Sunday, February 27, 2005

Update: Tungsten|C Software

It's been awhile since I updated my list of what's on my beloved PalmOne Tungsten|C, so I figured I'd update my list. Admittedly, it's still mostly games, though the non-game applications I have I use daily, so I figure they're not a total waste. :)

Arvale: Humorous role-playing game from PDAMill. I helped beta-test this one, and believe me, the game is AWESOME. I especially love the conversations you can have with fireplaces and wheelbarrows. This game is available for the Palm OS and Pocket PC.

Gamebox Asia: A PDAMill Mahjong game. Simple but elegant graphics, three tile choices, and a variety of game types to keep me entertained. Available for Palm OS and PPC.

AvantGo: A web browser and news aggregator. I must confess I don't use the web browser, mostly because I have all but stopped using the Wi-Fi on my T|C. Free membership allows you 2 MB of subscriptions (you can upgrade your account for a nominal fee and get 8 MB of subscriptions, but I haven't had a need to do this yet). When you sync your device, your subscriptions are updated so you can stay on top of the news. My subscriptions include:, CNET News, Football365, Guardian Unlimited Football, Palm InfoCenter, Rolling Stone,, US Soccer Players, and Wired News. It's great, I can sync my Palm and then catch up on all my soccer, entertainment, and technology news while I'm out and about (and waiting for things!). AvantGo is for Palm or PPC, FREE!

Bejeweled2: I'm a Bejeweled addict. :) This is a "new and updated version" of an old game that most people have played involving gem-swapping. This version includes a multi-level "endless" play, arcade play against the clock, and play until no more swaps are available. Astraware ported this game, and it's available for the Palm and PPC.

Bike or Die!: An amusing and addictive game of guiding a bicycle through a variety of courses and challenges. What's really nice about this game is that it works on almost every model of Palm, regardless of OS. While most games require the new OS 5, this one doesn't. And it's simple yet addictive. Palm OS only.

Super Bounce Out: Another Astraware game. This game is similar to Bejeweled in that it involves swapping items to make groups of 3. However, this one adds a twist of having balls that can't be me, it makes for a challenging time, especially when you're fighting the clock. Available for Palm OS and PPC.

Breakout: Kickoo's version of the classic arcade game where you break bricks by bouncing a ball around the screen. Sort of Pong-esque but Kickoo's version is colorful and challenging, with ball and paddle "upgrades." I've spent more time advancing through this game than I should admit. Palm OS only.

ChessTiger: Still the best chess game out there. If you're a n00b trying to learn the game and improve your skills, or if you're a seasoned pro, this game is right for you. Palm OS.

NeatFreak Pack: Bundle of software from NorthGlide that includes an Uninstall Manager and Cleanup utility for your Palm Pilot. Helps identify and remove orphaned files and properly remove applications from your device. My favorite utility of its kind. Palm OS only.

Crosswords: Scrabble clone for your PDA. With varying levels of difficulty for the computer to play with, it'll help you beat your family at this all-time great game. It certainly helped me get better at it for playing against MY family. :D Available for Palm OS or PPC. Oh yes, did I mention it's FREE!

Documents 2 Go: Program that allows you to create, edit, and view documents for/by Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint. Create a document on your computer, sync it to your PDA and then you can read or edit it on your device. Changes made on either computer or PDA will be saved to the PDA/computer during the sync process. A great little tool for getting work done away from the desktop PC. Better yet, it's often bundled with the software that comes with your device, so you only have to pay to upgrade it. :) For Palm OS.

Earth Defender: A Space Invaders clone. Pretty graphics and simple control make it a winner. What more can be said about such a classic game? Palm OS only.

Easy Calc: Multi-function calculator for your Palm device. It can do basic, scientific, statistical, and graphing functions. As one with a BS in Physics and MS in Aerospace Engineering, I found this tool quite useful...and much easier to carry around than my HP-48G calculator. :) For Palm OS, and it's FREE!

eReader: Software to read electronic books on your PDA. Just install the reader, get an ebook, and you're ready to go. The only downside to ebooks that I've found is that you really can't take them into the bathtub to read. ;) Otherwise, it certainly is easier to carry around my Palm Pilot than a 1,000+ page Neal Stephenson hardback. There is a "Pro" version which isn't too expensive, but the standard version is FREE, available for Palm and PPC.

Gamebox Gems: Another PDAMill game, this one includes 8 different puzzle type games for your enjoyment and amusement. I love the folks at PDAMill, and their products are always great. This one is no exception with sharp graphics and great sounds. Available for Palm and PPC.

Insaniquarium: Astraware port of the popular game you can play on Yahoo! Games or PopCap. Feed your fish, collect the gold, and don't let the aliens attack! :) A cute way to kill some time, available for Palm and PPC.

Legacy: Admittedly I haven't played this one in awhile, but it's another great role playing game. I spent hours playing it in many variations (first I went through just to beat it, then I went through to beat it without using the paralyze or lightning bolt spells, then I went through it with a reduced get the idea, I played it every which way!). A lot of challenges and puzzles and some great story line. I also have al the expansions for the game. Available for Palm OS, PPC, Windows, and I think SmartPhones.

MicroFluxx: If you've ever played the game Fluxx by Looney Labs, this game will be familiar to you! It's a Palm port of the card game where the rules and goals of the game change with every card turned over. :) If you like Fluxx, you'll probably enjoy MicroFluxx. For Palm OS, but it's FREE!

MONSTA: A creative turn-based strategy game from iNDUSTRY Entertainment, this game involves you controlling Joe, out to fight the evil aliens and complete each level. Challenging and amusing (especially the things that Joe says), it'll keep you entertained for a long while. Also by iNDUSTRY is Jack (or 100 ways to barbeque), a side-scrolling platform-style game that requires you to fight some bad guys and solve various puzzles to get through each level. Both are entertaining games, available for Palm OS.

Pocket MiniGolf and PocketMiniGolf eXtra: Miniature golf for your PDA! Choose from different characters to play as (each with their own skills) and a couple of game levels combined with 18 holes in each game (PMGX has much more challenging holes than PMG) make this one easy to pick up but difficult to master. Available for Palm OS and PPC.

QuizWiz: Flashcard generator for your Palm by No Sleep Software. You can make your own flash cards of various types. Very useful when you have classes that are memory-intensive. For Palm OS, FREE!

Snails: PDAMill's version of the Worms games, it's got great graphics, humorous lines, and a lot of challenge packed into it. Try to launch various weapons at the opponent snails before they do the same to you in this turn-based strategy game. It's up to PDAMill's standard of attractiveness and addictivity, and I highly recommend it. Available for Palm and PPC.

Gamebox Solitaire and Gamebox Solitaire II: PDAMill ports of solitaire games. These include crisp card graphics, nice background music, and a great variety of games to keep you occupied...and in case you get stuck, the versions also include a "hint" feature. :) (Gosh, I'm beginning to feel like a spokeswoman for PDAMill, I love them so much!) Available for both Palm OS and PPC.

Tots N Togs: A clothing store simulator to keep you busy. Cute animations and challenging game play with different styles of play available. Can YOU keep your clothing store afloat? Available for both Palm OS and PPC (note this game is also available at the Astraware site).

Toxic Balls: An arcade style game where you need to break up all the toxic balls without getting hit. 32 levels with increasing difficulty based on layout and number of balls plus great background music mean you'll be amused for hours. I've beaten each level in this game and I'm still going back to play, mostly because each time you play, the game can be different based on how you attack the level. :) For Palm OS.

ZLauncher: Most Palm Power Users' choice for a launcher that's much nicer than the standard Palm launcher, this one has plenty of themes available (some are free, some cost a couple of bucks) and a new feature of using plug-ins to enhance the launcher further. It's very customizable and makes the device that much more attractive. Currently I'm using the Crystal Theme available from PDA Shine. Obviously, this is a Palm OS tool.

Friday, February 25, 2005

More Oz

Well, as most of you regular readers know, my cat, Oz, isn't exactly the sharpest tool in the shed. It makes for some rather amusing photo ops. A little while ago, I heard some "splashing" coming from the bathroom. Now, normally Oz is the spoiled sort of kitty who likes to drink from the running faucet and we (my roommate and I) let him, so we sometimes turn it on just for him. Knowing, though, that in this case, the water wasn't running, I went to the bathroom and saw that the toilet lid had been left up...and Oz had taken it upon himself to try and play with the toilet water. It was so funny I had to get my camera and take a few pictures. These are of course in my Photobucket collection, but to make things easier, they're also here. Oh, Oz, you are a constant source of amusement... :)

Google AdSense

I'm now a part of Google AdSense. If you click on one of the links in the "Ads by Google" box underneath all of my links in the sidebar, I'll get a few pennies. I figure it can't hurt to do...and if you feel like helping a girl out, please feel free to click one of those links from the box.

On a related note, I've also added a Google search box to the sidebar. Note that results of any searches run in that box will be displayed in a new window (so you don't have to exit my wonderful blog to check things out!).

Thanks in advance for clicking on the AdSense links.

Thursday, February 24, 2005

*REALLY* Neat Hubble Video

For fairly obvious reasons, the Hubble Space Telescope is very near and dear to my heart. There's a really neat Hubble video online, courtesy of the Australian news service (I believe that's who has it). Turn the volume on your computer up and then click here to check it out. At the end, there's an option to purchase it for $10 AUD (which is approximately $7.50 USD), which includes a standalone of the movie, the mp3 tracks used in the background, and some other stuff. I'm really tempted to purchase it, maybe once I become gainfully employed.

The Top 100 (er...56) Sci-Fi Books You Must Read...

I figured since I talked about it so much in my last post, I'd actually post up my parsed-down list of the top science fiction to read. What follows is the original number, title, and author. Titles in green are ones I've read, and titles in red are titles I own but have not read. Naturally, these types of lists are always open for debate. I happened to find this one randomly and it seemed as good as any other list I'd seen, so this is the one I used. Hopefully you'll enjoy the list, and who knows, you may find something you want to read. :)

1. Childhood's End by Arthur C. Clarke
2. Foundation by Isaac Asimov
3. Dune by Frank Herbert
4. The Man in the High Castle by Philip K. Dick
5. Starship Troopers by Robert Heinlein
6. VALIS by Philip K. Dick
7. Frankenstein by Mary Shelley
8. Gateway by Frederik Pohl
9. The Space Merchants by Frederik Pohl
10. Earth Abides by George Stewart
11. Cuckoos Egg by C.J. Cherryh
12. Star Surgeon by James White (Amazon link, it seems Powell's doesn't have it)
13. The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick
14. Radix by A.A. Attanasio
15. 2001 A Space Odyssey by Arthur C. Clarke
16. Ringworld by Larry Niven
17. A Case of Conscience by James Blish
18. Last and First Men by Olaf Stapledon
19. The Day of the Triffids by John Wyndham
20. Way Station by Clifford Simak
21. More Than Human by Theodore Sturgeon
22. Gray Lensman by E.E. "Doc" Smith
23. The Gods Themselves by Isaac Asimov
24. The Left Hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin
25. Behold the Man by Michael Moorcock
27. The War of the Worlds by H.G. Wells
28. 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea by Jules Verne
30. The Time Machine by H.G. Wells
33. Neuromancer by William Gibson
34. Ender's Game by Orson Scott Card
38. Dragonflight by Anne McCaffrey (I actually think I've read this before, when I was about 10, but I'm not positive so I'm not making it yellow)
39. Journey to the Center of the Earth by Jules Verne
40. Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein
42. The Voyage of the Space Beagle by A.E. Van Vogt
45. Omnivore by Piers Anthony
46. I, Robot by Isaac Asimov
49. Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
51. 1984 by George Orwell
52. The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde by Robert Stevenson
53. Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
59. Stand on Zanzibar by John Brunner
60. A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess
61. Farenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury (I'm surprised this one isn't at Powell's! Link goes to Amazon)
63. Flowers for Algernon by Daniel Keyes
68. Flatland by Edward Abbott Abbott
73. The Puppet Masters by Robert Heinlein
78. The Snow Queen by Joan D. Vinge
81. Cat's Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut
83. The Upanishads (who on Earth is this by?)
84. Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
85. The Hitchiker's Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams (Amazon link...hmm...)
86. The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. LeGuin
92. Timescape by Gregory Benford
97. Hyperion by Dan Simmons (in the process of reading this one)
98. The Andromeda Strain by Michael Crichton
100. A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs (I own this one and tried to read it, but I really couldn't get past chapter 2)

Now Reading...

Every now and then I'll end up posting here about what I'm reading. Having just finished Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle books, I ended up returning to a list I haven't looked at in awhile. Somewhere a long time ago I had found a list of the "Top 100 Science Fiction Books You Must Read." Of course, lists of this nature are always open to debate, but it seemed like a great jumping-off point for books I might enjoy.

I copied the list and first noted how many of the books on it I'd already read. I'm quite disappointed to say that of the 100, I'd only read 8. Then I took the list and figured that the Top 25 were the most important, so kept all of those on the list. Then, for numbers 26-100, I picked out titles that either sounded vaguely familiar or where I'd heard of the author and heard good things about them. I figured with this sort of base, I'd read some good books and then go out and find other books to read. From 100 books, I parsed it down to 56 that I was really interested in reading, and decided to tackle them in reverse order.

Book number 100 was Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars. I tried to read it, but Burroughs' writing style is so old that it was taking way too long to read and I completely lost interest. Not too discouraged, I looked for number 98 on the list, Michael Crichton's The Andromeda Strain. I have yet to find a copy of this in print or in ebook format without ordering it from Powell's or Amazon. Admittedly, I haven't looked particularly hard...since I already owned a copy of book 97, Dan Simmons' Hyperion, I decided to pick it up, which is what I'm reading now.

It's a bit difficult to read, mostly owing to the fact that Simmons has jumped right into story with absolutely no background of the world that the book is taking place in nor information on characters. Rather, he's developing that through the first half of the book, so it's taking a little adjusting to "learning as I go" about this world. I'm only about 50 pages in so far (out of almost 500), but I'm enjoying it, so I imagine I'll actually finish this one. For those of you not familiar with the book, it's a Hugo Award winning novel (the preimer science fiction award). The base description of the book is "On the eve of Armageddon, with the entire galaxy at war, seven pilgrims set forth on a final voyage to Hyperion seeking the answers to the unsolved riddles of their lives. Each carries a desperate hope--and a terrible secret. And one may hold the fate of humanity in his hands." I highly recommend this book to any science fiction fans out there. :)

As a random aside, all the links I have in here go to Powell's Books, a large "independent bookseller" that may be found online at They have a lot of new (of course) but also used and rare books, so please check them out.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Silly Cats

Found a gem on Fark this morning, the mapping of a cat's brain. Though it's intended as humor, anybody who has ever owned a cat or spent any amount of time with a cat will fully agree how true it is. :) It certainly holds for Oz (my cat), Callisto (a/k/a Spot, one of my brother's cats), and Cheshie (a/k/a Sparky, my brother's other cat).

Speaking of the Oz-meister, figured I'd pop these photos of him up here. More photos of him can be found at my Photobucket album entitled "Oz the Psycho Kitty." Some of you may have seen this sequence at flickr, but I decided to move it over to Photobucket.

Oz contemplates the cup...

Oz decides to plant his head in the cup

Uh oh, it's stuck and he's trying to "back out" of the cup

Oops, he crashes into the milk crate makeshift desk and can't go back any farther

Have a good day, everybody!

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Cosmetic Work

No, not that kind of cosmetic work. Frequent visitors to "from the mind of me" have probably noticed that I changed the template for the site and messed around a little bit with the organization. I like this look a lot better, I think it suits my personality. :) More updates later...maybe?

Monday, February 07, 2005

CNN Learns About Podcasting

Welcome to 2005, CNN.
Talk about a subject that really started (and was hyped in the younger community) in 2004, finally it seems that old fogies are getting in on the Podcasting action. No, you don't need an iPod to make a Podcast OR to listen to one. It's a nouveau way of saying "a radio-esque broadcast that's recorded and then put on the net in MP3 format so others can listen to it." At least it didn't take until 2006 for you to hear about it...

Swedish Things

No, I'm not speaking of meatballs...

It seems, though, that I'm getting more and more involved in things from Sweden. This includes Hattrick (HT), which I've been a member of (and addicted to) since Februrary 19, 2003. Lately, though, it also includes a web comic called "Little Gamers" (LG) which is a bit like South Park geared to a video gamer/1337 audience. Anyway, if you've got an interest in soccer management games, check out HT, and if you play video games, check out LG. Both occupy more of my time lately than is probably healthy, but hopefully I'll have a job soon to recitify that situation.

Oh yeah, two of my favorite LG strips are here (GWB's 2005 inagural address) and here (comparisons of 1930's Germany with the current situations in the USA).

[adult swim] WTF?!

I've watched some pretty craptastic TV in my days, but some of the shiz that's been shown on [adult swim] in recent months takes the cake. Now, that isn't to say that most of TV isn't crap, because it is (Desperate Houswives, American Idol, and more or less anything shown on network tv these days is...excepting Scrubs and The West Wing, which are probably the only shows I watch on network TV anymore). However, I've come to expect more from [adult swim]. It is what really got me hooked on anime, including my favorite series, Cowboy Bebop. It's what introduced me to shows like Aqua Teen Hunger Force, which I still don't really understand but have grown on me. But WOW are they showing some awful stuff lately.

There are shows, like Family Guy and Futurama that are great. As a matter of fact, if I understand correctly, the great ratings Family Guy receives on [adult swim] is what made FOX pick the show back up. Good call on that, by the way, FOX, though I must admit, American Dad is a direct imitation of Family Guy (go figure, it's a series created by the same guy, Seth MacFarlane and even has the same cast of characters...well, not exactly the same, but come on, the goldfish is like Brian from FG, the alien like Stewie, etc etc) and really isn't half as amusing to me.

Then there are the shows like Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex that [adult swim] has started to show and I've found are pretty good, and the total CRAP like Sealab 2021 which is awful but I understand why it's shown (part of a legacy callback to Sealab 2020 from "back in the day").

However, the shows Super Milk-Chan and Tom Goes to the Mayor are beyond craptastic. It's shows like these that make me wonder why the hell I still watch [adult swim]. First, there's Super Milk-Chan, a show about a 5 year-old superhero named Milk whose only skills are to curse more than a sailor and make odd references to things in Japan. She's tasked by the President (a totally inept fool, much like the current CIC of the USA) to save the world. To boot, her voice is annoying as all sin and makes for a nauseating show. As near as I can tell, the President always calls Milk and asks her to do something, and she comes back and says "YOU DUMBASS!" Then her and her little robot friend go somewhere, do something, and yet again she comes around to calling people a dumbass. Oh yes, I've quite left out the part about her never paying her rent. What a f'd show.

Then there's Tom Goes to the Mayor. Again, this is another show about a leader who is obviously the stupidest person alive (see previous comment about our CIC). But the drawings are awful, the animation isn't animation so much as filmed shots of comic strip boxes, and the stories NEVER make any sense. In "Tom," the story is always the same: for some or the other reason this Tom guy decides to pay a call on the mayor, whose door "is always open." Usually Tom has an idea of some sort. Then the mayor decides he loves the idea but takes it and mutates it into something resembling a large pile of feces. Yet Tom goes along with this insane version of his idea and tries to see it through. Inevitably, Tom is always emabarrassed and the Mayor is even more vacant than GWB. To top it off, I think they've only made about 4 episodes of this drek, which THEY KEEP SHOWING. It's bad enough it's on every Thursday and Sunday (Thursday's episode is always a re-show of the previous Sunday's). But even without twice the opportunity to see each episode, I know for a fact I've seen at least 3 episodes twice.

I beg of you, Cartoon Network and [adult swim] people. REMOVE THIS ABSOLUTE CRAP from your lineup. Bring back some of the other shows. You know, with real plots, stories, and characters. They may not have all been my favorites, but ANYTHING has to be better than this shiz.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Picture time!!!

Ok, in no particular order now, here are some of my favorite pictures from the trip (all of these and more can be found in my albums at Photobucket!):

Taken for my sister who loves koalas, I thought it was pretty cute. :)

It's very rare to see a giraffe laying down like this. Of course, I had to take a picture!

I'm obsessed with pandas, so I tried to get some good shots of the one we saw at the San Diego Zoo.

See previous comment. :)

These are Nubian Sommering's Gazelles. I thought it was funny to get a big butt shot. Kind of reminds me of the "Butt's Up" game from soccer practices. :P

Easily one of my favorite pictures I took all week, this picture took a bit of "chasing" the Mhorr's Gazelle around. It was worth it.

Look at the horns on that Zambian Sable Antelope!!!

I don't know why I was so fascinated by this helicopter, but I was. Taken at the Aerospace Museum.

While in Balboa Park, some of the pictures I took of flowers turned out really nicely. Go me!

At the Mingei Museum, there was an exhibit about blown glass, including some works by Chihuly.

Also at the Mingei, somehow, these toys reminded me of Oz...

The Mingei also had an exhibit of origami. This is one of two art forms I actually think I'm good at.

Taken off the La Jolla coast, these birds didn't seem to mind striking some poses.

This is Max, one of the dogs where we stayed. He was a bundle of energy and then some.

Ok, that's it. All these pictures and the rest of the 400-some odd I took can be found in my albums at Photobucket.

All Pictures Uploaded

Finally, today, I uploaded the last of the pictures I needed to do, the pictures from our day at the San Diego Zoo.

Enjoy them! My next post will have actual pictures, some of the ones I thought turned out best from the trip. :)

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

San Diego Pictures!!!

For those of you who frequent the blog but don't talk to me on IM, so far I've posted about 1/2 the pictures I took in San Diego. I have all the pictures left from the zoo, and then some other random ones (just a few of those), hopefully I'll get them all up within the next day or so. I'll eventually put some of the better pictures directly in the blog, but to view the full albums, use the following links:

San Diego: Where We Stayed (5 pics)
San Diego Scenic Drive (7 pics)
Balboa Park (General Pictures) (22 pics)
San Diego Aerospace Museum (72 pics)
Japanese Friendship Garden (23 pics)
Mingei Museum (34 pics)
San Diego Miscellaneous Pictures (5 pics)

More pictures soon!!!