CBS: Cheap Bastards!

What the hell? Today’s game with the Texans against the Falcons is being broadcast in standard definition. Are you kidding me? Seriously? Standard definition? What year is this? Will the game be in color, too? Are you guys simulcasting the game on the DuMont Network?

Come on, people. If Fox, NBC, ESPN and the NFL Network can broadcast all of their games in HD, what’s your problem, CBS?

R.I.P. Lois Maxwell

Lois MaxwellLois Maxwell, who played Ms. Moneypenny in the “classic” James Bond films, has died in Australia at age 80. Born as Lois Hooker in Ontario, in 1927, Maxwell began her career in radio. She would end up playing Moneypenny, the secretary to M and longtime admirer of Ian Fleming’s secret agent, in 14 films, from Dr No in 1962 to 1985’s A View To A Kill. Maxwell moved to Australia to be with her son after she was diagnosed with cancer. A spokesman for Fremantle Hospital, Western Australia says she died there peacefully on Saturday.

God bless you, Lois Maxwell. You were Moneypenny to us!

How To Make A Curry

Curry is one of my all-time favorite dishes. I simply cannot resist the exotic spices and silky texture. One of the main reasons I love London much is that curry is so ubiquitous there, one rarely has to walk more than 500 feet in any direction in order to get some curried goodness.

Sadly, a lot of Americans don’t eat curry. I think part of the reason might be because they don’t make it at home. I think they’re somehow under the impression that curries are too complex and too time-consuming to make in their own kitchens. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth. Curry is dead simple to make, and once you get the hang of it, you can make any curry in around 20 minutes. And in this post, I’ll show you how to do just that.

But first: a word about curry powder. The word “curry” is a rough translation for an Indian word for “sauce”. And just as there are hundreds of sauces in Western cuisine, there are just as many types of curry. In India, curry powder is usually made in the home. Each household might have their own special mix of spices, just as cooks in the Southern U.S. might have their own special blend of barbeque sauce. So there isn’t one single “type” of curry powder. Your local megamart might carry three of four types of curry powder or paste… so which one should you get? Well, there’s no rule about which powder goes with which meat, but as a general rule, I find that the darker the meat you use, the darker the curry powder you should use. So dark brown and deep red curry powders go well with beef or lamb, while yellow curries go better with chicken, shrimp or fish. If you local megamart only sells one type of curry powder, it’s probably “British style” and works best with beef or lamb.

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Simplify XP Installs With nLite

For years, Microsoft has offered several tools to system administrators and power users that make Windows XP easier to install. “Slipstreaming”, for example, lets a system administrator apply a service pack to XP’s installation media. So if your company’s IT guy has a Windows XP installation CD with SP1 integrated to it, he can “slipstream” SP2 into the SP1 files. So the next time he installs XP on a computer, it will already have SP2 installed. “Automated installation” is another tool that Microsoft offers. With this, the administrator or power user creates a text file called an “answer file” that has all of the “answers” to questions XP setup asks. So you can enter your CD key, user name and password, time zone, network setup information, etc. into the text file, and XP setup won’t ask you for them when its doing its thing.

The only drawback to these tools is that they’re just not very user-friendly. Slipstreaming is pretty easy to do, but Microsoft doesn’t provide a GUI tool to do it, and the instructions on Microsoft’s web site are pretty spartan. On the other hand, MS provides tons of information about automated installations, but it’s almost overwhelming at first. It’s really easy to skip a step or put some data in the wrong place and end up with a screwed-up installation disc.

Thankfully, the Windows user community has come through again, this time with a tool called nLite. nLite combines many of Microsoft’s automation tools into one handy GUI tool. nLite can slipstream service packs to an installation disc; add hotfixes, patches, or upgraded components to the installation disc; remove most components and\or services from the installation; run batch files after XP setup is finished; and tweak various aspects and behaviors of XP’s user interface (a-la Tweak UI).

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And you thought nothing ever happened in Gaston County!

Cool! This happened about 25 miles away from me this week:

MAIDEN, N.C. – A man who bought a smoker Tuesday at an auction of abandoned items might have thought twice had he looked inside first.

Maiden police said the man opened up the smoker and saw what he thought was a piece of driftwood wrapped in paper. When he unwrapped it, he found a human leg, cut off 2 to 3 inches above the knee.

The smoker had been sold at an auction of items left behind at a storage facility, so investigators contacted the mother and son who had rented the space where the smoker was found.

The mother, Peg Steele, explained her son had his leg amputated after a plane crash and kept the leg following the surgery “for religious reasons” she doesn’t know much about.

“The rest of the family was very much against it,” Steele said.

Steele said her son, John Wood, plans to drive to Maiden, about 35 miles northwest of Charlotte, to reclaim his amputated leg, police said.

Read all about it here.

I Know A Murderer!

As you probably know, I went to high school in a suburban Atlanta county in the 1980s. I was one of the “freaks”: the punk rockers, the goths, the skaters and other assorted misfits. Each high school in the county had between 10 to 100 of us “freaks”, and we all kept in close contact with each other. Sometimes we’d hang out at the food court at the local mall, smoking cigarettes and snarling at the moms pushing their babies in strollers. But early on our favorite hang out was the Midnight Movies… and specifically, the Rocky Horror Picture Show.

Most “freaks” put their egos aside at the Midnights. It was liberating to be surrounded by our “own kind” and free from the “jockocracy” that all of us dealt with each school day. Rocky Horror was filled with all of the freaks from each high school in the county, and the rednecks watching The Wall or Heavy Metal didn’t dare mess with a theatre full of weirdos in bondage gear and liberty spikes.

But even if most people kept their egos in check, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a pecking order at the Midnights. People that just showed up were cool. People that brought props with them were even cooler. And the people that dressed up and played the roles in Rocky Horror each week were superstars; they were our heroes for 2 hours each week during the film.

Sadly, I found out last night that one of the Rocky Horror superstars from my youth is in prison for murder. I don’t have any details about it yet, so I don’t know if it was a crime of passion, a fistfight gone too far, road rage, ‘roid rage, a horrible miscarriage of justice, or if he’s just plain crazy.

It’s just so…. weird. I know a murderer! Granted, I haven’t seen the guy since 1986, and even back in the day we only hung out at the Midnights or the “after-parties” at Dunkin’ Donuts or IHOP. As best I recall, we might have gone to the mall together once, and that was more of a “one guy with a car picks up a bunch of friends without cars” thing than an actual “planned outing” or anything like that. But still… It almost gives me the willies. I know a murderer!


Adding A “Make Me A Friend” Link

OK, so this might be the lamest Geek Stuff tip ever, but I found out about it last night and thought it was neat, so I’ll share. If you’re a big MySpace user, and if you have some other web presence – your own website, or a HTML-capable signature on a message board or your email client – it’s really easy to add a “Add Me To Your MySpace Friends” link:

1) Go to your MySpace profile and right-click on the “Add To Friends” link on your profile. Select “Copy Link Location” or “Copy Shortcut”.

2) Open Notepad and paste the link into the editor. The link should look something like this:

3) Delete the “&MyToken=” part, and everything to the right of it, so that your link ends with “&friendID=123456″:

4) Use this as your link. In basic HMTL, you can add a link like this:

<a href=”…”>The Text You Want Displayed</a>

GT Falls (Again!); Steelers Beat Up 49ers

Good teams have confidence. Even if a few things don’t go their way in a game, they don’t get flustered. They shrug it off and keep on chugging. Sadly, I don’t think this year’s Georgia Tech team has that much confidence – the Yellow Jackets fell to Virginia 28-23 on Saturday. Granted, two of Virginia’s touchdowns were the direct result of Tech errors – one inexplicable interception return for a touchdown and one muffed punt reception deep in GT’s own territory. But still, you can’t win games when you give the ball up twice deep in your own territory. I watched the entire game and just felt… “meh” by GT’s performance. This is Virginia, folks. They supposed to be one notch above UNC and Duke, for God’s sake. And they put GT on the ropes. My heart skips a beat when I think of what GT’s record would have been had they played real teams. It makes me glad that Tech left the SEC so many years ago. Next week: Clemson, a team that always seems to have GT’s number. I (sadly) predict another loss.

Steelers vs. SFThe Pittsburgh Steelers, on the other hand, seemed to be firing on all cylinders. The offense is still anemic in the first quarter, but thankfully Pittsburgh’s D is good enough to not make this an issue so far. In fact, I’m really liking the Steelers’ schedule so far this year. The first four games are against weak teams, and maybe this will give Big Ben a confidence boost. He’s actually looked pretty good so far this year: while he hasn’t been the huge playmaker he was in his first two seasons, he’s also not making stupid mistakes like he did last year. Something one of the game commentators said yesterday that I hadn’t thought about: Ben admitted recently that he spent almost all of his pre-season time last year getting into shape. He had almost no classroom time before the start of last season. Physical issues aside, this explains a lot about his performance last season, and the extra hours he’s spent studying this year seem to be bearing fruit. Also, it was good to see touchdowns from all Steeler teams yesterday. The 49ers enjoyed their 3-0 lead for about 14 seconds yesterday, as former Atlanta Falcon Allen Rossum returned SF’s ensuing kickoff 90+ yards for a touchdown. And late in the game Bryant McFadden picked off a SF pass and returned it for a TD that made the score 30-9. The Steelers almost kept their opponent in the single digits for the third game in a row… except for a SF TD with 2:22 left in the game, deep into “garbage time”. All in all, a *great* performance from the Steelers; I look forward to next week’s game against Arizona and their new head coach – former Steelers OC Ken Whisenhunt.

Carolina Panthers fans got something to cheer about yesterday after dismantling the Falcons 27-20. But, to be honest, the Panthers didn’t “beat” the Falcons as much as the Falcons imploded… which is hardly surprising, given Joey Harrington’s performance. To show you how bad it was, the Panthers got their decisive touchdown on a drive where the Falcons defense was penalized 67 yards on that single drive. The Falcons are a disgrace to football, and it actually makes Carolina look bad that they didn’t beat them more decisively. But before I move on to other games… a brief question about the “I-85 Rivalry”… namely, who decided that there even was a rivalry between the Falcons and Panthers? When I was a kid, I liked the Steelers and Falcons equally. And in those days, the Falcons’ one and only rival was the New Orleans Saints. To this day, I still can’t call them anything but the “Ain’ts”. And that’s the way I likes it.

Continue reading “GT Falls (Again!); Steelers Beat Up 49ers”

What a Crappy Coupon!

Sorry if I haven’t posted much in the past couple of days. I’m feeling a bit under the weather. I am, however, feeling better and hope to get some new articles out in the next couple of days!

OK, so this coupon (and all its crappiness) hit the web a couple of weeks ago, but I thought I’d share it with you anyway. It’s from Macy’s and boy is it a stinker:

 Stupid Macy’s Coupon

First of all, the coupon was only valid on Friday and Saturday, September 7 and 8, 2007 and until 1pm on those days only. But then the restrictions start:


OK… sounds fair, so far, right? But then this starts:

“Cannot be combined with any savings pass, extra discount, or credit offer, except opening a new Macy’s account. Excludes Prior Purchases; Special Orders; Specials; Super Buys; Everyday Values; Cosmetics; Fragrances; Watches; Sunglasses; Optical; American Rag; I.N.C; Levi’s; Dockers; Lauren; Ralph Lauren; Michael Kors Shoes and Handbags; Coach; Dooney & Bourke; Juicy Couture Shoes, Handbags and Accessories; Cole Haan; Bridge and Designer Shoes and Handbags; Designer Intimate Apparel; DKNY, Material London, Buffalo, Hugo Boss, Claiborne, Nautica, Perry Ellis and Tasso Elba Men; Polo, Guess, Kenneth Cole, and Lacoste Men and Kids; Tommy Hilfiger Shoes, Men and Home; Tommy Bahama and Calvin Klein Men and Home; Kate Spade; Vera Wang; Martha Stewart Collection; Bedding by Barbara Barry; Michael Kors and Natori; Waterford; Baccarat; Lalique; China Dinnerware and Gifts; Regular price Crystal and Silver; Wüsthof; All-Clad; Henckels; Lladró; Electrics and Electronics; Holiday Lane Trim; Furniture; Area Rugs; Mattresses; Lease Departments; Gift Registry Kiosks; Restaurants; Macy’s Gift Cards; Gift Wrap; Services; Payment on Macy’s Credit Account; and”

What the hell? Can you use the coupon for anything Macy’s sells?

Thanks for NOTHING, guys!

What Are The Odds?

Adnan and Sana Klaric were a married couple in Bosnia. Things weren’t going so well with the marriage, and both Adnan and Sana decided to look online for a little “somethin’ somethin'” on the side. Adnan adopted the monkier “The Prince of Joy” while Sana opted for “Sweetie”; both started checking out chat rooms for someone to have an illicit affair with. As luck would have it, “The Prince of Joy” and “Sweetie” struck up an relationship, and their conversations got hotter and hotter… until they decided to meet. Sana said “When I saw my husband there with the rose and it dawned on me what had happened I was shattered. I felt so betrayed. I was so angry.” Adnan said that he “was so happy to have found a woman who finally understood me. Then it turned out that I hadn’t found anyone new at all”. Ironically, the couple subsequently decided to divorce on the grounds that both had been cheating on the other.

Let this be a lesson to you: although the World Wide Web has hundreds of millions of users, sometimes the web isn’t as big as it seems!

Read the original story.