Welcome to ToTG!

April 30, 2013


hellion hel·lion [hel-yuhn] noun Informal

a disorderly, troublesome, rowdy, or mischievous person.

I'm fixin' to be a hellion if AT&T doesn't do something about this stinking modem and their DNS issues.

April 28, 2013

Let Me Google That For You

From the site:

For all those people who find it more convenient to bother you with their question rather than Google it for themselves.

Ever get annoyed by someone asking a question and you KNOW they are smart enough to do a search for it on their own?  You know they're only doing it to:  a. make you waste your time, b. pick apart the information at the link or c. impeach the source.

Instead, make THEM do the work and have a laugh at them at the same time.  Make THEM waste their time and then you can pick apart the information or impeach the source...or better yet, ignore them after leaving the link.

Just input the search terms, then you'll be given a link to leave for the troll (or lazy butt) so he/she can do their own research.

(one of the best replies I ever saw on a msg. board was someone asking where another poster got their information.  "Look it up yourself." he said. "I'm not your link whore.")

Try it out!

© LMGTFY (let me google that for you)

Dazzling Adorable Doofus

Your Dazzle Makes You Adorable

The face you present to the world is charming and alluring. You are simply a fun person to be around.

Whenever you can, you're ready to lighten the mood with a joke or an anecdote. You're a natural storyteller.

On the inside, you feel less dazzling and more ordinary. You can't see how attractive you are to the outside world.

You are a very genuine person, and you can't even imagine trying to charm others. You just do it naturally.

Your friends love your dazzle because... well, who doesn't love dazzle? You're just one of those charismatic types everyone loves.

The true secret is that you make others feel like they're the center of your attention. You know how to make everyone feel good. 

Clumsy Clouseau of Collectors

Did you know the day before he was to sell the Picasso painting Le Rêve (The Dream) for $139 million, Las Vegas casino magnate Steve Wynn accidentally poked a hole in it with his elbow?

Wynn refers to himself now as the "Clouseau of Collectors", a reference to the clumsy detective in the The Pink Panther movies.

April 27, 2013


gopher go·pher \GOH-fer\ , verb:

1. Mining. a. to mine unsystematically.
b. to enlarge a hole, as in loose soil, with successively larger blasts.


1. any of several ground squirrels of the genus Citellus, of the prairie regions of North America.
2. pocket gopher.
3. gopher tortoise.
4. gopher snake.
5. (initial capital letter) a native or inhabitant of Minnesota (used as a nickname).
6. (initial capital letter) Computers.
a. a protocol for a menu-based system of accessing documents on the Internet.
b. any program that implements this protocol

When I hear or see the word "gopher", I think of two movies. The first is Urban Cowboy where Bud - played by John Travolta - gets a job at the refinery and the man who hires him says he'll be a gopher and sarcastically asks him if he knows what a gopher is. Travolta says he figures it's someone who goes for things, then tries to make a joke about him being a small furry animal. The man is not amused and tells Travolta that around there, they were about the same.

That's a funny scene in that movie, but it's not nearly as funny as this one from Caddyshack.

Don't Click!

Visit dontclickit to free yourself from clicking.

Of course, you'll have to click the link to get there.

Visit this site, the Institute for Interactive Research, to get a glimpse of what the internet might be in the future.

April 25, 2013

URL Change

A few hours ago I purchased the domain "topoftexasgazette.com". Blogger will redirect to it, but if you want, you can change your bookmarks to the dot com URL.  I'm not for sure if the few reader feeds this blog has will change.

I'm going ahead with the Blogger platform because it's user-friendly (read: simple for a doofus like me) and I didn't want to pay for hosting.  I might change that in the future, but will stick with Blogger for the time being.

Some other things have changed;  the Feedjit feed quit working, even though I changed the URL after I signed into my Feedjit account.  I put in a new module, but for some reason the colors and width of the module didn't come out the way I wanted, so I will "work" on that sometime soon.  It's an interesting feature, but not necessary.

Also, the ToTG Trivia scoreboard module quit working, but it wasn't working earlier before the URL change.  I will also see if I can fix that, but if not, I will just create a link in the right-hand nav-bar for those who like to play the quiz that way.  Until then, the URL is ToTG Trivia Tournament

Other than that, I don't see many other changes.  I'm thinking of using AdSense, but OTOH, I doubt I'd see much money from it, seeing as how there's only a few dozen unique hits each day and probably isn't worth the hassle.  We'll see...I might try it for a while.  The domain cost only ten bucks, so it's not as though I have anything other than time tied up in this site. 

I've read articles about making money with a blog, but I also have read that people who make a profit off their blogs are few and far between.  I follow some food blogs/sites in my reader and one woman said she had just started turning a profit after 6+ years of blogging.  She hinted at the time she had spent and I did some quick calculations and figured she was making about a dollar an hour.  My time isn't worth much, but it's worth more than that. (one of the reasons I follow her blog in my reader instead of bookmarking it and visiting it daily is because of the multiple and obtrusive ads she has on her pages.)

The URL is longer than I wanted, but someone already had purchased "totg.com".  It's not being used, but is for sale for $8875.

Yeah, sure.  I'll get that out of my piggy bank.

April 24, 2013

Number 4 Me

Your Expression Number is 4

Practical and down to earth - everything in your life is organized.

You are a great writer and teacher. You never forget a detail.

Very patient, you have the ability to cultivate talents in difficult fields.

You also tend to have an artistic side. You'd make a great architect or classical musician.

You face your responsibilities with a positive attitude - and you always get things done.

You are serious, sincere, honest, and faithful.

Sometimes your strong sense of responsibility leads to frustration.

You also tend to develop strong likes and dislikes, which border on dogmatism.

At your worst, you can be a dominant disciplinarian. 

Mammal Munches Much in Milliseconds

Did you know the Star-nosed mole is the fastest eating mammal? According to Nature Journal, the animal can identify and eat a piece of prey in 120 milliseconds.

That's almost as fast as one of my sisters used to eat.

Looks a bit like her, too.

Just a Quick Note

To say if I don't post for a while, it's because the power keeps going out.  I've also had problems w/ my internet connection.  I'm just waiting to see if it sorts itself out because I've done everything here on my end that I can.  I've run a troubleshooting tool, changed settings (and changed them back), rebooted the modem and done the ubiquitous "clear cache and cookies".  I KNOW it's not on my end, but AT&T refuses to admit that there's something wrong on THEIR end.  No, they'd rather go through the sham of sending someone out and then charging me for a visit.

Oddly enough, the connection plays up at nearly the same times every day...that's why I don't think it's anything to do with my wiring.  Sick of it, wish I had never "upgraded" my connection because the old DSL, while slower, was much, much, much, much more reliable. 

/rant off (but to be continued)

April 22, 2013

Hung Up On Spam

I had high hopes that this wasn't spam, then realized it had to be someone who didn't know me...at least not in "that way".

April 21, 2013

It's a Long Way to the Top - AC/DC

(If You Wanna Rock and Roll)

Originally posted on 6/28/08. I was looking to see what a recent visitor had come in to see and noticed the video had been taken down by YouTube. Was easy enough to find another one; would be a shame to not have this video in my blog!

(had to replace the last video again - hope this one stays up a while)

The Eyeballing Game

From the website:

The best way to figure out how the game works is to simply play it.

The game works by showing you a series of geometries that need to be adjusted a little bit to make them right. A square highlights the point that needs to be moved or adjusted. Use the mouse to drag the blue square or arrowhead where you feel it is 'right'. Once you let go of the mouse, the computer evaluates your move, so don't let up on the mouse button until you are sure. The 'correct' geometry is also shown in green, so you can see where you went wrong.

You will be presented with each challenge three times. The table to the right shows how you did on each challenge each time.

Here are my scores:

The odd thing was I got worse in several categories as I played the game.

The Eyeballing Game

$5 Worth of Food

How much food can you buy for $5 around the world? (Personally, I've never considered beer to be a food, but *some* do, I suppose.)

Interesting look at the different food prices.  I was surprised at the cheaper ground beef price in the U.K.

April 20, 2013

Walk Away Renee - Left Banke

Not great quality, but a lovely song nevertheless.

A Sweet Quiz

You Are Sweet Because You're Brilliant
You have your own thing going on, and you love it. You enjoy the path not taken.

You are a natural strategist. You always like to formulate a plan of attack.

You are brainy and you love difficult intellectual challenges. You don't shy away from difficulty.

You are original and independent. You're making your own trends and carving your own path. 

Stamp Out Fakes!

Did you know the Statue of Liberty depicted on the "forever" stamp issued by the U.S. Postal Service in 2010 wasn't the real statue, but the replica outside the New York, New York Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada?

The one on the left is the one on the stamp, the face of the replica in Vegas; the one on the right is the face on the real statue.

April 18, 2013

They Love Me, They Love Me Not

If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.
- Ronald Reagan
Go to Caricature Zone
(image courtesy of The Caricature Zone)

Sorry, RR. That's impossible.

To be fair, I bet he said this before internet forums and msg. boards were even dreamed of.

Flying Through Batman Cave

Wingsuit / BASE-jump athlete Alexander Polli does the never before done—a tactical flight through a narrow cave on a rugged mountainside. The flight starts with a jump from a hovering helicopter, Alexander reaches speeds of 250 km/h (155 mph) while following a precise trajectory leading to the cave opening, he then fully commits and flies directly through the narrow opening of the "Batman Cave!"

Shot in full HD, this extraordinary flight exceeds the level of commitment most fliers would ever consider—there can be no attempting, the only option is success! The narrow cave, no wider than Alexander is tall, is located in Roca Foradada Mountains in Montserrat, Spain—a location that has inspired this professional Italian Norwegian athlete's flying dream his whole life. Alexander hopes his success will inspire others not only to 'climb over their mountains,' but to also fly right through them!

April 17, 2013

Time Travel - THE BUSEY ZONE

A few weeks ago, one of my cousins posted a quote from Gary Busey on her Facebook wall.  I forget what the quote was, but it was one of those bits of wit from Busey that would make someone think he's a deep thinking philosopher.

Now, I like Busey...at least, I've liked his acting.  I can't say that I know the man other than his appearances on Celebrity Apprentice or Celebrity Rehab or the interviews with him.  He did a lot of drugs earlier in his life and had a horrible motorcycle injury that resulted in him nearly losing his life and in which he sustained some severe brain trauma.  I don't want to diss the man, but I will admit I think he's a strange duck. 

I noticed he had a YouTube channel and I subscribed to it.  I haven't watched all of his posted videos, but I've watched a few and started a few more but didn't manage to finish them.  Most of them are along this vein.

One Thing is Certain

Since I've been online, the level of discourse has degraded to appalling levels.  I used to frequent a lot of political forums, starting in MSN Groups and then elsewhere.   Most sites have filters that catch most of the vulgar language, but people have learned to bypass them by substituting characters or blank spaces.  Other sites have active moderators that delete the worst posts, especially those with violence or obscenities, but far too often some manage to get past the censors. 

YouTube is just about the worst and it seems to be up to the person who uploaded the video to police the comments section.  Some care, some don't.  I had an extension for Firefox that blocked all comments, but it quit working with one of the latest updates for that browser.  I've learned to just watch the video and ignore the comments, lest I have an otherwise good experience spoiled for me.

One site that does a pretty good job of deleting nasty comments is IMdB.com, the movie/television review site. Still, even without obscene words, it has to be one of the rudest forums on the 'net. Religion or politics gets inserted into nearly every thread, it seems, even if the movie has absolutely nothing to do with either of those two subjects.

I wish I could give the URL to one instance I saw a few months ago, but I either didn't save it or accidentally deleted it in one of my periodic "cleanings" of files on my computer. I did save part of the conversation, though, in a Notepad file named "Stupid Sh*t". The person was blathering on about religious messages in some movie (I've forgotten which one) and after rambling on for several paragraphs, he closed with:

"BTW, I'm agnotick."

I wanted to reply, but didn't.  Others took him to task, though but strangely enough, not for his fractured sentence structure and poor spelling but for misinterpreting the movie's message.  I wanted to say to him: "First of all, it's "agnostic". Second place, it's one thing to be agnostic (OR agnotick) but there's really no sense posting on forums if you're functionally illiterate."  One thing was certain, though...he's a dumbass.

My Soul is a Desert

I'd hope it would be "dessert", but since all the options were desert scenes in this image quiz....

Your Darkness is Your Soul's Secret

To most people, you seem full of light and joy. You're the first one to smile or say something optimistic.

You put on a brave face for your friends, the family, and the world. You try to make the best of bad situations.

You keep your darkness a secret because you don't want to burden others with your problems. They have enough to handle as is.

You feel like your problems and struggles are for you to deal with. Everyone has them. What makes yours special?

If your darkness was less of a secret, people would be surprised to know what you've been struggling with... and that you're just like them.

You may burden others by revealing the darker parts of your soul, but you'd be unburdening yourself a lot more in return.


Turn any site's RSS feed into a Star Wars style reader with StarRSS . Get the URL site feed for your favorite website and plug it in and hit "Enter".  The latest posts will appear in a Star Wars-type scroll complete with the opening theme music and each title is a valid link.

Practical?  Not really.  Fun?  Loads!

Here's what ToTG's site feed looks like:

Or you can check it out yourself!


April 14, 2013

She's Not There - The Zombies

Originally published 5/2/09, but I noticed the video had been taken down.

Dear Dave

I was cleaning out my Gmail spam folder just now and found this:

Dave Dawes david007@hotmail.com

Good day,

I am Dave Dawes, My wife and I won the biggest Euro Millions lottery prize and we just commenced our Charity Donation and we will be giving out a cash donation to five(5)lucky individuals and ten(10)charity organisations from any part of the world. To verify the genuineness of this email and our winnings, please see our interview by visiting the web page below;


Your email address was submitted to my wife and I by the Google Management Team and you received this email because we have listed you as one of the lucky millionaires, To file your claim, Kindly send us the following details Name: () Age: ()Contact address: ()Telephone: ()Occupation: () Present Country: ()

Congratulations & Happy Celebrations in Advance,

Dave & Angela Dawes
Email: daveandangeladawes65@yahoo.com.hk

Gee, thanks for thinking of me, "Dave".  I'd be delighted if you shared your new-found wealth with me, but I'm a little concerned about a few things:  The first one is that I see that's a valid story and "you" are giving away part of your £101m jackpot, but the story is dated over two and a half years ago.  Surely you're not having problems giving the money away? Why would the "Google Management Team" want ME to have any of your money? I don't know any of them and I'm sure they don't know me; I'm just one in many, many millions of Gmail users.

Also, why is it the mail supposedly comes from a Hotmail address and in your closing, you give a Yahoo one?   Looking at the source of the email, I see it originates from a mail.astrobl.ru domain.  If you live in the UK, then why is the mail coming from Russia?  There's also a "spf=softfail" in the source and a quick bit of research tells me that means the mail is coming from somewhere other than the stated email address.  It's spoofed, in other words.

So, "Dave", I'm thinkin' your name is closer to "Dmitry" than it is "Dave.  Whatever it is, you're a rotten thievin' Ruskie.  I hope the authorities catch you, try and convict you and send you to Siberia for ten years at hard labor and hopefully you'll get frostbite on your private parts. 

Then you can change your name to Dave Rotchacockoff.

April 12, 2013

E-Mail Bug

From the Photobucket archives:

I found this bug in the last email you sent. I'm sending it back.

Please be more careful next time.

April 11, 2013

Vote For Bush!

I was reading an article about George and Laura Bush's daughter Jenna having a baby shower thrown for her by her TV co-workers, then noticed a "Which Bush is your favorite?" poll on the side, so I voted.  I know OF Billy Bush and the band Bush, but can't claim to have listened to the show of the former and couldn't name a tune by the latter.  Of course, I know about the two presidents Bush and knew about Jenna and her fraternal twin sister Barbara from the news stories* that came out when their father first became President.  

I thought about the vote for a little bit, then went ahead and clicked on George W. Bush, what the heck.  I voted for him twice before, why not three times?  According to half of America, I'm responsible for the country's ills because I did vote for him the first two times. 

*I remember a story about the Bush twins getting arrested twice for minor in possession (of alcohol) within a few weeks and not long after that, Jenna getting busted for trying to use a fake I.D. as so to buy alcohol. I remember making a joke at the time that the U.S. could probably reduce the deficit just by selling the twin's empties.

April 10, 2013

Yolo, Fomo, or Jomo?

You Are YOLO

Your personal motto can best be described as YOLO: 'You Only Live Once'

You believe in living large and taking risks. You don't want to regret what you didn't do in life.

You have a great attitude, and you live consciously. You don't want to waste a single moment or day.

Unlike how most people imagine YOLO, you aren't a reckless partier. You just live life on your terms.

You are open and eager to experience new things. You often get others to consider new possibilities.

You're the type who may change the world without even trying to. Just by being you, you inspire others and create greatness.

I'm a little suprised I was YOLO, esp. after this post.

OTOH, maybe there's something to it.


I was checking the status of my refund earlier today and decided to read then take a screen shot of the warming that pops up before you can proceed on the site.  I've seen the same thing when looking at the Top Ten Most Wanted on the FBI site as well as trying to look up something on the official White House website.

Nothing new here, folks, move along.  Y'know, you're really not paranoid if someone really IS watching you.

The word paranoia always reminds me of this tune:

Destroyer - The Kinks

"Paranoia, the destroyer"


I know 99.999% of all spam emails are scams, but I was sorely tempted to click on this one:

Moe Slap Happy

April 6, 2013

Be My Baby - The Ronettes

Whoever uploaded the video set it to "private", sorry 'bout that if you came in via a search. It's easier for me to just leave a note and delete the embed code than it would be to go back into the archives and delete the post.


idiolect id·i·o·lect [id-ee-uh-lekt] noun a person's individual speech pattern. Origin: 1945–50; idio- + -lect, as in dialect

Combine my Texas drawl with my occasional stutter and my idiolect can take a minute or more per syllable.

April 5, 2013

The Human Piano

After going to all that trouble, I would have hoped he would have put together something classical, like Für Elise or Moonlight Sonata or even gone the rock direction with "It's a Long Way to the Top" or "Smoke on the Water", but the theme to Super Mario Brothers?

April 4, 2013

Heaven on Earth

Your Heaven on Earth is a Sandy Beach

When you travel, you're not just looking to relax - you're looking to check out completely.

And nothing takes you away from your normal life more than a sandy beach, with the ocean crashing around you.

You love the feeling of the sun on your skin, and you're always up for a little bit of swimming or splashing.

Bonus points if you can stay at an all inclusive resort where your every whim and desire is catered to.

Consider a classic beach destination like Hawaii or the Greek islands for your next vacation. And of course, a luxury hotel.

Or if you want to mix things up a bit, pick a smaller island or a remote part of Asia. Then you'll get a beach to yourself! 

It really would be heavenly if that cute girl was on the beach with me.

Hacker Typer

Want to amaze your friends and/or freak out your enemies? (or vice versa?)

Keep Hacker Typer bookmarked on your computer and when you want to amaze/freak out someone, just open it up and tell them something like "I'm going to hack into the Pentagon." and start flailing away at the keyboard like a drunken monkey.  It doesn't matter what you type, just do it furiously with purpose (maybe bite your lip in an absent-minded way to mimic concentration) and the screen will look like this:

Wanna REALLY freak 'em out?  Tell them you've discovered a back door to Facebook and you're going to change their profile to read something creepy like "I'm a BIG fan of Charles Manson" or that they love Justin Bieber...unless they're really a fan of him, then what's really creepy is that they are a friend of yours.

Hacker Typer

Cursor Invisible

How good is your hand-eye coordination?  How about when your eye can't see what the hand is doing?

Try this fun game Cursor Invisible.  Click the start button, then start clicking the circles.  After a few seconds, your cursor will go invisible and you have to keep trying to accurately click on the circles.  The game continues as long as you successfully click on a circle but ends when you miss.

I just played a half-dozen times and my last (and best) score was 43.

Cursor Invisible

When Second Was Best

Did you know The Beatles lost out to Brian Poole and The Tremeloes when the two groups auditioned in 1962 for a contract at the London studios of Decca Records? Reportedly, Decca's decision was based upon location; The Tremeloes were from the London area, making them more accessible than the Liverpool-based Beatles.

Do You Love Me

Here Comes My Baby

April 2, 2013

March Stats

A few months ago, I decided to add a StatCounter as so to keep a better running count of visitors than the Feedjit Counter. Google Analytics seems to do a decent job, but I wanted to check those figures against another site counter.  StatCounter sends a monthly total, too, where as I have to go to Google to view the numbers.   I'm lazy, what can I say?

I also am not obsessed with the numbers, but just find them interesting.  I *might* be obsessed if this blog got thousands of hits each day, but....

As I have mentioned before, I was a little disappointed that page loads does not equal visitors.  (I thought this blog was more popular than it actually is.  Wishful thinking, I guess.) The new StatCounter keeps up with those, but it also counts first time visits as well as returning visits.  I have it set to ignore my own visits to the blog, but have to reset it when I clear cache and cookies. (the counter is "hidden" in the right-hand nav bar in the box at the very bottom. It's not actually hidden, but I have it set to a tiny size as so to not be so obvious to the casual visitor.)

Here's a screen shot of last month's stats:

April 1, 2013

Bring The Funk-Parliament Funkadelic

Play That Funky Music - Wild Cherry

Funky Town - Lipps Inc.

Do The Funky Chicken - Rufus Thomas

Why I'm Funky

Your Quirkiness Makes You Funky

You're a little different, and you're proud of that. You purposely seek out the odder side of life.

You think the mainstream is boring. The most interesting parts of life are undiscovered or at least underrated.

You're probably a little old fashioned as well. Once you like something, you stick with it... even if it goes out of style.

You've also found that the past is a rich place to scour for new things to love. You can't believe how many cool things have been forgotten.

People who don't know you well may thing you're a bit strange, but they often come around to you over time.

You are a rich source of knowledge and insight. You have more depth to you than most anyone else in this world. 

Where's My Refund?

Check your refund status at the IRS website.

Easy enough to do; input your SS#, your filing status and the exact amount of your refund and a graph will appear telling you the status of your refund.

I filed electronically last week (the first time I've ever filed online; it's also unusually early for me - I almost always wait until the last minute), so my refund isn't too far along in the process.  The site says that checks will be mailed (or credited to your bank account, which is, from what I've read, how it will be done in the near future) within 21 days.

The IRS also says to check only once a day.

Where's My Refund?