Dec 19, 2007

2007 Christmas Collabo

What would Christmas be without a compilation of the greatest stars singing a classic Christmas favorite? Well, not much, I can tell you that!


Featuring (In order of appearance):

Frank Sinatra

Elvis Presley

William Hung

The Partridge Family

Willie Nelson

Macy Gray

The Andrews Sisters


Dean Martin

Manhattan Transfer


Neil Diamond

Barry Manilow

James Taylor

Clay Aiken


Johnny Mathis

Brian Setzer


Tony Bennet

and last but not least...Mr. Ringo Starr

General Mills Stock Downgraded to Mean

I found the following in Kevin Depew's 'Five Things You Need to Know to Stay Ahead of the Pack on Wall Street' for December 19, 2007. Click here for the full article.

The move by General Mills back in June to raise the price of its cereal while decreasing the box size so that customers would hopefully be fooled by the cost increase, prompted a mixed response from Wall Street analysts. Some applauded the move, upgrading the stock from "Earnest" to "Sneaky", while other Wall Street analysts found the whole thing confusing.

Here's a transcript from a portion of that previous analyst call:

Analyst: So let me see if I understand this. The price of your cereal is going up?
General Mills Spokesperson: That's correct.
Analyst: But the price per box is actually going down?
General Mills Spokesperson: Correct.
Analyst: So then how is the price going up?
General Mills Spokesperson: Because we're making the box smaller.
Analyst: Ok, but you just said the price of each box is going to be less.
General Mills Spokesperson: Yes, that's true.
Analyst: So then you're actually lowering prices.
General Mills Spokesperson: No, we're raising prices.
Analyst: How?
General Mills Spokesperson: Look, you're an analyst, you work with numbers.
Analyst: Right. Ok. I got it.
General Mills Spokesperson: Next question.
Analyst: Uh, actually, I don't get it. How can you raise the price by lowering the price?
General Mills Spokesperson: Because we're decreasing the size of the box.
Analyst: Ok, but you're charging less for each box.
General Mills Spokesperson: Yes. Because we're decreasing the size.
Analyst: Ah, I get it. So then the price is really the same, you're just making the box smaller which makes the price look lower.
General Mills Spokesperson: No, no, no! Listen. We're raising the price of our cereal.
Analyst: But -
General Mills Spokesperson: Shut up! Now listen, we're raising the price of our cereal.
Analyst: (Silence).
General Mills Spokesperson: Say it.
Analyst: We're raising the price of our cereal.
General Mills Spokesperson: Good. We're raising the price of our cereal... while simultaneously making the box smaller. Go on, say it.
Analyst: While simultaneously making the box smaller...
General Mills Spokesperson: But... and this is the important part... but we're raising the price more than we're decreasing the size of the box... go on...
Analyst: But we're raising the price more than we're decreasing the size of the box.
General Mills Spokesperson: So...
Analyst: So...
General Mills Spokesperson: That...
Analyst: That...
General Mills Spokesperson: Come on...
Analyst: Come -
General Mills Spokesperson: No, I mean, come on and follow the thought. So that...
Analyst: Oh. So that...
General Mills Spokesperson: The...
Analyst: The... price is lower?
General Mills Spokesperson: No! So that the customer...
Analyst: So that the customer...
General Mills Spokesperson: Will.
Analyst: Will.
General Mills Spokesperson: Oh good Lord. So that the customer will think the price has gone down when it's really gone up!
Analyst: Oh.
General Mills Spokesperson: See? Price increase. Smaller box. Larger price increase than smaller box.
Analyst: Right. I still don't get it.
General Mills Spokesperson: You know what? Just forget it.
Analyst: I'm going to have to downgrade your stock, you know.
General Mills Spokesperson: Good. Good. You do that.
Analyst: I will.
General Mills Spokesperson: I don't even want you to rate our stock positive.
Analyst: Good, because I won't.
General Mills Spokesperson: It would be an insult to the company for you to rate it positive.
Analyst: I'm downgrading your stock to "Mean."

I don't know who to feel more sorry for - the spokesperson getting super frustrated, or the analyst getting yelled at! Ah, capitalism...ain't it grand?

Dec 14, 2007

Dumb Steve Joke VI

A German, A Pole, and Dumb Steve were all hiking in the Alps. They had reached the peak, had a nice picnic lunch, and were headed back down the narrow trail when a rockslide came thundering down the mountain. All three got safely out of the way, but were perturbed to find their only path was now blocked.
They were contemplating this predicament when all of a sudden, a blinding flash of light appeared. It slowly faded, and revealed the Good Fairy smiling gently at the hikers.

"I have come to grant you all one wish," she stated. "I will turn you into anything you desire - simply shout it out and I will make it so."

The hikers were shocked and stunned, but were truly grateful for the oppourtunity.

The German began running, and when he reached the edge of the cliff he leaped into the air and shouted, "An eagle!"

POOF! The German was turned into a majestic bald eagle, who soared away gracefully.

The Pole then jumped off of the edge of the cliff and bellowed, "A hawk!"

POOF! He was turned into a regal hawk, who flew elegantly toward the horizon.

Dumb Steve thought for a moment, then ran towards the edge of the cliff. Just before he reached the edge, he stumbled and said, "Crap!"


Dec 3, 2007

Florida State's Going to the Music City Bowl!

Florida State is headed to the 2007 Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl in Nashville, TN. The Seminoles (7-5, 4-4 ACC) will face the Kentucky Wildcats (7-5, 3-5 SEC). FSU fans travel well, but the proximity of the location to Kentucky's home turf should skew the crowd to Kentucky's advantage. Both teams posess talented athletes, both teams have potent offenses that (when cooperating) are capable of putting up big numbers, and both teams have wins against chart-topping this should turn out to be an interesting matchup. You can watch the game on Monday, December 31, at 3:00pm CST on ESPN.

Kentucky got off to a quick start earlier in the year, and were ranked #8 with a record of 5-0 after beating both Louisville and Arkansas. The Wildcats were tripped up by South Carolina, but rebounded in style by defeating LSU, at the time ranked #1, currently ranked #2 and headed to the Allstate National Championship. The magic didn't last, however, and Kentucky suffered losses in four of their final five games of the season - all at the hands of SEC opponents.

The Seminoles have lost some conference heart-breakers as well, including the season-opening Bowden Bowl loss to Clemson. Florida State took the lead against both Wake Forest and Miami, but couldn't hold on. The Seminoles did manage to sparkle early against Boston College, and the 'Noles hung on to beat comeback-kid and Heisman hopeful Matt Ryan, whose BC team was ranked #2 at the time.

Bobby Bowden has led FSU to 26 straight bowl appearances, including two National Championships. The 78-year-old Bowden is the winningest coach in major college football with 373 wins, two more than Penn State's Joe Paterno. Bobby has also agreed to coach Florida State for another year, signing a deal that extends his contract through the 2008-2009 season, worth just under $2.5 million.

Nov 30, 2007

Planet Bizzle's Reading Level

Okay, so I ran Planet Bizzle through The Blog Readability Test and found out that it's written at an impressive level! All I can think is that it might be picking up my post about the longest sentence in literature.

College - Post Grad

I checked my Random Graffiti blog (completely visual, no commentary) and found that it was rated "Genius". No lie! You can test it by typing the URL ( into the The Blog Readability Test. I guess less really is more!!

Nov 27, 2007

Florida State’s 2007 Bowl Possibilities

Though we didn’t make it to the ACC Championship, Florida State did finish the year with a winning record (7-5). So, we’re going to a bowl. Last year, FSU stunned UCLA 44-27 in the Emerald Bowl. So which bowl will we be going to this year? Well, the invitations haven’t been extended yet, but I’ve examined the selection process and come up with three possibilities. These bowls all grant invitations to an ACC team that finishes fifth, sixth or seventh. Wake Forest finished fifth in the ACC, and Florida State tied with Georgia Tech for sixth. So it seems likely that each of us will end up in one of the following bowls:

The Meineke Car Care Bowl (Bank of America Stadium, Charlotte, NC) The game will be broadcast on ESPN Saturday, December 29th at 12:00 CST. Possible opponents: Cincinnati, Connecticut.

The Gaylord Hotels Music City Bowl (LP Field, Nashville, TN) The game will be broadcast on ESPN Monday, December 31, 3:00pm CST. Possible opponents: Arkansas, Mississippi State, Alabama.

The Emerald Bowl (AT&T Park, San Francisco, CA) The game will be broadcast on ESPN Friday, December 28th at 7:30 CST. Possible opponents: Oregon, Oregon State, UCLA, California.

Personally, I’m hoping for Oregon or Oregon State, though they may get invited to a bigger bowl. I do know one thing...Miami isn't headed to any bowl!

Nov 26, 2007

2007 ESPN College Pick'Em Results

Each year, hosts a fantasy game called College Pick'Em. You have to pick the winner in 10 college games each week, and assign every choice a unique confidence level from 1 - 10. That determines the number of points you have riding on each game. It's pretty fun and mildly addictive, and I've been playing since 2002.

This year, I finished with 473 points out of a possible 660. That doesn't sound too great, but when you consider the numerous upsets in the polls this year, and the fact that the winner only managed 555 points, it makes me feel a little better!

I created the "Florida State Seminoles" group page, and 139 people joined. I finished 15th in the group.

More stats:

Rank: 13,070 out of 178,413

Average point total: 412.3 (I had 473)

Well, there's always next year! Go Noles!

Nov 19, 2007

'Random Graffiti' Has Launched!

I recently launched another blog called Random Graffiiti. The link will be available in my sidebar for future reference, or you can always subscribe to the posts so you don't miss anything.

I'll be publishing daily images of graffiti from all over the United States, extending to the rest of the world if the US can't meet the demand! Look for all kinds of styles - if it appeals to me, it goes on the page. Enjoy!

Nov 5, 2007

Seminoles Scalp No. 2 Boston College, 27-17

If you're like me, you're tired of hearing all this hype about Boston sports teams. Well, the Seminoles are doing their part to wipe out some of that nonsense...they defeated #2 Boston College Saturday night!

What an awesome upset win. I love being the underdog! And BC didn't just give it away on their home turf...we played with excitement and won the game.

Our offensive line gave Drew Weatherford the pass protection he needed, and opened up some nice holes for Antone Smith. Giving Drew the time he needed allowed him to find his rhythm and display some nice consistency that's been lacking at that position over the last couple of years. Used to, we would toss the ball down the field and hope Greg Carr would come down with it. Now, we're moving the ball down the field methodically.

Oh yeah - FSU had NO turnovers! Which is huge.

Matt Ryan (QB, BC) had been getting some Heisman chatter, but I'd be willing to bet that's over now. He was picked off three times, and on one interception, Geno Hayes returned it 38 yards for a touchdown to give the Noles a 27-17 lead with just over a minute remaining. No big comebacks here, Matt!

It was a really great game. I enjoyed it immensely! Jimbo Fisher even used some tricky plays, including one that involved three handoffs and a toss down the field for a gain of at least 20. Our old offensive coordinator, Jeff Bowden, would always try a deep throw on first down, then a run on second down (that would get nowhere) and then an "unexpected" run on third and long (which would also go nowhere). It didn't take long for our opponents to figure out our 3-play game plan. Jimbo, on the other hand, is cutting the defense to shreds with short, quick passes and screens that move the ball and give our athletes a chance to make big plays. Good riddance, Jeff!

I'm looking forward to the Virginia Tech game this weekend, and I feel like we've got a real shot to beat everyone left on our schedule, including Florida! All we have to do is play like we did on Saturday night. GO NOLES!!

Oh yeah, and Miami lost to NC State. What a weekend!

Oct 30, 2007

I Curse You, Subscribers!

After syndicating my blog with FeedBurner, I've been using some of their add-ons and publicizing features. Sadly, every time you log in, the main screen displays your feeds and slaps you in the face with "Number of Subscribers: 0".

It was getting depressing, so I subscribed to the feed myself. (Trust me, "1" looks a whole lot better than "0".) Imagine my surprise when yesterday I logged on and saw "3" subscribers listed. I was elated! People love me and my blog! In fact, they like it so much they're subscribing! And it follows that there must be more people reading the blog that haven't subscribed.

Suddenly, I felt responsible. Obligated, if you will, to start putting out regular posts with quality content. Don't want to let down or disappoint the subscribers!

Well, today I logged in just for fun and found that I'm back to 1 subscriber. *Sigh*. I checked the stats, and it looks like I had three subscribers on Sunday, and back to one on Monday. One day. That was all they gave me. And they didn't even hang around - they actually took the time and effort to un-subscribe.

So now I'm back to one subscriber...and we all know who that is!

Well I'll show you! I might just take a blogging hiatus, or start posting cat pictures, or bad recipes with ingredients you've never heard of! Maybe I'll start photographing random people, or talking like a complete moron. Or maybe I'll use my blog as a kind of therapy session to talk about my feelings and other gooey stuff. Yeah, you wanted a war, I'll gvie you a war! I'll have the worst blog on the internet! I'll offend you with my ridiculous posts, recycled pictures, horrible grammar and bad spelling. (Well, maybe not bad grammar and spelling...wouldn't want to offend my last subscriber. That guy's awesome!)

Oct 26, 2007

Planet Bizzle Has Been Syndicated!

Yeah! It took me a while to figure it all out (I'm at work, people) but I managed to successfully syndicate my blog with Feedburner. You can click here to subscribe to my posts, or click the icon above.

Airbus SAS A380

Have you seen this thing? It’s now the largest passenger plane on the planet. It made its first commercial flight on Oct 25, 2007 from Singapore to Sydney.

The aircraft can carry 525 people in a three-class seating arrangement, or 853 people in full economy-class format. It’s as tall as a 7-story building. But it ain’t cheap…an average economy ticket costs around $1,000.00.

The Airbus A380 surpasses the Boeing 747-400 as the world’s largest passenger aircraft – ending Boeing’s 37-year claim to the title.

Oct 25, 2007

Today I’m a Democrat

Okay, so this isn’t one of those self-indulging political blogs, but I feel obligated to tell my readers that I am now a bleeding-heart liberal. And so is my wife.

I recently received a “Rock-the-Vote” address verification form in the mail because I guess some computer finally figured out that I lived in one precinct but was registered to vote in another. Anyway, I took the opportunity to not only update my address, but change my party affiliation. Afterwards, I took Angela by the Supervisor of Elections’ office and she changed to the big D as well. Do I get some sort of conversion bonus for her? There should be a bonus.

Now hold on a minute - this isn’t due to any kind of recent soul-searching, or some ridiculous anti-war protest thing. I’ve made no mass-reorganization of my ethics or value systems. I don’t like blue better than red, and elephants are still way cooler than donkeys. So before the Democratic Party starts reveling in their victory of my conversion, let me make the reason clear.

In Florida, you can only vote in your own party’s primary. And point blank, the Democratic Primary will be more exciting and more relevant than the Republican Primary. And I definitely plan on switching back to Republican after the primary. I’m not a straight party-line voter, but I do tend to agree with Republicans on the majority of issues.

Just to be clear, here’s my stance on the big ones:
Abortion – Against
Gun Control – Against
Extended Welfare Programs – Against
God in Public Schools – For
Death Penalty – For
Gay Rights – For (Yeah, I know it’s out of sync)
Environmentalism – For (OK, this one, too)
Global Corporations – For
Steaks – For

Why are steaks on the list? ‘Cuz I always think of Liberals as eating home-grown vegetables and tofu and stuff. Just want to set the record straight. But, for now, I’m a Democrat. Lovely.

Okay, that’s enough politics. Here’s something a little more fun:

Sep 21, 2007

Yogi Bear: Black Bear or Grizzly?

Yogi Bear has been delighting Jellystone tourists with his antics for decades. But exactly what species of bear wears a matching hat and necktie? Let's examine some facts:

  • Yogi is brown. Grizzly bears are brown, and black bears are (get this) sometimes brown. 1 point for both species.
  • He famously describes himself as "smarter than the average bear." Grizzlies are much more intelligent than black bears, and have larger brains. 1 point for grizzly bear.
  • Yogi's constantly running away with pic-a-nic baskets. Both grizzly and black bears scavenge for food. 1 point for both species.
  • He's slightly taller than Ranger Smith. Black bears grow to be 5-6 feet tall. Full-grown grizzlies can reach heights of 8 feet. Assuming Ranger Smith isn't a giant or an ogre, 1 point for black bear.
  • Yogi walks on his hind legs. Both species can manage this, though a grizzly is more prone to do so with regularity. 1 point for grizzly bear.
  • He lives in Jellystone Park. I've always thought of Jellystone as being somewhere in the northern contiguous US. Grizzlies are only found in Canada, Alaska and Hollywood. 1 point for black bear.
Final result: 4 points for grizzly bear, 4 points for black bear. I guess he could really be either species. This "test" of "facts" revealed absolutely nothing. What a waste of time. Well, at least I'm on my lunch break. What's your excuse?


Recently I wrote a post about my wife and a competition she entered. I have since found out that I could have sabotaged her chances by blogging about it. I've removed the post, and you will have to wait until January '08 to get the info - sorry about that!

Those of you who read the post, let's try to keep it hush-hush, OK? I know I can count on you, 'cuz hey, if you can't trust anonymous internet users, then who can you trust?

Sep 14, 2007

What's Gross?

Diet Chocolate Fudge soda.

What's Grosser than Gross?

Diet CHERRY Chocolate Fudge Soda. Yuck!!

Sep 13, 2007

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah (ראש השנה) is a celebration of the Jewish New Year, which began yesterday at sundown and lasts through Friday night. Welcome to 5768 everybody!

The traditional greeting on Rosh Hashanah is "Shana Tova" Hebrew for "A Good Year," or "Shana Tova Umetukah" for "A Good and Sweet Year." Because Jews are being judged by God for the coming year, a longer greeting translates as "May You Be Written and Sealed for a Good Year" (ketiva ve-chatima tovah).

Some Rosh Hashanah facts:

  • characterized by the blowing of the shofar, a trumpet made from a ram's horn
  • begins 163 days after the first day of Passover
  • can never occur on the first, fourth or sixth days of the Jewish week

Sep 11, 2007

Happy 26th Birthday, Angela!!

Today my wife celebrates her 26th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Angela!!

Aug 30, 2007

The Toothpaste Ruse

See the flat toothpaste tube in the foreground? That's MY toothpaste. I say it like that because, unbeknownst to me, my wife broke into the new tube already and has been using it in secret!

Apparently, she's been using the nice, full tube (probably squeezing it lazily from the middle) while I've been cramping my hands up trying to coax the last few drops of watery goo from the old tube. Each morning, when I see that flattened tube still sitting beside the sink, I think, "Well, she brushed her teeth already, so there must still be some toothpaste left in it." Then I start squeezing and twisting like a madman to get it out.

Today, she walked into the bathroom and said, "Really? You're still using this old thing?" And I'm like, "Yeah...aren't you?" And she's like, "No. I haven't been using it since Monday. I just wanted to see how long you would keep using it!"

She then confessed that on Monday she broke into the new tube, and each morning when she's done she puts it back in the box and sets it against her electric toothbrush so you can't tell the box is open (see photo above). Talk about evil. Talk about diabolical. Talk about...clever!

I have to admit, it's pretty funny, and it was a great experiment. I don't know how long I would have continued to use that thing! I'm just glad I got to use the new tube this morning. I got a nice, full dollop, and it tasted much better!

In the end, I'm glad I have a scheming wife. Wait...that didn't sound quite right. What I'm happy about is having a wife who's interesting and unpredictable. She definitely keeps life interesting!

Aug 27, 2007

Grand Theft Auto and 'The Price Is Right' Have Something in Common...

I knew I recognized that typeface! Sure, it's been updated and modernized, but one look at the letter 'R' and there's no argument.

Aug 23, 2007

Dumb Steve Joke V

I urgently needed a few days off work, but I knew the boss would'nt allow me to take leave. I thought that maybe if I acted crazy, then he would tell me to take a few days off. So, I hung upside-down on the ceiling and made funny noises.

Dumb Steve asked me what I was doing. I told him that I was pretending to be a light bulb so that the boss might think I was crazy and give me a few days off.

A few minutes later the boss came into the office and asked, "What in the world are you doing?" I told him I was a light bulb. He said, "You're clearly stressed out." Go home and rest for a couple of days."

I jumped down and walked out of the office.

When Dumb Steve tried to follow me out, the boss asked him, "Where do you think you're going?"

Steve said, "I'm going home, too. I can't work in the dark".

Aug 22, 2007

Visiting the Titanic Exhibit

On Saturday, Angela and I went to see the Titanic exhibit at the Visual Arts Center. It was pretty neat. The exhibit was put on by the company RMS Titanic, Inc. and they had artifacts on display that have been brought up from the actual wreck site.

When you first enter the exhibit, each person is given a "boarding pass" that corresponds to an actual person that was aboard the ship. The card tells about the person, who they were travelling with, and the reason for their voyage. My person was Sir Cosmo Edmund Duff-Gordon. He was travelling with his wife, Lady Lucy Christiana Duff-Gordon, the fashion designer, and Laura M. Francatelli, his wife's secretary. They were all first-class passengers. Cosmo was a proficient fencer, and represented Great Britain at the 1908 Olympics. Lady Duff-Gordon had urgent business in New York, and Cosmo chose to accompany her on this trip.

Angela's person was Mrs. Benjamin Peacock (Edith Nile). She was travelling with her daughter, Treasteall, and her son, Alfred. They were third-class passengers. Her husband was already in New Jersey, working as a mechanical engineer. Edith had been ill at the time of his voyage, so she and the family stayed behind until she felt better - booking passage aboard the Titanic.

The whole exhibit told the story of Titanic, and after you learn about the conception and building of the ship and the first few days of the voyage, you walk down a flight of stairs to the underwater portion of the exhibit. Here they discuss the recovery of the artifacts from beneath 2 miles of water.

For us, though, the most interesting thing about the exhibit were the individual stories that were told. Each artifact belonged to a certain person, and they had gave a description of how and why that particular person happened to be aboard ship. They also had several plaques on the walls that described different people and their individual stories.

Towards the end of the exhibit, they give a list of every passenger, by class, and every crew member and whether or not that person made it through the voyage. Sadly, Angela's person and her two children were lost. My person, Sir Cosmo (and his party), did make it through the voyage...though there was some scandal surrounding the event. He was in Lifeboat #1, which was later referred to as "the money boat". The lifeboat was only about half full, and Sir Cosmo gave the crew members £5 notes to cover their lost gear. Some people later said it was to keep the crew from returning to the ship and attempting to rescue more passengers, who might have swamped the boat. Laura Francatelli (secretary to Lady Duff-Gordon) denies this, stating in her own account that "going back was never discussed." Either way, Sir Cosmo never escaped the shame that followed him everywhere he went.

Incidentally, Laura Francatelli's life jacket (autographed by her and other survivors) sold at an auction in London in May 2007 for £60,000 ($119,000).

Aug 17, 2007

The Solidus vs. The Virgule

The solidus character, ⁄, also known as a shilling mark, is a punctuation mark; it is not found on standard keyboards. The virgule, /, also known as slash or stroke, is also a punctuation mark and is found on standard keyboards. It may also be called an oblique, diagonal, separatrix, scratch comma, slant, or forward slash.

So what’s the difference between the two? Good question. Most people do not distinguish between the two characters, and when there is no alternative it is acceptable to use the virgule in place of the solidus. But we’re not most people, are we?

Visually, the slope of the virgule is more steep than the slope of the solidus. The virgule is the more common of the two marks, appearing in applications from bowling scores to URLs (contrary to popular belief, there are no “backslashes” in a URL). The solidus is used in monetary notation and to display fractions.

It is interesting to note that the ISO and Unicode both designate the solidus character as the “FRACTION SLASH”, while designating the slash character “SOLIDUS”; this contradicts long-established English typesetting terminology.

**HISTORY ALERT** (Those of you who bore easily may want to stop reading now.)

The virgule symbol itself goes back to the days of ancient Rome. In the early modern period, in the Fraktur script, which was widespread through Europe in the Middle Ages, one virgule (/) represented a comma, while two virgules (//) represented a dash.

In the British Commonwealth, currency amounts in pounds, shillings, and pence were abbreviated using '£', 's.', and 'd.', collectively £sd, referring to the libra, solidus, and denarius. The 's.' was written using a long s, ∫, which was further abbreviated to the '⁄', along with suppressing the 'd.'. Thus '2 pounds, 10 shillings, and 6 pence' would be written as '£2,10⁄6', instead of '£2, 10s. 6d.'. It is this usage which caused the names solidus, due to the historical root of the abbreviation, and also shilling mark to be used to refer to this character.

BTW, if you haven't already figured it out, the character pictured above is a virgule.


Hey, you. Yeah, I'm talking to you! The one with a coffee cup on your desk. No, not you with the mug. You can go back to work. The other guy...did I just hear you call it a Styrofoam cup?

FYI, Styrofoam is made by the Dow Chemical Company, and is used in the construction industry, the floral industry, and in the production of nautical billtes. It is not used to make cups, plates, or other foam containers.

The below is from a page on Dow's corporate website, entitled "What is Styrofoam?" You can access the page by clicking here.
"These common disposable items are typically white in color and are made of expanded polystyrene beads. They do not provide the insulating value, compressive strength or moisture resistance properties of STYROFOAM products. In order to protect the Dow trademarked name 'STYROFOAM', such other material should be referred to by the generic term 'foam.' "
Now, all of you get back to work - and let's be a little more careful about how we refer to our disposable food containers!

Aug 15, 2007

Dumb Steve Joke IV

An Irishman, a German and Dumb Steve were entering a 50-mile cross-country foot race. At the sign-in table, the judge told each of the entrants that the race would begin in an hour, and advised them that they could each bring along one item to use as refreshment during the race.

Forty-five minutes later, the entrants showed up at the starting line. The judge asked the Irishman, “Sir, what have you brought as your item of refreshment?” The Irishman took a large bottle of water out of his pack, and told the judge that he could drink the water when he got thirsty.

The judge asked the German, “Sir, what have you brought as your item of refreshment?” The German took a large, wrapped sandwich out of his pack, and told the judge that he could eat the sandwich when he got hungry.

Finally, the judge turned to Dumb Steve and asked him, “And you sir, what have you brought as your item of refreshment?” Dumb Steve said, “This!” and held up a car door. When the judge asked him to explain, Dumb Steve scoffed and said, “Duh! When I get hot I can roll down the window.”

Bobby Cox Ejected For 132nd Time, Sets Record

Last night, Bobby Cox set a new record with the most ejections over a career - 132. He was thrown out of the game against the Giants after arguing a called strike on Chipper Jones in the bottom of the fifth inning. Last night's ejection marks the 53rd time that home plate umpire Ted Barret has thrown Cox out of a game.

Aug 14, 2007

Late for Work

This morning, I pulled up to the gas pump at Wal-Mart, got out, filled up the tank and then got back in the car. I turned the key and heard that sickening sound that every driver hates to hear – absolutely nothing. I tried the key a couple of times, but it was no use. I wasn’t even hearing a click. I tried to put the car into neutral so I could push it out of the way, but it wouldn’t allow me to press the button in to move the gear shift. I tried the key in every position, and no luck. I was pushing the brake in and everything! I think that's the thing that frustrated me the most - not being able to move the car. As long as you have the key, you should always be able to put the car into neutral. I got out, raised the hood, and hoofed it over to the main store where I got some change and started making calls.

Angela’s dad suggested I make sure the steering wheel wasn’t locked, and then try the gear shift. I called Angela, left a message, called work, told them I wouldn’t be in until at least noon, and then walked back out to the car. The wheel was already unlocked. I disconnected the battery and rubbed the terminals with sandpaper, but that didn’t do any good either. I walked back to the main store, and went to the auto center. I asked the clerk if they check batteries for free, and she told me that they do. I walked back to the car (again) disconnected the battery (again) and started working on getting it out. This was a real pain in the neck because the battery has this annoying nylon strap that holds it in place. The strap is fastened in with a bolt, and all I had was a crescent wrench. I had to reach down in there, get on the bolt, and turn the crescent wrench like a screwdriver until I got the bolt out. That sucked. The bolt was WAY longer than it needed to be!

Once I had the battery free, I took it back to the auto center. (I failed to mention that I brought a cart with me to the car, and that was a real lifesaver – the battery didn’t have a handle!) I took it around to the bay, and one of the mechanics tested it for me. The conversation went like this: “You got 17 cold cranking amps.” I’m thinking, what does that mean? Is that good? Bad? He said it in a way that didn’t give any indication. So I said, “Okay…is that bad?” He replied, “That’s out of 590.” I tried to clarify. “So it’s a dead battery and I need a new one?” He said, “Yep.” Not wanting him to think I’m a complete moron, I threw in the following nugget: “Okay. I can just take this old one in for the core charge?” He said, “Yeah.” (Note: If you’re ever dealing with a mechanic and you don’t want to sound like you have zero mechanical skills, always mention the core charge. That lets them know that you’ve got at least a smidge of experience working with car parts.)

I bought a new battery (the new one also had no handle) and took it out to the car. I put it in, and said a prayer. It worked! The car cranked up and I was elated. I DROVE back to the phone, called everyone back, and went home.

I stayed home for the rest of the morning, ate lunch with Angela and then went to work. I got here at about 12:45.

Oh yeah, and after standing by the gas pumps for over an hour I learned something important - now is the best time to start saving money with Additech!

Aug 13, 2007

Geocaching Flash Mob Event

On Saturday, my wife and I met up with some fellow Geocachers at a Flash Mob event right here in Panama City Beach. It was a lot of fun, and we were able to put a lot of familiar "handles" with faces. Plus, we won a coffee can in the drawing that we can use for a future cache. Yeah! Free coffee can! (Guess you had to be there.)

Anyway, we all introduced ourselves, traded a few stories, exchanged some travel bugs and took the picture. It was a quick, fun event. We had some participants from Ft. Walton and Tallahassee, so that was pretty neat. Now we can't wait for the weather to cool down so we can get back out there!

Aug 10, 2007

Ten Bell Pizza

Over at they have a cool application that takes any combination of letters (your name, for instance) and provides you with a list of anagrams. I entered in my full name (I won't tell you what it is, maybe you can figure it out) and it came back with the following (these are the best): Jenkin's Mermaid Bitch, Jim's Birthed Nickname, Embraced Mint Hijinks.

I tried a shorter version of my name and it came back with "Ed Smith, NBC" among the possibilities. FunkyBizzle returned Inky Elf Buzz, and Planet Bizzle came out as Ten Bell Pizza. You can also set parameters on the number of words that make up the anagram.

To go to the anagram finder page, click here.

I love DialABC! They've got great content, powerful tools and clean, ad-free layouts.

Aug 9, 2007

Free Business Advice: Consider Your Product Names Carefully

So Popeye's Chicken has these things called Buffalo Nuggets. My limited internet research has uncovered that a lot of people swear by them, but it would take a lot to get me to try something called a “buffalo nugget”. They sound like they belong in the same category as cow pies and owl pellets. Hmmm...I’ll bet if Popeye’s sold burgers they would call them “cow pies”.

What’s wrong with “buffalo chicken nuggets” or “buffalo bites”? I mean seriously, “buffalo nuggets”? That just grosses me out and makes me want to keep on driving. Popeye’s is just begging their competition to put them out of business. Again. (They went bankrupt in 1991.)

What’s next, “chicken balls”?

Aug 8, 2007

The Interrobang

Okay, so you’re familiar with the umlaut, the ellipsis, the ampersand and the tilda, but you’re still craving more knowledge about strange, rarely used typographical marks. Well my friend, you’ve come to the right place.

The interrobang is a rarely used punctuation mark intended to combine the functions of a question mark and an exclamation mark. The name interrobang comes from interro - from interrogative - and bang - printers’ slang for “exclamation point”. The result is an economical way to say “He did what?!?!?!” without all of those extra punctuation marks.

**HISTORY ALERT** (Those of you who bore easily may want to stop reading now.)

American Martin K. Speckter concocted the interrobang in 1962. As the head of an advertising agency, Speckter believed that advertisements would look better if advertising copywriters conveyed surprised queries using a single mark. He proposed the concept of a single punctuation mark in an article in the magazine TYPEtalks. Speckter solicited possible names for the new character from readers. Contenders included rhet, exclarotive, and exclamaquest, but he settled on interrobang.

In the 60s and 70s, the mark appeard in new typefaces, and was available on some typewrites. The word itself appeared in dictionaries and was featured in magazine and newspaper articles. However, the interrobang failed to amount to much more than a fad. It is still available in Microsoft’s Wingdings 2 character set, and was accepted into Unicode. You can find it in Lucida Sans Unicode and Arial Unicode MS, among others.

It can be used in HTML documents with , and some word processors (including MS Word) will display the symbol under ALT+8253 when working with a font that supports the interrobang.
More blogs on strange typographical marks/names coming soon! Stay tuned for the solidus, the virgule, the interpunct, the pillcrow, the asterism and guillemets. I know you can hardly contain your excitement!

Aug 7, 2007

Dumb Steve Joke III

An American, an Englishman, and Dumb Steve all decided to go hunting in the woods. They loaded up their gear and drove into the forest. Before splitting up, they all agreed to meet back at the truck at 3:00. They also decided that if one of them got lost, he should shoot three times into the air, and the other two would come to his rescue. They all agreed, and set out.

At 3:00, the Englishman came out of the woods to find the American waiting by the truck. They swapped stories and ate some snacks, waiting for Dumb Steve to come out of the woods.

Soon, it was 3:30, and Dumb Steve had still not shown up.

At 4:00, they decided to go looking for him. They searched for the rest of the afternoon, and finally found Dumb Steve sitting under a tree. When the other two asked him why he didn’t shoot three times into the air as they had agreed, Dumb Steve replied, “I did! Repeatedly! But I eventually ran out of arrows.”

Forklifts Are Dangerous...

...I mean, look! There's no seatbelts on this thing!

Aug 6, 2007

Dumb Steve Joke II

A Frenchman, A Scot, and Dumb Steve were exploring the Amazon Jungle. As they passed through a small clearing, several bloodthirsty cannibals leaped out of the brush and surrounded them. All three were taken prisoner and transported back to the tribal village, where they were thrown into a large pit.

The chief came to the pit and told the men, “You will all be executed and eaten. We will use your bones for weapons, and your skin for canoes. But first, I will grant you all one dying request.”

The Frenchman thought hard, and then asked for a bottle of French wine. “If I must die, then I want the taste of a fine French wine to be on my lips.”

The Scot thought it over, and then asked for a bottle of Scottish whiskey. “If I must die, I want the taste of a fine Scottish whiskey to be on my lips.”

Dumb Steve considered for a moment, and then asked for a fork.

“A fork?” asked the chief.

“I have my reasons!” said Dumb Steve.

The next day, the chief came to the pit and tossed in a bottle of French wine, a bottle of Scottish whiskey and a fork. The Frenchman lifted the bottle of wine to his lips and said, “To France!”

The Scot lifted the bottle of whiskey to his lips and said, “To Scotland!”

Dumb Steve picked up the fork and started stabbing himself repeatedly, and shouted, “You’re not gonna make a canoe out of me!”

Julian Beever, The Pavement Picasso

Julian Beever (a.k.a. "The Pavement Picasso") is an amazing chalk artist that specializes in "pavement drawings". He has worked in the U.K., Belgium, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Australia and the USA.

It takes a few glances to really appreciate his work - I keep finding new things in the pictures that I didn't notice before. And you've got to admire the attention to detail!

My favorites are the ones where he poses with the work to complete the illusion. In the interest of space, I've only included a few here on Planet Bizzle, but you can check out Julian's website and much larger gallery by clicking here.


Aug 2, 2007

Happy Anniversary!

For our 4-year anniversary, Angela and I went out to eat at the Mori Japanese Steakhouse. Our hibachi chef was very entertaining, though the vegetables left a little to be desired. It seems that this is a common trend...the worse the show, the better the food (and vice versa). I don't know, it probably has something to do with concentration.

Anyway, the most surprising event of the night wasn't the chef catching eggs in his hat, it was the fact that the other party at the hibachi picked up our check for us! They were a couple from Americus, Georgia, and were visiting Panama City on their vacation. They said they usually come down once a year, and asked us where we were from. We told them we were locals, and that it was our 4-year anniversary, and they congratulated us.

After dinner, the lady picked up our receipt book and handed us our card back, and told us they would pick up the check. We were shocked! We told them that wasn't necessary, but they insisted. Wow. I was floored!

Of course, the trainee waiter was taking forever to pick up the checks, and we thought it would be rude to leave, so we hung out and talked to them for about 20 nerve-racking minutes. Never did find out their names or what they did for a living, but we thanked them and wished them well. There are still some amazingly nice people in this world, and two of them live in Americus.

Aug 1, 2007

Our 4-Year Anniversary

Yeah! Today, 08-01-07, My wife and I celebrate our 4-year anniversary. That may not sound like a long period of time, but it seems like it's really only been a couple of years.

We have now been married for as long as we were dating before we got married...we dated for exactly 4 years before we got hitched.

Man, time flies...

Angela, if you're reading this, I LOVE YOU!!

My Essay for the Samsung 2007 Hope For Education Contest

Recently, my wife asked me to draft an essay for the "Samsung 2007 Hope For Education Contest" that answers the following question:
"What is the single most significant benefit that technology can provide in the classroom?" Essays should focus on: 1) a single benefit or improvement to the educational process, 2) the specific types of technologies that will create this benefit and 3) the features of these technologies that create value in the educational process.
Here's the tricky part...the finished piece can be no more than 100 words! I used 97.
Here's what I came up with:
"The most significant benefit that technology can provide in the classroom is global connectivity. Students can be anywhere, at any time. Whether they are absorbing knowledge from today’s cutting edge research or interviewing societies for tomorrow’s geography project, the latitude of Internet connectivity is unlimited. Our world is moving, changing. Students can travel with a rainforest biologist as she blogs about her daily discoveries. They can gain insight through an Egyptologist’s webinar concerning a recently-discovered tomb. Through technology, students gain access to a global community of experts and resources that could never be offered in yesterday’s classroom."
FYI: this entry was submitted 05-13-07, and the contest closed don't get any ideas!