COM <--a very presidential convenience longer selling pretzels


  • HOTDINGLESNACK.COM <--I don't want to know!

  • SHRUBBERYMUNCH.COM <--Home of the Knights Who Say "Ni"



Fortunately, I'm independently wealthy, so I can afford to snap up all of those, plus the .net, .org, .us and .biz versions, and provide hosting for each one...

1 Talked Back:

At December 11, 2006 at 8:33:00 PM CST, Anonymous Jami Leigh said...

Kurt and I considered getting you for a wedding gift...I'm not sure what happened to that idea...


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Another test, this time with images.

Normally, when I upload a picture to the blog, I use the Add Image button, which brings up a new window. I browse to find the image I want to upload, then I choose where I want it positioned relative to the text, and I also choose what size I want the "thumbnail" image to be. THESE ARE NON-CRUCIAL STEPS, because I always end up peeling the URL of the image out of the code and pasting it where I really want it to go. And it's never been a problem before.

Well, this morning I was going to start posting the rest of my Joel and Steve comics, one by one, and I got hung up on the first one I tried. I uploaded the image as normal, but when I took the image URL out and pasted it where I needed it, it came up as a broken link. This makes no sense to me, because the image URL is straightforward. It starts with http:// and ends with .jpg, and the rest of the path looks okay, too (albeit with a lot more gobbledygook than it used to have...whereas before there were simple, numbered subfolders, now they are labeled with longer alphanumeric strings.)

So here's a test: I am going to upload an image, and it will be a clickable thumbnail image of something larger because Blogger forces you to do it that way. I will then copy the URL of the larger image out of the code (which is what I really want) and attempt to place it below the first image.

And there we have it. A broken link the second time.

The new Blogger sucks.

3 Talked Back:

At December 11, 2006 at 1:16:00 PM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...

Oooh you're right... it does.

Try hosting your images here:

Or talk to a certain friend of your wife's about purchasing some webhosting...


At December 11, 2006 at 3:06:00 PM CST, Blogger Katie said...

Hmmm... I just read about the new blogger today and I'm torn. I have moral issues with getting a gmail account (they are taking over the world) and you are required to have one. Though I knew it would be inevitable that I would eventually have to have an account with them. Sigh.


At December 11, 2006 at 6:41:00 PM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...

Drink the Kool-Aid Kati. Gmail is AWESOME. Mix it with Firefox, Google Reader, and a few Grease Monkey scripts and you'll be a happy, happy woman.


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Friday, December 08, 2006

I'm probably going to lose everything, at least for now

Migration to the new Blogger is optional right now, so I went ahead and did that today. However, it will be mandatory before long, so guess what: everyone will have to use the new Blogger. This is all fine and good as long as you don't have any real customizations, but take a look at this blog: It's just a little bit different from the Minima template it started from.

There's a whole new way of managing the template—ahem, I mean layout—in the beta, and it seems to focus around brain-dead simplicity. This is fine for those who don't want to bother with a bunch of HTML, CSS, etc. But for people like me, who built my customization piece by piece using a bit of CSS and Javascript knowledge, this method of laying out a page is kind of useless. I need to be able to play with variables and codes until I see what I want.

Blogger Beta's new system operates around this goofy concept of "widgets", which I guess are these made-up things like page elements, but I don't understand them at all. I have tried to copy my current code over to this new template and Blogger says that it won't work because it isn't "well-formed." But they won't highlight the areas that don't work, so I can't change them to fit their new way of parsing the code!

Taking a deeper look, it actually looks as though I have to use the "widget wizard" (that is, the little pop-up window that comes up when you click Edit on a page element) in order to add things like a links list. The problem is, aside from being able to alphabetize the links, I don't see how I can customize it any further.

So here's a short list, off the top of my head, of what I think I'll lose when I am forced to do it the new way:

  • Rotating banner images at the top
  • Ability to put links into subcategories (Nicole's Blogs, Comics, Etc.)
  • Special messages, like quotes, that come up when one hovers over a link
  • Ability to even open a link in a new window
  • Control over fonts and colors of some elements (I experimented with this a couple of weeks ago)
  • Custom graphics in the sidebar
  • Custom graphics in the blog header (See today's date? There's a homemade graphic under it)
  • Ability to move things around within the post, like how it says who commented rather than just the number of comments
  • Toggling comments with the show/hide button

Until I can figure out how the new system works, I'm afraid that I might have to go back to one of their basic templates. Because I can keep this "Classic" template up for now, but they might pull that out from under me before too long.

I'm beginning to think that this new beta will be the new AOL of the blogging world: Easy to use as long as you stay inside their little box.

And oh, yeah, I increased the value of the comments from 2.1¢ to 2.6¢. Inflation, you know.

3 Talked Back:

At December 8, 2006 at 5:41:00 PM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...


You really, really, really should be using Wordpress.


At December 9, 2006 at 9:26:00 PM CST, Blogger Nicole said...

Actually, Amy, I went to Wordpress once, after considering a switchover, and I didn't like their options at all. I much prefer Blogger. (At least, I think I do. We'll see how the transition goes.)


At December 10, 2006 at 7:09:00 AM CST, Anonymous Amy - said...

Not I've never used that.

I mean the one you download from and host on your own. It is much more customizable... if you're willing to play with the CSS and the PHP.


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Hark! The herald anglers sing!

Last night we saw what has to be the weirdest Christmas-themed candy ever made. It's called the "Real Fishing Tackle Box filled with Candy", although it's not so much "filled" with candy as it just kind of has a few pieces inside.

This product contains:
...and that's all. It's kind of creative, I suppose. But it's just so oddball because as far as I know, in this American culture, fishing is not an activity normally associated with Christmas. (Correct me if I'm wrong.)

I have posted a picture of this candy weirdness on the oft-neglected Our Crappy Camera Phone Photo Album.

Mark Chesnutt Performs Concert in Women's Clothing

At least, that could have been the headline this morning in the Webb City Sentinel or the Joplin Globe.

Nicole and I went to the Webb City Wal-Mart last night to pick up a few things, and we were astounded by the lack of available parking out front. Once we finally got a spot and walked inside, it became evident what the people were there to see: country music artist Mark "Goin' Through the Big D" Chesnutt was performing a small concert in the store, no kidding, right in the middle of the ladies' wear section.

The stage setup was typical Wal-Mart. Dozens of "Cool Pack" cases of Dr Pepper (red) and Diet Dr Pepper (white) were set up in a wall formation so that the name "MARK CHESNUTT" was spelled out in big, pixely letters. They had moved some of the racks of women's clothes out of the way, but not so much that people couldn't still browse the latest 2003 fashions along the sides of the stage. And fortunately, people were still able to move shopping carts through the audience to get from the food section over to hardware.

I didn't see anyone waving a lighter during the show, and I'm not sure if it was because of fire codes or if they just wanted to avoid the obvious joke of "Chesnutt's roasting on an open fire."

1 Talked Back:

At December 8, 2006 at 2:48:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

now you know why the Clampetts moved to California


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Tuesday, December 05, 2006

No way! Way!

Last night I discovered a cool trivia site alled Blufr, which basically gives you a statement and you have to determine whether or not it's true. Get one right, earnpoints. Get it wrong, you lose more points. It's kind of tough to reach 10,000 points unless you have remembered the answers to the often-repeated statements. I finally hit that score this morning.

Because of Blufr, I now know that:
  • Starbucks spends more money on employee health insurance than on coffee beans
  • New York's Central Park is nearly entirely man made
  • Cinderella's slippers were originally made of fur
  • Henry Ford had a test tube that held Thomas Edison's last breath
  • The makers of Trivial Pursuit were sued after they listed the first name of fictional character Columbo as "Philip"
  • Dr. Seuss coined the word "nerd"
  • Isaac Asimov had no idea what day his birthday was
  • The Pentagon has the most floor space of any building in the United States
  • Chewbacca had a son named Lumpy
(There's a head start for you.)

2 Talked Back:

At December 5, 2006 at 9:12:00 PM CST, Blogger Jana Swartwood said...

Chewbacca procreated? No way!


At December 5, 2006 at 9:51:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

in honor of your trip to Galveston, how about some Texas trivia:

The Flagship Hotel on Seawall Boulevard in Galveston is the only hotel in North America built entirely over the water.

The first word spoken from the moon on July 20, 1969 was "Houston."

El Paso is closer to Needles, California than it is to Dallas.


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Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fun fact

The active ingredient of Secret Platinum is actually aluminum zirconium trichlorohydrex GLY.

No platinum at all.

1 Talked Back:

At December 5, 2006 at 9:39:00 PM CST, Blogger Jim said...

how bored were you???????????


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