31December2003 - Last day of the year.
As promised, here are my time-tested suggestions for: Avoiding
& Surviving Hangovers. Happy New Year, everybody. If you're
going out, drive safely tonight.
30December2003 - Looks like Google found
its way to the Windows XP Install
guide. If you search for the terms: windows xp installation
this], it finally show up. And rather prominently. Which is surprising,
cuz the guide was only posted for the first time earlier this month.
Google (world's most popular search engine) usually penalizes new pages
by ranking them lower. For example, the ASPI
guide and the FDISK guide
both started way back on page #8 (position #75)
when they first debuted. Both took ~18 months to work
their way up to the first page.
Today if you search for the terms ASPI
or FDISK or Norton
Ghost or drive
partitioning or rip
CD or CUSL2 or
school or Intel
Northwood, you'll find Radified guides ranking prominently for each
query. Maybe Google figures the Windows Install guide
was headed to the top anyway, and decided to let it skip to the front
of the line. Anyway, it always surprises me how much traffic a prominent
Google ranking can generate.
Tomorrow is the last day of the year. And what a year 2003
has been. Tomorrow I will post my world-famous guide on How to Avoid
a Hangover, and also the guide for which I have much more personal
experience: How to Survive a Hangover.
29December2003 - Took the
kids to see The
Last Samurai last night. I liked it. A lot. Enough to add it to
my official Recommended list. The theater was packed. In fact,
we had to wait and see a later show, cuz the one we planned to see was
Stars Tom Cruise. I
thought he was washed-up after his last few performances, most notably
the one he gave in the horrible Vanilla
Sky. But he makes a strong come-back as The Last Samurai.
It's certainly possible that *anyone* would have succeeded in this film,
since the story is so strong. But Cruise fits the part nicely.
Gorgeous scenery. Caught myself muttering, "Wow," a few times.
Several parts threatened to wax corny, but segued away nicely, with
each of these scenes ending cleanly. Only the ending wallowed in sentimentalism.
But that is probably where that kind of thing needs to happen.
Rich characters. Many thought-provoking lines. My favorite was: "A
man does what he can until his destiny is revealed." Another
was: "Too many minds," referring to the need for
Interesting how the story compares the Samurai of Japan with the Native
American Indian. Both embraced values of courage, loyalty & honor.
And both were mercilessly slaughtered
by superior technology and political greed. The remainder of today's
topic is posted here:> The
LAST Samurai & Native American Indians.
28December2003 - We're back. If you've
ever seen the movie Meet
the Parents [starring Ben Stiller & Robert
De Niro], you have some idea how I spent the holiday.
A last-minute decision. Woke to a white Christmas. Been a long time
since I saw one of those. Not far from the frozen tundra of the Canadian-Michigan
On the way from the airport, we passed under 8-MILE,
the road made famous by the
Eminem movie. As we approached the infamous boulevard, something
came over me and I felt like busting out some rhymes: "Yo,
yo, yo. My name is Joe. Mess with me, I'll bust your toe."
[Needs work, I know.]
Good to be back home in sunny
SoCal, land of palm
trees and surf
boards, where it's warm. First thing we did upon landing, after
the long flight, was to find some Mexican food. Craving those sinus-clearing
spices. I trust you all had an equally wonderful holiday. A few readers
wrote to say they woke to find the parts for a Rad
Rig waiting for them under their tree Christmas morning. Must be
nice. Now all they have to do it put it together.
21December2003 - Today is the winter
solstice. Here at Radified International corporate
headquarters, we have down-shifted into full-blown holiday
mode. The staff
has already left for their various holiday destinations: Italy, Fiji,
Maui, Tahiti, the Bahamas.
We are, as we speak, throwing darts at a map
of the world to see where we'll be headed. Who knows what exotic
destination awaits? Katmandu? Athens? .. What? Newark, New Jersey!
Dang, give me back that dart.
Before we throw again, I want to wish you & yours a merry and a
happy. Drive safely this holiday season and we'll see you in 2004.
While we're away, I'll leave the site up for you to peruse at your leisure.
Make yourselves at home.
For the holidays, I picked up a book on Mountaineering:
of the Hills, recommended as "the climber's bible," and
the best-selling mountaineering book of all time, originally
published in 1961 [reviews],
updated in September [7th edition].
The first thing I learned from the book is that Mtn climbing is a *technical*
sport, employing sophisticated techniques, which is maybe why
I feel so drawn to it.
I'd like to try my hand at this sport in the future. You know what
Hemingway said about mountain climbing. There's something about
scaling the sheer
face of a mountain that fosters a feeling of invincibility. Friends
however, suggest I first have my head examined. Adios, for now.
16December2003 - Went to my first Christmas
party of the season this past weekend. Lots of fun, big house, many
rooms with different groups of people, not one but *two* raging fireplaces,
steaming hot tub outside in the cold night air, karaoke (bad singers,
but), lots of nice people.
Last night we went to Nikolai's 14th
birthday party at Benihana's
(the one near the John Wayne airport). A photo of the motley crew is
here (56-KB, thanks to Evan for scanning the Polaroid
13December2003 - This week is the Christmas
Boat Parade (95th annual, since 1907)
harbor. Festivities begin Wednesday the 17th, and
conclude Sunday the 21st. I go every year. It has become
a tradition. Things get "underway" about 6:30,
and wrap up about 8:30. On Friday and Saturday nights,
they keep going a little later.
I like to ride the (3-minute) Balboa
Island Ferry over. If you've read the novel The
Golden Orange by Joseph
Wambaugh [ex-Los Angeles police officer, most famous
Onion Field, a true story], you know that he begins
his story with the captain of the Balboa Island Ferry crashing his vessel
into extravagantly lighted yachts during the Christmas Boat Parade.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> Newport
Harbor Christmas Boat Parade.
12December2003 - I broke up the guide to
PC Stability Factors
in to 3 pages (cut & paste). It used to be a single,
unwieldy document of over 50-KB. Now it is more manageable:
20 + 20 + 12. I also
broke up the FDISK guide. It
used to be 2 pages. Now it's 4. My
goal is to keep the pages less than 20-KB, so folks
on dial-up don't choke on them. And I noticed that the Google
translator stops translating after 20 or 25-KB.
11December2003 - Finally saw the Matrix
Revolutions last night. At the Spectrum.
On the giant IMAX screen. A few stories
tall. Costs $2.00 more per ticket to enjoy the "IMAX Experience".
The detail and clarity were remarkable. Special effects were over the
top. Out of this world. A little heavy handed on the philosophy. Almost
got corny in a few parts. Final fight sequence most impressive. Unexpected
Overall I enjoyed it. But found myself longing for the simplicity of:
"What will it be, Neo? The red pill, or the green one?" The
it. But what do critics know? The remainder of today's drivel on
this topic is posted here:> Matrix
Revolutions & 21 Grams.
09December2003 - Posted a new page on PC
Stability Testing. Cut a chunk of text from the end of the Windows
XP Install guide, which was growing rather plump, and pasted it
into a page/guide/feature of its own.
08December2003 - Updated the Windows
XP Installation guide to include two PDFs: one
version (55-KB), which contains the entire guide
(all 4 pages) .. and another printer-friendly
version (93-KB), which has the gray backgrounds
removed to conserve toner/ink (8 pages).
People have been telling me for years that I should do a Windows-install
guide .. that it would be a popular feature. Not sure why I didn't believe
them. Maybe because there were already such guides out there.
So I guess it shouldn't surprise me to see how popular the guide has
become .. in the few, short days since it was posted. It has been downloaded
several thousand times already. But I can't find any single source for
this traffic. The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted
Install guide PDFs.
04December2003 - Here in Laguna
Beach, every first Thursday of the month (today)
is the Art
Walk. This is where all the art galleries stay open late. Laguna
has dozens of them. It's an artist's community. Participating galleries
hang balloons or banners outside to signify their participation and
offer visitors wine & h'ordeurves inside. You can get pretty trashed
if you're not careful.
It has become quite an event. People come from all around. The town
swells with visitors. Of course, traffic sucks and parking becomes a
nightmare. But that's normal. The art contained in these galleries is
surprisingly good. Local galleries do well on these nights. You can
see a video of this on Laguna
TV. Maybe we'll see you out on the town. Don't dress too warmly
because those galleries get toasty with all those people inside.
The remainder of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> First
Thursday Art Walk Laguna Beach.
03December2003 - Six weeks ago, I mentioned
new features I had in mind. Everyone liked the idea of a Windows
XP Installation Guide. (Nobody liked the other.) So that's what
I did. I've been working on it little by little. It still rough, and
needs polishing, but it works. At least on my
system. See what you think. I even gave the new guide its own subdomain:
It's 4 pages right now. All the
guides started small, before blossoming into full-featured documents.
Readers continue to write in and say, "Hey Rad, You forgot
something... " After we get it all hunky-dory, I'll crank
out a couple of PDF files: one zipped version for download and another
that is printer-friendly. My goal is to have it dialed in before Google
and the other search engines discover it.
01December2003 - Last month of the year
before we head into 2004. RADIFIED set a new
site record last month with nearly 1.3 million
hits. See here.
Actually, hits is a rather meaningless metric. For example,
when you load this page, you generate 9 hits. The remainder
of today's drivel on this topic is posted here:> New