Sunday, May 30, 2010

Second Life's Star Trek Museum To Close


Due to high fees and restrictions placed on the museum by Linden Labs, the Star Trek Museum will close on July 31, 2010. Go and see it before it's gone. The Star Trek Museum is at the TovaDok sim at (24, 212, 34)

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Stay Away From SwipeBids.com

White MacBook laptopImage via Wikipedia
Somehow in my travels I ended up on a site called SwipeBids. It's an online auction site. You by bid from the company to use on their auctions. Each bid is worth $.01 and you can only bid one bid at a time (except for the gold & platinum auctions in which 5 or ten bids for one $.01 bid. Confused?

According to the site bids on items should only increase by one cent each time someone bid. The auctions have a set time. If the timer gets down past 10 seconds and someone else places a bid then 10 seconds is added to the clock. Sort of like the "going once, going twice, sold" of regular auctions. This is repeated each time the timer gets below 10 seconds and someone bids.

Last night I was on the site and spotted an auction for a MacBook and 5000 bids. It only had a few minutes to run and the current bid was $9 and change. I couldn't pass it up. I started watching and every time the timer got down to 2 seconds I bid. For the next 45 or 50 minutes I watched the price climb cent by cent. I had decided that my limit would be $30. When the bid got to $26 and change I was getting more interested.

All of a sudden, in a couple of seconds, the current bid jumped to over $60. I contacted the site through their online chat and asked how this is possible. Here is the transcript of that chat
you: I was watching an auction and the bid jumped from around $26 to more than $60 in a matter of second. How is that possible?
Sandra: The bidding process is simple. Each product starts at just one dollar. Then, people place bids on the product. Each time someone places a bid, the price of the product rises by 1 cent. The timer keeps going down, and when the auction falls below 5 minutes, if anyone places another bid on the item then the timer will reset to 10 seconds. When bidding stops and the auction ends, last bidder wins!
you: Then it should not have jumped that far. There's no way 100s of bids could have been placed in under 10 seconds
you: Since I've been talking to you it's gone up another $30.
Sandra: One moment please.
Sandra: All bids are governed by our swipebid servers. When a bid is placed, it has to be passed from your computer to our servers to register. If there is any lag (delay) in your internet connection there is a possibility that the timer can run out before your bid is registered.
you: You are still not answering my questions. The bid more than doubled in less than 10 seconds. That's thousands of bid at $.01/bid. I don't believe that's possible.
I was watching the auction and there were only a few people participating. SwipeBids would have me believe that suddenly 1000s of people joined the auction and then left. Then, a few minutes later, they all came back for a couple of seconds and then disappeared again.

What the hell? Was there an auction Flash Mob? Seriously?

While I was bidding I was also watching another auction for a $100 gift card for Wal-Mart. When I started watching the current bid was $1 and change. I looked back at the MacBook auction for a couple of seconds and then went back to the Wal-Mart auction. In those seconds the bid had doubled to $2 and change.

Anyway, after her comment about the SwipeBid servers, Sandra never said another word. Eventually I told her to cancel my account and left.

I think there is definitely something fishy going on at SwipeBids. Buyer beware.
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Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Good News/Bad News

Blood test kitImage by ☺ Lee J Haywood via Flickr
I don't have cancer. I just got a chunk taken out of my arm for nothing.... Do you have any idea what it looks like when they've taken layers of skin and it starts to heal? It's grossing me out.

They don't know what I do have. Had to go to the vampire's again so they could take 8 more vials of blood to test. SIGH. I guess I should be glad that my Dr. wants to do more blood work instead of going to the next phase which is a spinal tap. Supposedly they do it in 30 minutes and you leave the hospital in an hour. Still don't want anyone digging into my hip bone. I'm kinda funny that way.

June is filling up with medical appointments. Hopefully it won't be as bad as May (7 appointments in 2 weeks). On top of it all my batteries died in my hearing aids. I thought they were supposed to last for months. I haven't even had them for 4 weeks yet. SIGH.

I'm just going to keep plugging away until I find out what the heck is wrong. The other day I read about a woman who had to go to 100 separate doctors before they found out what she had. I think a lot of the time Drs. think, "well she can't have that," so they don't test for it. I think it's silly to rule things out before you've tested for them.

Why am I suddenly hearing "Tune in next week to Veterinarian's Hospital when you'll hear Nurse Janet say..."
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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Has Anyone Seen This Film?

Franlyn looks like it could be one of those movies that is so bad it's good.


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Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Philosopher's Football Match

This is the only Monty Python sketch that I thought was funny from beginning to end. A lot of their sketches start off funny but then they just go on...

A few years ago I watched a lot of Python because Eddie Izzard narrated a documentary about them. I still don't like them any better.


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Monday, May 10, 2010

Are You Annoyed Yet?

Sir Bob told me to go out and annoy my friends so here you go!



I know everyone is tired of hearing about Africa. The problems are still there. We haven't made enough progress. If you're really sick of hearing about Africa, tell your politicians to solve the problems. Yeah, I know, the problems are really big. The least they can do is make strides in the right direction. They should commit to a plan and then we have to annoy them until they follow through.

It's the 21st Century people! There's no reason for anyone to be living in poverty. Make your politicians do their jobs.

If you've been living under a rock for the past 20 years and have no idea what I'm on about. ClickHere!
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Sunday, May 9, 2010

$6 Million Don't Last Like It Used To

I think I'd like to go back to the day when you didn't see famous people doing commercials. A few days ago I joked that I had a "bionic ear." Imagine my surprise when I heard about the Lee Majors Bionic Ear.  Being curious I had to check it out. Putting aside the fact the Steve Austin had a bionic eye and Jaime Summers had the bionic ear (and she still had to push her hair out of the way!) of course. 


I feel really bad that Majors needed money so badly that he put his name to this kind of crap. At least Lindsay Wagner has a Ford Truck... I took a look at Majors' listing in the Internet Movie Database and it looks like he's been working steadily. They're all minor or guest roles but at least he's working. I can't believe he needed to cheapen his name by having it associated with this shite.





So what's wrong with Major's Bionic Ear? First, it's not a hearing aid like you would get after and audiology exam. This is more like a "hearing enhancer." Like someone shouting in your ear.  Secondly, the way it is sold is misleading: $14.95 (+S&H) to try it and then 3 payments of $99.95 to keep it (over $300 per aid.) That's for one Bionic Ear. 


The refund conditions leave a lot to be desired. You have to ship the Ear and its packaging back to the company at your own cost. The Ear must be in "as new" condition or no refund will be issued. What constitutes "as new" condition is open to the vendor's discretion. They also say you should insure your return or you'll be charged for any damages to the Ear. The cynic in me says that people who are too cheap to buy real hearing aids are not going to want to spend money on insurance. The vendor can then say the the Ear was damaged and not issue any refund.


I've read a few comments about the Ear. The fact that the battery is rechargeable is good but not if the battery doesn't stay charged for a reasonable amount of time. Most people say that the battery doesn't stay charged nearly as long as the vendor says. Some have said it runs out in less than half the time it's supposed to.


If you're really having trouble hearing you should get yourself to a doctor for testing. The Bionic Ear may do more damage in some cases. I believe there are certain things you should not buy by phone, mail or online. Your ears are too important to mess around with.


Now to something else that bugged me when I watched Majors' commercial. I felt that I'd seen the visuals before. Check out this commercial for a product called Listen Up:





A company too cheap to film a new commercial for a new product can't be relied on to have a good product. You've been warned.
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Thursday, May 6, 2010

What I Learned Today.


Today I learned that almost everything I thought I knew about skin cancer was wrong.

I went to see a dermatologist when she was examining my arm she found a mole that "worried her". She said it had to come off  TODAY. It seem that the moles you have to worry about are smooth to the touch and asymmetrical. If they're raised they're fine. She asked me how long I'd had that mole. Since it's on the back side of my arm I'm not very likely to see it unless I go looking. I have no idea how long it's been there.

She called in her resident (a very cute guy) to do the surgery. While he was working I had flashes of what I call "ick moments" from shows like CSI where they cut out a piece of skin to examine it under a microscope. I also got kind of distracted by his crotch being in exactly the right place to be doing something entirely different.

What? I said he was cute!

I made the mistake of looking as he transfered the bloody skin to a jar... I am so glad I did not throw up.

So I now have 8 stitches. I have to go to my GP and get them out in 8 to 10 days. I hope it's a nice scar. Ever notice how scars on men can be really sexy but the same scar on a woman looks bad? The res who cut on me had a cute little scar on his arm.

Speaking of scars, it seems I have a few of them on my back that I never knew were there. I have no idea where they came from. Dr. said I'd probably had them from childhood. Just one more blank spot in my childhood.

In two weeks I'll find out if I have cancer or not.

Now I'm going to be paranoid and searching my body for other "smooth" moles.  I think I might have to invest in a hand mirror. After I get some sleep. Managed 2 hours last night. Not even caffeine is working for me.

I'd love to just sleep for the next two weeks and wake up to get the news. The waiting sucks.
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Wednesday, May 5, 2010

SGA Day


Many of you know that I went to the Vancouver Stargate convention a couple of weeks ago. You may have been wondering why I haven't said anything about it. I could say that I was waiting for my friend Jennifer J. to get her pictures posted so I could put a few of them here. But the truth is I don't really know what to say about it.


I could only afford to go to one day of the con so I chose the day that was mostly Stargate: Atlantas actors. Let me say this, if you ever get the chance to see David Hewlett and Joe Flanigan on stage together run to your nearest ticket booth! They are HILARIOUS. They're both amusing on their own but when they get together everything explodes. You'll never know where they're going from one minute to the next.


Another person you should see is Christopher Heyerdahl who played Todd the Wraith. I like him. He's silly. He also plays a couple of characters on Amanda Tapping's new show Sanctuary. I've been watching the first two seasons and I'm really starting to like it. Chris' big news it that his character John Druitt will be back. 


One of the best moments in his panel was when someone asked him to say "John Sheppard" in Todd's voice. I really love the way he does that. It just sounds so menacing. Shivers.


I also saw Steve Bacic's panel but I couldn't hear a lot of what he was saying (my seat was way in the back of the hall) so I'm not really sure what that was all about. At one point he said or did something that triggered a negative response from me. I don't know what it was but all of a sudden I wanted to get out of that room. I'm sure he's a real sweetheart. My weird reaction doesn't mean anything.


After the panels it was time to line up for the "sandwich" photo op with Joe and David. I was really impressed that they both shook everyone's hand and looked a them while saying hi. What I didn't like was that the photographer said one or two words to get our attention and then snapped the picture. It was all over in less than 30 seconds.

I was asking Joe about him getting on Twitter a second before the picture was taken. I look like a dork. David looks a little goofy too. I bet it's not all that common to have 3 people in a photo smiling without opening their mouths. I was surprised when I got the picture and saw where David's hand was. A few inches over and he would have touched me in a place where, if someone touches me there unexpectedly, I jump out of my skin. That would have been fun.

All in all I spent too much money and my feet got sore. I was entertained for a couple of hours. I need to win a lottery so I can afford to go to a whole convention (and all the parties). I can dream.



Edit: I totally forgot that I also saw Michael Shanks. The only thing I remember about his panel, aside from his "stirring the pot" of SGU hate, was the story of a recent trip to a con in Atlanta. He saw people dressed in animal costumes and thought, "Great, there are some kids shows here." Later he found out about Furries. Shanks asked how many people in the audience knew what Furries were. Quite a few people, including me, put up their hands. He said the rest would have to ask.  Great for kids? As Shanks said, "Not so much."
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