Thursday, September 28, 2006

Music Video Thursday: "White and Nerdy"

"Weird Al" Yankovic has long been a favorite of nerds - from "The Saga Begins" (Don McLean meets Star Wars Episode I), to his geeky flamewar rap "All About the Pentiums" (my favorite line: "You're just about as useless as JPEGs to Helen Keller"), to his recent satiric take on the battle between the recording industry and P2P networks "Don't Download This Song", Al has shown that he understands the inner workings of the nerd mind. But with his latest video, Al has stood up and loudly proclaimed that he is, truly, "White and Nerdy":

One of us! One of us! One of us! (as if there were any doubt !)

Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to go play Minesweeper on my Palm Pilot...

P.S. What the heck is up with Blogger? The spell checker rejected all the following words: nerds, geeky, flamewar, Pentiums, JPEGs, P2P - what kind of nerd-wannabes managed to write a spell checker, but missed words like that??? Bunch of posers...

P.P.S. ROTFLMAO! Guess what other word the spell checker rejected? Blogger!!

P.P.P.S. The spell checker accepted ROTFLMAO. (Cowboy_K walks away slowly, muttering under his breath)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Music Video Thursday: "JCB"

I lost my grandmother this past Sunday. We just got back today from Frontier, where her funeral was yesterday, and I'm exhausted emotionally and physically. So instead of my customary background and history regarding the choice for Music Video Thursday, I'm just going to point you to the Wikipedia article for "JCB" by Nizlopi, and let the video roll:

It feels like this song is what I needed today - sweet, gentle, sentimental. Next week will be fun again, I promise. :-)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Music Video Thursday: "Enter Sandman"

Ahhh, memories. Grade 11, fall of 1987, LCBI dorm, my room-mate Dave. Late nights staying up, listening to music, drinking Jolt, eating O'Ryan's "au gratin" potato chips. When Dave was choosing the music, it was almost exclusively Metallica. His side of the room was covered in Metallica posters, plus a glow-in-the-dark "Ride the Lightning" t-shirt that kept me awake at night the first week or so. And thus was my introduction to Metallica.

Metallica's first video "One", released in 1988, met with much acclaim, but "Enter Sandman" is still my favorite. And unlike last week's videos, I can guarantee that this one won't cause any nightmares. Unless you're afraid of falling. Or drowning. Or snakes. Or having your bed run over by a semi.

Dave, if you're out there, drop me a line - too long since I last heard from you, dude.

UPDATE 2009-07-30: just discovered that Dave died of cancer a week after I had posted this blog. I have no idea why I was thinking of Dave that day, but the timing was sure interesting...

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

QuickLogger Plus updates (finally!)

About 6 weeks ago, I posted a little utility online called QuickLogger Plus. I got a fair bit of feedback, pretty much all positive, and a fistful of feature requests. I started plotting and planning... and then nothing happened. I don't think I even replied to most of the comments or e-mail.

I'm happy to say that I've finally taken a little time to sit down with the code and do some more work with it. I've tightened up the configuration a bit, and managed to add a few new features:

  • Flexible formatting: the formatting of the log entry is now controlled by a single configuration variable called entryTemplate - for example: "[[ISO_DATE]]" & VbTab & "[[ISO_TIME]]" & VbTab & "[[ENTRY]]" will create a tab-separated entry with ISO-style date and time, while "[[LOCAL_DATE]] [[LOCAL_TIME]] [[ENTRY]]" will format the line like the original QuickLogger script. You could also do HTML, comma-separated value, probably even RTF or any other text-based format if you like.
  • New logging fields: with the entryTemplate system, there are a few new pieces of information that can be logged, including:

    • current logged in user with [[USER_NAME]] and [[USER_DOMAIN]]
    • elapsed time since the last entry [[DURATION_MINUTES]]

  • Easier extensibility: need to log something else that I haven't included support for? Just create a token (i.e. [[MY_OBSCURE_DATA]]) in entryTemplate, add it to the validTokens array (line 158), and add a switch to the select case statement starting on line 161.

Feature requests still on the back burner include:

  • support for parsing embedded "tags" in the entry similar to those used in todo.txt - I've had a couple requests for this, but I haven't quite figured out how I'd like to handle it
  • logging to Excel, ODBC, or other non-plaintext formats - I've had a couple requests for this as well, but I'm not planning on adding this in the near future. I guess I'm a believer in human-readable plaintext. With the new entryTemplate, however, it should be a lot easier to create a template that facilitates importing into other applications (comma-separated values, etc.)

Download here - quicklogger.vbs - and let me know if you run into any bugs, have any new feature requests, etc. Thanks again to everyone for the feedback on the first release, and hopefully I'll be better at replying and keeping everyone up-to-date!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Music Video Thursday - Scandinavian Invasion: The grand Finn-ale!

The final installment of our Scandinavian Invasion is a doozie tonight, featuring a fearsome double-feature of Finnish frightfulness. Spooooooooooky!

The Creature Feature: "Hard Rock Hallelujah"

We now return to the 2006 Eurovision Song Contest, and another controversial Scandinavian entry. When the winner of Finland's regional final was announced, many Finns called for officials to reconsider sending an artist with such "unusual musical style and stage theatrics". The calls were not heeded, however, and Lordi went on to perform at the semi-finals:

Unlike Iceland's entry, Lordi won the hearts of Europe, went on to the final, and ended up winning the competition with a record 292 points. As if that wasn't scary enough, Lordi fans in Finland went on to set the world's record for karaoke, as 80,000 people sang along to "Hard Rock Hallelujah". Truly frightening coming from a country where 83% of the citizens are Lutheran.

Second frightful feature: "Wanna Love You Tender"

The scene: a gothic castle on a dark, stormy night. In the cellar: a mad scientist's laboratory. A disco ball hangs overhead, a Finnish beauty queen and a Finnish musician are strapped to gurneys, and a large wardrobe full of red and white polyester stands behind them. With a maniacal cackle, the scientist opens the roof, lightning strikes the disco ball, and the monster comes to life:

I can't imagine anything more frightening - I'm going to have trouble sleeping tonight.

Next week on Music Video Thursday: something not necessarily Scandinavian! Stay tuned!