Christmas and Yelp

Merry Christmas! At 6:30am, I heard Payton’s alarm clock go off and then he turned it off. I thought he was going to wake us all up, but he went back to sleep and Emily woke me up at 8am instead. I got a new digital camera and a popcorn popper. I think I’m going to buy myself a griddle to cook pancakes on too this weekend. My kids got lots of video games, Snuggies (as a joke!), Legos and other miscellaneous things. I got my cat a remote controlled helicopter.

This is a picture of Yelp running on my iPhone, pointed in the direction of Albany so that it shows me a few restaurants and other businesses down the road. It’s a really neat application that shows you user-submitted reviews of businesses, parks and anything else. It’ll come in really handy when we’re walking around big cities and need to find our way to places. For that kind of thing it’s a much better application than regular maps, mainly because you can point your camera at a group of buildings and it labels them all for you. And the reviews are a great way to have an idea of what you’re getting yourself into or to watch for hilarity in certain employees.

Of course I’ve started using it to make crazy reviews of my own on places all over town. My profile is at where you’ll find reviews that I’ve done on Target, Arby’s, the post office and other places. I’m really loving Yelp and I hope they don’t kick me off for being too bizarre since most of my reviews are mostly honest. I plan to take pictures and review as many businesses as I can.

My BFF Spessa is doing equally hilarious reviews, which you can read at In her reviews you can learn about how to steal chips at Subway and that Petco employees are creeped out when you ask them to figure out the gender of hamsters.

In other exciting news, I started watching Lost this week. I was browsing around on Hulu and nothing looked interesting, so I decided to give Lost a try. So far I’ve watched the first 8 episodes of season 1. Even though I enjoy the show, I doubt I’ll keep watching after season 1 because there’s just too much to watch and I don’t have time for it. Great show though!

Good-bye, Cruel World!

You know…I’ve had this domain name for a couple of years now and I’ve never really liked it. It’s mainly that stupid hyphen that I hate. I was stupid to put a hyphen in there. Hyphens don’t belong in domain names, yet I’ve owned 3 of them in my life. It’s all that Brad Carter’s fault that runs for getting that domain before me. What a jerk.

I thought about going back to my original home at which I had from about 1997 until 2005, but nah. I want to keep my homepage separate from I thought about moving it to phonelosers.COM like I did for a short time in 2005. And I thought about trying to register, but I’m sure people would mess up the spelling on that even more than they forget the hyphen in this domain.

I need something short and simple. That’s why I’ve moved my homepage to my old Alton Online home – Even though it’s technically not even a word, I think it’s still easier to remember than all the other domains my homepage has resided on in the past. So update your bookmarks. My new homepage is at

If you’re a subscriber by email or RSS, you don’t have to do anything. I’ll hold on to the domain for a few more years before letting it go, so old URLs and my email addresses will still work until then. But everything has moved over to now. See you there!


Spam has gotten a little crazy on my homepage lately. None of you see it because I moderate all comments. But it got annoying enough that I set up the word verification plugin so autospammers wouldn’t be able to post things anymore. Problem solved, right? Nope. I’m still getting just as much of it. It’s weird, because I’m using the same plugin on and I hardly get any spam there. So why are they able to bypass the verification here? Guess I should change the word and see if that helps.

I read something last week that said spam robots are now able to recognize captcha images. I thought they were referring to random letters in crazy, jumbled fonts with lines running through them. Maybe they can recognize pictures of trees too, though.

I’ve been working on website things again lately. Miscellaneous stuff on, such as this Captures page. It’s got a few good old-school PLA things in it. I’ve had a directory full of captured stuff since the very early 90’s and I’ve always wanted to throw some of it up online. I’ll have to make one on this site that is more me-specific. I’ve also been converting old pre-Wordpress entries from this site to WordPress posts. This has caused me to accidentally post really old entries to the main page a few times. Sorry for any confusion.

Payton finally knows how to ride a bike on his own! He’s still a little wobbly, but he’s doing 100% of it on his own now. I ran up and down the street with him a couple times today but he barely even needed me to. Some neighbor kid showed him how to get started. So that’s great! We can all take rides together now, once it gets warmer.

Sold a couple monitors on Craigslist today. The guy was a Geocacher, so he hung out and talked about geocaching and GPS stuff for awhile. He’s the 3rd Geocacher I’ve met since I’ve lived in Oregon. I guess Geocaching is just more popular here than it was in Illinois.

Superbowl Sunday is tomorrow!!@##@$#$@

Just kidding, I don’t give a shit about the Superbowl. In my 35 years, I’ve never watched it. Last year I was at the gym on Superbowl Sunday. I was in the room by myself and a lady came in, looked at me, and asked me if I wanted her to switch the T.V. to the Superbowl. I had to turn off my Ipod and ask her to repeat herself.

“No, I don’t watch that shit,” I said. Yeah, I cursed. I could tell that she wouldn’t be used to hearing the Superbowl referred to as “shit.”

“What?? Why not??” She asks me, not believing what she’s hearing. She was in shock. We exchanged a few more words. I think I told her I wasn’t very good at being a man, or something like that. She finally went away and I went back to listening to my podcasts. I bet she told all her friends and family about the guy she met who didn’t want to watch the Superbowl.

This week I got a dresser on Craigslist to put in my closet. I’ve been needing one for a long time now and I’m glad to finally have one. $25, 5 drawers, and all my clothes fit into it. Also a week or two ago I found a dining room table at Salvation Army. A really nice one too. I’ve officially got all the furniture I could possibly need now.

Payton rules. He’s been reading Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince for months now and he finally finished it this week. 652 pages. I wasn’t reading books at all when I was in 3rd grade. I discovered reading in 4th grade and stuck to tiny Judy Blume-like books until Jr. High when I switched to Stephen King. He’s been reading Judy Blume this year too (all the Fudge books), but I never thought he would actually finish a Harry Potter book when he brought it home. I’m surprised and proud. He said he would read the 7th Harry Potter book if I bought it, so I found a used copy of it on Amazon and it should be here next week. It’s 784 pages. That just seems like a lot for an 8-year-old.

A couple days before he finished it, I told him I would take him out to eat at a place of his choice once he finished the book, to celebrate his first large book. He picked Pizza King, so we went there this evening. Between food and games, that place is crazy expensive. We had fun though. I blew tons of money on the crane machine and won a couple things.

I finally finished reading every single entry on Violent Acres. Her latest entry is #328 and they’re usually pretty long entries. For me to read all 328 of her posts, you know it’s gotta be great stuff. So everyone should go take a look at her site. Wow, 328 entries. Probably 2 or 3 pages per entry. I bet her collection of stories is about the same size as Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

Sign Hacker

I started up a new web site. It’s called Sign Hacker and it’s all about the wackiness that’s ensued with me and signs. I know probably all of my sign stuff is up on the net already, but half of it is on here and half of it is on So not only will this site eventually archive all of my sign pranks (and other peoples’) but hopefully it’ll inspire me (and others) to do more of it.

The page is and the first official entry is one I’m sure most of the readers here have seen already. Hang in there, though, because eventually you’ll see some sign pranks that you haven’t read about. I’m not sure how often I’ll update the site. It’ll probably end up being like where I’m lazy and update it twice a year. My plan is to try and update it about once per week. We’ll see how that goes. There are links to subscribe via email and RSS. And please excuse the weird and broken links along the side bar. I’m still working on the theme.

Speaking of sign pranks, the McDonalds Sign Prank got Dugg, Stumbled, and then linked to from about a dozen different blogs yesterday. It pushed the page views on up to about 10,000 for the day. Which doesn’t seem like much, but it was enough to cause the site to stop responding periodically. I kept getting MySQL errors when I tried to visit a few times. Today I think it’s been alright, though. I’m surprised that a mere tripling in traffic was enough to do that, though.

Today I drove to Salem today for an eye appointment. It’s my first one in 10 years now and it’ll be the first time I’ve bought new glasses in 10 years. The doctor said my prescription has barely changed since then, which he claims is unusual for such a long time. Maybe I’ll actually wear them all the time instead of just when I’m driving. And I won’t leave them on the floorboard of my car for days at a time either. My vision was so screwed up for the 30 minute drive home. It was dark and rainy out and I still had to wear sunglasses. I couldn’t read any of the signs and I actually missed the first Albany exit.

Subscribe to this site via email!

I just installed a plugin that allows people to subscribe to entries here. If you sign up using the form below, you’ll receive an email each time I post something. And what could be better than more junk email, right? I promise not to sell your address to spammers unless they offer me at LEAST $100,000.

I’m going to set this up on too. Right now I’m using a 3rd party email system for PLA posts and I’m sure that even though they swear they don’t spam, they probably do or they sell subscriber’s email addresses. So this is cool and I’m stupid for not doing it sooner.

And in other news…for some reason last night, the nonstop Yahoo messages of HAPPY NEW YEARS! really annoyed the hell out of me. It started at 9pm PST from the people on the east coast. Every blog I read wished me a happy new year too. To protest the new year, I went to bed at 10:30, read for an hour, and fell asleep. Then the cat woke me because the fireworks freaked him out.

Desktop Tower Defense completed!

I can have my life back! Today, at approximately 3:30pm, I completed every level of Desktop Tower Defense! I finished all the levels months ago, except for the “10K GOLD” Fun Mode. It was nearly impossible. But I’ve finally beat that one! You think its easy? Try it yourself at A big fuck you to murd0c who introduced me to this game earlier this year. It’s been 0wning my life ever since.

I pledge to never visit that website again. I was actually thinking about setting up some parental controls on my computer that would block that website. I’ve been wasting hours a day on this stupid thing. Wonder why there hasn’t been a new PLA Radio in months? It’s because of this game. I’m actually serious. Everyone blame murd0c. Wow, what am I going to do with all this new free time? My life seems so open now. The possibilities are endless!

If anyone notices a new version of this game coming out, DO NOT TELL ME ABOUT IT!

My homepage

I’ve been occasionally working on my homepage these past few weeks. Mostly in the side bar areas. Over there on the right you’ll see a new section called Podcasts I Like. I need to fill that up because I listen to a lot of podcasts. But for now, there’s the few that I listen to the most. Also on the right are links to other web sites. That was always there, but I added a couple new ones. Most notably, Spessas. If you don’t see it, refresh a couple times and it’ll pop up.

On the left sidebar you’ll see all kinds of journal archive options. First there are random journal entries, then old entries by category and then old entries by month and year. Exciting, eh?

No kids this weekend. Bored. Went by Molly’s and picked up a FREE matress for Emily, saving $100 that I planned to spend on one soon. And drove around Corvallis and Salem, picking up some 500 gig hard drives. Transferring tons of data to a 500 gig drive is taking forever. No idea what I’m doing tomorrow. Maybe I’ll stay in all day and get things organized around here.

Xbox 360

Got back in town last night around 1am. I’m not crazy about driving at night, but the drive was good. Lots of tumbleweed flying around in front of me, making me even more paranoid of deer. Listened to lots of Skeptoid and Blackalicious again. Also listened to about 30 minutes of a church sermon while flipping through stations. Those are hilarious.

Had an Xbox 360 waiting for me in the mail. I bought it broken from Ebay a couple weeks ago. Turns out the only thing broken on it was the power supply. Other than that it works perfectly! Score! It cost about $100, which is right around what I expect to get for our old Xbox. So free Xbox 360! Aside from having to buy a couple controllers, that is. The broken one didn’t come with a controller. Some guy won our old Xbox on Ebay a couple weeks ago but never paid for it. He did the same thing to 5 other people who were selling Xboxes. What a jerk. His rating is now -3. I haven’t rated him yet. I should give him a positive rating, just for the hell of it.

Tonight we got pizza from Little Caesar’s and went to Blockbuster to rent some Xbox 360 games. Emily got Kameo, Payton Bioshock, and I got Rayman. Holy crap, Rayman is funny. We’ve been passing the controller around, taking turns playing rounds. I’m not really into gaming myself, but I wanted the 360 because the kids love the Halo games so much and the new Halo comes out this month. But Rayman is great. This is the first I’ve ever seen it, aside from that bizarre clip on Altalp’s avatar on the PLA Forums. I think our entire weekend is going to consist of playing with the Xbox 360.

Renting games is expensive! $6.99 each? Damn! I’ve been looking on Ebay and it seems that I can buy the games for not much more than that. We get them for a whole week, but it’s still pricey. I don’t think I’ll be doing anymore renting. Speaking of video stores – we went to Blockbuster because the one we usually go to went out of business. It’s the one that I used to wander around in while Little Caesar’s was cooking my pizzas, snapping pictures of all the new releases that I intended to download once I got home. I think it’s been about a year since I’ve rented from anywhere. I think I should feel guilty about them going out of business since I quit renting in favor of downloading.

Gaming aside, the 360 is about the coolest thing I’ve ever seen. It’s media capabilities are really impressive. I bought 3 months of Xbox Live from Blockbuster and it appears we can download movies and TV shows from the net. Plus wallpapers, themes, and all that junk. Plus it can stream all the media from my other computers on the network. I’m not sure if this includes Divx video, but that’ll sure be a bonus if it does. So far only one directory of my photo album is showing up on the 360, but I think it’s slowly adding the rest. It’ll be cool once it’s all done. I had no idea the Xbox 360 was this cool! I HEART MICROSOFT! (If anyone wants to school me on cool things the Xbox 360 can do, feel free to in the comments!)

A few days ago I found my new favorite blog. It’s called Behind The Counter and it’s about a guy that works at the Wal-Mart return desk and all the craziness he has to deal with from people. He’s got some great stories and his writing style is hilarious. So far I’ve read almost all of his 2007 entries. They go all the way back to 2003 and I plan to read all of them. So everyone should read that. (I know I posted this previously, but that was in a private entry and I want more people to discover the awesomeness that this blog provides.)

Website updates

I got 11th place in a photoshop contest, revamped the commenting system on (for the 3rd time in a year now, this time completely in PHP), revamped Old People Are Funny and added some forums to it (some podcast plans to feature it on their show sometime this week), released another Big Beef Bueno, got #2 in Mahjong, and then #1. I didn’t even play much today, I just happened to have a couple of good games.

Also, Delta Park Project played another of my voicemails. It’s on the last 20 seconds of this show. But the show is a “best of” show and both of my other 2 voicemails are also thrown into that show. So apparently I’ve done some of the best parts of a show that’s up to it’s 83rd episode.

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