December 13th, 2013


Facebook Advertising Fail

In Facebook's ever demented quest to tell us what we thought we wanted from Facebook, a while ago they decided that ads along the sides of the page were too easy to ignore. So they began to put them interleaved with those posts from my friends Facebook thinks I might be allowed to see.

This is annoying. I start looking at something, thinking Why would anyone I know want to share this on FB. Only to find out that it's no one I know.

But every now and then I might be amused:

Fisher Investments: Official Company Page · Suggested Post
4 Ways to Avoid Running Out of Money During Retirement. If you have a $500,000 portfolio, download the guide by Forbes Columnist Ken Fisher's firm. Click Here to Download Your Guide!

1. First error is Facebook thinking this is a message for me.

2. Second error is thinking I might have a $500,000 portfolio.

3. Third error is thinking that if I DID have a $500,000 portfolio, that I'd take financial advise from Facebook.

4. Fourth error is think that I am stupid enough to click on just any link encoded from

Hey, no matter the size of my portfolio, I just came up with four surefire ways to keep it out of money grubbing spammers. (grin) I should share this insight with all my Facebook friends!

Oh, I guess I just did. My bad.

Dr. Phil

Ah-Ha Again!

Gosh, there's another ad based on Ah-Ha's amazing video Take On Me, this one for Dance Moms. Yes, that's the dreadful looking Lifetime channel so-called reality show about berating small girls in dance school and bullying their mom's, who scream back. Or that at least is what I gather from the commercials.

But the Ah-Ha reboot is beautifully made. And funny, just as with Bunty in the original, the main witch looks a lot better as line drawn video. Maybe we should all be in line drawn animation.

Anyway, it's worth a look.

You can see links to the original and the VW remake ad (DW) here.

Dr. Phil


Days Since I Last Drove The 1996 Blazer
From and including: Wednesday, May 1, 2013
To, but not including Friday, December 13, 2013

Result: 226 days
It is 226 days from the start date to the end date, but not including the end date

Or 7 months, 12 days excluding the end date

Alternative time units
226 days can be converted to one of these units:

• 19,526,400 seconds
• 325,440 minutes
• 5424 hours
• 226 days
• 32 weeks (rounded down)
From the website, rather than digging out my HP-16C financial calculator. (grin)


Driving around in the 1996 Blazer felt comfortable -- right. Now there's nothing wrong with the handful of trips I've made in the 1999 Bravada, which I love for long distance road trips. But most of the tooling around I've done since 1 April 2006 has been in the '96. Just shy of 306,000 miles today, by the end of the Spring Semester I should have put 200,000 miles on it. The Bravada is an Oldsmobile, it's got a gentle ride. The Chevy Blazer is the same basic body and engine, but it's got a tougher attitude, more of a responsive driver's truck.

So I was happy to be back in the saddle again.

I Tried To Spend Money...

But sometimes, even on Friday the 13th, you can't. After mailing an envelope by the post office, I had planned on getting some gas -- $3.08.9/gal if you're keeping score -- but turns out I had needed gas back on 25 April, as I drove home sick from my last Spring 2013 final exam. So it'll have to wait.

Then I decided to get an oil change and have the fluids and tire pressures checked. When Mrs. Dr. Phil charged the Blazer's battery the other week, she couldn't get the hood to latch down. It's a truck and typically needs to be slammed. Anyway, they closed it, opened it, closed it again. All good. So just the oil change.

And I knew that the tires were down from the summer. I could see the left front tire was low. 18 psi -- I had guessed about twenty -- or roughly half normal. When you do regularly scheduled maintenance and daily inspections, you don't get such large differentials. Leave it rest for 5420 hours, you do.


Earlier in the afternoon, the outdoor temperature probe out the bedroom window read 35°F. The temp in "downtown Allendale" was 27°F at 3:25pm EST. Roads were pretty clear, though 84th Avenue still had some icy and slushy patches leftover from drifting blown from the empty fields. Parking lots were a mixed back.

So it wasn't too cold out, but the heat in the Blazer was just fine.


Back in 1986, when they were both still alive, Wendy's husband Paul traded in his old chrome fire scarred Nikkormat FTn for a Nikon N2020 (F501) -- Nikon's first consumer autofocus SLR. It came with a 35-70mm f3.3-4.5 AF NIKKOR kit zoom lens. When I inherited Wendy's camera bag, I added the 35-70mm lens to my Nikon D1 commuter camera bag. The film camera sat there until around Thanksgiving. I cleaned the N2020 and loaded it with AAA's and a 24 exp. roll of Kodak Gold 200. Found a spanking brand new Nikon CL-35 black leather Eveready case on eBay for $10+shipping and stole the Nikon nylon neckstrap from Wendy's black Nikkormat FTn, and added a lightweight, compact and SHARP 50mm f1.8D AF NIKKOR normal lens -- and now I had a small, light 35mm film SLR to drag around or throw in the basket to the walker.

Anyway, I finished the roll on the drive today and will get it developed and scanned on a Kodak Photo CD. And we'll see what we got. Pictures soon. Good lord, how did we survive in The Dark Ages having to WAIT to literally see what develops?

All in all, a good day.

Dr. Phil

Just A Few Hours Left To Dr. Phil's First Non-Starter

What The Hell Is Dr. Phil's First Non-Starter?

Well, Facebook and the Internet is awash in Kickstarters and Kickstarter proposals and Kickstarter wannabes using some other crowdsourcing website we've never heard about before -- all trying to get you to give them money to fund their pet projects. Or keep their projects afloat. Or even a modesty creative way to curry subscriptions to markets.

But I am doing a giveaway. I've got nothing new coming out -- not surprising considering my recent stint of unproductive writing and submitting. So I am taking advantage of Blind Eye Books overstock situation to do a quick giveaway of one of my favorite stories which a lot of people haven't read.

Hence, if I am giving away and not getting, then it's not a Kickstarter -- it's a Non-Starter.

Okay, So Non-Starter Is Lame, The Giveaway Is Real

PS -- Don't forget about the Dr. Phil "Under Suspicion" Giveaway. (DW)

Dr. Phil