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"Murphy was an optimist!"

Deep Thoughts March 31, 2011 9:17 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Deep Thoughts, Philosophy
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If a dog shits in the woods, and I’m not there to step in it, do I still have to clean my floors?

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NASA Plays God March 29, 2011 2:49 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest, Science, Space, Technology
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I learn something new every day. Today I learned how to make my neighbors move.

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Dogboarding March 28, 2011 4:36 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Pets, Publishing, Video
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So wrong, yet so right.

Dogboarding from DANIELS on Vimeo.

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What does a teenage girl do to a car? March 28, 2011 10:56 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, Family, Of Being Dad, Sarah, Transportation, Travel
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Or maybe the question should be "what doesn’t a teenage girl do to a car?" Because the answer would be "maintenance."

Today the inside of the Jeep was drenched. I look at the Neon parked in the driveway and recognize that I have not inspected it in quite some time. My simple instruction to the teenage driver was "Make sure it has oil and tell me when any problems arise." I once drove it an eon ago to find that the speedometer worked…sometimes. So this teenage driver was guessing how fast she was going. How she avoided tickets was beyond me. With a little research, I learned it was a common problem among the Dodge Neon’s and the fix was to remove the instrument panel and resolder the connections. She claims to have had no problems with the speedometer after that but the fact she never told me about it in the first place should have been a clue about how future problems would be addressed (er, ignored).

First thing I noticed this morning? No oil! 2nd? Check engine light. The inside of the car is filthy. The trunk/boot is full of what appears to be half Goodwill, a quarter stuff sent home from the grandparents, and 1/4 teen’s stuff. A positive! The tires look great. A negative. The transmission slips (you’d think she’d mention that one). Oh, and the windshield wipers are worthless. But it did perform well on the Interstate.

I suppose if I were a better father, she and I would have spent many a weekend together performing maintenance on the car. Teen driver 2 approaches so I’ll have a chance to do better.

Update 29-March: Changed the oil today. Discovered the transmission had no fluid whatsoever. Not even sure how the car was moving.

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Dear Apple.. an obvious feature request March 25, 2011 1:15 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Gadgets, Software, Technology
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Dear Apple, when can I have the ability to prevent my children from moving or deleting items in my iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad)? I’d also like to give them the ability to use the device without accessing particular applications. I’m not asking for user profiles but at least give me the ability to demand a system password for moving and deleting apps and give me the ability to use the same system password to lock selected applications (or screens) so that my financial and business applications aren’t accessible while they use their games and educational applications. Thank you! Doug, father to 5 children in a household of 4 iOS devices (and growing) that often change hands.

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The vicarious busker March 24, 2011 7:26 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life, History, Juggling, Of Interest
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In the middle of 1993, I decided to spend three months in the dance studios of the upper floors of Knoxville’s Candy Factory practicing my dance, pantomime, comedy and choreographing my juggling routines in preparation to hike Europe while living off the rewards of my busking. I had successfully busked the corner of Jackson Avenue and Central on the corner of Manhattan’s for 12 weeks every Friday and Saturday night making at least $50 a night sometimes working as little as two hours which was better than the tips I made on a full shift waiting tables at Shoney’s plus someone usually bought me a beer or two. My "success" in Knoxville along with the encouragement of a friend who had eight years experience juggling for money (2 on the streets, 6 on the cruise line/college circuits) left me confident that I would eat well, pay my bills, and stay in nice hotels and if that didn’t work out my friend had advised me on how to sleep under a bush without getting arrested or having equipment stolen.

By the end of 1993, I was making $13000 a year working 70 hours a week with 4 other smelly guys in a tiny, cramped motel room which had been converted to a software development office with desks made out of doors on filing cabinets. The shower doubled as storage and a sound room for recording audio. Another room was reserved for artists, one for customer service, and two for packaging and shipping.

My European ship sailed and I now live vicariously through the videos of buskers such as Street Show Keith.

Street Show Keith from StopDropAndRoll Inc. on Vimeo.

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R.I.P. MyBlogLog March 24, 2011 11:36 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Announcements, Of Interest
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In case you haven’t heard, Yahoo (in true Yahoo form), is shutting down MyBlogLog. The official email arrived today:

Dear MyBlogLog Customer,

You have been identified as a customer of Yahoo! MyBlogLog. We will officially discontinue Yahoo! MyBlogLog effective May 24, 2011. Your agreement with Yahoo!, to the extent that it applies to the Yahoo! MyBlogLog, will terminate on May 24, 2011.

After May 24, 2011 your credit card will no longer be charged for premium services on MyBlogLog. We will refund you the unused portion of your subscription, if any. The refund will appear as a credit via the billing method we have on file for you. To make sure that your billing information is correct and up to date, visit https://billing.yahoo.com.

If you have questions about these changes, please visit the Yahoo! MyBlogLog help pages.

We thank you for being a customer on Yahoo! MyBlogLog.


The Yahoo! My BlogLog Team

Yahoo suggests switching to Pulse.

MyBlogLog will no longer be in service from 24 May 2011. We recommend Yahoo! Pulse as a service for you to see all your social updates from your favorite networks in one place.

With Yahoo! Pulse, you can create your own identity on Yahoo! and you can easily connect and engage with the people, content, and applications that matter to you, wherever you are on Yahoo!.

Here’s hoping that if I ever have a successful Internet company that Yahoo never buys it.


When religions die, do they go to Heaven? March 24, 2011 11:06 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Religion / Spirituality, Touchy Subjects
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Using census data going back a century, a team of mathematicians have created a model showing that, according to them, "religion will all but vanish eventually from nine Western-style democracies" – Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the Netherlands, Austria, the Czech Republic, Finland, Switzerland and . . . drum roll . . . Ireland.

[Source, CNN, Organized religion ‘will be driven toward extinction’ in 9 countries, experts predict]

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And I thought I’d seen the whole Internet March 23, 2011 11:23 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Religion / Spirituality, Touchy Subjects
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Pole dancing for Jesus (it’s a news report so it’s safe for work):

Pole Dancing For Jesus – Watch more Funny Videos

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Word of the Day March 21, 2011 10:18 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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From the mouths of babes March 20, 2011 3:56 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Amy, Daily Life, Family, From the mouths of babes
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Me: "Whoa!"
Amy: "What was that?"
Me: "I almost fell off the roof."
Amy, calmly: "Well, that wouldn’t be good. We don’t want a broken finger AND a broken leg."


Canada apologizes to the United States March 19, 2011 12:05 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Humor, Politics, Touchy Subjects
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Upgrading my dev server March 19, 2011 11:14 am

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Daily Life
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As a web application developer, I have a development server in the house. It’s been running Ubuntu 8.04 LTS…let’s be straight..Ubuntu Desktop 8.04 converted to also be a server and highly customized. Last night, I boldly decided to upgrade directly from Ubuntu 8.04 to Ubunto 10.04 LTS. My original plan had been to bring in new hardware and create an entirely new server from scratch. Here’s hoping this goes well. Hold onto your socks!

Update: This went without a hitch.

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How America can jump start the real estate market March 18, 2011 6:37 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Of Interest
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Learn to sell!

Thank you Roger Ebert!

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Japan’s radiation has arrived in California March 18, 2011 2:16 pm

Posted by Doug McCaughan in : Environment, Touchy Subjects
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The nuclear disaster in Japan has increased from a 4 to 5 on a scale of 1 to 7.

These are categories on the International Nuclear and Radiological Events Scale (INES), which runs from zero (nothing happened, essentially) to seven, a "major accident".

So far, Chernobyl is the only seven-rated incident in nuclear history.

Level five is defined as an "accident with wider consequences".

[Source, BBC News Science & Environment, Japan raises nuclear alert level]

Three Mile Island was also a level 5 incident. Now the radiation has reached the United States.

[1:39 p.m. ET Friday, 2:39 a.m. Saturday in Tokyo] Monitors in Sacramento, California, have detected a small amount of radioactive material from the earthquake-struck nuclear power plant in Japan, an official with the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty Organization said. The exact amounts were not available, but were far less than what would be considered harmful to human health, the official said.

[Source, CNN, Japan quake live blog: Small amount of radiation reaches California, official says]

Before you put on your tinfoil hats (and remember, mine is shinier than yours), and cover your testicles in aluminum foil, re-read the sentence that the radiation is "far less than what would be considered harmful to human health."

Update: Another doctor cautions against over-reaction:

"I think the biggest health impact is the psychological impact," said Dr. Jonathan E. Fielding, the director of the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health. "Anytime people hear ‘radiation’ it evokes a level of fear that is disproportionate to the threat."

[Source, The New York Times, For Radiation, the Alarm Bells Are Boxes]

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