Spam Payback

A humorous attempt to fight back against idiot spammers:

If you are getting here through a search on Popup Blockers or for Pop-Up Blocker or Pop Up Blocker Internet Explorer, please do not buy from pop-upblocker dot org They are spammers and unethical. ADB Popup Blocker and ANB Pop Up Blocker are from the same company and you should not buy their product. Any SEO people want to help me get this post up on top on the SEs?

As of my last check, the above WTC post had moved into the top ten results from a quick google for “popup blockers” (#9 to be exact). Not that I have enough PR to actually help here, but I’m curious as to how high it can get.

(thanks to Dougal)

Can I get a mic check?!



Dinosaur Jr. at Summerstage
Originally uploaded by indieb0i.

Testing out the flickr “blog this photo” feature. Last Thursday Lisa and I met up with Chris (and a friend of his… damn, I can’t remember her name) in Central Park for Broken Social Scene and Dinosaur Jr. at Summer Stage. Although they let me in with the Digital Rebel, the staff let me know that my telephoto would be confiscated if I tried to take it out.

In other words, I decided not to bother with the photography that much. It was pretty awesome seeing J. Mascis and Lou Barlow play together, even if it was too loud for Lisa. I did play around with some shots from our speeding taxi, which has created a desire to try some more “cityscapes” when I have the time.

P.S. I forgot to mention that I decided to use “indieb0i” for Flickr. So you can find my full photostream at http://flickr.com/photos/indieb0i/

Heart… slowing… down…

Last night went well. Lisa and I met up with both sets of parents for dinner at the Cock ‘n Bull. What a meal! After my grilled meat spectacular on Saturday night, the chicken breast smothered in gorgonzola sauce and prosciutto has left me contemplating the future of my heart. Lisa wasn’t exactly thrilled to watch my eating habits this weekend, and will probably push for salads all around this week.

As for the family members, everything started smoothly and continued even smoothlier… By the end of the evening we practically had to pull them apart, the conversations never took a break. Pretty amazing considering we even drudged up some political discussions (fortunately both sides adamently dislike Bush). The best part of all the talk, however, was when our fathers started swapping stories about old ballplayers. Even though I still have a distaste for baseball, I know full well what a great unifier its history can play. We all remember the idols from our youth, and love to connect with those of others.

Unfortunately it started raining just as we left the restaurant thus, since all of the shops were already closed, we were forced to call it a night. Probably a good time anyway, but it still felt cut short. That’s one more milestone down – next we’ll need to have the entire families meet.

Actually, there was one other milestone this weekend. Lisa and I opened joint savings and checking accounts at Commerce, although very little money will be in there to begin with. Oddly, these financial unions are not the ones I fear most… But that still remains slightly in the future.

More grilled meats, please!

Life has been a crazy mix of work and debates over wedding matters. These are the times I start to wish I was more of a guy’s guy. You know, the kind who does’t care that much about plates and drapes and reception halls. But I just can’t keep all my metrosexuals opinions bottled up inside, dammit!

The big issue right now is the hall itself. We’re (and by we I mean Lisa) hoping to book the place ASAP, but still keep wavering between two places. Of course, each of us prefer the other. Lisa is still very much in love with The Manor, which I can testify somewhat to be an excellent place (oh my, just how long ago was Jeff and Sara Jane’s wedding?). I, on the other hand, am leaning towards Il Tulipano ever since we visited there a week ago. Friday her parents came over to see The Manor and have dinner at Il Tulipano, with the idea of writing a check that night. Unfortunately the offices were already closed, and the entirety of Il Tulipano was taken over by an event.

One failure down, we decided to try dinner again last night. Oh crap, was that good. You gotta love a place that actually brings the salad out on two plates when you mentions it’s to be split (especially when it includes a wonderful selection of arugula, endive, and radicchio). And while the shrimp were somewhat larger than Lisa and I prefer (we’re weird that way), the saffron risotto was delectable. And then there was my dish – a selection of grilled meats.

We’re talking quail, filet mignon, freshly made sausage, lamb, and even some liver. The last one was the only bit I wasn’t crazy about, but that’s just personal preference. Although I will add that, for my first real experience with liver, it wasn’t that bad – just has an unusual taste and aftertaste. The rest, however, got better and better as the meal went on. I’ve had better lamb, but the filet mignon was delightful. Grilling is a rarity with that cut, and the mixture flavors was better than I would have imagined. The sausage was just plain ridiculous. I never knew meat stuffed in a casing could be this good (okay, aside from fresh kielbasa). It was probably the fattiest I’ve ever had, which made it even better. But feeling a bit weighted down from all the meats, I decided not to finish that part. As for the quail – can’t we genetically engineer these birds a tad bigger?! I couldn’t get enough of this one (although the vague resemblance to our own parakeet turned Lisa off), and now desire to eat quail as frequently as possible. (CLAP! CLAP! Bring forth my daily quail!)

Even after that evening (we also snuck upstairs to see what a wedding in progress would look like), I am willing to concede to Lisa’s choice. I know I’ll be happy at either place. Unfortunately, she posed the question on The Knot, and was met with overwhelming support for Il Tulipano. In the ensuing confusion I have switched my vote to Vegas! Now we’re going to head over to The Manor again for another look (I need a refresher on the two rooms), which will probably solve nothing. I opted out of sampling their brunch because… well… I’m not made of money (it would cost more than our dinner last night).

Oh yeah, and this evening our parents are meet for the first time… Does the fun ever stop?

Flickd

Yes, like a total loser, I’m playing around with all of the features everybody else has been praising for months. Just call me a tool.

The other night I uploaded some pictures from the Ben Carroll/Amy Correia show the night I proposed to Lisa. Since I promised Ben I’d get these to him, I figured this would be a good test.

www.flickr.com

This is a Flickr badge showing photos in a set called Ben Carroll/Amy Correia. Make your own badge here.

Sunday morning I went to a camera show with an enthusiastic plan to purchase cheap, used lenses, some filters, and maybe even a new bag. Boy was that a disappointment. It turned out to be a small, dingy flea market for semi-collectors and yard sale types. I wandered around for a while, but the only Canon lenses I saw weren’t even the right mounts. It’s not like I was looking for highly advanced digital products here – the EF mount is almost 20 years old, you’d think one or two might be lying around.

Worst of all was the limited selections of porn not-so-subtley situated on tables. There’s something about collecting – especially when it comes to old and rare equipment – that appeals primarily to males, and particularly those with limited social lives. Collectors can always put porn to good use during the rare occasion their not pawing over their goods. It’s somewhat sad, and always adds a certain amount of awkwardness when I work my way through the aisles of a computer or sci-fi show.

Undaunted, I picked up a couple old Argus cameras and a genuine Brownie unit for my gal who has a far less obsessive collecting side than us nerd. At some point I’ll post pics of her current selection.

Hmm, the flash badge didn’t work, let’s try the html version:

www.flickr.com

Ben Carroll/Amy Correia indieb0i’s Ben Carroll/Amy Correia photoset


Beaten to the punch

Just because I don’t want to be the last person to join in, I’m finally playing around with my flickr account. I signed up during its early stages to view other people’s photos, but never actually uploaded any of my own. Now that I’m playing around with it, I understand the buzz and figure it might be worth it to more quickly share photos with friends. Ah, the joys of Interwebbing!

Still in the final throes of my Internet identity crisis (and we all know the last throes can last up to 12 years) I haven’t been able to decide what my web address over there should be. Since I’m trying to stop using indieb0i, that would seem silly. But thomslattery comes off as too long (and specific). Suddenly it dawned on me: THOM! By gum, I could just use my first name. Then I could also start switching my Linux accounts over to using thom rather than indieb0i and make my whole digital life simpler! The possibilities are endless!!

Oh wait, slight problem – some doppleganger has already claimed that address. So I started to investigate – he lives in the NYC area, in his 20s and taken. He’s into Neil Gaiman and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and lists New Order among his favorite bands.

Wait, is this a doppleganger, or actually me?!?! Well, he also lists Tom Cruise as one of his favorite actors, so at worst (or best) maybe just an evil twin. So I jump over to this newer Thom’s site and he has the gall to be dissing my home state… okay, in reality he’s just dissing Rick Santorum (who we all know is a nutcase anyway) but still, I’m trying to make him evil. Work with me. I guess in reality the worst I can say is that he’s obviously a much better photographer! And that makes me feel bad about myself – how much more evil can you get?

At least Google ranks me as the 31st most important Thom, while he’s not even in the top 100. Of course that doesn’t help me figure out what my flickr web space should be called… So, what do you guys think: thomslattery, indieb0i, or something completely different?

New Roomies

!@(newroomies.jpg popimg: “Shadow sleeps safely next to Jessie”) Over the weekend Jessie and Shadow finally began sharing a home. For the past week we had been taking them out and letting them mingle on our bed. So when I had to clean out their cages on Sunday, we took the opportunity to let the two of them run around the kitchen together. By the time I was finished, they seemed quite comfortable with each other, and Lisa suggested that we put them back in Jessie’s cage at the same time.

Lo and behold, Jessie chilled out with the molesting, and they were able to settle down with minimal bucking for prime real estate. Even when we ran out for further errands, they maintained a friendly (albeit slightly guarded) disposition. Jessie will still assert himself from time to time, but its not nearly as aggressive as before. The will eat side by side, and Shadow has slowly started to sleep closer and closer to Jess.

I know that more problems may lie ahead, but for now we’ve got them back down to one cage, and they are both eating and drinking regularly. I hope to eventually see them flop on each other, but that will come in due time. For now, the piggies can keep each other company, and Lisa and I can marvel at their cuteness whenever they simply yawn or flop down.

Ch-ch-ch-changes

I finally got around to upgrading WordPress to 1.5.1.3 (way overdue considering it was a rather nasty bug they found). Oh well, apparently my site just wasn’t cool enough to even bother hacking. I also added a few backdated entries to the recently created Wedding category that were originally LiveJournal-only. The main problem with Lisa reading my blog (aside from not being able to drool over our nightly viewings of a certain young actress) is that I couldn’t spill the beans about the engagement until it happened. At least now I can preserve those entries.

If you are an LJer, you might have noticed the change in my avatar. I will be working on some design changes and that includes downplaying Teddy’s picture sadly displayed all over this site. Instead you’ll get a taste of what you really want: me in all my hunky glory! Well, maybe not…

I’m sure I had other things to add here… At lunch time I noticed that my shirt goes horribly with these pants – way too similar in color. But that’s not really blog-worthy… so I won’t waste your time…

Oh yeah, I’ll be playing around with flickr and some other gallery options to finally get some pictures up here. Plus I need to fix some older entries after a directory move that screwed up their images. Alrighty, it’s time to really get cracking on this site maintenance.

They told me it would be fun

My relationship with Lisa has survived one of the most challenging incidents to ever rear it’s ugly head: THE REGISTRY!

Everybody assured us that this would be the fun stuff. It’s like creating a giant wishlist of everything you want for your house. How could this go wrong?!?!

Well, after an hour of debating over flatware (and we’re not even getting the fancy china sets) I was about ready to call it a night. Just give us the dumbass Gone Fishin’ set and be done with it! Send us dishes designed for five year olds while you’re at it. I just couldn’t care anymore. And then I’m supposed to pick out a toaster?!?! (Ok, that part’s actually easy)

And the really cool hand scanner they gave us to keep the stupid guys amused (I’ll happily play that part) instead confused me to the point that I was certain we (and by “we” I mean “I”) had ordered 80 sets of forks and crap to go with 15 glasses and 12 plates. Way to take the fun out of a cool gadget – scare me with images of the most ridiculously stocked kitchen dancing through my head.

Even the cookware section couldn’t save my sanity as I am now left reading debates between Calphalon and All-Clad rival gangs. Oh yeah, did I mention that there’s someone else’s taste to take into account, too?

Well, we made it through day one still loving each other and with a minor sense of accomplishment – even though there’s no way we would allow people to use the current registry. The next few days will probably be filled with us throwing Williams-Sonoma and Crate & Barrel catalogs at each other.

My insurance does the robot

That’s right, as of today I am officially insured by the Government Employees Insurance Company (yeah, I didn’t know it was an acronym either). I’m not interested in having a friendly face behind my insurance company. I want it to be online and easy to make changes with as little human contact as possible. After my only accident I didn’t bother going to see my agent just up the street, but instead called the parent company’s 1-800 number. They were far easier to deal with.

And since I’ve moved and am dropping some of my excessive coverage I’ll also be saving close to $600 a year!

Continue reading “My insurance does the robot”