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High Five

Written on February 12, 2009 by
blog, informative

For our latest mission, Agent Lathan gave out 2,000 high fives by standing next to a subway escalator during the morning rush. Five additional agents spread out along the adjacent stairs, holding signs that prepared commuters for the upcoming high five fun. Enjoy the video first and then check out the mission report and photos below.

via High Five Escalator at Improv Everywhere.

Those of you on the interwebs who know me personally can attest to the fact that I am a man who loves high fives. I find the video above enlightening.

It is no secret that I’ve been busier of late. And I’ve been finding that my free time is a commodity that must be properly distributed. Unfortunately, that means those of you who have been waiting for me to post something new (my wife), are left hanging when I’m unable to get something up in time.

My solution is to work ahead a bit. What I am doing is setting up my updates ahead of time where I can, and when it’s my turn to throw something up I’ll have it set to update at noon on the expected day. If for some reason I’m behind, I’ll go ahead and take my lunch at Whataburger with free wifi access and get together what I can.

Love and Kisses
–ringl

Shaw replied on February 12, 2009 at 10:12 am

And in the mean time, Shaw slaves away, posting all the time and providing valuable content for our readers!

On a side note, I’m pretty sure we use the word “interweb” in every post now. I really hope that doesn’t become our “Superman” in Seinfeld.

-Shaw

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Everything's Bigger Here

Written on January 22, 2009 by
blog

If you’ve wondered why I haven’t been updating lately, that’s because I just moved to Houston, TX. I’ve never considered myself a fan of cowboy boots and big belt buckles, and yet now I find myself a Texan. Progressing from a sparsely populated beach town in Florida to the fourth largest city in the U.S. isn’t a simple move, but I’ve been fortunate enough to not run into any problems yet.

For those who haven’t been to Texas, let me give you something simple to remember when visiting: Texas is the Greatest State. Those are not my words, but ask any true Texan and you’ll quickly find out that Texas is not to be messed with. I’m not yet sure why Texans have such a deep dedication to the Lone Star State, but I would recommend a nod and a smile when hearing how amazing Texas is.

All stereotypes aside, I have been quite surprised to find that the vast majority of people here are not thoroughbred cowboys. In fact, I haven’t seen any large hats yet. I realize Houston is practically its own state, but this is Texas! You would at least expect to find at least one hardcore buckaroo.

Some of you out there have expressed concern that Warptubes will die off due to Ringl and I no longer being in close proximity. Rest assured that this is far from the truth. We hope to have it thrive even in our absense from each other. Things will naturally change, but after the initial adjustment, we will find our rythmn and still provide you quality entertainment.

In the mean time, I’m going to find some good Tex-Mex.

– Shaw

1 Comment

something new

Written on January 20, 2009 by
blog, technology

I found this and immediately closed the browser window. I’m pretty sure I would have been lost for the rest of the day going through all the possible combinations.

Now some of you skipped clicking on the link and kept reading on. That’s not going to do here… just open it in a new window or tab and go through it once.

Watched it? Good!

I’m sure you’ve all noticed that once something gains popularity it’s inevitable that someone tries to cash in on the fad. And often those copy-cats are necessary in order to progress an industry or technology. Competition, at its core, is a great process.

But I’ve recently been wondering how great competition is for innovation. And while I’m really just talking about making something completely, never-before-thought-of new, I’d be negligent not to mention the innovation that is taking a technology and improving upon it to the point that it’s hardly recognizable. It becomes something completely new while its foundation remains worn and (t)rusted.

Of course, innovation to me isn’t just making something new. Microsoft tried to make something (nearly) completely new when it released its Vista operating system. The overall effect was that there was nothing left that windows users recognized. It became a cold and sterile experience that many seasoned Windows users and devopers fought against. On the flip side of that coin Apple has been seeing huge successes with Mac OS X. When Apple put out OS X it was radically different than its predecessors in that it was built off of BSD, a Unix-like operating system that has seen consistent use due to its reputation of dependability.

Now these two companies are competing. And for us, the consumers, that’s good. Apple is continuing to improve its operating system and is listening to customer demands. Microsoft is now beta testing Windows 7 and so far experiences have been so good that people are nicknaming it “Fix-ta”.

But here’s where I’m having difficulty. All of this competition seems like it will never produce something truly new. Even in the link above people are just adapting newer technology to mimic something old. Heck, even the file-systems on modern computer operating systems are made to mimic a stand-up filing cabinet (metal drawers that tell jokes?). And the hype for new technologies tells us that we’re seeing is something never seen before. Whereas in reality it’s something we’ve been using the entire time, but polished up so that we notice it.

Of course, there is a need for new technologies to have some bit of familiarity just for us to be able to adjust to using it. I couldn’t have made a very good transition from the two-button + D-pad nintendo controller to the 8 button, dual-joystick plus a D-pad Xbox360 controller without some sort of stepping stone to prepare me for that next step. It’s like the difference between driving a big wheel versus piloting a shuttle to the moon and back.

And with the sudden surge of focus on simplistic control schemes and intuitive, touch interfaces, it seems that it’s only a matter of time before the most complex tasks are simplified to flicking a finger across your phone’s display or the waggle of a wii-mote.

And I can’t decide if that’s a good thing.

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My reign continues

Written on January 17, 2009 by
blog

I don’t know what happened yesterday. Since Shaw and I started doing every other day it’s been sticking in my mind that after I update I’ve got nearly a week to work on the next one.

Clearly, I am now flying solo.

Saturday’s belated update, Behold:

Awesome

I guess the money train just keeps on chuggin’.

–ringl

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iTunes

Written on January 13, 2009 by
blog, informative, technology

I like iTunes as a service. For a long time I didn’t bother to use it because I had already been using Windows Media player for as long as I could remember. It played the music that I did load onto my computer and kept it organized in a way that made sense.

What stopped me from using WMP was that it was changing versions frequently, and when it changed things were no longer intuitive to me. So I eventually got tired of it and decided to give iTunes a try since it’s format seemed to have been the same for a long time. When it comes to software, I live and breathe for stability (stop making jokes about Windows).

I had trouble with it at first, and there are still things I don’t like about iTunes as a program to manage my music (nothing outside of Apple’s normal “Form over Function” mentality) but I love that it consolidates my music, videos, podcasts and a music store that I don’t mind using to just find something real fast. But over the past few months I’ve discovered an alternative.

I’m not talking about Napster or Rhapsody where you’re paying a subscription to access all of their songs. I’m also not talking about a service like Walmart’s where if they ever shutdown their activation servers you can kiss all the music you purchased goodbye.

I’m talking about Amazon.

Yes, the online bookstore. As it turns out they also have a DRM free MP3 store that has all I’ll ever need on it.

Now if you’re an Apple fanboy you’re excited about the fact that iTunes+ is now the standard and you’re music is now DRM free as well (and you should be!). But here’s the deal, you’re not DRM free. That’s right, all of your account information is embedded into every track you purchase. And if you want to upgrade all of your old, copy-protected music, then it’s going to cost you dearly

Now don’t misunderstand me, I’m all for paying for my music. And I’m not against Apple’s new brand of DRM. In fact, it’s some of the most transparent form of copy-protection I could imagine and it provides just enough information in it to keep people from just opening up their library to a P2P network. But developing and putting that system into place costs money. Which is exactly why Amazon MP3 costs less. And for now, that’s exactly where I’ll be purchasing my music… and immeadiately dumping it into iTunes.

Now if either of these digital music giants really wants to get my attention. Start providing a legal way to watch live TV streaming over the internet. When that happens, it’s only a matter of time before I purchase a laptop with an AT&T 3G cellular internet capability and stop talking to people altogether.

–ringl

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Game Over

Written on December 13, 2008 by
blog

Well it’s over. I’m out of the Christmas Shoes game.

It wasn’t pretty, I’ll say that much. Here’s how it broke down.

Cassie and I had dinner at her parent’s house to celebrate her college graduation. After a great dinner (hamburgers, booyah!) we all sat down to watch a movie. Cassie got to choose, and she’s been watching Christmas movies non-stop since Thanksgiving. She chose The Christmas Blessing (I strongly suspect because of Neil Patrick Harris being in it who she apparently would end our marriage to be with). The first preview on the DVD comes up and is showcasing a pair of red shoes.

I turned to her and said, “If I lose because of this I’m never speaking to you again.” She then paused it in the middle of the ad for some reason while we got dessert. As I was settling in and enjoying a piece of turtle cheesecake she unpauses the DVD and I hear:

Sir, I wanna buy these shoes for my momma please. 
It’s Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size. 
Could you hurry, Sir? 
Daddy says there’s not much time. 
You see, she’s been sick for quite a while; 
Know these shoes will make her smile. 
Want her to look beautiful if Momma meets Jesus tonight.

I turned to my wife, tears streaming down my face, my vision distorted and blurry, “Why did you do this to me?”

So if you’re still in the game consider yourself lucky. If your like me… well… at least it’s over.

–ringl

Shaw replied on December 13, 2008 at 11:46 am

My 22 year streak is still unbroken.

Oh, and it’s nice to see you posting on time now! Keep it up.

-Shaw

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Love & Karts

Written on December 4, 2008 by
blog, videogames

A tall friend of mine recently shared a Youtube video with me of a beautiful and eloquent Mario Kart themed love song, which you can find below:

Mario Kart Love Song

When I first saw it, the video had a couple thousand views, but now it’s jumped to nearly 760,000! And for good reason. Not only is the song well written and extremely catchy, but Blinktwice4y has captured something every geeky male has wanted to do since the dawn of obsession: being nerdy AND attracting girls at the same time.

The geek inside every guy dreams of meeting the perfect girl who enjoys the same things and is more than happy with a simple evening of Pizza and playing video games, watching the football game, rolling the D20s in Dungeons & Dragons or whatever your object of affection is. In the end, that’s the kind of girl every guy wants to end up with.

Wait… What were we talking about again? Right… video game based music. Why don’t we see more of it? Sure there are video game cover bands, like minibosses, The OneUps and The Advantage, nerdcore rappers like Optimus Rhyme and mc chris, and a few rare video game inspired tunes like Andy McKee’s Samus’ Stardrive.

But I’m talking an industry here! There’s so much potential as video games become a greater part of our lives. Nearly everyone is a “casual” gamer nowadays, so they can at least relate to the concepts. So if you’re a musician, get out there and write some gaming themed music! I’ll do my part, you help pick up the slack.

Speaking of music, Ringl enlightened me to a little game I had no clue I was winning at (no, not the game which I incidentally just lost at)! The object of this game is to simply avoid hearing the song “Christmas Shoes” this holiday season. So far I’ve been one of the fortunate few to have never (consciously) heard this song. I think that makes me a winner by default.

If you haven’t already lost at this game, then please play along at home. I’ve heard of things getting pretty competitive with some anonymous phone calls being sent with the song blaring.

So join in on the fun and recruit your friends to celebrate in this fantastic Christmas game! Let us know in the comments if you’ve already lost and/or how you plan to get other people “out” as well.

4 Comments

The Woods

Written on December 2, 2008 by
blog, informative

Since the writer’s strike I’ve stopped watching several shows that I enjoyed. I’m not sure what it is exactly, but after the break of there not being too much on I would start watching shows again and end up being completely unattached them.

First it was Scrubs. After the strike ended they tried to wrap up their “last season” but really phoned it in. It’s supposed to start again in January, but I really only wanted to watch it just to see how the series ended. I’d put in a good bit of time over the years catching episodes here and there, so I’ve been familiar with the characters and story. But when they did their “final episode” and it ended up being just a scrapped episode from earlier in the season I decided that I didn’t want to spend any more time with that one.

A bit further back there was 24. Now 24 was an enjoyable show to watch. There was just something incredibly addicting about that show. But if you don’t space it out it will start to feel like work real quick. After watching the third season, I decided I’d had enough of getting mad at fictional characters and screaming “I hate Sherry Palmer!”

Now there are some shows that I still watch and seem to be getting better. The Office has been one of those shows. I’ve been getting together with friends to watch The Office since the end of the second season, and it has stayed a fun show. It’s kind of become the excuse to get together as a big group of friends and just hang out. As long as it stays a fun show I’ll keep watching it.

Now the meat of what I want to talk about. Stupid, stupid take over my whole life: LOST. Let me preface with this: I enjoy Lost, I really do. But you’ve got to understand, I HATE Lost. My wife and I started watching Lost at the beginning of the fourth season. To do so we first watched the first three seasons in under two weeks. I have never had a show take this much a hold of me.

So the new season of Lost starts in January and I’ve already started listening to old podcasts, checking Wikipedia to brush up on the story to date, and checking lostpedia for all other possible facts and theories about the show that I can find. For those of you who have been out of the loop for a while, here’s a little refresher.

Jack is a doctor who is also somewhat of the leader of the Losties. He lives by one rule. Save lives. Well… two rules if you count “only shave enough to be as ruggedly handsome as possible.

Kate is a convicted felon and is on the run from the law. So being on a deserted island was probably a pretty good move for her. As far as I can tell she’s only on the island to prance around in her panties and be a tart.

Hurley is AMAZING. He’s the only person I’ve ever seen be stuck on an island for months and never drop a pound.

Locke is no fun at all. He spends most of his episodes talking about “the island wants this” and “the island wants that” and “The island needs a sacrifice” and “the island wants a supreme pizza… just give it to me and I’ll take care of it.” Locke seems okay for most of the show but does just enough crazy stuff to make you not trust him. Also (spoiler alert), dead? not dead? Do I even care at this point?


Sawyer has got to be one of my favorite characters. Is it because he’s so lovably grouchy? Maybe because he give all other characters such cute nicknames? (Jin and Sun: Crouching tiger and hidden dragon. Classic!) I think it’s just because he provides both tension and comic relief. Also, jumped out of a helicopter: very cool.

Now there are lots of other Losties worth mentioning, but I just found a Google map with possible locations for the island.

–ringl

Shaw replied on December 3, 2008 at 11:32 pm

You’re going to tease us with the talk of a Google Map of Possible Locations for the Island from Lost and NOT give us a link to it? What kind of blogger are you?

-Shaw

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Whose turn?

Written on November 22, 2008 by
blog

With Warptubes, we’re trying to keep a Tuesday – Thursday – Saturday update schedule, mainly to be different from the standard Monday – Wednesday – Friday schedule. Let’s face it, you don’t have anything to entertain you on Tuesdays and Thursdays, so we’re going to fill those gaps for you.

This means that we’re going to have to work something out for updates. Ringl started with the first post because I did the design, and I did the second post… but now who does the third? I was under the impression that it was Ringl’s turn again. However it looks like he’s been slacking, imagine that!

Despite his lack of content for today, I’m here to provide you a little something. To help distinguish between Ringl and myself on here, we need some avatars (almost typed aviators, which we do need, but are not what I’m referring to here). Ringl and I had a short discussion about this, and he wanted a unicorn as his avatar. Somehow that conversation devolved into “Unicorn Incorporated” to “Unic Inc” to “Eunuch Inc.” (don’t ask) The conversation eventually ended with just adding horns to random animals, ultimately creating the “Unibear,” depicted below, which we also decided would be a great band name.

The Unibear

The Unibear

Anyway, all this to say that Ringl and I need avatars, and we want your help.

Comment on this post and give us some good ideas for avatars that accurately represent Ringl and I. If you like the unibear, then tell us. Or if you’d rather to add a horn to another animal or can think of something else that works, let us know! This is your time to go down in Warptubes fame as the person who gave Ringl or I our avatars.

-Shaw

2 Comments

World 1-1

Written on November 18, 2008 by
blog

I noticed something funny the other day. My associate and I got together during our lunch breaks and were just spending some time talking about nothing important. And as we talked we began to remember what I’ve heard referred to as “The Good Times.” We just spent our lunch break talking about things we found funny. It was a great way to break up the monotany of the everyday schedule.

I tend to spend a lot of time doing just that. Not that I feel like I’m stuck in a grind. It’s actually the exact opposite. I’m in the best job I’ve ever had, I’m happily married and I genuinely enjoy each and every day. Not to say I never have a rough day, but more often than not I enjoy myself. And if I’m not having fun, I find a way to start having fun.

In a nutshell, that’s exactly what Warptubes is all about: having fun.

Are you familiar with that synergy that comes when two like minded people get together for to sole purpose of having fun? There’s this exact moment where if you were to just walk into the room you would find a few people sitting around giggling like idiots and you have no idea why.

Warptubes is here to capture those moments. And you may feel a little out of place at first. Like maybe you aren’t supposed to be in on the joke. It’s okay… we all have that moment. We all come across something bizarre at one point or another and know we’re supposed to laugh, but we just don’t get it. So fake those first few laughs if you have to, but stick around. There’ll be plenty to enjoy.

Stick around!

–Ringl

Shaw replied on November 18, 2008 at 7:05 am

“The Good Times”? Seriously? Put your teeth back in, grandpa.

– Shaw

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