The Haphazard Blog

Archive for February, 2010

Why Is There Fish in Bleu Cheese Dressing?

by on Feb.14, 2010, under Dining, Entertainment

Yesterday we went to Wichita to get some shopping taken care of and decided to stop at Souper Salad for a quick lunch. They are a pretty good place for vegetarians and vegans. They will mark what is vegetarian (not that what they say is vegetarian is actually lacto-ovo vegetarian) and vegan. I noticed the oddest thing. Bleu cheese dressing was not marked as vegetarian. Some other dressings I’d assume to be were also non-vegetarian. So I tried to find out why and found a nutritional guide on their web site. Here’s what it says:

  • Honey Mustard – Contains Eggs, Contains Other Animal (they do not specify what)
  • Fat Free Cranberry – Contains Other Animal
  • Caesar – Contains Eggs, Contains Finfish
  • Bleu Cheese – Contains Eggs, Contains Finfish
  • Chipotle Ranch – Contains Eggs, Contains Finfish

I wondered if “Other Animal Product” is honey, but they mark stuff with eggs in it as vegetarian.  Why in the world is there fish in Bleu Cheese dressing? I checked the dressing in my refrigerator and it doesn’t have anything listed that could be remotely considered fish. Is this an aberration or one of those items specially made for the restaurant industry like Extra Heavy Mayonnaise. I think I’m going to stick with fat-free Italian dressing. It’s better for me anyways.

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The Curse is Broken!

by on Feb.07, 2010, under Football, Sports

The Manning Face Returns

I’m not sure that game could’ve played out any better if I planned it. The Saints won, the Colts lost.

I praised Manning for being clutch and what the victory would mean for his legacy. Then he throws a back-breaking interception returned for a touchdown in the 4th quarter to essentially end the game. They make Adam Vinatieri, the most clutch kicker in NFL history, inactive and watch Matt Stover miss a FG. It wasn’t Vanderjagt style, but Vinatieri doesn’t miss.

I got sucked in to the Manning hype. Letting the regular season overshadow the post-season. Even with the loss in SB XLII, Tom Brady is better. What was I thinking? They lose a SB, he has his knee destroyed and has a good season and I’m ready to accept Manning is better. I’m supposed to be smarter than that.

I thought if they won, people would wonder if they blew 19-0. It is starting to look like 17-0 is going to stand forever. Especially if they add 1 or 2 more regular season games. Now we know they blew a shot at 16-0 and the Super Bowl.

During the broadcast, they mentioned that New Orleans had a 1st half defense, 3rd quarter defense and stuff only for the 4th quarter. I think that is the best way to handle Peyton Manning.

Thank You for Choking

My favorite moment of the game was the pick-6. The horrible timing. Phil Sims declaring immediately before the play that the Saints shouldn’t blitz because Manning shredded the Jets and they blitz. Then Sims trying to explain himself instead of admitting he was dead wrong.

I admit I was concerned when Manning hit that long pass as they were trying to come back. But New Orleans was able to keep them out of the end zone. Very well done and well deserved.

Now that my personal Super Bowl curse is broken, I hope things are looking up on the Patriots front.

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Lost is Back

by on Feb.07, 2010, under Entertainment, TV

The show that has topped my TiVo Season Pass/DirecTV Season Manager is back for the final season. I’m looking forward to the conclusion of it all and have the big mystery explained.

The premiere episode was really good. I re-watched the Season 5 finale and Juliet dying is a sad scene (the whole scene). In the recap and the flashbacks to “the incident” they did edit it down some so it wasn’t as dramatic. She ends up surviving only to be killed again.

We got confirmation that not-John Locke (or not-Locke) is the smoke monster. He wanted to kill and Jacob and he has done it. I guess the question I didn’t ask was why he wanted to kill him (besides hating him) and what he would do after that. What is their relationship? Is it fate vs. free will?

Why did Jacob want/require Sayid be saved? Is there significance to him being dead for a while and suddenly awakening?

There are so many questions. At first I thought Jacob was reincarnated as Sayid. I changed my mind because when Sayid sat up, he asked “what happened?”. I would expect Jacob to know that.

The biggest mystery now is what is going on with the alternate reality where Oceanic 815 doesn’t crash? Although that is not completely accurate because some things are different like Desmond was on the plane and Shannon stayed behind in Australia. Is this what would’ve happened if the bomb had gone off?

Time travel is such a hard thing to write. It’s so easy to end up in a paradox. If they never crash on the island, then who goes back in time to set off the bomb to stop the plane from crashing? Is this alternate universes like Fringe?

Who was Juliet talking to when she was dying in Sawyer’s arms? Was she somehow in two places at once? Are they in some type of place (heaven? hell?) where the only way out is “death”? Could her message, “It worked”, refer to anything else other than the hydrogen bomb detonation?

I think some type of dream is too easy. Lost fans would be furious if everyone on the plane had lost consciousness and it was all a dream. We’ve seen time travel. Faraday had some weird experiment where the missile took a lot longer to arrive that it should. Finding the island is nearly impossible. To leave the island you have to follow a specific path. The island has vanished/moved.

I can’t even come up with a logical theory right now. So many mysteries to try and explain. I hope that come May I’m not disappointed. The build-up has been big. Please don’t go out like the Sopranos. I don’t want to think I wasted my time watching the last 3 seasons.

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Super Bowl Prediction

by on Feb.07, 2010, under Football, Sports

I think the Colts will win. I really want the Saints to win. I have been rooting for the loser the last 4 years (Seahawks, Bears, Patriots, Cardinals). I’m sorry New Orleans.

I think if Peyton Manning wins this one he passes Tom Brady right now, even while having one less Super Bowl ring. He will have totally turned around from when he just couldn’t win the big one. Just this season, he has been as clutch as anyone has ever been. No lead is safe with him. Sixty minutes of football is too long for him. So far, there hasn’t been a defense that has stopped him figuring them out. I’d consider either having two different schemes for the first half and second half if I was facing him. The question would be, is the defense smart enough to do it? Two weeks to prepare might be enough time.

I think this game will be a high scoring affair. I also think it will be close. The Colts defense is going to be impacted without a healthy Dwight Freeney. No one is going to stop Peyton Manning. 30 points or more for each team.

I hope I see the Manning face more than a few times tonight.

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Quick Format or Regular Format

by on Feb.07, 2010, under Computer Hardware, Technology

It has been a while since I had installed a new hard drive. I bought a 2 TB hard drive for media. In Windows I initialized the disk, partitioned and formatted it. Well, as the formatting was taking longer and longer I thought I’d check if that was normal. (It ended up taking 7 hours.)

Some people were recommending a quick format for new drives. That would’ve taken no time at all. I think I got to the bottom of it, and despite taking so long (I would’ve done it overnight to save time had I known), I think the regular format is best.

The quick format basically sets up the disk for use. The thinking of some is that since the disk is new and empty, there’s no need to do a full format (writing to the entire drive).

The regular format checks for bad sectors. This is what ends up taking so long. On the surface, it may seem like modern hard drives don’t have bad sectors (unless they are going bad), but in reality they do. The manufacturers set aside space to re-map bad sectors to so that from Windows perspective, the drive has no bad sectors. So the regular format makes that initial sweep of a new drive to discover any bad sectors before you put it to use. Quick format is better suited for a drive that was fully formatted previously.

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Core Trainer, Week 2

by on Feb.06, 2010, under Life, Physical Therapy

I needed a couple more days of rest, but I did get back to using the Core Trainer. The DVDs provided some insight on how to get the most out of the Core Trainer and there was also a small segment on its use at the Center for Spinal Cord Injury Recovery in Detroit. They showed a couple people using it briefly. I’m not sure if both of those people were tall or the unit was shorter because both of them seemed to have their feet on the ground without them coming up. My feet sometimes come off the ground while it is moving.

The mirror is very helpful. I can see when I’m not level and correct it. I can also kind of target an area to try and keep my torso within so I know that I am keeping myself as straight as I can. I also stop using the Core Trainer when I can no longer stay pretty straight. The time I ride it has steadily increased over the week. I also think how long I can stay up straight (no slouching, sacral sitting) is improving. I won’t know for sure without using a stop watch or until I can do it for 3 minutes straight. The display on the Core Trainer counts down from 15 minutes with 5 LEDs, so you only know when you have less than 15, 12, 9, 6 and 3 minutes left.

Getting on and off has become easier the more I do it. I’m able to do it with only one person to help now that I feel more comfortable with it (there is really just a sense that there is nothing to really hold on to, so my biggest worry is sliding off the seat.).

I think the next thing I want to try is to do it without holding the handle to get a sense of the difference in difficulty. Up to now, I have always used the handle, and I think there is no way I could get rocked too much to cause me to go too far in any direction. I’m curious how much holding the handle helps me.

Some pictures of me on the Core Trainer trying to sit straight (it’s hard without seeing myself in a mirror!)

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Tablet Follow-Up

by on Feb.06, 2010, under Computer Hardware, Technology

Following up on my last post on the iPad, I came across some tablet related items that I liked.

The first was an announcement of an iPad look-alike that runs Windows 7 from a company called ExoPC. The slate is quick to point out that it will have “full support of all formats including Flash and Silverlight”. I’m not sure how the performance of it will be, but if it is smooth, I think it will deliver a good experience. The screen resolution is lower, which does hurt it. Fortunately, it is only reduced in one direction, so it should not hurt the web experience. The integrated web cam makes a lot of sense but it doesn’t mention a microphone. If it includes that, then you can run Skype on it. Weaker battery life and no 3G, but it has USB. Since it is running Windows 7, you will have full control of the tablet and won’t be locked in to Apple everything.

The second was a semi-critique of the iPad. I thought it was a good way to explain why the product seems like such a disappointment. I also like the simplicity in the statement “”With this, you can finally…” to determine how innovative a product is.

The final item was concept UI that Google put up a couple days before the iPad announcement. After the ipad announcement, my brother and I felt that Google was best positioned to directly challenge the iPad because they have their own mobile OS (Android) and are working on their own Chrome OS. A couple days later, it was reported Steve Jobs said “We did not enter the search business. They entered the phone business. Make no mistake they want to kill the iPhone.” in reference to Google during a company town hall meeting. He then tossed in “I want to go back to that other question first and say one more thing, he says. This don’t be evil mantra: ‘It’s bullshit.'” for good measure. I don’t think he’d waste his time talking about Google if he didn’t see them as a real threat.

All this talk of tablets also has me thinking. Multi-touch is not the best friend of people with physical disabilities. The gestures should really have an ability to be customized to allow those with limitations to decide what gestures are most important or maybe even different ways to perform the gesture to enable the same action.

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