Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.

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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Type out all 26 letters in the English alphabet.

Now type it out again.

Now start typing it out again, but stop at “K”.

Finally, tack on a “.com” to all that.

What does that give you? One long-ass domain name, and an email address to which no one will ever send.

Why stop at “K”? Because 63 characters is the maximum number allowed for domain names (not including the dot-com/org/net/whatever extension).

(Via A Load of Bollocks)

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 09:42:20 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback

The latest change on this pretty page: I’ve dropped BlogSnob as my link referral/webring tool. In it’s place is BlogExplosion, a new kid on the block.

Why drop BlogSnob (or whatever they’re calling it now), which I’ve had since the old days? The recent rollout of paid advertisers in the rotation prompted plenty of protests and defections, so you could assume that I’m joining that exodus. But that’s not the case. I didn’t mind the ads. Truthfully, I didn’t notice them much.

What I did notice was that there was very little variance in which blogs appeared in BlogSnob’s rotation. It seemed to be the same relatively small handful everytime. On top of that, BlogSnob’s whole system is buggy: From my vantage point, its links wouldn’t even render on my blog half the time. And despite the infrequent announcements about how the system was being upgraded and refined, I got the strong feeling that it was very much a part-time concern for current owner Adam Kalsey, and so was never going to get the attention it needed to grow (all the defections probably didn’t help).

To top it off, BlogSnob generated pretty much zero traffic for me. I found absolutely no evidence in my site logs that all those alleged hits being registered on my BlogSnob account were really bringing any visitors to my site — leading me to believe that the BlogSnob stats were fiction. By contrast, I’m already seeing hits coming in from the BlogExplosion exchange, in just the first day of being on it.

BlogExplosion has its share of critics, but I see little risk in trying it. If something amiss develops, I can always drop it. I’m not going to give it a thumbs-up or -down after less than a day on it, but so far, it’s looking promising.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 08:31:11 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback (7)

Does cohabitation, or even steady couplehood, entitle one to non-stop groping privileges?

He said. She said.

Call me a prude, but when it comes to gropage of a loved one, I believe in quality over quantity. ;)

What I find even more amusing, aside from the topic of discussion, is how Mikey and Joelle are using their respective blogs to air their sides of the argument. It’s cute, in an aw-shucks kinda way.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 02:50:29 PM
Category: Bloggin', Society | Permalink | Feedback (2)

If you could pick your very own last name, what would you choose? Something memorable, even flattering, I’d think. (No matter how appropos it might be, it would be the rare individual who christens himself “Billy Bigbutt”.)

A couple of million Mongolians are struggling with this decision right now, as a modernization initiative in the isolated country is seeking to establish surnames among the citizenry.

I’d love to be a fly on the wall during a family meeting to decide on a last name.

Too bad Mongolia is still a Communist country. Think of the corporate naming-rights possiblities here! Celebrities could sell themselves to the highest bidder.

I didn’t know about the historical development of surnames around the world:

Throughout history, surnames have been adopted at different times by different cultures. One of the first references dates back to 2852 B.C., when a Chinese emperor decreed the use of hereditary family names.

England, motivated by a shortage of first names, introduced surnames over a 600-year period starting around 1000 A.D. Japan made the push after 1870 as part of a modernization drive, and Turkey was as late as 1935. Some nations, including Indonesia and some Pacific Islands, still rely on one name.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 02:35:05 PM
Category: Society | Permalink | Feedback

Mobile phones mean you never have to be away from your telephone lifeline every again (as long as your network coverage, and battery, hold up).

Come next year, Texas Instruments’ “Hollywood” chip will enable wireless phones to carry digital television content. So you never have to be away from your boob tube lifeline again.

Now, if they could find a way to put a refrigerator into my cellphone…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 02:17:42 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback (1)

When Bloomba came out in March, I noticed how much like an email-only version of Google this installed-program mail client was.

With the subsequent releases of Gmail and, more recently, Google Desktop Search, Bloomba’s business model seemed to be getting bulldozed by Google. When you can get the same functionality for free, why pay for it?

So it’s not surprising that Bloomba’s parent company, Stata Labs, has sold itself to Yahoo!, getting out while the getting’s still good.

It’s also not surprising that Yahoo!’s only after the Bloomba technology, and nothing else that Stata might have cooked up:

However, the $60 product will be discontinued and Yahoo has no plans to sell Bloomba or its accompanying spam filter software, SA Proxy Pro, Stata Labs said on its Web site.

That could indicate plans to incorporate the underlying technology in an e-mail client that could compete with Gmail, which Google launched in April and which offers users full searching of their own e-mail boxes and 1 gigabyte of space to store messages.

So it looks like Google has changed the game once again. Just as competing search engines started imitating adopting Google’s interface and results presentation, other Webmail clients are going to start looking more and more like Gmail. Bloomba, as an established product, represents a way for Yahoo! to get there a little quicker; other providers will have to start from scratch.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 02:09:47 PM
Category: Internet, Business | Permalink | Feedback

I could easily rant for a while here about how much certain elements of WordPress, the software that powers this blog, fall short.

Like how the [!-more-] tag, which is designed to hide some post text until you click on the “more” link to read the whole thing, doesn’t actually reveal the hidden text on the same page. That would be the standard for Movable Type-powered blogs, and therefore has become standard for most blogs. Instead, WP uses the [!-more-] tag to just take you to the permalinked, single-post page. Which is not what I want, and therefore pretty useless.

In other words: WP sucks.

Thankfully, there’s Scriptygoddess’ plugin to make this tag behave the way it should (more or less). Thanks, Jennifer.

Actually, I’m not a huge fan of the “hide/show” post. I think it’s way overused on most blogs. I guess some bloggers feel a need to present all their posts with the smallest wordcount possible, therefore reducing their front pages to a series of teasers. That’s a turnoff to me: I don’t want to clickthru multiple times when my intent is to just browse.

So why did I use it here (not that you can see it on the permalink)? Partly just to try it out. I think it does have utility, like, for instance, if I’m writing about a movie currently in theaters and I’m dropping loads of spoilers. It’s nice to have, but I don’t see using it very often.

In a spasm of cuteness, I’ve named the functional links “Pop it!” (to show the rest of the text) and “Unpop it!” (to hide it). It’s an attempt at a play on the “Population Statistic” title. I may or may not change it (”populate” and “depopulate” suddenly come to mind). Again, I won’t be using this much, so it’s not a high priority.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 01:32:46 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Be forewarned: If you read the following, I may have to kill you.



- Costa Tsiokos, Sun 10/24/2004 10:27:44 AM
Category: Internet, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (3)

Saturday, October 23, 2021

I gave blood today. I do so fairly regularly, and have done so since college (time and schedule permitting). I guess the periodic reminders from the blood banks about their constant shortages, plus my relatively rare blood type (AB+ — only AB- is rarer) compel me to give up my vein.

I got an unexpected freebie out of the deal, that I’m officially giving away: A pass for two to an advance screening of Saw, for this coming Wednesday (October 27th) at Tampa’s Channelside Cinemas 9. Show starts at 7:30PM, although it’s a good idea to get there at least a half-hour early, in case there are more passholders than tickets (you could always go to an earlier dinner at Channelside).

First one who asks for the pass gets it. I’ll assume only a local will want it, so we can arrange for a pickup time. Offer’s available until the day of the screening; if no one claims it by then, I’ll try to pawn it off at the office, or else just toss it. I’m definitely not going to use it myself — Saw’s not looking like my kinda flick.

I did get some other swag in exchange for my precious bodily fluid:

- A coupon for ten free Hooters wings, and since I was done bleeding by lunchtime and there was a Hooters next door, I promptly cashed it in (if you’re ever at the north St. Pete Hooters, stop by the bar and say “hi” to Shorty, the blonde bartending Hootress).

- A free pass to the Florida Aquarium, which is nothing special since those are pretty easy to get.

- A rad t-shirt, festooned with a Chucky-like face wearing a skull-and-crossbones bandana, and a “We’re Out For Blood” caption below. It looks an awful lot like a Tampa Bay Buccaneers shirt, with a lot of red, lettering font that looks very similar to what the Bucs use, and of course, the famed Coach Gruden-Chucky connection. I think the Bucs might have grounds to sue…

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/23/2004 05:54:57 PM
Category: Movies | Permalink | Feedback (3)

It appears that the pleco catfish that lived a brief life in my aquarium this week brought something with him that lingers on. Today, I found five dead fishies in the tank. Whole lotta flushing going on.

One or two dead fish would be no big deal — I’d chalk that up to nature. Five means there’s a disease afoot. More evidence of that: It mainly wiped out a small school of black neons, which are down to two fish. And there was absolutely no sign of any of them being in distress even yesterday.

So, I treated the tank with some general cure-all today. Also changed out about a third of the water, which I usually do on Saturdays anyway (I repeat that process on Sundays). Hopefully, all that will rid the tank of whatever’s in there.

I guess this serves me right for impetuously buying a fish. A good fishkeeper quarantines new fish in a separate tank for a few days, to make sure there’s nothing wrong. I don’t have another tank; tried it once, found it was a pain, so I ditched it. Besides, it probably wouldn’t have made any difference: I’d have put the pleco in the tank after three days, and the results would likely have been the same.

Not so sound cold, but I can’t say I’m overly worried about these deaths. Truthfully, I’ve been tired of the fish population in there for a while. I’m ready for something new. The problem is, I take such good care of the tank (with minimal effort — it really isn’t very hard to do) that my fish tend to live long after I’ve gotten tired of them. I could always kill them off myself, but I can’t do it.

So we’ll see what happens. I’ve still got a little school of other tetras in there, who seem to not be afflicted. And as long as nothing happens to my rainbow shark, I’ll let the chips fall where they may.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/23/2004 05:14:21 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback (2)

a pan with a handle
As we get down to crunch time, both candidates are redoubling their efforts to win over Floridians. Perhaps persuaded by an Electoral College analysis that suggests he can’t win without carrying Florida, President Bush visted my ‘hood, St. Pete, last night, the kickoff to his Sunshine State blitz.

Aside from all that, it’s time for me to get nit-picky with the AP:

In his fifth visit to Florida this month, Marine One will transport Bush to rallies in Fort Myers and Lakeland on the west side of the state and Melbourne on the east. His last stop before heading to his Texas ranch is in Jacksonville, situated in the heavily Republican Florida Panhandle.

Check the map above, and you’ll find Jacksonville in the northeastern corner of Florida. Does that geography look like a panhandle to you? The Panhandle is a couple hundred miles west of Jax, starting (by most reasonable considerations) at Tallahassee.

Granted, the whole northern deck of the state shares many population characteristics, including a strong Republican streak (going along with that part of Florida’s more distinctive Southernness). But regardless, in geographic terms, the panhandle stops where the pan begins, and Florida’s “pan” begins roughly at Tallahassee (and if not there, then certainly by the time you reach the Big Bend/Gainsville area).

Incidentally, I’ve learned from my years at the magazine that most business and civic leaders up there tend to frown on the use of the term “panhandle”. They prefer “Florida’s Northwest”. I think the reasoning is that “panhandle” more immediately brings to mind parts of Oklahoma and Texas (which, I agree, have better-defined chunks of land that deserve that descriptor). We’ll still use the term “panhandle” in Trend, but we try to keep it to a minimum.

- Costa Tsiokos, Sat 10/23/2004 04:58:00 PM
Category: Politics, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback

Friday, October 22, 2021

I like women. Hell, I love ‘em. So I’m not usually wont to indulge in misogynistic thoughts.

But when I get driving directions — in map form, no less — that take me to the intended neighborhood, but neglect to give me the actual house address, without which I’m stuck in an unfamiliar cul-de-sac full of indistinguishable homesteads, the first thing that conjures up in my mind is: Typical female.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/22/2004 06:52:51 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

Yes, both John Kerry and George W. Bush are members of Yale’s Skull and Bones, a secret society if ever there was one. If you just found out about it, you’ve been asleep at the wheel.

So no matter who wins in November, the White House remains a cauldron of dark forces, right?

Uh, right. But not necessarily because of S&B:

Although conspiracy theorists have linked Skull and Bones to everything from the assassination of John F. Kennedy to the Watergate scandal, [author Alexandra] Robbins dismissed the paranoia and said the society is mainly an alumni network bent on getting — and keeping — power.

“The only agenda for Skull and Bones is to get its members into positions of power and then to have those members hire other members. It’s a society of connections,” she said.

So calm down. It’s just a classic old-boys’ network. It’s not like they’re Masons, or even Stonecutters.

I always got a kick out of how Bush publicized his membership:

In his 1999 autobiography, Bush wrote: “My senior year I joined Skull and Bones, a secret society so secret I can’t say anything more.”

But not so secret that you can’t mention it, even briefly, in a freakin’ book? What a dolt.

Not that this bi-partisan clubhousin’ sits well with everyone, particularly the churchgoers.

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/22/2004 04:57:27 PM
Category: Politics | Permalink | Feedback

I realize this is past tense, but I’m still amused by the wrath Eminem incurred from Michael Jackson over the “Just Lose It” video (and the ripple effects):

In the clip for “Just Lose It,” Eminem mocks several celebrities, including MC Hammer and Pee Wee Herman, but he saves his sharpest jabs for Jackson. Dressed as the entertainer, Eminem’s hair catches fire, as Jackson’s did during an accident while filming a Pepsi commercial. Later, his nose flies off, and is booted and squashed on a dance floor — a not-so-subtle reference to Jackson’s surgically tortured face.

But what has Jackson most upset are scenes featuring Eminem, in Jackson garb, sitting on the edge of a bed as young boys bounce on the mattress behind him. At one point in the song, Eminem raps, “Come on, little kiddie, on my lap.” Facing child-molestation charges, Jackson clearly isn’t in a mood to just laugh it off.

I’m wondering what would happen if Em and MJ ever came face-to-face. I’d like to think it would go down similar to the way Eddie Murphy imagined his hypothetical confrontation with Michael 17 years ago in Raw (which I just bought on DVD, woo-hoo).

- Costa Tsiokos, Fri 10/22/2004 04:25:02 PM
Category: Pop Culture, Celebrity | Permalink | Feedback

Thursday, October 21, 2021

two great tastes that taste great togetherhey mikey
Nothing against the kid, but I can’t help but wish that the Coke-and-Pop Rocks stomach-explosion urban legend was true. Because it just feels right.

And I was one of those little kids in the schoolyards of the early ’80s, spreading the misinformation.

I kind of wonder how much of a contributing factor the chest-burster scene from Alien was. The movie came out just before the Pop Rocks stories started the rounds.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 09:46:18 PM
Category: Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

This month’s GQ has a Janet Reitman feature article called “The Cheater”:

He has a solid job, a loving wife, and an active sex life with the women he meets through the Internet. For one “happily married” man, finding willing women is never a challenge: You just have to know how to ask.

Sounds pretty juicy, right? GQ Presents: How To Pick Up Chicks On The Internet.

The thing is, the subject of the article claims to be doing all this scoring through Craigslist. Specifically, the “Casual Encounters” sections, like this one.

Glancing through a small sampling of different cities’ online meat markets (purely for research purposes, of course), I truly can’t see how this guy can find even one woman through this method. There’s a zillion postings by men, with the most occasional ad from (allegedly) a woman. Not the best odds.

So I’m suspecting that Reitman got punk’d on this. Just a hunch.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 09:00:37 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback (2)

They were alone in the house. It was a cold, dark stormy night. The storm had come up quickly and each time the thunder boomed he watched her jump.

She looked across the room and admired his strong appearance and wished that he would take her in his arm, comfort her, protect her from the storm, she wanted that… then the power went out.

She screamed.

He raced to the sofa where she was cowering. He did not hesitate to pull her into his arms. He knew this was a forbidden union and expected her to pull back. He was surprised when she didn’t resist but instead clung to him. The storm raged on… as did their growing passion and there came a moment when each knew that they had to be together. They knew it was wrong, their families would not understand, but…

So consumed in their passion they didn’t hear the door or the click of the light switch… the power was back on… and there you are.

Dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria.

Even more silliness.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 08:26:04 PM
Category: Internet, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback

Oh yeah: The Red Sox reversed the curse last night, at least part of the way (let’s see if they can beat the NL Champ).

Coming back from the biggest of holes, 0-3 in a 7-game series, is damned impressive, and the BoSox deserve the accolades. But as Eric at Off Wing reminds us, they weren’t the first in major professional sports to do it. They were the first to do it off the ice, though.

And of course, one team’s comeback is another team’s collapse.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 08:11:58 PM
Category: Hockey, Baseball | Permalink | Feedback

Nothing I hate worse than having dead links on my site. So I ditched a couple tonight:

- Blunted On Reality appears to be no more. I don’t know if it’s intentional or not; I know he’s been blogging less and less since moving from Orlando to Tampa. If you’re out there, Blunted, drop a comment.

- The Blogster.net referral ring seems to have died recently. No real loss, as the traffic I got through it was practically nil.

Haven’t had time nor inclination lately to really monkey with this site’s links, layout and sections beyond the blog. Maybe when I can catch my breath, sometime next month.

- Costa Tsiokos, Thu 10/21/2004 07:52:41 PM
Category: Bloggin' | Permalink | Feedback

Wednesday, October 20, 2021

So, that pleco catfish I bought on Saturday? Found him dead tonight. Guess he couldn’t adjust to the new environment.

Three bucks down the toilet (literally). Kinda sucks. Maybe I’ll get another one this weekend.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2004 10:31:16 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback (2)

It’s going to take a few years more to get used to, but it’s a given that U.S. telephone area codes are no longer necessarily indicative of a fixed geographic region. This is the basis behind the “keep your number” promotions that wireless phone providers have been pushing for the past year.

I found this bit particularly interesting:

Now, five other area codes cover noncontiguous regions, and 914 has come to include not just New York, but also parts of Iraq.

“We never could have done this if numbers weren’t allowed to move so freely now,” said Natasha Haubold, a spokeswoman for MCI, which built a temporary cellular phone system that allows government and humanitarian officials in the United States and Iraq to talk with each other using local calls. “914 used to belong exclusively to New York, but now it passes through the state for a millisecond before it’s loaned to users in Iraq.”

That’s right: Area code 914 covers not only Westchester County, New York, but also chunks of Iraq. Talk about temporal displacement…

It just so happens that I grew up in the 914 area code. Until a couple of years ago, 914 covered more than just Westchester: It covered pretty much all of New York State between the City and Albany. Area code 845 has since displaced it, and my parents’ house, in Orange County, remains in that zone.

So I was wondering: What are the odds that the 914 telephone number that I grew up with was now assigned to some line in Baghdad? That’d be pretty wild.

Curiosity got the better of me tonight. I called the number. I expected to get some wrong number in Westchester, with an outside chance of getting an Iraqi agency of some kind.

But no. Instead, I got an automated response, telling me the number was not in service. Bummer.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2004 10:19:00 PM
Category: Tech | Permalink | Feedback

Yes, the carb-free diet works on kitty-cats too, as Fidget the feline dropped half his body weight by going on a “Catkins” regimen.

What did you think I meant? Pervert.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2004 09:56:30 PM
Category: Food | Permalink | Feedback

It’s spooky season, so the time is right for this horror movie trivia quiz. See if you can tell the difference between Michael Myers and Freddy Krueger.

Actually, considering that this quiz is presented by tbt*, which is targeted toward 20- and 30-year-old hipsters, the movies covered are pretty oldschool. Where’s the more recent scary movie fare, like Scream and Jeepers Creepers? Let’s get with the century, folks.

I scored a measly 5 out of 10, rating me Casper, the Friendly Ghost. What can I say, the horror genre doesn’t do it for me.

- Costa Tsiokos, Wed 10/20/2004 03:56:07 PM
Category: Movies | Permalink | Feedback

Tuesday, October 19, 2021

Has hell frozen over for Tampa’s conservative community after the Tribune declined to endorse George W. Bush for President? Some think so, interpreting the move as everything from a shift in the paper’s editorial policy, to a tacit endorsement of Kerry.

“I thought their comments were just totally wrong,” said [Florida Republican Party finance chairman Al] Austin. “They aren’t even on the fence. They took an entire page to be critical of the president, and the criticism of Kerry was very brief.”

“I’m upset, and I think I speak for thousands of subscribers when I say I’m not going to look favorably on the Tribune for a long time,” he said. “I expect it from the St. Petersburg Times , but not from the Tribune .”

Sounds like soon-to-be convert to WorldNetDaily and other right-wing crackpot outlets.

The “brief” criticism of Kerry misses the point. Of course it’s going to be brief, because a conservative paper doesn’t have to go into detail on the Democratic candidate. There are basic philosophical differences there, so most of it is apparent. A critique of a conservative Republican president, from a paper that endorsed him four years ago, demands fuller explanation.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 10:36:50 PM
Category: Politics | Permalink | Feedback

some punchline
A week into this damned lockout. Even more than watching a game, I feel the need to inject some humor into this situation.

So here’s my favorite hockey joke, I believe heard from Robert Wuhl. Actually, it’s my only hockey joke. And while it might not, at first glance, be primarily about hockey per se, I think the payoff neatly sums up American attitudes about my favorite sport.

A guy goes out golfing all day Saturday. That evening, after his 18 holes, he calls up his bookie.

“Hey Bobby, how you doing, it’s me. Listen, how did I do on the baseball today?”

The bookie replies, “On baseball, you lost a thousand.”

“What?” the guy says. “A thousand? Oh no, that’s terrible! My God… Well, how did I do on the football then?”

Without missing a beat, Bobby the bookie answers, “On football, you lost a thousand.”

“Another thousand?!” the guy exclaims. “You mean I lost two thousand today? I don’t understand it, this is unbelievable… Tell me how I did on the basketball?”

Bobby deadpans: “On the basketball, you lost a thousand.”

Three thousand dollars? You’re saying I lost three thousand dollars in bets, all in one day? I can’t believe this, this can’t be… what am I going to tell my wife? My God, this is just terrible!”

“So listen,” says Bobby. “You wanna put something on the hockey game tonight?”

“Hockey?” the guy replies. “What the fuck do I know about hockey?”

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 09:30:51 PM
Category: Hockey, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (1)

Does it make any sense for a bar to not have a liquor license?

A couple of nights ago, I decided I needed a quick nightcap. It wasn’t that late, but all the same I didn’t want to drive too far just for one drink. So I swung around the corner and stopped into a strip-mall sports pub.

It was pretty dead. I figured I’d just get my gin and tonic, down it, and leave. So I asked the bartendress for my drink.

Sorry, she said: Beer and wine only. No liquor.

I was caught offguard. I was bellied up to a bar, ferchrissakes. There were a couple of tables in the place, but there’s no way you’d take this dump for a restaurant. It was a bar, nothing else. And it didn’t offer anything but beer and wine?

I figure the place must be doing shitty business, and thus either couldn’t afford a liquor license or just lost the one it had. Either that, or the owners know their beer-swilling clientele so well that they figure they don’t need to invest in any spirits. Either way, it’s a safe bet that I’ll never be going there again.

I didn’t even bother to ask for elaboration. I just got up and left, a little disgusted that I wasted even those few minutes in there. I wound up going to a nearby Bennigan’s for my drink (it was even deader than the other place).

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 08:46:01 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

The above picture has been plastered on the Yahoo! homepage all day, in a banner ad for HotJobs.

She’s cute, for an Internet chick. I like the glasses, the short ‘do, and the come-hither-but-not-really expression.

I’m sure she’s a stock image model. A stock image is a copyright-free picture that’s widely available for commercial work. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen this one before, but with all the print and Web design I tend to look at day in and day out, I start recognizing when they’re being used. It’s probably just me.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 08:33:39 PM
Category: Internet | Permalink | Feedback


syn-es-the-sia - n. Physiol. Sensation produced at a point other than or remote from the point of stimulation, as of a color from hearing a certain sound (fr. Gk, syn = together + aisthesis = to perceive).

Sounds like what happens when you listen to the color of your dreams. I gotta get me some of that.

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 08:15:58 PM
Category: Science | Permalink | Feedback (1)

My right shoulder hurts.

It fucking hurts.

It hurt yesterday too, only not nearly as much. I slept on it wrong Sunday night, and despite rearranging the pillows (and putting heat on it before that), I apparently slept on it wrong again last night.

I can see the progression starting: No matter what I do today and tonight, it’s going to hurt even more tomorrow, and probably even more so the next day. Then it’ll start to subside, until the pain dissolves into a blunt but bearable unpleasantness by the weekend. Maybe.

An added bonus: I’ll be in a particularly foul and nasty mood while this persists. And I just love that.

Yeah, I used to laugh at the concept of injuring yourself just by sleeping…

- Costa Tsiokos, Tue 10/19/2004 09:55:59 AM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

Monday, October 18, 2021

life's a pageant
Weeks ago, I was so impressed by the Beastie Boys’ current weirdo tour that I said I’d have to hit it when it came into town.

Turns out that they’re rolling into the St. Pete Times Forum tomorrow. As usual, I’m oblivious to the concert happenings in the area.

Timing’s bad. I can’t go. I’ll have to grill the people who are going for post-show details.

Maybe I can get a feel for the show via the Beastie Blog.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2004 11:43:30 PM
Category: Pop Culture | Permalink | Feedback

Over the weekend, I stopped by one of the several church pumpkin patches in my ‘hood. It’s Halloween time, so you gotta get the gourd. I figured it would be nice to have one at work.

While looking for just the right one, I saw a bunch of white pumpkins off in a pile. In a sea of orange, there were about five or six of these freaky-looking things.

White pumpkins? I had no idea. Are they albinos? Is there such a thing as a vegetable albino? I’m afraid my worldliness doesn’t extend to plant life.

My limited research tonight reveals that white pumpkins aren’t that common, but they are a known quantity. So there you go.

I didn’t get one. None of them were big enough or had the right shape. Maybe next year.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2004 11:26:46 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

Because people can’t seem to figure out how to set their phones on mute (or at least vibrate), cellular jamming devices are gaining in popularity, everywhere from churches to restaurants.

Even the French are getting into the act, installing the technology in their moviehouses. That’s one place I’d gladly welcome this phone shut-down. I don’t know why theaters here haven’t done this already; any complaints would be outnumbered by a healthy majority that would prefer it. The cost of the devices could easily be offset by selling a couple of extra pre-movie ads (can’t believe I’m advocating that; indicates how much I hate ringing phones in the middle of a movie).

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2004 11:12:10 PM
Category: Tech, Society | Permalink | Feedback

As I left the office today, I noticed the sky. It was turning into a beautiful sunset, with orange and purple streaks everywhere and darkening shades of grey and white.

It looked good enough for a picture, but I decided to wait until I got outside, for a clearer shot. The window in my office tends to reflect glare, ruining pictures.

When I got outside a couple of minutes later, I looked up. Suddenly, the sky didn’t look that impressive anymore. It looked like just a big mess of clouds and diminishing light. Colors were washed out and indistinct. Nothing at all worth photographing.

Lesson learned: When shooting sunsets, do it on the 8th floor.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2004 10:59:17 PM
Category: General | Permalink | Feedback

If you plan on making your way through 1st Avenue North in downtown St. Pete sometime in the next few hours, be aware: There is a bunch of menacing-looking punks in clown makeup milling around. I just strolled through there, on the way back from lunch, and was initially taken aback when I saw them.

Then I looked around, and saw a bunch of roadies unloading equipment, and I understood. Sort of. Jannus Landing is hosting the Insane Clown Posse tonight at 7. So their fans, reputed to be a rabidly loyal lot, are hanging out well before the concert, maybe hoping to catch a glimpse of the band.

The nightmarish facepaint and other accessories really look out of context in the bright St. Petersburg sun. Their presence would make a lot more sense at nighttime.

By the way, ICP really sucks. That’s not the link saying that, that’s me.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 10/18/2004 02:15:51 PM
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