Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Erica of Swirlspice, who is apparently 30 today.

01:31 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: American Idol 2008 Top 5


This was the first episode in which they did two songs each, which is cool in that you get to see more of what the contestants can do.  However, they changed up the judging in a way I don’t recall seeing before.  All five sang, then the judges had a quick shot at commenting on the first performances, with a more extensive chance given to comment on second or both after each second performance.

In a classic for the ages, Paula Abdul referred to her notes - have we ever seen them making notes during an on-air performance? - and muttered about how hard it was, then went on to critique Jason, who’d gone first, on both his first and his not-yet-aired second song.  Oops.  You could see Ryan Seacrest looking off to the side for producer guidance, and then others jumping in for the save.

Oddly enough, I don’t think it’s as much of a scandal as some might.  We already know that the judges generally hear the performances from rehearsal, even if they aren’t in the audience at the time.  We already know that the judges can’t always hear the live performances as well as they might, so the rehearsal review is a tool to help them know what to expect, given the chances there won’t be much difference.  We’ve seen instances where a judge was clearly talking about a different performance than what we saw live, because there was a difference, but if they pay enough attention it can generally work.

Now, Paula is getting paid waaaay too much to get so confused, pain meds or not, but I don’t think her comments were scripted, as some might assume.  It’s most likely notes taken from rehearsals and confusion due to the change of procedure.

It was still classic.  And she still gets paid too much for that level of spectacle.  If it was scripted, it was done so with the intent of scandal to drive ratings.

They want Jason Castro gone.  He’s trying hard to oblige.  Forever in Bluejeans was okay, and suited him, but this is the top five.  He barely belonged in the top ten.

David Cook risked singing stuff nobody knew.  It was good.  Possibly only second best, this week, but you know what you can expect of him when he produces an album.

Brooke’s first performance reminded me of Kristy Lee’s Eight Days a Week, which is a really bad thing.  If Jason is safe, Brooke won’t be, despite her second number being okay.  For I’m a Believer, which she wouldn’t have been my pick to sing, it’s as if someone told her she had to smile and look happy and look at the audience.  So she did, in an artificial-looking way.  It’s perhaps bad that she did perhaps my two favorites of the whole catalog, and ones I love to sing.  I thought whichever judge it was said I Am, I Said was hard to sing was nuts.  For that, she was back to hiding comfortably behind the piano, which doesn’t an idol make, however pleasantly sung.  Perhaps she should return to the Arizona Shore.

David Archuletta was remarkably weak, but he seemed to have gotten better this week at looking at the audience and seeming engaging.  It was just okay, certainly not the performance of the anointed.  No chance of a shock elimination, but I was seeing visions of a finale between David Cook and…

Syesha has completely transformed.  If she’d turned on the star power sooner, people wouldn’t be on elimination watch, even rooting for her to go despite good performances.  She earned a career last week.  This week was like the “and I mean it” underscore to that, and some.  I don’t think she’d be eliminated this week, even if Dial Idol weren’t showing her in first place.  Even David Cook wasn’t up there with her this week.  It was a four tier week, with her at the top, and the bottom occupied by Jason and Brooke.

Bottom line, it’s Jason and Brooke at the bottom.  I’d like to say Jason will leave, but fan base wise it’d probably be a safer bet to say we’ll have the Brooke meltdown this week.  And if it is as much of a meltdown as expected, that would fit perfectly with the Paula gaffe, making it a one-two punch.

10:17 AM | MusicTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To Dale Burdett, who is 5 today.

10:16 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Jay: Thinking Aloud

This is an exercise in helping me figure out what I am going to tackle today, and beyond, and wrap my head around what awaits my attention before I get all scattered.

I probably don’t need to mention the usual dishes to wash or load into dishwasher, of which there are relatively few because I’d caught up.  I’ll want to just almost from this post right to the shower, so Deb can do laundry if her back is up to it.  Poor back.  (Sounds like it’s not.) Going to the store simply is, without option to avoid it.  I could go to the bank while I’m out.

I have to take the registry thing to the town hall for an abatement on one of the excise tax bills, and pay the two of them.  That needs to precede any visit to the registry, which needs to be preceded by contact with the insurance company.  In Texas.  Which probably means simply not possible to register car this week, before the gathering Sunday.  Annoying.  Also annoying that said gathering is at the same time as something else we were invited to first, which worst case I could have gone to with Sadie alone, since she’s the one near Dale in age, and it’s his birthday party.

I have e-mails to answer.  Some are going on two weeks old.

We’re expecting my father to swing by late in the day, so I have to plan around that, even for a quick drop off of some stuff.  That influences the timing of errands.

Yesterday I discussed a web site update with the former big client, who has realized that my original preference on something was right.  I’d proposed to them a month to month flat fee for site maintenance and updates covering most anything short of a complete redo, since it’s not covered under the current support contract they have and I did the original based on their marketing/design person’s plan.  They managed to get me to do a one shot update for the monthly rate, which ended up working out to no more than $12 an hour and required a ton of waiting.  That’s long paid, but the last tiny bit is still not done, waiting for a photo.  Obviously I am not going to make another change, which could involve changing every page, without another modest fee.  I suggested an additional change to include and will hear back eventually.

I did site backups across the empire and was going to update WordPress on all the blogs that use it, starting with Dan’s, which I didn’t update last time.  I was falling asleep at my desk last night when about to do that, so figured I’d better wait.  I’ll want to do those before much time passes, so I don’t feel like I must do the backups over again.

I have some paying work I need to get cracking on, which among other things will require me to get more familiar with RSS.  I have dabbled with RSS readers myself, but none have “stuck” and I always revert to reading from links.  How 2003 of me!  I guess I need a reader I like enough, and then to be careful what I include, or to be able to categorize it well.  I could almost see an automated system being useful, so your daily reads would appear every day, keyworded stuff would appear daily even if it’s not a daily read, and a measured amount of “check weekly” and “check monthly” stuff would automatically be included in your daily reading, perhaps varied by day, so if you want to do more reading on the weekend, it can play catch up then.

That probably exists.

I also need to learn all there is to know about measuring RSS feeds subscribed/read for a given site.  Heck, I have no idea how many people read us that way.

Thoughts?  Suggestions?

Perhaps I can fit in some of that project today.

I also need to work with/learn more about Facebook and some of those.

I’m still on the office reorganization, which spills into the kitchen, where I still have stuff on the table that was once in the office.  That seems to work okay by pecking away at it, like when I crave physical work and need to get up from the computer.

Shoot, that about covers today, doesn’t it?  Not even getting into posts to write, my book/series of posts idea to work on while timely, CotC, the business site needing updating, etc. and so forth.

Well, off to it.  Don’t be alarmed it there’s a lack of posts or if I revert to drive-by commentary.

12:56 PM | BloggingBusinessCarsGeekeryJob HuntingKidsMassachusettsMoneyTotally Random • (4) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger David Anderson.

08:20 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Jay: The Luckier Away Team Members

03:25 PM | GeekeryHumorKidsPicturesTV • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Sgt Hook.

12:18 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Denis of Cootiehog.

12:16 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Darren Rowse.

12:11 PM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Jay: Henry Being Lively

12:30 PM | KidsPictures • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Poor Henry

He had one of his worst breakouts last night.  What changed?  We gave him pear juice as a replacement for apple and grape.  It should be safer.  What I gave him wasn’t watered down as much as we usually do.  Traditionally the purpose of juice for us has been to make water taste better for the kids.  Luckily, he has always liked plain cold water.

The thing is, after deciding it had been the pear juice, with a chance it could have been beef, pork, or some random thing (caught him sucking on a raisin at one point, snagged from where it had fallen from the table to Sadie’s chair), it turned out Sadie had left a cup of strawberry milk on the floor where we wouldn’t see it readily, but Henry might easily have gotten into it.  That’s candle to moth.  I took Valerie’s cup away before he could drink any coffee milk from it, disappointing him at one point.  If he finds them he will drink from them.  It’s time to make the girls drink at the table, period.  They’ve already gotten used to eating only at the table with few exceptions.

None of which explains why during the night I started itching like crazy, and haven’t entirely stopped.  That could mean something that bothers me is bothering him, so is it food we both ate, soap I used, or what?  Or is it coincidence?

On another note, Deb found dairy-free margarine, the trick to which was getting the “light” variety, completely soy based.  It’s not very good, and expressly says not to use it in cooking, but at least it’s something.

11:13 AM | Food & CookingKidsMedical • (1) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To attorney Brad Sultan.

10:35 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Tiger Russell.

10:33 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Happy Birthday

To blogger Rick Mahn, who is 40 today.

10:29 AM | Birthdays • (0) CommentsPermalink

Jay: Getcher Fresh Hot Domains here

There are a bunch of domain renewals coming up, and since we won’t actually want them all, I thought I’d mention them, in case someone would like to snag any of them.

All the bizosphere domains are expiring, and at the time I was cajoled into getting the standard set of four Real Cheap.  Which they aren’t so much, on renewal.  Frankly, I still love the name and brand enough I’d rather keep them all, but I’d be willing to let go any except  The others are .biz, .net and .info, with the last being the one that will summarily get dumped regardless.

On the carnival-related front, I have:

I wouldn’t mind keeping them, but they add up.  Oddly, I’m probably most attached to, or consider most valuable, the last one.

For quite a while, the plan for the business to supplement and ultimately replace my work for XTreme Computing centered on the name Geek Practitioners.  That was inspired by the commonalities I saw between doctors (general practitioners) and computer service people, especially generalists who might diagnose fully, or know enough to refer you to a specialist.  The obvious marketing angles centered around medical themes.  To this day the Welcome to Help color scheme derived and mutated from what I had in mind for GP, based on available colors of scrubs.

This is how there came to be a blog at, while is the root domain on hosting that I took over for, and use for and some others.  The blog wound up with the name, while the slogan turned into the business name, taking an entirely different approach, which is still evolving.

A bunch of domains I bought that derive from “geek” or “gp” and medical/emergency oriented initials or terms are expiring, by way of explanation of the next ones: (HMO=Home, Mobile, Office)

I might not ditch them all, depending on coolness and brevity and cost.  The last one sounds meaningless, but is short as domain names go.

Heck, I don’t see any more that are due to expire in May and June that I’d part with readily.

One I have that I’m torn about is, which I snagged because I couldn’t stand it being left available and the band in question only having a MySpace page.  What I didn’t realize was they had, which has the distinction of ignoring the standard rule of shorter is better.  Thus my annoyance many years ago when I got for my sister-in-law and she was annoyed it wasn’t or or whatever her preference was.  Now you’d grab them all and redirect them as desired, but then it was very expensive.  Anyway, it’s sitting there redirecting to the other domain, making absolutely no sense for me to own, but being something that ought to be in the family.  By June 18 I’ll have to decide, depending on cost and available funds at the time.

Obviously I’ll renew the business domains, or those used for blogs that do or can make ad revenue that way more than covers the normally modest cost.  Under most circumstances, it’s well worth paying to retain a domain so someone else doesn’t own it instead, just in case, to use it later or to have it sitting there, being of value.  The “of value” thing appears not to be what it’s cut out to be sometimes, considering the difficulty I’ve had selling the no brainer valuable domain.  Even so…

So there they are.  Any interest?  The ones I mentioned will either get a reprieve or be abandoned, so I’m going to be interested in parting with them somewhere between free and very cheap.

01:39 AM | BloggingBusinessGeekeryMoney • (0) CommentsPermalink
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