Thursday, November 30, 2006


The semester is almost over. And then what? Another semester... If you have a month or so to do an assignment, and at 8pm the night before it is due you are less than 1/3 finished, you ought be thinking extension... Its a civil war. Would it kill them to call it a civil war??? Five kittens is enough kittens... When the weather is nice late into November I think that makes it feel that much worse when it finally turns... A painted bedroom is much nicer... I can't bring myself to kill off the giftcard... I'm not sure how they're going to do it, but I think the plotline on the wire is going to implode in just two episodes... Poetry really is not my string suit - even unintentional poetry... That "Tunnel of Love" scene is not subtle - even with the clothes on... I thought Borat was actually a little restrained... Why is it that when I do make extensive plans I always seem to wind up with no plans??? Katy did not do very well in her post a day for national novel writing month, but she did kick me some work... How big is the pie anyway??? MSProject can definitely be the devil. I've made my peace with that... So many of the stones in the driveway have departed, I think clearing snow this winter will be kinda messy... Firefox 2.0 has spellcheck, so much for the blogger spell checker - the Firefox checker even thinks "blogger" is a word... Its tough to be here when I ought to be someplace else... Now that I do think it would be ok for people to put up their Christmas decorations, the neighborhood seems uncharacteristically restrained... Really I am not sure if I should build this rocket thing... Mrs. TANBI really misses LOST... Probably two, maybe three days of left over turkey remaining... We would like to try to wrap leather on Tybalt's blade...

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

meme blogging study

Hey. If you haven't seen this already in the million other places it has appeared, you're seeing it now. Do it, and help this dude out.

Link to this post in the name of science. Ask others to do the same. Results to be announced during the "Meet the Bloggers" panel at MLA 2006.

Why? A grad student is doing an experiment on the speed of memes.What is the speed of
meme? The specific rules:

  1. Write a post linking to this one in which you explain the experiment. (All blogs count, be they TypePad, Blogger, MySpace, Facebook, &c.)
  2. Ask your readers to do the same. Beg them. Relate sob stories about poor graduate students in desperate circumstances. Imply I'm one of them. (Do whatever you have to. If that fails, try whatever it takes.)
  3. Ping Technorati
Why not?

I'm Not Ready

Just not ready.
I guess nobody is ready.
I'm not prepared.
Probably you can tell yourself you are prepared.
But probably you can't really prepare.
There's just so much more.
More to do.
More to see.
More to tell.
More to share.
I'm just not ready.

Sunday, November 26, 2006


I recorded this video ages ago, but I did it portrait instead of landscape because the composition seemed better that way. Trouble was that replaying it on the computer meant that instead of down, gravity was pulling to the left.

Loading that other video a few days ago got me thinking about this one again. So I did a little research, downloaded a freeware video editor, and fixed the thing. After that the upload was easy. And now we can all see it with gravity pulling down.

That Just About Wraps it up for Zune...

Boing Boing: Chicago Sun-Times: Zune is a failure: "'Avoid,' is my general message. The Zune is a square wheel, a product that's so absurd and so obviously immune to success that it evokes something akin to a sense of pity..."

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Can I Just Say...

That as well as being fairly cute and many other things, that March of the Penguins is also a series of fairly disturbing penguin snuff films.

If our legislators were penguins it surely would have been outlawed.

Now Thst's Good Eating!

Mrs. TANBI really outdid herself this time. We had a fabulous feast with fabulous food and fabulous friends. All in all a fabulous time was had. Just one more thing in my world to be thankful for.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Yum. Not.

Frito-Lay Angrily Introduces Line Of Healthy Snacks | The Onion - America's Finest News Source: "According to Frito-Lay's website, the new snacks contain one-third of the fat, one-half of the calories, and one-1,000th of the irresistible flavor of Frito-Lay's classic line of potato and corn chips. The presence of trans-fats and saturated oils is avoided by employing a cooking process 'strikingly similar to the method used to create particle board.' Serving suggestions that will be printed on the packaging include 'definitely not adding any salt or seasoning, because then you might die'; dipping the chips in 'delicious plain yogurt, lettuce paste, or other ground-up Flat Earth products'; and enhancing the flavor by replacing the chip in your hand with a Hot'n Spicy BBQ chip."

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

This Post Brought to you By...

So last night I am watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip, which for what it is worth has to be the longest title for a TV show I want to be bothered to remember, perhaps slightly longer. So last night I am watching Studio 60 and one of the plot lines turns out to be about product placement. About two minutes into one scene I can't help but ask myself if there is a meta-issue at work here.

And then I am thinking that really what Studio 60 is about is everything Aaron Sorkin dislikes about television. The first episode railed against lowest common denominator, then we had contracted writers that weren't pulling their weight, then we had a network chomping at the bit to get the inane show while likely passing on the substantive show. The last two weeks were all about standards and practices. A scene on the show about how you can't say "Jesus" in a scene on the show unless you are using it as a proper noun serves the purpose for the actual show that the sketch does on the hypothetical show, tweaking off the censors.

So now I understand a little when people say that the reason the show isn't appealing to a wide audience is that it is just too much inside baseball. Doesn't mean I can't like it though, right?

So anyway, last night I am watching Studio 60 on the Sunset Strip and they get into a discussion about product placement and they talk about placing signs on the set, and then they talk about using known gear, and then they talk about bumps in and out, and the substance of the scene is about how crass and awful it is.

Right? But step back...

Because in that scene they plug Adidas, Gibson guitars, Dell Computers, and Nokia phones. And all I can think about is whether they managed to get people to pay for product placements in a scene about how sleazy it is to have product placements. Very, very meta.

Brought to you on Blogger by Google, written on a Gateway PC and relying on Verizon DSL connectivity.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

My Father the Crafty

My father, who just turned, well he's a "seasoned citizen" just sent me a video clip saying he was hoping to make the blog. So how could we refuse that?

The clip stems from a random photo he SMS messaged to me last week which showed a jig he had built for something. The video answered the "what is it?" question. It's a sort of gas lathe for cutting bottles. Here's the video he sent:

Now, aside from the concern that it isn't totally outside the realm of possibility that the entire bottle could shatter this is fairly cool. And all things aside, I guess it's nice to have a hobby.

A little poking around on the internet showed people doing this same thing with strings and gasoline, so I guess the propane torch isn't the stupidest way. I also saw one recommendation to use a hotwire rig, which believe it or not my dad likely has in the basement.

I however have other recollections. You see, this particular activity lies in the storied past of one Ron Popeil. A bottle cutting rig was one of the regular craft kits available at holiday time from Ronco, advertised to distraction in my youth.

For those of you that may have missed the 70's:

I guess cutting glass with fire is more exciting though. Still, if you want to harken back to the days of old, if you hurry you can get hold of the Ronco kit here.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Tech Expo Reminder

Time is running out... Good way to get published/noticed...

Articulated Angel Wings for Angels in America

Kissing Platforms for Kiss Me Kate

Dodecahedrons for Pinocchio

What do all these intriguing creations have in common? They were all developed for Tech Expo , the USITT-sponsored exhibition of innovative and creative solutions to diverse technical and production challenges. This biennial exhibit highlights ideas from all areas of production including sound, rigging, costume, crafts, properties, mask making, lighting technology, stagecraft, and special effects.

Want to share your creative genius with others? The next Tech Expo will be held at Stage Expo March 15 to 17, 2007 during the USITT 47th Annual Conference & Stage Expo in Phoenix, Arizona. Submit your project for consideration by completing an application and returning it with an article describing the project and non-refundable exhibit fee payment no later than Monday, November 20. Click here for additional details and an application.

Questions about forms or payment? Contact the USITT office at or 800-938-7488 or 315-463-6463 (NY).

Technical questions about the submission process? Please contact Loren Schreiber at or 619-594-7711 (CA).


Blogger won't let me upgrade. I wish they wouldn't keep telling me to upgrade... I am feeling like the Democratic momentum is already ebbing... Car salesmen may not be the sharpest blades in the drawer... I can't figure out how to spend my birthday present... Come one come all to Thanksgiving... Someone should really take down those Lynn Swann for Governor signs, unless they're just being left for the next election, but I doubt they will hold up... Nice to get the Steelers back on track. I wonder if it will last... I am thinking of starting a new feature: "The Story Starts Like" an entry would be like : This really wasn't what he'd thought being a detective would be like... Contrary to popular belief it appears I can be away from production for two whole days without the world crashing down... I am not sure if my students have noticed, but the semester - over... How is it that no matter how early I get to work I can't seem to get to today until after 3:00... I am not sure I can get into using a feed reader... Our house is not terribly childproof, not really even kitten proof... I guess I have to come up with a tech expo entry this weekend... Do people really use netcams for anything useful??? Is it good to know about something good even if it isn't going to happen for almost a year? What's the point??? There are many people I wish made more regular use of Instant Messenger... My desk at home is a mess... My desk at work is a mess... If I had another desk, it would be a mess... I would think Borat would get punched in the face all the time - occupational hazard... Still too early for Christmas season, hang on for one more week... I have no ideas for this huge drop... Apparently, I am a trooper. That's nice... If you are going to be on the TV at a sporting event, maybe you should wear something distinctive so people can see you - perhaps something on fire... I need a nap...

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Transmission Transition

What do you do when the AAMCO guys say your car needs North of $2k in repairs and the Blue Book on your car is South of $2k?

Call Oprah. "And you get a car!!!"

Thanks much to Larry Good at Day Ford in Monroeville. We said we'd spread his name around. He got us a good deal.

Well, really it was Mrs. TANBI that secured the good deal. She was a monster negotiator. A force to be reckoned with. Also we should say that the real hero at Day Ford is Nancy. We would like to buy our next car from her (unfortunately she doesn't sell cars).

So, here is Mrs. TANBI with her new wheels. Spunky, like her, that's just how she rolls. Sporty Ford Focus 5-door, low miles, automatic everything, moon roof, 37 MPG highway, and a blaupunkt. Not bad for 3 hours of shopping.

Give her a call. Maybe she'll take you for a ride.

(oh, and if anyone has any freelance work, we're both now looking - got ourselves a new payment to make and all...)

Monday, November 13, 2006

Not So Fast

The news has been saying that the presumptive speaker of the house has an action packed first 100 hours. I've heard tell they will be looking to raise the minimum wage, broaden federal funding for stem cell research, and implementing all of the recommendations of the 9/11 commission.


Slate magazine apparently ran a story that said the Dems should pile on the momentum and legislate single payer health care.


Many, many soon to be majority congress members are talking about changing the direction in Iraq, establishing a firm timetable.


But I think I have a better idea. Lets be reasonable here and think about what happened. Even though we've been told there was a Democratic landslide, the less than 55%/ more than 45% margins hardly constitute some kind of sweeping mandate. And while it is likely that many people who voted for Democrats do favor all of the items listed above I doubt that those are the reasons that many of the independents or Republicans decided to vote blue this time.

So how about this for a start - say no to something President Bush says he needs.

Then, before you trowel a layer of left wing crap on top of the previous neocon crap perhaps a little house keeping. Lets take just a moment to make sure that it is 100% unambiguous and not somehow smarmingly codified that torture - properly defined torture - is in fact illegal in the US, or performed by or at the behest of the US anywhere.

Which isn't to say it won't happen, just that doing so would be breaking the law (long topic for another day).

Once we've cleared the torture hurdle let's deal with "enemy combatant." Let's please have POW's or criminals and use the rules that are in place for them. We should not be a country where people can be held indefinitely without charges. This is something that needs fixing, right away.

And then, let's be sure that there is no such thing as a domestic wiretap without a warrant. Under the existing law they're allowed to go get the warrant after they've done the tap. Not getting a warrant is just about not knowing what people are doing. We don't have searches without warrants here in God's country, the fact that somehow now we do is a civic embarrassment.

Torture, Habeas Corpus, & Warantless Wiretaps - poof! Now that would be a good first 100 hours.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


So I gave this assignment to my Production Planning class via email when I had to cancel because of an illness. For some reason it seems to be incomprehensible. I can't tell why...

I am sorry to say that I have been sidelined by a fairly nasty stomach virus or something. So I am going to have to cancel class tomorrow. In lieu of meeting I would like to give you what I hope is an 80 minute assignment covering the same topic. Class tomorrow was scheduled to be about information distribution, memos and email.

Please locate an article from a newspaper or magazine, offline or on, about information distribution within a project group. Read the article and then write a one page summary explaining:

  1. what the article was saying
  2. what the main points were
  3. how this advice would work/fit within the kind of environment we’ve been discussing
  4. your opinion of the argument
  5. proper MLA citation of the piece you read.

This will be worth 10 points and will replace any existing 10 points worth of homework (applied to a single assignment).

Please submit this assignment by email, to me, by the end of the day Friday. I will then cobble together everyone’s work into a memo/email guide that should be at least as informative as my lecture would have been and redistribute it to the class for your use.

I apologize again for having to cancel class. I hope I will see you Monday.

They were supposed to find an article about email or memos in a project group situation and write a summary. Is it really that confusing?

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Could Have Been Worse

I guess I should say something. The election went fairly well for people other than the President and that's something we should all be happy about. Although, I couldn't help but notice there were still many, many candidates running unopposed, and many, many PA state candidates that voted themselves that sleazy pay raise are still working, and many, many congressmen who - although they are now saying it was probably a mistake - voted to go to war with Iraq still serving. So it isn't as sunny a day as it could be.

Strangely, the stench of the administration is so strong the Rhode Island senator got voted out even though he had voted against the war. Sucks to be him. Think of all the crap he took for the past couple of years, and all for nothing.

At least we're done with Santo Rum for the time being. Although its a natural that we'll see Sanitarium for President the next time around. And you know, seeing as how he and Casey almost got into a fist fight in a debate last month, it might be fun to have him run for president - except for the part where he might get the nomination and maybe win. I'm sure there are no residency problems to bitch about when the jurisdiction is national.

So we have a Democratic House, and we're days away from having either a Democratic or split Senate. Glory be, the return of American Democracy, spelled: G-R-I-D-L-O-C-K. Worse things could happen certainly. I read a few weeks ago that Bush had his department heads looking into the limits of his power without the ratification of congress. Funny, when I started thinking about a Democratic house the thought that kept bouncing around my brain was "high crimes and misdemeanors." Taking the country to war over trumped up evidence ought to be almost as bad as getting head from an intern, and that was good enough to keep the entire congress busy for almost three times as long as Teri Schiavo.

Even better than that though is the possibility of Cheney having to be present for every vote taken in the Senate:

"Mr. President, I'd like permission to revise and extend my remarks."

"Fuck you. Sit Down."

That'll be a new kind of collegiality for children to learn from, that's for sure.

And then, like a cherry on the sundae we get Rumsfeld's resignation today. Strangely with all the pieces in place already. Do you suppose this decision was made some time ago and they decided that having Bush state his unswerving loyalty was the best way to energize their base going into the election? Hmm. That James Baker, bi-partisan, independent Iraq report they've been sitting on for a month must be pretty bad if Bush decided to can Rumsfeld before people got to even complain. I wonder who else might be hearing they're through - and this time maybe without a medal of freedom.

Still, this is much more a challenge than a victory. It's one day of feeling good for stickin it to the man. But they still have to govern, and the machine as a whole is still broken, riddled with special interests and rigged to within an inch of not functioning at all. George W Bush is still President. We're still on the ground in Iraq. There are six years of "homeland security" and environment and energy and tax and trade and god knows what else legislation and policy that need inspection let alone action. Its going to take months just to sort out what's been happening while we've had this rubber stamp congress. And unfortunately most of the people that made the change yesterday only really work one day every other year.

God help us, the rest of the time its up to the professionals.

To Much Time on His Hands

Do good? I? No! Evil anon I deliver. I maim nine more hero-men in Saginaw, sanitary sword a-tuck, Carol, I — lo! — rack, cut a drowsy rat in Aswan. I gas nine more hero-men in Miami. Reviled, I (Nona) live on. I do, O God!

Jim Kalb's Palindrome Connection

Sunday, November 05, 2006

I Knew They Weren't Making Any Money off the Printers

HP Ink Costs More Than Human Blood, Booze - Gizmodo: "Gizmodo reader/potential vampire Shaun just popped this interesting graph in our email this morning, comparing the price of HP ink to other various fluids, some bodily in nature. He calculates that a $30 HP #45 black ink cartridge gives you 42ml, pricing out to $0.71/ml. Meanwhile, blood apparently costs $200 for 500ml from the Red Cross, pricing out to $0.40/ml."

Clearance Sale...

You've Experienced 84% of Life

You have an amazing amount of life experience. In fact, you've seen and done more than most people.
So congratulate yourself on what you've done so far. The future is only going to be more of the same!

Advanced Global Personality Test Results
Extraversion |||||||||||| 46%
Stability |||||| 23%
Orderliness |||||||||||||| 60%
Accommodation |||||| 30%
Interdependence |||||||||||||| 56%
Intellectual |||||||||||||||| 70%
Mystical |||| 16%
Artistic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Religious |||||||||| 36%
Hedonism |||||||||| 36%
Materialism |||||||||||||| 56%
Narcissism |||||||||||||| 56%
Adventurousness |||||| 30%
Work ethic |||||||||||||||| 70%
Self absorbed |||||||||||| 50%
Conflict seeking |||||||||||||||| 70%
Need to dominate |||||||||||||||||| 76%
Romantic |||||||||||||| 56%
Avoidant |||||||||||| 50%
Anti-authority |||||||||||||| 56%
Wealth |||||| 30%
Dependency |||||||||| 36%
Change averse |||||||||||||||| 70%
Cautiousness |||||||||||||||| 70%
Individuality |||||||||||| 43%
Sexuality |||||||||||| 43%
Peter pan complex |||||||||||||||| 70%
Physical security |||||||||||||||| 63%
Physical Fitness |||| 17%
Histrionic |||||||||| 36%
Paranoia |||||||||||||||||||| 83%
Vanity |||||||||||||||| 63%
Hypersensitivity |||||||||||||||| 70%
Female cliche |||||| 30%
Take Free Advanced Global Personality Test
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Hogwart's Sorting Hat Quiz

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Thanks for taking the test !

you chose CY - your Enneagram type is SIX.

"I am affectionate and skeptical"

Questioners are responsible, trustworthy, and value loyalty to family,
friends, groups, and causes. Their personalities range broadly from reserved
and timid to outspoken and confrontative.

How to Get Along with Me

  • Be direct and clear.

  • Listen to me carefully.

  • Don't judge me for my anxiety.

  • Work things through with me.

  • Reassure me that everything is OK between us.

  • Laugh and make jokes with me.

  • Gently push me toward new experiences.

  • Try not to overreact to my overreacting.

What I Like About Being a Six

  • being committed and faithful to family and friends

  • being responsible and hardworking

  • being compassionate toward others

  • having intellect and wit

  • being a nonconformist

  • confronting danger bravely

  • being direct and assertive

What's Hard About Being a Six

  • the constant push and pull involved in trying to make up my mind

  • procrastinating because of fear of failure; having little confidence
    in myself

  • fearing being abandoned or taken advantage of

  • exhausting myself by worrying and scanning for danger

  • wishing I had a rule book at work so I could do everything right

  • being too critical of myself when I haven't lived up to my expectations

Sixes as Children Often

  • are friendly, likable, and dependable, and/or sarcastic, bossy, and

  • are anxious and hypervigilant; anticipate danger

  • form a team of "us against them" with a best friend or parent

  • look to groups or authorities to protect them and/or question authority
    and rebel

  • are neglected or abused, come from unpredictable or alcoholic families,
    and/or take on the fearfulness of an overly anxious parent

Sixes as Parents

  • are often loving, nurturing, and have a strong sense of duty

  • are sometimes reluctant to give their children independence

  • worry more than most that their children will get hurt

  • sometimes have trouble saying no and setting boundaries

Renee Baron & Elizabeth Wagele

The Enneagram Made Easy

Discover the 9 Types of People

SanFrancisco, 1994, 161 pages

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Would you rather have chosen:

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    broke my office chair
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    You scored as Angel. Angel: Angels are the guardians of all things, from the smallest ant to the tallest tree. They give inspiration, love, hope, and positive emotion. They live among humans without being seen. They are the good in all things, and if you feel alone, don't fear. They are always watching. Often times they merely stand by, whispering into the ears of those who feel lost. They would love nothing more then to reveal themselves, but in today's society, this would bring havoc and many unneeded questions. Give thanks to all things beautiful, for you are an Angel.













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    Friday, November 03, 2006

    Hypocracy in Action

    How can there ever be a real discussion of issues in this country as long as this sort of crap keeps happening:

    Think Progress: "Ted Haggard, one of the most prominent and politically powerful evangelical pastors in the country, resigned today as president of the 30-million-member National Association of Evangelicals “amid allegations that he carried on a three-year sexual relationship with a male prostitute.” "

    Thursday, November 02, 2006

    A Kindred, Unbalanced, Spirit

    Finally someone with an appreciation of the view for the throne. Reader Ben sends: are two shots from my office's bathroom on the 20th floor.

    And yes, that window closes.

    Wednesday, November 01, 2006


    Wachowskis to Fuel Live-Action 'Speed Racer': "After years of idling, the big-screen, live-action version of 'Speed Racer' is ready to zoom, this time with Larry and Andy Wachowski behind the wheel."


    A little less than a week left until the beginning of the end of the Santorum reign... I don't know why, but every year we do less and every year it gets harder to finish... Not too many trick-or-treaters tonight, guess it was the rain... I wonder what it's going to cost me to stay out of that suit... The municipal clean up guys left the leaves in the street for less than 24 hours, that is amazing... I need a meeting to schedule my meetings... Basketball started tonight, I wonder if I will care this year... Instead of "sanitarium" the new Firefox spell check wants to say "santo rum"... I just discovered the entire season of Battlestar Gallactica on the ONDEMAND, maybe their not always Comcastic after all... I think it almost snowed the other day, there ought to be a law against October snow... There appear to be about a gazillion ways to hard wire an iPod to a car stereo, if you have any stereo but the one that came with my car... Threatening, unsigned letters slipped under a door really is bad form. If you have a complaint, make it... Sometimes I find it difficult to understand what is scary about scary movies, startling maybe, gross - definitely, but scary? It's a movie... I don't care if Halloween is over, it is still too early to have Christmas merchandise out in stores... I just don't know what to say about the Steelers... I think we're doing Thanksgiving here in Pittsburgh, I wonder who else will be around... It's not enough to draw everything, you have to draw everything correctly, and then actually build it that way... Hell or high water I am emptying my inbox by the end of business Friday... Maybe if I gave the Tech Direction class longer to do the purchasing assignment there would be less of a chance of vendors getting irked... I've decided against the Slingbox, I just don't need TV that badly... Not for nothing, but I think - and this is just me - that if you're the President of the United States and you're making some sort of appearance, you could put on a tie... Bill Maher had a very good finishing new rule this week...