Friday, December 30, 2005

French fry Spam casserole -- yum!

While skimming my Spam folder in Gmail, I was surprised to see the new RSS headline offer this link:

French Fry Spam Casserole - Bake 30-40 minutes

Categories: Main dish
Yield: 8 servings

1 pk Frozen french fry potatoes, -thawed (20 oz)
2 c Shredded Cheddar cheese
2 c Sour cream
1 cn Condensed cream of chicken -soup (10 3/4 oz)
1 cn SPAM Luncheon Meat, cubed -(12 oz)
1/2 c Chopped red bell pepper
1/2 c Chopped green onion
1/2 c Finely crushed corn flakes

Heat oven to 350'F. In large bowl, combine potatoes, cheese, sour cream, and soup. Stir in SPAM, bell pepper, and green onion. Spoon into 13x9" baking dish. Sprinkle with crushed flakes. Bake 30-40 minutes or until thoroughly heated.

Yum. Time to pre-heat the oven! Memo to Google: don't tie the RSS content to standard folder names. I don't want an ad for trash bags when I visit my Trash folder, and I don't want insulation when I visit my Drafts folder -- and I sure don't want a recipe for Hormel Spam with french fries when I visit my Spam folder!

Monday, December 26, 2005

"The Onion" on new TSA security guidelines

I first discovered "The Onion" in paper form while on a trip to Madison, Wisconsin, where it originates, years ago. It was hilarious but was a tabloid for the Madison market Since then they've grown into a regional print rag and an international Web presence. And they are always a hell of a hoot. So when the Transportation Security Administration came up with new rules allowing scissors with blades up to 4 inches, some people were puzzled... And here's the Onion's take, hilarious as always:

Click to see full size image


Sunday, December 25, 2005

New movie "Firewall" starring Harrison Ford

First "The Net" and now "Firewall" -- the Hollywood movie machine tries to make a thriller out of things Internet. Ford plays a security executive at a bank who's pitted against an evildoer who steals Ford's identity and kidnaps his family. It's not clear to me that there are many cases involving both identity theft and kidnapping, but what the heck, it's Hollywood.

Click to see full-size image.

I'm looking forward to a whole passel of major motion pictures with Internet-related titles:

  • Switch
  • Router
  • Hub
  • VPN
  • SSL
  • HTTP
  • The File Transfer Protocol
  • Spam
  • VoIP
  • Wi-Fi (and its sequel, Wi-MAX)
  • XML (and its sequel, XSLT)

And, of course...

  • Blogger
All coming soon to a theater near you.

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Sun-Times uses "Ebert" as menu item; Endgadget uses "Paris Hilton"

For some time I've been amused that the Chicago Sun-Times includes something unexpected alongside the usual News, Sports, Entertainment, Classifieds, etc. links you'd expect from a newspaper: "Ebert" is a main choice. Usually menu choices correspond to a section of the paper, not an individual writer. But Roger Ebert is so incredibly popular that he probably accounts for a huge fraction of the visits to, so they must have figured "What the heck, he's big enough to be his own section." (Insert rude remark about Ebert's girth here...)

Tonight I stumbled on this: Endgadget, a site that reports news and rumors about consumer electronics, has their own special menu item:

Yes, that's right: right there with cell phones, Ipods, and gadgets, we find Paris Hilton. What does Paris Hilton have to do with consumer electronics? I can't think of a direct link, but I bet a lot of the gadget nuts who click on this site are also prone to click on that link, driving up Endgadget's ad revenue. Sort of like the ads for strip joints in the sports section of the newspaper.


But now, there's more...

An old song from the 70s posits that "Everybody Plays the Fool -- Sometimes" ... and my colleague Justin Thorp has outed me as the fool. I followed a Google search to Endgadget, a site I thought I'd seen before. But the authentic gadget site is

Google reveals 37,000 fools like me, out of 7 million who link to the real site.

It might be worth Engadget's effort to buy, or anti-cybersquatter halt, Endgadget. Or maybe they think we fools should be left to our own devices -- so to speak.

Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rumor: New Apple laptops won't support Firewire

There's a rumor out there that Apple will no longer support Firewire in the next generation of laptops, due early in 2006. Apple and Sony pioneered the standard, which provided high-speed transfer between camcorder and computer.

The PC industry had finally promulgated USB, but it was shockingly slow compared to Firewire. Hence we ended up with computers and devices that support both Firewire and USB.

But the rumor is that Apple is dropping support for Firewire.

Good grief, what's next? Apple computers running on Intel processors?

Monday, December 05, 2005

Careful with those captions

Tonight a local TV station, Channel 6 in Lansing, showed the sportscaster with a graphic in the background showing a baseball pitcher in mid-throw. The caption said:


I thought I recognized the pitcher. It's John Smoltz of the Atlanta Braves, a native of Lansing. Huh? This guy has a totally clean image.

Turns out Channel 6 caught up with him when he was in the area watching Michigan State play basketball. And the interview was Smoltz' opinion about steroids, specifically baseball's new anti-steroids policy, which Smoltz endorsed ringingly.

I wonder how many people misconstrued the story to be that Smoltz himself was "on steroids"? Pays for the caption guy in the control room to choose words carefully.

Sunday, December 04, 2005

Emily the Cat Part Deux: the Feline Flies Home

The intrepid cat from Wisconsin made her way home, courtesy of Continental Airlines, which provided Emily and her handler a business class seat. A very clever move on Continental's part.

In case you haven't experienced business class on an international flight: it is far superior to "first class" on a domestic flight in the U.S. The gourmet meal happened to be salmon. Emily wouldn't eat it. She preferred the French cat food that her handler had with him. Now that is a spoiled cat. I doubt that Pet Supplies Plus in Appleton offers imported French cat food.

Surely this story will bring a Disney movie. News outlets from the UK to Australia to South Africa picked up Emily's story. I think people are hungry for happy penguins and other good news.

I laughed when a Wisconsin TV station got the story wrong. They reported that Emily flew from Paris to Milwaukee. Continental Airlines may have given Emily and her handler $12,000 worth of business class seats, but they didn't create a new direct flight from Paris to Wisconsin. Emily flew to Newark, and took a 50 seat connecting flight to Wisconsin.