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Solve the mystery of how he died

All day long my family tries to kill me. It’s the stairs see. They are this constant conveyor of crap flowing from up to down then carried back up again to repeat the coming down. The laundry gets dirtied upstairs but cleaned downstairs and then put away upstairs. Toys are hurled down the stairs only to be carried up and then kicked down. Sometimes dirty laundry only makes it half way down the stairs and I try hard not to fall on my butt when traversing the slippery obstacle course. When full laundry baskets go upstairs (usually via child/mule) the empty baskets return, without warning, bounce, tumble and crash down the stairs every time clanging into the joke redneck wind chime, 4 painted tin cans with bottle openers in them hanging by stings, that my inlaws thought fit our lifestyle. Little did they realize what a great alarm system the chimes make by hanging on the gate at the base of the stairs; an alarm system that provides ample coitus interruptus time without having to have one of those awkward Meaning of Life teaching moments. The stair conveyor would almost be humorous if not for my heart trying to wrench out of my chest each time I am startled out of my deep concentration. I honestly wouldn’t mind so much if it weren’t for the cat liter box that sits on the landing of the L shaped stair. A box that when it has things in it other than liter, poo and pee, causes the cat to seek other places to relieve itself such as the laundry or our bed or a nook somewhere in the basement. So every time something plops near the liter box, not only do I have to have a quick cardiac surgery to put my heart back into my chest but I have to walk over to check the liter box. I get a lot of exercise during my day.

Update: I found my wife wiping a joyful tear from her eye as she guffawed over reading this post. She added, "when I’m annoyed with you, I fold like a m-f to get another basket emptied."

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Your thoughts on embedded WMVs with progress bars

Let me reach out to the community for a moment. I’m trying to deliver a movie to be played in a web browser. The movie must play in Internet Explorer 6, 7 and 8, Firefox and Safari. The movie sits on a LAMP box. The movie is roughly 35MB windows media (WMV). jQuery is available. The challenge: Deliver the movie to the client without the client impatiently clicking the play button repeatedly (elevator syndrome), reloading the page, or giving up and leaving. This implies some sort of progress bar or loading spinner. I can’t seem to get a loader to work to save my life.

I’ve tried:

  • Various attributes on the object and embed tags
  • Using jQuery plugins like jQuery Media plugin and jMedia
  • Looked into other players and ruled out Flowplayer and SWFObject2
  • Tried getting Ajaxy but the document finishes before the movie completely downloads and the spinner quits too early.
  • I’m testing WVX streaming right now but it’s not looking good.
  • Some other stuff

The goal is simple: Take a large wmv movie and present a loading indicator until the movie is cached in the user’s browser. This one is giving me a real hard way to go.

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US could insure everyone by reducing bureaucracy

By adopting Canada’s system of administration, the cost savings would allow all uninsured people in the United States to have medical care.

USA wastes more on health care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide health care to all of the uninsured … Administrative expenses will consume at least $399.4 billion out of total health expenditures of $1,660.5 billion in 2003. Streamlining administrative overhead to Canadian levels would save approximately $286.0 billion in 2003, $6,940 for each of the 41.2 million Americans who were uninsured as of 2001. This is substantially more than would be needed to provide full insurance coverage. [Source, Medical News TODAY]

The benefit to the single payer plan is the reduced overhead and associated costs of managing the health care system. France has issues but it may be a better model for the US health care system.

The American health care model, [Houston native Jennifer Hua] says, is too expensive and too insecure. France offers her family good medical treatment, better insurance, more convenience and no worries about how to pay medical bills if her husband’s job changes.

French model encourages people to put health ahead of economic anxiety.

As America seeks a better way to provide medical care, France offers an example of a system where everyone has government-provided, basic health insurance – citizens and immigrants alike. Expenses for such chronic illnesses as cancer, diabetes and multiple sclerosis are covered entirely by the state so patients can focus on treatment rather than financial ruin.

[Source, Dallas News, Is French health system a model for U.S.?]

I personally think I’d live longer and contribute more to our society if I wasn’t constantly worrying about how I will be able to pay for my family’s health care. The worry makes me more ill than anything else.

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Social Media Let’s Us Be Close to the Stars

In the connected world, we have certain names that ring as superstars like Robert Scoble and Chris Brogan (and a long list of others). These are the people who have found fame and limelight on the Internet. They may or may not be known outside of the tech crowd but they have such a following within the tech crowd that like the Hollywood superstars, they have an aura of being untouchable. Coincidentally, the same tool that has helped give them their presence also breaks down the barriers and gives someone like myself, who is unlikely to get out to the big conferences, a chance to interact with these folk. I keep the MyBlogLog widget on my sidebar as a little self-serving tool that shows me the recent visitors to Reality Me and I must admit I was taken back to see Chris Brogan’s picture down there. He visited, not read in RSS, but visited Reality Me! But why? I’ve been too busy with work to blog anything noteworthy; it’s all been nonsensical quickies. Oh! But I did link to Speaking and Presenting- Your Next Actions and that fact that he came back to see what I’d said is why he stands above the rest of us in Internet marketing. There’s a lesson in that for the rest of us.

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Information Overload

Today I’m working on a problem that involves a good deal of research. I love the Internet for the sheer quantity of information available. But today has been like trying to drink from a firehouse and unfortunately most of that volume has been misinformation. My head is throbbing but I love this part of my job. Now if only I can bring this step to a rapid close.

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Lovin’ the black censor bar!

When I posted I’m moving to France! I saw today’s post in the comments. Btw, if you haven’t watched I’m moving to France!, go do it now and for added fun start both videos at the same time!

Today’s video reminds me of college for some reason. These people are so happy! I bet there’d be no terrorism if more people played with the black censor bar. The guy in the cowboy hat at the end of the video is my new hero!

(I replaced this fuzzy Youtube video with the much clearer DailyMotion video that appears to actually be placed by The BPA)

This is the "Toe Jam" video by Fatboy Slim featuring David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. I find it altogether too amusing. When I first discovered this one there were just over 6000 views. It’ll be interesting to see how fast those numbers grow.

Update: Some information about this hit video from the Fall of 2008. The Toe Jam song was released July 15, 2008 by The BPA (Brighton Port Authority an alias for musician Norman Cook who is better known as Fatboy Slim. I am becoming a Fatboy Slim fanboy as I was in awe of his Weapons of Choice video featuring Christoper Walken. Toe Jam is a collaboration with David Byrne and Dizzee Rascal. The video is directed by Keith Schofield (Keith Haverbrooks, Eric Schoman and Jeff Mayfield). The Toe Jam song lives on the I Think We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat album released January 6, 2009. There is a video that is much crisper but it bleeps the dirty word. So, who’s got the raw footage and outtakes?

The BPA also ran a contest which ended March 1, 2009 allowing people to download the Toe Jam song and make their own videos as a promotion for their album release. Although the contest has ended, Toe Jam is still available for download.

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Green Monster

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Short timer’s syndrome

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