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Wednesday, January 24, 2007 :::

Planetdan, now in 3D!

The other day I came across this guy's page, where he experiments with a way to present 3D stereo images on a computer monitor by simply putting two slightly different images into a single animated gif. Well you know that there are not many things that I love as dearly as animated gifs and myself, so here goes nothing:

Did I just blow your mind? It's just like an old Viewmaster! Apparently I'm easily impressed these days.

::: posted by dan at 12:00 AM :: [ link ] :: (32) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, January 23, 2007 :::

Using Netflix to Spread the Joy of Dan

Ever since I joined Netflix I've been astounded by what must surely be an incredibly complex service infrastructure. They have millions of DVDs in millions of sleeves in millions of envelopes in millions of mailboxes every day, and they ship unbelievably fast. I couldn't conceive of how it was possible, and I didn't really understand how they knew what DVD was in what sleeve when you returned your envelope. But today I found out by accident that they apparently have no idea what DVD is in the sleeve you return. In fact it doesn't even have to be a DVD at all.

You see, I was organizing my movie collection and putting discs back in boxes, etcetera, when I decided to hit the eject button on my DVD changer. I was surprised when the Hostel DVD popped out, because I had supposedly returned it to Netflix three weeks ago. Confused, I looked around for an empty box to help me figure out which of my personal DVDs I had returned to Netflix by mistake, but they were all accounted for. The only empty case in the vicinity was for my own homemade Kickassiest Xmas music mix. Which means some lucky Netflix customer out there who was expecting a gory pseudo-snuff horror film would instead be hearing some lovely holiday classics from the past and present, including the planetdan original Xmas song: The Kickassiest Xmas. What a treat! Sure, it's a little out of season, but who wouldn't love an opportunity to tickle their earholes with a little dan?

This would make an interesting grass roots distribution system for struggling bands, I think. Just keep ordering Netflix movies and replacing them with your demo disc. Netflix has yet to contact me about the error, which means they probably never bother to check to see if the proper titles are in the proper mailing sleeves. Who knows, maybe the head of the Holiday Song Division at some huge record company is listening to The Kickassiest Xmas right now! Of course, that would mean they expected to be watching Hostel tonight, so they're probably not too happy with me right now. Plus I neglected to include any contact information for them to call and offer me millions for the distribution rights, but whatever.

::: posted by dan at 11:09 PM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button


Tuesday, January 16, 2007 :::

Worst. Photo. Ever.

Whenever I come across forgotten childhood pictures, the resulting feelings are usually that of deep mortification and regretful sorrow. I dream of one day finding some seemingly normal photo of myself as a nine-year-old, perhaps wearing a baseball jersey, or maybe even a shirt with sleeves. This continues to be my dream. Here is, by far, the worst I've yet to see:

I don't know what makes me cringe worse, the purse around my elbow, the baby doll in my lap, or the fabric bag worn as a bonnet. I guess I can find a little solace in the fact that at least I had enough shame to keep my shirt on, unlike my scrawny older brother. My cousin Linzee was kind enough to scan and send this photo to me. She is pictured here in the middle. I'm positive her intention was to embarrass me with the memories, so I'll return her the favor by telling a true story: this very same day at her house in Pennsylvania, she was having so much fun playing dress up with us that she literally wet her pants. Okay, so she was probably at the age where wetting her pants wouldn't seem as strange as, say, a nine-year-old boy carrying a purse and a baby doll, but I just thought I would mention it.

Anyway, thanks for the memories, Linzee.

::: posted by dan at 10:44 PM :: [ link ] :: (25) comments Social Bookmark Button


Hammer Humor

I don't know what it is about MC Hammer jokes lately, but I sure have taken a liking to them. Although I have no idea who created this masterpiece of simplicity and logic, I like it very much. I post it in honor of Dr. Erik, who I know appreciates flowchart humor as much as I do, although I'm unsure about his affinity for Hammer Humor in general:

I have always liked this one, too, but I can't decide if the inclusion of nazis actually increases or diminishes the potential humor:

Okay, just one more.

::: posted by dan at 10:23 PM :: [ link ] :: (16) comments Social Bookmark Button


Sunday, January 14, 2007 :::


My family celebrated xmas late this year due to some inconveniently-timed vacations. But that's okay, because it gave me some extra time to work on a Shutterfly hardcover photobook for everyone. You see, I had thoughtfully gathered some old digital photographs of my entire family and organized them with titles and captions. With my trusty Photoshop, I created a custom cover image that I hoped would be suitable for display in any home, and I even splurged to add a few extra pages to accommodate some cute photos that I was positive everyone would appreciate. I was excited about the final results, which were printed and mailed to me earlier this week. All of those hours of sifting through photos, laying out nearly thirty pages, and designing the cover were finally going to pay off:

Nieces and Newphews. Nice work, dan. Your thoughtful (and not exactly inexpensive) gift is forever besmirched by an errant 'w'. I tried to make myself feel better by comparing it to misprinted stamps, where an upside-down airplane only increases the item's value, but that proved ineffective. Oh well, maybe next year someone will get me spell check for xmas.

::: posted by dan at 6:02 PM :: [ link ] :: (18) comments Social Bookmark Button



I was looking through old pictures the other day when I came across this gem of myself from Stacy's wedding a few years ago:

When it comes to dancing, I like to roll up my sleeves and get down to business. I always suspected that perhaps I worked it a little too hard on the dance floor. I guess this picture confirms it. Please, Hammer, don't hurt 'em.

And here's a more recent picture, taken this last New Year's Eve, of K-Mack and I workin' it a little too hard on the dance floor yet again. Little has changed over the years. Notice that my hair is soaked wet with hard-earned dance-sweat. K-Mack doesn't seem to mind:

::: posted by dan at 5:48 PM :: [ link ] :: (10) comments Social Bookmark Button


Monday, January 08, 2007 :::

The Barking of the Squirrels

It's no secret that I've had problems with squirrels in the past. Today the conflict reached a boiling point. I'm going to dramatize the retelling of my terrifying ordeal, but I assure you: while the story might seem fancifully told, the details are entirely accurate.

This morning, I needed to take a ripe-smelling garbage bag to the receptacle in the alley out back, but my "outside" shoes were not conveniently waiting by the back door as usual, so I had to wear my slippers. It seemed safe enough, as the sun had temporarily broken through the clouds and the ground looked dry and coarse, but in reality there had been a frost overnight and the ground wasn't as unslippery as it seemed. My backyard slopes uphill rather dramatically, so about halfway up the treacherous hike in my tractionless slippers, I heard a terrible noise: it was the sound of an angry squirrel, barking. I stopped dead in my tracks.

If you've never heard a squirrel barking, believe me, it would send shivers down your spine. It's indescribable. It kind of sounds like a cross between an evil hiss and an unworldly, demonic grunt. But I recognized it immediately. I slowly turned to see a nasty looking squirrel at the base of my tree. He was on his hind legs. He was angry. And he was looking right at me. Barking.

I tried to retreat, but my slippered feet gave way beneath me and I fell, flailing onto my backside, garbage bag still in hand. This didn't deter the squirrel. It just barked louder. My heart stopped as I watched it take a few menacing, but cautious leaps toward me. It stopped about fifteen feet short of my legs and resumed barking. Cleverly, I banged on my garbage bag to cause a racket, hoping that this would startle the creature and bring a little fear back into its soul-less existence. I even yelped, "Hey you! ... Git...!" but this tactic was unsuccessful.

He held his ground, still hissing, and I lied there as motionless as possible. It was not unlike a tense scene in an action movie where both gunmen have run out of ammunition and simultaneously noticed a loaded gun situated on the ground directly in between them, as the camera pans in dramatically to focus on their twitching eyes. Who would make the first move? Except there was no gun, I was in slippers, and the squirrel clearly had the upper hand.

Making a command decision, I stood up and ran for the back gate, toward the dumpster. The barking had stopped, but I was unsure if the peripheral motion I could see out of the corner of my eye was a rabid running squirrel with sharp fangs or some innocuous rustling leaves, so when I finally reached the dumpster with my garbage bag still in hand, I just kept running. I swear I could hear the insipid beast lunging through my lilac bush, so I never looked back.

By the time I got to the end of the alley, the animal was nowhere to be seen, and I was not about to attempt another confrontation. So I dispensed with the garbage bag in a neighbor's trash bin (an illegal act, I know, but I doubt any jury would convict me after what I had just been through), and walked around the entire block - in my slippers - to my home's front entrance, where I was reasonably sure there were no squirrels lying in wait to feast on my fleshy ankles and weakened spirit. And that is where my tale of courage ends, my friends.

So, I told that story with some exaggerated flourish, but seriously... what could possibly make a squirrel go all bat-shit crazy like that this time of year? Besides rabies? I'm afraid of my backyard. I'm a prisoner in my own home.

Squirrels are nasty. Last time I had a bad encounter with a squirrel, my coworker sent me this image to mock me, the power of which has never diminished:

Just add snow and that's basically what I encountered this morning.

::: posted by dan at 10:28 PM :: [ link ] :: (49) comments Social Bookmark Button


Thursday, January 04, 2007 :::

Freaking my shit out.

I finally joined Netflix. I justified the added monthly expense by canceling some of my unused cable channels. I thought I would go all insane with queuing movies, but I'm actually having a hard time coming up with titles that I'd like to see.

The first title sent to me was The Decent. It was the first movie ever to make me scream out loud. In the middle of the day. In a brightly sunlit living room. It really freaked my shit out. It's also the first movie to almost make me vomit. Not from gore, mind you, but from the uncomfortable claustrophobia induced by crawling through a tunnel no wider than your shoulders. If you've seen it, you know what I mean. I had to turn away. Another movie first for dan. I guess you can consider that a rave review.

And now I make my Netflix queue open to the public, and open to ridicule:

Dan Hearts Netflix

::: posted by dan at 6:28 PM :: [ link ] :: (24) comments Social Bookmark Button


Aught Seven

I rang in the new year at a fancy shindig featuring fire dancers, high-flying aerialists, and some energetic booty shaking. K-Mack got drunk and vampish:

I've been playing with my Wii ever since. [The first person to make a lame joke here loses.] It's the best thing I've ever purchased. I probably won't be around the intarwebs much anymore, I have to work on my back swing because this tennis elbow is killing me...

My new year's resolution is to curb my spending. Again. I hereby vow to stop hemorrhaging money. Right after I amass a good solid Wii software collection...

::: posted by dan at 5:30 PM :: [ link ] :: (7) comments Social Bookmark Button


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