Archive for August 2005

Since school will be starting soon, I’m trying to compile a list of the ten most useful things one can do with a mechanical pencil. Thus far, I’ve only come up with four items on the list:

  1. Write with it (*sigh*)
  2. Use its spring as a cannon and shoot paper clips around
  3. Pop balloons
  4. Carry encoded documents inside the hollow cylinder

Does anybody have any other possible uses for this multi-talented object?

Have any of you ever studied the complex things one can do with Google? It can perform complex mathematical equations: (5 + (4 * (3^2))) – (32%). It can look up UPS, FedEx, and USPS tracking numbers: 1Z9r4v750104300102 (not a valid UPS number). Another favorite is its automatic stock symbol look up: GOOG – Google Stock. Of course, these are only a sampling of what Google’s search has to offer. And no, I don’t get a commission from Google to say this, either…

One last search I know some of you would like to try is Stow Declaration of Independence. Surprisingly, the first page that turns up is the Liberty Bell.

The words of wisdom for tonight:

As you crawl through the tunnel of life, don’t forget to stop and eat the cheesecake along the way.

This evening I visited Alcatraz with a few dozen convicts. We were placed in holding cells, men in one, women in the other. After about fifteen minutes, after having our mug-shots taken, the wardens ushered us into a dark room and shut the door. Immediately, the other guys and I started our escape. Soon, we were flat on our faces, inching down a narrow tunnel. After a few acrobatics and narrow escapes from the guards, we made it to safety and I am here to write this blog.

The Escape from Alcatraz has got to be the greatest youth activity my second youth-group has ever done. The warden, our new youth pastor, made up a long tunnel maze out of cardboard. It was full of dead-ends, sliding walls, 180 degree contortionist-turns, and only one exit. Oh, and on top of that, the lights were off so you couldn’t even see your hand in front of your face. Most of the tunnel was so low, you had to lay absolutely flat and inch along, hoping that someone wasn’t coming the other way. At the end, some sneaky lady poked her head in and took my picture… that’s one image that will never be shown on this blog, I assure you that!

In our jungle today, the lion went to sleep. Or, more accurately, our riding lawn-mower broke down. The afternoon was a blast: push-mowing more than half of an acre; little cloud cover; 95+ degree temperature… believe me, you should have been there.

Of course, now I get to reap the benefits of a job well-done by resting for a while.

NPR : Car Alarm Vigilante Silences Camry

I try not to post news reports on this blog, but this was too funny to pass. Evidently, some people are very touchy when it comes to car alarms.

A thought struck me like a hammer a few days back to bring together two great things: encryptions, and blogs. No thumbs’ codings or anything noticeable, they’ll be up hidden in plain sight. Fortunately, the hammer strike didn’t hurt.

The first two codes I will use are not created by me. They are real codes employed commercially. Of course, I’ve added a few twists.

Clues for Code 1:

  1. Go to http://www.vladinscode.5u.com (please pardon the pop up ads… I’m too cheap to buy ad-free web space)
  2. Ignore the filler and find the two hidden links to the download page. (hint: the first hidden link is on the main sight… remember that some of the best hiding places are out in the open)
  3. If you’ve gotten this far and are not able to download the files, then comment here with the key on the download page and I’ll show you a way to not have to download them.
  4. After downloading the files, double-click VB.bat to construct the code white-papers. Then, comment here with the unencoded message above.

The site you were on was created by me. Naturally, nothing on it is true at all… not the name, age, descriptions – nothing. It was solely for the purpose of this code.

The code is too simple to use once you’ve found out how, so I’ll use it sparingly. The second, to be published if this one is ever cracked, is much harder.

Aaaaah! It was only the afternoon a few minutes ago! Now it’s late at night! Where did my time go!?
I need to create some sort of schedule to regulate my day. Unfortunately, that’s rarely helped in the past. An incentive would be nice, except I really can’t reward myself. This will definitely take some consideration…

(By the way, while I was writing this, I noticed that the phrase ‘Ah’ is very universal:

  • Ah – I’ve found something out
  • Ahhhhhh – A sigh of pleasure
  • Aaaaaaah – A frustrated shout
  • Aha – The cry of catching someone in the act of crime
  • Hah! – Another way of catching someone or when you’ve figured something out
  • Ahahahaha – A villain’s chuckle

Interesting? I thought so, anyway.)

Remember the birthday present I mentioned; you know, the cake-in-a-cup? Well, my cooking skills have either improved, or this was truly a user-friendly entree. Either way, it turned out great. Chocolate happens to be one of my favorite cake types, and topped with almond glaze, it made a square meal+desert combo. Thanks to The Anonymous Family™ for this great gift!

“If a pi were divided into two equal shares and given to two different people, how much of it would one of the recipiants have?”

Alright, quotes like that indicate that I’m staying up waaaay too late. G’night, all.