a sign

Nate took this picture at the Crown Plaza in Pensacola. I'm guessing fake IDs and "tips" aren't discouraged. Consider this your early Christmas gift.


Teddy Bear Toss 07

While in Fort Myers this weekend, we attended the Everblades teddy bear toss. When the Blades score their first goal, you throw your teddy bear onto the ice. This is not your average, lame toss. The people bring bears by the bag. If you are ever in Ft. Myers in Dec, you need to check this out.
About 10 seconds after the goal

Players and kids tried to clear the center of the ice while Swampee stood around being a tool.

Four giant pick up trucks couldn't hold all of the bears so they had to roll out bins and bags to haul them off.

One careless truck driver ran over several animals, popping the head off of one as the crowd gasped. I can't make this stuff up. It took about 30 minutes to clear all of the bears and resume play.

EDIT: The bears are donated to hospitals and charities. And they aren't all bears. I threw a beanie scare crow. We're not crazy.


Why not just block the net with a fat guy?

Nate has asked me several times why hockey teams don't just employee the biggest man they can find to completely block the net with his obesity. Today the story made the front page of digg! The article is rather long, but it's funny and I suggest you read it.
To summarize:
There are, she said, nonnegotiable restrictions on the size of goalie pads, and no regulation goalie pads would even come close to covering the body of a man who makes John Goodman look svelte. In practical terms this means a mammoth net-minder would have to absorb quite a bit of punishment on his exposed body from hard rubber pucks hurtling toward him at upward of 100 miles per hour. To pull this off, a team would not only have to find a uniquely fat guy, they'd have to find a total masochist.

Enjoy the article!



The internet is buzzing over yesterday's Word of the Year winner, w00t. Some are upset over the use of numbers in place of letters in words. Allow me to put this contest into perspective. Recall, the Mr. Splashy pants voting. It seemed that everywhere you turned on the internet, you were being urged to vote splashy. In the end, it turns out 150,000 people total voted in the contest. Compared to the population of english-speakers in the world, that's a tiny number! I have a feeling that the impact of this contest will be barely noticeable. It seems like a huge deal when it's front page on digg and reddit, but it will pass in a few days. The WOW kids aren't suddenly allowed to write their school work in l33t. So, let's all calm down and just see the humor in it.



It's official- Webster's Dictionary has made l33t speak socially acceptable. They've selected a Word-of-the-Year from the most frequently looked up words on the website.
See the winner here!


Splashy Pants Monday

Today we will learn the winner of Greenpeace's whale naming competition! The winner will be posted HERE.

Also, right now Christine is in Oslo seeing Al Gore accept his Nobel prize. If anyone can find video of it, let me know!


Splashy victory!! Read the store here.


There must be some mistake!

cash advance

*victory dance*

..or the status quo

The staging for Melbourne's Christmas parade was occurring in the parking lot behind our apt this morning. Nate almost crashed the car from the excitement of finding an unnecessary quotation mark this close to our home. Bonus points for her name. Also, does anyone know what the accepted practice is for the direction of a flag on a truck? She went both ways here. Maybe the rule differs if the flag is placed on your cab or your trailer. OR maybe this is one of the "positive changes" Ms. Colon has made.


A new look

Can you tell it's my day off? I wanted to give The Seventh Planet a nicer look, so I made a few changes.
  • The new banner is from this free site. Thank you DHester for posting such nice headers. He has a lot of interesting images of shattered glass.
  • I made the digg button less conspicuous. Now people won't know that I'm getting 0 diggs. =)
  • The widgets are rearranged a little and the colors are all different.
  • I'm using Arial font now. I tried out a serif font but I'm back to my old favorite.
Please let me know what you think! I know very little about web design and want some suggestions.

Merchants' Minimum Purchase Requirements

Most of us have been to a small business that required a minimum purchase amount to use your credit or debit card. I didn't realize that this violates the merchant's agreement with some credit card companies.
From the Visa website:

Visa merchants are not permitted to establish minimum transaction amounts, even on sale items. They also are not permitted to charge you a fee when you want to use your Visa card.

If you run into a problem like this with a merchant, please notify the financial institution that issued you your Visa card. These institutions have access to the appropriate Visa rules and regulations and can help you document and file your complaint. You'll find their address and/or telephone number on your Visa statement. Their telephone number may also appear on the back of the card itself.


Many small retailers complain that high fees force them to take these measures. I don't understand why they haven't factored those costs in when pricing their merchandise. As a consumer, it's not my responsibility to worry about a merchant's cost of business. All of that should be kept behind the scenes and not interfere with my transaction. Not only is it unprofessional, but it will also turn off a lot of shoppers that put small purchases on their cards to earn reward points.

For your reference:

Visa, Mastercard:
Minimum purchase requirements and fees are not allowed. Call the number on the back of your card to report the merchant.

AMEX, Discover:
Minimum purchase requirements and fees are allowed as long as they are the same for all card types.

Note: These rules apply for both credit and debit cards. For more information, see the following articles:



The Bin

Nate has a new blog here. Enjoy!



Due to the absurd popularity of the poll, Greenpeace is keeping the voting open until Dec 7. Don't let this victory get away, America/the two people who read my blog. To keep you inspired, here is the story of one motivated voter in AZ: here!


From the front page of reddit:

MSP 08

First of all, Greenpeace annoys the crap out of me. Their promise to "stop global climate change" seems a little ridiculous considering we aren't living on a static planet. If you mean "limit humanity's negative contribution to the environment" maybe more people would jump on board. ANYWAY. They are having a contest where people vote on the name of a whale. Digg and Reddit got wind of this and the results are amusing.





For Perla:

We were shocked that these even exist...


Our 1st Christmas Tree!

Six glorious feet of fake pine from Big Lots:
We had no ornaments, so we bought a few a Target. Here are some highlights:

Nate picked this birch snowman.

Don't trust evil nutcrackers, even if they are bearing gifts.


p.s. View the big tree picture full screen to see Nate's dino ornament.


Happy Thanksgiving!

My parents drove up for Thanksgiving here in Melbourne. The dinner was small but delicious, and we have enough leftovers to last us a week. I hope everyone else enjoyed their holiday and isn't crazy enough to go shopping tomorrow...


Fortune Cookie Says:

"A depression is when you loose yours."

Hmm... what does it mean?!


We're #3! woo

(Diagram: WMU)
Last night, it was brought to my attention that not everyone will understand the title of the blog. I decided to post up a picture to help. Then I realized I haven't yet seen a "modern" map of the solar system, complete with "planets" and "dwarf planets." I assume the quotes are some angry, old astronomer making a point about the tentativeness of planet classifications.
Anyway, despite being horribly out of scale, I hope this diagram is helpful!


I have a problem with mice.

This is the mouse I have and I love it. It has a charging station which saves me money. My hand fits nicely around it. The problem is I bought this thing my freshman year of college and it's dirty and losing accuracy.
So why aren't all wireless mice being made rechargeable? I can only find one Logitech model and it's $100. That's how much I paid for this mouse and it came with a wireless keyboard. I've even found some stores selling refurbished versions of my mouse. Can it really be that Logitech only made one model since 2003?
I want a nice mouse. Advise me. Quickly.


Elections 08 Quiz

USA Today published this quiz that tells you which candidate you are in agreement with. I got a guy I'd never even heard of which could explain why I'm so displeased with my choices for this next election. Here is the link if you want to try it:


A Cat with a Crown

My new phone has some basic photo editing features allowing me to create this:

I plan to modify all of my contact photos with clip art. That is all.


A New Phone

I bought a phone! Ok... Nate and I bought the same phone. (insert groan.) We got the Sony Ericsson s500i off of the tubes. The background changes with the season and time of day.
I don't think it likes being photographed. Most of the pictures come out a little blurry.
In the dark you can see the different lighting effects. The phone has 22 different lighting profiles.
The screen is bright and clear.
This picture of turbo-poof was taken with the camera on the phone. The quality is much nicer than on my old phone! I've been playing with it for a couple days now and the battery is still at 52%. Now to find a case for it...


A Banner Ad

While surfing in the tubes, I came across this wondrous banner ad. This may be the most ridiculous invention of all time. Does it have speed settings? If you choose "fast" what happens when you want to get out? I imagine you get thrown violently against the back of the pool. Fun times.


WTF, Subway?

Today I went to enjoy my usual sub when I was shocked with a new policy. Now you must choose between lettuce and spinach- you can't have both!! ORLY?? (insert owl here) I always get spinach and lettuce. The only time I didn't was during the spinach/e-coli fiasco. And even then they gave me my sub for free because I always eat there and made a sad face. I like my sub bursting with crunchy green goodness.
This is a message to you, Subway located at Hibiscus and Babcock:
From this day forward, each time you deny me my 10 shreds of lettuce I will ask for every other vegetable I don't like on my sub but demand that it's placed on the side. Then I will take those veggies and throw them away in a festive manner. The cost of this battle is high, Subway. You will lose!!


You shouldn't be talking.

In the spirit of mocking unnecessary quotation marks I present my Giribaldi receipt. As we all know, I hate inanimate objects speaking to me. This means you, What-A-Burger cups. Today, when my receipt shouted the obvious to me, I knew it had to be shared.


Truthiness 08

This past week Stephen Colbert's "1 million strong for Stephen T Colbert" broke the million mark while Obama's group remains stagnant around 400k. (At the time of this post Colbert's at 1,136,160 members.) What started as a joke has actually got the political world talking. This morning while watching Meet The Press (with Tim "I was still using a dry-erase board in 2000" Russert) they put up a graphic with the latest democratic poll numbers. Shock! As of 10-21-07 Colbert had 2.3% of the vote! That's ahead even of Kucinich! Apparently we don't want our president carrying a pocket constitutional. ANYWAY. I haven't been able to find the actual graphic but here is a story in the Washington Post that cites the same poll:
Considering the rapid growth in popularity on Facebook, it's conceivable that this poll number will grow. The nation is counting on you, South Carolina!



As you can see, it's been fixed. (Thanks, nate.)
Here is the issue if anyone wants to do it in their blog.
  • From the Blogger dashboard click on the settings tab.
  • Click Archiving and make sure Enable Post Pages is set to yes. (Save)
  • Click the Template tab and go in Edit HTML.
  • Check the Expand Widgets box then click Download Complete Template.
  • Open the file in Word or Notepad. Use the find feature to find this line of code:

(It helped to search for "post.body")
  • Replace that line with this code:

<div style='float:right; margin-left:10px;'>
<script type='text/javascript'>
<script src='http://digg.com/tools/diggthis.js' type='text/javascript'/>

  • Save the file in your text editor.
  • Re-open blogger and go back to the Edit HTML page.
  • Use the "Upload template from your hard drive" feature to upload the file you just created. Save.
Thanks to this blog (http://bloggerfordummies.blogspot.com/2007/08/ways-to-display-html-tags-in-posts-and_21.html) for teaching me how to type code without blogger trying to execute it.

Please welcome my new digg button

So after hours of fighting, I've finally given in and let the digg button reside in the page elements. My goal was to put it in the template of the page so that each post gets it's own but I can't find the code where the tutorials tell you to inject the button. To use this button you have to click on an individual post so that the post's unique url is sent to digg. It seems like a flawed idea but I haven't been able to improve it yet. Another option seems to be adding code to each individual post, submitting it to digg, then editing the post so that the digg button points to the story I just submitted to digg. That seems like a lot of work for stories that will only get 2 diggs.
I see people only blogger who have successfully added the digg counter to their page so I'm frustrated that I can't do it.  If anyone has been successful with my template, or even another blogger stock template, please help me!



(Photo: Chicago Tribune)
As you all know, every airport has a three letter identifier used by pilots and air traffic controllers to avoid confusion.  One city has a particularly ridiculous one and has decided to make the best of it.  By making the best of it I mean they made up some cheesy shirts and hats. Here is the story if you are curious about which city it is.http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/21428411/  Enjoy!
12:42 AM

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As most know, it pains me to hear the word "literally" misused. I'm still mad at CNN for saying senators were literally throwing our money around... and that was over a year ago. The statement is absurd! Anyway, some person has devoted a blog to the topic:
I don't find myself literally LOLing like with the quotation mark abuse blog, but maybe it's because this is a far more serious grammatical issue.
Another winner I found today was a blog where people post humorous passive-aggressive letters. http://www.passiveaggressivenotes.com/
Exhibit A:
I haven't decided which is my favorite part. I want to say it's the period at the end of the salutation but I also really like how the writer says "vending machine person." It says "even though you are here at least once a week, I haven't taken the time to determine your gender." Or worse, it says "I have taken the time to attempt to determine your gender, but have been unsuccessful." Any thoughts?

Local News is LAME

This morning on the news they were outraged by a hidden NASA study about airline safety. Apparently they anonymously surveyed about 24,000 pilots to determine what kind of near collisions and emergency landings are occurring. Get ready for the shocking statistic: Pilots reported TWICE AS MANY near in-air collisions than the report cites. At first that sounds like a NASA cover up until you consider that it takes TWO planes to have a near collision. Both pilots will report the same incident on their lame-ass survey. Come on, news.. really?!

p.s. Launch is 11:30-ish today for those of you lucky enough to be free. Don't forget to watch!!


Oh Noes!!11one!!

A minute ago I was playing with posting a Digg story on Blogger when I got this error message:

Biggest Water User in Atlanta is ... Gatorade?!?

It gets better though: after the Gatorade plant turns all the water into syrupy disgustingness and ships it around the world, Atlantans can hire these group of strange and enterprising guys to paint their yards green again!

read more | digg story

Leighann Voted "#1 Blogger of the Universe"

(As voted on by the "staff of Leighann's blog")
(aka Leighann)

This is from http://quotation-marks.blogspot.com/ which is featured this week in the blogs of interest section of Blogger. I fail to understand America's obsession with quotation marks! Do they not realize that they either indicate sarcasm or cast doubt on the item in quotes?
What "YOU" Can Do:
Submit quotation violations and/or join in the mocking of those who commit such violations. We need to let merchants know that we aren't buying their "bags" and we don't feel "welcome."

"Have a nice day"


Wanted: Nokia 7373

Who needs an iPhone? I want a pretty phone that I can dial while driving. This is the only swivel phone of Nokia's L'Amour collection and now that it's a year old the price has dropped significantly. Come on- it has leather on the back. It also has a 2 megapixel camera and plays mp3s and FM radio.
My only hesitation is that it's not available in any brick and mortar stores. I'll have to order it from one of the sketchy online stores as an unlocked phone. If anyone has used any of those stores and can recommend one please let me know! (I've been cheated by every seller I've used on ebay so that is absolutely not an option for me. )


I'm back and in 8-bit

These wall decals are a gift from Helen to Nate for his birthday last month. They've been popular with our visitors! By the front door

Nate's computer desk

My desk (note the new haircut!)

Due to our power bill, we stopped hosting my other website. All it means is I'll be back using Blogger since it's free. =) Regardless, the Seventh Planet will live on.



I now have a real website! http://blob.homedns.org/leighann
We are hosting it on Nate's sad and abused laptop. Don't all try to view it at once or it might catch fire. I don't know how much I'll use this anymore.


Atlantis Launch (6-8-07)

This is the beach near Port Canaveral. It took about 45 seconds to hear the shuttle. Multiply by the speed of sound (761mph) and it seems that we were about 9.5 miles away. Nerdiness = done.

Zoom, camera, zoom.

So that is what we did last Friday- my first non-jetlagged Friday in Melbourne. Tonight, I am very excited about Palm Bay Idol. Yes, you read that right. I hope it bears some resemblance to the American Idol auditions. I'll keep you posted.



Viking burial area

Christine's summer house

View from the top of the Olympic ski jump in Oslo

Coffee shop in Oslo that won the International Barista Award


We stayed one night in a small ski town outside of Innsbruck. This is a stage left over from when the Olympics were there. This man is dancing about on stage and singing along to bad party music. We walked around for 3 hours and he showed no sign of stopping when we left.

The Rest of Italy

The Mediterranean-
A tiny road ran along this cliff and everyone at the beach used it to park. We saw no way of getting down to the beach.

I also took a tourist picture of me holding up the tower.


aka el dumbo



St. Peter's

Inside the Vatican
Yes, I got a good Sistine Chapel picture =) ask for it

View on Palatine Hill

View from the other side

Inside the Colosseum

Rome had a lot of good pictures but I don't want this post to go on too long.