Sunday, November 30, 2008

Tipping Point..

Well if you have several hours to waste on the computer, play the Tipping Point logic series. Right now there are 4 chapters out. I recommend that you play them in order because they get increasingly difficult as the series evolves. The games require you to think outside the box and retrieve tools from hidden locations that will allow you to solve the riddles. I can only recommend to find things that are clickable and see what happens. Also look for other rooms by moving your mouse to the edge of the screen and see if you can click that direction.
Start with Chapter 1. It is fairly simple and you will get the idea of how the game works. Plan to spend some time on the games as there is no save option to remember where you are in each given chapter. There is a walkthrough HERE, but give it a shot with no help.

Chapter 2 gets a little more difficult, but solvable without using the walkthrough.

Now I have to admit, I cheated almost all the way through Chapter 3. No excuses, it was just over my head. But rewarding still and fun to play using the walkthrough.

If you haven't torn all your hair out yet, then go for Chapter 4. I vowed to not cheat on this one and actually made it all the way through (almost). I only had to look for clues at the very end (after 3 hours). This chapter was just released November 7 and I could not find a good walkthrough like the others.


The hardest parts were trying to get the flamingo in the greenhouse to get his butt off the nest to grab the goodies. You have to feed him shrimp from the metal pot while playing the music box. Tease him with the shrimp to get him to stand up. Also you have to have all 8 tubes in the matter converter in the right order. You can not install it until it reads "0008 CORRECT". Oh yeah, the morse code thing was kind of tricky, you have to use your head. The answer may not be on the parchment paper, but the theory is.

Good luck, if you get through chapter 4 with no help, you are one smart bastard. Post your time of completion in my comments. O questions, I will try to help.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Conspiracy Theory 2..

I couldn't make this stuff up if I tried. Now I know why gas is $1.60 a gallon. When gas was $4.25, there was a rush to get a bunch of ethanol plants on line as quick as possible. Quick decisions were made, investments secured and construction began at a record pace. We all thought we were on the right track and the proverb "Necessity is the mother of invention" was holding true. We had confidence in the system that it would take care of itself. This scared the big oil companies shitless and something had to be done. The only answer was to make gas so cheap that there is next to no need for ethanol. Couple that with the credit crunch and banks are hesitant to lend money to ethanol plant construction.

All the big oil companies have to do is keep gasoline prices low long enough for the banks to call their loans on the ethanol plants. The plants go bankrupt and hence produce no ethanol, or at least the whole system is slowed down. Farmers that were growing more corn to feed the ethanol plants, now will have to second-guess their future planting. So I would guess that it would take a year of $4 a gallon gas to get hte ball rolling again. And that is provided the economy is back on track.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Big 3 Bailout..

Being from the midwest with a GM assembly plant in our city, I am sympathetic to the repercussions of a factory closing. However, the auto makers must assume the brunt of the decline in sales. They claim they don't make fuel efficient cars because "It is not what the consumer wants". Well who determines "what we want" anyway? It what we see on TV or what others are driving. All we see in advertising is trucks and suv's. All we see in movies and music videos are BIG vehicles. So I blame the auto companies for not steering the consumer cattle to smaller vehicles with promotional advertising campaigns. The profit margin in a huge vehicle is way more than a small vehicle so it kind of makes sense. And with a failsafe government creating light at the end of a tunnel, why not?

All the auto companies needed to do (about 20 years ago) is start an ad campaign promoting smaller cars and how cool they are. Put a pimped out tiny car in a rap video and there you go. They could call it the "Chevy Bling". Give one to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton and it would sell. It would (have been) a long term transition, but the bigwigs are smart, they had to see this coming. They had the inside scoop on how people paid for vehicles and I am sure there are detailed analytics on financing. People have been paying less cash and financing longer. Most people never OWN a vehicle now.

Anyhow, I had a 78 Toyota Corolla that go almost 30 miles a gallon. That was freakin' 30 years ago. Yo can't tell me that technology has stalled. I just think the money went in the wrong direction. And now it is going to be coming out of my pocket... again.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

The decline..

I was just sitting here dreading the onset of winter, watching Indiana fade from brown to gray. It reminded me of a time when my brother Chuck asked me how I could stay here all year 'round. Chuck was a world traveler and had "places" in Alaska and Hawaii that he would take turns living at. Complete with mountains, bears etc. He said that from about November to March Indiana was just unbearably gray and he couldn't take it and he would leave.

Not the point of my post though, I was thinking what or when was the beginning of the decline of the US economy (this time). I have to blame it on NAFTA and then SAFTA. We cannot be everything to everybody. And with Mexico having an hourly wage of 1/4 or less of the US, there is no way to compete fairly in the world market. It would be great to think in a Utopian society that we could absorb the difference, but it is evident that we cannot.

If you haven't noticed, I am the poster child for S.A.D., I guess in our family. it is adult onset.

In Memory of Charles (Chuck) F. Mohr Jr. 1950 - 1997

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Game Box

I have been struggling trying to figure out how to put games on this blog as well as offer the games to other people to put on their websites and blogs.

The problem is I am trying to promote Big Fish games, and they only offer the game as an I-frame. Most cool sites like
Myspace don't allow frames. I have found a website ( that allows you to create widgets. It converts my framed page to javascript and then I can give that code away.

This is based on promoting my gaming website
I will be working on ways to use this in the future. I am like a kid in a candy store.. If it works..

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The missing dollar..

I am going to lighten up a bait and post an old math puzzle that no one has ever been able to explain to me why it doesn't add up.

3 guys are going on a hunting trip and each pitch in $10 on a hotel room. They pay the desk clerk, get the key and go to the room to get some sleep for an early morning adventure. The clerk's boss shows up and tells the clerk he had promised the room to the hunters for $25. He gives the clerk $5 in one dollar bills and tells him to take it to the hunter's room and refund them the $5. The hunters are so happy with the honesty of the hotel, they each accept a $1 bill and tip the clerk $2 for his trouble.
So each hunter has now paid $9 a piece for their room for a total of $27. Add that back to the $2 the clerk got for a tip and you only come up with $29. What happened to the missing $1?

Sunday, November 9, 2008

The internet is addicting...

I just figured out why the internet is so addicting. I got one of those stupid "help us make the internet better" survey things from Yahoo. And I am pissed off at Yahoo anyway for raising the price of domain name renewal from $9.95 to $34.95. (I think they did it to inflate their assets for the Google buyout, but that is a different story). So I thought I would do the survey just to relieve some stress and skew the survey results. But it turned out to be a comparison of Yahoo and Google when you do a search. It made me come up with 3 things I always wanted to search for but never have, which is stupid anyway. Unless you have been have holding back on that search for "Swedish Midget Porn", you probably have done a search for whatever you wanted to search for. But I figured I would play along, after all, my name would be entered in the $1000 drawing!

So I decided to ask these 3:

1. Why did Yahoo raise the price of domain name renewal to $34.95? (What pisses me off here is banners on my Yahoo mail still offers domain names for $1.99 / year. I am a Yahoo affiliate through Commission Junction [] and Yahoo does not allow affiliates to promote the $1.99 offer.)

2. Why does Yahoo tech support suck? I had a bad experience with my Yahoo music subscription 2 years ago. It just quit working and they said no refunds, But "I couldn't talk to tech support directly, this is just the call center"!? They never did fix it, but I got my damn money back. Can you tell I am still pissed?

3. Why do I get these stupid surveys and nobody ever contacts me, and nothing is ever done?

So I actually had to do a search for the above topics on Google, then Yahoo. And what is ironic, if I had already written this blog, I may have found this post in the search results. (at least on Google :). Anyhow, I couldn't find any relevant topics on my searches and I didn't want to waste a bunch of time anyway, so I just went through the motions so I could post my derogatory comments.

My whole point here is I was so overwhelmed by the experience that I had an adrenaline rush with a sadistic undertone. For a while I was so focused on the internet, it felt like I was in a whole different place, not sitting in front of my computer in my underwear. It was a "trip" similar to the drug induced days of my youth. It is the out-of-body experience that becomes the addictive part of the internet (unless you really do search for Swedish Midget Porn). When I was finally done with the survey and clicked out, I came back to reality and only then realized how far gone I really was. This not the only instance I have observed this behavior in my self. Just like the concentration it took to post today...
PS: Nobody from Yahoo has contacted me, and nothing has been done.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Spread the wealth...

Ok, I admit it, I was rooting for John McCain. I just don't think voting for change just for the sake of change is a good idea. My point today is why I think Obama won.

Everyone said that George Bush was all about oil. And when gas was $4.25 a gallon, we all hated George Bush for not doing anything about it. Big Texan oil mogul has us by the nuts and is profiting at our expense. McCain's platform was built around energy independence; drill, drill, drill! I think he even chose Palin to ease the pain when we sent the dereks to Alaska. Great move I thought.

But then weeks and even days before the election, gas drops in price to $2.19 a gallon. Suddenly (because of the fluoride in the water I suppose), we no longer want to drill, drill, drill, and McCain's platform seems way less important. Since the election was so close, that could have been the difference. Just think if gas went to $4.75 right before the election, we may have had a different outcome.

What makes no sense, is that if our big Texan oil mogul George Bush was so important in the oil biz, why would he let gas prices drop the way they did? The answer to that has to be that he had no control, and really has had very little influence. If he did, being a Republican, he would have thought of this before I did and we would have had the price jump the day before election day.

So I can only surmise the Oil Cartel is responsible for the outcome of our election. Sure, they covered their butts and claimed they were going to cut oil production, but didn't until after the election. It seems THEY wanted Obama for president. Call me paranoid, but it scares me when the whole world celebrates our election's outcome.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

good for business..

I hate to admit it but the sagging economy has been good for business. First let me reiterate that my business is computers. Web gaming, free website hosting promotion, online advertising, freebies and web page design to be exact. Several things have happened that have steered people my way. First, and most importantly, the price of a computer has dropped considerably. Almost anyone can afford a $400 computer. The same computer 5 years ago would have cost around $2000. So computers are in more hands than ever. Especially younger kids that will click on anything without a 2nd thought. Computers are almost a requirement for school children now.

The next thing, unfortunately, is unemployment. More people are home from work and spending more time on the computer. The promise of "working from home" and earning a living is closer to reality for a lot of people. Even a majority of job hunting is done on the computer. While not job hunting, I would guess people are coming to my websites and playing games and building websites. And with the invention of Paypal, you can send and receive money very easily.

There is also a recent trend that without getting too technical, for advertisers to want to advertise on regular peoples' websites like your's and mine. The have a lot of money to pay for advertising space and are aggressive in contacting smaller site owning webmasters. It has to partially to do with Google downgrading the value of all the huge sites linking to each other to move up the list on a search engine search. To simplify; the playing field is even for small or huge webmasters to get listed near the top on a search engine.

To prove this, do a Google search for the term "build a free website". My site has been near the top for nearly a year. On the site you will see occasionally text ads from Google. These are "Google Adsense ads". You build a website, apply to Google to join the adsense program, then put the ads on your website. Whenever someone clicks on a Google ad, you make a few pennies. The trick is to get a lot of web traffic, in my case, it comes from the Google search from above. So Google sends me a ton of visitors, and then pays me to send them to their advertisers. God Bless Google. Add this to a few other campaigns, and you would be on your way to riches..

What makes this sad is, everyone I have ever tried to coach (in person) to try to make money online, has treated me like I am pushing some type of pyramid scheme. I will admit I am not the best teacher, but I always thought that if someone saw proof in black and white of what the potential is, they would persue it. I wish I would have met someone like me about 5 years ago to show me the ropes, it would have save me many headaches and tons of time and money.

Monday, November 3, 2008

When It Rains..

Ok, I was feeling all high and mighty as a homeowner saving lives and all. My wife decided to run a load of laundry to test out the new and improved filler hoses. (Now remember the hoses (and drain) are behind the refridgerator, and the fridge is back in it's spot against the wall.) I was on the computer ans she said she thought she heard water running from behind the fridge, I got up and shined a flashlight back there and didn't see any drips so I felt confident it was her overactive imagination. I said I would shine the light back there at the next drain cycle. Sure enough, the washer drain was overflowing a bit. Most of the water was going down the drin pipe, but it was rising out the top and running down between the wall studs.

Our house is on a slab and the washer drain is a 2 inch copper pipe that was probably big enough in FREAKING 1958. Well 50 years later, it sucks and there isn't much we can do about it except keep the pipe squeaky clean with a plumber's snake. We generally have it snaked once or twice a year, but we are obviously overdue.

So I had a brilliant idea, pull the fridge back out and get 2 buckets and the next time the washer drained, take turns filling the buckets and dumping them in the sink. Whoda thunk a washer could drain 2 gallons of water faster than I could dump it in the sink. It wasn't too bad at first, but it just kept draining and draining, and with each bucket, about a quart of soapy water sloshed out onto the carpet - about 10 times. Not to mention the rapidly nervous dumping sink water mess. Bring out the shop vac again and turn on the fans and call the plumber. Did I mention I smacked my head on the kitchen cabinet? No stitches, but I saw stars for about an hour..

Yes, it could have been much worse if it had slowly leaked over a longer period, but I have had enough already. So along with the checklist from my last post, check your washer drain while I go get drunk.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Averting Disaster...

Well all the websites are back up with new hosts and everything seems to be back to normal. So I thought I would take a break from the computer and get caught up on some homeowner chores. I decided to vacuum out the dryer vent with the shop vac. It may not sound too exciting, but if you have ever had a dryer fire, (or want to avoid one), it is a necessary maintenance item. Well the dryer vent went fine, but while wiping down the back of the washer, I noticed one of the water filler hoses for the washer had a bulge in it about the size of a golf ball. It looked like if I touched it, it would burst. And to those of you who are not clear on the mechanics of a washing machine, when the hose bursts, the water flows and flows and flows and flows.

This happened to us once about 5 years ago when my wife called me at work and said the washer was overflowing and there was no way to turn it off. And our house was built in 1958, so to put a full size washer and dryer in, the water supply had to originate from behind the refrigerator. So while the water was running my wife could not move the refrigerator to get to the shutoff valves. I was miles away and couldn't leave, so by the time, she was able to find someone to shut it off, we had 2-3 inches of water in the family room. It took hours of shopvac and days with a fan to dry it up.

So to end this amazingly boring post, I want everyone to check their dryer vent and washing machine hoses right now. A bit of preventative maintenance may save you hundreds of dollars, or even your life...