The Chick List 2011

It’s hard to believe, but the last installment of The Chick List was all the way back in September 2008! Isn’t it about time for a sequel? Yes, it is. So here is The Chick List 2011: The Revenge of the Brunettes.

Note that I made an effort to vary it up a little. There’s no sense in doing a whole new list if 90% of the women are the same, no? Also, I neglected to add one of my all-time celebrity crushes (Scarlett Johansson) to the list because I didn’t think to add her until the last minute, and already had my top 15. A “Top 16” list just seemed odd, I just decided to leave her off this year’s list.

As always, click any thumbnail to enlarge.

Sarah Smart#15  Sarah Smart – OK, I know what you might be thinking… “what the hell, dude?” And I can get where you’re coming from. But British actress Sarah Smart has been in a million overseas TV shows, and it seems like in most of them (especially Jane Hall) she plays a kind of “sweet ditz”. She almost seems like a lost little puppy, with all the sweetness that entails, although it’s not nearly as condescending as it sounds.




Sara Rue#14  Sara Rue – One of my most guilty pleasures was the late 90s show Popular. Part of the reason for this is because everyone on the show was pretty: the mom, the dad, the school principal… everyone (except for one teacher who was supposed to be ugly and androgynous). I thought Sara Rue was pretty even then.. but even though I knew her weight had yo-yo’ed a bit over the years, I was gobsmacked when I walked in on Lisa watching Shedding for the Wedding, hosted by a svelte and sexy Sara. But you know what? I don’t want to be that entirely superficial with this list. I thought she was pretty back then and I think she’s pretty now. So you know what? You go girl!


Daisy Lowe#13  Daisy Lowe – Here’s the thing: Daisy Lowe is the daughter of singer\songwriter turned fashion designer Pearl Lowe and Gavin Rossdale, lead singer of the band Bush and Gwen Stafani’s current husband (Rossdale also had a homosexual relationship with Boy George’s friend Marilyn back in the 80s – that guy sure got around, huh?). Anyway, Lowe began modeling at the ago of 2, and modeled off and on for several years until 2006, when she took to it full-time. She’s become Britain’s premiere pin-up girl, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s hard to find “safe for work” images of her on Google!


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Quote of the Day

When the Vatican made Mary’s Assumption dogma,
the crowds at San Pietro screamed Papá.
The Holy Father dropped his shaving glass,
and listened. His electric razor purred,
his pet canary chirped on his left hand.
The lights of science couldn’t hold a candle
to Mary risen – at one miraculous stroke,
angel-wing’d, gorgeous as a jungle bird!
But who believed this? Who could understand?
Pilgrims still kissed Saint Peter’s brazen sandal.
The Duce’s lynched, bare, booted skull still spoke.
God herded his people to the coup de grâce
the costumed Switzers sloped their pikes to push,
O Pius, through the monstrous human crush…

– Robert Lowell
“Beyond the Alps”


Here’s a picture of my secret girlfriend Jill Wagner… wearing glasses!

Jill Wagner in glasses!
(click to embiggen)

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: whoever said “men don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses” didn’t know what the hell they were talking about!

Thanks to Jill’s Twitter feed for the pic!

What the Navy gave English

The English language comes from England, an island nation off the coast of Europe. For almost 200 years, England was the world’s premiere maritime power. Consequently, hundreds of nautical phrases have made their way into the language.

Sometimes the nautical origin of such phrases is obvious. A “shot across the bow” originally meant a warning shot fired towards another ship. It lives on today in the media any time two Goliaths go at it, such as “Google fires shot across the bow at Microsoft in lawsuit” or “Celtics fire shot across the Heat’s bow in game 1 of playoffs”.

Sometimes, though, the naval origin of phrases is somewhat less obvious. At some point in your life, you’ve probably been told to “pipe down”. This comes from an order given by a captain to a boatswain (or bosun). The boatswain usually carried a whistle-like device called a pipe or call (picture here) that was used to convey orders throughout the ship. At the end of a typical day, the captain would call “pipe down”, which was a signal to dismiss everyone not on watch. It’s the naval equivalent of the army’s “lights out”, meaning “shut up and go to sleep”.

Here’s a partial list of some other nautical phrases you might use every day without even knowing it. But before we begin, allow me to say that I know that ropes are called “lines” on ships. I’ve called them “ropes” in this post because it might be confusing to non-nautical types. So don’t email me about it, OK? 🙂

“All hands on deck” – This was an order for everyone on the ship to assemble on deck, perhaps for a Sunday church service, or to convey news to the crew. Its nautical origin should seem obvious, except that in the past few years it’s been shortened to just “all hands” by jargon-loving businesspeople. A company might hold an “all hands” meeting, which requires all employees to attend, for example.

“Press into service” – This originally concerned impressement, the practice of drafting sailors into the Royal Navy against their will. In wartime, the navy would create “press gangs” that would go to ports and round up any spare merchant sailors and force them to serve on Royal Navy ships (with compensation, of course). Contrary to popular belief, press gangs didn’t go around impressing just anyone. An inexperienced person, like a farmer or clergyman, was useless on a ship, and was very rarely (if ever) pressed into service. The term is still used today for anyone who is coerced into taking a job they don’t really want to do, as in “with Edward’s abdication, George was pressed into service as King George VI”.

“First rate” – During the age of sail, Royal Navy ships were rated based on the number of cannon they carried. A small ship carrying 20 guns or fewer was “sixth rate”, 48 guns or fewer was “fifth rate”, 60 guns or fewer was “fourth rate”, 89 guns or fewer was “third rate”, 98 guns or fewer was “second rate”… and 100 guns or more was “first rate” Serving on a such a ship was prestigious and the ships themselves were the best in the navy, so in time “first rate” came to mean something top of the line.

“Knowing the ropes” – If you’ve ever seen an old-fashioned sailing ship, you know they have miles and miles of ropes on them. One of the first things a young sailor would have to learn is which rope did what. Thus, an experienced sailor would “know his ropes”, a term expanded today to anyone knowledgeable about a certain thing, even if ropes aren’t involved.

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Best PHP Fail ever?

So a few nights ago I was surfing the ‘Net, looking at open-source help desk software. I was thinking that I might add a help desk app to my business website, so that my clients could simply log on and report their problems via a web interface.

One of the apps I was interested in is called “PHP Support Tickets”. But when I went to their website, I was greeted with this:

(click to enlarge)

I guess I can scratch them off the list.

Quote of the Day

“I cooked hotdogs on freshly cut and sharpened sticks over the coals of a big wood fire, and heated a can of beans and a can of cheese macaroni in the redhot hollows, and drank my newly bought wine, and exulted in one of the most pleasant nights of my life. I waded in the water and dunked a little and stood looking at the splendorous night sky, Avalokiteshvara’s ten-wondered universe of dark and diamonds. “Well, Ray,” sez I, glad, “only a few miles to go. You’ve done it again.” Happy. Just in my swim shorts, barefooted, wild-haired, in the red fire dark, singing, swigging wine, spitting, jumping, running – that’s the way to live. All alone and free in the soft sands of the beach by the sigh of the sea out there, with the Ma-Wink fallopian virgin warm stars reflecting on the outer channel fluid belly waters.”

– Jack Kerouac
The Dharma Bums

Twitter Weekly Updates for 2011-04-10

  • On TV tonight: "Mildred Pierce", "The Borgias", "The Killing", "Camelot". On TV the rest of the week? Nothing. #
  • @1outside Awwww! I like your new hair cut! 🙂 #
  • This might be the only time I cheer for a team called the "Bulldogs"! #
  • God, I *HATE* Jim Nantz! Anyone else? #
  • Just watched a YouTube vid about the "Carousel of Progress" at WDW. Man, I'd forgotten how boring that thing is! #
  • Any ATL peeps wanna see Asobi Seksu and White Lies at Variety Playhouse on Sat. 05/21? The missus and I could use a place to crash! 🙂 #
  • R.I.P. Sidney Lumet #
  • Dammit… don't put black beans in chili! #
  • My host updated my site to MySQL 5.x. My carrier is updating my phone to Froyo on Monday. Technologically speaking, it's 2010 in my world! #

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Dropbox: Tips and Tricks

Sites offering online storage and file sharing are not new. My all-time favorite such site, Visto, offered a free email account along with a desktop client that would sync your Outlook contacts, calendar and tasks between computers. The software even offered limited (250MB) file synchronization between computers. The whole thing was called the “Visto Desktop” and it was really cool… when I started using it… back in 1998! Sadly, Visto stopped offering their services to the public in 2002 so that they could focus on licensing their synchronization tech to cell phone companies and large corporations.

A lot has changed since then. But since I work from one computer at home, I haven’t had much need for such services. This changed this past Christmas, when I got a netbook and a smartphone. Suddenly, I had a desire (if not a need) to share data between devices. And although there are several sites out there offering such services, the hands-down favorite with the geek crowd is Dropbox.

Dropbox offers 2GB of storage space for free, with 50GB and 100GB accounts available for $9.99/month and $19.99/month respectively. You sign up, then download and install the client. It creates a folder called “Dropbox” in your user profile, and any files copied to that folder are automatically synced between that computer and Dropbox, and any additional computers you install the client on.

There are also two subfolders inside the Dropbox folder, “Public” and “Photos”. Files copied to the “Public” folder can be viewed by anyone on the Internet, which is handy for sharing documents with colleagues. A helpful context menu in Windows Explorer even copies the public URL to your clipboard for easy pasting to an email or IM conversation. You can use the “Photos” folder to create instant photo galleries: just create a new folder inside the Photos folder (“Ashley’s Birthday”) and copy pictures to the new folder. You can then send a link to your friends, who can view the pictures even if they don’t have a Dropbox account.

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Quote of the Day

“You see this watch? You see this watch? That watch costs more than your car. I made $970,000 last year. How much’d you make? You see pal, that’s who I am, and you’re nothing. Nice guy? I don’t give a shit. Good father? Fuck you! Go home and play with your kids. You wanna work here… close! You think this is abuse? You think this is abuse, you cocksucker? You can’t take this, how can you take the abuse you get on a sit? You don’t like it, leave. I can go out there tonight with the materials you’ve got and make myself $15,000. Tonight! In two hours! Can you? Can you? Go and do likewise. A-I-D-A. Get mad you son of a bitches, get mad. You want to know what it takes to sell real estate? It takes BRASS BALLS to sell real estate. Go and do likewise gents. Money’s out there. You pick it up, it’s yours. You don’t, I got no sympathy for you. You wanna go out on those sits tonight and close, CLOSE. It’s yours. If not you’re gonna be shining my shoes. And you know what you’ll be saying – a bunch of losers sittin’ around in a bar. ‘Oh yeah. I used to be a salesman. It’s a tough racket.’ These are the new leads. These are the Glengarry leads. And to you they’re gold, and you don’t get them. Why? Because to give them to you is just throwing them away. They’re for closers. I’d wish you good luck but you wouldn’t know what to do with it if you got it. And to answer you question, pal, why am I here? I came here because Mitch and Murray asked me to. They asked me for a favor. I said the real favor, follow my advice and fire your fucking ass because a loser is a loser.”

– Alec Baldwin as Blake
Glengarry Glen Ross

The Perfect Chili

I’ve been making chili for 25 years now. Chili from a can, chili from scratch. Chili with common meats, chili with exotic meats. Mild chili, and chili so hot it’ll take the roof of your mouth off… you name it! And I’m happy to announce that, as of this past Monday, I have perfected my “everyday chili” recipe. Even better, I’m going to share it with you!


1 lb. 80/20 ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
6 oz. Mexican chorizo (approx.; see below)
1 large or 2 medium white onions
1 can Rotel Hot
1 can Ranch Style beans
1 packet Carroll Shelby’s chili mix
Beef base, or beef broth (see below)


1 large pot
1 medium skillet (optional)
1 strainer
1 large spoon
1 bowl
1 small whisk or fork

Lisa and I made tacos a few days before, but instead of using ground beef for my tacos, I used chorizo instead. I put the leftover chorizo in a small (10 oz.) Tupperware container, and it was almost full when I was done. This is where I got the “6 oz. approximately” in the ingredients list. You may add more or less if you wish.

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