My First Gadget

I decided that it was about time that I taught myself how to create Google Gadgets. I work with them here and there for my job, but I also wanted to see what they’re all about. I’ve heard from plenty of people how fun they are to make (and I have to agree). It’s a pretty cool API and I think they’re fairly extensible.

I figured my first gadget should be something for The Diatribe. So, I created a customizable gadget that can sit on you iGoogle page showing the most recent headlines from The Diatribe. You can also create a customizable icon of your favorite Diatribe author.

To add the gadget to your iGoogle homepage, click the button below (or the new link on the right hand sidebar). Let me know what you think.. suggestions are welcome!

Add it to iGoogle:

This one’s for the geeks

I think the title says it all. I got such a kick out of this in yesterday’s :

// idiom 1
cop[0].goodInPercent = 100;
cop[1].goodInPercent = 0;

// idiom 2
isCrowd = personCounter >= 3;

// idiom 3
injury += insult;

// idiom 4
1: board.draw();
goto 1;

// idiom 5
if (bird[1].feather == bird[2].feather) {

// idiom 6
a = getThickness('blood');
b = getThickness('water');
assert(a > b);

// idiom 7

// idiom 8
function die(max) {
    for (i = 1; i < = max; i++) {

// idiom 9
prey = 'worm';
time = getCurrentTime();
if (time >= 4 && time < = 8) {

// idiom 10
while ( ) {

// idiom 11
function getValue(garbage) {
    return garbage;

// idiom 12
take(salt * .01);

// idiom 13
var here = false;
var there = false;

// idiom 14
if (i == 2) {

// idiom 15
days = 365;
for (day = 1; day <= days; day++) {
    if ( random(0,100) <= 50 ) apple++;
if (apple <= days) doctor();

// idiom 16
if ( !dogs.sleep() ) {

// idiom 17
function tunnel() {
    var dark;
    for (i = 0; i < 10; i++) {
        dark = true;
    dark = !dark;
    return dark;

// idiom 18
if ( ape.inLineOfSight(it.x, it.y) );

// idiom 19
return || way.high;

// idiom 20
hay[ random(0, hay.length - 1) ] = 'needle';

// idiom 21
a = 0;
b = 1;

// idiom 22
function getGain(pain) {
    return pain >= 1;

// idiom 23
if (cooks >= 3) {
    broth = null;

// idiom 24
if (a != 'cake');

// idiom 25
doesStand = you == me;

// idiom 26
var location = getLocation();
if (location == 'rome') {
    do( location.getCitizen() );


I know that it’s stereotypical that wolves (and sometimes dogs) howl at the full moon. But I’ve never heard of anything about dogs and eclipses. I think I need to start taking note, because (in case you didn’t know this) last night was the last Eclipse until 2010 that could be visible in North America.

It was too cloudy to see most of it here, though Miss Possible and I were able to sneak out and see the earth’s shadow for a few minutes during a brief break in the cloud cover. What’s strange, though, is that Bogart was acting ever so bizarre last night. Incessantly barking at us, jumping all over the place, digging much more than normal and he seemed to have endless energy. It was very strange — he was very out of character.

Miss Possible later pointed out that maybe the Eclipse had something to do with it.. and you know what, I think she might be onto something. I wanted to post about it, so that I might (perhaps) remember in 2010 to take notice of Bogart’s behavior the next time this happens. Who knows, maybe I can submit my findings to a Science Journal.

The Wedding Prepartions

Earlier this month marked the official time to start the wedding preparations, but I’m not talking about the vendors, invitations, photographer and other minutia involved with the wedding planning. I’m talking about the prep worked required on my behalf to get back in shape and look good in the photographs. I’ve got a goal to get back to my marathon-era weight and I’ve only got one way to do it: VSI II.

Some of you may remember the first VSI which began in August of 2000 and continued up through the frustrating Boston Marathon debacle of 2004. For those that don’t remember, VSI means Vast Self Improvement1. It’s basically an all out effort to get back into shape.

This requires diet alteration, a completely structured near-daily workout regimen, and anything else I want to add in as so-called Pork. Since the program began in late January, I’ve only missed two days at the gym and have enjoyed getting back on the fitness wagon. The diet has now become habit (as has the gym) and the rest is a matter of consistency.

So, stay tuned as you’ll probably hear a tale or two my VSI exploits. Let the getting-in-shape begin!

1I cannot take any credit for the term, phrase, motto, idiom or slogan VSI. It needs proper attribution to Mike Melillo who mentioned the program at my office one day back in 2000, and since that time I’ve used it freely. Thank you Mike.


As I’m sure you can imagine, Disneyland was amazing… I opted not to fly with the rest of my company, but instead take a limo down with 8 other co-workers and do some wine tasting. We didn’t get there until 11p, but that’s fine.. my designated flight was delayed several hours and I would have arrived at the same time. Bonus points.

During the day, there were 5-10 minute lines for nearly every ride.. and once we took over the park, well, that was utterly amazing. Our own private fireworks display, the speakers on main street blaring music from the DJ Booth in front of the Castle, and oh yeah.. for a lot of the rides (Space Mountain, for example) you could just go again, if you wanted.. nobody was there!

Amazing. It’s one of those experiences that are a once-in-a-lifetime thing.. Being able to frolick and romp around Disney with only a few people here or there.

Here’s a pic of my friends Katie, Pluto, Haley, and I:

I’m Going to Disneyland!

Tom Brady may not be headed to the Mickey Mouses’s West Coast abode, but I sure am. As a replacement to the annual Ski Trip that my company hosts up in Lake Tahoe, the West Coast Trip for this year has been to take over Disney. That’s right… a full day at the Park, plus an exclusive 5 hour window (8p – 1a) during which my company has exclusive access to the park, rides and more.

This seems like the perfect thing to take my mind off the near-perfect season.

Taking on Five Year Olds

At work, when we do introductions in meetings and such, we often have a funny or amusing question that goes along with the standard name, how long you’ve been there, and what you do.. One of my favorites has always been “How many five year olds could you take in a fight” — to which I always answered about 10 – 12.. Well, now I know the real answer: