Robert Aitchison

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Conquering the 20x20
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 02 of May, 2006 18:58 PDT  (5977 Reads)

I suspect a good lot of you instantly knew what this was going to be about as soon as you saw that headline. For some of the rest of you this will be shocking & disturbing.

It all revolves around the ultimate, the one, the only, In-N-Out burgers, a fast food chain that mainly exists in California but has begun to branch out to neighboring states.

If you don't know what In-N-Out? is about it would be hard to explain it. I can refer you to Wikipedia's entry as well as other sources but you really need to eat there to understand. In truth everyone should eat at In-N-Out? at least once in their lives.

This is a story of one man with a dream, a contest, a deathwish if you will, to best the legendary 20x20. He succeeded what few have attempted and lived to tell the tale.

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ABC starts streaming TV episodes for free
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Mon 01 of May, 2006 18:57 PDT  (6021 Reads)

There has been a lot of activity in the past couple years around video services on the Internet. As broadband becomes more commonplaces and as bandwidth increases you are seeing more and pore applications of deliverying viewo over the web becoming practical.

Some people are trying to make money from it already, as iTunes tries to get you to pay for TV episodes for your iPod. Some are free, like YouTube.

ABC is jumping into the fray with streaming episodes of their current TV lineup. This offering is free however the episodes contain commercials (IMO completely reasonable considering the price). Several shows from their current lineup are represented including my favorite new show since Battlestar Glactica, Commander in Chief.

IMO the video quality is decent, and you can move around to different places in an eposde.

As a TiVo user I don't think this is as useful to me as it is to someone without TiVo, who could use to to catch up on an episode of one of their favorits shows that they may have missed.

While we're talking about video, I came across a hillarious short video a couple weeks ago that wasn't really worthy of it's own entry. I present to you WHEEEE!

Congratulations Brian & Jennie
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 25 of April, 2006 18:33 PDT  (7068 Reads)

This weekend we went to Palm Springs (well, specifically Cathedral City) to attend the wedding of Brian and Jennie.

For those that don't know, Brian was my boss at my last job, I've known him for close to 10 years.

The location choice for the wedding was interesting, they had the wedding at the Doral Desert Princess Country Club (you can't throw a rock in Palm Springs without hitting a Country Club).

The wedding itself was outdoors and it was very windy, though the ceremony was nice and the wind provided a cooling breeze.

The reception was also good, the food was excellent by wedding standards, the band was quite loud though.

It was also kind of a mini reunion for current and ex Clark Consulting/Clark Bardes/CRG employees. In addition to Brian there was Amy and Eric, Rich was the best man and Anna was a groomswoman and she brought her boyfriend Andy.

I took a bunch of pictures (over 150 of them), most of them came out quite badly. I definitely need a new camera. Here is a picture of the group (minus Amy who left before this was taken).

(left to right) Andy, Anna, Rich, Brian, Me, Jennie, Tove & Eric

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Remember N.W.A.? Here's T.W.A. (Tiggers With Attitude)
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 11 of April, 2006 18:22 PDT  (7493 Reads)

I'm not even ashamed to admit that BITD I used to listen to, among other things, hardcore rap music. As well as the more tame (and socially acceptable) DJ Jazzy Jeff & The Fresh Prince, Rob Base & DJ Ez Rock or Run-DMC I also listened to Eazy-E, Naughty by Nature and N.W.A..

Now here's something completely different. I bring you T.W.A., these guys are hardcore or something, I guess instead of a "drive by" they might do a "bounce by".

Thanks to Fark for the story.

MADDOX is releasing a book - go pre order it!
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Mon 03 of April, 2006 18:48 PDT  (3081 Reads)

I've talked about Maddox before, he operates the best page in the universe, I've been reading his site for years and aspire to be more like him in almost everything I do.

In any case, He's written a book and it will be released in June. You can pre-order it now.

Video games of the past compared to today
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Fri 24 of March, 2006 23:19 PDT  (3904 Reads)

I came across this the other day, it's a comparison of some modern video games for the XBOX against some classic Nintendo games from the 1980s.

The differences in the graphics are simply astounding, I know when I was playing thise games I never would have dreamed that video games could get to that level. Makes you think about where video games will be in another 20 years.

Of course another interesting thing that was pointed out, that the classic games are just as fun, if not more fun to play than many of their modern counterparts. It goes to show that graphics aren't everything.

You know you live in SoCal if...
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Thu 23 of March, 2006 21:13 PDT  (2987 Reads)

Everyone's seen these lists, ususally forwarded in an E-Mail?, here is another one, a handy guide to help you determine if you live in Southern California.

As usual there are a few funny ones in here, and more than a few true ones. Some of my favorites are It's barely sprinkling rain and there's a report on every news station: "STORM WATCH", You drive next to a Rolls Royce and don't notice and You think that Venice is a beach

Complete list below

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The TiVo Governor has granted a stay of execution on your lifetime
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Wed 22 of March, 2006 20:58 PDT  (3027 Reads)

This is great news, TiVo has extended the deadline for getting lifetime service from 3/16 (already in the past) to 4/15. This means you can still go out and get a TiVo and get the lifetime service.

You do have to call TiVo to activate, this isn't available with online activation, obviously if you have bought a TiVo with the new "bundled service" plans you won't be able to convert it to lifetime as you are already in a 1, 2 or 3 year contract.

As I said when the initial announcement was made I think the whole thing would have gone over much better (annoyed less people) if TiVo had just given more advance notice. The new date brings the deadline out over a month after the initial announcement and a full 30 days after the original cutoff.

Kudos to TiVo for the extension, thanks to the Unofficial TiVo Blog for the news tip.

Insert obligatory plea for you to use me as a referrer if you activate a new TiVo here

Good news everyone! - Pshyche!
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 21 of March, 2006 00:52 PDT  (2826 Reads)

Here we have a story that was proven wrong even before I could write about it. I was sick yesterday but checked my E-Mail? and RSS feeds in the evening.

What I noticed on Slashdot was an announcement that they were making additional episodes of Futurama, one of the many excellent shows that Fox saw fit to cancel.

Now I thought this was really cool, I don't just think that Futurama is a good show, I think it's the best animated show ever, even better than The Simpsons were in their prime. On a related note The Simpsons was just recently picked up for another two seasons, that would be the 18th and 19th seasons for those keeping count.

This morning however, the news wasn't so good, they aren't making new Futurama eposides, though the bright spot is that they are making some DVD release shows/movies that I will definitely buy (unless they are priced like Star Trek DVDs)

Cult films of our (or at least my) generation
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Fri 17 of March, 2006 19:30 PDT  (3829 Reads)

When people think of a "Cult Film" they probably most often think so called classic films which might include Attack of the Killer TomatoesNight of the Living Dead,  The Rocky Horror Picture ShowPlan 9 from Outer Space,   Reefer Madness,  or maybe the original Texas Chain Saw Massacre.

A Cult Film frequently wasn't a financial success in it's original theatrical release, in fact more often than not it was a flop. To be sure Cult Films frequently don't have the best acting, storylines or special effects, often they are simply really bad films, so bad that they have a strange appeal that draws a certain type of person in.

Cult films often have brisk DVD sales, and even can be seen in theaters for special events decades after their original release, if you don't "get" a cult film you will be hard pressed to understand it's appeal.

There are potential Cult Films made all the time, of course the overwhelming majority of them never reach the status of a Cult Film and just die. A lucky few have that certain something that can gather the Cult following and resulting immortality.

Of the modern Cult Films, many are not recognized as such because they haven't been around long enough yet, I submit to you a list (in no particular order) of films from the past 25 years that I feel have achieved some level of cult status.

Read on for more

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One year of radio that generally doesn't suck
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Thu 16 of March, 2006 22:04 PDT  (2804 Reads)

Way back when I talked about a new radio station, Jack FM that came to town, playing music, that's right music, and get this, the vast majority of it is pretty good.

Well the station has been around for a year now and tomorrow (Friday) they are having a first birthday party, at Chuck E Cheeses of course.

Now this happens to be about 1/2 a mile from my hose so if I get off work early enough (party ends at 6) I may stop in to see if their parties don't suck as much as their music doesn't.

One interesting thing that I've noticed since Jack came to town, other radio stations have been responded by increasing the amount of music they play as well as the variety, Star especially has mad a big deal out of it. It's a pretty obvious response to Jack FM, and it's a good thing for when a super annoying commercial comes on Jack and forces me to change the dial.

Interview with the creator of Solitaire
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 14 of March, 2006 23:54 PDT  (2885 Reads)

Solitaire, quite possibly the most popular (as far as hours played) video game in history. Bet you never thought about where it came from.

Well here is a little gem, an interview with Wes Cherry, the guy who wrote the game and sold it to Microsoft.

Here's one of my favorite questions:
Q: Did you chose the card-back designs, and are the flappy bats your favourite?
A: Half the card backs were designed by my girlfriend Leslie Kooy. Unfortunately she turned into a flappy bat, so we broke up.

Apparently I'm a "Genuine Builder"
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Wed 01 of March, 2006 19:57 PST  (4093 Reads)

Thanks to Thomas Hawk for posing about this little free personality test. This one is similar to the Meyers-Briggs? test, though without the cost.

I've not been tested using Meyers-Briggs? but once was tested using Persogenics which classified me as Dominant/Amiable (which was apparently a somewhat unusual combination)

In any case this test has clasified me as a "Genuine Builder" and I'd say my report seems to be fairly accurate as far as how I view myself.

No doubt if Brian ever gets his web site back up he will list his results next to his Persogenics and Meyers-Briggs? results.

Make your own web page with Google Pages
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Thu 23 of Feb., 2006 18:19 PST  (2720 Reads)

I swear I intend to update more often than weekly.

Here is an interesting bit of news. Google has released yet another new project, they call it Google Pages. What this allows you to do is create a web site for basic purposes (like a personal home page).

It's designed for people who don't know anything about web site coding, so even if you don't know Jack about HTML you can still make this work. It has a 100Mb limit with isn't bad, even if you are sharing photos or small videos (not sure if there is a bandwidth limit). Unlike other services/applications that have attempted to bring web site creation to the masses, this one reportedly creates halfway decent HTML.

It uses your Google Account, so if you already have a GMail account you are ready to go. I don't think you need an invitation any longer to get a GMail account but if you want one let me know and I'll send one over.

Honestly I haven't played with it yet, because of all the buzz about it it was down since this morning due to high traffic (this freqently happens for new Google services).

Of course this all supports the theory that Google is taking over the world, but surprisingly few people seem to care.

10 Stoner Ideas for Bringing Peace to Iraq
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Thu 26 of Jan., 2006 21:21 PST  (2756 Reads)

Sometimes the solutions for te most difficult problems come from unexpected sources. As an example of this I bring you 10 Stoner Ideas for Bringing Peace to Iraq. How knows, maybe it makes sense, Stoners don't do a lot of fighting, or really do a lot of anything.

Not sure if Dubya has seen this list, it's safe to assume that Rumsfeld hasn't.

Here are a few of the ideas, you'll have to see the original article for the rest.

  1. Acoustic Guitars
  2. Xbox 360’s
  3. Marijuana (Kind Bud)
  4. (you knew that was gonna be there)

Oh yeah I forgot, drugs are bad mmmkay?

Create your own motivational posters
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Wed 25 of Jan., 2006 22:38 PST  (3234 Reads)

This is another one of those cool sites. Ypu have all heard about the (in)famous Motivational Posters, you may have hard about the much more funny Demotivational Posters.

Well now you can create your very own, choose the picture, caption and text and make it as motivating (or not as you like). The site cleverly even allows you to order a print of your work.

I quickly threw one together, it was much more difficult than I expected to think of something.

Saw the Chronicles of Narnia this weekend
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Mon 23 of Jan., 2006 18:57 PST  (2629 Reads)
Rating: star star star star star star star star (8.00/10)

This weekend we saw The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

We've been meaning to see it for a few weeks but made the time figuring that it was probably going to out of theatres soon and that it was likely the kind of movie that is better on the big screen.

Overall I would say it was a very ggod film, it's been so long since I read the book that I didn't even remember most of the plot. While this probably eimporved the experience for me it's difficult for me to compare the adaptation to the original.

Jordan was able to st though the entire movie even though it's pretty long (2h, 20m), you definitely don't want to drink a bunch of soda before you go in the theater. Given the relative sucess this has seen at the box office I'd say it's safe to expect that more from the Narnia series will be coming in the future.

Settle your conflicts with Google Fight
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Sat 21 of Jan., 2006 13:53 PST  (2705 Reads)

This is one of those cool little sites I first discovered a few years ago but I had forgotten about until I saw it referenced recently.

The concept is simple, enter any two keywords or phrases and press the "Make a fight" button, the web site does two Google searches and then lets you know who "won".

The "winner" is whoever or whatever had the most Google search results so it's basically a popularity contest.

Some interesting fights; Playstation Vs. XBOX, Great Taste Vs. Less Filling or maybe even Moaner Vs. Screamer.

A simple proposal for a dramatic shift in TV watching.
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Tue 06 of Dec., 2005 20:59 PST  (3727 Reads)

None of the ideas I'm about to propose are new, in fact all of the technological pieces are already happening today in some form, though it's not been put together into a single solution. I'm probably not the first person to think of this either though I haven't yet seen it expressed.

Today TV content is almost exclusively delivered to your TV through broadcast, cable or Satellite TV networks. There is a schedule and the shows "air" according to that schedule. You watch those shows as they air (watching Live TV) or you can time shift it and watch the shows later.

If you have a DVR you have a lot more control over the schedule than if you have Live TV or are using a VCR for time shifting. If you have a full featured DVR like a TiVo or ReplayTV device you get even more control, but you are still dependent on the network and the schedule to see your shows.

What if the network were taken out of the picture, what if you could get your shows delivered to your DVR over the Internet. It truly wouldn't matter when a show aired, it wouldn't even have to air at all.

That is precisely what I am proposing, change, or augment the model so that shows you want come to you, instead of having to change the channel to record them.

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Play 20 questions with Darth Vader
By: Robert Aitchison  on: Fri 18 of Nov., 2005 11:42 PST  (4928 Reads)

This is cool if you have a few minutes to kill.

I challenged him twice and he defeated me both times.

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