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Hopper ads Tue, Aug 28, 2012
I'm a huge fan of the commercials for Dish Network's new Hopper DVR service.  The choice to use people with Boston accents was a good one.

Disguising vegetables Wed, Aug 15, 2012
It seems like cooking vegetables often involves disguising them as something they're not so they're less inedible.  Eggplant parmesan is just an otherwise useless vegetable disguised to look like a chicken dish.  Vegetable stir fry is just an agglomeration of different vegetables covered in salt to confuse your taste buds.  Other dishes often include a sauce or a texture difference to make you forget you're eating vegetables.

Intentional side effects Mon, Aug 13, 2012
I think it's interesting that the medication Diphenhydramine (used in Benadryl, Tylenol PM, etc.) is often used for its side effect as opposed to its primary effect.  It's classified as an antihistamine, which means it's for allergies.  But its main side effect is drowsiness, which is why it's used in all those sleep aids.

Home ownership and lawn care Mon, Aug 13, 2012
One of the things I dreaded before owning a home was the idea of lawn care.  That whole exercise in futility held no appeal for me.  But now that I own a home, it's probably my favorite part of the process.  I could do without the painting and the flooding and the remodeling, but lawn care is one of the good things about home ownership.  There's just something enjoyable about having a simple task that doesn't take much time, effort, or money, and which produces a reliable, positive result.  Granted, it might have something to do with the fact that I have a tiny lawn that only needs to be cut every few weeks, but whatever.  Using a gas-powered machine to beat nature into submission is enjoyable either way.

Viral emotions Tue, Aug 07, 2012
On the Media mentioned a study about which internet links are shared the most: 
Yeah, and the number one predictor they found was anger. Anger is the number one predictor of an article making that most popular list. And it's not just anger; it's any high valence emotion. So humor is one. Awe is another. But let's look at the emotions that aren't viral. Those are emotions like sadness or contentment or satisfaction. They're not in the interest of the media creators to propagate.
Here's a NY Times article that talks about it.

Sunglasses tax Tue, Aug 07, 2012
I've never been a fan of expensive sunglasses.  And I've even tried the "higher-end" cheap ones, but I've never had any that feel good and don't make me look like an insect.  So I buy $5 plastic sunglasses at Walmart.  But the problem with $5 plastic sunglasses from Walmart is that they routinely shatter right as I'm putting them on my face, usually after about six months of use.  So then I go back to Walmart, select the cheapest sunglasses that don't make me look like an insect, and repeat the process.  I've probably gone through about a dozen pairs of sunglasses in recent years, so it's really become more of a sunglasses tax than an expense.

Positive downtime Mon, Aug 06, 2012
I realized yesterday that I accidentally developed the habit of thinking of downtime as a net positive, value-added activity.  I was thinking of the things I had to accomplish on my day off, and one of those things was to sit on the deck in my lounge chair and read a book, possibly accompanied by alcohol.  By accomplishing that, I would be accomplishing something, which is a positive thing, as opposed to thinking of it as sitting around and doing nothing, which is a negative thing.  Suffice it to say, mission accomplished.