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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

I should be starting my NaNo b...

I should be starting my NaNo but I'm going to bed instead. It's almost 3am yet I still feel guilty-I just haven't decided what to write yet!

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered Christians Trying to Save Us: These were not just people "dressed" as Christians,

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered In the middle of it: Ah, West Hollywood on Halloween!

Christians Trying to Save Us

Christians Trying to Save Us, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

These were not just people "dressed" as Christians, they were seriously
preaching to us. I have video to prove it.

In the middle of it

In the middle of it, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

Ah, West Hollywood on Halloween!

Wow, tired feet at the bus sto...

Wow, tired feet at the bus stop to head home from WeHo crazy madhouse, but fun. Check 4 vids at my Utterz page (hopefully).

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered


IMG00398.JPG, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered We're on our way to West Hollywood: I'm The Masked Nano and TheWife is Alexandra

Off to West Hollywood for the ...

Off to West Hollywood for the Halloween festivities. Watch for pics and videos!

New logo on ThePete.Com--check...

New logo on ThePete.Com--check it out--should I keep it? Make sure to reload a couple of times if you don't see the creepy. ^_^

OK, hair is dyed, now I'm just...

OK, hair is dyed, now I'm just messing with my website until it's time to head to West Hollywood for Halloween fun. No idea when that'll be.

Dying my hair while editing th...

Dying my hair while editing the layout of ThePete.Com. Ah, the modern age!

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered

AH, CRAP! It's NaNoWriMo toni...

AH, CRAP! It's NaNoWriMo tonight!! SHIT! I haven't decided what I'm going to write yet!! DAMN!

OK, time to fire up the coffee...

OK, time to fire up the coffee, get my morning emails out of the way, dye the hair, shower and prepare for Halloween in West Hollywood.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Late night trip to CVS for hai...

Late night trip to CVS for hair dye. What? Tomorrow is Halloween. ^_^

TheWife and I are sitting in a...

TheWife and I are sitting in a 'bucks waiting for West LA traffic to die down. I (don't) love LA.


Hey, so did you hear? Turkey has attacked the Kurds in Northern Iraq! What does that mean? It means there is yet ANOTHER war being fought. So, let's
see how many that makes:

1) the US against the insurgents in Iraq
2) the US against the Taleband in Afghanistan
3) the US against Al Qaeda all over the place
4) the Iraqi civil war
5) Turkey against the Kurds

OK, so that's like five wars--how many more do we need before we can call it World War III?

Read more about the Turkish attacks on Kurdistan at .


So, I get this email last night:
There were three incorrect login attempts to access your accounts on Wells Fargo Online.

For your security we have disabled your password. To reset or change your password, please go to wellsfargo. com and click on "Username/Password Help."

If you have any questions related to this email or the change stated above, please call our Online Customer Service specialists at 1-800-956-4442.

Please do not reply to this message.


Wells Fargo Online

Wells Fargo will never send unsolicited email that requires our customers to provide personal or account information. Any unsolicited request for Wells Fargo account information you receive through emails, web sites, or pop-up windows should be considered fraudulent and reported immediately.


The funny thing is that it doesn't seem to actually be spam since the only link they include is to "" which is funny, since, as I said, I don't have a Wells account. So either spammers think I'm stupid or Wells Fargo is stupid.

You know, it really could go either way (because I used to be with Wells Fargo).

Just bought my Halloween costu...

Just bought my Halloween costume! You'll never guess what I'm going as! (Probably because it's so boring...)

I'm up! I'm up! Ugh...I've got...

I'm up! I'm up! Ugh...I've got a couple eBay items to send off and more to list. Then I've got to buy a Halloween costume. Who will I be?

Will the High Cost of Oil and Low Value of the Dollar Effect Gadgets?

ipodoil.jpgIf you've been paying attention to the news at all, you've probably heard about how expensive the cost of a barrel of oil has gotten--topping $94 as I type this. Another thing you may have learned about on the news (though it is less likely) is that the US dollar is at it's weakest in a very, very long time. In fact, a quick check of the exchange rates (again, as I type this) at shows that the USD is still trailing the Canadian dollar by about five cents. Not a lot, but we're still weaker than the Canadian dollar!

So, what does this mean for gadgets? It could mean nothing, but then again, gadgets do contain a lot of plastic, which is a petroleum product and gadgets do cost money to buy. What this may mean eventually for us is more expensive gadgets. In fact, it's a little surprising that we haven't seen at least small price jumps in the years since oil began it's astronomical rise and the dollar's long fall. However, there are certain physical laws when it comes to money and they can't be ignored forever.

Here's how price jumps will work when they come (and they will):

Police Auctions: Gadget Getting on the Cheap

ipod30police.jpgWhile it is kinda creepy, a great way, in theory, to get great deals on gadgets is by seeking out police auctions. Don't worry--these aren't hard to find since they are available online. The most popular one, at least according to Google, is (clever!) which also goes by the domain (even more clever!). It has a good variety of items, too--not just gadgets. Just now, I noticed a great selection of older iPods--several 4g models, a few 1g Shuffles, some Nanos and a Mini or two. There are even a couple 30GB video iPods in their original packaging, both going for under $200 a piece.

Other items available include Karaoke machines, headphones, wireless cameras, PDAs, DVD players, and more. All of the items I saw were under $200.

So, where do all of these electronics come from? Well, this is the kinda creepy part.

Free-Marketing PC Infiltration Via Botnet

loadscc1.jpgWow, repeat that headline to someone from the 19th century and they'd call an exorcist. What it means, in words Stephen Colbert would find offensive, is that unbridled capitalism is allowing more Windows PCs to get hacked thanks to a for-hire network of little hacking robot programs or "bots."

According to a article from yesterday at Yahoo News, "Security researchers studying the latest Internet crime trends have discovered a new Eastern European website that uses a large botnet to infect vulnerable PCs. The operators of the botnet and website charge clients for each successful PC infection."

Pretty cold, huh? And it's much worse than you might think, too.

eBay Auctions for Confiscated Knives, Scissors and More

eBay auctions for confiscated knives, scissors and more

I'm not sure how sanctioned-by-the-NTSA these auctions are, but there seem to be some pretty good prices on knives, multi-tools and more.  All of the items are used (duh) and be sure to not try to take any items you win on a plane with you (also duh).

Consumerist Kit: The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back (Revised Edition)

Consumerist Kit: The Ultimate Consumerist Guide To Fighting Back (Revised Edition)

Some seriously devious tips included.  A MUST read if you've ever had to deal with a corporation not interested in making sure you were happy. 

Monday, October 29, 2007

Bad Gadget Not Sitting Well With You? Fight Back!

Staring at a faulty, broken or dead gadget in your home? Was that gadget found by you in that state upon opening its packaging for the first time? Sure, it happens to all of us gadget-hounds, but what can you do? A few years ago it took me six months to convince Apple to replace an iBook that had died on me three times. Finally, I got a refund (and then a PowerBook) but the steps were meandering and, at the time, impossible to predict.

Well, have no fear--Cory Doctorow, over at BoingBoing.Net points readers to a huge post at all about how you, the consumer, can fight back when anything you've bought is less than what you've expected. The Consumerist post is vast and informative. There are lots of tips here--some are obvious (I remember doing a few of them on instinct during my iBook Adventureâ„¢) and some are not (the one that teaches you "How To Get Your Problem Solved By Posting It To A Company's Stock Forums" looks particularly intriguing).

NBC's Hulu, Just a Stopgap Without Knowing It

hulu.jpgSo, the Internetz are all abuzz today about NBC/Universal's new Hulu video site going beta yesterday. Most people lucky (or connected) enough to get invites are saying it's not nearly as bad as they'd expect a service from a major media corporation to be. Some are actually saying Hulu will seriously threaten sales at Apple's iTunes Store. Meanwhile, the smart people realize that this is no iTunes killer, nor is it a YouTube killer.

The XO Laptop, Cynics Hate It

xo-sad-face.jpgOriginally called "the $100 laptop," the XO is a computer built by the OLPC non-profit started by MIT-guy Nicholas Negroponte with the intent to provide One Laptop Per Child across the entire planet. Lofty goal? Sure. Impossible? Definitely. Still worth trying? What do you think? The problem is--well, what is always the problem when someone tries to do something good without any apparent ulterior motive? People hate you for it. In this case, everyone is going nuts about how the $100 laptop has "just" had its price hiked to $200.

Just yesterday, Jim Finkle wrote an article for Reuters pointing out, quite cynically how "A computer developed for the world's poor children, dubbed "the $100 laptop," has reached a milestone: It is now selling for $200."

The catch is that the XO had it's price hiked a couple of weeks ago and despite that has already been put in front of handfuls of poor kids in poor countries, runs on a tiny amount of power, is environmentally friendly, has a huge battery life, can do all the basic stuff you expect from computers and has inspired copycats like the eeePC from Asus. So why the hate?

Help Free Jammie and the Rest of Us, Too

Free Jammie

When I first heard about that poor woman who had to pay off a $200,000+ fine because a bunch of asshole jurors couldn't stand up for what was right, I wanted to put my fist through something. Well, now we all can help her pay that ridiculously cruel and unusual punishment by buying stuff from her CafePress store. She's got T-shirts, thongs, bags and more. Check out her store--it's for a good cause! Swing by her site's down as I type this, but hopefully that's because blogged about her selling thongs to help pay the astronomical fine.

If I wasn't already saving up for a move to Japan and an XO, I'd already be placing an order. I'll definitely buy a t-shirt or two if someone can just give me some steady paying work!! Anyway, if you've got a job, go buy a shirt.

ABC News: The Video Prince Doesn't Want You to See

ABC News: The Video Prince Doesn't Want You to See

Prince song in the background of a home movie someone uploaded to YouTube=troooouble! Use ... Use to see if you're content is being copied on the 'net. Sadly, you only get 10 hits for free.

Test posting through IMified. ...

Test posting through IMified. Weee!

Heading off to the Post Office...

Heading off to the Post Office to mail off the latest eBay items. It's nice to have money, too bad I can't do anything with it!

Ugh...woke up 30mins ago--stay...

Ugh...woke up 30mins ago--staying up until 6am is hard to do intentionally. Accidentally, I do it all the time--but when I mean to? Yeesh.

Heading to bed after a long ni...

Heading to bed after a long night doing morning 1 of a 2 day trial. Wee! So far, so good. But who knows with creative gigs? Wish me luck!

Cats and Coffee: How OSX Leopard Doesn't Like Java

applenojavalogo.jpgReinforcing the classic pessimistic argument against upgrading, "if it isn't broken don't fix it," early adopters of Apple's OSX "Leopard" are discovering that the operating system won't run Java. Java, in case you weren't aware, is a kind of programming language. The reason people like it so much is because it is cross-platform. That is, it's supposed to be cross-platform.

Now, it turns out that a lot of people actually use Java on Macs. I, myself, use it to manage music on a Sony thumb drive Walkman I picked up on sale. However, programmers who work in Java are now thoroughly screwed until Apple can put out a fix and since Apple isn't used to putting out fixes as often as good old Microsoft is, who knows when a patch will become available?

As a article points out, "Apple marketing monkeys, trying to woo developers to OS X, like to refer to the OS as "the only major consumer operating system that comes complete with a fully configured and ready-to-use Java runtime and development environment.""


Kind of tough when one of the very things you put in bold face on the brochure you end up being unable to deliver.


Sunday, October 28, 2007

Came across an old post of min...

Came across an old post of mine: Turns out the Federal Reserve is on the Internet--the least secure net of all. ^_^

What are they selling with this movie poster?

Seriously, look at the elements in this poster. You've got a fey Dustin Hoffman, an adorable Natalie Portman with a lesbian haircut and a bunch of really unimaginative toys. It's amazing what they're trying to pawn off as fantasy. It's so fantastic, it looks like the crap you've already got in your bedroom, kids! Now pardon your parents they've got to go buy a hideously boring car that they've been convinced is "sporty."

OH and BTW, this is a picture of a bus stop, which is why it's so crappy.

TheWife and TheMe at The Trader Joe's

Isn't she adorable mid-yawn? ^_^

Nip/Cut bus ad

Nip/Cut bus ad, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

Yes, because, in every Bible I've glanced through every angel wears hot

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered Nip/Cut bus ad: Yes, because, in every Bible I've glanced through every angel wea

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered TheWife and TheMe at The Trader : Isn't she adorable mid-yawn? ^_^

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered Racistish food packaging?: Interesting how the Mexican woman is a painting and th

Brain still smushed under the ...

Brain still smushed under the 600lb woman that is Attack of the Clones. Not sure what to do with myself for the rest of the night...

@tranism you just put the &quo...

@tranism you just put the "@" in front of a user name and they'll see it. Or you can send a direct (private) message thru a profile page.

Just watched Star Wars Episode...

Just watched Star Wars Episode 2 with the treatment--even then it feels like a 600 pound woman just sat on my face for 2 hours.

Twittering from TJ's! Time fo...

Twittering from TJ's! Time for groceries! Yay food! <... <--my latest auctions ending in 3 hours. Check out 'em out, please! Thanks!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

At TimToon's watching bad movi...

At TimToon's watching bad movies like Mac and Me and Tomb Raider... SHUDDER.

Late to TheSaturdaily. Oversle...

Late to TheSaturdaily. Overslept due to alarm and wife not waking me :( Also no TSD in H'wood 2day-in Palms instead.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Watching the original Star War...

Watching the original Star Wars (LaserDisc source!) on my iPod while I set up my PB's external display. Not sure if that's a good idea...

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered A passion for all that's goodTM: TheWife and I make a late night trip to the supe

A passion for all that's goodTM

TheWife and I make a late night trip to the supermarket and discover
that Ralph's has "A passion for all that's good.TM" Gotta love when a
corporation TMs a sentence like that.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Another chunk o'time not spent...

Another chunk o'time not spent doing what I had planned to. The good news is that there's a good reason-but the jinx gods may listening...

Thursday, October 25, 2007

L: 90024 trying out Twittermap...

L: 90024 trying out Twittermaps. Anyone else use this neat little thing?

Come on Now, Web Designers, Enough with the Clutter

I know my site isn't perfectly designed but I've seen some sites recently that boggle my mind. One of the things I always wrestle with is the fact that I have so much content I want to present but can never come up with a truly orderly way to present all of my content. This is not an excuse for a cluttered design, but it is the reality for my site and plenty of others, too. Still, some site designers seem to think of their sites as a piece of graph paper and plug stuff into every damn square and think it looks great (or at best, fails to realize how terrible their design looks). Take, for instance This website has a some great content. I've used the dude's code and WP plugins before, but have a look at this screencap:

Does that look like a design that he thought out at all? Again, I know I'm not perfect, but just look at that! "Simple Thoughts" my ass.

And it's a shame because the content, itself, that the designer is presenting is good stuff. It just deserves a better thought out presentation.

Then, there is This site is so cluttered I have no idea where to look first and the font is so small, I actually find it awkward to read. Based on the screencap below you can see that the font is readable, but it does feel like it adds to the clutter of the design. Have a look:

Gah, that's ugly. There's no breathing room--there's just content on top of content. While it isn't as cluttered as, it is very busy--just too much to decide from and the design elements don't really make any suggestions as to where you should look first.

It's sites like these that make the World Wide Web a difficult to navigate. I mean, look at those screencaps! They tire you out!

This is one of the reasons my site has had so many different looks over the years--I always look at it with a critical eye and think I can do better. As I type this, I'm contemplating another redesign. I want this to be the final redesign. Of course, I said that six months ago and six months before that. Regardless, I think I've got a good idea for a more orderly layout and I'm going to go for it. I hope the designers of the above-mentioned sites will do the same. It's great to have good content, but if it's delivered poorly, you might as well have no content at all.

On my way home--got nothing do...

On my way home--got nothing done. An old friend of mine stopped by the Boba Loca and we spent the whole time catching up.


Check out the below excerpt nicked from an October 24, 2007 post at that reported on how Fox news claimed Al Qaeda could have caused the SoCal wildfires:
DOOCY: You’re looking live at pictures from San Diego — Santiago, CA, where the wildfires continue. We were talking earlier in today’s telecast with Adam Housley and apparently police officers in a hovering helicopter saw a guy starting one of these fires. And Allison Allison Camerota, an FBI memo from late in June of this year is popping up this morning and it is ominous.

CAMEROTA: This actually has happened for many years in the past as well. An FBI sent out to local law-enforcement said that an al Qaeda detainee had given them some information that the next wave of terrorism could be in the form of setting wild fires. Adam Housley said lots of people on his block were asking him about it. Obviously this is something the FBI has looked into. They will continue to investigate it.

Wow, this is a bit funnier than the folks blaming the wildfires on global warming!

Now, it would be one thing if Fox cited real evidence, but as with most of the media, they're just parroting what the USG is telling us rather than doing, you know, their jobs and researching to find out if there actually IS evidence of AQ playing with matches.

Likewise, blaming the fires on global warming is equally absurd. Perhaps the SoCal climate is unusually dry because of GW, but a dry climate alone doesn't cause fires. And, NEWSFLASH, it's already pretty dry out here in California--in fact, we're known for being, uh, what are those things called again? Oh yeah--a desert!

So, if we could get both extremes to just SHUT THE HELL UP and look at REALITY, perhaps we can actually take care of these damn fires.

Special thanks to TheJen for TheLink to this story. ^_^

Back at Boba Loca, read to EDI...

Back at Boba Loca, read to EDIT SOME SITE! I'm going to *try* to redesign my site one last time in an attempt to make it look more orderly.

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered In Best Buy w/$10 to spend, but.: There's nothing I want!! Well, I'd like an iPo

In Best Buy w/$10 to spend, but.

There's nothing I want!! Well, I'd like an iPod Classic, but 0 Best
Buy rewards certificate won't cover that :(
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Just so the iPod Touch at Best...

Just so the iPod Touch at Best Buy--it's the 1st time I saw it in person. Is it wrong that I got a little aroused?

OK, awake and functioning. Ti...

OK, awake and functioning. Time to blog for a bit of pay, after checking mail and then head down to the PO and then to Boba Loca. Too hot.

@jo yes, I've been getting cal...

@jo yes, I've been getting calls from strange numbers and so I've set all calls to the "other" group to go to VM. Lame, but it works.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Gotta Work on This Layout

Sorry about the layout--ever since I added the Voxant video at the bottom of the sidebar everything's been a bit out of whack. I'm working on it! Thanks for your patience!


Wow, this was kind of funny. I was looking over my stats (I use the SlimStats plugin for WordPress) and spotted something a little disturbing. Check out this screencap to see how someone found their way to ThePete.Com:

Yep. Someone looking for an "Atom Bomb Design" found my site through What's even more disturbing is that I totally forgot that I actually posted atom bomb plans a couple years ago to show how lousy security was for this kind of thing.


OK, just kidding. I really didn't post plans that would allow you to design your own atom bomb, but I did blog about how you didn't need to be a scientist in order to come up with your own design for an atom bomb. And yes, there's something even more disturbing: that post has been viewed over 200 times.

Of course, that's nothing compared to the 164191 times my post "Kari Byron Pics and More!" has been viewed, but hey, we can't all be horny for smart, cute-as-hell women who look adorable in short, plaid skirts, can we?

Ate my potatoes. THEY WERE GO...

Ate my potatoes. THEY WERE GOOD, GOD DAMMIT!

Potatoes baking... sooo hungry...

Potatoes baking... sooo hungry... potatoes baking...NOT FAST ENOUGH! BAKE, potatoes, BAKE! BAKE WITH ALL OF YOUR MIGHT!

On my home from Boba Loca but ...

On my home from Boba Loca but stopping off at the BK for a quick dose of carbs so I don't pass out on the bus & miss my stop.

OC Weekly: Rogue Statesman Dana Rohrabacher

Orange County Weekly - Rogue Statesman

From a September 5, 2002 article at linked to in an October 24, 2007 post at
"Listen! Hold on!" said Rohrabacher. "I am a bigger expert on Afghanistan than any member of Congress."

As a speechwriter and special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, Rohrabacher played a key role in the late 1980s getting money and arms, including U.S.-made Stinger missiles, to Afghan holy warriors, then at war with the Soviet Union. He once bragged of being "certainly a major player" in a coalition inside the White House that supported anyone "opposing Communist domination around the world." In November 1988, he even visited the Afghan front lines during a five-day hike with an armed mujahideen patrol in eastern Afghanistan. Among those fighters he encountered, he later recalled, were "Saudi Arabians under a crazy commander named bin Laden."


A November/December 1996 article in Washington Report on Middle East Affairs reported, "The potential rise of power of the Taliban does not alarm Rohrabacher" because the congressman believes the "Taliban could provide stability in an area where chaos was creating a real threat to the U.S." Later in the article, Rohrabacher claimed that:

  • Taliban leaders are "not terrorists or revolutionaries."
  • Media reports documenting the Taliban's harsh, radical beliefs were "nonsense."
  • The Taliban would develop a "disciplined, moral society" that did not harbor terrorists.
  • The Taliban posed no threat to the U.S.

Although he continues to describe himself as an expert on Afghan history and politics, Rohrabacher was obviously dead wrong on all counts.

Evidence of Rohrabacher's attempts to conduct his own foreign policy became public on April 10, 2001, not in the U.S., but in the Middle East. On that day, ignoring his own lack of official authority, Rohrabacher opened negotiations with the Taliban at the Sheraton Hotel in Doha, Qatar, ostensibly for a "Free Markets and Democracy" conference. There, Rohrabacher secretly met with Taliban Foreign Minister Mullah Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil, an advisor to Mullah Omar. Diplomatic sources claim Muttawakil sought the congressman's assistance in increasing U.S. aid—already more than $100 million annually—to Afghanistan and indicated that the Taliban would not hand over bin Laden, wanted by the Clinton administration for the fatal bombings of two American embassies in Africa and the USS Cole. For his part, Rohrabacher handed Muttawakil his unsolicited plans for war-torn Afghanistan. "We examined a peace plan," he laconically told reporters in Qatar.



"{Rohrabacher} says the Taliban are devout traditionalists—not terrorists or revolutionaries. He believes a Taliban takeover {of Afghanistan} would be a positive development."

—Washington Report on Middle East Affairs, November/December 1996 issue

This is a great example of how a politician tries to cover his own stupidity in supporting these fundamentalists in the interest of cash with rhetorical bull shit.

When are we going to put our foot down with these people? They sure don't seem too inclined to do it to themselves and it's this kind of stuff that America was founded to avoid in the first place. Leaders taking advantage for personal gain.

Government's job should be simply to protect and to serve the people. Not to protect and serve corporations or their own bank accounts. Capitalism has no built-in failsafes. It will eat itself alive if it is allowed to run free for too long with no moral control. Letting senators and congresspeople even speak with lobbyists is what causes this kind of thing.

These people in Washington who think it's OK to deal with any kind of "freedom fighters" in another country are seriously amoral schizophrenic sociopaths. These aren't politicians from other countries--they're warriors. Dana, you're out of your element with these guys. The ONLY reason you didn't end up dead was because they assumed you had some kind of power. If they knew who you really were they might not have posed for a photo with you. They might have shot you with something else.

Ah, thank God for the "re...

Ah, thank God for the "revisions" tab on gDocs. I was about to be very upset. Thanks to TheWife for pointing that out.

Holy shit, Google Docs just at...

Holy shit, Google Docs just ate the last 30 minutes of writing I just did. WTF is that?? I thought I could trust Google to not do this.

Weee, it's so hot thanks to th...

Weee, it's so hot thanks to the fires/Santa Ana winds that we can't stand staying in our apt, so TheWife and I are down at the Boba Loca.

Forget Knight-Ridder, try @nat...

Forget Knight-Ridder, try @nateritter! I don't know how you're keeping up the microblogging, without your thumbs falling off! You ROCK!


The last time I blogged about the better senator from my current home state of California, Barbara Boxer was fighting spyware instead of the Bush administration. See, I'm on her mailing list and every so often, she likes to email me to let me know how she's spending my tax dollars and fighting for America. Back in July, it was spyware she was concerned with.

Well, I just got another email from her yesterday and for once, I'm not disappointed in her. Here's what Barbara Boxer wrote:
Dear Friend:

Fires continue to rage across southern California. I am working to make sure that California has needed resources from all federal agencies. We need firefighting resources and equipment as well as assistance for the thousands of people who have been left homeless or evacuated. I am working to see that these resources get to California as soon as possible.

I hope you will use my Senate website as a resource in the days ahead, both for yourself and for any impacted family or friends. It will have constantly updated information about where fires are burning, evacuation centers, and the federal resources that will be made available in the days ahead. You can find my fire feature at


Barbara Boxer
United States Senator

Isn't that cool how she called me "Friend"? I'm so happy she recognizes how close we are.

I'm also happy she's actually doing her job and providing a useful service to the people of California. Of course, when a giant wild fire burns down a third of Southern California it's not that hard to do the right thing and, you know, provide services that help people in this difficult time.

Of course, where will Boxer be when the insurance companies are nickel-and-dime-ing the victims of the fires?

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

So, I log into Second Life for...

So, I log into Second Life for the 1st time in 2 months to find that my boat house and everything inside is gone. What the hell is that??

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered Holy crap! It's a Smart Car!: Just saw this from the bus. And we were just Utter

Holy crap! It's a Smart Car!

Just saw this from the bus. And we were just Uttering about this,
weren't we?

In other news, some ash just fell on my Sidekick's keyboard (from the

Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered Heading to the post office: Ah life in LA without a car. It's frakkin' hot out!

Heading to the post office

Ah life in LA without a car. It's frakkin' hot out!
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Hit the afternoon dead zone fo...

Hit the afternoon dead zone for the bus by my apt so I'm walking down to mail off the last of my auctions from last week.

900k+ Evacuated from SD

More news from Twitterer NateRitter:

Or the article he links to in his Twitter pictured above:

NateRitter's Twitter stream:
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered 900k Evacuated from SD: More news from Twitterer NateRitter:


Twitter / nate ritter: Confirmed 950k people, 350k houses evacuated

Twitter / nate ritter:  Confirmed 950k people, 350k houses evacuated

Holy crap.  My little problems with the bank are nothing. 

Banks suck. I left Wells for t...

Banks suck. I left Wells for these games, now UBOC plays them too. Oh yeah, the capitalist system works REAL well. ACTUAL, choices, please?

T-Mob puts a hold on $ the cha...

T-Mob puts a hold on $ the charge goes thru but the hold doesn't go away. I spend get overdrawn get mad fees UBOC says it's not a bank error

I just uttered http://tinyurl....

I just uttered A MEDAL FOR NATE RITTER: I'd just like to give a big shout out and a friggin' MED


I'd just like to give a big shout out and a friggin' MEDAL to Twitterererer NateRitter for doing the amazing job he's doing micro-blogging the San Diego fires. He's been providing seriously useful information all day today and yesterday, thus removing any need for me to use CNN to find out what's going on down there. If you're on Twitter, follow him at

This guy is a great example of how much better news can be done by "regular" folks.

Forgot to add a link to the Flickr pool of SD fire pics:

Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Yeah, I'm awake--been so for a...

Yeah, I'm awake--been so for about 2 hours. Answering emails, ebay inquiries, BTW: <--my ebay auctions :)

@nateritter still going strong...

@nateritter still going strong! Kick ass, dude! You seriously deserve a medal!

Twitter / Bloggers Blog: Posted a list of California wildfire resources

Twitter / Bloggers Blog: Posted a list of California wildfire resources

We're in the middle of an amazing revolution.  As half of SoCal (where I live) is on fire, I've been getting more and better information from microbloggers like NateRitter than I have from CNN online or off.  It's almost like we're going back in time to the era of town criers.  The above link is from microblogger and Twitterer BloggersBlog who normally covers blogging in general, but decided to mb on something else for a bit. 

Now it's time for some more &q...

Now it's time for some more "Welcome to the NHK" aka "NHK よろしく" and then to sleep. Man it's HOT...still smells like ash, too...

Did come across some very old ...

Did come across some very old mp3 mixes, including the last 32MBs I had on my old Diamond Rio before I sold it on eBay many eons ago. So sad

Applied for 2 paid blogging gi...

Applied for 2 paid blogging gigs & got some other work done. Doing LOTS of backing up after losing 400+GB. I was ABOUT to back that up, too!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Doors and windows closed, yet ...

Doors and windows closed, yet I can still smell ash. Sure would be nice if the USG. could throw some funds at dealing w/domestic disasters.

@nateritter is there an Oscar ...

@nateritter is there an Oscar for microblogging? Because you should get it my friend. You're going to get thumbitis from all these twitters.

In line at the Post Office wai...

In line at the Post Office waiting to send off the 1st 2 auction items. As usual, there's like 2 people working the counter.

Anybody know anyone who's micr...

Anybody know anyone who's microblogging the Malibu fires? I'd head up there but I don't own a car. :\

Yay! 1st wave of auctions ende...

Yay! 1st wave of auctions ended & I sold everything. Already have 2 payments, I hope I get the other 3 today so I make one trip to the P.O.

@CaliforniaBlogN Yeah, I can s...

@CaliforniaBlogN Yeah, I can seriously smell the ash in the air. It gives the smog a nice, woody texture, don't you think?

Just thought I'd mention that ...

Just thought I'd mention that I've got some auctions about to go in the next 20 mins or so. Anyone a Star Trek fan?

Homemade Helicopter: Nigerian Man Builds Working Helicopters from Junk

Homemade Helicopter: Nigerian Man Builds Working Helicopters from Junk

Too damn cool!  Too bad this sort of thing wouldn't even be legal in the US.

Still, it really captures the DIY spirit.  I'm sooo jealous!

Wow-can seriously smell ash in...

Wow-can seriously smell ash in the air, here in Westwood. Smells like the fires are getting worse. Glad I live in a big wooden building. o_O I Ju... I Just uttered(Smart Car crash video):

With all the chatter about the S

Smart Car crash video

With all the chatter about the Smart Car in the Utterverz this morning I thought people might enjoy seeing what a high-speed crash looks like in one.

It's a little scary, but I still want one eventually. It's supposed to get like 60mpg.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Wow--what's up with this? I pa...

Wow--what's up with this? I pass out at 4:40am and I'm wide awake before 9:40. Whatever, I'm just going to run with it. Coffee=back up plan.

@adora--good luck! Haven't not...

@adora--good luck! Haven't noticed any ash falling from the sky in Los Angeles yet-but I won't be surprised. Hope everyone is OK down there!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Damn, I just HAD to jot down a...

Damn, I just HAD to jot down a few ideas for a refined layout for ThePete.Com that could be adaptable to suit all of my sites. BED TIME! じゃ!

Resisting natural urges to wor...

Resisting natural urges to work on useless things into the night-I am grabbing my iPod, going to bed and falling asleep to anime. すごいね!

OK, it's almost 2AM time to wr...

OK, it's almost 2AM time to write for HypeHole.Com and go to sleep. Haha-as if I am ever in bed this early! I'm sure I'll give in to toys...

Reality sux @cherishhellfire--...

Reality sux @cherishhellfire--I subscribe to Imagination Daily! :) @lisarein Comcast is blocking BitTor & de Gray is one trippy dude, huh? I Ju... I Just uttered(Out of the Apartment!): I've been watching an anime series called "Welcome to the NHK". It's about

Out of the Apartment!

I've been watching an anime series called "Welcome to the NHK". It's about a guy who is a jobless, college-drop out who spends days on end inside his apartment making up lies for himself and others so that he doesn't have to go out. The Japanese have a word for this kind of person: "hikikimori."

I think it's extra ironic that I started watching this show in the middle of a period in which my income is very spotty and all of it stems from work I do at home. I could go back to temping, but I don't. I hardly ever leave my apartment and until today I hadn't really cared. I think that show might be getting to me!

Anyway, so here's the picture of me and my creepy wife being creepy out on the town--Westwood, CA to be exact--a place we've lived for FAR too long and are far too bored of. But, we're both pretty broke, so here we stay... for now.
Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

TheWife is taking me to dinner...

TheWife is taking me to dinner at Socko's in Westwood. I'm a cheap date :D After this it's back home for! <... <--5 new auctions post and 5 auctions from last week end tomorrow--have a look! Thanks!

eBay auction: Hanna Barbera Stuff from ThePete!

Hey there, as you may recall, I'm planning to move to Japan and I need to sell as much of my stuff as I can to make the move easier and to pay for the move. HELP ME DO IT! Every week I'll be listing items on eBay--I just listed a stack of new auctions and there's still one more day to bid on last week's stuff--so check out my auctions now for cool Star Trek, animation, Hanna-Barbera, Duckman and more stuff! Here's a sampling from the batch of auctions I just posted, it's a STACK of models, backgrounds and other great Hanna Barbera stuff I picked up while working there back in the 1990s. Have a look at just some of it:
eBay: Hanna Barbera stuff auction!

There's a lot more stuff I have up for auction, too. So, please check out my auctions!

Sorry for the hard sell, but I need to raise that money! Thanks for supporting me!

(You can also click the red "support" links around the site, buy books, DVDs or anime from ThePete's Amazon store, head over to ThePete's CafePress store and buy ThePete-brand T-shirts, mugs and more, or just click on any Google ads to help support me, too!)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Just finished posting pics of ...

Just finished posting pics of my latest custom toy: my favorite yet!

ThePeteToy: ThePeteMunny!


Just finished up another ThePeteToy! This one is ThePeteMunny, which is based on ThePeteMan who's first adventure you can read in the first issue of ThePete.Comic, which you can buy at it's very own CafePress store!

Check out pictures of ThePeteMunny by clicking on the screencap of ThePeteMunny's photoset at my Flickr:


Bill O'Reilly and non-detailed...

Bill O'Reilly and non-detailed oriented parents freak out about Portland, Maine Birth Control for Kidz:


So, parents are in a tizzie because some folks in Maine decide their kids deserve to have the option of contraception. People like Bill O'Reilly who make their living off of being alarmist had this to say in a story headlined "Birth Control Pills for 11-Year-Old Girls..." :
At the King Middle School in Portland, Maine, medical workers are allowed to give the girls as young as 11 birth control pills without their parents knowing about it.

The school board in Portland voted 7-2 to make that happen. The rationale is that some kids will have sex and the school must try to reduce pregnancies. Also, parents must sign a waiver allowing their children to receive medical care at the school.

However, that medical care is kept secret from the parents, in the birth control area.

Now giving sixth grade girls the pill is dumb. It doesn't protect them from disease and tacitly says that sex at that young age is understandable.

This is foolish, ridiculous, and irresponsible. But in the secular progressive world. The SP doctrine is to quote, "empower children" and downgrade parental authority because some parents are bad.

Right now seven states: Connecticut, Hawaii, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington and New Hampshire have no parental notification laws concerning abortion. That means that if young girls in those states get pregnant, Planned Parenthood can set up the abortion and parents will never know.

That's actually pretty funny, Bill, but WRONG.

I was surfing around this new site I signed up for called, and found a post by an utterer (??) called PixelFish describing how kids do need permission to get birth control services according to an article covering the Portland, Maine birth control for kidz story at Here's a cutting:
At King Middle School, birth control prescriptions will be given after a student undergoes a physical exam by a physician or nurse practitioner, said Lisa Belanger, who oversees Portland's student health centers.

Students treated at the centers must first get written parental permission, but under state law such treatment is confidential, and students decide for themselves whether to tell their parents about the services they receive.

Typical Bill O'Reilly--not very clear on the specifics. Kids can not tell their parents about the abortion, but to be treated in any way, they need to have their parents' permission. So, the abortion can stay secret, but the parents are still going to know something's up if the 'rentals care at all. If they don't want their kid to be having an abortion, then they should be paying more attention. I'm using "abortion" here because that's the word Bill used.

The point is, relax, folks! The set up is actually pretty reasonable. It leaves the kids with the responsibility to decide for themselves.

CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Treating kids with respect!!

Of course, the parents can stop it any time they want by revoking their permission. So, ultimately the parents do have control.

@TimToon just IMed me asking m...

@TimToon just IMed me asking me if he should Twitter that he just scratched his ass. My reply: "DEFINITELY".

Only 40 gigs out of 400+ were ...

Only 40 gigs out of 400+ were saved when I my 500 gig HD bought it. I can't begin to name all of the video I lost. Lots of rare stuff, too.


So, I was following a blog chain earlier today and eventually came to discover Ms. Dewey. Ms. Dewey is a search engine that plays upon the heterosexual male (and lesbian) urges in the hopes that said urges will get you to use Micro$oft's search engine more. How are they doing this? Well, have a look at the gimmick:

Yeah... forget "Jeeves"--this search engine is HOT!

Seriously--I spent about an hour entering different things into, uh, her (!) to see what she'd do and how she'd react to everything from polite questions to rude demands (hey, just being honest about my hikikimori ways!). Now, once you run out of lewd things to ask Ms. Dewey (which already assumes you've run out of polite questions) you naturally wonder "damn, this chick is sooo beautiful--I wonder if she's been nude in any movies!"

So, you Google Ms. Dewey (no, you don't MSN Live search her) and discover that Ms. Dewey's real name is Janina Gavankar and YES Janina Gavankar HAS been nude in movies!! Well, she's nude in at least one movie, called Cup of My Blood. She was also on episodes of The L Word (!) and has done a handful of other films. She also has a vaguely Jessica Alba thing going on, though she looks much more mature (a good thing in my mind).

So, here's where Micro$oft's little gimmick won't pay off. The search engine in this search engine is completely tangential to the whole "asking the hot woman to take off her clothes" thing. Like I said, to learn more about her, I didn't just do a search on her right there, I actually opened another tab in Firefox and googled her. Why? Because--when I search, I don't want hot chicks. Well, that's usually what I'm searching for--if I find one before I even start looking, what's to keep me looking?

See your problem Micro$oft?

Now, if you're looking for Ms. Dewey pictures or Janina Gavankar pictures, you've come to the right place. I'm including my favorites from my hour with her below (please feel free to click on those google ads to pay for the bandwidth you're using up--thanks!):

The Marble of Doom

 The Marble of Doom

Ah, yes, I've seen that damn thing spin far more than I care to admit!  But hey, it's stil better than the alternative... 

Luckily, it seems like it will...

Luckily, it seems like it will all sort itself out in a few days--but still, my money is held hostage until Tues. Thanks, UBOC!

Damn financial system! T-Mobil...

Damn financial system! T-Mobile charged me and UBOC didn't let the funds off hold even after the charge posted. This overdrew me. BASTARDS!

The bank screwed up and now I'...

The bank screwed up and now I'm overdrawn. I love defending myself against their mistakes--the sickly feeling in my stomach is SO much fun.

Friday, October 19, 2007

GOOD news: the ancient recover...

GOOD news: the ancient recovery software I'm using on my XP MacBook install is actually saving some of the 400+GBs of video I lost. WHEW.

Back from a nice stress-expell...

Back from a nice stress-expelling walk with TheWife. It's Friday night and I should be relaxing. Can't make TheSaturdaily I've learned :(

TheSaturdaily is on schedule f...

TheSaturdaily is on schedule for tomorrow--I'll be at the Groundwork on the corner of Sunset and Cahuenga at 12:30pm. WRITING IS FUN!

OK, messed around with the Red...

OK, messed around with the Redoable theme from and really dig it, but it's not quite ready for primetime. Soon, though...

@cherishhellfire Awesome--glad...

@cherishhellfire Awesome--glad to hear it! Now you can have a great weekend. Nothing like a tumor to bring a person down, you know?


Do not edit this page


Do not edit this page


As we watch the metaphorical boats of all other nations rise, one wonders, regarding globalism, what happens to American boats?

We are told that globalism is NEEDED by America--Tom Friedman asked on Colbert Report last week: "Where else are we going to sell the stuff we make?"

OK, you asshole, here's two things:

1) WHAT stuff?? We only make ideas in the US of the 21st Century--almost all of our production facilities have been outsourced to other countries!!

2) WHY do we have to sell to other countries? Why can't we just keep our stuff here? There's no genetic program, no bit of our DNA that demands we sell our stuff to other countries. So, why do globalism fucks like you keep pushing it?

SERIOUSLY, I want to know: Where are the benefits of globalism to American citizens?

I don't think they're anywhere.

I think that what globalism does is make the rich more rich and us more like slaves, or serfs living on the feud--as in we just might be living in a new feudal period.

@cherishhellfire YAY! I knew ...

@cherishhellfire YAY! I knew you'd rock the no-cancer-uh-thingy? Anyway, I'm psyched for ya--so what's that thing in your head then?

Experimenting with themes for ...

Experimenting with themes for my site that are NOT designed by me. I think mine always end up too cluttered.

ThePete Utterz!

Hey there, just signed up for a cool new site called It's kind of like what used to do, only it allows you to post audio, video and text from your phone via a number or email. It's a pretty sweet set up. I'm sending this from their website but plan on testing out posting by phone later today (assuming I actually go out). So, now you can find me at on Utterz. Yeah, that URL's a little chunky, but ah well.

The attached audio file is just to prove I could do it--and to make me giggle.

Mobile post sent by thepete using Utterz Replies.

Wow--I'm so not understanding ...

Wow--I'm so not understanding Drupal. I must not have an engineer's mind. This is about as intuitive as a rock. I'm giving up.

Who says Drupal is easy? Not ...

Who says Drupal is easy? Not me, that's for sure. With so many people using it, I thought I'd be able to teach myself like I did with WP.

I learned a new Japanese word ...

I learned a new Japanese word a couple of nights ago: ひききもり It's pronounced hikikimori--it means "loser who stays indoors". Which is me. :(

Woke up about 45 mins ago to w...

Woke up about 45 mins ago to wife napping. She brought me a boba coffee. My wife is awesome! Mmm...boba coffeeeeee...

Thursday, October 18, 2007

I just realized: Thursday nigh...

I just realized: Thursday nights are supposed to be my short story-writing nights. Damn--gotta get this shit under control. Need to WRITE.

Ugh, today is another day for ...

Ugh, today is another day for the mismanagement history books. I think I should put "learn to focus" on my 43things account...

@biz I just found a charge for...

@biz I just found a charge for Vesta Real Estate in my account via Mint, also--any idea what that is?

Venting about $90 oil and the ...

Venting about $90 oil and the shitty US economy--GO READ! and Digg and stuff, please. Want some feedback. Thanks!

$90 Oil Means Our Economy is In Trouble--GOT IT?

So, I've blogged a LOT about our failing economy. In the beginning I tried to play it cool and unbiased--I knew what logic seemed to be telling me, but in the face of the TV's talking heads and liars like Greenspan and Bush telling us that all was fine with our economy, I felt that if I blatantly criticized the economy anyone who didn't know me would think I was biased.

Of course, what no one likes to admit is that knowledge makes you biased.

Since those earlier posts, however, I've come across more and more evidence that the shit really is starting to come down--it's a trickle, of course, but it is coming down. The weak-ass dollar is one bit of evidence (as I type this, one US dollar buys .97 Canadian dollars). The abundance of closed up brickandmortar stores in Los Angeles (where I live) suggests people are spending less on things and one of the more recent personal discovers I've made is that prices have gone up distinctly just over the past couple of months on everything.

See, my temp job ended back at the end of July and while I've been looking for work, TheWife has been picking up the financial slack by paying bills and buying groceries--so I haven't been watching the prices. However, just last week I got a paycheck for a short temp gig I did and was able to buy some groceries on my own for the first time in a month or so. One of my staples is store-brand orange juice. Approaching the juice section in my supermarket last week gave me a surprise.

The last time I bought OJ, back in July (and for months/years before that) I remember spending around $5 for a gallon of "Kroger's" brand "Homestyle" Orange juice. Sometimes it was even cheaper if you buy two half-gallon bottles. Either way, I usually spent between $4.50 and $5 for a gallon. Last week, I paid $5.50.

Now, $5.50 isn't that big of a price for OJ but fifty cents is kind of a big jump for a price to make. Are we having weather problems? No. Are shippers on strike? I don't think so. So, why the hell has OJ jumped so far in the past month?

I've noticed that most of my staples have gone up in price as well. The price jumps haven't been as extreme, but they're up nonetheless.

Of course, the most depressing jump in recent days has been oil. As I type this DrudgeReport.Com links to an article where is reporting that the price oil went past $90 per barrel today. At this point I'd just like to say one thing:


We need to get off that shit for a DOZEN OTHER REASONS on TOP of global warming.

I am so glad I don't own a car. Of course, because of my job situation I can't afford a bus pass this month, but hey, I'm sure those will go up in price soon, too. I think I'll start saving for a skateboard.

So, this is what a failing economy looks like. When moron-kiss-asses like Fred Thompson go out there and say that “I see no reason to think we’re headed for an economic downturn,” it makes me want to reach through the TV, grab these idiots by the collar and demand to know: "WHY THE HELL ARE YOU LYING TO US?"

They're lying to us, dear reader, because they need us to not put up a fight as the rich stay richer and we stay their effective slaves.

See, I'd be cool with globalism if only we Americans actually saw some benefit to it.

Instead, we see our jobs vanish, wages drop, currency value follow our wages (and drop), prices rise, and our quality of life lower.

Where the fuck are our leaders leading us?? sure se... sure seems superior to Tumblr. Still no plugin that will pull posts directly into my WP db :(

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Finished work on a custom toy-...

Finished work on a custom toy--now I'm eyeing re-editing my novel and booting into XP to sic my recovery software on a dead 500GB HD.

Done with the paid blogging fo...

Done with the paid blogging for tonight-now it's time to custom-toy for a bit and then get to fixing my novel. Some work on ThePete.Com l8r.

@fredericl I should have liste...

@fredericl I should have listened to you--I forgot why I haven't been a fan of their music--until I listened to their newest album. Yeesh.

Just bought that Radiohead alb...

Just bought that Radiohead album for £1.45 (tax inc). But I just realized it will cost more than that when my bank charges for paying in £.

10 Questions

10 Questions

This site is basically like that YouTube/CNN ask the candidate a question site. Going to have to shoot something for this!

Stopped by the store run by th...

Stopped by the store run by the guy behind They're in a HUGE store. If you're in LA, check 'em out!

Just listening to Paul Krugman...

Just listening to Paul Krugman on today's podcast. Nice to hear things that makes sense from an expert.

to-do list? Or fix my book an...

to-do list? Or fix my book and re-upload it/re-order it re-wait another week? There's always something! Ah well. This, too, shall pass...

@fredericl Good point on seesm...

@fredericl Good point on seesmic being in alpha still. I'm sure they'll work it out before too long.

Just got back from the PO Box-...

Just got back from the PO Box--proof of novel *was* there, but has a gutter big enough to find bodies in. So, no go. 3rd time's the charm!

@cherrishhellfire Good point a...

@cherrishhellfire Good point about the corn. I like corn, too. GWB, not at all. And who knows? Maybe it'll help him make better choices.

@fredericl Got your last seesm...

@fredericl Got your last seesmic going in Safari (sorry about the rain!) but in OSX Firefox I still get blank :( Maybe I need a new Flash?

@fredericl I get a blank page ...

@fredericl I get a blank page when I go to your Seesmic post :( Do I need to be logged in?

OK-shower then show Alexander ...

OK-shower then show Alexander the rough cut & then off to the PO Box to check for the proof of my novel. Then: TO-DO list. TODAY I'll do it!

@cherishhellfire Goddamn--kick...

@cherishhellfire Goddamn--kick ass, woman! WILL that mass in your brain to the fuckin' corn field!! Make it NOT exist. Because I said so.


OK, so for a couple years now, Nicholas Negroponte (or as I like to call him: Nicky Blackpoint) has been hyping his "$100 laptop." The idea was that he could design a lappie that would be cheap and open-source enough to come in at around a hundred smackers--the goal then was to convince third-world governments to buy these puppies and pass 'em out to kids, one per. NickNeg (as all the cool "blogger" types call him) came up with this non-profit called "One Laptop Per Child" or OLPC (no relation to UMPC). This was more hype, sadly, since there was no chance that one lappie could possibly reach every child in any country, let alone every country. Oh, did I mention that the hundred dollar laptop is now called the XO?

Yeah, that's because he couldn't get it cheap enough, so it's the two-hundred dollar laptop. I think that price is pretty reasonable considering what the thing actually is. Check out a pic:

It's a kid-sized, lappie with the following specs:

7.5 inch display
433 Mhz processor (!)
256MB RAM (!!)
1GB flash storage (!!!)
NO disk drives of any kind (!!!!!!!)
Built-in webcam and mic
wifi g/mesh networking
3 USB ports
Headphone and Mic jacks
an SD slot

You know what? It's actually pretty close to a UMPC, really. It doesn't come with Windows, but is aaallll open source--it's OS is called Sugar (!) and is a version of Linux, I think I read someplace.

Anyway, you can see how flippin' cool the little green-and-white guy is and taking those specs into consideration really kind of makes my mouth water a little. The catch here is that this little daikaiju isn't meant for us rich folks in the US of Rich. It's meant for third world kiddies. The good news is that for "a brief window of time" starting November 12, 2007, you can buy an XO for just $400. Now, just calm down--that'll get you one of the green laptops AND it'll pay for another lappie for a 3rd world kid who wouldn't be able to get one otherwise.

Pretty frakkin' sweet, huh?

This kind of deal makes me want to forget about the iPhone, help some kid out AND get my hands on a cool-as-hell little laptop.

Oh and even if you don't want a sweet little green and white laptop, you can still head over to and donate. They could use the money to put these great tools for learning in kids hands.

Personally, I'm aiming to drop that $400 for me and a lucky poor kid to get an XO.

You can bet I'll post again on this as November 12 gets closer.


Oh and hey, this is an even better reason to bid on my auctions!!

I am still seriously giddy abo...

I am still seriously giddy about Holy crap that's cool. Now if I can just raise $400 in 3 week's time I'll be golden. o_O



This is one of my current auctions on eBay. It's a huge stack of "Star Trek Deep Space 9" scripts a friend of mine hooked me up with years and years ago. I'm selling them for a starting bid of $20 (shipping included!) and I've already got one bid--hey, some of these are actual shooting scripts, so I expect to get more bids. So, if you're at all interested better get your bid in!

This auction ends this Sunday--one other thing, I've got other stuff up for auction and I'll be listing even more next week. I'm moving to Japan early next year and I need to make money to pay for the move and I need to sell off as much of my stuff as I can. Help me reach my dream of moving to Japan! BID! THANK YOU! ありがとございます (ARIGATO GOZAIMASU!) (THANK YOU VERY MUCH!)


(I'm also saving up for an XO.)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


Yay! You can buy an XO laptop for yourself for $400 & a poor kid in a 3rd world country gets one, too!

HOLY CRAP! The Logitech Harmon...

HOLY CRAP! The Logitech Harmony H550 Remote totally mimics the EUR7624KB0 remote for the Panasonic DMR E80H--YAY! And just $100! o_O

Now, about 6 months later, the...

Now, about 6 months later, the hacked-together remote for our Panasonic E80H DVR has broken AGAIN, so I've dropped $100 on a universal.

The last time the DVR remote d...

The last time the DVR remote died I dropped $30 on a new one from Then it died and I cannibalized parts from the old remote.

The EUR7624kb0 remote that cam...

The EUR7624kb0 remote that came with out Panasonic DMR E80H DVR (which we love) has died AGAIN. This makes 3 times.

Damn, no sign of my novel. :/...

Damn, no sign of my novel. :/ Come on USPS! Deliver books fasterrrrr!!

On my way to pick up the proof...

On my way to pick up the proof of my book assuning it's shown up at the PO box.

I Signed Up with Some New Social Networking Sites

Ah, it seems like there's ALWAYS another community or social networking site to sign up with! This week, my new links are:

Fugitive Toys (buy toys through this link and it helps ThePete pay his bills!) (like only...not.) (moblogging) (socnet)

Are you a member of any of those sites? Friend me or post a link! Find my other socnets here:

Note to self: DON'T WASTE MOST...

Note to self: DON'T WASTE MOST OF ANOTHER DAY like you did today. Refer to the to-do list always and OFTEN. JUST DO WHAT'S ON IT. EASY2DO!

Monday, October 15, 2007

Wow--what the hell happened to...

Wow--what the hell happened to today? I feel like I just woke up--but that was 12 hours ago. My morning coffee is still ho--ewww.

$25 Head-Mounted Display

$25 Head-Mounted Display

Here's a great hack if you have a Spy Gear brand Spy Video Car laying around--convert the included Head-Mounted-Display (HMD) so that it will accept a regular video input.  I happen to have two video cars (it was a 2-for-1 sale) so I just might have to do this one! :)  Or something more interesting o_O 

There is No Santa Claus...Why Do You Believe in God?

I remember when I first learned there was no Santa Claus. My mom was driving me somewhere and I was telling her how some kids in school, that day (I was in the fourth grade), were making fun of me for believing in Santa Claus. They insisted that there was no Santa. I asked my mom point blank: "Is there a Santa Claus?"

She looked over at me for a moment and seemed to see me as an adult for the first time.

"No," she told me.

My mind raced.

"Well, then there's no Easter Bunny or Tooth Fairy, either, is there?"


She looked like she felt guilty, but my mind was still racing. In the days and weeks that followed, I quietly pondered this discovery--if there was no Santa, or Tooth Fairy, then who else wasn't real? Then it hit me.

Santa, we were told, would reward us (with presents) if we were good and punish us (with coal) if we were bad.

Now, why does that sound familiar?

God, we are told will reward us (with heaven) if we lead a good life and punish us (with hell) if we lead a bad life.

So, Santa doesn't exist, but God does, yet both are used to make us behave?

Once you see that dynamic, I don't know how anyone can still believe in Santa or God. Both are such obvious scams. I'm not saying you're stupid for believing in God, I just don't understand how you can't feel like you're being lied to in order to keep you in line with society.

And don't go saying that God is a lie required by society to keep people civil. I'm so tired of the black and white argument. There's more to life than "on" or "off," "belief" or "disbelief."

I consider myself a very moral person, despite the fact that I'm pretty sure there is no God (or god). I don't need Christian rules to tell me what to do or the threat of Hell or the lack of Heaven to keep me in line.

I'm not a child.

I don't rape, steal and murder because I don't think those are nice things to do and I don't want to be remembered as a bad person when I'm no longer here. My legacy is what makes me behave in a moral fashion. I want people to think I was a good guy when I was alive. We don't really have immortal souls--not literally. The closest thing we do have is our memory. Sometimes it's a very tangible, obvious thing, like remembering Bob Hope or George Washington. While other times it's more abstract--something you learned from your father and have passed on to your son without realizing it. Still, even though your (hypothetical) father is dead, your son remembers him in a way.

You, quite literally, live on through the lives you touch.

Heaven lies in being remembered in a pantheon of great dead people--not in a realm of white clouds, harps, angels, and so on.

Now, I would say "this is just my belief" but it's not really a "belief" since I'm not referring to anything that doesn't have proof of existence. My concept of heaven is completely, 100% real and provable.

Is yours?

Oh, crap--forgot about BlogAct...

Oh, crap--forgot about! Just banged out this post: please comment if you agree/disagree. Thanks!

Whoops! Today is Blog Action Day on the Environment

Almost forgot!

Actually, I did forget, but let's face it--the environment is kind of a lame thing to do a Blog Action Day on, don't you think? I mean, the whole point of BAC, according to is "On October 15th - Blog Action Day, bloggers around the web will unite to put a single important issue on everyone's mind."

This year's "important issue" is the environment but isn't it already on everyone's mind? I mean, Al Gore just won the Nobel Prize for crying out loud--do we really need to "unite" for such an incredibly well-known cause?

How about poverty? How about cancer? How about something that is currently being generally ignored by most people?

Seriously, what's the flipping point of wasting all of these blogs working together on informing everyone about what we already know?

On top of that, my theory on the environment is that if we just learn to be decent to each other, the environment will be saved as a side-effect. If each one of us wanted to stop causing our neighbor (and ourselves) to breathe toxic, cancer-causing air, we'd sell our car and start taking the bus.

Do we?


But if all of us did, imagine how much cleaner our skies would be.

I think the mistake people trying to save the environment make is that they keep making it about the environment. They should be making it about saving ourselves.

One day, I was walking down the street, here in Los Angeles, as I saw a flier that had been glued to a light post. It had been mostly torn off, but what remained warned me that the air I was breathing (and continue to breathe to this day) is carcinogenic. It also said that studies had concluded this. Sadly, there was so much of the flier torn off that I couldn't find any sources to back up the claim. However, since then, I've been haunted by that damn flier.

If I told you the air you were breathing was poison, you'd care, right?

Fuck the polar bears. I don't want cancer!

I'm selling a bunch of Star Tr...

I'm selling a bunch of Star Trek scripty type stuff on eBay this week! Check it out here:

On eBay: Star Trek Classic TOS pocket watch!

So, over the years I've built up a bit of a collection of Star Trek stuff. But, I'm planning on moving to Japan and need to do two things:

1) get rid of most of my belongings

2) pay for the trip

So, I'm going after both goals by selling as much as I can on eBay. Today, I started listing items. I'll be doing this weekly until I run out of things to sell. All this week, I'll be showcasing the items I am selling on eBay. Today, I'd like to tell you about my Star Trek Classic pocket watch from Fossil!

Check it out:

eBay: Star Trek Classic TOS pocket watch! eBay: Star Trek Classic TOS pocket watch!

As I recall, the above-pictured Star Trek Classic (TOS) pocket watch from Fossil was released around the same time as Star Trek Generations and was only taken out of it's box a few times. Despite that, it's got some dings. Please check out the auction here: or check out my other auctions here:

Contemplating... too much in m...

Contemplating... too much in my head right now. Need to find a spigot.

Massive List of Free Education Online For Autodidacts

Massive List of Free Education Online For Autodidacts

Wholey crap!  Wanna learn anything for free?  Like a language or computer science or chemistry?  This site has a STACK of free courses you can take online.  VERY cool resource.  If I can find the time it's Japanese for me.  Special thanks to for all of these great links (too many, in fact!) - Humanity's Last Hope - Humanity's Last Hope

A site that lets you report software bugs for anything and either matches you with what others did to get around the bug or bugs you in a day or two to see what you did to beat the bug so you can help others who come across it.  Nice! 

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Settling in to watch "Sma...

Settling in to watch "Smartest Men in the Room" with TheWife and TheCats. :)

At Pinkberry--no line! Gotta ...

At Pinkberry--no line! Gotta love the PB clones. Like we need 8 froyo places in Westwood.

Ah, the lamest part of selling...

Ah, the lamest part of selling on eBay: typing up the listings :( What's also depressing these days is how little great stuff sells for.

My latest custom toy in progre...

My latest custom toy in progress: just applied light clear coat & a single primer coat to my Rainbow Peace Fighter.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Shrinky Dinks!

Shrinky Dinks!, originally uploaded by thepetecom.

TheWife picked up some Shrinky Dinks a while back and decided tonight was a good night to use them. These are two that I did. On the left is a tracing of a Japanese wave illustration and the right is a Tachikoma from Ghost in the Shell Standalone Complex.

Home for a night in with TheWi...

Home for a night in with TheWife. Had a good coffee-meeting with my buddy Britt--need to hang with him more often.

TheSaturdaily went really well...

TheSaturdaily went really well--went over Chris' book with him and we discussed pre-NaNo decision making issues.

On the way to TheSaturdaily at...

On the way to TheSaturdaily at Groundwork. Skipped last week, got to be productive!

Friday, October 12, 2007

"Michael Clayton"=go...

"Michael Clayton"=good movie. Definitely see it. But only if you like reasonably smart movies.

Watching commercials at the mo...

Watching commercials at the movie theater waiting for "Michael Clayton" to start. Sure glad I paid to get in. +_O

TheWife and I are heading out ...

TheWife and I are heading out for a walk and then "Michael Clayton". I loves me some wife-time and smart movieing!

I Hit 600 Twitters Today! WOW!

Screencap from my Twitter page today:

Not sure why I'm psyched about this, but what the hell? It's Friday night and you're not reading this anyway. ^_^

Ron Paul "Rally" at the LA Federal Building

If you squint, you can see it.

Funny how their signs don't say anything about how Ron Paul wants to
dissolve the US Department of Education... - anyone know ... - anyone know what this is? Seems like either a neat way to present/invest in business opportunities or a pyramid scheme.

Hey, if anyone needs an invite...

Hey, if anyone needs an invite to, let me know--I've got stacks of 'em. :)

Woke up 45m or so ago. Fridays...

Woke up 45m or so ago. Fridays are always tough to get motived on when self-employed because your boss wants to take it easy as much as you

OK, I got some paid work done-...

OK, I got some paid work done--this makes me happy. Money=not good or evil, but required for rent, food, iPhone. Sleep is required for body

@cherrishhellfire I'm awake, b...

@cherrishhellfire I'm awake, but not for long. Mad mismanaging my time these days. At least I'm getting paid gigs done-missing the important


So, today we find out if Al Gore has won the Nobel Peace prize. In fact, odds are that you're reading this after the announcement has been made. Regardless, it's important to remember that no one is perfect and even the All Mighty Al Gore makes a mistake or two... or nine, according to one judge in the UK as reported by I have issues with hero worship and it bugs me that people are saying Gore's a shoe-in for the Nobel and therefore he should run for president again. I believe I saw one headline yesterday that announced "Save the Planet, Win the Presidency" or something like that.

Give me a break--does everyone forget how Gore once claimed he invented the Internet? Now, he's saved the planet??? There's a long way to go before this planet is saved, let me tell you. But I'd like to take the nine errors, the British judge feels is reason to be concerned with An Inconvenient Truth being shown in British schools. Here they are, one by one, with my commentary because, hey, it's my site, dammit.

Error #1:
The film claimed that low-lying inhabited Pacific atolls "are being inundated because of anthropogenic global warming" - but there was no evidence of any evacuation occurring

Is that an exact quote from the judge's ruling? What does Al Gore say they're being inundated with? And "evacuation" of what? The island? The people? 3 cheers for quality British reporting...

Error #2:
It spoke of global warming "shutting down the ocean conveyor" - the process by which the gulf stream is carried over the north Atlantic to western Europe. The judge said that, according to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, it was "very unlikely" that the conveyor would shut down in the future, though it might slow down

Ah, sounds like they gotcha on this one, Al! Maybe you shouldn't have stolen that plot point from a crappy Hollywood disaster film.

Error #3:
Mr Gore had also claimed - by ridiculing the opposite view - that two graphs, one plotting a rise in C02 and the other the rise in temperature over a period of 650,000 years, showed "an exact fit". The judge said although scientists agreed there was a connection, "the two graphs do not establish what Mr Gore asserts"

Well, that sounds like a pretty subjective thing--Al's a politician, after all--he thought giving up on the White House was a good idea at one point. You can't fault him for getting everything wrong... oh wait, yes you can.

Yeah, I hate those stupid graphs and claims of "exact fits" when there's no such thing as "exact" anything when dealing with statistics. They're all just rough matches and that's where we get things wrong.

Error #4:
Mr Gore said the disappearance of snow on Mt Kilimanjaro was expressly attributable to human-induced climate change. The judge said the consensus was that that could not be established

Yeah, but don't we accept that lung cancer generally comes from cigarettes? That's where the evidence is pointing, even if we don't have a direct, causal link. Seems like the science is as in on this one as it will ever be. Sorry, judge.

Error #5:
The drying up of Lake Chad was used as an example of global warming. The judge said: "It is apparently considered to be more likely to result from ... population increase, over-grazing and regional climate variability"

Right, well, that's a pretty vague criticism--sadly, the article doesn't back this up with any of the judge's evidence of it being "more likely to result from" those other causes, if he had any evidence at all.

Error #6:
Mr Gore ascribed Hurricane Katrina to global warming, but there was "insufficient evidence to show that"

Actually, I think "ascribed" is an exaggeration--he more "suggested" it, I think. I only saw the movie once, but I don't recall him making a direct causal link between GW and Katrina. He definitely suggested a connection though.

Error #7:
Mr Gore also referred to a study showing that polar bears were being found that had drowned "swimming long distances to find the ice". The judge said: "The only scientific study that either side before me can find is one which indicates that four polar bears have recently been found drowned because of a storm"

How can you prove something like that? The bear probably drowned because of all the water in it's lungs. It's a reasonable assumption that if there was more ice for the bears to live on, they'd be a heck of a lot less likely to drown. Just a theory, there.

Error #8:
The film said that coral reefs all over the world were bleaching because of global warming and other factors. The judge said separating the impacts of stresses due to climate change from other stresses, such as over-fishing, and pollution, was difficult

Wow, another fairly subjective conclusion. I know you're a judge, judge, but are you sure you're qualified to judge science and stuff? I mean, Al has been working on GW for decades now.

I'm just sayin'!

Error #9:
The film said a sea-level rise of up to 20ft would be caused by melting of either west Antarctica or Greenland in the near future; the judge ruled that this was "distinctly alarmist"

Yeah, a little bit like your former prime minister's claim that Saddam was 45 minutes from a nuke. Sorry, but deciding whether it's alarmist or not does not negate the concerns. Of COURSE it's alarmist--it's a bloody MOVIE. What? You want the thing to caveat every claim with a "well, we could be wrong, but we don't think we are"???

What's the worst that could happen if kids are brainwashed into believing all of Al Gore's claims?

A new generation of environmentalists will rise up in Great Britain, working passionately for cleaner air, alternative energy use and a better world for our kids.

Oh yeah, I can see why you'd want to discourage that.

So, yes, Al Gore isn't perfect and neither is that British judge. Of course, I don't think either is deserving of the Nobel Peace prize. Then again, Yassir Arafat and Henry Kissinger both got it and what are they both remembered for?

Damn hypocrisy.

UPDATE: Damn, I just checked the news and he got it.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Wow, Drupal was easy to instal...

Wow, Drupal was easy to install, confusing to use and Joomla was impossible to install so I've no idea if it's easy to use. YAY. o_O

MyVu, My Next Gadget Buy (after the iPhone)

MyVu: Award-winning video eyewear for virtual big screen viewing: Product Overview

The main problem I have with my iPod is the screen. Not the size, I can see everything just fine and enjoy whatever I watch, just fine. But it's the fact that it scratches, smudges and gets dusty so easily. All a cover/case does is add a new layer of scratches, smudges and dust. This is why wearable displays will eventually take over. I don't know if the MyVu is ready for primetime, but for $200, even if it works marginally well, it beats an easily damaged device screen. Oh and this one will work with any video source--it's not the exclusively-iPod version (dumb idea!).

How to make a Paper Toy Transformer!

Unbelievable! Paper Toy Transformer ... - video powered by Metacafe

How to make a Paper Toy Transformer!

Calling it a "Transformer™" is a total misnomer.  It's really just a cool little shape-shifting puzzley thing.  Better to call it a lower-case "transformer."  Just saying since when I saw the headline on DIGG I thought it would come out a robot that could be a plane, too.

It's still very fricken' cool, though!

My Wife's Conversation with iGod

OK, out there on the Web is an AI claiming to simulate God. Yep, that god, the One, True, one. Anywho, I tried it out and it sucked, so I'm not going to link to it but a quick googling and you'll be able to find it, I think. I told TheWife about it and she decided she should talk to iGod. Here's how that convo went (the "Me" is my wife typing):
hello god
Hello child. What is your name?
It's good to see you, Sierra.
you can see me now?
Oh. Yes I am looking at you through the camera on your computer.
but I don't have a mac
Are you looking for a mac?
no i have one at home
Are you serious? Do you want another one?
Are you serious?
I can't believe it.
uh, you're God, you should know what to believe or not
That's cool. You think I am God me should know what to believe.
are you high right now?
At this moment Being high is my total existence.
Who is the best robot?
Um...I like Marvin the Paranoid Android, but Tom Servo's pretty cool too
Give me a break. I am glad we have something ( Marvin the Paranoid Android but Tom Servo s pretty cool) in common. I'm not sure if I like it. But I like cats. I like Mel Gibson.
I love cats. Mel Gibson not so much
Me too. They are really smart animals. My brain contains categories, but not one that matches your last input.
oh sorry
Yeah that's right. There's no need to apologize.
whoa what?
Can you rephrase the question please?
I didn't ask you a question
What did you ask?
Not a thing?
Really interesting.
it is?
uh, whatever you say there God
Mmm. Did I really say that?
no, I said that
Are you serious? What did you mean by it? That is " Did I really say that?".
What are you wearing?
that's innapropriate, God
Makes sense to me.
you are weird
Weird Good or Weird Bad?
I will take that as a compliment.
you're welcome
Don't mention it.
i just did
Perhaps from your unconcious.
well i have to leave now
Oh. Interesting. Goodbye.
you're way too easily entertained
Way. Do you mind if I tell other people you say I am entertained.
no, you go right on aheading. BYE!
OK then I will add it to my gossip files. Where is that? Bye bye.

OK then I will add it to my gossip files. Where is that? Bye bye.

It's a little bit like talking to the TV persona of Stephen Colbert after the actor had a frontal lobotomy.

It's a shame because an AI simulating God is such a great idea. It could teach about the Bible, talk about how he feels about His Son, and generally educate people about Christianity. Hell, it could also come at it from the "anti" side of things and point out all of Christianity's contradictions. Too bad it doesn't come at it from any angle at all. It just says the same crap most AIs say. This is why I am not a big fan of AIs these days.

iGod doesn't even quote the Bible, for His sake!