30 April 2010

I love maps*

Loved this map of Paris from a Slate editor contributor article something or other. I'm not sure it gives you all the information you need, but it definitely makes an effort at communicating the information that you want, which is the most important thing about any map.

Side note: When I went to Paris with my friend Jeff he was in charge of finding us a place to stay. One night only, should be easy, right? He ended up doing some social networking and finding a friend of a friend who was, and I am not kidding, a North African drug dealer that lived in Montmartre. (Thus attesting to this maps accuracy, then and now.) As it happens the N. African D. Dealer was too busy to host us so we had to go with Plan B: a different socially-networked med school student who was a pleasant combination of 1. not a drug dealer, and 2. ridiculously good looking. So that worked out.

*Actually true.

28 April 2010

It's the little things (part II)

Visited with my friend James yesterday. He come over to play xbox and unfortunately he was able to press the touchdown button a lot more often than I was. I won the first game but wasn't able to sustain my effort and ended up losing the second game by a couple touchdowns.

The 49ers are so fucking bad at protecting the quarterback I can't even explain it in words. And their secondary sucks, too, which is why my friend was nice enough to send me the attached picture first thing this morning. At least I have Frank Gore on my team. Without him it would have been even worse. *sigh*

It was a wonderfully ordinary day. You can't ask for much more than that. But don't take my word for it. Consider this story from a cancer survivor:

One thing I don’t ever think to say: When I was told I had a year or two, I didn’t want anything one might expect: no blow-out trip to the Gal├ípagos, no perfect meal at Alain Ducasse, no defiant red Maserati. All I wanted was ordinary life back, for ordinary life, it became utterly clear, is more valuable than anything else.

Thanks for reading.

27 April 2010


Look at the turtle and try not to laugh. I dare you.

Courtesy the internet. I scavenged it from the PBH tumblr blog. No idea where they got it.

26 April 2010

David Rees remains unstoppable

This is old, but it might be new to you. It used to be my corporate philosophy, but now I make time for team spirit. Because my teammates are cool. And also I need to keep my job. (Mostly that second part, but my teammates are cool.)

For more Rees, see his Friday Face Offs. It's a little bit country, a little bit rock & roll.

Made a carrot cake this weekend. It turned out deliciously so I had a piece for dessert after I had a piece for dinner. Made me feel kind of ill afterward. Weird.

Helpful hints

My friend Jimmy comes by every now and then to play Madden on the xbox. It's the only time I play the game because I don't have very many friends that play and it's boring playing against the computer. I'm always the 49ers and he's always the Lions. I have no interest in any of the other (good) teams.

Last time he came over I spanked him because as bad as the 49ers are, the Lions are worse. I told him I kept pressing the touchdown button and it would score a touchdown. 80 yard TD run up the middle by Frank Gore? Touchdown button. 68 yard catch & run for a score? Touchdown button. Patrick Willis pick six? Touchdown button. You get the idea.

I felt kind of bad* so I made him a helpful guide he can use the next he comes over.

* By 'kind of' I mean 'not at all'.

23 April 2010


I can't help it if I'm easily entertained.

22 April 2010

I'll keep that in mind

What gets you banned from Xbox Live for 7,989 years? Take it away, Kotaku:


If you don't want to read the small print, here's a summary:

"Would be helpful if someone could enlighten me as to why he has been suspended until 31/12/9999 without notification" reads the plea from user TC57UK. Xbox Live enforcer XBLPET Whiskey was on-hand to provide said notification.

XBLPET's response:
"Your son was exposing himself on camera in Uno."

20 April 2010

Why hasn't someone told me about this already?

If I had friends that loved me they would have mentioned this to me before today.

Instead I have to find it on my own, which says something about both my friends and the subject matter. But there you go.

Dungeons and Dragons is really not my thing. I can't believe people still get together, light candles, roll dice and keep score. But they made a movie about it, which is awesome. It's like King of Kong (which is really compelling, btw), but more weird.

The Dungeon Masters from Dungeon Masters Movie on Vimeo.

19 April 2010

Let's go to the video!

Aaaaaaand here's the video from my loss at the 2010 Pan Am Jiu-Jitsu Championships. I'd post a video of a victory if I had one. But I don't. I'm 0 for 2.

Go here for the full-size version: http://www.vimeo.com/11060126

Pan Am jiu-jitsu competition video - novice level (white belt) from Case on Vimeo.

I think I'm management material

Had to move my stuff out of my old cube at the factory office. New factory office won't have a cube for me, but that's okay because they still have a job for me. I'll sit on the floor in the corner if they let me keep my job. (Not even kind of kidding about that, btw.)

In the process of doing the moveout I had to make sure my juggling skillz were still passable. As you can see from the video, the pressure of the camera gets to me, even after I make an effort and fix my hair and everything.

Credit Scott for the video and audio. The audio is performed/edited by him, which is a nice little slice of overachievement. Did he go too far? Yes. Yes he did.

Special bonus tracking sheet on my potty/food/nap/communication habits courtesy my good friend Stephanie.

16 April 2010

They're not ready yet

After the challenge of getting into shape for a competition I like to make some kind of treat and bring it to share with the jiu-jitsu team. Cookies, cake, brownies, whatever. The dog always helps me put it together. She's a team player.

13 April 2010

I'll go ahead and rent the BBC version

For some inexplicable reason the morons at Discovery had Oprah Winfrey narrate the Life series. BBC viewers got David Attenborough, who is famous for, among other things, his contributions to science. Sigourney Weaver did the previous series; that was bad but nto so bad that you couldn't watch the show. Oprah's narration is the kind of thing you would force someone to listen to as a punishment. They've probably got it on repeat down at Gitmo

For a sampling of Attenborough's awesome, I give you this:

Competition training (not the actual competition)

A teammate (and superior jiu-jitsu practitioner) shot and edited some video of the competition training we did in the runup to the Pan Am BJJ Championships. I show up at around the 50 second mark, finishing a guy in a guillotine choke. The next shot is the same guy passing my guard, which is good if you're him, less good if you're me.

TEAM GIGANTE BJJ - '10 pan am training from inda bebe on Vimeo.

Put on your game face

Addendum to the jiu-jitsu tournament post from last week. This is the only picture that wasn't blurry.

Photo is me before my match. What's that on the ground? Shoes, and my photo ID, because you need a photo ID when you weigh in. Right now I'm thinking about staying calm, and what I want to do when I get on the mat. (Not that it mattered; I did what I planned and still lost.)

No video yet. File was too big so I need to get it from my friend via ftp or pick it up on a cd. Then I will see about getting it hosted and posted. Super!

09 April 2010

See what I did there?

My roommate's dog was found at the dump, taken to a shelter, and later adopted by his then-wife. The woman that found the dog at the dump contacted him recently to check in on the dog. (I think that's weird and intrusive but I used to volunteer at the local animal shelter and believe me when I tell you that 'weird' is just the tip of the iceberg for these people.)

The dog is awesome. She spends too much time alone but she's about as good a dog as you will get: affectionate, friendly, loves meeting new people. She's a wee bit clumsy and rough but that's not ever going to get any better because she lives with two guys and we don't care if she knocks stuff over. Also she's a bit chewy so don't leave any delicious items (shoes, socks, shirts, pillows) lying about unattended. And if she eats her treats off the countertop then it's your fault for putting them in easy reach, isn't it?

So the woman called and he told her how he wasn't really a fan of adopting another dog (they already had one), and it was really his wife that wanted her but "it worked out, because the bitch is gone but I still have the dog."


Fabulousness shows up early

Not sure if this kid is gay. He's too young to have any idea and who cares anyway?
He sure is fabulous though.
I like how he gets a little winded at the end but powers through it.

Score was tied so they went to the tiebreaker

I participated in the Pan Jiu-Jitsu Championships yesterday. What is that? It's a big tournament for competitive jiu-jitsu. People come from all over. There were 2700 competitors in total this year but only 17 guys in my age/weight division.

I competed at Novice level (white belt) , Senior 1 (36-40), 181 lb weight limit (weight includes gi).

Short tournament for me: I lost my first and only match. Score was 0-0 after 5 minutes, so they went to the tiebreaker and my opponent was leading 1-0 in advantage (an advantage is when you try something but it doesn't work - you get credit for the effort). It was very close. I am disappointed with the outcome (I could have won!) but not my effort.

Going into the tournament I was concerned about fighting a short, stocky guy. A guy with that body type would be stronger than me, so I would have to wear him down or use superior technique. Easier said than done.

As it happens, I got the guy where I wanted (closed guard) but couldn't/didn't execute any of the techniques I like from that position. No sweeps, no chokes, no armlocks. If you had told me before the match that my opponent would spend four minutes (of a 5 minute fight) inside my closed guard I would have felt very confident about it. As it was I lost by the narrowest of margins. Frustrating.

In the end it was a great experience, learned a lot. I hope to be back next year.

07 April 2010

That's what I call quality

Superb exchange between my friend and I today, via IM:

me: btw, don't underestimate the india team's ability to fuck up even the most trivial formatting in ms word.
him: i don't underestimate their ability to fuck up anything
me: good policy.

Why is the president holding a Thundercats sword?

No idea in which alternate universe this photograph was taken, but it appears as though the POTUS is holding a Thundercats sword. I want to know where Thundercats is still on television so that I can move there, or at least have someone send me some videotapes for my VCR so I can watch it.

How is it possible that these products are still selling? They haven't been on TV for 20 years. (Not that I've checked or anything. Sheesh.)

Also, if this sword exists in this universe, why don't I have one already? This is a g-damn travesty. The dog would think it was the most epic chew toy ever. And unlike that recent episode with my brand my new shoes I wouldn't be annoyed when I caught her trying to eat it.

Bonus Edition Scrabble: Special rules for 'special' players

I hate to sound like a pretentious dick* but this decision to officially change the rules of Scrabble and sell multiple editions (a la Trivial Pursuit) is weak. Very, very weak. Weak to the point of reminding me of the following exchange with my friend David Dent:

Me: How's the party?
David: Weak.
Me: Would you say it was "Weak to Good" or "Weak to Quite Weak"?
David: I'm gonna go with "Quite Weak to F*cking Bullsh*t".

I feel similarly about this Scrabble decision. Place names? People's names? Brands??!?!? Just make some shit up. Most brands are just made-up words anyway, because all the regular words are taken. Like Accenture. What the f*ck does that even mean? Answer: it means nothing, but it sounds like it could mean something, and you better believe they spent a pile of money doing group testing before they selected it. Names? Those are made-up too, so just put whatever you want on the Scrabble board.

This new set of rules will be great for teenagers and people that can't be bothered to learn actual words, but I'll stick with the classic version. And so should you. (yay for life advice!)

Quote from Steven Colbert (via Jeff):

"Just like the scrabble you grew up with, minus the scrabble."

*Not strictly true.

05 April 2010

Is this thing on?

Image courtesy icanhascheezeburger.com.
I don't have much to add except that I thought it was funny. The caption, not so much. But that cat peering into the lens of the camera? That's solid gold.

02 April 2010

Is that good for me? / Nutritional supplements debunked

There are lots of misleading (and conflicting) claims about nutritional supplements. Someone decided to go and compile all the research and present the scientific evidence.

It's from http://www.informationisbeautiful.net but I'm giving the page a special post because it is dynamic and will be updated as new research is made available. Bitchin.

Go here: http://www.informationisbeautiful.net/play/snake-oil-supplements/

And stop pretending Vitamin C is good for a cold.

Why the graphic on passwords? Because it maps password effectiveness against actual password examples. And it's got "sociological categorization" at the bottom that I found hiliarious (graphic and quote courtesy iib/wherever he got it from - how's that for protecting your copyright?).

Special Good Friday Edition: Get Smarter - something for everyone!

Best thing about Good Friday? Lots of people off today. I'm not jealous, I'm just glad my commute was such a breeze.

Bonus links today, some old, some new.

Print this out, read it, feel yourself getting smarter. If you really like it then consider buying this or this. If that's not your thing then there's always the video of a monkey scratching his butt.

If words aren't your metier (maybe you're a more visual person) then you will probably enjoy http://www.informationisbeautiful.net, which is the source for this article about defense spending from the Guardian. Wonder where your tax money is being wasted? Review defense spending. Or just look at the pretty pictures. Either way, really.